Friday, January 30, 2009

Papal relations -letter in The Times


Pope Benedict XVI's decision over reinstatement of excommunicated bishops shows decided change in direction from days of John Paul II

Given Pope John Paul II was the most progressive Pope in the history of the Church, one cannot be surprised at the disappointment now. Yet all the same progressives who he did so much for, complained bitterly about him at the time

The lifting of the excommunications could have been signed in any year of the previous Papacy after the excommunications themselves which themselves in all Christian charity were unecessary and putatively illicit. Why was it never done? Bishop Williamson would also not at that stage have had a record as long as your arm of pronoucements extra to his episcopal role.

Bishop Williamson’s health

from What Does The Prayer Really Say?

The Italian site Messa In Latino is reporting that perhaps SSPX Bp. Williamson may be suffering, even dying, from cancer.

Among other La Repubblica’s Marco Politti, not my favorite but very well-informed, recounted what Bp. Negri of San Marino said, namely, that Williamson has a tumor and is dying: "Intanto mons. Williamson è chiuso nel seminario di La Reja in Argentina. Il vescovo di San Marino mons. Luigi Negri ha dichiarato a sorpresa a Repubblica-Tv che il presule «ha un tumore e sta morendo."

Also, Card. Castrillon was reported to hav commented on Bp. Williamson’s health.

Please pray!

And subsequently denied via Rorate Caeli.

"His Excellency is alive and well and rumors of a tumor are not true and a very unfortunate attempt to draw Bishop Williamson out into the public arena for some sort of comment or interview."

Please pray in any case for the Bishop.

Ubi Primum on the Duties of Bishops

To Our Venerable Brothers, the Patriarchs, the Primates, the Archbishops, and the Bishops. 

Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Benediction. 

When it first pleased God to raise Us to the supreme See of Saint Peter, He entrusted to Us the power of the Vicar of Christ as governor of His universal Church. We heard the divine voice: 

"Feed my lambs; feed my sheep." The care of both the lambs of the Lord's flock (who are the people scattered through the entire world) and of the sheep, (the bishops who act as tender parents of the lambs) is entrusted to the pope. Therefore, brothers, receive the words of your shepherd through this letter. You are called to share in Our concerns. Understand from Our warnings and exhortations how much the desire to fulfill Our duties presses upon Us. Keep in mind also the strength of Our love for you, which leads Us to earnestly desire the eternal joy of the shepherds which comes from the progress of the flock.


Concluding Exhortation

6. Finally, to cover many matters in a few words, it is fitting that you yourselves be the promoters, the leaders, and the teachers in every sacred and ecclesiastical function and in every exercise of divine worship and of piety. Thus, both the clergy and the whole flock may be enlightened, as if by the brightness of your holiness and may be warmed by the fire of your love. Therefore, be an example for your flock in the frequent celebration of the Mass, in devout offering, in solemn celebration of Masses, in administering the sacraments, in reciting the breviary, in respect for and in the splendor of the churches in the discipline of your household and of your spiritual family, in love for the poor and in helping them, in looking after the sick and supporting them, in welcoming pilgrims with hospitality, and finally in every good work of Christian virtue. Thus, all may be imitators of you just as you are imitators of Christ as is fitting for bishops whom the Holy Spirit placed in charge of the Church of God which Jesus redeemed by His blood. Look back often on the apostles to whose place you have succeeded. Follow in their footsteps in works, in vigilance, in bearing hardship, in keeping the wolves away from your sheep, in removing the roots of vices, in teaching the evangelical law, and in leading back to salutary penance those who have strayed.

The omnipotent and merciful God will surely be with you. In that comforter, we can do everything. We trust that religious princes will give you their help. In addition, this Holy See will assist you whenever you think Our Apostolic authority will be helpful. May all of you whom We love in Christ Jesus come to Us with confidence as Our brothers, Our helpers, and Our crown of glory. Come to the Holy Roman Church, your mother and the head and teacher of all the churches. The source of religion comes from her. The rock of faith and the fount of priestly unity resides here, as well as the teaching of uncorrupted truth. We desire nothing more and find nothing more pleasant than to serve the glory of God with you and to work for the protection and the propagation of the Catholic faith. We want to save souls for whom We would willingly offer Our lives if necessary. Finally, may the great reward which waits for you rouse you and spur you on. When the Prince of Shepherds appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory and a crown of justice which is reserved for those faithful dispensers of the mysteries of God and for those energetic and vigilant observers of the house of Israel, the Holy Church of God. Though unworthy, We take the place of God on earth; accordingly, We bless your brotherhood lovingly. We impart Our apostolic blessing to your clergy and faithful people with paternal affection.

