The Pope is awesome
Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday asserted the spiritual primacy of the Roman Catholic Church.
He did so at the expense of Christian Orthodox churches, which he said are wounded, and Protestant churches, which he said are not really churches at all.
The pope approved a document that says the only path to true salvation is Catholicism. The move was a stark reaffirmation of centuries-old Catholic belief that Protestant churches are lacking because they cannot trace their leadership back to Christ's apostles.
Some Catholic Church observers think the pope is trying to revisit the historic events of Vatican II from 1962 to 1965.
Last week, he eased restrictions on the Latin Mass, which was stopped almost entirely after Vatican II.
Even before his papacy began, he believed the church needed to draw more visible lines for Catholic faithful.
At the beginning of the process that made him the church's leader, he said, "We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires."
Others were not surprised by the pope's stance. For them, it was simply a reaffirmation of long-held beliefs.
"Catholicism is complicated, and being Catholic is a daily practice of understanding and acceptance that there is no order nor drive-up window to the gates of heaven," said Gayle Plato-Besley, 42, of Phoenix.
Those sentiments were echoed by the Rev. Christopher Fraser, adjutant judicial vicar of the Phoenix Diocese.
Fraser said it is important to note the intent of the pope's documents.
"In fact, the purpose of this document is more self-directed and reflective than it is a commentary on the incompleteness or insufficiencies of other churches and communities," Fraser said.
He pointed to the importance of language to the pope. "In the Catholic world, precise use of vocabulary and distinctions are imperative to the rendering of an authentic and genuine communication of beliefs."
Fuck yeah, Pope Benedict XVI! I knew there was a reason I loved this dude. I mean, given the Catholic Church's fucked-up stance on women in general, reproductive rights in particular, plus the idiotic rule of celibacy, it's about time someone made it obvious that the Church is still stuck in the 13th century. I mean, Benedict is just stating the obvious, isn't he? "Other churches"? Fuck that! Those wacky Protestants, reading the damned Bible and deciding for themselves what's relevant! We can't have that! That way lies anarchy ... and a loss of total power of the Pope! I mean, if the Pope doesn't have total control over your life, God might. And that's just ... well, it's just crazy, isn't it?
Somewhere in Hell, Innocent III is cheering.