Recently, The Vatican lifted the
ban of excommunication to the Society of Pius X, an ultra right wing
group and the four illicitly ordained Bishops. The Bishops,
had been ordained by the breakaway Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Archbishop Lefebvre split with the Vatican for a number of reasons
one of which was the action of the Second Vatican Councils' adapting
and passing Nostra Aetate. This is a document of tolerance of other
religious beliefs. On the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of
the Second Vatican Council Pope Benedict XVI used this occasion to
lift the ban of excommunication, which was generated when
Archbishop Lefebvre ordained four Bishops in direct violation to a
papal order not to do so issued by Pope John Paul II. It was this
act of defiance against the Papal order that generated the
excommunication. After the announcement of the lifting of the ban
was made on January 21, 2009 a video interview of one of the
Bishops, Richard Williamson, surfaced where he quite plainly denied
the holocaust impact on the Jewish people and stated that not one
Jew perished in any gas chamber. This Holocaust denial set off a
firestorm of protests and negative remarks, which created a
temporary rift in Jewish Catholic relations.
Unlike many of the
interreligious organizations Pave the Way Foundation did not issue a
protest or a press release of condemnation but instead set out to
find out the truth of this action.
In the furtherance of our mission
to identify and eliminate obstacles between the faiths we have
issued the following statement of our findings and the role the
media played in exacerbating this sensitive issue.
Pave the Way Foundation statement