Skip to comments.A 'Centrist' Pope?
Posted on 04/16/2005 6:43:03 PM PDT by vox_freedom
Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt made a good observation in recent days. He said that "most of the American media is simply ignorant of the pope's critics on the right," namely those who reject the doctrinal developments and disciplinary reforms of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in regard to ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue and the vernacular Mass.
The media often quotes Catholic liberals when covering events in the Church. Usually, it's done to show that some, or many, Catholics really don't agree with traditional Church teachings on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexual activity and the male-only priesthood. The picture painted is one of dissent, of how the average Catholic in the pew believes the Church is "out of touch" with the rest of modern society. The Catholic left likes to assert that the "spirit of Vatican II" should always be followed, which, in their minds, means that freedom of (ill-formed) conscience always trumps Church doctrine, or, for that matter, the natural law. Also, the Catholic left believes the laity not the Magisterium, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit knows what's best for the Church.
But it's different for the pope's critics on the right. Hewitt mentioned the prime example of the Society of St. Pius X. Founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated in 1988 for consecrating four bishops without the required papal permission, the Society has a number of churches and chapels worldwide. Its adherents not only reject Vatican II and the so-called New Mass (they attend only the Traditional Latin Mass); they also ridiculed Pope John Paul II for reaching out to other religions something they regard as scandalous. This was perhaps most evident in 1986, when, upon learning of the pope's announced peace conference at which representatives of other religions would participate, Lefebvre asserted that the pope was an instrument of a Masonic mafia and that the "conciliar church is no longer Catholic."
Also of note is what Catholic journalist Thomas W. Case wrote about in a 1992 expose on the Society in the (now-defunct) Catholic magazine called Fidelity. One of the four bishops whom Lefebvre consecrated, Richard Williamson, made a speech in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1989 saying, "There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new state of Israel.... Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism."
To my knowledge, the Society has never publicly disavowed Williamson's statements. And my guess is that not a few die-hard Society adherents would want Williamson to do so, though I suppose could be wrong about that. In fact, I hope I am. (Though I seem to recall one fellow ranting about how John Paul II committed a mortal sin by visiting the synagogue.)
There are Catholic splinter groups that are even farther to the right than the Society. They are known as sedevacantists, a Latin term for those who believe the Chair of St. Peter has been vacant not just for the past several days, but for the past few decades. Basically, the sedevacantists assert that Vatican II contradicted Catholic Tradition and thus promulgated heresy. So, according to them, Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II have been imposter popes antipopes as a true pope would not promulgate heresy. (It's not entirely clear what they believe about John Paul I, who died only after about a month of being elected pope. Some believe he was actually killed by Masons inside the Vatican.) And I sincerely doubt they will recognize the next pope, primarily because he will be elected by cardinals whom, to sedevacantists, aren't really cardinals. Some sedevacantists have even elected their own "popes," at least two of which currently reside in the U.S. Granted, each seemingly has far fewer followers than, say, a Jim Jones or David Koresh. But they're out there.
Do these Catholic splinter groups on the right outnumber those on the left, who desire to see women priests (or perhaps no priesthood whatsoever), the allowance of contraception, abortion, homosexual activity and a more democratic church? Probably not, although I submit the numbers are closer than what some may think.
One thing is all but certain: John Paul the Great's successor will be another "centrist." By that I mean it is highly unlikely he will repudiate Vatican II, which is what Catholics on the right would love to see occur. Nor can he simply change the traditional teachings of the Church on abortion, contraception, homosexual activity, euthanasia and the male-only priesthood changes Catholics on the left would love to see occur. Thus, whoever the next pope will be, he will still have to contend with opposition from the left and from the right. All the while I will still be labeled "right-wing" (or worse) by the former and a "modernist" (or worse) by the latter.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Matt C. Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. He is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah. You know. One who doesn't preach that Jesus was God in the flesh and that He died on the cross to cleanse us of our sins and heal us of our sicknesses and all that stuff.
A Pope more like...Jesse Jackson.
The average FReeper in the religion forum - Novus Ordo and traditional alike - posseses a more sophisticated knowledge of this subject matter than he does.
Most of America's (liberal) media are ignorant of middle-of-the road" Catholicism. They go to guys like McBrien. He must be in every liberal reporter's cell-phone directory.
I agree with you.
Thankfully there are three criteria/requirements:
Well, one out of three might be certified.
Yea well don't blame the MSM. That's where the rest of us got lost too.
Abbott's an idiot trying to make a buck and find a wife.
There is a good limerick in this statement but I'm too tired to come up with it.
There once was a Pope named Jesse.
lol, it has to be in Jesse "rhyme".
Sounds like the MSM thinks the Cardinal who hires Dick Morris has the best chance of winning the nomination. ;)
He sent child support to several addressees...
lol! We had a string of bad Popes centuries ago. There is precedence!
Who thought leftist behavior would bless-he.
Some leaders in Rome, made him feel quite at home.
Together they made things quite messy.
(Whadda ya want - "Jesse" doesn't rhyme with anything)
FYI - Williamson bashing here.
There once was a man named Jesse
Who sent child support to several addressees
He rubbed shoulders with vermin
Never preached an actual sermon
Now the Left wants a Pope like this sack of feces.
A lovechild producer confessee.
"Well at least it ain't work" as he said with a smirk",
"Deez vest-mints make me look kinda' dressy".
LOL! Deez vest-mints!
You did good.
Actually, I think he's on speed dial!
LOL! Who knew you had such talent!
The visceral reaction towards some of William's statements makes one wonder whether he (Williamson) is on to something.
I for one, am sick of seeing that "quote" of Bishop Williamson. From my research, no one can give evidence that this is a direct quote. It's been reported to me that this was an anti-Catholic reporter who "eavesdropped" on a conversation the bishop was having during a gathering in a social hall after the event. So, it's dubious at best.
