Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), praised Pope Benedict XVI for issuing a personal letter to Catholic bishops explaining the circumstances of the Williamson affair. "The pope has found clear and unequivocal words regarding Bishop Williamson's Holocaust denial, and he deserves praise for admitting that mistakes were made within the Vatican in the handling of this affair," Lauder said. "The pope's letter conveys the essential requirements for inter-religious dialogue: candor and the willingness to tackle difficult issues squarely. His expressed anguish at the events following the Holocaust-denying statements by Williamson reflects the similar emotional pain felt by Jews worldwide during this affair," he continued. "We reciprocate his words of appreciation for Jewish efforts to restore inter-religious dialogue and will continue to work with the Catholic Church to further strengthen mutual understanding and respect," the WJC president stated.