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I cannot agree more on this opinion posted on the website of American Leftist (http://amleft.blogspot.com/)

 

 

The New Pope

American Leftist, Tuesday, April 19, 2005

 

http://amleft.blogspot.com/

 

So they picked Ratzinger, and it's hard to imagine a worse choice.

 

The guy's against women priests and against married priests. Not only is he against Catholic dissidents, he excommunicated Tissa Balasuriya, a leftist Sri Lankan theologian, for the crime of presenting Mary as the "author of the Magnificat with its fierce cry for social justice [and] the strong mother who stood as she witnessed the execution of her Son" and for promoting "'relativism' of all religions", to quote Gerard Sloyan.

 

Ratzinger's not merely passingly anti-gay, he's the author of the Vatican's statement against gay marriage. He also condemned Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions as offering "false hope" through "auto-erotic spirituality". 1

 

Then there's the fact that he's kind of a former Nazi: 2

 

Unknown to many members of the church, however, Ratzinger's past includes brief membership of the Hitler Youth movement and wartime service with a German army anti-aircraft unit. [ ... ]

 

In 1937 Ratzinger's father retired and the family moved to Traunstein, a staunchly Catholic town in Bavaria. Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941. He soon won a dispensation on account of his training at a seminary. "Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one," said John Allen, his biographer.

 

Two years later Ratzinger was enrolled in an anti-aircraft unit that protected a BMW factory making aircraft engines. The workforce included slave labour from the Dachau concentration camp. Ratzinger has insisted he never took part in combat or fired a shot – adding that his gun was not even loaded – because of a badly infected finger. He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a few weeks in a prisoner of war camp.

 

Ratzinger has since said that although he was opposed to the Nazi regime, any open resistance would have been futile – comments echoed this weekend by his elder brother Georg, a retired priest ordained along with the cardinal in 1951.

 

"Resistance was truly impossible," Georg Ratzinger said. "Before we were conscripted, one of our teachers said we should fight and become heroic Nazis and another told us not to worry, as only one soldier in a thousand was killed. But neither of us ever used a rifle against the enemy."

 

Some locals in Traunstein, such as Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. "It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others," she said. "The Ratzingers were young and they had made a different choice."

 

 

Oh, yeah, and he also helped to cover up a molestation scandal at the Vatican 3:

 

The accusers say Vatican-based Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who heads the Vatican office to safeguard the faith and the morals of the church, quietly made the lawsuit [against Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ which has raised millions of dollars for the Church, regarding allegations of sexual abuse] go away and shelved it. There was no investigation and the accusers weren't asked a single question or asked for a statement.

 

He was appointed by the pope to investigate the entire sex abuse scandal in the church in recent days. But when approached by ABCNEWS in Rome last week with questions of allegations against Maciel, Ratzinger became visibly upset and actually slapped this reporter's hand.

 

"Come to me when the moment is given," Ratzinger told ABCNEWS, "not yet."

 

"Cardinal Ratzinger is sheltering Maciel, protecting him," said Berry, who expressed concerns that no response was being given to the allegations against the man charged with sex abuse. "These men knelt and kissed the ring of Cardinal Ratzinger when they filed the case in Rome. And a year-and-a-half later, he takes those accusations and aborts them, just stuffs them."

 

 

1 but "charming" he's not

"More Zealous than the Pope."

He's head of the Vatican's "Holy Inquisition" [modern, formal name: "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith], and he's described as personally charming.

The man who wrote last week's Vatican document ruling out same-sex marriage is a soft-spoken Bavarian who was once a liberal but has served as Pope John Paul II's ultra-conservative guardian of Catholic doctrine for more than 20 years.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been at the Pope's side as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for so long he has been nicknamed "The Enforcer" or the "Panzerkardinal".

Cardinal Ratzinger is regarded as the second most powerful man in the Church. [oddly, his nicknames immediately suggest the next governor of California and himself soon one of the most powerful men in American]

 

If anything, he is even more zealous than the Pope, whom he meets every Friday evening, in laying down the law on social or sexual mores.

One joke told in the Vatican has Cardinal Ratzinger arriving in heaven with the church dissidents he has suppressed. The dissenters emerge after meeting God, crying: "How could I have been so wrong?" Then Cardinal Ratzinger goes in to meet the Almighty, there is also wailing and gnashing of teeth -- and God emerges, crying: "How could I have been so wrong?"

The former Hitler Youth member and Wehrmacht draftee was shocked by the reforms of Vatican II. The Australian site [news.com.au] linked above reports that he condemns Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions as offering false hope through "auto-erotic spirituality," that he insists the media exaggerates the extent of the American pedophilia scandals and that he's pushing for a return to the Latin Mass.

Well-informed queers have known about Rat for over 10 years. In 1992, during a period of particularly virulent antigay violence in the U.S., he authorized a Vatican proclamation which said that that when lesbians and gay men demand civil rights, "neither the Church nor society should be surprised when ... irrational and violent reactions increase"

Swell guy.

Ratzinger will preside over the Conclave which elects the next Catholic autocrat when Wojtyla kicks.

Off to the 17th century - in a hand basket!

Posted by james at August 9, 2003 01:34 PM

 

2 Nazi link may dog favourite

Justin Sparks and John Follain

April 18, 2005

THE wartime past of the leading conservative contender to succeed John Paul II may return to haunt him as cardinals begin voting in the Sistine Chapel today.

 

German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – whose strong defence of Catholic orthodoxy has earned him sobriquets including "the enforcer", "the panzer cardinal" and "God's rottweiler" – is expected to poll about 40 votes in the first ballot as conservatives rally behind him.

Although short of the requisite two-thirds majority of the 115 votes, this would almost certainly give Ratzinger, 78, an early lead in the voting.

Unknown to many members of the church, however, Ratzinger's past includes brief membership of the Hitler Youth movement and wartime service with a German army anti-aircraft unit.

There is no suggestion that he was involved in any atrocities, but his service may be contrasted by opponents with the attitude of John Paul II, who took part in anti-Nazi theatre performances in his native Poland and in 1986 became the first pope to visit Rome's synagogue.

"John Paul was hugely appreciated for what he did for, and with, the Jewish people," said Lord Janner, head of Britain's Holocaust Education Trust, before attending ceremonies yesterday to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

"If they were to appoint someone who was on the other side in the war, he would start at a disadvantage, although it wouldn't mean in the long run he wouldn't be equally understanding of the concerns of the Jewish world."

The son of a rural Bavarian police officer, Ratzinger was six when Hitler came to power in 1933. His father, also called Joseph, was an anti-Nazi whose attempts to rein in the activities of Hitler's Brown Shirts forced the family to move home several times.

In 1937 Ratzinger's father retired and the family moved to Traunstein, a staunchly Catholic town in Bavaria. Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941. He soon won a dispensation on account of his training at a seminary. "Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one," said John Allen, his biographer.

Two years later Ratzinger was enrolled in an anti-aircraft unit that protected a BMW factory making aircraft engines. The workforce included slave labour from the Dachau concentration camp. Ratzinger has insisted he never took part in combat or fired a shot – adding that his gun was not even loaded – because of a badly infected finger. He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a few weeks in a prisoner of war camp.

Ratzinger has since said that although he was opposed to the Nazi regime, any open resistance would have been futile – comments echoed this weekend by his elder brother Georg, a retired priest ordained along with the cardinal in 1951.

"Resistance was truly impossible," Georg Ratzinger said. "Before we were conscripted, one of our teachers said we should fight and become heroic Nazis and another told us not to worry, as only one soldier in a thousand was killed. But neither of us ever used a rifle against the enemy."

Some locals in Traunstein, such as Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. "It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others," she said. "The Ratzingers were young and they had made a different choice."

