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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The Pope Welcomes Your Prayers
"Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers." -- Pope Benedict XVI
Andrew Sullivan, a practicing Catholic who is very knowledgeable about Catholic theology and Church workings, is quite disappointed and frightened by the election of Cardinal Ratzinger. It's worth reading everything he wrote. Here's a brief highlight:

“And so the Catholic church accelerates its turn toward authoritarianism, hostility to modernity, assertion of papal supremacy and quashing of internal debate and dissent. We are back to the nineteenth century. Maybe this is a necessary moment. Maybe pressing this movement to its logical conclusion will clarify things. But those of us who are struggling against what our Church is becoming, and the repressive priorities it is embracing, can only contemplate a form of despair. The Grand Inquisitor, who has essentially run the Church for the last few years, is now the public face. John Paul II will soon be seen as a liberal. The hard right has now cemented its complete control of the Catholic church. And so ... to prayer. What else do we now have?”

James Lileks, speaking as an outsider, thinks the critics are overreacting.
I don't know much about Ratzinger, but in the interests of fairness to him, I thought I'd add this counterpoint to Sullivan's piece.

ProfessorBainbridge.com: Andrew Sullivan is an Ass

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.

Acknowledge Real Clear Politics for juxtaposing the two so conveniently.
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