Words of Caution
Once again I’m privileged to present the wisdom of His Excellency Bishop Richard N. Williamson, SSPX. Using the very powerful words of His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, of happy memory, he reiterates the absolute need for caution in any approach of Rome. This is most especially true now with the appointments of two thoroughly modern priests to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P., to the post of vice president of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’. The appointment of a high-ranking prelate to this position is a sign of the Holy Father’s pastoral solicitude for traditionalist Catholics in communion with the Holy See and his strong desire for the reconciliation of those traditionalist communities not in (full, editor) union with the See of Peter. In addition, the Vatican has appointed, Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and as president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. He succeeds Cardinal William Joseph Levada, whose resignation from the same offices the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Both of these prelates have scurrilous views on dogmas of the Church, based on their writings and previous conferences, most especially concerning the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Liberation Theology, and also Transubstantiation. [Aside: By their own admission, the Novus Ordo, that is, Müller has made some statements about clerical celibacy and Mariology that have a few people scratching their heads. That said, his job is to make this run smoothly at the Congregation, not to shape the Church’s doctrine. This is from a popular Novus Ordo blog: Fr. Z’s Blog, http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/07/new-prefect-at-cdf-gerhard-ludwig-muller-bishop-of-regensburg/ ]. Logic suggests that without sound doctrine as a qualifying foundation any appointment to any position, even a parish pastor, let alone the head of the CDF would be precluded.
Meantime, His Excellency Archbishop Di Noia nullifies the dogma of No salvation outside of the Catholic Church by his defense of VCII’s document concerning non-Christian faiths. In his words: Vatican II repudiated anti-Semitism and presented a positive picture of Judaism. John Paul II took us further in recognizing the significance of the Jewish People for Christianity itself. This is a new concept which we know the Traditionalists will not be able to accept immediately. Convincing them will take time, and in this respect we will have to be patient.
So considering all the above, wisdom suggests extreme caution be used in any further talks with Rome. As it stands, Rome is still far too attached to Vatican Council II and unless and until they make some truly concrete gestures addressing at least some of the errors we (as traditional Catholics) cannot risk dissolution of the Traditional Catholic Movement through a false and shaky accord. Until such time it is better for the SSPX to maintain the status quo and remain a prick of conscience to the NewChurch in order that they might repudiate the so-called hermeneutics of Modernist interpretation.
…and now onto H. E. Bishop Williamson’s Eleison Comments:
BENEDICT’S ECUMENISM VI
It was promised that in the last of this series of “Eleison Comments” articles inspired by Dr Wolfgang Schuler’s book on “Benedict XVI and the Church’s View of Itself” its main lesson would be applied to the present situation of the Society of St Pius X. The application has already been suggested: if one can only be Catholic by belonging to the living organism of the Catholic Church, then one will become Conciliar by belonging to the organism of the Conciliar Church.
Benedict XVI holds that Catholic pieces cut off from the Catholic Church still belong to the Church of Christ. Dr Schuler, following Our Lord (Jn. XV, 1-7), argues on the contrary that the Church being a living organism, then branches cut off it wither and die, because it is the plant that gives them its life. It follows that if the SSPX is grafted onto the Conciliar plant which is wholly diseased with the Vatican II religion of man, then the Conciliar plant will transmit its disease to the SSPX. Here are three quotes of Archbishop which express this reality:–
In 1984, well before the Episcopal consecrations of 1988, he condemned in advance the illusion that the SSPX, by “getting back inside the Church would be able to fight, to do this, to do that”. He replied, “That is absolutely untrue. You don’t get back inside a structure, putting yourself beneath its superiors, and expect that once inside you are going to turn everything upside down. The reality is that they have everything they need to strangle us. They have all the authority.”
In 1988, just before the consecrations, he said, “Rome wants everything to go Vatican II, while they leave us a little bit of Tradition. (…) They are not changing their position. We cannot put ourselves in the hands of those people. We would be fooling ourselves. We do not mean to let ourselves be eaten up. (…) Little by little Tradition would be compromised.”
In 1989, soon after the consecrations, he answered the objection that the SSPX would have done more good for the Church by staying inside than by getting itself put outside. He replied,“What Church are we talking about ? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for 40 years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, it is the superiors that make the subjects. Amidst the whole Roman Curia, amidst all the world’s bishops who are progressives, I would have been completely swamped. I would have been able to do nothing.”
In conclusion, if by any practical agreement or canonical regularization the SSPX were to put itself under the Conciliar authorities of the Church that are still firmly attached to the ideas of Vatican II, as the Doctrinal Discussions of 2009-2011 amply proved, then its defence of the true Faith would be “strangled, eaten up, swamped”. Grafted into the living Conciliar whole, it could not help receiving from it the diseased Conciliar life. God forbid !
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.