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Bishop Williamson: Vatican, SSPX hold 'absolutely irreconcilable' positions

January 20, 2010

In an interview with a French politician, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X said that talks currently underway between the Society and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will end as a “dialogue of the deaf” unless “SSPX becomes a traitor or Rome converts.”

“The two positions are absolutely irreconcilable,” said Bishop Williamson, who is most famous for his denial of the Holocaust’s extent. “2+2=4 and 2+2=5 are irreconcilable. Either those who say 2+2=4 renounce the truth and agree that 2+2=5-- that is, the SSPX abandons the truth, which God forbids us to do-- or those who say 2+2=5 convert and return to the truth. Or the two meet halfway and say that 2+2=4-1/2. That’s wrong. Either the SSPX becomes a traitor or Rome converts or it’s a dialogue of the deaf.”


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Jan. 23, 2010 11:59 AM ET USA

    Bishop Williamson is himself a convert; he is intelligent and holds a hard-line position that is untenable and imprudent, yet his argument is logical. The "man-centered" ideology and practices so rampant in the conciliar Church contrast starkly with hundreds of years of Catholic teaching and innumerable papal statements. This is what Williamson is addressing primarily. He should recognize that there are "good guys" despite the wolves, and reform is never instantaneous. Bishop Fellay does.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jan. 21, 2010 2:05 PM ET USA

    It would be traitorous to admit 2 + 2 = 4? I think it would be lunacy to say 2 + 2 = 5 or even 4 1/2. If SSPX can't come back into the fold, they are one among many Protestant faiths spinning alone in God's universe.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2010 12:03 AM ET USA

    Bishop Williamson doesn't speak for the SSPX. The Society has shown a willingness to engage in fruitful dialog with the Vatican regarding their status. The Traditional position concerning the liturgy may well turn out to be the correct theological course to pursue. Pope Benedict XVI has indicated that substantial common ground exists concerning several SSPX positions. Let the talks continue without paying any further attention to the non-player in these talks - Bishop Williamson.

  • Posted by: JARay - Jan. 20, 2010 5:16 PM ET USA

    Bishop Williamson has always been a loose cannon and many in the SSPX recognise this. That said, no one can assume that these talks will be plain sailing. It can be difficult to recognise the hermeneutic of continuity with tradition in some of the fruits of Vatican II.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2010 11:16 AM ET USA

    why doesn't this anomaly just fade away??

  • Posted by: skladach - Jan. 20, 2010 11:06 AM ET USA

    Fortunately, Bp. W. is not on the commission that represents the SSPX in its dialogue with the CDF. That dialogue is historical. Bp. Williamson's superior has been forbidden him for good reasons to make public statements about historical subjects. Therefore Bp. W. would do well to refrain from comment on the CDF-SSPX talks.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2010 10:52 AM ET USA

    The liberals don't have a monopoly on bad bishops.