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[P]
Habemus Papam

By megid in Op-Ed
Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 09:36:51 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Whether we like it or not: Habemus Papam ("we have a pope").

As an atheist, it is an amazing spectacle around the pope that I enjoy more than most sports events, and also unbelievable that no one on K5 has managed to get through the voting barrier yet...


Joseph Ratzinger is a German. So am I. This accounts for the fact that although I am strongly atheist, I cannot escape the whole story (and neither would I want to, it is just too interesting).

Some observations.

(1) The Surface.

Cardinal Ratzinger is a confirmedly sharp thinker and has been so since childhood. Ultra conservative. Not a pop star (not yet). Head of the Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei ("Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith"), mostly viewed as the mightiest forum in catholicism. Right hand ("the Karl Rove") of Johannes Paul II.

(2) He is not coloured.

Of course not, some may say. The voting power still resides with almost 50% at European cardinals, not properly representing the fact that almost half of the catholics on this planet live in middle and south america.

(3) He is a Bavarian.

Not any German, no. It had to be from deepest Bavaria, ultra conservative state of Germany. No better place for a culture of "always right, never doubt" that can be sustained in a human.

(4) He is a converted Revoluzzer.

Ratzinger has the full changeful story of a war-german behind him. As a kid he was forced to fight in Hitler's Jugendsturm ("youth storm") but ultimately deserted. During and after his studies, he was a catholic rebel. Back then, it was Hans Kueng and him who shook german church. The former stayed with his position and was ultimately excluded from any permission to teach. Ratzinger, on the other hand, converted to the conservative side after seeing the 1968 generation go corrupted and now forming our government. Unlike Kueng, he now is pope.

What I infer from this is that the cardinals voted someone who knows the enemy. It reminds me a lot of ex-hackers gone "security experts" -- sharpened minds and a wider view.

(5) He is not a Transition Pope.

Losts of comment these days say that normally, after a charismatic pope, there has to be a "transition pope" until a new charismatic leader can be found. The fact that Ratzinger is not much of a pop star (yet) seems to fit into that line. I do not think so.

He is old, he is a human, his body is not as strong as many believe, he will die. This is not important. What counts is his will, and this is not a area where he is lacking. As head of the congregation, he already has shaped catholic policy for decades, and I think it very unlikely that he will be any subdued in his new position.

(6) The Germans are not amused.

The Asians are happy. The Africans are happy. The Polish are very happy. The Latin Americans are not so happy. The English fume (ok, with their Nazi fixation, this was to be expected :). The Germans are unhappy.

Why is that? Because most german catholics would want a progressive pope. But Ratzinger is a man without compromise. A reactionary man, an ultra conservative man, a man that (at least the german) protestant church fears in his extremism.

I say he is the best that could have happened to catholicism.

The point is that the pope is not here to do all the good things (tm). The pope is one actor in the web of actors that span the space of "world opinion". In a strongly secularised and mostly liberal christian world, where Cardinals do not wield any real power, we need a counterweight, an unpopular guy, one that I can bash at parties with growing fun, one that guarantees controversy, one that exemplifies everything that is highly intelligent but still bad about catholicsm.

In my opinion, Joseph Ratzinger is that guy.

Long live Pope Benedikt XVI.

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Display: Sort:
Habemus Papam | 103 comments (75 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
Suspend the Writ of Habermas Corpus (2.25 / 4) (#2)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 02:27:01 PM EST

Ad Subjiciendum because that's smarter and funnier.

If Joe Ratzinger were really the man of conviction we've been led to believe he was, he had plenty of opportunities to die--or at least be sent to Dachau--for those convictions during his youth in Nazi Germany. Instead he "was forced" to join the Hitler Youth and fire guns at Allied airmen. Only after the actual threat of persecution receded did Ratzinger find his moral voice. And then he spent the next 5 decades worming his way up to the papacy.

But then there are probably lots of people that think John Paul II stood up to Nazis on more than zero occaisions.

At 14? (2.50 / 4) (#31)
by nkyad on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 09:07:28 AM EST

I had this conversation elsewhere. Do you think that, as a 14 year old boy, he should be capable of:
a) Know what was happening in German in 1941, a police state where the information flow was severely controlled?
b) Judge his country, his society and his government motives and arrive at a correct conclusion?
c) Die for those conclusions?

In 1941, participation in HJ was mad mandatory. The few boys who challenged it were impriosed, most died.

The article is incorrect: he did not fight as a member of the HJ, but was later drafted to an artiliery unit.

By the wya, Ratzinger's father was apparently a member of the resistence to Hitler. What may be another reason for him not to call attetion to himself and his family.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
I expect much more (none / 1) (#36)
by Lode Runner on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 09:25:45 AM EST

from the supreme moral authority of the Catholic Church. So to answer your question: yes, yes, yes.

[ Parent ]
Nice standard (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by nkyad on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 09:31:08 AM EST

Unfortunatelly it is both un-Christian, for excluding the possibility of forgiveness, and un-workable, for setting a barrier through which eventually no one would pass (who is without sin?).

