Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It was a youthful indiscretion exercise of prudence

I'm not a Catholic so I guess it's none of my business. But in a way it is. The Church is more than just another large conservative religious group, it is a large conservative religious group whose social dicta are causing immeasurable harm in the world, now led by a former member of Hitler Youth.
Besides, my daughter is a Catholic. We sent her to a liberal Catholic school, because she was having trouble in the school she was in, and she loved it and prospered academically, and at the age of 13 was baptized as a Catholic. I didn't have the heart to tell her that John 23d was dead. The Catholicism she converted to was Liberation Theology Catholicism, Vatican II Catholicism, now a distant memory, sadly.
Habemus Papam, the man said, from the balcony, and many in the huge crowd groaned when he got to the word "Joseph." CNNs microphones picked it up. The new Pope will be called Benedict 16th, if I heard right. Formerly Josef Ratzinger.
In fairness, it would be better to say Ratzinger's membership in Hitler Youth was less an indiscretion than a case of taking the path most of us would take. Membership had just been made compulsory for his age-group. (Though an article in the London Times points out that some of Ratzinger's neighbors did not take the path most of us would take, and suffered imprisonment or death for their resistance to Hitler's laws.) I think I need to confine my criticism of Ratzinger to his apologetics for violence against homosexuals, his keep-em-barefoot-and-pregnant views on women (and, in effect if not in intent, keep em dying of AIDS), and his support of right-wing and repressive regimes in Latin America. For starters.

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