After the controversy over remarks made by Holocaust denier and traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson, the Head of the Christian Social Union (the main political party in Bavaria), Horst Seehofer has assured Pope Benedict XVI of complete solidarity . "We must not allow the integrity of the Holy Father and his attitude toward the Holocaust and anti-Semitism to be put in any way in doubt," said Seehofer to thousands of CSU supporters in the Political Ash Wednesday Meeting (an annual fixture in the political calendar) in Passau. The Vatican had made mistakes, he said. The Pope, however, has the solidarity of Bavaria.
"We stand by the Pontifex Bavariae."
The Vatican had in January lifted the excommunication of the four bishops of arch-conservative SSPX, including Williamson. The Pope has since been strongly criticised by Jewish organizations . Williamson denied in a television interview the murder of six million Jews in the Nazi gas chambers.