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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cardinal Lehmann unhelpful to the SSPX

- We should not be so small minded.
But in economically hard times, the tendency grows to save by not paying church tax.

It is correct that for example the new withholding tax has led to people leaving the church- partly due to the bad information policy of the banks. But defections from the church also have many other reasons. The controversy over the SSPX, for example, has hurt us a lot. Then many people leave with a prior long history of estrangement behind them. Often a really bad experience is enough for them to take the final step and turn away. That's why I think it is so important that we take care of the "faithful who are distanced from the Church" and express our appreciation for them, as I do it at the end of each year.
Did you once explain to the Protestant from the east (Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, daughter of Protestant minister) after her criticism of the Pope’s handling the SSPX, how one should behave with respect to the Pope? 

No, I would also never do. I think the SSPX matter has been politicised. The Pope must never - not even by the Chancellor – have it explained to him that anti-Semitism is reprehensible. This is so clear that that from my side did not take part the debate. I am annoyed only - but not relative to the Chancellor - about if for some politicians on the Roman visit kippers, bows could not be deep enough, the carpets not thick enough and the tapestries not fine enough to home but at home they have no problem loudly cursing the Pope.

Within the church the conflict with the SSPX is in no way resolved. In early summer, the community has illicitly ordained priests. That Rome cannot put up with 

Basically, I think exactly the same. On one hand I understand the Pope very well that he responded to the repeated requests for reconciliation by the SSPX. He is obliged to do this as the supreme shepherd of the Church. But on the other hand the SSPX must not repeat their provocations in word and deed.

They do this all the time.

One should distinguish. The SSPX is highly fragmented, a catchall for all kinds of disappointed and frustrated people: Some do not come to terms with modernity, others not with the French Revolution, the next with freedom of religion, still others with the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. Some of them will be able to be won back. But there are the unteachable - as the case of Holocaust denier Richard Williamson shows. For them, there is only one form. Perhaps we should have made quicker and clearer distinctions

and then excommunicate such people again?

This is already noteworthy: In today's world, there is nothing so dark and backward as the excommunication. But when certain people like the SSPX do not fit into the scheme, the call for excommunication surely comes. Then suddenly, a new Inquisition, which is not so bad after all. This is not generally my style. If the SSPX continue to behave foolishly and play around with the Pope and the Curia, should we really say that they do not belong to our community. But surely not simply with the old instruments.

Other highlights from the interview a bit later! describes the interview as a torpedo against the will of the Pope for reconciliation.

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