Bishop Williamson, SSPX, And The Holy Father.

God bless them always: SSPX

This appeared some days ago on the generally well-informed (and said to have very good contacts within the SSPX)

The news matches rather neatly with another one, always from the same sources, concerning the Bishop having celebrated some confirmations in Brasil without authorisation from the SSPX. 

It is now irrelevant to decide whether Bp. Williamson will (would; might) be excluded because of his Brasil confirmations, or whether he decided to fly to Brasil because he had decided to secede in the first place. What I think is relevant is that the news comes from a generally very informed source, and as far as I know has not been denied by the SSPX yet.

Those of us who think that the Holy Father started the entire exercise to try to see whether he could provoke divisions within the SSPX (I am among them) might think that with this development the Holy Father has reached his objective, but I am not persuaded the action will be of any use to the Pope either during the rest of his pontificate or afterwards.

Williamson will – if the exclusion/secession really happens – carry with him a part of the SSPX, but not a very big one. We know this, because we have seen Bishop Fellay carrying with him the vast majority of the Fraternity in the past months and we know that his leadership was not challenged in any significant way. It is reasonable to assume enough supporters and – importantly – wealthy donors will remain with the SSPX to allow it to continue its work undisturbed, with the added advantage of getting rid of the at times embarrassing presence of Bishop Williamson.

At the same time, it is difficult for me to believe Bishop Williamson would have decided to (or encouraged the) split without being assured he will have an organisation at his command with enough supporters and enough means to be of some permanence. I might be wrong, but if this secession is going to happen I think the newly created organisation is going to stay with us for a long time, and to be a voice heard within the Catholic world.

If, therefore, the split was the objective of the Holy Father, what has he obtained? Has he managed to weaken the SSPX, or to undermine its authority and prestige among sanely thinking Catholics?  By no means. Has he then at least managed to defuse Bishop Williamson? Improbable.

Of course, the Holy Father might now proceed to excommunicate (again) both Williamson and the SSPX bishops after the clear failure of the negotiations (which I am now persuaded were meant to fail from day one from the Vatican, it being rather illogical that a Pope who placidly tolerates schismatic movements or currents in Austria, Switzerland and Germany would see himself unable to allow  the SSPX to continue their perfectly orthodox work), thus striking them when they are, allegedly, weak; but again, I doubt this would lead to any meaningful results, as the SSPX fare best when the Post-conciliar Vatican is against them, as the past decades have abundantly shown.

Therefore, as a result of what I think were rather Machiavellian machinations from the Holy Father,  the Vatican will – if the secession happens – be now confronted with not one SSPX but, so to speak, two; of which one rather as strong as ever, and the other possibly destined to become rather strong, too.

I have often thought, and become more and more persuaded, that this Pope is too clever by half, and his policy of deception is not bearing any of the desired fruits.

Pope Benedict gave conservative Catholics Summorum Pontificum to make them believe he was on their side and would (slowly and prudently, but steadily) steer the Church in their direction. In reality, though, he was only giving some food to the pigeons whilst he continued the Vatican-II policy of appointment of modernist bishops, and toleration of almost every form of dissent (not the orthodox one of the SSPX, of course; perish the thought…). As a result, conservative Catholics are now more and more aware of the deception and will (particularly after he has died; alas, many Catholics can just not conceive a reigning Pope might be wrong) soon realise the “hermeneutic of continuity” is nothing more than an attempt to perpetuate the Neo-modernist horrors by getting rid of the Modernist tones. 

Concerning the SSPX, the same politics was observed: the lifting of the excommunications – a fact which might have been embarrassing for the Vatican, but was certainly not decisive for the SSPX – was the prelude of “talks” meant to divide them in the middle, and possibly strike them separately afterwards. It seems clear to me this policy will fail, too, and the traditionalists will now grow stronger rather than getting weaker.

Make no mistake: Williamson will do fine, and so will the SSPX. The only one who will be disappointed is the one who wanted to beat or destroy them, and whose machinations are now all too clear to see. Just reflect how free the neo-modernist forces are to operate, and how inflexible the Vatican is with the SSPX, to realise on which side this Pope stands.

Again: too clever by half.


Posted on September 15, 2012, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Mundabor:
    Too machiavellian.
    Sometimes you can draw conclusions from who has had a beer with whom at the bar, sometimes they both just went to the nearest pub with no malice aforethought.
    All this is how Jeeves sucessfully manipulates Bertie Wooster.Yes, the church has its Jeeveses! But not all prtagonists are jeeves,etc
    The bad popes there have been, not without divine providence acting in any case, have all been bad within their own character, not in exterior memes.
    Me talking, not the Holy Spirit, but I just don’t believe any of the above conclusions and inferences.
    God bless

    • Perfectly legitimate Pepe, and I sincerely envy you for your belief that Bertie is leading Jeeves.. 😉

      I for myself prefer to be led by what has happened in the past with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and by the shocking (factual) inaction of the Pope in front of the all-invading neo-modernist ideas, often propagated by people the Pontiff himself has protected (see Schoenborn) whilst the SSPX is considered, alas, not Catholic enough, or not in the right way.

      For shame, say I.


  2. Mundabor

    without Summorum Pontificum I would not be reading your blog. I would never have discovered the old Mass, I would have never realized what true Catholicism actually is. And I know of quite a number of other people to whom the same happened. If Summorum Pontificum was only invented by the Holy Father to “appease” the Traditionalists then something might have gone wrong with it. Given my own case and the other cases I know who actually experienced a “conversion” within the Catholic faith through Summorum Pontificum,, I can’t quite follow you here.


    • wk1999,

      Summorum Pontificum clearly is a progress, and clearly is something good in itself. My argument is that Pope Benedict gave something good to conservative Catholics,so that he may give all the rest to the V-II crowd. The absolute absence of enforcement in the matter of Sommorum Pontificum proves, I think, my point.

      If you compare what has done for a traditional vision of Catholicism, and what he has done and continues to do against it, the evidence is overwhelming. Hundreds of bad bishops’ appointments, silence toward the heresy in Austria and elsewhere, continuous pandering to the German clergy afraid of losing the Kirchensteuer-money, and in short: a talk that does not correspond to the walk.

      Mind, I would like to think well of Pope Benedict’s work. Like many others, I wanted (almost needed) to think that things were going at speed in the right direction. But on the reflection of the sum total of what has happened in these seven years of Pontificate, I cannot see this is the case.

      Again, it’s not entirely bleak. Pope Benedict will, for example, appoint a very good bishop every now and then (San Francisco comes to mind) in order to be able to appoint the bad ones without criticism (if you look at England or Germany, you could cry).


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