The Vatican says a bishop who denied the Holocaust must recant before being fully readmitted as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. There are a lot of interesting, complex theological questions. In the Middle Ages scholars argued over how many angels could dance in the head of a pin. Were they corporeal? You get the idea. This one, on the other hand, is an absolute no-brainer.
The Holocaust is not ancient history. It happened in my lifetime. Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany arrested, imprisoned and killed millions of Jews--six million is the figure usually used. I'm in my seventies and I am old enough to remember meeting people with numbers tattooed on their arms--ID numbers they had been given at the camps.
I've been to Auschwitz, where ghosts whisper to you as you walk and your eyes grow very wide. I remember the ovens. I remember a building full, very full, of shoes.
I remember an American World War II vet I interviewed saying, "I was pretty callous. I could sit on a corpse and east a C-rations. But when we got to the camps and I saw what I saw, I wept." This isn't doctrine or philosophy folks. It's history and some of it is still alive.
I don't know what got into Bishop Richard Williamson, the non-believer in the Holocaust, but he must be one of God's most credulous and naive creatures. It happened, Bishop. Read a book. Open your eyes. And pray for enlightenment, a little truth about just how awful humankind can be.
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