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Deliver The Catholics And Convert Them To Rationality
I guess if there were an atheist "prayer," that would be it. Hey, don't be offended, Catholics. It's no worse than what the Pope said about the Jews. Jason Burke writes in The Guardian:

Jewish leaders and community groups criticised Pope Benedict XVI strongly yesterday after the head of the Roman Catholic Church formally removed restrictions on celebrating an old form of the Latin mass which includes prayers calling for the Jews to 'be delivered from their darkness' and converted to Catholicism.

In a highly controversial concession to traditionalist Catholics, Pope Benedict said that he had decided to allow parish priests to celebrate the Latin Tridentine mass if a 'stable group of faithful' request it - though he stressed that he was in no way undoing the reforms of the Sixties Second Vatican Council which allowed the mass to be said in vernacular languages for the first time.

'What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,' Benedict wrote.

However, the older rite's prayers calling on God to 'lift the veil from the eyes' of the Jews and to end 'the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ' - used just once a year during the Good Friday service - have sparked outrage.

Yesterday the Anti-Defamation League, the American-based Jewish advocacy group, called the papal decision a 'body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations'.

'We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday mass, it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted,' said Abraham Foxman, the group's national director, in Rome. 'It is the wrong decision at the wrong time. It appears the Vatican has chosen to satisfy a right-wing faction in the church that rejects change and reconciliation.'

Now, now, people. One form of backward superstitions and evidence-free belief in The Imaginary Friend is really no better than any other!

Posted by aalkon at July 8, 2007 11:17 AM

Comments

*UGH*


We are overdue for a good plague. Preferably one that only effects the stupid and/or corrupt.

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at July 8, 2007 12:20 PM

Very nice.... a comment about being intolerant made with intolerance. How is life up there in those lofty clouds?

A/G, they are not the same. They are just both missused. Perhaps they should pray that one day we are mature enough to have the veil lifted from our eyes and wise enough to recognize what we see. That might mean everyone just being kind to one another? Naw..... that's waaaaaay to simple.

Posted by: Cerberus at July 8, 2007 12:59 PM

Are you suggesting that I should celebrate primitive thinking and irrationality-based belief? What's wrong with criticizing it? Is there really any justification for believing in The Imaginary Friend other than just believing what you're told instead of using rational thought? (And remember -- no, in fact, see above -- how divisive such primitive, evidence-free belief can actually be.) And, finallyl, if people believe that The Tooth Fairy and Santa actually exist, what's your opinion of them?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 8, 2007 1:09 PM

'What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,' Benedict wrote.

Didnt earlier generation also hold sacred the torturing of heritics, the burning of witches, the beleif that demons and fallen angels were responsible for the illnesses and natural disasters that plauge mankind.

Heres a question for catholics, If a pope is never wrong what does it mean when one pope contradicts the decsions of a previous pope?

Posted by: lujlp at July 8, 2007 1:14 PM

The concept of papal infallibility is the dogma that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) is preserved from even the possibility of error.

Irrationality at its finest.

Posted by: Joe at July 8, 2007 1:38 PM

> Very nice.... a comment about being intolerant
> made with intolerance.

Grrr. This is the language of PC non-thinking. I don't know how it happened, but here's what I picture.

Some well-intentioned folks noticed that we don't all get along. Being touchy-feely granola types, this disturbed them and they set out to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, not being logical, big-picture types, they didn't think beyond proximate causes or consider the comprehensive consequences of their actions. So, here's the logic:
1. People hurt and kill other people = bad.
2. People hurt and kill other people because they don't like them or disagree with them.
3. Not liking or disagreeing with other people = intolerance = bad.
4. Tolerance = good.

It seems like I'm setting up a straw man here, but I seriously cannot come up with a more accurate portrayal of the PC view of tolerance. I invite you to correct it.

Here's my problem with it. It leaves out all thinking about the actual consequence of any given intolerance.

