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February 11, 2013

Good Riddance; Ratzinger Resigns-- First Pope in 719 Years to Voluntarily Leave

By Rob Kall

This pope is one of the worst if not THE worst of the popes of my lifetime. Considering the hierarchy that now exists, it is no likely that the church will find a leader who embraces the light of social justice, women's and gay's rights, who sees the threat of corporatization to humanity and earth's soul. Let us pray that the man the cardinals choose will not be worse than Ratzinger, as hard as that is to imagine.

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This is not the pope. It is a cardboard pop-op pope that is used so people can have their pictures taken. Papal marketing, I guess by Catholic United Financial


Speaking in Latin, Pope Benedict announced that he was no longer able, in body, to perform his job. 

This pope is one of the worst if not THE worst of the popes of my lifetime. 

Matthew Fox, one of the Liberation Theology Catholic Priests who Ratzinger defrocked decades ago wrote about the then new pope's history in his article,  On Ratzinger, the New Pope Benedict XVI 
Now we have the Inquisitor General of the 21st century, who led the assault on theologians and women, yoga ("dangerous" because it gets you too much in touch with your body), homosexuals (who are "evil"), liberation theology, ecumenism and interfaith, made " spiritual head" of 1.1 billion people.
Cardinal Ratzinger is living proof of the dictum coined by Catholic historian Lord Acton after the First Vatican Council's declaration of papal infallibility when he said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  Ratzinger, far from supporting movements of justice, has committed his career to silencing those who have and elevating the rich and powerful, such as Escriva, fascist sympathizer and founder of opus dei, to sainthood.  It is a sad day and a decisive one for the Roman Catholic Church.

And Matthew Fox also wrote another article, 22 Questions for Ratzinger. Here's a sampling of the questions.

1. You come from Bavaria, that part of Germany that most admired Hitler and first voted for him. Did you ever denounce Hitler or fascism? If so, when? If not, why not?
2. If you denounced Hitler why do you support today the Spanish priest Escriva who admired Hitler publicly? And why did you rush Escriva, founder of the Opus Dei movement, into canonization thus leaving the impression that fascism is a path to holiness?

3. If you denounced Hitler then why do you carry on in his ways such as
1) bookburning and denouncing of thinkers and theologians? 2) whipping up hostility toward homosexuals as he did? 3) excluding women of all decision-making and leadership? 4) create scapegoats including people of religions other than Catholic, theologians, women and gay people?

4. Do you want to put gays in concentration camps like Hitler did? (In the second of two documents you wrote and the past pope signed denouncing homosexuals you did not cite even ONE scientific study of homosexuality but cited your catchechism five times. Is this anti-intellectual attitude not another Galileo case in the making?)

5. Do you know the difference between ideology and theology? Why have you destroyed the latter by condemning theologians while you create ideological churchmen by your loyalty oaths? Is this not the explanation for the scandalous pedophile crisis in the church--that you have so dumbed down the hierarchy since the only criterion for their "elevations" is loyalty, that they had neither the intelligence nor the integrity to stop pedophile priests? Why was Cardinal Law, the poster boy for hierarchal pedophile support, "elevated" to a plum parish assignment in Rome? 

6. According to a serious study done on the death of Pope John Paul I, cardinals were part of the plot that killed him. Do you know which cardinals were involved in his murder and have they ever been brought to justice?

7. How much was the CIA involved in the rushed election of John Paul II?
(A CIA agent told me he had been "their man in Poland" for many years.)

8. You once said you wanted a "smaller church." Might you tell us why?
Does it have anything to do with absolute control?

9. Do you agree with Lord Acton that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?" What are you--the champion of papal infallibility (as in "the fuhrer is always right")--doing to prevent that from happening in your organization?

10. How do you sleep at night knowing that your theology of forbidding condoms in a time of AIDS has contributed to the death of millions in the African continent and beyond?

11. How do you sleep at night knowing that your theology of no birth control is contributing to the destruction of 25,000 other species annually as well as to the degradation of life among human beings?

12. Did Jesus ever say anything at all about condoms or birth control or homosexuality or the ordination of women? (In fact, today's scholarship shows how many women were in position of leadership in the early
church.) Then why are you so sure of your absolutist position?

