Thursday, February 26, 2009

German Bishops' Conference to discuss SSPX

D: Thissen begrüßt Bischofskonferenzthema „Piusbruderschaft“

At their Spring meeting, 2nd-5th March.

"An aggressive educational work is necessary within churches to combat anti-semitism"

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, has warned about serious anti-Semitic tendencies in the churches.

"Recent events illustrate how deeply rooted anti-Semitism is, especially in the fundamentalist currents of the Catholic Church," she says to WELT ONLINE. "It is shocking, with such assumptions that in an enlightened society Jewish people are criticised from behind or openly called murderers of God," criticized Knobloch.

The President of the Central Council of Jews will take part on Sunday at the central ceremony of the "Week of Brotherhood" with German President Horst Köhler at the Hamburg Schauspielhaus. She will, however, not be making a speech.

As Charlotte Knobloch said, the Central Council of Jews expects from the "Week of Brotherhood," that from all sides a clear demarcation will be made from anti-Semitic groups, who agitate with age-old stereotypes against Jewish people. It is not sufficient in churches to condemn anti-Semitism. Rather it was the moral duty of the churches to combat anti-Semitism within their own ranks.

Knobloch called on those responsible, "to direct themselves as quickly as possible to false anti-Semitic developments within the churches." To condemn latent anti-Semitism, an aggressive educational work is necessary.

In the context of the "Week of Brotherhood", which has been organized since 1952 and the Christian-Jewish dialogue, the President of the Central Council of Jews said: "This dialogue, which for decades has grown slowly and led to a coexistence of religions in mutual respect, can only continue to function well if the theme of anti-Semitism is made a topic, paid attention to and clarified and that the historically burdened mission to the Jews in a modern society can no longer have a place. "

Charlotte Knobloch also commented on the clashes with the Vatican in recent weeks and the rehabilitation of the British churchman Bishop Williamson, who denies the Holocaust. The Pope did condemn the denial of the Holocaust and any form of anti-Semitism, but as yet has considered no consequences for the anti-semitic SSPX, she criticized. It was in this context, incomprehensible and absurd, that the Vatican had allowed Williamson time for consideration so that he could convince himself about th existence of the Holocaust. "This is a farce for all survivors of the genocide, in which six million Jewish people were murdered."

Charlotte Knobloch again criticized the role of Pope Benedict XVI on the question of the Jewish mission. The reformulation of the Good Friday Prayers is in her view a clear step backwards in Christian-Jewish dialogue. "Through the backward looking intervention of the Pope, words have been give to a disdain of the Jewish religion which is not appropriate to a tolerant theology and therefore is dangerous."

Fr Wagner- now the Honorary Citizenship is in doubt

Ehrenbürgerschaft für Pfarrer Gerhard M. Wagner ist noch offen

The conferment of honorary citizenship of Windischgarsten on Father Gerhard Maria Wagner is still not certain.

The proposal comes from Mayor Norbert Vögerle (Peoples' Party- the Christian Democrats), who in a conversation with the other party leaders was assured of the consent of all parties in the town council .

"However, at the time Father Wagner had not yet announced his withdrawal from the future office as Bishop of the Diocese of Linz ," says SP-chairman Manfred Trinkl. He fears a split in the village, if the application should be on the agenda for the council meeting next Friday and Wagner is actually given the Honorary Citizenship.

"It is not the right time," agrees councilor Reinhard Virag (Socialist) . "We stand behind the priest, but at the present time, it is not defensible, in addition to causing a stir." FP-Chairman Werner Fuchs says the whole place is standing behind Wagner and his pastoral activities were positive. Mayor Norbert Vögerle yesterday could not be reached for a telephone opinion .

Cathcon: the Austrian comedy show continues

Bishop Williamson apologises to all souls that took honest scandal before God


The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.

Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.

On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (…„I believe“…„I believe“…) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I saidbefore God I apologise.

As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.

+Richard Williamson
London 26 February 2009.

Cardinal Schönborn spins

• • Unruhe in der katholischen Kirche: Erzdiözese bezeichnet Gerüchte als Unsinn • Politik, Inland:

From those close to Cardinal Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn, the NEWS learned yesterday that, an "official acknowledgment of the Pope is absolutely not necessary," and also the latest rumours current during the week which also reached the archbishop's palace in Vienna that the Vatican could in any case consecrate Dr. Wagner in Rome rather in Linz they take to be sheer nonsense, because this would be a total snub for the local episcopate and many Catholics, not just in the Diocese of Linz .

Bishop Richard Williamson in line for speaking date

from-Times Online

The SSPX should only give him a platform for a full and unreserved apology to the Pope, the Church and the Jewish people.

Dissident theologians criiticised by Bavarian Bishops

D: Freisinger Bischofskonferenz kritisiert „Petition Vaticanum II“:

The Freising Bishops' Conference has criticised the argumentation in the "Petition Vaticanum II". The Bishops of the Conference reject the allegation that the Pope has betrayed the Second Vatican Council.

The Council set out the Catholic faith "in an authentic and also accessible and convincing manner," the bishops continue. The Council decisions were "binding in their entirety on the Catholic Church, adds the Freising Bishops' Conference.

Full background

Vatican II was bigger than the Council itself

Dr. John C. Rao: George Weigel and "The Happening"

If I should ever write a book called Begging the Question, Mr. Weigel's insistence on "unambiguously affirming Vatican II" would provide me all the material I would need to complete the task. For those two little words, "Vatican II" have never referred solely to a particular, self-contained Ecumenical Council in the way that the words "Ephesus" or "Lateran IV" or "Trent" do. "Vatican II" has always meant a great deal more than this from the very first moment that media-savvy theologians hijacked the original conciliar working documents to promote their own vision of progressive Christianity.

Vatican II was "the event" and then every Mass after it had to be "an event". Spot on comments from Dr Rao

Muslim converts to Catholicism launch Novena for the Pope

VATICAN At Lent, let us pray for the Pope - Asia News

The bravest among us!
For this Lent we are inviting our readers to devote a special prayer for Pope Benedict XVI. The idea came to us from a number of Muslim converts to Christianity who wrote to AsiaNews launching a novena for the Pontiff. They see in Benedict XVI as a “defender of the weak” and “a sign of Jesus’ love” in a world that is trying to attack him every which way. As new converts they too are among the weak, forced to hide their conversion even from their family. Moreover, the Pope himself had asked for a special prayer.

On the day the Church celebrated the Chair of Peter (22 February),  Benedict XVI spoke to pilgrims in St Peter’s Square during the Angelus, asking them to “accompany me with your prayers so that I may faithfully accomplish the high task Divine Providence has placed upon me as Successor to the Apostle Peter” and bishop of Rome. Indeed, the Church is “called to fulfil a special service for the People of God as a whole.”

We all know how difficult ecumenism, the struggle for Christian unity, can be. Every step the Pope takes is met by coldness, indifference and prevarication from other Churches. Here is one example among many. Despite Benedict XVI’s many prayers and attention, the new Orthodox patriarch of Moscow said, a day after his election, that a trip by the Pontiff to Moscow was not possible for the foreseeable future.

The Pope’s search for unity also suffers from trying to hold together various Catholic strands, still too much divided (perhaps confused) between “progressive” and “traditionalists”, “North” and “South”, “rich” and “poor”, each missing the chance of respecting one another other, and acting as one in bearing witness to the faith in a world that is increasingly becoming atheistic.

The lifting of the excommunication on Lefebvrist Bishop Williamson gave  many politicians, big and small, an opportunity to accuse the Pope of anti-Semitism, without getting their facts straight or realising that Benedict  XVI is the one who build a strong relationship with the Jewish world over the years. It is almost as if everyone got together to cast stones against the scapegoat of the week. In fact Benedict XVI is one of the few voices saying that humans cannot be bought by politics or that the state must serve the public good.

