New Pope here…

SO the white smoke has finally billowed and the bells of St Peter’s have pealed to proclaim papal favourite Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pontiff. Further reaction here.

The BBC reported:

Archbishop Sean Brady said Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who will be known as Pope Benedict XVI, was a man of ability with “great simplicity of life”.

“He will also be very keen on dialogue with people of other faiths and other churches,” he said.

PA reported:

Irish President Mary McAleese has conveyed her sincere good wishes to Cardinal Ratzinger on his election to the Chair of Peter.

In her message, President McAleese said:

“The world responded in grief and wonder to the passing of John Paul II. The election of his successor became the concern of very many people throughout the world.

“You embody their hopes for greater unity among peoples and a more just and caring human family. Your guidance and leadership amid the complexities of modern life will be crucial.

“May your acceptance of this tremendous burden of service bear fruit in our world. May God give you strength for these new cares.”

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern extedned the best wishes of the Irish people to the new Pope.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on his election as Pope Benedict XVI.

“The scenes of rejoicing and excitement which we have witnessed in St.Peter`s this evening express the goodwill which people around the world, of all religions and none, will feel towards the new Pope.

“The awesome responsibility that comes with occupying the See of Peter has, if anything, been increased by the scale of the impact made by his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II. The worldwide impact of that pontificate, and the outpouring of sorrow at his death, represents a resource and a source of encouragement for the new Pope.

“It demonstrates that the world is waiting to hear his voice and receive his blessing. Pope Benedict XVI is a man of profound learning and knows only too well the pressures which await him in the office of Pope.

“He has chosen a name which associates him with the great mission of peace of the occupants of the See of Peter. All Irish men and women, whatever their tradition, will wish him well. He will have the prayers and good wishes of the Christian people of Ireland, especially, of course, of the Roman Catholic community, here as around the world.”

  • John O’Connell

    I wish Pope Benedict XVI the best of luck in his task to lead the Church.

  • Solomon

    Yep. good luck to him, although I think that at 78 years old he should be putting his feet up, gardening etc.

  • maca

    bloody italians.

  • maca

    Ok, well that worked. attempt 2… still italic?

  • maca

    Gonzo, can you sort out this italic text and delete my posts. The html isn’t working…

  • peteb

    *ahem*

  • GavBelfast

    So, Hitler Youth, anti-gay, anti-unmarried mums – just for starters. (And that’s according to the last editor of ‘The Tablet’).

    A reconcilliator?

    Rather presumptious of Bertie to say those nice things on behalf of so many people in Ireland, especially as you get impression Ratzinger wouldn’t approve of all that many of us and our ways.

    By the way, and I know it’s early days, but I wonder if the name ‘Ratzinger’ will stick, rather than the moniker ‘Benedict’ he seems to have been given/adopted. It’s just hard to imagine anyone other than John Paul.

  • Solomon

    Just wondering, why do the popes do the name change thing anyway?
    Why pick Benedict when there has already been 15 of them?

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Solomon: it’s just a tradition, apparently, about 1,000 years or so old. Early popes used their own names. They generally pick something symbolic. The last Benedict was Pope during WWI and was a great advocate of peace and dialogue and opposed to war, so Ratzinger is saying he’s going to concentrate on world peace.

    Or something. Apparently.

  • Solomon

    Thanks CI

  • elvisthedog

    The name change thing started, I believe, around 1500 years ago with John II – who deemed it inappropriate to use his first name, which was Mercury. Pope Mercury – Freddie would surely have approved.

  • David Vance

    Will “Achtung Baby” be played at his inauguration?

  • Solomon

    Achtung baby? thats a U2 song as far as I am aware

  • maca

    Achtung Baby is a U2 album, not song.

    GRMA Pete, </i> didn’t work for some reason.

  • Solomon

    Not into U2

  • foreign correspondent

    Well, Achtung Baby is actually the name of a U2 album not a particular song.
    Anyway, what is known about this new pope? Why do newspapers say things like ‘World welcomes new pope’ (the Guardian was putting like that this evening anyway)? I think that’s a bit of an assumption to make, no?

  • Solomon

    FC
    I have already been corrected in my presumption that it was a song instead of an album.

  • foreign correspondent

    Yeah, sorry. It was a quasi-simultaneous posting. It’s a very good album by the way- have a listen and you could convert to the TRUE holy apostolic faith-U2 fandom 🙂

  • Solomon

    I’ll have a hoke for it.
    Depeche Mode fan, anyone else or just me?. :o)

  • Vera

    Not surprising, since many people had picked him as the front runner all along. Many American Catholics would have prefered one of the more liberal Central or South American cardinals. Ironically, American Protestants will probably like him better than American Catholics.

