An Interview With His
Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson
Bishop Williamson offers his thoughts on the latest
development between the SSPX and Rome
Bishop Williamson is an interviewer’s dream,
especially if the interviewer happens to be a Catholic. Most especially if the
interviewer happens to be a traditional Catholic.
Interesting, funny, extreme, plucky, holy, kind, harsh, intimidating,
intelligent, humble, have been some of the descriptive adjectives used to
describe him. He’s described himself in a previous
Angelqueen.org interview as “eccentric”.
There is one adjective however, that has never and most likely will never
be used to describe His Excellency. That is “boring”. Inspiring boredom is one
thing Bishop Williamson seems utterly incapable of.
Over the last year or so (since his last interview with us), most of my
discussions with him have been more of a personal and off the record nature,
rather than geared towards any interviews. He’s an excellent person to talk to,
and he’s an extremely valuable source of information and insight on a wide
variety of issues.
Last week, I had called him to discuss all that was afoot with the Mass, the
goings-on in Rome and some of the buzz about the Society regarding an
“agreement” (there’s that word again). I found after that conversation and
several that followed in subsequent days, that His Excellency would like to get
some of his thoughts regarding these matters out to those interested. It seemed
there were some specific issues he'd like to deal with, but I wasn't sure how to
ask questions in a way that would address these issues.
suggested a unique format. I would send him a few questions and he would answer
whichever ones he cared to and the rest of the interview would be his. In other
words, he could ask himself whatever questions he thought needed to be answered,
and then proceed to answering them. Of course this would put me in the position
of having no control whatsoever over the content of the interview, but it seemed
a good idea.
The first two rather innocuous questions are mine, His Lordship takes the wheel
How may I best know, love and serve God?
This is the question that a young man put to Our Lord himself (Luke XVIII,
18-22). Our Lord told him to keep the Ten Commandments, and when the young man
was still not satisfied, he was told to sell all he had and to follow Our Lord.
In modern terms: firstly, pray, receive the sacraments and flee mortal sin;
secondly, more perfectly, see if one has a vocation, and if one has, follow it
What advice would you give to a young man who might then be contemplating a
vocation as a priest?
He should pray quietly and steadily to discover the will of God, turning
especially to the Mother of God through the Rosary, and to St Joseph, Patron of
the Universal Church and so of vocations. The Spiritual Exercises of St.
Ignatius, properly given, are also a great help in discovering a vocation. And
the young man should consult a reliable priest who knows him.
And if the young man does then think he has a vocation?
He should make contact with any Congregation that celebrates exclusively the
Tridentine Mass, and whose priests have borne good fruits. Our Lord tells us to
judge by the fruits. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Is the SSPX such a Congregation?
If Archbishop Lefebvre had not founded the SSPX in 1970, and if his successors
had not from the time of his death in 1991 maintained the SSPX along the lines
laid down by the Archbishop, where today would there still be the true Mass and
the true Priesthood? By way of good fruits, to have played a major part in
maintaining the true Mass and Priesthood through 35 years of the the 40-year
post-Conciliar crisis, is surely enormous.
But the SSPX seems now on the brink of some kind of reconciliation with
Beware of the media. It seems as though each time the Society’s Superior
General, Bishop Fellay, talks to journalists, he has to claim afterwards that he
was misrepresented. After the last commotion in the media, in January of this
year, he said it was due entirely to “journalists, the Internet and BLEEPS!”.
So all the newspaper reports of an imminent reconciliation are false?
One thing above all should always be remembered, in 2006, and for as long as
this post-Conciliar crisis will last, namely that it consists in a war to the
death between two directly opposed religions: the Catholic religion centered on
God, and the Conciliar religion centered on man and the modern world. The
Conciliar religion is a diabolically skilful counterfeit of the true religion.
Between these two religions, as such, there can be no peace until one of them is
That is why, firstly, journalists who as journalists are representatives of the
modern world, will always be liable to misrepresent spokesmen for the true
religion. The latter need therefore to exercise great care in talking to
That is why, secondly, the French bishops who have given themselves over to the
Conciliar religion are furiously opposing any “reconciliation” between Rome and
representatives of the true religion.
And that is why, thirdly, Conciliar Rome recently approved of the
semi-Traditional Good Shepherd Institute in Bordeaux, France, not because it is
Traditional but because it is semi-, in order to draw SSPX priests and Catholic
faithful away from the up till now fully Traditional SSPX, which, precisely
because it is fully Traditional, Conciliar Rome must dilute or dissolve.
So you do not believe that that approval came from any real benevolence of Rome
towards Catholic Tradition?
How could it ? Anything to be loved must first be known. The Conciliar Romans
cannot, or will not, understand the absolute demands made by the one true
religion of the one true God, so they cannot have any real love, or benevolence,
So you cannot believe that the SSPX Superior General is in any way moving
towards Conciliar Rome?
I cannot believe that Bishop Fellay means to let Archbishop Lefebvre’s
magnificent work of the Catholic Faith come under any Conciliar control. If ever
he were to mean that, some of us might have difficulty following.
Do you see any advantage to the SSPX being at the center of a renewed storm of
Bishop Williamson: Some people say that any publicity is better than none for
the SSPX, because it is still too little known amongst the public at large. But
the confusion that follows on each of these storms is a heavy price to pay.
Archbishop Lefebvre used to quote the French proverb: “Good is not noisy, and
noise is not good”.
Then how do you think the SSPX should behave towards the Conciliar Romans?
With deference, with respect, with charity, even with affection (they will not
have much love in the next life), but also with the utmost prudence – “He who
sups with the Devil needs a long spoon”, and these Conciliarists are, not all of
them by their intentions but all of them by their fruits, choosing to make
themselves instruments of the Devil.
Might anything make you change your prudence towards them?
They must, clearly and unambiguously, denounce the Second Vatican Council and
renounce their false Conciliar religion. As Archbishop Lefebvre always used to
say, they must make a profession of faith in the “Syllabus” of Pius IX and in
“Pascendi” of Pius X. For tens of years Cardinal Ratzinger denounced the results
of the Council, but never as Cardinal nor now as Pope has he denounced its false
principles. He has still not understood that the bad results flow from the bad
principles. Until he understands that, he will continue to preside over the
destruction of the Catholic Church.
And to seek the dilution or dissolution of the SSPX?
Bishop Williamson: Exactly.
Did you pray for the Pope as part of the SSPX’s recent “Spiritual Bouquet” to be
offered to Benedict XVI?
I pray continually for the Pope, for cardinals, bishops and priests, as the
Mother of God repeatedly asks us to do. May she obtain light and strength for
all of us.
Thank you, your Excellency.