News and commentary on Religion, especially Southern religion.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why uproar over the pope's reinstatement of Richard Williamson?

BBC reports:

The Pope has lifted the excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church of four bishops appointed by a breakaway archbishop more than 20 years ago.

One of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's appointees, Briton Richard Williamson, outraged Jews by saying the Nazi gas chambers did not exist.

Two of the other three appointees are French while the fourth is Argentinean.

Israel's envoy to the Vatican said the papal decision would "cast a shadow on relations with Jews".

Listen to Williamson (who for remarks like these is under investigation for violation of German hate crime laws):

The antisemitism goes on. The other three use a liturgy which calls for the conversion of Jews. Williamson has endorsed such anti-Semitic forgeries as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Certainly the anyone concerned about ant-Semitism is likely to view the decision with unease. Along those lines, The Jerusalem Post reported:

The American Jewish Committee's director of Interreligious Affairs, Rabbi David Rosen, said that "while the Vatican's reconciliation with the SSPX [Society of Saint Pius X] is an internal matter of the Catholic Church, the embrace of an open Holocaust denier is shameful, a serious blow for Jewish-Vatican relations, and a slap in the face for the historic efforts of Pope John Paul II, who following his predecessors, made such remarkable efforts to eradicate and combat anti-Semitism.

The Vatican's position is that he is lying but lying is not grounds for excommunication.

So the excommunication, amid complexities of canon law and the drive to undo a schism in the church, is undone.

But Williamson's views are repudiated and he and the others are still not functioning bishops in the Roman Catholic Church.

Bernard Fellay is one of the Roman Catholic "traditionalist bishops," as they are termed, and head Swiss-based Priestly Society of Saint Pius X.

The Associated Press reported:

The head of the Swiss bishops' conference, Kurt Koch, later released a statement saying the gesture followed a letter from Fellay on December 15 asking the pope to lift the excommunications and recognising "the teachings of the Church and the primacy of the Pope."

Some additional process of reconciliation is to follow and through it we will see whether evil views are indeed somehow being embraced.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting. Comments are moderated. Yours will be reviewed soon.