"A Christian cannot be an anti-Semite, we share the same roots," said Pope Francis in November, 2018.
In Germany, where the interview was recorded in 2008, Holocaust denial is a criminal offence. Williamson's lawyers argued that he should not have been convicted as the interview only aired in Sweden, which does not have a Holocaust denial law.
The Strasbourg-based ECHR concluded that Williamson knew that he was breaking German law at the time and did not attempt to limit the interview to Swedish airwaves alone.
The disgraced bishop was initially sentenced to a fine of 12,000 euros, reduced to 1,500 euros on appeal. Following the airing of the interview, he was swiftly removed from his position as the head of an SSPX seminary in Argentina.
Williamson holds the unique distinction of having been excommunicated by the Church twice.
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He was first excommunicated by the Catholic Church in 1988, following his illicit consecration as a bishop by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in Écône, Switzerland against the orders of Pope St. John Paul II. At the time, Williamson was a member of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), a canonically irregular religious order not in full communion with the Church.
Williamson's excommunication, and that of the three other SSPX bishops consecrated by Lefebvre in 1988, was lifted in January 2009, in a decree that was signed the same day his interview aired in Sweden.
The lifting the excommunications by Pope Benedict XVI was part of ongoing attempts to bring the SSPX back into full communion with the Church's hierarchy. The SSPX remains in a canonically irregular state, but does have valid sacraments.