I really don't know what to say when someone comes up with an outlandish theory, then it gets proven wrong, and the person still trumpets it as something good. This is what happened with Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO). A few years back, Williamson came up with a novel idea to escape the iron clad logic of the sedevacantist position: the Concilliar "popes" are not guilty of heresy because of "mind rot" which prevents them from realizing they're heretics. Fr. Anthony Cekada ripped the idea apart, calling it "mentevacantism" (i.e. "the mind is vacant") and showing how (once again) Williamson makes assertions with no reasons and evidence from theologians and Magisterial documents to back them up. After the drubbing he took from the critique of Fr. Cekada, you think Bp. Williamson would drop the the idiotic and unsupported idea he spawned. No such luck.
In his recent e-letter entitled Eleison Comments, Bp. Williamson resurrects his idea and, making an allusion to Fr. Cekada as a "hard-biten sedevacantist" who ridiculed his idea as "mentevacantism," states that the "label will do"! To show how utterly without merit the ideas of the "recognize and resist" so-called Traditionalists really are, I will set forth Williamson's latest explanation of his theory, and give a condensed version of why it remains theologically untenable.
1. Bp. Williamson's Thesis
- Since the Protestant Reformation, men have been steadily liberating themselves from God.
- To do this they must liberate their minds from reality, because all reality comes from God.
- This is "mind rot" or "mentevacantism" because God designed the human mind to "run on reality" not fantasy.
- From 1517 to 1958 the popes "beat back the mind rot" but it was infecting the faithful and clergy.
- In 1958 "even if Cardinal Siri was elected" (!) the "liberals" had the ability to force John XXIII upon the world
- "But what is a liberal? He is a dreamer, living not in the real world but in a Wonderland of man’s own fabrication. However, as more and more human minds switch off reality and launch into the dream, so he has less and less chance of realizing what he has done, because more and more the world all around him is being taken over by the Wonderland"
- "Then the Conciliar Popes are not wholly conscious villains, because in their sick minds they are serving the true Church by changing the old Church out of all recognition, by Wonderlanding it."
- Even in the case of Paul VI, he wept over vocations, condemned contraception, and issued a "Credo of the People of God" so even with him, Our Lord kept His promise to "look over Peter."
Got all that? Now for a real reality check:
2. The Teaching of The Church
(a) As theologian Prummer taught “The power of the Roman Pontiff is lost: …(c) By his perpetual insanity or by formal heresy. (Manuale Iuris Canonci (1927) pg. 95. In other words, if Francis is off having tea in Wonderland and "out of touch with reality" he would still not be pope for those who are out of touch with reality (e.g. schizophrenics) are precluded from papal office.
According to Wernz-Vidal: “Barred as incapable of being validly elected [pope] are… those afflicted with habitual insanity.… By falling into certain and perpetual insanity, the Roman Pontiff would automatically lose pontifical jurisdiction… For the certain and perpetual insanity of the Roman Pontiff (not doubtful or temporary) is the equivalent to death, and through death the Roman Pontiff certainly loses his jurisdication.” (Wernz-Vidal, Jus Canonicum [Rome: Gregorian 1938] 2:415, 2:452)
If Francis is too crazy to be guilty of heresy because he's out of touch with reality, he's too crazy to be pope!
(b) Williamson sets up a totally false principle: Modernism empties the mind of the capacity to recognize truth — and absolves the individual of responsibility; evil is really produced by a sick society, so no individual has personal responsibility for his/her actions. This is what secular liberals do to to exonerate criminals; it wasn't his/her fault because of the conditions of the society in which he was raised, hence we must be lenient when they murder, rape, and steal. Catholicism teaches that we are responsible as individuals, and societal conditions are no excuse for sin. Heresy is sin.
(c) Williamson's mentevacantism is a natural outgrowth of being an Apb. Lefebvre sycophant who checks his brains at the door. As an astute commentator on my post "Pater Noster?" observed: "You ever notice SSPX guys begin each sentence with 'what would the Archbishop do?'. Or 'what would the archbishop think?' Etc..They (SSPX) act as if ABL is Jesus Christ." Indeed. They should wear a necklace "WWLD"--"What Would Lefebvre Do." Ask the SSPX or SSPX-SO about any topic and you get the same answer that conflicts with Church teaching! The New "Mass" is evil, but not promulgated correctly so it's not binding. Vatican II was "just pastoral" and not binding. The excommunication of the Archbishop and the four priests he consecrated was "unjust" and "invalid" because of a "state of emergency." And the list goes on and on and on.
Bp. Williamson talks about the Vatican II sect being "in Wonderland," but it's his false and ridiculous ideas that get "curiouser and curiouser." He would like us to think Francis has an empty mind, but it's the bishop's own head that seems to have space for rent. In the words of Lewis Carroll:
“I don't think..." then you shouldn't talk, said the Hatter.”
Reminds me of a proposal years ago in New Jersey, that people who commit crimes when intoxicated should not be charged because they did not know what they were doing. I believe that the proposed law was defeated, at least I hope it was.ReplyDelete
As a lawyer myself, I certainly hope it was repealed or struck down as well. However, with the law allowing unborn children to be murdered because they are allegedly non-human "products of conception," and allowing sodomites to "marry," it really wouldn't surprise me to still be in effect.Delete
I do not believe that Bishop Williamson believes his own statements. I think he is simply having a grand ole time making fun of both Catholics and making a mockery of Catholicism.ReplyDelete
The split within the SSPX is a result of their founder's schizo decision making.Both sects of the SSPX are living the founder's beliefs.They have themselves to blame for this division.Faulty theology will always result in disaster.You can't "recognize" the Anti-Christ yet "resist" him and serve Jesus Christ simultaneously.ReplyDelete
1 good result from this consecration is he received holy orders in the pre-June 1968 rite.We should pray the SSPX-MC embrace the sedevacantist position.ReplyDelete
The SSPX is to Tradition what Tartuffe is to moral philosophy. They are obsessed with vestments, incense, ornate High Masses, conspiracy theories, and Inkling-esque Christian romanticism to the total exclusion of theological rigor or sound judgment. They also happen to have, to a man, a rather petulant and vituperative attitude which brooks no challenge to their wing-nut propositions. I have never met a sane one.ReplyDelete
I haven't been around any sspx types except for 1 lady.She goes to their mass as its the only and closet she can get to receiving valid Sacraments.They have a chapel in my hometown,albeit a small chapel.(not very popular around here)ReplyDelete
The SSPX are "obsessed with vestments, incense, ornate High Masses"? Really?? I would love to know which SSPX chapels meet that description as that has not been my impression.ReplyDelete