Pope Benedict XVI visits the tomb of Polish Cardinal August Hlond in Warsaw's St. John Cathedral on May 25, 2006. A leading Jewish organization on May 23, 2018, criticized the Vatican's decision to move Hlond along the path to possible sainthood, saying he was "extremely" hostile to Jews and failed to condemn a 1946 pogrom. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Jewish group questions sainthood for WWII-era cardinal

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A leading Jewish organization has criticized the Vatican's decision to move World War II-era Cardinal August Hlond along the path to possible sainthood, saying the Polish primate was "extremely" hostile to Jews and failed to condemn a 1946 pogrom.

In a letter to top Vatican officials released Wednesday (May 23), the American Jewish Committee said it was "profoundly" concerned that Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing Hlond's "heroic virtues," the first main step in the sainthood process.

AJC's director of interreligious affairs, Rabbi David Rosen, cited a 1936 pastoral letter Hlond wrote in which he urged Poles to stay away from the "harmful moral influence of Jews" and to boycott Jewish media.

"It is a fact that the Jews are fighting against the Catholic Church, persisting in free thinking, and are the vanguard of godlessness, Bolshevism and subversion," Hlond wrote in the letter, which frequently has been cited as evidence of the Catholic Church's institutional anti-Semitism before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

Hlond, who was the highest-ranking church official in Poland during 1926-48, remains highly respected in the overwhelmingly Catholic country for having kept the faith strong and protecting the church's independence during the German Nazi occupation and the first years of postwar communism.

His initiatives safeguarded Poland's church from the kind of persecution and subjugation that took place in nearby nations.

While living in exile during World War II, Hlond used his influence and personal contacts to speak to the world about Poland's plight under Nazi occupation. When the Germans arrested him, he refused an offer to form a collaborative government.

His devotion to Catholic faith laid the foundations for the emergence of such key figures in Poland's church as Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski and Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II, now a saint.

Francis' decree that Hlond lived a life of heroic virtue came after investigators compiled a full study of his life, writings and works to determine their theological soundness. The Vatican must still confirm a miracle attributed to his intercession for him to be beatified, and a second one for him to be made a saint.

(AP writers Monika Scislowska and Vanessa Gera contributed from Warsaw, Poland.)

Comments

  1. Canonization of the likes of Pio and Juan and now possibly Hlond eliminates any consideration of papal infallibility.

    But there is money to be made: e.g.

    “Pio, another of the uneducated miracle workers/intervenors was cannonized to keep the Italians in the fold and to increase the sales of Pio baseball hats and useless trinkets. Very strange that he would never allow the Vatican authorities to check his claims of a stigmata!!!
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-big-question-who-was-padre-pio-and-why-is-he-the-cause-of-such-controversy-815377.html

    “The friars responsible for his exhumation have firmly denied rumours that a finger of the saint is to be removed and presented to the Pope, or that any other relics are to be plundered from the corpse, but if they were there is no doubt that they would be in great demand. As it is, the tawdry souvenir shops around San Giovanni Rotondo, crammed with life-size and half-size Padre Pio statues as well as, ashtrays, pens, keyrings, mugs, T-shirts, calendars, rosaries, cigarette lighters, snowstorms and much else adorned with his image, bear witness to the fact that any tangible reminder of the saint is regarded as better than none by his followers. ”

    “For several decades spanning the Second World War, when the Church saw its task as seeking a rapprochement with the modern, secular world rather than confronting it head on, Padre Pio was a grave embarrassment. It was not just the miracle cures, which brought a powerful reek of the Middle Ages; he was also widely suspected of being a fraud. Doubters noted that he wore fingerless mittens to cover the ugly sores. Padre Pio claimed that the blood was constantly flowing from the wounds, but many in the church maintained that the wounds were self-inflicted and that he kept them open by dousing them with acid, a view supposedly confirmed last year in a new book containing the account of a woman who procured acid from him from a chemist’s shop. “

  2. I understand the need to provide people with role models of saintly live, but I wish that the Church would stop with all of this already. Surely the people who orchestrate these things ought to be able to run careful background checks. And, surely, they ought to be sufficiently aware about what is happening outside of their bubble to know that someone who made anti-Semitic statements ought not be considered as a role model for Catholics to follow. It seems to me that most of the members of the hierarchy were involved in one sort of politics or another to get their position. If one wants to look for candidates for sainthood, why not look among the laity?

  3. This will be a test of how much political weight the Polish Church has at the Vatican. Probably a lot, since it is one of the very few countries in Europe with a large and loyal Catholic population.

  4. The American Jewish Committee “worked to contain nativist sentiment in America rather than work to open America’s doors to refugees” during the Holocaust. They were criticized for their lack of reaction and silence during the Holocaust. Historian and AJC’s own National Director of Jewish Communal Affairs Steven Bayme said “AJC leaders never understood the uniqueness of Nazism and its “war against the Jews.”

    That puts their statement that Cardinal August Hlond failed to condemn a 1946 pogrom into a different perspective. It might considered a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    The pogrom referred to was the Kielce pogrom on July 1, 1946.

