Thursday, 5 February 2009

Eating Words

Pope Benedict XVI is somersaulting. Williamson, his holocaust denying bishop brought in from the cold, has to eat his words and recant his views. Good old fashioned Roman Catholicism here, but it's the Pope who looks stupid.

Williamson made his anti Shoah remarks on 22 January, the day after the Pope told a bunch of extremist bishops they could return, that was made public on 24th. The Vatican is claiming that Pope Benedict knew nothing about this man's views when he and three others were brought in from the cold. Really? The Vatican claims management errors, and Walter Kasper is running around a bit like a headless chicken as he's in charge of Vatican Jewish relations. Plus the Vatican is wheeling out past statements about the Pope's own view about the holocaust.

The somersaulting is because the screw has been turned on the Pope by Angela Merkel, German Chancellor. Others have criticised and there is a threat to the Pope being able to visit Israel. Merkel said the Pope's decision could not stand without consequences and he had to rule out holocaust denial - and so he has buckled and done so regarding this ex-Anglican - he must recant. Walter Kasper says the four are still suspended.

Hermann Haering is a theologian who has said that because of his decision the Pope should resign for the good of the Roman Catholic Church. The bishop of Hamburg, Werner Thissen, told the daily Hamburger Abendblatt on Monday that there is a loss of confidence in the Pope. Vienna's cardinal and archbishop, Christoph Schoenborn, criticised the Pope's decision to let back in a holocaust denier.

The Pope had hoped that his own statement on holocaust a week ago would be enough to let back in the right wingers that meet the traditionalist agenda of current Roman Catholicism. Not so, and the Roman Catholic centre has buckled under the pressure. It's yet another error regarding interfaith relationships.

9 comments:

Erika Baker said...

It's another "error" at every conceivable front, and particularly shocking as this is a German pope who has lived through the 2nd world war in Germany, and holocaust denial is a criminal offense in that country! Rightly so.

The most appalling thing is the attempt to turn it into a mere PR-mistake. The RC church is morally bankrupt if it doesn't distance itself very clearly from its own pope.

Anonymous said...

surely a good thing that the Pope admits his fallibility....

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Infallible the Fallible.

-frank said...

Pope Benedict XVIII? The eighteenth?
I must have dozed off.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Oh dear I was confusing him with Henry VIII. I'm grateful and will make the change.

Tim said...

Being a very happy lapsed Catholic, plus not having to suffer Anglican anguish, and after watching a favorite politician of mine, Tom Daschle, step down from Obama's Cabinet then I think I can tolerate the Vatican's errors.

Great drawings, btw.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

What, including Marcial Maciel Degollado?

David |Dah • veed| said...

Adrian, Williamson supposedly did the TV interview back in the Fall, at their seminary in Bavaria, where holocaust denial is indeed illegal. It was then broadcast at this later date. It was not live, but prerecorded.

Tim said...

Well if you're lapsed enough... you have to google to have an idea who so-and-so is. On the radar here is Rabbi Avrohom Reichman. NPR did a recent piece on "Abuse Scandal Plagues Hasidic Jews In Brooklyn."

Maybe the description is everything and obviously the description is not always pretty.