It doesn't seem to be able to distinguish between intellectual criticism and genocide. Yes, Amy wrote just as intolerantly above as the pope, maybe more. Amy, however, doesn't speak for a large organization that has a history of supporting and practicing torture and murder for those who disagree with it. She speaks only for herself and as far as I know, she has no history of condoning violence against anyone who is not a physical threat to her.

Intolerance even with violence is not always bad. If someone breaks into my home, I can assure you I will have significant intolerance and I will not be apologetic about it.

Why should Amy be apologetic for being verbally intolerant of irrationality on her own blog?

> How is life up there in those lofty clouds?
This is a lazy, cheap shot. Get off your ass and tell her why she's wrong if you disagree with her.

Posted by: Shawn at July 8, 2007 6:30 PM

In light of all the things that the president of Iran has said about Jews over the past year you would think Foxman may have better things to do than worry about some old prayers about conversion.

It's not like the Pope is calling for the Jews to be wiped off the map.

As far as Papal Infallibility goes it means the church allows the office of the Pope to be the ruling agent in deciding what will be accepted as formal beliefs in the church.

This power was granted in 1870 and was used only once in 1950. Hardly a case against free-wheeling tyranny.

Wouldn't it be nice if our own government was as conscienctious about taking the same amount of time before they pass law on the rest of us?

Posted by: cybro at July 8, 2007 6:43 PM

lujlp, your comment reminded me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb-BdIiJO-A

Posted by: Shawn at July 8, 2007 6:47 PM

A/G, The lofty view would be reserved for Puniceus Crustum Digitus Conglomero who called out for a plague to destroy those less learned in a red pretzel logic. Ironicly, that same plague carried people to absolute power by those so willing to close their eyes when accepting anything, might spare one from such a fate. Fear is, after all, the second greatest motivator, love being the greatest and the only thing that can defeat fear, but that's for another day dear. My opinion of the Tooth Fairy is that I would like to see her naked and I do not feel that way about Santa. I hope I have answered your questions as they would keep one up at night. We need you fresh for any future recorded leaked phone messages from Alec B's daughter.... keep in mind that there are 6 sides to a box. Your greatest fan, Cerberus.

Posted by: Cerberus at July 8, 2007 7:00 PM

Joe writes:

The concept of papal infallibility is the dogma that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) is preserved from even the possibility of error.

Irrationality at its finest.

Actually, Catholics believe the Pope is only infallible when he speaks on matters of doctrine and morals. This is called speaking ex cathedra.

For a good (and gut-bustingly hilarious) screed on what Catholics believe, read Christopher Durang's terrific play, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You." I promise, you will laugh out loud.

Posted by: Patrick at July 8, 2007 7:07 PM

"One form of backward superstitions and evidence-free belief in The Imaginary Friend is really no better than any other!"


Based on recent posts here, Amy, you don't actually believe that. Haven't you been pretty clear that most of them are better than Islam?

Posted by: LYT at July 8, 2007 10:03 PM

Thanks to LYT for asking that! There's only so many fights you can pick with a blogger who's just going about her beeswax...

Posted by: Crid at July 8, 2007 11:22 PM

Cybro - It's not like the Pope is calling for the Jews to be wiped off the map.

Perhaps he ain't, but when a religious leader makes comments like the one under discussion, some of his or her crazy followers will take it as a sign to do some of god's work and help things along.

Posted by: Norman at July 8, 2007 11:31 PM

They're all equally silly in their evidence-free belief in The Imaginary Friend -- in their particular favorite fruity flavor. One is more dangerous than the rest, however, and...Ding! Ding! Ding!...that would be Islam.

Christiane Amanpour did a report that ran on CNN Sunday morning in which some of the nutbags they let into Britain were openly advocating violence and converting Britain to Sharia law. And it could actually happen. More violence, I'd say is a pretty sure thing. And Sharia law? Could happen, too.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 9, 2007 12:59 AM

Probably will happen, that is. Predictions on the timetable?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 9, 2007 1:01 AM

Probably will happen, that is. Predictions on the timetable?

