Society of St. Pius X Expels Bishop Richard Williamson

Refusal to Show' Due Respect and Obedience' Cited As Reason For Expulsion

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ROME, OCT.25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A statement released by the Society of Pius X confirmed that Bishop Richard Williamson has been expelled from the ultra-traditionalist society for "refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors."

The communique stated that the decision was carried out by the Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, of the movement founded by Marcel Lefebvre.

The Holy See has tried for several years to work with the movement in reconciling them with the Church in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication imposed on four bishops, including Williamson, after they were ordained by Lefebvre without permission from Rome.

Complications arose when an interview of Williamson denying the Holocaust was broadcast the same day the excommunication was lifted. According to the Catholic Herald, Bishop Williamson apologized to Pope Benedict but did not retract his statement. Bishop Fellay subsequently barred the prelate from making any future public statements.

The press release concluded saying that the decision was necessary for the well-being of the society. "This painful decision has become necessary by concern for the common good of the Society of Saint Pius X and its good government, according to what Archbishop Lefebvre denounced: ‘This is the destruction of authority. How authority can be exercised if it needs to ask all members to participate in the exercise of authority?" the statement read.