Rorate Caeli

URGENT


NOTE OF THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE



Following the reactions caused by the recent Decree of the Congregation for Bishops, with which the excommunication of the four Prelates of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X was remitted, and regarding the Negationist or Reductionist declarations on the Shoah of Bishop Williamson, of the same Fraternity, it is considered convenient to clarify a few aspects of past events.

1. Remission of the excommunication.

As already made public previously, the Decree of the Congregation for Bishops, dated January 21, 2009, was an act by which the Holy Father graciously responded to the repeated requests by the Superior General of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X.

His Holiness desired to remove an obstacle which prevented the opening of a door to dialogue. He now expects that an equal disposition will be expressed by the four Bishops in complete adherence to the doctrine and discipline of the Church.

The extremely grave censure of latae sententiae excommunication, in which the aforementioned Bishops had incurred on June 30, 1988, then formally declared on July 1st of the same year, was a consequence of their illegitimate ordinarion by Mons. Marcel Lefebvre.

The removal of the excommunication released the four Bishops from an extremely grave canonical censure, but has not changed the juridical position of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, which, at the current moment, does not enjoy any canonical recognition by the Catholic Church. Not even the four Bishops, though released from the excommunication, have a canonical function in the Church and they do not exercise licitly a ministry in it.

2. Tradition, doctrine, and the Second Vatican Council.

For a future recognition of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, the full acknowledgment of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and of the same Benedict XVI is an indispensable condition

As it was already affirmed in the Decree of January 21, 2009, the Holy See will not avoid, in ways deemed appropriate, discussing with the interested [party] the questions that remain open, so as to be able to reach a full and satisfactory resolution of the problems which originated this painful division.

3. Declarations on the Shoah.

The positions of Mons. Williamson on the Shoah are absolutely unacceptable and firmly rejected by the Holy Father, as he himself remarked on the past January 28, when, referring to that brutal genocide, he reaffirmed his full and unquestionable solidarity with our Brethren, receivers of the First Covenant, and affirmed that the memory of that terrible genocide must lead "mankind to reflect on the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man", adding that the Shoah remains "for all a warning against forgetfulness, against denial or reductionism, because the violence against a single human being is violence against all".

Bishop Williamson, for an admission to episcopal functions in the Church, will also have to distance himself, in an absolutely unequivocal and public manner, from his positions regarding the Shoah, unknown to the Holy Father in the moment of the remission of the excommunication.

The Holy Father asks to be joined by the prayers of all the faithful, so that the Lord may enlighten the path of the Church. May the effort of the Pastors and of all the faithful increase in support of the delicate and burdensome mission of the Successor of Apostle Peter as "custodian of unity" in the Church.

From the Vatican, February 4, 2009.

[Translation corrected according to the published version -
L'Osservatore Romano, February 5, 2009 - PDF file]
____________________________

NOTA DELLA SEGRETERIA DI STATO

A seguito delle reazioni suscitate dal recente Decreto della Congregazione per i Vescovi, con cui si rimette la scomunica ai quattro Presuli della Fraternità San Pio X, e in relazione alle dichiarazioni negazioniste o riduzioniste della Shoah da parte del Vescovo Williamson della medesima Fraternità, si ritiene opportuno chiarire alcuni aspetti della vicenda.

1. Remissione della scomunica.

Come già pubblicato in precedenza, il Decreto della Congregazione per i Vescovi, datato 21 gennaio 2009, è stato un atto con cui il Santo Padre veniva benignamente incontro a reiterate richieste da parte del Superiore Generale della Fraternità San Pio X.

Sua Santità ha voluto togliere un impedimento che pregiudicava l’apertura di una porta al dialogo. Egli ora si attende che uguale disponibilità venga espressa dai quattro Vescovi in totale adesione alla dottrina e alla disciplina della Chiesa.

La gravissima pena della scomunica latae sententiae, in cui detti Vescovi erano incorsi il 30 giugno 1988, dichiarata poi formalmente il 1° luglio dello stesso anno, era una conseguenza della loro ordinazione illegittima da parte di Mons. Marcel Lefebvre.

Lo scioglimento dalla scomunica ha liberato i quattro Vescovi da una pena canonica gravissima, ma non ha cambiato la situazione giuridica della Fraternità San Pio X, che, al momento attuale, non gode di alcun riconoscimento canonico nella Chiesa Cattolica. Anche i quattro Vescovi, benché sciolti dalla scomunica, non hanno una funzione canonica nella Chiesa e non esercitano lecitamente un ministero in essa.

2. Tradizione, dottrina e Concilio Vaticano II.

Per un futuro riconoscimento della Fraternità San Pio X è condizione indispensabile il pieno riconoscimento del Concilio Vaticano II e del Magistero dei Papi Giovanni XXIII, Paolo VI, Giovanni Paolo I, Giovanni Paolo II e dello stesso Benedetto XVI.

Come è già stato affermato nel Decreto del 21 gennaio 2009, la Santa Sede non mancherà, nei modi giudicati opportuni, di approfondire con gli interessati le questioni ancora aperte, così da poter giungere ad una piena e soddisfacente soluzione dei problemi che hanno dato origine a questa dolorosa frattura.

3. Dichiarazioni sulla Shoah.

Le posizioni di Mons. Williamson sulla Shoah sono assolutamente inaccettabili e fermamente rifiutate dal Santo Padre, come Egli stesso ha rimarcato il 28 gennaio scorso quando, riferendosi a quell’efferato genocidio, ha ribadito la Sua piena e indiscutibile solidarietà con i nostri Fratelli destinatari della Prima Alleanza, e ha affermato che la memoria di quel terribile genocidio deve indurre "l’umanità a riflettere sulla imprevedibile potenza del male quando conquista il cuore dell’uomo", aggiungendo che la Shoah resta "per tutti monito contro l’oblio, contro la negazione o il riduzionismo, perché la violenza fatta contro un solo essere umano è violenza contro tutti".

Il Vescovo Williamson, per una ammissione a funzioni episcopali nella Chiesa dovrà anche prendere in modo assolutamente inequivocabile e pubblico le distanze dalle sue posizioni riguardanti la Shoah, non conosciute dal Santo Padre nel momento della remissione della scomunica.

Il Santo Padre chiede l’accompagnamento della preghiera di tutti i fedeli, affinché il Signore illumini il cammino della Chiesa. Cresca l’impegno dei Pastori e di tutti i fedeli a sostegno della delicata e gravosa missione del Successore dell’Apostolo Pietro quale "custode dell’unità" nella Chiesa.

Dal Vaticano, 4 febbraio 2009

132 comments:

Inquisitor said...

Nothing new here, except the worrying implications of the final words. There is an implicit statement of the inadequacy of the support of the pastors and faithful for the Pope. He asks for our prayers. Let's give them. And I mean - down on your knees, and five decades; now.

Dan Hunter said...

So are the FSSPX just going to dangle in a limbo area of non-jurisdiction day after day?

Not outside the Church, but not inside the Church?

Not legally able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of Mass or dispense the sacraments?

When, O when, will the Church grant one of their own, jurisdiction to dispense the sacraments?

There are over 600,000 Catholics worldwide who are at present recieving the Blessed Sacrament and Confession illegally from over 500 Catholic priests.

I thought Brian Mershon said that there would be a structure set up for the FSSPX by Candlemas.

Nothing has changed since the excommunications were lifted.

When O Lord When!!
Please Help!

antonio said...

Sounds strange;also it is not signed and there no trace of it on Vatican website

Anonymous said...

Belief in the rabbinic dogma of the "Shoah" is the Vatican's new criterion for qualifying as a shepherd of Christ's flock

Anonymous said...

Doesn't sound too welcoming to the SSPX or Bp. Williamson now does it.

It would appear that this "clarification" is a capitulation to the howling left and to "our Brethren receivers of the First Covenant."

Hope no one expected anything less...

Anonymous said...

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/23319.php?index=23319&lang=en

Al said...

Too many lies, not enough love of the truth. This bears repeating:

2 Thess 2:8-11

www.drbo.org/chapter/6000...

2 Thess 2:8 "And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, 9 Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, 10 And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying:

[10 "God shall send"... That is God shall suffer them to be deceived by lying wonders, and false miracles, in punishment of their not entertaining the love of truth.]

11 That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity. "

Anonymous said...

Is the "Holocaust" to become a new Article of Faith?

Anonymous said...

What in God's name does this mean? One must recognize the historical fact of the Holocaust in order to dispense the Catholic sacraments? Can this controversy truly have become so insane?

Perhaps the rabbis will require historical recognition of the Vendee massacres before every young man's bar mitzvah.

Pascendi said...

What else can we expect from this secretariat? It would seem that a line is being drawn in the sand to at minimum keep the SSPX in limbo...

Dan Hunter said...

"For a future recognition of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, the full recognition of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and of the same Benedict XVI is an indispensable condition"

And what is that meant to mean I wonder, [we have to break out our Superdogma Decoder Ring for this one I suppose]

The FSSPX has always and everywhere recognized the Second Vatican Council as a validly called Council of the Church.

The FSSPX has always recognized the validity of and therefore the Magisterium upheld by the Pontificates of Blessed John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
The FSSPX only wants some of the writings of Vatican II clarified in thE light of Immemorial Church Teaching.

Whats the problem here?

Anonymous said...

The tone in this note is shocking but one can empathize with what the Holy Father and the entire Church is being put through at this time.

Chris Ferrara nails it on the head. They have all bared their fangs with a mantra of "Williamson = Holocaust Reductionism or Denial = Anit-Semitism = SSPX + All traditionalists + sympathizers = Pope Benedict".

Looking past the strong words, nothing new is being stated here.
The SSPX is in a jurisdictional limbo and Bp Fellay wants it that way until the Vatican 2 talks are resolved.

IN fact, of the 3 conditions laid down by the Society for many years now, this was the order they insisted on:
1. Liberalization of the Ancient Ordo of the Mass;
2. Lifting of the excommunication decrees
3. Talks to reach a consensus on Vatican 2.

And then to reach an agreement on a jurisidctional structure.

This is prudent since one can only imagine how friendly diocesan bishops would be to SSPX members, priests and laity. Jursidiction and structure should be the last roadblock to overcome but only after consensus on Vatican 2.

So behind the bark, there is no new bite, and nothing that back peddles what the Holy Father has done.

The only thing - to Inquisitor's point - is the undue pressure the modernist cacophony will blast the Holy Father with to prevent an objective discussion on Nostra Aetate and other Vatican 2 documents with the SSPX. And for this, we must pray many many Rosaries.

Perhaps the SSPX can sound a clarion call for another few million rosaries for the successful and expeditious outcome of these Vatican 2.

OUr Lady of Good Success, Our Lady of the Purification, Pray for us!!!

In JMJ

Anon-Canuckistan

Dan Hunter said...

How outlandish and absolutely illogical is this situation.

Here the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, the most poerful man on earth, has mercifully lifted the 21 year old wall that seperated four Catholic Bishops from communion with their Church, and now those same four bishops, 500 priests and over 600,000 faithful are now going to have to suffer for and pay for something that is absolutely imaginary!

What is the point of lifting the excommunications if thats all that will be done?
Why were they just not left in place, if nothing is going to change.
How does lifting the excommunications, but still banning the FSSPX priesthood from offering the sacraments make absolutely ANY difference???

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent and most welcome clarification. I only wish it had been released earlier.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Richard Williamson should step down, resign... The bad thing with him is that the SSPX knew about this a long time ago... That is why they get drawn into this now also...

David said...

"Il Vescovo Williamson, per una ammissione a funzioni episcopali nella Chiesa dovrà anche prendere in modo assolutamente inequivocabile e pubblico le distanze dalle sue posizioni riguardanti la Shoah."

