The case of coverage of SSPX Williamson: curiouser and curiouser

You have probably read something about the most recent chapter in the SSPX Williamson dust up in which the main players are the Swedish Bishop Arborelius and Card. Castrillon interviewd in the Suddeutsche Zeitung … sounds like another bad Dan Brown novel, doesn’t it?

This comes from Francesco Colafemmina on Fides et Forma.  The English is a little rough around the edges, but it is clear enough in meaning.


by Francesco Colafemmina

Thank to a really smart german reader we discovered this new point in the incredible affaire Williamson Part 2nd.

On September 30th the catholic agency Zenit published only in spanish language the "true interview of Cardinal Castrillon on the Williamson affair". However this "true interview" is so just partially. Between addendum and cuts is infact a new text!
In particular the Zenit’s interview added this passage:

There were however some complaints addressed to your collegue in the Commission"Ecclesia Dei", Mons. Camille Perl.

Cardenal Darío Castrillón: No, I cannot see any responsibility in him. But I don’t like in any case to establish in this way, a priori, responsibilities. If I have to speak about Card. Re I make it just for one reason: because organically his departement is charged to know what the bishops say and what the medias say about the bishops. [The Cong. for Bishops monitors what bishops say in the media.  Think about that.]

What would you say to whom affirms that Mons. Filoni and Mamberti have a part of responsibility?

Cardenal Darío Castrillón: Mons. Dominique Mamberti don’t have any responsibility since he is in charge of the Section that has relationship with the States and this issue (that of Williamson ndr) doesn’t enter in the orbit of his competency. Mons. Filoni, during the most intense period of the dialogues wasn’t in the Secretariat of State. He may have been informed about the report on Williamson, but I don’t believe it. Since who was Williamson? He was an insignificant figure. A seminarist that trusted in Lefebvre which since he was very young ordered him priest. Who had to be informed about him? No one! No one had interest about him!

[NB:] Where in the text of Suddeutsche Zeitung Card. Castrillon speaks about Perl or Filoni and Mamberti? Who did invent this phrase in the interview? It’s a mistery! I can just say that the name of Filoni was only present in my comment to the full text of the interview published on September the 25th here on Fides et Forma.

Let’s go one, however. In the interview of Zenit, infact, there is another point missing: the reference to Bishop Arborelius and his slander! There is instead a new passage, with the reference to the director of the german branch of Radio Vaticana:

And the accusations of Ebberhard van Gremmingen?

Cardenal Darío Castrillón: I don’t know who is he. [ROFL!]

The director of Radio Vaticano in Germany, [German section of Vatican Radio] the statement of which didn’t presented very well you in front of the german public opinion.

Cardenal Darío Castrillón: I don’t think is strange that if the so called "speaker" of the Pope, father Lombardi, expressed a wrong opinion on me, his subaltern Gremmingen, could follow him in this mistake[Remember that papal spokesman Fr. Lombardi is still also director of Vatican Radio!]

The true text in german is now available here (first page) and here (second page): make a confrontation to believe!
So what the hell is this of Zenit? Maybe an attempt of interecclesial act of reparation?

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  1. TNCath says:

    This sounds like Reason #879 why it might be time for Fr. Lombardi to investigate other opportunities for service to the Church.

    And, if the Congregation for Bishops is supposed to monitor the statements of bishops, somebody might seriously consider loaning the Congregation a computer with an Internet hookup.

  2. laurazim says:

    Father, what’s with the strike-through? It begins about half-way trough this entry and continues through all previous entries, through the log-in process……a glich, perhaps? Rats! I hope it can be easily remedied. I need to catch up with reading!! :)

  3. Sleepyhead says:

    now you see it, now you don’t…

  4. ssoldie says:

    How come only Williamson, and over the years and yet nothing on, ANY of the Bishop’s in America, and is there ever a bunch that have and still do need coverage on what they have said and done, and still are saying and doing. I have a ‘feeling’ it’s because he is a Bishop of the FSSPX, yea think?

  5. mpm says:

    Vatican City, Wednesday, Sept 30, 2009 ( — The translation and adaptation of an interview granted to a German journalist by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos dealing with the case of the Holocaust denying bishop, Richard Williamson, member of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, has provoked contradictory interpretations in the media worldwide.

    As ZENIT has explained, the until-recently President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, never made some of the “clarifications” that the media organizations have put in his mouth on reading the interview which was published by the German periodical Süddeutsche Zeitung, on Sept. 25.

    With the goal of allowing the reader to see exactly what the Cardinal did say, ZENIT is publishing the original text of the interview in Spanish.

    This is the lead-in to the Spanish language transcript of the interview, from the ZENIT website sourced by Francesco Colafemmina.

    I have read it and translated it into English. To summarize, the Cardinal identifies the specific canonical “causa” (case) which he studied and helped resolve to the satisfaction of the Pope, showing how it has nothing to do with any of the views of the principals about anything. He also says very clearly that this was the product of the desires of both JPII and Benedict XVI (“the last two Popes”), and he stresses that fact. The case involved canonically, a “schismatic act” of ordaining bishops without the pontifical mandate, the penalty for which is excommunication. The study he engaged in involved determining the proper conditions for lifting this “sanction”. This was done in conjunction with the Popes (both of them) and one or more consistories of Cardinals. The main “negotiations” were led by Bishop Fellay personally, rather than all four of the bishops together, and the Pope regards Bishop Fellay as the proper religious superior of the other three Bishops of the SSPX, even after the lifting of the excommunications. Thus he indirectly “resolves” the issue about schism: there was a schismatic act, leading to lack of “full communion” by the bishops. They have sought reconciliation and have asked for two things from the Vatican as conditions, a) what the Pope did with Summorum Pontificum, and b) the doctrine talks which are about to commence.

    He makes a distinction between the uproar caused in the world press and the criticisms that have emanated from within the Church. He makes it very clear that nobody working on the reunification process a) had any need to know about the personal views of any of the parties involved (the four bishops of the SSPX), and b) did not have such knowledge. He mentions that Father Lombardi when he pointed the finger at Castrillon was not speaking as the Pope’s spokesman, and afterwards made a public retraction, and a face-to-face personal apology. He mentions that he wrote a letter to Cardinal Re (Congregation of Bishops) refuting the latter’s accusation of Cardinal Castrillon, and remininding him that it is his Congregation’s duty to keep tabs on what bishops say in the media, and what the media says about bishops.

    There is no mention whatsover of Bishop Arborelius.

    For those who speak/read Spanish, the interview will reward your time.

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