Rorate Caeli
DECLARATION

The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.

Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.

On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (..."I believe"..."I believe"...) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise.

As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.

+Richard Williamson
London, 26 February 2009.

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

Williamson apologizes and regrets the consequences of his statements - the harm to the Church and the hurt to others.
He admits,furthermore, that his opinions were those of a non-historian and formed on the basis of twenty-year-old material.
Yet there is no indication whatsoever that his opinions have changed in any way.

NCTradCatholic said...

Like the true English gentleman that he is. More should imitate His Excellency's example of humility and dedication to the truth.

Paul Haley said...

Considering the man and all the pressure he has been under, whether self-inflicted or not, this is truly a remarkable gesture and act of homage to the Holy Father. May Our Blessed Lord in His Infinite Mercy, grant the Holy Father the grace to respond to this act of homage with the granting of faculties until a structure can be developed and agreed upon by all concerned. Viva il papa!

Rick Wallar said...

As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.

Funny that, seeing how only yesterday he shook his fist violently at a reporter who asked him a few questions and then shoved him into a steel pole.

Anonymous said...

I fear that this will be interpreted as the non-apology / non-retraction that it is.

Williamson is sorry for the consequences of his words - but does not suggest in any way that they were erroneous. In short, he refuses to distance himself from Holocaust denial.

This keeps Pope Benedict, and the regularization of the SSPX, in quite a bind.

At the present moment, I don't see a happy way out of this predicament.

+DR

M.A. said...

Now, will everyone please back off and let the Bishop be!

It is the trial that reveals the man. I think +Williamson has endured his persecution rather well, and he has shown a great depth of humility in response.

I've been praying for him in my daily rosaries.

Wm. Christopher Hoag said...

WOW!

Ecce Magna Humilitas!

On one hand, I am truly stunned that Msgr. Williamson would make an apology such as this. Yet on the other hand, to know this man is to know his Christ-formed character.

May the Church swiftly move beyond this wretched episode.

Anonymous said...

Rick Wallar said...
Funny that, seeing how only yesterday he shook his fist violently at a reporter who asked him a few questions and then shoved him into a steel pole.

Get a grip, Rick. You exaggerate, greatly!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
YOU exaggerate. Watch the video - he did not "shove a reporter into a poll!" They collided slightly, as the Bishop made a left turn while walking briskly, and the consequence of that was that the reported barely bumped into the poll. It didn't even slow him down. If you think that was "shoving", perhaps you need to have your vision and your judgment checked!
LA

Anonymous said...

He needs to stop apologizing and get on with his work.

Jordanes said...

LA, you have confused Anonymous' response to Rick Wallar with Rick Wallar’s own comments.

Anonymous said...

"He needs to stop apologizing and get on with his work"

If only life was so easy! Bishop Williamson's has made his life a lot worse because of his comments.

Rick Wallar said...

Come off it! He shook his fist in the poor man's face and then purposefully walked to the right of that pole before snapping back his shoulder to force the man into it. As a 68-year-old his actions didn't have quite the desired effect on the rotund reporter but the intention was clearly there. And then he has the gall to quote the pope on violence. Disgraceful.

Paul Haley said...

Reporters and photographers who push their way into a person's line of sight or the direction in which they are traveling deserve what they get. They purposely get in someone's way and feel they have every right to delay a person or stick a camera in one's face. They knew full well that the bishop was in a hurry and wanted no part of any "interview" but they didn't care, they just wanted a quick story. Shameful behavior IMHO.

Margaret said...

I have always been edified by the humility and filial devotion to the Holy Father of the SSPX Bishops. This whole persecution of Bishop Williamson has been an excuse by those who wish to thwart discussions between Rome and the SSPX to throw stones and cause a diversion from the real task at hand. Only God knows the hearts of men, I am shocked that some of you judge so harshly from a media display, but then we are a sensationalistic society after all, eh? Vivo Cristo Rey! Margaret

Anonymous said...

"he shook his fist in the poor man's face"

and I also heard the reporter signed up for therapy classes after the shock of having a fist in his face!!


Come off the stage, Bishop W. showed his fist very soon after the reporter began following him so it's obvious he said something harsh in an attempt to provoke the bishop. He wasn't asking him about the weather!! I am by no means a fan of the bishop but reports deserve no sympathy.

Anonymous said...

1. Truth known, truth obeyed.

2. There were indeed gas chambers, zillions (6M, 5.8M, 5.5M, what else? Not only thousands) of people killed in a mass killing program directly toward jewish people, but there were Christians, immigrants, etc, also.

3. The Protocols of the Elders is a fraud.

4. The 09/11/2001 attacks did happen and they were not an US government plot. All these conspiracies come from people like Alex Jones (though the last one may be correct in some other subjects).

5. Sometimes is funny to get on conspiracy theories. They look very feasible, except for the facts and testimonials. When I do that, I feel like I am in touch with some kind of secret knowledge. Thank God He helps in those moments.

Anonymous said...

The real issues underlying the beliefs of those who deny the holocaust are their motivations for doing so. Are they genuinely in the interest of historicity or are they merely formed by ignoramuses to give belligerent, conspiracy-led anti-Semitism a platform?

Holocaust denial is the intellectual legacy of the Third Reich. As such, ethically minded Christians should examine exactly why it is an important moral position to take. Who benefits from it? What good does it do to God and your fellow man? How will it aid you to gain eternal life?

Furthermore it should also be asked: in what ways do the espousal of misinformed opinions and veiled racial hatred reveal any evidence whatsoever of a 'Christ-formed character'?

alban said...

Bishop Williamson has apologised for causing embarrassment to the Church and to the SSPX; in this respect he has certainly done the right thing.

