Pope's Signature Image via Wikipedia
Update on Papal views on contraception from here in the Catholic Herald, 23rd November the Pope gives his reasons for endorsement of Humanae Vitae as a prophetic document .
Link here to a useful summary of all the pithy sections of Pope Benedict's new book - not just the aspects on contra-infection but also sexual abuse, female priesthood, Jews, the burqa...
The book is a result of interviews with German journalist and Papal biographer Peter Seewald whose questions to Pope Benedict include ::
- What caused the clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?
- Have you considered resigning?
- Can there be a genuine dialogue with Islam?
- Should the Church rethink Catholic teaching on priestly celibacy, women priests, contraception, and same-sex relationships?
- Holy Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics?
- Is there a schism in the Catholic Church?
- Is there any hope for Christian unity?
- Is Christianity the only truth?
- Is there a "dictatorship of relativism" today?
In answer to a question on the future of Christianity, Pope Benedict sees it as being full of light... not surprisingly his book is called Light of The World, although some were expecting a different title : The Dark Mysteries of The Vatican.
Some key quotes from the book
On the Church's position on against women priests and homosexual activity:
"When, for example, in the name of non-discrimination, people try to force the Catholic Church to change her position on homosexuality or the ordination of women, then that means that she is no longer allowed to live out her own identity and that, instead, an abstract, negative religion is being made into a tyrannical standard that everyone must follow. That is then seemingly freedom -- for the sole reason that it is liberation from the previous situation."
"The issue at stake here is the intrinsic truth of sexuality's significance in the constitution of man's being. If someone has deep-seated homosexual inclinations -- and it is still an open question whether these inclinations are really innate or whether they arise in early childhood -- if, in any case, they have the power over him, this a great trial for him, just as other trials can afflict other people as well.
But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed."
On the use of the burqa:
"As for the burqa, I would see no reason for a general ban. Some say that many women would not wear the burqa voluntarily at all and that it is actually a violation of women. One can, of course, not agree to that. But if they want to wear it voluntarily, I do not know why it must be prohibited."
On dialogue with Protestants:
"We must recognize the fact that Protestantism has taken steps that have led it farther away from us, rather than closer to us; women's ordination and the acceptance of homosexual partnerships are just two of many similar examples. There are also other ethical positions, other instances of conformism with the spirit of the present age, that make the dialogue more difficult."
On whether he feels intimidated by succeeding the enormously popular Pope John Paul II:
"I simply told myself that I am who I am. I don't try to be someone else. What I can give I give, and what I can't give I don't try to give, either. I don't try to make myself into something I am not. I am the person who happens to have been chosen -- the cardinals are also to blame for that -- and I do what I can."
On wartime Pope Pius XII
"At the present time, we have new, clever people who say that, while he did save many lives, he had old-fashioned ideas about Jews that fall short of Vatican II (the 1962-65 Church Council). But that is not the question. The decisive thing is what he did and what he tried to do, and on that score we really must acknowledge, I believe, thathe was one of the great righteous men and that he saved more Jews than anyone else."
What can I say ?? ...................................................................................................