July 1983 Print

Archbishop and the Nine


Transcript of an Interview with Father Richard Williamson Concerning Recent Divisions within the Society of St. Pius X

Father, as you know, many of the laity who attend Mass at St. Pius X chapels throughout the country are concerned over recent events which have taken place in the North-East District. Could you give us an up-to-date summary of what has happened so far?

Well, what has happened is that one of the young priests ordained by the Archbishop in November of last year refused to celebrate the John XXIII Mass at St. Mary's. And, then, the second thing that happened was that he was backed by the Rector of the Seminary who was Father Sanborn. Then, the third thing that happened was that Father Sanborn and this young priest were together backed by seven other priests of the Northern District and of the Seminary, and this made a group of nine priests who made it clear to the Archbishop that they wished the Society of St. Pius X to be run, within the northern part of the United States, or even all over the United States, differently from the way the Archbishop wished it to be run. And this the Archbishop couldn't permit, and, hence, he has had to put them out of the Society of St. Pius X.

Father Williamson, there are many questions which have been asked, and I would like now to relay these questions to you. These questions were submitted by various members of the laity of the Society of St. Pius X. So, if I may, I will start with the first question. Father, what is the difference between the Mass of St. Pius X and the Mass of John XXIII?

This is one of the issues, or one of the problems. In fact, it is not the basic problem—which is probably the problem of the Pope. This group of nine priests, in the Archbishop's view, have a schismatic mentality. They are moving in their minds and in their actions too far away from the Pope. And the Mass, or these slight differences between, the very slight differences between the Pius X Mass and the John XXIII Mass, are simply an example of this. The differences are so slight that one can easily follow a Pius X or John XXIII Mass with a John XXIII missal or a Pius X missal, one could hardly know the difference. There are a few changes in rubrics, a few changes in the calendar, and a slight shortening of the prayers on certain days to achieve simplification. In fact, easily most of the changes in the John XXIII missal were laid down already by Pius XII, who was a great and saintly pope. John XXIII, himself, merely added the name of St. Joseph in the Canon. Now, one may well think that that is a bad idea, that that was the opening of the door to totally changing the Mass. One may well think that that was the salesman with his foot in the door. But there is a big difference between the salesman with his foot in the door on the way in and the salesman with his foot in the door on the way out. And we in the Society who know what the changing of the Mass has meant, will certainly not, absolutely certainly not, allow ourselves in the Society to slide once more with these little changes into the disaster that followed. But so far as there were changes in the John XXIII missal, they were really only very slight.

But, Father, isn't the John XXIII Mass the same as the New Mass?

Absolutely not! From Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum right through to 1969, it was always the Tridentine Mass, as it is called. For the first several years, even of Pope Paul VI's reign, it was still the Tridentine Mass. The Tridentine Mass was only suppressed by Pope Paul VI in 1969. All that Pope John XXIII did was to make minor alterations in the Tridentine Missal, as did several Popes before him. That is the Pope's right, so long as he stays within Tradition. After all, the liturgy is a living worship, not a dead museum piece.

Father, the next question is: Why does the Bishop prefer the Mass of John XXIII?

To speak of the Bishop "preferring" it is the wrong way of speaking, because the Bishop is not going by his personal preference, as are the group of nine priests who go by their preference for St. Pius X. The Bishop is going by great Catholic principles; namely, that the only reason one may not obey one's superior or the authority within the Catholic Church is because, and when, the faith is endangered. Now, the Archbishop argues, the John XXIII and Pius XII Mass absolutely does not endanger the faith. You can't open it anywhere and say, "Here is ecumenism," "Here is Protestantism," "Here is anything near heresy," "Here is a danger to the faith"; whereas, you can open the missal of Paul VI, and you can point out dangers to the faith all the way through. Now, Pope John XXIII was Pope and so, since he was Pope, he was our legitimate superior. And since his Mass does not endanger the faith, the Archbishop says we must accept it. He says, once we admit the principle of going by our personal preferences, why don't we go back to the Mass of Leo XIII? Why don't we take the Byzantine? or the Armenian? or the Maronite liturgy? With personal preference, the field is wide open; there would be chaos. The Archbishop feels obliged to take the Mass of John XXIII because it comes from legitimate authority. And what he fears above all, and this is the real danger in the priests who prefer the missal of Pius X, the real danger is that they are refusing authority. They are refusing not only illegitimate authority, they are also refusing legitimate authority.