I've asked numerous people who've posted it in order to calumniate the man to provide the context and just let me know what was said before and after. No one ever has.
Beyond that, the last time I checked, the historicity of the Jewish Holocaust was not a matter of Catholic doctrine.
And beyond that, if you go onto various websites sposored by Holocaust interested parties like the ADL, they can't make up their minds about what happened at that time period. There is a huge rift among these groups between "conservatives" and "liberals" about whether to include homosexuals as part of the Holocaust. This is because for decades it was reported that Hitler and his henchmen were all "perverted homosexuals". Now that story has become politically incorrect.
There is a lot of mythology mixed in with the events of WWII. I believe Williamson is not afraid to say that.
But the "quote" as cited doesn't have Williamson's careful language and qualfiers that he has always used when I've heard him speak. He's much more unfriendly towards high level freemasons in his language than he is towards anyone who is Jewish.
I can hunt down quotes of Williamson where he prefaces his comments with "I know this is not politically correct but it must be said. There are anti-Catholic groups of Jews and Freemasons that have made themselves enemies of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, by no means am I saying that about all Jews or all freemason. I'm referring specifically to those that are against Jesus Christ and his Church."
Anyone can hear the Bishop by getting ahold of his taped interviews with Bernard Janzen over the last 20 years. You can hear him from before during and after the consecrations in 88 all the way to 2003 and still going. He's consistent, he's rationale and he's very holy and Catholic. I would say he's saintly.
Must you sling mud, Grey Ghost II? Remarks like that only confirm my belief that radical traditionalists such as yourself are sometimes nastier than neo-modernists.
The quote by Williamson, which can be found in this article...
...to my knowledge, was not among the disputed issues in subsequent letters to the editor.
Also, Bill Grossklas, who spent several years in the SSPX, did not dispute anything in my column.
The WORST anti-Catholics are NOT Jews or Freemasons, but OTHER CATHOLICS!!!
Williamson is the South End of a horse.
Remarks like that only confirm my belief that radical traditionalists such as Grosssklas are sometimes nastier than neo-modernists.
And what does that have to do with the price of eggs? Did you see every letter to the editor? Or, just the ones that you were allowed to see? And more importantly, is the lack of response automatically a capitulation to the accuracy of the report? What kind of logic is that?
Also, Bill Grossklas, who spent several years in the SSPX, did not dispute anything in my column.
So, and ex-Catholic priest who does not dispute a book or article by Jack Chick or James White is automatically proof positive that Chick and or White is correct. I understand.
My original point stands. No one ever provides the context of Williamson's alleged statement. Not a sentence before, not a sentence after. Not the question that was posed to him, not a response. I've heard Williamson say statements that are similar in terms of his acknowledgement that the Church has enemies who scheme against her. But he has always provided certain qualifiers that show that he is either speculating or providing what the various levels of rumor that are circulating.
The article by Case is a hit piece, pure and simple. It's loaded with language and falsehoods that are typical of the conciliarist attempts to mischaracterize the Society. It's reading garbage like that and the stuff from other noted "ex-SSPXer's" that led me to explore the society. I thought to myself, "These guys are too outrageous to believe this stuff." And then, I realized that people like Case and Grossklass are simply not telling the truth. They are conspiracists or in the case of one of them, an admitted "former" Satanist who I personally believe never left Satanism and simply found a better way to undermine the Church by undermining the society from the conciliarist position.
It's also interesting how this "fly on the wall" knows the inner workings of Williamson's interior disposition. Especially when the Bishop's public actions, writings and interviews as well the testimonials of many people who have met the man personally have stated the opposite.
Williamson is not a sedevacantist. He refused to confirm children from a suspect independent priest unless they specifically made a public profession of the validity of the then Pope JPII.
Williamson does not believe that women cannot be saved and hearing their confessions is a waste of time. That is utterly ludicrous. Williamson actually speaks of family and husband and wife in the most beautiful of terms. Williamson blames the lapse of society squarely on the shoulders of men refusing their obligations to their wives, families and states of life.
I could go on and on providing example after example of the errors in the Case article and the truth of what Williamson actually teaches and preaches. As I said, before, you can go hear him speak when he comes around to give confirmations and you'll even have an opportunity to speak with him personally if you want afterwards. Or, more conveniently, get the 23 hours of taped interviews over a 20 year period by Bernard Janzen. My personal experience, first person source material and the consensus of many others that I know who have met the man simply overrides the disgruntled ramblings of a former participant who snapped for whatever reason.
Do you have anything real to contribute? Or are you just happy being hateful?
Actually, I know Bill Grossklas. He's a good man. And he's no radical traditionalist.
I know him, too, and I don't think bitterness is a quality of a "good" man.
There were two letters printed that were highly critical of Case's article. One was from Fr. Peter Scott and another was from Fr. Ramon Angles. Neither disputed that particular statement by Williamson, and Case did respond, point-by-point, to both letters.
Also, Bill Grossklas, whom I know and greatly respect, informed me that Williamson said the same thing in Oak Park, Ill. at one point.
Have I met you at some point?
Just provide the context to the quote and we'll take it from there. Otherwise, it is just hearsay.
Context? Williamson's statement pretty much stands on its own.
Much as some of the worst anti-Semites (by American standards, anyway, I think the Nazis still win hands-down if we look at Europe) are Jews...
Provide the context anyway. Or don't you have it? This is a very simple request. You either have it or you don't.
Which is it?
Yes or No?
you have stated you are no longer Catholic, you don't like Catholicism, and you make fun of Catholic doctrine from thread to thread. Yet, here you are AGAIN commenting like you are some kind of expert on things you have only read about here. WHY?