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Pope Renews Full Solidarity to Jews

posted by nsymmonds

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he feels “full and indisputable solidarity” with Jews and warned against any denial of the full horror of the Holocaust.
Benedict spoke days he revoked the excommunication of a bishop who says no Jews were gassed during the Holocaust. The decision provoked an outcry among Jews.
“As I renew my full and indisputable solidarity with our brothers,” Benedict said, “I wish that the memory of the Shoah prompt humanity to reflect on the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the hearts of men.” Shoah is a Hebrew word for the Holocaust.
“May the Shoah be a warning to everyone against oblivion, denials or reduction,” the pope told thousands of pilgrims at a weekly audience at the Vatican.
The Vatican had already distanced itself from comments by bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II. The Holy See said that removing the excommunication by no means implied the Vatican shared Williamson’s views.
But these were the first comments on the issue by the pope since the controversy erupted.
Benedict lifted the excommunication of Williamson and three other bishops last week.
The four were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by the late ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent – a move the Vatican said at the time was an act of schism.
Associated Press – January 28, 2009
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Henrietta22

posted January 30, 2009 at 8:24 pm


Another mis-communication taken care of, that’s good.



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pagansister

posted January 30, 2009 at 8:42 pm


Sure Benny…whatever. At least you said something.



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Nate W

posted January 30, 2009 at 9:37 pm


Pagansisters, I’m constantly amazed at how someone who constantly displays shut profound ignorance of Pope Benedict’s own thought and personality continues to comment. Like I’ve said many times before, I work with people who know Benedict personally, and none of them, not one, has ever assumed the worst of him like you insist on doing, no matter what their occasional disagreements with his decisions. Is it so hard to admit that you don’t know much about the intricate details of canon law or the enormous theological corpus of Joseph Ratzinger, and then respond a little more charitably to what you hear (often badly reported) in the news?



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pagansister

posted January 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm


NateW, I’m just glad he actually said something. I’ve never claimed to know Benny’s thought or what his personality is like…only what he continues to show and has shown in the past via news reports etc. The truth is I have as much respect for Benny as I had for “W”….that would be ….none. From what I have read and seen (as I said above) he is NOT helping the RCC…and if anything is keeping or returning it to what I consider the “bad old days.” (as described by Catholic friends who left the church due to nuns who beat them with sticks and priests who were to be feared also). For those liberal Catholics, the “thinking ones” and the priests who also think for themselves I have great admiration. As to continuing to comment…that’s what blogs are for. (you responded, didn’t you?)



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pagansister

posted January 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm


Oh, also NateW, it will be interesting to how the Jewish community responds to this latest pronouncement. As to my knowledge of canon law, why would I have knowledge and when have I said I did? :o) That would be never. It isn’t necessary to know canon law to respond to Benny’s outward conduct…



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jestrfyl

posted January 31, 2009 at 12:28 am


Well, it is January, the month with two faces. I guess b16 i just keeping his remarks in theme, so to speak. He is showing a tendency toward saying one thing and doing another. His theological and ecclesiastical agenda is a stronger concern than any sort of ecumenical or pastoral efforts.



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mike

posted January 31, 2009 at 12:58 am


Giving the pope more attention only encourages him further. We would do well do just ignore him, and concentrate on embracing our own shadow and being of service to others.



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Nate W

posted January 31, 2009 at 1:58 am


You think that Benedict’s agenda is to get more nuns to beat more kids with sticks, pagansister? Or that he and his theological allies don’t “think for themselves” just as much as the liberals do? For someone who is so concerned about how the Pope is handling public relations for the Catholic Church, I would think that you’d try a little harder not to look so arrogant and condescending.
And to jestrfyl: this whole ordeal IS a pastoral effort. Are you suggesting that Benedict is supposed to cut off all communication with everyone involved in the SSPX just because some Jewish leaders want him to? A good pastor is a shepherd of a flock, and his job is to look after his flock, including those who have gone astray.
Can you give me one good reason, based on your seemingly extensive knowledge of the situation, why Benedict should keep that entire traditionalist community cut off from communion with the rest of the church just because there are a few lunatics in the group, lunatics most of whom probably won’t be willing to meet the conditions of being in good standing with the church anyway? What, other than public relations, should motivate him to do that?



