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Holocaust Denying Bishop Apologizes ... Sort Of

Thomas Whitley

Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, reported today (original article can be found here) that Bishop Richard Williamson, who has recently been reinstated from his 20-year long excommunication by Pope B16, has written a letter and apologized. This letter, though contains no remorse for what was actually said about the Holocaust.

The letter was posted on Williamson’s personal blog and addressed to Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who has been dealing with the rehabilitation of Williamson and other renegade bishops who had been excommunicated. The Holocaust denial had outraged Jewish groups and many others. It was not immediately clear if Williamson’s letter, which contained no apology for the content of his remarks, would ease that anger.

“Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems,” Williamson wrote.

If you ask me, which you obviously did because you’re reading this on my blog, I’d say this isn’t much of an apology. It’s like the child who is sorry that he got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar, but who isn’t actually sorry he stole them. It smacks of immaturity and recklessness.

While some Jews have severed ties with the Vatican, Mordechay Lewy, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, “said the Jewish state has good relations with the Vatican, despite the flap over Williamson’s comments.”

I’m in agreement with the some 50 Catholic members of the US Congress in their letter to B16:

“We do not question your reasons for revoking the excommunication of Bishop Williamson or your right to do so, but we fail to understand why the revocation was not accompanied by an emphatic public rejection of his denial of the Holocaust,” the letter said.

“The bishop’s remarks about the Holocaust echo those of neo-Nazis, Islamist extremists, racists and others who choose hatred and violence over peaceful co-existence among peoples of all races and ethnicities.”