Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Pope haslifted the excommunication of four bishops of the Society of St Pius X, a tendancy which is traditionalist and rejects ecumenism. The interpretations of this gesture differ.
I don't know
Of course, there was no attempt to influence the outcome of this poll by the phraseology of the question.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The leader of a traditionalist Catholic movement apologized to Pope Benedict on Tuesday for remarks denying the Holocaust made by one of his members whom the pope recently rehabilitated.
Bishop Bernard Fellay also said that he had disciplined the bishop who made the statement, British-born Richard Williamson, and ordered him not to speak out again on any political or historical issues.
Williamson's remarks on the Holocaust, most recently on Swedish TV last week, provoked widespread criticism by Jews who said he had wiped out nearly half a century of dialogue with Catholics.
Last Saturday, the pope lifted the 20-year-old excommunication of Fellay, Williamson and two other bishops of the traditionalist fraternity.
Fellay's statement was released by the Vatican.
The Swiss bishops support the idea in its written statement that the four bishops in their talks with the Vatican also recognise the decisions of the Second Vatican Council . The Society had always rejected the reforms of the Council.
In England and Wales in 1964, at the end of the Council, there were 137,673 Catholic baptisms; in 2003 the figure was 56,180. In 1964 there were 45,592 Catholic marriages, in 2003 there were 11,013. Mass attendance has fallen by 40 per cent. In "Holy" Ireland, only 48 per cent of so-called Catholics go to Mass. In France, there were 35,000 priests in 1980; today there are fewer than 19,000. Renewal?
In the United States, in 1965, there were 1,575 priestly ordinations; in 2002 there were 450 - a 350 per cent decline. In 1965 there were 49,000 seminarians, in 2002 just 4,700. Today 15 per cent of US parishes are without priests. Only 25 per cent of America's nominal Catholics attend Mass. Worse still is the erosion of faith among those who ludicrously describe themselves as Catholics. Among US Catholics aged 18-44 (the children of Vatican II) as many as 70 per cent say they believe the Eucharist is merely a "symbolic reminder" of Christ.
To describe this unprecedented collapse of the Church as "renewal" is insane; to attribute it to the operation of the Holy Ghost is blasphemous. The Catholic Church is in the same position as an alcoholic: until it admits to the problem, no cure is possible. The problem is Vatican II.
Pope Benedict himself has expressed reservations about at least one Council document. The only remotely celebratory response to the Council's 50th anniversary would be to appoint a commission of orthodox theologians to scrutinise all of Vatican II's documents and correct their errors. It is time to revisit and reform this council that has brought forth such poisonous fruits.
Someone ought to send this to the German bishops!
MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.