The Vatican demanded Wednesday that a bishop who denied the Holocaust recant his positions before being fully admitted into the Roman Catholic Church.
The Vatican also said in a statement that Pope Benedict XVI didn’t know about Bishop Richard Williamson’s views when he agreed to lift his excommunication and that of three other ultraconservative bishops Jan. 21.
The statement was issued by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State a day after German Chacellor Angela Merkel urged the pope to make a clearer rejection of Holocaust denials, saying there hadn’t been adequate clarification from the Vatican.
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This needed some public clarification–so while the Vatican is showing some semblance of PR savvy all of a sudden, they finally are showing the world what the process of reconciliation will entail. My guess is that Williamson won’t recant and that he will maintain some kind of renegade society while others in the SSPX will reunite with the Pope. As I believe I stated here and certainly stated to others who spoke to me about it, it seemed obvious to be that the Pope didn’t know about this guy even when an easy 30 second google search would’ve uncovered it. The headline was expected to be “Pope heals schism” which shows the single-mindedness of his intentions but a lack of seeing the big picture. It also shows that the Pope considers this guy a minor player in the society as a whole since he obviously wasn’t on his radar.
Perhaps we should consider him in a similar vein. After all, there are nuts in every walk of life and although we don’t always like to admit it, in every corner of the church as well.