EVEN before he was elected Pope last April 19, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany has already been widely considered as a conservative. After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was the Church’s leading hardliner when he headed the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for more than 20 years.

For the past 20 years, Cardinal Ratzinger, a respected theologian, thumbed down the idea of priests getting married, as well as legalized abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, artificial birth control, divorce, death penalty, and female priests, among others.

Upon his election, as newspaper accounts state, some “liberal” Roman Catholics advocating for artificial birth control, same-sex marriage, optional, and female priesthood have voiced their displeasure. For them, an ultra-conservative Pope would be another stumbling block to a “freer” Church.

They fail, however, to see the relevance and relation of conservatism with the Roman Catholic faith.

It is true that times change. But the core values that Jesus Christ preached should not change since morality is constant. If the Catholic Church gives in to their call, a dangerous precedent would be created. Later, groups seeking to have adultery and murder countenanced will surface and criticize the Church for being backward-thinking and inconsistent because it refuses to bless those acts.

Take the case of priests getting married. The Church teaches that Jesus Christ is the model priests must emulate. Hence, priests must remain single since Christ in his earthly life never got married.

There have been wild speculations for hundreds of years that Jesus Christ could have married Mary Magdalene or that He had an “intimate” relationship with her. Just the same, they have remained mere speculations.

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To allow priests to get married would be an example of inconsistency on the part of the Church and that would greatly destabilize it.

Ditto with same-sex marriage. As it is often said, Adam was not made for Steve. The Holy Bible only recognizes Eve as Adam’s legitimate partner. By blessing Adam and Steve’s union through the holy sacrament of matrimony, the Church will contradict the Holy Scriptures upon which its teachings are based.

What the faithful need is a consistent Catholic Church. The Church cannot afford to lose its hold on the basic tenets of the Catholic faith. A strict enforcer like Pope Benedict XVI is what the Church needs.

As always, the Church does not tell its followers to be blindly obedient as it has always espoused man’s free will. It, however, only asks the faithful to heed the call of their conscience and to exercise discernment in all their actions.

Morality has always been a non-issue. It is not the Church that should reconsider its stand. It should be the followers of the Catholic faith who should put their contentions in line with the teachings of the Church.


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