Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2005

Bendictus XVI

Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany Is New Pope

Thank god for him already being 78.

---

also Billmon's post: Heil Ratzinger

Posted by b on April 19, 2005 at 17:01 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

As far as I remember, not having been in a Roman Catholic church for some time, God is a conservative (hence the penchant for Polish anticommunists, Bavarian authoritarians and the noticeable disinclination to give the top spot to a woman in the past few hundred years), Jesus is a liberal, and the Holy Ghost is an anarchist.

But basically I'm with Jerome on this one - relativism rules!

Posted by: Dismal Science | Apr 19 2005 17:08 utc | 1

That's it. I have been wavering too long. Tomorrow I will leave the catholic church.

Posted by: teuton | Apr 19 2005 17:11 utc | 2

His entry in the Malachi Prophecy is "Gloria Olivae" -- the Benedictines are sometimes known as the Olivetans. So far so good. Just one more Pope, Peter The Last, and we can finally chuck the Church out.

Posted by: Lupin | Apr 19 2005 17:29 utc | 3

So, why did he pick Benedictus as his Pope name? Well, Torquemada is a last name.

Looks like the Pope after him will be able to move the Seat from Rome to Latin America; it's not as if there will be much practising Catholics left after his reign...

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 19 2005 17:32 utc | 4

ratzinger a.k.a. benedict(n) was/is the head of the inquisition, and he is from southern bavaria.

the ideological and operational doctrine of the inquisition was written by two scoundrels/priests from middle age times who were also from southern bavaria. this piece of literary work has come to be known to the world as malleus maleficarum, roughly translated that means "hammer of the sorcerers".

Posted by: name | Apr 19 2005 17:49 utc | 5

You've got to be kidding...this stuff couldn't be scripted any more like an apopcalyptic Hollywood movie, if there were actual Hollywood writers writing it...

This from MSNBC pretty tells everything that needs to be told:

"Ratzinger served John Paul II since 1981 as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In that position, he has disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts by liberals for reforms. He turned 78 on Saturday."
Darthvader (or Dick Cheney if you prefer) was just elected pope. Being brought up Catholic, I feel well within my rights to say screw the new pope and screw the Catholic church for electing this guy. It will be a good long time, if ever, that I go to a Catholic mass again.

Posted by: Caleb | Apr 19 2005 17:51 utc | 6

CJ:
So, why did he pick Benedictus as his Pope name? Well, Torquemada is a last name.

Would you elaborate a bit, please?

Posted by: jj | Apr 19 2005 17:55 utc | 7

I'm pretty sure if Hollywood was writing it, the preppy priest would have been forced to choose between the love interest and serving as Pope while saving the world from the Muslim Terror in a gripping roof-top chase through the Vatican.

Personally, I'm interested to see how this plays out. Pass the Smarties (I hate popcorn, sorry).

Posted by: Colman | Apr 19 2005 17:56 utc | 8

In one of his books Milestones, Ratzinger wrote,

“. . . in today’s world the theme of truth has all but disappeared, because truth appears too great for man, and yet everything falls apart if there is no truth.”

Sounds like he know's the bigger picture apart from condoms etc.

Posted by: Friendly Fire | Apr 19 2005 17:57 utc | 9

I don't care about the pope.

Posted by: Jérôme | Apr 19 2005 18:13 utc | 10

We're having a meeting: Hello, my name is Joe, and.......

Posted by: Joe Jackson | Apr 19 2005 18:26 utc | 11

To better appreciate Cardinal Ratzinger's point of view as Benedict XVI you may want to check out the biography of Benedict XV. When Cardinals choose the names of prior popes as their own they do so for a reason. One of Benedict XV assets was his investment in peace. He tried his best to head off WWI without success. Wikipedia has a nice one-pager.

Posted by: alnval | Apr 19 2005 18:28 utc | 12

the church in its wisdom could not have done worse than if they had chosen mephistopholes or the devil himself - guileo andreotti

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 18:28 utc | 13

JJ: Joseph Ratzinger was for quite a long time the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was once known as the Holy Inquisition. And, as a Pope, you have a first name, not a last name - of course, you could argue he could've picked Tomas, which was Torquemada's first name.

My post was also a way to point that so far no one actually wondered why he picked Benedictus, and not JP III for instance. He surely didn't picked it out of a hat, so it means something to him (like JPI, wanting to show he was placing himself in direct succession of John XXIII and Paul VI, and therefore to Vatican II Council). With B XVI, it's tricky, since there are so many that it's tough to guess if he wants to directly refer to one of them (and which one, there were reformers, pacifists, heretic-burners, and others too short-lived to make much impact). Yet the last one died in 1922, so you'd have to wonder if he wants to bring the Church back to pre-Vatican II status - carefully avoiding to pick Pius, which was pre-Vatican II, but is also tarnished by the 1930s and WWII, and won't be picked again before 22th century at the earliest.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 19 2005 18:38 utc | 14

geez! i thought stalin the second would have been appropriate.

Posted by: lenin's ghost | Apr 19 2005 18:39 utc | 15

debt-slavery bill passed. Ratzinger the next Pope. ANWR drilling unleashed. Bush not impeached yet. Marla Ruzicka dead. and the beat goes on. sheesh, isn't there any good news?

meanwhile in CA, an environmental radical gets 8 years for firebombing unoccupied SUVs [he was a physics student, which I suppose "proves" the BushCo/theocrat theory that science and education are dangerous]. US troops in Iraq get reprimands (in some cases not even that) for wanton murder, torture, etc. Cardinal Law gets a promotion. Tony remains Teflon to the core, Cheney gets richer every day, Sharon must be running on his tenth, let alone ninth political life by now, and Putin -- well, he's got his very own Hitler Youth type fanclub now, one of whom just whacked Kasparov over the head with a chessboard.

the world as scripted by Hieronymous Bosch... I sometimes understand why the End Timers so desperately want to believe in a day of reckoning.

Posted by: DeAnander | Apr 19 2005 18:40 utc | 16

Does anyone know where that picture Billmon put up is from?

Posted by: exitiorum | Apr 19 2005 18:44 utc | 17

I still don't understand why some people actually believe they need a pope or religion, to be spiritual.

