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".
One would think that Catholic bishops would not have to get "advice" in order to be concerned about the young people being abused. Instead, they turned the lawyer-dogs loose on them, threatening them with lawsuits, or paying hush money, just to protect the reputation of the Church. The total focus was on the welfare of priests, and taking care of them. No thought to the abused. At all. Some of these abused have taken their own lives over this stuff!
The church has paid dearly for this, and has learned its lesson.
The Church has not paid nearly as much as it's going to pay. The Church will have learned its lesson when Benedict XVI invites some of these victims to the Vatican, meets with them, and publicly apologizes on behalf of the Church for, in many cases, ruining their lives.
How arrogant is that?
I hope we see a "smack down" of these jerks, in the likes of a "loud silence" of what he (and the rest of The Church) thinks about their so called "action plan."
They are an embarrassment to many faithful US Catholics.
Talk about your oxymoron!!!!!!!
Please ... people who practice "homosex" as a "lifestyle" are NOT CATHOLICS! It is NOT a social club. You either profess the faith of The Church, or you do not. They do NOT - therefore, they are not Catholics, in any way, shape, or form.
That's the way it is, whether they want to acknowledge it or not.
They've gone underground. You just don't see nuns anymore. When did this happen? It seemeed to me right after I left elementary school in the late eighties. In fact the nunnery for my old school is now a Catholic rehab for alcoholics.
Gays, lesbians, pedophiles, liberal Catholics, Catholics of Free Choice or whatever name they want to go by will most definitely be disappointed. Their hope of a "living gospel" is dashed. They're wish of a more "culturally aware" Catholic Church is not to be. In fact, many liberal Bishops will find new meaning in obedience.....I hope.
Liberal Catholics do not know the light of ALL that is beautiful about the Roman Catholic Church. We should pray for the reconversion of those whose hearts have not hardened beyond steel.
The rest should hit the road.
I agree that they probably were trying to forgive the sinner, but in the process they created more victims. For this they must be held accountable. Those who were involved in the coverups should not be in positions of power in the US Church.
Despite these problems, I realise there are many, many more good servants of the Church than not. God bless them.
Liberal media has used the abuse issue as the 'whipping boy' hoping to destroy the relevance of the Church in America. Unfortunately for them the Faith is stronger than the weakness of men and women.
To liberal Christians, read your scripture and the corresponding commentaries that put it into context. You will find that most of your positions are WRONG!!!
I love it. FOFL
It is the liberal U.S. Catholics that caused the scandal. They are the problem. Let them leave.
All of here hope too. There is NO WAY an abomination is suddenly going to become "Not an abomination"Nor is the Lord going to come down and proclaim adultery, pedophilia, or HOMOSEXUALITY, are now acceptable.
I came across that phrase online. I wish I could tell you where.
That's weird, because I'd have thought that a conservative Pope would be better at atoning for the past sins of gay priests.
his greatness as a Pope will be directly proportional to the loudness of their squeals....
If anyone wants to be a liberal Catholic, they should become Episcopalian.