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Tom

posted January 31, 2009 at 2:59 pm


jestrfyl:
I believe Pope Benedict XVI wants to get more traditionalists familiar with Latin and the rubrix of the extraordinary form in response to the increasing demand of laity (myself included). The Tridentine Mass has been in the back of the closet for so long that priests are ill-equipped to say the Mass without butchering it. SSPX, on the other hand, their priests say the mass all the time (with subdeacons who are seminarians rather than permanent ones) and so their is no conflict of interest in terms of rank and valid procedure personnel wise. Were they able to iron out some of their ‘doctrinal differences’ then perhaps re-incorporating the willing participants of the society may be beneficial to everyone concerned.
I can appreciate you seeing this as an attempt by him to ‘drag the Church back into the dark ages’. I’m merely offering a different perspective as an insider; one more familiar with the ins and outs as they pertain to the current situation. I also believe he has become increasingly aware of the abuse running rampant in the Novus Ordo (musical liturgy in particular) as he experienced firsthand in Yankee Stadium. The Novus Ordo, of course, could remain available for the majority of Catholics who prefer it. I know as a faithful adherent I tend to ascribe noble motives for the ways he conducts internal affairs, but does any of this seem the least bit plausible to you? Just curious.



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Bob

posted January 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm


“…left the church due to nuns who beat them with sticks…”
And, Pagansister, there have been pagans who have sacrificed everything from small animals to human children (ancient cult of Moloch) to their idea of god(s), but that doesn’t mean I think you’re all homicidal maniacs.
But you know what? From now on maybe I’ll paint you all with the same broad brush you like to use when it comes to Catholics.



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pagansister

posted January 31, 2009 at 8:29 pm


Yes, Bob, Pagans have a history too…just like the Catholics and their forced conversions of the “pagans”, the Crusades into those godless Muslim countires, the Inquisition, and much in this time, molesting priests. If nothing else, the molesting priests coming to the surface has taught Catholics to not let the kids alone with them. It also taught them that priests were just regular men..nothing special. Priests using their position to take advantage of kids (and some women) was and is detestable. I doubt that any faith hasn’t got skeletons in their closets. Catholic school discipline no longer requires rulers…10 years teaching in a Catholic school showed me that…however, the 80 year old nun on the faculty missed the old days of “40 kids in the classroom and they were all quiet”. Sure, child abuse does wonders! Do you deny that the ruler on the hands was NOT used in Catholic schools…with the full knowledge of parents?
Paint me as you will…no problem. :o) I only represent a few, and IMO Benny only represents…a few. There are many different version of my beliefs and there are different versions of Catholics.



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pagansister

posted January 31, 2009 at 8:51 pm


NateW:
How’re you doing?
You asked if I thought Benny would want kids smacked with rulers again, by the nuns. He was called a Rottweiler, right? :o)
As for thinking done by Benny and friends…I expect they think about what they can do to keep the church in the “traditions” of 2000 years….which in some ways is a good thing, but not, IMO when it is so far back that daylight isn’t allowed for progress. (married priests, relaxing the views on birth control..ignored by a lot if women, women priests to name a few). But not being Catholic…his decisions don’t affect me. Arrogant and condescending? Interesting observation by one who never shows those things.



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nnmns

posted February 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm


This just in. Pope Benjamin has named Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria province. Wagner has a minor fame for being among those religious leaders who said Hurricane Katrina was God’s way of getting revenge on the people in New Orleans for tolerance of homosexuals and laid-back sexual attitudes exhibited in the French Quarter, often by tourists. Some quotes from the article:

Hans Padinger, spokesman for the Upper Austrian priest’s council, told the Oberoesterreichische Rundschau newspaper that he was “not very pleased” with the pick because it gave him the general impression the Vatican made no attempt to communicate with the Linz Diocese about the matter.

and

Upper Austrian priest and church dean Franz Wild said he was “appalled” by the decision and that he found it astonishing that someone with such extreme positions could be appointed to a post that was meant to unify.

“I hope it’s clear to the church that we’re living in the 21st century and that it also has to live there,” the newspaper quoted Wild as saying on its Web site.

I commend those clergy who had the gumption to speak out.



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Nate W

posted February 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm


But pagansister, there are couple things you have to keep in mind. One is that Ratzinger was clearly on the side of the progressives at the time of Vatican II, not the staunch traditionalists. He was clearly on the side of progress, and for the most part, his post-Vatican II theological writings haven’t backed off from that stance. But the “progressive” theologians at the time became split among two major camps: the “aggiornamento” group, which looked more to modern sources for reform, and the “ressourcement” group, which looked to patristic and early medieval sources, read through the lens of the issues of the modern day. Both groups were progressive, but with different styles. Ratzinger belonged to the latter group, and he hasn’t betrayed the fundamental commitments of the group. Any suspicions of Benedict wanting to return to the pre-Vatican II church are silly. The man has always had an outlook that’s open to change and advancement.
Second, it’s important to note that even the most “progressive” popes haven’t done much more than Benedict to bring about the sorts of changes that you seem to want, like women priests and artificial contraception. Even Paul VI, quite “progressive” for a pope, issued Humanae Vitae with its condemnation of artificial birth control. It’s quite simply unfair to single out Benedict as being against progress when he’s not doing anything different from what the other post-Vatican II popes have done when it comes to your pet issues.