Given in Rome, at St. Mary Major, on the third day of December, 1740, the first year of Our pontificate.
The crisis in the Catholic Church is episcopal, starting with demands for following the "spirit of Vatican" to the exclusion of all other Councils and all the pronouncements of Popes through the ages. 

Full Swedish documentary about SSPX online

Link to video

Hat tip to Articles of Faith, who has an exclusive English article "If Obama were Pope" by Hans Kueng in response to the lifting of the excommunications.

15 theologians re-excommunicate Bishop Williamson

Tübinger Theologen klagen an- Tubingen theologians accuse.

Fifteen theology professors from Tubingen have criticized the lifting of the excommunication of the bishops of the Piusbruderschaft by Pope Benedict XVI. The action constitutes "a nuisance and a heavy burden" on not only their work, but also the work of many priests, pastoral staff, teachers and religious teachers, the Catholic theologians write in a joint statement. They fear that lifting the excommunication of the bishops has highlighted a turning point in post-Conciliar ecclesiastical history . Whoever strives on the basis of the Second Vatican Council for a church and a theology "in an open dialogue with the world and the religions, especially Judaism, are" feels that they have received a punch to the head. We respect the efforts of the Pope for the unity of the Church. Nevertheless, there is now in the Catholic Church bishops who reject "freedom of religion and conscience”, show an openness to an anti-ecumenical understanding, representing a clerical image of the Church within which the common priesthood of all believers has little meaning, and who "deliberately underestimate" the “Conciliar Church”. One of these bishops also denies the full extent of the Shoah and displays an anti-Semitic thinking. He stands thereby, as before, outside the communion of the church. The statement is signed by Urs Baumann, Albert Biesinger, Franz-Josef Bormann, Thomas Freyer, Ottmar Fuchs, Norbert Greinacher, Bernd Jochen Hilberath, Andreas Holzem, Joachim Kohler, Karl-Josef Kuschel, Dietmar Mieth, Andreas Odenthal, Richard Puza, Hans Reinhard Seeliger and Michael Theobald.

Bishop Williamson apologises to Pope and Cardinal Hoyos

Dinoscopus: A Letter

Following in the steps of Our Lord (Jn. XVIII, 23) and St. Paul (Acts, XXIII, 5), Archbishop Lefebvre gave his Society the example of never so cleaving to God's Truth as to abandon respect for the men holding God's Authority. In the midst of last week's media uproar, surely aimed rather at the Holy Father than at a relatively insignificant bishop, here is a letter written to Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on January 28 by that bishop:

To His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos

Your Eminence

Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems.

For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God. So I have only one comment, from the prophet Jonas, I, 12:

"Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you."

Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday. Most humbly I will offer a Mass for both of you.

Sincerely yours in Christ

+Richard Williamson
Posted by Bishop Richard Williamson

Reports that Cardinal Re attacks Cardinal Hoyos over the lifting of the excommunications


The paleo-liberal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Giovanni Battista Re, appears to be pretty upset about the circumstances of lifting the excommunication of the four-Lefebvre bishops.

The Italian business daily, 'Italia Oggi' reports.

They currently wondering in the Vatican about the question of whether someone had created “hidden pitfalls" in the lifting of the excommunication by the Pope.

The answer to this question allegedly was answered was given to those who last Sunday sat in a bus organized by the Vatican.

Once a year, two buses transport Vatican prelates from St. Peter's Square to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, where the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle takes place.

On one of the front seats of one of these buses is the voice of Cardinal Re has been heard loud and clear: "This Pasticción!"

The expression was a parody of the name of the president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who was in his mind.

The Italian word "pasticcione” means chaotic person or bungler.

According to the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, the –- gas chamber statements (which the anticlerical media highly welcomed) by Bishop Richard Williamson, and the subsequent festival of outrage was entirely the fault of Cardinal Castrillón-Pasticción.

He was in a hurry to lift the excommunication as he did not wish to miss the historic opportunity of ending the conflict with the Society of St Pius X.

"I, too, had only a few hours to view the document " - is Cardinal Re claimed in the bus.

