The Independent reports that Pope Benedict XVI has overturned the excommunication of four bishops ordained by the arch-conservative Society of Saint Pius X.
Who are these wayward souls so deserving of mercy? According to The Independent, three of the four are:
- Richard Williamson
British bishop consecrated by schismatic French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Has said the Vatican is controlled by Satan and once declared the historical evidence was “hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers... I believe there were no gas chambers.”
- Floriano Abrahamowicz
Regarded as unofficial chaplain of Italy's separatist Northern League. He told an Italian newspaper: “I know the gas chambers existed... but I don't know if anyone was killed in them. I know that, in addition to the official version, there is another version based on the observations of the first Allied technicians to enter.”
- Gerhard Maria Wagner
Appointed auxiliary bishop in the Austrian city of Linz last week. In 2005 he suggested that disasters such as Hurricane Katrina were the result of “spiritual environmental pollution”. “It is surely not an accident,” he added, “that all five of New Orleans's abortion clinics... were destroyed.”
Why would the Pope rehabilitate such Holocaust-deniers? Maybe he felt the need to short up his base after the election of Obama and the decline of the Catholic Church in Europe? Maybe he's willing to sacrifice the Jews (and the moral standing of his flock) to lure back the idolaters left behind by Vatican II? Maybe he is merely isolated in his Papal Apartments by a Machiavellian Curia?
Or just maybe, the Vatican really is controlled by Satan. This explanation is the least frightening alternative, and has at least the merit of freeing Catholics from the shame of this decision. Not that His Holiness needs my advice: the Pope seems to be without shame already.