Holocaust denying ultra-right Catholics’ war against Pope Francis


Women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads – even the youngest girls – covered in scarves. Photograph: Jonathan Watts for the Guardian

This photo shows women during the illegal ordination of a priest in Nova Friburgo in Brazil by ultra-right Roman Catholics. The women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads – even the youngest girls – covered in scarves. This tendency within Roman Catholicism is Islamophobic. However, one hears their fellow Islamophobes far more about similar seating in some mosques (definitely not in all mosques) than about these Catholic fanatics.

Unfortunately, the existence of these fanatics has nothing to do with it being April Fools’ Day now …

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ultra-traditional Catholics rebel against pope in Brazil: ‘He is less Catholic than us’

In Dutch there is a proverb: ‘To be more Roman than the pope’, meaning fanatical extremism.

Hailing from around the world, a group led by an excommunicated bishop call themselves a ‘resistance’ movement against Vatican reforms. The response from the Vatican was swift and unequivocal: ‘Excommunication is automatic’

Jonathan Watts in Nova Friburgo and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Wednesday 1 April 2015 11.00 BST

In a secluded monastery in south-eastern Brazil, a breakaway group of ultra-conservative Catholics gathered to participate in an act of rebellion against the pope.

The setting could hardly have been more tranquil: rolling green hills, purple-glory trees, palm leaves swaying in the wind and a temporary chapel made of breeze block walls and a tin roof left partially open to the elements.

But the 50 or so priests, Benedictine monks, nuns and other worshippers who file into Santa Cruz monastery on Saturday were no ordinary congregation. Hailing from Europe, the US and Latin America, they described themselves as a “resistance” movement against Vatican reforms.

In favour of Latin services – and fiercely opposed to ecumenism, freedom of religion and closer relations with Judaism – they had come to defy the authority of Rome with the ordination of a new priest by an excommunicated bishop, Jean-Michel Faure.

It was the second such ceremony in the past month: Faure was consecrated here without papal approval only two weeks ago by the Holocaust-denying British bishop Richard Williamson. In response, both clerics were automatically ejected from the church, but this has not stopped the group’s drive to build an unsanctioned clergy.

The ceremony harked back to an earlier, more conservative age. Women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads – even the youngest girls – covered in scarves. Over three hours, the liturgy was almost entirely in Latin, as were the hymns sung by a choir of monks accompanied by a nun on an electric organ.

Before his ordination, brother André Zelaya de León prostrated himself before the altar and then rose to his knees for a blessing on his tonsured head by Faure. At times, the prayers were so quiet that they almost drowned out by the cicadas and birds in the trees.

Apart from the digital cameras, cellphones – and the electric organ – the ceremony would have been recognisable to centuries of Catholic believers before what today’s ultra-conservatives consider to be the wrong turn taken by the Catholic church with the democratising reforms of the 1962 Second Vatican Council.

After the mass, Faure told the Guardian the Vatican was smashing tradition, and going against the teachings of Pius X, a staunch conservative who was pope between 1903 and 1914.

“We do not follow that revolution. The current pope is preaching doctrine denied by Pius X. He is less Catholic than us,” he said. “He does not follow the doctrine of the faith that are the words of Jesus Christ.”

The Vatican’s response to the ordination was unequivocal.

“Excommunication is automatic,” a spokesman said. He added: “For the Holy See, the diocese of Santa Cruz in Nova Friburgo does not exist. Faure can say what he wants, but a Catholic, and even more so a bishop, obeys and respects the pope.”

Faure, a French cleric who has worked in Mexico and Argentina, said he did not accept this ruling.

“Canon Law states that excommunication is valid if it follows a mor[t]al sin. But ours is not a mortal sin. We’re just following our religion. To do this, we need priests, and to have priests we need bishops.”

He compared his situation to that of other Catholics in history, such as Joan of Arc, who were initially excommunicated but later recognised for their contribution to the Church. “Although we are a minority now, if you look at history, we are a majority. There [are] all the saints, 250 popes and all the Catholics who think exactly as we think.”

Faure said he only reluctantly become a bishop in case Williamson died in an accident, which would leave the group without the means to ordain priests.

