Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quo vadis, Papa?

The Independent reports that Pope Benedict XVI has overturned the excommunication of four bishops ordained by the arch-conservative Society of Saint Pius X.

Who are these wayward souls so deserving of mercy? According to The Independent, three of the four are:

  • Richard Williamson

    British bishop consecrated by schismatic French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Has said the Vatican is controlled by Satan and once declared the historical evidence was “hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers... I believe there were no gas chambers.”

  • Floriano Abrahamowicz

    Regarded as unofficial chaplain of Italy's separatist Northern League. He told an Italian newspaper: “I know the gas chambers existed... but I don't know if anyone was killed in them. I know that, in addition to the official version, there is another version based on the observations of the first Allied technicians to enter.”

  • Gerhard Maria Wagner

    Appointed auxiliary bishop in the Austrian city of Linz last week. In 2005 he suggested that disasters such as Hurricane Katrina were the result of “spiritual environmental pollution”. “It is surely not an accident,” he added, “that all five of New Orleans's abortion clinics... were destroyed.”

Why would the Pope rehabilitate such Holocaust-deniers? Maybe he felt the need to short up his base after the election of Obama and the decline of the Catholic Church in Europe? Maybe he's willing to sacrifice the Jews (and the moral standing of his flock) to lure back the idolaters left behind by Vatican II? Maybe he is merely isolated in his Papal Apartments by a Machiavellian Curia?

Or just maybe, the Vatican really is controlled by Satan. This explanation is the least frightening alternative, and has at least the merit of freeing Catholics from the shame of this decision. Not that His Holiness needs my advice: the Pope seems to be without shame already.


bjkeefe said...

Harsh. Nice.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no...it was just a big misunderstanding. Apparently Benedetto, like Bushy back in the day, wasn't given a complete report of the situation. No worries, the Vatican has righted the wrong, at least as far as Williamson's concerned. If only W. would have reacted similarly.

Zo Kwe Zo said...

I got your back, Bro!

As if this story couldn't get any stranger, now the Pope's brother, Georg Ratzinger, has seen fit to speak up (though not ex cathedra, I hope! Only the Pope can do that....)

It being undignified for a Pope to sling mud, Benedict is lucky to have a brother to speak for him in these matters (since God has not yet sent His angels down to do it). Here are some quotes from the Defender of the Defender of the Faith, the Servant of the Servant of the Servants of God:

“He doesn’t need me to defend him. But it angers me how unjust and badly informed the people who are attacking him are.”

“We always speak about an informed society, when in reality it is uninformed.”

“I always saw her [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] as a rational woman. But perhaps at the moment she is under pressure to say something irrational.”

I can hear the very words of Jesus in his voice. Is it possible the Cardinals chose the wrong Ratzinger to lead us out of darkness?

Georg, take a lesson from Billy Carter and Roger Clinton. Your very connection to the Pope reminds us that he was once just an ordinary man. You do more damage to his credibility just by opening your mouth than all the vitriol his detractors can think up. Besser mal schweigen.

Zo Kwe Zo said...

According to Der Spiegel (via HuffPost), Richard Williamson is stalling on the Vatican's demand made last Wednesday that Williamson recant his denial before he can be admitted as a bishop into the Roman Catholic Church.

Williamson made clear he does not plan to comply immediately, and rejected a suggestion that he might visit the Auschwitz death camp, the weekly Der Spiegel reported.

"Since I see that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must look again at the historical evidence," the British bishop was quoted as saying.

"It is about historical evidence, not about emotions," he added, according to the report. "And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time."

Williamson replied: "I will not go to Auschwitz," Der Spiegel said.

Let's hope the Pope does not miss this second chance to express very clearly what he thinks of this filth.

Zo Kwe Zo said...

Are we in the throes of a full-fledged post-Vatican II Counter-Reformation?

When my friend Brendan cited on his blog an article revealing that the current Pope has greatly accelerated the practice started by the previous one to grant (mercifully not sell!) indulgences again, I thought it was a link to The Onion.

I guess I underestimated the power of voodoo (and shamefully questioned the biblical basis of Purgatory). Here is a direct link to the NY Times article in case Brendan's blog is under a denial-of-service attack by right-wing terrorists, though you otherwise ought to read his commentary on this arcane practice apparently too complex for bishops to explain to lay Catholics.

My best summary is, when a prayer for the Pope in heaven sings, your soul from Purgatory springs.

At least in the Dark Ages, people usually bought indulgences for other (dead) family members, not for themselves. It seems the modern Church has replaced simony with selfishness. Too bad: the former was a much more honest form of corruption. When it comes to Purgatory, you get what you pay for.

Zo Kwe Zo said...

UPDATE: Although now happily back in the Roman Catholic fold, Richard Williamson has been expelled from Argentina, where he had been living, and returned to England (who had to take him in, since Williamson is a citizen). I wonder why he doesn't move to the Vatican, where his views would be more accepted?

Meanwhile, even more bizarre beliefs expressed by this Papal rehabilitation project:

* On the belief that 9/11 was committed by the US government: "The police state took a great leap forward with 9/11, that's for certain, and I hope none of you believe that 9/11 was what it was presented to be."

* On women: "A woman can do a good imitation of handling ideas, but then she will not be thinking properly as a woman. Did this lawyeress check her hairdo before coming into court? If she did, she is a distracted lawyer. If she did not, she is one distorted woman."

* On the failure of "white men" to remain true to Catholicism: "If the white men still refuse to convert, let us pray for some great conversions among Jews, Muslims and blacks so that they may take over where the whites have left off, and may continue to show us the way to Heaven."

Zo Kwe Zo said...

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for the good to fail either to recognize it or to oppose it.

Fortunately, the good have done both, and importantly first and foremost in those countries (Germany, Austria, Italy, and Argentina) with a prior Nazi connection.

I am pleased to read that holocaust deniers are not longer welcome in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Although Archbishop Mahony still has much to answer for in other matters, he has done well in this case.

As you see, I have added to Edmund Burke's quote above: evil must be recognized before it can be opposed. Fortunately, this case was not a close call. Let's hope there are no further such "infelicities" coming out of the Vatican anytime soon.