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Friday, January 23, 2009

SSPX excommunications officially to be lifted

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from Rorate Caeli

French religious news agency I.Media reports the following (by way of news agency ASCA):

Citta' del Vaticano, Jan 23 - L'Osservatore Romano will publish tomorrow an "explanatory note" on the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to revoke the excommunication of the four schismatic Bishops ordained by Traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. ...

The act of Pope Ratzinger will be presented in the daily paper of the Holy See as "an act of mercy by the Pope".

The Anti-Defamation Leaque has got their letter to Cardinal Kasper.

Vatican Radio Canon Lawyer on SSPX excommunications

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Cathcon translation of Glücklich und dankbar Happy and Thankful

The canon lawyer and Latinist at Vatican Radio has commented on the potential lifting of the excommunication of the four Lefebvre bishops.

He had a message about the impending withdrawal of the excommunication of the four Lefebvre bishops

"Happy and grateful, " said the German-Dutch canon lawyer the Right Revd Gero P. Weishaupt on the 22nd January in a broadcast.

Fr Weishaupt is the diocesan judge in the ecclesiastical court of the Dutch Diocese of Roermond, Latinist at Radio Vatican, lecturer in ecclesiastical law as well as a defender of the marriage bond and Canonical Vicar of the Diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch.

He raises the question as to whether a Excommunicatio latae sententiae – the legal consequence of the offense of the Episcopal ordinations – from the point of view Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre episcopal ordinations in “grave necessity”- ever took place.

For if such an excommunication was not achieved, then the Excommunicatio declarata subsequently declared by Pope John Paul II was invalid:

"For where there is nothing, you cannot even in retrospect find something" - so Fr Weishaupt.
A Excommunicatio declarata is when an automatic excommunication is again declared by the ecclesiastical authorities whereby stronger legal consequences result in the external legal forum.

As it is now being said that the Pope wants to repeal the excommunication, "then the excommunication actually occurred and had been later legally established as a fact" - explains Fr Weishaupt further.

He noted however, mitigations are provided in the Canon 1324, Section 1. The fifth mitigation mentions an offender, "one who was compelled by grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, if the act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls."

It is all about the offence committed in an emergency situation, also if this can be seen subjectively as such:

The canon lawyer then refers to the wording in the third paragraph of the same Canon 1324: "Under the circumstances explained in Para 1, the offender shall not incur punishment due to the act" - and concludes: "This means that when an emergency occurs no excommunication is admitted."

If this was the case, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the other bishops never incurred excommunication.

His conclusion: "I'm eager to see how Rome will argue this in Canon Law. In any event, we are heading towards hopeful times in the Church. "

Anglicans and Bishop Williamson

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St. Andrew`s Church

The Anglican community of St Andrew's Church in Gothenburg warmly welcomes you, your family and friends to join our friendly international congregation for worship and fellowship.




The late and great Michael Davies provides the background in his Apologia for the Archbishop. Michael Davies directed his efforts towards indult communities following the consecrations and clearly he would be delighted by the prospect of the excommunications being lifted.

Accusations against the Archbishop of right wing political extremism fall short of the mark- his father died in a Nazi concentration camp, being a member of the resistance who also was working for British intelligence.

Jewish groups condemn Bishop Williamson

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and oppose lifting of excommunications

Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said the possibility that the pope would accept Williamson back into the mainstream church "has been received with shock and consternation".

Pain of the holocaust
"For the Jewish people and all persons who feel the pain of the terrible years of the Shoah, this development marks a dangerous blow to interfaith dialogue and encourages hate-mongers everywhere," he said.

Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, said he was "shocked by such a horror of denial, which is even more grave since it comes from a bishop".

Di Segni told the newspaper La Stampa that Williamson's re-admission into the Church would open "a deep wound in dialogue with Judaism".

The traditionalists bishops reject many reforms of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, notably its decision that Mass should be said in local languages rather than Latin, and its advocacy of dialogue with other religions.

A statement from the traditionalists said the implication they are racist was "entirely false and unjust".

But it said the group had the right to "pray for conversion (of Jews) to the true faith, to study their recent and tragic history, or to question some of their political objectives".

God so loved the world

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Chief Rabbi deeply concerned about the ending of schism

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The Roman Chief Rabbi di Segni has said what great damage the ending of the schism will do to Jewish Catholic relations. It will be "a deep wound" he told La Stampa.

More soon!

German state prosecutor investigating Bishop Williamson

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Vatican radio report- Cathcon translation of original report

The prosecutor in Regensburg is investigating a priest of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X because of allegations of race hatred. The Deputy Director of the office, Edgar Zach confirmed on Friday a report on Bavarian Radio. The British traditionalist, Bishop Richard Williamson, in an interview with the Swedish television channel SVT, denied that the Nazis had murdered six million Jews.

Williamson is one of four traditionalist bishops whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI, according to Italian press reports, allegedly wants to revoke.

"I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps died, but none of them in gas chambers,"

Williamson said in the interview which can be seen on the website of the channel. It was not about emotion, but historical evidence, said the traditionalist bishop. This evidence supports the idea that concentration camps like Auschwitz were not for the gassing of human beings as the chimneys were too short and the doors could not be tightly sealed enough.

