Bishop Williamson – Excommunicated!

BpWilliamsonwebsite

Illicit Consecration revealed by Rorate going on in Brazil at this moment

French blog Riposte Catholique mentions today that the Consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure (a former member of the Society of Saint Pius X) by Bishop Richard Williamson (expelled from the same Society in 2012) was to have been kept secret – until Rorate revealed it to the world in a worldwide exclusive text, forcing the hand of those involved who had to admit it would take place.

 Why was it kept secret? Probably because those involved wished to present the event as a fait accompli. As Riposte Catholique also informs, the Nunciature in Brazil informed those involved of the canonical penalties that will be applied as a consequence of the act.

 ***

 The act is taking place right now in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, exactly as Rorate had revealed (thanks to our very reliable sources, as our readers can now verify by themselves).

 A Spanish-language blog of the so-called “Resistance”  (former members and associates of the SSPX, that left that Society due to the contacts with the Holy See) is covering the ongoing event and posting images, such as the one below.  Source

Comment

There can be no justification for what Bishop Williamson is doing today, beyond the need to keep himself in the headlines. Quoting himself on his website banner doesn’t seem to have cut the mustard, so something had to be done, I suppose. Still, a schismatic act, when there is no state of emergency to meet the conditions in Canon Law, means automatic excommunication.   The only good thing that may come of this, is that some, at least, of the SSPX faithful who followed this arrogant rebel in his daft “resistance” (to nothing) movement may now come to their senses.  That’s what I think – what about you?

Update:  the illicit consecration did take place, so the penalty of automatic excommunication applies. 

81 responses

  1. What will the SSPX do when the Bishops Fellay, Tissier de Mallerais and de Galarreta are approaching the inevitable, that is to say, old age, infirmity and death? Will the SSPX Bishops consecrate more Bishops to guarantee traditional ordinations for the SSPX and the administration of the sacraments, or will they ‘trust’ in Novus Ordo Bishops to have the good-will to perform ordinations in the traditional rite? I believe that the 3 SSPX Bishops will do the former because they will not find themselves able to trust the NO authorities, and will not put the continuation of the SSPX to chance at the hands of the modernist authorities. If the SSPX Bishops die without consecrating any successors, the modernist hierarchy would be more than delighted to refuse to perform ordinations etc, and permit the demise of the bone they can’t swallow or cough up.

    The time will come when Bishop Fellay et al will be accused of being a ‘schismatic’ as Archbishop Lefebvre was. He will have to consecrate more Bishops, because, even today the SSPX guarantees the existence of other traditional apostolates, i.e. FSSP and ICKSP, as the hierarchy only supports the latter to tempt the faithful from the SSPX. No SSPX=no FSSP/ICKSP.

    I do not support the consecration Brazil, as there are three SSPX Bishops, the Bishop of the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney and umpteen other Bishops (Burke, Schneider etc) who travel far and wide to perform traditional sacraments, and so the sacraments are guaranteed. What’s more the faith is guaranteed, due to the solid young seminarians who are filling the seminaries, and the rise of solid and orthodox Bishops in opposition to the modernists.

    • CC,

      Yes, +Fellay has said the SSPX Bishops are willing to carry out consecrations to continue their work, though I am very sure he would prefer to do so non-controversially.

      +Fellay was interviewed by “The Angelus” Magazine in 2013, (May-June edition) for the Silver Jubilee of the consecration of himself and the other SSPX Bishops.

      Here is a relevant piece (note: I only post the end of the particular question here)

      The Angelus: “The number of traditional faithful has grown in the past 25 years, yet sadly the number of Bishops in the Society has been reduced to three. Is it necessary to consecrate more Bishop now?”

      Bishop Fellay: “Since 2009, in fact, we have been working with 3 Bishops. Obviously, it is working. Thus, it is clear that with three it still works. So there is no urgency or extreme need to consecrate another Bishop.

      We certainly do have to ask ourselves the question concerning the future even if right now there is no necessity.

      My answer is very simple: if and when the circumstances which led the Archbishop to make such a decision present themselves again, we will take the same means.

  2. Well, there’s very little commentary across the internet on this damp squib news. The Catholic Herald reports it but that seems to be it. We could have left this for discussion on the General Discussion thread, no bother. Still, it’s here for posterity, not that posterity has ever done anything for us…

    CC,

    The SSPX bishops are all young and, given the likelihood of divine intervention in the not too far distant future, I think there is no fear of the Church running out of traditional bishops. So, there really can be NO excuse whatsoever for what Bishop Williamson did today. He seeks, it seems, to style himself in the mould of Archbishop Lefebvre but there is about as much resemblance between the two of them as there is between Rabbie Burns (Scots poet) and Rab C. Nesbitt (crude Scots “comic”)

    What a sad way to spend the Feast of St Joseph, Protector of the Church, it must be said and I hope all who attended that consecration reflect on this fact.

