John Allen on Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to reinstate Bishop Richard Williamson

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But on the other hand, you know, this certainly is a serious crisis in Jewish-Catholic relations. And I think it will probably leave behind a residue of ambivalence and doubt about where exactly the pope comes down that will not be easy to erase.

Probably the next major test of what the future of the relationship will be will come in May when Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Israel. I think, in some ways, this will be analogous to the trip he took in late November and early December 2006, which -- to Turkey, which came three months after he had given a very controversial lecture in which he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor to the effect that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, had brought things only evil and inhuman. That set off a firestorm of protest in the Islamic world.

Benedict's trip to Turkey gave him an opportunity to exercise some damage control. And by all accounts, he did that quite artfully.

Clearly, assuming it goes ahead, his trip to Israel this May will be another chapter in his attempt to heal what is right now a very badly fractured relationship with another religious community, in this case, Judaism.

Caught this on today's run from last night's Lehrer News Hour. John Allen is one of the really good religion reporters out there. Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVIOther FaithsJudaism

Posted January 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. mathman wrote:

Bishop Richard Williamson holds a faith which is wacko.
For the man to be in any holy orders in the Roman Catholic Church is a sick joke.
Some persons are gripped by a faith which is contrary to established fact. The Holocaust took place. I have personally met and spoken with three different eyewitnesses. I have visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. I have visited sites on ebay which offer for sale canisters which contained Zyklon B.
“Bishop” Williamson defied the Church when he was ordained by Lefevbre. He still denies the authority of the Church today.
This will endlessly complicate the purported attempts of Benedict XVI to make peace with the Jews.
He has lost a lot of traction by this action.

January 30, 9:06 pm | [comment link]
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