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

Australian priest blames victim for her murder


Jill Meagher, who was murdered in Melbourne. Photograph: Facebook/PR Image/AAP

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Jill Meagher‘s family criticise Catholic priest over ‘disgusting’ claim

Priest reportedly told students at a Melbourne primary school that if Meagher had been more ‘faith filled’ she would have been home and ‘not walking down Sydney Road at 3am’

This victim blaming is even worse for being part of a sermon to primary school children.

Merran Hitchick

Sunday 29 March 2015 06.36 BST

A Catholic priest in Melbourne has reportedly been criticised for a speech in which he said Jill Meagher would have been at home instead of out on the night she was raped and killed if she was more “faith filled”.

Meagher was murdered by Adrian Bayley after a night out Melbourne in September 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The priest delivered his homily at an end-of-term service for a Catholic primary school in Melbourne on Friday and radio station 3AW reported he held up a newspaper article with a picture of Bayley on it to make his point. The report says he told a crowd of about 100 that if Meagher had been more “faith filled” she would have been home and “not walking down Sydney Road at 3am”.

Meagher’s family were outraged by the report and said it was a “stupid thing to say”.

“Adrian Bayley was out there that night looking for a victim and found her,” Joan Meagher, Jill Meagher’s mother-in-law told the Irish Independent. “He was looking for anyone, it didn’t matter to him who the person was.

Thomas Meagher, Jill’s husband, put a statement on Facebook calling the comments “disgusting”.

“What a truly abhorrent lesson to teach a child,” he wrote. “How a human being with such dangerous and misogynistic views can be allowed pass those messages onto children is depressing. Shameful.”

The Catholic Church has apologised for the comments, the Age reports, with one official saying the church did not support the “totally inappropriate” and offensive” comments.

Monsignor Greg Bennett, vicar-general of the archdiocese of Melbourne, went on radio to apologise.

“I’ve spoken with the priest; he acknowledges that the homily wasn’t appropriate and apologises for the offence and upset it has caused,” he told 3AW.

“The reference to Jill Meagher in particular was offensive and inappropriate and the people of Victoria and Ireland mourn her sad and tragic death.

See also here.

Chileans protest against bishop’s cover-up of child abuse


This 21 March 2015 video is called Chilean Catholics Protest Naming of Bishop Linked to Sex Abuse.

From the BBC:

21 March 2015 Last updated at 19:25 GMT

Hundreds in Chile try to stop Bishop Barros ordination

Protesters in southern Chile have tried to stop the ordination of a Catholic bishop, accusing him of covering up a priest’s sexual abuse of young boys.

Police in the city of Osorno said at least 650 people turned up at the cathedral wearing black in protest against the ordination of Juan Barros.

The protesters say Bishop Barros used his position in the Church to try to deter an investigation into the actions of his mentor, Fernando Karadima.

Bishop Barros denies the allegations.

‘Tremendous problem’

More than 1,000 people wrote to Pope Francis to ask him to review the appointment.

“I believe the Catholic Church is not listening to its people,” said Christian Democrat congressman Sergio Ojeda.

“That is why we are asking for Bishop Barros to show dignity and resign, putting an end to this tremendous problem,” he told La Tercera newspaper.

The top leaders of Chile’s Catholic Church and most of the local authorities stayed away, but the ceremony went ahead in the morning in Osorno, some 900km (560 miles) south of the capital, Santiago.

Protesters outside and inside the cathedral attempted to stop the ordination going ahead.

There was a heavy police presence there and three people were arrested. …

‘Penitence and prayer’

Juan Barros was a protege of Father Karadima, who spent decades training young men to enter the priesthood, and regularly celebrated Mass at a well-known church in Santiago.

In February 2011, the Vatican found Father Karadima, then 81, guilty of sexually abusing children.

The Vatican ordered him to a life of “penitence and prayer” in a monastery in Santiago.

Months later, a judge dismissed a criminal case against him, saying the alleged crimes had been committed too many years before.

The BBC’s Gideon Long, in Santiago, says that before the allegations surfaced, Father Karadima was one of the most respected and influential priests in Chile.

