Rebel Catholic SSPX group expels Holocaust-denier Bishop Williamson
A rebel Catholic traditionalist group has expelled British-born Bishop Richard Williamson who deeply embarrassed the Vatican by denying the Holocaust shortly before he was readmitted to the Church three years ago.
The Swiss-based Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), whose four bishops were excommunicated from 1988 to 2009, said on Wednesday it took the step because Williamson had disobeyed his superiors.
Williamson, 72, an opponent of recent SSPX efforts to win full reintegration into the Church, caused an international uproar with his ultra-hardline views broadcast only days before the Vatican lifted the bans on him and three other bishops.
His presence in the SSPX leadership appeared to be a hurdle to any accord with the Vatican. But negotiations have broken down in any case so his departure may not have an effect on the group’s relations with Rome.
The statement said Williamson was excluded for “having distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years and refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors”.