However, he was instructed by the Holy See to retract his statements regarding the Shoah and he has not done so. In this matter he remains lacking in obedience to Pope Benedict. Therefore, the matter is certainly not finished, as some who have posted here seem to think.

The issue of the Shoah is not a minor one. Apart from the crucifixion the Shoah was surely the most horrendous moment in human history. In it the devil was truly at work, but God's grace abounded all the more. The Shoah must never (I repeat 'never') be forgotten, minimalised or denied, or we do so at our peril.

As for the bishop's behaviour towards the reporter: the reporter was (in my mind) pushing his luck. However, one rightfully expects a better reaction from a bishop. Several years ago, while addressing the European Parliament, John Paul was repeatedly and vehemently insulted by an extreme Protestant; the pope looked at him with sympathy and kindness (while probably saying a prayer for the man). That is exactly how a bishop should behave under stress.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the initial news reports do not appear to be parsing Williamson's apology as closely as some of us here had.

It may actually do the trick.

Perhaps (hopefully?) this episode has lost its usefulness to the media, and they'll call off their drum-beat (although I doubt it - there's still much for them to fight against with Benedict XVI as our reigning Supreme Pontiff) ....

+DR

m said...

"Apart from the crucifixion the Shoah was surely the most horrendous moment in human history.In it the devil was truly at work,.."

This leaves me speechless. I would be interested in hearing how you determined the rating.

And the devil was/is not involved in other evils? How about abortion? Where would you rate this heinous crime? Number #3? 4?... ??

I bet you're someone barely out of high school who has yet much to learn.

Anonymous said...

On Rick Waller's comments:

I don't blame him for shoving a reporter. There is no more nauseating group of people on this planet than newspaper reporters. They make me sick. When they approach me to ask questions, I normally just say 'Get lost!'. I admit that I have never hit one, only wanted to, but then many of these people will try to block your way, something they have no right to do. Pushing them out of the way is perfectly appropriate, even if a punch to the face is what they deserve.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Mr. Haley's comments, but I really can't see how this apology will be accepted, especially by Benedict XVI. If Bishop Williamson could not, in good conscience, repudiate his views, he could at least retract them; that is, he could 'unsay' them all without changing his mind, for one need not say what one thinks. But he has not even done this.

There is a problem here. Bishop Williamson cannot repudiate honestly-held beliefs without committing the sin of mendacity. But there is something he can do. He can admit in the most forceful words possible that the Nazi regime persecuted and murdered Jews in large numbers as a matter of deliberate racist policy. He could also admit, as I have said repeately, that the Nazis are also guilty for the deaths and persecution of those Jews who escaped, since we are guilty for all those we intend to harm.

In other words, if he does not believe that gas used or that six million were directly killed, he can still admit publicly that large numbers were murdered as deliberate policy. But he has not even done that.

I rather doubt that this will do.

P.K.T.P.

Dan Hunter said...

God bless His Grace!

He has apologised twice now.
And sufficiently so.

More than enough!

Let us pray that the Church regularises the FSSPX now.

There is no longer any reason not to.
If there ever was one.

Long Live Pope Benedict and long live Bishop Williamson!!!

gabrielle said...

Well done Bishop Williamson. I, too, have never been a great fan of his but please leave him alone. There is a lot worse happening in our Church that deserves our condemnation.
As for the Bishop recanting. If he still genuinely believes what he said he cannot recant or else he would be lying. Is that what many of you want. While I do not agree with his comments he does not deserve the treatment he is receiving. As for the reporter - he did get what he deserved.

Ma Tucker said...

Come on Alban,
If you had taken the time to watch what happened when JPII was call anti-Christ by Mr Pasley you would have seen

A group of real men
1)roused in anger
2)approach Rev Paisley
3)give Rev Paisley a few punches
4)grab him by the legs arms and torso
5)dump him out of the parliament.

I do not remember JPII swinging his arms and crying out no violence please lets all be friendies. He waited until Rev Paisley was ejected and continued with his speech, quite non-plussed.

Tim in McKean said...

The Holocaust was indeed an horrific event in history. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was by far the most horrific. Between these two events, I beg you tell me, where does the horrific, horrific crime of abortion lay? Seems to me that we as a nation and indeed world have not learned our lesson from the holocaust. 6 million Jews,Catholics, Poles and gypsies were slaughtered yet the slaughter continues today, every second of every minute. By now the numbers are legion and beyound comprehension.

Rick Wallar said...

Oh I get it, so if we don't like what someone says, if we find them nauseating and if they step in our path (which, incidentally, the reporter in question didn't do - he was walking at his side) then it's fine to shove them into a steel pole or punch them in the face!

Can someone refresh my memory, which beatitude does this fall under? Which commandment?

Going by this criteria, there's going to be a lot of people queuing up to punch Williamson in the face.

Jordanes said...

That's quite enough, Mr. Wallar. You've made your point, as have those who disagree with you. Let's drop that subject now, please.

Ogard said...

He is responding because it was so “requested” of him, and because of the “consequences” - the word he repeats in the second paragraph, which paragraph is all about consequences. Nowhere does he admit that the statement was wrong in itself.

Then he is looking for excuse: it was “only the opinion”, and, even provides evidence (quoting himself): "I believe"..."I believe". It was only an opinion of “a non –historian”, formed “ 20 years ago”, and “rarely expressed in public since”. Note: rarely only “in public”.

But he wouldn’t have done it had he “known beforehand the full harm and hurt to…..the Church” and “to survivors and relatives of victims”. Consequences again.

Then we are back to the theme of the first paragraph: there he responded to request; now he is “persuaded”, and in the end all is about the consequences again: “much distress caused”.

After these acts of, shall we say: humility, comes, as a finale, an act of righteous, pontificating self-aggrandisement: “every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind”.

Long-Skirts said...

