Sunday, 19 September 2010


The scandal surrounding Bishop Richard Williamson's Holocaust denial refuses to go away.

Pope on the Defensive

The Intractable Brothers from SSPX

By Sebastian Fischer, Julia Jüttner and Philipp Wittrock

The Vatican is upping the pressure, public prosecutors are continuing to investigate and criticism keeps rolling in -- but the Society of Saint Pius X refuses to give in. Even worse, the Catholic Church is running out of levers to force it to comply.

The lawyer was careful to sound serene. The brothers belonging to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), says Maximilian Krah, want to live a form of Catholicism that recognizes the superiority of papal authority. "I don't recognize the brotherhood that I know in the current media coverage," he complains. And Richard Williamson? He isn't a typical SSPX member, Krah says. Really. He's not.

Williamson, though, has recently become the best known member of SSPX. He is a notorious Holocaust denier and one of the four bishops whose excommunications were recently lifted by Pope Benedict XVI. Krah represents Williamson and the rest of his SSPX brothers in Germany. The message Krah is intent on communicating these days is the one that Williamson himself should be sending: conciliatory, moderate and understanding. Indeed, given the Vatican's Wednesday call for Williamson to distance himself from his statements doubting the existence of the Holocaust, one would think that the ultraconservative SSPX would likewise be tempering its tone.

But it's not.

Take Father Franz Schmidberger, a member of SSPX headquarters in Germany. He went on German radio on Thursday to censure German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her critical comments about the pope's handling of the scandal and about the need to clearly condemn Holocaust denial. "She doesn't understand, after all, she's not Catholic," he said. Then he turned his attention to the Prophet Muhammad. He had "sexual contact with an eight or nine year old girl," Schmidberger said according to a statement released in advance of the interview's broadcast. "In today's terminology, we would certainly call that child molestation. But I don't want to belabor the point, I haven't specifically studied the issue."

His position on the Prophet's biography is one that is highly controversial -- and one that certainly isn't new. One year ago, a right-wing populist politician in Austria got in trouble for giving voice to the same viewpoint. And it certainly isn't the kind of stance that will further dialogue among religions. That, though, is clearly not a concern of Schmidberger's. Indeed, he also made his feelings about Judaism clear. "Christ explicitly sent his apostles into the world to convert all peoples, including the Jews, to him," he says.

In the interview, Schmidberger distanced himself from Williamson's statements regarding the Holocaust, but he did say that Holocaust deniers could certainly remain part of the Catholic Church. "As long as he remains faithful to the Catholic dogmata, of course," he said. And what about the pope's decision to lift the excommunications of the four SSPX brothers? "It was absolutely necessary, because faith has become extremely diluted and we are living in a neo-heathenish society."

Prohibited from Performing Liturgical Rites

Still, as much as SSPX members like Schmidberger talk about submitting to papal authority, it has become clear just how little they do so. On Thursday, this disobedience once again became clear. The Cologne daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger reported that Bernhard Fellay, the Swiss bishop who is also the superior general of the Society of Saint Pius X, inducted so-called "minor orders" -- as the lower ranks of Catholic clergy are called -- last Sunday.

Fellay is another of the four bishops whose excommunications were recently lifted. However, the quartet remains suspended as bishops -- which means they are still prohibited by the Vatican from performing liturgical rites or administering the Sacraments.

It is, church jurist Peter Krämer told the newspaper, "an act of deliberate disobedience of the pope." It also touches on the central question now facing both the Vatican and the SSPX: Can the affair be brought under control by the pope's demand that Williamson retract his denial of the Holocaust?

Chancellor Merkel, whose comments earlier in the week placed Pope Benedict XVI under enormous pressure, signalled on Thursday that she was satisfied with his demand of Williamson. She said "it made it clear that a denial of the Holocaust can never be made without consequences." Some, though, think the pope still needs to do more.

German Green Party leader Claudia Roth is one of them. She told SPIEGEL ONLINE on Thursday that it has to be made crystal clear "that Williamson, who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust, and the anti-democratic, reactionary SSPX cannot be part of the Catholic Church." The Central Council of Jews in Germany have also demanded that the Vatican turn its back on the SSPX.

