In early 2001, Beliefnet readers debated Germany's Cardinal Ratzinger and the wing of the Catholic Church which expounds doctrine.

"It is very frustrating, as a Catholic, to see how the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the gestapo of the Vatican, headed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, is trying to control people's minds. I find that the CDF (formerly called the Inquisition) is seriously steering away the Roman Catholic Church from its purpose. Jesus never intended to form a congregation of people who watch over clergy and layman alike to see if what they do or say is consonant with Catholic teaching, and hold them in censure."
"The CDF has nothing to apologize for, and has brought much clarity to the faith. The scholarship is admirable. View them as researchers and lawyers, not as policemen."
"I was hoping for the answer that hell would freeze over before Ratzinger would be elected [pope]. He seems to have the potential to be a modern Torquemada."
"The CDF (yes the Inquisition) is the policing force of the Magesterium; the idea that it is immoral to have such a thing is not simply ludicrous, it is heretical. Faith is not a just a private thing, it is a communal thing, and the Magesterium is entrusted with making sure that the Truth is told to the faithful. The CDF, far from being tyrannical thought police, doesn't police what it is supposed to (namely those who teach) nearly enough."
"I follow the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and am a Catholic, but that doesn't mean that for every thing that the CDF comes up with I must obediently and humbly follow. In many ways, the CDF has become the modern day Sanhedrin."
"Ratzinger is a very personable man. Even his enemies often find him charming personally. He is rather popular with the Cardinals, so I won't count him out."
"Admiring Ratzinger doesn't make mean that you're not liberal. Read his book "Many Religions, One Covenant : Israel, the Church, and the World" and you'll see why."
"Problem is: the American bishops are really "in schism" with Cardinal Ratzinger and others in the Office of Inquisition. Pope JPII has a major problem also with Liberation Theology in Latin America. So which "catholic" Church is the Magisterium "du jour"? The Pius X Institute of conservative Latinists or the present schmorgorsbord of teachings and liturgical forms?"
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