Bishop Richard Williamson

Rob Banks

Pelican
I’ve been listening to some speeches and interviews by Bp. Richard Williamson, a British ultra-traditionalist former-SSPX bishop.

His speeches and interviews can be found on YouTube (all with very poor audio quality, for some reason).

He was apparently expelled from SSPX for being a “Holocaust denier” (makes me question leadership of SSPX, which is the church I currently attend).

He is very anti-Vatican II and does not subscribe to the idea (endorsed by E. Michael Jones and others) that there is nothing wrong with Vatican II itself but rather only with modern interpretations of it.

Anyone else familiar with him?
 

Jacomus

Chicken
If I recollect it correctly, when Archbishop Lefebvre, who had started the SSPX, consecrated four bishops (including Father Williamson) in 1988, the four bishops were automatically excommunicated (as Archbishop Lefebvre had not been given permission). Pope Benedict XVI, looking to bring the SSPX closer to Rome, lifted the excommuncations in 2009.

At that point, it was noticed Bishop Williamson had expressed controversial opinions about the Holocaust. (I do not know the specific details of what he said. Some asides in the YouTube videos suggest he doesn't believe the numbers and thinks the Holocaust was exaggerated, but if someone has more information I would like to know.) The media, as you might expect, had a fit.

As I understand it, belief or disbelief in the Holocaust does not affect your status as a bishop or a priest. It is not a requirement of a Catholic to believe in or not believe in the Holocaust - it is a matter, like most things, of your own conscience. I think he was expelled from the SSPX because of disagreements with Bishop Fellay, rather than his position on the Holocaust. He did not agree with the SSPX moving closer to Rome, feeling it was betraying the original intention of Archbishop Lefebvre.

He's out of the SSPX now and in the "Resistance" (https://stmarcelinitiative.com/).

My impression from watching his videos was that he was torn been his Catholic duty of obedience to the hierarchy and papal authority, and his duty to what he believed was the truth, that Vatican II was a catastrophe, and the triumph of liberalism/modernism inside the Catholic Church.

He has some interesting talks on the Seven Ages of the Church (which I think was the original idea of the Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (1613-1658)), and he thinks the Church is in its final ages. He can be quite witty, if you like dry English humour. He's is also very literate, and he gave an excellent talk about Shakespeare's Hamlet, which I think you might be able to find on YouTube. Some of the videos seem to have been converted from video and the audio is poor as you say, but there are some more recent talks where the audio is better.

You can also read some of his older letters at https://leofec.com/bishop-williamson/ if you want some of his writings.

I wish there were more Bishop Williamsons.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Why does that make you question the SSPX leadership?
Because if he was indeed thrown out of SSPX for being a “Holocaust denier,” that doesn’t really seem like a valid reason.

But @Jacomus pointed out that this is not the only reason he was expelled from the society. And in any case, I don’t want to really get into doubts I might have about religion or Church leadership. I’ve been advised not to focus on that stuff and to instead focus on growing my faith and personal virtues.
 
Because if he was indeed thrown out of SSPX for being a “Holocaust denier,” that doesn’t really seem like a valid reason.

But @Jacomus pointed out that this is not the only reason he was expelled from the society. And in any case, I don’t want to really get into doubts I might have about religion or Church leadership. I’ve been advised not to focus on that stuff and to instead focus on growing my faith and personal virtues.

I think it's important to keep in mind that clergy aren't free to say and do what they like, the way laypeople like us are. The exhortations in James 3 about controlling one's tongue apply to everyone, but it's a great deal more serious for the clergy, since they are speaking with the Church's authority. People will judge the Church, and judge Christ, by the people wearing the uniform. This is why, when St. Paul gives his very lengthy list of requirements for who should be ordained in 1 Timothy 3, he says the ordinand "must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

Now obviously, the Christian faith itself offends some of those without, and those aren't the ones we're trying to impress. But when it comes to matters that are not of faith, it's a clergyman's job not to offend. For a bishop to misuse his authority by speculating about holocaust numbers is a very, very serious matter. Because WW2 history is not a matter of faith, and it's not something for a clergyman to upset people about. Especially for someone who holds one of the highest offices in the Church. Making people angry about touchy subjects irrelevant to the faith is a job for the historians and the journalists, not for those who are supposed to be shepherding a flock.

I don't mean to smear Bishop Williamson - I don't know much about him. But I wanted to reassure you about your Church hierarchy, if they did in fact kick him out for holocaust denial: it's making a statement, not about history or politics, but about what it is a clergyman's job to do.
 
