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Pope Welcomes Holocaust-Denying Bishop Back After Excommunication

By Heidi Beirich on January 26, 2009 - 2:38 pm, Posted in Radical Traditionalist Catholic

Saturday’s decision by Pope Benedict XVI to revoke the excommunication of four schismatic bishops affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has ignited a firestorm among Jewish community leaders here and abroad. SSPX was founded in 1970 by the late French archbishop, Marcel-François Lefebvre, after Lefebvre rejected the Vatican II reforms that enacted several liberalizing and modernizing reforms within the church.

The anger has centered on the Pope’s decision to lift the excommunication of Holocaust denier and SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson, an Englishman who runs the SSPX seminary in La Reja, Argentina. Just a few days before the Pope issued his decision, Williamson appeared on Swedish television claiming that the Nazis did not use gas chambers to murder people. “I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against — is hugely against — 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler,” he said in the interview. “I believe there were no gas chambers,” he added.

This is not something new for Williamson, even if the Nazis’ use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews and others is universally accepted by all credible World War II historians. In 1989, Williamson gave a speech to a Canadian church in which he decried the alleged persecution of Holocaust denier and neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel by the Canadian government. Williams, who was then rector of SSPX’s main North American seminary in Winona, Minn., told his audience: “There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies.” (More videos of Williamson expressing his extremist views can be found at the online Huffington Post here).

Jewish leaders have strongly denounced the Pope’s decision. “We are stunned that the Vatican has ignored our concerns by welcoming back into the fold a bishop who denies the Holocaust and rejects the seminal reforms of Vatican II,” wrote Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, on the group’s website. “This decree sends a terrible message to Catholics around the world that there is room in the Church for those who would undermine the Church’s teachings and who would foster disdain and contempt for other religions, particularly Judaism. Given the centuries-long history of anti-Semitism in the Church, this is a most troubling setback.” Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee told CNN the move by the Roman Catholic Church was “shameful.”

What hasn’t been widely remarked upon in this controversy is the fact that SSPX as a whole, which has chapels and schools across the United States and in several other countries, is a font of anti-Semitic propaganda. It is in The Angelus, published monthly by the SSPX, and on SSPX’s website that the radical anti-Semitism of the order is most evident today. One example now on the website is a 1997 Angelus article by SSPX priests Michael Crowdy and Kenneth Novak that calls for locking Jews into ghettoes because “Jews are known to kill Christians.” It also blames Jews for the French Revolution, communism and capitalism; suggests a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy has destroyed the Catholic Church; and describes Judaism as “inimical to all nations.”

Another document reproduced on the SSPX’s current website is a 1959 letter from Lefebvre’s close friend, Bishop Gerald Sigaud, who also rejected the Vatican II reforms. “Money, the media, and international politics are for a large part in the hands of Jews,” Bishop Sigaud wrote. “Those who have revealed the atomic secrets of the USA were … all Jews. The founders of communism were Jews.”

The Angelus Press also sells anti-Semitic tomes like Hilaire Belloc’s The Jews, which blames Jews for Bolshevism and corrupt financial practices, and Monsignor George Dillon’s Freemasonry Unmasked, which purports to explain a centuries-old Judeo-Masonic plot to destroy the Catholic Church. More recent SSPX publications include the 2005 pamphlet “Time Bombs of the Second Vatican Council,” by Franz Schmidberger, the former superior general of the SSPX. In the pamphlet, Schmidberger denounces Third World immigration into Western countries as “destroying our national identity and, furthermore, the whole of Christianity,” and collectively accuses the Jews of deicide.

The group has other extremist views. Last February, the SSPX K-12 school, St. Mary’s Academy, in St. Marys, Kan., barred a female referee from officiating a boys’ basketball game held on its campus. According to Sports Illustrated, the referee was told that “as a woman, [she] could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy’s beliefs.”

While Jewish leaders decried the pope’s decision, SSPX Superior General Bernard Fellay was thrilled. “We express our filial gratitude to the Holy Father for this gesture which, beyond the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, will benefit the whole Church,” Fellay wrote on one of the group’s websites. He added that he expected the Vatican to move in the direction of SSPX. “We are pleased that the decree of January 21 considers as necessary ‘talks’ with the Holy See, talks which will enable the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to explain the fundamental doctrinal reasons which it believes to be at the origin of the present difficulties of the Church.”

