Thursday, January 06, 2005

Cardinal Ratzinger and tsunami

A while ago, Sperwer wrote me to say the following about a disaster in the making:


What a relief!

When I read your unexplained headline, I thought you were referring to the likelihood that in the not so distant future [the Cumbre Vieja volcano] on the island of [La Palma] in the Canarys will shake itself loose from the rest of the island in a volcanic spasm unleashing a tsunami that scientists have reckoned will be about 700 meters tall (!) and 24 kilometers from front to back straight across the Atlantic at the Eastern seaboard of the US, which will be obliterated - a bit like the film in which a meteor drops into the Atlantic wiping out the same, including NY, DC, etc. etc. In other words it'll make what just happened in SE Asia look like a frolic - not because it'll hit the US but because the scale of the tragedy will be much more enormous - as if that mattered.

Then I linked over and saw you're just talking about the latest inanities of the boys in red skirts.



I'm glad Sperwer's relieved. Now I've got to figure out how to get to sleep.

A link I found goes into some detail on the subject of the mega-tsunami.

As for Cardinal Ratzinger... his specter haunted the halls of Catholic University in DC while I was a grad student there. I can't say that many CUA folks like him; he's very theologically conservative, and has spent years as head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, helping to craft pleasant documents like Dominus Iesus, which was promulgated in 2000. Here's a quote from that document, with which I completely disagree:

The lack of unity among Christians is certainly a wound for the Church; not in the sense that she is deprived of her unity, but "in that it hinders the complete fulfilment of her universality in history."

The CDF sees a wound; I see blessed variety.

Then further along, there's this lovely explanation of the role of the Church in salvation:

Above all else, it must be firmly believed that "the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door." This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); "it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation."

When this document appeared in late 2000, the Roman Church was preparing for a rather significant moment in Jewish-Catholic dialogue. Guess how the Jews reacted to Dominus Iesus.

A very good overview of the flap this document caused can be found here.

Here's something scarier than a mega-tsunami. Catholics: pray hard, really hard, that this man doesn't become your next pope. I can't see what good will come of this... though a Church under Ratzinger might entice Mel Gibson back into the fold.


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