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View Full Version : Your Holiness, isn't it bad to deny that the Holocaust happened?



Steve
10th February 09, 08:30 PM
Um, I guess not:

Pope outrages Jews over Holocaust denier


http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/01/26/pope.holocaust.denial/art.pope.afp.gi.jpgJERUSALEM (CNN) -- Jewish officials in Israel and abroad are outraged that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to lift the excommunication of a British bishop who denies that Jews were killed in Nazi gas chambers.

The pope's decree, issued Saturday, brings back into the Catholic Church's fold Bishop Richard Williamson and three other bishops who belong to the Society of Saint Pius X.

The liaison for Vatican-Jewish relations -- Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity -- said he was not consulted.

"It was a pope decision" he told CNN in a phone interview. "I have my opinions about it, but I do not wish to comment on a decision made by the pope."

The Society of Saint Pius X was founded by Archbishop Lefebrve, who rebelled against the Vatican's modernizing reforms in the 1960s, and who consecrated the men in unsanctioned ceremonies. As a result, Pope John Paul II excommunicated the four in 1988.

Within the Catholic Church, many Vatican analysts suggests that in an attempt to heal one rift with ultra-conservative church members, the pope is risking creating a wider gap with those more liberal groups that have fully embraced the changes and reforms.

The church's decision to lift the excommunication comes a few days after a Swedish television aired an interview with Williamson in which the 68-year-old claimed the Nazis did not use gas chambers.

"I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against -- is hugely against -- 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler," he said in the interview, which appeared on various Web sites since its broadcast.

"I believe there were no gas chambers," he added.

He added: "I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them by gas chambers."

Prosecutors in Regensburg, Germany, where the interview took place -- and where the pope once taught -- are investigating Williamson's comments on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. Holocaust denial is treated as a crime in Germany.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, who now heads the society, distanced himself from Williamson's position. He told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that Williamson was responsible for his own opinions.

Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee called the move by the Roman Catholic Church "shameful."

By "welcoming an open holocaust denier into the Catholic Church without any recantation on his part, the Vatican has made a mockery of John Paul II's moving and impressive repudiation and condemnation of anti-Semitism," he said.

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, also expressed disappointment at the pope's decision.

"The decree sends a terrible message to Catholics around the world that there is room in the church for those who would undermine the church's teaching and would foster disdain and contempt for other religions, particularly Judaism," he said. "Given the centuries-long history of anti-Semitism in the church, this is a most troubling setback."

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi called Williamson's remarks "absolutely indefensible."

He said the Vatican's decision to accept Williamson was part of its desire to normalize relations with the ultra-conservative group, and had nothing to do with the bishop's personal views.

But Rabbi Rosen dismissed as meaningless the Vatican's claim that the decision to welcome back Williamson did not mean the pope shared his views.

That explanation "does not resolve the question of how can the pope or the Vatican -- committed to fighting anti-Semitism which the late Pope John Paul II called "a sin against God and man" -- embrace someone who denies or at least minimalizes the Holocaust.

The move has the potential to set back Jewish-Catholic relations, which was strained by Pope Pius XII. The Pontiff during World War II, he is accused by some historians of failing to speak out against the Holocaust.

"While there are still hundreds of thousands of living Holocaust survivors amongst us who carry the scars of the Holocaust in them, to accept back a Holocaust-denying bishop raises questions if the Vatican under Pope XVI has learned the lesson of the Holocaust," said Amos Hermon, who heads the Task Force Against Anti-Semitism at Israel's Jewish Agency.

Some theologians say the decision by the pope -- who said he wanted to unite the Catholic church -- could be counter-productive. "This is not so much an act of grace as a surrender," Vatican analyst Marco Politi told The Times of London.

Pope Benedict was seeking reconciliation, "but the new era has begun with a lie. The pope has made a openly declared and unshakeable anti-Semite a legitimate bishop," Politi added.

The pope has twice visited synagogues, in the U.S. and his home country Germany, but recently stated, according to The Times, that dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims "in the strict sense of the word" was "not possible."

After his 14th birthday in 1941, Benedict -- then called Joseph Ratzinger -- was forced along with the rest of his class in Bavaria, southern Germany, to join the Hitler Youth. However his biographer John Allen Jr., said Ratzinger's family was strongly anti-Nazi.

