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He won't be named 'Pope Peter'. Let the invective begin!
April 19, 2005 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Habemus Papam!
posted by orthogonality (342 comments total)

 
I found out through the news medium of the bells of our local Catholic Church!

Yay medieval forms of communication!
posted by Kattullus at 9:17 AM on April 19, 2005


I was just previewing my "NEW POPE" link, but I've got to say, the Vatican link is better.

Let's hope this one takes the name George Ringo I.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:18 AM on April 19, 2005


Selected on the third or fourth ballot, suggesting that the new Pope isn't a dark horse candidate.
posted by orthogonality at 9:20 AM on April 19, 2005


Is it the Panzer Pope?
posted by amberglow at 9:20 AM on April 19, 2005


Awwww :( (i like dark horses)
posted by dfowler at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2005


I WAS ROBBED.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2005


I hope he's African or Indian or Latin American...
posted by infini at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2005


AP

I'd also like to point out that the bells of our local church roundly trounced the internet in speed.
posted by Kattullus at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2005


There was a Pope Lando, so I'm rooting for Pope Lando II.

If he's not Italian, I win mozzarella sticks from my friend Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:22 AM on April 19, 2005


Is it the Panzer Pope?

Is the Panzer Pope one of the lost Transformers?

Panzer Pope....TRANSFORM!
posted by unreason at 9:22 AM on April 19, 2005


I heard bells nearby, too. But we have to assume the churches found out via the Internet. :D
posted by sugarfish at 9:22 AM on April 19, 2005


Yup. Gotta be God's rottweiler.
posted by docgonzo at 9:23 AM on April 19, 2005


I can't get through. Did somebody finally throw up?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:23 AM on April 19, 2005


I hope its Kang! He already has his Popemobile!
posted by McBain at 9:25 AM on April 19, 2005


I have to go with Cardinal Law.

What?
posted by jsavimbi at 9:27 AM on April 19, 2005


Oh Jesus Fuck. . the Vactican Smoke Cam? How could I have missed that lo these few days?
posted by Danf at 9:28 AM on April 19, 2005


maybe it's our very own elpapacito? (i'm wishing)

If it is the HitlerJugend pope, look for interfaith relations to be set way back.
posted by amberglow at 9:28 AM on April 19, 2005


I have to go with Cardinal Law.

In which case the Catholic Church in America dies immediately.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:28 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope Chipper for me.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:28 AM on April 19, 2005


weapons-grade pandemonium: Glad you enjoyed the poem!
posted by Kattullus at 9:30 AM on April 19, 2005


Can someone explain to me why a Jewish convert becoming Pope would automatically set back relations? I could see it being used as a club of "this is what you should be doing," but why does everyone assume that's how it will be delivered, considering the (insufficient but significant) progress made since Vatican II: Electric Boogaloo?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:30 AM on April 19, 2005


Google News still doesn't know.
Maybe Google isn't God, after all.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:31 AM on April 19, 2005


Is the Popemobile parked in the Popecave ?

(just a thought)
posted by The Infamous Jay at 9:32 AM on April 19, 2005


Sad news. I wasn't contacted. I'm hoping that it's an oversight but I'm afraid the MeFi meetup at St. Peter's Basilica isn't looking very promising. I was going for a tasteful coronation with titties and beer.
posted by substrate at 9:32 AM on April 19, 2005


a Jewish convert?!? says who? He was HitlerJugend.
posted by amberglow at 9:34 AM on April 19, 2005


will resume tomorrow
posted by Jikido at 9:35 AM on April 19, 2005


I used to not like Ratzinger either (c'mon, his name sounds like the name of a Bond villain... or rather a Bond villain's henchman), but after reading this article fron The New Republic, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. (that being said, we don't know who the pope is yet, and I don't presume to know who the Conclave elected)
posted by Kattullus at 9:35 AM on April 19, 2005


I was feeling lonely without My Magical Wizard!
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:35 AM on April 19, 2005


Those curtains in the window keep rippling in the wind - they're teasing us!
posted by fionab at 9:36 AM on April 19, 2005


Man, my cynical, irreligious ass generally couldn't care less about this, despite the fact that I know it's significant, but I really hope to God it's not that Nazi Ratzinger.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2005


I bet it's a "he" and a Catholic.
posted by The Infamous Jay at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2005


amberglow - wasn't referring to Ratzinger, though I admit my phrasing following the prior likely seemed it. There is a Jewish convert in the papabili, name escapes me, mother died at Auschwitz.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:38 AM on April 19, 2005


............ waiting for quonsar...............
posted by dfowler at 9:38 AM on April 19, 2005


Geez, all this noise over some bishop. They elect bishops every year, you know-- this one's not a big deal. Just 'cause he's the bishop of Rome, everybody gets their panties in a bundle. Rome isn't the center of the universe.

< /easternchurchbitterness>


posted by koeselitz at 9:38 AM on April 19, 2005


I'd love an Eastern Rite to be chosen. Though happily atheistic now, was raised Byzantine Catholic.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:39 AM on April 19, 2005


Cardinal Lustiger is the Jew (and French too!)
posted by Kattullus at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2005


I work right by St Patricks, and it's pandemonium.

It's like the entire world is playing Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2005


/ Crosses "Pope" off of resume /
posted by grateful at 9:42 AM on April 19, 2005


You can leave it on, I'm sure no one will check.
posted by drezdn at 9:44 AM on April 19, 2005


Oh wait, is this the Rapture?
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:44 AM on April 19, 2005


The curtains have opened.....
posted by anastasiav at 9:45 AM on April 19, 2005


grateful - I've actually made two resumes - one with Pop and without. I'm trying to keep my phone line clear just in case that long distant call comes in.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:45 AM on April 19, 2005


Listen to that crowd.

This is almost exciting as a Jobs keynote at Macworld.

Almost.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Look, the only really important thing about about Cardinal Ratzinger is that he looks a bit like Sir Les Patterson.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Wait a minute...did something happen to what's-his-name, the Polish guy?
posted by PlusDistance at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Kattullus: "Cardinal Lustiger is the Jew (and French too!)"

Certain authorities have it that this pope will be a former Jew. And will be the second-to-last before the apocalypse.
posted by koeselitz at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Ratzinger.
posted by nyterrant at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


It's the Hitler Youth guy.
posted by drezdn at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


I think he just said "Ratzinger."
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


It's him.
posted by fionab at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Hail Ratzinger!
posted by orthogonality at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Zieg Heil
posted by Goofyy at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2005


Oh just goddamn lovely.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


noooo....
posted by R. Mutt at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


another white guy!
posted by McBain at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


Rats.
posted by veedubya at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


Drats!!! Lost that Pope pool!!!

(time to hide from my bookie)
posted by The Infamous Jay at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


As I see it Ratzinger's being a former member of the Hitler Youth can be forgiven. Those kids are pretty much the only people who were innocent - just cause he was indoctrinated with poison and hatred doesn't make him as evil as the individuals doing the indoctrinating. Children have to be taught (or brainwashed) to believe those things.

That said, if he DID serve in an anti-aircraft unit during the defense of Berlin that's another matter and probably should keep him from being a cardinal let alone a pope.
posted by TetrisKid at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


"at least it couldn't get any worse"
Those are the words of a Catholic theologian on NPR's Morning Edition this morning regarding the potential for a Ratzinger Papacy and its implications for theological "experimentation" in the RC Church. According to the story, R had been JP2's ideological watchdog, policing the church for dissent for the couple decades. Under JP2, much of the liberalization initiated by Vatican II stalled out under the firm orthodoxy enforced by Ratzinger.
posted by pieisexactlythree at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedictus XVI
posted by elpapacito at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


How did Duke finish?
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2005


I work right by St Patricks, and it's pandemonium.
No, no. There must be some mistake. I don't even want the job.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:49 AM on April 19, 2005


I think the roof is on fire.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:49 AM on April 19, 2005


If they weren't going to elect an Italian, couldn't they have gone with someone cooler than RATZINGER?

Also : Benedictus XVI is just too many numbers. George Ringo! C'mon!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:49 AM on April 19, 2005


If it had been the Nigerian then we could have expected a new single from KRS-ONE, entitled "Black Pope"


Don't be the sucker comin into my face with that yang-yang!

Shit.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:50 AM on April 19, 2005


Blah.
posted by drezdn at 9:50 AM on April 19, 2005


CNN is reporting that it's Ratzinger, no mention of his throne name -- I presume the traditional speech has yet to be given, and somebody saw Ratzinger in white.
posted by eriko at 9:51 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope Benedict XVI
posted by malaprohibita at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2005


At least I get mozzarella sticks out of this.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2005


Damn - my cable went out seconds before the announcement (and seconds after posting a Pope joke). Was it exciting? Did they set off fireworks? I'm sure it's not going to get replayed anywhere so I guess I just missed it.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2005


Today, April 19, is National Time Warp Day.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2005


A.) He looks like Cancer Stick from the X-files.

B.) He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Rapture fanatics/conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one.
posted by nyterrant at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2005


And another Reality TV series comes to its finale.

Wikipedia, your most trusted source for late-breaking news! Wikipedia may have beat out some traditional news outlets on this one...
posted by gimonca at 9:53 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope BENEDICT the XVI
posted by ruelle at 9:53 AM on April 19, 2005


Did he get the small, medium or large robe?
posted by fionab at 9:53 AM on April 19, 2005


I guess the new saying is: "Enter the Conclave a pope, leave the Conclave The Pope"
posted by Kattullus at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


From the Washington Post:
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.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


Man, that guy is going to get some tonight for sure.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


I don't know, I heard it on the radio first. Does anyone know what that is anymore? No, not realmedia streaming crap-- FM radio. It was beautiful :P
posted by taursir at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


*runs off to write filk based on Billy Bragg's "God's Footballer"*

Ooh -- Pope Clement XVI? Expect a true medieval pope. Not a Nazi though, to be fair. That Times of India link from above mentions that his father was an anti-Nazi activist and that the Rat only joined Hitler Youth when it became compulsory, and got a dispensation as soon as possible.

Still, this is clearly a much more conservative guy than JP II. "Scourge of liberals" -- ack!
posted by maudlin at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


What the hell is that hand-clasp thing he's doing? God, he looks half-dead already...
posted by fionab at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


Unimaginative. Total lack of vision. Another season of the same. Whatever direction the Church has been heading, it will continue in that same direction.

The election happened very fast. One wonders how long 'til the next.

Thank God I am no Roman Catholic.
posted by Goofyy at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2005


FOXNews is calling it for Bush...

Go figure.
posted by 27 at 9:55 AM on April 19, 2005


This pope was in the Hitler Youth.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2005




I swear to you by all that is holy, I will never refer to him by any other name than 'Pope Hitler'.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2005


At least the guy is already 78.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2005


no one expects the GERMAN INQUISITION!!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope HAMBONE the MEGA-CRANKY

Oh ha ha ha, oh hee hee, the first winner.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2005


Eww! People who call themselves "simple and humble" -- aren't.

*lapses from Catholicism a little bit more*
posted by maudlin at 9:57 AM on April 19, 2005


I swear to you by all that is holy, I will never refer to him by any other name than 'Pope Hitler'.

I'm going with the Soprano-esque "Joey the Rat."
posted by stonerose at 9:57 AM on April 19, 2005


Last comment:

This shit is way evil.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2005


This pope was in the Hitler Youth.

The people bringing this up sound like the right wingers who just shout "KLANSMAN!!!" at the top of their lungs whenever Robert Byrd opens his mouth.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2005


Well holy f**k.

I suppose we've done well for 26 years. 3 years of this and then we can sweep away his dust.
posted by NinjaPirate at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope Rat--has a nice ring to it, no? (and i guess Pope Benedict is better than Pope Adolf)

Boy, he really sounds like a thug.
posted by amberglow at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2005


I wouldn't hold being a member of the Hitler Youth against him, but the bastard and his brother have the temerity to say that had no option but to be Nazis. I'd say thousands of Germans who bravely chose the dangerous alternative prove that the man is a scummy liar.

Plus, his crusade to wipe out the Church's efforts to help the plight of the poor alone has saved him a toasty place in the hell that he believes in.

Fuck the Pope. Fuck-fuck-FUCK the pope. NWA needs to reform again.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2005


The Wikipedia article on Pope Benedict XVI

Well, since it's Ratzinger we can all look forward to another beautiful few weeks of waiting to find out who the new Pope is in not too many years

(whoops! there went my last chance of getting into heaven)
posted by Kattullus at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2005


So now that any joy of possibly picking a good pope has been sucked dry, how does this sit with the Malachy prophecy thing.
posted by drezdn at 10:00 AM on April 19, 2005


Any word on a recount? The Ohio numbers look pretty off to me.
posted by koeselitz at 10:01 AM on April 19, 2005


I wonder what this means for the Italians... has the Italian hold on the Papacy been completely broken now?
posted by Kattullus at 10:01 AM on April 19, 2005


"After a fat pope, a skinny pope." Guess they decided that they want the old guy so the cardinals can figure out who they really want to be in charge.

There was a lot of whining from them about the fact that they didn't really know each other very well. Maybe they'll take this period to do some meet & greet sessions.
posted by lowlife at 10:02 AM on April 19, 2005


to all of those yelling "Hitler Youth",

he was 14. How many of you are proud of how you spent those awkward years? And you didn't have someone trying to activiely brainwash you into commiting atrocities. From what little I've read, it sounds like he got herded in and then deserted when he had the chance.

