There was quite the uproar a few weeks ago— at least among those who follow the travails of the traditionalist group SSPX — when Bishop Richard Williamson in his weekly column ostensibly called Pope Benedict XVI an anti-Semite for changing the prayer for the Jews in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

This outlandish statement by Williamson — the latest in a long line of outlandish statements — caused quite a stir among comboxes here around the blogosphere. This statement apparently prompted the Catholic Herald to do a feature piece on Bishop Williamson attempting to prove that it is Williamson who is, in fact, the anti-Semite.

Williamson and the Jews

I do not wish to wade into the morass of debating Williamson’s possible antisemitism but I was interested to see if he addressed the uproar over his comments in a subsequent article. He did indeed.

In fact his next article is entirely dedicated to the topic. He starts by congratulating anyone who has the wisdom to agree with him.

I congratulate them, because they had to be thinking with their Catholic minds instead of merely emoting with their (objectively) vile media.

One can be forgiven if one suspects that Bishop Williamson is not prone to introspection. He retreads some of the same ground from his previous column and insists that it is really he and not the Pope who loves the Jews. Just in case you need a refresher course in who the Jews are, Williamson reminds us that the Jews…

were responsible for the crucifying of Our Lord Jesus Christ — “His blood be upon us and upon our children“, Mt.XXVII,25 — they have as a race and as a religion, always with noble exceptions, continued to reject him down to our day. Thus St. Paul observed that they not only “killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets”, but they also prohibited St. Paul himself from “speaking to the Gentiles so as to save them”. In brief, their behavior was such that “they please not God and are adversaries to men” (I Thess. II,14-16). Closer to our own time, it is a matter of historical record that the designing and launching of, for instance, Communism, to wrest mankind away from God and to replace his Heaven with a man-made paradise, was largely their achievement.

Jesus Christ Crucifying Commies. Yeah, that helps.

Williamson and The Pope

In his most recent column, Williamson responds to readers questions about the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The reader wonders whether the Church is really returning to its tradition or if this is merely a trap designed to dismantle the SSPX. Short answer: Trap. No worries mate, Bishop Williamson will steer the safe passage around it even if the Pope won’t.

So any apparent benevolence shown by Benedict XVI towards the true Faith or the true Mass can only mean that he wishes them to be reconciled with the Conciliar religion and all other religions! Therefore if he is not a conscious agent of truth-dissolving Freemasonry, at any rate he has no understanding of the true Faith, and so he cannot grasp how absolutely opposed it is to the man-centered religion of Vatican II.

Agent of freemasonry or an idiot. Yeah, that helps.

The Gates of Hell Will Prevail

In a rare moment of lucidity, Williamson admits that the SSPX has no divine promise of indefectibility. This admission raises some interesting questions.

However, I have often made myself unpopular with colleagues in the SSPX by recalling the obvious fact that the SSPX does not have the guarantee of indefectibility that the Catholic Church has. The SSPX could fail. That is why, given what service it has rendered since 1970 to the Universal Church in guarding the Faith, and what service it can still render, Catholics must pray for it, especially for the leadership, that it may not fail.

While I am quite sure that there are myriad reasons that Williamson might be unpopular among many groups, I will leave that aside. What interests me is the admission that the SSPX has no divine promise of truth and his acknowledgment that the SSPX may very well fail in its mission. If, as Williamson puts it, the Church of Rome has “departed the true Faith” and the SSPX might fail in its mission would that not mean that the “Gates of Hell” had prevailed against the Church? I am pretty sure that somebody pretty high up on the food chain promised that would not happen. Williamson attempts to evade the logical conclusion of his own statements with this little escape clause:

[God] would offer to all sheep of good will, in some other form, all the guidance and support they would need to save their souls.

Yes. He would. He has. The Church, imperfect as it may be sometimes. If Williamson could learn this one lesson and have the humility to accept it, Williamson and all who look to him for guidance would be much better off. This one lesson. Yeah, that would help.