Readers will be familiar with the deep disagreements I have on historical matters with positions taken by His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson. Furthermore, we are warned by Dom Gregory Dix, that the heraldic symbol of a bishop is a Crook. And, of course, every Englishman remembers the solemn injunctions placed upon him by his Father on the momentous occasion when we were, each of us, sent out upon the dangers of this naughty world: "My dear boy ... one last thing ... I beg you always to remember ... whatever else you forget ... I adjure you by your grandmother's grave ... never trust a Wykehamist."
His Excellency does sometimes have a jolly point upon his Blog. The other day he was commenting on the very humble ... the very very humble ... the very very very humble ... statement issued by the Superiors of the erstwhile Ecclesia Dei communities who, for some unaccountable reason, sound scared.
Bishop Richard reminded us of a Fable by Aesop. Allow me to retell it.
A Lamb was drinking from a stream one morning when its friendly neighbourhood Wolf approached the stream higher up the channel. The Wolf, who was feeling hungry, complained ferociously that the Lamb was stirring up his drinking water and making it muddy.
The Lamb very deferentially pointed out that, since it was downstream from the Wolf, this could not be factual.
"But you told lies about me last year", raged the Wolf.
Ever a pedant, the Lamb pointed out very deferentially that, last year, it was as yet unborn.
"Well, it was your brother!"
"Your highness, I don't have brother!"
"Well, I'm going to have you for breakfast anyway", concluded the Wolf.
Didn't that Pope Benedict once talk about wolves?
Is it speciesist to be preoccupied with wolves?
This is so expertly crafted and woven.
I believe that Dix went on to say that the symbol of an archbishop is a double cross. Food for thought, in these reeling times.
It's so easy for people to mock and harshly criticise Bishop Williamson and write him off as some sort of fanatic. I know a number of people (I include myself) who although not agreeing with him in everything he says, still find his ideas stimulating, interesting and thought provoking.
I do urge people to give him a chance and actually listen or watch his conferences, talks and lectures on Youtube. I suppose I enjoy the way he talks and presents ideas and reflections full of exaggerations and hard judgements !
Father, I would hope that your disagreements with the bishop are on contemporary affairs too. See, e.g., "Jews by their progressive control of politics, universities and the media in particular have more and more taken over people’s minds, and they have used this control granted to them by unwary Gentiles to persuade everybody that Jews are the victims rather than the cause of the constant tensions between themselves and the rest of the world."
But doesn't the wolf in sheep's clothing have the smell of the sheep?
The bishop's blog is very hard to find on a search engine. He's generated so much condemnation that I only find newspaper articles about his antisemitism.
Jonathan : there is no blog. There is a weekly News Letter ; called Eleison Comments and also the St Marcel Initiative.
The biography is, I felt, terribly disappointing. I don't want to say more, in case I appear disobliging towards its author.
Jonathan: I think you'll find it here: https://stmarcelinitiative.com/eleison-comments/
I recall an article about Williamson in the late 1980s which gave cause for concern on grounds other than his highly objectionable comments on Jews. Fulminating against what he apparently thought was 'Protestant' talk of the unconditional love of God, he averred that 'salvation has to be earned'. His determination to be as unlike 'Protestants' as possible led him into rank Pelagianism.
I still come across Catholics who think that we believe in justification by works, trendy progressive as well as SPPX. I lack the time to compose a treatise on this and so, in the spirit of lex orandi lex credendi, I shall simply refer to the preface for All Saints, which praises the Father because in crowning the merit of the saints he is crowning His own gifts. That, whatever Bishop Williamson may think, is authentic Catholic doctrine as affirmed by the Council of Trent - and before that, the Second Council of Orange.
I note the following prayer from the hour of None in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Famulórum tuórum, quǽsumus, Dómine, delíctis ignósce: ut qui tibi placére de áctibus nostris non valémus: Genitrícis Fílii tui Dómini nostri intercessióne salvémur:
Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.
O Lord, we beseech thee, forgive the transgressions of thy servants, and, forasmuch as by our own deeds we cannot please thee, may we find safety through the prayers of the Mother of thy Son and our Lord.
Who with thee liveth and reigneth, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.
Bishop Williamson disbelieves in the Holocaust, and thus disbelieves in the martyrdoms in odium fidei of such great saints as St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Edith Stein.
People are free to read the works of friends, enemies, and raving lunatics; and even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn. But he's not a trustworthy spiritual guide in any way, shape, form, or fever dream.
While I have no personal reason to defend Bishop Williamson---having met him once and disliked his arrogance and quirky personality instantly and intensely---I find it absurd to equate questioning the number of victims of the very real Nazi Holocaust (which, by the way, included myriad Christians and Catholic priests as well, particularly in Poland, about whom we hear precious little) with a denial of the Nazi horror itself. Even if only a few persons had been so sacrificed (which clearly was not the case), it would still be a historical horror. To deny, whether correctly or not, factual accuracy of any historical episode (and Bishop Williamson, being an imprudent know-it-all, should know better than to make high pronouncements on a subject on which he has no expertise) is hardly to deny the existence of that historical event---much less to do so in "hatred of the Faith" or of the holy martyrdom of unquestionably great saints. It might be prudent to, unlike Bishop Williamson, measure our own pronouncements and make sure they are not tainted by the propaganda of liberal pundits. Truth is not served well by our failing to make distinctions.
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