Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Will the Cohen Center issue an apology?

In another comment left at this Blog by Mr. Tom White (which he asked me not to publish), Mr. White says in part: "..Hank's wording of 'the Church' was a broader reference to Christianity and not specific to the Catholic Church."

Realizing that his first argument has failed and that Papal apologies are in no way to be interpreted as apologies for "doctrinal errors," Mr. White is now attempting to convince me that Hank [Mr. Henry F. Knight, Director of the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies] was not really referring to the Catholic Church specifically but to Christianity in general.

Actually Mr. White, nice try babe. In reality, Mr. Knight wrote: "The St. Benedict Center, home base to the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the religious community known also as the Crusade of Saint Benedict Center, sees itself as the guardian of traditional Roman Catholic truth, especially the pre-Vatican II teaching extra ecclesiam nulla salus - 'Outside the Church there is no salvation.' More specifically, the Benedict Center has been cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a religious hate group that opposes the re-examination of traditional forms of anti-Semitism in Church teachings or its liturgies.."

Obviously, given the context of this paragraph, Mr. Knight was referring to the Catholic Church specifically. His statement refers to how the SBC "sees itself as the guardian of traditional Roman Catholic truth" and then asserts how the SBC "opposes the re-examination of traditional forms of anti-Semitism in Church teachings or its liturgies.."

Will the Cohen Center apologize for issuing offensive remarks, the purpose of which was to malign the Catholic Church? Excuses simply won't do.



Anonymous said...

Terri wrote, "There seems to be some confusion out there as to the original reason for this blog which is titled "RICHMOND, A TOWN DIVIDED". Please allow me to remind everyone again. This is a forum, for those interested parties, about the ongoing land use controversy concerning the St. Benedict Center. It has to do with the proposed expansion of an illegal school/chapel in a residential area on a narrow, winding, dirt road. NOWHERE does it have anything to do with Keene State College, the Cohen Center, Tom White/Hank Knight or Paul Melanson/Lasalette Journey.
Those of you who want to whine about real or imagined insults, please take them somewhere else, OUT OF RICHMOND!!"

But nothing could be further from the truth. The Provosts and SBC Watch are using the Cohen Center and its Blog as part of their opposition to the SBC and its anti-Semitism/Holocaust denial.

As I have already said, ""I would challenge the Cohen Center of Keene State College to use a little more discretion in the future and to practice, and not just preach, genuine hospitality. In educating others about the horrors of the Shoah, it really isn't necessary to malign the history and reputation of the Church. Let's avoid politicizing the Holocaust for any reason and adhere to the facts rather than engaging in historical revisionism."

I also referred to an anonymous commenter who has now come out into the open, "Richmond Rising." This was the individual who left the inappropriate comment at La Salette Journey accusing Catholics of being "overly sensitive" because they object to their Church being smeared by the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies at Keene State College.

It is most significant that this individual fails to use his/her real name and also fails in any way to address the serious and legitimate concerns which Paul addressed at his Blog. If there is a "credibility" problem, it lies with those who would slander the Catholic Church and engage in historical revisionism.

Also noteworthy is the fact that SBC Watch, a Blog hosted by a Mr. Russell Provost has published an article entitled "What would it look like if we had a Catholic America" found here:

Blake is right. This post is morally offensive as it constitutes an indictment of all Catholics, painting them with the same brush used to describe SBC types. Also offensive is the use of the word "homophobic," used by both the Cohen Center as well as certain people who have posted at SBC Watch. Paul has explained why Catholics find this word to be both offensive and a device to silence opposition to the homosexual agenda by Catholics faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and her teaching on the subject of homosexuality.

SBC Watch is not a credible Blog. It has effectively destroyed its own credibility by engaging in anti-Catholicism. I would urge all people of good will to avoid this Blog. I would also urge the Cohen Center to address in a meaningful way the inappropriate comments posted at its own Blog."