  • reXteryalizer

    When the UNITED nations of the world TOOK a vote to Give hebrews their HOMELand back.,,

    THE POPE was AGAIN silent….

    WHEN the USA,,,,,tried against all odds to GEt Israel into the United nations, so that their voice could be heard JUST A LITTLE louder…

    AGAIn,,,,,the pope WAS completly SILENT…

    Catholics are fooling No one..,,,,,,

    What a JOKE

  • reXteryalizer

    Why seek reconciliation from Rome ?

    rome is responsible for 2 Holocausts/ participating the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of the early christians and then went on to join Hitler in WW 2 in the Holocaust of THE JEWS..

    jews want nothing from Roman Tic Catholics who are an insult to the fabric all biblical truth / all historical moral value in concerns to The early Christians and the Jews up to the 20 th century.

  • Lisa P

    If the Pope can un-excommunicate the Bishop that does not believe the Holocaust happened, then why is he going to such extremes with the mother and MD in Brazil for trying to save the life of a 9yo rape victim? Also, I did not hear anything about excommunicating the man that raped this little girl. Whats wrong with this picture?

  • Cynthia Gee

    Some of the posts here are as bad as what the article complains of…

  • Carter

    A friend of mine said: “after John-Paul the next Pope will have some pretty big shoes to fill”…..I approached him on this issues and he just looked at the carpet and said: “I had no idea we’d get a man like this. I didn’t know anyone like this could even get close to being Pope. It strains at my faith in the Church as it certainly shows a great deal of fallibility”.

  • David

    What next from Pope Benedict XVI, the excommunication of Patrick Desbois, a French Catholic priest who recently authored “The Holocaust by Bullets,” a book which documents the execution of 2 million Jews, by gunfire, by the Nazis? Desbois has interviewed more than 800 eyewitnesses and pinpointed hundreds of mass graves all over the former Soviet Union where the victims were shot and buried. There is an exhibition now through March 15 at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage about this less often talked about Nazi method of extermination.

    To un-excommunicate those involved with SSPX makes me think Pope Benedict XVI is not in league with God.

  • jeri

    i am too sickend to comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Entdinglichung

    @ Daniel Rosenthal

    at least, you can’t blame pope Ratzinger for being a member of the Hitler Youth because laws in 1936 and 1939 made this compulsory … his and his family’s political background is from the pre-1933 Bavarian People’s Party which was deeply rightwing and catholic and voted in March 1933 for Hitler’s “Ermächtigungsgesetz” which gave the Nazi government the power to rule without parliament

  • Ed Weston

    Somehow the nazi’s treatment of the jews is the major item of their cruelty, and somehow debatable. Their victims also included, bolshevicks, socialists, liberals, Jehova Witnesses, various types of no organization, declared geneticly unfit, and democrats. Those were just the internal enemies. Exterior enemies, included Poles Slavs Russians and Italians, as well as the more well known enemies.
    The last victim of the Nazi Death Machine was performed by Sister Worle in Kaufbeuran Bavaria, in an asylum for children, by lethal injection. Richard Jenne, a four year old boy was the last of over 200 patients to die at Sister Worle’s hand. She was the head nurse at this asylum. Richard was classified as a feeble minded idiot and then deliberatly starved to the point of death so that the lethal injection would easily kill him. The death certificate said typhus. His death occurred three weeks after V.E. Day. When U.S. medical authorities finally came to this asylum they found 1500 desease ridden patients confined to appalling squalid conditions.
    Mrs. Worles coment to the authorities,”Will anything happen to me?”
    Anyone with the stomach for it can read of it were I did, “End Game 1945″, by David Stafford.
    I’m not here just to be down on the Nazi’s. Our own eugenics enthusiasts were used as an example and defense by the Nazis when they started on their various race cleaning programs. For that try,”In Reckless hands”, by Victoria F. Nouse.
    The idea that this behavior only occurred elsewhere under certain hot labels is false. Authority with false knowledge can commit atrocity’s quite easily. Wether or not they took on a fancy label are close by or accross the world is extraneous. It can and has happenned here. Lets try not to let it happen again.

