But Benedict’s gesture received outsized attention when one of the four bishops, Richard Williamson, did a television interview and denied that millions of Jews had died in gas chambers at Nazi death camps. Not only were Jews outraged, but so were more than a few Catholics.
Traditionalists facing showdown with Vatican
As the Vatican worked to reassure Jews that Williamson’s views were not its own, steps were underway to achieve the real goal of Benedict’s move: full reconciliation with the traditionalist group, known as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and an end to the most significant schism within the Roman Catholic Church in a half century.
Now, after more than two years of secret negotiations, the SSPX is due in mid-April to give its response to the Vatican’s final offer for reconciliation, which was delivered last September.
Regardless of whether the group accepts the pope’s olive branch — and his insistence that SSPX give some sort of recognition to the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) — the outcome is bound to have a profound impact on Benedict’s papacy and on the larger Catholic Church. [more]
RNS via Washington Post