SSPX Bp. Williamson’s interview Pierre Danet, extreme right French politician

The wonderful and persistent Anna Arco of The Catholic Herald has on her blog an interesting piece about SSPX Bishop Williamson.

Dinoscopus sleeps, eats and blogs: Williamson Redux

After months of sensible silence in the genteel exile of Wimbledon, Bishop Richard Williamson, the Lefebvrist bishop whose Holocaust denial caused a media ruckuss and an endless headache for Pope Benedict last year has given an interview to a minor French politician of the extreme right, Pierre Danet. The French Catholic newspaper La Croix first posted the interview today.

It was published on Daily Motion on Tuesday, only days after Pope Benedict XVI visited the Great Synagogue in Rome. There is already comment on it here The interviewer, Pierre Danet was a candidate for the European elections on the anti-zionist ticket of the right-wing French comic and political activist Dieudonne M’bala M’bala.

Bishop Williamson said that he believed that the dialogue between Rome and the Society of St Pius X, working towards reconciliation, was a dialogue of deaf people. He also said that he was sleeping, eating and blogging in his “unexpected sabbatical year”. His blog Dinoscopus (a cross of Dinosaur and Episcopus) was public until last year’s bruhaha over Bishop Williamson’s Holocaust denial broke. In the interview he gives his oppinion on the State of Israel, Muslim Christian relations, Kant (a criminal), and some basic theology. He also discloses to the interviewer that he loves Beethoven.

You’ll want to head over to Anna Arco’s Diary for video and a transcript. 

The interview is odd.   But here is a taste:

Panet: And what do you know of the latest between the negotiations between the Fraternity [Society of St Pius X] and the Vatican?

Williamson: I think it will finish by becoming a dialogue of the deaf, because of two things. One: The two positions in themselves are irreconcilable. For example 2+2=4 and 2+2=5 it’s irreconcilable. Therefore of three things, one: either they say 2+2=4 , enounce reality and say 2+2=5 –that is to say the Fraternity would abandon the truth that God forbids us to do or that those who say that 2+2=5 convert and return to the truth or the two come half-way, that means everyone decides that 2+2=4 ½ . It’s wrong. Therefore, either the Fraternity betrays itself or Rome converts, or it is a dialogue of the deaf.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. B.C.M. says:

    You know… If nothing else, you’ve got to give His Lordship some credit for saying things he knows other people are going to think are wacky. I mean, that’s what the Fraternity started as; an organization who was founded to stand in the face of something they saw as wrong, to the denunciation of the world.

    And as hesitant I am to admit it, it seems that the Bishop is partly-right. If the Fraternity comes to the conclusion that it is to join the Visible Church in manifest unity then they do seem to be surrendering their position that the N.O. is fundamentally flawed (though perhaps not invalid), and they would be “forced”-to-accept/come-to-accept certain idealogical positions which are opposed to their worldview e.g., ecumenism, role of the laity etc. In these senses I do feel for the Fraternity and the impending loss of a certain sense of their identity and, indeed for the World’s loss of this… hardcore? sense of Catholic identity.

    The Visible Church “converting”, highly unlikely, is nonetheless rife with issues of it’s own. The “conversion” of the Church to the society’s views would be a capitulation of her moral authority and seemingly an admission of the invalidity of the Second Vatican Council. Which is obviously not going to happen, as that, itself, would be a denunciation of the truth (Though a denunciation of the wider interpretation of the Council might be in order *wink*).

    Thirdly, I reject that a compromise would be 2+2=4 ½. Rather it would seem that it would be the Society coming back from 2+2=3 ½ and (bear with me) the Church coming back from 2+2=4 ½, so that we as a Communion are once again,fully back at a solid, even 4, to complete the analogy. I’m not saying that the Fraternity is completely wrong, and I’m not saying the Manifest Union of the Church is wrong, but however mistakes were made on both sides, and a healthy dialogue would serve us both well, and bring us home to the firm foundation of Faith, continuous with the millenia behind us, and propel us forcefully forward, with our past firmly behind us, supporting us.

