Catholic sect holds funeral rites for Nazi war criminal
Former SS officer Erich Priebke died October 11. His burial is a source of controversy in Rome.
October 15th, 2013
02:07 PM ET

Catholic sect holds funeral rites for Nazi war criminal

By Daniel Burke and Hada Messia, CNN

ROME (CNN) - The Italian branch of a Catholic sect with a history of anti-Semitism held funeral rites on Tuesday for a convicted Nazi war criminal, despite protests from Jewish groups and the local mayor.

Crowds packed the streets outside San Pio X Church in Albano, a small town south of Rome, chanting "Executioner!" and kicking the hearse carrying Erich Priebke's body as entered the church compound on Tuesday.

A funeral Mass was celebrated for Priebke but his casket was kept outside, according to a priest from the church who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The absolution rite, which includes a prayer for clemency for the deceased, was also given outside the church, in the courtyard inside San Pio X's compound, the priest said.

Priebke's body is now being held in a military airport outside Rome.

The church funeral plans for Priebke sparked an outcry in the United States.

"Erich Priebke was a monster," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

"He does not deserve the dignity and respect of a proper church burial. His body should be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, without further ceremony.”

Priebke, a former SS captain sentenced to life in prison for his role in an Italian massacre in 1944, died on Friday.

Priebke was convicted by Italian court in 1998 for helping organize the execution of 335 men and boys in retaliation for attacks on German troops. The former Nazi was unrepentant, denying the Holocaust in his final statement, according to the Associated Press.

After World War II, Priebke escaped to Argentina, where he lived for nearly 50 years. He had planned to be buried near his late wife there, according to his lawyer, Paolo Giachini. But Argentina's foreign minister said it would not accept the remains.

MORE: Nazi war criminal Priebke, dubbed the 'butcher,' dies at 100

Burying Priebke in Rome has proved nearly as difficult.

The Diocese of Rome said in a statement that Priebke's lawyer was asked to hold a "small, private" funeral in the Nazi war criminal's home rather than in a church.

"The prayer for the deceased was not denied," the diocese said in a statement, "but rather a different manner for the ceremony was decided." Pope Francis is the titular head of the Rome diocese but has little involvement in its daily affairs.

Priebke's lawyer rejected that proposition, according to the diocese.

Instead, the conservative Society of St. Pius X stepped in, agreeing on Tuesday to hold a funeral Mass in their church for the former Nazi. The society has no official status within the Catholic Church.

The Italian chapter acknowledged in a statement Tuesday that Priebke was "controversial" but said he had already been convicted by Italian courts and has the right to a Christian funeral.

"A Christian who has been baptized and who has received the sacraments of the Confession and the Eucharist, regardless of what have been his crimes and sins, as he dies reconciling with God and with the Church has the right to have a Holy Mass celebrated at his funeral," the group said in a statement.

The society also said that it "reaffirms our repudiation to any form of anti-semitism and racial hatred."

But the Society of St. Pius X, whose leaders were once excommunicated from the Catholic Church for ordaining bishops without Vatican approval, has a long history of controversial statements about Jews.

Its founder, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, sharply disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church's softened stance toward other faiths, including Judaism, after the Second Vatican Council in 1962-65. It also objected to other modernizing reforms such as celebrating the Mass in local languages.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Society of St. Pius X is "mired in anti-Semitism."

“The Society of St. Pius X never fails fail to shock," Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said Tuesday. "First, they denied the Holocaust, and now they’re denying the acts of a perpetrator.”

"Jews are described in SSPX documents as being cursed by God for the sin of deicide" (killing Jesus), the ADL says in an online report.

"Jews are accused of being in control of world financial and cultural institutions and of plotting to create a 'world empire' or obtain 'world dominion,'" the ADL report continues.

Under Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church tried to reconcile with the ultra-conservative society, lifting the excommunication of several bishops and allowing for wider celebration of the Mass in Latin, a favored practice of SSPX.

One of those bishops, Richard Williamson, was later found to have denied elements of the Holocaust, including its death toll of 6 million Jews.

Williamson was convicted of Holocaust denial in a German court and expelled from the society in 2012.

MORE: Holocaust-denying bishop loses court battle

Former Pope Benedict XVI wrote in 2009 that the Society of St. Pius X "does not have canonical status in the Catholic church" because of doctrinal, not disciplinary reasons.

It doesn't look like the breach will close any time soon.