Though he did not say it, the French bishop may also be replacing his British counterpart as a spokesman for the movement. Williamson has repeatedly stirred up controversy with comments denying the Holocaust, … warning that Muslims are taking over Europe, and claiming that women are dominating corporations and the military because they are not fulfilling their natural role “making babies”.

Williamson was one of four bishops illegally ordained in 1988 by a French Roman Catholic archbishop called Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St Pius X and an outspoken critic of the liberalisation of certain church practices following the Second Vatican Council, including the widespread use of vernacular language rather than Latin in mass, inter-faith dialogue and efforts to communicate with the secular world.

Lefebvre and all four bishops were immediately excommunicated for participating in the illicit ordinations, but their movement has been a thorn in the Vatican’s side ever since.

Only about one million Catholics – or .01% of the Catholic population – describe themselves as followers of St Pius X, but successive popes have attempted to heal the rift with them.

In 2009, Pope Benedict ignited controversy by lifting the excommunication of the four bishops and even promised the rebel group autonomy from bishops they considered too liberal.

This quickly backfired when it was revealed that Williamson had alleged that no Jews were killed in gas chambers, that the US orchestrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks and that freemasons were conspiring to destroy Catholicism.

The Vatican said at the time that Benedict had not been aware of Williamson’s views on the Holocaust. …

In contrast to his predecessor, Pope Francis has paid little attention to the ultra-conservatives.

Williamson has declared that he does not intend to start a new society, but the movement has now created a new bishop and a priest, and Faure claimed that there were at least two bishops in the Society of St Pius X who sympathised with the self-styled “Resistance”.

“If Bishop Lefebvre makes a deal with Rome, many people will leave the society. They won’t accept capitulation,” he said.

In conversation, the traditionalists appear to be hoping for a divine and dramatic intervention. Williamson, who describes himself as a “bloody-minded Brit”, has said he expects a “gigantic chastisement” such as Noah’s flood.

Faure talks more of a coming third world war.

“It would be horrible, but it would change the world. But the day after wouldn’t be like the day before,” Faure said, pointing to the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq. “It would change many things in the world. It would be a new approach in many aspects and why not, in religion.”

For the moment, however, their group of roughly 55 rebel clergy has to rely on stubborn faith.

René Trincado, a priest from Chile, who was expelled from the Society of St Pius X in 2013 because he opposed an accord with the Vatican, is among those at the Santa Cruz monastery, which he described as the base of the resistance operations in Brazil.

“We’re not afraid of excommunication. It has no validity,” he said.

Additional reporting by Shanna Hanbury

Dutch pedophile priest working with Brazilian children


This video from the USA says about itself:

Abuse Documentary: The Shame of the Catholic Church | Retro Report | The New York Times

31 March 2014

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?

Read the story here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Pedophile priest still works with kids’

Today, 03:54

The Dutch pedophile priest Cornelio still works with children. In Brazil he accompanies children in making toys, according to a broadcast of the EO [Dutch Protestant broadcasting corporation] television show Dit is de Dag Onderzoek. The program, which will be broadcast tonight, did research on sexual abuse by missionaries.

Cornelio (90 years old) worked from 1962 to 1988 as the leader of the Roman Catholic youth activities in Vught [Noord-Brabant province, the Netherlands]. He organized children’s camps and taught children crafts lessons.

Congregation

Three men have said to the hotline for reporting sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church [officially recognized by the Dutch Roman Catholic Church] that they used to be repeatedly abused by the priest. They also saw during camps how he abused other boys. The hotline has upheld all complaints and Father Cornelio is also said to have admitted this.

The congregation of the priest promised several years ago to take appropriate action against the man, but Cornelio says he never got any penalty.

According to the investigative journalists of the EO, there are still more pedophile priests not dealt with by their congregations. The congregation of Father Cornelio did not want to respond to the broadcast.

Dit is de Dag Onderzoek, NPO 2 TV, 21:15.

