In the wake of the reacceptance of members of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X back into the Catholic Church, theologians in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have launched a petition for the full recognition and implementation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council.
At the same time the theologians want the Holy See to not only rehabilitate the 'lost sheep' at the traditionalist edge of the Church, but also make a similar offer to other excommunicated or marginalised Catholics. Rome should also stop preventing progressive theologians from teaching and open dialogue with all movements within the Church.
The theologians are collecting signatures which will be handed over to the Vatican, national bishops' conferences and official lay organisations.
The papal cancellation of the excommunication of bishops from The Society of St Pius X signifies the reception into full communion with the See of Rome those who have consistently opposed the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the petition states.
“We believe that the close correlation between the excommunication's cancellation and the 50th anniversary of the calling of a General Council of the Church by Blessed Pope John XXIII gives a clear indication of the direction which the present Papacy wishes to take. We sense a desire to return to a pre-Vatican II Church with its fear of openness to the breath of the Holy Spirit, a positive appreciation of "the signs of the times", and the values of democratic institutions.”
The theologians are further apprehensive that the key documents of Vatican II could be put aside.
“We are very concerned that this act of rehabilitation heralds a turn-around on important documents of Vatican II, for example, the decree on ecumenism "Unitatis Redintegratio", the declaration on non-Christian religions "Nostra Aetate", the declaration on religious liberty "Dignitatis Humanae" and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, "Gaudium et Spes". Such an act will have a disastrous effect on the credibility of the Roman-Catholic Church. For Catholics who love their Church, the price is too high!”
The theologians claim that the decision to rehabilitate the schismatic traditionalist movement was undertaken without the imposition of any conditions whatsoever, although the pope made it clear to the bishops of the society that they must accept the teachings of the church, including Vatican II, before full communion with Rome is resumed.
The petition of the theologians is available at: www.petition-vaticanum2.org