There is a lovely cartoon in today’s DTH sticking it to Pope Benedict. View the Cartoon here.
In the cartoon, two priests are standing on either side of a picture of the Pope. The one priest says, “I don’t know-damning entire groups of people; using Nazi literature in sermons…” The other priest says, “The Big Boss said he still gets misty when he hears ‘the old classics’.” And above the cartoon reads “Missouri Catholics make nazi/stem cell bash week after church snubs gay priests.”
Ok, there is a lot to dissect here, but basically the cartoonist (and a bunch of other people) are taking cheap shots at the Pope and the Church in general because it is appears to be orthodox.
This cartoon criticizes the Pope’s recent writings on gay priests and the church’s stance on stem cell research. And supposedly, the Pope is hypocrite for taking these stands because he was in the hitler youth and a member of the regular German army during WWII.
First off, the Pope is German. So, when he was drafted, he went to war. And for his part, he deserted towards the end of the war anyway. So, get off it. He was not a Nazi. Setting moral standards for your flock is not the same as gassing Jews. It just isn’t.
More importantly though, the Pope’s background has no bearing on the gay priest and stem cell debate. First off, the church’s opposition to stem cell research rests on the belief that life begins at conception. Destroying the fertilized egg is destroying life. Nazism? Not really. Secondly, the ruling on gay priests is not about homosexuality at all. It is due to the fact that there are a lot of “actively” gay men in the seminaries. This is problematic when priests are supposed to take a vow of celibacy. Thus, men who are actively gay must repent and be chaste for three years before entering the seminary. Straight men must also refrain from sexual activity and must repent for their sins. The reason straight men don’t have to wait 3 years is because there is not an epidemic of seminarians having women on the side.
Finally, are these two stances really “conservative” or “orthodox”? In the political realm liberals and conservatives disagree on policy positions but have a common understanding of how government should operate. Few Senators would get elected if they wanted to do away with the Senate. Few politicians want to throw away voting rights or condense the three branches in to one. Similarly, the debate over stem cells and gay priests is not one that can be labeled conservative or liberal. It is not a debate over how a church service will be conducted, but a debate over when life begins and will priests be chaste.
These views seem more like fundamental beliefs that every member of the faith has to agree on to be a part of the faith. If you don’t like a traditional church service, you can say “I like a more contemporary service.” But if you don’t agree with “traditional” views such as when life begins and the importance of chastity, you can’t say “I hold a more contemporary understanding of catholicism.” It doesn’t work that way. If you don’t agree with these views, you don’t agree with the church. And voicing that opinion means that you stand against the church.
So, on important enough issues, you cannot consider yourself catholic. Case in point: Catholics for Choice. It is not that these people are liberal Catholics. On the contrary they stand opposed to the Church on one of its most important social teachings. Thus they should be excommunicated. But I digress…
The point is, liberals like to ostracize orthodox catholicism and christian fundamentalism because they adhere to certain beliefs. The reason being is that they fear constraints. In the religion of Leftists, one only has to be true to their conscience. If they can convince themselves that they are right, then everything is Ok and everyone is equal. The problem is that everyone is not equal. Some people do bad things and some acts are wrong. However, saying so makes liberals feel bad and so they call orthodox christians “Nazis” to make themselves feel better. That’s what I call tolerance.