Pave Benedikt forklarer hvorfor han opphevet ekskommunikasjonene – og nevner et par ting som gikk galt

Frankgurter Allgemeine Zeitung har allerede i dag offentliggort hele pave Benedikts brev om «SSPX-saken», og teksten er oversatt til engelsk av Anna Arco. Brevet begynner slik:

The lifting of the excommunications for the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in the year 1988 without the mandate of the Holy See caused an uproar led with a ferocity which we haven’t seen for a long time, both within and outside of the Catholic Church for a multiplicity of reasons. …

A variety of groups openly accused the Pope of wanting to reverse the Council; an avalanche of protests set itself into motion, the bitterness of which has made wounds visible which reached far further than the instance. So I feel pushed, dear confreres, to direct a clarifying word towards you, that should help to understand the intentions which led me and the respective organs of the Holy See in this step. In this way I hope to help to bring peace to the Church.

One of the for me not foreseeable glitch/breakdown existed therein that the lifting of the excommunication was overshadowed by the Williamson Case. The quiet gesture of mercy towards four validly but not licitly ordained bishops appeared suddenly to be something completely different: as a rejection of the Christian-Jewish reconciliation, as a retraction of that on which matter the Council declared it to be the direction/path of the Church.

Pavens medarbeidere lærte i ettertid, skriver paven videre, at b. Williamsons synspunkter på Holocaust hadde vært tilgjengelige på internett, og det må man lære av for framtida (dvs. å bruke internett mer). Dessuten var det uheldig at man ikke forklarte tydelig for alle hva en ekskommunikasjon er og ikke er.

Så skriver paven om hvorfor han opphevde ekskommunikasjonene, og om skuffende reaksjoner fra mange pga sin toleranse:
I hope, dear brothers, that the positive meaning as well as the the boundaries of the measures of January 21, 2009 have been clarified. But now the question remains: Was it necessary? Was it really a priority? Are there not more important things? Naturally there are more important and urgent things. …

Can we be apathetic about a community in which there are 491 priests, 215 seminarians, six seminaries, 88 schools, two university institutes, 117 brothers and 164 sisters? Should we really allow them to drift away from the church with quiet minds. I think for example of the 491 priests. …

Should the larger Church not also be able to be generous in the knowledge of the long breath that it has, in the knowledge of the promise that was given to it? Should we not, like righteous educators, be able to overhear many an offense and strain ourselves to quietly lead out of the impasse? And must we not admit that discord has also come from Church circles? Sometimes one has the impression that our society needs at least one group to which it needs to show no tolerance, which one is allowed to attack with hatred, unquestioned. And whoever dares to touch them – in this case the Pope – has also himself lost the right to tolerance and was allowed to be thought of with hatred, without shyness or restraint.

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