LONDON, FEB. 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly excommunicated member of the Society of St. Pius X, apologized today for statements in which he denied the extent of the Holocaust.
In a statement published on his return to London on Wednesday after being expelled by the government of Argentina, the prelate explained that “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.”
The bishop, along with three other Lefebvrite prelates, had their 20-year excommunication lifted at the end of January, in the framework of Benedict XVI’s continuing efforts to heal the schism between the society and the Church. Around the same time, the bishop appeared on public television and made reductionist statements about the Jewish Holocaust that gave rise to extensive controversy.
Bishop Williamson continued, “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.”