Saturday, January 31, 2009

Radio Vatican criticises the Roman Curia

in the Weekly Commentary of their German service

I now ask all those who appreciate Pope Benedict to have confidence that I have the same high respect for him, his office and his church, when I put the work of some people in the Vatican under the microscope. I do not do this to soil my own nest, but because millions of decent people have serious questions of Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church. My criticism is an expression of appreciation of the Pope, the Vatican and the Catholic Church.
And now I want to say:

The Vatican in the last few days went wrong. Why could a spokesman not explain?: We have made some mistakes. There is something wrong.

That the Pope was concerned about the unity of the church is a cause for happiness. The fact that some confused the lifting of excommunication with a complete rehabilitation can surprise or anger. The fact that an illicit Bishop to whom the Pope had made concessions was outed as a Holocaust denier and made himself beyond the pale of society – that can seem only fatal. Especially, as one can suspect still quite different depths of reaction in the separated Society of St Pius X.

Clearly said: This concurrence of the lifting the excommunication and the Holocaust-denial by Bishop Williamson was fatal. Simply fatal. Afterwards, the Vatican again patches things up and limita damage – just as they did after the Regensburg speech. There is a really important requirement - namely to preserve the unity of the Church – which had unprofessionally been thrown into the works. It is not just the "evil media", who staged a Bishop Williamson scandal to harm the reputation of the Pope. Even in the Vatican errors in this matter have been made.

Benedict XVI on Wednesday did the right thing when he did not point the finger at others, but (not for the first time) clearly rejected any denial of the Holocaust. Whoever knows the Pope knows how much the relationship to Judaism lies close to his heart. Unfortunately, you sometimes have the impression that in the Vatican there are also people who pursue their own agenda - and thereby run the risk of serious damage to the reputation of the Catholic Church and the Catholic-Jewish relationship.

Already, according newspaper leaks a Vatican cardinal has accused another that the lifting of the excommunication was hastily and carelessly pushed through. It would not be the first reference to "sloppiness" with serious consequences in the Vatican. Benedict XVI invites the Cardinals repeatedly to loyally cooperate in the governance of the church – one must judge the Roman curia against this requirement.

With these words, I want to show that the Pope was not to blame for what scandalised people all around the world, but unfortunately people in the Vatican for their unprofessional or stubborn way of working.

See also Cardinal Re furious with Cardinal Hoyos

Neo-Catholic Sour Grapes

described in The Remnant:

In my online article on the courageous decision of Pope Benedict XVI to annul the long-contested excommunications of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X (“Triumph and Tribulation,” posted 1/26/09), I took exception to the opinions of Bishop Williamson concerning the Holocaust (“there was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers; it was all lies, lies, lies,” etc.) as aired in a November 2008 televised interview suspiciously released to the Internet days before the excommunications were lifted. I offered a refutation of those opinions and expressed the fear that unless the Society took immediate remedial action, what should have been an unalloyed triumph for tradition could become a debacle.

Call to interupt beatification process of Pope Pius XII

Präsident der Deutsch-Israelischen Gesellschaft Gerster (CDU) kritisiert Vatikan / Nach Williamson-Affäre jetzt Seligsprechung Pius' XII. aussetzen

The President of the German-Israeli Society and longtime head of the Christian Democratic Union associated Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Israel Johannes Gerster has voiced criticism of the Vatican: he had "as a Catholic, my problems with the rehabilitation of the Holocaust denier Bishop Williamson. From Rome, "more sensitivity" must be expected. Gerster cautioned the Vatican, to change the beatification process of Pope Pius XII. He considers this "even more important." Pius was elected Pope in 1939, the year of World War II began in 1939 and is still onsidered by critics the silent one in the Vatican who did nothing against the Holocaustng. Gerster said, especially in light of the Williamson affair, it was important that the beatification of the pope should be halted "until after the opening of the Vatican documents and a thorough public discussion about them". He was himself convinced that the Church from such a "full transparency should expect no disadvantages".

On the unity of the Church and the silence of Bishops

Epistle to the Ephesians of St. Ignatius. Tomorrow is his Feastday and his words are ever relevant in these troubled times.

Chapter 3 Exhortations to unity
I do not issue orders to you, as if I were some great person. For though I am bound for the name [of Christ], I am not yet perfect in Jesus Christ. For now I begin to be a disciple, and I speak to you as fellow-disciples with me. For it was needful for me to have been stirred up by you in faith, exhortation, patience, and long-suffering. But inasmuch as love suffers me not to be silent in regard to you, I have therefore taken upon me first to exhort you that you would all run together in accordance with the will of God. For even Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, is the [manifested] will of the Father; as also bishops, settled everywhere to the utmost bounds [of the earth], are so by the will of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 4. The same continued

Wherefore it is fitting that you should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop, which thing also you do. For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp. Therefore in your concord and harmonious love, Jesus Christ is sung. And man by man, become a choir, that being harmonious in love, and taking up the song of God in unison, you may with one voice sing to the Father through Jesus Christ, so that He may both hear you, and perceive by your works that you are indeed the members of His Son. It is profitable, therefore, that you should live in an unblameable unity, that thus you may always enjoy communion with God.

Chapter 5. The praise of unity
For if I in this brief space of time, have enjoyed such fellowship with your bishop — I mean not of a mere human, but of a spiritual nature— how much more do I reckon you happy who are so joined to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father, that so all things may agree in unity! Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses Matthew 18:19 such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself. For it is written, God resists the proud. Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God.

Chapter 6. Have respect to the bishop as to Christ Himself
Now the more any one sees the bishop keeping silence, the more ought he to revere him
For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, Matthew 24:25 as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself. And indeed Onesimus himself greatly commends your good order in God, that you all live according to the truth, and that no sect has any dwelling-place among you. Nor, indeed, do you hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ speaking in truth.

Church dissident calls for removal of Pope

from FT Germany:

The criticism of Pope Benedict XVI because of the rehabilitation of the controversial Bishop Richard Williamson does not stop. Israel has in consequence threatened with the severance of diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Salomon Korn, vice president of the Central Council of Jews, called it unforgivable that a Holocaust denier could be acceptable in society. The theologian Hans Küng even called for the Pope to be changed. He obviously had no idea of the degree to which his action would be considered disastrous.

Cathcon note the German word means change or removal.

This well known dissident supplements one ultra-counter-productive statement, that of Bishop Williamson with another.

The FT are probably referring to Kueng's 'If Obama were Pope'.

No wondere he is outside of the Church leadership- he clearly thinks in political rather than divine categories. Obama has a chance of becoming the most disappointing President in American history (some competition there however from Jimmy Carter)- the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, the head of the Catholic Church, against which the gates of hell will not prevail, even unto the end of time. The leadership cannot be changed at the whim of thoroughly secular priest however well known and beloved in the world.

Feast of St John Bosco

On May 30, 1862, Don Bosco recounted that, in a dream, he had seen an immense sea, on which a great many ships were arranged for battle, against a larger and taller ship. He also saw others which were defending the tall ship. Here are his words: "In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky. One is surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin, at whose feet a large inscription reads: 'Auxilium Christianorum,' ('Help of Christians'). The other, far loftier and sturdier, supports a Host of Proportionate size, and bears beneath it the inscription: 'Salus credentium,' ('Salvation of believers'). "The flagship commander the Roman Pontiff standing at the helm, strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns, from whose summit hang many anchors, and strong hooks linked to chains. The entire enemy fleet closes in, to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as, unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on its course. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull, but, immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.

"Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up; firearms and beaks fall to pieces; ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In a blind fury, the enemy takes to hand to hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up, but, struck a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy, and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead, than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly, that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self assurance wanes.

"Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ships safely between the two coiumns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host, and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other.

"Some auxiliary ships, which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship, are the first to tie up at the two columns. Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then they, too, head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks, and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea."

