German Chancellor Merkel: Vatican move `important'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised the Vatican's "unequivocal" demand that a prelate recant his denial of the Holocaust before he can be rehabilitated. She said that the move was "important and good." Merkel said Thursday that the decision to insist that British Bishop Richard Williamson distance himself from his remarks was an important step in maintaining relations between Christians and Jews. The chancellor publicly demanded earlier this week that Pope Benedict XVI clarify the Vatican's stance on the Holocaust after it ruled that the ultraconservative Williamson's excommunication should be lifted. Merkel said the Vatican's latest statement "makes clear that Holocaust denial will never be allowed to stand without consequences."