Many if not all of you readers will have heard by now of last week’s good news from Germany: on Ash Wednesday the Appeals Court of Lower Bavaria in Nuremberg quashed the Regensburg Regional Court’s condemnation of me on 11 July of last year for “racial incitement.” Then I was condemned for having, in November of 2008, on German soil, in an interview to Swedish television, taken a politically incorrect view of certain historical events differing from the view commonly held, but now the Appeals Court has decreed in addition that the Bavarian State must pay my trial costs so far. All honour to my defence lawyer, Prof. Dr. Edgar Weiler, whose arguments the judges made their own, and to Fr. Schmidberger who introduced me to him, and to Bishop Fellay who approved of him.
However, I am not yet free and clear insofar as the Appeal judges made their decision on procedural grounds. Here is their conclusion: “If an indictment describes behaviour of the accused not punishable (as yet), and leaves open what concrete circumstances supposedly render him liable to punishment, then by not listing the inner and outer facts of the case the indictment is failing in its function, laid out above, of defining the action for which the accused is being put on trial. Case dismissed.”
So in theory, the Regensburg Prosecutor’s office could correct its procedure and start the prosecution all over again. However, in practice they may well hesitate, because the Appeal judges called on them to specify who exactly came to know of the remarks, by what means they came to know of them, how exactly those remarks were apt to disturb the peace in Germany and finally how I was supposed to have approved of the remarks being made known there.
Now the prosecution might easily show that the whole wide world, let alone Germany, was hammered for a month with the remarks by all the world’s media (mainly in order to force Benedict XVI to distance himself from Catholic Tradition), but it would not be so easy to prove the disturbance of the peace in Germany. Also the prosecutors would have real difficulty in proving that I wanted my remarks to be made public in Germany, given that in the last minute of the interview (accessible on Youtube) I expressly wished the contrary. So it is in God’s hands whether the prosecution will continue, or not.
Meanwhile, dear readers, do not suppose that I have ever suffered too heavily from these trials in Germany, any more than I have needed to take too tragically my corresponding three-year exile within the SSPX. That exile has been if anything too comfortable, and these trials have ended, for the moment at least, in their complete termination. Let me then thank all of you that in the course of these three years have prayed for me. I know there are many of you, and I am grateful to every one of you. In return I celebrated in January a novena of Masses for your intentions, because surely much greater trials lie in wait for all of us.