You may download here a text of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s conference to the seminarians of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Ridgefield, Connecticut in April 1982. The subject in this conference is “Concerning the Unity in the Society”.
My friends, let me tell you a short story. Before I begin, I want to make clear to you that I have nothing personal against Fr. Pancras Raja. I am only concerned about his doctrine.
On July 21, 2017, I received an invitation to attend Fr. Raja’s Masses. He was staying in the Toronto area for several weeks and Mass would be available frequently during that time period. On the same day, I wrote to Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko and asked them whether they approved of going to Fr. Raja’s Masses. They both responded the same day giving me the green light to attend. Fr. Pfeiffer even ending up visiting Fr. Raja during that time period.
On August 13, 2017, at Sunday Mass, Fr. Raja told me that it is his opinion that one is morally obligated, under pain of mortal sin, to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation when one is certain that the priest is validly ordained and that he validly celebrates the Tridentine Mass. This includes of course the Masses of current Society of St. Pius X. I told Fr. Raja that I hold the position of Fr. Pfeiffer and that I stopped going to the Masses of the Society of St. Pius X. Fr. Raja told me that he argued with Fr. Pfeiffer on this point for three hours when Fr. Pfeiffer met him in India in 2016. I told Fr. Raja that I had no intention of returning to the Masses of the Society of St. Pius X. Then, during the sermon, Fr. Raja said that when one is certain that the priest is validly ordained and that he validly celebrates the Tridentine Mass, one should not deprive oneself of the graces of the Mass and hence should attend it. He basically repeated publicly that which he told to me privately!
My friends, do you understand the significance of this? Unlike yellow light bishops and priests, who tell the faithful that one is permitted to attend the Masses of the SSPX, Fr. Raja turns a permission into an obligation, and that under pain of mortal sin! Concerned about this, on August 14, 2017, I wrote to Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko about it and questioned Fr. Pfeiffer as to whether he did indeed know about Fr. Raja’s position, and that if he did, why he gave me the green light to attend his Masses. I did not receive a response. Nevertheless, the day before, Fr. Rafael, O.S.B., advised me to stop attending Fr. Raja’s Masses and I did not attend from thereon. I did not pursue the issue further with Fr. Pfeiffer or Fr. Hewko after that because I knew Fr. Raja would be going back to India in September 2017.
Fast forwarding to a few weeks ago, I learned that Fr. Raja was at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Boston, Kentucky. Even though I shook my head on hearing this, I decided to write to Fr. Hewko and ask him why Fr. Raja was invited to Kentucky given his doctrine about being morally obligated to attend SSPX Masses. I thought perhaps the justification was that Fr. Raja changed his position. Fr. Hewko did not respond. Therefore, I proceeded to contact Fr. Raja to ask him directly whether he still held the same position as he did the year before. Fr. Raja responded that neither did he change his position nor was he demanded to do so by Fr. Pfeiffer and that he was invited to Kentucky to preach a retreat to the seminarians! Since Fr. Raja arrived at Kentucky a few weeks ago, he has celebrated three Sunday Masses at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church (see screenshots below).
Before writing this post, I spoke to Fr. Rafael, O.S.B., about the situation and asked him whether I should make it public. He encouraged me to do so for everybody to see that the Kentucky Fathers themselves are co-operating in a variant of tradecumenism, which is a grave danger to the purity of the true Resistance. Fr. Rafael has approved this post as written.
Watch and pray!
Addendum – screenshots of Fr. Raja at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church:
In His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson’s 566th Edition of Eleison Comments, he writes the following:
“If there is one thing certain about Catholic Tradition and the Second Vatican Council, it is that they are irreconcilable.”
“…..the spirit of the Council is driving towards a new religion centred on man…..”
“…..in 1990 Archbishop Lefebvre saw and said that Vatican II is 100% infected by subjectivism…..”
“…..the fact that they (i.e., Tradition and the Second Vatican Council) are irreconcilable is the most important reality now governing the life of the Church…..”
Bravo! However, we still await His Excellency’s public retraction that one may morally actively attend the Novus Ordo Mass under certain circumstances.
As I wrote in a previous post, let us keep praying and hoping that His Excellency will return to the position of his spiritual father, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on this essential matter stating that:
“I shall never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in such a Mass (i.e., Novus Ordo).”
