I can’t access the site of SSPX Bp. Williamson, but some of you have sent me his latest message, which I look at with my emphases and comments.
ELEISON COMMENTS CXXVII (Dec. 12, 2009) : CALMING CONFUSION.
It has taken three issues of "Eleison Comments" to disentangle why the alleged death-bed testimony of Cardinal Lienart (EC 121) could easily be true, given that it corresponds exactly to how the validity of the Catholic sacraments has been imperilled by the Conciliar sacramental Rites introduced after Vatican II (EC 124, 125, 126). A friendly critic thinks that I have been too concerned to defend the validity of the Conciliar sacraments. But I no more want to exaggerate their validity than their invalidity. [I didn't see the earlier articles. I am hoping that he isn't saying that the sacraments celebrated according to the post-Conciliar books are invalid.]
For indeed no reasonable person who loves the truth wants to do anything other than conform his mind to reality, because truth is defined as "the matching of mind and reality". If a situation is black, I want to call it black. If it is white, I want to call it white. And if it is varying shades of grey in between, I want to make that grey in my mind no more grey-black nor grey-white than it is in reality.
Now it is true that any one sacrament administered in real life will have been either valid or invalid. There are no more shades between valid and invalid than there are between pregnant and not pregnant. But if we consider the Conciliar sacraments [Is that a real distinction? Conciliar sacraments?] being all the time administered throughout the Newchurch as a whole, we can only say some are valid, some are invalid, but they have all been placed on a slide towards invalidity by the Conciliar Rites’ total thrust to replace the religion of God with the religion of man. That is why the Newchurch is on its way to disappearing altogether, and why the Society of St. Pius X can in no way allow itself to be absorbed into it. [So... that seems to be a "no" vote concerning the discussions going on between the SSPX and the Holy See. I wonder what Bp. Fellay thinks about this statement by his SSPX brother.]
But at what exact point on that slide any given priest or priests, for instance, so lose the true idea of the Church that they can no longer Intend to do what the Church does, God alone knows. It may well be that to reach that point takes more than I suggested in EC 125. Maybe it takes less, as our critic suggests. In any case, since only God can know for sure, I do not need to know. All I need to have clear in my mind is that the Conciliar Rites have put God’s sacraments on a slide away from God, and once it is clear to me that they are helping to destroy the Church, that they were even designed to destroy the Church, I should stay away from them.
Meanwhile, as to just how far down the slide is this or that priest, or even the Newchurch as a whole, I will apply the great principle of St. Augustine: "In things certain, unity; in things doubtful, liberty; in all things, charity". [Actually, that's not Augustine.] And within the framework of certainties such as, within the Newchurch neither already nothing, nor everything still, is Catholic, I mean to extend to my fellow-Catholics the same liberty to judge of things uncertain as I hope they will extend to me. Mother of God, obtain the rescue of the Church !
He sounds like a Donatist.
About that phrase often attributed to St. Augustine…
A form of this phrase, pops up at first in about 1628 in German Lutheran circles. It seems to have come from one Rupertus Meldinius, also known as, Peter Meiderln, in his tract entitled Paraenesis votiva pro Pace Ecclesiae ad Theologos Augustanae Confessionis:
Verbo dicam: Si nos servaremus in necesariis Unitatem, in non-necessariis Libertatem, in utrisque Charitatem, optimo certe loco essent res nostrae…. I’ll say it in a word: If we preserve Unity in essentials, Liberty in non-essentials, and Charity in both, our dealings would be in the best situation.
Anyway, it is nice to see that SSPX Bp. Williamson quoting a Lutheran writer.