I agree with the clarification as a whole, but I am baffled by this statement. How could acceptance of the historicity of the Shoah ever be a prerequisite for admission to episcopal functions? It is a historical matter, and mature adults are free to entertain private judgment with regard to historical matters, however mistaken or uninformed those judgments are. Furthermore, what if, in conscience, Bp. Williamson cannot distance himself from his negationism?

If the Vatican pushes this matter any further--and I believe this statement has crossed the line--it risks causing yet another schism within the SSPX. God forbid!

Confiteor said...

Dan Hunter, the excommunications and the clerical suspensions are two entirely different issues, and need to be treated separately.

Have faith! This is all going to work out. Pray for the Holy Father, he is a good and brave shepherd. He needs and deserves our support.

Confiteor said...

This statement from the Vatican is a sure sign that the Pope is SERIOUS about moving forward on the path to reconciliation with the SSPX. It's not going to be easy, but the Pope intends for it to get done, and done the right way. He is not backing down to pressure. Pray much for the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Holy Father, stay firm! Bishop Williamson, do not cave in to Jewish pressure!

New Catholic said...

Confiteor,

Oversight in translation corrected; thank you.

Dan Hunter said...

"The SSPX is in a jurisdictional limbo and Bp Fellay wants it that way until the Vatican 2 talks are resolved"

Anon,

Your statement above is incorrect.
His Excellency Bishop Fellay absolutely does not want part of the Body of Christ to be in "jurisdictional limbo".

That would be the same as saying I want to have a car, but no gas.

Have you not heard his statements recently? Bishop Fellay wants desperately FOR THE FSSPX to be fully regularized in the Church. NOW!

He would have to.
The Society offers an valid but illicit Mass, and connot hear confessions or witness marriages.

As any sensible and orthodox thinking person he wants this changed.
He has to want this changed, for until then there is a tear in the fabric of the Mystical Body.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous. I think in turn the Pope should request the rabbis worlwide to aknowledge the existence of another massive holocaust, which was the one prepetrated by the marxism, under which not less that 70 million perish. The should also aknowledge, and apologize, for many of the marxist revolutionaries where jewish, as Soljenistyn evidenced in his las book.

Anonymous said...

I agree with antonio above.

Is this a genuine document from the Vatican?

The languange is very strange and it is not signed. There is no trace of it on the Vatican website.

Anonymous said...

God help you if you believe that only 5,999,998 Jews died in the Holocaust.

New Templar said...

What nonsense. Recognise the vatican council. What does that mean? The present pontiff has on several occasions rubbished the idea that V11 requires catholics to believe anything we didn't already believe prior to 1962. And why should Bishop Williamson have to retract any remarks about the murder of the jews during the second world war? Is this a matter of faith or morals. If this document is genuine I would love to know how they will defend that.

New Catholic said...

Please, keep your comments limited to the note itself. This is NOT the appropriate forum for any kind of remarks about the tragic events which took place in Europe in the 1933-1945 period.

sacerdos in germania said...

It is on the Vatican website...

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/23319.php?index=23319&lang=en

Anonymous said...

Looks like the fat lady just sang...

The Vatican has proven itself, once again, to be unreliable and unwilling to reverse its modernist course.

Anonymous said...

...The FSSPX has always and everywhere recognized the Second Vatican Council as a validly called Council of the Church.

The FSSPX has always recognized the validity of and therefore the Magisterium upheld by the Pontificates of Blessed John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
The FSSPX only wants some of the writings of Vatican II clarified in thE light of Immemorial Church Teaching...

Yes, but sadly (and for whatever reason) they ignore or have ignored them.

You reap what you sow!

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

At least some people in the world outside the Church are being fair, se this excellent balanced article by a rabbi in the Washington Post. Click here.

Shame on Angela Merckel, but Monsignor Georg Ratzinger has already ticker her off, se I do not need to.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

sorry for typos, I asked it to give me a preview!

Anonymous said...

Well, you almost had me going.

Keep your novus ordo church if being a member of it means bowing before the throne of our "elder brothers".

Anonymous said...

So should I start wearing a wig and start buying Kosher to be "in the Catholic Church?"

Hebdomadary said...

Why urgent? Is Lehmann threatening to take the German hierarchy outside the Roman Communion? Are they already trying to remove the Holy Father? If such plotting is going on, I strongly suggest that you publicize it IMMEDIATELY. It is not so far outside the realm of possibility, and the plotters - if men so inclined are extant and indeed plotting - need to know that the faithful are watching, and will not suffer their trechery quietly. The time is now to be EXPLICIT.

Almighty God protect the Holy Father - our ONLY and LEGITIMATE Pope, Benedict XVI. Let him triumph over his enemied with the Love of Christ. Our Lady of Victories, intercede for HIM and US.

Paul Haley said...

This is not from the hands of the Holy Father himself. As I said before, Lucifer and his minions are desperately trying to prevent the reconciliation. So, until I hear from the Holy Father himself, I will continue to hope and pray that he will do the right thing and give faculties, even if only on a temporary basis, to the SSPX. I find it really odd that the Holy Father has not spoken personally on this issue.

As to the acceptance of the Council and the popes since Vatican II, this is a non-story. The SSPX has never denied the validity of the Council nor of the popes since Pius XII. It simply has some reservations about how the Council documents have been interpreted and the discussions are aimed at clearing those reservations up.

Anonymous said...

Bertone, submit your resignation.

totustuusmaria said...

I read through the comments. I don't usually, because the negativism and bad spirit always get me down a little. But I wanted to know what like minded people thought of this.

The note is unfortunate, in my mind, because it comes off as negative toward the SSPX.

But, clearly, it is not directed to the SSPX. It is directed toward the idiots who are persecuting the Church by misunderstanding what the Pope is doing.

Of course it says nothing new or surprising. The condition of recognizing the Second Vatican Council and the magesterium of the Pope's is hardly an insurmountable obstacle. But that part was written for the sake of those who are (irrationally!) saying that the Pope is trying to undo the Second Vatican Council. Seen in that light, that comment is actually pretty reasonable. The Pope is not trying to deny the Second Vatican Council by this action, so it is good to try and head off those people maliciously trying to stir up needless controversy about it.

A little more surprising this the comment that Bishop Williamson would not be allowed to practice his episcopal office without repudiating his views. People in other comments are outraged over this.

I am not.

It seems quite reasonable. If having Bishop Williamson exercise an episcopal office with full recognition of the Church would hurt the cause of the Gospel, of the salvation of souls, of the conversion of the world, and of tradition; if it would cause endless hassle and trouble for the Pope and become a distraction from the central message of Church, I don't even think Bishop Williamson himself would want to exercise the office of a Bishop. This is not to say he would have to be laicized, necessarily. He could be permitted to exercise a different office within the Church. I think it is in the best interest of tradition that Bishop Williamson adopt a quiet life somewhere and sorta just drop off the map.

In accordance with New Catholic's wishes, I won't get too much off topic. Yet I would like to mention that I think some of our comments about the Jews and the Holocaust are lacking humility. I'm thinking especially about the Tu Quoque comments ("Well, the Jews haven't been perfect either!") and the "the Pope is weak!" comments, and the "what does an historical issue have to do with exercising episcopal office!" comments (nothing, unless the Bishop himself makes his views an issue by speaking of them instead of the Gospel. This is what Bishop Williamson did).

Let us remember that our comments on this board will reflect on traditional Catholicism to the non-traditionalists who read them.

Sofonia said...

There is no new "dogma of Shoah".

I think that mgr Williamson's imprudent words are not congruous to episcopal functions - not to the catholic faith, but to episcopal functions.

The Code of Canon Law, Can. 378 §1, states:
«In regard to the suitability of a candidate for the episcopacy, it is required that he is: 1/ outstanding in (...) wisdom, prudence, and human virtues (...)».

Similarly the Codex Iuris Canonici (1917), can. 331:
«Ut quis idoneus habeatur, debet esse: 4. (...) prudentia, ceterisque dotibus, praeditus, quae ipsum aptum efficiant ad gubernandam dioecesim de qua agitur (...)».

Please note mgr Williamson could be imprisoned (absit) for having supported not the Faith but some "wrong" opinions - which are deprecated by historians.

So we all have to pray: for the Pope, for the Church, for mgr Fellay and the FSSPX...

Anonymous said...

God, I'm losing my Faith...

Anonymous said...

"Just one little mortal sin, Msgr. Williamson and everything will be alright."

Get thee behind me Satan. Bishop Williamson already made a promise to help restore the Church. He can't quit, he won't lie. If push comes to shove, he'll consecrate a few more bishops out of priests loyal to him and we start over in living room.

Confiteor said...

Telling remark by Rabbi Kula:

How is it that the view of some cranky bishop who has no power evokes calls of a crisis in Catholic - Jewish relations despite the revolutionary changes in Church teachings regarding Jews since Vatican II?

Don't worry folks, the Vatican II revolution is still going strong!

Joe B said...

"The Society offers an valid but illicit Mass, and cannot hear confessions or witness marriages."

"For ANY just cause, whatsoever." (canon 1335)
Once again, canon law language is subjective in this type of case and allows the supreme law of salvation of souls to rule especially in the matter of confessions. Canon law is very charitable for the dispensing of the sacraments, especially penance. To paraphrase the SSPX's view of the matter of confessions, (correct me if I do violence to your view, SSPX) they claim no jurisdiction over any souls of the faithful, they simply offer the sacraments to those who decide they cannot in good conscience go to Novus Ordo priests, in which case canon law states that whenever the faithful need the graces of penance and want to receive them from priests whose judgment and advice they can trust, they can do so, even if the priests do not ordinarily have jurisdiction. Even a suspended priest can do this for the faithful who ask - HERE IT COMES - “for any just cause whatsoever” (canon 1335). And that common decision is most often based on a distrust of, or disgust with, Novus Ordo priests due to what we hear with our own ears and see with our own eyes.

The extraordinary form for marriages is foreseen in canon 1116, §1. If the couple cannot approach their parish priest “without serious inconvenience” —and they may consider as such his insistence on having the Novus Ordo Missae for the wedding, or their apprehensions concerning his moral teaching in marriage instructions —and if they foresee these circumstances to last for at least a month, then they can marry before witnesses alone, and another priest (e.g., of the SSPX) if possible (canon 1116, §2).

Even if one were to consider the above arguments as only probable, then jurisdiction would still be certainly supplied by the Church (canon 144).

Now, shall we add the overwhelming case for decades of hatred and injustice to all of us attached to tradition? Evil gets no quarter in canon law.

Anonymous said...

The Secretary of Sate is out of the country (in Spain). He is not at his post.

This document bears no signature.

One horrible thought.

What if this document was hastilly slapped together by those in opposition to Benedict XVI during the absence of Bertone....and submitted to the press offices for publication unsigned.


I wouldn't put it past them.

sacerdos in germania said...

Can. 378 §1, states:
«In regard to the suitability of a candidate for the episcopacy, it is required that he is: 1/ outstanding in (...) wisdom, prudence, and human virtues (...)».

alas, that rules out about three quarters of all bishops in the Church....

Anonymous said...

There is something major new here, Inquisitor. Now the curia is demanding a full acknowledgement of the Second Vatican Council, whereas, before, it was admitted that an acceptance of the Pope's Sacred Magisterium would be sufficient. That had been the sticking point and we are now back to Square One. Williamson's remarks are being used as a pretext to suck the Society back to the Council, all because several liberal bishops conferences have demanded this now. The liberals are using this incident to force the surrender of the Society. The Society absolutely must not and cannot accept Vatican II as a dogma of the Faith because it is full of the serious errors which have led us into this New Age mess.

