Rorate Caeli

New Thread: Removal of the excommunications of SSPX Bishops
3 Updates: Decree of the Cong. for Bishops?
Confirmed:Vatican Statement SATURDAY

1. New article by Andrea Tornielli in Friday's edition of Il Giornale: Saturday or, at most, next week; Fellay met Cañizares in Rome.

The removal of the excommunication, decided by Pope Ratzinger, will be published already Saturday, or at most next week, after the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The four Bishops at this hour wait in silence ... .

The Superior-General of the Fraternity, Bishop Bernard Fellay, first signatory of the letter with which it was requested of the Pontiff to remove the excommunication, in the past few days was in Rome and also met Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.
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2. UPDATE (1630 GMT) Paolo Luigi Rodari, as Andrea Tornielli, reaffirms the news, and expects the removal of the excommunications to be made public tomorrow or, at the latest, on Monday.

[A]s you know, soon (tomorrow or, at the latest, on Monday) the Pope will revoke the excommunications of the four schismatic Lefebvrist [sic] Bishops. The Decree will be signed by the Congregation for Bishops, the opinion of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts having been heard.
Meanwhile, The Remnant discloses a January 21 letter in which the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, distances the FSSPX/SSPX from any specific privately held opinion.
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3. UPDATE (1945 GMT): The Austrian Catholic news website Kath.net confirms that, "The Vatican will publish, on Saturday [January 24], a statement on the lifting of the excommunications of the Bishops of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X"; Kath.net informs that there is no "reliable information" on the content of the Vatican communiqué. [Tip: Exsultet]
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4. UPDATE (2010 GMT): French religious news agency I.Media reports the following (by way of news agency ASCA):

Citta' del Vaticano, Jan 23 - L'Osservatore Romano will publish tomorrow an "explanatory note" on the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to revoke the excommunication of the four schismatic Bishops ordained by Traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. ...

The act of Pope Ratzinger will be presented in the daily paper of the Holy See as "an act of mercy by the Pope".
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54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps something to celebrate on the weekend? Awesome.

Long live Pope Benedict XVI, and the SSPX.

Confiteor said...

The Superior-General of the Fraternity, Bishop Bernard Fellay, first signatory of the letter with which it was requested of the Pontiff to remove the excommunication, in the past few days was in Rome and also met Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Ecclesia Dei is now part of CDW, correct?

From such indications, it does not appear that Bishop Williamson's untimely rantings will derail this train. Watch and pray.

Jimbo said...

It does not appear that Williamson's comments will derail anything. If you read behind the lines, in some of the recent announcements and commentary from the several reliable sources, the lifting of the excommunications might leave Williamson out in the cold. I forsee three things. 1. The lifting of the excommunications. 2. Erection of the Fraternity as perhaps a personal prelature, etc. 3. The removal of Williamson from any post within the Fraternity. I'm thinking of one more use for the versatile product known as duct tape.

Fratres in Unum said...

Dear friends, Vatican Radio has already given its opinion: http://fratresinunum.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/radio-vaticano-repercute-rumores/

New Catholic said...

True, "Fratres in Unum". However, the opinion piece by Father Gemmingen, released yesterday morning by Vatican Radio (German), is so nuanced as to be irrelevant, that is, it is neither a confirmation nor a denial.

New Catholic said...

Just a note: the reference to "Paris" in the first update (Il Foglio) is not a mistake: the news agency of the SSPX, DICI, is based in Paris, and its director, Fr. Lorans, was the only member of the Fraternity which spoke to the press yesterday - thus, the reference.

Anonymous said...

Until official, it is not a 'done deal.' Friends in Christ, let us redouble our Rosaries and prayers of supplication and honor to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart that she may obtain this grace of unity from Her Divine Son. My country, the USA, is about to enter a new and much more dangerous phase of the current dry martyrdom of both apostasy and a de jure culture of death. The successful reconciliation and integration of the SSPX into Holy Mother Church would be akin to the cavalry riding to the rescue. Remember, our weapons in this fight are the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary.

Anonymous said...

