Sunday, February 01, 2009

Chasing the boys of Brazil?

The Catholic Pontiff has, in his infinite and unassailable wisdom, gazed at the present and engaged reverse gear. Showing that he means serious conservative business, Benedict has rehabilitated four "bishops" of the Society of St Pius X, an arch-conservative organisation opposed to any “modernising" of the Church. Consecrated without papal consent by the ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (dead since 1991), Benedict's predecessor, JP II, rightly excommunicated the four.

These people are utterly opposed the reforms of Vatican II which they see as the root of all evil. They claim that the mass should revert to being said in the language of empire past: Latin. Indeed, they refer to the Roman Catholic Church as the "Latin Church" (the “Latins” were a group of tribes about Rome that the Romans subdued in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE). The mass being delivered in the local vernacular apparently renders it – and sacraments as well – void. Perhaps Jesus should have spoken over the last supper in Latin rather than Hebrew or Aramaic. The Bible, too, might have a little problem: it was intially translated into Attic Greek - wrong language, wrong empire.

One of the four, Bishop Richard Williamson, believes that women should not wear shorts nor should they wear trousers (you reading Julia Gillard?). I haven’t bothered to look too far but, I imagine, he would prefer women cover their heads when in a church. Central to his (and the Society’s) strong dissent with the “modern” Catholic Church is the policy of ecumenism. This reaching out to and seeking to find common ground with other faiths – Christian and others – weakens the true faith. Indeed he has described Jews as being “the enemy of Christ”.

This is a fellow that Benedict sees the need to rehabilitate.

“Bishop” Williams holds other views as well. Among those is the fact that, at most, only some 300,000 Jews died in camps during WWII . He claims there were no gas chambers and that Jews are the enemy of Christ. He also states, in a TV interview, that – in summary – the historical evidence "is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed." Now, one needs to know that this argument is semantically based: six million were not gassed. No evidence supports this claim – deliberately that is; perhaps accidentally?

And so Benedict, an arch-conservative, rehabilitates this fellow.
Just what message does the Pope think he is sending with this rehabilitation? The Vatican has, in essence, sidestepped the Jewish revulsion at Williamson’s welcome home. People can, apparently, make their own minds on the “bishop’s” views:

Reverend Federico Lombardi (Vatican spokesman), said Bishop Richard Williamson's views had no impact on the decision to lift the excommunication decree. The pope's decision by no means implies "sharing (Williamson's) ideas or his comments, which will be judged on their own".

No, of course not - even though Lombardi added that the "bishop's" views were "absolutely indefensible". Not so indefensible so as to render its proclaimer unwelcome to a Church in fast retreat from the modern world. The mealy-mouthed rationale is that holocaust denial is not heresey and so irrelevant. Perhaps Joseph might consider appointing David Irving official Vatican historian?

This fellow Joseph Ratzinger feels the need to have back in the fold?
And so the Catholic Church, under the guidance of Joseph Ratzinger, retires towards the present in full reverse gear. You can visit “bishop” Williamson’s blog here. His views on the so called Holocaust are on Youtube.
He writes from Argentina – naturally.


Anonymous Jacob said...

"The mealy-mouthed rationale is that holocaust denial is not heresy and so irrelevant."

Yeah, what a neat little technicality with which to bring such a repugnant view into a kind of de facto 'orthodoxy'.

Really this whole episode, aside from being offensive, is a disaster for the Vatican.

Thoroughly deserved.

1/2/09 2:01 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

I note The Australian covers this with an article headline of: "A broad church after all".

Ah, yeah, good-o.

Along with: "The Pope's primary responsibility is to bring separated brethren, even the inconvenient, back to the church."

Ah, yeah, good-o.

1/2/09 3:58 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

According to another good Catholic priest (in Italy, I think), the chambers were not used for gassing or killing, they were used to disinfect the prisoners.

Hitler & the SS must have been very big on hygiene.

2/2/09 6:06 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

And the Roman Catholic Church is long on "collaboration".

In its long history it has managed to live with and benefit from many a power.

The Pope Alexander VI (well named) once divided the "New World" bewtween the bitching Euro superpowers Portugal and Spain. The treaty of Tordesillas was the result. Alexander gave it assent. The two bitches later extended the line of longitude through the poles so as to settle who had what half of the world.

Good old pope Alex.

2/2/09 7:42 PM  

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