Saturday, April 22, 2017
INTERVIEW WITH BISHOP WILLIAMSON ON THE EPISCOPAL CONSECRATION OF Fr. ZENDEJAS
INTERVIEW WITH BISHOP WILLIAMSON ON THE EPISCOPAL CONSECRATION OF Fr. ZENDEJAS
Johnson: In the Eleison Commentary (No. 504), His Excellency announced his intention to consecrate a fourth Bishop (Fr. Gerardo Zendejas) to the Resistance on May 11 in Vienna, VA (USA). Could you share with us your main reasons for carrying out this planned episcopal consecration?
Williamson: A letter from Monsignor Lefebvre of October 28, 1988, addressed to English-speaking Traditionalists and written in English, was published in the Fall 2016 issue of Avrillé’s “Le Sel de la Terre” magazine. Says: “We are in times of great apostasy.We need more and more bishops and priests, very Catholics. They are needed all over the world.
What kind of reaction has His Excellency received in response to this announced episcopal consecration?
Overwhelmingly positive. Many Catholics who want to keep the Faith see in this future bishop a serious hope of having a sensible and serious pastor to help them reach Heaven. Things are proven by facts, but hope is one of stability and constancy in our scene of growing confusion.
Could you share with us some of the reasons for choosing to consecrate Fr Gerardo Zendejas in particular?
Father Zendejas is 54 years old, young enough to have enough useful years ahead, old enough to have almost 30 years of experience behind him, most of those years spent in the SSPX. In his decision to join the “Resistance” there was no trace of rebellion, but a slow and mature decision to do what he must to serve the Faith. A good sign, it seems to me, is that Fellay did not want to let him go the fraternity.
Although Bishop Fellay was consecrated by Monsignor Lefebvre at the age of only 30, and with only six years of priesthood (and without any education other than that of any other priest of the SSPX received in Ecône), a famous and arbitrary commentary in a Forum questioned the intellectual / academic aptitude of Fr. Zendejas for the episcopate (although when consecrated bishop will have almost 25 years more of priestly experience and maturity that Bishop Fellay had in his). What would Your Excellency respond to such an accusation?
The Catholic Church always needs a number of well-trained priests, but most of the priests of old had little more than their seminary training. In fact, the formation given by the seminaries of the Archbishop was solid and demanding, at the level of acceptable university studies and because of its truth, considerably above the level of most intellectuals and current intellectualism. Were not the “intellectual” Jesuits and Dominicans the leaders of Vatican II neo-modernism, and the Church’s ennobling for its pseudo-intellectualism ever since?
His Excellency decided to give the news of this episcopal consecration much longer than in the cases of Mons. Faure and Mons. Thomas Aquinas. Can you give us the reasons?
Bishop Faure’s consecration took place with very little anticipation in case the multiple enemies of the Faith, if they had known enough, would have wanted to prevent it by any means at their disposal. The same applies, to a lesser extent, to the consecration of Archbishop Thomas Aquinas. Now the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and there is no longer the same risk of extermination of the Catholic Resistance by the paralysis of its Bishops. Now there are many to get rid of all at the same time. Also because many Catholics who want to keep the Faith will be happy with the advance information that will allow them to attend this unique ceremony of Consecration of a new Bishop, this bishop being a serious hope for the future of his Catholic Faith.
In the Eleison Commentaries announcing the Episcopal Consecration, His Excellency explained the need for authority, and in combination with its analogy or parallel to the geographical location of the four original bishops of the SSPX with the four bishops of the Resistance, some are Trying to extract from this reference to geography and authority, an intention of him to impart territorial jurisdiction to the bishops of the Resistance. Presumably, that ridiculous dispute will be dispelled by the reading of the Apostolic Mandate, but in the meantime, could you say a few words in this regard?
Monsignor Lefebvre was very clear when he consecrated the four bishops in 1988, which was not intended to give them any kind of jurisdiction as only Rome is able to give. They were to be simply the Church’s emergency lighting system as long as the normal lights of the Church were obscured. In the same way, Fr. Zendejas will receive the Sacred Order of the Episcopate to be able to act sacramentally as Bishop, but will have no geographical jurisdiction in North America or anywhere else.
