Ratzinger was active in stamping out liberation theology, with its emphasis on grass-roots activism to fight poverty and its association with Marxist movements.
He once called homosexuality a tendency toward "intrinsic moral evil" and dismissed the uproar over priestly pedophilia in the United States as a "planned campaign" against the church.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
ON THE UNICITY AND SALVIFIC UNIVERSALITY
OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
That's your new Pope's theology, in his own words
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
The second point in which the European identity appears is marriage and the family. Monogamous marriage, as the basic structure of the relationship between man and woman and, at the same time, as the cell of the formation of the state community, is derived from biblical faith. This has given Western Europe as well as Eastern Europe, its own particular face and its own particular humanity, precisely because the form of fidelity and self-denial set out here had always to be conquered, over and over again, with much effort and suffering. Europe would no longer be Europe if this fundamental cell of its social structure were to disappear or be essentially changed. The Charter of Fundamental Rights speaks of the right to marriage, but does not express any specific protection for marriage—either juridical or moral—nor give it a more precise definition. And we all know how threatened marriage and the family are at present—on one hand by eroding their indissolubility through easier forms of divorce, and on the other hand by means of a new and more and more widespread lifestyle, the cohabitation of man and woman without the juridical form of marriage. In stark contrast to all this is the request for communion of life between homosexuals, who paradoxically now demand a juridical form having the same value as marriage. This tendency marks a departure from the system of mankind’s moral history, which, notwithstanding all the diverse juridical forms of marriage, always recognized that marriage is, in its essence, the particular communion of man and woman that is open to children and thus to the family. This is not a question of discrimination, but rather the question of what the human person is, as man and woman, and of how the togetherness of man and woman can be given a juridical form. If on one hand their togetherness is more and more detached from juridical forms, and on the other hand, homosexual union is seen more and more as having the same value as marriage, then we are before a dissolution of man’s image that can have only extremely grave consequences.
The German-born cardinal said Turkey "could try to set up a cultural continent with neighbouring Arab countries and become the leading figure of a culture with its own identity".
German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the [orig] 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.
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