Reflections on the Bishop Williamson Affair
In January of this year, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the ban of excommunication on four Bishops from the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, who had been excommunicated in 1988 after being ordained against Vatican orders by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. This would have generated very little news had it not been for the fact that one of them, Bishop Richard Williamson, gave an interview on Swedish television in which he rejected the orthodox Holocaust story. Williamson said historical evidence “is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.” He agreed with Holocaust revisionists who he said concluded that “between 200,000-300,000 perished in Nazi concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing.”
Under pressure from Jewish groups and their Gentile supporters, the supreme Catholic hierarchy condemned Bishop Williamson’s beliefs, and he eventually offered an ambiguous apology. On January 26, the Vatican proclaimed any rejection of the traditional Holocaust story violates the teachings of the Catholic Church. In March, the Vatican’s envoy to Israel asserted that “Holocaust deniers” could not be considered Catholic. Another Vatican spokesman even claimed it is a “sin” to reject the orthodox version of the Jewish experience during WWII.
Paul Grubach Archive
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