AP: Pope Benedict on the Ropes Taking a Beating Over Holocaust Denier Bishop Richard Williamson

Pope went to Auschwitz. So what?
Pope says never forget Auschwitz. So what?
Pope decried Nazism's insane, racist ideology. So what?
Pope deplores antisemitism. So what?
Pope calls Holocaust denial unacceptable. So what?

Why so what? Because this is the basic, obvious stuff.

Is the Vatican seriously telling us that the Pope should be commended for those acts of courage? What a chutzpah?

These are not special acts to trumpet all over the place; this is the basic, obvious stuff.

This is not a string of credit deposits that now allows for a large withdrawal; this is the basic, obvious stuff.

HOWEVER, Pope rehabilitates a Holocaust denier Bishop.

That bad act stands on its own, is judged on its own, is not put into some credit/debit context.

Pope is on the ropes - both hands up in a defensive position.
Vatican highlights pope's Holocaust condemnations

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican intensified its defense of Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, highlighting his record of condemning the Holocaust amid an outcry over his rehabilitation of a bishop who claims that no Jews were gassed during World War II.

Vatican Radio aired a lengthy program to mark Holocaust remembrance day. It recalled Benedict's 2006 visit to Auschwitz, his 2005 visit to the main synagogue in Cologne, Germany and other remarks in which he has denounced the "insane, racist ideology" that produced the Holocaust.

Video clips of those remarks were posted on Vatican links on the Holy See's new YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/vatican

"Let today's humanity never forget Auschwitz and the other 'factories of death' in which the Nazi regime tried to eliminate God and take his place!" Benedict said during his general audience May 31, 2006, just after returning to Rome from a visit to Auschwitz.

Vatican Radio also ran an interview with an Auschwitz survivor.

The Vatican has been focusing on Benedict's record deploring anti-Semitism after Jewish groups voiced outrage that he lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop, Richard Williamson, who has denied that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

The Vatican has stressed that removing the excommunication by no means implied the Vatican shared Williamson's views.

On Monday, the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, ran a front-page article saying Williamson's views were "unacceptable" and violated Church teaching. It reaffirmed that Benedict deplored all forms of anti-Semitism and that all Roman Catholics must do the same.

The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants said the Vatican's attempts to reject Williamson's views were necessary but insufficient. The group's vice-president, Elan Steinberg, called on the Vatican to further address what he called its "moral failure" in rehabilitating Williamson.

"At a minimum, the Vatican should now demand that Williamson repudiate his heinous views," Steinberg said.

Williamson and three other bishops were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by the late ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent — a move the Vatican said at the time was an act of schism.

Benedict has made clear from the start of his pontificate that he wanted to reconcile with Lefebvre's traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and bring it back into the Vatican's fold.

Lefebvre had rebelled against the Vatican and founded the society in 1969. He was bitterly opposed to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that brought liberal reforms to the church, including outreach to Jews.

1 comment:

Muni Schweig said...

The pope and the Jews

As his embrace of a Holocaust denier and a right-wing sect proves, Benedict just doesn't get it about the church's ongoing problem with anti-Semitism.

By Frances Kissling