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Author Topic: Pope Criticizes Paganism in Encyclical on Love & Charity  (Read 9939 times)
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« Reply #15: July 09, 2009, 10:00:10 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.

okay, blaming the kid for Hitler Youth is really a little crazy.  What choice did he have?

And there was LOTS of weird pagan philosophies in Naziism.  You don't have to like it to admit that it was there.

Do I think Benedict is right?  No.  Do I think you're LOOKING for an excuse to get mad?

Yes.
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« Reply #16: July 09, 2009, 10:13:07 pm »

okay, blaming the kid for Hitler Youth is really a little crazy.  What choice did he have?

And there was LOTS of weird pagan philosophies in Naziism.  You don't have to like it to admit that it was there.

Do I think Benedict is right?  No.  Do I think you're LOOKING for an excuse to get mad?

Yes.

Not blaming him for the Hitler Youth but do think its rather rich that he's saying that considering he was one.  And I'm very well aware of what philosophies the Nazis perverted from Pagan beliefs to their ends, that doesn't make them anymore Pagan than Osama bin Laden is a good Muslim.

Accusing an entire group of religions many of which didn't exist in Germany in the 1930s of being at fault for the Nazis is something I would call beyond the pale.  I don't see the point in trying to justify what's coming out of his mouth when it is directly hateful and gives people another excuse in troubled economic times when we have instances of lone nuts going off and shooting people already.  I think his actions as a leader of the largest religious organization on the planet are grossly irresponsible in this case especially when we already have people going out and shooting people and places up because of what they heard on Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. 

If he said something similar about Muslims there would be riots breaking out across the Arab world right now. 

If he said something along those lines about Jews you would hear protests and condemnations from here to Moscow. 

Why is he getting a pass for saying that about Pagans?
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« Reply #17: July 09, 2009, 10:42:43 pm »

My apologies for not including the link earlier and for my partial confusion, the Nazi bit was four years ago not in his latest statement.
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« Reply #18: July 09, 2009, 10:47:08 pm »

Not blaming him for the Hitler Youth but do think its rather rich that he's saying that considering he was one.

I'm not a Ratzinger fan, but he had no choice about joining the Hitler Youth. If parents did not see that their children joined, they got imprisoned, the children sent to Nazi orphanages where they became members anyway. There are plenty of good reasons to dislike this Pope, but his Hitler Youth membership is not one of them. There is no evidence that there is any more to it than what He has claimed -- he joined because it was required and he did the minimum necessary to stay out of trouble.

Quote
And I'm very well aware of what philosophies the Nazis perverted from Pagan beliefs to their ends, that doesn't make them anymore Pagan than Osama bin Laden is a good Muslim.

There is good evidence a a handful of the upper Nazi leadership held actual Pagan beliefs. Most did not. Hitler, at times, considered himself a good Catholic.

Quote
If he said something similar about Muslims there would be riots breaking out across the Arab world right now.

I suspect Muslims are included in his definition of "Paganism" 

Quote
Why is he getting a pass for saying that about Pagans?

At least with respect to the Nazis, it is at least partially true. Being Pagan doesn't mean you automatically are an upstanding moral person. There are plenty of Pagan criminals, after all.

While I did think much of the Pope's message here, I don't see any need to blow it out of proportion. This Pope regularly says things that offend other religions -- and apparently doesn't even realize that what he says might be considered offensive.
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« Reply #19: July 10, 2009, 12:27:15 am »

If he said something similar about Muslims there would be riots breaking out across the Arab world right now.

He already did that (pissed off the Muslim world) a couple of years back. It also pissed off a goodly number of Catholics. I was a teaching assistant in Religious Studies at the time and I had a Catholic student who had a MAJOR crisis of faith over it.

But the fact is, by now we all KNOW that Ratzinger is no John Paul II, so why act all surprised? He probably thinks of himself as a stern and unyielding protector of the faith, and considers his predecessor to have been dangerously soft.

Quote
Why is he getting a pass for saying that about Pagans?

