According to the intrepid Andrea Tornielli, the SSPX Superior Bp. Fellay has sent an ultimatum to SSPX Bp. Williamson asking him to back away from some claims. And there is a time limit. If Williamson does not conform, he could be expelled from the SSPX.
Williamson is clearly the figurehead for opposition to unity with the Roman Pontiff, the sector of the SSPX which is determined to dictate to Rome rather than obey lawful authority.
The author of the site True Restoration says that he spoke with Williamson, who said that Bp. Fellay told Williamson to shut down his dinoscpus.org and make a public apology for the harm he caused to the SSPX, “and commit to making ‘reparation’ for the remainder of his days.”
Interesting, no? In the old days, Superiors could impose this sort of thing. There were even an equivalent of ecclesiastical prisons for clerics. Perhaps they should be revived in a revision of the present Canon Law. Reminder: the 1983 Code of Canon Law is now in force for the Latin Church, not the 1917 Code. There are revisions of certain parts of the 1983 Code underway, but the the 1983 Code is in force. But I digress.
Apparently, Bp. Williamson has until 23 October before he faces the consequences.
This is all very hard to substantiate, but it is pretty clear that there is a split in the SSPX.
On Rorate you can find something from the DICI news outlet for the SSPX. There is an interview with Father Niklaus Pfluger, First Assistant General of the SSPX, who says “We’re back to square one”.
Here is a taste:
Kirchliche Umschau: Since you seem so little disposed to compromise, why do you still hold discussions with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Because the pope and Rome are realities inseparable from the Faith. The loss of faith in the Church’s structures—a loss of faith from which we have been spared, thanks be to God–is only one aspect of the crisis in the Church. For our part, we suffer also from a defect: the fact of our canonical irregularity. The status of the post-conciliar Church is imperfect, nor is our status the ideal.
Kirchliche Umschau: Are you referring to members of your community who refuse the discussions with Rome?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Yes, but they are few, very few. The prolonged period of separation has led certain members to confusion in theology. Deep down, these persons set faith in opposition to law, as if union with the pope, the primacy of the pope, were just a minor question of law.
Separating the legitimacy of the pope from the Faith, and reducing his legitimacy to a merely juridical question, is a sign of great danger. Finally, it comes from a Protestant view of the Church. But the Church is visible. The papacy belongs to the domain of Faith.
We ourselves, Catholics faithful to Tradition, suffer from the crisis in two ways. We participate in this crisis, albeit on a different and higher level, as I see it. There is no denying the obligation to take an active part in overcoming the crisis. And this combat begins with us, by desiring to overcome our abnormal canonical status.
Kirchliche Umschau: So we are back to square one. [Ummmm…. no.] Why not just go along with Rome?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Because we cannot exchange an imperfect status for one that is even less perfect. Union with Rome is supposed to be an improvement, not a mutilation. [I think that is where he puts his foot wrong.] Having to omit certain truths of the Faith, as well as being forbidden to criticize various doubtful and liberal positions: all this would be tantamount to a mutilation. We will not go along with that.
I hope that during the Year of Faith some helpful concrete steps can be taken to heal this break.