Bishop Williamson Refuses to Commit Himself on Proposition regarding the New Mass

In the April 2016 issue of the Catholic Candle, there is an article (see p. 3) in which the author poses the following proposition to several Resistance bishops and priests:


“No one should ever attend the new mass because it is inherently evil.”


The author requested an affirmation of agreement to this proposition.  One would think that a Resistance bishop or priest would have no problem agreeing to this proposition.  After all, opposing the New Mass is a central issue in our fight for the preservation of Catholic Tradition.  Unfortunately, though, His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson responded refusing to take a stand one way or the other.  He would not commit himself.  This is very disappointing.  His Excellency had an opportunity here to give us hope that he had reversed the bad advice he gave to the lady in Mahopac, NY, in which he basically told her that she could continue attending the New Mass given her circumstances.  However, it did not happen. Instead, we are left scratching our heads on how a Resistance bishop can possibly refuse to affirm such a basic proposition.


Let us recall that in the past His Excellency had no problem publicly saying things such as the New Mass is “illicit in any case”, that it is “intrinsically evil”, and that “one may not attend a valid, illicit Mass anymore than a Satanic Mass”.  Let us also recall that His Excellency, as seminary rector, required the Declaration of Fidelity to the Position of the Society of St. Pius X to be signed by seminarians in the United States and Argentina prior to them being ordained to the subdiaconate.  Part of the Declaration states that “the new rite is in itself bad” and consequently that “I shall never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in such a Mass.”  The proposition above simply falls in line with the Declaration and yet His Excellency would not commit himself to it.  This is definitely very concerning for the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre who are witnessing one of his spiritual sons wavering on such a fundamental issue as the New Mass.


Let us pray for His Excellency that he returns to publicly denouncing the New Mass as clearly and forcefully as he has publicly done in the past.   

Pray For Fr Picot


Yesterday we received the following message from Rev. Fr. Chazal:
Dear Faithful

Father Picot is in an advanced state of tuberculosis, and he is laid up for two weeks.

He is in Korea right now, in whose doctors we have more confidence than those of Cebu.

He will be alright, but we entrust his quick recovery to your prayers, because in the meantime all his missions are canceled and his courses in the microseminary.

François Chazal +

No Public Apology Forthcoming to Bishop Williamson

There have been calls for me to publicly apologize to Bishop Williamson for my criticism of the counsel he gave to a lady in Mahopac, NY during his June 28, 2015 conference in which he told her that it was morally acceptable for her to continue assisting at the New Mass given her circumstances.  The defenders of Bishop Williamson say that they found evidence that Archbishop Lefebvre said a similar thing in 1979.  Here is that purported evidence.  After reading this evidence, those calling for me to publicly apologize will be disappointed to hear that there will no public apology forthcoming from me.  The Archbishop in this purported evidence is simply considering the precise judgement that should be made on those priests who celebrate the New Mass and those faithful who attend the New Mass.  The Archbishop here recognizes that the matter of celebrating or attending the New Mass is grave and that their full consent on the part of those who celebrate it or attend it.  However, the Archbishop also recognizes that there is the lack of knowledge regarding the gravity of the matter on the part of many who fully consent.  Therefore, they do not subjectively sin.  One must be careful then when broaching this subject with such people.  However, nowhere does the Archbishop state in this purported evidence that it is okay to counsel such people that it is morally acceptable to celebrate or attend the New Mass.  Rather, the Archbishop emphasizes that such people must not be condemned.  After all, the pope, bishops, and priests approve of the New Mass.  Therefore, to tell them that the New Mass is evil and that consequently one must not celebrate it or attend it has to be done carefully and gently.  As a matter of fact, there may even be times when it is better not to mention it at all.  For example, let us say that someone who you just met happens to tell you that she is a Catholic and that she attended a wonderful Mass that very morning.  Let us also say that by the conversation it is clear that she attended a New Mass.  Depending on the situation, it may be better to keep your mouth shut and not bring up the evils of the New Mass as you reckon that it is not an opportune time and that hence she would not benefit if you brought up the subject.  Rather, you surmise that she may actually get turned off.  There is no sin committed by you in keeping silent in this case.  Now it is true that Bishop Williamson handled the case of the lady in Mahopac, NY carefully and gently.  However, the problem is that he advised her that she could continue attending the New Mass given her circumstances.  This was done in the context of a soul seeking direct counsel from a shepherd of souls on the matter of the New Mass.  In this situation, Bishop Williamson had a duty to tell her the truth about the evils of the New Mass and consequently counsel her to stop attending it.  But that is not what he did!