AN
AYE
FOR
NOAH

When an English
Man doth speak
Opinions on "their" Shoah

They'll never turn the
Other cheek
But debase him like "their" Noah!

Anonymous said...

"Apart from the crucifixion the Shoah was surely the most horrendous moment in human history.In it the devil was truly at work,.."

Have you heard about Christian persecution these days? Or maybe in the 20th century? USSR, China, islamic countries, so on...

I do not deny the Shoah, but there were more christians killed by their faith than any other group. And they still are being killed.

PS: I heard once someone saying that the christian persecution is not of catholics, but most evangelical protestants. Then I said: so what? They are dying for the name of Our Lourd.

Anonymous 20:29.

Anonymous said...

On Alban's comments. I'm not convinced that the Holocaust was the worst persecution in history. The murders acts of the Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution, 1965-68 had far more victims, probably as many as twenty million. The Holodomor in the Ukraine (1932-33) may have killed seven to ten million people by deliberate forced starvation; and Stalin probably killed another ten millon in the Great Purge of 1938. What happened to the Jews was horrible but not unique. They would like to be at the centre of history and of everyone's concerns. They are not.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the fur really flies about "the Shoah," yet not a single soul makes notes of the phosphorus bombs frying away little Palestinian boys...

Interesting. Cowards.

Anonymous said...

Anon 23:03, Please stop dissing Long Skirts. She is inspiring.

And....
Ogard have regard
That to quote the Pope
Is not a vain hope
It blesses Pontiff
And says I caused Riff.

HA HA :)

Anonymous said...

What an admirable act of obedience and humility...something rare amongst clergy nowadays..

Anonymous said...

"This keeps Pope Benedict, and the regularization of the SSPX, in quite a bind.

At the present moment, I don't see a happy way out of this predicament.
"

I do. Just ignore the reaction of the Jews. And the Catholic liberals/radicals.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired hearing about Jews, and Catholic relations with Jews, and the Vatican problems with Jews.

I wish we could go one way, and they another. And never connect.

Then there never would be any problems between Catholics and Jews ad intinitum ,ad nauseum.

Also, I wish the Pope would have the courage to cancel his trip to the Holy Land.

Athanasius said...

The most important of issues regarding this apology of Bishop Williamson is that he has obeyed both the Pope and his superior, Bishop Fellay, by offering his profound sorrow for having offended any by his remarks.

As to this order from the Pope and others that he must retract his opinion on the Holocaust, it should have been qualified with 'once you have re-examined the history of the event and become convinced in conscience that it was other than you presently believe.'

This is very important because everyone has automatically assumed that Bishop Williamson was motivated by race haterd when he gave his frank opinion during that interview. Has anyone considered that when he said "I do not speak from emotion but from what I believe are the facts" that he may truly believe in conscience what he stated in public?

If this be so, and Bishop Williamson, wrong as he is, nevertheless spoke from a firm conviction of conscience, then how can anyone, the Pope included, order him to oppose his conscience with an immediate retraction of his error.

Surely Bishop Williamson should be given time to re-examine the facts of the Holocaust with a calm mind and without duress in order that he may ultimately reach the correct conclusion. Then and only then should retractions be expected.

His present theory may be obnoxious and offensive, but what happens to this 'freedom of expression' we hear so much about in relation to so many immoral causes being promoted if the same is denied to one who believes in conscience that the Holocaust was not as recorded in history?

The world's liberals can't have it both ways. Either freedom of expression is accorded to all or none.

Besides this, I think it disgraceful that a Bishop of the Catholic Church is permitted to be hounded in this appalling manner over his comments on this particular tragedy in history. There have been many such inhuman tragedies recorded, a good number of them against Catholics and outnumbering the Holocaust in victims, yet this one is the only one that cannot be denied under pain of global persecution.

If Bishop Williamson had said that Pope Pius XII was Hitler's Pope or the Church was responsible for antisemitism, he would have been hailed a hero by the same media that now hounds him. Many, including modern 'revisionist' Jews, have told such lies about Pius and the Church, yet Catholics for the most part have failed to show the zeal in defending the truth that the Zionists are now showing to ensure the utter humiliation of Bishop Williamson.

I think enough is enough. He has made his apology for the hurt caused by his false belief. We Catholics should not permit further persecution of this consecrated priest of God. Nor should anyone ever demand that a man act against his conscience. This is an outrage before God.

It is not now, nor has it ever been, a rule of the Catholic Church that a Bishop be denied faculties because of the opinions he holds privately, whether true of false, in matters of history unless those opinions are mortally sinful.

In Bishop Williamson's case the mortal sin of race hatred has not been established. Indeed his own comments would seem to suggest that his error is one of a badly formed conscience, without malice, in the matter of the Holocaust.

Paul Haley said...

Are we are own worst enemies? The media and the modernist vilify one Bishop Williamson and some of us are inclined to join the fray. Is his apology sufficient? I don't know; that's for the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay to answer. But, this much I do know; his enemies in the press and the media will never let up on him.

Also, and maybe even more important, this continued criticism may set back the cause of regularization yet again. Is this what we want? Methinks not. Let us pray, then, that cooler heads will prevail and this flap will quietly go away - at least internally in our blessed Church.

Anonymous said...

The statement was released by the PCED.... think the Holy Father accepted it then.

Anonymous said...

I never encountered so much hatred in my life. No wonder the Church is falling apart.

Joe B said...

Does the phrase "you brood of vipers" ring a bell?

Ottaviani said...

Apart from the crucifixion the Shoah was surely the most horrendous moment in human history.

More horrendous than the Armenian genocide? Or the number of Russians that died under Stalin? Or the number of babies that have died from abortion since it's legalisation in every country?

Ma Tucker said...

Alban

Apologies but some images were slightly mixed in my mind. Nevertheless, the troublemaker did get a bit of a bashing.