In 1937 another family, a few hundred metres away in Traunstein, hid Hans Braxenthaler, a resistance fighter. SS troops repeatedly searched homes in the area looking for him and his fellow conspirators. "When he was betrayed and the Nazis came for him, Braxenthaler shot himself because he knew he couldn't escape," said Frieda Meyer, 82, Ratzinger's neighbour and childhood friend. "Even though they had tortured him in Dachau concentration camp he refused to give up his resistance efforts."

Despite questions about Ratzinger's wartime conduct, the main obstacle to his prospects in the conclave – the assembly of cardinals to elect the new pope – is the conservative stance he has adopted as guardian of Catholic orthodoxy since John Paul named him to head the congregation for the doctrine of the faith in 1981.

His condemnations are legion – of women priests, married priests, dissident theologians and homosexuals, whom he has declared to be suffering from an "objective disorder".

He upset many Jews with a statement in 1987 that Jewish history and scripture reach fulfilment only in Christ – a position denounced by some as "theological anti-Semitism". He made more enemies in 2000, when he signed a document, Dominus Jesus, in which he argued "only in the Catholic Church is there eternal salvation".

Some of his staunchest critics are in Germany. A recent poll in news magazine Der Spiegel showed opponents of a Ratzinger papacy outnumbered supporters by 36 to 29. As one cardinal who was in two minds about him put it: "He would probably be a great pope, but I have no idea how I would explain his election back home."

One liberal theologian, when asked what he thought of a Ratzinger papacy, was more direct: "It fills me with horror."

The Sunday Times

3. Priestly Sin, Cover-Up

Powerful Cardinal in Vatican Accused of Sexual Abuse Cover-Up

 

ABC News 8, CT/April 26, 2002

By Brian Ross

 

A trusted ally of Pope John Paul II has been accused of sexually abusing boys a half-century ago at an elite seminary for the Catholic Church.

 

The alleged victims say the Vatican knew of the allegations against Father Marcial Maciel and chose not to pursue them. In fact, the pope has continued to praise 82-year-old Maciel, a Mexico native, as an effective leader of Catholic youth, despite detailed allegations sent to the Vatican four years ago saying the man was also a long-time pedophile.

 

Maciel denies the charges and said the men made them up only after leaving the Legion of Christ.

Maciel is the founder of the little-known but well-connected and well-financed Legion of Christ which has raised millions of dollars for the Church. Operating in the United States and 19 other countries, the Legion of Christ recruits boys as young as 10 years old to leave their families and follow a rigorous course of study to become priests.

 

"I think Father Maciel is one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church today and also arguably the most mysterious," said Jason Berry, author of Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children.

 

Hidden Abuse, 50 Years Ago

 

Maciel is alleged to have molested some of the young men under his control, some 50 years ago, at the well-manicured seminary and headquarters of the Legion of Christ, a few miles from the Vatican. It is hidden behind high walls and a steel gate that warns of a watch dog inside.

 

"He pushed my hand onto his penis. And I didn't know anything about masturbation," Juan Vaca, who was first abused when he was 11 years old, told ABCNEWS. "And he says, 'You don't know how to do it. Let me show you.' And he gets my penis himself and starts to masturbate me. I was in shock."

 

Now 65 years old and a psychology professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., Vaca, the former superior of the Legion of Christ in Orange, Conn., says he was one of some 30 boys abused by Maciel during his studies at the Legion in Rome.

 

Vaca also told ABCNEWS how he was instructed to bring other boys from their bedrooms to Maciel's room. Vaca said Maciel had different boys visit his rooms on different nights. "In some instances, two were together with him myself and another one," he said.

 

Vaca said Maciel rewarded him with special privileges, such as a private meeting with Pope Pius XII, who served as pope from 1939 to 1958. Maciel always assured Vaca he was doing nothing wrong. When Vaca admitted concerns of committing a sin, Vaca said Maciel absolved him from his sin "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

 

He told him not to worry and to forget about it. But Vaca said he could not forget.