The only way out would be a formula which recognises that Vatican II is indeed an œcumenical council but that's all. It is a council the meaning of which is ultimately determined by the Sacred Magisterium. The wordsmiths will now have to get busy. The only other way would be twenty years of negotiation over the meaning of evey problematical conciliar document. The liberals would just love that. That would give them the time they need to reduce the House of God to ashes.

EXPULSION OF WILLIAMSON

There is no way that Williamson can retract his statements in a way which would satisfy the liberals in the Church. The secular media, which now runs the Church as well as the national governments, will not be satisfied until his 'admits' that six million were gased, and he clearly will not do this.

I suggest that W. make a relatively small sacrifice to himself in order to overcome these liberal bastards. He would offer to be expelled from the S.S.P.X. Bishop Fellay would then announce (as previously and quietly agreed for the harsh tone) that Williamson's presence in the Society is intolerable and that, therefore, he is hereby expelled from the S.S.P.X, along with anyone else in the Society who would be prepared publicly to support his November statements.

The Pope would then regularise the Society, which would recognise that Vatican II is an œcumenical council the meaning of which is entrusted to the Sacred Magisterium. The Pope would name Bishop Fellay as apostolic administrator or bishop of an international apostolic administration or diocese, and he would name Tissier, de Galarreta, and Schmidberger as auxiliary bishops in it.

After all the fuss has died down, perhaps two years from now, W. would be re-admitted but would not be given any appointments, either as auxiliary bishop, titular bishop, seminary rector, regional superior, or even parish priest. He would simply be 'in residence' somewhere. He'd be over 70 by then anyway and so would enter semi-retirement.

A bold action on the part of the Society is needed and it is needed NOW. Immediately! Otherwise, we allow the lesbians, the communists, the Freemasons, and the heretics to win. We can see the devastation they have wrought in the Brave New Church of Vatican II. Isn't enough enough?

P.K.T.P.

Castor said...

As stated here by several commenters, the Shoah is not a dogma of the faith. So, as a bishop and teacher of the Faith, let Williamson retract what is not a matter of his competency nor a danger to the Incarnate Truth.

The point is that his comments have placed the Holy Father in a difficult position. His retraction on this point would not be a denial of the Faith.

Jordanes said...

This document bears no signature.

One horrible thought.

What if this document was hastily slapped together by those in opposition to Benedict XVI during the absence of Bertone....and submitted to the press offices for publication unsigned.




The lack of signature is of no significance. When the Pope revised the traditional prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the 1962 Missal, the Secretary of State's publication of the new prayer also was unsigned. It's most implausible that L'Osservatore Romano could be duped in this way into running a fraudulent Vatican press release, nor is there anything in this announcement that conflicts with Pope Benedict's well-known positions on these matters.

Jordanes said...

How could acceptance of the historicity of the Shoah ever be a prerequisite for admission to episcopal functions? It is a historical matter, and mature adults are free to entertain private judgment with regard to historical matters, however mistaken or uninformed those judgments are.

The Church has the right to determine how should and should not serve as a bishop. It creates great scandal and offense for the faithful and for non-Christians to have a bishop minimising the Holocaust. Would we want a man to serve as a bishop who believed and went around telling people offensive nonsense? It’s inevitable that the Church would be concerned and would stipulate that if you are to serve as a bishop, you mustn’t be involved in opinions from the kook fringe. After all, no one has a right to be or to serve as a bishop, but only those whom the Church calls and grants a ministry of service and authority.

Furthermore, what if, in conscience, Bp. Williamson cannot distance himself from his negationism?

Then the Church won’t have him serve as one of her pastors. I rather think it will not come to that, though. Bishop Williamson’s moving apology is a very good sign.

Anonymous said...

To Anon-Canuckistan:

Yes, you outline the four-step of the S.S.P.X. But the reason for the placement of the structure last was that, given Rome's previous (and now renewed?) demand to accept Vatican II, the Society would have to have clarified what that entailed.

The recent breakthrough, cleverly sprung by Castrillón Hoyos, was that the teachings of Vatican II would not have to be accepted at all, since they are not dogma. That enabled the Society to sign on to the structure and end the limbo.

This statement of the Secretariat of State looks like a reversal of that. However, a careful examination of the wording does leave us some wiggle-room. Bertone demands that they "acknowledge" Vatican II , which is not the same thing as agreeing that its texts are all correct. Unfortunately, the original is in Italian instead of Latin or French, so I can't really be sure what the meaning is. Comments anyone?

Again, the only way for the Society to overcome this new hurdle is a dramatic action which will divert attention away from the wording of the agreement. The wording can then include an acknowledgement but not an agreement to the meaning of Vatican II.

By the way, THIS IS ALL ABOUT TRUTH. We Catholics are required morally to do what the Society should be required to do, namely:

1. To acknowledge that Vatican II was an œcumencial council and

2. To acknowledge that its meaning and authority are authoritatively determined only by the Pope's Sacred Magisterium.

I see no problem there. What had been demanded was more. Rome had been demanding that they agree to the content of Vatican II, whether interpreted in the light of living tradition, dead tradition, or garden-variety tradtion. But we Catholics are not required to agree to that content as individuals according to any light whatsoever, since nothing new in Vatican II is dogmatic. So why should the S.S.P.X be so required?

So, a dramatic action from the Society is needed to get us back to what is true. And that can only be the expulsion of Williamson for extreme imprudence. Keep in mind that this is not the first time he has spoken out on the Holocaust. He has also argued publicly that women should not be allowed to attend university, that the end of Soviet communism was a trick and the tanks will come, and that "The Sound of Music" is an abomination. However correct some of his views may be, his constant harping on these topics has been nothing by a provocation. He's been poking the hornets' nest with a stick and the lazy, half-dead Vatican II liberal hornets are finally stirred.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

We should start praying the original St. Michael the Archangel prayer and more rosaries for the Pope.

Anonymous said...

This strikes me as a tempest in a teapot.

Regardless of the VIEWS that Msgr. Williamson has about the Shoah (an event that all would agree was tragic and should never be repeated), surely the Holy Father is free to make the prudential judgment that Bp. Williamson lacks the judgment and discretion necessary for publicly exercising the episcopal office.

Some may disagree with that prudential judgment on the part of the Holy Father, but all should agree that he has the right and authority to make such a judgment.

Again, this is a tempest in a teapot. The SSPX could be admitted to full institutional Communion without all 4 of the bishops being admitted to episcopal oversight.

Anonymous said...

Anon. wrote:

"Belief in the rabbinic dogma of the "Shoah" is the Vatican's new criterion for qualifying as a shepherd of Christ's flock."

Well put. And I'd suggest that, if the Vatican doesn't back away from this Zionist nonsense, it will find priests and laics here there and everywhere who will publicly agree to Williamson's statement.

Anonymous said...

On Jordanes comments:

But this is not about serving as a bishop. This is about the Society being regularised. Williamson's episcopal status cannot be removed by even the chief rabbis of Jerusalem, who are now clearly the closest thing to God incarnate on this earth.

In other words, whether or not the Pope will appoint this man to serve as a bishop is not the question in hand right now. Regularisation does not automatically give W. an appointment in any new structure. These issues are separate.

It remains the case that W. is being asked to renounce opinons of historical record which no Catholic can be forced to accept. Any one of us could hold to Williamson's beliefs and we can't be excommunicated or interdicted for that.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Does Msgr. Williamson love the Church enough to have the SSPX admitted into full institutional Communion, but without him being given episcopal oversight?

I think he does, and such a long suffering silent crucifixion may be the only thing that can bring that unity about. Often in history innocent victims have been asked by Christ to offer themselves to be crucified along with Him, for the sake of the world. Padre Pio and the end of WWI, for instance.

Paulo Ghetti Frade said...

It sure sounds like he is a warrior and is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the Church.

"Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you."

antonio said...

It still does not soun right to me..It has been published, unsigned, on the Osservatore Romano(semi-official paper of the vatican) andthere is no trace of it on the official web site of the secretariat of state. It seems strange that subjects to be discussed (privately)by the two sides should appear as a sort of 'imposition'prior to any discussion. I doubt this is an 'official' declaration, but I see it more as an attempt by unknown high power prelate to destroy any attempt of reconciliation by pointing a gun at SSPX head, knowing that by these terms there will be no negotiation. If it is an official
note, with the blessings of PBenedict then, all that happened recently has no sense, unless to reach out a friendly hand, and hide the dagger in the other.
Anyway Bishop Williamson's personal views have allways been known;then why all this ranting? I do suspect a plot(as per your previous blog)against the Pope and tradition.
I do not understand why my previous comment has not been published..

John McFarland said...

Dan Hunter, don't worry about those of us who have recourse to the SSPX and likeminded priests. The state of emergency is alive and well, as is evident from the insistence on full acceptance of Vatican II and the magisterium of the conciliar popes.

That insistence also shows that the notion of a quick settlement between the Vatican and the SSPX is delusional. Unless it is prepared to give up everything it stands for, Judgment Day will come before the SSPX accepts (for example) Gaudiam et spes, Redemptor hominis or Deus caritas est.

I'm glad to see that many of the posters recognize the scandal of the Vatican's demanding embrace of the Holocaust. But note that Bishop Fellay and Father Schmidberger did something not dissimilar. So for that matter did Chris Ferrara.

They are all very afraid, and not without reason.

PKTP's remarks transcend scandal. What he is saying is that because the Secular Media (SM) control everything, the SSPX must be purged of those who take issue with anything that the SM feels strongly about, short of denying the faith.

Will those purged also be denied the sacraments if the SM insist upon it? Denied admission to any Catholic church? What if the demand is that all Catholics take an oath affirming the Holocaust, or at least denouncing its denial?

By contrast, Bishop Williamson believes that the traditional faithful must come to realize that we are governed by lies and myths of all sorts, and that those lies and myths make it very difficult as a practical matter to function as a traditionalist.

Now it is fair enough to take issue with Bishop Williamson's view of what things are lies and myths.

But is it also fair to say in effect that we don't really care about the truth outside the covers of Denzinger; that we'll capitulate on just about anything that the SM tells us to capitulate on, as long as it doesn't involve denying the Faith?

This strikes me as very similar to the classic anticlerical (and for that matter, Communist and Nazi) stance: you can babble your superstitions inside your church walls, miserable priest-ridden swine, but God help you if you try to effect anything outside those walls.

You've no doubt heard of the Social Kingship of Christ. Can that only be pursued inside the church walls?

Why are you fearful, oh ye of little faith?

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occured to you that Papa Bene agrees with much of the SSPX's concerns about Vatican II?

It's pretty evident from his writing. Supporting him more would help his cause, and in turn help yours.

But you must be prepared to accept that the vision that the Holy Spirit is leading him towards may not be the exact vision you expect.

Jordanes said...

But this is not about serving as a bishop. This is about the Society being regularised.

No, it's about both.

Williamson's episcopal status cannot be removed by even the chief rabbis of Jerusalem, who are now clearly the closest thing to God incarnate on this earth.

Your animus towards the chief rabbis notwithstanding, it is not enough to be consecrated a bishop to be able to serve as a bishop in the Church.

In other words, whether or not the Pope will appoint this man to serve as a bishop is not the question in hand right now.

It certainly is one of the questions in hand right now, or else the Vatican would not have said anything about it.

Regularisation does not automatically give W. an appointment in any new structure. These issues are separate.

True.

It remains the case that W. is being asked to renounce opinons of historical record which no Catholic can be forced to accept. Any one of us could hold to Williamson's beliefs and we can't be excommunicated or interdicted for that.

We're not talking about whether or not you can be a faithful Catholic while holding pernicious or foolish opinions. The question in hand right now is whether or not the Church wants to give someone a pastorate when they hold or express pernicious or foolish opinions.

Anonymous said...

Sofonia:

One thing is to demand him for a regret because of the imprudence (in fact Mgr Williamson has yet sent a letter of regret to Rome) and another different one is to demand him to retract his sayings that he fully assumed.

