Monday, July 02, 2012
Catholic Church Conservation: Regensburg Bishop- All four SSPX bishops should resign and the SSPX seminary should close
"The SSPX bishops should resign"
The Regensburg Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller about the prohibition of the Holocaust denier, Williamson in his diocese, and what he wants from the Society of St Pius X.
In the diocese the Society of St Pius X runs a Seminary - Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller (left) wants to close it down.
ZEIT ONLINE: The lifting of the excommunication of the Bishop and Holocaust denier Williamson will continue to cause protest. Surely Pope Benedict knew about this beforehand?
Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller: Outwardly the Pope bears the responsibility. But critical for a lifting of excommunication is the internal process, the work of the committees. I do not believe that the Pope knew about the views of Bishop Williamson knew. Pope Benedict, in a generous gesture opened his arms
ZEIT ONLINE How did he decide on this gesture?
Muller: The Pope received an urgent request from the SSPX for the excommunication to be annulled. It was from him a generous act to reach out a hand to a group standing at the border of the Church. The pope in no way signals an agreement with the anti-Semitism of Williamson and other members of the SSPX. Their statements differ from the principles of the Catholic Church.
ZEIT ONLINE: Nevertheless, the Catholic Church and the Pope are in a bad position, because a Holocaust denier seems to be rehabilitated..
Müller: Christ has not redeemed the people and founded the faith communities of Christians so that we now discriminate against other religions. The statements of Williamson are unsustainable and do not have a sense that a true Catholic can represent. Such statements must be rejected with all resolution possible. In addition, a rehabilitation cannot be talked about ...
The bishop of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, asks the SSPX to follow the procedures of canon law.
ZEIT ONLINE: Why not?
Müller: The bishops and priests are not rehabilitated, the Pope is merely responding to their desire to come to lift the excommunication. Now we have to assess whether they even meet the requirements, which the Catholic Church places on its priests.
ZEIT ONLINE: Is the censure of Bishop Williamson which has been issued by the General Superior of the SSPX enough?
Mueller: No, this is not enough. After removal of the excommunication, Bishop Williamson is under the authority of the Pope - not that of his superiors. The Holy Father will decide what happens with the bishop. I recommend the SSPX free themselves from such persons.
ZEIT ONLINE: You have banned Bishop Williamson from institutions in your diocese banned. How did it happen?
Muller: It was a rather symbolic act, with which I wanted to show that the Catholic Church has nothing to do with Williamson’s theories and also with anti-Semitism. He denied the holocaust in the seminary of Zaitzkofen of the SSPX which is located near Regensburg, have denied the Holocaust. The diocese of Regensburg is distancing themselves.
ZEIT ONLINE: How is it with the seminary Zaitzkofen and Pius Brotherhood in Germany go?
Müller: The SSPX must fully return to the ground of the Catholic Church and recognise the authority of the Pope, the decisions of the Second Vatican Council and recognize existing canon law. If they do, they also accept that the seminary of Zaitzkofen falls under the supervision of the Diocese of Regensburg. The seminary should be closed and the students should go to seminaries in their home countries - if they are suitable for this purpose.
ZEIT ONLINE: So far, the SSPX of regular protests by bishops geschert little. Do you think that this is different now?
Müller: Everything else would be a deception. I have witten a letter to the Vatican and asked for the legal status of the seminary of Zaitzkofen to be verified. Even the Constitution of the SSPX should be critically considered by canon lawyers.
ZEIT ONLINE: What does it mean for the SSPX, if they really unconditionally recognize the authority of the Pope?
Müller: The priests who were consecrated illegally, have no more obligation to obey their bishops, but onlythe Pope. A French bishop of the SSPX us at Rome, of the special teaching his group to follow - this is absurd. A bishop's office should not be misused for speaking personal political views to the detriment of the Church.
ZEIT ONLINE: The representatives of the SSPX have following the lifting of the excommunication have shown themselves not exactly grateful- alongside anti-Semitic statements were also calls to the Vatican to take back reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
Mueller: It seems to me as if there are within the SSPX still strong reservations against the Second Vatican Council. If the group does not keep their promises to the Pope, it working under a false pretense.
ZEIT ONLINE: Can the SSPX be easily integrated into the Catholic Church?
Müller: The theological views of SSPX deviate in part from the Catholic Church. And politically, they are for ideas, which we reject. In France, there are links of the SSPX to the extreme right. From these the SSPX must clearly dissociate themselves.
ZEIT ONLINE: What is now going to happen to the SSPX bishops after the excommunication?
Müller: The illegal Episcopal consecration canot lead to a receipt of office. The bishop is a minister of unity. The four Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated bishops do not have the aptitude for this office.
ZEIT ONLINE: What do you expect now from the bishops of the SSPX?
Müller: The four bishops of the SSPX should all resign and in political and no longer comment on ecclesiastical policy issues. They should lead an exemplary life as a simple priest and chaplain as part of the reparation for the damage that the schism has caused.