Excuse my language but I think one is entitled to express one's revulsion at this
Marco Tranchino who typed that appalling garbage is something to do with a group (or website) called Facciamobrecchia. You can read for yourselves an example of its borderline personality-disorder output here
I mean, saints preserve us, when was the last time you read such cretinous make-it-up-as-you-go-along junk-history - and do I hear you say David Irving, at the back?
Read it, go ahead read it. Right there in the first - first! - paragraph are a cluster of claims which are so mad that its author deserves the ignominious title Falsifier of History.
Pius XI an accomplice of Nazism!
, the Pope of Non Abbiamo Bisogno
, of Mit Brennender Sorge
, the Pope who imparted the following words
to a group of Belgian pilgrims in 1938:
"Mark well that in the Catholic Mass, Abraham is our Patriarch and forefather. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the lofty thought which that fact expresses. It is a movement with which we Christians can have nothing to do. No, no, I say to you it is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible. Through Christ and in Christ we are the spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we [Christians] are all Semites"
Marco Tranchino asks thinking humans to accept that Pope Pius XI was an accomplice of Nazism. And in turn Harry's Place asks us to take this basketcase's words seriously and
what is more to act upon them, attaching the headline, "now is the time to be heard" to his hatred-fomenting cynical opportunist bollocks.
Unsurprisingly Tranchino, who hails from an organisation which tells disgraceful lies about a dead Pope, makes some intriguing claims about the Vatican - for which no supporting evidence is supplied - and misrepresents the truth about Crimen Sollicitationis. This is what he said:
"The Pope failed to ask Cardinal Brady, Head of the Irish Catholic Church, to resign now that he has admitted his attempts to cover-up cases of sex abuse and has revealed that he attended meetings where two 10-year-olds were forced to sign vows of silence over complaints against Father Brendan Smyth, who continued abusing children for another 18 years."
Tranchino fails to mention the very pertinent fact that that the man who would become Cardinal Brady believed
the two ten year olds and reported to his then bishop that action should be taken against Father Brendan Smyth
. Of course he fails to mention it. Neither Tranchino, nor Harry's Place blogger, Outrage partisan and key member of the No Pope Campaign, Brett Lock are interested in an honest audit of Brady and the Church's actions, they want heat shed on the matter, not light. Tranchino goes on:
"However the responsibility for the cover-up cannot be on Cardinal Brady alone, since he was obeying orders from the Vatican. When the Pope talks of the superiors he should mention himself as the main person responsible for the cover-up. For 24 years the current Pope – then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in charge of dealing with all cases of priestly sex abuse reported from all over the world. On the 18th of May 2001 Cardinal Ratzinger sent a letter to the bishops confirming that for all cases of sexual abuse the highest secrecy was required, the so called Secretum pontificium whose violation would have meant excommunication: banishment from the Catholic Church."
A few things are worth noting, at this juncture. First, some of Cardinal Brady's actions in 1975 may have ill-judged
but it's the first time that I've heard of a cover-up
in which a priest recommends to his bishop that action should be taken against a clerical sex-abuser.
Secondly, I haven't read anywhere else that Brady was in 1975 acting on the Vatican's orders, not, nota bene, his bishop's but the Vatican's. Neither is a link provided to any story which vouchsafes the same. Is Tranchino careless with the claims he makes, deliberately lying, in possession of some world-exclusive documentary evidence which supports his assertion, or what?
Thirdly, Tranchino must again be privy to some explosive information about the then Cardinal Ratzinger's role in all this which he is reluctant to disclose at the present time, for he confidently asserts that Ratzinger was "the main person involved in the cover up". This was in 1975 when Ratzinger was nowhere near the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and some two years before he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising! In 1975 Ratzinger was working as an academic at the University of Regensburg. How then he was intimately involved, or involved at all in the goings on in the goings on in the Irish Diocese of Kilmore, Tranchino doesn't care the explain.
Then there's his treatment of Crimen sollicitationis
in which he fails to mention, probably because he hasn't bothered to find out, that the Church demands
that anyone propositioned by a priest in the confessional denounce them within a month or face excommunication, a penalty which is only lifted on denuncation or the promise to do so.
Whether Tranchino engages in these misrepresentations and wild accusations through laziness or deliberate dishonesty is impossible to say but it's indicative of his motivations that he does so in order to advertise a campaign against the Pope.
This blog has tackled the subject of sex abuse and the Catholic Church again
. It has not unreasonably pointed out that her actions should be examined in historic context
, that the temper of the times
was one which was far more tolerant of adult-minor sexual activity, that this fact should not be divorced from any serious analysis of the Church's response to sex-abuse and that the media's reportage of these stories has left a lot to be desired.
It suits Harry's Place regular, Brett Lock, who is one of those organising the No Pope campaign for his blog to publish such egregious crap, the better to whip up ill-feeling against the Holy See and get a larger turn out at the next anti-Catholic jamboree (the last one was a bit of a flop).
He was challenged about this a few weeks ago by Socialist Unity's Andy Newman
who gently suggested to him that the No Pope Campaign was inflammatory and divisive. Brett's response was to say that,
"Peter’s objection to the Pope’s visit to the UK is that it is a *state* visit and moreover at tax-payer’s expense. OutRage!’s position is that the Catholic Church should pay for the visit itself and that Mr Ratsinger should not be feted by our secular government. We do not object to him entering the UK… however, we reserve the right to peacefully protest against his views and actions.."
But I don't think that's true. The week, indeed the very day that Lock was fulminating against a head of state making an official visit to another friendly state, Mr Jacob Zuma, a man who is said to have some novel ideas
about the means to combat HIV infection, was in town on an ... official visit. Did Outrage protest his visit and demand that the South African government pay for it itself? Not that I saw.
And supposing the Pope were to make a pastoral or private visit to the UK, are we to believe that Outrage would not mount a protest against him in those circumstances? I hope we aren't because it would be a quite literally unbelievable claim.
The peaceful nature of the protest against the Pope is stressed too by Tranchino, who said:
"We will demonstrate peacefully. We will hand out flyers, display placards and be available to hear comments and engage in discussions between 12 noon and 2pm."
I'm sure they will protest peacefully, observing the strict letter of the law. Whether they will be in accordance with its spirit is another matter, however. Campaigns which proceed by means of smear, misrepresentation, the dissemination of false history and the demonising of its opponents and protesters carrying nasty placards depicting the Pope as Adolf Hitler cannot be said to be conducive to a public atmosphere devoid of anti-Catholic prejudice.
Tranchino's piece ends with some bizarre thoughts about the Second Vatican Council and the doctrine of papal infallibility ("Papal infallibility was introduced by Pius IX at a time when the Church was a kingdom and ruled part of Italy; it is not in the message of Christ and in fact is rejected by theologians like the Reverend Father Hans Küng") which demonstrate nothing much more than his profound ignorance of Church teaching, history and Matthew's Gospel. And his peice is peppered with irrelevant references to Church teaching on celibacy and birth control on the one hand and a mysterious breed he calls "progressive voices within the Catholic Church" by which he probably means professional anti-Catholics who pretend to be Catholics of the Frances Kissling variety, with whose Catholics for Choice outfit I believe Outrage has worked with in the past, on the other. It's part of the No Pope Campaign's transparent devide et impera strategy in which supposed Catholics will be paraded before the press parroting the No Pope Campaign's line. If any journalists are minded to quote these "Catholics" between now and September's Papal visit, they may care to ask them some probing questions, like when was the last time you went to Mass?
So there it is: a tissue of misrepresentations and ugly distortions about the Pope and Catholicism. Unfortunately we should expect more of the same in the coming weeks and months.