Not that I'm a huge fan of someone so conservative, but screaming Hitler youth is a bit of a distraction
posted by slapshot57 at 10:03 AM on April 19, 2005


So now that any joy of possibly picking a good pope has been sucked dry, how does this sit with the Malachy prophecy thing.

"Gloria olivæ"

which I'm told implies benedictine order - Not sure if you can apply it to the name though.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:04 AM on April 19, 2005


............ waiting for quonsar...............

dominus vobiscum, et cum spiri tu tuo.
posted by quonsar at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


Not Catholic, more of an "interested in the funny hats" kind of girl, but man... his face... there's something weird going on there. Something empty.
posted by sugarfish at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


So it's a man again?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


gimonca writes "Wikipedia may have beat out some traditional news outlets on this one..."

How, given that the traditional TV news outlets were reporting live from the Vatican? Unless you're implying that Wikipedia jumped the gun and guessed?

Wikipedia doesn't do any reporting -- their "editors" are just people watching the news.
posted by orthogonality at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


You know, he just looks all evil and smug, doesn't he? I'm an atheist, and I find all religion pretty silly, but Pope John Paul at least looked like a kind and caring man (even if some of his beliefs were a little outdated). Pope Hitler, on the other hand, looks like the head of a major tobacco company who just stepped on a puppy and enjoyed it.
posted by Sharktattoo at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


Welcome, Pope Godwin! Nice job... Hitler boy to newest member of the oldest regining monarchy. Enjoy!
posted by moonbird at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


According to the internet, his solution for losing Catholics to the Evangelicals is to be more like the Evangelicals. That makes total sense!
posted by drezdn at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2005


I hate to wish *anyone* ill...but geez, I hope this doesn't last too long.
posted by duck at 10:06 AM on April 19, 2005


Oh for Christ's sake... reigning!
"it's reigning men, halleluia it's reigning men!
posted by moonbird at 10:06 AM on April 19, 2005


he was 14. How many of you are proud of how you spent those awkward years?

Leaving flaming bags of poo on doorsteps is not the same thing as being in the Hitler Youth.
posted by bshort at 10:08 AM on April 19, 2005


slapshot57: "he was 14. How many of you are proud of how you spent those awkwardyears?"

I was arrested for throwing rocks through car windows. The Cardinals didn't elect me. This is a clear case of double-standards.
posted by Plutor at 10:08 AM on April 19, 2005


So much for going back to church. Call me when they elect a Stephenite pope.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:08 AM on April 19, 2005


The Hitler Youth thing is totally unfair, as he was compelled to join, and later deserted the German army (risking a death sentence).

I'd be more worried about another 10 years of shoving medieval church dogma down the throats of the desperately poor.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:09 AM on April 19, 2005


his solution for losing Catholics to the Evangelicals is to be more like the Evangelicals. That makes total sense!

It's working great for the Democrats!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:09 AM on April 19, 2005


Also, it was apparently a Dick Cheney moment. Ratzman had a ton of power in the pope selection process, and whoops, it looks like he was the best candidate.
posted by drezdn at 10:09 AM on April 19, 2005


$
posted by dfowler at 10:09 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope GODWIN? Moonbird, thank you for the laugh.

Will they have a press conference later, or are the smoke, bells, and name enough?

Benedict.. now I'm imagining an Amberite with a massive broadsword strapped to his vestments.
posted by cmyk at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2005


what happened to the old pope?
posted by mcsweetie at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2005


Whatever else you want to say about the guy, joining the HJ wasn't really a choice in 1941. It was basically join the HJ or see your parents "go camping".
posted by orthogonality at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2005


On second thought...I don't wish him ill, but I do think he's gettig a little old. I think he should retire immediately.
posted by duck at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2005


You'd think that leftists would, in their own way, rejoice at this outcome. How better to demonstrate that the Church has left behind its Eurocentricism than this election ... remarkably faithful to the vision of Pope John Paul II, and completely focused upon the spiritual aspirations of world outside of North American and Western Europe, where orthodoxy is enabling the Church to grow by leaps and bounds.
posted by MattD at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2005


Man, I feel this way every time Notre Dame loses.
posted by sciurus at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2005


from the Times (UK): Papal hopeful is a former Hitler Youth
...
In 1937 Ratzinger’s father retired and the family moved to Traunstein, a staunchly Catholic town in Bavaria close to the Führer’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. He joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941.

He quickly won a dispensation on account of his training at a seminary. “Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one,” concluded John Allen, his biographer.

Two years later Ratzinger was enrolled in an anti-aircraft unit that protected a BMW factory making aircraft engines. The workforce included slaves from Dachau concentration camp.

Ratzinger has insisted he never took part in combat or fired a shot — adding that his gun was not even loaded — because of a badly infected finger. He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a few weeks in a prisoner of war camp. ...
Some locals in Traunstein, like Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. “It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others,” she said. “The Ratzingers were young and had made a different choice.”

posted by amberglow at 10:12 AM on April 19, 2005


He told me years ago, that if this ever happened, to remove his feeding tube.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:14 AM on April 19, 2005


If I become a leading member of the Unitarian Jihad, you can be certain today was the day that I signed up.
posted by drezdn at 10:14 AM on April 19, 2005


How better to demonstrate that the Church has left behind its Eurocentricism

By electing a European?

outside of North American and Western Europe, where orthodoxy is enabling the Church to grow by leaps and bounds

Where is Liberation Theology coming from, France? Seriously, what on earth are you talking about?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:17 AM on April 19, 2005


You'd think that leftists would, in their own way, rejoice at this outcome.

Yes, because we all march in lockstep.
posted by bshort at 10:17 AM on April 19, 2005


"Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one," concluded John Allen, his biographer.

Sorry, this doesn't fly. If you're going to be the fucking POPE, you have to be held to a higher standard.
posted by mkultra at 10:20 AM on April 19, 2005


according to wikipedia he was required by law to join, so you can't complain too much. He spent the war guarding a BWM plant.

On the other hand, his more recent activities are something to be worried about.
posted by delmoi at 10:20 AM on April 19, 2005


I guess now we have to ask, "Is the Pope German?" when confirming the obvious.
posted by postmodernmillie at 10:21 AM on April 19, 2005


The name is familiar. Wasn't he on Cheers?
posted by borborygmi at 10:21 AM on April 19, 2005


moonbird, "Pope Godwin" is genius
posted by matteo at 10:22 AM on April 19, 2005


> Pope BENEDICT the XVI

Pope BENEDICT teh XVI.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:22 AM on April 19, 2005


*ponders the commercial potential of 'pope on a rope soap'*
posted by quonsar at 10:24 AM on April 19, 2005


pope ordering breakfast: "Hrmm... I'll have the 'Eggs Me.' Hold the XVI."
posted by koeselitz at 10:24 AM on April 19, 2005


Wasn't Joan of Arc leading legions of soldiers at 14? I agree that popes should be held to a higher standard, the catholic religious history is filled with people who've stood up to forces as great as the nazis for their beliefs.

Granted, I'm not as annoyed by the Hitler Youth Thing, as his extremely conservative nature. I'm a huge Vatican II fan, and I wouldn't be suprised to see most of it undone.
posted by drezdn at 10:24 AM on April 19, 2005


Whatever else you want to say about the guy, joining the HJ wasn't really a choice in 1941. It was basically join the HJ or see your parents "go camping".

I wish I could find the story from a few weeks back about the boys who formed a youth group that opposed the Hitler Youth and Nazism. Some of these young teens died for their actions, and they were finally recognized as heroes in their home city (Bremen maybe?) just recently.

And even if you put the HY thing aside, Pope Hitler believes homosexuals are intrinsically evil, was a major player in dismantling liberation theology which, you know, actually tries to put Jesus' teachings into practice, and helped cover up the child abuse scandals.

Pope Hitler, Pope Hitler, Pope Hitler.

Can we start a Google Bomb?
posted by the_savage_mind at 10:25 AM on April 19, 2005


their "editors" are just people watching the news

The "editors" beat Australian broadcasting, at least, by several minutes. Kudos to the "editors". Being physically there is no help if your organization is going to take more than x minutes to post the info anyway.

MeFi did pretty well, too, for that matter...
posted by gimonca at 10:25 AM on April 19, 2005


Yo Benedict 16 let's kick it

Pope Pope baby
Pope Pope baby

All right stop pontificate and listen
Pope is back with my brand new missal
Something grabs a hold of my orb tightly
Flow like a censer daily and nightly
Will it ever stop yo I don't know
Turn off the lights and I'll glow
To the extreme I rock a mass like a vandal
Like a saint I wax demons with a Paschal Candle
Dance go rush to the hymns that booms
I'm killing your brain with dogmatic mushrooms
Deadly when I preach that gospel
Anything less than that is hostile
Love it or leave it you better gain weight
You better hit bull's eye this altar boy don't play
If there was a problem yo I'll solve it
Check out the exorcism while my cardinal revolves it

Pope Pope baby
Pope Pope baby
Pope Pope baby
Pope Pope baby

Now that the conclave is jumping
With the bass kicked in and the nuns are pumpin'
Quick to the Eucharist to the Eucharist no faking
I'm cooking Protestants like a pound of bacon
Burning them if you ain't quick and nimble
I go crazy when I hear a church bell
And a te deum with a souped up tempo
I'm on a roll and it's time to go solo
Rollin' in my Pope mo'
With my rag-top down so my hair can blow
The Bishops on standby waving just to say hi
Did you stop no I just drove by
Kept on pursuing to the next Inquisition
You better stop and listen


Pope Pope baby
Pope Pope baby vanilla Pope
Yo Jesus let's get out of here
Word to your mother
Pope Pope baby too cold
Pope Pope baby too cold
posted by m@ at 10:25 AM on April 19, 2005 [2 favorites]


Willkommen zum neuen Mittelalter!
posted by homodigitalis at 10:26 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope On A Rope.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:27 AM on April 19, 2005


Forget Ohio. How are the recounts in Latin America and Africa going?
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:28 AM on April 19, 2005


How are the recounts in Latin America and Africa going?
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:29 AM on April 19, 2005


Hitler Youth or no Hitler Youth, the question remains : Does the Pope shit in the woods?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:29 AM on April 19, 2005


Eurocentricism would have been electing a liberal Pope to curry favor with heterodox Americans and Western Europeans, or making a point of choosing a non-white Pope for the same purpose. The Church has no problem in its embrace of the developing world (check out your neighborhood Parish -- five gets you ten that there's a priest from sub-Saharan Africa on the pastoral staff).

Liberation theology was a complete dead-end, by the way. The places with the largest contingents of priest-Marxists are also the places where the Evangelical storefront churches are growing the strongest. Marxism just doesn't serve a hunger for Scripture ... (except among Marxists, of course, where it does that job quite nicely).
posted by MattD at 10:29 AM on April 19, 2005


First Ratzinger speech I quickly translated (sorry it's unpolished)

Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope Johannes Paulus II the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the
vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord works also with insufficient instrument consoles me and above all I entrust myself to
your prayers. In the joy of the resurrected Lord, faithfull in his permanent help we go ahead. Lord will help up and Mary His Very Saint
Mother is on our side. Thank you.

posted by elpapacito at 10:30 AM on April 19, 2005


Any truth to the rumor that a Diebold Smoke Machine was used to announce the result?
posted by 27 at 10:33 AM on April 19, 2005


Nazinger?
posted by mr.marx at 10:33 AM on April 19, 2005


on preview: amber nah elratzingerito doesn't sound too well :)
posted by elpapacito at 10:34 AM on April 19, 2005


It's good to see people finally embracing classic right-wing tactics.
posted by smackfu at 10:34 AM on April 19, 2005


the_savage_mind: "And even if you put the HY thing aside, Pope Hitler believes homosexuals are intrinsically evil, was a major player in dismantling liberation theology which, you know, actually tries to put Jesus' teachings into practice, and helped cover up the child abuse scandals."

It doesn't seem like he's said much that deviates from the church's standard line on homosexuals, which JPII held to as well. And no matter how much I disagree with that or with his annoying stance on the scandals, one thing needs to be said right now: liberation theology is idiotic. Most of the governments that it supported turned on it; it was a fundamental misunderstanding of the church's mission, which is not primarily to bring social justice (a laudable goal) but to save the soul. To believe that the salvation of the soul is less important than the protection of the body is to disagree essentially with Catholic doctrine, and to place oneself outside of the Church. While I understand that many here take that stance, it doesn't make sense that so many of them have a sense of indignation; liberation theology is against everything the church stands for, and this has been understood by orthodox catholics for some time.

posted by koeselitz at 10:36 AM on April 19, 2005


Boy, do I not get a warm fuzzy feeling when I look at him. He's positively frightening looking
posted by aacheson at 10:37 AM on April 19, 2005


For crying out loud, the Hitler Youth was more like the Boy Scouts than the junior SS. Sure, there was political indoctrination but it's not like these kids were running grotesque medical experiments on camp inmates.

Later, the "Luftwaffenhelfer" were established as a part of the Hitler Youth. They largely operated anti-aircraft guns ouside large cities and industrial sites to protect them from bombers. And say what you want about despicable nature of the society they were protecting, the kids operating these guns will never be confused with war criminals.

Disclaimer: my dad, who's almost exactly a year younger than Ratzinger, was both in the Hitlerjugend and a Luftwaffenhelfer. In his case, it was the Mercedes factory in Sindelfinger -- err, I mean the city of Stuttgart -- that they were protecting.
posted by Slothrup at 10:38 AM on April 19, 2005


quonsar writes " *ponders the commercial potential of 'pope on a rope soap'*"

Actually, "Pope on the Rope Soap" was sold to mock John Paul II during his visit to the Low Countries in the 1980s.


elpapacito writes "First Ratzinger speech I quickly translated (sorry it's unpolished)"

Of course it's unpolished. This new Pope is German, not Polish like the old one.


the_savage_mind writes " I wish I could find the story from a few weeks back about the boys who formed a youth group that opposed the Hitler Youth and Nazism. Some of these young teens died for their actions, and they were finally recognized as heroes in their home city (Bremen maybe?) just recently."

Here. See also The White Rose (die Weiße Rose).
posted by orthogonality at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2005


...and apparently, I can't spell "Sindelfingen".
posted by Slothrup at 10:40 AM on April 19, 2005


Making Ratzinger's Hitlerjugend the sole evidence for his - sadly - conservative disposition seems rather lazy.
(Every German adult of that age group I know was a member of Hitlerjugend and none has anything "nice" to say about the Third Reich, let alone has any affinity for their ideology)

How about talking about the complexity of the Catholic Church and what the future "reign" of Ratzinger will hold.

Issues like the Vatican's neverending misogynism, unbelievable righteousness and compulsion to control it's followers seem to be much more interesting. And how in spite of this the Catholic Church still inspires hope in so many people.

Ratzinger sounds like bad news because his priority seems to lay with the intellectual loyalty to the Catholic doctrine, rather then to inspire people to consider the humanity of the original sentiment of Christianity.
posted by threehundredandsixty at 10:40 AM on April 19, 2005


He looks like Robert Blake is who he looks like, but even more racoon eyed and liable to shoot you across a poker table over a bad beat by a pair of sixes.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:40 AM on April 19, 2005


I was really hoping for another Pope Hilarius. :(
posted by symphonik at 10:43 AM on April 19, 2005


koeselitz >>> To believe that the salvation of the soul is less important than the protection of the body is to disagree essentially with Catholic doctrine, and to place oneself outside of the Church.

Perhaps. Or one could--as my mother's priest did--argue that by protecting the body, one engenders the requisite conditions for saving the soul.

Put another way, if the body is cared for, then one has the time and energy to care for the soul.

All that said... the Hitler Youth thing is an enormous red herring. He was fourteen years old. Sure, there were choices. And he made one when he was seventeen, by deserting the army. Remember that he was born in 1927; he grew up with Nazi ideology. At 14, how many of us could have made the choice to stand against it? Not many, I would suspect.

All that said, I'm deeply concerned about the direction of the Vatican over the next few years. Ratzinger is about as conservative as they come. Echoing what has been said above, it seems that his personal view of Catholic doctrine will only serve to further entrench the misogyny and homophobia of the church, not to mention ignoring reality and not supporting condom usage for prevention of HIV/AIDS. That's just criminal.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:45 AM on April 19, 2005


So, who wants to start a betting pool on how long the new guy will last? I give him a year, prophecies be damned.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:46 AM on April 19, 2005


Ratzinger must also have some African ancestry.
posted by Cassford at 10:46 AM on April 19, 2005


*shudder* Like whoever it was up there said..... anyone who publicly calls himself simple and humble, ain't.
posted by Malor at 10:47 AM on April 19, 2005


All that said, I'm deeply concerned about the direction of the Vatican over the next few years.

Make no mistake: the cardinals picked this guy because they want to send a clear message: they're not going to change to accomodate "you liberals"
posted by Slothrup at 10:49 AM on April 19, 2005


Liberation Theology was far more than Marxist ideology, MattD, although I'm sure all sorts of people will try to spin it that way.

First and foremost it was a movement to do Christ's work... that is to ease the suffering condition of the poor on earth. God damn, that sounds like Communism to me!

From encyclopedia.com, since wikipedia seems hammered at the moment:

Liberation Theology: belief that the Christian Gospel demands “a preferential option for the poor,” and that the church should be involved in the struggle for economic and political justice in the contemporary world—particularly in the Third World. Dating to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the Second Latin American Bishops Conference, held in Medellin, Colombia (1968), the movement brought poor people together in comunidades de base, or Christian-based communities, to study the Bible and to fight for social justice. Since the 1980s, the church hierarchy, led by Pope John Paul II , has criticized liberation theology and its advocates, accusing them of wrongly supporting violent revolution and Marxist class struggle.

For something a bit more critical and academic:

Liberation theologians believe that the orthodox doctrine of God tends to manipulate God in favor of the capitalistic social structure. They claim that orthodoxy has been dependent upon ancient Greek notions of God that perceived God as a static being who is distant and remote from human history. These distorted notions of God's transcendence and majesty have resulted in a theology which thinks of God as "up there" or "out there." Consequently the majority of Latin Americans have become passive in the face of injustice and superstitious in their religiosity. Liberation theology responds by stressing the incomprehensible mysteriousness of the reality of God. God cannot be summarized in objectifying language or known through a list of doctrines. God is found in the course of human history. God is not a perfect, immutable entity, "squatting outside the world." He stands before us on the frontier of the historical future (Assmann). God is the driving force of history causing the Christian to experience transcendence as a "permanent cultural revolution" (Gutierrez). Suffering and pain become the motivating force for knowing God. The God of the future is the crucified God who submerges himself in a world of misery. God is found on the crosses of the oppressed rather than in beauty, power, or wisdom.
The biblical notion of salvation is equated with the process of liberation from oppression and injustice. Sin is defined in terms of man's inhumanity to man. Liberation theology for all practical purposes equates loving your neighbor with loving God. The two are not only inseparable but virtually indistinguishable. God is found in our neighbor and salvation is identified with the history of "man becoming." The history of salvation becomes the salvation of history embracing the entire process of humanization. Biblical history is important insofar as it models and illustrates this quest for justice and human dignity. Israel's liberation from Egypt in the Exodus and Jesus' life and death stand out as the prototypes for the contemporary human struggle for liberation. These biblical events signify the spiritual significance of secular struggle for liberation.

The church and the world can no longer be segregated. The church must allow itself to be inhabited and evangelized by the world. "A theology of the Church in the world should be complemented by a theology of the world in the Church" (Gutierrez). Joining in solidarity with the oppressed against the oppressors is an act of "conversion," and "evangelization" is announcing God's participation in the human struggle for justice.


As for LT being a dead end that loses to Evangelicalism where it came to be... Latin America?! I don't think so. it was a threat to the mostly criminal power structures, and the common populace was quite into it. The only real problem it faced from a point of view of theology was that it seemed to downplay the uniquely divine nature of Jesus (I say 'seemed' because there's a lot of debate on that among certain Catholic theologians). Pope John Paul II villified it and exaggerated what the majority of its adherents were doing, like he has done with so many other things.

I was happy to see the last pope go, but I'll be damned if the new one isn't worse.
posted by the_savage_mind at 10:51 AM on April 19, 2005


Nice find, Cassford.
posted by dfowler at 10:51 AM on April 19, 2005


to all of those yelling "Hitler Youth", he was 14. How many of you are proud of how you spent those awkward years?

Hmm. Wearing a Motley Crue t-shirt, smoking cigarettes, shoplifting cassettes from local gas stations. You got me there.

On the other hand, I'm not the ultimate spiritual and moral authority for 1.1 billion people, so maybe his youthful indiscretions should be taken a bit more seriously.

And while we're on the topic: Shout at the devil! Yeah!!!

*makes two-fingered devil-horns gesture, wags tongue*
posted by gompa at 10:52 AM on April 19, 2005


Make no mistake: the cardinals picked this guy because they want to send a clear message

And since I'm pretending to know the motivations in Rome, let me offer a further comment: being Pope after an extremely popular and powerful guy like John Paul II would really suck. You're never going to avoid comparisons with him. If I were a younger Cardinal interested in advancement, I'd push someone like Ratzinger too. He's old enough that I'll have my chance pretty soon, and he'll never be a terribly popular guy. In short, he's a good guy to come after.
posted by Slothrup at 10:53 AM on April 19, 2005


MattD wrote Liberation theology was a complete dead-end, by the way. The places with the largest contingents of priest-Marxists are also the places where the Evangelical storefront churches are growing the strongest. Marxism just doesn't serve a hunger for Scripture ... (except among Marxists, of course, where it does that job quite nicely).

I see your point, but I don't think it's fair to say LT failed. It was nipped in the bud, quite consciously, by men including JPII. Would it have made the lives of those people better, if it had been given a full chance? Maybe not. But if the peasants with a fighting chance against CIA-trained death squads were given the choice, they probably woult take LT any day.

And while I appreciate your first point, could you please define "human hunger for scripture"? I can assure you I have none, but for a historical interest.
posted by bardic at 10:55 AM on April 19, 2005


All that said... the Hitler Youth thing is an enormous red herring. He was fourteen years old. Sure, there were choices. And he made one when he was seventeen, by deserting the army. Remember that he was born in 1927; he grew up with Nazi ideology. At 14, how many of us could have made the choice to stand against it? Not many, I would suspect.

Yes, but how many get to be Pope? THIS IS THE POPE, PEOPLE. This is a guy who's supposed to be the Right Hand of God (or some such). It's not like he's your next boss (unless you're a Cardinal). If you're going to be upheld as the spiritual leader of a billion or so people, your moral slate had better be spotless.
posted by mkultra at 10:56 AM on April 19, 2005


Not to troll, but at this moment I'm really glad to be Protestant. Here's hoping Benedict isn't as horrid as everyone thinks he'll be.

However, I think it's kind of unfair to judge him for the Nazi thing. He was required by law to join the Hitler Youth, and he got out as soon as he could. He only manned the AA guns after being drafted. Don't get me wrong, I still think he's awful, but I don't think he's a Nazi.
posted by unreason at 10:57 AM on April 19, 2005


Man, I feel this way every time Notre Dame loses.

I hear you.

Though, Benedict XV was fairly liberal, so perhaps this is somewhat of a sign? I doubt we'll see any change as far as what "liberal", American, Catholics would like. It also might signify that the church is wanting to get Western Europe involved in the church again, in which case there must be some liberalization.

oh and the bashing in here doesn't surprise me much, actually I might say it is somewhat restrained, all things considered.
posted by Numenorian at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2005


Is it ironic or appropriate that a man who "ran" for Pope by attacking relativism is now having his Nazi past ameliorated by appeals to the cultural environment he was living in at the time?
posted by Cassford at 10:59 AM on April 19, 2005


to all of those yelling "Hitler Youth", he was 14. How many of you are proud of how you spent those awkward years?

Hmm. Wearing a Motley Crue t-shirt, smoking cigarettes, shoplifting cassettes from local gas stations. You got me there.


Mine was the same except my t-shirt was Metallica. I'm proud. I haven't changed much come to think of it.

My main beef with this pope is his choice of name. Pope Benedict? Anyone else craving eggs and hollandaise now?
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on April 19, 2005


Screwed up my link in my last post for any who care.
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:03 AM on April 19, 2005


pope on a rope soap
posted by quonsar at 11:04 AM on April 19, 2005


the_savage_mind: "First and foremost it was a movement to do Christ's work... that is to ease the suffering condition of the poor on earth. God damn, that sounds like Communism to me!"

Christ's work was to save the soul, not feed the poor. The soul is more important than the body. Feeding the poor is nice, but liberation theologians have allowed themselves to be swayed from orthodoxy by simple false pity.

"As for LT being a dead end that loses to Evangelicalism where it came to be... Latin America?!"

Yes, as shown by all the thriving and happy socialist states in Latin America today, right? Liberation Theology isn't a failure because it promises to feed the poor; it's a failure because it dismisses the soul, and then promises to do something it can't achieve. It took a hundred years, and may take more, for the world to see what a failure communism is. The more astute members of the church already see what a failure liberation theology has been. Even a century and a quarter ago, an astute member of the eastern rite saw it.
posted by koeselitz at 11:05 AM on April 19, 2005


If you're going to be upheld as the spiritual leader of a billion or so people, your moral slate had better be spotless.

Exactly. Picking this guy above all the other cardinals (some of whom aren't morally and ethically questionable, or guilty of sheltering pedophile priests) shows incredibly bad human resource and pr skills at the very very least. Should the Church reward those who served evil? Or, if not served evil, stood silently in the face of evil and let it have its way? What kind of morals is that? What kind of example does that set?

And are we (the 5 billion of us on Earth who aren't Catholic) supposed to sit thru years of this ass's pronouncements and appearances, and fawning news coverage of his every move?
posted by amberglow at 11:07 AM on April 19, 2005


As long as we're considering his actions in light of the times in which he lived -- 14 back then was not 14 today. My grandfather had already been working for several years and was a couple of years away from starting a family at age 14.

jonmc, everytime my wife sees Metallica on tv, she tells me about the grafitti on her high school in the exurbs: Meatlicca Rules!

"They couldn't even spell," she says.
posted by Cassford at 11:07 AM on April 19, 2005


If you're going to be upheld as the spiritual leader of a billion or so people, your moral slate had better be spotless.

I think you don't understand Christianity. We are all sinners, don'cha know? Even the saints. If a spotless moral slate were a prerequisite for Popedom, the position would never be filled.

Is it ironic or appropriate that a man who "ran" for Pope by attacking relativism is now having his Nazi past ameliorated by appeals to the cultural environment he was living in at the time?

