Seminary sacks Holocaust-denier bishop - report

Mon, Feb 9, 2009, 00:00

Bishop Richard Williamson, who has said he does not believe millions of Jews died in Nazi gas chambers, has been sacked from his seminary, it was reported today.

The news agency Diarios y Noticias said the ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X was relieving Richard Williamson of his post as director of its seminary in La Reja, Argentina.

Neither parties have yet been reached to confirm the report, but it follows a demand from the Vatican last week for the bishop to publicly recant his views on the Holocaust.

Bishop Williamson is reported to have claimed in a television interview last month that historical evidence was “hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler . . . I believe there were no gas chambers”.

He added: “I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them by gas chambers.”

Previously, Pope Benedict XVI faced uproar in his native Germany and severe criticism from Jewish groups over his decision to lift an excommunication of the bishop.

He had the status lifted along with three other bishops who were ordained without Vatican permission by the renegade French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

But the Vatican said that the Pope did not know about Bishop Williamson’s views when he agreed to lift the excommunication.

PA