NAZI'S & CATHOLICS & INFALLIBILITY
GERMAN POPE "REHABILITATES" HOLOCAUST DENIERS
ARGENTINE BISHOP SAYS NOBODY DIED IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS
YOUTUBE: SWEDISH TELEVISION
"Bishop Richard Williamson - Gas Chambers, Anti-Semitism and the Truth"
The Nazi Bishop Speaks
"Infallible" Ratzinger Claims He "Didn't Know" Bishop Williamson Was Denier
Jesus H. Christ. If the Bishop of Rome cannot run a simple background check, ask a few questions, read a guy's writings before he brings him back into his good graces, how infallible is he? It's not like you can be a little bit infallible, or kinda sorta mostly infallible, is it? And if he's so glaringly, publicly, and perhaps willfully wrong about such a disgraceful and public issue, what else has he f**ked up on, and swept under the rug? Kiddie rape by Bishops? Abuse of women by Cardinals? Fealty to Hitler by the Pope?
The reason this matters so much is that the Pope is the absolute spiritual leader of over one billion Catholics around the globe, over 80 million in the US alone (25%, making it the largest sect in America, making the US the second largest Catholic country in the world). That's one sixth of the world's population, from Italy to Ireland, Poland to Portugal, Capetown to Cairo, Seoul to Bombay, Manila to Honolulu, Perth to Auckland, Chile to Quebec. According to Church law since the First Vatican Council in 1870, the Pope is infallible. And his word is law.
The Pope is supposedly the human being closest to God here on Earth; he has God's ear, so to speak, and God certainly has his, if God exists. It's kinda tough to be infallible and then admit you're wrong. So, when a new "infallible" Pope contradicts and undoes what a previous "infallible" Pope has only recently done, by rehabilitating extreme right-wing clerics who pooh-pooh the Holocaust, probably the greatest single evil since the crucifixion of Christ, it's a big deal, folks.
Ironically, "Bishop" Richard Williamson is a member of a schismatic group of Catholic ultra-conservatives, the SSPX, which was founded by a renegade Bishop whose father had died in a Nazi concentration camp. More ironically, that prelate, ex-Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre, became an admirer of the Nazi's and other Fascists. This was the rock upon which he tried to "rebuild" the Catholic church, by unauthorized consecration of his very own Bishops, including Williamson, for which Pope John-Paul II excommunicated him in 1988. It is the same Fascist rock that Williamson is now crawling out from under. When you're too conservative for the Catholic Church, especially the current Church hierarchy, you're way, Way, WAY too conservative.
To put this in perspective, the last Pope, John-Paul II, was himself a member of an ultra-conservative Catholic group, Opus Dei. But Lefebvre's group considered them to be too "liberal," too "modern," which is a very bad thing to a monarchist who still opposed the French Revolution, as Lefebvre did until his death in 1991. One of his group's major beefs with the liberal 1962-65 reforms of anti-Fascist Pope Paul VI's Second Vatican Council was the support for religious freedom and respect for and cooperation with other religions, especially Judaism. But wait, they killed Christ, right? (I heard it was Italians. Hmmm...) That's the basis of a lot of Christian anti-Semitism, which tends to manifest itself in things like the Holocaust, and the WWII Catholic Church's partial silence on it, if not complicity in some of it, which is in turn the basis for many of the reforms of Vatican II. (Get it? It's liberals versus conservatives, just like here today in Congress.) People like Lefebvre and Williamson never got over Vatican II. And neither has Ratzinger, apparently.
Then-Cardinal Ratzinger actually tried to do a deal with Lefebvre to consecrate a bishop for his Society of St Pius X even after it had been declared schismatic and dissolved by Pope Paul VI in 1975. So he surely knows all about their Nazi ideology. Knows it and approves of it, if he is now deliberately resurrecting it as Pope. After all, the schismatic bishops were finally excommunicated by Pope John-Paul II after LeFebvre went ahead and consecrated his own Bishops without Papal authorization, right under Cardinal Ratzinger's nose. Or doesn't infallibility cover gross memory loss? Is Ratzinger is a closet Nazi, or what?
