BELEAGUERED Pope Ratzinger is in the midst of a new row this week after a deranged Holocaust-denying bishop – Richard Williamson – blamed Jews for the killing of Christ.
UK-based Williamson, according to the Guardian, wrote in his blog that:
The killing of Jesus was truly deicide and that only the Jews (leaders and people) were the prime agents of the deicide because it is obvious from the gospels that the gentile most involved, Pontius Pilate â€¦ would never have condemned Jesus to death had not the Jewish leaders roused the Jewish people to clamour for his crucifixion.
Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors are furious, and the Vatican is being urged to suspend unity talks with ultra-traditionalist Catholics until their movement pledges to stop bad-mouthing Jews.
The Vatican is reportedly in reconciliation talks with the ultra-traditionalist splinter group to which Williamson belongs, the Society of St Pius X.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt of the European Council of Rabbis said:
Last month, Régis de Cacqueray, the head of the French SSPX chapter, also accused Jews of deicide.
We call upon the Catholic Church to suspend negotiations with extremist Catholic tendencies until it is clear that these groups show a clear commitment to tackling anti-semitism within their ranks.
Comments like these take us back decades to the dark days before there was a meaningful and mutually respectful dialogue between Jews and Roman Catholics. There must be no rapprochement within the Catholic church for those of its flock who seek to preach words of hate.
The Vatican has said SSPX will have to sign up to core teachings if they are to reintegrate, although it has not stated what these are. Four SSPX bishops, including Williamson, were excommunicated in 1988 when they were illegally ordained. But the Vatican lifted Williamson’s excommunication on the very day that his Holocaust-denying remarks were widely-reported. The decision appalled Jewish leaders, with many suspending contact with the Vatican as a result.
Williamson has repeatedly ignored pleas to retract his remarks and not even Ratzinger has managed to get the old fool to recant.
The Guardian says the fresh row is a further embarrassment to Ratzinger, who is preparing to host a summit of world faith leaders in Assisi, Italy, next week as part of his interreligious outreach programme.