Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Official Apology by Bishop Williamson

This Declaration from SSPX Bishop Williamson was released by the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei.


The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.

Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.

On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (..."I believe"..."I believe"...) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available and rarely expressed in public since. However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said before God I apologise.

As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.

+Richard Williamson
London 26 February 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

USCCB's For Your Marriage Website: 10 Cheap Dates!

If you want a chuckle or a groan, you should check out the USCCB's For Your Marriage Website and take a look at their list of Cheap Dates! Is this the way to keep a marriage alive during these depressing economic times?

How about a pillow fight! Or buying a cheap romantic gift (their suggestion is not over $20!). Or creating a home spa!! Take your pick! What are these people thinking?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Interview of Bishop Fellay by the REMNANT, Traditional Catholic Newspaper

This interview by Brian Mershon, columnist for the Remnant, was posted on February 18, 2009 and is the most recent word from Bishop Fellay. You can find the complete interview...


~ Photo from the Remnant website ~

Monday, February 16, 2009

Some of our Weekend Visitors

Thought you might like to see where some of our weekend visitors have come from. I didn't duplicate cities or add where only United States was given.

Sestao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Norfolk, Virginia
Quezon City, Philippines
Bistrita, Bistrita-nasaud, Romania
Smithfield, Virginia
New Orleans, Louisiana
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Lansing, Michigan
Berlin, Germany
Chesapeake, Virginia
Almere, Flevoland, Netherlands
Williamsburg, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Saint Louis, Missouri
Hampton, Virginia

I am amazed! Pastor giving up his promotion!

From the Associated Press: Click for the complete story

Austria: `Katrina' pastor giving up promotion

VIENNA (AP) — A radio station says an Austrian pastor who suggested that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina because of the city's sins is giving up the auxiliary bishop post the pope promoted him to.

The national broadcaster ORF said Sunday the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner made the decision because of the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's promotion of him in Linz, Austria's second largest city.

The promotion of the conservative pastor sparked an outcry among Catholics who warned it could prompt people to leave the church.

ORF quotes the 54-year-old Wagner as saying: "Regarding the fierce criticism, I am praying and after consulting the diocesan bishop I have decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome to take back my promotion as auxiliary bishop."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Have you ever needed to get a speaker approved?

Someone passed this on to me.

A group in a parish wanted to have someone from the community to speak to the parish about a particular subject. Sorry, I'm not going to be more specific.

The parish group was told that they would need to have the potential speaker approved by the diocese. The speaker would have to fill out the diocesan form for approval of his program; as well as to submit an official invitation on the parish letterhead by the parish group, to include his CV and to obtain a letter from his pastor attesting that he was a Catholic in good standing. I'm not sure what else was needed.

I understand that this diocesan approval is to make certain that speakers faithfully teach Catholic doctrine. My question is this: Why is this approval needed even for programs that are not religious in nature; but cultural or educational? And what about a speaker who is not Catholic? It seems to me that the diocese is making it needlessly difficult for parishes to recruit speakers by forcing them to jump through hoops in order to obtain the approval.

Care to respond? If I have incorrect information, please be kind enough to supply the accurate information.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bishop Williamson: Has he or hasn't he been removed?

This is from Reuters News Agency with a dateline of 02-08-09:

Holocaust-denier removed from Argentine seminary

Sun Feb 8, 2009 10:12pm EST

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholic bishop who has drawn sharp criticism from the Vatican and Jewish groups for denying the extent of the Holocaust was removed as the head of an Argentine seminary, a Catholic Church official said on Sunday.

Pope Benedict angered Jewish leaders and progressive Catholics last month when he lifted excommunications on the bishop, Richard Williamson, and three other traditionalists to try to heal a 20-year-old schism within the Church.

The Vatican has since ordered the bishop to publicly recant his views questioning whether the Nazis used gas chambers and the number of Jews who died.

But Williamson, who is British-born, recently told Germany's Spiegel magazine he must first review historical evidence before considering an apology.

In a statement, Father Christian Bouchacourt, the head of the Latin American chapter of the Catholic Society St. Pius X, said Williamson had been relieved as the head of the La Reja seminary on the outskirts of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

"Monsignor Williamson's statements do not in any way reflect the position of our congregation," it said.

The decision came hours after Pope Benedict and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who publicly criticized the pontiff for his decision to rehabilitate the bishop, spoke by telephone.
The two had a "cordial and constructive" conversation on the issue, the Vatican said.

