Bishop Williamson of the SSPX has had his excommunication lifted. This has caused Israel's rabbinate to react rather negatively and, unfortunately, unwisely.
The Holocaust denying Williamson is wrong on the facts and very likely undertook his provocative recent interview in Sweden to make it more difficult for the Vatican to regularize him and bring about unity and a restoration of Vatican discipline.
What the Vatican understands and the rabbinate does not is that one can be a thorough loon with reprehensible views and not be excommunicate. Excommunication is a specific punishment for a specific act, in bishop Williamson's case a schismatic act of being raised a bishop in defiance of Rome. The way the Western Church works, this was punishment was imposed without due process. No trial, no defense, no airing out of issues. He was raised a bishop without the right paperwork so he's out.
Obviously Williamson has "other issues" and when he's actually back in the Church those issues can be addressed. If they are not, the rabbinate would have a point at that time. I strongly suspect a monastic life for Bishop Williamson inside the Catholic Church, a very quiet one.Posted by TMLutas at January 28, 2009 05:49 PM