    An eight-year-old Polish boy, Henryk Blaszczyk, was reported missing by his father. On his return two days later the boy claimed he had been kidnapped by an unknown man. Two days later the boy and his father went to a local Civic Militia station (communist state-controlled police force). Henryk reported that while passing the ‘Jewish house’ at 7 Planty Street, he saw a man nearby who had imprisoned him in the house’s cellar.

    A Civic Milita patrol of more than a dozen men was then dispatched on foot by the station commander Edmund Zagórski to search the house at 7 Planty Street.

    The Civic Militia and soldiers then forcibly broke into the building only to discover that it did not contain any abducted children as claimed. The inhabitants of the house, who had proper permits to bear arms for self defense, were ordered to surrender their weaponry and give up valuables.

    Someone started firing a weapon. Civic Militia and the KBW (Internal Security Corps, interior ministry paramilitary) opened fire, killing and wounding a number of people in the building. In response, shots were fired from the Jewish side killing two or three Poles, including a Civic Militia officer. The head of the local Jewish Committee, Dr Seweryn Kahane, was fatally wounded while telephoning the Kielce office of Public Security for help. A number of local Catholic priests attempted to enter the building but were stopped by militia officers, who vowed to control the situation.

    Following the initial murders inside the building, numerous Jews were driven outdoor by soldiers and later attacked with stones and clubs by civilians who crowded surrounding streets. By noon an estimated about 600 to 1,000 workers from Ludwików steel mill, led by activists of Poland’s ruling Polish Workers’ Party (PPR, communist party), opened the next stage of the pogrom. Approximately 20 Jews were viciously battered to death by the workers armed with iron rods and clubs. Some of the workers were members of the ORMO (volunteer reserve militia) and at least one possessed a handgun. Neither the military or security heads, including a Soviet army advisor, nor the local civic leaders, sought to prevent the aggression. A unit of Civic Militia cadets which also arrived at the scene did not intervene, but some of its members joined in the looting and violence which continued inside and outside the building.

    Among the slain Jews, nine had been shot dead, two were killed with bayonets, and the rest beaten or stoned to death. The dead included women and children. The mob also killed a Jewish nurse (Estera Proszowska),whom the attackers had mistaken for a Polish female attempting to aid the Jews. Two Jews not residing at Planty Street dwelling were also murdered that day in separate incidents.

    Regina Fisz, her 3-week old child, and a male companion were abducted at their home at 15 Leonarda Street by a group of four men led by Civic Militia corporal Stefan Mazur. They were robbed and driven out of the city, where Regina and her baby were shot while allegedly trying to escape, while her friend did manage to escape. Three non-Jewish Poles were among the dead. Two uniformed state servicemen were killed in gunfire exchange, most likely shot by Jews defending themselves.

    An investigation into the circumstances of the massacre was opposed by the communist regime until the era of Solidarity, when in December 1981 an article was published in the Solidarity newspaper Tygodnik Solidarnosc. The files could not be accessed for research until after the fall of Communism in 1989, by which time many eyewitnesses had died and it wa discovered that many of the documents relating to the pogrom had been allegedly destroyed by fire or deliberately by military authorities.

    Debate about the origins of the pogrom has remained controversial. Some claim it was a deliberate provocation by the communists to discredit the opposition. Some claim that it was a spontaneous antisemitic incident that was later exploited by the government. Communist sympathizers have accused the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy in Poland of passivity during the pogrom and its aftermath. The fact that a number of Jews held important positions in the Polish Communist party and security services also affected popular sentiment.

    Between July 9 and 11, 1946, twelve civilians (one of them mentally challenged) were arrested by MBP officers as perpetrators of the pogrom. The accused were tried by the Supreme Military Court in a joint show trial. Nine were sentenced to death and executed the following day by firing squad on the orders of Polish Communist leader Boleslaw Bierut. The remaining three received prison terms ranging from seven years to life.

    Major Wiktor Kuznicki was sentenced to one year for “failing to stop the crowd”. One militia officer was punished for the theft of shoes from a dead body. Mazur’s explanation regarding his killing of the Fisz family was accepted. Meanwhile, the regional UBP chief, Colonel Wladyslaw Sobczynski, and his men were cleared of any wrongdoing.

    Clearly, during the period when the first investigations were launched and the trial, a most likely politically motivated decision had been made not to proceed with disciplinary action. This was in spite of very disturbing evidence that emerged during the pre-trial interviews. Evidence heard by the military prosecutor revealed major organisational and ideological weaknesses within these two security services.

  5. AJC has no business dictating to a religion how they worship or whom they elevate to sainthood. It seems the Jews are the only one that can criticize other religions with impunity. Yet no one can legitimately criticize the Jews for their meddling interference in Catholic business. Like the term “racist”, “anti-semitism” is thrown around with such regularity that it has lost all meaning. Talmudic judaism has long been anti-Catholic, anti-Christ and anti-Marian. Yet no one mentions a word of their blatant hypocrisy.

  6. Why would the AJC not have a right to voice its concern about the raising to sainthood of a person who made anti-Semitic comments?

    Only someone who has never suffered from racism or anti-Semitism could say that the two terms have lost their meaning.

