Since you already know I never bother any more reading your Recusant, why did you not show a little courtesy in letting me know you publicly replied to my open letter? Nevertheless, I was pleased to hear through the grapevine that you did reply to my recent open letter to you, but I cannot say that I was impressed upon reading your rather poor and sly attempt at justifying yourself, on the contrary.
Bishop Williamson and the Novus Ordo
Greg: “To be quite frank, until and unless you admit what Bishop Williamson has been and still is doing, I see little hope of our making any progress.”
Rather, to be quite frank, until and unless you turn to the teachings of the Church, I see little hope of you making any progress.
So the main accusation you bring forward against the bishop, and which the list of quotes that you gave is supposed to make so obvious, is that the bishop is “promoting” the NOM. That’s the problem in a nutshell, isn’t it? You believe that Bishop Williamson is “promoting” the NOM!
Did I promote abortion?
Last year on a certain forum one person claimed that when an expectant mother and her child are in danger of death, that “without any exception due to any circumstance, the teaching of the Church had always been to save the child”. I pointed out that with St. Thomas Aquinas the Church teaches that “indirect and unintentional killing, or rather permission of death, is not unlawful in such a case, when there is a proportionately grave reason, such as the life of the mother.”1
According to your standard then, am I now guilty of “promoting” abortion? Because I pointed out that the person making such a claim, no doubt with the best intention, went beyond what the Church teaches and actually made an error on the opposite side of the scale? Or to use the other expression you used in your spiel, am I now guilty of “talking up” abortion?
But this is exactly the false reasoning behind your accusations against the bishop. Because he makes a persistent effort to stop you from erring on the opposite side of the scale you now accuse him of “promoting the NOM”.
What does “to promote” actually mean?
Since you still seem to be struggling with the meaning of “promoting”, here is how a few online English dictionaries define “to promote”: “to advertise”2, “to foster and encourage”3 and to “further the progress of”4. If you believe the bishop “advertises, fosters, encourages and furthers the progress of” the NOM, then you better get your head checked! The only thing I see the bishop “promote” here is that Traditional Catholics make a serious and honest effort to neither err on the left nor on the right. It is this moderation of thought and speech that he “advertises, fosters, encourages and furthers the progress of”.
Playing the quote game
Still, let us have a look at some of these quotes you gave, which are meant to make your accusation so “obviously true” and which you claim are capable of speaking for themselves. Keep in mind though that you just claimed once again that you “merely take the person quoted at his word and assume that he means what he says”. Let’s see if you are truly as objective as you claim to be.
The NOM can be what you make of it.
The following quotes I believe all express the same underlying idea, i.e. that despite the fact that the NOM is an unworthy, poisoned and bastard rite, it can also be said in such a way that it comes close to the old Mass of Pius V.
“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.”
“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.”
“We say Novus Ordo Mass but there are some that come very close to the Mass of St. Pius V and you also have some that are quite far from it.”
Do you agree that these quotes all say the same thing, i.e. that the NOM can be what you make of it and that one can keep the New Mass to be very much like the old Mass? We have no need to “interpret” these quotes, do we? They can all be taken as they are, they are easily understood and the person quoted should really be taken at his word, don’t you agree?
Well, there’s only one problem with that. That last quote was not of bishop Williamson but of Archbishop Lefebvre5. Yes, the Archbishop too claimed that the NOM can be what you make of it and even that a priest can say it so decently that it comes very close to the Mass of Pius V. Imagine that!
Now that is a problem indeed, because we just agreed that we were not going to “interpret” these quotes, and that we were going to take the person quoted at his word, assuming that he means what he says. So what shall we do now? Shall we condemn both the Archbishop and bishop Williamson for “promoting the NOM”? After all, we’re not a respecter of persons, are we? And what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, isn’t it? Of course I should not be telling you this, since these quotes are capable of speaking for themselves, aren’t they?
There are still good parts in the NOM
The following quotes I believe all express the same underlying idea, i.e. that something that is evil as a whole is not necessarily evil in all it’s parts, and that the good that is part of the whole can still nourish and strengthen, just as the meat that has been poisoned is still able to nourish and strengthen a starving prisoner despite the poison it contains.
“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.”
“…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.”
