The weekly column of His Lordship, Bishop Richard Williamson SSPX.
ELEISON COMMENTS CXCVIII (April 30, 2011) : TRUE POPE ? -- I
Since saying three weeks ago (EC 195, April 9) that tomorrow's "beatification" of John-Paul II will only make him a Newblessed of the Newchurch, I have reasonably been asked if I am a so-called "sedevacantist". After all, if I virtually declare Benedict XVI to be a Newpope, how can I still believe him to be a true Pope ? Actually, I believe he is both Newpope of the Conciliar Church and true Pope of the Catholic Church, because the two do not yet completely exclude one another., so I am not what is called a sedevacantist. Here is the first part of my reasoning:--
On the one hand I consider Benedict XVI to be a valid Pope, because he was validly elected as Bishop of Rome by the parish priests of Rome, i.e. the Cardinals, at the conclave of 2005, and if for some hidden flaw the election itself was not valid, it was convalidated, as the Church teaches, by his being subsequently accepted as Pope by the worldwide Church. As such, towards Benedict XVI I mean to show all the respect, reverence and support due to the Vicar of Christ.
On the other hand it is obvious from the Pontiff's words and actions that he is a "Conciliar" Pope, and head of the Conciliar Church. Merely the latest clear proofs of that are tomorrow's Newbeatification of John-Paul II, great promoter of Vatican II, and next October's commemoration of John-Paul's disastrous Assisi event of 1986, violating God's First Commandment in the name of man's Conciliar ecumenism. For as that Commandment excludes all false religions (Deut.V, 7-9), so Vatican II virtually embraces them (Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Aetate). Therefore besides Benedict XVI's being the Vicar of Christ, I believe he is also betraying his sacred function of confirming his brethren in the Faith (Lk. XXII, 32), so besides duly respecting him as Peter, I mean also not to follow or obey him (Acts V, 29) when he does not behave like Peter. This was Archbishop Lefebvre's distinction.
But note that even while betraying -- at least objectively -- the true religion, Benedict XVI also holds to it ! For instance, wishing to prevent Assisi III from being accused of mixing religions like Assisi I, he is having the public procession of all religions together take place in silence. In other words, even while Benedict XVI promotes error, he means not to abandon the truth ! And he is constantly in this way resembling an arithmetician who claims that 2 and 2 can make 4 or 5 ! Coming from a Pope, this is a recipe for confusion from top to bottom of the Church, because if anyone follows the Pope in this 4 or 5 "arithmetic", he will have in his head sheer contradiction and confusion !
But note that Benedict XVI as arithmetician absolutely claims that he does believe that 2 and 2 are 4. And for as long as his claim is sincere, and it does appear to be sincere - God alone knows for sure - Benedict XVI is not wilfully denying what he knows to be defined truths of the Catholic Faith. Rather he is convinced, as Bishop Tissier shows, that he is "regenerating" them with the help of modern thinking ! This makes it difficult to make the accusation of formal heresy stick in his case, which is why even his love and promotion of 2+2=5 does not yet make me personally into a sedevacantist.
Mother of God, Seat of Wisdom, shield us from the confusion !