Salient Ratzo Info…


 Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

Cardinal Ratzinger
[now "Pope Ratzo the First" -ed.] has been head of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith – formerly known as the Holy Office of the
– since 1981.  He was known as "God’s rottweiler" for his unswerving defence of Catholic orthodoxy.

One of his first campaigns was against liberation
, which had gained ground among priests in Latin America and
elsewhere as a means of involving the Church in social activism and
human rights issues.

He has described homosexuality as a "tendency" towards
an "intrinsic moral evil"
. During the US election campaign, he called
for pro-choice politicians to be denied Communion.

He has also argued that Turkey should not be admitted into the European Union.

At the age of 14, he joined the Hitler Youth…

He deserted the German army towards the end of the war…


Posted in Peace and Politics
9 comments on “Salient Ratzo Info…
  1. Yeah, he is what is all the rage in our time, someone (inaccurately) labeled, a “conservative”. One has to be primitive, if not mediaeval to believe in that “son of god”, “trinity” etc. etc. fantasy, anyway. If they HAD put someone of darker complexion in the job, those on this planet who might be lacking the education and hope so that reaching for the ridiculous straws the old time religions may offer is the only option, might see through the “mysteries” of the great “white fathers”.

  2. fp says:

    I like the Hitler Youth part. Seems to me like a real career killer. But I guess that a Bavarian upbringing is useful for a Grand Inquisitor.

  3. Pope Ratzo

    You’ve just got to go over to Frank Paynter’s and check out his take on Pope Ratzo. Amen, amen, I say unto you, if this doesn’t schism the Catholic Church I don’t know what will. I can hope, can’t I?…

  4. I have a friend, born about 1929 in Berlin, who as a schoolboy of 16 (1945) was dragged out of school, put in uniform and made to stand gaurd around Berlin, bombs falling around the clock (as the Russians advanced). He is a gentle and wonderful man. I had a boy scout master who was a Scottish fascist. He liked to play war games with everything intent and capturing and killing the evil commies. I didn’t last long in the scouts, my fellows thought it was neat.

    You and I are tax paying citizens of a country that has killed millions and millions of people for purely ideological reasons or financial gain (is this not evil?). Yet I don’t think (if this country would ever be called to account) we could plead “uh, yuh… uh, I was in the resistance yea, that’s the story, I was uh… bombing bridges.. Yea!”.

    And we ain’t no spring chickens! What IS our excuse?

    I bring these up, as I have always felt what young humans do can be as very stupid as older people. They can be easily swept up in the frenzy of the crowd. They don’t have the experience to control themselves and the wish to please can override sense. As much as I think this prig is an insane idiot, I am very wary of accusing him for such youthful weakness. This kettle is too black!

  5. fp says:

    Couple of things… first, I guess I didn’t bomb any bridges, but I’ve done my best to encounter this evil bullshit for a good many years. In high school I was manhandled by the “attendance officer” for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance and it’s been sort of a roller coaster of dissidence for me ever since. I haven’t been good at encountering evil or I’d be dead, but I certainly recognize it when I see it. I’ve been arrested for modest acts of civil disobedience in a community that I was confident would support my American right to dissent. Nothing to brag about except perhaps a certain humdrum consistency of thought and action.

    Ratzo and Bush have this in common perhaps: they are examples of just how mundane evil really is. Ratzo is a genius by all accounts, and it didn’t even take a genius to desert from the army at the end of the war. But desertion did display a lack of character, and an abundance of self serving cowardice. Joining the Hitler Youth was a self serving choice. Plenty of Germans did not conform or submit to Nazi indoctrination. But having joined, there is every likelihood that the experience helped to shape his character.

    Ratzo stood against liberation theology. He is therefore complicit in the deaths of many priests and nuns and many more lay people who sought shelter within the catholic church in Central America. Ratzo stood with the death squads and the people who murdered archbishop Romero. This was a binary choice… part of the solution or part of the problem. Just think how he chose to define the problem!