“Though it might be a strange thing to say, it was nevertheless true that a Protestant who was saved was saved not in so far as he was a Protestant, but simply in so far as he was a Catholic, and had been influenced by the doctrines which Protestants had received from the true Church.”
Do you agree that these quotes all say the same thing, i.e. that not all types and doses of poison are lethal and that sometimes we may still benefit from some good despite the poison that comes with it? We have no need to “interpret” these quotes, do we? We are honest enough to assume that the person quoted means what he says and says what he means.
You may have guessed it this time, but that last quote was not of bishop Williamson by of Msgr. Vaughan writing in the American Ecclesiastical Review in 19026! Letting that quote speak for itself, I would say that Msgr. Vaughan went much further than bishop Williamson. He didn’t even say that these protestants need to believe in these Catholic doctrines, but that being merely “influenced” by them was enough for them to be saved. Ay, surely, if ever there was a heresy, this must be it!
What shall we do about that? Shall we condemn both Msgr. Vaughan and bishop Williamson for “promoting” poison (the NOM or protestantism)? After all, we’re not a respecter of persons, are we, and we did let these quotes speak for themselves, didn’t we?
God saves outside of tradition
How about this idea that “God saves outside of Tradition”, an idea which you tried to condemn in a previous issue of your magazine7, and which you miserably failed in, as I pointed out a few weeks ago8.
“Catholics, be generous! Recognise God’s goal: to save outside Tradition many a soul.”
“A man may be saved without ever really becoming a member of the Church.”
You surely guessed it this time (or did you?), that last statement was not made by bishop Williamson but by Msgr. Fenton back in 1961, when he was explaining the Holy Office’s letter referred to as “Suprema haec supra”. And since we agreed to let these quotes speak for themselves, we now have an even greater problem. Not only does bishop Williamson claim that God saves outsides of Tradition, Msgr Fenton even claims that to be saved one doesn’t even have to be a member of the Church. Ay, surely, if ever we had a good reason to condemn someone, this is it!
So what’s the solution?
So, what will be your solution to these terrible dilemmas? Will you quickly publish a few supplementary issues of your Recusant, to inform your ever so hungry readers that you just detected another invasion of heretics which need to be condemned asap? Will you condemn Archbishop Lefebvre, Msgr. Vaughan and Msgr. Fenton with as much fanfare as you have condemned bishop Williamson?
After all, the only thing we did is let these quotes speak for themselves. And if Archbishop Lefebvre claims that the NOM can be what you make of it, then that is surely as much of a heresy as when bishop Williamson claims the same thing, isn’t it?
And when Msgr. Vaughan claimed that a protestant can be saved by merely being influenced by Catholic doctrines, then surely that is a far greater heresy than when bishop Williamson claims that a Novus Ordo Catholic can still be saved despite the fact that he is not “within Tradition”?
And when Msgr. Fenton claims that one does not even have to be a Catholic in order to be saved, then that surely is a much bigger heresy than when bishop Williamson claims that a Novus Ordo Catholic can be saved too.
So what will be your solution to this most troublesome dilemma? I don’t know how exactly you will word it, but I have no doubt that at the end of your next spiel we will see bishop Williamson once more condemned for “promoting the NOM”, while Archbishop Lefebvre, Msgr. Vaughan and Msgr. Fenton will be graciously pardoned.
Eating poisoned meat
Greg: “Are there cases where poison can be consumed with an effect of nourishing, strengthening and healing the body instead of weakening and killing it?”
When the Archbishop gave the example of a prisoner in a concentration camp trying to survive by eating poisoned meat, he was not claiming that poison is able to nourish, strengthen and heal, but rather that the nourishment of the meat was still able to prolong the life of the prisoner, not because of the poison it contained but despite of the poison it contained. Hence, your question betrays an inability and an unwillingness to take the Archbishop at his word and to understand and acknowledge the argument he was making specifically on the question of some people attending the NOM. It shows once again that no matter what people say to try and correct your errors, and no matter who says it, you’d rather block your ears and ignore the arguments they bring up. It betrays once again your bad disposition and your dishonesty in twisting your opponents argument.
What does the Church teach?
Before we get too carried away condemning everyone else, why not find out what the Church teaches first? Let’s check out Msgr. Pohle’s Manual of Dogmatic Theology. You probably never heard of this classic work of theology in 12 volumes, but I believe Fr. Pfeiffer may still have a dust covered copy of it somewhere in his attic. Why don’t you ask him about it?
