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Some papal priorities.

Vatican City -- In a seminar in September 2007, Pope Benedict was said, by papal watchers, to have "picked his battle," a reference to the issues that he would concentrate on during his pontificate. First, he announced a broader use of the Latin Mass-the Tridentine rite--which some view as a backward step from Vatican II. And secondly, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he announced that Protestant churches do not have the fullness of the faith; this angered some Protestant communities.

Thomas Reese, SJ, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America, who was sacked from his job under pressure from the Vatican for supporting dissident teachings, says that Benedict is an insensitive German who forgets that he is no longer a university professor who can badger students to accept what he teaches.

On the other hand, Fr. Richard Neuhaus, editor of First Things, believes that theologians have to "think with the Church" and not undermine its teachings. And when someone steps too far away from Catholic teaching, he should no longer be called a "Catholic theologian." Neuhaus, who works closely with Evangelical Protestants says that especially on the issues of gay marriage and abortion, but even on broader issues, Evangelicals think with the Pope and were not insulted by the Vatican's remarks on Protestant churches. He said that "secularism is often anti-religious and anti-Christian, and it is right for Pope Benedict to fight a system of thinking that wants to exclude religion from public debate (National Post, 29 Sept. 2007).

With respect to relativism, an offshoot of secularism, Pope Benedict sees it as the evil in the world which all must battle, for it does not recognize Absolute Truth, but maintains that truth is what the individual thinks it is.
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Title Annotation:Vatican
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EXVA
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Previous Article:Pius X society rebuffs the Vatican.
Next Article:The death was announced April 21, 2008, of Cardinal Alfonso Trujillo, 72, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

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