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Author Topic: Pope Criticizes Paganism in Encyclical on Love & Charity  (Read 10193 times)
Waldfrau
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« Topic Start: July 09, 2009, 12:13:38 pm »

'I was going to write about a prominent Ukrainian Pagan politician that was hit (and killed) by lightning, but it looks like I’m going to have to address Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, instead. It’s no secret that Benedict has a special dislike of “paganism”...'

http://wildhunt.org/blog/2009/07/pope_criticizes_pagans.html
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« Reply #1: July 09, 2009, 12:21:07 pm »

'I was going to write about a prominent Ukrainian Pagan politician that was hit (and killed) by lightning, but it looks like I’m going to have to address Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, instead. It’s no secret that Benedict has a special dislike of “paganism”...'

http://wildhunt.org/blog/2009/07/pope_criticizes_pagans.html

I just don't see the issue.

I mean, yes, the Pope doesn't like non-Christian religions.  Um .. he's the POPE.  He's biased - he damn well should be.  There's something a little weird if he's going "whoo, Paganism!"

And by his standards, all of those things are true.  Hell, I don't even disagree with some of his points - there are Pagan faiths which I think are not-good, and there are sure as hell Pagan beliefs (not that all Pagans follow them, etc etc) that I think are divisive instead of inclusive.  Paganism isn't some happy fun basket of kittens all the time either.

But, again - he's the POPE.  If he's not biased, he's doing something WRONG.  Of COURSE he thinks that something that says there's no such thing as salvation is incorrect at best - it's saying the entire underpinning of his faith is wrong!

It's not that he disagrees - it's what he does about it that matters.  As long as he's not telling Catholics to go door to door (don't see it happening anyway) or discriminate in CIVIL matters against us, I don't see the big deal.  In fact - I think being surprised about this is kinda stupid.  'cause, y'know - he's the Pope.  He's CATHOLIC.  He's not MY religious leader, why should I expect him to approve of my religious choices?Huh
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« Reply #2: July 09, 2009, 02:23:25 pm »


I was just going to say : "And what else is new" but then you wrote this lovely post expanding the statement so I will second it.

Really unless the Pope orders Catholics to discriminate against either the pagans or the LGBT+ folk, I could care less about what he does or says.
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« Reply #3: July 09, 2009, 02:59:37 pm »

I was just going to say : "And what else is new" but then you wrote this lovely post expanding the statement so I will second it.

Really unless the Pope orders Catholics to discriminate against either the pagans or the LGBT+ folk, I could care less about what he does or says.

I'm looking at some of the things he accuses Pagans of...being disconnected from reality, disconnecting people from each other instead of creating community...yeah, I've seen plenty of that in the Pagan community.  And yeah, I agree:  not all religions are created equal.  Are we going to say that Scientology is as mature a path as Buddhism?  I would venture to say that most of us would not.

His criticisms of us are no worse than some of our criticisms of them.  I dislike how he lumps us all together and cites the worst of what we've been to dismiss the entire pagan path as invalid...but some Pagans do the same to Christians.  I find it bothersome on both ends.
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« Reply #4: July 09, 2009, 03:02:47 pm »

His criticisms of us are no worse than some of our criticisms of them.  I dislike how he lumps us all together and cites the worst of what we've been to dismiss the entire pagan path as invalid...but some Pagans do the same to Christians.  I find it bothersome on both ends.

Well, and to continue taking his side (not sure why, but what the hell) the divisive whackjobs are SERIOUSLY way more visible than the people actually doing real putting-together work in the community.  We all see the people on TV going on flamboyantly about curses around Halloween and other nutjob stuff.  We don't see the woman going to work every day and taking care of her job and family and looking like the person next door.

It's entirely plausible that he's lumping everyone together as the nutjobs because he's never even HEARD of the sane ones.  or heard few enough to have grounding in the belief that they're rare.

