Richard Williamson and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month
Posted by sanityinjection on February 9, 2009
My apologies to Judith Viorst and poor Alexander for the disreputable comparison. But I couldn’t resist.
Here we thought President Obama was the only one having problems with the search firm vetting his people. Looks like Pope Benedict uses the same firm.
See, the Pope wanted to lift the excommunication of a handful of arch-conservative bishops from the Society of St. Pius X who had been kicked out years ago because of their refusal to accept the reforms of the Vatican II Council. Recent clarifications of church doctrine, such as the decision to allow the Latin Mass again as an option for parishes that request it, have helped to close the gap between the bishops and the Vatican.
Unfortunately for the Pope, this decision stirred up a whole mess of trouble because one of the bishops, Richard Williamson, is an open denier of the Holocaust. Naturally, Jewish groups protested the move to reinstate Williamson in the strongest possible terms, arguing that to do so would be to signal that Williamson’s views are acceptable in the Catholic Church. In an encouraging sign, these protests were echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and by the organization of German Catholic bishops.
Stung by the criticism, the Vatican at first stuck to its guns, but then ordered Williamson to recant his views as a condition of readmission to the Church, claiming that the Vatican didn’t know about Williamson’s views before making the decision to lift his excommunication.
So here was Richard Williamson, looking forward to being restored to the good graces of the Church, and now this comes along. In an interview with German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, Williamson now says his denial of the Holocaust was simply based on his assessment of the evidence, which he will now “re-examine”. Unfortunately for Williamson, all this attention has caused all sorts of his previous public statements to be re-publicized. It’s clear from Williamson’s previous speeches and interviews that his Holocaust denial is hardly an intellectual matter, but rather is part and parcel of a pattern of overt anti-Semitism.
Now Williamson has lost his legal fight to prevent one of his old interviews from being spread on the Internet. (For those who appreciate irony, the court that ruled against Williamson is in Nuremberg.) And on Sunday, Williamson was dimissed from his position as the head of a Catholic seminary in Argentina. On top of it all, German prosecutors are now investigating Williamson for possible charges of incitement in connection with his Holocaust denial.
It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the guy, until you read quotes like these:
“There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies.”
“…the Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel.”
Here is a photo of Williamson:
Gosh, he looks like a sweet guy.
Personally, I long for the day when those who deny the Holocaust will be viewed in much the same way as those who maintain that the earth is flat: crackpots who are no danger to anybody. Unfortunately, we have not yet arrived at that day. There are still too many people in the world who are receptive to such a re-writing of history. Williamson should have the right to hold these opinions and say these things if he so chooses, but he should not expect to be allowed to hold any position in the Catholic Church or any other reputable establishment if he continues to espouse anti-Semitic hatred.