Netherlands urges pope to condemn Holocaust denier

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Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen urges the Pope to condemn British Bishops Williamson's denial of the Holocaust.

THE HAGUE—The Dutch government urged Pope Benedict XVI Thursday to condemn a British bishop's public denial of the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

"Not only are these views patently false, they are also shocking and offensive to many people, especially at a time that anti-Semitic slogans are again being heard in Europe," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has insisted that the Pope explicitly denounce the statements by bishop Richard Williamson, and that Williamson publicly apologise "for the pain and suffering he caused".

Verhagen's message was conveyed to the Pope's diplomatic representative in The Hague, who agreed to pass it on to Rome, said the statement.

Benedict lifted the excommunication of Williamson on Saturday, who has dismissed as "lies" historians' conclusions that some six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Williamson said only between 200,000 and 300,000 Jews died before and during World War II, and none in gas chambers.

The pope has since expressed "solidarity" with Jews and condemned Holocaust denial.


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