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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cardinal calls for review of the decision to lift excommunications

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Interview mit Georg Kardinal Sterzinsky: „Es kann sein, dass Menschen jetzt enttäuscht sind“ - Bild.de

The Vatican and the Nazi scandal - a wave of indignation runs through Germany!

Bild.de spoke with the Berlin Archbishop Cardinal George Sterzinsky.

Bild.de: Cardinal, the Pope is currently in the sharp criticism - is this justified?

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

What made you annoyed at the decision?

Normally, we place before the lifting of an excommunication value on the fact that each individual speaks a petition of penitence. He must affirm that the reasons which led to his excommunication are regretted by him, by him will be corrected and the damage will be repaired. It is in this case not so: One has made for all four a general, fairly flat and vague statement. The Pope has to rely on a sense of hope - of hope for a reconciliation. Even the recognition of the Second Vatican Council is still out. And even then I read in the newspaper that one of the SSPX says he will now bring the Vatican to accept their opinions. Especially bad is the case, Richard Williamson. If an excommunication is lifted, it is for everyone to see whether there are other obstacles of returning him to ecclesial communion. This is the case with Williamson. To deny the Holocaust is outrageous and a great burden for the relationship with Judaism. The lifting of the excommunication of Richard Williamson is a process that I do not think is correct.

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

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

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

Would you recommend the Pope to offer an apology?

A clarification would be helpful.

Do you fear that this dispute people with cause people to look away from the church?

It may be that people now are very disappointed and say: If the Catholic Church is in such turmoil, then it is perhaps not so credible, as we had believed. I hope that the discussion will be continued so that there will be a good solution.

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