  7. IF his “comments “ were “anti Semitic, then St. Paul is anti Semitic, and St. John the apostle was anti Semitic. His comments were, are and always will be the position of the Church, regardless of the AJCs misinterpretation of Church Teaching and the vanilla Vatican II document Nostra Aetate. If they cannot receive criticisms then they have no business spewing theirs.

  8. Of course he was anti-Jew. Antisemitism was a proud and noble tradition of the Catholic Church for many, many years, so why should anyone be surprised at this? And remember: “God’s morality” is eternal, so Christians are still on board with slavery, subjugation of women, genocide, child abuse, rape, etc. etc.

    Unless, of course, Christians would dare to admit that their doctrines HAVE changed with time….

  9. It’s no surprise that the Vatican would propose a Jew-hater for sainthood.

    Anyone who wants to learn more about this lovely church should do some reading about a concentration camp called Jasenovac, and the croatian Nazis called the Ustashi. (Wiki is a good starting place.)

    After the end of WW II, several of the CATHOLIC PRIESTS who ran the Jasenovac concentration camp were tried and executed as war criminals.

    Bottom line: during the Holocaust the Vatican knew well what Catholic priests were doing–and did nothing to stop them.

    (Oh, and as well, the Polish Catholic church was *notoriously* anti-Semitic during and long before WW II.)

  10. Actually, the positions of the church are constantly changing, depending on what church leaders see as the social/political needs of the time.

    If you want to learn whether Paul a/k/a Saul was anti-Semitic, a good starting place would be Jewish scholars. Since the Jews of the time rejected Saul/Paul, it would not be surprising if he turned on them. Saul/Paul is a good example of the phenomenon of “the zeal of the new convert”.

  11. Perhaps you can point to a particular church document that supports your claim. Jews, as religious group, are still inimical to Christ and his church

  12. Your comment says it all. No further comment from me, or anyone else, is necessary.

  13. Good grief! Maybe the Jews should not have first ‘declared war on Germany’.
    NO Gas Chambers for humans; NO final solution as in genocide. The nsdap simply wanted the Jews removed from Germany. Like so many other Nations before them.
    The Jew cries out in pain as he strikes you.

  14. And yet these very pages are filled with the attacks of the hyper religionists on anyone who is not them: Jews (see Roy Hobbs above) Mormons, Muslims,lover Christians, SDA and JW’s (Sandimonious is surely are a cult), Catholics (Sandimonious isn’t sure they are actually saved), and now…

    YOU.

    Criticizing Jews with impunity, you are. Using words like anti christ, anti catholic, and anti Marian. (Who knew at was a thing?)

    Charming.

  15. Stop the presses. Another raging anti Semite, blaming the Jews for the misfortunes of the richest, longest running corporation the world has ever seen.

    Nice mustache.

  16. I complimented him on his mustaasche.

  17. When you have no argument, always defer to ad hominems.

  18. I am with you on the idea the Catholic Church needs to slow down on the sainthood business. Especially, they need to slow down on making former popes and cardinals into saints before the legacy is weighed. I think there should be a rule that no one can be declared a saint until dead for at least 100 years but particularly popes cannot be made a saint for at least 200 years after death. And, no more popes as saints for a long, long time.

    More, this making saints of clericals and religious ignores the real need to make saints of lay people, those who have lived a life we really can follow as lay people, those we can relate to as examples to live the life we are called to live as lay people, as workers in the vineyards, married people, parents, … One would think it is nearly impossible for a lay person to actually live a holy life given the Church recognizes so few who have actually done it.

  19. liberalism is such a debilitating disease

  20. CWD must be running rampant in your family

  21. Whatever problems liberalism may have– and I am not all that liberal myself– it pales in comparison to centuries of Jew hatred.

    You shouldn’t be proud of it, but there you have it.

  22. See your comment about “liberalism” above.
    What you have is jew hatred. As A jew, I would be happy to be added to your list.

  23. No “Jew hater”. He understood the situation and their intended corruption of the morals of the Catholic culture. If you want hatred, read the Talmud.

  24. Tired old deflection. Knowing who the post crucifixion Jews were and are is a hard truth. It’s not hatred to want them to accept their Messiah and enter His Church. It’s their rejection of Him, His Church, and the true fulfillment of their ancient faith that is hateful. The Church is the New Israel. They’re hateful their religion was abrogated and refuse to be part of it.

  25. You walk and talk like a liberal, throwing around “hater” indiscriminately. Call yourself what you want…I won’t cover your liberal mind.

  26. No need to, dear. Your statements convict you, not me.

  27. No, it’s not hatred to want them to accept YOUR messiah. It’s what you do with it.

    Shades of Martin Luther!

  28. You know, it occurs to me that in one sense he’s right about Judaism being the enemy of Catholicism.

    My understanding of Judaism is that it’s non-dogmatic, non-credal, and discussion of ideas and bible passages is *encouraged*. Indeed, perhaps you’ve heard the expression “two Jews, 3 opinions”.

    Clearly, discussion of ideas is not encouraged by rigid, dogmatic religions (of all kinds).

    And isn’t discussion of bible passages what the Talmud is about?

  29. A propos of some of the ideas above, I read something very interesting recently:

    In every state but one, politicians have made negative remarks about Islam. Stupid, factually incorrect statements, of course; statements that no thinking person would make (which of course is not to say that Islam should be immune from criticism)..