    Either way, His Grace is a brave man, if perhaps a little wonky.

  2. vox borealis says:

    “Therefore, either the Fraternity betrays itself or Rome converts…”


  3. jlmorrell says:

    We must pray unceasingly for the success of the ongoing discussions. It would be a tremendous boon to the traditional movement. The worst nightmare of the liberals/progressives is a legitimized SSPX in full manifest unity with Rome.

  4. Jason Keener says:

    Poor Bishop Williamson. He can never see any nuance to Church teaching or the complexity of some teachings like “No Salvation Outside of the Church,” which we have gained a greater and deeper understanding of through the development of doctrine. Bishop Williamson would never admit that there are different ways of being joined and saved through the Catholic Church.

    Theologians should reject Williamson’s basic premise that every theological truth can be explained or reduced to some simple equation like 2+2=4. It would be nice if everything were so simple, but it is just not the case.

    Also, it’s interesting to see once again that Bishop Williamson is saying that the SSPX has the truth, and it is Rome that is in need of conversion. Sounds very Protestant to me. I wonder if Bishop Williamson admits that Rome is in need of conversion, what keeps him from coming to the conclusion that the Church has totally defected? If the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is as confused and lost as Williamson would have us believe, then the Church has defected and the Holy Spirit abandoned us. Impossible.

  5. If I may inject some experiences of eleven years in an FSSP chapel, we went from being semi-pariahs to accepted fully by our local ordinary. He has actually celebrated EF Masses in our chapel. I view us as a group which needs more than the Visible Church is giving at present. One example: large families are the norm. I think that is what the bishop finds attractive, i.e., we appear as what people thought of as “Catholics” in the past. The Visible Church is never discusssed or in any way criticized. We are simply what we are. The caliber of our priests is astounding (they are almost on a par with Fr. Z) and their sermons and confessional advise expose us to graduate course lectures. There is nothing invidious about us. If someone attends our chapel, fine. If someone feels more comfortable somewhere else, also fine. We all remain friends.

  6. mdillon says:

    Bishop Williamson position is quite clear: SSPX is the Magisterium of the Church and Rome is not in communion with itself.

  7. kgurries says:

    “Therefore, either the Fraternity betrays itself or Rome converts…”

    I think the implication here is that the recent magisterium of the popes (Rome) has DEFECTED from the Faith and needs to recover the [T]radition. I hope this view is not shared by those involved in the discussions in Rome. Otherwise, it could devolve into a “dialogue of the deaf” as the Bishop says.

  8. Geoffrey says:

    If Bishop Williamson feels this way, does these mean other members of the SSPX feel the same? If so, will any agreement between the SSPX and Rome result in a schism within the SSPX?

  9. jlmorrell says:

    I am not a member of the SSPX (in fact, I’ve never met anyone belonging to the SSPX). However, some of the comments here confuse me a bit. I have heard that the topics under discussion will be the following:

    – the concept of Tradition

    – the Missal of Paul VI

    – the interpretation of Vatican Council II in continuity with Catholic doctrinal Tradition

    – the themes of the unity of the Church and the Catholic principles of ecumenism

    – the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions

    – religious freedom

    If the Church were to clarify her teachings regarding one or all of these in order to be consistent with tradition (not saying this will be easily done, especially regarding religious freedom), how would this indicate that the Holy Spirit had abandoned the Church? Of everything that was included in the documents of Vatican II, what is infallible other than those things declared to be so by earlier Popes or Councils?

    Of course, I do not approve of everything Bishop Williamson says and think he needs a lesson on the use of tact, but everyone who offers criticism on these topics is not looking to set up a counter-magesterium.

