Williamson: Holocaust Denial and
Jewish Influence on the Catholic Church
On April 16th,
2010, Bishop Richard
Williamson, is scheduled to go on trial in Regensburg, Germany for the
hate crime of Holocaust denial. While Bishop Williamson had expressed doubts
about the Holocaust since the late 1980’s it was not until November, 2008,
during comments he made on a Swedish television interview that he was charged
with the crime of Holocaust denial. Because he refused to pay the fine of
$16,000 he has been ordered to stand trial. If he decides to go to Germany, he can be
convicted for the crime of “Volksverhetzung,” (incitement of hatred for a
people), as was Ernst Zündel.
Williamson is a member of the Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist order
founded in 1970 in protest to the liberalizing effects of Vatican II. The SSPX
has sought to preserve the timeless beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church
amidst the alterations to belief and ritual that were introduced in the middle of
the last century by Vatican II. The
Society has 510 priests working in 31 countries, and 2 million members. Bishop
Williamson, British born and Cambridge educated, is one of four bishops
consecrated in 1988 by SSPX founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. He is an
academic, fluent in French, German, and Spanish. Until he was appointed rector
of the South American seminary in La Reja, Argentina, in 2003, he was rector of
the North American seminary in Winona, Minnesota for many years. Because of his
statements on the Holocaust, he has been relieved of his position and silenced by
If you are
non-Jewish and are of European descent, then you are affiliated with the
Catholic Church. No matter what your current beliefs, your family, at least for
a thousand years, until the Reformation, was Catholic. The Catholic Church
unified, and civilized your ancestors and permitted the art, science, economy,
and morality of Europe to flourish.
In addition to protecting their souls, the Catholic Church defended your
ancestors from non-European aliens: from invading Moslems, and from Jewish
influence on culture. In the U.S., Catholicism is still the largest single
religious denomination with 70 million believers. In Western Europe the number
is 211,466 million, 55% of the population. However, instead of guarding its
members, as it did in the past, the Church has now joined their historic
In his book,
Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of
MacDonald devotes considerable space
version) to an analysis of the Catholic Church’s relationship with
the Jews, beginning in Roman times and continuing to the National Socialist era.
He shows that early anti-Semitism by the Church Fathers was a
defensive response to Jewish economic domination and enslavement of non-Jews in the 4th century.
Catholic institutional anti-Semitism, he
implies, grew out of both theology and ethnic conflict.
The Church asserted as doctrine that
by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, the Jews had rejected God and had
forfeited their status as God's Chosen People.
Church doctrine was that Jews should be tolerated in a subservient,
powerless role because of their usefulness as testimony to the truth of
this theology, the Church had erected a powerful theological rationale for
protecting and civilizing the European peoples. The traditionalist view is
that these definitive beliefs about Jews cannot be altered.
They are forever part of
Church dogma. It would therefore not be
surprising to find that traditionalist Catholics like Bishop Williamson
may have negative attitudes about Jews or about Jewish influence on the
Catholic Church since World War II.
Wearing a dog collar and flanked by police, Bishop
Williamson was escorted out of Heathrow Airport following his flight from
Argentina in February, 2009.
that the fundamental, dogmatic teachings of the Church did not change over time
is because the Catholic Church believed them to be Divine Revelation.
However, directives and writings of the Council of Vatican II (1962–65) often
contradict the eternal teachings of the Church. Especially problematic are those
publications re-defining the Church’s position toward the Jews.
Before Vatican II, the Catholic
doctrine was that the Scriptures were infallible because they were dictated by
the Holy Ghost Beginning in the
19th Century, however, the interpretive method of “historicism”
began to apply new criteria to the study of the sacred texts. In interpreting
Scripture, historicism took into account archeology, the natural sciences, and
contemporary social and psychological theories that proposed to explain the
behavior of society and individuals.
One of the theologians who defended the relativistic method of
istoricism at Vatican II was Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
In 2001, the
Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC), an official part of the Congregation for
the Faith in the Vatican, published the book, The
Hebrew People and its Holy Scriptures in
the Christian Bible. The book succinctly describes the
radical changes in the Church’s position
toward the Jews during and after Vatican II. Cardinal Ratzinger was the president
of the PBC. Everything in the book, therefore, was written under his personal
direction. His Preface represents an
extra seal of endorsement and
Pope Benedict II under
shadow of menorah at the Cologne Synagogue, Aug 18,
introduction to The Hebrew People and its
Holy Scriptures in the Christian
Bible defends the idea that because of the
imprisonment and death of so many Jews in the Nazi concentration camps in WW II,
it is essential to re-examine the spiritual relations between Christians and
Jews. The book’s aim is to “advance
the dialogue between Christians and Jews” by interpreting the Bible in a
relativistic manner pleasing to Jewish sensibilities.