In his volume VIII on the Sacraments in General, this is what Msgr. Pohle says about grace of the sacraments:
Thesis I: All the Sacraments confer sanctifying grace.
This proposition embodies an article of faith.
Proof. The Tridentine Council defines : “If anyone saith that grace, as far as God’s part is concerned, is not given through the said Sacraments always and to all men, even though they receive them rightly, but [only] sometimes and to some persons, let him be anathema.” Hence all the Sacraments without exception infallibly confer sanctifying grace when they are worthily received.9
I was going to highlight only a few words to make it easier for you to stay focused, but unlike the Recusant, these theology manuals have a tendency to come straight to the point and to weigh every word carefully. Sorry, but I simply had to highlight the whole quote.
Now tell me Doctor Greg, what happens if a Catholic worthily receives the sacrament of the Eucharist in the Novus Ordo rite? Did he receive sanctifying grace or not?
And what according to the Church is required for a Catholic to “worthily” receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist? Again, Msgr. Pohle has the answer:
Hence the only requisite of a worthy reception of these Sacraments [of the living] is the state of grace. He who is in the state of grace places no obstacle (obex) to the efficacy of these Sacraments, because he is not guilty of mortal sin. Venial sin may diminish but cannot prevent the effect of these Sacraments.10
Well, Fr. Pfeiffer thought he could fool his sheeple (little did he know it would be that easy) by claiming that sometimes a sacrament can be valid but absolutely without grace, even to those who receive the Sacrament worthily. The way he “sold them this bridge” is by giving them the example of a Mass said by a schismatic. Now that’s a little cunning and deceptive I would say, since a schismatic is not someone whom the Church considers a “capable and fit recipient” (to use the Council’s own words) on account of his schism. Yet at the same time, the Church recognizes that even the sacraments of schismatics are valid and capable of effecting grace in those who receive them worthily. So for example, if a Catholic in the state of grace were to innocently and mistakenly (i.e. in good faith) receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist from a schismatic priest, he would certainly receive grace. Specifically on this example of the Sacrament of the Eucharist by schismatics, Msgr. Pohle teaches:
What if a schismatic priest would say Mass with the express intention of consecrating not by the divine words of institution, but by the Epiklesis? If this were generally the case among the schismatic Greeks, should we not be forced to the conclusion that, since the seventeenth century at least, when the Greek Church began officially to connect the Consecration with the Epiklesis, they no longer say Mass validly?
If the minister of a Sacrament performs the prescribed rite conscientiously and with the proper intention, the Sacrament is validly administered and will produce its effects regardless of any erroneous notions the minister may harbour concerning the essential or non-essential character of this or that part of the form.11
Now tell me Doctor Greg, what happens if a Catholic worthily receives the sacrament of the Eucharist in the Novus Ordo rite? Did he receive sanctifying grace or not?
So much for the claim that Fr. Pfeiffer teaches no error. Really? Fr. Pfeiffer is anathemized by the Council of Trent for teaching “that grace, as far as God’s part is concerned, is not given through the said Sacraments always and to all men, even though they receive them rightly”. Did you get that? We have no need to “interpret” Fr. Pfeiffer’s words. We are more than happy to take him at his word and believe he means what he says and says what he means. And so he stands condemned and anathemized by his own words, which are in direct contradiction to the Council of Trent. What was it again that Our Lord said about the blind leading the blind, and both falling into the pit?
Let’s anticipate a few ways in which the disciples of “the great one” will try and whitewash their master.
Objection: But all these quotes talk about the True Mass and not about the Novus Ordo Mass.