  3. I read Bishop Williamson’s reports, which seem reasonable enough. As I understand it he was excommunicated many years ago, and brought back in on certain provisos. Whether this new act violates those agreements or not would be good to know. If I don’t find anything definitive here, then perhaps I’ll read it from the bishop himself.

    • Dalethorn,

      There were no “provisos” attached by Pope Benedict XVI to the lifting of the excommunications in 2009. It’s not like being released from prison on probation!

      As you will no doubt be aware, the SSPX bishops rightly refused to recognise the excommunications of 1988 on the basis that Canon Law forbids censure in cases of illicit episcopal consecrations where the consecrating bishop and the candidates truly believe that a state of necessity exists in the Church, even it that belief subsequently proves to be wrong.

      In 1988 there was not a single bishop in the world apart from Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Meyer who was prepared to ordain Traditional priests for the Traditional Mass. These two bishops were even then very advanced in age and, having exhausted all efforts to reach agreement with the Modernist authorities in Rome to secure sound Catholic priests for the future, had no choice but to act as they did.

      I remember Archbishop Lefebvre on the day of the consecrations saying that it was the hardest decision he had ever had to make in 60 years as a priest and servant of the Church, and he made it explicitly clear again that the bishops he was consecrating would be given no jurisdiction, which the Holy Father alone has the right and power to accord. Instead, these bishops were to be auxiliaries whose duty it would be to ordain priests and administer confirmations wherever there was need in the world.

      What happened afterwards was that the SSPX, contrary to the expectations of the Church’s internal enemies, continued to grow and expand. In addition, the FSSP was born, initially to bring about the demise of the SSPX, but now a huge institution in its own right. Then we saw the growth of the Institutes of Christ the King, the Good Shepherd, etc., culminating in the issue of Summorum Pontificum.

      Today, unlike 1988, there are some bishops in the Church who are prepared to ordain priests for the Traditional Mass, and indeed there are many more Traditional Masses available to the faithful than were available back then, all thanks to Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions in 1988. If he hadn’t acted as he did, then it is a fair assumption that the Traditional Mass would have been wiped out completely by now.

      In addition to all of this, the three bishops who remain with the SSPX continue in the spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre to act in their capacity as auxiliary bishops to tend to the needs of the sheep during a very difficult crisis in the Church.

      Hence, Bishop Williamson can by no means claim that his action today is one precipitated by a state of emergency in the Church, for the situation now is much, much better than it was in 1988, even if the crisis is still raging. Besides that, Bishop Williamson’s rhetoric, like that of his followers and allies, is completely different from that of Archbishop Lefebvre. It is bitter, divisive and geared towards denouncing the Pope and the Roman authorities as usurping enemies of God with whom one must not communicate under any circumstances. This is without doubt the schismatic spirit, hardly surprising given the growing number of sedevacantists Bishop Williamson is gathering around him.

      No, this time around Bishop Williamson and other(s) will be excommunicated correctly and legally. They have become scandalised by the disfigurement of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, during this post-conciliar Passion and it has left embittered against all those they consider to be responsible.

      It’s perhaps just as well they were not around when Judas betrayed the Lord, when Peter thrice denied Him and when all but one of the Apostles fled from His side!

  4. It’s just sad and silly really. To split the Traditionalist “movement” is absurd and what happened today is absurd. I don’t think there will be too much earth movement because of this. One thing is for sure, Bishop Williamson has excommunicated himself.

    • Olaf,

      It is, indeed, both sad and silly.

      However – and believe me, I’m far from supporting Bishop Williamson, anything but – I see reports already blabbing on about the need to foster unity in the Church, avoiding radical groups (meaning the SSPX) without any mention of the schismatic mentality of the Modernists holding sway across the Catholic world today, one of whom is the Pope’s favourite theologian, agitating to change doctrine on marriage, the Eucharist and the moral law.

      I mean, could you make this stuff up? Up, I tell you, you could not make this stuff !

      • Editor

        Not knowing anything about canon law I decided to look at the case against Archbishop Lefrebve. Googled his name ended up on the SSPX/USA site question11states.
        A person who violates a lawout of necessity is not subject to penalty even if there is no state of necessity canon 1323
        and even if one culpably thought there was he would still not incur no automatic penalty Canon 1324
        Bishop Williamson’s comments over the past year have nearly all been about the crisis in the church and how the SSPX are going todo a deal with Rome.
        Most people disagree with his views but I think he honestly believes them.
        What’s your view editor?

        • John,

          You are very charitable. Since you ask, allow me to express my view, which is this; if + Williamson honestly believes that the SSPX is going to “do a deal with Rome” there’s something wrong (a) with his intelligence (because none of his predictions have come true on that score, essentially that the SSPX will embrace Modernism/heresy) and (b) something wrong with his Catholicity, if he enjoys being – and wishes to remain – estranged from “Rome”.

