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September 14, 2005 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Management aiming to clean house (NYT, acct. req'd) — Pope Joseph Ratzinger begins to fulfill his promise to rid the Catholic Church of freethinking undesirables who propagate an "unacceptable democratic model of the Church", starting with the rooting out of gay clergymen, who — by simple virtue of their sexuality — are assumed to be child molesters, never mind Ratzinger's complicity in widespread interference with investigations into and long-standing cover-ups of the Church's worst offenders.
posted by Rothko (79 comments total)

 
I converted to Catholicism and for many years thought about joining the priesthood as a Jesuit. Now Benedict is doing what so many years of John Paul's relatively compassionate conservative reign didn't. It's making me think of getting rid of even the most vestigial involvement with the Church.

I sort of figured this would happen when they fired Reese, a great Cathlic thinker and a great editor at America.

Why couldn't we have another John XXIII? What was it they used to say, "a fat pope, then a skinny pope?" We need a fat pope now.
posted by lackutrol at 9:53 PM on September 14, 2005


Whoops. "Catholic thinker."
posted by lackutrol at 9:54 PM on September 14, 2005


Wasn't Ratzinger the same guy who allowed Law to preside over one of JP2's funeral masses? Obviously he doesn't mind child abuse that much.
posted by jikel_morten at 10:04 PM on September 14, 2005


It wasn't so much that he was presiding. As an Arch-priest of one of the Roman basilicas, that's part of your job and it would be really strange if you didn't do so. The problem is that Law got that job in the first place.
posted by lackutrol at 10:08 PM on September 14, 2005


I think the NY Times article is innacurate. It says that they'll be gunning for "faculty members who dissent from church teaching," but I think it's going to be fairly easy to prove that this is only partially correct. That is to say, they won't be targetting clergymen who support the Iraq war which, at least in the opinion of some, is contrary to church teachings.
posted by Clay201 at 10:08 PM on September 14, 2005


I wonder what Anne Askew thinks of all of this.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:10 PM on September 14, 2005


Rothko, I think you mean Pope Benedict the 16th. While you clearly don't agree with the actions he is undertaking, there is no need to slight the man.
posted by oddman at 10:25 PM on September 14, 2005


there is no need to slight the man

Well, from this non-believer's perspective, there's no reason to use a self-selected honorific for him, either. Ratzinger's given name works fine to demystify the ridiculous pomp and unearned authority that now surrounds him; I see no compelling reason to stop using it when discussing his politics.
posted by mediareport at 10:34 PM on September 14, 2005


oddman, did his mommy and daddy name him "Pope Benedict the 16th"? It's a regnal name, part of the title, not a personal attribute. Calling him "Joseph Ratzinger" is not exactly the same as calling him "venomous limpdick".
posted by davy at 10:35 PM on September 14, 2005


Pope Venomous Limpdick was already taken?
posted by Balisong at 10:50 PM on September 14, 2005


Here is an in depth, speculative look at his early career as a
(Goodwin alert) nazi youth. real audio program#508
Doing the Vatican Rag!
posted by hortense at 10:56 PM on September 14, 2005


nazi pope strikes again!
posted by delmoi at 11:07 PM on September 14, 2005


G C
That word broadminded is spelled s-i-n
G D
I read in my Bible, they shall not enter in.
G C G
For Jesus will answer, Depart, I never knew you
D G
That word broadminded is spelled s-i-n
posted by 2sheets at 11:09 PM on September 14, 2005


So, mediareport, the point is that you don't open a discussion by refusing to acknowledge your interlocutors benign desires. Pick someone you respect. If I insisted on calling him "The guy who fell into his job" (not exactly a blistering insult), would you really have a conversation with me about him? If I insisted that calling him "that guy who doesn't deserve a single ounce of your respect, because frankly he just isn't very bright nor particularly upstanding" was perfectly ok and that in fact it was some sort of appropriate corrective, would you be totally ok with that? What if I called him "little asshat" would you be able to let this pass without it putting you just a bit out of sorts.

