- By Rebecca Frankel
Rebecca Frankel is deputy editor at Foreign Policy. She is the author of War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love a New York Times bestselling book about canines in combat, the subject of her regular Friday column "Rebecca's War Dog of the Week," featured on The Best Defense. She has appeared as a guest on Conan O'Brien, BBC World News, and the Diane Rehm Show among others.
That Bishop Richard Williamson, as a representative of the Vatican, openly and ardently denied the Holocaust’s occurrence was a problem. A big problem. As a religious leader it was a position that shouldn’t be tolerated. His dismissal from the Church was warranted.
Today however, Argentina’s interior ministry announced that the bishop had ten days to leave the country or he would face expulsion, saying that Williamson "has concealed the true motive for his stay in the country." He had said he was an employee of a non-governmental group rather than declaring ‘his true activity’ as the director of a seminary, the ministry stated."
Wait a minute. Has Williamson broken any laws? No charges have been filed against him. However ignorant, however reprehensible his beliefs, he’s entitled to them. This latest action against the bishop seems like blatant persecution and it’s a horrendous precedent to set that will no doubt arm more dangerous Holocaust deniers with anti-Semitic rhetoric.
It’s certainly not hard to understand the desire to just get rid of Williamson as quickly as possible, but Argentina just gave him a whole new subject to talk about.