In a continent like Europe where plans are underway to introduce  euthanasia and eugenics, the Pope has insisted that “Man will always be greater than all that which makes up his body.” He has slammed the mindset that views life and personal dignity as “based [only] on one's own desire and individual freedom,” giving precedence to the “active faculties, to proficiency, to physical perfection and beauty.”

In all these “incidents” there may have been some errors or clumsiness by the Roman Curia, but in the “war” against Benedict XVI there is above all an attempt to stifle those who tell everyone that there is an absolute value in human beings.

As crises overtake ideologies and economies, overwhelming the world, this is the latest attempt to get rid of God as if he was a final burden. 

"The whole point is Jesus is totally inclusive,"

Catholic parish starts religious ed for autistic -

No, it is not, rather St Mark 10

13 And they brought to him young children, that he might touch them. And the disciples rebuked them that brought them.
14 Whom when Jesus saw, he was much displeased, and saith to them: Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it. 16 And embracing them, and laying his hands upon them, he blessed them.
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, a certain man running up and kneeling before him, asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may receive life everlasting?
18 And Jesus said to him, Why callest thou me good? None is good but one, that is God.

I once, a long time ago, said to a traditionalist Catholic that I was impressed with special Masses in the Novus Ordo for the disabled because of their simplicity and flexibility. He said, "You would deny them the greatest thing this side of Heaven". To which there is no answer.

Indeed, the son of one of my friends who is autistic asked to be received into the Catholic Church shortly after coming into residence in a Catholic care home. He knew the fact which all the clever people in the world make excuses to avoid- the unique salvific role of the Church which Christ founded.

The best day of my life was spent in a special needs school - I could see the face of Christ on each and every one of the children.

A learned despiser of Cathcon once said that I was "autistic" because I would not listen. Untrue, because austistic childen listen and have difficulty in responding, to them the world being a closed circle, but like the early Christians, for whom "Christian" was a pejorative, it is a charge I gladly accept.

If ever there was a proof that great good can come out of what seems profound evil, the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will be on a mission to ensure that society thinks first of and acts for its must vulnerable, whether at the beginning or the end of their lives or even during.

Dinner with Michele Renouf


One of the most painful evenings of my life was spent in the company of Michele Renouf. We had invited an elderly Count, now sadly passed away, around for dinner, who told us that he would be probably be bringing Raine Spencer, who we had met before from time to time. But we were not due for a quiet social evening. He brought with him instead Michele Renouf clothed Indian style, a memory of a previous romance.

A priest was also present. We all were amazed when she regaled us with theories about the superfluousness of the Old Testament. She also declared that Jesus was not in the slightest way Jewish echoing, ironically, the views of the 19th century liberal Catholic theologian, Ernest Renan who wrote The Life of Christ.

More recently, according to Wikepedia, she has gone further

She has been working during 2007-8 on Pious Piracy, a new DVD about the New Testament that questions whether Jesus ever existed and that features interviews with Prof. Dr. Christian Lindtner (author of Gematria and the Gospels), Kenneth Humphreys ("Jesus never Existed"), and Dr Zacharias Thundy ("Buddha and Christ"').

Adding irony to irony, Ernest Renan wrote a work called "Anti-Christ", which is the fourth volume of his "Magnum Opus", the origins of Christianity whose tone is less than sympathetic to Judaism. The only time that I have heard Bishop Williamson preach, he opened his sermon with the words, "The Anti-Christ is approaching", a sermon completely lacking in the pious hope, intrinsic to Christianity, that the Church can be restored prior to the dread day of judgement. He held out as little hope for Catholicism as Renan did for the Jews.

Return to our dinner party. How can there be a Christianity without the magnificent prayers of the Psalms, how can the Old Testament be read except as a providential foretelling of the great Redemption that was at hand? Michele Renouf is not alone in thinking that there are no archetypes in the Old Testament- there are liberal Catholic professors in Rome who think that they are merely poetic contrivances.

Michele Renouf was at the time studying at the Jesuit Heythrop College who were clearly so liberal as to tolerate such gross error. The priest at the dinner party did all he could to correct her views, but she was obstinate.

