Comment Of The Day: “Open Forum” (Catholic Church Thread)

This seems like a nice, fraught time to post A. M. Golden’s comment in the last Open Forum, especially since he broaches the controversy over the Roman Catholic Church’s relationship with Nazi Germany and its efforts (or lack of them?) in support of Jews during the Holocaust.

Here is A.M.s Comment of the Day:

The Catholic Church signed a Concordant with the German government agreeing not to get involved in politics (something I’m sure every progressive in the U.S. has wanted for years and would heartily endorse) in return for the Germans agreeing not to interfere with the Catholic instruction of youth. This was an agreement that the Nazis grudgingly complied with for a limited time before finally interfering whenever they wanted.

Yet…the Catholics objected to converted Jews being discriminated against because the Nazi racial theories still considered them biologically Jews regardless of their religious persuasion. Many German Protestants had the same concern. There were also many who risked their lives to save Jews due to their religious convictions – spurred by their minister or priest’s teaching.

There were ministers and priests that preached against the T4 Aktion – the Nazi euthanasia program – that killed mentally and physically disabled children and adults.

Yet…today the Catholic Church is vilified for “not doing enough” to help the Jews, even though evidence exists that the Pope arranged for Jews to be issued certificates stating they were Catholic so they could emigrate to Brazil, that the churches of Rome had been ordered to hide Jews and that there were Jews being hidden within the Vatican itself.

So…ministers and priests should not endorse a particular candidate, but to demand that they avoid encouraging parishioners to vote or to stay away from issues that have political elements to them…and so many social issues today have political elements to them…is to essentially make churches nothing but feel-good places where no wisdom is imparted, no moral or ethical struggles can be resolved and to prevent them from practicing a real faith at all. They all become Kamala Harris’ preferred form of judge: not taking their faith seriously.

20 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Open Forum” (Catholic Church Thread)

  1. Churches: “[N]othing but feel-good places where no wisdom is imparted, no moral or ethical struggles can be resolved and to prevent them from practicing a real faith at all.”

    A little over the top but sounds good to me. Beats having churches functioning as Social Justice Warrior bases. What’s wrong with Faith, Hope and Charity? Concern for the after life? Just stay the hell out of government. Spend the collection plate however you want, but don’t go messing around in the taxpayers’ pockets. Hands off.

    • I could’ve been content with the current arrangement before the Sisters of the Poor were dragged to court over contraceptive coverage. If we’re not playing by live-and-let-live when the secular infidels are in charge, I hope the first Catholic administration mandates a weekly Rosary. Einstein proved somewhere that time = money, so the Supreme Court will just call it a tax after-the-fact.

      Besides, have you seen how deserted those liberal churches are now? I don’t think you have to worry too much about an SJW congregation lasting any longer than their interest in any other new fad.

      • Of course the secular left and their militant atheist allies aren’t playing live and let live. They just say things like that to lull the believers into a false sense of security and make them more receptive to chipping away at their faith under the guise of going along to get along. They also like to pretend they are Spock-like logicians who just don’t believe anything they can’t see or measure or (one of my favorites) just people who believe a hospital should be built instead of a church and a deed done rather than a prayer said. Behind those words, spoken by atheist activist Madelyn Murray O’Hair, played quite a different tune.

        “Church wealth are moving into everything-gas stations, banks, television stations, supermarket chains, hotels, steel mills, resort areas, farms, wine factories, warehouses, bottling works, printing plants, schools, theaters-everything you could conceivably think of that has nothing to do with religion, they are moving into big. They’re even coming in as stockholders in the big oil companies, and the Bank of America is almost entirely owned by the Catholic Church.” (conspiracy theory nonsense)

        “… religion is a crutch, and only the crippled need crutches.” (insults, and a bit of Communist propaganda)

        “I’m not proud of having been married -I’ve had five affairs, all of them real wingdings. I’ve enjoyed every goddamned minute of them, but sooner or later I’ve outgrown every one of them, and when I did I got fed up and threw them out. If they can’t keep up with me, the hell with them.” (libertine POS)

        “By the time it’s considered socially acceptable to start screwing, most of us are sexually constipated, and this is often an incurable condition. I think young people should be able to have their first sexual love affair whenever they feel like it. In the case of most girls, this would be around 13 or 14; with most boys, around 15 or 16.” (Sex at 13. Mmmhmmm)

        “I can’t pinpoint a period in history or a place in the universe where religion has actually helped the welfare of man.” (Then you didn’t look too hard, or too far, or maybe you didn’t bother looking at all)

