BBC: SSPX Bp. Williamson expelled from Argentina


Argentina expels Holocaust bishop [What a nasty headline]

Argentina has ordered an ultra-traditionalist British bishop who denies the Holocaust to leave the country or face expulsion.

The Interior Ministry said Richard Williamson had been told he had 10 days to leave Argentina.

Earlier this month the bishop was removed from his post as the head of a Roman Catholic seminary in Argentina.  [Notice there is no additional distinction here.]

A row erupted in January after the Pope decided to lift Bishop Williamson’s excommunication on an unrelated matter[At least they got that right.]

The Vatican said the Pope had been unaware of Bishop Williamson’s views and had since ordered him to recant.


Argentina’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday that Bishop Williamson "has concealed the true motive for his stay in the country" because he said he was an employee of a non-governmental group rather than declaring "his true activity" as the director of a seminary[?  So… is this the reason for the expulsion?]

Bishop Williamson’s views on the Holocaust have provoked outrage.

"I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against, six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler," he said.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. O' Neill says:

    Bishop Williamson “has concealed the true motive for his stay in the country” because he said he was an employee of a non-governmental group

    Ah, so the SSPX are not a non-governmental group? Is +Williamson a civil servant then?

  2. Irish says:

    Government Uses Nazi Tactics to Expel Holocaust Doubting Bishop.

    The world’s run mad.

  3. Mitch_WA says:

    Interesting… my anti-spam phrase was: pray 4 bishops

    Although Williamson’s historical positions are stupid, he seems to be really be getting the raw deal. He can’t be that bad of a guy…

  4. Mitch_WA says:

    Interesting… my anti-spam phrase was: pray 4 bishops

    Although Williamson\’s historical positions are stupid, he seems to be really be getting the raw deal. He can\’t be that bad of a guy…

  5. gengulphus says:

    Perhaps Argentina has not entirely come to terms with its notably sympathetic accommodation of Dr Mengele and others sixty years ago.

  6. Confiteor says:

    I feel sorry for Bishop Williamson. His views regarding the Holocaust are paranoid [?] and delusional, yet he doesn’t deserve this treatment.

    There has been a gleeful piling on Bishop Williamson the past few weeks, including by Traditionalists. We need to take note that many of Bishop Williamson’s enemies in governments and the secular media — particularly those who are really pushing for his public humiliation and downfall — are also the enemies of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Mother Church.

  7. BillyHW says:

    Argentina suddenly has a problem with Nazi’s living in the country? [I am unaware that Bp Williamson is a socialist.]

  8. Ken says:

    Traditionalists should be joined by the far left and even the center-left like George Weigel — all of whom oppose the pope’s work with the SSPX — to express outrage over this decision by the government of Argentina.

  9. Dan says:


    Bishop Williamson has made some wacky statements in the past but he is most assuredly not a Nazi.

  10. Antonius says:

    Any implication that Bp. Williamson would be “a Nazi” is highly improper and a contradiction to the charity and fairness anyone being trashed by the gathered world press deserves.

  11. Matt says:

    Bishop Williamson is welcome in the USA. I am sorry he is being persecuted for his secular views. Keep your eyes open, this type of persecution is what will be happening to those of us who speak out againt abortion, gay marraige/lifestyle, etc.

    If the secular world can get Catholics to turn on their own Bishops then they have truely won the minds of many. Irrespective of Bishop Williamson’s views on historical matters, he is one of Christ’s Bishops and deserves the respect of his office.

    To expel a Bishop from a country for his personal, secular views should really show how communist many countries are becoming. What’s next? Imprison the Bishop until he tows the “Party” line?

  12. sarsfield says:

    What madness. Approximately 30 million Americans reportedly doubt that the Apollo moon landings happened, but I should think few among us would argue that they should be expelled en masse or individually. What is going on here? It is precisely this sort of mega-overreaction to Williamson’s remarks that makes people wonder if he and his ilk just might be onto something when they speak of hidden hands, behind-the-scenes wire-pullers, “powers that be,” and other conspiratorial forces actually running everything. Enough already.

  13. Logan says:

    “His views regarding the Holocaust are paranoid and delusional.”

    Really, Confiteor? Are you now a medical doctor making a diagnosis?

    Paranoid & delusional ideation is a serious matter and should not be used causually or in a flipant manner.

