A new pope has been selected. I wonder how many apopalyptic Protestants are already trying to figure out how his name adds up to 666 (or 999 if you’re really hip) and denouncing him as the capital-A Anti-Christ.
UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for people to start bemoaning the choice of the conclave. Apparently the new pope, who is 78, is too conservative and will continue the Chruch’s teachings on birth-control, abortion, homosexuality, etc. God forbid the new Pope from standing up for tradition and core beliefs!
I’m not Catholic. Indeed, much of my education could be called anti-Catholic, and my doctrinal beliefs are probably the farthest one can get from current Catholic doctrine while still being Christian. I disagree with their doctrines, I’m wary of their rites, and I laugh at their funny hats. This is why I choose to be a Protestant and refuse to get my boxers in a bunch if I don’t agree with the Pope. I suppose this situation is similar to the selection of Dean for DNC chair. I disagree with his doctrines, I’m wary of his rites, and I laugh at his funny quotes. But this is why I’m not a Democrat, and I don’t care he’s the chairman.
UPDATE 2: Behold the latest cover of The Sun. Pretty inflammatory, huh? The Hitler Youth part, which seems to be common knowledge now, refers to the brief time when Ratzinger was in Hitler Youth. But James Na at Guns and Butter Blog points out an article in the Times of India that should make his Hitler Youth stint a non issue. At the very end of the article it explains:
He joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941.
He quickly won a dispensation on account of his training at a seminary.
“Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one,” concluded John Allen, his biographer.
Just remember that when somebody says the Pope is an ex-Nazi. The real story is when he was a teenager he was forced into Hitler Youth, and he got out quickly because he was a man of the cloth. I do suspect this interesting tidbit will fuel the fiery imaginations of the Protestants I originally was wondering about.
On another note, as discussed in the comments, one of the perplexing things about Ratzinger’s appointment is his age. At 78 he seems destined to be a mere placeholder Pope until the rest of the Catholic leadership figure out what they really want to do. However, back in 1958 Pope John XXIII was appointed to the papacy when he was 77. What did he do? He convened Vatican II, which is probably the single most important event in the Catholic Church’s history in the past couple of centuries. Another cool thing that Pope John XXIII did was he excommunicated Castro. So, maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to write off Pope Benedict XVI as a placeholder Pope.