Schismatic Catholic Bishops: St. Pius X Society, “Resistance” and Pope Francis

Rogue Catholic bishops plan to grow schismatic challenge to Rome

Pope Francis attitude, in contrast to Benedict XVI, seems to be to ignore them…



(Reuters) – Two renegade Catholic bishops plan to consecrate a new generation of bishops to spread their ultra-traditionalist movement called “The Resistance” in defiance of the Vatican, one of them said at a remote monastery in Brazil.

French Bishop Jean-Michel Faure, himself consecrated only two weeks ago by the Holocaust-denying British Bishop Richard Williamson, said the new group rejected Pope Francis and what it called his “new religion” and would not engage in a dialogue with Rome until the Vatican turned back the clock.

Williamson and Faure, who were both excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church when the former made the latter a bishop without Vatican approval, are ex-members of a larger dissenting group that has been a thorn in Rome’s side for years.

Their splinter movement is tiny – Faure did not give an estimate of followers – but the fact they plan to consecrate bishops is important because it means their schism can continue as a rebel form of Catholicism.

“We follow the popes of the past, not the current one,” Faure, 73, told reporters on Saturday at Santa Cruz Monastery in Nova Friburgo, in the mountain jungle 140 km (87 miles) inland from Rio de Janeiro.

“It is likely that in maybe one or two years we will have more consecrations,” he said, adding there were already two candidates to be promoted to bishop’s rank.

The monastery had said Williamson would ordain a priest there at the weekend but he was not seen by reporters, and clergy said it was impossible to talk to him. Faure ordained the priest himself.

Asked what the new group called itself, Faure said: “I think we can call ourselves Roman Catholic first, secondly St Pius X, and now … the Resistance.”


The Society of St Pius X (SSPX) is a larger ultra-traditionalist group that was excommunicated in 1988 when its founder consecrated four new bishops, including Williamson, despite warnings from the Vatican not to do so.

It rejected the modernizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council and stuck with Catholicism’s old Latin Mass after the Church switched to simpler liturgy in local languages.

Former Pope Benedict readmitted the four SSPX bishops to the Catholic fold in 2009, but the SSPX soon expelled Williamson because of an uproar over his Holocaust denial.

In contrast to Benedict, Pope Francis pays little attention to the SSPX ultra-traditionalists, who claim to have a million followers around the world and a growing number of new priests at a time that Rome faces priest shortages. Their remaining three bishops have no official status in the Catholic Church.

Faure said the Resistance group would not engage in dialogue with Rome, as the SSPX has done. “We resist capitulation, we resist conciliation of St Pius X with Rome,” he said.

Faure said he was not sure what it would take for Rome to return to its old traditions but conflict could be a catalyst.

“If there is another World War … maybe the Church will go back to the way it was before,” he said.

The prior of the monastery, Thomas Aquinas, explained the split simply: “The Pope is less Catholic than us.”

Under Catholic law, Williamson and Faure are excommunicated from the Church but remain validly consecrated bishops. That means they can ordain priests into their schismatic group and claim to be Catholic, albeit without Vatican approval.

By contrast, women supposedly made priests by dissident Catholic bishops are not validly ordained because Catholic law reserves the priesthood only for men.

(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Richard Chang)

Makers of Scientology Documentary Call on Tom Cruise and John Travolta to Address ‘Abuses’

Makers of Scientology Documentary Call on Tom Cruise and John Travolta to Address ‘Abuses’

People Magazine




The makers of one of Sundance’s most buzzed-about films are putting the heat on John Travolta and Tom Cruise. 

At a TimesTalk panel on Monday to discuss the controversial documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, director Alex Gibney was joined by writer Lawrence Wright, who wrote the 2013 book the film is based on, and two well-known critics of Scientology featured in the film: former church member Paul Haggis (the writer/director of Crash) and Mike Rinder, a former head of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs. 

Scientology has slammed the documentary as “dishonest” and based on accounts by “admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists.” In a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday, the Church blasts the film as “propaganda” and says it has “long fought against the kind of bigotry and religious hatred that Mr. Gibney and [Wright] aim to incite.” 

Moderator Logan Hill first brought up the film’s depiction of Scientology’s most famous members, saying, “I was struck by the film’s focus on Travolta and Cruise. It seemed designed to and really put specific pressure on Travolta and Cruise to either reform or apostatize.” 

Director Gibney explained why they were included in the documentary. 

“The fact is they are the front of the church. They are the reason a lot of people join, particularly Tom Cruise now. They have a recruiting power that’s enormous. To put in the film the fact that they are abusing the power they have by not talking out about the church or not even exploring the abuses I thought was absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you have a lot of innocent people that are tumbling into the church on that account.” 

The Church calls claims that Travolta and Cruise are used to recruit members – or hold any special recruiting power – “ridiculous”. 

“Certainly Mr. Cruise and Mr. Travolta are prominent Scientologists but that is due to their prominence as celebrities and their professional accomplishments,” the Church spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “They hold no position within the Church. They are parishioners who like other parishioners are busy with their careers and families. This is no different than other religions who have prominent members.” 

Gibney went on to discuss Cruise’s relationship with Scientology, including what the documentary claims is the church’s involvement in his marriage with Nicole Kidman. 

“[Scientology leader] David Miscavige was terrified that he was losing control of Tom Cruise because Tom Cruise is the greatest rainmaker for Scientology. Miscavige was afraid that Nicole Kidman was slowly taking Tom away from the church, so there was a concerted effort to get him back.” 

The Church spokesperson calls this assertion “utterly ludicrous” and “insulting” to Miscavige. 

Pulitzer Prize winner Wright urged that intervention by Travolta and Cruise is the only way to curb what he calls Scientology’s abuse of power. 

“The reason we are calling out Cruise and Travolta is they have the capacity, the power, to change it. There are only two ways that you can address the abuses that are going on in Scientology. One is to re-examine the tax exemption. But some of those celebrity megaphones, if they were turned around in the other direction they could make a difference. They should make a difference. I’d like to see Tom Cruise stand up and say it’s time for David Miscavige to answer his accusers.” 

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief airs at 8pm on March 29 on HBO. 

You can watch the TimesTalk below, and read Scientology’s full response on its website.

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