There's obviously a difference betwen the recognition of having sinned and repenting on one hand, and the claim that one has not sinned on the other. If in the course of his "Nazi" past, Ratzinger committed sins, then that's between him, his confessor and God. But I certainly can't imagine him justifying Nazi crimes by appealing to the cultural environment.

Mind you, I'm an atheist and don't buy into any of this garbage.
posted by Slothrup at 11:10 AM on April 19, 2005


"After a fat pope, a skinny pope."

Then a pope who climbs on rocks.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:12 AM on April 19, 2005


jonmc, everytime my wife sees Metallica on tv, she tells me about the grafitti on her high school in the exurbs: Meatlicca Rules!

Right next to the graffitti saying "Dyslexics Untie!"

Actually, I became a Metallica fan because it was loud and fast like the metal I liked but it had intelligence and purpose to it. YMMV, but rest assured we're not all stupid.
posted by jonmc at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2005


If you're going to be upheld as the spiritual leader of a billion or so people, your moral slate had better be spotless.

Since Christianity is big into forgiveness (on paper anyway) then maybe not so much. Anyway, indoctrinate a kid for eight years and then you expect him to make the same decisions you would with the benefit of 60+ years of historical hindsight?

What kind of morals is that? What kind of example does that set?

You'd probably be a better example for those billion if you could say, "I sinned and was forgiven" than if you pretended your shit never stunk.
posted by Cyrano at 11:14 AM on April 19, 2005


Pope Benedict? Anyone else craving eggs and hollandaise now?

As a patriot and a staunch opponent of Nazism in all its forms, I will hereafter refer to said delicious dish as "freedom eggs." And me, I like my freedom eggs with a hearty slice of back bacon (that's "Canadian bacon" to you Americans).

On preview: Now Motley Crue, they were stoopid. But I think I turned out all right anyway.
posted by gompa at 11:14 AM on April 19, 2005


amberglow: "And are we (the 5 billion of us on Earth who aren't Catholic) supposed to sit thru years of this ass's pronouncements and appearances, and fawning news coverage of his every move?"

When Europe was complaining about Bush being elected, I didn't think much of it, but now it seems like it really is true: we in the west want the privilege of voting for every office in existence.
posted by koeselitz at 11:16 AM on April 19, 2005


define: Benedict

Definitions of benedict on the Web:

United States anthropologist (1887-1948)
Italian monk who founded the Benedictine order about 540 (480-547)
benedick: a newly married man (especially one who has long been a bachelor)

Priceless
posted by adnanbwp at 11:16 AM on April 19, 2005


On preview: Now Motley Crue, they were stoopid.

No argument there. And Vince Neil was the worst. metal. singer. ever. ("Live Wire" is a killer song though).

The name Benedict has a bad history, what with Benedict Arnold and all. Pope Ernie has a nice ring to it, I think.
posted by jonmc at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2005


Actually, my cat has been elected Pope... he eats rats and is a Cat-holic to boot. And, he's Persian, not German. Bonus!
posted by moonbird at 11:20 AM on April 19, 2005


Slothrup's assessment is convincing: "...he'll never be a terribly popular guy. In short, he's a good guy to come after. The best that can be hoped for is that the reign is relatively short and sticks to the status quo, theologically speaking. And that's the best outcome. I don't even like to think about the lesser outcomes...
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 11:21 AM on April 19, 2005


I was holding out hope that they'd name Sean Connery as pope. Now, wouldn't that be awesome?

"Blesshed are you, my chhild. Don't ushe condomsh. I don't."
posted by Kattullus at 11:21 AM on April 19, 2005


Slothrup, I'm not talking about his view of his own Nazi past. My point was about those here on Mefi (and elsewhere) who say "everyone was a Nazi at that time" and so on. I'm assuming Ratzo would disagree with their moral relativism, unless he is a hypocrit.

jonmc, I liked Metallica in college -- lived with arborculture guys who loved it. It seemed like one of em' had a bass speaker for a back seat. We'd drive around listening to And Justice For All. Thanks to Blackened and that sound system, I now know how to nonsurgically remove a kidney stone.
posted by Cassford at 11:22 AM on April 19, 2005


jonmc: "The name Benedict has a bad history, what with Benedict Arnold and all."

So Paul Revere has just sat down to dine in his favorite Italian place. He's just ordered when he looks over in the corner and sees Benedict Arnold eating at a table in the shadows. He thinks to himself, "I've got to capture that horrible traitor... but my food isn't here yet!" He waits a bit more, hoping that his order will arrive before Arnold leaves. Finally, he sees the villain pay the check and head out the door. Paul Revere makes his choice, and, just as the waiter arrives with his food, he stands, and declares gallantly:

"Hold the Chicken; I'm off to catch-a-Tory!"

ha ha ha, gets me every time...
posted by koeselitz at 11:24 AM on April 19, 2005


The name Benedict has a bad history...

What about Dirk Benedict?
posted by RakDaddy at 11:24 AM on April 19, 2005


It's creepy that he may have taken Benedict to fufill the prophecy.
posted by drezdn at 11:24 AM on April 19, 2005


koeselitz writes "Liberation Theology isn't a failure because it promises to feed the poor; it's a failure because it dismisses the soul, and then promises to do something it can't achieve."


I know, personally, a few Brazilian priests, bishops and cardinals who followed the Liberation Theology for a long time. Some still do. To say that these good men "dismissed the soul" as you do (without knowing any of them or their work, I presume) amounts to an enormous lie.
posted by nkyad at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2005


OK, where to begin.

the name -- St Benedict is the patron protector of Europe (decision taken by Pope Paul VI in 1964). Ratzinger is on the record as the most vocal proponent of the inclusion of a clause, in the new EU Constitution, mentioning Europe's "Christian roots". the clause has been voted down. that's Ratzinger's way to remind people that, yes, Europe is Christian (and he has also mentioned that marriage between Europeans is the only way to keep Europe Christian)

the theology -- it's interesting to read Professor Ratzinger in his own words:
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

DECLARATION
"DOMINUS IESUS"
ON THE UNICITY AND SALVIFIC UNIVERSALITY
OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

That's your new Pope's theology, in his own words
________

it seems appropriate to remind our Marx-haters here that pre-packaged, ill-informed banalities about Liberation Theology could be avoided simply by reading a bit of Gustavo Gutierrez. it kinda helps in order to avoid making an ass out of oneself when lecturing others about Liberation Theology.

in closing, it seems appropriate to celebrate this day with a mention of Scripture, James 5:
1
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
2
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
3
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.
4
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.
5
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
6
You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
posted by matteo at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2005


jonmc, I liked Metallica in college --

*knocks fists with Cassford*

Sweet. So the obvious solution is to elect James Hetfeild pope. And excommunicate Lars.
posted by jonmc at 11:26 AM on April 19, 2005


Nice try, Koeselitz. I guess when Christ was washing those feet, it's because the way to the soul is through a man's soles, hm? Please don't try to teach me what Christ taught. it's kind down on paper already, despite the Church's repeated applications of white-out. And yes, I know the New Testament was written well after Christ died, by people who didn't know him, that the Church itself was founded by Greeks trying to get it slipped into heirarchy-happy, authoritarian Roman Empire, and, and that the Bible was compiled by Constantine's oh-so-Christlike priests in order to cement the Empire's temporal authority. But when you go to the words attributed to him, they're pretty damned good. And they're all about helping people who are suffering. I you don't pick that up, you're blind.

As for LT dying, it died because the Pope and folks like Ratzinger killed it. Would it have been successful? I have no idea. No one does, since it was aborted. I do know it couldn't have led to any less-Christ-like behavior than that which the last Pope and this new one have been pushing for decades now.

Oh, and I was responding the comment that LT was a dead-end getting beat out by Evangelicalism in the place where it was instituted, if you'd bother to read the relevant posts.

Cassford, beautiful catch on the relativity thing.
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:27 AM on April 19, 2005


...a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.

Oh, man. You just know that has to be some kickass wine. It's probably excellent with the lamb that the Lord is always shepherding around.
posted by stonerose at 11:28 AM on April 19, 2005


...a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.

glory glory hallelujah....

thanks a lot..
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on April 19, 2005


Why let Ratzinger's enemies define the man — his own fan club (wayback: actual site currently down) is plenty damning through its carryings-on.
posted by Zurishaddai at 11:30 AM on April 19, 2005


yeah, but does he, you know?
posted by jewishbuddha at 11:31 AM on April 19, 2005


drezdn: it's certainly weird.
posted by moonbird at 11:35 AM on April 19, 2005


I wouldn't count on this being a short-lived papacy. IANAA, but the best life expectancy tables I could find would suggest that, on average, a white male of his age could expect to live another ten to eleven years. That could, of course, mean that he dies tomorrow. On the other hand, he could hang on for twenty years terrorizing liberals. More importantly, he'll be naming the cardinals who'll name his successor, and so the next guy will likely look like him, the way he looks a lot like JP2.
posted by anapestic at 11:35 AM on April 19, 2005


Slothrup, I'm not talking about his view of his own Nazi past. My point was about those here on Mefi (and elsewhere) who say "everyone was a Nazi at that time" and so on. I'm assuming Ratzo would disagree with their moral relativism, unless he is a hypocrit.

I believe in judging people based on their actions -- not on the membership cards in their wallet. Of course, I have a very personal perspective. My grandfather was a member of the Nazi party. My father was in the Hitler Youth. My father-in-law was a member of the Communist Party. My wife was a "Young Pioneer". But these identifications don't tell you *anything* about who these people are or what they've done.


Excellent quote, Matteo. I wish more Christians followed the teachings in the New Testament.
posted by Slothrup at 11:35 AM on April 19, 2005


...a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.

Oh, man. You just know that has to be some kickass wine. It's probably excellent with the lamb that the Lord is always shepherding around.


Okay. So I'll take an order of freedom eggs, extra back bacon, and my friend here will have the roast lamb of God, blood rare, in the balsamic and red-wine-from-Pope-Benedict's-holy-vineyard reduction. Now someone throw Master of Puppets on the stereo, and we've got ourselves a papal inaugural party!

*makes two-fingered devil-horns gesture again*
posted by gompa at 11:36 AM on April 19, 2005


I believe in judging people based on their actions -- not on the membership cards in their wallet. Of course, I have a very personal perspective. My grandfather was a member of the Nazi party. My father was in the Hitler Youth. My father-in-law was a member of the Communist Party. My wife was a "Young Pioneer". But these identifications don't tell you *anything* about who these people are or what they've done.


Excellent quote, Matteo. I wish more Christians followed the teachings in the New Testament.
posted by Slothrup at 2:35 PM EST on April 19 [!]


Wouldn't joining the Hitler Youth, the Communist Party, or the Nazi Party be considered actions?
posted by trey at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2005


Now someone throw Master of Puppets on the stereo, and we've got ourselves a papal inaugural party!

Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet
Make a contribution
and you'll get a better seat
Bow to Leper Messiah

posted by jonmc at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2005


Papa Ratzy
posted by vbfg at 11:41 AM on April 19, 2005


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.


I'm gonna be staggering around the rest of the day to that.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:42 AM on April 19, 2005


trey writes " Wouldn't joining the Hitler Youth, the Communist Party, or the Nazi Party be considered actions?"


But are they voluntary? People who keep saying Hitler Youth membership was optional and pointing to one or two obscure instances of German boys going against the Nazist rule (and mostly dying in the process) do not have the faintest idea of what a police state really is and how it works. It also goes for being a member of the Communist Party in Stalin years. It is all optional - the option is death in the format you choose.
posted by nkyad at 11:45 AM on April 19, 2005


How old is he in Pope years?
posted by petebest at 11:46 AM on April 19, 2005


You'd probably be a better example for those billion if you could say, "I sinned and was forgiven" than if you pretended your shit never stunk.

Well, has he ever said that? What has he said regarding his goosestepping youth? We know the Church doesn't have a good record during those years--and JP2 started making amends for that. Will this guy continue that? Does he regret things he did in his youth?

(and since only the good die young, this Pope will hang on for quite a while i bet)
posted by amberglow at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2005


nkyad: "I know, personally, a few Brazilian priests, bishops and cardinals who followed the Liberation Theology for a long time. Some still do. To say that these good men "dismissed the soul" as you do (without knowing any of them or their work, I presume) amounts to an enormous lie."

matteo: "it seems appropriate to remind our Marx-haters here that pre-packaged, ill-informed banalities about Liberation Theology could be avoided simply by reading a bit of Gustavo Gutierrez."


Look, here's the thing: I've read Mr. Gutierrez, and spent some time quite enamored of his movement during my youth. But, as I said above, I really believe that it has to do with a fundamental misunderstanding of the place of the church. I want to be clear that I can respect priests and bishops who adhere to it; this doesn't prevent me from thinking that it's one of the most damaging trends in Christianity today.

Since the reformation, the most pressing problem that the Roman church has faced is this: it has, for better or for worse, come to see itself largely as a political body. Many see its mission as a worldly one. This creates a cynicism that keeps people fed, that gives them bread, but destroys their souls. It's been a problem facing the catholic church for at least a thousand years.

Not only are Liberation Theologians misled in taking the mission of the church to be political; they manage to convince themselves that Marx's project is aligned with their own. But, as those in Latin America saw to some degree, and as they would have seen even more if their projects had been even remotely successful: communist states immediately turn on and betray the church. There is no point in 'making political friends' like this, even with the hope of feeding people; it only ends up in more people dying.