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
by that logic (none / 0) (#87)
by Lode Runner on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:05:40 PM EST

anyone could become the Pope. But then again the whole papacy institution is itself un-Christian, so the point is moot. Paint me an apostate if you like...

[ Parent ]
well I'm not Catholic (none / 0) (#99)
by issachar on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:39:46 PM EST

but I believe that the logic is correct. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it Catholic doctrine is that God guides the choice of the Cardinals. God makes who he will Pope, so God can make whoever he likes Pope.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
yes, yes, yes (none / 0) (#54)
by danharan on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 04:26:41 PM EST

Some did just that: The White Rose. There are other examples from Germany and occupied coutries of Xians resisting, e.g. the villagers in Le Chambon.

All the White Rose members died, and one of the Chambon villagers was killed in Buchenwald. Their stories still inspire. Had Ratzinger been involved in any sort of real resistance -and I think we would have heard about it- I would be more impressed.

[ Parent ]

Apples and oranges? (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by nkyad on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 04:45:54 PM EST

The White Rose members were college students in their early twenties. Do you imply that a boy barely out of childhood has the same (moral, intelectual) capacity of a twenty-year-old college student?

You say: there are other examples from Germany

Where are they? 6 or 10 persons do make a "resistence movement".

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon was an occupied city and so it does not apply to the case in hand. Which foreign agressor were there for Ratzinger to resist to?

I repeat, Hitler Youth's membership was mandatory from 1941 on in Nazi German for all boy of the right age. Second, it was a police state, where desobeying meant death.

I never said he was involved in any resistance, only that as a 14 year-old boy in a police state he could hardly have done differently.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
You seem certain that kids were killed (none / 0) (#89)
by Lode Runner on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:20:51 PM EST

for resisting the national order to join the HJ. Those are the kids who had the moral wherewithal to have the authority of the type that's invested in the pope.

Just as we expect our leading scientists to have been intellectually precocious children, we must expect our religious leaders to be morally precocious children.

[ Parent ]

precocious children (none / 0) (#93)
by aros on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 07:48:16 PM EST

I do not expect that. It is a strange idea.

[ Parent ]
wrong. (none / 1) (#96)
by issachar on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 12:04:04 PM EST

we most certainly should not expect that. It makes no sense. All people are sinful and lost without God. Being good when they were children does not make them more worthy to speak to God. We're all equally unworthy for that. Your idea is based on the secular myth that some people require God's mercy less than others, or put another way, that we earn our way into heaven by our good deeds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Your good deeds? Utterly useless.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
apparently you disagree with Hannah Arendt (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by Battle Troll on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 05:43:53 PM EST

Over whether heroism was morally mandated in Nazi Germany.

Moreover, one can certainly grow into one's convictions.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Did she and Heidegger do the actual screw? (none / 1) (#88)
by Lode Runner on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:12:13 PM EST

Or was it limited to (b)anal intercourse?

The point is that Arendt was in no position to lecture anyone about resisting evil.

[ Parent ]

oh come on (none / 0) (#90)
by Battle Troll on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 01:25:52 PM EST

That's completely unfair. She broke with Heidegger long before his sympathy for Naziism became intolerable, and went on to do good service in relief organizations in exile.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Nazism [<-- note spelling] (none / 0) (#98)
by Lode Runner on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:05:28 PM EST

was a natural extension of both the Existential and Hermeneutical flavors of Phenomenology. Arendt was certainly cognizant enough to have seen this coming. But she also had a career to start and ladders to climb.

Heh, that brings us back to Habermas.

[ Parent ]

Do you think he'll be conservative? (3.00 / 4) (#6)
by NaCh0 on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 04:50:31 PM EST

Oh wait, you drilled that word 5 times in this short article.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
What does that even mean in this context? (3.00 / 5) (#12)
by jsnow on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:44:11 PM EST

Is he more conservative than the average person? More conservative than the average catholic? More conservative than the average republican? What distinguishes a liberal pope from a conservative pope? What specific things has Ratzinger done or said that distinguishes him as conservative?

[ Parent ]
"We" have a pope? (3.00 / 3) (#8)
by StephenThompson on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 07:15:17 PM EST

Atheists don't have a pope. Atheists views on the catholic Pope are irrelevant. Its their little kooky club, let them speak for themselves.

The world has a pope (2.66 / 6) (#9)
by mcgrew on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:24:50 PM EST

whether it wants one or not. The pope is a powerful man, head of one of the world's most (if not the most) institutions. It would fe folly for a die-hard athiest to discount the pope.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

We can have as many Popes as we want. (none / 0) (#97)
by Maurkov on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:02:02 PM EST

That's one of the great things about being Discordian.  Of course, that does make it hard to focus on just one.

[ Parent ]
What? (2.80 / 5) (#13)
by GreyGhost on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:45:40 PM EST

a man that the protestant church fears in his extremism.

Why would the protestant church (especially German Lutherans) give a flying fuck who the next Pope is? It's the Catholic church that is still fuming over that split. LOL...and I don't think it's because they are worried that "the Enforcer" is going to cause an influx of Protestants who have suddenly discovered the error of their ways.

