God bless Simcha Fisher

This about sums it up:

Holocaust deniers are all either morons, or mentally ill, or evil. All of them. It’s one of those things for which there is no excuse — one of those things from which sane and decent people run away screaming, without stopping to stroke their chins and saying, “Hm, yes, hm, but on the other hand, there are many layers of historicity, and who among us can say with certainty . . .”

The only fitting response to this filth, as to people who advocate sticking scissors in a baby’s brain, is denunciation and exclusion from the precincts of the holy until they repent. That people who advocate this filth so often do so in the name of “Traditional Catholicism” is the great challenge that people who love the EF and the Benedictine reforms face. Those who fight to cleanse the Church of this scourge should be commended, not condemned as “divisive.”

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  • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

    Amen. already got it linked on my fb page.

  • rachel

    Amen Mark! I agree. It seems that Pope Francis’s election is helping to clean up some of the mess in the Church but it wasn’t what everyone was thinking. No, instead he has inadvertently exposed the nasty underbelly of some traditionalist circles. I have seen this kind of stuff before. So has my husband (who explained what he had heard at the SSPX seminary when he was there over a decade ago). He does not subscribe to anti-Jewish nor holocaust denying stuff. Neither one of us do. We are what you call sane and happy trads who are sickened within our hearts over this. This kind of vitriol against the Holy Father and against people who are critical of some aspects of traditionalism must stop. Holocaust denying is assine. There is NO justification for this. I will go further and state that there is honestly no reason to denigrate and disrespect someone else’s religion, even though we believe parts of the religion are false. It is disrespectful and wrong. We are to be example of love and friendship to all. That is the only way of showing Christ’s light. If we are not doing that then how can any of us call themselves Christian???

    • J. Christopher Pryor
      • rachel

        Honestly, I don’t think he did. The stuff he was reading were classic Catholic literature. I know this because he still has some of his books and none of them were anti-semetic in any way. However, he does agree that Williamson was off his nut and would say strange things. Again, he was at the seminary back in 1999-2001. I know that anti-Jewish ideas are no where to be found in my husband.

  • Longinus

    Right on all counts. Again, thanks for clarifying the issue, Mark. Hopefully now we can all go fight the good fight together.

  • http://peace Puck

    Certainly it would be a greater sin than denying Christ or the Holy Spirit – wouldn’t you say?

    • Mark Shea

      What on earth are you talking about?

      • http://peace Puck

        I mean one sin is about religion and the other is about history – that’s all I’m sayin’.

        • The Jerk

          What Puck means is: Jews deny Christ, so therefore they are always wrong and most likely not telling the Real truth about the Holocaust.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, Puck.

          • Margaret

            Either that, or: At least the Holocaust-belittlers don’t deny Christ, and are hence better than those stinkin’ librul’ “Catholic” crypto-heretics over on the other side of the fence, so we should listen to what the belittlers say instead of those other guys. Yuck. This whole thread is making my stomach turn.

          • http://peace Puck

            Well ummm…I guess what I’m saying is right-on Mark. History is – whatever those who write history – write about. And of course – what they write about is what they always write about – how much the poor Jews suffer at the hands of Christians.

            You are a good boy Mark – the establishment loves you. They know they can call on you when they need another war.

            • Mark Shea

              Annnd you’re gone.

        • Mark Shea

          I think the Jerk has your number.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        He’s saying you should stop saying meeeeeeean things about atheists because they’re not as bad as those Holocaust deniers over there.

    • FM

      I think you ought to think about this.

      1- Jews were the first Christians. Many aske ‘what happen to all the Jews in the Roman Empire?’ Well… they became CHRISTIANS! Most of them, probably, abandoning the judaic root (especially if they were hellenic Jews). Some did not accept Christ and their descendends are today’s Jews (altough there ARE some groups of Christian Jews, who retained the Jew identity through history). So saying that the Jews refused Christ is incorrect. SOME did, but many (most?) did not.

      2- Denying Christ is bad – OK, but Jews are not evil or sinful for not believing today. One thing is being a 1st century palestinian Jew who actually witnessed Christ and the Apostles and their signs… another is being a XXI century Jew.
      There are some Christians who deny Jesus truly raised from the dead… I think that’s far worse than a Jew failing to believe…

      3- It is our duty to EVAGELIZE NOT CONDEMN. We ought to show, with charity and reason, why Jesus Christ is Lord (not only to the Jews but to all people… even Christians who fail to live their faith) and why one ought to be Christian.
      Jews and other people might or might not accept the Gospel… then their fate is something between them and God. We are not in a position to judge.

      “What Puck means is: Jews deny Christ, so therefore they are always wrong and most likely not telling the Real truth about the Holocaust.”

      I do not know if he actually claims that, but if he did it would be fallacious. Being wrong about one thing does not mean begin wrong about another one.
      Besides historiucal proofs for the “Shoa” (“holocaust” is not a well-like term amond many Jews, if I remember correctly, Shoa is a better term) come from non-Jewish sources… including photographs and even film evidence.

      If the Shoa / Holocaust happened let’s say in 1850… well there MIGHT be some doubts, at least on the extent of the mass killing… but it happened in 1940-5… there is NO reasonable doubt about it.

      So even if Jews were ‘pathological liars’ by default (which of course they are NOT) we still have evidence beyond their testimony.

  • rgrekejin

    This is in no way meant to be a defense of Holocaust deniers (which is of course completely abhorrent), but I’m not so sure that running away screaming and publicly denouncing their ideas is the most effective way to get them to change their minds. As annoying as it can be to have to repeatedly explain the obvious to those who can’t or won’t listen, I think it’s what we have to do. As repellent as their ideas are, I think we have to engage them and explain, again and again, why they’re wrong, until they get it (even if they never do in the end, we still keep trying). Because once you’ve decided that the proper response to *any* argument is so wrong as to be beneath consideration, you’ve set a very dangerous precedent. I am certain, Mr. Shea, that there are some (probably many, if my facebook feed is to be believed) who consider your views on gay marriage to be completely beneath consideration. Not only should they not be considered, they shouldn’t even be seriously engaged, just shouted down from the heights (which does seem to be the way things have unfolded, now that I think about it). The same with those who would oppose “a women’s right to choose”. In the eyes of many, they’re not only wrong, but so completely wrong as to not be worth engaging. Now, one would think that the raw historical brute fact of the Holocaust would be stark enough to prevent lunatic dissension, but apparently it isn’t. And it falls to us sane ones to explain, again and again, as often as needed why they are totally wrong. As tempting as it would be sometimes, it is irresponsible to just dismiss them out of hand, as wrong as they may be.

    …unless, of course, I’ve missed the entire point, which is possible. I’m speaking about society broadly, and if you’re talking about something unique to Catholicism, I probably missed it. I’m new at this “trying to be Catholic” thing.

    …I’m also somewhat dim in general, so even if you were making a broader point, I might have missed that as well.

    • Advocate

      While I appreciate your desire to enter into dialogue, I will share Ten Practical Rules for Dealing with Crazy People from a defense attorney friend of mine:
      1. If you don’t have to deal with a crazy person, don’t.
      2. You can’t outsmart crazy. You also can’t fix crazy.
      (You could outcrazy it, but that makes you crazy too.)
      3. When you get in a contest of wills with a crazy person, you’ve already lost.
      4. The crazy person doesn’t have as much to lose as you.
      5. Your desired outcome is to get away from the crazy person.
      6. You have no idea what the crazy person’s desired outcome is.
      7. The crazy person sees anything you have done as justification for what he’s about to do.
      8. Anything nice you do for the crazy person will be used as ammunition later.
      9. The crazy person sees any outcome as vindication.
      10. When you start caring what the crazy person thinks, you’re joining him in his craziness.

      • Marye

        A good portion of my daily work involves dealing with the general public (which I am of course a member). The majority of people are sane, sensible–sometimes they’re annoyed or even angry, sometimes they don’t have much information, or they have been misinformed–but they are essentially sane and sensible. Then, there are the crazy people. I hope your friend doesn’t mind if I save this list and post it by my phone and my monitor, for those times when I need it. Especially these two reminders:
        “3. When you get in a contest of wills with a crazy person, you’ve already lost.
        4. The crazy person doesn’t have as much to lose as you.”


      • rgrekejin

        *sigh*… yeah, I suppose you’re probably right. My only problem with this is, well, who gets to decide who is crazy and who isn’t? Sure, we can all get together and agree that the Holocaust deniers are crazy, but what other groups fit into the “so crazy they aren’t even worth having dialogue with” box? I personally know a very large number of people who would consider “people who oppose abortion” a group that fits into that category. I just worry that once we collectively create a category of people who are too crazy to rationally argue with, people are going to start using it as an excuse to avoid dialogue with everyone who disagrees with them. Heck, this isn’t a hypothetical. I know a lot of people who do this now. And it bothers the heck out of me.

      • The Next to Last Samurai

        Observing Rule #1 should cut one’s Internet usage by at least 90%.

  • http://www.parafool.com victor

    I agree with Simcha! Moon-landing deniers on the other hand are only being eminently sensible.

    • Mark Shea
    • Jon W

      Shadows! No stars! Multiple light sources! The flag was waving, I tell you!


    • Andy, Bad Person

      I have recently taken up with the a-Lincolnists on Facebook, who, like the “Jesus wasn’t real” people, expose the lie that Lincoln was ever a real person.


    • Marye

      Also, there was no Shakespeare, only twenty or twenty-five people who borrowed that name . . .

