Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pope demands Bishop Recant Holocaust Position

(AP) "The Vatican on Wednesday demanded that a prelate who denied the Holocaust recant his positions before being fully admitted as a bishop into the Roman Catholic Church. It also said Pope Benedict XVI had not known about Bishop Richard Williamson's views when he agreed to lift his excommunication and that of three other ultraconservative bishops Jan. 21."

This appears to at least coincide with, or be a response to pressure from German Leadership, and many other highly visible world figures recently. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the pope to clarify that the Vatican does not tolerate any denial of the Holocaust. Pope Benedict is from Germany, where Holocaust denial is a crime punishable with prison terms.

This also comes just a few days after Bishop Williamson apologized to the Pontiff for the "distress and problems" he caused by denying the Holocaust.

Bishop Williamson recently denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, is calling his remarks "imprudent" as he expresses his regrets in a letter posted on Friday on his personal blog.

The bishop also thanked the Pope for lifting the excommunication that the Vatican had imposed on him 20 years earlier because he had been elevated to bishop's rank by a renegade, ultraconservative prelate.

2/6/09 P.S. (Zenit published the Pope's stated motive on Lifting the excommunication):

the Holy Father made clear today that the lifting of the excommunication is about one thing only: Church unity.

"I have carried out this act of paternal mercy because repeatedly these prelates have manifested their sharp suffering in the situation in which they found themselves."

Furthermore, the Holy Father stated, there is the expectation of further steps from the four newly released bishops.

"I trust that following from this gesture of mine will be the prompt effort on their part to complete final necessary steps to arrive to full communion with the Church," the Bishop of Rome said, "thus giving testimony of true fidelity and true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the Pope and the Second Vatican Council."


~Joseph the Worker said...


coffee said...

you know something is serious when they bring out the special ecclesiastical terms, i.e. "recant!"

The Catholic Journeyman said...

Williamson's "apology" was merely for his "imprudence" (if the media has the exact quotes correct), which still falls short of a formal detailed retraction. The Man, excuse me, Bishop, has much more research to do on Gas Chambers than take one builders word for it, IMO.