I thought that Bishop Williamson had been silenced but apparently not, there is a video interview with him here, (h/t Fr Z) it is rather long. I must confess I haven't had the patience to listen to more than half of it. As the work of the Holy Father for the reconcilliation of the SSPX progresses to a new stage with the incorporation of Ecclesia Dei into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it is interesting to see the mindset of this particular dissident Bishop. From what he has to say, not just about his own opinions but those of fellow SSPX bishops shows the mountain that needs to be overcome. Williamson of course was never part of the mainstream Church for more than a few months, having been received into the Church after a short period of instruction, he went to join Brompton Oratory but was soon asked to leave, more or less immediately he went off to the SSPX at Econe and was ordained priest and then bishop.
Williamson is typical of many of the followers of Lefebrve who not only are suspicious of everything that the Church has to say or done since Vatican II but actually are incapable of "thinking with the Church", many of the young followers, including the priests have never been in "full" communion with Peter.
Some of you might wonder why the reconcilliation of the SSPX is important, some of my brother priests think me a little suspect for showing too much interest in it. The reconcilliation of this group of four Bishops and 500 priests is a crucial part of Benedict's vision of the Church. It is certainly about their reconcilliation and the reconcilliation of the Church of today with that of the past, overcoming the hermeneutic of rupture, it is also about clarifying the teaching of Vatican II.
This however I think is just an experiment, and a paradigm for other reconcilliations, there are still the talks about trying to find a home for "traditional" Anglicans going on quietly but the real object is reconcilliation with Orthodoxy. The questions regarding the teachings of Vatican II with the SSPX are smallfry compared with what will be necessary for negotiations with the East, in which it will be necessary to look at not just that council but Vatican I and Trent too. Here the prejudices and a negativity of Williamson will appear to be wet liberalism compared to our seperated brothers of the Byzantine world.
Benedict's agenda was laid out in his sermons in the first few days of his Pontificate, at the top of the list was the gathering into one flock the scattered sheep of Christ, his is a true catholic ecumenism, one which addresses differences and is capable of seeing beyond them to a common understanding which does not deny revealed Truth but affirms it. What happens here will be watched closely by the Eastern Churches and should be closely monitored by all who have an interest ecumenism.
Negotiations with the SSPX will alter the thinking of the CDF and the Church as a whole for the far more exacting task of making the See of Rome the true locus of unity and restoring the Dominically instituted office of Peter to the whole Church.