Florian Abrahamowicz

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Florian Abrahamowicz (born 7 April 1961), in Italian Floriano Abrahamowicz, is an Austrian-born priest who was formerly the Prior of the Society of St. Pius X in northeastern Italy. He was expelled from the Society in February 2009 for expressing numerous conspiracy theories, including Holocaust denial.

Early life and ordination[edit]

Florian Abrahamowicz was born in Vienna, where his father, Alexander Abrahamowicz, was a Protestant pastor of Jewish background.[1] Alexander's father, Jakob Abrahamowicz, had moved to Vienna from Pozorita/Pojorâta, Romania before Alexander's birth on 10 September 1926.[2]

Several members of that family, residents of Siret (Romania), were murdered during the Holocaust.[3] Because of his mother, Maria Teresa Amantea an Italian pianist, Florian Abrahamowicz also has Italian citizenship.[4] He is one of five siblings, three of whom became Catholic priests.[5] The other two priests are not linked with the Society of St Pius X or any similar organization.

One of them, Dom Johannes Paul Abrahamowicz, was prior (under-abbot) of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul Outside the Walls from 2005 to 2009. He was webmaster of the ATLAS of the Benedictine Order OSB-International website until January 2008. At Saint Paul outside the Walls he composed the official hymn of the Pauline Year,[6] and gave interviews on ecumenical aspects of the Year.[7][8] In December 2009 he returned to his monastery in Austria.

An aunt, Elfriede Huber-Abrahamowicz (1922–2001) wrote poetry, stories, novels and philosophical treatises and lectured on the philosophy of feminism in Zürich.[9]

Controversial pronouncement[edit]

In 2001, Florian Abrahamowicz spoke at a ceremony in honour of those who died in support of Benito Mussolini's Italian Social Republic, fighting, he said, for motherland and religion, "innocent victims because their murderers belonged to no legitimate army", a reference to the partisans whom he described as "poor ignorant fellows fighting for what Pius XI called the perverse sect of communism".[10]

Views[edit]

Political views[edit]

In 2006, he said in a television interview that he viewed Erich Priebke, a German SS officer convicted of war crimes for a 1944 massacre in Rome, in which 335 Italian civilians were killed in reprisal for the deaths of 33 German soldiers, not as an "executioner", but rather a soldier who acted "with regret and a heavy heart".[11]

He is seen as unofficial chaplain of Italy's regional party Lega Nord.[12] In 2007, Umberto Bossi, the leader of the party, accepted his invitation to his celebration of a Tridentine Mass and said there were affinities between his party and the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.[13]

In 2008, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan deplored the lack of worship facilities for Muslims in that city. In December 2008, speaking on the weekly programme of Mario Borghezio's Padania Association on Radio Padania Libera (Radio Free Padania), Abrahamowicz attacked Cardinal Tettamanzi's views on the matter. He called on his listeners to put no trust in the Cardinal Archbishop, whom he called "the latest example of the infiltrators who try in every revolution - the English, the French, the Bolshevik and, now, the globalist - to subvert the Church from inside". He added: "Do not think that Tettamanzi represents the left wing of a Church led by the conservative Ratzinger, because in reality it is the whole Conciliar Church that is allied to those powerful forces that by Islamizing Europe aim at world domination in accordance with an anti-Christian design".[11]

Religious views[edit]

Just the evening before, on 4 February 2009, Abrahamowicz declared on television: "The Second Vatican Council was worse than a heresy ... Saint Pius X tells us that modernism is the main sewer of heresies. ... So I say that the Second Vatican Council is a main sewer".[14][15]

Perhaps the most likely catalyst for the decision to expel Abrahamowicz was the sermon he preached twice on Sunday 25 January 2009, the day after the publication of the decree lifting, at their request, the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. Abrahamowicz denied that there had been any excommunication to lift, and said: "A traditionalist Catholic cannot ask for or accept such a decree". Quoting words of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, he declared:

Those who have "lifted" the pseudo-excommunication are "long since excommunicated. Why? Because they are modernists!" Being of modernist spirit, they have created a Church that is in conformity with the spirit of the world. For the person who gave orders for the insulting decree of "lifting" is Joseph Ratzinger, who continues unperturbed the modernist ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, which he calls "a beacon we cannot renounce", thus incurring the excommunication Saint Pius X issued against the modernists. An excommunicate lifts a non-existent censure![16]

In March 2010, after a Mass in Treviso, Italy, he publicly burned a volume of the documents of Vatican II.

Holocaust denial controversy[edit]

In January 2009, in the midst of a worldwide controversy over Bishop Williamson's denial of the reality of the Holocaust, Abrahamowicz said he was not sure the Nazis had used gas chambers for anything other than disinfection, claimed that the number of six million Jews killed was derived from a number fired off by the head of the German Jewish community without knowledge of the facts, complained that the Holocaust had wrongly been exalted, by Jews in particular, above other genocides and said that the people of Israel "initially were the people of God, ... then became the people of deicide, and ... at the end of time will reconvert to Jesus Christ."[17][18]

On 5 February 2009 the Italian chapter of the Society of St. Pius X issued a notification that from the following day Abrahamowicz was expelled from the Society "for serious disciplinary reasons": "Father Florian Abrahamowicz has for some time been expressing opinions differing from the official views of the Society of St. Pius X. The painful decision to expel him has become necessary in order to avoid having the image of the Society of St. Pius X further distorted with consequent harm to its work at the service of the Church."[19]

References[edit]