        “At no time have I ever said that people should be stripped of their right to the insanity of belief in God. If they want to practice this kind of irrationality, that’s their business. It won’t get them anywhere; it certainly won’t make them happier or more compassionate human beings; but if they want to chew that particular cud. they’re welcome to it.” (condescending)

        “poor old dried-up women lying there on their solitary pallets yearning for Christ to come to them in a vision some night and take their maidenheads. By the time they realize he’s not coming, it’s no longer a maidenhead; it’s a poor, sorry tent that nobody would be able to pierce — even Jesus with his wooden staff. It’s such a waste.” (her description of nuns)

        “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times…He is beyond human forgiveness.” (upon hearing her son had become a born-again Christian)

        This is the atheist model? This is the kind of person who we want in charge? The smartest person in the room? Forget it. Finally her insistence on outrageous behavior came back on her own head, when a violent felon she had hired murdered her. Forgive me if I’m not too sad that the most hated woman in America, who reveled in being hated and in hating others, died a violent death she had set herself up for.

        I’ve said it again and again, I don’t give a damn if you believe or don’t believe. That’s between you and whatever powers you believe in or not. If you want to strut around and condescend like you know better than believers, I’m going to eventually tell you off, not because you don’t believe, but because you’re acting like a pompous ass. If you want to hurl insults at me, and deliberately offend me, and stomp on the things I hold dear, then mister, you’ve just bought yourself a fight, not because you don’t believe, but because you’re acting like a bully. If you want to try to make me disappear, and the things I stand for disappear, then you’ve also got a fight, because I’m not going to just go gently into the night because you told me to. If you want to compel me to do things that go against my beliefs, then you’ve got a fight, because you’re not trying to get a good or service, you’re trying to dominate me.

        Domination and hatred are actually pretty prevalent on the left, despite all their rhetoric that “love wins” and so on. It’s just that their hatred is justified, whereas the hatred of others isn’t. Hatred of religion is pretty big on the left, except black churches and mosques, which are of course awesome. But the Catholics, Baptists, and anyone else who dares differ with them is evil and worthy of nothing but attacks and contempt.

        I say to hell with secular tyrants and religion haters who should be treated no differently than race haters, or to oblivion if they don’t believe in hell. Michael Moriarty’s Ben Stone, on Law and Order, although part Irish and Catholic, once described the IRA as “Nazis with brogues.” I’d describe the current left as Nazis in pantsuits.

        • Humanism should not include anti-religious cruelty any more than faith should include anti-athiest hunts. Part of this over the top was probably spurred by bad experiences from religious people. My high school tried a brief school prayer thing. and the vitriol toward my beliefs by the speaker’s branch was highly offensive toward my branch. The faiths changed on different days, but a majority made me angry instead of calm and tolerant. It didn’t take too long before I wanted to petition for a wider number of religions in our east end of the bible belt: I was thinking Wicca or satanism, to confirm they really weren’t being tolerant or teaching tolerance.

          I’d never heard of Ms O’Haire at that age, but mocking is the best response to any believer who talks like that. She was still a believer, she believed any believer was an arse and deserved all the cruelty she could muster- even if they’d never harmed her. She believed that, which made her as much a believer as they. .

            • Madelyn Murray O’Hair: I had never heard of her. I don’t need a seance nor to invoke ghosts, I have YouTube: my crystal ball into all matters Americana. Really, it is an amazing research tool! That an an iPhone . . .

              As to Madelyn Murray O’Hair and her activist atheism, which results from a looooonnnngggggg causal chain of intellectual events, this paragraph from The Seventeenth Century Background (by Basil Willey, Chatto & Windus, 1957) sets the stage for an investigation of causality in intellectual affairs:

              “To give a ‘philosophical’ account of matters which had formally been explained ‘unscientifically’, ‘popularly’, or ‘figuratively’ — this, it would probably be agreed, has been the main intellectual concern for the last three hundred years. In a sense, no doubt, the separation of the ‘true’ from the ‘false’, the ‘real’ from the ‘illusory’, has been the task of thought at all times. But this winnowing process seems to have been carried on much more actively and consciously at certain times than at others. For us in the West two such periods are of especial importance, the period of Greek philosophy and the centuries following the Renaissance. It was in the seventeenth century that modern European thought seems first to have assumed, once more, that its appointed task was La Recherche de la Vérité, the discovery and declaration, according to its lights, of the True Nature of Things. It is in that century that we meet once again the exhilaration which inspired Lucretius in his address to Epicurus — the sense of emancipation from inadequate notions, of new contact with reality. It was then, too, that the concepts of ‘truth’, ‘reality’, ‘explanation’ and the rest were being formed, which have moulded all subsequent thinking. There is some reason, then, for supposing that it may be worth while to watch these concepts in process of formation.”