My use of the terms "Fascist" and "Nazi" is neither hyperbole nor polemical, just fact. Europe is the home of both movements. The various Churches in Europe have always been very much a part of politics there. They're the First Estate. It's the reason for our insistence upon separation of Church & State here in America. You'll have to ask our conservatives why they oppose that founding American doctrine. Religion and politics has been an evil mixture throughout European history. Anti-Semitism was the emotional bonfire of the Rightists in Europe, and the Catholic Church in particular fed those flames for centuries. By the 1930's, the common view was that the world would either go Fascist or Communist. Of course the Communists were atheists, which made them worse than the Nazi's, to the Church. Business was business. The Vatican had diplomatic agreements with Franco and Mussolini. They looked the other way during the Holocaust. Ratzinger himself served in the Hitler Youth and then the Wehrmacht until the defeat of Germany in 1945. Now he's welcoming open Fascists back into the upper echelons of the Catholic Church. But he's not a Nazi. OK.
Today the "threat" is Islam. Mohammedanism recently surpassed Catholicism as the world's largest religion. Of course, Protestantism has also out-grown the Catholics, but they'll get to them next. The fact that, like Protestants, Muslims have no Pope, no single monolithic worldwide millenia-old absolute hierarchy with one infallible man calling all the shots, and the fact that they are dissolved into various competing sects in many disparate lands, should weigh in favor of the continued strength of the "One Holy Universal Apostolic Church." But that doesn't put asses in seats, or coin in collection plates, or priests in seminaries.
Like conservative politicians in the US, ultramontane Catholic clergy use fear and hate, greed and envy as recruiting and motivating tools. It doesn't occur to them or to our right-wing politicians that people are sick of this, and want real solutions to their everyday problems, not more hatred and conflict. Actual solutions would require real change, and when you already have all the marbles, you don't want any change. That's the economic motivation behind conservatism. It's not a philosophy, it's a wealth-management strategy. It's the same thing for the Church. They liked the way things used to be, no matter whom it hurt. They don't care who gets hurt in bringing it back.
Just as there is a struggle over which direction the United States and the rest of the world will go now; forward on a progressive path, or backward on a conservative one; there is a struggle within the Catholic Church over liberalization and revanchism. To the extent that the Church can have an effect on our struggles in America, the outcome matters very much. Right now, the Nazi's in the Catholic Church are winning. Unfortunately, it's not a democracy. So, pray, I guess. Unless you know how to do exorcisms.
"Holocaust-denier removed from Argentine seminary"
Hitler's dancing in his grave.
' An ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholic bishop who has drawn sharp criticism from the Vatican and Jewish groups for denying the extent of the Holocaust was removed as the head of an Argentine seminary, a Catholic Church official said on Sunday. Pope Benedict angered Jewish leaders and progressive Catholics last month when he lifted excommunications on the bishop, Richard Williamson, and three other traditionalists to try to heal a 20-year-old schism within the Church. The Vatican has since ordered the bishop to publicly recant his views questioning whether the Nazis used gas chambers and the number of Jews who died. But Williamson, who is British-born, recently told Germany's Spiegel magazine he must first review historical evidence before considering an apology. The Vatican has been at pains since the excommunications of the four bishops were lifted on January 24 to contain damage provoked by Williamson's comments, which he made during an interview with Swedish television last month. The Vatican has said Pope Benedict, who expressed his full solidarity with Jews, was not aware of Williamson's denial of the Holocaust when he rehabilitated the bishops. '
"German bishops say 'no room' for Holocaust denier in Catholicism"
And they ought to know...
' Germany's Catholic bishops are calling for the expulsion of a bishop, recently brought back into the church by Pope Benedict XVI, after new reports that Richard Williamson denies the Holocaust. In statements to Spiegel Online, the Web site of the German news magazine, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch said the church should part ways with Bishop Williamson, a member of an ultra-conservative group that split off after Pope John Paul II excommunicated him and three other bishops in 1988. The Vatican has faced criticism since Benedict lifted the excommunication of the four men January 21 and announced the move three days later. The announcement came days after a Swedish Public Television interview in which Williamson said Germany's systematic murder of millions of Jews during World War II never happened. In the Saturday article, Spiegel quotes Williamson saying that he will not recant his theories and that he would need more evidence to believe the Holocaust really happened. "If I find this proof, then I will correct myself," he said. "But that will require some time." '
"German pope becomes an embarrassment in homeland"
And it's not easy to embarrass a German.
