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SSPX expels Bishop Williamson

By on Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bishop Williamson had written an open letter calling for the superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, to resign (Photo: CNS)

Bishop Williamson had written an open letter calling for the superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, to resign (Photo: CNS)

The Society of St Pius X has confirmed that it has expelled the English Bishop Richard Williamson.

Bishop Williamson, 72, one of four men illicitly ordained in 1988 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in Écône, Switzerland, has been a controversial figure, particularly for his views on Jews, who he has called the “enemies of Christ”.

In a statement the society said: “Bishop Richard Williamson, having distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years, and refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors, was declared excluded from the SSPX by decision of the superior general and its council on October 4 2012. A final deadline had been granted to him to declare his submission, after which he announced the publication of an ‘open letter’ asking the superior general to resign.

“This painful decision has become necessary by concern for the common good of the Society of Saint Pius X and its good government, according to what Archbishop Lefebvre denounced: ‘This is the destruction of authority. How authority can be exercised if it needs to ask all members to participate in the exercise of authority?’”

Bishop Williamson, who was educated at Winchester, has denied that millions of Jews died in Nazi gas chambers and believes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be authentic.

A television interview in which Bishop Williamson denied the Holocaust was broadcast in January 2009 on the same day that Pope Benedict XVI lifted the automatic excommunications of the four bishops, causing the Vatican embarrassment. Bishop Williamson apologised to the Pope but did not retract the statement.

Superior general Bishop Bernard Fellay subsequently banned Bishop Williamson from speaking in public.

  • Back to Basics!

    No only Jesus saves them! The church is the trusted vessel through which the plan of salvation is ‘worked out’ practically. Every single persons obedience is to God firstly, not to organisations and persons, which are secondary. They should only be followed if they follow the first principle. If they teach false doctrines and corruptions then they sow their own seeds for the fallout, which has been happening for the last 50 years on many aspects. Ecumenical and interfaith being a start. Liturgy also. 

  • Charles Martel

     No, we don’t ‘have’ to refuse them. That would be ridiculous. Traditionalists have strong reservations about the NOVELTIES in Vatican II which endanger the Faith; in particular ‘ecumenism’, which had been condemned by previous Popes.
    Other non-traditionalist Catholics reject other parts of the Council, such as the requirement for Gregorian chant. Therefore we can say that traditionalists reject parts of the Council for good reasons, while non-traditionalists reject other parts for bad reasons.

  • Charles Martel

     Sweetjae. I think we should go back to basics. Did Vatican II add to or change the deposit of Faith? Did it define any doctrine? Did it issue any anathemas? No. Traditionalists of course accept everything in it that is part of their Catholic Faith. As for the novelties, however, we have reservations, and ask the Pope to judge on them, as we know that in the long run the novelties which are erroneous will be corrected.

  • Charles Martel

     Sweetjae, are we obliged to accept this teaching as part of our Catholic Faith (de fide):
    “Among the wonderful technological discoveries which men of talent,
    especially in the present era, have made with God’s help, the Church welcomes
    and promotes with special interest those which have a most direct relation to
    men’s minds and which have uncovered new avenues of communicating most readily
    news, views and teachings of every sort. The most important of these inventions
    are those media which, such as the press, movies, radio, television and the
    like, can, of their very nature, reach and influence, not only individuals, but
    the very masses and the whole of human society, and thus can rightly be called
    the media of social communication.”Have you even ever read this before?

  • Sweetjae

    My “spoiled toddler” was a descriptive interpretation of his reaction when treated back the same way as he did. Objectivity, Jabba??by calling me a Modernist and Liberal at the same time??hmmmm.

  • Sweetjae

    Huh???what is your point?

  • Sweetjae

    So? The statement is still true. I can also give you a lot of citations from the past Councils that are seem ‘irrelevant’ to the catholic Faith but true, so what does your point proves?

  • Sweetjae

    Well that’s good however according to an internal survey inside the SSPX about 20% are closet Sedevacantists.

