Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Instant Judgements on Pope Benedict XVI

The election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope has sent on-line commentators into an analysis frenzy. Benedict XVI has hardly been Pope for half-a-day. You’d think people would wait until the man did something before decrying or praising him. Not so. Here’s what’s being said.

Andrew Sullivan says: John Paul II will soon be seen as a liberal. The hard right has now cemented its complete control of the Catholic church.

AmericaBlog says: Oh, it's over. They elected the former Hitler Youth as the new Pope…I hope Ratzinger leads this church to a quick and painful loss of credibility in America…ultimately weakening the church leadership's influence in America, and therefore lessening it's horrendously bigoted and harmful influence in American politics.

Mere Comments says: I can certainly say that Cardinal Ratzinger had been my own choice all along. For years I have been drinking my coffee at breakfast from my Cardinal Ratzinger’s Fan Club mug. It has a picture of the cardinal on it, with the inscription: “Putting the smack down on heresy since 1981.”

National Review Online says: By all reports, he is a superb teacher, open and challenging, deep and memorable, and everlastingly accessible to his former students. They all still meet yearly--or when they can.

The Yellow Line Says: Partisans of both sides would do well to remember that the Pope is not a politician and does not make decisions as to what’s best for a particular country. He makes decisions as to what he feels is best for Catholic’s souls and the souls of all mankind. The Catholic Church may oppose homosexuality and abortion, but it also opposes the war in Iraq and corporate greed.

Neither writer at TYL is Catholic and neither is clairvoyant enough to judge Benedict XVI before he’s even begun his papacy. However, we can and will be looking at the reactions and what it says about the state of religion and politics in America.


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