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pagansister

posted February 1, 2009 at 8:05 pm


NateW, I’ll take your word for it that Benny is progressive. You’re the man studying all the religious stuff. However. my version of progress (as a non-Catholic, and basicly non-Christian) certainly isn’t the RCC’s version of progressive by any means. From my observation the RCC hasn’t gotten out of the Middle Ages…ie the attitude towards women leading (nuns still aren’t considered equal to priests) and the other stuff I’ve mentioned previously.



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pagansister

posted February 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm


nnmns, thanks for the site reference. I went to it…maybe the new guy Wagner spoke to some of the RR leaders here who thought 9-11 was rath from the big dude in the sky..and Katrina too, of course.



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Tom

posted February 1, 2009 at 11:43 pm


“From my observation the RCC hasn’t gotten out of the Middle Ages…ie the attitude towards women leading (nuns still aren’t considered equal to priests) and the other stuff I’ve mentioned previously.”
This could very well be the source of the problem, pagansis. Brothers or friars (the same as nuns) are not considered greater or less than priests either. As a matter of fact, the Catholic Church teaches that each and every human being has the same amount of dignity. You seem to be trying to compare apples and oranges. One vocation doesn’t necessarily hold priority over another. Married people are called to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony; yet this vocation isn’t considered of less importance than consecrated persons or ecclesiastical authorities. It would be like saying a grade school teacher isn’t worthy of standing in the presence of an Ivy League college professor.
I know you thing the Catholic Church consists of a bunch of male chauvenists trying to keep women barefoot in the kitchen; yet it simply isn’t so. Priests are servants to the laity, bishops are servants to priests, cardinals are servants to other bishops, and the Pope is a servant to the other bishops and cardinals (the first among equals). Goes back to Jesus’ saying about “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
If you keep trying to view this through the lens of a secularist, then you will always end up loggerheads. You’ll be condemned to posting the same point of view over and over and getting into circular debates that keep goin round and round till the day you die. Does that sound like the better way to spend the rest of your golden years?



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jestrfyl

posted February 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm


I have been fairly open about not simply respecting, but actiually honoring the work – pastoral and theological and even liturgical – of many in the RCC, serving in many roles and capacities. But what i see – granted, from the outside-far outside, is that b16 is welcoming back people who have a decidedly regressive position. Another is this new bishop, Wagner. There may be great and wonderful internal machinations to which we of the unwashed protestant persuasion may not be privileged. But seeing what we do through the wavy glass of the ancient windows is not impressive or even all that hopeful. I don;t think b16 should – or will – do anything to comply with a protestant, pagan, or atheistic perspective. But he ought to be aware – and I expect him to be aware – that many people are watching his appointments and confirmations with concern. He is but one person, but he represents a substantial goroup of people and long established institution, and his choices and decisions are not isolated or without effect in the greater world.



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Henrietta22

posted February 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm


…..Priests are servants to the laity, bishops are servants to priests, cardinals are servants to other bishops, and the Pope is a servant to the other bishops and cardinals (the first among equals). Goes back to Jesus saying about “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
So does this mean that the Nuns are servants to all these men, and being last they are first? Or does this also mean that sometimes we are last in what we do, but persevere and you will be first another time?



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jestrfyl

posted February 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm


When kids rush to get in line first, and there is a lot of pushing and toes trod upon, I have been known to reverse the line – offering the first shall be last verse. If there is one kid who thinks they will outsmart me, I start with the middle of the line. Working hard to be first is not the goal, whether from the front or back of the line. It is the life and not the work that matters.
It was obvious that b16 wanted to be first long before the election. I think he needs to read again Jesus’ admonition about being first, being servant to all, and the rest of the reversal lessons.
By the way, have you read or heard the interviews of the White House domestic staff? They are real tributes to the concept of leadership through service. These are lessons many people need to learn over and again. I hope b16 gets to read / hear some of them.



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pagansister

posted February 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm


Tom, then why is it that the nuns had to answer to first the Mother Superior and then the Mother Superior to a priest? Those assumptions may be wrong, but it still seems that women don’t have the power they, IMO, should have. It is a male dominated society. Does (did) a Mother Superior have as much rank in the RCC as a priest or bishop?