As for a compelling reson, like I said earlier, it's called civility. If it doesn't cost you anything to address him by his preferred name why would you simply refuse to do so?

Davy, I called it a slight, not an insult. I think this accurately describes the difference between using his given name and the name you suggested. Do you think we are in disagreement? However, I do disagree that it is merely part of his title. It is the name he has chosen for himself as the Pope.

In any case, both of you, would you continue to use a woman's maiden name even after she was married and asked that you address her by her husband's name? Would you refuse to address a Ph.D. or M.D. as "Doctor" instead using "Mister" at all times?

Refusing to honor someone's preferred mode of address just seems to me to be needlessly impolite and combative.
(Putting aside obviously contentious cases for the moment: I doubt Pope Benedict the 16th would indulge a request to address someone by using "God." But then again no one here as put forth any such concerns.) We are trying to have a civil discussion aren't we? Why insist on starting things off on the wrong foot for something that (to you) is such a small thing?
posted by oddman at 11:26 PM on September 14, 2005


Oddman: ...Pope Benedict the 16th....

Oddman, why do you slight His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI by not using his full title or roman numerals? Common abbreviated numbers? What's your beef with him?
posted by Poagao at 11:34 PM on September 14, 2005


I have Roman Numerals as half of my buisiness name, and it fucks people up to no end.
People just keep trying to pronounce them.
Another conformation that people are stupid, and that the Romans should have used Arabic numerals.
posted by Balisong at 11:48 PM on September 14, 2005


I would just like to let you all know that my preferred form of address is "Vulpyne The Magnificent Who I Give Power Of Attorney And Transfer All My Belongings To, Fully Aware That Saying Or Transmitting This Name In Any Form Constitutes A Legally Binding Agreement". I should would appreciate it if you all could use that in the future. Thanks!
posted by Vulpyne at 12:32 AM on September 15, 2005


Would you refuse to address a Ph.D. or M.D. as "Doctor" instead using "Mister" at all times?

Probably, if I was suing the doctor for malpractice. Similarly, I don't think Rothko is very pleased at all by the good Pope's performance thus far.

However, I personally continue to think and say "Ratzinger" simply because "Benedict 16" is harder to remember. And not as funny.
posted by catachresoid at 12:56 AM on September 15, 2005


Refusing to honor someone's preferred mode of address just seems to me to be needlessly impolite and combative.

Oh please, all the Popes of the past hundred years at least have been referred to with their surname even by the Vatican's own newspaper and Catholic press. Italian newspapers use Papa Ratzinger all the time. The notion that using the man's real name is uncivil is so wrong and ridiculous it looks like a prank.

Although, no one has the royal right of always being referred to civilly and respectfully by everyone especially if they don't extend that courtesy to others in the first place and their political views and decisions don't inspire that respect. Hence the panzer pope, nazi pope, god's rottweiler, etc. People no longer get burnt at the stake for that, amazing isn't it?

Nice derail.

Now about this wonderfully titled story: At the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday Pope Benedict greeted Italian exorcists who, he disclosed, are currently having their national convention, presumably in Rome.
posted by funambulist at 1:17 AM on September 15, 2005


Is this saying that Ratzinger is more anti-gay than Wojtyła was? Or just that Ratzinger is also anti-gay?

(While we're comparing popes: is anyone keeping track of Ratzinger's saint count and how it compares to Wojtyła's saint count at this point in his reign?)
posted by pracowity at 2:15 AM on September 15, 2005


How many rats could a rat zinger zing if a rat zinger could zing rats?
posted by telstar at 2:34 AM on September 15, 2005


To give a counter example oddman, I absolutely refuse to refer to priests as 'Father'.
posted by biffa at 2:43 AM on September 15, 2005


I don't think it's simply a matter of civility. It's something I've run into in my particular sub-community; folks who give themselves a title and then use that title to lend legitimacy to their claims of authority over a group or expertise on a particular subject. When we call the guy Benedict One Six, we raise his status, give him authority. But why should he have this status? This guy wasn't elected by popular vote. Therefore, in my view, his authority has no legitimacy. Hence, he should not be addressed according to his title. And yeah, this would likewise apply to Wojtyla.
posted by Clay201 at 3:20 AM on September 15, 2005


What's the legal status of the Vatican State in terms of official activity? I mean, could Italian police (assuming, of course, an ideal impartiality when it comes to dealing with church staff and crime) go in there and interrogate him? Or would that be illegal?
posted by paperpete at 5:27 AM on September 15, 2005


look, if i'm not homosexual as this ratzinger keeps insisting i am, then, will someone explain to me why these faggots keep sucking my cock?
posted by Hat Maui at 5:34 AM on September 15, 2005


flying spaghetti monster wants to cry, it makes him sad. . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:50 AM on September 15, 2005


Therefore, in my view, his authority has no legitimacy.
Last time I checked, he's still Pope, though. Nice try, bud.
posted by alumshubby at 5:57 AM on September 15, 2005


Pope is backwards thinking reactionary.
News at 11.
posted by signal at 6:09 AM on September 15, 2005


And so now yet another Inquisition begins ...

Not in the example of the loving Jesus Christ and the Great Commandment shall the legalists purge the Church of any thinking person who might threaten their power structure and ask impertinent questions regarding silly assed shit like maybe that Mother Mary was a virgin and ascended bodily into Heaven.

Ignorance is bliss.
2+2=5.
STFU.
What's love got to do with it?
posted by nofundy at 6:12 AM on September 15, 2005


If it doesn't cost you anything to address him by his preferred name why would you simply refuse to do so?

Gosh, do you think it might have something to do with the fact that he's actively working from the Vatican to deny me basic equality under the law in my own country? Ya think?

Sorry, the guy gets no honorifics from me. I'm under no obligation to be civil to a man who not only thinks my basic inclusion in his church is unacceptable, but also encourages my fellow citizens to think of my citizenship as second class. Fuck him *and* his preferred name. He doesn't deserve the respect he's demanding.
posted by mediareport at 6:12 AM on September 15, 2005


Who will be next? Check out the 1000-1 bets.
posted by funambulist at 6:16 AM on September 15, 2005


Hm. I have absolutely no problem thinking of the current pope as "Ratzinger," while I could never think of the previous pope as "Wojtyla." Why? I think it's because I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce "Wojtyla."
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:16 AM on September 15, 2005


lumshubby;

Last time I checked, he's still Pope, though. Nice try, bud.

And as I said, I don't acknowledge his right to claim that title.

But if you want to make a case that we must deal with this organization called the Vatican and, at least as far as their concerned, their leader is this person they call the Pope... well, in that case, fine: Vatican Leader Ratzinger.

Though I do still prefer the moniker John Stewart hung on him: "Joey Ratz".
posted by Clay201 at 6:35 AM on September 15, 2005


I think delmoi has it. The Nazi Pope just wants to root out all the gays and dissenters and consolidate his power. There were good reasons for the Protestants to break free from the Vatican and they still exist.
posted by caddis at 6:50 AM on September 15, 2005


That's a mouthful relative to "the Pope," but hey, it's your own private bug, I guess it fits up your ass just fine...
posted by alumshubby at 6:51 AM on September 15, 2005


Okay, astonishingly-irrelevant derail aside, the fact is that Ratzi is conducting a purge, pure and simple. One that will further bleed a pale and sickly body. Whether he does this because he wants to show the world that perversion will not be tolerated inside his most holy catholic and apostolic church or simply because he can remains to be seen. The point is that, in direct defiance of any logic or sense, he is striving actually to reduce the number of willing men available to staff his chronically-undermanned organization.
The implied insult to gay seminarians regarding their apparent inability to keep their business inside their cassocks aside.
The implied inability or unwillingness to regard non-dogmatically the problems chronically besetting the church and its followers aside.

