In this post, I challenged the owner of CathInfo to debate my paper in which I tore apart Mr. Sean Johnson’s paper regarding the subject of active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass. I am not surprised that the owner turned down my challenge. You may read his lame response here. Perhaps the owner should refrain in the future from making ad hominem attacks and concentrate instead on making constructive counterarguments. Nevertheless, the reality is that CathInfo has deviated from the line of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre because of the owner’s defence of Bishop Williamson’s advice to the lady in Mahopac, NY regarding active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass. Hence, CathInfo is a pseudo Archbishop Lefebvre forum.
There is another forum which claims itself faithful to Archbishop Lefebvre, so much so that it is called “Archbishop Lefebvre Forum“. This forum houses Mr. Sean Johnson (forum name is Br. Athanasius T.O.P.) as a moderator. You can guess, then, which side this forum takes on the debate regarding Bishop Williamson’s advice to the lady in Mahopac, NY. However, Br. Athanasius T.O.P. and the forum owner (forum name is Samuel), to their credit, have allowed me some leeway in debating issues of contention. They have allowed my paper to be published and have even put forth points of criticism, although these points are weak (listen to Episode 3 of Ecclesia Militans Radio where I spoke about a couple of these weak points). In addition, unlike the owner of CathInfo, they have allowed Episode 3 of Ecclesia Militans Radio to be and remain published. It is in response to this post made by Samuel regarding Episode 3 that I would like to make a few comments.
Samuel states, “A bit disappointing that no new arguments were presented in this rather long monologue, just the same old assumptions and prepackaged conclusions.” But Samuel I don’t need new arguments because neither you nor Br. Athanasius have been able to successfully counter-argue the main thesis in my paper that Bishop Williamson’s advice to the lady in Mahopac, NY runs contrary to the position of Archbishop Lefebvre. The counterpoints you brought up, especially the one regarding advising someone to steal a smaller amount, are at best poor reasoning. They show the mental somersaults you perform in order to try to defend the indefensible.
Samuel states, “Unless someone can come up with some clear Church doctrine that proves what Tony is trying to present as a fact, I see no other option than to wait until the Church one day settles the matter for us.” So let me get this straight, Samuel. Until the Church finally pronounces on the goodness or badness of active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass, its goodness or badness will remain open for debate. Is that what you are saying? I think that it is precisely what you are saying. Let us take a look at this post, which you wrote on October 6, 2016 (see here for the link to the full page). You stated, “Likewise with the NOM, we can recognize and treat it as sacrilegious, but we cannot elevate this opinion (emphasis mine) to the level of a dogma.” So to you, Samuel, the goodness or badness of active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass is a matter of opinion. Is this the level of certitude that the Archbishop held on this matter? No! First of all, I want to make clear that it is true that the Archbishop did not raise his position regarding active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass to the level of dogma. He knew he could not do that; I know I cannot do that. However, one does not have to hold a position as dogmatic prior to promoting that position without fear of the opposite being true. There are other degrees of certitude such as physical and moral certitude. It is with a moral certitude that the Archbishop held (as do I) that active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass is bad in itself (i.e., intrinsically evil). Otherwise, he would not have had his seminarians sign a Declaration of Fidelity to the Positions of the SSPX in which they promised to never celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass and never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in it. Declarations are not written and signed as opinion pieces. But to you, Samuel, that active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass is bad in itself is merely an opinion. You will wait instead until the Church makes a definitive pronouncement. How then does your position (i.e., that active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass is not bad in itself – taken from the fact that you support Bishop Williamson’s position) differ substantially from those who actively attend the Novus Ordo Mass themselves?
My friends, Samuel’s line of thinking is the type that results from straying from the clear line of Archbishop Lefebvre in defending the hazy line of Bishop Williamson. As with CathInfo, Samuel’s forum is a pseudo Archbishop Lefebvre forum. One cannot claim to be faithful to the Archbishop and deviate from his position on such a core issue as active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass.
Samuel, the true followers of the Archbishop would most appreciate if you would change your forum’s name to “Bishop Williamson Forum”. Please and thank you!