JABbering Stooge

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Habemus papam...oh, rats...

Where There's White Smoke...

"That was fast. Struck by a divine revelation, were you?"
- Marcus to Lennier, Babylon 5, "Endgame"

Has the Catholic Church finally gone off the deep end? Was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger really the best they could do for a new pope? I’m serious. I don’t see how Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, will do anything other than harm the Catholic Church’s reputation in the world, unless one considers intolerance for dissenters a vital part of one’s reputation.

Consider the following. Benedict XVI’s election took slightly less than 48 hours – the fastest election time in a century. Did the cardinals really carefully consider who would be the best person to replace John Paul II, or did they borrow a page from the Grand Thuggery Party’s manual on groupthink?

Furthermore, let’s look at Ratzinger’s history. This is a man who intervened in American politics by ordering American Dioceses to deny communion to pro-choice politicians and those who vote for them. America was the only place at which he directed this edict. The Austin American-Statesman also reports that Ratzinger pressured the Austin Diocese, along with Brackenridge Hospital, to treat women as chattel in terms of reproductive freedom. Anyone remember how the Republicans were screaming and yelling that President Kennedy would be getting his marching orders from the Vatican? Now it seems that religious conservatives, both in office and at the grassroots level, are doing just that.

Benedict Arnold I would’ve been a better papal name for this man.

Of the pedophile priest scandal, Ratzinger had this to say: “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign.” That’s right, Ratzinger believes that John Geoghan, Rev. Joseph Birmingham, Rev. Paul R. Shanley, Rev. Ronald H. Paquin and others like them are the fictitious creation of the evil “liberal” media. Ratzinger further thumbed his nose at the victims of overly-friendly priests by having Cardinal Bernard “above the” Law, who played a giant shell game with parishioners in the Boston Archdiocese (“Step right up folks! Guess which parish the pedophile priest is in!”), lead the funeral Mass for John Paul II.

And when it comes to the strictures of the Catechism, no one has a bug further up his/her proverbial posterior than Ratzinger. Prior to elevation to the papacy, Ratzinger was Dean of the College of Cardinals, and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – what the Inquisition became after it was no longer PC to be “the Inquisition.” As head of the CDF, Ratzinger was responsible for purging the Church of practitioners of the “liberation theology” that coalesced around Vatican II.

Quite a long way to regress for one who was supposedly an influential member of the council that produced the reforms of Vatican II.

Given all of this, it’s only fair to say that my first reaction to the new pope is to say “Duck and cover!”

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