Christianity

Shoah-denying bishop barred from preaching in UK

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2009

Richard Williamson, the maverick bishop who has denied the Holocaust, cannot officiate in Catholic churches in Britain, its representatives stressed, following his return here from Argentina on Wednesday.

The English-born cleric was at the centre of an international controversy after Pope Benedict XVI lifted an excommunication order against him. But last week, the Argentinian authorities gave him 10 days to leave the country, where he had headed a seminary in Buenos Aires.

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Board outraged at Vatican

By Bernard Josephs, February 19, 2009

The reinstatement by the Pope of a Holocaust-denying bishop has been condemned as an “outrage” by the Board of Deputies.

A resolution passed at Sunday’s meeting reflected communal anger at the lifting of the excommunication of the British-born ultra-traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson. The clergyman contends that the Holocaust was a Jewish invention and that “only” up to 300,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

The motion was proposed by former board president Lionel Kopelowitz, who said that a text of the resolution would be sent to the Vatican.

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Sainthood bid for nun who saved lives

By Simon Caldwell, February 12, 2009

A little-known English nun who helped to hide Italian Jews from the Nazis in wartime Rome is being considered as a possible saint.

Mother Ricarda Beauchamp Hambrough, who died in 1966, is credited with playing a vital role in saving the lives of more than 60 Jews by smuggling them into her convent.

Her order, the Bridgettines, have now applied to the Vatican for permission to open her cause for sainthood.

If granted, she will become one of four British women whose sainthood cases are under consideration by the Church.

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Pope tells Holocaust denier to recant

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Pope benedict XVI has responded to international pressure and ordered a maverick cleric to recant his Holocaust-denying views.

Jewish-Catholic relations were plunged into crisis last week by the Vatican’s rehabilitation of English-born Richard Williamson, along with three other bishops associated with an ultra-conservative breakaway sect.

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Outrage as Pope lifts ban on Holocaust denier

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2009

Jewish leaders are calling on the Vatican to repair the damage caused by the rehabilitation of an ultra-conservative bishop who is a Holocaust denier.

Rabbi David Rosen, president of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligous Consultations, believed the controversy “worse than any of the crises we have had with the Catholic Church”, almost since the new era of dialogue began more than 40 years ago.

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Analysis: An astonishing act by this German Pope

By Ed Kessler, January 29, 2009

The extraordinary decision of Pope Benedict XVI to lift the excommunication of four traditionalist Catholic bishops who head the Fraternity of St Pius X, one of whom is Holocaust denier Richard Williamson, has now been answered by the decision of the Israeli Chief Rabbis to break off official ties with the Vatican.

While the Chief Rabbis’ reaction is understandable, it won’t help. The Vatican’s action, for close watchers of Pope Benedict XVI’s approach to Catholic-Jewish relations, is not wholly surprising.

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Anger over missionary leaflet drive

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 18, 2008

Evangelical Christian missionaries have been targeting Manchester’s Jewish community with leaflets using religious terminology and Ashkenazi spellings to entice people to read them. Residents in Broughton Park, who have received the leaflets through their doors, are concerned about what they call the “deceptive material”.

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Analysis: Why talking to the Vatican paid off

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

The last two years have not been good for the traditionally testy relationship between the Vatican and the Jewish people.

The historical dispute over the conduct of the Holy See during the Holocaust flared up last year when the Papal Nuncio to Jerusalem threatened to boycott Yad Vashem over its portrayal of wartime Pope Pius XII. Tensions rose again last month over reports that Pope Benedict XVI was about to beatify his controversial predecessor.

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Pope to visit Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Israel next year at the invitation of President Shimon Peres, in an attempt to end the recent period of tension over the beatification of former Pope Pius XII.

The visit, which is yet to be formally announced, is set to take place in early May 2009.

President Peres officially invited the Pope a few weeks ago, following a meeting with Archbishop Antonio Franco, the papal nuncio in Jerusalem, who indicated that such an invitation would be positively received.

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Pius XIIi ‘helped Jews’

September 26, 2008

A Rome symposium on Pope Pius XII heard that he may have tried to save Jews from the Nazis. The meeting was organised by dialogue group Pave the Way Foundation, which claimed that the pontiff did not ignore the fate of Jews and may have attempted to help some.

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