The Bishop Bernard Fellay, the society's Swiss-born leader, reportedly said on Saturday in Kansas City, "The situation of the church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Death • Italy • Judaism • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (787 Responses)
  1. Demigod Vadik, CA

    This is why I have a problem with Christianity:

    According to Christianity, all the Jews murdered during the holocaust went to hell...

    ...but those who murdered them went to heaven as long as they confessed their sins...

    October 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Where is Chad?

      Christians believe Jews are God's chosen people! 🙂

      October 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • AE

      Sorry, not all Christians believe that.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • Demigod Vadik, CA

        Only salvation is through Jesus Christ...

        ...Christians are very specific about that one...

        October 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • AE

          Right. Salvation is through Jesus Christ. Not through Christianity.

          And Jesus Christ conquered death and hell. Thus, his salvation must be available there, too.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • ORChuck

          "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. But, to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God..."

          Salvation is only through Christ, yes. But Christ came for all. The Jewish faith has a problem in that it rejects Christ. But individual Jews cannot be condemned by stereotype.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • ajk68

          @AE: Sorry, salvation is not available in hell. That has been the understanding since the earliest days of Christianity.
          The point of conquering death is not that everyone is saved.

          October 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • AE

          It is in Jesus' hands. Not ours. Not the early Christians. The earliest Christians denied him, abandoned him and didn't recognize him when he returned.

          October 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • ORChuck

      Mr. Vadik asserts, "According to Christianity, all the Jews murdered during the holocaust went to hell..."

      I am a life-long Christian and I have never heard that statement nor do I believe it. Christians refrain from answering the question, "Will this specific person go to heaven or hell?" The answer to that question is the exclusive dominion of God Himself.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Reject Religious Fairy Tales

        ORChuck: Not buying it. Christians routinely proclaim, because it is standard Christian orthodoxy, that all who don’t accept your fairy tale are not saved and going to hell. Christians routinely launder their bigotry and judgmentalism with the same lawyered structure you use: “Although I can, and must, generally proclaim that all who don’t accept my imaginary friend will spend eternity in torment, I am not a bad person because it is my imaginary friend, not I, who decides individual cases.” Your claim that you're just a propagandist doesn't let you off the hook.

        October 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • QS

          Well said, thanks!

          October 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • AE

          I hear atheists preach that. But not Christians. Hmmm...

          October 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • ajk68

      You are incorrect. It is not the teaching of the Church that all those who do not receive baptism go to hell.

      October 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  2. Cambridge Ray

    That person would be a perfect fit for the Tea Party.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Valentina

      Thanks. YOu can go back to watching MSNBC now.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  3. ThinkForYourself

    No matter how grave the crime is, when crimes are committed we should pray for the victims and the criminals. Criminals are victims fo their own sin. We pray for the victims to have the strength and overcome what happened, and for the criminals to repent and when possible to make up for their acts.That does not mean we should support the criminal or excuse their acts; however, prayer brings on a change in people. When people change it does not by itself obsolve them of their past acts; however, it's important that they change as to repent and not to repreat their sins.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Science, Not Myth

    Remember that the only thing that matters in christianity is what you believe. Deeds mean nothing. By that measure he may very well deserve a christian burial.

    And that dichotomy is why so many christians are such selfish pigs – it doesn't matter how many people you sh!t on as long as you love jesus.

    religion = ignorance

    October 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      What is ignorant is your answer. In christianity to be saved you have to be truely in Christ. Meaning: you have to do as he showed us, to love everyone including our enemies and treat others as you want to be treated. God is love and if you don't have love to others you are not truly in God.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • QS

        Self-righteous drivel – I have just as much, if not more, love for my fellow man than most religious people ever demonstrate, and I have no need, desire or intention of believing in your version of "god" just so that you can believe that about me.

        Religion and morality are NOT synonymous!

        October 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • ThinkForYourself

          I am happy you love your fellow man and it's the most important thing (religious or not). All I ask of you is not to assume you know other people intentions or deeds (referring to: "than most religious people ever demonstrate"). It's just rhetoric that doesn't interest me. And if you want to believe in "my god" or not, is your own choice, all I did is that I corrected the lady or gentleman that provided incorrect information about my beliefs. As much as I hope everyone does, I was not telling anyone to believe in Christ, I was correcting a false statement.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • QS

          It's all smoke and mirrors as far as I'm concerned. You can pretend you aren't actually telling people in some subtle way or another that they should believe what you do so they too can be "saved", but don't expect any rational people to simply accept your excuse that you were merely "correcting a false statement".

