Vatican expert analyzes internal causes of SSPX bishop ‘flap’

Vatican expert analyzes internal causes of SSPX bishop ‘flap’

Bishop Richard Williamson
Bishop Richard Williamson


Sandro Magister, the Vatican expert of the Italian Magazine L'Espresso, will publish a story on Wednesday analyzing the internal circumstances that led to the Vatican's decision on lifting the excommunications of the four bishops from the Society of Saint Pius X, including the now infamous Bishop Richard Williamson.

In tomorrow's story, Magister claims that because of serious "management  errors,"  "the  lifting of the excommunications from the Lefebvrist bishops looks more and more like a double disaster, one of government and one of communications."

The Vatican specialist claims that despite the fact that Pope Benedict seems to be the one "most exposed" to the media fallout, neither he nor his closest collaborators are to blame for the flap.  To that end, Magister reveals some aspects of the process that led to the Pope's decision to lift the excommunications and the situation the bishops of the SSPX would still be in without the Pope’s declaration. 

Nevertheless, according to the Vatican expert, none of this complexity was reflected in how the Vatican handled the announcement, and as a consequence, “the popular version divulged by the media, about the decree of the Church of Rome simply seemed to welcome the Lefebvrists back in it bosom."

Magister analyses what led to the "huge storm" that followed the announcement, and concludes that there was more to it than just "mistakes."

In fact, he compares the announcement to the communication efforts made the previous day to promote the new Vatican channel on YouTube, and to the following week's press conference to announce the Vatican activities for the year of Galileo.

"If all this has happened it is not the fault of the Vatican Press office or its director, the Jesuit Federico Lombardi, but of the offices in the Curia from which they receive their orders,” writes Magister. In particular, the Vatican analyst’s article concentrates on the role played by the Vatican's department of the Secretary of State in the "disaster."

The article will be available tomorrow at:

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