Card. Kasper unhappy with the Pope, Reuters helps Fr. Reese whine

This just in about Card. Kasper from Reuters:

Top cardinal says Vatican botched Holocaust affair

By Philip Pullella – Tue Feb 3, 6:51 am ET

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The cardinal in charge of relations with Jews has acknowledged that the Vatican handled the rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop very badly and complained that Pope Benedict did not consult him.

"There wasn’t enough talking with each other in the Vatican and there are no longer checks to see where problems could arise," said Cardinal Walter Kasper in a blunt interview with Vatican Radio’s German program, broadcast on Monday night[Card. Kasper, who has famously been on the opposite side of some issues from Joseph Card. Ratzinger heads up the office concerned with dialogue with Jews.]

Benedict on January 24 lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including Richard Williamson, a Briton who denies the full extent of the Holocaust, to try to heal a 20-year-old schism in the Church. [Although the Holy See has rejected the description "schism".  Why isn’t that reported?]

Among those who condemned Williamson and the pope’s decision were Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, members of the U.S. Congress, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, German Jewish leaders and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

Vatican sources and officials had said privately the decision was taken without wide consultation. Kasper, who was left in the dark, appeared to be venting his frustration.

"Of course, explaining something after the fact is always much more difficult than if one did it right away. I would have also liked to see more communication in advance," said the cardinal, who like Pope Benedict is German.

"I’m watching this debate with great concern. Nobody can be pleased that misunderstandings have turned up. Mistakes in the management of the curia (Vatican administration) have certainly also been made. I want to say that very clearly," he said.

Leading Catholic commentators have said the Williamson affair shows fundamental flaws in Benedict’s governing style.


"This and other controversies point to a fatal systemic flaw in the Benedict papacy that is destroying his effectiveness as pope: He does not consult experts who might challenge his views and inclinations," said Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.  [Wishful thinking.  You can always count on the Reese for a snarky comment.  But consider that the Reuters people went to a guy like him for a comment and sought no balance at all.  Was Reese in the room?  What does he know about how Benedict works?]

"He is surrounded by people who are not as smart as he is and who would never think of questioning him."

Father Eberhard von Gemmingen, head of Vatican Radio German service, said: "There are obviously shortcomings in the Vatican’s organization and communications … Such a misunderstanding and debacle must never happen again."

Williamson told Swedish television in an interview broadcast on January 21: "I believe there were no gas chambers." He said no more than 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, rather than the 6 million accepted by mainstream historians.

He later posted on his blog a letter apologizing to the pope for the "unnecessary distress" he caused him but he did not take back the comments. Jews said the apology was not enough.

The controversy has led many to take a closer look at the traditionalist group, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), its view of Jews and its future place in the Church.

Traditionalists reject most of the teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. ["most"?  I don’t think so.  But the writer wants it to be true.  Then watch how he juxtaposes it with what comes next…] One of its key documents, "Nostra Aetate" (In Our Times) repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Christ’s death and urged dialogue with all major religions.  [This gives the impression that the SSPX is fundamentally anti-Jewish and this is a key to why they reject "most" of the Second Vatican Council.  The term for this is "misdirection".]

(Additional reporting by Tom Heneghan in Paris; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)


Card. Casper on Vatican Radio.

Washing his hands, perhaps?

Just sad.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. don Jeffry says:

    Nothing like airing your dirty laundry in public. Thanks for turning your back on the Pope rather than standing by him even if mistakes were made.
    don Jeffry

  2. EDG says:

    IIRC, Cdl. Kasper was one of the contenders (or thought he was) in the last papal election.

  3. Bryan says:

    Is anyone really surprised?

    IIRC, there is no requirement for the Holy Father to consult anyone. If memory serves, only the Pope is granted the power of the keys passed down to him from St. Peter. Not the bureaucracy. Not the individual bishops. Certainly not whack jobs like Reese. In the general scheme of things, they’re annoying gnats buzzing around the Barque of Peter.

    Benedict, like all the Popes who came before, enjoys full, immediate, and universal power to govern. Cdl. Kasper (and others of his ilk, I guess) are feeling their oats. So, he wasn’t consulted. So what? He serves at the Holy Father’s forbearance. In the general scheme of things, does anyone really care whether his feelings were hurt? Has he really done all he can to further the aims of the Church, or has be been too concerned with those who would deny Christ’s divinity in an attempt to cater to them?

    I think the good Fr. Z is right on the money…this week seems to be a crucial one for a concerted attack by the enemy.

    God bless Pope Benedict! May he reign gloriously for many years to come!

  4. As the Master, so the disciple: No good deed goes unpunished in this world.

  5. Adeodatus says:

    Father Z,

    The SSPX *is* a fundamentally Anti-Semitic organization. That has become *abundantly* clear. [And the recent statements of the SSPX leadership make no difference at all?]

    Here… read this:

    Here is a small selection of Anti-Semitic phrases taken from the document:

    “Judaism is inimical to all nations in general”
    “The Jewish people conspire against the Christian State.”
    “The Jewish people win control of property by usury.”
    “Jews are known to kill Christians.”
    “The next step is socialism, whose seminal thinkers, from Marx to Leon Blum, were of the Jewish people.”
    “It is a matter of public historical record that Communism was financed by Jewish money.”
    “In the system of carnal, worldly greatness they have raised up with the de-Christianized peoples, the Jews are the masters, and no power seems able to resist their hidden power.”

    This is the *proof*, Father Z. Another blogger reports having actually seen a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for sale at an SSPX seminary bookstore. [There’s proof for you.]

    Every word you speak in favor of the SSPX brings you closer to the fire. I pray that you will reconsider continuing to agitate on behalf of these Anti-Semites. [Good grief! so you are against the Holy Father’s initiative. Do you also think that no one can ever reform or modify a position? Sounds like it.]

  6. memoriadei says:

    I love our Holy Father and will follow him no matter what is said. He’s brilliant. Arrogance these days is just unbelievable.

  7. TLH says:

    I think adeodatus needs a good stiff drink, a warm bath, and a good night sleep…

  8. I am not Spartacus says:

    The cardinal in charge of relations with Jews has acknowledged that the Vatican handled the rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop very badly and complained that Pope Benedict did not consult him.

    I wonder if the good Cardinal consulted the Pope before publicly castigating the Pope and throwing him under the Popemobile?

    This event, and reaction to it, is revealing what is in the hearts of many and exposes what seems to me to be issues of wounded egos.

  9. Confiteor says:

    What Adeotatus fails to disclose is that the SSPX article draws a number of THEOLOGICAL conclusions about the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. I recommend that people read the article for themselves and not rely upon Adeotatus’ SOUND BITES. Shameful, simply shameful.

  10. Choirmaster says:

    Vatican sources and officials had said privately the decision was taken without wide consultation. Kasper, who was left in the dark, appeared to be venting his frustration.

    A strikingly insightful observation.

  11. Jillian says:


    You took that article out of context. I am not a member of the SSPX, but I think it’s only right to be fair to them.

    From the same article:
    “The Jewish people is still more fascinating because of its many strengths.”
    “And when one thinks of this people, who live in the midst of all the nations, through the most varied changes of fortune but always and everywhere intact and incorruptible —one reflects that this people’s lineage is the greatest upon earth!”

    The Holy Father knows what he’s doing. And he is doing a good thing here; it’s a shame everyone heaps blame for things out of his control upon him.

    Viva il Papa!

  12. Brian Mershon says:

    Cardioal Kasper should have never been allowed in this position to begin with. It was a bvone thrown to the German cardinals when they threatened schism over the fact that Pope JPII did not appoint any of their bishops to be cardinals–until he later appointed Kasper and Lehmann two ro three weeks later–by themselves.

    Time to clear the head of “Christian Unity” out of his office. Apparently, he doesn’t believe in “unity” in the same fashion as the Pope, huh?

    Something about wolves in sheep’s clothing?

  13. Andy Brandt says:

    Isn’t it amazing how much truth is a result of this situation? How many show their true colors?

  14. Jordanes says:

    Alright, I do think the SSPX, and more broadly traditionalist Catholicism, has an “Anti-Semitism problem,” but the notion that “the SSPX is a fundamentally Anti-Semitic organization” or that practically all, or even most, of the SSPX’s members and adherents are anti-Semites is absolute undistilled treacle. And a florilegium of quotes lifted out of context is utterly worthless as evidence. I find the way the SSPX and Bishop Williamson have responded to this most regrettable incident to be encouraging and quite admirable.

  15. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    How is it come about that Cardinals publicly criticise the Pope?

  16. Young Adult says:

    So what blog does this Bishop Williamson have? Can you post the url? If you’d added it before, sorry to ask, I haven’t gotten to all the postings yet.

  17. kate says:

    Go Benedict V1, keep flushing them out!

  18. Geoffrey says:

    “How is it come about that Cardinals publicly criticise the Pope?”

    They probably see too many bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and laymen doing it too! :-(

  19. Credo says:

    It’s becoming more and more obvious why the Church has been stuck in the mud for the past 40 years, the spoiled children and many strangers from outside of the family have been allowed to control the household. These people remind me of spoiled and unruly children who are having temper tantrums when the parent finally puts their foot down and takes back control of the family. Unbelievable.

  20. MaxTheCat says:

    So what blog does this Bishop Williamson have? Can you post the url? If you’d added it before, sorry to ask, I haven’t gotten to all the postings yet.

  21. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Beyond this whole landscape of lifted excoommuications and PR disasters, are we seeing the opening shots of a true and major schism in the Church where media-significant portions of clergy and laity in Europe and, to a lesser degree, North America will withdaw from communion with Benedict XVI?

  22. R says:

    I wonder why the pope doesn’t bother “consulting” with such helpful colleagues as Card. Kasper…

  23. Prof. Basto says:

    It is time for a cleanup!

    In my opinion, the Pope should:

    1) excommunicate (ferendae sententiae, “just penalty” clause) Fr. Thomas Reese for unreasonable revolt against a papal act of jurisdiction, together with Hans Kung, Fr. Boff et. al, deposing them also from the clerical state;

    2) Depose Cardinal Lehmann from the Cardinalate;

    3) Assume unto himself – as was in the past – the power to appoint the Dean of the Sacred College; and then sack Cardinal Sodano;

    4) Remove Cardinal Re from office – if someone leaked his decree, that’s his responsability. Cardinal Re is from the same mold as Cardinal Sodano.

    5) Appoint a new Secretary for the Congregation for Bishops, too.

    6) Remove Cardinal Kasper from office;

    7) Remove Arcbishop Marini from the Pontifical Commitee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

    8) Transfer the Archbishop of Vienna to the Roman Curia, and appoint the newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Linz as Archbishop of Vienna, creating him a cardinal in the next consistory;

    9) Create Mons. Ranjith a Cardinal in the next consistory, together with Mons. Burke (he is likely to be promoted anyway);

    10) Start massive change, such as replacing the Archbishop of Los Angeles with Bishop Finn;

    11) Assume unto the Holy See the power of appointment of the Presidents of all the Episcopal Conferences.

  24. jwsrjwsr says:

    I love the Reese quote
    “He is surrounded by people who are not as smart as he is and who would never think of questioning him.”

    implied meaning – those who question him are REALLY SMART. What arrogance.

  25. jj says:

    Kasper seems bitter and twisted that he is not in the “inner sanctum” of consulation of Pope Benedict. After years of misleading and ambiguous statements from Kasper it is not surprising that he is not consulted on these topics. I could be removed soon for this type of behavior.

    You’re right Fr Z, he is washing his hands. So much for loyalty.

  26. MaxTheCat says:

    Beyond this whole landscape of lifted excoommuications and PR disasters, are we seeing the opening shots of a true and major schism in the Church where media-significant portions of clergy and laity in Europe and, to a lesser degree, North America will withdaw from communion with Benedict XVI?
    Comment by Wm. Christopher Hoag — 3 February 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    I believe this is exactly what we are seeing. More precisely, the actualization of a latent schism that has been existing for a while, but which JPII managed to keep hidden (as well as BXVI, ad multos annos, during the first years of his pontificate).

  27. jj says:

    “I could be removed soon for this type of behavior.”

    Sorry – typo. Should read, “He could be…”

  28. dcs says:

    The thing that strikes me about this whole affair is that Bp. Williamson at least had the decency to admit that his remarks were imprudent when he saw how others were using them to attack the Pope and Holy Mother Church. We are not called just to bring forth the truth but to bring forth the truth in charity (Eph. 4). So even if some things are true (I am not saying that Bp. Williamson’s views on the Holocaust are true — but he certainly believes them to be true), they are probably better left unsaid because the only result would be scandal. Likewise, even if it is true that the Pope bungled the lifting of the excommunications (and I don’t think he did — in fact I think this whole flap will serve a good, if unintentional, purpose), it is better left unsaid. We need to rally ’round the Holy Father, not give lip service to the unjust attacks on him.

  29. Has Cardinal Kasper every said anything that was remotely traditional?

  30. JayneK says:

    “Every word you speak in favor of the SSPX brings you closer to the fire.”
    The reintegration of the SSPX is an initiative of the Pope. The people who “speak in favour of the SSPX” are cooperating with him. You are resisting him.

  31. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto

    Dominus consevet eum
    et vivificet eum
    et beatam faciat eum
    in terra
    et non tradat eum in
    animam inimicorum eius
    (et Viva Papa)

  32. Confiteor says:

    I think that Wm. Christopher Hoag has put his finger on it. A real and true SCHISM is coming. It’s not what the Pope wants, far from it. But it’s coming. Don’t forget, when he was Cardinal, the Holy Father once spoke about a smaller, more faithful Church. Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ was no sentimentalist: he was willing to let schismatics go their way. Remember the scene involving the former disciples in John 6?

  33. nw says:

    Like the media, Walter Kasper was silent on the negotiations
    between Rome and the SSPX following the Jubilee (he was in
    Rome by that time). Why is rapproachment
    a problem now when it was not eight years ago?

  34. More and more, I’m inclined to say “who cares” to the media. Perhaps, and I have no way of knowing, this is Pope Benedict’s reaction. He’s going to do and say what he sees as right and proper, and doesn’t give a darn about what the talking heads in the media think. God’s mercy and forgiveness is controversial, so we can’t expect the Pope demonstrating that forgiveness to be accepted with open arms.

    Maybe there’s a lesson here we need to learn, and I definitely include myself in this ‘we’. We need to follow Christ unreservedly, and not be concerned about what others think about us. Being a faithful Christian will be controversial, it will be unpopular, and it will cause us to experience some discomfort. Maybe, just maybe, this is the lesson that the Holy Father is trying to teach all of us through his actions that have been deemed “controversial”.

  35. Genna says:

    Goodbye Cardinal Kasper

  36. RBrown says:

    NB: Cardinal Kasper and Re are both now past retirement age.

  37. Adeodatus says:

    Father Z,

    You asked above if I think a person can reform or modify a position. I think that there is a disingenuous note to that question. The SSPX has not reformed or modified its official Anti-Semitism, which is clearly now a matter of record.

    Do I oppose the Pope’s initiative? I think that His Holiness has been deceived. The leadership of the SSPX may speak honeyed words to him about faithfulness and orthodoxy, but when they speak for themselves they spew forth the filthy vomit of damnation.

    Our good Pope, a righteous and holy man, has been tricked. He is not perfect and perhaps the error is partly born of an understandable optimism. Perhaps he has never heard an SSPXer running down the righteous name of John Paul the Great and accusing him of damning Catholic souls to hell, as I have heard an SSPXer say. Perhaps he is unaware of the Anti-Semitic filth which the SSPX propagates.

    If certain people, even those intolerable liberals who are rightfully scorned, take His Holiness to task over this then it is well that they do so. He should have been better informed. That is not a slam but an honest and prudent assessment of a finite and mortal man who has the hardest job in the world (even if he has the best boss… a Jewish carpenter!).

