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Progressive Revival

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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