-------------------------------------


Link. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/26/pope.holocaust.denial/)

Pretty stupid move, if you ask me. Not only offending millions of people around the world (including a hefty chunk of fellow Germans) but quite a disrespectful action against the memory of Pope John Paul II.

WarPhalange
10th February 09, 10:49 PM
This is evidence that even in the 21st century the Germans HATE all things Polish. What better way to piss on your predecessor's life work?

Sun Wukong
10th February 09, 10:54 PM
I'm not catholic, but I can't help but think this guy has alot of problems with Pope Jean Paul II. It seems like he's been trying to reverse course ever since being nominated.

Also, as a former Nazi soldier, you'd think he'd know better than to do this shit.

WarPhalange
10th February 09, 11:00 PM
I wonder what the cardinals who elected this stupid fucker think about the whole thing now.

Yiktin Voxbane
10th February 09, 11:40 PM
How do Papal assassinationizations ?

fes_fsa
10th February 09, 11:43 PM
catholocaust?

HappyOldGuy
10th February 09, 11:53 PM
Medieval bureacracy is medieval. As far as catholic stuff goes, this is actually pretty much gonna be a given. The guy didn't get excommunicated for being a holocaust denier. He got excommunicated for being in schism with the church. Once there was no more schism, the excommunication pretty much had to be lifted. The pope certainly didn't think that anyone outside the church would even notice or give a shit.

This is why modern politicians vet shit like this, and why being the opposite of modern is going to keep getting tougher for de pope.

Domite
11th February 09, 12:08 AM
Holocoust denial is a crime in Germany?

Like if you just walked around saying "there were no gas chambers" you would go to jail? pretty crazy.

Lohff
11th February 09, 12:29 AM
Medieval bureacracy is medieval. As far as catholic stuff goes, this is actually pretty much gonna be a given. The guy didn't get excommunicated for being a holocaust denier. He got excommunicated for being in schism with the church. Once there was no more schism, the excommunication pretty much had to be lifted. The pope certainly didn't think that anyone outside the church would even notice or give a shit.

This is why modern politicians vet shit like this, and why being the opposite of modern is going to keep getting tougher for de pope.
QFT. It is the inner workings of catholic politics on display, not that he truly agrees with the views. Still, I'd be pretty fucking insulted were I jewish.

Steve
11th February 09, 02:36 AM
The pope certainly didn't think that anyone outside the church would even notice or give a shit.

He was wrong and stupid to think that.


[snip]and why being the opposite of modern is going to keep getting tougher for de pope.

You say that but at the same time the Catholic Church stated last year that aliens could exist (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7399661.stm). Considering the subject of aliens seems pretty modern to me.

To recap, aliens might exist and the Holocaust might not.... hmmm, I wonder which has more credible evidence to support it.

TheLordHumungus
11th February 09, 03:30 AM
I used to be catholic (as a polak, it was required). I find that I can't stir up any real indignation over this. They live in a fantasy world and preach the word of a being that there is no evidence of. After being able to pull illogic of that magnitude off, I'm unimpressed by any other irrational tidbit they may come up with.

Domite
11th February 09, 03:30 AM
http://blog.wired.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/11/05/aliens.jpg

Craigypooh
11th February 09, 05:25 AM
He added: "I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them by gas chambers."

Is he saying that because he thinks only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews "perished", and that the Nazis didn't use gas chambers, then that means the Nazis weren't evil fuckers but just a bit naughty?

Presumably he gets all his information on the Holocaust directly from the sky wizard.

This is what you get when you make a former member of the Hitler Youth the leader of your cult.

Phrost
11th February 09, 09:09 AM
And the Catholic church takes one more step down the road of irrelevance.

Sun Wukong
11th February 09, 10:17 AM
This is practically a shot across the bow of Jews everywhere, and given the Church's history of encouraging the persecution of jews and their initial support of Hitler in Germany, what the fuck did he think would happen?

He's pretty much going to have to play the "I'm the pope, I don't make mistakes" card on this one at this point or bounce the goy out again for something else.

