Power Line gives us a link to Confederate Yankee's descent into the bog that is the Democratic Underground and the general feeling there over the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI. There's an awful lot of people there hoping this priest dies quickly:
|::::::::|| It is always fun (well, disturbing) to watch the Democratic Underground respond with paranoia to the world event de jour, and the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new pope is no different. What follows is a selection of choice tidbits in two threads from the group voted "most likely to flatline an EEG."|
he was head of the Inquisition. Enough said for me.
Kind of makes you wonder if cardinals vote on Diebold machines.
Wrote a document in 2000 that denounced other faiths... Great. Just what we need. Warns of the "EVILS" of liberalism. Rigid, intolerant...it just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? The only plus here is that he is 78! Ed: You've got to love DU. Not pope for a day, and they already can't wait for Pope Benedict XVI to die.
Yeah, we got the John Ashcroft of new popes. Ed: Among liberals, being compared to John Ashcroft, a respectful, God-fearing man, is an insult of the highest magnitude.
He is the Grand Inquisitor...No fooling. He heads the Office for Enforcement of the Doctrine of the Faithful, which is the direct successor office to the centuries-old Grand Inquisition. He is therefore the leading hardliner, enforcer and book-censor of the Church, and was JP2's right-hand man...
He used to be a hitler youth.. and practically endorsed GW in his statements on "catholic voting" during our elections... Ed: Hitler Youth = GW Bush support. Why didn't I get that?
Oh goody. Another neocon in power... Ed: Yep, Karl Rove rigged this election, too...
This is BS. Maybe we'll get lucky he will "die in his sleep" like our 33 day "Progressive Pope" John Paul 1st, did.
It's a sad day when the best aspect of a new pope is that he's likely to die soon.
This is very sad news, indeed, for the Catholic church. Once again, the forces of evil triumph...
Hopefully, they'll all die off soon. Ed: Who, Catholics?
Look on the bright side... this ensures that Bush** is not the most fascist leader in the known universe. Berlusconi (out-and-out fascist Fini in cabinet) might have had the edge, but this makes it official.
Whatever else may have been going on in there, I'm reasonably sure that God was not speaking to them, saying "Hey, guys, why not shake things up a little bit? Go for the Nazi!"
Yankee has made each of these comments into links that will take you to the comment on DU, assuming the DU hasn't shut down access to the forum by now. As a Catholic, I'm just impressed beyond words that my fellow Americans on the Left think so highly of our freedom of religion that they publicly hope the leader of our church dies tonite. Then, of course, there's the Nazi angle, a requirement these days for when the Left discusses a leader with Rightward tendencies. The issue has been addressed, by the Pope himself, on several occasions dating back into the 90's. The whole thing rests on his inclusion in the rosters of the Hitler Youth, for he was a boy in Nazi Germany. Sam Ser of the Jerusalem Post writes on the matter in response to an article in the London Sunday Times:
|::::::::||As the Sunday Times article admits, Ratzinger's membership in the Hitler Youth was not voluntary but compulsory; also admitted are the facts that the cardinal – only a teenager during the period in question – was the son of an anti-Nazi policeman, that he was given a dispensation from Hitler Youth activities because of his religious studies, and that he deserted the German army.|
Ratzinger has several times gone on record on his supposedly "problematic" past. In the 1997 book Salt of the Earth, Ratzinger is asked whether he was ever in the Hitler Youth.
"At first we weren't," he says, speaking of himself and his older brother, "but when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced in 1941, my brother was obliged to join. I was still too young, but later as a seminarian, I was registered in the Hitler Youth. As soon as I was out of the seminary, I never went back. And that was difficult because the tuition reduction, which I really needed, was tied to proof of attendance at the Hitler Youth.
"Thank goodness there was a very understanding mathematics professor. He himself was a Nazi, but an honest man, and said to me, 'Just go once to get the document so we have it...' When he saw that I simply didn't want to, he said, 'I understand, I'll take care of it' and so I was able to stay free of it."
Ratzinger says this again in his own memoirs, printed in 1998. In his 2002 biography of the cardinal, John Allen, Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter wrote in detail about those events.