Posted by: Ben | Apr 19 2005 18:54 utc | 18

no, its really stunning - the conservative & fascist forces are having hat tricks everywhere. ratzinger is opus dei's man from his cloved feet to his horned head. whatever progressive tendencies within the church can be in no doubt - their defeat is total. the african, asian & latin american catholics have got a european hardman whose histroy is soied from the old times to the recent past

this one will make the wartime pius look like an angel

perhaps he'll give the americans a concordat to kill more muslims

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 18:59 utc | 19

This Pope stuff is way over my head, but it does seem plausible that the Ratz will provoke a major secession movement in his church if he gets too far out of line. Is he the one that tried to squelch the anti-sodomist movement in America? The deck was stacked, and everyone knew it. I'm with Jérôme. Who cares?

Posted by: Knut Wicksell | Apr 19 2005 19:16 utc | 20

Note the connection between Eric Rudolph and Ratzinger. Ratzinger needed a quiet settlement of the Rudolph case, since Rudolph was a follower of a radical southern catholic church. Rudolph was against abortionists, gays, and race-mixers.

Posted by: anon | Apr 19 2005 19:23 utc | 21

Ratzinger- Now with 100% more infallibility!

Posted by: biklett | Apr 19 2005 19:23 utc | 22

ratzinger was chief amongst those who in a bloody minded way destroyed the theology of liberation within the church. he has also been opposed to any modernist trend in relation to sexuality

ratzinger has long deep & ongoing relationship with the fascist lay sect opus dei - who as the french progressive catholics say - will lock the door, finally on any movement of reform

now mad mel gibson can rejoin the mother church - he would feel at home with these other fascists

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 19:27 utc | 23

As much as Ratzinger sucks, and as much as I love Whiskey Bar, calling Ratzinger a Nazi was just lame. Yes, he grew up in Germany at the wrong time. But e.g. calling for denial of communion to John Kerry for not being anti-abortion enough, while allowing it for supporters of the death penalty, is disgusting. Call him on that instead.

Posted by: Allen K. | Apr 19 2005 19:40 utc | 24

i was thinking of whom ratzinger resembles most historically & it came top me - clear as day - martin bormann - the silent & firm administrator. the plotter & counterplooter who works his way through the schisms to consolidate his own position

this world is so dark - one can imagine that the already conservative cardinals of whom ratzinger was a principal creator - that they wanted a hard man

the bullshit press speak of him as a pope of transition. on the contrary this virile pope is a consolidator & he has rung the bell, the final bell on progressive catholicism.

ô this little volkmetaphysician has already received a blessing from his temporal bosses - george bush & rupert murdoch - who speak of a man of civilisation & culture. civilisation & culture being hardened planks for a 14 year old hitler jugend

i have just rewatched marcus ophuls 'le chagrin et la pitié' which reveals what people do under fascism at a local level - they obey for the most part - & the heroes are rare

the church appears to have no heroes - no heroes at all

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 19:45 utc | 25

allen k

let me be clear - i do not culpabilise a 14 year old hitler youth but what i do call fascism is his over 50 years of consistent & deliberate preserving of that aspect of the chirch which is deeply shameful. what was done systematically & with great premeditation towards the liberation theologians especially in latin america which led to the isolation & assasination of militant catholic clergy & their lay workers

i call fascism a degradation of morality in love with power that has caused millions of deaths in the third world in relation to aids

i call it fascism when moral superiority is matched only with a misanthropy for real people in real forms -through very real exploitation, through very real neglect & for a very real absence of authority - moral or otherwise

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 19:53 utc | 26

Off topic. Joe Biden is tearing Bolten a new asshole on C-Span two right now. It is great.

Posted by: jdp | Apr 19 2005 20:01 utc | 27

Actually, I wouldn't blame him to much as a person for having been in the Hitler Jugend since most of the kids were, and they weren't even asked - especially consdering he came from Bavaria, the cesspool of German Catholic conservatism (this may also explain why he's become quite a reactionary). That said, it is quite an issue if later on you want to become some prominent world leader.
In fact, I'd be way more outraged depending on what he really means by this: "He has since said that although he was opposed to the Nazi regime, any open resistance would have been futile ". If he means that as a 14-y old he thought resistance was futile, well, ok, I can see it. If he means that now he's still thinking that resistance to nazism was futile and therefore people shouldn't have resisted, I'd take issue with this, because his ultimate boss, Jesus, as well as the original Pope Peter and his fellow Paul surely didn't think so when facing oppression. This would also kind of contradict his affirmation of an ultimate Truth that trumps everything else, from what I can see. Having this position now would mean he'd have to take down a good portion of the official saints and martyrs, who died for being foolish enough not to realise resistance was futile.

Now, I won't absolutely condemn him from the beginning, if only because it's too late to change anything. I basically expect the worst and hope it won't happen and he can be less reactionary than feared. Sure, it's not that I specifically care about a Catholic leader, but even if his influence is waning in Europe, he still has a huge impact over many parts of the world and hundreds of mio of people. I wish I wouldn't have to care about religion and religious leaders because this would be a strictly private matter with no relation to the public world and the way countries and the planet are ruled; alas, it isn't really like that.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 19 2005 20:16 utc | 28

i'll be eucamenic - ratzinger also possesses & physical & administrative similarity to the late yuri andropov - ex chef of the kgb & a premier for a transitional moment

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 20:30 utc | 29

Via AP

The dean of the College of Cardinals used his homily at the Mass dedicated to electing the next pope to warn the faithful about tendencies that he considered dangers to the faith: sects, ideologies like Marxism, liberalism, atheism, agnosticism and relativism - the ideology that there are no absolute truths.

Ratzinger has disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts by liberals for reforms, and sees obedience to church doctrine as crucial.

Maybe Billmon can do a photoshop of Ratzi losing his virginity with Ms. Right.


Posted by: Friendly Fire | Apr 19 2005 20:41 utc | 30

we're overlooking that there are 2 separate issues here. 1) Who new pope is. 2) Method of selection. 117 people can't decide on anything in one day. This was merely a handover of power, all worked out in advance. Does anyone have any numbers for how long these "convocations" have taken in the past. In my lifetime, they've been quite lengthy.

Is he Opus Dei officially, or just unofficially?

Hopefully the Western Countries will secede & form their own church, but this won't stop him from putting the money & institutional power of Hierarchy in xUS into closer working alliance w/Fascist & Theocrats - but they learned their lesson last time - this time they'll include reactionary Jews in their alliances!!

