Pope Benedict’s Apology

As you may have heard today, Pope Benedict has issued a letter to all the bishops of the world regarding the Williamson issue. You recall, the Pope remitted the excommunications of four illicitly ordained bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988. They are members of the still schismatic sect of the Society of St. Pius X. One of those bishops is Williamson, who is a Holocaust denier. The Holy Father’s actions here have been loudly criticized both within and without the Church.  In today’s letter, Benedict clarifies his decision, admits having made mistakes which he state he deeply regrets and makes clear the status of the SSPX and the bishops whose excommunications have been remitted. Here is an excerpt from the Holy Father’s letter:

“An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication.  The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops…suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path…..That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset the peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something I can only deeply deplore…..Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication.  The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions.”

I would stongly encourage you to read the Pope’s letter at:

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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