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The Deacon's Bench

Two famous Germans — one a chancellor, the other a pope — chatted on the phone Sunday.

They didn’t talk about the weather.

From the AP:

The German chancellor called the pope Sunday, days after she demanded he clarify the Vatican’s stance on the Holocaust after it lifted the excommunication of a bishop who denies six million Jews were killed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel initiated the “good and constructive conversation” and it was characterized by “common deep concern about the perpetual warning of the Shoah for humanity,” said a joint statement with German-born Pope Benedict XVI. Shoah is a Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

On Tuesday, Merkel made a rare public demand for clarification after the Vatican lifted the excommunication of traditionalist British Bishop Richard Williamson, who has said he does not believe any Jews were gassed during the Holocaust.

A day later, the Vatican demanded that Williamson recant his denial of the Holocaust before he can be admitted into the Roman Catholic Church as a bishop. Merkel welcomed that stance.

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