Rorate Caeli

The turning tide:
The Bishops of Poland congratulate the Pope


The President of the Polish Episcopal Conference sent a letter on the matter of the removal of the excommunications of the SSPX Bishops to Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope's "great courage" is praised by the Polish bishops, who also assure the Holy Father of their prayer.

Excerpts:

Warsaw, February 6, 2009.

Beloved Holy Father,

On behalf of the bishops of the Polish Episcopal Conference, I wish to express to Your Holiness words of gratitude for the latest gestures and steps, which have shown the concern of the Successor of St. Peter for the unity of the Church of Christ.

Opening the door of dialogue in view of the healing of a painful split is an act of great courage and genuine pastoral charity, ... .

We trust that this paternal gesture will be greeted with a similar willingness and openness on the part of the bishops and the faithful of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X and will lead them to accept without reservations the whole teaching and discipline of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the recent Popes.

In response to the call to prayer, rest assured, Holy Father, that the Church in Poland is constantly supporting the Successor of St. Peter in his concern for all the Churches and prays to the Lord that every step towards the reconciliation of the Christian faithful may bring forth fruit.
...

† Józef Michalik
Metropolitan Archbishop of Przemyśl
President of the Polish Episcopal Conference

† Stanisław Gądecki
Vice President
Polish Episcopal Conference

† Stanisław Budzik
Secretary-General
Polish Episcopal Conference
______________
Original text (Polish).

24 comments:

Peter said...

"accept without reservations the whole teaching and discipline of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the recent Popes."

So, what's new? Nihil novi sub Sole. It's really similar to other bishops' conferences statements. Maybe the tone is a bit more polite, that's all. BTW, Msgr. Michalik has been recently accused of collaboration with the communist secret services.

New Catholic said...

It is much more respectful, and truly concerned with the religious question. It does not mention the secular subjects which are not directly related to the Pope's act. It assures the Holy Father of their prayers. It is clearly an act of submission to the Pope - much more than any previous declaration.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the tone is very good, it remains offensive to suggest that the SSPX does not accept the whole teaching and discipline of the Church.

New Catholic said...

True, but that is the same tone used in the very note of the Secretariat of State. The fact that the Polish Episcopal Conference waited for an actual statement by the Vatican, instead of publishing hasty semi-critical reactions to feed the media circus, is also noteworthy.

Confiteor said...

It's good to see a Bishops' Conference that isn't likely to go into schism. That's coming, just wait. I'm betting on Germany.

These days, any show of support for the Holy Father is better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you New Catholic, this is a very respectful statement of support for our Holy Father . . . no extraneous commentary, how refreshing.

As for the comment, "We trust that this paternal gesture will be greeted with a similar willingness and openness on the part of the bishops and the faithful of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X and will lead them to accept without reservations the whole teaching and discipline of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the recent Popes."

That is a fair and honest statement.

The SSPX is clearly stating their long-standing reservations about Vatican II, as they should. These Bishops are supporting the Vatican's position, as they should.

Now what the Church needs is for the theological discussions to reconcile how both positions can be true.

Brian

New Catholic said...

Meanwhile, Bishop Kurt Koch, President of the Swiss Episcopal Conference is saying in an open letter to the faithful today: "Isn't the price to pay for unity too steep?"

Thank you, Polish Bishops!

Anonymous said...

"it remains offensive to suggest that the SSPX does not accept the whole teaching and discipline of the Church."

I concurr, whole heartedly.

And add: it is offensive to say that Vatican II promoted the whole teaching and discipline of the church.

Anonymous said...

Here we have it again, the growing chorus from the episcopal conferences to accept *without reservations* (a clear reference to "with reservations" in Bishop Fellay's letter) the whole teaching and discipline of Vatican II.

This IS new over what was indicated in late January. No Catholic is required to agree to such teachings, only to agree that Vatican II was an œcunmenical council (and then only if asked to do so).

Why not a demand that the S.S.P.X accept the whole teaching without reservations of Lyons II or Lateran IV?

Anyway, we can see the pressure mounting on the Holy Father. This is not really a statement of support from the Polish bishops but a demand in disguise. The Polish bishops are reacting to the earlier news that the S.S.P.X would only be required to accept the Pope's Sacred Magisterium and that Vatican II, that least of all œcumenial councils, would not even be mentioned.