  14. Aelric says:

    This is just a case of the Argentine government trying to play diplomatic pay-back for the Vatican’s refusal to accept the credentials of Alberto Iribarne as ambassador to President Kirchner’s government.

  15. Dan says:

    I wonder if His Excellecy would be allowed to take refuge in the Vatican?

  16. Rachel says:

    Sadly Dan, if that was to happen, there would be another firestorm :(. It would be seen as the Vatican harboring a “nazi.”

    It is ironic that Argentina is expelling Williamson since they harbored many real nazis after WWII. This is very sick.

  17. veritas says:

    If a man praises the same books as the Nazis, criticises the same enemies as the Nazis, and , contrary to all scholarly opinion, seeks to diminish the crimes of the Nazis, then what can we, in all charity and in truth, call him?

  18. Paul says:

    Don’t feel sorry for his excellency. He’s happy to be persecuted.

  19. Daniel Latinus says:

    I have never had a very high opinion of Bp. Williamson, and have long thought he was a liability to traditional Catholicism.

    I never thought the day would come when I would actually pity the man. (I’m even coming to a grudging admiration of Bp. Williamson. He has acquitted himself rather honorably since this whole thing blew up.)

    OTOH, I can understand why, given Argentina’s historic reputation, they would want to avoid being seen as soft on fellow travelers of the Nazis.

  20. Daniel Latinus says:

    One question: what, if anything, could Bp. Williamson expect from the government, were he to return to his native England?

  21. Ad Orientem says:

    It must be recalled that Bp. Williamson is not an Argentine citizen. He is a British subject. Nations have an absolute right (too frequently we don’t exercise it here) to refuse visas to persons who are known crack pots or trouble makers. Williamson is a man who’s views are criminal in some parts of the world and is a known anti-Semite. Yes, Holocaust denial and promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is conclusive evidence of being an anti-Semitic bigot in my book.

    Argentina is completely within their rights and morally correct in telling this mitred Klansman to get out of their country. Cudos to Argentina!

    In ICXC

  22. Victor says:

    Fr. Z, I understand that you read German? Perhaps you might be interested in this article by the German newspaper F.A.Z., which is a little bit more elaborate. The link is as follows: (sorry, I don’t know how to embed links…)

  23. Fr Ricardo Isaguirre says:

    I am an Argentine living in spain, and I have told weeks ago to my European friends that this was going to happen in Argentina soon with (against) Msgr. Williamson.
    Now I am very sad and ashamed, but not surprise at all.

  24. Mary says:

    Daniel Latinus, I’ve just read elsewhere that someone passing through England who had made statements analogous to Bp. Williamson’s was liable to be extradited to Germany to be tried….

  25. Victor says:

    Never mind; it seems the computer does know it so I don’t have to…

  26. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Dear Ad Orientem (John),

    Actually nations usually do not. They enter into mutual agreements with other nations to grant visas to each nation’s citizens based on legislation not whims. This is obviously the reason Argentina has made up such a flimsy excuse to expel Bishop Williamson. If they came out and said they were kicking him out based on his historical views, they would most likely be in violation of their laws. Finally, the accusation of anti-semitism (and membership in the KKK?!) is completely unfounded and is a grave sin you will have to render an account for. Unless of course God has given you the ability to read the heart of Bishop Williamson. Are you making the claim of a prophet?

    Christopher Sarsfield (not to be confused with Sarsfield, who posted earlier)

  27. Dan says:


    You can call him Your Excellency.

  28. Dan says:


    I would not think its a good idea to call a bishop of the Catholic Church, who is not a member of the KKK, a “clansman”.

  29. Antonio says:

    Poor Williamson.

  30. Steven says:

    Well, now you know who rules the world!

  31. Thomas says:

    “Yes…promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is conclusive evidence of being an anti-Semitic bigot in my book.”

    I have neither read nor studied the history of the “Protocols” to determine for myself as to whether the “Protocols” are authentic. I have read that many Catholics and Jews believed that the “Protocols” publication was authentic.

    Do you base your opinion upon a declaration from the Catholic Church regarding the Protocols? Or is it simply your opinion, rather than an official Church declaration, that anybody who dares to believe that the Protocols publication is valid is anti-Semitic?

    Saint Maximilian Kolbe, for example, believed that the so-called Protocols publication was authentic. He was canonized by the Church in 1982. If belief in the authenticity of the Protocols constitutes anti-Semitism, then do you label Saint Maximilian Kolbe an anti-Semite?

