Pope Benedict: Panderer or Creative Community Builder?

Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated four previously excommunicated bishops, all of whom are members of a far-right group that rejects … Continued

Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated four previously excommunicated bishops, all of whom are members of a far-right group that rejects Vatican II and one of whom is a raging conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier. Is Benedict pandering to those on the theological far-right of the Church, and if so, why? Or could he be moving to create a genuinely more inclusive church, one which actually makes room for those whose views are loathsome to most church members? Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

If that is case, this Pope continues his tradition of making theological/communal moves which are so nuanced that they end up being misunderstood by most and may actually hurt many, even if that is not his intention. Think of his speech about Islam, his reinstating the Good Friday prayer which calls for the conversion of Jews, etc.

Whatever is going on here, the focus should not be on the fact that one of those reinstated, Richard Williamson, is a Holocaust denier and how painful that is to Jews. The truth is it should disturb all people who actually care about facts and accuracy. Williamson’s reinstatement doesn’t bother me because I am Jewish, it bothers me because I would hope that it is beneath the Church to honor a man who believes and continues to teach such ugly and dangerous lies.

On the other hand, is it appropriate to judge this man based entirely upon his attitude toward the Holocaust? Is it fair to him? How would any of us hold up if the world measured any of us by the most outrageous belief we might hold?

In no way am I excusing Williamson. But I am willing to entertain that however much pain his reinstatement might cause relative to this issue, it may not be the only basis upon which the Pope should make his decision, nor should it govern the future of Church-Jewish relations, as some have already suggested/threatened it will.

The idea that this one move will jeopardize Catholic-Jewish relations is either insane or tragic. And any leaders, especially those who call themselves interfaith leaders, who intimate that Williamson’s reinstatement will jeopardize those relations should be ashamed of themselves. Real relationships between communities are stronger than what any one leader identified with either, might say. If they are not, then the relationships were never that strong to begin with and we should focus on that.

More interesting here, is the Pope’s willingness to find a place for these men in particular and for the Society of Saint Pius X in general. If our definition of inclusiveness does not reach beyond the boundaries of our own personal comfort, can we call ourselves truly inclusive?

How ironic then, that this conservative Pope who is deeply committed to maintaining the authority of the church, is willing to include those who challenge its authority on a number of theological and liturgical issues. Of course the test will be if in the weeks and months ahead, Benedict is willing to reach as far to his left as he has now reached to his right.

If he does make a parallel move to the left, this Pope will have accomplished far more good than bad, not only for the Church he leads, but toward modeling how real inter-group and inter-religious relationships are nurtured. He will have demonstrated the danger of single issue litmus testing in relations between any people. And that would be a profound spiritual lesson for all of us, one for which I would be deeply grateful.

Brad Hirschfield
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  • bruce18

    RLALUMIERE you are exactly correct. This man wasnt ex-communicated for his views on the holocaust nor does his reinstatement have anything to do with the holocaust. It is entirely internal to the Catholic faith and his acceptance thereof.

  • esthermiriam

    Another posting typical of “On Faith” — pop analysis to get responses. Well, here is mine:Little this Pope has done suggests his openness to other faiths, and much the contrary. Call it Catholic business to re-instate this group, and the denier in particular, but let him say that he repudiates the Holocaust assertions, what would that have cost? Then, of course, there’s the Holocaust Pope’s cannonization pending, and the return to prayers for the conversion of the Jews… But Brad wants to be loving about it all — no thanks.

  • Orsalia

    Oh my God. As if we did not have enough reasons to despise the hypocracy of the Roman Catholic church…

  • KC11

    The Pope’s reinstatement of a “raging conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier” is not a threat to Jews. It is a threat to Catholics. It demonstrates that the Church is willing to accept as part of its leadership a man who is — let me put this as delicately as possible — a nut. The fact that this action — by a German Pope no less — insults Jews is just a bonus.Utterly clueless.

  • marcedward1

    Brad writesYes, yes yes!

  • jm817

    I am very much afraid that I am not expecting any gestures to the left. Apparently, the Church thinks it is okay to recognize the teaching authority of a racist, but heaven forbid that the teaching authority of women be recognized.