This is NOT an act of submission to the Pope. It is a diplomatically-worded demand that the Pope force the Society to agree to the teachings of Vatican II.

People on this list need to learn a thing or two about diplomaticspeak. And no, the German Episcopal Conference is not about to go into schism. They can scream, scream, scream but the truth is that, without the prestige of Rome, they'd dissipate in the wind. All the French and German bishops have to show the world are empty churches, empty seminaries, and closing Catholic schools

P.K.T.P.

Castor said...

The differences between statements of the various conferences reveals a difference in intent. The Germans and Canadians come across as putting local concerns ahead of the Catholic (Universal) Church's, and certainly ahead of those of the Pope.

Cas said...

I find the Canadian response puzzling, especially when one considers the large amounts of time and money that they spend on ecumenicalia with non-Catholics and non-Christians contrasted with the notable lack of ecumenical efforts towards (and even the remotest contact with) the SSPX. By the way, they will answer the telephone.

okie said...

Will you "anonymous" ingrates quit bitching? This is exactly what gives traditionalists everywhere a bad name...nothing will ever be good enough for you! Why so quick to take offense? What happened to charity, which "New Catholic" is clearly showing in posting these comments, because of the charity the Polish Bishops have shown? I understand: you have been beaten down for 40+ years and been treated badly by the rest of the Church you rightfully belong to...but where in the account of our Lord's passion do you get any sort of idea that we should act with such suspicion and bitterness? How are you any better than the secular world who can onlyl furrow their brow when the Holy Father has acted so graciously and mercifully? Why read every ill intent into any line? Why act like the fight is over before it began? Why have you set your souls against joy? STOP IT! Rejoice, Jesus Christ Reigns at the Right Hand of His Father, or have you forgotten how to rejoice?

Prima said...

Well said, Okie.

Dan Hunter said...

"This is NOT an act of submission to the Pope. It is a diplomatically-worded demand that the Pope force the Society to agree to the teachings of Vatican II."


Which the Holy Father will not do.

That point is moot anyhow.

The Polish Bishops should be commended for their support of the lifting of the excommunications.

Why else would they aprove unless they want the FSSPX to be regularised, and they know that this will not happen unless the Holy Father does not demand complete placidity with the Second Vatican Council documants.

Fr G said...

What I find remarkable about this statement is that there is no mention of Bishop Williamson. This from the Bishops who represent a nation which was cruely treated by the Nazi and lost many of its people in the Concentration camps.
Which Bishops have been making the most fuss over Mons Williamson. The Germans and Austrians. The two conferences representing the nations that caused the Camps. The French Bishops representing a nation that collaborated with the camps and the Swiss who made a lot of money from the Nazis. Amazing what a guilty conscience will do.

Fr G said...

What I find remarkable about this statement is that there is no mention of Bishop Williamson. This from the Bishops who represent a nation which was cruely treated by the Nazi and lost many of its people in the Concentration camps.
Which Bishops have been making the most fuss over Mons Williamson. The Germans and Austrians. The two conferences representing the nations that caused the Camps. The French Bishops representing a nation that collaborated with the camps and the Swiss who made a lot of money from the Nazis. Amazing what a guilty conscience will do.

Hebdomadary said...

Regarding the Manila situation, this is typical of the Vat II obstructionist generation, and particularly of Bishops who have clergy beholden to them for their living and retirement. "Sure the Pope reaffirms your right to celebrate, but just try to go against me, and you'll be out trying to get work at a 7-11 to avoid starvation, AND you'll be paying for your own health insurance." This is just another exposure of the intolerant disregard for church law, and one-sided principals, which guide the children of the 1960's. Let them be anathema. They're certainly not any part of a church to which I belong.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. Hunter's comments:

Look, here is what the Polish bishops say: the S.S.P.X must "accept without reservations the whole teaching and discipline of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council".

Note that verb "accept"; not recognise but accept.

Now compare this with recent reports from Rome and from Bishop Fellay himself: the document to be signed will not ask us to accept the teachings of Vatican II specifically but only to accept the Sacred Magisterium of the Pope, which necessarily includes his right to interpret all documents and the degree of authority they bear.

