Reactions against Bishop Richard Williamson’s remarks diminishing the Holocaust are coming from all corners of the globe. On Tuesday afternoon, Cardinal Francis George, the president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, added the bishops’ voices to the chorus of condemnation.
Cardinal George said in his statement that the lifting of the excommunications from the four St. Pius X Society bishops is “but a first step” toward their entering “back into full communion with the Catholic Church."
One condition that still must be resolved, Cardinal George pointed out, is that, “they, like all Catholic bishops, will have to give their assent to all that the Church professes, including the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.”
Addressing the controversial comments made by Bishop Williamson about the Holocaust, Cardinal George described them as “deeply offensive and utterly false.”
“Bishop Williamson has denied historical facts about the Shoah, in which six million Jews were cruelly annihilated, innocent victims of blind racial and religious hatred. These comments have evoked understandable outrage from within the Jewish community and also from among our own Catholic people. No Catholic, whether lay person, priest or bishop can ever negate the memory of the Shoah, just as no Catholic should ever tolerate expressions of anti-Semitism and religious bigotry,” the cardinal said.
On behalf of all the Catholic bishops in the United States, Cardinal George stated that they are “as committed as ever to building bonds of trust and mutual understanding with our elder brothers and sisters, the Jewish people, so that together with them we may be a blessing to the world.”