Rorate Caeli

Williamson to Consecrate a Bishop?

Today, we were contacted by a worthy source claiming that H.E. Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), was to come to the United States in a couple of weeks to consecrate a bishop.

Rorate independently contacted one of the priests said to be organizing the consecration ceremony. Although we asked repeatedly, the priest refused to deny the consecration would be taking place, only saying there's nothing to report to the "general public."

Read more here.


  1. If he goes ahead with this, he will be automatically excommunicated, which would be ironic.

  2. Gratias12:27 AM

    Very bad news. This schism will make the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, essential to those that try to keep tradition within the Church, to be even more resisted by the bishops.

  3. Sources close to Fr Pfeiffer claim that consecrations will also take place in France and Mexico.

    Can Rorate confirm whether this is true?

  4. @Gregg: Even if he were latæ sententiæ excommunicated, I really wonder if Rome would publicly proclaim the excommunication or just ignore it.

  5. "Today, we were contacted by a worthy source claiming that H.E. Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), was to come to the United States in a couple of weeks to consecrate a bishop."

    They're all trying to be the new Archbishop Lefebvre.


    "I am the Mother of fair love, and of fear and of knowledge, and of holy hope." (Ecclus. xxiv)

    She's not just hope
    But holy hope
    Of love and fear
    That's fair

    Knowledge for
    The sheep to Pope
    She'll not bear

    So when a priest
    Came from the east
    Known as Pere

    Joined west
    St. Philly's Feast
    To draw up and declare

    Against the day
    Shout, "Viva...Rey!"
    They call them "brave-priest

    But Mother sees
    The cash they squeeze
    Will help them buy
    Some mitres

    And yes, it's bad
    The times are sad
    For One, True,
    Church of Christ --

    But some bad Trads
    Have turned to fads…
    Our inheritance
    Their habitual heist!

  6. What would be the point of this?—as his views differ little from Bishops Tissier de Mallerais and Galarreta. Does he have some movement he seeks to keep alive, other than some felicitous "true" SSPX? He's on the verge of fading. I second Alan Aversa's comment: would Rome even care enough to notice?

  7. Poor Yorek2:53 AM

    Maybe Williamson will end up in the same "state" as Mr. Bourgeois and they can share an apartment?

  8. I fear +Fellay has only unchained him in all of this. What a shame. I will redouble my prayers for +Williamson and those around him.

  9. Anonymous3:47 AM

    Floreat, all Rorate can confirm is that we made contact with a priest said to be organizing this, and he refused to deny it multiple times.

  10. Johannes de Silentio5:05 AM

    Unfortunate, but surely we all saw this coming.

  11. Let's pray and hope +Williamson doesn't follow through with this. He's really tempting fate and especially after he himself was recently forgiven an excommunication. As we all know, this sort of forgiveness is reserved to the Holy Father alone.

  12. There is nothing to report to the general public?
    The concecration of a bishop would be then a private matter? Not the Pope's business?
    if this is true, the excommunication latae will be well deserved, both for the ordaining bishop and for the one ordained.

  13. The somewhat hollow denials and attempts to minimise this story on pro-Williamson sites suggests that you have this correct, Rorate.

    Time will tell, but it would appear that Bp Williamson's sojourn in the Catholic Church has been a short one.

  14. If true, I'd be very surprised if Rome ignores it. Re-excommunication of Williamson, and the excommunication of any new bishops, is most likely.

    I wonder who the co-consecrator(s) would be. I'd imagine Williamson will do his best to observe traditional practice.

    Long Skirts is right. Williamson sees himself as the true successor of Archbishop Lefevbre. This much is obvious from his recent letters and comments. Along with Williamson, the Pfeiffers et al. are convinced that Bishop Fellay and the SSPX have "apostatized" from their true mission, and their "SSPX of the Strict Observance" is now the rightful inheritor of the good Archbishop's work.

    It's very sad, but nevertheless, not surprising. If the saintly Archbishop Lefebvre can be said to have made any serious mistakes, choosing Williamson as a bishop would have to be counted as one of them.

    Prayers for all involved.

  15. If there is such a consecration, there will be excommunications, and the results will be called "schism", and justly so.

  16. Fruits of SSPX's mentality. He will claim state of necessity. Very ironic indeed. It is the true unfolding of Lefebvre attitude. Unfortunatelly.