I personally could care less who they appoint. The more conservative the better. Knock yourself out.



Hmm? (none / 0) (#55)
by Nosf3ratu on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 04:38:55 PM EST

"It's the Catholic church that is still fuming over that split."

So I'm imaging the reams of paper I have sitting in my office that I've collected from various Protestant denominations that talk about what's wrong with Catholicism, why Catholicism isn't Christianity, and why the Papacy is hell on Earth?

Que?


Woo!
[ Parent ]

Doesn't mean it still isn't fun to throw rocks (none / 0) (#75)
by GreyGhost on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 01:34:38 PM EST

Like I'm doing. Martin Luther actually referred to Pope Leo as the anti-Christ at one point.

[ Parent ]
Jack T Chick writes (1.50 / 2) (#59)
by Battle Troll on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 05:41:33 PM EST

That the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon, and that the Pope is the prime mover in the service of Satan and Antichrist.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Factual error (2.66 / 3) (#16)
by masher on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 10:19:33 PM EST

"The latin american and african cardinals had enough voting power to vote one of their ranks..."

Not counting the punctuation errors in the above sentence, there is a factual error as well. As of a few years ago, Latin American and African cardinals combined were just under 30% in total. I doubt its changed more than a few points since then.

speaking as a Protestant (2.83 / 6) (#20)
by issachar on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 03:17:20 AM EST

we don't fear any Pope. The Cardinals can have whomever they like as Pope, I don't mind. Who are these Protestants who fear Ratzinger?


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.

Pope who? (none / 1) (#22)
by stuaart on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 04:05:37 AM EST


Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


catholicism has to come to grips with sexuality (2.40 / 10) (#23)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 05:04:22 AM EST

the catholic church is dying in europe, mainly because it has lost the ability to engage young people due to its insistence on teachings on sexuality that are somewhat antiquated and laughable

no contraception? why not? it stops disease, it prevents overpopulation (granted, not a problem in europe, but one in the conservative catholic philippines for example)

no artificial conception? why can't childless couples use technology to have kids?

no female priests? no married priests?

so of course you can sense a pattern in all of this... let's see: abstinent stubborn old men insist we listen to them about family planning and sexual behavior

como?

how does that make sense?

do i go to somebody who has never fired a gun to learn the proper etiquette at a gun range?

and homosexuals, yikes... the way the church talks about homosexuals, you would think they were demons incarnate on earth come to eat our souls

and yet where in the united states and canada and elsewhere do you find an organization bending over backwards to protect pedophiles?

answer: the catholic church, where when a pedophile in its ranks come to light, it is apparently more important to hush that up and relocate the offender than it is to protect the children of its members

nice policy to keep the flock intact and receptive to your spiritual teachings, dear shepherds

so yes, the catholic church is doing apparently its very best to be very shrill and very loud and very dumb and very hypocritical on issues of human sexuality

which when you come back to the basics about it all, to compare the words of the catholic church today on sexuality with the cornerstone concepts of jesus's messages on compassion and tolerance, you are hard pressed to see the connection or the significance

but instead, it is not very hard to see some conflict between the man/ his words and the instution supposedly molded in his image and carrying his name

the truth is, young people find the church's notions on sexuality alien and bizarre, and so the church will slowly die unless it evolves to, not radical interpretations of sexual fashions, but to just some simple braindead obvious alterations to their teachings on simple basic concepts of human sexuality

we're not talking embracing pornography and orgies here!

we're talking about simple basic concrete steps which the vast majority of their congregants believe

of course the church doesn't have to evolve at all on its teachings, not at all, it can simply remain steadfast in their conservative sexual teachings and not bend an inch

some people (the dimmest in spirit and weakest of faith and brittlest of thought amongst us) find that appealing

but should the church not change, then that means the church will simply be actively choosing to remain more and more irrelevant to the lives of its members

and so it will slowly wither and die

that seems like a strange course of action to me, if the message of jesus christ, the real core message, is of the paramount concern to the catholic church and the new pope


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Comments (3.00 / 3) (#24)
by Timo Laine on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 06:50:07 AM EST

It seems that you are complaining about a religion being a religion. Religions typically are...
so of course you can sense a pattern in all of this... let's see: abstinent stubborn old men insist we listen to them
1. Authoritarian as opposed to democratic. Religions have religious authorities, and they don't decide what their doctrines are using democratic procedures.
so the church will slowly die unless it evolves to, not radical interpretations of sexual fashions, but to just some simple braindead obvious alterations to their teachings on simple basic concepts of human sexuality
2. Conservative. Religions are typically very resistant to change. This is because they tend to be at least partly based on holy texts or other such source of information.
but should the church not change, then that means the church will simply be actively choosing to remain more and more irrelevant to the lives of its members
3. Prescriptive in their teachings. Religions are supposed to offer you guidance what to do. They are not supposed to adjust their doctrines to be "more relevant" to their members, because they have their own criteria of relevance. The doctrines are not supposed to reflect the beliefs of the members, they are supposed to guide those beliefs.