Showdown within the SSPX

The affair promises to continue. Holocaust denial is forbidden by law in Germany and on Jan. 23, public prosecutors in Bavaria opened an investigation into Williamson for incitement. Should he be found guilty, he could face a fine or even a jail term. Krah is defending him and he is basing his defense on the conditions under which the now-notorious interview -- in which Williamson told a Swedish television station that he did not believe any Jews were killed in Nazi gas chambers -- was conducted. "If you give an interview in English to a Swedish television station, you can't automatically assume that it will be broadcast in Germany," Krah told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Krah also says that the two journalists who conducted the interview said there were no plans to broadcast the interview in Germany. The journalists -- Göran Svensson and Ali Fegan -- disagree. "There was no agreement with Williamson regarding when and where the interview would be broadcast," they say.,1518,605945,00.html


Williamson's Colleagues under Fire

SSPX in Germany Criticized over Anti-Semitic Statements

Bishop Richard Williamson triggered a scandal with his comments denying the Holocaust. Now it has emerged that the German branch of the ultra-conservative SSPX has also made a number of anti-Semitic statements in its publications.

While the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is trying to practice belated damage control regarding the scandal over Bishop Richard Williamson's comments denying the Holocaust, further information has emerged about anti-Semitism within the German branch of the ultra-conservative Catholic organization.

The German branch of the SSPX is under fire over anti-Semitic comments in its publications.

The latest issue of the SSPX's newsletter for German-speaking countries, which has been obtained by SPIEGEL, contains several anti-Semitic statements. "The Jewish people were once the chosen people. But the majority of the people denied the Messiah on his first coming," reads the February issue's cover story, entitled "Signs of the End of the World." According to the newsletter article, this is why the Bible's Gospel of Matthew states, "His blood be upon us and upon our children," a phrase historically used by some Christians to justify anti-Semitism.

The newsletter also states: "And this terrible curse arose. The Jews were expelled from their country, repeatedly rejected and persecuted up until our own time." Therefore, the Jews must "convert as a people to Christ. … Eventually the mercy of God will triumph over the stubbornness and blindness of the Jewish people." The newsletter was only published last week -- long after the controversy over Williamson became public.

The German television station ARD also reported having found anti-Semitic statements in the publications of the SSPX's German branch. According to ARD, an SSPX text published in 2000 contains the following: "There is no doubt that Jewish authors played a significant role in the destruction of religious and moral values during the last two centuries." Another section reads: "The lending of money at high interest rates and the usury practiced in this way (...) made the Jews hated."

"There's some truth in there," the head of the SSPX's German branch, Father Franz Schmidberger, told ARD in an interview. However he said that the SSPX wished to "live together in peace with all people, including the Jews."

Referring to the passage about the Jews converting to Christianity, Schmidberger justified it by saying it was not an ethnic but a religious statement. He told ARD that even Saint Paul talked of "a veil which was over the Jewish people … and which prevented them from recognizing and adopting the Messiah."

The Central Council of Jews in Germany reacted angrily to the revelations. "I was alarmed to discover the SSPX has anti-Semitic attitudes," Vice President Salomon Korn said. Admittedly the statements in the SSPX's German publications could not be compared to Williamson's denial of the Holocaust, he said, "but Williamson is the tip of the iceberg."

The basis for the SSPX's ideas were ancient prejudices against Jews, he said. "Genocidal anti-Semitism grew on the basis of this religious approach, which is now centuries old. And this kind of thinking is responsible for the Nazis' crimes against humanity."

ARD also discovered that Schmidberger had said in an October 2001 speech that a desecration of a cross where, for example, an arm is torn off the figure of Christ, is objectively a greater sin than the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In the interview with ARD, the priest confirmed this statement and defended it. Reacting to the interview, the spokesman of the German Bishops' Conference, Matthias Kopp, said the statement was unacceptable.

The SSPX in other countries has been taking steps to dampen the scandal caused by Williamson's comments. On Monday, Williamson was removed from his position as head of a seminary in Argentina. The Web page of SSPX in the US has also removed an article arguing that Jews are guilty of deicide for killing Jesus. The page was viewable as recently as last Friday.

The scandal over Holocaust denial erupted at the end of January when Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of four SSPX members, including Williamson. At the time he took the step, the pope was apparently unaware of Williamson's views on the Holocaust nor was he aware of the interview with Swedish television. The ensuing scandal has seriously damaged the reputation of the Catholic Church in Germany and elsewhere.

Last week, Benedict called on Williamson to retract his views on the Holocaust. In an interview with SPIEGEL, however, Williamson rebuffed the pope, saying that he first had to study the issue. He said he was planning on reading "Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers" by Jean-Claude Pressac. "Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions," Williamson told SPIEGEL. "And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time."

On Monday, Jewish leaders in the US said after meeting with top Vatican officials that they were optimistic about Vatican-Jewish ties. A group of American Jewish leaders will meet with Pope Benedict XVI in person on Thursday to commend him for his "firm stand" on Williamson, the Associated Press reported.

With reporting by Peter Wensierski



While leaving Buenos Aires, Williamson shook his fist at a television reporter who tried to ask him a question


The Pope's Nemesis

Holocaust-Denying Bishop Back in Britain

Bishop Richard Williamson, whose denial of the Holocaust plunged the Vatican into scandal at the end of January, is back in Britain after being expelled from Argentina.

It was a large crowd which gathered in Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow airport on Wednesday morning. But instead of carrying balloons and flowers, they held cameras and notepads. They were there for British Airways flight from Buenos Aires, a flight carrying the now infamous Bishop Richard Williamson -- the Holocaust denier whose positions have recently rocked the Vatican.

Sky News, BBC, CNN, Germany's ZDF -- an alphabet soup of media waited patiently for passengers to emerge, as did a handful of armed police. An Orthodox Jew leaning on a police barricade was taken aside, his papers carefully checked. He was just waiting for his family flying in from New York, he said.

A blonde woman bustled around to the media representatives, giving interviews and handing out business cards. She said she was there to provide Williamson legal assistance should he be arrested.

As it turned out, her help wasn't necessary. Williamson appeared shortly before 8 a.m. surrounded by photographers who had managed to find their way past the security controls. Escorted by a dozen police, Williamson hurried through the arrival hall, ignoring questions yelled at him by journalists, a slight smile on his lips. He climbed into a silver Land Rover and drove away.

As during his departure the night before from Argentina, Williamson declined to speak to the gathered media.

Williamson was back in Great Britain after Argentinean authorities threw him out of the country both for his denial of the Holocaust and for "irregularities" in his immigration application. The government condemned Williamson's comments on the Holocaust for being "deeply offensive to Argentine society, the Jewish people and humanity."

In late January, Williamson told a Swedish public television station, "I believe there were no gas chambers." He also said that only 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps rather than the 6 million accepted by historians. Shortly after he made the statements, Pope Benedict XVI -- apparently unaware of Williamson's position on the Holocaust -- revoked his excommunication. Williamson had been excommunicated years before due to to activities connected to his membership in the ultra-conservative Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).

The ensuing debate about Holocaust denial within the Catholic Church has been harmful for Benedict XVI. Since the scandal broke, the pope has repeatedly expressed solidarity with the Jews and demanded that Williamson must retract his statements before he can be reinstated as a bishop.

Williamson has so far refused to do so. In an statements made to SPIEGEL, he said: "I can only say something the truth of which I am convinced. Because I realize that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must now review the historical evidence once again. ... If I find this evidence, I will correct myself."

Williamson wore dark sunglasses, a baseball cap and an overcoat as he made his way through the boarding area in Argentina on Tuesday. When an Argentine TV reporter tried to get a comment from him before he boarded his flight, Williamson raised his fist to the journalist's face.
Bishop Richard Williamson arrived back in Britain on Wednesday morning, arriving at Heathrow Airport just before 8 a.m.



Bishop Richard Williamson is a member of the ultra- conservative Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). In late January, Pope Benedict XVI decided to lift the excommunications of four members of the SSPX, Bishop Williamson among them. Just days prior to the retraction of his excommunication, Bishop Williamson said on Swedish television that he didn't believe the Holocaust took place and said that between 200,000 and 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps instead of the commonly accepted 6 million. The resulting scandal has led to doubts about Benedict's leadership of the Catholic Church, though Benedict last week demanded that Williamson recant his statements.


SPIEGEL Interview with Bishop Richard Williamson

'I Will Not Travel to Auschwitz'

Bishop Richard Williamson's denial of the Holocaust has done serious damage to the Catholic Church. In an e-mail and fax exchange with SPIEGEL, the ultra-conservative bishop says that he is willing to "review the historical evidence."

