The Recusant

An unofficial SSPX newsletter, fighting a guerilla war for the soul of Tradition!

What Is Bishop Williamson's Current Teaching?

(April 2017)

About a year ago, we produced an article entitled: “Which of the Following Statements is Acceptable to You?” Since then, that article has already been rendered obsolete and out-of-date by the several further statements by Bishop Williamson, each of which deepens and elaborates his stand against Tradition. Because we all have short memories, we thought it wise to at least try to collect them all in one place. It was no small endeavour. The wording is ours, the teaching his. We provide the original source, so that, as always, you can see for yourself. And as always, we invite the reader to check that we are not making this up or lifting quotes out of context. Judge for yourself…


On The Conciliar Church:


· The New Religion can be used to build your Faith. (1)


· The problem with Vatican II is that it is ambiguous. (2)


· It is dangerous to distance yourself from the conciliar church. By distancing yourself from it you risk becoming a Pharisee disconnected from reality. (3)


· There is still Faith in the conciliar church. (4, 20b)


· The conciliar church is the Mainstream Church. (3)


· There is still good in the conciliar church so we mustn’t reject it completely.(4, 5)


· Not all priests in the conciliar church should get out of it. (6)


· If you know someone trapped in the conciliar church, you don’t need try too hard to get them out of it. (7)


· Tradition is not necessary for salvation. (21c)


On the New Mass:


· There are Eucharistic miracles happening in the New Mass. These miracles are genuine and they have lessons for Traditional Catholics. (8)


· The New Mass can nourish your Faith. (1, 10)


· Though it is the principal destroyer of the Church, the New Mass can give grace and spiritual nourishment. (9)


· Attending the New Mass may do more good than harm spiritually. (1)


· The problem with the New Mass is that it is ambiguous. (2, 11, 15)


· Though not as good as the Traditional Mass, the New Mass is better than nothing. (12)


· Though dangerous, the New Mass is helping souls to keep the Faith. (10, 13)


· Not everyone should avoid the New Mass and not every New Mass should be avoided. (6, 14)


· The New Mass can be what you make of it. A priest can celebrate it decently, a layman can attend it devoutly. Those who say otherwise are flying in the face of reality. (15)


· How will your children/grandchildren keep the Faith? By going to the New Mass. (16)


· The Council of Trent says that there is grace in the New Mass, as long as it is valid. (17)


· People who say that you don’t get grace from the New Mass are just looking down their noses at Novus Ordo Catholics as though they’re trash. They almost don’t believe that Novus Ordo Catholics have souls. (18)


· Because the New Mass is a mixture of good parts and bad parts, good people can use it to keep the Faith whilst remaining within the Novus Ordo. (19)


· That some people find their way out of the New Mass and come to Tradition proves that the New Mass was giving them grace, which is what allowed them to do it. (10, 20)


· Novus Ordo Catholics who don’t understand about the problems with the New Mass can go to the New Mass and receive grace from it. (9, 21)


· Traditional Catholics who do understand about the problems with the New Mass can go to the New Mass and receive grace from it. (22)


· Almighty God and His Blessed Mother are using the New Mass to save the souls of Novus Ordo Catholics in the Novus Ordo and through the Novus Ordo. (21)


· Many New Masses are liberal and can’t be attended. Others aren’t and can be. (23)


On Sedevacantism:


· If someone wants to be a sedevacantist, we needn’t bother trying to show them that they are mistaken. (7)


· Not all sedevacantist Masses should be avoided. (24)


· Sedevacantism is dangerous and it can lead to losing the Faith, but you can be a sedevacantist if you want. (25)


On Where to Attend Mass:


· You can attend Mass at the SSPX. (26)


· You can attend Mass at a sedevacantist chapel. (24)


· You can attend Mass at a Feeneyite chapel. (27)


· You can attend the Indult/Motu Proprio Mass - just go to the least contaminated one. (28)


· You can attend some Novus Ordo Masses, though there are many which you can’t attend. (23)


· You can attend “Resistance” priests and bishops, (including me!) who compromise on Faith and Morals. (29)


· …but beware of Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko! (29)


On the Condemnations of the Church before the Council:


·  Lawful judgements or sentences pronounced by the Church before the Council may be belittled, disregarded or ignored at leisure if you personally disagree with them. (30)


·  Banned books on the Index, books containing heresy, immorality/impurity and books condemned by the Church can be read as long as you personally get something out of reading them. (31)


·  Banned books on the Index, containing heresy and immorality and condemned by the lawful sentence of the Church in 1949 can be promoted as being “...what God Himself has given to us.” (32)


On the Resistance, Authority and Structure:


