GUBU
An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Wednesday, April 20, 2005  

Benedict

I waited by the TV from the moment the bells rang until the new pope appeared. I just loved the announcing guy so clearly and childishly delighting in his role and giving the thrilled wave when he had to go back in. Also relishing in the limelight was the guy holding the microphone. You couldn't help smiling and feeling all giggly and excited. Anyway, RATZinger!!!! What a shock! No one believed he could do it, and yet, given that the Cardinals hardly know each other and given the fact that he got to do the big gig of the funeral, we shouldn't be so surprised.
I know all the other screaming liberals are horrified but I am optimistic. Firstly, check out my previous post on the church's stance on feminism. The letter I refer to in this post was written by Ratz.
Secondly, I am rather attracted to the idea of absolute truths. Relativism has its limits and I think the greatest happiness principle has its merits. If he could be persuaded to move on the condoms in Africa issue then I'd let him stick by his anti-abortion, anti-homosexual theories. Membership of the church isn't compulsory. If the gays don't like it, fine...find a church that does want you..like the Anglicans. No one forces you to be a Catholic and its not like Ratz can send out police to round up the homos....unlike Bush. Wasn't there some case last year where police burst into some guy's house, caught him in the act and arrested him? Must research that. The condoms one is different because that is actually sending people to their deaths and I think theologically they must be able to get around it via the 'double effect rule'. This is the rule that says, for example you could remove the uterus of a dying woman if that would save her life. It would also result in the death of a baby in her uterus, but that would be a side effect of the treatment and not the motivation of the operation. Using a condom with the motivation of protecting yourself from HIV would be ok even if the double effect would be stopping sacred sperm getting into a holy womb!!
On a side issue tho' I never understood why double effect wasn't used in the awful case of Sheila Hodgers, the pregnant woman who in 1981 had the misfortune to get cancer and NOT be given treatment for it in that screwed up hospital Our Lady Of Lourdes in Drogheda. She died screaming and the baby died anyway. Here's a link to a brilliant FO'T article about it but its bloody IT subscription. If you'd like it, mail me and I'll cut and paste it.
However my number 1 reason for optimism is that when Ratz did make his appearance he was so happy and smiling that I just got a really good vibe from him and I am big into trusting those instincts. For a while I have suspected that I have some psychic ability and recent events have confirmed it for me. I'll go into that later but for the moment I have a feeling that Ratz is actually ok and perhaps he will use his intellectual ability and dogmatic approach to bash Bush or something.
Anyway, back to the psychic stuff. We've all had those deja vu moments or bumping into someone you haven't seen for years just when you'd been thinking about them but this is really cool. Several nights ago I had a dream about a relative who is a beautician and who waxed my legs about six weeks ago. As that was six weeks ago I had been avoiding looking at my legs as you can imagine that they are sorely in need of a new wax. Anyway the dream was that I was looking at her leg. Just one. Whilst observing her leg I noticed that her's was hair free and I idly wondered in my dream if she waxed her own legs. However, the rest of the dream consisted of her leg. Very strange....
Two days later my sister told me that this same woman had that same day (i.e. the day of the night I had the dream) fallen off a horse and BROKEN HER LEG!!!! I MUST be psychic.

posted by Sarah | 20:43 7 comments
Comments:
That's funny. You must have a warped sense of what's morally okay and what's not.

"If he could be persuaded to move on the condoms in Africa issue then I'd let him stick by his anti-abortion, anti-homosexual theories. Membership of the church isn't compulsory. If the gays don't like it, fine...find a church that does want you..like the Anglicans. No one forces you to be a Catholic and its not like Ratz can send out police to round up the homos....unlike Bush. Wasn't there some case last year where police burst into some guy's house, caught him in the act and arrested him? Must research that."
 
Hmmm. Does Colm mean that he thinks I am pro or anti homosexual and that this is good or bad? Just so we're all clear I think homosexuals are fine. I just don't understand why they would want to be part of a church that doesn't want them.
 
FYI, that case of police bursting into a house did happen, in 1998. But it was ruled unconstitutional.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/06/26/scotus.sodomy/
 
Why would they want to be part of a church that doesn't want them? Hmm, let's see.

Most "homos", as you called them, that are Catholic more than likely grew up in a Catholic environment, went to a Catholic school and had the relevant sacraments. Just because they (church and "homos")clash on one issue, doesn't mean they should choose a different church that does accept them. That is seriously screwed up logic.

Many priests would love to have celibacy abolished. If it isn't, should they leave the Catholic church and opt for Church of England where they can marry? No.
 
ok ok I know it would be much nicer if the Catholic church changed its position on contraception, sex before marriage, homosexuality ( I never said 'homos' btw), women priests etc. All I mean is that I think a church is entitled to take a position on something. They state their beliefs, and if you don't like it, it's not a life or death situation and no one is making you stay in the church. For the record I disagree with the church's policy on all of the above, but to be honest I don't take religion very seriously so I couldn't care less and I can still go along to mass to please my parents and I doubt if Razt gives a toss. The exception is the condoms in Africa thing, because that is life or death and their policy is consigning millions to their deaths. That's why i say, ofk Ratz, say what you want about all the 'lifestyle' issues cos we have a choice how to live but dying people in Africa don't so leave them alone and give them condoms. I think this is totally reasonable.
 
I'll save Colm the bother of one observation: there is a passage in the original post where you say "No one forces you to be a Catholic and its not like Ratz can send out police to round up the homos....unlike Bush." which arguably came across as a tad cavalier even if meant as a usage that outright haters would make and not yourself.

On the more serious issue there is the good utilitarian argument that if the challenge is to prioritise which policies Papa Ratzi should alter, the condoms thing would have to be near the top because of the pointless deaths to which it is contributing.

Finally, there's no good answer on how those of us out of favour with the current church doctrine should react. My personal preference is to wait out the current crop of doctrinaire figures at the top and assume that fundamental trends (declining vocations, an increased demand from the laity for a reemphasis on opposition to war and poverty with corresponding reduction in emphasis on sex-related jihads) will result in a more welcoming church.
 
I'm inclined to agree with your first impressions of Pope Benedict (let's stop calling him Ratz - it's funny, but might catch on too easily!. I note the Papa Ratzi joke was cool too!!!). He seems very warm and humane. I also detect a sense of simplicity in his reference to Christ in his early sermons - almost like going back to the roots and avoiding pomp and cermony of Catholicism. This might help Christian unity if he keeps this trend going. Your condoms and Africa point is well made. John
 
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