Sunday, April 24, 2005
AS THE TWIG IS BENT, SO GROWS THE BRANCH
The following excerpt is from Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, and author of Jewish Renewal, whose article is entitled The New Pope is a Disaster for the World and for the Jews
Many Jews are outraged at a Church that denies communion to those who have remarried or those who oppose making abortion illegal but that did not similarly deny communion to those who participate in crimes against humanity.
"In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger publicly praised the fascist movement in the Church known as Opes Dei and supported canonization of Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, an open fascist who served in the government of Spain's dictator Franco, and who publicly praised Hitler.
"While many of us agree with Ratzinger's critique of moral relativism, he extends that critique in illegitimate and dangerous ways, equating secularism with moral relativism and suggesting that secularism is now repressing religion. Ratzinger also publicly critiques all those inside the Church who are tolerant enough to think that other religions may have equal validity as a path to God. This is a slippery slope toward anti-Semitism and a return to the chauvinistic and triumphalist views that led the Church, when it had the power to do so, to develop its infamous crusades and inquisitions. In 1997 Ratzinger called Buddhism an "autoerotic spirituality" that offers "transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations." Hindusim, he said, offers "false hope," in that it guarantees "purification" based on a "morally cruel" concept of reincarnation resembling "a continuous circle of hell." At the time, Cardinal Ratzinger predicted that Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic church's main enemy.
"Ratzinger is being falsely described as a conservative, when in fact he, despite his publicly genteel manner, is a raging reactionary. Unlike many American conservatives who oppose gay sexual practices but not their legal rights, Ratzinger in 1992 argued against human rights for gays, stressing that their civil liberties could be "legitimately limited."
"Those of us in the Jewish world who have enormous respect for Christianity and for the wisdom and beauty of the Catholic tradition are in mourning today that the Church has confirmed for itself a destructive direction that will hurt not only Catholics but all those who seek peace and justice in the world."
IMAGE VIA Body and Soul
P.S. Follow the Body and Soul link to a beautiful article written by Jeanne d'Orleans