Category Archives: Novus Ordo religija

The Vatican’s Hell Hall: The Weird Mysteries of the Paul VI Audience Hall

Infernal Art and Architecture in the Vatican

The Vatican’s Hell Hall:
The Weird Mysteries of the Paul VI Audience Hall

Darkness Visible: Eerie, shrieking skull-like faces seem to peer out menacingly from the base 0f La Resurrezione, an eight ton sculpture, as “Pope” Francis speaks during an audience on November 21, 2015 at the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. It is only one of the many bizarre things associated with this auditorium. (image: Getty Images/AFP / rights-managed)

by Francis Del Sarto

G.K. Chesterton once referred to architecture as “the most practical and the most dangerous of the arts.” When it comes to the dangerous part of the equation, church-related edifices built with Vatican II mandates in mind should all come with the spiritual equivalent of boarded-up doors and windows, and prominently-displayed “CONDEMNED — KEEP OUT!” signs.

One of the foremost offenders in this regard, and perhaps the creepiest looking of of all, has to be the 6300-seat snake-head-like Hall of the Pontifical Audiences. As construction on it was completed in 1971 during the ill-begotten reign of Giovanni Battista Montini (“Pope” Paul VI), the building is more popularly known as the Paul VI Audience Hall (or the Aula Paolo VI in Italian).

Inside, on the stage behind the seated “pope” is a massive artwork allegedly depicting the Resurrection of Christ. We say “allegedly” because, unlike in conventional renderings, there is no joy to be found in it, no angelic Alleluias! singing the praises of Our Lord’s victory over the grave. Rather, it could more likely be taken for a glimpse into the horrors of hell or perhaps some tragic pagan epic, than it could pass for a scene of Easter glories. Both the hall and the sculpture will be treated in depth momentarily, but first it will be profitable to examine the Novus Ordo justification for such grotesqueries.

“Vatican II changes everything.”

A number of architectural styles have been wildly popular over the past half-century or so: modernisthyper-modernist, and post-modernist, chief among them. As for Catholic, not so much. One could even say there has been a concerted search-and-destroy effort to attack true Catholic churches whenever possible, either selling them to secular buyers or Protestant sects, levelling them to the ground in a scorched earth policy to usher in the Age of Strange, or gutting their interiors of all that made them worthy places for priests to offer the true Mass through a process that has been aptly described as “wreckovation”.

It would not be a stretch to say that post-Vatican II ecclesiastical architecture in many cases represents a deliberately anti-Catholic form of church design. The title of Michael S. Rose’s 2001 book on the subject pretty well describes those Modernist edifices: Ugly as Sin. Often it seems that the men designing those temples are deliberately seeking to make them as hideous and un-Catholic as they possibly can.

The title of this section is a quote by Father (or “Father”) Richard S. Vosko, a noted “liturgical design consultant” and wreckovator extraordinaire. He is a promoter of worship spaces for “happy people on the move”, and he “speaks reverently and respectfully of pagan cultic practices, but can barely say anything pertaining to the Catholic Church except by laughing uncontrollably”, as noted by the late Paul Likoudis in an article for The Wanderer in 2001. (Note that when a progressive speaks of “people on the move” or the popular Novus Ordo catchphrase, “a pilgrim people”, the moving does not denote a pilgrimage to, say, Rome or the Holy Land or to some indulgenced church or shrine — that would be a centuries-old traditional Catholic devotional practice. Rather, what is meant is the Modernist sense of Catholics moving from an orthodox belief system to an ever-evolving one, from the stability of immemorial objective truths to continually-mutating subjective experiences.)

So, when Vosko says that Vatican II represents “the end of stable religion”, it is most assuredly said in triumph. The Likoudis article already referred to showcases Vosko’s contributions to “Catholic” churches after the council and would be worth quoting in full. For copyright reasons, however, we must restrict ourselves to repeating only some salient portions (readers are encouraged to read the full text here):

In a revealing appearance April 3 [2001] at the University of Toledo’s Corpus Christi Chapel [see inside here], which he designed, Vosko bedazzled some 300 Toledo-area Catholics with his talk about building worship spaces for “happy people on the move,” showing himself as a man in movement.

…For 56 minutes, Vosko articulated his rejection of Christian teachings, his rejection of Catholic art, architecture, and ritual, his contempt for Catholics stuck in “old habits” of prayer and worship, as he attempted to explain what his new religion is all about.

