Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cardinal condemns Pope over lifting of excommunication on Holocaust denier - Telegraph

from the Daily Telegraph

The intervention of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will intensify the worldwide uproar triggered by the Pope's decision to lift the ban on Bishop Richard Williamson who has questioned the killing of six millions Jews by the Nazis.

The Cardinal, in a letter to Dr Jonathan Sacks the Chief Rabbi, a copy of which has been released to The Daily Telegraph, expressed his deep regret at the effect of the Vatican decree which has already been criticised by Angela Merkel the German Chancellor.

Dr Sacks, in his reply to the Cardinal, has warned that the episode has done "great damage" to relationships between the Jewish and Catholic faith. The Winchester and Cambridge educated Bishop Williamson, who runs a church in Argentina, has said that the Nazis did not use gas chambers to kill and that a maximum 300,000 Jews lost their lives. Last week he apologised for the "distress and problems" he had caused the Pope by his "imprudent" remarks but pointedly declined to withdraw them.

The Cardinal, in his letter, said: "I am writing to express my dismay at the effect of the Vatican decree... Specifically I naturally deplore the comments made by the Englishman, Rev Williamson, in his denial of the full horror of the Holocaust. His statement and views have absolutely no place in the Catholic Church and its teaching."
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