On a busy
Few question Pope Benedict XVI’s good will, nor the eloquence of his prose. But for the second time in three years, the Pope has delivered a highly anticipated discourse on the Holocaust that was moving but, by its silence on specific subjects, missed an opportunity of historic proportions. Welcomed at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial early Monday evening, Benedict spoke powerfully of the victims, and called on humanity never to forget the attempt to exterminate the Jews as a way “to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again.” But, in a highly unusual criticism of an honored guest’s remarks, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, chairman of the Yad Vashem council, told Israeli television that though the speech was moving, “Something was missing.
On the second day of his visit to the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI stressed the need for harmony and unity between Christians and Muslims.
Pope Benedict XVI’s opposition to condoms, even as a weapon to help combat the spread of AIDS, should surprise no one who knows anything about Catholic Church teachings. The 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, penned by Pope Paul VI, explicitly forbids contraception as denying the Creator’s will that humans be fruitful and multiply
The Vatican said Friday it is not satisfied by the apology issued by a Catholic bishop who denied the Holocaust, saying the cleric must still clearly "distance himself" from the controversial comments. Bishop Richard Williamson, who is now in England, issued a statement Thursday saying he regretted making the remarks.
Four British soldiers died Wednesday in Afghanistan, bringing the number of international troops killed since Friday in the war-torn country to 11.
Pope Benedict XVI will visit Israel in May, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Sunday. Benedict’s visit to the region has been the subject of speculation for months, but Olmert’s statement at the beginning of his weekly Cabinet meeting was the first official confirmation. The pope mentioned Thursday that he was “preparing to visit Israel,” but the Vatican has not officially said when the trip will take place.
A German court Monday refused to intervene in the case of Bishop Richard Williamson, who is facing prosecution for denying the Holocaust — a crime in Germany. Williamson asked the court to order Swedish Public Television to restrict broadcast of an interview in which he doubts the existence of Nazi gas chambers and a systematic Nazi plan to annihilate European Jewry