A few notes about the SSPX in Germany.
I am wondering if there isn’t a coordinated effort to spoil the detante and talks which must take place between the SSPX and the Holy See.
First, there comes this from CNS via Catholic Review:
Regensburg Diocese warns excommunication looms for Lefebvrist priests
By Jonathan Luxmoore
Catholic News Service
OXFORD, England – Officials in the Diocese of Regensburg, Germany, have said plans by the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X to ordain new priests without Vatican consent at a local seminary will lead to their excommunication.
“This will be uncanonical, since they have no entitlement to conduct their own ordinations,” said diocese spokesman Jakub Schotz. [True. And did they just realize this recently? Why put their foot down now?]
“Our bishop is waiting for Rome to advise on how to respond. But it will almost certainly result in the excommunication of the priests and the bishop who ordains them,” Schotz said. [So, are they consulting, or have they made up their minds?]
The spokesman was reacting to an announcement by the society that it would ordain three priests and three deacons in its seminary at Zaitzkofen in Bavaria June 27, along with another 18 at its headquarters in Econe, Switzerland, and at Winona, Minn.
In a statement, the Zaitzkofen seminary rector, Father Stefan Frey, said the society now had “provisional legal status” in the Catholic Church pending a “definitive canonical ruling” on its future, and had not been told to “put a stop to ordinations.” [If such a status exists, hopefully they will be able to demonstrate that the Holy See agrees.]
He added that the new priests would be ordained by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta of Spain, “without direct church permission” because of the “grave state of emergency” facing the church. [we know the tired old argument] He denied that the move constituted an “affront against the pope.”
However, the statement was rejected by Schotz, [So, this guy is the "spokesman". But does he really speak with such authority?] who told Catholic News Service June 5 the new ordinations would be viewed as “a provocation against the whole Catholic world.”
“The society lives by itself in a closed circle, so it poses no danger [?] as such to our diocese’s 630 parishes, which are full of Catholic vitality,” said Schotz, whose diocese is one of three in Pope Benedict XVI’s former Munich and Freising Archdiocese. [Ummm... no. Regensburg is actually its own diocese with its own bishop. They are in the province of Munich, but the Archbishop there can't govern Regensburg.]
“But everything they say and do shows there’s no goodwill to belong to the wider Catholic family,” [Pretty hostile] he said. “A Catholic group can only form part of the church by accepting the authority of the pope.”
The announcement of the ordinations follows a January decision by Pope Benedict to lift excommunications of the society’s four bishops, including Bishop de Galarreta and controversial British-born Bishop Richard Williamson.
In a June 1 Vatican Radio interview, Bishop Gerhard Muller of Regensburg said he had warned the Zaitzkofen seminary the ordinations would violate canon law and create a “dangerous situation,” and had asked the Vatican to “prescribe how to proceed.”
He added that society members, who are known as Lefebvrists, so-named after their founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, appeared unwilling to “face the consequences” of accepting papal authority. [I wonder if this is a fair statement.]
“There can only be one seminary in this diocese,” the bishop said. “If they wish to live in communion with the local bishop, as they claim, they must be bound by church discipline.”“Although associations are possible within the church, there cannot be a fenced-off community, a church within a church.” [I suppose the Holy See really should make these determinations.]
In a letter to the world’s bishops, made public March 12, the pope said the Society of St. Pius X did not yet have canonical status in the church or exercise a legitimate ministry.
A spokeswoman for the German bishops’ conference said June 5 it would be the decision of local bishops to react to the society’s actions.
Next comes this from a WDTPRS reader (edited):
In Germany there is currently an open war between the bishops and the Fraternity of St. Pius…
I never was in favour of the fraternity, but in the last months I am hesitating about having a quick judgement against the FSSPX. I try to be true to catholic teaching, I was raised up with the new liturgy and, by the motu proprio of the Holy Father I become clearly in favour of a reform of the reform in the spirit of the writings of Benedict XVI.
Now the bishop of Fulda, the Cathedral city of St. Boniface is going to urge the Vatican to issue new disciplinary steps against the fratermnity. [Doesn't that sound diametrically opposed to what the Holy See wishes to accomplish with the SSPX?] The reason for that is a newly consecrated chapel of the FSSPX in Fulda. The consecration has taken place during the celebration of St. Boniface’s feast day. [The SSPX doesn't help matters when they do things like this. Do they simply expect the local bishop to do nothing in the face of their activities? At the same time, does this always have to be cleaned up after the fact?] Bishop Algermissen has declared earlier that Catholics are "not allowed" to join masses of the FSSPX or to receive any sacraments by priests of the fraternity. And he strongly objected against the consecration of a chapel in his diocese without his permission. (Which, so far, seems to be clear and just.) [Fair enough.]
Now it seems as if he tries to urge the Vatican into a decision against the FSSPX.
I wouldn’t have seen a necessity to inform you about what is going on in a far off German diocese, but I worry about the Holy Father and I cannot wipe away the suspicion that this goes not only against the FSSPX but against the pope himself. They try to impose the pressure on the Holy Father.
(And at least I would be glad if the same bishops who claim that others have to agree to every document of »the Council« were themselves clear defenders of Catholic truth.)
We know from other reports that SSPX Bp and Superior Bernard Fellay was recently in Rome and went to the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio to meet either with the CDF or the Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei, or both.
I suspect that some of this was brought up.
The open hostility of some bishops will not help to heal this break in the Church’s unity.
It didn’t work before, which is why Pope Benedict tried a different tack.
Some dioceses perhaps didn’t read those news reports.