Let us, nonetheless, for the sake of argument, be very generous to those who may object and say that it could be inferred from what the Archbishop said in 1979 that he left open the possibility of counselling people who found themselves in favourable circumstances that it would be acceptable for them to attend the New Mass.  After all, the Archbishop was not as hard on the New Mass in the years shortly after its promulgation as he was in later years.  I personally don’t understand how a doctor in philosophy and theology (which the Archbishop was) could give advice contrary to what he himself admitted to be grave matter.  But nevertheless, for the sake of argument, let us give the objectors this bone.  We can then reply to this objection by stating that it was only two years later, in 1981, that the Archbishop started to require the signing of the Declaration of Fidelity to the Positions of the Society of St. Pius X by seminarians prior to them being ordained to the subdiaconate.  Part of this Declaration states the following:


“I affirm that the new rite of Mass does not, it is true, formulate any heresy in an explicit manner, but that it departs ‘in a striking manner overall as well as in detail, from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass’, and for this reason the new rite is in itself bad.


“That is why I shall never celebrate the Holy Mass according to this new rite, even if I am threatened with ecclesiastical sanctions; and I shall never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in such a Mass.” 


Note two important points.  Firstly, that the New Mass is in itself bad.  Secondly, that the New Mass being in itself bad causes one who signs the Declaration to never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in it.  In consonance with this, the Archbishop stated the following in a conference he gave in 1990, one year before his death:


“Because people are still asking us those questions: ‘I have not the Mass of St. Pius V on Sunday, and there is a mass said by a priest that I know well, a holy man, so, wouldn’t be better to go to the mass of this priest, even if it is the new mass but said with piety instead of retaining myself?’ No! That’s not true! This is not true! Because this rite is bad! Is bad, is bad. This is the reason why this rite is bad, he is poisoned! It is a rite poisoned!” 


The Archbishop went to his death being firm on the principles enunciated in the Declaration.  This is part of the legacy he handed down to his spiritual sons and followers.


Bishop Williamson at one time too publicly held the principles of the Declaration regarding the New Mass.  As Rector for many years in both the United States and Argentina, he required his seminarians ready for ordination to the subdiaconate to sign the same Declaration.  Unfortunately, however, his response to the lady in Mahopac, NY was a deviation from the principle that “I shall never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in such a Mass”.  Since that day, I have been hoping that he would publicly retract his statement, admit that he made an error and that he really doesn’t hold that position, state that he was caught off guard and felt sorry for the lady and consequently gave her a soft but wrong answer, or give whatever statement that would place him back in line with the transgressed principle of the Declaration.  But now it almost 10 months later and His Excellency has not publicly retracted his bad advice in any manner whatsoever despite the fact that it has caused much scandal and infighting within the Resistance.  He could make things right again, but he has not done so.  What then are we do about it?  Other than trying to persuade His Excellency to retract his statement, I am not certain.  The good news, though, is that His Excellency has not publicly repeated this bad advice, at least as far as I am aware.  And according to Fr. Chazal, His Excellency even showed some regret.  I wish, however, that His Excellency would say it publicly for the benefit of all!  On the other hand, what I am certain about is that the last thing we should do is perform mental gymnastics in trying to defend His Excellency’s bad advice.  There have been countless forum and blog pages dedicated to doing exactly this! These defenders are doing the same thing as the defenders of Bishop Fellay, that is, distorting the Archbishop’s position for the sake of their defendant.  It is so sad to see this arguing on such a basic issue as active attendance at the New Mass.  A follower of the Archbishop should have already accepted as a closed issue that we can neither actively attend nor positively advise others to actively attend the New Mass.  But alas, the damage has been done.  And only His Excellency can repair it.  Hope is not completely lost that he will do so and do so publicly.  Let us storm heaven with our prayers for this end.


