At The Huffington Post, Jeffrey Feldman reports that Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer’s claims regarding the Carmelite convent controversy are false. (In his Aug. 13 column, Krauthammer wrote: “Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place; it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.”)
What was Krauthammer’s lie? That the Church decided a Catholic prayer center so close to this horrific memorial site would be wrong.
Based on Krauthammer’s selective use of the Carmelite example, one would logically conclude that the Catholic Church had decided it was not appropriate to build any center dedicated to prayer and understanding within, say, “two blocks of” (e.g.) of the Auschwitz concentration camp. And, thus, when Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and every FOX News media host repeated this same example–viewers and listeners would draw the exact same conclusion: no Catholic prayer centers close to Auschwitz, no Muslim YMCA close to Ground Zero.
Easy enough, right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, like every other flash point in this ginned-up non-controversy controversy, Krauthammer’s deftly dropped factoid is–you guessed it–100% false.
Not only is there a Catholic center for prayer and understanding within several blocks of the former Nazi gas chambers and torture cells at Auschwitz–not only was it put there with the blessing of Catholic leadership after the Carmelite controversy–but, and this is key: it is a wonderful place that achieves peaceful outcomes commensurate with those the planners of Park51 have proposed to bring to Manhattan.
Read the reminder of the article here.