Note from Vatican Sec. State on Bp. Williamson, Holocaust, and the Pope

The Vatican’s Secretary of State today issued a Note, in Italian.  It concerns the lifting of the excommunication of SSPX Bishop Williamson and the problems stirred in the press about his ideas concerning the Holocaust:

NOTA DELLA SEGRETERIA DI STATO

A seguito delle reazioni suscitate dal recente Decreto della Congregazione per i Vescovi, con cui si rimette la scomunica ai quattro Presuli della Fraternità San Pio X, e in relazione alle dichiarazioni negazioniste o riduzioniste della Shoah da parte del Vescovo Williamson della medesima Fraternità, si ritiene opportuno chiarire alcuni aspetti della vicenda.

1. Remissione della scomunica.

Come già pubblicato in precedenza, il Decreto della Congregazione per i Vescovi, datato 21 gennaio 2009, è stato un atto con cui il Santo Padre veniva benignamente incontro a reiterate richieste da parte del Superiore Generale della Fraternità San Pio X.

Sua Santità ha voluto togliere un impedimento che pregiudicava l’apertura di una porta al dialogo. Egli ora si attende che uguale disponibilità venga espressa dai quattro Vescovi in totale adesione alla dottrina e alla disciplina della Chiesa.

La gravissima pena della scomunica latae sententiae, in cui detti Vescovi erano incorsi il 30 giugno 1988, dichiarata poi formalmente il 1° luglio dello stesso anno, era una conseguenza della loro ordinazione illegittima da parte di Mons. Marcel Lefebvre.

Lo scioglimento dalla scomunica ha liberato i quattro Vescovi da una pena canonica gravissima, ma non ha cambiato la situazione giuridica della Fraternità San Pio X, che, al momento attuale, non gode di alcun riconoscimento canonico nella Chiesa Cattolica. Anche i quattro Vescovi, benché sciolti dalla scomunica, non hanno una funzione canonica nella Chiesa e non esercitano lecitamente un ministero in essa.

2. Tradizione, dottrina e Concilio Vaticano II.

Per un futuro riconoscimento della Fraternità San Pio X è condizione indispensabile il pieno riconoscimento del Concilio Vaticano II e del Magistero dei Papi Giovanni XXIII, Paolo VI, Giovanni Paolo I, Giovanni Paolo II e dello stesso Benedetto XVI["For a future recognition of the Fraternity of St. Pius X the full recognition of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium of Pope John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I John Paul II and the same Benedict XVI is an indispensible condition.]

Come è già stato affermato nel Decreto del 21 gennaio 2009, la Santa Sede non mancherà, nei modi giudicati opportuni, di approfondire con gli interessati le questioni ancora aperte, così da poter giungere ad una piena e soddisfacente soluzione dei problemi che hanno dato origine a questa dolorosa frattura.

3. Dichiarazioni sulla Shoah.

Le posizioni di Mons. Williamson sulla Shoah sono assolutamente inaccettabili e fermamente rifiutate dal Santo Padre, ["The positions of [Bishop] Williamson on the Shoah are absolutely unacceptable and were firmly refuted by the Holy Father…"] come Egli stesso ha rimarcato il 28 gennaio scorso quando, riferendosi a quell’efferato genocidio, ha ribadito la Sua piena e indiscutibile solidarietà con i nostri Fratelli destinatari della Prima Alleanza, e ha affermato che la memoria di quel terribile genocidio deve indurre "l’umanità a riflettere sulla imprevedibile potenza del male quando conquista il cuore dell’uomo", aggiungendo che la Shoah resta "per tutti monito contro l’oblio, contro la negazione o il riduzionismo, perché la violenza fatta contro un solo essere umano è violenza contro tutti".

Il Vescovo Williamson, per una ammissione a funzioni episcopali nella Chiesa dovrà anche prendere in modo assolutamente inequivocabile e pubblico le distanze dalle sue posizioni riguardanti la Shoah, non conosciute dal Santo Padre nel momento della remissione della scomunica. ["Bishop Williamson, for admission to function as a bishop in the Church, will have to also, in an absolutely uneqivocal and public way, distance himself from his positions regarding the Shoah, which were not known by the Holy Father in the moment of the remission of the excommunication."]

Il Santo Padre chiede l’accompagnamento della preghiera di tutti i fedeli, affinché il Signore illumini il cammino della Chiesa. Cresca l’impegno dei Pastori e di tutti i fedeli a sostegno della delicata e gravosa missione del Successore dell’Apostolo Pietro quale "custode dell’unità" nella Chiesa.

Dal Vaticano, 4 febbraio 2009

 

I sense in this note something that I have worried about for a while and I have written about elsewhere.

UPDATE 1505 GMT

Vatican Radio is leading with this story for all their news today.  For the English section I heard Charles Collins deliver the news with great energy.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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113 Responses to Note from Vatican Sec. State on Bp. Williamson, Holocaust, and the Pope

  1. S. from NC says:

    I Also do as well Fr.Z

    Do you also sense that the holy father and those in the places of power are not happy with hos this has unfolded and are growing tired of dealing with the SSPX. Possibly they will not agree to disagree now? Will it make it harder for the SSPX to integrate into the church now with all this hoopla.

    It certianly sounds as if those in the curia who are involved are not happy..

  2. nw says:

    I sense in this note something that I have worried about for a while and I have written about elsewhere.

    What?

  3. Maureen says:

    Wouldn’t a bishop, having teaching authority, be subject to much the same limitations as a Catholic professor or teacher? That one may hold certain ideas, but may not teach them, or may not teach them as being part of Catholic teaching?

    That being said, a bishop is expected to adhere to higher standards than a layman or priest. But surely, it’s not a sin for a bishop to occasionally have ideas that are wrong?

  4. elliot says:

    yeah…come on Father, a little specificity…what?

  5. TCatholic says:

    Dreams of speaking about Pope Benedict “The Courageous” are fading … I am feeling very sad about this.

  6. Franzjosf says:

    So what does ‘full recognition of the Second Vatican Council’ mean? And what will be required?

    I think that statement gets to the heart of the matter. Plenty of people in ‘full communion’ disagree on the interpretation of the Council. I think what the Vatican wants is for the Society to refrain from publically disagreeing with the various interpretation one finds in the Curia. But the SSPX shouldn’t have to agree to be silent where others in full communion are not.

    For goodness sake, there are plenty of issues where Catholics are free to disagree with the Holy Father. To require the SSPX to ‘agree’ to Cardinal Kaspar’s brand of ecumenism, for example, would be completely unjust. To require the SSPX to refrain from criticizing certain judgments of John Paul II, on non dogmatic issues, would also unjust. For instance, is it wrong of me to state that I think that John Paul II should have declined to kiss the Quran?

    Even now, there are clerics openly criticizing the Holy Father and their canonical status is not in jeopardy.

    There are unscrupulous people who would preceive an SSPX political weakness because of he holocaust dustup and use that weakness as a means to gain concessions for the SSPX on issues that are in no way related. I don’t think the SSPX will bite. They’ve waited for 20 years; they can wait longer.

  7. This note needed to come out “in tutte e quattro le lingue” on the same day as the lifting of the excommunications was announced. It is welcome, but it is late.

    If the worrisome thing is “il pieno riconoscimento del Concilio Vaticano II e del Magistero dei Papi Giovanni XXIII, Paolo VI, Giovanni Paolo I, Giovanni Paolo II e dello stesso Benedetto XVI” as condicio sine qua non of canonical status, then I do not think it really matters.

    State has no competence in the matter of canonical-juridical status, and “full” will be whatever they decide it to be. There is plenty of room for maneuvering there. I would not worry overmuch about either the presence or the wording of the sentence in the letter.

    C.

  8. Brian Mershon says:

    So now every historical “fact” as promulgated by the mainstream media is an article of Faith? Same problem with Cardinal George’s USCCB statement. Funny, I don’t find this sort of teachin in any Catechism or doctrinal or dogmatic Church document I have ever read.

    Would someone please enlighten me on all the historical and scientific facts (evolution?) that I must adhere to in order to ensure I am “politically correct” and fit into the mainstream?

    Are these articles of Faith? This as well as the silly USCCB statement in fact dimninishes the teaching authority of the Church because the Church has no authority to teach on specific instances of history outside of faith and morals. The number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is not a matter of dogma.

    Has the whole world gone insane? Again, way to play into the media’s hands to those of the enemies of Christ!

    The man apologized, but I guess the Church no longer recognizes apologies nor grants forgiveness to those who ask for it.

    Unbelievable.

  9. Inqiusitor says:

    The most important paragragph is the final one:

    “The Holy Father asks that the prayer of all the faithful accompany him, so that the Lord may light up the path of the Church. May there be an increase in the determination of the pastors and of all the faithful to support the delicate and onerous mission of the Successor of the Apostle Peter as ‘guardian of the unity’ of the Church”

    Implies that the pastors are lacking in their support for the Pope’s mission. Anyone think of Kaspar/Lehman etc…???

    This is a cry for help from the Holy Father. Let’s answer it.

  10. Athanasius says:

    Father, I assume you’re worried about bowing to pressure to release a statement? I don’t think we need to be too worried with this Pope, he has already shown he is prepared to do what is necessary (and charitable) and to be strong-willed. This note was probably necessary just to help the waves calm, but doesn’t indicate more extensive concessions, and I don’t sense that this Pope is the ‘type’.

  11. I meant to say that “full” will mean whatever the competent authorities, i.e. CDF and Clergy (at least), decide it needs to mean to and for the SSPX.

  12. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    What does “a full recognition” of Vatican II have to do with a condemnation of Bp Williamson’s statements about the Holocaust? If this situation proves anyhing, it’s that the post-VII “openness” to the world has been destructive to the Church.

    The USCCB has come out with a statement condemning Williamson. Not a word of support for the Holy Father. Not a word of criticism of those who have maliciously lied about the lifting of the excommunications in order to attack the Pope. Disgraceful!