The result is
a new conception for relations of the Church with the Jews. Actually, with
respect to the Jews, a new perspective had already been suggested by the
Austrian Catholic theologian, Johann Baptist
Metz. (Incidentally, Father Metz was considered a “Catholic
spokesman” for the Frankfurt School.) Not only did he assume the relativism and
the deconstructive methods of the Frankfurt School, he also placed the
Holocaust, using the synonym “Auschwitz,” into the center of history. According
to Metz, Scripture required reinterpretation and revitalization after the
Holocaust. This coincides with the thinking of the Pontifical Biblical
Benedict XVI receives a
framed scroll for Israel chief rabbis on May, 12, 2009 at the center for the
Jewish Heritage in Jerusalem
Biblical Commission denies both the Old and New Testament as sources of
Revelation. “The change caused by the extermination of the Jews has stimulated
all the Churches to completely re-think their relations with Judaism and, as a
consequence, to reconsider their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, the Old
Testament. Some have asked themselves whether Christians should repent for their
appropriation of the Hebrew Bible and a (Christian) interpretation that no Jew
could accept. Should Christians, then, read the Bible with the Hebrews in order
to respect its Jewish origin?” (pp 54-5) Should the events of World War II
change the bi-millennial interpretation of the Church about Revelation? One
would think that what was true before the catastrophe would remain true
afterward. But the answer of the
PBC is implicitly in the affirmative: Jews are to be the final authority in
Not only do
the authors of, The Hebrew People and its
Holy Scriptures In The Christian Church, give Jews the final authority on
Biblical interpretation, they make a number of assertions totally at odds with
traditional Catholic teaching. They allege that the present-day Jewish religion
is the true heir of the divine promise of the Old Testament. For example, the
Pontifical Biblical Commission states, “Far from replacing Israel, the
[Catholic] Church remains in solidarity with it.” (p. 152)
Church has always taught that according to Revelation, the Old Covenant was
revoked with the coming of Christ, and that the true heir of the Old Covenant is
the Catholic Church.
Elio Toaff, chief Rabbi of Rome,
welcoming Pope John Paul II to a service at the Roman Synagogue,
this thesis, the PBC does not distinguish between what is religion and what is
race in Judaism. Instead it tries to make the Hebrew people, in the racial
sense, coincide with the elect people, in the religious sense. If the Old
Covenant is still valid, then it is a
small step to the conclusion that the Holocaust was a heinous crime against God’s Chosen.
In addition to
corrupting the Catholic teaching about the Old and New Covenant, the PBC has
perverted Catholic teaching regarding the crime of Deicide. It is perennial Catholic teaching that
the guilt and the penalty of certain crimes against God are, by their very
nature, transferred to future generations — for example, Original Sin and the
sin of the Tower if Babel. Such also was the sin of Deicide. The traditional
teaching of the Church was that the guilt and the punishment demanded by justice
for the murder of Jesus were assumed voluntarily by the Jews and were laid upon
their future generations. This was the constant interpretation of the Catholic
Church until Vatican Council II.
however, offers an opinion which is the very opposite of this Catholic teaching.
That is, it alleges that the Gospels were not written objectively and cannot be
considered a part of Divine Revelation. Accordingly there was no crime of
Deicide, no such crime was committed by the Jews as a people, and the guilt and
punishment of that crime did not fall upon the future generations of the Jews.
So keen are they to seek the pardon and approval of Jews that relativist
Catholic theologians seem ready to accept the notion of Deicide not by, but of
the Jews. The religion of the Holocaust is spreading
from the Synagogue to the Cathedral. And Holocaust denial is its gravest
II at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March, 2000
reflections and actions of John Paul II and Benedict XVI concerning the Jews are
condemned by the binding words of the Third
Ecumenical Lateran Council, (1179), which pronounced an anathema on
those who, preferring the Jews to the Christians,
would receive the testimony of Jews against Christians and not that of
Christians against Jews.
Bishop Richard Williamson, His Holiness, Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Jesus
Christ, Successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, Pope Benedict XVI stated in U.S. News and World Report, February 12,
“The hatred and contempt
for men, women and children that was manifested in the Shoah was a crime against
God and against humanity," Benedict told the visiting leaders, using the Hebrew
term for the Holocaust. "This should be clear to everyone, especially to those
standing in the tradition of the Holy Scriptures.”
"It is beyond
question that any denial or minimization of this terrible crime is intolerable
and altogether unacceptable," he said during the meeting in the Vatican's
Jewish leaders applauded his comments,
saying the crisis with the church that had been sparked by Bishop Richard
Williamson's comments was over.
Abraham Foxman, a
Holocaust survivor and the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said
the Vatican should excommunicate Williamson again because of his
By Atila Sinke
In the Murky
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Will He Find the
Commission on the Jews: Changes in Doctrine and the New
By Bro. Michael Dimond and Bro.
The Truth about
What Really Happened to the Catholic Church after Vatican
Trudie Pert is a pen name.