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Society of St. Pius X

French police have arrested an unnamed fundamentalist priest who allegedly raped and tortured three women during exorcism rituals. The 40-year-old allegedly abused the women in 2010, when he was head of the private religious school Notre-Dame-de-la Sablonniere in Goussonville, a village of 600 people 50 kilometers west of Paris. His victims were teachers at the institute run by the Society of St. Pius X, a Catholic order blackballed by the Vatican. 
The priest used the spiritual influence he had on the women to abuse them, Le Parisien newspaper reported. One of the victims, a mother, had reportedly come to him for advice on a previous sexual abuse she had suffered. The priest performed a so-called exorcism on her, repeating the abuse to “purge evil with evil,” the newspaper said. The woman was said to have been so traumatised that she could not describe the events to police.

The priest used the same perverse technique to manipulate two other women into believing they had been the victims of sexual abuses and thus needed to be exorcised. Questioned by police, the man downplayed the accusations claiming that the women agreed to the exorcism and that sexual acts were only simulated.

The alleged crimes came to light as two of the victims found the strength to lodge a complaint with police in 2013. Prosecutors in Versailles charged the clergyman with acts of cruelty, torture and rape. Le Parisien reported that the man had already been tried by his religious order in a canon trial and sentenced to 2 years in a monastery.

Founded by French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970, the Society of St. Pius X has no canonical status, which means ministries exorcised by its ministers are not considered legitimate by the Vatican. The order, which opposes reforms of the church made at the Second Vatican Council, fell out with the Holy See when it ordained four bishops without the Pope’s consent in 1988. The four were excommunicated immediately but eventually pardoned in 2009. Among them was Richard Williamson, who denies the Holocaust and the existence of Nazi death camps and gas chambers.

The Society sparked controversy last 2013 when it agreed to celebrate funerals for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who died unrepentant at the age of 100 in Rome. (International Business Times, 4/11/14) [sh 4-17-14] [IT 5.2] 

The Vatican plans no more reintegration talks with the Swiss-based Society of Saint Pius X, which broke with Rome in 1988 and refused to accept the reforms initiated by the 1962-to-1965 Second Vatican Council. Since becoming Pope, Benedict has promoted the old Latin Mass favored by the Society of Saint Pius X and lifted excommunication bans imposed on the group’s bishops when they accepted ordination against Vatican orders. The lifting of the ban engendered great protests from Catholics, Jews, and Germans in 2009 when it was learned that one of the bishops who was taken back into the Church was a notorious Holocaust denier. (Irish Times, 10/6/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 

The Society of Saint Pius X has expelled Bishop Richard Williamson, of Britain, who is a Holocaust denier and opposed to recent efforts to reintegrate the Society back into the Roman Catholic Church. Williamson has called the murder of Jews in gas chambers “lies, lies, lies” and insisted that no more than 300,000 European Jews were killed during the Nazi era. (Jerusalem Post, 10/25/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 
Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, has described the Jewish people as “enemies of the Church” and says that Jewish leaders’ support of the Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s.” Speaking at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in Ontario, Bishop Fellay also marked as enemies Masons and modernists, as well as Jews, because they opposed the Vatican’s granting canonical recognition to the Society of Saint Pius X, recognition that Pope Benedict XVI denied the Society not long ago. (Irish Central, 1/7/13) [IT 4.2 2013]

Pope Benedict XIV’s reversal of the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson — which has occasioned international criticism—had nothing to do with Williamson’s denial that the Holocaust happened. Rather, the move signaled a “cease fire” in the battle over the propriety of rebellious Archbishop Marel LeFebvre’s ordaining of four bishops, Williamson among them, without the pope’s approval. The extremely conservative Lefebvre, head of the Society of St. Pius X, does not accept the reforms of Vatican II. The lifting of the excommunications, then, may be seen as “the price of keeping the bishops from ordaining more bishops, which would exacerbate the schism.” [csr 8.1, 2009)

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