          Before his expulsion from the society, Bishop Williamson behaved outrageously by publicly attacking Bishop Fellay (in his role as Superior) – attacking him for preparing to do an underhand “deal” with Rome and painting scenarios of despair and destruction which have not come to pass. In short, he goaded and goaded Bishop Fellay, leaving him no option but to expel him from the Society. He even refused to shut up about his baloney re the holocaust, just, it seems, because Bishop Fellay instructed him to remain silent on what is a matter of history and politics, not religion. Having forced Bishop Fellay to expel him, + Williamson then set about playing the martyr with the help of the little band of useful idiots supporting him. The whole tiny group of them went on the offensive against the SSPX and all of this despite the incontrovertible fact that there’s been no “deal” and all the predictions and dire prophecies of + Williamson that the Society is now part of the Modernist problem, have come to nothing. Has he any idea how ridiculous it is, to suggest that the Society is “Modernist”? Crackers. With Philadelphia cheese on…

          Still, that nothing he predicted has come true hasn’t stopped him in his tracks. Quite the opposite. His rants (which I receive by email regularly) continue apace and now we have this scandal of a totally unnecessarily illicit episcopal consecration, keeping him in the place which he clearly likes best – the news headlines.

          So, in summary, my view is that Bishop Williamson – a convert who has never practised the Faith in normal times and who, therefore, doesn’t understand the heartbreak true Catholics feel at finding ourselves forced to criticise Pope and Vatican (he seems to enjoy it) – is about as Catholic as any Muslim. On a Friday afternoon.

          Given all of the above, and without making any definitive judgment on his spiritual disposition, I suspect, therefore, that human pride lies at the root of + Williamson’s desire to lead a “resistance” (to nothing) movement.

          It will all come to nothing. Remember, when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated the four bishops, he did so reluctantly and remained open to discussions with the authorities in Rome. Bishop Williamson hates Rome with a venom that must be the envy of the wee Frees up in the Highlands of Scotland. We really ought to pray very hard for him – especially to St Joseph today – that he realises the gravity of what he has done and repents immediately, if not sooner.

          That, John, is my view. Well, you did ask! 😀

  5. Talking of trouble in the Church, more news from Belgium. Bishop Williamson is a schismatic, but not a heretic, whereas Bishop Bonny is a heretic and not a schismatic. Here’s a letter I wrote to Bonny to make my righteous indignation known, and I advise you to do the same. Also, I wrote to Archbishop Leonard, Cardinal Muller and Cardinal Ouellet, and again, I advise you to do the same. Anyway, the letter:

    Your Excellency the Most Rev. Bishop Johan Bonny,

    I am sending Your Excellency this email to inform you that I have been profoundly appalled and disturbed to read of your comments that ‘we’, ”must look within the Church for a formal recognition of relationship which is also present in many bi- and homosexual couples. Just as in society there is a variety of legal frameworks for couples, there should also be a variety of forms of recognition within the Church.” This novel idea is bizarre and has no foundation in the history or tradition of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, outside of which there is neither salvation nor truth, and the Catholic Church simply does not have the power or authority to bless, sanctify or recognise in any way shape or form the sinful and illicit unions created by homosexuals for their own warped form of hedonism. In reality, Your Excellency is not preaching the Catholic Faith, and is clearly 100% Modernist, which is, in the words of St Pius X, ‘the synthesis of all heresies’. I believe that you should study the Oath against Modernism, composed by St. Pius X, particularly the section where it says:

    ‘I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously’.

    Similarly, Pius XII stated concerning doctrine, ‘the Church has a sacred duty to proclaim it without any whittling-down, just as Christ revealed it, and no consideration of time or circumstance can lessen the strictness of this obligation’. If only the Popes, Bishops and Priests of these latter days shared their humble and devoted faith. Likewise, St. Pius X also stated that, ‘it is an error to believe that Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable at all times and to all men’.

    It is abundantly clear from Your Excellency’s comments that you are preaching a new Gospel, the Gospel of Naturalism, which has its origins in the Father of Lies, Satan, and which dictates that man is incapable of rising up from his present state to a supernatural state. To say that homosexual unions must be recognised is to say that Christ died for nothing, and that sin basically does not exist, and that homosexuals are permanently held captive by their ‘orientation’. They can, through the virtues of Faith and Hope and by trusting on God’s mercy, the Blessed Virgin’s prayers and by frequenting the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, repent and be changed. We were of course forewarned by St. Paul about false prophets and teachers who would lead the children of God astray, when he said in Galatians 1:8, ‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema’. I also worry for your soul, for you will surely incur the wrath of God for leading the Lord’s flock away from nourishing pasture. Remember the Lord Jesus said, in Mark 9:41, ‘whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea’. Your Excellency is causing scandal by disturbing the faithful with your erroneous statements.

    Marriage is a Sacrament of the Catholic Church, ordained by Christ Himself, who sanctified this institution. Our Lord said in Matthew 19:4-7:

    ‘Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder’.

    Likewise, in many places, Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual actions as inherently sinful behaviour. St Paul says in Romans 1:27-8:

    ‘For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error’.

    Even in the Modernist Catechism of the Church, marriage is defined as a Sacrament, where it says, ‘1660: The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament’.