  • gratianus

    The real issue with Benedict’s decision to accept the ordination of these schismatics is that he is using the cloak of inclusivity to move the Roman Catholic Church further away from the spirit of Vatican II and thus from the rest of the world. That’s his choice, which continues the direction his predecessor set for Rome, and just is another step toward Rome losing its flock. As a template for what Benedict is doing, consider how the Republican party here at home has turned itself into a narrowly focused, regional group that is in communion only with itself. Ex orbe ad urbem.

  • pcthiker

    It is interesting to me that at the bottom of this page is a teaser: “Crisis in Catholic America: Fewer faithful, fading trust and Pope Benedict’s vision”.As Cardinal Ratzinger, when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his writing and acts supported a limited vision for Catholicism, skewed to the right. This latest act, which the writer suggest is inclusive, is the opposite. A narrower Church. Perhaps less loving, more authoritative. May God give him light.

  • Climacus

    NewAgeBlues, you’ve been misinformed about Pius XII. I recommend reading the work of a serious academic historian acquainted with the subject, such as Rabbi David Dalin, in order to understand why and how.

  • williamwertman

    It would be one thing if the Vatican had a 1st Amendment, but as it officially condemned freedom of press, religion and conscience in 1864 we must conclude that Holocaust denial is a matter of moral indifference to the Pope and the Church. The Syllabus of Errors and the Condemned Propositions make for enlightening reading.

  • fichterb

    i’m glad I left the catholic church a few years ago. aloha.

  • InterfaithNation

    iMPORTANT: This ‘Pardoning’ act, as if a U.S. Prez but called , by the un-holy See, a ‘REPRiEVE’ maked Pope Benedict XVL an accessory or partner in crime so to spaketh to Williamson & Co. The next thing We knowth the so called dillusional “Creationist’ & their ‘Intelligent Design’ counterparts will teach innocent kid’s & dumb parents how to DO & DENY!, aka D & D’rs! As if Nothing Happened!???? Pleazzzzzza Gimmy a brrrake totta!Ooops, almost forgot: Ever after the MASS PEDPHILE Masacre Lawsutes by the Roman Cathaholic Church, in America & World, that now these so called “self serving g-ds chosen folk” call themselves (Salutation) as “REVREN’sD” iNSTEAD OF ‘FATHER’ this & FATHER that.Joke: A Nun once warned her ‘Father’ (Revrend) and said, “None of This & Nun of that Father!” WHEREFORE: WE MUST NEVER FORGET, not TRUST, but Verify! And some cases are UNFORGIVENABLE, “NO” excuses! WE, Automatic Citizens/Denizens, on Holy-i Cosmic NEBULA-Built, Space-Ship EARTH & Similar siuated? NOTE: {….”WE”, the PEOPLE” not Born in any unkind’ve man-made Sin nor Curseth story’s via their, not OUR, Pre-Apocalyptic thinkers ie., VATICAN & Co. & their Vanitriloquests whom Do & then Deny’ TRUTH! a.k.a Opposite of MYTH, as if WE (Heretics, Goy, Gentile..) ,not them be UNJUSTLY-born in the stuff of their un-holy book GENESIS versions, according to da ‘MY G-D’ & lores & hassling over a name for G-d via someone elses Stories. a.k.a PRE-Apocalyptic (STATIC) MAN-MADE built; Tenach, Bible, Quran, Geeta, Sruti,… Note: WE are in an age where the likes of the VATICAN & CO. & Other Pre-Apocalyptic Institutions are Prophetically, Soon soon, going to get a “CORRECTION OF THEIR OWN SIN’s” and a APOCALYPTIC Correction in their, not OUR, Religio competing SYSTEM(s)}WE Salute ALL, Every & Any Past, Current & Future wise, “GOOD” Automatic Citizen/Denizen, aka SAMARITAN (not via NOAH/CAIN, Hamite, Jaspeth story’s nor ARjUNA/RAMMA VEDIC story’s) of this MIRACULOUS (SIN/CURSE Free) Blesseth Holy Cosmic Built “SPACE-SHIP”. PS: i or WE cannot escape. Can You? So, THE-WORLD [this] desperately needs a NEW-SONG (Dynamic G-d) coming from all their, not OUR, OLD-Songs (Static competing G-d SYSTEM(s)).Then it’s Time to wipe the Judeo-Jews, Judeo-Christs, Judeo-Islams, Judeo-Hindus, Judeo-Buddhists & Confusions et al “Off the Face of the Earth!”Hint: “DOUBLE STANDARDS PSYCHOSIiS” is iLL-usion #1. Hence Poison. and Poison hath NO Religion Affiliation!Happy Every Day & Happy G-d (by 1,000 names, nomore by 99) hunting.