The blinkered hope that liberal, even moderate, catholics had for Ratzi suddenly becoming a progressive, inclusionist leader is pathetically similar to that evinced by liberal, even moderate, americans who thought Dumbya might actually be a *chuckle chuckle*--wait for it--"compassionate conservative".
posted by the sobsister at 7:01 AM on September 15, 2005


pracowcity, I tend to think it does. Under Pope John Paul II, the general understanding was that while homosexual intercourse was considered a sin, [in part because it could not lead to conception and also in part because it occurred, of necessity, outside of marriage], there was nothing wrong with having a homosexual orientation. Gay and lesbian Catholics were supposed to remain celibate, but beyond that, they're exactly like the rest of the Catholic laity. Andrew Sullivan refers to a 1986 document penned by then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the Church's position towards homosexuals:

...the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation.

The idea that homosexuals could not control their sexual urges [which seems to be what's driving the current proclamations, along with that foul assumption that homosexuality and pedophilia are related/the same] was called an "unfounded and demeaning assumption." So yeah, what the Chuch _used_ to object to was homosexual intercourse itself, not the fact that one might be born with a homosexual orientation. Tangentially, an interesting poll suggests that Australian Catholics are very tolerant of homosexuality compared to Christians. I've seen similar polls, somewhere or other, focusing on American Catholics. This, of course, makes the ultraconservative nature of the Church hierarchy, nurtured by John Paul II's choice of cardinals, seem even more out of touch with the general understanding of what Christ's message was.

I know a lot of good liberal Catholics - the sort who think that Christ cared a lot more about feeding the poor and loving one's neighbor and doing good deeds than what goes on in the bedroom - who're going to be very dismayed by this. [And no, for them it's not as easy as "finding another church." They grew up with the Church, saw it moving in the right direction in the middle of the 20th century, and they don't feel they should abandon it just because the hierarchy is showing all-too-obviously that it's made up of humans, with all their faults.]
posted by ubersturm at 7:09 AM on September 15, 2005


telstar, thanks for making my morning.
posted by NationalKato at 7:27 AM on September 15, 2005


To quote Mean Mr Bucket "let me remind the good citizens that Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"
posted by adamvasco at 7:28 AM on September 15, 2005


I have absolutely no problem thinking of the current pope as "Ratzinger," while I could never think of the previous pope as "Wojtyla." Why? I think it's because I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce "Wojtyla."

I never thought of him as "Wojtyla" because I didn't remember him before he was Pope, whereas I remember the existence and office of Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI.

To me, all of this "I refuse to call him Pope Benedict" or "I refuse to address priests as 'Father'" smacks of pettiness as when Christopher Hitchens only refers to Mother Theresa as "MT." Unless you're a member of some breakaway Catholic sect that believes that someone else is the rightful Pope, you're in no position to criticize the legitimacy of his office.

Now, believe it or not, I think that this issue actually ties into the story itself. On one hand, and I think Pope John Paul II realized this, is that the Catholic church is bigger than the Pope. There are all sorts of Catholics, the Pope did not make the same choices as they did and isn't going to approve of them, but they'll be part and parcel of the church long after the Pope is gone. Pope Benedict XVI seems to be taking an "I am the Church" attitude and purging everyone, from top to bottom, who doesn't buy into his vision.
posted by deanc at 7:40 AM on September 15, 2005


Unless you're a member of some breakaway Catholic sect that believes that someone else is the rightful Pope, you're in no position to criticize the legitimacy of his office.

That's ridiculous. Non-believers aren't allowed to criticize the legitimacy of the offices of religious leaders? Absurd.
posted by mediareport at 7:47 AM on September 15, 2005


I'll just allow deanc's comments to stand for my own. He argued the position better than I.
posted by oddman at 7:51 AM on September 15, 2005


"aren't allowed to" # "in no position to"
posted by alumshubby at 8:16 AM on September 15, 2005


"I refuse to address priests as 'Father'" smacks of pettiness as when Christopher Hitchens only refers to Mother Theresa as "MT." Unless you're a member of some breakaway Catholic sect that believes that someone else is the rightful Pope, you're in no position to criticize the legitimacy of his office.

