Monday, February 23, 2009

Regarding criticism of Pope Benedict

Regarding the lifting of the excommunications, the attacks against the Holy Father have been very vicious. If it Bishop Williamson had not had that interview with those imprudent remarks (imprudent to put it charitably), then the critics would've found another excuse.

For those who criticize the Holy Father regarding the lifting of the excommunications, let me ask this question: would you dare to criticize our Lord when he forgave St. Peter for his denial of Jesus? Isn't forgiveness supposed to be part of our faith, or are we supposed to eternally act like the big brother of the parable of the Prodigal Son?

Once again, would you criticize our Lord for his forgiving St. Peter after the thrice denial?

Just food for thought.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Germany and the U.K.

Two places where the Reformation hit the hardest: Martin Luther and his 95 Theses, and then King Henry VIII.

We might be seeing a repeat of this soon, in the cradles of Protestantism:

First, there was some reaction by some German clergy, including bishops, to Bishop Williamson's statements and the lifting of the excommunications. Understandable, but they can't set themselves up to be like the brother of the Prodigal Son.

But the reaction to the lifting of the excommunications is tame compared to what the Austrian bishops are up to now. Pope Benedict XVI tried to appoint a new auxiliary bishop of Linz (think of the European version of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rochester, you get the drift; Lincoln and St. Louis it ain't), and there was a virulent reaction by the Austrian bishops.

Austrian bishops threatening revolt

(Linked from Creative Minority Report)

And in the U.K., Archbishop Burke was denied permission by the Cardinal Archbishop to say the Latin Mass at the cathedral. While minor compared to the situation in Austria, it is disturbing that there are those who profess to be in union with the Pope, still defy the Pope when he allowed greater celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Please continue to pray for Pope Benedict XVI as he is facing challenges at this point in his papacy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The SSPX and Bishop Williamson

A furor has been created with the lifting of the excommunications of the four bishops consecrated in 1988. While the official anger is targeted at the bishops of the SSPX themselves, there is no doubt that the true anger is at Bishop Williamson's remarks regarding the Holocaust.

First, I found his remarks to be, at best, imprudent. Two reasons why they were imprudent: 1) he gave his interview, I believe, in a country that frowns upon Holocaust denial 2) his remarks, without any evidence, tried to put a hole in a historically proven event.

While I find his opinions regarding the Holocaust and 9/11 distasteful, remember that he wasn't excommunicated because of radical political or historical views; he was excommunicated because he was part of illicit episcopal ordinations back in 1988. Likewise, the lifting of the excommunications have nothing to do with his personal views either.

There are those attacking Pope Benedict XVI for lifting the excommunications. I find these attacks ironic. On the one hand, they tend to criticize the SSPX for holding to pre-Vatican II practices regarding the Mass and the Sacraments, implying that the SSPX think they know better than the Pope. On the other hand, by villifying the Holy Father, these same critics think THEY know better than the Pope.

This is not a time for smug condescension or arrogant outrage, but a time for reconciliation. The critics of the Pope and the SSPX need to stop acting the like the big brother of the Prodigal Son and start acting more like the father.