  13. Michael says:

    I fear that the odds of a Williamsonite sub-schism developing are greatly increasing if the Holy Father allows outside interests to dictate the conditions for being in good standing in the Catholic Church. This could even derail the whole SSPX regularization process if Pope Benedict does not stand fast in the face of the current criticisms. Many SSPXers will see it as proof that the ‘conciliar church’ stands in the place of the True Church to which they are remaining faithful.

  14. tecumseh says:

    Well, Williamson and others like him who harbour these nutty views will have to choose: The Faith or conspiracy theories. Williamson has already sent an apology, all though I thought it fell short by quite a bit. Now it looks as if the Pope is doing a bit of arm twisting. Though not as much as he is twisting the arms of other “conservative” groups. Or the liberal hierarchies for that matter. Go on Father, remind us of your earlier “worries”. All the best. Jim.

  15. Tzard says:

    Do I note that “full recognition of the council” is a bit harder than it seemed to be going? Still, since the tone is also one of historical “dogma” – I can see nobody in their right mind arguing that Vatican II never happened (wink).

  16. Brian Mershon says:

    As for the “full acceptance of the Second Vatican Council,” the Church has never, and continues to avoid explaining exactly what that means.

    Does it mean what the additional note appended to Lumen Gentium says, which is that the authority of each of the documents is no more nor less than what is claimed in the documents? Is it purely pastoral as Cardinal Ratzinger said in his 1988 address to the Chile Bishops and which Pope paul VI also claimed? Certainly religious liberty and ecumenism are not dogma. So what are they?

    Do the silly suggestions to farmers in Gaudium et Spes and the Decree on Social Communication warrant an assent of Faith? To what?

    Vatican II opened up a whole can of worms that it left for theologians and furtehr Popes and Councils to decide. Every other Council clarified dogmas. Vatican II is an anomoly.

    What is the value of having “full adherence to the Second Vatican Council” if it means nothing more than recognizing that it took place and that the Church affirmed it? If everyone is open to different interpretations of the Council, and still reside within the bounds of orthodoxy, then doesn’t it make sense to read the pre-Vatican II encyclicals, Councils and Catechisms and stick with what they define the Faith to be since those documents do it in a clear way?

    I guarantee you that there are few people even within the Roman curia itself, that agree on the specific teaching authorities for the documents of Vatican II and what their clear meaning is.

  17. boredoftheworld says:

    “Has the whole world gone insane?”

    Yes.

    There are no Papal States so the Secretariat of State is now the way the Church speaks to the world, that’s insanity. The world doesn’t need another state department, it needs the propagation of the Faith.

  18. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    Kaspar must go…like, yesterday. He is a detriment to unity in this front and with the Traditional Anglican Communion.

    As for the communique above, it is a meaningless mess of words meant to pacify an idiotic, ignorant, downright evil press. There is nothing there that hasn’t already been said, except that it mentions Bishop Williamson in particular. The matter regarding the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council has also been said…but that is a very wide scope. Accepting the theological premises of the council does not necessarily mean anything.

    Besides, as noted above, State has nothing to do with this matter. The simple fact that this communique came from State, and not from the CDF or the Congregation for Bishops shows that this is just to shut the empty suits of journalism up. It changes nothing.

    Worry not, dear friends…We are well on our way to winning the war.

  19. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: I sense in this note something that I have worried about for a while and I have written about elsewhere.

    Reading also Sandro Magister’s column

    Double Disaster at the Vatican
    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/214368?eng=y

    I wonder whether I sense what Pope Leo XIII might have meant when — in the complete form of his prayer to St. Michael, said to have been written after a a terrifying vision showing him the travails the Church would experience in the subsequent century — he wrote the following sentence:

    “These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid hands on her most sacred possessions.”

    [From The New Raccolta, Published in 1898 by order of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, (English translation) From the third Italian edition, Authorized and Approved by the Sacred Congregation of Holy Indulgences, Philadelphia: Peter F. Cunningham & Son 1903, Imprimatur: Patrick John, Archbishop of Philadelphia, Dec. 8, 1900, pp 364–366 (Section 8, paragraph 5), “His Holiness, Leo XIII, Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer An Indulgence of Three Hundred Days, once a day.”]

    Pope Leo’s next sentence, who present applicability may be less apparent, was

    “In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”

  20. Inqiusitor says:

    I believe what Fr Z fears is a rebellion against the Pope on the part of the bishops in general, and the curial bishops in particular. That last paragraph is really extraordinary – in a press release to ask for pastors to increase their support for the Pope!!!

  21. James Isabella says:

    “Dreams of speaking about Pope Benedict “The Courageous” are fading … I am feeling very sad about this.”

    Why? Wait to see what happens first.

    I’m actually hoping that good may come from this evil. The Society is a mixed bag (like most institutions) of hardliners and people of good will. Before this controversy, it may have been difficult to bring the society in as a whole, with hardliners kicking and screaming all the way. Perhaps this has caused some soul searching among the people of good will, and they will see his sincerity and reach out to grasp the Holy Father’s outstretched hand.

    And I also agree with Chris, I wish something like this had come out sooner. While it wouldn’t have placated those who hate the church, it would certainly have eased the concerns of those non-Catholics who are friendly to it.

  22. Dear Brian Mershon,

    There is a matter of sanity to consider, moral and historical. I am sure you would not vote for David Duke, just as I am sure JPII would never have knowingly and deliberately ordained a holocaust denier. HE Williamson has plenitudo ordinis, fullness of orders, but he is not ad exercendum regendi munerum idoneus – he is not fit to exercise the office of governance.

  23. Fr. BJ says:

    I would like to propose that people consider making a particular sacrifice, or adding an act of charity, this Lent specifically for the Holy Father. It doesn’t have to be something huge. It could be something very small. It is the love with which is done, and the filial devotion to our Holy Father and our Mother the Church, that counts the most.

  24. Jerry says:

    Call it extortion or blackmail if you want, it’s not moral whatever way you slice it. The SSPX and bishop Williamson aren’t going to do anything until the doctrinal discussions go forward.

    How about in exchange for Bishop Williamson’s silence on the Holocaust, the Pope agrees to read the text of Cantate Domino from the Loggia on a Wednesday Angelus, with no additional commentary?

    There are three types of personalities in Rome, the weak, the wicked and the hopelessly confused.

  25. Gravitas says:

    tecumseh: “Well, Williamson and others like him who harbour these nutty views will have to choose: The Faith or conspiracy theories.”

    We ALL KNOW that he has nutty ideas. OK, fine. But is this same standard going to be imposed on every bishop when it comes to abortion, contraception, euthenasia — issues that actually involve the Faith? Will it be imposed on EVERY professor and dean in so-called “Catholic” universities around the world?

    And if the answer is “no,” then why should it be imposed on him? Why not just put a gag order on him and say he can only talk about the Faith in public and nothing else?

    Just more demands from the left that make no sense outside the relm of political correctness.

  26. Where is the organized support of the Holy Father? I signed the petition, but what is needed is an organized response to those groups that are undermining the Pope’d authority. A civil letter to the various Jewish groups that have been attacking the Holy Father, for example, telling them, politely, that Catholic-Jewish dialogue cannot continue in good faith if the unjust attacks on the Pope. (The Vatican should never have continued talks with Israel while the hateful words about Pius XII remained on display.) Equally necessary is a public letter of rebuke to those within the Church who have attacked the Holy Father or failed to defend him. That the USCCB is part of the problem, is now more evident than ever before.

  27. Michael says:

    “The Faith or conspiracy theories.”

    I was not aware that holding to a conspiracy theory is a basis for excommunication. It may be and often is a basis to ‘excommunicate’ a person from participation in political life. Labeling someone a conspiracy theorist is also an effective way to marginalize a person publicly. It seems too much to ask that it be the basis to determine whether or not someone has full access to the sacraments of the Catholic Church.

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, is the Vatican Secretary of State working to undermine the Pope? Is that what Fr. Z. is hinting at?

  28. Andrew says:

    Some people just do not seem to get how offensive Bishop Williamson’s comments were. While the Shoah is not to be believed with divine and catholic faith, it goes beyond a ‘historical “fact” as promulgated by the mainstream media’. Maybe those who seem to think that his comments were irrelevant should read what the Holy Father had to say last Wednesday at the General Audience.

    The SSPX has a long way to go. Its website still talks about the ‘so-called excommunications’, namely the valdily declared excommunications which were remitted last month. Let us hope and pray for the best, but the situation has not been helped by the ridiculous behaviour of Bishop Williamson.

  29. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Andrew,

    The Holy Father has unequivocally condemned Holocaust denial, yet he continues to be attacked. Some people, it appears, do not understand just how offenive this current attack on the Pope is.

  30. Maureen says:

    How many died at Nagasaki? Do we know? Do we care?
    There is something wrong in the Church when we are more outraged by a Catholic questioning the facts of the holocaust than we are by one who questions the reality of Jesus Christ.
    At times, it does appear that, in the modern mind, Calvary has been overshadowed by Auschwitz.
    I understand that Jewish people might be a bit miffed but for Catholics to respond like this is more than disproportional. It is obscene.
    So again, tell me: How many died at Nagasaki?

  31. Brian Mershon says:

    Gravitas said: “We ALL KNOW that he has nutty ideas. OK, fine. But is this same standard going to be imposed on every bishop when it comes to abortion, contraception, euthenasia—issues that actually involve the Faith? Will it be imposed on EVERY professor and dean in so-called “Catholic” universities around the world?”

    “And if the answer is “no,” then why should it be imposed on him? Why not just put a gag order on him and say he can only talk about the Faith in public and nothing else?”

    We all know the answer to that question, don’t we?

    Andrew, have you actually watched the interview with Bishop Williamson? Have you? If not, then you have no idea what it is you are debating. You might find Bishop Williamson’s knowledge of historical facts lacking. So be it.

    Headlines everywhere said: “Holocaust-denying bishop” That is simply untrue. It is a lie promulgated far and wide. He never denied the Holocaust existed. He said he did not believe the number 6 million.

    Is 6 million an infallible, dogmatic article of Faith?

