Letter to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI by Archbishop V. James Weisgerber on behalf of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning the Holy Father’s gesture of compassion and reconciliation to members of the Society of St. Piux X as well as his clarity and firmness regarding the Shoah.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Most Holy Father:
Thank you for your letter of 10 March 2009 to your brother Bishops. The Bishops of Canada were very moved by what you shared with us, and in turn wish to assure you of our fraternal and total support.
We applaud your efforts to reach out in mercy and reconciliation to all who are estranged from the community of faith or feel abandoned by the Church, including the members of the Society of St. Pius X. Following your example, we too with humility and courage will endeavour to strengthen our brothers and sisters in that unity and communion to which Our Lord calls all his followers, even if they are not prepared to respond fully to this invitation, as has become evident with the Society of St. Pius X. We are comforted by your decision that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith assume responsibility for future discussions and inquiries regarding this Society.
We also thank you for the clarity and firmness with which you spoke out concerning the Shoah. Together with you, the members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops find abhorrent any attempts to deny, minimize or overlook its tragedy and evil.
With you, we pray that the Holy Spirit lead us all, in our journey with Our Lord, into an ever deeper awareness of his Paschal Mystery that remains present in the Church, called in Christ’s name to live and proclaim the arduous transformation which is at the heart of faith, hope and love.
In assuring you, Most Holy Father, of our devotion to you, we join with you in solidarity at this trying moment, and remember you constantly in our prayers as the Successor of Peter. We also observe with great interest and enthusiasm your current apostolic visit to the continent of Africa, and take advantage as well of this happy occasion to send you special greetings on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, to whom we entrust your protection.
Respectfully and fraternally in Our Lord,
+ V. James Weisgerber
Archbishop of Winnipeg
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops