Pontifications

Pontifications


Another Holocaust-denying SSPX leader

posted by David Gibson

This time an Italian priest with the inimitable name of “Abrahamowicz.” (As they say in the newspaper biz, you can’t make this stuff up–hard as we might try.)
Indeed, Fr. Floriano Abrahamowicz, a pastor and spokesperson for the Society of St. Pius X in northeastern Italy, has said he has Jewish roots on his father’s side (“some of my best relations are Jews”) so he can’t be anti-Semitic. But he has referred to Jews as “a people of deicide”–basically saying they killed Christ–and, as John Allen writes, “suggested that the Jewish Holocaust has been ‘exalted’ over what he called ‘other genocides,’ such as the Allied bombing of German cities and the Israeli occupation of the Gaza strip.”
Nice. But the Trad movement is rife with this stuff, as noted earlier. There’s no need to play “gotcha!” to prove the point, but that seems to be what it will take for folks to get the point–and the problem…
Read the full story from NCR here



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elmo

posted January 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm


So what’s the point of this post? That some ultra trads are anti-semitic kooks? That’s pretty old news. What does this have to do with the 99% of the church that isn’t anti-semitic? Or is the aim to tar the rest of the RC Church with a anti-semitic brush?



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NightLad

posted January 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm


Sweeping these people under the rug and pretending they don’t exist will harm you faith far more than honest acknowledgement.
Think of them like pedophiles, except they like to violate historical fact.



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Meredith Gould

posted January 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm


I continue to pray that people of good faith and conscience will decry these obscenities.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted January 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm


NightLad (7:30 PM): “Sweeping these people under the rug and pretending they don’t exist will harm you faith far more than honest acknowledgement.”
No one is sweeping anyone under the rug. The Church is very clear that it does not condone the statements by Williamson. The Vatican official in charge of inter-religious dialogue, Cardinal Walter Kasper, said this past week of Williamson’s comments: “They are unacceptable words, stupid words. To deny the Holocaust is stupid and it is a position that has nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”
Elmo: You ask a good question about the motives of David Gibson (“So what’s the point of this post? … What does this have to do with the 99% of the church that isn’t anti-semitic? Or is the aim to tar the rest of the RC Church with a anti-semitic brush?”). Gibson will have to answer for himself, but I have witnessed here on beliefnet evidence of sloppy and biased journalism on the part of Gibson. When he isn’t trivializing Catholicism (under the guise of examing “Catholic culture”) he is unrelenting in bashing the current pontiff. He can call himself a “Catholic journalist” all he wants, but no one is fooled by Gibson’s act.
The Pope has only opened an opportunity for reconciliation to these folks. They’re still excoms unless they agree to the church’s teachings. So the invitation which Benedict XVI has extended comes with a condition: believe and obey what the Catholic Church authoritatively teaches on faith and morals, in conformity with the Gospel. This body of Church teaching would include the recognition of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) that officially and famously condemned all forms of anti-Semitism.
Williamson sounds like a loony-tune, but are his hideous and hurtful views on the history of the Holocaust grounds for keeping him out of the RCC? We’d have an easier time with this question were it not for the generosity and charity the Church extends to Catholic politicians like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden who have supported the holocaust of abortion.
If we’re to keep Williamson out of the Church for denying the Holocaust, then shouldn’t we give the boot to Kennedy, Pelosi and Biden for enabling a different kind of holocaust here?



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Gerard Nadal

posted January 30, 2009 at 3:12 am


Reaganite In NYC,
Amen. Amen. AMEN!!!



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Ted

posted January 30, 2009 at 4:21 am


This is a totally misleading and unfair headline.



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Susan

posted January 30, 2009 at 7:01 am


Of course the difference with Holocaust and other genocides us centuries of Catholic and Christian antisemitsm and anti=Judiaism. The Holocaust would have never happened without it.
The population in Gaza steadily grows every year. That is a rather odd definition of genocide.
Comparing abortion and the Holocaust is an insult to all the Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.



