The controversy surrounding Pope Benedict's decision to lift the excommunication of former bishop Richard Williamson was re-ignited today when the Vatican announced that it wouldn't accept Williamson's apology for comments he made denying the extent of the Holocaust.
Williamson attempted to quell the furor over his remarks in a recent statement, saying "“I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had
known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise,
especially to the church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of
injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.”
However, the apology fell short of Williamson overtly acknowledging that his views on the Holocaust are unequivocally wrong, a condition the Vatican had made necessary to his reinstatement.
In a statement to reporters, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Williamson' apology "does not seem to meet expectations" and that it was now unlikely that he would see his excommunication lifted.
The Vatican's refusal to accept the apology is seen by some as part of a widespread damage control campaign that has included Pope Benedict's recent personal apology to Jewish leaders.
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