Friday, September 08, 2006

He'd Also Like A Ban On Condoms, I'm sure

Pope Benedict has decided to weigh in on Canada's domestic politics:

In the name of tolerance, your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse, and in the name of freedom of choice it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children,” the Pope told a group of bishops from Ontario.

Such laws, he said, are the result of “the exclusion of God from the public sphere.”

He lamented that Catholic politicians had yielded to “ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls.”

Man, I'm with Johnny Ratz 100% on this one. I've always said there is way too much tolerance in Canada. If only we made laws based on a religion most Canadians don't belong to rather than what Canadians themselves want, this country would be a much better place.

I won't say much else right now, because I'm really interested to see what the Pope has to say about the Softwood Lumber dispute before I comment further.


  • I notice no one really ever objects to Catholic basing their pro-social justice votes on their faith. It's always when Catholics vote social conservative their faith gets bashed.

    "Way too much tolerance"....gotta save that one.

    By Blogger Suzanne, at 5:17 p.m.  

  • Now I see I didn't get the "Johnny Ratz reference"-- it's Josef Ratzinger.

    By Blogger Suzanne, at 5:18 p.m.  

  • Hey, if you feel so strongly about Catholics who vote based on their faith, why not denounce all the good Faithful Catholic Liberals who vote pro-life?

    Why not have them kicked out of the party?

    By Blogger Suzanne, at 5:19 p.m.  

  • To appease Suzanne, instead of Johnny Ratz we could use JRatz ... you know, more hip for the kids of today.

    By Blogger Tony Jones!, at 5:24 p.m.  

  • So its not Canadian bashing for a foriegn religious leader to slam Canada's domestic policy (that is supported by the majority of Canadians, much to Suzanne's chagrin I'm sure), but if we defend ourselves against such an attack, we are anti-Catholic? Or if we say that the Pope, by refusing to tell his millions of followers in Africa that is ok to use a condom, is guilty of condemning them to death and entire generations of children to live as poverty stricken orphans, we are anti-Catholic.

    Well, I don't want to live under any theocracy, be it Catholic, Muslim, Protestant or Jewish.

    If you don't "believe" in abortion, don't have one. If you don't "believe" in gay marriage, don't marry somone of the same sex.

    Otherwise, mind your own freaking business, m'kay?

    By Blogger Mike, at 7:30 p.m.  

  • Pappa Ratzi has no place inserting himself into Canadian politics.

    Suzanne's accusations are incorrect - Bart didn't object to Catholics voting one way or the other.

    The thing is, Suzanne, that your hypocrisy knows no bounds - but then, hypocrisy never does.

    No Italian, Polish, or German Pope has any business commenting on what Canada should do. Period.

    See, the Canadian Prime Minister has no place telling the Vatican how it should conduct Catholicism. And there's your hypocrisy, on full display - I can only imagine what you'd say if, hypothetically, Prime Minister Jack Layton called shame on the Vatican for refusing to endorse condoms.

    No one is bashing Catholics or how they vote, despite your transparent attempt to pretend that Bart is. The Pope, however, is bashing Canada for its government policies. He is not welcome to do so.

    Your lies about Bart are shameful and display your ignorance of the Ten Commandments.

    No PM has a say in how the Vatican works. No Pope has a say in how Canada works. That is that.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 7:35 p.m.  

  • For what it's worth, I don't particularily like it when Bono tosses his head into Canadian politics too. But at least he doesn't say "you can't be a good U2 fan unless you follow my opinion".

    Benedict doesn't seem to really understand the separation of church and state.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:36 p.m.  

  • Ah heck, Mike beat me in with a better said post than I could come up with in a week...

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 7:36 p.m.  

  • If the Liberals who agree with the Pope were to leave the Liberal party, the Liberals would never hold power again. It would be interesting to have the leadership candidates comment on the Pope's opinions.

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if all the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women's League types set up their own party? Imagine what it wold cost the Liberals in votes and finances. Luckily,for the Liberals, Catholics are very passive in such matters.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 8:28 p.m.  

  • I am in favour of gay marriage as I believe that people of faith no more have the right to tell a gay couple they can't have a civil marriage than we have the right to tell that to a divorced couple or such. People have the right to live their lives as they say fit providing they are adults.

    That being said I think that the Pope has the right to speak and say his view.

    I do think that the tone of your blog posting was quite anti-Catholic in tone as were some of the comments.

    By Blogger MissHailey, at 8:32 p.m.  