  32. I am not Spartacus says:

    I don’t think it would be difficult for Bp. Williamson to say something to the effect that the Shoah was an historical event and humbly apologise for statements he made that made it seem he is a holocaust denier. As far as I know he is not a holocaust denier.

    That aside, fear of The Jews seems to have captured far too many in The Hierarchy.

    What the Catholic Church does vis a vis its Bishops is its own business and I pray it begins to act with more self-confidence in the face of hateful enemies trying to bring it to its knees.

    If The Jews want a war, we Catholics could site their syping against America, their attack on the US Liberty, their control of the Media, their ownership of every single motion picture studio in Hollywood which pumps the raw sewage of porn and violence into our culture, their support for abortion on demand, their support for homosexuals and homosexual marriage etc etc etc.

    I am sick-to-death of we Catholics bowing and scraping in front of our enemies with the subtext that what we as a Divinely-Constituted Church do must FIRST satisfy or not upset The Jews.

    If one’s motivation is to please one’s enemies, one is doomed to failure before one even begins.

  33. Adam says:

    About time too. This note from the Secretary of State is late and the vatican has been pushed into this position mainly due to the attack by Chancellor Merkel who made a strong statement yesterday on the Jewish issue. The vatican has taken its time and has all along misjudged the public response and this is due primarily to the misscommunication within the Curia. The vatican’s media /press response is terrible and as The Telegraph noted (UK), there needs to be a complete revamp of the vatican’s whole approach. No 1 – get a proper english-speaking spokesperson. This is imperative. Get a bishop to make public statements and make them quick and detailed. A vast overhaul is needed so that there massive PR blunders are not made and the Church looks a laughing stock. It is at the moment and this is bad for the Holy Father. His staff are letting him down.
    Secondly, about time that the 4 bishops are made to POSITIVELY assert their assent to vatican II and all popes since 1959, from John XXIII to Benedict XVI. They need to assent to the full magisterium of the Church founded by Christ and the successors of Peter. They ought not be granted any rights and privileges until they assent to the magisterium and the pontiffs who have been validly elected at all conclaves since 1959.
    I cannot, for the life of me, see how they can make demands on the Church, the pope and cardinals while they still remain extra-ecclesia. Their demands pale into insignificance when compared to the other 2500+ bishops who daily show their loyalty and respect and obedience to the Supreme Pontiff.
    Williamson and the other three need to assent clearly and publicly. Only then ought they be ‘readmitted to full communion with the Catholic faith’. The scandal has lasted too long and the episcopal dissenters need to swear their obedience to the Pontiff….quam celerrime.

  34. dominic1962 says:

    That is because many people haven’t whored their minds out to political correctness.

  35. Mary Pat says:

    I am depressed. I could always feel secure so long as my Papa Benny was stalwart. Is he still so?

  36. tecumseh says:

    Faith and Conspiracy theories: I’ve only seen Bishop Williamson in action once, two years ago, a talk about Shakespeare in London, England. The talk was good and I enjoyed it, I’m not an expert on Shakespeare, I’m an ordinary guy. After the talk there were questions. So far so good, then out of no where, the “gestures” started. He seemed to be making some “gestures” to do with his nose, I thought ” What the…..” “What is he doing”……then the penny dropped, the Jews. He didn’t use the word Jew, or Jewish, or Judaism. But I for one, thought he’d gone mad. If there had been a camera there, there would have been the kind of out pouring we have seen recently.
    When I returned home I told people at the SSPX mass center, that he was nut’s and a menace to himself, the SSPX, and the Church. Amazingly for me there were several people who thought that this was O.K. they started going on about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I said I’d heard of that, but hadn’t it been widely discredited by historians..?? Oh no they chirruped, world domination and Freemasonry…blah…blah…blah…..
    Holding any amount of silly views doesn’t get you excommunicated, but if you let these things get to you the way Williamson has clearly done, then you are going to limit your effectiveness in spreading the truths of the Faith. You become a googly eyed fanatic, rather than a laid back, rational, teacher of truth. Simple really.

  37. James the Less says:

    Actually maybe we should take a deep breath and think that perhaps the statements
    from the Secretariat regarding Bishop Williamson’s future status and need to recant
    are not terribly far off from statements from Bishop Fellay and Chris Ferrara:

    “This is perhaps too much to say, but I do not see how Bishop Williamson now can exercise his office of bishop in many countries.” – Bishop Fellay

    “We must also implore Bishop Williamson to reconsider and personally repudiate the outrageous statements he has published to the world despite the many entreaties that he
    cease and desist. ” – Chris Ferrara

  38. Irish says:

    I’m not defending Williamson’s statements, but this kowtowing has gone far enough. So what’s the next step? We have to work “belief in the Holocaust” into the Creed?

    Pray for the Holy Father, the four bishops and the unity of Holy Mother Church.

    “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. He came into his own and his own received him not.”

  39. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Adam,

    The SSPX should be forced to assent to Vatican II only if every priest, bishop, theology professor currently active and in good standing formally assents to ALL of the teachings of the Church. The demand for orthodoxy must be applied universally, and must not be restricted to the SSPX. How many theology professors at Catholic Universities in the US have signed the Mandatum? If the SSPX must “assent” to VII in order to be in the Church, then don’t you think it even more imperative that those who purport to teach Catholic theology be required to sign the Mandatum?

  40. Dear Michael,

    You write: “Speaking of conspiracy theories, is the Vatican Secretary of State working to undermine the Pope? Is that what Fr. Z. is hinting at?”

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf does not need anyone’s assistance in defending him, especially not me, and especially not on his blog. That said, permit me to add answers to your questions: to (q1, re. SecState undermining the HF) no; to (q2)no.

    Now to the real point: no one in the Curia is criticizing the decision to life the excommunications. Everyone is upset over the frankly appalling mismanagement of the PR side of the matter.

    Starting with the folks who failed to do their homework on bishop Williamson – and public remarks denying the holocaust should have been in the dossier as soon as they were made – and going to the folks who pretended that nothing was the matter, even after Williamson’s statements became generally known – to the folks who did not explain what a formal excommunication latae sententiae is, what lifting it means, and how the move affects the status of the SSPX in the Church – to the folks who failed to condemn antisemitism loudly, generally and absolutely in the same breath as they explained W.mson was having his excommunication lifted despite, and not because of his views – in sum, the folks who failed to do, from the get-go, all the things the note did, from Sec State, in Italian, 2 weeks after the story broke – nobody saw this coming, and that failure has caused serious damage to the Holy Father’s global image.

  41. Roland de Chanson says:

    This is an extremely dangerous precedent on the part of the Holy See, viz. the imposition of a particular reading of secular history as a litmus test for episcopal qualification. Why not for priestly ordination as well? Or even for communion with the Roman Catholic Church? Will the Holy See condemn Fellay’s opinion that the United States is a country founded on masonic principles in rebellion against God? Or adopt it?

    Accepting the truth of certain events in the history of Christianity is of course obligatory for a Catholic priest; rejection of the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, or even the historical Christ, clearly puts one outside the perimeters of the Faith. But, however anhistorical, and indeed obnoxious, one may deem Williamson’s views of the genocide of the Jews, or the 9/11 attacks, such views are not articles of faith. At least until now, apparently.

    Even had Williamson’s views been firmly refuted (small quibble about the translation – rifiutate is “rejected”) by the Holy Father, that would merely be a debate between historians, assuming either Williamson or Benedict were academically qualified, neither of whom is. It is of course encouraging the Benedict rejects Williamson’s views, but does any of this bear on Williamson’s faculties as a bishop? As a minister of the Gospel?

    And it is troubling that Secretariat of State thought it pertinent to add that Williamson’s views were unknown to the Holy Father at the time of the lifting of the excommunication. The clear implication is that his views might have caused the Holy Father not to act in the first place. Is the regularisation of the three other bishops to be precluded because of the fourth’s heterodox reading of secular history?

  42. Andy Brandt says:

    Vatican bowing to pressure from lay media and lay leaders… especially chancellor Merkel. Oh, how low we have fallen. :(

  43. Steve K. says:

    I think soon the Silent Apostasy will finally speak its name, and we will see open rebellion against Peter, lead by many senior figures in the Church. The spiritual Cold War is about to become hot. The smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary indeed.

  44. anon says:

    Historians do not debate whether the Shoah took place. they know quite well it did.The contrary view is held only by squalid fanatics who are paranoid about Jews. As M. de Chanson rightly points out Williamson is not academically qualified to speak with any authority on the matter. However rejection of the obvious can only be for a motive, and the motive in this case should preclude him preaching the Gospel.

  45. Michael says:

    Dear Chris,
    Thank you for your kind answer but I had hoped my query would be seen as the tongue in cheek contraposition to my first statements in the post that it was intended to be. I certainly hope that the Secretary of State is not deliberately undermining the Holy Father. I do wonder though how many bishops wish that the excommunications would not have been lifted and might delight in the current squirming in the Vatican.

  46. Chris M says:

    WOW, how wide the pendulum of opinion here swings!
    Take a breath, friends!

    I think James the Less and Chris Altieri have the right end of the stick. Getting all huffy and hysterical is not productive. We should continue to pray for the Holy Father and the Bishops of the SSPX as well as the kooky dissidents like Kueng.

  47. Henry Edwards says:

    Chris Altieri: Now to the real point: no one in the Curia is criticizing the decision to life the excommunications.

    I very much hope you are correct about this. But the view of the usually well-informed Sandro Magister seems different.

    Double Disaster at the Vatican: Of Governance, and of Communication
    This is the upshot of the lifting of the excommunication for four Lefebvrist bishops. The isolation of Pope Benedict, the ineptitude of the curia, and the misfires of the secretariat of state
    by Sandro Magister
    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/214368?eng=y

  48. Liam says:

    Actually, Rome bending to opinions of lay media and lay leaders has been much more common over the course of history than some may appear to realize. And not always for ill.