No, all these quotes talk about valid Sacraments. And for a sacrament to be valid, all that is required is that the essential rite as prescribed by the Church is followed. You do know what the essential rite of a Sacrament is, don’t you? As an example, no matter how many times you sing “Kumbaya” before, during and after a baptism, as long as the essential rite is followed, the sacrament is valid and efficacious. And what is the essential rite of the Sacrament of the Eucharist? Again, Msgr. Pohle will be able to tell you:
The definition we have quoted from Deharbe is, however, incomplete, as it makes no mention of the sacramental form. This can only consist in the words of Consecration, and hence the Scotists are in error when they say that the words of Consecration do not enter into the intrinsic form of the Sacrament but merely cause it to exist. Their theory can easily be disproved. It is only by means of the words of Consecration that the Eucharistic species become a visible sign of the Body and Blood of Christ and of the graces effected in holy Communion. Consequently, the words of Consecration, considered as morally continuing their effect, constitute the sacramental form of the Holy Eucharist.12
You see, the sacramental form of the Holy Eucharist consists in the consecration, and not in the offertory, canon, etc.. These all form part of the solemn rite of the Sacrament, and not the essential rite. Does that therefore mean we can change or omit these? No, not without a grave reason anyway. As the Council of Trent also anathemizes anyone who merely says “that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every [whomsoever] pastor of the churches, into other new ones.”13
Objection: But the Archbishop and the SSPX always used to teach that the NOM is intrinsically evil.
Indeed, and with that they always used to explain what is meant by that expression, i.e. that the rite itself is bad and not just the circumstances (e.g. abuses) in which the rite is performed. And hence, because the rite itself is evil it is thus called intrinsically evil. Yet, consider the example I gave at the start. The death of the unborn child, even if it is only “permission of death” is also intrinsically evil, yet with St. Thomas Aquinas the Church teaches it becomes morally allowed when there is a “proportionately grave reason”. How can that be? Because you are ignorant of the meaning of the words you use and the teaching of the Church they stand for.
Anton Koch teaches in his Handbook of Moral Theology14 that:
Intrinsically bad acts are such as run counter to the moral order by their very nature. Some are absolutely bad and can never become good, as, e. g., hatred of God, perjury. Others are bad merely because the agent has no right to perform them or because they are a source of danger or temptation, e. g., manslaughter, viewing unchaste pictures. Acts of the latter kind are called relatively bad. A relatively bad act may become good by virtue of special conditions or circumstances, e. g., self-defence or study.
By the way, do the words “because they are a source of danger” sound familiar with regards to the NOM?
Likewise, St Thomas Aquinas teaches that:
If there is question of relative laws, the decree in question can be made by God; for the unbecomingness of that which is forbidden by a relative law passes away in the face of a great need.15
Therefore, just as the eating of poisoned meat is intrinsically bad, the “relative law passes away in the face of a great need” and the eating of poisoned meat becomes morally allowed, recommended even in order to stay alive. If you study the Church’s teaching on intrinsically bad acts, you will quickly discover that very few acts are intrinsically evil in the absolute sense, and that most of them are intrinsically evil in the relative sense. In fact, if my memory serves me right, then the only thing all theologians agree is absolutely intrinsically evil is hatred of God. Everything else is disputed as being intrinsically evil in the relative sense!
Did you get that? Even though manslaughter is always intrinsically evil, because the evil is in the manslaughter itself, the act becomes allowed in a case of self defence. Likewise it is with the NOM. The rite is a bastard rite and therefore evil itself, i.e. intrinsically evil, but in the face of a great need it can still be morally allowed to attend. The real question that should be asked is what would constitute a “great need” to make such attendance morally allowed. And that depends on circumstances and internal dispositions which we are only allowed to judge with certainty for ourselves and not for others. But of course that does not help the zealots who can only think in terms of absolute laws, usually invented and laid down by themselves!
And as I will point out a little further, this is also the reason why the Archbishop at the start used to tell his seminarians to judge the circumstances, and to judge the priest, just like bishop Williamson said the same and was condemned for it. And as these circumstances grew worse, the evil became more apparent and the “grave needs” became less likely. Especially since all the quotes of the Archbishop being firmly opposed to the NOM are taken from a context in which he was speaking to Traditional Catholics who should know better and whose “grave need” was very much unlikely.
Listen to the Archbishop in 1982:
I would say that to study the toxicity of the new mass, that is relatively easy, it’s not at all complicated.
So, now, from a pastoral point of view, it is a problem. We have to always be careful not to become pure logicians and pure mathematicians who reason in the stratosphere and who don’t have their feet upon the ground, who are no longer among humans. There is still the moral theology. We would not have any need for moral theology, if we were to simply limit ourselves to dogma and speculative reasoning. Dogmatic theology would be enough, but there is still moral theology that precisely studies all the conditions in which people find themselves and in which they must necessarily find themselves in order not to sin. One still has to learn to make distinctions. That is what scholastic theology and scholastic philosophy teaches us, because scholastic philosophy is a philosophy of common sense. So, it teaches us to distinguish, it is necessary to distinguish, do not be one of those people who do not want to make distinctions, no nuances, who do not really want to see reality, because reality hinders, it hinders their reasoning. That does not make sense.
