Jews tell Vatican Holocaust denial is a crime





World Jewish leaders told Vatican officials that denying the Holocaust was "not an opinion but a crime" when they met on Monday to discuss a bishop they accuse of being anti-Semitic.

The meetings, the first since the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the extent of the Holocaust, began last month, took place three days before Pope Benedict is due to address a group of American Jewish leaders.

Catholic-Jewish relations have been extremely tense since January 24, when Benedict lifted excommunications of four renegade traditionalist bishops, including Williamson, in an attempt to heal a schism that began in 1988 when they were ordained without Vatican permission.

Among those who have condemned Williamson and the pope's decision are Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, U.S. legislators, Israeli leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.



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