Thursday, July 16, 2009

CofE to SSPX: No Church for You

From the UK comes an All-Schism Special: fresh off its controversial spate of global ordinations -- declared "illegitimate" by the Holy See -- the recent furore surrounding the Society of St Pius X has led Church of England officials to deny the sale of a Manchester church to the breakaway traditionalist group:
The Church Commissioners ruled that the sale of St George's Church in Gorton, east Manchester, to the SSPX should not go ahead.

One of its British bishops, Richard Williamson, provoked anger after saying he did not believe Nazi gas chambers existed. He later apologised.

The Diocese of Manchester said it had received 100 letters of objection.

Bishop Williamson's caused uproar when he told Swedish television historical evidence was "hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers".

The Diocese of Manchester said there had been letters of objection to the sale from MPs, peers, Manchester City Council, the Council of Christians and Jews and the Roman Catholic Church.

A Diocese of Manchester spokesman said: "We welcome the decision by the Church Commissioners to prevent the sale of St George's church to the Society of St Pius X.

"The Bishop of Manchester made it clear in his submissions that such a sale was not in the interests of community cohesion, ecumenical relations or inter-faith work."

The decision followed a period of consultation by the Church Commissioners, which manages Church of England assets.

The SSPX said it could not comment on the decision at this stage.
Despite its four bishops' January de-excommunication and the coming start of "doctrinal discussions" between its leaders and the Holy See, Rome has repeatedly underscored that, until its return to communion, the Society enjoys no canonical status and its ministers function outside the Catholic church.

PHOTO: Reuters