“Cardinal Ratzinger presents a scenario of a shrinking Church of minority status, more concerned with creating small pockets of authentic Christian living than influencing the course of society.”
When JPII was selected many thought that the RC Church was signaling detente with the USSR (because as Cardinal Wojtyla JPII had coexisted with Soviet tyranny in Poland.)
As Michael Ledeen wrote:
We were in Rome when John Paul II was elected Pope, and, like most people, I didn't know much about him. Most of the commentary at that time described the Conclave's decision in political terms, and Karol Wojtyla was said to be a "detente pope," a gesture of peace toward the Soviets. I went over to Communist-party headquarters in Via delle Botteghe Oscure to ask them what they thought of it, and one of the real hardline Stalinists put it nicely: "Well," he said, "at least our Polish comrades won't have him around to (and here he used a colorful Roman phrase that roughly means 'give them a hard time.'). The Communist knew what he was talking about, and the scribblers and kibbitzers didn't.Instead, the world got a GREAT COLD WARRIOR who inspired Poles and gave them the courage to challenge Soviet tyranny.
I expect Pope Benedict to wage a SUCCESSFUL battle against relativism and THEREBY ENLARGE THE CHURCH ONCE AGAIN IN EUROPE.
You NEVER win by appeasing your enemy; relativism is the enemy; Benedict knows this and he knows that he must defeat relativism to win back Europe.