Society of St Pius X & Vatican II

Dialogika Resources


Declaration of the Department of Catholic Theology at Goethe-University Frankfurt

The Department of Catholic Theology at Frankfurt's Goethe-University has focused one of its major research areas on "Religion in Dialogue." The promotion of mutual respect among the world religions is the foremost goal in this research. In the light of the current discussion on lifting the excommunication of bishops of the Society of St Pius X., we emphatically make the following words our own: they can be found in a statement given by Bishop Dr. Heinrich Mussinghoff, the chairman of the subcommittee for religious relations to Judaism at the Conference of the German Bishops.

We most fiercely object to the explicit denial of the Holocaust [by Richard Williamson], which already has also become the subject of legal assessment in Germany. Beyond this the four bishops and those responsible within the Society of St. Pius X have frequently made clear that they do not respect the declaration on the relation of the Church with the non-Christian religions, titled Nostra Aetate and promulgated on the October 28, 1965. Cardinal Re's decree speaks of remaining open questions. Talks between the Apostolic See and the Society of St. Pius X that are expected to resolve these questions are pending. We wish to express the clear and great expectation and the urgent request that in these talks the four bishops and the Society of St. Pius X unmistakably and credibly make manifest their loyalty to the Second Vatican Council, particularly to the declaration Nostra Aetate manifest. Through out his long pontificate, Pope John Paul II has made his own the concern expressed in this declaration with constancy and benefit. After the extraordinarily largecourtesy granted by the Pope, we now expect a clear statement by the Society and its bishops, especially with respect to Nostra Aetate.

This statement by Bishop Mussinghoff shows that Anti-Semitism and Anti-Judaism cannot be tolerated in the Church and in theology.

Frankfurt am Main, January 28 2009

Prof. Dr. Claus Arnold. Dean