"He has been described as a conservative, intellectual clone of the late pontiff, and, as the dean of the College of Cardinals, he was widely respected for his uncompromising - if ultraconservative - principles and his ability to be critical. As cardinal, he had shut the door on any discussion on several issues, including the ordination of women, celibacy of priests and homosexuality, defending his positions by invoking theological truth. In the name of orthodoxy, he is in favor of a smaller church, but one that is more ideologically pure. On Monday, at a Mass before the conclave convened, he delivered an uncompromising warning against any deviation from traditional Catholic teaching."I guess the Unitarian applicants missed out.
Update: Although I quit reading Mr. Sullivan some time ago, Professor Bainbridge has discovered that Andrew Sullivan is an Ass. Sullivan's latest hissy fit seems to center on the problem that the Catholic church does not revolve around his "sexual preference."
So why is Sullivan so worked up? Here's his real gripe in his own words:Seems to be.
... the impermissibility of any sexual act that does not involve the depositing of semen in a fertile uterus ....
It's always about sex with Andrew, isn't it?
Update2: Off topic, sort of, but just for the fun of it, here's another Andrew Sullivan low light.
Update3: From Best of the Web Today
"Cardinals on Tuesday elected conservative German prelate Joseph Ratzinger as the new leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, in a controversial choice to succeed Pope John Paul II," Reuters reported yesterday.
If ever there was a word that cried out for scare quotes, it's that "controversial." Ratzinger was elected in three votes over two days, which, as the Washington Post notes, was the promptest pope-picking since Pius XII in 1939.
Yesterday's item about liberals' unhappiness with Benedict XVI brought an interesting observation from reader Roger Gore:
Regarding Andrew Sullivan, et al., I find all this politicking and commentary that surrounds the new pope (and the process of election, which itself seems far too founded in the ways of the world) a bit curious.
I am not Catholic, but it seems to me that if the pope is really God's mouthpiece on the earth--as the Catholic Church claims he is--then why the dissent? Either the man speaks for God, or he does not. If he does, the dissent is at best foolish, for who in his right mind would think to argue with Almighty God over his own doctrine? Can God really be lobbied, swayed, and convinced over same-sex marriage, condoms, celibacy, etc.? If the pope does not speak for God, then the Catholic Church is void of its stated "divine authority," and so why have a pope to begin with?
Indeed. If you're not Catholic, and especially if you're an atheist or agnostic, then it makes sense to regard the church as just another worldly institution. After all, you don't believe in papal infallibility or the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. But if you do believe in these ideas, what could it mean that you oppose the new pope and his adherence to tradition, other than that you're disappointed in or angry at God for not changing his mind?
Update4: Protestant minister has this to say:
Throughout the last few days, as the talking heads buzzed about Ratzinger's potential papacy, and during several news reports today, I was struck by the way many people in the media describe Ratzinger's efforts to reign in "loose-canon" Catholic theologians. They tend to use words like "narrow," "extreme," "ultra-conservative," and "divisive" to characterize Ratzinger's behavior. His cardinal sin – from a postmodern cultural perspective – is expecting Roman Catholic teachers to teach Roman Catholic doctrine, at least when it comes to major beliefs and hot-button issues. It's almost as if secular commentators envision the Roman Catholic Church as a modern university where the tenured professors can say anything they want without accountability. This seems to be both naïve and sadly out of touch with Roman Catholic reality.Yep, he's still a Catholic.