  10. big white van says:

    Yes, Geoffrey, if the SSPX heirarchy reconciles with Rome there will be a massive upheaval among the laity and religious of the SSPX. Like in any large organization there are vastly differing opinions on issues. Among the laity and priests of the SSPX you will find everything from urgent prayer and desire for reconciliation/regularization to complete denunciation of any thought of it and everything in between.

  11. Ceile De says:

    The sad thing is that if SSPX comes back into union with Rome (or if Rome comes back into union with SSPX as Bishop Williamsom modestly thinks is the issue), all that will happen is that it will itself split and there will be a smallar “Real SSPX”, “Traditional SSPX” or “Continuity SSPX” that will break away and stay in the schism which they rather seem to enjoy.

    I have never attended an SSPX chpael or event but I am split between admiring them – their disobedience probably saved the EF – and resenting them – how does their disobedience differ form that of the liturgical abusers – they both say “but we’re right”.

    The hard work, to me, is remaining in the Church along with all the loons unleased by this amorphous “Spirit of Vatican II” and trying to lead by example and becoming involved in parish life along with the NO people – they do after all, make up 99% of the Church – a fact we’re sometimes apt to forget.

    And, mdillon, I live in Los Angeles where the concept of Rome not being in comnmunion with itself is painfully clear.

  12. shin says:

    It’s curious that people believe it impossible for Rome to have any conversion, as if in fact, Rome was not different before now, and cannot be different in position after now, or make mistakes — Which arguably, cause and effect, are self evident in much of what has occurred.

    Since we can easily say much of what was done was at least imperfect, conversion is possible. Or in other words, ‘taking responsibility’, which is something that is hard to encourage be taken at the top in the past few decades, for the harm that has been done by the policies implemented, and their method of implementation.

    And it is an apology owed to all the Faithful Catholics stabbed in the heart by what occurred, who became ‘pariahs’ and ‘outcasts’ while those who are clearly against Church teachings, became apologized for and allowed to continue in their ministry.

  13. JARay says:

    I certainly have seen evidence of those who really fear the SSPX coming into full communion with the Church. Recently I responded to a letter from a group of such people in the magazine of a group of Catholic men. The magazine’s name is Catena and the group of Catholic men is The Catenian Association which was begun in England just over 100 years ago.The liberals really fear a return to Tradition in all those little things which were the hallmark of worship in a Catholic church such as the tabernacle behind the Altar, genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament, women wearing hats in church or mantillas and respect for those at prayer by keeping silent oneself instead of chatting away with friends. There are other features which no doubt will come to mind.

  14. TNCath says:

    Williamson’s opnions are just that: his opinions. Knowing his track record and his inability to keep his mouth shut, we should be aware that whatever he says has little to do with the official negotiations between the SSPX and the Church. Nonetheless, his opinions may represent the views of more than a few SSPX’ers, which means that no matter what is resolved with the Church, there will always be a group out there that is going to adopt the “non serviam” attitude and never reconcile with the Church. What I don’t understand is that if Bernard Fellay is so interested in achieving reconciliation with the Church, why doesn’t he tell Williamson to shut up and go away, or at least tell the world that Williamson’s view do not represent the SSPX?

  15. albizzi says:

    If the SSPX comes back in communion with Rome, there will probably be a schism between the modernists/liberals/rupturists and the traditional (I don’t say traditionalists) faithfuls of the Church.
    By “traditional” I mean the flock which had to swallow the bitter fruits of the council for 40 years but nevertheless remained faithful to Rome because they were obedient.
    The others were DISOBEDIENT first in taking over and distorting the council by their hollow, vague, hence abusive “spirit of the council”.
    Our Holy father clearly said that he wanted an “hermeneutic of continuity” instead of rupture, meaning that the council must be read again in the “light of Tradition”, and that he wanted a smaller and more fervent Church.
    If he leads us in that way, certainly the liberals will disobey once more and leave. In my opinion that would be the best thing to happen: The doors are wide open to people who have undermined the Church and put Her in the sad state She is currently.