In Vosko’s anthropological religion, the story of Jesus is a “myth” and Catholic rituals are not objectively different from Sioux sun dances or the Shamanic practices of Nepalese monks.

…He said “there’s a lot of debate in the Church,” because “some challenge the Church to a new direction” while “others cling to relics of a bygone era.”

…Art and architecture — said the art consultant for Roger Cardinal Mahony’s new cathedral and Bishop Matthew Clark’s cathedral renovation, among others — are only important insofar as they help people on their “inner search.”

How Corpus Christi helps people on their inner search is not clear. The edifice, described by one person in the audience as “very cerebral,” is appallingly stark. Except for the labyrinth in colored tiles on the floor, and the wood and upholstered chairs (no kneelers), the church’s sharp surfaces are entirely white, except for a two-story window, which frames the “sacred” pine tree just outside. A pyramid-shaped skylight at the peak of the church intensifies the whiteness. The chapel’s stations of the cross are set in the floor. A large granite immersion pool bubbles water in the gathering space. The overwhelming effect of Vosko’s edifice is that it would be more serviceable as a showroom for upscale sports cars.

…”Some people use tradition as a way of staying in a habit. We cannot stand still,” Vosko said as he continued walking around the labyrinth he designed into the floor of the chapel, “because life is too short.”

…During his lecture, Fr. Vosko expressed his preference for the church-in-the-round model, saying circles — citing Stonehenge, Indian tepees, and mandalas as examples — are powerful symbols, as is the labyrinth. He also defended Corpus Christi Chapel’s movable bare wooden cross, which he described as a “powerful totem that puts us in touch with that which can be.”

He told his audience that when he is retained as a consultant for a parish renovation, that “sometimes you have to strip away things … that get in the way, things that are just habits.”…

(Paul Likoudis, “Liturgical Design Consultant Reveals His New Age Religion”The Wanderer, Apr. 26, 2001)

What Vosko says in explaining his approach is more or less echoed by the vast majority of his fellow architectural anarchists, including the Modernist mind behind Paul VI Audience Hall, whom we will meet in a few moments.

Lex orandi, lex credendi — how we pray reflects what we believe, and vice versa. Just as the Modernist infiltrators realized that the most effective way to “re-educate” the faithful into accepting a false religion cast as “up-to-date Catholicism” was by radically altering the way they worshipped, in the form of a “New Mass”, those changes had to carry over to celebrants discarding traditional vestments in favor of cheap, undignified ones (aka “horse blankets”), changing the furnishings of the church (replacing the altar with a table, moving or even hiding the tabernacle, removing altar rails and kneelers, etc.), and ultimately replacing pre-Vatican II churches with late-20th century specimens of spectacular bizarreness, the unwritten rule apparently being: The designer is to be given complete freedom in choosing whatsoever style most greatly pleases him, provided it fits in with the faith community, and is approved by the local authorities. However, under no circumstances may the finished edifice appear to be, much less be able to function as, a Roman Catholic church.

This has been made abundantly clear over and over again throughout the world, so much so that any number of pictorial essays have been published to decry the outrages. Thus, for example, we see on the semi-traditionalist Tradition in Action the appropriately-titled “Churches of Hell”, where one can see a “church” that looks like a dunce cap, another with weird angles out of some German expressionist movie, yet others resembling a Shinto shrine or some type of occult building, etc.

Do you like origami? The Japanese art of making decorative shapes from folded paper can produce some lovely works; unfortunately, it’s not something that really lends itself well to church design — quite the opposite, to be honest. However, that fact did not dissuade some determined German Novus Ordos from erecting an origami-style “rest stop for the soul” along the autobahn, as reported here at Novus Ordo Watch back in 2017.

That same year, we also reported on the disgraceful new “basilica” at Fatima, which constituted one of many Vatican II church attacks on the 1917 apparitions. We wrote: “The ugliness of it all speaks volumes: It is the architectural expression of the Novus Ordo religion. For this reason alone it cannot be anything other than ugly” (“Blasphemy at Fatima: The ‘Basilica of the Holy Trinity’”, May 22, 2017).

Even secular web sites don’t fail to see the obvious, such as Thrillist, which published a feature entitled “The Nine Ugliest Cathedrals in the World” (eight out of nine are Novus Ordo, with the last one being an oddball Anglican “Cardboard Cathedral” in New Zealand). Check them out at your own risk.

