THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The future of Bishop Williamson remains unclear. He has been fired from his post at the SSPX seminary in Argentina. He has been silenced from speaking on secular matters by the superior general of the SSPX. He has been given until the end of February to repent before being expelled from the SSPX. The Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) has demanded that he repent before he can be fully received into communion with the Catholic Church. He has been expelled from his home in Argentina, and is currently seeking refuge in the UK, where he may be extradited by the German thought police for "hate crimes." (Remember, free speech is not protected in Germany.) He has been vilified in the worldwide news media as an Anti-Semite and a hate monger. His unfair trial by media has permanently stained his reputation. (Remember, Holocaust denial doesn't necessarily mean you "hate" people. It could just mean you're an idiot. It would seem the latter is more true of Bishop Williamson.) I would imagine there are probably enough people in the world who would like to harm him that his very physical safety is in danger. In the midst of all this, Bishop Williamson issues the following public apology....
The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.To the leftist Europeans driving this whole scandal, no apology would be sufficient. For the rest of us, we must ask, how much is enough? 'The Catholic Knight' is no defender of Bishop Williamson or his views. However, as offensives as his comments were, I must admit that Holocaust denial is not heresy, even if it is stupidity, and as far as motivations are concerned, nobody has been able to prove this man had malicious intent when he made those comments.
Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.
On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (..."I believe"..."I believe"...) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise.
As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.
London, 26 February 2009.
Is this apology enough? I would say it's a good step in the right direction, but his journey of repentance is not yet complete. I think Bishop Williamson should be given the opportunity to redeem himself, and that can't happen if the leftist Europeans have their way, or the German thought police get a hold of him. I think Bishop Williamson would be wise to visit the United States and apply for citizenship, where he cannot be easily extradited for "thought crimes" by the modern German gestapo. Here in the USA he could continue is research into the facts surrounding the Holocaust, and eventually make some act of contrition toward the large Jewish community in New York. Unlike European leftists, the American people can be very forgiving, when approached in the right way, and this applies to American Jewry as well. If Bishop Williamson is reading this, and there is a good chance he (or one of his assistants) might be, consider it an invitation.
For those who don't understand the whole Bishop Williamson affair, let me sum it up by saying that the man is a conspiracy theorist. He's bought into several conspiracy theories, and the problem with conspiracy theories is they often implicate some kind of person, or people, as a scapegoat. Occasionally these scapegoats are justified, and there is a hint of truth to their conspiracy. Sometimes these scapegoats are not justified, and they end up victimizing innocent people unfairly. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories often find it difficult to distinguish between true and false scapegoats. As a result, innocent people can get hurt. In this case, Bishop Williamson appears to have subscribed to multiple conspiracy theories, some of which involved Jews, and because of that he made hurtful comments on a Swedish television station, in which he denied the size and scope of the Holocaust. Bishop Williamson need only repent of one thing to correct this matter. He needs to repent of his tendency to subscribe to conspiracy theories that don't have sufficient evidence to stand on their own. By doing this, he would automatically repent of the conspiracy theory surrounding the Holocaust, and that would put him in a good position to explain his folly and make contrition toward those whom it has harmed.
It's easy to want to "hate" this man, and wish to dispose of him as some sort of human garbage. That attitude is not consistent with Christianity, nor is it consistent with Judaism mind you, and I think both Christians and Jews owe it to our respective faiths to give this man another chance. He's already taken his first step in the right direction, which indicates a desire to change, and he needs to be given the opportunity to allow this repentance to fully manifest. Let us pray for him, not crucify him.