Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Pope "Apologizes" Once Again

The Vatican released an "apology" today about the Holocaust denier hubbub. OK, it was much better than the "mistakes were made" excuse we've constantly heard the past eight years from the Bush Babee. But I'm still not falling for the okey-doke. In what British journalist, Damian Thompson, calls an "an endearingly humble letter, RatZinger expresses confusion and confesses ignorance. He just did not know that Bishop Williamson was an anti-Semetic, Holocaust denying sumbitch, though clearly the man's been doing it for decades. I mean, I know the Vatican's old school and all (and the Pope states, "I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on"), but, damn, a carrier pigeon could've carried a message to the Pope in the last 20 years Williamson has been spouting his garbage. Am I really to believe that no one in the Vatican told him?

What's harder to believe is this "cloak of compassion" he dons to get our sympathy:

"Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church?"

RatZinger caused all this Fuhrer--sorry, furor--to bring people together. He had no intention of tearing people apart. How was he to know that Holocaust denial would piss people off so much? Apparently, it doesn't seem to bug him that much.

Sure, the Vatican demanded that Williamson apologize for his statements. Williamson apologized, you know, if he "hurt" anyone. And, of course, the Vatican oh-so-forcefully rejected this disingenuous apology. And, of course, they should have. But how is RatZinger's apology any more sincere? After all, if I remember correctly, it's not called a "letter of contrition" but an "act of contrition."

How is Benedict going to act? How is he going to actually make things right? Will he even really try? Would he really oust Williamson and his hateful beliefs from the Church once again?

Come on now, Bill, the man wrote that "endearingly humble" missive. He said all the things the script called for. What more do you want? He said he was sorry.

But, as I said before, this Pope always seems to say two things at once, hiding his more hateful agenda behind platitudes of tolerance and pleas for understanding. Yes, he apologizes over yet another flap he's "accidentally" caused. And he, as the living representative of God, even throws himself up on the cross for this one:

"At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint."

But, in that statement, he tells us that he truly is not contrite. He will not act. Williamson and his views are here to stay. And the victim in all this is not the victims of the Holocaust nor their ancestors, but the Pope himself.

Damn, this guy is good.

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