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Bishop Williamson must RECANT says Pope

Before the papal court
At the behest of the Vatican, Bishop Richard Williamson apologized for offense caused by his statements regarding WWII historical records of the Nazi concentration camps. But Pope Benedict weighed the bishop’s statement as insufficient. Now he’s demanding a full retraction before he will reconsider the latter’s excommunication. Being urged to recant may be a scandal in papal circles, but history buffs and cineasts have only ever seen truth-clinging heretics assailed with cries to “RECANT!”

Google it yourself. Oddly this development puts Bishop Williamson in esteemed scientific and theological company. But this is just historical revisionism. Especially aimed against closely held popular beliefs, revisiting the official version of the Holocaust is like backing a losing horse still too early after the “fact.” However, has blasphemy ever met with other than an officially disgusted welcome? Certainly the challenging argument only compounds its offense by deeming to compare itself to earlier, now orthodox, heresy.

One might well wonder where this episode is leading. Has the Pope been oblivious to the Holocaust issue, as his spokesmen would have us believe, or is the German pontiff deviously reopening the official discussion?

As with any reform, leaders may be receptive, but know in the meanwhile that their subjects are the hardest to win over. The brunt of resistance is thus diverted toward the heretic, until the case is made. Only in the movies do champions of the status quo look unbecoming in defeat. In the real world the holdouts are populist champions representing the overwhelming majority of adherents.

Bishop Richard Williamson’s public statements have caused great offense, and the Pope’s recent move to make peace with the renegade Williamson, among others, has reignited the fury of the Bishop’s critics. But of what import do non-Catholic opinions have on the subject of how the Vatican administrates its ranks? Surely a bishop’s personal, non-religious views, soon return to obscurity.

By throwing the ball back in the Bishop’s court, Pope Benedict unquestionably directs the media spotlight back on the “question” of the Holocaust. It’s hard to imagine that he expects anything other than a firm committed stand by the bishop. What are men of faith but what they believe?

At stake is more than the rehabilitation of Bishop Williamson, but the soul of modern Germany. A re-characterization of the Nazi death camps would mean reassessing the collective guilt of Europe’s non-Jews. It might also mean a reprieve for the German People whose national identity for generations has been defined by their participation in the most unspeakable of evils.

I’m not sure why the Pope’s having once been a Hitler Youth is always dismissed out of hand. Although perhaps, for the sake of argument, that’s as it should.

The Vatican might also gain something themselves by bringing more light to critical analysis of the Holocaust. They could be seeking a possible mitigation of their infamous role in the Nazi genocide. There’s no escaping the evidence that the Catholic church collaborated with Hitler. If they can paint his “Final Solution” as less homicidal, their actions can perhaps be adjudged as more pragmatic.

4 thoughts on “Bishop Williamson must RECANT says Pope

  1. Let’s hypothesize that a Prelate were to say “After carefully weighing all the evidence I have concluded that non-white people are inferior in intellect to whites”–and then, in response to the ensuing uproar, said “I’m sincerely sorry that my opinion has offended people”–it would be clear that the Prelate’s opinion had not changed. Now, we are all entitled to our views–but it is perfectly reasonable for the Church in which this Prelate occupies a position of authority and power would want to dissociate itself from the odious opinion in question. So, too, in this instance. Bishop Williamson, who has also suggested that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is authentic, and made similarly repellant statements about women, ought to be free to think whatever he likes–but NOT as a high-ranking part of the Roman Catholic Church. To insist, as some have done, that there’s no evidence that Williamson is antisemitic is pure sophistry. Williamson is exactly what he shows himself to be and as such, should not be an official part of one ofn the world’s major religions.

  2. And if it’s true that the Prelate hasn’t changed his opinion one jot — and who ever actually changes a long-held opinion simply because someone in authority demands it? — then why would the Pope, or anyone else, take comfort in Bishop Williamson’s recantation? Why would they “grant” forgiveness for what they know is a disingenuous disavowal?

    It’s like people who force their children to “say you’re sorry. Say you’re sorry or else!” What a complete bunch of shit! I scoff at the simpletons who won’t do the hard work of disabusing a child of an erroneous notion and will instead grant absolution for a superficial apology.

    By all means, Bishop Williamson, RECANT. And do it with a snotty smirky supercilious countenance that will have Pope Whatshisname shouting from the pulpit, “You wipe that look off your face or I’ll do it for you!”

  3. This whole dispute, if you will call it that?, only goes to show that there are multiple forms of Holocaust denial, and that people who deny Holocausts in which they play a part in making often go at each other coming from multiple angles.

    The Zionists (Christian and Jewish both), makers of many of their own Holocausts (Palestine and Iraq to mention just two) go after the Pope to put pressure on this Bishop. Well the Pope is a denier of the Catholic role in many Holocausts, the Nazi one being big in this regard. He hypocritically goes after the Bishop, who is a denier of the scope of the Nazi Holocaust in WW2. And I guess the Roma people, the Native Americans, and the Black community of multiple nations all look on in total disbelief?

    Speaking of another Holocaust denial. That is the trial of Khmer Rouge Cambodian officials, while the UN which enabled Henry Kissinger to slaughter hundreds of thousands of Cambodians presides over this farcical charade. The world press, which printed all the lies enabling US intervention against the peoples of SE Asia, reports the doings all with a straight face!

  4. Is there no place in the church for anti-Semitism? It’s a fundamental principle according to the pre-Vatican II holdouts, although not in the bigoted sense. If all religions believe in the supremacy of their claim to know the right god –some even advertising that their salvation will be to the exclusion of others– maybe the only place for anti-denominational discrimination is a church.

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