WORLDPOST
03/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Holocaust Bishop's Apology Rejected By Vatican, Germany Considers Arrest Warrant

The Vatican has rejected the apology of Bishop Richard Williamson who has made headlines for his controversial remarks concerning the Holocaust, reports AP.

The Vatican said Friday that the apology issued by an ultraconservative bishop who denied the Holocaust was not good enough to admit him into the Catholic Church as a clergyman.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said Bishop Richard Williamson's statement "doesn't appear to respect the conditions" the Vatican set out for him.

In an interview broadcast last month on Swedish state TV, Williamson denied 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, saying 200,000 or 300,000 were murdered. He said none were gassed.

Williamson apologized for his remarks on Thursday, saying he would never have made them if he had known "the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise."

But he did not say his comments had been erroneous, nor that he no longer believed them.

In related news, Germany is considering issuing an arrest warrant for the bishop as it is illegal to deny the Holocaust in their country. AP reports:

Germany may issue an arrest warrant on hate crime charges against the British Holocaust-denying Catholic bishop Richard Williamson, the justice minister said today.

It is illegal to deny the Holocaust in Germany and several other EU countries.

Brigitte Zypries said officials were considering issuing an EU-wide warrant because the ultra-conservative clergyman denied the Nazi's killed six million Jews in a television interview that was recorded in Germany.

Brigitte Zypries said officials were considering issuing an EU-wide warrant because the ultra-conservative clergyman denied the Nazi's killed six million Jews in a television interview that was recorded in Germany.

A German investigation into his remarks was already under way, she said.

"Germany could issue a European arrest warrant," she said.

A new set of EU guidelines to toughen national anti-racism and hate crime laws was passed in 2007.

They will commit all 27 EU countries to impose criminal sanctions against people or groups that publicly incite violence or hatred against other groups or persons based on race, colour, religion, descent or ethnic origin.

The guidelines also recommend EU nations impose prison sentences of up to three years for those convicted of denying genocide, such as the mass killing of Jews during the Second World War and the 1990s massacre in Rwanda.