Richard Williamson has been removed from the traditionalist Catholic splinter group Society of St. Pius X, according to the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli:
Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer on June 30, 1988, in Écône, Switzerland, for the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) has been removed from membership in said society by its Superior General, and can now be considered a former member. The removal comes at the end of an internal procedure that included repeated entreaties by the higher authorities of the Society regarding Williamson’s decisions and actions that apparently went unheeded.
Williamson first gained notoriety for denying the Holocaust and in recent months distinguished himself (if that is the word) by stubborn resistance to Benedict XVI’s efforts to regularize the canonical situation of the SSPX. Williamson has been increasingly out of step with the rest of the Society: The official journal of its American branch had even begun to publicly criticize him.
Update: The Society issues a brief statement:
Bishop Richard Williamson, having distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years, and refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors, was declared excluded from the SSPX by decision of the Superior General and its Council, on October 4th, 2012. A final deadline had been granted to him to declare his submission, after which he announced the publication of an “open letter” asking the Superior General to resign.
This painful decision has become necessary by concern for the common good of the Society of Saint Pius X and its good government, according to what Archbishop Lefebvre denounced: “This is the destruction of authority. How authority can be exercised if it needs to ask all members to participate in the exercise of authority? “
We can say with some relief that the Society’s reconciliation to the Vatican now looks more likely. The lingering question is what Williamson—always a loose cannon—will do now.