  16. shin says:

    Perhaps because one doesn’t say ‘shut up’ to a Bishop, and perhaps he doesn’t share your low opinion of Bishop Williamson.

    I’ve seen more than one video of the Bishop, good interviews, like Stephen Heiner’s. He is more than people who only learn from him through the agitprop press think he is.

  17. Grabski says:

    There is something interesting about Fr Williamson’s rantings. Is there no disciplines in the SSPX? B/c it appears that Fr Williamson is trying to take the train from the rails. Why would the Society allow one person to cause this trouble for them, corporately. Doesn’t make sense, and doesn’t the Society’s leadership have an obligation to pursue what’s best for the organization? Or does his attempts give an indication of a big share of the Society?

  18. TNCath says:

    Shin: If Fellay doesn’t share my low opinion of Williamson’s statements (I hesitate to refer to either of them as a “bishop”), then I fear that the chance of the SSPX’s reconciliation with the Church is slim. I would hesitate to tell anyone to “shut up” initially, but, considering all the trouble he has caused for both the SSPX and the Church, it may be the only thing left to say.

    Grabski: You raise an excellent point when you ask if there is no discipline in the SSPX and why they would “allow one person to cause this trouble for them”? Once again, the issue with the SSPX is more about obedience and authority than anything else, and Richard Williamson is proving over and over again that there is a segment of the SSPX that will most likely (and sadly) never come back to Rome.

  19. Grabski says:

    TNCath I hate to say this, but from the outside the active undermining of SSPX leadership initiatives looks like the definition of protestantism: Every person his own pope.

  20. Henry Belton says:

    Not to over simplify but, we know there are plenty of bishops who make plenty of poorly worded and even dumb statements all the time. Whether SSPX or any other order, there is lots of pride, disobedience, and arrogance to go around…

  21. TNCath says:

    Grabski, indeed. Williamson is undermining Fellay. A rebellion within a rebellion.

  22. wchoag says:

    His Lordship’s statements regarding the on-going discussions between the Fraternity and the Holy See are indeed disappointing.

    That aside, that other portions of the interview are quite astute although clearly the reserved and safe statements of the public Williamson.

    Short of a conversion of heart and mind, His Lordship’s mortal coil will lay in the crypt of the Immaculate Heart of Mary chapel at Ecône before he reconciles with Rome.

  23. robtbrown says:

    Bp Williamson’s comments remind me of something told me by my chief Angelicum mentor, Fr Felice Lagutaine. We were standing in St Peter’s square, talking about someone who was smart but could not distinguish equivocal thought from analogical–his approach was always univocal. Fr L pointed to the obelisk and said, “If he were standing here, to see the other side of the obelisk, he would have to go all the way around the world.”

    Translation: He could only see something from one angle. Further, anyone who saw it from an angle not his own was wrong.

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Shin @ 1:58 am: While I think Bp. Williamson is likely a loon and certainly a loose cannon doing no good and much harm, your post makes several excellent points that I’ve not seen together in any other single post here. Including

    And it is an apology owed to all the Faithful Catholics stabbed in the heart by what occurred, who became ‘pariahs’ and ‘outcasts’ while those who are clearly against Church teachings, became apologized for and allowed to continue in their ministry.

    As Catholics, we know that repentance and confession are prerequisite to a sincere purpose of amendment. Can the Church itself be exempt? How can it move ahead without acknowledging forthrightly the grievous damage to faith and faithful inflicted by so many official actions of its leadership at all levels?

  25. Grabski says:

    wchoag While Williamson is a priest, he is not a bishop.

  26. Jacob says:

    Comment by Ceile De — 21 January 2010 @ 1:18 am

    Nice IRA reference.

  27. robtbrown says:

    wchoag While Williamson is a priest, he is not a bishop.
    Comment by Grabski

    Of course, he’s a bishop.

