Taking his priestly functions seriously, Father James Wathen selflessly strove for himself to give God proper worship, and for his flock to lead them to salvation through the truth of Christ and His Church. Father Wathen saw that the radical changes in the liturgical and teaching practice of the Church in the mid twentieth century were an about-face from the tried-and-true traditions of the Church–traditions which were an inherent part of the deposit of faith which originated with Christ and the Apostles. Moreover, he saw that the changes were being propelled by men who had accepted the same modernist ideologies which were formally condemned half a century before.
To combat this, Father worked tirelessly to educate his flock in the sound principles of orthodox Catholicism, and to bring the true Roman Catholic liturgy, the so-called “Tridentine Rite” to the growing number of concerned Catholics. Father was passionate in his love of the Church, and of truth, and this passion was made manifest in his prolific writing, particularly in his critique on the new Mass, The Great Sacrilege, and in Who Shall Ascend?, a thorough defense of traditional Catholic dogma against the post Vatican II Church.
When Father passed away in 2006, the contributions from his supporters were sufficient to begin the James F. Wathen Traditional Catholic Foundation, the purpose of which being to continue the apostolate of Father James Wathen, primarily through the promotion of his prolific writings and recordings, and also to further educate and promote the values of true Catholicism as Father would have done.
To-date we have been able successfully to re-publish Father’s great work The Great Sacrilege, as well as some of his other writings, which are available on this site. We are currently undertaking the task of re-printing Father’s landmark work Who Shall Ascend?, and we are constructing a memoir of Father Wathen that will hopefully continue to familiarize faithful Catholics with this landmark priest.
In addition, we are compiling an archive of Father’s many audio recordings, many of which we have been digitally remastering, which are available on this site. Anyone with information on recordings of Father that we may not have in our database should use the Contact Us page to inform us, so we can have as complete an archive as possible.
It is our sincere hope that we are able with this effort to do justice to the memory of Father Wathen, and moreover that we do justice to the fight for which he tirelessly labored.
The James F. Wathen Traditional Catholic Website
Fr. Wathen and Sedevacantism
The allegation has come to this writer’s notice that from time to time Fr. James F. Wathen “softened” or “altered” his position on sedevacantism. There is no foundation, nor any evidence of such. This is an injustice to the memory of Fr. Wathen. We all know or should know that if he had changed his conviction on anything he would have made it known. This tower of strength is but known for his forthrightness and courageous declaration of his convictions. We who knew him know that he never tried to improve or put a different interpretation on any of the traditions of the Church. Pope Boniface VIII made his bull “Unam Sanctam” clear and without any reservations or qualifications. In just as simple terms St. Robert Bellarmine (Doctor of the Church) said no one can remove the pope. It’s that simple. Fr. James Wathen was too wise and too busy to start putting his own interpretation on anything already well established and defined. If one needs to know Fr. Wathen’s position was on sedevacantism, read his superb definitive treatment of it in Who Shall Ascend? or in his sermons or several updates given shortly before his death.
The source of this fabrication is some sedevacantist pseudo-canon lawyer who needs to lean on this orthodox giant to give strength to his anemic position. Fr. Jim did not “soften” or alter anything. Like his Master, the Teacher of us all, he communicated by “yea or nay”, no equivocation–probably Fr. Wathen’s most renowned trait.