Vatican Says Bishop Must Recant Holocaust Denials

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

The Vatican Secretariat of State has demanded that former schismatic Bishop Richard Williamson recant his denials of the Holocaust before being received back into full communion with the Church.

Bishop Williamson, a member of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has made numerous statements minimizing the events of the Holocaust from denying that Jews were gassed to saying the total number of victims was only 300,000.

“Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the Church, will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah, which the Holy Father was not aware of when the excommunication was lifted,” said the Secretariat’s statement.
The announcement was made only a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly urged the pope to make a clearer rejection of Holocaust denials, saying there hadn’t been adequate clarification from the Vatican.

In the statement, the Vatican said that while Williamson’s excommunication had been lifted, he still had no canonical function in the Church because he was consecrated illegitimately by Lefebvre.

In addition, the Vatican said the Society of St Pius X as a whole must fully recognize the teachings of Vatican II and the teachings of all the popes who came during and after it in order to have a legitimate canonical function in the Church.

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