In the face of worldwide condemnation for reinstating a Holocaust denier as Bishop (even Chancellor Angela Merkel complained publicly), the Vatican Secretariat of State Cardinal Bertone has now issued an unsigned statement from the Holy See reading in part:
Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the church, will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah, which the Holy Father was not aware of when the excommunication was lifted.
Furthermore, perhaps as penance for embarrassing the Pontiff, the Vatican has now also commanded the four former members of the St. Pius X Society to publicly affirm their support for the Second Vatican Council--the very issue that got them excommunicated in the first place.
What bugs me about the Vatican's statement, however, is their dishonest claim that somehow the Pope was innocently unaware that Bishop Williamson was a Holocaust denier. That's crap and everyone knows it. The Pope was just more concerned about taking a political dig at Vatican II than he was about re-admitting a hateful schismatic into the fold.
Meanwhile the Obama Administration just dis-appointed two Cabinet-level officials who had merely underpaid their taxes--a far cry from denying the Holocaust--and President Obama himself personally admitted, "I screwed up." While that is not good news, it is at least a refreshing change from the former President's blanket insistence that he never made any mistakes worth mentioning. Perhaps there is a parable here for Pope Benedict XVI regarding the relative virtues of personal humility versus a doctrine of infallibility.