    A bit of thought by you will figure out what that state is.

  30. California, Washington, or Massachusetts would be my guess, in that order. But I’m probably wrong.

  31. The actual expression, according to my former rabbi, was “Two rabbis. Three opinions.”
    Reform and conservative Judaism encourage discussion. I doubt that orthodox Judaism does.

  32. It’s Utah, of course! Mormons understand from bitter experience that an attack on one religion or denom is a potential attack on others.

    And, of course, we’ve seen here how “super ‘Christians’ ” hate Mormonism.

  33. I knew I was wrong! Imagine! Utah a bastion of religious freedom!

  34. You anti Catholic prejudice is in full flower. You also simultaneously attack the Jews that you defend. Talk about contradiction. There are meds available.

  35. You must suffer from paranoia since there is no hatred here, except that of perpetuated lies against my Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. The viciousious and blasphemous Talmudic screed again Jesus and Mary are textbook examples of hatred. Might want to read it sometime.

  36. Non sequitur…Luther was a heretic. The Messiah arrived 2000 years ago. The Jews that accepted Him became the first Christians. Those that did not became what St. Paul (a zealous Pharisee who studied under Gamaliel) called the enemies of the cross of Christ. So long as they remained against Our Lord, they would continue to try to corrupt Christianity. Today is no different and will continue until Christ’s Second Coming.

  37. (Wiki is a good starting place.)
    Of course you would recommend “wiki”. What a joke.
    How about you start here — http://www.jan27.org

  38. No contradiction at all, once you realize that ALL religions are crap.

  39. except the “god” of You, course…

  40. Let’s not be too hasty. There’s a difference between “religious freedom” and “not criticizing other religions, lest it backfire.”

  41. Well knowing all born again Christians are Saints how does the Catholic church let alone any church get the authority to declare who is and who is not a Saint?

  42. Canonization of the likes of Pio and Juan and now possibly Hlond eliminates any consideration of papal infallibility.

  43. Mormons practice their own brand of soft bigotry. I lived and taught in Utah for 5 years. Utah is the land of green Jell-O, imitation Vanilla ice cream, and “Funeral Potatoes” (a dish that’s a cross between scalloped potatoes and fully loaded baked potatoes made with frozen hash browns and lots of artery-clogging goodies).

  44. AJC done this before, and been criticized, and could care less.

  45. And yet these very pages are filled with attack of the hyper anti-religionists on anyone who believes in a deity.

    Apparently you’ve identified the religion on which an attack actually constitutes a problem for you.

  46. A few points:

    1. It’s certainly true that the LDS “church” practiced “soft bigotry” (nice phrase!) for many decades–and has a stated policy of “never apologizing” (!!!) for anything.

    That said, anyone with any sense would much rather have a Mormon for a neighbor than, say, a Southern Baptist. My contacts with Mormons have been that they are almost uniformly very nice, polite individuals (“sure–they’re afraid their bishop is watching them, or a neighbor”) who are unfortunately very well brainwashed.

    2. I believe I read not long ago that “funeral potatoes” was a fairly common dish, by no means limited to Mormons.

    3. Re artery clogging, I recently read “The Big Fat Surprise” by Teichholz, and it was an eye-opener!

  47. So, you two something in common, both convicted by your statements?

  48. Because it is not their church, or their religion, and if a Catholic organization presumed to lecture one of the Jewish bodies the reaction would be considerably less than favorable.

    With the AJC it is very much a “do what I say, not what I do” situation.

  49. Since you’re in basic disagreement with the Catholic Church, would it be fair to assume that you’d consider canonizing Margaret Sanger as appropriate?

    In fact it has beatified or canonized hundreds of lay folks in the latter part of the 20th century and so far in the 21st.

  50. The evidence that the cardinal was “Jew-hater” is beyond slim.

  51. This is not an inside kind of thing. When the Catholic Church announces that someone is on the road to sainthood, it’s a public proclamation. And it’s the Church’s position that saints are to be role models for everyone.

    The AJC has a right to question whether someone who appears to be anti-Semitic ought to be held up as a role model for all to follow.

  52. Actually it is an inside kind of thing, just like picking candidates for the priesthood, celebrating sacraments, defining doctrine, taking positions on public matters. It is completely internal to Catholicism.

    The Church’s position is that saints are to be role models for Catholics seeking salvation, not Jews who think Christianity at best is a heresy and at worst … well, worse than a heresy.

    And, btw, canonization is considered one of the ways in which that church exercises infallibility.

    So, basically AJC is out of its lane and should butt out, especially given its track record in WWII not dealing with the Holocaust itself.

  53. Umm, I’m sorry, but where in that item do you see any mention of Muslims or Islam? The subject of Ben’s and my very brief discussion above was Islam/Muslims, not Jews.

  54. I did not know that. Interesting. Can you refer me to any material on this?

  55. Many years ago, while skiing somewhere in Europe, I encountered another skier who was a Polish Holocaust survivor. He told me a story from his childhood in Poland in which he accompanied his Catholic friend to church–and was shocked and stunned to hear the priest spewing Jew hatred from the pulpit.

