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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Benedict XVI -questions arise about his perspectives

Without courage all virtues lose their meaning.
Winston Churchill

Jeanne, at Body and Soul ( wrote a spectacular, thoughtful blog regarding Pope Benedict XVI and his views on relativism titled,
The German Shepherd and the Salvadoran Pastor (23 April 2005)

I highly recommend you read her comparison and contrast of the new Pope with the slain Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador who was assassinated during Ronald Reagan's administration by people whom the President called 'Freedom Fighters.' Romero's murder marked the death-knell for Liberation Theology movement, largely at the hands of then Cardinal Ratzinger who used his influence to reign in Priests throughout Latin America that were taking a stand against brutal dictatorships. This is my posting;

I find Ratzinger's argument of futility in resistance as specious at best. Regardless of his age, there are universal absolutes period. Moreover, steadfast adherence to policies that have little regard for the weak and poor people who already populate this planet indicate to me just how out of touch the Vatican machine is with Christ's teachings. Jesus was a radical who railed against injustice and one does not have to look to far to find examples of where he stood on compassion for Human suffering. I suspect he would most definitely have preferred to be in El Salvador along with Archbishop Romero rather than to have been dining on chicken cordon bleu and drinking spumante wine at Benedict XVI's dinner with the Cardinals in Rome after Joseph's rise to the seat of Peter. How can it be that the Church, "free" of sin can have strayed so far from being a voice for tolerance and social justice?

As a Catholic who has no intention of leaving the Church, I find myself at odds with blatant contradictions coming out of the Vatican and, more specifically from Joseph Ratzinger. Is it just me or am I seeing variations on the theme of Pharisees of Jesus time all over again? The Church seems to do anything but follow Jesus' words to his disciples,

"I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." ( Luke 6:27-38)" [note: emphasis mine]

Thank you Jeanne for your thoughtful post. I lament Oscar Romero's death, I respect his accomplishments and I strongly disagree with the stonewalling that has occurred in Latin America regarding Liberation Theology.


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