In this same vein, Father, did the Mass of John XXIII cause any disturbances in the Seminary at Ecône?

No, this is not true. Ecône started right from the very beginning with the Mass of John XXIII. It never, never had the Mass of Paul VI, as some people think. It is true that, at the beginning, Ecône had the Mass of John XXIII with some Paul VI rubrics of 1964, but these Paul VI rubrics gradually disappeared and, by 1975, there were none left, which is why, if the liturgy is sliding anywhere at Ecône, it is sliding backwards and not forwards, the Modernist salesman is on his way out, not on his way in. In any case, underneath the rubrics, it was always the Missal of John XXIII. This did not cause the disturbances. I was professor for five years at Ecône, and I lived through some of the struggles that took place within Ecône, as you are bound to have struggles taking place inside any good seminary. The devil can't leave a good seminary alone. But I know, from the inside, that the struggles at Ecône were over things other than the John XXIII liturgy. Not one of the struggles at Ecône was quite like the struggle that just took place at Ridgefield. The French, it is certainly true, have their Liberals but they also have their rigorists, just like here in the United States. For instance, the French had what we might call a right-wing crisis, like this one now in the Northern District, back in 1979, 1980. So it is absolutely false to think that all the French are Liberals, just as it is absolutely false to think that all Americans, or all American priests, are right-wingers.

Again, Father, there was some rumor to the effect that the John XXIII liturgy had caused from disturbances at Ridgefield, Connecticut. Is there any truth in that?

It's a version of affairs, but I don't think it is accurate. Let's say that the John XXIII liturgy was the battlefield, but it wasn't really the cause of the war. The root of the problem, as I say, is rather what the Archbishop calls an extremist way of thinking and a tendency to schism, or a schismatic mentality. It's a refusal of not only illegitimate but also of legitimate authority, and this mentality has produced a kind of peace at Ridgefield only because it was strongly imposed, and because the Bishop is able, only once or twice a year to be in the United States. If the Archbishop were able to visit his flock in the United States as often as he can visit in Europe, this problem might not have arisen. In fact, the Society has always been with the John XXIII Mass, and the United States' priests, these American priests, when they went to Ecône to study, some of them for several years, and to be ordained, they all accepted during their seminary studies the John XXIII liturgy, and they all accepted ordination with John XXIII liturgy. It is only when they crossed the Atlantic again, and came back to the United States as priests, that they took up Pius X by personal preference. The Archbishop patiently tolerated this for many years, as he has done also in the United Kingdom and in Australia. And, he could have gone on tolerating it because, after all, the differences between the two liturgies are only so slight. But the problem really arose when he saw, when he realized from what happened in January, that the difference in liturgy was dividing—was going to split the Society right down the middle. It was going to make two camps, and in one of those camps would be young priests who would be very strongly and rigorously formed to condemn all their colleagues who would be celebrating "the despicable, and revolutionary and treacherous John XXIII liturgy." And this mentality would have broken the Society in two. That is why the Bishop finally couldn't tolerate it any longer.

Father, this next question is similar to that, and it is this: Since both John XXIII and Pius X are Tridentine Masses, why could not Archbishop Lefebvre tolerate diversity within the Tridentine Mass itself?

The Archbishop could perfectly well tolerate diversity of personal preference. Let's say, I prefer John XXIII and you prefer Pius X. All right, just so long as there was mutual tolerance between the two. But what happened here was that part of the priests were going to acquire a very insolent and arrogant attitude, and so the tolerance was only going one way, it wasn't a two-way traffic and, hence, the Archbishop had to call a stop.

There has been some talk that one of the young priests went to St. Mary's, Kansas, and wanted to say the Mass of St. Pius X and felt that he would be forced to say the Mass of John XXIII. Why could there not have been a compromise at that point?

Because with this incident at St. Mary's in January there showed merely the little tip of a whole iceberg under the water, and that iceberg would have ripped the ship open under the water and sunk it. That little tip of the iceberg showed that within a little time the whole Society could be sunk. The iceberg is the scorn on the part of, this scornful attitude on the part of, some of the Society priests for what is done in, easily, most of the rest of the Society, and this would have produced a split in the Society which would have meant the destruction of the unity of the Society, and, ultimately, the destruction of the Society itself, and this the Archbishop would not allow.

Father, if Archbishop Lefebvre could compromise with the Pope, why can he not compromise with his hardworking, well-serving priests?

Firstly, it is an absolute slander that the Archbishop is compromising with the Pope! The proof of this is a recent letter, the text of which the Archbishop left with me, and which I have in my hand, and which is dated the 5th of April, 1983. It is a letter written by the Archbishop to the Holy Father himself, in which the Archbishop answers certain proposals of the Pope. Now, the Pope proposed that he accept the Council, and the Archbishop said, "Yes, so long as we interpret the Council in line with Tradition." Of course, there is no problem there. But when the Holy Father urges the Archbishop to accept the Novus Ordo, or at least stop attacking the Novus Ordo, the Archbishop replies he absolutely cannot. These are two of his paragraphs; let me read them to you. I am translating from French:

It is at the foot of the Crucifix, I am replying to you, Holy Father, in union with all the bishops, priests, religious, nuns and faithful who have undergone a veritable moral martyrdom by this liturgical reform being imposed upon them. How many tears, how many griefs, how many premature deaths, the responsibility for which lies with those who wrongly imposed these changes wrought in the name of a wild ecumenism. This is to say to you, Holy Father, that my reply to your paragraph concerning the Novus Ordo Missae is negative, I cannot accept it. The very authors of the Reform have affirmed that its purpose is ecumenical, that is to say, destined to suppress whatever displeases our separated brethren. Now it is quite clear what displeases our separated brethren is the doctrine of the Catholic Mass ...

The Archbishop then continues to explain why, as he has already explained so many times to Rome, why he cannot accept this Mass. In other words, as anyone who knew the Archbishop might well have guessed, there is no question with him of compromise. And it is a slander—an absolute slander!—it is completely false to suggest that he is changing to the Mass of John XXIII in order to get closer to Rome and make himself acceptable to the Pope. And so, why, the question went on, why can he not compromise with his hard-working priests? Well, a man can lose his balance either to the left or to the right. If he gets too close to Modernist Rome, then he becomes a Liberal; if he gets too far from it, he becomes a schismatic. Hence, the Archbishop cannot compromise with the Liberal mentality; that is why he says "no" to the Holy Father, very respectfully but very firmly. At the same time he cannot compromise with the schismatic mentality which would break him off completely from Rome, and that is why he says "no" to these nine young priests of his who want to push the Archbishop further away from Rome. He fully recognizes all the hard work that these young priests have done. And people all over the Northern District know what good work they have done. Many, many have learned to love these priests, and to love their good qualities. The Archbishop has, in fact, over several years been extremely patient with these dear young priests. But, now, since they are causing so much damage, he asks himself if, over the last few years, he hasn't even perhaps been a little too patient.

Father, the next question is similar, and it is this: Is not the Archbishop changing the Mass to please the Vatican, to prepare the way for an acceptance of a Novus Ordo Mass?

That is absolutely false. It is a clever way to try to get the good Catholics to distrust the Archbishop. It is a means of splitting the flock from the shepherd. Firstly, the Archbishop is making no change. He started at Ecône, from the principles I have explained from the very beginning, with the Mass of John XXIII. All that he is doing is finally bringing back, uniting his American priests to the liturgy with which they were ordained, out of respect for the Pope's valid legislation, that is to say, Pope Pius XII and John XXIII. He has, as it happens, always asked Rome for the liturgy of John XXIII. And the proof that this liturgy of John XXIII is in no way Modernist, is precisely that Rome has always refused to grant it to the Archbishop. Our Lord's enemies recognize Him better sometimes than His own friends do. Satan knows better than many Catholics that the John XXIII Mass is no compromise. Many Catholics think, or seem to think in this present trouble, that John XXIII is a compromise, but Satan knows very well that it isn't! If Satan thought there was a trace of compromise in it, he would already have started dealing with the Archbishop, but over all these years, Rome hasn't given a single thing to the Archbishop. Between, in fact, the liturgy of Pius XII, John XXIII, and Pius X, there are only, absolutely, minor differences. But between Pius X and John XXIII on the one side and Paul VI on the other, there is a chasm. Right up until 1969, it was always the Tridentine Mass, with only minor alterations. Only in 1969 was the Tridentine Mass done away with.

Father, is Archbishop Lefebvre now finished making concessions?

He never even started! He merely follows, and insists upon following, the legitimate orders of legitimate superiors. Rome knows this all too well and so, as it is thought Rome did with the great Pope St. Pius X, Rome is simply waiting for the Archbishop to die.

In this vein, Father, when Archbishop Lefebvre dies, how do we know his successor at the head of the Society of St. Pius X will not make concessions?

Well, that is the kind of thing we can never know. You know, all human affairs, everything that involves men, is weak and fallible, so we must at a certain point simply put our trust in God, and we must do our best. However, the Archbishop is doing his best right now to prepare his successor. Some of the faithful in the United States have been able in the last few months to meet his successor, Father Schmidberger. Anyone who knows Father Schmidberger like I do, because I have worked for one year alongside him in Switzerland, knows he is a man of the Faith, a man of God, and absolutely not a man of compromise, no more than the Archbishop.

But has Archbishop Lefebvre accepted the marriage annulments of the Conciliar Church?

Oh, yes, that is another problem which comes up frequently, the bad annulments. And again, one of the slanders going around is that the Archbishop accepts all these annulments. It is not true. All the Archbishop is saying is again, as usual, common sense. All he is saying is that even if many of these annulments are bad, we cannot say all of them are automatically bad. Again, what he is resenting is this schismatic mentality that the Conciliar Church is nothing, that nothing it does can be any good, that it practically doesn't exist. And that is the real root of all these problems. The question of annulments is another battlefield, it is not the heart of the battle. The heart of the battle is a lock, stock, and barrel refusal of even the existence of the Conciliar Church. In the case of annulments, what the Archbishop wishes is for the local priests to judge the situation according to Catholic theology. The Archbishop says that, over here in the United States, he doesn't know, but it may be true that in a great majority of dioceses, there are far too many annulments for them to be serious. For instance, in the Diocese of Brooklyn, annulments are now running at 800 a year. In a diocese like that, says the Archbishop, the presumption is against the validity of the annulments. But, says the Archbishop, supposing one is in a diocese where there are only three, four, or ten annulments a year, and where if you research into the question, you find that the documents have been conscientiously prepared, you can't say there that all of the annulments are no good at all.

Father, the next question is: Is not the Archbishop making concessions on the new rite of ordination? Why does he not insist on conditional reordinations for such new priests who are coming into the Society?

The Bishop acts according to Catholic theological principles. And here it is necessary to make a few distinctions. It is much simpler to say, it is all completely invalid, the new rite is completely invalid, no priest ordained by it is any good, every priest is doubtful, or whatever. But, according to Catholic theology, it is not quite as simple as that. The Archbishop says, in the matter of repeating a sacrament like baptism, confirmation or holy orders, there are two rules. On the one hand, I must repeat the sacrament if there is a serious doubt; on the other hand, I must not repeat it if there is not a serious doubt. And the reason is, I will commit a sacrilege by exposing the sacrament if there is not a serious doubt, the second time to the risk of invalidity. And that is, in fact, a sacrilege. Hence, there must be a prudent doubt. Another point is that this prudent doubt in the case of baptism and confirmation is, maybe, not so important. In baptism or confirmation I might say I must be sure in any case, and there are no grave consequences of repeating. But if a priest accepts to be reordained, who has been doubtfully ordained, he is logically accepting to put some doubt against everything he has done up to that moment as a priest. Logically, you can't escape the consequence. Hence, he must accept that there is some doubt against all the sacraments that he has confected and conferred as a priest. Now these consequences are serious. Now, these consequences would be no reason not to reordain if the reordination was really necessary, but they are certainly not a reason not to reordain if the doubt is not serious and, hence, once must examine if the doubt is serious.

Now, in a sacrament, for a Catholic sacrament to be valid, there are needed Form, Matter, and Intention. In the case of the sacrament of ordination, the Intention is what the bishop means to do, and there are plenty of bishops even today who mean still to ordain Catholic priests. I don't believe all bishops ordaining today have lost the right Intention. I simply don't believe it, and I don't believe Archbishop Lefebvre believes it. Secondly, I am sure most of these bishops use the right Matter, that is the imposition of hands, if not all of them. The imposition of hands is still there. So, often, two of the three parts necessary are intact. The real question arises over the Form, or the words which the bishop says. Now I have examined for myself the Form of the new rite of ordinations in English, and even in English, it seems to me that there is a strong argument for these Forms being valid. I don't like them, they are bad translations, I much prefer the old Latin. The old Latin is much clearer and much better. Nevertheless, there is not in my own mind a serious doubt as to the validity of the new rite of ordination, even if it is administered in English, so long as the English Forms are properly followed, because the English Forms signify clearly enough the grace that they have to effect. And that is the principle of Catholic theology. Now, His Grace may come to a different conclusion on the question of the English rite for ordination, and if His Grace comes to a different conclusion, I shall be very inclined to follow him because he is a far better theologian than I am. But such as I, at any rate, analyze and study these Forms, they seem to me valid. I don't have a serious doubt that anybody ordained by a bishop with the right Intention and using the right English Forms, using them properly, I don't have any serious doubt whether he is a priest; I am sure he is. Let me add that I have consulted three experienced and competent English-speaking theologians on these new English Forms, and all three are agreed that both are valid, that neither of them admits of serious doubt.