    All Anti-Semites are enemies of God. Viva Cristo Rey!

  38. Vincent says:

    “He is surrounded by people who are not as smart as he is”

    You bet he is. It would be pretty tough for this *not* to be the case!

  39. TJM says:

    First of all, this firestorm was predictable. Also, the “mainstream media” is largely anti-Catholic and because its adherents won’t cut off their heads or kill them like adherents of another “faith” I could mention, they feel the Catholic Church is fair game. Tom

  40. Aelric says:

    He does not consult experts who might challenge his views and inclinations,” said Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

    One has to wonder when the last time Tom Reese took his own advice. Is Woodstock for bird brains?

    point to a fatal systemic flaw in the Benedict papacy

    I might agree if the flaw were failure to suppress the Jesuits and accept early retirement from a few cardinals and bishops.

    Leading Catholic commentators

    What is this? A job like restaurant critic? How does one qualify?

    Kasper, who was left in the dark, appeared to be venting his frustration.

    His Eminence is still smarting from the smack-down put upon him by the then-Cardinal Ratzinger. See:

  41. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops.” – Our Lady of Akita, October 13, 1973. (The apparitions of Akita, Japan, were approved by Bishop John Shojiro Ito, Bishop of Niigata Japan, in April 1984.)

    I don’t know the current standing of the Akita apparitions, but the quote seems plausible, doesn’t it?

  42. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    The Pope is only consulting a small amount of people because he saw in the last pontificate, how the Pope was immobilized at every turn by the Vatican bureaucracy. The last Pope was going to free the Mass in 1988, but caved. He was going to crack down on liturgical abuses and promote latin in the liturgy, but caved. He was going to do many wonderful things, but they would wind up getting leaked to the press, and the Cardinals would threaten, and he would cave. Benedict witnessed this first hand, and he is not about to make the same mistakes.

  43. Rose says:

    I am afraid that the damage has been done and nothing will undo it unless Bishop Williamson steps down as bishop. Even then, the damage to Pope Benedict’s credibility and the effectiveness of his voice will be much diminished. I love the Holy Father but I am also realistic. We can only pray, as Fr. Z says, and leave this in God’s hands.

  44. MenTaLguY says:

    I think it is worth noting that not everything in the document from the SSPX web site is bad. However, I have read the entire thing, and I really cannot say with any honesty that the worst parts are saved by their context. Sentences like the ones that Confeitor quotes (also out of context), do not make up for things like propagating the blood libel. I really wonder whether some here may be inappropriately romanticizing the SSPX out of love for the TLM; it is worth bearing in mind that the SSPX has been characterized by acts of profound disobedience, which should always be a sign warranting severe caution in spiritual matters.

    Now, this does not mean that the SSPX is incapable of reform or of moderating its position. It also does not mean that we should not desire honest repentance from the SSPX and eventual reconciliation. The point is, though, at best, considerable cultural antisemitism appears to be present in the organization. It may therefore take a great deal of time to overcome if there is willingness to do so. We will see what happens — I am not going to be optimistic for real change in any regard unless the SSPX leadership begins to display some measure of public obedience to Rome.

  45. tertullian says:

    “He is surrounded by people who are not as smart as he is and who would never think of questioning him.”

    tertullian translation: if I was in the room when these decisions were being made there wouldn’t be any of the problems… (’cause I would see these decisions weren’t made).

  46. Brian Day says:

    Rose said, I am afraid that the damage has been done and nothing will undo it unless Bishop Williamson steps down as bishop.

    I understand your sentiment, but +Williamson has the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. There is not “option” to step down. He may ask to retire for cause, but he will always be a Bishop.

  47. Daniel A. says:

    “‘This and other controversies point to a fatal systemic flaw in the Benedict papacy that is destroying his effectiveness as pope: He does not consult experts who might challenge his views and inclinations,” said Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. ”

    They’re portraying him the same way they did George W. Bush… and it worked perfectly that time. They are probably very optimistic about the idea of discrediting the Pope the same way.

  48. Credo says:


    “Antisemitism has no place in our ranks. We follow fully God’s commandments on justice and charity and the constant teaching of the Church. Antisemitism has been condemned by the Church. So do we condemn it.”quote from Bishop Bernard Fellay, February 1/09.

    What more does Bishop Fellay need to say to get people to realize that he condemns anti-semitism? There are many SSPX’ers who condemn it, also. One cannot judge an entire group based on the worst of them. If this were the case, the Catholic Church would be in big trouble since we have 90% of Catholic women of child bearing years on the birth control pill and almost 80% of Mass-attending Catholics who think abortion is acceptable either in all or some cases – these are grave evils. (These are actual confirmed statistics and, furthermore, most Catholic women who are faithful to the Church’s teachings know for a fact this is true in the average Catholic parish because they hear it.)

    I wonder how many SSPX’ers are pro-abortion and contracepting – I bet almost none.

    In regards to websites, most bishops don’t check all of the content of the websites. Have you ever checked out the USCCB website? If not, you should. To give one example, there have been positive reviews for homosexual films time and time again. Moreover, the CNS stories are often skewed and biased, of course, against tradition and the Pope. Should we write off all of the Catholics in the U.S. then? Oh, and I bet an interview with a few of the U.S. Catholic laity will show most are pro-abortion and using contraception as well. According to your standards we should just write them all off.

