Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor expresses dismay...

The Daily Telegraph online reporting on the Bishop Williamson affair quotes from a letter apparently written by H.E. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor to the Chief Rabbi, Dr. Jonathan Sacks.

Here is what the Daily Telegraph says:
The Cardinal, in a letter to Dr Jonathan Sacks the Chief Rabbi, a copy of which has been released to The Daily Telegraph, expressed his deep regret at the effect of the Vatican's move.

In the letter the Cardinal wrote: "I am writing to express my dismay at the effect of the Vatican decree... Specifically I naturally deplore the comments made by the Englishman, Rev Williamson, in his denial of the full horror of the Holocaust. His statement and views have absolutely no place in the Catholic Church and its teaching." Dr Sacks, in his reply to the Cardinal, warned that the episode has done "great damage" to relationships between the Jewish and Catholic faiths.

To add some balance, here is the view of another Rabbi, and here the observations of the Archbishop of Toronto, H.E. Most Rev. Thomas Collins, both links courtesy of Fr .Z.

I am at a loss to understand what Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor means by expressing 'dismay' at the courageous act of his, and my Pope, in lifting the excommunications of the four bishops of the SSPX. It seems to me that the reprehensible views of Bishop Williamson concerning the holocaust are a separate issue from that of the lifting of excommunications.

The Holy Father's actions are a praiseworthy and necessary step towards unity and reconciliation within Catholicism.

It saddens me to see the Holy Father criticised by those who should be leading our support.

I'll be praying for him and for the Cardinal.

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