torsdag 26 februari 2009

"Bishop" Bonkers the holocaust denier

The Pope has come under criticism for lifting the excommunication of "Bishop" Williamson of the Society of St Pius X. However the "Bishop" was excommunicated for being a member of a sect which by its actions denied the authority and discipline of the Catholic church. "Bishop" needs to be in quotes because the person who appointed him had no authority to do so and he had no authority to deny it.

The excommunicated sect to which he belongs was established to maintain the so-called Tridentine Mass at a time when the liturgy was being dumbed down by priests acting on their own initiative, aided and abetted by many bishops. and have prayers in badly translated and crass English instead, with jolly folk tunes instead of the traditional ones with Gregorian Chant and music by composers such as Palestrina. Rather like Orthodox Jews suddenly being told to stop using Hebrew. A significant minority of Catholics then started to attend these traditional services, which they should have known better than to do, but when the local official alternative was offering guitars and handclapping, one can understand why they voted with their feet.

The present Pope, plus those responsible for such matters, have finally got a grip on the situation. As part of this, there is now a move to bring back these renegade congregations, as well, incidentally, as members of the Anglican church who are unhappy at the way it is moving. Hence the lifting of the excommunication on members of the sect, which does not automatically make its "priests" and "bishops" into priests and bishops in good standing in the Catholic church; each one would have to be investigated and probably re-ordained if suitable. Which Bonkers clearly is not.

Since the holocaust is not an article of faith it, denying it is not grounds for excommuncation, though if the idiot spouted his nonsense in my own parish he would be screamed at and hopefully given a hard kicking by someone who was actually in Auschwitz and witnessed the holocaust with her own eyes as a 14 year old girl.

The best thing this vile creature could do now would be to take a vow of silence and lock himself up in a monk's cell for the rest of his days.

As regards anti-semitism in the Catholic church - it is true to say that there has been a strand of it in varying measure from the middle ages up to the 1950s but it is extremely rare to come across it these days. The rescue and protection of Jews by Catholic clergy, including the Pope himself, and by religious communities WW2, is well documented, including the action by the Dutch bishops which resulted in Jews who were Catholics being sent to the death camps. There is the well known case of the Catholic nun Edith Stein who allowed herself to die as a Jew in Auschwitz when she could easily have been hidden away in her convent. In eastern Europe, the help was less forthcoming because of ingrained anti-semitism whose cause was partly due to church influence but also of economic origin.

But don't forget to pray for Richard Williamson.

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