As for me, I do not need to publicly apologize because I was correct in my assessment that His Excellency’s advice to the lady in Mahopac, NY is not consonant with the position of the Archbishop.

Introduction of the 1983 Code of Canon Law into the Society of St. Pius X

The following is taken from the February 1992 issue of the Cor Unum, official publication for the priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).  The 1983 Code of Canon Law was introduced into the Society of St. Pius X in February 1992, less than one year after the death of Archbishop Lefebvre.   When the SSPX becomes canonically regularized, the principles outlined herein will go out the window and the 1983 Code of Canon Law will become the sole binding document.




  1.  The purpose of the law is to serve justice. Ecclesiastical laws have the objective of allowing the faithful to practice justice by placing them in favourable situations where Christian life is made possible and by removing situations that are dangerous to faith and customs.
  1. The reception of the new Canon Law poses in this regard a real problem of conscience for Catholics. Firstly, the Law distances itself in a dramatic way, in its totality and in detail, from the protection due to Faith and Morals. And secondly, we do not intend to jeopardize respect for legitimate authority.
  1. Archbishop Lefebvre, for all his wisdom, felt unable to settle the question of the validity of the promulgation of the Code, but the content – as the principles outlined in the apostolic letter of enactment (25 January 1983) – made him hold it as doubtful. In this case, according to canon 15 (n.14), this new legislation is not binding. In this situation, according to canon 23 (n. 21), the 1917 Code is not presumed revoked, but the new legislation must defer to the previous one and if possible be reconciled to the 1917 Code. The guiding principles of this delicate reconciliation follow.
  1. The 1917 Code is the reference in that it contains the spirit of the Church in all its purity and we follow it on principle to the extent that we can.
  1. This does not mean that we should outright reject the entire new Code. Indeed, on the one hand the law of the Church, even codified, does not form an inseparable whole that we must accept or reject. On the other hand certain norms of the new Code are justified because they provide a useful simplification or they correspond to a homogeneous development of the practice of the Church or to a better adaptation to circumstances. Thus, nothing prevents us from using that what is good in the new legislation and harmonizing it with the 1917 Code.
  1. We are obligated to refuse the new norms where they are opposed to the Catholic Faith or to the divine constitution of the Church or when they deviate from the protection due to Faith and Morals (eg., the new rules on mixed marriages, n. 1124-1129). In contrast, where the new norms are in accordance to what has been established (5) and appear justified, then we will retain them in place of the old in order not to deprive us or the faithful of the benefits they bring. (This is the case where certain impediments to marriage were removed: since the dispensing of ‘minor’ impediments was systematically granted, it was therefore justifiable to remove them). But where the new norms are not bad in themselves, but do not bring any improvement, we must insist on using the 1917 Code.
  1. Another principle must be applied: When the validity (of acts or sacraments) is at stake, it is difficult to declare as invalid that which is held as valid elsewhere in the Church, and on the other hand, there is also a practical necessity, for the good of the faithful, not to place them in opposition to the legislation in force in the official Church. In these cases, we opt for the 1983 norms, but then we reinforce our practice by leaning on the 1917 Code (for example, impediments to marriage due to age or close family relationships).
  1. Finally, regarding the matter and the form of the sacraments, we must err on the side of caution and, for example, consider as doubtful Confirmation conferred with oils other than olive oil, until the Church rules otherwise.

Decision approved in outline by the General Council in Rickenbach, 3 January 1992, developed by the Canonical Commission, and approved by the Superior General in Rickenbach, 8 February 1992.