This would be solved by a careful reading of Marx, who is no socialist, and who prescribes a great deal of bloodshed before his utopia is unveiled. I'm all for enforced sharing, if that's what socialism is; but the church cannot be the body to do it. It's against its charter and mission.

on preview:

the_savage_mind: "Nice try, Koeselitz. I guess when Christ was washing those feet, it's because the way to the soul is through a man's soles, hm? Please don't try to teach me what Christ taught. it's kind down on paper already, despite the Church's repeated applications of white-out. And yes, I know the New Testament was written well after Christ died, by people who didn't know him, that the Church itself was founded by Greeks trying to get it slipped into heirarchy-happy, authoritarian Roman Empire, and, and that the Bible was compiled by Constantine's oh-so-Christlike priests in order to cement the Empire's temporal authority. But when you go to the words attributed to him, they're pretty damned good. And they're all about helping people who are suffering. I you don't pick that up, you're blind."


Erm, wow. I'm sorry if I offended; I'm only interested in getting things right here. I happen to believe in the Bible pretty strongly, enough to devote a good portion of my life to reading and defending it.

But the suffering of the soul is more important than the suffering of the body. Care for the poor is necessary; it's callous to overlook the hungry; but it's even more callous to be an activist, take political sides, and therefore overlook the hungry in spirit. It's better to live a life of poverty and suffering down here below than to suffer in hell for eternity.

Many of Christ's disciples hoped for him to become a worldly leader, defeat the Romans, and usher in an era of material prosperity where the hungry were fed. He did not do so, and he therein dashed the hopes of all who wished most of all for an alleviation of physical suffering. This is because he knew that physical suffering is not the worst kind of suffering, and that the water he could offer could quench a thirst deeper than any bodily water could.
posted by koeselitz at 12:00 PM on April 19, 2005


Random thoughts:

What ever happened to Fr. Guido Sarducci? Can Pope Benedict XVI be found in the pizza?

More seriously - he claims never to have fired the anti-aircraft gun because of a severely infected finger. Are we supposed to believe that this was a right-handed or left-handed gun?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:01 PM on April 19, 2005


Wouldn't joining the Hitler Youth, the Communist Party, or the Nazi Party be considered actions?

My grandfather was a civil servant, and was pressured to join at risk of his job.My father-in-law joined the Communist party because it was impossible to manage a business without joining.

So, yes, you could consider these to be voluntary actions. The "career" motive certainly isn't admirable, but it's not the kind of decision that deserves vilification either. I was never able to discuss this with my grandfather, who was the equivalent of a county roads commissioner. My father-in-law makes no apologies for what he did, and basically feels like he put one over on "them".

As has previously been mentioned, Hitler Youth membership became mandatory in 1941. But even before then, the social pressure to join was immense.

I'm curious about why you didn't mention the Young Pioneers. This group had exactly the same relationship to the Communist Party that the Hitler Youth had to the Nazi Party. Only, y'know, without something like the "H Word" in its name.
posted by Slothrup at 12:02 PM on April 19, 2005


I think you don't understand Christianity. We are all sinners, don'cha know? Even the saints. If a spotless moral slate were a prerequisite for Popedom, the position would never be filled.

That's for sure
posted by telstar at 12:04 PM on April 19, 2005


I am not a fan.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:04 PM on April 19, 2005


It bothers me that people keep going on about Ratzinger being a member of the Hitlerjugend. He was fourteen. He was living in a police state. At fourteen, had I been in his position, join the Hitler Youth or go to prison, I would have chosen the same thing.

That being said, it does bother me to have a Pope whose name is this closely linked to Hitler. My wife's grandmother had to flee Germany in 1938. I'd have preferred one of the other ones.

Also, I'm an atheist and I shouldn't give a flying hoot but I still got all excited when the local Catholic church started ringing its bells. By the way, local church in far away Iceland roundly beat the Internet by a good ten minutes.
posted by Kattullus at 12:06 PM on April 19, 2005


"After a fat pope, a skinny pope."

Then a pope who climbs on rocks.


You win.
posted by LeeJay at 12:11 PM on April 19, 2005


I didn't intentionally leave the Young Pioneers off the list. I also concede your point about voluntary actions.
posted by trey at 12:12 PM on April 19, 2005


I am not a fan

Of Ratzinger, or Metallica?
posted by the_bone at 12:13 PM on April 19, 2005




It's better to live a life of poverty and suffering down here below than to suffer in hell for eternity.

That's probably not much consolation to starving non-Christians.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:14 PM on April 19, 2005


he has also mentioned that marriage between Europeans is the only way to keep Europe Christian

Really? That's appalling.
posted by sudama at 12:15 PM on April 19, 2005


For purely selfish personal reasons, I was for Cardinal Lustiger (he did my first communion and confirmation) but I knew that he was the longest of shots.

However, I am disappointed by the choice of the college of cardinals. For starters, it was the political choice. A friend of mine who covers the Vatican as a journalist told me several months ago that it would be Ratzinger. Not knowing much about him at the time, I googled him (what else would a geek do :) ) and discovered that he is, basically, a radical right-winger who does not believe in dissent of any kind.

As I've become older, I feel like my views have been less and less in line with the catholic church. I was kind of hoping for a more liberal pope to make it, not necessarily a radical but more of a rationalist that would say things like "condoms are good as a mean to fight AIDS but remember that sex is a sin." Not necessarily someone as liberal as I am but someone who would see the world in a more "progressive" way than the current church. I guess with Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in charge, you won't see me doing much tithing.
posted by TNLNYC at 12:17 PM on April 19, 2005


koeselitz, I shouldn't have taken that tone that I did. Please accept my apology.

Among the people I respect most in the world are the Jesuits who taught me in highschool. The guys who stayed in the bad part of town when integration hit and when brethren moved to the suburbs to make a highschool with an 18 hole golf course. To me, they embody men of Christ, because they saw their mission first and foremost to alleviate spiritual and physical suffering here in this world, and they have paid quite a bit from the reactionary (IMO) actions of the last pope.

Making the Opus Dei the Church's new teachers of youth? I find that horrifying. It's only one of many things that horrifies me about the Church. There is a debate to be had about the emphasis of Christ's teachings. You are likely not a fan of the 'revisionist' bent being given by people who are proponents o the Gospel of Thomas or the 'Gospel' of Mary, among others. And I can understand that. But to me personally, the worth of Christ's teachings, the main point exactly, is not salvation in the after life. I believe that it is to live the life that was just and loving.

I honestly believe that was something the Church instituted in order to shift focus. Aside from how the Church started in Rome and how it developed in Constantinople, the Middle Ages, where it achieved cultural superiority in Europe, were a time when it became a vehicle of the third sons of noblemen to make it into a status-quo defending institution. That legacy lives on, and I saw LT as a way to redress that horrible crime.

I do not believe in Christ's divinity. In fact, I believe that claiming he is the Son of God in a way that the rest of us aren't makes him worthless as a model. How can you hope to live up to his example? You cannot. I believe that if he existed, he was a man who taught the finest lessons, lessons that if we all followed, would create Heaven on earth. I honestly don't mean to offend you, but to me the rest of it is manipulative bull.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:18 PM on April 19, 2005


Pope Benedicts in History:

Pope Benedict I: b. unknown - d. 30 July, 579
"Of the first Pontiff who bore the name of Benedict practically nothing is known. He reigned four years, one month, and twenty-eight days. Famine followed the devastating Lombards, and from the few words the Liber Pontificalis has about Benedict, we gather that he died in the midst of his efforts to cope with these difficulties."

Pope Benedict I: b. unknown - d. 8th May, 685
"A member of the Savelli family, he became pope on June 26, 684. His pontificate lasted about ten months. During his pontificate, which lasted about ten months, he enjoyed the highest esteem of Emperor [Byzantine] Constantine IV. The emperor, contrary to the practice established by his predecessor Justinian, renounced the right to confirm papal nominations, giving the power directly to the Church and the people of Rome. "

Pope Benedict III: b. unknown - d. 17 April, 858
Elected pope in 855, he suffered through turmoil, betrayal, insults and imprisonment between his election and his concecration. This strugle helped to make more concrete the need for a strict division between church and state. It is sometimes believed that the infamous Pope Joan served before Pope Benedict, but coins minted during his reign prove othewise.

Pope Benedict IV: b. unknown - d. Summer 903
"The Popes Benedict from the fourth to the ninth inclusive belong to the darkest period of papal history. His high birth, his generosity, his zeal for the public good are loudly commended by the contemporary historian Frodoard, who gives him the title of "Great". The principal historic act of his reign was his crowning Louis the Blind as emperor."

Pope Benedict V: b. unknown - d. 4 July, 965
"Benedict V was elected pope (May, 964) in very critical circumstances. Emperor, Otho I, had forcibly deposed John XII, and had replaced him by a nominee of his own who took the title of Leo VIII. At the first opportunity the Romans expelled Leo, and on the death (14 May, 964) of the lawful pope, John XII, elected the Cardinal-Deacon Benedict. Otho was furious, marched on Rome, seized Benedict, and put an end to his pontificate (23 June, 964). After reinstating Leo, Otho left Rome and carried Benedict with him to Germany."

Pope Benedict VI: b. unknown - d. August, 974
"Nothing is known of his deeds, except that he confirmed the privileges of some churches and monasteries. The most striking event of his pontificate is the tragic close. He was seized and thrown into the Castle of Sant' Angelo by a faction of the nobility headed by Crescentius and the Deacon Boniface VII. There, after a confinement of less than two months, he was strangled by their orders, to prevent his release by Sicco, an imperial envoy, sent to Rome by Otho II."

Pope Benedict VII: b. unknown - d. October, 983
"In response to a request of the people of Carthage "to help the wretched province of Africa", he consecrated the priest James, who had been sent to him for the purpose. Though he did not die till about October, 983, our knowledge of his undertakings is not in proportion to the length of his pontificate."

Pope Benedict VIII: b. unknown - d. 9 April, 1024
"He first of the Tusculan popes, he was, though a layman, imposed on the chair of Peter by force (18 May, 1012). Nevertheless, dislodging a rival, he became a good and strong ruler. The peace of Italy was promoted by his subjugating the Crescentii, defeating the Saracens, and allying himself with the Normans, who appeared in its southern parts in his time. To restrain the vices of clerical incontinence and simony, he held, with the emperor, an important synod at Pavia, and supported the reformation which was being effected by the great monastery of Cluny. To further the interest of peace, he encouraged the "Truce of God""

Pope Benedict IX: b. unknown - d. late 1055
"The nephew of his two immediate predecessors, Benedict IX was a man of very different character to either of them. He was a disgrace to the Chair of Peter. Regarding it as a sort of heirloom, his father Alberic placed him upon it when a mere youth, not, however, apparently of only twelve years of age. During a riot in 1045 he was replaced with Pope Sylvester III - but this didn't last long and forces still loyal to Benedict returned the following year and restored him to the papal throne. Soon after that Benedict seems to have tired of the office and sold it to his godfather, who took the name Gregory VI."

Pope Benedict X: b. unknown - d. either 1073 or 1080
"The bearer of this name was an antipope in the days of Nicholas II, 1056-61" "He was elected in 1058, his election having been arranged by the Count of Tusculum. However, a number of Cardinals alleged that the election was irregular, and that votes had been bought; these cardinals were forced to flee Rome."

Pope Benedict XI: b. 1240 - d. 7 July, 1304
"succeeded the famous Boniface VIII. The principal event of his pontificate was the restoration of peace with the French court. Immediately after his election Philip sent three ambassadors to the pope bearing the royal letter of congratulation. The king, while professing his obedience and devotion, recommended to the benevolence of the pope the Kingdom and Church of France. Benedict, judging a policy of indulgence to be necessary for the restoration of peace with the French court, absolved Philip and his subjects from the censures they had incurred and restored the king and kingdom to the rights and privileges of which they had been deprived by Boniface.After a brief pontificate of eight months, Benedict died suddenly at Perugia. It was suspected, not altogether without reason, that his sudden death was caused by poisoning."

Pope Benedict XII: b. 1280's - d. 24 April, 1342
Born Jacques Fournier, he is the third of the 'Avignon popes'. Before he became a Cardinal, he pursued a rigorous witch hunt for heretics, which won him plaudits from the Vatican but alienated him from the local population. As Pope, he sought to free the papacy from French influence and to restore the See to Rome, curbed nepotism, granted benefices with discrimination, condemned "pluralities," and strengthened the Faith in outlying districts.

Pope Benedict XIII: b. 2 February, 1649 - d. 23 February, 1730
"At first, he called himself Benedict XIV (due to the superstition alleging that the number thirteen brings bad luck), but afterwards altered the title. He was a reforming pope and endeavoured to put a stop to the decadent lifestyles of the Italian priesthood and of the cardinalate. A disciplinarian, instituting numerous reforms, and requiring absolute opposition to Jansenism. In diplomatic matters and in his relations with foreign powers Benedict did not exhibit the vigour and conservatism which marked his administration in religious matters. "

Pope Benedict XIV: b. 2 February, 1649 - d. 23 February, 1730
"His pontificate coincided with a period Europeans were turning against the Church, and the prestige of the Holy See was in decline. Ruled that the baptism of the children of Jews or pagans without the consent of their parents was valid but illicit, as it would be dangerous to baptize children who might lose their faith when they reached the age of reason; when a Jewish or pagan child was baptised without parental consent, the children should be taken away from their parents to be raised in a devout religious manner. Involuntary adult baptism was declared invalid. Forcible baptism of Jews was forbidden. Declared that it was sinful to make a profit from lending money. Condemned Freemasonry and the works of Voltaire. Investigated whether the Jesuits were moving beyond Papal control."
"Great as a man, a scholar, an administrator, and a priest, Benedict's claim to immortality rests principally on his admirable ecclesiastical writings."

