The Society of St. Pius X threatened to expel traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson if he retained an extremist lawyer with neo-Nazi ties to defend him in a German court.

The head of the traditionalist society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, “has formally ordered Bishop Williamson to abandon this decision and not allow himself to be manipulated by political ideas that are completely unrelated to his mission as a Catholic bishop serving the Society of St. Pius X,” said a recent communique.

The society expressed its concern that the British-born bishop had hired a lawyer “who is openly affiliated to the so-called neo-Nazi movement in Germany and other such groups.”

The British-born bishop is appealing a fine stemming from charges by a German court last year for Holocaust denial, which is illegal in Germany.