Well they're not my father so they have no legitimate claim on the title.
posted by biffa at 8:18 AM on September 15, 2005


"aren't allowed to" # "in no position to"

Puh-lease. But ok.

Non-believers aren't in a position to criticize the legitimacy of the offices of religious leaders? Absurd.

The point remains: deanc's position eliminates the validity of outsider criticism of the legitimacy of organized religious offices.
posted by mediareport at 8:25 AM on September 15, 2005


The point remains: deanc's position eliminates the validity of outsider criticism of the legitimacy of organized religious offices.

Offices of any sort can be "valid" or "legitimate" on their own terms even if we disagree with them and/or are not bound by the authority of those offices. However, let me rephrase and try again-- "Unless you're arguing from the point of view that some breakaway Catholic sect is led by the rightful Pope, you're in no position to criticize the legitimacy of his office." And even then, it would still seem petty to be so personally taking up the cause of a sect of which you're not a member.

By a similar token, we don't recognize the UK's head of state as our own, but we still refer to her as "Queen Elizabeth II."
posted by deanc at 8:36 AM on September 15, 2005


Yup. Catholics are funny.

Angels on the head of a pin, anyone?
posted by mooncrow at 8:41 AM on September 15, 2005


Um, that's awesome that some of you guys are really going to the mat to make sure we all call some old asshole by some ridiculous honorific, but maybe you could talk about the steps Ratzinger - excuse me, the All-Powerful and Wise Pope Hotshit the First - is taking to bring the Catholic Church back into the 19th century.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:49 AM on September 15, 2005


Dear Emily Post,

If I'm a Jewish kid who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as opposed to a Catholic choirboy, can I just say "please stop hurting me sir", or do I still need to use the honorific "Father"?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:23 AM on September 15, 2005


Optimus: well but you have to admit there's not a lot to say on the topic, those who expect anything different from an institution with that history are deluding themselves so much it's almost moving.

And it's not only the child abuse that gets covered up or fails to be prosecuted.
posted by funambulist at 9:49 AM on September 15, 2005


It's all *cough* PRETEND!

And the Catholic Church is one of the nastiest corporations on the face of the planet.
posted by MotherTucker at 9:50 AM on September 15, 2005


... last link has a typo, was meant to be this: fails to be prosecuted
posted by funambulist at 9:51 AM on September 15, 2005


It's not the Pope Ratzbastard's anti-gay stance that bothers me so much as his pro-kiddyfucking stance. The man has actively protected kiddyfucking priests.

But it's all okay in the long run: his actions are serving only to further destroy the Roman Catholic church. Perhaps he'll go down in history as The Last Pope.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 AM on September 15, 2005


The way that old slimeball helped cover up the ongoing abuse by priests is unforgiveable. I don't know how anyone can trust him in the slightest.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:10 AM on September 15, 2005


The way that old slimeball helped cover up

You mean "the way that Honorable and Righteous Defender of the Holy Father's Will, Jew-Smasher, Scourge of Evil, True King of Rome and Her Subjects, Smiter of Gays, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI helped cover up."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:50 AM on September 15, 2005


To move off the subject of whatever you want to call this dude and oh, maybe talk about the article (gee, what a strange thought), just for five seconds... ok?

How exactly would this be enforced? What are your standards for defining "homosexuality" in a group of people who are by definition (if not always in practice) celibate? Are they going to go through and make every single priest take the Kinsey test and anyone who scores higher than 1 (or maybe to be extra safe, anyone who scores higher than 0) is right out? Would holding the communion cup with your pinky out be considered gay enough to get you fired? What exactly are they going on?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:16 AM on September 15, 2005


So let's summarize the general attitude of the modern Catholic leadership:

1. Child molesters?! What child molesters? Oh, those child molesters... yeah, we've been meaning to fire them... honest.

2. Priests can not have sexual relations with women or men, ever. We can't imagine why we have so many child molesters wearing the collar. How did that happen?

