Monday, April 18, 2005

The Pope and the Religious Left

The American religious right—largely a Protestant bunch—has somewhat incongruously spent the last month heaping praise on John Paul II and the Catholic Church. That is partly because John Paul II provided a philosophic foundation for anti-abortion doctrines, but it is also, perhaps, a psychological confession that American Protestants secretly envy the political power that the Catholic Church has historically wielded.

Be that as it may, this article points out that the religious right might well get a rude awakening, as the College of Cardinals is likely to elect a Pope that will lean much farther to the left than John Paul II, including liberalizers on contraception and divorce and advocates of a Marxist-inspired political doctrine John Paul attempted to suppress: "Liberation Theology."

"The Liberal Conclave," Washington Times, 4/18/05

"John Paul II appointed more than 95 percent of the cardinals. Paradoxically, however, most of the prominent cardinals hold leftist positions that depart from the traditional Catholic moral teachings he defended. In 1978, when John Paul II became pope, radicals and conservatives were fighting over what the church would become when the dust settled from the revolutionary Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. Today, there are no pre-Vatican II traditionalists left in the hierarchy. Forty percent of Catholics worldwide come from Latin America, which has a powerful clique of 21 voting cardinals. Most of these have been decades-long backers of liberation theology, the dangerous concoction of twisted religious tenants and Marxist principles that espouses class warfare and proletariat revolution. Brazil is the largest Catholic country in the world, putting Sao Paulo Archbishop Claudio Hummes at the head of the pack of frontrunners. Cardinal Hummes is outspokenly anti-American and supports confiscation and redistribution of property belonging to the rich. Likewise, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga supports Third World debt relief and the 'equalizing' redistribution of global wealth.

"European ecclesiastical leaders are as liberal as their secular counterparts. Four prominent cardinals from the old world are Brussels Archbishop Godfried Danneels, Scot Keith O'Brien, and Germans Walter Kasper and Karl Lehmann. These European cardinals have opened the door for changing church law against divorce, contraception, women and married clergy and more flexible positions on abortion and homosexuality. At 20, Italian cardinals comprise the largest national voting bloc. Many cardinals lean toward tapping an Italian because they have centuries of experience running the Rome-based church bureaucracy. Milan Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi backs condom distribution and has spoken supportively to anti-globalization rioters."