Saturday, February 26, 2005

Stupid Comments reports a story about some Jewish leaders' objections to comments in the Pope's new book. The comments draw a parallel between the irresponsible governmental systems that allowed for Hitler's holocaust and the current idiocy of governments in allowing the wholesale slaughter of the unborn. A section of the article, which got me particularly irritated, follows:
Paul Spiegel, the head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, told the Netzeitung daily newspaper that the Pope's comments were similar to those that he deemed "unacceptable" made by a Catholic cardinal in Germany last month

Spiegel told the Netzeitung that such statements show that the Catholic Church "has not understood or does not want to understand that there is a tremendous difference between factory-like genocide and what women do to their bodies."

Greens parliamentarian, Volker Beck, also condemned the statement and told the Associated Press, "For the pope to draw a comparison between abortion and the Holocaust shows a lack of moral and ethical direction."

The article goes on to tell that the Cardinal in question, Meisner, later apologized for his comments. I just wonder why. People were indeed hurt by the comments, but that's because of ignorance. A statement of sympathy, empathy, commiseration might be in order, but not an outright apology. He said nothing wrong... and niether does the Pope (who, by the way, cannot justly be accused in any respect of "lacking moral and ethical direction").

But here's the real reason I'm irritated. This all represents a trend in the modern world that sees the Church constantly apologizing for things that were really more misunderstanding than true injuries, all for the sake of echumenism. But this trend only perpetuates divides in society. The fact is that the Jews do not "own" the holocaust. It was a horrible crime against all humanity, and injured the entire human family, just as abortion does. Granted, there are certain demographics that ae injured more than others, but these, if anything, should commiserate and associate all the more with similar demographics from different situation - not try to separate themselves from them. (As an aside, I would note that just about the only salient feature of Rastafarianism from which we can learn anything, is that it's a good for people who are oppressed, enslaved, or persecuted to find comfort in the story of Exodus.)

We are forever hearing how "no one understands" this or that groups struggles except the group itself - and least of all does the Catholic Church understand. That big, tyrannic organization knows nothing of persecution and ostracization. The blood of the martyrs cries out from the ground of the Colloseum in reproach. Cynicism aside... the Cross is universal, and even the sufferings of those outside the Church effect the Body of Christ. Wounds to one member will cause all others harm. These are issues about which all men should come together and be indignant as a whole, not cause for bickering and argument about who's been more hurt historically. The holocaust, genocides, war, enslavement, invasion, and abortion are crimes against humanity and belong universally to us all. Each sould lay claim to these issues as personal affronts to his or her own human dignity, and also recognize in them something of their own guilt.

I don't say that the Church should altogether stop apologizing. But with the message of apology, we need to combine some didactic expression as well. We must be an example to the world, and share the message that all of us ought to mourn and apologize for these types of crimes, because we'll all working members of the mechanisms that cause them. We should all reassert ourselves in fighting against injustice, asking for forgiveness from those to whom we've done wrong and forgiving those who have victimized us. Any time a group in society is the victim of some sort of systematized crime, every man should beat his chest and cry out "mea culpa," because these are "the little ones of God," his beloved and chosen favored ones from the beginning, who have been given to us for protection and care.


Blogger JMT said...

Hear, hear! I'm also tired of all the "apologies" that make us look like a sissy-church. You know, if I had ranted about ecumenism like that Shawn would have shouted "rad trad!"

Anyway, I read that comment from the rabbi earlier, too. My immediate response was "It's not about what women do w/ their bodies! It's about denying personhood to an entire group of human beings, and that's exactly what happened in the holocaust. Fool." Yes, Hitler attempted to systematically destroy the Jews, only nut jobs deny that, but he also systematically attempted to destroy Romanian Gypsies, Slavic peoples, the disabled, etc. Bah to him.

3/1/05, 4:39 PM  
Blogger JMT said...

Where is the weekly blogging?

And is there a special blog planned for my birthday at the end of this month? There better be...

3/9/05, 1:56 PM  
Blogger JMT said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/9/05, 1:56 PM  

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