Confraternity of Catholic Clergy states the following:
HARRISBURG, PA (February 6th, 2009) – The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of 600 priests and deacons across the USA, publicly reaffirm our filial obedience and respect for the Holy Father. We furthermore declare our perennial and unequivocal support for Pope Benedict XVI as the Vicar of Christ on Earth and the Supreme Roman Pontiff.
We pledge our continued prayers for His Holiness especially in light of the recent slander and calumny being leveled against the current Successor of Saint Peter for his pastoral decision to rescind the excommunication of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X. Although canon law makes it clear that ordaining bishops and being ordained a bishop without papal mandate incurs an automatic excommunication (c. 1382), as pastor of the universal church, Pope Benedict was acting as shepherd when he sought to reconcile the leaders and followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
The Holy Father, seeking to end the twenty year old schism, extended an olive branch by removing the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX. That one of these bishops, the Most Rev. Richard Williamson, disputes the depth and depravity of the Nazi Holocaust, is indeed reprehensible and unbefitting a successor of the Apostles. At the same time, the lifting of the excommunication is in no way, shape or form a sanction or endorsement of his bizarre denial of the Shoah.
On the contrary, the media, press and general population must realize that the object and intent of Pope Benedict was to reconcile the thousands of followers of the SSPX bishops by restoring their shepherds with full legitimacy. No one has claimed or even insinuated that traditional Catholics who have considered themselves part of the SSPX family share the atrocious and anti-Semitic ideas of Bishop Williamson. Even the superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay publicly repudiated the remarks of his brother bishop and unambiguously denied that those views are shared by the Society.
Nevertheless, there are some with their own nefarious agendas who are connecting dots which either do not exist or which cannot be connected. These miscreants seek to discredit Pope Benedict and sabotage any credible means to reconcile followers of the SSPX with the universal Church. Others seek to derail any progress made by both Pope John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI in improving Jewish-Catholic relations and dialogue.
In other words, there are those who want division and who vigorously work to unravel any and all means of fraternally forging bridges. The CCC asks all Catholics to renew our commitment to denounce all forms of anti-Semitism as we ask our elder Jewish brothers and sisters to do the same and repudiate all anti-Catholicism wherever it appears. We ask that one man, even though a bishop, not been seen as representative of the majority of clergy and laity who have a genuine love of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and yet who also have a profound love and respect for the sons and daughters of Abraham, our elder brothers and sisters in faith.
We finally ask all Catholics to stand with us in support of our Holy Father during this unjust, unbelievable and inexcusable attack even from fellow Catholics who seek to pander to the press rather than find and preserve the truth. We condemn those dissidents who have never obeyed or respected the Magisterium but now take cheap shots at the Pope and question his judgment or motives. We stand firmly and proudly with Peter and his successor Benedict and do so with no fear or hesitancy of any kind as we also support our Jewish brethren in their struggle for peace and security in today’s world.