Pope Benedict XV: b. 21 November 1854 - d. 22 January 1922
"He was elected directly after the outbreak of the World War, and maintained a position of neutrality throughout. He sent a representative to each country to work for peace, and in 1917 delivered the Plea for Peace, which demanded a cessation of hostilities, a reduction of armaments, a guaranteed freedom of the seas, and international arbitration. President Wilson was the only ruler who answered him, declaring peace impossible, though he afterwards adopted most of Benedict's proposals for establishing peace. At the close of the war France and Spain resumed diplomatic relations with the Vatican, and Great Britain retained permanently the embassy she had established during the war. Benedict promulgated the new Code of Canon Law, established the Coptic College at Rome, enlarged the foreign mission field, and in his first Encyclical condemned errors in modern philosophical systems. He denounced the violation of Belgium and gave freely to the victims of the war, widows, orphans, and wounded, and established a bureau of communication for prisoners of war with their relatives. "
"Although one of the less remembered of the Popes of the twentieth century, he deserves commendation for his humane approach in the world of 1914-18, which starkly contrasts with that of the other great monarchs and leaders of the time."
posted by anastasiav at 12:21 PM on April 19, 2005


So... anybody able to connect "olive's glory" to this pope?

He's old, too, so he probably won't be pope for very long which'd go with the 'prophecy' or whatever it's called.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:22 PM on April 19, 2005


It's not too often that you see a political body vote itself into practical oblivion. Mark April 19 2005 as the date the Vatican did just that.
posted by clevershark at 12:23 PM on April 19, 2005


Don Novello's last act was to enter the recall race in California.

As for this Gerry pope? Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

(Talking to MattD or Koeslitz about Liberation theology is like teaching French to a pig. Wastes your time and annoys the pig. Koesy's forgetting that faith without works is dead.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:29 PM on April 19, 2005


I happen to believe in the Bible pretty strongly, enough to devote a good portion of my life to reading and defending it.

Ah, well there's your problem. I suggest in the future taking deep breaths until the feeling passes.
posted by boaz at 12:33 PM on April 19, 2005


That was spectacular, vbfg.
posted by breezeway at 12:34 PM on April 19, 2005


amberglow: indeed BXVI seems like a troubling figure, but I see his rather integralistic (therefore rigid) stances as an opportunity
to further advance discussion on constantly hot topics like sexuality,abortion, poverty and ideologies. He'll probably draw a lot of fire, but whatever happens he shouldn't be martirized.

JPII understood well that the youngesters are the future of Church ; actually youngsters are the future of any culture and are
also by nature the most gullible and the least resistent to indoctrination. It seems quite obvious to me that a rational
Head of State (Vatican) and the Pastor of a religion (Pope) should choose wisely were to invest time and resources in order
to assure a future to their faith ; even companies do that, either by short term means of advertisement or by long term means
of market-idolatry-propaganda.

Take for instance our Matteo : his posting of links to Vatican documents (which suggest the idea that one should document self before speaking and also reinforces the habit of having easy access to SOURCES not to goddammed interpretations alone) and his selective quoting of

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.


makes him some Ratzinger would probably like to burn on a cross or at least to use as
an example of derailing intellectualism (or some other evil "ism" like the Warrior would vomit on listeners)

Ratzinger (or whoever) wouldn't care a second about burning the Pope-on-a-Rope jokers and other desecrating figures..they're only a minor annoyance and sometime an instrument of propaganda. Rather he'd send the people who show people incoherence, extremist and ultimately, hypocrisy and other shortcomings in Church and doctrine teachings STRAIGHT to the Creator in a very christian leaded way.

He's a man of curious ideas Let's read some Ratzinger shell we...(oppps, Holy Pope pardon me for first name but you're still a cardinal to me)

The question then is not whether the existing Churches are all Churches in the same way, which is obviously not the case, but in what does the Church consist or not consist. In this sense, we offend no one by saying that the actual Evangelical structures are not the Church in the sense in which the Catholic Church intends to be so.

Deceptively simple, imho. He points attention to the literal definition of Church asking "what is Church ? What is not Church" ? Then one line after he basically says who cares about that, if Church X doesn't fit in the Catholic Church definition of "Church" it's simply not a Church. Eheheheh ..quite obviously no Church is a Church for Catholic Church except the ones they like to be considered as Church.

This way the word Church becomes devoiding of any absolute meaning and becomes relative to the meaning any Church wants to give to the word. WHOA !!! Quite a strech for one guy who doesn't like relativism :-)))
posted by elpapacito at 12:34 PM on April 19, 2005


Thank God they announced it today and not tomorrow.
posted by Ljubljana at 12:35 PM on April 19, 2005


Koesy's forgetting that faith without works is dead.

Well, Protestants see things differently (they don't believe in works, period). Things might be a little different with Anglicans, but then they are also known as "Anglo-Catholics".
posted by clevershark at 12:35 PM on April 19, 2005


Damn, man. XVI is VIII times harder to spell than II.

Then again, it could stand for 'extra-virgin illustriousness' (='olive's glory'?)
posted by Soulfather at 12:36 PM on April 19, 2005


he has also mentioned that marriage between Europeans is the only way to keep Europe Christian

Really? That's appalling.


Ratzinger:
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.
see also:

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".
posted by matteo at 12:37 PM on April 19, 2005


Huh, thought just occurred to me... you think with Pope Hitler's penchant for turning back the clock we might see the return of Papal Infallibility? I wouldn't put it past him to make some kind of sleazy, back-door attempt.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:38 PM on April 19, 2005


There is a difference between compulsory and mandatory and having no choice. At least, as a Catholic, that's what I've always been taught. He could have stood against it. Maybe he would have been killed, but others in the Catholic church did do what's right in 30's and 40's Germany.
You always have a choice not to join in evil. "I never fired a gun because my finger was infected" is not a good or believable excuse even by "Sorrow and Pity" standards.
The church elected someone with an association with the greatest crime in history. He does not deserve the full measure of that stigma, but he deserves some. My church has disgraced itself today.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:40 PM on April 19, 2005


I see his rather integralistic (therefore rigid) stances as an opportunity to further advance discussion on constantly hot topics like sexuality,abortion, poverty and ideologies.

Ratzinger's already rejected the idea of any "debate" on 3 of these subjects, so I'm not sure where your optimism is coming from.
posted by clevershark at 12:42 PM on April 19, 2005


Clevershark: Yeah, but Catholics don't care what Proddys think about works.
posted by klangklangston at 12:43 PM on April 19, 2005


savage: Papal infallibility was never a doctrine that popes are infallible, only that popes can make proclamations regarding church matters that can not be overwritten by the cardinals. There have been only several such proclamations made, all have been in defining what it means to be a Catholic. So there can be no "return to papal infallibility." The choice to declare a doctrine infallible has been there continuously since the 1870s.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:45 PM on April 19, 2005


The infallibility doctrine is merely a political affirmation that the Vatican is a dictatorship -- that's why Popes are only infallible when speaking "in cathedra", which is to say, on matters of faith and doctrine. Basically the "infallibility" idea just reflects the concept that whatever the Pope says, goes, and that no one can override him while he holds the post.

When the Pope speaks "ex cathedra" he is just a human being.
posted by clevershark at 12:47 PM on April 19, 2005


Well, Protestants see things differently (they don't believe in works, period)

Not true. Catholics believe that faith proceeds from works, Protestants believe that works proceed from faith.
posted by unreason at 12:54 PM on April 19, 2005


I always thought that being President of the US would be really really hard - your every move criticized, watched, pounced on (rightfully so, but still). It never occurred to me that Pope would be even worse. What do you do when you get elected Pope? Celebrate your "win"? Knock back a drink? To smile and seem happy seems odd. To not, well, how can you not? You've just become a very very powerful person. weird dynamic.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:55 PM on April 19, 2005


What has he said regarding his goosestepping youth? [snip] Does he regret things he did in his youth?

Who knows? But I'm pretty sure the order in which he feels compelled to explain it is: God --> Catholics --> maybe-heathens-if-there's-some-time-and-"Lost"-is-a-rerun-again, so I wouldn't hold your breath. Especially since the forgiveness of the Big G-man trumps everything else.

He was living in a police state. At fourteen, had I been in his position, join the Hitler Youth or go to prison, I would have chosen the same thing.

Everyone likes to think that when real tyranny rears it's black, icor-dripping head that they'll bravely stand in the face of it. Stick to their convictions no matter what. Tote that ring to Mount Doom. But most people don't. History has show that over and over and the Bad People sure as hell know it. Those who go with the flow should always feel shamed when they think of those who made far greater, and often anonymous sacrifices, but until you have to make a decision with a gun to your head, you might want be careful in doling out too big a portion of lifelong blame.
posted by Cyrano at 12:56 PM on April 19, 2005


Not true. Catholics believe that faith proceeds from works, Protestants believe that works proceed from faith.

You oversimplify what is already a wrong idea. Catholics believe that the path of salvation is faith with works -- faith without works is impotent.

Protestants believe in faith alone. Faith may lead one to produce works but the works themselves are not a factor in redemption; "accepting Jesus Christ as one's saviour" is the one key.
posted by clevershark at 12:57 PM on April 19, 2005


Protestants believe in faith alone. Faith may lead one to produce works but the works themselves are not a factor in redemption; "accepting Jesus Christ as one's saviour" is the one key.

True, but your explanation is also overly simple. It essentially makes it sound like Protestants do not think that good works are important. This is not true, and a quick survey of the number of charities and food kitchens run by Protestant churches will show that it's not true. Protestantism merely states that works alone cannot provide salvation.
posted by unreason at 1:01 PM on April 19, 2005


dances_with_sneetches, I'm confused now. I have been taught that it was a doctrine defined dogmatically by the First Vatican Council that declares (dogmatically;) that when a pope defines a matter of faith and morals ex cathedra (and yes, I'm dipping into wikipedia now to refresh my memory on the terminology), he's always correct and there's no possibility of error.

Not simply that he can't be overwritten on them, but that he is literally infallible when proclaiming them.

I do seem to be mistaken in my thought that somewhere along the line (was thinking Second Vatican Council actually) this was softened or let go.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:02 PM on April 19, 2005


...quite obviously no Church is a Church for Catholic Church except the ones they like to be considered as Church.

This way the word Church becomes devoiding of any absolute meaning and becomes relative to the meaning any Church wants to give to the word. ...

This is such a great mistake (but also really common in the world lately, no?)--fundamentalism and defining (us v. them, good v. evil, acceptable church/religion v. unacceptable church/religion)
posted by amberglow at 1:02 PM on April 19, 2005


Not simply that he can't be overwritten on them, but that he is literally infallible when proclaiming them.

That's because he is the Dictator of the Church, literally. Because whatever he says can't be overriden while he holds the position of Pope, and that whatever he says in matters of doctrine always overrides what other Popes before him have said, he is de facto infallible.
posted by clevershark at 1:05 PM on April 19, 2005


I apologize in advance for this, but I think the cardinal college have just elected Emporer Palpatine to the papacy. "Humble worker" my ass ... this guy's a hardline fundamentalist. This should be some interesting times.
posted by SpecialK at 1:05 PM on April 19, 2005


"Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brothers. Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, 'Thou shalt not kill'. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination. ...In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cry rises to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: stop the repression"
-
Archbishop Romero

(and then the next day they killed him)
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:09 PM on April 19, 2005


Personally, i thought he should be named Padre Pederaste II...

I think that his more recent action/writings/etc. are more damning than his HY past...

Fuck him...and his fundementalist peers
posted by schyler523 at 1:09 PM on April 19, 2005


have just elected Emporer Palpatine to the papacy.

Heh. For a minute I had a mental picture of Ratzinger in the Episode 3 trailer

Are you threatening me, master Jedi?
posted by unreason at 1:11 PM on April 19, 2005


Personally, i thought he should be named Padre Pederaste II...

Come on now, it's not like Bernard Cardinal Law was elected Pope!
posted by clevershark at 1:11 PM on April 19, 2005


Slothrup and Katullus are right about the (in)siginificance of Ratzinger's youth. Not to mention that people can and do change after misspent youths.

There are enough things to dislike about this man, in terms of his actions as a leader, without this kind of beatup.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:12 PM on April 19, 2005


clevershark:
Ratzinger's already rejected the idea of any "debate" on 3 of these subjects, so I'm not sure where your optimism is coming from.

Indeed it takes two to debate (and a moderator sometimes is handy) but I can certainly debate with an empty chair, making all my points ..claiming that the other part was invited , but refused to take part to the debate...and with Ratzinger it would be true.

Some could find that expedient a lame one, but isn't it lame to refuse debating and stomping feets because one believes to be absolutely right therefore any debate would be useless? Believing to be Holy doesn't make anybody Holy to others and if one chooses not to defend his stances it could be because one doesn't see the opposite stances as detrimental or dangerous.

