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‘Lying’ Holocaust denier is embraced by the Vatican

HOLOCAUST denier Richard Williamson, 68, is one of four bishops who have had the excommunications lifted by Pope Ratzinger this week.

Holocaust denier Williamson

Holocaust denier Williamson

The four bishops were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by the late ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent — a move the Vatican said at the time was an act of schism.

The Vatican announced this week that Ratzi rehabilitated the four as part of his efforts to bring Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X back into the Vatican’s fold.

Then all hell broke loose when Williamson said in a interview on Swedish TV:

I believe there were no gas chambers … I think that 200 000 to 300 000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers. There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies!

According to this report, German prosecutors immediately launched a probe against Williamson. A spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office in the southern city of Regensburg said it had opened an investigation against him for the remarks he made.

Historians have established that six million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany during World War II including vast numbers by systematic extermination in gas chambers.  But Williamson insisted that history:

Is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed.

This week, Pope Benedict XVI reportedly decided to cancel the excommunication of the four bishops in a bid to heal the schism with the more traditionalist Catholic movement.

Lefebvre, who died in 1991, was excommunicated in 1988 by pope Jean Paul II for having consecrated the bishops in defiance of the Vatican’s authority.

While Williamson’s comments may be offensive and erroneous, they are not an excommunicable offence, said Monsignor Robert Wister, professor of church history at Immaculate Conception School of Theology at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

To deny the Holocaust is not a heresy even though it is a lie. The excommunication can be lifted because he is not a heretic, but he remains a liar.

Jewish groups denounced the Vatican for having embraced a Holocaust denier and warned that the pope’s decision would have serious implications for Catholic-Jewish relations as well as the pontiff’s planned visit to the Holy Land later this year.

Said Rabbi David Rosen, Jerusalem-based head of interrelgious affairs at the American Jewish Committee and a key Vatican-Jewish negotiator:

I do not see how business can proceed as usual.

He called for the Pope or a senior adviser to issue a “clear condemnation” of all Holocaust denials and deniers.

Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Paris said he understood the German-born pope’s desire for Christian unity, but said Benedict could have excluded Williamson. He warned that his rehabilitation would have a “political cost” for the Vatican.

I’m certain as a man who has known the Nazi regime in his own flesh, he understands you have to be very careful and very selective.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Williamson’s views were “absolutely indefensible.” But he denied that rehabilitating Williamson implied that the Vatican shared them.

They are his personal ideas … that we certainly don’t share but they have nothing to do with the issue of the excommunication and the removal of the excommunication.

Williamson’s comments cast a cloud over the pope’s efforts to normalise relations with the Swiss-based Society of St. Pius X, which Lefebvre founded in 1969. Lefebvre was opposed to the liberalizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, particularly its ecumenical outreach and its decision to allow Mass to be celebrated in local languages instead of Latin.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the current head of the society,who also had his excommunication lifted, expressed his gratitude to Benedict and said the decree would help the whole Roman Catholic Church.

Thanks to this gesture, Catholics attached to tradition throughout the world will no longer be unjustly stigmatized and condemned for having kept the faith of their fathers.

Fellay, meanwhile, has distanced the society from Williamson’s remarks about the Holocaust, saying Williamson only had authority to discuss matters of faith and that he was personally responsible for his own opinions.

But he berated Swedish state television, accusing it of having introduced the Holocaust issue in the interview “with the obvious intention of misrepresenting and maligning,” the society.

The Society of St. Pius X, which is based in Menzingen, Switzerland, has six seminaries, three universities and 70 primary and secondary schools around the globe. Aside from the four bishops, it boasts 463 priests and 160 seminarians.

13 responses to “‘Lying’ Holocaust denier is embraced by the Vatican”

  1. newspaniard says:

    Now that they are no longer outlaws, does The Society of St. Pius X have to pass on all its income to the Vatican? What about arrears? Was the un-excommunication-ing back dated? There has got to be a few quid involved for the Vat Cats somewhere.

  2. brainfuck says:

    How stupid is the pope actually? Many people accuse him of still being a nazi, and he now had an oportunity to “prove” that he isn’t by simly dropping the procedure on williams. But no, they insist on holding up the link between catholisism and naziism. Plain stupid, but what can we expect from ulta-conservative catholics?

  3. TONY E says:

    I bet Benedict still has his Hitler Youth uniform hanging in his closet………….

  4. chrsbol says:

    What does that twat look like?