Finally:

the message of jesus christ, the real core message
Are you a practicing Catholic, or how is it that you know what their core message is? In any case, would you not agree that the best authority in this matter is the leadership of the Catholic Church? It would seem really strange if e.g. the Pope does not understand what Catholicism is about. If you don't like his views, perhaps the problem is that you simply don't like Catholicism, period.

I am saying all this not as a Catholic but just an observer.

[ Parent ]

bullshit (2.33 / 6) (#25)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 07:19:46 AM EST

1. Authoritarian as opposed to democratic.

how the fuck did they just choose the new pope again?

2. Conservative.

the church changes, albeit very slowly

it took them awhile to get over galileo, but they did

they have no problem with evolution

3. Prescriptive in their teachings.

the church changes because technology changes. are you saying the catholic church's teachings on cloning is from leviticus? it requires interpretation. the world changes, interpretations change. the perception nothing changes is an illusion, it's impossible.

the message of jesus christ, the real core message
Are you a practicing Catholic, or how is it that you know what their core message is?

dude, the GENERAL IDEA of jesus christ's teachings is all you need to know that serial killing is wrong for example. you don't need to be a bible theologian to speculate, go way out on a limb, that jesus ain't down with certain things: pedophilia, hard drug use, etc.

i HONESTLY believe that from a GENERAL understanding of jesus walking around and preaching tolerance and compassion that he would have a problem with a church, in his name, spending the balance of its time preaching INTOLERANCE and LACK OF COMPASSION


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Answers (2.83 / 6) (#27)
by Timo Laine on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 08:26:39 AM EST

how the fuck did they just choose the new pope again?
I hope you don't mean to imply that they chose him democratically. Sure, there were votes, but who had the vote? The cardinals, most (almost all in fact) of whom were selected by a single man. It's not democracy, and it's not meant to be.
the church changes because technology changes. are you saying the catholic church's teachings on cloning is from leviticus? it requires interpretation. the world changes, interpretations change. the perception nothing changes is an illusion, it's impossible.
That sounds better.
dude, the GENERAL IDEA of jesus christ's teachings is all you need to know that serial killing is wrong for example. you don't need to be a bible theologian to speculate, go way out on a limb, that jesus ain't down with certain things: pedophilia, hard drug use, etc.
There is more to Christianity and Catholicism than the teachings of Jesus. I agree that Jesus is a central figure in Christianity, but you seem to imply that the whole of Christian doctrine can be reduced to a few simple principles based on what he did and said. There is no reason to believe that is the case.

[ Parent ]
listen you finnish fuck! (none / 1) (#33)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 09:19:25 AM EST

good replies

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Jesus is fine with hard drug use. (none / 0) (#74)
by Danzig on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 10:34:51 AM EST

He turned water into wine as his first miracle.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Their perspective (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by thefirelane on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:14:58 AM EST

no married priests?
how does that make sense?

I heard a Catholic perspective on this, and it really does make sense: They believe being a priest requires your utmost dedication to God, and being married requires your utmost dedication to that marriage. If a priest was married, this would not be possible.. you can't have two #1s in your life. It really is pretty simple and makes sense when you look at I through their perspective.

In all honesty, all married priests would do is bring more priests into the church, as enrollment is suffering. However, when your organization is around 2000 years old you tend not to change tradition to effect short term numbers. I'm sure their perspective is `fine, we don't want anyone who isn't dedicated'. As far as the child molestation goes, married priests would not solve that problem... that is a problem because those who were doing so knew they could get away with it in the church, as the church would cover for them... change that and the child abuse problems will go away.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Addendum (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by nymia_g on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 01:23:45 PM EST

There is a historical incident that led to the promulgation of celibacy. Reason was to combat the Gnostic heresy supporting the practice. In order to differentiate and then later on become the orthodoxy, celibacy was used as a defense against the attack. As a result, celibacy filtered the Gnostics out of the hierarchy. That's pretty much it.

It is useless pressing this issue. Tradition will always dictate the outcome of it.

[ Parent ]
Interesting idea. (none / 1) (#61)
by gzt on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 06:19:09 PM EST

What time scale are we talking about? Gnosticism was essentially a dead letter after the year 200, but the discipline of priestly celibacy in the West came about 800 years later. Now, there were gnostic revivals every once in a while, but none large enough, in my recollection, to cause the West to enforce such a discipline, but I could be wrong. More details would be appreciated, as your assertion intrigues me.

[ Parent ]
History of Celibacy (2.50 / 2) (#62)
by nymia_g on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 06:44:35 PM EST

Check out the link:

http://www.futurechurch.org/fpm/history.htm

From what I dug out from the library and other online sources. The information I cited was taken from a scholarly work of a name I can't remember at the moment. The veracity of the source is debatable.