    I’ve since learned that Jew hatred was a standard feature of life in Poland. Another interesting example: lots of books by Jewish guerillas of the time recount how Polish Catholic guerillas would attack the Jews.

  56. Since I have heard Jews describe standard scriptures, e.g., the lead up to the crucifixion from the decision to arrest Jesus through his “trial” before Pilate, as “Jew” hatred I am not as impressed by your detailless recitation as you apparently expected.

    The question and issue dealt with the cardinal, not Poles in general, else the AJC simply would have taken the position that no Pole should ever be canonized.

  57. Your reply to ATF45 states that “hundreds” were canonized. I checked the first 2 dozen or so of the saints listed in the first 2 Wiki articles, and found only 3 or so who were apparently laymen. So how do you know “hundreds” were canonized?

    Also, afaik, lots of orders are in fact struggling financially.

  58. 1. My experience has been that most Jews are quite ignorant of the contents of the NT–understandably.

    2. Examples of Jew hatred and stereotyping by cardinals persist to this day. Just a few years ago, a cardinal from some island in the Caribbean made some (need I say, silly?) remark about Jews controlling or owning the media. Not worth my time to find you his name.

    3. Are you aware of a law passed very recently by the Polish gummint that makes it a crime to state that Pols were Jew haters, or participated in the Holocaust? And everyone knowledgeable about the matter has had a good laugh about that.

    4. I thank you for your comments above; I will see what scholarly books or papers I can find re Polish Jew hatred. Though I am sure you will reject them; but in any case, it will be interesting to me.

  59. I am sure that you would like to skip the proof part, bayonet the cardinal, trump it with a condemnation of the Poles, and then mount the result on a torpedo and sink the Catholic Church.

    I would like to stick to discussing the cardinal and facts.

    As to the American Jewish Committee, it “worked to contain nativist sentiment in America rather than work to open America’s doors to refugees” during the Holocaust. They were criticized for their lack of reaction and silence during the Holocaust. Historian and AJC’s own National Director of Jewish Communal Affairs Steven Bayme said “AJC leaders never understood the uniqueness of Nazism and its “war against the Jews.”

    That puts their comments on the cardinal into perspective.

  60. I found six in the first Wikipedia article I scanned with zero effort.

    Apparently today is just not your day to read with comprehension or do any work which requires concentration.

    The lists are not complete.

    Mass canonizations of lay men and women in Japan, England, Mexico, and Spain have taken place in the last three decades.

    My comments on the need to finance a “cause” stand.

  61. Neither the Poles, nor the Vatican, need any help from me in “sinking themselves”.

    The Vatican itself, for example, is concerned with the major decrease in the number of individuals entering convents or seminaries.

    And the Vatican has done an excellent job of making itself look foolish and hypocritical–priests abusing children,bishops covering up felony abuse, nuns abusing girls (Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, similar situations in Newfoundland), priests overlooking serious sins such use of artificial birth control, and so on….I have more and more friends who proudly describe themselves as “cafeteria Catholics”.

  62. I am glad to hear that in your opinion they need no help, but am puzzled why after saying that you help them for two more paragraphs.

    My impression is you have no idea at all what you’re talking about (e.g., “bishops covering up felony abuse”) but do know who you like to throw in mud and jump up and down on.

  63. Which means that the ubiquitous Utah “Funeral Potatoes” are just another cultural appropriation by Utah Mormons, along with green Jell-O and 5-quart tubs of cheap imitation vanilla ice cream. Why am I not shocked?

  64. “Cultural appropriation” seems rather judgmental.

    They speak English. Is that a “cultural appropriation”?

  65. Most individual Mormons are very kind, conscience people. But it has always been my experience as a survivor of child abuse that Mormons treat male adult survivors of child abuse far differently than they do female adult survivors. I got the “Be your own man” mantra in spades as my sole comfort growing up while my sister was forever treated like a victim, even when she clearly had moved past all that. Mormons do the whole “Men are from Mars” and “Women are from Venus” nonsense in spades because they really have nothing else to offer anyone who has had real trauma in their lives. I know this from the inside out.

  66. Good observation. It is judgmental. I meant to be judgmental. Most of the tough things in my personal life that damage me still are due to my time served as an active Mormon. I gave; they took. I got nothing but heartache in return. So, yes, I am a bit judgmental.

  67. I am astounded that you could question the notion of Catholic bishops covering up sexual abuse by priests. Have you been awake for the past 30 years? If you are unaware of the numerous examples of it, there is nothing I can say that will open your eyes. But check out the conviction just this week of an Australian Abp on such charges.

    You are also apparently unaware of the word “elucidation” or its meaning.

  68. The poorly-educated (about human behavior old men running the church have covered up lots of cases of sexual abuse by lay parents and bishops alike. And church policies and statements and treatment of individuals make it clear that they view women as inferior in so many ways.

    Who was the ignorant old geezer in a senior leadership position who some years ago suggested that women at risk of being raped, or who had been raped, should consider even fighting fighting to own deaths, before allowing themselves to be raped (or was it, before admitting it?)

    Oh, wait–that was before Elizabeth Smart, daughter of a semi-senior guy, was kidnapped and escaped….

