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The real threat to Church comes from within its own ranks: Liberalism & relativism

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    The real threat to Church comes from within its own ranks: Liberalism & relativism

    Very aptly put by Eric Margolis.....



    Benedict XVI best man for the job, Eric Margolis reasons


    By ERIC MARGOLIS



    CARDINAL JOSEPH Ratzinger, elected Pope Benedict XVI this week, steps into the shoes of the greatest pontiff since the Middle Ages. The late John Paul II not only led the Catholic Church, his great heart and good works made him the most important spiritual leader on Earth.

    This is the ultimate hard act to follow, a hugely daunting challenge for a retiring 78-year-old scholar.

    But Benedict is the man to do it. The College of Cardinals wisely and swiftly chose precisely the right candidate to continue John Paul's conservative policies and keep the Mother Church from being torn apart by doctrinal rebellions and geographical or cultural divisions.

    Ratzinger was John Paul's closest friend, collaborator and confidant. In effect, he was longtime CEO to John Paul's chairman. Who better to take the helm of the world's oldest organization?

    Any other choice risked being seen by the many Catholics who venerated John Paul as a saint as repudiation or dilution of his policies. The outpouring of emotion over John Paul's death stunned even the church and made any change of policy unacceptable.

    The choice of Ratzinger was wise for another reason. The church's growth areas are Latin America and Africa, where ardent Catholics abound. The church's main problem on both continents is the faith being mutated by local cults and customs.

    WITHERING IN EUROPE

    In Europe, by contrast, Christianity is withering. So the church's most urgent task was not to play to robust believers in the Americas or Africa by naming a pope from those regions, but dealing with the crisis of faith in increasingly apostate Europe. It's no coincidence that Cardinal Ratzinger chose the name Benedict, the patron saint of Europe.

    Once again, the German-born, highly intellectual Ratzinger is the right man for the right place. He will try to prevent further erosion of Catholicism in Europe by revitalizing the faith among its remaining adherents and continuing John Paul's remarkable dialogue with youth. To paraphrase Frederick the Great: He who believes in everything, believes in nothing. Better a smaller church of the truly faithful than one of Catholics in name only.

    Europe should also consider Ratzinger's oft-derided strictures against birth control: The continent's population is aging fast and, in many cases, actually declining. One day soon, Europe (and Japan) will not have enough young people and must promote births.

    Benedict is being warned by numerous anti-Muslim groups that he must deal with the challenge of Islam. This is a red herring. The real challenges to the church come from within its own ranks: Liberalism (make our own rules locally) and relativism (there is no absolute truth). Islam and Judaism face the same internal struggle.

    SIMILARITIES

    In many ways, conservative Catholics have more in common with Orthodox Jews and Muslims than liberal Catholics in Europe or the U.S.

    Traditional Jews, Catholics and Muslims -- "peoples of the Book," as Muslims say -- favour large families led by strong fathers, reject women in the clergy, oppose homosexuality and birth control, and refuse to bend their faith to the social fashions of the time.

    An Orthodox Jew should feel as much at home in a mosque as a conservative Muslim in a synagogue, and both easy in the company of conservative Catholics.

    As John Paul made clear, it is not Islam that challenges Catholicism but lack of spirituality, the rampant consumerism that has replaced faith, hedonism, the cult of selfish, instant self-satisfaction, and the foolish leftist dogma that men and women are intellectually and emotionally the same.

    The real issue is not gay priests or Catholic voodoo rites. It is faith. If you want to be Catholic, act like one. Otherwise, join one of those generic drive-in religions where anything goes.

    Ratzinger's age is a concern; so are his previous references to Catholicism as the only true religion. Now that he is Pope, Benedict's views will likely soften. He vows to carry on John Paul's ministry to all mankind.

    Benedict put it perfectly this week when he said John Paul leaves "a more courageous, freer, and younger Church," that looks on the past "with serenity and does not fear the future."
    "Mai baap Amreeka has decided to breakup Pakistan, MQM will support Amreeka and I will not stop killing pukhtoons" - Pir Altaf Bhaggorra of Landan...
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