Pope Francis under pressure after appointing bishop suspected of protecting a pedofile priest: here.

At least 54 Colombian girls sexually abused by immune US military: Report here.

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.

Spanish exorcist priest accused of abusing girl


This video is called The Exorcist 1973 trailer.

In the 1973 horror movie The Exorcist, the villain is a teenage girl (or, rather, a demon possessing her); and the good guy is an exorcist priest.

However, in 2015 real life, things are a bit different.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Priest questioned over 13 exorcisms allegedly performed on anorexic teen

Court to investigate whether practice crossed line into abuse after girl’s parents sent her for exorcisms thinking she was possessed

Ashifa Kassam in Seville

Friday 20 March 2015 17.13 GMT

A priest has been summoned to court to answer questions about more than a dozen exorcisms he allegedly carried out on an teenage girl with anorexia.

The investigation began after the girl and members of her extended family complained to the Spanish authorities in August that she had been put through at least 13 exorcisms.

The girl, from the northern city of Burgos, told police that she began having problems with anorexia and anxiety when she was 16, which her parents saw as a “sign of her possession by the devil”.

She was undergoing psychiatric treatments at the time, in May 2012, but her parents, convinced that exorcisms would help, took her to a priest from Valladolid, who carried out several of them on her over a three-month period.

The girl told authorities she was forced to lie on the ground and tied up, with crosses placed over her head. Images of saints were put on her body during the ritual, which often lasted between one and two hours.

In her initial filings, the judge said that the practice of exorcisms on the girl may have crossed the line into “domestic violence, causing injury and abuse”, according to Diario de Burgos, a Spanish newspaper.

The archdiocese of Burgos said in a statement: “After the girl was admitted various times to hospitals in Burgos and Valladolid, her parents, distraught on seeing that she wasn’t recovering, brought her to the exorcist.” It added that the girl’s parents alone made the decision to treat her through exorcisms.

Defending the rituals, the archdiocese said: “Exorcisms are a religious practice that has been maintained as part of the church’s tradition, and is a right available to all of the faithful.”

The exorcist at the centre of the case, it added, had been legitimately appointed by a bishop.

The priest, who has not been formally charged, is expected to appear in court in the coming weeks.

Spain has an estimated 15 priests authorised to carry out exorcisms, eight of whom were added in 2013, by the then Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio María Rouco Varela, reportedly to meet increasing demand for the practice.

If not for horror films like The Exorcist, there would probably be less demand for exorcism.

Homophobic sexually abusive Scottish Cardinal O’Brien resigns


This 2013 video from Scotland is called Cardinal Keith O’Brien: Vatican inquiry over ‘sexual conduct’.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Pope Francis accepts Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien‘s resignation

O’Brien to step down from clerical duties following allegations of sexual misconduct, but will retain his title

Mark Tran

Friday 20 March 2015 13.56 GMT

Pope Francis has accepted the decision of the Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien to step down from clerical duties over allegations of sexual misconduct.

O’Brien will retain his title, but he will be reduced to strictly private life. The resignation followed the decision by the pope to send a personal envoy, archbishop Charles Scicluna, to Scotland last year to investigate the allegations.

Francis reached his decision based on the inquiry. Its contents are only known fully know only to the pontiff and Scicluna. O’Brien’s decision followed a private discussion with Francis. …

O’Brien resigned in 2013 amid allegations published in the Observer of sexual impropriety made by three priests and one former priest. O’Brien was Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric at the time, and he was ordered by the Vatican to spend a period of time in “prayer and penance”.

A year ago, one of the men appealed directly to Pope Francis to intervene, describing the church as a “formidable machine” and accusing officials of having “passed the buck, misrepresented the truth, engaged in cover-up and … shamelessly procrastinated”.

“I want to ask Pope Francis can you sort this out,” the man told the Observer.

O’Brien, who was due to retire in March 2013, was an outspoken opponent of gay rights. He condemned homosexuality as immoral, opposed gay adoption, and argued that same-sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved”.

In 2012, he was named bigot of the year by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

It is understood that the first allegation against the cardinal dates back to 1980. The complainant was then a 20-year-old seminarian at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, where O’Brien was his “spiritual director”.

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.