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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is Benedict XVI the New GWB for the Left?

David Quinn of the Irish newspaper, the Independent raises some interesting parallels between former president George W. Bush and Pope Benedict the XVI. However, before getting started, please allow me to genuflect three times before the Altar of Political Correctness by wholeheartedly stating that ...

  • I detest the abuse of children in all it's forms and call for the prosecution of anyone who does it.

  • I detest the abuse of children in all it's forms and call for the prosecution of anyone who does it.

  • I detest the abuse of children in all it's forms and call for the prosecution of anyone who does it.

Now that I have stated my thoughts on that particular matter, I would like to add something else. I'm not an adherent of Roman Catholicism. I'm a (PCA) Presbyterian and thusly, I really don't have any type of dog in this particular fight. However, I generally pride myself as being someone who can at least distinguish between a good argument and a very crappy one, and it seems that a very crappy argument has been foisted upon much of the Western world recently and widely accepted by numerous people of most every religious stripe.

There have been two different news stories that have been very much publicized recently in the mainstream media concerning Pope Benedict the XVI. An abuse case in Milwaukee, WI in which the Milwaukee Police Department was unable to make an arrest and county prosecutors never indicted anyone.

Also, in another example, this time from the Diocese of Oakland CA, media bias and presuppositions played a roll of the condemnation of Benedict-Ratzinger. Even though, in the error-filled AP report, the Diocese of Oakland was never interviewed to present their side of the story as to what actually happened. People generally accepted the news report as the gospel truth. Link

Lost in all of this recent "reporting" is the fact that the recent articles were Reaching Back Across The Decades to report that which had occured. I thought that to be a bit late in reporting this information myself and the aforementioned Mr Quinn offered his thoughts on the subject...

"Attacks on Benedict, and on the Catholic Church generally, come from many directions. The church is attacked over its supposed attitude towards Protestants, Jews, Muslims and the other religions generally.

Benedict and the church are attacked over their attitude towards homosexuality and human sexuality generally. They are attacked over their defence of the right to life of the unborn, the elderly and the sick. They are attacked over their defence of marriage.

But in a way, all these attacks are an attack on the same thing, namely Benedict and the church's defence of objective truth and morality, its belief that certain things are right or wrong in themselves regardless of opinion or circumstance.

In an age of moral relativism, nothing is more offensive than the person who says, however calmly, that not all 'truths' are equal, that morality is not simply a matter of opinion, that religions are not all equally true or equally false, and that not all lifestyle choices are equal.

With regard to sex, for example, the church says that sex has an objective meaning and purpose and that one such purpose is procreation, which is intrinsically linked to heterosexuality.

This is connected to the defence of marriage. One reason the church says men and women should marry before they have sex is because it believes children have a right to be raised by their two married parents.

But many people, not least cohabiting couples, single parents and homosexuals find this offensive and it leads them into a denial that children have any need for, or right to, a married mother and father. The church cannot go down that road.

Nor can the church say all religions are equal because then it would have to deny that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. But this doesn't mean the church can't treat other religions with respect.

Why is this so difficult to grasp? Presumably we're all able to treat most of the people with whom we disagree with respect. Well, the church does the same, contrary to popular prejudice.

The paradox of relativism is that it claims to treat all points of view equally but in fact it damns and condemns those who deny relativism. In other words, relativists defend their point of view as trenchantly and aggressively as the worst fundamentalists and will brook no opposition.

The Pope calls this ultra-aggressiveness the 'dictatorship of relativism'. The main reason these liberal fundamentalists spend so much of their time and energy attacking the Pope and the church is because they are the foremost defenders of objective truth and morality in the world today.

Destroy Benedict, damage or co-opt the church he leads, and you go a long way towards destroying opposition to liberal fundamentalism. This is a cataclysmic battle between those who believe in objective morality and those who think morality is relative. Joseph Ratzinger is smack bang in the middle of the hottest part of this battle."

As I have previously pointed out in a previous thread, I find it interesting that another columnist has pointed out that ...

"As the Catholic League’s Bill Donahue relates, 80 percent of the victims of priestly abuse have been males and “most of the molesters gays.”

And as the Times’ Richard Berke blurted to the Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association 10 years ago, often, “three-quarters of the people deciding what’s on the front page are not-so-closeted homosexuals.”

Is there perhaps a conflict of interest at The New York Times, when covering a traditionalist Catholic pope?

I hope that's not the case, but would anyone else like to advance another, more plausible explanation at this time? The distinct lack of a truly valid, competing claim as to why there is a sudden interest of the events of over 30 years ago to criticize Benedict and the church he leads may itself lend even more credibility to Mr Quinn's above arguments.


Tracy said...

I appreciate Mr. Quinn's comments here. Although I am not Catholic, I have long respected the church's stand for objective morality.

ATVLC said...

I know of some of the sexual abuse cases in Australia, but when I looked at this list of compensation payouts in the United States alone, holy cow! The church must be losing money like crazy.


100 million dollars here, 660 million there, all those compensation payouts in the millions.

I'm not an adherent of Roman Catholicism. I'm a (PCA) Presbyterian and thusly, I really don't have any type of dog in this particular fight.
Rigghhhttt... Forgive me if I don't believe you.

The Catholic Apologist said...

Hi JC,

Sorry I took so long to comment. I read this post of yours yesterday.

As always it is well put together and well thought out. The only thing I can think of in critique is what one of my posters said in critique of me. You even replied to it on my blog.

Bill Clinton was not exactely a card carrying conservative, and someone who believes in objective revealed morality. Bill Clinton is a card carrying liberal who assuridly has embraced moral relativism. Despite this fact, the media gave him no pass when he faced his sex scandals. The media hounded him even though his sex scandal was far more benign, (two consenting adults) then the scandal involving the Catholic Church. (Child abuse)

photogr said...

One can only wonder about the Catholic faith based on the numerous child abuse cases that make head line news frequently.

If you look back in history on the Catholic faith in Europe say around the 15th to the 18th century, you will find many times a dungeon of torture under the cathedral for those that did not believe. It seems that the catholic church has always been a bit abusive in one form or another as I understand it. From my own experiences in a catholic school and church as a child, I can say it twisted my first impressions of a loving God. The priest and the nuns were treacherous if you broke the rules. I will not go into details here but it certainly gave me a bad taste for tomatoes or other foods I did not like.

JD Curtis said...


I just googled [dungeon under church] and nothing came up.

Adam Nardoli said...

"I just googled [dungeon under church] and nothing came up."

Are you using a different Google to me or what?