Arhive pe etichete: Richard Williamson





Dear Brothers in the Episcopal Ministry!

The remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre without a mandate of the Holy See has for many reasons caused, both within and beyond the Catholic Church, a discussion more heated than any we have seen for a long time. Many Bishops felt perplexed by an event which came about unexpectedly and was difficult to view positively in the light of the issues and tasks facing the Church today. Even though many Bishops and members of the faithful were disposed in principle to take a positive view of the Pope’s concern for reconciliation, the question remained whether such a gesture was fitting in view of the genuinely urgent demands of the life of faith in our time. Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment. I therefore feel obliged to offer you, dear Brothers, a word of clarification, which ought to help you understand the concerns which led me and the competent offices of the Holy See to take this step. In this way I hope to contribute to peace in the Church.

An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path. A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore. I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.

Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope. Consequently the Church must react by employing her most severe punishment – excommunication – with the aim of calling those thus punished to repent and to return to unity. Twenty years after the ordinations, this goal has sadly not yet been attained. The remission of the excommunication has the same aim as that of the punishment: namely, to invite the four Bishops once more to return. This gesture was possible once the interested parties had expressed their recognition in principle of the Pope and his authority as Pastor, albeit with some reservations in the area of obedience to his doctrinal authority and to the authority of the Council. Here I return to the distinction between individuals and institutions. The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level. The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

In light of this situation, it is my intention henceforth to join the Pontifical Commission „Ecclesia Dei” – the body which has been competent since 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of Saint Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Pope – to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes. The collegial bodies with which the Congregation studies questions which arise (especially the ordinary Wednesday meeting of Cardinals and the annual or biennial Plenary Session) ensure the involvement of the Prefects of the different Roman Congregations and representatives from the world’s Bishops in the process of decision-making. The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.

I hope, dear Brothers, that this serves to clarify the positive significance and also the limits of the provision of 21 January 2009. But the question still remains: Was this measure needed? Was it really a priority? Aren’t other things perhaps more important? Of course there are more important and urgent matters. I believe that I set forth clearly the priorities of my pontificate in the addresses which I gave at its beginning. Everything that I said then continues unchanged as my plan of action. The first priority for the Successor of Peter was laid down by the Lord in the Upper Room in the clearest of terms: „You… strengthen your brothers” (Lk 22:32). Peter himself formulated this priority anew in his first Letter: „Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15). In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses „to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority. Added to this is the need for all those who believe in God to join in seeking peace, to attempt to draw closer to one another, and to journey together, even with their differing images of God, towards the source of Light – this is interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims that God is Love „to the end” has to bear witness to love: in loving devotion to the suffering, in the rejection of hatred and enmity – this is the social dimension of the Christian faith, of which I spoke in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and, in various ways, always) the Church’s real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small. That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who „has something against you” (cf. Mt 5:23 ff.) and to seek reconciliation? Should not civil society also try to forestall forms of extremism and to incorporate their eventual adherents – to the extent possible – in the great currents shaping social life, and thus avoid their being segregated, with all its consequences? Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole? I myself saw, in the years after 1988, how the return of communities which had been separated from Rome changed their interior attitudes; I saw how returning to the bigger and broader Church enabled them to move beyond one-sided positions and broke down rigidity so that positive energies could emerge for the whole. Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?

Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.

Dear Brothers, during the days when I first had the idea of writing this letter, by chance, during a visit to the Roman Seminary, I had to interpret and comment on Galatians 5:13-15. I was surprised at the directness with which that passage speaks to us about the present moment: „Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this „biting and devouring” also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians? That at the very least we are threatened by the same temptations? That we must always learn anew the proper use of freedom? And that we must always learn anew the supreme priority, which is love? The day I spoke about this at the Major Seminary, the feast of Our Lady of Trust was being celebrated in Rome. And so it is: Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to her Son, in whom all of us can put our trust. He will be our guide – even in turbulent times. And so I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the many Bishops who have lately offered me touching tokens of trust and affection, and above all assured me of their prayers. My thanks also go to all the faithful who in these days have given me testimony of their constant fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May the Lord protect all of us and guide our steps along the way of peace. This is the prayer that rises up instinctively from my heart at the beginning of this Lent, a liturgical season particularly suited to interior purification, one which invites all of us to look with renewed hope to the light which awaits us at Easter.

