Cardinal George on Bishop Williamson: “Deeply offensive”

Cardinal Francis George.jpgMore reaction from the hierarchy, this time Stateside. Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the USCCB, issued this statement today:

Statement of Cardinal Francis George, President USCCB
Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the personal penalty of excommunication incurred by four schismatic bishops belonging to the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. This gesture on the part of the Holy Father was an act of mercy and personal concern for the ordained and lay members of this Society and was meant to coincide with the fiftieth commemoration of the convening of the Second Vatican Council.
The Holy Father’s lifting of the excommunications is but a first step toward receiving these four bishops, and the priests who serve under them, back into full communion with the Catholic Church. If these bishops are to exercise their ministry as true teachers and pastors of the Catholic Church, they, like all Catholic bishops, will have to give their assent to all that the Church professes, including the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.
As is now widely known, one of the four bishops, Richard Williamson, has recently made some deeply offensive and utterly false statements about the Holocaust of the Second World War. Bishop Williamson has denied historical facts about the Shoah, in which six million Jews were cruelly annihilated, innocent victims of blind racial and religious hatred. These comments have evoked understandable outrage from within the Jewish community and also from among our own Catholic people. No Catholic, whether lay person, priest or bishop can ever negate the memory of the Shoah, just as no Catholic should ever tolerate expressions of anti-Semitism and religious bigotry.
I make my own the words of the Holy Father spoken at the General Audience on January 28, 2009: “[May] the Shoah show both old and new generations that only the arduous path of listening and dialogue, of love and forgiveness, can lead peoples, cultures and religions of the world to the longed-for goal of fraternity and peace, in truth. May violence never again humiliate man’s dignity.” We Catholic bishops in the United States are as committed as ever to building bonds of trust and mutual understanding with our elder brothers and sisters, the Jewish people, so that together with them we may be a blessing to the world.
Francis Cardinal George

[H/T: Articles of Faith]

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posted February 3, 2009 at 7:48 pm

After such a long (and recent) history of institutional anti-semitism it must be as hard for Bishop Williamson to reject it as it is hard for him to accept Vatican II.
I’m curious….since his consecration is valid (if illicit) will he be given a diocese to pastor or will he just be retired?

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Charles Cosimano

posted February 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm

And this morning Holy Name Cathdral in Chicago caught fire.

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Anura Guruge

posted February 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm

All I am going to say is that my “Papabili List for 2009,” that got some ‘flack’ from some quarters for having three non-European cardinals in the top four, is looking more and more promising.
Grace, and may peace be with you all.

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Your Name

posted February 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm

If the Holy Father decided to gather these bishops and the lay community of Sain Pius X, and relive them of their excomunication to bring them back to the fold, then he has put out his helping hand to them. Wether they grasp his reaching out to them, only they and God know. I hope they return to their roots of true Cathoisism, for the salvation of their souls.

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Michael Santomauro

posted February 4, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton, PhD
Publisher’s Note: This is a non-Revisionist title for Theses & Dissertations Press. It will be the first book on the Holocaust, in publishing history, that will not take a Traditionalist or a Revisionist point of view. When you purchase this book, one-third of the proceeds will go to Germar Rudolf and his family.
Founded in 2000 the publishing company Theses & Dissertations Press is at the center of a worldwide network of scholars and activists who are working — often at great personal sacrifice — to separate historical fact from propaganda fiction. The founder of Theses & Dissertations Press is Germar Rudolf. Who is currently serving prison time for his published works and will be released on July 4, 2009.
As the new director of Germar Rudolf’s American publishing division, I wish to express my outrage that the Holocaust, unlike any other historical event, is not subject to critical revisionist investigation. Furthermore I deplore the fact that many so-called democratic states have laws that criminalize public doubting of the Holocaust. It is my position that the veracity of Holocaust assertions should be determined in the marketplace of scholarly discourse and not in our legislatures bodies and courthouses.
Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call: 917-974-6367

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James C. Russell

posted February 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

It is totally inappropriate and reminiscent of the Inquisition for the Pope to attempt to coerce Bishop Williamson to “recant” his sincerely held historical and technological objections to the view that millions of Jews were killed in gas chambers. (
This is not a matter of faith or morals, but of history and politics. There is no Catholic “doctrine of the extermination” to which Catholics must give the assent of faith.
By their successful campaign to pressure the Pope into condemning Bishop Williamson’s opinions, international Jewish organizations have demonstrated a degree of power and influence that they have heretofore sought to deny.
It is ironic that Francis Cardinal George, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has now joined the chorus of support for Jewish demands. In an October 2007 interview he dared to suggest that there be some reciprocity by Jews in interfaith matters.
Cardinal George said: “It does work both ways. Maybe this is an opening to say, ‘Would you care to look at some of the Talmudic literature’s description of Jesus as a bastard, and so on, and maybe make a few changes in some of that?'”
As one might expect, the only concession to this mild suggestion was made by Cardinal George himself when he meekly backtracked on his initial comments. (

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Joe Gayda

posted February 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Was it David Irving who sued Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a Holocoust Denier? Sued to stop her publication? In that case when the UK courts looked at the evidence they found that Prof Lipstadt had been mild in her initial criticism, and the abuse of historical records by the “offended party” was beyond merely subjective to down right falsehood. Perhaps this is why Mr. Santomauro decries courts being involved in examining the historical evidence.
When people purposely ignore reality in order to “practise” Catholocism as they want, the Pope has every right to call them out on it. Didn’t Pope’s John(XXIII) and Paul(VI) decry treating blacks as less than fully human?
If someone were to deny the humanity of the pre-born in order to justify abortion, the Pope would be right to call him out on it.
If someone was to deny the Holocaust in order to justify anti-semetic beliefs which the church today finds repugnant and un-Christian, the Pope has the right to call them out on it.
As the Pope has no special claim to knowledge of reality, the Cardinal is entitled to do so as well.
If Mr Williamson is free to assert any claim of fact he finds convienient as a premise for application of Catholic dogma, how can the Pope know what Mr Williamson and his followers are really saying if they claim to be followers of Rome? Might Mr Williamson not claim that specific Vatican assertions were not authentic, but merely reflected the pressure of Jews, as Mr Russell asserts of Cardinal George?

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Mark Wilson

posted February 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I find the information on this website extremely compelling. It supports what Bishop Williamson says, citing very reliable and well documented sources. I find Senator Dodd’s comment (father not son), particularly interesting. BTW, no where in the interview does he deny the Holocaust. He simply says (as the plaque at Auschwicz shows) that the 6 million number is not substantiated anywhere.
The fact is that seeking the Truth is not part of the process anymore. Even when it is so easilyi accessible (just go to YouTube for the Williamson interview). We can beieve the drivel contained in “The Deputy” … that passes without any scrutiny. The drivel about the Inquisition is also accepted as gospel. Why not add this?
The fact is, if anyone does their research and gets the facts, they would be most surprised regarding what they learn.

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