Until then, we should steer clear of his false resistance.
In a post dated April 2, 2018, Mr. Sean Johnson writes in his blog Sodalitium Pianum that in 2007 he and his wife to be had to sign this form of the SSPX U.S.A. District prior to the priest consenting to marry them. Mr. Johnson points out the statement of most interest on page 1 of the form relevant to the recent marriage that took place in a Novus Ordo parish (emphasis mine):
“Moreover, I insist on my right to receive all the sacraments in an entirely traditional way, and consequently refuse to have my wedding celebrated by a priest who celebrates the new Mass, or in a church in which the new Mass is celebrated.”
What a difference between the SSPX of Archbishop Lefebvre and the neo-SSPX of Bishop Fellay!
I would love to see the form currently required by the SSPX in Canada or the U.S.A. to be signed by a couple intending to marry. If anybody has either, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a side note, the same form noted by Mr. Johnson also contains the following (emphasis mine):
“Moreover, I have grave objection, in conscience, in asking for the Indult granted by His Holiness Pope John Paul II (October 3, 1984), even should it be allowed in my parish, since its application is based upon a compromise, namely the acceptation that the New Mass is a licit Catholic rite and that the traditional Mass does reflect our refusal of the errors of Vatican II.”
Here is another piece of evidence that the SSPX of Archbishop Lefebvre rejected the New Mass. Yet we have His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson now of the public position that one may actively attend the New Mass under certain circumstances, and the likes of Mr. Johnson defending him. Hmm. But does that not transform the New Mass into a licit Catholic rite, at least under certain circumstances? Confusing. That’s the false resistance for you!
Here is a link to the most frequently asked questions about the SSPX, that is, the SSPX of the saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
Today is the sixth anniversary of that infamous sermon given by His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minnesota. The following is the quote that really caught my ear back then:
“We told them very clearly, if you accept us as is, without change, without obliging us to accept these things, then we are ready.”
By these words Bishop Fellay publicly opposed the old SSPX adage of “no canonical agreement prior to a doctrinal resolution”. In other words, he publicly adopted a position in opposition to that of the SSPX founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who from the 1988 Consecrations onward clearly and firmly held the position that Rome must accept the pre-conciliar Magisterial teachings prior to the resumption of discussions regarding a canonical regularization. It is true that there were almost two years of doctrinal discussions between Rome and the SSPX prior to this sermon, but the conclusion reached was that each party could not convince the other of its position.
My friends, does this make any sense? The SSPX starts the doctrinal discussions with Rome in 2009 with the position that the doctrinal differences between the two parties must be resolved prior to any canonical regularization. Then almost two years of discussions are held after which both parties cannot come to an agreement on the doctrinal discrepancies. Nonetheless, soon after Bishop Fellay is willing to accept a canonical regularization so long as Rome accepts the SSPX “as is”. Huh?
In His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson’s 548th Edition of Eleison Comments, he sounds more like the Bishop Williamson of old where he states clearly (emphases mine):
“…..ever since the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) these have not been sane times, because the Roman churchmen themselves at that Council abandoned God’s true Catholic religion and adopted a false man-made religion which we can call Conciliarism. So ever since the 1960’s, Catholics have been confused from top to bottom of the Church, by trying to go in two directions at once. For instance, your Indult priest says the Mass of the true religion, while meaning to obey the Romans set upon the false religion. No wonder it confuses you to listen to him. And you will remain confused until you fully grasp the difference between God’s true religion and men’s Conciliarism….”
His Excellency is quite correct that a new religion was established at the Second Vatican Council by the Catholic Church hierarchy.
The new religion produced a (rotten) fruit called the Novus Ordo Missae, as proclaimed by Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Constitution “Missale Romanum”:
“The recent Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in promulgating the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, established the basis for the general revision of the Roman Missal….”
Bishop Williamson has acknowledged this in the past. For example, in his 387th Edition of Eleison Comments, His Excellency writes about the distinctions necessary when speaking about the validity of the New Mass and New Rite of ordination and also states (emphasis mine):
“This playing between white and black, this ambiguity, is what is properly diabolical in the Conciliar reform of the sacramental Rites.”
