Saturday, 24 January 2009

Denial of the Holocaust

Contents warning: This post is severely critical of the Roman Catholic Church. Although I hold it in deep respect, I feel it necessary to raise a critical voice.

The national-socialist regime which ruled Germany between 1933 and 1945 is held responsible for the death of 6 million people, purely because they professed to be Jews. Their extermination was perpetrated on an industrial scale, with people being carted in on cattletrucks in trains from the length and breadth of those parts of Europe that had been occupied by the Nazis from 1938 onwards. The former concentration camp at Auschwitz in present-day Poland has been maintained as a memorial to the unspeakable atrocity that was committed there, and in dozens of other camps.

There are people around to this day who deny that this happened. In many European countries, denying the Holocaust, or its extent, is a crime. Several high-profile figures are among those, such as David Irving (who states to be a historian). Another is a Roman-Catholic bishop, Richard Williamson, who was excommunicated by the Vatican in 1988 for his views.

I am dumbstruck, horrified and totally aghast to read this morning that Pope Benedict XVI has now reinstated bishop Williamson. He is liable to be prosecuted in Germany for saying that he thinks that on the basis of evidence seen by himself, only 300,000 people died, and that it was not a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler to kill all the Jews.

During and after the Second World War, the Vatican was ominously silent on the issue of the persecution of the Jews, well-known to be going on at the time, and only in the 1960s was any move towards reconciliation with the Judaic faith being made. Leaders of that faith have warned that the reinstatement of Bishop Williamson will serve to reverse all that was achieved since the 1960s.

Leaving the interfaith problems to one side, I find it incomprehensible that the Leader of the Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest religions in the world, is seen to be lending support to any holocaust denier.


Beth said...

I completely agree, Guido. That IS appalling.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

This is news to me and I am Catholic but don't keep up really well with what our Pope is doing. Lots of prayer needed here I'm thinking. Also forgiveness as none of us are perfect and human too. We are told to remember our religious leaders are just that-only human. This week I've been praying for Christain Unity.
'On Ya'-ma

Sandra said...

I agree also.

Love Sandra xx

Sybil said...

I hadn't read that Guido..To think we are in the week of Christian Unity.....what hope do we have...There are so many questions but why after 20 years had he been reinstated...
It is beyond me altogether.

On a happier note I am glad that you all had a nice time on your Fathers birthday.

Sybil xx

Joann said...

In my opinion, the Catholic church always seeks the WRONG KIND of publicity.