Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Pope and Britney Spears

What do they have in common?

"Whoops, I did it again!"

From USA Today:
The Vatican announced Saturday that the Pope has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria province. Wagner caused a stir in 2005 when he was quoted as saying that he was convinced that the death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina earlier that year was "divine retribution" for tolerance of homosexuals and laid-back sexual attitudes in New Orleans.
So, within the space of one week, we get a holocaust denier and a cleric who sounds more like fudamentalist (and notorious anti-Catholic)James Hagee:
Pastor John Hagee...told NPR’s Terry Gross that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God,” Hagee said, because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”
Now, say what you will about the Roman Catholics, but you don't generally expect fundamentalist hyperbole to this extent from the RC. Back to this new Papal appointment (same cite as above)
Upper Austria Governor Josef Puehringer also weighed in, describing Wagner as a "very conservative cleric" and telling broadcaster ORF that the pick suggests the Vatican does not have a realistic picture of the diocese.

Kath.Net, a Catholic news agency in Austria, released in 2005 excerpts of what it said were comments Wagner made in a parish newsletter in Linz about Katrina.

It said the newsletter quoted Wagner as saying that Katrina destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans, but also abortion clinics.

"The conditions of immorality in this city are indescribable," Wagner was quoted as saying.
Shouldn't someone in the Vatican clue Il Papa into the effects his tin ear is having on the reputation of the church?


FranIAm said...

As you might imagine, I am pretty upset over this, another iron in the fire.

As I said to another blogger and dear friend of mine the other day, I actually do not think the Pope is malicious but just horribly out of touch with any objective reality.

Somehow malicious would be better - at least it would be a conscious choice.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Honestly, I think the Pope has gone off on a obsessive tangent that is deeply flawed, and probably misdirected (whispered earlier by him into the ear of Pope JPII)...he´s slipping away from us and setting the stage for some very messy clean up work later...never forget, this is the same man, as a Cardinal, who sent a letter of Greeting and Support to Duncan and Company as they originally gathered in Dallas looking for a very private, policed, excluding, PLACE TO STAND!

More crazystuff may be in work.

Button down your your sensibilities.

JCF said...


Cany said...

More of the same BS. Gads.

Fran, I am sorry you have a Pope that just can't walk and think. I know how this must hurt.

Hurts me too, and I am not RC.

Two Auntees said...

I really think the Pope knows that the people that he is choosing supports these beliefs. That is why he is choosing them.

I know this must be really painful for many people who are RC.

IT said...

I agree, Two Auntees. This is done very deliberately to speak to the conservative wing and cut off the liberals.

dr.primrose said...

I suspected Katrina destroyed more churches than brothels and killed more heterosexuals than homosexuals. There's probably a better argument that Katrina was God's punshiment on church-going married heterosexuals.

I always thought that Jesus rejected this kind of thinking (Luke 5:1-5):

"At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, 'Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.'"

And again (Matt. 5:45): "he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."

JCF said...

Yeah, Doc, they had a line about this kind of Stinkin' Thinkin', going back to the Great San Francisco Earthquake & Fire of 1906:

If, as some say,
God spanked the town
for being over frisky,
Why did He burn His churches down
and leave Hotaling's Whiskey*?

[Distillery which survived!]

JCF said...

Off-topic: I commend to you all this excellent study of Anglican Troubles, by Savi Hensman, here.

Paul M said...

There is one obvious difference between the Pope and Brittany Spears.

The pope doesn't have a web site like this one.

James said...

I disagree with all of you.

Benedict sees the schism in Anglicanland swimming the Tiber.

Married clergy, women priests, and worst of all, OUT gay priests!!! "God, why can't they just stay in the closet like the rest of us."

Benedict is trying to avoid our tribulations. He is, of course, going about it wrongly, but that is what I think he has in mind.

And, too, remember that Nostradamus said the end of the RC church is upon us. :)

dr.primrose said...

According to a story posted by the Los Angeles Times this afternoon, the California Supreme Court announced today that it would hold oral argument on the Prop. 8 case on March 5 -- Supreme Court sets March 5 for gay marriage arguments.

Anonymous said...

It just goes on--every bit of news is another sharp intake of breath, another pain.

Not your fault Primrose and I'm glad to know, but 'm truly stressed out. I wish it were over already.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

According to the Swedish press there are rumors going around in Rome that Swedish Television framed the Pope up airing its interview with the Holocaust-denying Lefevbrist bishop on the eve of their rehabilitation...

As if Swedish Television set the Calendar for the Vatican...

Anonymous said...

BTW Angela Merkel has called out thePope:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Pope Benedict XVI to make a "very clear" rejection of Holocaust denials after the Vatican's rehabilitation of a former bishop who questioned whether 6 million Jews were gassed by the Nazis.

Merkel's rare and public demand came amid increasing outrage among Germany's Roman Catholic leaders over the German-born pope's decision.

Anonymous said...

That was me, IT

Paul M said...

Just in from the New York Times:

Responding to an extraordinary burst of global outrage, especially in Pope Benedict XVI’s native Germany, the Vatican for the first time on Wednesday called on a recently rehabilitated bishop to take back his statements denying the Holocaust.