  32. Son of Trypho says:

    Argentina has reason to be concerned about matters which touch upon anti-Jewish sentiments in their nation – they did have the AMIA bombing back in 1994 which killed 80+ people (AMIA was the Argentine Jewish association).

    Williamson has brought this upon himself and, besides facing his own potential prosecution in Europe, has probably got the SSPX being investigated also. He has done serious damage to the traditional/conservative faction of the Church and Pontiff. The best thing for him would be to resign his position immediatley and let Fellay arrange a replacement for him.

    C. Sarsfield – I’m with John on this one – if you support the Protocols your peddling anti-semitism.

  33. Giusebio says:

    If he was a terrorist, he could go to Brazil.

  34. Son of Trypho says:

    Interesting point – though of course it does help Kolbe’s case a little that it was widely exposed as a hoax and fraud after he had written his comments supporting it. The exposure of course being some 60+ years before Williamson’s comments…
    If Kolbe demonstrated significant support for it after the 20’s I’d be curious to see your sources.

  35. Steve K. says:

    Thomas, the Protocols were a forgery by anti-Jewish Tsarists, written to justify persecution of Jews in Tsarist Russia and excuse pogroms against Jewish communities. There is solid historical evidence for this, but it’s one of those zombie errors that stagger on no matter how many times disproved, for it resonates with some awful need in the psyches of certain people. I guess.

    I didn’t know St. Maximilian Kolbe believed in the authenticity of this infamous document, but I suspect he was disabused of it later in life (considering where he died). In any event, saints were once sinners, too. And certainly the evidence of record against the Protocols are much greater now than they were at his time. There is simply no excuse, none at all, for an educated person in this day and age to cling to a belief that this is an authentic document. To believe that the Protocols are true in the face of what we know now is culpable stupidity, which can only indicate a disordered relationship to the truth.

    BTW, thanks for dragging St. Maximilian Kolbe through the mud, jerk.

  36. London Calling says:

    May God bless and keep Williamson … far away from England.

  37. Daniel says:

    Here are some comments regarding Bishop Williamson that were posted to this thread:

    “Although Williamson’s historical positions are stupid…His views regarding the Holocaust are paranoid and delusional…Bishop Williamson has made some wacky statements in the past…”

    Unlike that “paranoid and delusional” Bishop Williamson, “we” obviously are rational and serious-minded folk.

    Although…any number of the world’s greatest minds will insist that “we” (Catholics) are “paranoid and delusional” as we believe in Jesus Christ. We are considered insane for believing in miracles…for believing that the Catholic Church is the True Church and that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ.

    Many Jews, for example, insist that our reading of history regarding Jesus Christ, is laughable and insane.

    Many Jews, for example, insist that the historical facts demonstrate that Pope Pius XII was an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer and that anybody who believes otherwise is a “delusional.”

    The more that the Bishop Williamson “controversy” continues, the more that I have come to realize that those of “us” who speak nastily of Bishop Williamson had better realize that many historical views that we hold are considered laughable, pathetic and “delusional.”

    Before we cast smug attacks against Bishop Williamson, keep in mind that tens of millions of folks believe that our reading of history regarding Jesus Christ, His Church, miracles…and so forth…is just as “insane” as Bishop Williamson’s reading of history regarding the Nazi gas chambers issues…a reading that he said that he’s willing to revisit.

    In other words, simply for being Catholic, we are considered as pathetic and “delusional” as Bishop Williamson, according to millions of non-Catholics.

    Beware of what you say about Bishop Williamson as right behind you are millions of people who say the same about you.

  38. jack says:

    I know that in my state the cause of the EF has been hindered since and because of Williamson’s holocaust denying remarks. The pastor of my church had been willing to post announcements about the EF and its location. Not now.

  39. Paul Haley says:

    I think it’s outrageous that Bishop Williamson is being persecuted for his personal views. As much as I disagree with him on the holocaust, I respect his right to his opinion. To me, this is part of the attempt to discredit the SSPX and the Pope and I will not have any part of that. The secularists and the leftists fear a united Church under the mantle of Peter and are pulling out all the stops to see that it does not happen. I hope the Pope understands what is taking place and acts accordingly.

