Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cardinal condemns Pope over lifting of excommunication on Holocaust denier - Telegraph

from the Daily Telegraph

The intervention of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will intensify the worldwide uproar triggered by the Pope's decision to lift the ban on Bishop Richard Williamson who has questioned the killing of six millions Jews by the Nazis.

The Cardinal, in a letter to Dr Jonathan Sacks the Chief Rabbi, a copy of which has been released to The Daily Telegraph, expressed his deep regret at the effect of the Vatican decree which has already been criticised by Angela Merkel the German Chancellor.

Dr Sacks, in his reply to the Cardinal, has warned that the episode has done "great damage" to relationships between the Jewish and Catholic faith. The Winchester and Cambridge educated Bishop Williamson, who runs a church in Argentina, has said that the Nazis did not use gas chambers to kill and that a maximum 300,000 Jews lost their lives. Last week he apologised for the "distress and problems" he had caused the Pope by his "imprudent" remarks but pointedly declined to withdraw them.

The Cardinal, in his letter, said: "I am writing to express my dismay at the effect of the Vatican decree... Specifically I naturally deplore the comments made by the Englishman, Rev Williamson, in his denial of the full horror of the Holocaust. His statement and views have absolutely no place in the Catholic Church and its teaching."

Protestants call on Pope to unreservedly accept Vatican II

Vatikan: Kritik an Papst Benedikt reisst nicht ab -

In Mannheim, a church has set up a hotline for distressed Catholics to express their anger.

The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has expressed its concern about the future of ecumenism. While the denial of the Holocaust by Williamson one should not trivialise, it is "by far not the only problem we have in this context in mind," said President of the EKD Bishop Wolfgang Huber to Bavarian Radio.

Everyone knew that the SSPX even more radically deny the Second Vatican Council and the "ecclesiastical nature" of all other Christian churches than has been the case in recent Papal utterances, said Huber. In the recent decree of the Vatican, a change in this attitude was not required.

The Braunschweig Regional Bishop Friedrich Weber in the ARD-Morgenmagazin was critical of the fact that the Pope in the General Audience on Wednesday did not use the occasion to personally comment on Holocaust denial. "That would have been a clear signal that the Pope stands by the results of the Second Vatican Council."

Cathcon calls on all Protestants to recognise immediately wholly and without reservation the decrees Vatican II at least, as well as Trent and Vatican I. If they don’t accept them themselves, how can they criticise other people for not accepting them?

Are we still Pope?

Top German chat show discusses recent events- - Maybrit Illner

The title plays on "We are Pope", a famous German newspaper headline the day after Pope Benedict's election.

SSPX also to be featured on Belgium TV tonight. The district superior never wanted to be a TV star, just a holy priest.

While bishops moan, Network of German Catholic Priests rushes to the defence of the Holy Father.

Kampagne gegen Papst Benedikt

Hat tip

Press statement

Given the unbridled campaign against our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. in connection with the withdrawal of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. the Network of Catholic Priests expresses its deep shock:

- About the biased, sometimes factually inaccurate and usually aggression loaded reactions of a large part of the German press.

- About the ambiguous and diminishing attitude, partly openly critical of the Pope, from which some representatives of the German Episcopate do not shrink.

- About the overbearing and insensitive meddling of German politicians in the internals affairs of the Church and which breach the most basic laws of decency.

The unspeakable failures of a bishop of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. are apparently a welcome occasion for a majority of Catholics - priests and lay people – to unduly reduce and challenge the Pope. If the German tabloid press states that the current crisis will lead to a majority of Catholics no longer obeying the Pope, then we say the reverse: The outbreaks of hatred against Pope Benedict XVI show once more how deep the level of Catholicism in Germany already has fallen. It gives pause for thought that voices calling for common sense and confidence in the authority of the Pope are almost completely missing in our days. The fact that some teachers at the theological faculties cap it all off was to be expected and need not be specifically mentioned.