With a special Apostolic Blessing,

I remain Yours in the Lord,


From the Vatican, 10 March 2009




2 comentarii

Scris de pe martie 13, 2009 în articole, Ecumenisme, teologie, Vesti


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Papa Benedict al XVI-lea promite sa ia mai mult in seama internetul


Papa Benedict al XVI-lea promite

sa ia mai mult in seama internetul

Intr-o scrisoare in care isi cerea iertare pentru felul cum Vaticanul a abordat problema episcopului ce nega Holocaustul, Papa Benedict al XVI-lea a promis ca o sa fie mai atent la ce se scrie pe internet.

El a scris episcopilor sai catolici din toata lumea, discutand despre decizia ridicarii excomunicarii episcopului englez Richard Williamson.

Pontiful a primit numeroase critici la adresa sa in legatura cu aceasta problema, care au venit mai ales dupa ce episcopul Williamson a negat, intr-un interviu acordat unei televiziuni sudeze, ca la Auschwitz ar fi fost camere de gazare, acest lucru fiind mediatizat excesiv pe internet. Vaticanul a pretins ca in acel moment nu avea la cunostinta comentariile episcopului.

In scrisoarea ce a fost data publicitatii joi, Papa a spus ca ‘a invatat lectia’ si o sa foloseasca mai mult internetul. Biserica „isi va largi mai mult ochii asupra acestei surse de informatii” – a mentionat pontiful.

Papa a mai zis ca problema a dezlantuit o furtuna vehementa de critici, care l-a ranit profund, in mod special fiindca acestea au venit, in marea lor majoritate, de la catolici.

Este extrem de rar in istoria Bisericii ca un Papa sa-si justifice faptele sale episcopilor sai dupa ce acestea s-au intamplat si sa admita ca au mers prost.

Episcopul Williamson, membru al grupului ultraconservator catolic Societatea Sf. Pius al X-lea,  a plecat inapoi in Anglia dupa ce fusese izgonit din Argentina luna trecuta.

El a fost seful unui seminar de langa Buenos Aires timp de sase ani, dar guvernul l-a indemnat sa-si paraseasca functia, pentru ca a ofensat „societatea argentiniana, evreii si umanitatea in general”, refuzand sa accepte ca sase milioane de evrei au murit in Holocaust.

Papa a spus ca nu a putut sa anticipeze ca problema Williamson va umbri intentiile sale de a  readuce unitatea Bisericii, prin ridicarea excomunicarii, care se impunea, dupa ce el si alti trei membrii ai Societatii Sf. Pius al X-lea fusesrea consacrati episcopi fara consimtamantul papal in 1988.

Papa a mai afirmat ca Vaticanul nu a explicat suficient ce avea de gand sa faca. La momentul respectiv, mai multi oficiali de rang inalt din Vatican s-au plans in mod public de faptul ca Papa i-a tinut ‘legati’ deoparte.

trad. dan.camen.


Pope pledges to take more notice of the internet

The Telegraph | Thursday 12 March 2009

The Pope has promised to pay more attention to the internet, in a letter apologising for the Vatican’s handling of a Holocaust-denying bishop.

Pope Benedict XVI has written to Roman Catholic bishops across the world discussing his decision to lift the excommunication of British-born Bishop Richard Williamson.

The pontiff received widespread criticism for the move, which came after Bishop Williamson denied there were gas chambers at Auschwitz in an interview on Swedish television that attracted attention across the web. The Vatican claimed at the time that it was not aware of his commentsIn the letter to be released on Thursday, the Pope pledged to „draw the lesson” of the affair and make better use of the internet. The church will „pay more attention to this source of information,” he said.

The Pope added that the affair unleashed a storm of „vehemence” and hurt him deeply, particularly because much of the criticism came from Catholics.

