The SSPX have excluded the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson. The exclusion is a step towards reconciliation with the Pope. But there are still not eliminate all differences.
By Paul Badde
The 1988 Bishop Richard Williamson is consecrated by the Superior General of the X. ultraconservative Catholic Fraternity of Pius been excluded . Williamson was known, when he denied the Holocaust.
The official reason for the big bang is this: refusal of obedience to the executive level.
When Pope Benedict XVI. Three years ago, the excommunication of Holocaust denier lifted in a pastoral grace, many were shocked. “If you had the knowledge that among the bishops is someone who denies the Nazi gas chambers, the excommunication taken back?”, In summer 2010, said the journalist Peter Seewald, the pope.
“No,” he replied unequivocally the pontiff. “But unfortunately, no one has looked at us on the Internet and perceived, to whom we are dealing.” The answer contained in a nutshell the causes of the debacle, which swelled in a few days to a disaster for the Vatican.
First, there was a few years ago, no matter how anachronistic communication structure of the Vatican, the many operations still completed with pen and the pneumatic tube as 100 years ago, but still not with the new opportunities of the digital revolution. This state of meltdown at Williamson then finished in one go.
Only an eccentric Briton
But still more disastrous was the miscalculation of various prelates in the Vatican, at Williamson, it was merely a slight spin against, eccentric Brits, where the island is so rich.
For among the four bishops whose excommunication Pope on 21 Had picked up in January 2009, was with Williamson just a man who had denied the gassing of the Jews under the Nazis openly in an interview on Swedish television, and had already done the same thing 20 years earlier in Canada.
As Williamson’s statements were then known, together with the grace of the Pope, it was as would an outcry in the world. For the reconciliation of the SSPX with the Catholic Church, which Joseph Ratzinger was in 1988 at heart, Williamson seemed to many to be a millstone since the leg. He was not alone, as a brief look at the history of this cleavage showing. Excommunication is the most severe punishment the church in their own right are available. It does not exclude from the Church (the Pope can not impose itself a), but it is the loss of the church community and various rights. The participation in the sacraments belongs to Excommunicated also may exercise any ecclesiastical offices.
This had those four rebel bishops but continuously and still done in a church legal gray area, since they on the 30th of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre June had been consecrated in 1988 against the wishes of Pope John Paul II. Two days later, John Paul II condemned the action as “schismatic” act, which split the church.
The four Bishops Bernard Fellay, Alfonso de Gallareta, Tissier de Mallerais and Richard Williamson were therefore automatically in a split-off part of the Roman community of faith, you might say. But it is not so simple. Ordinations are valid in the Catholic Church so far as eternally valid, just as all the sacraments, the priest may donate even after serious personal misconduct. In his masterpiece “The Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene once wrote a whole novel about these complex relationships. Clearly was certainly that Lefebvre had the excommunication itself in the illegal consecration incurred “as an automatic penalty.” The other about 500 priests and a correspondingly larger number of traditionalist creditors founded by Lefebvre Brotherhood had not been touched by the excommunication.
It was the part of the Catholic Church, which had always held staunchly to the traditional Tridentine liturgy – and thereby also maneuvered into more and more opposition to many decisions of the Second Vatican Council.
These differences are the exclusion of Bishop Williamson does not eliminate, the Anglicans had joined as the traditionalists, under which he has since gerierte as a Catholic and Catholic than the Pope. This insubordination has now, though late, led to his exclusion. The communiqué of the General House says tersely: “Bishop Richard Williamson was removed for several years by the leadership and direction of the Fraternity, and refused to bezeigen the respect and obedience which he owes his lawful superiors why he has been through. decision of the Superior General and his Council declared on 4 October 2012 as ruled by the Brotherhood. ”
On a final deadline to submit to, which had been given to him, Williamson had responded with a request that the Superior General may resign himself. After that his exclusion was adopted under his confreres thing.
The case of their reconciliation with the Pope is not so complete. It still stands in the claim area to submit to the teaching authority of the Pope and completely – and there are a lot of opponents this reconciliation process within the Vatican and within the fraternity.
A final agreement with the Pope has in recent years torpedoed several times in the last moment. The exclusion Williamson is also a signal that the Brotherhood wants to separate from their radical positions. For the process of reconciliation with the Roman Church, but Pope Benedict XVI. recently Archbishop Ludwig Mueller one of its fiercest critics as head of the Congregation called the abuse many of them as heretics and false teachers.