MENZINGEN, Switzerland, JAN. 27, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior-general of the Society of St. Pius X, publicly apologized for statements regarding the Holocaust made by one of the society’s bishops, and reported that the prelate has been forbidden to speak further on the issue.
Bishop Richard Williamson, in an interview taped in November, but aired last Wednesday on Swedish television, claimed that historical evidence denies the gassing of Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
Days later Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of Bishop Williamson, along with Bishop Fellay and two others, who were ordained bishops by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 without papal permission. The act was to be a step toward healing the division between the society and the Vatican that resulted from the ordinations.
“It is evident that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesial authority if it is not a question of faith and morals,” said Bishop Fellay. “Our fraternity does not claim any authority over other questions.”
“With great sadness we acknowledge the extent to which the violation of this mandate has damaged our mission,” he continued. “The statements of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any way the position of our society.”
Bishop Fellay said that until further notice Bishop Williamson has been prohibited from speaking on these matters.
The superior-general asked “for the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act,” which said were “not acceptable.”
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-24929?l=english