SSPX accused of abuse cover-up
Catholic World News – April 05, 2017
The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has been accused of covering up sexual abuse by priests, in a new television documentary.
A Swedish television program, Uppdrag Granskning, reported that four different clerics of the SSPX—three priests and a former semiarian—had molested at least a dozen young people in several different countries. The evidence of abuse was kept secret by the SSPX, the program charged, and the priests were allowed to continue in ministry.
The program was broadcast just after the Vatican announced that priests of the SSPX could officiate at Catholic marriage ceremonies. That ruling, approved by Pope Francis was the latest in a series of steps toward regularizing the status of the traditionalist group. Pope Francis reportedly met last Saturday with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the SSPX, amid reports that the Vatican would offer the group the status of a personal prelature.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the same Swedish television program, Uppdrag Granskning, had broadcast an explosive interview with Bishop Richard Williamson in 2009, just after Pope Benedict XVI had lifted the excommunication of SSPX prelates. In that interview Bishop Williamson (who has since split with the SSPX) voiced his doubts about the reality of the Holocaust.
Comment by Phil Lawler from Reading the news between the lines
Why doesn’t Uppdrag Granskning want to see a rapprochement between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X? Uppdrag Granskning is a Swedish television program, which has popped up on my radar screen only twice. In 2009, it broadcast an interview with Bishop Richard Williamson, then of the SSPX, in which the bishop denied the severity of the Holocaust. This past week it broadcast a documentary program charging that the SSPX had covered up sexual abuse. The timing of these two broadcasts is interesting, to say the least. The 2009 program aired immediately after Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications of SSPX bishops; this week’s broadcast followed immediately after Pope Francis announced that SSPX priests could be authorized to preside at Catholic weddings. Clearly Uppdrag Granskning timed the broadcasts to do the maximum damage to the cause of regularization for the SSPX. Why? What does a Swedish television program have against a traditionalist Catholic group? Who is feeding information to Uppdrag Granskning to discredit the SSPX? If Pope Francis goes through with the reported plan to establish the SSPX as a personal prelature, will Uppdrag Granskning broadcast another bombshell?