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Where Do We Go From Here?

So now that the decree of latae sententiae excommunication has been lifted on the four Bishops of the SSPX, where do we go from here.

This is certainly not the end of the saga with the SSPX, but most assuredly just the beginning. Many question need to be answered before they are in full and visible communion with the Church.

Bishop Fellay, in response to the lifting of the ex-Communications, keys in on just this point.

Besides our gratitude towards the Holy Father and towards all those who helped him to make this courageous act, we are pleased that the decree of January 21 considers as necessary “talks” with the Holy See, talks which will enable the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to explain the fundamental doctrinal reasons which it believes to be at the origin of the present difficulties of the Church.
There are many issues that need to be discussed, not the least of which are the real and difficult problems of the views of the Society toward Jews. Besides the very disturbing (holocaust denying) antics of screwball in residence Williamson, there are real differences between how the Society views the Jews and how the Church says we should view the Jews.
- Jews are “directly responsible for the crucifixion,” Jews are cursed with the "blindness to the things of G-d and eternity" [Source]

- Jews as a people stand "in entire opposition with the Catholic Church" [Source]

- "Christendom and Jewry are designed inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing"; that Jews "should neither be eliminated from among us … nor given equality of rights." [Source]
Besides the obvious lengthy discussions ahead on this and other topics, this presents other problems besides doctrinal. It creates public relations problems as well. The Simon Wiesenthal center issued this just today.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to declare that the group known as the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) cannot function within the Catholic Church while mocking Church doctrine on anti-Semitism.

Pope Benedict, a champion of Church unity, is reportedly poised to lift the excommunication of four bishops from the Society, which had been operating outside the authority of the Vatican. While the group, which has tens of thousands of Catholics followers worldwide, has apparently agreed to accept the authority of the Pope, its teachings remain completely at odds with the positions of openness and improved ecumenical relations that were born out of the Church’s Second Ecumenical Council. One of the landmark rulings from the Council, also known as Vatican II, denounced anti-Semitism as a sin. Pope Benedict, then Father Joseph Ratzinger, was one of the theologians involved in drafting these new positions.

“According to media reports, Bishop Williamson, one of the Society’s leaders, gave an interview just last week denying Jews were murdered in gas chambers, hardly an indication of a change of heart or mind”, charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “Beyond the Holocaust denial of one bishop looms the larger issue of the virulent anti-Semitism of the group as a whole,” he added.
This is by no means to suggest that the Holy Father should not have lifted the ex-communication. This was a specific (and automatically incurred) sanction for a specific reason. It is not a punishment for any doctrinal or public relations problem. But the problem is real. The media is likely to hang this around the neck of the Pope for some time to come.

As stated, this is just the beginning for the SSPX. They must come into line on many things to enjoy full communion and the talks will be long and hard. It remains to be seen if the Society can survive at all in the face of any concessions on their part in the future. Williamson might lead the wacko wing into a full break from the Society and the Church. I hope not but this seems a real possibility.

I believe that the lifiting of the ex-communications is a very good thing for those in the Society and for its adherants. It is also a potentially good thing for the Church as a whole. But we are not there yet.

In his letter to the Pope requesting the lifting of ex-communication Bishop Fellay, writing for all their Bishops said "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."

Now it is time to find out if they mean it.

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Maeana said...

And in the very same source you quoted "Surely it cannot be that there is a collective guilt of the Jewish race for the sin of deicide. For only those individuals are responsible for the sin who knowingly and willingly brought it about. Jews of today are manifestly not responsible for that sin."
Bishop Williamson's personal opinions are not those of the SSPX. Bishop Fellay made that very clear. Praying for the conversion of Jews is not anti- Semitic. If you truly believe that the Catholic church holds the full truth, the only true act of charity is to try to bring all others to that truth. That is not hate, but love.

the Egyptian said...

Did not a group of Italian Rabis just condemn The Pope for killing Jewish Catholic Dialog not more than a week ago, all over the prayer for conversion, just shut up already, they have their nut cases too

Abigail said...

