Pope Benedict is still due to visit to Israel in May, an Israeli official said on Sunday, despite angering Jews worldwide by re-admitting a bishop who has denied the full extent of the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.
Israel's national Holocaust museum and memorial decried as 'scandalous' Benedict's decision to lift excommunications on British-born bishop, Richard Williamson, who has said there were no gas chambers and only 300 000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps in World War Two.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, however, the pontiff's planned visit in May to Israel was not in doubt.
'We believe that the question of excommunicating or not excommunicating a member of the Roman Catholic church is an internal matter for the church,' said Robert Rozet of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
'Nevertheless, we find it scandalous that a member of the church at this high level of bishop has views of denying the Holocaust,' Rozet said.
Israeli Foreign Minister spokesperson Yigal Palmor, asked if the Pope's decision would have an impact on his planned visit, replied: 'No. This has nothing to do with relations between states.'"