Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

The Pope’s historical revisions

Benedict XVI continues to take heat on two fronts since last weekend’s reinstatement of four far-right, schismatic bishops: from Catholics anywhere to the left of Franco are upset at the implicit repudiation of Vatican II, and from Jews who are concerned that, in the words of one rabbi, the pontiff has set Catholic-Jewish relations back 50 years.

Over at “Pontifications”, I analyze Benedict’s surprising outreach to the extreme right–deliberately done on the 50th anniversary of “Good” Pope John XXIII’s call to convene the Second Vatican Council, and an apparent effort to recast the Council’s legacy of reform.


But by reinstating the bishops from the Society of St. Pius X, the “Lefebvrist” Traditionalists who were excommunicated at their ordination and who reject the Council and its embrace of, among other things, religious freedom and dialogue with Jews, Benedict also called into serious question Rome’s attitude toward Judaism.

There is a strain–and stain–of anti-Semitism running through the Traditionalist wing, though much of the recent upset has focused on one particularly egregious interview from a formerly excommunicated bishop, Richard Williamson–who also finds “The Sound of Music” virtual pornography.

Seriously. But it’s about much more than just one bishop, however bizarre. Check it out here, updates coming.

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posted January 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Why is it that when the right reaches out to the far left, it’s considered a triumph of inclusion, but when the left reaches out to the far right, it’s a slippery slope toward facism?

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posted January 26, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Join the Episcopal Church, Gibson, and quit writing for Commonweal, Mr. I-Love-Roger-Haight.

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posted January 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm

David Gibson, unlike you, Pope Benedict was actually at the Council, contributed a great deal to it, and has been a major factor ever since in implementing its actual conclusions, which despite the myth making about the “spirit of Vatican 2″ were not changes that dissidents among the American laity, bishops and priests have fantasized about and continue to pout over ever since John Paul II’s ascent to the papacy. I doubt this pope is trying to undermine the 2nd Vatican Council, as you imply.
I see you take every opportunity to cast the Church, the pope, and the Vatican in a negative light. You only quote sources who have a dissident stance, and describe the pope in the least charitable terms imaginable. You clearly have no love for the Roman Catholic Church and seem intent in doing your part to undermine it. Your writing is a desperate attempt to destroy the faith of Catholics by giving scandal to many who read what you write and buy into the spin.
Since you do not adhere to the teachings of the Church why do you call yourself Catholic? Is it because you think that saying you are a Catholic inoculates you against charges of being anti-Catholic? This might fool some of the people some of the time, but it doesn’t fool you, your conscience and God.

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