The Vatican has been at pains since the excommunications of the four bishops were lifted on January 24 to contain damage provoked by Williamson's comments, which he made during an interview with Swedish television last month.

The Vatican has said Pope Benedict, who expressed his full solidarity with Jews, was not aware of Williamson's denial of the Holocaust when he rehabilitated the bishops.

(Writing by Kevin Gray, additional reporting by Silvia Aloisivy, editing by Vicki Allen)
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Feeding Frenzy - The media is really getting out of hand...

As my readers know, I have been posting the German Spiegel Online International articles about the lifting of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops. This afternoon I received notice of another article about the fallout from the Pope's action. I am absolutely appalled at the anger and seemingly purposeful misunderstanding of the issues involved by the international media; in addition to the remarks made by Catholic clerics and others.

I don't intend to post the current article though if you wish to read it, you will find it
here. What I do want to post is an excerpt that I believe is important and one that has not been adequately covered. Here is the excerpt with my emphases:

"The slip-up involving the St. Pius bishops could not have turned into a scandal but for two, closely-related problems associated with this pontificate.

The first is the growing isolation of Benedict XVI. And the second is his trepidation when it comes to interacting with the modern world. It is a deeply conservative fundamental attitude, which repeatedly leads to "ecumenism to the right," as Johann Baptist Metz, a theologian and professor of fundamental theology, said recently in criticism of the pope.

The pope, says one member of the Curia, has surrounded himself with a team of yes-men, devoid of any critical voices. The team even shields the 81-year-old pontiff from unfavorable reports in the media. "As a rule," says the official, "he is only presented with excerpts from the international press. And in many cases, his staff members say: No, no, we cannot show him that article."

Unlike his predecessor Angelo Sodano, Cardinal Secretary of State Bertone is considered relatively apolitical. Benedict appointed the cardinal because he had shown himself to be "prudent in pastoral care," and because he was familiar with Bertone from their days serving together on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

...A conservative lobby has formed around the pope over the years, with considerable influence and abilities to manipulate policy. It includes the members of groups like Opus Dei, the Legion of Christ, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the SSPX."

Is this what is happening? Does anyone want to tackle the implications of these charges?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More of the same from Spiegel: Vatican Admits PR disaster

This just gets worse and worse... A real firestorm!


From Spiegel Online International ~ 02/03/2009

Papal Adviser Concedes 'Management Errors'

Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is in charge of the Vatican's relations with the Jewish community, has acknowledged that mistakes were made in the decision to lift the excommunication of a Holocaust denier. A German bishop has called the move "catastrophic" and is demanding an apology and now Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for greater clarity from the Vatican.

The criticism unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI's decision to
lift the excommunication of a Holocaust denier shows no sign of abating and the condemnation from his native Germany has been particularly sharp. On Tuesday, even Chancellor Angela Merkel had scathing words for the way Rome has handled the situation. However, there are signs that the Vatican is realizing just what a public relations disaster it has caused, with a leading papal adviser admitting that mistakes have been made.

Pope Benedict XVI with the Vatican Supreme Tribunal.Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is in charge of the Vatican department that deals with Jewish relations, acknowledged that the Vatican had made "management errors" with its decision to lift the excommunication of four bishops belonging to the archconservative Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).

"I observe the debate with great concern. There were misunderstandings and management errors in the Curia," Kasper told the German service of Radio Vatican on Monday evening. He pointed to a "lack of communication in the Vatican" while laying emphasis on the fact that the four men had only been partially rehabilitated and were still suspended. The radio station is the official mouthpiece of the Curia, and Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung described Kasper's statements as having an "official character."

The announcement on Jan. 24 that Rome was lifting the excommunication of the four reactionary bishops has provoked an international outcry in the light of recent comments made by one of the men, British-born Richard Williamson. In an interview with Swedish TV he denied that there had ever been gas chambers and claimed that "only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews" had died in Nazi concentration camps rather than the figure of 6 million accepted by historians. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany and public prosecutors here have opened an investigation into Williamson's comments because the interview was conducted in the German city of Regensburg.

The criticism of the Vatican's decision has been particularly cutting in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel entered into the fray on Tuesday, demanding that the Vatican make it clear that it will not tolerate Holocaust denial. "If a decision of the Vatican gives rise to the impression that the Holocaust may be denied, this cannot be left to stand," Merkel said. "It's a matter of affirming very clearly on the part of the pope and the Vatican, that there can be no denial here," she said, adding that in her view this had "not yet been made sufficiently clear."

Merkel, who is a Lutheran, added that she usually would not judge internal decisions made within in the church but that the current debate dealt with a fundamental issue.