German Far-Right Hails Holocaust Denier Williamson

from Der Spiegel

Germany's far right has welcomed the move by German Pope Benedict XVI to lift the excommunication of British bishop Richard Williamson, who denied the Holocaust in an interview last week. German Jewish leaders are appalled at the decision.

In the churches and chapels of the Society of Saint Pius X, the incense burners at the holy masses have been swung with even greater vigor since the weekend in joy over the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to lift the excommunication of their founding father, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the bishops he ordained, among them Archbishop Richard Williamson.

Israel threatens to break with Vatican

Israelischer Minister droht Vatikan

Yitzhak Cohen, the Minister for Religious Affairs is threatening a break in diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

in the next edition of Spiegel he writes that he recommends "fully breaking the ties with a body in which holocaust deniers and antisemites are members".

Cardinal Kasper tries to hinder conversion of Anglicans

Report from the official Italian news agency.

Sources close to the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians, the Vatican ministry responsible for ecumenical dialogue recalled that the conversion was a strictly personal matter. 'We have not been consulted - in addition - we would not agree to a return as a group'

Full background from Articles of Faith

Cardinal Barbarin on Bishop Williamson

He says that the apology is "absolutely insufficient".

''They're totally inadequate excuses that do not correspond to those which his superior gave, who asked for forgiveness from the Pope and from all those who have been wounded by those words. There 'was no retraction''said Cardinal Barbarin French radio RTL.

Anti-Life Catholic US Lawmakers Call for Direct Repudiation of Bishop Williamson's views

Fifty Catholic members of Congress have written Pope Benedict XVI, asking him to directly reject the views of British-born Bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied the scale of the Holocaust. Benedict last week reinstated Williamson and three other bishops who have rejected the church's teachings from the second Vatican Council. An excerpt:

'We understand that . . . you do not share in his views. And we welcome your recent statement expressing 'full and indisputable solidarity' with the Jewish people. But this is too sensitive an issue to be handled without a direct repudiation of Bishop Williamson's views. As a spiritual leader and the head of the Catholic Church, we believe it is vital that you publicly state your unequivocal position on this matter so that it is clear where the Church stands on one of the most consequential events of the 20th century. To neglect to do so is to allow others to portray it as they wish and impede the progress made over so many years toward harmony and reconciliation.'

Hopefully the Pope will write back reminding them of their solemn obligation towards life in the womb. It is morally impossible to protest against the crime of the holocaust and then to vote for abortion. The killing of the innocent is a crime.

From the Congressional Voting record, of the fifty, 36 have a zero record of being pro-life, including one Patrick Kennedy. Two George Miller and Carolyn Mccarthy have 100 percent record of voting pro-life, two more 85 percent, two more 71 percent, and two more a mere fourteen percent. The rest are new entrants.

Don't forget these are all Catholics who wish to give the Pope advice when they themselves show little or no loyalty to his moral teaching, apart from the noble exceptions cited. They are asking Bishop Williamson to repent, time they did some of their own.

Letter here

Rabbi not critical of the Pope

Brad Hirschfield: Pope Benedict and Society of Pius - On Faith at

But only if he now makes a guesture to the progressive side of the Church. He has a dim politicised view of the Catholic Church, as one would expect from someone who does not believe in Her Divine foundation and guidance.

The Glory of once Catholic England, Wales and Scotand

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Cardinal Schönborn criticises Vatican (II)

No thats not Vatican II but a follow up to the previous report!

The interview- sorry its in German- prior to the Cardinal leading laity calling for married clergy and more lay participation.

Diocese of Linz gets what it needs and deserves

Zerreißprobe für Diözese, Rom setzt Erzkonservativen als Linzer Weihbischof ein Endurance test for Diocese, Rome appoints archconservative as Auxilliary Bishop of Linz.

The extremely conservative current parish priest of Windischgarsten, Maria Gerhard Wagner, is new Bishop of the Diocese of Linz.

The news leaked from Vienna church sources to the Upper Austrian News will be officially announced in the next few days. Many engaged Catholics of the Diocese of Linz will perceive this as a provocation. The diocese could have a test of endurance.

According to unconfirmed information, no candidate was considered appearing on the proposed list of Linz Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz. Allegedly, Rome has directly taken the decision. Even the Vienna Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn was not directly involved in the decision-making.

Vicar General Severin Lederhilger could feel deep disappointment at this decision. The Vicar-General was considered one of the favorites and was also next to the former Chaplain of the Seminary of Linz, Johann Hintermaier on the Bishop’s three name candidate list.
The future bishop is so far noted mainly for controversial statements and absolute fidelity to Rome. He has said that environmental disasters are close to divine punishment. The diocese was forced to distance itself from Wagner. (Cathcon- nothing comes except God permits it- an understanding of Catholics in all ages but our own.)

Within the Diocese, Wagner stands for a very controversial minority. According to a church insider, the weight of Wagner's future office is less important than the fact of his appointment. Rome wanted to signal to Linz that the era of liberal and moderate courses are gone.

How Catholics in Upper Austria will react is not yet known. Even the recent decisions (end of (Cathcon regular- of course a layman can baptise in emergency) baptism by laymen) has triggered great resentment in the diocese.

Hat tip to

Cathcon fears he may get the blame after all he has written about the most liberal Diocese in the whole of Europe.

But if the Pope can do this in Linz, he can also do this in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

The time for partying is over. Time to preach the Cross of Christ.
To the Immaculate in thanksgiving, under whose patronage and name the great Bishop Rudiger built the new Cathedral in Linz .

Friday, January 30, 2009

Papal relations -letter in The Times


Pope Benedict XVI's decision over reinstatement of excommunicated bishops shows decided change in direction from days of John Paul II

Given Pope John Paul II was the most progressive Pope in the history of the Church, one cannot be surprised at the disappointment now. Yet all the same progressives who he did so much for, complained bitterly about him at the time

The lifting of the excommunications could have been signed in any year of the previous Papacy after the excommunications themselves which themselves in all Christian charity were unecessary and putatively illicit. Why was it never done? Bishop Williamson would also not at that stage have had a record as long as your arm of pronoucements extra to his episcopal role.

Bishop Williamson’s health

from What Does The Prayer Really Say?

The Italian site Messa In Latino is reporting that perhaps SSPX Bp. Williamson may be suffering, even dying, from cancer.

Among other La Repubblica’s Marco Politti, not my favorite but very well-informed, recounted what Bp. Negri of San Marino said, namely, that Williamson has a tumor and is dying: "Intanto mons. Williamson è chiuso nel seminario di La Reja in Argentina. Il vescovo di San Marino mons. Luigi Negri ha dichiarato a sorpresa a Repubblica-Tv che il presule «ha un tumore e sta morendo."

Also, Card. Castrillon was reported to hav commented on Bp. Williamson’s health.

Please pray!

And subsequently denied via Rorate Caeli.

"His Excellency is alive and well and rumors of a tumor are not true and a very unfortunate attempt to draw Bishop Williamson out into the public arena for some sort of comment or interview."

Please pray in any case for the Bishop.

Ubi Primum on the Duties of Bishops

To Our Venerable Brothers, the Patriarchs, the Primates, the Archbishops, and the Bishops. 

Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Benediction. 

When it first pleased God to raise Us to the supreme See of Saint Peter, He entrusted to Us the power of the Vicar of Christ as governor of His universal Church. We heard the divine voice: 

"Feed my lambs; feed my sheep." The care of both the lambs of the Lord's flock (who are the people scattered through the entire world) and of the sheep, (the bishops who act as tender parents of the lambs) is entrusted to the pope. Therefore, brothers, receive the words of your shepherd through this letter. You are called to share in Our concerns. Understand from Our warnings and exhortations how much the desire to fulfill Our duties presses upon Us. Keep in mind also the strength of Our love for you, which leads Us to earnestly desire the eternal joy of the shepherds which comes from the progress of the flock.


