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Bishop Williamson ousted from SSPX

October 24, 2012

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has expelled Bishop Richard Williamson, citing the outspoken prelate’s persistent refusal to obey his superiors in the traditionalist society.

Bishop Williamson—who earned worldwide notoriety for his statements questioning the severity of the Holocaust—has clashed with SSPX leadership repeatedly, complicating efforts to reconcile the group with the Holy See. He has continued to produce a regular newsletter in defiance of the SSPX leader, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and he recently traveled to Brazil to administer the sacrament of Confirmation without approval from the SSPX leadership.

The SSPX confirmed that Bishop Williamson has been expelled, for “having distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years and refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors.”


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 25, 2012 9:19 PM ET USA

    It is important to understand that schism separates one from the Church. The Holy Father has lifted the excommunication and is not using the term schismatic in describing the SSPX. This being said, the bishop has separated himself from the SSPX by his non-compliance and has been summarily dismissed for wreckless comportment. Life is really about God's grace, and in the final analysis, the Church is all about souls participating in this grace. Reality must be reinforced in these tenuous days.

  • Posted by: djcastel7241 - Oct. 25, 2012 9:49 AM ET USA

    Irony aside, this is a positive sign. Bishop Williamson was the biggest obstacle to reconciliation with the Church. This shows that the SSPX is serious about reconciling with Rome.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Oct. 24, 2012 9:24 PM ET USA

    A schismatic among schismatics!

  • Posted by: stevebrock8157 - Oct. 24, 2012 9:13 PM ET USA

    The same thought crossed my mind... the group that refused to submit to the Authority of the Church is expelling a member for refusing to submit to the authority of their church...

  • Posted by: normnuke - Oct. 24, 2012 5:48 PM ET USA

    It seems that some rebel to uphold principle, while others do so to feed their egos. I have heard Bp. Fellay speak. He is humble and intelligent. Clearly, he belongs to the first group. We should pray for Bp. Williamson.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 24, 2012 4:27 PM ET USA

    Perhaps I am the only one to perceive a certain irony in this bit of news.