· We needn’t bother imposing even a true viewpoint on anybody. (33)


· Priests and Bishops don’t have authority and so cannot advise people on what they should do or where they should go. People are on their own and have to work it out for themselves. (34)


· I don’t have any authority. I cannot have any authority. (34)


· Don’t look to me for leadership. I see my role as being a friend and adviser. (34a, 35)


· Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops to pass on his authority. (36)


· Why am I consecrating Fr. Zendejas? To pass on my authority. (36)


· Priestly Congregations and Seminaries are out of date. (37)


· There cannot be any structure or organisation in the Resistance, it just isn’t possible. It’s too late. The time for structures is over, is yesterday. (38, 39, 40)


· There can’t be any authority or structure in the Resistance without the Pope approving it. (39)


· I’m not sure what the Resistance is, what it should be, or even if I believe in the Resistance at all. (40, 41)


· I can use the apparent lack of structure/authority as an excuse to refuse to ordain or tonsure seminarians, because, after all, there is no structure for them to be ordained into. (42)


· Yet in spite of everything I have said about not having structure or authority, I can instantly go back on that if I perceive that having a structure and authority might help to defeat my “rivals”. (43)




Concordance of Sources:


1 - - 28th June 2015 - Mahopac, New York:

“While the new religion is false, it’s dangerous, it strangles grace and it’s helping many people to lose the Faith: at the same time, there are still cases where it can be used and is used still to build the Faith … The essential principle is: do whatever you need to do to keep the Faith. … There are cases where even the Novus Ordo Mass can be attended with an effect of building one’s Faith instead of losing it. … Be very careful with the Novus Ordo … But, exceptionally, if you’re watching and praying, even there you may find the grace of God. If you do, make use of it in order to sanctify your soul.”


2 - Eleison Comments #437:

“The Novus Ordo Mass, like Vatican II which it followed, is ambiguous, favours heresy and has led numberless souls out of the Church … Doctrinally, the Novus Ordo Mass is ambiguous, poised between the religion of God and the Conciliar religion of man. Now in matters of faith, ambiguity is deadly, being normally designed to undermine the Faith, as the Novus Ordo Mass frequently does. But as ambiguity is precisely open to two interpretations, so the Novus Ordo Mass does not absolutely exclude the old religion.”


3 - Eleison Comments #438:

“Therefore the NOM and the Novus Ordo Church as a whole are dangerous for the Faith, and Catholics are right who have clung to Tradition to avoid the danger. But as they have had to put a distance between themselves and the mainstream Church, so they have exposed themselves to the opposite danger of an isolation leading to a sectarian and even pharisaical spirit, disconnected from reality.”


4Eleison Comments #447:

“But if one respects reality, one is bound to admit that there is still faith in the Newchurch.”


5 – Eleison Comments #447:

“Two weeks ago these “Comments” stepped back onto a minefield, and defended the position that there is still something Catholic in what has become of the Catholic Church since Vatican II. … on the one side the present leaders of the Society of St Pius X act as though the official Church in Rome is still so Catholic that the SSPX cannot do without its official recognition. On the other side many souls that really have the Catholic faith utterly repudiate the idea that there is still anything Catholic whatsoever left in the “Church” now being led by “Pope” Francis… say that there is nothing at all of these [‘Catholic decency and devotion’] left in the Newchurch seems to me to be a gross exaggeration.”


6 – - 5th November 2014, St. Catherine’s, Ontario:

“I don’t say to everybody inside the Novus Ordo, priests and laity, I don’t say: ‘You’ve got to get out!’ ”


7 - Eleison Comments #348:

“Therefore, it seems to me, if James is convinced that to save his soul he must stay in the Newchurch, I need not hammer him to get out of it. If Clare is persuaded that there is no grave problem within the Society of St. Pius X, I need not ram down her throat why there is. And if John can see no way to keep the Faith without believing that the See of Rome is vacant, I need urge upon him no more than that that belief is not obligatory.”


8 – Eleison Comments #438:

“However, these [Novus Ordo] miracles – always assuming they are authentic – have lessons also for the Catholics of Tradition…”


9Eleison Comments #492:

“The NOM is the principal destroyer of the true Church, and the main engine of the Newchurch. …and so to innocent souls not yet aware of its intrinsic danger for the Faith, it can by its Consecration and good parts, still give grace and spiritual nourishment”


10Eleison Comments #445:

“…to this day there must be multitudes of Catholics who want and mean to be Catholics and yet assume that the right way to be Catholics is to attend the NOM every Sunday. And who will dare say that out of these multitudes there are none who are still nourishing their faith by obeying what seems to them (subjectively) to be their (objective) duty? God is their judge, but for how many years did easily most followers of Catholic Tradition have to attend the NOM before they understood that their faith obliged them not to do so? And if the NOM had in all those years made them lose the faith, how would they have come to Catholic Tradition?”