 

Eight Men's Allegations Went Unanswered

 

Vaca is not alone. He is one of eight former students, now all in their 60s, who have signed sworn affidavits submitted to the Vatican that they were abused by Maciel.

 

When they were members of the Legion, the accusers were devout followers of Maciel. But for the last eight years, they have been trying to get the Vatican to listen or even acknowledge their detailed allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of Father Maciel. They say they have not heard a response from the Vatican.

In 1997, they went public, telling their story to The Hartford Courant, a newspaper in Connecticut.

Courant reporters Jerry Renner and Jason Berry, who wrote the story, repeated the allegations to the Vatican, yet received no response from the Vatican. However, later that year, the pope took a step that surprised them.

 

Maciel was appointed to represent the pope at a meeting of Latin American bishops, which Renner and Berry took as a clear signal the Vatican had ignored the allegations.

 

'He's Untouchable'

 

"I would say he has the pope eating out of his hand. Who is going to touch him no matter what he does?" said J. Paul Lennon, a member of the Legion of Christ for 23 years, who has since left and has been helping those claiming to be victims. "He's untouchable."

 

Lennon said Maciel is a master of Vatican politics: "He's worked with several popes, knows the inner workings, knows monsignors, knows cardinals, knows maybe the men who are really in power, knows that so well, so well."

 

Then, four years ago, some of the men tried a last ditch effort, taking the unusual step of filing a lawsuit in the Vatican's secretive court, seeking Maciel's excommunication.

 

Once again they laid out their evidence, but it was another futile effort - an effort the men say was blocked by one of the most powerful cardinals in the Vatican.

 

The accusers say Vatican-based Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who heads the Vatican office to safeguard the faith and the morals of the church, quietly made the lawsuit go away and shelved it. There was no investigation and the accusers weren't asked a single question or asked for a statement.

 

He was appointed by the pope to investigate the entire sex abuse scandal in the church in recent days. But when approached by ABCNEWS in Rome last week with questions of allegations against Maciel, Ratzinger became visibly upset and actually slapped this reporter's hand.

 

"Come to me when the moment is given," Ratzinger told ABCNEWS, "not yet."

 

"Cardinal Ratzinger is sheltering Maciel, protecting him," said Berry, who expressed concerns that no response was being given to the allegations against the man charged with sex abuse. "These men knelt and kissed the ring of Cardinal Ratzinger when they filed the case in Rome. And a year-and-a-half later, he takes those accusations and aborts them, just stuffs them."

 

Maciel Denies Allegations

 

As for Father Maciel, he would not agree to speak with ABCNEWS this week in Rome, although he issued an emphatic, written denial of the allegations, in which he strongly denied the allegations of what he called "repulsive behavior." He said the men made up these allegations only after leaving the Legion of Christ. Click here for his statement.

 

"He has many other things to do rather than appear on a news program," said Father Tom Williams, who said he would serve as Maciel's spokesman. He called the allegations "patently false."

 

"I know Father Maciel very well," Williams told ABCNEWS. "I've lived with him for 10 years." Williams has never asked him about the allegations, but when the Courant ran the story in 1997, Legion spokesman released a statement denying the allegations.

 

Williams said the men making the accusations against Maciel can't be believed because they didn't raise the sexual abuse charges in the 1950s when Vatican investigators were looking into other matters relating to Maciel. According to Williams, the Vatican investigated Maciel on counts of mismanagement of funds, drug and substance abuse and drug trafficking. The Vatican pronounced Maciel innocent of those charges and reinstated him as superior general to the Legion.

 

In addition, Williams noted, a ninth accuser retracted similar allegations, claiming he was pressured to lie by the other eight accusers. Those men stand by their story, now an open challenge to both the pope and Ratzinger, who just this week proclaimed there is no place for pedophiles in the church during the Vatican meetings with American cardinals.

 

"It does not inspire much faith," said Berry.

Edited by juanpe

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So it's cool to say "Fuck the pope" again?

