Kevin's note: At my request, Jeffrey Stuart wrote the following. My thoughts tend to line up with his almost perfectly on the matter. We want the same thing as many of our friends across the way want. We just propose a different way of getting to it.
Anti-Semitism. Holocaust denial. Not very good things in the slightest. For a Catholic, the former is to deny our spiritual roots. The later simply shows a lack of historical knowledge. So up front, allow me to condemn those views outright. And for individuals that hold such views, they are either ignorant or possessed with a hateful streak, both of which warrant fraternal correction and prayer. But to be clear, let me say again, I condemn both of those viewpoints.
Now obviously, within the small microcosm of the real world known as the Catholic Blogosphere, there has been a dustup of late regarding such misguided notions. Certainly pointing out such bad ideas is a good thing. Nothing like sunshine to disinfect what may otherwise fester and grow. And in that regard, all of the attention given to those bad ideas is warranted and welcome.
But what is troubling is how this issue continues to be presented by some Catholic bloggers as something for only so-called “Traditional Catholics” to address. Instead of rightfully attacking the bad ideas and thoughts, these bloggers have instead made it an issue associated (wrongly I might add) with only a small group within the entire Catholic Church. So the tone of their message is, “You traditionalists really need to get your house in order and stop being so sensitive that we are pointing it out to you” Implicit in this message is an “us” vs.“them” outlook. It isn't. Instead it should be, “Hey FELLOW Catholics, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are bad things and WE all should speak out these wrong-headed ideas. The former approach clouds the overall message because it becomes an issue of “who” and often in a unintentional, tribalistic broad-brush manner. The latter creates a more unified front because it becomes an issue of “what.” And in this case, the overwhelming majority of Catholics are flat out against the “what.” In short, in fighting the good fight more is to be gained by focusing on the ideas and not the people.
Pope Benedict XVI in his last Mass spoke out about the division in the Church and how it was disfiguring. Confronting injustices like anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial don’t create such divisions. In fact, speaking out against them should be unifying. But how we go about doing such things can be divisive and I think we have seen just that. Time to reconceptualize the approach with the end game in mind and priority at achieving results. And in this case, it should be a chorus of all Catholics condemning the bad notions of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. I don't think our current trajectory is getting us any closer to achieving that goal.