The Holy Father's Christmas address to the Curia is truly outstanding, showing a clear grasp of some mistakes and tragedies of the past year as well as our reasons for hope. There is much here to ponder and pray about. I was especially impressed with his clear desire for re-unification with the East;
"Only in a spirit of compromise and mutual understanding can unity be re-established. To prepare the people for this attitude of peace is an essential task of pastoral ministry"
To understand what he means you have to read the relevant paragraph in his address. His words throughout show not only his deep pastoral sensitivity with regard to the issues he mentions but his ability to consult and to listen. We have not had him long, but he is proving to be a uniquely gifted and perceptive spiritual leader. In spite of recent criticisms (e.g. with regard to his piece for BBC radio and his book interview) there is great wisdom and humility here - both of which are needed for these times.