  40. Steve K. says:

    That is relativism pure, Daniel. No thanks.

  41. scholastic says:

    Argentine: Participants in the Holocaust welcome; those who do not believe in it are not welcome.

    (I guess participants are not deniers, since they were there)

  42. DarkKnight says:

    Father should have simply said that he was a NAZI, then they would have just added his name to the list of “special” guests of the State. Oh, that’s right ODESSA paid for the NAZI’s stay with gold.

  43. Brian Day says:

    Daniel (@5:19pm)
    If you are going to quote people, learn to use quotation marks. Your first selective quote is wrong. Not only that, you took it out of context. The rest of your post is just as confusing/wrong.

    This is not the first time you have posted misinformation. Please stop.

  44. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Son of Trypho,

    From a letter to the NY Times book review defending Kolbe but not attempting to deny the fact that Kolbe wrote the article in 1939:

    “In a review of Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s List and Patricia Treece’s A Man for Others: Maximilian Kolbe, Saint of Auschwitz in the Words of Those Who Knew Him, John Gross claims that Father Kolbe’s papers “kept up a relentless anti-Semitic campaign” and quotes from an article Kolbe wrote in 1939 in which he refers to “international Zionism” as the guiding hand behind the “criminal mafia” of Masonry, which in turn was stoking the fires of “atheistic Communism.”

    Bishop Williamson’s views are at most the same as Kolbe’s, but most likely are not as strident. Also the author’s that defend Kolbe all admit he believed in the Protocol’s and never retracted that position.

  45. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Steve when referring to St. Maximilian Kolbe says that “saints were once sinners.” Is he saying that some how Kolbe was sinful for believing in the Protocols and believing in the world wide Jewish conspiracy? Kolbe was not canonized as a martyr. His life was lead with heroic virtue according to the Church (not just the last 12 days of his life). Williamson at most would be guilty of a sin (venial) against prudence, for believing what Saints like Kolbe said, and for not going to the enemies of the Church (or liberals in the Church, whom he probably groups with enemies) for the other side of the story (it does seem the Church’s enemies were right on the Protocols).

  46. Steve K. says:

    C. Sarsfield – St. Maximilian Kolbe was indeed canonized a martyr.

  47. ED says:

    For Fear of the Jews read your Bible!!!!!!!!

  48. Steve K,

    Koble was beatified by Paul VI as a confessor. He had to have the miracle required of confessors but not martyrs. John Paul II made up a new category of martyr for him “Martyr of Charity,” because there was no hatred of the faith involved in his death. I have no idea what that is, or what the theological implications are. My point is that the Church said he lived a life of heroic virtue (as opposed to just a death of heroic virtue), when they beatified him as a confessor in 1971.

  49. Antonius says:

    If I would get to decide, I would lock the comment section on this one down.

  50. Son of Trypho says:

    C Sarsfield
    I stand corrected. In saying that I would suggest that it is reasonable to note that Kolbe’s views were nuanced by the circumstances of his time and situation, something that Williamson certainly doesn’t have the benefit of. However it is packaged by his supporters, Williamson doesn’t have a legitimate excuse for peddling the Protocols in the late 20th C – especially as an educated Catholic bishop.

  51. Ad Orientem says:

    Christopher Sarsfield,
    Have you met Bp. Williamson? I have. I knew him before he got purple trim added to his cassock. He is a bigot and an anti-Semite. That is not some wild guessing. It is a prudential judgment based on numerous comments I have heard from his own lips and his promotion of clap trap like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Sorry, but if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…

    In ICXC

  52. Ad Orientem says:

    I would not think its a good idea to call a bishop of the Catholic Church, who is not a member of the KKK, a “clansman”.

    Bp Williamson is not (Deo Gratias) a bishop of the Catholic Church. As for my reference to the Klan, please my last comment above.

    In ICXC

  53. wsxyz says:

    Bp Williamson is not (Deo Gratias) a bishop of the Catholic Church. As for my reference to the Klan, please my last comment above.

    Bishop Williamson is no longer excommunicated, so he is a member of the Catholic Church. He is also a validly ordained Bishop. So how is he not a Bishop of the Catholic Church?

    Sorry to be intruding on this discussion… I’m just not sure how the above assertion can be justified.

