[UPDATE, 4/9/13: I just learned that the eve I posted this was the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Had I known that, I would have added an extra prayer request for survivors and their families.]
The traditionalist blog had repeated a vicious smear against Pope Francis by Argentinean blogger, Marcelo Gonzalez, who called Francis a “sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass.” Unfortunately, the claim was quickly given wide circulation by Inside the Vatican‘s Robert Moynihan, who labeled our new Holy Father “hostile” toward the Traditional Mass.
When Father Z and others found evidence that the claim was in fact a bald-faced lie, Rorate Caeli responded with a string of defensive posts, while Moynihan issued a non-apology, saying he reprinted Gonzalez’s claims because he thought the reporter “reliable.”
And who is this “reliable” reporter?
Being that I am a Jewish convert to Catholicism who attends Mass in the Extraordinary Form (the traditional Latin Mass), and am all too familiar with the antisemitism that Father Angelo Mary Geiger calls the “soft white underbelly of the Rad Trad movement,” I had a bad feeling about Gonzalez. Pope Francis was known in Buenos Aires as a friend to the Jewish community, even co-writing a book with a leading rabbi of the city, and I sadly wouldn’t put it past certain trads to harbor special resentment for him on that account. So, on a hunch, I looked to see what (if anything) Gonzalez had to say about Jews and the Holocaust.
It wasn’t hard to find.
Five months ago, Marcelo Gonzalez announced he had reached the “fixed position” that the “so-called ‘holocaust'” is a media exaggeration. If Google’s translation is correct, he wrote that he prefers to call it “the so-called ‘holocaust'” or, alternatively, the “hollowcaust.” You can read for yourself his blog entry “Holocaust and Hollowcaust” via Google Translate (or read it here in the original Spanish). It’s disgusting, and as a fellow member of the Mystical Body, I am ashamed.
Moral of the story: Don’t get your “reliable” information about the Pope from a blog that venerates the Society of St. Pius X.
If you would like to join me in praying in reparation for fellow Catholics who libel the Holy Father and who malign the Jewish people, here are some suggested prayers.
UPDATE: A Rorate Caeli blogger has informed me that the blog intends to publish a response taking aim at my using Google Translate. I responded, “If an accurate translation shows that Marcelo Gonzalez was not questioning that approximately six milion Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazis, then I will issue a full apology. There were enough Holocaust-denying statements in the Google Translate version of his post that I am reasonably confident that, should one prove to be mistranslated, there are others that were accurately translated.”
I invite a commenter with knowledge of Spanish to attempt a more accurate translation of Gonzalez’s post and leave it in the comments below. Thank you and God bless.
UPDATE #2: Rorate Caeli’s response is up. Their spies apparently tell them that I have been “occasionally attending the traditional Latin Mass in the Washington, D.C. area” (emphasis mine). I think that translates to “Not a Real Catholic [TM].” Interestingly they are not disputing the accuracy of Google’s translation of Gonzalez’s post; my pointing out that their “cherished friend” is a Holocaust denier is simply a “non sequitur.”
UPDATE #4, 4/9/13: Closing comments so that I can get some schoolwork done today and not have to sift through hateful words against my Jewish ancestors and relatives and against those who think the Church has, in fact, continued past 1965. Many more viciously antisemitic comments have come in. I am sending the rest to Mark Shea, who has told me he will have something to say on the matter—oh, I see he just put up a post.
Thanks to the relatively few lovers of the Extraordinary Form who have written with their support. [As of 4/10/13, many more have written. Thank you!] To those who love the traditional Mass and have not commented: If you don’t want the Extraordinary Form community to be dismissed as a bunch of hate-filled, antisemitic cranks, you need to raise your voice in the public square, and not be afraid of what the veils-and-brocade police say about you.
UPDATE #5, 4/10/13: Gonzalez has issued a “clarification,” and has appended an English translation to his original article.
When I have time (which may not be for a while, owing to school responsibilities), I will post more thoughts on the matter. Here is my initial reaction to the “clarification”:
Gonzalez says in his non-apology apology, “For this reason, I clarify, or rather I reiterate that I am convinced that the Holocaust (that is, the death of millions of Jews in concentration camps or on their way to them during the Second World War) is a fact of uncontested historicity. Other aspects – of which I cannot speak, because I am no historian – remain in the academic sphere.”
Note what he is not saying–that there was a systematic, state-sponsored plan of extermination. In his article, he in fact denies such a plan, offers other reasons why Jews died, and claims that one who accepts that there was a Holocaust “may incur in an historical error of judgment.”
So he is a Holocaust denier–because the Holocaust was nothing if not “a program of systematic state-sponsored murder” of Jews, to use Wikipedia’s current and very apt wording. It is true that the Nazis also targeted millions of others for extermination because of their race, Catholic or Orthodox religion, disability, homosexual behavior, or political affiliation, and it may be legitimately argued that the killing of these populations should be included in the term “Holocaust.” But to cast doubt in any way upon the Nazis’ systematically murdering Jews is outrageous.
RECOMMENDED READING: Jeannette Pryor, a mother of five, writes about the toxic education she received as a nun in the SSPX.