I think I’m like most people when it comes to watching the news. I deliberately try not to get too terribly worked up about what I see. There are plenty of things that interest me, but getting enormously upset just seems counterproductive most of the time.
But something caught my eye this week that evoked a very definite emotion–sadness.
Pope Benedict XVI created a stir by recently lifting the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson. Williamson has drawn fire across the Catholic and Jewish spectrums for denying the validity of Holocaust evidence, including disputing the deaths of Jews in Nazi gas chambers.
The Pope removed the status of Williamson and three other bishops from a conservative sect with the apparent aim of mending fences within church hierarchy.
The Pope met with Jewish leaders at the Vatican yesterday to try and slow the rising tide of resentment and discord.
My sadness is directed more toward Williamson’s views than Pope Benedict’s actions. Criticizing the Pope would be easy, and it’s already been done plenty of places elsewhere. What Williamson said is the cause for sadness.
As a student and a teacher I’ve been on both sides of the learning process about the Holocaust. The only denial that should come from it is to deny those who would wish to orchestrate such atrocities again. Unfortunately, genocide has and does still happen.
My prayer would be that this dispute would serve as a refresher lesson in the importance of acknowledging the suffering of others and working first and foremost toward understanding.