Friday, April 22, 2005

Benedict XVI and Venezuela

As a boy and teenager, Josef Ratzinger experienced National Socialism in Germany at first hand. Though he participated, albeit unwillingly, in the movement's youth organization, few people nowadays (with the apparent exception of some UK tabloids) would argue that he would defend Nazism or similar fascist ideologies. Quite the contrary, in fact: Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda describes the following events that seem to indicate that the new pope, like his predecessor, clearly sees totalitarian ideologies for what they are.

THE VATICAN: Five days before the conclave and the secret vote. Various cardinals and bishops were conversing in the Santa Marta residence. A German cardinal -- there were six from this country -- dropped a tough statement into the conversation to emphasise a point that was being discussed: "fascism, nazism, communism, chavism... all of this comes from the same source and uses the same tactics". He surprised everyone with his inclusion of the Venezuelan political movement, and two of the participants asked what it was. He explained it to them. Today this cardinal is more important than he was at that time...
It is good to know that the new pope is aware of what is going on in Venezuela. I hope to see him take a stand against the Miraflores petrocrat; while that wouldn't convince Chávez to do the honorable thing and resign, it would mean that an important and authoritative voice would be added to the ever-increasing international chorus clamouring for change in Venezuela. For Venezuelans, it might help give them the courage to confront their inept and malevolent government and replace it by something better.


Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

These are very good posts. I think there is a concerted effort to misunderstand who he is and what he stands for. I have always known him to be heroic. What's interesting is that even though some less committed members of the Church may drop out, there is a likelihood that others will be drawn in. Nobody wants to be drawn in to a church that stands for little or nothing and is blown around by prevailing fashion currents. I do know of people who dropped out of the Catholic Church altogether just because it got too liberalized in some areas. That baffles me, but it is a phenomenon that exists because I know actual people who say this. Now, they might come back.

5:15 pm  

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