The real reason for the furore over Bishop WIlliamson’s remarks was that they gave an opportunity for those who oppose the Pope’s gently steering the Barque of Peter back towards its traditional course to oppose without appearing to attack directly.  A couple of hotheads on each side have acted like hotheads, SSPX priests seeming to be closet sedevacantists, or liberal mainstream priests outing themselves as anti-papalists, but the main battle is being savagely fought with the liberals using the secular media as their mercenary (and Boy! will they end up paying if they win).

The liberal “Spirit of Vatican II” Church, the Church of all-powerful Episcopal Conferences and Synods, the Church which seems to hold Ecumenism and Environmentalism to be doctrines as important for salvation as the Real Presence, the Church of the sleek and sinuous Cardinals who saw the light in the 1960s: has realised that it is in great danger of being swept aside by a Benedictine revolution, and that if they cannot capture the young people whom John Paul II made his own, and who seem to respond as well to Benedict XVI, they are doomed.

The weapon they have chosen is to accuse the Pope of one of the great secular sins: Holocaust denial.  It shows their desperation: they have no other choice, for how could they attack the Pope’s Catholicsm.  So they have ubnleashed forces they do not own and cannot control. 

The battle is about the Catholic Church’s place in a realigned Christianity: if the SSPX becomes a part of the Church, and Catholic-Orthodox relations improve, the return to the traditional course will become ever more marked; and as orthodoxy is reestablished within the Catholic Church, those whose views are more heterodox will find themselves increasingly isolated.

So of course they are fighting; but they do not understand what they are unleashing, and what will bring them down: we do.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls.


2 thoughts on “Realignment

  1. Unbelievable. I’ve seen precisely zero accusations of holocaust denial aimed at BXVI by liberal media or clergy. What I have seen are many arguments along the lines that the whole affair was (1) unwise, (2) poorly negotiated and (3) carried out in ignorance of a certain British fruitcake’s loopy views. And a couple of weeks into the aftermath, the Vatican have now admitted the latter two, giving some justification to the first as well.

    Still, there’s nothing like grounding your arguments in reality, eh?

  2. Snafu, I disagree. While few are willing to attack the Pope with a direct charge
    of holocaust denial, many in the media seem happy to remind folks that he is
    German, and was once enrolled in the Hitler Youth (visualize the significant
    wink now). The subtext to most criticism of the Holy Father is that he wouldn’t
    have lifted the excommunications if he wasn’t some sort of fellow-traveller
    of +Williamson’s, a crypto-holocaust-denier himself. Consider the asinine
    demands from Angela Merkel and from American congressmen (!) that the
    Pope explain himself, the hyperventilations of Abe Foxman of the ADL, or the
    rash promise to sever relations with the Holy See issued by the Israeli rabbinate. Beneath the posing and grandstanding of these people there lies
    the message that the Pope must be sympathetic to Bp. Williamson’s absurd

    As for grounding of arguments in reality, I’ve seen precious little from the
    critics of the Pope. There has been little effort in the media to understand
    what an excommunication is, or why these were lifted. The media that is
    so eager to allude to the German Pope’s (unwilling) membership in the Hitler
    Youth never seem to mention his father’s record of resistance to the Nazis,
    or the death of his cousin at the hands of Nazi eugenicists. For that matter,
    the death of Abp. Lefebvre’s father in a Nazi concentration camp seems to
    have eluded the media’s diligent droves of researchers. Records of the
    Pope’s consistent refutation of anti-semitism seem to be locked in the
    secret archives of the Vatican, along with all video of his visits to synagogues
    and to Auschwitz. If only it were possible for the media to have access …

    Sarcasm aside, the media obviously see no need to have facts or objective
    consideration get in the way of their narrative.

    I would also submit that the criticism that has been leveled at the Holy
    See is not that this affair was poorly negotiated. Neither is it that
    this affair was carried out in ignorance of a certain British fruitcake’s
    loopy views. Such things do not sell papers or enable political hay to
    be made. The real story here, absurd as it may be, is the possibility
    of tarring the Pope with the brush of anti-semitism and holocaust

    Were the remissions of the excommunications unwise? It would seem so,
    if one simply took a short-term, worldly view. But of course, the Holy
    Father is not just a politician out to get ahead, and his is not a short
    term, worldly view. The SSPX has about 500 priests and 215 seminarians,
    and many thousands of devoted Catholics in its fold. It is for them that
    the Pope will weather this storm.

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