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mercredi, avril 20, 2005

Holy Smoke

It�s done. It�s Benedict XVI. I cannot resist joining the myriad comments, blogs and whatnot about our latest Papam. All is being said and much is being done. The oohs and aaahs reverberated around the Vatican Square (and must have also done so across the Catholic world) when the face of former Cardinal Ratzinger appeared at the balcony... the anointed one is German. Worse still he is the man who has been billed the Grand Inquisitor of Mother Rome. Another nickname of the man is �God�s Rottweiler�: many would deem it a fitting nickname for one who find�s homosexuality evil and other religions deficient.

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More interesting than these caricaturisations of the man are his philosophical observations. In his last sermon before he became Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger stated that "We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognise anything as definitive and has as its highest value one's own ego and one's own desires". Do you disagree? I don�t, and am glad that we have a Pope that might now try to tackle this new evil of the XXIst century. I spoke of emotional drain in an earlier blog. Another drain we need to follow closely is value drain - the same value drain that has made all of us electors of popes.

I laugh when I hear calls for democracy in the church. Now we have to hear the grumbles of all the people who wanted a pro-homosexual, pro-women, pro-abortion, pro-contraceptives pope. Incredible isn�t it? It�s like me getting miffed about some Ayatollah�s extremist position and hoping for a more Catholic Ayatollah next time round. I understood some time ago that the church and its leader(s) bear a huge responsibility in shepherding their flock. The positions the church takes are not intended to safeguard the strong sheep among us but the weakest. In this respect I can understand and almost condone the snail-like pace the Church has in what we call development.

Dogma. Catechism. Values. Heavy words. Responsibilities. The Church has its role. Its leader, no matter how we describe him, has an important (very important) role in today�s world. Someone has to be coming up with new ideas, inventing new pills, new clones, new discoveries - meanwhile on the other hand we also need the brakes, the conscience, the spiritual moral that keeps us aware of our responsibilities to each other and to future generations.

So, for what its worth, I am behind Benedict XVI. It�s an ugly world out there. God knows how we need a good pope.

Viel Glueck Benedict... you sure need it!

Io credo che a questo mondo
esista solo una grande chiesa
che passa da CHE GUEVARA
e arriva fino a MADRE TERESA
passando da MALCOLM X attraverso
GANDHI e SAN PATRIGNANO
Arriva da un prete in periferia
che va avanti nonostante il Vaticano*

- Jovanotti, Penso Positivo

* I believe that in this world
there is only one church
that passes through CHE GUEVARA
and finishes at MOTHER THERESA
passing through MALCOLM X
through GANDHI and SAINT PATRIGNANO
and arrives to a priest in the suburbs
who goes on working notwithstanding the Vatican

3 commentaires:

Troilus a dit…

"We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognise anything as definitive and has as its highest value one's own ego and one's own desires".

As a believer in and supporter of the new Pontiff, you are apt to interpret his comments in a positive light. However, you should also recognise the point that many cynics would make: that it is quite necessary - for, shall we say, ragioni di stato - to decry moral relativism when the values which are being undermined are the values your institution propounds and is seeking to impose. You can say that you agree with his statement, of course, and that moral relativism is one of the seminal threats facing humanity in the 21st century, but to believe (as you seem to believe) that a man like Ratzinger decries it without taking into consideration motives of self-interest is naive in the extreme.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

"As a believer in and supporter of the new Pontiff" - to believe implies an act of blind faith. I do not need (and no one does) to believe in something I know is there. I believe in God, that is all. Everything else I can trust in at most.

"self-interest" - I think too many people nowadays read and "believe" Da Vinci Code histrionics. In today's day and age there is no place in a papacy for self-interest. Conspiracy theorists are busy reading much in the church's decision. I see it as one of transition. This pope will probably lead us to the next great one. It would have been impossible to follow directly in JPs steps.

In the long run it has much less to do with naivety and more to do with global perspective.

Troilus a dit…

One need not read and indulge in Da Vinci code histrionics to believe that the head of such a gargantuan institution will, as part of his brief, be concerned with maintaining that institution's power and prestige. The Church is made up of human beings, and however imbued they are with the Holy Spirit, human beings will never fail to take into account earthly considerations. Thus when the Pope issues an encyclical it is partly a statement of dogma - but it is also an attempt to maintain the Church's presence in the lives of its flock. Where would the RCC be if it began to lose influence to other faiths, or to the atheistic spirit which, according to Ratzinger, so many are imbibing? Please be aware that I am not imputing any malevolence in motives to the new Pontiff - it is entirely human, entirely natural, that he will take care of the organisation to which he has devoted his entire adult life.