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Offline Thursday

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Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
« on: February 22, 2012, 09:13:48 PM »
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  • From Traditio
    http://www.traditio.com/comment/com1202.htm

    Benedict-Ratzinger tried to quash him and failed. Bernie Fellay tried to quash him and failed. Anti-Catholic secularist radicals tried to quash him and failed. Finally, after three years, in an Ash Wednesday (February 22, 2012) decision, a German Appeals Court has quashed the conviction of the Neo-SSPX's senior bishop, Richard Williamson, for expressing his opinion on a disputed matter of secular history. The Appeals Court in Nuremberg ruled that there were "irremediable procedural problems" and vacated the decision against Williamson, at the same time rescinding the 8,600-dollar fine previously imposed.


    Here is a French source
    http://fr.euronews.net/depeches/1402604-negationnisme-la-condamnation-de-leveque-williamson-annulee-en-allemagne/

    Offline Emerentiana

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012, 09:39:02 PM »
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  • Such great news!   A truly heroic Bishop! :applause:


    Offline RomanCatholic1953

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 10:17:10 PM »
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  • Unexpected Great News.

    Our prayers for Bishop Williamson have been answered.

    Offline John Grace

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 11:38:13 AM »
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  • Fantastic news indeed

    Bishop Williamson wins appeal against conviction in Germany
    http://jailingopinions.com/blog/
    Quote
    On Ash Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, the courageous British Bishop Richard Williamson won the latest round in the struggle for free source-critical opinion in Europe, when the German appeal court quashed his conviction for “holocaust denial”.

    Bishop Williamson had been under tremendous pressure from within his church, including the leadership of his traditional Catholic Society of St Pius X (SSPX), to abandon his defence and meekly accept criminalisation, following a prosecution which originated in an interview he gave to a Swedish television journalist in November 2008.

    Fifty-five minutes into this interview, which had focused on religious matters as the Bishop had expected, the journalist suddenly sprang the question: “Bishop Williamson, are these your words?” and quoted comments made by the Bishop several years earlier in Canada

    Bishop Williamson had then stated that – on the basis of the historical evidence as he understood it – he did not believe there had been any homicidal gas chambers in Third Reich Germany.  When unexpectedly pursued by the Swedish interviewer, he defended these views, saying:
    “I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.”

    The interview was broadcast in January 2009 and became widely available on the internet.  International Jewish organisations orchestrated an outcry, leading to pressure on the Roman Catholic Church from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

    It is of course legal to hold such views or make Bishop Williamson’s comments in Canada, or in Sweden, or in the United Kingdom – but in Germany so-called “holocaust denial” is punishable by up to five years in prison.  Indeed in March 2009 the German lawyer Horst Mahler received the maximum five year prison sentence for such offences, as did the German-Canadian artist and publisher Ernst Zündel in 2007 after being expelled from Canada under an unconstitutional “national security certificate”.  German lawyer Sylvia Stoltz was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in 2008, and banned from practising her profession.

    A criminal investigation of Bishop Williamson was launched by the German authorities within weeks of the broadcast, and in October 2009 he was fined €12,000 under the German system of “order of punishment”, which initially involves no trial but is sometimes accepted by defendants in straightforward cases, such as traffic offences and the like.

    The Bishop’s initial lawyer Matthias Lossmann had been appointed via the SSPX, and pursued a defeatist strategy which led to his client being convicted following a trial in Regensburg in April 2010, though the fine was reduced to €10,000.

    A first appeal was heard in July 2011, again in Regensburg, by which time Bishop Williamson had taken on new lawyers – first Wolfram Nahrath, and later Prof. Edgar Weiler, who represented him at the appeal hearing which I attended.

    The outcome of this appeal was to reduce the fine again to €6,500, but the legal arguments introduced by Prof. Weiler have now resulted in the complete throwing out of the charges.

    A reading of the documents suggests that Prof. Weiler was successful in challenging the very basis of the charges – namely the essential question of at what point Bishop Williamson had committed an offence.  Was it illegal simply to make these statements in Germany, even behind closed doors, to the Swedish journalist?  Surely this was not a “publication”.

    Were the prosecutors arguing that Bishop Williamson had intended the comments to be broadcast in Germany, bearing in mind that he was speaking to a Swedish journalist for a Swedish programme?  Or that he had not done enough to prevent that publication?  If so, in what sense?  The broadcast clearly shows Bishop Williamson warning the journalist that such comments are illegal in Germany and that they should not be published there.

    The higher court has now agreed that the prosecutors’ charges against Bishop Williamson failed to make these matters clear, and that his conviction should therefore be thrown out.