  28. Marius2k4 says:

    *wchoag While Williamson is a priest, he is not a bishop.*

    He is indeed a Bishop. Illicit (even that is really debatable, but we’ll move on) consecration does not mean invalid consecration. The power to raise another to the episcopacy lies with the episcopacy, of which Msgr. Lefebvre was certainly a member. He did not have permission, but there were no defects (such as being a woman, for instance) in the persons of the four priests which would invalidate their elevation to the episcopacy.

  29. moon1234 says:

    wchoag While Williamson is a priest, he is not a bishop.

    You are 100% wrong there. While his elevation to the episcopate was illicit, it was vaild. Archbishop Lefebvre was a vaild Bishop when he consecrated the four Bishops. The excommunications have been lefited. That means they are valid Bishops, just like any other bishop (Just without a Diocese and hence without any standing in the church).

    You referral to them as not being Bishops is heterodox. Please pray about this as it is very offensive to deny a Bishop/Priest status even if they do not act prudently.

    I personally find Bishop Williamson’s comments enlightening as to the thought process of the some of the SSPX. It gives us an insight into the thinking of some in the SSPX. While Bp. Williamson may not have much tact, his comments do provoke much thought and discussion. For this reason I usually look forward to what he has to say.

  30. irishgirl says:

    The whole thing is still so very sad. As you say, Fr.. Z, this is a big headache for the Holy Father.

    I keep praying my Rosary every day for the SSPX to be reconciled. That’s all I can do. And I hope it will come to pass!

  31. Laurinda1230 says:

    It is good to hear people speak the truth here about the SSPX. Over the last year I’ve ready many posts of readers “sympathizing” with them to the point that I was wondering if most people on here were actually SSPXers themselves.

    I have to agree with the following of Ceile De:
    I have never attended an SSPX chpael or event but I am split between admiring them – their disobedience probably saved the EF – and resenting them – how does their disobedience differ form that of the liturgical abusers – they both say “but we’re right”.

    I am patiently waiting for unity, however long it takes of discussion between the Holy See and the representatives of the SSPX. It very well may take years. I’m happy to see it happening in my lifetime, this is a magnificent act of love between two parties who seem to want to be part of the same thing but at the same time come to terms with Church issues. I haven’t attended a TLM Mass in a few years but I am happy that they have come back and that so many Catholics are attending and praying for unity and more tradition.

    I am fortunate that my NO parish sticks closely to rubrics with only some minor hindrances (hand holding, too many extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist–we do have 500+ people at Mass and Mass is an hour and a half but I only get in line to receive from a priest, deacon or acolyte to the annoyance of some). But I’ve been to more than my fair share of parishes that have gone further and further away from being Catholic which is extremely shocking. I keep rooting Pope Benedict XVI on in his mission to support the the mystery and tradition of the Church because I believe it is working.

  32. kgurries says:

    Bishop Williamson almost sounds like a “rupture thologian”. I think the following are some key characteristics of rupture theology:

    1) Vatican II represents a [rupture] at the level of the faith
    2) The Magisterium, as such, has DEFECTED from Faith and morals by teaching heresy (Rome must “convert”)
    3) Confusing the speculative vs. prudential orders with respect to “error”
    4) Confusing accidental vs. substantial “change” with respect to Tradition and the development of doctrine

    I wrote more about it here:

    Does Bishop Williamson fit this description?

  33. shin says:

    My thought is this — Before condemning a bishop, people ought to listen to more than the meda productions made by those that are against him, and listen to what he has to say in general, that being some of the videos made by Heiner that are on the web.

    You might just change your opinion of the man.

    The Bishop is deeper into believing in conspiracy theories than most, but, his reasons are not so bad at all for this.

  34. Grabski says:

    Mea culpae; he appears to be an illicit bishop.

    As such, are we required to give him every respect, despite his disobedience to the Holy See and the RC Church? Has he no penalties for his disrespectful behavior to the One True Church? Must he be treated as if he is a Bishop in good standing with Rome? Or is he in fact schismatic?