  • Farnaz2

    It was fifty years ago, Sunday, that John xxiii announced Vatican II would convene.Of course, it was too little, much, much too late, and almost an embarrassment as we Jews are very much the aggrieved party in this and remain so. And then, so much is left to be done. For instance, we’re still waiting for a full release of all Vatican documents dealing with the Nazi era. And then there is the blood money deposited by the murdering Croatian Franciscans into Vatican Bank, where it still resides. That would be the money said Franciscans (fifteen hundred of them) obtained from cutting to pieces Jews, Serbs, and Roma. Etc.Sunday, on the anniversary of John xxii’s announcement of Vatican II, Ratzinger re-communicated that psychopathic-Shoah-denying-fascist-Lefebre-lover, Williamson.What kind of God would approve of that? Not very pious of Ratzinger, was it? Or…was it? Pun very much intended.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    It would be fair to say that it would be highly inappropriate for the Catholic Pope to decide for a Jewish Rabbi or a Muslim Imam, or even an Episcopalian Bishop how they should conduct the affairs of their respective religious groups, whom they would choose to include or exclude and what criteria they should adopt for inclusion and exclusion. As far as everyone are aware no Jewish Rabbi, Muslim Imam or Episcopalian Bishop takes orders from the Catholic Pope as to how to run their affairs. Unless denial of the Holocaust were a part of the OFFICIAL teaching of the Catholic Church, how does the personal opinion of any Catholic have any bearing on the Pope or the Catholic Church?

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    There is a good reason why Judaism, Christianity and Islam are SEPARATE RELIGIONS. Any attempt at interfaith relations should take the differences into account. Interfaith relations is about finding common ground and not about pretending no differences exist. Just as no Muslim can expect a Jew or Christian to interpret the Bible in the light of Islam, neither can Jews or Christians expect the other to accept another’s interpretation of the Bible. To each religion its own interpretation. Interfaith relations can be based only on respect for all interpretations without demanding that one religion accept the interpretation of the other.

  • Farnaz2

    Frankly, this isn’t a matter of grave concern to me. I don’t look to the Vatican for ethical or moral guidance. The fact is these four were followers of an exremist fascist-loving reactionary, Lefebre. What concerns me much more is the Vatican’s long history of antiJewish racism. I’m not only speaking of Pacelli, the Concordat with the Reich, the use of slave labor in the Shoah, the Rat Line coordinated by Bishop Houdal, the fifteen hundred Franciscan priests who cut to pieces Jews, Serbs, Roma, and deposited the loot in Vatican Bank where it still resides with Ratzinger at the helm.Nope. Not even talking about that. Talking about the every day Catholic racism, with their passion plays, harrassment of us, etc. That problem won’t be solved on blogs. Somewhere else, I suspect.

  • Farnaz2

    Btw., check with me the next time the ponce Ratzinger wants to visit my city, clog traffic, etc., on my tax dollars.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2 January 27, 2009 9:37 PM:That problem won’t be solved on blogs. Somewhere else, I suspect.—————————————————Hopefully solutions can be worked out at interfaith meetings.

