Thursday, January 29, 2009

Statement from Cardinal Ricard of France about the lifting of the SSPX excommunications

While all sorts of silliness are being spread by the ignorant media to the ignorant masses, with the sole aim of creating more division and controversy among the peoples of the world rather than less, French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard has issued a statement which corroborates the points which that Andrew Rabel and I have been trying to make. His Eminence also demonstrates that the lifting of the excommunications was an act of charity on the part of Pope Benedict, not an act of ignorance or disdain for the Jewish people. (Some people must think the Pope is an idiot...)

Here is the Google translation of Cardinal Ricard's statement:
Declaration Card. Ricard about the lifting of the excommunication

On 24 January, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux and a member of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" made a statement regarding the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Fraternity of St. Pius X.

The decree, signed on 21 January 2009 by Cardinal Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, at the request of Pope Benedict XVI raises incurred excommunication latae sententiae by bishops ordained June 30 by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 and formally declared by order of Cardinal Gantin, on 1 July 1988.

This waiver was requested more than once by Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, especially in a letter to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, 15 December, on behalf of 4 bishops concerned. It was even, with the possibility for any priest to celebrate Mass with the Missal of St. Pius V, one of two prerequisites [set by Bishop Fellay] for opening a dialogue with Rome. He had his followers to pray for this purpose.

Pope Benedict XVI wanted to finish what he could do as a helping hand, as an invitation to reconciliation. The Pope, a theologian and historian of theology, knows the tragedy that is a schism in the church. He hears the question that is often raised in this history of schisms: Have all steps to avoid this schism really been taken? He himself felt invested with the mission to make every effort to reweave the torn son of church unity [I'm not sure of the right translation of that - DS]. Let us not forget that the pope is familiar with the case because he had been charged by Pope John Paul II to contact Archbishop Lefebvre and try to prevent him from committing the irremediable act of consecrating bishops. Anyone who was then Cardinal Ratzinger had been marked by the failure of his mission [again, you get the gist, even if the translation is rough - DS].

The lifting of the excommunication was not an end but the beginning of a process of dialogue. It does not have [deal with?] two issues: the legal structure of the Society of Saint Pius X in the Church and an agreement on the dogmatic and ecclesiological. But it opens a path to go [forward] together. This path will probably be long. It will require better understanding and mutual esteem. At one point, the question from the text of Vatican II as a magisterial document of major importance should be raised. It is fundamental. But all the difficulties are not necessarily of the doctrinal type. Others, such as cultural and political, may also emerge. The last thing unacceptable, Bishop Williamson, denying the tragedy of the extermination of Jews, is one example.

Yet one can think that the momentum created by the lifting of excommunications should assist in the launching of the dialogue called for by the pope.

At the end of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us not forget that the surest path to walk to the unity of all Christ's disciples prayer.

In Bordeaux, on 24 January 2009

Cardinal Jean-Pierre Cardinal Ricard
Archbishop of Bordeaux
Pontifical "Ecclesia Dei"
Bishop placed at the head of an ecclesiastical province.


At Thursday, January 29, 2009 6:21:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

I think Pole pointed out that speaking of "left" and "right" isn't really the thing within the Church. I mean, how many orthodox Catholics would you describe as being either left or right wing. I agree with both, either and neither depending on the topic.

Also, did you answer my question in another combox - I thought the SSPX were not excommunicated as a body, but only some of their bishops. But I readily concede to being terribly ignorant of the matter.

Poor Kathy Shaidle is devasatated that an anti-semite has had the ecommunication lifted. Silly sausage! No-one is excommunicated for being a dingbat!

At Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:07:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

You are right. The excommunication related only to the Bishops. However all the priests are technically "suspended a divinis". The Society as a whole was (I think the technical word is) "suppressed". Still is. Although their supporters would say that the technical word should be "oppressed"! :)

At Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:16:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

No-one is excommunicated for being a dingbat!

My point exactly. If they were, there would be precious few of us left in the Church! Perhaps only me and thee, Louise. Although even thou art a little dingbattish at times...


At Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:21:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Yeah, who do those Russians think they are, selecting and installing a bishop without the OK from Rome.

You don't do that in "the church"! You WILL obey, Simon/Peter sez. Excommunicate 'em, those sinners against love!

Ad multos annos Kirill! Rock on!!

At Friday, January 30, 2009 2:00:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

If they were, there would be precious few of us left in the Church!

Indeed, David. About 0 by my reckoning. And no-one would be able to join, either.

Although even thou art a little dingbattish at times...

That may be the nicest thing anyone has said to me this year!

At Friday, January 30, 2009 6:16:00 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we can expect Catholics to apologize for real or apparent wrongs of other Catholics in the past, then certainly we can call on the Jews to apologize for the murder of Jesus by their predecessors. Also, what is the greater wrong, questioning some details of history or the assertion (by current Judaism) that Jesus was not the Son of God and that he was a fraud? Shouldn't all Catholics call on the followers of Judaism to retract these false and offensive statements and beliefs? Didn't the first martyr, Stephen, do just that. Seems to me that those that claim the name of Christ should be more loyal to him than to those who deny him.

At Friday, January 30, 2009 11:35:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Absolutely. That "the Jews", of Jesus' age, our age, any age, or all ages are responsible for Jesus' crucifixion is an idea Trent specifically repudiated, not to mention the Gospel repudiates.

What is more, even our sins for which he died did not "murder" Jesus. They killed us. He freely chose in love to pay the penalty, death, for us. That's why they call it Redemption. And why they call it Good News.

At Saturday, January 31, 2009 9:34:00 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The responses to my post about the Jews apologizing for their predecessors show a misunderstanding. Note that I asked that the Jews apologize for the sins of their predecessors. Jesus himself said that "they that handed me over to you [Pilat] are guilty of a greater sin." My point is that it would be logically consistent for the Jews to apologize for the sins of those that participated in the sin Jesus talked about if they are going to keep demanding apologies from Catholics for real or perceived wrongs from past Catholics. And, it wouldn't be unreasonable to forbid them to publish their position that Jesus was a fraud. Who are we defending here? I do believe that the Jews will apologize at the time of their conversion foretold by the scriptures.

At Saturday, January 31, 2009 2:22:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

He said no such thing. He said "he", not "they", and the reference is to Caiaphas who handed Jesus over to Pilate, and the context was, Pilate trying to get Jesus to say something because Pilate has authority, and Jesus saying Pilate's authority comes from the Father, which even moreso applies to a man in an office established by God, High Priest, than to a secular ruler. "The Jews" have nothing to do with it in the exchange.


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