  17. Common Sense9:56 PM

    Dear Ignea Sagitta,
    And what would be your mentality be? That of a fighter, or of a defeatist? SSPX has been crossed twice by Card. Ratzinger 25 years ago for the first time and last year for the second time as B16. You probably have heard the saying that 'if you want to win it, you have to be in it'. A sterile novus ordo mindset doesn't belong among the thoroughbreds. Personally, I think it would be very imprudent on the part of Bishop Williamson to go ahead with his intention. However, being neutralised and treated by Rome unjustly only because he stated his personal opinion, I'm not surprised that he would feel indifferent towards Rome once more. As much as I strongly disagree with Bishop Williamson, he is, after all, a fighter and courageous Catholic bishop. My understanding is that this site has been dedicated for the intention of the preservation of the tradition. That's why it is not appropriate to clog it up with such unhelpful comments like yours.
    God bless and have a nice day.

  18. Uncle Claibourne said:

    "If the saintly Archbishop Lefebvre can be said to have made any serious mistakes, choosing Williamson as a bishop would have to be counted as one of them."

    Our Lord prepared us for these things right from the very beginning with the first "wayward" priest that He chose, Judas. Nothing should shock us.

  19. John McFarland10:48 PM

    Let me offer a few thoughts based on no more knowledge than anyone outside Williamsonite circles has.

    1. Although relatively few seem to have noticed it, and the Williamsonites refuse to notice it, +W is keeping himself at a safe distance from the dreams and schemes of Frs. Pfeiffer,Chazal et al.

    One of his Eleison Comments make it quite clear that the Church has gone so far to the bad that any notion of an organized Church is a fantasy. All there can be are independent pockets of resistance. So much for dreams of the SSPX-Mary, a seminary, etc. Those are Fr. Pfeiffer's dreams, not +W.s.

    A fortiori, any notion of serving the laity that he and the other Resisters have drawn from the SSPX is not in the cards. He speaks of families gathering around the hearth to read (no, I am not making this up) The Poem of the Man-God.

    He clearly intends to stay in England, and make periodic speaking tours (apostolic visits, in his terminology), though no doubt offering constant moral support to the other Resisters.

    Basically, unless and until God pulls our chestnuts out of the fire, there is nothing to be done but wait for the chestnuts to be pulled out of the fire. His belief in this is, I think, quite sincere, if not very Catholic.

    2. If the foregoing is right, then consecrating a bishop would be, from his perspective, a good idea. Then he wouldn't have to come over for confirmations, or send holy oils to Resister priests.

    Three bishops sounds a little goofy, but it's just an internationalized version of consecrating an American bishop. No confirmations and holy oils at all, except when and as he chooses.

    3. I'll be pretty amazed if +W and the (thus far hypothetical) new bishop(s) would be excommunicated. In numbers, ideology and general significance, they're not much different from the sedevacantists, and the Vatican could never be bothered paying attention to SV episcopal consecrations.

    4. The existence of a state of necessity will be no problem for +W. There is a state of necessity.

  20. Kathleen11:30 PM

    Thank you for sharing your observations Mr. McFarland.

    My prayers remain with the Society.

    Perhaps it is for the best that some branches prune themselves.

    The element that has gone rogue had been clearly self-identifying itself in a very unflattering way on trad forums for a good few years before this.

    I was sure going in that they would be a major problem, but had started to hope that Bishop Fellay was going to manage to navigate the talks through the problems coming from both sides -- Rome and internally.

    But now those branches have decided to prune themselves.

    Perhaps it's for the best.

    Prayers for all involved.

  21. NIANTIC12:45 AM

    +Williamson's attitude of "I am holier than thou" and his accusations of the SSPX "gone astray" are ridiculous and very sad. They only give ammunition to the enemies of Tradition and weak souls and come close to bordering on sedevacantism.

    Along the way he seems to have lost a few marbles and this too is very sad. He may not see it but he is damaging the reputation of the SSPX and in the process his very own as well.

    Pride will ruin one's soul. Lord have mercy!

  22. Joseph2:11 AM

    While this is terrible news (if true) for the souls of Williamson and whomever else is involved, I think this is good for the traditionalist movement writ large, which finally ought to disavow him and his insane views. And, please, do not let his vocal supporters on blogs like this lead you to believe he has a significant following. Williamson and his handful of followers have done tremendous damage to those trying to repair the Church. He is no Archbishop Lefebvre and he is certainly no St. Athanasius. Rather, he is just another man who has rejected the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church - the visible one led by the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI.

  23. Anonymous3:54 AM

    13 January, 2013 22:27
    Anonymous John McFarland said...

    Let me offer a few thoughts based on no more knowledge than anyone outside Williamsonite circles has.