Fine with me...I believe priest should be able to marry and that woman priesthood is fine.
posted by elpapacito at 1:15 PM on April 19, 2005


we must be passing a graveyard. my ears hurt from all the whistling.
posted by quonsar at 1:20 PM on April 19, 2005


It's great that they make up a stage name just like a rapper. And they fabricate a lot of stuff and have big egos, too!
posted by crapulent at 1:24 PM on April 19, 2005


I don't want to hear that "victim of circumstance" excuse for the Hitler Youth involvement. As far as that goes, if I had been a German resident in the 1940s, I'd have been murdered.
Plenty of religious people resisted the Nazis, by the way. Dietrich Bohnhoffer, a Lutheran pastor (I think a movie's been made about him) was an active resister.
Schlenberg, the police commissioner in Berlin, and a number of Army officials continually tried to contact Great Britain for their assistance in deposing Hitler. That's just to name a few people who were more loyal to their consciences than to their nation. Unfortunately, their actions got them murdered.

The cardinals knew this was on his record. If they were desperate for a German pope, the could have waited one more term and selected someone from a generation that wasn't raised in the Nazi environment.
Reassociating the Catholic church with a tradition of anti-semitism makes me nervous. I'm sure that it makes quite a few other people uncomfortable, too.
posted by Jon-o at 1:32 PM on April 19, 2005


I wish the Dead Kennedys would do an updated version of Nazi Punks Fuck Off!
posted by mannythedog at 1:32 PM on April 19, 2005


Come on now, it's not like Bernard Cardinal Law was elected Pope! ... no, but I bet he gets a nice new appointment.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:34 PM on April 19, 2005


clevershark writes " When the Pope speaks 'ex cathedra' he is just a human being."

Actually, it is the other way around. "Ex-cathedra" means "from the chair". When the Pope speaks "ex-cathedra" , from the chair, meaning from the Throne of Peter, his statements are infallible. I don't know what "in cathedra" means.
posted by nkyad at 1:34 PM on April 19, 2005


clevershark...It was more of a shout-out to the original Padre Pederastia from The Illuminatus Trilogy than a serious "hey look at teh child-fucking pope!"
posted by schyler523 at 1:39 PM on April 19, 2005


the_emp.jpg
posted by moonbird at 1:39 PM on April 19, 2005


Oops... I guess my Latin isn't up to scratch :( I stand corrected.
posted by clevershark at 1:40 PM on April 19, 2005


I guess he confused with "Deus ex machina" :D and even so Deus ex machina doesn't mean God drives a Ferrari or that the Pope is perfect ; he certainly has got an hell of a suit anyway !

On preview: moonbird nice one..is that before or after the cure ?
posted by elpapacito at 1:43 PM on April 19, 2005


PLEASE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and to do me a personal favor I can't tolerate "I stand corrected" what the fuck if you don't stand corrected what do you do, lay down erroneously ?
posted by elpapacito at 1:46 PM on April 19, 2005


Fine with me...I believe priest should be able to marry
again, even.
posted by petebest at 1:50 PM on April 19, 2005


i sit shamefacedly when corrected...and if i was the pope i would sit shamefacedly in my Douche ex Machina
posted by schyler523 at 1:50 PM on April 19, 2005


I bet [Law] gets a nice new appointment.

The ultimate joke is, that he's in charge of priestly discipline (among other things). I couldn't make that shit up if I tried. He literally aided and abetted in the rape of little children by the priests in his archdiocese, and was sheltered from the law AND rewarded for his acts by JP2, and further rewarded by Ratzinger, who made him one of 9 priests to celebrate one of the 9 official Vatican masses in the period of mourning after the JP2's passing.

I wonder how Benedict XVI can justify this, and then turn around and give a homily preaching that moral relativism is evil.
posted by clevershark at 1:51 PM on April 19, 2005


At least its not the Borgias.

The next big thing will be when the church decides on medjugorje.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:55 PM on April 19, 2005


if I had been a German resident in the 1940s, I'd have been murdered.

But it's so easy to be brave and say that now (unless your life is being threatened for not doing what someone else wants right this minute, or maybe they're threatening your family, and you've gone through some matter of indoctrination since you were six, in which case I apologize.)

No solider knows whether he's a hero or a coward until the first bullet comes at him. Claim you know beforehand and you're just hoping.

He was a member of a losing army run by an utter bastard. That's not a crime. There's plenty of things to dislike about what the man has done as part of the church, and those things are what's really relevant.
posted by Cyrano at 1:57 PM on April 19, 2005


There is a lot of interesting theological discourse going on here, and I find it interesting (tho I am a hell-bound atheist). I applaud the thought and (for the most part) courtesy in the exchanges.

Having said that, I remain happily heathen.

Although Pope Cthulhu has a nice ring to it....
posted by Sharktattoo at 2:01 PM on April 19, 2005


Meanwhile, over at Andrew Sullvan's house:

"Why has thou forsaken me"... again?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:01 PM on April 19, 2005


Interestingly enough, an LJ friend of mine did this animation of Pope Rat a few days ago...


posted by insomnia_lj at 2:07 PM on April 19, 2005


So... anybody able to connect "olive's glory" to this pope?

This e-book [pdf] has some interesting prophecies about the new pontiff and the end of days. It was wrong about the new pope being an African man, but it did get the name right. Found it via this page. Excerpt:

"The first Pope after John Paul II, the one just before Peter the Roman, is described with the phrase, “From the Glory of the Olive.” This has been interpreted to mean that this Pope will be a Benedictine, because a branch of the Benedictines is called “Olivetans.” This Pope will not be a Benedictine. But he will take the name Pope Benedict XVI. And, like Saint Benedict the Black, he will be a black man from Africa. This Pope will reign during the time just before the terrible war between the Arab nations and Europe. He will constantly seek peace, the olive branch, between nations, between religions between Christian groups. But he will not be able to bring peace to the nations because peace is for a later time. The olive branch is a symbol of peace; the glory of the olive is peace. As his reign ends, war begins. This Pope’s reign will end before the time of war in Europe begins. The reign of Pope Benedict XVI will be brief. Shortly before his death, he will suggest making three places in Jerusalem, a Church, a Temple, and a Mosque. But his plan will be superceded by war."
posted by carlitos at 2:13 PM on April 19, 2005


I, for one, welcome our new Holy Overlord.
posted by Dantien at 2:33 PM on April 19, 2005


>> And yes, I know the New Testament was written well after Christ died, by people who didn't know him, that the Church itself was founded by Greeks trying to get it slipped into heirarchy-happy, authoritarian Roman Empire, and, and that the Bible was compiled by Constantine's oh-so-Christlike priests in order to cement the Empire's temporal authority.

Where'd you learn your history? The Da Vinci Code?
posted by brownpau at 2:38 PM on April 19, 2005


He was a member of a losing army run by an utter bastard. That's not a crime.

No, but it ought to disqualify you from being Pope. I understand the POV of everyone whose father/grandfather was a member of some similar organization, but I don't see any of them up for such prominent positions. Is anyone expecting them to lead an entire generation on the path to salvation?

The Pope is supposed to be a spiritual leader and a role model. What's the message he's sending?
posted by mkultra at 2:53 PM on April 19, 2005


I find it vaguely interesting that the last Pope was Polish, and this Pope was a Nazi (setting aside the large argument about his willingness, etc).

Does it mean anything, surely not, but is an interesting relation to point out.

My own, unimportant thought on this fellow and the Nazis. Even if he was somewhat hesitant about the whole experience, he was subjected to the thoughts that surrounded such organizations at a critical developmental point of his life. Think of all the people you know who disagreed with their parents (say) when they where young, but ended up much like those parents when they got older. I AM NOT saying Benedictus is a dyed in the wool Nazi. I am suggesting his experiences may have affected him more then he, or others may admit.
posted by edgeways at 3:03 PM on April 19, 2005


My wife has just come back from choir practice.

Half way through, the parish priest came in and sat down at
the back of the room, looking very despondent. Apparently,
he'll occasionally drop in and listen to them practice whenever
he needs cheering up.

According to her, he *really* looked like he needed cheering
up tonight.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:05 PM on April 19, 2005


... look on the bright side... we haven't had a really good schism in a while!
posted by mkultra at 3:12 PM on April 19, 2005


I agree that without being there and having to make the choice you can't know for certain whether you would risk your life. But if I did give in and become a Nazi Youth, I should not have been allowed to be pope.
It sends a message to people around the world in similar circumstances to go along with the machine that is killing people. There will be other holocausts and similar choices. Having someone who made the better choice would have made for a real leader.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:13 PM on April 19, 2005


If you reason that Ratzinger was John Paul's right-hand man, and that it was the will of John Paul for Ratzinger to succeed him, maybe this will not turn out as bad as many in this post believe. Assuming of course you believe that John Paul was a force for good in the world.
posted by terrier319 at 3:13 PM on April 19, 2005


Maybe it's time for me to change. I'm going to start listening a bit more closely next time the Greek Orthodox Witnesses knock on my door.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:15 PM on April 19, 2005


Just in case you were being sarcastic, you can ignore the rest of this post. If you were being serious...

brownpau, actually no. I learned it in history classes. In public elementary schoo, a Jesuit highschool and then the University of Chicago. And my own reading. There's nothing fruity about what I said. It's the commonly accepted history of the Church. Greeks formed the early church in Rome, and were forced to modify it to a) keep it from being eradicated by a heavily anti-Judean populace and b) sell it to an entrenched heirarchy that wasn't going to have any truck with any temporal revolutionary tract. The Bible as we know it was selected by mortals at Nicea under Constantine. The former Council, on the other side of the Bospohorus, was where the Church declared it's own form of royalty, giving each level the equivalent rank of its counterparts in the temporal nobility. And finally, if you didn't learn in grade school that the third son of every medieval nobleman in Europe was funneled into the Church (thus taking over all the bishoprics), than I pity you your inferior education.

Care to try (and fail miserably) to insult me again?
posted by the_savage_mind at 3:16 PM on April 19, 2005


edgeways, there's something to that--being surrounded by propaganda and indoctrination (demonization and destruction of "the other", and on the other hand, talk of purity and the aryan ideal and the superiority of your genes and being and family and "volk", etc) would have to have a lasting effect.

and what dances_with said (and others). If you go along, you're not a leader.
posted by amberglow at 3:16 PM on April 19, 2005


the_savage, is that the "one to inherit the land, one to fight (knight/crusader/soldier), one for the church" ? (i learned/read that somewhere, but don't remember where)
posted by amberglow at 3:20 PM on April 19, 2005


Plenty of religious people resisted the Nazis, by the way.

That's right -- a relative of mine by marriage was one of them. He died in captivity for refusing to serve in the armed forces. We can, should and do recognize these people as the heroes that they are. Similarly, we can, should and do recognize many Nazis as despicable because of their evil acts. I have a problem, though, with overly vilifying the "silent majority" for not resisting and not because they're not responsible. They are responsible. But they're also human.

Nearly a million people died in Rwanda in the 1990s. What did you do about it? What about the detainees that the US is shipping off for torture in another country? "Not getting involved" is pretty damned easy.

It ought to disqualify you from being Pope.

It most certainly ought not, if the teachings of Christ are to have any meaning.


Ratzinger -- sorry, Benedict -- has enough problems on his own. There's no need to invent new ones.
posted by Slothrup at 3:21 PM on April 19, 2005


mkultra writes " No, but it ought to disqualify you from being Pope."

Laymen (mine or yours, for instance) opinions matter very little in these matters. The election of a Pope is not at all like a modern democratic election. officially, the cardinals lock themselves apart from the world and pray for enlightment. officially again, it is God himself who guide them in choosing their next leader. Political correctness and past mistakes, so important in regular elections, have very little room in this process. Also, absolutely nothing disqualifies anyone from being a Pope - first, as pointed elsewhere, Christianity is about forgiveness. Second, if we go down this road who is without sin?

edgeways writes " I am suggesting his experiences may have affected him more then he, or others may admit."

Hmm. You're suggesting we should get ALL those now elderly Germans who experienced a similar background and send them to Guantanamo or Saint Helen, just in case?

On preview, what Slothrup said.
posted by nkyad at 3:25 PM on April 19, 2005


Cyrano, I would have been murdered not for resisting the Nazis, rather merely for having been born a Jew.

There's got to be some standard. The Pope should not be a person who fell willingly into their position as a cog in a machine of death.

Remember when you were 14? Didn't you have a mind of your own? Weren't there things that you disagreed with?

People make choices based on the circumstances they're faced with. Good or bad, they've got to live with those choices and their future consequences.

I just don't think that someone who spent their formative years being so immersed in Nazi culture that they'd join the Hitler Youth should be a spiritual leader of that magnitude.

I mean, the guy's on record (I'll link it later) denouncing Judaism and Islam as being false religions. How's that good for the word? Also, ask yourself where that thinking comes from...
posted by Jon-o at 3:27 PM on April 19, 2005


dances, I was baptized Greek Orthodox when I was an infant. I'm not practicing, though (hard to be when you don't believe in God). It's got it's own bag of horrible scandals going on right now, the worst of which may be its official ties to the government. There's also the pederasty, rigging trials to get drug dealers off, real estate scandals, and the fact that it owns a third of Greece's land and is conservatively estimated to have at least 100 billion dollars. And yet it claims that it's poor and still needs to have the priests' salaries paid by the government. Yes, their salaries come out of taxes. They whip up irrational, nationalistic fury (sure, that may be redundant), and they have an de facto say in who can become a Greek citizen. There's the latest bit where it turns out the Archbishop of Greece sent a convicted drug felon to Israel to lead a smear campaign against a candidate for the Bishopric there. Guy put up altered photos of the candidate in homosexual positions, among other things. Turns out the drug dealer was not only a member of Greek intelligence, but a Mossad agent as well. Woo, hat trick!

