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A Roman Catholic bishop who said he does not believe the Nazis murdered millions of Jewish people in gas chambers has been removed from his seminary.
Richard Williamsom caused outrage with his remarks, which surfaced shortly after the Vatican's decision to welcome him back into the Catholic church last week.
The Diarios y Noticias news agency reported today that the ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X was relieving the British-born Williamson of his post as the director of its seminary in La Reja, Argentina.
When i first heard about Bishop Williamson's public sharing of his views on the holocaust and 911, i thought the current pope was progressively open to free-thinking, which in itself baffled me, noting how the Vatican is known for being champions of dogmatic robotic conformity.
Based on this latest development/demotion, did the Bishop recant his views as instructed/order by the Pope? ...and what about recanting his views on 911?
Over the years, many of the claims made regarding the horrors of the Nazi slave labor camps have come under re-examination as new technology becomes available.
As one example, there were claims that the Nazis were making soap out of the dead bodies of their Jewish victims. When the story first surfaced in 1943 as part of a fund raising tour by Russian Jews seeking aid to rebuild Russia, there was no way to verify it. As new science and technology came along, surviving bars of soap were tested and found that far from being made from the fat of human victims, the soap was a typical wartime soap made with very little fat at all. Later DNA tests showed the fat was not from humans, but from pigs (a serious embarrassment to those who had buried bars of the soap in Jewish graveyards).
Then there was the story about the human skin lampshades. This story went that the wife of a camp commandant obtained the skin from the camp's victims and used it as a crafts material for lampshades, gloves, and so forth. Again, at the time there was no way to verify the story. But as science developed new methods, the lampshades and gloves were found to be made of goatskin, a common craft material of the time.
The there were the claims of mass graves at Treblinka. Over 800,000 victims of the Nazis were claimed to have been buried there. But one of the grave sites abuts a water well, and when testing of the water failed to detect any of the contamination which would result from burying thousands of bodies near a water well (the water should have been lethal to drink), the story was revised to claim that as war's end, the Nazis had dug all those 800,000 bodies up and cremated them to conceal the evidence of their crimes. Again, as science progressed this story came into doubt as there was no trace of the vast amount of combustion residues which would have permeated the site of such a huge fire. And finally, ground penetrating radar, which certainly did not exist back when this story was first told, proves that the area where the graves are supposed to have existed has never been disturbed. The strata remains as it was laid down by the glaciers during the last great ice age.
Time makes ancient truth uncouth, and as new science comes along it is the normal practice to apply that science to the world to refine, and in some cases revise, what we know of our history. New technologies are being applied to the wreck of the Titanic, to determine what role the quality of metal played in the disaster, as one example. Seeking to know more about what we know is a natural instinct for humans.
Except, of course, in this one area of history. And it is the sheer weight of political force brought to bear to silence those who ask questions which most advertises that there is something being hidden from us all.
There is nothing that is beyond re-examination using new technologies. There is nothing above question. That we only just now learn that Tutankhamen had an impacted wisdom tooth does not bring about the end of Egypt. It's just scholarship. Even the much venerated Shroud of Turin has been subject to re-examination by science. The results were not as hoped for, but for those who hold truth to be the most valuable commodity we have, the outcome was still positive; we know more today than we knew yesterday.
Frankly, as we watch the political bludgeoning of Bishop Williamson by the defenders of the orthodox account of WW2 it becomes obvious that they are afraid, intensely afraid, which means they KNOW they defend a story that will not survive objective re-examination. Every act, whether it is the jailings of independent researchers/scientists, the wrecking of academic careers, and now the imposition of Jewish religious will over the Vatican; each and every action is an advertisement that here is a question that cannot be allowed to be asked.
SPIEGEL: The Vatican is demanding that you retract your denial of the Holocaust, and it is threatening to not allow you to resume your activities as a bishop. How will you react?
Williamson: Throughout my life, I have always sought the truth. That is why I converted to Catholicism and became a priest. And now I can only say something, the truth of which I am convinced. Because I realize that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must now review the historical evidence once again. I said the same thing in my interview with Swedish television: Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions. And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time.
SPIEGEL: Your position on Judaism is consistently anti-Semitic.
Williamson: St. Paul put it this way: The Jews are beloved for the sake of Our Father, but our enemies for the sake of the gospel.
SPIEGEL: Do you seriously intend to use Catholic tradition and the Bible to justify your anti-Semitism?
Williamson: Anti-Semitism means many things today, for instance, when one criticizes the Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. The Church has always understood the definition of anti-Semitism to be the rejection of Jews because of their Jewish roots. This is condemned by the Church. Incidentally, this is self-evident in a religion whose founders and all important individuals in its early history were Jews. But it was also clear, because of the large number of Jewish Christians in early Christianity, that all men need Christ for their salvation -- all men, including the Jews.