Williamson voiced his views on the Holocaust (see below) in an interview with Swedish Television recorded in Germany in November 2008 and broadcast on the evening of 21 January 2009, the day on which the excommunication was lifted. The interview was given wide publicity around the world.
Williamson's superior in the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, initially stated that Williamson was responsible for his own personal comments and that the affair did not concern the SSPX as a whole. The District Superior of the SSPX in Sweden and Germany distanced himself from anti-semitism and racism. Bishop Fellay subsequently forbade Williamson from speaking out publicly about historical or political matters, and asked Pope Benedict for forgiveness for the damage done by Williamson's remarks. Williamson himself sent the Pope a letter expressing his regret about the problems that he had caused, but did not retract his statements.
Williamson has expressed controversial views about Jews. He called Jews "enemies of Christ" and urges their conversion to Catholicism. He claims that Jews and Freemasons have contributed to the "changes and corruption" in the Catholic Church.He has also stated that Jews aim at world dominion and believes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be authentic. Williamson has denied that he is anti-semitic, stating that he goes against "adversaries of Our Lord Jesus Christ", that not all Jews are such, and that he also attacks other groups such as Communists and Freemasons.
Click on the following link for a video of the Bishop's denials: BBC
The BBC's David Willey in Rome says it is almost unheard of for a pope to admit publicly that he has made a mistake. But that is in effect the significance of the urgent statement put out by the Vatican, our correspondent adds.
The Vatican should clarify unambiguously that there can be no denial
"Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to the Episcopal functions of the Church, must in an absolutely unequivocal and public way distance himself from his positions regarding the Shoah [Holocaust]," it said.
It said Bishop Williamson's positions on the Holocaust were "absolutely unacceptable and firmly rejected by the Holy Father".
All I know is some heads had better roll at the Vatican! Such a stupid mistake should never have happened if indeed it was a mistake. The Pope should know Bishop Williamson's background and, while the excommunication had nothing to do with Williamson's denial of the Holocaust, to rescind the excommunication decree was foolish. Such insensitivity on the part of the Vatican cannot be taken lightly!