SPIEGEL: The Vatican is demanding that you retract your denial of the Holocaust, and it is threatening to not allow you to resume your activities as a bishop. How will you react?

Williamson: Throughout my life, I have always sought the truth. That is why I converted to Catholicism and became a priest. And now I can only say something, the truth of which I am convinced. Because I realize that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must now review the historical evidence once again. I said the same thing in my interview with Swedish television: Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions. And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time.

SPIEGEL: How can an educated Catholic deny the Holocaust?

Williamson: I addressed the subject in the 1980s. I had read various writings at the time. I cited the Leuchter report (eds. note: a debunked theory produced in the 1980s claiming erroneously that the Nazi gas chambers were technically impractical) in the interview, and it seemed plausible to me. Now I am told that it has been scientifically refuted. I plan now to look into it.

SPIEGEL: You could travel to Auschwitz yourself.

Williamson: No, I will not travel to Auschwitz. I've ordered the book by Jean-Claude Pressac. It's called "Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers." A printout is now being sent to me, and I will read it and study it.

SPIEGEL: The Society of Saint Pius X has set an ultimatum for the end of February. Are you not risking a break with the group?

Williamson: In the Old Testament, the Prophet Jonah tells the sailors when their ship is in distress: " Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you." The Society has a religious mission that is suffering because of me. I will now examine the historic evidence. If I do not find it convincing, I will do everything in my power to avoid inflicting any further harm on the Church and the Society.

SPIEGEL: What does the repeal of the excommunication by Pope Benedict XVI mean to you?

Williamson: We just want to be Catholic, nothing else. We have not developed our own teachings, but are merely preserving the things that the Church has always taught and practiced. And in the sixties and seventies, when everything was changed in the name of this Council (eds. note: the Second Vatican Council), it was suddenly a scandal. As a result, we were forced to the margins of the church, and now that empty churches and an aging clergy make it clear that these changes were a failure, we are returning to the center. That's the way it is for us conservatives: we are proved right, as long as we wait long enough.


SPIEGEL: People at the Vatican claimed that they didn't know you. Is that true?

Williamson: Most contacts pass through Bishop Fellay and the General Council, of which I am not a member. But three of us four bishops attended a private dinner with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in 2000. It was more about getting to know each other, but we certainly talked about theological issues and even a bit of philosophy. The cardinal was very friendly.

SPIEGEL: The Second Vatican Council counts as one of the great achievements of the Catholic Church. Why do you not fully recognize it?

Williamson: It is absolutely unclear what we are supposed to recognize. An important document is called "Gaudium et spes," or Joy and Hope. In it, the writers rhapsodize about the ability of mass tourism to bring people together. But one can hardly expect a conservative society to embrace package tours. It discusses fears and hardships. And then a nuclear war between the superpowers is mentioned. You see, much of this is already outdated. These Council documents are always ambiguous. Because no one knew what exactly this was supposed to mean, everyone started doing as he wished shortly after the Council. This has resulted in this theological chaos we have today. What are we supposed to recognize, the ambiguity or the chaos?

SPIEGEL: Are you actually aware that you are dividing the Church with your extreme views?

Williamson: Only violation of the dogmas, that is, the infallible principles, destroys faith. The Second Vatican Council declared that it would proclaim no new dogmas. Today the liberal bishops act as though it were some sort of all-encompassing super-dogma, and they use it as justification for a dictatorship of relativism. This contradicts the texts of the Council.

SPIEGEL: Your position on Judaism is consistently anti-Semitic.

Williamson: St. Paul put it this way: The Jews are beloved for the sake of Our Father, but our enemies for the sake of the gospel.

SPIEGEL: Do you seriously intend to use Catholic tradition and the Bible to justify your anti-Semitism?

Williamson: Anti-Semitism means many things today, for instance, when one criticizes the Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. The Church has always understood the definition of anti-Semitism to be the rejection of Jews because of their Jewish roots. This is condemned by the Church. Incidentally, this is self-evident in a religion whose founders and all important individuals in its early history were Jews. But it was also clear, because of the large number of Jewish Christians in early Christianity, that all men need Christ for their salvation -- all men, including the Jews.

SPIEGEL: The pope will travel to Israel soon, where he plans to visit the Holocaust Memorial. Are you also opposed to this?