So, we have to arrive at the truth. And truth in morals, is not so simple.. we must realize that this is not simple.16
Again, in your blind and bitter zeal you have moved far away from the example of Archbishop Lefebvre, who was always willing to “judge the circumstances”, to “make distinctions”, to “use common sense”. Too bad it “hinders the reasoning” of the blind and bitter zealots who like parasites live off the condemnations of others!
To some extent I disagree with bishop Williamson, as far as he should have advised that Mahopac lady in private rather than in front of the zealots who were just waiting for a bone to pick on. It would have avoided a lot of fuss over nothing. On the other hand, it certainly cleaned up house within the Resistance, just like it becomes easier for a body to heal itself once the puss is removed from the wound.
No doubt, you will interpret, twist and ridicule all of this, but that is not my problem.
How foolish of you to claim that the Council Fathers had it all wrong, and that the Novus Ordo is absolutely without grace, although still valid and even though it is worthily received.
What do I believe?
I absolutely and one hundred percent agree with bishop Williamson that the NOM can indeed give grace, simply because the Church teaches it and even made it into an article of Faith. And if it can give grace, then it can be used to build one’s faith.
The real question that should be asked though is this: who can, and who cannot be considered “in good faith” or a “capable and fit recipient” when speaking about the NOM?
Can those who know that the NOM is a bastard rite, a poisoned rite? No, I don’t think so, because the Council of Trent anathemizes anyone who merely says “that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every [whomsoever] pastor of the churches, into other new ones”17. And this sin, if it is a mortal sin (which still needs to be proven), constitutes an obex to those who with full knowledge and consent designed and/or implemented the NOM, but not to the priest or faithful “who all of a sudden felt obliged, through pressure that was put upon him, to take on the new Mass, but who deep down is not at all convinced of what is going on and who would happily go back if the situation changed”.18
Can those who are invincibly ignorant of the poison in the NOM? Yes, I do think so, because such a person would not be guilty of mortal sin by attending the NOM, and therefore he would place no obstacle to the reception of grace. And because the defects and the poison of the NOM are not in the essential rite but in the solemn rite surrounding it.
Can those who are anywhere in between these two extremes? God knows!
Archbishop Lefebvre and the “archeologism” red herring
I may as well address here another red herring that usually pops up in the mind and narrative of those who try very hard to condemn bishop Williamson on the one hand, but who on the other hand dare not condemn Archbishop Lefebvre for the same things. You yourself have already indicated to be one of them.
By the way, if some people keep referring to what the Archbishop said in 1974, then that is not because they are guilty of “archeologism” but rather because they are willing to learn lessons from history, which people like yourself are more than happy to quickly forget or brush aside.
So these people on the one hand admit that the Archbishop’s position on the NOM evolved over time, going from a very soft position of tolerance in the early 1970’s to a firm rejection towards the end of his life. But on the other hand they also claim that the NOM is intrinsically evil in the absolute and theological sense of the word.
So how can we reconcile these two claims without condemning the Archbishop? If the NOM is intrinsically evil in the absolute and theological sense of the word, then that means per definition that no circumstances can exist that would make attendance morally good. Remember that an absolutely intrinsically evil moral object is always evil, it’s morality does not depend on or change with any circumstances or intentions. This means that neither does it depend on or change with the evolution of the Archbishop’s position! If the NOM is absolutely intrinsically evil, then it was so from the very the moment it was forced upon us in 1969 until now, and it will always remain so. Truth does not change, remember? So, if the NOM is absolutely intrinsically evil, then the Archbishop at one point made a serious theological and moral blunder by encouraging his seminarians to attend it. He may have “repented” and “brushed up” his theology later on in his life, but at least early on he completely missed the ball, didn’t he?