Williamson relied on the well-known Holocaust denier Fred Leuchter. The denial of the Holocaust has been since 1994 a separate criminal offense in Germany and can be punished with up to five years in prison.

The television interview was recorded in Bavaria in the Seminary of the Society of St. Pius X at Zaitzkofen to the south of Regensburg. Thus, the public prosecutor responsible is the one in Regensburg. The almost six minute long interview was recorded in English. On the recording in Germany, Williamson at the end of the interview, admits that his remarks were punishable in Germany. The reporter could ensure that he will go to prison, "before I leave Germany."

Bishop Williamson and SSPX- further news round up

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No comment!

Rorate Caeli permanently updated here. Very interesting material from the inside from the left-wing magazine Golias.

Papa Ratzinger blog in Italian.

Lots of comment in the European press today- check back.

Starting with The Daily Telegraph

The Local - Sweden's News in English. Protestant Church of Sweden was allowing the SSPX to use their buildings.

Background information on the SSPX.

Feast of St. Raymond of Penafort

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From the Catholic Encyclopedia

Born at Villafranca de Benadis, near Barcelona, in 1175; died at Barcelona, 6 January, 1275. He became professor of canon law in 1195, and taught for fifteen years. He left Spain for Bologna in 1210 to complete his studies in canon law. He occupied a chair of canon law in the university for three years and published a treatise on ecclesiastical legislation which still exists in the Vatican Library.

Raymond was attracted to the Dominican Order by the preaching of Blessed Reginald, prior of the Dominicans of Bologna, and received the habit in the Dominican Convent of Barcelona, whither he had returned from Italy in 1222. At Barcelona he was co-founder with St. Peter Nolasco of the Order of Mercedarians. He also founded institutes at Barcelona and Tunis for the study of Oriental languages, to convert the Moors and Jews.

At the request of his superiors Raymond published the Summa Casuum, of which several editions appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1229 Raymond was appointed theologian and penitentiary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Sabina, John of Abbeville, and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Gregory IX, who appointed him chaplain and grand penitentiary.

The reputation of the saint for juridical science decided the pope to employ Raymond of Peñafort's talents in re-arranging and codifying the canons of the Church. He had to rewrite and condense decrees that had been multiplying for centuries, and which were contained in some twelve or fourteen collections already existing. We learn from a Bull of Gregory IX to the Universities of Paris and Bologna that many of the decrees in the collections were but repetitions of ones issued before, many contradicted what had been determined in previous decrees, and many on account of their great length led to endless confusion, while others had never been embodied in any collection and were of uncertain authority.

The pope announced the new publication in a Bull directed to the doctors and students of Paris and Bologna in 1231, and commanded that the work of St. Raymond alone should be considered authoritative, and should alone be used in the schools. When Raymond completed his work the pope appointed him Archbishop of Tarragona, but the saint declined the honour. Having edited the Decretals he returned to Spain. He was not allowed to remain long in seclusion, as he was elected General of the Order in 1238; but he resigned two years later. During his tenure of office he published a revised edition of the Dominican Constitutions, and it was at his request that St. Thomas wrote the Summa Contra Gentiles. St. Raymond was canonized by Clement VIII in 1601. His Summa de Poenitentia et Matrimonio is said to be the first work of its kind. His feast is 23 January.

Bishop Williamson and lifting of SSPX Excommunications- round up

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Anglican Wanderings discusses the early life of the Bishop

and Contextual Criticism- from a liberal, secular, humanistic perspective.

Unlike the Polish Herald of the Holy Empire.

or the Holy Church Militant- (in Spanish) the Pope has signed and also definitely unlike, The St Benedict Center who affirm there is no salvation outside the Church.

Fisheaters- extensive discussion, likewise at Le Forum Catholique

Whispers in the Loggia

Father Ray Blake - Bishop Williamson was evicted from the Oratory

The Times- Articles of Faith goes into implications.

Creative Minority Report- desperate Bishop Williamson did this deliberately.

Angelqueen- great discussion

And the ever excellent Holy Smoke

Associated Press- sort of confirms the rumour- but strictly no comment from the Vatican

On-line article from Ruth Gledhill of The Times

Ignis Ardens- discussion about response of the SSPX response in the UK, inter-alia.

Under discussion in the Czech Republic and by Sandro Magister in Rome.

Bishop Williamson is under discussion on a white supremacist site and a blog which proclaims "God is a segregationist". Neither will be linked to here.

Bishop Williamson in his bunker- a left-wing newspaper.

Please keep checking back here- will add new articles as they arrive.

Fridays- dedicated to the Passion of Christ

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Our Lady and St John

John 19:26
cum vidisset ergo Iesus matrem et discipulum stantem quem diligebat dicit matri suae mulier ecce filius tuus
27 deinde dicit discipulo ecce mater tua et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua
28 postea sciens Iesus quia iam omnia consummata sunt ut consummaretur scriptura dicit sitio
29 vas ergo positum erat aceto plenum illi autem spongiam plenam aceto hysopo circumponentes obtulerunt ori eius
30 cum ergo accepisset Iesus acetum dixit consummatum est et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum

26 When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.
27 After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
28 Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.
29 Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth.
30 Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.