' Prominent Catholics, politicians and newspaper commentators in Joseph Ratzinger's homeland are pulling no punches in their criticism of his lifting of the excommunications of four bishops, including one who denies the extent of the Holocaust. Chancellor Angela Merkel also criticized him, prompting a sharp response from the Vatican. Former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher wrote in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung: "Poles can be proud of Pope John Paul II. At the last papal election, we said "We are the pope!" But please -- not like this." In his commentary, Genscher argued that Ratzinger, forced to join the Hitler Youth as a boy though his parents opposed the Nazis, was making a habit of offending non-Catholics. He has shown little respect to Protestants and angered Muslims by hinting Islam was violent and irrational in a 2006 speech in Regensburg, Genscher said. "This is a deep moral and political question. It is about respect for the victims of crimes against humanity," he wrote. Other politicians joined in, and in an unusual intervention Chancellor Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor, called on him to make clear he rejected any Holocaust denial. "It is a fundamental question if, through a decision by the Vatican, the impression arises that the Holocaust can be denied," she said, adding she wanted a clarification. '
THE SASKATOON STAR PHOENIX
"Holocaust group to lobby pope over Pius sainthood"
' Some Jews have accused Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked silently behind the scenes and helped save many Jews from certain death during the Second World War. Steinberg, who is also executive director emeritus of the World Jewish Congress, said survivors' groups around the world would seek meetings with Vatican nuncios (ambassadors) to express their concern. This is believed to be the first time Holocaust survivors have organized a global campaign to lobby the Vatican. The American group has about 60,000 members. On Thursday, Pope Benedict's deputy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Jewish accusations were "outrageous" and that no one could tell the Vatican whether Pius should be made a saint. "Insofar as the historical record shows, Pius was not 'Hitler's Pope', but he was the 'silent pope'," said Steinberg, 55, who is the son of Holocaust survivors. "This is a cry from the heart. Other Jewish leaders have spoken about this but, because we are speaking on behalf of survivors, we have to be more direct. We feel the pain in a greater way," Steinberg said by telephone from New York. Differences over what Pius's wartime role have haunted Catholic-Jewish ties for decades. The Vatican has shown signs of irritability recently as some Catholics have pushed for the Pope to expedite his sainthood process and some Jews want it frozen pending the opening of Holy See archives in about seven years. At issue is whether Benedict should let Pius proceed on the road to sainthood by signing a decree recognising his "heroic virtues." This would clear the way for beatification, the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Benedict has so far not signed the decree, approved last year by the Vatican's saint-making department, opting instead for what the Holy See has called a period of reflection. Jews have asked the Vatican to open up its archives for the wartime period to qualified scholars. "I don't exclude that the archives will include some exculpatory document, but Pius did not raise his voice," Steinberg said. "We also want to draw attention to the difference between Pius XII and Pope John XXIII (his successor). While Pius remained silent, John, when he was a Vatican diplomat in Turkey, helped save Jews and sent reports to Pius on their plight. We think John was saintly," he added. '
THE TIMES OF LONDON
"Pope Pius XII who was 'silent on Holocaust on road to sainthood' "
A Pope in need of right-wing rehabilitation, too?
' In Pius XII: The Hound of Hitler Mr Noel said that Pius XII was "neither anti-Jewish nor pro-Hitler", but motivated by "huge ambition for the Catholic Church, which he believed to be the one true Church". "Pius XII was a disaster for the Jews, not because he was anti-Semitic, but because he had great political ambitions," Mr Noel told The Jewish Chronicle. "His attitude was also moulded by the fact that he was a product of the pre-Vatican Council Church, which believed in the conversion of the Jews to Christianity." He said that the Holy See's Concordat with the Third Reich in 1933, negotiated by Pius XII when he was Secretary of State as Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, led directly to Hitler's ascent to power the same year. "In return for widespread material concessions for the Catholic Church in Germany, the Holy See guaranteed that German Catholics would refrain from all partisan political activity. This involved the disbandment, by papal directive, of the German Centre Party. The party held the balance of power, and without them, Hitler was able to assume supreme power." Within days of the Concordat, "Hitler began his round-up of the Jews. And once he had signed the Concordat, Pius was afraid that if he criticised Hitler or Nazism, he would split the Catholic Church in Germany," Mr Noel said. The book also describes the relationship between Pius XII and Sister Pasqualina, his German housekeeper, who was at his side for 40 years. "She was a very powerful and very enlightened woman, and was fervently against the Pope's alliances with Hitler and Mussolini, but he disregarded her advice over Hitler," Mr Noel said. '
THE GUARDIAN ONLINE
"Pope's move on Latin mass 'a blow to Jews' "
Why would the Pope kow-tow to this small, radical group of right-wing weirdo's unless he were one of them?