3. Priests who can not marry should make great marriage counselors. Why all the divorce?

4. Divorce?!!! No, no, no. You'll have to leave the church. Goodbye.

5. Re-marry?! In our sacred church? You must be joking. Sorry you're damaged goods. Try the Little White Chapel in Nevada, all the sinners burn there, I mean "re-marry" there.

6. Darwin?! He's a blasphemer! Galileo? OK, so Galileo was right but so what? Darwin is still wrong, because we said so.

7. You want to marry a non-Catholic?!! In this church??!! No way. Get out. Goodbye!

8. Sermons should be spoken latin. We can't imagine why people to come to church anymore.

9. You're all sinners. Beg God's forgiveness. We're here to help you with your self-esteem.

10. Your cousin is gay? Well then God hates him. Hey, where are you going?

How come no is coming to church anymore? Where is everyone? Come back you sinners!
posted by StarForce5 at 11:25 AM on September 15, 2005


five fresh fish - Perhaps he'll go down in history as The Last Pope.

According to Malachi, there's one more after Ratz...
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:29 AM on September 15, 2005


mediareport's comments made my day. That's as good a response as any.
posted by zerolives at 11:34 AM on September 15, 2005


8. Sermons should be spoken latin. We can't imagine why people to come to church anymore.

Have you heard of this funny thing called Vatican II? Jeez. I'm ambivalent about the Church, but if you're gonna criticize something can you at least pretend like you know what you're talking about?
posted by dame at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2005


Darwin?! He's a blasphemer! Galileo? OK, so Galileo was right but so what? Darwin is still wrong, because we said so.

Despite some apparent recent developments, the majority of Catholics--lay and ordained--would be astonished to hear that the Church was anti-Darwin.
posted by thomas j wise at 12:07 PM on September 15, 2005


Jesus Christ on the Pope's Platter, are you people like this in real life?

Unless you are a catholic and afraid of being excommunicated you can call him whatever the hell you want.

I would probably just refer to him as Pope Benedict for convention's sake. But if you want to call him Der Popenhoffer or Joey Ratz be my guest.

As far as our own fearless leader, some people call him President Bush. I prefer the name I learned here on Metafilter: Chimpy McAwol.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:22 PM on September 15, 2005


Actually almshubby, I don't care a whit what the Pope's name(s) and/or title(s) are, nor do I care whether he has a legitimate claim to the Papacy, because I don't recognize the claim of any Pope or of any Church to tell me what to do, say or think, regardless of what he calls himself or of how many of which people choose to listen to and obey him. As an atheist who does not reside in Vatican City nor in a "Catholic" country the Pope has no power over me either.

The U.S. government and its various subgovernments do have power over me simply because I'm outnumbered and outgunned, and I fucking hate it -- because as an anarchist I don't recognize their authority nor their right to have any power over me.

That is, Ratzinger and Bush are just a couple of opinionated old men who think they're special, and anyone who heeds them by choice is, in my opinion, a damn fool.
posted by davy at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2005


davy, in the immortal words of the Cos: rat own rat own rat own.
posted by the sobsister at 12:54 PM on September 15, 2005


Is it the social aspects of homosexuality that this old dog is railing against, or is it moreso the sexual aspects? Would he find it bearable for two like-sexed people to savor a deep abstinent bond, or would that too chafe his conceptions of life-done-right before the lord?

Is it moreso about which holes get plied by what and with whom, or does he perhaps just feel its icky to feel so sweet about someone of the same sex?

Perhaps my dichotomy is too simple...
posted by jungturk at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2005


"If this Christ has helped us to say it more fully, more effectually, with a clearer voice, so much the better, but now at least leave him out of the question. Do not always force us back into the labour and sorrow that it cost him to 'redeem' us, as you put it. Let us, at last, enter into this state of redemption.