Anti-Catholicism is every bit as morally offensive as anti-Semitism. Terri didn't seem to mind having Paul Melanson around when it suited her own interests. Now that he has called upon the Cohen Center to practice hospitality toward Catholics, a hospitality they preach at their own Blog, Terri has become upset with Paul and those of us who are Catholic and who happen to agree with him.

Let's actively oppose all forms of discrimination and not capitulate to an anti-Catholic mindset.

Anonymous said...

An SBC supporter seems to believe that I have "changed sides" with regard to my opposition of the SBC. My response:

"Dear "also angry,"

You have said, "How refreshing it is to read your recent post. I see you have started to wake up from the early summer when you were on Paul’s side in this mess."

I am still very much on "Paul's side" as you put it. But only because Paul is on the side of truth. Make no mistake. Paul still opposes the SBC for valid reasons as do I. These include anti-Semitism, Holocaust-denial and a theology/interpretation of the Dogma Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus which is just wrong. And this according to the Church.

But Paul also opposes anti-Catholicism with the same rigor. He (and yes I am with him on this) opposes EVERY FORM OF DISCRIMINATION whether it is aimed at Catholics, Protesants, Jews, Muslims, African-Americans, developmentally-disabled, the poor etc.

Please don't confuse his (or my) opposition to anti-Catholicism as a sign that we now agree with your "side." We are on the side of truth. Not partisanship."

Anonymous said...

Paul, I sure hope they do. I want to believe the best about the Cohen Center. I hope they make this right. My heart has been so very heavy about all of this that I just wrote this at the Sentinel Blog.

"I would like to add my own thoughts and then I will say no more. I have visited the various Blogs mentioned. In the course of visiting the SBC Watch Blog, several individuals - including David Kochman and Susan - expressed their concerns over a Blog post which had to do with Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida. Specifically, the authors of SBC Watch were attempting to equate this fine Catholic community with the SBC. I remember Susan and David Kochman expressing their concern over the fact that Blog posts and comments were becoming anti-Catholic in both tone and tenor.

Therefore, it is false for anyone to suggest that Susan and the other Catholics who complained about anti-Catholic comments at SBC Watch many months ago have suddenly changed their mind and are opposing SBC Watch or efforts to oppose the now-documented anti-Semitism of the SBC.

At least Susan, Paul, Elizabeth and others who are Catholic are consistent. I really appreciated Elizabeth's post here where she said she and Paul oppose every form of discrimination. Shouldn't we all?

Why the rage at Paul for standing against anti-Catholicism? The Southern Poverty Law Center has not only opposed anti-Semitism but anti-Catholicism and anti-Catholic groups as well.

Why can't we object to every variety of unjust discrimination. Why should anti-Catholicism be acceptable? This really bothers me greatly. If those who have been actively resisting the hatred which comes from the SBC are motivated not by a desire to oppose hatred but by a desire to attack Catholicism, this would be very tragic.

I agree with what David Kochman said. We should also avoid anti-Catholicism. I really respect him for that."

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I hope they do too Evan. It would be the right thing to do. Especially since so many have been offended. But primarily because the comment was offensive in and of itself. Even Mr. White realizes this in his heart I suspect and that is why he tried to convince me that Mr. Knight was referring to Christianity in general and not the Catholic Church.

You know what would be so amusing were it not so tragic? I have been labelled a "turncoat" and a "traitor" by an SBC supporter and now one of those who has been opposing the Saint Benedict Center is basically saying the same thing.

I haven't changed my mind on anything. I have always opposed prejudice and discrimination wherever I find it. Jesus calls us to be a Sign of Contradiction. I have had liberals berate me for being "too conservative" and conservatives berate me for being "too liberal." I have had homosexual activists viciously attack me because I oppose homosexual acts on the basis of Catholic teaching and have been attacked and ridiculed by some Catholics for defending homosexual persons from unfair attacks against their character or person - especially in the form of hateful epithets.

As Catholics, we are called to follow the Lord Jesus. No one ever said it would be easy. In fact, the way is narrow isn't it?

God love you Brother. Hang in there.

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