Now if one is a Catholic, is not a Sedevacantist, admits that the Second Vatican Council established a new religion, and admits that the New Mass is a product of that new religion, does it not follow that he ought to declare that active attendance at the New Mass is morally strictly forbidden? Of course! Unfortunately, however, His Excellency has advised that one may morally actively attend the Novus Ordo Mass under certain circumstances (see here). Therefore, His Excellency has not been consistent with what he wrote in his two Eleison Comments quoted above. Rather, His Excellency would seem to answer in the negative to the question posed above. If that were the case, then His Excellency should advise the Catholic faithful that they may morally actively attend Mass celebrated in the Anglican Rite by a Catholic priest under certain circumstances. As strange as that sounds, the reasoning would follow.
Let us keep praying and hoping that His Excellency will return to the position of his spiritual father, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, stating that:
“I shall never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in such a Mass (i.e., Novus Ordo).”
It is now two and a half years since His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson delivered his infamous conference in which he advised a lady that she may go to the Novus Ordo Mass given her circumstances. Till this day, His Excellency has refused to back down on his advice. Likewise, his defenders continue to refuse to acknowledge that His Excellency’s advice flies in the face of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Declaration of Fidelity to the Positions of the Society of St. Pius X in which it is clearly stated that the Novus Ordo Missae is in itself bad and consequently no priest of his may celebrate it or advise the faithful in a positive manner to take an active part in it. All seminarians since 1981 were required to sign this Declaration before receiving the subdiaconate.
The latest rant of one of Bishop Williamson’s avid supporters, Mr. Sean Johnson, continues the quest to demonstrate that Archbishop Lefebvre allowed for active Novus Ordo Mass attendance under certain circumstances:
“[On this latter point, it is worth recalling Archbishop Lefebvre’s May 9, 1980 comment in Michael Davies’ classic Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre (Vol. II, Ch. 40) positively endorsing Novus Ordo Mass attendance, stating that ‘Those who feel themselves obliged in conscience to assist at the New Mass on Sunday can fulfill their Sunday obligation’ here. I make the same observation regarding the quote the Pfeifferites (sic) pull from ‘Open Letter to Confused Catholics’ in one of the refutations above, in which the Archbishop makes his comments on grace specific to the sacrilegious and desecrated Masses he was there describing, not all Novus Ordo Masses.]”
Note that the comment quoted above was made in 1980, whereas the Declaration was required of seminarians since 1981. I have shown in “A Refutation of a Catechetical Refutation” that the Archbishop’s position hardened regarding active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass to the point of the Declaration where active attendance would no longer be acceptable under any circumstances. An official declaration, furthermore, trumps comments made in an interview or conference. From 1981 until his death, the Archbishop did not change his position.
It is sad the Mr. Johnson refuses to correct his position and that he rather doubles down, triples down, quadruples down, etc. For Mr. Johnson, “ignorance” is a circumstance that permits one to actively attend the Novus Ordo Mass, while failing to point out that “ignorance” (and/or consent) is a subjective circumstance that is of no import in regards to determining the objective evilness of an act. Whether one is guilty of sin before God is a separate matter from whether the act itself is evil. Mr. Johnson, however, confounds these two. Furthermore, for Mr. Johnson, “extreme necessity” is a circumstance that permits one to actively attend the Novus Ordo Mass, while failing to demonstrate in Church doctrine where “extreme necessity” permits one to actively attend a schismatic Mass.
My friends, I have said this before on more than one occasion: we must reject the Novus Ordo Mass wholesale. It is not a work of the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, it is the work of the conciliar church, a new religion foreign to Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. One cannot claim to be faithful to Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop Lefebvre while at the same time holding that the Novus Ordo Mass may be actively attended under certain circumstances. No! We must affirm the following proposition:
Active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass is an intrinsically evil act.
To deny this proposition is to renege on a core issue in the defence of Catholic Tradition. Let us therefore continue the fight for Catholic Tradition in 2018 as espoused by Archbishop Lefebvre and continue to pray for those, especially the bishops and priests of the false resistance, who either through commission or omission have steered off the Archbishop’s course.
