Friday, April 12, 2019

The Trumpist War Against Pope Francis


Like Hitler, about a third of Germans had been born into Catholism in the 1930s. (Hitler himself had already found a different god by then.) As the Nazis came to power they recognized the Church as an enemy. They banned the Catholic-aligned Centre Party in 1933 and although the Reichskonkordat treaty with the Vatican that year guaranteed religious freedom for Catholics, the Nazis confiscated Church property and closed down Church schools and youth organisations and banned the Catholic press. Pope Pius Xi and, after 1939, Pius XII were the popes during Hitler's rise and fall.Pius XII's obsession with hatred of communism was helpful to the Nazis. He was more inclined to condemn "the evils of modern warfare" than the Nazis.
His silence gave license to Catholic members of the SS to shoot the Jewish men, women and children as they cowered on the edge of the massive graves, to turn on the gas in the concentration camp chambers and then to go to confession with untroubled conscience. It encouraged the Germans in the belief that God was still on their side... The Nazis desperately needed the Pope's silence for that very reason. They knew that any complaint my the Pontiff would damage the war effort and slow the progress of the Final Solution... It gave some Catholics-- including quite a few priests-- the excuse to man the rat-lines to help the SS criminals escape, after the war, to Latin America. The Pope's silence in face of this overwhelming evil was a deliberate choice.

Like Hitler, the Trumpists were alarmed that the Vatican could be a center of opposition to its plans and since Trump occupied the White House, his men have been attacking Pope Francis for not being more like Pius XII. The Trumpists have backed an American fascist cardinal, Raymond Burke in his schemes against Pope Francis. Two years ago the Real News Network started covering this. Sunday MSNBC is running a Richard Engel one-on-one interview with Steve Bannon about his war against Pope Francis. This morning he previewed it on Morning Joe:

Engel also penned a piece about it today for NBC New, Steve Bannon and U.S> ultra-conservatives take aim at Pope Francis. "The populist political consultant has a new target in his crusade against 'globalism'-- Pope Francis," wrote Engel. "'He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,' said Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. 'This is the problem... He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.'" To attack the Pope, Bannon and the fascists are trying to pin the Vatican sex abuse scandals on him.
Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has expressed a consistent message on the type of “America First” nationalism championed by Bannon.

Two years ago, the pope cautioned against growing populism in Europe, warning it could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler.

He has called for compassion toward migrants, saying that fearing them "makes us crazy," as well as other marginalized groups including the poor and gay people. He has also defended diversity.

Bannon alleges that Francis has mismanaged numerous sex abuse scandals roiling the church, and says the pope is not treating the issue seriously enough.

"The Catholic Church is heading to a financial crisis that will lead to a bankruptcy," he said. "It could actually bring down, not the theology, not the teachings, not the community of the Catholic Church, but the physical and financial apparatus of this church."

In a speech ending a landmark Vatican conference on the issue of clerical sexual abuse in February, the pope vowed to "decisively confront the phenomenon," adding: "The church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case."

But Bannon is not alone in criticizing the pontiff. A raft of conservative Catholics, from bishops to lay theologians to firebrand pundits, have attacked Francis.

They were supporters of Francis’s traditionalist predecessor, Benedict XVI, who unexpectedly resigned in 2013. On Thursday, Benedict published a letter outlining his views on the sex abuse crisis. "The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign," he wrote.

Bannon has found an ideological ally in conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis who was demoted by Francis and has supported calls for the pope's resignation.

Burke and Bannon reportedly met at the Vatican in 2014 and are both involved in building an incubator for budding right-wing ideologues in Italy. Bannon described the project as "an academy that brings the best thinkers together" to train "modern gladiators."

Other American theologians have openly attacked Francis for “devaluing the doctrines of the church.”

The center of the anti-Francis backlash is in the U.S., according to Massimo Faggioli, a liberal professor of theology at Villanova University. "There is no question about that," he said.

