Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Thoughts on the new Pope

Over at Stupid Evil Bastard I have a guest post about my thoughts on the new Pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict XVI earlier today.
This was my second guest post over there and it’s likely that I’ll be posting other thoughts about religion or US politics there in future.


  1. You’re welcome to join in anytime you feel like. Always a pleasure having you contribute.

  2. Neil, sorry to disagree with you for a second time today but I will anyway.
    >First of all, he’s even more conservative than his predecessor, John Paul II. The Catholic church has attracted criticism for its conservative stances on subjects like AIDS and condoms before, and how it covered up child abuse allegations by Catholic priests. A more liberal Pope would take a more tolerant line on contraception which might just stop the HIV epidemic that is >sweeping Africa right now.
    What I’ve mostly seen is the Catholic Church attracting critism from non-catholics. Personally if people wish to believe the use of condoms are a sin is fine with me, I don’t. Also I don’t see how a Catholic endorsement of condoms would help at all. The Catholic church preaches two main ideas on the subject. Firstly, they say that sex outside of marriage is a sin, and secondly that the use of all artificial contraceptives is wrong, since sex is a gift given by God and should only be used for procreation, within a loving relationship.
    Now for the Catholic Church’s rejection of condoms to be impacting the AIDS epidemic in Africa it means that people are listening to the teachings on both subjects but deciding that sex outside of marriage is a ‘less evil’ sin than the use of Condoms. Now come on, you can’t seriously believe that. Perhaps an endorsement of Condoms would help because Catholic charities who are huge contributers in Africa would supply them, but it is insane to believe that people aren’t using condoms because the church says not to, but will have sex despite the church saying that is a sin.
    >Ratzinger is old. He’s 78 – only 6 years younger than the age at which John Paul II died a few weeks ago. If the Catholic church wanted a strong leader to guide its followers for years to come then they have picked the wrong man. Instead, we may well have the same puppetted figure as before.
    Thats not the idea of electing a Pope, you elect the best leader at the time, it doesn’t matter how long he lasts.
    >I fear that not only will we see the death of this Pope within many of our lifetimes but that the next few years will not see >the revolution in the church that some of us had been hoping for. At best we can expect more of the same, but it has the potential to get a lot worse.
    How exactly could it ‘get a lot worse’, and secondly exactly how could it affect you. On this post you state that you have no religious beliefs and that you respect other people’s religions, clearly you appear to have a problem with Catholic beliefs and it’s more surprising considering you live in the UK. At least if you lived in a predominantly Catholic country like I have to do, the choice of Pope would affect you.
    For the record, I’m an atheist, but I think the vitriol spewed at the Catholic Church is way out of line.

  3. Very nice post Dave.
    Being from the UK and an agnostic myself the election of the new pope doesn’t really mean a lot to me. I think it is very interesting to hear the views of someone like yourself though.
    Is it true that PBXVI is ex-Hitler youth?

  4. For 37 years the Roman Catholic Church has forbidden the use of contraception. A Pope before this time was not as conservative as our present ones, and allowed its use. Now the HIV/AIDS epidemic is spreading like a bushfire and its peak is not expected for another 50 years. Missionaries preach to ill-educated people in third world countries such as Africa and are told not to use condoms, regardless of the fact that they sugnificantly reduce the chance of a HIV/AIDS transmission. MAybe it is time that the Catholic Church cought up with the modern day dillemas and proposed practical solutions, other that “celibacy and greater medication”.