In response to my post titled “The Conciliarization of Bishop Williamson’s Thinking regarding the Catholic Church“, Mr. Sean Johnson posted “Archbishop Lefebvre Explains Himself“. In it he claims that I did not properly understand Archbishop Lefebvre’s mind regarding the relationship between the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church”. Mr. Johnson points to an explanation given by the Archbishop in 1980 regarding his use of the term “schismatic” in reference to the Second Vatican Council. This explanation supposedly tames the 1976 quote of the Archbishop I used in my post to render my thesis (that there is a substantial difference between the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church”) incompatible with the Archbishop’s “true” position on the matter. Here is the 1980 statement quoted by Mr. Johnson (emphases Mr. Johnson):
“I am not saying that in words one cannot use one phrase and then oppose it with another one, pull it out of context and, thus, make me say things that are not in my mind. I have sometimes dared to use strong phrases, for example, that the Council was more or less schismatic. In a certain sense it is true because there is a certain break with Tradition. So in the sense that the Council is in breach with Tradition, it can be said, to some extent, that it is schismatic. But when I said that, it was not to say that the Council is really, profoundly schismatic, definitively. You have to understand everything I say. The Council is schismatic insofar as it breaks with the past, that is true. But that does not mean that it is schismatic in the precise, theological sense of the word.
“So when you take terms like that, you can say, ‘You see! If the Council is schismatic, the pope who signed the Council is schismatic, and all the bishops who signed the Council are schismatics, so that we no longer have the right to be with them.’ This is false reasoning. It’s madness, it does not make sense!”
First of all, the Archbishop does not speak of the conciliar “church” as such in this quote. Rather, he is simply explaining his use of the term “schismatic” in reference to the Second Vatican Council in that he doesn’t mean “schismatic” in the strict theological sense, but in the origin of the word “schism” (i.e., break or split). The Second Vatican Council was to a certain extent a break from Tradition. Of course, there are teachings of the Council that are line with Tradition.
Secondly, the reason for his explanation should be evident. It is to counteract those who reason that because the Council is schismatic, it is correct to conclude that those who have signed onto the Council are (formal) schismatics. Of course, the Archbishop did not hold this position; he was not a sedevacantist and neither am I.
According to Mr. Johnson, however, those like me “have (erroneously) given this tendency of the Archbishop to speak of the ‘conciliarists’, or a ‘conciliar church’, of the Council as ‘schismatic’ an excessively rigorous interpretation, which would have the Archbishop formally and theologically declaring them to be schismatic properly speaking…..” I object! I am very well aware that the Archbishop would say no such thing. And nowhere in my post did I posit a conclusion regarding the theological or canonical status of those who accept the teachings of the Council. I wrote about the conciliar “church” as such and not the status of the individual members. Therefore, Mr. Johnson, you have erroneously placed me in the same group of those of which the Archbishop spoke about in his 1980 statement. But Mr. Johnson replies, “….the natural and inevitable result of believing in ‘one pope for two churches’ is sedevacantism and ecclesiavacantism….” Then, Mr. Johnson, you should take it up with your superiors in Avrille who promoted the “one pope for two churches” idea in their Winter 2006-2007 issue of Le Sel del la Terre and then reinforced it in their September 2013 newsletter.
Mr. Johnson also takes objection to my statement that the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church” are two formally separate entities. Yet the same proposition is supported by his superiors in their Summer 2013 issue of Le Sel de la Terre in which they presented a study written by Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais. His Excellency writes:
“Firstly, the conciliar church is not materially separate from the Catholic Church. It does not exist independently from the Catholic Church. There is a distinction certainly between them, a formal one, without an absolute material distinction…….the conciliar church is born of the corruption of the Catholic Church and it cannot exist but by living of this corruption, as a parasite lives depending on an organism, sucking of the substance of its host to construct its own substance. There is a sort of transfer of substance (read here, change in “substantial form”), I would dare to say, from one to the other, in a metaphoric sense obviously and not in a philosophical sense.”
In this same study, His Excellency presents definitions of two churches:
“The Catholic Church is the society of the baptised who want to save their souls in professing the Catholic faith, in practising the same Catholic worship and in following the same pastors, successors of the Apostles.
“The conciliar church is the society of the baptised who follow the directives of the current Popes and bishops, in espousing more or less consciously the intention to bring about the unity of the human race, and in practise accepting the decisions of the Council, following the new liturgy and submitting to the new Code of Canon law.”