    For the time being, the prosecutors are putting a brave face on their defeat, insisting that they intend to bring new, more precisely stated charges.  But by doing so they risk drawing further attention to the dangerous ambiguity of a German legal system which operates by very different standards of free expression from many of its European partners.

    Such contradictions led of course to the historic victory in the London courts in 2008, when a European Arrest Warrant against the Australian academic Dr Fredrick Toben, drawn up by German prosecutors was similarly thrown out for reflecting the very vagueness of the law it is based upon, which fails to define terms such as “holocaust” or its unique alleged mass murder weapon.  On that occasion too, the German authorities and their partners in the Crown Prosecution Service insisted that they would appeal and continue to seek Dr Toben’s extradition, but they quickly abandoned their flimsy case.

    The interests of truth and justice – not to mention the interests of the hard-pressed German taxpayer – would be well served if the prosecutors again accepted defeat in Bishop Williamson’s case.

    Further updates will appear here when a full translation of today’s documents has been made

    Offline s2srea

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 12:07:23 PM »
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  • This is good... but this article says that he may face the a new trial for the same allegations.... :surprised:

    From: The Local- Germany's News in English:
    Quote
    A German court on Wednesday quashed a British bishop's high-profile conviction for Holocaust denial for procedural reasons but said he may face a new trial on the same allegations.

    and...



    "The prosecutor now has the possibility of pressing charges on the basis of the same facts of the case," the court said in a statement.

    A spokesman for prosecutors told news agency AFP that they indeed intended to file new charges "as quickly as possible," adding this could happen in around five weeks.

    The renegade bishop, 71, told Swedish television in 2008 that "200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps" and disputed the existence of the gas chambers.


    Offline John Grace

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 02:15:42 PM »
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  • http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120223-40933.html
    Quote
    Holocaust denial ‘pub talk’ legal – sometimes
    Published: 23 Feb 12 15:28 CET

    Germany’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of a Nazi who denied the Holocaust in his neighbourhood pub, because he did so “as part of an attempt to argue” that Germany was not the aggressor in World War II.

    The ruling, made last November but released on Thursday, stems from a case brought in the eastern German state of Thuringia, where an 82-year-old man walked into a pub and began complaining about a documentary on World War II that was running on a TV there.

    He questioned what he called the “lies” about the origins of the war, and the role that Jews supposedly played in altering the historical record afterwards.

    He then returned two days later, began another argument and gave the landlord several neo-Nazi pamphlets. One of these, entitled “The historical lie of the so-called attack on Poland in 1939,” claimed that no gas chambers were used in the Third Reich.

    The landlord kept the fascist pamphlets and later pressed charges against the man, who was convicted of hate crime through distributing literature in two Thuringia courts in June 2006 and April 2007. The man – who believed his freedom of speech had been violated – then appealed to the constitutional court, who ruled in his favour.

    Germany’s highest court, based in the western town of Karlsruhe, said that the man’s arguments counted as freedom of speech, and were thus protected by article five of the German constitution. The ruling also said the man, who one judge described as “even today a zealous proponent of National Socialist ideology and historical forgery,” had not committed hate crimes, because he had only passed on the literature to one other person.

    “Even the dissemination of National Socialist ideas as a radical questioning of the status quo” is not necessarily outside the protection of article five, the court said.

    Holocaust denial remains illegal in Germany, the court underlined, saying the Holocaust was “a historically-proven fact that normally does not come under the protection of the freedom of speech.”

    But the court decided that this was not the decisive point of the man’s arguments. He was simply using the denial as an “introductory attempt at an explanation” to deny Germany’s guilt for World War II in general.

    Some critics do see Germany’s law on Holocaust denial as a threat to the freedom of speech, but the court expressly said that this ruling in no way affected that law.

    The Local/bk

    Offline s2srea

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 02:23:38 PM »
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  • Quote from: John Grace
    http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120223-40933.html
    Quote
    Some critics do see Germany’s law on Holocaust denial as a threat to the freedom of speech, but the court expressly said that this ruling in no way affected that law.


    "Two plus two equals four."
    "Yes, that's true, but when you're in Germany, it equals five."

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 03:22:56 PM »
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  • Interesting how Bishop Fellay has shown him absolutely no support since this whole thing began.

    Perhaps Bishop Williamson wouldn't be in the hole he is in today if he had some support from Fellay and the Society. Instead, Fellay says we shouldn't be anti-Jewish...


    Offline John Grace

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 06:29:44 AM »
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  • Quote from: SpiritusSanctus
    Interesting how Bishop Fellay has shown him absolutely no support since this whole thing began.

    Perhaps Bishop Williamson wouldn't be in the hole he is in today if he had some support from Fellay and the Society. Instead, Fellay says we shouldn't be anti-Jewish...


    Whilst Menzingen did pay the Bishop's legal fees, it is true some clerics and faithful stabbed him in the back.Fr. Niklaus Pfluger's malice against the Bishop is well documented. The Menzingen lawyer! Let's not get started on him. Bishop Williamson feels very hard done by.

    This appeal is a great victory for Catholic Resistance. The prosecution are saving face. They won't subject the Bishop to a retrial.

    Hopefully now the Bishop can travel to the SSPX chapels. He was invited by several of the Irish chapels for confirmation but Bishop Fellay refused this invitation. Other requests have been made in other Districts. There is nothing other than excuses from Bishop Fellay stopping the Bishop from travelling.

    Bishop Williamson has great support among Society clerics and faithful. This frightens the enemy. The enemy tried to present him as an isolated individual that was abandoned by his own. Far from it. Priests and faithful have stood 100% in support of the Bishop. He is a Bishop carrying on the tradition and apostolate of Archbishop Lefebvre.


    Our prayers have been answered.




    Offline Telesphorus

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 07:34:58 AM »
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  • I wonder if the fact that Bishop Williamson's defense was sabotaged had anything to do with the vacation of the conviction.

    Offline LordPhan

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 12:41:58 PM »
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  • Quote from: John Grace
    Quote from: SpiritusSanctus
    Interesting how Bishop Fellay has shown him absolutely no support since this whole thing began.

    Perhaps Bishop Williamson wouldn't be in the hole he is in today if he had some support from Fellay and the Society. Instead, Fellay says we shouldn't be anti-Jewish...


    Whilst Menzingen did pay the Bishop's legal fees, it is true some clerics and faithful stabbed him in the back.Fr. Niklaus Pfluger's malice against the Bishop is well documented. The Menzingen lawyer! Let's not get started on him. Bishop Williamson feels very hard done by.

    This appeal is a great victory for Catholic Resistance. The prosecution are saving face. They won't subject the Bishop to a retrial.

    Hopefully now the Bishop can travel to the SSPX chapels. He was invited by several of the Irish chapels for confirmation but Bishop Fellay refused this invitation. Other requests have been made in other Districts. There is nothing other than excuses from Bishop Fellay stopping the Bishop from travelling.

    Bishop Williamson has great support among Society clerics and faithful. This frightens the enemy. The enemy tried to present him as an isolated individual that was abandoned by his own. Far from it. Priests and faithful have stood 100% in support of the Bishop. He is a Bishop carrying on the tradition and apostolate of Archbishop Lefebvre.


    Our prayers have been answered.





    Indeed they have, God Bless Bishop Williamson!


    Offline Sigismund

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 01:52:20 PM »
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  • Quote from: SpiritusSanctus
    Interesting how Bishop Fellay has shown him absolutely no support since this whole thing began.

    Perhaps Bishop Williamson wouldn't be in the hole he is in today if he had some support from Fellay and the Society. Instead, Fellay says we shouldn't be anti-Jewish...


    Well, I expect that is because Bishop Fellay thinks what Bishop Williamson said was really,  really stupid.
    Stir up within Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the Spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his sheep: so that, through his intercession, we too may be moved and strengthen by the same Spir

    Offline sedetrad

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 01:57:15 PM »
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  • This is a positive sign for the good Bishop.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 03:40:57 PM »
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  • Quote from: Sigismund
    Well, I expect that is because Bishop Fellay thinks what Bishop Williamson said was really,  really stupid.


    Saying something stupid in good faith isn't a sin.

    But going along with a global campaign press campaign against your brother bishop for having a historical opinion almost certainly is.

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Breaking: Bishop Willianson conviction vacated in German
    « Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 03:41:00 PM »
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  • Quote from: Sigismund
    Quote from: SpiritusSanctus
    Interesting how Bishop Fellay has shown him absolutely no support since this whole thing began.

    Perhaps Bishop Williamson wouldn't be in the hole he is in today if he had some support from Fellay and the Society. Instead, Fellay says we shouldn't be anti-Jewish...


    Well, I expect that is because Bishop Fellay thinks what Bishop Williamson said was really,  really stupid.


    It wasn't.

    It was certainly no more stupid than Fellay's comment, which was "Jesus was a Jew. Mary was a Jew. The Apostles were Jewish. So we shouldn't be anti-Jewish".

     

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