Confraternity of Catholic Clergy makes a statement

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy states the following:

HARRISBURG, PA (February 6th, 2009) – The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of 600 priests and deacons across the USA, publicly reaffirm our filial obedience and respect for the Holy Father. We furthermore declare our perennial and unequivocal support for Pope Benedict XVI as the Vicar of Christ on Earth and the Supreme Roman Pontiff.

We pledge our continued prayers for His Holiness especially in light of the recent slander and calumny being leveled against the current Successor of Saint Peter for his pastoral decision to rescind the excommunication of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X. Although canon law makes it clear that ordaining bishops and being ordained a bishop without papal mandate incurs an automatic excommunication (c. 1382), as pastor of the universal church, Pope Benedict was acting as shepherd when he sought to reconcile the leaders and followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The Holy Father, seeking to end the twenty year old schism, extended an olive branch by removing the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX. That one of these bishops, the Most Rev. Richard Williamson, disputes the depth and depravity of the Nazi Holocaust, is indeed reprehensible and unbefitting a successor of the Apostles. At the same time, the lifting of the excommunication is in no way, shape or form a sanction or endorsement of his bizarre denial of the Shoah.

On the contrary, the media, press and general population must realize that the object and intent of Pope Benedict was to reconcile the thousands of followers of the SSPX bishops by restoring their shepherds with full legitimacy. No one has claimed or even insinuated that traditional Catholics who have considered themselves part of the SSPX family share the atrocious and anti-Semitic ideas of Bishop Williamson. Even the superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay publicly repudiated the remarks of his brother bishop and unambiguously denied that those views are shared by the Society.

Nevertheless, there are some with their own nefarious agendas who are connecting dots which either do not exist or which cannot be connected. These miscreants seek to discredit Pope Benedict and sabotage any credible means to reconcile followers of the SSPX with the universal Church. Others seek to derail any progress made by both Pope John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI in improving Jewish-Catholic relations and dialogue.

In other words, there are those who want division and who vigorously work to unravel any and all means of fraternally forging bridges. The CCC asks all Catholics to renew our commitment to denounce all forms of anti-Semitism as we ask our elder Jewish brothers and sisters to do the same and repudiate all anti-Catholicism wherever it appears. We ask that one man, even though a bishop, not been seen as representative of the majority of clergy and laity who have a genuine love of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and yet who also have a profound love and respect for the sons and daughters of Abraham, our elder brothers and sisters in faith.

We finally ask all Catholics to stand with us in support of our Holy Father during this unjust, unbelievable and inexcusable attack even from fellow Catholics who seek to pander to the press rather than find and preserve the truth. We condemn those dissidents who have never obeyed or respected the Magisterium but now take cheap shots at the Pope and question his judgment or motives. We stand firmly and proudly with Peter and his successor Benedict and do so with no fear or hesitancy of any kind as we also support our Jewish brethren in their struggle for peace and security in today’s world.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. shadrach says:

    An excellent statement. This controversy is sorting out real from false friends. Pray for Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos and His Holiness.

  2. Brian Day says:

    A good statement, although I take exception to this statement: That one of these bishops, the Most Rev. Richard Williamson, disputes the depth and depravity of the Nazi Holocaust, is indeed reprehensible and unbefitting a successor of the Apostles.

    This is poorly worded. It makes it difficult to distinguish if “reprehensible and unbefitting” is referring to Bishop Williamson or to his statements. If the phrase refers to the statements, then I agree. If it refers to +Williamson, then I disagree.

  3. RANCHER says:

    O U T S T A N D I N G !!

  4. TJM says:

    Another voice of sanity. I love this group! Tom

  5. It’s so heartwarming to hear good, strong, and courageous priests stand in solidarity with our Holy Father. Excellent statement. Thanks for posting.

  6. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:


  7. AnnaTrad says:

    AMEN again AMEN. Those Priest (Cardinals on down) who have been so quick to cry crucify him, crucify him will have a lot to account for. God bless our Pope and keep him strong in this storm and safe from the savage teeth.

  8. Andraea says:

    Maybe Fr. Trigillo can come down to EWTN, preach in the daily Mass for the next 3-4 days and staunchly defend the Holy Father and Holy Mother Church. It will be awesome.

    God bless Fr. Trigillo and all the holy priests of the Confraternity.

  9. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for posting Fr. Trigillio’s comments.

    Amen, Fr. Trigillio — loyal son of the Church!

  10. Jason Keener says:

    Perhaps Father Trigilio should be put in charge of media relations at the Vatican.

  11. caleb1x says:

    “Miscreants” is an underused word. Good to see the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy using it.

  12. Thank You Fr. Z. for publicizing our press release and for your own personal and professional witness to orthodoxy and as a loyal son of Holy Mother Church. We need more priests like you who are balanced and have a keen sense of history and the necessity of continuity, unlike certain Jesuits who take pot shots at the Pope as if they were the Chancellor of Germany or something.

  13. Nick says:

    I support supporting His Holiness! :)

    Anti-spam word: continuity

  14. TLH says:

    and I support those whose support supporting His Holiness, in a supporting kind of way, of course…;)

  15. irishgirl says:


    Fr. Trigilio has a way with words!

    Yeah, Jason-Fr. T should be the one in charge of communications in the Vatican! He tells it clearly, concisely and without all of the gobbledegook.

    Thanks for posting this, Fr. Z!

  16. Mitch says:

    Great statement in support of the Holy Papa…Well said was the point about the media who never respect the Magesterium and Church. They appear as Popes themselves condemming the decision of the Holy Father. They write their slander, and then go home wishing for a good life for their families and friends as is they have no effect on the people who read this garbage and are deeply hurt. I guess they “turn it off” when they get home without thought or benefit of doubt to Pope Benedict for his decisions. Afterall, he wants the best for his family (The Church) and friends the same as these malicious writers. I say Leave him alone!

  17. Prof. Basto says:


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