Is Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer Still Part of the True Resistance?

Last month in this post I asked four questions of Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer to which he answered (not directly to me) in a conference he gave on July 28 in St. Mary’s, Kansas.  Here are the four questions and the answers in my own words along with some commentary.

1) Why did Fr. Pfeiffer have Fr. Poisson conditionally ordained by Ambrose Moran if Fr. Pfeiffer believes that the new rite of episcopal consecration is valid?

Fr. Poisson was conditionally ordained by Ambrose Moran to put at ease the minds of the faithful.

First of all, a conditional ordination ought not to be done for the sake of the faithful.  It ought only to be done when there is positive doubt about the first ordination.  Otherwise, a sacrilege, objectively speaking, is committed.  Here are the words of Archbishop Lefebvre in a conference he gave in 1983 to the seminarians of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary (full text can be downloaded from this post; note that the “NB” and the words that follow in parentheses were added and hence are not the words of Archbishop Lefebvre):

Now Fr. Pfeiffer himself acknowledged that he had no doubt about Fr. Poisson’s ordination administered by the Novus Ordo bishop and yet he proceeded to have Ambrose Moran conditionally ordain Fr. Poisson for the sake of the faithful.  Therefore, Fr. Pfeiffer, objectively speaking, participated in an act of sacrilege.  Nevertheless, did Fr. Pfeiffer succeed in putting at ease the minds of the faithful?  No.  Fr. Pfeiffer admitted that this act backfired.  My question is, “How could Fr. Pfeiffer not think otherwise beforehand?”  He quietly brought back onto the scene a man who he disassociated from back in November 2015 because of the concerns of the faithful.  How then was this supposed to put at ease the minds of the faithful???

2) If Ambrose Moran is a valid bishop, and since he conditionally ordained Fr. Poisson, why is the argument now directed towards proving the validity of the new rite of episcopal consecration?

Fr. Pfeiffer visited again the cathedral in Chicago in January 2019 where Ambrose Moran was allegedly consecrated a bishop  in 1976 and spoke to the same Orthodox priest he spoke to in October 2015.  This time Fr. Pfeiffer got the runaround which caused his certainty about the 1976 consecration to become a doubt.  This doubt caused Fr. Pfeiffer to “can” Ambrose Moran.

Despite this, Fr. Pfeiffer still states that Ambrose Moran is a valid bishop.  My question is, “Considering that Ambrose Moran’s alleged 1976 consecration is now doubtful in Fr. Pfeiffer’s mind and considering that Ambrose Moran’s alleged consecration by Cardinal Slipyj is even more doubtful in Fr. Pfeiffer’s mind, then what are the grounds for Fr. Pfeiffer still accepting Ambrose Moran as a valid bishop?”

Note that at about 1:29:00 of the conference Fr. Pfeiffer admits that Ambrose Moran was consecrated (allegedly) in an “Orthodox” cathedral in 1976.  Yet all this time Fr. Pfeiffer has been saying that the principal consecrating bishop and the cathedral were both Catholic in 1976.  Hmm.

3) If Ambrose Moran is a valid bishop, what is the paperwork problem that now prevents Fr. Pfeiffer from using Ambrose Moran to ordain the OLMC seminarians?

See the answer to Question 2.

4) If there is a now a paperwork problem that prevents Fr. Pfeiffer from using Ambrose Moran to ordain the OLMC seminarians, why was this paperwork problem not a problem at the time that Fr. Pfeiffer used Ambrose Moran to conditionally ordain Fr. Poisson?

Fr. Pfeiffer was certain that Ambrose Moran was consecrated a bishop in 1976 based on his first visit to the cathedral in Chicago.

