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The Pope’s problems grow .. Holocaust issues come back to haunt him

The German born pope, Pope Benedict XVI, was known to be different from the previous pope, John Paul II in that he was more disciplined, known to be more rigid in his beliefs, and pretty soon he had shown how he could stoke controversy. In one sermon, he declared words against Prophet Mohammed, the person who is revered in Islam as the conveyor of God’s words, something that led to wide-spread resentment in the Islamic word. And now, he seems to be acting in a way that is sure to raise the hackles of Jews the world over. In seeking to bring about a settlement with a sect that has been separate since 1970, he has taken in a Bishop who doubts the Holocaust, and denies that Jews were ever gassed in death chambers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the Vatican’s clarifications over the readmission of a bishop who queries the Holocaust do not go far enough. “In my opinion these clarifications are not yet sufficient,” Mrs Merkel said. A row erupted last month after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, who had said no Nazi gas chambers existed.

Last November, British-born Bishop Williamson angered Jewish leaders across the world when he told Swedish TV: “I believe there were no gas chambers [during World War II].” He is one of four bishops, who are members of the Society of Pius X, whose excommunication was lifted last month by the Pope.
The Society of St Pius X was founded by a French Archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, in 1970 as a protest against the Second Vatican Council’s reforms on religious freedom and pluralism.

The Vatican has a very efficient bureaucracy, so it is hard to believe that the Vatican did not know the nature of the view of Bishop Williamson; more likely the Vatican would not have calculated that such a storm would be raised over this issue.

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