Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fraternity of St. Pius X Disavows Holocaust-Denying Bishop and Orders Him to Shut Up

National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen Jr. says the Vatican released a statement today by religious superiors of Bishop Richard Williamson, saying that his Holocaust denials "do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity" and prohibiting him "from taking any public positions on political or historical questions."

If the gag order is in fact enforced, it might give the Vatican some help in its efforts to disentangle the issue of lifting the 1988 excommunications of Williamson and three other ultraconservative bishops from the issue of Williamson's Holocaust denial. However, since the Vatican II teachings which the Fraternity of St. Pius X deny include those affirming that God's covenant with the Jewish people is eternal and that anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews are sins, the Fraternity ought to be required to specifically affirm those teachings as a condition for being reconciled to the Catholic faith. The NCR story follows:

The Vatican today released a statement from Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X and one of the four traditionalist bishops whose excommunication was rescinded in a Jan. 21 decree from the Congregation for Bishops.

The statement is in response to the uproar created by a recent interview on Swedish television in which another of the traditionalist bishops, Richard Williamson, asserted that the Nazis had not used gas chambers and that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews had died in the Second World War.

The statement was released in Italian and French; the following is an NCR translation from the Italian.

We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius X, to Swedish television. In this interview, he expressed himself on historical questions, and in particular on the question of the genocide against the Jews carried out by the Nazis.

It’s clear that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesiastical authority except on questions that regard faith and morals. Our Fraternity does not claim any authority on other matters. Its mission is the propagation and restoration of authentic Catholic doctrine, expressed in the dogmas of the faith. It’s for this reason that we are known, accepted and respected in the entire world.

It’s with great sadness that we recognize the extent to which the violation of this mandate has done damage to our mission. The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions.

We ask the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. Because we recognize how ill-advised these declarations were, we can only look with sadness at the way in which they have directly struck our Fraternity, discrediting its mission.

This is something we cannot accept, and we declare that we will continue to preach Catholic doctrine and to administer the sacraments of grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Menzingen, January 27, 2009

1 comment:

colkoch said...

This is pure BS. SSPX has always been anti semitic, especially under Lefebvre. This is the snake tempting us to believe something different. I ain't biting.