Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Catholic Politics

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston had to meet with Jewish community leaders to smooth over this whole Holocaust-denying bishop thing. While I'm glad that he did that, I think it's sad that he had to. Here's what he had to say about it (from Boston.com):

I think it was a very positive meeting. Stuart Rossman, the president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, organized us, and we had the opportunity to listen to two Holocaust survivors, Israel Arbeiter and Stephan Ross, who shared with us, in very moving terms, their firsthand experience of the horrors of the Holocaust. It was an opportunity, for myself and other members of the Catholic community there, to assure the leadership that was present that the Catholic Church repudiates this denial of the Holocaust, and to restate that we see the Holocaust as the worst crime in the history of humanity. We were happy to hear it stated, once again, the wonderful relationship that we’ve had historically between our two communities here in Boston.

I announced that we will be hosting a Holocaust memorial service around the transfer of the menorah from the old chancery to our new pastoral center, and immediately Stuart Rossman and others volunteered to participate with us. We also mentioned that we’re very hopeful that the Holy Father’s visit to Israel will be a wonderful occasion for him to be able to clarify before the world the church’s strong feelings about the Holocaust, and our special friendship with the Jewish community. I also mentioned to them that on Thursday I will be going to Washington for a memorial service for my friend Rabbi Leon Klenicki, hosted by the ADL and the Pope John Paul II Center, and after the memorial service I’ve been invited to a working lunch with leaders from the ADL and other Jewish organizations and the Bishops’ Conference to discuss ways, moving forward, to improve communications between our communities.
Now here's where it gets interesting:
The Holy Father lifted this excommunication unaware of the statements that Bishop Williamson had made, and that his intention was to try and begin a dialogue that might lead to reconciliation with this group. The alternative is that this group is going to evolve farther and farther away from the Catholic church and probably embrace more and more an anti-Semitic agenda. I think some of the leadership that is there does exhibit some very disturbing theories, and some of these things have been exhibited on the web sites. I sincerely believe that many of the Catholics who have gravitated towards this movement have done so because of nostalgia, and a desire to participate in the old Mass, but in some of their leadership there’s a broader agenda that’s very poisonous, so it’s in everyone’s interest for the Holy Father to be successful.
So what he's saying is that the Society of St. Pius X is dangerous if left outside of the Roman Catholic fold. By trying to bring them back in, the Vatican can control some of their anti-Semitic views. It's an interesting theory, Cardinal, but come on. How can you say in the same breath that Pope Nazipants didn't know Richard Williamson was a Holocaust denier and then say not only that the Pope re-communicated him in the interest of controlling anti-Semitism, but that the Society of St. Pius X's anti-Semitic leadership is well known? I'd like to believe you, but I think it's foolish to think anything but the obvious about this situation: the Pope is making a deliberate effort to push the Roman Catholic Church further to the right. And honestly, fuck that shit. WTF?


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