“I’d rather be in the ditch off the left side of the road than off the right side!”, quoth Jackson.*
Noooo, Dear Jackson. You can also stop swerving around, avoid both ditches, and drive responsibly according to the law given for our safety and the safety of others.
The money line from SSPX Bp. Williamson this time is:
“Dear friend of mine, I would rather be a schismatic sedevacantist than a Roman apostate. With the grace of God, neither!”
From an English language site HERE.
If you can read French there is an article HERE.
It doesn’t have to be either/or.
Those are not the only two choices. As he says, “With the grace of God, neither.” Fine! Then don’t be either!
“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are about to say. “Why pay attention to this guy at all?”
I have often pondered that question. I’d rather not, but I do, don’t I!
It is sort of like being a gawker when approaching the site of a car accident. You get distracted and then slam into the back of the gawker in front of you.
So, let the fender benders begin!
* Jackson”, by the way, is what I have dubbed all anonymous motorists. Many thanks to my friend Fr. GM from whom adapted the practice.
Whoops! Sorry, Fr. Z!
[License, registration, and insurance card, please!]
I’d rather be in the ditch on the right side than the ditch on the left. I hear there are giant liturgical puppets over there.
[brrrrrr…. creepy…. you have a point!]
There is something seriously wrong with his on-board computer.
In fact, maybe he does think he is a car, and not a bishop.
I am totes using Jackson now. It’s much more charitable than what I’ve been using.
If one chooses the lesser of evils, he’s still chosen evil, be it schism, apostasy or individualistic pride. Sad when anyone chooses evil, sadder yet when it’s someone who has the respect of others.
I refer to anonymous motorists as “Skippy”. [I have already allocated “Skippy” for a particular cleric.]
I realize that as a priest, you drive the wrecker, but … well, the Boss won’t let you pull anyone out who doesn’t place a call for help. In the meantime, watching the traffic can’t be good for your blood pressure!
ContraMundum: If the accidents are piling up, I can stand on the hood of my car and call in the “General” wrecker.
No, it definitely does not have to be either/or. Bp. Williamson is, I think, being hyperbolic, but his last statement obscures a legitimate point that he is making in the rest of his post. I’m sure that many reading this, including myself, have at one point or another roamed among the halls of the Vatican which has a sense of history, power, and authority that has stood the test of time. That, in and of itself, is seducing. However, the same is true for many physical offices of state around the world including the US Capitol, the Pentagon, Buckingham Palace, etc. It’s the responsibility of every Catholic both not to fly off the rails with knee jerk reactions AND to know when there is a temptation to compromise the truth in favor of power and abuse of authority, which could happen even in the halls of the Vatican.
The key issue is, if you believe the Church is divinely protected and the Pope is one of the marks of Church, then you will never have to choose between being a schismatic sedevacantist than a Roman apostate if you are Roman Catholic.
If you believe the Church is divinely protected and the Pope is not one of the marks of Church, then you have to become Orthodox since there is no other God given reason for picking Catholicism over Orthodoxy.
If you believe the Church is not divinely protected, you have to become Protestant or non-Christian.
The sedevacantist position is just plain inconsistent. You can’t believe the Church is Divinely protected and the Pope was necessary and the Orthodox are wrong that he’s not necessary and believe that he’s not necessary because your private judgment says he’s wrong. It tries to mix three incompatible theories of the Christianity.
Bishop Williamson has always been the most radical bishop in the SSPX long before his Holocaust denying views were made public knowledge years ago. Everything that this man spews should be taken with a grain of salt.
His Excellency should know that it is never a question of either/or. Pope Boniface VIII stated clearly in “Unam Sanctam”: “We declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” No one can go against this teaching. Either a Catholic is in the barque of Peter or is outside of it. There is no middle ground.
Bishop Williamson should attend to the requirements of the Council of Trent to take up domicile within his diocese.
I’d rather be a forest than a street. Yes I would. If I could, I surely would.- Simon and Garfunkel
Note to self..continue having masses offered for Archbishop Lefebvre as they appear to be starting to bear fruit. The next one I have scheduled is Feb 22, I chose that date because it’s the Chair of Peter. Much to my pleasant surprise it’s also Ash Wednesday
Car accident? More like a train wreck; every car in the train has slammed into the one in front of it and the whole thing is off the rails.
