Tag Archives: Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict Reels Under Criticism

Pope Benedict XVI has been surprised by the violent outburst of German political and church leaders over his decision to bring back into the fold four formerly excommunicated bishops. When it became clear that Bishop Robert Williamson had told Swedish television he did not believe there was a Holocaust and accounts of the death of Jews during World War II were greatly exaggerated, the follow up to the remarks shocked Vatican leaders. Furious reactions came from European leaders, particularly, comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who made clear her disgust with the decision to allow the return of Bishop Williamson. She told the Vatican, “This should not be allowed to pass without consequences” and “the pope and the Vatican should clarify unambiguously that there can be no denial(of the Holocaust)”

There is growing evidence the Pope was shocked to learn about the Williamson views concerning the Holocaust and now is in a defensive mode. He is demanding that Bishop Williamson openly recant his views about the non-killing of Jews in the Holocaust. Chancellor Merkel has been placed in an awkward position. She is leader of Germany which conducted the Holocaust and the Pope is a German. She felt compelled to take a strong stand.

Pope Benedict In Search Of Where To Go

The Vatican is temporarily in disorder as various priests attempt to sort out where the Church is headed after a week of turmoil and disorder brought about by Pope Benedict’s decision to reinstate four conservative priests. Unfortunately, for the Pope, one of the priests he allowed to return to the church gave an interview in which he said that Hitler never killed six million Jews and there was no Holocaust. Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is in charge of the Vatican’s relations with the Jewish community, admitted the decision to lift the ban on a Holocaust denier has created anger and fury. A bishop in German termed the Pope’s move to be “catastrophic” and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed anger at the decision and called upon the Pope to acknowledge his mistake in allowing Holocaust deniers to be reinstated as priests.

British born Robert Williamson, one of those who had been excommunicated and now reinstated, is most probably the most controversial due to his ignorant statements about the Holocaust and denial of massive Jewish deaths in the Holocaust. As Chancellor Merkel put it: “If a decision of the Vatican gives rise to the impression that the Holocaust may be denied, this cannot be left to stand.”

Pope Benedict was attempting to restore to the church conservatives who had been at odds with many decisions of the past few years. However, in reaching out to satisfy their ideas, Pope Benedict may well have alienated many within his own church. Perhaps, it is time to return to the ideas of Pope John XXIII who set the church’s face to the future and captured the imagination of millions of loyal Catholics.

Israel Rabbis Cut Ties With Vatican

The history of the Catholic Church on issues dealing with anti-Semitism or anti-Muslim issues is hardly among its actions in defense of freedom. Pope Benedict since assuming the responsibility of heading the Catholic Church has allied himself with forces of reaction who seek a return to an earlier era of time. The Pope’s decision to reinstate a bishop who had publicly stated there was no Holocaust and no Jews were gassed to death has infuriated Jews throughout the world. Israel’s highest Jewish body severed ties with the Vatican and the chief rabbinate wrote to the Holy See expressing “sorrow and pain” at the decision to reinstate a bishop who believes “not one(Jew) of them was (killed) by gassing in a chamber.”

The Pope expressed his “full and indisputable solidarity” with Jews and expressed his view there was a Holocaust. Perhaps, Bishop Bernard Williamson can explain why Pope John XXII, who was a priest during WWII worked so hard to save the lives of Italian Jews. Was he part of a Jewish plot to claim there was a Holocaust when none existed? Perhaps, the good bishop can explain pictures, films, and first hand witnesses such as General Dwight Eisenhower who visited the death camps and saw the gas chambers.

I believe Pope Benedict should return to the 14th century when things were clear to all Catholics about what constituted the “truth.”

Pope Benedict–It’s Gays Who Threaten Planet Earth

The world is experiencing a severe economic downturn which has led to the loss of jobs and incomes on the part of millions. Global warming continues with large areas of polar regions undergoing being turned into areas in which farming could begin. But, to Pope Benedict, the real enemy of humankind is– homosexuality!! In a Christmas address he said humanity had to listen to the “language of creation” to understand the roles of men and women, and that any gay or lesbian behavior was “a destruction of God’s work.” He called upon the Church to protect man from the “destruction of himself” and said that might be even more important than destruction of the rainforests. Rev. Sharon Ferguson of he Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement termed the Pope’s remarks, “totally irresponsible and unacceptable in any shape or form.”

There are many societies in which being a gay or lesbian poses threats of being murdered by fanatical haters of anyone who is not “right” about sexual orientation. The remarks of he Pope are shocking because he is in one form or another giving credence to those who wish to kill homosexuals. He is spreading fear at a time when a head of a church should be spreading he word of Jesus Christ to love one another. It is remarks like this of the Pope that eventually will result in formation of an American Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict Urges Anglican Compromise

Pope Benedict is leading an unusual effort to heal a growing rift in the Anglican church over issues centered around allowing gays and females to become bishops. The Pope urged both sides in the conflict to find a “mature” solution to their problem in order to avoid a “schism” in the church. He dispatched three cardinals to serve as mediators and make clear the would not support the defection of conservative Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict is giving behind the scenes assistance to the Archbishop of Canterbury who is trying to keep traditionalists within the church.

Pope Benedict undoubtedly sides with traditionalists in their opposition to gay and female bishops but he is concerned about churches becoming divided. “We cannot , we must not intervene in their discussions and their responsibilities we respect.”

Traditionalists may oppose female and gays as bishops today, but the future lies in the direction of more inclusive leadership in churches throughout the world.

Pope Vs Science–Is It Happening?

Science is taking a back seat to the Pope with the dismantling of the astronomical observatory that has been part of Castel Gandoifo, south of Rome, for more than 75 years. The Pope claims he needs more room for diplomats and has ordered the observatory be removed to a new location. Father Jose G. Funes, director of the observatory, claims “it is not a downgrading of science in the Vatican. To remain within the palace would have had only a symbolic significance..” But, many observers note that symbolism is exactly what the Catholic Church needs at a time when it is led by a Pope who has expressed sympathy for an Intelligent Design view of the origin of the world even though such ideas run counter to the scientific staff of the Observatory.

Pope Benedict XVI increasingly has cast his lot with more conservative forces within the Vatican. He opposes all reform ideas that have been circulating within the Church for the past forty years. Perhaps, the removal of the Observatory to another location was merely an attempt to get him some more room for discussions with diplomats. On the other hand, perhaps he needed more room to discuss the world with scientists.