Pope JPII smiles in the face of adversity


Rev Paisley gets turbo lift


Athanasius
I would say you express a perfectly balanced position in my humble opinion. A position that allows for charity in the things we are unsure about is always to be preferred I think. Thank you for your oasis of sanity.

Anonymous said...

One of the anonymous above says "who cares" if the victims of a persecution are Protestants, so long as they are dying for the Lord.

Please read Cantate Domino, a decree of Pope Eugenius IV, where the Pope solemnly defines that it does no good at all to die as a martyr for the Name of Christ if one is outside the Church: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church” (“Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra).

-- Bonifacius

Anonymous said...

Williamson sucht Rat bei Holocaustleugner
http://www.stern.de/politik/ausland/:Pius-Bruderschaft-Williamson-Rat-Holocaustleugner/655955.html

Anonymous said...

Williamson sucht Rat bei Holocaustleugner

http://www.stern.de/politik/ausland/:Pius-Bruderschaft-Williamson-Rat-Holocaustleugner/655955.html

John McFarland said...

A basic problem here is that a fair number of you just can't conceive that intelligent, sane men who are not anti-semites could take issue with the existence of the gas chambers.

Well, I'm here to tell you that indeed there are intelligent, sane men who are not anti-semites but who do take issue with the existence of the gas chambers. They exist; you can find their writings on the Internet and judge for yourselves. Just start Googling.

If you would at least understand that much, we could start getting somewhere.

Where we ultimately need to get to is to understand what happened, and then apply to what happened the same moral yardstick to what happened as we apply to everything else.

In this connection, I'd suggest keeping an eye on the reaction to Bishop Williamson's apology among those who consider it inadequate. As everybody can see, His Excellency has not addressed the merits of the case. Will the critics offer evidence? or (still more) vilification?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McFarland:

I'm one of those sane individuals you refer to myself. But the issue of exactly how the victims were murdered or how many of them there were is not primary. Williamson could deliver a very firm statement characterising the Holocaust as deliberate systematic genocide on a large scale without repudiating his views on numbers or means. A fortiori, he could add that the perpetrators were guilty in large part for all those they intended to kill and not only those they succeeded in killing: If you look at a woman with lust in your eye, . . . .

It could be worded to make his horror of the Holocaust striking and compelling. But he has not done that. His apology comes off as a Jesuit trick, like the last one, a mere playing with words. In fact, I don't see how this latest apology really covers more ground than the last one does.

The Pope is also under a lot of pressure, like W. He will have trouble regularising a Society where Williamson is one of the four bishops.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

John McFarland, then what of the martyrdom of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross?

Anonymous said...

On Athanasius's comments:

I have dealt with the issue you raise. No, he can't be asked to retract honestly-held views about numbers of victims and methods can. But he can be asked to affirm publicly that the Nazi action was a genocide of immense proportions and add that we are guilty of all those we intend to harm, and not merely those we manage to harm. The impression W. gives is that the Holocaust did not involve deliberate murder at all or else only in a few exceptional cases. Surely, he can't believe that honestly. If he does, he is severely lacking in judgement.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

PKTP:
Why do you speak of a British moarchy? There has been no true monarch since HRH James II.

Regnans In Excelsis, St. Pius V.

Phillip

Anonymous said...

P.K.T.P,

I think the most important thing we can take away from Bishop Williamson's statement - and indeed from this whole bru-ha, is that Bishop Williamson WILL NOT split the SSPX. That was a major concern of everyone who has hoped for a reconciliation with Rome. Because of this incident, it would be nearly impossible for him to split and start a new society. And he hasn't shown any indication of wanting to do so which is what this apology proves.

Greg in Arlington Diocese

Anonymous said...

On Phillip's comments:

Actually, I'm a Jacobite (and also a direct descendant of King Charles II but through a mistress: no claims there). But most of us support the present Canadian monarchy for practical reasons, keeping in mind the Catholic prinicple of proportionality. In other words: better the wrong régime than a republic.

American Catholics use the same principle and correctly: better a flawed republic than a worse one.

The principal purpose of life is to get to Heaven. After that, yes, we should try to get political systems right but it is not a necessity to get to Heaven and often not humanly possible either.

Pray for what is best and work in accordance with right reason.

Anonymous said...

On Greg's comments:

I agree with you entirely, Gregg. You are right about that. But I can't imagine that the apology rendered will be sufficient to enable a reconciliation with Rome. I pray that I am wrong on that. But therein lies the problem. Why can't he just come out and say that there was a Holocaust, it was deliberate mass-murder, and that the perpetrators are guilty for all those whom they intended to kill, which was the whole Jewish population? He needn't retract statements about numbers actually killed or by what means.

It is just fatuous to imagine that there was not a deliberate genocide. Had the purpose been only to get slave labour for the war effort (which would still be a terrible crime), why were all the women and children sent to the camps as well? Obviously, the plan was mass extermination. It may very well be that unplanned starvation and typhus intervened and killed most before the Nazis could execute them. Or that might not be the case. Morally, it doesn't matter. We are guilty for our intentions, not just what we manage to do: Even if you look at a woman with lust in your eye, you commit adultery with her in your heart.

When there is full knowledge and considered intent, you have mortal sin. When there is at least some intent, there is venial sin. When you act naturally and do something objectively wrong, but without consideration, like pushing a irritating little rat of a reporter, there may be no sin at all; at most, it is very minor venial sin.

Clearly, Hitler and his cronies full intented mass murder and that alone is what matters. When we start debating numbers, we are substituting Jewish secular morality for Catholic moral principles. The secularists are teleologists, so they look principally at outcomes AND THEY WANT TO FORCE US TO THINK THE SAME WAY. That is the real plot here: to make us assume their false ethics and then debate endlessly with them over numbers.

