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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.

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

    He usually does, Charles. 

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

    “Loose canons”, I read. 

    One’s imagination runs riot: “hundreds” of “loose canons” running around chasing after the barmaids, is that what he means? 

    Illiterate.

  • JabbaPapa

    Williamson was removed because of his overt rebellion against both Catholic principles and Society rules.

    But then I guess it’s no surprise that Williamson has attracted all the conspiracy theorists under his wing …

  • JabbaPapa

    Well said !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    In fact, both.

  • JabbaPapa

    Outside — but it was truly shocking, I can tell you…

  • JabbaPapa

    He has been validly consecrated Jabba

    Yes I know — this does not force me to use the associated honorifics (although if I were to meet him in person, politeness would require me to).

  • JabbaPapa

    That’s a very interesting post, notwithstanding that I disagree with … not so much its particular contents, but its reasoning.

    Theologically, it’s the SSPX who are claiming various things, NOT the Holy See — from a strictly orthodox point of view, the SSPX objections are essentially licit in nature except for those among them who wish to reject Vatican II entirely.

    The only non-orthodox claims are made by SSPX — because what SSPX objects to can be disagreed with quite licitly.

    Theologically, the only major problem raised by SSPX is the Religious Freedom one, because it appears to contradict some established infallible doctrines (note — “appears to” is not the same as “does”), which is a real theological difficulty, that any orthodox Catholic theologian could raise anyway.

    Really, all that is necessary is for the SSPX to officially abandon the heretical notion that an Ecumenical Council can be declared as invalid by anyone other than the Pope, and all other difficulties will just vanish, because they are in fact rather minor.

    When I say the difficulties are “minor” — I do not mean the heart of the SSPX position, that the Church has been corrupted with relativism, Americanism, and Modernism !!! These facts are not “minor” in the slightest !!! But they are not difficulties in vue of our Catholic hopes for reconciliation of the Society.

    Your point that Vatican II is not actually being adhered to by many in our Church is rather pertinent.

  • JabbaPapa

    To be fair, the attempt to stifle the Traditional Latin Mass into oblivion was an extreme circumstance, alleviated at last by the Encyclicals Ecclesia Dei and Summorum Pontificum.

  • oompaul

     And if they are in conflict?

  • JabbaPapa

    This is a re-introduction of the false principle of private judgement

    Exactly — and it’s a fundamentally modernist Error.

  • JabbaPapa

    Sorry for not explicitly naming Ecclesia Dei in my phrase “the various competent Dicasteries and Commissions at the Holy See” …

    His direct superior as a Catholic, given that he has been consecrated as a Bishop, and has also been stripped of canonical regularity, and belongs to no religious order, is not the parish priest of his place of residence (as would normally be the case), but the Bishop.

    The Ecclesia Dei Commission is competent for the relationships of the Holy See with the SSPX and for issues concerning the application of Summorum Pontificum, so that it’s fairly unclear that Williamson remains under their jurisdiction, except insofar as the Mass is concerned.

    Williamson is a priest resident in the Archdiocese of Southwark — and he therefore owes obedience to the Archbishop of Southwark.

    Bizarrely, this actually means that a personal reconciliation of Williamson with the Holy See is technically far simpler for him than the 3 SSPX Bishops, because of his expulsion from SSPX — though his positions on this and that will likely make it impossible.

  • JabbaPapa

    No — the position of the SSPX has systematically been that various individual teachings of Vatican II invalidate the Council as a whole, for whichever “reasons”.

    Whereas the orthodox position is that Councils must be accepted as a whole, and detail discussion of problems in their teachings occurs afterwards.

    Very good comment BTW !!!

  • http://twitter.com/CelticAngloPres CelticAngloPress

    Looks like the Catholic Church can no longer call itself Catholic, or a Church, it is with the Marxists.
    And they wonder why the Church will and us being abandoned, it will simply be replaced with that which will remain loyal to Europe, instead of allowing the Judeo and Islamic world become its slave masters.

