Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

The new pope is announced. Yeah, he had a brief turn with the Hitler Youth, but his current obsessions are also troubling.

Look out Buddhists. You are considered one of the prime enemies of the church. Does anyone else find that a bit, well, insane? Sanity has never been a strong suit of the rich and powerful.

God help you if you happen to be a gay Buddhist. You don't deserve basic civil rights according to the Ratz.

From Worldbeaters:
Currently the suave, white-haired German Cardinal runs the Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This august organization is occasionally referred to as the Holy Office but it is perhaps best known by an older name – the Inquisition. You history buffs will remember the Inquisition: those Catholic zealots who in the Middle Ages couldn’t abide apostates and doubters of the One True Faith. They perfected the use of thumbscrews and the rack to force Jews, Muslims and other dissenters to adopt the Vatican’s more ‘accurate’ understanding of Christianity. [...]

In 1986 Ratzinger issued a letter to the Catholic Bishops in which he wrote that homosexuality was a ‘tendency’ towards an ‘intrinsic moral evil’. A few years later, in 1992, he rejected the notion of human rights for gays, stressing that their civil liberties could be ‘legitimately limited’. He followed up by remarking that ‘neither the church nor society should be surprised’ if ‘irrational and violent reactions increase’ when gays demand civil rights. Not a man to mince his words, Ratzinger urgently set to work to ferret out gay-sensitive clergy.[...]

As if that weren’t enough, the ever-busy Cardinal has used his privileged take on the Truth to set back inter-faith tolerance and religious pluralism a few decades. In 1997 Ratzinger annoyed Buddhists by calling their religion an ‘autoerotic spirituality’ that offers ‘transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations’. And Hinduism, he said, offers ‘false hope’; it guarantees ‘purification’ based on a ‘morally cruel’ concept of reincarnation resembling ‘a continuous circle of hell’. The Cardinal predicted Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic Church’s main enemy this century. [...]

Ratzinger helped put together The Church and the Mistakes of the Past, a stirring apology for 2,000 years of violence and persecution by the Catholic Church, which the Pope released last March. ‘Even men [sic] of the church, in the name of faith and morals, have sometimes used methods not in keeping with the Gospel,’ said Ratzinger. [...]
And that's okay, he might as well have added. Sounds like a Bush supporter. We can probably expect more of the "Might makes right" and "The ends justify the means" kind of theology. Would we expect any less from the church?


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