That was beautifully and carefully expressed. To everything you wrote, I say: exactly. Thanks.

Brian Kopp said...

"the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) cannot function within the Catholic Church while mocking Church doctrine on anti-Semitism"

Are there really magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church regarding anti-semitism that rise to the level of doctrine as the Church understands the word?

Do we really want the Simon Wiesenthal Center dictating to the Roman Catholic Church what is or is not doctrine, and who has or has not violated said doctrine?

That being said, it is hard to believe Bishop Williamson's interview was not a premeditated and malicious attempt to derail the lifting of the excommunications. Will we now be told by his defenders for the next 20 years that some bizarre state of necessity dictated his anti-semitic diatribes?

Anonymous said...

Modern Judaism is based on denying Christ was God and Saviour and claiming Jews are a special, priviledged tribe that will be saved by its Goc (while gentiles won't). Catholicism says Christ is the way, the truth and life and no one comes to Father but through Him. How can be any compromise between the two? The truth is either the Jews will accept Christ or they will burn in hell. No matter what Simon Wisenthal center says that is the reality. Isn't then prayer for their conversion our duty or do we want them to end up in hell? And, btw, who's cause are helping those who call on the Church to stop caring and praying for those souls?

scripturelink said...

I am glad for the cautious voice: TSA, has also aired such, we see the danger of treating this, as though the irregular group: had now reconvened!

Matthew said...

I want to know what Catholic in the Church knows beyond a shadow of a doubt who is damned?

Anonymous said...

I heard it stated in a sermon from an SSPX priest that we are the Jews of the new convenant, since Catholics are the new chosen people. Although not explicitly stated, it can be implied that the guilt of Christ's death therefore accrues to the faithful who turn their backs on Him. The modern Jews are therefore less to blame than Christians who deny Him. Maybe this is only my modernist interpretation, but I am basing it on what I heard in an SSPX sermon. BTW aside from that one statement I have never heard any mention of the Jews in the SSPX chapel in several years. Moreover, neither any conspiracy theories nor any other form of insanity have I witnessed there. And as far as the Good Friday prayer, I think it goes without saying that praying for the conversion of the Jews is not anti-semitic, but a sign of love and respect. Kit

Deusdonat said...

Brian Kopp said: "Do we really want the Simon Wiesenthal Center dictating to the Roman Catholic Church what is or is not doctrine, and who has or has not violated said doctrine?"

I couldn't agree with you more. The leftists within the church have long run on approval and public opinion. It disgusts me.

That being said, let's return to the 3 quotes mentioned within this article:

"Jews are “directly responsible for the crucifixion,” Jews are cursed with the "blindness to the things of G-d and eternity"

If you read the article in its entirety, you would see that it goes on to state "Jews of today are manifestly not responsible for that sin." I don't know why it is so difficult for people to understand that yes, the Jews of Jerusalem were directly responsible for Jesus' death. As was the Roman powers. This is biblical. The allegory is that religion as well as secular powers both conspired to do evil, as they do today. No need to whitewash anything here.

- Jews as a people stand "in entire opposition with the Catholic Church"

Well, considering the fact that the Weisenthal center and the Rabbis of Italy are trying to dictate to the Catholic church, this phrase scores a big "DUH!" for anyone with half a brain, doesn't it?

"Christendom and Jewry are designed inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing"; that Jews "should neither be eliminated from among us … nor given equality of rights."

Very true. There can be no reconciliation in a theological sense. Either they are correct, or we are. There is absolutely no middle ground. As for "the equality of rights" you once again left out "which leads to their superiority". Of course Jews have the same basic human rights as EVERYONE does (and lest you forget, the church is at the forefront of human rights world wide). But if you want at rights which lead to their superiority, look no further than Israel today. The Catholic church has ALWAYS held that Jews need to be governed with a separate set of rights (read Quo Primum, an infallible document). Why? Because they do not have an "equality of rights" clause in their religion--quite the opposite. The Talmud states exactly how much and how far the Jew can cheat, rob, treat and even murder Christians.