  • Sweetjae

    Whatever level of obedience one has to submit, at the end of the day, we as Catholics STILL have to give our assent to a legit Council. Now the question is, DO the SSPX and you submit your religious assent to all the Teachings of VII? Yes or no would do.

  • Sweetjae

    Alright now read this Declarations by Vatican [1] :

    Section 3, Chapter 3, 8: “Wherefore, by divine and catholic faith all those things are to be believed …which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition and which are proposed by the church as matters to be believed as divinely
    revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ORDINARYand Universal magisterium.”Now read and compare this Declaration by Vatican [2]:”In view of the
    pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of
    dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility,… but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the ORDINARY Magisterium.”

    Then read the first part
    of Paul VI’s words below in this light: extraordinary, i.e., those rare
    statements of dogma such as the only two proclaimed “Ex Cathedra”
    until now, the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception. He wished to clarify
    that the purpose of convening an Ecumenical Council was not to condemn errors
    or to define new dogmas. Rather, they gathered in order to pastorally
    safeguard that which has already been entrusted to the Church’s faith, in
    greater clarity. It is utterly foreign to
    the mind of the Church that Her teachings, especially when set forth in union
    with 2500 bishops preside by the Vicar of Christ and promulgated in solemn
    decrees defined in an ecumenical council, are merely optional pastoral
    niceties. I hope you do not succumb to this flagrant misuse of Church teaching. 

  • Sweetjae

    I agree with you then however,  we should discuss the some problems arising from some texts but I think they are just  interpretive difficulties NOT errors, because if an exercise of duly convened  General Council with Papal authority can not guide the Church to teach and promulgate errors, then what will do? Why also you do not believe that some past Councils had erred as well? 

  • Sweetjae

    Furthermore, we shouldn’t pit Church Teachings as between those with Anathemas and those that don’t. Its not a catholic thing. Majority of Apostolic Letters, Pontifical Commissions, Encyclical Letters, Ordinary Magisterium,  etc don’t have anathemas and are not infallibly defined. Artificial Contraception, Cloning, Genetic manipulations  etc. etc, are good examples yet catholics still have to obey and follow.

  • JabbaPapa

    This does not create any sort of “right” to disobey and ignore any of the Council teachings — furthermore it is NOT true that Vatican II taught no doctrine ; not every doctrine is an infallible dogma.

    The teachings of Vatican II that are to be held de fide are, for the most part, those that are found in the latest edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Simply look at the footnotes of that document, and the occasional in-text reference, and you will be able to reconstruct a bare list of which teachings from Vatican II documents are to be adhered to by the Faithful.

  • Sweetjae

    I don’t know why the Editor of this thread deleted my reply to you Mr. Carter though I didnt write anything profane, maybe he sympathized with Benedict’s cause, very unfair.

    Anyways, you and Jabba really like the ad hominem at me???Then preach it’s uncatholic when I replied the same way.

  • JabbaPapa

    I described some of your comments as being modernist and/or liberal in nature, yes — objectively.

  • Sweetjae

    You clicked the “like” button of Mr. Carter who called me “ILLITERATE”. Then you preach it’s uncatholic if you received the same treatment now claim objectivity?

  • Sweetjae

    What???Then your description is pure baloney! Everyone knows that, you know that!

  • Sweetjae

    We were having an emotional exchange about nobody has the right to censure free speech in public forum as long as not having profanities, then you called me a Modernist and Liberal out of nowhere! What a load of tosh.

  • awkwardcustomer

    The SSPX condemns Sedevacantism.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Jabba, I’m testing to see if this reply works. 