  • nursedebi

    Lets see, say a murderer would wish to become a preist, should we think that his judgements would otherwise be good? How about someone who beleaves in fairies or witchcraft? No, A man who beleaves in such lies, does not show good judgement, and also shows that he has hatred in his heart and should not be allowed to be a spirtual leader(i would not let him lead my dog) another of a long list of bad moves for the catholic church in my opinion……A Christian

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2 January 27, 2009 9:37 PM:Nope. Not even talking about that. Talking about the every day Catholic racism, with their passion plays, harrassment of us, etc. That problem won’t be solved on blogs. Somewhere else, I suspect.—————————————In the US there is freedom to practice one’s religion. Is there a veiled threat directed specifically at Catholics in your post? The number of Muslims and Jews in the US is very small. The Catholic Pope makes state visits as the head of the Vatican State not as the leader of the Catholic Church.

  • Farnaz2

    POLITICALLYINCORRECTWORLDCITIZEN1In the US there is freedom to practice one’s religion.Is there a veiled threat directed specifically at Catholics in your post?The number of Muslims and Jews in the US is very small. The Catholic Pope makes state visits as the head of the Vatican State not as the leader of the Catholic Church.January 27, 2009 10:00 PM | Report Offensive Comments

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2 January 27, 2009 10:19 PM:POLITICALLYINCORRECTWORLDCITIZEN1The Catholic religion. You said it; I didn’t. Crawl back under your rock now.——————————–Maybe you’d like to explain to 70 MILLION Catholics in the US how their practice of Christianity is an offense to Jews and Muslims. As to crawling back under rocks, is that where you emerge from to post here?

  • Farnaz2

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1:Before you return to the primordial ooze, why don’t you review what a passion play is. Or stay tuned. You’ll be reading about them shortly.

  • CCNL

    All religions suffer from serious historic and theological flaws and errors. B16 is the leader of one of them and should be cleaning up the mess. Instead he makes it worse.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2:How many Jewish prophets starting from Adam died a natural death, according to Jewish Scripture?

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination. It is not a political body that is obliged to move to the left or right, backwards or forwards, upwards or downwards…to win popular votes.

  • DoTheRightThing

    The Holocaust denier wasn’t excommunicated for being such; he was excommunicated for his leadership of the heresy that states the pronouncements of the Second Vatican Council were illegitimate. Removing the excommunication has no bearing on the denier’s beliefs regarding the historical truthfulness of the Holocaust.

  • jessteshara

    Words, turds. The use of “right” and “left” is absurd and abstract, for me. Jesus said don’t let your right hand know what the left is doing, or something. Is there anybody alive who doesn’t think that’s nuts? Anyway, (politically) right doesn’t necessarily mean true and correct. Sinister derives from left, but I wouldn’t call, say Barack, sinister. I have righteous anger against the “Right”s often military mindset. Speaking of being life-affirming, capital punishment is sinister and unrighteous, while abortion isn’t right, either. To quote one of the more sillier sources of moral authority, the Hard Rock cafe says to Love All Serve All. I would hope a bird doesn’t demonize it’s right or left wing.

  • newageblues

    sounds like a hard slap at Jews to me. Maybe if the Pope tried putting himself in Jewish shoes for a second, he’d understand what a severe insult this is. If this kind of person is welcome in his church, there will be a price to be paid in public opinion of the Catholic Church. But then this is the Pope who wants to canonize Pius XII, the Pope of the Holocaust, who refused to speak out clearly while the crime of the century was committed in his backyard with enthusiastic support from many European Catholics. The same Pope who was Vatican Secretary of State in the 1930’s and had no problems with the Nazis coming to power and no problems cooperating with them once they did. A Saint??? More like a pious Neville Chamberlain.

  • CaliforniaDan

    Making a holocaust denier Bishop is just part of a pattern. This is the Pope who brought back the Prayer for the Jews ( praying that they leave their false ways) as part of the church’s formal ceremony. He is repeatedly making very right/orthodox/backwards decisions on the church’s direction. He may well turn into the Roman version of Bush.

  • willemkraal

    this german popi is a total disgrace! i lived under the nazis in europa for 5 years and did not join the hitler jugend (no person was forced to join) but this pope did of his own free will, no person had to join this nazi scam. this is a dude who runs around in full san francisco drag 24/7 but hates homosexuals, thinks a woman belongs in the kitchen while his priest have raped countless girls and boys in our country. recently the business offices of the los angeles church were sold off to pay the victims. this dude is proof that religion poisons everyone it touches! oh and yes popi the gaschambers were real , many of my relatives perished in dachau!