    Don’t assume so quickly that the Holy Father is a fool, either. I’ll bet he’s very well aware of some of the problematic ideas of some in the SSPX and is addressing them in the “negotiations” with Bishop Fellay.

  49. Ottaviani says:

    Cardinal Kasper is religiously indifferent and does not believe in the traditional definition of ecumenism (of return). The SSPX symbolises to him, everything that he repudiates. It is not surprising that he should vent anger on not being consulted and being allowed to whine about why ecumenism does not apply to the SSPX.

  50. Magdalene says:

    Cd. Kasper and the disgruntled Fr. Reece–the usual suspects when one wants to bash the Holy Father.

  51. Carlos Palad says:

    “[Card. Kasper, who has famously been on the opposite side of some issues from Joseph Card. Ratzinger heads up the office with concerns dialogue with non-Christians,
    therefore, Jews.]”

    Dear Fr. Z:

    It is Jean Louis Cardinal Tauran who is President of the Pontifical Council
    for Interreligious Dialogue. However, he is ill with Parkinsons and has been
    notably silent (after a high-profile career as a Curial diplomat under JP II).

    Cardinal Kasper heads the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

  52. prof. basto says:

    Mr. Palad is correct. However, in spite of Judaism not being a Christian religion, yet, in the structure of the Roman Curia, the Commission for Relations with the Jews is under the umbrella of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (perhaps as a mark of recognition of the link between Christianity and Judaism), not under the Pontifical Council for inter-religious Dialogue. So, Card. Kasper oversees the Commision for Relations with the Jews.

  53. David Kastel says:

    From the article “adeodatus” uses to condemn SSPX:

    “The Catholic Church has always had the habit of praying for the Jewish people, which was the depository of the Divine Promises up to the coming of Jesus Christ, in spite of this people’s blindness. More than that, it has done so on account of that very blindness. Ruled by the same charity, the Apostolic See has protected this people against unjust vexations, and just as it reproves all hatred between peoples, so it condemns hatred against the people formerly chosen by God, that hatred that ordinarily goes by the name of Antisemitism ”

    See, this is how propagandists work. They leave the exculpatory evidence out.

    This proves not that SSPX is “anti-semitic” but proves that “adeodatus” is unfair and biased. He has left the exculpatory evidence out…surprise, surprise.

  54. Antonius says:

    This is madness and irresponsible of both the politicians and media and the clergy who decide to throw the Pope under the bus for this. Firstly, this is an internal manner in the Church, the last time I checked the Catholic Church is made up of both saints and sinners, and other faiths have little or no say how the Catholic Church is run. The idea that we should bow down to other religions when we upset them goes against all the lives of the saints and martyrs for Christ throughout the year. Sure, this is a touchy issue, but this is sickening how people react and it is the media of course trying to play off Catholic against Jew again like they did when Passion of the Christ came out. It is even worst is that these do not want to listen when there are apologies issued or that measured are being taken. I have a feeling that the struggle is only beginning and is only going to intensify (well this event is going to die down, but the attacks on the Church will only increase).

  55. Luigi says:

    Does anyone remember “On Covenant and Mission,” a Catholic-Jewish joint statement to which Card. Kasper was a signatory? It had no official weight other than to weigh down Kasper’s stock. The document essentially said that Catholics should not evangelize Jews because they are already in a saving covenant. The document was so clearly heretical that it was very quickly and quietly removed from the USCCB website once attention was drawn to it. It was a wholesale embarassment.

    Cardinal Kasper lost all relevance at that point. I’m mystified that he kept his post at all, but the notion that he entertains such illusions of grandeur that he believes that the Holy Father should consult him is just pathetic.

  56. Luigi says:


    Card. Kasper was not a signatory on the joint statement, On Covenant and Mission. Rather he is refenced in it and quoted as saying, “God’s grace, which is the grace of Jesus Christ according to our faith, is available to all. Therefore, the Church believes that Judaism, i.e. the faithful response of the Jewish people to God’s irrevocable covenant, is salvific for them, because God is faithful to his promises.”

    Of course that would be news to St. Paul.

    “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose.” Galatians 2:21

  57. nw says:


    No, HH has not been tricked. Take a crack at my question above…

  58. TT says:

    The Holy Father has been clearly working on a road map which leads to unification first with the SSPX and then the Eastern Orthodox. In order to accomplish this he has had to begin the cleanup of the Church. Interestingly neither the SSPX nor the Orthodox would have likely entered into serious discussions with the Church had it remained the way it was when Benedict was elected. Significant progress has been made and beaurocrats like Kasper are infuriated that the focus has been away from the Protestants.

    I also believe the Holy Father may have been well aware of these issues with the SSPX or at least there was a risk of something like this happening. Like the Regansburg issue, this has served the purpose of cutting through the clutter to get to the real issues.

  59. Matt says:

    If what Luigi stated was actually affirmed by Cardinal Kasper then he is guilty of heresy. No longer can one be saved outside the Church unless he has never heard of the Church or of Christ.

    To know Christ and to reject him and the church he setup is to Damn ones self. To support those who persist in this belief makes one guilty by association, and I think has the greater sin.

    Many in and out of the Church attack the SSPX because in many ways they speak the truth and stand up for traditional Catholic values. We can no longer sit by and allow the Church to be destroyed by those that would confuse the faithful.

