Monday, February 2, 2009

The SSPX and Bishop Williamson

A furor has been created with the lifting of the excommunications of the four bishops consecrated in 1988. While the official anger is targeted at the bishops of the SSPX themselves, there is no doubt that the true anger is at Bishop Williamson's remarks regarding the Holocaust.

First, I found his remarks to be, at best, imprudent. Two reasons why they were imprudent: 1) he gave his interview, I believe, in a country that frowns upon Holocaust denial 2) his remarks, without any evidence, tried to put a hole in a historically proven event.

While I find his opinions regarding the Holocaust and 9/11 distasteful, remember that he wasn't excommunicated because of radical political or historical views; he was excommunicated because he was part of illicit episcopal ordinations back in 1988. Likewise, the lifting of the excommunications have nothing to do with his personal views either.

There are those attacking Pope Benedict XVI for lifting the excommunications. I find these attacks ironic. On the one hand, they tend to criticize the SSPX for holding to pre-Vatican II practices regarding the Mass and the Sacraments, implying that the SSPX think they know better than the Pope. On the other hand, by villifying the Holy Father, these same critics think THEY know better than the Pope.

This is not a time for smug condescension or arrogant outrage, but a time for reconciliation. The critics of the Pope and the SSPX need to stop acting the like the big brother of the Prodigal Son and start acting more like the father.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

I shall state that I am a supporter and a defender of the Society of St. Pius X (one who does not believe in the validity of the excommunication of the bishops), but I do like your point that "these same critics think THEY know better than the Pope." Irony indeed.