Jordanes said...

It still does not soun right to me..It has been published, unsigned, on the Osservatore Romano(semi-official paper of the vatican) andthere is no trace of it on the official web site of the secretariat of state.

It's on the Vatican website here:

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/23319.php?index=23319&lang=en

antonio said...

That web site does not existr

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong but didn't Bp Williamson also say that the 11th September New York Twin Tower bombing were done not by the arab terrorists but by the American Government ! Maybe the Press should cover this story as well !

James

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"Your animus towards the chief rabbis notwithstanding, it is not enough to be consecrated a bishop to be able to serve as a bishop in the Church."

Precisely my point. Thanks for reinforcing it! Suppose the Society is regularised and even incorporated into an international particular church (the plan since 2000). Since the Society is a clerical organisation and since Williamson is a member in it, he would become a member of structure having canonical status. He would be what so many liberal priests and bishops are, a cleric holding extreme views. In fact, unlike so many liberal priests, W. is not a heretic. Material heretics in large numbers are allowed to exercise ministry in the Church. Since the Six Million is not a superdogma of the Faith, W. can certainly hold such views as exercise ministry.

But the Holy Father need not grant him any appointment whatsoever, whether as diocesan bishop, auxiliary bishop, parish priest, seminary rector, vicar-general, episcopal vicar, chancellor, vicar forane, regional vicar, or local dean. In fact, strictly speaking, the Holy Father could choose to deprive him even of an appointment as a titular bishop. This would be irregular but not impossible. (There are a few rare cases of bishops consecrated behind the Iron Curtain in the 1940s who were not given any appointments until the walls came down. Once this happened, a small per centage of them, such as Bishop Dominic Kalata, S.J, were only appointed as titulars, but it would be possible even to deny that.)

The question of Williamson's membership in a regularised Society and the question of the Pope giving him any appointment (and thereby approving of him in some way) are completely separate matters. Given the expression of views which are at least imprudent, it is probable that he won't be given any position. Add to that his age, near retirement anyway (he turns 69 next month and appointments are not usually made after the age of 70, except as titulars).

But he should not be excluded as a member of a Society to be regularised because he has not done anything forbidden in order to administer the Sacraments. Surely, holding heretical views is far worse than holding politially incorrect views when it comes to the administration of the Sacraments. We now even have pro-abortion priests in active service. Can Williamson be regarded as worse than this? Only if you accept the secular media as the a new SuperMagisterium.

Nonetheless, I have argued that W. should be expelled from the Society and then re-admitted later as a semi-retired cleric, not exercising any authority. Why this? Because, without it, regularisation could be stalled indefinitely.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

To answer James:

I believe that W. has argued that the Twin Towers bombings were done by the Israelis, with the help of the American Govenment.

In he early 1990s, he contended that the dissolution of Sovient communism was a trick and that the tanks would be acoming.

He has also argued that women should not be allowed to attend university and that "The Sound of Music" is an anti-Christian abomination.

All of this should make us suspicious. Williamson's record for strange commentary was well known long before 21 January, 2009. So why didn't Rome demand his 'retirement' before this time. Clearly, had the liberals failed to trick W. into this interview, they would have re-published his past comments instead. Something tells me that Rome wants the S.S.P.X but minus Williamson and some of his wilder clerical followers.

Jordanes will probably say I'm wrong.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

McFarland mistakes my meaning.

I am not saying that those holding Williamson's views need be purged from the Society. I am saying that W. should make a temporary sacrifice of himself at this point in order to repair the damage done by his extreme imprudence. He could return later and exerice ministry and administer the regular Sacraments, but he would not be offered any appointment. Since he is now 69 anwyay, he could enter a state of semi-retirement.

I have no problem with Williamson's views. He has a right to them. I don't agree with him about the gas chambers or the numbers he gives, but I also reject the six million number as being way too high. It doesn't matter, since the Nazis are in some measure guilty of the murders of all those they intended to kill and not only those they managed to kill. It was a mass murder of innocents and a attempt to wipe out a people. But these are questions of historical record, not dogmas of the Faith.

Williamson's imprudence is the real problem here. The Pope is trying to hold the Church together so as to bring the liberals back to the Faith they only belong to nominally. It is a gargantuan task and he doesn't need this sort of provocation. He is trying to save souls by restoring a Faith devastated by the Sixties Revolution.

P.K.T.P.

Dan Hunter said...

John MacFarland,

Here is a link to an article by James Akin where he sites Canon Law as saying that the FSSPX do not have faculties/jurisdiction/ecclesia supplet/etc. to validly hear confessions:
http://www.jimmyakin.org/2005/02/sspx_confession.html

Why is this so important?

Because the salvation of souls depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your excellent post John McFarland.

In my opinion the FSSPX need to stand united while the dogs try and rip them apart. Be calm and humble and let the whirlwind blow over. Let Satan devour his own.

Why should the FSSPX react to the ever changing Vatican and world opinion, is anyone genuinely surprised by the confused Vatican?

I dare say if I was in a foxhole on the battlefield I would trust my back to + Williamson, despite his misguided views. I pray that the FSSPX leaders won't leave their wounded behind. I can't say I would offer my back to 'obedience at all cost' Roman Catholics.

Let the liberals leave the Church and be the Protestants that they are.

I "pray much for the Pope", Our Lady of Fatima asks me too.

Jerry

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your excellent post John McFarland.

In my opinion the FSSPX need to stand united while the dogs try and rip them apart. Be calm and humble and let the whirlwind blow over. Let Satan devour his own.

Why should the FSSPX react to the ever changing Vatican and world opinion, is anyone genuinely surprised by the confused Vatican?

I dare say if I was in a foxhole on the battlefield I would trust my back to + Williamson, despite his misguided views. I pray that the FSSPX leaders won't leave their wounded behind. I can't say I would offer my back to 'obedience at all cost' Roman Catholics.

Let the liberals leave the Church and be the Protestants that they are.

I "pray much for the Pope", Our Lady of Fatima asks me too.

Jerry

antonio said...

But why do you not leave Bishop Williamson in peace. All this arguing is pointless and plays only into the hands of the enemy of tradition; divide and conquer...
His mistake? making public his personal views and those of many.
He apologised; so what more:crucify him! crucify him!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Bravo to Pope Benedict! He is handling this exactly correctly. Williamson is a nut and needs to be dealt with. His orders are not in question (from the RCC perspective) but his prudence and wisdom certainly are and rightly so. It is very encouraging that almost all of the posters here seem to get this. The sole exception being the anonymous who whose comments demonstrate a tragic sympathy for Williamson's repulsive anti-Semitism.

Between Bp. Fellay and the Pope's firm but reasoned approach, I think the whole issue will be resolved in the not too distant future (one way or the other), and the SSPX will be regularized. That leaves only one matter to be dealt with at a more leisurely pace. But it is still an important one.

How did this happen in the first place? It is beyond incredible that the Pope did not know that Bp. Williamson is several fries short of a Happy Meal. This is not the first time his bizarre and odious opinions have found their way into the press and media. Anyone who did not know that Williamson is a complete flake either has never heard of the SSPX or they likely come from the same warped corner of it that he does. Even if H.H. was actually ignorant of this was everyone in the Vatican? Was there no one who could have warned the Pope that he was about step onto a landmine if he lifted the excommunications without in some way addressing the lunatic in the family attic?

There needs to be an internal and discreet investigation into how this was handled and why no one apparently had the presence of mind to caution the Pontiff of the danger and potential scandal he was about to expose himself to by doing this. I remain convinced that lifting the excommunications was the right thing to do. But I am just as convinced that the manner in which it was handled demonstrates either breathtaking incompetence or an appalling tone deafness to public perceptions.

And whatever some may think, the latter is not unimportant as recent events have shown.

Under the mercy,
John
(An outsider looking in)

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify what I mean by Williamson being expelled from the Society:

Ideally, he could offer to 'be expelled' as a sacrfice to save the reconcilation with Rome. This offer could be made privately to Bishop Fellay, who would then expel him in a terse statement.

Some time after the commotion has died down, he would be re-admitted but not offered any appointment. Since he would be over the age of 70anyway by then, this would hardly be noticed.

Some on this blog would prefer that we all stand firm against the secular media and those who control it (we all know who I mean). But we must also be wily as serpents. This entire affair is nothing less than a frontal attack on the Pope and the Church, and it emanates from Satan's court.

I am not suggesting that we make acceptance of the Holocaust into a superdogma. No priest or laic is forced to swallow what the secular media demand. But there is a huge difference between rejecting such media dogmas and poking a hornet's nest with a stick. Williamson's timing and his constant public controversial statements are counter-productive in the extreme. Let's get back to Christ's teachings and the pre-conciliar teachings of the Church, unpolluted by sixties lunacy.

P.K.T.P.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

PKTP,
Would it not be easier for Williamson to send his pectoral cross and bishops ring to the Pope and ask to be allowed to retire to a monastery? I think that would resolve the problem. And it seems to me that W in effect has already made that sort of an offer in the wording of letter to the Pope. I really just don't see the need for all of the pro-forma expulsions.

Under the mercy,
John

Jay said...

I have sympathy for Bp Williamson, every one of us can have a private opinion, however, when this opinion is expressed publicly and by someone who is a Bishop it becomes kind of preaching even if all is said informally and in secular environment, which can be not very friendly to religious. Moreover, the opinion of a Bishop can be misinterpreted, twisted, changed - therefore a Bishop needs to be very careful with his preaching.

Anonymous said...

"Williamson's repulsive anti-Semitism."

Ever heard of the eighth commandment?

Let me guess - you've had a typical American education.

Another James.

Whatever... said...

Why is an EO pontificating on what should be done with Bp. Williamson? Almost as silly as all the angry rabbis in papers.

Anonymous said...

To Ad Orientem's point, and perhaps New Catholic can clarify this for us ...

I believe Bp Williamson has in fact already offered to be "thrown overboard" that the storm may die down.

I believe he understands that he's created a huge mess and would be very willing to suffer the consequences to save the ship.

If so the option of retiring him to some monastic existence becomes a charitable and most prudent way forward for the Holy Father, Bp Fellay and the objective of having some objective discussions on the shortcomings and limitations of the Vatican 2 council documents.

But perhaps (reading between the lines) ... this statement from the Secretary of State - known widely as NO friend of Tradition - was ordered to do by the Pope Himself, with a hidden agreement with Bp Fellay to show some public chastisement to Bp Williamson leading to his imminent retirement.

The issue of retiring Bp W is not about making the Holocaust a dogma of the faith. It pertains to the prudential capacity of a man in that position of authority to make sound and rational judgments.

Notably, with so much historical evidence to the contrary what do we say of a man's sense of judgment when he uses a public forum - otherwise, a GREAT public square for the spreading of the Gospel - to foment a personal opinion on a historical matter of no consequence to the eternal salvation of millions, knowlingly that the very sharing of that personal opinion will jeopardize the salvation of said millions?

In retiring Bp Williamson quickly on this premise, the SSPX would be setting an example to myriads of Religious Orders and Diocesan organizations to clean their own ranks of men (and women perhaps) who clearly demonstrate their lack of prudential capacity to fulfill the office that needs to be filled.

Anonymous said...

To Ad Orientem's point, and perhaps New Catholic can clarify this for us ...

I believe Bp Williamson has in fact already offered to be "thrown overboard" that the storm may die down.

I believe he understands that he's created a huge mess and would be very willing to suffer the consequences to save the ship.

If so the option of retiring him to some monastic existence becomes a charitable and most prudent way forward for the Holy Father, Bp Fellay and the objective of having some objective discussions on the shortcomings and limitations of the Vatican 2 council documents.

