Benedict the Benevolent. Not.

So within hours of my last post, the cynicism with which I approached the whole idea of the conclave has been rather heavily repaid. Discussions over at John Quiggin’s blog, Mark Bahnisch’s blog and Ken Parish’s blog are all in a similar vein; all horrified at the election of a Pope who was formerly a Hitler Youth member and head of the former Catholic Inquisition. And that’s just the Queensland/NT bloggers.

Trevor Cook found the best front page gag on the topic (I suppose The Sun can’t be any more damned than it has already been). And no doubt the controversy over Pope John Paul II’s reign (which seemed to have been conveniently forgotten as the old man failed) will arise again in criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, in the coming weeks, months and years of his rule.

One thing’s for sure, the blogs, the media and the community will continue to express opinions on something which for the most part, affects very few of us. Catholics make up about a quarter of the Australian population, and the 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide make up less than a sixth of the world’s population. While Christians make up 33% of the world’s population, less than half of those Christians are actually Catholic, and there are actually more Muslims than Catholics on the planet. Perhaps more to the point, even among Catholics, dogma pertaining to birth control, homosexuality and pre-marital sex is largely ignored.

So regardless of how conservative Benedict XVI may end up being, he’s probably going to be regarded as proof of the irrelevance of papal-driven doctrine in influencing the future morals and principles of humanity.

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