    Similarly homosexuality and homosexual actions are condemned. It says ‘2357: Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved’.

    Therefore, Your Excellency is speaking in a manner contrary to the Catholic Faith, and I would like to ask you two questions. Do you believe marriage is a divinely ordained Sacrament, only to be enjoyed by a man and his wife, and do you believe that homosexuality is disordered and the consequential actions sinful?

    I hope that Your Excellency will publicly apologise for the offence and scandal you have caused, and affirm your belief in the unchangeable Catholic Faith and Doctrine. I have written to the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and the Archbishop of Brussels regarding this issue. Please be assured that I will keep you and Belgium in my prayers.

    I doubt he will pay much attention but, it does my soul good.

    • CC,

      A heretic by definition is a schismatic, so Bishop Bonny, you may rest assured is a schismatic. The nature of his schism may be completely different to that of Bishop Williamson, but the damage to the Church is the same. In the eyes of Our Lord Bishop Williamson and Bishop Bonny are excommunicates, one de jure, one de facto. That Pope Francis will fail to declare Bishop Bonny’s excommunication speaks volumes about the problems with his Pontificate. But it is no less certain for the faithful that +Bonny is a schismatic.

      I have no intention of writing to him because the sinful behaviour he is trying to justify tells me that Bishop Bonny has lost the Catholic Faith. It only remains for his superiors to deal with his deviant ideas. But don’t hold your breath!

  6. By choosing a 73-year old for illicit consecration, Bishop Williamson has demonstrated that he has no thought for the future of the Church, the priesthood or the souls who have trusted him. This is a publicity stunt, an act of headline grabbing to try and put his fading sideshow back in the news. It seems very few outlets are really that interested, however.

    As editor said, this is a great sorrow on the Feast of St. Joseph. I hope these silly blind followers of Bishop Williamson will open their eyes and distance themselves from his schism with haste.

    • I couldn’t agree more. A 73 year old? This is indeed a publicity stunt. Compare it to the men Archbishop Lefebvre chose in 1988 – those men were very young. I’m afraid Bishop Williamson is nothing more than a crackpot and I hope Pope Francis DOESN’T show “mercy” this time and issues a formal decree of excommunication.

      • Given that B16 lifted the excommunication on the other bishops, is that not a but like the parable of the unjust servant who has all of his own debt written off but has no mercy on his fellow servant? Calling people “crackpots” might be seen as being uncharitable.

        • Alex F,

          “Calling people ‘crackpots’ might be seen as being uncharitable.”

          You betcha! It well might… However, nobody (that I can see) has called anyone a “crackpot” or “crackpots” on this blog.

          I made the point that a certain mindset is “crackers” – a figure of speech and not remotely the same thing as calling a person a “crackpot”. Or a group of people “crackpots”. Even if they (whoever they are) ARE “crackpots”… 😀

          • Editor,

            “Nobody (that I can see) has called anyone a “crackpot” or “crackpots” on this blog. ”

            Actually, Petrus called Bishop Williamson “nothing more than a crackpot,” at 10:00pm above. That’s why I commented directly underneath his post!

            • I apologise.   Let me rephrase that.  Bishop Williamson ‘ s views are crackers.  His actions are schismatic.  He has displayed attention seeking tendencies.   Does that suit your delicate disposition, Alex F?

              Sent from my Samsung device

              • Thanks for that, Petrus, although no apology is necessary for me! I don’t care what you call Williamson or his followers! In fact, some might argue that those adjectives could just as easily be applied to anyone on this blog!
                The point I’m making was that I find it a little odd that SSPX people are so upset by Williamson’s antics when:
                a. He just did the same as Lefebvre, and
                b. The damage he is doing to the church pales into insignificance when you look at Papa Francisco and his pals. Although to be fair, this blog is very good at highlighting the abuses in the modern church.
                I have read what people say about the differences between Lefbvre ordaining bishops and Williamson ordaining bishops, and I understand that some people think there is a massive difference, but to me as an outsider, it just seems like splitting hairs. I can’t see how you can call for Williamson to be punished with the full weight of the law, when the excommunications were lifted on the other bishops by Bénédict XVI as a conciliatory gesture.
                But then, I’m not an SPX follower, and this is really just an internal spat between different SSPX factions.

                • This is a very strange comment considering all the evidence that has been presented on this thread.  Bishop Williamson did not do what Archbishop Lefebvre did. The Archbishop was deeply concerned because on his death the Church would cease to have bishops able and willing to ordain priests to celebrate the Traditional Mass.  This is NOT the situation today.  It should be noted that Archbishop Lefebvre did all he could to obtain papal permission and was messed around by the Roman authorities.   Bishop Williamson, as far as I’m aware, didn’t ever consider asking permission.  Now, I must take exception to your assertion that this is an internal spat within the SSPX.  Bishop Williamson is not a member of the SSPX and neither is the priest who was ordained bishop. 

