Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI

The long knives are out for Pope Benedict XVI.

Michelle Malkin blogged The vile Pope-bashing on the Left has begun. (Hat tip: Slublog.) The Armageddon Project spots another smear from Reuters.

St Wendeler blogged Congratulations to Il Papa. I'm not Catholic, but it's good to see that the Catholic Church isn't going to get wishy-washy on us. What I really like most is while they were waiting for the announcement, ABC radio was getting "insight" from commentators and all of them said that Ratzenger was a no-go, because he was just too hard line. They just don't get it.

The Left has already gone whacko. This post shows Il Papa as the Emperor from Star Wars. Nazi Conspiracy uncovered here. And the Kossacks weigh in here.

Bill Hennessy blogged Already the left media in the USA (J. Rob)is denouncing the selection of Joseph Ratzinger as new pope. CBS News called him “God’s Rottweiler,” an obvious play on his German nationality. That term was echoed by other networks and news agency, indicating that the term is part of talking points distributed by anti-Catholic liberals in the United States.

A couple of weeks ago, people argued with me about who the Cardinals would choose. I said, “the German.” Everyone else I spoke with said, “the Brazilian.” In the end, God chooses the man who will best serve his divine purposes. In the case of John Paul I, it seems the Cardinals disagreed with God’s choice, and God called him home 33 days later.

Benedict XVI is seventy-eight. He is much more of a chief executive than was his predecessor. Still, by all accounts Ratzinger is very personable and warm man who will win many loyal followers as we learn more about him.

The losers in his selection are the renegade priests and nuns who have tried to turn the Catholic church into a secular morasse of socialist psychobabble. If there’s anything the church needs it’s to start acting Catholic again. Benedict XVI seems just the pope to do that. In the final Mass before the conclave began, then Cardinal Ratzinger homilized:

“Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism,” he said, speaking in Italian. “Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching,’ looks like the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards.
For more on that sermon, see Touchstone’s MereComments blog. Among other excellent writings, MereComments has this about “progressive” Catholics:

Andrew Sullivan blogged 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.

Stephen Bainbridge blogged Andrew Sullivan is an Ass. Sullivan's reaction to the elevation of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is so over the top that it defies parody. I realize that calling Sullivan is an ass is not very charitable, but sometimes you just have to state harsh truths. Where to begin? How about with Ratzinger's views on Catholic participation in liberal democracy. Here's what Catholics for Democracy said about Ratzinger's intervention in the 2004 US election. And George Weigel noted this. As for the American model of liberal democracy, Cardinal Ratzinger has
... described the American model of church-state relations as more hospitable to religious truth and institutions than European models. ...

Cardinal Ratzinger looks at most European nations -- he could have mentioned Canada as well -- and he sees the worst possible combination of historical residues of Christian establishment and utter indifference to Christian faith; a post-Christian world that would not even allow a reference to the Christian heritage of Europe in the Constitution of the European Union.

By comparison, the American situation looks relatively healthy: higher rates of church attendance and professions of faith ....
Does this sound like someone who will, as Sullivan claims, wage "war on" "modern liberal democracy"? Of course not. Granted, Ratzinger is no fan of extending American-style democracy to the inner workings of the Catholic Church or incorporating American-style moral relativism into the teachings of the Church. Yet, in the political sphere, the new Pope demonstrably recognizes that there is legitimate room for disagreement on how one operationalizes all but the most basic Church teachings, such as the gospel of life, and that even there Catholics may in appropriate instances even vote for politicians who do not share the Church's view on that central tenet.

So why is Sullivan so worked up? Here's his real gripe in his own words:
... the impermissibility of any sexual act that does not involve the depositing of semen in a fertile uterus ....
It's always about sex with Andrew, isn't it?

I am not a Catholic, but it seems to me that the complaints come from two sources: Cafeteria Catholics that disagree with major tenents of the Catholic faith, and who foolishly hoped for a Pope that would change the Church to what they wanted, and the Secular Left that hates anything related to Faith.

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