By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.
MUST-SEE NEW VIDEO ON THE SSPX: The Truth About The SSPX, The SSPX-MC, And Similar Groups
The Remnant recently held an interview with Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).
The interview (May 15, 2005 issue) consisted mainly of his thoughts on the election of Benedict XVI. I will quote portions of this interview and then interject some comments, but first it is important to remind the readers of the definition of schism.
Canon 1325.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “One who after baptism… rejects the authority of the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him, he is a schismatic.”
Schism can be either refusing communion with a true pope (not an antipope) or refusing communion with the members of the Church who are in communion with the pope. The position of the SSPX acknowledges the Vatican II “popes” as true popes and holds the Novus Ordo “bshops” to be Catholic bishops. However, the SSPX operates outside of communion with this hierarchy, which it considers to be the Catholic hierarchy. This is clearly a schismatic position. Now, prescinding from their denial of the salvation dogma, let me point out that the Society of St. Pius X could have been confused in good faith about the fullness of what was happening with regard to the Novus Ordo hierarchy for a certain period time – perhaps a number of years. When the Vatican II apostasy broke, they justifiably wanted to resist it. The full ramifications of what was occurring were not very clear to them. However, after decades, when the dust finally settled, the leaders of the SSPX had to examine their position and come to the realization that they have no justification for operating independently of the Novus Ordo hierarchy if the Novus Ordo hierarchy is, in fact, Catholic. The only reason that they could be independent of the Novus Ordo hierarchy is if the Novus Ordo hierarchy has lost the Faith, is not Catholic, is outside the Church and holds no authority.
St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30: “Finally, the Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are “ipso facto” deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity.”
St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30:
“A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.”
But the SSPX, after decades of apostasy taught by the Vatican II sect, and after decades to examine its untenable position, still obstinately maintains that the apostate, Novus Ordo hierarchy is the true Catholic hierarchy! Yet, it refuses to put itself under their authority and operate in communion with them. The SSPX’s official position is without any doubt obstinately schismatic. They are operating outside of communion with the hierarchy they deem to be the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians, (A.D. 110): “He that is within the sanctuary is pure; but he that is outside the sanctuary is not pure. In other words, anyone who acts without the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons does not have a clean conscience.” (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers,, Vol. 1:50)
St. Jerome, Commentaries on the Epistle to Titus, (A.D. 386): “Between heresy and schism there is a distinction made, that heresy involves perverse doctrine, while schism separates one from the Church on account of disagreement with the Bishop. (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2:1371a)
That being said, here are some quotes from Bishop Williamson’s recent interview with The Remnant:
Q: What do you think about Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger being elected to the papacy?
A. Bishop Williamson: I was a little surprised, at first, because some people had said he wasn’t really in the running. After that, to tell you the honest truth, I don’t expect a great deal from Rome as it stands. They are too far gone in the “New Religion,” and the “New Religion” is too radically different and distant from the True Religion. Rome is Rome, though, and I do believe there the popes are, and there are the cardinals, and that is where the official structure of the Church is to be found. But, I’m afraid, for the defense of the Faith, you’ve got to wait for some grave event to shake Rome and/or to drive the true cardinals out of Rome to start again somewhere else. I’m afraid that Rome is too deeply in the grips of the enemies of God.
This, ladies and gentlemen, sums up the completely ridiculous – and schismatical – position of the SSPX, which is (for lack of a better description) so obstinately inconsistent that it is correctly labeled THEOLOGICAL PUKE. Bishop Williamson holds that the Vatican II religion is a new religion. This, ladies and gentlemen, means that the religion of the Vatican II Church is NOT THE CATHOLIC RELIGION. This means that the MEN WHO LEAD THIS RELIGION ARE LEADERS OF A FALSE, NON-CATHOLIC RELIGION. They are not Catholics. But the heretic Bishop Williamson holds that the men who lead this new, non-Catholic religion that is “radically different” from the “True Religion” are still Catholics, are inside the Catholic Church, and are the legitimate hierarchy of the Church. This is theological puke from the pit of hell – especially when we consider that this has been the position of the SSPX for about 30 years now and they still refuse to change it. Even though they recognize the leaders of this new religion as Catholics (contradiction 1), Williamson and the SSPX’s leaders refuse to operate under them (contradiction 2) and thus operate schismatically. The fact that Bishop Williamson can continually spew this completely illogical, totally schismatic garbage year after year, in talk after talk, and the people at the SSPX, The Remnant, Catholic Family News, etc. accept it as Catholic, tells us something about how little most of them care about the Catholic Faith.