  • Occasional Commenter

    Ciarán, Solomon,
    The last Pope Benedict also “calmed the excesses of the campaign against ‘modernist’ scholars within the Church”

    The name change might be Ratzinger’s way of saying that he won’t be as anti-dissent as might be expected. But we’ll just have to wait and see I suppose

  • joc

    Benny the rat has a nice ring to it.

  • Occasional Commenter

    I like the Vatican’s current homepage. It just announces “HABEMVS PAPAM BENEDICTVM XVI”, with a proper Latin V (instead of U).
    In the list of languages below that German is first, I assume that was moved there today? Or was it always the first in the list?

  • maca

    Good contribution there joc … or maybe not!

    OC
    They are in alphabetical order.

  • Henry94

    Benedict XVI, will continue the positive, ground-breaking relations toward Israel and the Jews that characterized the papacy of Pope John Paul II, say senior Jewish figures who are integrally involved in relations with the Vatican, and know Ratzinger personally.

    “He has a profound commitment to good relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, and an unquestionable commitment to Israel’s well being,” says Rabbi David Rosen, who was a key figure in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Vatican in 1993. “From a narrow Jewish and Israeli perspective, it is good news for the Jews.”

  • mucher

    He may have good relations with Jewish people but according to his belief they are going to hell. It is his strongly held view that only Roman Catholics go to heaven. All others are heading in the opposite direction.

  • Henry94

    It is his strongly held view that only Roman Catholics go to heaven.

    That, mucher, is neither the Pope’s view nor the doctrine of the Church.

    The Catholic Church does teach that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, but one must look at what this really means. Paragraph 3 of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio, 21 November 1964) says that our separated brethren “who believe in the faith of Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” It also says that “all who have been justified by faith in baptism are incorporated into Christ, they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” Everyone is saved through the Catholic Church, either as faithful members of that Church, or as members of churches which contain some significant elements of truth and sanctification found in the Catholic Church, or as persons who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience.

  • Occasional Commenter

    mucher,
    The obituary of JP2 on the BBC after his death said that he decided that the Jews didn’t need saving and could get into heaven. It’s something I want to research a bit more, but I’m pretty sure I got the gist of it right.

    As for other religions, are there many that don’t think the other religions are wrong? I think the Bahai faith might be such an exception.

  • basil

    The pope is a hun, boom, boom. I’ll get my coat

  • Davros

    Islam teaches that others can get into heaven.

  • Occasional Commenter

    So it seems that Catholicism and Islam teach that followers of (some?) other religions can get into Heaven.

    Anyone know the various Protestant positions?

  • Davros

    AFAIK it varies with the church Occ C. The quakers certainly beleive that Heaven is open to other faiths. Be very lonely otherwise 😉

  • fair_deal

    OC

    Is the general prod position not that salvation is an individual issue rather than systematic?

  • mucher

    Thank you Henry for the correction. I understood salvation to mean allowed to enter heaven and only Roman Catholics could be saved. I only hope God is aware of Paragraph 3.

  • Davros

    Just heard a variation on the Rottweiler theme on the radio – This pope is a German Shepherd rather than a Pastoral shepherd 🙂

  • Alan2

    “strongly traditional interpretation of the Catholic faith, including opposition to abortion, homosexuality, priestly marriage and women priests.”

    “Our correspondent says that the homily he made at the Mass before the start of the Conclave in which he denounced all deviations from traditional Church teachings as trickery and error, may have been decisive in winning his election.”

  • mucher

    Hi Davros, well at least in twenty years time we won’t have lots of kids called Benedict though in the case of twins one could be called Ben and the other Dick

  • Davros

    I like the name Benedict mucher.

  • Butterknife

    Nena – “99 Luftballons” (1984)

  • sean west

    Bravo benedict.Keep the Turks out of Europe.

  • Occasional Commenter

    We’re often reminded that the new Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth. It’s only fair to add (from Wikipedia):

    “His father, also called Joseph, was an anti-Nazi whose attempts to rein in Hitler’s Brown Shirts forced the family to move several times.” [2] (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1572667,00.html)

    When he turned 14 in 1941, he joined the Hitler Youth; membership was compulsory under a 1936 German law. National Catholic Reporter correspondent and biographer John Allen writes that Ratzinger was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings.