All supplication and prayers that this is truly and well accomplished, because as we speak, and the scream of the Ancient Enemy grows louder, the NO crowd thinks that 'dialogue' is the best route forward...

"January 23, 2009 7:40 AM

ABC News has learned that later today President Obama will sign an executive order overturning the "Mexico City Policy," which prohibits Non Governmental Organizations that receive international family planning assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from providing or actively promoting abortions as a method of family planning in other countries."

Nick said...

The Church cannot overturn the NO and VII, thus if the SSPX are to be reunited, they would have to at a bare minimum accept them as valid.

The could still be free to respectfully criticize these things, but can never say they are heretical, invalid, etc.

I don't know how the SSPX could hold their head up defending the indefectibility of the Church if they are reunited with a Body that "admits" to the world that everything post-VII was invalid.

Anonymous said...

After reading a great many articles, it seems like the focus on Bishop Williamson by the media is just a scare tactic to portray the SSPX as a bunch of looney bigots. Fortunately, it seems to have come too late. The interview the media refers to contains nothing he hadn't already said years before. At worst it was imprudent to voice his opinions about a controversial historical topic-which it is illegal to question [and even if you take the 6 million number as dogma, the purges of Russia and China killed many times as many; but of course it's legal to debate about that all day long, no outrage there!]. Taken out of context (which they were) his comments can be used to generate scandal.

Still, there are American religious who promote homosexuality, concubinage, ordination of women, oral contraception (which generally results in an early term autoabortion that kills millions every year), etc. Of course they're considered pristine by the media. The emotionally-driven bias in the media's articles is disgusting. Why we have to accept the holocaust's number as dogma but all else is fair game is indicative of how sick the world is. Has anyone ever been in Berlin and seen what an utter perverted Babylon it is?

JWDT said...

Why does Tornielli refer to Pope Benedict as Pope Ratzinger? Does he not recognize him as Pope or have a beef with him?

New Catholic said...

It is a quite common and ancient way of referring to a Pope, and we also use it often: Pope Wojtyla, Pope Pacelli, Pope Lambertini, Pope Borghese (as in the entablature of the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica itself...). It is not intended in any kind of disrespectful way.

Confiteor said...

Bishop Fellay has taken definite steps to distance the Society from Bishop Williamson's controversial remarks. The Remnant has published a press release with an image of the letter sent by Bishop Fellay to Swedish television. This is undoubtedly a sign that the removal of the excommunications is indeed imminent.

Anonymous said...

That's just how they sometimes refer to popes in Italy. Papa Montini, Papa Wojtyla, Papa Ratzinger. I don't like it, but it's not an indication of pro- or anti- sentiment.

Martin Bürger said...

Please have a look at this news:

http://www.exsultet.net/blog/?p=358

Francis said...

According to this report (breaking), tomorrow’s decision will be accompanied by an Osservatore Romano “explanatory note” presenting it as an act of mercy on the Pope’s part. The source for this claim reportedly went on to say – regarding +Williamson – that “if one of the four bishops wishes to talk drivel, that’s his problem”.

Anonymous said...

"...on the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to revoke the excommunication of the four schismatic Bishops ordained by Traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. ..."

I make worthy note that the words above say specifically the four schismatic Bishops will have the excommunication revoked but does not say that Archbishop Lefebvre will also have the excommunication revoked...that would be shameful. And it is a glaring omission.

New Catholic said...

Last anon: one should not read too much into such words. No conclusion should be reached until the exact wording of the document is made known.

Anonymous said...

Vatican Radio is playing old rock and roll (50s).

Anonymous said...

Bishop Fellay has already distanced himself and SSPX from Bishop Williamson's remarks:

See here...

Anonymous said...

Right, New Catholic, but it is worrisome and a worthy point. Many other bloggers are speculating.

Anonymous said...

Tis an act of justice, not mercy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_quo/index.html

Nick said...

From what Rorate has at this point, I'd say its solidly confirmed.

I HIGHLY doubt some Excommunications will be lifted while others remain. It's an all or nothing at this point.

While schism is very bad, I have become convinced those guys were so scandalized by the sheer disregard for our faith by many "Catholics" that they over-reacted in the schismatic direction. It's definitely healing time.

