Williamson spouts Protestant ideas…

Christ or Belial?
Bp. Sanborn refutes Bp. Williamson on the “New Mass”

Just recently we took Bp. Richard Williamson to task for his ludicrous argumentation that the “New Mass” of the Vatican II Sect can licitly be attended by Catholics under certain restrictive circumstances. As we demonstrated in our post and video, the former SSPX bishop’s argumentation was lacking in consistency and, most of all, in traditional Catholic theological principles. Williamson based his entire argumentation on the Modernist, Subjectivist, and Protestant idea that licit attendance at Holy Mass is determined by what it does for the believer, rather than whether it is the true worship of God by the Catholic Church. Holy Mass, for Williamson, is principally and essentially a spiritual aid to the believer, rather than the Church’s solemn worship of the Most Holy Trinity.

Bp. Donald Sanborn, rector of the sedevacantist Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida, has now weighed in with a substantial blog post that systematically refutes the errors of Bp. Williamson on this very topic. Here is an excerpt, followed by a link to the full article:

[Source: In Veritate Blog]


A Response to Bishop Williamson concerning Attendance at the New Mass

On June 28th of this year, Bishop Williamson gave a conference to a gathering of people in Connecticut, followed by questions and answers.

A woman asked him whether it was permissible to attend the New Mass. Bishop Williamson says that, under certain circumstances, it is permissible to actively participate in the New Mass.


Point # 1. The New Mass is either Catholic worship or it is non-Catholic worship. There is no third possibility.In order that a Mass be Catholic, it must (a) contain a valid Catholic rite of consecration; (b) be offered by a validly ordained Catholic priest who is in union with the Catholic hierarchy, and who is authorized by that hierarchy to offer the Mass in the name of the whole Church; (c) Catholic ceremonies, that is, ceremonies which express the Catholic truth concerning the Mass. If any of these elements should be lacking, it would not be a Catholic Mass, and it would be a mortal sin to attend it.

If we concentrate only on the question of Catholic ceremonies, it is clear that the New Mass is non-Catholic worship….

The Anglican communion service, for example, contains a valid consecration formula, but it is non-Catholic worship because the surrounding prayers convey error and heresy concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the priesthood. The same is true of the New Mass. The same is true of the Mass of Luther.

For this reason, ever since 1969, Catholics all over the world have been avidly resisting and rejecting the New Mass, even though it was promulgated by Paul VI, precisely because it is non-Catholic worship. If it is Catholic worship, then why are we resisting it? If it is non-Catholic worship, then how could we attend it?

One cannot say that “a rite designed to undermine Catholics’ faith” is Catholic worship, and pleasing to God. It is an abomination in God’s sight, and this fact is the very reason for our decades-long persistent rejection of it.

Point # 2. The Catholic Mass is not primarily a spiritual pick-me-up. Bishop Williamson, early in the response to the woman’s question, stated as the golden rule and the absolute rule of rules: “Do whatever you need to do to nourish your faith.”

Let it be said, first of all, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered primarily and essentially for the worship of God, and not as a fervor stimulant for our spiritual lives. It is accurate that any true worship of God, even Miraculous Medal devotions, will have as a side effect the increase of fervor and devotion in our souls. In no case, however, is any act of worship directed primarily or essentially toward the increase of personal piety.

The principle which Bishop Williamson gives here — “Do whatever you need to do to nourish your faith.” — is utterly protestant. For the protestant all worship consists solely of an interior act of praise and thanksgiving to God. The protestant’s altar is his heart. His worship is consequently completely subjective, as is his faith. The purpose of external protestant worship, i.e., whatever they do on Sundays at their churches, is to excite the heart towards feelings of faith. For this reason, protestant worship can vary from being very Catholic in its trappings, such as that of the High Anglicans, to being something very low and vulgar, such as that of the pentecostalists. What is the golden rule for protestants which makes all of it true worship? It is exactly what Bishop Williamson said: “Do whatever you need to do to nourish your faith.”

The statement is also modernist. Modernism utterly subjectivizes religion. Religion is your own interior religious experience, and dogma must evolve according as your religious experience evolves. To tell someone that the absolute rule of rules is to “do whatever you need to do to nourish your faith” means that our interior faith is what justifies the external worship, whatever it may be.

Consequently the modernist could just as easily say that a balloon Mass nourishes his faith, or a clown Mass, or any other kind of liturgical aberration.

The Catholic position is that what nourishes our faith is Catholic doctrine. Pope Pius XII said in his encyclical Mediator Dei“Let the rule of prayer determine the rule of belief.” (no. 48), which means, as he explains, that the liturgy must reflect Catholic truth: “The liturgy is a profession of eternal truths.” (ibid.) The Pontiff also says in the same paragraph that the liturgy receives its doctrine from the teachings of the Church, and that it is also right to say: “Let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer.”

Catholic liturgical doctrine, therefore, declares that there is a tight and mutual connection between Catholic dogma and Catholic liturgy. Consequently, the only liturgy which could nourish our faith, according to Pius XII, would be one which is determined by Catholic dogma.

How then could the New Mass nourish one’s faith? The only way in which it could is if it reflects Catholic truth, i.e., as Pius XII says, if “it is a profession of eternal truths.”

If the New Mass is a profession of eternal truths, however, then in what way is it bad, and why do we resist it and reject it?

It is obviously not a profession of eternal truths, as everyone knows, and especially Bishop Williamson, who said: “It is a rite designed to undermine Catholics’ faith, and to turn their belief away from God towards man.”

The conclusion is that Bishop Williamson is thoroughly mixed up, is totally inconsistent, is tainted by protestant and modernist thinking, and lays all the logical groundwork for a reconciliation with the modernists, for him the dreaded Fellay-ism…


It is wonderfully refreshing to see someone put forth real Catholic theological principles and juxtaposing them with the half-baked and haphazard ideas of Bp. Williamson. It is in this contrast that it becomes amply clear which of the two bishops is dispassionately using Catholic theology in an analysis of the situation and applies it to the case at hand. Sanborn uses the rigorous content of Sacred Theology; Williamson simply makes it up as he goes along (“if you watch and pray”; “if you trust the priest”; “if it’s a decent Mass”, etc.).

You may wish to review the actual video footage of Bp. Williamson’s embarrassing waffling on the question of whether a Catholic can participate in the worship of the Modernist Vatican II religion — a question which should not be difficult to answer:

Our own critique of Williamson can be found in this video, as well as in our accompanying post:

For more refutations of Bp. Williamson, and more of Bp. Sanborn, be sure to check the following posts:

One essential point to remember is this: You cannot uphold Catholic Tradition if you make up new ideas and principles to suit a desired conclusion. If you wish to defend and keep the Faith of old, then you cannot modify it to fit the current situation, for by doing so, you are necessarily giving up the very Faith you have desired to preserve.

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