The Pope’s New Cassock
It’s been all over the news lately how the Pope has “unexcommunicated” some Society of Saint Pius X bishops. Soon afterwards, we heard that Bishop Williamson made some poorly worded and poorly timed comments about the Holocaust. Then came the uproar of the world’s Jewish community about the issue, notwithstanding how embarrassing it must be to have supported a nation that itself is committing war crimes of no less gravity in Gaza.
But now the Pope has turned around and declared that Williamson’s rehabilitation into the Catholic Church’s social life is dependent on his rejection of his comments surrounding the Holocaust (questioning numbers and the usage of gas chambers) and embracing the Pope’s historical opinion on the matter.
Some have called this papal behavior tantamount to declaring a dogma, similar to that of the Immaculate Conception. Of course the humorless trolls that go around making stupid comments on people’s blogs wasted no time in pointing out that the Pope cannot define a dogma on an historical event that has nothing to do with Christianity or Catholicism more specifically. But the fact remains that the Pope as made it a condition of communion with the current papacy, that one make no comments which may offend the memory of the Holocaust and that one must undo any statements which were deemed to have done so.
I’m sorry to have to say this, but the Pope has just made himself look even more stupid than the one much maligned for making a statement of opinion on World War II history. It is also becoming clear that the Pope is not genuinely interested in righting the wrongs of his predecessor but is just playing politics. All this may well be God’s doing, since, arguably, the Catholic Church is not yet ready to go back to orthodoxy and orthopraxis as is maintained in the Society of Saint Pius X and other traditional communities. We have all been educated by the Pope’s bizarre behavior.
It is worth reiterating that this debate actually has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not the Holocaust is “true”. It matters not whether all the events, as described, are historically correct and are the indisputable truth. What is the real scandal here is that someone is allowed to become a Pope who is so easily influenced by outsiders to have made such imprudent a decision as to reject a bishop on the grounds of such statements as those of Bishop Williamson’s.
Will Catholics go along with the Pope, admiring his new found friendship with the world and the cognitive dissonance of placing external affairs more highly than those his own flock? How long will it be before a little boy in the crowd points the finger and points out the obvious?
Perhaps it has already happened.