When his excommunication was lifted Bp. Williamson did not automatically become thereby a fully functioning and approved bishop of the Catholic Church.
He was validly consecrated in 1988, but he is forbidden, as are the other three bishops, to function as a bishop or as a priest in and for the Church. Forbidden. Still. That hasn’t changed.
Let’s try to keep this simple.
They can now go into a church and go to confession.
When the excommunication was lifted, those four men were from that moment permitted to confess their sins and receive absolution, receive Communion if they are in the state of grace, and receive Last Rites if they are about to die.
Get it now?
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed as auxiliary Bishop of Linz in Austria another ultra-conservative prelate who described Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment for sin and sexual excess in New Orleans.
. . .
Vatican sources said despite the row over Holocaust denial, the Pope remained determined to "bring back into the fold" not only the four bishops from the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) who whose excommunications were lifted a week ago but also the 500 priests of the fraternity, founded by the late renegade French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
The main obstacle however remains the Lefebvrists' continuing refusal to accept the modernising reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, including Nostra Aetate, the statement on relations with other faiths which stressed the bond between Christians and Jews ("Abraham's stock"), cleared the Jews of blame for the death of Christ and condemned all forms of anti-Semitism.
Every sociologist knows what quickly becomes of small oppositional groups cut off from interaction with reality. That this group [SSPX] was endangered would have been sufficient for a responsible priest to care for it [the pastoral reasons]. But more was at stake here: as misfortune would have it, exactly this group had made its mission the preservation of the greatest treasure of the Church.
Even today it is a difficult undertaking to speak of the importance of the liturgy for the Church. Twenty years ago it was almost hopeless finding a sympathetic ear. It was a foregone conclusion for many clerics that the traditional, over 1500-year old liturgy of the Church was decorative mumbo-jumbo for the nostalgic and for aesthetes. It had the same importance for “emancipated Christians” as the string quartets played on occasions of state have for politics. What had been true throughout the entire history of the Latin Church had been forgotten: that liturgy is the visible body of the Church; that Church and liturgy are identical. It is the mystic depiction of the whole plenitude of revealed truths. It is the locus of faith, where subjective conviction and feeling become objective contemplation and encounter. It is this liturgy which carried the Christian faith through the centuries. The success of the mission in the entire world was owed to its sacrality in liturgical language and chant.
The liturgy had soared above the deep divides of European history because it was equally removed from every epoch into which it entered. It is always unseasonable and therefore always an image of the other reality which awaits man. This great form of the liturgy had been softened up by Paul VI’s radical reform of the mass [after Vatican II] – an intervention unheard of in the entire history of the Church. It splintered into a thousand improvisations.
But why was Archbishop Lefebvre the only bishop in the entire world who uncompromisingly rejected this attack against the liturgy and thus against the Church? With this no to a process of decomposition so highly dangerous to the Church, Lefebvre entered ecclesiastical history. What gave him the strength was the milieu, only found in France, of a Catholic laity which had acquired its world view in the struggle against aggressive republican secularism. This was the tragedy of Lefebvre and his movement: they rescued the ancient liturgy but linked it to the struggle of political parties in recent French history. The only refuge that the traditional liturgy had found threatened to become its prison. Pope Benedict had already freed it from this prison with his Motu Proprio [Summorum Pontificum in 2007] and had given it back with its universal claim to the entire Church.
Must he not, however, have felt a sense obligation to the SSPX; that, for all its faults, it had become an instrument for preserving the Holy of Holies of the Church in a time of crisis? Whether the SSPX succeeds in finding a place in the multiplicity of the present day Church remains to be seen. Its historic mission, in any case, has been concluded.
14 year old boys up to the standard of full adults
Yes, I joined the Hitler Youth. Yes, I turned my head when I saw Jews being persecuted. Yes, I joined in when people around me were singing songs like When Jewish blood spurts from the knife .... I was wrong to do this and I counsel anyone in a similar position to stand up and declare that they will have no part in the evil deeds of their neighbours.
When Jewish blood spurts from the knife ....
The Inner Ring
To nine out of ten of you the choice which could lead to scoundrelism will come, when it does come, in no very dramatic colors. Obviously bad men, obviously threatening or bribing, will almost certainly not appear. [...] It may end in a crash, a scandal, and penal servitude: it may end in millions, a peerage and giving the prizes at your old school. But you will be a scoundrel."
Some 80 to 90 percent of Germans joined the Hitler Youth and refusing to sign up could mean being sent to a youth ''reeducation camp,'' akin to a concentration camp, said Volker Dahm, director of Nazi-era research for Munich's Institute for Contemporary History.1
1. Rising, David and Surman, Matt . "New Pope Defied Nazis As Teen During WWII." The New York Times (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) 23 Apr 2005, accessed 14 Feb 2009 <http://bc.edu/research/cjl/meta-elements/texts/cjrelations/topics/new_pope_defied_nazis.htm>
"I would like to name one, my husband, Jan. He was a resistance man who said nothing but did a lot. During the war he refused to say anything about his work, only that he might not come back one night. People like him existed in thousands but were never heard," she said.
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