Deep Politics Forum

Full Version: Panzer Pope's Pal in Poop Scoop!
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
First the news story:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7878580.stm

Seminary sacks 'Holocaust bishop'

An ultra-traditionalist British bishop who denies the Holocaust has been removed from his post as the head of a Roman Catholic seminary in Argentina.

A statement by the Society of St Pius X said Bishop Richard Williamson's views "in no way" reflected its position.

A row erupted last month after the Pope decided to lift Bishop Williamson's excommunication on an unrelated matter.

The Vatican said the Pope had been unaware of Bishop Williamson's views and had since ordered him to recant.

In a statement, the head of the Latin American chapter of the Society of St Pius X, which runs the seminary in La Reja, said Bishop Williamson had been relieved of his position as director.

"Monsignor Williamson's statements do not in any way reflect the position of our congregation," said Father Christian Bouchacourt.
"It is clear that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesiastical authority except on matters concerning faith and morality," his statement said.

The seminary is located some 50km (30 miles) from Buenos Aires
Bishop Williamson provoked outrage when he said he believed there had been no Nazi gas chambers.

"I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler," he said.

In the wake of the row, Pope Benedict XVI expressed "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews.

On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who publicly criticised the Pope and called for a clearer rejection of Holocaust deniers, spoke by telephone to the pontiff.

They had a "cordial and constructive" conversation marked by a "common deep concern about the perpetual warning of the Shoah (Holocaust) for humanity", a joint statement said.

About six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

However, Bishop Williamson has indicated he will not immediately comply with the Pope's demand that he recant.

He told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that he would correct himself if the historical evidence warranted it but "that will take time".

Bishop Williamson was among four bishops whose excommunications were lifted by the Pope in an attempt to heal a split with traditionalists.
They belong to the Society of St Pius X, founded by a French archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, in 1970 as a protest against the Second Vatican Council's reforms on religious freedom and pluralism.

The late Archbishop Lefebvre made them bishops in unsanctioned consecrations in Switzerland in 1988, prompting the immediate excommunication of all five by the late Pope John Paul II.

***

And now the background (or how Panzer reinstated "traditionalist" Bishop Williamson):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7869565.stm

Profile: Bishop Richard Williamson

By Robert Pigott
BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent

Pope Benedict's decision to rescind the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson last month appeared to be the latest in a series of olive branches held out to Roman Catholic traditionalists, who have never come to terms with attempts to modernise the Church.

Three other men ordained as bishops at the same time were also readmitted to the Church.

But if the Pope hoped to prevent a split in the Church from widening, without damaging the Vatican's fragile relations with Jews, he seems not to have reckoned with Bishop Williamson's incendiary views on the Holocaust.
Bishop Williamson, who was born in Britain, gave an interview to a Swedish television programme last November in which he disputed that six million Jews had died at the hands of the Nazis, and claimed that none had died in gas chambers.

He said: "I believe there were no gas chambers," and insisted that up to "300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers".

Controversial views

These are not the only eccentric views held by Richard Williamson, whose "illicit" ordination as bishop by the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 led Pope John Paul II to excommunicate him from the Roman Catholic Church.

A woman can do a good imitation of handling ideas, but then she will not be thinking properly as a woman

Bishop Williamson

Bishop Williamson has claimed that the United States planned the attacks of 9/11, and has accused Freemasons of conspiring against the Church.
He also has controversial attitudes towards women. He is quoted as saying: "A woman can do a good imitation of handling ideas, but then she will not be thinking properly as a woman. Did this lawyeress check her hairdo before coming into court? If she did, she is a distracted lawyer. If she did not, she is one distorted woman."

Richard Williamson was born an Anglican, the son of a vicar, in 1940. He went to Winchester College and read literature at Cambridge University, before teaching in Africa and converting to Catholicism in 1971.
He became a member of the Society of St Pius X, which had been founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970 to counter the reforms in the Church made by the Second Vatican Council during the previous decade.

Richard Williamson was a novice at the London Oratory, studied at Lefebvre's seminary and was ordained a priest in 1976. Archbishop Lefebvre announced in 1988 that he intended to ordain Fr Williamson, and three other priests, as bishops, and did so despite warnings that he would be excommunicated.

The Vatican has said it was unaware of Bishop Williamson's views about the Holocaust when it decided to cancel his excommunication. But, given that they have not been exactly secret, the explanation seems unlikely to pacify Jewish critics of the decision.

As recently as March last year, Bishop Williamson described as "authentic" the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which purports to reveal Jewish plots to achieve world domination. The document is considered to be a forgery, which originated in Tsarist Russia.

Bishop Williamson denies prejudice against Jews. He said, "My definition of anti-Semitism is to be against every single Jew purely because he's a Jew. That's not at all my case. I once had a Jewish rabbi come and speak to seminarians. Does that sound to you like anti-Semitism?"
Rehabilitation

Just how complete is Bishop Williamson's rehabilitation? He is regarded as a bishop; his ordination, although "illicit" was "valid". But Bishop Williamson - and the other three "illicit" bishops - will continue to be forbidden from practising as bishops. There is no immediate sign that the Society of Pius X will itself be welcomed back into the fold by the Pope.

Some liberal Catholics say Bishop Williamson and his colleagues have had their excommunications rescinded only because they are validly ordained bishops. Fr Thomas Reese of Georgetown University suggests that because the four men could ordain other bishops (validly, if illicitly) "the schism can go on forever".

Fr Reese continues: "If the bishops ordain more bishops, they will again suffer excommunication. If the bishops refrain from ordaining new bishops, the schism ends when these four bishops die even if they are not reconciled with the pope. If lifting the excommunication is the price for keeping the bishops from ordaining more bishops, then in the view of the Vatican it is a cheap price to pay".
I bet he felt right at home in Argentina too. So many good friends waiting for him there.