Posted by: jj | Apr 19 2005 20:45 utc | 31

Ratzinger is a reactionary, but attacking him on his "Nazi" past just plays into the hands of his allies. Let's have a little context - joining a seminary in 1941 was certainly not the act of a loyal Nazi - in fact it tagged you as politically unreliable as far as the devout Nazis were concerned. The Nazis used and coopted the more reactionary elements in the Catholic church to help keep people in line, but the Nazis were quite open about their dislike of Catholicism as an ideology. And yes, the resisters who got sent to Dachau did set an example - that resisting would get you sent to Dachau. Now a true Catholic believer should have been willing to martyr himself for the truth, but cowardice doesn't make you a Nazi sympathizer. Do you consider Guenter Grass or Willy Brandt Nazi sympathizers?

Posted by: Vanya | Apr 19 2005 20:49 utc | 32

OT - no vote on Bolton in FR comittee today, deliberations will continue next week. (Thx for the CSpan tip jdp)

Posted by: b | Apr 19 2005 21:06 utc | 33

Let's face it: all religions are placebos, and for most people the most effective placebo isn't a sugar pill. The most effective placebos are bitter and make you feel sick to your stomach; that's how you know they're working. If the Catholic church dilutes its dogma into a sweet, easy-to-swallow sugar pill then it will lose its efficacy. Being saved (really saved) has to hurt.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 19 2005 21:10 utc | 34

I'm going to Innisfree:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Media is freaking me out

Posted by: Friendly Fire | Apr 19 2005 21:24 utc | 35

i am not calling him a nazi - but yes he fills the bill for any fascist autocrat - & he has proved that lucidly in his 23 years as guardian of the faith & his 'good works' that preced that office

in any cas the apellation nazi wouldn't have fit bormann either - he was the administrator par excellence - the system red or brown - didn't matter a great deal to martin - power in its redemptive power tends to transcend the imbecilities of ideology & both men use it only to consolidate their own power.

ratzinger is no more interested in my soul than bin laden is interested in my heart. men of their ilk do not consider people people - we are mere leaves to be trampled in the mud in their march to power.

the devil himself andreotti was frank enough to call the people just that - mud. coppola shamelessly appropriates the line in his documentary of papal power - the godfather lll

& yes there were people of faith - unfortunately very few of them that resisted nazism - dietrich bohnhoffer being one of the few whose theological brilliance has clearly not touched the hardened shell of this pretend pope from bavaria

the question of cowardice or complicity or silence is extremely pertinent in our time where the muder of innocents is carried on apace 'hidden' by the faithful servants of empire. we know what they have done all over iraq - we know exactly what they have done in tikrit, in mosul, in fallujah in baghdad - we know that evil works are being practiced by the soldiers of empire in the cause of christian civilisation

the nature of what a 'good german' was has been adequately & fully written & we have only to read the scholarship to understand - that we are in our way - as guilty as any 'good german'

a papal figure who not only did not offer real protection for his clergy in latin america but had real & concrete relations with killing groups as in el salvador where their existence had the tacit blessing of the conservatives within the church. the absence of protection &assasination of archbishop romero & the blessing of his killers - chief amongst them that catholic militant d'aubisson - should be a reminder of exactly where the conservative church sites itself

its utter neglect of the people will simply allow the american evangilicals to set up business as they are now doing all over africa latin america & south east asia. & the evangilicals are only interested in what is in your pocket - literally

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 21:25 utc | 36

Nazi is overstating it a bit. But the Catholic Church has a pretty gruesome history of complicity with fascism extending from the 1920's Lateran Accord with Italy (Mussolini was the first Italian leader they would deal with after Italy's unification in the 1800's), right through its support for Nationalism in 1930's Spain and then into WWII. Fascists and the Church's authoritarians hated the same things - communism, modernism, the Enlightenment, Jews - and the two philosophies made all-too-comfortable political bedfellows. And then there's that whole matter of the Inquisition and centuries of anti-Semitism. The Church is feeling too good about the peace its made with this history if its chosen as Pope the one guy eligible for the job who actually served in Hitler's army. He's not a Nazi - but still, what sane organization is going to choose an authoritarian, anti-modernist German with this history to lead them into the XXIst century? What exactly are they saying with this choice? Couldn't you choose a guy who didn't, you know, fight for Hitler in WWII, whatever the circumstances? Unfortunately, they've chosen the same type of anti-modernist as Pius IX who invented papal infallibility and Pius XII who fell into bed with Hitler one crazy night. "Nazi" may be inflammatory and wrong, but it fits Pope Benedict a lot better than most of the people - which is flying faster and more furious than pies at an Ann Coulter rant - who get hit with the tag and never even wore a Wehrmacht uniform.

Posted by: NickM | Apr 19 2005 21:33 utc | 37

I don't care about the pope.

Posted by: Jérôme | April 19, 2005 02:13 PM | #

Jerome:

It's very easy to comment if you just cut and paste your comment from last week.

You are like a broken record on this subject.

Couldn't you have said something a little bit different this time?

Posted by: Groucho | Apr 19 2005 21:36 utc | 38

I think a lot of the reaction on the left is overstated - first of all, how important is the Pope really? Even if you are a Catholic? This is no longer 1150, or even 1950. Yes, his anti-birth control stance will probably have a pernicious effect in Africa, but people tend to follow the lead of the clergy, and the African clergy tends to be fairly independent, albeit reactionary in many ways. The jubilation on the American Right is also misplaced. The reactionary elements in the Vatican do not particularly like the US. JPII was against the war in Iraq, and there's every reason to think Ratzinger feels the same way. The American Empire is a threat to the Vatican in many ways. To the extent Ratzinger did digest reactionary fascist views growing up in 1930s Germany, those views typically included contempt for the materialist, shallow, overly democratic US so Ratzinger is not necessarily ready to be best buddies with Dubya. The sorts of American reactionaries he will support are not ones most American protestants or Catholics are going to find appealing.

Posted by: Vanya | Apr 19 2005 21:59 utc | 39

the church in its wisdom could not have done worse than if they had chosen mephistopholes or the devil himself

^^ ...this from a marxist ateist. Great.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Apr 19 2005 22:12 utc | 40

vanya
i think you will find that ratzinger has been an 'agent of influence' - for the americans for some time - many of his contemporaries were considered 'assets' by the cia especially those like him who had a good cold war

there is one book amongst many ' who paid the piper' which are about exactly how the state dept & the cia collected their 'assets' - during the fifities & sixties - & in this too ratzinger fits the bill perfectly - i would expect no hostility to the new fuhrer in washington & his thousand year reich

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 22:16 utc | 41

ô yes marcin gomulka i am what the polish would call a cultural bolshevik of cosmopolitan tendencies

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 19 2005 22:19 utc | 42

You'd think that after all this time, if they were going to finally elect a German pope, the cardinals would have had enough sense not to select someone with any Nazi credentials. Strange.