          October 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • ThinkForYourself

          So far, for some reason you have described me as self-rightous and irrational human being. I think my statement were pretty rational and they are a direct, organized and thoughtful. Also, I don't see how I can be self-rightous when I never pretended to be better than anyone or more holy. Anyways, this is becoming a mute point and unrelated to the whole discussion.

          October 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • QS

          If it is such a "moot" point why did you bother replying to the original comment in the first place?

          The subtlety with which self-righteousness manifests itself within most people is the most sinister aspect of religious arrogance – it's so subtle that most religious people genuinely believe they are being good people by telling others how bad they are for not believing what you do....but no, you're not at all claiming you or your beliefs are better than others........

          October 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • ThinkForYourself

          Yes Sir...(sarcasm is one of my vices)

          October 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • ajk68

      Incorrect, deeds do matter. It is an evangelical protestant notion that deeds don't matter.
      That is why in the Bible there is talk of "sin that leads to death."

      If you think Christian are the only hypocrites, you need to take a closer look at everyone else.

      October 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  5. Joe

    EVERYONE deserves the dignity of a proper burial. Denying people proper burials is exactly the sort of thing that despots like the Nazis did.

    Jews should concern themselves with how they bury their own dead.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Defting

    So, now if a convicted criminal last rights are denied and funeral procession due to public opinion with regard to ones faith?

    This in itself appears to be criminally insane!

    October 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    The Vatican being sympathetic to Nazis?
    Say it ain't so!
    What are "Ratlines" ?

    October 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It ain't so Doc. Read the article again.

      October 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chadl

      Ratlines as you probably know it was the system used to get German's who committed war crimes out of the country to flee to safety in order to escape punishment. The Catholic Church sponsored the escape. Funny as you said that anyone is surprised. If you are willing to hide move priest around to evade criminal prosecution for child molestation why would this be a shock.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Read It

      It's not the Vatican stupid. The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is NOTpart of the Catholic church. This CNN article says it's a "sect" and that the "society has no official status within the Catholic Church." It is not representative of the Catholic Church, even if they use the word "catholic."

      October 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  8. bostontola

    This is an interesting moral dilemma for the RCC. Is there any limit to the horrible acts a person can take after which they are ineligible for a Catholic burial (assuming they have met the various other Catholic requirements)? Maybe not. The issue does illuminate a key cultural difference between Jews and Christians, Jews are more about deeds in this life, Christians are more about accepting Jesus as their savior to forgive the deeds in this life.

    October 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The only mortal sin which cannot be absolved is deliberate and permanent rejection of God

      October 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • QS

        How convenient for believers. This way they can praise the Nazi for "repenting" while Atheists who have never harmed a person in their lives will be cast into a lake of fire for all eternity!

        LMAO! The ignorance of religion is one thing, this notion that so many religious people have that anybody who believes differently than them is a "sinner" is what needs to stop.

        October 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • bostontola

          Actually, according to BD's statement, the horrible person doesn't need to repent, only needs to accept Jesus.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Didn't mean to mislead you there boston but you can't have reconciliation without repentance. It's not a rubber stamp.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Chadl

          Dude don't hang that on all people of faith. That is the problem with so many religions who profess to be Christian. They do odd stuff like this and then make the rest look bad. Just so you know my man, this is how the entire thing works. If you lived a jacked up life like his and you sincerely repent (meaning sincerely turn around make good on what you did bad) then its a possibility you could be forgiven.

          However, if you are just going through the motions it doesn't matter how much church you go to your wasting your time because you have no remorse God sees that too. As for this man at his death he was paid up with God. Not that his sins were forgiven but the wages of sin is death. He is settled up. The bible says there is a resurrection for the righteous and un-righteous so even a sorry individual like you has a hope. LOL..

          On the real though man all the praying they want to do in the world, once my man passed it was done. He made his name with God. Either it was good or bad and there is nothing me, you the Pope or anyone else can change that. He has to deal with God. A funeral is not supposed to be for the dead, its for the survivors but tradition has it all screwed up. The bible says God is not a God of the dead but the living. Right now slick is sleep in death so all of that crazy acting getting upset, praying or not praying means squat because it all in Gods hands on the real. Either made a good name or a bad one that is all on dude that passed.

