US Catholic Faith in Real Life

More on the Lefebvrites

Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The rehabilitation of the Lefebvrites, who went into schism after the Second Vatican Council, has drawn a lot of press coverage, especially in Europe, where most of the group's 150,000 members live. As expected, Jewish response has been strong and negative, as reported here by the UK Times, as one of the bishops restored to Rome's good graces is a vociferous denier of the Holocaust. I heard Bishop Richard Williamson's astonishing and chilling statement on the matter to a Swedish TV station on NPR over the weekend.

I think this incident once again reflects the pope's shortsightedness when it comes to how his actions are going to be received by the media and the world. Reconciling the Lefebvrites is hardly a high priority for many Catholics, and I don't think it should come at the cost of further poisoning the relationship between Catholicism and Judaism.

And I am still amazed that one can openly dissent from Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Freedom, and be welcomed back to the fold without a note of clarification. Talk about double standards!

An update of note: L'Osservatore Romano has published a front page article calling Bishop Williamson's statements "unacceptable," and that his rehabilitation does not indicate approval of his views, according to the Associated Press.