IHT: Argentina Banishes Holocaust Denier Bishop Richard Williamson

Bravo to Argentina for doing the right thing.

Argentina expels Holocaust- denying bishop
By Hugh Bronstein

Argentina has given a Roman Catholic bishop 10 days to leave the country or be expelled after he caused an international uproar by denying the extent of the Holocaust, the government said on Thursday.

Bishop Richard Williamson, an ultra-traditionalist who headed a seminary near Buenos Aires until earlier this month, has said he believes there were no gas chambers and that no more than 300,000 Jews died in Germany's Nazi concentration camps, rather than the 6 million figure that is widely accepted.

The Vatican ordered him to retract his comments and the British-born Williamson responded that needed more time to review the evidence.

"The interior minister ... orders Richard Nelson Williamson to leave the country within 10 days or be expelled," Argentina's government said in a statement.

Williamson's views were anti-Semitic and "deeply offended Argentine society," the government said. Argentina is home to one of the world's largest Jewish communities outside of Israel.

At the seminary outside Buenos Aires, in the rural town of La Reja, two clergymen told Reuters that Williamson had already left the sprawling, tree-lined compound.

"It's very sad but there you have it," said a bespectacled, young Frenchman who identified himself as Juan de Dios, or Juan of God.

Neither he nor priest Alvaro Calderon was willing to say if Williamson had left for good.

Pope Benedict angered Jewish leaders and many Catholics last month when he lifted excommunications on Williamson and three other traditionalists to try to heal a 20-year-old schism within the Church that began in 1988 when they were ordained without Vatican permission.

Williamson, who belongs to the ultra-traditional Society of Saint Pius X, was removed earlier this month as head of the seminary in La Reja...

Argentine Jewish groups applauded the government's decision. Aldo Donzis, head of the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations, said denying the Holocaust was "unacceptable."

Rabbi Daniel Goldman, a child of Holocaust survivors who sought government action against Williamson, told the Jewish News Agency that "actions such as these clearly show that our people and our leadership refuse to live alongside a lie."

A leader of Germany's Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, said on Sunday it was "almost ridiculous" that Williamson has said he needs time to review evidence about whether the Holocaust took place.

1 comment:

Religion and State in Israel said...

See also The Boston Globe article Bishop's vexing beliefs have deep roots

"He called the Holocaust the biggest theatrics known to mankind - I remember sitting in a conference one time when he said those words, and I couldn't believe it - he looked around the room and saw the jaws dropping," said Joseph Rizzo.

"I walked around the lake with him, and I said, 'Why would you say that?' and he said, 'There's no documentation.'

He said it was all staged, and when I asked why, he said because the Jews own the country, they own the banks, and he felt it was some kind of effort to generate some sympathy toward them."