must always judge the claims people make, according to our Traditional Catholic
Principles. As one example: it is a core, unshakable Traditional Catholic
Principle that Vatican II is a bad tree which can only bear bad fruit.
his war against Our Lord, the devil has endless false arguments which seek to deceive
Catholics that bad fruit is really good fruit. One such Satanic attempt
to deceive Catholics is the following superficial “argument” that falsely
concludes that the new mass gives Grace:
➢ The new mass is
➢ The Mass gives
➢ Therefore, the
new mass gives Grace.
Catholic Common Sense (judging according to Traditional Catholic Principles) causes
us to know immediately that the hand of Satan is in this “argument”, because
the new mass is a bad fruit of a bad tree. No bad fruit is good and something
evil cannot be a source of Grace. Our Catholic Common Sense immediately
“smells” the work of Satan, even if a Traditional Catholic leader or an “angel
were to insist otherwise.
know that the new mass always offends God and is inherently evil. God never
uses something inherently evil as a source of Grace. (However,
when a person is ignorant and witnesses evil, God might use that particular time
and place as the occasion to give His Grace, to help that person see
the evil and make changes in his life.)
if every mass gave Grace, then all evil (but valid) masses would give Grace.
This cannot be! This would mean all (valid) masses of heretics and schismatics
give Grace and thus, are good because they (supposedly) sanctify souls!
would also be forced to conclude that the (valid) masses of Satanists give
Grace and are good, even though they are designed and conducted to mock our
Lord and offend him as greatly as possible through the gravest possible
sacrileges. Our Catholic Common Sense knows immediately that this is Satan’s
“argument” and that it must be false to say all valid masses give Grace.
argument (above) no more proves the new mass gives Grace, than does the
following (false) “argument” prove that all prayer pleases God:
➢ The Pharisee’s
is a prayer.
➢ Prayer pleases
➢ Therefore, the Pharisee’s
prayer pleases God.
our Catholic Common Sense, we know immediately that this argument is false, and
Our Lord told us that God did not hear the Pharisee’s prayer.
devil knows we have Catholic Common Sense and that this “argument” won’t fool
us if we judge (and reject) this argument according to our
Traditional Catholic Principles.
this reason, the devil has additional “layers” of false arguments so that he
can attempt to deceive by a subsequent “layer” of argument any persons who had
managed to remain undeceived by his earlier fallacy. His next “layer” of false
argument involves presenting his fallacious “reasoning”, adding something like
“Archbishop Lefebvre said this” or “St. Pius X taught this”.
striking (and unfortunate) example of this type of demonic “argument”, is the
one which currently deceives Bishop Williamson (and, tragically, which he is
Williamson used to say the new mass is inherently evil and no one should ever
He now says that the Council of Trent’s infallible teaching shows that the
new mass gives Grace. Here are Bishop Williamson’s recent words:
sure you ask yourselves: “What kind of world are my children going to have to
grow up in? How are they going to keep the Faith?” Very good
question. 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.
much this superficial invocation of the Council of Trent deceives Bishop
Williamson himself, the fact remains that our Catholic Common Sense immediately
“smells the rat” despite mention of Trent. Despite Traditional-sounding
buzzwords, we know that the new mass is evil and cannot be a source of Grace.
unmask this false argument, let us look more closely than Bishop Williamson did
(in the conference quoted above), at his claim that the Council of Trent shows
that the new mass gives Grace.
Council of Trent truly states that Sacraments are instrumental causes of Grace
(“ex opere operato”). See, session VII, canon VIII. The Council of
Trent distinguishes (on the one hand) the seven Sacraments – which cause
Grace – from other good works and prayers (on the other hand) through which we obtain
Grace, which are not themselves causes of Grace. Reciting a Hail Mary is
not a direct cause of Grace. Rather, it is a pious occasion which disposes us
and prompts God to give Grace – but not through that prayer as a cause.
