Election of Benedict XVI

Holger Terp writes: The election of Benedict XVI as pope brings hope for the continuation of peacemaking as central to the papacy. Just as John Paul II cried out again and again to the world, "War never again!" the new pope has taken the name of the one who first made that cry, Benedict XV, commonly known as "the peace pope."
No to "Preventive War". See "New Pope Risked Death by Deserting in WWII" by David McHugh (AP.4/19/05).
Cardinal Ratzinger Says Unilateral Attack on Iraq Not Justified
Link to Statements for Peace by Pope Benedict XV
source: http://www.catholicpeacefellowship.org/nextpage.asp?m=1000

The election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope aroused mixed reactions. Conservative Catholics were pleased. In the Bavarian village where he was born, it was celebrated with a feast of beer and sausages. Liberal German Catholics were uneasy, as were like-minded Catholics around the world. The Denver Post
(5/20/05) ran an article "Faiths mixed on Ratzinger" by Susan Greene. Here is an excerpt: Colorado non-Catholics had mixed views on the papal election of Ratzinger, buzzing about his wartime past, conservative views and criticism of other religions.  "Anybody at that level should be looking toward building bridges with other religions, not to creating conflict," said the Rev. Kailash Upadhyay of the Hindu Temple of Colorado.  "We reserve judgment," added Mohamed Jodeh, a lay leader at the Colorado Muslim Society. "We respect whomever the church chooses to be the pope." In Colorado - and globally - chatter swirled around Ratzinger's history as a young man in wartime Germany. He had a brief membership in the Hitler Youth movement and later served as an aide in a German antiaircraft unit during World War II. Both were compulsory, he has said.  Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, executive editor of the Intermountain Jewish News, suspects the new pope's Nazi ties were "innocent." "There's classically been a distinction drawn between those who were asked to perpetuate acts of evil and those who were drafted into the army. I believe the citizens there had no choice," he said.  The Anti-Defamation League also defended the pontiff's wartime past. Some Coloradans criticized other facets of Ratzinger's record as a longtime guardian of Catholic doctrinal orthodoxy. Buddhists are irked by his comments calling their religion an "auto-erotic spirituality" that offers "transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations." And some Hindus take umbrage with his stance that their religion offers "false hope" by promising "purification" based on a "morally cruel" concept of reincarnation resembling "a continuous circle of hell."

RH: There was disappointment in Latin America, the continent with the largest number of Catholics, 25% if the total, according to Latin American sources.  The disappointment was especially strong in Mexico, which Pope John Paul II had visited several times and where he had shown special devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is as much a symbol of Mexican nationalism as of religious faith. Protestant sects have been making inroads in Latin America, and this disappointment may trigger more conversions to them. Mexican Catholics are concerned, and Mexican TV ran a program denouncing US-supported sects, notably the International Church of Christ and Pentacostals.  It claimed they brainwashed Mexicans and were in it for the money. A young man who has been "saved" from these evil sects was interviewed,  He said he had been forced to give up his university studies and sell candy on the streets.  Having been "saved", he had returned to his studies. These sects are targets for legitimate criticism, but such wild charges are counterproductive.

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: June 11, 2005