VIDEO: Priest calls out Francis, Roche for their actions against traditional Catholics

I saw quite a piece at The Remnant about a priest – Father James Mawdsley – who, in unmistakable terms, called out Francis and Roche and those others who have been trying to oppress the faithful who desire traditional Catholic liturgical worship.

The intro at The Remnant, says that he once belonged to the FSSP. He left them so they would not be blamed for what he said! And do any of us believe that there would NOT be reprisals against the FSSP? It also says that, as a layman, he was imprisoned and tortured in Burma for protesting human rights abuses. In solitary, he had a conversion that lead to priesthood.

Here is the video.

As I read through the piece and saw the video, something dawned on me. I’ve had contact with him before.

There is going to be a lot of suffering in the time to come. However, at the end of the Holy TLM, the priest recites the Prologue of the Gospel of John (check out Esolen’s incredible new book HERE). At the end of that “Last Gospel” for Mass, the priest repeats – day in and day out – “we saw His glory, the glory of the Only-begotten of the Father”, which is a reference to Christ’s Passion and death on the Cross, which will come many chapters later in John. In the Roman Canon, after the consecration at the Supplices te rogamus, the priest bows before the altar. Speaking of participation in that altar, when he rises the priest makes the sign of the Cross over the Host, the Precious Blood and then crosses himself. The priest is the one offering the Sacrifice. That’s what priests do. But in these case the priest is also the one being sacrificed. This series of small gestures link to form an icon of such enormity that it will take a priest decades truly to get his mind around it. There is nothing like it in the Novus Ordo.

So, there is going to be a lot of suffering in the time to come.

Please pray for priests.

UPDATE 06 Feb 22:

Here is a video interview with Fr. Mawdsley, to give you a sense of him.

At and after about 17:00 he has a particularly good insight.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Be The Maquis, Mail from priests, SESSIUNCULA, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Traditionis custodes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Elizabeth D says:

    He comes across as rejecting the validity of the Novus Ordo when he suggests that disallowing the Vetus Ordo is “putting Christ to death.” So, he lost me very quickly.

    [“comes across”… that’s a rather thin connection.]

  2. Ave Maria says:

    This priest has faced a possible death and martyrdom and has no qualms about speaking the truth for he knows the importance of it and does not fear the reprisals.
    God bless him! May many other clerics denounce the heresy and apostasy that are causing the implosion of the Church.

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  4. Fr. Kelly says:

    @ElizabethD You may disagree with him, but please don’t do him and our host the disrespect of dismissing him lightly:
    “He comes across as …” “he suggests …”

    This man has put his vocation and his life on the line for the sake of this message. Right or wrong, he deserves a hearing.

    I would respectfully suggest listening around the 3:35 mark where he says:
    “We might not understand if we think that the pope is simply attacking the Old Mass. The fact is the pope is attacking God’s Revelation. That Should matter to everybody. To reject Revelation is to reject Christ. …”

    I, for one do not see how this can be taken as “rejecting the validity of the Novus Ordo” . You may disagree with what he does say, but please don’t dismiss him for what he does not say.

  5. Joe says:

    Father Mawssley has humbled me in showing such courage. Lord, grant him Your assistance.

  6. Lurker 59 says:

    @Elizabeth D.

    The priest says nothing nor indicates anything about the Novus Ordo, VII, post-VII, etc. Such things are wholely absent, even in implication, from his talk.

    I’ve said this elsewhere: The attack on the TLM is an attack on the apostolicity of the Novus Ordo. If the NO is the Faith of our fathers, it is the Faith because it contains the Apostolic Tradition. We know that the TLM is with absolute certitude the Apostolic Faith, by the light of reason alone without the need for the light of faith. The attempt to expunge the TLM (its theology and the expression of faith that it inseminates in believers) is equally to do the same to the NO — if it is not allowed there why should it be allowed in the NO, and if allowed in the NO why not the TLM? No, T.C. is an attack on the Apostolic Faith, and if the NO contains the Apostolic Faith, it is also an attack on the NO and Vatican II.

    This is what is meant by the priest when he says that this is an attempt to put Christ to death. It is not just an attack on some out-of-touch traddies, but upon Christ Himself.

  7. jhogan says:

    I had the privilege of meeting Fr. Mawdsley when he was a seminarian. I found him to be a very zealous young man. Listening to the video, I still encounter that same zeal in him.
    Whether it is hyperbole or not, I think we need to take to heart his message: the Church is under attack from within and without these days.
    I have heard many times that Jesus’ Church will prevail in the end, but does that mean I have nothing more to do? I believe prayer is needed, obviously. Standing firm with Tradition come what may is also needed. I am not sure what the future holds, but I will stand firm with Tradition.

  8. brhenry says:

    @Elizabeth D.

    Amen! The content of this video, in my estimation, solidly vindicates the Holy Father’s actions.

    [One priest puts out one video and THAT is justification for his actions. That’s just plain dumb.]

  9. Patrick-K says:


    Shouldn’t such decisions be based on the objective characteristics of the rites, rather than on the tone of voice of those associated with it?

  10. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Following our host’s link to the Remnant piece, I find a transcription of an interview with Diane Montagna in which Father James Mawdsley says, among other things, of “the Novus Ordo”, “In essence it is still Christ’s awesome Holy Sacrifice of Calvary; but what man has done to His Memorial is a faithless insult to God.” This would seem clearly in keeping with the Holy Father saying in (the English translation of) his 16 July Letter, “I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that ‘in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions’.”

    And, of “those like Archbishop Roche and Pope Francis”, Father James Mawdsley is quoted as saying, “We can recognize their authority without complying with abuses of it.” For, his considered conclusions there include, with respect to Traditionis Custodes, “its content is incoherent”, and that “Pope Francis, Archbishop Roche, Cardinal Cupich, and many other bishops are acting illegally in attempting to suffocate tradition.” Diane Montagna also quotes Father James Mawdsley saying in the video, tha in his 16 July Letter, Pope Francis “impossibly claimed that the Novus Ordo constitutes the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

    Is that or is that not an ‘impossible claim’? Are the Holy Father, Archbishop Roche, Cardinal Cupich, and many other bishops acting illegally, or not? To put the case that it is an (incoherently) impossible claim and that they are acting illegally hardly seems “solidly” to vindicate the Holy Father’s written and further actions, if they are indeed illegal and strictly impossible abusive acts.

  11. donato2 says:

    What this young priest is saying resonates deeply with me.

    What cannot be disputed by anyone is that the traditional Latin Mass is unmistakably Catholic not only in the technical lex orandi, lex credenti sense but also in the way it looks, feels, and sounds. The new Mass, particulary in some of its more modernistic versions, could be mistaken for a Protestant service. This could never be the case with the traditional Latin Mass. It is Catholic through and through. It is in every way — aesthetically, theologically and historically — the very essense of Catholicism. It is part and parcel of Catholicism itself.

    In view of this, it is hard to escape the conclusion that to attack the traditional Latin Mass is to attack Catholicism itself, and hence Christ Himself. This, I think is what this young priest is saying. It in no way vindicates what Pope Francis has done or suggests that the new Mass is evil. It is one thing to allow a non-traditional Mass to exist. Most of us can at least live with that, even if we might wonder if it is of overall benefit to the Church. It is quite another to cite the existence of a recently invented Mass as necessitating the extinguishment of the traditional Mass. That is an intollerable attack on the essence of Catholicism.

  12. brhenry says:


    This is not be a debate of liturgical form. That matter is currently settled. Perhaps in the future another Pope will return the Roman Rite to a previous form (not likely) or develope a new form which is more akin to previous forms (Cardinal Sarah is in favor of this).

