The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Frickin’ Ratzinger.

April 19th, 2005 · 2 Comments · Politics, Rants


We all pretty much knew it was coming, but it’s no less disappointing in the end. Ah well, I wasn’t a very GOOD Catholic anyway.

Andrew Sullivan sums my feelings up nicely:

It would be hard to over-state the radicalism of this decision. It’s not simply a continuation of John Paul II. It’s a full-scale attack on the reformist wing of the church. The swiftness of the decision and the polarizing nature of this selection foretell a coming civil war within Catholicism. The space for dissidence, previously tiny, is now extinct. And the attack on individual political freedom is just beginning.


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Clifford // Apr 20, 2005 at 8:25 pm

    That’s the point: the Catholic Church doesn’t care to appeal to those who aren’t good Catholics (those who follow Church doctrine).

    I’m not a Catholic, but to me what the Conclave did was logical. Pick a person who believes in where the majority of cardinals want the Church to go. Ratzinger is a very smart person who has authored many official Church documents on such subjects as homosexuality and abortion.

    Whether or not you, or I, believe that abortion is a woman’s right or that it’s murder, the Church has a very clear position. Whether or not you, or I, believe that homosexuals involved in relationships are engaging in sinful activity, the Church has a very clear position. If you want to be a Catholic, or Democrat, or Republican, or Buddhist, or whatever… then you need to get with the program.

    Like most of the Church doctrine but have a problem with their stance on homosexuality? Become an Episcopalian. Want to stay Catholic, receive Communion, etc.? Give up gay sex. How much plainer can it be?

  • 2 funtax // Apr 20, 2005 at 10:06 pm

    That’s a fairly simplistic view, though there are many in power in the Church who certainly agree with you. My problems with the Church don’t relate to its positions on abortion or gay sex or anything specifically dogmatic. Of course they have the right to make hard and fast rules on issues of morality and dogma and also to expect the faithful to obey them.

    Where I take issue with the Church’s actions is when it chooses to leverage its “absolute authority” to silence or ignore critics who raise serious, legitimate concerns about non-dogmatic issues. The recent abuse scandals, for example, were unquestionably exacerbated by the fundamental lack of transparency that exists in Church heirarchy. In addition, things like the Church’s decision to cripple Liberation Theologists and the Jesuits during the 80s always struck me as utterly inappropriate.

    Obviously, a religion cannot serve its followers by being indecisive, but to build a system that crushes dissent of any sort and that refuses to even consider adaptation is foolish and harmful. Ratzinger represents a mindset that seeks to - at the very least - return the Church to a pre-Vatican II understanding of how it expects Catholics to interact with their faith. When it should be looking ahead to its third millennium, the Church is instead lurching back towards the 19th Century.

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