  • mucher

    Davros, why must you always have the last word? 🙂

  • Davros

    LOL mucher – I don’t know why ! Have you any suggestions ?

  • sean west

    Benedict 16 and John Paul 2,both have had tough lives.Always hard to oppose a tyranny.
    Tyrants do have a tendency to get rid of people that oppose them.Standing up to them takes guts.
    The queen mum was fantastic too.

  • Rebecca Black

    Right, a question for someone who knows alot about the RC church.

    I was watching the coverage of the new Pope yesterday on TV and although many people are disappointed that a more liberal Pope was not elected, how liberal can a Pope actually be?

    A Pope can’t exactly turn years of condemning around and be more tolerant to things such as contraception, women priests, homosexuality etc. For centuries people have been eternally damned for these issues, so can a liberal 21st century Pope really be liberal, and if he is, would he then have to offer a symbolic apology for the excesses for the past?

  • mucher

    Thank you O.C. but we read that last night. You know that was written by his approved biographer? How much independent research went into it is hard to know. I much prefer to read biography when the subject is dead.

  • Occasional Commenter

    Rebecca, you’re right. A Pope can’t really just do what he likes. I like to think of the example of a High Court judge – they can do what they like, but we hope and expect that they will stick to the law.

    In the RC church, Tradition is as legally binding as Scripture, and apparently there is a lot of Scripture and Tradition related to the issues you mention.

    If any Pope wanted to change position, for example, allowing women priests, he would need set the Churches best theologians working for years for any loophole in Tradition or Scripture.

  • sean west

    It is quite simple.The Catholic church is not something you can cherry pick.It lays down a standard that is difficult to follow in the modern world.But if it changed radically it would become a joke.Remeber the students that were so radical in the 60s all voted for Regan in 1980.

  • Rebecca Black

    mucher

    I read somewhere that he deserted the German army in 1935 (or maybe ’38) so he clearly disagreed with Hitlers increasing madness by that point.

    The point the biographer makes about Hitler Youth is also correct, it was compulsory.

  • Occasional Commenter

    mucher, I had noticed that it was written by “National Catholic Reporter correspondent and biographer John Allen”, as you can see from my post. Perhaps I should have been more explicit about that.

    But even if he was an enthusiastic follower of Hitler in his youth (which I don’t believe), should we hold that against him? Most young people have some really stupid opinions, and if you’re just doing what every other child is doing, then it’s not all that bad.

  • mucher

    Oh please O.C. and Rebecca of course Popes have changed the rules.
    1 No eating meat on Friday.
    2 No altar girls allowed
    3 Unborn babies no longer go to Limbo
    4 The earth does revolve around the sun
    5 Women are not imperfect men (St.Augustine)

    The list is endless.

  • Davros

    Four out of Five isn’t bad Mucher 😉

  • Occasional Commenter

    I think that my posts would allow people to assume that I’m a Catholic. I’m not, I’m an atheist who probably knows more about religion than many religious people!

  • mucher

    Davros, you always have to have the last word because you think you’re smarter than other people. You’re probably right! 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sean West, the RC church can be cherry picked and has been pretty frequently. For reference see the first and second Vatican councils. The changes brought in by Vatican II were so radical that even today a lot of Catholics who would consider themselves fundamentalist still refuse to accept them, eg opposition to cremation, the ecumenical position, meat abstinence on Fridays etc.

    The Pope has a hotline to God and can change the rules any time he likes. It wouldn’t happen overnight but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

  • Occasional Commenter

    mucher,

    Limbo is not (and never was) the same as Purgatory. In fact, to say that an unborn child is in Limbo quite simply means that the Church isn’t claiming to know where they are. The Church never ruled out that they might go to Heaven.

    All that JP2 did was to say that Catholics should trust in God’s love et cetera. To my mind, he said “Don’t be silly, of course they go to Heaven, it’s just that Scripture and Tradition doesn’t define it either way.”

  • Rebecca Black

    mucher

    but the point is on really huge issues like allowing women priests and tolerating homosexuality a Pope can hardly perform a complete U turn.

  • Alan2

    “Is the general prod position not that salvation is an individual issue rather than systematic?”

    There is such a wide array of “Protestant” beliefs. Largely it is a belief in salvation by Grace through a personal relationship with Christ although you also have things like Universalism which is either defined as Jesus died for everyone no matter whether you are a believer or not.

