Latest on Williamson

Image by AFP: Nuestra Senora Corredentora seminary in La Reja

Reuters reports:
BUENOS AIRES - An ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholic bishop who has drawn sharp criticism from the Vatican and Jewish groups for denying the extent of the Holocaust was removed as the head of an Argentine seminary, a Catholic Church official said on Sunday.

Pope Benedict angered Jewish leaders and progressive Catholics last month when he lifted excommunications on the bishop, Richard Williamson, and three other traditionalists to try to heal a 20-year-old schism within the Church.

The Vatican has since ordered the bishop to publicly recant his views questioning whether the Nazis used gas chambers and the number of Jews who died.

But Williamson, who is British-born, recently told Germany's Spiegel magazine he must first review historical evidence before considering an apology.

In a statement, Father Christian Bouchacourt, the head of the Latin American chapter of the Catholic Society St. Pius X, said Williamson had been relieved as the head of the La Reja seminary on the outskirts of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
(read the complete report)
Many voices in the Church (on the left and the right) have been critical of the handling of the excommunication of the four SSPX bishops and in particular the debacle of the Williamson affair.

Conservative writer George Weigel (writing on the scandal around Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ) was strong in his criticism of the curia (Vatican administration):
(H)esitancy to investigate... the Curia’s recent bungling of the rehabilitation of Bishop Richard Williamson, who denied that Jews were killed in gas chambers during the Holocaust... shows "just how dysfunctional the curia remains in terms of both crisis analysis and crisis management. A curia in which no one in authority had the sense to Google "Richard Williamson," and no subordinate had the nerve or capacity to compel the superiors to pay attention to a potential landmine, is not a curia capable of getting to the roots of the Maciel betrayal."

George Weigel told Catholic News Agency that he "would hope that, in the wake of the Williamson fiasco, the Holy See is paying much more attention to the Catholic cyber-world.
(read the complete report)


  1. Amen to that.

    Some of us are holding tight to our collective faith these days while other reasonable, intelligent and loving minds are falling away from our community....disheartened and discouraged. It is a palpable loss. The casualties are mounting and the curia seems insensitive to the big picture...or are they? Do they absorb it as "friendly fire" or tolerable pain for the greater good? It boggles the soul.

  2. Hooray, action, finally. Now if Benedict XVI will just begin the house cleaning required by the sexual abuse crisis in the US, and its cover up. He can start by removing Bernard Cardinal Law, Bishop William F. Murphy, Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, Bishop John B. McCormack, and Roger Cardinal Mahoney. That would be a big step toward restoring confidence in the men in charge of this institution.
    But I'm not holding my breath.

  3. While I respect George Weigel and Dr Grisez, I believe their attitude is rather similar to John McCain's "campaign suspension" in late September of last year: an overreaction. The Holy Father found out about this scandal long before Messrs. Weigel, Grisez and the two Peters did, and has therefore had ample time to weigh his options and chart a course for the Legion moving forward. I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt that whatever he is doing now has been well-thought out in a mind that is generally regarded as more intelligent and theologically astute than those of the instapundits in the American Catholic blogosphere.

  4. I don't often agree with George Weigel, but in his call for an independent investigation of the Legionnaires of Christ I totally agree. And in addition an independent investigation of SSPX and Opus Dei is in order. The disinfectant of sunlight and transparency would be good for any of these secretive Catholic societies. It has become increasingly evident how damaging operating in the shadows can be.

  5. Good evening,

    Michael has mentioned Cardinal Law in his house cleaning list. Perhaps I should have realized Cardinal Law would be a member of the Curia, but I didn't until I looked up their names and ages. Now I have an additional upsetting bit of knowledge!

  6. It would be interesting to know what the curricula at this seminary is.


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