The Vatican now says…
…"rehabilitated" Bishop Williamson's Holocaust denial is "unacceptable" and "violate Church teaching."
I think is too little, too late.
- This is not a statement from the Pope. It is a restatement of existing Church policy by lower level Church functionaries. At best, it should be understood in the same way President Bush's White House spokesman "clarifying" controversial Bush remarks would be viewed.
- The Pope and the Church were well aware that "rehabilitating" a known Holocaust denier would rupture relations with Jews. The Pope knew Williamson is a Holocaust denier and knew the interview with Williamson claiming no gas chambers existed had just been made public.Yet the Pope took no proactive action to distance himself and his Church from Williamson's evil. The eventual attempt to "clarify" the Pope's views (posted below) came only after the Pope realized the storm created by his actions was larger and more widespread than the Church expected.
I would also add the Pope has not issued a clarification related to Williamson's view that the 9-11 terror attacks were planned and carried out by the US Government in order to control the world.
The Pope wants to visit Israel this spring. We cannot let that happen.
We can't allow the Pope to get by with what can only be understood as a weak, belated "clarification."
Catholic-Jewish relations should be put on hold until there is a partner on the Catholic side worth talking to.
I expect that time will be determined by God or Fate or Nature (depending on your perspective), and will be signaled when a new Pope sits on the throne in the Vatican.
In the meantime, send a stong message to Israel that half-assed, belated, "clarifications" are not enough, and ask Israel to deny the Pope's visa.
It's the right and moral thing to do.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS, VATICAN CITY
The Vatican said Monday that comments by a recently rehabilitated bishop that no Jews were gassed during the Holocaust were unacceptable and violate Church teaching.
In a front-page article, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reaffirmed that Pope Benedict XVI deplored all forms of anti-Semitism and that all Roman Catholics must do the same.
The article was issued amid an outcry from Jewish groups that Benedict last week lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop, Richard Williamson, who has denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II.
The Vatican has stressed that removing the excommunication by no means implied the Vatican shared Williamson's views.
[Hat Tip: Equal Tim e.]