Thursday, 5 February 2009

the "bishop", the "right-wing extremist group", and "that" film...

A few weeks ago several of my disparate feeds in my blog reader came together.

It started with the Swedish News feeds."Right Wing Extremist allowed to use Church buildings" caught my attention. Expecting it to refer to the usual suspects- neo-Nazi, skinheads, motorcycle gangs, etc, was read on to discover that they were referring to SSPX in Sweden.

This group of extremist catholics had, in a reaction to Vatican 2 become schismatic after they went ahead and consecrated 4 bishops without papal authority. Because the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden wouldn't allow them to use their buildings they used (Lutheran) Church of Sweden and Church of England (the Diocese of Gibraltar has two Anglican Churches in Sweden) buildings for their services.

At the same time other news feds (both secular and religious) started running a story that SSPX bishop Williamson had been quoted as denying the Holocaust (again).

At the same time, Catholic (and Anglo-Catholic) blogs were running stories that rumours were surfacing that the pope would lift the excommunications and start the process of allowing SSPX back into the fold.

The rest is history... the rumours became fact and the excommunications were lifted... the outrage at Williamson's words grew and after Several weeks the pope declared that he would have to recant before being allowed back.

However, whilst everyone seems to be castigating Williamson they are forgetting the context of his interview- the original Swedish documentary which gave rise to the first news feed.

For whilst everyone seems content to distance themselves (rightfully) from Williamson's shameful words, and attempt to portray this as one twisted person (his comment on women in trousers didn't help either!), they have failed to respond to the central argument of the documentary.

The film was not an expose of Williamson (a quick google search will show that he's been providing evidence that he's a pallium short of a full set of vestments for a while...), but instead a catalogue of links between SSPX in Sweden and far-right, extremist, and anti-Semitic groups. The film argues that this is more than a simple problem of one troublesome priest, that the whole organization is riddled with this kind of problem.

Again, this is not a new allegation, what is new is that this is being overlooked and one man is being scapegoated so that the rest of the organisation can continue. Williamson may be under censure for his remarks, but what about the rest of the whole sorry lot?

Now, in case your Swedish isn't up to it, you can watch the documentary with English subtitles here until 21st Feb.

11 comments:

Bill Cork said...

Thanks for the heads up the other day. I just needed time to watch it.

I've posted on it here: http://billcork.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/that-swedish-film/

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