Tuesday, 3 December 2013



The Society that was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lebfevere in rejection of the changes of Vatican 11 and the introduction of the Vernacular Mass (as opposed to the Latin Mass) are back in the headlines again for all the wrong reasons.
Archbishop Lefebvre with the 4 bishops he consecrated.

The most infamous of the SSPX bishops and priests in Bishop Williamson who is a holocaust denier
Bishop Williamson

The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X offered to celebrate a funeral for convicted war criminal Erich Priebke after the Diocese of Rome said the service would be allowed only in a private home.
Erich Priebke
However violent protests outside the chapel forced the cancellation of the Mass, with some 500 protesters gathering on Tuesday outside the SSPX district headquarters in Albano, south of Rome, when a hearse carrying Priebke’s body arrived. People shouted “murderer” and beat the hearse.
Violence broke out after the arrival of a small group of people described by witnesses as neo-Nazis. Riot police intervened and two people were taken into custody, but the protesters remained and, according to Priebke’s lawyer, made it impossible for friends and relatives of the former Nazi SS officer to get to the chapel.
The lawyer, Paolo Giachini, told reporters outside the SSPX headquarters that the funeral Mass had not taken place, but that he had fulfilled his obligation to arrange a funeral. “Now it’s up to the authorities to decide what to do with the body,” since he was unable to find a city where Priebke could be buried.
Priebke died recently at the age of 100. "Only the good die young"? A former captain in the SS, he was convicted of carrying out a 1944 massacre of 335 Italian civilians in the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome. At the time of his death, he was serving his sentence under house arrest.
Priebke continued to claim he was only following orders when he took part in the Ardeatine Caves’ massacre and, shortly before he died, he affirmed his belief that the Holocaust was an invention.
The Diocese of Rome had refused Giachini’s request to allow a funeral to take place in a church or chapel.
In a statement issued on Monday, the diocese said, “Considering all the circumstances of the case, the ecclesial authorities believed that prayer for the deceased and entrusting him to the mercy of God — the aims of a religious funeral — should take place in the strictest privacy.”
“Prayers for the dead were never denied,” the diocese said, but the church had a right to insist the rites be “reserved and discreet.”
Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, secretary of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, told Rome’s Corriere della Sera newspaper Oct. 16 that the church would never prohibit prayers for someone, but canon law does allow a bishop to deny a public funeral to a “manifest sinner” when it would scandalize the faithful.
In Priebke’s case, he said, “the crime was public and notorious, the lack of conversion was public and notorious, and the scandal it would have raised in the Christian community was public and notorious.”
After agreeing to host the funeral, the Italian district of the Society of St. Pius X issued a statement on its website saying, “A Christian who was baptized and received the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist, no matter what his faults and sins were, to the extent that he dies reconciled with God and the church, has a right to the celebration of the holy Mass and a funeral.”
The statement said the SSPX condemns “every form of anti-Semitism and racial hatred, but also hatred under all its forms. The Catholic religion is one of mercy and forgiveness.”
The SSPX has a history of comments by its leaders expressing suspicion or hostility toward Jews. In 2009, after now-retired Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of the society’s bishops, there was widespread outrage at revelations that one of the four, Bishop Richard Williamson, had denied the gassing of Jews in Nazi concentration camps. The SSPX later ousted Bishop Williamson.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League, which combats anti-Semitism, issued a statement on Monday saying it was “shocked” that a “fringe Catholic sect” would agree to host the funeral of a “notorious Nazi war criminal.”

Its not very often I agree with a Vatican decision but I think that this funeral decision was a good one. 

In Catholic theology we believe that we are all sinners and the prayers after death and the funeral Mass are prayers to ask God to forgive our sins.

In that respect Pribeke, as someone responsible for the murder of over 300 innocent people was certainly a sinner and certainly needed prayers.

However I think that the Diocese of Rome was right to deprive him of a large, celebratory public funeral which Neo-Nazis would have attended to celebrate the life and actions of one of their own.

I think that an SSPX priest was prepared to conduct such a public celebratory funeral of a retired Nazi says all we need to know about the SSPX.

Bishop Pat Buckley


  1. This reminds me of the time I included Brendan Smyth in the prayers of the faithful shortly after he died. One woman walked out and complained to Dominick Gtllooly my then PP. I worded the prayer carefully and stuck to my guns. The point I wanted to make is that we do not control God just because we celebrate liturgy. 10 masses will not get anyone into heaven any quicker than one mass will. When somebody dies they pass out of human jurisdiction irrelevant of what we do or don't do. The crux of the matter is do we trust God to deal appropriately with Smyih and all the other Smyths without us feeling we have a controlling share in the decision making when the reality is we don't. A concept I am now trying to consider is that I do not Own my own life. As St Paul says (I) you were bought and payed for. I trust God to be God of the Just & the Unjust. I also believe that the concepts of Heaven and Hell are not outdated. Sean

  2. Pat

    I'm not sure that there can be such a notion as a retried Nazi, it's not a lifestyle choice of golf or gardening.

    some of the oddest comments on this blog com from Roscommonman who manages to base all comments to be about himself, including fascism it would seem.

    The Oratory is a gentle inclusive place in my experience. Roscommonman gives me the willies and is certainly not an asset to you. He should get a proper job and a life. A drain yo your work.

    With blessings

    1. Hello Ruth,

      You are right about "retired Nazis".

      Maybe the best of them are repentant Nazis?

      Sean (Roscommon) lives in England and works hard at an everyday job. His views are "different" abut he has a great big heart.

      The Oratory is inclusive I hope.