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April 20, 2005

'Is the Pope Catholic?'

I used to think that question was rhetorical, but after listening and reading about the shock, shock I tell you of so many people that the Cardinals actually chose a Catholic Pope I see the line a bit differently.

Good discussion on this shocking news at Jeff Harrell's Shape of Days (be sure to read the comments).

Jeff Goldstein makes an excellent point concerning the handwringing about the new Catholic Pope:

The problem with the kind of boutique multiculturalism advocated by both Kondracke and Sullivan is that it pretends to celebrate diversity and “open conversation”; what it really does, however, is refute the “Other” at precisely the point where it matters most, the point at which beliefs genuinely diverge.
JG nails what the new Pope referred to as "the authoritarianism of relativism." Self-proclaimed "progressives" can be just as "intolerant" as any "fundamentalist" they rail against.

Indeed, it struck me yesterday in listening (or attempting to) the bile launched at Bill Frist over "Justice Sunday" that these same spewers had very little to say about John Kerry's (or Bill Clinton's) high profile stumping through churches during campaigning, or their discussion of their own religious beliefs. Could it be because they suspect that Kerry really doesn't believe it? That it was just a nudge nudge wink wink "the things I gotta do to get votes" on the level of kissing babies and eating local food?

Yet the minute someone has "deeply held", genuine religious beliefs, then OMIGOD! Suddenly such people are really nothing but a bunch of fascists in search of theocracy. The latest rambling screeching from Maureen Dowd demonstrates these deliberate efforts to view religion only from the POV of "progressivism"

The white smoke yesterday signaled that the Vatican thinks what it needs to bring it into modernity is the oldest pope since the 18th century: Joseph Ratzinger, a 78-year-old hidebound archconservative who ran the office that used to be called the Inquisition and who once belonged to Hitler Youth. For American Catholics - especially women and Democratic pro-choice Catholic pols - the cafeteria is officially closed. After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed "God's Rottweiler" and "the Enforcer," helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians in the 2004 election.
"Is the Pope Catholic?" Yes, and because he still is, it really knots the knickers of the "We want the Catholic Church to listen to OUR obviously superior modern wisdom" crowd.

Posted by Darleen at April 20, 2005 06:38 AM


"Ratzinger will be remembered as the architect of John Paul's internal Kulturkampf, intimidating and punishing thinkers in order to restore a model of church -- clerical, dogmatic and rule-bound -- many hoped had been swept away by the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 assembly of bishops that sought to renew Catholicism and open it to the world. Ratzinger's campaign bears comparison to the anti-modernist drive in the early part of the century or Pius XII's crackdown in the 1950s, critics say, but is even more disheartening because it followed a moment of such optimism and new life."
Who wrote it--a hedonistic liberal? No, that's from the National Catholic Reporter.

Posted by: Brad at April 20, 2005 02:45 PM

Got some news for you - the National Catholic Reporter staff *are* hedonistic liberals...

Thank God we're finally beginning to recover from the out-of-control "new life" of the purveyors of the "Spirit of VaticanII", who apparently never actually read any of the council documents.

Loosening up some disciplines and shifting the focus (to the role of the laity, as evangelists to the everyday world - NOT as semi-clerics)and seeking to address the modern world in terms it might better understand didn't change any doctrines.

Posted by: Sal at April 21, 2005 08:39 AM