Under growing pressure to act, the Vatican has ordered a newly-reinstated bishop to publicly retract remarks in which he denied the Holocaust.
A statement said Pope Benedict was not aware of the denial when he lifted Bishop Richard Williamson’s excommunication. His positions on the Holocaust were “absolutely unacceptable and firmly rejected” by the Pope, the statement said. Williamsom, who has denied the existence of gas chambers and that six million Jews perished, was rehabilitated with three other traditionalist bishops. Yesterday German leader Angela Merkel urged the Bavarian-born Pope to make clear he would not tolerate Holocaust denial. Bishop Williamson is being warned that unless he takes back his comments he will not be fully readmitted into the Roman Catholic Church.