Thursday, 5 February 2009

Pope Benedict: Williamson must retract

The Vatican Secretariat of State has said that Pope Benedict was unaware of Bishop Richard Williamson's Holocaust minimising positions prior to lifting his excommunication and has demanded that the SSPX prelate recant his views prior to full communion.

The statement was issued by the Vatican's Secretariat of State a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the pope to make a clearer rejection of Holocaust denials, saying there hadn't been adequate clarification from the Vatican.

In the statement Wednesday, the Vatican said that while Williamson's excommunication had been lifted, he still had no canonical function in the Church because he was consecrated illegitimately by Lefebvre.

"Bishop Williamson, in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the Church, will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah, which the Holy Father was not aware of when the excommunication was lifted," the statement said.

In addition, the Vatican said that the Society of St Pius X as a whole must fully recognise the teachings of Vatican II and the teachings of all the popes who came during and after it in order to have a legitimate canonical function in the Church