While all sorts of silliness are being spread by the ignorant media to the ignorant masses, with the sole aim of creating more division and controversy among the peoples of the world rather than less, French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard has issued a statement which corroborates the points which that Andrew Rabel and I have been trying to make. His Eminence also demonstrates that the lifting of the excommunications was an act of charity on the part of Pope Benedict, not an act of ignorance or disdain for the Jewish people. (Some people must think the Pope is an idiot…)
Here is the Google translation of Cardinal Ricard’s statement:
Declaration Card. Ricard about the lifting of the excommunication
On 24 January, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux and a member of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” made a statement regarding the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Fraternity of St. Pius X.
The decree, signed on 21 January 2009 by Cardinal Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, at the request of Pope Benedict XVI raises incurred excommunication latae sententiae by bishops ordained June 30 by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 and formally declared by order of Cardinal Gantin, on 1 July 1988.
This waiver was requested more than once by Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, especially in a letter to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, 15 December, on behalf of 4 bishops concerned. It was even, with the possibility for any priest to celebrate Mass with the Missal of St. Pius V, one of two prerequisites [set by Bishop Fellay] for opening a dialogue with Rome. He had his followers to pray for this purpose.
Pope Benedict XVI wanted to finish what he could do as a helping hand, as an invitation to reconciliation. The Pope, a theologian and historian of theology, knows the tragedy that is a schism in the church. He hears the question that is often raised in this history of schisms: Have all steps to avoid this schism really been taken? He himself felt invested with the mission to make every effort to reweave the torn son of church unity [I’m not sure of the right translation of that – DS]. Let us not forget that the pope is familiar with the case because he had been charged by Pope John Paul II to contact Archbishop Lefebvre and try to prevent him from committing the irremediable act of consecrating bishops. Anyone who was then Cardinal Ratzinger had been marked by the failure of his mission [again, you get the gist, even if the translation is rough – DS].
The lifting of the excommunication was not an end but the beginning of a process of dialogue. It does not have [deal with?] two issues: the legal structure of the Society of Saint Pius X in the Church and an agreement on the dogmatic and ecclesiological. But it opens a path to go [forward] together. This path will probably be long. It will require better understanding and mutual esteem. At one point, the question from the text of Vatican II as a magisterial document of major importance should be raised. It is fundamental. But all the difficulties are not necessarily of the doctrinal type. Others, such as cultural and political, may also emerge. The last thing unacceptable, Bishop Williamson, denying the tragedy of the extermination of Jews, is one example.
Yet one can think that the momentum created by the lifting of excommunications should assist in the launching of the dialogue called for by the pope.
At the end of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us not forget that the surest path to walk to the unity of all Christ’s disciples prayer.
In Bordeaux, on 24 January 2009
Cardinal Jean-Pierre Cardinal Ricard
Archbishop of Bordeaux
Pontifical “Ecclesia Dei”
Bishop placed at the head of an ecclesiastical province.