Monday, January 26, 2009

Vatican: Comments by Holocaust-denying bishop unacceptable

Now the Vatican has said that comments by the Holocaust-denying bishop were unacceptable.

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

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 [SSPX] 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.

One of the key documents issued by Vatican II was Nostra Aetate, which said the Church deplored all forms of anti-Semitism. The document revolutionized the Church's relations with Jews.

In the article, L'Osservatore said Benedict and his predecessors had all made clear the Church's teaching on Nostra Aetate in documents, actions and speeches and that its contents are not debatable for Catholics.

"Williamson's statements, broadcast last week in a Swedish state TV interview, contradict this teaching and are thus very serious and regrettable," L'Osservatore said. "While broadcast before the Jan. 21 document lifting the excommunication, they remain unacceptable," it said.

This is good as far as it goes - but what about the anti-semitic opinions of Lefebvre and the SSPX itself? Why does the Pope want to welcome these people back into the church if he is so devoted to fighting against anti-semitism? See these two articles from the SPLC website on the group - the first one is about Williamson, and the second one is about the SSPX. The SSPX is itself a thoroughly anti-semitic group.

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