In the shame of the current situation, we give once again to the Holy Father our full and unreserved solidarity. We thank him for his tireless efforts in relation to the unity of the church. And we assure him of our special prayers in these difficult times, especially in the celebration of Holy Mass,

Mainz / Aachen / Fulda, 4.2.2009
Dr. Guido Rodheudt, Kleikstrasse 58, D-52134 Herzogenrath
Hendrick Jolie, Hochstrasse 23, D-64367 Mühltal
Uwe Winkel, An der Kirche 7, D-36419 Spahl

Follow the Yellow Brick Road- youth Catholicism in Brussels 2009


Re-excommunicate says Central Council of Jews in Germany

Zentralrat der Juden - Pius-Brüder aus der Kirche ausschließen Ausland Reuters

In the dispute over the Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson, the Central Council of Jews in Germany calls for the exclusion of the SSPX

The decision of the Pope, the excommunication of Williamson and three other bishops of the Brotherhood should be repealed, it must be revised, said Central Council Vice President Dieter Graumann on Thursday to Deutsche Funk. "The SSPX is a group of intolerant fanatics." Even in September, the group had called Jews as "the eternal murderers of God ". The worldview of the group was "deeply reactionary, anti-Semitic, fundamentalist and fanatical."

Pope Benedict XVI has asked Williamson to withdraw his denial of the genocide of six million European Jews by the Nazis. The rehabilitation of the four ultra-conservative bishops has triggered a storm around the world. The horde of critics has also included Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"From a German pope, we had hoped for much more tact," said Graumann. The fact that Benedict had asked Williamson to withdraw, either as the "beginning of the beginning of a first step" was to be welcomed.
Cathcon comments- it is precisely from the stigmatisation as a group using unjustified stereotypes that Jews have suffered from so greviously over the centuries. They would wish to exclude from the Church one leading traditionalist in Austria who I found at synagogue service in Linz and who has the deepest sympathy for the community and there are, of course, others.

Cardinal calls for review of the decision to lift excommunications

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

The Vatican and the Nazi scandal - a wave of indignation runs through Germany! spoke with the Berlin Archbishop Cardinal George Sterzinsky. 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.

French writer denies she plotted against the Pope and says the Pope did know

"Ni moi ni la télévision suédoise ne connaissions à l'avance l'agenda du Vatican"

Fiammetta Venner, a specialist in French political fundamentalism and author with Caroline Fourest of “New Soldiers of the Pope”, attended on 21 January, the issuance of the Swedish television during which Richard Williamson held about Holocaust deniers. Accuses the Vatican of seeking to destabilize and Benedict XVI.

The Vatican accused you of having mounted with Swedish television a "conspiracy" against Benedict XVI, through the broadcast of Richard Williamson about three days before his return to the Catholic Church. Can you tell how this interview was held with Williamson and what was your role?

Fiammetta Venner: I read that in the Italian press. I thought it was a joke but the Vatican communique to the world at large, seriously accused us, Caroline Fourest and myself of being behind a "conspiracy against the Pope." The supposed conspiracy was proved by the fact that we are opposed to "clericalism" – which seems to be present in integrist circles - and that we could be close to the Grand Orient de France.

The truth is slightly less romantic, unfortunately ... As writers, we have written a book on the “New Soldiers of the Pope that specifically talks about the integrist current that the Pope wants to reconcile. A Swedish team was preparing a documentary about the arrival in Sweden of the Fraternity Saint Pius X and interviewed me. She asked me my opinion on some representive figures in the Lefebvre movement. I have confirmed that Bishop Williamson held views that deny the holocaust. They interviewed him and he explained that the gas chambers did not exist, facing the camera.

Do you know if the release date of the interview was set specifically to interfere with the announcement of the reinstatement of traditionalist bishops?

Fiammetta Venner: The interview was filmed in November 2008 but the film was scheduled for weeks to be broadcast on January 21. Bad luck for the Vatican, which had decided to announce the reinstatement of Willamson on the same day. This is, of course, a chance. Neither I nor the Swedish television knew in advance the agenda of the Vatican. But more importantly, it does not alter the case. If observers and journalists have no trouble of knowing about belief negationist Williamson, how the Pope can claim have only just discovered them?

The Pope asked Williamson on Wednesday to withdraw his remarks. This will apparently be sufficient?

Fiammetta Venner: That is for Catholics to say. What I can say, as an analyst, is that the reinstatement of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1998 raises problems which go far beyond what Bishop Williamson. Most Catholic traditionalists feel a certain nostalgia for the time when we prayed for the conversion of the soul of the Jewish deicides [the prayer for the Jews, as amended in the wake of Vatican Council II]. The act of restoring the spirit of that prayer, even in other ways, is a huge concession to the fundamentalist wing. The question is whether the "unity of the Church" will be at the expense of those who remain committed to Vatican II,and to ecumenism.