Skip to comments.Pope could welcome Holocaust denier back into the fold
Posted on 01/22/2009 12:15:18 PM PST by presidio9
The Pope is preparing to cancel the excommunication of four traditionalist Catholic bishops including one who believes the Holocaust never happened and the gas chambers were a myth.
Pope Benedict XVI has already signed the decree lifting the excommunication of the four bishops of the ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X, according to well-sourced reports in the Italian press today.
One of the bishops, Richard Williamson, an English former Anglican and graduate of Winchester and Cambridge, gave an interview to Swedish TV this week in which he said: There were no gas chambers.
The Pope, whose own position is towards the conservative wing of the Church, is understood to be keen to welcome the society's members, thought to number more than 150,000, back into the fold.
At a time when all hopes of unity with the Anglican Communion are now dead in the water, a reconciliation with traditionalists at the other end of the scale would be a dramatic gesture which, for Benedict, would set a triumphant seal on this week of Christian Unity.
However, Bishop Williamsons statements on the Holocaust and comments he has made endorsing the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, threaten to derail the Popes plans.
If Benedict XVI goes ahead with lifting the excommunication in spite of Bishop Williamsons comments, that will in turn wreak havoc on more than 40 years of attempts to rebuild relations with the Jewish community after nearly two millenniums of Christian anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust.
The damage will be doubled, coming as it will on top of the Popes revival of the Tridentine Mass last year with its Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
Golly, did you know that the Holocaust was the result of Christian anti-semitism?
Wasn’t Williamson excommunicated for unlawful (church law) extra-church consecrations in an attempt to make some sort of antisemitic bastard offshoot of the Church? It wasn’t that he was excommunicated for ignorance, he was trying to create basically, a neo-Nazi type church sect.
Whether or not Hitler tried to exterminate all the Jews is not a matter of faith. It is a matter of history. The pope cannot excommunicate people for ignorance of history.
If you'd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Retraction, Remorse, Remission of Sins: If these three are met, no one should have any real problem.
Nor will he, they were excommunicated twenty years ago, and it had nothing to do with the fact that Williamson is a Jewhater. He'll be correcting what was presumably a mistake made by Pope John Paul II.
I don't think these guys are "ignorant". Ignorance is the condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.
No one can be unaware or uninformed of the holocaust.
These guys are Holocaust deniers.
So the real question is can the Pope excommunicate those who deny facts of history?
Williamson is a nutcase and has rejected several overtures from Rome. I think Rome will go ahead with this one, the other bishops will accept, he won’t, and that’s how they’ll finally get rid of him.
But I see the attack dogs have been called out. Why is it so important to the left that this reunion between a relatively obscure movement, from a world stage point of view, and Rome be prevented or disparaged?
You have your facts mixed up. In 1988 Williamson and three other priests were excommunicated when French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated them bishops without Papal approval. As with most excommunications, John Paul II didn't actually excommunitcate them. He sent them a letter telling them they had excommunicated themselves by their action. This had nothing do do with break-away factions, conspiracies, or neo-nazi sects. If John Cardinal Egan here in NYC decided to elevate me to bishop, and I accempted the appointment, we would both instantaneously excommunicate ourselves, whether the Pope informed us or not. I have no idea if any of these men will be returning to the faith as ordained priests, but I can guarantee you that they will not be bishops. So the cause of their excomunication has been rectified. The Catholic faith does not hold grudges.
Meanwhile, I'm suprised that you brought this up in the first place. I was responding to the author, who took issue with the fact that the excommunication had been lifted, in spite of the Holocaust denials. Ms. Gledhill also took issue with things like the Tridentine prayer for the conversion of Jews, ect. While these sorts of topics may cause discomfort in polite dinner conversation, they are very much in keeping with Catholic doctrine: Not that we want to force Jews to convert, just that we believe tha that would be the easiest way for them to get to Heaven (which is, for Catholics, life's purpose).
Im short, untill Ms. Gledhill does her homework and gains a better understanding of Catholic Theology and its concepts, she would probabally be better off minding her own business. That advice would serve you well too.
I brought this up because my memory (apparently flawed) was the main reason was his extra-church attempt to start this offshoot based on his own beliefs.. I was wrong on that so it is moot.
I have respect for you and your ping list, but this story has absolutely nothing to do with the Middle East or Terrorism. The cursury relationship with antisemitism is only based on the author's need to bring it up. Catholics can't be excommunicated for being stupid. They can also make their own decision to end the excommunication whenever they wish.
Answer: No. The Catholic Church is in the saving souls today business, not the history business.
Williamson's excommunication had nothing to do with his statements about the Holocaust, so they will have nothing to do with the Vatican's decision about whether or not his excommunication is lifted.
And no, "Christian anti-Semitism" had nothing to do with the Holocaust, either.
That said this isn't much of an issue, since the excommunication isn't being lifted on Bishop Williamson, and his antisemitic views are part of his religious doctrine, rather a group of whom he's simply a member and for a matter unrelated to Jewhatred or conspiracy theories.
That’s why I posted it. Liberals love to invent antsemetic conspiracy theories to attack the Catholic Church.