Now we come to the question asked in the title of this post, that is, is Fr. Pfeiffer still part of the True Resistance?  First, let us define the True Resistance.  The True Resistance is the Catholic response in the line of Archbishop Lefebvre to the errors promoted by the neo-SSPX.  More broadly speaking, the True Resistance is the adherence to Catholic Tradition and the countering in the line of Archbishop Lefebvre the errors of Vatican II and the erroneous responses to the crisis caused by the errors of Vatican II.  The Fake Resistance, unofficially led by Bishop Richard Williamson, can fall into either of these two definitions.  Second, let us list a few principles of the True Resistance that are in accord with the Catholic Faith and the line of Archbishop Lefebvre, but that Fr. Pfeiffer has violated:

  1. A sacrament that places an indelible mark on the soul ought not to be repeated unless there is a positive doubt about the validity of the first administration of that sacrament.
  2. A sacrament ought not to be allowed to be administered or be received without a moral certitude regarding the validity of that sacrament and that the one administering the sacrament is faithful to Catholic Tradition and the line of Archbishop Lefebvre, except in circumstances where the Catholic Church has allowed it otherwise (e.g., receiving the Sacrament of Penance by a heretical priest due to an emergency).
  3. One ought not to unite in worship in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with a priest or bishop who holds to error or is silent on error (see In Defence of the Red Light Position,  which was approved by Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko at the time).
  4. One ought not to engage in tradecumenism (see a sermon on this topic here)
  5. When citing the Church’s canon law, one ought to first and foremost look towards citing the 1917 Code of Canon Law.

Regarding the first point, we have already seen above how Fr. Pfeiffer violated this principle.

Regarding the second point, Fr. Pfeiffer admits in the conference that he asked Bishop Williamson (and the other False Resistance bishops) to come and administer the Sacrament of Holy Orders before approaching Ambrose Moran.  Then in having Ambrose Moran conditionally ordain Fr. Poisson, the validity of the sacrament is placed into question because Ambrose Moran was not ever consecrated by a Catholic bishop.  Furthermore, Ambrose Moran seems to have the implicit approval to say Mass at (at least) one chapel where Fr. Pfeiffer does (see the story here and note that Fr. Pfeiffer’s latest disassociation from Ambrose Moran was only in regards to his episcopal powers and not his priestly powers).  But remember that Ambrose Moran was not ever even ordained by a Catholic bishop.  Hence, even the validity of his Masses is placed into question.  To boot, we now have Ambrose Moran confirming Fr. Pfeiffer’s faithful with or without Fr. Pfeiffer’s approval (see here).  And these inroads of Ambrose Moran amongst Pfeiffer’s faithful are happening despite the fact that Ambrose Moran has publicly placed into doubt the validity of the episcopal consecration of Archbishop Lefebvre himself (which by the way demonstrates Ambrose Moran’s poor knowledge of Catholic sacramental theology)!  Incredible!  Where is Fr. Pfeiffer’s condemnation of Ambrose Moran by name as he has often done so in the past of others???

Regarding the third point, uniting in worship in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with one who holds to error would most likely happen if Bishop Williamson were to come and ordain the seminarians because the Sacrament of Holy Orders is usually conferred during Mass.  Nevertheless, in actuality, we have the case of Fr. Pancras Raja, who has been welcomed to be part of OLMC and celebrate Mass for nearly a year now despite the fact that he held (and perhaps still does) the position that one must attend, under pain of mortal sin, the Masses of the neo-SSPX when no Resistance Mass is available (hear here at 31:20 Fr. Pfeiffer’s weak defence when questioned regarding taking on Fr. Raja).

Regarding the fourth point, it is shown by what was said in the second and third points.  Understand that associating in the sacraments with the False Resistance and/or those who do not red light the Masses of the neo-SSPX after all that has happened since 2012 are variants of tradecumenism, a term originally coined for the neo-SSPX’s association with the Indult/Ecclesia Dei communities.

Regarding the fifth point, after Ambrose Moran declared that I excommunicated myself, Fr. Pfeiffer got his seminarians together and defended Ambrose Moran’s statement by referring, as did Ambrose Moran, to the “Apostolic Canons” which have not had canonical force since the promulgation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.  Why was not the 1917 Code cited as Fr. Pfeiffer usually does?

