Switzerland: Channel bows to Vatican pressure over offensive cartoons

The publicly-owned television channel TSR last week agreed to remove a series of cartoons which satirised child sex abuse by Catholic priests from its website, after protests from the Vatican. Some of the pictures were broadcast on an edition of TSR’s Infrared programme, which tackled the issue of paedophile priests.  However, a number of the more controversial images – one of which features Jesus Christ having sex with a child – were felt to be too sensitive and published only online.

Merkel and the Vatican

Chancellor Angela Merkel has got herself involved in Vatican politics, which, if nothing else, makes a change from the Vatican sticking its nose in to everyone else’s internal politics.

Speaking about Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to readmit members of the ultra-traditionalist Society of Pius X into the Vatican fold, in spite of some members’, well, interesting historical viewpoints, Merkel has demanded clarification of the Vatican’s position on Holocaust deniers in its ranks:

‘This is not just a matter, in my opinion, for the Christian, Catholic and Jewish communities in Germany but the Pope and the Vatican should clarify unambiguously that there can be no denial,’ said the Chancellor.

The problem is that really, it is just a matter for the Vatican. If Richard Williamson and the rest of the Lefebvre-ists had been excommunicated because of their tolerance of Holocaust denial, then one could feasibly criticise Benedict from readmitting them without them having purged their ranks of this great sin. But they were excommunicated for their objections to various policies emerging from the Second Vatican Council, such as ecumenicism and the abandonment of the Latin mass. If the Pope has reached some sort of resolution with them over these issues, then he has every right, by the internal logic of the church over which he has absolute dominion, to readmit them.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you can hear Richard Williamson’s views on the Holocaust here.

If you’re interested in how conspiracist phenomena overlap, you can hear Williamson explaining that 9/11 was an inside job here.

(Warning: may be upsetting for fans of rational argument and George Orwell).