Nazi bishop Williamson wants consecration without pope’s consent


This video says about itself:

5 February 2009

“CBS News RAW:” Bishop Richard Williamson, who Pope Benedict XVI recently pardoned from excommunication, says that he does not think that Jewish people were sent to gas chambers during the Holocaust.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Holocaust-denying bishop plans consecration without pope’s consent

Richard Williamson risks excommunication if he ordains new bishop Thursday

Williamson said in 2009 that he does not believe the Holocaust happened

A Holocaust-denying Catholic bishop who made headlines in 2009 when Pope Benedict XVI rehabilitated him and members of his breakaway traditionalist society is heading for new trouble with the Vatican.

Bishop Richard Williamson is planning to consecrate a new bishop on Thursday in Brazil without Pope Francis’s consent – a church crime punishable by excommunication.

The Rev René Miguel Trincado Cvjetkovic confirmed the planned consecration of the Rev Christian Jean-Michel Faure in an email to the Associated Press. The consecration was first reported by the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli.

Williamson, Trincado and Faure have all been, or are in the process of being, kicked out of the Society of St Pius X, which was formed in 1969 by the late archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in opposition to the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican council. They have opposed the society’s recent efforts at reconciliation with the Holy See.

In 1988, the Vatican excommunicated Lefebvre, Williamson and three other bishops after Lefebvre consecrated them without papal consent.

Benedict, first as cardinal and then as pope, tried to bring the group back into full communion with Rome, eager to prevent further schism and the expansion of a parallel, pre-Vatican II church.

In 2009, Benedict removed the excommunications – but an uproar ensued, since Williamson said in a television interview aired just before the decree was made public that he did not believe Jews were killed in gas chambers during the second world war.

New monkey species discovery in Brazilian Amazon


This video is called Callicebus modestus — An intimate portrait of an endemic Bolivian primate.

Recently, a relative of Callicebus modestus was discovered.

From BirdLife:

New monkey species discovered in the Amazon Rainforest

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 04/03/2015 – 10:12

Flaming orange tail and ochre sideburns set new Brazilian monkey apart from its closest relatives.

Scientists have discovered a new species of titi monkey in Brazil, according to a recent paper published in scientific journal Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia.

Titis (genus: Callicebus) are new world monkeys found across South America. These tree-dwelling primates have long, soft fur and live in small family groups consisting of a monogamous pair and their offspring. Rather touchingly, they are often observed sitting or sleeping with their tails entwined.

In 2011, researcher Julio César Dalponte spotted an unusual looking titi monkey on the east bank of the Roosevelt River, whose colouration did not match any known species. Intrigued, a team of scientists supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme headed back into the field to collect the information needed to formally describe what they believed to be a new species.

Over the course of a number of expeditions, the team recorded several groups of these unusual monkeys, whose ochre sideburns, bright orange tail and light grey forehead stripe set them apart from other known species in the genus.

Based on these morphological differences, scientists were able to formally describe the monkey as a new species, which they have named Callicebus miltoni (or Milton’s titi monkey) in honour of Dr Milton Thiago de Mello, a noted Brazilian primatologist who is credited with training many of the country’s top primate experts.

“More than luck”

C. miltoni is found in a small area of lowland rainforest south of the Amazon River in Brazil, and spends most of its time in the upper reaches of the forest, where it feeds on fruits.

Like its close relatives, C. miltoni lives in small groups consisting of a mated pair and their offspring. These groups are territorial and use warning calls to keep others at bay – they are particularly vociferous early in the morning and during the rainy season.

This species is not able to swim or cross mountainous terrain, which means that it is restricted to a small area, effectively hemmed in by a number of rivers and hills. This small range could put the species at risk from human activities, particularly because only around a quarter of this area is protected.

Deforestation rates are high in this region, with forest fires also posing a significant threat. Added to this, the Brazilian Government’s ongoing development programme includes several new hydroelectricity dams and an extension of the road system planned within the Amazon.

“It goes without saying that we are really excited about this new discovery”, said researcher Felipe Ennes Silva, who collected the data for the new species description. “It is always thrilling to find something new in the Amazon, as it reminds us just how special this rainforest is and how lucky we are to have it on our doorstep.