BISHOP WILLIAMSON TELLS US THAT JOHN PAUL II WAS A “GOOD MAN”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Q: Is the use of the “human dignity” argument drawn from Karl Rahner’s teaching?
A. Bishop Williamson: Definitely. They’re centering everything on man. Pope John Paul II centered so much on the human person. He believed in the human person, he believed in man. And remember what Jeremiah said: Woe to any person who puts his trust in man. It’s the same, very much alive with John Paul II. I think John Paul II was sincere. I think he was a good man, but he was just deeply mistaken. And I think Pope Benedict XVI is the same kind of man. I believe he’s decent and sincere, but deeply mistaken.
This is probably the most evil statement I’ve ever read from a “traditionalist” leader who claims to be opposed to the Vatican II religion. Bishop Williamson tells us that Antipope John Paul II, who he knows: kissed the Koran; presided over a new religion; prayed with devil worshippers; etc.; etc.; etc. – I don’t even want to give the whole list, as Williamson knows all about it. This antichrist Bishop Williamson tells us that John Paul II was a “good man”! This is an outrageous abomination! This proves that Bishop Williamson has absolutely no faith. Bishop Williamson, you are the firstborn of Satan.
St. Ireneaus, Against Heresies: “Once he [St. Polycarp] was met by Marcion, who said to him, ‘Do you recognize me?’ and Polycarp replied, ‘I recognize you as the firstborn of Satan!’” (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1:212)
I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know what to write to attempt to communicate how evil the above statement from Bishop Williamson is. It means that the entire Catholic Faith which John Paul II continually rejected (but was still a “good man”) is utterly meaningless; that Jesus Christ, whom John Paul II continually rejected by endorsing false religions, is utterly meaningless; that the entire Traditional Catholic Faith is utterly meaningless; that the Traditional Mass (which John Paul II forbade except where it could counter independent chapels’ Latin Masses) is utterly meaningless; that basically every man is a good man and is saved, since if John Paul II was a “good man” then everyone is good. This shows us that beneath all of the externals of the SSPX, beneath all the pomp and ceremony, there is a very dark reality that is reflected in their absolutely heretical positions on the Vatican II sect and the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation.
1 Kings 15:22-23: “And Samuel said: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey. Forasmuch as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king.”
This passage of scripture concerns obedience to the Word of God – faith in His revealed word. The chilling admonition above in 1 Kings 15 was made by the prophet Samuel to King Saul, who had offered sacrifice in direct violation of God’s word. Saul had attempted to please God with his sacrifice, while he was simultaneously contravening God’s spoken word. King Saul’s sacrifice, therefore, was completely rejected by God and Saul himself was cast off by the Lord. The words spoken by Samuel to King Saul could be said to the multitude of phony “Catholics,” especially the obstinate supporters of the SSPX and other false “traditionalists” who believe that non-Catholics can be saved, who reject God’s voice (His revealed dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church) or who equate good with evil – the Church of Christ with the Vatican II religion – or who hold that apostates can be “good men.” And because they don’t accept His Word on the truths of the Faith, and confuse the truth of God with a lie, while they think they can please Him by offering sacrifice at the Traditional Latin Mass, their sacrifice at the Traditional Latin Mass will not profit them and will be rejected by God. Because they reject the “voice of the Lord” – the hard truths of Jesus Christ – and put the Mass (the Sacrifice) before the Faith (obedience to His word), God utterly rejects their sacrifices and offerings.
The leaders of the Society of St. Pius X are not Catholics. Bishop Williamson is a not a Catholic. He is used by the devil to mislead Traditional Catholics. The SSPX undoubtedly does some good things and not every single person who goes there is a heretic or a schismatic. But the SSPX also does evil things – such as publishing books which teach that souls can be saved in false religions – and some of their official positions are absurd, wicked, not Catholic and lead people into schism and heresy and therefore to hell. Many of the people who go there have fallen into heresy and schism as a result of their non-Catholic positions. Those who continue to support them after becoming aware of information such as this will go to hell. Further, many of those who haven’t seen the heretical positions of the SSPX refuted are still being led into schismatic and heretical beliefs, such as that the Church can officially teach error and “canonize” incorrectly. These people are being led to reject what they deem to be “the Catholic Church” as an erroneous body which needs the SSPX’s correction.
Remember, Bishop Williamson is also the same man who, when Antipope John Paul II “canonized” Josemaria Escriva, told us (as did Fr. Peter Scott) that canonizations are not infallible anymore!
