Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope for 'economic justice'?

Amid the rush of speculation regarding a papal successor, some are claiming the Brazilian cardinal Claudio Hummes, described as "radical" by many, is the frontrunner.

Radical? Most news agencies are a little ambiguous in defining how a potential pope can be radical. The British Times Online calls him "conservative on matters of church doctrine, but he is unmistakably radical on social issues." What? Huh? Social issues? Isn't there a better way of putting that?

His Brazilian diocese is ravaged by social problems and widespread poverty, and he is regarded as a member of a group of cardinals who choose to emphasis social justice. Their primary interest is applying the gospel to questions of “economic justice.”
Somehow I don't see him coming to the conclusion that capitalism is biblical. The Bible doesn't endorse any type of national economics and nothing would surprise me less if he claims apostolic imperative to preach socialism.

A sad thought: I hope we don't have to deal with a pope hostile to capitalism upon the very death of one who fought communism. I hope I'm not stepping on catholic toes when, while not a catholic myself, I dare to endorse the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The AP has a few other details which don't stop my suspicions:
Three Latin American prelates — Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes and Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras and Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina — also have developed reputations as strong advocates for greater poverty-fighting programs and activism to counter the popularity of the evangelical churches.
I don't have a problem with charity. In fact, that's where it ought to be implimented. The church ought to be more active in this regard. But this kind of language coming from Latin American cardinals makes me no less uneasy.

And to top it off:

"John Paul II was the pope of the end of the postwar era," said Orazio Petrosillo, who covered the pope for Rome's Il Messaggero newspaper. "The new pope must address our modern world."

Crossposted at Head West, Turn Right
<< Home 4 Comments:
Anonymous Kat said...

I agree that Hummes is not an appropriate choice. He seems too wishy-washy, and the church needs someone who will take a stance on issues rather than the "reflection" that Hummes advocates:
"Hummes was more guarded when asked to identify key inner-ecclesial issues, such as the debate over married priests, ecumenism, centralization and the priest shortage. Rather than picking individual issues, Hummes simply said that all need “greater reflection.”
more at:

But Mark, do you really want to endorse a papal candidate who by the admission of his own supporters "silences dissenters" and "stomps down heresy"? Not that I advocate heresy, :) but the Pope is going to have to be flexible in his methods of informing and correct doctrines, and a man who is that dogmatic will tear the church apart rather than build it.
There has got to be a happy medium somewhere, and for that reason, Angelo Scola has my support.
He seems to uphold Catholic doctrine while maintaining a
rapport with the laiety (sp?).

A good quick read on the papal candidates:

12:01 PM, April 04, 2005  
Blogger Mark R said...

Thanks for your research Kat. You caught me in a moment of laziness I'm afraid.

To be honest, I think my "endorsement" will just have to be tongue-in-cheek because I don't think I can form a compelling argument for any of them--not being a catholic, or informed, I don't have any basis for one.

12:21 AM, April 05, 2005  
Anonymous Kat said...

nah, it's not laziness, I bet I just took you more seriously than you intended. :)

11:48 AM, April 06, 2005  
Blogger Mark R said...

I should always be prepared to be taken seriously, considering that's what most people so generously do on here.

12:01 PM, April 06, 2005  

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