Posted by: bcf | Apr 19 2005 22:34 utc | 43

Billmon nails it once again. (What else is new?)

Vanya:- first of all, how important is the Pope really? Even if you are a Catholic?

Well, Bernard Law who was called to (protected by) the Vatican handed over Catholic mailings lists to Rove in 1999. And the Vatican didn't discourage the US Catholic Bishop who called for refusing to serve Kerry communion in 2004 and made it be known that Kerry was not acceptable to them. That's right they preferred a non-Catholic (does anybody know what GWB's real religious affiliation is?) who embraces the death penalty and unilateral invasions killing tens of thousands to a man who respects the rights of women to manage their own fertility. The large Catholic vote for GWB may have been decisive in the election.

Posted by: Marie | Apr 19 2005 22:49 utc | 44

Well, you can always trust the Catholic Church to pick a nearly dead white guy to lead it.

Posted by: Elizabeth | Apr 19 2005 22:52 utc | 45

So I shall call myself a social democrat.
(and BTW, Poland beat the Bolshevik in 1920.)

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Apr 19 2005 23:03 utc | 46

"Ratzinger served John Paul II since 1981 as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In that position, he has disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts by liberals for reforms."

Yes, "discipline" like ex-communicating the renegade bishop who recently ordained seven women priests and excommunicating the women priests too. But not one child molester/rapist priest was ex-communicated. And the rapist-enabler Cardinal Law was given rewards and high profile at the funeral mass last week, presumably by Ratzinger.

Having read the book Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven by theologian Ute Rank-Heinemann, I can finally recognize the pure hatred of women in its male supremacist doctrines which is still taught in Catholic Seminaries. I left the church for that alone. That was before the child molestation scandals.

Thus, the elevation of Ratzinger to the papacy reflects very badly on all the Cardinals Bishops and Priests. Jesus of Nazereth, who chose the apostle Mary Magdelene as the first person to preach the good news, would not have approved.

Posted by: | Apr 19 2005 23:40 utc | 47

He's a fascist-compatible reactionary - though I agree w/bcf's comment above. Wonder if Peggy Noonan will sing his praises in print tomorrow!!

In any event I think the method of his ascendancy is at least as dangerous as he is....for those of us concerned w/preserving freedoms. As in xAmerican political life, the fascist-friendly wing of the church has found a way to propagate itself. It doesn't matter if this hardly holy boy is poisoned in 37 days, or dies of old age in a few yrs., the evil element of the institution is firmly in control of the reins of power pending a revolt by it's better half.

Also, It does matter where the pope is from & what his politics are. That tells you what his focus & job description are. The last reactionary was chosen to help in assault on communism in Eastern Europe, in parallel w/Brzezinski's plan to over-extend Russia militarily by drawing them into Afghanistan. Then, after the collapse, he yammered away w/empty pieties about freedom, while the Pirates pillaged those societies.

This fascist-compatible reactionary's job is to bring the catholic malehierarchy & it's assets up to speed in implementing a repressive religious order in the West in parallel w/the repressive economic order the Pirates are now implementing here. He will be expected to take the lead in Europe doing what fundie protestants have done so successfully in xAmerica. New orders have already been founded in France, & xUS to do just that. They're in their infancy & to this he'll devote great care & attention...beginning w/accelerating the war on women.

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 0:08 utc | 48

oops that was my anonymous rant about the hatred of women in the church

Posted by: gylangirl | Apr 20 2005 0:28 utc | 49

@jj it does occur to me that one way for the plutes to "make more jobs" is to force women back out of the workplace, thus freeing up more of the few remaining real US jobs for men. certainly this seems to be the thrust, you should pardon the expression, of Rush Limblohard's repeated fanfaronades against "feminazis" and affirmative action: that women and Dark Persons are "stealing" jobs from good old boys, and that's why Johnny can't get a job.

in the event of a genuine crash-n-burn of the US economy, increasing unemployment etc, I could imagine the wingnuts both Protestant and Catholic leading a massive backlash of "Angry White Men" against female employment, pushing a new Kinder Kirche Kueche vision of Woman's Place.

Posted by: DeAnander | Apr 20 2005 0:29 utc | 50

I was right. Just checked in w/americablog, an antidote to most of the sexism of straight male blogs. Amongst their other useful stuff, they had this from John's resident expert on Catholicism:

He's UBER-conservative, he was a bit of a liberal, a moderate, as a young man. But the 1968 student uprisings turned him into an arch uber-conservative, he's like a convert, the worst kind of conservative.

He will do for the Catholic Church's what Lewis Powell (Powell Memo) coupled w/Miltie Friedman's mechanics & rationalizations did for reactionary economics; what Sammy Huntington - "Crisis of Democracy", rpt. for Council on Foreign Relations - provided for reactionary politics...All the institutions of power throughout the West have been taken over by those in the grip of reactionary fear & rage at the explosion of freedom amongst the masses in the West in the 60's.

Be interesting to see if the liberal & moderate Catholics, whose church is being taken over by the reactionaries just as in the Protesant denominations - according to a Kos diary w/in the last month - will join forces, learn from each other, etc., since they have a common, if different enemy.

Probably the hope is that he'll live long enough to complete this unfinished business in the West, by which time they'll have reactionaries ready from Southern Countries - can't say Third World Countries anymore, since reactionaries' project in league w/the Pirates is to turn the West into Third World Countries - to carry on down there.

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 0:35 utc | 51

Isn't the Catholic church concerned about the declining population of European Christians?

Aren't they concerned about the rising population of European Muslims?

Did Cardinal Ratzinger comment on converting Muslims to Christianity and that their God wasn't the same as the Catholic God?

Wasn't Torquemado a Jew who converted?

Just wondering.

Posted by: jd | Apr 20 2005 0:38 utc | 52

@ DeAnander

Well, they've already put a male face on every career field by preventing married employed American women from keeping the fruits of their paid labor. "Heads of Households"/primary earners income is legally taxed at much lower marginal rates than secondary earners, who are always the primary child care givers, ie mothers. As a result of 1948 anti-Rosie-the-Riveter social engineering, it doesn't usually pay to return to paid work after having a baby, raising kids. The 1948 "secondary earner" income tax category is responsible for the mass exodus of women from the paid workforce -- and thus also a major cause of: employment discrimination against women; the wage gap; the glass ceiling; the lack of parity in female representation in political and in business leadership positions; and the inability of the progressive movement to co-opt married women into pro-labor and anti-war voting patterns.

