Thursday, April 07, 2005

Mo' Dissin' of da Pope

Love this (and so glad Billmon is back tending bar).

But reading more about John Paul II's papacy -- as well as the responses of other bloggers to my first post -- it's clear I missed some things, underplayed some other things, and got some things just plain wrong.

In no particular order, I failed to:
Sufficiently stress the horrific human cost of the pope's determination to uphold every single letter of Human Vitae. This monstrosity (I really don't know what else to call it) has been directly responsible for -- or at least a contributing factor in -- the deaths of millions of AIDS victims throughout the world.

Give enough weight to John Paul's authoritarian, even totalitarian, treatment of internal dissent, as symbolized by the Vatican's 1979 theological courtmartial of Hans Kung, a man who, by any definition, ranks as one of the church's leading thinkers in the modern era.

Condemn strongly enough John Paul II's deliberate campaign -- carried out in large measure by his capo, Cardinal Ratzinger -- to destroy the Liberation Theology movement and suppress its ablest practioners.

Even mention the pope's role in promoting Opus Dei -- a truly sinister organization
(cult might be a better word) that incorporates most of the church's most reactionary traits: authoritarianism, obscurantism and, not least, the spiritual glorification of pain and suffering. By placing Opus Dei under direct papal control, John Paul II turned the order into his own personal "White Guard," dedicated to rolling back the Vatican II reforms throughout the church.


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