Benedict’s letter to bishops: a note

I understand that the Frankfurter Allgemeine has a text in German purporting to be the letter His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sent to the bishops of the world about the lifting of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops.

On the website of the Vatican Press Office there is a note about the release of the text in various languages tomorrow.  We will have to make sure the texts match.

I will take a look at the German text and get back to you.


In the meantime… I was struck by the following:

Ich höre, daß aufmerksames Verfolgen der im Internet zugänglichen Nachrichten es ermöglicht hätte, rechtzeitig von dem Problem Kenntnis zu erhalten. Ich lerne daraus, daß wir beim Heiligen Stuhl auf diese Nachrichtenquelle in Zukunft aufmerksamer achten müssen. Betrübt hat mich, daß auch Katholiken, die es eigentlich besser wissen konnten, mit sprungbereiter Feindseligkeit auf mich einschlagen zu müssen glaubten.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    “Und müssen wir nicht zugeben, daß auch aus kirchlichen Kreisen Mißtönendes gekommen ist? Manchmal hat man den Eindruck, daß unsere Gesellschaft wenigstens eine Gruppe benötigt, der gegenüber es keine Toleranz zu geben braucht; auf die man ruhig mit Haß losgehen darf. Und wer sie anzurühren wagte – in diesem Fall der Papst -, ging auch selber des Rechts auf Toleranz verlustig und durfte ohne Scheu und Zurückhaltung ebenfalls mit Haß bedacht werden.”

    Lehmann, Austrian bishops, Tabletistas, sandalistas, Mahoney, progressives, all you who laid into the Holy Father: read it, weep and repent.

  2. Al says:

    I guess it must be….good? Eagerly await translation

  3. ED says:

    It’s as good a letter as you can expect in this situation. The bigger concern is that he appoint Holy, Orthodox Bishops with a zeal for the Salvation of Souls badly missing in today’s church,

  4. Brian says:

    New Liturgical Movement has a partial translation and Rorate Caeli has translations of select quotes, for now…

  5. Peggy says:

    ? I can do English and French here and navigate other romance languages as ell. I’ll trust it’s good

  6. Jeff M says:

    Google translation:

    “I hear that closely follow the news on the Internet allowing access would, in time for the problem to obtain knowledge. I learn from the fact that we have the Holy See on this news source in the future, careful attention. Saddens me that even Catholics who know better were ready with sharp hostility to drive me to believe.”


  7. GordonBOPS says:

    cathcon has the whole thing translated:

    The quoted paragraph by Father Z is interesting, he is speaking about how so many Catholics who should have known better, thought they had to attack the Pope’s decision re the WHOLE SSPX because of Williamson’s protests. From what I read, one of those individuals seem to be Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who was reputed to be close to the Pope, but has at least not seemed to supportive between this and the Wagner situation.

  8. Steve K. says:

    Bit I posted: “Must we not admit, that discord came also out of Church circles? Sometimes one has the impression, that our society requires at least one group, against whom one need show no tolerance; against whom one can calm go off with hatred. And whoever dares to touch them – in this case, the Pope – loses thereby his own right to tolerance and may just the same be treated with hatred, without any timidity or restraint.”

  9. Steve K. says:

    Gordon, Schoeborn particularly has cut a shameful figure with the SSPX matter and the matter of Fr. Wagner in Linz.

  10. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Headline: Pope and Vatican to improve their internet monitoring.

    In other news: The end is nigh!

    But, on a more serious note, the excerpts available online are marvellous explications of the Holy Father’s thoughts and concerns and, for Vatican language, quite blunt (necessarily so) in many places.

    Ad multos annos Papa! Eis polla eti Despota!

  11. John Parker says:

    Having read the version published in the German press, I was moved almost to tears. This is an honest, humble and truly human letter, expressing the deepest concern for the good of the Church, yet fully aware of the mistakes in delivery that were so evidently made following the lifting of the excommunications. The Holy Father’s words put those who decried him, out of bigotry or without full knowledge of the facts, to shame. Nor does he shirk open criticism of the Fraternity of St Pius X, citing, among other things, the “know-all attitude” of some of its members and quite plainly stating that the Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in 1962. We must await the official version, of course, but the version leaked today is a stunning example of Pope Benedict at his very best.

  12. Viva! I hope my Bishop is paying close attention to this letter…

  13. elliot says:

    “I hear that closely following the news available on the internet would have made it possible to obtain knowledge of the problem in time. I learn from this that we at the Holy See have to pay more careful attention to this news source in the future. It has saddened me that even Catholics who could actually have known better have thought it necessary to strike at me with an intense(sprungbereit) hostility.”
    The word “sprungbereit” is often translated as set, prepared, or even ready to jump upon…one could imagine a ferocious dog chained up struggling to loose himself upon a victim…it has this sense.

  14. GordonBOPS says:

    Ok, here’s a new article from the Nuncio to Isreal who seems to undermind the Popes letter by proclaiming you cant deny the Holocaust and be Catholic… huh!?

  15. Emilio III says:

    Gregor Kollmorgen in The New Liturgical Movement blog ( just finished his translation of the German text. (He had been posting it paragraph by paragraph as he translated.)

  16. PMcGrath says:

    Gregor Kollmorgen at NLM is doing a translation of the Frankfurter Allgemeine German-language text.

    Some things of interest from Gregor’s translation:

    “Given this situation, I intend to connect the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, which since 1988 is responsible for those communities and individuals who, coming from the Fraternity of Pius X or similar groups, want to return into full communion with the Pope, in the future with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This shall make it clear that the problems now being treated are essentially doctrinal in nature, especially those concerning the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the postconciliar Magisterium of the Popes.”

    So, PCED is going to the CDF, not to Divine Worship & Sacraments, as many of us were expecting. This makes sense.

    “Sometimes one has the impression that our society needs at least one group for which there need not be any tolerance; which one can unperturbedly set upon with hatred. And who dared to touch them – in this case the Pope – lost himself the right to tolerance and was allowed without fear and restraint to be treated with hatred, too.”

    Now that is a smackdown.


    Paolo Rodari of “Palazzo Apostolico” has a post (in Italian) that an announcement for an appointment to Westminster is imminent. (Hat tip: Rocco.) No mention of “Finegan” in the text.

  17. Hidden One says:

    more proof that Pope Benedict is – as well we have long known – motivated and acting on a far ‘higher’, spiritual level than most Catholics and non-Catholics attribute to him.

  18. scipio says:

    The FAZ text reads like a Ratzinger text, quite elegant and versatile.

    I like the “sprungbereit” – it is very fitting as it is not purely negative but still suggests clearly
    that some out there have waited for the pope to make a mistake…

  19. AlephGamma says:

    Ich hoffe das der Papst Vater Zee diese grosse Aufgabe als “Internet Minister” erteilt.

  20. tertullian says:

    “Ich hoffe das der Papst Vater Zee diese grosse Aufgabe als “Internet Minister” erteilt.”

    I second the motion. Abp Z of Cyberspace. (we know how much you love SciFi)

  21. AlephGamma says:

    Vescovo subito. Axios! Axios! Axios!

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