The pope is of course his "holiness" Pope Benedict the Sixteenth, born in Bavaria 81 years ago, the former Archbishop of Munich. At the depth of the Holocaust he was sixteen years old...old enough, one would think. The Bishop is Richard Nelson Williamson, born in England and now 68 years old. He was of course a child during the Holocaust. He evidently remains a child, but an exceptionally malicious one.
The Bishop was excommunicated on July 1, 1988, by the head of the Congregation of Bishops in the Vatican. Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the excommunication the following day. In the following years the bishop went around like a loose cannon on the Catholic deck doing crazy things like ordaining a group of excommunicated Polish priests. But he owes his infamy not to that -- who really cares if a pack of unaccredited priests are running loose in the Polish countryside? -- but to his frequent and loud denial of the Holocaust.
In an extraordinary, too-good-to-be-true bit of timing Williamson reaffirmed his Holocaust denial in the most emphatic possible terms in an interview by Ali Fagan for Swedish public television conducted in Germany at Zaitzkofen Castle near Regensburg in November of 2008. A scant two months later, on January 21, 2009, the German pope "remitted" (the technical term) Williamson's excommunication. The Swedish television station saw its opening and released the Williamson interview the same day. A storm of outrage gathered and broke over the Vatican. Having none, the Vatican and the pope have been unable to offer a sensible explanation for this bit of unprovoked madness. The Vatican Secretariat of State now claims that Williamson's Holocaust denials were "unknown to the Holy Father at the time he revoked the excommunication." In other words, the pope is in the same position as an investor in the Bernie Madoff fund -- he simply did not do his own due diligence but relied instead on the assurances of others that the guy was OK. It is thus not a question of malice but of papal competency.
For the reader who has not read and marveled at the actual Swedish TV interview of Williamson I have posted it below. It is well worth viewing. Regard his dress: the neat white collar, the tasteful red piping and red buttons on his black tunic, the stunning scarlet cumberbund, the beautiful silver necklace with its jeweled cross nicely looped from the third button so as to be easily visible on TV. Regard his movie star good looks and carefully coiffed silver hair. Every bit of a man of distinction and high achievement. Or not? Note as you view it the so-earnest scientific logic of his argument: Jews could not have been gassed at Auschwitz because the doors on the gas chambers there do not fit tightly and the cyanide would therefore have leaked out and killed the Nazi's working in the chamber. Q.E.D.
Note next the below-the-belt shot that the Jews have simply exploited the Holocaust and used it to shame the Germans into paying them billions of euros. Finally, and best (or worst) of all, note the sly snide smile on his face as he brings to the Swedish interviewer's attention the fact that his statements are criminal under German law, where the interview is being conducted, and he therefore hopes the interviewer will not turn him in. How cute he is. How he loves his role as the anti-semitic provacateur! One can only hope the prosecutor in Regensburg is preparing charges and will patiently wait until Williamson can be found in a country with an extradition treaty with Germany.