Mr. Johnson, you may also want to take it up with Fr. Peter Scott who answered the following question in the April 2003 issue of The Angelus:
Fr. Scott writes:
“It consequently cannot be denied that Vatican II attempts to constitute a new religion in radical rupture with all of Catholic Tradition and teaching, a new religion whose principal purpose is to exalt the natural dignity of the human person and to bring about a ‘religious’ unity of mankind.”
“…..it does not at all follow from the fact that the Vatican II religion is truly a new religion, that we should maintain that we are the only Catholics left, that the bishops and the pope have necessarily lost the Faith, and that we must not pray for them or respect their position in the Church. This false assertion of the sedevacantists is much too simple….”
Kind of flies in the face of your assertion that “the natural and inevitable result of believing in ‘one pope for two churches’ is sedevacantism and ecclesiavacantism”.
Even most recently (in Eleison Comments #530), Bishop Williamson, to his credit, sounded more like the Bishop Williamson of old:
“Fruits of Vatican II? Newchurch!”
“Alas, for 50 years a Nomenklatura (Communist-style bureaucracy) within the Church has used the ambiguities of Vatican II to distort the Council’s original intent, and to create a new church, of a relativist and protestant kind.”
Mr. Johnson, you messed up in defending active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass under certain circumstances and now you’re messing up with the distinction between the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church”, what’s next? I hope that it will be your return to the positions of the Archbishop.
Let us now listen to the Archbishop.
“Well, we are not of this religion. We do not accept this new religion. We are of the religion of all time; we are of the Catholic religion. We are not of this ‘universal religion’ as they call it today – this is not the Catholic religion any more. We are not of this Liberal, Modernist religion which has its own worship, its own priests, its own faith, its own catechisms, its own Bible, the ‘ecumenical Bible’ – these things we do not accept.”
(Sermon, July 29, 1976)
“I should be very happy to be excommunicated from this Conciliar Church… It is a Church that I do not recognize. I belong to the Catholic Church.”
(Interview on July 30, 1976, published in Minute, no. 747)
“This Council represents, in our view and in the view of the Roman authorities, a new Church which they call the Conciliar Church.”
(Le Figaro, August 4, 1976)
“It is not we who are in schism but the Conciliar Church.”
(Homily preached at Lille, August 29, 1976)
“How can one avoid the conclusion: there where the faith of the Church is, there also is her sanctity, and there where the sanctity of the Church is, there is the Catholic Church. A Church which no longer brings forth good fruits, a Church which is sterile, is not the Catholic Church.”
(Letter to Friends and Benefactors, September 8, 1978)
“I remark, first of all, that the expression ‘Conciliar Church’ comes not from me but from H.E. Mgr. Benelli who, in an official letter, asked that our priests and seminarians should submit themselves to the ‘Conciliar Church’.”
(Conference, January 11, 1979)
“…since they have put us out of an official Church which is not the real Church, [but] an official Church which has been infested with Modernism; and so we believed in the duty of disobedience, if indeed it was disobedience! To obey, but to obey the immemorial Church, to obey all the popes, to obey the whole Catholic Church…”
(Ordination Sermon, June 27, 1980)
“It is easy to think that whoever opposes the Council and its new Gospel would be considered as excommunicated, as outside communion with the Church. But one may well ask them, communion with what Church? They would answer, no doubt, with the Conciliar Church.”
(I Accuse the Council, p. xiii)
“Such things are easy to say. To stay inside the Church, or to put oneself inside the Church – what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for twenty years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion.”
(One Year After the Consecrations, July-August, 1989)
“This talk about the “visible Church” on the part of Dom Gerard and Mr. Madiran is childish. It is incredible that anyone can talk of the ‘visible Church’, meaning the Conciliar Church as opposed to the Catholic Church which we are trying to represent and continue. I am not saying that we are the Catholic Church. I have never said so. No one can reproach me with ever having wished to set myself up as pope. But, we truly represent the Catholic Church such as it was before, because we are continuing what it always did. It is we who have the notes of the visible Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. That is what makes the visible Church.”
(One Year After the Consecrations, July-August, 1989)
“Obviously, we are against the Conciliar Church which is virtually schismatic, even if they deny it. In practice, it is a Church virtually excommunicated because it is a Modernist Church.”