As a member of the Priestly Society of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary (SAJM), the future Bishop Zendejas will be a member of a canonically erected religious congregation. Is Bishop-elect Zendejas expected to confine his ministry to the SAJM (in much the same way that the FSSPX bishops confine their ministry to the SSPX), or the worsening situation in the Church will force him into a wider apostolate (If not ex officio, then at least ex caritate) ?
The main idea behind the consecration of Fr. Zendejas is that on the American soil a duly dedicated orthodox Catholic bishop is accessible as a reliable source of true Catholic doctrine and sacraments, including priests. As the crisis in the Church deepens and deepens, it is possible that in the coming years more and more Catholics and non-Catholics will see the usefulness of a bishop and turn to their services (Jn XII, 20-21) to help them To go to heaven.
Could the Honorable Member explain how a non-Catholic could see the utility of such a bishop, and how a non-Catholic would resort to his services?
When I became a Catholic, I spoke to possibly eight different priests, Carmelites, Benedictines, Jesuits and Secularists, all of whom answered my ignorant questions with patience and charity, and essentially with the Truth. But they must have been there, they had to be patient, and they still had enough Truth to keep me from becoming a Mormon!Since then I am very grateful to each of them, and all of them at that time depended on bishops who had not yet been able to poison them with modernism.
His Excellency refers to the future Bishop Zendejas as a bishop “duly consecrated”.Does this affirmation imply that His Excellency retains certain doubts regarding the validity of the new Rite of Episcopal Consecration?
Readers of the Eleison Comments will recall two issues, about two years ago, in which an article of Fr. Álvaro Calderón was summarized about the validity of the new Rite of Episcopal Consecration. He is one of the best theologians in the SSPX. His conclusion was that the new Rite is probably valid, but a shadow of doubt looms over his neomodernist intentions: Do you really intend to produce a Catholic bishop? The surplus is enough for Fr. Calderon to judge that ideally, all newly consecrated bishops must be reconsecrated under condition.
As Bishop-elect Zendejas speaks Spanish and English, it would seem that he would be suitable to carry out duties in Australasia, where those languages are common in the Philippines and Oceania. Is it contemplated that he will take over the duties (eg Confirmations and ordinations, etc.) in that part of the world?
Time will tell. While the planes fly, Fr Zendejas can travel.
The Resistance bishops have refused to collaborate with Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer and Fr. David Hewko in the United States for reasons that are well known in the hope that this charitable isolation would correct their scandalous public attacks. Is it planned to continue this policy under the episcopate of the future bishop Zendejas?
There are all kinds of pastoral questions that Father Zendejas will have to judge in the circumstances that prevail then, because in the current chaos of the Church, all kinds of situations develop all the time.
One opinion says that, in the light of the relatively small number of Resistance faithful (at least compared to those of the SSPX), this last episcopal consecration is not necessary, and therefore its justification based on need is not justified by That numberHow does His Excellency respond to this perspective?
It is not a matter of numbers or quantity, but of truth and quality. Sacred Scripture tells us (Luke XVIII, 8) that at the end of the world the Church will be very small. However, true doctrine and true sacraments will no longer be needed, and in the end there will still be a minimum number of true sacraments, and at the end there will still be a minimum number of true bishops and priests. But nothing prevents these bishops and priests from being remarkably few in number. The Truth is not democratic.
The future Bishop Zendejas will have his residence in the United States where, despite having the second largest number of PSSPX priests in the world, he has had a disproportionately low number of defections (in contrast to Great Britain, where there is only one Dozens of priests but lost half for the Resistance). Does your Excellency think that the consecration and residence of bishop-elect Zendejas in the United States will have any effect in this regard, perhaps by encouraging some who would not otherwise have considered the Resistance?
The future example that Fr. Zendejas will give as a bishop by continuing in the line of Mgr Lefebvre to teach the true doctrine of the Church and to dispense the true sacraments of the Church certainly must attract the attention of the priests of the SSPX and Make them think. Time will tell if it proves that many or some of them follow their example.
Thank you His Excellency, Mons. Richard Williamson, for taking the time to answer these questions.