The bishop quoted the Prophet Jonah who told shipmates “throw me into the sea” to halt a tempest.
Bishop Richard Williamson is one of the four bishops leading the traditionalist group Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The bishops’ 1988 excommunications were lifted last week by Pope Benedict in an effort to advance Church unity.
Speaking in a November 2008 interview with Swedish public television, Bishop Williamson had denied that six million Jews were killed in the Nazi genocide. He also denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers and claimed only two to three hundred thousand Jews were murdered.
His remarks were broadcast last week, causing international uproar.
In a Friday post on his blog “Dinoscopus” Bishop Williamson published a letter he sent to Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” tasked with reconciling the SSPX to the Catholic Church.
“For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God,” he wrote. (True to form, it's all about him.)
He then quoted a passage from the Book of Jonah in which Jonah urges his shipmates to take him up and “throw me into the sea.”
“Then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you,” the bishop’s quotation of Jonah continued.
“Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday,” Bishop Williamson’s letter concluded, promising he will “most humbly” offer a Mass for both the cardinal and Pope Benedict. (A Mass which will still be illicit by an invalidly installed bishop--the very thing for which women are excommunicated. Will Bishop Williamson have incurred another excommunication?)
Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, spoke out against Holocaust denial in a Friday statement to Vatican Radio.
“Those who deny the Holocaust do not know anything either about the mystery of God or the Cross of Christ,” he said, according to SIR News. “The denial is all the more worrying when it comes from the mouth of a priest or of a bishop, namely a Christian minister, whether they are united with the Catholic Church or not.”