Concluding Exhortation

6. Finally, to cover many matters in a few words, it is fitting that you yourselves be the promoters, the leaders, and the teachers in every sacred and ecclesiastical function and in every exercise of divine worship and of piety. Thus, both the clergy and the whole flock may be enlightened, as if by the brightness of your holiness and may be warmed by the fire of your love. Therefore, be an example for your flock in the frequent celebration of the Mass, in devout offering, in solemn celebration of Masses, in administering the sacraments, in reciting the breviary, in respect for and in the splendor of the churches in the discipline of your household and of your spiritual family, in love for the poor and in helping them, in looking after the sick and supporting them, in welcoming pilgrims with hospitality, and finally in every good work of Christian virtue. Thus, all may be imitators of you just as you are imitators of Christ as is fitting for bishops whom the Holy Spirit placed in charge of the Church of God which Jesus redeemed by His blood. Look back often on the apostles to whose place you have succeeded. Follow in their footsteps in works, in vigilance, in bearing hardship, in keeping the wolves away from your sheep, in removing the roots of vices, in teaching the evangelical law, and in leading back to salutary penance those who have strayed.

The omnipotent and merciful God will surely be with you. In that comforter, we can do everything. We trust that religious princes will give you their help. In addition, this Holy See will assist you whenever you think Our Apostolic authority will be helpful. May all of you whom We love in Christ Jesus come to Us with confidence as Our brothers, Our helpers, and Our crown of glory. Come to the Holy Roman Church, your mother and the head and teacher of all the churches. The source of religion comes from her. The rock of faith and the fount of priestly unity resides here, as well as the teaching of uncorrupted truth. We desire nothing more and find nothing more pleasant than to serve the glory of God with you and to work for the protection and the propagation of the Catholic faith. We want to save souls for whom We would willingly offer Our lives if necessary. Finally, may the great reward which waits for you rouse you and spur you on. When the Prince of Shepherds appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory and a crown of justice which is reserved for those faithful dispensers of the mysteries of God and for those energetic and vigilant observers of the house of Israel, the Holy Church of God. Though unworthy, We take the place of God on earth; accordingly, We bless your brotherhood lovingly. We impart Our apostolic blessing to your clergy and faithful people with paternal affection.

Given in Rome, at St. Mary Major, on the third day of December, 1740, the first year of Our pontificate.
The crisis in the Catholic Church is episcopal, starting with demands for following the "spirit of Vatican" to the exclusion of all other Councils and all the pronouncements of Popes through the ages. 

Full Swedish documentary about SSPX online

Link to video

Hat tip to Articles of Faith, who has an exclusive English article "If Obama were Pope" by Hans Kueng in response to the lifting of the excommunications.

15 theologians re-excommunicate Bishop Williamson

Tübinger Theologen klagen an- Tubingen theologians accuse.

Fifteen theology professors from Tubingen have criticized the lifting of the excommunication of the bishops of the Piusbruderschaft by Pope Benedict XVI. The action constitutes "a nuisance and a heavy burden" on not only their work, but also the work of many priests, pastoral staff, teachers and religious teachers, the Catholic theologians write in a joint statement. They fear that lifting the excommunication of the bishops has highlighted a turning point in post-Conciliar ecclesiastical history . Whoever strives on the basis of the Second Vatican Council for a church and a theology "in an open dialogue with the world and the religions, especially Judaism, are" feels that they have received a punch to the head. We respect the efforts of the Pope for the unity of the Church. Nevertheless, there is now in the Catholic Church bishops who reject "freedom of religion and conscience”, show an openness to an anti-ecumenical understanding, representing a clerical image of the Church within which the common priesthood of all believers has little meaning, and who "deliberately underestimate" the “Conciliar Church”. One of these bishops also denies the full extent of the Shoah and displays an anti-Semitic thinking. He stands thereby, as before, outside the communion of the church. The statement is signed by Urs Baumann, Albert Biesinger, Franz-Josef Bormann, Thomas Freyer, Ottmar Fuchs, Norbert Greinacher, Bernd Jochen Hilberath, Andreas Holzem, Joachim Kohler, Karl-Josef Kuschel, Dietmar Mieth, Andreas Odenthal, Richard Puza, Hans Reinhard Seeliger and Michael Theobald.

Bishop Williamson apologises to Pope and Cardinal Hoyos

Dinoscopus: A Letter

Following in the steps of Our Lord (Jn. XVIII, 23) and St. Paul (Acts, XXIII, 5), Archbishop Lefebvre gave his Society the example of never so cleaving to God's Truth as to abandon respect for the men holding God's Authority. In the midst of last week's media uproar, surely aimed rather at the Holy Father than at a relatively insignificant bishop, here is a letter written to Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on January 28 by that bishop:

To His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos

Your Eminence

Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems.

For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God. So I have only one comment, from the prophet Jonas, I, 12:

"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."

Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday. Most humbly I will offer a Mass for both of you.

Sincerely yours in Christ

+Richard Williamson
Posted by Bishop Richard Williamson

Reports that Cardinal Re attacks Cardinal Hoyos over the lifting of the excommunications


The paleo-liberal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Giovanni Battista Re, appears to be pretty upset about the circumstances of lifting the excommunication of the four-Lefebvre bishops.

The Italian business daily, 'Italia Oggi' reports.

They currently wondering in the Vatican about the question of whether someone had created “hidden pitfalls" in the lifting of the excommunication by the Pope.

The answer to this question allegedly was answered was given to those who last Sunday sat in a bus organized by the Vatican.

Once a year, two buses transport Vatican prelates from St. Peter's Square to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, where the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle takes place.

On one of the front seats of one of these buses is the voice of Cardinal Re has been heard loud and clear: "This Pasticción!"

The expression was a parody of the name of the president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who was in his mind.

The Italian word "pasticcione” means chaotic person or bungler.

According to the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, the –- gas chamber statements (which the anticlerical media highly welcomed) by Bishop Richard Williamson, and the subsequent festival of outrage was entirely the fault of Cardinal Castrillón-Pasticción.

He was in a hurry to lift the excommunication as he did not wish to miss the historic opportunity of ending the conflict with the Society of St Pius X.

"I, too, had only a few hours to view the document " - is Cardinal Re claimed in the bus.

The cardinal also seems to know the reason for the actions of Cardinal Castrillón:

"Everyone knows Castrillón is shortly 80 years old and goes into retirement. If the matter is not immediately completed, he would no longer be able to claim it as his own work."

The wrath of Cardinal Re was apparently directed also towards the author of the decree - the president of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, Bishop Francesco Coccopalmerio - " who has to struggle so much with the Italian language."

Cardinal Re would have preferred to have waited for one month - "and to give the news when the new statute for the Lefebvre supporters was ready. That would have been something completely different and we would have made no such fauxpas. "

The Cardinal was one of those present when the question was asked whether anyone had known about the interview of Bishop Williamson: "But how come" - he replied: "That was all well known to Castrillón-Pasticción. But he probably said nothing, and certainly underestimated the consequences. "

German Bishops understand criticism of the Pope

Deutsche Bischöfe verstehen jüdische Kritik am Papst.

Clear words of Robert Zollitsch: The chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference is "unhappy" about Pope Benedict XVI. He understood the Jewish protest against the rehabilitation of the controversial Bishop Williamson, he said - and demanded an apology from him.

Munich - The German Bishops' Conference seeks again to relax the relationship between Catholics and Jews in Germany. Following the escalation because of the readmission of Richard Williamson into the Catholic Church, the chairman Robert Zollitsch announced he would work for a de-escalation.

Archbishop Zollitsch: "We must do everything possible to ensure that such statements will not be repeated"

The Archbishop of Freiburg showed concern because of the tensions: "I will try soon to meet for talks with representatives of the Central Council of Jews in Germany," he said before a long planned visit to the synagogue in Mannheim. He will, with all his best efforts, ensure the continuance of regular meeting opportunities with Judaism in Germany. There could and should be no turning back in the dialogue between the two religions.

