Saturday, January 24, 2009

Its Official SSPX Excommunications Lifted By Pope Benedict (Links)

Here is the English translation

By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Mons. Fellay affirms, among other things: "We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial disposition.

We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much."His Holiness Benedict XVI - paternally sensitive to the spiritual unease manifested by the interested party due to the sanction of excommunication and trusting in the effort expressed by them in the aforementioned letter of not sparing any effort to deepen the necessary discussions with the Authority of the Holy See in the still open matters, so as to achieve shortly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem posed in the origin - decided to reconsider the canonical situation of Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, arisen with their episcopal consecration.

With this act, it is desired to consolidate the reciprocal relations of confidence and to intensify and grant stability to the relationship of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X with this Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, is also intended to be a sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church and to try to vanquish the scandal of division.It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Based on the faculties expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit from Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that time.

Father Z has a ton of links on this at A French and German bishop react; some comments by Fr. Finigan . Also see his common sense commentary at Some thoughts about the SSPX, Rome, and unity

His web page will be one that one should check out for updates.

Let me say I think we need to be real careful about what does this does. The Pope in a signal of wanting to heal the breach has lifted the excommunications. That does not mean that the SSPX is in full Union with the Church. This is a first step and now we must see how it is replied too.

Needless to say as predicted the Jewish voices wasted no time in doing an outcry. We shall need to pray for the Holy Father as well as responsible Jewish Voices that this does not become clouded. The whole (SSPX ENGLISH BISHOP MESS)

A Commenter on the Ratzinger Forum said something very reasonable on this:

The Catholic Church has many members who are guilty of multiple murders and rape and similar heinous crimes as terrible as Bishop Williamson's demented bigotry. But they are not excommunicated for that. Excommunication is not a punishment for sins against God's laws. It ia a canonical instrument of discipline - a Church measure to keep its members in line with respect to canonical law, not civil or criminal law, and has even less to do with outright sins against God and one's fellowmen, or against the truth and common sense.

What the Pope did was an administrative measure as a step towards healing the rupture with the Lefebvrians. Although it is an act of mercy in the sense of bringing that community back within the Church, it does not in any way imply that the Pope thereby condones the actions and words of a renegade like Williamson - any more than he condones the sins of any other member of the Church. However, like each and every Christian, Bishop Williamson must answer to God directly for his own personal failures - glaring sins, even - which are his personal responsibility, not that of the Church. And the burden lies with whoever is his confessor within the FSSP to deal with him im confession, and to Mons. Fellay, most of all, as his superior, for disciplining him. Fellay has in the past dissociated himself and the FSSP from Williamson's personal opinions, but he must now make that censure far more emphatic and as widely disseminated as possible.


Anonymous said...

I do not understand how you can consider it "very reasonable" to suggest that Bp. Williamson has done something equally heinous as "multiple murders and rape". You may not agree with Bp. Williamson's views on the Holocaust, 9/11 and other issues, but to compare a bishop of the catholic church with murderers and rapists is simply deranged.

James H said...

Perhaps I need to go back and reread that section but I don't think I made that comparison at all.

What the poster at the Ratzinger Forum was giving a example of that excommunication is for. I don't think there is any comparision to rapist or that Bishop Willimason 's views are similar to that

James H said...

Ok now I see what you mean and I think I would have put that differently but it is not my comment.

People get confused what excommunication is. For instance I am asked all the time why murders and Child molestors are not excommunicated.

I think what is being lost here is that exommucincation is a pastoral measure and that is being lossed

Anonymous said...

I know you did not write the comment which suggests that Bp. Williamson has committed acts just as disgusting as murder and rape. But you did call that comment "very reasonable", thus endorsing it. I think the comment is better described as incharitable, idiotic and slanderous.

And what is this talk about Bp. Williamson's "glaring sins"? Since when is it a sin not to believe that jews were murdered in gas chambers? That is a question which has nothing to do with the catholic faith.

James H said...

I think Bishop Willimason is a tad problematic.

Is it a sin to have a wild belief that Jews did not die in the gas chambers. No I suppose it is notthought bizaree.

As I stated I did not read that hirst line clearly but I think it shows on the whole why excommunications are given and why they are given to others.

SO forgive me if you think I have adopted slander and I hope my points clarify.

I have been very much wanting to heal this schism and there is immoderate talk on all sides. Many of us are widely caught in the middle of.

As tothe commenter that Yes I think should have rephrased it better that poster in the end is trying to clam another person down that is quite angry about all this.

Clam minds on all sides are going to have to mediate the days ahead

Anonymous said...

The Society is not outside the Catholic Church. Your allegations are incorrect. In addition, Bishop Williamson is not the only reasonable person who thinks that there were not 6 million Jews killed during World War II by the Germans. Your article is simply slander.

Anonymous said...

" In addition, Bishop Williamson is not the only reasonable person who thinks that there were not 6 million Jews killed during World War II by the Germans. Your article is simply slander. "

Please focus, if you would on Williamson's statements on the historical "reality":

the non-gassing-of-even-a-single-jew,

the no-airplanes-on-9/11-hitting-WTC, and

the widespread subscription of most jews to the Protocols of Zion.

Do YOU, like Williamson, believe all those assertions are a matter of historical fact (most of us, including someone like me who was at the WTC on 9/11, can't even comprehend how, other than by following conspiracy-theory blogs, he permits himself to be embarrassed by his declarative statements on 9/11 and to emotionally brutalize the survivors) ?

Just interested in where you're coming from.

By the way, you probably know, but it may be worth repeating, that truth is an absolute defense to a charge of slander.