Thursday, 12 December 2019

Eleison Comments vol. 2

From the Introduction of the book, presented by Rev. Fr. Paul Morgan, former District Superior of the SSPX in Britain.
"It’s eleven o’clock at night and the community at Saint George’s House in Wimbledon are about to retire.
Best check for any phone messages just in case.
“Hello Father. It’s Bishop Williamson here. I’m calling from Buenos Aires. I’ll be arriving in London Heathrow tomorrow morning around six. Please organize an armed police escort as things are somewhat heating up. See you soon.”
Talk about a sticky wicket, as the Americans would have us Brits say. Or Flippn’ ‘eck! as Yorkshiremen do say.
How on earth to organize anything at such an hour, let alone an armed police escort? British Bobbies don’t carry weapons…
A wing and a prayer.
An hour later the phone rings. “Allo Father. It’s Kevin here. I just ‘eared about the Bishop ‘aving a spot of bother at the airport in Argentina. Can I do anything to ‘elp?”
“Only if you can organize an armed police escort” I reply sarcastically.
“I’ll sort something. Can’t go in person as I’m, hem, known to the authorities, hem. Leave it to me. Goodnight,” comes the reply.
Cor blimey!
Another wing and a prayer.
Arriving at the airport in good time we learn that the airport security people are somewhat unhelpful. But when one of Kevin’s associates flashes his credentials to the police he is immediately saluted. Who are these quiet ‘associates’ with their cool composure and military bearing one wonders…
The Police Inspector takes charge and barks out the orders. “Yes you can park your car in a restricted area in front of the side exit. Yes you can drive the wrong way down a one-way route. No, you cannot meet him at the Gate. Yes, you can stand at the arrivals door. Keep things moving swiftly. No stopping en route to the vehicle. Get somebody else to collect the baggage…”
A mob of journalists gather. Other passengers and personnel enquire as to which celebrity is expected.
Father Jean-Michel Faure is the first to emerge. “Keep smiling” he had advised the Bishop. He follows his own counsel to a cue. As luck would have it he is a passable Bishop Williamson lookalike. He serves as a decoy for some of the media. Then follows the Bishop in a scrum of armed police officers with our associates. Manu militariae.
Pointed elbows and rough footwork force a unceremonious passage through the throng. There is the crunch of photographic equipment and microphones underfoot.
The distinguished visitor is bundled into the back seat of my Landrover accompanied by one of the associates. “Well done Father. How did you manage to organise the police escort?” asks the Bishop breezily.
We dodge the media and speed off. The Press proceed to interrogate a young confrere who is left standing on the pavement. His Irish charm foils their loaded questions…
Saint George’s House, SSPX-GB District Headquarters in South London, provides a welcome safe haven. Journalists remain outside for days. Curtains remain closed for the duration. Any visitors are fully vetted prior to admission. Kevin makes a full debriefing. His associates eventually take their leave..
Thus began an internal exile lasting from early 2009 to late 2012. Far from moldering away in a London garret, Bishop Williamson refused to be silenced. He chose instead to continue writing and speaking, thus challenging the politically correct opinions of the day, both religious and secular.
This tenacity would eventually lead to his expulsion from the NewSociety. Soft Bp.exit or hard Bp.exit scenarios having both been envisaged. Yet undaunted, and at a different London address, he would now continue unfettered in his apostolate of the written word not least by his weekly Eleison Comments translated by the author into several languages.
May this compilation of articles serve for their preservation and diffusion for the benefit of many both now and in the future.
And to Bishop Richard Williamson in this his eightieth year, we wish him ‘ad multos annos!’
Hardback. 380pp

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