At the end of January 2009 Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication on four bishops belonging to Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) consecrated by Marcel Lefebvre. This followed Unity Octave on 18-25 January during which many Christians pray for Christian Unity. Soon afterwards Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops of SSPX, was embroiled in a controversy regarding his view about Holocaust. His view was that the Jews killed during Holocaust were 300,000 and not 6,000,000 and nobody died in gas chambers. This caused outrage. Vatican contradicted Richard Williamson. Bernard Fellay, Superior General of SSPX, said it was Richard Williamson’s personal view and not of SSPX. Richard Williamson apologized for his “imprudent” statement.
Some people have criticized Richard Williamson and asked for his expulsion. While the excommunication on four bishops is lifted they are not received in the Catholic Church. So there is no question of expulsion or excommunication.
Six million is a round figure and the exact number of Jews killed could be more or less than that. Holocaust has nothing to do with any dogma, doctrine, belief or practice of the Catholic Church. Canon Law prescribes excommunication as punishment for certain crimes and the contradicting the belief that 6,000,000 Jews died during Holocaust is not one of them.
Western countries talk about freedom of speech and expression but when it is the question of Holocaust they turn dogmatic. Whenever someone questions Holocaust he/she should be given exact figures with dates and places. Saying millions and millions died will not help.
Abortion is punishable with excommunication. How many have been excommunicated for abortion? What have the Bishops of USA done about it?
The Jews have killed various peoples over the centuries. From the time of Joshua to David they destroyed many tribes. The Old Testament mentions them. Since the founding of Israel many Palestinians were dispossessed. Israel has killed many innocent people over the years. Recently someone compared Gaza to Nazi concentration camp. Israel does not care about any criticism of its actions. Israel has a right to defend itself but no right to kill people randomly.
Richard Williamson is British. His country fought against Germany in World War II. His nationality cannot be the reason for his view. Mel Gibson’s father’s view was similar to that of Richard Williamson: many people died in World War II, some of them were Jews.
During World War II many crimes were committed by UK, USA and USSR. They are not mentioned and condemned like Holocaust. The British dropped incendiary bombs on Dresden which killed many women and children. USA dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Russian soldiers raped two million women in Germany. Nobody belonging to UK, USA and USSR was punished for war crimes.
It is the British who began concentration camps against Boers in South Africa. There is no condemnation of the British for their atrocities against Boers.
It is necessary for Catholics, especially bishops, to have proper perspective regarding Holocaust and other crimes. Acceptance or denial of Holocaust should not be a criterion for entry or membership of Roman Catholic Church.