Anonymous said...

I have read on a Spanish blog, that the lifting of the excommunications would also include lifting that of the late Bishop Castro Mayer. Thus, it would be reasonable to conclude that Archbishop Lefebvre's excommunication will also be lifted.

M.A.

Mornac said...

There are Brazilian blogs which are reporting that the excommunication of Bishop Antônio de Castro Mayer will be included in any impending action by Rome. It would be hard to believe that His Holiness would extend this recognition posthumously to the late Bishop of Campos while refusing it to His Excellency Marcel LeFebvre

Confiteor said...

I am very worried now that this beautiful olive branch will be rejected because it is presented as an act of mercy, not justice.

Pray, pray, pray that this historic and gracious act is received in the proper spirit. Let's turn those rosaries now toward Bishop Fellay, God bless him.

Jordanes said...

It would depend on the stated grounds for the lifting or nullification of the excommunications. The Holy Father reportedly has indicated that he finds the “state of emergency” argument to be correct, in which Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Mayer and the four SSPX bishops took their action “under duress,” mistakenly believing the dire state of the Church made their actions necessary. If the Pope agrees with that scenario, he could rule that in fact automatic excommunications never took force: that would nullify all six excommunications, not just those of the four bishops still living. Or he may rule that the excommunications had served their purpose and in mercy are being revoked out of an earnest desire for reconciliation with the four bishops. We’ll just have to wait and see what Peter has decided – it won’t be much longer we’ll have to wait.

antonio said...

Could the possible lifting of excommunication be also seen as an act due before recognition to the unouthorized nomination of bishops in china?

Peter said...

Archbishop Lefebvre is DEAD, dead man can't be excommunicated, EVERY excommunication is automatically lifted in the moment of death!

Furthermore, all these men did not incur excommunication. It's just revocation of the decree with some unfortunate statements.

Benklar said...

The edition of the 24th of the osservattore is here:

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_quo/019q01.pdf

But no mention of the topic. Any ideas?

Benklar

Jordanes said...

Archbishop Lefebvre is DEAD, dead man can't be excommunicated, EVERY excommunication is automatically lifted in the moment of death!

From the old Catholic Encyclopedia article, "Excommunication":

"As the baptized cease, at death, to belong to the Church Militant, the dead cannot be excommunicated. Of course, strictly speaking, after the demise of a Christian person, it may be officially declared that such person incurred excommunication during his lifetime. Quite in the same sense he may be absolved after his death; indeed, the Roman Ritual contains the rite for absolving an excommunicated person already dead (Tit. III, cap. iv: Ritus absolvendi excommunicatum jam mortuum)."

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05678a.htm

So, you can't excommunicate someone already dead, but posthumous excommunications can be adjudged, and excommunications incurred during life can be posthumously rescinded and absolved.

Dankbar said...

I am sure I speak for all when I express deep gratitude to New Catholic for his extraordinary work in keeping us up to date on developments; scouring the media outlets of the world, drawing on personal contacts, and filtering everything with unfailing wisdom. Gratias quam maximas agimus!

Jordanes said...

Benklar, the issue of L'Osservatore Romano dated Jan. 24 would have already gone to press before any of this news would have been approved by the Holy See for publication. Look for it in the issue dated Jan. 31.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes,

You might be referring to the Weekly English edition but the daily Italian edition is released in the afternoon with the next day's date on it.

So the one that came out this afternoon has the 24th on it. So the edition in Italian that comes out tomorrow will come out in the afternoon Italian time tomorrow with the date January 25th on it.

Confusing I know.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sirs,

I am not sure if all of you know what is going on here in Europe. The public prosectuor's office of Regensburg has opened a criminal investigation against the excommunicated bishop Willamson and, if the interview is authentic, he faces probably up to 5 years in prison (or may not enter the EU, to avoid arrest). In Germany, it is a criminal offence to deny the holocaust. A German nazi website praises bishop Williamson for joining them in the battle. This goes far beyond the traditional catholic circles. A reconciliation at this point would mean that the Church would face extremely violent reactions for the next weeks or so and it would be seen by most people as a scandal. The Church has to defend the faith, but not bishop Williamson's eccentric views. A few hours ago I was delighted at the idea of this reconciliation, but now I think the FSSPX should first solve their problem with bishop Williamson. His remarks are just what the enemies of the Church were waiting for.

Joe B said...

I personally know of two families that will begin attending SSPX services as soon as the excommunications are lifted. They are disgusted with the Novus Ordo but, as with many converts, want the Pope's personal approval on those services before they attend. I expect SSPX to grow quite rapidly in adherents, financial contributions, and seminary applicants once the excommunications are lifted or nullified, as serious Catholics are drawn to tradition like feminists to the Novus Ordo.

Jordanes said...

You might be referring to the Weekly English edition but the daily Italian edition is released in the afternoon with the next day's date on it.

Whoops. Duh. Forgot all about that.

In any case, the general point remains: L'Osservatore Romano shouldn't be expected to report on this until the relevant document has been made public.

Confiteor said...

I expect SSPX to grow quite rapidly in adherents, financial contributions, and seminary applicants once the excommunications are lifted or nullified, as serious Catholics are drawn to tradition like feminists to the Novus Ordo.

Well said, Joe B!

This is precisely why the SSPX should not care whether the revocation is presented as an act of mercy or one of justice. Bishop Fellay has always said that the battle for Tradition is not about the SSPX, it's about the Church at large. If Novus Ordo Catholics are drawn to the SSPX once regularized (still a long way off, even after the anticipated revocation), it will be for the sake of, not the SSPX, but Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Lady, and our Holy Catholic Faith.

Anonymous said...

A silly question to some of you masters of theology, but, what effect does removing an excommunication do for a person deceased at the time of the removal? Does this get into the whole "Heaven is outside of time" argument? What benefit does the Church say removing an excommunication after death provides to the person's soul?

Joseph

Anonymous said...

"The Church cannot overturn the NO and VII, thus if the SSPX are to be reunited, they would have to at a bare minimum accept them as valid."

This comment by a poster is not accurate. The Pope, seeing the errors of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, could overturn it. Very good move but not likely at all.

It looks like the Pope asked for nothing in lifting the excommunications, and the SSPX did not offer any acceptance of Vatican II.
But it did pledge loyalty to the Pope. Loyalty to the Pope and to Vatican II ARE NOT the same thing.

Jordanes said...

what effect does removing an excommunication do for a person deceased at the time of the removal? . . . What benefit does the Church say removing an excommunication after death provides to the person's soul?

I don't know offhand what the Church may or may not say about this, but as I understand it, once a soul has passed on to her reward, removing an excommunication posthumously would do nothing for it. If the excommunication were later judged to be invalid or unjust or otherwise inappropriate, removing the excommunication would be for the benefit of those of us here below, and for the sake of doing justice to a person's memory. It would not have any effect on the soul's fate, however, because by then her case would have been heard by the Highest Court of all.

LeonG said...

"Many other bloggers are speculating."

Indeed, always a near totally useless exercise. Ideally, it is preferable to await the framework for objective reference but it certainly generates abundant bytes.

LeonG said...

Bishop Williamson is talking drivel and should be allowed to do so in an authentic environment of free speech but that was hijacked by western socialist democratic tyranny some years ago. After all, the media & its spokespeople are free to lie to us about the "normality" of sodomy & murder of babies in the womb.

Duct tape should not be necessary when everyone's views are really being "tolerated" but this exposes the hypocrisy in our postmodernist society.

Some of us here have just reviewed footage from various immediate post-liberation concentration camps. The scenes are harrowing in the extreme. Some people cannot bear to look at them, they are so grotesque. If these were cooked up then we would have to salute the make-up artists and the actors. They certainly used highly convincing & more than realistic techniques.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes said: "In any case, the general point remains: L'Osservatore Romano shouldn't be expected to report on this until the relevant document has been made public."

I think the idea being suggested is that the document will be first published IN L'Osservatore Romano. That is one of the ways a document of the Holy See can be officially promulgated.

TradCDN said...

Maybe this is implied but will the lifting of the excommunications include Lefebvre and Castro de Mayer?

Anonymous said...

