Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bishop Williamson Apologizes



LONDON, FEB. 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly excommunicated member of the Society of St. Pius X, apologized today for statements in which he denied the extent of the Holocaust.
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In a statement published on his return to London on Wednesday after being expelled by the government of Argentina, the prelate explained that "the Holy Father and my superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy."
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Bishop Williamson continued, "Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them."
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The prelate said that on Swedish television he only gave the "opinion [...] of a non-historian," a perspective "formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available, and rarely expressed in public since."
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However, he recognized, "the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused."
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He added, "To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said, before God I apologize." - Source
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Very good. Did you know some traditionalists objected to the fact John Paul II apologized for historical sins committed by Catholics in the name of the Church? I wonder what such hardliners will say about the Bishop's apology?

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Photo: Williamson returning to London. Source

7 comments:

  1. michael r.3:01 PM

    Yes, I wonder how this will go down. It's obvious that his apology is for any harm that was caused by his comments. I would doubt that his opinion has changed on the holocaust, yet. Let's hope that he starts studying history.

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  2. Michael, you said concisely (and charitably) exactly what I was going to say.

    It's a start, I know, but I think that the Holocaust attitude is part of a deeper attitude. A symptom, not the disease, if you will. And I think that the disease is a communicable one that has spread through the bulk of the SSPX, and sadly has started to wear down the immunity in the trad circles which are in communion with Rome.

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  3. I researched this before posting. I discovered that Levebre's father suffered at the hands of the Nazis; that was stated as a defense for the SSPX against those who accuse them of being holocaust deniers. All of them are not of course, but they are there.

    Simply because one's father suffered under the Nazis does not exonnerate ant-Semitism.

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  4. Thom - we were writing at the same time! That's special.

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  5. Fr. Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, stated today that this apology does not meet what the Vatican asked of him. Let's hope and pray that those in the SSPX who hold such positions can open themselves more to truth and charity, and the unity the Pope desires be realized.

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  6. Archbishop Lefevre's father did more than suffer in a camp. The Nazi's killed him.

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  7. Dymphna, so what's your point? They killed millions.

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