POSTED RESPONSE TO A LEAD STORY IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Truly, the Pope must be amongst the biggest hypocrites on the planet.
Here is a man dressed in gold and lace and ermine, styled in the patterns of a fifteenth century monarch, blubbering about freedom.
His gold and lace and ermine are paid for out of the contributions of tens of millions of the world's poor and humble people making their offerings.
And he heads a church in which millions of women are refused the roles they would like to assume in their religious life.
He heads a church, too, where tens of thousands of children have been abused by twisted priests, priests who have always been protected and never treated as the common criminals they in fact are.
Perhaps most hypocritical of all, is the fact that what he is really concerned about is China's policy of selecting bishops - the man is concerned with the Church's power, not about people's religious freedom.
It was, after all, the pretensions and murderous blunders of the papacy which created conditions for the Reformation and all the religious wars that followed.
In Germany and other places, Lutheranism displaced Catholicism.
In England, Henry VIII just took over completely, seizing all the Church's property and substituting himself for the pope.
In France, the state gradually told the pope who it wanted as bishops: France would not allow the papacy to decide these then-important offices itself.
This last is pretty much all that China has done, and I think we can be confident that average Chinese Catholic could care less whether the CPC or the old unelected crones of the Holy See nominates bishops.
But the Holy See and its chief mouthpiece, Mr. Ratzinger, do very much care, just as the popes of hundreds of years ago very much cared about France taking a role in who gets to be a bishop.
The Pope's words have absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom.
The ruling members of the CPC actually are subject to a slightly more democratic process than the Pope and his cardinals and bishops are: the CPC membership is roughly one percent of China's population - interestingly, about the same as early Virginia's percent of population with the franchise - and they vote for the leadership and policies.
No one but some appointed cardinals votes for the pope, and no one votes for the cardinals, and no ordinary Catholics have even the tiniest say or vote in the Church's policies.
I think the Globe should be ashamed of running this hypocritical self-serving nonsense as a top story on Christmas. You are serving only elite establishment interests with this, not the interests of ordinary people or the cause of religious freedom.