Being Jewish, and very committed to both my people and the Jewish law, I was slightly interested in this. Let's see if I manage to sum it up and take a dispassionate look at the whole stuff.
The Argentinian authorities decided to expel English Catholic Bishop Williamson because of an interview in which he allegedly denied or undermined the scale of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis - the holocaust.
The event is the outcome of a series of misunderstandings between the Vatican, the press and the public opinion at large which brought the aforementioned Bishop to public attention. The Pope had been doing efforts to fully reintroduce the Society of St.Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, to the Church.
The stalemate between the Church and the Society had nothing to do with holocaust denial. Two decades ago, French Archbishop Lefebvre, chief of the said Society, was excommunicated for consecrating four Bishops without Pope John Paul II's consent.
And why didn't he get the consent?
There's has been a feud between the Society of St. Pius X and the Church for years now. The main reason has been the Society's more critical view of the Vatican Council II, which would have, according to their views, opened the way for error, aposthasy and heresy by promoting a modernization of the Church which, according to their views again, was in contradiction with the extraordinary - that is, infallible - authority of previous papal documents and Councils - mainly the Vatican Council I, Pius IX's Syllabus and another one the name of which I forgot. The Society claims that, contrary to the previous councils, the Vatican Council II doesn't have the extraordinary, infallible authority; it'd be, according to them, a pastoral Council, aiming not at establishing doctrinal points, but doing some recommendations for the Church members and the Catholics in general. It seemed, however, that John Paul II disapproved of their attitude towards the Vatican Council II, which the Pope was a strong supporter of.
Things got really bad when, some years before John Paul II being consecrated, Pope Paul VI approved a new text for the Catholic liturgy, allowing for the use of the vulgar languages, instead of the Latin, and introducing controversial words and ommitting parts which are considered essential by the Society. The Society has also claimed that the new liturgy had been conceived of by very controversial Catholic figures with the collaboration of pastors and religious authorities from other faiths.
Come 2008 and 2009, and Pope Benedictus XVI, realizing that there was a substantial demand by the Catholics for the return of the ancient liturgy, the roots of which date back to the Trent Council in the XVI Century, remmitted the excommunication of the four Bishops that had been irregularly consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.
It was a way of trying to bring both the Society St. Pius X and those who longed for the ancient liturgy closer to the Church. The Pope finally issued a document authorizing the Church authorities to perform the ancient rite, arguing that, in fact, it had never been cancelled or invalidated - so the local authorities would have to work with the communities to acommodate the wishes of those who wanted to attend the rite according to the older cerimony and those who were more closely linked to the newer one.
So far, so great! But...an incident happened. Not long after the remittance of the excommunication of the four bishops from the Society St. Pius X, the interview with Bishop Williamson "suddenly" came up and, much to the Vatican's embarrassement, the said Bishop was a member of the Society St. Pius X !!!
The Pope fiercely condemned the Bishop's attitude and clearly stated that the denial of the holocaust was unacceptable.
a) Do you think I'd make for a good, balanced, impartial, reasonable journalist? : ))) Have I done a good job in reporting the whole thing despite the fact the Bishop's remarks are offensive to us Jews?
b) Do you think that people should suffer legal penalties, ranging from fees to prison? Should denying the Holocaust be considered a crime or otherwise illegal, as it is in some countries?
c) Do you think that the Argentinian authorities took too harsh a measure or, taking into account Argentinian authorities efforts to clearly repudiate the horrible fascist dictatorship established there around the late 70's, you think it was a fair penalty?
d) Have you watched the movie called "Doubt", featuring Meryl Streep and Seymour Hoffman? In a more sensitive and indirect way, it deals with some of these issues, the Church going through changes and each one of them representing one side of the historical process, so to speak.
Bye all, have a nice FRIDAY.