    • Chris M

      Mark Shea is a hoax! The beard is a fake! He was just wearing a padded suit the whole time!

      • Mark Shea

        Damn. Now I’ll have to kill you.

  • http://www.logosandmuse.com Scott Alt

    My brain ponders: Do these “traditional Catholics” who deny the Holocaust also deny the existence of Maximilian Kolbe and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross? Or am I just making the mistake, once more, of being logical and asking for consistency?

    • rachel

      Some trads might question if they are actually saints since they were canonized post-VII. Again, in some circles, there is an aversion to anything post-Vatican II, including the Divine Mercy chaplet/devotion.

      • http://www.logosandmuse.com Scott Alt

        Sounds like the tree that falls in the forest. If a saint is martyred in a Holocaust that never happened, but isn’t canonized until after the Gates of Hell have prevailed, is he actually a saint? That’s the kind of thinking we’re dealing with with the anti-Vatican II’ers.

        • rachel

          Yep. That’s exactly the case Scott.

  • Paul

    Don’t know if this kind of thing will help: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16657363

  • http://www.torontotlmserving.blogspot.com Julian Barkin

    Hello Mark. Thank you for speaking up for those of us who truly do love the Tridentine Mass and traditional Catholicism. I truly loathe and detest it when those who online and in person who have the loudest voices “representing” the EF/trads use any means of communication to express anti-Catholic attitudes and hypocrisy. Whether it is Anti-semitism or diocesan bishop/office bashing, it truly makes us look like disgusting people when the majority aren’t. That’s part of why I’ve taken to the keyboard with my blog, to counter this. Voices like yours bring the darkness into light and helps Christ truly.

    • Mark Shea

      Thank you, Julian. God bless your work in the Vineyard!

    • Longinus

      Well said, sir. Thank you.

  • http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/ Erin Manning

    Mark, I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a few relevant Church document quotes at Coalition for Clarity:


    I realize that some in the Rad-Trad crowd will reject the quotes from after Vatican II, but they help to show the Church’s continuity of thought in this area.

  • The Next to Last Samurai

    Do Holocaust deniers also deny that Stalin and Mao killed millions? If not, why do they have such trouble believing that Hitler did the same?

    • Mark Shea

      It would appear to having something to do with who was being murdered.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      Truth be told, there are few things that aren’t denied when it comes to history. I’ve heard the records of those two individuals reconfigured, not by Holocaust deniers, but by other deniers. We live in an age where history is mostly polemical. We don’t study it to learn what happened, we try to frame it to prove we’re right. I guess Holocaust deniers, in all honesty, aren’t that unusual. Look at things like the Ukrainian or the Armenian Genocides. There are entire countries that deny such horrors. It’s big political and academic debate. Same with other periods in history. Yes, in our part of the world, denying the Holocaust carries with it special baggage. Like that scene in the movie JAWS: “You yell barracuda, everybody says, “Huh? What?” You yell shark, we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.” You deny any one of a thousand historical events, and you can get everything from a sharp rebuke to a prolonged coffee table debate. You deny the Holocaust, at least in America or Europe, and that’s that. I don’t know, maybe that’s not a bad thing. Perhaps it should be that way all the time people deny the suffering and misery of others to score points in a debate.

  • Mark R

    The papophile Vladimir Solovyov wrote a book on the Jews, whose thesis is that the Jews did not deserve what they endured and suffered through history at the hands of Christians.
    My own twist on this is that I think the Jews are the closest thing we have to tangible proof that God exists. What nation so insignificant numerically somehow survives throughout history in many environments and faced with challenges which would have made mightier nations extinct but for its especial election by the Almighty? Though they do not accept Christ, they are still His Chosen. The Lord does not go back on His word.

  • Elaine S.

    If there were genuine evidence to show that the Holocaust/Shoah death toll had been inflated, and that “only”, say, 3 million Jews had died as opposed to 6 million, then presentation of such evidence would not, in my opinion, constitute “Holocaust denial” but simply a concern for accurate historical documentation.

    Unfortunately, the people who are conducting the most intensive study yet of the Holocaust have found evidence that it was a lot WORSE than we thought, and that 6 million Jewish deaths is probably a lowball figure:


    “Up until now, the Holocaust is thought to have consumed between five and six million Jews, with an estimated further six million other people also murdered by the Nazi regime.

    “The new figures of 15 to 20 million, which have astonished some Holocaust historians, come after thirteen years of painstaking study at Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum . Historians at the museum brought together and studied the huge amount, and often disparate, files and research on the Holocaust….

    “While Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto became infamous names linked to the system of mass killing, the museum found that they were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives…. The number of locations is almost double previous estimates made by the same institution and, all told, they may have imprisoned and killed between 15 to 20 million people.”

  • http://www.ohaithereexample4897.com Joan Barfknecht

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