If religion or the state have any claim, any claim at all, to speak the truth, then religious or state leaders who tell the BIG LIE must be refuted so loudly and so often that they can no longer speak and be believed.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on February 9, 2009 9:11 AM
"Never forget" is the admonition Jews often use when referring to the Holocaust. With modern deniers like Iran's Ahmadinejad and Bishop Williamson, it is a useful reminder that others want us to forget for evil ends.
The Holy Father's initial failure to confront Williamson's anti-Semitism had the unintended effect of amplifying the schismatic Bishop's most extreme pronouncements much in the way that sound echoes and reverberates in the quiet of an empty building.
Posted by Mathew N. Schmalz, on February 9, 2009 4:51 AM
Why is the Vatican putting so much effort into reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X? The real reason is because these men are bishops. If they were simple priests, the Vatican would not give them the time of day.
Posted by Thomas J. Reese, S.J., on February 6, 2009 12:50 PM
Holocaust deniers have the right to their opinion, just like any one else does. They have the right to publicly declare their opinions, to publish them, and promote them. In response, the rest of us have the right, even the duty, to disagree with them, and to take them to task for shoddy history, or religious/racist prejudice.
Posted by Pamela K. Taylor, on February 6, 2009 8:08 AM
By talking to the fool and offering to restore communion to him, the Pope appeared to make light of the wickedness and folly. The Vatican had to quickly acknowledge this danger and clarify that no bishop could be in full communion who wickedly denied the reality and horror of the Holocaust.
Posted by John Mark Reynolds, on February 6, 2009 3:47 AM
Pope Benedict is trying to reconcile a group of Catholics who have been out of communion with the Church. Bishop Williamson happens to be part of that group. The fact that he is delusional and a victim of his own brand of self-righteous finger-pointing and bigotry, although unfortunate, is purely a coincidence.
Posted by Matt Maher, on February 6, 2009 12:00 AM
Holocaust denial is not just a harmless human quirk; it is founded upon vicious and calculated propaganda and promoted for malicious political, racial and religious ends. Those who deny the Holocaust should not just be ignored, but hunted and persecuted.
Posted by Adin Steinsaltz, on February 5, 2009 12:18 AM
A total ban on engaging Holocaust deniers is a convenient way to ignore the real challenge of engaging people with ugly views. And those are usually the most important people to engage. The real choice one has to make is which deniers to ignore and which to engage.
Posted by Brad Hirschfield, on February 4, 2009 7:39 AM
Benedict is a good man, a competent scholar, and a faithful celebrant in all the holy orders of the Roman Catholic Church. But, like everybody else, popes sometimes make disastrous decisions with consequences the size of their power, in their case monarchic.
How refreshing it would be were Benedict to repent of this disastrous decision!
Posted by Willis E. Elliott, on February 4, 2009 12:16 AM