Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anti-Semitism in Traddieland?

The Rad Trad somehow stumbled upon this passive-aggressive hit piece on concerns some Catholics, often nervous residents of Traddieland, expressed upon the election of Cardinal Bergoglio as the new Roman Pontiff. One such area of concern was that as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio resisted a forthright implementation of Benedict XVI's motu proprio on the 1962 rite. In our age of Ultramontanism, the idea that the Pope was not entirely lock-in-step with the Pope was unthinkable! There were several 1962 Masses in neighboring dioceses, but there was only one in the archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The Mass was a once-a-month affair and a hybrid with the Mass of Paul VI: the 1970 kalendar, the 1970 lectionary, vernacular, and lay readers were employed for the Fore-Mass (or should it be called "Liturgy of the Word"?). The laity became frustrated, according to eyewitness accounts, and attendance dwindled to the point that the Mass was cancelled. So what is the point of the title of this post?
Many bloggers exhibited an understandably uncomfortable reaction to this news. The idea that one Pope did not follow the other's program perfectly was problem of which even the greatest Scholastics could not understand in the modern day. Celebrity bloggers suggested that the 1962 Masses in neighboring dioceses should be counted among those in Cardinal Bergoglio's archdiocese, a factually strained attempt at re-constituting continuity between the incoming Pope and his predecessor's liturgical program. For some this was not enough. Enter the above article.
Pope John XII: not a pleasant fellow
Many comments about the [no longer] new Pope have been quite distasteful. That said no Catholic is obliged to like the Pope, only to acknowledge his authority. Were John XII still Pope the Rad Trad would become a hermit in order to avoid that scoundrel's scandalous activity. Some bloggers, such as the writer of the first article linked above, did not wish to consider this vital distinction and took the acerbic comments flowing from Traddieland River very personally. Unable to dispute the facts surrounding the 1962 rite within the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires with a higher level of respect than that which was perceived among traddies, the writer basically called the source of the information in the Rorate Caeli piece a Holocaust denier. The evidence? A piece written by Marcelo González in Panorama Católico Internacional. From a cursory glance Panorama seems like a run-of-the-mill traddie blog, only in Spanish. The article referenced by the reactionary blogger, Ms. Eden, is of course in Spanish. Ms. Eden, it seems, does not speak Spanish:
Five months ago, Marcelo Gonzalez announced he had reached the “fixed position” that the “so-called ‘holocaust’” is a media exaggeration. If Google’s translation is correct, he wrote that he prefers to call it “the so-called ‘holocaust’” or, alternatively, the “hollowcaust.”  You can read for yourself his blog entry “Holocaust and Hollowcaust” via Google Translate (or read it here in the original Spanish). It’s disgusting, and as a fellow member of the Mystical Body, I am ashamed.
Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for Ms. Eden, the Rad Trad does speak Spanish, and her borrowing from Google Translate does not help her case, even with the shoddy translation. The actual word used "Holocuento" literally means "Holo-story." The premise of the article is that many people, Catholics included, died as a result of Nazism, but people tend to focus primarily on the plight of European Jews. The suffering of the Jewish people was then utilized politically, the author contends, as a pretext for the foundation of the Jewish state of Israel. I do not think any historian would factually deny these claims, even the latter of them. The Holocaust was certainly the reason the United Nations chartered the state of Israel. If not for the great violence they suffered, why would Jewish people want to leave Europe? González continues in lamenting that political correction, particularly in Catholic-Jewish relations, has become something of a doctrine in the modern day, given once-Pope Benedict XVI's statement that one cannot be Catholic and deny the Holocaust (which a historically insane position anyway). This last point is the crux of the article. No where in it does the author deny the Holocaust or even question death tolls as former FSSPX bishop Richard Williamson infamously did in 2009. The author makes one statement that, when a biased person utilizing an electronic translation encounters it, lends itself to corruption:
"Sabemos que hay intereses políticos, económicos y propagandísticos en esto de fijar cifras millonarias de víctimas y sobre todo en ignorar a las otras víctimas que no fueron judíos."
Ms. Eden
