I don’t know why we should; he’s a delusional old man who uses fear to demand obedience to archaic dogmas. But Carla Powell tries to make the case for the Pope, and fails. Here’s her reason why we should be nice to the guy.
Though he has none of John Paul’s film-star charisma [Wait, what?], Benedict is a man with a message. He was the late pontiff’s closest friend, his intellectual soulmate and loyal colleague. In all his time in Rome as Pope, and on his travels around the world, he has argued against what he calls “the dictatorship of relativism”.
Moral relativism has become a kind of intellectual disease, weakening the vitality and self-confidence of Europe and the west. Left unchecked, it will destroy us, because it removes our power to resist the distortion of our values, erosion of our liberty and, ultimately, threats to our democratic way of life.
Well, you know that this kind of preaching of an absolute morality, usually backed up by nothing more than tradition and power and fear, isn’t unique to Catholicism. Powell’s words are clearly dogwhistles for the evil Muslim threat, but the thing is, they aren’t big on ‘relativism’ either — both Christianity and Islam seem to be in a competitive race for the title of most deranged patriarchal tyranny on the planet.
But OK, let’s play her game. Let’s admit that there are some things that really are wrong and even evil. I’ll start.
Raping children is wrong. Using the power of a wealthy institution to shelter people who rape children is wrong.
See? No relativism at all.
Now what was Ms. Powell saying about treating the papacy with the respect it deserves?