: You have a fundamental misconception about the Pope's role within the Catholic Church. His opinion is not the same as the magisterium. His personal opinion, in fact, matters very little. Popes do not have the power to change church teaching. Unless the Pope speaks ex cathedra consider his words as personal opinion.
All hear the neo-pharisee.
: : Moreover, the Pope only speaks for Catholicism as a whole when he speaks "ex cathedra", isn't that right? It was my understanding that ex cathedra announcements were fairly rare. When John Paul II criticized teh Sandinsitas, then, since he wasn't speaking ex cathedra it doesn't mean all Catholics have to support him on that one. Correct me if I'm wrong, Lark?
: You are correct.
You are correct.
: : Finally, there are plenty of very progressive Catholic leaders. There was Pope John XXIII in the early sixties, to begin with, then Cardenal in Nicaragua, Father Berrigan in this country, Archbishop Camara in Brazil, Archbishop Romero in El Salvador, and Graham Greene. The Catholic Left is an old and well-established movement.
: Not that old, certainly not as old as Scripture and Tradition. As a matter of fact, Pope Leo XIII anticipated these sorts of movements (modernism) as early as the latter half of the nineteenth century.
I love it when someone is mistaken enough to presume that socialist Christianism is a new phenomena, it is the first christianism incarnate, setting aside the views that I have expressed previously in Christianity the Socialist remix, which are a vindication of the view that scripture is an advocate of socialism and testimony of ultra-communism, we have the examples of the first churches, the anabaptists, the diggers, ranters and levellers all religious socialists. If we wish to consider an exclusively catholic left we can see that in Agustines 'City of God' socialist and anarchist precidents are set, then in the work of Thomas Aquinas and then Thomas Moore.
It is the 'Christian Right' which is new phenomena born of a false memory syndrome and a prejudiced anti-'communism' (genuine communism is anti-state), scripture says the good will be reseaved by God for clothing him when he was naked, feeding him when he hungry, giving him drink when he thirsted and visiting him when he was imprisoned NOT suggesting his hunger and thirst are a result of him being a lazy bastard or 'natural' market forces and NOT for trying to get all criminals fried or tortured.