Monday, March 02, 2009

Holocaust-Denying 'Bishop' Gets More Just Deserts; Vatican Keeps Distancing Itself

The National Catholic Reporter and Google are linking to an Associated Press article which says that traditionalist 'bishop' Richard Williamson continues to suffer church and state consequences for denying the magnitude of the Holocaust--thereby gracing the Vatican with further opportunities to distance itself from him and uphold the Second Vatican Council's teachings on the Jewish people's unique and unsurpassable role in salvation history.

One of last week's civil consequences for Williamson was that the government of Argentina ordered Williamson to leave because of his remarks. On arriving in his native Britain, Williamson told the media he would never have made them had he known "the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise."

According to AP the Vatican said Friday that that wasn't good enough and that Williamson has to repudiate his views if he wants to serve as member of the Catholic clergy. The Vatican had already made this a non-negotiable condition for Williamson to return to official ministry, but Friday's statement underscored that Rome is in earnest about it and will not relent until Williamson does.

Meanwhile, another civil consequence looms. State prosecutors in Regensburg, Germany, (where Benedict XVI was a professor from 1969 to 1977) already had opened a preliminary investigation into whether Williamson broke German laws against Holocaust denial. AP said that on Friday the German justice minister said she is considering issuing a Europe-wide arrest warrant for Williamson on hate-crime charges, because Williamson made his remarks in Germany in an interview with Swedish television.

If continued exclusion from Catholic ministry is not enough to dissuade Williamson, perhaps a jail cell will be.

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