We would like to remind our readers that we cannot go to the NOM.
To support this recommendation, we refer to two sources:
1) The teaching of the SSPX prior to the change in direction:
2) The teaching of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre which follows:
“The current problem of the Mass is an extremely serious problem for the Holy Church. I believe that if the dioceses and seminaries and works that are currently done are struck with sterility, it is because the recent deviations drew upon us the divine curse. All the efforts that are made to hang on to what is being lost, to reorganize, reconstruct, rebuild, all that is struck with sterility, because we no longer have the true source of holiness which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Profaned as it is, it no longer gives grace, it no longer makes grace pass.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, August 1972, priestly retreat; can be found in A Bishop Speaks)
We remind our readers to re-read the works left to us by the Archbishop. They are possibly even more relevant to our situation today than they were at the time he wrote them. Truth does not change!
You may download here a paper I wrote called A Refutation of “A Catechetical Refutation”: Regarding a Defence Made of Bishop Williamson’s Comments on the Novus Ordo in response to a thesis in Mr. Sean Johnson’s paper called A Catechetical Refutation: Regarding Certain Objections Made to Bishop Williamson’s Comments on the Novus Ordo in which he defends Bishop Richard Williamson’s advice to a lady during a conference given in Mahopac, NY on June 28, 2015 regarding active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass. I argue that Bishop Williamson’s advice to the lady transgressed the Declaration of Fidelity to the Positions of the Society of St. Pius X written by the saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1981 on this essential matter.
I beg His Excellency to retract his advice and return to the position of his spiritual father, who consecrated him a bishop to carry forward the promotion and defence of Catholic Tradition. This must needs include the wholesale rejection of the Novus Ordo Mass and its active attendance.
Recently I received the following e-mail:
“St. Mary’s, KS recently has had separate visits by two priests, Fr. Tilosanec and Fr. McLucas.
“Fr. McLucas offered mass there a few weeks ago.
“Fr. Tilosaec offered masses, (one on a Sunday), heard confessions, and left ciboria of consecrated hosts in the tabernacle.
“Both priests were ordained in the dubious New Rite. Both have not been conditionally reordained, as was the requirement of Archbishop Lefebvre and the ‘Old SSPX’.
“Needless to say this has caused quite a stir in St. Mary’s.
“District headquarters was contacted by several people to no avail. The response was that conditional reordination is no longer necessary. Parishoners were told to ‘trust the SSPX’.
“Be aware of ‘visiting priests’ at the SSPX.”
The neo-SSPX is sinking more and more into the Novus Ordo world. It was toast years ago, but its colour becomes more like charcoal with each passing day. And yet there are those who claim to be part of the Resistance who still try to justify their attendance at neo-SSPX Masses! Even worse there are supposed Resistance bishops and priests who tell these attendees that it is okay to attend the Masses of certain neo-SSPX priests despite the fact that these same neo-SSPX priests have failed to publicly speak out against their leadership’s betrayal (now for over four years) of Catholic Tradition and the mission and memory of their saintly founder, Archbishop Lefebvre! Incredible! What exactly are these so called yellow lighters resisting? The common justification given is that these neo-SSPX priests are doctrinally orthodox in that they don’t teach heresy or errors, but only the truth. My counterargument is that, even if it true that they teach only the truth, is it really sufficient to teach the truth, but avoid condemning errors being taught by your own superiors? No! The flock need to be warned. These superiors have been given plenty of opportunity to publicly retract their errors, but they have not done so. Bishop Fellay, for example, still thinks that there is nothing wrong with his abominable April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration.
My friends, we must follow the mind of the Church in teaching the truth AND condemning errors contrary to that truth. These “doctrinally orthodox” neo-SSPX priests need to publicly condemn the errors of their superiors. Otherwise, they are really no better than the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter priests who do the same in teaching the truth, but remain publicly silent against the errors of their own superiors and consequently place their flock in spiritual danger. And the yellow lighters need to become red lighters. They can’t scream and shout against the errors of the neo-SSPX superiors, but then unite in the greatest act of public worship with priests who remain publicly silent against the same errors of these same superiors. Rather, they should get in the trenches, forgo the sacraments if they have to, and feed instead on the Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Spiritual Communions, traditional devotions, etc. May of us have done so for years and, by the grace of God, are still going strong. Deo gratias!
Pseudo-traditionalist groups include the Neo-SSPX, Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, Institute of the Good Shepherd, and other Ecclesia Dei communities who think they need canonical recognition from apostate Rome to be considered Catholic and/or special permission from the same to celebrate Mass according to the Roman Rite codified by Pope St. Pius V.
“No” to the Novus Ordo and these pseudo-traditionalist groups!
Follow instead the line of the saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Saint Athanasius of modern times.
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.
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.
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.
II. DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPER DISCIPLINE OF THE SSPX WITH RESPECT TO THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW
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.
The following link contains a gold mine of the works of Archbishop Lefebvre. Let us keep the Archbishop’s memory and mission intact and not distorted as it has been in the neo-SSPX.