  • John

    God bless the Catholic Church for their principled stand on behalf of those who tell the truth about the Zionist disease.

  • Sharonms

    The comment by “Augustine” about “better us [Catholics] alone” is a prime example of why people become anti-Catholic. That proves that there are still many hate-mongering Catholic MORONS out there, now worshiping their Nazi Pope, who has proven, once and for all, that Popes are NOT infallible. And the comments by James Hallman? Those prove there are many hate-mongering non-Catholic morons out there, too. The key word, of course, is MORONS.

  • Daniel Rosenthal

    The present pope was a member of the Hitler Youth, but now he is trying to play it down….but his actions belie his words. Incidentally, the actual number of people killed by the Nazis (excluding those killed in battle) is closer to 14 million rather than 6 million. In addition to the 6 million Jews murdered, Hitler also had it in for Roma (commonly known as Gypsies), Poles, Serbs, and Russians–the man was an all-around bigot, and a horrible example of the havoc such a person can cause when they get into a position of power.

  • Jo Reyes

    It is hurtful and disarming to see how the hierarchy of the Catholic Church (my faith tradition) is manipulating the word of God to achieve it’s own agendas. And scary to learn of the current presence of these Bishops in teaching in the seminary and Catholic schools where minds and hearts are shaped and developed.

    Small wonder that many people are leaving the Church! May God have mercy on us.

  • MaBarker

    James H.,

    Uh, duh….did you notice that Jews are white? Whether or not I agree with your comments, your words clearly note your lack of intelligence.

  • George Sidoti

    It is wrong for anyone in any position of responsibility to deny the events and deeds committed by one of the worst regimes in global history-Nazi Germany.

    In order to combat the issues surrounding post World War I, it is important to scrutinize the curriculum of the educational systems as to reflect the nature and central theme of historical events.

    There is a red flag here as Pope Benedict welcomes back into the Catholic Church. The Bishops expressing their holocaust denying points of view must never be allowed to sell their propaganda to school children or from any pulpit. A respect for the Catholic Church and historical events within the Catholic doctrine/teachings must be placed under a searchlight beginning with Pope Benedict.

  • James Hallman

    I’m not a great fan of the Catholic Church, but my hats off to the Pope for having the courage of his convections, as well as to Bishop Richard William-son for telling the simple truth concerning the Jewish Holocaust. There is no doubt there were many Jews killed during the course of the war, but the facts have been twisted by the Holocaust Industry that has been created by Jewish scam-artist and crooks.I don’t believe there were 6 million Jews killed ,nor the fact that Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jewish race. If he had, there would have been many more Jews who would have died. The world would be a much better place if America would have put all the Jews in our country into concentration camps and not have allowed them to infiltrate every level of our present society. It’s only because we as American’s won the war, that we’ve lost our racial consciousness and a better future for our white children.

  • Andrew S.


    that’s funny. I knew a (heterosexual) Catholic priest in Rochester, NY that got excommunicated for allowing gays to accept communion and allowing women to be priests.

    It’s really sad how wrong the Catholic Church’s priorities are.

  • kaythegardener

    The present Pope seems to separate the Catholic clergy into the goats (Kung, etc) & the sheep (Cardinal Law) solely on the basis of their thoughts/writings on theological opinions.
    He pays no attention to behavior, eg Bishops who cover up felony criminal acts of their subordinates, since their words sound fine to him & they pledge obedience to him personally.
    Contrast this with the sayings of Jesus, “By their fruits ye will know them. Do you expect to get good fruit from thorns or weeds? Of course not. So not every one who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Father’s Kingdom, but those who DO the will of the Father.”
    Perhaps this is why more & more Catholics are comparing his rule to the Medici Popes, not Pope John XXIII.

  • Cynthia Gee

    Oh, and the comment on the Stormfront site, links to a sermon written by Bishop Williamson, where he says:
    “”There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel…. Jews made up
    the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism.”.

    …but don’t bother trying to follow that link. The original article (first preached as part of a sermon delivered in 1989 in Sherbrooke, Canada), has been removed, and the site where it was posted, no longer exists; the site is no longer available via the “Wayback Machine” search engine, and it has been scrubbed from the Google cache as well.