Williamson has denied, inter alia, the existence of gas chambers in the Nazi era denied. Zollitsch said that it was "unfortunate" that the Pope had not taken these comments into consideration when making his decision. There is no doubt that during the Nazi regime crimes had been committed against the Jewish people. "There are people who have been deliberately killed - simply because they were Jews." Zollitsch showed understanding for the sharp criticism from Jewish organizations of the rehabilitation of the papal Bishop Williamson: "I can understand that our Jewish brethren are concerned."

The Chairman of the Bishops' Conference demanded an apology from Williamson, whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI had lifted at the weekend: "Bishop Williamson must take back the statements made by him and apologize." His statements were "factually inaccurate and irresponsible": "We must do everything possible to ensure that such statements will not be repeated." There is no place in the Catholic Church for anti-Semitism and the denial of the Holocaust. The Church is in unceasing dialogue with Judaism. Zollitsch gave the assurance that "We will also do everything in our power to work on the dialogue in Germany."

British MPs condemn lifting of excommunication

on Holocaust denier, Bishop Williamson.

The Tablet in agonies

Pope Benedict’s high risk strategy

Cardinal Schönborn criticises Vatican

Cardinal Schönborn on Williamson: Obviously a mistake has been made here.

Someone, who denies the Holocaust, Shoah denies, cannot be restored to an office in the Church .

The Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn on Thursday evening on the ORF broadcast ZIB 2 in connection with the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St Pius X criticised Vatican colleagues and the information policy at the Vatican. Schönborn said that in connection with the lifting of the excommunication two things must be distinguished, namely the "intention of the pope" and the "information policy of the Vatican."

To quote directly, the Cardinal said: "The intention of the Pope is clear. He wants a reconciliation with this group, which 20 years ago separated from the Catholic Church and been living in a schism. What he has done was simply an outstretched hand. Whether this hand will be taken or not, time will tell. "

Schönborn then criticized the Vatican's information policy and said further: "The four bishops have not been rehabilitated. It was a unilateral gesture of reconciliation to lift the excommunication. But they are not yet in office and dignity. They must now show whether they are ready to take the outstretched hand of the Pope to take. The messages, which have been sent so far, are insufficient. For as long as these four bishops do not entirely clearly recognise the 2nd Vatican Council, it is certainly not full reconciliation. "

On the controversial Bishop Richard Williamson and his statements about the Holocaust, the Cardinal then said : "Obviously a mistake has been made here. Someone, who denies the Holocaust, Shoah denies, cannot be restored to an office in the Church . Here there must be also a certain criticism of the Vatican's criticism of staff practice, which is obviously did not examine the matter carefully or did not examine sufficiently the case in the information that they had.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Times leader attacks Pope over lifting of excommunications

In full here

Now is the time for all good Catholics to come to the defence of the Pope. Cathcon has zero time for Bishop Williamson's holocaust denial, not least because he should have been preaching the Cross of Christ on Swedish TV but also because it indicates he has about as much love for truth in history as the most ardent modernist has in religion and is totally deficient in the matter of charity.

But what exactly is The Times accusing the Pope of?

Again another comment from my hand on the Articles of Faith blog on The Times

I will post at greater length about Bishop Williamson and my utter distaste for his views but one thing occurred to me today was just how modern a Bishop he is. The Pope has been critical of the tendency of bishops to behave like Popes (albeit confined in most cases to their Dioceses) following the powers devolved to them by the Second Vatican Council . Free expression has been the result, unconstrained in some cases by Scripture, Tradition and the constant Magisterium of the Church, constraints which the Pope himself has to operate under.

Strange then that Bishop Williamson takes freedom in his expression to the very limit, a tendency that he would surely deplore if applied to any Bishop but himself. I,for one, only want to hear from Bishops pronouncements on Faith and Morals. The universal law of the Church is the salvation of souls. How Bishop Williamson thought he was fulfilling this supreme law with his comments, I just do not know? I heard him preach once. He assured at great length (if that is the right word!) the congregation that the anti-Christ was approaching and may have already been born but had not been recognised yet. The same question applies.

Sadly, I suspect that Bishop Williamson when he became a Catholic did not leave psychologically his no Popery attitudes at the door, which explains why of all the four bishops he is the most recalcitrant when it comes to reconciliation with the Holy See.

What a way he has chosen to end his career being the second most famous anti-semitic excommunicate after Luther! And after this episode, hopefully we never hear again about posthumously lifting the excommunication on Luther given his views on Jews which make Williamson’s look mild. And the Bishop’s career will be ended for sure, unlike other traditionalists for whom glory beckons.

The Bishop has apologised to the Vatican but he now needs to make an act of reparation to Jews throughout the world. Acts of reparation have fallen into desuetude in the modern Church but it is a practice still found practiced by traditional Catholics

Watch out for tomorrow's leader in The Times on Bishop Williamson

"one of the strongest ever leaders we have carried, in true Thundering tradition."

The Articles of Faith blog also carries letter from the Jewish Christian Council.

The full interview with Fr. Floriano Abrahamowicz

Full SSPX reconciliation imminent

Vatican Insider Projects Speedy SSPX Resolution

Vatican Working on Stable Juridical Structure

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, chief of Human Life International’s Rome bureau, could not confirm the February 2 date, but said his Curial source told him that they are currently busy working out the practical arrangements for a fully regularized Society of St. Pius X.

The final solution “cannot depend upon individual diocesan bishops,” Monsignor Barreiro said, noting the longsuffering many traditionalist Catholics experienced for nearly 20 years under the Ecclesia Dei Adflicta arrangement.

“They would certainly need to have guarantees that where they currently are located, they cannot be touched by the local bishop,” Barreiro said, noting the Society’s chapels being located across the globe, which he described as “de facto parishes.” Barreiro rightly noted that the Society bishops most likely would not accept any solution that involved jurisdiction by the local territorial Ordinary.

France’s Seminaries to be Over One-Third Traditionalist

In fact, specific resistance is most prevalent in the dying churches of France with their bishops and priests. Upon final regularization, Monsignor Barreiro said, “More than one-third of all seminarians in France will be in traditionalist seminaries.” This would include the SSPX, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), the Institute of Good Shepherd and the Institute of Christ the King (ICR) as well as some other lesser known traditionalist priestly groups.

“I expect that some structure like a universal Apostolic Administration may be the only solution,” Monsignor Barreiro said, while cautioning that he did not have direct access to the specific details.

Bishop Williamson goes to ground

Behind the walls of his seminary. Press not admitted, priest in soutane says Bishop Williamson is taking his siesta. One journalist who loitered too close to the seminary was threatened with the police.

Personal prelature on the way for ex-Angliicans.

- almost time for another Te Deum!

Head of German Jewish Community breaks off dialogue with the Catholic Church

We have nothing to talk about but emphasises the words, "for the moment" and goes on to praise the Pope as one of the most educated and intelligent people in the Catholic Church.

Pope's words "'A great step forwards in resolving this question'

according to the Chief Rabbinate

Pope Benedict XVI's strong stand against denying the Holocaust was welcomed Wednesday by the highest Jewish authority in Israeli, which had threatened to sever ties indefinitely with the Vatican. ...

The director general of the Chief Rabbinate, Oded Wiener, later told ANSA that the pope's words were 'a great step forwards in resolving this question'. 'His statements were very important for us and for the whole world,' he added.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No More Excommunication for the Lefebvrists.

But Peace Is Still Far Off

French intellectuals launch petition against Bishop Williamson

Pas de négationnistes dans l'Eglise- No Holocaust deniers in the Church

The appeal of Catholic intellectuals

"I believe that the gas chambers did not exist." This infamous credo that has nothing do with Christianity, we heard Thursday 22 January from the mouth of Bishop Richard Williamson, one of four fundamentalist bishops ordained in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre. This is not a surprise: for years, the prelate multiplied his provocative statements.