HappyOldGuy
11th February 09, 11:34 AM
You guys don't understand. The guy was excommunicated. That is the worst thing the church can do to somebody. Back in the old days, excommunication came after death by torture on the scale of punishments. In catholic teaching, excommunication is essentially=damnation. If you die while excommunicated, you go to hell, go directly to hell, do not pass go, do not collect a little toy hat. It's only allowed for people who do things that threaten the church, and it has to be lifted as soon as they make penance and stop.

So you folks who think this has anything to do with anything else are way off base. I'm sure that the former ratzinger thinks some unsayable things about all sorts of people in his dark little heart. But this has nothing to do with anything else.

Sun Wukong
11th February 09, 11:38 AM
Ok, so did the pope restore his title as a priest as well?

Can't you allow someone back in the church without giving them their collar back too?

mrblackmagic
11th February 09, 11:43 AM
And so the slippery slope arguments begin.

HappyOldGuy
11th February 09, 11:44 AM
Ok, so did the pope restore his title as a priest as well?

Can't you allow someone back in the church without giving them their collar back too?
It's way complicated. but short answer, no.

Edit: slightly longer answer, now that he is back in the bosom of mother church, there are lots of mean things the pope can do to him, it's just that taking away his collar isn't one of them.

Craigypooh
11th February 09, 11:55 AM
It's only allowed for people who do things that threaten the church, and it has to be lifted as soon as they make penance and stop.


I'd say having a Bishop who's a Holocaust denier is a threat to the church. It's hardly likely to keep the pews full!

Sun Wukong
11th February 09, 12:04 PM
ok, so the pope can't fire a priest???

uh, but he can assign him to some ass backwards part of the world until he decides that maybe the holocaust really did happen?

TheLordHumungus
11th February 09, 01:40 PM
It's way complicated. but short answer, no.

Edit: slightly longer answer, now that he is back in the bosom of mother church, there are lots of mean things the pope can do to him, it's just that taking away his collar isn't one of them.

While an ordained priest is a "priest forever, like Melchizedek of old", he can still be defrocked. Or am I mistaken about this? I have been out of the believing game for some time now. Is there some reason the pontiff would be unable to make that particular papal decree?

Shawarma
11th February 09, 01:47 PM
Reassign him to Jerusalem.

WarPhalange
11th February 09, 01:47 PM
I used to be catholic (as a polak, it was required).

Hmm... Methinks I should start a thread to see exactly how many Polaks we have here. I'm starting to lose track. But yeah, I'm in the same boat. Required -> hard-wired into my brain -> college (and actually reading the Bible) -> oh shit, it doesn't make sense!

Can you believe I was very religious at one point?

JP2 was willing give up pride in order to stop violence and have more people living peacefully. Apparently this Pope doesn't see Pride as a deadly sin. Vanity is pretty cool too in his book (all Catholics' books), apparently.

HappyOldGuy
11th February 09, 02:05 PM
While an ordained priest is a "priest forever, like Melchizedek of old", he can still be defrocked. Or am I mistaken about this? I have been out of the believing game for some time now. Is there some reason the pontiff would be unable to make that particular papal decree?

That's already done.

Cullion
11th February 09, 02:05 PM
The Pope has asked him to recant on the holocaust denial or be defrocked.
The Pope basically admitted he'd made a mistake in this case.

Defrocking a catholic priest is a pretty serious step, after all, they didn't even do it automatically to all the priests involved in the paedophilia scandals.

However, a catholic priest can be defrocked without being excommunicated.

Excommunication is an extremely serious step and isn't automatically awarded for other, more severe sins. It's usually done to catholics who publicly, repeatedly and unapologetically challenge the church's authority.

For example, murderers and rapists aren't automatically excommunicated. They are just people who've committed a very severe sin. This doesn't automatically put them beyond the church's ministry or forgiveness. The belief is that they can still be redeemed and forgiven by God if they confess and do penance.

If the Catholic church excommunicated everybody who committed a sin, the churches would be totally empty.

Excommunication, in catholic thought, basically means that person is considered totally beyond redemption, and won't even be given the last rites on their deathbed if they beg a priest for it until the pope lifts the excommunication.

He will probably lose his priesthood if he publicly refuses to recant his views , but given that you can murder a child and not be excommunicated, don't assume that will happen to somebody just because they hold batshit insane views about history.