  • ravitchn

    Anti-semitism is the product of Catholic integrism, which is a way station on the road to Fascism.

  • EagleEyeLD

    I’m a Christian (not Catholic) and I can not understand how people are denying the facts of the Holocaust. It has been and still today anti-semitism against Jews. Still people from different contries openly share there thoughts about harming them. This kind of feeling is not right. We are all humans made equal before God. We all have the same rights to live.

  • Grandblvd03

    But he’s not going to make a similar gesture “to the left.” In fact, everything he has done is going further to the right.

  • rlalumiere

    Brad, your comments on this issue were deceptive. The reason for the ex-communication was unrelated to his anti-semitism/holocaust denying. The Pope has decided that the reason behind the ex-communication has been resolved and so that man has now been reinstated.HOWEVER, this has absolutely nothing to do with the man’s denial of the holocaust. His ex-communication was not due to this denial, and thus his reinstatement is unrelated. The media have created a relationship where none exists.To give an analogy, imagine a man who had committed a crime (robbery) and served his sentence in prison. Should he not be released because he also happens to be a racist? Of course he should still be released. The prison sentence had nothing to do with his racism.Really, I think the media are incredibly anti-Catholic and seek to make everything the Pope does look evil and will continue to misconstrue every action intentionally to make him look evil.

  • bruce18

    RLALUMIERE you are exactly correct. This man wasnt ex-communicated for his views on the holocaust nor does his reinstatement have anything to do with the holocaust. It is entirely internal to the Catholic faith and his acceptance thereof.

  • esthermiriam

    Another posting typical of “On Faith” — pop analysis to get responses. Well, here is mine:Little this Pope has done suggests his openness to other faiths, and much the contrary. Call it Catholic business to re-instate this group, and the denier in particular, but let him say that he repudiates the Holocaust assertions, what would that have cost? Then, of course, there’s the Holocaust Pope’s cannonization pending, and the return to prayers for the conversion of the Jews… But Brad wants to be loving about it all — no thanks.

  • Orsalia

    Oh my God. As if we did not have enough reasons to despise the hypocracy of the Roman Catholic church…

  • KC11

    The Pope’s reinstatement of a “raging conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier” is not a threat to Jews. It is a threat to Catholics. It demonstrates that the Church is willing to accept as part of its leadership a man who is — let me put this as delicately as possible — a nut. The fact that this action — by a German Pope no less — insults Jews is just a bonus.Utterly clueless.

  • marcedward1

    Brad writesYes, yes yes!

  • jm817

    I am very much afraid that I am not expecting any gestures to the left. Apparently, the Church thinks it is okay to recognize the teaching authority of a racist, but heaven forbid that the teaching authority of women be recognized.

  • gratianus

    The real issue with Benedict’s decision to accept the ordination of these schismatics is that he is using the cloak of inclusivity to move the Roman Catholic Church further away from the spirit of Vatican II and thus from the rest of the world. That’s his choice, which continues the direction his predecessor set for Rome, and just is another step toward Rome losing its flock. As a template for what Benedict is doing, consider how the Republican party here at home has turned itself into a narrowly focused, regional group that is in communion only with itself. Ex orbe ad urbem.

  • pcthiker

    It is interesting to me that at the bottom of this page is a teaser: “Crisis in Catholic America: Fewer faithful, fading trust and Pope Benedict’s vision”.As Cardinal Ratzinger, when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his writing and acts supported a limited vision for Catholicism, skewed to the right. This latest act, which the writer suggest is inclusive, is the opposite. A narrower Church. Perhaps less loving, more authoritative. May God give him light.

  • Climacus

    NewAgeBlues, you’ve been misinformed about Pius XII. I recommend reading the work of a serious academic historian acquainted with the subject, such as Rabbi David Dalin, in order to understand why and how.

  • williamwertman

    It would be one thing if the Vatican had a 1st Amendment, but as it officially condemned freedom of press, religion and conscience in 1864 we must conclude that Holocaust denial is a matter of moral indifference to the Pope and the Church. The Syllabus of Errors and the Condemned Propositions make for enlightening reading.