  54. Guadalupe Guard says:

    John Ad Orientem is the one who is not Catholic, but rather a schismatic who is, I believe, an apostate from the true Church. As one can see it is he who is also the bigot. Pray for him; since he frequents Catholic blogs I hope deep in his soul he is making his way back to the true Church and salvation.

  55. Chris says:

    ad orientem: “Williamson is not (Deo Gratias) a bishop of the Catholic Church.”

    I didn’t know you were elected pope and able to strip him of his charism.


  56. Son of Trypho says:

    Fr Z
    You might want to step in soon and this thread is degenerating badly.

  57. Cathguy says:

    If Argentina wants to expel a non-citizen from their country they have every right to do so. I wish to God we would do that with some of our illegal aliens here. Bp. Williamson is a citizen of Great Britain, and he should go there to function in whatever capacity the SSPX desire him to serve if he can’t permission from any other host country. It is not like he comes with papers and authorization from the Pope, who is the Successor of Peter. That would be another story all together.

    Argentina’s hypocrisy is their business. I am an American citizen and my grandparents generation defeated the Nazis… they didn’t then give them safe harbor. Argentina gave comfort to Nazi war criminals and now expels Williamson. Silly? Yes. But who cares about Argentina? If England was still a great nation she would deal with her uppity antagonist more competently.

    To those arguing that Bishop Williamson is being “persecuted” for the faith: come off it! Bishop Williamson is being persecuted for his views as a holocaust denier and an anti-semite. I disagree with the persecution, but I don’t think we can argue that he is “blessed” because he is being persecuted in this instance. We are only blessed when we are persecuted for HIS sake, not for untenable, rediculous, and probably hateful historical beliefs.

    And to that poster who compares the fact that Williamson denies the Holocaust to the fact that many deny the moon landings, I would ask a modicum of common sense. Does the fact that one denies the moon landings mean minimizing a great evil where millions of people were murdered heinously simply because of their religious beliefs and ethnicity? We shouldn’t be worried about cooks who deny the Apollo PROGRAM. Those who deny POGROMS on the other hand offer a whole other series of challenges.

  58. supertradmom says:

    Ok, Bishop Williamson is still a bishop and, although deluded and difficult, a human being with certain rights. It seems to me a dangerous precedent for any country to kick someone out for speaking nonsense, even highly offensive nonsense. Who is next to be expelled? The local parish priest who speaks against abortion could be the next one on the boat.

  59. Ad Orientem says:

    From the RC perspective Williamson’s orders are not in question. BUt he is not reconciled to Rome. As the host of this blog has pointed out ad infinitum lifting the excommunication does not regularize him at all. His orders are illicit and he remains under suspension (which I believe he continues to defy). He holds no See and has never had his consecration sanctioned by Rome which I believe is a criteria for being a Catholic bishop. He is I believe what could be termed a vagante.

    Guadalupe Guard,
    I am an Orthodox Catholic Christian, which is to say that I am a member of The Church. Doubtless you will hold a contrary opinion, and I suspect we will have to agree to disagree on that point. As for the rest of your post, I am content to let others draw their own conclusions.

    In ICXC

  60. SML says:

    “As traditional Catholics, we have no reason to downplay Hitler’s crimes or in any way to describe the Nazi regime as any less horrible than it was,” Fr. Gaudron said

    …the Shoah is something very satanic. You do not just say stupid stuff, about the Shoah, to play it down when you are a bishop…

    Of course there were others like Stalin, Pol Pot… But do not touch the Shoah… Jesus – 2nd person of the Trinity – and Mary were jews…

    If Bishop Williamson does not renounce what he said on the Shoah, I will never go to a SSPX Mass in my life…

    If he gets away without renouncing what he said on the Shoah… Sure, the whole of Society Pius X will be in it too because they could tolerate such a position…

  61. joe says:

    I hope he gets out of there soon(take time off in the US to sort things out is my suggestion). I would hope part of the sorting out is to break from the SSPX entirely. It might get some of those within the Society to go along with him and save them from being dragged into the undesirable positon of defending the new Mass and Vatican II which will have to occur when an agreement between the SSPX and the Vatican is finally ironed out. Having valid Holy Orders, Bp Williamson would be able to carry on a fully traditional apostolate, if he and those around him finally come to the conclusion that what has happened in the past 50 yrs could not come from her legitimate pastors.

    Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us.

  62. I guess I have to shut this down if people can’t exercise the ability to self-edit.

Comments are closed.