He'll probably only be excommunicated again if he publicly refuses to recant his views, is told he no longer represents the Catholic church, and then carries on calling himself a bishop.

HappyOldGuy
11th February 09, 02:11 PM
I couldn't find the exact details, but he apparently is still not supposed to act as a bishop, give communion, etc. So he basically is "defrocked."

Kiko
11th February 09, 02:54 PM
*sigh* It does seem like he is undoing everything JPII did. It's never made sense to me that a human being can be infallible, but I don't think it means what it seems. Unfortunately, it's more like a Mom saying to her kids, "Because I said so."

Fearless Ukemi
11th February 09, 03:33 PM
Papal infallibility only applies to matters related to Catholic doctrine. The pope can't just make statements about whatever he feels like and declare it as infallible.

But he can settle internal disputes within the Catholic church when doctrine comes into question. This is the only thing the pope can make an infallible statement about. It's basically a way to keep all the churches on the same page teaching the same thing.

Kiko
11th February 09, 03:41 PM
I know it's not about things like crunchy vs creamy peanut butter ;)

It's also kind of not as important or necessary as it was in the old days, is it? I was watching a program just yesterday called, "Decoding Christianity". The episode was about how, when and why the Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican churches split off from Rome. Pope Leo excommunicated some bishops, I believe, (might have been patriarchs) over the inclusion/absence of 4 words from the Nicene creed. He also excommunicated the entire population of Constantinople.

Cullion
11th February 09, 04:12 PM
Papal infallibility only applies to matters related to Catholic doctrine. The pope can't just make statements about whatever he feels like and declare it as infallible.

You missed the part where Catholics doctrine covers lots of things, including abortion, homosexuality and evolution. And can be expanded to pretty much anything else the Pope wants to address. So basically, yeah he can.

Fearless Ukemi
11th February 09, 04:30 PM
I suppose he can to a degree, but he still can't invoke papal infallibility while contradicting Catholic tradition or scripture.

Cullion
11th February 09, 04:36 PM
Yeah, he can. e.g. Vatican II

That's what the whole split with 'traditionalist' catholics is about.

HappyOldGuy
11th February 09, 04:43 PM
Yeah, he can. e.g. Vatican II

That's what the whole split with 'traditionalist' catholics is about.

Just to be a pedantic former altar boy. Vatican II was the opposite of papal infallibility. It was setting new dogma through Eccliastical Council. Which is when all the bishops get together to do something and tends to be even more authoritative than just cause the pope said so.

Cullion
11th February 09, 05:50 PM
Yeah, but the Pope can still go it alone when he wants to.

AAAhmed46
11th February 09, 06:44 PM
How could john paul turn out so awesome, yet this guy such a douche, why did he get chosen?

bob
11th February 09, 06:45 PM
Just to be a pedantic former altar boy

I think it's spelled pederastic.

HappyOldGuy
11th February 09, 06:59 PM
I think it's spelled pederastic.

I'm scarred for life. They never touched me.

Wasn't I pretty enough?

bob
11th February 09, 07:09 PM
I'm scarred for life. They never touched me.

Wasn't I pretty enough?

Perhaps you didn't embody enough of that cherubic innocence that they like to despoil.

Cullion
11th February 09, 08:52 PM
I'm scarred for life. They never touched me.

Wasn't I pretty enough?

Did the priest ever let you try the communion wine after the service, 'just to teach how you how to drink responsibly' ?

Did you ever do that and then wonder where the time went when you got home?

Sun Wukong
12th February 09, 02:27 AM
Ok, now that the catholic's have chimed in I think I have a better grasp of this situation.

It might be that the new pope see's that just because someone holds a bad belief, it shouldn't doom their soul for all eternity. He may merely be giving the man a chance to atone for his sins, and may de-frock him in the interim or basically has already de-frocked him.

Ok, not such a bad pope I guess, forgiveness and mercy are beatitudes and the pope should display them whenever possible, so this doesn't seem like such a bad thing. However, those unsanctioned rites declaring members of a new order of priesthood are way on the creepy side.

Steve
12th February 09, 03:47 AM
Does Dante's Inferno enter into this at all? Purgatory and all that?

HappyOldGuy
12th February 09, 11:59 AM
Ok, now that the catholic's have chimed in I think I have a better grasp of this situation.

