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.
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The Holocaust was the ultimate systematic evil of the Nazis, who were the enemies of America, Christianity and all civilization. Wikipedia has a detailed article on Hitler’s religious beliefs, which were tangled and warped like the rest of his thinking, writing, and pronouncements. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_beliefs Hitler either condemned Christianity or perversely claimed a bond with Jesus, depending on his mood or propaganda goal. This is the blasphemer who built the death camps. Holocaust denial is an attack on Jews, Christians and everyone who lives for freedom and truth.