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Blog

Filtering by Tag: Vatican

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.

Jews Severing Ties with the Vatican

Thomas Whitley

A USA Today article (found here) speaks of Israel’s chief rabbinate severing its ties with the Vatican.

Israel’s chief rabbinate severed ties with the Vatican on Wednesday to protest a papal decision to reinstate a bishop who publicly denied 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

The Jewish state’s highest religious authority sent a letter to the Holy See expressing “sorrow and pain” at the papal decision. “It will be very difficult for the chief rabbinate of Israel to continue its dialogue with the Vatican as before,” the letter said. Chief rabbis of both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews were parties to the letter.

This is quite saddening, as their relationship had been quite good since 2000 when the relationship was formally made by Pope John Paul II’s visit to Jerusalem. I cannot say, thought, that I find fault in the move of these Jews. The Church needs to realize that there are consequences to their actions.

B16 “expressed his ‘full and indisputable solidarity’ with Jews.” These words seem to be too little, too late. The old adage proves once again to be true: actions speak louder than words. The Pope’s action of reinstating Bishop Williamson has been heard around the world, while his verbal solidarity with Jews is but a whisper.

NB: Thanks to my mom for sharing the article with me.