Trouble At The Vatican/Father Gerry: The Family Man

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The Roman Catholic Church is one of the foundation institutions in the world. For two millennia, its influence - and its theological battles -- have been at the centre of Western civilization and culture.

Perhaps it's no surprise then, that the Church is once again the focus of controversy, on the front pages of newspapers, on radio, on TV, and on countless blogs and websites, over the Vatican's decision to lift the excommunication of four bishops who were part of a breakaway, ultra-traditionalist group, the Society of St. Pius the Tenth.

One of the bishops, Richard Williamson, is notorious for his denial of the Holocaust. Around the world, reaction to the Vatican's move has been swift and harsh. Even the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, condemned Pope Benedict, calling on him to publicly reject the views of Bishop Williamson. A few days later, the Vatican said the Pope had not been aware of Williamson's views on the Holocaust, and called on the bishop to recant those views before he can serve as a clergyman.

On Thursday, the Pope told Jewish leaders that the Catholic church was committed" to rejecting anti-Semitism, and condemned Holocaust denial as "intolerable." But this is not the first time the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI has created a rift with another religious group.

Guest host Robert Harris talks with John L. Allen Jr., Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the author of All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks."

Also: freelance broadcaster Madonna Hamel brings us a profile of Father Gerry Campeau. He's one of a growing number of second-career, formerly-married priests. The Catholic church has opened the doors to these men, in an effort to bolster the declining ranks of the priest-hood. Father Gerry Campeau is the parish priest at St. Simon and St. Jude, just outside of Windsor, Ontario, where his children and extended family also live.

 

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