But perhaps (reading between the lines) ... this statement from the Secretary of State - known widely as NO friend of Tradition - was ordered to do by the Pope Himself, with a hidden agreement with Bp Fellay to show some public chastisement to Bp Williamson leading to his imminent retirement.

The issue of retiring Bp W is not about making the Holocaust a dogma of the faith. It pertains to the prudential capacity of a man in that position of authority to make sound and rational judgments.

Notably, with so much historical evidence to the contrary what do we say of a man's sense of judgment when he uses a public forum - otherwise, a GREAT public square for the spreading of the Gospel - to foment a personal opinion on a historical matter of no consequence to the eternal salvation of millions, knowlingly that the very sharing of that personal opinion will jeopardize the salvation of said millions?

In retiring Bp Williamson quickly on this premise, the SSPX would be setting an example to myriads of Religious Orders and Diocesan organizations to clean their own ranks of men (and women perhaps) who clearly demonstrate their lack of prudential capacity to fulfill the office that needs to be filled.

Dan Hunter said...

Latest from the Vatican.
From Catholic World News:

Clarifying status of SSPX, Vatican says Williamson must recant
February 04, 2009
The Vatican has demanded that Bishop Richard Williamson repudiate his public statements questioning the severity of the Holocaust.

In an unsigned statement released on February 4 from the Secretariat of State, the Vatican explained the Pope's decision to lift the excommunications of four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The clarification, released nearly two weeks after the Pope's decision was announced, came in the midst of an international furor provoked by the comments of Bishop Williamson, one of those SSPX leaders.

By lifting the excommunications, the Secretariat of State explained, the Pope "wished to remove an impediment" to the reconciliation of the SSPX with the Holy See. The Pope's gesture "has not changed the legal situation" of the traditionalist group, which still "does not have any canonical recognition in the Catholic Church," the Vatican statement noted. The SSPX bishops, while no longer excommunicated, remain suspended from public ministry.

In order to be fully reconciled, the statement said, the SSPX bishops will be required to demonstrate "total adherence to the doctrine and discipline of the Church." Without explicitly mentioning the public "reservations" expressed by SSPX leaders about some teachings of Vatican II, the statement strongly suggested that the Holy See will not compromise on support for conciliar teachings.

Regarding the controversy roused by Bishop Williamson, the Secretariat of State said that the bishop's public statement are "totally unacceptable and strongly rejected" by the Pope.

In order to be restored to public ministry in the Catholic Church, the Vatican statement said, Bishop Williamson will be obligated to "absolutely, unambiguously, and publicly distance himself from his position on the Holocaust." The statement insists that Pope Benedict was unaware of Williamson's views at the time he lifted the excommunications.

Anonymous said...

On John (Ad Orientem)'s comments:

To be sent off to a monastery implies much more than penance for imprudence; it implies penance for denying a secularist superdogma of the the secular superMagisterium.

What could save the day would be a sacrifice by Williamson cast in the form of a [temporary] dramatic expulsion from the Society, followed by a return a year later as a bishop 'in residence' at some Society priory (but not in Germany, Austria, or Poland, where he'd be arrested). If there are priests 'in residence' who hold no position as parish priest (what you Yanks wrongly call a 'pastor'), vicar or curate, why not a bishop 'in residence' who is not even a titular bishop but only a bishop in his Sacramental character?

A dramatic gesture by Fellay is needed to shut up the lesbian Freemasonic secular press. If the Pope could say, Look, he's sorry and now he's out, the Society could be regularised quickly, as a fait accompli, and signing a document which would not refer to any particular Council, such Vatican II or some more important Council, such as Lyons II or Lateran III.

What is needed here is a quick reversal. Look, the sacrifice of W. would not be that great. He turns 69next month. His days of exercising authority are coming to a close in a few years anyway.

Without a FAST and dramatic response, the Merckels and liberal--and even conservative--cardinals will postpone any deal with the Society until after the end of the pontificate. And then it might be too late for decades.

A rosary today for the Holy Father and his intentions.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

All this episode has done is expose the divide in the SSPX between the loyal followers of Christ and His Church and the closet sedevacantists. I suspect that Bp. Fellay will lead the vast majority of his flock into some sort of formal structure while the remainder will gnash their teeth between long winded conspiracy theories. Bp. Fellay may well be canonized if he does the right thing and ignores the lunatic hardliners in the SSPX.

rev'd up said...

Why dosen't the Pope tell all non-Catholics to convert or shut up!

Since when do politician, Jew and journalist opinions count for diddly?

John (Ad Orientem) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John (Ad Orientem) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John McFarland said...

I was not altogether fair to PKTP (although I do think he is naive if he thinks that busting His Excellency to the ranks is going to be enough to mollify those who we are supposed to be moliify).

As PKTP explains, his chief concern is his continuing belief that we are in striking distance of the regularization of the SSPX, and he figures that an SSPX without Bishop Williamson as a bishop is a small enough price to pay.

So, I daresay, would Bishop Williamson. The problem is that the notion of a near-term regularization is the triumph of hope over the actual situation.

For the SSPX, this is all about the Faith -- and its betrayal by the conciliar establishment. Even if we assume that the Vatican is in fact prepared to offer the SSPX bullet-proof protection, this is not good enough for the SSPX. Rome is still occupied modernist Rome, and the Society is not interested in being an appendage of modernist occupied Rome. If and when the SSPX does become interested, it will have betrayed its raison d'etre.

PKTP believes that the SSPX is morally required to accept a bulletproof deal. But the SSPX does not agree, and is unlikely to be persuaded by PKTP's line of reasoning. The state of emergency that is the basis of the SSPX's view of its status is not the absence of institutional protection of its mission; it is the fact that Rome is teaching a deficient and adulterated version of the Faith. The guarantee of a bulletproof canonical "zoo" for the SSPX, while occupied Rome continues to preach a gospal different from that handed down to us, is not enough.

And while we're at it, let's note that there is no such thing as a bulletproof regularization deal. What the Pope gives, the Pope (or the next Pope) can take away.

So if and when the occupation of Rome is lifted, if someone then thinks that Bishop Williamson's resigning as a bishop is necessary for the final deal, he won't have to be asked twice. But I think the chances of his having to make that are not great; we are a long distance from the lifting of the occupation.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God!Mr Perkins is quite obviously living in cloud-cuckoo land...this has all to do with Vatican diplomacy...its merely incidental the uproar over Williamsons views-one way or another he(Williamson) has to go..he has done more harm to the cause of tradition in the Church than any of you can imagine-remember this good news never sticks in peoples minds-its always the bad that does.Here in Europe it has been a public relations disaster far outstripping the Regensburg lecture.Its time for alot of people to wake up..Williamson made this problem for the Church when Lefebvre insisted on consecrating him Bishop. Its only now the media has taken notice of his views. Everyone in the SSPX knew he was a problem but did nothing.Pathetic...the only mercy will be if something dramatic happens in the news soon to take this mess of the front pages of the newspapers.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

In response to "another James" and to anonymous posting that immediately follows his:

I am not pontificating on what should be done. I am opining. The matter rests in the hands of the Holy See. In which sense my opinion is worth the same as anyone else's. As for why I am opining and why I even care, the answer in short is that I used to be SSPX (mea culpa mea culpa). I knew Bishop Williamson before he got purple trim added to his cassock. And when I call him a nut I am doing so from first hand experience.

But as an Orthodox Christian, though I see little hope for restoration of communion, I do see some hope for improved ties with Rome on other levels. One of the most serious impediments that few on either side of the table want to talk about (in our case out of politeness and I suspect in Rome's case out of embarrassment) is the chaos that has been rampant in the Latin Church for nigh on a half century. Even if there were some ability to get past the admittedly profound theological differences dividing us, no Orthodox hierarch or layman wants anything to do with the modernist nonsense swamping the Western church.

We Orthodox may not agree with Rome on a host of doctrinal issues but we do realize that you represent that last bulwark against the complete collapse of Christian civilization in Western Europe. On a vast range of issues most Orthodox realize there is an urgent need for cooperation between our churches. We face common enemies.

Also most Orthodox (who bother to care about the Western Church) look at the ancient liturgy of the West and can say "we recognize this." It is older than the schism and a point of reference which reminds us that once upon a time the West was Orthodox and there is still much that links us.

Under the mercy,
John

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the same Vatican that permits Bishops Milingo & Mahoney? What if a bishop accepts the Holocaust but buys into the 9/11 conspiricy. Heck, are all bishops required to be Creationists? If Fellay maintained
the mindset for years that Rome was
not serious about discussing Truth,
this new litmus test should continue to cast doubt. I am no supporter of Bishop Williamson's historical perpective but I am a of the late Bishop LeFebvre who always did the right thing. He didn't believe Rome was being honest with him in 1988. If the sacking of Williamson is demanded by Rome, (should he not recant his
understanding of history) I would again be skeptical of their sincerity. Let us not forget that most of the clerics in Rome in this process are old enough to have taken the Anti-Modernist Oath to God yet most have not upheld it for decades.

A.M. LaPietra

Arnobius of Sicca said...

I'm guessing none of those protesting the actions against WIlliamson have ever heard of the sin of scandal?

Let's stop the Straw Man arguments here, and the false implications that Rome is modernist because they refuse to bow to the SSPX.

When all is said and done, only one interpretation of Church teaching matters: That of the Magisterium.

Anonymous said...

Please rate these in order of severity in terms of lacking wisdom and prudence such as to be unfit to serve as a Bishop:

Repeatedly turning a blind eye to priests who are sexually molesting children and adolescents.

Failing to discipline Catholic politicians who vote to maintain the legality of murdering millions of unborn children.

Bishop Williamson's recent remarks.

Brian

Anonymous said...

"It is older than the schism and a point of reference which reminds us that once upon a time the West was Orthodox and there is still much that links us."

YOu really need to read Jim Likoudis.

Orthodox theology is based not on the fathers, but on intellectual bankruptcy.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

YOu really need to read Jim Likoudis.

Been there done that. But seriously that's like me asking if you have read Fr. John Romanindes?

Under the mercy,
John

P.S. I really don;t want to turn this thread (whose topic is important) into an Orthodox - Catholic debate. Feel free to drop me a line privately if you want to talk on that or any other subject.

Anonymous said...

"but has not changed the juridical position of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, which, at the current moment, does not enjoy any canonical recognition by the Catholic Church."

Can anyone cite a reliable source that it is possible to be recognized by The Catholic Church and at the same time not to be canonically recognized by The Catholic Church?

The former is absolutely needed because if one is not recognized then how can his excommunication be remitted? You cannot act on an object if you don't recognize that object.

If the above is not possible, the statement is false.

Anonymous said...

On McFarland's comments:

1. I am suggesting that he *eventually* be busted to the ranks, once the rancour has subsided. I am suggesting that, starting yesterday, he be expelled from the Society by Bishop Fellay, after his private offer to this effect. That *would* mollify the endless forces arrayed against us, or at least it would silence them long enough to complete an arrangement which would protect the Society into the next century.

1b. On bullet-proof deals: Nothing here below is perfect but we don't refuse obedience to the Holy Father owing to that. The offer is robust enough to withstand an earthquake. If you need more than that, you are standing on sand in the first place.

2. I guess that Mr. McFarland has missed some of the comments of his own superior-general, who has predicted that an arrangement is near and who publicly changed course and said that we needn't solve all the doctrinal problems before accepting regularisation but only a few matters needed resolution. To my recollection, he added that we needn't debate endlessly over doctrine, a gentle way to indicate a change. On the very same day, sources close to Rome indicated (indirectly) that the problem had been solved, since the S.S.P.X will not be required to agree to the doctrines of Vatican II by any interpretation whatsoever, as it is not a Dogma of the Faith. Obviously, Rome had decided to ease the reintegration requirements and was leaking this to test the waters.