  35. JosephMary says:

    Well one person in all this seems to be deaf.

    Thanks be to God Bishop Fellay is superior for with him there is hope of reconciliation. This other ‘bishop’ will stay in his own world and his own church outside of Rome. And despite claims to the contrary by them, a ‘church’ outside of union with Rome like this is a protestant church. I have known a number of these folks who think they are indeed the magisterium.

    I do hope for reunification but this ‘bishop’ and his kind will not allow themselves to be ‘lowered’ to it. They think they alone have all the answers and Rome and the Holy Father are clueless and modernist hereitics. Yes, I have seen the Holy Father termed such many times by those in SSPX–granted, NOT all of them. That recalcitrant attitude will not allow for reconciliation.

  36. I agree that Bp. Williamson is merely proclaiming his own doctrine of rupture (quite contrary to the opinion of the Holy Father). In his opinion, there was a break at which point the Church began preaching 2+2=5. So to him, the Church basically ended with Vatican II whereas for the liberal progressives the Church began with Vatican II. Peas in the same pod – Rupturists.

  37. Ogard says:

    Jlmorrell, I wish it were true that the negotiations would start with the problem of Tradition, because that is, really, the fundamental issue: other issues are secondary.

    AFAIK there was no official document on this subject before Vatican II, and that was the reason why the Council addressed it in its Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum. Prior to that there were various theological schools, and the “tradition” as conceived by SSPX is nothing but one of the preconciliar notions of it, which, however, they have raised to the status of dogma. And that is the problem, which Pope John-Paul II referred to in Ecclesia Dei:

    “The root of this schismatic act (i.e. consecration of bishops, my note) can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete because it does not take into account the living character of Tradition which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, ‘comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who received, along their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth’ “.

    “But especially contradictory is the notion of Tradition which opposes the universal Magisterium of the Church possessed by the Bishop of Rome and the Body of the Bishops”.

    The two quotes are from the SSPX’ “The Catholic Quarterly Review”, summer 1988. The inside quotation is from DV 8/2.

    The DV conceives Tradition as a process in which “the Church in her doctrine, her life and her worship perpetuates and hands on to all generations to come”, all “the apostles transmitted…that contributes towards holiness of life… and to the increase of faith” (8/1); while the office of interpreting” it “authentically” is “entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s Magisterium” (10/2); i.e. to the Bishop of Rome and the Body of the Bishops referred to by JPII (above).

    The SSPX wouldn’t have that: “tradition” is oral transmission of a set of propositions only, and when it comes to who has the final word as to what it means here and now, it is the “magisterium” of the SSPX. They are that “living voice” although, paradoxically, they wouldn’t admit of the living character of Tradition, referred to by JPII (above).

    So, there we are. I don’t think that the SSPX are capable of providing a coherent notion of Tradition, still less of adequately outlining their difficulties in this respect. All that they are capable of asserting, when it comes to the concrete, is that the “tradition” are the (de facto obsolete) 19th cent. social encyclicals including the “infallible” Syllabus; Pius X’s Lamentabili, Pascendi, and Oath; Pius XI’s Quas Primas and Mortalium Animos.

    I fear, however, that the aparatchicks in Rome will not even try to help them to articulate the difficulties; and so, the conversations will end in disaster.

    One has to keep in mind that it was the SSPX, not the “Rome”, who insisted on discussion; because they were sure that it would be an opportunity to demonstrate the errors of the “conciliar church”. So, as soon as they begin to realize that it is they that are in error, they will plug their ears and cease conversations. Evidence: Bishop Williamson’s interview.

  38. Manrique Zabala de Arizona says:

    To be or not to be… a bishop. I think we’re getting into a pointless part of the argument. I just want to pray for HIS conversion, as the SSPX’s seems on track, thanks to Fellay.

  39. Jack Hughes says:

    and dinoscopus puts his foot in his mouth once again………..

  40. wchoag says:


    EVERY respect? no. Objectively, the Lefebvre consecrations amount to a usurpation of episcopal power in that these were effected without a papal mandate, against the express will of the then reigning Pope, and were “absolute” ordinations, meaning that these were done without binding the new prelate to a church. A bishop without a see is…weird…theologically problematic. Note that even auxiliary and coadjutor bishops are titular bishops of defunct dioceses usually in partibus infidelium. For this usurpation of episcopal power, Lefebvre, his co-consecrator, and those whom he consecrated incurred automatic excommunication.

    Williamson’s excommunication for receiving episcopal dignity illicitly was lifted by Benedict XVI a year ago. Here some thoughts on excommunication are worth pondering. Excommunication is a medicinal penalty that bars one from the sacraments (and by extension heaven since one is cut off from the ordinary means for sanctifying grace). It does not “throw one out of the Church” despite popular misconception. One a Catholic, always a Catholic. Excommunication is meant to cause the erring Catholic to repent, reform, and seek a return to communion. After twenty years, the excommunications against the SSPX were not inducing their desired effect. Benedict was quite right to lift them for this reason and for the promotion of Church unity. Clearly a different method of resolving the Lefevbrist issue was needed than the means employed hitherto.

    Respect in general? YES! The FSSPX is not formally schismatic. Materially? Yes, but not formally although their movement has gone in a trajectory of schism. Keep in mind that the Church has always regarded the bishops of the eastern schismatic churches as legitimate bishops–and these claim jurisdiction over territory and reject papal primacy neither of which the bishops of the FSSPX do. The eastern Orthodox bishops have been invited to ecumenical councils, not as mere observers as at Vatican II but to take their rightful seats among the episcopal college on the condition that they recognize papal primacy. The Orthodox bishops have continually refused this with rare exceptions that resulted in only short-lived, paper-only reunifications of the Greek and Latin churches.

    Williamson is not a schismatic…yet. He is actually a rather pleasant, well-educated gentleman with whom one would truly enjoy sharing a pint.

  41. tired student says:

    I’m frightened when Williamson says he’s on a “sabbatical year”. Does this mean that he’ll resume active ministry in the SSPX soon? Is he saying public Masses still? From what I gathered, he was on house arrest in London after his infamous comments. The SSPX would be very, very wise to keep Williamson out of public ministry. While his episcopal consecration is valid and cannot be revoked, Rome can put pressure on the SSPX negotiators to make sure that Williamson stops preaching, participating in ordinations, and sitting for interviews.

    Although I strongly disagree with SSPX reunification, it’s the will of the Holy Father to bring them back into the fold. I have to trust that His Holiness will conform the SSPX to conciliar documents. Still, I just don’t see Pope Benedict putting pressure on the SSPX to prevent members with anti-Semitic and other hateful views from public ministry and media visibility. Maybe Rome is working behind the scenes, but Williamson’s recent interview suggests that he can easily get media coverage. It’s his ready access to media that facilitated his televised holocaust denial and subsequent Vatican debacle. Astute Vatican negotiators should focus on preventing a similar event in the future.

  42. The Cobbler says:

    Father, pardon me if this has already been asked, but what happens if Rome and the Society officially come together but Bp. Williamson and the like don’t abide it? I’m not thinking here of some kind of say they’re in agreement but it comes out they’re not, I’m thinking, what can the Church do as regards those who would split from the returning once-split folks? (I understand, of course, that not much of anything can be if they remain closed to consideration of Church and truth, but inasmuch as the Church wants to do what she can to keep them from wandering away?)

  43. robtbrown says:

    Although I strongly disagree with SSPX reunification, it’s the will of the Holy Father to bring them back into the fold. I have to trust that His Holiness will conform the SSPX to conciliar documents.
    Comment by tired student

    Has the rest of the Church conformed to conciliar documents?

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