                  Sent from my Samsung device

                  • Oh dearie me!
                    If this is not an internal matter for the SSPX then why did they quickly release a press statement on it? He was a high profile SPX member until recently, when he fell out with bishop Fellay. But you’re bound to know more about that than me!
                    I don’t like a lot of what’s going on in the mainstream church, that’s why I follow Catholic Truth, but I have some criticisms of the SSPX too, but I’m aware that this is a pro SSPX forum.
                    I have no wish to insult my SSPX hosts, but a lot of what is being said about Williamson is pretty much the same as what people said about Archbishop Lefebvre at the time. Not everyone believed he did the right thing, even within his own order many people left and joined the Fraternity of St Peter. So there are quite a few different opinions on this.

                    • A statement was released to highlight the disapproval.   I’m fact, Alex F, only 12 priests left the SSPX in 1988, so there wasn’t really any significant opposition from within.  

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • “I have some criticisms of the SSPX too, but I’m aware that this is a pro SSPX forum.”

                      Alex,

                      Do not mistake our objective support for the SSPX as the God-given lifeboat in the current crisis, with uncritical support for everything and everyone associated with the Society. Believe me, the SSPX is very far from being perfect and the majority, if not all, of us on this blog know that only too well.

                      I am making a flying visit to the blog as I should be elsewhere right now, but couldn’t resist clearing up that possible misunderstanding.

                    • Alex
                      You are my friend, comparing apples with oranges. The circumstances are objectively poles apart. As has been pointed out elsewhere on this thread (in case you missed it), ++Lefebvre was putting in place a guarantee that the Traditions of the Church would remain. That guarantee remains.
                      +Williamson is not in the same position as ++Lefebvre. He cannot argue that he is maintaining Tradition as the guarantee is current through various Priestly Societies, but especially that of Pope. St. Pius X.
                      Arguing from the basis that you made a decision ( a bad one ) based on a subjective feeling that someone might betray tradition, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, is a sure sign of Pride, Envy and Anger.

                      All deadly and soul endangering.

                    • Alex F,

                      Believe me, no matter what issues exist within the SSPX, or, as you perceive, between the SSPX and Bishop Williamson, these pale into insignificance in comparison with what Catholics are tolerating today in their local parishes. Gnats and camels come to mind!

                    • Yes I think you’re right.I’m not going to get myself too worked up over Bishop Williamson and his merry band of resistance fighters when we have a pope and bishops who are doing their utmost to destroy what’s left of the Catholic Church.

            • Alex F,

              Well… “nothing MORE than…” isn’t too bad, is it? Could be worse…

              And here’s me thinking you were getting at moi… Still, just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean folk AREN’T getting at me, as the old saying goes 😀

        • Yes, it could be, but in this case it is more charitable than what I REALLY want to call him! 

          Sent from my Samsung device

      • I think he has finally lost the plot. He also seems to have forgotten that there should be two Bishops present to consecrate a new Bishop. This is why Archbishop Lefebvre was assisted by Bishop de Castro Mayer. I have been told that the so-called resistance in the UK has fallen out with him and told him not to come back. Apparently he too modernist. You couldnae make it up!

  7. I can’t help thinking that there does not seem to be a huge difference between what Williamson has done and what Lefebvre did, except that Lefebvre ordained four bishops and got himself excommunicated, while Williamson has only ordained one. After reading the explanations for Lefebvre’s actions, I can’t see how they wouldn’t also apply to Williamson, because so long as they genuinely believe there is a state of necessity, then they cannot be excommunicated- or so the argument goes. Even if there is no state of necessity but the person actually believes there is then they’re in the clear. It seems a bit disingenuous for Lefebvrists to be pointing the finger now, when their organisation was founded by a man who did the same thing, in fact Bishop Williams himself was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre.

    It also seems quite bizarre that Williamson gets excommunicated while half the bishops worldwide would have been considered heretics just a hundred years ago. I’m not justifying Williamson’s whole Holocaust denial, but while that’s rather distasteful but not really part of the Catholic Faith and from my experience, it’s not unique among many traditional-style Catholics. But it’s the traditional Catholics who get excommunicated, while the ultra liberals are running amok, happily proclaiming themselves part of the Church, even though they don’t seem to believe in the same religion that was believed in even in my own lifetime.

    • Alex,

      +Williamson cannot make the argument that his action was based on a state of necessity – because the SSPX already exists, there is no need for a MK 2 or a tribute act. The SSPX is the response to the crisis, and the response is progressing well.

      When ++Lefebvre reluctantly consecrated the 4 Bishops in 1988 this *was* absolutely necessary – because after the deaths of he and +de Castro Mayer, there would have been literally no Bishops left willing to ordain traditional priests. Can you imagine the state of the priesthood today, if it had been wholly abandoned to the modernists?

      ++Lefebvre had to act, to save the Catholic priesthood from extinction via extreme distortion.

      +Williamson did not need to carry out this consecration, because the SSPX already exists, and has three Bishops – the Society created by ++Lefebvre continues to be a great success, growing around the globe and ordaining properly formed priests (the 600 mark was recently passed).

      The fact that +Williamson chose an old man for the consecration shows that he was not seeking to create a successor, but rather news headlines.