Circling back around to the primary subject of this article — the Paul VI Audience Hall — we can’t leave this section without noting that the designer of the hall, Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979), although a fairly prolific architect, was to our knowledge involved in only one other collaboration on a religious structure, the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, in San Francisco, California, which is quite hideous in its own right:

St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, aka “Our Lady of Perpetual Agitation”
(image: Wikimedia Commons / public domain)

According to the cathedral’s entry on Wikipedia: “The design process was controversial. A preliminary design reminded one critic of ‘the effort of a camel and donkey to mate.’”

Not all have given it a negative rating, however. Two years ago, the eclectic Architectural Digest ranked it among the nation’s prettiest, but even in reporting that fact, a San Francisco-based website saw fit to open the article with this gibe:

Know[n] to few as Church of Mary of the Assumption or Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, the church at 1111 Gough [Street] has been rechristened by San Franciscans as Our Lady of Maytag. (It also goes by the sobriquets “Our Lady of Perpetual Agitation” and “McGucken’s Maytag.”) One look at its washing machine agitator-like roof and you will see why.

(Brock Keeling, “Church of Mary of the Assumption named one of nation’s prettiest churches”Curbed San Francisco, Feb. 7, 2017)

The McGucken of “McGucken’s Maytag” is Bishop Joseph Thomas McGucken (1902-83), who ordered the erection of a cathedral to replace the previous St. Mary’s, which had been destroyed by arson in 1962. The new one was designed while McGucken was in Rome attending the Second Vatican Council, and it has been called the “first cathedral truly of our time and in harmony with the liturgical reforms of the Council” — by architecht Nervi himself.

The Horrors of Hell Hall (CAUTION: Frightening images ahead)

Freak Shows & Buffoonery: In between the usual progressivist platitudes heard in the Modernist echo chamber known as Paul VI Hall, inane spectacles serve as diversions, but the frivolity masks a darkness: The hall was built with the express intention of replacing the Church’s “relics of a bygone era” with Vatican II’s “new direction”, and quite successfully so.

Not far south of St. Peter’s Basilica, only a stone’s throw away, one can find the Hall of the Pontifical Audiences, which was solemnly inaugurated on June 30, 1971. It resides partly in Vatican City but mostly in Rome, and the Italian part of the building is treated as an extraterritorial area of the Holy See.

The following video clip provided by the Associated Press shows “Pope Saint” Paul VI and Pier Luigi Nervi during the opening of the hall (the first minute of the video has no sound):

Commissioned in 1963, the auditorium was built on land donated by the Knights of Columbus. Construction began in 1966. Paul VI and his successors have used it as an alternative to St. Peter’s Square as a venue for Wednesday audiences or when the weather is inclement. It stands as an ongoing mocking reminder to Catholics by their enemies that “Sorry, folks, but we’re running things now!”

Controlling adversaries in such close physical proximity to the Vatican is in line with something ominously declared some time ago, namely, how “within the eight city blocks that make up the Vatican State no fewer than four Scottish Rite lodges are functioning… Many of the highest Vatican officials are Masons.” Before scoffers dismiss this as the wild rantings of a traditional Catholic “conspiracy theorist”, let it be known that the man making the statement, far from being one of the faithful, was Carlos Vazquez Rangel, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Masons of Mexico, who proudly made the boast during an interview with the political journal Processo (see John K. Weiskittel, “Freemasons and the Conciliar Church”, in The Athanasian XIV, no. 4 [June 1, 1993]).

We’ve already seen the thoughts of Fr. Richard Vosko, the “liturgical design consultant” responsible for guiding wreckovation in American churches. What he had to say about the thinking behind Novus Ordo church architecture is equally apropos the Paul VI Masonic Audience Hall: “Vatican II says we have to have a totally new understanding of what religion is.”

Architect Nervi was in complete harmony with this “new understanding”, which, when it came to sacred spaces, was to stand traditional thinking square on its head and to serve as “a challenge to conventional religious thought”. (It is noteworthy that one of his other chief projects assisted the aims of world government, when he was one of three architects who designed the UNESCO Headquarters aka the World Heritage Centre, which was completed in Paris in 1958.)

From an analysis of the Paul VI Audience Hall, we read:

Nervi’s Audience Hall is, at its core, an intersection of two profound ideas in his life’s work—the relentless search for the “truthful style” and the creation of an architecture of optimism. In a broader sense, the building serves to challenge (and ultimately redefine) ideas of what sacred architecture can and should be.