    The statement by the Secretariat should have been issued at least by the time the excommunications were lifted. This is hardly rocket science or a conspiracy of the Big Bad Media and Catholic Haters, though it certain gives the latter lots of unnecessary ammunition. It’s basic competence. It it also affects perceptions of faithful in the pews, and the lack of competence undermines effective authority even without amplification from the bad guys outside.

    Williamson flagrantly does not behave in the ways of romanita, and so assuming one can manage with him with standard tools of romanita is witless. I suspect that witlessness is at the root of much here.

  49. Brian Mershon says:

    As usual, those how unwittingly make fun of “conspiracy theories” about Freemasonry have to eat crow if/when they go back and read multiple instances of Freemasonry being condemned by Roman Pointiffs in encyclicals and apostolic letter. More than a dozen different references at last count. They actually referred to “conspiracies” but were warning against them–not to belittle the person who believed there might be an organized plot.

    As another commentator deftly pointed out, it is difficult to engage in a spiritual battle with the enemy when the vast majority of people would prefer to play “nicey-nicey” and not even realize they are in a battle or who the enemy is.

  50. Creagh says:

    “Storm in a tea-cup”

    How many died at rwanda? zimbabwe? sudan? bosnia? gaza? communist china labor camps?
    How many died….

    mainstream media ignores these events like they never existed and ignites over +williamson’s irresponsible words.

    this is just a concerted effort by mainstream media to once again attack the papacy, the integrity of the pope and the catholic church. nothing more. if you put it in perspective you will see this for what it really is – a storm in a tea cup.

  51. memoriadei says:

    It seems to me that there was great fear of the “rottweiler” when he became the Pope. After that, everyone could see his most loving and human heart shining forth in his every genuine smile. So, people thought…awww, he’s no threat. Well, he isn’t a threat except to the modern world who wants to do away with the Catholic Church. If the Catholic Church went down, all denominations would go down. The *media* is creating this uprise aided by people like Cardinal Kasper…pride and arrogance. Our Holy Father is both strong and kind. I can’t see him cow towing to the media. I’m praying for the Holy Father with the intercession of St. Benedict and St. Michael. Old red legs needs to drink his own poison.

  52. David says:

    “full recognition” of the Council is as vague a phrase as “full communion”

    Both are ridiculous phrases. They are IN the Church and they recognize that the Vatican 2 ecumenical council occurred, as well as the reigns of John XXIII, Paul VI, JP 1 and JP2.

    They recognize that as a “pastoral” council, V2 (and the reforms which issued from it) has been a disaster. Cardinal Castrillon has affirmed that Fellay has accepted the Council to his satisfaction. So that is done.

    Let’s get the other 2500 bishops of the Church to swear that they believe and will begin to teach all the dogmatic statements of all the Councils prior to Vatican 2, especially the decrees issued at Trent and Vatican 1. How many do you think would be able to do that in good faith?

  53. David says:

    What’s worse?

    a) to reject a 40 year disastrous pastoral experiment
    or
    b) to reject the Church’s dogmatic teaching or the past 2,000 years

  54. Adam says:

    The following excerpt is taken from DER SPIEGEL this week. It speaks for itself and is very asute in its commentary. Note the comments of certain leading cardinals:

    “And even the pope’s strongest supporters have been left dismayed by the decision. Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who is a highly influential figure in Germany and serves as the bishop of Mainz, has described the pope’s decision to rehabilitate Williamson as “catastrophic” and said that many people were very disappointed by Benedict XVI’s move. Speaking to the Südwestrundfunk radio station on Monday, Lehmann said that there should be a clear apology “from a high position.”

    He also berated Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the president of the Ecclesia Dei papal commission, who had told an Italian newspaper that he had not been aware of Williamson’s comments on the Holocaust. Lehmann said that there “had to be consequences for those who are responsible here.”

    Meanwhile, in a commentary broadcast on the station, the head of Radio Vatican’s German service, Father Eberhard von Gemmingen, spoke of misunderstandings and a lack of professionalism within the Curia. “Pray for the pope and his staff,” he said. “A misunderstanding and debacle like this can never be allowed to happen again.”

    The debacle has revealed weak communications structures within the Catholic Church, and many priests have complained about a lack of consultation. Last week Robert Zollitsch, the chairman of the German Episcopal Conference, complained: “We were not asked, we were not informed in advance,” about the plans to rehabilitate the SSPX.

    Archbishop of Hamburg Werner Thissen has accused the Vatican of “sloppy work,” telling the Hamburger Abendblatt on Monday that this had caused a “loss of trust” in the Catholic Church”.

  55. EDG says:

    This is an extremely dangerous precedent on the part of the Holy See, viz. the imposition of a particular reading of secular history as a litmus test for episcopal qualification.
    I agree, although in this case, it would be more like a qualification of sanity, since no sane person can deny that some 6 million Jews were singled out and killed by Hitler. Where did they go otherwise? Carried off by spaceships? Bp Williamson may have revealed more derangement than anything else in this. He obviously has an obsession that interferes with his performance of his other duties.

    But be that as it may, I agree that it is not good to tie opinions on secular history or secular matters in general to any kind of Church office. I think some of this tendency was, ironically, introduced or at least encouraged by Vatican II, whose documents take positions on all sorts of secular affairs (particularly in economics, etc.) that could hardly be considered essential to the Faith or doctrinal in any way. It reminds me of when the USCCB or its predecessor organization started pronouncing on all sorts of secular matters (about which, in addition, they were embarrassingly ignorant).

    But just in passing, I note that nobody has had fits over Obama’s very public rehabilitation and admission to good standing of Ahmadinejad, who is a famous Holocaust denier, sponsored a conference of Holocaust deniers, and in fact wants to kill Jews right now and urges this on a daily basis. I guess that’s okay with the press.

  56. Nathan says:

    What a difficult week, help us weak sinners, Lord–

    Objectively, the issue may be a storm in a teacup. However, it sure looks like this was the cue for the forces, both inside and outside the Church, to launch a major attack on the papacy of Pope Benedict and his “Marshall Plan.” I assume that the public rebukes from Cardinals Lehmann, Kaspar, and Schoenborn are just the tip of the iceberg in what is being directed internally towards the Holy Father. The secular media is succeding in painting the story as “Pope welcomes known Holocaust Denier.”

    I cannot begin to claim to know the temptations that the Holy Father faces. However, if I were in the Shoes of the Fisherman now (based on what I’ve read), I would be thinking, “It’s just not worth it anymore. I’ve worked for years for the Church, I presented a clear vision in my first Christmas address to the Curia. I’ve tried to be generous and offer a way for true unity of the Church, with real progress toward reunification with the Orthodox contingent upon a liturgical return to the traditions of the Latin Rite, and welcoming back with open arms those alienated by the liturgical changes of the 1960s and 1970s. I’ve emphasized the importance of reason and how the Church is reasonable while the modern world is rejecting reason. I did not execute my plan by coercion, but tried to win hearts with love and with reason. My reward is infamy worldwide and rebellion in the Church–being ignored and undermined by my own Curia. I’m old and tired. Why shouldn’t I just stop, let this blow over, and sit back for the rest of the time God gives me on this earth?”

    I think that is why he needs our prayer and fasting. Were I in his place, I know that I would not have the strength to continue the battle without a torrent of graces.

    In Christ,

  57. Geoffrey says:

    Is this statement in English anywhere?

    After reviewing their crazy positions on the SSPX website and seeing all this fallout, I have to ask if the SSPX are really helpful or harmful to the Church?

  58. Seminarian says:

    I understand completely that for full communion with Rome, the SSPX will have to accept fully the teachings of the Second Vatican Council as well as the legitimacy of the pontificates of the popes from John XXIII onwards. However, there is still one thing that puzzles me…

    Rome has been insisting on the above conditions in regards to the SSPX, but it appears to me that there are numerous clergy (bishops as well as priests) who fail to accept the authority of the twenty ecumenical councils that preceded Vatican II (some or all of them). Many members of the clergy I know would react very strongly if someone (oh, I don’t know, say myself, for instance!) were to defend a theological position by quoting, say, from the Council of Trent. The “hermeneutic of discontinuity” is very strongly engrained, especially in the clergy members who were formed in the 1970s and 1980s. And where there is no formal denial of Pre-Vatican II conciliar teachings, there is often at least a practical denial of them (i.e. never speaking about such issues when preaching the Sermon/Homily at Mass).

    My question, I suppose, is this…

    If the SSPX cannot be in full communion with Rome because of their denial of certain teachings of the twenty-first Ecumenical Council (Vatican II), shouldn’t those clergy members (non-SSPX) who deny one or more of the teachings of any of the twenty preceding ecumenical councils equally be considered “not in full communion with Rome”?

    I know that this sounds a bit harsh, but it seems to be that there is somewhat of a double standard at play.

    Any thoughts or comments on this would be appreciated.

  59. Franzjosf says:

    Rorate Caeli has an English translation posted.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

  60. RichR says:

    I have said it before, and I will say it again: this blog is something we should be sharing with all of our friends. Don’t let the MSM mislead your friends. Invite them TODAY. An informed laity is what the HF wants.

    Look at SP.

  61. Mike B. says:

    What a difficult week, help us weak sinners, Lord—
    Objectively, the issue may be a storm in a teacup. However, it sure looks like this was the cue for the forces, both inside and outside the Church, to launch a major attack on the papacy of Pope Benedict and his “Marshall Plan.” I assume that the public rebukes from Cardinals Lehmann, Kaspar, and Schoenborn are just the tip of the iceberg in what is being directed internally towards the Holy Father. The secular media is succeding in painting the story as “Pope welcomes known Holocaust Denier.”

    I cannot begin to claim to know the temptations that the Holy Father faces. However, if I were in the Shoes of the Fisherman now (based on what I’ve read), I would be thinking, “It’s just not worth it anymore. I’ve worked for years for the Church, I presented a clear vision in my first Christmas address to the Curia. I’ve tried to be generous and offer a way for true unity of the Church, with real progress toward reunification with the Orthodox contingent upon a liturgical return to the traditions of the Latin Rite, and welcoming back with open arms those alienated by the liturgical changes of the 1960s and 1970s. I’ve emphasized the importance of reason and how the Church is reasonable while the modern world is rejecting reason. I did not execute my plan by coercion, but tried to win hearts with love and with reason. My reward is infamy worldwide and rebellion in the Church—being ignored and undermined by my own Curia. I’m old and tired. Why shouldn’t I just stop, let this blow over, and sit back for the rest of the time God gives me on this earth?”

