Rome: Doctrinal Debates with the SSPX Seen from Austria, Germany and France

Source: FSSPX News

On September 12, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schoenborn, quoted by AFP, granted an interview to the Bavarian daily Passauer Neue Presse. There, he declared that Benedict XVI had “good reasons” to open this theological dialogue with the SSPX: “The pope considers, and rightly so, that it is his duty to commit himself for the unity of the Church (…).It is the only motive underlying his effort to bring back to the fold a group of Catholics which has separated itself from the Church,” he thought. According to the Austrian prelate, this dialogue will make it possible to “clearly indicate” to Traditionalists the issues which “are not negotiable” for the Vatican: the stand taken towards the Jews, other Christian or non-Christian religions as well as religious liberty considered as a fundamental right of mankind.

According to the Austrian Catholic press Kathpress, and related by AFP, the opening of a quasi-official dialogue with the Traditionalists is giving rise to strong reluctance especially among the German and French bishops. Thus, the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, Andre Vingt-Trois, shared his skepticism with La Croix in its September 17 edition: “By definition, to bring about unity, you must be two.” Now, affirmed the French prelate, the pre-condition to a discussion clearly set by Benedict XVI, to wit, the acceptation of the Second Vatican Council, continues to be rejected by the leaders of the SSPX. According to him, the work of unity goes trough a re-appropriation in depth of the texts of Vatican II. “In the 1970’s, we thought it was sufficient to apply the Council,” he observed. “We now realize that the Council is obviously a constitutive element of the life of the Church, but its application supposes a great work of integration.” “As we are about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II (1962), related the daily La Croix, a series of initiatives will be launched in view of this effort of re-investment.”

In the latest edition of the German review Theologisches, Father Manfred Hauke, a professor of dogmatic theology at the Faculty of Theology in Lugano, strongly criticized the petition for the Second Vatican Council, called Vaticanum II, set up a few months ago in progressivist circles in Germany, and recently declared unacceptable by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (See DICI n° 201 - ??? - : Cardinal Bertone Defends Benedict XVI) Lien vers cet article
Fr. Hauke re-affirm that unconditional acceptation of the texts of the Council is not required by any act of the Council itself. This latter considered itself as a pastoral Council “anchored in a determined historic situation likely to be modified.” Its declarations, indeed, contain no dogmatic definition which can demand an unconditional assent. As for the rest, the whole must be taken according to the classic rules of theology. The respectful assent which is due to them, according to Fr. Hauke, does not naturally mean that every conciliar statement taken individually is removed from critical discussion. (DICI n° 202 -17/10/09 – Source: AFP/Kathpress/Apic/La Croix/Theologisches)