Pope Watch

Vatican Cracking

In attempting to heal a divide in the Church, has Pope Benedict created new ones? A day after German Chancellor Andrea Merkel criticized the pope for reinstating Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, key members of the Catholic church are piling on, offering a rare glimpse behind the usual Vatican show of unity. Cardinal Walter Kasper, one of the pope's pointmen on relations with Jews said he was following the issue with "great concern" and "Surely, mistakes have been made in the management of the Curia, too, I want to say this explicitly." German Bishop Werner Thissen also said the un-excommuncation was "sloppy work" that damaged relations with the Jews, while his colleague, Bishop Gebhard Fuerst said that "Vatican members didn't look closely enough" at the reinstated bishop's views. Marco Politi, a biographer of Pope John Paul II, said "In three years he has succed in creating strains with two of the world's leading religions. It raises question about the governance of the universal church."