Skip to comments.Pope Removes Ban on British Holocaust Denier Bishop
Posted on 01/25/2009 10:32:37 AM PST by Nachum
(IsraelNN.com) In a move that many Jewish community officials said would cause relations between Jews and Catholics to further deteriorate, the Vatican on Saturday lifted an excommunication ban against Bishop Richard Williamson, one of four bishops who were banned in 1988 for taking on the office of bishop against the wishes of then-Pope John Paul II.
Williamson is a Holocaust denier, and has repeatedly said that the gas chambers did not exist and that no more than 300,000 Jews were killed during World War II, mostly of starvation. In addition, Williamson has declared that the Jews are plotting to take over the world, and that the U.S. and Israel were behind 9/11.
In an interview with Swedish television conducted last November but broadcast last week, Williamson said that he believed that there were no gas chambers."
Between 200,000-300,000 perished in Nazi concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber, he said, adding, I believe that the historical evidence is hugely against 6 million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.
Back to Middle Ages Williamson has had a long history of Holocaust denial. In a 1989 sermon in Sherbrooke, Canada, Williamson said that "there was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel... Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism." In dozens of sermons and letters, Richardson reiterated the same theme, adding that Hitler liberated Germany from the Jews.
Richardson advocates a return to the Middle Ages, with the Inquisition the preferred model of the Catholic relationship to Jews. As Catholic faith goes up, so Jewish power goes down, while as Catholic faith goes down, so Jewish power goes up. In the Catholic Middle Ages, the Jews were relatively impotent to harm Christendom. But as Catholics have grown over the centuries weaker and weaker in the faith, especially since Vatican II, so the Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world dominion... When Spanish Catholics were truly Catholic, God granted them by 1492 to reconquer Spain from the Arabs, and then granted them to create a Catholic empire in the Americas.
Jewish community officials have expressed serious concerns over the Pope's move. Rabbi Shmuel Ricardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, told reporters that the rehabilitation of Williamson opens a deep wound in Catholic-Jewish relations.
The Anti-Defamation League, an anti-Semitism watchdog group, said that the reinstatement could become a source of great tension between Catholics and Jews. The umbrella group of Jewish communities in France called Williamson a contemptible liar whose sole objective is to reawaken centuries-old hatred against the Jews.
In a report, Reuters quoted Mordechai Lewy, Israel's ambassador to the Vatican, as saying that Israel has no intention of interfering in the internal workings of the Catholic Church. However, the eagerness to bring a Holocaust denier back into the Church will cast a shadow on relations between Jews and the Catholic Church.
A Vatican spokesman said that the lifting of the ban had nothing to do with Williamson's views. It has nothing to do with the personal opinions of a person, which are open to criticism, but are not pertinent to this decree.
There couldn't possibly be two people that ignorant.
“Williamson is a Holocaust denier, and has repeatedly said that the gas chambers did not exist and that no more than 300,000 Jews were killed during World War II, mostly of starvation. In addition, Williamson has declared that the Jews are plotting to take over the world, and that the U.S. and Israel were behind 9/11.”
The Pope needs to get this man to go to the holocaust museum or help dig up a mass grave.
God bless the Pope!
This guy’s reinstatement to the Church has nothing to do with his position on the Holocaust, as wrongheaded as he may be.
His excommunication had nothing to do with his Holocast fantasies, but with his conflicts with certain Church doctrine.
Israeli and Jewish press need to knock off playing politics with something that is (1) theological, and (2) none of their business.
how did this cretin become a bishop in the first place?
A good question. This guy should be defrocked. Not happy with this move.
I read this twice. Where does it say his holocaust denial was the reason for his excommunication? Anyone...?
There is a good Q&A article on Reuters about exactly what the Pope is doing. The Pope is trying to heal our church with the means of more of a conservative element. The harm that has been done by the so called spirit of Vatican II has been horrendous. Pope Benedict is NOT going to lead anyone to think the Holocaust did not happen for heaven’s sake. But I would like to ask those who are Jewish why do so many Jews vote for the dems when they clearly have a negative view of Isreal? Do they really trust Obama? Now that would concern me more.
Seriously, though, it will probably be a very quiet, one-sided conversation, as he will be without excuse (as will we all be in regards to our sins).
This article is short on facts. Will he be recognized as a bishop, or even a priest, in the Roman Catholic Church? Or is he just getting his membership back? It’s also not clear how he got to be a bishop in the first place, if the man who was Pope at the time actively disagreed with the plan for him to become a bishop. If he’s just getting his membership back, fine — it’s reasonable for a church not to treat mental illness as a barrier to membership, no matter how onerous the symptoms. But if this Pope is letting him back in as a still-frocked priest, or as a bishop, that’s appalling. I have a low opinion of the Catholic Church to begin with (promoter of socialism and illegal immigration, enabler of large-scale child molestation, etc), but if the current Pope is willing to let this nut be recognized as a priest in the RC Church, I will downgrade my already low opinion of the Church, and classify it as an outright enemy of civilization.
Whether or not Holocaust denial is an excommunicable offense, he should not be allowed to remain a bishop unless the Catholic Church wants people to very reasonably attribute his views to the Catholic Church to some extent.
Having said that, it's important to note that his "holocaust denial" never had anything to do with his excommunication -- and therefore has nothing to do with his reinstatement.
He seems to take issue with the gas chamber story, not the Holocaust itself.
No, it simply didn't happen, maybe 300,000 Jews died. At best.
Besides, what difference does it make? Jews are the enemies of Christians, on earth to establish the reign of the anti-Christ, based in Jerusalem. Thus the imperative that the Catholic Church convert them.
His beliefs are not relevant to the Pope's actions, but are vile and shouldn't be minimized.
All that has been done is to lift his excommunication, effective this week. He remains suspended a divinis. which means he cannot confer any of the sacraments, establish new parishes, or employ any of the other powers of bishops. That remains true of all other SSPX bishops and priests - further talks are needed to fully regularize their position with the Church.
Williamson (and the other SSPX bishops) were excommunicated in the first place precisely for being ordained. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated these four bishops in June 1988 without any authorization by the Pope, and in so doing all involved automatically incurred late sententiae excommunication.
Because Lefebvre had the power to consecrate new bishops, Williams (alas) is technically a valid bishop, but he is not a licit one, because he was not authorized to become one by Rome.
As for his ideas on the Holocaust, they are ludicrous but not technically heresy and therefore don't affect his excommunication. But I dare say he will have to recant before he is regularized as part of any deal with the SSPX, assuming he is regularized at all.
You're saying the Holocaust did not happen?
Responding to the poster upthread who suggested he wasn’t a Holocaust Denier, only questioned the gas chambers, itself an absurdity. In the Bishop’s own words. He goes much farther than that when it comes to Jews, his Holocaust denial is only the tip of the iceberg.
I'm sure your comment will be an easier sell to Catholics than it will be to non-Catholics, who might have a harder time reconciling his views with those of the Church.
I think that most people will not find it quite so easy to separate the man's theology from the rest of his personal views. JMO.