Bishop Richard Williamson of SSPX, Dec. 6, 2002: “Therefore, for Pope John XXIII to have been truly a Blessed, and for Msgr. Escriva to have been truly a Saint, the Second Vatican Council would have to have been a true Council, or a Council true to Catholic Tradition. Which is ridiculous, as at least regular readers of this Letter know. Yet are not Catholic canonizations infallible?”
“Indeed before Vatican II, Catholic theologians agreed that canonizations (not beatifications) of Saints were virtually infallible… But since Vatican II… there has followed such a flood of canonizations under John Paul II, that the whole process of canonizing has lost, together with its solemnity, any likelihood of infallibility. Indeed, how can John Paul II intend to do anything infallible, or therefore do it, when he so often acts and talks, for instance about ‘living tradition’, as though truth can change?
“So this or that Saint ‘canonized’ by John Paul II may in fact be in heaven, even Msgr. Escriva, God knows, but it is certainly not his ‘canonization’ by this Pope which can make us sure of that fact. Nor need we then feel obliged to venerate any of the post-Vatican II ‘Saints’.… Similarly Church infallibility does not mean that the Church’s teachers will never teach untruth by, for instance, dubious ‘canonizations’, only that, amongst other truths, the truth of the Christian sanctity will never be totally falsified or silenced… Obviously, Padre Pio was an entirely traditional Saint, and we need not doubt the worthiness of his canonization. However, it might be advisable not to profit by his Newchurch ‘canonization’ to venerate him officially or in public, insofar as that might be liable to give to other Newchurch ‘canonizations’ a credit which is not due to them.”
This is totally heretical and reveals that Williamson has no Faith whatsoever in Papal Infallibility or the Church of Jesus Christ.
St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Great Means of Salvation and Perfection, 1759, p. 23:“To suppose that the Church can err in canonizing, is a sin, or is heresy, according to St. Bonaventure, Bellarmine, and others; or at least next door to heresy, according to Suarez, Azorius, Gotti, etc.; because the Sovereign Pontiff, according to St. Thomas, is guided by the infallible influence of the Holy Ghost in an especial way when canonizing saints.”
Here is more from the interview with Williamson:
Q: One, would you explain what you mean by the “New Religion” and, two, do you think Pope Benedict is consciously or willingly promoting the “New Religion”?
A. Bishop Williamson: The “New Religion” starts from man and is centered on man. The “New Religion” starts from the proposition that God, and the idea of God, is too strange for modern man, and so, to get through to modern man, we must start from man. That’s what’s called from Karl Rahner the anthropological term, the “turn towards man.” And Fr. Ratzinger, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, was closely tied to Karl Rahner, a close disciple. So, the young Joseph Ratzinger was soaked in this brand new theology. For instance, instead of saying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God from eternity who took a human nature, it [the New Religion] says that Jesus Christ is the man who was such a perfect man that he could be called the Son of God.
Q: Is that what Karl Rahner said?
A. Bishop Williamson: Yes, that’s Rahner and Fr. Ratzinger. It’s an absolute revolution. And it has, deep down, nothing to do with the Catholic Faith. It’s an attempt by Catholic priests who want to say something that will be acceptable and understandable by modern man—an attempt by these priests to re-write, to empty out all the bottles, all the dogmas, of their old content and re-fill the dogmas with brand new content that will be acceptable to modern man. And that new content is coherently a system that starts with man, centers on man, and finishes with man. Hence, the New Mass is said in the language of man and no longer in Latin. And it’s said with the priest turned towards man, and no longer towards God. Those are two concrete examples of the “turn towards man.” That is, briefly, the “New Religion.” Is Cardinal Ratzinger conscious of all this? I believe he’s in good faith. I can easily be wrong. I believe that he and his like, sincerely believe the “Old Religion,” the old Catholic religion, was out of touch with modern man, and they sincerely believe that, whatever the Catholic religion is, it’s got to be in touch with the men of its time or get in touch with the men of its time.
This is outrageous. Bishop Williamson tells us again and again that the leaders of this new, non-Catholic religion – which accepts false religions, etc., etc., etc. – are in good faith. When he says this, he again condemns himself as a schismatic. For if one can be in good faith while not only adhering to the new religion, but leading it, then Williamson is showing us again that he has no excuse for not being in communion with this hierarchy.
Q. If you were talking to a run-of-the-mill Novus Ordo Catholic about the dogmas being spilled and refilled, how would you explain that to him? And explain the point about the Church being inverted?
