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The Pope also amended the conclave law to allow for the automatic excommunication of any non-cardinal who broke the absolute oath of secrecy of the College of Cardinals during the proceedings to select the new leader of the Catholic Church.
Vatican backs excommunications stemming from an abortion.
In response to both concerns, the Vatican made clear that the lifting of excommunication does not mean that the bishops of SSPX can function as Catholic bishops, likening Pope Benedict's action to Pope Paul VI's withdrawal of excommunication from the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople in 1965.
It follows the worst crisis in Catholic-Jewish relations in half a century after Benedict lifted the excommunication of British Bishop Richard Williamson.
Benedict has said he was not aware of Williamson's denial of the Holocaust when he lifted the excommunication orders.
On connait les principaux faits qui ont marque les dernieres annees du regne de Mgr Bourget : une excommunication douteuse a 1'encontre de cet imprimeur de l'Institut canadien, un refus de sepulture en cimetiere catholique, une serie de proces qui ont dure quatre annees, une translation contestee des restes au cimetiere catholique apres cinq annees de querelle.
I hope that Cardinal George, Bishop Gregory, Bishop Meyer, Bishop Doran and Bishop Ryan are poised to issue a statement on excommunication.
Most excommunications are done privately and do not address a large group of people.
Williamson was one of four bishops in the Society of Saint Pius X whose 1988 excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2009, as part of the pope's effort to reconcile with the schismatic group.
The lifting of the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops was preceded a month earlier by a letter from Bishop Fellay, the Superior General of the SSPX, to Cardinal Hoyos, stating: "We believe in the Primacy of Peter and its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much.
Pope Benedict XVI sparked anger last month when he lifted excommunications on Williamson and the three other bishops, in an attempt to heal the rift within the church.
Thousands of hours have been exerted in recent decades in efforts to heal the painful divisions within Christianity -- divisions exacerbated by the excommunications that finalized the schism between East and West in 1054 and within Western Europe in the 16th century.