Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Pope Gets it Wrong Again

On his monthly gaffe run, Pope Benedict XVI made new headlines yesterday. Last month, His Eminence recommunicated Bishop Richard Williamson--or whatever it’s called when the Pope reinstates an excommunicated member of the Roman Catholic Church. Along with three other bishops, Pope John Paul had excommunicated Bishop Williamson in 1988. Their ordination hadn’t had papal approval. The leader of an ultraconservative group, the Society of St. Pius X, ordained the four, which was against the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. This past January, in order to heal a schism in the church, Pope Benedict revoked the excommunication of the four Bishops. Not a month after being reinstated, Bishop Williamson said on Swedish television that the Nazi gas chambers had never existed and that no more than 300,000 people had died in the Holocaust. It didn’t sit well in the world that a German Pope had reinstated a Holocaust denier who was still in full vigor and proclaiming his anti-Semitic nonsense even into the 21st century. With the Vatican’s highly vaunted “moral authority” in question, the Vatican’s PR hype-machine revved up and scrambled to do damage control. The Pope repeatedly condemned Holocaust denial. To add to Pope Benedict’s humiliation, Williamson has never recanted his statement, he has simply said he’s sorry his remarks caused “harm and hurt”. He claims he’s a “nonhistorian” and that his perspective was formed “20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available.” Oh please! Twenty years ago was 1989. All available evidence supported the existence of the Holocaust in 1989. Time races forward. It is now a month after the Bishop Williamson debacle and the Pope has hit the news again. Yesterday Pope Benedict said from Yaounde, Cameroon, Africa: “You can’t resolve H.I.V./AIDS with the distribution of condoms, on the contrary, condoms increase the problem.” All known authorities on AIDS readily admit that condoms do not solve the AIDS issues. However, all known authorities on AIDS agree that the distribution of condoms is the one way that the spread of AIDS can be diminished to a large degree. The distribution of condoms does NOT increase the problem. The pope said, “a responsible and moral attitude toward sex would help fight the disease.” A responsible and moral Pope would help fight many of the problems in the world. Sadly, we do not have a responsible and moral Pope. And that is unfortunate for the world, the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

Does unexcommunicating Holocaust deniers make the Pope a criminal in his country of origin?