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Pope Benedict XVI Appeases Holocaust Denier

Dr.Yitzak Minerbi: "Pope Benedict's revoking excommunication of Holocaust denier Williamson is a very sad day for Jews who believe in dialogue with Vatican"

"Vatican feels unity with Holocaust denier as more important than the dialogue with the Jews"

Today the UN marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day - universal commemoration in memory of the victims of The Holocaust

Pope Benedict XVI (photo: Sergey Kozhukhov)

The decision of Pope Benedict XVI to revoke the excommunication on Holocaust denier Richard Williamson has shocked the Jewish world. Dr. Yitzak Minerbi, an Israeli expert on Jewish Vatican affairs, told IsraCast it was a very sad day for Jews who believed in the dialogue with the Vatican.

"How does the Vatican reconcile its previous position that no one can remain 'indifferent' to the Holocaust with this revoking of the excommunication of a Holocaust denier!" - that's the reaction of Dr. Yitzak Minerbi, an Israeli expert on the Vatican. In his view, Pope Benedict views his unity with Bishop Williamson and three other bishops, as more important than the dialogue with the Jews. This was part and parcel of the Pope's decision in 2007, to relax restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass, which contains a prayer for the conversion of the Jews.

the Pope has even praised the human rights enjoyed by Christians in Iraq despite the fact that 400,000 of the 500,000 Christian population were forced to flee Iraq due to Muslim persecution

Recently, a senior Vatican cardinal accused Israel's offensive against Hamas is making Gaza look like ' a big concentration camp". Dr. Minerva he says this actually recalls the Vatican's tacit support for the 200 Palestinian terrorists who took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in the year 2002. This, after Muslims had over the years even forced Christian residents to leave their homes in Bethlehem. Moreover, the Pope has even praised the human rights enjoyed by Christians in Iraq despite the fact that 400,000 of the 500,000 Christian population were forced to flee Iraq due to Muslim persecution.

During World War II, Pavelic Regime Offered Croatian Jews Conversion To Catholicism & Contributing Personal Property - In Return For Not Being Deported To Death Camp. However, IsraCast Has Uncovered Evidence That Even These Jews & Their Families Were Later Executed By Ustasha. Read the full article...

Transcript of the interview with Dr. Minerbi

Welcome to our listeners on IsraCast world wide. We are speaking today with Dr. Yitzak Minerbi. He is an Israeli expert on Jewish Vatican relations. First of all Dr. Minerbi, at the very time that the world marks international Holocaust day, we have Pope Benedict the XVI, in what has surprised the Jewish world, by his decision to lift bishop Richard Williamson excommunication and that of three other traditional bishops, and we must remember that Williamson is viewed as a Holocaust denier. What is your reaction to these developments?

Well, it's a very sad moment for the people who believe in dialogue with the Catholic Church, and the fact of excommunication and revoking the excommunication, does not concern us, it's of concern only to the church itself. But, if you revoke the excommunication of a bishop who is claiming that the Holocaust did not exist, that there were maximum of perhaps two hundred thousand or three hundred thousand Jews killed, and not in gas chamber because the gas chambers were not existing, then this nature is completely different. This concerns us very much, and not only us, it is in a contrast with what the church had already proclaimed several times and remarkably in the documents that we remember, and later on in special declaration of December 2006, when reacting to what was taking place in Teheran, Iran. The Holy See restated the position of the declaration we remember, and said that the "Shoah" (the holocaust) is an immense tragedy, to which no one can remain indifferent. So now, it's difficult to understand, how it is possible to conciliate such clear statement in the past with the ideas of Bishop Williamson.

So Dr. Minerbi, obviously Vatican decisions of this nature are not taken lightly, what are the underlying reasons do you think that have brought the Vatican Pope Benedict XVI to take such a decision at this time? 

Well, the reason is very simple, the four bishops separated from the official church, already more than twenty years ago, because they did not agree with the new teaching of the church, as expressed by Council Vatican II, especially in the year 1965, with 'Nostra Aetate'. So, he sees a possibility of reuniting his own church and this is for him more important than the dialogue with the Jews. 

Well pope benedict the XVI also angered many Jews in 2007 when he relaxed restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass which contains a prayer for the conversion of Jews, how do you view that?

Well this is part and parcel of the same issue. If you want to appease the ultra-conservative inside the church you have then the necessity of bringing back the Latin text of the mass and to readmit the separated bishops. It is all part of the same issue.

Does the holocaust denial as expressed by Bishop Williamson have something to do perhaps with the way the Jewish world views the role of Pope Pius during the Second World War, where that pope was viewed as actually collaborating with the Nazis?

We did not say that he collaborated with the Nazis, we say that he was perhaps indifferent to the Jews and that he did not do enough, not that he collaborated with the Nazis. That’s number one. Number two, I don't see any link between the two issues. On the issue of beatification of Pius XII, Pope benedict the XVI said he's taking a moment of reflection and he has to think about it a little bit more, so he's not taking a decision right now.

Is there also the possibility, the danger, that even the Vatican might get involved with the attempts by the critiques of Israel who are trying to compare the war in Gaza with the holocaust, and we had a senior Vatican cardinal saying that Gaza under the recent Israeli offensive looked like "a big concentration camp"?

Yes, this is absolutely true, this was Cardinal Renato Martino, who has been for over twenty years a permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. so he knows the value of words in politics, and this is what he said. Well, as a matter of fact the Vatican as usual took an anti-Israeli stand on the Gaza issue, this is not new. It's repeating itself each time. So it was years ago in 2002 when there was the blockade by the Israeli troops of about 200 armed Palestinians who penetrated into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. So, it's something that we are aware of for a long time.

So sir, more than sixty years after the holocaust, relations between the Jewish people and the state of Israel vis-à-vis the Vatican leave some very big question marks.

Well, the question mark is always there, also for other reasons, for theological reasons and so on. I do think that the dialogue is possible only if there is a reciprocal respect of the faith of each other. It is not possible if one of the two has the purpose to convert the other one.

And with regards to the Christians living in the Middle East, we know that here, in this area for example, many Christians from Bethlehem have been expelled by the Muslims, yet the Vatican never raises its voice against such steps.

Not only does it not raise its voice, but it is praising the situation of the Christians in the Middle East, like in Iraq. The pope received some days ago the Bishops from Iraq and he stated quiet clearly that Iraqi Christians are enjoying the same civil rights as everybody else. Naturally only the ones who are still there because about 400,000 out of 500,000 have left Iraq.

Due to Muslim persecution?



International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is the first universal commemoration in memory of the victims of The Holocaust which resulted in the annihilation of 6 million European Jews by the Nazi German regime. January 27, 1945 is the date when the largest Nazi death camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) was liberated by Soviet troops.

A mound of victims' shoes found in Majdanek after the liberation
Soviet soldiers investigating Majdanek survey a warehouse containing thousands of shoes confiscated from murdered prisoners
A warehouse filled with containers of Zyklon B (poison gas pellets) at the Majdanek death camp


A woman about to be executed in the Belzec concentration camp
A group of Jewish men awaiting death in a gas van at the Chelmno death camp
The dead body of a prisoner lies on the floor between rows of bunks in a barracks in the Woebbelin concentration camp


Jews on their way out of the city of Kiev to the Babi Yar ravine pass corpses in the street
Jewish women and children who have already surrendered their belongings form a small group as others in the background are ordered to discard their outer clothing and their possessions prior to execution. Photograph was taken October 16, 1941 in Lubny, the Ukraine
German soldiers of the Waffen-SS and the Reich Labor Service look on as a member of Einsatzgruppe D prepares to shoot a Ukrainian Jew kneeling on the edge of a mass grave filled with the bodies of previous victims


Jews from Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands stand for roll call in the Buchenwald concentration camp soon after their arrival on February 28, 1941
Prisoners from Buchenwald awaiting execution in the forest near the camp
Bones of anti-Nazi German women are visible in the crematoria in the concentration camp at Weimar, Germany. April 14, 1945



David Essing

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