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Monday, March 30, 2020

Pope Benedict and Pope Francis: Power and Papacy

Power is seductive, even within religious organizations. It is like a drug in that denial can accompany an instinctual urge for immediate power even at the expense of the person’s own credibility. Put another way, self-discipline can easily succumb to the urge for power, even if the person has previously foreswore acting on that urge. Warped discernment between minor and major issues can also occur from the gravity of the instinctual urge. For example, a cleric may choose to break his or her decision to disavow acting on the urge in part because he or she incorrectly views the issue at hand to be a major one, when in fact it is not, at least as far as the religion is concerned. As in the case of a drug, perception, judgment and cognition may be impaired, or warped, by the urge itself. The Roman Catholic ex-Pope Joe Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is a case in point.