And even the pope's strongest supporters have been left dismayed by the decision. Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who is a highly influential figure in Germany and serves as the bishop of Mainz, has described the pope's decision to rehabilitate Williamson as "catastrophic" and said that many people were very disappointed by Benedict XVI's move. Speaking to the Südwestrundfunk radio station on Monday, Lehmann said that there should be a clear apology "from a high position."
He also berated Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the president of the Ecclesia Dei papal commission, who had told an Italian newspaper that he had not been aware of Williamson's comments on the Holocaust. Lehmann said that there "had to be consequences for those who are responsible here."

Meanwhile, in a commentary broadcast on the station, the head of Radio Vatican's German service, Father Eberhard von Gemmingen, spoke of misunderstandings and a lack of professionalism within the Curia. "Pray for the pope and his staff," he said. "A misunderstanding and debacle like this can never be allowed to happen again."

The debacle has revealed weak communications structures within the Catholic Church, and many priests have complained about a lack of consultation. Last week Robert Zollitsch, the chairman of the German Episcopal Conference, complained: "We were not asked, we were not informed in advance," about the plans to rehabilitate the SSPX.

Archbishop of Hamburg Werner Thissen has accused the Vatican of "sloppy work," telling the Hamburger Abendblatt on Monday that this had caused a "loss of trust" in the Catholic Church.

However, there are also clergy in Germany who have leaped to the pope's defense. The archbishop of Munich and Freising, Reinhard Marx, said that Pope Benedict had been offering the hand of reconciliation to those who had split from the church. Speaking to the ZDF television channel on Monday, Marx insisted that: "Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites have no place in the Catholic Church."

Meanwhile, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the archbishop of Cologne, also defended Benedict -- saying that it was the pope's duty to search for and restore unity within the church. "That is what the pope has done, no more, no less." The lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops is seen as the first step in a process of returning them to the Catholic fold. The SSPX broke from the Vatican in the 1980s after its founder French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre rejected reforms made at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which included allowing masses to be given in languages other than Latin.

Any hopes that the SSPX will take the necessary steps toward ridding itself of its deeply traditionalist views look set to be disappointed. "We won't change our positions," one of the bishops, Bernard Tisser de Mallerais, told the Italian newspaper La Stampa on Monday. "Instead we will convert Rome."

smd -- with wire reports

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vatican's Vacation From Reality ~ Spiegel Article

Another article from the German, Spiegel Online International 02/02/2009:

Church Blasted for Controversial Appointment

One controversy is apparently not enough for the Catholic Church. In addition to ire over his decision to rehabilitate a Holocaust-denying bishop, Pope Benedict XVI has now raised hackles by promoting a priest who welcomed Hurricane Katrina as "divine retribution" for New Orleans' permissive ways.

Another week, another public relations disaster for the Catholic Church. While the furor continues swirling around the pope's decision to reinstate an ultra-conservative bishop who denies the Holocaust, the Vatican has once again raised hackles by promoting a controversial pastor to be a bishop in Austria.

On Saturday Rome announced that Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner would be auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, a decision that has angered many within the Austrian church and beyond. The priest has a knack for inappropriate comments, writing back in 2005 in a parish newsletter that Hurricane Katrina was an act of "divine retribution" for New Orleans' permissive ways. "This was not the sinking of any city but that of a people's dream city with the 'best brothels and prettiest prostitutes,'" he wrote.

The same man warned children in 2001 against reading J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books because the tales of a boy wizard were "spreading Satanism." Then in 2004 Wagner said that it was no coincidence that the Tsunami disaster had occurred at Christmas, inferring that it was punishment for "rich Western tourists" who had fled to "poor Thailand."

News of his planned ordination on March 22 has unleashed a storm of criticism from other Austrian clergy, with many complaining that the selection process was made without consulting them. Hans Padinger, spokesman for the Upper Austrian priests' council, told the Oberoesterreichische Rundschau newspaper he was "not very pleased" by the appointment while Franz Wild, a parish priest in Traun, said that he was "appalled" by the news. "I hope it's clear to the church that we're living in the 21st century and that it also has to live there," he told the ORF channel.

The group "We are Church," which promotes reform, predicted that the appointment could lead to people leaving the church. Liberal Catholics now fear that the pope is steering the church in an ultra-conservative direction and there is increasing concern about his leadership style. In a commentary for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Catholic theologian Hans Küng said that the pope risked losing the trust of millions of Catholics across the world. Küng said that Pope Benedict XVI is obviously "so shielded and cut off from the real world, that he has no idea how disastrously his actions are received."