    The issue here is about the danger of a “schismatic mentality” which was described in a response from the Ecclesia Dei Commission in 2008 regarding attending Mass at SSPX chapels. Here is the relevant quote:

    “While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute ‘formal adherence to the schism’ (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c), such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church.”

    Sadly, the faithful who exclusively attend licit 1962 Liturgies, can very easily
    “slowly imbibe a schismatic mentality.” This real danger is not limited to illicit Liturgies.

    The above video, and those who applaud its content, are case in point.

  13. Chrisc says:


    Just to clarify. How does one, who is trying to be faithful, avoid such a risk of a schismatic mentality? Would one in the diocese of Lexington who likes communion on the tongue be at risk of a schismatic mentality? If one thinks that the Byzantine rite is better does this manifest a schismatic tendency? If one thinks Cardinal Mccarrick and those who protected him are manifest horrible people who have no business in any position of authority in the church of Christ, is this a schismatic mentality?

  14. FrankWalshingham says:

    Very powerful presentation by Father James Mawdsley. More power to him speaking out against the wrongs against Catholic tradition and traditional Catholics promulgated by Bergoglio and his henchmen like Blase Cupich.

  15. summorumpontificum777 says:

    Brhenry’s logic follows the classic pattern that we see in domestic violence cases. Typically, an abuser seeks total control over the abuse victim. The abuse is cruel, arbitrary and unpredictable. If and when the victim bristles at the abuse or fights back in some manner, the abuser sees this as justification not only for the original abuse but additional abuse to wrangle the victim “back in line.”

    Thus, trads must be punished for their mythical schismatic mentality. If they stand up for themselves and bristle at their abuse, why, that’s just further evidence of their disobedience and justification for an even more draconian crackdown, isn’t it?

  16. donato2 says:

    “Schismatice mentality” is a charge that is devoid of content and hence meaningless. There is nothing “schismatic” about the traditional Latin Mass. On the contrary, the traditional Latin Mass is completely orthodox. It is thus also completely orthodox, and not in the least “schismatic,” to love and adhere to the traditional Latin Mass.

  17. donato2 says:

    I would add that from what is quoted it is evident that the 2008 Ecclesia Dei document concerns not devotion to the traditiona Latin Mass but, rather, the SSPX and attendence at its “chapels.” These are two quite different issues. In 2008 Summorum Pontificum, which made clear that the traditional Latin Mass cannot be considered harmful, had already been issued. Thus the 2008 Ecclesia Dei document cannot be said to subtantiate a claim that devotion to the traditional Latin Mass fosters a “schismatic mentality.” (That the opposite is being argued underscores what how meaningless the term “schismatic mentality” is.)

  18. donato2 says:

    Those who support using Traditionis Custodes as a cudgel against trads argue in effect: “If you do not accept a papal order concerning governance of the Church you are a schismatic regardless of whether the order is evil, destructive of Catholic Tradition and in direct contradiction of what the immediately previous and still living Pope said about the matter.” I’m not a canon lawyer or theologian but I have enough spiritual sense to know that that kind of argument is just wrong. The Pope is powerful and owed obedience, but as others have pointed out quite persuasively and authoritatively, there are limits on even the Pope’s power and one such limit is anything that would destroy the perennial tradition of the Church.

  19. ProfessorCover says:

    It is typical of those who wish to change church teaching (not just in the Roman Catholic Church but in mainline Protestant churches as well) to propose and implement changes in the liturgy that have the effect of watering down the traditional beliefs of the faith. When those who see the effect of this on themselves then “cling” to or attempt to preserve the traditional or historic liturgy, the powers that be in turn accuse them of being schismatic. In fact the schismatics are those who want to change church teaching and they do so by imposing a change in the liturgy. This is why we also see suppression of ad orientem celebrations of the NO and celebrations of NO in Latin. This is also why the phrase schismatic mentality is used—to get those who like the NO to believe that those who support the TLM are schismatic and the source of all the problems caused by the watering down of the faith.