 

But seriously, I agree. I pray, for the sake of the catholic church, that this mofo bites it in a timely manner.

 

WHY WOULD THEY HAVE NOT GONE WITH AN AFRICAN OR SOUTH AMERICAN???? GAAAAH!!

 

Oh well. Fuck the pope.

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He was a bloody Hitler Youth!

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I'm also not that impressed with the choice of the new Pope, but keep in mind that a Pope like this is usually elected as an interim between 2 Popes who are meant to have a long rule. At 78 don't expect him to be around too long.

 

As for the Nazi connection, I find it weak at best. I think the opponents of the new Pope are reaching with trying to bring that into play. We've been brainwashed to believe that anybody who was German during that time was automatically a Nazi. Many of these men/boys had to fight, and by not fighting they were putting there lives on the line. Just my 2cents.

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Yeah, I don't like the guy, but the Hitler Youth connection is pretty meaningless; Nazism was probably the most totalitarian state in history; even when it wasn't compulsory, being in Hitler Youth was more common than being in boy scouts.

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I'm just wondering if he joined it out of his own free will. I was hoping for a "liberal" pope. I think this guy will take the church back a few steps in the 10 years or so he'll be around.

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Even if he did join it of his own 'free will', it's not like he had the advantage of hindsight to see the atrocities that the party was commiting. He would not be the first good man/woman to have been some how involved in with the Nazi's.

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The above posted article (the first one) clearly stated that membership in the Hitler Youth was compulsory by 1941, so really, he wouldn't have had much choice, it was either that, or be beaten. Also, his term of service as an anti-aircraft gunner towards the end of the war. Most people don't realize that a good many of the soldiers towards the end were either a) foreign soldiers forced to fight b ) fanatical SS c) the few members of the Wehrmacht that had managed to survive the grinding pace the Russians and Allies had set or d) forced conscriptee's. My ex's grandmothers brothers were forced into service late in the war, and both died. It haunted her for the rest of her life.

 

I read on msn.ca that there are a good number of more liberal cardinals and higher ups that aren't happy with Ratzinger's election. I personally don't know enough about the man to personally comment, nor do I really care, as I'm not Catholic, and I believe that religion is a seriously flawed construct.

 

I think 10 years is a bit optimistic. I mean, he LOOKS in good health, but who knows, right?

 

insober, I think I read somewhere that there was an analyst (I can't remember who, or where I read the article, although it was VERY recent) that said he didn't believe the church or the world was ready for a black pope. Unfortunately, it's this kind of narrowmindedness that will keep it from happening any time soon as well.

 

D

Edited by Doc

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Aside from all this "OMG he's a nazi!" crap, it's a bad choice for pope.

 

But I'm hoping that, considering his advanced age, the next pope will be in soon.

 

After all, consider that some of the highest candidates for election were only about 60-65 years old, the Vatican doesn't want another very long reign, so Ratzinger may well just be a strategical choice to avoid having one very long reign.

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I read in one newspaper of another that historically that's what the Vatican tends to do after a Pope has had a long reign.

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lol im agnostic, i dont even know if i believe god exisits, but, i really wish they could have gotten a more liberal interum pope. It kinda bothers me they have the power to end so much suffering and are not, is that really acting "christian"?

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At least he should make things interesting I think.

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fuck the Pope

 

people like the new Pope opposing to all social improvements, taking Church to its worst conservative, nazist, inquiring and represive times and doing the worst to society

 

I'm atheist, specially because (as it is mentioned in another post in the Forum) religion has done much more harm to society than good

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Has anyone mentioned how sinister and creepy he looks?? The last pope looked so benign by comparison.

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no, that's right, nobody has mentioned that and it is true, his look is scary, creepy, sinister, a nazi...

post-23-1113984078.jpg

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Ok, if you're going to start calling this guy a Nazi, you're going to basically have to call any German who was alive between 1939-1945 a Nazi. You presented a good article above showing many of the wrongs he's comitted, but being a Nazi isn't one of them. Let's step away from trying to pin a fascist label onto the new Pope, it just causes a knee jerk reaction.

