January 29, 2009

Rabbis may halt Vatican talks over Holocaust-denying priest

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has threatened to break off normal dialogue with the Vatican over its decision to lift the excommunication of a Catholic priest who claimed that no Jews died in gas chambers during the second world war.

In a letter to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with Jewry, officials from Israel's supreme religious governing body warned that without a public apology from the priest it would be "very difficult to continue dialogue with the Vatican as before". The letter called on the priest, British-born Richard Williamson, to recant his "deplorable" statement.

The letter said: "You will appreciate that under such circumstances it would be wiser for us to postpone our next meeting in Rome at the beginning of March until this matter is clarified."

It is the fiercest criticism yet of the papal decree, issued last weekend, aimed at rehabilitating members of a traditionalist Catholic order - the Society of St Pius X - one of whose clerics is a Holocaust denier.

Williamson, who now lives in Argentina, had claimed in a television interview that historical evidence was "hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler ... I believe there were no gas chambers."

Alongside three bishops, Williamson was excommunicated 20 years ago after being consecrated by French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent.

The letter, signed by Oded Weiner, the director of the Chief Rabbinate, said: "Even if the move in itself was not intended in any way to relate to the church's relationship with the Jewish people, when it involves the embrace of someone who publicly expresses such odious and outrageous opinions, then it definitely does affect our relationship."

Yesterday Weiner told the Guardian the Rabbinate was demanding an explanation from the Vatican. "This relationship is very important for us and the Holy See. We have not cut ties with them. We are saying the matter has to be clarified. They are aware of the pain and sensitivity and they will consider it and send it up to the highest authorities."

His comments came as the pope made his first public remarks on interfaith relations. Referring to his recent commemoration of the Holocaust, he highlighted how at Auschwitz "millions of Jews were cruelly massacred, innocent victims of blind racial and religious hatred". At his weekly audience, yesterday Benedict XVI told thousands: "I once again affectionately express my full and indisputable solidarity with our brothers and sisters who received the first covenant. I trust that the memory of the Shoah will induce humankind to reflect upon the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man."

The row, however, shows no immediate sign of abating. The Nobel peace prize winner and death camp survivor, Elie Wiesel, said that the pope, by lifting the excommunications, had given credence to "the most vulgar aspect of antisemitism".

In an interview with Reuters, Wiesel said: "What does the pope think we feel when he did that?"

Guardian

2 comments:

Liberator_Rev said...

The Catholic hierarchy is so close to fascism that there's been no need to lift the excommunication of the most monstrous of fascist Roman Catholics, as it never excommunicated them in the first place.
The leadership of the Nazi regime was a virtual Catholic men's group, a chapter you might say of the Knights of Columbus or Knights of Malta.
Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hoess, Julius Streicher, Fritz Thyssen (who bankrolled the Nazi rise to power), Klaus Barbie, and Franz Von Papen were all Roman Catholics, as were
+ Leon Degrelle who headed the Nazi state of Belgium,
+ Emil Hacha who headed the Nazi state of Bohemia-Moravia,
+ Ante Pavelic who headed the Nazi state of Croatia,
+ Konrad Henlein who headed the Nazi state of Sudetenland,
+ Pierre Laval and then Henry Petain who headed the Nazi state of Vichy-France.
+ the priest, Msgr. Josef Tiso, who headed the Nazi state of Slovakia.
(who wasn't even defrocked after the defeat of the Nazis).
Although these were among the most visible Catholic lay people in their countries at the time, did Pope Pius XII excommunicate a single one of them? NO. How can anyone say that this pope did "all that he could", when he failed to take this obvious measure so as to make it clear to the millions of Catholic faithful who were enabling the Nazis to carry out their campaigns of mass murder, not only against Jews, but against their fellow Catholics in Poland, that they should have no part in these monstrous of crimes and most mortal of sins? Apologists for Pius XII who claim that their crimes caused these people to be "automatically excommunicated" miss the point that excommunication isn't intended to tell GOD who is a Catholic and who isn't but to tell THE FAITHFUL whom to shun.
On the other hand, after the Nazis were defeated and no longer posed any threat to the pope, the Vatican, or the Catholic Church anywhere, did Pope Pius XII allow the Vatican to be used to protect thousands of Catholic war criminals such as the above to escape punishment for their war crimes? YES. Whose side was the pope on?
Here are some of the more infamous war criminals the Vatican protected from prosecution:
Adolf Eichmann, "the architect of the Holocaust", ,
Alois Brunner , referred to as his "best man" by Eichman,
Dr. Josef Mengele, "the Angel of Death" ,
Franz Stangl, commandant of the Sobibór and of Treblinka extermination camp ,
Gustav Wagner assistant to Franz Stangl,
Klaus Barbie, "the Butcher of Lyon" ,
Edward Roschmann, "the Butcher of Riga",
Aribert Heim, Mauthausen concentration camp's "Dr. Death",
Walter Rauff, believed responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths
Andrija Artuković, "the Himmler of the Balkans"
Ante Pavelić, head of Catholic Croatia, arguably the most murderous regime in relation to its size in Axis-occupied Europe.
from JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/NaziLeadership.html

& JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/Hitlersfaith.html

Rah said...

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