Fo’ real, Benedict? I mean, really?
Pope Benedict XVI has been pursuing a splinter group of ultra-conservative Catholics called the Society of Saint Pius X, to bring them back into the fold. He has made several concessions to them, some of which are quite insensitive to Judaism.
He has allowed the Latin Mass back, which on Good Friday includes a prayer for the conversion of Jews. Pretty obnoxious.
But more gravely, he has de-excommunicated (“rehabilitated” in Catholic parlance) a Holocaust-semi-denier, Bishop Richard Williamson.
From the New York Times:
[T]he British-born Richard Williamson has made a number of statements denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews, as accepted by mainstream historians.
In comments to Swedish television broadcast Wednesday, he said “I believe there were no gas chambers” and only up to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, instead of 6 million.
…”I believe that the historical evidence is hugely against 6 million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.”
Oh, so it was an accident then? COME ON. What’s the purpose of denying part or all of the Holocaust, if not to paint Jews as liars who don’t “deserve” sympathy for what happened to their community.
Benedict really f’ed this one. And his spokesmen didn’t have anything helpful to say. Their statements amounted to “We just don’t really care how this effects our relationship with Jews.”
The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions), American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consulation, Anti-Defamation League, and American Jewish Council have all voiced their concern.
This is the same Pope that pissed off Muslims worldwide by quoting an Islamophobic ancient text, saying:
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
Makes me long for the good old days of Pope John Paul, I tell you.
UPDATE: “Bishop” Williamson: The Sound of Music Is too Pro-Liberty and too Anti-Nazi