- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
In an interview with Der Spiegel over the weekend, embattled (and now unemployed) Bishop Richard Williamson declined to recant his denial of the Holocaust, as the Vatican has demanded, but did say he would read some more about it:
Williamson: Throughout my life, I have always sought the truth. That is why I converted to Catholicism and became a priest. And now I can only say something, the truth of which I am convinced. Because I realize that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must now review the historical evidence once again. I said the same thing in my interview with Swedish television: Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions. And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time. […]
SPIEGEL: You could travel to Auschwitz yourself.
Williamson: No, I will not travel to Auschwitz. I’ve ordered the book by Jean-Claude Pressac. It’s called “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers.” A printout is now being sent to me, and I will read it and study it.
How nice that Williamson has suddenly realized that “many honest and intelligent people” disagree with him about this. I can imagine him anxiously checking his mailbox for that Amazon package so he can decide for himself whether one of the most well-documented and historically significant events of the twentieth century actually happened. The Holocaust occured over 60 years ago. Williamson made his controversial comments in the 1980s. He’s almost 70 years old. He really hasn’t had time to look into this until now?
I feel like if I suddenly decided that, say, the Great Depression or the moon landing had never actually happened, I’d probably want to at least do some follow-up Googling at some point just to be sure.
Never mind his anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories. Does the Vatican really want to put someone this stupid back in a position of authority?
JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images