February 28, 2009
I once read a caveat about words – that even God can’t kill them once they’re said. I don’t know if that’s theologically correct, but it applies in my mind to Richard Williamson, the pseudo-bishop who thinks the Holocaust has been exaggerated if it took place at all. Williamson is a reactionary who wouldn’t accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and went off into the ultraconservative Pius IX society to play at being a Medieval Catholic. Among the games was his ordination as a bishop. Benedict XVI, trying to end the schism, agreed to allow Williamson and four other priests back into the Church, but Williamson embarrassed the pope and made himself a laughing stock by questioning in an interview many aspects of the Holocaust that are well documented – by the Nazis themselves, among others. The Vatican responded to the furor that followed that statement by saying Williamson would have to recant that statement if he expected to function as a Catholic bishop. All he has done is issue a statement saying that he’s sorry he caused such a fuss. The Vatican rejected that statement and said again that Williamson must explicitly disavow any question about the reality and the dimensions of the crimes committed against Jews and others during World War II. There was nothing ambiguous about the Vatican’s position, so Williamson’s statement was obviously disingenuous. No matter what he says now, he should not function as a priest, never mind a bishop. Instead, he should be put to work recording the reminiscences of the GIs who liberated those death camps.