  20. ex seaxe says:

    The degree of central control in TC and Roche’s, so far informal, responsa is absurd and counter-productive, and unpastoral. But there are sufficient examples of pastors depriving parishioners of their rightful entitlement to the NO liturgy to justify giving Ordinaries the powers outlined for use where necessary.
    Given the failure of many diocesans to use the powers they have to regulate the NO one cannot expect that they will actually exercise those powers wisely, but that is on their own heads, “The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path. (St John Chrysostom)”

  21. kurtmasur says:

    @Elizabeth D: Although on the surface it might seem that Bergoglio and his cronies are out to get the TLM and eliminate it completely, their attacks don’t stop there. As we have already witnessed by a few other prelates, they are going after the NO as well, especially the so-called “unicorn” NOs. Think Costa Rica bishops and Cardinal Cupich. In Costa Rica, they have banned the NO in latin, even though the NO’s default missal is in latin (from which all translations are based on), they are (illegally) prohibiting its use. There is speculation that they will attempt to allow certain “ad hoc” changes to the NO for certain regions….and you can bet that those changes will NOT be for the bettter.

    So in conclusion, if somebody has lost you, it shouldn’t be the priest in the above video, but Bergoglio and his cronies. And yes, they should be resisted. I am proud to say that in my diocesan TLM they are already being resisted….as if TC and its “dubia” didn’t exist. I sincerely hope we are not alone in this.

  22. JonPatrick says:

    One way we know this isn’t just about the TLM is that some dioceses are banning mass ad orientem, kneeling after the Agnus Dei or after communion, communion on the tongue, etc. It is an attack on Tradition. I forsee the next thing to be banned will be the Roman Canon (eucharistic prayer I).

  23. Lurker 59 says:


    I foresee the up coming document to not just deal with the TLM but certain Apostolic elements in the NO, either directly or by implication. The recent attacks on those elements in the NO by various bishops indicate to trial balloons/experiments by friendly bishops who rightly could know of the contents of this document. These actions are done to both gauge compliance and to make corrections on the yet-to-be-released document based on the opponent’s arguments.

    Because that is the intelligent thing to do. None of this is being done in a vacuum.


  24. James C says:

    The Pope’s handpicked Relator General of the Synod on Synodality just declared sodomitical relationships to be blessed by God and the German synod just voted to call for women’s ordination, and Brhenry is focused on attacking traditional Catholics for their “schismatic” mentality for complaining about the Pope’s war on the traditional mass.


  25. Lurker 59 says:


    Confusing. What is settled? If you are interpreting “Rome has spoke, it is settled” as legitimizing papal positivism, then there are several misunderstandings at play. T.C.’s authority and legality isn’t absolute. Even if it didn’t contain falsehoods, redefinitions of terms, false premises, and was an exercise in the abuse of power, its internal incoherence, confusions, and chaos that its application would cause lands it squarely into being Canon #87ed into the shredder.

    Let us look at “schismatice mentality” for a second. What is this? Can you define it? Perhaps “isolationist mentality” works better for what you are going after. This is a real issue for individuals who have been abused, they isolate and a spirit of distrust can grow. It is often not their fault, but they are subject to it and suffer for it. The fault is always with the abuser. Perhaps the same thing can be said about “schismatic mentality”. Do the Orthodox suffer from a schismatic mentality? They are in schism and are schismatic, but did this mentality create this or is it a result of it? It surely perpetuates it.

    In terms of schismatic mentality, being someone who have very little association with TLM traditionalists, everything that I have been formally trained in is to remove the, shall we say, schismatic mentality in the NO. There is a lot of it, from layman, to priest, to bishop, to cardinal. Now is this caused by the NO or is it a result of something else? What should we do about it, as it is of a much more pressing concern given it’s widespread dominance in both laity and clergy rather than any schismatic mentality in a small subset of the very few that attend TLM?