[ Parent ]
You know... (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by gzt on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:11:20 PM EST

...that site doesn't mention the Eastern Church at all, which still practices even today the discipline of having married priests. The information is rather incomplete. For instance, re: Fourth Century, yes, a priest wouldn't sleep with his wife the evening before Mass, the fast began at vespers. I mean, yeah, I know the history of clerical celibacy, the Gnosticism theory you put forth is a bit odd to me. Here's a theory that sounds more plausible, but is still one I wouldn't put stock in: Christianity inherited a disposition against sex and the physical from Gnostics, Manichees, and other religious trends in the Empire and, given the chance because of clerical abuses of inheritances of church property and the like, this trend prevailed in the 11th century in the West and led to the establishment in the Roman Church of the discipline of priestly celibacy. I don't quite buy that [the anti-sex part [I mean, even Aquinas says marital relations can be an act of justice]], but that's more plausible than some convoluted Gnostic thing.

[ Parent ]
One thing I've always found interesting... (none / 1) (#66)
by masher on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:36:40 PM EST

...is the vast number of cults and religious branches which have sprung up over the centuries which considered ALL sex immoral.  Not just casual sex, or extramarital sex...but sex of all kinds, even for procreation.  The Shakers were one of the better known ones...but there have been dozens that I know of, probably over a thousand if all were known.

Quite obviously, those organizations don't tend to last too long...they breed themselves right out existence.  But they still keep coming.

[ Parent ]

You know... (none / 1) (#67)
by gzt on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 11:21:37 PM EST

...I'm sort of the benefactor of one of those sects. One of those sects which taught complete celibacy, like the Shakers, owned a church and rectory in this city, and when they died off [as those sorts do eventually], they gave them to the Orthodox Church [of which I am a member, hence my interest in married clergy and the disciplines of the Eastern Church], and my parish now lives in those buildings.  

[ Parent ]
Fascinating (none / 0) (#68)
by masher on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 11:35:45 PM EST

Another for my collection.  Do you mind sharing the name of the sect?

[ Parent ]
I don't recall it, unfortunately. (none / 0) (#69)
by gzt on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 11:49:53 PM EST

The name involved "Apostolic" and "Catholic", I think. There were a bunch of them around the country, whenever they died out in one location, they usually gave their property and stuff to the Episcopal Church.

[ Parent ]
No Contest (none / 0) (#72)
by nymia_g on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 01:54:01 AM EST

Can't argue with that since you're coming from an established and documented account. Nobody would dispute that, though.

However, IMO, that is not what interests me. I'm interested more on gathering information written to bring something new to the table.

[ Parent ]
the Orthodox position (3.00 / 2) (#58)
by Battle Troll on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 05:38:55 PM EST

You can still take Holy Orders after marriage, but you can't become a monk while married, and all priests of rank (dunno about arch-priests, but certainly bishops and above) are monastics.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
It's dying for another reason (3.00 / 4) (#48)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 01:45:28 PM EST

Few people like being told what to do by society, and then there's this layer on top of that that is even stricter. The Northern hemisphere's progressive politics means that any authoritarianism is likely to viewed poorly. Discipline is a punishment and no longer a virtue.

The whole issue about sex is just a subset of this since the church's position prevents the open sexuality you seem to desire.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
The Church has come to grips with sexuality... (3.00 / 5) (#52)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 03:13:02 PM EST

...but it maintains that no matter how tightly one grips it, one's soul is imperiled if it is shaken too vigorously.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Sex, all the sex, and nothing but the sex (none / 1) (#57)
by OpAmp on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 05:28:42 PM EST

I have read an article [sorry in Polish; reprinted from Sueddeutsche Zeitung] recently, taking a position that the most important problems for the Catholic Church currently are:
  • with the decrease of number of followers in Western countries, and rise in third-world countries, the Church is essentially moving South;
  • as a result, it is currently embracing cultures different from the one it is native to. Maintaining global coherency under such conditions poses a significant challenge;
  • strong competition from Protestant churches and Islam, which can lead to serious problems in the future (do we really want more religious wars?), so the course of action must be chosen wisely;
  • the Church is still actively harassed in certain countries (e.g. China);
  • the biggest problem faced by the Church in developing countries is general poverty

The author concludes that compared to such challenges, and taking into account the global perspective, the Western obsession on sex is completely out of proportion.

So much for the article. One can of course claim (possibly with some merit) that the Church's position with respect to sex is contributing to the problem by causing overpopulation and the AIDS epidemic. (Hm, but wouldn't the AIDS epidemic stop overpopulation? Interesting contradiction.) However saying that the antiquated teaching with respect to sex is the root cause of all the problems for the Church is, in my opinion, clearly an exagerration.

Personally I'd like to see some doctrine changes going in the more liberal direction. However with current trends in the world (e.g. growing strength of Islam, which is also a conservative religion, even if its stance on certain issues could be seen as more liberal) it may not be a good move.

[ Parent ]

ever been to the philippines? (none / 1) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 10:32:16 PM EST

i would say that with overpopulation there a serious issue, the church's problem with contraception is a very big deal

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/mar/04031709.html

Philippines Catholic Bishops' Conference Refuses to Participate in Televised Population Debate

MANILA, March 17, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has turned down a request to participate in a televised debate on population and human development. Presidential candidates are gearing up for the debate in anticipation of the upcoming Philippines elections. The CBCP spurned a request to participate, saying that they will not be part of a discussion whose premise is wrong.