          October 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • OKfine

          Chadl BD sells indulgences to those in purgatory and makes a nice dollar doing so, he will be pis$ed if you cut into his business. Now BD will deny this but he cannot deny that the RCC believed in that nonsense at one time. Who is crazy BD?

          October 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • QS

          "They do odd stuff like this and then make the rest look bad."


          Let me explain to you how this whole thing works – your very own beliefs make you look just as bad as anybody else's claim you look to them. This is how religious people try to justify their own prejudices even if they don't happen to share a particular prejudice with other sects.

          To the rest of us, it's not the "odd" or "extreme" religions that make religion look bad....it's religion itself, as a whole, that does that all on its own.

          October 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • ajk68

      As far as I read, it did not deny him a Catholic burial. It denied him a ceremony in a church.

      October 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  9. Gol

    Everyone deserves a burial..even the bad ones. Though it doesn't mean they should get any pomp and circ umstance with it.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • tammy

      why? Isn't it time we go green? all the pollutants and chemicals that go into these shoddy adult toys when there are perfectly good bones going to waste. i don't get it.

      October 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • Hamlet

        or just Soylent Green

        October 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  10. Alias

    They should have given him a proper service and let god judge him fo rhis sins.
    Or am I missing something here?

    October 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chadl

      Did he repent did he change and show and type of remorse if not no. Everyone is quick to say Jesus loves and God forgives. Hey, I got an idea why not read the bible and you find that is conditional. Jesus did for those exercising faith in him. The term exercise means effort on you part to show by your actions who you think what you do. Yes, he loves us all but doesn't have to love what we do. As forgiveness he does that too if you repent. Repent means more than saying your sorry it means that you have made your mind over change your course in life and to disapprove your former course other wise its lip service.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Alias

        God reserved judgement for himself.
        It is amusing to me that you christians are trying to take over the roll of god and condemn this man.

        October 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          To be fair Alias, a number of nonchristians would like to have that prerogative too.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    This is a non-story.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • QS

      So is the bible.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  12. Reality # 2

    Spread his ashes over the ocean? No, mix his ashes with animal feed so that he quickly becomes the excrement that he was.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  13. HotAirAce

    I could not care less who a cult chants their mumbo-jumbo over or where. In fact, I thank them for bringing embarrassment to their specific cult and religion in general.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  14. Garden of Eden

    That Christ had to die on the cross and be the supreme sacrifice for the remission of sins of all mankind and be resurrected has a divine purpose.

    Not one group- Jews or Romans can be blamed for this, but all of us are collectively responsible for this.

    All Christians accept that it was our sins collectively that put Jesus on the cross and without that supreme sacrifice , not one man is going to be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      utter mind-numbing nonsense.

      October 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Garden of Eden

      In light of the above, it's regrettable that any Christian group would think otherwise.
      Society of St. Pius X should apologize to the Jewish people and foremost to God for being unchristian like.

      October 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I wasn't born yet. Oops, logic. My bad.

      October 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I mean that it's utter mind-numbing nonsense that someone could die and somehow absorb every bad thought and bad deed that everyone had ever done or would ever do. Believing in a daddy figure in the sky is crazy enough but believing that this crucified bronze age zealot died for your sins just because a bunch of his followers took his body and claimed a miracle ... well, it's utter mind-numbing nonsense.

      October 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Sue

        That rant has nothing to do with the topic crazy man.

        October 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Only for the new visitors to this blog:

      (from Professor Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

      October 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Garden of Eden

      Isaiah 53:4-5

      4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

      5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed

      October 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        why post an obvious quote from the bible?

        Using the words of someone in the same cult as you, who is just as deluded as you, to prove your point is hilarious!

        October 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Gol

          Why didn't you say something like that to Reality # 2?
          He basically did the same thing.

          October 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • TV1

          It is not that unreasonable or surprising to see a reference to the Bible on a blog dedicated to faith and belief.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Garden of Eden

        Isaiah 53:4-5 In these verses is an account of the sufferings of Christ; also of the design of his sufferings. It was for our sins, and in our stead, that our Lord Jesus suffered. We have all sinned, and have come short of the glory of God. Sinners have their beloved sin, their own evil way, of which they are fond. Our sins deserve all griefs and sorrows, even the most severe. We are saved from the ruin, to which by sin we become liable, by laying our sins on Christ. This atonement was to be made for our sins. And this is the only way of salvation. Our sins were the thorns in Christ's head, the nails in his hands and feet, the spear in his side. He was delivered to death for our offences. By his sufferings he purchased for us the Spirit and grace of God, to mortify our corruptions, which are the distempers of our souls. We may well endure our lighter sufferings, if He has taught us to esteem all things but loss for him, and to love him who has first loved us.
        –Matthew Henry

        October 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Vic

          God bless you.