11 - - 18th September, 2016 - Emmett, Kansas:

“The ambiguity is the slide between the good and the bad.”


12 – Eleison Comments #437:

“So does it not make sense that in punishment for their modern worldliness these sheep would broadly lose the true rite of Mass, while in reward for their desire for Mass they would not lose every valid Mass?” - 19th September, 2016, Veneta, Oregon:

“The Novus Ordo is false, but it’s not only false, it’s part true part false. The false part is very dangerous, but the true part enables souls to keep the Faith.” - 28th June 2015 - Mahopac, New York:

“I do not say that every person should stay away from every single Novus Ordo Mass.”


15 - Eleison Comments #447:

“As an essential part of the subjective and ambiguous religion, the NOM can be what you make of it. A priest can celebrate it “decently,” a Catholic can attend it “devoutly.” The inverted commas are to placate the hard-liners who will insist that with the NOM there can be neither true decency nor true devotion, but when they say such things, I think that they are flying in the face of reality.”


16, 17 & 18 - - 20th May 2016, St. Athanasius, Vienna, VA:

“I’m sure you ask yourselves ‘What kind of word are my children going to have to grow up in? How are they going to keep the Faith?’ Very good questions. By prayer and Charity and by frequenting the sacraments, so long as they are still available, so long as it’s at all still possible to reach the sacraments. And some Novus - I’ve got into quite a lot of controversy for saying this, but it’s true - there is no question that some Novus Ordo Masses are valid. And if they’re valid, then it’s defined by the Council of Trent that grace passes, “ex opere operato” is the strict phrase. And you and I have no right before God to look down our noses and to write off these Catholics as though they’re just trash.”


AND - - 19th September 2016, Veneta, Oregon:

“I mean the problem - dare I say that the problem with many Traditional, with a number of Traditional Catholics: they almost don’t believe that Novus Ordo people have souls. The Novus Ordo is just a bunch of rejects who deserve to be abandoned. Well I don’t believe that that’s how God sees them.”


19 - - 18th September, 2016 - Emmett, Kansas:

“I mean, in real life, have you ever met a good person who’s nothing but good? Uh-uh. [No.] Have you ever met a bad person who’s nothing but bad? Uh-uh. In real life, it’s always a mixture of good and bad. And those rites are a mixture of good and bad. … I’m not saying the Novus Ordo is OK. I’m saying it’s - there is still good along side all the bad. The bad is terrible, you’re quite right to have gone away from the bad, don’t go back to it. But don’t say that there’s no good in it at all and that there can be no grace passed attending the Novus Ordo Mass”


20 a - - 18th September, 2016 - Emmett, Kansas:

“How do the many Novus Ordo souls that make their way to Tradition, how did they keep the Faith until they got to Tradition? Because they profited by what is still good in those bad rites.”



b - - 19th September, 2016 - Veneta, Oregon:

“But most souls that make their way to Tradition came from the Novus Ordo. And they came - did the Novus Ordo stop them from coming to Tradition? No. They realised that the Novus Ordo is not right, but it wasn’t so bad that it had corrupted their faith to the point where they couldn’t break out of it. Many souls in the Novus Ordo still have the Faith.”


21 a - - 19th September, 2016 - Veneta, Oregon:

“So you’ve got, if you want to keep the New Mass to be as like the old Mass as possible, you can do it to quite an extent. OK? So the New Mass is ambiguous. You’ve got the easy, soft alternatives which are going to lead to a complete change of the Catholics’ idea of the Mass, which is very bad, or you have got alternatives included which, if you want to stick to the old Mass, you can make the New Mass relatively like the old Mass. OK? So, you’re not obliged to apostatise. … OK, now those that want to stick to God: is God going to allow, to leave it easy for them to apostatise? Or is Almighty God and His Mother, are they still concerned with the salvation of all of these souls? The Novus Ordo people have souls. If they have souls, then the Mother of God wants to save them and Almighty God wants to save them, Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to save them.”



b “So, this new framework is making it easier for the people and the priests to forget what the Mass is. Do all Novus Ordo Catholics deserve to be left in that condition? Or do some of them deserve to be given a reminder of what the Mass is, to help them to pull themselves together and not just slide down and go with the flow? It seems to me that Almighty God has a concern for these, for the Novus Ordo - for many souls in the Novus Ordo, who do not deserve to be misled.”



c “You know, I mean Heaven has got all these souls to look after and try to get to heaven, not just those souls who make their way to Tradition.”


