I dunno - I must've missed it, since I haven't been in church in a while. Last time I was there, BENEDICT was pope. Not that I like him much, but hey - he was duly appointed by the cardinals, and I saw the white smoke.
One thing I do like about him is that he isn't burying his head in the doctrine when it comes to some social justice issues. Note his stance on health care:
The title of this little ditty is: Pope Benedict XVI: Universal Morality, Justice Must Guide Access to Health Care and the gist is this (italics mine):
In his Message the Pope highlights "the need to work with greater commitment at all levels in order for the right to healthcare to be effective, facilitating access to primary medical assistance. In our own time", he continues, "we are witnessing, on the one hand, a care for health which risks turning into pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism, almost a cult of the body while, on the other hand, we see the difficulties millions of people face as they seek to obtain minimal subsistence and the medicines they need to cure themselves".
But. Then we have Pope Santorum.... who says: "I would tell you that my first priority as a president of the United States is to repeal Barack Obama's healthcare plan. It is the reason that I'm running for office. I believe Obamacare will rob America, the best way I can put it is, rob America of its soul. I say that without any kind of fear of being discredited, I really believe that. That the reason the left for a hundred years has been trying to get a national healthcare plan done is because they realize that once they have you dependent on the government for your health, freedom as we know it in America is forfeit."
He said this in Iowa Falls, IA in 2011.
Now, just this week, I saw a Jamie Oliver program. He's "cooking his way across America" and as a Brit, he's being exposed to some very different sides of America. He was in the deep south, and was talking to some folks; he happened upon a trailer park and was talking to some disgruntled construction workers and the poor lad heard the "N"-word uttered in a totally contemptible comment about the president. He was shocked. But then he talked to a restaurant owner about the economy.
The restaurant owner remarked that her daughter had cerebral palsy and that they hadn't taken a paycheck in months. Oliver says, 'Oh, but the government steps in, right?' --- and he's again visibly shocked when the woman says that in order to be a Medicaid patient, the government makes sure you have no assets at all. He says, in reply, "Well, I guess being a Brit during a recession isn't all that bad since we have universal health care." You could see the wheels working in the mind of that woman, because I'll bet you that all she listens to is Fox, and of course they paint "Obamacare" as the devil's work. But here's a charming young Brit saying, 'No, not really - it helps you get through rough patches like this without worrying about whether you can eat or see a doctor. You don't have to make that choice.'
Except that if Pope Rick gets elected, by some strange confluence of the planets, who clearly says that the separation of church and state is "abominable" to his ears, we will all be in deep crap. He wants to be the head of a theocracy. The theocracy that's apparently in his head.
Like I said: I missed the memo that some guy doesn't want to be president - but pope!
Santorum wants everyone to be "his" particular brand of Catholic. And he's outta luck. Christians still view Catholics as "cultists." And there are a whole lot more of them than there are Catholics. And as well, Catholics aren't the most generous people in the world when it comes to religious tolerance. Take, for example, the "communion rule."
I was investigating Episcopal churches, because I absolutely can't sit in the pew one more time knowing that the Catholic bishops are now "fighting to the death" about birth control, while they played chess with priests to stay one step ahead of the child abuse scandal. Anyway, funny thing about the Episcopals: they welcome everyone to communion.
The Catholics don't. And that's just one little thing. Some priests (and the Cardinal in Chicago) will not give communion to people who are gay. Some tell you how to vote from the pulpit. Some will actively counsel a woman to not divorce a spouse who's abusive or who strays from the marriage. Which begs the question of how someone who's never navigated a marriage can give advice...
Anyway, I'm watching how this Republican stuff goes on and on and on (how about it, Newt -- please just hang it up and go home!). I'm watching as Poopsie Palin "offers" herself at a potentially brokered convention.
And I'm watching Santorum shoot himself in the foot every time he opens his mouth. He's almost as entertaining as Mitt - but what's scary about Santorum is that he is not flip-flopping. He's dead serious. And I'm afraid that if he manages to get elected, the inmates will be running the asylum.