Saturday, January 24, 2009

SSPX FOUR



The Econe Four have had their sentences of Excommunication lifted, the dreadful punishment was imposed on them for taking part in ordinations without the Mandate of the Holy See. In the Middle Ages at its very worse it was seen an application of "the Keys" loosing one from the Communion of the Church on earth and heaven, in this life and the next, we are bit more liberal nowadays, we tend to regard Excommunication as remedial and ending with death, hence no mention of Archbishop Lefebrve and Bishop Castro de Mayer.


There are is still along way to go, the Sacraments of Marriage and Penance celebrated by the priests of the Society, who are still suspended, are still invalid, for example. Fortunately this seems to be the beginning of the end. I look forward to a meeting of the diocesan clergy in which there will be priests of the two SSPX chapels in our diocese to add to the debate.


I am sure that there will be dissappointment in the SSPX camp that the Excommunication was lifted not declared null and void. Fr Zuhlsdorf has an excellent piece which speaks about the future, similarly Fr Tim's post is well worth reading.


I really do admire the Holy Father for his ecumenical bravery, the outrageous Bishop Williamson is going to cause a great deal of criticism to be directed towards him.

20 comments:

Mark said...

"There is still along way to go; the Sacraments of Marriage and Penance celebrated by the priests of the Society, who are still suspended, are still invalid, for example."

I'm confused, Father. Do you mean illicit, as opposed to invalid?

Michael Petek said...

'Outrageous' is definitely the word, Father.

Bishop Williamson's Wikipedia entry confirms his Holocaust denial and his endorsement of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

This odious book was exposed by the Timnes in 1921 as a forgery, a direct plagiarism of Maurice Joly's A Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu.

Joly's work was directed against the regime of Emperor Napoleon III, and Joly was imprisoned for fifteen months for having written the work.

Now for some questions:

(1) Are notorious anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial sins which would warrant the refusal of Holy Communion to Williamson?

(2) Does the lifting of the excommunication also extend to the clergy and laity of SSPX, or to the four Bishops only?

Fr Ray Blake said...

No Mark, I mean invalid, these sacraments need jurisdiction to be valid, SSPX clergy have none.

Michael, only the Bishops were excommunicated, the priests were and are suspended. the SSPX has no lay members.

Ottaviani said...

Michael - I think you know the answer to the questions you ask but here goes:

1) No because they are not, and never have they been, deposits of the faith to be believed in. You cannot make the denial of the Holocaust a sin, anymore than I can make supporting Arsenal over Chelsea a sin.

2) The lifting of the excommunications does not apply to priests and laity because they were never excommunicated in the first place. The priests are supposedly suspended however. The SSPX is mainly a priestly society and laity do not belong to it.

Michael Petek said...

Father, isn't it the case that anyone who enters communion with an excommunicated Bishop is himself excommunicated?

Ottaviani, denial of the Holocaust is a sin, because the evidence of the Holocaust is so overwhelming that denial of it is a lie.

Fr Ray Blake said...

No, it isn't the case Michael, but it is the same as a Catholic associating with fundamentalist Protestants, one tends to pick up their theology and that endangers faith.

Michael Petek said...

What about someone who actually and regularly receives Holy Communion from an excommunicated Bishop?

Fr Ray Blake said...

The danger is intensified.

nickbris said...

We are always going to have problems about the holocaust.Catholics find it very difficult to accept that people can be so diabolically evil.

The numbers are so huge and the methods used to bring about this Genocide are virtually impossible to comprehend.

I did mention my doubts to a Parish Priest once and he said it was a problem for Catholics to accept that there was that much EVIL in the world.

We can see it all around us in the World and still we can only see the Goodness.

I wouldn't take much notice of Wikipedia it is thoroughly polluted & corrupted by trouble makers & ne'erdowells.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

Since the mass media are now covering this story, I’m sure that journalists and news reporters are doing Google searches and hitting your blog as they investigate the matter.

It may be useful to point people in the direction of the Holy Father’s address on his visit to Auschwitz in 2006 so that everyone can see how strongly Pope Benedict feels about the terrible sufferings of the Jewish people under Hitler, and that the lifting of the excommunications cannot possibly be interpreted as the Pope condoning Bishop Williamson’s anti-semitism and David Irving-ism.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not quite sure i understand why 'Penance celebrated by the priests of the Society, who are still suspended, are still invalid'

Surely if an individual went to one of the SSPX priests for confession, then the confession would be valid, after all it is Jesus we are confessing to and when he says 'I absolve you' it is Jesus who is forgiving our sins.