3. The Sociey is obliged to accept the bullet-proof jurisdiction in Moral Law. McFarland claims that ministers in the Church are being allowed to preach false doctrine. However, it is the office of the Pope to restrain them. Consider the situation. The Church is divided and in turmoil. Millions are only nomimal Catholics. The Pope wishes to return them to orthodoxy, not to turn them right out and send them even closer to Hell. That's because his primary mission is to save souls. How he goes about this in PRUDENCE is for him to decide. He needs the Society's help and the Society can do more to help if regularised than otherwise.

Apb. Lefebvre was prepared to accept MUCH LESS in 1988 than what has been offered since 2000. Read the Protocol of Agreement of 1988! Have you read it? I have. There were NO GUARANTEES on jurisdiction but merely an undertaking to consider them. And those who try to say that much has happened since 1988 are making it up as they go along. 1988 is two years *AFTER* 1986, two years *after* Assisi. So, even in light of the scandal of Assisi, Lefebvre was prepared to take much less than what has been offered in 2000. Nothing fundamentally worse than Assisi has happened since 1986. No wonder Fr. Aulagnier has seen the logic and seen the light! McFarland is against Lefebvre. I am for Lefebvre. L. would have taken the 'Rolls Royce' structure offered in 2000 in a heartbeat. Now Fellay wants to take it, provided he doesn't have to commit the Society to all the teachings of Vatican II. I'm with Fellay too!

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

Are we talking about the same Vatican that permits Bishops Milingo & Mahoney

"Permitted" in the case of Milingo, who is excommunicated and essentially a member of the Moonie cult now.

Anonymous said...

I'd drop your last tack, Jordanes. Right now there are pro-abortion priests whom Rome refuses even to warn, not to mention the case in Montreal so well known by many.

These are priests who favour the legalisation of what is mass murder, whereas Williamson only denies the extent of someone else's mass murder. To make W. equivalent to pro-abortion priests, he would have to alter his statement and say that he favoured the murders of Jews perpetrated by the Nazis.

This is all beside the point, however. The point is that W.'s imprudence may have scuttled a deal which was twenty years in the making. He needs to be expelled from the Society pronto.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

Antonio, the Vatican website URL that I supplied above was cut off by the commentbox formatting. Here it is again, but with a carriage return inserted after "news_services/" to make sure the entire URL appears. Remove that carriage return before pasting it into your browser:

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/
bulletin/news/23319.php?index=23319&lang=en

Jordanes said...

Something tells me that Rome wants the S.S.P.X but minus Williamson and some of his wilder clerical followers.

You could be right. After all, perhaps some at the Vatican, perhaps even the Pope, were not aware of some or all of his more "out there" views, but surely Cardinal Castrillon would have been more familiar with them.

Joe B said...

I looked at the Jimmy Akin article on the validity and licitness of SSPX confessions. You can't be serious. Akin bounces around canon laws that ignore the SSPX canonical case. His main point is that ONLY the bishop can give permission to hear confessions, but never even gets to the exceptions, even the well-known case of a dying man. At the end of his disjointed answer, he finally grants that their absolutions would be valid but illicit, but dismisses that as irrelevant because he declares them to be in schism. This is rank amateur work. Nobody that has done any meaningful research should conclude that SSPX was schismatic. Just the Hawaii case alone should have ruled that absurdity out and I'm sure Akins knows about it.

And the validity of souls depends on validity, which is not in question.

Jordanes said...

I'd drop your last tack, Jordanes. Right now there are pro-abortion priests whom Rome refuses even to warn, not to mention the case in Montreal so well known by many.

There is no analogy between the Bishop Williamson affair and these other cases. It is not Rome's place to warn priests who are pro-abortion heretics, it's the duty of their bishops. But it is a matter for Rome's concern when considering what to do about an illicitly consecrated bishop who has said the kinds of things Bishop Williamson has said. There's also a difference between priests currently in good standing with the Church needed to be disciplined, and a bishop who has been in an irregular state.

Athanasius said...

Jordanes,

Catholics should remember that the consecrated souls of Bishop Williamson and similar-minded clergy are as dear to Our Lord as all his other consecrated souls. Perhaps, then, they should not be too quick in wishing them away from the Church. What about praying for them? Now there's an idea that is much more favourable to Our Lord than endless intellectual debate from lesser mortals in the matter.

Anonymous said...

On Jordanes last comment:

How wrong you are, Jordanes. Read Vatican I, the better Vatican Council. The Pope has both a jurisdiction and the responibility which is both universal and immediate. When a priest flouts the Faith, the duty falls first to his bishop to discipline him. But when that fails and the bishop himself neglects his duty, it is the office of the Holy See to take action. We had a case in Montréal, the case of Fr. Raymond Gravel and his ordinary, Bishop Gilles Lussier. I won't go into it here. The Holy See finally did take action, after the horse had left the barn, but it was insufficient action and Gravel continues to function as a parish priest.

I can name other similar cases; in fact, I have an entire file folder on them. We also have bishops who have taught the opposite of the Gospel or taught heresy, like a certain bishop in B.C. (just one of hundreds of examples) who taught the catechism classes in the cathedral that the Mass is not a sacrifice but only a supper. These were classs of children.

The truth is that we have widespread apostasy in the Church today and the Holy See has done almost nothing about it. These cases of heretics serving as priests and even as bishops is far far worse than the opinions on historical matters of Bishop Williamson. Bishop Williamson is not a heretic or an apostate; in fact, according to Rome, he's not a schismatic either (the 1988 actions being schismatic actions which were nevertheless insufficient to result in a state of schism). It is far worse to be a heretic or an apostate than it is to have an opinion about the Holocaust which fails to satisfy rabbis and reporters.

Once again, for any priest to favour the legalisation what the Church defines as mass murder is far far worse than for a priest to deny the extent of murders in which he had no part and never favoured. If Bishop Williamson were to announce that he favoured a new Holocaust, then and only then would his position be comparable to that of pro-abortion priests.

You are taking the wrong tack. Williamson should be expelled for his enormous imprudence and not for his opinions per se.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Attn. arnobius:

I never said Rome is modernist because they refuse to bow to the SSPX. I did imply the integrity of those old enogh to have taken the Anti-Modernist Oath to God but did nothing to uphold their oath is suspect.

A.M LaPietra

Athanasius said...

Jordanes,

You made this statement:

"There is no analogy between the Bishop Williamson affair and these other cases. It is not Rome's place to warn priests who are pro-abortion heretics, it's the duty of their bishops. But it is a matter for Rome's concern when considering what to do about an illicitly consecrated bishop who has said the kinds of things Bishop Williamson has said. There's also a difference between priests currently in good standing with the Church needed to be disciplined, and a bishop who has been in an irregular state."

Surely you don't seriously believe this?

Not Rome's place to warn pro-abortion heretics? It's Rome's place to warn and discipline any heretical priest, and his remiss bishop if needs be. There are sufficient cases in the history of the Popes of them having intervened directly in cases of heretical clergy.

So you think that bishop Williamson's strange opinions on matters historical are more immediately pressing on the Pope and the Church than bishops and priests who are outrightly heretical or who dissent from the Church's moral teaching? And how can you claim that such bishops and priests remain in "good standing" with the Church? Our "good standing" in the Church disappears the very second we commit mortal sin. The Pope doesn't have to sign a document to that effect.

Anonymous said...

PKTP:

If imprudence was a good reason to expel bishops, there wouldn't be many left.

A.M. LaPietra

Jordanes said...

How wrong you are, Jordanes.

But then you proceed to reiterate my point . . . .

Read Vatican I, the better Vatican Council. The Pope has both a jurisdiction and the responibility which is both universal and immediate.

And yet, as you admit, it still as the general rule is not Rome's place to be the first or only ones to act when a priest strays. Such is a practical impossibility, and also would go against the principle of subsidiarity.

When a priest flouts the Faith, the duty falls first to his bishop to discipline him. But when that fails and the bishop himself neglects his duty, it is the office of the Holy See to take action.

Yes. And yet there is still a big difference between the need to discipline a priest in good standing with the Church and the process of reconciling and regularising a bishop in irregular status. Just because Rome does not, and frankly cannot, smack every priest who needs to be smacked, that doesn't mean Rome does not have the right or the obligation to discipline or lay down preconditions for someone such as Bishop Williamson.

Williamson should be expelled for his enormous imprudence and not for his opinions per se.

I doubt we can easily separate his imprudence from his opinions, but anyway I'd prefer it if he were not expelled at all. But that will be something to be worked out among the Holy Father, the SSPX, and Bishop Williamson.

Jordanes said...

Athanasius, your comment was addressed to me, though it's not apparent to which of my comments, if any, you might be responding.

Perhaps, then, they should not be too quick in wishing them away from the Church.

As should be obvious from reading my comments, I'm certainly not wishing Bishop Williamson away from the Church. Under this heading I've been talking about the Church's right to require a bishop to disavow certain opinions before considering giving him an episcopal ministry.

What about praying for them? Now there's an idea that is much more favourable to Our Lord than endless intellectual debate from lesser mortals in the matter.

We don't have to choose between praying for them and discussing matters pertaining to this very important matter.

Athanasius said...

Jordanes,

Sorry about that, I was responding to your response to someone else at 00.41 on the 5/1/09.

I take your point about people being allowed to discuss the Bishop Williamson situation, but I note that no-one has suggested at any time praying for him. Praying for him and then discussing his situation would most likely make for a healthier discussion.

By the way, I was not referring to you when I commented on those who wished Bishop Williamson out of the Church. You'll note that I did not mention you. I said "they," meaning the not too few on this blog who have suggested this. Hope this clears the matter up.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

Archbishop Lefebvre thought better of the 1988 protocol. It is not evidence in your favor; it is evidence against it.

It is well that you mention Father Aulagnier. You, like him, have lost your stomach for the fight, and want to declare victory and go home.

Your desire is so strong that you behave as if the Pope's proposed regularization were, so to speak, a contract ready for signature, rather than a term sheet. As we corporate lawyers are fond of saying, the Devil is in the details.

Your desire is so strong that you think that the Pope wants to restore orthodoxy. Do you see orthodoxy in his encyclicals? Can you take seriously the notion of a "hermeneutic of continuity"? What would St. Pius X have said about his successor's various pronouncements in his trip to the U.S.? You have convinced yourself that a modernist with conservative "political" tendencies, who figures that traditionalism can do the conciliar madhouse some good, is a bastion of orthodoxy.

Your desire is so strong that you've convinced yourself that Bishop Fellay has come all this way to say that he agrees that Vatican II was an ecumenical council, and that the Pope has magisterial authority, and that then it will be all over. You want to believe that he, too, has lost his stomach for the fight. To this end, you are prepared to ignore practically everything that Bishop Fellay has said since 2001, and apply a sort of "hermeneutic of surrender" to a few of his recent remarks.

And people say that Bishop Williamson has strange ideas...

Jordanes said...

Thanks for clearing up the confusion, Athanasius.

Not Rome's place to warn pro-abortion heretics? It's Rome's place to warn and discipline any heretical priest, and his remiss bishop if needs be.

Ordinarily no, it is not Rome's place to issue a monitum every single time a priest goes astray. It's his bishop's or superior's place to do that. Rome usually only steps in, if she steps in, when she has to.

There are sufficient cases in the history of the Popes of them having intervened directly in cases of heretical clergy.

Rome has the right to do that, but with wayward priests as a rule it is not her place to be the first responder.

So you think that bishop Williamson's strange opinions on matters historical are more immediately pressing on the Pope and the Church than bishops and priests who are outrightly heretical or who dissent from the Church's moral teaching?

I certainly didn't say or imply anything like that. I said they are different kinds of cases and so are bound to be handled differently.

