The New Christians

In a move that I bet the Vatican wanted to happen with no media attention, Benedict  XVI un-excommunicated four ultra-conservative bishops over the weekend.  But it turns out that one of the bishops had recently gone on a radio program to deny that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.  Maybe 200,000 or 300,000 died, said “Bishop” Richard Williamson.  I put “Bishop” in scare quotes because Williamson was bishoped by the schismatic conservative, Marcel Lefebrve, in response to the liberalizing decisions at the Second Vatican Council.

Benedict has attempted to bring conservative Catholic leaders who were disenfranchised by Vatican II back into the fold, but this one is backfiring on him.  Jews are pissed, and the dissention with il Papa has even seeped into Vatican City.

Why would the pope risk this.  Well, I found this quote on an NPR story yesterday very telling:

“The Vatican fears schism like almost nothing else,” Allen explains,
“because you have legitimate bishops who are able to ordain other
legitimate bishops and, in effect, kind of reproduce the schism. Over
the centuries, popes have moved heaven and earth … to heal these
wounds in the body of the church.”

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