The Boston Globe carries Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on why he revoked the 1988 excommunications of the four bishops ordained without permission by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
I have undertaken this act of paternal benevolence because those same bishops have repeatedly expressed to me their profound suffering at the situation in which they found themselves. I hope that this gesture of mine will be followed by a prompt commitment on their part to take the further steps necessary to achieve full communion with the Church, thus showing true faithfulness to, and true recognition of, the Magisterium and authority of the Pope and of Vatican Council II.”
On the holocaust he is quoted as saying:
“May the Shoah be for everyone an admonition against oblivion, negation and reductionism, because violence against a single human being is violence against all…Millions of Jews were cruelly massacred, innocent victims of blind racial and religious hatred. As I once again affectionately express my full and indisputable solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters who received the First Covenant (ed. note, the Jews), I trust that the memory of the Shoah will induce humankind to reflect upon the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man. In particular, may the Shoah show both old and new generations that only the arduous path of listening and dialogue, of love and forgiveness, can lead peoples, cultures and religions of the world to the longed-for goal of fraternity and peace, in truth. May violence never again humiliate man’s dignity.”
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The Washington Post reports
Church officials have been scrambling to downplay the decision announced over the weekend and portray it as a first step in ending the only formal schism in modern Catholicism. But Jewish leaders said the move threatens decades of interfaith dialogue and could harm plans for Benedict’s planned trip to the Holy Land later this year. The dispute adds to growing concerns among leaders of other faiths about Benedict’s view of interfaith cooperation.
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