Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The new pope

I watched the papal proceedings on television and there was a lot of suspense watching the window for any sign that they would soon come out to announce the new pope. My first reaction was one of disappointment when they announced it was Joseph Ratzinger. My second reaction wsa that at least he's not Italian. Ratzinger's selection of the name Benedict XVI gives some hope, though I'm not convinced that it means he will be a moderate.

From what I heard, Benedict XV tried to put an end to ideological divisions in the Church; though the announcers said Benedict XV was a moderate, implying that perhaps the new pope will seek to reach compromise, I can't help but feel that "putting a stop" to division will mean a crackdown on liberalism within the Church.

But it will take some time before we know for sure what kind of pope Benedict XVI will be. It may well be that he was enforcing the hard line because that was what John Paul II wanted him to do. Hopefully now that he is his own man, he will surprise us.


Blogger sling said...

benedict arnold.. no doubt

4/19/2005 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Critics said...

Or perhaps Benito Mussolini?

I find it slightly ironic that the new Pope comes from Germany. In case anyone does not recall, Germany is the origin of the perpetrator of the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler. If it were not for Germany, the Holocaust would likely never have taken place.

Only recently did John Paul II make peace with the Jewish people by being the first Pope to travel to Israel and pray at the Western Wall. Does this have dire portents, considering the fact that the new Pope, Benedict the 16th, nee Joseph Ratzinger, is from Germany?

4/19/2005 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

Perhaps Germany being the home of Martin Luther is much more relevant

4/19/2005 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger bum said...

hypocrisy in the church, not exactly a new concept

4/19/2005 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ijon Tichy said...

Its unlikely that a change in church policies happens.

Ratzinger is known for his apology of orthodoxial catholicism, and despite for the new trends in ideas and technologies.

It will be interesting to research his history about the nazi germany.

4/19/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

jterpslaw, i find it irrelevant that benedict has come from a nation that once supported nazism. first of all, the third reich has ceased to be in existance for over 60 years. furthermore as a nation, germany has apologized, acknowleged wrong doing, outlawed nazism, and made various forms of repayment. they hardly even use the word "fuhrer" anymore, even though the word simply means "leader". germany and the vast majority of her citizens have turned a new leaf unlike the post wwi germany (weimar republic) or post wwii japan.

4/19/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger bum said...

umm, i am not going to get inbetween sling's and jterp's lovefest but i just wanted to note that even though nazism has been outlawed in germany it is thriving...and by some estimates, quite well.

4/19/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is troubling is that the new Pope was actually associated with the Nazi party during his youth, serving in the German army and participating in the Hitler Youth corps. While he says he was against Hitler, it is problematic to think that there is some connection between the new face of the Catholic Church, with its history of anti-semitism and support of oppressing other religions, and the Third Reich. It was very important gesture that the church had selected Pope John Paul II from Poland, as the choice symbolized the church's willingness to stand against the Communist regimes and religious intolerance in the former Soviet Bloc. Particularly important was the selection of the Pope as a signal for the support for members of the former Soviet Bloc which had been alienated from the Church during the Soviet years. However, the Church's failure to continue this trend is disheartening as the similar crisis of alienation is occuring in the Third World as poverty and dictatorial regimes have oppressed (while not always religiously) the Catholic masses. It would have been an invaluable gesture and symbol of solidarity as it was with John Paul II if the church had selected a Cardinal from the Third World. The selection of John Paul II represented the Church as transcending the Western / Eastern Europe divide. Selecting a Third World pope would have represented the Church as a truly universal institution crossing the First / Third world divide.

4/19/2005 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

well the pope unfortunately grew up in germany. and as a german at that time, there was no other option but to serve in the wehrmacht (germany army), volkstrum(the last desperation army created) or the hitler youth. all german males ranging from 16-60 were conscripted into the volkstrum by 1945. however the ages were really more like 10-65. it was simply not an option to not serve unless you were able to somehow go into hiding and escpae the wrath of the gestapo.

participating in the national defense of your country and being a member of the nazi party are two different things. i am no nazi sympathizer but i believe that we should not hold it against benedict that he came from an era where germany was at its worst. i personally believe it is a credit to his faith that he was able to become such a religious figure as he is today despite growing up in circumstances where he was encouraged not to be devoted to God but to Adolf Hitler.

if there are any qualms about benedict as poys mentioned, it should be regarding the manner in which he puts an end to ideological devisions in the Church.

4/19/2005 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/19/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

in response to bum from jersey, the nazi party is succeeded today by a party known as the national democratic party. the ndp has never won more than 5% of the vote. recently it was discovered that much of the ndp's leadership contains german secret service agents to carefully monitor ths actions of this party.

i am sure there are other groups besides the ndp that represent nazism in germany, but i wouldn't go so far as to say nazism is thriving (depending on your definition of thriving). it gives me comfort to know that the german government (like the u.s. government) does take measures to ensure that no such group such as the ndp would prosper (also without banning such groups) lest germany lose face in the internaional community.

4/19/2005 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger The Critics said...

Isnt it possible for insurgencies to "thrive" without the open acknowledgement of their host nations? For all we know, Nazism still exists in Germany. Perhaps the NDP is, as Sling postulates, a continuance of the National Socialists party. Dont discount something that was exceedingly popular 50 years ago, as happenstance to die out so quickly. In fact, I recall my friends telling me when they went on the March of the Living program, which tours the major concentration camps in Europe, they were spit on and cursed by many who lived there. This wasnt widespread, but clearly some animosity still exists. I will cede that the new Pope has worked in the past on behalf of Jewry and for Pope John Paul II as well, advancing the name of the Church in the eyes of Judaism. However, only time will tell.

4/19/2005 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

certainly anything is possible jterpslaw. but i believe the last part that you wrote about the new pope having "worked in the past on behalf of Jewry" and having advanced "the name of the Church in the eyes of Judiasm" carries far more weight than the possibility that he is a neo-nazi who devoted his life to catholicism.

4/19/2005 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

yea Papa Ratzi

4/19/2005 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4/19/2005 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger sling said...

i think only like 8.5 million people in germany were part of the nazi party, but certainly far more supported the nazis. however, it is not saying much to mention that the pope was not a member of the nazi party.

4/19/2005 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

Perhaps they should have chosen Prince Harry as pope?

4/19/2005 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger The Critics said...

Somehow, I dont see the conclave DELIBERATELY intending to elect a Nazi Pope. Yet, Prince Harry could have been elected, according to your logic. Should the conclave be allowed to screw around with the populace? I think not. Popes usually arise from former Cardinals or Priests, rather than certain elite members of high society.

4/20/2005 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

I believe the Prince Harry comment was in jest, see the Harry the Nazi post below!

4/20/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sling, your first comment is lewd, disgraceful, and outrageous. You are a disgusting human.

5/09/2005 01:09:00 PM  

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