A prime example of this challenging or rethinking can be found in the material choices for the Audience Hall—

“Every element in the structure is in fact made of white cement, blended with special inert matter containing fragments of Apuan marble. All the surfaces are left exposed and no finishing material is used, ensuring that cement, traditionally considered a poor, sad material, is here given the same worth as the precious stones employed in the nearby basilica.”

Nervi’s decision to leave the ferrocemento unfinished has roots in modernist theory. Huxtable sees structure as “the basis of modern architecture.” If this is in fact the case, then Nervi’s work represents a clear articulation of modernist principles and perhaps even the “truthful style” he sought throughout his career. The materiality of the Paul VI Audience Hall is also a challenge to conventional religious thought, particularly pertaining to the design of sacred spaces. Nervi’s use of concrete, a “poor, sad material,” is no accident. It is a commentary on the futility of relying on precious materials to create a sense of the divine—in his Audience Hall, Nervi demonstrates that space achieves sanctity through structure and thoughtfully designed spaces, not expensive skins or claddings.

(Billy Griffits and John David Scott, “1971 Paul VI Audience Hall”; posted at Florida International University, n.d.)

Nervi’s style choices anticipate “Pope” Francis’ championing of what’s been referred to as the “church of the poor”, or the “miserablist church”, based on a Modernist postulate that the Church must be unadorned, as displays of pomp and grandeur are an affront to the needy. But not only, it is argued, should she eschew solemnity and dignity, she should consciously present a plain, even shabby, appearance, as achieved by Nervi as a statement against the Church’s architectural tradition. Yet, far from being an affront to the poor, the beauty of the churches were meant to give them a respite from the misery of their everyday lives, to give them a foretaste of Heaven, their true goal.

All of this reminds one of the lament of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, which goes in part: “I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments, and make her feel remorse for her historical past” (Mgr. Georges Roche, Pie XII devant l’Histoire [Montréal: Éditions du Jour, 1972], p. 52; trans. by Christopher Ferrara).

In recent years, the Vatican’s audience hall has become the subject of much scrutiny on the internet. Many critics, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have raised questions about the weird, snakelike features of the building, both inside and out. It’s one of those things that, once seen, can’t be unseen.

The exterior shape of the building has been likened to the head of a pit viper, a resemblance enhanced in 2008 when its roof was retrofitted with photovoltaic panels. Yet it’s only after one goes inside that the full effect can be appreciated. If one stands at the far end of the hall and looks all the way down to the stage at the other end, where Francis and his four immediate predecessors have given their Modernist pep talks, there’s what looks like a gigantic viper staring back at one with the windows as the elliptical eyes so characteristic of the Viperidae family of reptiles. The stage is the mouth with pillars to either side of the middle shaped like fangs, the center aisle for a tongue, and the design of the ceiling and walls reminiscent of snake skin.

Indeed, visitors who wander into the hall initially unaware of its function could be excused for mistaking it for a museum of herpetology. If an architect had tried to give it that viperous visual effect, it’s not clear what he would have done differently. Have a look:

Any resemblance to the face of a viper is entirely accidental… 

Tradition in Action devoted one of its “Church Revolution in Pictures” features to the subject, in a post aptly entitled “Teaching from the Serpent’s Mouth”. After describing how different areas in the hall’s interior are suggestive of the reptile, the following cogent point is made:

If these analogies are objective, the Pope [sic] stands precisely in the center of the serpent’s mouth. It is from there that he delivers his speeches during his general audiences and special meetings. Quite different from speaking from the chair of Peter, the cathedra of truth. The conciliar Popes now deliver their new doctrine from the serpent’s mouth.

For those who may be unaware of the significance of speaking through the mouth of a serpent, the last such incident was recorded in Genesis 3:1-5. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work out too well.

In any case, there has naturally been no shortage of would-be debunkers. Some have written off the effect as merely created by the distortion of a photo taken using a fisheye lens. The trouble with that is that by doing an image search of the hall, it becomes abundantly clear that while such a lens would certainly increase the effect, there are simply too many photos showing the same effect that it would be a conspiracy in its own right to suppose that they were all taken with a fisheye lens or otherwise distorted, independently of one another and for no apparent reason. No, even Vatican Media itself publishes photos showing this viperous look, as can be seen in this picture of Francis’ Jan. 2, 2019 audience.