    I think that is why he needs our prayer and fasting. Were I in his place, I know that I would not have the strength to continue the battle without a torrent of graces.

    In Christ,

    Comment by Nathan — 4 February 2009 @ 10:48 am

    Amen, Nathan! Amen indeed.

    Mike

  62. Brian Mershon says:

    “since no sane person can deny that some 6 million Jews were singled out and killed by Hitler. ”

    Well, a very quick Google search shows scholars differing as to the exact number of Jews, something between 4 and 6 million, depending upon whose research is believed. There is an equal or greater number of non-Jews who were exterminated, according to the quick Google search on that scholarship.

    Funny we rarely hear anything from anyone about those 5-7 million others who were exterminated. I wonder why?

  63. Liam says:

    Brian

    We actually do here that, not rarely, but fewer prominent people are going around trying to (1) deny or equivocate about it, and (2) complain that those others are members of groups that have vast power, (3) or were members of groups that specially hate Christ, and (4) hatred of those groups is not waxing as generations die. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone talk about Polish or Ukranian power over world media and banking?

    It’s not parallel because hatred of “The Jews” in its various insidious if disguised forms is not parallel to the others.

    Again, this is not rocket science. When construing someone’s longtime remarks in charity involves too many games of Twister, our duty to truth becomes part of the duty of charity.

  64. Roland de Chanson says:

    Brian Mershon: Funny we rarely hear anything from anyone about those 5-7 million others who were exterminated. I wonder why?

    Because they don’t own the media.

    If the Irish had a stranglehold on the media, would there be grotesque statuary in every city center commemorating An Gorta Mór (Irish for The Great Hunger)? But the Irish, God love ‘em, are not given to perennial self-promotion. They seem to have forgiven Williamson’s ancestors. They may have become less Catholic since that Council of Nostra Aetate, but they are no less Christian.

  65. craig says:

    “And where there is no formal denial of Pre-Vatican II conciliar teachings, there is often at least a practical denial of them (i.e. never speaking about such issues when preaching the Sermon/Homily at Mass).”

    “Formal denial” is the key. I’d say SSPX has crossed that boundary in the past, whether or not they do now. And that’s why they have a higher barrier to meet; the leftist tendency has been more to implicitly deny by omission or wink-and-a-nudge, but never leaving fingerprints.

    “If the SSPX cannot be in full communion with Rome because of their denial of certain teachings of the twenty-first Ecumenical Council (Vatican II), shouldn’t those clergy members (non-SSPX) who deny one or more of the teachings of any of the twenty preceding ecumenical councils equally be considered “not in full communion with Rome”?”

    If Benedict were to bring SSPX into communion by obtaining from them a public, formal submission to magisterial teachings, he could possibly parlay that into a broader insistence upon public orthodoxy also encompassing the left.

  66. Matt Q says:

    So what does ‘full recognition of the Second Vatican Council’ mean? And what will be required?

    I think that statement gets to the heart of the matter. Plenty of people in ‘full communion’ disagree on the interpretation of the Council. I think what the Vatican wants is for the Society to refrain from publicly
    disagreeing with the various interpretation one finds in
    the Curia. But the SSPX shouldn’t have to agree to be
    silent where others in full communion are not.

    For goodness sake, there are plenty of issues where
    Catholics are free to disagree with the Holy Father. To
    require the SSPX to ‘agree’ to Cardinal Kaspar’s brand of
    ecumenism, for example, would be completely unjust. To
    require the SSPX to refrain from criticizing certain
    judgments of John Paul II, on non dogmatic issues, would
    also unjust. For instance, is it wrong of me to state that I think that John Paul II should have declined to kiss the Quran?

    Even now, there are clerics openly criticizing the Holy Father and their canonical status is not in jeopardy.

    There are unscrupulous people who would perceive an SSPX political weakness because of he holocaust dust-up and use that weakness as a means to gain concessions for the SSPX on issues that are in no way related. I don’t think the SSPX will bite. They’ve waited for 20 years; they can wait longer.

    )(

    Franzjosf, you just saved me a lot of typing. :-) You put forth clearly what has been on my mind. Father Z wrote the same just a few days ago.

    It seems to me the attitude the naysayers have is just like the Democrats. They can’t stand it when anyone criticizes their ideas or policies and they make them the butt-end of jokes and innuendos in the course of their daily conversations and pronouncements. Only the negative, only the anti-truth, anti-Tradition gets to be heard and those who champion the positive, the Truth and Tradition are gone after. Do we not see historical patterns repeating themselves today? I certainly hope the Church isn’t falling into that trap.

    Regarding “accepting” Vatican II, I have no qualms whatsoever making it clear to people if the right opportunity arises, that the Second Vatican Council was an event that happened in the Church, and also a juridical fact. There. Beyond that, there is not one dang thing Vatican II has done to improve my life or my family’s one way or the other.

    If people want to gush over Vatican II the way they gush over the latest Brittney Spears news, hey, to each his own. None of my business.

  67. Paul J. B. says:

    I agree we shouldn’t be too bent out of shape about this but just keep praying. To attempt an answer to “seminarian” I think the Vatican correctly realizes that SSPX takes matters of theology and docctrine seriously, more so than liberal dissenters, and so it m akes sense to approach them in terms of traditional disciplinary measures. Modernism, by its nature means that its proponents don’t take such thinkgs too seriously, and so it’s useless to try to compel their assent in that way. They need to be convinced by other means. Although one needn’t think that Vatican II stated everything well, or was correct in all its pastoral program, I think it is quite reasonable to require assent to the proposition that it has an ordinary magisterium and was orthodox.

  68. Joe says:

    The statement does not say that SSPX will have to accept particular interpretations of disputed Vatican II statements, but only that it will have to recognize the legitimacy of the council.

    Further, I think that a lot of people sympathetic to the SSPX (including some who have posted comments here) don’t understand the ideology underlying Williamson’s remarks. He honestly believes that a Jewish cabal of historians, journalists and politicans have constructed an elaborate lie about acts of genocide to further their own agenda. Who in their right mind would think that someone with such views is capable of functioning as a bishop in the Catholic Church? To claim that this doesn’t matter because the Holocaust isn’t a truth of the faith misses the point. Someone with such a warped view of history shouldn’t hold any position of leadership in the Church.

  69. Andrew says:

    Brian: Yes, I did watch the interview before I commented. I wholeheartedly agree with what Joe said at 1.30 p.m.

    Ivo: Yes, I do appreciate how dreadful the attacks on the Holy Father are. However, if Bishop Williamson had not made his ridiculous comments, no such attacks would have been made; the remission of the excommunication has only made headlines outside ecclesiastical circles because of Bishop Williamson.

  70. I wonder what Bishop Williamson is thinking right now?

  71. tecumseh says:

    Fox news is going on about something to do with tax dodging…..now that IS …..important..!!!
    It’ll soon be Friday, what’ll be on the menu then..?? Climate change, or wearing you shorts backwards, outside your trousers will A) Protect you from cancer. B) Get you arrested.

  72. Jordanes says:

    Brian Mershon said: Funny we rarely hear anything from anyone about those 5-7 million others who were exterminated. I wonder why?

    An important part of the reason is that there weren’t centuries of injustice that singled them out the way the Jews have been singled out. Many of the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust were killed for opposition to the Nazis, though Nazi race theory played a role in many of those deaths too.

  73. Manuel says:

    What great sadness. If Bishop Williamson believes what he told the Swedish TV,
    something related to historical narrative and not to the Faith, will he have to lie in order to function as a Bishop in the Catholic Church ?

    He said he does not believe 6 million Jews died in the concentration camps. And so ? Might be true or not, but is every human being forced to believe in that ?

    As that seems to be the case, we need to call it a dogma. Welcome to the new mandatory religion.

  74. Manuel says:

    Bishop Williamson is, by the way, the only Catholic Bishop I’m aware of that does not believe the official narrative on 911 and openly stated this (see youtube).

    Maybe he is the only guy awake, while all the rest of the flock is sleeping.

    I have no idea on how to verify the truth for the killed Jews, but it’s enough to watch mainstream media recordings of the towers falling (see youtube) to realize that they were obviously demolished.

    We live in a world dominated by lies.

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio

  75. TMG says:

    It appears that “The Holocaust” is near to becoming a devotion in itself. Of course, agreed it was a terrible event in history, but the out-of-proportion reactions to Bishop Williamson’s comment suggest something sinister afoot.

    I, for one, am thoroughly sick of hearing about Bishop Williamson’s opinion, as if his making a controversial comment is absolutely the worst thing that has ever happened in the entire history of the world. News flash – it isn’t! This massively overblown reaction is called “piling on” in order to get what you want. And in this case, the liberals want, and have wanted all along, for the SSPX to be completely out of the picture, and not only out of the picture, but vilified so that they will be neutralized and shoved back in the box in a corner of the basement. Disgusting!

    We shouldn’t even play into this game anymore and give it further life. We should let it die. Why is everyone running scared…including, it appears, the Vatican?

  76. paul says:

    Nathan you spoke very well about what the Pope could certainly be thinking- he is a human being after all. What saddens me about this whole mess is that the re-unification of the church is looking more and more like a pipe dream. We must all pray that the desires of the Pope in regard to sspx are realized.

  77. Credo says:

    We all know that the disproportionate attack on the Church and the Holy Father is entirely opportunistic. It is a very smart strategy, actually. The Church can be opportunistic here, also.

    Wouldn’t it be a good time for the Holy Father to say something like this:

    “It is wonderful, indeed, to witness such a deep love for the Church and Her teachings as shown recently through the concern that Her members are speaking and living in accord with the Church’s teachings in love and charity so as to avoid scandal. This, then, seems to be an opportune time to call, with a loud and clear voice, all Catholics to be faithful to the Catholic Church’s teachings in respecting the dignity of all human life, born and unborn, of every race and religion.