  26. Andrew says:

    Some of you writing comments ought to reflect for a moment and consider that you are a guest of a blog: this is not a place for you to go on a bender with veritable dissertations. And also: I might think that I am bold expressing my righteous opinions no matter what the consequence: but I forget that the one who will face the opposition’s rage is not me, but the owner of this blog. Don’t create a storm just to satisfy your own indignation.

  27. Kathleen10 says:

    When God sends a messenger, the message gets through to the flock, somehow.
    We are not left orphaned or without shepherds. But there are many more wolves than we knew about, and they are clearly circling. It’s disappointing to see some of the sheep almost approve of the attacks. They’re okay with it because it’s not them. So many people today seem to just want to be on the winning side, if you can call it that. But God will win.
    They fight God. God gave the people the Roman Rite. It is ours. It is the ancient form of the Holy Mass, no pope, no council, no synod, no gaggle of Cardinals or bishops, can get rid of it. It will only grow more. It is the faithful remnant and it has everlasting appeal to the young, the future.
    summorumpontificum, thank you for putting it so well. The idea that it is the protestations to the beatings which are the problem, is astonishing. It is a classic abuse pattern, and the flock is literally being abused by Rome and the minions, who are doing evil.

  28. Kathleen10 says:

    Forgive me, a further thought.
    We will have the Roman Rite, but it is likely we are going to have to suffer for it, as Fr. Z says. It is faithful priests who are most at risk when they publicly call out the destroyers, and if they do as Fr. Mawdsley has done, they are at great risk. We can lay aside quaint notions of “mercy”, there will be none. It’s been obvious for a long time, fence-sitters will have to jump. Either you pay your pinch of incense, or you won’t. This goes for a lot of things today. Only priests know how many in their ranks go one way or another. They know the numbers they have and can calculate the risk. No one can tell priests what to do. They must do as they are led. God, please show them the way.

  29. misanthrope says:

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

    Did some reading today on the ‘Synod of Synodality’. Aye, depressing that was. Having survived years as an executive in corporate America, it is beyond sad to see PowerPoints and Orwellian HR doublespeak in reems applied by the Church. In lockstep we have bishops and priests ‘coming out’, and/or promoting gay activism; the Pope commending ‘Sister’ Gramick, a large body of whose work stands outside the Faith; as well as including everyone in the Communion of Saints, and making a myriad of other statements that would have been anathema in earlier times (and remain so today, as it happens). I could add to that the betrayal of the underground Church in China. It’s becoming a long, long list.

    However, it’s the VO that needs removal, and anyone supporting it requires suppression, as if the Mass of centuries is a core problem, while pagan idols are elevated and venerated in the House of God. Truly there are bloodless martyrdoms, and many of the faithful suffer at the hands of their shepherds.

    Will those who support the VO be granted ‘inclusion’ in the Synod? Will they benefit from the ‘listening’ of Church leaders? Will they be allowed to ‘walk together’ on the path being laid out? Two years of endless platitudes and pablum and feel-good about ourselves meetings, to what purpose, and for what end?

    If it isn’t for the salvation of souls, which is all that matters in this earthly purgatory, then there is no value to be had or gained.

    Wicked and pernicious times makes for great saints, whether hung on the gibbet or suffering in obscurity.

  30. brhenry says:


    Good question.
    You ask, what should be the saintly response of the faithful to the manifest evils and disorders in the Church, at all levels.

    Here are the steps which seem reasonable to me:

    #1 Fall on your face and thank the Good GOD for the Graces He has given you and say with a humble disposition “there go I, save Grace.”

    #2. Reject any temptations to completely isolate yourself from these evils in sectarian groups etc. You will quickly find out that these groups have many of their own evils, as we are all fallen creatures. As tough as it is, the wheat and tares must grow together.

