The selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope is bad news for the liberal currents within global Catholicism. Unless Benedict XVI (as Ratzinger has named himself as Pope) executes a 360 degree turn from his past, those who are developing and practicing so-called "dissident" movements within the Church will find little-to-no traction for official support or recognition from the Vatican. |
Especially unsupported, in all likelihood, will be Liberation Theology. This is disappointing, since Liberation Theology is a philosophy that is action-oriented in its advocacy of the poor and its opposition to Capitalism, and which could inspire admiration not only among non-Catholics but even non-Christians (to say nothing of its many Catholic adherents).
Despite the frequent slurs common on this website and within Left circles in general, the world's billion-plus "Christians" cannot be painted with a broad brush as univerally close-minded, conservative, and authoritarian. In the Catholic spectrum, Liberation Theology offers a radical political analysis and prescribes a life based on fundamental change of The System and The Self. Unfortunately, Ratzinger's record reveals his contempt for such concepts.
A short history of the Popes named BenedictI was curious as to the symbolic meaning of the term Benedict, and the following is the result of my research. It would appear that the meaning of 'Benedict' is further consolidation and centralization of power in the office of the Papacy, a continuation of the right wing extremism and authoritarianism characteristic of the previous Pope, and perhaps even an implied threat against any more Priests out there who might be involved in sexual scandals.
There really isn't much to be said for Pope's named 'Benedict', the majority of them being rapists, murderers, and drunks, in the tradition that characterized the Papacy up until the time of reformation. Given the sordid reputations of Pope's named Benedict, this leads one to conclude that the inspiration for Cardinal Ratzinger's choice of a name could only have been Benedict XIV, whose policies on Papal authority bear a notable similarity to the policies of the previosu Pope, John Paul II. Certainly no one would want to be associated with or named after any of the other Pope's called 'Benedict', as you can tell by considering the following short biography of a collection of rascals.
related: [ New Pope is a Former Nazi | New Pope intervened for Bush in 2004 election ]