... But the people here have been like dogs, that do not understand the pointing finger and think they are meant to snap at the hand. Instead of setting out from the place of the cross-roads where this sign was high and lifted up into the night of his sacrifice, instead of proceeding onwards from this place of the cross, Christianity has settled down there and claims that it is living there in Christ, although there was no room in him, not even for his mother, nor for Mary Magdalene, as there never is room in anyone who points the way, who is a gesture and not a dwelling-place.

And so they do not dwell in Christ, these stubborn of heart, who continually bring him back again and live from the setting up of a cross which stands crooked or completely blown down." - Rainer Marie Rilke
posted by joe lisboa at 1:56 PM on September 15, 2005



Have you heard of this funny thing called Vatican II?


Of course! Who hasn't heard of Vatican II: Electric Boogaloo?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:56 PM on September 15, 2005


Not to be confused with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, of course.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:03 PM on September 15, 2005


thomas j wise: Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn: Catholics do not believe humans developed by random natural selection.

dame: OK, latin is not official church posotion but there are still holdouts who insist on latin.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:14 PM on September 15, 2005


One of the interesting aspects of religion is that on an individual level it can be among the most empowering, stabilizing, uplifting, supportive tools at our disposal; while collectively it has repeatedly shown itself to be among the most destructive, repressive, damaging, and murderous tools at our disposal.

There is no need to rid the world of religion.

There is an essential need to rid the world of organized religion.

We can not survive as a species if religion is allowed to dictate the actions of society. It is simply impossible for religion to work on a global scale: it would require a single world religion, and that will never happen without calamitous destruction.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:11 PM on September 15, 2005


Yes, I've seen the Schoenborn piece. It was refuted by, among other people, a number of Catholic theologians, scientists, and philosophers; see the NCSE site for a summary.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:35 PM on September 15, 2005


FFF, have you read Solomon's Spirituality for the Skeptic? It's high time we pry religion's clammy fingers from the neck of spirituality.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:42 PM on September 15, 2005


"Benedict XVI? Please, honey, he's just another cock in a frock with a flock who wants me to call him Daddy."

/priscilla, QotD
posted by Sparx at 4:03 PM on September 15, 2005


We call him Ratzi the 1st in our circle of Hell friends.
posted by Irontom at 5:04 PM on September 15, 2005


Joe: No. And I agree. Sprituality is a wholly separate beast from religion.

I suppose that it would be more accurate to say that religion taken at the individual level is, more or less, simply spirituality, which is mostly harmless. Religion on a mass level is, more often than not, all about power and money.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:49 PM on September 15, 2005


There is an essential need to rid the world of organized religion.

People who are religious will always organize -- they will join together, share time together, builds houses of worship together, carry out projects together. It is not something you can "rid the world of," and you would not want to live under a government that would try to do so.

Besides, organization does not make a religion bad. The power and money that come from organization also give a religion the ability to pool resources for group members and to do good: witness the many religious charities. If you took away the power and money, I suspect you would prevent more good acts than bad.

It is when religion is written into government, so that recognition of and adherence to a particular religion is encouraged or required, or when any sort of theism is favored over atheism, that government (not religion) becomes bad. If reform is needed, it is in ridding government of religion, not in ridding religion of organization or the world of organized religion.

(I'm an atheist, by the way.)
posted by pracowity at 10:10 PM on September 15, 2005


Wtf is this guys problem? Who died and made him Pope???
posted by stenseng at 11:57 PM on September 15, 2005


Jesus?
posted by Sparx at 2:54 AM on September 16, 2005


Should I hold out my hopes of the Church moving towards conciliarism?

I am in a very difficult position - for many reasons, I am strongly drawn towards the Catholic Church, as their beliefs on the relationship between the spiritual and the material are closest to my own. But at the same time, I cannot agree in the least with the current policy on so many issues. Does one have to agree politically with ones church? Or is it enough to believe only the tenents of faith, all other things being up for debate?

I don't think that the Pope would agree with me on the latter. I don't think he is much of a conciliarist, let alone ecumenical.

Also, I think that they should bring back St. Guinefort.
posted by jb at 11:34 PM on September 16, 2005


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