Holocaust denial 'not an opinion but a crime,' Jewish leaders tell Vatican

National Post, Canada

World Jewish leaders told Vatican officials that denying the Holocaust was "not an opinion but a crime" when they met yesterday 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 XVI, pictured, is due to address a group of American Jewish leaders.

"Today we strongly reaffirmed that the denial of the Shoah is not an opinion, but a crime," said Richard Prasquier, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, using the Hebrew word for Holocaust. "We want the Vatican to realize that by accommodating anti-Semites like Williamson, the achievements of four decades of Catholic-Jewish dialogue ... will be put into doubt," WJC president Ronald Lauder said in a statement. The Vatican has ordered Bishop Williamson to publicly recant his position.

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