December, 2005 Interview With His
Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson
With so much happening as
of late between the Society and the Curia, I thought it would be a good time to
send another interview to His Excellency. This time when I contacted him to inform him that I was sending the questions to Brother
John, I was certain to refer to him as "Your Excellency" as opposed to "Your
Eminence" as I had during the first interview. Although he was kind enough never
to correct my mistake, I was quite embarrassed when I discovered (along
with the thousands of others who had read the un-edited version of the first
interview) exactly how much of a piker I was.
After all I had no prior
experience with such matters, as before coming
into contact with Bishop Williamson, I'd never had any dealings with or had ever
spoken to a Catholic bishop. I once approached a particular "full
communion" American bishop (who shall remain nameless) for an interview, but nothing
ever came of it. I had to get through a hired and probably well-paid
staff "bouncer" with a lengthy title, who after several back-and-forth communications finally agreed
to present my questions to this extremely lofty and important person for his
executive review and judgment. I never heard back from either of them, leaving me to surmise that
the bishop either lived in some far-off solar system, or for whatever reason didn't view
the many thousands of Catholics who visit
Angelqueen.org as worthy of his time.
In contrast, my initial
contact with Bishop Williamson was when he called me at home to personally
correct misinformation that had been posted on the forum, which was causing a person's
reputation to come into question. It seems that His Excellency doesn't mind
getting his hands dirty with the "least", and he answers his phone
with a simple "hello?" like the rest of us. No bouncers or complex screening
processes. The only reason email communications go to Brother John is because
the bishop doesn't bother with and has no interest whatsoever in computers.
He protested quite strongly
when I mentioned that I would be asking more personal questions than I had on
the last interview, but he would not refuse my request outright. After all, no
matter what one thinks of him, this is a very interesting man who many people
are very interested in.
Bishop Fellay recently had a lengthy private meeting with Cardinal Hoyos. Is
there anything at all you can share with us as to what came out of it?
Bp. Williamson: The main practical proposition emerging from the
five-hour meeting on Nov 15 of Bishop Fellay with Cardinal Castrillón was that
the four bishops should sign a letter requesting of Rome to “lift” the 1988
“excommunication”. Bishop Fellay commented that it would be difficult to find a
form of words satisfactory both to Rome and to the SSPX for such a request. Rome
is looking for a least little recognition of error, or expression of regret, on
the part of the SSPX leadership. The SSPX has always maintained that by Church
law itself the “excommunication” was and is non-existent. It is indeed difficult
to see then how any agreement would be reached as to a form of words for such a
AQ: Do you believe that we can expect to see substantive changes in the
situation that exists between Rome and the Society in the near future?
Bp. Williamson: Honestly, I see no likelihood of the situation existing
between Rome and the SSPX changing in the near future. Even if Rome
half-converted and the SSPX half-betrayed, in order for the two parties to meet
half-way, still there would be war to the death between Conciliarism and
Catholicism. We are not talking about Rome or the SSPX being nice or nasty. We
are talking about two different, and necessarily opposed, religions.
AQ: As of late, certain circles within various traditional “camps” (Una
Voce, the Ecclesia Dei groups, indultarians, conservative Catholics etc.) have
been exploring ways of working together toward moving Holy Mother Church closer
to tradition. Some would say there’s been a noticeable warming toward the
Society. Do you have any input on this?
Bp. Williamson: God bless all Catholic souls working to move today’s
churchmen back towards Catholic Tradition! It is normal that in the process they
should have warmer feelings, as you quote, towards the SSPX, but the SSPX is not
the point. The SSPX exists only for Tradition. What is important is not that
Catholics should feel warm about the SSPX, but that they should believe what the
Catholic Church has always believed, and that they should understand – not an
easy thing to understand! – how that belief excludes any acceptance of the new
humanistic religion included and promoted in the new rite of Mass of Paul VI,
and in the 16 Decrees of the Second Vatican Council.
AQ: Could you expound on your endeavors in Argentina? Do you enjoy your
mission and are your works fruitful?
Bp. Williamson: I have been based in Argentina since August of 2003, in
other words for two years plus, minus travels. I am presently Rector of the SSPX
Latin American Seminary 50 minutes outside of Buenos Aires. We have some 20
seminarians, one being ordained priest this year, and we have had another eight
young men in the Year of Humanities, which is of kind of introduction to the
normal six-year Seminary course.
AQ: Some have assumed that there is a possible division within the SSPX
episcopate. Describe your professional and personal relationship with the other
Society bishops in the most forthcoming way possible.
Bp. Williamson: Both friends and enemies of the SSPX are concerned about
a division amongst the four SSPX bishops. Neo-modernist Rome in particular
creates rumors of three of the four being ready to be nice to “Rome”, while only
one (who shall remain nameless) insists upon being nasty to “Rome”. To all
friends of the SSPX I am happy to say that there is no such division as “Rome”
wants to believe, or create. All four bishops believe in Catholicism, and
disbelieve in “Rome’s” Conciliarism, ie. the new globalist religion that burst
into the Catholic Church with Vatican II.
AQ: Of the SSPX bishops, you are often thought of as the dark horse or
most controversial. Why do you suppose such is the case?
Bp. Williamson: Englishmen are famous for being eccentric, and I am
English, so I guess I am eccentric (although I happen to be intimately persuaded
that I am the centre of the universe). However, I guess I remain eccentric
enough to pass for being “a dark horse” or “controversial”.
AQ: Could you tell us more about the period in your life when you
converted to Catholicism? What was your personal situation at the time and what
led to this blessing?
Bp. Williamson: I became, by the grace of God, a Roman Catholic in 1971,
because God gave me to understand that the modern world has gone deeply wrong.
In 1972 I entered Archbishop Lefebvre’s Seminary in Ecône, Switzerland, because
God gave me to understand that the true Roman Catholicism was with the
Archbishop rather than with the mainstream churchmen. It was the same grace of
God that made me understand, firstly, that the modern world has gone wrong, and
secondly, that the new Conciliar religion emerging in the early 1970’s was part
of the problem and not part of the solution, which could only be the unchanging
God and his unchanging religion. This religion Archbishop Lefebvre maintained.
AQ: Putting aside spiritual matters for a moment, do you have temporal
pursuits that interest you? Are there any hobbies, sports, entertainment or
whatever else (if anything) that you engage in when you have spare time?
Bp. Williamson: A bishop’s work should not normally leave him much spare
time, but I have had since my early teens a great love of classical music, in
particular Beethoven and Mozart, and I still listen to their CD’s.
AQ: It’s probably safe to state that there has been far more written and
said about you than you have written or said about yourself. Are there any
misconceptions that you’d like to correct or anything you’d like to say to your
Bp. Williamson: To any detractors of mine, I would only say, “Go right
ahead! Make my day!” But I would also ask them to include me in their daily