Fellay to Williamson: Shut It

I must confess that when I read yesterday that Pope Benedict had lifted the excommunications against the four SSPX bishops, my first thought was not rejoicing that this suggested that a million semi-schismatic Catholics around the world might soon be fully returned to the fold, but rather, “Oh brother, does this mean that Bishop Williamson is now our problem?”

Though we’ve had our share of loopy bishops in union with the pope, Williamson takes episcopal antics to new levels. He’s been known to issue letters discussing how women have no business going to college, the dangerous modernist threat which the movie The Sound Of Music poses, and more sinisterly has recently flirted with holocaust denial.

Thus, I was encouraged to see that Bishop Fellay, the Superior General of the SSPX, has issued a statement saying, “I have forbidden Bishop Williamson to issue any public opinion on any political or historical matter until further notice.”

Now there’s something I can say Amen to. Perhaps we may hope that the SSPX will not only become fully reunited with the Church in the near future, but will fail to embarrass liturgically traditional Catholics in the process. Deo gratias.


13 Responses to Fellay to Williamson: Shut It

  1. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Williamson is no longer excommunicate, but he should never be a bishop. The man is a disgrace, plain and simple.

  2. Matt McDonald says:


    amen to that.

    Let’s be honest though, there are millions of fully heretical Catholics who enjoy “apparent” communion with the Holy See, and many millions more who are semi-heretical.

  3. Donald R. McClarey says:

    No argument from me on that score Matt.

  4. Tito Edwards says:

    Deo Gratias on Mr. Fellay’s ‘delayed’ reproach on Mr. Williamson.

  5. dim bulb says:

    I’m no authority on Bishop (?) Fellay, but he seems to me to be somewhat “loopy” himself, at times.

  6. I’m no authority on Bishop (?) Fellay, but he seems to me to be somewhat “loopy” himself, at times.

    Nevertheless, he did the right thing in this case.

    liturgically traditional Catholics

    Catholics who prefer the “new” Mass are also “liturgically traditional.” We just prefer a different tradition. 🙂

  7. Michael,

    To be clear, I prefer the “new” mass as well — by “liturgically traditional” I just meant preferring a “do the red, say the black” approach combined with the music, vestments, incense, etc. that reflect the sacredness of the mass and the history of the Church.

  8. Darwin – Fair enough. But even there, I’m not sure “traditional” is the right word when we’re talking about a Church with a diversity of liturgical traditions. Like it or not, there are different “traditions” when it comes to which music, vestments, etc. reflect “sacredness.”

    I dig incense, absolutely. Insisted on using it at my wedding. 🙂

  9. Matt McDonald says:

    I’m not sure innovations of the last 40 years qualify as “traditions”, unless you mean introducing “traditions” of other faiths to the Catholic Mass… In any event, I would say that by “liturgically traditional” one means celebrating mass according to all of the rubrics, and guided by authoritative documents, such as Redemptionis Sacramentum and Sacrosanctum Concillium (Latin is to be retained). This can refer to the Ordinary Form, or the Extraordinary Form, but it is sadly rare outside the Extraordinary Form.

  10. Tito Edwards says:

    Michael & Darwin,

    I agree about the Ordinary Form. When it’s done right, I feel like I’m in Heaven!

  11. Matt McDonald says:


    you must be talking about that Cranmerian rite 😉

    Kidding aside, that is an awesome Mass, even if it is in English.

  12. Matt McDonald says:

    news flash:

    Pope Benedict speaks about SSPX during Wednesday Audience

    I decided, a few days ago, to grant the remission of the excommunication in which the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, without pontifical mandate, had incurred. I fulfilled this act of fatherly mercy because those prelates repeatedly manifested to me their deep suffering for the situation in which they found themselves. I hope that this gesture of mine will be followed by the solicitous effort by them to accomplish the ulterior steps necessary to accomplish full communion with the Church, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope and of the Second Vatican Council.

    While I renew with affection the expression of my full and unquestionable solidarity with our brothers receivers of the First Covenant, I hope that the memory of the Shoah leads mankind to reflect on the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man.

    May the Shoah be for all a warning against forgetfulness, against denial or reductionism, because the violence against a single human being is violence against all. No man is an island, a famous poet write. The Shoah particularly teaches, both old an the new generations, that only the tiresome path of listening and dialogue, of love and of forgiveness lead the peoples, the cultures, and the religions of the world to the hoped-for goal of fraternity and peace in truth. May violence never again crush the dignity of man!

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