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April 19, 2005

habemus papam

From Enkidu, Theologian-in-Residence (April 19, 2005)

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been elected Pope.

A noted theologian and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as The Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition) since 1981, Ratzinger became known for his ultra-Conservative stances on such topics as multiculturalism, women's rights, homosexuality, and the role of religion in the state.

Ratzinger has chosen the name Benedict XVI.

The previous Benedict, XV (1914-1922), a civil lawyer, is remembered mostly for his strident but failed opposition to World War I, and his strident and successful opposition to socialism.

Benedict XIV (1740-1758) was, like Ratzinger, a theologian and head of the Inquisition for many decades before becoming pope. Holding multiple bishoprics, Benedict XIV nonetheless spent most of his time in Rome, climbing the clerical ladder through determined service. Once pope, Benedict XIV faced off against the burgeoning Enlightenment, which was swiftly weaning Europe from the Church's authority.

He is remembered for escalating the long stand-off against Modernism, a battle which culminated in the reign of the 19th-century goliath, Pius IX (beatified by John Paul II). Benedict XIV's condemnations of Voltaire were accompanied by his ruling that Jewish children baptized against their parents wishes should be kidnapped and raised by religious orders - a practice followed by Pius IX, incidentally, to much criticism.

As Benedicts X through XIII, all short-term- or even anti-popes, have been judged fairly irrelevant historically, one can safely assume that Ratzinger intends to model his rule on either XIV or XV.

Ineffectual anti-war protestor? Or anti-modern inquisitor?

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Comments

Good Lord, as a practicing Roman Catholic I had high hopes for this conclave....that my church and faith could adapt to (and adopt) some modern-ness.

Those hopes were just dashed.

Makes me wonder which hope is more futile - my hopes for this conclave, or my hopes for this Cubs season.

Heh, at least the Cubs still have a *chance*....

*does a little tap dance*

The Inquisition (let's begin) ... the Inquisition (look out sin)....

78 years old... I wonder who's second-most popular among conservative cardinals?

I'm guessing it's the latter, but at 78 years old I doubt he'll do too much damage before the next guy comes into power. Either that or he battles the modern world so much he reduces the Catholic Church's relevancy to the point it becomes a joke.

So...can we all expect the German Inquisition now?

Nobody expects the German Inq... actually, yes, everybody does.

The Inquisitor was not really more conservative than John Paul II (or even Paul VI who forbid contraception) on many issues but he added his support for the Death Penalty, which is even curiouser.

I believe Ratzinger's choice of the name Benedict is a tribute to St. Benedict who founded the Benedictine order and coined the term Opus Dei (God's Work) and as a nod to the Opus Dei cardinals who backed him in his bid for Pope.

To give you an idea of what the conservative Opus Dei organization is like it counts among its members Robert Novak and Admiral Poindexter.

It's really got to suck to be a nonconservative American Catholic nowadays.

The cardinals effectively just flipped them all off.

It's more likely that Rat-man picked up Benedict because the Benedictine Order is also known as the "Olivine" Order. This connects the new pope with St. Malachy's prophecy of this pope being Gloria Olivae (Glory of the Olives), the next to last pope ever (before the End of Days).
Kind of a self-fufilling prophecy at this point- though I imagine Bennie will be disappointed if he isn't murdered in 3 years (assuming he doesn't die before that) as the prophecy foretells.

Unfortunately, he looks absurdly healthy. And I can't help but feel that a lot of JP 2's conservative retrenchment in the last few years was really Ratzinger running the papacy, so I guess he's really been pope for longer than just a day so far. Obviously the cardinals have either no conception of what normal people care about or, they don't care. And the fact that he learned the tricks of the trade in fear, intimidation and fascism from the best of them certainly doesn't make me any happier

I guess John-Paul III was just too obvious.

It would have been nice to have seen a Cardinal from below the Equator chosen, seeing as how those folks make up a significant portion of the Church and all. Also, it would have made it more likely that Rome could turn it's attention to social justice issues in Africa and South America. Even Muslim nations could have been approached with the sensitivity of someone who's been there in some way. So much for that idea. Who ARE they waiting on that they choose such an old fella for the job?

Michael Berube claims that it was Benedict XII, who burned the Albigensians at the stake while he was a Bishop, who is being honored. The Albigensian crusade was where we got the phrase "Kill them all, God will know his own". However, it wasn't Benedict XII personally who said it.

It's really got to suck to be a nonconservative American Catholic nowadays.

As a nonconservative American Catholic ... yeppers.

Makes me even more likely to hire a guy from Rent-A-Priest to do my wedding when the time comes. Married (ex-)priests who point out that a sacrament cannot be rescinded, so technically they're still priests even if they can't serve within the Church.

As these names are not chosen lightly (and I am not an RC), thanks for the digging - I had wondered. Benedict XIV is an especially chilling forebear - Voltaire and child abduction - terrific.

Boy, am I glad that I left Christian churches behind me more than 30 years ago. I shudder to think that I might be obliged to follow the dictates of this reactionary.

Of course, given Woityla's policy of awarding cardinal's hats to the most conservative bishops he could find, it's really not so astonishing that the worst of the pack was appointed pope. May the life of the grand iquisitor be as short as possible.

As long as he can't connect to Muslim fanatics the way John Paul II did, I'm happy.

With the second to last pope now seated in roma, Just what is his connection to The Beatles and various Star Trek clubs!!!!!hmmmm I wonder.................

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