Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Catholics, World Leaders Welcome the New Pope

I don't. I already had a bout in the ring with old Ratz and I won. He's a bigoted wingnut, he is, and I don't care how many people I insult by simply stating the truth. Even though he is now a pope.

Just look at his picture:

Ratz doesn't like uppity women and he hates feminists and gays. He also hates Liberation Theology, believes that other religions are false and wants to "reconvert" Europe into Christianity. Will they use swords this time, too?

Here is a short summary of his views:

Once settled he was quick to make a mark with his old-fashioned dogmatism and conservative values. He was particularly upset by what he saw as destructive, liberalizing influences unleashed at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). These 'wild excesses' extended to the introduction of a non-Latin Mass after Vatican II which Ratzinger characterized as a 'tragic breach' in tradition. But the Cardinal's discomfort with modern life and yearning for the good old days also extended to the social realm, especially into the areas of gay rights and women.

In 1986 Ratzinger issued a letter to the Catholic Bishops in which he wrote that homosexuality was a 'tendency' towards an 'intrinsic moral evil'. A few years later, in 1992, he rejected the notion of human rights for gays, stressing that their civil liberties could be 'legitimately limited'. He followed up by remarking that 'neither the church nor society should be surprised' if 'irrational and violent reactions increase' when gays demand civil rights. Not a man to mince his words, Ratzinger urgently set to work to ferret out gay-sensitive clergy.

The good Cardinal also extended the Papal principle of 'infallibility' by declaring that the ordination of women was impossible because John Paul II said it was so. Ditto for the use of the word 'priest' by the Anglican Church: not on, said Joe, because Leo XIII in 1896 said it wasn't allowed.

The Cardinal is also not happy mixing religion and politics Рat least not the kind of politics which suggests the Church has an obligation to assist the poor in their fight for justice. So he set out to muzzle outspoken 'liberation' theologians including Brazil's charismatic Leonardo Boff. He also replaced the now-deceased Archbishop of Recife, Dom Helder Camara, with Monsignor Jos̩ Cardosa Рa conservative right-winger Рand warned the ex-Bishop of Chiapas in Mexico, Samuel Ruiz, to preach the Gospel 'in its integrity without Marxist interpretations'.

As if that weren't enough, the ever-busy Cardinal has used his privileged take on the Truth to set back inter-faith tolerance and religious pluralism a few decades. In 1997 Ratzinger annoyed Buddhists by calling their religion an 'autoerotic spirituality' that offers 'transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations'. And Hinduism, he said, offers 'false hope'; it guarantees 'purification' based on a 'morally cruel' concept of reincarnation resembling 'a continuous circle of hell'. The Cardinal predicted Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic Church's main enemy this century.

And he is in bed with Opus Dei, where the men's sheets get changed and laundered by the women members. - No, I don't care for Pope Ratz, and calling him Benedict will not help.

He is seventy-eight years old which means that he will likely be a short-term pope, to get the church into order for something or other. But even a short-term pope can do long-term damage.