Themes in Today's Dialogue
- Created: January 28, 2009
- Written by Norbert Scholl
The following petition has been drafted by a group of German theologians and posted in multiple languages on a European website. The authors are inviting signatories, which as of this posting totals about 1200 persons. The website "Vatican 2 Petition" can be accessed HERE. Included is a list of numerous European statements.
The papal cancellation of the excommunication of bishops from the traditionalist fraternity Pius X signifies for the signatories the re-admittance of persons who appeared and still appear publicly as opponents to the reforms established by the Second Vatican Council.
Regarding the anti-Semitic remarks and the denial of the German national-socialist persecution of the Jews by bishop Richard Williamson and his followers, we share the indignation of our Jewish sisters and brothers. Moreover, we state that the attitude of the fraternity Pius X towards Judaism does not correspond to the exigencies of the Council concerning Jewish-Christian dialogue. We support the statements of the German Bishops' Conference, the Central Committee of German Catholics, the French Bishops' Conference and other bishops on this matter.
As a clear indication of direction the signatories valuate the fact that Pope Benedict XVI cancelled the excommunication in a close chronological correlation to the symbolic 50th anniversary of the invocation of a Council by Pope John XXIII. This about-turn indicates that parts of the Roman-Catholic Church return into an anti-modernist enclave.
This about-turn allows parts of the Roman-Catholic Church to refuse openly - among others - important documents of the Second Vatican Council: for example the decree on ecumenism "unitatis redintegratio", the declaration on non-Christian religions "nostra aetate", the declaration on religious liberty "dignitatis humanae" and the pastoral constitution about Church in the modern world "gaudium et spes". The disastrous effects of this about-turn on credibility of the Roman-Catholic Church can not yet be foreseen. Undoubtedly, the price is too high!
Respecting the Pope's efforts to unify the Church, we think it is particularly outrageous that the Vatican's renewed approach to the schismatic traditionalist movement was obviously realised without any conditions. In June 2008, on occasion of the 20th anniversary of Levebvre's excommunication, the fraternity Pius X rejected the invitation of the Holy See towards theological reconciliation. Likewise, the fraternity rejected the invitation to sign a five-topic declaration containing conditions for the re-integration in the Roman Church.
Returning into full community with the Catholic Church can be made possible only if the decisions of the Second Vatican Council are appreciated without any restrictions, as requested by the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" on the topic of Tridentine rite.
As long as the Vatican only takes care of the "lost sheep" at the traditionalist edge of the Church to make them return and does not cancel other excommunications as well, as long as the Vatican keeps on preventing reform-oriented theologians from teaching, as long as the Vatican refuses international dialogue with reform movements, the Roman-Catholic ship of the Church is heavily listing.
Essen, January 28, 2009
responsible for contents: Prof. Dr. Norbert Scholl, Angelhofweg 24b, D-69259 Wilhelmsfeld
Translation: Matthias Blaha