Pope Benedict has spoken out against holocaust denial in a bid to repair relations with Jews damaged by recent comments from a controversial bishop.
At a meeting with leading American Rabbis in the Vatican the Pope also confirmed he was planning to visit Israel. Vatican sources say the trip will take place in May. On the holocaust he said: “Any denial or minimazation of this terrible crime is intolerable and altogether unacceptable. Recently in a public audience I reaffirmed the Shoah must be a warning for all against forgetfulness, denial or reductionism.” The Pope also spoke of the emotions he felt on visiting Auschwitz three years ago. The Rabbis said they were satisfied with the Pope’s statement. The controversy erupted last month after the Vatican lifted the excommunications of traditionalist bishops, including Richard Williamson. He had recently denied the full extent of the holocaust, saying in a TV interview that he did not believe six million Jews had been gassed. The Pope has ordered him to recant, but he says needs more time to review the evidence.