' Jewish leaders and community groups criticised Pope Benedict XVI strongly yesterday after the head of the Roman Catholic Church formally removed restrictions on celebrating an old form of the Latin mass which includes prayers calling for the Jews to 'be delivered from their darkness' and converted to Catholicism. In a highly controversial concession to traditionalist Catholics, Pope Benedict said that he had decided to allow parish priests to celebrate the Latin Tridentine mass if a 'stable group of faithful' request it - though he stressed that he was in no way undoing the reforms of the Sixties Second Vatican Council which allowed the mass to be said in vernacular languages for the first time. 'What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,' Benedict wrote. However, the older rite's prayers calling on God to 'lift the veil from the eyes' of the Jews and to end 'the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ' - used just once a year during the Good Friday service - have sparked outrage. Yesterday the Anti-Defamation League, the American-based Jewish advocacy group, called the papal decision a 'body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations'. 'We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday mass, it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted,' said Abraham Foxman, the group's national director, in Rome. 'It is the wrong decision at the wrong time. It appears the Vatican has chosen to satisfy a right-wing faction in the church that rejects change and reconciliation.' Benedict was acting in a bid to reach out to the followers of an excommunicated French ultra-traditionalist, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who split with the Vatican over the introduction of the new mass and other Vatican II reforms. The Vatican excommunicated him in 1988 after he consecrated four bishops without Rome's consent. The bishops were excommunicated as well. Benedict has been keen to reach a reconciliation with Lefebvre's group, the Society of St Pius X, which has demanded freer use of the old mass as a precondition for normalising relations. It also demands the removal of the excommunication decrees. The group said in a statement that it rejoiced over the document and thanked the pope for it.Pope Benedict, who was elected in April 2005, has provoked emotional reaction from other faiths on a number of occasions. He apologised in September last year for offending Muslims after quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who said: 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.' The Pope also sparked bewilderment when he made no mention of anti-Semitism, or the fact that the Nazis killed millions of people because they were Jewish, in a speech last year at Auschwitz. He also failed to acknowledge that there might be some degree of collective responsibility of the German people. '
here's the genius behind the genius.
' Lefebvre's theological and political positions
Lefebvre belonged to an identifiable strand of right-wing political and religious opinion in French society that originated among the defeated monarchists after the 1789 French Revolution. Lefebvre's political and theological outlook mirrored that of a significant number of conservative members of French society under the French Third Republic (1870-1940). The Third Republic was riven by conflicts between the secular Left and the Catholic Right, with many individuals on both sides espousing distinctly radical positions (see, for example, the article on the famous Dreyfus affair).
Lefebvre was associated with the following positions:
* The rejection of ecumenism;
* The espousal of pragmatic religious tolerance instead of the principle of religious liberty;
* The rejection of collegiality within the Church;
* Opposition to the replacement of the Tridentine Mass with the Mass of Paul VI.
Political positions espoused by Archbishop Lefebvre included the following:
* Condemnation of the 1789 French Revolution, and what he called its "Masonic and anti-Catholic principles". His protégé Bishop Richard Williamson has reported that, as a supporter of absolutist monarchy, he spoke approvingly of the stance of Henri, Comte de Chambord during the constitutional wrangles in the early days of the French Third Republic.
* Support for the "Catholic order" of the authoritarian French Vichy régime (1940-1944), which collaborated with Nazi Germany and whose leader, Philippe Pétain, was later sentenced to death as a traitor.
* Support for other fascist or authoritarian governments. In 1976, Lefebvre praised the regimes of Jorge Videla in Argentina and Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and in 1985 he spoke approvingly of the governments of Francisco Franco of Spain and Antonio Salazar of Portugal, noting that their neutrality in World War II had spared their peoples, including their Jewish populations, the suffering of the War.
* Support for the French far-right leader Jean-Marie le Pen. In 1985, the French periodical Présent quoted Lefebvre as endorsing Le Pen, on the grounds that he was the only leading French politician who was clearly opposed to abortion.
* Opposition to Muslim immigration into Europe. In 1990, Lefebvre was convicted in a French court and sentenced to pay a fine of 5,000 francs when he stated in this connection that "it is your wives, your daughters, your children who will be kidnapped and dragged off to a certain kind of places as they exist in Casablanca". '
"Society of St. Pius X"
The beliefs of their little club.
There have been clear anti-semitic statements by some members of the society, particularly regarding Holocaust denial. The society itself denies the claim that anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism exists in important circles of the Society The Society stated that it has lay supporters and even a priest with a Jewish background, a reference to Father Florian Abrahamowicz, whose views on the Jews have been interpreted as negative, and who was expelled by the Italian chapter of the Society in February 2009.
The views of Bishop Williamson have been a particular source of controversy, as have those of another British SSPX cleric, the late Fr. Michael Crowdy. For example, Bishop Williamson has written:
"However, until they re-discover their true Messianic vocation, they may be expected to continue fanatically agitating, in accordance with their false messianic vocation of Jewish world-dominion, to prepare the Anti-Christ's throne in Jerusalem. So we may fear their continuing to play their major part in the agitation of the East and in the corruption of the West. Here the wise Catholic will remember that, again, the ex-Christian nations have only their own Liberalism to blame for allowing free circulation within Christendom to the enemies of Christ."
In an interview with Swedish Television in November 2008, whose broadcast on 21 January 2009, the date on which the Holy See lifted the excommunication of the four SSPX bishops, gained wide publicity, Williamson repeated his opinion that the generally accepted history of the Holocaust is wrong. He accepted an estimate of only 200,000-300,000 Jews who perished in Nazi concentration camps, and denied that any were killed in gas chambers. The Vatican has repudiated Williamson's views as "unacceptable"
Williamson's views on this and other subjects are controversial even within traditionalist Catholicism: see the main article on him for details. After his interview, broadcast by Swedish Television on 21 January 2009, both the Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Fellay, and the District Superior of the SSPX in Germany, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, stated that Williamson's views represented his own personal opinions; and Bishop Fellay, as superior general of the Society, "prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions".
Although the SSPX authorities have thus distinguished Williamson's views from those of the Society, the Anti-Defamation League has accused the Society of St. Pius X of being "mired in anti-Semitism", and journalist John L. Allen, Jr. has said it would be misleading to consider Williamson an isolated case: Father Florian Abrahamowicz, who after being the superior in Italy has since been expelled from the Society, also said he was not sure the Nazis had used gas chambers for anything other than disinfection, seemed to cast doubt on the number of six million Jews killed, complained that the Jews had exalted the Holocaust above other genocides, and called the Jews a "people of deicide".
The SSPX was also accused of anti-Semitism in a 2006 report on Traditionalist Catholicism published by the American Southern Poverty Law Center. Defenders of the SSPX have strongly criticised the report and accused the SPLC of using accusations of anti-Semitism as a means of "silencing opponents of liberalism." They have drawn parallels to similar accusations against Jewish scholars like Norman Finkelstein.
In 1989, Paul Touvier, a fugitive wanted for war crimes, was arrested in the SSPX priory in Nice. The SSPX stated at the time that Touvier had been granted asylum there as "an act of charity to a homeless man". In 1994, Touvier was sentenced to life imprisonment for ordering the execution of seven Jews at Rillieux-la-Pape in 1944, allegedly in reprisal for the French Resistance's killing of the Vichy minister Philippe Henriot. On his death in 1996, a Requiem Mass for Touvier's soul was offered for him by Father Philippe Laguérie, the priest then in charge of the SSPX church of St Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris. '
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