Friday, February 20, 2009

Williamson's anti-semitism no secret to former SSPX seminarians

Former seminarians under Bishop Williamson say his anti-semitism was no secret:
"He got his point across, right from the start," said the Rev. John Rizzo, who in 1985 was ordained a priest of the Society of St. Pius X, which broke with Rome over the liturgical and theological reforms instituted during the Second Vatican Council of the mid-1960s. John Rizzo left the Society of St. Pius X in 1993 and joined a different traditionalist society, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which is in union with Rome.

"I have a sizable nose, and he would say to me, 'Rizzo, are you baptized, or are you a Jew?' " John Rizzo, who is now based in New Zealand, said in a phone interview from Australia. "There was another seminarian named Oppenheimer, and he would say: 'Oppenheimer, I don't like your name. If you keep it up, there's a gas chamber waiting for you at the boathouse.' "


John Rizzo's twin brother, Joseph, who left the seminary without being ordained, also recalls Williamson's rhetoric. Joseph Rizzo is now back in Weymouth, where he has four children and is a general manager for Tedeschi Food Shops.

"He called the Holocaust the biggest theatrics known to mankind - I remember sitting in a conference one time when he said those words, and I couldn't believe it - he looked around the room and saw the jaws dropping," said Joseph Rizzo. "I walked around the lake with him, and I said, 'Why would you say that?' and he said, 'There's no documentation.' He said it was all staged, and when I asked why, he said because the Jews own the country, they own the banks, and he felt it was some kind of effort to generate some sympathy toward them."


On a related note, however, The Times reports that Williamson has been give ten days to leave the country or face expulsion:

The Argentine Interior Ministry said Bishop Williamson’s statements on the Holocaust “profoundly insult Argentine society, the Jewish community and all of humanity by denying an historic truth”.

Bishop Williamson had been head of La Reja seminary in Buenos Aires since 2003 but he was removed from that job last week.

The Argentine interior ministry said that Bishop Williamson had not declared “his true activity” as the director of the seminary on immigration forms, and had “concealed the true motive for his stay in the country” by claiming to be an employee of a non-governmental body.

The government said it had been unaware of Bishop Williamson’s position until recent publicity, but added that his views were a factor in the decision to expel him.