Williamson: Making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a great joy for Christians. I wish the Holy Father all the best on his journey. What troubles me about Yad Vashem is that Pope Pius XII is attacked there, even though no one saved more Jews during the Nazi period than he did. For instance, he had baptismal certificates issued for persecuted Jews to protect them against arrest. These facts have been distorted to mean exactly the opposite. Otherwise, I hope that the pope will also have an eye and a heart for the women and children who were injured in the Gaza Strip, and that he will speak out in support of the Christian population in Bethlehem, which is now walled in.

SPIEGEL: Your statements have caused great injury and outrage in the Jewish world. Why don't you apologize?

Williamson: If I realize that I have made an error, I will apologize. I ask every human being to believe me when I say that I did not deliberately say anything untrue. I was convinced that my comments were accurate, based on my research in the 1980s. Now I must review everything again and look at the evidence.

SPIEGEL: Do you at least recognize universal human rights?

Williamson: When human rights were declared in France, hundreds of thousands were killed throughout France. Where human rights are considered an objective order for the state to implement, there are constantly anti-Christian policies. When it comes to preserving the individual's freedom of conscience against the democratic state, then human rights perform an important function. The individual needs these rights against a country that behaves like a Leviathan. But the Christian concept of the state is a different one, so that the Christian theories of human rights emphasize that freedom is not an end in itself. The point is not freedom from something, but freedom for something. For good.

SPIEGEL: Your statements and the lifting of your excommunication have triggered protests worldwide. Can you understand this?

Williamson: A single interview on Swedish television has dominated the news for weeks in Germany. Yes, it does surprise me. Is this the case with all violations of the law in Germany? Hardly. No, I am only the tool here, so that action can be taken against the SSPX and the pope. Apparently Germany's leftist Catholicism has not yet forgiven Ratzinger for becoming pope.

Interview conducted by Peter Wensierski and Steffen Winter

Interview conducted in German and translated into English by Christopher Sultan,1518,606323,00.html


Swiss Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).

SSPX Head on Holocaust Denial

Williamson Apology 'A Step in Right Direction'

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X, has told SPIEGEL that his organization has "clearly distanced itself" from Bishop Richard Williamson. Nevertheless, he says the bishop's apology for his Holocaust denial is a step in the right direction.

SPIEGEL: Bishop, weeks ago you gave your colleague Richard Williamson a book so that he can read up on the Holocaust. Last week he published an apology which falls short of the Vatican's demand that he retract his Holocaust denial. Does Williamson's statement suffice in your opinion?

Fellay: It is definitely a first plea for forgiveness and, therefore, an important step in the right direction. One can always hope for better phrasing. At least the plea for forgiveness is honest, and the withdrawal of his words is genuine.

SPIEGEL: That hope seems unfounded. After his arrival in London, Williamson surrounded himself with people who have openly denied the Holocaust, such as the historian David Irving. Do you know why?

Fellay: I have the impression that Bishop Williamson is being used by these people. Information was deliberately fed to the media here. We're working against that as well as we can. I am totally against these connections.

SPIEGEL: But your influence on Williamson seems to be weak.

Fellay: We are in contact, he is in a priory of the society in London for the time being. But he is also a free human being. Sure, he has a superior, but he is free in his decisions. But he has to bear the consequences for that.

SPIEGEL: Will he return to his full duties?

Fellay: That is impossible under the current circumstances. He has damaged us and hurt our reputation. We have very clearly distanced ourselves. He was not ordained as a bishop for his own personal purpose but for the common good of the church, to spread the revealed truth.

SPIEGEL: So why don't you exclude Williamson from the society?

Fellay: That will happen if he denies the Holocaust again. It is probably better for everyone if he stays quiet and stays in a corner somewhere. I want him to disappear from the public eye for a good while.

SPIEGEL: The Vatican could reinstate the excommunication because he has not made a retraction.

Fellay: I doubt that. Denial of the Holocaust, as serious as it is, isn't part of Canon Law -- so an excommunication isn't possible. It isn't just we who say that, it is canons, legal experts. The problem is that his comments have been linked to his office.

SPIEGEL: Regensburg's Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller has denied the German Pius seminary in Zaitzkofen permission to ordain more priests. Will you adhere to the ban?

Fellay: That was unnecessary and inappropriate. All these events definitely are a setback for us. It throws us back by 10 years. But ordinations will continue to happen.