13. You complain about "the dictatorship of relativism." Isn't there also--and more easily--a dictatorship of absolutism? Isn't that what you have been involved in for twenty-five years by aggregating ALL decision making, all theological teaching, all bishop-making back to Rome in spite of Vatican II's explicit teaching to spread it to bishop's conferences and to lay gatherings in parishes?

14. Why do issues of social and economic injustice play so little a role in your definition of morality which seems to be 98% about sex? (Hint:
Saint Augustine!)

15. Are you aware that your destruction (with the help of the CIA) of liberation theology and base communities in Latin America has stripped Catholicism so bare that Pentecostals are taking over the continent?

16. Why did you canonize the Escriva who favored Franco and fascism and not canonize the holy martyr Oscar Romero who favored the poor against the military in El Salvador?

17. Jesus was on the side of the anawim (those without a voice). When have you or your dictates ever been on the side of the anawim?

18. Are you a Christian? (A canon lawyer who spent years in Rome told me that to understand you I had to first realize that you are not a Christian.) Can you prove it to us please. 

19. Are you the first Grand Inquisitor to be elected pope? What does that tell us about the state of the Roman Catholic Church at this time in history? How does that feel to be treading such fresh ground?

20. A Native American woman who is also a Roman Catholic went to Rome a few years ago for the beatification of Blessed Tekekwitha. It was her first visit to the Vatican and she was looking forward to it. However, she came back shaking her head saying, "there are evil spirits in that place." Was she correct? Have evil spirits taken over the Vatican at this time in history?

21. Why do you denounce Buddhists as "atheists" and "autoerotocists?"
Why do you condemn Hindus? Protestant churches? Pagans? Goddess worshippers? Native American believers? Feminists? The practice of Yoga? (You write that it gets you "too much in touch with your body").
Is your church--mother of Inquisitions and Crusades and anti-Semitism--without sin and the holder of all spiritual wisdom? Why did your church never excommunicate Hitler?

22. Why do you forbid Catholics to talk about God as Mother? God as Child? Original Blessing instead of Original Sin (which is not in the Bible)? God as female as well as male?

Reverend Fox finished that article by saying,
" A New Reformation can happen swiftly. It is already underway. The Internet can help feed it. The myths that have kept the Roman Catholic Church afloat for 1800 years have been washed away. (The historical Jesus never said: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church." That came later.) Maybe the new version of Christianity need not be Peter based (Roman Catholicism) or Paul based (the Protestant  option) but Mary Magdalene based. Any takers?"

It's been almost eight years since Ratzinger became pope. The child molestation shame of the Catholic church has been exposed. The pope apologized, but that was after it came out that he'd help protect child rapists. And he still has not done all that should be done to stop the horrors. 

The Cardinals and Bishops in the US continue to act to support right wing candidates who do all they can to gut the care and protections and safety nets for the poor. 

Looking at a recent video of Ratzinger, he looks very haggard, perhaps ill, perhaps dying. I've always believe he was an evil man who had done much wrong in the world. I have little hope that he'll be replaced by anyone much better.

Today, most of the world's Catholics are in the third world-- South America, Africa, Asia, yet it is likely that another European white man will be chosen. 

The Catholic church is one of the oldest, most powerful top-down domains of power on the planet. There's no reason that it has to stay that way. As Matthew Fox has written, it could embrace the archetypal feminine and become Mary Magdalene based. It could become a bottom-up faith that empowered people rather than one that has a history of domination and power. 

The Catholic church has hundreds of millions of good people still in it, even though it expelled good people like Matthew Fox and many other Liberation Theology priests. It IS possible that the Catholic Church could become a beacon of light in a corporatized world that is losing its soul. Ratzinger was a pope that kept the church with the darkness. Considering the hierarchy that now exists, it is not likely that the church will find a leader who embraces the light of social justice, women's and gay's rights, who sees the threat of corporatization to humanity and earth's soul. Let us pray that the man the cardinals choose will not be worse than Ratzinger, as hard as that is to imagine. And may we find a blessing that they accidentally chose someone, like George Herbert Walker Bush did-- David Souter-- who turns out to be very different than what they expected, in a positive way. 






Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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