It is extremely rare in Church history for a pope to have to explain his actions to his bishops after the fact and to acknowledge that things went wrong.

Bishop Williamson, a member of the ultraconservative breakaway Catholic group the Society of St Pius X, flew back to Britain after being was expelled from Argentina last month.

He had served as head of a seminary near Buenos Aires for the last six years but the government instructed him to leave for offending „Argentine society, the Jewish people and humanity in general” by refusing to accept that six million Jews died in the Holocaust.

The Pope said he could not have foreseen that the Williamson affair would overshadow his intention of bringing unity back to the Church by lifting the excommunication, which was imposed after he and three others from the Society of St Pius X were consecrated as bishops without papal consent in 1988.

He also said that the Vatican did not sufficiently explain what it was trying to do. At the time, several senior Vatican officials complained publicly that he had kept them out of the loop.




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Vaticanul i-a ordonat episcopului care a negat Holocaustul sa-si retraga declaratiile


Vaticanul i-a ordonat episcopului care a negat Holocaustul sa-si retraga declaratiile

Ziua on line, nr. 4454, 5 februarie 2009

Vaticanul spune ca i-a ordonat episcopului Richard Williamson sa se „distanteze” de opiniile sale intr-o „maniera absolut inechivoca si publica”. Cardinalul Tarcisio Bertone, secretarul de Stat al Vaticanului, a declarat miercuri ca lui Williamson nu i se va permite sa-si desfasoare activitatea de preot daca nu isi va retrage declaratiile. Bertone a explicat ca opiniile episcopului despre Holocaust „nu erau cunoscute de Suveranul Pontif la momentul anularii excomunicarii”.

Un procuror german a anuntat miercuri ca a lansat o ancheta penala impotriva episcopului catolic care a negat ca nazistii au ucis intentionat 6 milioane de evrei, informeaza CNN. Guenther Ruckdaeschel, procuror din Regensburg, a declarat ca autoritatile investigeaza daca declaratiile facute de episcopul Richard Williamson pot fi considerate o „incitare la ura rasiala”. Conform codului penal german, negarea Holocaustului este o faradelege si se poate pedepsi cu pana la 5 ani de inchisoare. Procurorul a explicat ca a inceput ancheta pe 23 ianuarie, dupa ce a aflat de declaratiile facute de episcopul Williamson pentru Swedish Public Broadcasting. In interviul acordat postului suedez, episcopul a negat ca nazistii au folosit camere de gazare in lagarele de concentrare. „Cred ca nu au existat camere de gazare” a subliniat episcopul in timpul interviului.

Ruckdaeschel a decis sa laseze investigatia in Regensburg, pentru ca interviul a fost dat de episcopul Williamson in timpul unui seminar al Societatii Sfantului Pius al X-lea, in orasul Zaitzkofen, aflat in apropiere.

Ruckdaeschel a declarat pentru CNN ca un reprezentant legal al episcopului l-a contactat si i-a spus ca monseniorul Williamson neaga acuzatiile. Reprezentantul episcopului a explicat ca Williamson a spus postului de televiziune ca nu doreste ca interviul sa fie difuzat si in afara Suediei si, de aceea, declaratiile sale nu cad sub incidenta dreptului german. Conform codul penal german, comentariile care glorifica sau neaga crimele comise de nazisti sau de catre national-socialisti sunt o crima doar daca sunt facute publice. Procurorul german a spus ca va incerca sa ii interoghieze pe cei doi reporteri suedezi care au luat interviul si a explicat ca este putin probabil ca episcopul sa trebuiasca sa apara in fata instantei, deoarece el este, in prezent, in Argentina. Cu toate acestea, este posibil ca el sa fie nevoit sa dea o declaratie scrisa in acest caz. Williamson si-a cerut scuze saptamana trecuta pentru problemele cauzate de declaratiile sale Suveranului Pontif insa nu le-a retractat.