SPIEGEL: In Germany politicians fear that schools run by the society don't share the values of the German constitution. Are you concerned that there will be inspections?

Fellay: I'm not worried about that at all. We are normal people. We observe the rules, and that includes the state order. Even if one voice said something wrong. It is expressly written in the epistles of the Saint Paul that we honor authority and pray for it.

SPIEGEL: So Williamson is someone who has gone astray and criticism of the society is a big misunderstanding?

Fellay: Now we're the world's scapegoat, and every wrong step immediately turns into a scandal. But mistakes that need to be corrected are made all the time and everywhere.

SPIEGEL: Why did you respond so late to Williamson's crude theses?

Fellay: I confess that I didn't take the situation seriously enough.

Interview conducted by Stefan Winter.



Mardi 10 août 2010 2 10 /08 /2010 10:33 L'abbé Paul Aulagnier répond à Mgr Guido Pozzo

A la suite de la conférence que Mgr Guido Pozzo, secrétaire de la commission pontificale Ecclesia Dei, a accordé aux prêtres de la Fraternité Saint-Pierre, l'abbé Paul Aulagnier, ancien assistant général de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X, propose la réponse suivante :

Je finis la lecture de la conférence de Mgr Pozzo.

On peut la résumer comme suit: Il faut interpréter le Concile comme étant une œuvre « de réforme » de l’Eglise, réforme certes, mais dans la » continuité » du Magistère et nullement en « rupture » avec le Magistère. Il y aurait, de cette œuvre conciliaire deux interprétations possibles, « deux herméneutiques », possibles qui, du reste, ont vues le jour: « celle de la rupture, et celle de la réforme dans la continuité ».

Dans la fidélité au Pape Benoît XVI, il faut clairement choisir cette dernière. Il le dit clairement dans sa conclusion. « Il faut utiliser cette dernière direction pour affronter les questions controversées, en libérant, pour ainsi dire, le Concile du para-concile qui s’est mélangé avec lui, et en conservant le principe de l’intégrité de la doctrine catholique et de la pleine fidélité au dépôt de la foi transmis par la Tradition et interprété par le Magistère de l’Église ».

Première considération :

Pour Mgr Pozzo, autre le Concile et ses textes, fidèles à la Tradition et au Magistère de toujours. Autre l’interprétation du Concile.

Autre le Concile. Autre le « para concile ».

C »est la thèse qu’on n’ a cessé de présenter à Mgr Lefebvre et qu’il refusa toujours d’accepter. Non, Non, disait-il : « l’origine du mal, c’est le Concile et « toutes les réformes issues du Concile ». Et c’est pourquoi, par exemple, il avait l’audace de dire « être dans l’impossibilité de former des jeunes au sacerdoce avec la nouvelle messe ». Mais qui peut, de la hiérarchie actuelle, comprendre cela? Il n’y aura une augmentation du nombre de prêtres que le jour où l’on abandonnera la « nouvelle messe ». Elle n’est pas la messe « ordinaire » du rite romain, elle est la « messe de Luther », ou si vous préférez, » une messe bâtarde », une « messe empoisonnée ». Les communautés « Ecclesia Dei », de cette vérité, en font la preuve, année après année…Et la hiérarchie s’enrage et ne voit toujours rien. Il viendra un jour où Rome sera obligée de prendre des évêques en leur sein et de les nommer à la tête de diocèse. Ce sera peut-être au début de petits diocèses où il ne reste plus que quelques prêtres. Ces prêtres pourront s’opposer à cette nomination d’évêque. Avec un peu de fermeté, le nouvel évêque pourra faire appel à ces nouveaux prêtres, sans aller les chercher en Afrique. Et d’un coup, la messe traditionnelle reviendra…Le peuple en sera étonné…Mais s’y fera bien vite…Je rêve! Pas tant que cela.

Autre le Concile. Autre le « para concile », nous dit Mgr Pozzo.

On en revient toujours là. C’est la bouée de sauvetage des « conciliaristes ». Il faut coûte que coûte sauver le Concile.

Je le veux bien …

Mais alors que faites-vous des déclarations du Cardinal Congar, disant que le Concile fut « une vraie révolution dans l’Eglise » ou du cardinal Suenens disant que le Concile est » 1789 dans l’Eglise ». Or ces deux personnalités furent, elles aussi, parmi les « chevilles ouvrières » du Concile Vatican II.

