Statement of the Diocese of Rochester regarding Bishop Williamson

February 2, 2009

Statement on recent news reports concerning Bishop Williamson

Rochester, New York, Feb. 2, 2009 — Bishop of Rochester Matthew Clark and the priests, deacons and people of the Diocese of Rochester join with Pope Benedict XVI in affirming our love for and solidarity with the Jewish people throughout the world, and our absolute repudiation of Bishop Williamson’s historically inaccurate and shameful remarks denying the Holocaust.

The systematic murder of more than 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators
remains a tragedy of indescribable proportion and evil. To deny that the Holocaust occurred or to attempt to lessen the scope of this evil that is historic fact is monumentally wrong. Indeed, people of all faiths and all generations must work unceasingly to remember the Holocaust and the millions of children, women and men who perished, not only to honor their memory but to ensure such unspeakable crimes never can or will happen again to any people.

The Diocese of Rochester is proud of its ongoing relationship with the Jewish Community, one which led to the historic Rochester Agreement of Understanding in 1996 – a joint declaration of solidarity and mutual defense that was signed by both Jewish and Catholic officials locally and one that has borne much fruit in bettering interfaith relations.