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article imagePope Reinstates Holocaust-Denying Bishop

By Joan Firstenberg     Jan 24, 2009 in World
In a shocking move, Pope Benedict the XVI has reinstated an excommunicated Bishop who publicly rejects the Holocaust ever happened.
In a strange move destined to alienate Jews around the world, Pope Benedict XVI rehabilitated an excommunicated bishop who reportedly denies the Holocaust ever happened. British-born Richard Williamson is one of four bishops thrown out of the church in 1988 for being ordained without Vatican permission.
Williamson has reportedly made several statements denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews, as the facts are accepted by mainstream historians and still-living victims. The Pontiff ignored Jewish leaders in rehabilitating Williams, who warned that the move would seriously harm Catholic-Jewish relations and create new reasons for anti-Semitism.
Commenting on Swedish television in Germany in November, and played back on Wednesday, Williams said the Nazis did not use gas chambers...
"I believe that the historical evidence ... is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. Between 200,000-300,000 perished in Nazi concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber."
Rome's chief rabbi said Williamson's rehabilitation would open "a deep wound." And the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, CRIF,called him
"A despicable liar whose only goal is to revive the centuries-old hate against Jews.".
Vatican officials declined Friday to comment on his remarks.
Williamson's remarks could get him into legal trouble in Germany. State prosecutors in Regensburg have opened a preliminary investigation about whether he broke German laws against Holocaust denial.
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