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Vaticanul isi pune evreii si SUA in cap


Vaticanul isi pune evreii si SUA in cap

Ziua on line, nr 4445, 24 ianuarie 2009

Papa Benedict al XVI-lea a infuriat liderii religiosi evrei prin ridicarea anatemei asupra unui episcop catolic traditionalist care neaga Ho­locaustul, informeaza Reu­ters. Marii rabini din Europa au declarat ca rea­bilitarea lui Richard William­son va deschide „o rana adan­ca”. In paralel, Vaticanul a deschis un nou front diplo­matic impotriva adminis­tratiei noului presedinte american Barack Obama, care a decis reluarea finan­tarii unor organizatii care prac­tica avortul in afara SUA.

Papa Benedict al XVI-lea a reabilitat sambata un episcop traditionalist romano-catolic care neaga Holocaustul, desi liderii evrei au avertizat ca aceasta decizie ar putea afecta relatiile dintre cele doua religii, relateaza Reuters. Vaticanul a anuntat ca Papa a semnat un decret prin care a ridicat excomunicarea a patru episcopi traditionalisti exclusi din Biserica Romano-Catolica in 1988, pentru ca au fost hirotinisiti fara permisiunea Sfantului Scaun.

Reactii dure

Unul dintre cei patru episcopi, britanicul Richard Williamson, este cunoscut pentru ardoarea cu care neaga amploarea Holocaustului in Europa. „Cred ca nu au existat camere de gazare si ca numai 300.000 de evrei au murit in lagarele naziste, nu sase milioane, asa cum afirma istoricii”, a declarat el saptamana trecuta, la o televiziune suedeza. „S-au exploatat in mare masura aceste fapte. Germania a platit miliarde de marci si in prezent euro deoarece germanii sufera de un complex de vinovatie (..) dar nu cred ca sase milioane de evrei au murit gazati.

Inainte de ridicarea exco­municarii, liderii comunitatii evreiesti, inclusiv ai unor miscari ale supravietuitorilor Holocaustului, au avertizat ca aceasta masura ar putea reprezenta o lovitura grea data dialogului inter-religios din ultima jumatate de secol. Marele rabin al Romei a spus ca reabilitarea lui Williamson va deschide „o rana adanca”, declaratie la care au subscris si alti mari rabini din statele europene. Consiliul Reprezentativ al Institutiilor Evreiesti din Franta, l-a descris pe episcop drept „un mincinos demn de dispret, al carui unic scop este sa reinvie ura de secole fata de evrei”. La randul sau, purtatorul de cuvant al Vaticanului, Federico Lombardi, a declarat ca opiniile episcopului nu au nicio legatura cu ridicarea excomunicarii.

Catolicii si musulmanii gand la gand

Decizia lui Barack Obama de a abroga o dispozitie care interzicea tuturor organizatiilor neguvernamentale care beneficiaza de finantare din partea SUA sa practice avortul sau sa ofere servicii legate de intreruperea sarcinii in afara Statelor Unite, a starnit reactia dura din partea Vaticanului si a liderilor religiosi musulmani. Arhiepiscopul Rino Fisichella, presedintele Academiei Pontificale pentru Viata a Vaticanului, a calificat sambata drept „aroganta” decizia lui Obama de a autoriza finantarea organizatiilor americane care practica avortul in strainatate. Este „o aroganta din partea celui care se crede drept, semnand un decret care este, de fapt, o liberalizare suplimentara a avortului si deci a distrugerii de fiinte umane”, a declarat Fisichella pentru cotidianului italian Corriere della Sera. „Este esential sa stii sa asculti toate solicitarile tarile, fara sa te inchizi in viziuni ideologice cu aroganta unei persoane care, avand puterea, crede ca are drept de viata si de moarte”, a adaugat el. Arhiepiscopul catolic a mai criticat si decizia aprobarii primul test pe om al unei terapii realizate pe baza celulelor stem embrionare, o premiera mondiala care ar putea deschide calea catre vindecarea unor leziuni si boli incurabile.





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Scris de pe ianuarie 26, 2009 în articole, diverse, Vesti


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