A statement released by the CBCP's Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) said that the premise of the debate is erroneous. "The world today is being managed more and more not by sound moral and scientific principles, but by the pragmatics of public relations and social marketing. The design to mobilize public opinion to favour widespread contraception, sterilization and acceptance of a long discredited myth of overpopulation has not been spared this strategy," ECFL chairman Bishop Paciano Aniceto said. Aniceto said that surveys such as the one conducted by Pulse Asia were paid for by special interest groups who favour results the sponsor wants to see from the study.

The sponsors of the debate, the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) and ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), asked the CBCP to participate as one of three or four organizations invited to comprise a panel of reactors. The PLCPD claim the decision to host the debate arose from results of a Pulse Asia survey that revealed that Filipinos are more likely to vote for a candidate who has a strong opinion on population and human development.




The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
It seems to me... (none / 0) (#81)
by OpAmp on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:38:54 AM EST

...that the Church doesn't see the overpopulation itself as a problem, but the resulting poverty as a problem. Hence, what they are saying is that it is not true that they are too many people in the world to be fed given available resources, but that these resources are distributed in a way that these people cannot be fed. Therefore the problem should be addressed by changing the way resources are (re)distributed, not by limiting the population. In other words, the rich should share their wealth with the poor, not give the poor the condoms so they stop multiplying. Also note that since both Wojtyla and Ratzinger did see up close what was being done during WW2, the current church leadership is understandably allergic to anything mentioning population control.

[ Parent ]
close (none / 0) (#86)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 08:16:59 PM EST

the truth is that overpopulation leads to poverty

and poverty leads to poor education

and the poorly educated are good church members, dependent upon the church to adovcate for their social justice, unable to provide for themselves or fight for themselves

when the truth is it is the policies of the truth that made them poor and keep them poor

so replace "the rich" in your thesis with "the church" and you got it right


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Liberal (none / 0) (#73)
by nymia_g on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 05:08:21 AM EST

The term liberal wasn't used in the right context, in the sense there weren't any major changes as far as dogma is concerned. Neither the term conservative or progressive doesn't apply. Well, it may apply if compared to other religions who embraced modernity and secularism, though. The church has stood firmly on these things and probably will stand with them ad infinitum. And whoever goes against them, well, anathema sit.

Btw, there are a lot of liberally minded clerics who espouse heretical views. It may be someday, when these heretics get elected, we'll see something change, majorly big.

[ Parent ]
contraception (none / 0) (#102)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:01:35 AM EST

There's a paper written by John Paul II from before he was pope (google around) that says something to the effect of, "If we were to reverse our position on contraception now, we would have to deal with 1) saying the Protestants were right, 2) that we've told millions they are going to Hell for what is an innocent act, and 3) infallibility would be damaged."

Basically I think this would have been fixed long ago if not for the fact they've boxed themselves into a corner with that whole infallibility concept.

[ Parent ]

The logic (none / 0) (#103)
by jmv on Sat May 07, 2005 at 03:46:19 AM EST

no contraception? why not? it stops disease, it prevents overpopulation (granted, not a problem in europe, but one in the conservative catholic philippines for example)

I heard the official stance of the church on condoms is that "they're completely ineffective to stop AIDS, it's been scientifically proven". Go figure.

so of course you can sense a pattern in all of this... let's see: abstinent stubborn old men insist we listen to them about family planning and sexual behavior

Actually, the pattern I sense is this: if everything becomes a sin, everyone is a sinner. If everyone is a sinner, they have to come to church because otherwise they'll burn in hell. Sex is the basis of life, so it has to be forbidden. It just increases so much the power of the church... until people break free of all that as is happening now.

[ Parent ]

I hate you (2.75 / 4) (#26)
by William Shakespeare on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 08:07:33 AM EST

And your pope. Wait I thought you were an atheist. What is this shit?

Concerning (4) (none / 1) (#29)
by wiredog on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 08:51:26 AM EST

Sounds rather like the early neo-conservatives. Leftists who turned to conservativism.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

your comment made me feel very... (none / 1) (#70)
by Something Gay on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 12:06:16 AM EST

n/t

[ Parent ]
Bild-Zeitung (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by ghoti on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 09:46:27 AM EST

The Bild-Zeitung (German tabloid) had the funniest headline I ever saw: Wir sind Papst! ("We are (the new) Pope!"). It's incredible how stupid people must be who think that that's a fitting headline, or even one that makes any sense at all. Kind of off-topic, sorry, but I needed to get that out ;)
<><
Horrible because... (none / 0) (#42)
by bobpence on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 11:21:01 AM EST

... for a moment I was having trouble differentiating papst from Pabst - the beer of choice when you make bad choices.


"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]

The Headings (1.80 / 5) (#45)
by thelizman on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 01:07:53 PM EST

...killed it. Enumerating each topic reeks of poor formatting. -1 on aesthatics alone.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
How many points off... (none / 1) (#77)
by drakosha on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 11:47:21 PM EST

...for misspelling "aesthetics?"
----------------------------
"Technologists often forget the general user. Technology is only as good as the user experience. That is something that technology groups very often forget."