    1. Although relatively few seem to have noticed it, and the Williamsonites refuse to notice it, +W is keeping himself at a safe distance from the dreams and schemes of Frs. Pfeiffer,Chazal et al.

    Mr McFarland seems to be correct in making this statement. Bishop Williamson is very well acquainted with Frs Pfeiffer and Chazal. I personally think that this is a false flag operation, the objective being to obtain a consecration. Whether the "Resistance" needs a bishop is one thing, but whether either Fr Pfeiffer or Fr Chazal should be consecrated bishop, is quite another thing altogether!

    Anand K. Raj

  24. Frank Halladay1:26 PM

    There is absolutely no truth to this story whatsoever. He has no intention of consecrating new Bishops. Everyone take a chill pill.

  25. John McFarland said...

    3. I'll be pretty amazed if +W and the (thus far hypothetical) new bishop(s) would be excommunicated. In numbers, ideology and general significance, they're not much different from the sedevacantists, and the Vatican could never be bothered paying attention to SV episcopal consecrations.

    There have always been debates about validity of orders for many of the sedevacantists and "independent" bishops. I'm sure these problems are one of the reasons Rome doesn't bother themselves with the SV crew. +Williamson has some very valuable bishop-making hands though with his unquestionable succession and orders.

  26. After Fellay's recent comments on the Jews, Rome wants to deal now with Fellay just slighlty less than Bishop williamson.

  27. 3. I'll be pretty amazed if +W and the (thus far hypothetical) new bishop(s) would be excommunicated. In numbers, ideology and general significance, they're not much different from the sedevacantists, and the Vatican could never be bothered paying attention to SV episcopal consecrations.

    The difference between Williamson and the sedevacantists is that the former had been declared excommunicated in the past, and that excommunication was later lifted. Furthermore, it might give the Holy See an opening to formally distance itself from Williamson's views (I could not say to what degree those views are shared by prominent sedevacantists).

  28. Jason C.5:28 PM

    In some sense, perhaps strategic, this is good for the SSPX--they can't be accused of being at the extreme fringe of the Church, and they'll be able sincerely to condemn any Williamson steps, God forbid, such as that suspected in this post.

  29. Chris6:13 PM

    I don't think there is any way Rome ignores this event if it happens. Rome has been regretting remitting Williamson's excommunication for some time and would literally jump at the chance to do it again for the sake of ecumenical relations and public relations if nothing else.

    Contrary to a previous post, Rome has not ignored previous Sedevacantist consecrations in the past. The CDF condemned the Abp. Thuc consecrations on two occasions and declared everyone involved was automatically excommunicated.

    Rome will act just as they did in '88 and issue the same letter informing BW & whomever he consecrates that they have incurred automatic excommunication for consecrating w/out papal mandate.

    In fact, I'd predict one step further. As a warning shot to the Society, I would not be surprised if Rome declared BW and the new bishop(s) formally schismatic as well as the priests in their organization. Why wouldn't they? This would be a dream scenario for Rome.

    It would accompish two purposes:

    1.) Improve ecumenical relations & media appearance by cutting of BW.

    2.) Officially and formally drive a wedge between the SSPX-SO and the SSPX, forcing the faithful to make a clear choice. Become a formal schismatic or remain inside the Church (although in limbo).

    3.) Send a shot over the bow to Bishop Fellay as to the potential consequences of another consecration. This would put the pressure on him to make a deal.

    One thing is certain. There is NO WAY Rome ignores any BW consecration.

  30. Picard6:57 PM


    I can not get why you are so harsh in your judgement re Williamson & Co.

    You call them "bad trads" and compare them with Judases etc.

    Well, we have heard it all along and hear it still now: many say that the sspx itselfe are bad trads, schismatics, etc... that AB Lef. was like a Judas becaues he consecrated bishops without obeying the Pope and so on.

    And now we do the same thing re Bf. Willliamson?

    And your argumentation that he stole away the heritage, the inharitanse of the sspx is not that rock-solid as some may think. Well, you could also argue vice versa, at least he would do so - that they who expelled him were the thieves, traitors or occupiers and that indeed Arb Lef. made a mistake in one of his choices for bishopship - but guess who that would be?!

    I am not arguing here that Williamson is right.

    But at least it is a complicated matter and he has many good arguments on his side, in favor of his view. F.e. that it was the line of approach of the sspx for all the last years and recalled in the General Chapter 2006 (cf. the decleration of 2006) (or cf. fe. for the years before the Superior general Letter # 60 to Friends and Benefactors), not to make any practical agreement before a doctrinal one.
    And now there is a shift of that course.