22 – - 18th September 2016, Emmett, Kansas:

Question: Then, does it mean that those knowing what they know, such as the souls here could go to that [Novus Ordo Mass] and expect to receive grace?

Bishop Williamson: If anybody here who knows what the Novus Ordo means went back to the Novus Ordo - pffff! - then [pause] - why would they want to go back? [laughter] Well, it’s, I would - they can receive grace. But they have to judge the priest…”


23 - - 25th September, 2016, Houston, Texas:

“A Mass which clearly pushes towards liberalism, like many Novus Ordo Masses, those you can’t attend.”


24 - - 25th September 2016, Houston, Texas

“You’ve got to do what you can. God doesn’t ask the impossible. He does ask the possible. The sedevacantist Mass is available. It’s close enough, and so - is it a devout priest? Is he a raving madman? Does he have the Faith? Sedevacantism is dangerous. But if there’s no other Mass available, I wouldn’t exclude attending it.”


25 - Eleison Comments #417:

“The opinion [sedevacantism] itself is dangerous precisely because it can be the beginning of a slide towards losing the Faith. … Now if a Catholic needs to hold that opinion in order not to lose his Catholic Faith, let him hold it.”


26 - - 18th September, 2016 - Emmett, Kansas:

“My opinion of the Society is that it is sinking, but not yet sunk. Now you may disagree with that, you're entitled to disagree with it, it’s only an opinion. I don’t think it’s yet sunk.”


AND - Eleison Comments #311 - June 2013:

“In particular there is confusion over whether to jump ship, i.e. stop attending SSPX masses. But why should one opinion fit all cases? All kinds of different circumstances can bear on such a question. Granted, to stay with the SSPX on its present false course involves a real danger of gradually sliding, but souls need sacraments, and by no means all SSPX priests are yet traitors.”


27 - de facto - Bishop Williamson himself has offered Mass and given confirmations at ‘Our Lady of the Pilar,’ the Feeneyite chapel of Fr. Gavin Bitzer, in Louisville, Kentucky, at least twice. The most recent occasion was on 25th May, 2016. See: or see Recusant 34 for a summary of his sermon.


28Eleison Comments #505:

“Therefore, in my opinion, be content to attend the least contaminated Tridentine Mass that there is anywhere near you…”


29 – de facto – that Bishop Williamson agrees with the liberal things which he himself has said, which Fr. Zendejas has said and which others amongst his supporters have said, is self-evident. His words against Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko tend always to be private and not public, but the very fact that he remains silent while at least two of the priests who support him and call him as “our bishop” (Fr. Chazal and Fr. Ortiz) have each separately told the faithful that they must not go to Fr. Pfeiffer or Hewko’s Masses, together with his refusal to tonsure any of their seminarians, give them holy oils or confirm their faithful, should tell the impartial observer all he needs to know. 


30 - - 26th May, 2016 - St. Mary’s Kansas:

“The Poem of the Man-God runs into tremendous opposition. I think it’s the devil, quite honestly. And I think the devil was in the Holy Office at that time. It says that the story is romanced, that’s one thing that the Holy Office says. I don’t find that the case. I find the Poem of the Man-God is full of sentiment, but it’s not sentimental, it’s very real. That’s my take.”


31 – Ibid.:

“… The Index has been abolished, yes. I read it and I don’t bother too much about - I don’t know all the background details. I get so much out of it myself that I’m not worried about it, you know.”


32 – Ibid.:

“What God Himself has given us in the modern age to act exactly as - He’s given us five big volumes- wait for it! - the Poem of the Man God! Maria Valtorta! It would make excellent family home reading.”


33 – Eleison Comments #420:

“At present I am more and more disinclined to impose even a true viewpoint on anybody”


34 a - - June 2014 - Post Falls, Idaho:

“I don’t have authority. I cannot have authority. Friendship, advice, contact, support: no problem. Authority: problem. Can you imagine that commanding resistant priests is like herding cats, can you imagine? In which case, is it worth trying if it is bound to fail?”



b - - 28th June 2015 - Mahopac, New York:

“The essential principle is: do whatever you need to do to keep the Faith. ... You must work it out for yourselves. Any other question?”


35 - Eleison Comments #307:

“And that is why, right now, I envisage being little more than father, adviser and friend for any souls calling for a bishop’s leadership and support.”


