Is it good or bad that a pope who used to be a member of the Hitler Youth is standing down? Even if we don’t hold youthful indiscretions against him too harshly, it’s nice that he is going. Would have been nicer if he’d never arrived.
But his quote that God sometimes seemed to be sleeping…? I heard that, and thought “God!” and “Hmmm” at the same time.
Yes, of course, the whole point about God is that he does seems to do an awful lot of sleeping, but the pope’s not allowed to say that! That’s the atheist line. We are allowed to say that, but the multinational organisation the pope heads, has as it’s sole justification that They Trust God Even When And If He Moves In Mysterious Ways. They are doing his will, and when their policies help the spread of aids or help produce unwanted children, or connive over molestation, their only defence is that they believe they serve god’s will.
At bottom of course, I don’t really care a whole lot what the weird and wonderful justifications a cult are (Gore Vidal of course explained that it was indeed a death cult), but having doubts robs the whole load of baroque of its last justification.
I later heard another longer quote where the full source of the “God sometimes seems to be sleeping” reference was made. It could after all be claimed that the overall message was that he’d tried hard, perhaps even tried his best (Pope Benedict that is, not God). But actually, subsequent to that, it did occur to me that the main message was, after all, that God seemed to be sleeping.
And is it good that someone has the courage to step down from a job, when the tradition had been to carry on long beyond one’s useful years? It depends a bit on whether you see it as useful. Do remember though that a lot of people get a lot of real benefit from their religion.
However, if it is a real job where something useful is being done, I think we are entitled to ask why a multinational includes in its hierarchy such an unfair representation of those it represents (-: .