Well, for one thing, he's using the term pretty vaguely, as applicable to anyone who reveres nature. This doesn't apply to all those who consider themselves Pagan, and it does apply to some people who don't! Then in the second section quoted, he doesn't seem to be talking about anyone in particular - he's objecting in a very generalized way to anyone and everyone who isn't part of the traditional church institution. Keep in mind that from a Catholic viewpoint, "magic" and "subjugation to occult powers" could just as easily refer to speaking in tongues as to casting a circle!

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« Reply #20: July 10, 2009, 12:30:21 am »

Now I'm curious: what are they?

Both having to do with the status of the Virgin Mary, I believe: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
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« Reply #21: July 10, 2009, 10:52:38 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.

You're right about the encyclical not being ex cathedra, but just to make the point clear, it's not simply one guy's opinion either.

As a papal encyclical, this document becomes part of Roman Catholic teaching, which does accord it a level of doctrinal authority, and Roman Catholics are expected by their church teachings to give it assent, obedience, and respect.
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« Reply #22: July 12, 2009, 12:41:17 pm »

He already did that (pissed off the Muslim world) a couple of years back. It also pissed off a goodly number of Catholics. I was a teaching assistant in Religious Studies at the time and I had a Catholic student who had a MAJOR crisis of faith over it.

But the fact is, by now we all KNOW that Ratzinger is no John Paul II, so why act all surprised? He probably thinks of himself as a stern and unyielding protector of the faith, and considers his predecessor to have been dangerously soft.

Well, for one thing, he's using the term pretty vaguely, as applicable to anyone who reveres nature. This doesn't apply to all those who consider themselves Pagan, and it does apply to some people who don't! Then in the second section quoted, he doesn't seem to be talking about anyone in particular - he's objecting in a very generalized way to anyone and everyone who isn't part of the traditional church institution. Keep in mind that from a Catholic viewpoint, "magic" and "subjugation to occult powers" could just as easily refer to speaking in tongues as to casting a circle!

~Val~*

It's one thing to be accepting and understanding of the practices of another religious faith, its quite another when those practices start interfering with what we believe and involve persecution and suppression of our beliefs and practices.  To quote the common quip on individual rights and responsibilities, "Your right to swing your fist stops when it hits someone's face."  Same thing applies here, if he wants to use his pulpit to encourage intolerance then he has, in my view, gone from swinging his fist to collectively punching an entire group of people in the face.  Tolerance does not mean tolerating hatred; turning the other cheek does not work very well when the guy doing the slapping just keeps hitting you every time you do.  That he isn't John Paul II does not excuse him from making such statements and he should not be given a pass because he's the Pope.  He also should not be unchallenged when he opens his mouth and bile pours out all over his robes, doing so allows such hatred to run unchallenged.

Quote
There is good evidence a a handful of the upper Nazi leadership held actual Pagan beliefs. Most did not. Hitler, at times, considered himself a good Catholic.

Handful =/= "born of neopaganism".  I've seen the evidence that Himmler and Goering were self-proclaimed Odinists, but that they were is not even in the same city as the entire movement being born of Neo-Paganism as Ratzinger asserted.  He knows full well as anyone else who has cracked open a history book and read up on Germany in the 20s and 30s the rise of the Nazis was due to the Great War, the Treaty of Versailles, the Russian Revolution, and a millennia or two of Christian persecution and scape-goating of the Jews of Europe allowing anti-Semitism to have an effect on the German population to sum it up in one sentence.  That Pope Pius XII sat on his hands during the Holocaust is certainly something that Ratzinger probably also wishes people would just quietly ignore especially since Pius was beatified (something John Paul II should never have done) along with the agreement the Nazis made with the Catholic Church after the Nazis came to power that Hitler then used to claim the Church had endorsed his new government and everything it did including the Holocaust. 