36 – Eleison Comments #504:

“…the Rome-centred Newsociety, still souls cling to [it] because of ... Catholic authority bequeathed to the latter by the Archbishop. […]

Archbishop Lefebvre defied that crippling, not least of all but rather above all, by his consecrating of four bishops to maintain a Catholic authority. […]

In 1988 the Archbishop consecrated four [bishops] for the same reason, two for Europe, and one each for North and South America. As of now the “Resistance” has two in Europe and one in South America. There remains a gap in North America. God willing, this coming May 11 Fr. Gerardo Zendejas will be consecrated bishop in the Traditional parish of Fr Ronald Ringrose in Vienna, Virginia , USA.”


37 - Eleison Comments #278:

“It is not clear that the present need is to rebuild a classic Congregation or Seminary. Both may be somehow out-dated. … But God is God, and for the salvation of souls tomorrow it may be that he will no longer resort to the classical Congregation or seminary of yesterday.”


AND – Eleison Comments #311:

“In the early 21st century there seems to me to be just not enough Catholic straw left to make a Catholic brick like the SSPX of the late 20th century.”


38 - - 29th May 2016, 2016, St. Paul, MN:

“Today the situation is so bad that I don’t think a structure or organisation, I, my opinion is that a structure or an organisation can’t be put together. It’s too late.”


AND – - 19th March 2016, Brazil:

“The time for structures is past. What, what's he saying? The time for structures is yesterday!” 


AND - - 5th November 2014, St. Catherine’s, Ontario:

“Don’t be under any illusion: it’s not going to be me who puts together a new SSPX. No way! The time for that is over. Put away your toys everybody and get with it. Grow up! ” - June 2014 - Post Falls, Idaho:

“But authority comes from the Pope. Which is why if the Pope is not in his right mind, you can’t get Catholic authority from above. You just can’t get it. … In which case the Church is crippled, the Church is paralysed.”


AND - - 19th March 2016, Brazil:

“Without the Pope you can't be Catholic in any way. ... In our time, authority is dissolved. So, to structure a resistance with authority and obedience and superiors, don’t hope for it.”


AND - Eleison Comments #278:

“As for an alternative to the SSPX, we must learn the lessons to be drawn from its present severe crisis. The Catholic Church runs on authority, from the Pope downwards… Thus as God alone could establish Moses’ authority by a sensational chastisement of rebels (cf. Numbers XVI), so in our day surely God alone will be able to restore the Pope’s authority. ... Similar arguments apply to the re-starting of a classical Catholic seminary.”


40 - - 18th September 2016, Emmett, Kansas:

“I’m afraid it’s darkness all around. The world is in chaos, the Church is in chaos, the Society is sliding […] And don’t be sure that we of the quote unquote “Resistance” are going to do any better. …there’s just not enough unity of purpose in hearts and minds for anything much Catholic still to be pulled together. That’s the truth. As I see it.”


AND – Eleison Comments #277:

“I think – I may be wrong – that [God] wants a loose network of independent pockets of Resistance, gathered around the Mass, freely contacting one another, but with no structure of false obedience [i.e. no structure] such as served to sink the mainstream Church in the 1960’s, and is now sinking the Society of St Pius X.”


41 – Eleison Comments #386:

“…any number of us in the quote unquote “Resistance”…”


AND - - St. Paul MN, USA, 29th May 2016:

“If you and I are now part of the quote-unquote “Resistance” - Why quote-unquote? Because it’s a movement, it’s, it’s an unorganised movement, it’s not really organised. It’s some here, it’s some there, it’s pockets of resistance, many of them entirely independent of one another.”


AND - - June 2014 - Post Falls, Idaho:

“The resistant groups, the resistants - a - n - t - s - and I very much prefer the expression resistants to the expression resistance … I very much believe in the resistants, I’m not sure I believe in the Resistance.” - p.26, Letter to Fr. John Bosco, 27th January 2016:

“Alas, the Church is in chaos, because the Supreme Shepherd is struck and the sheep are scattered, as they may never have been scattered before. I do sympathise with your desire to have Boniface ordained, but into what structure would he be incorporated? … In Latin they say nobody is bound to do the impossible – nemo ad impossibile tenetur. In today’s situation it may be impossible for you or for him to do more than you are already doing. … For myself I am already very busy, probably too busy, distracted by the chaos.” and – 12th Sept. 2016 :

Question: “…Something is bothering me. In [the website] ‘Non Possumus,’ it was announced that Mons. Faure, has founded a congregation. You, however, had said at the episcopal consecration of Dom Thomas, that that was not the intention. For no one in the resistance has ordinary jurisdiction which diocesan bishops have.”

Answer: “For myself I have until now thought that a new Congregation was neither necessary, nor probably possible. But [Bishop Faure and his seminary]…needed, sooner or later, a structure to belong to. It is in fact sooner, i.e. now, rather than later, because a rival structure was coming on the scene...”