SSPX head apologizes.
Grant Gallicho January 27, 2009 - 4:07pm
I updated my post below, but just in case people aren't checking that thread, here's the latest development in the Williamson saga.John Allen reports today that the Vatican has released a statement from SSPX superior Bishop Bernard Fellay, who apologizes for Williamsons offenses. It reads, in part:
Its clear that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesiastical authority except on questions that regard faith and morals. Our Fraternity does not claim any authority on other matters. Its mission is the propagation and restoration of authentic Catholic doctrine, expressed in the dogmas of the faith. Its for this reason that we are known, accepted and respected in the entire world.The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions.We ask the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. Because we recognize how ill-advised these declarations were, we can only look with sadness at the way in which they have directly struck our Fraternity, discrediting its mission.This is something we cannot accept, and we declare that we will continue to preach Catholic doctrine and to administer the sacraments of grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Shrewd move, as far as it goes. I would have preferred something stronger (ill-advised doesnt begin to describe what Williamson spews), sooner (why did it take so long for Fellay to publicly condemn Williamsons unhinged views about the Shoah when he has been repeating them for years?), and less, well, huffy (yes, yes, youre respected the world over, but why not name the Jewish people in your apology to the pope and to all people of good will?). And P.S.: the Fraternity isnt the only one that suffers as a result of this train wreck. But at least Fellay appears to have an inkling of the gravity of Williamsons transgressions.Interesting, too, that the statement was released by the Vatican. Given Fellay's reticence to condemn Williamson's outrageous views--as recently as yesterday--it seems likely that Fellay felt some pressure from Rome to issue his statement.