Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson has been expelled from the niche Catholic group of which he was a leading member.
The Society of St Pius X (SSPX) said that it took the step because Bishop Williamson had “distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years” and for “refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors”.
The SSPX is a breakaway group from the Catholic Church which opposes the Church’s modernisation and liberalisation. Bishop Williamson was in the centre of a media storm in 2009 when he denied the existence of the gas chambers in the Holocaust in a television interview, just before the excommunication bans on him and the three other bishops of the SSPX were lifted. When ordered by the Vatican to recant his denial, Williamson apologised for any misunderstanding but came significantly short of retracting his statements.
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, welcomed Bishop Williamson’s expulsion, but said it was “too little, too late.”