I think the answer is rather obvious to any honest person, who is not blinded by an insatiable desire to condemn one and excuse the other. Consider what the Archbishop himself said on this topic of a changing position:
This is why I think that, given this increasingly serious and increasingly dangerous evolution, we must also avoid more and more, and I would almost say, in a radical way, any assistance at this New Mass.19
What could be “this increasingly serious and increasingly dangerous evolution” the Archbishop is referring to, and which caused him to change his position on the NOM? Was he talking about the evolution of truth? Was he talking about the evolution of the NOM from a morally neutral object or a relatively intrinsically evil object to an absolutely intrinsically evil object? I don’t think so, since moral objects do not evolve from one species into another and the Archbishop was not one to believe in the evolution of truth.
The answer is rather simple. The Archbishop repeatedly talked about priests no longer having a proper understanding of the Church’s teaching, of no longer believing in doing what the Church does, of the people becoming more irreverent, of the loss of belief in the real presence, and of the increasing number of abuses and scandals, all of which are circumstances. In other words, because of a change in circumstances the Archbishop changed his position on the NOM from a reluctant tolerance to a firm rejection. But whether in 1974 or in 1991, the Archbishop always considered the NOM itself to be evil, and therefore intrinsically evil. But not absolutely intrinsically evil, but rather relatively intrinsically evil, since he too was careful to judge the circumstances, in 1974 as well as in 1991.
And so, if the moral character of an act changes with the circumstances, then we cannot be dealing with an absolutely intrinsically evil object. At best we’d be dealing with a relatively intrinsically evil object. And this also implies that if we somehow were to return to more favourable circumstances, then the morality of the whole act could change likewise. And this is what the Archbishop referred to when he told his seminarians to judge the priest and the circumstances, just as bishop Williamson told us to judge the priest and the circumstances!
Curcumstances change, our judgement can change, but absolutely intrinsically evil objects can never change!
Miracles in the NOM
Greg: “All the attempts to defend Bishop Williamson on the subject, from Dom Tomas Aquinas to yourself, only ever seem to deal with big, pie-in-the-sky theoretical questions and never examine the evidence.”
I can well understand that you feel very frustrated and restrained by “theoretical questions”, just like a Frank Spencer who clumsily opens his present and breaks the little toy he got for his birthday, simply because he didn’t bother reading the instructions first. You may study this or that miracle all you like, if you do not have the proper Catholic foundation and perspective, all your “research” and “fact finding”, which I bet consists in nothing more than a mere Google search, will only lead you to a conclusion which is as valuable as the Google search you based it on.
I admit that my approach is very different to yours. I first turn to the Church to see what the Church actually teaches on the possibility of true and false miracles, on who is in a position to collect and judge the facts, what the criteria and methods are, and on who may condemn others for not accepting their own verdict. Meanwhile, I am completely disinterested in a miracle that is supposed to have happened on the other side of the world, and which has no relevance to what I do or do not believe. Admit it or not, your interest in this or that miracle is not based on the possible value of the miracle itself, but only on it’s usefulness in condemning bishop Williamson. Poor sod, as if our faith could be measured by the current day miracles we do or do not believe in!
Since this reply is already too long to deal with this topic in detail, I will leave you with one reference. Bishop Hay wrote a whole volume on miracles20, in which he explains what God can do and what He cannot do, and how we Catholics are to deal with alleged or true miracles. Study it and you may learn some “pie-in-the-sky” doctrine!
As for your feigned innocence of condemning and excommunicating others (especially bishop Williamson) based on your own accusations of heresy, here is a sample to refresh your selective memory. At the same time it serves as a directory of your “friends”, you know, the ones that share your obsession with condemning bishop Williamson and putting Fr. Pfeiffer on a pedestal. Excuse me if this list is only a sample, as I am indeed rather ignorant of all the instances of such gratuitous accusations being launched by similar zealots with access to a keyboard.
- Greg Taylor in The Recusant, Issue #41, page 4: “..the promotion of heresy condemned by the pre-conciliar Holy Office”
- Greg Taylor in The Recusant, Issue #41, page 40: spends 5 pages “proving” that the bishop teaches and practises [the heresy of!] indifferentism, and follows it up with several more pages of erroneous and twisted Church “teachings”
- Fr. Cardozo in The Recusant, Issue 38, page 18: “..they tolerate heresy.. these are serious heresies..”
- Kathleen Donnelly in her Cor Mariae Newsletter, June 2017: “What Church is Bishop Williamson and his priests in? Certainly not a Catholic one.”
- Kathleen Donnelly in her Cor Mariae Newsletter, May 2017: “Bp. Williamson teaches [the heresy of!] Universal Salvation, again”
- Luke Ross in his The Catacombs, May 2017, in the article “Bishop Williamson vs. Pascendi” accuses the bishop of being a modernist
- Luke Ross in his The Catacombs, December 2016, accuses bishop Williamson of “embracing the heresy of Religious Liberty”
- John Pfeiffer in his Catholic Candle, July 2017: “Bishop Williamson Teaches the Heresy that Even God is Powerless to Save some Men”
- John Pfeiffer in his Catholic Candle, June 2017: “Bishop Williamson Promotes Vatican II’s Heresy That People Can be Saved Outside the Catholic Church”
- The Post Falls village idiot hiding behind his Machabees front certainly tops the charts with his clockwork idiotic posts [like a dog returning to his own vomit] calling bishop Williamson a heretic and listing his “many heresies” on his very own hijacked platform, the Cor Mariae forum!
Greg: “I’m not sure exactly who you mean by “your friends” or who it is that I am supposed to be answerable for.”
Does the above list answer the first part of your question?
As for the second part, you are responsible for all the calumnies you have spread and for all the gullible souls that believed you, including and especially the ones that refused the Sacraments from good Catholic priests because of your calumnies against them.
I checked the reference you gave me and I could hardly believe my eyes. You wasted 13 pages of hot air on something that practically all Traditional Catholics agree on, simply to be able to condemn bishop Williamson and the rest of the Resistance? Poor man!
Greg: “By the way, I did not start any rumour in Australia. What I said had been around for a few weeks by then, including online. Fr. Rafael said so himself, so it can hardly be called a rumour even if you think it untrue. And if I did not give chapter and verse, that was only because I did not have the exact details in front of me right then and there and was trying to be a little careful and not exaggerate.”
I see, you feel justified in continuing the spreading of a rumour, because the rumour “had been around for a few weeks”? And you claim that the rumour is not really a rumour but rather a fact, because Fr. Raphael was the one starting it? And to top it off you have the guts to claim that the worst and most incriminating part of your accusation, which you yourself at the time admitted you were not sure about, was merely a little detail, the “chapter and verse” of it all?
You are obviously very selective in which rumour you consider facts, in which rumour you find “credible” and “established” enough to help spread, and in which rumour you think one (i.e. yourself) is allowed to be a little inventive when the need arises.
Once again, you betray a double standard, a willingness to lie and an eagerness to condemn, rather than to excuse. Except of course when it comes to yourself!
Can it really be that my desire to draw a modest veil over the horrible details (having dealt with them in an earlier Issue) will now be presented by you as a deliberate vagueness and “Chinese whispers”?
Such statements as these simply ooze of hypocrisy!
In my “ignorance” I have only been able to trace back the rumours surrounding this case and floating around on the web to two people: Greg Taylor and Ali Fegan. Could it be that both share the same motives?
I first heard of this case about two years ago from a certain Greg Taylor spreading his suggestive but “modest veil” on a public forum, at about the same time as a certain Mr. Moran made his appearance in Boston, Kentucky. Coincidence, no doubt. Was there really a need to inform the whole world of what was alleged to be happening in the wop-wops of England?
And the second time was when Ali Fegan (the same one who got bishop Williamson into trouble with his Holocaust comments) recently published his “documentary” in which he did his best to lift the “modest veils” which hung over several Traditional Catholic priests, one of whom was Fr. Abraham. Yet despite the many details, facts, victims and witnesses he managed to bring against all the other accused priests, I noticed that when it came to Fr. Abraham he was not very successful in lifting the “modest veil” which some charitable people like yourself had already hung over him. He presented no witnesses, no victims, no facts, no police reports, no accusers, only a suggestive “modest veil”. And I don’t think it was for lack of trying.
One priest, whose integrity I consider is beyond a shadow of doubt, told me in private that the reason the family did not press charges against Fr. Abraham was because they were advised by civil lawyers that “there was no case” against him. In other words, according to the civil justice system nothing happened that could in any way lead to a conviction. Which does not mean that the accused was therefore innocent on a moral level, but it does mean that I question your integrity in accusing Fr. Abraham of “molesting a 14 year old boy”. In France, that kind of thing has never been treated so lightly that it could not be successfully prosecuted. And given all the other times where your selection and judgement of “facts” has been found wanting, I consider you a compulsive liar, unfit as a witness in anything but your own trial.
But most of all, I question your reasons for bringing such a case up in your crusade against bishop Williamson, especially considering the fact that you never ever peeped about a very similar case of a priest who was condemned in a civil court, and who Fr. Pfeiffer associated with and called “his good friend”. It stinks of double standards and of using scandals and rumours of scandals simply to assassinate the character of the one that must be condemned, while at the same time ignoring and excusing the one that can do no wrong.
So at the end of all that, you failed to understand that I never claimed Fr. Abraham is completely innocent. But I do claim that your judgement, your integrity and your motives are not at all what you pretend them to be.
Samuel: “..and considering that the parishioners of this priests seem rather happy to have him administer the sacraments to them..”
Greg: “But don’t worry, all one of him is happy to have Fr. Abraham administer the sacraments!”
Poor boy, can you really not see the stupidity in your sly twisting, exaggerations and sarcasm? If Fr. Abraham indeed had only one faithful left to administer to, as you try to insinuate, then bishop Williamson can’t have been that successful in “promoting him” as you claimed he is doing, can he? And Fr. Abraham cannot really be that busy hearing “confessions in public, administering First Holy Communion and leading retreats and pilgrimages” as you just claimed he is doing for “all one of him”, can he? And most of all, can you really justify your smear campaign.. I mean “modest veil”, all for the sake of protecting this “all of one” soul in danger?
As usual, you are very sly and clever in twisting words, in insinuating falsehoods and in captivating your audience with sarcasm, but do you really believe God is pleased with such conduct? And if you really know something about these scandals that other people don’t know, then I would suggest you be quick and book your ticket for the last judgement now, so you may obtain a front row seat. I myself will be content to remain in the background!
In one thing I must admit that you may have a point though, i.e. that my website is nothing but a “vanity website”, that is, as understood according to the first chapter of Ecclesiastes, of being futile. And my open letter and subsequent reply to you is likewise vanity, because as verse 15 of the same chapter says: “The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite.”
I honestly couldn’t care less how many people read or ignore my website. What matters is that I do what I can. And I do like to think that God knows I have tried to encourage, to defend and to build, rather than to condemn and to destroy, to be a peacemaker rather than a sower of dissensions. If I have failed in this, at least it won’t be for my lack of trying.
Still, I sincerely wish you many happy readers, many grand world tours and plenty of standing ovations from all your fans, but at the end of the day, this too is all vanity. And it will profit you absolutely nothing on the day of judgement, even if you do manage to obtain that front row seat you’re so keen on. And neither will your sarcasm, your exaggerations, your subtle lies, your hypocrisy and your sly spiels.
Regarding your sprawling narratives of which I stand accused of being ignorant, I agree once more with bishop Williamson: “The dogs bark and the caravan moves on.”
As Saint Paul puts it: “Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned and avoid them”21. And with this I have “marked you” and will henceforth also try to “avoid you”.
- 1. Moral Theology A Complete Course Based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Best Modern Authorities
- 2. WordReference.com
- 3. Ibid.
- 4. Oxford Dictionaries
- 5. Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Conference, Econe, 23 December, 1974
- 6. American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol 27, July 1902, pp. 100-101
- 7. The Recusant issue #41
- 8. http://tradidi.com/resistance/greg-taylor-on-indifferentism
- 9. Msgr Pohle, Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Volume 8, The Sacraments - Vol. 1, page 67
- 10. Msgr Pohle, Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Volume 8, The Sacraments - Vol. 1, page 202
- 11. Msgr Pohle, Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Volume 8, The Sacraments - Vol. 1, page 202
- 12. Msgr Pohle, Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Volume 9, The Sacraments - Vol. 2, page 186
- 13. Council of Trent, Session 7, Canon 13
- 14. Anton Koch, A Handbook of Moral Theology, page 264-274
- 15. Moral Theology A Complete Course Based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Best Modern Authorities
- 16. http:/lefebvre/making-distinctions
- 17. Council of Trent, Session 7, Canon 13
- 18. Archbishop Lefebvre, Ecône, 1974
- 19. Archbishop Lefebvre, 1978
- 20. Works of the Right Rev. Bishop Hay Of Edinburgh, Vol. VI, On Miracles, Vol. 1
- 21. Romans 16:17