Que faites-vous de la déclaration du 21 novembre 1974 de Mgr Lefebvre disant que le Concile a subi une réelle influence du modernisme et du libéralisme; que faites-vous de son livre »J’accuse le Concile? » Et Mgr Lefebvre était parmi les personnalités de qualité du Concile. Il était à l’époque parmi les « supérieurs généraux des grandes congrégations de l’Eglise » et qui, plus est, archevêque et président du « Coetus internationalis Patrum », représentant quelques 250 pères conciliaires.

Que faites-vous alors des critiques du cardinal Ottaviani critiquant très sévèrement la réforme liturgique de Mgr Bunigni, réforme liturgique réalisée, nous dit-on, en application de Sacro sanctum Concilium .

Etc. Etc.

Une autre considération:

Dans les paroles de Mgr Pozzo, il y a une nouveauté. Il parle de « questions controversées » du Concile. Enfin…C’est une nouveauté. Ces « controverses » doivent faire l’objet des entretiens avec la FSSPX.

Prenons brièvement le sujet de l’œcuménisme.

Lorsqu’il résume la doctrine conciliaire sur l’œcuménisme, c’est la deuxième partie de sa conférence, vous ne le verrez jamais utiliser le mot « retour » à l’Eglise catholique des différentes confessions. Ce mot est banni de sa pensée. Mais c’est ce que l’on entend toujours sur ce sujet : il faut éviter toute expression faisant allusion au retour des frères séparés. Voilà l’axiome doctrinal et la directive pratique du mouvement œcuménique. Comme le dit Romario Amerio, dans son « Iota Unum » à la page 457 « on abandonne le principe du retour des frères séparés au profit de celui de la conversion de tous les chrétiens au Christ total, immanent à toutes les confessions. Comme le professe ouvertement la patriarche Athénagoras, « il n’est pas question dans ce mouvement d’union de marche d’une Eglise vers l’autre, mais de marche de toutes les églises vers le Christ commun » (ICI, n° 311, p. 18,1er mai 1968).

Mais si vous faites remarquer que ce n’est pas l’enseignement que nous donne Pie XI dans son encyclique « Mortalium animos », – là, en effet, le pape affirme que la vraie union des Eglises ne peut se faire que par le retour (per reditum) des frères séparés à la vraie Eglise de Dieu -, Mgr Pozzo vous répond: Non! Non ! « le Concile reste (bien) sur le terrain de la tradition en ce qui concerne la doctrine de l’Eglise. (Mais) cela n’exclue pas toutefois que le Concile ait produit de nouvelles directives et explicité certains aspects spécifiques. La nouveauté par rapport aux déclarations antérieures au Concile consiste déjà dans le fait que les relations de l’Eglise catholique avec les Églises orthodoxes et les communautés évangéliques nées de la Réforme luthérienne sont traitées comme une question distincte et dans un mode formellement positif, tandis que dans l’encyclique Mortalium animos de Pie XI (1928), par exemple, l’objectif était de délimiter et de distinguer clairement l’Eglise catholique des confessions chrétiennes non-catholiques ».

Si c’est ainsi que Mgr Pozzo pense régler le problème de la continuité de la pensée du Conciliaire sur l’œcuménisme avec la Tradition, je pense que les conversations doctrinales avec la FSSPX risquent de ne pas aboutir… C’est toujours ce que j’ai pensé. Ce n’est pas par des « conversations doctrinales » qu’on mettra fin à la crise de l’Eglise. Quand Mgr Lefebvre, après l’échec des conversations « pratiques » avec le cardinal Ratzinger en 1988, disait « la prochaine fois, c’est moi qui mettrais mes conditions; « Êtes-vous d’accord avec le Syllabus »?; « Êtes-vous d’accord avec le serment antimodernus ? « Êtes-vous d’accord avec l’encyclique Libertas ? etc., il voulait simplement dire qu’il fallait d’abord faire une protestation de foi avant de s’asseoir de nouveau à la table des conversations et que cette protestation de foi devait être partagée par tous les intervenants…

« Messieurs préparez-vous pour une combat de longue durée », nous disait Mgr Lefebvre. Il est doctrinal, certes. Mais on ne discute pas avec le modernisme. On le combat concrètement par une doctrine intègre et un apostolat énergique et vaillant.

Abbé Paul Aulagnier