  • Occasional Commenter

    On the subject of women priests, I suspect that the Church will start allowing the laity to lead Mass, including women laity. So we will have women doing everything that priests do, but not being called priests.

  • Davros

    Davros, you always have to have the last word because you think you’re smarter than other people. You’re probably right! 🙂

    I KNOW to my cost that I’m not smarter than other people mucher LOL

    Rebecca – Popes CAN do U Turns. It happened over Slavery.

  • Rebecca Black

    hmm, ok Davros

    So if the RC Church does perform a U-turn on homosexuality, does that mean that all the people persecuted and killed for being gay will be apologised for?

    If they perform a U-turn, how will they explain former actions? And how will they maintain any credibility?

  • Occasional Commenter

    Rebecca,

    I would have thought that the Church would have always opposed killing people for being gay, even while believing that homosexuality is a sin.

    I’m not expecting a U-turn on homosexuality, but maybe on condoms. And yes, credibility will be a problem, but like I said earlier they will put all the best theologians on the case to make it work.

  • Davros

    Rebecca – I didn’t say it would happen or even that it might happen, I merely gave you a previous example.

  • Rebecca Black

    “I would have thought that the Church would have always opposed killing people for being gay, even while believing that homosexuality is a sin.”

    Nowadays, of course, but during the middle ages when punishments such as a red hot poker up a certain part of the anatomy and death sentences for being gay. I find it hard to believe the church can sanction such actions then and tolerate homosexuality now.

  • Alan2

    “But if it changed radically it would become a joke.”

    What like the Church Of Ireland / Anglicans? 😉

    “The Church never ruled out that they might go to Heaven.”

    Matthew 18:3: “And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children [paidion], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Matthew 19:14: “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.””

    “And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad –they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.” (Deuteronomy 1:39)

  • Alan2

    “So if the RC Church does perform a U-turn on homosexuality, does that mean that all the people persecuted and killed for being gay will be apologised for?”

    which is ridiculous really when you consider half the clergy “bat for the other side”.

  • Alan2

    The one that really gets me is the Mormons. They are a huge Church. They believe God lives on the plante Firbolg (or something similar) and that he has lots of wives. He has lots of spirit babies with these wives. The good spirit babies are put ito the bodies of White people and the bad spirit babies are put into black bodies ( “The mark of Cain” ). They also have secret temple ceremonies which involved getting naked at weddings to don special robes which were open at the side (supposedly discontinued but still happens just like polygamy / bigomy ) and only Mormons are allowed to the wedding ( so you dont see their secret ceremonies ). Apparently has alot in common with the Masons and indeed the Mormons wear three part “holy underwear” which they never take off completely or else the demons can get them..so they was one half their body in the shower and keep there “holy underwear” on then do vice verse. The underwear has a masonic symbol on each nipple and thigh.

  • Alan2

    They rely on the book of Mormon on top of the bible which was written by the “prophet” Joseph Smith a couple of hundred years ago.

  • Alan McDonald

    Reading this thread reminds me of why I don’t get involved in discussions about religion.

  • mucher

    Rebecca, the question of women priests is not one that catholics can discuss, according to the late Pope John Paul 2.

    O.C. Limbo was a place where unborn babies went if they died. Not a place of punishment agreed, but never to see the face of God and lost to their parents forever. That teaching has changed!

  • mucher

    Alan2 I’m surprised at you. Laughing at other people beliefs is below contempt. Laughing ay your own is acceptable.

  • Alan2

    I wasn`t laughing. I disagree with ALOT of religions but the Mormons come across as ridiculous and racist to boot…bad spirit babies..mark of Cain indeed.

  • queens_unionist

    A Christian, Protestant view, would be that religion will not get anyone into heaven.
    Having recieved salvation ie [repenting of sin believing in the Lord Jesus Christ accepting Him as one’s savious and recieving the Blessing off the Holy Spirit]

    A Christian is a member of the Church. Not a religion but the Church being all Christians.
    a Christian, IMO could not sit under any sort of teaching/preaching of the catholic Church…it being absolutely anti christian IMO.