  5. Wurble says:

    So Williamson makes a living from his “belief” in an unprovable deity and yet he is happy to go on TV and deny the evidence of one of the best documented atrocities committed by man. The man is quite simply, a waste of oxygen!

    I went to Auschwitz – Birkenau last year, all the evidence is there to see and it aint pretty.

  6. Stuart H. says:

    In 2003 one of the Irish tabloids ran a major story which revealed that James Kopp, the pro-life nutter who shot several US and Canadian doctors, had been hiding out at a Pius X house in Dublin for around a year.
    Don’t remember the paper now, but there’s also a useful summary of this and similar on the website of Searchlight, the anti-fascist mag, at
    http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/index.php?link=template&story=36
    Pius X has also been suggested as a main supect for the ‘right wing Catholic organisation’ mentioned in another Irish story this week at http://www.independent.ie/national-news/mother-from-hell-is-guilty-of-incest-1609693.html
    Explain that away, Benny!

  7. valdemar says:

    Perhaps the current Pope just doesn’t like Jews? German Catholics of his generation didn’t, as a rule. We may like to believe that crass, old-style anti-semitism wouldn’t infect a man of his intellect and status, but why shouldn’t it? Nobody ever said David Irving lacked brains – he just lacks any respect for the truth, and any moral compass. The mainstream Catholic church helped Nazis escape to South America for a reason, and it wasn’t only a mutual liking for fancy parades.

  8. TONY E says:

    In regard to Benedict 16th – It’s amazing the amount of people who were members of German Nazi organisations who totally deny it now. I suppose his time in the anti-aircraft division could be put down to ‘youthful vim?’ Bollocks.

    The Catholic Church’s relationship with the Nazi’s prior to WWII (Reichskonkordat) during (basically turning a blind eye) AND after (vatican involvement with ODESSA)show exactly where their sympathies lie.

  9. Mike says:

    “I suppose his time in the anti-aircraft division could be put down to ‘youthful vim?’ Bollocks.”

    Who was in that? because in a country ruled by a military dictatorship that’s on it’s last legs you can be pretty much gauranteed to be conscripted into something, without nessescarily agreeing with the leaders of the country.

  10. Peter Hardman says:

    Come on .. how can you take an old queen in a dress, with a tiara and red Prada slippers seriously…of course he’s still a Nazi. This just proves that the Catholic Church is based on intolerance and hatred, Benedicta has offended the Muslims, the Gay’s (we’re as bad as global warming and now he’s sticking two fingers up to the Jewish community.

    it’s time this lot were taxed out of existence and legislated that they could only ‘worship” their biscuits and sky fairy in private, with windows and doors locked and no choirboys allowed !!!

  11. Broga says:

    Twat? Bit unfair chrsbol. Reminds of of my old army muckers’ response, “He isn’t a twat. A twat is useful” But I get your drift. These liars are vicious, fetid with bigotry and the stench of contempt for the rest of us is overpowering.

    Any comments from any of the other oecumenical brothers?

  12. TONY E says:

    Mike,

    In response I totally agree with your comments, what I was trying to say was, has anyone ever met anyone who has actually admitted to being a Nazi, of course not, they were just following orders. If Benedict had been active in the Hitler Youth, i’m sure, that at this moment, someone is sat with an erazer and tippex and rewriting his role as we speak.
    The Catholic church, under Pius XII, has a lot to answer for especially concerning Jews.

    Please see this link.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-unholy-legacy-of-pius-xii-966934.html

  13. tom gambeski says:

    The hate and intolerance toward the Catholic Church ,in reaction to
    Pope Benedict’s allowing an ignorant renegate Bishop and his followers back to the church ,is frieghtening.
    Unfortunately frail humans just like us are in charge and they make
    mistakes sometimes forgiving those who transgress and in your eyes not deserving but we can’t overlook the fact that these people do some good for society and could someday see the errors of their thinking .The alternative of striking out and severing all communications is certainly a justifiable human response in this case and one that I would wholeheartedly support but not the thinking needed to be a religious leader.
    However,what I read in these responses is not constructive critizism but a vicious hate for the Cathoic Church from people who I’m sure have a lot of credible information to support their opinions. When I hear vindictiveness toward an institution that has done far more good then harm I feel sorry for those who spend so much time attempting to degrade instead of lifting. Religious people are not perfect but they do try to see the good in everyone and do help millions of the unfortunate amongst us.I hope you all are doing the same.
    God Bless you all.