  • fichterb

    i’m glad I left the catholic church a few years ago. aloha.

  • InterfaithNation

    iMPORTANT: This ‘Pardoning’ act, as if a U.S. Prez but called , by the un-holy See, a ‘REPRiEVE’ maked Pope Benedict XVL an accessory or partner in crime so to spaketh to Williamson & Co. The next thing We knowth the so called dillusional “Creationist’ & their ‘Intelligent Design’ counterparts will teach innocent kid’s & dumb parents how to DO & DENY!, aka D & D’rs! As if Nothing Happened!???? Pleazzzzzza Gimmy a brrrake totta!Ooops, almost forgot: Ever after the MASS PEDPHILE Masacre Lawsutes by the Roman Cathaholic Church, in America & World, that now these so called “self serving g-ds chosen folk” call themselves (Salutation) as “REVREN’sD” iNSTEAD OF ‘FATHER’ this & FATHER that.Joke: A Nun once warned her ‘Father’ (Revrend) and said, “None of This & Nun of that Father!” WHEREFORE: WE MUST NEVER FORGET, not TRUST, but Verify! And some cases are UNFORGIVENABLE, “NO” excuses! WE, Automatic Citizens/Denizens, on Holy-i Cosmic NEBULA-Built, Space-Ship EARTH & Similar siuated? NOTE: {….”WE”, the PEOPLE” not Born in any unkind’ve man-made Sin nor Curseth story’s via their, not OUR, Pre-Apocalyptic thinkers ie., VATICAN & Co. & their Vanitriloquests whom Do & then Deny’ TRUTH! a.k.a Opposite of MYTH, as if WE (Heretics, Goy, Gentile..) ,not them be UNJUSTLY-born in the stuff of their un-holy book GENESIS versions, according to da ‘MY G-D’ & lores & hassling over a name for G-d via someone elses Stories. a.k.a PRE-Apocalyptic (STATIC) MAN-MADE built; Tenach, Bible, Quran, Geeta, Sruti,… Note: WE are in an age where the likes of the VATICAN & CO. & Other Pre-Apocalyptic Institutions are Prophetically, Soon soon, going to get a “CORRECTION OF THEIR OWN SIN’s” and a APOCALYPTIC Correction in their, not OUR, Religio competing SYSTEM(s)}WE Salute ALL, Every & Any Past, Current & Future wise, “GOOD” Automatic Citizen/Denizen, aka SAMARITAN (not via NOAH/CAIN, Hamite, Jaspeth story’s nor ARjUNA/RAMMA VEDIC story’s) of this MIRACULOUS (SIN/CURSE Free) Blesseth Holy Cosmic Built “SPACE-SHIP”. PS: i or WE cannot escape. Can You? So, THE-WORLD [this] desperately needs a NEW-SONG (Dynamic G-d) coming from all their, not OUR, OLD-Songs (Static competing G-d SYSTEM(s)).Then it’s Time to wipe the Judeo-Jews, Judeo-Christs, Judeo-Islams, Judeo-Hindus, Judeo-Buddhists & Confusions et al “Off the Face of the Earth!”Hint: “DOUBLE STANDARDS PSYCHOSIiS” is iLL-usion #1. Hence Poison. and Poison hath NO Religion Affiliation!Happy Every Day & Happy G-d (by 1,000 names, nomore by 99) hunting.

