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Smog-O-Scopus: Bp. Williamson on the New Ordination Rite

In a November 15 post on his blog, Dinoscopus, Bishop Richard Williamson SSPX dismisses an argument against the 1968 priestly ordination rite with the following comment:

“But the argument above, to arrive at its conclusion, would have to prove that Conciliar documents and reforms in themselves positively exclude the Catholic priesthood and religion, because so long as the new rite can be taken not to exclude the true priesthood, it can still be used validly to ordain a true priest.

“Alas (for purposes of clarity), the will of Paul VI as seen in all his reforms (and now of Benedict XVI) is so to introduce the new religion of man alongside the Catholic religion of God as to include and not exclude the latter! Now any sane mind cannot stand the idea of 2 and 2 being 5 in such a way as not to exclude their being 4. But Conciliar minds are not sane. They want to apostatize while still remaining Catholic! Thus the new rite of Ordination may omit many features of the Catholic ordination, but it introduces nothing that positively excludes a true ordination.”

The passages in question are vintage Williamsonian smog that the bishop puts out when he wants to obscure an issue: a convoluted double-negative construction (“nothing that positively excludes”) that introduces a non-existent or utterly distorted theological principle.

Who says — by this I mean “which theologian says” — that the essential form for a sacrament (“rite” in this passage of his blog) must be considered valid as long as it “introduces nothing that positively excludes a true ordination”?

That is the underlying principle that Bp. Williamson would have us accept.

But it is a diversion from the real issue — whether the Paul VI forms for the conferral of Holy Orders, in Latin or the vernacular, introduced a substantial change in the forms, such that they no longer signify what they need to in order to confer the sacrament validly.

Bp. Williamson knows this underlying principle. Why the mumbo-jumbo then?

Because, I think, the good bishop’s organization needs to satisfy two constituencies:

(1) Lay traditionalists who still worry that Novus Ordo priests working with SSPX may not be validly ordained, and

(2) “Rome,” which, naturally enough, would expect SSPX to recognize the validity of the new sacraments as a condition to further (and eternal) “negotiations.”

By avoiding the issue of the new sacramental forms, SSPX can reassure laymen that the ordinations of Novus Ordo priests who work with SSPX have been “examined on a case by case basis” to insure validity, while at the same time reassuring “Rome” that SSPX does not regard the new forms as invalid.

It’s a win-win situation. Free milk all around!

So, Bp. Williamson cranks out arguments that evade and obscure the central issue.

His blog has a dinosaur for its mascot. How about an eel? Or perhaps the Smog Monster?