              One of my guiding ideas is that we now live in a time where ‘narratives collapse’. Not only has the very metaphysical underpinning on which our understanding of where we exist, and why we exist, been undermined and dissolved away, in all senses our *knowledge*, and I mean of a scientistic sense, does not bring us in any sense closer to understanding and truth, but amounts to acids of different sorts. And these acids work in all arenas.

              We live in an ‘acidic age’ where certainty of that sort that was once ‘available to us’ and which gave us confidence in our own being, has been dissolved away. We are significantly adrift … yet we struggle to find solid ground, even if it is ‘poetical ground’.

              If it is true that a previous structure — that is, a total metaphysics — that had been the foundation of understanding of what this realm is, into what we are incarnated, and why we exist here, has been eroded away by our penetrating mind & its methods, it stands to reason that this process, set in motion, is continuing now.

              The Acids of Modernity eat away at all certainty except, perhaps, some mathematical and physical facts. But these have zero explanatory value! And the only metaphysics that can be constructed with them is a machine-like, biological and physical *world* in which the human is utterly reduced to electrochemistry.

              As these acids continue their work, they seep into every area of human concern. I am not making this up! When we refer, say, to ‘Cultural Marxism’ and imply something scary and nefarious, in fact, behind that term, lie the ‘acids of modernity’. While we must, I suppose, focus on what dances before our eyes (the projected images that we see on the walls of the cave), it definitely seems wise to try to understand ‘causality’ (which corresponds to *turning around* and seeing *the projectors*).

              The Present cannot be understood if we only see the contingent image!

              If we are concerned for Restoration and Renovation, this ultimately must mean — it can only mean! — a recovery of sound metaphysics. It can only be understood as a counter-movement against processes that have been moving for hundreds of years, not just one year or ten.

              The Chaos in our present — What is it? What is it the result of? And what is its antidote?

              The recovery of metaphysical ground. It is an intellectual work of the first order. And that which dissolves is then better understood as ‘the enemy’.

          • She was still a believer, she believed any believer was…

            Everyone has a functioning believer built in. You can choose what to believe, but you will believe something. Why don’t you pick up a snake, are approach a snarling dog? Why stay out of the Gorilla enclosure, or try to pet the lions?

            You believe you will get hurt, despite never having tried it before to test your belief.

        • “Church wealth are moving into everything-gas stations, banks, television stations, supermarket chains, hotels, steel mills, resort areas, farms, wine factories, warehouses, bottling works, printing plants, schools, theaters-everything you could conceivably think of that has nothing to do with religion, they are moving into big. They’re even coming in as stockholders in the big oil companies, and the Bank of America is almost entirely owned by the Catholic Church.” (conspiracy theory nonsense)”

          And entirely representative of the type of propaganda spewed against the Jews by the Nazis.

    • So what about abortion? marriage? morality? All of these have a religious component. Marriage is a religious sacrament in every society I can think of. The only reason our government has a say in marriage is that there used to be a government church that kept track of marriages (remember, marriages were recorded by the Church of England then). When we broke away from England, the governments kept that religious function.

      Here is a list of concepts that have come to our society from Christianity (often religious struggles within Christianity) and Judaism. Which of these cannot be discussed now?
      Freedom of speech
      Freedom of religion
      Separation of Church and State
      Value of (all) human life
      Our view of absolute truth
      Our view that corruption is bad and wrong
      Rulers have restraints on their behavior
      Equality under the law

  2. Wow. I’m honored. I read every one of your entries, whether I comment on them or not (Some, like sports, I’m just not qualified enough to give an intelligent remark on).

  3. Man, I missed out on a “Hitler’s Pope” thread. I kind-of like that topic. It’s fun to talk about actual Communist propaganda campaign that wormed it’s way into the popular artificial consciousness.

  4. I was hoping A.M.’s COTD would spark a knock-down, drag out over the conduct of the Vatican during WWII, but not so far. The record isn’t that the Church actively helped the Nazis; it’s that it behaved completely amorally in so many respects, putting the Church’s interests, and sometimes venal interests, first. I thought I had done at least one post about this acouple of years ago, but the hell if I can find it. But here’s a quote from an NPR feature on the topic:

    “By World War II, the church had sizable investments and created the Vatican Bank in order to hide its financial dealings with the Nazis from the U.S. and the U.K.