The only significant complaint that the Times makes against Ratzinger's wartime conduct is that he resisted quietly and passively, rather than having done something drastic enough to earn him a trip to a concentration camp. Of course, whenever it is said that a German failed the exceptional-resistance-to-the-Nazis test, it would behoove us all to recognize that too many Jews failed it, as well.
The history is correct, the Hitler Youth was made compulsory as the German war effort started running into manpower troubles. Failure to join up meant far more than a lack of tutition assistance. That this man, then a teenager, still had the fortitude to hold out and stay true to his principles is a testament to his own will and the upbringing his parents bestowed.
Which brings us to the other evil-that-must-not-be-named accusation about the office the Pope held with the Church within the "Office for Enforcement of the Doctrine of the Faithful". This isn't the first place I've seen it mentioned, usually in an "I-told-you-so" tone, that this office is really the Office of the Inquisition. Yes, that Inquisition. You know, those nice priests and laymen who ran around the countryside burning people at the stake and hanging them on orders from the Pope who only wanted their property and money.
OK, right off the bat, there is no such named office in the Holy See. The office in which Pope Benedict XVI worked is called the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith, and has been so called since 1965. Prior to that, the title was Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, so dubbed in 1908. And before that, it was called the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition. That title was granted by Pope Paul III in 1542. You'll note that the word "enforcement" is nowhere in any of these titles. It's a nice little piece of linguistic distraction loaded with an emotive content designed to reinforce the punch line about the Pope having been the Grand Inquisitor. Their conclusion, of course, is that anyone who was a member of such an organization must surely still hold their evil values and shouldn't be permitted to be the leader of their religion.
The Inquisition - and there were 2 of them, by the way, the Medieval and the Spanish - were nothing to be proud of. What started as the Church's attempts to defend the tennets of our faith warped badly into searches for heretics. Not just non-believers, mind you, but good Christians who just didn't happen to buy the Vatican's line 100%. Contrary to what these fine folks at the DU would have you believe, the Inquisition was nowhere nearly as deadly as their mythology describes. The medieval Inquisition began in the middle ages and wasn't a specifically organized effort until 1228 when Pope Gregory IX sent Domincans into southern France. Even then, the Popes' long-standing condemnation of torture meant that these friars were basically investigators with very little ability to actually harm anyone. Innocent IV (irony noted) declared torture permissible during his term which ended in 1254. This was when the Inquisition began its slide into darkness. When a guilty verdict came in - and that was all too frequently - the accused was handed over to secular authorities for punishment. Under the medieval Inquisition, that usually did not mean death. The secular powers began to also confiscate the property of those convicted and would sometimes give some of it over to the Church. This was just another step down the corruption path and it didn't take long before the graft began to result in clearly innocent people being accused and convicted. Secular rulers also began to use the Inquisition as a weapon, most notably in the case of the Knights Templar.
The Spanish Inquisition was a completely separate thing, and far more deadly. Invoked not by the Pope but by the sovereigns of Spain, it applied the death penalty far more often. It even banned books written and distributed by the Holy See and refused to take any direction from the Pope except to allow him to name the inquisitor general. The title was meaningless, however, since the real direction of the inquisitors came from Ferdinand and Isabella. No other nation allowed the Spanish Inquisition to operate within their borders, even some of Spain's colonies. They tried to operate in Italy but were literally run out of Naples in 1510. The Spanish Inquisition lasted literally for centuries but was finally abolished even in name in 1834. The medieval inquisition had been over nearly 2 centuries by that point.
The Church altered the mission of this office, realizing that the methods used were wrong. The mission today, "is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence." According to the "Activity of the Holy See" the congregation "promotes in a collegial fashion encounters and initiatives to spread sound doctrine and defend those points of Christian tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines." It is this office that Pope Benedict XVI worked within and it is this mission that he worked for. Many on the Left have a problem with the Pope because he's a devout Catholic and they have a huge problem with the Catholic Church. Of course, they can't admit that, so they've got to come up with something else, no matter how hard they have to bend the truth to do it. I have no issue with them if they simply don't want to be religious. That's their call. I will make use of my free speech as easily as they do to defend the man when they try to distort and distract as they are doing here today.