(One Year After the Consecrations, July-August, 1989)
“That is no longer the Catholic Church: that is the Conciliar Church with all its unpleasant consequences.”
(One Year After the Consecrations, July-August 1989)
“This ‘Conciliar Church’ is imbued with the principles of 1789.”
“It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith.
“But the Church against her past and her Tradition is not the Catholic Church; this is why being excommunicated by a liberal, ecumenical, and revolutionary Church is a matter of indifference to us.”
(Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, p.547)
“How could it be more clear?! From now on it is the conciliar church one must obey and be faithful to , and not to the Catholic Church. This is precisely our problem. We are suspended a divinis by the conciliar church, of which we do not want to be a part. This conciliar church is a schismatic church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church of all time. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new liturgy, already condemned by the Church in many official and definitive documents. This is why the founders of the conciliar church insist on obedience to the church of today, making abstraction of the Church of yesterday, as if it didn’t exist anymore. […] The church which affirms such errors is at one and the same time heretical and schismatic. This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic. In the measure in which the Pope, the bishops, priests or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church. The church of today is the true Church only in the measure in which it continues and is one with the Church of yesterday and of always. The norm for the Catholic faith is Tradition.”
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wrote the above on July 29, 1976 to his friends (reproduced in Sel de la Terre 36, p. 10, as stated here). It is clear from these words that the Archbishop understood the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church” to be two formally separate entities even though they share material elements (e.g., members of the hierarchy). It is sad, however, that Bishop Richard Williamson has deviated from the Archbishop’s position on this significant matter. It is the purpose of this post to show the conciliarization of Bishop Williamson’s thinking regarding the Catholic Church.
Before we begin, we must define some philosophical technical terms. These are all taken from the “Dictionary of Scholastic Philosophy” by Bernard Wuellner, S.J., published by the Bruce Publishing Company in 1956.
1. Substance (sense 1): being whose essence naturally requires it to exist in itself.
2. Substance (sense 2): loosely equivalent to essence and nature.
3. Substantial Form: the intrinsic incomplete constituent principle in a substance which actualizes the potencies of matter and together with the matter composes a definite material substance or natural body.
4. Substantial Change: change in the substance of a thing because of change of its substantial form.
5. Essence: what a thing is.
6. Accident (logical sense): an attribute belonging to some nature but not constituting its essence or a part of its essence.
7. Accidental form: an accident considered as a secondary or added perfection that determines a nature that is already substantially complete.
8. Accidental change: real change in the accidents of a being.
I wanted to define these terms so that I could apply them to the Catholic Church. However, I must make clear that these terms will be applied to the Catholic Church only in an analogical sense. The Catholic Church is not a substance. It is a society (a perfect one) and societies are not substances. Nevertheless, we can think of the Catholic Church as a substance analogically in that we can say that it exists in itself (sense 1) and has an essence (sense 2). Furthermore, there is no other substance that has its essence. It is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ. The Anglican “church”, for example, exists in itself, but its essence is not the same as that of the Catholic Church since it was founded by a heretic. The same goes for all the other false “churches”, including the conciliar “church”.
From philosophy and Church teaching, we know that the substantial form of man is the soul of man. Likewise, analogically speaking, we can say that the substantial form of the Catholic Church is the Holy Ghost, unchangeable Truth Itself. After all, the catechism teaches us that the Holy Ghost is the “soul” of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the substantial form, analogically speaking, of the conciliar “church” is man. When the substantial form of a thing changes, the thing undergoes a substantial change. The substantial change results in a thing essentially different from the thing that underwent the substantial change. Likewise, again analogically speaking, if the substantial form of the Catholic Church were to change, it would be a substantial change, which would result in a “church” essentially different from the Catholic Church. For example, Archbishop Lefebvre affirms in the quote above that the conciliar “church” has “its new dogmas”, which make it “not Catholic”. Of course, a substantial change in the Catholic Church cannot happen because she is of the Holy Ghost and hence indefectible. What resulted instead at Vatican II, from the evil actions of the human element of the Catholic Church, is a heretical and schismatic “church”, the conciliar “church”, which is a separate entity from the Catholic Church.
