new Pope

(86 Posts)

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

No, I'm not saying that, fair, I may well not be being very clear, though. I'm not that clear in my own mind.

I don't think I am projecting a Protestant structure. Honestly, I don't. I'm probably not expressing what I mean very well, but I don't mean that.

The Papacy developed in a world where martyrdom was normalized, and where knowledge of large-scale event such as Hitler's persecution of Jews and other groups, was impossible. I think that is really important. I do not think this is a Protestant viewpoint (and FWIW, it is also quite a common Orthodox viewpoint, and there is a reason why the Orthodox Church has a different theology relating to the patriarch).

I am aware that it isn't entirely my business to comment as I'm not a Catholic, but it's hard not to have a view. If I'm offending you, I'll stop trying to hammer out what I think, as I don't want to treat on any toes.

I hope you don't mind - as soon as I posted I started trying to work out a less useless answer and so I've gone through quoting your post and trying to say what I think. Please do skip if (when!) it's boring.

'You seemed to be saying that Benedict personally (and perhaps Francis too if the stuff about his actions under the junta is true) was irreversibly tainted by his compromise with Nazism'

- No, not necessarily. No-one is irreversably tainted, and certainly Benedict's actions (I don't know enough about the new Pope) are things that we can easily understand why he did.

'You're still saying that making the choice he made is a qualitatively different kind of sin/evil which is so bad the RCC shouldn't have touched him with a bargepole because otherwise it would compromise its own moral purity.'

- No, not even a little bit. But, if the church is being a political entity, why did it choose Benedict? If the Church wants to uphold the idea that the Pope is somehow authorised to make hugely important moral choices, then how do they reconcile that with other choices made? The reason Benedict's membership in Hitler Youth matters is not that anyone thinks he did something appalling - but rather, because it illustrates that morality is extremely complicated, and that it can be very hard to separate events from the public perception of those events. Nazism has a stature hugely in excess of what happened (which is not to diminish the impact of what happened). Popes in the past have not had to deal with the concept of a 'world war'. Genocide has always happened - but our perception of it shifts. Yet the theology - the idea that the Pope can make a moral judgement all on his own - has not really changed. I am not sure that this is right or sensible.

My difficulty with this is that it just wholly clashes with my conception of sin and what the church is. I don't think there are special kinds of sin, I don't think any church is an inherently holy institution, and I think that attempting to “buy” institutional moral innocence, or the appearance of it, is a doomed enterprise which can have terrible results.

None of this makes any sense from a Catholic point of view anyway, because talking about whether Benedict/Francis is morally fit for office is projecting a Protestant attitude of 'authority by personal virtue' onto Catholic structures of governance. RCs don't believe bishops and popes have authority because they are personally morally worthy of it - they believe they have authority by virtue of their divinely-instituted office, and are as likely as any of us to sin in any kind of way. And in the worst cases bad bishops and popes can obstruct the will of God and damage the Church's reputation. But ultimately Catholics don't think that matters because in their view nothing can wholly derail the Church or prevent God's will from ultimately being done.

'IMO we do have a way of dealing with the sin people and institutions commit in the face of oppression. It's called confession and repentance – and that is something the RCC and Christians in general are not good enough at.'

I take the point, but both confession and repentance are retrospective. Ideally, we need a new theology that pre-empts. There is plenty of precedent. The Church has changed hugely. Confession and repentance became immensely more importance concepts after Lateran IV. Before that, the whole understanding of how they worked was different. I say this to stress that the Church can change and adapt, it doesn't have to be static.

BettyBlueBlue Fri 15-Mar-13 11:18:02

Haven't read anywhere he's a scientist. It would be so good to have someone progressive, who is really involved with the situation of women around the world, and fights for their plight. However, I don't think I'll live to see that.

Most of them are anti abortion, advocate for having women under the will of men, like three hundred years ago, don't care of single bit about the day to day lives of women around the world, as long as they breed and obey.

I have said in this forum before that I cannot understand how any woman in Britain can consider herself a Tory. By the same token, I cannot understand how any woman in the world can be a church goer, follow what these cardinals, priests, popes have to say without questioning.

The pope and his gang are just another eternal club of powerful, in many cases, misogynist men, who have no real understanding about what it means being a woman and therefore have never done and will never do anything to improve their situation.

The worst thing is that the set the rules for women and keep telling them what to do, but they refuse to accept women in positions of power in the Church.

So I wouldn't be surprised if this new one just turns out to be a copy of what we had in the past.

I'd be interested to see how he deals with the sex scandals and child abuse cases within the Church. The previous one didn't do one single relevant thing about it.

AuntieStella Fri 15-Mar-13 12:22:14

He is a scientist - his degree is in chemistry.

We'll have to wait and see what he does as Pope. But there are promising signs given his record in eg anti-poverty work.

alexpolismum Fri 15-Mar-13 14:36:04

"Most of them are anti-abortion"

I thought they were all anti-abortion, that it was, in fact, a requirement of the Catholic faith.

LRD I see what you are trying to say. It's hard to look at the Papacy today and put it in the light of the historical context of its instituting, however.

vesuvia Fri 15-Mar-13 14:53:53

How is being a scientist relevant to being Pope?

vesuvia Fri 15-Mar-13 15:17:59

scaevola wrote - "Jesus dined with lepers and prostitutes."

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

I think you are confusing Jesus with the Pope, and prostitutes with pimps and johns. I think radical feminists would have no problem dining with prostitutes, but not pimps or johns.

vesuvia Fri 15-Mar-13 15:32:08

My previous post is directed at Sausageeggbacon not scaevola.

Mitchy1nge Fri 15-Mar-13 17:04:08

alexpolis - not all catholics for choice

alexpolismum Fri 15-Mar-13 19:07:13

Mitchy That does come as a surprise. I genuinely thought that abortion was regarded as a sin in Catholicism. I thought they regarded it as murder of an unborn child.

Nice to see there is some grassroots movement the other way!

noblegiraffe Sat 23-Mar-13 23:09:59

Well I wondered how a Pope who was against social inequality would deal with sitting on a golden throne.

This is how:
i.imgur.com/SlwdAjA.jpg

Some respect for him there at least.

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