although Catholics know that the Sacraments cause Grace, it is against Catholic
Teaching and Catholic Common Sense to wrongly jump to the conclusion that every
valid Sacrament gives Grace, as Bishop Williamson asserts. In other words,
although the Sacraments are causes of grace, this does not mean that there
aren’t obstacles which sometimes serve to prevent a valid Sacrament from giving
Williamson’s superficial “reasoning” misses three key distinctions:
“Grace passes” (to use Bishop Williamson’s expression) to a person receiving
the Holy Eucharist in mortal sin, even when the Host is validly consecrated;
“Grace passes” when the Holy Eucharist is validly consecrated by a heretic or
“Grace passes” when the Holy Eucharist is validly consecrated but the rite of
the Mass is sinful.
we examine these distinctions which show the falsehood of Bishop Williamson’s rash,
overly broad claim that every time there is a valid Sacrament, “Grace passes” (i.e.,
“Grace Passes” to a Person in Mortal Sin Even When the Holy
is Validly Consecrated.
Bishop Williamson says that, if a Sacrament is “valid, then it’s defined by the
Council of Trent that grace passes”, he distorts the Council of Trent and makes
a false, overly broad “rule” that a valid Sacrament always gives Grace. If his
rule were correct, then to receive the Holy Eucharist in mortal sin would give
Grace. But such Communion is a mortal sin of sacrilege, not a source of Grace.
Thus, Bishop Williamson’s rule is false (because it is overly broad) that every
valid Sacrament gives Grace.
“Grace Passes” When the Holy Eucharist is Validly Consecrated
Williamson’s second crucial omission is failing to consider valid Sacraments performed
by heretics and schismatics. Such (valid) Sacraments are mortal sins and
God does not give His Grace through those Sacraments. Here is how St.
Thomas Aquinas explains this important truth:
have contended that heretics,
schismatics, and the excommunicate,
who are outside the pale of the Church, cannot perform this Sacrament
[viz., the Holy Eucharist]. But herein they are deceived, because, as Augustine says (Contra Parmen.
ii), “it is one thing to lack something utterly, and another to have it
improperly”; and in like fashion, “it is one thing not to bestow, and quite
another to bestow, but not rightly.” … [S]ince the consecration of the Eucharist is an act which
follows the power of order, such persons as are separated from
by heresy, schism, or excommunication, can indeed consecrate the Eucharist, which on being consecrated by them contains Christ’s true body and blood; but they
act wrongly, and sin by
doing so; and in consequence they do not receive the fruit of the sacrifice
Summa, III, Q.82,
is a second reason Bishop Williamson is plainly wrong in his superficial misuse
of the Council of Trent to support his assertion that “Grace passes” with every
any reader interested in further enumerations of the Catholic teaching that no “Grace
passes” when valid Sacraments are given by heretics, see the teaching of St.
Gregory XVI, St. Fulgentius, St. Bonaventure and St. Jerome, quoted (with
citations) in Lumen Gentium Annotated, by Quanta Cura Press, pp. 117, 135
& 138, ©
2013, available at: scribd.com/doc/158994906 (free) & at Amazon.com (sold
Plainly, our Catholic Common Sense is confirmed by the teachings of the Catholic
Faith, viz., even if a particular evil mass were valid, it is false and
rash to judge that this mass gives Grace (as Bishop Williamson asserts). This truth
applies to all heretics and adherents to any false religions, including the new
“Grace Passes” When the Holy Eucharist is Validly Consecrated
the Rite of the Mass is Sinful.
when a Sacrament is valid, the Council of Trent nonetheless infallibly declares
it is a mortal sin to omit the Catholic rites surrounding that Sacraments’
Matter and Form. Here are the Council’s words:
saith, 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 … let him be anathema.
the Council of Trent verifies our Catholic Common Sense that a valid sacrament
can be a mortal sin (and thus, not give Grace), because of omissions from (or
additions to) the Catholic sacramental rite. This is precisely the case of
the new mass, which changes the Catholic rite surrounding the
Sacrament’s Matter and Form so that it is inherently a mortal sin of sacrilege
and thus, cannot cause Grace (even if we were to suppose the
consecration were valid).
us pray for Bishop Williamson that he correct his grave errors promoting the
new mass. He has done great good in the past and it is possible for him to still
do great good in the future.