Pope gesture to traditionalists outrages Jews
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s rehabilitation of four traditionalist bishops may heal one festering Catholic wound at the expense of opening a wider one with Jews because one of the prelates is a Holocaust denier.
The four bishops re-admitted to the Church over the weekend lead the far-right Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which has about 600,000 members and rejects modernisations of Roman Catholic worship and doctrine.
One of the four, the British-born Richard Williamson, has made statements denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews, as accepted by mainstream historians.
In comments to Swedish television broadcast on Wednesday and widely available on the Internet, Williamson said “I believe there were no gas chambers” and only up to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, instead of 6 million.