Last week, Bishop Richard Williamson, a radical traditionalist Catholic who is famous for having denied the Holocaust, released about a dozen lectures that he delivered at a seminary on June 20-24, 2012. They contain material which should be of interest to anyone who cares about anti-Semitism, racism, and traditionalist Catholicism.
Right at the outset I must state that Bishop Williamson’s position within the SSPX is not entirely clear to me. The head of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, struggled to reign Williamson in after news of Williamson’s Holocaust denial leaked out in 2009. Their relationship has continued to deteriorate since then. It appears that in September 2011, Bishop Fellay threatened to expel Williamson from the SSPX if he did not moderate his militancy on doctrinal issues, and a letter has been floating around on the Internet which seems to say that Williamson was indeed expelled in some fashion on June 25, 2012 — the day after he finished giving his lecture series. This expulsion, if I’m not misreading it, was a response not to Williamson’s anti-Semitism, but to his continued, outspoken fomenting of dissension within the ranks of SSPX members over the organization’s process of reintegration with Rome. (If I’m wrong about any of this, I hope a better-informed reader will let me know.) This, in fact, is the issue that dominates many of the later lectures.
Anyway, without further ado, here are the nuggets of anti-Semitism, racism, and general lunacy that I found in Williamson’s lectures:
Williamson says Jews work to destroy the family and bring the antichrist (Lecture 11):
“The Freemasons, Judeo-Masonry — Judeo-Masonry is the name, the hyphenated name, that combination of all the Jews working with the Freemasons, and all the Freemasons working with the Jews, to bring on a complete new world order, a complete godless new world order, to bring on the antichrist. There are not all Jews working with Freemasons for the new world order, not all Freemasons are consciously working with the Jews of the new world order, but the most important Masons and the most important Jews are those that are working unfortunately for the new world order. And they have been deliberately, in many governments, in every governments that a Freemason has an influence, they have been deliberately working to break down the family, because the family comes from god.” (Video)
Williamson says “it is thought” that Jews were gassed by Nazis (Lecture 1):
Apparently he’s still not too sure about that. Williamson says that by casting Nazis as the villains in World War II, liberalism has made it unfashionable to have any strong ideas, “because, you know [waves his hands], when some Nazis for instance have some strong and clear ideas, well, they murdered, they gassed six million Jews, so it is thought, and so ideas take another discrediting, which is a great advance for liberalism.” (Video)
In a different lecture (Lecture 13), Williamson describes himself as a “revisionist” and says that he is friends with other revisionists. He says that opposing “the great lie” leads one to receive some degree of divine grace. In this video he doesn’t specify what the “great lie” is, or what he means by “revisionist,” but “revisionist” is the term he used for Holocaust deniers in the famous video that got him in so much trouble.
Williamson believes in the “Siri Thesis” (Lecture 2):
The Siri Thesis is a conspiracy theory which claims that an Italian cardinal named Giuseppe Siri (1906-1989) was elected pope in 1958, but that he never assumed the post because Jews and/or communists and/or masons secretly threatened they would kill him if he did. Why would the Jews/communists/masons care who was elected pope in 1958? Because they knew that the Second Vatican Council was just around the corner (it started in 1962), and they wanted to make sure that the pope who would preside over the conference would be pliant and amenable to their machinations. ”Cardinal Siri was good,” Williamson says. “He may well have been elected pope in 1958 and/or in 1963, but the bad guys, the Freemasons and the Jews – brought tremendous pressure. They said they’d kill all his family, they threatened his family, so he said ok he wouldn’t be the pope.” (Video)
Williamson is a proud “conspiracy nut” (Lecture 3):
Over a few minutes in one video, Williamson calls himself a “conspiracy nut” and very straightforwardly states that: 1) Freemasons control the Vatican; 2) The 7/7 attack in London was an “inside job;” 3) There will be a nuclear explosion at the Olympics; and 4) Conspirators send messages to one another by encoding them in Hollywood films :