  • Charles Martel

     I’m simply trying to show you that Councils have taught a variety of things. You can’t honestly believe that a Christian is equally obliged to believe ‘Inter Mirifica’ (the VII document on social communications) as he is obliged to accept the assumption into heaven of Our Blessed Lady…

  • tolle lege

    trad caths? nah, new protestants really.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/ EditorCT

    You ARE wrong. Big time.  Unless St Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church was wrong when he explained that Catholics may sometimes have to “disobey” a Pope – papolatrist would do well to read up on this subject because they’re very far removed from holding to the Catholic position on the extent and limites of papal authority.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/ EditorCT

    Again, wrong.  Nobody in “the Church” from the Pope down has the right to add any new “doctrine” to the deposit of Faith.  Again, you need to read up on what previous Popes have said about ecumenism, for example, to realise how modern popes have moved radically away from the deposit of Faith on this. Ever wonder why there has been such a rush to canonise these popes, before they’ve had time to get out of Purgatory?

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/ EditorCT

    BTW, irony, you are confusing the sort of obedience required of a religious to a Superior in a convent or monastery, when “all other things are equal”.  If a Religious Superior was demanding that a  religious sister or brother pronounced belief in something alien to the Faith, they would HAVE to refuse obedience under pain of sin. Always, the Catholic submissive attitude to superiors rests on the presumption that (a) the superior is not teaching any new doctrine and (b) that they are not requiring the subject to do anything criminal etc.

  • Helen

    thank you, Benedict.  Again very well put….I like you end comment “that is the true irony for you”.

  • Sweetjae

    That’s alright, anyways we both love the Catholic Church.

  • Sweetjae

    How could it be objective when we were talking about about the right of free speech then suddenly out of nowhere you labelled me as such???The Editor seemed to have a fondness of deleting my replies to you and  I guess you have an ally….very bias.

  • Sweetjae

    huh? what is your point? Can be said to you too, right?

  • scary goat

    I think what will happen eventually is the Pope will “clarify” (the problematic parts of) V II out of all existence.  It has to be done this way to avoid scandalizing the faithful.  I think he knows what the problems are and is addressing them slowly, because doing a U-turn suddenly might do more harm than good.  People couldn’t understand how there could be a problem with a council. He has to be seen to be “continuing” from the council and “clarifying” and by that route he can achieve “scrapping”.  It will mean years of walking on egg-shells but it will have to be done.  Eventually when they have done enough “clarifying” SSPX can be seen to come back in line with Rome, duly repentant of their “disobedience” and we can all live happily ever after.  In the meantime we’re all a bit pooped, because whichever way we go it’s” wrong”. 

    (This is nothing much to do with the main article…it’s a reply to all the arguments below about SSPX position, but not a specific reply to one person)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Thanks Helen for kind words.

  • aspiring lay capuchin

    we’ll see who has the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Roman church goes from strength to strength 1.1billion Catholics and counting. The SSPX is estagnant, dithering, factionalised. Fellay cannot deliver anything.

    Within 20years the Catholic church will still amount to something. The SSPX might be zero – non existent

  • Togold

    I thought people on the tradionalist wing of the Church were against ‘pick and mix’ catholics

  • scary goat

     I’m pretty sure the Pope said recently that the documents on other religions ignored the down-side of those religions.  Why would he say that if there was not a problem?

  • Dr_balavendrian

    what now SSPX has lost its spirit. what Bishop Williamson did is wright . The Vatican 11is Freemason center for adultery , you see Vatican Leak. HOW  MUCH MORE COVER UP.  VATICAN HAS A LOT OF ITS OWN PROBLEM TRYING TO SURVIVE BY COMPROMISING WITH OTHER SO CALLED FAITH, don’t WORRY Islam WILL NEVER JOIN US . TKS GOD CREATED THE MUSLIMS TO KEEP CHECK AND BALANCE. bishop WILLIAMSON IS NOT NOT REMOVED BECAUSE OF ADULTERY OF CHILD ABUSE  .You SSPX remove him because he is in the Light and you will see .GOD is with , why not go tell the Muslims to be obedient to the pope and its sad the holy father is becoming powerless as some cardinals are high jacking him . Christ is  in control

  • pius x

     The problem is that the SSPX hold the same doctrine in the same understanding as Catholics and Popes have always maintained. If Vatican II and its aftermath says contrary and is not infallible, then in no way is any Catholic obliged to follow. Should we do what JPII did and get blessings from wich doctors, or shall we heed the advice of all of the Popes before 1958 right back to St Peter? It is not a matter of obedience, for error binds no one. Obedience is to beunderstood in the correct sense the Church has always understood it. It is in no way blind. Look at the state of the Church today.