But we are deontologists, rejecters of ALL teleological ethics. We look FIRST at intent and at outcomes as a secondary consideration. Let's keep our priorities straight.

I'm no friend of the heretic liberals and the whining Jews who are creating this dispute. (The former, not the latter, are who is really behind this.) But I have to honest: they do have valid point. Williamson's 'apology' is compatible, at least, with a belief that there was no deliberate policy of genocide at all. If he dishonestly claims that there was no genocide, then he is morally unfit for office or priestly ministry owing to the sin of hatred. If he honestly believes that there was no genocide, then he is unfit for office or exercising priestly ministry on the ground of being 'unsound'. In either case, he's beyond the pale. While we are normally required to assume the best of people, being unsound is still dangerous in a bishop.

He can correct this. It is not too late. Why give our enemies any rope to hang us with? He need only issue a clear statement admitting that there was a deliberate genocide planned by the Nazis. That would be sufficient. But we are not getting that.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

His Excellency doesn't believe that there was "deliberate systematic genocide on a large scale." You have just demonstrated exactly the point that I was making in the post that you think you are are responding to.

You and many, many others are so conditioned (my friend "Paul Claudel" would say, and not without justice, brainwashed) that the notion of a reasoned, principled opposition to the conventional wisdom on this matter doesn't get through your filters. You just can't grasp the notion that whether the Nazis undertook genocide is A QUESTION OF FACT. It's not a self-evident principle. It's not an article of faith. There is no blindingly obvious evidence of it. It's not a necessary condition of being part of the human race.

If you were ever able to get the foregoing through your thick skull, I would go on to explain to you why His Excellency's statement follows in lapidary style the Lord's injunction that his disciples be wise as serpents and innocent as doves; but clearly that will have to wait a while.

Anonymous 2:34,

After the Dutch bishops denounced the Nazis, Jewish converts were deported as a reprisal, among them Sister Teresia Benedicta. As far as I know, no one has any information on what happened to her; and after all these years, probably no one ever will.

So there is nothing in her story that bears on whether the Nazis had a genocidal program -- except that, if the Dutch bishops had not spoken out, she might have survived the war, like Dutch Jewish converts to Protestantism, and Dutch Jewish spouses of Protestants, who never were deported.

Arlington Greg,

The notion that Bishop Williamson ever had any interest in splitting the Society is a fantasy. The only possibility of a split would have come precisely if (as now seems unlikely) His Excellency were expelled. Some of his ex-confreres then might well want to quit and join up with him.

People of the most diverse opinions seem to derive great satisfaction from creating a Bishop Williamson for themselves that is quite at odds with the genuine article. I think it's that he's too big for them, in a number of senses of the word.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

As regards your response to Greg:

You are creating genocidal intent out of thin air. Hitler wanted a Jew-free Reich, and knew that Jews in the nations he conquered were very likely to become resistance fighters with a particular score to settle; and so he deported most Jews to camps out on the fringes of the Reich. The wives and children went because they were Jews, too. In and of itself the deportations and the camps do not prove, or even provide evidence, that Hitler intended then to kill them. For that you need more evidence, and clearly you don't have it. My suggestion is that you go find some, and report back.

Anonymous said...

Thanks PKTP. I did not think of it that way.

Phillip

VatSpy said...

Do we know the SOURCE of this? Fr Z is claiming the PCED, but where does that come from? NC, you are usually good on sources!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McFarland:

Like Bishop Williamson, I am a "non-historian". But if you honestly believe that Hitler and his cronies did not have a genocidal intent, I suggest that you are unsound and need professional help.

On the other side, I see no reason to believe that most Germans of the time had any such intent. This may have been a mass-murder but it was perpetrated by a small number of people, and only they are guilty of it in any measure. But they are guilty. Hitler himself reportedly said that nobody had missed the Armenians, so nobody would miss the Jews.

What many Zionists today want, however, is to implicate the German people and, by extension, Gentiles in general and Christians in particular. They are trying to imply that genocidal mania is a natural product of Christianity. The fact is that Hitler and Himmler hated the Catholic Church and utterly rejected it; Bormann was only a nominal Lutheran. I don't know where Goebels stood and really don't care much: they were not Catholic or Christian by any definition.

If it follows that genocidal hatred is a by-product of Christianity, they have some trouble in explaining the Holodomor, a genocide of Russian communists against Gentiles in the Ukraine. Ditto for the Armenian genocide of 1915: a product of Islam? And the Cultural Revolution, and so forth.

The error is to regard the Holocaust as some special exception in history which puts the Jewish People at its centre. It isn't and they aren't. There were at the centre before they rejected thier own Saviour apart from Whose mediation absolutely nobody can attain salvation.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

McFarland writes:

"You and many, many others are so conditioned (my friend "Paul Claudel" would say, and not without justice, brainwashed) that the notion of a reasoned, principled opposition to the conventional wisdom on this matter doesn't get through your filters. You just can't grasp the notion that whether the Nazis undertook genocide is A QUESTION OF FACT. It's not a self-evident principle. It's not an article of faith. There is no blindingly obvious evidence of it. It's not a necessary condition of being part of the human race."

I realise that it is not an article of faith or a "necessary condition for being part of the human race." But I am less clear on your main point. Are you telling us that Williamson NOT ONLY rejects the use of gas and the number six million but ALSO believes that there was no planned genocide? This seems too incredible to believe. Is it his position?

P.K.T.P.

Son of Trypho said...

I can only humbly request the moderators shut this thread down - you have posts which are peddling genocide (Holocaust) revisionism openly and this is particularly damaging for this blog's credibility.

I'm a convert from Orthodox Judaism, inclined to the conservative part of the Church, and I'm appalled that people are making the statements they are here. Can't you people understand the damage this and your comments has done to the Church (and the conservative factions) in the broader community and internally?

Anonymous said...

