Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Bishop of Surburbicarian Sees of Ostia and Velletri-Segni, and prior Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith*, was named Pope by the College of Cardinals today. He has taken the name Benedict.
…*It is worth mentioning that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was founded in 1542 and known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition. (Yes, *that* Inquisition. It just changed names in 1908.)
And there’s more here.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican department once known as the Inquisition, included a few pastoral guidelines in the letter, issued Oct. 1 but only made public Thursday.
Ratzinger urged church leaders to minister to homosexual Catholics, to condemn any violence committed against them but to withdraw ”all support … from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the church” regarding homosexuality.
”Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted,” Ratzinger wrote, noting that special attention should be paid to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of church buildings or schools by homosexual rights groups.
The document reminded bishops of the traditional church teaching that although homosexual tendencies are not in and of themselves sinful, they are ”ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”
”Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life,” Ratzinger wrote. ”When they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.”
The conservative German cardinal reminded bishops that church teaching condones sexual relations only within marriage, thus forever branding homosexual activity as morally unacceptable.
In an apparent reference to the AIDS epidemic that has struck particularly hard at homosexuals, Ratzinger warned, ”Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred.”
Just a few days ago I mentioned to the hubby (raised a “cafeteria Catholic,” now lapsed) that my guess was they’d pick someone as conserative or more conservative than the last one, and that my money was on Ratzinger. Looks like that’s a bet I should have placed.
I’m not Catholic, but the man will a powerful moral authority to an awful lot of people—many of whom will take the values he defines and imparts for them in to the voting booth with them, to make and change laws, and elect officials that may have a detrimental affect on my family and families like mine.
The smoke may be white today, but from where I sit, things just got a little darker.