It's not like we're exactly thick on the ground.  especially in Vatican City! Cheesy
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« Reply #5: July 09, 2009, 05:40:46 pm »

Well, and to continue taking his side (not sure why, but what the hell) the divisive whackjobs are SERIOUSLY way more visible than the people actually doing real putting-together work in the community.  We all see the people on TV going on flamboyantly about curses around Halloween and other nutjob stuff.  We don't see the woman going to work every day and taking care of her job and family and looking like the person next door.

It's entirely plausible that he's lumping everyone together as the nutjobs because he's never even HEARD of the sane ones.  or heard few enough to have grounding in the belief that they're rare.

It's not like we're exactly thick on the ground.  especially in Vatican City! Cheesy

My issue with his statements is that he says some very disparaging things about Pagans in general and that he is considered the infallible Vicar of Christ on Earth.

The doctrine of infallibility ensures that what he says will be seen as law and unquestionable and, like how some of Glen Beck's rhetoric was cited by the guy who shot the cops back in February in Pennsylvania, could be used by fanatics to justify persecution and violence directed at Pagans.  It is that he is saying something that is irresponsible and very easily justifies acts of violence against Pagans that is my issue.  In some groups that might not be seen as an issue but when you have a church of about a billion people give or take if even only one tenth of one percent are the kind of whackjobs who would take that condemnation of us as a commandment to seek out the Pagan and burn them or something similar that's a nice healthy million people, possibly more since I have no idea what proportion would do that but the number is not likely to be small.

He doesn't have to like or endorse us, but making dehumanizing statements is grossly irresponsible for a man of his position, power, and influence to be making.
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« Reply #6: July 09, 2009, 05:47:00 pm »

I mean, yes, the Pope doesn't like non-Christian religions.  Um .. he's the POPE.  He's biased - he damn well should be.  There's something a little weird if he's going "whoo, Paganism!"

That's pretty much my reaction. However, much of what he says is wrong with Pagans is also done/believed by many who claim to be Christian. If he asked me my opinion of his encyclical, I would just quote his religion's own scripture to him:

Quote from: Matthew 7:1-5
"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."
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« Reply #7: July 09, 2009, 05:51:08 pm »

My issue with his statements is that he says some very disparaging things about Pagans in general and that he is considered the infallible Vicar of Christ on Earth.

The doctrine of infallibility ensures that what he says will be seen as law and unquestionable

Actually, I don't think this was said ex cathedra.  Which means it's one guy's opinion.  An important guy in the church - but one guy's opinion.  Not Holy Doctrine from On High.

I don't see anything in there about how Pagans are subhuman or should all be shot or anything like that.  Just a dislike of the religions.

Well, he's allowed to dislike it.  Even if he was speaking ex cathedra, he's allowed to dislike it.  He's allowed to say it's wrong.  to him, it IS wrong!  Just like I have some severe problems with Christianity and think there are parts of it which are completely wrong.  That's FINE.

I really don't see the problem with this.  He doesn't like my religion.  That's fine.  I don't like that he looks like Darth Sidious.  We're allowed to not like things.  We're allowed to be judgmental.

And we're allowed to be wrong, too.  Maybe he is.  Maybe I am.  maybe we both are.  he's not telling people to go kneecap Pagans, so I really don't care what he's saying.  He's allowed to have an opinion.

and while we're allowed to disagree, it seems like a pretty silly thing to waste effort over.  I doubt most Catholics will even hear of this thing, much less read it.
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« Reply #8: July 09, 2009, 06:14:52 pm »

Actually, I don't think this was said ex cathedra.  Which means it's one guy's opinion.  An important guy in the church - but one guy's opinion.  Not Holy Doctrine from On High.

I don't see anything in there about how Pagans are subhuman or should all be shot or anything like that.  Just a dislike of the religions.

Well, he's allowed to dislike it.  Even if he was speaking ex cathedra, he's allowed to dislike it.  He's allowed to say it's wrong.  to him, it IS wrong!  Just like I have some severe problems with Christianity and think there are parts of it which are completely wrong.  That's FINE.

I really don't see the problem with this.  He doesn't like my religion.  That's fine.  I don't like that he looks like Darth Sidious.  We're allowed to not like things.  We're allowed to be judgmental.

