First there are two stories about the SSPX. It seems Bishop Williamson no longer has either a job nor a country to live. Perhaps Benedict will give him asylum in the Vatican City States. I doubt he will be welcome in Switzerland, head quarters of the SSPX, but he may also find a home in his old stomping grounds in Minnesota.
Bishop Richard Williamson ordered to leave Argentina
An English bishop who denies the holocaust has been ordered to leave Argentina.
Bishop Richard Williamson has been give ten days to leave the country or face expulsion after global controversy over his views and the Vatican’s attitudes towards them.
The Argentine Interior Ministry said Bishop Williamson’s statements on the Holocaust “profoundly insult Argentine society, the Jewish community and all of humanity by denying an historic truth”. ( Argentina must be coming to grips with their own past involvement with the Third Reich as one of the few places Nazi's were able to find asylum. This is kind of ironic.)
An international furore erupted last month after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Bishop Williamson, along with three other bishops of the ultra-conservative sect, the Society of Pope Pius X.
Bishop Williamson denies any Jews died in gas chambers - calling such claims “lies” - and says that no more than 300,000 died in Nazi concentration camps. The commonly accepted figure is six million.
Bishop Williamson had been head of La Reja seminary in Buenos Aires since 2003 but he was removed from that job last week.
The Argentine interior ministry said that Bishop Williamson had not declared “his true activity” as the director of the seminary on immigration forms, and had “concealed the true motive for his stay in the country” by claiming to be an employee of a non-governmental body.
The government said it had been unaware of Bishop Williamson’s position until recent publicity, but added that his views were a factor in the decision to expel him.
Guillermo Oliveri, the government’s secretary for religious affairs, said: “I absolutely agree with the expulsion of a man residing in our country following his statements [denying] one of the greatest human tragedies.”
Christian Bouchacourt, the director the Latin American branch of the Society of Pope Pius X, said at the time of his dismissal that Bishop Williamson’s views “in no way reflect the position of our congregation”.
Tonight the Vatican said it had no comment on the Argentine decision. Bishop Williamson is thought to still be in Argentina and it is unclear where he might go.
The following article is the first I've read that directly documents the anti semitism expressed by SSPX itself. I've been kind of surprised at this because it takes one all of about 5 minutes on the US site to discover an 'attitudinal' problem with Jews. That Benedict claims ignorance of all of this is mind boggling.
If SSPX is supposed to be upholding the values of the True Church as epitomized under Pius XII, they aren't a very good advertisement for the apologists of Pius XII.
The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, whose excommunication was lifted by the Vatican in January, openly propagates virulent anti-Semitism, according to an investigation published Thursday by a Jewish magazine in Belgium.
Research by the Antwerp-based “Joods Actueel” weekly magazine has revealed a “slew of anti-Semitic content” on websites of the St. Pius X society in five languages.
The research comes to the conclusion that Pius X is “an extreme conservative Catholic group that rejects the Second Vatican Council and propagates the worst kind of anti-Semitism.”
For the research the international overarching site of the society was consulted and also a host of national sites such as those of the US, Brazil, Ireland, Asia, Austria, South-Africa and Poland.
The magazine found that the society's US Web site described Jews as "the enemy of man, whose secret weapon is the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy," adding that "heads of Jewry have for centuries conspired methodically and out of an undying hatred against the Catholic name."
The South African site said that "Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world dominion."
The Irish site asks whether "the Jews are guilty of Deicide," answering: "We must say yes."
The site from Germany said that "contemporary Jews are for sure guilty of the murder of God, as long as they don't recognize Christ as God."
The Belgian site accuses Jews of "still believing they are the chosen people" while "awaiting world domination."
Michael Freilich, chief editor of Joods Actueel, commented his research: “This is in many ways worse than the outrageous statements of bishop Williamson denying the Holocaust and the existence of gas chambers.”
“Williamson is a lone fool and not taken serious by the masses, whereas here we are talking about an entire society comprising thousands of priests spreading hatred against the Jewish people to hundreds of thousands around the world”. (This over looks the fact that Bishop Williamson was in charge of an SSPX seminary for over 5 years. He may be a lone fool but he was also the fool in charge of the formation of the very priests who may be spreading hatred against the Jewish people.)
And finally and update on St. Mary's Brisbane:
THE former Gold Coast priest sent to rescue a Brisbane congregation faces a direct challenge from the maverick clergyman he replaces in a unprecedented face-off on Sunday morning.
Father Ken Howell, formerly of Burleigh Heads, is the Vatican's man to take over from rebel Brisbane Priest Father Peter Kennedy who was sacked yesterday for breaching church rules 'out of communion with the Roman Catholic Church'. (In reality Fr. Howell is the Archdiocese's man, not directly the Vatican's.)
Fr Howell expects to conduct mass on Sunday at 7am but then faces a bizarre situation at the 9am service Fr Kennedy has declared he will lead, despite being removed from his position by Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby yesterday.
Fr Howell has extended the hand of forgiveness to his controversial colleague who offered an apology yesterday after labelling his replacement a 'religious scab' on Wednesday.
Speaking to The Bulletin yesterday, Fr Howell said his first priority was to ensure there was a process of healing.
"I'm confident everyone can come together and I have always believed in the goodwill of people," said Fr Howell, who will lead prayers for victims of the Victorian bushfires on Sunday.
"It is important that the mass be a time of prayer and not protest.
"My hope is that in time we can move forward as a vibrant united community."
Fr Howell will serve in the position while maintaining his role as Dean of St Stephen's Cathedral until a replacement is appointed.
Fr Howell said he wanted to ensure the church continued reaching out to people at social and economic disadvantage.
Fr Kennedy, who is seeking the advice of a barrister on an appeal, said yesterday he intended to celebrate the 9am mass.
"I am determined to go ahead and hold mass," he said.
Fr Kennedy said he expected about 1000 people to crowd into the church.
Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby issued Fr Kennedy with the decree this week, which set a deadline of noon on Wednesday for him to step down.
It was the most severe punishment seen in the church since the 1929 Mungana Affair.
Fr Kennedy had come under fire for unorthodox practices such as allowing women to preach and blessing homosexual couples. (Are these the new 'Jewish blight' of the modern Roman Catholic Church?)
Catholic authorities have also raised questions about the validity of baptisms at St Mary's.
The row has created a rift, with members of his congregation vowing to fight the move to sack the priest and saying they will rally against the Archbishop's action.
"The community at St Mary's Catholic Church in South Brisbane is deeply disappointed with the way they have been treated by the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby," said a statement from the church community yesterday.
"The community also reiterates its support for Fr Peter Kennedy as priest, visionary, leader and man of faith, integrity and compassion."
Local Aborigines have vowed to establish a tent embassy on St Mary's land. (And this is the one issue which may cause all kinds of headaches for both the Church and the State.)
I sometimes wonder if Catholicism can't institutionally function with out identifying some particular group as THE ENEMY of Jesus and by extension Catholicism. For the SSPX, which is not the modern church, it's the ages old Jewish enemy. For the 'restored' Church of Benedict, it's pro abortion politicians, gays, and power seeking feminists. Jews apparently have suffered enough at the hands of Catholicism. John Paul II said so. Benedict says SSPX has suffered enough even though SSPX directly contradicts the aspirations of John Paul II. What's a good Catholic to do? I guess the answer is attack pro abortion politicians, gays, and power seeking feminists.
But where do you go if you don't want to attack anybody and if you really believe Jesus meant it when he said to forgive your enemies? St. Mary's Brisbane is finding out you don't find that answer in Catholicism. Wow, what a sad statement.