SSPX Bishop Williamson has apologized to Benedict and Cardinal Hoyos--but not to the Jews.
Rome, Jan 30, 2009 / 06:10 pm (CNA).-
A bishop whose excommunication was recently lifted by the Pope has written a letter to a leading cardinal expressing his regret for the “unnecessary distress and problems” he had caused by making “imprudent” remarks allegedly denying the Holocaust.
The bishop quoted the Prophet Jonah who told shipmates “throw me into the sea” to halt a tempest.
Bishop Richard Williamson is one of the four bishops leading the traditionalist group Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The bishops’ 1988 excommunications were lifted last week by Pope Benedict in an effort to advance Church unity.
Speaking in a November 2008 interview with Swedish public television, Bishop Williamson had denied that six million Jews were killed in the Nazi genocide. He also denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers and claimed only two to three hundred thousand Jews were murdered.
His remarks were broadcast last week, causing international uproar.
In a Friday post on his blog “Dinoscopus” Bishop Williamson published a letter he sent to Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” tasked with reconciling the SSPX to the Catholic Church.
“Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems,” he wrote. Bishop Williamson, however, did not renounce his position on the Holocaust.
“For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God,” he wrote. (True to form, it's all about him.)
He then quoted a passage from the Book of Jonah in which Jonah urges his shipmates to take him up and “throw me into the sea.”
“Then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you,” the bishop’s quotation of Jonah continued.
“Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday,” Bishop Williamson’s letter concluded, promising he will “most humbly” offer a Mass for both the cardinal and Pope Benedict. (A Mass which will still be illicit by an invalidly installed bishop--the very thing for which women are excommunicated. Will Bishop Williamson have incurred another excommunication?)
Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, spoke out against Holocaust denial in a Friday statement to Vatican Radio.
“Those who deny the Holocaust do not know anything either about the mystery of God or the Cross of Christ,” he said, according to SIR News. “The denial is all the more worrying when it comes from the mouth of a priest or of a bishop, namely a Christian minister, whether they are united with the Catholic Church or not.”
Interesting apology the good bishop has offered. It certainly seems to make clear that Bishop Williamson is indeed an unapologetic anti semite. It also seems to make very clear that he has no concept of Church as the people of God. No apology is extended to the greater Church for his embarrassing us as well, only to Cardinal Hoyos and Pope Benedict. I hardly doubt that this is the kind of man who will accept the full teaching of Vatican II.
By the way, I tried to access Bishop Williamson's blogsite 'dinoscopus' only to find out that Google issues a warning that the site might damage your computer. I've never seen that Google warning before. But in one sense it's prophetic.
Allowing the Bishop Williamson's of the world back into the Church is damaging to the Spiritual energy of the Church. It harms us. Fr. Lombardi is right. Those who deny the holocaust do not know anything about the mystery of God or the Cross of Christ. Those who willfully promote such concepts inject harmful antithetical energy into the Church. Every single time this man and his ilk say Mass it is a sacrilege, another little dose of profane energy.
I am not referencing every single SSPX priest in the above, but I am referencing every single priest of any stripe who holds any bigoted attitude directed at any single group of humanity. While it is true that such priests can not harm the spiritual energy of Christ brought to active participation in the Mass, they most certainly harm the collective human energy of Catholicism.
I've written before that I have zero objection to Benedict's moto proprio regarding the Traditional Latin Mass. What I object to is the attitudes and the subsequent energy which accompanies the proponents of this Mass. Bishop Williamson is the perfect symbol for this attitude of exclusion and self absorption in one's own salvation. His is a salvation which is principally achieved by living a ritually centered static lifestyle. This is not the Christian lifestyle taught by Jesus.
His teachings call for a total conversion of world view in which one matures in their spiritual understanding and contribution, expressing it through interpersonal action. Jesus constantly upbraids the Pharisees for their reliance on specific rituals and dogma as the sole means for insuring salvation. Salvation is not found in solo ritual acts, it is found in loving and compassionate interaction with others.
It is precisely these loving and compassionate actions which contribute light to the human part of the collective Catholic energy, making it shine brighter, making our rituals more efficacious, placing us more firmly in the collective energy of the communion of saints and angels and the spirit of Christ Himself.
It may be that Benedict and I experience the reality of Spiritual energy vastly differently. It may be that he's a hierarchical spiritual person, and I'm kind of a spiritual socialist. He seems to see the health of the spiritual body radiating from some mystical mountain and percolating down through various levels of sacramental ritual and clerical power.
I see it as a constantly changing matrix in which everyone contributes, some with great light, and some with great darkness. To me the object is to use our free choice to make that matrix so bright there is no difference between our spiritual energy and that of the angels and saints. At that point humanity will have returned to it's true home. One with Him who is in All. There is no mystical mountain. The mountain is us.