Sunday, January 25, 2009
Wisdom of the Patriarchs
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including that of a Holocaust denier whose rehabilitation sparked outrage among Jewish groups.
The four bishops were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by the late ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent — a move the Vatican said at the time was an act of schism.
The Vatican said Saturday that Benedict rehabilitated the four as part of his efforts to bring Lefebvre's Society of St. Pius X back into the Vatican's fold.
But the move came just days after one of the four, British Bishop Richard Williamson, was shown in a Swedish state TV interview saying that historical evidence "is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed."
We can always count on a priest for a rational explanation:
While Williamson's comments may be offensive and erroneous, they are not an excommunicable offense, said Monsignor Robert Wister, professor of church history at Immaculate Conception School of Theology at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
"To deny the Holocaust is not a heresy even though it is a lie," he said. "The excommunication can be lifted because he is not a heretic, but he remains a liar."
Labels: in the news, religion
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson