I hope Roman Catholics will be as outraged by this as we often wish more Muslims and “anti-imperialist” leftists would be outraged by the antisemites and apologists for antisemitism in their ranks.
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.
The Vatican said the excommunications had been lifted after the bishops affirmed their willingness to accept Church teachings and papal authority.
Bishop Richard Williamson recently told Swedish TV: “I believe there were no gas chambers. I think that two to three hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers.”
The Vatican has distanced itself from those remarks.
But its spokesman, Rev Federico Lombardi, still stood by the decision to rehabilitate Bishop Williamson and the others.
“This act regards the lifting of the excommunications, period,” he told reporters.
“It has nothing to do with the personal opinions of a person, which are open to criticism, but are not pertinent to this decree.”
Isn’t it one of the “Church teachings” that Bishop Williamson has agreed to accept that antisemitism is morally wrong? What if he had expressed flat-out his hatred of Jews? How different is Holocaust denial from that?
And shouldn’t a German pope who grew up under the Nazi regime be especially sensitive about such things?
Update: The Fringe Watch blog has more about the views of the rehabilitated Bishop Williamson. His views on the Holocaust are not the only evidence of his antisemitism. He has a lot of other strange ideas. I don’t have the stomach to follow all the links.