Posted by: gylangirl | Apr 20 2005 0:46 utc | 53

At this point, I WISH the Catholic Church were so broken toothed and decrepit and politically impotent that we could ALL say: I don't care about the pope. And I say that even though I've written, at length, about the good things the church does that don't make the papers or the blogs because they happen every day all over the world.

I know it's my anger speaking, but it's hard not to see the election of this pope as one great big FUCK YOU to the non-reactionary world. Those sour old bastards would rather destroy their own church than see it dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world.

Call it another sign of the disease of our age: creeping Talibanism.

Like I said, at this point I wish the church was irrelevant. But it's not. A lot of innocent people are going to die because of one crusty old German fanatic and his medieval obsessions. And our own homegrown ayatollahs just gained a papal ally even more dedicated to stamping out the dying embers of American progressivism than their OLD papal ally.

As you can tell, I am RIGHT pissed about this, and I don't particularly care whether its fair or not to bring up Ratzo's fling with the Hitler Youth. My only regret is that he didn't have the guts to follow his little friends to the bitter end. Maybe he would have gotten in the way of a Soviet tank shell.

Posted by: Billmon | Apr 20 2005 0:48 utc | 54

De-
I completely agree & am waiting for signs of that. The right has made noises about getting them out of the military, for starters. Not having abortions & free-contraception available at every medical facility certainly facilitates that. On the other hand, once young women realize the future the military has in store for them, many are only too happy to get pregnant to get out of Iraq, the military, etc.

Which leads me to something I've worried about for awhile. What the young don't get, but the right most certainly do, is that w/out reproductive control, you won't get hired. Being anti-abortion is not only the code word for a War on Women, but is a prelude & pretext to getting women out of the workforce. "How can you hire a cunt, ummmm...excuse me I mean a female, 'cuz they're just going to get pregnant."

But then I realized the other day, that an impt. reason the young aren't fighting hard for abortion is 'cuz they figure "Oh well, so much for vaginal intercourse....it was always over-rated anyway, ...we'll just have sex by other means like gays, etc...and save vaginal intercourse for when we want to get pregnant." Obviously in a culture that smears the female body all over hell like so much shit to sell everything, the sex explosion will continue unabated...the right will just accelerate the obsolesence of vaginal intercourse. Gotta love it!!! So, the young, who didn't fight for abortion FIRST so they had the freedom to pursue other things in life, don't understand the connection - they consider abortion as either/both not very relevant to anything else & so much a part of their very identities that they can't begin to comprehend existing w/out it .
Speaking of the Virulent Hatred of Women in the MaleCatholic Hierarchy...Thanks Gylangirl - I appreciated yr. "rant". Has anyone else noticed how this public orgy of hate by the right is so heavily populated & fronted by so many male homosexuals, largely sadists?? Compare Repugs & Church to Clinton Admin - there's no contest...Among Rabble-rousers -Limbaugh, Mike Savage; in politics, Rove, Bush, Scottie McClellan, head of Repug. party, on and on and on...and what are Andrew Greeley's estimates of male homosexuals among the MaleCath. priests - 2/3's at least!!

(Footnote: I have friends who love Catholicism & refer to the Catholic Church as the body of believers in the core beliefs; thus, I"m reluctant to use that term to refer to the MaleHierarchy & their assets...so having a terminology problem.)

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 1:04 utc | 55

on Ratzinger's choice of name Benedict: Perhaps it is more about the latin translation of that name and his huge ego thinking it describes himself.

Posted by: gylangirl | Apr 20 2005 1:19 utc | 56

Billmon wrote:
I know it's my anger speaking, but it's hard not to see the election of this pope as one great big FUCK YOU to the non-reactionary world.

No, Billmon, it's called Consolidation of Power across all major Western Institutions..
It's core, it's driving force, is the Pirate Economic Order re-creating an economic system run by the bankers & lawyers on Wall Street & it radiates out from there. Pls. read "Crisis of Democracy". Get up to speed on the major reactionary manifestos that are guiding this and re-think the economics of freedom. Maybe read David Korten for starters.

You can't have it both ways. You can't have an economic order that concentrates all money & decision-making in a handful of rich boys, & have a stable order unless the other institutions are similarly repressive & geared to control & re-direct the rage that will be unleashed when even the masses can see that their countries are almost Third World Countries. A liberal Catholic Church would stand in the way of elite plans for xAmerica.

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 1:19 utc | 57

I don't really care about the pope.

Posted by: Groucho | Apr 20 2005 1:21 utc | 58

oh yeah.. the 'feminization of poverty' is another result of forcing married women out of the paid workforce via taxing women's income more than men's.

Posted by: gylangirl | Apr 20 2005 1:22 utc | 59

What does x mean in xAmerica? Thanks.

Posted by: gylangirl | Apr 20 2005 1:25 utc | 60

Who would a thunk it...

Ratzo Rizzo was a Catholic?

Guess 'Everybody's talkin' now'

So is Joe Buck the new Popian right hand(ed) man?

Posted by: RossK | Apr 20 2005 1:35 utc | 61

As has probably been said a million times already tonight, we have no way of knowing what was in Ratzinger's heart in the early 1940's. But we have plenty of reason to heap scorn upon him for his recent actions. Let's leave the art of character asassination to the conservatives and instead provide a fact-based challenge to his positions.

Posted by: Tom DC/VA | Apr 20 2005 1:41 utc | 62

@Tom dc/va - those who provide cover for those who eat their young under cover of authority cannot possibly have their character assasinated - they've already "suicided" it.

Or is pedophilia, as I suspect, how a band of eunuchs reproduces itself? (I'm serious..if the data were available, it would be a fascinating study...at least historically I suspect that is the case...it's probably a method by which the current generation selects & "grooms"/maims the next generation.)

@GYLANGIRL - yes, since America is no longer the country of our birth, of it's birth, of it's traditions, I needed some means of denoting that, of separating the old from the "new". That was handy & quick, and I thought self-explanatory so I grabbed it; but I'm certainly open to better possibilities.

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 1:53 utc | 63

jj @ 9:19 pm, you are a person after my own heart. I believe that further cintrol of the masses through repressive religious belief is a phase of elite planning in this current cycle of history.