Damaged Relations with Jewish Community

The uproar over Wagner's appointment comes while the repercussions about the Vatican's decision to overturn the ex-communication of four bishops who were ordained by the founder of the archconservative Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) are still being felt. One of the bishops, British-born Richard Williamson, recently told Swedish TV that he did not believe that Jews had died in gas chambers and that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews had perished in the Nazi concentration camps instead of the figure of six million that is accepted by mainstream historians.

The pope had hoped that re-admitting the men into the church would heal the rift with the ultra-traditionalist society, which rejects the reforms that were implemented after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, including the decision to allow mass to be said in languages other than Latin.
Instead, the lifting of Williamson's excommunication has severely jeopardized relations between the Vatican and the Jewish community, threatening to undo efforts by the late Pope John Paul II to build bridges between different faiths. The Israeli Minister for Religious Affairs Yitzhak Cohen told SPIEGEL that he had recommended "completely cutting off ties to a body in which Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites are members."

In Germany there is widespread astonishment that the German-born Pope Benedict XVI would give the go ahead to rehabilitate Williamson. The vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Salomon Korn told SPIEGEL that Williamson's rehabilitation was "unforgivable." "A German pope of all people ... has pardoned a Holocaust denier. And that just a few days before Holocaust Memorial Day," he said.

Italian Priest Joins in Holocaust Doubt

The Bishop of Hamburg Werner Thissen accused the Vatican of not doing enough research into the SSPX society and Williamson's views before overturning the excommunication. "Rehabilitating a Holocaust denier is always a bad decision," he told the Hamburger Abendblatt on Monday, adding that relations with Jews had been damaged.

The Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart Gebhard Fürst said in a statement: "It saddens me as a bishop and as a pastor that these actions have lead to the external and internal alienation of many believers from the church, to the loss of trust particularly of our Jewish brothers and sisters in the church as well as to a considerable breakdown in the Christian-Jewish dialogue."

The Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schönborn was also scathing. "Whoever denies the Shoah cannot be rehabilitated to a position in the church," he told the Austrian broadcaster ORF on Sunday.

While Williamson posted a letter on his blog apologizing to the pope for the "unnecessary distress" he had caused he did not retract his comments on the Holocaust. And his does not seem to be not an isolated case within the SSPX. The head of the society in northeastern Italy, Florian Abrahamowicz, told the Tribuna di Treviso newspaper last Thursday that he knew "gas chambers existed as a means to disinfect, but I cannot say for sure if they killed anyone."

smd -- with wire reports

Photo by DPA

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Roman Catholic Womenpriests want their excommunication lifted as well...

This press release comes on the heels of the lifting of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops. I'm not surprised that this group would ask for the same treatment and concern as the SSPX received. Please be kind with your comments...


Jan. 28, 2009
From Roman Catholic Womenpriests

CONTACTS:Bridget Mary Meehan: 941-955-2313 (703) 505-0004(cell), 703-671-6712

Roman Catholic Womenpriests call on Pope Benedict to lift the decree of automatic excommunication issued on May 29, 2008 against all in our movement as a gesture of reconciliation and justice toward women in the church. As is well known, the Congregation for Bishops, instructed by the Pope, removed the excommunication of four traditionist bishops on Jan. 21, 2009. Therefore, Roman Catholic Womenpriests call on the Pope to lift the decree of excommunication against us. This gesture will be a step away from the institutional church’s treatment of women as second-class citizens. We stand firmly in the tradition of Vatican ll which declares:

"Any kind of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design." Gaudium et Spes, art. 29, 2

No priest pedophiles have been excommunicated. No bishops who were responsible for their continued placement in parishes after their pedophile history was known have been excommunicated.

Theologians who teach and support Vatican II teachings and who support women's ordination are silenced and/or excommunicated.

Women ordained as priests are excommunicated.

Priests and laity who support women priests are excommunicated. But, Priests who reject Vatican II and who deny the holocaust and who openly deny the full equality of women are "rehabilitated" after earlier excommunication?

What's wrong with this picture?

This website was created and is maintained by RCWP-USA, Inc., a California 501©3 non-profit corporation, as an educational and information service to the public. RCWP-USA promotes and supports the ordination of women and men in renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. This website provides information about RCWP worldwide, with special focus on RCWP in North America. Every ministry convened by a Roman Catholic Woman Priest operates separately and independently from the RCWP-USA, Inc. non-profit.

© 2009 Roman Catholic Womenpriests