Thursday, February 12, 2009

Benedict Gets Some More Free Advice

Rabbi Lehuda Levin of Jews4morality, with John Paul II. More birds of a feather

Rabbi Speaks on Pope Benedict Controversy: Leftist Catholics Using Jews to Attack the Pope
Says, "church hierarchy should take strong action in dealing with this type of insurrection"
John-Henry Westen February 10, 2009 ( -

A prominent Jewish Rabbi who represents over 1000 Rabbis in North America spoke to last week regarding the recent controversy around Pope Benedict XVI and his lifting the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). Rabbi Yehuda Levin says he sees the media attack on Pope Benedict as being more about the influx of morally conservative Catholics into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, rather than anything else, including the holocaust denial of one of the SSPX bishops, which has received widespread media coverage. (Why is media coverage always called an attack on the Pope when he makes a blunder? The man is hugely visible and his blunders will receive huge coverage.)

The SSPX faithful, in addition to offering the Mass in its ancient Latin form, are also known for their orthodoxy on moral matters. The mainstreaming of such Catholics into the Church would boost the numbers of pro-life and pro-family Catholics significantly, especially in Europe. Rabbi Levin said that he believed that the Vatican has dealt appropriately with the controversial comments by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson. However, he said that while this will will put to rest the "ridiculous" suggestions that the Pope is anti-Semitic, it will not end the controversy.

"At this point there has been a wonderfully strong renunciation of Bishop Williamson by the Vatican and therefore the Jewish community from their statements seems to be satisfied that things are going in the right way," he said.

"This is just going to increase the frenzy of left wing Catholics, whether outside the Church or inside, because they now have to carry the ball in terms of keeping the attack on the Pope going." (Left wing Catholics don't need to keep the frenzy going, because our right wing brethren won't let it drop. It gives them a reason to attack us.)

German dissident priest-theologian Hans Kung is one such left-wing Catholic, who recently suggested in an article that Barack Obama would make a better Pope than Benedict. Writing in the German publication Sueddeutsche, Kung expressed his wish that Obama were the Pope.

"The mood in the church is oppressive, reforms are paralyzed, and the church in crisis," he said. "Benedict is unteachable in matters of birth control and abortion, arrogant and without transparency and restrictive of freedom and human rights."

Immediately after the media brought to light the comments by Bishop Williamson on the holocaust, the Pope - who was not previously aware of Williamson's position - denounced his statements; the head of the SSPX did the same. The Vatican insisted that the Bishop would have to, in order to be a Bishop in good standing within the Church, "distance himself, in an absolutely unequivocal and public manner, from his positions" regarding the Jewish holocaust.

Moreover, the SSPX removed Williamson from his post as head of their seminary in Argentina. The mainstream media was slow to report on all these latter details and so, for a time, Jewish groups continued to express outrage at the decision to lift the excommunications of the bishops. (This has been the best thing to have come out of this whole situation.)

Last week, as news of the Pope's reaction got out, those same Jewish groups let up on their pressure, pressure which was used by liberal Catholics within the Church to criticize the Pope.

Two liberal German theologians called on the Pope to resign over the affair. Several bishops also criticized the Pope, notably Cardinal Karl Lehmann, a former chairman of the German bishops' conference. In contrast, several faithful Bishops thanked the Pope for his action to reach out to the SSPX to foster unity, and also criticized Bishop Williamson for his remarks.

Rabbi Levin suggests that there is a "silver lining" within the crisis. "It has now become very clear, for all to see, the extreme danger that having some who hold high positions in the church seeking to destroy their own church and attack their own pope."
(Uh, Rabbi, I would merely like to point out that this describes SSPX and is why John Paul II excommunicated them.)

He added: "The silver lining is that its now that the battle lines have been drawn."

"The remedy, I believe," said the Rabbi, "is that church hierarchy should take strong action in dealing with this type of insurrection." He added: "This should be a significant signal to the Pope, that it is absolutely essential that the right people be appointed in every place all over the world. And church faithful need to have unambiguous leadership that's totally in line with traditional church teaching." (Uh, Rabbi, I would merely like to point out that this describes SSPX and is why John Paul II excommunicated them.)


There are times I have to shake my head in utter amazement. Why does Lifesite have to use an ultra orthodox rabbi as a front for their main positions which are that Benedict has been attacked by the media, that the media hates the Catholic church, and that progressives are always and everywhere wrong, not mention immoral and out to get the 'right' guys?

This whole defense of the Rabbi Levin is surreal. SSPX was the real insurrectionist group and their rhetoric regarding every Pope since Pius XII has been slightly less than charitable to say the least. I think some of the popes have even been described as the spawn of satan, that is when they are not being declared blasphemers and heretics. I don't believe Fr. Kung called Benedict the spawn of Satan. In fact I don't remember reading any article written in the mainstream media which referred to Benedict as the spawn of satan, or called him a blasphemer or a heretic--or an anti semite.