    I have become much more vocal than I used to be when it comes to those who would attack the Church and it’s traditional teachings.

    Just today on Wisconsin Public Radio , Jean Feraca and her guest, Father Roy Bourgeois discussed “contradictions in the Catholic Church today.” This purported priest vocally supports the ordination of Women and assisted at an invalid Ordination of a Woman. The media gives this man airtime and makes him out to be some type of spokesman in the Church. I truely believe this man is infected with a demon who wants to destroy as man souls as possible.

    The audio is here:

    This priest openly attacks tradition, the pope, the faithful and claims to do it out of love and equality for women.

    I had to call in and try and do my best to defend the Church and tradition. Please listen to time 27:00:00 – 28:50:00 and let me know if what I said was ok. I feel the need to speak out, but sometimes I get nervous and don’t really soak in what I said until I listen to it later.

    In any event our good +Pope needs our daily prayers.

  60. LeonG says:

    As Cardinal Ratzinger, he was involved in talks with Archbishop Lefebvre in the 1980s so he knows intimately well what is closest to the heart at SSPX. he has to sort this matter out it has left some scarred memories: he can and he will.

    Therefore, Cardinal Kasper is fast becoming obsolete. Following his childish insults leveled at Bishop Williamson and his worthless observations concerning tradition, he must be quite concerned at the prospect of constructive discussions about the post-conciliar process of which he is a neomodernist representative. Ecumenism and interreligious trends are certainly on the menu together with liberty of conscience. This is man who prefers division and compromise at the cost of true unity and the absolute integrity of The Catholic Faith.

  61. Fr. Steve says:

    Cheer up my brothers, the new evangelization is here! A smaller, more radical, more faithful, and more persecuted Church. Long Live Pope Benedict!

  62. Matt says:

    One comment about those that think traditional Catholics are antisemites. What name or verb do you give to the killing of the physical body of a deity? I think the comment that it is deicide fits the bill.

    When have you heard the Jews apologize for their ancestors killing of Christ? They never have. Many people in and out of the Church today will label anyone who points out any failing of the Jewsih people as antisemites.

    With statemnts like “God made a covenant with the Jewish people so they can be saved through that covenant” how are we to reconcile this with Christ’s coming and establishing a “New Covenant”. The new covenant fulfilled the old. The old no longer exists.

    I believe the Good Friday prayer for the “faithless” Jews was aptly worded. We prayed for them that the veil would be lifted from their eyes and they would see Christ for who he is. The Son of God made man. Only a person poorly catechized would see such a prayer as antisemitism.

    The fact that we would change such a prayer is distressing. The proper response should have been “We will continue to pray that one day you will join Chirst’s church and your eyes will be opened. That will be a day of great Joy and rejoicing in the Church.”

  63. Adeodatus says:

    @ David Kastel: It’s easy to falsely call me a “propagandist”, but what you’re saying is that there is even a *possibility* of an exculpatory statement within a document that says that Jews use their ill-gotten money to finance world communism, kill Christians and destroy all nations. There is *no such thing* as an exculpatory statement in such a document, except maybe “just kidding”. The fact that you think that anything could even be exculpatory after saying such things says alot.

    @ nw: You know, I’m surprised at the depth and filthiness of the Anti-Semitism that has become entrenched in the SSPX. Eight years ago… well, back then I hadn’t even heard of them. My first encounter with them was dealing with a person who spat vile accusations at Pope John Paul the Great and espoused Feeneyism. Would I have endorsed rapprochement at that time? No. Not any time.

    What I need to see from the SSPX is public contrition, a formal apology to the Jewish people, and a total repudiation of their loathesome Anti-Semitic beliefs.

    Sadly, we have no more Christian states and the only laws that protect (if you can call it that) the integrity of Judeo-Christian civilization are liberal ones. In better times I’d advocate the full weight of civil authority be applied against such despicable persons as these.

  64. Matt says:


    I will pray for you. Such hate.

  65. Adeodatus says:

    @ Matt: “traditional Catholics”????!!!

    The SSPX are *not* Catholics. And no Catholic may be an Anti-Semite, so doubly then.

    The SSPX are just a different version of protestant. If they were infesting the south of France during the Middle Ages, we’d be having a crusade to put them down. Maybe if I think on that latter prospect really hard before bed I can dream of it.

  66. Adeodatus says:

    Matt… these people spew the filth of Anti-Semitism. They heap calumnies upon the race of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The race of heroes such as Joshua and Judah. The people God chose to carry the banner of monotheism when all the world was ignorant and pagan. These wicked Anti-Semites defame the very race of David, the race of Jesus Christ our God.

    Do these slanders not disgust you? Do you not rise in anger when a man spits upon your *King*?

    I guess I’m not getting enough estrogen in my milk. Maybe you think that I should place more stock in lacy gowns and pretty language than in personal devotion to the Son of David. I’m sorry… that’s not me.

    *Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.*
    *Viva Cristo Rey*

  67. Matt says:

    I think you should read some of the doctors of the Church. You have condemed most of them with your words. The SSPX are moderates compared to many of the doctors of the Church.

    The SSPX is not anti-semitic. The vicar of Christ would not have extended an olive branch if he thought all of the society corrupt. The statements in and of themselves are taken out of context and without proper understanding of why they were said.

    If all of these statements were factually true why are you so outraged.

