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Comment on questions concerning views expressed by Bishop Richard Williamson

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In response to questions that have been received regarding statements concerning the Holocaust (Shoah) by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of the Society of Saint Pius X, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following comments:

  1. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops finds abhorrent the notion that somehow the terrible evil of the Holocaust is not a fact of history, and joins the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in calling on all people to recognize that the Holocaust is “an admonition against oblivion, negation and reductionism” (see http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/b3_en.htm);
  2. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops joins the Holy See in criticizing and rejecting the comments that Bishop Williamson has made on the Holocaust;
  3. The Catholic Bishops of Canada, together with the Holy See, remain committed to dialogue with the Jews, as was reaffirmed by the Bishops of Canada at their September 2008 Plenary Assembly;
  4. The Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has apologized concerning the remarks made by Bishop Williamson and announced that Bishop Williamson has been forbidden to speak further on this question (see http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-24930);
  5. It is only the declared excommunication of the four Bishops who are members of the Society of Saint Pius X, including Bishop Williamson, that has been lifted for the offence of their having received episcopal ordination without pontifical mandate. The lifting of the excommunication does not affect penalties for other offences. The decree made public on 24 January 2009 by the Holy See does not allow Bishop Williamson or the other Bishops to exercise sacred ministry licitly or to exercise any office or act of governance in the Catholic Church. It simply opens the possibility of restoring them to full communion with the Catholic Church (see the decree).
Last Updated on Tuesday, October 20 2009  
The Holy See
Canadian Centre for Ecumenism
Catholic Organization for Life and Family
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Canada’s oldest diocese, the Archdiocese of Quebec, was established in 1674. Most Reverend François de Laval was its first Bishop.