Holocaust Denial by Priest in Europe
Pope Criticized as Priest Says Nazi Gas Chambers ‘Disinfected’
From Bloomberg News
By Flavia Krause-Jackson
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI again came under fire from members of the Jewish community after a second priest publicly questioned whether Jews were exterminated in Nazi camps and said gas chambers were used merely to “disinfect.”
“I know that gas chambers existed to disinfect,” Father Floriano Abrahamowicz, a priest in the northern town of Treviso, told local newspaper Tribuna in an online interview published today. “But I can’t tell you if they killed anyone or not.”
Abrahamowicz’s comments come less than a week after Bishop Richard Williamson said there was “no historical evidence” that the Holocaust ever happened. Both priests are members of the ultra-conservative Society of Pius X that was readmitted into the Catholic Church on Jan. 24.
The Vatican has distanced itself from the statements amid mounting protests from the Jewish community, culminating in the decision by Israel’s chief rabbinate to sever ties with the Holy See. The Shoah, the mass murder of European Jews by the Nazis, “should be a warning for all against forgetting, denial and reductionism,” Benedict said yesterday.
Williamson, one of four hard-line traditionalists who broke with the Church in the 1980s, sparked the controversy last week when a Swedish television station aired an interview in which he said “historical evidence is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy by Adolf Hitler.”
The timing of the reversal of Williamson’s excommunication and the Swedish broadcast were “absolutely unrelated,” and the pope doesn’t share Williamson’s views, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated this week.
Williamson, 68, was excommunicated in 1988 after being consecrated without papal permission by an archbishop who opposed Church reforms and founded his own fraternity in response. Williamson’s remarks “do not reflect in any way the position of our society,” Bernard Fellay, the current leader of the fraternity, wrote in a letter to the pope that the Vatican distributed on Jan. 27 to reporters.
Last Updated: January 29, 2009 09:13 EST
I’m totally surprised, like Wow!! Why would he say that??? Of course they killed Jews and other non Nazi’s in the gas chambers!! And yes there is proof of the Holocaust. The proof is the Holocaust survivors!
If it wasn’t for the Holocaust survivors then maybe you could make an argument that this did not happen, but it did!! Yes the Nazis killed them, all of the stories from the survivors and documentaries and movies, there is even evidence of the fingermarks from the people who were slowly dying in the gas chambers. I just can’t belive he would say that. I mean I know there are other people in the world who agree with him, but this is ignorant.