  • I have to wonder if this post would be made if it were a Muslim or Buddist leader offering his opinion on how the faithful should proceed with political questions of a moral nature.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:47 p.m.  

  • Hey what else could we expect from a Hitler Youth, right?

    Sorry sorry, below the belt, sorry JRatz.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 9:04 p.m.  

  • There is absolutely NOTHING "anti-Catholic" in Bart's post.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:24 p.m.  

  • Bart: I agree that the Pope really doesn't have a role in political commentary vis-a-vis a democracy, but do you really expect he'd understand the concept of separation of church and state? The whole premise of the church is the eventual Kingdom of God on earth with any minor annoyances such as national governments simple extensions of The Faith.

    By Blogger WeeDram, at 9:26 p.m.  

  • Even if I think the gay lifestyle is a sin that should be my personal matter. The Pope wants Catholic politicians to legislate based on directives from Rome. This is the same guy (Pope) who is against condoms, divorce, women in authority and so on.

    Religion is a personal matter. Leave it out of the state.

    By Blogger mezba, at 9:30 p.m.  

  • I have to wonder if this post would be made if it were a Muslim or Buddist leader offering his opinion

    I think Bart would have used a different name than Johnny Ratz. Besides that, my guess is it would be pretty much the same. Bart is an honest man with fair integrity. I think you're barking up the wrong tree.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:40 p.m.  

  • his opinion on how the faithful should proceed with political questions of a moral nature

    I don't want to monopolize this thread, and will try to hold back, but Chris is wrong in this statement.

    Ratzinger did not simply "offer his opinion", he used loaded language to suggest that Canada had to "endure" a "folly" "in the name of tolerance", and is "confronted" with the "daily destruction" of unborn children.

    He is criticizing Canada's social policies put in place by Canadian governments, and he shouldn't be. This is not "offering an opinion", and Chris's characterization of it as such is false.

    Sorry to post so much - I'll leave you guys all to it.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:46 p.m.  

  • The Pope is a political head as well as a religious one, so it's not surprising he'd express his opinion.

    "I notice no one really ever objects to Catholic basing their pro-social justice votes on their faith."
    Oh well gee, maybe because Jesus was pro-social justice?

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 10:55 p.m.  

  • I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, "fuck the pope, fuck jesus AND fuck the bible".

    There, that felt good.


    By Blogger Omar, at 11:14 p.m.  

  • He's not critizing *us*, but our federal laws. Canada doesn't criticize Catholicism, the Vatican keeps out of our legislation.

    Er, I'm most definitely not "insecure" when it comes to an old man who claims to be a virgin.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 12:22 a.m.  

  • Deno "Can you tell where in the bible Jesus said he was for abortions, or gay marriage?"

    I sure can't because I'm certain it isn't in there.

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 12:43 a.m.  

  • The Pope is entitled to his opinion, just like everyone else. However, I have a problem when he says that Catholic politicians should be voting based on what the Vatican says rather than what their constituants say, what they believe, or on "tolerance". Reading his comments, this went far and above beyond simply stating his opinion - it was a lecture on how Canada should govern itself. And, consider that Canada is not a Catholic country, that goes over the line.

    And, yes, if a Sikh of Hindu leader made similar comments, I'd be just as critical.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:33 a.m.  

  • And, for what it's worth, I do think that it wouldn't hurt the Roman Catholic Church to enter the 20th Century. Their positions on some issues like the role of women in the church and birth controle desperately need to be modernized. If that makes me anti-Catholic, then so be it, but I really think some reform would be in the Church's best interest.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:35 a.m.  

  • The last line of the blog post was very funny, thanks for the chuckle. The reference to "Johnny Ratz" was in poor taste and I can understand why Catholics might be offended when the name of their religious leader is twisted and ridiculed. Similarly the last comment that the Catholic Church needs to "update" its values to comply with modern western thinking is out of line. Tolerance and respect are Liberal values that need to be retained, even in the heat of debate and blog posting.

    The general theme was fair. Canadian leaders must and will be responsible to the electorate. Canadian Catholics may choose to vote for the party or candidate that they feel best represents their religious value. Our political leaders lack that luxury. They have to vote for legislation that best represents the feelings of all their constituents. Some legislation will please many Catholic voters and some legislation will not. Democracy works that way.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 3:27 a.m.  

  • The problem here is a question of sovereignty, and I'm guessing that's why a lot of people are rankled over the Pope's comments. It's not hard to see that he's making a commentary on Canada's domestic politics, and since he's a foreign head of state (The State Department says: "The Pope exercises supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the Holy See and the State of the Vatican City."), that is inappropriate.

    There's a general acceptance that it's ok to go ahead and try to influence other states' foreign policies (via containment, deterrence, alliances, etc.) but there's always been opposition to influencing a state's domestic policy because it undermines the modern conception of national sovereignty.

    There's laws regarding the involvement of foreign politicians and governments during election campaigns, and many see it as inappropriate to put an endorsement on a particular politician or policy. It's one thing if you or I don't like (insert whatever Swedish law you may have some opposition to), but it's a completely different plane when a head of state, such as the Pope, cracks open a billiard ball and suggests changing its internal composition.

    By Blogger RGM, at 6:44 a.m.  

  • Calgary Grit I am not Catholic although I often go to Mass with my sister who is....I don't believe in all of the teachings of the Church...I really think that people who are not Catholics or Catholics who have decided that the Church isn't a fit for them...should really try to understand that the RC church is entirely disinterested in their opinions on what the Church teachings would be. Why would they care what an outsider thought?

    The Church isn't a democracy.

    It is their clear interpretation of scripture and tradition that women have different roles in the Church than being a Priest. BTW that doesn't differ from fundamentalist churches.

    It is their interpretation that people should not use birth control but rely on natural family planning.

    Nobody is forced to be Catholic. If they disagree they can find a church better suited to their thinking. Nobody is forced not to use birth control and so forth. Nobody is taking measures to get condoms off the shelves. They are expressing an opinion. Surely people can have an opinion.

    Why would non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics think that the Pope should care one iota what people who have comments like "Fuck the Pope" have to say about their church. It's hardly like they are a milli-second away from being a new convert.

    By Blogger MissHailey, at 8:45 a.m.  

  • We should care what the pope says because some politicians may be swayed and do what the Pope tells them to do - I give you Slovenia as an example with regards to abortion. As for no one is forced to be Catholic, well when the pope is ordering Catholic politicians to follow his orders and when they actually do it - they are forced to follow Catholic dictates.

    By Blogger mezba, at 1:31 p.m.  

  • Sorry, that last comment should read Slovakia instead of Slovenia.

    By Blogger mezba, at 1:31 p.m.  

  • Hailey "Nobody is forced to be Catholic."

    I think there is a lot of anger toward Catholics though because of a long time in history, millions were forced to be Catholic.

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 2:06 p.m.  

  • Saskboy people really need to focus on current concerns. There are enough things going wrong RIGHT NOW.

    By Blogger MissHailey, at 2:49 p.m.  

  • [Skipping other comments, sorry if this is repetitive.] I notice that nowhere in the text you quote does he lambaste tolerance as such, but instead what's done in its name. A legitimiate philosophical, cultural, and political point. To really discuss this, though, one needs a full understanding of what he's saying, which can only be gleaned from his extensive writings. And, needless to say, he's a formidable schoolar, and not some sort of intolerant biggot, which you seem to be characterizing him as.

    And, though he seems to be speaking to Catholics about their role in Canada, is that any reason to assume that he is making here a programmatic statement for all Canadians? Not likely, but he has a certain responsibility to speak as leader of a particular community. But I'm going from what you've included here alone.

    It always strikes me as amazing how easy it is to polarize debates with sound- or text-bites, to make a partisan issue of something that rarely holds up to scrutiny as bipolar. And this from liberals who claim to have a better appreciation for nuance than conservatives. But this seems endemic to the blogosphere...

    By Blogger Kenneth Sheppard, at 8:22 p.m.  

  • "I do think that it wouldn't hurt the Roman Catholic Church to enter the 20th Century. Their positions on some issues like the role of women in the church and birth controle desperately need to be modernized"

    While I also don't to agree with the catholic church's positions on some of these issues, I would never so arrogantly suggest they amend their core beliefs to accomodate the liberal "in-crowd."

    By Blogger Dr. Strangelove, at 9:02 a.m.  

  • I guess the concept that's difficult for Liberals to understand is that the church is not a political party that sucks up to anybody as long as they are eligible to vote and have a pulse.

    When the church gains a new member it is because that member has become a believer. It is not the other way around - meaning it is not because the church has abandoned its principles for the sole purpose to acquire power.

    By Blogger Dr. Strangelove, at 9:12 a.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 7:58 p.m.  

  • The pope isn't really trying to interfere in Canadian politics. The comments he made were to a group of visiting Canadian Bishops from Ontario.