    And, of course, we know that the church has proudly stated that it NEVER apologizes…..

  69. You know, Bob, *I* could do a far better job of defending the RCC than you, if I were so inclined.

  70. The discussion below veers off at some points into discussions of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and coverups of that by bishops. (Thank you, Bob Arnzen.)

    For anyone interested in learning more about that situation, here is a link to a good starting point:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_of_the_Servants_of_the_Paraclete

    And here is a key point to consider in reading this article, or other articles on this subject:

    sexual contact with children is a FELONY in all states. Yet starting long ago, when bishops learned that priests in their dioceses were guilty of sexually abusing children, what did they do? Did they report this to police authorities?

    Of course not. They covered it up, kept parishioners in the dark, and shipped the criminals off to New Mexico, to the Servants of the Paraclete.

    And the church knew very well about sexual misconduct by priests. In 1992, a monk-turned-psychologist, Richard Sipe, was hired by the church to investigate non-celibacy among priests.

    He found that *50%* of priests were non-celibate! Think of that–50%! And of those 50%, half were non-celibate with women, half with men.

    What did the church do about this situation? Exactly NOTHING.

    As well, the church has paid out literally MILLIONS–by now, maybe approaching a BILLION–in settlements regarding sexual abuse by priests.

  71. But you’re not, and I don’t see enough substance in your posts to make it worthwhile putting more time into it with you.

  72. You’re astounded by a lot of things, mostly facts.

    There are 5,000 plus Catholic bishops.

    How many have been convicted? One, in what Americans would consider a kangaroo court (no pun intended).

    And there was no collusion.

    Facts – they are not your friends.

  73. You succeeded, and beyond “a bit”.

  74. Riiiight–any court that convicts a catholic prelate of abuse is a kangaroo court.

    And of course, let us not forget about Bernie “I am the Law” Cardinal Law, who escaped to the Vatican just ahead of being indicted–in heavily Irish Catholic Massachusetts, of all places!

    See also the message I posted here re Catholic coverups etc–search for keyword “Paraclete”.

  75. I think we’re done, Howard.

    A full day of your anti-Catholic bleating is about all my stomach can handle.

  76. I understand completely: unflattering truths about an institution you love can be difficult to stomach.

  77. No, you’re a loud anti-religious gadfly with a special dislike of Catholicism, and I find that more than a little hard to stomach.

    If there were something worthwhile going on in a discussion I’d hang in there, but there isn’t, just more dreck.

  78. Y’know, I have to tell you something.

    Many years ago, I started a discussion with a woman I’ll call Jane. Jane was an observant, I;’d say liberal (and very broadly, in-depth educated) catholic, and I posted some kind of things like what I’ve posted here.

    Her first reply to me was “Aaah, another anti-Catholic bigot”, and that started our conversations. After a few exchanges, she saw the points I was making, saw they were true, admitted that they bothered her too, and we became good friends. We’ve had a meal or 2 together (Alas, she lives too far away for regular contact) and she’s remained a good friend, one with whom we discuss all sorts of things–religion, politics, etc. (She’s a Catholic in a state where there ain’t many catholics, and where there’s still strong anti-Catholic animus).

    So maybe there’s hope for us.

  79. I guess I shouldda realized that the Catholic church is perfect in every way, and neither it nor any of its clergy have ever done anything bad, wrong, immoral, etc. After all, it’s god;s creation, right? And would god allow his perfect church, the only “true” church, to do anything wrong?

  80. If only you had something to go along with your attitude besides the attitude.

  81. Try again, Bob. This time see if you can address the question I posed. Though I can understand why you might not want to answer it.

    BTW, did I mention that I have high respect for pope Francis?

  82. I have zero interest in fueling your silliness.

  83. Why don’t you try to answer the question I posed?

    It’s interesting to me that there are 2 (at least) aspects of questions that you don’t seem to get:

    1. a fair question provides an excellent opportunity to advance one’s ideas.

    2. evading a fair question, or ignoring it, speaks volumes about the person to whom it is addressed. An evasive answer, or silence, says “I am afraid of how damaging the answer might be about the question being raised.”

  84. What you don’t seem to get, Bob, is that everyone reading our exchanges can see that you are unable to address my questions. And most of them will understand what that means about you.

  85. What you don’t seem to get, Howard, is that you come off as a provocateur, an anti-Catholic, uninterested in genuine conversation.

    And most readers understand what that means as far other people’s willingness to address your “questions”.

  86. I keep posting facts and citations. I keep asking legitimate questions and you keep avoiding them. That says everything about your views and your facts and your support for your views that anyone needs to know. that

  87. I suppose I *am* a kind of provocateur. I have plenty of friends who are “recovering Catholics”, and many of them have been very happy to learn the information I;’ve sent them about the charming history of the church.

    As to being “anti-Catholic”, that is a deliberate slur. My only problem is with the hierarchy/management/”leadership” of the Catholic church–certainly not with individual members. The history of the Catholic church, as an institution, and its policies, tells us most of what we need to know about it.

  88. “I keep asking legitimate” questions caused to spit my drink when I laughed.

    I assume you won’t mind if I simply block you to get a break from your ranting attempts to start another of your pointless loops.