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nnmns

posted February 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm


“Priests are servants to the laity, bishops are servants to priests, cardinals are servants to other bishops, and the Pope is a servant to the other bishops and cardinals (the first among equals).”
Somehow I doubt that giving orders ever travels the chain that way. Or suggestions that must be taken. Isn’t that really pretty phony?



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Tom

posted February 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm


“I don;t think b16 should – or will – do anything to comply with a protestant, pagan, or atheistic perspective.”
Actually, these are the very things ultra-conservative traditionalists have accused Pope Benedict XVI of. From marble to wooden altars, the Novus Ordo they contend was written by a protestant, and all of the abuses that run through it. They accuse him of putting all religions on equal footing with Roman Catholicism and trying to merge all or them. Some even alleged that the Vatican was hijacked by free-masonry.
If by comply you mean compromise Catholic theology then I hope he doesn’t comply. Yet there have been many ecumenical movements still ongoing where he tries to reconcile with different Christian communities.
Pope Benedict XVI has never seemed all to comfortable with the spotlight on him if you ask me, especially when he first took over the office. It was my understanding that he didn’t even expect to be elected and planned on doing research in his twilight years.
And by no means are women last in vocation. Catholics hold the vocation to motherhood to be of the utmost value. Biological mothers share a connection to their offspring that fathers typically don’t have. My own mother knew when I was severely depressed and on the brink of despair without ever seeing or hearing from me. She also knew when I was cold at night long after I moved away from her. Women have many ministries and influence outside of ecclesiastical positions. Some in my own church are bible ministers, church business managers, nursing home ministry directors, catechetical directors and so on. Mother Teresa, though she may have answered to male clerical authorities, had a lot of license in her own ministry and was acredited as having a ‘strategic military approach’ in her bid to feed and clothe the poor as well as win souls over to Christ. A smaller percentage (a couple I know) happen to be career women yet very spiritual, so no not all of them are ‘baby factories’ up to their armpits in children and living paycheck to paycheck.



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pagansister

posted February 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm


Tom,
Women all over the world who aren’t Catholic have influence outside of a religious organization. My point is that women who are in charge of a religious order STILL have to answer to a Male…as proven by your example of Mother Teresa. With all the good work she tried to do, she still ultimatly had to answer to a man. Somehow that isn’t right. Women should be priests…with the right to move up in the ranks like a male with the possibility of someday becoming the Pope. Now that would be progress.
The women you mentioned who are bible ministers, church business managers etc still have to answer to the priest or some male. The truth is the church is still run by males…women just happen to be around to do what the men LET them do…bible ministers, church business managers, nursing home ministry directors….



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Tom

posted February 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm


“Somehow I doubt that giving orders ever travels the chain that way. Or suggestions that must be taken. Isn’t that really pretty phony?”
Where you not a science teacher in your own day? Did you not feel as though you were a servant to your students, even though to a certain extent you called the shots as to how to make assignments, conduct lab experiments, discipline, and so on? And perhaps being unappreciated by many students (I among those with a lousy attitude for learning), most are in it for love of the game seeing those who have a higher apptitude in that field and an appreciation for learning florish, or did you do it for retirement property on some tropical island?



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jestrfyl

posted February 3, 2009 at 10:43 am


My experience has been that the nuns have plenty of power, but the priests and bishops, “The Guys”, have the authority. Movies like “Doubt’ explore those relationships well. In a system that respects authority more than honoring power there is a great potential for abuse. However, when power trumps authority there is just as much danger, perhpas even more. Allowinf for the shifting imbalance of the two is a dynamic that encourages growth while controlling the changes in a manageable way.



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nnmns

posted February 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm


Tom, I’ve been a teacher and I definitely intended to do good by my students, but I did not take orders from them. The occasional suggestion, after consideration, yes, but there was no question about which way the authority ran.
But I had authority over the class for the obvious reason I knew the material they needed to learn. And of course a woman could have easily been an administrator with power over me. And women were in my position.
That’s a failed analogy with the power of clergy over women in the RCC.



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nnmns

posted February 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm


It goes on. From This AP article:

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Pope Benedict XVI to make a “very clear” rejection of Holocaust denials after a former bishop was rehabilitated by the Vatican.

Her rare and public demand came amid increasing outrage among Germany’s Roman Catholic leaders over the pope’s decision to lift the excommunication of British-born Richard Williamson, who questioned whether 6 million Jews were gassed during the Nazi Holocaust.

Life was so much simpler back in the day when a Pope could just call an offender, even a king, in and punish him as He saw fit.



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pagansister

posted February 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm


“Life was so much simpler back in the day when a Pope could just call an offender, even a king, in and punish him as He saw fit.” nnmns
AHHHH, the “good old days” when the Pope could just have someone burned at the stake if they didn’t believe or follow orders! :o)



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