It looks to me like accusing the media of hating the Catholic Church has become the watchword for the right. The link will take you to a story about the Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria. He is upset with all things secular when it comes to his diocese and his clergy abuse victims. This is the blame game taken to staggering levels.

This tendency to accuse the media of Catholic hate is especially prevalent when the media is doing what it's supposed to do---expose corruption, cover ups, assorted crime, and international blunders by popes. Even A-Rod doesn't think the media hates him just because they uncovered his little blunder with steroids. Why should anyone in the church think the media hates it? I guess because it's easier to blame the media than to admit personal failure. A-Rod seems to get it, but then he admitted his personal failure. His story is going away. Is there a lesson there?

Unless the Roman Catholic Church wants to start paying for media coverage, (this is also known as paying for advertising) they really can't expect the media to forgo coverage of Catholic mistakes. It's called a free press when you don't pay for advertising, and as such the press is free to cover what ever story it wants in what ever way it wants--at least in theory.

Oh I forgot, Lifesite News is not really a free media and as such it is mostly advertising for one particular point of view and their salaries are paid for by various think tanks and groups of conservative apologists. This is not a news source in the conventional sense, it is one big right wing advertisement.

Rabbi Levin seems to have a kind of blind spot when it comes to the insurrections of the right, preferring to see left wing conspiracies in everything. He really doesn't understand left wingers. They are by nature difficult to organize which makes them unusually resistant to forming conspiracies. Conspiracies are the province of the right, which is one reason why Pope Benedict and Cardinal Hoyos playing the "I knew nothing" card is looked at with a great deal of skepticism.

Most of us on the left have not used Jews to attack the Pope, we have used Google to attack the incredible incompetence in Vatican Communications. It's precisely because we don't believe Benedict is an anti semite that we can't get our heads around the fact he rescinded the excommunication of an anti semitic bishop. It doesn't make any sense. We like to think, if he or his communications experts knew how to use Google, that this mistake would not have happened.

Maybe though, German Cardinals and bishops and theologians know more about Benedict and his Vatican than the rest of us do, and that's why their criticism is far more harsh. Maybe they are the ones engaged in a kind of conspiracy and taking shots at Benedict because they are afraid to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Maybe they are afraid to tell the whole truth because that truth might be far more damaging to the Church than Bishop Williamson's bizarre thoughts, or even Maciel's psychopathology. There, I've managed to concoct a left wing conspiracy plot. Go me.


  1. Actually Colleen, this move was expected. It is part of a continuing program of villification of anyone who disagrees with Benedict.

    It will be interesting when we eventually discover what Benedict traded to Lehuda for his endorsement.

    Interesting that Benedict turned to a Jewish Rabbi for this, and did not turn to other members of the Magisterial Authority. Why?

    Lest we forget, it wasnt that long ago that Benedict drew the ire of the Jewish community with his "one true church ... only one way to heaven" speech.

    It would be interesting to see what a little research into Lehuda's background would reveal. A few of the websites that would be interesting places to start:

    As I said, no surprise that Benedict chose this man to support his position.

    I have always known and stated that when the "whole truth" is known, it will be so disgusting that it will turn the world against the vatican with the utmost prejudice. I offer that Rabbi Levin's endorsement is the begining of that revelation.

    the verification is "subalim"

    that has to mean something interesting in yiddish

  2. Carl, I don't know that Benedict had anything to do with this. I do know though that when I tried to follow the links on Lifesite back to their initial founders I wound up on a CIA reroute site. I thought that was kind of interesting.

    OOOOOH conspiracy theories bound in my head.

    Ny the way, I kind of thought the name of Rabbi Levin's organization was also kind of interesting. Jews4morality? Are there some Jews not4morality?

  3. I hate to waste a good verification word: OPTIC

    I can SEE how you might have visions of "conspiracy" plums dancing in your head.

    I cant prove that he did or didnt yet, but there are so many coincidental things happening all at once, I'm starting to wonder if they really are coincidental, or are they perhaps part of a really well thought out plan to cement the ultraconservative right wing elements into full control of the RCC.

    There is certainly enough talent available through opus dei etal. There is certainly enough financial resource to carry it out. There are certainly enough properly placed people loyal to the pope to do it. There is a very plausible motive (lust for power). There is ample opportunity. I'm not sure who I trust less, republican politicians or the vatican?

    (for all we know, the republican resistance to the economic stimulus bill could be part of a vatican inspired plot to destroy our liberal protestant inspired heretical culture of death)

  4. This conspiracy theory stuff is fun. Love your last line.