Monday, January 26, 2009

New statement by German Bishops' Conference

The Chairman of the sub-commission for religious relations with Judaism of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Mussinghoff, Bishop of Aachen,said Monday "This clear denial of the holocaust, which presently is under investigation in Germanm, we reject most sharply".

Juden beklagt wachsenden Antisemitismus: Jew allege growing anti-semitism which also discusses an amazingly intemperate TV discussion about Gaza which was shown this week on German TV and a desecration of a Jewish graveyard.

The head of the Frankfurt Jewish community has accused the Pope of falling back into the Middle Ages.

Feast of St Polycarp


"Fourscore and six years have I served Him, and He has done me no harm. How then can I curse my King that saved me."

Accept the Second Vatican Council, SSPX told


Cathcon translation of "Jetzt Konzil anerkennen“

After the lifting of the excommunication of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X , the traditionalist community should recognise the Second Vatican Council to fully return to the bosom of the Church. The Vienna Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Helmut Krätzl suggests this in a comment on Vatican Radio. Krätzl was the person responsible for the ecumenism office of the Austrian Bishops' Conference.

To Vatican Radio Krätzl said this Monday:

"A schism in the Church is a painful wound and also harms her reputation in the world. It is therefore understandable that the Pope tried everything in order to heal this wound.

Many have wondered, however, that the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated unlawfully taken place before they had taken back in public their vehement criticism of the council and hence the development of the Church. In particular, concerns are raised by their rejection of the Declaration on Religious Freedom. The adoption of this conciliar document has impressively shown that the Council Fathers, contrary to the statements of(Cathcon Pope!) Gregory XVI in the encyclical, Mirari vos' 1832 now all wished to establish freedom of conscience in religious issues (Cathcon- Council over Pope, either their own or another - unheard of!). Something which is now one of the most fundamental matters of human rights.

The questioning of the renewed liturgy by the Society attacks the progress of the church after the council in an even more central manner. Indeed, the renewed liturgy is not just an amendment to a rite, but it reflects a deeper vision of the Church (Cathcon- splutter) . Instead of a pure priestly liturgy priest, the active participation of God's people is now called for. (Cathcon- Pope!) John Paul II has said at the 25th anniversary of the liturgy constitution: "There is in fact a very close and organic link between the renewal of the liturgy and the renewal of the entire life of the Church." I therefore understand the fear of many that a return to the preconciliar liturgy will call the post conciliar development will even be called into question.

The Pope, through the withdrawal of the excommunication has made a generous legal gesture. The Society of St Pius X should now fully and inwardly accept the Council in order to return to the bosom of the church again.”

The statenent also appears on the website of the Austrian Bishops' Conference.

This is also essentially the line taken by the German Bishops' Conference.

"The Pope shows the possibility of return to full communion with the Catholic Church and also without doubt that the decisions of the Second Vatican Council are an indispensable basis for the life of the Church." Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Chairman in a statement on their website

Seperately, Italian bishops denounce holocaust denier

Cardinal Kasper slams Bishop Williamson

UK further reactions from Jewish groups

Jewish leaders condemn Pope over Holocaust bishop

Dr Ed Kessler, of the Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, said: 'In the 20 odd years that I have been teaching Jewish-Christian relations I never thought I would witness a time when in the name of Christian unity, a German-bred Pope would bring back into the fold a Holocaust-denier. It is absolutely astonishing. While it is an internal decision for the Roman Catholic Church it has huge consequences, not just in terms of relations with Jews but also other faiths and ecumenical relations. It is a very very sad day for Catholic-Jewish relations.

Bishop Fellay first interview

following the excommunications

Bishop Williamson on the lifting of the excommunications

or the Re-Incommunication as he calls it.

The next moves forwards for the SSPX after the lifting of the excommunications:

'Nothing of the sort this time, according to our sources: 'Vatican II is not a dogma of faith', they say. From the moment in which the bishops and priests of the Fraternity recognize the Church, and the Magisterium of the Pope, that will suffice as an implicit acknowledgment.'