We can even see this effect in a shot taken from inside the building as construction was in progress. No optical effects, just a standard lens:

(image: arcvision.org / fair use) 

For some perspective, here’s a shot from the back corner:

Next is another straightforward look down the center aisle:

(image: Manuel Chacón-Palomares at historia-arte.com / CC BY 4.0) 

Interestingly enough, just on the very day of the release of the present article, the following photo was shared on Twitter by Vatican journalist Arthur Herlin. It depicts the auditorium having been transformed into a giant playground for the children of Vatican City employees. Once again, the reptilian vibe is present:

(image: twitter.com/arthurherlin / fair use) 

The hard-t0-miss “there’s a viper staring at you” effect is no doubt attributable in large part to the trapezoid shape of the building. Yes, you read that right: The edifice was not built in the shape of a rectangle but of a trapezoid (trapezium). This is highly significant because the trapezoid is considered the most Satanic of shapes in occultism, perhaps because its visual discordance — and frequent asymmetry — lends itself to disorientation and disharmony. For obvious reasons, we’re not going to link to Satanic web sites or to sites where Satanic rituals are explained, but suffice it to say that there is a Law of the Trapezoid and an Order of the Trapezoid connected with Satanism and occultism. People who must know about these things can do their own research.

The point is not that a trapezoid shape is bad in itself — it obviously isn’t — but that Satanists have a preference for its use and consider it highly suitable for their practices. They believe that it facilitates the demonic, that it gives certain energies to those who are sensitive to it, etc. Just as there is Catholic architecture, which uses shapes and designs that are particularly suited to the sacred worship of the Holy Trinity, so there is also anti-Catholic architecture, Satanic building design, which those pitiful souls use for their nefarious ends.

As far as the Paul VI Hall goes, its trapezoidal shape is hard to miss when viewed from above:

image: Maxar Technologies (fair use) via Google Maps street view (screenshot) 

Occultists’ love of the trapezoid would explain why some Novus Ordo altars are made in that shape and why — get this — “Pope” John Paul II’s body was placed in a coffin that was trapezoidal in shape, not merely when viewed from the top but also when viewed from the side. This is hardly an accident, and it speaks volumes. Of course the interreligious “meditation room” of the United Nations headquarters is also trapezoidal in shape.

Thus, it isn’t all that surprising that, once the Modernists had usurped the See of St. Peter, the first chance they got to build an auditorium meant to be a venue for papal events in the heart of Catholicism, they made it trapezoidal, odd, and sinister.

Still, some will write off the snake-head-like appearance of the building as some observers simply having overactive imaginations, seeing what’s not there — an example of the psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia (perceiving meaningful connections in unrelated objects, such as animals in clouds, a grinning face in a car’s grill and headlights, etc.). Like a Rorschach test, “conspiracy theorists” are just projecting their delusions. Nervi would never have intended to fashion something that looks like the head of a serpent, and, clearly, not everyone sees it. Right?

Granted, the human mind does tend to arrange unrelated objects to signify something else. But the arranging can come not only from the observer, it can also come from the designer. No one knows if Nervi had such an uncanny conception; but whether or not it was intended, the design easily lends itself to such an interpretation; and it is not unreasonable, given everything that has transpired in the Vatican since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, to point out that perhaps there is more than just inexplicable “oddity” here — perhaps there is deliberate Satanic intent.

But whatever the case may be, what definitely no one sees inside that barren hall is anything that in the least identifies it as being Catholic: There are no crucifixes or crosses, no religious paintings, no statues, or anything else to raise the heart and mind to God. Now that is not up to interpretation — the striking absence was a deliberate attempt by those tasked with furnishing the hall to reject Catholic ornaments (with one exception, to be mentioned shortly).

“Wait”, some Novus Ordo stalwarts may chide us, “how can you possibly overlook the striking artwork that’s situated directly behind the pope, and that rises high above him”?

Yes, how indeed does one miss a two-story-high elephant in the room?

A Frightful Centerpiece of Blasphemy and Sacrilege

Christ or Antichrist? Looming menacingly above Benedict XVI, and looking more like a creature from a horror film than the Savior of mankind, is what the artist described as Jesus Christ emerging from amid toxic smoke (“smoke of Satan”?) and human skulls after a nuclear Armageddon.

