Sunday, April 24, 2005

News: The Pope is Catholic

Religion: AP reporting on how Conservatives see it as a win that Pope Benedict XVI got elected while liberals are unhappy. Its a stupid way of putting it as this is a fight between Catholics and Catholic-lite. But this is the most interesting part of the article.

Another factor in the new pope's relationship with Americans: Benedict has better command of English than any other modern pope, and probably knows more about the U.S. religious situation than any of his papal predecessors when they were elected. While Catholic liberals believe it would be both wise and just for the church to loosen up on doctrinal demands, Benedict might draw the opposite conclusion from U.S. Protestant trends. Since the mid-1960s, liberal denominations like Thomas' United Church of Christ have suffered a steady slide in membership, while conservative groups like the Southern Baptists have continued to expand. And in the past generation, Southern Baptist agencies have actually moved from moderate conservatism to stricter conservatism. Penn State historian Philip Jenkins noted in his book "The Next Christendom" that the same trend is true globally. While flexible, modernized churches stagnate, evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity are growing in the developing world — as is Islam. These groups have been dogged in preserving doctrinal and moral tradition. If Benedict plays to conservative Christians in the United States, he'll be working with the growth sector of the religious world today.
Shocking the AP would report that and puts into context the panic liberals have over this Pope.

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