Bp. Williamson ordains new bishop
Bp. Jean-Michel Faure
Neo-Traditionalist ‘Resistance’ gets a new Bishop, SSPX condemns, Vatican expected to announce Excommunication
The do-your-own-thing religion of Neo-Traditionalism, more specifically the camp of the “really-really-bad Resistance trads” (i.e. those who split from the SSPX because the SSPX was no longer SSPX enough), has gotten a new bishop: Fr. Jean-Michel Faure, 73, was consecrated on March 19, 2015, by Bp. Richard Williamson, 75, in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro. (We had blogged on the impending consecration here.)
Williamson is one of the original four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in Econe, Switzerland, on June 30, 1988 (see video here), which was the official date of the beginning of what has come to be known as the “Lefebvre schism” in the Novus Ordo Church. On July 1, 1988, the Vatican announced that Lefebvre, Williamson, and the other four bishops (de Galarreta, Fellay, Tissier de Mallerais, and de Castro Mayer) had incurred an automatic excommunication. This excommunication — entirely bogus, of course, since the Novus Ordo Sect has no power to excommunicate anyone — was declared lifted by “Pope” Benedict XVI on January 21, 2009. In October of 2012, Bp. Williamson was expelled from the Society of St. Pius X for — quite ironically — disobedience to supposedly lawful authority (more on that here). With the SSPX’s overt attempts to achieve a reconciliation with Modernist Rome and Bp. Williamson’s expulsion, a number of people, both priests and laymen, began to leave the SSPX and formed what has come to be called the “Resistance”, or “SSPX of the Strict Observance”, or — the official title — “SSPX Marian Corps”.
A number of photos of and an initial report on Bp. Faure’s episcopal consecration of March 19 have been posted at the Non Possumus blog of the “Resistance”, as well as an interview with the new bishop:
- Consagración de Monseñor Jean-Michel Faure (Spanish, with Photos)
- Entrevista Exclusiva al R. P. Faure (Spanish)
So far, the Vatican has remained silent, but as the consecration has gotten enough publicity in the mainstream secular and Novus Ordo press, they will probably issue a decree soon to announce that Bp. Williamson and Bp. Faure have both incurred automatic excommunication for participating in an episcopal consecration without the required ‘papal’ mandate.
Meanwhile, in a press release issued the same day, the Society of St. Pius X has condemned Bp. Williamson’s consecration of Bp. Faure as “not at all comparable to the consecrations of 1988”:
- Communiqué of the General House of the Society of St. Pius X concerning the Episcopal Consecration of Father Faure
It is interesting to look back at how 24 priest superiors of the Society of St. Pius X reacted to the declaration of excommunication by the Vatican in 1988. See the following excerpt of an open letter to “Cardinal” Bernard Gantin dated July 6, 1988:
…we have never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church, and defines itself with the Novus Ordo Missæ, an ecumenism which leads to indifferentism and the laicization of all society. Yes, we have no part, nullam partem habemus, with the pantheon of the religions of Assisi; our own excommunication by a decree of Your Eminence or of another Roman Congregation would only be the irrefutable proof of this. We ask for nothing better than to be declared out of communion with this adulterous spirit which has been blowing in the Church for the last 25 years; we ask for nothing better than to be declared outside of this impious communion of the ungodly. We believe in the One God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and we will always remain faithful to His unique Spouse, the One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church.
To be publicly associated with this sanction which is inflicted upon the six Catholic Bishops, Defenders of the Faith in its integrity and wholeness, would be for us a mark of honor and a sign of orthodoxy before the faithful. They have indeed a strict right to know that the priests who serve them are not in communion with a counterfeit church, promoting evolution, pentecostalism and syncretism.
(“Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops”, in Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican, ed. by Rev. Francois Laisney [Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 1989], pp. 136-137; underlining added; available online here.)
The clergy who signed this letter include the now-Bishop Faure, as well as the Superior General of the SSPX at the time, Fr. Franz Schmidberger.
As is easily apparent, the content of the letter reveals that the SSPX holds a most warped and contradictory theological position: On the one hand, the signatories claim to belong to the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church” and believe that the Vatican II Sect is a Modernist “counterfeit church” in which they want to have no part, but then they also insist that the authority who declared their expulsion — “Cardinal” Gantin — is a legitimate authority of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church! They believe their “excommunication” to have been null and void, yet then in this letter they state that they “ask for nothing better than to be declared outside of this impious communion of the ungodly”!
This is the kind of madness you get when you try to force the square peg of Modernist apostasy into the round hole of legitimate Catholic authority. Such a position must necessarily produce adherents who are in constant tension, as it is based on contradictory ideas: false doctrine emanates from the true Church, which is therefore a false church, so you must be out of communion with the authorities of the true church lest you be contaminated by the false church. And this is a guarantee for and proof of your orthodoxy! Huh?!?
This is theological absurdity at its finest. Thus it is quite understandable why at some point people who subscribe to this position will unavoidably split into at least two factions: those who put more emphasis on union with Rome (“because the Roman authorities are authorities of the true church!”) versus those who put more emphasis on safeguarding true doctrine (“because the teachings coming from Rome are heretical!”). This, of course, is a hopeless endeavor, for it is not possible that the true Holy See should ever be at odds with true doctrine: “…the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord…” (First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus; Denz. 1836). That’s actually the whole point of having a Catholic Church to begin with, “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), so “that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14).
On this matter, we have recently published an intriguing challenge to the SSPX, which no one in the resistance camp has answered so far:
Only the sedevacantist position can resolve this absurdity: The religious sect that currently occupies the Vatican is not in fact the Roman Catholic Church and its authorities are not valid Catholic authorities. This consideration alonecan put an end to the “recognize-but-resist” madness, which is a hopeless muddle of confusion and contradiction. As a matter of fact, the press release issued by the SSPX General House on March 19, 2015, has it exactly right when it accuses Bps. Williamson and Faure of “no longer recogniz[ing] the Roman authorities, except in a purely rhetorical manner.” This is known as schism, but here the accuser (the SSPX) itself is guilty of it, subjectively speaking (for they believe Francis and his five predecessors to be legitimate Popes — even though they are not in fact — and yet refuse them submission). Certainly, they can say that they at least “dialogue” with the people they claim are the lawful Catholic authorities, and that they attempt to find common ground, that they are willing to negotiate, that they only resist them “when really necessary”, etc., but ultimately this is still only the same type of “rhetorical” submission they accuse Williamson and Faure of, because at the end of the day they will not allow the “Holy See” to rule them or to teach them, except in whatever circumstances they decide it is acceptable. As Pope Leo XIII made clear, this does not constitute genuine submission to one’s lawful superior. Thus the difference between the SSPX proper and the “Resistance”-SSPX with regard to submission to the “Holy See” is one of degree, not of kind. Our suggestion to both factions of the SSPX is: Try Catholic theology some time — you obviously haven’t tried it yet.
So the “Resistance” has a new bishop now. At age 73, the Most. Rev. Faure will be looking to consecrate his own successor fairly soon. Let us pray that at least one of these two will finally come to realize that the only way to successfully fight the Vatican II disease is to begin with the correct diagnosis: the Apostolic See has been occupied by impostors since 1958.