Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 16, 2009
Holocaust-denying bishop removed from his seminary post
BY CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY – Bishop Richard Williamson, the Holocaust-denying traditionalist bishop, has been removed from his role as rector of the seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in La Reja, Argentina.
In an email to the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Father Christian Bouchacourt, South American district director of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, said Williamson had been removed from the job he held for five years.
SOCIETY REFUTES WILLIAMSON
Bouchacourt repeated the society’s position that “the affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any way the position of our congregation.”
In an interview published Feb. 7 by the German magazine Der Spiegel, Williamson said he was willing to review the historical evidence about the Holocaust, and “if I find this evidence, I will correct myself.
“But that will take time.”
The Vatican Secretariat of State issued a statement Feb. 4, stating that Williamson would not be received into full communion with the Church unless he disavowed in “an absolutely unequivocal and public manner” his denial of the Holocaust.
Meanwhile, Father Davide Pagliarani, superior of the traditionalist society’s Italian district, issued a statement saying another Holocaust denier, Father Floriano Abrahamowicz, had been expelled from the Society of St. Pius X.
Abrahamowicz gave several interviews in which he too denied the Holocaust.
The Society of St. Pius X was founded in 1969 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. It does not accept the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Benedict was scheduled to meet Feb. 12 with more than 60 U.S. Jewish leaders, members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
A Vatican official said the group had requested the papal audience before the Williamson controversy erupted.