Pope Benedict XVI went to great lengths to distance himself from the words of a Catholic Bishop who is an outspoken advocate of denying the existence of the Holocaust during World War II. The pope’s decision to welcome back bishop Richard Williamson into the Catholic religion after he was excommunicated, has created a storm of protest throughout the world and deeply impacted the church. A group of rabbis met with the pope to discuss the situation and they were greeted with warmth by the pontiff who tried to allay their fears about his own Holocaust views. He made clear it “was his fervent prayer that the memory of this appalling crime will strengthen our determination to heal the wounds that for too long have sullied relations between Christians and Jews.”
There is no question Pope Benedict is not a Holocaust denier, but for some reason he has been placed in an awkward position by Williamson and perhaps he has been poorly assisted by his own staff who should have researched the Williamson views before there was any talk of welcoming him back into the church.