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I'm was raised a roman catholic. But i haven't gone to church in many years & i don't find much use for church/religion in my life right now.

 

However, i do believe in God.

 

Free speech is fine and all, (and i know some of u are saying it in jest) but i take some exception to you guys who are saying "Fuck the Pope" (especially the way Jaunpe says it). I don't like the choice of the new Pope msyelf either, but i know a lot of friends and family who are Catholic and i have respect for others people's spiritual beliefs and religions. Can't you guys find better language to express your feelings than "Fuck the Pope"? I think most of the Old Testament is mostly just parables and fables, but i'd never ever say "Fuck the Bible".

 

Anyways, i think all this Nazi stuff is bullshit. The guy ain't a Nazi. Many honest Germans actually supported the Nazi's before they started going crazy. Ratzinger has actually been praised for his great attempts to reach out & improve friendly relations w/ the Jewish community. Thats anti-Nazi behavior.

 

I'd rather look at who the guy is now, and what he's done the last 20-30 years or whatever. The guy is basically a John Paul II clone & pretty conservative, which is bad IMO. He is said to have had firm belief in the old doctrine of the Bible/Church, which means anti-gay, no women priests, and little reform. He is definately old-school.

 

I can't blame him for being anti-gay, because thats what the Bible says, but its time for women priests. I was hoping for a non-white Pope (maybe Latin or African or whatever) to mix things up and show progresion. But the good thing is that they don't like voting in young Pope's who have long reigns, so maybe this Pope won't last as long as the last.

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I'm not a Catholic. I really don't care who they picked as pope, although I probably should. Juanpe, you should know better than to label this guy a Nazi just because he joined the Hitler Youth when it was compulsory. His beliefs aren't in keeping with most of ours, but "Nazi", I think, is a bit much.

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Can't you guys find better language to express your feelings than "Fuck the Pope"?

I strongly dislike this new Pope, and disagree, to the extent of my freest of free speech, with the Vatican's choice. Furthermore, I feel that the position of Pope is merely a statuehead, and there is no point in maintaining his* employment.

 

*Because it's always a him

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i dont understand why everyone is panicing about this conservative pope situation.

 

i understand why maybe some catholics might be upset because the pope is their world represenative, but for the rest of us, who gives a shit??! the pope isn't a world leader, nor is he in any real position of power or even influence. the papacy is more symbolic than it is important.

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The pope isn't in a position of power or authority?

 

What kind of cave have you been living in?

 

Obviously, the papacy has been marginalized as history progresses, but to say the pope doesn't wield any authority is simply naive. John Paul II wielded great influence over the Solidarity Movement in Poland, and directly affected the end of communism at least in that country, if not in other countries in Eastern Europe.

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all the examples you provided were for heavily catholic areas of the world. so it makes sense that he had some sort of influence... also, he was from poland, and overall PJP2 was well liked, even before becoming pope. that i think makes a big difference.

 

but PJP2 also tried to enforce the discouragement of contraception and birth control. man, was he ever influent there, eh? how many so-called catholics in north america are having safe-sex despite the pope's "influence"??? the only places NOT practicing contraceptive methods are doing it because they're impoverished and uneducated, not because of the word of some old guy in a robe. if you were to suddenly change the economic and educational situations in places like africa, overpopulation wouldn't be occurring. they're more helpless than actually following doctrine/dogma.

 

PJP2 also disagreed with the war on iraq. well that sure did a lot of good, didn't it??? and it's funny because baby bush himself is a sworn catholic, yet he chooses what he wants to hear and doesn't live by the pope's words any more than the people i just mentionned. yet, you'd think he'd respect the opinion of the highest regarded man in the catholic church. maybe for photo-ops, yes, but nothing beyond that, especially if the pope disagrees with baby bush's master plan.

