Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Benedict XVI

They just elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany as the new Pope. In many ways I think of this choice as a bit of punt by the cardinals. Ratzinger is a conservative who will not allow any liberal change or reform in the church, but he is also 78 years old. He'll hold down the fort for a few years while the church contemplates its role in the 21 century.

However, I suspect he will be quite good at cleaning up many of the non-doctrinal issues facing the church, such as the child abuse problems. That is what the church really needs right now.

First strengthen the core, than contemplate reform. Probably the right choice.

UPDATE: Now I've read a few things pointing out that Ratzinger was one of those trying to protect the church more than defend the children. Hopefully, quotes like below only represent one side of his views; if he really just going the victim route, then I'll have to take back what I said above. From Zenit:
Q: This past year has been difficult for Catholics, given the space dedicated by the media to scandals attributed to priests. There is talk of a campaign against the Church. What do you think?

Cardinal Ratzinger: In the Church, priests also are sinners. But I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign, as the percentage of these offenses among priests is not higher than in other categories, and perhaps it is even lower.

In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated, that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion.
I was assuming because he was conservative he would push personal responsibility within the ranks of his church, and perhaps he will. If, however, he just blames the media and takes the Church-as-victim route then I'll have no respect for him at all. I guess we'll see.