But, Father, with all your complications and distinctions, aren't you going to take us all to Hell in a conciliar hand-basket?

No, I mean to take you all to Heaven with Catholic doctrine. When the devil is attacking the Church with highly sophisticated guided missiles like the Novus Ordo and the new sacramental rites of a poisonous subtlety, a priest can't defend the Church with a pea-shooter or even a musket, with false over-simplifications. These also lead to hell, for instance, in a rigorist hand-basket. That is why the Archbishop insists on making distinctions. For instance, what the new rite of ordination does do, even if properly done it would be valid, is to introduce by the ambiguous rite an element of doubt, for instances as to the Intention of the bishop ordaining. That is exactly why the Archbishop's principle is to examine the circumstances in each case, and he asks each priest, what was the Intention of the bishop ordaining you? and did the bishop have the Faith? did he carry out the ordination in Latin? or if he did it in English, what words did he use? And then the Archbishop judges according to the circumstances. In other words, once again, the Archbishop insists on examining the circumstances. What he refuses is the automatic refusal of absolutely anything of the official Church.

But, Father, isn't the Archbishop getting old? Some even say he is getting senile.

The Archbishop is 77 years old, but anyone who watched him or heard him anywhere on his last visit to the U.S.A. knows that such a vile suggestion could only be made by anyone a long way behind the Archbishop's back! Everyone who sees him is astonished how little he changes over the years.

Thank you, Father. Can we now pass on to the practical consequences of the present split? These priests who have broken away from the Society, are they in or are they out of the Society now?

All nine of them are out of the Society. The Archbishop named in his letter, Father Kelly, Father Cekada, Father Sanborn, and then he said any of the priests who followed them are also out of the Society and also any seminarians who permanently follow them. And there are six more priests who have followed these three, and so all nine of them are out of the Society. They may try to keep the name. We shall have to see how the chips fall. They may try to continue operating under the name. A day afterwards, Father Kelly was still claiming that he belonged to the Society. They know that the name of the Society of St. Pius X has a good reputation with the faithful, so they will probably try to keep the name. But that is simply words, they do not belong to the Society. The Archbishop has put them out.

Is there any hope of reconciliation? Well, the Archbishop can't change course because he never has changed course. His great strength against all of the Modernist bishops is that where they have all changed course, the Archbishop never has changed course. So the question is whether there is any hope of the young priests changing course. Well, I think of the proverb: "To err is human, but to persevere is diabolical." The young priests have made an error, and if they drop their error, then there would be reconciliation immediately. The Archbishop would absolutely welcome them back. But if they persevere and persist in their schismatic mentality, then, no, I am afraid there is no hope of a reconciliation.

Father, why was there no trial or hearing in this matter?

The Superior General, or, the Archbishop in this case, has been patient for many years. He has been hearing, and hearing and hearing, the point of view of these priests. I can remember a dialogue which took place between Father Kelly and the Archbishop back in 1980 in which the Archbishop listened and listened to Father Kelly, and he didn't put Father Kelly out of the Society at that point. He laid down some guidelines which Father Kelly followed to some extent, and that is what enabled Father Kelly to exercise a very good ministry for another three years. But in the last resort, the Archbishop must protect the Society as a whole, and so he has exerted his right as Superior General, in consultation with his General Council, to expel members whose presence within the Society endangers the Society as a whole.

But, Father, isn't the Archbishop planning to put all the Society's missions and properties back under the control of the diocesan bishops?

