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Washington Post Calls Pope Benedict 'Closet Liberal'

 |  NCR Today

The Washington Post has posted an article online today exploring the recent news that the Vatican will be creating special structures for Anglicans wishing to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The article, written by David Gibson, author of "The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World", claims that the news shows that Benedict is, like any good 'liberal', a fan of change. Gibson also claims that the Pope's type of change completely alters the meaning of being Catholic.

Here's one of the take-away quotes:

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With the latest accommodation to Anglicans, Benedict has signaled that the standards for what it means to be Catholic -- such as the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Mass as celebrated by a validly ordained priest -- are changing or, some might argue, falling. The Vatican is in effect saying that disagreements over gay priests and female bishops are the main issues dividing Catholics and Anglicans, rather than, say, the sacraments and the papacy and infallible dogmas on the Virgin Mary, to name just a few past points of contention.

That is revolutionary -- and unexpected from a pope like Benedict. It could encourage the view, which he and other conservatives say they reject, that all Christians are pretty much the same when it comes to beliefs, and the differences are just arguments over details.

And that could be the final irony. For all the hue and cry over last week's developments, Benedict's innovations may have glossed too lightly over the really tough issues: namely, the theological differences that traditional Anglicans say have kept them from converting, as they could always do.

The whole article is worth a read; take a look here.

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