I'm in no way knowledgeable of the byzantine bylaws of the Catholic Church, but I'm pretty sure I can be condemned to Hell for saying this: The Pope is a liar.
Or, more accurately, an anonymous Vatican statement claiming Pope Benedict XVI was unaware of the Holocaust-denying tendencies of rogue Bishop Richard Williamson when Benedict rehabilitated him and welcomed him back into the fold is simply unbelievable.
The Vatican wishes to make it clear that Williamson's rehabilitation hinges not only on his fidelity to the teachings of Catholicism, but to his ability to keep his mouth shut whenever anybody brings up Auschwitz. Nobody for a minute believes it's possible to change Williamson's mind, but he doesn't need to go around embarrassing the church.
Isn't that what it all comes down to? Williamson and three fellow breakaway Bishops are basically being told if they follow the party line, everything will be okey-dokey. I would hate to think a person's core beliefs could be so easily altered or denied, but then, I'm not a Vatican spokesman, so what do I know?
But to me, this isn't about Williamson, it's about Benedict. To think he was unaware of Williamson's rabid anti-Semitism at the time of the rehabilitation is simply unbelievable. Heck, I was aware of it, and I spend amazingly little time parsing the philosophical underpinnings of breakaway Catholic sects. Such a blatant untruth--and the Vatican's desperate attempt to put a smiley face on it--should certainly call into question any notion of the Pope's infallibility.
More than likely, though, Williamson will say a few Hail Marys, Benedict will quote from the Talmud, and Catholics and Jews will go back to doing what they do best: Hating Arabs. It's a beautiful world, isn't it?