Katrina scandal priest made bishop


This video is called A clip of the tragedies from Hurricane Katrina.

A few days after making an excommunicated Holocaust-denying anti-Semite a Roman Catholic bishop “in good standing”, another blunder by Pope Benedict XVI.

From Associated Press:

Jan 31, 1:13 PM EST

Cleric whose Katrina comment caused stir promoted

VATICAN CITY — An Austrian pastor who has been quoted as calling Hurricane Katrina God’s punishment for sin in New Orleans is being promoted to the rank of bishop.

The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria. It made no mention of the reported remarks about Hurricane Katrina.

Wagner has served since 1988 as pastor of a church in the Austrian town of Windischgarsten and received a doctorate in theology from the prestigious Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, the Vatican said.

In 2005, Wagner was quoted in a parish newsletter as saying that he was convinced that the death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina earlier that year was “divine retribution” for New Orleans’ tolerance of homosexuals and laid-back sexual attitudes.

Kath.Net, a Catholic news agency in Austria, released in 2005 excerpts of what it said were comments Wagner made in a parish newsletter in Linz about Katrina.

It said the newsletter quoted Wagner as saying that Katrina destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans, but also abortion clinics.

“The conditions of immorality in this city are indescribable,” Wagner was quoted as saying.

See also here. And here.

Katrina‘s victims still left without homes: here.

6 thoughts on “Katrina scandal priest made bishop

  1. Feb 1, 10:04 AM EST

    Pope’s bishop pick criticized over Katrina comment

    VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to promote a pastor who called Hurricane Katrina divine punishment for sin in New Orleans was criticized by Austrian priests and church groups on Sunday.

    The Vatican announced Saturday that the Pope has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria province. Wagner caused a stir in 2005 when he was quoted as saying that he was convinced that the death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina earlier that year was “divine retribution” for tolerance of homosexuals and laid-back sexual attitudes in New Orleans.

    Wagner did not answer calls to his cell phone seeking comment Sunday.

    Hans Padinger, spokesman for the Upper Austrian priest’s council, told the Oberoesterreichische Rundschau newspaper that he was “not very pleased” with the pick because it gave him the general impression the Vatican made no attempt to communicate with the Linz Diocese about the matter.

    Upper Austrian priest and church dean Franz Wild said he was “appalled” by the decision and that he found it astonishing that someone with such extreme positions could be appointed to a post that was meant to unify.

    “I hope it’s clear to the church that we’re living in the 21st century and that it also has to live there,” the newspaper quoted Wild as saying on its Web site.

    Franz Guetlbauer, head of a Catholic men’s movement, described the appointment as a “extremely conservative sign.” The organization “We are Church” predicted that the appointment would push people to leave the church.

    Upper Austria Governor Josef Puehringer also weighed in, describing Wagner as a “very conservative cleric” and telling broadcaster ORF that the pick suggests the Vatican does not have a realistic picture of the diocese.

    Kath.Net, a Catholic news agency in Austria, released in 2005 excerpts of what it said were comments Wagner made in a parish newsletter in Linz about Katrina.

    It said the newsletter quoted Wagner as saying that Katrina destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans, but also abortion clinics.

    “The conditions of immorality in this city are indescribable,” Wagner was quoted as saying.

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  2. Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon@earthlink.net

    Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:02 am (PST)

    Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False

    February 27, 2009
    Looks like the game is up

    Remember that story Bobby Jindal told in his big speech Tuesday night — about how during Katrina, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a local sheriff who was battling government red tape to try to rescue stranded victims?

    Turns out it wasn’t actually, you know, true.

    In the last few days, first Daily Kos, and then TPMmuckraker, raised serious questions about the story, based in part on the fact that no news reports we could find place Jindal in the affected area at the specific time at issue.

    Jindal had described being in the office of Sheriff Harry Lee “during Katrina,” and hearing him yelling into the phone at a government bureaucrat who was refusing to let him send volunteer boats out to rescue stranded storm victims, because they didn’t have the necessary permits. Jindal said he told Lee, “that’s ridiculous,” prompting Lee to tell the bureaucrat that the rescue effort would go ahead and he or she could arrest both Lee and Jindal.

    But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone “days later.” The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.

    This is no minor difference. Jindal’s presence in Lee’s office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story’s intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn’t there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen.

    There’s a larger point here, though. The central anecdote of the GOP’s prime-time response to President Obama’s speech, intended to illustrate the threat of excessive government regulation, turns out to have been made up.

    Maybe it’s time to rethink the premise.

    Late Update: Politico’s Ben Smith has updated his post with the following:

    UPDATE: I’d initially misunderstood Sellers to be saying Jindal and Lee didn’t meet while rescue efforts were still underway. In fact, she said, the conversation took place in the aftermath of the storm, but after the boat incident.

    “Bobby and I walked into harry lee’s office – he’s yelling on the phone about a decision he’s already made,” Jindal chief of staff Timmy Teepell recalled. “He’s saying this is a decision I made, and if you don’t like it you can come and arrest me.”

    Teepell said the exchange took place in the week following Katrina, when Jindal visited Jefferson Parish multiple times.

    “He was boots on the ground all the time,” he said.

    This doesn’t seem to bear on the key question. As we said, the key elements of Jindal’s story were that he was in Lee’s office during the crisis itself, and that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. Neither of those things was true, it now seems.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/02/jindal_admits_katrina_story_was_false.php?ref=fp1

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  3. Pingback: Professor leaves Catholic church because of anti-Semitism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Homophobic politician honoured by British government | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Actress Ellen Page against British government honouring homophobe | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Hurricane Katrina, natural and political disaster, ten years ago | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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