When an accidental form of a thing changes, the thing does not undergo a substantial change; rather, the change is accidental or non-essential. The thing before and after the accidental change remains the same thing but with an accidental difference. Likewise, analogically speaking, if an accidental form of the Catholic Church changes, it still remains the Catholic Church. For example, changes to Church laws regarding the election of a new pope are accidental.
Let us now give a more concrete example to illuminate better the concepts defined above. A tree is a true substance. It exists in itself and has an essence. The substantial form of a tree is what makes the matter to be a tree and not something else. If a tree (think about any particular tree) were to catch on fire, the portion that is being consumed by the fire undergoes a substantial change from “tree” to “ash”. The ash has a different substantial form than the tree; hence, the essence of the ash and tree are different. On the other hand, when the same tree buds leaves in the spring and loses them in the autumn, the tree undergoes only an accidental change; hence, only the accidental form is affected. Throughout the whole process (spring to autumn), the tree remains a tree.
I bring these concepts up because Bishop Williamson has on many occasions used a good analogy in comparing the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church” as apple and rot, respectively. In his Eleison Comments Issue #281 (December 1, 2012) titled “Various ‘Churches'”, he wrote the following:
“‘Conciliar Church'” means the God-centred Catholic Church as fallen and still falling under the sway of the man-centred Second Vatican Council. Conciliarism (the distilled error of Vatican II) bears the same relation to the true Church of Christ as the rot of a rotten apple bears to the apple which it is rotting. Just as rot occupies the apple, depends on the apple, cannot exist without the apple, yet is quite different from the apple (as uneatable is different from eatable), so man-centred Conciliarism so occupies Christ’s Church that little of the Church is not more or less rotten, yet Conciliarism is so different from Catholicism that one can truly say that the Conciliar Church is not the Catholic Church.”
As an apple oxidizes, it undergoes a substantial change from “apple” to “rot”. The rot has a different substantial form than the apple; hence, the essence of the rot and apple are different. Bishop Williamson, understanding this, distinguishes the apple (Catholic Church) from the rot (conciliar “church”) as two different substances (in both senses defined above). Of course, we have to keep in mind again that the Catholic Church cannot undergo a substantial change. The analogy, as with all analogies, is imperfect.
In his Eleison Comments Issue #360 (June 7, 2014) titled “Conciliar Church”, His Excellency continues to substantially (in both senses defined above) distinguish the Catholic Church from the conciliar “church”:
“The expression ‘Conciliar church’ obviously expresses a reality, something real, namely the mass of people and institutions professing themselves to be Catholic but in fact sliding into the practice of the new humanist religion of the Second Vatican Council. “Sliding,” because Conciliarism, or neo-modernism, is precisely designed to enable Catholics to maintain the appearances of the Faith while they empty out the substance.”
“On the one hand the rot belongs to the apple. All rot was once apple. The rot is a corruption of the apple, a parasite on the apple, it could not exist without the apple and it remains firmly attached to the apple unless and until the rotten part falls off. Likewise Conciliarism belongs to the Catholic Church insofar as everything Conciliar was once Catholic, it is a corruption of the Catholic Church, a parasite on the Catholic Church, it could not exist without the Catholic Church, and it remains firmly attached to some part of the Catholic Church unless and until it destroys that part, as it was designed to do.”
“On the other hand the rot does not belong to the apple. No apple was ever meant to go rotten. All rot is a transformation of some apple, a corruption and parasite of apple, transforming it for the worse, resulting in something quite different from apple, something which nobody in his right mind would dream of eating or of saying that it was no different from apple. Likewise Conciliarism does not belong to the Catholic Church, it is a corruption of something Catholic and is a parasite on whatever is Catholic. It transforms (a human part of) the Catholic Church for the worse, resulting in something essentially non-Catholic which no Catholic in his right mind would call Catholic or want to associate with, on pain of losing his faith.”
“In brief, Conciliarism is rot, and the ‘Conciliar church’ is the one divine-human Church being rotted in one or other of its human aspects. Of course the Catholic Church will last to the end of the world (Mt. XXVIII, 20), while the ‘Conciliar church’ is merely one in a long line of parasite churches down the ages, living on what they rot and rotting what they live on. A plague on all liberals, confused and confusing!”
