French group will charge bishop


PARIS (JTA) — A French human rights group says it will press charges against a Holocaust-denying British bishop.

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism said Wednesday in a statement that it would charge Richard Williamson with "contesting crimes against humanity" and denying the Holocaust in an article published in the German der Spiegel magazine and in a television interview.

In an interview published Monday in der Spiegel, Williamson said he needed "proof" that the Nazis used gas chambers to murder Jews during the Holocaust, despite a recent request by Pope Benedict XVI that the rehabilitated bishop distance himself from such views.

The pope’s January reinstatement of Williamson after 20 years of excommunication caused a global outcry.

A Wednesday poll by the daily Le Parisien showed 70 percent of French respondents disapproved of the pope’s decision to reinstate Williamson and three other ultra-conservative bishops. Some 27 percent said they approved.

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