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Pope to address Jews after bishop denies Holocaust

Posted by tothewire on February 8, 2009

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Israel’s chief Rabbinate is resuming dialogue with the Vatican after freezing ties over a Holocaust-denying bishop and the pope will meet major Jewish groups to try to make amends, a Church source said on Saturday.

 

The Rabbinate pulled out of a meeting with Vatican officials scheduled for March 1-4 in the midst of an international outcry over Pope Benedict’s lifting of the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including Richard Williamson, who denies the full extent of the Holocaust.

 

The meeting will now take place in late February or mid-March and will most likely include a papal audience.

 

Next Thursday, the pope will hold a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO) and make an address about the Holocaust and the dangers of Holocaust denial, the source said.

 

It will be the first between the pope and Jewish leaders since the start of the controversy, which many have said has undermined nearly half a century of Catholic-Jewish dialogue.

 

The Thursday meeting is particularly significant because of the influence and scope of the CPMAJO, an umbrella group that includes 51 organizations, including the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League.

 

Williamson told Swedish television in an interview broadcast on January 21: “I believe there were no gas chambers.” He said no more than 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, rather than the 6 million accepted by most historians.

 

Among those who condemned Williamson and the pope’s decision were Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, members of the U.S. Congress, German Jewish leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

 

VATICAN DAMAGE CONTROL CONTINUES

 

The Vatican has been at pains since the excommunications where lifted on January 24 to contain the damage from the Williamson affair. The pope expressed his full solidarity with Jews and later the Vatican ordered Williamson to recant.

 

Williamson, who lives in Argentina and communicates to the outside world through his blog, has not yet done so. The Vatican said last Wednesday that the pope had not been aware of Williamson’s denial of the Holocaust when the pontiff lifted the excommunications in an attempt to start healing a 20-year-old schism.

 

Germany’s Spiegel magazine on Saturday quoted Williamson as saying he must review historical evidence on the Holocaust before considering an apology to Jews.

 

“I ask everyone to believe me that I did not deliberately say something false. I was, on the basis of my research in the 1980s, convinced of the accuracy of my comments. Now I must examine everything again and look at the evidence,” he said.

 

Williamson has apologized to the pope “for the unnecessary distress” he caused him but has not apologized to Jews.

 

The row over Williamson has led many to take a closer look at the SSPX, its view of Jews and its future in the Church.

The Vatican says the traditionalist movement the bishop belongs to, the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), must accept all teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, which urged respect for Judaism and other religions.

 

Traditionalists reject most of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. One of its key documents, “Nostra Aetate” (In Our Times) repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Christ’s death.

By Philip Pullella

 

(Additional reporting by Paul Carrel in Berlin; Editing by Matthew Jones)

 

 http://www.reuters.com

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4 Responses to “Pope to address Jews after bishop denies Holocaust”

  1. fadingad said

    Look at the role the Church played in France during WWII aiding in the deportment of Jews. Secretly, individual priests and parishes participated in acts of kindness and saved Jews, but not by sanction. Examine the role of the Eastern Orthodox church during the days of the Czar and pogroms. And who remembers the Crusades? Not a kindly act in the name of Anyone.

    The Turks deny the genocide of the Armenians. The Serbians will deny their vicious acts on the masses of Islamic Serbs and Bosnians. It won’t be long before Hutus deny the massacre of Tutsis.

    All throughout the Eastern-bloc countries from 1945 through the present, holocaust denialist propaganda was taught in schools. My partner has had heated arguments with former Bulgarian workers who claimed to have been scholars in their country.

    What America & Spain did to the indigenous North, Central & South Americans seems unforgivable. Even today, missionaries are trying to “evangelize” Amazonians with the pretense of helping them. And now that we have an African-American President, can America reconcile over three hundred years of oppression without a public decree? The Book of Leviticus was used to justify slavery just as it is used to justify the oppression of homosexuals.

    When your brother is reduced to poverty and sells himself to you, you shall not use him to work for you as a slave…. Such slaves as you have, male or female, shall come from the nations round about you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy the children of those who have settled and lodge with you and such of their family as are born in the land. These may become your property, and you may leave them to your sons after you; you may use them as slaves permanently.

    Leviticus 25: 39-46

    The problem is religion. Until religions re-write their intolerance, there will be no tolerance. There is a growing intolerance in this country of non-believers. I applaud President Obama for addressing us in his Inaugural Speech.

    I think it is high time that non-believers got a day off from work- a “non-believers un-holiday.”

    We can call it Stayahomadan, Passunder or Wester or (What do you think it should be called?)

    And on this day all people – believers and non-believers – shall embrace “otherness.”

    Maybe it should be called Othermas.

    Like

  2. Lawman2 said

    frank you are right of course.differentiating between sacred and profane objects, places, and times helps religious believers focus on transcendental values and/or the existence of a supernatural realm.religions tend to suffer from one of two problems: they are either too narrow and exclude many belief systems which most agree are religions, or they are too vague and ambiguous, suggesting that just about anything and everything is a religion.

    here is a quote “I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
    -President George Bush

    and a site explaining how christians should report atheist to the FBI
    How to Spot Atheists and Report Them to the FBI @ http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0503/atheists.html

    i am and will always remain an atheist…now you have a page that helps you identify and turn us in!

    Like

  3. Lawman2 said

    this one is my favorite and it is listed as number 1 on this site

    1. Usually Atheists are pale of skin. They spend a lot of times indoors, because they are afraid to come outside. They believe the preposterous lie that Christians are trying to kill them, when in fact, all that we really want to do is force a quick conversion or to kindly place them in a maximum security prison for their own protection from devout Christians who may try to kill them. Many Atheists will try to throw you off by spending time absorbing carcinogens in tanning beds, so it important to remember in hunting Atheists that many, if not most, have very dark skin, too. CAUTION: Do not confuse these artificially dark folks with genuine Negroes. Real Coloreds need to be watched carefully around anything of value, but do not need to be brought to the Lord, as they all unblinkingly accepted Jesus as their loving God during Biblically-sanctioned slavery.

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  4. Lawman2 said

    othermas!that would make a great post!

    Like

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