  • Farnaz2

    It was fifty years ago, Sunday, that John xxiii announced Vatican II would convene.Of course, it was too little, much, much too late, and almost an embarrassment as we Jews are very much the aggrieved party in this and remain so. And then, so much is left to be done. For instance, we’re still waiting for a full release of all Vatican documents dealing with the Nazi era. And then there is the blood money deposited by the murdering Croatian Franciscans into Vatican Bank, where it still resides. That would be the money said Franciscans (fifteen hundred of them) obtained from cutting to pieces Jews, Serbs, and Roma. Etc.Sunday, on the anniversary of John xxii’s announcement of Vatican II, Ratzinger re-communicated that psychopathic-Shoah-denying-fascist-Lefebre-lover, Williamson.What kind of God would approve of that? Not very pious of Ratzinger, was it? Or…was it? Pun very much intended.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    It would be fair to say that it would be highly inappropriate for the Catholic Pope to decide for a Jewish Rabbi or a Muslim Imam, or even an Episcopalian Bishop how they should conduct the affairs of their respective religious groups, whom they would choose to include or exclude and what criteria they should adopt for inclusion and exclusion. As far as everyone are aware no Jewish Rabbi, Muslim Imam or Episcopalian Bishop takes orders from the Catholic Pope as to how to run their affairs. Unless denial of the Holocaust were a part of the OFFICIAL teaching of the Catholic Church, how does the personal opinion of any Catholic have any bearing on the Pope or the Catholic Church?

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    There is a good reason why Judaism, Christianity and Islam are SEPARATE RELIGIONS. Any attempt at interfaith relations should take the differences into account. Interfaith relations is about finding common ground and not about pretending no differences exist. Just as no Muslim can expect a Jew or Christian to interpret the Bible in the light of Islam, neither can Jews or Christians expect the other to accept another’s interpretation of the Bible. To each religion its own interpretation. Interfaith relations can be based only on respect for all interpretations without demanding that one religion accept the interpretation of the other.

  • Farnaz2

    Frankly, this isn’t a matter of grave concern to me. I don’t look to the Vatican for ethical or moral guidance. The fact is these four were followers of an exremist fascist-loving reactionary, Lefebre. What concerns me much more is the Vatican’s long history of antiJewish racism. I’m not only speaking of Pacelli, the Concordat with the Reich, the use of slave labor in the Shoah, the Rat Line coordinated by Bishop Houdal, the fifteen hundred Franciscan priests who cut to pieces Jews, Serbs, Roma, and deposited the loot in Vatican Bank where it still resides with Ratzinger at the helm.Nope. Not even talking about that. Talking about the every day Catholic racism, with their passion plays, harrassment of us, etc. That problem won’t be solved on blogs. Somewhere else, I suspect.

  • Farnaz2

    Btw., check with me the next time the ponce Ratzinger wants to visit my city, clog traffic, etc., on my tax dollars.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2 January 27, 2009 9:37 PM:That problem won’t be solved on blogs. Somewhere else, I suspect.—————————————————Hopefully solutions can be worked out at interfaith meetings.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2 January 27, 2009 9:37 PM:Nope. Not even talking about that. Talking about the every day Catholic racism, with their passion plays, harrassment of us, etc. That problem won’t be solved on blogs. Somewhere else, I suspect.—————————————In the US there is freedom to practice one’s religion. Is there a veiled threat directed specifically at Catholics in your post? The number of Muslims and Jews in the US is very small. The Catholic Pope makes state visits as the head of the Vatican State not as the leader of the Catholic Church.

  • Farnaz2

    POLITICALLYINCORRECTWORLDCITIZEN1In the US there is freedom to practice one’s religion.Is there a veiled threat directed specifically at Catholics in your post?The number of Muslims and Jews in the US is very small. The Catholic Pope makes state visits as the head of the Vatican State not as the leader of the Catholic Church.January 27, 2009 10:00 PM | Report Offensive Comments

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2 January 27, 2009 10:19 PM:POLITICALLYINCORRECTWORLDCITIZEN1The Catholic religion. You said it; I didn’t. Crawl back under your rock now.——————————–Maybe you’d like to explain to 70 MILLION Catholics in the US how their practice of Christianity is an offense to Jews and Muslims. As to crawling back under rocks, is that where you emerge from to post here?

  • Farnaz2

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1:Before you return to the primordial ooze, why don’t you review what a passion play is. Or stay tuned. You’ll be reading about them shortly.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Farnaz2:How many Jewish prophets starting from Adam died a natural death, according to Jewish Scripture?

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination. It is not a political body that is obliged to move to the left or right, backwards or forwards, upwards or downwards…to win popular votes.