      You are dead right with what you say about the double-standards between the treatment of traditionalists and liberals.

      • Gabriel,
        Thanks for your response. I see your point on the different circumstances, but there is the problem that from my understanding of Cannon Law, it doesn’t matter if an actual state of necessity exists, so long as the person genuinely believes there is one. Williamson does seem to believe there to be one, even though not everyone agrees. Not everyone agreed that Archbishop Lefebvre faced a real state of necessity, including many in the SSPX given that many left to form the Fraternity of St Peter, and JP2 clearly believed they were excommunicated. In fact, so must Benedict XVI, given that he lifted the excommunication. He couldn’t have lifted an invalid excommunication! He could have nullified them, but that’s not what he did- so he must have believed they were excommunicated to begin with. And further, the SSPX accepted to lifting, so that makes me confused about what they themselves believed about their own status prior to B16 reaching out.
        Bishop Williamson’s group does not seem to be very big, so I would question how important this event is when the Vatican is overrun with virulent modernists who are doing real damage to the Church. What Williamson is doing is a blip on the radar compared to what Francis I and this outrageous Synod of the Family will do.

        • Alex F,

          This matter goes way beyond any state of necessity, real or imagined. It has been clear for some time from the rhetoric of Bishop Williamson and his people that they no longer recognise the authority of the Pope and the Roman Curia. This is a whole different ball game!

          • Athanasius,

            I agree. In my considered, if utterly and completely humble view, we are dealing here with closet sedevacantists, and the closet door is opening wider and wider all the time. The + Williamson camp will be “outing” themselves from that closet any time now…

    • Alex F,

      I would like to respond to your comments by first asking you kindly not to refer to the SSPX priests and faithful as “Lefebvrists”. We are not the children of a cult leader, just Catholics like Archbishop Lefebvre who are clinging to Tradition during, arguably, the worst crisis the Church has ever undergone. So please, no more of the “Lefebvrists” stuff.

      As for your point about Canon Law and claims to a state of emergency in the Church, I refer you to my comments of 11pm above. There is no similarity whatever between the situation confronting Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 and the circumstances surrounding Bishop Williamson’s act today. More crucially, there is a massive difference in mindset between the two. I think even my dog would know that the situation in the Church today, while still critical, is not in the same state of necessity it was back in 1988. Bishop Williamson is a clever man, he knows this!

      • Athanasius,
        Thank you for that. I’ve heard many other people refer that SSPX people as “Lefebvrists” but I hadn’t realised it was pejorative. I won’t use that term again. I apologise if I have caused offence.

        • Alex F,

          No offence taken. It is pejorative, though many decent people don’t realise this. Thank you for your kind and understanding response.

      • Athanasius, couldn’t agree more about the term “Lefebvrists.” I remember one priest a few years ago saying that he preferred the term “Marcelians” so that just like the Franciscans, Dominicans etc the order took it’s name from it’s founder’s Christian name.

        • Vianney,

          I have just had a naughty idea about what we would call the followers of Bishop Williamson, should his first name be used in shortened fashion!

    • Having read many things recently about the Vat ll Pastoral Council and how, through it and after it was ‘signed off’, appears to have Excommunicated itself way back then, when they placed different words to the liturgy, different emphasis, meaning, and the Four outlawed items, Ecumenism, Collegiality, Modernism and Liberalism. These have all been declared Anathema’s by many Popes,thus rendering itself outside the Church and impotent of laws.
      Don’t you think?

  8. Yyyeesss……as Jeremy Paxman used to drawl…..this “excommunication” fever was born, as far as I know from the communist Chinese Patriotic Church back in the 50’s….Pope Pius X II automatically excommunicated anyone consecrated bishop by Mao Tse Tung…..for very obvious reasons….even Pope Francis the Nutty… ( his Sunday polite name…madame La Guillotine wont suffer my dooble entenders…!!! )…might possibly recognise that there would be a long term danger to the church if Mao Tse Tung could bend doctrine by leaning on his tame bishops…..they might want a form of marriage between a monkey and a woman..or a man and Elton John….or….eating dogs during the charismatic lurve Vest….whatever…and now….with Pope Frankie goes to Hollywood….???…the laws on excommunication were enlightened and far seeing…..but then came the council, and the great Saint of our times….St Marcel Lefebvre…..Lefebvre seen the need to continue a tiny, insignificant order to eventually restore the failing church so he did the absolute minimum by way of ordaining Bishops to work exclusively within the order….and not set up a “parallel” …magisterium….now Bishop Williamson is a wild card…single minded and all that….but it seems to me that the “bishop” he ordains will be a valid bishop…..but….illicitly consecrated. ….so back to square one….with obvious caveats….???…to the canonists who might stumble upon this…..so the point…??? Pope Frankie the Umble….has a problem….he excommunicates a few eccentrics……and eats his tea with a thick irish mick like Murphy O’Connor……gerra grip…..

