Cardinal Kaspar Opposes Resettlement Of Traditionalist Refugees In Home Diocese
Cardinal Walter Kaspar’s anger over resettlement of ultra-traditionalist priests into his dioceses took a new turn Thursday as a growing number of German bishops rushed to oppose Church conservatives’ plan to resettle some 50 SSPX “refugees.”
Five German bishops vowed to block the entry of Society of Pope Pius X priests into their dioceses, arguing that the safety of a “more open Church” was at stake after members of SSPX continued using the 1962 missal long after the Second Vatican Council.
Cardinal Kaspar, who is leading the charge to block entry of the SSPX priests, urged the Vatican to take a harder line when dealing with traditionalist Catholic priests, including members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, until the ecclesiastical vetting procedures for all traditionalists were “as strong as possible.”
Echoing the debate, several bishops warned that traditionalists could arrive into their dioceses without verifiable documents proving that they are in good standing with the Church in Germany and that they could pose a “medieval, close-minded” threat once there.
“I’m not interested in accepting priests from either SSPX or the Fraternity,” Kaspar told EOTT. “We would have to be very cautious about accepting priests without knowing a lot more about what they believe about Vatican II.”
Campaigning for the papacy while in Germany, Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, Holland, called it “absolute lunacy” to resettle large numbers of traditionalist from either SSPX or the Fraternity.
“Who in their right mind would want to bring over a bunch of rad trads, when German bishops cannot determine, when the Vatican cannot determine, who is and isn’t filled with the Spirit of Vatican II?” he asked.
A spokeswoman for Bishop Bonny said he would introduce a document to keep “tridentine zealots” from entering the Germany, though it was not immediately clear if the document would apply only to members of SSPX or Fraternity priests as well.