SSPX Bishop Williamson apologizes. Sort of…

The Holocaust-denying schismatic Traditionalist was just kicked out of Argentina, which seems unjust to me, despite Williamson’s noxious views. Today, back in his native England, Wiliamson issued an apology, via ZENIT (an arm of the Legionaries, which has had its own travails), for his quite detailed argument that the Nazis did not gas Jews in death camps. But while Williamson has said he will do more study regarding his views of the Holocaust, he doesn’t seem to repent of them here. He apologizes to those who were hurt by his remarks.

The text:


LONDON, FEB. 26, 2009 ( Here is a declaration released today from Lefebvrite Bishop Richard Williamson, regarding his comments on the Holocaust in an interview aired in January by Swiss television.

* * *

The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.

Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.


On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (…”I believe”…”I believe”…) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available, and rarely expressed in public since.

However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said, before God I apologize.

As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.

+Richard Williamson,
London, 26 February, 2009

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posted February 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

As I remember, the journalist who interviewed Williamson brought up the questions based on viewpoints he expressed several years ago, so Williamson was just responding to the beckons of the press. At least he acknowledged imprudence and apologized. Now only if we could get members of the press to apologize for festering old wounds we could start to right the PR ship (St Jude, pray for us!)

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Gerard Nadal

posted February 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm

David Gibson:
“SSPX Bishop Williamson apologizes. Sort of…”
Bishop Williamson:
“To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said, before God I apologize. As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.”
“In anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he could repay the entire debt. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each one of you unless you forgive your brother from your hearts.”
Matthew 18:34-35
How much will satisfy you David? I suspect that if he rolled around on the ground, you would call it an insincere act, as no one could change their mind in so short a time. Again, I find you fearfully lacking in charity. These aren’t academic exercises.

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Charles Cosimano

posted February 26, 2009 at 7:33 pm

It is certainly ironic, give Argentina’s history. I would imagine that Juan Peron is spinning in Eva’s grave.

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Jim McCrea

posted February 26, 2009 at 8:03 pm

An apology would have been something along the line of:
I was wrong in what I said. There is no support for the claims I made and I abhor having made them. I will confess this sin and perform the penance given to me by my confessor.
And icing on the cake would be: I hereby resign as Bishop.
Now THAT would be a credible apology.

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posted February 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Williamson never said he was wrong in his statements about the Holocaust, just that he was sorry for saying them. IMO he still believes the idiot statements regarding the Holocaust. Being kicked out of a country did him some good? Maybe…after all he did say he shouldn’t have “upset folks.”

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Gerard Nadal

posted February 26, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Perhaps we live in a society that uses God’s name in vain so frequently that its invocation has lost its power to move us. However, when a Bishop says “Before God, I apologize,” he is placing himself in the presence of God the Almighty, his Lord, Savior, and Judge, and offering his contrition. During Lent as I contemplate my own sins and how I have offended others, I am inclined in charity to accept this man’s words in the spirit, tone, and tenor in which they were offered; Before God.
He remains a schismatic Bishop, yet to come back in from the cold. He knows that if and when he does, he will never be given a position of authority. He came by his office validly but illicitly and sinfully. He knows that and will never live it down. His mental well-being is certainly questionable as he discussed smokestacks and shadows and aerial recon photos of the camps. He has been held up to public ridicule for his thoughts and received the degree of scrutiny and opprobrium that is merited for one who holds both those thoughts, and the office of Bishop. He certainly has been dragged through the mud on these threads.
There comes a time when appropriate scrutiny, revelation and opprobrium cross the line into sinfulness and piling on. In all sincerity, who among us could withstand the same degree of public airing and ridicule for the worst of our sins as this deluded man has been made to endure? The Church, the Priesthood, the Episcopacy are all sufficiently large and robust to absorb this poor sinner. All people of good will know the truth of the Holocaust. People of ill will can never be assuaged of their hatred. Bishop Williamson has no power to move people one way or the other.
Before God, in charity, let’s move on. This Lent, my prayers for healing and wholeness are with Bishop Williamson, as they have always been for our Jewish and Catholic brethren who bear the scars of the Holocaust.
God Bless.

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posted February 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Gerald: “How much will satisfy you David? I suspect that if he rolled around on the ground, you would call it an insincere act, as no one could change their mind in so short a time. Again, I find you fearfully lacking in charity. These aren’t academic exercises.”
Seems to me that we should hold Williamson to the same standard that the right wants to hold Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor. I’m fairly certain that if Wright made the same apology that Williamson made the members of the conservative media would continue “festering old wounds.”

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Your Name

posted February 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

It grieves me to read mean spirited comments about this fine Bishop. Doesn’t anyone here wonder why it is a crime in Germany to deny that the Holocaust happened? Why is that? Here is something else for everyone to ponder, My parents were from Germany(may they rest in peace) and my father said the same thing that the fine Bishop said. He said that the American people did not know or believe the truth.My father was an upright and honest man, became an American citizen and was drafted into the second world war even though we were at war with Germany. How would that make anyone feel?

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Gerard Nadal

posted February 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

In the Roman Catholic Church, one does not qualify for admission based upon invidious distinctions, such as your arbitrarily assigned standards. One qualifies based upon baptism in to the community of believers, or readmission after excommunication based upon confession and contrition. The perspective of liberal vs. conservative from secular politics falls entirely outside of the sphere of Catholic Ecclesiastical administration.
God Bless.

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posted February 28, 2009 at 11:36 pm

“One qualifies based upon baptism in to the community of believers, or readmission after excommunication based upon confession and contrition.”
Gerard, as an apologist for a holocaust denier, you are doing a fine job. I wonder…if this person had been otherwise aligned with the liberal wing of the church, would you be such an ardent defender of him?

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Gerard Nadal

posted March 1, 2009 at 1:33 am

I don’t defend Bishop Williamson’s sins. I defend his right to encounter God’s healing love and saving grace in the Sacraments of the Church. That isn’t liberal or conservative. I’m an apologist for getting sinners straightened out. In so doing, we would have one less Holocaust denier in the world.
Even you should agree with that.

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