I am a big believer in "elite theory" and that concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands requires good christian soldiers to sit back and take it. But with any republican lead cycle, it all wil crash. But do we have another FDR to pull again for the little guy?

Posted by: jdp | Apr 20 2005 2:01 utc | 64

Say what you like about these Moonotheists but they really, really LOVE talking about popes. It's humbling to be in the presence of such experts for their ranks will always throw up one or two, or twenty or thirty, absolute experts on the life and inner thoughts of any cardinal you care to mention.

There is a little bitterness around some of the discussion but that's understandable in the wake of the non selection of the cardinal that the Moonotheists had hoped to see triumphantly ushering in a new era at the Vatican as Pope Liberace I. The spandex cycling shorts, the trademark Coca Cola biretta, the leather-clad 'special friend' who went everywhere in the popemobile with their hero, the papal catchphrase that the world chorused in happy harmony: "Yeah, sure, why not? Whatever you like!", a catchphrase their man always followed up by leering and giving a knowing wink, alas these dreams were not to be.

They had come crashing down the instant it had been announced that the cardinals had elected a Catholic.


Better luck next time people.

Posted by: Martin Luther | Apr 20 2005 2:12 utc | 65

JDP wrote:
I am a big believer in "elite theory" and that concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands requires good christian soldiers to sit back and take it.

And Good Christian Soldiers to Enforce their Order Upon the World. But happily for the elite, the old institutions are rising to the challenge.

"AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.

There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the past four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet."

Link

Anyone agree w/me that "Onward Christian Soldiers" should be the National Anthem of xAmerica. Or should it just replace "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"?

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 2:22 utc | 66

stock tip: soft cushions & comfy chairs

Posted by: b real | Apr 20 2005 2:35 utc | 67

@martin luther: LOL! Yes they certainly elected a Catholic! As they say in my newly adopted religion, "all is in divine order!". This pope will likely further marginalize the Church. Many liberal, yet JP2-starstruck, catholics had forgotten how far from Jesus the church had strayed. Now they will be reminded over and over. They are already voting with their feet. Ironically, the conservatives won't mind.

Posted by: gylangirl | Apr 20 2005 2:43 utc | 68

So people.....


.....do you want John Paul II back?

Posted by: Doctor Faustus | Apr 20 2005 2:53 utc | 69

I agree it may not be fair to bring up his brief and very young involvement with the Nazis, but when the hell did these bastards play fair?

But I am disconcerted that so many folks with direct links to Nazis (W, Ratzinger, Arnold, etc.) also control, at least nominally, some of the biggest purses on the planet.

Posted by: thepuffin | Apr 20 2005 3:11 utc | 70

Seems to me that Nazism, like other Ponzi schemes, was -- for those who got out in time with their loot -- very profitable. Which makes me think that the difference between "an insane system that cannot possibly endure or be tolerated by decent people" and "a damn good profit-taking opportunity" is largely a matter of timing.

Posted by: DeAnander | Apr 20 2005 3:19 utc | 71

Meanwhile http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041905Y.shtml>the American Taliban continue their attempted putsch.

Posted by: DeAnander | Apr 20 2005 3:20 utc | 72

I don't care about the pope either.

Posted by: Ulrich Zwingli | Apr 20 2005 3:43 utc | 73

As a cradle Catholic whose barely hanging on by a thread to any faith in the Church, I'm heartsick and angry and outraged by the choice of this new pope. The only possible worse pick for pope would have been Cardinal (Protecter of Pedophiles) Law.
God, I feel shame and sadness when I think of how the AIDs epidemic is devouring Africa while the Church 'protects life' by teaching that using a condom is wrong...
I wholeheartedly agree with Billmon.

Posted by: ByteB | Apr 20 2005 4:19 utc | 74

Ulrich Zwingli

That’s O.K. my child, I forgive you. And no matter what, I care about YOU.

As for the rest of you, I hurried over here as quickly as I could to see what you were all saying for of course the Vatican keenly hangs on to the words of its esteemed children at the Moon of Alabama for theological and spiritual guidance. The sour grapes that you are finding so unpalatable today are as the bitter cup our Lord was forced to drink from so look not upon your suffering as an affliction but rather as a foretaste of what is to come.

Das katholische Reich hat zwei tausend Jahre gelebt. Vertrauen Sie mir, ihm lebt für Tausenden von mehr Jahren.

Dominus vobiscum

Posted by: Pope Benedict XVI | Apr 20 2005 5:00 utc | 76

Weird image from Time magazine main page.

After reading Billmon on Time, it really looked like a burning cross in the background, to me.

Posted by: cashmere | Apr 20 2005 5:21 utc | 77

I think i've heard that at Bob Jones University they think the Pope is the Anti-Christ - as has been said, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

As for you, Pope Benedict XVI, surely you must admit that there is at least SOME chance that Jesus will come back before those additional thousand years you're predicting (if I understand you correctly - mein deutsch ist sehr bissel) - it has been written, "no man knows the day or the hour".

Posted by: Marcus Twainus | Apr 20 2005 5:24 utc | 78

From a article in Der Spiegel:

Joseph Ratzinger Is Selected to Lead Catholic Church

Hans Kung, a respected German theologian and critic of Vatican policies whose license to teach was withdrawn by the Vatican in 1979 as a result of his criticisms against church policies, said he was "disappointed" by the decision. However, he compared it to an American presidential election and said people "should allow the pope 100 days to learn."

Posted by: Fran | Apr 20 2005 5:43 utc | 79

There is a fascinating article featured on Arts and Letters Daily.http://www.aldaily.com/

Here are the first paragraphs:

"Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world

Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome

By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=630165

17 April 2005
For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament."

Not only is this exciting for people interested in classical history and literature, it's implications for the Holy Roman Church (as well as the rest of Christendom) might be explosive. Lost Christian gospels! Just think about how this will go down with the crowd that insists that the Bible is inerrant and, its author can neither deceive or be deceived?

Should the New Testament currently in use be deemed incomplete or in any way inauthentic, the rumbling and shaking of foundations cracking will be something to behold.

Posted by: susan | Apr 20 2005 6:00 utc | 80

Well, the New Testament is incomplete. Even today there are additional Gospels available from the Nag Hammadi scrolls found about 3 decates ago in Egypt.

