Society of St Pius X & Vatican II

Dialogika Resources

Statement on the Lifting of the Excommunications

Paris, Wednesday 28 January 2009

The lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X by the Holy See is drawing numerous reactions in Catholic opinion as well as that of society.

The coinciding of this announcement with the revelation of the position Bishop Williamson, denying the tragedy of the extermination of the Jews, [a position] that one can no longer legitimate, has provoked condemnation.

The bishops of France strongly condemn the outrageous and unacceptable words of Bishop Williamson.

They reiterate their commitment to dialogue and friendship with the French Jewish community.

They bear in mind that Benedict XVI continues to carry out his commitment to a fruitful relationship between Jews and Christians. They strongly emphasize that the lifting of the excommunication is not a pardon. It is the starting point on a long road that will require precise dialogue. In any case, the Second Vatican Council will not be negotiable. No ecclesial group can serve as a substitute for the magisterium.

The bishops have welcomed the willingness of the Holy Father to go to the limit in offering an invitation of reconciliation. They are in communion with him in the exercise of episcopal vigilance. They express their support and gratitude to the priests, deacons, religious and laity who make up the Catholic Church in France and animate faithfully the Christian communities [which are] alive and close to the people of today.

Permanent Council of Bishops of France