Badpuppy Gay Today

Friday, 20 March 1998


Richard Plant, 87, Dies : Holocaust Scholar Authored "The Pink Triangle"
Roman Catholics beg Jews, not Gays: "Forgive Our Failure Saving You!"

Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday


On March 16, the Vatican released for public view a long-awaited 14-page document dubbed an "act of repentance" apologizing for the Church's virtual ignoring--during World War II--of Hitler's mass murders of the Jewish people. It was titled "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah."

On the very same day, the New York Times reported the death in Manhattan of 87 year-old Richard Plant, a Holocaust scholar, critic and professor of literature. Plant's book, The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals (1986) told, with significant research, how thousands of gay males were massacred or interred in concentration camps under Nazi directives.

If the Times reported that Jewish reactions to the apology were noticeably cool, it said nothing about the reactions of persons who are both Jewish and gay, and who are aware that the Vatican continues presently to foment anti-gay sentiment just as it did anti-Semitic sentiment throughout the centuries.

On February 10, for example, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia formally denounced three proposed city ordinances that would extend health and pension benefits to the same-sex partners of all city employees. In Maine, where voters recently repealed same-sex anti-discrimination laws, the Roman Catholic Church played an active part, throwing its "moral" weight against gays and lesbians.

Upon hearing of the Vatican's apology, gay and Jewish activist Bob Kunst fumed, "The Vatican was the first to recognize Hitler," he said, "and Pius XII kept silent when the first killings began in September of 1941 and remained silent through the establishment of 1,000 death camps."

Rabbi David Rosen, director of the Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League and its co-liaison with the Vatican, called the so-called apology "disappointing in certain respects."

Author and GayToday editor, Jack Nichols, quoted his latest book, The Gay Agenda, drawing attention to church-persecuted scapegoats of the present: "Pope John Paul II made reference to the scriptural death penalties for homosexuals in a 1986 letter: 'In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, in the course of describing the conditions necessary for belonging to the Chosen People, the author excludes from the People of God those who behave in a homosexual fashion.' "

Reports in recent years about the Vatican's culpability in the face of genocidal Nazi treatments of the Jews were made by the bishops in France and other European nations. These reports went considerably further than the Vatican has now done in describing what amounted to Vatican collusion with Hitler's pogroms.

Both Kunst and Nichols spoke harsh words about current Vatican maneuvering. "There are many brave Catholics," said Nichols, "who know that the war against women, gay men and lesbians that the Vatican pushes is currently in full swing. In previous centuries Jews were the Vatican's scapegoats. Now its gays. Pope John Paul II is very much afraid of women in his church too—scared of a wondrous sea change which we recognize as the establishment of the equality of the sexes."

Pope Pius's collaborative conduct during the Second World War, according to an editorial in the New York Times, needs further investigation. "He did not encourage Catholics to defy Nazi orders. Church officials after the war helped Nazis escape to freedom," said a March 18 Times editorial.

Bob Kunst told GayToday: "The Vatican's hands are covered and stained with Jewish blood, and their sins can not be washed away."

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