  • InterfaithNation

    Historic CORRECTION @ 3:17PM on “Holocaust #2..Secret: It was the idol loving Pagan-ARABS (Copy cat & self serving Islam was not Born yet), whom chipped-in to have Rabbi Yashua, aka Mr. Jesus, aka Son of god (like Alexander the Great) ‘Wacked off the face of this , not only by Pharasees (Mystic loving Abrahamic gangs).From an Apocalyptarians point of view; Here is a True (opposite of Myth) Reason for ‘wacking’ the Rabbi & hath nothing to do with wannabe Rabbi Judis story: Note: We have the Proof now! And Please deny not what i sayth herein, thank-a-Sham!Reason: Yashua, Jehova, Jesus, god (not OUR G-D) got ‘wacked’ because Mr. Yashua went into a Vandalism-Fit-rage (a violent act under Rome Law) in the Jerusalem Market place, after busting-up or spoiling the loanshark Pagon Arabs & mystic Shemite folks’s goods, wares etc. off their Tables, Stands etc. and could not pay them [Arab Pagans & Mystic Rabbinites et al] back for the Damages. SooThe Merchants of Jerusalem (not Venice) all chipped-in and watched Rabbi Yashua die on a 4-Way Totem=Pole which was a comon practice for public execution, like in ‘gods chosen Hanites’ of Arabia (not Lawrence) today.Pleazzzza folks, get ye story’s straight! Fix Ye Church’s History, if any!Thank-a-Sham.

  • tbarksdl

    The Pope’s actions toward Bishop Williamson are reprehensible and deserve the condemnation of all decent people. Not that the Catholic Church’s putting its “unity” above simple morality and common human decency is any surprise. That is exactly the reason the Church for decades turned a deliberate blind eye to the sexual depravity and perversion being committed against innocent children by its priests. Even more telling about the true nature of the Catholic Church, of course, it was not just the pedophilia itself, but the tolerance and cover-up of the acts by the entire Church hierarchy–all in the name of protecting the Church’s reputation, and the damage to generations of innocent children be damned. What a searing indictment of the leadership of Pope Benedict that he once more shows tolerance of despicable acts in the name of serving the selfish interests of the Church. Once more, the Pope throws Jesus under the bus in order to protect the Church’s perceived institutional interests.This act does not stand alone. It’s part of a pattern of taking the Church backward into pre-Vatican II. It’s really not surprising, coming from the same Pope who has gone out of his way to remind the rest of us that our immortal souls are doomed because we don’t believe like he does. The lame attempts to justify the reinstatement are laughable. Of all the issues the Pope might have picked to raise a ruckus over, why this one? Whose interests are served, what noble goals advanced? How pathetic to see this venerable institution being led into the 21st Century by an 80-year old, out-of-touch, modern-day Inquisitor, while its membership rapidly declines, new priests and nuns are hard to find, and here in America, parishioners are occupying churches 24 hours to prevent them being closed and sold to the highest bidder.

  • mhoust

    I do not object to the renunciation of this man’s excommunication. The Pope basically said that refusal to accept Vatican II isn’t grounds to do so.What I do object to is the automatic reinstatement of this bishop to his former station as A LEADER IN THE CHURCH! Go ahead and re-communicate him, but remove him from all positions of authority. But Benedict didn’t do that. Which is either an egregious mistake which casts doubt on the fitness of this Pope to lead the church; or is a deliberate act which proves this Pope is not fit to lead the church.I’ll not condemn a man for however outrageous his beleif are. I will condemn him if he seeks to spread his beleifs, or act on them.

  • DonVicente

    To MHOUST:

  • DonVicente

    To MHOUST:

  • CCNL

    Whereas you see representatives of most religions on the On Faith panel and commentators from most ethnic groups, you never see Chinese representatives in either group. Apparently, the Chinese government bans participation in discussion blogs. How very dangerous and disturbing to have almost 20 % of the world’s citizens denied freedom of speech. Maybe the fact that five out of the six top human atrocities in the last 60,000 years has involved Chinese leaders has something to do with it.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The question to ask is what sort of Catholic this bishop who denies the Holocaust is. How did he manage to get so far in his priesthood entertaining such ideas?