          October 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Alias

      jesus had to die because his father put the blame on all of us for a sin we did not commit.
      Who is really at fault here?

      October 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • emck

      So tell me . . . if God is all powerful and omnipotent, why would he require an intermediary to gain his forgiveness? If he is truly omnipotent, then he can grant forgiveness without requiring the torturous suffering of "his only begotten son".

      October 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • QS

      Another wonderful reason that I love being an Atheist....even this borderline psychotic notion of resurrections and that ALL of us contributed to the death of a 2,000+ year-old man has no effect on me or meaning to me, and I can happily state for myself with 100% certainty that I have never "sinned" because "sin" is as much a man-made concept as "god" is.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Sounds like the SSPX and Tea Party should get along fabulously.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Valentina

      I love it. So now the Tea Party are anti-Semitic. Do tell. Are they also responsible for Pearl Harbor and the earthquake in the Philippines?

      October 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    oh Bill Deacon, I can't wait to hear your take on this ...

    October 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm familiar with Marcel Lefebvre. He was a high ranking Bishop during Vatican II. He decried the liberal shift of the church under John XXIII and subsequently was insubordinate to instructions he had received not to ordain Bishops. Thus he was offered excommunication from the Holy See, which remains in place to this day. His followers claim they are the defenders of true Catholicism and have repeatedly thwarted efforts from the Vatican to reconcile (sound familiar LoA?). In this case, it appears they may have a valid point that if the gentleman in question had, in fact, received the Sacraments then he is entiitled to a Christian burial, though I'm not sure how the excommunication of the Society plays into that scenario. I suppose they can be regarded as any other separate Christian body who chooses to bury whomever they deem acceptable. That also doesn't erase the ongoing challenges the members of the Society of Pius X endure.

      October 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You do understand,I hope that this is only a Catholic story at the periphery?

      October 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • tammy

        Periphery? Like the Edge of Wetness?

        October 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Like the only connection to the Catholic church is that Marcel Lefebrve is an excommunicated priest.

          October 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD. Make up your mind once a Catholic always a Catholic, when did you change that line of thinking?

          October 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Sorry you can't read. Priebke may have been a Catholic but the Catholic Church denied his burial mass. The Society of Pius X which is an excommunicated schism claims that he sought reconciliation through them and that they granted absolution to him.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    why the surprise? do some reading about the history of the catholic church. there is as much evil as there is good.

    October 15, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • OKfine

      Dy god. No the RCC has done more harm than good throughout its history. Even now handing out bibles, catechisms and rosaries instead of condoms, birth control and allowing abortions has done more to increase the poor and suffering in Africa. You are right cue BD to ride to the defence of his chosen scam. The money that the luxury Bishop in Germany is just another example of the Princes of the church pi$$ing away the profits of the church on their own lifestyles. To be fair Frankie made a nice gesture moving out of the sumptuous papal apartments to a simple hotel room on the Vatican grounds. BTW BD claimed in a long ago post that papal digs were austere, BD tends to lie from time to time hence his need for confession, the golden crutch.

      October 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        The apartments include about ten large rooms including a vestibule, a small studio office for the papal secretary, the pope's private study, the pope's bedroom in the corner of the building, a medical suite (which includes dental equipment and equipment for emergency surgery), a dining room, a small living room, and the kitchen.[4] There is a roof garden and staff quarters for the nuns (German Benedictines) who run the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household (Papal Household). It is from the window of his small study that the pope greets and blesses pilgrims to Saint Peter's Square on Sundays.[3][4] The private library has been described as a "vast room with two windows overlooking Saint Peter's Square." The pope's private chapel has a piece of art, by I.H. Rosen and commissioned by Pope Pius XI that depicts "two episodes of Polish resistance (against the Tatars and against the Bolsheviks) framing the face of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa."[1]. Last remodeled in 2005 to repair roof leaks and upgrade the outdated heating system

        Seems simple enough for his stature.

