Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ratzinger is a Missed Opportunity

With due respect to all Catholics (and others) excited by the election of a new pontiff, I am tremendously disappointed at the choice of Ratzinger. I am disappointed on at least two fronts.

First, Ratzinger is an extreme conservative with the wrong priorities:

On Monday, Ratzinger, who was the powerful dean of the College of Cardinals, used his homily at the Mass dedicated to electing the next pope to warn the faithful about tendencies that he considered dangers to the faith: sects, ideologies like Marxism, liberalism, atheism, agnosticism and relativism....


I was hoping for a Pope that would be at least as concerned with defending "the least" as he is with defending the faith. Ratzinger obviously sees threats to orthodoxy as the great modern challenge. The tremendous social injustices and inequities which plague the modern world must be seen as at least as great a threat to Christianity as heterodoxy.

Second, I believe the Catholic Church missed an opportunity to position itself as truly "catholic," in the original meaning of that word: "universal." With the election of a pope from the Third World, the Catholic hierarchy could have clearly positioned itself as truly global - as representing the entire world, including "the least" - and not just white Europeans.

All of this being said - and for the only time - let us now pray earnestly for Pope Benedict XVI. Let us pray that he is guided by the Holy Spirit to concern himself as much with the tragic poverty of the Third World as with sexual practices and orthodoxy.


At 2:56 PM, Anonymous donzelion said...

I don't know: it would be a lot to ask for a Pope to mention "tend the poor" rather than "tend the orthodoxy of the faith" - but since tending the poor is part of the orthodoxy of Catholicism, they need not be contradictory goals.

It's too early to say what this papacy will mean, save this: they'll be doing another selection far sooner than they did in John Paul's case.

The most pressing emergency in 1979: Communism crushing Catholicism.

The most pressing emergency in 2005: Catholic priests crushing Catholicism.

I expect this Pope to start cleaning house - we'll have to see what a "clean house" actually means to him, though.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Infission said...

The Pope mentioned "liberalism," "atheism," etc. as threats to faith but left out things like greed, individualism, consumerism and materialism. I agree that tending to the poor is part of orthodox Catholicism, but that isn't the part of the orthodoxy the new Pope indicated he was concerned with defended.


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