62 Reasons to Reject the New Mass (Novus Ordo Missae)

1. Because the New Mass is not an unequivocal Profession of the Catholic Faith (which the traditional Mass is), it is ambiguous and with a Protestant flavor.  Therefore since we pray as we believe, it follows that we cannot pray with the New Mass in Protestant fashion and still believe as Catholics!


2. Because the changes were not just slight ones but actually “deal with a fundamental renovation … a total change … a new creation.” (Msgr. A. Bugnini, co-author of the New Mass)


3. Because the New Mass leads us to think “that truths … can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic Faith is bound forever.”


4. Because the New Mass represents “a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent” which, in fixing the “canons,” provided an “insurmountable barrier to any heresy against the integrity of the Mystery.”


5. Because the difference between the two is not simply one of mere detail or just modification of ceremony, but “all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place (in the New Mass), if it subsists at all.”


6. Because “Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment in the faithful who already show signs of uneasiness and lessening of Faith.”


7. Because in times of confusion such as now, we are guided by the words of our Lord: “By their fruits you shall know them.” Fruits of the New Mass are: 30% decrease in Sunday Mass attendance in U.S. (NY Times, 5/24/75), 43% decrease in France (Cardinal Marty), 50% decrease in Holland (NY Times, 1/5/76).


8. Because “amongst the best of the clergy the practical result (of the New Mass) is an agonizing crisis of conscience…”


9. Because in less than seven years after the introduction of the New Mass, priests in the world decreased from 413,438 to 243,307 – almost 50%! (Holy See Statistics)


10. Because “The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition … do not seem to us sufficient.”


11. Because the New Mass does not manifest Faith in the Real Presence of our Lord – the Traditional Mass manifests it unmistakably.


12. Because the New Mass confuses the REAL Presence of Christ in the Eucharist with His MYSTICAL Presence among us (proximating Protestant doctrine).


13. Because the New Mass blurs what ought to be a sharp difference between the HIERARCHIC Priesthood and the common priesthood of the people (as does Protestantism).


14. Because the New Mass favors the heretical theory that it is THE FAITH of the people and not THE WORDS OF THE PRIEST which makes Christ present in the Eucharist.


15. Because the insertion of the Lutheran :”Prayer of the Faithful” in the New Mass follows and puts forth the Protestant error that all the people are priests.


16. Because the New Mass does away with the Confiteor of the priest, makes it collective with the people, thus promoting Luther’s refusal to accept the Catholic teaching that the priest is judge, witness and intercessor with God.


17. Because the New Mass gives us to understand that the people concelebrate with the priest – which is against Catholic theology!


18. Because six Protestant ministers collaborated in making up the New Mass: George, Jasper, Shepherd, Kunneth, Smith and Thurian.


19. Because just as Luther did away with the Offertory – since it very clearly expressed the sacrificial, propitiatory character of the Mass – so also the inventors of the New Mass did away with it, reducing it to a simple Preparation of the Gifts.


20. Because enough Catholic theology has been removed that Protestants can, while keeping their antipathy for the True Roman Catholic Church, use the text of the New Mass without difficulty. Protestant Minister Thurian (co-consultor for the ‘New Mass’ project) said that a fruit of the New mass “will perhaps be that the non-Catholic communities will be ale to celebrate the Lord’s Supper using the same prayers as the Catholic Church.” (La Croix, 4/30/69)


21. Because the narrative manner of the Consecration in the New Mass infers that it is only a memorial and not a true sacrifice (Protestant thesis).


22. Because by grave omissions, the New Mass leads us to believe that it is only a meal (Protestant doctrine) and not a sacrifice for the remission of sins (Catholic Doctrine).


23. Because the changes such as: table instead of altar; facing people instead of tabernacle; Communion in the hand, etc., emphasize Protestant doctrines (e.g., Mass is only a meal; priest only a president of the assembly; Eucharist is NOT the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, but merely a piece of bread, etc.).


24. Because Protestants themselves have said “the new Catholic Eucharistic prayers have abandoned the false (sic) perspective of sacrifice offered to God.” (La Croix, 12/10/69)


25. Because we are faced with the dilemma: either we become protestantized by worshipping with the New Mass, or else we preserve our Catholic Faith by adhering faithfully to the traditional Mass, the “Mass of All Time.”


