This just in about Card. Kasper from Reuters:
Top cardinal says Vatican botched Holocaust affair
By Philip Pullella – Tue Feb 3, 6:51 am ET
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The cardinal in charge of relations with Jews has acknowledged that the Vatican handled the rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop very badly and complained that Pope Benedict did not consult him.
"There wasn’t enough talking with each other in the Vatican and there are no longer checks to see where problems could arise," said Cardinal Walter Kasper in a blunt interview with Vatican Radio’s German program, broadcast on Monday night. [Card. Kasper, who has famously been on the opposite side of some issues from Joseph Card. Ratzinger heads up the office concerned with dialogue with Jews.]
Benedict on January 24 lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including Richard Williamson, a Briton who denies the full extent of the Holocaust, to try to heal a 20-year-old schism in the Church. [Although the Holy See has rejected the description "schism". Why isn’t that reported?]
Among those who condemned Williamson and the pope’s decision were Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, members of the U.S. Congress, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, German Jewish leaders and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
Vatican sources and officials had said privately the decision was taken without wide consultation. Kasper, who was left in the dark, appeared to be venting his frustration.
"Of course, explaining something after the fact is always much more difficult than if one did it right away. I would have also liked to see more communication in advance," said the cardinal, who like Pope Benedict is German.
"I’m watching this debate with great concern. Nobody can be pleased that misunderstandings have turned up. Mistakes in the management of the curia (Vatican administration) have certainly also been made. I want to say that very clearly," he said.
Leading Catholic commentators have said the Williamson affair shows fundamental flaws in Benedict’s governing style.
"FATAL SYSTEMIC FLAW"
"This and other controversies point to a fatal systemic flaw in the Benedict papacy that is destroying his effectiveness as pope: He does not consult experts who might challenge his views and inclinations," said Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. [Wishful thinking. You can always count on the Reese for a snarky comment. But consider that the Reuters people went to a guy like him for a comment and sought no balance at all. Was Reese in the room? What does he know about how Benedict works?]
"He is surrounded by people who are not as smart as he is and who would never think of questioning him."
Father Eberhard von Gemmingen, head of Vatican Radio German service, said: "There are obviously shortcomings in the Vatican’s organization and communications … Such a misunderstanding and debacle must never happen again."
Williamson told Swedish television in an interview broadcast on January 21: "I believe there were no gas chambers." He said no more than 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, rather than the 6 million accepted by mainstream historians.
He later posted on his blog a letter apologizing to the pope for the "unnecessary distress" he caused him but he did not take back the comments. Jews said the apology was not enough.
The controversy has led many to take a closer look at the traditionalist group, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), its view of Jews and its future place in the Church.
Traditionalists reject most of the teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. ["most"? I don’t think so. But the writer wants it to be true. Then watch how he juxtaposes it with what comes next…] One of its key documents, "Nostra Aetate" (In Our Times) repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Christ’s death and urged dialogue with all major religions. [This gives the impression that the SSPX is fundamentally anti-Jewish and this is a key to why they reject "most" of the Second Vatican Council. The term for this is "misdirection".]
(Additional reporting by Tom Heneghan in Paris; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Card. Casper on Vatican Radio.
Washing his hands, perhaps?