    Bishop Williamson will be missed, he was a great man.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mark+weber&oq=mark+weber&gs_l=youtube.3..35i39l2j0l6j0i10l2.4899.6104.0.6824.10.10.0.0.0.0.87.681.10.10.0…0.0…1ac.1.GGpZo6fY044

    https://www.youtube.com/results?q=ernst+zundel&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=w1&gl=GB

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=david+irving&oq=david+irving&gs_l=youtube.3..35i39l2j0l8.7536.9146.0.9343.12.12.0.0.0.0.107.880.10j2.12.0…0.0…1ac.1.gtdoAN8AkN4

  • 2_Armpits_4_Sister_Sarah

    It would be the height of rudeness to not address him as an Archbishop. Williamson deserves the same courtesy as Williams.

  • JabbaPapa

    God is NEVER in conflict with Man.

    If Man is in conflict with God, then he is sinful.

  • oompaul

     This answer is simply sophistry

  • JabbaPapa

    Williamson’s consecration was illicit — the lifting of his excommunication does not alter that fact.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Hardly ‘hundreds of loose canons’.

    A few dozen at most.

    Anyway, who cares about a handful of Sedevacantists.  As for Sedeprivationalists – who are they? 

  • awkwardcustomer

    Which Orthodoxy is that? 

  • awkwardcustomer

    Your entire post contradicts what has been said by Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Cardinal Ratzinger.  Vatican II was declared to be a pastoral Council, it defined no new dogmas, and does not carry the mark of infallibilty.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Archbishop Lefebvre expelled 4 Sedevacantist priests from the SSPX in 1983.  These were joined by 5 more priests and came to be called ‘the nine’ in SSPX circles. 

    Why do you keep referring to the various ‘Sede’ groups in the same breath as the SSPX?

  • Nat_ons

    The submissive obedience due to a divinely allotted teaching authority – such as the Successor the the See of Peter - prevails over agreement on personal opinions of witness to the Faith (no matter how sound, correct and just that opinion may be).

    “Obey your prelates and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls: that they may do this with joy and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you. ” Heb 13 : 17.

    Opinion, and especially firmly orthodox, catholic and magisterial opinion, not least that on Sacred Tradition is undoubtedly important – indeed key to healing the malaise afflicting the Church – but care of souls is always paramount.

  • Nat_ons

    While perhaps inevitable, given the personalities and opinions involved, yet this parting does sadden me deeply.

    “As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers.” Rom 11 : 28.

    It is Paul’s teaching that points out the enmity between law-abiding Judaism and grace-led Christianity, not His Grace Bishop Williamson (or his rather oddly careless use of such doctrine in the face of the condemnation of racism by Pius XI, Pius XII and not just the Second Vatican Council).

    Please God, His Grace Bishop Bernard Fellay may continue to attract the fidelity of the other bishops in the SSPX and their desire to bring a fully traditional, firmly orthodox and unassailably catholic witness back to the heart of the Roman communion - in itself a very BIG ask of the Lord, I know, again .. ‘given the personalities and opinions involved’ ..

    The anti-Fellay-ite positions found on-line among the remnant of a remnant of the ‘true’ SSPX seem determined to oppose communion with Benedict XVI, and the Hermeneutic Of Continuity, at all costs; so their target of hate, the ‘Apostate SSPX’ seeking reconciliation, must face down any such spirit of divisionism with fortitude .. and receive the good will and ceaseless prayer of those who long for this now long overdue communion.

  • JabbaPapa

    You’re the one asking sophistic questions — what did you expect ? Non-sophistic answers ???

  • JabbaPapa

    The truly divine teaching Authority is God Himself.

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

    Tell that to St. Athanasius.

  • Craig

     My friend, what doctrine?  The SSPX does follow all of Church doctrine.  If you read all of the documents of Vatican II and what the Church has stated, it was “pastoral”.  Where is your outrage for 99% of Catholic churches that have some type of Protestantism/Modernism occurring daily.  (FYI: due to availability, I attend the TLM and NO Mass at diocesan churches.)

