Vatican muddle over anti-holocaust bishop
The Vatican has bowed to pressure from Israel and Europe to force a holocaust-denying to recant his views. The Vatican said in a statement that Pope Benedict XVI did not know about Bishop Richard Williamson’s views when he welcomed him back into the Catholic church in January.
However, Williamson had been shown on Swedish state television days before his acceptance was made public saying historical evidence ‘is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed’ during World War II. The bishop had previously been excommunicated in 1988 after he and three other bishops were consecrated without papal consent.
The statement seeking Williamson’s change of views was issued by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the Pope to make a clearer rejection of Holocaust denials, saying there had not been adequate clarification from the Vatican.