    The Pope's role and that of the Bishops is to advocate for the teachings of the church.

    The Pope wrote a paper entitled "The role of the Catholic Politician" when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger. This document applies to Catholics in every country, not just Canada.

    To summarize, individuals who publicly claim to be Catholic when they run for public office have a moral obligation to support the teachings of the church also.

    For those Catholics who seek elected public office, and receive or accept support from Catholic communities and organizations, the church says that there is no separation of church and state when it comes to voting on moral issues.

    Catholic Canon Law also states that the Pope is infallible on matters of faith. In other words, ordinary Catholics can not disagree with the Pope on these issues. In the local setting, the Bishop has similar authority.

    In some Federal ridings here in Alberta, in the last election, this was quite a big issue with some Catholics complaining to Bishop Henry about Liberal Catholic candidates supporting the party position on Gay marriage.

    Bishop Henry wasn't silent on the matter.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:10 p.m.  

  • As a Catholic, my objection to the Pope's comments has little to do with the fact that he is a head-of-state meddling in the internal affairs of another state (though that line of thinking should be pursued). Canada is, at least nominally, a representative democracy. Our leaders and MPs have made a commitment to represent the population (and not just the Catholic population). By appealing directly to these leaders, the Pope is inducing them to breach this commitment, and conduct themselves according to their own beliefs, rather than representing their constituents.

    I would have much less of a problem with this, were the Pope to be saying (and were it to be truthful) "Your constituents say that these laws are wrong. You have made a commitment that you are failing to uphold. You must uphold this commitment." Alternatively, were the Pope to call upon Catholic Canadians, saying "Your leaders are creating, in your name, laws which go against fundamental tenets of your beliefs. You have an obligation, as a Catholic, to raise this issue with your representatives and ensure that they are aware of your beliefs on this subject." Rather, the Pope is calling on representatives to abandon a commitment made to the constituents they represent.

    By Blogger Patrick Kobly, at 2:39 p.m.  

  • That being said I think that the Pope has the right to speak and say his view.

    Oh for sure he has the right to speak his view.

    What he doesn't have, is any more right to be respected than any other tin-pot dictator with the gall to criticize a democracy for respecting the rights of its citizens.

    Respect is EARNED. He's earned nothing but the contempt of decent people and will receive nothing else.

    Saskboy people really need to focus on current concerns. There are enough things going wrong RIGHT NOW.

    We were. Saskboy brought up the Church's immoral past as explanation of why decent people don't trust its motivations in the present.

    Disgusting criminal organization. Nothing but NAMBLA in fancy dresses.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 6:32 p.m.  

  • Liberals have been in power for 75% of the 20th century based on their support from Catholics. The LPC "owned" the Catholic vote. It's amazing how willingly Liberals are throwing that support away.

    Chalk this one up to Globalism. People anywhere in the world criticizing people in other parts of the world. There's a Global market in ideas. The CEO of one "idea" criticized another. Get used to it.

    BTW most of the world aren't buying Canada's ideas on the issues the Pope was commenting on. Unlimited abortion and same sex marriage are niche markets.

    By Blogger PlaidShirt, at 1:20 a.m.  

  • As an ordinary rank and file Catholic,I have a high respect for my faith and beliefs. At the same time, I am not in full agreement with the church hierarchy.

    For example, same sex marriage does not bother me personally. I know gay people and parents of gay people and don't feel that we should judge them or deny them their happiness, if they wish to spend their lives together.

    As long as the Catholic church is not compelled to sanction and conduct gay marriages, I am not opposed to legal recognition of unions between people who love each other.

    Why the Liberals would make this a prominent issue is beyond my understanding and alienates a large portion of their traditional support.

    It's not much fun rationalizing the Liberal policy to the local priest, bishop and other Catholics.

    Abortion is an even harder sell. Personally, I don't support it.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 9:43 a.m.  


    "Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
    MONTREAL -One-sided and disproportionate criticism of Israel has the effect of inflaming anti-Semitism, the president and CEO of BMO Financial Group warned Monday.

    Tony Comper singled out the recent censure of Israel by the Ontario leadership of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada as examples."

    Is Big Business allowed to criticize Big Church? Shouldn't this CEO mind his own business? Does he have any right telling the Church what to do? He's implying that they are anti-Semitic. Out of bounds or fair comment?

    By Blogger PlaidShirt, at 10:40 a.m.  

  • By Blogger Unknown, at 3:09 a.m.  

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