Posted by: Fran | Apr 20 2005 6:06 utc | 81

I don't care about the Pope very much either, but I am puzzled by the venom of a crowd of non-catholics. You really do seem shocked that the Cardinals didn's elect a black muslim woman to be Popey.

When Hans Kung, who has suffered directly at this guy's hands, says give him a chance, he's probably got a better insight than you on the topic. Let's see what the guy does as Pope before wasting piles of energy going batshit-crazy about him.

Posted by: Colman | Apr 20 2005 6:13 utc | 82

"Well, the New Testament is incomplete. Even today there are additional Gospels available from the Nag Hammadi scrolls found about 3 decates ago in Egypt."

Yes, you're right. Incomplete is the wrong word. Perhaps I should have said that Fundamentalist Christians might feel threatened if they were exposed to something that challenge their thinking and beliefs.

Posted by: susan | Apr 20 2005 6:36 utc | 83

If we're a bit touchy on the subject of reactionary males wielding power in the name of religion, Colman, it's probably 'cuz we live in a country where they're ascendant. And if you've been following the press & blogs in recent days, they're threatening this very moment to take over our judiciary - the last of the three branches they haven't seized. They are also implementing a plan to take over moderate & liberal Protestant churches. These guys may be largely fundie Protestants, rather than Catholics, but it was Ratzo who Personally Intervened in our last election to a) deny communion to Kerry & anyone else who supports abortion-rights b). tell bishops to mobilize congregations to vote for Bu$h. Catholics who traditionally vote xDem., numerically went for Bu$hCo. according to official '04 results - whatever the fuck that means w/rigged elections, but at least it provided sufficient cover to allow the thieves to rig the catholic vote. Many of us take this as a very personal threat to our welfare. As far as America is concerned, I think he's already had his 100 days that Kung would give him. So, say now that he's pope, he counters it w/urging bishops to work against the death penalty, so as to leave some balancing legacy. Sorry, it doesn't even the scales.

Posted by: jj | Apr 20 2005 6:42 utc | 84

Susan, they can't see or hear anything that challenges their beliefs: no such thing exists in their universe.

Posted by: Colman | Apr 20 2005 6:43 utc | 85

"Susan, they can't see or hear anything that challenges their beliefs: no such thing exists in their universe."

I am sitting here thinking of all the things this new discovery might reveal that could sow doubt in the minds of these zealots. However, everything needed to challenge their thinking is available to them right now. So, I guess you are right, nothing can open their minds; they are forever sealed.

If they didn't try to impose their ignorance on me, I wouldn't care; but they do, and I am deeply offended.


Posted by: susan | Apr 20 2005 7:03 utc | 86

@jj & gylangirl:

xAmerica could also stand for Christian America, or the Holy American Empire, the X being the sign of the tilted cross, close to the swastika, don't you agree? Old America = paleo-America. New America = neo America. Whatever you call it, it's a foreign land. Or as Heinlein might say, we are Strangers in a Strange Land. For myself, I have bestowed this name on Panzer Kardinal Ratzinger, Pope Panzerfaust the First.

Posted by: Shoeless Joe Stalin | Apr 20 2005 7:45 utc | 87

Fascinating story from Arts and Letters Daily, Susan. Incredible! Thank you for that post.

Posted by: SJS | Apr 20 2005 9:03 utc | 88

Now this is becoming hysterical:

Some See Image of Virgin Mary at Overpass

CHICAGO - A steady stream of the faithful and the curious, many carrying flowers and candles, have flocked to an expressway underpass for a view of a yellow and white stain on a concrete wall that some believe is an image of the Virgin Mary.

"We believe it's a miracle," said Elbia Tello, 42, of Chicago. "We have faith, and we can see her face."

Police have patrolled the emergency turnoff area under the Kennedy Expressway since Monday as hundreds of people have walked down to see the image and the growing memorial of flowers and candles that surround it. Beside the image is an artist's rendering of the Virgin Mary embracing Pope John Paul II in a pose some see echoed in the stain.

...
Tuesday morning, women knelt with rosary beads behind a police barricade while men in work shirts stood solemnly before the image, praying. A police officer kept the crowd of about three dozen from getting too close to the traffic but didn't stop them gathering around the stain.
...


Posted by: Fran | Apr 20 2005 9:40 utc | 89

The interesting thing about Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was that he was a zealous servant of his superiors, whether it was the more liberal Paul VI who named him a bishop and cardinal, or John Paul II (since 1981). There is very little of his own philosophy out there.

I don't think he really wanted the job. He wanted to retire three years ago, and he has a bunch of health problems. He's been serving others for so long, working like a parlimentary whip that his own opinions have been reduced to a small core that is never seen.

Some say he was once a liberal. Now that he is no longer the Enforcer of another man's views, what will his own heart say? It may be the bleeding heart liberal in me, but I refuse to give up hope. He may not make many changes, but he may be the interim pope that the curia wanted to ease the transition away from Johannes Paulus II...

Posted by: Saint Fnordius | Apr 20 2005 10:54 utc | 90

Saint Fnordius, that's the impression I'm getting from coverage here: people who know him don't seem to kno what to expect from him. We'll see what happens.

Posted by: Colman | Apr 20 2005 11:06 utc | 91

colman

i think you make an error - i don't see the interest in the new autocrat at the vatican as a form of anti catholicism. people are interested in the formations of institutional power whether they are the vatican, the u s govt, the mafia or enron

me, i am of the 'prepare for the worst' school & i see nothing in the election of this fascist compatible pope - to sing songs about

globally the right wins battle after battle in this long war & this is just one more victory for the right. & it is not an accident that in this long war the monotheists play a decisive role - they forget that one's spiritual convictions are a private matter - a matter of the deepest intimacy - they forget this & they glory in their temporal power - actually, financially, socially & politically

i've been rereading old albert camus - 'la chute' & 'la peste' - which speak clearly & candidly of our descent in this particuar time

i, as others are frightened by the recent development where a right that has little or no decency, is manipulative in a way we have not seen since the second world war & wz witness populations in fear - who rest silently & with deeper complicity with those development

i think people are quite correct to point out the many similarities with nazi germany - with the depravity of legislative & jurisprudential life. the degredation of civic life into a crude pavlovian game synthesised & syndicated by men of the lowest possible moral sense

we are surrounded by impoverishment at every level - including that most intimate sense - that of the dialogue between our heart & soul

this heart & soul have been annexed by terrorists whose power base is the white house & whose moral sense is that of a houseboat cardplayer. they are without reserve gangsters.