Fr.- I nearly spit out my drink when I read “I have already allocated “Skippy” for a particular cleric.”
Without getting into it (or being uncharitable toward the brethren), we also have a Skippy in our neck of the woods. In addition to many others…
That’s the sound of the biological clock that the SSPX bishops need to be hearing. What plan do they have in mind for their flock, long term, when there will be no bishops left to [illicitly] ordain men to the priesthood?
To their credit, I think some of them are concerned with this. Bishop Williamson does not seem to be one of them.
It appears that Msgr Fellay has gone on vacation and left his liquor cabinet unlocked again!
That is a seriously creepy thing for a Bishop to say. “I this” and “I that”. I, I, I, I. Also, “Well, I will study the evidence and I will let you know if I believe there were gas chambers at Auschwitz.” Will you please? I’m still waiting.
I find the Bp Williamson bashing in the combox distasteful to say the least, to be perfectly honest I think its quite obvious that Bp Williamson is using hyperbole and exaggeration, people are making a mountain out of a molehill. Of course none of this will stop the caricature of Bp Williamson nor the bashing but that does not surprise me, the same happened to Archbishop Lefebvre.
I’m not at all surprised at Bp. Williamson’s comment. Although, I do wonder what implications he is making with such a comment…perhaps better not to wonder!
I pray the SSPX reconciles soon, and that they *all* reconcile.
I pray that the SSPX goes away and that they *all* reconcile. The FSSP is really a great group and always available to anyone who want’s to join them. I think it’s delusional to believe that the SSPX will be anything but a problem.
The reason we have to pay attention to him is because he wears a pointy hat. If all four SSPX bishops don’t reconcile and if Williamson rejects the deal, he will consecrate more bishops, thereby perpetuating a schism. Williamson’s a bit older than the other SSPX bishops, so it would be a more pressing matter for him.
LeFebvre made the mistake of picking men to be bishops who were extremely young and/or extremely loyal to him and the cause, rather than just picking his most intelligent and devout priests (he deliberately excluded his top priests like Schmidberger, Aulagnier, Laguerie, Bisig–although Bisig obviously would have refused given that he founded the FSSP in response to the consecrations). He seems to have lucked out with the two younger men who were bishops, as Fellay and Galarreta seem to be decently competent, normal people; the other two are real hardliners.
The possibly more disturbing thing, if you read his entire remarks, is how he defines “Roman apostate”. Essentially, he means an official churchman stationed at the Vatican. That is enough for one to be considered, by Williamson, an “apostate”. For those churchmen in Rome all suffer from “a sickness of the mind” so he says, “seduced” as they have been by the atmosphere of the Vatican, an atmosphere that speaks of the 2000 year history of the Church. Yes, well, heaven forbid that any man should be seduced by such an atmosphere as that, much less one calling himself a Catholic bishop. And to be enamored of that supremely Catholic atmosphere is to suffer from “a sickness of the mind”. Essentially then, “Roman Apostate” = “Roman Catholic.” One could be pardoned for concluding that what he is really saying is “I would rather be a schismatic sedevacantist than a Roman Catholic.”
One could be pardoned, but one would be misreading him, I think. Very unusually, I’m actually going to cut the man some slack, here. That is not what he’s saying. I believe that Richard Nelson Williamson truly and sincerely loves the Roman Catholic Church very, very much, indeed. I believe he converted from the Church of England to the Church of Thomas More and John Fisher and John Henry Newman…and when he finally stepped inside to great expectation, he saw that it had seemed to become something other than what he originally fell in love with…something very different from what he signed up for. And he became disoriented, confused, indignant, and at last, very bitter, feeling wholly betrayed; appalled that he had been led to embrace something precious and magnificent, only to have that precious and magnificent thing dissolve before his eyes at the moment of his embrace. He wants that precious and magnificent thing back.
And so do so many of the rest of us, of course. But now his disdain for the Rome that he blames for taking it all away from him has caused him to hate the very atmosphere that characterizes our Church…because it’s Rome’s atmosphere, and Rome is the enemy who did this thing, therefore even that which is good about Rome is bad.
Much as I have mocked or slammed him in the past, my heart actually goes out to him after reading this. I don’t know why this; it isn’t by any means unusual. Its the sort of thing he comes out with all the time. While I do not agree with him, however, I “get” him. I had to go through a long and painful journey, too, that led me to Lefebvrism, through it, out of it, and after a long period away from the Church and the Faith altogether…back to “Rome”. I realized that it is not my role to save the Church, but the Church’s role to save me. Williamson loves the Church but, as I once had, he has his role and the Church’s role confused.
