Oct 24, 2012 / 11:10 am
The Society of St. Pius X has expelled Bishop Richard Williamson, saying he has distanced himself from the traditionalist Catholic group's leadership and he has refused "to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors."
The Switzerland-based society said Oct. 24 that the "painful" decision was necessary because of "concern for the common good" and for the good government of the society.
The society's Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay and his council declared the bishop to be excluded on Oct. 4. Bishop Williamson, in response to a final deadline for him to declare his obedience to the society, published an open letter asking the superior general to resign.
The Society of St. Pius X broke from Rome in 1988 when its founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops, including Bishop Williamson, against the orders of Pope John Paul II. The ordinations resulted in the excommunication of all five bishops. Archbishop Lefebvre founded the society in 1970 as a response to what he saw as errors in the Church after the Second Vatican Council.