  89. The cover ups all have a common theme: the Mormon General Authorities cover up the crimes and scandals of other GAs and their immediate families as PR, plain and simple. They do the same thing everywhere the crimes and scandals of prominent Mormons could do even more harm, as they see it, if made public. I had a mission companion from one of the most prominent LDS families in Mexico at the time. The missionary was a kleptomaniac who took trophies from his white American mission companions due to some very strange resentment of their white privilege. He was as privileged of a kid as could be imagined in Mexico, but if he thought any of the American missionaries were putting on “false airs” around him, he stole something from them. I am not sure what I did to provoke his nutty side, but he took my self-winding, crystal back pocket watch, literally stealing it from me while hugging me to say goodbye at the bus station. The Church never sent him home, never made him return his trophies, never held him accountable in any way, not even to warn the next missionary about his problem.

  90. How about a little precision in posts, Bob?

    It would certainly be accurate to say I regard the Catholic church, *as an institution*, as a threat to my liberties, and, indeed, to the liberties of everyone, including lay Catholics.

    The church has a proven, undisputed record of trying to interfere with democratic proceses and impose its views on EVERYONE, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

    Every criticism I have pointed out re the RCC is a matter of undisputed public record.

    Oh, and how could I have forgotten the evil and nastiness of the RCC in Ireland, as late as the 1990s, with the Magdalene Laundries? Do you dispute the evil of the Magdalene Laundries?

    And then there is the attempted interference of the Catholic church in the development of the birth control pill, that little matter of Fr. Caoughlin’s Jew-hatred in Detroit in the 1930’s…my goodness, the list is endless!

  91. I have no doubt that everything you say is true. The LDS “church” is an evil institution. How could it not be, given its origins, its stated refusal to apologize for anything, the day it promotes shunning of apostates, etc etc?

    Protecting higher-ups regardless of their misdeeds is a characteristic of all authoritarian, dogmatic, …I guess we could say evil, dishonest institutions.

    BTW, do you happen to know what “hardship post” Romney had as a missionary? It was Paris!

  92. Every criticism I have made of the RCC is a matter of public record.

    Every attempt I have made to get you to refute or dispute my claims has gone unanswered.

  93. Thank your for additional illustrations and demonstrations of your rabid anti-Catholicism.

  94. Most of my friends who are Catholics of one sort or another have thanked me for “pointing out things they never taught us…”.

    Interesting that you keep referring to my “anti Catholicism” when I have made clear time after time after time that it is the CHURCH as an institution that gives me a problem.

  95. Perhaps you don’t understand the definition of anti-Catholicism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism

    “Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church, its clergy and its adherents.”

    If you are greeted with thanks for “pointing out things they never taught us…”, let me assure you it is only because you’re dealing with individuals who are even more clueless about their own church than you are.

  96. For a Mormon missionary, Paris is a tough gig. Mormons are not very well received there. The LDS growth rate is very, very slow, so the pressure to perform is pretty high on Missionaries. Plus, Romney’s Mission President was critically injured in a car crash that claimed the life of that man’s wife. Romney basically ran the Mormon Mission in Paris for several months as a 20-year-old young adult while his president was in the hospital and then convalescing at home. But Romney was a Mormon elite himself, so being thrust into that sort of responsibility at that age was not considered a big deal inside the Mormon elite. Romney is a Mormon “good guy,” but that comes with the big caveat of his being an elite within the Church, which means he has to have “guilty knowledge” of a whole lot of murky stuff, whether or not he ever got his own hands dirty in it.

  97. Aaah, I didn’t know all that, thank you for telling me.

    I’ve seen speculation that the idea underlying missions is that going on a mission reduces the chances of a person leaving the church later on–cognitive dissonance and all that.

    I’ve read a few books on the LDS “church”, and everything I’ve read tells me it’s a corrupt, lying, hypocritical fraud from start to end–and the gerontocracy knows that very well, which is why books by “outsiders” or apostates are strongly discouraged.

    It’s been exceptionally clever in promoting itself as “pro family”, when in fact so many of its policies and behaviors are *anti* family. And of course, like so many religious organizations, it seeks to impose its ideas on behavior on everyone, not just Mormons.

  98. Most racists have some sort of deep, irrational hatred of their targets.

    My strong dislike of the RCC–and I emphasize once again, NOT individual Catholics–is mostly that the RCC has shown, many times over, that it hates ideas like democracy and liberty, and seeks to impose its ideas about morality and behavior on EVERYONE, not just members of the church. Another factor is its dishonesty and racism, for most of which it has not apologized.

    And once again, since you seem to have missed it, I will state that like so many people, I have high admiration for Francis and many of the things he has said and done.

  99. Yes, you have a deep irrational hatred of Roman Catholicism, which you try to dispel with “some of my best friends are RCC”.

    Bigots never see they are bigots.

  100. Mormon missions have two objectives: 1) bring in new members; 2) strengthen the resolve of missionaries to stay active. The Church considers the toughness of the first objective in picking which missionaries where. More resolute missionaries get sent to places where the growth is slow and demands on personal character are higher. However, charismatic guys tend to be sent to the fast growth areas to learn to sell the church like used cars. Mormonism was growing fast in Mexico when I was sent there. My 65 baptisms was only average with top baptizers more than doubling that number in 2 years. Romney saw less than 10 baptisms in 2 years in Paris.