Reaction of the Swiss Jewish Community

Pope Benedict snubs the Jews

"I do not understand the Catholic Church", Sabine Simkhovitch-Dreyfus, Vice President of the Swiss Jewish Community.

Bishop Williamson will retract his comments claims Catholic spokesman

Jüdische Kritik an Papstentscheidung:

The remarks were "unacceptable" and do not belong to the teaching of the Catholic Church, said the spokesman of the Bishops' Conference, Matthias Kopp, on Monday in the ZDF morning programme. Williamson is one of the four bishopsrehabilitated by the Vatican on Saturday , who since 1988 have been excommunicated. The Regensburg state prosecutor is investigating. "Williamson will sooner or later, retract his speech ," said Kopp. The church had "mechanisms" to deal with him. The outrage of the Jewish communities about the Holocaust denial of the British bishop Kopp said was "very well understood." In this sense, the Vatican had also expressed its shock.

Father David Neuhaus comments referred to in the German article here.

Rather the pope has a burning desire to put an end to the schism in the Church. Discussion is going inside the Church regarding the pope's attempt to bring back into the fold ultra ultra conservatives who never accepted the reforms of Vatican II and were illicitly consecrated. There are those in the Church he feel that the pope is humiliating himself for men unrepentant of their views."

Neuhaus, who is also secretary-general of the Hebrew Speaking Catholic Vicariate in the Holy Land, said the Church's position on the Holocaust was a very sensitive issue for the local Catholic community.

"It touches on the very heart of who we are here in the Holy Land as promoters of historical reconciliation of Jewish and Catholic relations so that Jews and Catholics understand each other more," he said

Cardinal Kasper did not know about the lifting of the excommunications

- Healing Schism, Pope Risks Another

Cardinal Walter Kasper, the director of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the liaison for Vatican-Jewish relations, said Sunday that he had not been consulted. “It was a decision of the pope,” the cardinal said in a telephone interview.

That Benedict apparently did not widely discuss a matter that has provoked anger among Jewish groups and liberal Catholics was not out of character, however. It was just the latest example of how the pope is increasingly focused on internal doctrinal issues and seemingly unaware of how they might resonate in the larger world.

More criticism of the lifting of the excommunications

in Focus Online

Christian Weisner Precher, spokesman for "We are Church" made the criticism in the "New Osnabrücker newspaper that the Vatican had received the traditionalists without any precondition.

Heinz-Wilhelm Brockmann, Vice-President of the Central Committee of German Catholic defended in the "Frankfurter Rundschau" the step of the pope as an attempt to "build more unity in the Church ." The Vatican has approached a group who are in many respects from distanced from the Church . "They deny central decisions of the Second Vatican Council for instance in the liturgy and religious freedom."

Figaro poll- do you approve of the decision of Benedict XVI to remove the excommunication of the traditionalist bishops?

Le Figaro - International : Approuvez-vous la décision de Benoît XVI de lever l'excommunication des évêques intégristes ?

The newspaper uses the pejorative term integrist.

Integrism is a term originally coined by liberal French Catholics at the time of the French Revolution to describe those who rejected the principles of the Revolution (liberty, fraternity, equality) in favor of the doctrines taught by the Council of Trent and obedience to the Papacy. It is used derisively in modern times by some who believe that certain Catholics have falsely elevated theological differences into differences in dogma, by degrees. For example, the term was used by liberal Catholics at the time of St. Pius X to deride those who defended his encyclical Pascendi

Today it used as a pejorative to "describe" those who adhere to traditional Catholicism. It includes those who separate the Holy See from the governance of Catholic faith, especially where it concerns the Latin rite Mass and the controversy between the Normative Mass, and the Mass of the 1962 Missal, but also is used toward some who believe and practice traditional Catholicism.
from Wikepedia.

And Cathcon's very own poll with unbiased questioning!

Cathcon poll
Do you approve of the decision of Benedict XVI to remove the excommunication of the traditionalist bishops?

Solemn abjuration of past errors

Made by then Lutheran pastor, Sten Sandmark in Paris in 2006. He received the diaconate in November 2008 from Bishop Williamson- the latter them proceeded to give his famous interview.