Answers of the German district regarding the Pope’s visit
What is the opinion of District Superior in Germany of the Society of St. Pius X, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, regarding the Pope’s visit?
The press agency DAPD asked Pater Schmidberger nine questions in respect of the Pope’s visit.
The discussions between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X last Wednesday reached a critical point – the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is putting conditions. In view of this situation, what are your feelings in view of the visit of Benedict XVI?
We await the visit of the Holy Father to our fatherland with happy anticipation –after all because he is the Vicar of Christ, the Incarnate God on earth. This is true regardless of how the discussions of our Society with the Vatican proceed .
What are your expectations from the visit of the German Pope in Germany?
We all hope that this will lead to a considerable reinforcement of the faith. The Pope should explain to the German people that Christianity rests on faith in the Triune God, on our Lord Jesus Christ and on the Church founded by him and that beyond this truth there can be and there isn't any real spiritual life, no hope for the individual and no happy future for society. Pax Christi in regno Christi – the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ. To this must also be added love for the Church and for our Christian Tradition. To be Christian is no burdensome load but a merciful and liberating grace.
For the first time the Pope will visit the new “Bundesländer”, where the Catholics are not in the majority. What impulses may be brought to those federal states by the visit of the Pope?
The Pope may suggest to the Evangelical Christians in Germany a similar structure for the return to the Father’s house which was made for the Anglicans in England who wished to return and which proved to be most beneficial. True Ecumenism would be to return to the roots, which were the ground for the whole Church up to the Reformation.
How does the Society of St. Pius follow the Pope’s journey to Germany?
We will follow with the utmost attention the visit of the Pope in the media and distribute flyers to the believers at the various services. Moreover, we have prepared this event in our Priories by a nine-days devotion.
Do you recommend to your faithful to participate in the services held in connection with the visit of the Pope – or do you rather dissuade against them?
We have not issued any special outlines in this respect. They all know our reservations against the new Liturgy and these regretfully hold also for the masses held by the Pope.
What do you as the District Superior think of a celebration of the Eucharist in a football stadium with a colorful opening act and with both boys and girls serving as altar servers?
All those mass meeting have in them the danger of an “event”, that is they lack the sacral character, dignity and sanctity. And also, in the whole history of the Church, there have never been any female altar servers, simply because this service at the altar is connected in a remote way to that of the Priest, and according to the will of our Lord this is reserved for men. Female altar servers is an invention made by liberal churchmen, for whom the spirit of the times is more important than the faith and the consciousness of the Church, the “sentire cum Ecclesia”.
According to the wish of the Pope, one of the main emphasis of this journey laid will be the Ecumenical question – in Erfurt there will be a discussion and an ecumenical service of the word. What do you expect will come out of this?
It is always of great value and use to speak to people. However, one should above all ask churchmen the following question: Has Christ instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Priesthood, given us the sacramental confession and built his Church on Peter? Ecumenical word services not only are not helpful, they spread confusion and contribute to religious relativism.
In the very beginning of his journey the Pope meets with representatives of the Central Council of the Jews. Dealing with other religions is one of the points where the differences between the Vatican and the SSPX are greatest. What do you think of this planned meeting?
Also here there should be a focus on the question of the truth. The first Pope, St. Peter at Pentecost answered the question of the Jews that were gathered in the Cenacle: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2, 37-38). Why should not his present successor say the same?
In Berlin especially, lesbians and homosexuals wish to go out on the streets and protest against the visit by the Pope and the Church’s teaching on sexual morality – and they will probably be given much attention. Do you think that these protests will be a threat and take over the message that the Pope wishes to convey?
These protests will make clear how far Germany already is from the faith of its fathers, to what extent immorality is public and how far the hatred of God has penetrated society. Germany is far and wide a newly pagan country which has to be proselytized again. Also for these people we will pray.
Interview with Fr. Franz Schmidberger
An interview with Fr. Franz Schmidberger published on the website of the SSPX German District on September 22, 2011 (trans. by friends of Rorate):