But one thing I will give it... when you talk about the Bible here, people are referring to the New Testament. They don't understand how if there was a new covenant that superceded the old one you could look to the old one and all its contradictions to provide you with your moral laws. When I discovered that I was strangely heartened. I say 'strangely' because I still don't believe in this church one iota. It's a crock that has thousands of years of perverting Christ's teachings behind it with no sign that it's going to change. Like Pope Hitler's church.

That said, in my experience the American Greek Orthodox Church is much, much better. Still, I recommend if you're really looking for a church to believe in, Universalist Unitarian is the best way to go.
posted by the_savage_mind at 3:29 PM on April 19, 2005


*world, not word...
posted by Jon-o at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2005


Old, Eurocentric, fundamentalist, authoritarian and dyspeptic with a troubled history regarding Nazism: who could be a better embodiment of the Catholic church?

Well, I for one, support our glorious Bavarian over-lord! He'll do a better job demonstrating the irrelevance of the Catholic church in today's world than a thousand liberal bloggers.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:34 PM on April 19, 2005


Amberglow, that's exactly right. You probably have a hazy memory because you learned it young. It served two main purposes. First, it conserved the land holdings by not splitting them up. Secondly, and just as importantly, it made sure tha the militaries and the Church always served the needs of the nobles and the feudal system above all else.
posted by the_savage_mind at 3:34 PM on April 19, 2005


Better Pope/Emperor:

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:40 PM on April 19, 2005


Jon-o writes "the guy's on record (I'll link it later) denouncing Judaism and Islam as being false religions"

Don't fool yourself - almost every Christian will agree with this statement. Any one of the three big monotheisms considers the other at best misguided, but certainly wrong.

As for the rest of your comment, I think you are underestimating the zeitgeist at that particular time in that particular place, and being a Jew, you really shouldn't. You are talking about a place where millions of people were being killed just for being Jews or Homosexuals or Gipsies. His "crime" was merely obeying the law (it was mandatory). On the other hand, are you implying that, at the age of 14 he knew everything that was being done and could make the right moral judgement of his country, his government and his society as a whole?

gesamtkunstwerk writes "He'll do a better job demonstrating the irrelevance of the Catholic church in today's world than a thousand liberal bloggers."

I wish you were right. Unfortunately for us who live in Catholic countries his influence will be far more hurting. The "irrelevance" of an 1-billion people strong organization is something to be seen.
posted by nkyad at 3:41 PM on April 19, 2005


The Pope should not be a person who fell willingly into their position as a cog in a machine of death.

It may surprise you to learn that there were jobs in Nazi Germany other than "cog in the machinery of death." If you're going lay an unliftable blanket of blame on any German who wasn't against the Nazis strongly enough to get killed for it, then I think it says more about you than about them.

Remember when you were 14? Didn't you have a mind of your own? Weren't there things that you disagreed with?

When I was 14, I was a "Republican" and a big fan of Ronald Reagan. People change, thank goodness.

I mean, the guy's on record (I'll link it later) denouncing Judaism and Islam as being false religions.

Disappointing but not surprising. I suspect you won't find a lot of Orthodox rabbis or conservative imams lauding Christianity as a "true religion" either.
posted by Slothrup at 3:42 PM on April 19, 2005


ahh, thanks, the_savage (the things we retain in our minds all these years...)

Hmm. You're suggesting we should get ALL those now elderly Germans who experienced a similar background and send them to Guantanamo or Saint Helen, just in case?
Not put them in prison, but not put them in power over millions. It's common sense, especially when there are other qualified people around.

Take Kurt Waldheim for just one major example--that hurt Austria, and they paid for it internationally. Take South African sanctions against Apartheid. There are prices to be paid. (for a current example--we'll be paying the price for Bush's misdeeds for decades--in blood and in money--that's how the world works. It's why rewarding Condi, and Wolfowitz and Bolton and all the others is so galling.)

Call it morality, or the golden rule, or whatever.
posted by amberglow at 3:46 PM on April 19, 2005


To be fair, Ratzinger's father was in the resistance. I know many decent Germans who were in the Hitler youth. Resistance wasn't really an option, particularly for the son of someone who needed to keep a low profile.

Come on people, there are thousands of real reasons to hate this man. Let's not be lazy here.

Nykad, you're right, of course. THis pope will really hurt a lot of people, and will probably make it very difficult for the good Catholics out there.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:46 PM on April 19, 2005


I'd like to send Pope Hitler a copy of that "Banality of Evil" book as a becoming Pope present. Arendt investigated how a totalitarian state could turn seemingly ordinary citizens into criminals. In the course of this investigation, Arendt debunked the image of the demonic Nazi because this image prevented the badly needed analysis of the "total moral collapse" that had occurred in Germany during the war. ... Arendt showed that when combined with a peculiar lack of empathic imagination, obedience could yield terrifying results, and that the modern state provided structures for functionaries to commit evil without considering themselves morally corrupt. ...

Obedience & the Church--hmmm
posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on April 19, 2005


I should clarify. Resisting the Hitler youth was probably futile. It meant leaving school and casting doubt upon your family. Ratzinger's father was doing the right thing.

The good Germans I have know who were in the Hitler youth used that experience to reform their thinking, to become more humble and principled people.

Ratzinger has done the opposite. He's against any form of dissent. He's a very dangerous man leading a dangerous institution.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:55 PM on April 19, 2005


i had hitler/youth teach at my high school, whats the big deal?
posted by clavdivs at 3:58 PM on April 19, 2005


Much obliged, carlitos
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:07 PM on April 19, 2005


Seems like Luther is as relevant as ever
posted by TetrisKid at 4:08 PM on April 19, 2005


Rome's self-inflicted wound (warning: self-link)
posted by clevershark at 4:13 PM on April 19, 2005


clever, it was he who wrote that letter during the election? bastard.

this from Americablog was telling--about how he deals with priests
posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on April 19, 2005


Seems like Luther is as relevant as ever

Minus the rabid anti-semitism, I hope;)

Although upon further thought, I'm not sure ML would have had any real problems with Pope Hitler. After all, the man's not talking about selling indulgences, just, you know, putting Church doctrine back to ML's time and attitude. Hm, then again, maybe indulgences are just around the corner.
posted by the_savage_mind at 4:30 PM on April 19, 2005


civil disobedience: I was thinking like you, but your picture kicks the ass of mine:

The First Sith Pope
The First Sith Pope
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:32 PM on April 19, 2005


Killer post on your site, clevershark. I'm gonna bookmark that to give as a concise breakdown to people when they ask why I hate Pope Hitler so much. Now, time for bed. Night folks. Thanks for the discussion. Thanks to that photo of Joey's, I'm off to dream of sexy, septuagenarian Nazi popes wearing nothing but fishnet stocking under gold and jewel encrusted robes of office. Pity me.
posted by the_savage_mind at 4:44 PM on April 19, 2005


Strict Prelate Becomes Voice Of the Vatican
Traditionalist Ratzinger Seen as a Possible Pope
(WaPo, 11/04) ...Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's strict line on Catholic dogma has earned the chief Vatican guardian of orthodoxy a host of nicknames: the Enforcer, the Fundamentalist and Panzerkardinal, a German neologism that compares the Bavarian-born prelate to a battle tank. ... "Having seen fascism in action, Ratzinger today believes that the best antidote to political totalitarianism is ecclesial totalitarianism. In other words, he believes the Catholic Church serves the cause of human freedom by restricting freedom in its internal life, thereby remaining clear about what it teaches and believes," ....
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on April 19, 2005


Just what we need, a Pope who thinks that fundamentalism can be fought with another form of fundamentalism, and protect freedom by eliminating it... then again I shouldn't be surprised to hear it from a guy who calls relativism "a dictatorship" compared to orthodoxy. That certainly explains his poor attempt at boosting the GOP during the election. Ratzinger and Bush are two birds of a feather.

I guess I'm just not built to be religious. I don't believe in paradoxes.
posted by clevershark at 5:04 PM on April 19, 2005


maybe Ayatollah Benedict XVI is a better name?
posted by amberglow at 5:07 PM on April 19, 2005


This is kinda like Cheney becoming president somehow.
posted by scarabic at 5:12 PM on April 19, 2005


or Rove.

more on Ratzinger and the pedophiles (ABC news) ... Then, four years ago, some of the men tried a last ditch effort, taking the unusual step of filing a lawsuit in the Vatican's secretive court, seeking Maciel's excommunication.

Once again they laid out their evidence, but it was another futile effort — an effort the men say was blocked by one of the most powerful cardinals in the Vatican.

The accusers say Vatican-based Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who heads the Vatican office to safeguard the faith and the morals of the church, quietly made the lawsuit go away and shelved it. There was no investigation and the accusers weren't asked a single question or asked for a statement.

He was appointed by the pope to investigate the entire sex abuse scandal in the church in recent days. But when approached by ABCNEWS in Rome last week with questions of allegations against Maciel, Ratzinger became visibly upset and actually slapped this reporter's hand.

"Come to me when the moment is given," Ratzinger told ABCNEWS, "not yet."

"Cardinal Ratzinger is sheltering Maciel, protecting him," said Berry, who expressed concerns that no response was being given to the allegations against the man charged with sex abuse. "These men knelt and kissed the ring of Cardinal Ratzinger when they filed the case in Rome. And a year-and-a-half later, he takes those accusations and aborts them, just stuffs them." ...

posted by amberglow at 5:24 PM on April 19, 2005


I still can't believe Cliff Claven is the pope
posted by Eekacat at 5:30 PM on April 19, 2005


Cardinal Ratzinger is sheltering Maciel, protecting him,"

It's a sad day for alterboys everywhere. It's been policy to protect thousands of terrible pedophiles, Ratzinger is just a particularly adamant supporter.

When JP2 died, people were sad and talking about their faith. But when faced with a living figure, people seem pretty bored and alienated, almost hostile.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:43 PM on April 19, 2005


Nothing makes me happier than the fact that that phrase means, simply, "We have a pope!"

Four years of Latin finally pays off ...
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:55 PM on April 19, 2005


I like the Pope. The Pope smokes dope! (had to be said!)

M@: Bwahahahaha!
posted by SisterHavana at 6:08 PM on April 19, 2005


[Let me take a moment to offer a blessing upon this thread- that it has remained free of the spestilence of flamewar, may it ever continue to be so, let we be condemned to be crushed in the George Foreman grill of Hell. Amen.]
posted by moonbird at 6:15 PM on April 19, 2005


I can just see the headlines tomorrow:

"Blogosphere takes down new Pope! Allegations of pedo-protecting and shady history revealed by netizens!"
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:49 PM on April 19, 2005


This image will disappear soon but oh boy, The Daily Telegraph Headline: "God's rottweiler' is the new Pope":

posted by caddis at 6:55 PM on April 19, 2005


Is it just me, or does the above picture of Ratzinger with his arms raised in greeting look as though it should be captioned, "I'm coming to get you, Barbara!"
posted by orange swan at 6:57 PM on April 19, 2005


No sloppy modern shortcuts. He wants to be known by his full name of Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus Benedictus.
posted by mono blanco at 7:11 PM on April 19, 2005


Nkyad Hmm. You're suggesting we should get ALL those now elderly Germans who experienced a similar background and send them to Guantanamo or Saint Helen, just in case?

...nooo, I am saying that one should be more careful before placing one of them at the head of an organization that speaks for a billion people, and is the right hand of a god. There is more to a person then what he says he is. I can not help but think this selection will do nothing but speed up the decline of the church in N America and W Europe, exactly one of those problems they wanted to address. Often rigidity = obsolesce. Which is fine in this context.
posted by edgeways at 7:19 PM on April 19, 2005


It's like Prince said. .wma
posted by geekyguy at 7:23 PM on April 19, 2005


I feel somewhat offended that I was not chosen.
posted by The Cardinal at 8:02 PM on April 19, 2005


Daily Show is covering it now. "Fox News is officially a diocese"
posted by amberglow at 8:08 PM on April 19, 2005


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.
Ah, remember the good old days, when the Pope was a temporal as well as a spiritual ruler! All those 100 Years Wars and stuff!
posted by orthogonality at 8:56 PM on April 19, 2005


Orange Swan: Bwah! Took me a second to get that reference.
posted by papakwanz at 9:32 PM on April 19, 2005


Maybe he'll have an epiphany and turn out like one of those republican pointed Supreme Court justices that swerves to the left when they make it to the big leagues.
posted by drezdn at 10:55 PM on April 19, 2005


At least he's not a Medici.
posted by mecran01 at 4:04 AM on April 20, 2005


Springtime for Ratzinger!
posted by liam at 8:10 AM on April 20, 2005


Here's a handy logo I whipped up.


posted by fandango_matt at 2:21 PM on April 20, 2005


ooo--good one, and creepy. reminiscent of both a hangman's noose and a swastika.
posted by amberglow at 2:30 PM on April 20, 2005


being an agnostic by definition, this pope stuff holds very little interest for me; ie, i haven't read ALL of the 340!!! posts, but did anyone mention paul, as in the apostle, who's gig prior to becoming an apostle was as a leading persecusionist of christ's followers?
and he did it because he wanted to and thought that he was 'doin the right thang'
i guess he had a change of heart.
posted by emdog at 2:57 PM on April 20, 2005




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