It's one thing for there to have been a handful of Nazis who dabbled in Paganism and the occult in the upper echelons of the Party, its a completely different matter to say the entire movement was "born of neopaganism" and requires one to ignore the facts, historical record, and lie a lot in the process.  He likely had no choice in joining the Hitler Jugend, but considering his first-hand experience with Hitler's Germany it makes him grossly dishonest to claim it was "born of neopaganism" and I think spits on that commandment somewhere about not bearing false witness. 
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« Reply #23: July 13, 2009, 05:14:33 pm »

but considering his first-hand experience with Hitler's Germany it makes him grossly dishonest to claim it was "born of neopaganism" and I think spits on that commandment somewhere about not bearing false witness. 
That right there should have been a clue:  Pope Benedict is not using "neopaganism" in the sense that you're taking him to mean; the usage you have in mind didn't even come into being until the late '60s/early '70s.  Basically, he doesn't mean us, at least not in particular; he's decrying pluralism and secularism in general.  I'm not saying that's good, but it's nothing new (JPII was just more diplomatic about it), and it's not a direct shot at neoPagans per se.  (Chances are, if the pope thinks of any particular individual when he thinks about pagans, it's more likely to be Richard Dawkins than Isaac Bonewits.)

Am I annoyed?  Sure - but I'm annoyed as an advocate of pluralism and of individual right of conscience, not as a pagan.

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« Reply #24: July 13, 2009, 06:22:38 pm »

turning the other cheek does not work very well when the guy doing the slapping just keeps hitting you every time you do.

Good post, but just as an aside; I think you may be missing the point of turning the other cheek Smiley
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« Reply #25: July 13, 2009, 06:44:18 pm »

Good post, but just as an aside; I think you may be missing the point of turning the other cheek Smiley

1.) I am not a pacifist, have never claimed to be.  I don't see much wisdom in doing nothing when harm is being inflicted on another or myself.

2.) Turning the other cheek only works if the one doing the striking has a working conscience and empathy.  If they think you are <insert favorite slur here> and <insert dehumanizing statement here> not deserving to exist/insane/heretical/etc they will keep hitting you until you stop moving.  When the other guy believes from their toes to the roots of their hair that you need to be taken out for whatever reason turning the other cheek won't do squat.  Retribution is one thing, self-defense and standing up to a bully is completely different.
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« Reply #26: July 13, 2009, 06:48:17 pm »



I wasn't commenting on whether or not you agreed with the philosophy. It simply occured to me that turnign the other cheek isn't physical a self-defence strategy, it's a spiritual one and I don't think that it concerns itself with whether or not the individual doing the slapping stops or not. BTW, it isn't my intention to defend the pilosophy per se, it's just first thing in the morning for me and the irony of your original comment jumped out at my caffeine-starved brain.
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« Reply #27: July 13, 2009, 07:55:33 pm »

I wasn't commenting on whether or not you agreed with the philosophy. It simply occured to me that turnign the other cheek isn't physical a self-defence strategy, it's a spiritual one and I don't think that it concerns itself with whether or not the individual doing the slapping stops or not. BTW, it isn't my intention to defend the pilosophy per se, it's just first thing in the morning for me and the irony of your original comment jumped out at my caffeine-starved brain.

I remember somewhere that a theologian called both the turning the other cheek, giving the shirt as well as the coat, and walking a second mile, were actually methods of civil disobedience.  '

1) you turn the other cheek you force the person hitting you to hit you as an equal or to switch hands.

2) SOmething to do with jewish law on how much one can take from a debtor would leave the person who took the shirt as well as the coat outside the law.

3) same thing for the walking the extra mile, the occupation forces were allowed to demand a mile from an occupee, but no more, and to walk the extra mile would put the soldier outside the roman rules.

THis is from memory, so it may be complete bull.
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« Reply #28: July 13, 2009, 08:31:04 pm »

THis is from memory, so it may be complete bull.

Either way, it's very interesting. Thank you Smiley
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« Reply #29: July 14, 2009, 01:50:37 am »

It’s no secret that Benedict has a special dislike of “paganism”...'

...in other news, it turns out that ice is, in fact, cold.
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