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German conservative Ratzinger is new Pope Benedict XVI

 
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 09:24 am
Catholic Devotion, and Doubts

Quote:

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: May 10, 2005
SÃO PAULO, Brazil

Here in Latin America, the great remaining heartland of Roman Catholicism, some Catholics have a blunt warning for Pope Benedict XVI: unless the Catholic Church changes course, it may come close to committing suicide.
Latin America sometimes feels a bit like Martin Luther's Wittenberg in 1517, on the eve of the Reformation. There is a growing gulf between many independent-minded churchgoers and grass-roots priests on the one hand, and the cardinals and the pope on the other.

"I resent them," said Alessandra Katiane da Silva, a 21-year-old who goes to Mass and was wearing a necklace with images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. She said she could better judge her contraceptive needs than elderly cardinals, then added, "We have to take care of ourselves, because they're not looking out for us."

While the Latin American church has a conservative wing, many Catholics seem like Ms. da Silva - soured by some Vatican dogma but still identifying strongly with a local church and finding spiritual comfort there.

The result is that many local Catholic parishes have quietly seceded from the Vatican's control on sexual issues. The pope can thunder against birth control (other than a method based on timing a woman's cycles, derided by critics as "Vatican roulette"), but 70 percent of Brazilian women use artificial contraception. So the pope pontificates, and his flock here yawns.

"The Catholic Church's ban on condoms doesn't function here in Brazil," said José Roberto Prazeres, a psychologist at an AIDS center in São Paulo. "We partner with priests to give out condoms."

A prominent gynecologist, Albertina Duarte, said that she had never had a patient who was so Catholic that she objected to most forms of contraception. "Never," she said. "Never in my 35 years as a doctor."

Latin America is still the most dynamic part of the world for Roman Catholicism, accounting for 40 percent of the world's Catholics. But throughout Latin America, the number of evangelicals, especially Pentecostals, is surging, quadrupling in Brazil during John Paul II's papacy. Some Brazilians warn that at this rate Brazil could eventually become a predominantly Protestant country.

Some conservatives say the problem is that the church went touchy-feely and permissive after Vatican II, and they note that the evangelical sects gaining ground are more morally demanding, not less. But the more common view here is that the church has squandered its authority with positions that strike parishioners as backward, not uplifting, on divorce, birth control and the role of women.

Pope Benedict once fretted that on such issues the church "risks appearing like an anachronistic construct." In an essay written when he was a cardinal, he stuck with traditional values but acknowledged that many foresaw this bleak choice: "Either the church finds an understanding, a compromise with the values propounded by society which she wants to continue to serve, or she ... finds herself on the margin of society."

That's the tug of war being fought in places like Brazil, with grass-roots priests often trying to stay in tune with parishioners, while the Vatican tries to stay faithful to its values.

"There is the hierarchy of the church, and then there's the church that really functions at the local level," said the Rev. Valeriano Paitoni, a priest widely admired in São Paulo for running first-rate shelters for AIDS orphans. He was disciplined in 2000 for encouraging people to use condoms to protect against AIDS.

Most Brazilian Catholics, he said, want to see changes in the church's stance on birth control, homosexuality, marriage of priests and the role of women in the church. "If the church doesn't have the courage to take these issues up, and listen to science and the world, then there'll be a disaster," he said, adding that he is still optimistic that reforms will come.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Vatican responded to reformers like John Wycliffe and Martin Luther by circling the wagons. Luther had hoped to remain inside a reformed Catholic Church, but the pope excommunicated him, and the result was the Protestant Reformation.

