Catholics condemn ‘media campaign’ against pope

Two German Catholic groups on Friday appealed to fellow members of the faith to back the pope in the row over a Holocaust-denying bishop, condemning what they see as a ”manipulative media campaign”.

”The opponents of the pope, including unfortunately even prominent bishops within the church, will stop at nothing to stop him steering his steady course,” the Pro Sancta Ecclesia group wrote in an advert in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

”All the more reason for Catholics who are true to their beliefs and to the church to rise up against these attempts, stand behind the pope and support him with prayer and work, word and deed,” the group added.

There has been a ”manipulative media campaign” against Pope Benedict XVI with ”excessive blasphemy,” the group said, vowing to stand squarely behind the pontiff.

In a separate advert in the same paper, the German Catholic Forum called on all Catholics to ”stand unequivocally at the pope’s side” and rejected ”any political interference in internal church matters”.

The pope’s decision to lift the excommunication of Richard Williamson — a British-born bishop who denied the nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews — caused outrage in his native Germany.

The row prompted a highly unusual intervention from Chancellor Angela Merkel who called on the Vatican on Tuesday to clarify its position.

In a climbdown the next day, the Vatican called on Williamson to recant his position but did not reverse its decision to lift his excommunication.

Merkel on Thursday praised the Vatican’s statement, describing it as an ”important and good signal” and a ”step forward” in the dispute.

Her uncompromising approach to the controversy won Merkel widespread praise in Germany — where denying the Holocaust is illegal. Bishops, Jewish groups and media editorialists lined up to laud Merkel’s comments. — Sapa-AFP

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Harbour views at 9th Avenue Waterside

The award-winning eatery, which offers fine wines and food, is on stilts at Durban’s harbour

Zimbabwe hospital workers plot stillbirth burials

The policy is to cremate deceased infants but Bulawayo Hospital’s incinerators are not working

Salman Rushdie on ventilator, likely to lose an eye after...

The British author of "The Satanic Verses" had to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery following the attack

Covid-19 has led to an increase in depression, mental illness...

There has been an unprecedented structural shift in disease patterns, which has highlighted unequal access to healthcare
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×