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

    No, this is NOT the SSPX position at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/prez.obomney Prez Obomney

    Bishop Williamson should be Pope. He is a defender and true shepherd of the true Catholic Faith. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/prez.obomney Prez Obomney

    Rome is in heresy. A heretic cannot declare another schismatic anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/prez.obomney Prez Obomney

    “Satan’s masterstroke is to have succeeded in
    sowing disobedience to all Tradition through obedience.” ~ Archbishop
    Marcel Lefebvre

  • http://www.facebook.com/prez.obomney Prez Obomney

    “Satan’s masterstroke is to have succeeded in
    sowing disobedience to all Tradition through obedience.” ~ Archbishop
    Marcel Lefebvre

  • JabbaPapa

    Rubbish.

  • JabbaPapa

    Monseigneur Fellay reiterated this exact position in a sermon he gave towards the end of he Summer, and it’s just as clearly the position of Tissier de Mallerais…

  • JabbaPapa

    Yes, but the term “pastoral Council” is just a useful shorthand for “an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church that focused most of its work on pastoral questions”. It has no existence as a legal definition in canon Law.

    The Council itself, taken as a whole, is not fallible — no Ecumenical Councils taken as a whole are fallible, and they must ALL be accepted by Catholics de fide.

  • TXJenny

    The article contains an error. Williamson was consecrated a bishop in 1988; he was ordained a priest in 1976.

    I think Bishop Williamson’s long overdue expulsion is an exceedingly prudent measure, for the good of all the society’s members and especially for the American laity that attend their Masses. His fervent anti-American, pro-socialism propagandizing has corrupted the hearts and minds of too many American Catholics, and further marginalized the traditionalist movement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/prez.obomney Prez Obomney

    “Satan’s masterstroke is to have succeeded in sowing disobedience to all
    Tradition through obedience.” ~ Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

  • oompaul

    Your answer once again confirms my firm opposition to ecumenic dialogue between Orthodoxy and the Roman church

  • Peter

    SSPX faithful should stop giving money during Sunday collections, and/or cancel your intermittent debit contributions, until Bishop Williamson’s expulsion is lifted and an apology is given to him, and SSPX requires Rome to reject its heresy and modernism. No deal with Rome until they come back to the true Faith they abandoned at Vatican II.

  • Peter

    SSPX faithful should stop giving money during Sunday collections,
    and/or cancel your intermittent debit contributions, until Bishop
    Williamson’s expulsion is lifted and an apology is given to him, and
    SSPX requires Rome to reject its heresy and modernism. No deal with Rome
    until they come back to the true Faith they abandoned at Vatican II.

  • oompaul
  • JabbaPapa

    ?????

  • awkwardcustomer

    ‘The Council itself, taken as a whole, is not fallible — no Ecumenical Councils taken as a whole are fallible, and they must ALL be accepted by Catholics de fide.’

    You make this statement, or something like it, repeatedly.  And yet according to Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Cardinal Ratzinger, Vatican II made no dogmatgic definitions requiring the assent of Faith.  Therefore Catholics are within their rights to make reservations regarding any
    novelties emanating from Vatican II that are out of step with Sacred Tradition
    and the previous (continuous) Magisterium of the Church. Vatican II unlike
    previous Church Councils, did not pretend to bolster the faith of the faithful
    by means of clarifying those unchangeable truths of the Catholic faith, but rather dealt with theological
    conclusions which on a number of issues were contrary to the Church teaching or
    at least ambiguous enough to encourage a non Catholic interpretation. 

    Has it ever been stated by a Pope that Catholics are required to give an assent of Faith to Vatican II, as would be the case if the Council had been proclaimed dogmatically?

  • awkwardcustomer

    ‘The Council itself, taken as a whole, is not fallible — no Ecumenical Councils taken as a whole are fallible, and they must ALL be accepted by Catholics de fide.’

    You make this statement, or something like it, repeatedly. And yet according to Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Cardinal Ratzinger, Vatican II made no dogmatic definitions requiring the assent of Faith.

