Thursday, February 12, 2009
"Checking in with our experts at MJH..."
English Bishop Richard Williamson was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1988 for being ordained as a bishop without papal permission. This January, Pope Benedict XVI revoked the excommunication. So what makes this a problematic issue in regard to Catholic-Jewish relations? Williamson is a Holocaust denier. In fact, on the day his excommunication was lifted, he gave an interview to Swedish television saying "I believe there were no gas chambers ... I think that two to three hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps ... but none of them by gas chambers."
Pope Benedict spoke today with American Jewish leaders at the Vatican and issued strong and unequivocal condemnations of Holocaust denial, and reiterated the church's commitment to "profoundly and irrevocably... reject all anti-Semitism." The Pope plans to travel to Israel in May, marking the first visit to the Jewish state by a Pope since John Paul II's historic trip in 2000.
A piece on this story will appear tonight at 6 p.m. on ABC's Eyewitness News with N.J. Burkett and Museum Director David Marwell in the MJH galleries. So be sure to set your TiVos/DVRs/VCRs... or just watch it at 6 (imagine).
Posted by Jamie at 12:05 PM