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 CNS Story:

ARGENTINA-WILLIAMSON (UPDATED) Feb-20-2009 (210 words) xxxi

Argentina gives traditionalist bishop 10 days to leave country

By Catholic News Service

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNS) -- The government of Argentina announced Feb. 19 that ultratraditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson had 10 days to leave the country or be expelled, news media reported.

The Interior Ministry said British-born Bishop Williamson "has concealed the true motive for his stay in the country" because he said he was an employee of a nongovernmental group when he was serving as rector of the seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in La Reja for the past five years.

The government also said Bishop Williamson's remarks that the Holocaust was exaggerated and that no Jews died in Nazi gas chambers insulted and offended Argentine society and the Jewish community.

Bishop Williamson was removed as head of the seminary in early February.

In January Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Bishop Williamson and three other traditionalist bishops. The bishops were ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X.

The Vatican later published a statement saying that Bishop Williamson would not be welcomed into full communion with the church unless he disavowed his remarks about the Holocaust and publicly apologized.

END


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