The uproar following Benedict XVI’s decision to lift the excommunication of bishops in the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X—one of whom is a notorious Holocaust denier—was predictable enough, except, it seems, to the pope himself. Benedict has tried to explain that he acted out of “pastoral concern and fatherly mercy,” in an attempt to begin the process of healing the only schism to have emerged from Vatican II. Since the bishops in question still reject the council’s teaching...

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