    Is it not possible that Jews have killed Christians in the past? I can think of one Christian about 2000 years ago would agree with me. No where does the SSPX advocate harming anyone. Quite the contrary. You fail to see that.

    Jewish people have conspired against Christian states by working to strike down laws that protect the unborn. It is historical fact. Does the SSPX advocate harming Jews because of this? No, they want to convert them.

    Just because a statement is made does not mean that it applies to all people of certain group. It also does not mean one is advocating harm against them.

    It would be like stating southerners, through their enslavement of black people, are racist. This is a historical fact. It does not mean all southerners have these feelings, or that they have them now. It also does not mean that I want to harm anyone. Does that statement make me a racist?

    As for spitting on the King. I see the exact opposite. The SSPX pledge their very blood and soul to defending the church, to Christ and to the Pope. I doubt you will find many outside of the SSPX that would make such a public statement.

    Please, take a xanax, or whatever it is you do to blow off steam and relax. The SSPX and their members are for most part very devout Catholics.

  68. Lionel Andrades says:

    Full communion will come. In our discussions, Bishop Fellay recognized the Second Vatican Council, he recognized it theologically. Only a few difficulties remain…[has said Cardinal Casrtillion Hoyes,Prefect,Ecclesia Dei in an interview with Corriera della Serra (Jan 29,2009) . The Cardinal said that Nostra Aetate was NOT one of the few difficulties which remain to be settled.

    The Society of St. Pius X accepts Vatican Council II as interpreted by the Holy Father and rejects the Council as interpreted by the Jewish Left media. They accept Ad Gentes 7 which says
    ‘Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door. Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.”(17)…-Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II

    The Society of St. Pius X are in agreement with Vatican Council II (Ad Gentes 7,Lumen Gentium 14) which says that all people need Catholic Faith and the Baptism of water for salvation and that those who know this and yet do not enter are oriented to Hell. The SSPX interprets Vatican Council II according to Pope Benedict XVI and not the secular media interpretations.

    They see Lumen Gentium 14 as the ordinary way of salvation and Lumen Gentium 16 as the extraordinary way of salvation. No where in the much reported Nostra Aetate, Vatican Council II is it said that Judaism is a path to salvation and that Jews can be saved in general in Judaism or that Jews do not need to convert.
    The SSPX agree that Vatican Council II was an historical event. They also, like the Holy Father, interpret the Council as a continuation and not a break from Sacred Tradition.

    The SSPX leadership has clarified that the views of Bishop Williamson are not those of the community .The bishop has not denied the Holocaust as is being reported but disputes the figures etc. He is one of many revisionists.

    On the other hand there are Catholic religious who interpret the Council according to the secular media. When asked if they follow the teachings of the Catholic Church they respond yes. They mean the Catholic Church as interpreted by the secular media. Yet in reality they deny Vatican Council and do not accept it.

    The SSPX have rejected Vatican Council II as interpreted by the Jewish Anti Defamation League and secular Jewish media. In reality they accept Vatican Council II as interpreted by the Magisterium. They have publicly said that Jews need to convert into the Catholic Church to go to Heaven and avoid Hell (Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14).

  69. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    A point of fact: Cardinal Kasper is the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He is also President of the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews – a Commission juridically erected under the Council for Christian Unity.

    Cardinal Tauran is the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. This is the dicastery that handles issues connected to the Church’s relations with non-Christian religions.

  70. I think that anyone who thinks this was handled well by the Vatican, as far as public relations goes, is insane. Was Cardinal Kasper “washing his hands” of it? No. He was just pointing out what John Allen, Sandro Magister, Amy Welborn, and every other prominent commentator in the Catholic press has said: the ball was dropped on this one!

    As someone else has pointed out – Kasper is President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as well as the Commission for Relations with Jews (which falls under the jurisdiction of Christian Unity). The same person mentioned Tauran, who is President of the Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. He is actually very active, but since relations with Jews are not part of his office, he has not been speaking on the issue. But this is the 2nd time Fr. Z has made this mistake (on Kasper’s office) in a week! [Indeed… though the substantive point is that Card. Kasper does in fact head up the office concerned with relations with Jews.]

    And as far as anti-semitism and the SSPX, I can only speak from my experience with those attached to the society – and I have yet to meet a person attached to the society who did not have weird views and theories when it comes to the Jews. This could be Holocaust denial (although rare), Protocols endorsement, various conspiracy theories usually relating to freemasons, etc., etc., etc. [And the plural of anecdote is, as we all know, “data”. I think others might be able to counter with their own experiences.]

    I am in favour of restoring communion with the SSPX, but wonder why everyone thinks they will be such a godsend to the Church – as if there are no negative aspects to the society aside from their lack of full communion with the Church (which everyone seems to think is Rome’s fault anyway.) [Fair enough, but the Church is not a comprised of members who are entirely pure. The Church exists for the flawed.]

  71. Sam Schmitt says:

    Raise your hand if you seriously think the MSM would have been more fair to the Holy Father if had done PR in advance of the announcement. Seriously, now.

    . . . .


    . . . . (sound of crickets chirping) . . .

    Does Cardinal Kasper really believe this?

  72. MARIA says:

    I think the Holy Father has done extreeeeemly well.

    Begone you wolves in sheeps clothing.

    I heard it was foretold that the Church would ‘spew’ out
    the false catholics from Her bossom but I never imagined
    it would happen like this.

