Monday, January 03, 2011

Catholics and the Holocaust Again

The discussion, or rather the denials found here and here about how the Catholic Church paved the road to the Holocaust sent me looking for a remembered quote from A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

Found it:
You place the straw around the houses of one town, teach the people of the next town to hate and fear the inhabitants in the first town. An incendiary comes along to give your followers a match. Yout followers together with other light the flames that torch one building, then another, then another, systematically but slowly destroying them all. You save a few, though only a few, from the buildings that the killers have not yet reached. You do not warn the other intended victims. You do not urge all those who work for you to save as many as they can. You do not tell all those who support the incendiary or even help him light his fires that they are committing crimes and consigning themselves to hell. Indeed, a;; the while you continue to teach your followers to hate and fear the victims. After the flames die down and the incendiary is dead, you say that you never told him or your followers explicitly to kill, and indeed had as little to do with him as possible.... Would you believe that, under such a scenario, others would hold you innocent of all blame, all guilt, all culpability?
The part that gets me every time is at the beginning: You place the straw around the houses of one town, teach the people of the next town to hate and fear the inhabitants in the first town. 

Can anyone deny the Church did this to the Jews?  Can anyone deny that for hundreds of years the Church's Good Friday liturgy contained a long list of "reproaches" that accused the whole Jewish people of killing Jesus?  Can anyone deny that the church had, from the time of Pius 9, used its newspapers and clergy to spread the lowest and most vile forms of Antisemitism? Is it a coincidence that most of the top Nazis were born Catholics and that Nazism took root and rose to prominence in Bavaria where Roman Catholicism dominated? (even today the area is more than 70 percent Catholic.) Is it meaningless that the Seamless Robe of Jesus, kept in the Cathedral of Trier and one of Catholicism's potent symbols of joy,  was exhibited in 1933, its first public viewing in 42 years, the year of Hitler's coming to power?

Is all of this (and much more ) irrelevant?

More on Pius 12 from this blog. And here, too

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