Michael Nugent gives ten reasons to be pleased that Ratzinger is hanging up his red shoes.
One, because of the Vatican’s (ridiculous) international clout.
Because the UN takes most decisions by consensus, the Holy See has been able to frustrate negotiations on population, contraception, reproductive health care and women’s rights. And Pope Benedict has ensured that the Holy See’s work at the United Nations is based on his own conservative theology.
Four, his church claims that atheists are not fully human.
The Catholic Church makes a distinction between being human and being fully human, and it does not consider atheists to be fully human. It believes that being fully human requires a relationship with its imaginary God, and that by excluding this from our philosophy we are not fully human. Most of the time they phrase it subtly, by saying that you require religious faith to be fully human, and sometimes they let the mask slip and explicitly say that atheists are not fully human.
Funny idea, isn’t it. To be “fully” human you have to subscribe to and bend the knee to a non-human imaginary other-world being. If you accept that you’re a human among humans and have no access to other-world beings, you’re less than “fully” human.
Ten, he silences priests who want a more democratic Church.
In Ireland, the Vatican under Pope Benedict has silenced several priests, including Sean Fagan, Tony Flannery, Gerry Moloney and Brian D’Arcy. Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, who is studying for a doctorate in canon law at Rome’s Gregorian University, has described this development as dreadful. At the launch of her book ‘Quo vadis: Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law’, she said that:
“There is a fear at the centre [Rome] of how they can cope with these voices”
She said that the Vatican was dealing with dissent by demanding obedience, and that this demand:
“was translated into a really, really dangerous silence where children suffered abominably”.
In a comment I suggested an eleventh: telling people in Africa not to use condoms. I think that’s the worst thing. I had a discussion about this with a woman in South Africa on Twitter, and we feel exactly alike. (Maybe I should RT her tweets to the pope, now that he’s on Twitter. He hasn’t retired yet.)
That was just a sample, as you’ll have figured out from the numbers. Read the whole thing.