Never, because Sharia law prohibits alcohol. You wanna rile up the Brits? Try to take away their booze. Hooligans would riot.

Posted by: justin case at July 9, 2007 9:06 AM

So I guess the Nazi pope is returning to his roots.

Posted by: Amy at July 9, 2007 9:18 AM

How is he a Nazi?

It was mandatory to be a part of the Hitler Youth after the anschluss of Austria. Did you do anything stupid at 14? He was conscripted into the Seer, but deserted. What was the punishment for desertion? Does anyone know his NSDAP party membership number??? Photos or documents detailing any stints at a concentration camp???

Disagree with his religious beliefs, but try to step above the sleaze ball tactics. I know its easy, but try.

Posted by: Joe at July 9, 2007 10:58 AM

I called her on this once before. Going through the files, you have too. She's stuck....

Posted by: Crid at July 9, 2007 1:57 PM

Think what you will of the RCC, or Benedict XVI. But Mr. Waxman seems to have spoken before checking his facts in this case.

Mr. Waxman is presumably referring to the Good Friday prayer contained in the Tridentine liturgy for that day. It's a prayer said once a year, in a tiny number of churches (only those which celebrate the Tridentine (Latin) Mass), in front of a small congregation, a small number of which may understand the Latin. It did, at one time, contain language which many, perhaps most or even all Jews (at least those aware of it) found insulting.

However, the prayer to which Mr. Waxman is presumably objecting was changed in 1960 by Pope John XXIII to remove the offensive language. Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum permits (not requires) parishes in which there is significant demand for the Tridentine Rite to offer that Mass (assuming they can find a priest capable of officiating) as defined in the Roman Missal of 1962, which was further revised in 1965 to remove any vestiges of what might be thought to be offensive language.

The language which Mr. Waxman says "the Vatican rightly removed . . . from the Good Friday mass" has not been reinserted. It will not be heard in any Roman Catholic church anywhere in the world, either in the Tridentine Mass or in the vernacular mass, which continues to be the primary mass offered around the world.

Schismatic, non-Catholic traditionalist sects are another matter altogether, and they (or at least the primary such sect, the Lefebvrists) have been condemned by and excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by: Larry McKenna at July 9, 2007 5:28 PM

Norman says:

Perhaps he ain't, but when a religious leader makes comments like the one under discussion, some of his or her crazy followers will take it as a sign to do some of god's work and help things along.

I ask:

Ahhh, what comments? Where in the posted article is Pope Benedict quoted as saying anything even remotely controversial, let alone something that would inspire any of his "crazy followers" to "take it as a sign to do some of god's work and help things along"?

Posted by: Larry McKenna at July 9, 2007 5:33 PM

Where do nut jobs go from 'abortion is a sin' from preachers to blowing up abortion clinics with bombs?

Posted by: lujlp at July 10, 2007 1:12 AM

A/G... why would you capitalize nazi and not pope? hmmmm.........

Posted by: Cerberus at July 10, 2007 8:17 AM

One more thing regarding Mr. Waxman's concerns about Pope Benedict's authorization of the Latin Mass --

Upon closer reading of Summorum Pontificum, I note that it says:

"In Masses celebrated without the people, any priest of Latin rite, whether secular or religious, can use the Roman Missal published by Pope Blessed John XXIII in 1962 or the Roman Missal promulgated by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI in 1970, on any day except in the Sacred Triduum."

The key words here are "except in the Sacred Triduum." The Sacred Triduum includes Good Friday, when the prayer that Mr. Waxman finds offensive would be said.

Although I'm not sure that Mr. Waxman understands that the offensive language has already been excised from the Good Friday liturgy, since the old Mass has not been authorized for use on Good Friday, any remaining vestiges of offensive language in the old Mass will never be heard, since, on the only day of the year when those prayers were offered, the use of the Latin Mass is prohibited.

Tempest in a teapot.

Posted by: Larry McKenna at July 10, 2007 9:09 AM

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