    Now our dear Holy Father has a wonderful view of the traitors.

    Notice how no one is allowed to say anything negative about the Jews.
    Its a pity we don’t hear such condemnation when its the Holy Father
    being attacked. Interesting.

  73. Dear Sam Schmitt,

    You are missing the point: it is precisely because of tendency in the media to present biased and inaccurate pictures of the Pope and the Church, that the PR needed to be spot-on. Indeed, we needed to control the game, and we did not.


  74. Chris M says:

    “He is surrounded by people who are not as smart as he is”

    You bet he is. It would be pretty tough for this not to be the case!

    Comment by Vincent

    LOL! My thoughts exactly!

  75. Byzshawn says:

    First: The Pope is concerned with souls, not PR. If his “style” isn’t to the liking of the chattering class, then too bad!

    Second: Adeodatus should be banned. He is just like those who have to snipe every time ecumenical relations with the Christian East are mentioned. Some people are never happy and are determined to make everyone else unhappy.

    Third: As for Fr. Reese’s comment about the Pope not consulting “experts.” What greater EXPERT do we have than our Holy Father?!?!? Everyone should take a deep breath, remember that we have only one Pope, and let His Holiness get on with the business of governing the Church.

    May God preserve and protect our Holy Father Benedict (the Great – at least I think he is.)!

  76. Credo says:


    So, you hate the extraordinary form of the sacred liturgy and can’t take it if anyone questions some actions of John Paul II – the two greatest evils according to neo-cons. That’s why you really don’t want the SSPX around, right? Everything else is a red-herring.

    These quotes are very telling, imo:

    “I guess I’m not getting enough estrogen in my milk. Maybe you think that I should place more stock in lacy gowns and pretty language than in personal devotion to the Son of David. I’m sorry… that’s not me.”

    My first encounter with them was dealing with a person who spat vile accusations at Pope John Paul the Great

  77. nw says:


    I wasn’t talking about you.

    I asked about Cardinal Kasper and the media, who did know everything there is to know. Why was rapprochement not a problem?

  78. TerryC says:

    I certainly believe that the SSPX contains antisemitic elements. That it’s leadership is antisemitic I doubt, at least as far as Bishop Fellay is concerned, I doubt. They definitely need to clean up their web site.
    I happen to agree with Fr. Z that there is a greater chance of bringing those elements into compliance with Church teaching by having them inside the Church rather than outside the Church.
    As for the response of the MSM and the heterodoxical elements inside the Church; no amount of “Public Relations” preparation would have made any difference. Many of these people are the same ones who complain about how unfair the Church is because it won’t ordain women (see Fr. Reese.) Their is good reason to believe that Williamson’s interview was a set, with the tape held to be released at the time when it would have the most negative affect.
    I also agree that the Holy Father is surrounded by men not as smart as he is. The two gentlemen quoted in the article are prime examples of such gentlemen. He gains nothing by consulting such men. I have no doubt the Holy Father spends a lot of time consulting those of comparable intellectual stature, notably the Doctors of the Church and other Saints, and also the Holy Spirit.
    I look forward to a smaller, more faithful and persecuted Church. I expect to see it in my lifetime.

  79. Luigi says:

    TerryC wrote: “I have no doubt the Holy Father spends a lot of time consulting those of comparable intellectual stature, notably the Doctors of the Church and other Saints, and also the Holy Spirit.”

    Well put, Terry. I also thought of the Holy Father’s prayer life as I read the comments about whom he is and is not consulting.

    To lend some perspective to this topic; the degree to which anti-Semitism is or is not reflected in the SSPX as it currently exists will not be as much of an issue once communion is reached. Remember – it is not Rome is not being welcomed back into the SSPX. If there are questionable elements to be found in the SSPX’s appraoch to the Jews, I trust they will be dealt with at the appropriate time in an appropriate way.

  80. Dear Byzshawn,

    You write, “First: The Pope is concerned with souls, not PR. If his “style” isn’t to the liking of the chattering class, then too bad!”

    The point is that, as a matter of fact, the PR debacle surrounding the lifting of the SSPX excommunications has made many people in bona fide considerably less willing to give the Pope a hearing.

    This state of affairs could be disastrous for souls.

    The curial officials involved in the case should have been able to foresee, and with appropriate measures taken pro-actively, to forestall, deflect and even pre-empt most of both the honest misunderstandings and the malevolent abuse of the secular media.

  81. Sam Schmitt says:

    Chris Altieri,

    Your point is well taken. I was being a bit provocative on purpose, and I agree that better PR, or preparation or whatever, is needed. I just wanted to make the point that the media is negative and misinformed (and doesn’t seem very interested in being informed) about church matters, and this is going to be the case whether or not the Vatican does its homework.


  82. Byzshawn says:

    Chris Altieri,

    The danger of the Holy See acquiescing to the secular culture’s insatiable need for slick PR is that eventually those in charge will feel that they must seek the approval of the media before making hard decisions. If you don’t believe me-look at the US Government. Perhaps some better media prep should have been done, but that IS NOT the Pope’s job. To lay all of this at his feet is unfair.
    Frankly, I don’t see many souls being lost over all of this. Those who are inclined to give the Holy Father a fair hearing will do so. Those who are predisposed to ignore, criticize or attack him will continue on their path.
    The news media simply hate the Church. They will continue with their hostilities no matter what the Holy See does.

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