Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Modern Times

[Joseph Ratzinger in his Hitler Youth uniform]

On January 16th Pope Benedict XVI withdrew the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X, commonly known as the Lefevrists or SSPX, welcoming them back into the Catholic Church.

They are, by reputation at least, largely unreconstructed Vichy-era anti-Semites. One of them, Bishop Williams of England is an outspoken Holocaust denier. Notably, no penance or conditions were imposed.

Just as we are to believe in many coincidences rather than in the existence of Jew-hatred, surely this action and Pope Benedict's early membership in the Hitler Youth and his subsequent career are also a coincidence.

Presumably Ireland's foreign policy will be adjusted to reflect this new coincidence.


  1. It is important to note that much of the SSPX theological platform is a throwback to a pre-Vatican II church and the Pius V Latin Mass and liturgy (with its embedded anti-Semitism).

    The SSPX Bishop, Richard Williamson, appears to have a view of historiography similar to that of a medieval Catholic chronicler marking the signs of the End of Days. Here is an excerpt from Bishop Richardson's letter released on occasion of the First Gulf War (letter dated 1991:

    "...However, behind the Gulf War and even behind Russia, may one not, thirdly, fear the looming figure of the Anti-Christ? Before hostilities are over in the Gulf, expect Israel to be looking to "solve" the Palestinian problem by removing King Hussein of Jordan, by turning Jordan into a client Palestinian state and by forcibly moving there all Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, to "make room" for the Jewish immigrants from Russia (cf. Washington Post, August 26, 1990). Imagine how such an idea appeals to the Arabs! In which case one understands why so many friends of Israel in the U.S.A. were and are whooping for the United States to break the Arab strong-man.

    Supernaturally seen, such a scenario, capable of many adaptations, represents one more in many steps of the Jewish people towards their appointment with God at the end of the world, when, maybe converted by the heroism and endurance of the Catholics undergoing persecution by their Anti-Christ, they will at last convert (Romans XI) and discover their own true Messiah, Jesus Christ, who has never ceased to love them as his own people. However, until they re-discover their true Messianic vocation, they may be expected to continue fanatically agitating, in accordance with their false messianic vocation of Jewish world-dominion, to prepare the Anti-Christ's throne in Jerusalem. So we may fear their continuing to play their major part in the agitation of the East and in the corruption of the West. Here the wise Catholic will remember that, again, the ex-Christian nations have only their own Liberalism to blame for allowing free circulation within Christendom to the enemies of Christ. As these make society more and more oppressively anti-Christian, he will profit to raise his sights above this world and look to the things of heaven –“When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption is at hand” (Lk XXI,28). Remembering also that Annas and Caiphas induced but never obligated Judas to betray Jesus, and that the Apostle's betrayal was a crime far worse than the Jews' deicide, He will look at the state of the Catholic Church today, and see why the enemies of Christendom are being given so much power.... [Richard Williamson, The Gulf War, Feb. 1st, 1991]

    It is hard to know where to begin, so many crucial elements of anti-Judaic doctrine (pre-Vatican II) appear in the narrative that it is difficult to believe that the letter was written in 1991 by purportedly Christian Bishop. But believe we must.

    It should be noted that the Vatican has officially distanced itself from Bishop Williamson SSPX and his superior has silenced the good SSPX Sheppard, preventing him from speaking historical opinions in public.

    This should not defuse vigilence.

    The Pre-Vatican II liturgy and Doctrine, as Bishop Williamson's letter illustrates, contains much that is fundamentally anti-Judaic and translates directly into anti-Semitism.

    Kind Regards

  2. Richardson in the above letter should read Williamson.

    Secondly, it took one week for the Vatican to decide to publicly address Bishop Williamson's recent Holocaust comments and an equal amount of time for SSPX to silence Williamson on issuing historical "opinions" in public.

    Presumably he is free to tend his spiritual hearth with the anti-Judaic kindling excerpted in the above cited letter ad infinitum.

  3. Christy5:49 AM

    This is getting boring. I've left. No reason to keep up the ignorance folks.

    Really, I don't know how to classify the discipline you lot use to discover the truth. Its certainly not the historical method, because you have a conclusion and simply find the evidence to support the conclusion, ignoring that which contradicts it. Similarily, the lack of general knowledge of Irish history is completely amazing when one attempts to make these connections - and yet, none of the substantive questions I have risen have been challenged, certainly not from Jack. We are still waiting on that history thumbnail Jack.

  4. Christy5:51 AM

    The ignorance really is startling when you re-read this drivel. The Pope had not choice but to join Hitler Youth - it was cumpulsory for children his age.

    Please actually read up on these very basic things before daring to have an opinion. It all looks so very childish and naieve.

  5. Hello Christy,

    Thank you for your comments; while you tend to take the opposite view point from ours, I for one hope you do not disappear from the readership.

    As for Herr Ratzinger: I think that the uniform in the photo for this post is likely a Luftwaffe enlisted uniform and not a Hitler Youth uniform proper.

    As for Herr Ratzinger's Hitler Youth membership and the question of historical method I would politely suggest that more research is indeed needed. Under the 1933 Reich Concordat, Cardinal-Secretary Pacelli sought to protect Catholic youth organizations from the influence of Nazi ideology (which he deemed Neo-Pagan). During the balance of the 1930s, the Nazi's for their part, tended to discourage membership in the Hitler Youth by those children who were already members of Catholic Youth organizations.

    The Nazis constantly sought to erode protections of Catholic religious organizations under the Reich Concordat of 1933 because Hitler rightly feared the potential for the type of resistance to the regime that Bismark encountered during the Prussian Kulturkamp against Catholicism in Germany during the 1870s.

    How all of this played out in Herr Ratzinger's (now Pope Benedict XVI)home town is still an open question.

    In short we have Benedict XVI's version and redaction of his WWII history, but one should not let the matter rest there.

    I should note that whatever the outcome, the difference between the German Catholic church and that of the Polish in WWII is very striking and appears to have produced two very different kinds of spiritual leaders at the head of the same organization.

    Kind Regards,

  6. Vatican demands Lefevbrite bishop recant

    National Catholic Reporter
    By John L. Allen Jr.
    February 4, 2009

    The Vatican Secretariat of State issued a statement today that in effect demands that the Lefevbrite Bishop Richard Williamson recant statements questioning the Holocaust.

    The statement says that in order to function as a bishop, Bishop Williamson must distance himself from his previous statements in "absolutely unequivocal and public fashion."

    The statement also re-emphasizes that the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, to which Williamson belongs, would have to recognize the teachings of Vatican II and of post-conciliar popes to be in full communion with the church.

    NCR’s translation of the statement follows the analysis by John Allen.

    Analysis: Vatican statement on Williamson not an about-face, but comes far too late


    In many quarters, the tendency will be to see today’s Vatican statement demanding that traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson recant his views on the Holocaust “in absolutely unequivocal and public fashion” as an about-face, a hasty reversal in the wake of overwhelmingly negative public reaction to news that the pope had lifted the excommunication of a Holocaust denier.

    In one sense, of course, that’s absolutely correct: Without the backlash, it’s unlikely the Secretariat of State would have felt the need to issue a public statement.

    Yet the tragedy is that, in effect, today’s statement simply spells out what the Vatican had in mind all along – raising the perfectly legitimate question of why it wasn’t issued before this whole mess erupted.

    Among Vatican-watchers, there has long been speculation that a pope might someday lift the excommunications of the four bishops of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, which resulted from their 1988 ordination by rebel Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. It has always been understood that when and if that happened, it would mark the beginning of a process of reconciliation – the endgame of which would involve, among other things, full acceptance of official church teaching by the Lefebvrites, including the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on respect for Judaism.

    One can of course debate the pastoral wisdom of rescinding the excommunications, or what it betokens about the broader direction of Catholicism, but insiders always understood that it would clearly not signal a “seal of approval” for absolutely everything various Lefebvrites currently think or say.

    Naturally, it’s unreasonable to expect the outside world to instinctively grasp all of that, which is why the logic and the subsequent steps in this process of reconciliation have to be carefully laid out in advance. The real story, therefore, is the Vatican’s failure to do so – a point that’s being made these days far and wide, and not just by the usual in-house critics.

    Consider, for example, the reaction of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria: “Obviously a mistake has been made here. Someone who denies the Holocaust, Shoah deniers, cannot be restored to an office in the church. Here there must be also a certain criticism of the Vatican's staff practice, which obviously did not examine the matter carefully or did not examine sufficiently the case in the information that they had.”

    Schönborn was essentially Benedict XVI’s “campaign manager” during the conclave of 2005, telling his fellow cardinals it was God’s will that Joseph Ratzinger be elected to the papacy. Schönborn is a longtime papal protégé, having done post-doctoral work under Ratzinger at the University of Regensburg in the 1970s. You can take to the bank, therefore, that his criticism is not motivated by office politics or anti-papal animus.
    Today’s note from the Secretariat of State once again asserts that the pope did not know Williamson’s views on the Holocaust prior to Jan. 21, when the decree lifting his excommunication was dated. That, however, doesn’t do the trick; his track record was abundantly clear to anyone who wished to look, and in any event, the Vatican certainly knew that members of the Society of St. Pius X hold views on other matters that are also difficult to reconcile with official doctrine.

    Had the note from the Secretariat of State been issued along with the decree on Jan. 21, much of the present crisis could have been averted. The bottom line is that we’re not dealing with an about-face, but an honest clarification – however, one that comes far too late in the game.