Maybe it isn’t wholly his fault, however, that he has become as maddened as he has. And maybe I would be the better Christian to embrace him from now on with alot of prayers rather than savage him, as if he were responsible, somehow, for singlehandedly deluding me. I was once just as misled as he still is. By the grace of God, however, I was guided home. And heaven knows, I’m not half the man Richard Williamson is. For all his faults, he also has many virtues. He is brilliant, for one thing, but even brilliant men may become befuddled. He has a strong will, a strong character, and a strong voice that isn’t afraid in the slightest to speak out in defense of the truth as he sees it. If only he could see the whole truth.
If I could make it out, however, he most certainly can. And if he ever does make it out…if he ever does make it back home, look out. He’ll show his colleagues in the episcopacy what being a bishop really means. He would be the sort of bishop…who would chain himself to the White House fence (as was suggested elsewhere)…wearing full pontificals, no less, and enduring whatever the weather or the Secret Service might bring his way, without flinching.
I’ve mocked him and slapped him around in the combox in the past; I won’t ever again. The foolish NeoCat business made me recall the bewilderment of that past part of my own journey, and made me sympathise with poor bewildered men like Richard Williamson.
I am sorry, Bishop. I don’t know if you follow this blog or not, but if you do, I am sorry. You won’t know who I am, but that hardly matters. No more swipes from me. Henceforth only prayers…many, many prayers. And a plea: come home. We could really use you, to be honest, right about now. Get it together. If I could do it, so can you. That which is Catholic about Rome’s seductive atmosphere is not that which is bad within the Church, Monsignor!
Go to Rome, and let yourself be seduced.
Being able to create future bishops is not a problem for the SSPX. It takes a bishop to ordain a bishop. Or does it take two? (Father Z will correct me if I’m wrong :) At any rate, they have four.
That said, I hope the SSPX reconciles with Rome. I agree with Centristian – Bishop Williamson would be a fearless voice to combat our decaying culture. I remember some of his sermons from my childhood (we went to an SSPX chapel for a time, early 80’s). His sermons were impressive.
Bishop Williamson is one of the reasons I did not go into the SSPX years ago. We went to a Midnight Christmas Mass where he was saying the Mass and his sermon was an invective against then Pope John Paul II. Not only was it bitter and inappropriate, but embarrassing for all there. Considering that the Church was packed with families with children who listen to sermons, it was particularly unfortunate. It was so bad that people came up to me, as I was the new kid on the block and apologized saying this was not the opinion of most people in that SSPX parish. I never went back.
My view of the SSPX is that they should be utterly and completely ignored. Most Catholics in the pews have never heard of them, and when serious media organisations respond to them, they are de facto working as their publicity machine.
There are those who have an axe to grind both on the left and the right, and I think that there is some scope within the Church for discussion and perhaps even disagreement. However this must always be charitable, it must always be an ‘in-house’ discussion between friends and it must always recognise that if the Magisterium decides to put its foot down, then that’s that.
Sometimes the disagreements get to the point where charity and reasoned dialogue has dried up, and sometimes they get to the point at which they go beyond what is legitimate for Catholics under the authority of the Pope: ‘Catholics for Choice’ to the left, and the Sedevacantists to the right. In both cases, I say just ignore them. Even if only because people on the fringes often crave nothing more than publicity!
Not every Catholic thinks the SSPX are fringe. Most of the Trads I know, if there had not been the Summorum Pontificum, would still be going to the SSPX Masses in their areas. Some Catholics think LifeTeen Masses in the States are fringe. I am not sure about your definition, but fringe to me may mean not part of the mainstream, in which case even our bona fide Byzantine Rites in Canada and the USA, and in Britain would fall into that category. If you mean unconventional, again, many NO Masses fall into that category. If you mean extreme, I do not consider the SSPX extreme as the Neo-Cats, for example.
As to whether one has heard of them or not, as a Catholic, one would have to live in a very liberal Catholic area not to have met SSPX members, and all I have met, are not Sedevacantists. The Pius V group falls into that category, but not the SSPX.