In 1977, on the occasion of Paul VI’s eightieth birthday and less than a year before his death, the Vatican was gifted with an enormous bronze sculpture that would prove to be the hall’s finishing touch. La Resurrezione (“The Resurrection”) is a Modernist nightmare image that shrieks the message of blasphemous rebellion stated somewhat less shrilly by its surroundings. As Atlas Obscura, a website dedicated to unusual places around the world, puts it: “If you want to talk to the Pope you will have to stare down this surreal vision of Jesus rising from a nuclear hell”; while another site, Lazer Horse, describes it as “intriguingly sinister”.

Elsewhere, comments randomly found around the internet use terms like “bizarre”, “frightening”, “ugly”, “ghoulish”, a “monstrosity”, “evilly horrific”, “demonic”, “gruesome”, “terrifying”, “depressing”, “strikingly weird”, “dark”, “oddly nightmarish”, and “Satanic looking”. So, suffice it to say, no one’s going to confuse it with the spiritually uplifting works of great Catholic artists from the past. But why must it be so diametrically opposite to the spirit of true sacred art? The compulsion to debase that which is holy, inherent in theological Modernism, necessarily carries over to its counterparts in other fields — it cannot do otherwise.

La Resurrezione replaced the original (and traditional) artwork that served as the backdrop for the audiences the first few years (it can be seen in the video from the Associated Press embedded above). In 2011, it received restoration work, lest this priceless treasure be lost to posterity. Unlike Pier Luigi Nervi, who seemingly left no specific clue as to whether there was any extra-architectural significance to the hall’s design, La Resurrezione‘s creator Pericle Fazzini (1913-1987) was quite specific when speaking about the message he intended to send with it. An obituary in The New York Times reports:

The Vatican commissioned Mr. Fazzini to provide a work for its modern auditorium. The result was “The Resurrection,” a statue depicting Jesus rising from a nuclear bomb crater.

“Suddenly there came to me the idea of Christ preaching peace for 2,000 years, and the place where He prayed for the last time: the olive grove of Gethsemane,” said Mr. Fazzini in a book about the work. “I had the idea of depicting Christ as if He were rising again from the explosion of this large olive grove, peaceful site of His last prayers. Christ rises from this crater torn open by a nuclear bomb; an atrocious explosion, a vortex of violence and energy.”

“The Resurrection” is molded in red bronze and yellow brass and measures 66 feet by 23 feet by 10 feet.

(“Pericle Fazzini, 74, a Sculptor for Vatican”The New York Times, Dec. 5, 1987)

According to the Wikipedia entry for the abominable piece, “The original work was done in polystyrene and the fumes of the burning plastic gave Fazzini a blood clot during its production.” Talk about the smoke of Satan!

Setting Christ’s Resurrection in an ahistorical, fictionalized late 20th century is quintessentially Modernist, because it is art that, supposedly, speaks to modern man. This was touched upon at Vatican II, when Gaudium et Spes, the council’s so-called Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, declared:

The Church acknowledges also new forms of art which are adapted to our age and are in keeping with the characteristics of various nations and regions. They may be brought into the sanctuary since they raise the mind to God, once the manner of expression is adapted and they are conformed to liturgical requirements.

Thus the knowledge of God is better manifested and the preaching of the Gospel becomes clearer to human intelligence and shows itself to be relevant to man’s actual conditions of life.

(Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, n. 62)

Fazzini’s final work, dedicated in 1987, was a hideous monument to Padre Pio at San Giovanni Rotondo. You can view it here. It’s not quite as overtly sinister as his unorthodox take on the Resurrection, but every bit as peculiar (we can’t believe that the holy stigmatized spiritual son of St. Francis would be thrilled at this rendering of him, though he would take solace in knowing that he had undergone a similar indignity in bronze as his Divine Master).

Returning to La Resurrezione, as disturbing as it is when viewed from afar, it is no less so seen up close, especially when we zoom in on the head that’s allegedly that of Christ:

image: youtube.com (screenshot / fair use) 

Rather than Our Blessed Lord displaying the expression of one who has conquered sin and death and risen triumphantly from the grave, Fazzini’s version gives this “Jesus” a world-weary look of uncertainty and perplexity. It isn’t an expression that exactly strengthens the belief, devotion, and resolve of the faithful. Instead, the befuddled look they see upon that countenance manifests the doctrinal flux and confusion that overcame Catholics post-Vatican II, when they found themselves faced with a new religion emanating from what appeared to be the Catholic magisterium.