    However, I would not characterize Mormonism as being any more or less “evil” than any other organized religion in America. I am no more a fan of Evangelical “Christianity” than I am of Mormonism. Circus tent revivals and cocaine-laced “miracle” medicines are just as shady of origins as magic peep stones in a hat. Every organized religion has good people and crooks in it.

  101. Even in Jesus’ time Jews were arrogant of their DNA. John the Baptist said God could raise up children of Abraham out of stones. Both He and John the Baptist made distinctions between Jews that follow the will of God (Christ) and those who do not. The Jews that believed in Jesus became Christians. Those who rejected Him He accuses as sons of Satan or brood of vipers, already separating them even in His
    time on earth. Matthew 3:7-11 and John 8:31-59 and just two passages that show the Jews of antiquity and the Jews of Jesus’ time were not the same.

  102. When I think about Mormonism, I think about things like Jos Smith “translating” those papyri that later were shown to be Egyptian funerary documents, that nonsense about the stones in the hat, his pedophilia, lying, etc….and the way his successors continued or covered up that lying. And I think too about the racism in the church (incl. especially ET Benson) and the church;s stated position “we never apologize”, and so on and so on, and my overall view of the church is very dubious.

  103. State which of my claims about the church is incorrect or false.

  104. I will block you first, just so you understand that fueling your desire to bash the Catholics is not going to be anything I’m involved in.

  105. Before you do that, I would appreciate it if you could point out the difference between “bashing/bigotry/etc”, and making legitimate criticism.

  106. In all our exchanges, I don’t think you have ever given me a single, direct answer to any question I asked.

    That speaks volumes about you.

  107. Enough already.

    You want an argument so you can continue to throw bricks, not a discussion.

    With your education you know better than this.

    Blocked.

  108. I would not argue against any of that but I would assert that many, if not most, churches have similarly dubious secrets in their ecclesiastical closets. Churches are always founded by humans for humans and that means messing up somehow, someplace. The biggest problem with Mormonism is not its origins but with how much it messes with your head. That’s what ultimately makes Mormonism toxic for people who have suffered any kind of physical or emotional abuse. Mormonism can compound the suffering in place of relieving it.

  109. In principle, I don’t have strenuous disagreement with with anything you say.

    HOWEVER, it seems to me that “classic” Xianity was founded by people who were seeking comfort of various sorts (e.g. the idea that “someone” is in control) AND who were ignorant of many principles of human behavior, whereas Mormonism was founded by a pedophile con artist, AND then perpetuated by individuals who were very actively seeking control of various forms (e.g. strong, active control over the behavior of others).

    As I look at Mormonism, the “social engineering” aspects are much stronger than traditional Xianity; and after all, trad. Xianity has lots of denoms which often differ significantly from ea other, whereas Mormonism looks to me to be very much “top down”, thus with very limited (or no) dissenting ideas about dogma etc.

  110. “Classic” Christianity was the political convenience of the corrupt Roman Emperor Constantine to assuage the conflict between early persecuted Christians and the fading old money Pagans. The doctrines and “scriptures” were all created in committee to homogenize belief and to reinforce the political and religious preeminence of Rome. Politics were involved in every reform of that original politically created version of Christianity. Trying to set Mormonism apart as “worse” than the corrupt mess of religions that spawned it doesn’t work for me. For me, even with all the harm that I have personally suffered because of Mormonism, I still see Evangelical “Christianity” in a worse light because of the ease with which some “evangelical” churches embrace social bigotry. “Mainstream” Mormons are also social bigots, but they try to throw some bones to women, racial minorities and LGBTQ, hardcore Evangelicals do not. The off-branch of Mormonism created by the widow and eldest son of Joseph Smith, rejecting Brigham Young and his spin on Mormonism, has ordained Blacks and women for half a century, and they allow individual congregations to decide whether or not to be LGBTQ affirming. There are also some more moderate Evangelical churches that are similar to the Community of Christ (the liberal Mormon spin-off) that don’t disturb me.

  111. I have learned from several years of extensive studies of the shameful role played by James Brady’s church, not just during, but before, and after the Jewish Holocaust, and I have published some of my more important findings at my http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/RC_scandal . Because 99% of the German population at the time identified themselves as either Catholic or “other Christian”, most of those who planned and/or executed the Holocaust came from that pool of “people of faith”.

    So after his fellow Christians joined together in terminating the lives of 6 million Jews, I find it rich for Roman Catholics like Mr. Brady to complain about Jews “meddling” in his own Church’s business, when that “business” has so much to do with the extermination of so many of their own family members!

  112. It’s a standard ploy to claim that Hitler and the Nazis were atheist, despite the gott mit Uns on their belt buckles, despite the fact that Germany was a Christian nation before the holocaust, during the holocaust, and after the holocaust, just as it is today, though it is rapidly losing members. Germans still pay a church tax, though they can opt out if they wish.

    It’s similar to the right wing claim that they were socialists and communists because the words Nazi is short for national socialists. That must mean that the people’s democratic republic of North Korea is a democracy.

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