American Jewish Committee And Archdiocese of Atlanta Joint Statement
Published: February 12, 2009
At a meeting with Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, leadership of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Atlanta Chapter applauded the February 4, 2009 statement from the Vatican demanding that Bishop Richard Williamson “absolutely, unequivocally and publicly distance himself” from his advocacy of Holocaust denial.
The positions of Bishop Williamson on the Holocaust have been deemed unacceptable and been firmly refuted by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope also clearly explained the purpose of the remission of the excommunication, which has nothing to do with legitimizing Holocaust denial.
AJC pays special tribute to the many religious and civic leaders who contributed to this satisfactory resolution, in particular German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chancellor Merkel urged the Vatican to go further in its clear rejection of Holocaust denial and deniers. “We deeply appreciate Chancellor Merkel’s principled stance,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs. “Holocaust denial must never be tolerated or legitimized.”
“We look forward to continuing our work together and a desire to strengthen our friendship,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory said during a meeting with the leadership of the American Jewish Committee.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta and American Jewish Committee have a long history of working together in Atlanta. Most recently they have commemorated events such as the 40th
Anniversary of Nostra Aetate, participated in community dialogues on immigration and other issues, and celebrated freedom from slavery at the Black-Jewish Seder.