However, the lifting of the excommunications burdening the Lefebrvists two days after created a tragic ambiguity, suggesting that Rome was restoring negationism or at least considered it a licit opinion to be seen as innocent.

This ambiguity is simply unbearable.

Unbearable, because behind the mask of denial, we find the most hideous face of anti-Semitism.

Unbearable, because the last half-century of (Cathcon Pope) John XXIII to (Cathcon Pope) Benedict XVI, the Church has undertaken a long process of repentance in connection with anti-semitism. It has continued to meet and seek reconciliation with those that John Paul II called "our elder brothers." In doing so, she found her roots: Jesus, Mary, the disciples were Jews.

We, the signatories to this appeal, see therefore the words of Bishop Williamson as an infringement of our personal Christian faith.

We believe that the bishop cannot find his place in the church, without explicit and sincere repentance on his part.

We ask the Pope to condemn the remarks of Bishop Williamson. In our eyes, now, the only way to repair the damage that this situation has made known to the Church herself.

Jacques Delors, formerly the Head of the EU Commission in Brussels is among the signatories. A socialist who I believe attends Mass every day.

Bishop Williamson apologises to Vatican

Monseñor Williamson también se muestra conciliador- Bishop Williamson is also a conciliator.

We continue to give world firsts. And of importance. The Vatican has just received a letter from Bishop Williamson apologising for the damage caused by reckless statements in a tone and content that has very pleasantly surprised.

I think it is a desirable step in the understanding with the group that was not in perfect communion with Rome. Cardinal Re thinks if there had been more communication between the Holy See and the Fraternity of St. Pius X many problems would have been spared . Thank God that the good will of His Holiness is well received by the followers of Monsignor Lefebvre.

Bishop Williamson's statements are certainly very unfortunate, but he did not deny the evil of Nazism, and were made several months ago. The broadcast by Swedish television coinciding with the publication of the decree lifting the excommunication is an obvious attempt to discredit Lefebvre and especially to the Pope.

Just as I welcome the intervention Bishop Fellay, I think the reaction of Bishop Williamson also requires a firm decision by the fraternity to bring to completion the restoration of full communion.

Don't normally do Spanish translations- so any improvements let Cathcon know!

Elie Wiesel attacks pope over Holocaust bishop

Vatican had to know

Pope speaks on the SSPX

Pope expresses hope for full communion with traditionalist society at General Audience

'I undertook this act of paternal mercy because these prelates had repeatedly manifested to me their deep pain at the situation in which they had come to find themselves,' the pope said.

'I hope my gesture is followed by the hoped-for commitment on their part to take the further steps necessary to realize full communion with the church, thus witnessing true fidelity, and true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the pope and of the Second Vatican Council,' he said.'

Britain's Catholic bishops denounce anti-Semitism

Times Online

Senior bishops from the Roman Catholic Church have joined the Pope in condemning anti-Semitism and described the views of a bishop whose excommunication was lifted by the Pope as “unacceptable”.


The Catholic bishops of England and Wales described the views of Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St Pius X as “totally unacceptable”.

Bishop Williamson was one of four bishops to have his excommunication lifted by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday, just days after Swedish television broadcast an interview with him where he said: “There were no gas chambers” and claimed that a mere few hundred thousand rather than six million Jewish people died in the Holocaust.”

Bishop Williamson banned from every Church, chapel and institution

in the Diocese of Regensburg.

Although to be fair if he steps inside Germany again, this will be the least of his problems.

The Bishop also said that Bishop Williamson had punched the Pope in the face.

What does the Pope really think about the Council?

Extract from his "Principles of Catholic Theology".
I regard as the third indication (Cathcon after the odious Dutch Catechism and the sight of priests on the barricades in 1968) the Congress organized by the editors of Concilium in Brüssels in 1970 to mark the fifth anniversary of the founding of their periodical. The meeting was obviously intended as an antithesis to the congress of theologians initiated by the Pope and supported by innumerable cardinals, archbishops and bishops that was held in Rome in 1966 and by means of which Rome had attempted to keep the newly awakened power of theology in consonance with the hierarchy; but also evident was a certain unmistakable antithesis to the International Pontifical Commission of Theologians founded in 1969. Concilium sought to establish itself, on the model of the ancient rights of the Sorbonne, as the true centre of teaching and teachers in the Church, to become the real rallying-place of theologians from all over the world. But Brussels be¬came, in fact, a turning point after which the authority of that union for progress began to crack. The great scholars associated with Concilium— Rahner, Congar, Schillebeeckx, Küng—were not as united as they had thought. Participants were often offended by the manner in which they were obliged to associate themselves with Statements in the preparation of which they had had no share. They could no longer remain oblivious of a fact of which many of them had previously been unaware: that "progress" no longer represented a unified concept and that, in many particulars, it was perilously close to dissociating itself from the core of Christian tradition.

In the public consciousness of the Church in Germany, the demise of Publik became, ultimately, the event that marked the end of these developments. Anyone who reads the passionate comments cannot help cannot help wondering why the end of a publication that had not yet made its mark could cause such a breach in the history of salvation, could be a '-return to the ghetto". In fact, however, the failure of the attempt begun with such high aspirations meant the farewell to an illusion that had found there the sign of its own reality. For the leaders of postconciliar progressivism, Publik had become the place where Church and world united, where the trauma of the ghetto was overcome. But—the world did not accept it. Publik never ceased to be an unreal world created by intellectuals.

Only since that time has it become generally clear to the Church that progress no longer represents a unified force and that it is no longer possible to act in terms of the simple options offered by the Council. During the Council, the majority of bishops and theologians had shared a mutual concern to combat what was obsolete and to teach the courageous acceptance of the new as a duty for.the Church of today. Since then it seems to be generally accepted that, to be in the right, one has only to affirm the new and reject the old. Anyone who objected, as Hans Urs von Balthasar was alone in doing, (Footnote Two programmatic texts published during the early postconciliar period might be mentioned here: Weristein Christ? (Einsiedeln, 1965) and Cordula oder der Ernstfall (1966). that the program of the Council was not so easily realizable was counted among those who had not read the signs of the time. Only when the ruins of false hopes came crashing down was certainty shattered and new questions raised.

It is perhaps too soon to say that for some time now the era of crisis has been changing into an era of consolidation. Let us ask, first, what we are to think of what has taken place thus far. The summary I have presented in a few short pages seems to suggest a negative diagnosis. Is anything left but the heaped-up ruins of unsuccessful experiments? Has Gaudium et spes been definitively translated into luctus et angor? (footnote In the conciliar text, "luctus et angor" (grief and anguish) are the words that immediately follow the introductory words "Gaudium et spes".) Was the Council a wrong road that we must now retrace if we are to save the Church? The voices of those who say that it was are becoming louder and their followers more numerous. Among the more obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of integralist groups in which the desire for piety, for the sense of the mystery, is finding satisfaction. We must be on our guard against minimizing these movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly. But we must likewise ask ourselves, in all earnestness, why such contractions and distortions of faith and piety have such an effect and are able to attract those who, by the basic conviction of their faith as well as by personal inclination, are in no way attracted by sectarianism. What drives them into a milieu in which they do not belong? Why have they lost the feeling of being at home in the larger Church? Are all their reproaches unfounded? Is it not, for example, really strange that we have never heard bishops react as strongly against distortions in the heart of the liturgy as they react today against the use of a Missal of the Church that, after all, has been in existence since the time of Pius V? Let it be said again: we should not adopt a sectarian attitude, but neither should we omit the examination of conscience to which these facts compel us.