    So, therefore, from now on all Catholics who publicly minimize any indignity to life, including by minimizing the Jewish holocaust or by supporting abortion and contraception, must be refused Holy Communion and must not be permitted to have any public role within their diocese or within their parish. Let us all continue to stand for the dignity of all people, who are made in the likeness and image of God, Our Creator.”

    Surely, the Holy Father would say it much more eloquently than I, but it seems like a good idea, I think.

  78. Steven says:

    1. Bishop Williamson did NOT deny the holocaust.

    2. His criticism concerns figures and the gas-chambers

    3. For orthodox Jews the word “holocaust” (= genocide) is blasphemy

    4. A holocaust has nothing to do with genocide

    5. Holocaust: derived from the Greek word holókauston, meaning a “completely (holos) burnt (kaustos)” sacrificial offering to a god

    6. Which god? – this is blasphemy

    7. This is not about the Jews, this is not about Bischop Williamson

    8. This is about the lifting of the excommunications

    9. Who is criticizing the Pope?

    10. Some Jews, some politicians, a French minister, some Cardinals and Bishops, Merkel etc.

    11. The media

    12. The holocaust has always been used to attack the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII – this is slander

    13. This week we see the same old story

    14. Hitler was NOT a Catholic – he was a satanist

    15. Hitler was NOT a German

    16. Hitler duped the Germans

    17. The war killed alsmost 70 million people

    18. Most of them Christians

    19. The German air force bombed the Vatican twice

    20. Even the bedroom of Pope Pius XII was wrecked

    21. Why do people attack the Church?

    22. Why do people attack the Holy Father?

    23. Because the are good Catholics?

    24. NO. They want to destroy the Catholic Church.

    25. The Catholic Church is the only benevolent and humane institution on this earth

    26. The critics: THEY want to destroy it

    27. The critics: THEY steal your money at your bank

    28. The critics: THEY make you unemployed

    29. The critics: THEY want to kill you in their murderous wars

    30. Suppose: The critics; THEY tell you a lie. THEY force you to believe that lie. If you don’t believe that lie THEY will throw you in THEIR prisons. THEY will enslave YOU!!!

    31. Who tells the truth?

    32. The media or the politicians? – YEAH!!!

    33. It is scandalous that 60 years after the facts, THEY are still exploiting the suffering of millions of people

    34. What about GAZA?

    35. I would like that all those CRITICS made noise when it really mattered

    36. Did you hear any of them criticising the war in Gaza?

    37. Now they have big mouths, a month ago they were silent

    38. The silence was deafening

    39. Only the Holy Father critised the war in Gaza

    40. At least 5 times, the Holy Father called for PEACE

    41. Now the HOLY FATHER is paying the prize

    42. Did any of you hear MERKEL back then?

  79. craig says:

    Credo is thinking along the precise lines I had in mind in my earlier (12:12) comment above. There are motes and beams on both sides of the aisle.

  80. Matt Q says:

    As even Father Z stated a few days ago, what Williamson thinks or believes apart from the Faith has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the rehabilitation of the Society’s bishops. NOTHING. Whatever his opinions are, too bad. Why should Williamson be treated any differently than the present bishops we have already?

  81. Michael J says:

    Credo,
    You have got to be kidding. Deny someone Holy Communion for questioning the accurracy of a commonly believed historical fact?

  82. BD says:

    I have met many educated people who think 911 was an inside job and that there was a plot to kill Kennedy. Should we chastise them all and ban all such from public office?

  83. Domine Non Sum Dignus says:

    Thank you, Steven. Well said.

    I would also like to add that Catholics should bear in mind that it is the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross that is the One Perfect Sacrifice acceptable to God. It is the True Holocaust! It is the one defining moment in all of human history. The murder of Jews (yet probably many, more Catholics) in concentration camps by Hitler’s evil regime was a horrible atrocity, yes, but it was not a perfect sacrifice offered to God, and it was certainly not redemptive, as the Redemption-denying media will try and lead us to believe.

    Therefore, who are the True Holocaust deniers?

    Are they not in reality those who reject Our Lord and Saviour’s Redemptive Sacrifice on the Cross and its daily representation, in an unbloody manner, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — the Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Paradise?!

    We need Catholic leaders, and we need them now, who will not be afraid to proclaim Catholic Truth for “fear of the Jews”.

    Pray for Pope Benedict.

  84. Credo says:

    Michael J,

    Yeah, I should have left that one out of the refusing Holy Communion section.

    Obviously, one wouldn’t be denied Holy Communion for denying the holocaust. Anyway, surely you get the general idea without nit picking every word. Certainly, those who publicly support, or actively take part in, abortion, euthanasia, contracepting – all grave evils – should be refused Holy Communion and not be permitted any kind of public role within the parish/diocese.

    This is a perfect opportunity for the Holy Father to further pronounce the Church’s teachings on the dignity of all human life, born and unborn, and the consequences for Catholics who publicly reject it and support indignity to human life.

  85. I was not aware that holding to a conspiracy theory is a basis for excommunication.

    Michael, it’s not. But this isn’t about excommunication. The excommunication is already lifted. This is about whether Williamson can ever be a bishop with any authority within the Catholic Church. And the pope is saying absolutely not, not unless he recants his views and also accepts Vatican II in its fullness. No one is threatening excommunication again. He is free – in fact, encouraged – to receive the Sacraments in the Church again, and I would hope that he will, not from an SSPX priest but rather from priests in full communion with Rome. This will do his soul much good, and can finally help to rehabilitate him of his lunacy and his hate.

  86. Steven,

    Yes, he did deny the Holocaust. Reducing six million deaths down to a few hundred thousand is a denial. It’s a major denial, and it’s utterly absurd, rooted in conspiracy-theory lunacy and anti-Semitic hatred. He also denies a means of the Holocaust, namely the gas chambers, which we know historically to have been used. He is a Holocaust denier. There is just no other way around it. Kudos to the Holy Father for ensuring that he will have to recant his horrific views before ever coming into full communion with Rome and ever hoping to have a valid episcopal appointment.

  87. prof. basto says:

    I don’t think that the SSPX and its faithful should be offended by this Note from the Secretariat of State.

    This note does not detract from the Holy See’s commitment to the doctrinal discussions; quite the opposite, there is mention of the part of the Decree remitting the excommunications in which the Holy See commited to dialogue on the doctrinal issues.

    This Note is clearly a document that should be carefully read and interpreted. The last paragraph, for instance, is full of implied meaning.

    As for Sandro Magister’s most recent article, mentioned in this thread, after reading it, I found that the title was unfortunate, a bad choice of words, but that he has a point regarding the contents of the article.

    Yes, the Church is under attack from external souces. That should not be underestimated. We should both pray for the Pope and resist that attack.

    However, there was also ineptitude in the presentation of this decision by the curial officials. Mistakes in presentation do not justify the Church-bashing and Pope-bashing that has been taking place, but perhaps, just perhaps, if there was better presentation, the attacks could have been lessened, perhaps even avoided, or better dealt with — I’m not saying here that the Church should have watered down the meaning of the Pope’s action; simply, that there should have been a fuller explanation of the details and technical aspects, and that there should have been a more intense apologetics of the Pope’s decision. You see, a Note more then one week after the fact looks — LOOKS — like an apology, or a retraction (of course, its neither an apology on the part of the Vatican, for it did nothing wrong, nor a retraction), but it does not look good. On the other hand, had that explanation been given in the first 24 hours, the crisis would have been defused without people outside the Church and traitors inside the Vatican getting a huge chance to make the Pope look bad.

    There is a pattern here: there are people outside and inside the Vatican who desire the failiure of this pontificate; the Pope seems to be very gentle, and chooses not to excommunicate/depose/fire his enemies that are inside the Vatican. However, those people managed to create a crisis over Regensburg; then, the critics of Summorum Pontificum followed, in spite of the wide consultations – and a consistorial meeting – that the Pope decided to hold before issuing the document; then, word came that the Pope was having problems in getting documents translated by the Secretariat of State; that Sodano attempted to fire Ruini without the Pope’s approval; and now, we have this huge crisis, with even Heads of Government criticising the Successor of Peter.

    Of course, given that the temperature of the crisis went up, we should suspend criticism of the Holy See Press Office. This is time to support the Pope and those who are faithful to him inside the Vatican. But it would be good to see him cast the vipers out (Re, Kasper, Lehmann, etc).

    The 2005 Christmas Adress to the Roman Curia is the fundamental doctrinal act of this pontificate. Yet, there are those inside and outside the Vatican who try to stall things, in the hope that nothing gets done, and that everything that gets done is badly presented, so that a debacle can follow. In other words: there are those who are doing their best to derail this pontificate; to stop the Pope from effectively promoting in teaching and in actions the continuity in Tradition. That’s why the SSPX leadership cannot miss this opportunity.

    The Note itself does not rule out the possibility that Williamson be regularized to discharge episcopal ministry in the Church (provided that he recants from Holocaust denial). It could have been worse: the Pope could have announced that, even once the SSPX is regularized, Bishop Williamson not be accepted into episcopal ministry. SO, THIS NOTE CONTAINS A ROADMAP.

    The roadmap is: doctrinal negotiations, at which the Holy See expects (as is reasonable) full acceptance of the doctrine of the Popes of the Vatican II and post-Vatican II era and full acceptance of the docrine of the II Vatican Ecumenical Council AND (if Williamson wants to be regularized as a Bishop) an apology from him. Regarding the first part of the roadmap: what exactly the doctrine of the most recent Council and of the Popes of the conciliar and post-conciliar period is – and how it should be interpreted vis a vis the rest of the Deposit of Faith – is precisely the point of the discussions. But, of course, the only valid interpretative key is already given by the Pope’s 2005 Christmas adress: the hermeneutics of continuity.