--Linus Torvalds, keynote address, LinuxExpo 2000.
[ Parent ]

thelizman's spelling is prettier. (none / 0) (#100)
by glor on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 07:36:12 PM EST


--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

my 2 cents (2.80 / 5) (#46)
by ant0n on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 01:10:30 PM EST

I think it was very interesting how the catholics on St. Peter's Square reacted when the new pope spoke to them for the first time; I expected a contemplating mood, aah's and ooh's and that they would pray together. Instead there was this rythmic applause, the bawling, the waving of banners. That crowd reminded me more of soccer fans than of believers seeing their new surrogate for God.


-- Does the shortest thing the tallest pyramid's support supports support anything green?
Patrick H. Winston, Artificial Intelligence
Soccer fans celebrate (none / 0) (#78)
by MarlysArtist on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 12:49:02 AM EST

In the United States, sectors of the Roman Catholic church are adopting the 'revival method' often practiced by various protestant sects. In some cases, this incorporates African-American religious mores including more momement, livelier music, and more active participation of the congregation. Conservatives are grumbling, pining as they are for older, traditional hymns. This is amusing, given that these 'traditional' hymns are often post-Latin, and therefore cribbed from Protestant hymnals. Progressive elements, on the other hand, say the new mass look and feel is more about 'celebration.' If crowds in St. Peter's square seem like football fans, it probably has much to do with what is currently done at 'celebrations.' Hopefully this won't continue on into that traditional football fan's behavior, beating the other fans' skulls in with fence-posts and broken bottles.

Marly's Artist

"Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10
[ Parent ]

Amen (none / 0) (#91)
by ant0n on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:17:23 PM EST




-- Does the shortest thing the tallest pyramid's support supports support anything green?
Patrick H. Winston, Artificial Intelligence
[ Parent ]
(rolls eyes, thinks how much those flags cost) (none / 0) (#83)
by OxymoronicAgnosticKnowItAll on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 03:43:11 PM EST

oh god, whats wrong with flag waving NOW? it's not like anyone burnt any. also, if you had travelled thousands of miles to see a spiritual spectacle of quite decent production values you woulda wanted to show up on the ubercool CTV broadcast transmission too

[ Parent ]
more metaphores less semaphores (none / 0) (#84)
by OxymoronicAgnosticKnowItAll on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 04:04:35 PM EST

sorry that was "net cast"

[ Parent ]
My thoughts: 'Ratzinger' is an awesome name (3.00 / 2) (#53)
by cburke on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 03:19:15 PM EST

"Pope Benedict" makes me hungry.

And Scoop is broken when it comes to double quotes in subjects.

How about 'Papa Ratzi'? (none / 0) (#80)
by Highlander on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 06:45:41 AM EST

Of course Benedict XVI is good too, though I suspect if the Pope was a Linux geek, he'd be named Benedict VIM.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]
Benedict VIM (none / 0) (#101)
by glor on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 07:39:13 PM EST

Maybe by the time we get to the 994th pope named Benedict, he will use linux.

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

There's a restuarant in my area... (none / 0) (#82)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 11:41:38 AM EST

...that's been selling

Pope Eggs Benedict XVI

for the past week.

[ Parent ]

I would have preferred a progressive Pope, but, (none / 0) (#79)
by MarlysArtist on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 01:16:34 AM EST

I think megid's right. That's not his job.

Further, the German Protestant church would do no wrong, by sitting this one out on opinions. Sure, there were Protestants against Nazism, heroes to be sure, but then again, Prussian militarism was steeped in a very willing and helpful Lutheranism. Alte Fritz said that Martin Luther's "Mighty Fortress" hymn was "God's glorious grenadier march." Let's us all mind our own Ps and Qs, shall we?

On a related issue, how about those Swiss Guard? Wow, that's a sweet gig. They're damned dangerous, I'm sure, but it's gotta be nice to be employed by a pacifist, live in Rome, and never have to worry about paying for trendy fashion. Beats the hell out of their previous mercenary shtick, where the French King was perfectly willing to fight to the last foreigner. It's good they didn't stick around until World War I, where the Western Allies fed every (former) colonial they could get their lily-white hands on into the murder-machine; Morrocans, Algerians, USians, Arabs, Canadians, Indians, Irish...

Marly's Artist

"Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10

Usians (none / 1) (#92)
by aros on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 07:42:34 PM EST

Usians? Most of Britains Armed forces were British from the four countries of Scotland England, Ireland and Wales. If the Great War had been properly settled then there would have been no second round but German militarism was good at what it did and by 1918 the two main armies against Germany while being more and more successful were also tired. Some personal family loses like mine of close relatives serving in both the Canadian and Scottish regiments makes this point easier for me to grasp.