What shall I say? First of all, one thing seems to me to have become abundantly clear in the course of these ten years. An interpretation of the Council that understands its dogmatic texts as mere preludes to a still unattained conciliar spirit, that regards the whole as just a preparation for Gaudium et spes and that looks upon the latter text as just the beginning of an unswerving course toward an ever greater union with what is called progress—such an interpretation is not only contrary to what the Council Fathers intended and meant, it has been reduced ad absurdum by the course of events. Where the spirit of the Council is turned against the word of the Council and is vaguely regarded as a distillation from the development that evolved from the "Pastoral Constitution", this spirit becomes a spectre and leads to meaninglessness. The upheavals caused by such a concept are so obvious that their existence cannot be seriously disputed. In like manner, it has become clear that the world, in its modern form, is far from being a unified entity. Let it be said once for all: the progress of the Church cannot consist in a belated embrace of the modern world—the theology of Latin America has made that all too clear to us and has demonstrated thereby the rightness of its cry for liberation. If our criticism of the events of the decade after the Council has guided us to these insights, if it has brought us to the realization that we must interpret Vatican Council II as a whole and that our interpretation must be oriented toward the central theological texts, then our reflections could become fruitful for the whole Church and could help her to unite in sensible reform. The "Constitution on the Church" is not to be evaluated in terms of the "Pastoral Constitution", and certainly not in terms of an isolated reading of the intention expressed in the prefatory paragraphs, but vice versa: only the whole in its proper orientation is truly the spirit of the Council.

Does this mean that the Council itself must be revoked? Certainly not. It means only that the real reception of the Council has not yet even begun. What devastated the Church in the decade after the Council was not the Council but the refusal to accept it. This becomes clear precisely in the history of the influence of Gaudium et spes. What was identified with the Council was, for the most part, the expression of an attitude that did not coincide with the Statements to be found in the text itself, although it is recognizable as a tendency in its development and in some of its individual formulations. The task is not, therefore, to suppress the Council but to discover the real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of present experience. That means that there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stage in the confrontation with liberalism and a newly conceived Marxism but cannot be the last stage. In the long run, neither embrace nor ghetto can solve for Christians the problem of the modern world. The fact is, as Hans Urs von Balthasar pointed out as early as 1952, that the "demolition of the bastions" is a long-overdue task. The Church cannot choose the times in which she will live. After Constantine, she was obliged to find a mode of coexistence with the world other than that necessitated by the persecutions of the preceding age. But it bespeaks a foolish romanticism to bemoan the change that occurred with Constantine while we ourselves fall at the feet of the world from which we profess our desire to liberate the Church. The struggle between imperium and sacerdotium in the Middle Ages, the dispute about the "enlightened" concept of State churches at the beginning of the modern age, were attempts to come to terms with the difficult problems created in its various epochs by a world that had become Christian. In an age of the secular State and of Marxist messianism, in an age of worldwide economic and social problems, in an age when the world is dominated by science, the Church, too, faces anew the question of her relationship with the world and its needs. She must relinquish many of the things that have hitherto spelled security for her and that she has taken for granted. She must demolish longstanding bastions and trust solely to the shield of faith. But the demolition of bastions cannot mean that she no longer has anything to defend or that she can live by forces other than those that brought her forth: the blood and water from the pierced side of the crucified Lord (Jn 19:31-37). "In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world" (Jn 16:33). That is true today, too.

Holy See Upholds Bishop Arthur's Closure Of Pontefract Church

Following the reordering of the Deaneries of Pontefract and Wakefield by Bishop Arthur last summer there was an appeal addressed to Holy See by some parishioners from the former Parish of Holy Family Chequerfield. On the 12th of January the Holy See through the Congregation for the Clergy ruled on the appeal and rejected it."

Chief Rabbinate cuts ties with Rome

in the Jerusalem Post.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel broke off official ties with the Vatican indefinitely on Tuesday in protest over the Pope's decision to reinstate a known Holocaust denier.

Jewish world outraged at Pope's decision to reinstate bishop who is a holocaust denier

The Chief Rabbinate also cancelled a meeting scheduled for March 2-4 in Rome with the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

In a letter to the commission's chairman, Cardinal Walter Kasper, Chief Rabbinate Director-General Oded Weiner wrote that 'without a public apology and recanting, it will be difficult to continue the dialogue.

See also Rome's Reconciliation

Statement of SSPX Germany

translation from Rorate Caeli

As District Superior of the Society [of Saint Pius X] in Germany, I am very troubled by the words pronounced by Bishop Williamson here in this country.

The banalization of the genocide of the Jews by the Nazi regime and of its horror are unacceptable for us.

The persecution and murder of an incalculable number of Jews under the Third Reich touches us painfully and they also violate the Christian commandment of love for neighbor which does not distinguish ethnicities.

I must apologize for this behavior and dissociate myself from such a view.

Such dissociation is also necessary for us because the father of Archbishop Lefebvre died in a KZ [concentration camp] and because numerous Catholic priests lost their lives in Hitler's concentration camps.

Stuttgart, January 27, 2009

Father Franz Schmidberger

Father Schmidberger was the Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X at the time of the consecrations of 1988.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Is Not True About the Good Friday Prayer for Jews

from Zenit

Also from them The End of the Beginning with the SSPX dialogue

The Catholic Church- is it necessary to reintegrate the extremists?

New poll

The Pope haslifted the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of St Pius X, a tendancy which is traditionalist and rejects ecumenism. The interpretations of this gesture differ.

I don't know

Of course, there was no attempt to influence the outcome of this poll by the phraseology of the question.

Triumph and Tribulation

article in the ever-excellent Remnant

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The leader of a traditionalist Catholic movement apologized to Pope Benedict on Tuesday for remarks denying the Holocaust made by one of his members whom the pope recently rehabilitated.

Bishop Bernard Fellay also said that he had disciplined the bishop who made the statement, British-born Richard Williamson, and ordered him not to speak out again on any political or historical issues.

Williamson's remarks on the Holocaust, most recently on Swedish TV last week, provoked widespread criticism by Jews who said he had wiped out nearly half a century of dialogue with Catholics.

Last Saturday, the pope lifted the 20-year-old excommunication of Fellay, Williamson and two other bishops of the traditionalist fraternity.

Fellay's statement was released by the Vatican.

Swiss bishops conference call on SSPX to recognise Vatican II

from the Bieler Tagblatt online

The Swiss bishops support the idea in its written statement that the four bishops in their talks with the Vatican also recognise the decisions of the Second Vatican Council . The Society had always rejected the reforms of the Council.

Strong words on Vatican II

Fifty years on: time to revisit and reform the Second Vatican Catastrophe

In England and Wales in 1964, at the end of the Council, there were 137,673 Catholic baptisms; in 2003 the figure was 56,180. In 1964 there were 45,592 Catholic marriages, in 2003 there were 11,013. Mass attendance has fallen by 40 per cent. In "Holy" Ireland, only 48 per cent of so-called Catholics go to Mass. In France, there were 35,000 priests in 1980; today there are fewer than 19,000. Renewal?

In the United States, in 1965, there were 1,575 priestly ordinations; in 2002 there were 450 - a 350 per cent decline. In 1965 there were 49,000 seminarians, in 2002 just 4,700. Today 15 per cent of US parishes are without priests. Only 25 per cent of America's nominal Catholics attend Mass. Worse still is the erosion of faith among those who ludicrously describe themselves as Catholics. Among US Catholics aged 18-44 (the children of Vatican II) as many as 70 per cent say they believe the Eucharist is merely a "symbolic reminder" of Christ.

To describe this unprecedented collapse of the Church as "renewal" is insane; to attribute it to the operation of the Holy Ghost is blasphemous. The Catholic Church is in the same position as an alcoholic: until it admits to the problem, no cure is possible. The problem is Vatican II.

Pope Benedict himself has expressed reservations about at least one Council document. The only remotely celebratory response to the Council's 50th anniversary would be to appoint a commission of orthodox theologians to scrutinise all of Vatican II's documents and correct their errors. It is time to revisit and reform this council that has brought forth such poisonous fruits.

Someone ought to send this to the German bishops!

To date 90 percent of Cathcon readers who have voted

support the lifting of the excommunications



MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.