I think it's important to keep in mind that clergy aren't free to say and do what they like, the way laypeople like us are.
For a bishop to misuse his authority by speculating about holocaust numbers is a very, very serious matter. Because WW2 history is not a matter of faith, and it's not something for a clergyman to upset people about. Especially for someone who holds one of the highest offices in the Church. Making people angry about touchy subjects irrelevant to the faith is a job for the historians and the journalists, not for those who are supposed to be shepherding a flock.
So, a Christian and God-fearing man is not allowed to speak the truth? Do you think Jesus Christ would endorse this? It is a matter of fact that the holocaust never happened. You can easily research the actual death toll in the concentration camps counted by the Swiss Red Cross. The total (not only Jews but all races) is not more than 273,000, most of whom died after the Allied Forces bombarded the railways leading to the concentration camps, cutting them off from supply points. By reason alone you can make the conclusion that it never happened, or if so, the death toll is significantly smaller than the official narrative claims. Until the 1950s, nobody knew that the holocaust was a thing. It is all made up like the coronahoax.

WW2 was Christianity/Traditionalism vs Communism/Liberalism. Given how Nationalists and Fundamentalist Christians are persecuted this day, it feels like we are in the first centuries of Christendom again, being persecuted, ridiculed, and hated for sticking to our beliefs and speaking the truth.

What I want to say is, Richard Williamson did nothing wrong. Authority this, authority that, never forget what Jesus did and said.
 

JohnQThomas

Woodpecker
So, a Christian and God-fearing man is not allowed to speak the truth? Do you think Jesus Christ would endorse this? It is a matter of fact that the holocaust never happened. You can easily research the actual death toll in the concentration camps counted by the Swiss Red Cross. The total (not only Jews but all races) is not more than 273,000, most of whom died after the Allied Forces bombarded the railways leading to the concentration camps, cutting them off from supply points. By reason alone you can make the conclusion that it never happened, or if so, the death toll is significantly smaller than the official narrative claims. Until the 1950s, nobody knew that the holocaust was a thing. It is all made up like the coronahoax.

WW2 was Christianity/Traditionalism vs Communism/Liberalism. Given how Nationalists and Fundamentalist Christians are persecuted this day, it feels like we are in the first centuries of Christendom again, being persecuted, ridiculed, and hated for sticking to our beliefs and speaking the truth.

What I want to say is, Richard Williamson did nothing wrong. Authority this, authority that, never forget what Jesus did and said.
Are you saying that mass murders and/or negligent homicides of prisoners (whether called a “holocaust” or not) didn’t happen at all, or that they were fewer in number than we have been told? Those are two very different things.
 
So, a Christian and God-fearing man is not allowed to speak the truth?

He is called to proclaim the Truth. If you believe that:
- The holocaust never happened.
- It's the job of the clergy to explain that to people, at the obvious cost of turning them away from Christ.
- Ergo, your pet conspiracy theory is more important for people to know than Christ.
Then I think you should consider reassessing your priorities. Think about how angry you are at what I said right now, and imagine if you felt that anger towards priests. Do you think you'd want to sign up for Christianity? Again, this is why the clergy must "have a good report of them which are without." They cannot distract people from the Truth by enraging people over irrelevant things that may or may not be true.
Sitting in Moses' seat doesn't leave them with the liberty that we have in terms of what is appropriate for them to say. It's like, if a woman picks an ugly dress to wear to church, the priest should not be the one to say "That's an ugly dress you're wearing". That's a job for one of her girlfriends. Not that holocaust denial is compariable to true statements.

WW2 was Christianity/Traditionalism vs Communism/Liberalism.
No.

Authority this, authority that, never forget what Jesus did and said.

"Authority this, authority that" is a very cavalier attitude towards the Divine Law, and saying "never forget what Jesus said and did" is meaningless when used as a weapon against what St. Paul said.
 
@Emperor Constantine The holocaust is one of many lies that are being pushed for the past 200 years. It is one of the more recent and biggest ones that shape how we see the world and how we view ourselves and act around certain people, which can limit your Christian way of life if you are not at least skeptical about it. The Ancient Egyptians for example never recorded any loss in war, that doesn't mean that they never lost a war. If you were a historian and read the history from Egyptian sources only, you'd believe that they were the master race, which is obviously not true. If you, as an Egyptian during the ancient times, believed that your people are the master race and don't lose in anything, God knows how you would act and feel about yourself.

The clergy has no obligation to tell about the holocaust, but they should.

I'm not angry, but disappointed in you. It is more than obvious that we live in an age of great deception, as Esdras foretold in the book of 2nd Esdras for his times, we relive these very times again. Don't forget that the victors always write history, not the losers.

Stefan Molymeme would say: Not an argument.
 

Jacomus

Chicken
I watched some of Bishop Williamson's presentations on modernism (as well as the one on Hamlet), and found them valuable - unlike other bishops I have known he appears to have had a gift for teaching (he's fairly advanced in years now). His opinions about the Holocaust were not a subject of any of his presentations. I don't agree with his opinion on the Holocaust, but I do think churchmen should be allowed to address controversial subjects.