Francis, the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere, was a trailblazer and an outsider from the start, and the elevation of an Argentine brought a new “geopolitical perspective” and priorities to the papacy, Faggioli said.

While Benedict saw Catholicism’s future squarely within the Western world, Francis has espoused a vision of “global Catholicism” in which issues of social justice are paramount.

He has turned support for the poor and the environment into the key issues of his pontificate, while warning against consumerism and unfettered capitalism.

Francis has set precedents by condemning the death penalty in all cases and signaling that divorced and remarried Catholics should be able to receive Communion.

John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown, said this reformist impulse has rankled church traditionalists. Accustomed to favorable treatment from the Vatican, many American Catholics saw themselves sidelined by Francis' progressive agenda.

“If you’re an archbishop living in a big house with a big car and he says you need to have the smell of the sheep, that’s threatening,” Carr added. “He looks at the world from the bottom up and from the outside in. If you’re on top, if you’re an insider in the church, in the economy, in politics, he can threaten you.”

The backlash has been swift. Weeks after Francis’s election, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a prominent conservative, announced that members of the right wing within the church had “not been really happy.”

Robert Sirico, the founder of the Acton Institute, a Michigan-based think tank, considers Francis to be sympathetic to socialism.

“His dominant understanding of what business is is selfish and doing things to benefit only themselves rather than the poor,” said Sirico, who met Francis in 2013.

The Acton Institute’s mission is to integrate free market principles with Christian theology, and Sirico disagrees with the pope about issues including welfare, taxation and climate change.

While both Sirico and Bannon say they don't believe the pope should step down, others go further.

They have adopted an extremist, “take-no-prisoners” approach unlike any opposition to John Paul II or Benedict, according to Faggioli.

The Vatican’s former ambassador to America, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, wrote a letter last August claiming that Francis had covered up misconduct by Theodore McCarrick, a disgraced ex-cardinal.

“Homosexual networks” within the clergy, Viganò wrote, were responsible for the high incidence of abuse and were “strangling the church.” The Vatican has not commented on Viganò's allegations.

To moderate and liberal Catholics, such weaponization of the sex abuse crisis is aimed at undermining Francis.

His critics want to tarnish “the affection people have for him as pope,” according to Carr.

“The irony is that they don’t have any particular history of standing up for victims and in some cases were allies of those who were involved in the crisis,” added Carr, who is himself a survivor of clerical sexual abuse.

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At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another case where 'the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend'.

bannon is pure evil, but he isn't stupid. His congregants are stupid. But he's not. He knows that his congregants are NOT cat'licks (they're evangelicals... the sunni of Christians) and they'll hate cat'licks and their pope because he tells them to (and he makes a solid point about centuries of clerical sex abuse).

cat'licks are the ones here who won't have anywhere to turn. They can turn against their church, the one where their clergy fucks their kids, but then their whole belief system is turned upside down. Or they can turn against the overt Nazi bannon, and support the church that fucks their kids.
Either way, they stay with the Nazi party because both the Nazis and the cat'lick church are virulently anti-abortion (the party is only pretending... to maintain the issue among the morons who vote for them).

Basically, bannon is giving trump another demo to hate and for his evangelical faithful to hate -- no doubt needing another distraction from his insane tweeting, kids in cages and whatever else may come up.

so in the binary, lesser evil world of the fucking shit-for-brains on the left... which will they choose to follow? cat'lick church that fucks kids or Nazis who kidnap and put kids in cages?

which is less evil?

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church has its own list of Holocausts. Aligning with Hitler wasn't a difficult choice for them, which is why the future Pope Paul VI was such a good little Nazi and assisted with the roundup of Jews in his bishopric.

At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, 7:22. the cat'lick church has been creating corpses, raped kids and morons by the millions for 2000 years.

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so... DWT is asking lefties to emotionally side with a pope (admittedly marginally less horrible than the previous popes, but that's a REALLY low hurdle) and his church that has that 2 millennia history of blood, hate and ... fucking kids?
simply because he is not the friend of trump?



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