Pope Benedict just named one Fr Gerhard Maria Wagner as assistant bishop of the Austrian city of Linz.
Fr Wagner is notorious for his extreme views — he has accused the popular Harry Potter novels of spreading Satanism, and described Hurricane Katrina as God’s punishment for the sinners of New Orleans.
He wrote in a parish newsletter that the death and destruction caused by the hurricane in New Orleans was divine retribution for the city’s tolerance of homosexuals and permissive sexual attitudes.
The future bishop said he was glad that Katrina destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans, but also five of the city’s abortion clinics.
Televangelist John Hagee:
I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are —were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade on the Monday that the Katrina came, and the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing.
The late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi :
[Al Qaeda’s then-leader in Iraq] issued a statement on the Internet calling Katrina divine retribution. “God’s great wrath has hit the head of the oppressors,” the statement read…
In the recording, al-Zarqawi said, “I believe the devastating hurricane that hit the United States occurred because people in Iraq or Afghanistan — maybe a mother who had lost her son or a son whose parents were killed or a woman who was raped — were praying for God and God accepted their prayers.”
And, from the third of the great Semitic monotheisms, here’s Ovadia Yosef…
… a former chief rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas movement, said Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for President Bush 's support for Israel's Gaza pullout.
“Bush was behind the (expulsion of) Gush Katif,” he said. “He encouraged Sharon to expel Gush Katif…we had 15,000 people expelled here, and there 150,000 (were expelled from New Orleans — ed. note)