The only good thing about the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI is that it will put an end to the interminable prattling on current affairs programs, where a motley collection of
logacious loquacious priests and self-appointed Vatican experts discuss a Papal election process about which by definition they have no useful knowledge, while vacuous comperes tell us for the hundredth time about black smoke and white smoke.
God’s Rottweiler is now the Pope, and God help us all. The Catholic Church, which I joined full of hope and incomplete piety in the mid-1980s, will continue to be predominantly a force for evil despite the good and selfless works of millions of priests and lay Catholics throughout the world. Good works at grass roots level are largely negated by Papal opposition to birth control, effective anti-HIV programs, IVF, stem cell research, and voluntary euthanasia, not to mention the Church’s hateful attitude towards gay and lesbian people and its
mysogenistic mysogynistic opposition to women priests.
One would have been naive to expect or even hope for a Pope who would take a forthright liberal approach to just about any of these issues. After all, JPII had stacked the ranks of cardinals with ultra-conservatives in his own image. But I confess I hoped for someone who might at least soften the harsh edges of the Church’s current ultra-conservative doctrinal approach, a Pope whose humanity would truly prevail over his innate conservatism and admit rays of compassion and enlightenment to the darker reaches of the Vatican.
Instead we’ve ended up with the man who silenced Hans Kung and a host of other thoughtful priests and theologians, including Australia’s Paul Collins. It will continue to be impermissible for Catholics in any official Church institution or forum to be stimulated by imaginative, challenging thinking about the nature of the universe and God and our relationship with them.
Many Catholics (including this armadillo) will continue walking away from the Church, leaving shrinking congregations of ageing, intolerant, unimaginative and fearful people. I, like many people, feel a need for the comfort of certainty and eternal truths, but that isn’t what Ratzinger and his ilk deliver. Their message has little to do with either truth or Christ’s teachings and everything to do with preserving a dying, ossified creed that has grown up through the accretion of thousands of stupid, small-minded and life-denying edicts imposed by St Paul and like-minded successors, narrow-minded men with impoverished spirits. Such a man is now Pope.
Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.