Beyond that, there is something else that brings this further into the creepy zone. It has been pointed out that the rather scraggly hair billowing out on the right of the photo when taken as a whole, bears a resemblance to a serpent’s head, so we’re back to the reptile connection again.

And then there is the odd coincidence someone found that when mirroring the left side of the statue, there appears something that looks eerily similar to the head of the Satanic Baphomet:

images: lazerhorse.org (cropped) and etsy.com (fair use) 

Some may say that’s straying too far down the rabbit hole, but at what point do the number of seemingly meaningful correlations connecting the hall and sculpture to diabolical symbolism reasonably cease to be coincidences and suggest deliberate planning?

And to throw in a distinctly sedevacantist what if?, there’s a certain conspiracy theory centered around the year 1958. This is just meant as a bit of fun speculation, but according to the so-called Siri Thesis, in that year Genoa’s Cardinal Giuseppe Siri was elected pope but was pressured to resign before he could appear on the balcony of St. Peter’s. According to one version, he was forced out by being told that if he didn’t, a nuclear strike would be launched on Rome, wiping out the Vatican and the entire college of cardinals, which was gathered there in conclave. As a result of his resignation, the suspected Rosicrucian Freemason Angelo Roncalli became Antipope John XXIII — and the rest, as they say, is history.

Following this hypothetical narrative, La Resurrezione would represent a celebration of the triumph of the 1958 coup, with the nuclear blast representing the threat through which occult forces were able to seize the reins of the Church, and the “risen Christ” (Antichrist?) representing the emergence of the Novus Ordo Sect — with a “New Resurrection” leading the way to a “New Pentecost”.

The occult connection to this? The excommunicated apostate Paul Roca (1830-1893), who had once been ordained a Catholic priest, had boldly predicted the takeover of the Vatican by dark forces, as though he had preternaturally obtained foreknowledge of Satan’s plan to destroy the Church. Roca, three of whose works can be found on the Index of Forbidden Books, wrote infamously:

I feel that divine worship, as regulated by the liturgy, ceremonies, rites, and rulings of the Roman Church, will suffer a transformation soon, at an ecumenical council. It will return the Church to the venerable simplicity of the apostolic golden age, and harmonize it with the new stage of modern conscience and civilization.

(Paul Roca, Abbé Gabriel; quoted in Rev. Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga, The New Post-Conciliar or Montinian Church [La Habra, CA: Edgar A. Lucidi, M.D., 1985], p. 194; italics given. Fr. Sáenz y Arriaga‘s book was first published in the original Spanish in 1971.)

What Roca describes in this quote is, of course, precisely what was accomplished by the subversive Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.  (Of particular interest in this passage is how Fr. Annibale Bugnini, the chief architect of Paul VI’s “New Mass”, seems to have used it as part of his playbook in developing his liturgical revolution, as he too said the Church must restore the ancient norms, while contradictorily claiming to also seek to harmonize it with modern man, as though the aims were somehow compatible.

In his book Glorious Centennial, Roca wrote in the manner of the Modernists, à la Teilhard de Chardin, about an “evolving” Jesus. His choice of language in the passage is highly suggestive of the sculpture’s figure emerging from the radioactive gusts swirling around him: “Nobody will be able to stop Christ’s whirlwind,” he wrote (quoted in Sáenz y Arriaga, The New Montinian Church, p. 187; see scan here). Obviously, the Christ he had in mind is an occult counterfeit.

And that is obviously also the “Christ” of La Resurrezione:

The Vatican likes to use its audience hall also for concerts and similar events. The embedded photo carousel above shows images of La Resurrezione lit up for the occasions.

“And he laid hold on the dragon the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan….”

This section heading is a quotation from the twentieth chapter of the book of the Apocalypse (verse 2), in which St. John speaks of an angel binding the devil, casting him into the bottomless pit for a thousand years and sealing him there so he can no longer seduce the nations. Once the thousand years are past, Satan is set loose to work evil again, but the good news — such as it is — is that it will be only for “a little time” (v. 3). Yet he will make up for his lack of time by amassing a vast army — “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” (v. 7) — to wage war against the faithful. This ties in with what St. Paul writes in one of his letters to the Thessalonians: “And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thess 2:6-7).

