Hey lets bash what we don’t understand

Posted: January 26, 2009 by datechguy in catholic
Tags: , ,

The press and many blogs have gotten a lot of mileage out of going after the Pope for including Bishop Williamson among the 4 Bishops excommunication was lifted this week.

This guy Williamson is without question a piece of work as Charles Johnson points out he’s both a holocaust denier and a 9/11 truther. He is without a doubt a Nelson award winner.

However those people crying bloody murder know nothing about the Society of St. Pius X, the background concerning excommunication (warning this link is VERY dry) or even what it means. I give Johnson credit for pointing out that the removal of Excommunication doesn’t re-instate him as a bishop but the idea that the Pope is not going to do something toward reuniting tens of thousands of Catholics to the church because one particular Bishop has idiot ideas on non church matters doesn’t wash.

If you want some commentary from people who actually know what all this means check out here here and here and here.

Lifting excommunication gives access to legitimate sacraments. A Catholic knows how important this is. It would literally be necessary for a person to be on the point of death to even receive absolution. If the successor of Peter chooses to loose that danger to their souls its not for anyone else to deny it.

In real terms the idea that a guy like Williamson should not be able to have his excommunication revoked while people like Pelosi, Biden, Kerry, Cuomo and the Kennedy’s and many other Catholic pols who have actively sought to promote abortion and facilitated it doesn’t wash. Any rant from Andrew “I’m a catholic in good standing but I’m in a Gay marriage and the church is evil in it’s beliefs.” Sullivan just shatters the irony meter.

And it looks like there has already been interesting payoffs for the Pope on this

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of St Pius X and, as of today, no longer excommunicated, has responded to the Pope’s gesture in the following letter. In it, he describes Benedict XVI as “benevolent” and “courageous”.

I’m beginning to think that the Pope’s gamble will pay off. Sources close to the SSPX tell me that Bishop Williamson has infuriated his episcopal colleagues with his venomous and stupid rant about the Holocaust – but when will they condemn him publicly? Surely they cannot hope to have their suspensions lifted until they have done so.

In fact it has already started:

The head of the Society of St. Pius X has distanced the traditionalist group from statements by Bishop Richard Williamson questioning the reality of the Holocaust. In an interview with the Swiss journal Le Temps, Bishop Bernard Fellay said that he “deplores the fact that a bishop has given the impression of implicating the Society with a viewpoint that is absolutely not ours.”

This combined with moves by the church condemning his statements are likely to put Williamson in a position where he has to publicly rejected by the bishops and faithful of the society to get full communion back. It will also force the society to back up the Church if it chooses to place any sanction on him for his public statements. The Society being forced to backup a church sanction is an enviable place for the Vatican to be.

I suggest keep an eye on Damian Thompson’s blog who is all over it.

UPDATE: Great summery at NRO here.

UPDATE 2: Atlas Shrugs is a fine anti Jihad site and the Simon Wiesenthal Center does good work, but Catholic Theologians they’re not. Isn’t this the same person in a blog war with Charles Johnson over his assertion that Vlaams Belang is too closely related to fascist right groups? (BTW I don’t have a problem with either Geller’s or Johnson’s positions as they are both in my opinion decisions of conscience)

It would seem to me that if the Vatican came down on him before the excommunication he could tut tut it away crying discrimination against the St. Pius X society. He might have even gotten reluctant support from the other three Bishops and members of the society. Instead the exact opposite has happened, now the Vatican has power to put pressure not only on him but the Society has publicly condemned his statements. I suspect a lot more of this to come. This Pope is a lot smarter than anyone gives him credit and nobody will give him any.

Update: BINGO!

  1. Damian Thompson says:

    Fantastic post – my coverage would have been a lot sharper if I’d read it first. And you are soooo right about those “Catholic” pols.

  2. […] Exactly as predicted. Who wants to be on the society putting out such a statement if the excommunications weren’t lifted? anyone? Bueller, Bueller? […]

  3. […] When he lifted the excommunication on the St. Pius X society “bishops” the press took the opportunity to jump on him as an anti-Semite. I wonder what they will say after today: Taking the podium after […]