 

a liberal pope wouldn't have changed anything in the religion. a pope still has to uphold the ancient laws that are the crumbling foundation to the catholic church. if the pope and future popes hold strong on maintaining the catholic values, it won't be too long before more and more people realize how rediculous and irrelevant the organization of the roman catholic church is. if a pope does decide to change policy in order to become more relevant and to gain the respect of an ever changing society, then the organization will just slowly fade away into nothingness, because the doctrines, dogma and practices will mean virtually nothing, as people will realize that they're incredibly malleble. either way, the future for it looks grim to me.

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a more social and progressive pope at least would've been more concerned with social issues and wouldn't have been totally against social improvement like the same-sex marriages, the use of condoms, the improvement of men-women and homosexuals equality... the problem with such a conservative (and almost radical conservative) is that he (and as a consequence, religion) will always be far away what social improvments are: religion is supposed to worry about society and with such decisions like the election of this pope they are very far away from what society in the world is

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all the examples you provided were for heavily catholic areas of the world. so it makes sense that he had some sort of influence... also, he was from poland, and overall PJP2 was well liked, even before becoming pope. that i think makes a big difference.

 

but PJP2 also tried to enforce the discouragement of contraception and birth control. man, was he ever influent there, eh? how many so-called catholics in north america are having safe-sex despite the pope's "influence"??? the only places NOT practicing contraceptive methods are doing it because they're impoverished and uneducated, not because of the word of some old guy in a robe. if you were to suddenly change the economic and educational situations in places like africa, overpopulation wouldn't be occurring. they're more helpless than actually following doctrine/dogma.

 

PJP2 also disagreed with the war on iraq. well that sure did a lot of good, didn't it??? and it's funny because baby bush himself is a sworn catholic, yet he chooses what he wants to hear and doesn't live by the pope's words any more than the people i just mentionned. yet, you'd think he'd respect the opinion of the highest regarded man in the catholic church. maybe for photo-ops, yes, but nothing beyond that, especially if the pope disagrees with baby bush's master plan.

 

a liberal pope wouldn't have changed anything in the religion. a pope still has to uphold the ancient laws that are the crumbling foundation to the catholic church. if the pope and future popes hold strong on maintaining the catholic values, it won't be too long before more and more people realize how rediculous and irrelevant the organization of the roman catholic church is. if a pope does decide to change policy in order to become more relevant and to gain the respect of an ever changing society, then the organization will just slowly fade away into nothingness, because the doctrines, dogma and practices will mean virtually nothing, as people will realize that they're incredibly malleble. either way, the future for it looks grim to me.

Through all branches of Christianity, though, kids are ... how should I put this, "afriad" of having sex because of the church's teachings on pre-marital sex - they won't do it because its a sin, not because they don't want to get STD's or don't want to get pregnant.

 

The end result of this is that kids are less likely to carry contraception on them, so when they do have sex, its less likely to be "safe".

 

Bush isn't a Catholic, he's a Methodist. He just likes to hang on the laurels of the Pope because their religions fall under the Christian umbrella.

 

Don't get confused, though, churches of various Christian doctrine do hold influence over the lives of people. In Africa, there are many people who are specifically Catholic, one of the largest regions in the world for catholicism - and you're saying the teachings of the catholic church wouldn't have any influence over them? They're taught using condoms is a sin. It only adds to the extreme amount of misinformation about AIDS in Africa in general - in some areas (especially rural areas) it is believed that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. So just add to the fact they believe using condoms is a sin... the church definitely has a role to play in curbing aids.

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Ok, if you're going to start calling this guy a Nazi, you're going to basically have to call any German who was alive between 1939-1945 a Nazi.

this is not what I mean and you know that... I think that stating that is simply demagogy...

 

is it not a nazist attitude, for example, to say that all gay people bring the destruction to society and should be left apart because gay people are sinners (and these are Ratzinger's words in one of his speeches before becoming the Pope)?

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