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Pope Close to Death...Fears of Successor

Martin J McCluskey | 03.10.2003 00:39 | Culture | London | World

As the pope allegedley nears death, should we concerned about the possible successor?

Cardinal Ratzinger
Cardinal Ratzinger

I'm not entirely sure about the relevance of this subject on a site like this, but I think this is an issue that should be brought to people's attention.

Earlier tonight, several vatican sources clammered to dispel rumours in the media that the Pope was "dying". This led me to think about possible successors and - in particular - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; a man whose name has appeared increasingly recently as one of the Pontiff's closest aides and a possible successor. The entire world has reason to fear this man. He is currently head of the Church's "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith", a body set up in 1524 under a name that most people will recognise "The Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition". Yes...the Inquisition lives.

Let's take a look at some of Ratzinger's views. Firstly, homosexuality and gay rights. Homosezuality is - according to the German cardinal - a "tendency" towards "intrinsic moral evil". Hmmm... Next, the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 60s he described as "wild excesses" and the end of the Latin mass a "tragic breach" in tradition. Most shocking is perhaps his views on other religions. Buddhists have an "autoerotic spirituality" that "offers transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations"...Hinduism offers "false hope" it guarantees "purification" based on a "morally cruel" concept of reincarnation resembling "a continuous circle of hell". He also predeicted that Buddhism would replace Marxism as the RC Church's main enemy in this century. Allegedley, Ratzinger is also a member of the influential Opus Dei group - a right wing faction in the Church that aided the downfall of socialism in Russia and continues to fund anti-Castro campaigns.

I don't intend for this discussion to spiral out of control into a flaming of the Catholic Church - far from it. As a Catholic myself, I know there is a lot of good (and, unfortunately, some bad) in the institution. What I'm trying to highlight here is the possibility of a Pope who is somewhere further right of Ghengis Khan. The thought, personally, terrifies me...

Martin J McCluskey
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