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Bishop Returns Home

February 25, 2009

Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson, the man who has denied the Holocaust and had his ex-communication revoked by Pope Benedict XVI, shocking millions, was kicked out of Argentina and has landed in Great Britain.

Bishop Richard Williamson being escorted by police
Bishop Richard Williamson was escorted out of London's Heathrow airport by policeImage: AP

A bishop who denied the Holocaust returned to Great Britain from Buenos Aires days after the Argentine government ordered him to leave the country.

Bishop Richard Williamson, former head of a seminary of the Society of Saint Pius X, caused international outrage when he said in an interview with Swedish televisions that no more than 300,000 Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during World War II and specifically claimed that no gas chambers were used.

He was among four ultra-traditionalist members of the bishops whose 1988 excommunication Pope Benedict XVI revoked last month, a decision that unleashed waves of furor through both the Jewish and Catholic communities worldwide.

Argentine outrage

Seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in La Reja, Argentina
Until recently, Williamson was head of the Seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in La Reja, ArgentinaImage: AP

The Argentine government had given Williamson 10 days to leave Argentina before he was forcibly removed because his remarks on the Holocaust as "deeply offensive to Argentine society, the Jewish people and humanity."

However, denying the Holocaust isn't illegal in Argentina, so authorities there claimed to have found some irregularities in Williamson's immigrations papers.

Argentina is home to the largest Jewish community in South America. It was also considered a safe haven for many Nazis fleeing Germany after World War II, including Adolf Eichmann, a key player in the conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.

Author: Mark Mattox (reuters/dpa)

Editor: Jennifer Abramsohn/Trinity Hartman