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Your Name

posted January 30, 2009 at 7:45 am


It’s a sad world when someone cannot question historic ‘facts’ without being called names and considered evil.
Why has no one, throughout this controversy, actually provided some facts as to where Bp Williamson is wrong. I have read every possible article on the web about this and found none that actually address the facts beyond saying that the Lechter Report has been discredited, but no one says by who or how.
It is a golden opportunity to teach the world the facts, but instead journalists prefer to be indignant.
I had the rare opportunity to meet Bp Williamson in person years ago, and as he even admits in the infamous interview, he is open to changing his mind if the experts can demonstrate the facts. He is and always has been a very rational and reasonable person, though he does’t play the politically correct games of the Vatican 2 modernists.



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Edward Hansen

posted January 30, 2009 at 9:13 am


Mr. Gibson,
I suggest you run some stories about “Another Christ-denying [insert clergy title of some non-Christian religion here]”
Or how about a story on non-Christian clergy who deny the Christian genocide of 10 million at the hands of the Russians in the early 20th century?
This just isn’t fair.
Besides, the SSPX are the most liberal and least traditional of all Trads. Most Trads wouldn’t set foot in an SSPX chapel, not only becuase their “Mass” is really the 1962 Modernized Rite crossed with some un-papally-approved 1983 changes, but also because there is grave doubt concerning the validity of their priests and bishops. It’s really quite a mess. You should cover some of that.



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David Gibson

posted January 30, 2009 at 10:03 am


Edward Hansen: You make a good an interesting point about the internal difficulties on the right wing. I’ve done some on that, but not in many years and so am not up to speed.
As far as the other comments, I post these because I think the obscenity of the Williamson claims are not isolated to him and one just one or two others–the movement has serious poblems in this regard, and the Vatican and the Pope himself have not accounted for this adequately.
As far as having to prove the Holocaust happened–well, I think I’ll stick with the Holy Father on this one…Despite the fact that I criticize him everywhere else, as commenters say. Why pointing out the sins of this fringe group would be construed as bashing the Church, I don’t know. I thought of it as building up the church–using Meredith’s analogy above, I don’t want people to think all priests are pedophiles, or all Catholics are anti-Semties.



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Andrea

posted January 30, 2009 at 10:16 am


So they’re nuts. It’s obvious to everyone who’s ever seen footage of Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen or read a survivor’s account that they are nuts. And that’s anyone who’s ever turned on his television. As far as I can tell, the Pope not only hasn’t denied the Holocaust but has told Catholics they’re sinning if THEY deny the Holocaust. These guys weren’t excommunicated for denying the Holocaust and they can’t come back to the fold unless they agree to accept the Church’s teaching, which will probably be the 12th of never. The Pope also hasn’t “reinstated” them in the sense that he gave them a diocese or even a church to control in his church. I’ve encountered some of these traditionalists in my part of the state and even interviewed a few of them and they’re odd ducks. Mel Gibson’s dad was certainly not fond of the Jews, which might explain Mel’s rantings while drunk. For the most part, though, the attitude I’ve encountered is that Catholics should be trying to convert Jews and Muslims and Protestants and Novus Ordo Catholics, not dialoguing with them or holding co-religious services with them, or compromising their own values. That might strike some Jews as anti-Semitic, but at least it’s honest. I think most of the ones I’ve encountered would be appalled by this Williamson and Abrahomowitz.



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Edward Hansen

posted January 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm


Thank you, Mr. Gibson, for the interesting comments. I agree wholeheartedly with you about the incendiary remarks of Williamson.
It’s interesting because the SSPX is considered to be “Modernists” and “liberal” among Trads for adopting so many post-Vatican II laws and rites. They are the only Trad group to even recognize the Hierarchy — the others claim that the Holy See is vacant (“sede vacante”) and that all Sees in the entire world are vacant!
To help you get up to speed with these groups, I’d recommend you check out sspv.org, the group that splintered from the SSPX in the 1980s because the SSPX was not keeping the pre-Vatican II tradition. Some broke off from them and their main site is traditionalmass.org. A parallel group is the CMRI.
Finally I recommend you look into the books and newsletter of another Gibson, Hutton Gibson, the father of the actor Mel Gibson. His writings on Williamson and the SSPX are absolutely fascinating. There is a whole book on his site about the SSPX that reveals how that sect does not even have valid orders, so these four bishops and their hundreds of priests will have to be re-ordained before joining the fold and coming back into the Church.



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Edward Hansen

posted January 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm


(Pardon if my comments are coming in twice. This work computer is acting up!)



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