I guess this isn't exactly a news flash anymore, but Pope Benedict Ratzinger, the newly anointed successor to John Paul II is a major league asshole.
Forget his onetime membership in the Hitler Youth. Whether you buy the argument that such involvement was either (A) compulsory or (B) a youthful indiscretion it's better to judge a man by his works as an adult. Let's look at what Ratzinger has said in just the last couple decades:
"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."--10/1/86
"The Archdiocese should withdraw all support from any group, which does not unequivocally accept the teaching of the Magisterium concerning the intrinsic evil of homosexual activity."--9/30/85
Translation: While Ratzinger has rejected Nazi ideology, he thinks those cute pink triangles might come in handy.
"In the United States, there is constant news on this topic (child molestation), but less than 1 percent of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts.''-- 12/3/02
Now, let's assume that Ratzinger's statistic is accurate. That would be like Disneyland- with 21,000 employees- dismissing concerns about pedophilia in its workforce by claiming that just under 210 of its staff are known child molesters. I'm sorry, but that kind of reasoning is just plain goofy.
"Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia ... There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia...Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”--6/18/04
So it's OK to support war and the death penalty, but not euthanasia or abortion? Funny, I thought if anyone would be against the death penalty, it would be Jesus! All these moral loopholes were really invented so Ratzinger could slander Senator John Kerry and throw his weight behind the ordination...er, I mean election, of George W. Bush. Bush, like Ratzinger, has a pretty selective approach to Christ's teachings.
Progressive Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and pretty much anyone under 75 is pretty bummed about Ratzinger's election. I'm hoping that once the 24/7 media lovefest dies down, we can all go back to ignoring the Vatican, just like the good old days.