Holocaust-denying bishop expelled from radical Catholic sect

(JTA) — Bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied the Holocaust, was expelled from a radical Catholic sect for disobeying his superiors.

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Williamson was expelled from the Society of Saint Pius X, which opposes Church reforms decided by the second Vatican Council, the society said Wednesday. The British bishop is opposed to recent society efforts to reintegrate into the Catholic Church.

He and three other bishops who are members of the society were excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI rehabilitated the bishops in January 2009 in hopes of healing a rift between conservative and progressive Catholics.

Williamson gave an interview just before the rehabilitation to the Swedish SVT broadcaster in which he called the murder of Jews in gas chambers during the Holocaust “lies, lies, lies.” He also allegedly denied that any Jews were murdered in gas chambers during the Holocaust and insisted that not more than 300,000 European Jews were killed in total.

The interview, given in Regensburg, Germany, also was was available on the Internet.

In 2010, the Regensburg court found him guilty of incitement to hate and fined him.

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