You are dreaming in technicolour, Mr. Hunter. How naive some people on this blog are. The Polish bishops are speaking more irenically and more diplomatically, but the message is the same: they must kiss Dignitatius Humanæ "without reservations". I suggest that Mr. Hunter spend some time watching old episodes of "Yes, Minister". Then he'd know how to decode these statements.

I guess that Mr. Hunter didn't notice that Fellay had used the expression "with reservations", and the Polish bishops answer "without reservation". This is not even subtle; its a sledgehammer.

What will the Holy Father demand of the Society? I have no idea. Will he cave in to these bishops' conferences, as he caved in to the two rabbis of Palestine (plus the newspapers they informed) on the Good Friday Prayer? I'm not sure.

There may be some wiggle room here. Rome might ask the Society to recognise that Vatican II was a legitimate œcumenical council which is only authoritatively interpreted by the Pope's Sacred Magisterium. That would at least mention the Council but not require the impossible of the Society, for none of us are bound to accept the teachings of Vatican II, as it was not a dogma of the Faith.

Fair is fair. I propose that Hans Goon and Bernard Häring and Roger Cardinal Baloney be hauled out of their houses by their hair and required to assent in public to Lateran IV, Trent, and Vatican I. If they refuse, they should be laicised and defrocked on the spot, for, unlike Vatican 2½, those WERE dogmatic councils.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On Manila:

These limitations are completely ulta vires ab initio. But it is unlikely that a mere parish priest will stand up to a cardinal-archbishop who controls more than just promotions and transfers.

We need a fuller interpretation of "Summorum Pontificum", plus the promised clarification for it. I have argued elsewhere that Article 1 (a subtle Article but the most important at the end of the day) actually requires every diocese to offer at least one daily T.L.M., enoforceable if three or more persons ask for it. It is in the first instance the duty of local bishops to see to it that the old Mass is given honour and respect for its venerable tradition. Article 1 makes this a REQUIREMENT if you read the Latin text: a requirement, not a strong recommendation. (Why daily? Because the calendar varies by the day, not by the hour or by the week.)

But we can all see why a regularisation of the Society is needed. At the very least, freedom for us would be attained de jure if Rome would only make offical and public what she has admitted privately in letters to faithful since 2002: that, even though Society Masses are illicit, they nevertheless fulfil the Sunday obligation for anyone who does not have a schismatic intent (meaning all of us).

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

"We trust that this paternal gesture will be greeted with a similar willingness and openness on the part of the bishops and the faithful of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X and will lead them to accept without reservations the whole teaching and discipline of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the recent Popes."

While most of the Polish Bishop's letter is praiseworthy, this little insidious paragraph is definitly imflammatory, and probably isn't at all what the Pope is planning.
I'll bet his requirements for the SSPX might be alot less than this.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this Cardinal PAST retirement age.

Time to pressure to get him out, and a traditional Catholic in.


(Isn't he the guy with the worst case of overbite I have ever seen....let's buy him a set of braces)

Anonymous said...

P.T.K.P.,

I think you are worrying too much.

You wrote, "What will the Holy Father demand of the Society? I have no idea. Will he cave in to these bishops' conferences, as he caved in to the two rabbis of Palestine . . . on the Good Friday Prayer? I'm not sure."

The Holy Father is working to heal the situation; he is not looking to make the situation worse. He would not have begun this only to reverse course, thereby pushing the SSPX even further away.

When you stir up a pond, as Bishop Williamson did, the water gets all murkey. But if you stop stirring, as Bishop Williamson, recognizing his error, agreed to do, the water becomes clear again. Pope Benedict is waiting for the mud to settle out, then he will move forward.

As for the Polish Bishops, they express gratitude to the Pope for working to heal the split and they did not bring up that other extraneous matter. They pray that every step towards the reconciliation of the Christian faithful may bring forth fruit. That's a good thing.

If they disagree with the SSPX position, what else would you expect? It is just as unrealistic to expect these Bishops to suddenly embrace the SSPX position as it is to expect the SSPX to suddenly embrace every word of Vatican II without reservations.

The Pope and Bishop Fellay and Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos are committed to making this work, and they will do so.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe them. They hate FSSPX and tradition.

LeonG said...

"...accept without reservations the whole teaching and discipline of the Church, including the Second Vatican Council..."


Disingenuous.