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Good Move, Pope

Thomas Whitley

Even if it has taken worldwide outrage at his decision, the Pope has said that

Bishop Richard Williamson must “unequivocally” distance himself from his statements to serve in the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a good move, indeed, but I am concerned about another part:

The Vatican also said that the Pope had not been aware of the bishop’s views when he lifted excommunications on him and three other bishops last month.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is in charge of relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Jewish leaders, admitted different parts of the Vatican administration had not talked enough to each other, and failed to check where problems could arise.

This begs the question of what exactly the Vatican tries to find out before they reinstate someone and what B16 was thinking by not making sure that the necessary research had been done. I am certainly glad that the Vatican has made this move (also requiring all 4 bishops being reinstated to accept Vatican II, which should have been required from the beginning) and corrected the potentially corrected the mistake, but this casts a lot of doubt on the leadership of B16. This is a quite immature problem to have. It is not like Bishop Williamson made his Holocaust denying statements after the reinstatement. He has been making them for some time now, even as recently as November 2008 on Swedish television. How does that clip not make its way across the desk of whatever committee deals with reinstatements?

Note: Information comes from this BBC article.