Southern Religion

Bishop Williamson/SSPX conflagration may roar back to life [Addendum]

“The Vatican was warned about the Holocaust-denying views of SSPX Bishop Richard Willamson before it lifted his excommunication,” wrote Damian Thompson today. And the world is going to hear all about it. Wednesday night Sveriges Television AB will broadcast “an attack on the Holy Father” which covers what the Vatican knew about Williamson prior to the move toward rapprochement with Society of St. Pius X.

According to Carlos Antonio Palad, the promotion for the almost inevitably explosive program says:

Last winter the Catholic Church was shaken by the interview made by Uppdrag granskning with Bishop Richard Williamson. The Pope and the cardinals in charge assured the world that they had not known about the interview, but this is not true.

Swedish Bishop Arborelius: “From our side we passed the information on. That is so to say the usual way of doing it, the local church passes important news about the Church on to the papal representation.”

What did the Vatican know about the Holocaust-denying bishop?

None of this is going to leave the until recently somewhat reassured international Jewish community or not altogether mollified U.S. Bishops awash with good cheer. Nor will it smooth launch of the first round of discussions between the representatives of the Holy See and SSPX.

Exercising his gift for wry understatement, Thompson writes:

Anyway, now that Rorate Caeli has drawn attention to the documentary, you can rest assured that the Pope’s enemies and critics will get to work again. I’ll be interested to see what The Times [of London] makes of it. One request: this time, could the Vatican press office get its act together?

Answer [not from the Vatican]: Probably not.

Addendum: SSPX/Vatican talks set for mid-October

Vatican Spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said recently that the Holy See will hold talks with the Society of St. Pius X during the last two weeks of October.

He also said that “the SSPX will be told very clearly what is not negotiable for the Holy See. This includes such fundamental conclusions of the Second Vatican Council as its positions on Judaism, other non-Christian religions, other Christian churches and on religious freedom as a basic human right.”

Those “fundamental conclusions” are of central public importance, for as you may recall, the furor which ensued in March after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of four Lefebvrite bishops, drove Vatican-Jewish relations almost to the breaking point.


September 22, 2009 - Posted by | anti-Semitism, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion |


  1. […] the cardinal says The anticipated Swedish television broadcast aired discussing who knew what, when, about SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson’s Holocaust […]

    Pingback by ‘Calumny’ the cardinal says « BaptistPlanet | September 26, 2009

  2. If as sais Farther F. Lombardi these talks will not tread on the list he mentions, what will they consist of? And who said they where to be talks of negotiation? And where did the idea crop up that human rights were on the agenda? Maybe Father Lombardi needs to go back to the sacristy and forget earthen politics for a while.

    Comment by Bob | September 28, 2009

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