That is yet another scarecrow, or scare-tale, useful to run away with traditional Catholics' emotions. It is true that in negotiations with Rome over the last several years, the Archbishop has once or twice put forward to authorities in Rome a practical proposition or solution whereby the Society's Houses would be linked again to the dioceses, a proposition which frightened many of the Archbishop's followers, and not only in America. However, what they are forgetting is that here was merely a proposal for negotiation. What is absolutely rock-solid certain is that the Archbishop would never, never, never accept or let himself into a deal whereby any part of the Society, any chapel, mission or parish, would be tricked out of the Tridentine Mass or slipped back into the conciliar religion. That is absolutely certain. Why then does the Archbishop even trouble to negotiate with modern Rome? Because, he says, firstly he is a missionary, and somebody must try to convert these Cardinals back to Tradition, somebody must serve as God's instrument to tell them the truth. And secondly, they wield such authority in the Church, they are by their absolute prohibition of Tradition keeping so many "obedient" Catholics away from the true sources of grace merely by obedience, that the Archbishop says it is worth making heroic efforts to make even a tiny breach in that prohibition, because the least little official green light to Tradition would enable many Catholics dying of thirst to get back to the springs of grace. So he keeps on and on negotiating with Rome, even if, humanly speaking, the prospects are hopeless.

Father, the next question is: May we attend the Masses of the nine priests? And the other question that goes with it is, who owns the church properties?

The first question, "May we attend their Masses?" is difficult. On the one hand, the Mass is the Mass. And since these young priests are faithful, they have the Faith, they are zealous, they are pious, they celebrate Mass well, they can preach orthodox and inspiring sermons which have done an immense amount of good for the people, and then these may be the only Masses for miles around. So all of that is a good reason for the faithful continuing to attend their Masses. Especially if these priests realize the error of their ways, of course, and come back to the Archbishop, then there is no problem at all. On the other hand, if they persevere in their schism, and if they follow the devilish logic and push it to its conclusion, if they feel they must defend what they have done, if they begin to attack the Archbishop, if they begin to attack the Pope openly, then I think the Catholics must stay away from their Masses. If they are too shocked, too scandalized, or too hurt, or if they realize they, themselves, are being drawn into schism, then undoubtedly they must keep away from these Masses. So I am afraid the only answer is, the Catholics must be careful. They may, in the meantime, go on attending these Masses until the schismatic mentality becomes too dangerous or too intolerable.

The second question was: "Who owns the church properties?" That is a difficult question. It depends on each area, each chapel, and each corporation. For instance, there is one corporation which owns the chapel at Redford in Detroit and another corporation which owns the chapel at Armada. Now, at the end of the conversation held at Oyster Bay Cove on April 27 between these priests and the Archbishop, these priests told the Archbishop that they owned many of these properties. They themselves said they controlled, for instance, the Seminary, and Father Kelly said that they have control of the property of the Seminary in a way that the Archbishop does not have control. Father Cekada, a few moments later, said regarding the Missions: "We are the owners."

In that case, Father, it looks like we are in for a difficult time. The next question I have is, who are now the Seminary teachers?

Where the Archbishop, before the split, had eleven priests in the Northern District and in the Seminary, he now has three. There is Father Roger Petit, who is an American and who has stayed with the Archbishop, who comes from upstate New York, from Hudson Falls. There is secondly a young French priest who has just come over from Madrid. When the Archbishop realized that he was going to be abandoned by many of his priests, he immediately telephoned to a young French priest—on Tuesday of that week he telephoned to a young French priest in Madrid, and he said to this young French priest, "I want you over in the United States." And the young French priest answered, "At your orders, Monseigneur." And by Saturday evening he was at the Seminary, and on Monday morning he began teaching. And the third priest in the Northern District is your servant, Father Williamson.

Father, this is the last question. Who is Father Williamson?

Well, I would answer, he is a poor sinner. An Englishman, but with a grandmother from Toledo, Ohio, and a grandfather from Monroe, Michigan. Forty-three-years old, in the Society since the end of 1972, ordained by the Archbishop at Ecône in 1976, taught for one year in the German-speaking Seminary at Weissbad, alongside Father Schmidberger. Taught for five years at the Seminary at Ecône, and now teaching for one year at the Seminary at Ridgefield. And if you haven't any more questions, my last word would be to beg all the faithful who have followed us so far to pray for us priests, because we are all in the thick of a tremendous battle. The fall, as I call it, at least the temporary fall, of the nine priests, shows how much in danger we are, how clever the devil is to fool even such good young priests as these were, and we are very much in need of the prayers of the faithful to protect us. So I would ask anyone listening to please pray for me, to pray for us, pray for the Archbishop, and pray also for the nine priests that they may realize the error of their ways.

Father, I want to thank you very much on behalf of all of us Catholics who are concerned with the Society of St. Pius X and supporting Archbishop Lefebvre.

The foregoing interview of Father Williamson was conducted by Mr. Jerome Cooper, 27605 Wagner, Warren Michigan 48093.