[ Parent ]
Allied leadership and USians (none / 0) (#94)
by MarlysArtist on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 10:41:23 PM EST

The 'Tommies' in World War I remind us all of the courage, conviction, and toughness (as well as in many cases compassion, and restraint) of the British commoner. I also do not deny that US involvement in the war was limited to the last year and a half, and was as much material and logistical as it was in troops. And was it a war that "needed to be won?" Sure

But then, your personal losses, together with those of millions of Britons and their colonial comrades, should make us all the more cognizant of the failure of English and French leadership. I say 'English' because most of the civil and military leadership in the army, parliament, the cabinet, the Navy, and in the private sector were from England, not Scotland, not Wales, not Ireland, northern or otherwise. In Ireland, public opinion of London's leadership became quite clear by 1916.

And yet, I don't fault them for that by itself. What I find appalling is that they could have directed a war where 'by 1918 the two main armies against Germany while being more and more successful were also tired.' Tired enough to mutiny, in the case of the French Army. Finally, German leadership developed 'infiltration' tactics that would have broken the stalemate, but then collapsed from attritional exhaustion, a reflection not of thier adversaries' strategy, but lack thereof. When US forces entered the fight, (and to be sure, they did) the British and French generals insisted that US troops should be doled out to British and French commands, on account of inexperienced US officers. Inexperienced? What experience were they supposed to gain? Repeated frontal assaults in the face of overwhelming firepower for three year's running? In that light, inexperience might have been a virtue.

Could it have been otherwise? Am I asking too much of British and French Generals, to have been more innovative? A British Colonel in 1914 ordered machine guns ('those damned things') out of his sight, and out of mind. British cavalry (dragoons!) awaited the breakthrough at the Somme that never came in 1916. This is not surprising, given that Haig in 1906 defended the cavalry sabre before parliament as entirely necessary in many wars to come. Had not the lessons of the the US civil war, the Boer War, or the Russo-Japanese War been studied? Or were those wars involving non-Europeans, and therefore 'didn't count?'

Now, think about what colonials, as well as the working classes of Europe, must have thought, having been urged into this war in many cases half a world away. What were they to think? Was this the culmination of the 'progress' that their European political masters had promised, all throughout the last century? Was this what it meant to be 'civilized?' It is there that I see the real tragedy I cited above--the European powers were perfectly willing to feed more people into the mess, and yet, unwilling to face the truth about their own inept leadership. Ypres, Mons, Jutland, Somme, Verdun...murderous indecisiveness that made the last 400 years of indecisive European warfare pale in comparison of butcher's bills. Meanwhile, the British government made mutually exclusive promises over who would live in and control Palestine, all in the name of gaining more support. Was it theirs to give away?

After the war, reaction: Colonial independence movements, the revolution in Russia, the "Sailor's Soviet" out of the High Seas Fleet in 1918, and a generation who expressed their bitterness at the stupidity of it all in various manifestations, including literature, poetry, and, more sinister, the militarism of the 1930s and 40s.

Maybe it is both a blessing, and in some small sense a tragedy that USians had not experienced World War I in its entirety. But solely in terms of leadership they may be experiencing something similar right now, and this "makes this point easier for me to grasp."

Cheers from the colonies,

Marly's Artist

"Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10
[ Parent ]

My tuppence (2.60 / 5) (#85)
by werner on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 07:04:53 PM EST

Firstly, there are many spelling mistakes (given that this article is supposed to be in English). He was called John Paul, not Johannes Paul, and it's Benedict, not Benedikt. It's to be expected from a German, but you still should've done your research--you wouldn't catch me writing "Munich" or "Hanover" if I were writing in German.

Secondly, the British, more or less, couldn't give a flying fuck about the Pope. We're a pretty irreligious bunch in the main, and there are relatively few Catholics in Britain (compared to, say, Germany).

There's definitely a Nazi fascination in Britain, but mostly because that's the most interesting thing about Germans as far as most of us island-apes are concerned, not least of all because the gutter press have nothing better to say.

If the most popular paper in Germany leads with the somewhat nationalistic headline, "We are the Pope", you can hardly criticise the British equivalent for leading with, "the Pope was a Nazi". Provacative, even racist the latter may be, but at least it has some basis in fact compared to the hallowed Bild-Zeitung.

So you don't like him ? I do. (none / 0) (#95)
by mirko on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 11:55:42 AM EST

Ratzinger is a very decent man who, until last week, was in charge of being the Vatican's pitbull. He had to incredibly intelligently protect the Faith from the modern ethical pollution and you know there is a lot of these: sitcoms, tele-evangelism, models doing soft-pr0n, music getting stupider, countries invading others to "Free" these (from their resources)...

In JPII's last book: "Memory and Identity", he claims that the church's mission has to last for ever and that Europe, has a root, as a model, had to be reevangelized in emergency.

Electing a European Pope is a good thing as it helps the Europeans to focus on their christian identity.
Of course, you'll give me this conservative non sense but have you heard Ratzinger ?
He said his duty was now to continue in JPII's path, after the faithful pitbull, he has to stand as a father, and he will need our confidence.
I give him mine as I can guess how hard it is going to be if people keep reproaching him with  this other role he was playing so well.
--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane

Habemus Papam | 103 comments (75 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
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