From not-so-Catholic-friendly AP via not-so-Catholic-friendly (unless liberal) HuffPo comes this bizarre train wreck:
Saint Pius X Catholic Group Protests Kristallnacht Interfaith Memorial In Argentina, Challenging Pope Francis
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Ultra-traditionalist Catholics [read: SSPX… but it is far more fun and damaging to call them “ultra-traditionalists”, or even “traditionalists”, which makes them sound like Nazis. As a matter of fact, you are probably supposed to think “conservatives“.] have openly challenged Pope Francis by disrupting one of his favorite events, a ceremony that he and Jewish leaders led in the Metropolitan Cathedral each year to promote religious harmony on the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust. [Sigh… ]
The annual ceremony brings together Catholics, Jews and Protestants to mark Kristallnacht, the Nazi-led mob violence in 1938 when about 1,000 Jewish synagogues were burned and thousands of Jews were forced into concentration camps, launching the genocide that killed 6 million Jews.
A small group [It was a small group but they got a lot of attention from AP, didn’t they?] disrupted Tuesday night’s ceremony by shouting the rosary and the “Our Father” prayer, [Even were they speaking at a normal voice, AP would call it “shouting”.] and spreading pamphlets [“spreading” rather than “offering” makes it sound like they were infectious.] saying “followers of false gods must be kept out of the sacred temple.” [I thought we wanted followers of false gods to enter our sacred temples. No wait… Jews are followers of “false gods”?!? Ummm…]
Buenos Aires Archbishop Mario Poli, named by Francis to replace him as Argentina’s top church official, appealed for calm as others in the audience rose up to repudiate them, and the protesters were soon escorted out by police. [If they truly went into the church and disrupted the service, shame on them. In these USA that would also be a violation of civil law. They could be prosecuted. I would be tempted to press charges.]
“Let there be peace. Shalom,” Poli then said, urging everyone to take their seats for a ceremony that was also led by Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a close friend of the pope who co-wrote a book of dialogue seeking common ground between Judaism and Catholicism.
“Dear Jewish brothers, please feel at home, because that’s the way Christians want it, despite these signs of intolerance,” Poli said. “Your presence here doesn’t desecrate a temple of God. We will continue in peace this encounter that Pope Francis always promoted, valued and appreciated so much.”
The Rev. Christian Bouchacourt, the South America leader of the Society of Saint Pius X, said Wednesday that the protesters belong to his organization and that they have a right to feel outraged when rabbis preside over a ceremony in a cathedral. “I recognize the authority of the pope, but he is not infallible and in this case, does things we cannot accept,” Bouchacourt said in an interview with Radio La Red. [Sure. They have – right or wrong – a right to be outraged, and even to express their outrage. They don’t have a right to disrupt that service in that manner.]
“This wasn’t a desire to make a rebellion, [“This”, he said – pointing at a duck – “is not a duck!” And this wasn’t “rebellion”. Riiiight.] but to show our love to the Catholic Church, which was made for the Catholic faith,” Bouchacourt added. “A Mass isn’t celebrated in a synagogue, nor in a mosque. The Muslims don’t accept it. In the same way, we who are Catholics cannot accept the presence of another faith in our church.” [I think Father is confused.]
The Vatican spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment emailed by The Associated Press. [AP… eager to have something like this to write about….]
The Society of St. Pius X has no legal standing in the Catholic Church. [And liberals are all about doing things according to the book, right? And I think they do have a “legal standing”. They are baptized.] It’s a schismatic group of traditionalist Catholics [Hang on… AP doesn’t get to decide who is schismatic and who isn’t. So far there hasn’t been an official decree that the SSPX is a “schismatic group”. So, this is inaccurate.] who are attached to Latin Mass and follow the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who founded the Swiss-based society in 1969 in opposition to the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The Vatican II meetings made a point of reaching out to Jews and people of other faiths. [I think the intent here is to paint the entire SSPX, all its members, as anti-Jewish. Also, keep in mind that the SSPX is a priestly fraternity or society. It is not a lay society. Wait. AP wants to paint all conservatives as anti-semitic or racist or… puppy-eaters.]
Pope Benedict made reconciling with the society a priority, but Pope Francis has made clear he has little or no interest in courting the traditionalists. [How has he done that, exactly? Has he said something like, “I have no interest in reconciliation of the SSPX?” or “I have little interest in traditionalists” Is the writer psychic? Moreover, I thought Francis was interested in everyone. Am I wrong?] Francis has disparaged “restorationist” groups as being out of touch with today’s Catholic Church, and his decades-long friendships with Argentine Jews is a testament that he is fully a pope of the Vatican II church. [This has devolved into editorializing…. even more than it editorialized before. Furthermore, can AP name which “restorationist” groups he meant? Has Francis/Bergoglio named them?]
The same society was in the news in October when one of its Italian priests offered to celebrate the funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke after the Rome archdiocese refused to allow him a church funeral. The society’s funeral service was later called off at the last minute because protesters and Priebke’s supporters clashed outside. [See? AP is saying “SSPSers are Nazi loving Jew-haters whom the most wondefullest Pope ehvur disparages.”]
Priebke had lived in Argentina, unnoticed, for nearly 50 years after the war until he was exposed as being a Nazi SS captain by an American TV station. He was deported to Italy in 1995 to stand trial for one of the worst atrocities of the German occupation, the massacre of 335 civilians outside Rome, and was serving a life sentence under house arrest when he died in Rome at age 100. [I wonder…. Had Priebke died in Argentina even a year ago, after having asked for the last sacraments, if then-Card. Bergoglio would have refused to go to anoint him or would have refused to let him be buried. I wonder. Do you wonder? For Pope Francis, are there things that you can do in your past that forever ban you from the Catholic Church in any way? Would he have refused any sign of the compassion he is clearly demonstrating and asking to be demonstrated to everyone? I think AP would have you think so. Why? Because it is unforgivable to be a conservative or a Catholic traditionalist.]
Since this will open up onto the SSPX fever swamp again, I will switch on the comment moderation queue.
I am in no way condoning what the SSPXers did to disrupt that service. As a matter of fact, “Thanks heaps for making everything that much harder!” Some trads can be their own – and our own – worst enemies. But that is old news.
What really troubles me is how AP wrote about it. My spidey-sense suggests that this is part of a project to undermine anything “traditional” in the Church, to associate anything “traditional” with something everyone hates: Nazism.