Merkel: Pope must make 'very clear' rejection of Holocaust denials

February 3, 2009 19:20

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Pope Benedict XVI to make a "very clear" rejection of Holocaust denials after a former bishop was rehabilitated by the Vatican. Her demand came amid increasing outrage among Germany's Roman Catholic leaders over the pope's decision to lift the excommunication of British-born Richard Williamson, who questioned whether 6 million Jews were gassed during the Nazi Holocaust. Merkel said she "does not believe" there has been adequate clarification of the Vatican's position on the Holocaust amid the firestorm of controversy that broke out after Williamson's rehabilitation by the German-born pope. Benedict last week expressed "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews and warned against any denial of the horror of the Holocaust, but several leading German bishops have decried the German-born pope's decision and called Williamson's rehabilitation to be revoked.

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