And how can you claim that such bishops and priests remain in "good standing" with the Church? Our "good standing" in the Church disappears the very second we commit mortal sin. The Pope doesn't have to sign a document to that effect.

They remain in good standing because the Church has, for whatever reason, not suspended them from ministry. That's not to say they shouldn't be suspended, of course, but then these matters are above my competence after all.

Athanasius said...

Sorry again, Jordanes, I forgot to take you up on this remark from you post of 01.47 5/1/09.

"Under this heading I've been talking about the Church's right to require a bishop to disavow certain opinions before considering giving him an episcopal ministry."

The episcopal ministry does not require, nor has it ever required, a candidate to first renounce opinions that are not against the Catholic Faith. The Holocaust is not a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Consequently, denial of it is not a sin against the Catholic Faith.

Only where there is an obstacle to the administration of the sacraments can a candidate be refused the epicopal ministry. Such would be the case with heresy or immorality. Bishop Williamson is guilty of neither of the offences.

Some may argue that his statement about the Holocaust, or, to be more precise, his denial of gas chambers and his questioning of numbers killed, is borne of Anti-semitism. He claims otherwise, citing what he believes to be the facts in accordance with what he has read in the matter.

At no point did Bishop Williamson speak of the Jews in a derogatory manner, which would have been truly Anti-semitic. No, he merely stated what he believes to be factual. He is wrong, perhaps "way out" in his belief, but it does not necessarily follow that he is Anti-semitic. Others have judged his soul and determined that he is guilty of race hatred.

Anonymous said...

McFarland:

On Lefebvre, you try to fudge this blog. Lefebvre was perfectly prepared to sign the Protocol of 1988 and only changed his mind at the last minute because ROME DELAYED NAMING FUTURE BISHOPS FOR THE SOCIETY. But Rome has, since 2000, accepted the four bishops. Hence the problem faced by L. in 1988 was overcome twelve years later, and nine years ago. Don't you even know the basic facts about the situation?

Since Lefebvre was willing to accept far less than has been offered by Fellay's own admission since 2000, L. must be engaging in your hermeneutics of surrender as well. L. must be a coward, like Fr. Aulagnier and I!

I never stated that Benedict XVI was the perfect orthodox Pope. You are now trying to change the subject so as divert this blog from your error.

We do not have to wait until conditions are perfect to obey Christ's own Vicar. My arguments from before stand. The sticking point, if you read the Society bishops' past complaints, was Rome's insistence that they must agree to the teachings of Vatican II. In a marvellous and truly patriarachal act of benevolence, Benedict XVI has apparently dropped that condition, thereby making unity possible.

Let's respond to this Pope's pleas for unity with . . . charity.

Apparently, the Pope is now only saying that the Society must recognise that V. II was œcumenical and that the Pope alone has the authority to interpret it. Was this ever in doubt? Not.

Wake up, McFarland, or you'll end up worshipping in a broom closet with Williamson. This Pope is offering us an opportunity which might not come again for some time . . . . Let's respond as Archbishop Lefebvre did in 1988: more is offered and with bishops. So the answer is affirmative.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I'm finding that McFarland and Jordanes are the Scylla and Charybdis of archtraditionalism and Fr. Zuhlsdorf's semi-traditionalism. The first wants to defend Williamson no matter what; to the second, the Pope can do no wrong. Oh what fools these mortals be!

The first go far beyond where Lefebvre went in 1988. The second dare to call our Lady a 'you' in their ignorance.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"Just because Rome does not, and frankly cannot, smack every priest who needs to be smacked, that doesn't mean Rome does not have the right or the obligation to discipline or lay down preconditions for someone such as Bishop Williamson."

What planet have you been living on, Jordanes. First of all, in the first instance, the Holy See is responsible for the conduct of bishops, including the countless bishops who have directly undermined the Faith now for forty years--with impunity. Then there's the failure from the top to discipline 99% of the priests the bishops have ignored, not to mention the failure to protect children from priest-predators. For that, we have a seminary document which actually affords LESS protection than the 1961 document it replaced.

Where the hell have you been? The Society has been out there preserving the true Faith and Sacraments precisely because our modern Pope Liberiuses have failed to do so.

A neo-conservative is one who refused to admit the truth over and over and over again.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Anon said, " the Holy Father is free to make the prudential judgment that Bp. Williamson lacks the judgment and discretion necessary for publicly exercising the episcopal office"

I think you are missing a few things:

1. If the concern is with His Excellency's judgment and discretion, this is a mental health issue. But, the Vatican "Note" does not say His Excellency will be required to submit to a mental health examination or mental health treatment, which would be the appropriate course of action if there is concern about his mental health. Rather, it says that he must "distance" himself from his beliefs on a secular subject.

2. His Excellency's beliefs on a secular subject are not apostasy, therefore there is no basis for demanding that he recant them.

3. If the real concern is His Excellency's judgment and discretion, any statement "distancing" himself from his beliefs would have no more value than his statements affirming these beliefs. A crazy person is not accountable either way.

By stating the above, I am not implying that I think His Excellency is "crazy". I think he is eminently sane. His elegant apology is evidence of this.

I for one would be quite unhappy to find that he had been silenced.

Jordanes said...

Athanasius said: The episcopal ministry does not require, nor has it ever required, a candidate to first renounce opinions that are not against the Catholic Faith.

True in general, but Bishop Williamson's case is rather different, since he was consecrated a bishop without the Church's permission. Unique or irregular cases will call for special responses from the Church.

PKTP said: I'm finding that McFarland and Jordanes are the Scylla and Charybdis of archtraditionalism and Fr. Zuhlsdorf's semi-traditionalism.

As I've made clear several times, I'm not nor do I consider myself to be any kind of traditionalist, whether semi or quasi or full or whatever.

The first wants to defend Williamson no matter what; to the second, the Pope can do no wrong.

I don't know where you get the idea that I think the Pope can do no wrong. Maybe "semi-traditionalists" think that, or some of them do. But of course the fact that the Pope can do and does do wrong does not in anyway deprive him of his rights and authority to act as Pope.

As for your subsequent display of exasperation or bewilderment, it doesn't have anything at all to do with anything I've said here, and in particular does not pertain to or challenge or contradict the comment of mine that you quoted, so it's best if I simply ignore it.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes writes:

"As I've made clear several times, I'm not nor do I consider myself to be any kind of traditionalist, whether semi or quasi or full or whatever."

Every true Catholic must be a traditionalist in some sense, I should thing. It merely means one who values what is handed down through organic development, as opposed to one who values banal fabrications . . .

No matter.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Bertone is behind this, releasing it from Spain, without the permission of the pope.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

The Pope is not "the perfect orthodox Pope" and yet we must obey him? And you vilify poor Jordanes as a semi- traditionalist? He at least has the excuse of limited knowledge; you have all the pieces of the puzzle right at hand, but refuse to put them together properly.

As you perfectly well know, orthodoxy does not admit of degrees. So if the Pope is not orthodox, aren't you at least a little queasy about the notion of trusting and obeying him?

The Pope is the sole interpreter of Vatican II? Says who? The Pope is the infallible teacher when -- and only when -- he purports to teach infallibly, or teaches the ordinary and universal teaching of the Church. This looks like a sort of do-it-yourself backdoor infallibilism: since only the Pope can make a judgment, he's right in practice whether or not he's right in fact. I'm amazed that you would try to sell these goods, and can say with great confidence that the SSPX is not about to buy them.

As regards Bishop Williamson, the interesting question in my mind is why he told what he deemed the truth in that interview. He did not need anyone to tell him that he was playing a dangerous game. He said as much to the interviewer. Why nonetheless did he do it?

Perhaps part of the answer lies in the response: vilification from traditionalists of all stripes, none of whom showed any familiarity with the Holocaust revisionist literature. Ignorance, conformism, fear: those were on prominent display -- emotion, not truth, to use the distinction His Excellency used in the interview. It was not just denunciation of his imprudence: it was denunciation of his daring to believe something other than What Everybody Knows (hereinafter, "WEK"). It showed how much we all -- including Bishop Fellay and Father Schmidberger -- are in thrall to WEK.

It has occurred to me that Bishop Williamson may have deliberately gone public. He made basically the same statements at greater length in a talk later in November 2008, and also went into detail on 9/11; and may have spoken on the same matters in other instances as well.

In any event, I have no doubt that he believes that traditionalists cannot deal with the rest of the world unless they understand that the world, being the bailiwick of the Father of Lies, is ruled in considerable part by lies and myths; not necessarily lies and myths about religion, but lies and myths that serve the purposes of the enemies of the Cross of Christ. But this view cannot be spread unless it is publicized, and publicized no manner how enraged it makes those enemies.

Note also that His Excellency appeals not to emotion, but to truth. If one can demonstrate that he is wrong, then he must recant or betray the truth that is his lodestar.

But if anyone is interested in teaching him the error of his ways, that person has not come to my attention. I am reminded of a sardonic line in an old Ring Lardner short story: "'Shut up,' he explained."

I myself believe that we are indeed going nowhere if we are prepared to kowtow to WEK in everything not having to do directly with the Faith.

Now we must indeed be careful.
In Germany, for instance, it would not take much to completely hamstring the SSPX's apostolate, which is a large part of why Bishop Fellay and Father Schmidberger reacted as they did.

Nor is it either wise or prudent to reject WEK just because it's WEK.

But we must, as wisely as serpents and innocently as doves, sift the stories that the world tells us, and make our own decisions, informed by faith and reason, as to what to make of them.

If you're not inclined to follow Bishop Williamson in this process, fair enough; but you can't just shrug off the responsibility. If the world is wrong about the Faith, it may be wrong about more besides, and those matters may affect our practice of the Faith in any number of ways.

ponte said...

This really says nothing new. I'm just grateful that the genius American and Canadian bishops conferences finally weighed in with profound insights when appeared safe to do so, several days later.

Way to go guys!

Anonymous said...

My God,

Why are people more upset with your
servant Bishop Williamson for his secular beliefs than when Your Vicar kissed the Koran? This is driving me insane! Am I the only one dear Lord who feels this way?
If I am wrong about this please direct someone to properly catechise me before I consider the path of the Orthodox Church.

A.M. LaP:ietra

David said...

Anon at 19:17 said: "Some may disagree with that prudential judgment on the part of the Holy Father, but all should agree that he has the right and authority to make such a judgment."

This is an important distinction. I would submit that the question here is not whether the Holy Father has the right or authority to make this kind of stipulation (i.e., that you must renounce an opinion not pertinent to faith or morals in order to be admitted to episcopal functions), but whether it was truly prudential. Wouldn't it have been enough to ask Bp. Williamson to refrain from making any further public statements on the Holocaust or an any other historical or political matter, either qua bishop or qua private person? Why the need to ask him to recant, which I suppose he cannot, salva conscientia?

Jordanes said at 19:03: "It creates great scandal and offense for the faithful and for non-Christians to have a bishop minimising the Holocaust. Would we want a man to serve as a bishop who believed and went around telling people offensive nonsense?"

I totally agree with you only if the man cannot keep his mouth shut. But if he is willing to refrain from making public statements concerning his positions, then frankly I don't see why he should be asked to recant them, unless, of course, they do relate to matters of faith and morals.

numealinesimpetar said...

It might be frustrating for those who thought this was an Instant Fix for the SSPX. But remember that Bp Fellay always spoke of the two things (telling the truth about the status of the Old Latin Mass, and lifting the Decree of Excommunication {without prejudice as to its original validity}) as preconditions for the real dialogue, which is about the danger to the Faith posed by the innovations of the 60s & 70s, particularly the implications of Vatican II. The SSPX have always wanted a chance to debate this openly and honestly, but they have been stifled by these administative manoeuvers to marginalise them, denying them a forum.
This time, when they are invited to declare their acceptance of the primacy of Peter and their Successors, they will answer, “Of course”. when they are told to “accept Vatican II’ they will be able to say, “what is it we have to accept? and then - only then - the real debate will begin.
As for Bp Williamson, given his public position, the Vatican is entitled at least to ask him what is the basis or evidence for his statements. If he cannot produce satisfactory evidence, well and good.

