new Pope

(86 Posts)

he's a scientist apparently. does it give us hope?

scaevola Wed 13-Mar-13 22:43:03

This is the article that Wiki quotes. It says that his intercession probably secured their freedom.

Interesting too that he campaigned to permit the baptism of the children of single mothers, and that he has spoken against clerical hypocrisy, giving a reminder that Jesus dined with lepers and prostitutes.

Sausageeggbacon Thu 14-Mar-13 08:17:33

PMSL scaevola does this mean we have a Pope who is more liberal then rad feminist re the Prostitutes?

scaevola Thu 14-Mar-13 08:27:58

I took it to mean that he's against the trappings of clerical life especially where it leads to hypocrisy; he didn't live in the Palace and continued to work hands on with the destitute.

If reminding Catholics of their obligations to help the sick and those on the margins of society is risible, then yes I suppose there is no reason to hope the changes he has supported to date will bring positives either to the Church or to society.

Of course, it's far too early to tell how far he will bring his existing attitudes into the Vatican.

noblegiraffe Thu 14-Mar-13 09:05:07

I wonder how a Pope who is so against social inequality will deal with sitting on a golden throne surrounded by priceless artworks.

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 09:23:54

that is hardly his fault is it!

The Jews seem pleased with him anyway, jpost

noblegiraffe Thu 14-Mar-13 09:32:38

The golden throne isn't his fault? No, it's not, I'm just wondering if he'll preach against poverty while sitting in it, or refuse and continue to live a more frugal life, or whether he'll sell it all off and give the money to CAFOD.

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 10:10:01

nooooo they mustn't sell all their treasures shock

am sure it is not his personal property to dispose of anyway

I find it immensely disturbing he had to campaign for the baptism of children of single mothers. sad But as with the golden throne, I'm not blaming him, just being depressed by the situation.

I wish they'd let more people into the Vatican library, but we'll see ...

Mandytm Thu 14-Mar-13 10:43:24

All the popes look the same to me.

At least this one wasn't in the hitler youth.

Well this Jew isn't pleased with him hmm. If there must be a pope, I suppose he'll do as well as any other. But the whole papacy is just a cess-pit of bigotry, misogynism and abuse-covering-up. It makes me sick and needs to be completely dismantled and rebuilt into something with at least a vague connection to the real world.

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 10:53:50

LRD - did you go to the secret archives exhibition last year, lux in arcana? Only a tiny selection but it was fascinating

Sadly not, mitchy, would have loved to.

I think I agree with annie. I do hope he will bring some big changes to the role. There need to be some.

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Mar-13 11:00:42

sorry Annie, seemed like a plus - considering the other candidates

MechanicalTheatre Thu 14-Mar-13 11:47:39

Mandytm, you know that people didn't have any choice but be in the Hitler youth, right? It was forced on them. An aunt of mine is German and she was in them. No choice.

Yeeessss, but your aunt isn't the main representative of a very powerful religious organization (I am guessing).

Mind you, if the account of Pope Benedict's election is true (in the Guardian), he initially said 'no', so I don't think he was an arrogant man. It was just a rather arrogant choice, IMHO.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 14-Mar-13 15:18:47

Actually, she is LRD. Weird.

My point is that he didn't have a choice. It was the law. Not joining could have meant his entire family being prosecuted. He was a 14 year old boy. People made difficult choices and I think it is very wrong to judge people on things like that. It is like blaming child soldiers for being conscripted, and we don't do that. I hope.

Wow. Is she the queen?!

I do take your point, but I don't think this is about judging, and I don't think it is the same as child soldiers. At all, actually.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 14-Mar-13 15:27:09

Really? I would like to know how you see the difference, because I honestly can't see one, except in people's perception of Hitler's Germany and everyone in it as somehow inherently evil.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 14-Mar-13 15:36:10

I'd be far less bothered by his membership of a near-compulsory organisation in his teens and more on the choices he's made as an adult.
What has he done in a practical, active sense to improve the lives of the poor in his country which is largely Catholic.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 14-Mar-13 15:37:56

Have you read 'The Book Thief' MT? It altered the opinions of several readers in my class from the simplistic stance of 'All Germans in WW2 were Nazis or victims'

No, that's not why I think it's different.

As I understand it, Pope Benedict did not kill anyone. I am sure that being in Hitler Youth was a horrible and traumatic experience for him, and I am aware he lost family members. It is terrible. I do not think it is the same as being forced to kill your own loved ones, and then many, many, many other people. I just don't.

I don't think it is a matter of judging. I think Benedict was quite a humble man, because it seems he didn't want to be pope right from the start, and I am glad he's got some time to rest now. So I am not judging him as a person. But, I cannot help feeling uneasy about the fact that the Catholic Church - which has a long history of anti-semitism going back way before WWII - elected someone who was in the Hitler Youth. Maybe that is wrong of me. But it's not as if he even wanted to be Pope. So I cannot help feeling they might have chosen someone else. Not as an indication of guilt at all, but just because it would send a better message.

I know I may well be wrong about this. It is quite knee-jerk for me, so probably wrong.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 14-Mar-13 15:39:11

I don't think it was near-compulsory. I think it was compulsory. As far as I can make out, your name was automatically added to lists. I know this isn't the point of the thread, it's just a bone of contention with me that the people who lived in Germany are not viewed as victims too. People do not blame the women of Afghanistan for going along with the taliban rule, but they are happy to blame the Germans for not standing up to Hitler - and I think that that is damaging and unfair to both countries.

actually I have always found the Hitler youth comments very unfair as well. There are so many genuine reasons to not like him, why pick on something that was in no way his fault

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 14-Mar-13 15:52:24

I think the Catholic church's long history of persecuting any individual or body that opposed them in any way is well worth investigating and challenging both over historical events and contemporary ones.

I do think people in Germany were victims - please don't think I don't. And I don't want to pick on it.

But, what I think is important is, this man was a figurehead. He is not an ordinary citizen, and he is the head of a Church which has a really specific theology of sacrifice and witness to the truth. As a person, no, he's not to blame for being part of Hilter Youth. As God's vicar on earth, theologically, I do think the question has to be, was he strong enough to represent all of that? He himself didn't think so. He didn't refuse to be part of Hitler Youth. No normal person would. But, he was the Pope. It's a higher calling. If you are going to subscribe to a theology where someone is given such a huge weight of authority - enough to ban condoms in countries where AIDs is rife, for example - I think you must expect to take the flack with the positives. If he is God's representative on earth, do we really believe that God would not have object to the Hitler Youth? And if we judge him on human grounds as a victim who didn't have the super-human strength to fight that such a small number of people exhibited - are we not then saying something very problematic about the theology of the Papacy?

My issue is not primarily with demonizing members of Hitler Youth and I hope to God that's not what I'm doing. I'm saying, there is a theological problem here, and it is very likely (to me, as a non-Catholic) that the issue is to do with according far too much to an ordinary human being. But it is an issue.

It is appalling (IMO) that we are expected both to treat the Pope as an ordinary human, not an extraordinary saint like those who spoke out against Nazism, and we are expected to accept him as God's vicar on earth.

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