Bishop Williamson on the Traditionalist Hierarchy

Bishop Williamson is not quoted in my new book, but he has provided some interesting comments, which tie in.  In the October 10, 2020 edition of Eleison Comments he talks about vocations: “Now those necessarily include a priesthood, bishops and priests and in some sort of hierarchy, to ensure those sacraments which are essential to the life of supernatural grace of the Church’s members.”  What is some sort of hierarchy?

Canon 108: “Those who have been assigned to the divine ministry at least by the first tonsure, are called clerics. They are not all of the same grade, for they form a sacred hierarchy in which some are subordinate to others. By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy of orders consists of bishops, priests and ministers; the hierarchy of jurisdiction consists of the Supreme Pontificate and the subordinate episcopate. By institution of the Church other degrees have been added.”

Williamson has redefined the hierarchy and like other Traditionalist Bishops, he creates Sacramental Priests and Bishops.  This is a new invention of the Traditionalists.  And so these men form “some sort of hierarchy,” when Christ founded a set hierarchy of both Orders and of Jurisdiction as we have seen above.  Of course Traditionalists have no ordinary authority in the Church as they readily admit.

The Church has a hierarchy, which Jesus instituted of the Pope and the subordinate episcopate, that is the Bishops of the various dioceses.  There is a question whether or not Titular Bishops are part of the hierarchy in this manner, since they do not need to be called to an Ecumenical Council.  Of course Traditionalist bishops are neither Residential as a Bishop of a Diocese or Titular, because they have no title.  Traditionalists claim that their Bishops are not excommunicated for their consecration, because they were not consecrated for a diocese, but as sacramental bishops.  This author agrees that Father Anthony Cekada’s argument in this regard produces at least a probable opinion their bishops are not excommunicated.

There is more in this Eleison Comments: “Vatican II changed Church doctrine”  Since this is true, the Vatican II Church cannot be the Catholic Church, so why does he accept the pope and subordinate episcopate as legitimate Catholic Bishops?

He does agree with Pope Leo XIII, who stated in Satis Cognitum: “But the Episcopal order is rightly judged to be in communion with Peter, as Christ commanded, if it be subject to and obeys Peter; otherwise it necessarily becomes a lawless and disorderly crowd.”  Williamson states: “One great lesson of this Church crisis is that the Catholic Church can no more do without the Pope than a puppet can do without its puppeteer – it becomes a jumbled heap of strings and bits of coloured wood.”

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