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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Less than holy blessings

The election of Josef Ratzinger as the new Catholic Pontiff has drawn the predictable cries from familiar circles, including this one. And critics are just warming up. How about the connections between Ratzinger and Opus Dei, the secretive sect associated with fascism and American Supreme Court judges? What about the links between the new Pope and the Bush family? Conspiratorial? Hardly. Take this example, one of many detailed by the Planetary Movement:

"When George Bush visited John Paul II in June of last year, he asked the Pontiff for a political favour. Shortly thereafter, Cardinal Ratzinger issued a letter to American bishops that essentially threatened to excommunicate all Catholics who voted for John Kerry. Upon receipt of the letter, five prominent Roman Catholic bishops held an unprecedented press conference to proclaim their preference for George Bush over his rival, John Kerry. Bush received 6% more Roman Catholic votes last year than he did in 2000, even though his opponent was a lifelong Catholic who had served as an altar boy. Ratzinger’s political intervention had worked wonders for neoconservativism, and it is now being recognized as one of the most decisive factors in Bush’s electoral strategy."

Ratzinger has a history of silencing critics who challenge the church's behaviour over sexual abuse. Many critics, including some critical of this blog, argue that challenging the new Pope is somehow inappropriate, insensitive, intolerant, prejudicial. My point has never been to chastise Catholics for their faith. I take issue, however, with the history of Ratzinger, his associations and the likely future of an increasingly tight union between religious fundamentalism and the political realm. The flaunting of religious belief for the sake of political gain seen across the Western world is yet another sign of traditional democratic values being challenged.

Ratzinger deserves to be questioned and investigated like any other religious leader. Of course, not many other religions would appoint someone like Ratzinger to the throne.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Opus Dei, the secretive sect associated with fascism and American Supreme Court judges"

Nice smear, Anty!

Thursday, April 28, 2005 1:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and if you look at an American one dollar bill, there's, like, this pyramid on the back, you see? And, like, that's because the country was founded by the freemasons, and every president has been a freemason except for, like, Kennedy, who was like a Catholic or something, and which is pretty damn suspicious you know considering that the Warren Commission Report was, like, a notorious Illuminati coverup, you know? And get this: John Kerry was a Catholic, and he didn't win either, and you know if he did somehow, the CIA'd be called in for, like, some wetwork, if you know what I mean - because everyone knows that, like, the Pope is really controlled by the Jesuit Black Pope, who takes his orders straight from Bilderberg and the Carlton Group, which the Bush family is, like, totally up to their noses in...

Thursday, April 28, 2005 1:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, though, Planetary Movement (!?!?) commits a real error with Ratzinger's letter. What he said was not that you'd be excommunicated if you voted for Kerry but that voting for a pro-abortion politician because he was pro-abortion meant that the voter was complicit with the sin - but that everyone had to make up their own mind if there were other things that outweighed that position. Again, an easy smear by a media that is in the main hostile to religion (unless it is Islam, but specifically if it is Catholicism) by someone who would rather take the easy way out than find out the facts.

How about analyzing some of the shite to come out of the Grand Mosque in Mecca sometime? Or would that be too confronting for you? (They still hate all Jews, even those who wouldn't mind if Israel ceased to exist tomorrow).

Thursday, April 28, 2005 1:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Glenn Condell said...

Having fun on your own, no name?

Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, it's not my fault no one else visits this blog and I like to procrastinate!

Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive my cynicism but your Jewish antecedents are not clouding your judgement, what with all the talk of the Hitler Youth Movement, etc., when his Holiness was a young German?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 9:27:00 pm  

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