In regard to lifting excommunications on a dead person, it relates mainly to a right for the body to be buried. This is all idle chatter for theology 101. Too many here are fixated on whether the excommunications will be declared null owing to provisions of Canon 1323, or whether penalties will be lifted as an act of charity, or the third option (the cleverest and therefore my favourite), which is to declare that any penalties which *may* have been incurred are hereby removed.

That's all very interesting but what is far more important is whether or not the Holy Father will use his universal and immediate jurisdiction to extend faculties and/or, a fortiori, to declare publicly and openly what Msgr. Perl has admitted privated; namely, that Society Masses fufil the obligation. *That* is what is important. Why? Well, think it over and it becomes obvious. If we can attend and claim to attend Society Masses to fulfil the obligation, the only way the bishops will be able to keep the Society at bay is . . . by implementing "Summorum Pontificum".

So I'd be a bit more focused on the accompanying article to be published in "Osservatore Romano" and less on the decree itself. Think of the decree as smoke and mirrors, not to fool us but *perhaps* (may it be so!) to distract the bishops.

I am not predicting anything. This is the expression of a hope, not an expectation. Pray on it.

P.K.T.P.

Martin Bürger said...

I don't know how to contact you in another way, so here is the link to the comment from Msgr. Fellay to the interview, granted by Bischop Williamson:

http://www.exsultet.net/blog/?p=368

New Catholic said...

Yes, IF any document is published in L'Osservatore Romano this Saturday, the January 25-26 edition (Sunday-Monday), published on Saturday afternoon, is the one that is meant by the report.

It is also true that it is possible that the document will be made public first through OR, instead of through the Bollettino.

New Catholic said...

Mr Bürger,

You may contact us at
newcatholic AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

What has Jimbo been drinking. Whiskey, I hope, although gin will do.

First of all, yet again another friend (viz. Jimbo) has been misled by the idiots in the media. There is not even a remote chance of a personal prelature, thank God. Under Canon 297, that would be an unmitigated disaster.; it would empower the local bishops to exclude Society chapels from their dioceses!, and it would prelude lay subjects. The structure offered since 2000 has been an exempt (i.e. directly subject to the Holy See) international and 'personal' diocese or apostolic administration--a Campos writ large. The S.S.P.X would be erected as a society of apostolic life within this international diocese or apostolic administration. Various religious groups associated with the Society would be incorporated as well (e.g. Dominicans of Avrillé).

That is the structure which Bishop Fellay called a 'Rolls Royce' solution. However, the Society has made it crystal clear that it won't accept the Pope's offer of a Rolls until all the doctrinal issues have been resolved. That is the problem, and they are not on the verge of solving them.

Bishop Fellay has distanced himself from Williamson but very politely. W. has a strong following in the S.S.P.X and Fellay does not want a divided Society. W. is now 69 years old--far older than are the other Society bishops. I suspect that he will be phased out gradually and not sent packing.

At the moment, there is absolutely zero evidence of a change in Society resolve regarding Rome: they will discuss doctrine first and discuss structures afterwards.

Really, Jimbo is only right about the lifting of the declarations of excommunication.

In closing, I encourage Jimbo and others to banish the expression 'personal prelature' from your vocabularies. This structure would literally sink the S.S.P.X. We should refuse even to utter those words or think them in our minds; they are repeated by the liberal media as a prayer for our destruction. If you need a magic term, say 'apostolic administration' over and over and over again, like a mantra. Say 'Campos writ large' as a spell.

P.K.T.P.

Martin Bürger said...

New Catholic,

thank you! Now I know it for the next time.

Anonymous said...

It's here

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/23250.php?index=23250&lang=en#DECRETO%20DELLA%20CONGREGAZIONE%20PER%20I%20VESCOVI

Anonymous said...

Only those who have not studied the evidence can refer to Bp. Williamson's discussion of the _evidence_ as "rantings." (Have you seen the _actual_ interview, Confiteor? Or just the _reports_?)

More on target, the timing of the efforts to impugn Bp. Williamson is good evidence that the usual suspects know that the TRUTHS defended by the ENTIRE. Society are a threat to their house of cards.