This isn't the "Protocols of Zion" talking, this is the Talmud, a set of Jewish texts second only to the Torah.

I'm actually a bit shocked at your cut-and-paste jobe here. This is the first time I've ever seen it on this site. And I hope it will be the last. But thank you for the links so that we can read the texts in their entirety.

David L Alexander said...

"Jews are 'directly responsible for the crucifixion'..."

I was taught that my sins were directly responsible for the crucifixion. If we really believe that, we might be able to point to a particular angry mob at a particular time and place in history and say, yeah they demanded this. But it doesn't let us off the hook, does it? Placing the blame on the Jews is problematic, inasmuch as it deflects the responsibility from where it really belongs.

Notice how I don't say we shouldn't pray for their conversion.

Anonymous said...

The harshest words that Christ spoke during His 3 years of public life were to His fellow Jews, the Scribes and Pharisees. He called them 'hypocrites', 'snakes', 'brood of vipers'. In Mt. 23:33 He asks them 'How are you to escape being sentenced to hell?'

All of Matthew 23 is directed towards Jesus denouncing the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees. They were Jews, no?
So, yes, Jewish people crucified Christ.

However, who of us is ever free from hypocrisy, lukewarmness, judgmental thoughts, etc..... who of us is ever free from those very sins Christ accused the Scribes and Pharisees of?
So, yes, our sins did indeed crucify Christ also!

Naturally, we are in no position to run around and point fingers at the Jews of the past, present or future and claim that they were the 'Christ-killers'. In doing so, I am pretty certain we would be the new hypocrites, snakes and brood of vipers.

There is an obvious reason why Christ gave us the Devotion to His Divine Mercy through the humble servant of St. Faustina. We need it badly!

Every time in Mass we call out to the Lamb of GOD Who takes away the sin of the world to have mercy on us.

Blessings to all,

Deusdonat said...

David - by extension we (humanity) are all responsible for Christ's crucifixion. Yet unless you have a teleportation device, you were most likely not present at the time of Our Lord's sentencing. Neither were the Vikings, the Mongols or the Mayans. There were pretty much Gentiles and Jews. Jews as the religious authority were directly responsible, as were the Roman secular authorities. It's in the bible, amazingly enough.

Mum - very well said.

Marie Duchesne said...

I applaud Pope Benedict for lifting the excommunication. I believe he knew full well the outcome, especially withing the Jewish community and it took great courage and guidance from the Holy Spirit to do so. The Church, from my understanding, has had one mission and that is to bring ALL souls to Christ. How can we, the Church, do that if we are afraid of offending Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Atheists etc? We can not. According to the Catechism, "the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men." God "desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." B16 is not JP2. I believe, personally, that JP2 did a lot to make people feel good about themselves and the world, but he did a lot more to encourage political correctness and "inclusiveness." I believe B16 is working hard to bring about unity and guide all to the Truth. To do that, we must begin with our own. How can we expect the Church to be united if we don't bring our own back? This is huge and I am glad to see it happen.

David L Alexander said...


I could have concluded that on my own. My point is, that over the centuries we have become obsessed with blaming the Jews, for that which was necessary for all humanity. Had the Jews not handed Him over to the Romans, someone else would have. Thus the prophecy was fulfilled.

Deusdonat said...

If you could have, then why didn't you? : )

Yes, there have been periods in history when the Jews have been scapegoated by Christians and also by Mohammedans and Pagans. The Catholic church has always been of the stance that Jews should not be persecuted (see: Quo Primum), but that because of their "superiority clause" written into their religious texts, they cannot be expected to extend the same virtues that one would expect from other Christians.

Deusdonat said...

FYI, I don't think the US news is covering it. But the SSPX Archbishop Fellay today wrote a formal letter of appology to the vatican asking forgiveness for the "chaos" bishop Williamson's comments made, and censured him not to speak publically about issues of history.

Does this mean anything to you? Just curious.

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