Pope’s right to stand firmon church doctrines

Atheism and relativism are contrary to Roman Catholic Church teaching.

I am writing to take issue with a U-WIRE opinion published in The Minnesota Daily on Thursday (“Habemus papam – we have a new pope”) regarding Pope Benedict XVI. There has been much discussion and dissention regarding the election of Benedict XVI.

Particularly, I am hearing a common thread that many had desired that the new pope would be more “progressive.” The article points out an incidence where then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a letter encouraging U.S. priests to refuse communion to politicians supporting abortion rights. My question is: Why shouldn’t they?

Outside of the fact that this is a church matter, supporting abortion is against the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. Why should a member who is so blatantly opposing the church’s view of human life be allowed to partake in the holy sacrament? The author also points out that the pope has “railed against schools of thought he considered threatening to the faith, including atheism and relativism.”

Newsflash! Catholicism is fundamentally based on the belief that there is a God! Of course the pope is not going to embrace atheism with open arms! Furthermore, relativism is damaging to just about any religion. Why espouse religious beliefs if there is no absolute truth?

Many people in the last few days have lamented the fact that the new pope is not liberal, that he has so fiercely supported the traditions of the church. They have cited his views on abortion, contraception, women as priests and marriage of priests. For those people who desire the church to change its policies to move into “modern times,” here is a novel idea: You don’t have to be Catholic! Why should traditions of 2,000-plus years be thrown to the wind because of “changing times”?

Morals are not time-sensitive. If you don’t like what the church teaches, join another! Frankly, I would rather have a pope that upholds the church’s teachings to a fault rather than one who makes up his mind by holding his finger to the wind. Beliefs that have been entrenched for such a long time are not to be disregarded so quickly. I know many Catholics that are such in name only. They are “Catholics” because they were raised that way, not because they really believe Catholic teachings. The church should not be pressured to change because of nominal Catholics.

Maria McRae is a University alumna. Please send comments to [email protected]