        October 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD Please, not what you indicated before about the papal digs and of course stature is the key for the Princes of the Church. One need only look at the residences of the Bishop's around the world complete with staff (servants) to cater to the Princes every need. Interesting that you would have knowledge of Marcel Lefebvre but when someone like Marcial Maciel name is mentioned it is like you never heard of him, you tend to hide the dirt do you not BD.

          October 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Marcial Maciel Degollado (March 10, 1920 – January 30, 2008) was a Mexican-born Roman Catholic priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement. Late in his life, he was revealed to have abused boys and maintained relationships with at least two women, fathering up to six children, two of whom he allegedly abused as well.[1][2]

          In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI removed Maciel from active ministry based on the results of an investigation concerning seexual impropriety started under John Paul II. Maciel was ordered to spend the rest of his days in prayer and penance.[3][4] On March 25, 2010, a communiqué on the Legion's website acknowledged as factual "reprehensible actions" by Maciel, including seexual abuse of minor seminarians.[5]

          Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Velasio De Paolis his delegate to examine the Legionaries’ constiitution and conduct a visitation of its lay affiliate Regnum Christi.[6]

          He probably won't be excommunicated. His sins are more equivalent to Priebke's than Lefebrve's

          October 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • OKfine

          Bd. Very good but you failed to mention the cover up again but that is what you do, what vover up? Many of the hierarchy in the Vatican knew of the charges against Maciel for years but because he was one of John Paul II's favorites and was a good money earner everyone went omerta. Catholics are so good at sweeping the dirt under the rug.

          October 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well, thank God you're here to remind us all how evil we are.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD. Someone has to, until the next scandal hits the papers. You can be as blind and crazy about your religion as you chose to be. Much like any other group claiming to be holier than thou as the leaders scam you, you don't get it BD but you would probably recognize the pattern in the TV evangelists.
          Story I ran across, that large contributions of cash/payoffs from our "friends" to launder in an Archdiocese should be smuggled into the Vatican Bank by a group of Nuns on a pilgrimage to the Vatican that can hide the cash in their habits as they have never been caught in the act.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Somehow I feel a little less crazy than I think you are with your obsession.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD. Humor from you, good. Listen I place you in the same category as LofA and Topher defenders of your particular religion no matter what. I have an obsession, you men like believing in a god/religion without any proof that the god exists? My obsession according to you is simply pointing out the KNOWN crimes of a corrupt organization with multiple crimes they cannot refute. The facts are there BD you chose to deny them, but really you should look into all the docu,mentaries into the crimes of the RCC. Not that it would change your mind, crazy, maybe you need the crutch too much.

          October 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • Valentina

        Isn't there a Klan meeting or a meeting of the Know Nothings you should be attending?

        October 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Read It

        The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is NOT part of the Catholic church. This CNN article says it's a "sect" and that the "society has no official status within the Catholic Church." It is not representative of the Catholic Church, even if they use the word "catholic."

        October 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  18. Doris

    Getting some popcorn. This should be interesting...

    October 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  19. ReligionIsBS

    Wasnt the last pope in the nazi youth camp?

    In other news, water is wet. Who knew!

    October 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Gol

      Yes the Pope was.....but he wasn't a Nazi. No more than being in the Boy Scouts in the 30's made you a Democrat or Republican.

      October 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Read It

      The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is NOT part of the Catholic church. This CNN article says it's a "sect" and that the "society has no official status within the Catholic Church." It is not representative of the Catholic Church, even if they use the word "catholic."

      October 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  20. Cristeros for Satan

    No surprise, the Catholic Church supported the Nazi's

    October 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Gol

      All one billion of them supported the Nazi eh?

      Or what you mean is that the heirachy of the RCC that was trapped in the Vatican, surrounded by the capitol of fascist Italy who was allies with Germany didn't go out and get themselves killed by openly opposing them....is that what you meant?

      October 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Obviously you don't comprehend the article

      October 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Steve

        That is not what the article said or the Society of Pius X said. Rather, they said that someone who has gone to confession and died in communion deserves a decent burial regardless of their past.

        In this case, I can't say the Society of Pius X hasn't chosen the more humane position.

        October 15, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I tend to agree with you Steve but it seems lost on most of the commenters that the Society of Pius X and the Catholic Church are estranged entiities. The followers of Lefebrve do what they want against the express wishes of the Holy See.

          October 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Read It

      The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is NOT part of the Catholic church. This CNN article says it's a "sect" and that the "society has no official status within the Catholic Church." It is not representative of the Catholic Church, even if they use the word "catholic."

      October 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.