Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pope to Pelosi: Just Say No to Abortion

One of the beauties of being Catholic (or a recovering one in my case) is that it means never having to explain your hypocrisy. Joseph Ratzinger (aka, Pope Benedict XVI) is the personification of this mentality, malady really, that has tainted us since Constantine decided to no longer be a pagan. This is the Joseph Ratzinger who back in 2003, before even becoming Pope, relativized the mass rape of thousands of young children by his priestly brethren, claiming the sex cases were overstated and a product of an anti-Catholic inclinations of the media (i.e., for daring to report the abuse). This defense also included his close friend Bernard Law, who Ratzinger was instrumental in securing the redeployment of to the Vatican, so to avoid a potential prosecution in the US after allowing his priests to molest children without so much as a phone call to the local police or, goddess forbid, the congregations the good bishop permitted his clergy to prey upon.

Of course, none of this prevented Mr. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI from visiting the US afterward, meeting with some of the victims of his priests, and swearing to never allow this to happen again and to hold such people accountable. He forgot to mention that accountability did not include doing anything to the people responsible for allowing the abuse to happen, such as Cardinals Mahony and Law (who are still members in good standing with the church [Mahony remaining as the archbishop of the LA diocese]).

The same applies to Nazis, now. Not satisfied with reversing most of the gains of Vatican II Council by giving leeway to returning to the Latin Mass, and bringing back the ever popular indulgences, Joseph Ratzinger excelled his numerous rollbacks of past church actions by rescinding the excommunication of the Society of St. Pius X. This is an organization that was started by the Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a supporter of Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, and the Nazi collaborationist Vichy regime. This group became infamous after the war for giving aide and comfort to Nazi war criminals, helping people like Paul Touvier to avoid justice (a right-wing Nazi supporter from France and confidant of Klaus Barbie). Not surprisingly, the Society is filled with people who think the holocaust never happened, including the group's founder and its most famous current day advocate, "bishop" Richard Williamson.

Naturally, when it comes to the Church's view of women in positions of authority, the forgiving attitude seems to quickly disappear. Low and behold, pro-choice Catholic politician, and Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Her recent diplomatic trip to Italy was replete with reminders from the Vatican about her position on the issue of reproductive choice.

Pope to US Speaker Pelosi: Reject abortion support

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday told U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development."

Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the American Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.

The Vatican released the pope's remarks to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church's teaching "on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death." That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.

Benedict said all Catholics — especially legislators, jurists and political leaders — should work to create "a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."

In an e-mail issued by her office, Pelosi did not mention the allusion to abortion.

She said it was with "great joy" that she and her husband, Paul, met with Benedict.

"In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel," she said.

The 15-minute meeting was closed to reporters and photographers. The two met in a small room off a Vatican auditorium after the pope's weekly public audience.

The Vatican said it was not issuing a photo of the meeting — as it usually does when the pope meets world leaders — saying the encounter was private. The statement said the pope "briefly greeted" Pelosi and did not mention any other subject they may have discussed.

A number of the bishops in the United States have questioned Pelosi's stance on abortion, particularly her theological defense of her support for abortion rights.

Benedict has cautiously welcomed Obama's new Democratic administration, although several American cardinals have sharply criticized its support for abortion rights. The new stance is a sharp break from government policy under former President George W. Bush.

Pelosi had meetings with Italian leaders in the past few days, including Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

You see, supporting fascism, the murder of millions of people (and then claiming it never happened), or molesting children, those are all forgivable sins in the eyes of the Church, ones we must look beyond to bring people back into the fold. But if you support women's rights, you are violating the principles of life. And you wonder why I never go to Mass anymore.

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