Time for the Third Vatican Council

Time for the Third Vatican Council

studdard-james
James Studdard may be reached for comment, if absolutely necessary, at studlaw2000@yahoo.com

Pope Francis, it appears, is a democrat. Shucking aside his lesser important issues such as female priests, gay marriage, contraception, abortion, and other Vatican trivialities, he cobbles up a liturgical trope that sounds very much like an excerpt from a democrat “talking point speech.” The origin of, and catalyst for, this holy scold by the Roman Papa is Trump’s promise to build a wall all along the Mexican/US border in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging of Mexican aliens entering the US illegally. Trump says, eleven million is enough. The Pope disagrees. But before leaving the subject of walls, let me recall some of the more famous ones that were built, by the way, not to keep people in, but to keep intruders out. The Berlin Wall. The Jericho Wall. The Wall around the Vatican. The Great Wall (China). The Western Wall (Jerusalem).
In a recent appearance before a group of health care workers, the Pope attacked unfettered capitalism as the new “Tyranny,” suggesting that capitalism was the idolatry of money. These suggestions were a part of an 84-page document known as an apostolic exhortation, which, in reality, is the Pope’s official platform for his papacy. Here are a few excerpts from the document. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” In other words, his imminence, wants the rich to share the wealth. Further, Francis beseeched politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education, and healthcare.”
Catholics are the world’s most notorious among pots that call kettles black, in spite of the erosion of the holy patina from their rosy rosaries and gloria patris. Let us wax nostalgic and rewind back to the 1930’s Europe.  Totalitarianism was on the rise, the fascist party was in vogue; Mussolini and Hitler were the up and coming darlings of the Nazi, Fascism movements, supported by an ambivalent right wing Catholic party. Almost all of the oppressive regimes in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Czechoslovakia and Austria were in place with the help of the Vatican with a wink and nod from the Holy See. But all of this was done under the cloak of the papal habit, and since it was merely a theocratic requisite posited by an infallible pope, who is authorized to ventriloquise the divine for all of us, all is forgiven. Another example of the Vatican’s pseudo-piety occurred in 1555 when Pope Paul IV had a vision that the end of time was near. As such, he aimed to convert as many people he could to Catholicism. Unfortunately for the Jews, he targeted them for conversion. He issued a canon, cum nimis absurdum, decreeing that all Jews in Rome (about 4700) be forced to live in seclusion in a specified area of Rome under curfew. The Jewish males were required to wear yellow hats, and the women, shawls. Freedom could be obtained only by converting to Catholicism
How soon the Catholics forget their own evils. Their memory fades about the Crusades, the sacking of Constantinople, the Inquisition, supra, and the torture and murder of scientists and Protestants. To appease the Catholics, Galileo, to avoid being burned at the stake, was forced to say well “maybe the sun does revolve around the earth.” The Vatican finally, but reluctantly, decided (in 1992) Galileo was right after all. The persecution of Galileo was, more than anything else, an attack on the Enlightenment, which they resisted for as long as common sense and scientific realities allowed.
There is no denying that the Catholic Church, at the least, was partly responsible for not vocalizing against the holocaust, instead they fueled the fires of anti-Semitism in pre-world war Germany, then looked the other way.  It is also interesting to note that it was only during the Second Vatican Council (1964, twenty years after the Nuremberg trials) that the Church renounced its view of the Jews as a perfidious people who had crucified Jesus. Finally, the church grudgingly removed negative references from the liturgy, revised what was taught about Jews in Catholic schools, catechism, and, mercifully, put an end to Catholic belief in Jewish ritual murder of Christians.  Sadly, the Palestinians have read the Catholics play book and are teaching their youth that Jews are not really human and should be erased from the planet.
Catholics live in glass houses and should know better than to throw rocks.