Repeal of the excommunication of Lefebvre-Bishops
The bishops and Territorial Abbots discussed the difficult situation which has been revealed from the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. Many responses showed the great concern of many people in and outside the church about this step, especially given the denial of the Shoah by Bishop Richard Williamson.
The public and unequivocal revocation required by Pope Benedict XVI has not yet been done. The Bishops' Conference recalls that the lifting of the excommunication is not as yet the rehabilitation or reintegration into the communion of the Catholic Church, but only the opening of a path to reconciliation. The four bishops remain suspended. For this reason, they are prohibited from exercising the Episcopate and the Priesthood. The Vatican has stressed in several opinions that a future recognition of the Fraternity of St. Pius X requires, as an indispensable condition, full recognition of the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the Popes John XXIII., Paul VI, John Paul I John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The opinion of the Pope is to understand the life of the church before and after the council as a renewal in continuity and not as a fracture.
The bishops were the Apostolic Nuncio in Switzerland, Archbishop Francesco Canalini their consternation and concern of the faithful before. Obviously, the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops was not prepared sufficiently carefully and there were also serious deficiencies in the information provided to the bishops, the faithful and the public by the Vatican Curia. The bishops and the nuncio regret this error.
The events of recent weeks have again led to polarization. The Bishops invite the faithful to a pilgrimage on Whit Monday, 1 June to Einsiedeln show before God in prayer their concern for the unity of the Church.