Monday, January 26, 2009

New statement by German Bishops' Conference

The Chairman of the sub-commission for religious relations with Judaism of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Mussinghoff, Bishop of Aachen,said Monday "This clear denial of the holocaust, which presently is under investigation in Germanm, we reject most sharply".

Juden beklagt wachsenden Antisemitismus: Jew allege growing anti-semitism which also discusses an amazingly intemperate TV discussion about Gaza which was shown this week on German TV and a desecration of a Jewish graveyard.

The head of the Frankfurt Jewish community has accused the Pope of falling back into the Middle Ages.

Feast of St Polycarp


"Fourscore and six years have I served Him, and He has done me no harm. How then can I curse my King that saved me."

Accept the Second Vatican Council, SSPX told


Cathcon translation of "Jetzt Konzil anerkennen“

After the lifting of the excommunication of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X , the traditionalist community should recognise the Second Vatican Council to fully return to the bosom of the Church. The Vienna Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Helmut Krätzl suggests this in a comment on Vatican Radio. Krätzl was the person responsible for the ecumenism office of the Austrian Bishops' Conference.

To Vatican Radio Krätzl said this Monday:

"A schism in the Church is a painful wound and also harms her reputation in the world. It is therefore understandable that the Pope tried everything in order to heal this wound.

Many have wondered, however, that the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated unlawfully taken place before they had taken back in public their vehement criticism of the council and hence the development of the Church. In particular, concerns are raised by their rejection of the Declaration on Religious Freedom. The adoption of this conciliar document has impressively shown that the Council Fathers, contrary to the statements of(Cathcon Pope!) Gregory XVI in the encyclical, Mirari vos' 1832 now all wished to establish freedom of conscience in religious issues (Cathcon- Council over Pope, either their own or another - unheard of!). Something which is now one of the most fundamental matters of human rights.

The questioning of the renewed liturgy by the Society attacks the progress of the church after the council in an even more central manner. Indeed, the renewed liturgy is not just an amendment to a rite, but it reflects a deeper vision of the Church (Cathcon- splutter) . Instead of a pure priestly liturgy priest, the active participation of God's people is now called for. (Cathcon- Pope!) John Paul II has said at the 25th anniversary of the liturgy constitution: "There is in fact a very close and organic link between the renewal of the liturgy and the renewal of the entire life of the Church." I therefore understand the fear of many that a return to the preconciliar liturgy will call the post conciliar development will even be called into question.

The Pope, through the withdrawal of the excommunication has made a generous legal gesture. The Society of St Pius X should now fully and inwardly accept the Council in order to return to the bosom of the church again.”

The statenent also appears on the website of the Austrian Bishops' Conference.

This is also essentially the line taken by the German Bishops' Conference.

"The Pope shows the possibility of return to full communion with the Catholic Church and also without doubt that the decisions of the Second Vatican Council are an indispensable basis for the life of the Church." Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Chairman in a statement on their website

Seperately, Italian bishops denounce holocaust denier

Cardinal Kasper slams Bishop Williamson

UK further reactions from Jewish groups

Jewish leaders condemn Pope over Holocaust bishop

Dr Ed Kessler, of the Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, said: 'In the 20 odd years that I have been teaching Jewish-Christian relations I never thought I would witness a time when in the name of Christian unity, a German-bred Pope would bring back into the fold a Holocaust-denier. It is absolutely astonishing. While it is an internal decision for the Roman Catholic Church it has huge consequences, not just in terms of relations with Jews but also other faiths and ecumenical relations. It is a very very sad day for Catholic-Jewish relations.

Bishop Fellay first interview

following the excommunications

Bishop Williamson on the lifting of the excommunications

or the Re-Incommunication as he calls it.

The next moves forwards for the SSPX after the lifting of the excommunications:

'Nothing of the sort this time, according to our sources: 'Vatican II is not a dogma of faith', they say. From the moment in which the bishops and priests of the Fraternity recognize the Church, and the Magisterium of the Pope, that will suffice as an implicit acknowledgment.'

Reaction of the Swiss Jewish Community

Pope Benedict snubs the Jews

"I do not understand the Catholic Church", Sabine Simkhovitch-Dreyfus, Vice President of the Swiss Jewish Community.

Bishop Williamson will retract his comments claims Catholic spokesman

Jüdische Kritik an Papstentscheidung:

The remarks were "unacceptable" and do not belong to the teaching of the Catholic Church, said the spokesman of the Bishops' Conference, Matthias Kopp, on Monday in the ZDF morning programme. Williamson is one of the four bishopsrehabilitated by the Vatican on Saturday , who since 1988 have been excommunicated. The Regensburg state prosecutor is investigating. "Williamson will sooner or later, retract his speech ," said Kopp. The church had "mechanisms" to deal with him. The outrage of the Jewish communities about the Holocaust denial of the British bishop Kopp said was "very well understood." In this sense, the Vatican had also expressed its shock.

Father David Neuhaus comments referred to in the German article here.

Rather the pope has a burning desire to put an end to the schism in the Church. Discussion is going inside the Church regarding the pope's attempt to bring back into the fold ultra ultra conservatives who never accepted the reforms of Vatican II and were illicitly consecrated. There are those in the Church he feel that the pope is humiliating himself for men unrepentant of their views."

Neuhaus, who is also secretary-general of the Hebrew Speaking Catholic Vicariate in the Holy Land, said the Church's position on the Holocaust was a very sensitive issue for the local Catholic community.

"It touches on the very heart of who we are here in the Holy Land as promoters of historical reconciliation of Jewish and Catholic relations so that Jews and Catholics understand each other more," he said

Cardinal Kasper did not know about the lifting of the excommunications

- Healing Schism, Pope Risks Another

Cardinal Walter Kasper, the director of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the liaison for Vatican-Jewish relations, said Sunday that he had not been consulted. “It was a decision of the pope,” the cardinal said in a telephone interview.

That Benedict apparently did not widely discuss a matter that has provoked anger among Jewish groups and liberal Catholics was not out of character, however. It was just the latest example of how the pope is increasingly focused on internal doctrinal issues and seemingly unaware of how they might resonate in the larger world.

More criticism of the lifting of the excommunications

in Focus Online

Christian Weisner Precher, spokesman for "We are Church" made the criticism in the "New Osnabrücker newspaper that the Vatican had received the traditionalists without any precondition.

Heinz-Wilhelm Brockmann, Vice-President of the Central Committee of German Catholic defended in the "Frankfurter Rundschau" the step of the pope as an attempt to "build more unity in the Church ." The Vatican has approached a group who are in many respects from distanced from the Church . "They deny central decisions of the Second Vatican Council for instance in the liturgy and religious freedom."

Figaro poll- do you approve of the decision of Benedict XVI to remove the excommunication of the traditionalist bishops?

Le Figaro - International : Approuvez-vous la décision de Benoît XVI de lever l'excommunication des évêques intégristes ?

The newspaper uses the pejorative term integrist.

Integrism is a term originally coined by liberal French Catholics at the time of the French Revolution to describe those who rejected the principles of the Revolution (liberty, fraternity, equality) in favor of the doctrines taught by the Council of Trent and obedience to the Papacy. It is used derisively in modern times by some who believe that certain Catholics have falsely elevated theological differences into differences in dogma, by degrees. For example, the term was used by liberal Catholics at the time of St. Pius X to deride those who defended his encyclical Pascendi

Today it used as a pejorative to "describe" those who adhere to traditional Catholicism. It includes those who separate the Holy See from the governance of Catholic faith, especially where it concerns the Latin rite Mass and the controversy between the Normative Mass, and the Mass of the 1962 Missal, but also is used toward some who believe and practice traditional Catholicism.
from Wikepedia.

And Cathcon's very own poll with unbiased questioning!

Cathcon poll
Do you approve of the decision of Benedict XVI to remove the excommunication of the traditionalist bishops?

