Tuesday, February 03, 2009

German politicians sharply criticize Pope Benedict XVI

Deutsche Politiker kritisieren Benedikt XVI. scharf

Displeasure with the Pope: German politicians condemn the re-inclusion of a Holocaust denier in the Catholic Church. Green Party leader Roth speaks of a "disastrous signal", the spokeswoman for church affairs in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU- the German conservative party) is "personally disappointed".

Berlin - Claudia Roth is visibly upset, talking vigorously at a press conference in Berlin. The reason is the decision of the Pope to take the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson into the Catholic Church. "It's a terrible signal, if a German Pope does not now withdraw the decision. There is no other way", it is about the "debasement of millions." The step of the Pope “destroyed” the dialogue between Catholics and Jews and threatens the life of multi-religious societies.

Criticism also comes from other parts of the German political scene: Kerstin Griese spokeswoman for church affairs in the SPD (Cathcon –moderate left) describes the Pope’s decision as "unbearable" and "unacceptable", "Williamson represents reactionary theses within the Church and makes himself guilty of race hate with his denial of the gas chambers. Holocaust deniers should have no place in our churches, "said Griese to SPIEGEL ONLINE.

This outraged was also reflected by Bodo Ramelow, religious affairs officer of the Left Party (Cathcon- former Communists), "while Williamson stated that there were no gas chambers in concentration camps, Pope Benedict decided just days before Holocaust Memorial Day, to lift the excommunication. This incident joins other decisions of Benedict which show that dialogue and understanding are not his concern, "said Ramelow. "Benedict should urgently clearly and credibly explain that the position of Williamson unacceptable and is not tolerable. In the spirit of understanding, a clear message must be given."

The Pope did his Church a "disservice" raged FDP spokesman for church affairs Michael Goldmann. He hopes that Williamson "remains suspended, so he remains legally hindered in the exercise of ordained office." It was "imperative that the Pope's examines his decision and is not only guided by canonical considerations".

"Quite horrified" states the CDU / CSU Church Officer Ingrid Fischbach. To SPIEGEL ONLINE, she said: "This has disappointed me very personally as a devout Catholic. I hope now that the Holy Father's promise of 'full and undeniable solidarity' with the Jews can be followed by substantial steps and specific sanctions against Bishop Williamson. An assurance of solidarity is not enough."

CDU Secretary General Roland Pofalla is optimistic, "I am encouraged by the discussions that are now under way in the church," said Pofalla after a Party governing council meeting in Berlin. There was now a "whole series of critical voices," and he said that he assumed that at the end of the debate there will be a decision that will no longer be criticized. Thus, he indirectly expressed the expectation that the Vatican's decision in favour of Williamson will be changed.

Where were they all when the German Parliament voted on stem cell research

Just like the American legislators who were keen to advise the Pope on Bishop Williamson but not to listen to the Pope's moral teaching.

German Chancellor joins the criticism of the Pope
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