There are others matters that Fr. Pfeiffer has contravened that simply deal with prudence and common sense.  For example, Fr. Pfeiffer has stated to several people that even if Ambrose Moran was found to have lied about some aspects of his past (e.g., whether he was truly sacramentally involved with schismatics, whether he was truly guilty of complaints raised to police about him, etc.), he would still use Ambrose Moran because he is a valid bishop.  Really?  Is this the type of person we want in the True Resistance?

Given all that I stated above, I can no longer accept Fr. Pfeiffer as being part of the True Resistance.  This would even be the case if he always acted in good faith because it would still demonstrate poor judgment over and over again on his part.  As such, I cannot place my soul or the souls of those I love into his hands.  The damage he has done to the True Resistance is significant by placing the good of his seminary and apostolate above it.  The motto I see now guiding Fr. Pfeiffer is “if you are a valid priest or bishop and you are willing to help me, I will take you”.  This is insufficient for a Catholic and a faithful follower of Archbishop Lefebvre to go by.  I ask you instead to please support the apostolate of Fr. David Hewko.  His sermons may be found here.  Leaving Fr. Pfeiffer was a blessing as it got him back on track the path of the True Resistance.  Nevertheless, please let us keep Fr. Pfeiffer and all priests in our prayers.  We know that it is only through Our Lady that this mess in the Church will finally be cleaned up.


Fr. Pancras Raja and the Kentucky Fathers

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:

 


Bishop Williamson, the Fake Resistance, and the Kentucky Fathers

As most of you are aware, His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson and the Kentucky Fathers (Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer and Fr. David Hewko) are at odds with each other.  Things really started to heat up after His Excellency’s infamous comments regarding active attendance at the Novus Ordo Mass spoken in June 2015.  Eventually it got to the point where the term “Fake (or False) Resistance” was applied by the Kentucky Fathers and their supporters towards Bishop Williamson and his supporters.  The Winter 2017 Issue of Gladium published by the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seminary defines the Fake Resistance as such:

 

“The Fake Resistance was a movement, beginning in 2013, engineered to neutralize the real Resistance, and lead souls in the very same direction of compromise, while at the same time appearing to be ‘conservative’.”

 

Then it continues:

 

“What is wrong with the Fake Resistance? Why are their teachings so unclear? The answer is in the DOCTRINAL errors of the Fake Resistance. Led by Bp. Williamson, it is meant to channel Traditional Catholics to the novel idea that the New Mass and Vatican II are indeed bad and harmful, but that they are merely a secondary problem. So they will insist that the New Religion can help you live your faith, but not that it is really deadly to souls. They insist that the problem of Vatican II is that it is ‘ambiguous’ but not that it is erroneous and heretical.”

 

Prior to the publication of this issue of Gladium, Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko gave conferences (see herehere, and here) in September 2017 on the errors of Bishop Williamson.  Fr. Hewko, on August 28, 2016, preached (see here) that we should tell Bishop Williamson not to come to the missions to give confirmations until he renounces his errors.  Here is a clip from this August 28, 2016 sermon:

 

 

Fr. Hewko has also preached on several occasions that we should not attend the Masses of Bishop Williamson.  Now I must admit that I have never heard Fr. Pfeiffer publicly say these things.  However, I remember driving Fr. Pfeiffer to the Toronto airport after Mass on March 12, 2017 and I asked him whether he would celebrate Mass with Bishop Williamson.  Fr. Pfeiffer responded that he doesn’t think he would.  Nonetheless, the true (and even fake) Resistance faithful know that if a bishop or priest publicly teaches errors we should avoid his Masses.  We apply the red light to neo-SSPX Masses and the same we do to fake Resistance Masses.

 

Given, then, what I have written above, I was disturbed to read on The Catacombs forum a post made by a forum member, who goes by the name of Machabees and is an avid proponent of the Kentucky Fathers, that Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko wrote in May 2018 to Bishop Williamson to come administer the sacraments at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church and seminary, and that they have been doing this every year.  Here is the quote:

 

“The SSPX-mc priests (Frs. Pfeiffer and Hewko) wrote another letter (sent via confirmed email) this past May 2018 to Bishop Williamson, as they do every year, requesting Holy oils, Confirmations, and elevations to priesthood for the Traditional Catholic seminarians present serving the Church.”  

