Vatican Demands Holocaust Denier Recant

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 9:02 AM CST
Pope Benedict XVI.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The Vatican has demanded that Bishop Richard Williamson, a Holocaust denier who was recently un-excommunicated, recant his views in order to serve in the Catholic Church, the BBC reports. Williamson was excommunicated 20 years ago for a separate transgression. The Church said the pope was unaware of his contrarian stance on the Jewish genocide when he reinstated him last month.

The move by the Vatican comes after an uproar over Williamson’s invitation back into the fold, particularly in Germany. A German prosecutor is investigating the bishop for “inciting racial hatred” by denying the Holocaust, a crime in that country, CNN reports. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued a strong call for the pope to clarify his own position on the matter, the AP reports. “I do not believe that sufficient clarification has been made,” she said.