worse than that - they do not have vision. & i think that too is what posters are reacting too - at a moment when a 'moral' institutution ought to be transforming itself dynamically - does the opposite - it ossifies. or perhaps worse

& do not forget - that the disputes of the church are not neutral nor bloodless. there are countless bodies at the end of the conservative discourse of the church

that famous latin scholar - mel gibson - will be deeply happy to listen to this new autocrat - he is a friend to the most reactionary tendencies within the church & has been their principal articulator & administrator

swaggart & schuller are small time gangsters whose venemous form of metaphysics is linked with low rent pornography & indeed their lives are pornographic. the jones university is a joke but of the most horrible & macabre kind but this pompous institution has with rare exceptions never sided with its poor - with its flock. they are like all monotheists interested in the institution itself & its members are interested in personal power

but even this personal power is degraded. it is the theology of grocers or small time accountants who do not see the tempest arriving & do nothing to prepare their flock for that tempest - on the contrary they are prepared to sacrifice that flock before their own power

jérô^mê^wishes that these people had no place in civic & political life - but they do & an an increasingly impoortant one - even here in laique france. opus dei who are the catholics church's taliban or if you like s.s. which they resemble in the way they destroy their enemies must be very happy indeed

catholicism like other monotheists are now doing a disservice to their disciples - to their flock - instead of providing comfort & & force to be depended on - they align themselves again as they have all done in their history with power

the political proponents of islam have taken something deeply mystical & turned it into something crude - a hammer. so too the jewish faith finally sides up with power even though there are elements who see history being repeated. the lutherans methodists etc are businesses - nothing more nothing less

& the evangilicals are the stormtroopers of the absence of any spiritual sense whatsoever. they have nothing to do with the spirit, the soul or even the heart. they are the most extreme examples of the death of civic life

no, i am not happy with the election or self election of ratzinger because it was he who has moulded the institution because it represents one more terrible step towards the impoverishment of life itself

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 20 2005 12:20 utc | 92

I'd really love to talk to Mary Daly about the new pope. Anybody got a line on where she is and how to write her? For the young'uns and unitiated, Daly is one of the old-time feminists... a former Catholic with all the education to be an ordained priest, Daly was a professor until recently at Boston College (I think it was BC)... firmly broke with the Church years after writing "Beyond God the Father".

Calling Mary Daly. Calling Mary Daly.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Apr 20 2005 12:58 utc | 93

rememberinggiap: worse than that - they do not have vision

Yes. This is part of the huge and silented "it" of the problem, and I've not heard it said much. No vision, which is the river consciousness. Instead, a juggernaut, pre-programmed, driven and devouring ... sightless.

Of course it was said that the centre would not hold. I keep waiting for it to come apart completely. I keep wondering when.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Apr 20 2005 13:03 utc | 94

Saint Fnordius, the story his followers put out is that he turned against the liberal stream when he was confronted with the '68ers at Tübingen; when students shouted him down during lecture.

I didn't got the impression he is just executing what JPII orders him; it more seemed he is Vojtyla's bad soul.

Posted by: DoDo | Apr 20 2005 14:15 utc | 95

I'm collecting material for my 9th Harry Potter novel, 'Harry Potter unmasks Joseph Ratzinger as the Man on the Grassy Knoll and the man who secretly colluded with the Grinch to steal Christmas' and I'd be very interested in hearing from any posters who were in Dallas on that fateful day, November 22nd 1963, who think they may have seen Pope Benedict XVI lurking near the crime scene (or who would be willing to say that he was, or to allege that he harbored in his heart an intention to be there). Similarly, any posters who have the goods on how the new Pope conspired with the Grinch to destroy one of the world's major economic (and apparently Christian I'm told), festivals are invited to get in touch with me and dish the dirt. If you don't have any first hand knowledge of the Pope's evil hearted plots and malign intentions don't worry, just make them up as you usually do.

Thanking you all for your contributions to the world of fantasy fiction.

Posted by: J.K. Rowling | Apr 20 2005 14:41 utc | 96

can't have a global empire w/o repression at home. the church is following orders, though one could argue whether those orders have ever been formalized. vision? i think the right does have a pretty good idea of what it needs to do to retain power and fend off threats. as for western religion, well, their vision happened around the time they transitioned from b.c. to a.d. and they are tasked w/ the mission to proselytize & subjugate the masses w/ this extraterrestrial ideology, which just so happens to correspond quite faithfully w/ tyranny.

Billmon is correct, I surmise. A big FUCK YOU from the pederasts. Benedict. Ben-e-dict. They sure feel confident, don't they?

Posted by: b real | Apr 20 2005 15:03 utc | 97

OK, it'll be OT, but whatever...

Susan, this completely made my week, and probably more. Thanks for this. Considering we've basically lost something like 80% of Latin literature and 90% of Greek one, this is huge.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Apr 20 2005 15:41 utc | 98

Clueless Joe

"If he means that as a 14-y old he thought resistance was futile, well, ok, I can see it. If he means that now he's still thinking that resistance to nazism was futile and therefore people shouldn't have resisted, I'd take issue with this, because his ultimate boss, Jesus, as well as the original Pope Peter and his fellow Paul surely didn't think so when facing oppression. This would also kind of contradict his affirmation of an ultimate Truth that trumps everything else, from what I can see.

My thoughts exactly. And for those who object to non-Catholics expressing their opinions on the new Pope, do you assume that we do not have Catholic brothers and sisters whom we love? Do you think we ourselves are not your brothers and sisters?

Ratzinger at 14 was not qualified to judge whether resistance was futile. If he still doesn't know, why is he trying to lead people?

@gylangirl
Thank you for that bit of US labor and gender history from 1948. I had never given more than a cursory thought to the secondary earner category and how it might have produced more women out of the labor pool. Very enlightening information - and note that this is a backtrend against abstract market forces; these are facts which demand that historical analysis explain both slavery to market forces and freedom from them. As any student of rhetoric might suspect, the freedom is generally hogged by the same people who ask us to trust them because they are under "market discipline." Navigating is tricky when the elites are Marxists too.

@jj
Till today I've been reading xtian as "Christian",
xAmerican as "Christian-American", etc.

Posted by: citizen | Apr 20 2005 16:48 utc | 99

That's weird. I could have sworn I closed that blockquote. Sorry folks.

And Susan - thanks for the good news. I needed that. Does this mean we get to go to world premieres of Sophocles' plays? Cool.

Posted by: citizen | Apr 20 2005 16:52 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.