It might be that the new pope see's that just because someone holds a bad belief, it shouldn't doom their soul for all eternity. He may merely be giving the man a chance to atone for his sins, and may de-frock him in the interim or basically has already de-frocked him.

Ok, not such a bad pope I guess, forgiveness and mercy are beatitudes and the pope should display them whenever possible, so this doesn't seem like such a bad thing. However, those unsanctioned rites declaring members of a new order of priesthood are way on the creepy side.
ex catholic and hang on a sec. This new pope is a douchebag. Just not for this. He's a hardcore douchebag for his stance on gays in the church.

TheLordHumungus
12th February 09, 02:40 PM
C'mon HappyOldGuy, you know you're never an ex-catholic. Just a lapsed catholic. Noboby gets out that easily ;)

And don't forget his part in the molestation cover ups. Rape a child? We've got a job for you in Rome.

Cullion
12th February 09, 02:49 PM
Does Dante's Inferno enter into this at all? Purgatory and all that?

No, sorry.

WarPhalange
12th February 09, 03:34 PM
Did the priest ever let you try the communion wine after the service, 'just to teach how you how to drink responsibly' ?

Did you ever do that and then wonder where the time went when you got home?

And why you were bleeding from your ass?

Cullion
12th February 09, 03:54 PM
Ok, now that the catholic's have chimed in I think I have a better grasp of this situation.

It might be that the new pope see's that just because someone holds a bad belief, it shouldn't doom their soul for all eternity. He may merely be giving the man a chance to atone for his sins, and may de-frock him in the interim or basically has already de-frocked him.

Basically the pope lifted the excommunication without apparently being aware of all the details, then was told about them and said 'oh, hang on, sorry, you'll have to publicly recant that particular view'.

But not liking Jews and/or thinking the widely accepted history of the holocaust is fraudulent or distorted is far from grounds for excommunication. You don't get excommunicated for murder, so being an anti-semite who just says offensive things isn't enough to get you excommunicated.

What could get him excommunicated would be being an open anti-semite who offends Jews whilst claiming to represent the Catholic church as a bishop.

HappyOldGuy
12th February 09, 04:00 PM
What could get him excommunicated would be being an open anti-semite who offends Jews whilst claiming to represent the Catholic church as a bishop.

Unless you were in one of those rather long stretches of history where offending jews was actually part of the job description :cool:

Cullion
13th February 09, 04:52 PM
Unless you were in one of those rather long stretches of history where offending jews was actually part of the job description :cool:

Yes, but the crime he'd being excommunicated for isn't 'being mean about Jews' (how could it be, when you can murder a child and not be excommunicated).

The crime would be contradicting papal policy whilst claiming to be a bishop, i.e. rebelling against the Church.

Kiko
14th February 09, 06:19 AM
http://media1.break.com/dnet/media/2009/2/78%20Devil%20Pope.jpg

Shawarma
14th February 09, 07:03 AM
How can you be offended that the pope is not very accepting of homosexuals? The bible practically says "no faggots need apply" right there on the cover. Is he supposed to go against the very clear and literal words of the bible here?

Cullion
14th February 09, 08:06 AM
An honest proponent of gay rights would say 'yes, because the Bible is just the re-translated transcriptions of the legends of Bronze age desert tribesmen'.

Most modern activists just sort of hide in sophistry and campaign to have things reinterpreted.

HappyOldGuy
14th February 09, 11:57 AM
How can you be offended that the pope is not very accepting of homosexuals? The bible practically says "no faggots need apply" right there on the cover. Is he supposed to go against the very clear and literal words of the bible here?

The bible says no buttsecks, and that's been the churches policy for 1700 years. This pope for the first time in 1700 years said, "noone who is tempted by buttsecks."

Cullion
14th February 09, 12:09 PM
It's not that he hates the sinner rather than the sin, he just thinks they need to report for an exorcism. Ever seen a demon of gayness being exorcised ?

Oh, the whining !

Aphid Jones
14th February 09, 01:04 PM
An honest proponent of gay rights would say 'yes, because the Bible is just the re-translated transcriptions of the legends of Bronze age desert tribesmen'.
reinterpreted.
Only the FIRST HALF is Bronze-Age, thank you very much!