26. Because the New Mass was made in accordance with the Protestant definition of the Mass: “The Lord’s Supper or Mass is a sacred synaxis or assembly of the people of God which gathers together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.” (Par. 7, Intro. to the New Missal, defining the New Mass, 4/6/69)


27. Because by means of ambiguity, the New Mass pretends to please Catholics while pleasing Protestants; thus it is “double-tongued” and offensive to God who abhors any kind of hypocrisy: “Cursed be … the double-tongued for they destroy the peace of many.” (Ecclesiasticus 28:13)


28. Because beautiful, familiar Catholic hymns which have inspired people for centuries, have been thrown out and replaced with new hymns strongly Protestant in sentiment, further deepening the already distinct impression that one is no longer attending a Catholic function.


29. Because the New Mass contains ambiguities subtly favoring heresy, which is more dangerous than if it were clearly heretical since a half-heresy half resembles the Truth!


30. Because Christ has only one Spouse, the Catholic Church, and her worship service cannot also serve religions that are at enmity with her.


31. Because the New Mass follows the format of Cranmer’s heretical Anglican Mass, and the methods used to promote it follow precisely the methods of the English heretics.


32. Because Holy Mother Church canonized numerous English Martyrs who were killed because they refused to participate in a Mass such as the New Mass!


33. Because Protestants who once converted to Catholicism are scandalized to see that the New Mass is the same as the one they attended as Protestants. One of them, Julien Green, asks: “Why did we convert?”


34. Because statistics show a great decrease in conversions to Catholicism following the use of the New Mass. Conversions, which were up to 100,000 a year in the U.S., have decreased to less than 10,000! And the number of people leaving the Church far exceeds those coming in.


35. Because the Traditional Mass has forged many saints. “Innumerable saints have been fed abundantly with the proper piety towards God by it …” (Pope Paul VI, Const. Apost. Missale Romanum)


36. Because the nature of the New Mass is such as to facilitate profanations of the Holy Eucharist, which occur with a frequency unheard of with the Traditional Mass.


37. Because the New Mass, despite appearances, conveys a New Faith, not the Catholic Faith. It conveys Modernism and follows exactly the tactics of Modernism, using vague terminology in order to insinuate and advance error.


38. Because by introducing optional variations, the New Mass undermines the unity of the liturgy, with each priest liable to deviate as he fancies under the guise of creativity. Disorder inevitably results, accompanied by lack of respect and irreverence.


39. Because many good Catholic theologians, canonists and priests do not accept the New Mass, and affirm that they are unable to celebrate it in good conscience.


40. Because the New Mass has eliminated such things as: genuflections (only three remain), purification of the priests fingers in the chalice, preservation from all profane contact of priest’s fingers after Consecration, sacred altar stone and relics, three altar clothes (reduced to one), all of which “only serve to emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.”


41. Because the traditional Mass, enriched and matured by centuries of Sacred Tradition, was codified (not invented) by a Pope who was a saint, Pius V; whereas the New Mass was artificially fabricated by six Protestant ministers and Msgr. Annibale Bugnini suspect of being a Freemason.


42. Because the errors of the New Mass which are accentuated in the vernacular version are even present in the Latin text of the New Mass.


43. Because the New Mass, with its ambiguity and permissiveness, exposes us to the wrath of God by facilitating the risk of invalid consecrations: “Will priests of the near future who have not received the traditional formation, and who rely on the Novus Ordo Missae with the intention of ‘doing what the Church does,’ consecrate validly? One may be allowed to doubt it!”


44. Because the abolition of the Traditional Mass recalls the prophecy of Daniel 8:12: “And he was given power against the perpetual sacrifice because of the sins of the people” and the observation of St. Alphonsus de Liguori that because the Mass is the best and most beautiful thing which exists in the Church here below, the devil has always tried by means of heretics to deprive us of it.