As to ignoring the SSPX, not even the Vatican at the highest levels is ignoring the SSPX. We would ignore them at our own peril, as they, I think, are the reason we have the Summorum Pontificum and even the FSSPs-that is, they were instrumental in keeping the Tridentine Mass alive when it all but died out in most areas.
mlwalker1972 The eastern church does not hold the view that any two or more heretic and schismatic bishops can create a bishop. The roman Catholic church thinks this is so and as a Roman Catholic I accept it. If they persist in this though I believe that there is a great potential for souls to be lost.
I personally *do* think that the SSPX are on the fringes, and the fact that they are in an irregular canonical situation clearly means that Rome do too. The other groups you mentioned are groups which provoke strong reactions in many, and those reactions may be legitimate (or not) but there is one crucial difference with the SSPX in that it is not in full communion with Rome. Its Bishops were ordained without mandate and its priests have no faculties. That means something important, even if you can point to other groups who might provoke strong feelings.
As for Lifeteen, I’m sure they’re not exactly flavour of the month on this site, but I would say a word in their favour. Their liturgical style might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but their members are very orthodox in terms of their beliefs and their moral lives. They do a great deal to bring young people to genuine faith and they have a lot of success. They don’t much go in for bells and smells and Latin, but in terms of prayer life, personal morality, support for Pro-life etc etc, they are no lefties! Don’t confuse them with the ‘ordain women’ crowd just because they like a guitar!
Thanks for this post / particularly the line about the rules being for our safeguard.
I wonder how many of those so confident in their opinions here have read Abp Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics. I read it, expecting a polemic, and found instead a man struggling with matters of conscience. And unlike those who believe that their conscience permits doctrine to be ignored, it would be very difficult to imagine that his conscience was either unformed or malformed.
This is not to say that I think the SSPX are without their faults–we are all sinners–only that many of them (not, perhaps, Bp. Williamson) are men of conscience and faith, not lightly to be tossed away.
I keep hearing things like “NeoCats/Lifeteen are disobedient, untraditional, liberals with regards to liturgy but they are actually very orthodox”. That just doesn’t make sense I am afraid. Then the added “orthodox in their beliefs and moral lives” (an attempt at perhaps making us think better of such groups) makes things worse! Since when have we separated liturgy from morality and from beliefs? Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. It’s all there. They are not separate.
If one could be called orthodox for having 2 of the 3, why not just pick any of the two? “Ah yes, I am very orthodox you see, I attend the Latin Mass and I live a moral life, but I do not believe a word of what the Bible says and I think that the Creed is nonsense. But I am orthodox.” Or perhaps “Yes, Latin Mass for me every Sunday, and I have a PhD on the necessity of believing in all Catholic dogma, and despite my business as an abortion provider along with my knack for stealing from the poor I am actually an orthodox believer”.
Why has liturgy been relegated down to mere preference? Why has liturgy been relegated to a place not on the same level as belief and the moral life? Why have we separated them? Since when was it ever orthodox to trample all over the liturgy – remembering that the liturgy is meant to be the highest form of praise for almighty God where we thank Him, adore Him, plead with Him and offer ourselves up to Him. Suddenly this is unimportant? One can forget 1500 years of liturgical doctrine (which is connected intrinsically to belief and morality) and substitute it for new theology and pseudo-Protestant worship and still be called orthodox? I am not saying that Lifeteens or NeoCats are equal to adulters and murderers, nor am I saying that they are outright heretics. It’s just really frightening to see how people have swallowed up modernism, especially with regards to the liturgy and its centrality in our lives.
Someone who knows what to do to be justified in front of God (moral) and someone who knows what to believe and what to profess (beliefs) has no excuse at all for not knowing how to worship (liturgy). I have no clue about their culpability, but this just seems to me to be the case. Unless you are willing to denigrate liturgical matters and say that orthodox Roman Catholic liturgy has/is incorrect or unimportant, then you cannot call the NeoCats orthodox and nor can you call the Lifeteen adherents orthodox. We seem to be so afraid to offend people; as if some should all be congratulated for leading “moral” lives and “believing” the right things. That is bizarre isn’t it? Shouldn’t leading a moral life and believing in the truths God has revealed be the default position anyway? I thought these things were only the start of the Christian life, not the end of it. Yes, if it is true that the Lifteens and NeoCats are moral and Catholic believers, then let them conform to the Catholic liturgical practice.
I guess my point was that *if* they are doctrinally and morally sound, then maybe that shows us that their approach to liturgy might not be that crazy after all. Maybe. After all, I have always taken Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi to mean that they affect and enrich one another, not that they are three boxes to tick.
Anyway, I’m out. Too much work, alas. Prayers all round :)
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The truth about NCW liturgy? (The NeoCats having been mentioned again here.) An explanation by a NCW priest and liturgist:
A reaction to Sandro Magister’s conjectures on the liturgy as celebrated in Neocatechumal communities
He explains the approved NCW liturgical “variances”: A couple of quotes:
“I personally have attended thousands of Eucharistic celebrations . . . All of these Eucharists have been in conformity with the relevant rubrics and used the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite.”
“In an op?ed piece entitled “A breath of Fresh Air” in the current edition of Madrid’s La Razón Cardinal Cañizares (the Prefect of the CDW) did mention the Eucharist as celebrated in the Neocatechumenal communities: ‘The celebration of the Eucharist, in the interior of the itinerary proper to these communities, is carried out in a very dignified and beautiful manner, with a great sense of faith, with an ecclesial spirit that is both festive and liturgical, with a deep ‘sense of mystery and the sacred’“
I have read Open Letter to Confused Catholics. These SSPX bishops and priests could do wonders for the church, if only they would reconcile.
I have Read Open Letter as well and can sympathise with and admire the late +Leferbve even if some of his children have gone totally round the bend
Why has liturgy been relegated to a place not on the same level as belief and the moral life? – Tom Estaban
I’ll take a stab, Tom. Perhaps it is the overall “Protestantization” that has taken place in the Church post-VII. The Mass is the most obvious example, but consider the Council’s description of the priesthood:
The People of God are joined together primarily by the word of the living God. And rightfully they expect this from their priests. Since no one can be saved who does not first believe, priests, as co-workers with their bishops, have the primary duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God to all. (Presbytorum Ordinis – 4)
Let’s nit pik a little starting with sentence #3. I thought that no one can be saved who is not first born again via Baptism? Infants are saved, but they do not yet believe.
Also, since when is the priests “primary” function preaching the word? I thought it was offering sacrifice; i.e., celebrating Holy Mass, consecrating the Eucharist… hearing confessions, forgiving sin in the person of Christ, administering the other sacraments? Perhaps the Council means to say that among those who are called to preach, the priest is primary as the bishop’s helper. OK. That sounds Catholic, but note the ambiguity.
Now look at sentence #1. If by “word of the living God” this means Jesus Christ, whole and entire, sure, but put in the context of the sentences that follow, this seems to be referring to the preached word of God, in a Protestant sense, as though this is what “primarily joins” the people of God together. Really? What about Baptism and the Eucharist as the primary sources of Holy Communion, and Confession as that which re-establishes communion for those who have fallen from grace?
Anyway, I guess you see my point. These three sentences, in a document about the priesthood, paints a rather Protestant image, doesn’t it? With weak-kneed, ambiguous, ecumenically sensitive text like this, is it any wonder so many Catholics, like Protestants, now think of liturgical practice as the ugly and easily ignored stepsister to what it means to “believe?”
In the early Church (and I believe the Eastern Orthodox) three bishops were needed to ordain another bishop, so for now they are safe. But as history has shown (e.g. Polish National Church), the longer they stay in irregular status, the more they will drift away theologically, even if it is not the intent of the SSPX founder.
As I struggle to understand traditional Catholicism it is precisely these discussions that are the most helpful because I believe that it represents an honest cross section. I had a question and answer session with the associate pastor at my parish who offers the mass according to the 1962 missal and I asked him “do you believe we need to go back to 1570?” His reply was no, just 1962. All of this is very interesting to me.
The Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi who served as personal theologian to five popes from 1955 to 1989 had the privilege to read the Third Secret of Fatima.
He wrote: “In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”
Either this man was insane or we were not told the true content of the Third Secret in 2000.
We have to remember too what the Virgin said at La Salette: “Rome will lose the Faith”
“Either this man was insane or we were not told the true content of the Third Secret in 2000.”
A third option being that Fatima and other private revelations aren’t worth the amount of attention that some people like to pay to them.
“We have to remember too what the Virgin said at La Salette: “Rome will lose the Faith”.”
No, we don’t actually. We dont have to pay attention to a single word of it.
“We dont have to pay attention to a single word of it,” sayeth you.
Then don’t. I scarcely believe anyone really cares whether or not you believe or disbelieve any particular Church-approved apparition.
I don’t see the logic here. Bishop Williamson is no longer excommunicated; but no sedevacantists have been excommunicated at all. Where is his (or anyone else’s) authority to call them schismatic?
I have read Open Letter to Catholics… It’s one of the reasons I attend a FSSP parish. I seriously considered going to a SSPX parish but just couldn’t reconcile the fact that disobedience is anything but disobedience. I am a Roman Catholic, therfore I stand with Rome.
@schmenz (that’s a new name)
Wasn’t talking to you. At any rate, the poster I responded to asserted that either a cardinal was insane or that the Holy See are a bunch of liars. I had the audacity to point out that it might not be an either/or situation; there might be other possibilities…for example…that the apparition was inauthentic or misinterpreted to begin with. It hasn’t got to be a matter of either a cardinal is insane, or the Holy See lies.
“I don’t see the logic here. Bishop Williamson is no longer excommunicated; but no sedevacantists have been excommunicated at all. Where is his (or anyone else’s) authority to call them schismatic?”
The logic where? Who said they are schismatic? At any rate, as you point out in the case of sedevacantists, one needn’t be formally excommunicated bell, book, and candle to be schismatic. Sometimes people separate themselves from the Church without getting a letter in the mail from Rome. Lucifer hasn’t been formally excommunicated by Rome, neither has the Nissan Sentra or a doughnut…but none of those things enjoys communion with Peter, either.
Furthermore, “in communion with the Holy See” doesn’t equal “wonderful”. “In communion with the Holy See” is the very least a Catholic should be. That’s the bare minimum. So what if they’re “in communion with the Holy See” if they publicly disobey the Holy See every single day? Catholic rapists and serial murderers are “in communion with the Holy See.” So what?
This post leaves much to be desired. His Grace is one of the last few, faithful and actually Catholic bishops left in the world. Surely you can spend your time attacking a modernist and not this man but you do not. It’s a shame.
“Who said they [sedevacantists] are schismatic?”
Bishop Williamson did. He said, “schismatic sedevacantists.”
Might you have meant “Who said they are excommunicated?”
“At any rate, as you point out in the case of sedevacantists” : I didn’t point out anything in the case of the sedevacantists. Maybe you have someone else in mind?
Now, here’s the original lack of logic: Bishop Williamson was previously excommunicated (not, however, for schism); now he is not; in both cases, by formal declaration of Rome.
Sedevacantists have been excommunicated neither by Rome nor by anybody else, by any formal declaration.
Therefore, their position is exactly equivalent in that regard.
Both claim to be Catholic. Both are considered by many to be schismatic. The illogic is in Bishop Williamson implying that sedevacantists are schismatic, while he is not. And why is that? Because Rome is in charge of excommunicating schismatics. If it does not do so, by what right (as I said before) does anyone else? Has Rome failed to detect schismatics for several decades now? Maybe it’s not a very reliable guide.
You said, “Lucifer hasn’t been formally excommunicated by Rome, neither has the Nissan Sentra or a doughnut…but none of those things enjoys communion with Peter, either.”
That’s a silly statement. Let’s skip the cars and the doughnuts. Lucifer isn’t eligible to be a member of the Church, so he can’t be either a schismatic or excommunicated. Neither is any other angel; the Church is made up only of human beings. No, the question is, if someone claims to be Catholic, has actually been a Catholic, and others (including yourself, since you say he needs to “come home”) think he is schismatic, who is to judge? Bishop Williamson was baptized (or received) into the Catholic Church; so were the sedevacantists. People who have nothing to do with the Church are not the issue here. Rome has said in so many words that Bishop Williamson isn’t excommunicated, so how is he schismatic? Automatic excommunication applies to schismatics.
Logic demands a consistent application of principles.
You say, “one needn’t be formally excommunicated bell, book, and candle to be schismatic.”
That’s true. Thanks for helping me make my point. It’s also true that one can plead justification for apparent disobedience. The SSPX does so. It’s further true that there are canonical grounds for questioning the validity of a pope, and that it’s schismatic to be in communion with an antipope. That’s the sedevacantist position. Those pleas are legitimate under the law of the Church. Who are you (or Bishop Williamson) to judge them? That’s the question I’m still waiting to hear from you about.
The illogic here: selective application of principles.