Son of Trypho,

sorry, we do not worship at the shrine of Jewish emotions.

In other words, we're not pharisees.

Besides, the Holodomor - Jews significantly being involved in the perpetration of which - is a far more important genocide than that of the alleged six million Jews.

Anonymous said...

No, I don't worship at the shrine of Sir Winston Churchill. Who is the wacko who is writing this stuff? Posts from the 'revisionists' are getting wilder and wilder. They are certainly doing their cause no good with such ad hominem attacks.

I am willing to consider Mr. McFarland's point. I merely ask that he clarify it first. Is he claiming that Bishop Williamson denies that there was a planned genocide against the Jews? That seems to be it? Is this so?

If it is the case, quite apart from whether it's true or not, I can't see how this Pope will accept that. Presumably, then, if Fellay doesn't expel Williamson from the Society, there will be no reconciliation, no regularisation, and no granting of faculties for some time.

That 'some time' would be the time it will take Williamson and company to convince the popes to recant a great deal. And I can't see that happening in my lifetime, although things can change fast.

Anyway, this really puts Fellay on the spot. The ball is now in his court.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Next point:

I don't support Son of Trypho's request to shut down the revisionists on this blog. What is Son of Trypho afraid of? That they are right?

I take the view that the Holocaust was indeed deliberate and planned genocide. However, I am open to changing my mind on the matter. But I add in closing here that, to do so, I would need to review a great deal of evidence from all sides. I don't see how that is possible right now, given other duties. This is not an evasion but just an honest statement of fact.

If 99% in society, including the Pope and many notables, believe that there was a mass genocide, and if Mr. McFarland and Bsp. W. disagree, I submit that most of us will be inclined to accept the common view on the grounds of authority, which is the reason we believe in most things.

P.K.T.P.

Son of Trypho said...

Anonymous

The Great Famine in the Ukraine in the early 1930's was a direct result of the Soviet Politburo's actions and policies.

I'm not sure why you are referring to the perpetrators as Jews? None of them (the Politburo) were, to my knowledge, practicing their faith and besides, Stalin was the leader of the Politburo at this time, and he was clearly not Jewish in his personal faith.

Seems your harbouring a little hostility to Jews - why is that?

Son of Trypho said...

PKTP

What am I afraid of?

It frightens me that people here are openly denying or questioning a historical event where some of my own relatives were turned into ash in Poland.

It frightens me that in 2009, you can meet people who call themselves Catholics, and presumably educated in Western societies, who use spurious and clearly incorrect arguments in bad faith to argue against a historical reality presumably because they are harbouring some hostility and prejudice.

It frightens me, that like St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, if another Holocaust was to occur, I would be dragged off and murdered also and that people would deny it after the event.

Anonymous said...

Son of Trypho:

Jews dominated the politburo at the time of the Holodomor. At one point, every single member of the politburo was Jewish except for Stalin himself. This changed once Yeshov, a murderous little maniac, had them mostly purged and shot on Stalin's orders. That was later on, before 1938, and Yeshov himself was later purged by the Jew Beria, who was a rapist and perhaps the worst of them all.

Stalin had Lazar Kaganovich see to the Holodomor. Kaganovich, who was a Jew, carried it out in every detail.

However, it would be just wrong to see this as a Jewish genocide against Christians. It was a communist genocide against kulaks and against Ukrainians and others. Stalin regarded such people as potential traitors in any coming conflict with the West.

Were more killed in the Holodomor than in the Holocaust? I don't know. Historians argue over it. But huge numbers died in both.

P.K.T.P
Critical Thinking 101
Ad Hominen Attacks 202

Anonymous said...

Dear Son of Trypho:

I agree with you that there was such a genocide against the Jewish people and others. But I don't think that denying people a say on the matter will help prevent another. Let the light of truth shine.

Some of these revisionists, who seem to lack critical thinking skills, are suggesting that those holding the common view need to furnish the evidence. Looking ahead in that process, I imagine that it will come down to believing or not what eye-witnesses have said.

Had there been a large number of eye-witness accounts from the outset--and perhaps there were--the case would be closed for most of us.

What worries me is the impression, correct or not, that most reports of a Holocaust seem to come from the period following 1960, even 1965. Is this correct or am I wrong here? My impression is that the Holocaust 'mythos' (by which I mean a standard story, not an untrue one) appeared suddenly in the 1960s, and that is what makes me question various aspects of it. Was this a developed report of events in 1950, 1955, 1960?

Comments?

P.K.T.P.

Jay said...

The facts are crucial. Holocaust was true, the number of victims at Auschwitz has changed due to research done by several historians in recent years and diminished from 6mln to 1.1mln, including Jews and non-Jews. It is difficult to estimate the exact numbers due to some records missing and the fact that transports were undergoing selections after arrivals - those able to work were transferred to the camp and the rest went to gas chambers. It seems that those sent to death were not always recorded. Another problem is the original gas chambers were destroyed by Nazis before they left Auschwitz at January 18 '45 and what we see today is mostly reconstruction. Moreover, the Russians had came across Auschwitz almost by chance and the photos we may see are 'reconstruction photos' taken in early February that year, therefore we can see there many people in civilian clothes, smiling looking well fed, maybe not all of them camp inmates? These are facts that may be confusing. At that time people were so afraid of communists they had chosen to walk out of the camp with Nazis in the middle of heavy winter for miles to the place where they get on the trains during evacuation of the camp and were transferred to concentration camps in Germany. Only fraction of the inmates has chosen to remain there. The facts are sometimes confusing and confusion feeds the revisionists with their hysterical efforts to deny the holocaust. Sometimes it may mistake even those who are honest and seek the truth. Bp Williamson arrived safely in Britain and have a time for reflection. He has a rights to his private opinions but as a public person he should have known better. He admitted in his apology his view was based on 20 years old reports but he could say more. I hope he will do better next time.

