Web exclusive: Looking Back. In our 2005 series of articles titled Whats Next?, Commonweal asked five writers to look at the challenges the then newly elected Benedict XVI was likely to face. Were checking back with those writers to get their thoughts on whether the hopes they laid out eight years ago have been realized, and well be posting their reflections over the coming days.Featured now is Richard R. Gaillardetz, whose piece, Looking Ahead: My Hope for the Next Pope,appeared in the April 22, 2005, issue of Commonweal. Where does he stand eight years later?
[O]ne can justly say that this theologian-pope has made the Word of God, incarnate in Jesus Christ, central to his papacy. His encyclicals and addresses offered rich meditations on the transformative power of that Word in the church, and through the ministry and mission of the church in the world. Regrettably, this pontificate has done nothing to expand our awareness that the whole church plays a role in the discernment of God's Word.