Friday, February 22, 2008

From Rural Kansas to Holocaust Denial

Sometimes when you delve into the background of an obscure local story, you find all sorts of international implications. Take the case of little St. Mary's Academy located in St. Mary's, Kansas (pop. 2198), about 25 miles northwest of Topeka.

On February 13, Sports Illustrated posted an article about how St. Mary's Academy had refused to let a woman referee a boy's basketball game. To their eternal credit, the man who had been scheduled to officiate the game with her and the guy they tried to get as a substitute refused to cooperate and left the gym. Said the latter gentleman, Fred Shockey, a 12-year veteran of the United States Army, "I have been led by some of the finest women this nation has to offer, and there was no way I was going to go along with that."

As it turns out, St. Mary's Academy is owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), an organization founded by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991), who was excommunicated in 1988 by Pope John Paul II (hardly a flaming liberal) for consecrating four priests as bishops without Vatican approval. The SSPX is the world's largest Traditionalist Catholic Society.

Lefebvre became famous for opposing Vatican II. OK, fair enough. That's a theological dispute within the Catholic Church. It's his political views which are truly disturbing. He supported collaboration with the Nazi Vichy regime in France during World War II and publicly praised Spanish dictators Francisco Franco of Spain and Chile's Augusto Pinochet. He also endorsed French right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the neo-fascist Front National.

The Traditionalist Catholic Society is the movement to which actor Mel Gibson and his father, Hutton Gibson, belong. Hutton is an outspoken Holocaust denier. If you can control your gag reflex, check out some selected quotes from the senior Gibson on the Adelaide Institute website under the United States bold heading.

What was it the Kansas Populist orator Mary Lease said? "You farmers need to raise less corn and more hell?" Maybe St. Mary's Academy needs to raise less hell and more corn.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Viva Zundel! Viva Gibson!

11:34 AM  
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