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Pope to Renegades: Respect for Judaism Is Non-Negotiable

Respect for Judaism and other religions is mandatory for readmission into the mainstream Catholic fold, Pope Benedict XVI will tell a renegade traditionalist Catholic group.

In a weekend interview with a newspaper in Passau, Germany, Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said doctrinal talks between the Vatican and the traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X would begin soon.

“The SSPX will be told very clearly what is not negotiable for the Holy See,” Schoenborn said. “This includes such fundamental conclusions of the Second Vatican Council as its positions on Judaism, other non-Christian religions, other Christian churches and on religious freedom as a basic human right.”

Led by its founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the SSPX broke with the Vatican over the reforms of the Vatican II conference, which among other things lifted anti-Jewish dogma and opened the way to Catholic-Jewish dialogue.

Lefebvre and his followers were excommunicated in 1988.

Pope Benedict wants to bring them back into the fold of the mainstream church. He sparked controversy in January by revoking the excommunication order against four SSPX bishops, including British-born Richard Williamson, who had made statements denying the extent of the Holocaust.

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