A. Bishop Williamson: I would quote some of the statements from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: I think he’s a decent representative of a crazy mistake. I do believe he’s a decent man. But the question is not whether he’s decent or sincere. The question is, what is he actually saying? And is he actually defending the Faith?
Bishop Williamson and the official position of the SSPX hold that the Catholic Church has become a “crazy mistake.” In their bad will, they refuse to acknowledge that the Vatican II antipopes and the Vatican II/Novus Ordo bishops are not part of the Catholic Church.
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 10), Jan. 6, 1928: “During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: ‘The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly.’”
REGARDING INDEPENDENT CHAPELS WHICH ACKNOWLEDGE BENEDICT XVI AS THE POPE
Finally, I would like to say a few words to all those people who hold that Benedict XVI is the pope and who attend and support independent traditional chapels – which are independent of the hierarchy of the Novus Ordo bishops, such as Fr. Wathen’s chapel, Fr. Pulvermacher’s, etc. If you want to obstinately assert (after you’ve seen the evidence and the arguments) that you are not a sedevacantist and that you hold that Benedict XVI is the Pope, while at the same time you support an independent chapel such as those named above, then you are acknowledging yourself to be a schismatic. You are outside of communion with the hierarchy you deem to be the Catholic hierarchy. You also probably reject the “canonizations” declared by John Paul II, such as his “canonization” of the modernist heretic Josemaria Escriva. You also will almost surely reject the “canonization” of John Paul II himself which Benedict XVI will soon declare. You have fallen into schism; you blaspheme the Catholic Church and you are outside the Catholic Church, all because you have refused to accept that heretics are not Catholics and don’t hold authority in the Church – the present sedevacantist reality. Don’t tell me that he is “the pope” while you attend a chapel that is outside of his authority and shun the chapels under his authority. Don’t tell me that he is the “pope” unless you are prepared to go to the Indult Mass or the New Mass and have true unity with this heretic by denouncing the independent chapels as outside the communion of the Church. Stop mocking God, because unless you change your position – and if you continue to support such heretical priests – you will go to hell.
Also, we hear from many people, especially at the SSPX, that they are just laypeople who cannot get involved in these issues, such as the sedevacantist issue. They just go to Mass at the SSPX and support them and try to be good, spiritual people who live the Faith. This is the response of many SSPX supporters when confronted by sedevacantist arguments. Okay, if that’s the case – if you don’t have the authority to get involved with these issues and you are just a “simple layman who goes to Mass” and tries to live the Catholic Faith – THEN YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ATTEND THE SSPX OR ANOTHER INDEPENDENT CHAPEL. IF YOU ARE TOO SIMPLE TO “FIGURE THIS STUFF OUT” AND YOU CANNOT GET INVOLVED WITH THESE ISSUES – IF THAT IS YOUR POSITION (WHICH GOD FORBID) – THEN ACCEPT YOUR LOCAL NOVUS ORDO CHURCH, GO TO THE NEW MASS, AND ACCEPT VATICAN II, WHICH IS THE RELIGION APPROVED BY THE LOCAL NOVUS ORDO BISHOP. But “no,” the would-be “simple” layman who “just goes to the SSPX and tries to live a good life” and doesn’t get involved in “these issues” all of a sudden gets involved in the issues and becomes a “theologian.” He “knows” that he cannot accept the New Mass and his local Novus Ordo religion. He thus condemns himself out of his own mouth, refutes his own argument and shows his hypocrisy by only “getting involved” where he wants to get involved.
For the bottom-line is that if one can accept the New Mass and Vatican II religion and save his soul then there is no justification whatsoever for going to an independent chapel or the SSPX. It’s all a matter of preference, in that case. But if one holds that faith obliges him to reject the New Mass and the Vatican II religion as something which will cause the loss of his salvation, then the local church and the New Mass (and the authorities who imposed it) cannot represent the Catholic Church. The Holy Catholic Church can never lead us to hell.
So, the person must either: 1) return to the local Novus Ordo authorities or 2) correctly conclude that they don’t represent the Catholic Church – the sedevacantist position. If he obstinately refuses, in the face of evidence and arguments, to come to appropriate conclusion that the Novus Ordo authorities who offer him this false religion are not Catholic and hold no authority in the Church (the sedevacantist position), this person condemns himself as a schismatic. His excuse that he is too simple “to get involved in all of these issues” and that he “just goes to Mass” obviously will not be accepted by God because then he would have been justified before God by simply following his local Novus Ordo parish.
All of this hopefully shows us again that the only Catholic position is, of course, the sedevacantist position, and that all the other false positions are heretical and schismatical, including the false position of the SSPX.