Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back into the Fold

It is a time for reconciliation and return. Old political rivals welcomed back (Hillary Clinton, Peter Mandelson, Ken Clarke). And the Vatican has restored relations with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), a traditionalist Catholic organization, founded in 1970 by the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Most controversially, the Vatican is cancelling the excommunication of four SSPX bishops, including Holocaust denier Richard Williamson.

I don't know whether this is bad luck or bad judgement on the part of the Holy Father, but Bishop Williamson appeared this week on Swedish television, denying the existence of the gas chambers. So much for Jewish-Catholic relations then.

The Holy Father appears to have a precise legalistic mind, in which there is no logical connection between the original reasons for Bishop Williamson's excommunication and his extreme views on the second world war. If the excommunication no longer serves a valid purpose, it must be cancelled; you cannot keep someone in a state of mortal peril just because you disagree with, or even disapprove of, his opinions.

Many will be offended by the pardon for Bishop Williamson and his SSPX friends, interpreting it as a further sign of an anti-Semitic turn at the Vatican. However, His Holiness doesn't seem to worry much about offending people.

Meanwhile, the Society of St. Pius V (SSPV), an organization that split from SSPX in 1983, holds that the papal seat is currently vacant ("sedevacantism"), as all the popes since 1958 (or perhaps 1963) are excessively modernist and therefore heretical. Perhaps Benedict XVI is trying to win their approval and acceptance.


1 comment:

Adamgv said...

Check out this new Traditionalist Catholic band that just released their first album.

From what I heard on the samples site, they sound really good.

Introducing the new Christian National Anthem: Guns & Jesus.