My contribution from this thread on FD.
Let me offer a few more points. I am sure they are more than covered in the posts that have already been made, but maybe there are two or three points that need further highlighting…
#1 – Sacrament:
|Pope rejects Holocaust denial, urges SSPX to accept Vatican authority (http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=1790)
Pope Benedict XVI reaffirms his “full and indisputable solidarity” with the Jewish people in mourning the Holocaust, during his regular weekly public audience on January 28. Although the Pontiff did not explicitly mention the fierce controversy over the published remarks by Bishop Richard Williamson denying the severity of the Holocaust, the intent of the Pope’s remarks was clear as he pointed to commemorations of the genocidal Nazi drive as “an admonition against oblivion, negation, and reductionism.” The Vatican’s new YouTube channel drove home the message of solidarity, offering short videos of the Pope’s visit to Auschwitz and his talk at a synagogue in Cologne.
I doubt very much that most non-Catholics here really understand what a sacrament is, much less what holy orders is and what it is not. Once you have been baptized or receive holy orders, you receive a spiritual “mark” on your soul. So, when you die that mark will continue on for eternity — whether in heaven or in hell. That is why sometimes you will hear the phrase “a priest for life” because once you have been ordained then you retain that spiritual existence FOREVER AND EVER AMEN. Now what can be REMOVED is your capacity as a priest to administer the sacraments like confect the Eucharist (i.e. change it from bread and wine to the body and blood of Jesus) and forgive sins (by virtue of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ) and even to teach in the Church’s name. So, while you remain a priest and CAPABLE of doing these things, the Church may PROHIBIT you – sometimes permanently — from doing so. Sometimes a priest seeks to enter the lay state voluntarily and this sanction will be imposed. Other times, the Church will impose it — as in the case of sexual abusers.
So this is the difference between being “laicized” i.e. having your “legal powers” stripped and being “unordained” which is impossible according to Catholic teaching. Just like it is impossible to become “unbaptized”, much to the chagrin of a few Italian atheists who were in the news attempting such a thing — as if erasing the baptismal record from the books would change what happened as a historical fact.
#2 – Code of Canon Law:
In lifting the excommunication, the Pope was acting in the capacity as Supreme Pontiff and Judge over the law that he is ultimately responsible for – the Code of Canon Law:
The Code of Canon Law, for your information, is not merely an ecclesiastical set of rules but played a significant role in our current secular legal system. People who like to separate the State and Religion are really quite ignorant of their own heritage even in the area of law, and how much they owe to the Catholic Church on this front.
And so the Pope lifted the excommunication on the matter before him which was the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the four bishops he consecrated in defiance of John Paul II back in 1988. The Pope told him he could consecrate one bishop acceptable to the Holy See. Lefebvre consecrated 4, none of which were acceptable to Rome at the time. Hence, the excommunication. Williamson, a former Anglican no less, was one of those 4.
And so, the lifting of the excommunication had nothing to do with Williamson’s anti-semetic views. Nothing. I must confess, I am getting a little sick and tired of this anti-semitic “boogeyman” being played on an issue where anti-semitism is merely ancillary to the central question at hand. What sane person would accuse a judge of negligence when he seeks to hand down a sentence on the case before him instead of what the accused has done in the past? The case was about papal authority and seeking to establish communion with ONE MILLION LOST souls. One flaky bishop is hardly going to stand in the way of that, whatever his views on a historical question.
#3 – Excommunication: Lifting of excommunication does not necessarily mean the person is back in full communion with the Catholic Church. Back in the 60s, Pope Paul VI lifted the excommunication on the Patriarch of Constantinople (and the Patriarch did the same to the Pope ). Did that mean that both Churches are in Communion with one another? Of course not. Likewise with Williamson and the other three SSPX bishops. They still have to submit to papal authority and tone down their rather uncharitable language in dealing with the Holy See. Lifting of excommunication is the first step, not the last one in restoring full communion.
So this business of Williamson being “reinstated” that the yocals on this board keep yammering on about is completely bogus. What “reinstatement” are we talking about? Since his illicit consecration, he was a valid bishop before, during, and now after the excommunication so there was no “reinstatement” on that front. And there was no reinstatement of anything since as far as jurisdiction goes either.
#4 – End Game: Much as it will come as a surprise to the “speak-first-think-later” types on this Board, Williamson’s days of anti-semitism – at least the way it was – are already numbered. Being excommunicated, the Pope would not exercise his authority and universal jurisdiction over them. They were “free birds” to say what they liked with no oversight or submission. But, now that they are moving towards full reconciliation, once that point is reached, Williamson is going to be given a direct order from the Pope to shut up. I see that Bishop Fellay, the superior general of the society, has already silenced him because of the uproar. It won’t get any better for Williamson once he kisses the Pope’s foot either. Either Williamson will shut up permanently or he will break off again — this time by himself and perhaps with a few hundred devotees, and become a footnote in history. Either way, the Pope and the Church wins. Bring the whole SSPX in and then peel off the undesirable elements.
So for all the bleating and moaning of the Zionists on this board, the Pope (like previous Popes before him) will have succeeded in being a Jew’s best friend.
I just saw this in my inbox: