Been posting over on the Rottweiller about Pope Benedict XVI and it caused to me view something in a different light. This is only my opinion on the subject, it is not dogma so do not take it that way.
Some Catholics are upset over the selection of Cardinal Ratziner as Pope Beneditc XVI. They are upset because he is not a progressive, instead he firmly believes in what the Church stands for. A Church that has weathered Roman pogroms, barnarians, the fall of the Roman Empire, schism, anti-popes, no popes, two popes at once, the Reformation, Henry VIII, and various other heresies must stand for something worthwhile to last that long. And these people want to summarily change these teachings to suit the mores of now, of me.
Lets look a parable of Jesus Christ's. The parable of the Prodigal Son. A son who decides the city is a far greener pasture so he disobeys his father's advice and runs away. Briefly the city is everything he imagined it was. But just as quickly he finds out how harsh and uncaring that city is when his world collapses. So he is forced to tend to pigs, an unclean animal, that is how far he has descended. Remembering how his father's servants were treated better than he was being treated the son deicdes to return home and beg his father to be allowed to a servant. As the lost son returns and his father spies him in the distance, the father rushes to greet the son and welcomes him back gladly. The father orders the fatted calf slain and a feast thrown to welcome his son back. When the faithful son hears this, he is upset and asks his father why does he treat the other son with such fanfare when he himself only gets a goat to roast with friends sometimes. So the father takes the other son aside and tells him that he celebrates the return of his son from the dead.
What is the meaning of death in this case? It is not a literal death obviously. The son by disobeying the father is dead to that father. So are cafeteria catholics who think they can pick&choose what parts of the Catholic faith to follow. And in both cases by disobeying their father they sin, hence both are dead to their fathers. And the cafeteria catholics can be prodigal children by just owning up to their errors/rebellion and asking forgiveness. Which, when asked for in a heartfelt manner, will be gladly given.
And now I think it falls to the new Pope, Pope Benedict XVI to cajole the wayward faithful to return home and be welcomed back. Let us all pray that good things happen under this Papacy.