Lamentabili Sane #8 and Bishop Richard Williamson

"They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations." - 

The above quotation is the 8th modernist thesis condemned in Lamentabili Sane by Pope St. Pius X.

As a traditionalist, I obviously believe that the decrees of Lamentabili Sane are as valid today as they were almost a hundred years ago.

Before anyone accuses me of contravening this article by my support of the SSPX, I would like to know what condemnation of what congregation is being 'treated lightly' by the SSPX. In this case, I mean what doctrinal position that the SSPX holds has been explicitly condemned by a congregation.

Now onto the topic at hand.

As noted in an earlier post, I am preparing to give a talk on the dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation" and in my research reviewed Lamentabili Sane.

When I read the above condemned thesis, I was reminded of statements made by Bishop Williamson in Eleison Comment CCLXXV (275) - subtitled 'home reading'.  In this newsletter Bishop Williamson recommends the reading to small children of the 'Poem of the Man-God'. My first thought was:
"... he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea."  Matthew 18:6
I must admit that I became angry at the thought that Bishop Williamson was recommending a condemned book be read to children. One of my relations read a portion of the book and discovered that, according to Maria Valtorta, the multiplication of the loaves was not miraculous but the result of a fervent backer.

Further reading as to the contents of the 'Poem of the Man-God', Dr. Horvat has provided a good review as well  a translation of the condemnation of this work by the Holy Office in 1959. 

Woe to the person by whom scandal comes.

It suffices to say that the Holy Office condemned that 'Poem', and placed it on the Index. Until the abolition of the Index, a Catholic would, according to canon law, be committing a sin by reading a proscribed book such as the 'Poem'.

Some excerpts from Bishop Williamson's recommendation of the 'Poem':

... the Poem was put on the Church’s Index of forbidden books in the 1950’s, which was before Rome went neo-modernist in the 1960’s. ... 

"... But firstly, how could the modernists have taken over Rome in the 1960’s, as they did, had they not already been well established within Rome in the 1950’s ? ..."

Bishop Williamson is lightly treating the condemnation by ascribing it to a, wait for it, conspiracy of modernists seeking to undermine the 'Poem'.

Unfortunately, this excuse is as dangerous as it is useful in providing a window on Bishop Williamson's thought processes.

The existence of a conspiracy has become a justification for any disobedience to the Pope and hierarchy.  In fact, given that there were obviously modernist infiltrators in the Church at the time of Pope St. Pius X, why should I submit to any declarations from the congregations prior to 1550 (a number I arbitrarily picked out of my hat).  Bishop Williamson's reasoning is built upon sand, and taken to its logical conclusion it makes the individual the arbiter of what commands issuing from the congregations are and are not to be obeyed.

Unfortunately, that is not the Catholic principle.  If the Church does not command something that is sinful - then there is an obligation to obey.

In truth, Bishop Williamson's reason for shunting aside the condemnation passed by the Holy Office is worthy of the modernists.

Just like Han Kung, who in moving to the left met Fr. Cekada coming up from the right; Bishop Williamson moving to the right, has moved into the same head space as the modernists coming from the left.

In essence, he has become that which he once fought.

Lesson to be learned, do not use the faulty principles of your enemies in a fight, lest you become as they are.


P.S. I understand that some will object to my analysis and present as evidence to support their claim statement made by Fr. Robinson and the alleged support for Fr. Barrielle.  In anticipated reponse I offer:
  • Fr. Robinson was influenced by Bishop Williamson.
  • Fr. Barrielle is not here to confirm or deny Bishop Williamson's interpretation of his words and I have not located any primary sources of his recommendation of the 'Poem'.


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