    #3. The most important. Fervantly pray and do acts of penitential reparation for your own sins and the sins of the members of Christ, as Our Lady instructed at Fatima.

    Did Martin Luther observe legitimate abuses in his day? Of course, everyone does in every age. The response to these abuses will distinguish the schismatic from the Saint.

  31. Bthompson says:


    In part, I wonder whether now was chosen to come down hard on the VO, in part, precisely to ensure those who love it and the sorts of things they would have to say are excluded from the synod’s considerations as much as possible.

  32. Kathleen10 says:

    brhenry, when Martin Luther posted his theses you might have let him borrow your hammer. We have an apparent difference of opinion about what is saintly, I think. My definition varies, but it would never include passive silence in the face of evil against the faith, and what we are witnessing, is evil. And I will rejoice to be called a schismatic, if what I am separating myself from is evil.

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  34. Chrisc says:

    Brhenry, thanks for the reply. There I go save grace, indeed. But to what end have I been given this grace if not to build up the body? Too many people say it’s only grace that keeps me from the damned…. yes, but God has given it to you for some purpose. And that purpose is not to go, ‘whew, let me sit here with folded hands.”

    I am not given to separate the wheat from tares, that is most definitely true. But I may be called to separate those weak ones whom the Lord has given me to care for from wicked hirelings.

  35. WVC says:

    It seems to me, based on the behavior of some commentators here, that those devoted to the Novus Ordo have a hostile and conflict-prone mindset where they seek to belittle and denigrate those who cherish the liturgical traditions of the Church through false accusations, uncharitable assumptions, and speculative nonsequitors.

    Can the pro-TC folks see how this is a stupid way to argue? At some point can we drop the ad hominems and actually discuss, oh, I don’t know, the liturgy?

  36. brhenry says:


    Absolutely. It is wise to raise your family in a territorial parish with a solid history of orthodoxy. They are definitely out there.

  37. Maria says:

    Tahnk you so much Fr Z for this. It would have been nice if he was able to rally behind him the entire FSSP but I respect his decision not to implicate them in his quest to tell thr truth.

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  39. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    To Fr. Z, and especially to Elizabeth and BRHenry snd other readers concerned with Fr. Mawdsley’s statement:

    I hear his statement in the same lens that I read the recent essay of Fr. Robert Imbelli, “No Decapitated Body,” in which he reluctantly concludes that he must revise a prior assessment he made of the extent of apostasy in the Church made some 20 years ago, and today he must say, that “there is abroad in the Church…a quite intentional apostasy.” The ellipsis represent his conclusion that in 2021, he must now remove the former qualifying words he used (those being “somewhat innocent” and “sometimes [intentional]”).

    His title is his rejection of the nature if the current apostasy, which he describes in precisely the same way, with the very same words, that Fr. Mawdsley is using regarding the gesture of the outlawing of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass: the apostasy is an attempt to decapitate the Body of Christ, which means of course “eliminating Jesus,” the Head of the Body.

    It all rings true, and both statements are observing the same apostasy. As many of you already know, Fr. Imbelli is certainly a priest supporting the Second Vatican Council, as it logically holds that Fr. Mawdsley does, since he was in the FSSP, and not the SPPX.

  40. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    Here is the link to Fr. Imbelli’s essay “No Decapitated Body,” in the journal Nova et Vetera.

  41. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you for adding the excellent video interview with Fr. James Mawdsley (and thereby introducing me to what looks an interesting YouTube channel as well).

  42. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In the context of Father James Mawdsley concluding that Archbishop Arthur Roche is acting illegally, Edward Pentin’s 8 January article, “Traditional Latin Mass: Canonists Question the Legislative Force of Recent Vatican Guidelines”, including detailed comments on “the Responsa ad Dubia on Certain Provisions of the Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes issued Motu Proprio” by Father Pius Pietrzyk, adjunct professor of canon law at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception and Cardinal Raymond Burke rewards reading.

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