Confiteor said...

To diminish in any way the sufferings of the Jews at the hands of the Nazi devils is to diminish what Catholics suffered under that same insane, godless regime. Holocaust denial is vile and un-Catholic.

The sooner that ALL Traditional Catholics admit this, the better.

Ligusticus said...

"Cardinal Sterzinsky: In any case, it is understandable. The decision from Rome, to lift the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX is for the vast majority of people incomprehensible and appalling.

What should happen now?
At the very least now, that it will immediately be said, that this decision must be reviewed. According to my perception, a different result would be expected to come out.

Do you think it is possible that the Vatican was not informed about the confused Williamson theses?

No. In Rome you cannot pretend that you could not know. I am not among those who had much particular interest in the four bishops. But that was familiar to me because it has been said again and again. "


http://cathcon.blogspot.com/2009/02/cardinal-calls-for-review-of-decision.html


[PLS, Benedict, NOW take back the galero from this scismatic, together with Lehmann's!]

Anonymous said...

On Confiteor's remarks:

I agree in essence but provided that no particular proposition is ever required on matters of fact. Exactly how many Jews or Ukrainians died in the Holocaust or the Holodomyr are matters which are open to investigation and debate. Exactly how many, if any, were gased or shot or hanged, is similarly open to investigation and debate. To consider such questions does not, in itself, diminish the enormity of the crime, because we are in some measure responsible for all those we mean to harm, including those who escape; and what Hitler planned was a genocide.

There can be no dogma on numbers and methods used, and so there will always be disagreements. It should be completely legal in any free country to question such matters. What is truly abominable are the so-called hate laws in such countries as Canada, Germany, Austria, and Poland. They militate against that measure of freedom that is rightful and good. In fact, the Church should stand up and declare as immoral any secular law that would imprison anyone for denying that a certain number died in this conflict or that. That is what is unacceptable.

What needs to be denounced is the view that some minority can impose on anyone a version of historical record.

This is why I insist that Williamson should indeed b expelled but not for holding views he has every right to hold. It is owing to his excessive imprudence and provocative behaviour that he should be removed; it does not comport with his sacred office. It has done tremendous damage to a delicate process we've waited on and prayed on for years.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know how old Williamson is? He has got to be close to hitting that magic 75 mark, retirement age. The pope need not wait for his resignation, he could just "retire" the bishop.

Jordanes said...

PKTP said: Every true Catholic must be a traditionalist in some sense, I should think. It merely means one who values what is handed down through organic development, as opposed to one who values banal fabrications . . .

I think my problem with the term is the suffix "-ist," and also that the term is not precise enough in distinguishing between Tradition and tradition. But, as my contributions to this discussion again demonstrate, I've got an annoying tendency towards niggling pedantry.

As for the question of what to do about Bishop Williamson, I think your take on this is probably correct. I just hope that all four of the SSPX bishops can be canonically regularised and assigned appropriate episcopal ministry by the Holy Father. The Church needs every "traditional" bishop She can get . . . but this Bishop Williamson affair has definitely made the task of regularising the SSPX a lot more difficult, at least in the short term.

Dave said: But if he is willing to refrain from making public statements concerning his positions, then frankly I don't see why he should be asked to recant them, unless, of course, they do relate to matters of faith and morals.

I can only guess here, but I would think the concern about his Holocaust revisionism is that it could indicate adherence to an ideology that the Church has made clear she wants nothing to do with. More certainly it raises the question of his prudence. It would be different if he were already a canonically regular bishop who started mouthing off about these things. There's an understandable reluctance to remove a bishop currently in good standing but who has started to cause problem, but the Holy See is bound to be cautious about fully admitting to regular episcopal ministry someone like Bishop Williamson.

Anonymous said...

How wrong you are, Jordanes. Read Vatican I, the better Vatican Council. The Pope has both a jurisdiction and the responibility which is both universal and immediate. When a priest flouts the Faith, the duty falls first to his bishop to discipline him. But when that fails and the bishop himself neglects his duty, it is the office of the Holy See to take action.

In theory yes but hardly ever in practise unless it directly involves the whole Church.

Athanasius said...

Jordanes

This was your re-posting of my statement and your answer to it on 5/2/09 at 3.11.

Athanasius said: The episcopal ministry does not require, nor has it ever required, a candidate to first renounce opinions that are not against the Catholic Faith.

True in general, but Bishop Williamson's case is rather different, since he was consecrated a bishop without the Church's permission. Unique or irregular cases will call for special responses from the Church.

Jordanes, regardless of the unique and/or irregular case in question, it remains absolutely certain that no candidate can be refused episcopal consecration on the basis of his controversial opinions on historical matters not pertaining to faith.

The Pope could never refuse Bishop Williamson the episcopal ministry because he happens to deny the gas chambers. One's personal take on history, no matter how strange, is simply not a consideration here unless we concede that the Jews are now determining who will or will not be raised Bishop by the Church. You see how ludicrous it is?

Bishop Williamson was definitely out of order. His remarks were offensive, inaccurate and imprudent. He has apologised for that. We, as Catholics, should accept that apology just as Our Lord accepts our sorrow in confession. The Jews were right to be angry, but now they and many in the hierarchy are going too far by trying to bring intense public pressure on the Holy Father over this incident.

Frankly, I think these outraged Jews should consider how Catholics feel when they contradict the historical evidence and claim that Pope Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope" and deny the countless Jewish lives he saved.

I am getting rather annoyed with this Jewish interference in internal matters of the Church. And, terrible as it most certainly was, I am getting sick and tired of having the Holocaust rammed down my throat. There have been many genocides in history, not just the Jewsih one.

Time for them to stop trying to make the rest of us feel guilty over something that had nothing to do with us.

By the way, if the Jews are to have laws forbidding denial of the Holocaust then I want laws forbidding denial of Pius XII's great friendship for that race and his great assistance to them in their hour of suffering.

Anonymous said...

On traditional-ists:

Actually, it is the line from Traditio that there is a problem with the -ist suffix. That is because they got it wrong, as usual. Jordanes will never be as much a pedant as I am. The truth is that the field of reference for the -ist suffix is much larger than Traditio and others seem to think. It can mean and does mean (in usage) merely someone who values tradition, with or without (or both) the capital t.

In some sense, every true Catholic is a traditionalist. I use the term 'semi-traditionalist' [I should use italics here and not inverted commas--but this program won't allow it] to refer to those whose adherence to Catholic tradition is limited or partial. Down the scale from them are the neo-conservatives, who have newly discovered a liking for things traditional but who are not traditional in their bones. I have always been traditional, even as a small child (so I'm told). In fact, I refused to wear jeans or listen to rock noise even as a child and when these things were all in vogue. I have always been traditional by natural inclination. But I do agree that people can come to this view.

In some ways, I prefer out-and-out liberals to neo-cons. At least with the former, you know where you stand. Neo-cons are usually also papolaters. They are people (often converts) who start with the emotional premise that the Pope must be right about everything, and then they work backwards to try to find premises by which to prove it. When they hear that the Pope has changed the Good Friday prayer, a neo-con instinctively feels that this must have been necessary or good, whereas a traditionalist, before he thinks about it, feels a real wound to the heart that something precious has been harmed, just as he feels a real cut to the heart upon hearing someone refer to our Lady as a 'you' instead of a 'thou'.

I must prefer a mediæval Catholic approach to a post-Tridentine triumphalist one. The former positon was much less respectful of papal prestige and often thought of the popes as Italian princes. I see this, if anything, as a refreshing counterbalance against the young puppy neo-cons, who worship Peter's successor instead of his Master.

An exaggeration of papal prestige and authority is exactly what got us into this mess in the 1960s. I prefer to be respectful but dubious when it comes to papal claims. In light of the devastation wrought by Vatican II, there is good reason for this. One could also consier the exact contradiction on the status of the old Mass between "De Missali Romano", 1971 (not to be confused with "Missale Romanum", 1970, an apostolic constitution) and "Summorum Pontificum", 2007. Even neo-cons must agree that two contradictory papal statements can't both be true. But if they can't get around this, they simply prefer not to think about it too much.

They should re-consider. This contradiction has been a MAJOR source of injustice. Stop for just a moment and think about it. What about all those priest who were unjustly disciplined for exercising their rights over the last forty years? WHERE is the compensation for them? Cardinal Stickler, God bless his holy soul, let it out of the bag before he died that fifteen such cases made it to the Apostolic Signature and, in every single one, the disciplinary actions of local bishops was OVERTURNTED. Somehow, Rome managed to keep this quiet, perhaps by threatening these priests, telling them Rome might abolish the old Mass for real.

Neo-cons will tend to salute and obey if the Pope steps in to settle anything--anything at all. This is not the best way to show a true fidelity to and love for the Successors of Peter. Neoo-cons are motivated by a misplaced sense of loyalty instead of a true love which proceeds from the inner recesses of the heart. True love for the Pope is a love which is prepared even to wound if need be.

Neo-cons also want to reconcile the authority of the Church with the authority of the secular press. Oh, can't we just have our cake and eat it, too? Can't we just embrace the rabbis of Jerusalem while showing fidelity to Peter? No, you can't. The rabbis of Jerusalem and all infidels are the deadly enemies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

On the opposite side, we have the 'archtraditionalists', usually in the S.S.P.X. They start with the premise that the Society position must be the correct one, since it pleases them and they've supporting the Society for years. They might note, however, some problems. For instance, Abp. Lefebvre would clearly not approve of their continuing disobedience. Also, there is a real change in Bishop Fellay's recent position. A few short weeks ago, he spoke as if a reconciliation with Rome was years and years away. Now, suddenly, it's only days away (before the Williamson fiasco).

Real traditionalism (check the O.E.D. as the CORRECT resource, as always, for the suffix) is both emotional and searingly rational--and honest. The two go hand-in-hand. When someone acting traditional tells you that, actually, the T. forms of the personal pronoun are more affective, not more formal, which is absolutely incorrect (and reflects a real ignorance about a specialised liturgical usage derived from the Wycliffite Bible of 1382), you know that you are dealing with a neo-con or semi-trad who was probably once a hippie in the past and had too much hair, including facial hair. I have a knack for being able to identify such people. I don't condemn them but I am wary of them. I'll be dead honest: I don't like former hippies who 'discovered' traditionalism. I don't trust them the way I trust the old Raccolta.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

Let me offer a somewhat different view of tradition.

Tradition for a Catholic as Catholic is what has been handed down from the Apostles. The handing down is accomplished through the supernatural virtue of faith. In essence it has nothing to do with a suspicion of novelty, or the love of the tried and true, or your self-confessed precocious old fogeyism. It is a matter of truth, grace and correspoendence with grace. As Gregory the Great once said of Jesus (if memory serves): he did not say, I am custom; he said, I am truth.

This is not to say that tradition in a natural sense is not often enough a good thing; but it is to say that it has nothing more to do with supernatural truth and virtue than any other natural truth or virtue.

If natural traditionalism is the driving force in a man, he is just another conservative, by which I mean someone for whom religion is just one of the things that is consistent with his leanings, tastes, prejudices and circumstances, rather than the one thing needful.

Or to put it another way, he is just William F. Buckley, Jr. (RIP), except that he gives a bigger place in his life to religion and a smaller place to yachts and skiing in Gstaad than was WFB's wont.

Or to put it still another way, religion is at best his only hobby.

St. Paul enjoins us to flee fornication. We also need to flee a primarily natural traditionalism.