Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pope issues demand that Bishop who denies the Holocaust recant.

While Pope Benedict should never have removed the excommunication decree against Bishop Richard Williamson, I understand through BBC News that the Vatican has asked the Bishop to recant his statements regarding the death of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

Richard Nelson Williamson, SSPX (Society of St. Pius X) (born 8 March 1940) is a bishop and a member of the Society of St. Pius X. He was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church in 1988 because of his unauthorized consecration by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, deemed by the Holy See to be "unlawful" and "a schismatic act". The excommunication was lifted by the Holy See in January 2009. However, he continues to be forbidden from practising as a bishop as his ordination is considered by the Vatican to be illicit.

Williamson voiced his views on the Holocaust (see below) in an interview with Swedish Television recorded in Germany in November 2008 and broadcast on the evening of 21 January 2009, the day on which the excommunication was lifted. The interview was given wide publicity around the world.

Williamson's superior in the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, initially stated that Williamson was responsible for his own personal comments and that the affair did not concern the SSPX as a whole.[18] The District Superior of the SSPX in Sweden and Germany distanced himself from anti-semitism and racism.[19] Bishop Fellay subsequently forbade Williamson from speaking out publicly about historical or political matters, and asked Pope Benedict for forgiveness for the damage done by Williamson's remarks.[20] Williamson himself sent the Pope a letter expressing his regret about the problems that he had caused, but did not retract his statements.[21][22][23]

Williamson has expressed controversial views about Jews. He called Jews "enemies of Christ" and urges their conversion to Catholicism. He claims that Jews and Freemasons have contributed to the "changes and corruption" in the Catholic Church.He has also stated that Jews aim at world dominion and believes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be authentic. Williamson has denied that he is anti-semitic, stating that he goes against "adversaries of Our Lord Jesus Christ", that not all Jews are such, and that he also attacks other groups such as Communists and Freemasons.

Williamson has been charged with Holocaust denial. He has denied the existence of gas chambers and has claimed that not six million but 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps.

Click on the following link for a video of the Bishop's denials: BBC

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says it is almost unheard of for a pope to admit publicly that he has made a mistake. But that is in effect the significance of the urgent statement put out by the Vatican, our correspondent adds.

The Vatican should clarify unambiguously that there can be no denial
Angela Merkel
German chancellor

"Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to the Episcopal functions of the Church, must in an absolutely unequivocal and public way distance himself from his positions regarding the Shoah [Holocaust]," it said.

It said Bishop Williamson's positions on the Holocaust were "absolutely unacceptable and firmly rejected by the Holy Father".

All I know is some heads had better roll at the Vatican! Such a stupid mistake should never have happened if indeed it was a mistake. The Pope should know Bishop Williamson's background and, while the excommunication had nothing to do with Williamson's denial of the Holocaust, to rescind the excommunication decree was foolish. Such insensitivity on the part of the Vatican cannot be taken lightly!


Jamie said...

Unfortunately, the Vatican still has a group of old men who were alive when part of the actions of the church that contributed to the Shoah occurred. They don't want that dirty laundry or their own failings aired.

Anti-semitic acts are on the rise again in Europe particularly with all the moslem immigrants. It is horrid to think that something like the holocaust could happen again, but human beings have been killing other human beings for as long as there have been humans.

ilanadavita said...

How right! Thanks for blogging about this.

Bond said...

This is the times have not changed.

Gattina said...

It is disgusting what the Vatican and especially this fanatic pope does ! Today a Belgium Newspaper titled "An extreme right pope" The Vatican is not better than the Hamas or other fanatic religions. No wonder that nobody wants to go to the catholic church anymore ! These old guys should all be locked in in a nursing home and play cards !

Akelamalu said...

Williamson sounds like Hitler reincarnated. Just what we need - NOT! :(

Felisol said...

I strongly support you point of view, teach Mary.
Some actions just cannot be tolerated.
Fro Felisol

boliyou said...

It's a terrible thing. And while I think the Pope may have been n the right track in terms of forgiveness, that forgiveness must come after repentance. Not seeing a lot of repentance, let alone recanting.