New Pope

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Dr. Tower
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New Pope

Post by Dr. Tower » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:06 am

I'm surprised somebody hasn't brought this up yet, but the Catholic church has selected a new Pope. Pope Francis I (ne Jorge Mario Bergoglio) of Argentina is the new Pope.

Most interesting aspect to me: He was trained as a chemist.

There you go, science, politics (I'm sure there was plenty of politicking in the Council of Cardinals), and current events. As this deals with religion, I'm sure philosophy can be wrapped in there somehow.
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Deacon
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New Pope

Post by Deacon » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:29 am

Why do they change their names? Why can't he be Pope Jorge?

I've never been a fan of the Catholic Church, and it's even worse today that I'm not a fan of any church at all. So honestly I couldn't really care less except to note that other than the dude being already ver old, it seems like a very strategic if cynical pick. In the midst of a waning level of interest and influence, elect someone from Latin America, the greatest remaining catholic stronghold.

I can guarantee you this, though: the Mexicans and Chileans are in a contest over who's more jealous and pissed off that it wasn't someone from their own country, but I'm not sure who'll win. Mexico is the single greatest and most awesome country on earth according to them, especially those who've inexplicably fled paradise to be in the US, so it's clearly a miscarriage of justice that their place of supremacy in the western world was not honored by selecting someone originally from their country (before moving out of it as quickly as possible), while the Chileans generally just plain don't like Argentina even more than Mexicans dislike everyone else.

As long as this guy puts the kibosh on organized sexual abuse, imposed poverty through banning of birth control, and advancing the spread of HIV, I'll consider his reign as chief charlatan to be a good one.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: New Pope

Post by The Cid » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:22 pm

Deacon wrote:Why do they change their names? Why can't he be Pope Jorge?
I also think it's presumptuous to call one's self "Francis I." What if no other popes want to be Francis? What if there's never a Francis II? Then how silly will Francis I look?

Around here the local news seemed to believe that the cardinal of Boston had a serious shot at being the next pope, but no other news outlets so much as mentioned his name. I guess a few locals are a little disappointed not to have Pope Sully I. (That's the name I like to imagine cardinal O'Malley would have taken.)

The process by which the Catholic church chooses a pope seems plucked right out of a Disney movie. I was expecting all of the people waiting around the Vatican to start signing when they saw the white smoke, only to have Francis I come out on a balcony and belt out the last verse with a million backup singers. (Seriously. The first. What if I put "Sr." after my name, and when people ask I just said "well I'm planning on having a boy and naming it after me, so I'd better prepare.") I feel the same way about the British royal family--Kate Middleton owes us exposition through song.

EDIT: Pope Heisenberg I. Now there's someone deserving of being "the first."
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Re: New Pope

Post by Rorschach » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:02 pm

Isn't the namechange down to honouring a saint? The murky waters of my own long-lapsed Catholicism are throwing up some similar thing the Confirmandi do on receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. This, should you care, is basically a rehashing of Christening, only with you answering the questions for yourself instead of your Godparents doing it on your behalf.

The dude being very old isn't surprising. Club Pope has a minimum age policy, IIRC, although I can't remember what it is. 65 maybe? I'm not sure it's in the best interests of Mother Church to have a long-term Pope anyway. This kind of thing brings much-needed attention to the whole rigmarole, although apparently crowds in St Peter's Square have been nothing like crowds in the past as there was not a Papal funeral to attend atthe same time.

This seems to be a Pope of firsts: first Jesuit Pope, whatever that means; first non-European for 1300 years and first ever Latin American (Father in Heaven. Look at dem peligans fly). I, for one, am looking forward to the sweeping reform of the church that it has needed for centuries. Look, here's me holding my breath *gasp*.
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Re: New Pope

Post by BtEO » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:48 pm

C. G. P. Grey has the goods on how you get to be the pope:
[youtube]kF8I_r9XT7A[/youtube]
Doesn't say you have to be anything other than a male Catholic, or that you have to pick a saint's name (if you watch the footnotes it turns out that pretty much everything he says in that video is a generalisation) — but the Catholic church sure does love tradition.

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Re: New Pope

Post by ampersand » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:22 pm

Yup, pretty much so. He picked Francis in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, not for co-Jesuit founder St. Francis Xavier. I did hear some initial criticism over his siding with the Argentinean dictators of the 1970's, but what precisely was he going to do?

I just would like to make the point to those who think that unless the Catholic Church starts opening the Priesthood to women, accept contraception and abortion compromise and other less than conservative opinions that a) they've been around with their tradition for over 2000 years, and b) because of this backdrop of tradition and knowledge (which they call the "Apostolic Tradition") don't expect them to change their opinion at all or expect that the opinions will change in a generation or two. They are very smug in their internal opinion that if the Catholic Church can survive the brutality of Roman occupation, Islamic upheaval, and the Renaissance, they will survive all post-modernism challenges even if it means their numbers are reduced to that of a minority. They tend to think the Church does better under pressure anyway.

I'm not saying Catholicism has problems, it has a lot of problems. I'm just saying don't expect a radical teaching away from past teachings or past Popes.

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Re: New Pope

Post by Deacon » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:40 pm

ampersand wrote:I did hear some initial criticism over his siding with the Argentinean dictators of the 1970's, but what precisely was he going to do?
The same thing the Church did in the late 1930's: quiesce and bend obsequious knee to the charismatic, Chaplin-moustachioed Austrian gaining widespread popularity in Germany. After all, the only people being hurt were the filthy Jews and heathen gypsies, so there wasn't really a downside.

For reference, they haven't been around with their tradition for over 2,000 years. There was no Catholic or other specific breed of Christian church; it was all just a bunch of people figuring out how they should properly worship this guy they heard about from Israel. It took a few hundred years for the power-mongers to begin organizing themselves and retroactively adopting Peter as the first Pope and then claiming that they're keeping up his legacy. The Catholic church is really good at claiming other people's work and stuff as they're own, from pagan rituals to the works of others who came before, whatever they think will raise their esteem in the eyes of those they seek to subjugate. At this point, I'm not really sure history really matters, as I think the kind of people who fall to their knees weeping, overcome by emotion at the announcement that there's a new Pope, I don't think those people really care or think about it two much.

Regardless, there's no 2,000 years of tradition of banning condoms, for example. How could there be? They're fairly new, historically speaking, as anything more than a novelty. The same with birth control, which didn't used to be even possible. These and many other decisions were dictated either arbitrarily, delusionally, or in good faith by Popes who claimed to have a direct connection to God. The current Pope can absolutely reverse that if he wanted to. After all, God speaks through only him on earth, the holy chosen one. If you think prior rulers were infallibly in communion with God, why can't this one be?
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: New Pope

Post by Arres » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:40 am

The Cid wrote:
Deacon wrote:Why do they change their names? Why can't he be Pope Jorge?
I also think it's presumptuous to call one's self "Francis I." What if no other popes want to be Francis? What if there's never a Francis II? Then how silly will Francis I look?
It turns out that Pope Francis actually is NOT taking the "I". Apparently John Paul was the only Pope to have done so. You'll have to ask John Paul if he feels silly when you're dining with him at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
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Re: New Pope

Post by Deacon » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:08 am

He has a lot worse things to feel "silly" about...
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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