Pope Benedict has made an abrupt turn-around on the Richard Williamson scandal, demanding that he repudiate his Holocaust-denial if he is to be readmitted into the church. This comes after a furious reaction by the Jewish community to the rehabilitation of Mr. Williamson, who was to be readmitted to the Catholic religious body as a gesture of reconciliation with its radically conservative wing. Previously, the church had brushed aside the outrage, with Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone saying he considered the matter "closed" after Benedict denounced Holocaust deniers last week.
It is good to see the Vatican take this step. It would have been better if they hadn't so badly screwed up in the first place, then tried to airily dismiss the legitimate complaints of the Jewish community. But late is better than never. It'll be interesting to see what Williamson does.