John Allen skriver at Vatikanet gjorde en enorm PR-tabbe da de ikke forutså at opphevelsen av ekskommunikasjonen sist lørdag ville føre til et ramaskrik over hele verden pga biskop Williamsons syn på Holocaust.
Her må jeg innrømme at jeg ikke er særlig enig med Allen, og det springende punktet er om sterke reaksjoner ville ha kommet om ikke den svenske intervjuet ble sendt over hele verden samtidig. At Williamson tidligere år hadde kommet med lignende synspunkter burde være godt kjent, men det er også et faktum at Vatikanet ikke visste om det siste intervjuet. Slik skriver Allen:
As welcome as these statements [from the Vatican] obviously are, they’ve come only in response to a crisis that clearly should have been anticipated. Claims that the Vatican was caught off-guard don’t cut it; well before Williamson appeared on Swedish TV, he had a public record of Holocaust denial and antagonism toward Jews which a 30-second Google search would have unearthed.
At the outset, let’s stipulate several important bits of nuance:
* First, Benedict XVI sees himself as a friend of the Jewish people, and has no sympathy whatsoever for anti-Semitism or attempts to deny or diminish the Holocaust.
* Second, Williamson’s views don’t represent the whole traditionalist movement. The vast majority of ordinary Catholics attracted to the Latin Mass, or who harbor reservations about doctrinal innovations in the church, are neither bigots nor crackpots.
* Third, the motive for lifting the excommunication is the noble end of fostering unity in the church, striving to heal the only formal schism in the wake of Vatican II.
* Fourth, lifting the excommunication does not mean the Lefebvrites have been “rehabilitated.” …
* Fifth, part of Benedict’s strength as a leader is that he’s not shackled to the short-term considerations of tomorrow’s headlines. No one should expect him to shrink from making a decision simply because some people might misconstrue his motives.
I want to put all this on the record, because I don’t want to be accused of over-simplification or partisanship when I submit the following: The way this decision was communicated was a colossal blunder, and one that’s frankly difficult to either understand or excuse.