“But it will take more than luck if we are to keep making scientific finds like this. The rainforest is under threat like never before, and it will take dedicated, hard work – not just by conservationists but by the government and every other sector of society too – to make sure that this forest ecosystem can continue to support a wide diversity of life and help regulate our planet’s climate.”

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) is a partnership between BirdLife InternationalFauna & Flora International and the Wildlife Conservation Society that promotes the professional development of conservation leaders. Through training and mentoring, funding, and the provision of networking opportunities, the CLP ensures that these emerging leaders have the skills and knowledge required to address today’s most pressing conservation issues.

Brazilian seabirds news


This video from Britain is called Saving Our Seabirds. BBC Natural World Wildlife Documentary.

From the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels site:

Bianca Vieira (Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Aves Silvestres, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, Brazil) and colleagues have written in Check List (an online journal of biodiversity data) on bird surveys conducted within Brazil’s Arvoredo Marine Biological Reserve.  A total of 17 procellariiform birds was  recorded at sea within the reserve, among them nine species of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“The Arvoredo Marine Biological Reserve (RBMA) is a protected area in southern Brazil created in 1990 to safeguard the marine biodiversity of the Arvoredo Archipelago.  There are only few studies about bird assemblage in most of the Brazilian coastal islands, including this protected area.  Therefore, this paper presents the first complete list of birds for RBMA based on data from literature and surveys between 1986 and 2012 on islands and surrounding waters.  Birds were recorded during captures using mist-nets and opportunistic observations on land in January 2012, as well as in monthly strip-transects and sectors on sea between 2010 and 2012.

The present list includes 84 species (15 captured) from primary data and 22 species from other sources, totaling 106 species from 37 families.  Bird assemblage in the RBMA is composed by 44 aquatic birds and 62 landbirds, whereas 13 are endemic to the Atlantic Forest and 12 are threatened.

As expected due to the diversity of habitats, Arvoredo and Galé Islands supported the richest assemblages in the RBMA.  The number of species in the whole RBMA is smaller than bigger islands elsewhere in the Atlantic Forest domain, but similar to same-sized and same-habitat ones.

Our results highlight the importance of this reserve as a suitable and isolated habitat to forest species.  Deserta Island is an important site for nesting, resting, and foraging seabirds.”

Rufous-thighed kites in South America, new study


This is a rufous-thighed kite video from Brazil.

From Ibis, international journal of avian science, January 2015:

Exposing hidden endemism in a Neotropical forest raptor using citizen science

Abstract

Gaps in our knowledge of the geographical distribution of species represent a fundamental challenge to biogeographers and conservation biologists alike, and are particularly pervasive in the tropics.

Here we highlight the case of the Rufous-thighed Kite Harpagus diodon, a South American raptor commonly mapped as resident across half the continent. Recent observations at migration watch points have indicated it may be partially migratory in the southernmost parts of its range. To investigate this possibility, we collated contemporary and historical specimen records, published sight records and ‘digital vouchers’ – photographs and sound-recordings archived online (from citizen science initiatives) – and explored the spatiotemporal distribution of records. We were unable to trace any documented records of this species from Amazonia during the austral summer (October–March), or records from the Atlantic Forest biome during the peak of the Austral winter (June–August), and all proven breeding records stem from the Atlantic Forest region.

We compared this pattern with that of a ‘control’ species, the congeneric Double-toothed Kite H. bidentatus, again using specimens and digital vouchers. For this species we found no evidence of seasonality between biomes and can disregard spatiotemporal variation in observer effort as a cause of seasonal biases. We consider that all populations of Rufous-thighed Kites are fully migratory, wintering in Equatorial forests in the Amazonian basin. We provide evidence that this pattern was previously obscured by erroneous undocumented records and poor or erroneous specimen metadata, and its discovery was primarily facilitated by digital vouchers.

This discovery requires a reassessment of the species’ global conservation status as an Atlantic Forest breeding endemic, threatened by habitat loss and degradation, as it was previously considered to be resident across large swathes of undisturbed Amazonian Forest on the Guiana Shield. The bulk of the digital voucher data used to elucidate this pattern were extracted from a Brazilian citizen science initiative WikiAves, which may serve as a model for collating biodiversity data in megadiverse countries and help catalyse environmental awareness.