    And we could in deed say that this old line of apporach was the heritage, the inheritanc, the testament of Arb. Lef.

    Even if you have counter-arguments, the case it not that easy...
    So it is more than embarassing and shamefull to see that trads of the sspx that are called themselfe "schismatics", "bad rad trads" "fanatics" etc. for the same line of approach that now Williamson & Co are getting on with and continue call themselfe him this names.

    What if not the One was right but the Three, what if the Arbf. did not fail in three of his choices for bishopship but only in one?

    You blame Williamson & Co for following a line of approach that was only few years, no: few months ago the official line of approach of the sspx and for what they were blamed in exactly the same way.

    Isn't that disgusting?

    Well, at least I am ashamed and shocked by this attitude.

  31. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Frank, if true, then why wouldn't the priest said to be organizing this ceremony deny it? We asked him several times during an email conversation and he refused to comment. A simple "no" would have sufficed.

    Please provide your evidence of Williamson's intentions if you want us to simply believe what you're saying.

  32. Picard7:04 PM


    Thank you for your balanced (and I would say fair) approach.

    As I said in my comment before:
    I can not get why and how trads that are themeselfe invocing the state of necessity and the right to be disobedient for years and years are now eager to point to Williamson in the harshest way they can do.

    That really saddens me!

  33. Commom Sense,

    My mentality? Fidelity and obedience to the Holy Father. Period. No "buts" or "ifs". Do you remember Padre Pio heroic obedience when he was forbiden to hear confessions for a decade? It was his main mission in the Church. Does anyone think it was not necessary to do what he was forbidden to do? But did he claim state of necessity and disobeied? No. And that's why he is a saint and Lefebvre died excommunicated. There is a crisis, sure, but denying to obey is part of it - doesnt matter if on the right or in the left - not part of the solution.
    Simple, not easy. But isnt the Gospel a narrow gate abd hard road?

  34. Common Sense10:18 PM

    After all, why do we even bother to speculate about Bishop Williamson's intentions? He's a grown-up and he can decide for himself.

    There are those who have always had an over-optimistic outlook for life and refuse to see the reality. Precisely like those on the Titanic when it was already going down. Benedict XVI might be a good man; nonetheless, a modernist and complicit because he does not discharge his duties in such a manner as to be beneficial to the Church and ultimately to individual people. Even JP II many years ago stated at his visit to the US during Reagan's presidency that the reason for America's greatness lies with its leaders (though I beg to differ). Even he recognised that for an organisation to function well, an effective and competent leadership is indispensable. Not only the Pope, but hosts of clergy, behave in a rebellious manner, and subsequently such conduct influences people's behaviour, which is becoming not only overwhelmingly sinful but in many cases outright criminal. To disassociate the complicity of the pastors on one hand and real crime on the other can only be either outright stupidity or an ill intention. Anyway, the core of the debate is whether our divine Lord Jesus Christ receives greater glory or not. If not, why? Who is responsible for it? Why aren't they doing their job properly? And in which case, why are they still in their position of influence while innumerable people suffer on a global scale? Isn't that complicity in crime? Some of the commentators attempt to justify the misconduct of the Church hierarchy against all produced evidence. Many decades ago, former Czech president Benes stated, though obviously for the wrong reason, that Rome has to be judged and sentenced. Bear in mind, he was a high-ranking Freemason and a real enemy of the Catholic Church. However, this time, paradoxically, modernist Rome must be put on trial and sentenced precisely for crimes of complicity.

  35. Jack Chick1:13 AM

    'Common Sense',

    I like your style. Would you be available to help me with some pamphlets?

  36. Common Sense3:36 AM

    Dear Ignea Sagitta,

    Hmmm, obey, obey, obey. Let me see where I heard that before. Ah yes. Decades ago under the communist boot they chanted the slogan: "Obey, comrade, and don't ask any questions."

    God bless and have a nice day.

  37. chaimbeul4:29 PM

    If Bp. Williamson consectates a bishop, then part of the fault surely lies with Apb. Lefebvre. Would this issue even be a possibility if the Archbishop had not consecrated Bp. Williamson and the others? The reason that bishopric consecrations without papal approval carry such a heavy penalty such as automatic excommunication is because of the possibilty of schism that can result, which is always a danger. Schism hasn't happened yet, though. Let us hope that Bp. Williamson will remain level-headed, and not consecrate any bishops. I read one commentary which stated that Bp. Williamson, in handing out his ability to consecrate to anyone who needs it, has become like an episcopal prostitute. Though this sounds harsh, I think that this sums it up fairly well.