  9. Just got to say; loving the patter on here. 🙂

    Anyway. This one is simple. Williamson is on the loony fringes with his bandette of useful loony conspiracy theorists.

    As one very good Parish Priest says, one the one hand you have the N.O. crowd who can’t handle the reality of what it takes to be a Catholic, whilst on the other hand you have the useful idiots (Resistance and Sedevacantists) who can’t handle the reality of what it takes to be a Catholic!

  10. I can’t make a judgment as I feel the church is now in unchartered waters. Never in my life have I felt so scared and demoralised about the dirty goings on in the Holy See. We deceive ourselves if we think all is wonderful.
    I do think he is the dishiest bishop though and could be a model!

    • DominieMary,

      Nobody here thinks “all is wonderful” in the Church. You have been reading our newsletter and blog long enough to know that.

      Bishop Williamson is anything but a good bishop. He was insubordinate to his Superior (Bishop Fellay) and publicly ridiculed him. How anyone can think he is in any way helpful to ending the crisis in the Church, beats me. “Dishy” or not (eh?) he is a marathon troublemaker. I hope that, now that he’s had yet another five minutes of fame (infamy, more like) he disappears off the scene. He’s added confusion to chaos. Just what we need right now. NOT.

    • DominieMary,

      But not a model for faithful and obedient Catholic souls!

      Regardless of what’s going on in the Holy See, I am quite content to state my judgment that Bishop Williamson is another wound in the Mystical Body of Christ. Tragic, but true.

  11. I thought Bishop Williamson was a highly intelligent man…. now I am not so sure….. he is incredibly proud. Unfortunately he has his followers among our small congregation who have been warned some time ago of the error of their ways, and also warned not to upset the rest of us without consequences!

    • He is highly intelligent, but also a bit of a loony ……but good can come of even this madness……..Frankie the Mad…. and all of his Imps will have to concede that these are ( probably…!!…I’m not an expert canonist ) valid but illicit…..therefore not really that much of a problem……

      Not when we have two Popes……and one is quite clearly a very bad thing for the Church…..

      So Bishop Williamson can be safely ignored for the time being……if all the faithless prelates are suddenly struck down …..then his bishops may be of some use…..but not before.

  12. What happens if a bp that Bishop Williamson ordains sees the error of his ways and seeks to return to the SSPX fold? Can he be unordained bp or does SSPX get a sneaky new bp by the back door? just asking.

    • Christina,

      A bishop cannot be “unordained,” so there’s no chance of that happening. If he did seek to return to the SSPX, he would first have to repent of his schismatic act and ask the Pope to remit his excommunication. Frankly though, that’s not likely to happen.

  13. Talking about the useful idiots.

    Reading this article from the Remnant…http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/1604-answering-a-sedevacantist-critic

    Luther wrote:

    “Noblemen, townsmen, peasants, all classes understand the Evangelium better than I or St. Paul. They are now wise and think themselves more learned than all the ministers. … How many doctors have I made by preaching and writing? Now they say, Be off with you. Go off with you. Go to the devil. … No Yokel is so rude but when he has dreams and fancies, he imagines himself inspired by the Holy Ghost and must be a prophet”.

    It is interesting to witness how the same method of “private interpretation” has lead to the same end: individual Catholics in the pew – “townsmen, peasants” – who imagine themselves to be “more learned than all the ministers,” who have “dreams and fancies,” imagining themselves to be “inspired by the Holy Ghost and must be a prophet”. The error of Protestantism has born fruits n the Right, and they are found in sedevacantism and other modern errors. One thing is for sure: the current crisis in the Church has many victims, and they are certainly not all on the Left.

    And for me this is the real issue with the loonies. It is not anything other than Pride. The substance is irrelevant. These people are of the same ilk as those who argue about the veracity of Red Double-Decker buses on the moon and Alien Spaceships being hidden in Area 51. They are loonies, completely unbalanced and liable to believe anything with the proviso that it is is contrarian.

  14. I have no sympathy for the man at all.

    At the bottom of this are pride and bitterness. His Excellency is greatly in the wrong and this time round deserves his excommunication.

  15. Bishop Williamson is definitely excommunicated – Canon Law is very clear on the matter. In his encyclical Ad Apostolorum Principis, Pope Pius XII taught that, whilst the consecration of a bishop against the express will of the Pope may be valid, it was ‘gravely illicit i.e. criminal and sacrilegious.’ Accordingly, it can never be a ‘necessity’ to do something gravely against the teaching of the Church. Let us hope and pray that Bishop Williamson sees the errors of his ways and returns to the Barque of Peter.

        • Bertrand Fellow,

          Pius XII had Communist China on his mind when he wrote those words, for there was then no precedent in the Latin Church to elicit such a strong statement. Had His Holiness seen what was to come after Vatican II, I think he probably would have qualified his comments.

          At any rate, Canon Law, as all honest canonists agree, does provide for a state of necessity in the Church and even goes so far as to remit punishment in cases where prelates act in error, but with good will.

