Comments on: German-speaking bishops insist SSPX accepts opening to Jews Religion, faith and ethics Sat, 23 Apr 2016 23:25:07 +0000 hourly 1 By: schmenz Sun, 18 Jul 2010 21:14:15 +0000 Vatican II, by its own admission, did not bind anyone to anything. It was merely a pastoral council. No decrees were made binding; no anathemas were stated. But it has become, in the words of former Cardinal ratzinger, some sort of “super Council”, which aims to eradicate all previous councils.

Well, that simply wont do. I am perfectly free as a Catholic to ignore, totally or in part, the “teachings” of Vatican II. I can and do admire a statement here and there made at that Council, but I am not bound to anything in it – because nothing was formally, infallibly defined, least of all our relations with other faiths. I will go as far as to state that the Vatican II statement on the Jews is one of the most scandalous statements ever to come from a Church body, and it is a statement that will be corrected one day in the future.

As for Bishop’s Williamson’s imprudent remarks one can only say this: if I question just how many Ukranians were murdered by the Communists in the 1930s I will not face world-wide opprobrium. If I am skeptical of precisely how many innocent peons were killed by the murderer Zapata I will not lose my job and my reputation. If I wonder how many Palestinians are being murdered by the Israelis no attacks will come my way. Why, then, is Williamson so vilified if he questions just how many people suffered under the Nazis?

It is a question that needs to be answered.

By: Tom Heneghan Wed, 28 Jan 2009 08:25:18 +0000 David,

There has been lot of misreading of our reporting on this issue and you are participating in it.

Reuters has reported on several occasions that Church officials have condemned Williamson’s views. We have not said that the pope’s decision to lift the excommunications indicates approval of them. We have quoted Jewish leaders as charging that. This issue would not attract so much attention if they hadn’t protested so loudly. Just because we report a person’s reaction or a politician’s speech does not mean we support the view expressed. And just because the Vatican insists that the lifting of the bans has nothing to do with Williamson’s comments does not mean we can ignore a context that others concerned by these events, i.e. Jewish leaders, see and object to loudly.

You say that the pope’s decision does not readmit Williamson or the other SSPX “to the fold of the Catholic Church.” The term “the fold” is not clear. If by it you mean “full communion,” this statement is correct — and we have reported their situation as such. But “the fold” implies a very broad concept of membership, indicating there is an “inside” and an “outside” of a group. If the lifting of the excommunication ends the SSPX bishops’ absolute exclusion from the Church, but they are not yet in full communion and in approved posts in it, these bishops must be in a half-way status that is just inside the Church, one step through the door, so to speak. The general term “the fold” seems to describe that aptly, and therefore the pope’s decision would readmit them to “the fold.”

We have reported from the start that the lifting of excommunication was a first step and the SSPX bishops still had to hold negotiations with the Vatican to determine their actual place in the Church (for example, in a personal prelature like Opus Dei). We have also said repeatedly that the teaching of the Catholic Church includes the Second Vatican Council, including the teachings on religious freedom and respect for Jews, and that the SSPX rejects this. We have pointed out that this is the the focal point of discord and gone further by noting that the Vatican did not insist on their prior acceptance of Vatican II as a condition for lifting the bans.

You say the pope obviously thinks that dialogue will do more than confrontation to “eradicate these anti-Christian ideas within the Society.” That seems to be the case, but the Vatican has not stated that among its reasons for allowing the four to return. If it did, we would report that along with the criticisms pouring in from Jewish leaders.

We have reported all the key points you mention. Why call this misreporting?

By: David Schutz Wed, 28 Jan 2009 04:04:31 +0000 Tom,

There has been a lot of misreporting on this issue in the mainstream press, and Reuters is to blame for some of it.

The views of Williamson (and any racism or anti-semitism anywhere) are to be condemned.

But the Popes decision to lift the excommunications

1) does not in any way indicate approval of these views (which are contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church)

2) does not readmit Williamson or any of the other SSPX bishops to the fold of the Catholic Church

The recent statements by Cardinal Ricard and Cardinal Kasper make it quite clear that this is a “first step” in the very long process of dialogue to draw the Society back to the faith of the Catholic Church, which includes the full acceptance of the teachings of Vatican II – including the teachings on religious freedom, the Church’s respect for the Jewish people, and ecumenism – which the Society currently rejects. This rejection remains the greatest barrier preventing full communion between the Society and the Church.

The Holy Father is obviously of the opinion that more can be done to eradicate these anti-Christian ideas within the Society and establish greater unity and harmony through a process of dialogue than a process of straight forward condemnation.