(London) Bishop Williamson, who was expelled from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. , wants to visit Germany in the next few days. He wants to meet priests and laity of the SSPX to encourage them to break away. The plan seems to include the consecration of a chapel in a small monastery in houses. Similar to the Carmelite Sisters of Brilon, the chaplain had urged the separation from the Fraternity of St. Pius X, but took place years ago, because the Society of St. Pius X. rejects sedevacantism.
Bishop Williamson is to visit also the sisters in Brilon Forest, which recently by parted from the Society of St. Pius X. Another stop is expected to be Wigratzbad. There was recently a priest in the 25th Year of his consecration a sedisvakantistische community, about over 50 people. Previously, he worked for the Society of St. Pius X. believers in Überlingen. In Constance, he founded the club Saint Thomas Aquinas and V. to get established. He has been the Spiritual Director of the monastery for years in close contact with the sisters there and he preaches the spiritual exercises regularly. He left the Society before, but returned once more to her. For some time he hasn’t prayed for the Pope during Holy Mass, which was viewed very critically by his superiors and confreres.
Bishop Williamson is expected to be a private visit to Ober-Ramstadt, where he attended a newlywed couple, originally from him in a chapel of the Society of St. Pius X. wanted to get married. This was forbidden by the German District Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Father Franz Schmidberger, whereupon the Prior of Rheinhausen wed the couple.
The dispute between the leaders of the Society of St. Pius X. and the situation around Williamson continues to escalate. A splitting or separation of this group is imminent. At a wedding, which took place recently, a German Prior openly criticized the Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay as a “traitor". The same has been said by a priest during last year's Pentecost pilgrimage. Observers interpret this as a threat of force to impose the upper a particular opinion without wanting to leave the SSPX itself.
Many priests were present at the aforementioned wedding who had left the SSPX years ago, well before the talks with the Vatican and priests who left the Society recently and officially denounce the present course of the Fraternity as "modernist". Some of these priests, went after their departure initially, surprisingly to communities standing close to the Vatican, but left it again quickly to seek out "vagantes".
Laymen, who openly position themselves sedisvacantist, earned a ban by the German District Superior. You may in specific cases currently still receive the sacraments in the chapels of the SSPX, but not distribute leaflets and not to incite unrest. Such measures are nothing special and were immediately imposed by district leaders since the founding of the SSPX.
Layman who’ve been banned are supposed to have co-organized Bishop Williamson’s trip. Bishop Williamson is clearly testing how much and what kind of support he can expect in Germany.
Most of the "priests in the resistance" were already expelled years before for disobedience and intemperate criticism of superiors. Transfers and composition of priory communities were often the main points of criticism. Whether the "resistance priests” themselves are under an authority or establish their own initiatives where they are the only authority themselves remains to be seen.
Since the "theological" justification for the "resistance" moves on thin ice and the talks between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X. seem to be misinterpreted, the conflict provides the current [? Father Firmin Udressy?] superior of the German district, Father Franz Schmidberger, more on a personal level: described the behavior in a preface of his newsletter in April 2013 as "stubbornness, self-righteousness, condescension, addiction to criticism, false dialectic, mockery and malice".
The Society of St. Pius X. has endured since its inception from attacks on the top, on the one hand of progressives, on the other side from sedivacantists. Therefore regular articles on the part of the SSPX are regularly published like Rightful disobedience to authority and Mgr Lefebvre: About the negotiations with Rome.
Bishop Williamson extended the position of sedevacantism for weeks in his periodical Eleison Comments and the direction begins to differentiate itself from Archbishop Lefebvre. Presumably he is trying to found the St. Marcel Center of the global initiative to expand sedevacantism the future.
Since its founding in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Society of St. Pius X has lost two or three priests per district every year, because they were dissatisfied with their superiors, or they were excluded because they refused, “to pay their rightful leaders due respect and obedience. "
The SSPX claims to have 569 priests worldwide according to its report in 2012. The number of faithful, who are connected to it should include, according to Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos in 2007, about 600,000 people, including 100,000 in France. Other sources mention 150,000 followers.
Blogs and forums of "resistance" currently claim there are 22 priests who are supposed to be associated with this initiative worldwide.
Bishop Williamson was convicted in January in Regensburg court on the charges of incitement for a fine of 1800 Euros.The district court justified the relatively small fine with the fact that Williamson currently enjoys no income according to the court. Williamson is appealing against the judgment before an appeal.
[Update 17:06 clock: Williamson's visit in Germany is making the process of reconciliation between the Society of St. Pius X.and the Vatican enormously difficult, if not halting it entirely, which is most certainly his intention.
He writes in his column of 9 March ""We think that lifting the excommunications would set in motion an irresistible process of drawing closer, with a view to an agreement between the Holy See and the SSPX, or at least an agreement with a large part of the SSPX priests and faithful." Comment: indeed the friendly contacts between Rome and the SSPX were setting such a motion in process in January of 2009, and only an outburst from within the SSPX of the most horrible heresy of modern times - "anti-semitism" - stopped that process. But either Catholic reconciliation with Vatican II is no problem, or one has to say that that outburst was providential, because it also stopped, at least for a while, the false reconciliation.” In the article published in February’s column he writes: And historical truth goes by evidence, the most reliable kind of which is the material relics of the past, because these are in principle quite independent of human emotions.
Bishop Williamson is indifferent, in his own words, to whether his statements could be used in Germany or not, even if he refrained from publishing his words, because he pursues another goal with the help of Holocaust "denial", namely the torpedoing of the talks between Rome and the Fraternity. This intention should correspond to the so-called Dolus eventualis, according to which the offender holds for the possible success of its commission as a result of the seriousness of his actions and condones it to hazard the conditions and accept it. In other words, Bishop Williamson has deliberately committed a crime as a provocation in order to achieve a different purpose, the torpedoing of the talks between Rome and the Fraternity.
That Bishop Williamson cites in this context on the one hand the truths of divine revelation, and on the other hand sees his actions as inspired by the Divine Providence, it is an interesting insight into his state of mind.]
Text: Linus Schneider
Photo: Jens Falk
Photo: Jens Falk