"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

update: holocaust denier

"The Vatican, bowing to the growing furor over Pope Benedict XVI's decision to accept a return to the church of a prelate who denied the Holocaust, made a dramatic turnaround Wednesday and demanded the bishop recant.

The Vatican sought to distance the pope from the controversy by saying he did not know about British Bishop Richard Williamson's views when he agreed to lift his excommunication last month.

In the surprisingly public spat, some leading cardinals in Germany and at the Vatican blamed unidentified aides for not fully briefing the pope.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said he took Benedict at his word that he didn't know about Williamson's views, but said he couldn't believe Vatican aides didn't do more research to better inform the pope.

‘This was absolutely a matter that was bungled at the highest levels of the Vatican,’ Hier said. ‘If they Googled the name Bishop Williamson, they'd find out he was a Holocaust denier. This did not require advanced research at the Vatican Library or Oxford.’

‘Everybody knows he's an anti-Semite,’ since Williamson has been vocal about his views, making speeches and publishing a blog, Hier said. ‘The other Holocaust deniers are rabid, anti-Semites who can't claim any legitimacy. But when a person calls himself bishop and he was invited back into the Catholic Church by none other than the pope, he brings with him an aura of legitimacy. And that legitimacy stains the pope. So the pope today finally made the right decision, that (Williamson) must recant.’"

- Victor L. Simpson, Associated Press


Anonymous said...

I am Catholic, but what has happened in the Church these past 8-10 years really gets in the way of my faith. The new pope and the new bishop in KC, they are taking the Church in the wrong direction, I feel. So much churchianity and not Christianity. My faith in God is not shaken but it is almost as if I have to stay away from the Church to now allow it to interfere with what I feel is right.

All of this and so much more just gives Christianity a bad name. There are those of who feels that what Jesus taught is subverted, distorted, twisted, and perverted by what the Church does.

I pray this is not too strong for your very positive and wholesome and soul-filling blog.


Anonymous said...

For those who want to find out more please check out the National Catholic Reporter (NCRonline.org) and the excellent analysis of this issue by Tom Allen. The male hierarchy of the church does not speak for me nor for most Catholics.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the NCR is a good resource (still). Bishop Finn made sure dissenting opinions were dismissed from The Catholic Key.

Anonymous said...

Sister Joan Chittister is a voice of strength and reason in the Catholic Church. She has been on sabbatical from The National Catholic Reporter but returned for an article February 3. I would imagine she'll have something (strong) to say on this topic in the next week. She is a voice of change, hopefully--though her dissenting opinion has resulted in some ruffled feathers in the Vatican. Here's to Sister Joan! Check her out at the NCR site or by simply googling her by name.