“Recant?” Text of the Vatican statement on SSPX

News reports of the latest Vatican statement on the SSPX Traditionalists and their standing and what they must do to enter true full communion centered on the Holy See’s demand that Bishop Richard Williamson, the most overt Holocaust denier, “recant.” I’m not sure that is the best way to characterize it. Here is the official English version, released today. See what you think:
VATICAN CITY, 5 FEB 2009 (VIS) – The Secretariat of State of the Holy See, published the following note yesterday afternoon:

“In the wake of reactions provoked by the recent Decree from the Congregation for Bishops lifting the excommunication on the four prelates of the Society of St. Pius X, and with reference to declarations denying and reducing the Shoah pronounced by Bishop Williamson, a member of that society, it is felt appropriate to clarify certain aspects of the issue:
1. Remission of the excommunication
“As has previously been explained, the Decree from the Congregation for Bishops, dated 21 January 2009, was an act by which the Holy Father benignly responded to repeated requests from the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X.
“His Holiness wished to remove an impediment that hindered the opening of a door to dialogue, and he now awaits a similar readiness to be expressed by the four bishops, in complete adherence to the doctrine and discipline of the Church.
“The extremely serious penalty of excommunication ‘latae sententiae’, which these bishops incurred on 30 June 1988, formally announced on 1 July of the same year, was a consequence of their illegitimate ordination by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
“The remission of the excommunication has freed the four bishops from a serious canonical penalty, but it has not altered the juridical position of the Society of St. Pius X which, at the present time, enjoys no canonical recognition within the Catholic Church. Even the four bishops, though released from excommunication, have no canonical function in the Church and cannot legally exercise a ministry within her”.
2. Tradition, doctrine and Vatican Council II
“An indispensable condition for any future recognition of the Society of St. Pius X is their full recognition of Vatican Council II and of the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
“As already affirmed in the Decree of 21 January 2009, the Holy See will not fail, in ways considered most appropriate, to join the parties concerned in a profound examination of outstanding issues, so as to be able to reach a full and satisfactory solution to the problems that gave rise to this painful split”.
3. Declarations concerning the Shoah
“Msgr. Williamson’s views on the Shoah are absolutely unacceptable, and firmly rejected by the Holy Father as he himself said on 28 January when, referring to that brutal genocide, he reiterated his complete and indisputable solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters who received the First Covenant, affirming that the memory of that terrible event must ‘induce humankind to reflect upon the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man’, adding that the Shoah remains ‘an admonition for everyone against oblivion, negation and reductionism, because violence against a single human being is violence against all’.
“In order to be readmitted to episcopal functions within the Church, Bishop Williamson must absolutely, unequivocally and publicly distance himself from his views concerning the Shoah, which were unknown to the Holy Father at the moment he lifted the excommunication.
“The Holy Father asks all the faithful to accompany him in prayer, that the Lord may illuminate the path of the Church. May all pastors and faithful increase their commitment in support of the delicate and onerous mission of the Successor of the Apostle Peter, the ‘custodian of unity’ within the Church”.

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posted February 6, 2009 at 10:28 am

do you think the liberal media will accept this statement…give me a brake…..the press love to twist most everything the vatican/pope says….i love when the press says the some group or another is”outraged” by what is said…they have taken the word “outrage” and made a useless word…. this bishops statement was sdaid after the lifting.. would the pope still lifted the excommunication if the bishop made that statement…hell no…so lets move-on…i am outraged that the press is outraged

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posted February 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

This is very messy. What the Vatican is saying is Bishop Williamson will not be allowed to function as a regular Catholic bishop unless he publically modifies his views on the Holocaust. He is still a duly ordained priest and can not function as a bishop.
Pope Benedict had no intention of getting into such a media storm. He was attemption to do something that did not have jack to do with the Holocaust.
Bishop Williamson has since stated he will go back and re-examine the evidence on the Holocaust to see if the numbers and events he is challenging will all up.
Has enough time has gone by that we can do a re-examination of the darker and more controversial events of WWII, and all opinions can have their say? Many people on all the sides were killed or otherwise harmed, often without mercy.
My opinion is that can not happen for another generation.

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John Pat

posted February 13, 2009 at 4:39 pm

In this modern world we are no longer able to seek the Truth, study the Truth nor speak the Truth on anything. We cannot even get a consensus on political terminology. Ex define the following: Semitism
(does not mean just jewish), Anti-Semitism, Zionism (Zionist), Christian Zionist. Political Correctness at it’s worst. Check out the following: Indoctrinate U, also a website: NETUREI KARTA which goes to the heart of what’s wrong in the Universe today. Christ gave a mandate, yet Rome is abandoning her pastoral responsibilities to please the products of the 1789 revolutionary man versus God as the essences of being.

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