    Ratzo stands foresquare for celibacy and for sheltering American priestly pederasts in the Vatican. This shows the breadth of his thinking perhaps, and it shows what a forgiving nature he has, but it troubles me.

    Coming back to the Hitler Youth, this was a choice he made within his family. If his family had encouraged and supported non-conformity, then he might have had a chance to develop the character needed to NOT succeed within the hierarchy of the church. I think we can safely say that membership in the Hitler Youth was just an early stepping stone in a career that has bolstered conservative members of the community every step of the way, from the Nazis to the anti-Muslim zealots of the catholic right. Ratzo is a pope for our times, a man who will bless the crusaders as they go off to reclaim the Holy Land and the oil that lies beneath it.

  6. Ratzo is plenty bad on his own without dragging in his (as you surmise) probably parentally guided Nazi yuf. As to his dessertion, I consider any one who lays his sword down a hero, I do not ask the reason. A “loyalty” to wrong/bad is no loyalty worth having.

    Yup, yous and me have a lot in common. I was always in trouble over the “under god” insertion in the pledge (let alone the Lord’s Prayer we were expected to recite in public school). We finally came to the agreement that I would stay in the corridor during that part of the mornings business. But my parents were pinkish atheists. I marched and such, but I haven’t saved the life of one Vietnamese, Central-South American, Indonesian, Middle Eastern from the ravages of bombs and bullets I paid for. If I am honest, I have watched out for my own pleasure more then I have cared about what my government is doing “for” me.

    I have heard it said that one can’t ask one’s oppressor for liberation. That wonderful collaboration of liberation theology that flowered in the seventies-eighties is a miracle waiting to happen again just as soon as the participants stop asking Rome for permission. But maybe those benificent Bishops sucked too much money out of the apostolic purse.

    For reasons we both understand, a loving god as I have come to know her, has become of primary importance in my life. Besides, as I like to joke, if you don’t believe in a God, you haven’t done enough drugs yet 🙂 and I have! But I find the structure/dogma of the corporate religions unworthy of pondering. I find the bible a strange curiosity at best. For myself, I have to find the path to god through a person in the room with me (or on a telephone or even email). My god does not have ears or a mouth, I can only truly communicate with her through other humans. I have seen how someone “taught” that “thou shall not kill” will have little problem making exceptions. Someone who has come face to face with the acid truth of human hatred will know exactly why(uh-uh, no killing for me).

    I guess what I am trying to say (finally) is Ratzo is an old anachronism in an anacronistic outfit. The boys in Rome can live well off of the churchs investments, they don’t need parish churchs all over draining money out. Although fifty years on you and I will be gone, it is not very long. The church will have shrivelled down to something like a Carlyle Group with some strange dress codes. Who cares about Ratzo, except the media who need to whip these things up?

  7. ARJ says:

    The article on him in Wikipedia has a few salient comments about Ratzinger’s (Ratzo! Isn’t he a muppet? Frank, I don’t think you should be insulting muppets.) involvement in Hitler Youth.

    According to the article, his father was apposed to Nazism and he was a reluctant HYer forced into the organisation by law. Of course, some of his other qualities sound just as unpalatable as being the supporter of a fascist government, so I don’t know whether my opinion of him is redeemed.

  8. ARJ says:

    Or opposed. Argh, I need a new brain.

  9. Harry says:

    He’s not a conservative. He’s a reactionary, big difference, and his selection as Pope says a lot about the state of the Church. His backers have decided to consolidate whatever power they have left, hunker down and deal with the scandals by stonewalling.

    I don’t think they mind waning spiritual and moral influence. They’re going to clutch their temporal power as closely as they can and crank out pseudoconservative agitprop with a godly gloss to take advantage of the fundamentalist reaction to neoliberalism. They’re a lot like the Heritage Foundation.



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