SSPX Priest Behind Auschwitz Crosses Controversy Will Also Speak at Fatima Center Conference
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:26:09 PM EST
The most recent promotional material for the Fatima Center's upcoming conference announces that Father Karl Stehlin, Society of St. Paul X District Supervisor of Eastern Europe, will be a speaker. Fr. Stehlin is the schismatic priest who fueled the controversy of the crosses at Auschwitz in 1998.
Stehlin defied Roman Catholic leaders by celebrating Mass and blessing 150 small crosses around a large cross in a field bordering the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. On August 30, 1998, AP reported the placement of additional crosses at the site by Polish nationals who "complained that Jews controlled the government and the church."  The article continues,

About 200 worshipers applauded the Rev. Karl Stehlin of the Society of St. Pius X when he criticized the Polish bishops, who have refused to bless the smaller crosses and called for their removal.

The controversy over the crosses at Auschwitz was fueled by the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, as noted in a July 1, 1999 article in the journal Catholic Insight.  The challenge to the Roman Catholic Church by Stehlin and the schismatic Society of St. Pius X is described in the second paragraph.

One aspect of the controversy that has received little or no publicity is the support of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X for the "save the cross" campaign. The Society's founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991), rejected several Vatican II documents, particularly the document on the liturgy. He also repudiated the documents on religious freedom and ecumenism; he considered such efforts as both erroneous and a surrender to Protestantism. Archbishop Lefebvre was finally excommunicated in 1988 when he consecrated four bishops in direct opposition to a specific Vatican directive.

Today, the St. Pius X Society regards the Catholic Church as weak-kneed and as compromising the faith with all this ecumenical dialogue, including her conversations with the Jews. Thus, the situation with the crosses at Auschwitz was ripe for exploitation by the schismatics, who set themselves up as the true defenders of the faith. In their bulletin Communicantes, Father Karl Stehlin relates how members of the Society of Saint Pius X erected an 18-foot-high protest cross in the field on August 15, 1998. On the horizontal beam was inscribed: "Omnia Instaurare in Christo" [To restore all things in Christ]--the motto of Pope St. Piux X (1903-1914), whose name the schismatics have taken as their own.

Fr. Stehlin is critical of the effect of Nostra Aetate, the document on Jewish-Catholic relations issued after the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). He writes that "the conflict stirred by the Auschwitz crosses is a visibly emblematic sign of the most terrible crisis the Catholic Church has ever witnessed. At the core of the whole crisis is the contradiction between the traditional Catholic Faith and post-conciliar ecumenism. ..."

He stated that the Pius X Society "was only responding to the requests of the faithful who have felt themselves abandoned by their shepherds." Parenthetically, Poland's Catholic Bishops' Conference condemned the "schismatic activities" of the St. Pius X Society in a statement circulated nationwide in December 1998, and they warned that Catholics who support the Society could be excommunicated.

The Fatima Center conference will be keynoted by Ron Paul on September 11.  John Birch Society president, John McManus, is giving a presentation at the conference titled "We're Being Led to a One World Government and a One World Religion."

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