Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed the remarks of the pope’s biggest critics over the Bishop Williamson flap:
“No one has been worse than the Germans. Reeking with guilt over the Holocaust, we now have the spectacle of German Chancellor Angela Merkel telling the pope he needs to clarify his views on the Holocaust. Talk about hubris. This is a man who was forcibly conscripted at a young age into a Nazi group and saw his family suffer economically because he refused to attend the Hitler Youth meetings. This is a man who as Cardinal Ratzinger unequivocally condemned the Holocaust at a Jerusalem conference in 1994 and wrote about a book about it, Many Religions, One Covenant: Israel, the Church and the World. And he needs to ‘clarify’ his views to Merkel?
“Williamson’s denial of the Holocaust is obscene, but this doesn’t excuse the grand-standing of the Regensburg D.A. who is investigating whether the bishop broke their illiberal laws when he made his comments in Sweden. Then there is the German press which has exploited this issue beyond belief: one major story says the pope has previously offended ‘Muslims, women, native Indians, Poles, gays and scientists.’ Translated this means that the pope speaks the truth and some don’t like it. Perhaps most embarrassing is the left-wing Catholic theologian Hermann Haering who implored the pope to quit. What a disgrace this man is to Catholics everywhere.
“Today, the Vatican announced that Williamson must ‘unequivocally and publicly distance himself from his positions on the Shoah’ if he is to be reinstated (he is still not in full communion with the Church, and may never be). The pope, the Vatican statement said, was unaware of this bishop’s views when he lifted his excommunication.
“There will be those who won’t believe the pope didn’t know about Williamson. Yet these same people no doubt believe that President Obama didn’t know about the thieves he’s been appointing. Moreover, there are approximately 3,500 bishops spread throughout the world. The pope is smart, but he’s not a seer.”