  • aspiring lay capuchin

    Mr. Editor and webmaster you have edited many of the comments out which support williamson’s rational analysis of the holocaust. What are you afraid of? Why censor other people’s thoughts?

  • Jkphil0107

    Who is the Society of St. Pius X being disobedient to?  The Vatican?  Or maybe the Vatican is and continues to be disobedient to The Church (and all that The Church stands for)?

  • Blasius

     At the end of the Day you cannot ignore what is right in front of your face. Pope Pius X in his Encyclical PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS/On the Doctrine of the Modernists warned: “…the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but , what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom…” Mechanical Belief in False Teaching is a misunderstanding of the nature of Belief and of the Infallible Church. Pope Pius X wrote his Encyclical for a very serious reason. There is a war going on within the Church between the Modernists and Catholics. Right now the Modernists have the upper hand, but they are losing ground and they do not have the argument. A Heart in love with God is required to use its brain to its fullest capacity. The Heart of the Church is infallible, but where is that Heart?

  • Blasius

     At the end of the Day you cannot ignore what is right in front of your
    face. Pope Pius X in his Encyclical PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS/On the
    Doctrine of the Modernists warned: “…the partisans of error are to be
    sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but , what is to be
    most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom…” Mechanical Belief in
    False Teaching is a misunderstanding of the nature of Belief and of the
    Infallible Church. Pope Pius X wrote his Encyclical for a very serious
    reason. There is a war going on within the Church between the Modernists
    and Catholics. Right now the Modernists have the upper hand, but they
    are losing ground and they do not have the argument. A Heart in love
    with God is required to use its brain to its fullest capacity. The Heart
    of the Church is infallible, but where is that Heart?

  • Thomas Wood

    How would the Church have fared, I wonder, if St Athanasius the Great had been ‘obedient’ in the manner you suggest? Obedience will not save you, if it is obedience to error – and you speak as if individuals cannot err! They most certainly can, and pastoral elements of previous councils have been revised or outright thrown out before now. The second Vatican council was avowedly pastoral in nature, and the SSPX is now out in the cold because they cannot in good conscience be seen to be complicit with the licenses taken directly on account of that council’s ambiguities and apparent inconsistencies. But they reject no dogma, and they renounce no Church authority, and the fact that their position is taken seriously by the Holy Father, and not merely ‘tolerated’ like some lingering bad smell that he hopes will finally go away, should give us pause for thought before throwing accusations of schism about. The Church, I believe, cannot move forward until those ambiguities and apparent inconsistencies are resolved and the head of the present unhappy rot cauterised, and it is important that somebody makes that point vigorously. How could the SSPX do so, if they bowed to the novus ordo mass, which is – more than just sub-ideal – in practice a vehicle for the ruin of many souls (no surprise here; read what ‘Grace of Baal’ Bugnini has to say on his darling offspring), or pretended that the council documents as they stand are consistent with historical church teaching, when in certain areas the language could have been calculated to prove the opposite?

    You cannot equate the pastoral (not dogmatic) affirmations of a few popes with ‘what the Church teaches’, and nor can you equate the general ‘spirit’ in which they have pursued their ministry with discernment of what is and what is not Catholic doctrine. There has in fact, since the council, been a monumental failure to clarify and ‘discern’ doctrine, and in fact it is to this (amongst other things) that the SSPX desires to return the Church. I have been at the sharp end of this, as a convert to Catholicism from Anglicanism; I found it very hard to see in what, substantially, Catholicism differed in from Anglicanism, before encountering large aspects of theology prevalent before V-II which, curiously, seem to be completely ignored and even suppressed and downplayed in many quarters.  If the SSPX were against the mind of Christ, they would be in clear breach of a dogma: as it is, they are among very few major Catholic voices affirming the fullness of the faith, and I thank God for their ministry.