Is the Pope Catholic?

Andrew Sullivan isn’t at all pleased with the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger. He couches his displeasure as an objection to Ratzinger’s alleged desire to wage war on modern liberal democracy. However, Professor Bainbridge shows that “the new Pope demonstrably recognizes that there is legitimate room for disagreement on how one operationalizes all but the most basic Church teachings, such as the gospel of life, and that even there Catholics may in appropriate instances vote for politicians who do not share the Church’s view on that central tenet.” The real beef with Ratzinger, then, isn’t that he’s a threat to liberal democracy; it’s the fact that he agrees with the substantive tenets of his religion, including those regarding controversial social issues, and takes them seriously. Like it or not, this Pope is Catholic.

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