          I’m sorry to say that your single quote from Pius does not present a full and balanced picture. Nor does it take into account that theologians and canonists of the Church have never quoted this Pontiff’s encyclical, as you do, as a definitive settlement of the question regarding 1988. I’m sorry, but you’re reading the words of that great Pope in the wrong context.

          This having been said, you are absolutely right about Bishop Williamson. There is clearly no state of necessity in the Church today as there was in 1988. Back then there were no bishops willing to ordain priests for the Traditional Mass. Now there are a number of such bishops, thanks to the step Archbishop Lefebvre reluctantly, but correctly, took nearly three decades ago when the Traditional priestly formation had almost been universally extinguished.

          I think you need to look a little deeper into the teaching of the Church in this matter.

  16. Pope Pius XII emphatically taught that it can NEVER be legitimate to consecrate a bishop in defiance of the express will of the Pope. If you are not familiar with the Church’s teaching on this matter, I refer you to his encyclical Ad Apostolorum Principis sections 37 to 47. He makes it clear that such consecrations are at variance with the divine constitution of the Church. Yes, they may be valid, but they are ‘gravely illicit i.e. criminal and sacrilegious’. I don’t think the language used could have been any stronger. It follows that an act that is “criminal and sacrilegious’ is intrinsically evil. It can never be a ‘necessity’ to do something that is ‘intrinsically evil’ – I refer you to canon 1323, 4

    • Bertrand Fellow,

      Ad Apostolorum Principis was written in the context of Communism and the appointment of bishops in China – so that two Churches were being created, the underground true Catholic Church and the Patriotic Association, the phoney Catholic Church.

      It was also written by Pope Pius XII before Vatican II and the scandalous creation of a new Mass and other attacks on the faith. Pius XII would have been the last person to sanction that, IMHO.

      As you must know, the highest form of obedience is obedience to the Catholic religion, to the faith, not to any Church law. Pius XII would definitely not have wanted his “Chinese Communism” encyclical to be used against the SSPX consecrations. I am very sure about that.

      If you think Archbishop Lefebvre did something “intrinsically evil” by consecrating four bishops to ordain priests to continue to offer the Holy Traditional Latin Mass, at a time of huge crisis in the Church, with priests and religious abandoning the faith and the new Mass in vogue everywhere, then I’d love to hear what you think about the Bishops who are refusing to obey the Pope by providing that same Holy Traditional Mass since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum. Is their disobedience “intrinsically evil”?

    • Bertrand Fellow,

      You misapply the word “sacrilegious” to illicit episcopal consecrations. Pius XII didn’t say this and neither does the Church. So why do you say it?

      • Bertrand Fellows,

        My apologies. Pius XII did in fact write of illicit consecrations as “criminal and sacrilegious,” but clearly in the context of the Chinese Patriotic Church, or parallel magisterium. As I said earlier, it’s all about context.

        Here are some words of Pius XII that may lend some objectivity to your argument: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith and Her liturgy. A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God … In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalen, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask ‘Where have they taken Him’ “ Devant l’histoire, p. 52-53

  17. Madame Editor,

    There was a time when I was an admirer of Bp. Williamson – so much so that I read all four volumes of his Letters from the Rector (of the SSPX seminary of Winona). In those letters he frequently advised readers to undertake the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and I did at the first opportunity.
    During the exercises there was a lecture on Authority and the need for Obedience to Lawful Authority. My eyes were opened that day, and I saw through the pride (the worst of the seven deadly sins) of the proponents of what calls itself “the Resistance”.
    I ceased to visit their blogs and to absorb their siren calls and I ceased speculating on those matters of which I had no knowledge.
    Life has been so much sweeter since then, and I sincerely urge fellow bloggers who may still be treading the road I once trod, to heed my experience and follow my example.
    If you have any doubts about whether to stay with the SSPX or to join in he Resistance: Stay where the lawful authority is.

    • Leprechaun,

      Delighted to hear that you’ve seen the light with regard to the Resistance (to nothing) enterprise. Many thanks for your warning post – very welcome indeed

      Great news.

    • Sage advice. I could say much more about the toxic poison of the resistance but would rather leave it with those two adjectives.

  18. Please delete (2) duplicate posts Editor. Having finger and thumb issues.

    And the shocker (well not really) is the brazen Resistance who sit in an SSPX Parish whilst their ‘priest’ is not in town, using SSPX facilities and sacraments, whilst they contribute nothing and look for opportunities to divide the faithful. Completely Utterly Engulfed in Pride.

    • Summa,

      I was puzzled at your request to delete 2 duplicate posts, until I checked the moderation queue and there are two duplicates of your “And the shocker…” comment above, in there; since your avatar is missing, I was alerted to check the email address. You’d used a different email address (clue: begins with slightly different numbers) which is why your avatar is not attached. Your avatar is linked to the email address you used to sign up with Gravatar so you need to use that to log in here. Anyway, both posts are now deleted.

      On topic: that is, indeed a shocker but nobody could get into our chapels without help from the key holder, so that should be easy enough to fix. They do have some nerve, that’s for sure.

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