“Rome is in the hands of Freemasons. The Freemasons have taken a couple of hundred years to infiltrate the Vatican and control it. They’re not going to roll over and play dead. They’ve got control. Ahh, but you’re a conspiracy theorist? Yes I am a conspiracy theorist. I believe that there are bad guys who are organized in order to do down our Lord Jesus Christ. They exist, for real. It’s not a fantasy. Oh, but you’re a conspiracy nut! Yes I am a conspiracy nut. Yes you bet I am. It’s the way the world works. Who thinks that 7/7 was an inside job in London in July a few years ago? [Raises his hand.] Oh, very interesting, on the Internet, somebody sent it to me, the possibility that there be another [inaudible] at the Olympic Games. An atomic explosion. That’s why they’re setting up anti-aircraft batteries. Somebody has to know something. Or maybe in the underground [subway]… These characters take delight in flashing sort of warning signals that nobody takes seriously, practically nobody takes seriously. Before 9/11 there were several of these sort of big films, movies and things about crashing into the twin towers. They send signals to their friends in the way that most people don’t notice. There are signals of that kind going out about some explosion here at the Olympics.” (Video)
Williamson is a racist and sexist (Lecture 9):
Williamson encourages his audience to watch Birth of a Nation, the notoriously racist film by D.W. Griffith. This silent film, which was released in 1915, portrayed freed black slaves in the American south as aggressive pursuers of white women, and depicted the newly emerging Klansman as the noble protector of white virtue. Film historian Melvyn Stokes notes that Birth of a Nation was shown by the KKK for recruitment purposes in the 1920s, and continued to be screened by Klan groups through at least as late as the 1970s. Williamson then discourages interracial and inter-class marriage:
“Interrracial marriage is not common sense. It’s not a sin, it’s not an offense against god, necessarily, but it may often be an offense against common sense. Because there is too much difference between people of different races for their marriage to be able to last. You’re going to say that many interracial marriages do last. Fine. Undoubtedly. But it it is still not a good idea. It’s less bad than a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic, but it’s pretty deep, the differences between the races are pretty serious. Blacks should normally marry blacks, whites should normally marry whites. Chinese should marry Chinese…. If you’re upper class in society you should marry upper class, if you’re lower class you should marry lower class. It’s common sense.” (Video)
Williamson then goes on a digression about common sense, which he believes is a gift from God. The fact that so many people today do not share his view of what is sensible is to Williamson an indication that modern people are waging war against god :
“People don’t have any common sense. Why don’t they have common sense? Because modern man is making war on god….[Mocking:] I absolutely believe in the equality of the races. I absolutely believe there’s no difference between Jews and Gentiles. I will not believe that there’s a difference between men and women, they’re absolutely equal, the men can just as well change the nappy of a baby,and the woman can just as well go out to work [stops mocking]. Completely false. Completely false! Now in all the public lavatories you have a nappy changing station in the men’s lavatories. I mean come on! Oh dear, oh dear. And that you know, undermines the sense of manhood of the men. Which again is what the bad guys want. They want modern men to be wishy-washy and silly and dishrags, because they’re easier to rule.” (Video)
So Williamson does not believe in equality between races or religions, and he certainly doesn’t believe in ever, ever changing a baby’s diaper.
Williamson and Child Abuse (Lecture 10):
In one of the more tragic sections of Williamson’s speeches, he claims that the secular state is unable to protect children from child abuse. Only priests can do that. Seriously. Check it out here.
Williamson believes the church should control science, that Galileo was a “jumped-up jackass,” and that the sun may revolve around the Earth (Lecture 13):
“Now that the church has no more control of science, because the scientists reject all control of science, the scientists get into the most awful nonsense, because it’s got no check on it [sic], so the devil wreaks havoc on these poor scientists’ minds. The church generated modern science. Modern science is a spin-off of the truth established by the church…and the church is absolutely needed ever since then to correct the wild and crazy theories that science without the church can get into. So Rome does not end the free progress of science. Not at all. That is a modern Masonic myth generated from the example of Galileo. Galileo was a jumped-up jackass who Bellarmine tried to calm down and not to [inaudible], but Galileo insisted upon his theories. To this day it’s not certain that the earth circulates around the sun. If scientists pretend that it’s certain, apparently it’s not so. I have never got into the question, but it’s not so certain as the modern scientists pretend.” (Video)