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Media take on Benedict XVI

Janathan V. Last does a quick take on the media’s reaction to Benedict XVI. I like this one from Reuters: "German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the strict defender of Catholic orthodoxy for the past 23 years, was elected Pope on Tuesday despite a widespread assumption he was too old and divisive to win election." And this from Andrew Sullivan (although there is more): "And so the Catholic church accelerates its turn toward authoritarianism, hostility to modernity, assertion of papal supremacy and quashing of internal debate and dissent. We are back to the nineteenth century."

Discussions - 7 Comments

The arrogance of the American left is truly astounding. Newsflash to E.J. Dionne and friends: yourpet issues of the day are not the basis for choosing the Pope. In fact, they are not even the basis for choosing your President, Governor, or, in most places, even your Congressman. Accept that people disagree with you and get on with your lives.

It is tempting to say that the message the election of the new pope sends is directed to America: "No." I suspect the election really is more about transition and immediate compromise. But I suspect the message from the new pope will not be one of compromise. Long life to him, God willing.


The Left despises all genuine conservatives, but truly fears the fighting conservative intellectual -- a rare breed, exemplified by Cardinal Ratzinger.

The Left despises religion outside the Social Gospel or its non-Christian equivalents. But it truly fears the Catholic Church, the largest and oldest institution in the world.

Socialist statism, relativism, libertinism, and multiculturalism all owe much to misinterpretations of Christianity. Thus, insofar as Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, can clarify the true enmity between Christianity and the Left’s agenda, he is an extraordinarily dangerous man.

The Left’s outrage today has one other basis as well. Its agenda penetrated the Church long ago, and it has long had reason to think that a papal succession represented a good chance to further its agenda. Today, that hope was dashed.

We can expect to see heightened rhetoric from the Catholic Left and various schismatic responses, if not actual schism. The new Pope has the wisdom to welcome this clarity rather than lament or fear it, as a typical Church leader would.

All conservatives, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or agnostic, should support Benedict to the fullest and most articulate extent possible, starting now.

I hope everyone has had a chance to read Andrew Sullivan’s reaction, and then Stephen Bainbridge’s reaction to Andrew Sullivan. Good stuff, Bainbridge makes Sullivan look silly.

Nineteenth Century! Nonsense! Lets get back to solid thirteenth century Catholicism.

Actually, Andrew Sullivan makes Andrew Sullivan look silly, though Professor Bainbridge did a fine job pointing it out.

Sullivan needs to get on with the schism and stop chasing the dream that someday the Catholic Church is going to embrace zoo sex.

Sullivan is a morbid bore, riding a one trick pony.

Somebody needs to tell him he has had his 15 minutes, and to get lost.

The post that Ratzinger is an extraordinarily dangerous man to the Left is perfectly accurate. Ratzinger highlights fault lines, focuses upon the real point of contention, does not allow himself to get distracted by theological dicta, and has a mind that is intimidating for the Left. He scares them, he is smarter, sharper, more eloquent, gutsier, and in the final analysis, somebody who will let the chips fall where they may. A doctrinal Wyatt Earp.

We DESPERATELY need a Pope who will display an intellectual ferocity for error. Mindful that men have rights, and conscience is to be respected, but also aware that ERROR HAS NO RIGHTS. And that tolerance is ALWAYS an expedience, NEVER a virtue, a back door acknowledgement of man’s fallen nature. Nothing more, and nothing less. In the realm of politics, tolerance has its place, but in theological disputation, tolerance is outranked by the demands of truth.

I have been euphoric ever since his announcement. A splendid day this is. The Left has dominated the cultural war over the last 5 decades, easy. And now the Catholic Church is finally going to enter the battle. It’s about damn time.

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