I can't help feeling that today, Pope Benedict and the cardinals may be facing a similar choice. Unless the Vatican reconnects with ordinary people here in the Catholic heartland, the tens of millions who find spiritual meaning in their pews but have been turned off by many church positions, then the Vatican's obstinacy may yet kindle a Re-Reformation.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 09:45 am
Those who look for the currents of the times to bring about a new liberalism within The Church ignore history. Around every 500 years or so, some sort of upheaval gets The Church's wagons in a circle. Here we go again.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 12:33 pm
timber wrote : " Around every 500 years or so, some sort of upheaval gets The Church's wagons in a circle ".

of course we all know what happenend about 500 years ago ... reformation swept through europe and the catholic church lost some of its influence. this may very well happen again. what would be left of the catholic church after another reformation ?
the cardinals drawing the wagons in a circle will have a tough time defending their positions for long; they may simply run out of "ammunition".
i'll simply be an interested observer. hbg
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Chrissee
 
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Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 12:38 pm
timberlandko,

You do not have a clue. The history of MHR gay and lesbian inclusion goes back to the 70s. It has survived John Paul it will survive this Pope. Furthermore, you are claiming that your opinion, that of someone who is NOT EVEN A PRACTICING CATHOLIC is more accurate than that of a CANON LAWYER. Really, it takes a lot of gall to try to claim you are right and the Pastor of MHR and a Canon Lawyer is wrong.

Just curious, what makes you an expert on Catholic teachings besides being able to cut and paste.
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Chrissee
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 12:41 pm
timberlandko wrote:
Those who look for the currents of the times to bring about a new liberalism within The Church ignore history. Around every 500 years or so, some sort of upheaval gets The Church's wagons in a circle. Here we go again.



You are the one ignoring history. You act like the Catholic Church exists in a vacuum. And anyone who would claim that the Church history repeats itself every 500 years is a real fool.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 12:57 pm
sounds like rosaries at dawn to me
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 01:30 pm
I have far more than clues, Chrissee, about both history and The Church, as well as their relationship to one another. Your freind the Canon Lawyer - and those sharing his views - are in for a rude, unpleasant awakening.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 03:05 pm
What lovely sentiments imparted at MHR.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 08:20 pm
Veeeeerrrrrrry eeeeeeenterestink .... Ben picks Levada as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He's certainly a surprise choice. Then, those who think they know Levada may be in for some surprises.
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kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 09:38 pm
timberlandko wrote:
Your freind the Canon Lawyer - and those sharing his views - are in for a rude, unpleasant awakening.


I agree.

Ratzinger was selected because they need to blame the child molestation on somebody, they selected church liberals, and Ratzinger, fresh from the renamed Office of the Inquisition, is going to excise them from the church.

It will get nasty.

Then in a few years, the new Pope comes in, talking about healing, and the Catholic Church essentially scapegoats the child molestation scandal.
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kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 09:41 pm
And the money from the American Catholics continues to pour in, which is the goal of the entire exercise.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 09:44 pm
Ah.
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Chrissee
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 04:43 am
kelticwizard wrote:
And the money from the American Catholics continues to pour in, which is the goal of the entire exercise.


Money to feed the homeless. )Money to help addicts get off drugs. Money to help AIDS victims. Money to help abused children. Money to...well, you get the picture.

Never thought I would find myself on the defensive side of a Catholic bashing thread but here I am. Very easy to sit behind a computer and do nothing but criticize while not lefting finger to change the world for the better.
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Chrissee
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 05:22 am
timberlandko wrote:
1) The "permissive and accommodative nature of the ministry" refers to not standing firmly against the lifestyle practices of the GLBT community. For instance, offering The Eucharist to persons known by the celebrant of the mass to be openly and habitually in defiance of Church Teachings regarding chastity and celibacy outside the sacrament of Matrimony, homosexual practice, and/or advocacy thereof, is a direct contravention of doctrine. As stated in Canon 915: "Those [...] who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."



Rachel Maddow is talking about this homophobic phenomena as we speak (on Morning Sedition) i.e. that homophobes when faced with gay issues frequently obsess on the sexual aspects when in fact most of us rarely ever talk about the sex we may or may not have ourselves. And I say may or may not have because there certainly exist relationships that become platonic after awhile or may have been platonic from ths start.

I know many of you think that just because we are not repressed like you are that it is all sex, sex, sex. It's not.

