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Conservative Vatican Enforcer Poped Up
2005.04.19 (Tue) 18:35
Remember the brief speculation that the next Pope might be the one to allow a few progressive changes in the Catholic Church? You know, maybe letting priests marry, or allowing for women to become priests? Well, no. It turns out they went the other way on that and Poped up a highly conservative Cardinal known as the Vatican's "enforcer" instead — German-born Joseph "God's Rottweiler" Ratzinger, who will henceforth be known as Pope Benedict XVI. From CNN:
In the Vatican, [Ratzinger] has been the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on such issues as women's ordination.
Apparently not content to pontify a run-of-the-mill stodgy old Catholic guy, they went ahead and voted in the one who's been the "driving force" behind anti-progessive theology. Outstanding! Even his previous title sounds ominous — "Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." As it turns out, this is just a euphemism for "he who roots out and destroys all progressive thought in the church in much the same way that Darth Vader will wipe out the Jedi in next month's Star Wars installment."
Of course, we should probably be happy — as PZ Myers notes, this probably means more people will become disenfranchised with the Catholic Church, and maybe even abandon religion completely (hey, we can hope).
If you're interested in learning more about this guy (we're all set, thanks), the National Catholic Reporter ran a pretty good article on him a while back. It touches ever so briefly on his time as a member of the Hitler Youth (which we understand was compulsory in Nazi Germany), and the subsequent thought process which that experience kicked off (some good, some bad, in our opinion).
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