Have you heard about the drama going on right now with the SSPX? Amazing. Rumor has it that Pope Benedict may have already lifted the decree of ex-Communication on the Bishops of the SSPX incurred after their illicit consecration in 1988. This action, following the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, is a major step toward bringing the SSPX back into the fold. There is one person who is apparently determined to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing. Richard Williamson, one of those on whom the ex-communication would be lifted, will do anything to stop it.
First the skinny on what is happening. Rorate Caeli has been reporting (and now corroborated by other sources)
All signs now seem to indicate that the removal, withdrawal, or annulment of the excommunications of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (+ 1991), Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer (+ 1991), and of the four Bishops consecrated by them for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) in Ecône, Switzerland, on June 30, 1988 is imminent. The Papal act on the matter has almost certainly been signed, and it will be made public shortly:
This follows upon a secret visit of Bishop Fellay to the Pope delivering a bouquet of a million or more rosaries. If this rumor turns out to be true it would be a great occasion of joy for almost everyone. Almost everyone.
It seems that every time that a possible rapprochement between the SSPX and the Holy See draws nearer, “Bishop” Richard Williamson does everything he can to disrupt and destroy that possibility. Back in June of last year when the Pope, through Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, asked the leaders of the SSPX to agree to certain pre-conditions Williamson did his best to create confusion and distrust. In a series of statements then he poked his finger in the eye of the Pope and offered that he would rejoice if the SSPX were declared in formal schism. At the time it seemed clear to some observers that Williamson does not want reconciliation and would break from the SSPX if need be.
It seems, if the rumors are true, that Bishop Fellay and the Pope did not allow his antics to antagonize them or disrupt their plans. In October, the Society launched the rosary crusade that resulted in the bouquet of a million rosaries.
As disgusting and un-Christian as Williamson rhetoric was in the past, it seems that is nothing compared to what he is doing now in a last ditch effort to derail reconciliation. This comes from Ruth Gledhill at the Times Online.
Bishop Richard Williamson is a hardline ultra-conservative bishop of the Society of St Pius X. He faces possible prosecution for Holocaust denial in Germany after an interview with a reporter from Stockholm TV in which he claimed that six million Jews did not die in the Holocaust, merely a few thousand, and that the gas chambers did not exist. CathCon has the translation of the Der Spiegel report. In an earlier story in the Catholic Herald, Bishop Williamson, former Anglican and a Cambridge graduate, was exposed as endorsing the forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The timing of these monstrous statements is not coincidental. Williamson has a vested interest in maintaining his schismatic status. Inside the Church he is an unhinged nobody. Outside, he is a somebody or so he thinks. He is desperate to maintain the status quo because he has nowhere else to go.
In recognition of all the Pope has done and is trying to do and in the name of all the good people in the society and those who are aligned with it, the SSPX should immediately censure or even expel Richard Williamson. He is a very troubled man in need of our prayers, but he should not be a Bishop or in any leadership position.
Please Bishop Fellay, if you and the society truly seek reconciliation, expel Richard Williamson.