SSPX Gag order on Williamson

Bernard Fellay, Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX)

From NCRonline:
The Vatican today released a statement from Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X and one of the four traditionalist bishops whose excommunication was rescinded in a Jan. 21 decree from the Congregation for Bishops.

The statement is in response to the uproar created by a recent interview on Swedish television in which another of the traditionalist bishops, Richard Williamson, asserted that the Nazis had not used gas chambers and that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews had died in the Second World War.

Statement of His Excellency Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Fraternity of St. Pius X:
We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius X, to Swedish television. In this interview, he expressed himself on historical questions, and in particular on the question of the genocide against the Jews carried out by the Nazis.

It’s with great sadness that we recognize the extent to which the violation of this mandate has done damage to our mission. 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.

Menzingen, January 27, 2009

(read the complete statement)


  1. Unfortunately, the damage is done. It will take more than statements from the Vatican and the SSPX (which of course were necessary) to make things better. I have no idea what will take away this scandal. Very upsetting.

  2. Uh...okay? Williamson is just nutty and stupid enough to say in public what far too many believe in private.

    Alas, this papacy isn't winning any awards for Catholic-Jewish reconciliation and it's painful to observe the important practice of teshuva being undermined or completely ignored.

    May the God of all mercy have mercy on us all.

  3. What was Bishop Williamson thinking...what makes a person, who is "Christian" and holds the position of Bishop in our church think that saying something like this is what Christ would want.

    It is a sad state of affairs for the Jewish people and all the Catholics who have been hurt by this...what must God be thinking???

  4. Some people believe that Pope Benedict's goal is a cleaner purer church. I would not accept that that to be true. Now I wonder. I'm hearing from and reading about people who have had enough with Rome. What do you say to them? I understand and can't blame them. We have another scandal on our hands. The pope is trying to heal one division while causing another. More than ever, I believe that Christ's Church exists in the people of our parish faith communities...not Rome.

  5. Anne, I do so agree with you that Rome does so much to discourage one from believing in whatever they have to say. Much damage has been done.....once again....and all the apologies in the world are too late. I too believe that our faith communities are the glue that hold so many of us together. We are blessed where I live to have a great pastor, very much like the pastor I left behind when I moved! Thank goodness there are good and supportive priests out there who continue the work in the vineyard even as the vineyard leaders have hoof in mouth disease.

  6. This sickens me. One man, his beliefs and a shot heard 'round the world by this person we have put in a position of power in our church. Certainly this is not the first time he has made his feelings known. Once again I find myself asking what has happened in our church that this was not acted upon and dealt with long ago.


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