Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now let me doff my trilby

To Elegantly Dressed Wednesday.

Or in this case, it might be Eerily Dressed Wednesday, or Evilly Debonair Wednesday.

His Holiness has come for your soul, and don't you forget it.

Now my alarm at his undead, gonna-be-around-for-ever appearance (like Paisley or Mugabe) may be somewhat unfair. So let's pause to consider his record.

On the plus side Ratzinger has won plaudits for his dress sense (no, not those Hugo Boss outfits he used to wear as a boy) and surprised many with his better than expected PR skills and philosophical and theological exploration of love.

And, depending on whether you think these are plusses or not, has upheld traditional doctrines and has led an lengthy investigation into something which cannot, actually, be investigated because it's existence was only ever pure speculation before deciding that one "traditional" Catholic teaching was most likely a crock of shite someone made up on a whim.

On the negative side he has upset amongst others gays, Protestants, Muslims, and, most recently, American Indians.

Pope Benedict XVI told Latin American bishops in Brazil that American Indians had been "silently longing" to become Christians 500 years ago.

To be honest, though, whilst I think he's a silly old fool (and he probably thinks I'm going to hell) I can't take this much more seriously than I do the Duke of Edinburgh's occasional outbursts. It's what he believes, after all, and there's no point being Pope unless you really, sincerely think the Catholic church is the way to salvation and that those who cut themselves off from its teaching are cutting themselves off from God.

But it's easy for me to laugh, I'm not someone who has ever thought like this. His comments on the Spanish invasion of the Americas shows the danger of zealots, be they religious or political (or both, if you use the term literally). The idea that your beliefs are so right, so perfect that it doesn't matter what crimes are committed to impose them because, ultimately, it's in everyone's interests is one that has led to unimaginable suffering time after time after time.

His other things are a problem only if you're one of the mere billion or so who take Catholicism seriously. And with that in mind, what will really interest me is how the Catholic Church's teachings and actions affect the fight against AIDs.

Elegantly Dressed Wednesday button



Blogger Quink said...

Call that picture scary? Check out this one this one.

2:39 pm  
Anonymous Poet Of the Midlands said...

What you need is a big black woman

2:49 pm  

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