45. Because in places where the Traditional Mass is preserved, the Faith and fervor of the people are greater. Whereas the opposite is true where the New Mass reigns. (Report on the Mass, Diocese of Campos, Roma, Buenos Aires #69, 8/81)


46. Because along with the New Mass goes also a new catechism, a new morality, new prayers, new Code of Canon law, new calendar, — in a word, a NEW CHURCH, a complete revolution from the old. “The liturgical reform … do not be deceived, this is where the revolution begins.” (Msgr. Dwyer, Archbishop of Birmingham, spokesman of Episcopal Synod)


47. Because the intrinsic beauty of the Traditional Mass attracts souls by itself; whereas the New Mass, lacking any attractiveness of its own, has to invent novelties and entertainment in order to appeal to the people.


48. Because the New mass embodies numerous errors condemned by Pope St. Pius V at the Council of Trent (Mass totally in vernacular, words of Consecration spoken aloud, etc. See Condemnation of Jansenist Synod of Pistoia), and errors condemned by Pope Pius XII (e.g., altar in form of table. See Mediator Dei).


49. Because the New Mass attempts to transform the Catholic Church into a new, ecumenical church embracing all ideologies and all religions – right and wrong, truth and error – a goal long dreamt of by the enemies of the Catholic Church.


50. Because the New Mass, in removing the salutations and final blessing when the priest celebrates alone, shows a denial of, and disbelief in the dogma of the Communion of Saints.


51. Because the altar and tabernacle are now separated, thus marking a division between Christ in His priest-and-Sacrifice-on-the-altar, from Christ in His Real Presence in the tabernacle, “two things which of their very nature, must remain together.” (Pius XII)


52. Because the New Mass no longer constitutes a vertical worship between God and man, but rather a horizontal worship between man and man.


53. Because the New Mass, although appearing to conform to the dispositions of Vatican Council II, in reality opposes its instructions, since the Council itself declared its desire to conserve and promote the Traditional Rite.


54. Because the Traditional Latin Mass of Pope St. Pius V has never been legally abrogated and therefore remains a true rite of the Roman Catholic Church by which the faithful may fulfill their Sunday obligation.


55. Because Pope St. Pius V granted a perpetual indult, valid “for always,” to celebrate the Traditional Mass freely, licitly, without scruple of conscience, punishment, sentence or censure (Papal Bull Quo Primum).


56. Because Pope Paul VI, when promulgating the New Mass, himself declared. “The rite … by itself is NOT a dogmatic definition …” (11/19/69)


57. Because Pope Paul VI, when asked by Cardinal Heenan of England, if he was abrogating or prohibiting the Tridentine Mass, answered: “It is not our intention to prohibit absolutely the Tridentine Mass.”


58. Because “In the Libera nos of the New Mass, the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles and all the Saints are no longer mentioned; her and their intercession thus no longer asked, even in time of peril.”


59. Because in none of the three new Eucharistic Prayers (of the New Mass) is there any reference … to the state of suffering of those who have died, in none the possibility of a particular Memento, thus undermining faith in the redemptive nature of the Sacrifice.


60. Because we recognize the Holy Father’s supreme authority in his universal government of Holy Mother Church, but we know that even this authority cannot impose upon us a practice which is so CLEARLY against the Faith: a Mass that is equivocal and favoring heresy and therefore disagreeable to God.


61. Because, as stated in Vatican Council I, the “Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter, that by His revelation they might make new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of Faith delivered through the Apostles.” (Dnz 3070)


62. Because heresy, or whatever clearly favors heresy, cannot be a matter for obedience. Obedience is at the service of Faith and not Faith at the service of obedience! In this foregoing case then, “One must obey God before men.” (Acts 5:29)



Br. Francis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Oregon Joins the Fraternity of St. Francis

Br. Francis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Oregon has decided to join the Fraternity of St. Francis.  Deo gratias!  Br. Francis has been a professed member of the Third Order Secular for many years.  He was previously associated with the fraternity that was directed by the Boston, Kentucky Fathers.


We welcome Br. Francis to our fraternity.


Br. Francis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary