Catholic and other news outlets report on the SSPX bishop, Richard Williamson, apologizing after his expulsion from Argentina. It’s hard to consider the likely sincerity with the sound bytes given in the media. The full text is here.
The man has one good line:
To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise.
Given the limp apologies we see by public figures, this is a step beyond most athletes, celebrities, and such. However, many commentators are unsure. Rome didn’t seem too impressed. I did detect regret, but not for the actual statements offered, but the resulting furor:
Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.
A thief may also regret stealing after being caught in the crime, wishing she or he had not planned a particular heist.
I find it curious the bishop did not address Jewish people at all, directly or even by a mention of them. While Stalin and Mao may have killed more human beings, Hitler’s attempt was to wipe out an entire gens. Mass murder plus genocide. The former were vainly attempting to silence and murder dissenters.
You have to wonder how the pope feels about this whole affair. Any regret, do you think, on his part, for jumping in with lifting excommunications? If one small step (something we’ve shared with the Orthodox for over forty years) causes such a firestorm, why wouldn’t he turn his efforts to ecumenism that will actually build unity?