Thursday, June 26, 2008

Williamson Comments on Reunification

By Patrick Archbold

The sad comments of someone bent on schism.

Reprinted from Williamson's Blog
Rumors abound once more: before the end of June, in other words in a few days' time, either the Society of St. Pius X will begin to give way to Rome's demands to conform to Vatican II and the New Mass, or Rome will declare to Church and world that the Society and its followers are in formal schism and out of the Church.

As to rumors of the Society taking any action that would imperil the defense of the Faith, I think they are to be wholly discounted. On May 5 of 1988 in particular, Archbishop Lefebvre went as far as the Faith would allow him, and even a little bit further, to come to terms with the Church authorities, but their terms finally persuaded him that they could no longer be trusted to look after the Church's immutable Tradition, which is why he went ahead with the episcopal consecrations of 20 years ago.

Similarly, ever since the Society's Jubilee Pilgrimage to Rome in 2000, the Society has gone as far as it could to correspond to the goodwill gestures of Cardinal Castrillon, and even a little bit further, but in eight years it has never given to the Cardinal that abandonment of the Society's stand on Tradition that he wanted. On the contrary, the latest Letter to Friends and Benefactors of the Society's Superior General reiterated firmly that stand, which is surely where the rumors come from of the Cardinal losing patience with his eight years of carrot, and turning once more to the stick.

Catholics should in no way be frightened by any threat of being declared formally, i.e. properly and officially, in schism, or out of the Church. Proper Catholic officialdom would judge, like Our Lord tells us to judge (Jn. VII,24), by reality and not by appearances. The reality is obvious: it is the Conciliar "Renovation" and not Catholic Tradition that has broken with the Catholic Church.

However, when in the next few days the Society makes no gesture towards Rome sufficient for Rome's purpose of dissolving the resistance of Catholic Tradition, I am for my part not at all sure that Rome will really go ahead with any declaration of formal schism. Maybe after eight, or 20, or 38 years of the Society's resistance they really are losing patience, but does not all past experience tell them that each time they use the stick, it stiffens rather than dissolves that resistance?

And if they did go ahead with such a declaration, Catholics should rejoice, because after several years of some ambiguity there would once more be some clarity ! Twenty years ago, all Society Superiors gathered in Econe rejoiced in their bishops' "excommunication". Would not the same thing happen this time round if Rome also cast priests and laity into its outer darkness ? Not that any of us would rejoice in Rome's self-abasement... Kyrie eleison.

Munich, Germany
Posted by Bishop Richard Williamson


Anonymous said...

This is incredible.

From what these Society bishops have said (rather than from what ignorant and stupid journalists have said), we can now conclude the following:

1. The Holy See wants the Society, essentially, to agree to bargain in good faith and show proper respect to Pope and his Magisterium.

2. Should Bishop Fellay, as their representative, sign to this, the declarations of excommunication will be withdrawn [perhaps on 2nd July, their twentieth anniversary].

3. Should Bishop Fellay not sign, the entire Society—all its clerics and not just its bishops—will be declared to be in a state of formal schism.

Am I getting this right? Bishop Wiliamson descants about surrendering tradition and giving away the faith. But NOWHERE in these five points is there any request to do anything of the kind.

It is clear: should Bishop Fellay not sign these five points, it really is over for the S.S.P.X. The question then will be What will his more moderate supporters do? Will they join the I.B.P. and ask for a worldwide personal diocese for all traditionalists? Will they get nothing but the I.B.P.?

If Bishop Fellay does sign, I have the feeling that the Masses of the S.S.P.X will be declared to be able to fulfil the Sunday obligation during a period of negotiation.

It is clear that Bishop Fellay must sign, or else he is a Protestant, not a Catholic. These conditions ask him to surrender ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in principle; and they do NOT deman that the Society be muzzled, as he has suggested last week.

Holy Father: if he doesn’t sign, please erect an international diocese for those of us who are loyal to you and who want to preserve our Latin Tradition. “Summorum Pontificum” was a wonderful gift to the whole Church but, sadly, thanks to the unkindness of some of your bishops, more is needed.


Anonymous said...

THIS IS A CRISIS, and Bishop Fellay is bound in Moral Law to sign.

Bishop Wiliamson, in his latest interview, has just indicated that, should Bishop Fellay not sign the statement of five points, Rome has threatened to declare the entire Society to be in a formal state of schism. That would mean that all its bishops, priests, deacons, and other members (but not its lay supporters) would be excommunicated for schism.

Now, clearly, there is nothing in the Code of Canons by which they could incur excommunication for schism automatically (latæ sententiæ). It follows that Rome must be threatening an imposed excommunication for schism (ferendæ sententiæ). Nothing could be more serious. In the case of automatic excommunications, there is at least the possibility of arguing that the penalty does not apply, since the Pope merely declares what has happened automatically, and the Pope is not infallible in matters of law.

But an imposed excommunication is more serious. In this case, the Pope does not interpret the law but applies it, using his supreme authority to do so. There can be no canonical case against this and no appeal. There is one and only one way to argue that it does not apply, and that is to claim that the excommunication violates a norm of Moral Law.

But I don't see how there can be such a claim. Why? Because the five points do not impose any unjust burden; on the contrary, they merely demand an obedience and a response to papal generosity which every faithful is bound to respect.

If there can be no argument against such an excommunication either from Canon Law or Moral Law, that would mean that the Society would be definitively cut off and no longer Catholic. That would be a disaster.

Moreover, Bishop Fellay, consider the possible outcome. Rome could offer to reconcile your priests one by one in the Institute of the Good Shepherd, and he could even incorporate that Institute into the hoped-for internatinal diocese. That would ensure the complete decimation of the S.S.P.X. Tell me, Bishop Fellay, how could that outcome possibly help the cause of Tradition?

Sign the damned paper. It is a giveaway.

Peter Karl T. Perkins
Victoria, Canada

Anonymous said...

Third Comment:

I note that, as a further sign of Bsp. Williamson's troublemaking, he predicts that Rome (i.e. our Pope) is too pusillanimous and cowardly to follow through on the threat of a declaration for formal schism. This is incredible. He is actually daring the Pope to declare his entire organisation to be excommunicated and is schism. I cannot imagine anything so irresponsible. Suppose that Bishop W. is right and Rome does not really intend to do it. Well, now they must, or else they lose all credibility by getting caught issuing a false bluff. Williamson is taking action to ensure that the separation from Rome constitutes formal schism. The man is unbalanced.


Anonymous said...

Dear Bishop Williamson,
Please, for the love of God, forget your pride.
The whole Church meeds SSPX.
Have faith in your own ability to confront modernists still running the Church.
You cam do it, you must do it.
What about -"outside the Church there is no salvation"?
Surely the SSPX now knows this Pope is serious about bringing back tradition but NEEDS YOU!!!
God bless