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Vatican: Holocaust denier must recant

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during the weekly general audience in AP – Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during the weekly general audience in Pope Paul VI hall, at the …

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Wednesday demanded that a prelate who denied the Holocaust recant his positions before being fully admitted as a bishop into the Roman Catholic Church.
It also said Pope Benedict XVI had not known about Bishop Richard Williamson’s views when he agreed to lift his excommunication and that of three other ultraconservative bishops Jan. 21.
The Vatican’s Secretariat of State issued the statement a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the pope to make a clearer rejection of Holocaust denials, saying there had not been adequate clarification from the church.
The Holy See on Jan. 24 announced the rehabilitation of four bishops excommunicated in 1988 after being consecrated without papal consent.
Just days before, Williamson had been shown on Swedish state television saying historical evidence “is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed” during World War II.