  • Cynthia Gee

    Get a load of who DOES approve of Williamson… this guy quotes the good bishop at length, too:

    AND, a certain moderator at the Catholic Online web forum is deleting many postings there that have been critical of Williamson or the lifting of the excommunication:

  • Blue Fielder

    Of course Pope Hitleryouth welcomes a Holocaust-denying evolutiuionary throwback into the church – birds of a feather and all that.

    And it naturally didn’t take long before a thtrowback came along to support this.

  • Entdinglichung

    the pope Ratzinger’s decission is not really surprising but only one expression of a shift to the right of the roman catholic church’s leadership in the last year: the mass beatification of 498 Franco supporters in 2007, more or less open support for the PP in Spain and Berlusconi’s coalition in Italy, moving away from repentance over past catholic anti-judaism and anti-semitism (as in pope Ratzinger’s speech in 2006 in Auschwitz), etc. … at least, the statements of the conferences of bishops in Germany and France showed their anger about the Ratzinger’s last step

  • ?


    just WHY?

  • Augustine

    Catholics have the right to believe whatever we want to believe. You better leave us alone or you will certainly suffer. Already your Jewish system has proven it is bankrupt, as your economies tumble, and the Roman Church now rises from the ashes.

  • http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/NaziLeadership.html Rev. Ray Dubuque

    There’s a reason that the Catholic Church didn’t need to un-excommunicate any of the many top leaders of the Nazi regime who were Roman Catholics,i.e. they agreed on a great many conservative social issues. So Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hoess, Julius Streicher, Fritz Thyssen (who bankrolled the Nazi rise to power), Klaus Barbie, and Franz Von Papen were NEVER kicked out of the Roman Catholic Church, nor were
    + Leon Degrelle who headed the Nazi state of Belgium,
    + Emil Hacha who headed the Nazi state of Bohemia-Moravia,
    + Ante Pavelic who headed the Nazi state of Croatia,
    + Konrad Henlein who headed the Nazi state of Sudetenland,
    + Pierre Laval and then Henry Petain who headed the Nazi state of Vichy-France.
    + the priest, Msgr. Josef Tiso, who headed the Nazi state of Slovakia.
    (who wasn’t even defrocked after the defeat of the Nazis).
    Although these were among the most visible Catholic lay people in their countries at the time, did Pope Pius XII excommunicate a single one of them? NO. How can anyone say that this pope did “all that he could”, when he failed to take this obvious measure so as to make it clear to the millions of Catholic faithful who were enabling the Nazis to carry out their campaigns of mass murder, not only against Jews, but against their fellow Catholics in Poland, that they should have no part in these monstrous of crimes and most mortal of sins? Apologists for Pius XII who claim that their crimes caused these people to be “automatically excommunicated” miss the point that excommunication isn’t intended to tell GOD who is a Catholic and who isn’t but to tell THE FAITHFUL whom to shun.
    On the other hand, after the Nazis were defeated and no longer posed any threat to the pope, the Vatican, or the Catholic Church anywhere, did Pope Pius XII allow the Vatican to be used to protect thousands of Catholic war criminals such as the above to escape punishment for their war crimes? YES. Whose side was the pope on?
    Here are some of the more infamous war criminals the Vatican protected from prosecution:
    Adolf Eichmann, “the architect of the Holocaust”, ,
    Alois Brunner , referred to as his “best man” by Eichman,
    Dr. Josef Mengele, “the Angel of Death” ,
    Franz Stangl, commandant of the Sobibór and of Treblinka extermination camp ,
    Gustav Wagner assistant to Franz Stangl,
    Klaus Barbie, “the Butcher of Lyon” ,
    Edward Roschmann, “the Butcher of Riga”,
    Aribert Heim, Mauthausen concentration camp’s “Dr. Death”,
    Walter Rauff, believed responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths
    Andrija Artukovi?, “the Himmler of the Balkans”
    Ante Paveli?, head of Catholic Croatia, arguably the most murderous regime in relation to its size in Axis-occupied Europe.
    See JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/NaziLeadership.html

  • Anthony Flood

    Sorry, fellas, the Received Opinion about the Holocaust is not a Catholic article of faith!

  • Taytl_Ibid

    I got nothing…I’m still waiting to pick my jaw up off the floor. I mean RUFKM!