Son of Trypho said...

PKTP

I'm not sure if your familiar with Primo Levi, but he wrote his work "If This is a Man" in 1946 and it reflected on his own experiences in Auschwitz. Similarly there were other early histories also eg. Hilbergs, Reitlingers come to mind. Some of the problems in early publication were the fact that the USSR occupied eastern Europe and were not particularly transparent with data and sites for study etc.

Besides, the fact that more critical studies emerged after the event is not uncommon for significant historical matters.
There are plenty of examples;

Only recently, there has been a release by the Vatican of significant documents concerning Pius XII and his actions in saving Jews in the war - some 50 years after his death and even more since the war's conclusion. This doesn't invalidate this evidence nor call it into question.

Son of Trypho said...

Anonymous
I agree that it is frightening if people believe in the Talmud in 2009.
However I doubt this is the case. It might be hard for you to realise that they actually believe in the Divinity rather than a book.
Nonetheless, please pray for Jews (including myself) that we may have the veil of darkness lifted from our eyes to see the glory of the Christ, Our Saviour.

LeonG said...

Two apologies now which will never satisfy those whose pathology of hatred for The Church dictates all vengeful beahviour in retribution - no forgiveness, no mercy.

Bishop Williamson manifests a humility and a sincerity that doubly shames every Novus Ordo bishop who has done whatever possible to thwart the propagation of The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass in its proper Roman Catholic language. It also demonstrates how much The Church needs the example being set by SSPX and its confraternity of bishops, priests and lay.

Jay said...

"Jews dominated the politburo at the time of the Holodomor."

They were Jews but atheist and communists. Saying that Felix Dierzynski who created bases of KGB was a Pole but atheist and communist. Please be reasonable. I can read on some blogs that Nazis were mostly Catholics. First they were in most cases psychopaths - look at infamous Joseph Mengele - "medic" and "scientist" - man with angelic face, called "Angel of Death" - he was adored by children, he gave them sweets, ribons, and did on them his horrible medical experiments. Typical psychopath who delivered the child with all his medical skills and half an hour later sent the mother and child to gas chamber. He never was captured and died of stroke in South America in '70 . These are facts. Please, be reasonable and retract to your revisionist blogs and shut them up. And please write under your real names!

Anonymous said...

These days at Auschwitz is co called war of crosses. If someone need more info there are links:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-4950895.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_cross

In several words, all started with the visit of late Pope JP2 to Auschwitz and the first cross was planted there. In times when tourist from abroad could visit freely the site, many Jews protested the presence of big cross in the middle of the camp. Carmelite Sisters established their convent there in administrative building. This was too much and international protest began. Polish "nationalists" planted more and more crosses, small, bigger and the war began. This is interesting problem and the story, post-war story of Auschwitz.

Jay

Anonymous said...

Dear Jay:

You are raising the question of what we mean by a Jew. Is this a religious term only? Arguably not. But my post pointed out that the Holodomor was NOT a Jewish persecution of Christians but, rather, a communist persecution of undesirables. I'm not taking the side of the revisionists, quite the contrary, but we do need to be clear about all the facts. Most of the communist leaders in Russia were Jewish in upbringing and origin. That's a fact. It was true of the politburo in Hungary in 1956 too. And Karl Marx, who invented atheistic communism, was a Jew. In fact, he was expelled from a German university for that very fact.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Son of Trypho:

I don't doubt that there were a few early accounts. Whether they are true or not I don't know. What I don't see is a huge list of eye-witness accounts being published in the 1940s and 1950s. Surely, if thousands survived these camps and knew about the gas, the word would have spread all over the world like wildfire.

Instead, there is virtually no Holocaust mythos until about 1965. I heard about it first in 1971, and my parents had never even heard about it that late. Then, suddenly, it's on every news channel and in the mouth of every reporter.

I am being dead honest and not supporting one side or the other on this. It at least LOOKS to me like a fabrication or a wild exaggeration concocted by the press, which is very heavily under Jewish influence from Reuters on down.

Nevertheless, I do believe, as I have said, that there was a planned genocide. But I must not lie to this blog. I must admit that the revisionists have made me wonder if there was a planned genocide. That's where I am as at this evening. Unfortunately, I don't have the time at the moment to investigate this in detail.

I teach at a certain university and meet some scholars for other institutions. About five years ago, an historian told me that the entire Holocaust thing was a wild exaggeration and that there was no planned genocide. When I asked for details, he clammed up and changed the subject. He is not known to be a revisionist and the twentieth century is not his field of expertise. But it made me wonder about a great deal. I've seen him since then but he clearly does not wish to discuss the issue with anyone. I get the feeling that he is afraid of the consequences. Is this good on a university campus?

Some on this blog seem to be saying that we should not be allowed to wonder what is true and what is not. I find that to be dangerous.

P.K.T.P.

Caritas said...

Son of Trypho,

Dear brother in Christ, you are right. People do not understand the damage these comments have done to the Church and to the restoration of the Sacred.

Instead of believing in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, they believe in their definitions of unity, holy, catholic, apostolic and church.

In previous posts they even claimed he was a martyr! Williamson apologizes and regrets the consequences of his statements - but has he really changed his beliefs?

Providence never fails. The same way Cauchon denied St. Joan of Arc's appeals, Williamson implicitly denied the martyrdom of St. Edith Stein.

St Joan of Arc, pray for us.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us.

Caritas

Anonymous said...

To change tack here for a moment, let us consider where the ball is. It is now in Bishop Fellay's court.

There is just no way that the Pope will accept Williamson's two apologies. Even if he wanted to, the liberals in the curia would go wild, and the Pope has made it clear that he puts unity before doctrinal resolution: he seems to feel that, to save souls, he needs to keep the liberals in the Church, where he can affect their beliefs. He will not purge the Church of the liberals.