Bishop Williamson should be careful about the company he keeps. Does he not know that David Irving's best friend is the playwright, Hochhuth, whose play The Representative can be seen as the ultimate source of every myth about the wartime role of Pope Pius XII? See Articles of Faith.

The Bishop would be the first to say that "error has no rights" but then goes and gives voice to such a grave error. The final irony is that his erstwhile pursuers would be, at least in theory, the last people to maintain that "error has no rights."

All this just stresses the importance of a high view of truth. As the great Anglican theologian, E L Mascall put it (whose sadly didn't in the end convert),

For there is really nothing academic, in the pejorative sense, about the notion of Truth at all. It lies at the base of all sane human intercourse, civilized and uncivilized alike. It is what children are taught to teil and what even liars hope they will be thought to be telling. It is what every witness in a court of law is placed under oath to respect and for disregard of which he may be sentenced for perjury. The capacity to recognize it differentiates man from the brutes. It is the ground of what I have described as the Intellectual Principle. And that, as I said at the beginning, is so obvious that hardly anyone but philosophers and theologians would think of questioning it.

and Pope Benedict is firm that truth cannot ever be relativised, as the modern world, to the left and the right and the centre of politics is so fond of doing.

Cardinal Meisner hits out at Carnival

Rosenmontagszug: Kardinal Meisner schimpft über Karnevalswagen RP ONLINE

At the Düsseldorf Carnival Procession which takes place every year on the Monday before Ash Wednesday, the Pope is shown shaking the devil's hand. The devil was in this case Bishop Williamson, a Holocaust denier and an illegally consecrated bishop of the traditionalists. Cologne's Cardinal Joachim Meisner believes that the Papal theme in this procession to be hurtful.

The presentation of Pope Benedict XVI shaking the the hand of the devil in the guise of Bishop Williamson," he would not leave unchallenged, writes the archbishop in the next edition of the church newspaper for the Archdiocese of Cologne." Meisner literally: "The presentation is not only wrong, it is also hurtful."  Pictures and earlier report

"Presentation wrong and hurtful"
The cardinal stressed that the specific contribution was just an "Interruption", the carnival being a good opportunity to take aim at politics and society. "But if humor becomes malice, spoof becomes damaging and over emphasis, falsification, then the carnival itself looses." This is what happened in the portrayal of the Pope in Dusseldorf.

At World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, the Rhine countries opened their hearts wide open to the Pope, writes Meisner further. Cordiality and cheerfulness were also features of the carnival. "This should remain so," says the Cardinal. The vehicle of the Düsseldorf carnival wagon maker Jacques Tilly the smiling Pope shakes the hand of the Holocaust deniers and illegally consecrated traditionalist Bishop Williamson. The SSPX member is depicted as a red devil with the word "antisemitism" .
Carnival hits back coming soon!

30000 Catholics criticise the Pope

Immer mehr Gläubige stützen Petition gegen Williamson - 30 000 kritisieren den Papst - Nachrichten -

More and more believers support petition against Williamson
Munich - Approximately 30 000 people, including many theology professors, have so far signed a petition to Pope Benedict XVI for the lifting of the excommunication of the traditionalist-Bishop and Richard Williamson criticized Holocaust deniers. It was reported from the districts of the initiators. An official figure will be be published during the spring session of the German bishops which begins in Hamburg on Monday . The petition disturbs the German bishops, since the Regensburg Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller had threatened three signatory Professors with sanctions if they do not remove their signatures. In spite of a jointly published statement by the Diocese and the theological faculty of Regensburg , which should have settles the dispute, the matter for Bishop Müller is apparently not over. In an interview he said the statement an "attack on the Pope." This was contradicted by one of the authors of the petition, the Heidelberg professor emeritus Norbert Scholl, in an open letter to Mueller. The petition has been drafted "from a great concern for the welfare of the Church" . By his action against the signatories Müller was "increasingly incomprehensible" - even to the Bishop's colleagues. He, Scholl, had experienced in the GDR, "how many priests and devout Catholics have suffered in the power apparatus of the GDR regime ." But from a bishop, he expected, rather than being required to submit for him to search for dialogue.