    Sandro Magister correclty points out that several of the issues that are difficult for the SSPX were adressed by the Pope in his 2005 Christmas adress. The pope was not speaking of the SSPX, but he adressed the issues that with which the Society has a problem. Yet, the pope was speaking to the universal Church. And that’s it: this is, in reallity, much wider than the SSPX. We are in a battle for the interpretation of Vatican II. Will the Pope be able to explain in detail how the hermeneutics of continuity solves the problems in harmonizing Vatican II with the rest of Tradition or will the promoters of rupture keep him from that mission until the last of his days, derailing the message of his pontificate and making authentic Catholicism look bad? Who would have guessed that the battle for the correct interpretation of Vatican II would take place in the battlefield of the SSPX reconciliation process?

    But that seems to be the case. The issues raised in 2005 lead one to believe that the pope has a plan and has had one for a long time. Reconciliation with the SSPX seems to be high on the Pope’s agenda as never before since 1988. And that the interpretations agreed between the Holy See and the SSPX in their future doctrinal discussions will be central – given the expected papal seal of approval – to apllying the hermeneutics of continuity to concrete passages of Vatican II that are still hard to reconcile with past teaching. The interpretation that the Holy See approves in those negotiations will be the valid interpretation. If the discussions work, then can expect valuable clarification on the meaning of the Council’s documents.

    So, the SSPX should go along with the roadmap indicated in the Decree and in today’s note. And we all should strive to offer our full support to the Pope as effectively as we can, together with our prayers, requested by him.

  88. prof. basto says:

    Just another tought: Sandro Magister – an intelligent and respected commentator who tends to be on the right side of things – links Summorum Pontificum with the SSPX reconciliation in his latest article (that adresses the present crisis); several others have the same mindset of linking SP to the effort to reconcile with the SSPX.

    From what I read in this thread, I gather that many SSPX faithful are frustrated by this note from the Secretariat of State. They expected the Vatican to say nothing more, and interpret the note as a bow to pressure.

    I just hope that the Holy See sends a clear signal that the worldwide implementation of Summorum Pontificum is a separate matter, and that the Holy See will continue to value and protect the Traditional liturgy and traditional communities even if, the SSPX reconciliation process fails to go according to what was planned.

    Why is this needed: because certainly liberal clergymen and disobedient bishops worldwide will take hold of this opportunity to oppose the implementation of Summorum Pontificum on the grounds that it is nothing more then a concession to the SSPX, that Williamson is a member of the SSPX, and that therefore everything that has to do with the TLM should be avoided, because it offends Jews; the good friday prayer being a case in point. They will argue like that. That’s why we should be prepared to defend the TLM and Summorum Pontificum, and the Holy See should, too.

    But again, the need of a responsible conduct on the part of the SSPX in distancing itself from anti-semites would be most helpful. And the success of the reconciliation process would, too.

    it is very much important that the SSPX complies with the roadmap fully. The SSPX can trust that the Holy See is doing its best. This pope is committed to this cause. This is the SSPX’s best shot. It’s like Arafat at Camp David. It probably won’t happen again if the SSPX blows it. The SSPX can be assured that clarifications are likely to emerge from the doctrinal talks, and that doctrinal understanding will ensue between them and Rome.

    But, the SSPX should also behave in an extremely responsible way: for, if they blow it, not only will they miss an historic opportunity of reconciliation, but also they will likely harm the worldwide implementation of Summorum Pontificum.

  89. Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton, PhD

    Publisher’s Note: This is a non-Revisionist title for Theses & Dissertations Press. It will be the first book on the Holocaust, in publishing history, that will not take a Traditionalist or a Revisionist point of view. When you purchase this book, one-third of the proceeds will go to Germar Rudolf and his family.

    http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Holocaust-Look-Both-Sides/dp/1591480051/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233219533&sr=1-1

    Founded in 2000 the publishing company Theses & Dissertations Press is at the center of a worldwide network of scholars and activists who are working — often at great personal sacrifice — to separate historical fact from propaganda fiction. The founder of Theses & Dissertations Press is Germar Rudolf. Who is currently serving prison time for his published works and will be released on July 4, 2009.

    As the new director of Germar Rudolf’s American publishing division, I wish to express my outrage that the Holocaust, unlike any other historical event, is not subject to critical revisionist investigation. Furthermore I deplore the fact that many so-called democratic states have laws that criminalize public doubting of the Holocaust. It is my position that the veracity of Holocaust assertions should be determined in the marketplace of scholarly discourse and not in our legislatures bodies and courthouses.

    Peace.

    Michael Santomauro
    Editorial Director
    Call: 917-974-6367
    ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

  90. A Lesser Williamson says:

    Someone said, “no sane person can deny that some 6 million Jews were singled out and killed by Hitler”.
    1. The Vatican “Note” does not say His Excellency will be required to submit to a mental health examination or mental health treatment, which would be the appropriate course of action if there is concern about his mental health. Rather, it says that he must “distance” himself from his beliefs on a secular subject, i.e. recant them.
    2. His Excellency’s beliefs on a secular subject are not heresy, therefore there is no basis for demanding that he recant them.
    3. If the real concern is His Excellency’s sanity, any statement “distancing” himself from his beliefs would have no more value than his statements affirming those beliefs. A crazy person is not accountable either way.

    Ergo, the requirement that he distance himself from his beliefs make no sense. Moreover, his elegant apology is evidence he is quite sane.

  91. Jerry says:

    Michael Hallman,

    Please do something about your own hate and your lies about Bishop Williamson. There is nothing more discrediting to an argument, whether it’s an evolutionist berating an Intelligent Design advocate, or an anti-Catholic misrepresenting the Inquisition or someone like yourself in your judgements against bishop Williamson than trying to squeeze in as many references to “lunacy” or “hate” or “anti-semite.”

    You simply prove the bishop right in his numerous comments that so many people’s minds have turned to mush and you can only argue on emotion. Name-calling, chest beating and declarations by fiat are pathetic substitutes for clear thinking. Something the bishop obviously does and something you and the rest of the agenda-driven hysterical mob does not.

  92. craig says:

    And now, look — we see the comments section of every SSPX-related blog post turning into a fever-swamp of Holocaust denial.

    Credo, you were right to include Holocaust denial as a reason to be refused Holy Communion, because it is a rejection of the dignity of all human life. Don’t apologize.

    Even sixty years after the fact, there are still thousands alive who witnessed them as liberators, guards, or inmates; there are reels upon reels of footage of the camps taken by Nazis, Soviets, British, and American war correspondents; there is confessional testimony on camera from Nazi commandants admitting to the exterminations; there are Nazi registries of the arrivals at each camp, invoices for Zyklon-B, personal effects taken from prisoners, mass graves in some places, crematoria in others, etc., etc. The weight of physical evidence is greater than for most historical events of the last hundred years. No-one has any basis upon which to deny or downplay the existence of these events other than insanity or pure malice against a group of human beings created by God.

  93. Jerry says:

    Bishop Williamson is not going to lie in order to function as a bishop. He doesn’t trust Rome and he’s certainly not going to go for some carrot that is dangled. He’s far smarter than that. He certainly would not believe he would be placed in any known diocese. He remembers very well the insult posting given to Archbishop LeFebvre given in order to get rid of him.

    Doctrine and the preservation of the Catholic Church from modernists and enemies of Our Divine Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is all he cares about.

    Bishop Williamson also does not care what the “vile media” have to say about him. Since he does not watch television, he is impervious to most of the pressures put on him by the media. I’m sure the phone is unplugged and he is deep in prayer saying the Rosary (15 mysteries for these times.) and after evening prayers, it’s lights out in sacred silence.

    “There have always been jews that have converted (to the Catholic faith) and if they have really converted, they make magnificent Catholics. Because as St. Paul says in the Epistle to the Romans, the religion of God is in their bloodstreams. And when a jew truly rediscovers the Catholic Faith, He’s coming home in a way that no gentile is coming home. He’s coming back to Our Lord, and the Apostles and Our Lady who were all Jewish. The Catholic faith was founded by Jews. And when jews come back to it, their coming home…a gentile can never be at home in the Catholic faith in the same way that a real Jewish convert can be.” –Bishop Richard Williamson interview with Bernard Janzen 2003

  94. David says:

    I don’t understand the worry, Father, nor the negative reaction here. This note was brilliant!

    See my thoughts: http://tlmmichiana.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-left-wont-be-happy-with-vatican.html

  95. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    Prof Basto & Henry Edwards,

    I can’t for one minute believe that Pope Benedict did not know about Bishop Williamson’s peculiarities. As Cardinal, he was responsible for the negotiations with Archbishop Lefebvre which would have included reviewing the list of candidates that Archbishop Lefebvre submitted for the one bishop the Vatican was going to allow as part of the accord. Certainly, Father Williamson had to be a name on the list along with most likely the other three current bishops. And if I understand correctly what took place back in 1988 the Vatican (i.e. Ratzinger) said “no way” to the list Archbishop Lefebvre submitted. Not only that, but he was intimately involved in reconciliation efforts since the 1988 consecrations. It is difficult to believe that he didn’t know about Williamson’s conspiracy theories.

  96. Origen Adamantius says:

    The difficulty that many seem to miss is that “pastoral” and “dogmatic” are not mutually exclusive terms. The Church’s pastoral practices flow from her “dogma”. While one can challenge the effectiveness of specific pastoral approaches, challenging their legitimacy often calls into question the dogma’s from which they were derived. Full recognition of VII, means recognition of the magisterial authority behind the documents and the efficacious validity (not pastoral effectiveness) of the reformed sacramental rites.

  97. Somerset '76 says:

    Sometimes all one can do is sit back, watch and pray. The real story here is doubtlessly much greater than the totality of all the interviews, press releases, and commentaries (not to mention hit-pieces, against Pope and Society both). We will see how all this turns out in time.

    Even while I was yet in the Society’s camp, I came to have the understanding that the true and final resolution of the postconciliar crisis is going to turn out to be something that surprises and challenges all sides. And I still think so.

  98. So Jerry, in other words you hate the Church? You could have just made it a lot easier and said that from the get go. At least we know where your allegiances lie, which is to say not with the Catholic Church and not with truth. Good to know.