Solemn abjuration of past errors

Made by then Lutheran pastor, Sten Sandmark in Paris in 2006. He received the diaconate in November 2008 from Bishop Williamson- the latter them proceeded to give his famous interview.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pope provokes a new ice age with Jews

Papst provoziert neue Eiszeit mit Juden:

Pope Benedict has by this seemingly incomprehensible act of provocation against the Jews made a serious mistake," said the Vice-President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, on Sunday in an interview with "In any case, it is almost the equivalent to an abnegation of the dialogue with Judaism as now a group decidedly hostile to Jews, which only a few weeks ago in an official letter again designated the Jews as ‘God murderers' are officially brought back into the bosom of the Church.

Further commments from Papal spokesman

Cathcon translation Papst-Sprecher zu Lefebvre: “Eine schöne Nachricht” A very good piece of news.

"Looking back on the divisions within the church over the centuries shows that there splits of the Church have led to a consolidation of these divisions. The Pope has already spoken about this. He is convinced that we all need to do everything for those who want unity to make it possible. "

"Cardinal Ratzinger in 1988 negotiated extensively himself with Archbishop Lefebvre and tried even then to do everything for the unity of the church. He did not succeed however at that time, and Lefebvre’s Episcopal ordinations, which he carried out without papal approval, caused a serious fracture. However, in recent years, several communities which were connected with the Lefebvre movement, returned to full ecclesial communion."

"The Motu Proprio of Pope on the Mass, the Congregation of the Faith document on the subject of church and several opinions on the correct understanding of the Council in accordance with the tradition - all of this, of course, has created a favourable climate. The bishops of the Priestly Society of St Pius X have requested withdrawal of the excommunication and explicitly said they want to belong to the Catholic Church."

"It is very good that the withdrawal of the excommunication of coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the announcement of the Council by the Vatican. This fundamental event can now no longer be seen as a reason for tensions, but for fundamental unity."

"The text of the decree makes clear that the road to full unity is not yet complete. For example, the status of the Society and the priests who belong to it is not defined by the decree. But the whole Church is praying with the Pope that there will be a complete unity, without any doubt attached."

Feast of the Sacred Heart at a SSPX Seminary


What a disaster for the Church that such priests were suspended and their bishops excommunicate.

Pope's Israel visit still on

in spite of the lifting of the excommunications.:

Pope Benedict is still due to visit to Israel in May, an Israeli official said on Sunday, despite angering Jews worldwide by re-admitting a bishop who has denied the full extent of the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.

Israel's national Holocaust museum and memorial decried as 'scandalous' Benedict's decision to lift excommunications on British-born bishop, Richard Williamson, who has said there were no gas chambers and only 300 000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps in World War Two.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, however, the pontiff's planned visit in May to Israel was not in doubt.

'We believe that the question of excommunicating or not excommunicating a member of the Roman Catholic church is an internal matter for the church,' said Robert Rozet of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

'Nevertheless, we find it scandalous that a member of the church at this high level of bishop has views of denying the Holocaust,' Rozet said.

Israeli Foreign Minister spokesperson Yigal Palmor, asked if the Pope's decision would have an impact on his planned visit, replied: 'No. This has nothing to do with relations between states.'"

The prison where the Nazis imprisoned Archbishop Lefebrve's father


for working in the Resistance and helping British intelligence- St Gilles in Brussels. He was then deported to Germany, condemned to death but died of "natural" causes in Sonnenburg labour camp in February 1944. He managed to conceal a Missal and an Imitation- every day he recited outloud a De Profundis for all the dead of the camp.

See also The Priests of Dachau

The whole story including Bishop Williamson's original video interview and an English translation of Der Spiegel's coverage.

Pope John XXIII begins the Second Vatican Council


Almost 46 disastrous years later, there are signs of hope of recovery.

50 years ago today, the first announcement of the Council was made.

Dismay as Pope welcomes Holocaust bishop Williamson back into Church -Times Online

Concern from Jewish groups publicly and some left-wing prelate privately.

Renzo Gattegna, head of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, said that the rehabilitation of Bishop Williamson was "terrible not only for Jewish people but for the whole of humanity". He said Italian Jews would refuse to take part in joint prayers with Christians on Tuesday marking Holocaust Day, known in Italy as "The Day of Memory".

"The Church will pay a price for this," one Vatican prelate said. "The Pope is undermining the legacy of John Paul II". Others recalled that before his election three years ago Pope Benedict's hardline conservatism as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the successor to the Inquisition - had earned him the nickname "the Panzerkardinal".

"This is not so much an act of grace as a surrender" said Marci Politi, the veteran Vatican watcher. Benedict wanted a new era of reconciliation, "but the new era has begun with a lie. The Pope has made a openly-declared and unshakeable anti-Semite a legitimate Bishop".

Archbishop Lefebvre, who died in 1991, had set up "a fanatical and reactionary counter-Church which openly contested, repudiated and defamed all the crucial points of Vatican II, from respect for the Jews to modernisation of the liturgy" Mr Politi said. Gianni Gennari, a theologian and contributor to the Italian Catholic daily Avvenire, said it was "shameful that the lifting of the excommunications was not accompanied by any repentance whatever on the part of the Lefebvrists".

Mr Politi thinks traditionalism to be a temptation.

And don't cry for us, Mr Gennari.

Lengthy analysis at Inside the Vatican

Catholic schools are changing


Feast of the Conversion of St Paul


Paul is as much to say as the mouth of a trumpet or of sense; or marvellously chosen, or a miracle of election. Or Paul is said of pause, that is rest, in Hebrew, or it is said little, in Latin. And by this be understood six prerogatives which Paul had before the other apostles. The first is a fruitful tongue, for he replenished the gospel from Jerusalem to Jericho, and therefore he is said the mouth of a trump. The second was virtuous charity, for he said: Who is sick, and I am not sick? and therefore he is said mouth of sense or understanding. The third is conversion much marvellous, and therefore he is said marvellously chosen, for he was marvellously chosen and converted. The fourth is the hand working, and therefore he is said marvellous of election, for it was a great miracle when he chose to get his dispenses with the labour of his hands, and to preach without ceasing. The fifth was contemplation delicious, for rest of thought is required in contemplation, for he was ravished unto the third heaven. The sixth was humility virtuous, and therefore he is said little From the Golden Legend

Bishop Williamson - Fox News report

Link to video

And on the front of the New York Times

"We are Church" criticizes Papal decision

"Wir sind Kirche" kritisiert Papst-Entscheidung

"Shows retrograde direction of the papacy of Benedict XVI."
Vienna - The Catholic grass-roots movement "We Are Church" has criticised the lifting of the excommunication of the four ultra-conservative followers of the late Archbishop Marcel (Cathcon- they can’t even get the name right) Lefebvre by Pope Benedict XVI.. "The lifting of the excommunication shows the retrograde direction of the papacy of Benedict XVI.", the organization announced in a press release.

They pointed out that the decision had been taken on the 50th Anniversary of the announcement of the Vatican by (Cathcon addition - Pope)John XXIII. With the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church opened its door to other religions and initiated a modernization process. Traditionalist circles, such as those to Lefebvre, see the council decisions, however, as a dilution of Catholic doctrine.
Reconciliation readiness

The withdrawal of the excommunication of Lefebvre supporters "may be seen as an encouraging sign of the Pope's willingness for reconciliation to be seen," writes "We Are Church". "There remains a bad taste," especially since the Pope only stretched out one of his two arms. "Would it not now be time, with the second arm also to bring home those, who were punished by teaching bans and excommunication because they represented the good news of Jesus as a political structure for the poor of this world or consecrated women priests or supported the use of condoms to protect against AIDS " asks the organization, which collected in the 1990s signatures of hundreds of thousands of Austrian Catholics for the priesthood of women and the lifting of the celibacy.

"The picture that Benedict XVI conveys is no future, but is stuck the past. Many committed Christians from all over the world were excommunicated because they are continued with unwanted acts to make the church 'contemporary'. For them the Pope did not stretch out his arms, rather it means they are still not welcome," criticized the platform in its release.