Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reversed Course: Kudos on the dismissal of the Holocaust denier Bishop Williamson as the head of the Argentine seminary where he officiated. One must give credit where it is due. Bravo to the Church for its rejection statements of that bishop and its attempt to repair, yet again, its near irreparable schism with the Jewish people. It shows one what can happen when large numbers of people protest and reject in outrage historically inaccurate and damaging comments.

The promulgation of the 1965 Vatican II first by Pope John XXIII and then by his successor Pope Paul VI condemned historical and modern day anti-Semitism. It showed what a positive effect the Church can have on long entrenched virulent human behavior. The Church's document Nostra Aetate within Vatican II changed, hopefully forever, the Church's relationship to the Jews. It ultimately lead to John Paul II (a Bishop at that time) who recognized and ultimately atoned for whatever complicity the Church shared in the events that led up to the worst horror in human history, the Holocaust. Surprisingly, a then Father Joseph Ratinzger -- now Pope Benedict VI -- was a theological consultant to it. The statements of a heretofore excommunicated Bishop Williamson and his acceptance back into the Church by Pope Benedict the VI threatened to overturn that arduously achieved reality.

It must have been, indeed, a huge outrage which would force the Vatican to reverse course so quickly as it is rare for it to change in such short order and, indeed, is often slow when change does, in fact, occur over time. I do continue to question, too, whether the Vatican, as it claims, did not know Bishop Williamson's views. In the age of Google that is, indeed, hard to believe. Nonetheless, I accept a reverse course and laud them for it. This time the Vatican and the Argentine seminary from whence Bishop Williamson emerged did the right thing.


I post the link to the New York Times story below:


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/world/europe/10pope.html