Unfortunately, because this subject is so controversial, this has distracted people from the reason for the SSPX's existence. Instead of talking about Vatican II, people end up talking about Bishop Williamson's opinions.

EC made some important points about the appropriateness of his behaviour. So I looked up his Wikipedia entry and it said he was interviewed by Swedish TV (while he was in Germany) shortly after the initial excommunications were lifted by the Holy See: "Williamson expressed his belief that Nazi Germany did not use gas chambers during the Holocaust and that no more than 200,000 to 300,000 Jews were killed by them during the war. Based upon these statements, the Bishop was immediately charged with and convicted of Holocaust denial by a German court."

And there is also some information relevant to Rob's original reason for posting: "After a number of incidents, including calling for the resignation of Bernard Fellay as the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, refusal to stop publishing his weekly email and an unauthorised visitation to Brazil, Williamson was expelled from the Society in 2012." This would appear to indicate disobedience to his superior, and Bishop Williamson must surely have understood the consequences. (And, regarding Rob's concern, this would not make me question the SSPX leadership either.)

Bishop Fellay is no longer the superior general. The SSPX appears to be well established (Wikipedia notes that "If the society's canonical situation were to be regularized, it would be the Church's 4th largest society of apostolic life").

With regard to Vatican II, if Rob has questions about that specifically, I think it would be better to read Vigano's letter on this (which was mentioned by Augustus_Principe in the thread on Vigano's letter to Trump). That would give a contrasting opinion to EMJ which he could consider. Although the advice "to instead focus on growing my faith and personal virtues" that Rob quoted - perhaps from his pastor - is excellent, and may be most appropriate.
 

MKDAWUSS

Kingfisher
He (His Excellency?) can be a little on the fringe side, but he has a number of insightful views, especially when it comes to the Rosary. I'd attend a lecture by him if one was near my area.
 

Papist

Sparrow
I recently finished The Voice of the Trumpet: A Life of Bishop Richard Williamson. I recommend it, and have to say I'm convinced of his integrity. I consider him to be like Fathers Coughlin and Feeney, in his unwavering commitment to exposing the malevolent forces that rule us.
 

Papist

Sparrow
I have met the man on several occasions, and had the pleasure to dine with him one evening. He’s a living saint in my opinion.
Wow! Yes, he's certainly a fascinating guy and won't compromise his beliefs, which is as rare as rocking horse excrement, nowadays.
 

Anomaly

Pigeon
If I recollect it correctly, when Archbishop Lefebvre, who had started the SSPX, consecrated four bishops (including Father Williamson) in 1988, the four bishops were automatically excommunicated (as Archbishop Lefebvre had not been given permission). Pope Benedict XVI, looking to bring the SSPX closer to Rome, lifted the excommuncations in 2009.

At that point, it was noticed Bishop Williamson had expressed controversial opinions about the Holocaust. (I do not know the specific details of what he said. Some asides in the YouTube videos suggest he doesn't believe the numbers and thinks the Holocaust was exaggerated, but if someone has more information I would like to know.) The media, as you might expect, had a fit.

As I understand it, belief or disbelief in the Holocaust does not affect your status as a bishop or a priest. It is not a requirement of a Catholic to believe in or not believe in the Holocaust - it is a matter, like most things, of your own conscience. I think he was expelled from the SSPX because of disagreements with Bishop Fellay, rather than his position on the Holocaust. He did not agree with the SSPX moving closer to Rome, feeling it was betraying the original intention of Archbishop Lefebvre.

He's out of the SSPX now and in the "Resistance" (https://stmarcelinitiative.com/).

My impression from watching his videos was that he was torn been his Catholic duty of obedience to the hierarchy and papal authority, and his duty to what he believed was the truth, that Vatican II was a catastrophe, and the triumph of liberalism/modernism inside the Catholic Church.

He has some interesting talks on the Seven Ages of the Church (which I think was the original idea of the Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (1613-1658)), and he thinks the Church is in its final ages. He can be quite witty, if you like dry English humour. He's is also very literate, and he gave an excellent talk about Shakespeare's Hamlet, which I think you might be able to find on YouTube. Some of the videos seem to have been converted from video and the audio is poor as you say, but there are some more recent talks where the audio is better.

You can also read some of his older letters at https://leofec.com/bishop-williamson/ if you want some of his writings.

I wish there were more Bishop Williamsons.
This. He was not expelled because of his statements on the Holocaust. I attend an SSPX church and know that isn’t the reason.
 
I'm familiar with him and have loved what little I've heard/read. I'm keen on the seven ages and Hamlet. (Shakespeare had his seven ages of man, now that I pause to think a second...) I'll definitely be checking this stuff out. He's a good man. Getting canceled by an ecumenical power struggle masquerading as woke virtue-signaling makes him more legitimate, if anything.
 
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