Damian Thompson has the document at the Telegraph. There’s one curious paragraph:
It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.
I’m not sure what this means. Since these were the only individuals who were excommunicated (as has been reaffirmed by the Vatican in other ways) what is left to “accomplish … full communion” with the rest of the movement? Probably such things as reaffirming canonical recognition of the society itself, acceptance by individual bishops of the chapels in their diocese (there are two in the Houston area), granting of faculties to individual priests.
The document acknowledges there are “still open matters”–the group’s criticisms of various aspects of the teaching of Vatican 2. But these “still open matters” are not barriers to communion, apparently. These include the SSPX’s rejection of religious liberty and of Nostra Aetate. In effect the Vatican is acknowledging that these are not dogmatic matters binding the conscience of Catholics.
And that’s worrisome.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has released this statement:
HOLOCAUST DENIERS AND JEW HATERS SHOULD NOT HAVE POPE BENEDICT’S SANCTION
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to declare that the group known as the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) cannot function within the Catholic Church while mocking Church doctrine on anti-Semitism.
Pope Benedict, a champion of Church unity, is reportedly poised to lift the excommunication of four bishops from the Society, which had been operating outside the authority of the Vatican. While the group, which has tens of thousands of Catholics followers worldwide, has apparently agreed to accept the authority of the Pope, its teachings remain completely at odds with the positions of openness and improved ecumenical relations that were born out of the Church’s Second Ecumenical Council. One of the landmark rulings from the Council, also known as Vatican II, denounced anti-Semitism as a sin. Pope Benedict, then Father Joseph Ratzinger, was one of the theologians involved in drafting these new positions.
“According to media reports, Bishop Williamson, one of the Society’s leaders, gave an interview just last week denying Jews were murdered in gas chambers, hardly an indication of a change of heart or mind”, charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “Beyond the Holocaust denial of one bishop looms the larger issue of the virulent anti-Semitism of the group as a whole,” he added.
Postings on the Society’s website (www.sspx.org) proclaim that:
- Jews are “directly responsible for the crucifixion,” Jews are cursed with the ‘blindness to the things of G-d and eternity;’
- Jews as a people stand ‘in entire opposition with the Catholic Church.;’
- ‘Christendom and Jewry are designed inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing;’ that Jews ‘should neither be eliminated from among us … nor given equality of rights.’
“The differences between accepted Church teaching and this group of Latin-speaking extremists are not subject to reconciliation,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Relations. “The Pope must make clear to the world – especially in the midst of the wave of Islamist anti-Semitism engulfing Europe – that SSPX cannot teach medieval hatred while seated amongst the leaders of the Church.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.
For more information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.
On a local level I’m wondering, does this mean that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo will be welcoming back Fr. Steve Zigrang?
SSPX articles on the Jews
Note: the Angelus articles to which I link were on the webpage of SSPX.ca; they’re now at Angelus Online, but since that site requires registration, I’ve linked to the Internet Archive versions of the Canadian site.
- Are the Jews Guilty of Deicide?
- Beaumont, Michael. Jewish-Catholic Dialogue against the Catholic Faith. The Angelus, June 2003.
- Beaumont, Michael. Syllabus of Errors Taken from the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue. The Angelus, June 2003.
- Cipriani, Albert. American Bishops and Judaism. The Angelus, November 2002.
- Crowdy, Michael and Kenneth Novak. The Mystery of the Jewish People in History.
- Fahey, Denis. A Brief Sketch of My Life Work. The Angelus, January 2001.
- Fahey, Denis. What Really Is Anti-Semitism?
- Fr. Denis Fahey on Anti-Semitism. The Angelus, January 2001.
- Laurigan, Michel. The Law of Noah: One World Religion? The Angelus, February/March 2004.
- Sharpe, John. Judaism and the Vatican. The Angelus, June 2003.
Books I’ve seen for sale at an SSPX bookstore
- Ford, Henry. The International Jew. Summary at the webpage of Jewish Virtual Library of Ford’s multivolume work, which is on-line in various places.
- Fry, Leslie. Waters Flowing Eastward: The War against the Kingship of Christ. Edited and revised by Fr. Denis Fahey. “Authentication of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” (“Leslie Fry” is a pseudonym for Paquita de Shishmareff, who worked with Ford on The International Jew).
- Pinay, Maurice (pseudonym). The Plot against the Church. Depicts Vatican 2 as the result of a conspiracy involving Communists, Freemasons, Protestants and Jews.