What we do in our bedrooms and our relationship with God is not yours or any Pope's business.
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kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 06:07 am
Chrissee wrote:
kelticwizard wrote:
And the money from the American Catholics continues to pour in, which is the goal of the entire exercise.


Money to feed the homeless. )Money to help addicts get off drugs. Money to help AIDS victims. Money to help abused children. Money to...well, you get the picture.


Yes, some of it goes for that, but much of it goes right back to Rome.

Look, Chrissee, the Catholic Church has vast financial resources, and America is the single largest source of those financial resources.

The molestation scandal, which has been revealed for some twenty years but played down by the media here, was exploding and had the potential to wreck that source of income. Clearly, something had to be done.

The answer clearly is: blame the liberals, use the free publicity and momentum of a new Pope to purge the church of these liberals, tell the world that you are ridding yourself of the problem by doing this. Ratzinger is the "heavy".

If their are any excesses, it barely matters since there likely will be a new Pope in five years anyway. The fellow after Ratzinger will be selected for being a Nice Guy, shall vaguely hint that things could have been done perhaps a bit differently, and talks about healing.

Ratzinger was known as a hard liner since forever. Why would they select him, at his age, if that was not the plan?
0 Replies
 
Chrissee
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 08:01 am
Quote:
Yes, some of it goes for that, but much of it goes right back to Rome.


What %?
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 07:13 pm
kelticwizard wrote:
Yes, some of it goes for that, but much of it goes right back to Rome.


That is a fiction. The only funds that flow to The Vatican from the congregations are those attributable to Peter's Pence, primarilly derived from a dedicated special collection held on the Sunday nearest the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29th, though supplementary individual contributions of course are welcomed year-round. Peter's Pence aside, The Vatican is entirely self-supporting:
Quote:
Economy Holy See (Vatican City) This unique, noncommercial economy is supported financially by an annual contribution from Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the world (known as Peter's Pence); by the sale of postage stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by the sale of publications. Investments and real estate income also account for a sizable portion of revenue. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.


The article above perhaps understates the actuality; banking, investment, and real estate activities are the Vatican's chief - and highly lucrative -funding streams. In point of fact, The Vatican not infrequently provides financial support to Church entities thoughout the world unable to meet financial obligations of their own. By any accounting standard, The Vatican pays out to parishes far more than it receives from them.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 08:02 pm
A consideration re the election of Ratzinger-the-hard-line-conservative;

His was one of the swiftest elections on record, coming, as it did, on only the 4th ballot. While the exact numbers never will be known, "credible, informed sources" say Ratzinger garnered in excess of 100 of the 115 possible votes, well over the simple two-thirds majority required, perhaps as few as 10 Cardinals voting otherwise on the 4th ballot.

Most typically, Papal Conclaves rarely conclude wihin less than a week, and dozens of ballots; conclaves lasting weeks or even many months are not unknown. Often, the election of a pope to succeed a strong, long-seated Pope is a lengthy, most contentious affair. The relatively rare intentional selection of "Place Holder" or "Interim" popes have been among those most notable for their length and drama. See:
Behind locked doors - A history of the papal elections; Baumgartner, Frederic
(Palgrave-Macmillan, New York, 2003)



Both swift and decisive, Ratzinger's election bears no sign of having been anything other than a genuine affirmation of conservatism on the part of the electors. Given that the next Papal Conclave's electors will be largely those who participated in Ratzinger's election, and appointees he himself will have elevated to Cardinal, it is unlikely the Pope who succeeds Ratzinger will be philosophically very different from Ratzonger himself.
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Chrissee
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 08:47 pm
All of this is just pure speculation and of very little worth except to keep the thread alive.

Que sera, sera. It won't affect me or my parish family.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 09:41 pm
I'll grant what will come of Benedict XVI' s Papacy is speculation. Some of the speculation is more informed than is some other.

I doubt, however, your parish will be free of effect. Of course, that's just speculation too.
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