Friday, April 01, 2005


But was it Christianity?

Don't miss an excellent article on the Pope in The London Guardian.
He was the first Pope to attempt to reconcile the emotional politics and grievances separating and polarizing the three great monotheistic faiths. For this, even more than his role in ending my childhood nightmares of a Soviet/Western Armageddon, he is my Pope.
Thanks for your comment, A. F. I know many people feel as you do. Indeed, the author of the piece commends John Paul for his efforts at peacemaking and his steadfast opposition to war in Iraq.

To me, he was yet one more Pope to deny the poor protection from AIDS and overpopulation through the use of condoms and the Pope who allowed extremists from Opus Dei to rise to power. My prediction is that any good the Pope did will quickly unravel as these extremists take over.

For these reasons, he is not my Pope.
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I have to agree with Charles here.

He was for all intents and purposes in Ratzinger's hip pocket. And Cardinal Ratzinger is essentially the reincarnation of Metternich -- the ultimate reactionary.

JPII and Ratzinger essentially wrote off the US and Europe, where a high level of modernism (that is, literacy and secular thought) have steadily eroded church membership, for the undeveloped world. But they are facing stiff competition, in the form of evangelical Protestantism, which has serious inroads into the Latino Catholic base in the Americas. Plus, the Vatican is being propped up financially by North America and Europe: They have to move fast to win the hearts-and-minds battle in the rest of the world before the money runs out, and they're competing with the far-more-skilled proselytizers of the evangelical movement.
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