    Thankfully our Merciful God has great patience, because I sure as hell don’t. Utter stupidity is really difficult to tolerate.

  99. I’m sad to see that so many people think that just because Willaimson’s (and his followers) stupidity and anti-Semitism regarding the Holocaust is not heresy that somehow he must automatically be qualified for having episcopal authority within the Catholic Church. The Church wants good bishops, and the qualification for a good bishop is not simply, “A priest who is not a heretic.” Having paranoid delusional tendencies, as does Bishop Williamson and many of his followers who subscribe to his Holocaust denial manure, and holding completely idiotic views about historical facts (including his false accreditation of authenticity to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion) when those idiotic views cause great and unnecessary harm and distress to a group of people pretty much ensures that a person is unqualified to carry episcopal authority. It’s wonderfully generous that the Holy Father has cleared the way for Williamson, if he were to finally choose, to receive licit Sacraments in the Catholic Church, instead of continuing to receive the illicit though valid Sacraments of SSPX priests such as himself, but that does not in any way mean that Williamson has any right to authority in the Church. He simply has the privilege available to all Catholics, which is he may receive the Sacraments faithfully from within the Church instead of from without where he receives them in SSPX. He should get down on his knees and thank God that Benedict has made the Sacraments available to him like that, but he should have no expectation of any authority in the Church given his diminished mental capacity and hateful anti-Semitism.

  100. Rose says:

    Only the brittle cannot afford to bend; the truly strong can bend without breaking. Pope Benedict is not “giving in”; strong leaders have to respond to grievances. I see the note as requiring Bishop Williamson to distance himself from his public expression of antisemitism. We can play reading games with the Bishop’s statements but there is no mistaking the antisemitism which motivated those statements. Antisemitism does disqualify him from functioning as a bishop.

  101. Rose says:

    Re Greg Hessel’s not believing that the Pope was not aware of Williamson’s antisemitism. I am fully prepared to believe this to be true not only because the note says so, but also because Cardinal Ratzinger dealt with Fellay, not Williamson. From what I can gather (I knew nothing about the SSPX until I started reading this blog), Williamson is a marginal character even within the SSPX hierarchy. He is getting more than his ten minutes of fame.

  102. TerryC says:

    Of course the underlying assumption to this by the liberal press is that if the Holy Father had known about Williamson’s antisemitism then he would not have lifted the excommunications. The popes supporters within the Church, who have criticized the Curia PR machine seem to behave on the premise that if the PR experts had spun it properly then lifting the excommunications would have cause no media backlash.
    Note the contradictions of those opinions. To the liberal media group (and their political and clerical supporters) the SSPX is a danger to their agenda of heresy. Had Williamson not said anything they would be talking now about those SSPX antisemitic web pages several people have posted on here. (I don’t want to hear it. As soon as you post the statement “Jews control the media” you’ve lost all credibility with me. Fact point: Rupert Murdock is Irish, Kirk Kerkorian is Arminian. The fact that a few Jews once owned a couple of now defunct or reorganized classic period Hollywood movie studios does not translate into “Jews own the media.”)
    My point is that these liberal, heterodox groups and individuals were always going to try to discredit the pope when he lifted the excommunications. In many cases internally in the Church the same bishops and priest who were hostile to Summorum Pontificum are creating dissent on this. In many cases these are the same people pushing other causes in variance with Church teaching.
    The media backlash was inevitable. We as a Church have got to stop caring what the media and non-Catholics say. The Holy Father needs to get his own house in order too. +Williamson is not the only cleric who should mot be making statements to the media. Some of these clerical critics need to be told that, perhaps they would be happier as titular bishop of a church somewhere, where they would have more time for contemplation and less time to talk to the media.

  103. Henry Edwards says:

    Greg: It is difficult to believe that he [the Pope] didn’t know about Williamson’s conspiracy theories.

    Surely you’re right. I assume that Pope reasoned that the SSPX and its reconciliation have an role in the long-range restoration of tradition in the Church that is vastly more important than the short-range inconvenience of Bp. Williamson’s stupid public positions.

    Most conspiracy theory nuts I’ve heard of are more humorous than sinister, generally dotty old uncle types, as Bishop Williamson appears from what little I know of him. But it’s certainly a major inconvenience at this point for him to be a Catholic bishop, and whether sinister or not he must have been crazy (at the least) to have spoken publicly about whatever dotty opinions he may have regarding the actual number who perished in the Holocaust.

    Nevertheless, it occurs to me that the following remark from a comment above illustrates the factual and intellectual level of this whole tempest:

    “it’s enough to watch mainstream media recordings of the towers falling (see youtube) to realize that they were obviously demolished.”

    Of course, no one doubts they were demolished. As I understand it, Bishop Williamson merely believes after the fact what all qualified architectural engineers apparently believed about the Twin Towers before the fact. Namely, that they could never be demolished by a mere airplane crash, that simultaneous demolition explosions would have to be set and timed.

    Though I have zero interest in the matter myself, it’s alleged that various engineering analysis still support this conclusion. In any event, though there may be plenty of additional evidence bearing on his sanity, this belief in itself hardly proves that Bp. Williamson is crazy, merely that he’s a likely sucker for almost any conspiracy theory that comes down the pike. Especially any that has some kind of junk science for it’s basis. (Hmm … I wonder whether he doesn’t have some theory about who’s really behind all this global warming that we’re suffering from this winter.)

    In any event, I wonder whether all here cannot agree that the optimal “distance” between Bp. Williamson and any future episcopal responsibilities is the distance to the nearest cloistered monastery that practices the Great Silence and will take him in for the duration.

  104. Breier says:

    TerryC,

    You may be encouraged to know that all the articles regarding Judaism have been removed from the SSPX website.

    Breier

  105. Breier says:

    At least, one cannot find the articles if one goes to http://www.sspx.org. The direct links seem to still be working, for the time being.

  106. RBrown says:

    Of course, no one doubts they were demolished. As I understand it, Bishop Williamson merely believes after the fact what all qualified architectural engineers apparently believed about the Twin Towers before the fact.

    That’s news to me.

    Namely, that they could never be demolished by a mere airplane crash, that simultaneous demolition explosions would have to be set and timed.
    Comment by Henry Edwards

    So we have the planes flying into the buildings, then someone suddenly arriving and setting demolition charges in the same area?

    Wouldn’t the fuel tanks of the planes qualify as demolition charges?

  107. Tony Weisner says:

    When are the Jews going to apologize for Gaza? and the use of white phosphorous? Double standard really!

  108. Michael J says:

    Craig,

    Surely you can come up with some reasons other than “insanity or pure malice” that offer a plausible explanation of why Bishop Williamson would “downplay the existence of these events”, can’t you?

    Is it even remotely possible in your mind that his beliefs stem from:

    1. Plain old mundane ignorance
    2. being duped by fabricated “evidence”
    3. mistrust (perhaps even excessive mistrust) of “official” information sources.

  109. Henry Edwards says:

    RBrown: That’s news to me.

    No, it’s not. You should “think then post”. With just a tiny bit of logical thought you could have deduced that the Twin Towers would not have built as they were if architectural theory had not been thought to preclude their being demolished by an airplane, as common as air traffic is in and around Manhattan.

    Your subsequent questions would have to be directed to Bp. Williamson, not to me. I haven’t read any of his stuff on this (or any other of his conspiracy theories). However, with just a bit of logical thought I deduce he must think the demolition charges were placed in advance and timed to go off just after the plane hit. Or maybe directed by remote control from the plane to do so. I guess if it’s his theory, he can make it as crazy as he wants to.

  110. Michael J says:

    Henry,

    You may be interested in this article:
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

  111. Henry Edwards says:

    Michael,
    Thanks, quite interesting. However, it’s probably not worth the effort to forward the link to Bp. Williamson. Conspiracy nuts are never dissuaded by mere facts and common sense. There’s an interesting book, by Umberto Ecco, as I recall, according to which these loony folks have been with us for centuries, perhaps all of human history.

    Incidentally, in regard to your reply to Craig, it seems to me from the 5:47 video clip that Bp. Williamson likely falls in your category 2 (being duped by fabricated “evidence”) — which however doesn’t clear him of the charge of terminal stupidity in spouting his private thoughts to a Swedish TV camera.

  112. craig says:

    Michael J, it is remotely possible that Williamson’s error is due to excessive mistrust of “official” information sources. But let’s be frank: I have read some of his bizarre writings, including the 9/11 “trutherism” and other unrelated topics. The only common factor to all of them, the only apparent motivator for him to distrust this bit of reportage and not distrust that bit, is that in every case where he believes an alternate version, the Jews are involved in a sinister capacity. Which brings us back to malice as a reason.

  113. RBrown says:

    No, it’s not. You should “think then post”. With just a tiny bit of logical thought you could have deduced that the Twin Towers would not have built as they were if architectural theory had not been thought to preclude their being demolished by an airplane, as common as air traffic is in and around Manhattan.

    You should re-read what I posted above. I realize the towers were built to withstand being struck by a plane. And I don’t know of anyone who thinks that the damage is what caused the collapse.

    The towers (more specifically the structural steel), however, were not built to withstand the heat generated by 10,000 gallons of jet fuel exploding. Both the flights that hit the towers were bound for LA, as was the plane that hit the Pentagon–they were selected because of all the fuel needed for such a trip.

    Your subsequent questions would have to be directed to Bp. Williamson, not to me. I haven’t read any of his stuff on this (or any other of his conspiracy theories). However, with just a bit of logical thought I deduce he must think the demolition charges were placed in advance and timed to go off just after the plane hit. Or maybe directed by remote control from the plane to do so. I guess if it’s his theory, he can make it as crazy as he wants to.
    Comment by Henry Edwards

    In so far as you are such a logic wizard, you no doubt know that apodictic arguments (whether quia or propter quid) must have premises that are necessarily true, not merely a possibility. And so it’s it’s fallacious to draw a necessary conclusion (demolition charges, etc) from a premise that is only a possibility.