Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ratzi's Backlash

It's certainly none of my business who the Pope decides to kick out of or let back in his little club, but I'm nonetheless amused by his latest controversy. Last month, he lifted the excommunication of four bishops from a regressive sect that yearns for the pre-Vatican II days to return. Part of that group was Richard Williamson who is, of all things, a Holocaust denier:

Last November, British-born Bishop Williamson angered Jewish leaders across the world when he told Swedish TV: 'I believe there were no gas chambers [during World War II].'

He said he believed that up '300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers'.
If you're new to the lunacy that his Holocaust denial, historian Deborah Lipstadt takes Williamson's statements (which are pretty standard for that crowd) apart here.

Not surprisingly, Ratzi's decision has perplexed and offended lots of folks, including German chancellor Angela Merkel. Jewish groups are none too happy, as you might expect. I just don't see the positive side in his decision. But, like I said, I'm hardly an expert on inside Catholic politics, so maybe he has a good reason to welcome back an anti-Semite denialist.

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