No mea culpa, as Bishop Williamson re‑emerges from the shadows

By Searchlight Team

Bad company Michèle Renouf (second left) hosts a gathering at her home in 2022, with guests Bishop Williamson (second right) and Jürgen and Olga Graf

He kept a relatively low profile during the pandemic, but is now back on the extremist circuit, peddling anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial, as Richard Pembroke explains

Bishop Richard Williamson, the notorious traditional Catholic anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, has a tendency to disappear from public view for a few years and then re-emerge, unable to resist satisfying his ego-driven personality and bask in the adulation of his followers.

This has happened again recently, in the wake of the global pandemic. As the world has slowly emerged from Covid-19, so too has Bishop Williamson, who throughout the pandemic was restricted to his online blog and several online interviews.

Williamson, who has been twice excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, was a devotee of the far-right French catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The two were excommunicated together in 1988 when Lefebvre consecrated Williamson as a bishop in defiance of the Pope.

Lefebvre founded the Society of St Pius X, which for many years has been the focus for Catholics of a far-right wing, traditionalist bent. Williamson’s virulent anti Semitism proved too much even for them, however, and he was expelled in 2012.

Since then, he has emerged as the leading representative of this particularly backward-looking wing of Catholicism, but one that harbours a nasty streak of traditional anti Semitism as well.

The Earlsfield controversy

Since his forced and highly publicised return from Argentina in 2009, Williamson had been conducting the traditional Latin Mass in a fairly low-key manner for worshippers at the Earlsfield Library in London without courting any significant controversy.

This was until 2022, when it transpired that he was not only performing his sacred duties for a small congregation – that now included some members of Patriotic Alternative – but also delivering sermons with strong anti-Semitic themes embracing Holocaust denial and conspiracy theories blaming the Jews for the Covid pandemic.

Williamson has been particularly astute in the past and has not referenced the Jewish community directly by name. At a London Forum event, held at a prestigious London hotel in 2015, he used the phrase ‘you know who’, while simultaneously making a caricature anti-Semitic gesture with a hooked finger close to his nose.

Fast forward to 2022, when to an Earlsfield congregation – again including several Patriotic Alternative members – Williamson delivered a sermon that was little more than a conspiracy-laden rant, suggesting that Jews were behind Covid in an attempt to reduce the global population and thence enslave the world.

He declared: ‘They want to be slave owners, and it’s much easier to enslave a reduced population, so they want to bring the world population down from seven billion to 500 million … A very large number of people have to be gotten out the way, and they are starting with Covid.’

Following a report in the Jewish Chronicle and having been made aware of Bishop Williamson’s anti-Semitic diatribe, the social enterprise owners of Earlsfield Library expressed serious concerns and terminated his future bookings with immediate effect. To date, the police appear not to have taken any action against Williamson in relation to this event and, as a result, he has continued to spread his lies through his YouTube channel and social media accounts.

The Iranian TV interview

Always the master at avoiding prosecution for his anti-Semitic views in the UK, Williamson accepted an offer to be interviewed by Iranian TV early in January 2023. In this context it is important to bear in mind that Iran has been at the forefront of hosting and providing a platform for Holocaust deniers over many years, including Williamson’s friend and supporter Michèle Renouf.

Of all his recent rants and diatribes, this one stood out as being his most comprehensive and hateful. The bishop appears to have emerged from the pandemic with an increased sense of his own self-importance, emboldened by the support garnered from groups such as Patriotic Alternative and others here in the UK, alongside hostile foreign powers such as Russia and Iran.

Of the many untruths contained in this conspiracy-heavy interview the following primary messages emerged:

  • Jews control the media and universities, manipulating people’s minds
  • The Holocaust is a ‘myth’, an ‘emotional scenario’ promoted by the Jewish community
  • The Jews were behind the JFK assassination, 9/11, and the war in Ukraine.

At one point during the interview Williamson speaks in a particularly mocking tone, with the following words voiced as a parody Holocaust survivor: ‘I was there and I saw it. When the Hungarian [Jews] were being burned, it was green smoke, and when the Czechs were being burned, it was red smoke.’

The Russian connection

Which brings us to his highly vocal support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a sermon delivered in Poland in 2022, Williamson said: ‘Among the heads of state, there is only one who faces the forces of evil. Don’t rely on Boris Johnson in England, don’t rely on Macron in France, don’t rely on Draghi in Italy. Vladimir Putin, who may not be an angel or a saint, is nevertheless a man of great intelligence and courage. And at the head of Russia he has the means to confront the one world government.’

Russia’s Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov shared this footage with much hyperbole in a Telegram post on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Kadyrov posted the following: ‘The world is opening its eyes to the real picture of what is happening. And this is one more proof that the NWO [New World Order] of the Russian Federation is a moral struggle against the global evil. After all, representatives of different faiths around the world are talking about it … The fighters from the Chechen Republic are successfully defeating this evil, and we are proud that their feat will forever remain in history.’

The Kensington tea party

Recently republished online is a video from March 2020 of Bishop Williamson, in the company of Swiss revisionist Jürgen Graf and his Russian wife Olga, enjoying tea at the Kensington home of Michèle Renouf, one day after Williamson’s 80th birthday.

In the video Graf summarises the revisionist case, speaks of disinformation about Hitler, observes that in Russia a revisionist was acquitted and awarded financial compensation for supposedly wrongful prosecution and sings the praises of Vladimir Putin.

The conversation is interrupted by a telephone call from Renouf’s Berlin neo-nazi attorney Wolfram Nahrath informing her that the German authorities had summonsed her for trial in May 2020 for a speech given in Dresden in 2018.

Throughout all this, Williamson remains uncharacteristically quiet, fidgety and unsettled, somewhat in contrast to the figure that appears elsewhere online.

Link to video of March 2020  :

One response on “No mea culpa, as Bishop Williamson re‑emerges from the shadows

  1. Sonia Gable

    Who do you mean by “this particularly backward-looking wing of Catholicism”? As far as I can see, Bishop Williamson only represents himself. On the other hand, the traditional Latin (Tridentine) Mass is growing in popularity especially among people who value the Mass as it has been celebrated for a thousand years. Many of those who attend the traditional Mass are young. They are most definitely not antisemitic and would reject Bishop Williamson’s views, if they were aware of him.