The cardinal also seems to know the reason for the actions of Cardinal Castrillón:

"Everyone knows Castrillón is shortly 80 years old and goes into retirement. If the matter is not immediately completed, he would no longer be able to claim it as his own work."

The wrath of Cardinal Re was apparently directed also towards the author of the decree - the president of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, Bishop Francesco Coccopalmerio - " who has to struggle so much with the Italian language."

Cardinal Re would have preferred to have waited for one month - "and to give the news when the new statute for the Lefebvre supporters was ready. That would have been something completely different and we would have made no such fauxpas. "

The Cardinal was one of those present when the question was asked whether anyone had known about the interview of Bishop Williamson: "But how come" - he replied: "That was all well known to Castrillón-Pasticción. But he probably said nothing, and certainly underestimated the consequences. "

German Bishops understand criticism of the Pope

Deutsche Bischöfe verstehen jüdische Kritik am Papst.

Clear words of Robert Zollitsch: The chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference is "unhappy" about Pope Benedict XVI. He understood the Jewish protest against the rehabilitation of the controversial Bishop Williamson, he said - and demanded an apology from him.

Munich - The German Bishops' Conference seeks again to relax the relationship between Catholics and Jews in Germany. Following the escalation because of the readmission of Richard Williamson into the Catholic Church, the chairman Robert Zollitsch announced he would work for a de-escalation.

Archbishop Zollitsch: "We must do everything possible to ensure that such statements will not be repeated"

The Archbishop of Freiburg showed concern because of the tensions: "I will try soon to meet for talks with representatives of the Central Council of Jews in Germany," he said before a long planned visit to the synagogue in Mannheim. He will, with all his best efforts, ensure the continuance of regular meeting opportunities with Judaism in Germany. There could and should be no turning back in the dialogue between the two religions.

Williamson has denied, inter alia, the existence of gas chambers in the Nazi era denied. Zollitsch said that it was "unfortunate" that the Pope had not taken these comments into consideration when making his decision. There is no doubt that during the Nazi regime crimes had been committed against the Jewish people. "There are people who have been deliberately killed - simply because they were Jews." Zollitsch showed understanding for the sharp criticism from Jewish organizations of the rehabilitation of the papal Bishop Williamson: "I can understand that our Jewish brethren are concerned."

The Chairman of the Bishops' Conference demanded an apology from Williamson, whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI had lifted at the weekend: "Bishop Williamson must take back the statements made by him and apologize." His statements were "factually inaccurate and irresponsible": "We must do everything possible to ensure that such statements will not be repeated." There is no place in the Catholic Church for anti-Semitism and the denial of the Holocaust. The Church is in unceasing dialogue with Judaism. Zollitsch gave the assurance that "We will also do everything in our power to work on the dialogue in Germany."

British MPs condemn lifting of excommunication

on Holocaust denier, Bishop Williamson.

The Tablet in agonies

Pope Benedict’s high risk strategy

Cardinal Schönborn criticises Vatican

Cardinal Schönborn on Williamson: Obviously a mistake has been made here.

Someone, who denies the Holocaust, Shoah denies, cannot be restored to an office in the Church .

The Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn on Thursday evening on the ORF broadcast ZIB 2 in connection with the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St Pius X criticised Vatican colleagues and the information policy at the Vatican. Schönborn said that in connection with the lifting of the excommunication two things must be distinguished, namely the "intention of the pope" and the "information policy of the Vatican."

To quote directly, the Cardinal said: "The intention of the Pope is clear. He wants a reconciliation with this group, which 20 years ago separated from the Catholic Church and been living in a schism. What he has done was simply an outstretched hand. Whether this hand will be taken or not, time will tell. "

Schönborn then criticized the Vatican's information policy and said further: "The four bishops have not been rehabilitated. It was a unilateral gesture of reconciliation to lift the excommunication. But they are not yet in office and dignity. They must now show whether they are ready to take the outstretched hand of the Pope to take. The messages, which have been sent so far, are insufficient. For as long as these four bishops do not entirely clearly recognise the 2nd Vatican Council, it is certainly not full reconciliation. "

On the controversial Bishop Richard Williamson and his statements about the Holocaust, the Cardinal then said : "Obviously a mistake has been made here. Someone, who denies the Holocaust, Shoah denies, cannot be restored to an office in the Church . Here there must be also a certain criticism of the Vatican's criticism of staff practice, which is obviously did not examine the matter carefully or did not examine sufficiently the case in the information that they had.