Vatican's Demand That Bishop Publicly Recant Holocaust Denial A "Major Positive Step Forward"


New York, NY, February 4, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed as a "major positive step forward" the Vatican's demand that Bishop Richard Williamson publicly and unequivocally recant his Holocaust denial if he is ever to regain his clerical responsibilities in the Church.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:


We sincerely appreciate that Pope Benedict XVI heard our pain and anguish over the acceptance back into the Church of a Holocaust denier.   TheVatican's statement is a major positive step forward for the relationship between the Church and the Jewish people.  We await Bishop Williamson's disavowal of his Holocaust denial in what the Vatican said must be an "absolutely unequivocal and public manner."

We welcome, too, that the Vatican has reaffirmed a full and vigorous implementation of the Second Vatican Council reforms, including Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Church document that rejects the deicide charge against all Jews, declares anti-Semitism a sin, rejects proselytizing of  Jews, and calls for improving relations between Catholics and Jews.

The Vatican's statement makes clear that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) must accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the positive teachings about Jews by the last four popes, including Pope John Paul II, before they can be fully accepted back into the Roman Catholic Church.





ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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