 

Here is a screenshot of part of Machabees’ post:

 

 

When I read this, I said to myself, “What!”  How could Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko preach that Bishop Williamson teaches errors and, in the case of Fr. Hewko, preach that we should not go to his Masses, and yet write to him to come administer the sacraments?  Another forum member, Fidelis, in the very next post iterated some of my thoughts on the matter:

 

“Shouldn’t BW recant first his heresies regarding the New Mass and openness to the Sedevacantist before one receives the Sacraments from him or it doesn’t matter considering the dire circumstances? If that is the case then what is the problem of going to the Orthodox Bishop or NovusOrdo for the ordination? The way I see it and please clarify, the False resistance must be treated with caution like the NeoSspx until they convert back to the stance of combat for the Faith!”

 

Here is a screenshot of Fidelis’ post:

 

 

My friends, please consider this.  Imagine if Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko wrote to Bishop Fellay to come to the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church and seminary to administer the sacraments despite the fact they preach that Bishop Fellay teaches errors.  What would be your reaction?  I hope it would be one of shock!  Now if Bishop Williamson is the leader of the fake Resistance, does that not place him in the same category as Bishop Fellay?  Yes; it does.  The common ground is that they both teach errors.  The difference between the two bishops, then, is only a matter of degree and not of substance.  So for Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko to preach one thing and then do another is very troubling.  Furthermore, the Kentucky Fathers’ willingness to have Bishop Williamson come administer the sacraments is a variant of tradecumenism, which was also condemned by them (see here).  Therefore, the question needs to be asked whether or not Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko are also part of the fake Resistance.  I wrote to the Fathers at least twice regarding their letters to Bishop Williamson and neither of them responded to me.

 

Now some defenders of the Kentucky Fathers might argue that the need for future true Resistance priests takes precedence over Bishop Williamson’s errors.  If that is the case, then those defenders should have no problem with the Kentucky Fathers asking a neo-SSPX, Sedevacantist, or a Vatican II adhering bishop consecrated before 1968 to come and perform ordinations for the Our Lady of Mount Carmel seminarians.  After all, as long as we have a moral certitude of validity, what’s the problem?  Well, the problem is that doctrine comes first.  Our fight first and foremost is a doctrinal one.  To set aside doctrine is no better than what the neo-SSPX is doing with Modernist Rome.  To set aside doctrine really undermines the very basis of our decision to be in the true Resistance in the first place.  How, then, will the Catholic Church continue without future priests?  This is not the concern of Fr. Pfeiffer or Fr. Hewko because being simple priests they do not have the sacerdotal power to make new priests.  A seminary requires a bishop because the output of that seminary are priests.  A priest has a moral obligation to run a seminary only if he is commanded to do so by a legitimate superior, but it is that superior that must provide the bishop.  Since Fr. Pfeiffer, a simple priest, runs the Our Lady of Mount Carmel seminary, but is not being commanded to run it by any legitimate superior (who would anyways need to provide a bishop), he has no moral obligation to run it.  Yet he speaks and acts as if he does have moral obligation to do so.  This leads him to seek out the ministerial services of a compromising bishop (or even one that has questionably valid orders).  This places in danger the Faith (or even the validity of the sacraments) for the sake of a seminary.  In essence, that which Fr. Pfeiffer is morally obliged to provide (e.g., the Faith and valid sacraments) becomes endangered by that which he is not morally obliged to provide (e.g., a seminary).

 

In my communications with Fr. Rafael, O.S.B., regarding this matter, he stated that Fr. Pfeiffer should not set aside doctrine for the sake of the sacraments and should be willing to lose each and every seminarian rather than compromise with the fake Resistance or questionably valid bishops.  I must agree.

 

Let us keep the Kentucky Fathers in our prayers.

 

Addendum – screenshots of the YouTube videos linked to above: