The Recusant

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

What a ‘Novus Ordo Mess’ :


Bishop Williamson believes in the conciliar church!


A Closer Look at

‘Eleison Comments’ #447

(“Host and Parasite II”), 7th Feb. 2016:


"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."


Stepping onto a minefield is not an apt metaphor because what it implies is so far removed from what it represents in reality. Bishop Williamson is not putting himself in the firing line to defend Our Lord and His teaching, nor taking a personal risk for the greater good, despite his own peculiar conceit to the contrary. What he is in fact doing is indulging his own whim and fancy without regard for the devastation which his scandalous words, spoken and written have on souls who have already suffered so much. Worse, when he implies that he is somehow taking a risk, this is tantamount to lying since, in reality, anyone who disagrees with him is “dealt with”, though in secret (so you may not often hear about it). His words are a standing scandal and are causing souls to fall away. “Woe to him by whom the scandal cometh” would be more accurate than talk about ‘minefields’. How tragic to witness a man, a bishop no less, who has so little self knowledge that he can apparently view himself as some sort of hero-martyr, all the while behaving so selfishly. But I digress. Tragic and pitiable though it is, this is not what is important.


‘Still something Catholic’ in… ...what?

What concept does he say he is defending? “That there is still something Catholic in what has become the Church since Vatican II.” Which begs the question - what has become the Church since Vatican II? The common understanding would be that what we are talking about is the conciliar church. That is what has become, since Vatican II, of what is generally considered “the Catholic Church.” So is he saying that there is still something Catholic in the conciliar church? Why not come clean and say it? If he means something else, why put it in a way which is so unclear? Lack of clarity when it comes to the “Catholic Church vs. conciliar church” distinction is something which we are accustomed to expect from Bishop Fellay and Menzingen. Alas, it seems the disease has now spread to Bishop Williamson too!


How Catholic is Catholic?

Further reflection ought to remind us of the following. Just how Catholic is “something Catholic”? Here’s a hint. If it isn’t 100% Catholic, it’s not Catholic. There is undeniably “still something Catholic” in the Anglicans, for example. They still have the sign of the cross, the Our Father, stained-glass windows, candles, crucifixes, the Nicene Creed… are the Anglicans Catholic? No. But it most definitely has “something Catholic in it.” Does it matter whether there is “still something Catholic” in it, as far as our support or acceptance goes? No. The same goes for the conciliar church: of course there is “still something Catholic” in the conciliar church - some of the modernist architects of the conciliar church themselves have admitted that the “still Catholic” bits are useful to help get the new bits accepted. So, insofar as it is different in any way from the Catholic Church, the conciliar church is a false religion which we must avoid and resist, and the fact that there is “still something Catholic” in it does not change that. Near the end of the Eleison Comments, the same straw-man fallacy is advanced once again:


“ 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.”


Again, that there is “something” (not “nothing”) left is beside the point. There is something of Catholic decency and devotion left in the Anglicans. This is mere sophistry. But it is very important to spot it and understand it, given what follows.


For example 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.(**) What follows is just one attempt to discern what truth may be on both sides.


Did you spot the sleight of hand, the two fake alternatives which are not really alternatives at all, the one exaggeration verses the other parody? According to Bishop Williamson, the two alternatives are:


1. “We cannot do without official recognition from the official Church in Rome!”

This is the voice of the neo-SSPX.


2. “We utterly repudiate the idea that there is anything Catholic left in Rome!”

This, presumably, is us.


He then goes on to present his thesis as a “solution” to the “problem” presented in these two positions. The fact is, however, these two extremes are in reality just caricatures. As mentioned above, there is “still something Catholic” in the Anglicans, so of course there is still something Catholic in the conciliar church. But, as discussed above, “something Catholic” is as good as useless. “Something Catholic” is not Catholic; only 100% Catholic is Catholic. bonum ex integra causa. malum ex quocumque defectu.


Incidentally, if the conciliar church really is the Catholic Church - sorry, the “official Church” - then why exactly are Bishop Fellay and the neo-SSPX wrong to seek its approval? If they are wrong to do so, is that not because the conciliar church is something different to, other than, or distinct from the Catholic Church?


“And since they [modernists] have had nearly 50 years to conform the Church to their insanity, from top to bottom, then there has emerged a Church so different from the pre-conciliar Church that it is a reality deserving the name of Newchurch.”


As mentioned above, talk of “...a Church so different...”, just like “...the official Church in Rome is still so Catholic…” and “...still anything Catholic whatsoever [in it]” is all highly misleading, implying as it does something quantitative. But the question “Catholic or not?” is a binary choice. The only answers possible are “Yes” or “No”. It is not something quantitative. There is no such thing as “less Catholic” or “more Catholic” or “so Catholic” or “not anything Catholic”. We also note with dismay that there seems to be a suggestion of an equivalence between the Church and the conciliar church, both being described in similar terms (“the pre-conciliar Church” and “a Church [sic] so different...”). And need one add: “the Church” is the Bride of Christ: what was “made to conform” was the people and not, properly speaking, the Church herself.


So, Bishop Williamson’s thesis seems to be as follows.


1. The Church is so different now to how it was before the Council, “that it is deserving [of] the name ‘Newchurch’. ”


2 . But this “Newchurch” still has the faith, even though lots of people in it don’t, so you can’t reject it altogether.


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


If one respects reality, one is bound to admit that Bishop Williamson is talking nonsense, and that he has fallen away from Tradition every bit as much as has Bishop Fellay. That there may be an old babushka somewhere in Siberia who has the Faith and knows nothing about “Orthodox vs. Catholic” and who thus may save her soul, does not mean we can say that the Russian Orthodox church has the Faith and people can be saved in it! That there may well be souls in the conciliar church who still have the Faith in spite of it, does not prove that the conciliar church as the conciliar church has the Faith. It does not. This is not just an abstract idea: for a look at how serious it is, consider the inter-religious meetings at Assisi which deny Our Lord publicly before the world and place him on a par with Buddha, Mohammed and so many other false gods and demons (cf. Psalm 95 “omnes dii gentium daemonia”). That is not the Catholic Church acting, organising these Assisi meetings. It is the conciliar church.


“A layman tells me that his father has faithfully attended the Novus Ordo Mass for the last 45 years, and still has the faith. A priest tells me that he can remember a laywoman presenting to Archbishop Lefebvre himself her reasons for needing to attend the NOM, and he merely shrugged his shoulders.”


...and as proof of this idea (“that there is still faith in the Newchurch”), Bishop Williamson advances the spurious claim of a story about a layman who has attended the New Mass for 45 years and it didn’t do him any harm! I say “spurious” because there are so many things wrong with this. You can’t prove a point as important as this with just one example, and a subjective personal example at that. And even a whole list of personal examples would each have the same limitations as that one example, each would remain personal and subjective, subject in the same way to circumstance, interpretation, etc. Our own personal experience, mine and yours, surely shows beyond any doubt that over the past 40-odd years, those who stopped practising in the early days of the Novus Ordo are far more likely to have kept the Faith than those who carried on going. Finally, as chance would have it, the layman in question was recently located. Suffice it to say that his particular case in point has been here rather misrepresented by Bishop Williamson. He is a liberal, a fan of Pope Francis, a follower of modern bogus apparitions. And he himself says that if he has kept the Faith it is only despite the Novus Ordo and he would never recommend anyone else to go to it!

[Don’t take my word for this: see for yourself in the article “A Message from Gabrielle”]


As for the latest example of taking Archbishop Lefebvre’s name in vain (you might call it the “x+1” example), please note that it is third-hand, (a priest tells Bishop Williamson who tells us that he witnessed something), which given Bishop Williamson’s record in recounting the example of the layman above, does not inspire confidence; and that it does not involve any actual words spoken by the Archbishop. Where and when was the question put? Was it even a question (and thus requiring of a reply?) What did the shrug denote? Could it be that, for example, that the person in question, having listened to an entire conference from the Archbishop about why one cannot go to the New Mass, but seeking to justify her own guilty conscience, asked an infuriatingly stupid question immediately afterwards, showing that she had taken in nothing of what had been said, at which point the Archbishop did not bother to repeat what he had just spent an hour or more saying? Was it in a crowd of people, or ‘buttonholing’ him on his way out, so that he had no time to give a verbal reply? I am just speculating. We have no way of knowing. Either way, for Bishop Williamson to have to resort to such “evidence” speaks volumes and is surely a sign of desperation.


“The reason for these testimonies being real should be obvious. As an essential part of the subjective and ambiguous religion, the NOM can be what you make of it.”


So the Novus Ordo is not itself bad, then. It is only bad when liberal priests say it badly. It can be what you make of it. Are there really people in the Resistance who are going to swallow this poison?


“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.”


Notice the dishonest way in which Bishop Williamson moves the goalposts: not only Archbishop Lefebvre but, until a mere four or five years ago, the whole SSPX and all the priests, religious and faithful of Tradition would have said that the Novus Ordo is simply not reconcilable with real devotion and reverence. But now such a position has suddenly become the exclusive domain of “hard liners”. When did that happen? How many other things, commonly accepted now, will magically become something which only “hard liners” think or do or say? As with the leftward drift of secular politics and social custom, if we wake up one day to find that what was once normal and widespread is now ‘right wing’ or ‘hard line’, it is because the so-called ‘centre’ or ‘mainstream’ has been moved, leaving behind those who have not moved with it. But we are not talking about Freemasonic politicians or their corrupt media lackeys, here. This is Bishop Williamson doing this. Ask yourself why.


And by the way, if the inverted commas are only there to placate people with whom you disagree, (and who are “out of touch with reality”) then one must remove those inverted commas in order to get the true sense. So, according to Bishop Williamson:

“A priest can celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass decently, a Catholic can attend it devoutly.” Again I ask: who in the Resistance is going to swallow this poison? And if they do, what exactly are they “resisting”?


What does all this mean? It means that Bishop Williamson believes in the conciliar church. Whether one sees it as a mistake, an error of judgement, a deviation from the path of truth, it is the same mistake, the same misjudgement, the same deviation which Bishop Fellay has fallen into. Like Bishop Fellay, Bishop Williamson sees the conciliar church (“the official Church in Rome”) as being something which we cannot reject. Worse, he not only believes it himself, but stubbornly promotes it to anyone who will listen. His own words witness it, even the bad rhyming couplet with which this unfortunate ‘Eleison Comments’ begins:


A leprous Mother some sons will desert.
Others will get too close, not being alert.


I wonder how many of his poor readers have thought carefully about what that means: it is a curious choice of metaphor and bares careful thinking about. What are the characteristics of a leprous mother? She has leprosy, through no fault of her own, but she is still your mother. She is still in essence good, though in appearance bad; she is still the same, though in appearance, superficially, different. You still love her, honour her, treat her as a mother (with obedience and respect), and wish to nurse her back to health. If in nursing her back to health, you have to keep a physical distance for some time, then that is only a temporary measure, and it is only physical - you are still united in heart and mind all the while. You still serve her and carry out her wishes, and wish to embrace her as soon as you are able. Is this really how Bishop Williamson sees the conciliar church? It seems so. Kyrie Eleison.


Since I must finish somewhere, and since the Muse of Bad Taste has been provoking me for some time now and I feel the urge to write a very bad rhyming couplet, let me leave you with this to chew on:


For the Bishop ‘conciliar’ and ‘Catholic’ church is one!

Then why from the Resistance (and to Rome) is he not gone?