Page last updated at 22:37 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Holocaust row: Your views

The Vatican has ordered Bishop Richard Williamson to recant his views on the Holocaust if he wants to serve in the Roman Catholic Church.

A row erupted last month after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, who had said no Nazi gas chambers existed.

BBC News website readers have been sending in their views on the story.

CRITICISM OF THE BISHOP AND THE VATICAN

The Bishop simply needs to be removed from the Catholic Church. It is pointless for the Pope to tell him how to think and feel. His views are not in line with reality or the Catholic Church. He is entitled to his perspective but he doesn't fit the church doctrine.

Steve Mayer, Kansas City USA

I think the bishops who deny the use of gas chambers in the Holocaust should be taken on a field trip to Germany to witness firsthand documents, photos, sites and any eyewitness accounts still available to educate them.
Barb Schroeder, Fort Wayne Indiana

I just can't believe the Pope didn't know this bishop's views. It's disgraceful that there had to be an international outcry before the Vatican has got round to insisting that Bishop Williamson recants.
Lindsay, Lenzie, Scotland

It is an insult to the memory of millions who continue to suffer

I find it totally unacceptable that the Catholic Church should reinstate a Bishop holding such views on the Holocaust. He should remain at least suspended - if not excommunicated. Denial of the Holocaust is not only bad history but shows a lack of solidarity with victims and a failure of love. It is an insult to the memory of millions who continue to suffer.
Rev. Canon Ron Mitchinson, York, North Yorkshire

I am amazed that the Pope has once again stepped into a slippery mess by acting without thinking. First it was the Islamic faith and now Judaism. And I am not sure that he would have done the right thing in either case, had there not been such a public outcry. I am very glad that Chancellor Merkel drew a sharp line in the sand, forcing the Vatican to do something.
DJ, Maryland, USA

The Pope has to take ultimate responsibility for this

This is another example of how out of touch the Catholic Church is. The Pope has to take ultimate responsibility for this, it cannot simply be blamed on bad advice. As with so many issues affecting the modern world, the Catholic Church hides behind a veil of bigotry and prejudice, dressing it up as religious doctrine.
Iain Rawlings, Edinburgh, Scotland

As a Jew I find the Bishop's comments offensive in the extreme. In the past two years a historian was prosecuted and found guilty of Holocaust denial. Not only should the Bishop be excommunicated but prosecuted. I am extremely surprised that the Pope was not aware of these comments before the revocation was signed. Does the Vatican not realise the damage that these comments have done to Catholic-Jewish relations?
Saul Heller, Roxton, Bedfordshire

The Vatican needs to reassess its internal communications

The Pope has been badly served by his press office. As a German himself he must know of the atrocities committed during World War 2. Some one needs to be reprimanded and the Vatican needs to reassess its internal communications.
Patricia Conroy, Broadway, Worcestershire,England

World leaders, such as the Pope, should, as a priority, be seeking ways to repair the damaged social fabric. They should not make significant moves such as lifting this excommunication decree without first assessing the effect it will have on this bigger picture. Isn't it about time that our religious and spiritual leaders moved us more toward a healthy community?
J. Rice

SUPPORT FOR THE VATICAN

Holocaust is a historic event, not a biblical episode and Bishop Richard Williamson should get some education before going on TV. The Vatican did the right thing in trying to put an end to this sordid episode. I can't fathom what contributions this Bishop would make to society with this kind of intelligence.
D P Idupuganti, New York, USA

Bishop Williamson does not reflect the Vatican and Roman Catholics viewpoint in any way

The Vatican must show a united front and not hesitate to say that Bishop Williamson's statement does not reflect the Vatican and Roman Catholics viewpoint in any way, shape or form. Bishop Williamson should not be allowed to function in any way in the RC Church until he makes a worldwide statement in which he says his former statement which denied the Holocaust is totally false. Anything less is unacceptable for those who seek truth in all they say and do.
Sam & Judy Houston, New Berlin, Wisconsin, USA

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

This Vatican thing is getting way too political. Is there no freedom of speech for bishops? Absurd! I'm not by any means supporting him. On the contrary, the events of the Holocaust are a terrible time to many people, Jews and even Arabs included, but anyone is free to say whatever!
Karem Fanous, Cairo Egypt

We are all free to believe whatever we choose; no-one, however, is under any obligation to take us seriously

I happen to disagree with Richard Williamson while at the same time respecting his absolute right to hold any beliefs or opinions he chooses. We are all free to believe whatever we choose; noone, however, is under any obligation to take us seriously.
Raymond F. Breakspear, Ashford, Kent, U.K.

What does it matter what the views of a Bishop are? He is hardly going to be teaching history in his sermons. What people like this need is education, not censorship. We do not censor the intelligent design proponents in spite of the evidence for evolution. We do not force them out of their careers. Why should someone equally as misled be persecuted for a belief that has no bearing on his ability to conduct his job?
DL, Ireland



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SEE ALSO
Merkel joins Papal Holocaust row
03 Feb 09 |  Europe
Profile: Bishop Richard Williamson
16 Apr 10 |  Europe
Priest 'joins Nazi Holocaust row'
30 Jan 09 |  Europe
Pope in bid to dampen bishop row
29 Jan 09 |  Europe
Pope move ignites Holocaust row
24 Jan 09 |  Europe

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