Feb 12, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI and the SSPX

I haven't commented yet on Pope Benedict XVI's lifting of the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops and the ensuing scandal over Bishop Richard Williamson.

It seems clear that before he lifted the excommunications, the Pope did not know about Bishop Williamson's doubting the Holocaust. The Pope time and again through the years, and right now this week, has made it clear that the Church is not anti-Semitic, he is not anti-Semitic, no Catholic may be anti-Semitic and it is wrong to deny the Holocaust.

What the excommunications have done, as I understand it, is just to allow the four bishops to go to Confession and to receive Communion. That's all.

The SSPX silenced Bishop Williamson and then canned him from his seminary post. But the Catholic News Agency reported today that he has given an interview to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. He said he is going to "study the evidence." How could anyone be so obtuse, as well as so stubborn, as he has been in the interviews he has given?

A fellow parishioner of mine is a decorated, combat-wounded vet of World War II in the European Theater. A few years ago, big tears welled up in this American hero's eyes when he exclaimed, "Don't let anyone ever [say] there wasn't a Holocaust. I saw it." I will never forget that moment.


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