Can you imagine any leader less like Jesus Christ than Pope Benedict XVI? OK, Kim Jong-il is a shoo-in for a pathological psychotic seamlessly slipping on the inheritance of Stalin, Mao, and Hitler, Ahmadinedjad is nuts and dangerous, Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko is getting some bad press at the moment, and you might be a touch nervous if you were ever shown into a darkened room with Comrade Putin holding a set of surgical instruments.
But amongst all the “normal” sorts of leaders, by and large, we trust that their original motivations and beliefs are/were sound, and that within the constraints of the perversions of power, they are trying to, more or less, do their best. Buffoons, often; incompetents, almost always; but men (and what we are talking about here are men) whose essential capacity for good may still be discernible.
“There exists a market of pornography regarding children that seems to be increasingly accepted as normal by society,” (the Pope) said. ……
The underlying ideology of such excesses stemmed from the 1970s, when “paedophilia was theorized as something that was in keeping with man and even the child”, he said. “The effects of such theories are evident today.”
What!!! When, ever, has any society regarded paedophilia as normal? (Forget the pederasty of Ancient Greece and keep this to modern history.) Just in which part of Ratzinger’s ministry have his priests had to endure the corrupting influence of the normalization of sex with children?
Joseph Ratzinger’s brand of theological dogmatism, personal submission to, and command of, the diktats and overarching needs of the powerful institution which he heads, his willingness in the past to cover-up, and today to dissemble, and the ease with which he separates his church away from other churches, his religion away from other religions, determined to empower the exclusivity of his religious tribe – all of this – threatens humanity which is now globally tighter than ever before. We need religious leaders who set aside difference not reinforce it, a bit like Jesus Christ would have done.
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