  38. Picard, the Society has to "walk a fine line," if you will.

    They claim there is a state of emergency that justifies their actions (and with this you and I agree). But at the same time, if the Pope is the Pope, which they do acknowledge, they *must* continue to prudently engage with him when he wishes to try to heal the rift, even if the situation in the rest of the Church is still a disaster area.

    This is where Williamson and those of like mind go terribly wrong. Bishop Fellay explained this very clearly and eloquently in his response to "The Three" in the leaked-letter affair.

    Williamson's disobedience, his apparent deliberate stirring up of trouble, the howls and shrieks of "Sell Out!!!" and "Traitors!!!" from his supporters, were simply, flat-out wrong. If the SSPX are truly Catholic, and accept Benedict XVI as truly being Pope, there *must* be engagement with him when he calls.

  39. Reluctant Pessimist10:23 PM

    "Edward said...

    After Fellay's recent comments on the Jews, Rome wants to deal now with Fellay just slightly less than [with] Bishop Williamson."

    At last, a fact! An indisputable fact!

  40. The view that somehow Bishop Williamson will have a consolidating negative effect on the SP with bishops is scarcely credible. It will have no effect whatever. Bishops who are against the SP in spirit will continue to be so. Those who demonstrate true Catholic charity towards Sacred Tradition in the liturgy will continue to do so. The said problem lies far more with Bishop Fellay than with him. It is irrelevant to pillory Williamson as culpable for what has transpired.

    The main problem lies with those in The Confraternity who imagined that they could have it both ways when a simple reading of the pope's philosophical orientation would have sufficed to reveal that where the Councils are concerned there is no deal.

    There is still a very long way ahead on this one.

  41. Observer9:50 PM

    Regarding my last post, it is consistent with what I have heard. That is that Bishop Williamson, although in agreement with their stance against the SSPX, is not in agreement with the Resistance Movement and it's leaders/members. He does not support them, aside from being in agreement on the SSPX.

    The question that needs to be asked is who started the bishop rumor and why?

  42. Arthur9:05 PM


    your wonderfully written doggerel really drives home the point. Keep it flowing!

  43. Kathleen3:49 PM


    Long Skirts has said nothing that I and others haven't essentially said about the deplorable behavior of the

    Your singling her out and stalking her to other threads does not strengthen your case and puts you and your case in further bad light.

    I post this here, on the thread concerning the "rebels" where it belongs.

  44. This is a very sad state of affairs.. It's people like Williamson and his rogue priests (if their orders are still valid) that make the rest of us traditionals look bad.

    They think they are doing good, but they are actually confusing good souls who trusted them when they had the SSPX tag after their names. I hope the SSPX X and Rome take a stand against them so all those that support them will clearly know that they are making a decision between Mother Rome and some fad rantings.

  45. Anonymous1:21 AM

    @John Thompson
    " It's people like Williamson and his rogue priests (if their orders are still valid) that make the rest of us traditionals look bad. "

    No, it is radical modernists like yourself that make traditional Catholics look bad.

  46. Anonymous1:26 AM

    @John Thompson
    "...[confused Catholics]know that they are making a decision between Mother Rome and some fad rantings."

    Labels are non-nonsensical and do not constitute an effective argument. If you wish to make your point, at least have the cranial capacity to expound your thesis.

  47. My point is simple. there are thousands of people who have found peace in SSPX chapels and have come to trust the SSPX tag . Episodes like this put these people in danger because they personally know the priests who have left the Order for the "Resistance". Everyone ought to be very careful before jumping ship to join the barque of those who may have lost the faculties to dispense sacraments, and give opportunity to bring confusion. Average catholics are not schooled enough to swim in these waters ao they put there trust in those that are. These are difficult times and I believe Satan is having a ball with all the accusations flying about. I for one will stay with our chapel and put my trust inthe Church and the leadership God has placed at the helm of the Society and Rome .

  48. Insults are always the way to go.... Bravo . my point is really simple. Thousands of Catholics show up to SSPX chapels all around the world because they offer all the traditional sacraments. Most have put their trust in the SSPX tag and these types of behaviors from priests who many know and trust , speaking against the Society that has provided us with these sacraments for all these years is confusing for many. I don't feel it our place this is the place of the leadership God has put at the helm of the Society and the Church.No one should understand this more than those who have taken a vow of obedience. when they themselves show us that they don't understand ... How much more confusing for is this whole mess ?

  49. Btw ..... Radical modernist could never make a traditional catholic look bad .....Truth is truth and lies cannot stand in its light .


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