Rorate Caeli

Superior General of the SSPX:
Bishop Williamson forbidden to speak
on political or historical matters

Communiqué of the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X,
Bishop Bernard Fellay 

It has come to our attention that Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Society, granted an interview to a Swedish network. In this interview, he also commented on historical issues, especially on the genocide of Jews by the National-Socialist regime. It is obvious that a bishop speaks with religious authority solely on matters of faith and morals. Our Society claims no authority over historical or other secular matters. 

The mission of the Society is the offering and restoration of authentic Catholic teaching, as handed down in the dogmas. We are known, accepted, and appreciated worldwide for this. 

We view this matter with great concern, as this exorbitance has caused severe damage to our religious mission. We apologize to the Holy Father and to all people of good will for the trouble it has caused.

It must remain clear that those comments do not reflect in any way the attitude of our community. That is why I have forbidden Bishop Williamson to issue any public opinion on any political or historical matter until further notice.

The constant accusations against the Society have also apparently served the purpose of discrediting our mission. We will not allow this, but will continue to preach Catholic doctrine and to offer the Sacraments in the ancient rite.

Menzingen, January 27, 2009 

+ Bishop Bernard Fellay
Superior General
From the website of the German District of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) (27.01.2009, 1620 CET). 

Note (Jan. 28): There were some slight alterations to the original text after we posted our translation. Original Text. Current Text.


  1. Anonymous7:53 PM

    God bless His Excellency Bishop Fellay for taking charge of Bishop Williamson in this matter.

    The Superior is absolutely correct!

  2. A truly Catholic approach. God bless Bishop Fellay.

  3. Now Fellay is acting as a Catholic bishop should.

  4. That should placate the wealthy donors of the SSPX.

    Exactly what damage did his remarks cause? Upset a bunch of liberals and homosexuals?

    Bishop Williamson is an honest man; he gave a truthful answer on a subject he was promised would not be made public. Those news people conspired to cause harm. They should be indicted for their intent.

    I liked spending a little time with Bishop Williamson because he is an honest, decent man who tells you to your face quickly and with no doubt what the truth is....

    When truth cannot be spoken, for any reason, you are no longer Catholic.

  5. Anonymous8:13 PM

    well it's about time Bishop Fellay did something about his comments. In fairness, talking publicly like that is hardly helping the voice of tradition. Wouln't surprise me either if bishop Williamson reads this as an offence against truth...

  6. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Fellay's actions smell a secret accord with Rome and a very probable sell out: Fellay is acting to make SSPX "look" more like a decent and friendly side chapel of the conciliar basilica, and establishes a step-away from those "lunatic" traditionallists...

  7. Anonymous8:20 PM


    If someone films an interview, it will be made public. you can find all controversial interviews on Youtube. Bishop Williamson walked himself into the trap. He should have known better.

    "When truth cannot be spoken, for any reason, you are no longer Catholic."

    Does that mean Bishop Fellay is no longer Catholic either? !

  8. Anonymous8:27 PM


    you sound like the type of person who would be the first one off the bridge if Williamson said jump in the river.

  9. Well, Deo gratias for any repudiation of truly lunatic supposedly "traditionalist" opinions.

  10. Anonymous8:31 PM


    If you're not entirely sure if something on which you have no competence to speak is true, it's best just to keep your mouth shut.

    Hum, someone here seems to have Bernie's cell phone or another mysteriouss super secret source of info!!
    Come on, who are you? Mr-I-Know-Competence??

  11. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Good for Bishop Fellay. Now, when is the Holy Father going to censure the Jesuits?

  12. Anonymous8:36 PM

    "Well, Deo gratias for any repudiation of truly lunatic supposedly "traditionalist" opinions"

    Yeah..! It is worth a sell out, right on!!

  13. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Wow! Long live Bishop Fellay!

  14. Anonymous8:45 PM

    I was speaking with regard to Bishop Williamson's comments. If he, as a bishop, has no competence to speak on historical matters that have nothing to do with the Church, then it is best for him not to say anything, particularly so if he is not entirely sure that his opinion is absolutely true.

  15. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Finally, Bp. Fellay did something about this bizarre radical. I just hope it does not cause a schism within the SSPX.

  16. Rome, Jan 27, 2009 / 02:16 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano published an editorial Monday clarifying the scope and limits of the lifting of the excommunication of four bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988. The editorial stressed that the gesture does not yet mean a return to “full communion” with the Church and moreover is a call to the “full acceptance of the Magisterium, obviously including the Second Vatican Council.”

    Which of the Bishops do you think would fight the hardest against Vaican II acceptance?

    I believe it would be Bishop Williamson.

  17. Dear friends,

    Traditional Catholics are being scrutinized by observers at this moment in history more than at any moment since Vatican II. Many had never heard about Traditionalists before recent events. Therefore, before you post any comment here, consider this: is what you write going to cause greater glory to the Church; or will it cause scandal, even though you believe you are right?

    If it may cause scandal, PLEASE DO NOT POST YOUR COMMENT HERE.


  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Out of deference to NC's request (which posted as I was writing my own) I have deleted my previous comment.

  20. Anonymous9:45 PM

    I do agree that it is best not to say things which may cause scandal...but to tell you the truth, I am already scandalized enough by this whole affair and when I think of the treatment that Bishop Williamson is receiving for saying something that has nothing to do with doctrine but is only his opinion based on historical evidence, I feel saddened and worried. Bishop Williamson was correct when in the interview he said something to the effect that one does not make opinions based on feelings. That is exactly what the SSPX is now doing.

  21. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Out of deference of NC's request, my comment HAS BEEN deleted, not by me... thanks, very truly in accordance with the church "in dialogue"...

  22. Anonymous10:21 PM

    So one is to gather that bishop Williamson will obey bishop Fellay in this matter of keeping silence, but not the Roman Pontiff vis-a-vis suspension a divinis ?

  23. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Please read this to see how the world is viewing the SSPX and the Church.

    Not accurate in my view.

    God bless the truth.

  24. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Isn't the pope's action, lifting the excommunications, having precisely it intended effect? Already the SSPX is moderating its language, bringing its fringe elements to heel, and becoming more deferential and conciliatory. This speaks well for the talks that (we hope) are to follow.

  25. Please keep in mind that Bishop Williamson could very well be listed "persona non grata" in most countries. Making him useless as a Bishop for the SSPX. All because a slip of the tongue. Keep him in La Reja.
    Our Lady guide and protect Bishop Fellay.