Skip to comments.Liberal US catholics dismayed at choice of Pope
Posted on 04/19/2005 5:13:20 PM PDT by Alex Marko
BOSTON (Reuters) - Liberal U.S. Catholics on Tuesday expressed dismay at the choice of a conservative new pope and doubted he will heal an institution racked by disillusionment and tarnished by a sex abuse scandal among the clergy.
The election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI rankled those who advocate married priests, a bigger role for women within the church and softening its policy on homosexuality, birth control, euthanasia and abortion.
Since taking over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Roman Catholic Church's chief ideologue, Ratzinger has denounced homosexuality and even branded other Christian churches as deficient.
"Gay and lesbian Catholics are going to be very hurt by this election because Cardinal Ratzinger was the lightning rod for so much of the anger they felt under the previous pope," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the New Ways Ministry, a national ministry for lesbian and gay Catholics.
Under the Pope John Paul II, American Catholics' attendance at weekly Mass declined as many were put off by what they saw as increasingly conservative Vatican doctrine.
The sense of alienation deepened with a well-publicized scandal over pedophile priests, which erupted in 2002 in the Archdiocese of Boston as court documents showed bishops shuttled pedophile priests from parish to parish.
Victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy reacted skeptically to word that Ratzinger was the new pope.
"Ratzinger is a polarizing figure to many, who seems to prefer combativeness to compromise and compassion," Mary Grant of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a statement. "It's ... crucial that the new pope follow the words and views of John Paul II who said 'there is no place in the priesthood for anyone who would harm the young."'
MORE OF THE SAME
Catholics for a Free Choice, a progressive group based in Washington, laid out an action plan for the new pontiff to pursue in his first 100 days with the goal of healing fractures within the church.
It urged the new pope to appoint a commission to review church policy on condoms, to establish a pontifical academy on women's rights in the church, and to welcome back those marginalized over the last quarter-century -- including gays and lesbians.
But those familiar with Ratzinger said to expect more of the same, and they doubted he would tailor his views to adapt to the liberal forces evident in the U.S. church.
"This is the guy who's been in charge of stifling dissent in the church," said lawyer Carmen Durso, who represented dozens of plaintiffs in clergy abuse lawsuits against the Boston archdiocese.
"This says to me that the Vatican ... is not prepared to move into the 21st Century, which it desperately needs to do," said Durso, who was raised Catholic but no longer practices.
Christine Schenk, a nun from Cleveland, Ohio, who favors opening the priesthood to married men, said she was disappointed and puzzled by Ratzinger's selection, but she saw glimmers of hope.
Schenk explained that Ratzinger had never ruled out the idea of married priests, and that the church is facing a deepening shortage of priests -- so he may be forced to act.
In a 2004 document, Ratzinger denounced "radical feminism" as undermining the family and natural differences between men and women.
Asked if there was anything in his background that gave her hope that Ratzinger would build a stronger partnership with women in the church, Quinn said: "We always hope for miracles".
I heard a while ago that US Catholics are only 6% of the total of world catholics.
And the media/liberal/Democrats continue the Pope Benedict bashing. No surprise that the anti-Christians would be infuriated by this Pope.
the Church dosent follow pop culture or trends. People are foolish to believe this. Let see how the Dems and libs attack this new Pope. I say we should constantly throw up Islam whever people start in on how this Pope is not tollerent of other faiths.
They were deeply saddened, too, I bet.
To Liberal Catholics: Go and find another religion instead of ruining ours any longer than you have done. Be gone as we have important work to do and you'll only get in the way.
There. That's better.
Geez, just a little arrogant, aren't they? Like the Pope cares what they want!
Go find a Protestant church somewhere that shares your views. God knows there are plenty of them out there. They will welcome you. But mostly, PLEASE LEAVE!
If liberals had their way, priests would be boofing altar boys as part of the ritual. If certain Catholics want a liberalized church, they ought to become Episcopalians.
Get those creeps back into the closet!!
Dear Liberal Catholics,
Tough sh%t. The Episcopaleans have plenty of empty seats. Go on over there.
The Churches are empty where LIBERALISM is practiced!!
I'm ASHAMED of all the liberal, lesbian nuns I've seen on TV lately....where are all the Holy Nuns?
And take the rock n roll Masses when you leave!
There is a very easy solution for "those". They can become Episcopalians.
Talk about an oxymoron.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
I'm not Catholic, but I completely agree with you. Libs are upset why? Because a Cardinal, now Pope supports Church doctrine. What do they expect?
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