Cardinal Re and Kasper, Daneels and Mahony, and above all, the Stalinist liberation theology Cardinal Hummes, to name just a few, will scream bloody murder if the Pope does ANYTHING, even an extension of faculties, to reconcile the S.S.P.X now--unless Fellay expels Williamson.

If Fellay does not expel Williamson, the result will be a continuation of juridical irregularity for the foreseeable future. Talks on doctrine may certainly begin but we shall die of old age before they end.

If Fellay does expel W., he'll likely lose others too, but the Pope can then instantly at least grant them faculties, and this can lead to regularisation within three months to three years, I'd say.

I must say: W. has put everyone on the spot. To the McFarlands and company, he is no doubt a guardian angel sent from Heaven to protect the Church. To many others, he has marginalised the S.S.P.X for the next twenty years.

The Pope might respond by founding his own Rolls Royce apostolic administration for obedient traditionalists. Then he could invite Society priests to join the I.P.B. as part of it, and then proceed to put the S.S.P.X right out of business (or at least reduce its reach considerably--to irrelevancy).

From my studies of the figures, the S.S.P.X is not converting the world. It is now growing at a very slow rate. Tradition with the Pope would sell better. (I apologise for the commercial terminology, which I use only for economy of expression here).

But the Pope will need to do more than to clarify S.P., which is already a dead letter, thanks to episcopal obstruction. He will need to create an international diocese for tradition.

P.K.T.P.

Jay said...

Dear PKTP

I know the facts and agree the most of communists were of Jewish origin. I lived under communist regime 3/4 of my life and I know perfectly well what does it mean. I must say however, there are plenty of honest Jews. We cannot say all are hatred. This is my point. There are also Catholics who in their heart are not really Catholics. They hate immensely and this is my point. We need balanced minds and God's grace to see that hatred is not the way.

Caritas said...

Holy Mother Church needs to restore our Sacred Traditions. The Holy Father knows that. Every reasonable catholic knows that...

Let us pray that Fellay expells Williamson (this will free the SSPX from all its crackhead followers), reconciles with Rome and defends the cause from within.

Providence never fails!

Caritas

Anonymous said...

It is unjust for everyone to demand that this man change his opinion at the drop of hat. He would be lying if he did so. Is that what we want? Just let him go. We Americans believe in the right to free speech, even when the speech is offensive. I say let 'im alone.

LeonG said...

The major problem with many of the arguments that pretend to express such shock horror at anyone who queries the actual numbers exterminated is that they allow the wider issues of the SWW to be hijacked by the holocaust alone which to be objectively and empirically fair ignores the fact that Russians and Chinese account for the largest total number of victims of the war itself which involved at least 52,000,000 dead. Moreover, it was the intention of the Third Reich to exterminate other ethnic groups too, not only the Jews.

Questioning the holocaust hypothesis is being willfully exploited to attempt a coup aided and abetted by neo-catholics against the just actions of the Holy Father himself. This is entirely reprehensible. The process undertaken by Bishop Fellay, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos and Pope Benedict XVI goes way beyond the pettiness of the numbers debate: aptly referred to recently as among "false controversies" by Pope Benedict XVI.

LeonG said...

"...the S.S.P.X is not converting the world. It is now growing at a very slow rate..."

In view of the various controversies surrounding priestly sexual scandals and cover ups at the highest levels of the hierarchy, this would affect any Catholic organisation at present. Some SSPX members have pulled out because they do not trust Bishop Fella and his rapprochment with the papacy since it may conceal disarmament plans. Such suspicions are never very far away. SSPX is actually growing according to statistics I have, although it is nothing to be overly excited about. However, we can demonstrate that the NO in the western church practising Catholics are still dwindling at a slower rate perhaps because we are now dealing with smaller figures. Generally speaking, The Church is not in "springtime" anymore. Tomany of us here it looks like winter time.

Anonymous said...

Williamson's 'apology' has been rejected by Jewish groupings :http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/27/holocaust-denying-bishop-richard-williamson-apology-rejected

And quite rightly so too. He 'apologies' not for the content of what he said but rather for the controversy that it caused.

JAMIE

Anonymous said...

The Church has plenty of time to ponder the reconciliation of the Lefebvre bishops - no hurry at all - after all the Church is eternal. Away back in the 60's Pope Paul and the Orthodox Patriarach mutually lifted their excommunications but nothing more has been done !

Jamie

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I feared and expected:

"Bishop's apology over Holocaust denial not enough: Vatican"

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE51Q2J720090227

Like I said, this puts the Vatican, and the SSPX, in a bind. I don't think the Vatican wanted to reconcile with only 3/4 of the SSPX - leaving Williamson out there to consecrate new bishops as he sees fit. The schism would persist. Nor do I think this is something the SSPX would sign on to.

Then again, half a loaf is better than nothing at all. (And we'd be getting the far better half . . . .)

+DR

Anonymous said...

As +DR notes, the Vatican has reacted exactly as expected. The ball is now in Bsp. Fellay's court. If he expels W., I expect that Rome will do something dramatic to support Fellay, so that he does not face Society division alone. This might be a decree extending jurisdiction for the Society's faculties.

If Fellay supports W., we can all go back to sleep because little will happen for a long time to come.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

This is from Wikipedia...

Upon assuming the directorate, Lombardi said he would not be a papal "spokesman" since he believes Benedict XVI does not need an interpreter, saying, "I don't think my role is to explain the Pope's thinking or explain the things that he already states in an extraordinarily clear and rich way."

Perhaps Lombardi shoud SHUT-UP!

Anonymous said...

and what will happen then in 6 years time will Bishop Williamson resign at the Canon Law required age of 75 like a Catholic bishop aught??