    A calvinist view would be then that [in simple terms] once saved always saved’ and so the Christian would and could deviate from obediance but the conscience will ‘kick in’ as it were.
    Only Christ can forgive sins…unlike the RC view of the priest etc.
    The Pope is a mere man. Not God’s Right hand man.
    Mary was an ordinary woman…chosen by God admitadly to give birth to his son but not to be made equal to God or anywhere near Him.
    During Communion RC church believes that the bread and win actually become Christs body and blood…whereas a Protestant view would be that they are emerely symbols.
    Baptism in a Christian/Protestant view CANNOT save…the opposite is tru of Catholicism…

  • mucher

    Heard Cardinal Dr. Connell on RTE news at 1.00pm.
    In answer to the reporter’s question as to Pope Benedict’s fearsome reputation replied “They said the same about me”. When the reporter asked what was his point he replied “I’m a nice chap”.
    I really thought it was a touching reply. It doesn’t change my mind about Pope Benedict though!

  • spartacus

    Mucher wrote:

    ‘Rebecca, the question of women priests is not one that catholics can discuss, according to the late Pope John Paul 2.’

    Actually, it was Ratzinger who formulated the positon and made the discussion off limits, and of course it was presented under JP II’s name etc.

    The Church, like all other social institutions, and not unlike Protestant denominations, is subject to change depending on what is going on in the outside world.

    Vatican II, in historical terms and in terms of the way insiders in the Church viewed it, was about attempting to make the Church relevant to a change[d] world. To put it very simply, the Church had to go to the people rather than the other way around, and Christ was present not only within the confines of the church but in everyday life. There was also an acknowledgment that the Gospel had something to say about the pressing social questions of the day–particularly about social inequality, etc.

    Ratzinger embodies a conservative reaction against that impulse–an attempt to raise the gates, circle the wagons, whatever, around a doctrine thought to be eternal and impervious to outside pressures. He is fundamentally conservative, both socially and theologically. His own views took shape in reaction against the ‘excesses’ of 1968.

    He is known for two main interventions–one was the excommunication of women who had themselves ordained, which was part of a larger attempt to push back demands that women take on more substantive roles in the Church.

    The second is his leaxership in the attack on liberation theoology, and the creation of a set of ideas (more amenable to the hierarchy in Latin Ameirca, traditionally identifed with dictatorships, and the rule of the wealthy) called ‘reconciliation theology,’ as in reconciling the rich and the poor.

    Oh, and third, his attack on homosexuality.

    He’s a reactionary scum, with a brilliant mind apparently. Brainier than Bush, which is not saying much, less duplicitous than Blair, which is not saying much, but amenable to their vision of the world. A Pope for the rich and complacent. Nothing new there. What was it Katusky called the Church? A school for creating Atheists? Fine by me.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It always amuses me the way people come on to basically complain that the Catholic church’s teachings are made up, and then go on to burble the made-up cultish gibberish about “salvation” and “accepting the Lord Jesus” whatever the hell that means.

    Folks, figure it out – the whole thing is made up by men, from start to finish.

  • maca

    Alan2
    “I disagree with ALOT of religions but the Mormons come across as ridiculous and racist to boot”

    Quite surprised at you there Alan, I always presumed you were the religious type, you should have more respect for peoples beliefs.

  • Rethinking Uniuonism

    Queens Unionist

    Only Christ can forgive sins…unlike the RC view of the priest etc.
    The Pope is a mere man. Not God’s Right hand man.
    Mary was an ordinary woman…chosen by God admitadly to give birth to his son but not to be made equal to God or anywhere near Him.
    During Communion RC church believes that the bread and win actually become Christs body and blood…whereas a Protestant view would be that they are emerely symbols.
    Baptism in a Christian/Protestant view CANNOT save…the opposite is tru of Catholicism…

    You do have some responsibility as an educated person to deal more accurately with what you ascribe to be Catholic Doctrine rather than trot out nonsense you have presumably been fed as a child.

    A priest by viture of his office is in persona christi. Of course only Jesus can forgive sins but why did he say to Peter whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. He established through Peter the Church and Catholics believe that the Church was extablished through Peter and priests are successors to that ministry.

    Mary is certainly no ordinary woman. She is Theotokos or God bearer. Of course she is not equal to God but she does have a unique role in salvation history because of her yes to God. She has always been seen as the Mother of the Church because she is the Mother of Jesus and Jesus cannot be separated from his body.

    Read John Chapter 6 on communion and if you have difficulty with his concept reflect on the incarnation. Christainity is not supposed to be merely reason.

    Baptism is incorporation into the Christian people which was commanded by Christ and the main Chuches have a fairly similar view of its efficay and necessity. What you seek of is an anabaaptist view which is a fairly minority position within the Church.

    Go do your homework and while you are at it why dont you reflect for a lttle while on some of the weaknesses of your own position. What happened before 1517 or are we saying that for three quarters of Christian history there were few Christians