As the old saying goes, the best defense is a good offense, which probably explains why the Catholic Church is being as offensive as possible in circling the wagons around new Pope Ratzo the First.
How else to explain this letter in today's Globe and Mail from Lukasz Petrykowski, the president of the Toronto Chapter, Catholic Civil Rights League? (And no jokes about oxymorons here -- it's too easy and you wouldn't get any bonus points for it.)
You can't read the entire letter at that link so I'll just reproduce the good parts.
All Catholics and people of goodwill should celebrate the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Translation: If you're not a Catholic and you're not celebrating, then you are not a "person of goodwill" and should fuck off and shut up. Good opening. Sort of sets the tone for what follows.
As the Vicar of Christ and guardian of authentic Christianity, however, he will unavoidably face the same enmity and malice that his predecessor did.
And nothing says reaching out and reconciliation like telling others that you're right, they're wrong and that your religion is the real thing and theirs sucks canal water. At least Petrykowski's being consistent -- rather than bouncing all over the place, he's just uniformly being a jerk.
The teachings of the Catholic Church are countercultural. Thus it comes as no surprise that many individuals and groups espousing the prevailing cultural tenets of nihilism, relativism, materialism and hedonism will reject Pope Benedict XVI and continually cast aspersions on theological and moral orthodoxy.
And, as we all know, nothing says "rejection of hedonism" like the Catholic Church. To paraphrase a well-known rock anthem -- Meet the new Catholic hierarchy, same as the old Catholic hierarchy.
Don't say you weren't warned.