Tuesday, April 19, 2005

We have Pope, sir

Soooo….new pope, eh? Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. Granted, this guy is only going to live another five or ten years, but just read the biography of him (from BBC Profiles): To some, he is the Catholic Church's intellectual salvation during a time of confusion and compromise. To others, he is an intimidating "Enforcer", punishing liberal thinkers, and keeping the Church in the Middle Ages. Certainly, in the world's largest Christian community the Pope's prefect of doctrine, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, cannot be overlooked. While many theologians strive for a Catholic Church that is more open and in touch with the world around it, Ratzinger's mission is to stamp out dissent, and curb the "wild excesses" of this more tolerant era. He wields the tools of his office with steely efficiency. By influencing diocese budgets, bishops' transfers and even excommunications, what an opponent calls "symbolic violence", Ratzinger has clamped down on the more radical contingent of the Church. Personally charming, quick-witted and fluent in four languages, the Cardinal is a convincing orator. Jesuit Father Thomas Reese calls him "a delightful dialogue partner", but adds that most of the Cardinal's fellow clergy would be too worried about the prospect of excommunication to enjoy talking to him. That's EXACTLY what we need for the Catholic Church in the 21st Century. A POPE WHO WANTS TO GO BACK TO THE MIDDLE AGES. Let's not look to the future or things that might be GOOD for the Church. Ooooh, no. Let's, instead, continue to keep whittling down the number of priests by not moving forward at all, keeping them single and sexless and forcing them to turn to alter boys for relief. Let's not let women take a larger role in the church. Let's not review our policy on contraceptives or gays. Hey! I have an idea! Let's just erase Vatican II completely! Let's pretend like it never happened. That will put us one step closer to how the church was in the Middle Ages and seems like a good start. I love that MOST OF HIS FELLOW CLERGY won't talk to him for fear of EXCOMMUNICATION. This is FANTASTIC! Hmmm…a "convincing orator" whose "mission is to stamp out dissent…" I know another guy like that. HITLER. ***UPDATE*** This is always great to see in a headline about the new leader of millions of people: "New Pope a Conservative Who Divided Germans." (Hmmm...Hitler did that too....) And in the article: But opinion about him remains deeply divided in Germany, a sharp contrast to John Paul, who was revered in his native Poland. A recent poll for Der Spiegel news weekly said Germans [who] opposed Ratzinger becoming pope outnumbered supporters 36 percent to 29 percent, with 17 percent having no preference. The poll of 1,000 people, taken April 5-7, gave no margin of error. Many blame Ratzinger for decrees from Rome barring Catholic priests from counseling pregnant teens on their options and blocking German Catholics from sharing communion with their Lutheran brethren at a joint gathering in 2003. YES! Again, score! I don't even have a comment on the pregnant teen thing I'm so TO'd about it. Because I'M SURE that those priests were probably forcing the girls to have abortions and not discussing, maybe, adoption. And let's also keep the Catholic Church COMPLETELY seperate from all other Christian groups. PERFECT.

-originally posted by "Lara"

Wow. Pope. Hitler. Pope. Hitler.

Maybe if he "to's" enough people, there will actually be a push to separate church and state in this country.

I'm cool with the guy. I mean, come on, the Holy Spirit itself guided the cardinals to elect his Holiness.

You step to the Holy Spirit, you have the whole Trinity after yo ass.

Speaking of Hitler, did anyone catch the History Channel show on Monday night about Mein Kampf II. They found his second book that he wrote in prison, well Hess actually wrote it, Hitler just dictated...besides the point, damn it...anyways, they authenticated and the book and it basically laid out his plans for the what he did up until his death and what he planned to do after he conquered Europe. Scary stuff for shizzle, but it was definitely an interesting look at the politics and ideologoy in Hitler's mind, beyond wanting to just exteriminate non-arayans. It was good stuff. Well probably only to me, but still the new History Channel docs rule! They're really rockin' on the production value. Okay, long comment, but its because I didn't write the post so there.
Not to keep beating a dead horse (and staying ON TOPIC, MAGNUM), but I think things are being blown out of proportion with this new Pope Bendict XVI (I think?).

He has a controversial past, but who doesn't? He didn't have a cocaine problem. He didn't fail at various business endeavors. He didn't trade Sammy Sosa away to the Cubs... off-topic, focus...

I think this is another case of the media blowing things out of proportion. Even on MSNBC.com (my news source) there is an opinion piece wondering if American Catholics will continue to contribute money to the church. What? Are you serious?

Oh well. Whatever. Part of his electibility, from what I've heard, is that he won't reign for 20+ years due to his age. Take that however you want.

But then again, isn't it the media's job to find everything they can on this guy. If he was just another spiritual leader it would be out of line, I agree. But he's not, the Vatican and the Pope are the most political institutions and figures in the world. It's just as much about politics as it is faith. Enormous political influence on world events always needs to be checked by the free media. I need to research other country's media coverage of the Pope, but if American journalists are the only ones doing their JOBS, then good for them.
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