When confession is heard by a priest who is in a state of mortal sin the confession is still valid, so why does this not apply here.
I don't mean to be disrespectful I just don't understand the difference?

df said...

Father, do we really "regard Excommunication as remedial and ending with death"? I certainly don't. Could you explain where this more 'liberal' reading comes from?

Fr Ray Blake said...

A priest absolves through delegated authority from his bishop -his bishop being the successor of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave authority to remit sin, part of the forgiveness of sin after Baptism is the Reconcilliation to the Church, absolution is given through the ministry of the Church, obviously a suspended priest may not do that, except in extremis.
Techically a priest may only absolve in his diocese, the Holy See has given priests in good standing the faculty to absolve universally. A suspended priest is not in good standing, ergo ...
The same applies to witnessing a marriage on behalf of the Church.

Fr Ray Blake said...

df,
Excommunication is a remedial action in law, nowadays, the presumption is God in his mercy reconciles us after death when hearts are laid open before him and our minds are opened by him.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Father, now understand. God bless you and your work, you are in our prayers.

Ma Tucker said...

While Bishop Williamson does appear to deny reality there are nevertheless some issues that really get on my nerves.

It is okay to deny the greatest Holocaust of all, Jesus Christ on the cross.

It is unacceptable for Catolic schools to teach Catholic children their faith in its fullness.

It is a disgrace for Catholics to be Catholics when dialoging with our Jewish friends.

It is just fine and dandy to blacken the name of Pope Pius XII depite the terrible risks he took to save Jewish people during the war. Deadly risks that save the lives of over 700,000 Jews.

Father, I know our standards must be higher than the world's and we do not look to the world to affirm ourselves but sometimes the double standard is a bit sickening.


Furthermore, maybe I am wrong in my reading but the issue of the excommunications on those already deceased is not yet clarified is it? I pressumed that the Pope lifted the excommunication on those who are still alive as an act of charity to allow the case of the excommunications relating to the deceased to be examined without any barriers. Is this incorrect?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Ma, My understanding of excommunication is as I stated above, I could possibly be wrong.

Michael Petek said...

I agree with Father on this one.

Besides the application of the benefits of indulgences to the souls in purgatory, the Pope and the hierarchy have jurisdiction with respect to this life only.

Excommunication therefore ends with death, though the fact of it, and the cause of it, are taken into account at the particular Judgement and dealt with in the same way as other sins.

Cynthia Gee said...

It is okay to deny the greatest Holocaust of all, Jesus Christ on the cross.

It is unacceptable for Catolic schools to teach Catholic children their faith in its fullness.

It is a disgrace for Catholics to be Catholics when dialoging with our Jewish friends.

It is just fine and dandy to blacken the name of Pope Pius XII depite the terrible risks he took to save Jewish people during the war. Deadly risks that save the lives of over 700,000 Jews.




"Ma", I won't say anything regarding Pope Pius, but as for the other things, who says so?

Last I heard, mocking Jesus and His crucifixion, or denying Catholics or anyone else the freedom to teach and practice their religion is unacceptable among civilized people, no matter their religion.

And, speaking of double standards, as much as I’d like to see Williamson and his cohorts in the ultra-Right return to the fold, to allow them to do so without repentance on their part is, in my opinion, tantamount to extending the hand of fellowship to the prochoice/progay marriage factions of the ultra-Left.

My point is, there is a ditch on either side of the road, and it is just as anti-life to be a Holocaust-denying racist as it is to be pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage.

lizard said...

"one tends to pick up their theology and that endangers faith."

Father, I completely agree, in this particular case, please change "protestants" with secular "society/state". It is a great danger to the faith to read such a passage from the Catholic Diocese of Stokholm release:

"We completely distance ourselves from all forms of racism and anti-Semitism. The Catholic Church in Sweden has nothing to do with the "Crusade" for making Sweden Catholic again, as reported by the programme, and does not support it in any way."

Here the position of the SSPX is more catholic:

"Rejecting the idea of a peaceful and prayerful determination to work towards the conversion of Sweden, the Stockholm Diocese very regrettably appears to display its dissent from the Catholic Church's mission of 'teaching and baptising all nations' as commanded by Our Lord Himself (Matthew 28,19), and this seemingly in the name of a false ecumenism." We must prey to hear similar words from our regularised bishops.

Do you admit that associating with at least some Catholic bishops (yes, regularised and in full communion with the Holy See, at least formal communion) also endangers faith? What then will pose a greater danger?