    Therefore Catholics are within their rights to make reservations regarding any novelties emanating from Vatican II that are out of step with Sacred Tradition and the previous (continuous) Magisterium of the Church.

    Has it ever been stated by a Pope that Catholics are required to give an assent of Faith to Vatican II, as would be the case if the Council had been proclaimed dogmatically?

  • stan zorin

    The irony of it is that at the end of the day when the protestants, who had helped to reprogram the deposit of the faith of the Catholic Church by their brotherly help in preparing and working on the documents and materials for the then coming II.Vatican council, said that ” We made a mistake [at the times of the so-called Reformation] in leaving the Catholic Church” and meant by saying this that the way to wreck the Church is not by leaving the city of God and then founding themselves helpless standing before its walls but by staying inside and working to undermine and destroy from within [also by pushing and chasing those who are true catholics out], the irony of it is that you agree with those protestants that the right way to destroy the Church is by using the ‘the obedience’ card to get rid of or silence those who do not agree with the new meanings to the old dogmas. The new meanings and sulphurous twists that were planted by those that recognized that Luther, Calvin & associates made a serious error in not staying in the Church, slyly taking over the top posts and then with the help of the Church’s strictures on obedience forcing on the common believers the reinterpretation of the faith in the new light of the occult jewish Gnosis.
    Please do some study and reading on the satanic 20th century, on how its insanities affected even the Church.
     .. a small matter to think about – do you ever get upset when seeing the [majority of ] bishops regularly disobey the successor of Peter on all kinds of matters regarding the teaching and preserving the deposit of the faith and matters relating to the discipline in the Church ? For instance denying Christ by actively obstructing those who try to evangelize the Jews or for instance by obstinately sticking to an error, a heresy by refusing to say at the mass, during the consecration, “…which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins” and instead they keep saying “for all” instead of “for many”. How many of them were chased out of His Church like the SSPX ? Many, some, one, none ?

  • JabbaPapa

    Lumen Gentium : 25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel
    occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead
    new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers
    endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them
    the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy
    Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation
    new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any
    errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the
    Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic
    truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ
    and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious
    assent
    . This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special
    way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not
    speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme
    magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are
    sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will
    in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his
    frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

    Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of
    infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever,
    even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of
    communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically
    teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as
    definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered
    together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and
    morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the
    submission of faith
    .(41*)

    And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to
    be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the
    deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully
    expounded
    . And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of
    the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme
    shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their
    faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*)
    And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the
    Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the
    assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore
    they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other
    judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private
    person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism
    of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding
    or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to
    the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the
    supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter
    . To these definitions the assent
    of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy
    Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity
    of faith.(44*)

    But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him
    defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself,
    which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the
    Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety
    through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman
    Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is
    religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman
    Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the
    matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that
    revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public
    revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)

    Canon: Can.
    337 §1 The College of Bishops exercises its power over the universal Church in
    solemn form in an Ecumenical Council.

    §2 It
    exercises this same power by the united action of the Bishops dispersed
    throughout the world, when this action is as such proclaimed or freely accepted
    by the Roman Pontiff, so that it becomes a truly collegial act.

    Can.
    341 §1 The decrees of an Ecumenical Council do not oblige unless they are
    approved by the Roman Pontiff as well as by the Fathers of the Council,
    confirmed by the Roman Pontiff and promulgated by his direction.

    Can.
    227 To lay members of Christ’s faithful belongs the right to have acknowledged
    as theirs that freedom in secular affairs which is common to all citizens. In
    using this freedom, however, they are to ensure that their actions are
    permeated with the spirit of the Gospel, and they are to heed the teaching of
    the Church proposed by the magisterium, but they must be on guard, in questions
    of opinion, against proposing their own view as the teaching of the Church.

  • Info

    Bishop Williamson is … “obedient as far as [he] feels able to be without compromising on the Faith; but the doctrinal questions need to be sorted out first.”

  • Enid Ecumaniac

    Faith and morals dearie, faith and morals.

    None of that was defined at Vatican II.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Disqus is having a bad day.