A bumper-sticker warning

Richard N. Williamson, the odd-bishop-out of the Lefebvrite Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), continues to publish a weekly essay despite the demand of Bishop Fellay, head of the group, that he shut down his website. Williamson was the only one of the four bishops of the SSPX not invited to attend the October meeting in Albano of the leaders of the SSPX that was called in order to agree upon a response to the Vaticans demand that they accept a Doctrinal Preamble as a condition for any regularization of their position in the Church. Bishop Fellay, head of the SSPX, had explained in a letter to Williamson that he would receive a copy of Romes offer only on two conditions: that he take an oath in writing not to divulge its content and that he shut down his website.
It is clear from his columns that Williamson is not open to any accommodation with Rome unless the latter repudiates the many and significant errors of Vatican II. It is almost as clear that if Fellay makes such an arrangement with the Vatican, Williamson will repudiate it. Observers suspect that as many as a third of the members of the SSPX will follow that example.
Williamsons latest essay attributes a mental sickness to Roman churchmen. This is not meant as an insult but as a description of the objective state of the Romans minds... Their minds are no longer running on truth. For the truth derived from Tradition they substitute their own authority. They are mentally sick. Only they have the authority.
And he ends with a bumper-sticker pronouncement: I would rather be a schismatic sedevacantist than a Roman apostate. With the grace of God, neither!

Richard N. Williamson, the odd-bishop-out of the Lefebvrite Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), continues to publish a weekly essay despite the demand of Bishop Fellay, head of the group, that he shut down his website. Williamson was the only one of the four bishops of the SSPX not invited to attend the October meeting in Albano of the leaders of the SSPX that was called in order to agree upon a response to the Vaticans demand that they accept a Doctrinal Preamble as a condition for any regularization of their position in the Church. Bishop Fellay, head of the SSPX, had explained in a letter to Williamson that he would receive a copy of Romes offer only on two conditions: that he take an oath in writing not to divulge its content and that he shut down his website. Neither condition, it seems, was met. It is clear from his columns that Williamson is not open to any accommodation with Rome unless the latter repudiates the many and significant errors of Vatican II. It is almost as clear that if Fellay makes such an arrangement with the Vatican, Williamson will repudiate it. Observers suspect that as many as a third of the members of the SSPX will follow that example. Williamsons latest essay attributes a mental sickness to Roman churchmen. This is not meant as an insult but as a description of the objective state of the Romans minds... Their minds are no longer running on truth. For the truth derived from Tradition they substitute their own authority. They are mentally sick. Only they have the authority. And he ends with a bumper-sticker pronouncement: I would rather be a schismatic sedevacantist than a Roman apostate. With the grace of God, neither!

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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