Because I haven't gotten enough email this week...
The beatification of John Paul II is scheduled for May 1st. There have been many Catholics who have raised objections to this beatification, or at least to the hurried nature of the process producing it. I have blogged on this rush to beatification here.
Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX is no stranger to saying things that irritate people, nor is he one that often backs down from doing so.
In something of a perfect storm of controversy, Bishop Williamson has elected to make public his objections to the upcoming beatifications. The problem is that his objections call into question the authority of the pope and venture very dangerously into sedevacantism. For his objections do not just call into question the prudence of the decision to beatify, nor just the rush to beatify, but the efficacy of the beatification itself.
I am going to excerpt some of the linked statement below. Brace yourself:
On May 1, in a few weeks' time, John-Paul II is due to be declared "Blessed" by Benedict XVI amidst great celebration in St. Peter's Square in Rome. But Catholics clinging to Tradition know that John-Paul II, while being a great promoter of the Conciliar Church, was an effective destroyer of the Catholic Church. How then can he be called "Blessed", the last step before being canonized, when Church canonizations are infallible ? The swift answer is that John-Paul II will not be beatified as a Catholic Blessed by a Catholic beatification in the Catholic Church, but as a Newblessed by a Newbeatification in the Newchurch. And Newchurchmen are the first to claim novelty, the last to claim infallibility, for what they do.
[His Excellency goes on to draw an analogy of pure gasoline (Catholicism) and pure water (secularism) and their effects. Then he continues...]
Thus Newbeatifications may taste and smell to unwary Catholic nostrils like Catholic beatifications, but on closer examination it is clear that Newbeatifications are not at all the same reality. Famous example: a Catholic beatification used to require two distinct miracles, while a Newbeatification requires only one. And the rules for a Newbeatification are significantly relaxed in other ways as well. Therefore no Catholic should expect anything other than a Newblessed to emerge from a Newbeatification. John-Paul II was indeed a Conciliar "Blessed".
What deceives Catholics is the elements of Catholicism that still remain in the Conciliar Church. But just as Vatican II was designed to replace Catholicism (pure gasoline) with Conciliarism (gasoline-water), so Conciliarism is designed to give way to - let us call it - the Global Religion (pure water). The procession is from God to Newgod to Nongod. Right now we still have Newrome pushing the Newgod of Vatican II with Newblesseds to match, but before long sheer criminals will be the "Blesseds" of the Nongod.
However, the true God will let no sheep be deceived that does not want to be deceived. Nor will he abandon any soul that has not first abandoned him, says St. Augustine...
This article evidences a position that goes beyond what a Catholic mind may think about the Church and thus is not a Catholic position. Whatever the understandable frustration about the Church's downward spiral since Vatican II, and even beyond valid criticisms of the texts of Vatican II themselves (not merely their implementation), this is so beyond the pale that it must be noted.
A Catholic person, let alone a Catholic bishop, cannot stick labels like "Newchurch" or "Newbeatification" on the Church and Beatification, without taking a practical position that the Pope is not the Pope. And that, my friends, is ether sedevacantism (i.e., there is no Pope), or else he thinks someone else is Pope (in which case he should name names). Because if he holds to the SSPX's position that Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope as he appears to be, then he would have to acknowledge that he has the right to beatify someone and that that decision is entitled to, at least, the assent of the faithful. If John Paul II were canonized, would Bishop Williamson then claim that was in error? That "Newcanonizations" are fallible? Where does that rabbit hole lead?
To claim God will never let the sheep be deceived who do not want to be deceived, as the Bishop does, without acknowledging that the Rock of Peter is the principle of unity with the flock of Christ, is a dangerous proposition. On what basis does this make sense?
What is Bishop Williamson up to? Is he merely trying to do what he can to prevent an SSPX reconciliation, or is it worse than that?