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Pope Benedict: Hamba kahle, or good riddance? [View All]

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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-18-13 02:30 AM
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Pope Benedict: Hamba kahle, or good riddance?
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Few departure notes in the annals of history can compare to that of Cardinal Ratzingers better known as Pope Benedict XVI for its grace, humility and elegance.

It was a reminder to all of us of our vulnerability that regardless of the power we wield, every moment of life is stalked by death and the journey towards it.


A dignified exit though, does not equate to a dignified existence and a dignified existence does not necessarily imply contributing to a dignified life for all.


Vatican Council II, in a simple yet profound even revolutionary statement, affirmed that the church is the community of the people of God.


Benedict XVI used all the power at his disposal as pope to counter this and to ensure that the people, especially the most marginalised women, single mothers, those living with HIV, those sexually different and those who were desperate to look at scripture through the eyes of poor remained where an all-male hierarchy wanted them: contained on the margins.


He denounced, fired and hounded at least 105 theologians, not only as head of the Inquisition, when he was known as Gods Rottweiler, but also as pope.

While it was his predecessors who brought back the Inquisition, it was under his watch as Cardinal Ratzinger that it was re-energised and extended, in a move desperate to quash theology by reducing it to a catechism and to affirming whatever the pope (or his curia) decreed.

Benedict XVI waged unrelenting attacks on base communities and Liberation Theology, even though this movement was the most Christ-like one for democracy, justice and freedom in centuries.

In South Africa, more than in many other countries, we experienced the value that this theology played in our countrys liberation struggle.

Benedict XVI was fierce in his affirmation of a moralism not morality of sexism (no women priests ever) and of homophobia.


So what do I say? Hamba kahle, or good riddance?

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