Friday, April 22, 2005

Ratzinger, a distressful moment for Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Marxists, Homosexuals, Pro-choicers, and the world

It has been interesting to watch the recent events in the Vatican, having myself left Catholicism and having only ever known one Pope, John Paul II.

03 May,
(note, I've removed a paragraph here that disparages the election of Ratzinger)

As with many things I'm quite skeptical; though I am trying to be less cynical about Catholicism and Christianity in general (the cynic denies claims and refuses to investigate, the skeptic holds judgement until after investigating).

From the Pakistan Daily Times:

In 1997, Ratzinger called Buddhism an “autoerotic spirituality” that offers “transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations.” Hinduism, he said, offers “false hope,” in that it guarantees “purification” based on a “morally cruel” concept of reincarnation resembling “a continuous circle of hell.” At the time, Cardinal Ratzinger predicted that Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic church’s main enemy. Lerner says, “Ratzinger is being falsely described as a conservative, when in fact he, despite his publicly genteel manner, is a raging reactionary. Unlike many American conservatives who oppose gay sexual practices but not their legal rights, Ratzinger in 1992 argued against human rights for gays, stressing that their civil liberties could be ‘legitimately limited.’”

See also:

Yet, my own polemics aside, it may suffice to say that his own words are simply mistaken, and it should be hoped for by all people of good character that he move to understand the good of Buddhism, Hinduism, Marxism, and other 'ism's' which he may otherwise see no value in. Of course, if his concern is more for numbers (of adherents) than for the overall spiritual/moral character of the world, than perhaps seeing the good in other ways of life is problematic. However, it is my own belief, one held by the Dalai Lama and my own closest thing to a religious guide, Geshe Michael Roach, that there is good in religious pluralism. In fact, trying to make everyone into a Buddhist, a Catholic, or a Marxist would be disastrous on both mundane and spiritual levels.

It should be understood by any and all 'reactionary' Catholics that an oppressive, or even merely 'unilateralist', Catholic church will be its own 'main enemy.'

Where are the Thomas Mertons of the Catholic faith when you need them?

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