Let us now move to 2017. In his Eleison Comments Issue #495 (January 7, 2017) titled “Vatican ‘War'”, His Excellency writes:
“In today’s crisis of the Church, of an unprecedented gravity in all Church history, it is most important that Catholics should give due importance both to the Traditional movement and to the Catholic Church outside the Traditional movement. Tradition in its broadest sense, meaning everything which Our Lord entrusted to his Church to be handed down (tradendumin Latin) to world’s end, is indispensable to the Church, and the Traditional movement has played an indispensable part in preserving Traditional doctrine and sacraments from their destruction by the Conciliar Revolution over the last half-century. But to survive, the Traditional movement had to place itself outside the normal hierarchical structure of the Church, and that structure is very much part of Tradition – ‘Peter, feed my sheep’ (Jn XXI, 17). Therefore however deep is the Conciliar corruption in Rome, Catholics must still be looking to Rome.”
A faithful adherent to the position of Archbishop Lefebvre knows that Tradition and the followers of Tradition, objectively speaking, are the Catholic Church. However, from the portion of the above paragraph that I have placed in bold, we should see that His Excellency has shifted his thinking regarding the relationship between the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church”. For if the “Traditional movement” (followers of the Archbishop) is only that, a movement, within the larger structure of the Catholic Church, then it stands to reason that the rest of the Catholic Church is composed of the conciliar “church”. It is therefore no longer that the apple (Catholic Church) and the rot (conciliar “church”) are two different substances (in both senses defined in the beginning); rather, the conciliar “church” (rot) forms an essential part of the Catholic Church (apple), along with the Traditional movement. Note here that the analogy has shifted from one thing being substantially different from another thing (in both senses of substance defined in the beginning) to one thing forming an essential part of another thing. The latter would be akin to stating that the rational soul forms an essential part of man. Nevertheless, the point I am trying to make is that His Excellency used to clearly distinguish the relationship between the Catholic Church and the conciliar “church” as substantially different (in both senses of substance defined in the beginning). Now he makes the relationship between the two of one (conciliar “church”) forming an essential part of another (Catholic Church).
His Excellency basically repeats what he wrote in Issue #495 during a sermon, at the 34 minutes and 40 seconds mark, given at the first Pontifical Mass of His Excellency Bishop Gerardo Zendejas on May 12, 2017:
“Let us not believe that Tradition has a monopoly on Catholicism. Catholicism is much much more than the dear movement of Tradition of today….May Our Lady look after all Catholics in whatever part of the Church they are to be found.”
Earlier in the same sermon, at the 24 minutes and 10 seconds mark, His Excellency said:
“When an apple goes rotten, it is still an apple, even if it’s a rotten apple….It’s still the same apple as the one that was rotten. The Catholic Church has gone conciliar. It’s still the Church, even though it’s rotten, with conciliarism, with Vatican II.”
Compare the above with what His Excellency wrote in 2014:
All rot is a transformation of some apple, a corruption…….resulting in something essentially non-Catholic which no Catholic in his right mind would call Catholic or want to associate with, on pain of losing his faith.
The impression is that rot (conciliar “church”) and apple (Catholic Church) in 2014 are substantially different (in both senses of substance defined in the beginning); in 2017, they are accidentally different (or as mentioned earlier, that the conciliar “church” forms part of the essence of the Catholic Church).
Finally, in his Eleison Comments Issue #523 (July 22, 2017) titled “Menzingen’s Mistake III”, His Excellency writes:
“But, one replies, in real life, as the rot of an apple is and is not apple, so the Conciliar Church is and is not the Church. In real life, the Society is not dealing only with the Catholic Church or a Catholic Pope, but directly with Conciliar rot.”
Even though His Excellency doesn’t go into more detail in this issue on how the rot (conciliar “church”) of an apple (Catholic Church) is and is not apple, we can prudently state, based on what he wrote and said earlier in the same year, that the difference between the conciliar “church” and Catholic Church is not substantial (in both senses of substance defined in the beginning). Furthermore, it would not make sense to state that “the rot of an apple is apple” if the difference was intended by His Excellency to be qualified as substantial (in both senses of substance defined in the beginning).
To conclude, I have shown the conciliarization of Bishop Williamson’s thinking regarding the Catholic Church. As such, His Excellency has deviated from the Archbishop’s position on a major point in the fight for Catholic Tradition.