And we're allowed to be wrong, too.  Maybe he is.  Maybe I am.  maybe we both are.  he's not telling people to go kneecap Pagans, so I really don't care what he's saying.  He's allowed to have an opinion.

and while we're allowed to disagree, it seems like a pretty silly thing to waste effort over.  I doubt most Catholics will even hear of this thing, much less read it.

Saying that we "disconnect" people from society, that we "lack truth and love" does not scan to me as just some simple "I don't like Pagans."  That reads more to me as saying, "These people are dangerous, selfish, and therefore evil".  If he left it at his statement on such practices lead people away from the Lord that would be one thing but taking the next step and heaping such lovely little lines on us takes it from "I don't approve" to "I condemn".  He isn't JUST an important guy in the Church, he's the head of the Catholic Church.  His statements certainly hold more weight, even when said unofficially, than that of a parish priest or a cardinal. 

To say that him saying something while not acting officially will not be taken seriously underscores the importance of his position and ignores that often in politics (religious organizations like the Church aren't THAT different in that sense) someone saying something unofficially is a great way of going, "This is what I think but not saying it officially just hypothetically so you can't say I REALLY believe it".  Obama is giving an excellent example of that by campaigning for a public option in health care reform while not officially taking a stance on the issue.  Officially he's neutral, but anyone paying attention to the news cycle knows that's just smoke and mirrors for political purposes only and his actions say much more.  Saying something unofficially, especially when it heaps nothing but scorn on us and lies a few times, could be easily taken by the more fire and brimstone types as implied endorsement of such actions.
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« Reply #9: July 09, 2009, 07:17:16 pm »

Actually, I don't think this was said ex cathedra.  Which means it's one guy's opinion.  An important guy in the church - but one guy's opinion.  Not Holy Doctrine from On High.

Agreed, I see nothing here that indicates this letter would qualify for infallible status. As Koi has pointed out numerous times over the years, very few statements from the Pope qualify as "infallible." The qualifications for "infallible" are very high.
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« Reply #10: July 09, 2009, 07:43:58 pm »

Agreed, I see nothing here that indicates this letter would qualify for infallible status. As Koi has pointed out numerous times over the years, very few statements from the Pope qualify as "infallible." The qualifications for "infallible" are very high.

I agree that his statements are not infallible, and I also know that a lot of Catholics would feel the same way. But I wouldn't at all be surprised if there was a small percentage of Catholics who do in fact believe everything the Pope says-everything-to be infallible. I think these might be the people that RyanCSmith was mentioning.
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« Reply #11: July 09, 2009, 08:13:06 pm »

I agree that his statements are not infallible, and I also know that a lot of Catholics would feel the same way. But I wouldn't at all be surprised if there was a small percentage of Catholics who do in fact believe everything the Pope says-everything-to be infallible. I think these might be the people that RyanCSmith was mentioning.

Those are the ones I'm worried about, and the ones who don't know the difference between when the Pope says something that is Holy Writ or just his opinion.  The capacity for ignorant believers to do great damage is far greater than one would often expect, world history has truckloads of examples of what happens when that takes place.  For a really nasty example the Rwandan Genocide was started by radio broadcasts from a radio station.  Not even someone who was on the scale of the Pope in terms of authority either political or otherwise but led to untold numbers of people being gunned down by their own neighbors.  As much as the official stance may not be one of infallibility for his statement it doesn't take much for one demagogue to turn that into an endorsement.
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« Reply #12: July 09, 2009, 09:22:29 pm »

Agreed, I see nothing here that indicates this letter would qualify for infallible status. As Koi has pointed out numerous times over the years, very few statements from the Pope qualify as "infallible."

In the span of history, the number of infallible statements made by any and all Popes is two.
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« Reply #13: July 09, 2009, 09:31:41 pm »

In the span of history, the number of infallible statements made by any and all Popes is two.

Now I'm curious: what are they?
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« Reply #14: July 09, 2009, 09:48:53 pm »

Ooooh boy just re-read his little piece of asswipe he put out.

Mr. I Was a Member of the Hitler Jugend said Paganism was at fault for the Nazis.

Let THAT one sink in a bit.
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