Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Papal letter on the SSPX excommunications

Update: official version available here. (H-t Cathcon)

Comment: the Pope is sending a letter about his lifting of the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops to the bishops of the world. A leaked copy is available in German. It has been translated by Cathcon and by the NLM. In it the Holy Father acknowledges the doctrinal issues which are obstacles to the SSPX's reconciliation, but defends his overtures to them, against those whose idea of Christian charity includes hatred for groups who harbour opinions different from their own.

Here's an interesting passage from the Cathcon version:

But some of those who take themselves as great defenders of the Vatican Council, must also remembered that the Second Vatican Council is located in the teaching history of the whole of the church. Whoever wants to be obedient to it, must have the faith of the centuries and may not accept the cutting of the roots from which the tree lives.
Can we be totally indifferent to a community in which there are 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 Seminars, 88 schools, 2 university institutes, 117 brothers and 164 sisters? Should we really be happy to let them be driven from the Church?

I am thinking, for example, of the 491 priests. The fabric of their motivations, we cannot know. But I think that they would not have decided for the priesthood, if they could not show the love of Christ to some of the flock have the will to proclaim the living God. Should we simply turn them away as representatives of a fringe group when seeking reconciliation and unity? What would then happen?

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen