Joseph Ratzinger: European Pope

Date added: 29/05/2020



In St Peter’s Square,

Holy smoke and a shy smile

Of Bavarian piety and curial power.


Funeral oration,

Conclave sermon,

Acceptance address:

Momentous momentum.


A hard act to follow,

They chose a hard man.

In thinking, penetrative;

In doctrine, conservative;

In power, effective;

In discipline, pressive:

Continuity reigns.


Enforcer becomes caretaker

To take care of Europe;

Lost continent, now

The option for mission;

Postmodern, enlarging,

Deserting tradition.


Joseph Ratzinger:

Perhaps, for some time,

Last Pope from Europe.

Africa, Latin America,

Burgeon and beckon.


A conservative caretaker,

Astounded the sixties:

May Benedict the Sixteenth

Surprise us with blessing.


© Graham Kings, Nourishing Connections (Canterbury Press, 2020).

first published on Fulcrum April 2005.