From La Prensa, Managua, Nicaragua, 22 April 2005
Interview with Boff in Buenos Aires.
Boff: "He's a man that has no compassion." (Buenos Aires, EFE)
The Brasilian theologian Leonardo Boff thinks that the German Joseph Ratzinger is " a hard man and without compassion," and says he fears that after his consecration as Pope " an immense hell of hypocrisy will reign in the Church."
Boff, on whom the new Pope once imposed silence as a punishment, assured that the posture of Benedict 16 will be " a radicalized continuation" of the line of the deceased John Paul 2 against the use of contraceptives and " discrimination" against homosexuals and carriers of the AIDS virus.
Ratzinger is a man " without intellectual cordiality" with a posture that is " hard and at times without mercy." in dealing with " all this distant world of problems in which there is suffering and discrimination," the theologian declared to Radio Mitre in Buenos Aires. " I would not like it for this style to spread itself through the whole Church." Boff thinks that some of the positions of the new Pope will divide the Church. " I fear an immense hell of hypocrisy" he said. For this theologian, the appointment of Ratzinger " produces no hope, but instead fear and trembling in many sectors of the Church, especially among women, among those who are asking for the use of contraceptives,
among those living with AIDS, and among homosexuals." He said also that another point of conflict is in relations with the divorced. " Ratzinger has a very narrow conception of the Eucharist. He fights with them (the divorced), he distances them all. This is not to be a pastor. A pastor
accompanies these people, dries their tears, raises their hopes," he emphasized. " He must have a pastoral sense of mediation, of mercy. The Eucharist is not for saints and angels, it is for concrete persons who are sinners, that are open to meet the Lord," he added. Leonardo Boff has been one of the principle exponents of the Theology of Liberation, a liberal tendency that assumes Christian practice with a strong social coloration, and that forcefully struggles with the hierarchy and the Roman curia.
The same Ratzinger as chief of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was responsible for the silencing imposed on Boff and other representatives of Liberation Theology in Latin Ameria during the time of John Paul 2.
It was expected. JPII had no sense of intellectialization. He was purely a mystic-based scribe, out of touch with the modern world with yearnings for the Middle Ages where the church ran the entire show, kept the people in ignorance and the rulers in fear of hell and its minions, aka the soldiers of Christ. As proof, look at his support of Opus Dei and its founder.
BXVI is the intellectual but he was also evil and a Nazi. Doctrinaire has been a part of the German belief system long before Hitler. Everything is exact, precise and unwavering. Leonardo Boff has been ostracized by the church like all other "thinkers." The church does not like "thinkers." It only wants obedient children. As proof, look at the entire history of the German peoples. Just the words "I was only following orders" sends a chill down my spine.
These two ways of thinking, JPII and BXVI, can explain the problems the church has with North America.
Democracy is not in the best interest of a church that is run on authoritarian premise and relentless dogma. The sad thing is Jesus' thinking and ideals were not autocratic. They were more socialistic and communist. The revolution of his thoughts was that they came from the poor, the downtrodden, the infirmed, the cast offs.
Jesus was the founder and architect of Liberation Theology. The one line of thought that greatly questions the authority of the church by bringing up the original message of Jesus. The church does everything in its power to hide its true beginnings.
The latest proclamations on gay priests, usury [read anti-semitism], and the murder of innocents through refusing to fight AIDS in the one way that we know works, contraception, proves the back peddling is getting faster and more fervent.
So, again, what's the surprise..?