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 A Bishops Denial

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Posts : 28
Join date : 2009-02-16

PostSubject: A Bishops Denial   Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:00 pm

Link here

Editorial: Bishop Williamson’s denial
01:00 AM EST on Saturday, February 21, 2009
It was with surprise and dismay that much of the West — Catholic and otherwise — greeted Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to lift the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop, Richard Williamson. Pope John Paul II had excommunicated Bishop Williamson, a Briton, and three other bishops belonging to the controversial Society of St. Pius X in 1988. They had been made bishops without Vatican permission by renegade French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The society rejects the teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, which renounced anti-Semitism.

In a recent interview, Bishop Williamson, who is 68, put forth the view that no more than 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps. Reputable historians put the number at 6 million. Further, anti-Semitic statements have appeared on the Society of St. Pius X’s Web site, though several appear to have been removed since the controversy began.

As expected, Jewish groups in the United States and elsewhere denounced the rehabilitation of Bishop Williamson, and many others, in and out of the church, joined in the condemnations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded that Bishop Williamson, who in the past has said that Satan was running the Vatican, recant his delusional statements about the Holocaust. Many Catholic leaders have also expressed outrage and embarrassment at the pope’s decision.

Born in Bavaria as Joseph Alois Ratzinger, the pope joined the Hitler Youth in 1941 at age 14, as had many of his contemporaries in what was a virtually mandatory membership. But in no action in his later life has the pope shown anything but a deep respect for Jewish history and sensitivities. As pope, he visited the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 2006 and used the Hebrew word Shoah in referring to the Holocaust.

Pope Benedict claims to have not known of Bishop Williamson’s Holocaust denying. The rescinding of his excommunication had been done in the spirit of fostering church unity.

Obviously, administratively it’s an internal Vatican matter, but we hope that the pope admits his mistake and revokes the pardon of Bishop Williamson. Failing to do so will portray the Catholic Church as anti-Semitic in the minds of some.

I found this editorial fascinating and quite disturbing. I had absolutely no idea that Pope Benedict had been involved at all in the Holocaust. It makes little sense to readmit a bishop that was originally excommunicated for good reason. Essentially Bishop Williamson was using his power in a negative and hateful manner. The whole idea of excommunicating some one with warped beliefs (especially concerning something as emotional for the world as the Holocaust) and that is in a position of authority is to weed out the bad eggs. It is horrifying that it took until 1988 to remove the bishop from the system, meaning that he was able to spread his delusions and hateful ideas for several years backed by his religious standing. He was expressing ideas that don't reflect that of the church in our modern world. I throughly understand that Pope wanted to unify and accept mistakes of the past, but this act seems totally unnecessary.

Roz Raskin
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