Contact: Father John Trigilio, Jr., 717-957-2662
HARRISBURG, Penn., Feb. 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of 600 priests and deacons publicly reaffirm our obedience and respect for the Holy Father. We furthermore declare our unequivocal support for Pope Benedict XVI as the Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff. We pledge our continued prayers for His Holiness especially in light of the recent slander being leveled against the current Successor of Saint Peter for his pastoral decision to rescind the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X. Those who distort the facts would have us believe that the individual prejudices of one man represent an entire group.
The only person who has admitted and professed to hold bizarre and reprehensible notions diluting or mitigating the full horror and pure evil of the Nazi Holocaust has been Bishop Richard Williamson. It is unfair, unjust and unreasonable to assume the clergy and laity who identify and associate themselves with the Society of Pius X share any of these repugnant notions. Likewise, the Confraternity wishes to underscore that the decision of the Holy Father to remove the canonical penalties incurred by the four bishops illicitly consecrated by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal mandate is based solely and totally on the Pope's pastoral desire for reconciliation. His decision was meant to heal a twenty year old schism involving thousands of persons around the world and had nothing to do with the personal and private, albeit reprehensible, ideas of one bishop. It is a non-sequitur to infer that lifting a penalty implies endorsement of the ideology of the offender. A purely juridical act employed to bring healing is now being misrepresented and misunderstood as some form of tolerance to anti-Semitism. Bishop Williamson's own superior Bishop Bernard Fellay rebuked him and his remarks.
Pope Benedict publicly stated UNEQUIVOCALLY that he and the entire Roman Catholic Church express FULL AND INDISPUTABLE SOLIDARITY with Jews and warned against ANY DENIAL of the horror of the Shoah. Rabbi Kula, President of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, New York, said the official American Jewish reaction to the Pope's lifting of the excommunication was disproportionate and "outrageously over the top." He shows more common sense than some Catholic dissidents calling for B16's resignation. The CCC stands with Benedict in his condemnation of anti-Semitism and his pastoral desire to bring unity to the Church.