Blog of Obscurity

A Very Munchkinly Blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oooo, A calling out!

Not being Catholic, my opinion of the new Pope is mostly "how will my wife deal with it?". I've already heard a soapbox or two :) Having said that, I do have a few "interested bystander" opinions.

Pope Benedict XVI has been a highly conservative, highly traditional member of the clergy. He speaks out against moral relativism as putting your own views as the highest moral authority - a point I certainly appreciate. Right now, I think moral relativism is a much more problematic aspect of our society than moral certitude.

He's been criticized for his views on gay rights and birth control - especially in AIDS-stricken countries. I don't think it's wrong for the Church to hold up the value of human reproduction, though. For example, my understanding is that the only reason the US is growing in population is because of immigrants. Our existing population has a birth rate below the sustainability rate.

The other issues that get criticism are involving priests: marriage and women priests. The US Catholic Church is growing, but the preists are getting fewer. My hunch is that the Church will likely allow married priests before it allows female priests. Personally, I don't see that either is a crucial moral stance, so I would like to think they would examine it.

I'm really curious to see how Benedict will deal with actually being in charge. It's one thing to advise, but not have the responsibility. Now, he has that, too. From a truly practical standpoint, they can't let the dollars in the US leave. Well, I suppose they could, but most churches aren't willing to tick off the big money. So, the US church may cause a few changes to be made.

It will be interesting to watch.