It means "We know there are political, economic, and propaganda interests in fixing the numbers of millions of victims and, above all, in the ignoring of the other victims who were not Jewish." Half the people who died in World War II were not Jewish. Many people, often Catholic political prisoners, found themselves dying in concentration camps prior to the commencement of the Holocaust, which was a systematic extermination process directed against a demographic, not a political party. The shortcoming of this article is that it used the term "Holocaust" to denote anyone who died during World War II in Europe when most are accustomed to hearing it used specifically to denote the 1942-1945 actions against the Jewish populace.
Why does all this matter? Catholics attached to the older liturgy have, sometimes by their own faults and sometimes by the faults of others, found themselves isolated from the mainstream. This can lead to internal paranoia and external caricatures. The article suggesting Mr. González is a Holocaust denier fits into the second of these. Ms. Eden approaches the finale in her assault on this maligned Latino with a furious parade of suggestions that traddies ought to speak up now, or forever be put on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate group list:
UPDATE #3: Rorate Caeli commenters have shown their true colors with viciously antisemitic comments to this post. I have allowed some to appear in the comments section here for the record, but the more vicious ones I have forwarded to other concerned bloggers, as I am occupied with schoolwork and do not wish to continue to engage the soft white underbelly of the rad-trad world. You may look for them on Mary Victrix, the blog of Father Angelo Mary Geiger, F.I., who has already written about this post.
UPDATE #4, 4/9/13: Closing comments so that I can get some schoolwork done today and not have to sift through hateful words against my Jewish ancestors and relatives and against those who think the Church has, in fact, continued past 1965. Many more viciously antisemitic comments have come in. I am sending the rest to Mark Shea, who has told me he will have something to say on the matter—oh, I see he just put up a post.
Thanks to the relatively few lovers of the Extraordinary Form who have written with their support. [As of 4/10/13, many more have written. Thank you!] To those who love the traditional Mass and have not commented: If you don’t want the Extraordinary Form community to be dismissed as a bunch of hate-filled, antisemitic cranks, you need to raise your voice in the public square, and not be afraid of what the veils-and-brocade police say about you.
After Mr. González issued a clarification in Spanish and English, explaining what anyone who bothered to read the Spanish version with care or find someone with proficiency in the tongue, would have already known: the article is not about the Holocaust. It is about political correctness and the Catholic Church. Ms. Eden still insists the man is a Holocaust denier:
Gonzalez says in his non-apology apology, “For this reason, I clarify, or rather I reiterate that I am convinced that the Holocaust (that is, the death of millions of Jews in concentration camps or on their way to them during the Second World War) is a fact of uncontested historicity. Other aspects – of which I cannot speak, because I am no historian – remain in the academic sphere.”
Note what he is not saying–that there was a systematic, state-sponsored plan of extermination. In his article, he in fact denies such a plan, offers other reasons why Jews died, and claims that one who accepts that there was a Holocaust “may incur in an historical error of judgment.”
So he is a Holocaust denier–because the Holocaust was nothing if not “a program of systematic state-sponsored murder” of Jews, to use Wikipedia’s current and very apt wording. It is true that the Nazis also targeted millions of others for extermination because of their race, Catholic or Orthodox religion, disability, homosexual behavior, or political affiliation, and it may be legitimately argued that the killing of these populations should be included in the term “Holocaust.” But to cast doubt in any way upon the Nazis’ systematically murdering Jews is outrageous.
Does any of this have to do with the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in Brazil? No, but the Rad Trad does not want to see a man lose his reputation because of a petty political dispute within the Church either. 

Sometimes I think about getting rid of the internet and becoming a monk....


  1. To paraphrase Fr. Patrick Reardon (an Orthodox priest), blogs , especially religious ones, tend to become cesspools of hate and uncharitableness.

  2. El artículo de la Sra. Eden es el típico fruto de un berrinche: mal hecho, y sin pies ni cabeza.

    Unfortunately, some historical facts are sometimes seen as more dogmatic than the true Dogmas.

    "blogs , especially religious ones, tend to become cesspools of hate and uncharitableness" This is sadly true. (I could write here about some very important blogs and internet catholic Spanish websites full of hate angainst Traditional Catholicism, but I feel it is better to keep quiet and pray)

    "Sometimes I think about getting rid of the internet and becoming a monk..." Welcome to the club.

    Kyrie eleison