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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Back When He Was Fallible 

Courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.M.: The college of cardinals sure picked a doozy. We're the soul of generosity, as you know, and we're willing to cut the new pope some slack about his unfortunate stint in the Hitler youth, since membership was compulsory for German teenagers at the time -- but there was no lousy Kraut holding a gun to his head when he pulled this shit:
German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican theologian who was elected Pope Benedict XVI, intervened in the 2004 US election campaign ordering bishops to deny communion to abortion rights supporters including presidential candidate John Kerry.

In a June 2004 letter to US bishops enunciating principles of worthiness for communion recipients, Ratzinger specified that strong and open supporters of abortion should be denied the Catholic sacrament, for being guilty of a "grave sin."

He specifically mentioned "the case of a Catholic politician consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws," a reference widely understood to mean Democratic candidate Kerry, a Catholic who has defended abortion rights.

The letter said a priest confronted with such a person seeking communion "must refuse to distribute it."

A footnote to the letter also condemned any Catholic who votes specifically for a candidate because the candidate holds a pro-abortion position. Such a voter "would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy communion," the letter read.
What else should we know about the new guy? Decidedly old-school; by all accounts makes his predecessor look like a flaming liberal. Shuns modernity and "relativism"; is therefore likely, according to certain commentators, to alienate alienated Catholics even further, "empty the pews of America" (Andrew Sullivan), and hasten the church's slide into irrelevance . . . as if that's a bad thing. Queers? Hates 'em, naturally, unless of course the queer in question happens to be A) a pederast, who B) works for the outfit. And, like temperamental soulmate J. Bolton, he does not brook challenges to his authority: in 2002 Ratzinger, who had been appointed by John Paul II to investigate sex abuse in the church, actually slapped -- pope-slapped? -- an ABC News reporter who had the temerity to ask him about it. More on that case from our distinguished colleagues MandT at The Adgita Diaries, who offer us quick glimpses of Ratzinger past --
The idea that the Church's ruler is divinely ordained and answerable only to God (How Convenient!), long outdated in the secular realm (until Bush), is extended by the Vatican even to criminal matters. One particular case involving Ratzinger, concerned nine former members of the traditional Legion of Christ, who struggled in vain throughout John Paul's papacy to get Rome to take seriously their accusations that the legion's founder, Father Marcial Degollado, had sexually abused them as seminarians. Cardinal Ratzinger personally intervened in a canonical proceeding against Marciel in late 1999 and the whole unpleasantness was swept under the Vatican piera dura, while Degollado was promoted.
-- and of Benedict future:
What we can expect to see happen in the Church of 1 1/2 billion faithful:

(1) The African and Eastern Church, which are relatively new and whose leadership is almost entirely indebted to John Paul II, will become increasingly strident and conservative. Among the faihtful AIDS will soar and its consequences of death, infant mortality and social instability will climb. (2) Priest sexual abuse in these territories will be unheard of and all attempts to bring such abuse to light will be squelched. (3) In America, toady Bishops will be given an increasing voice of prominence and liberal ones pastured out. Cardinal Rodger Mahony of Los Angeles is already kissing cassock (4) Right wing regimes will come in overt favor in South America. Men like Chavez will become covert targets of Vatican schemes. (5) 'liberation' theology will be exterminated once and for all. (6) liberal orders of nuns will be financially starved out and women, demoted in influence, will be raised in theory as most holy, virginal vessels of submission. (7) lay people, especially women, can kiss their altar service goodby unless they are Opeus Dei fanatics and have flagellated themselves into obedience. (8) There will rise a possible movement among millions of gulliable youth to return the Mass to Latin.(9) and finally, a marked upswing in attacks and violence against perceived 'bad' minorities and those heathen followers of secular humanism. Gay men will have to disguise themselves in red or black dresses and learn to pass by speaking Latin.
Were it not for our venerated colleague Avedon Carol, we would never have known that the new Pope Benedict is, according to the prophecy of St. Malachy, likely to be the next-to-last pope ever:
The next motto is Gloria Olivae, the glory of the olive. Prior to the papal conclave, this motto led to speculation that the next pontiff would be from the Order of Saint Benedict, whose symbols include the olive branch. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, selected in April 2005, is not a Benedictine, but did pick Benedict XVI as his papal name, which might be regarded as a fulfillment of this prophecy.

Alternatively, less specific interpreters have predicted that the next pope will promote world peace (as in an olive branch). The self-proclaimed Pope Clemente Domínguez y Gómez of the Palmarian Catholic Church claimed that he was the glory of the olive. Pope Benedict XVI has chosen "Pax" (peace) as his papal motto . . . .

The longest and final motto reads, "In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis ciuitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremêdus iudicabit populum suum. Finis." (During the final persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep in many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed, and the terrible Judge will judge his people. The End.)

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