    “I was surprised the extent to which the Vatican was deeply embedded with German companies,” Posner says. “They bundled together life insurance policies of Jewish refugees who had been sent to Auschwitz and other death camps. They escheated these policies early on — meaning they took the cash value of them.”

    Later, when the surviving children or grandchildren of the victims tried to collect on the insurance policies, they were refused.

    “These insurance companies would refuse to pay out saying: ‘Show us a death certificate,’ which they knew was impossible,” Posner explains. “They would keep the money.”

    In “God’s Bankers,” Posner sheds light on what he calls “the blood money” that came into the church….

    “It wasn’t as though they did business with the Germans because they wanted the Germans to win. They did business with everyone, because they called themselves neutral and decided that somebody would win at the end of the war — and they were going to keep their business connections open to everybody. Then, when they saw the war was going against the Germans, they started to hide the connections. And after the war they said, “We didn’t do anything wrong.”

    • Right now even the church’s staunchest members aren’t all that interested in defending her in a knock-down, drag-out fight over something that happened 70 years ago and which no one is likely to ever be brought to justice for.

      I could point out that the Church was by no means alone in doing slimy business with the Nazis while claiming neutrality. I could point to the Swiss, who gladly acted as the Nazis bankers, I could point to the Swedes, who shrugged and said “If the allies win we are a democracy, if the Germans win we are Aryans” and let their own men volunteer for the SS. I could point to the Turks, who only declared war on Germany 3 months away from V-E day because the Soviet army was rolling their way and would have kept right on rolling if they didn’t. I could also point to the Irish, whose premier de Valera decided he hated the British more than he opposed the Nazis, signed the condolences book on Hitler’s death, and cut off all pensions to his country’s soldiers who decided to join the fight, which that nation only apologized for recently. Those who stand neutral in the face of evil just aid the evil against those who it oppresses.

      However, that’s a side issue. The Church has done fairly well with aiding victims of modern war, welcoming and supporting those displaced by the two world wars. However, this does not excuse, nor make up for the Church’s profiteering as you describe above, and then attempts to hide it. The Church has also been an abject failure as a peacemaker for the last century. Benedict XV tried to broker a peace on unrealistic terms in WWI, PIus XII has already been talked about above, St. John XXIII put peace at even a high price above freedom and plowed the furrows for liberation theology, John Paul II watched the church issue pastoral letter after pastoral letter condemning the west for matching the Soviets missile for missile and sending the Trident submarines to sea, which stopped the Soviets from doing something rash. He then stood four-square against the US efforts in the war on terror. Pope Francis? What can I say? He’s reduced the office of pope to “chief nice guy” and doesn’t really stand for much other than spiritualized, mild liberalism. That’s before we even get to the question of the Church acting as de factor procurer and enabler for pedophiles.

      • It’s a good comment, Steve, but by now I’d expect your ethics alarms to be ringing before you allowed a sentence like “I could point out that the Church was by no means alone in doing slimy business with the Nazis while claiming neutrality.” You know that’s a flat-out rationalization, but more to the point, this is a religious institution with supposed moral authority. It is estopped from using “Everybody Does it” as an excuse.

        • I think a lot of us regard the state of Rome’s claim to moral authority with the same disdain as you, Mr. Marshall. I wouldn’t rest an apologetics argument on the moral character of our bishops any more than I would that of any politician. My arguments for the validity of the Tradition come often at their expense, and I’m often quite happy to let those implications lie where they fall. The state of the institutional church is quite terrible, and I don’t know if it’s been otherwise to a significant degree at any point in history.

          We, the Catholic clergy, have done our best to destroy the Church for the last 1,800 years. We have not succeeded, and neither will you.

          The sorry state is often even used as a proof of the Church’s divine protection. You could trash these guys all day, and we’d nod, wishing it wouldn’t be a sin of disobedience and wrath to join in. The floor of Hell, as St. Athanasius said, is paved with the skulls of priests.

          I’d ordinarily feel more inclined to offer some token resistance, but Sandmann’s bishop has put me in a certain anti-clerical mood. Let them tell me I should come to their aid when the wolves come for them after they’ve actively fed the faithful’s children to them: “Your eminence, this is called a Faustian bargain. You should’ve looked into demonology in seminary rather than modern grievance studies.”

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