God and His Church, however, will prevail. Satan and his minions shall lose decisively, and he, along with the beast and the false prophet, will suffer forever in a pool of fire and brimstone, after which comes the General Judgment (see Apoc 20:9-15; 2 Thess 2:8).

Where are we on this timeline? No one can say with certainty which milestones have been passed and which are still ahead, but given the state of the Church and the world, it’s probably safe to say we’re quite far along. In 1957, when interviewed by the Mexican Fr. Augustine Fuentes at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal, Sister Lucy of Fatima spoke with great gravity about the future. After stating that the Blessed Virgin Mary was sad because her message at Fatima wasn’t being heeded, Lucy declared:

But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent.

Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that most offends God and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God because in this way, the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.

(Sister Lucia of Fatima, Interview with Fr. Augustine Fuentes, Dec. 26, 1957; quoted in Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, vol. III: The Third Secret [Buffalo, NY: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990], pp. 504-505; underlining added.)

Now, while there is always going to be some debate as to whether a spiritual or a material chastisement is meant, it is the opinion of the present writer that there is no reason to necessarily conclude it must be only one of the two. Sister Lucy says God is to punish the world in “a terrible manner”, and how terrible would it be for there to be multiple fronts with which to deal, rather than but a single one? She very well could have had in mind a Pandora’s box out of which many evils would spring, so richly deserved by a world that has largely abandoned God and refused to heed Our Lady of Fatima’s call to repentance.

Regardless, there certainly cannot be much debate as to the meaning of the punishment being imminent. Whatever the nature of the punishment or its precise timeframe may be, “imminent” certainly doesn’t mean “many decades from now”. No, a reasonable inference is that when Lucy said “imminent”, she meant “right around the corner.” Just ten months after she made this statement, the fateful papal conclave was assembled to elect a successor to Pope Pius XII. Incidentally, in the same interview, she told Fr. Fuentes that Russia would be used by God as “the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world”.

The punishment from Heaven was indeed imminent, and it involved God allowing permission for a coup d’état in which a false pope would be installed. (Returning to the Siri thesis for a moment: It is Russia that is speculated to have made the nuclear threat.) This silenced the voice of St. Peter at the Basilica that bears his name and set in motion a tidal wave of Modernism that changed virtually every facet of Catholicism by means of a false councilfalse sacramentsfalse canon lawfalse annulments, etc. Most of these things took place during the 1963-78 reign of the very man for which the Paul VI Audience Hall was named, and this was possible only because he was a false pope and thus the divine protections guaranteed for the Papacy were not verified in him.

Also set in motion at the robber conclave of 1958 was the phenomenon Sister Lucy noted when she talked about how “the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God”. Within a decade there broke out the spiritual pandemic that is still afflicting the Church and the world today, and which is so amply documented on this web site.

Behind Francis: Ghoulish detail of La Resurrezione up close

The 2002 article “An Index of Catholicism’s Decline” by Patrick J. Buchanan uses the cold, hard statistical facts to spotlight the fruits of the Vatican II revolution: a rapid decline of priests, nuns, brothers, and seminarians, along with dwindling Mass attendance; a steep increase in marriages being declared null; “Catholic” school closings; and opinion polls showing a majority of “Catholics” who don’t believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist or in the necessity of confession. At the same time, acceptance of the so-called “divorced-and-remarried” as legitimate spouses grew, and of course the sinful practice of artificial birth control was not only declared acceptable but also used by most, and so the two-child family became the norm. Even the horrendous crime of abortion, the logical consequence of the acceptance of contraception, began to lose its stigma, to such an extent that today there are countless “Catholics” who either accept it as morally legitimate or at least defend it as a civil “right”, with no punitive consequences by the people who claim to be the lawful Roman Catholic authorities.

All of this came on the heels of Vatican II, which closed in 1965. Truly, in the Fatima seer’s words, “the souls of the faithful [had been] abandoned by their leaders”. Worse yet, the people who once had been their legitimate leaders remained in their positions and did the revolution’s bidding, and those who refused were replaced. Either way, then, the de facto “Catholic” hierarchs were the “false apostles [who] are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13), as St. Paul warned. They were “the hireling [who] hath no care for the sheep” (Jn 10:13), in the words of our Blessed Lord, and the situation persists to this day.

On top of that, we have the famous incident of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of a conversation between Christ and Satan, in which the devil was granted more power to destroy the Church. It was part of a vision the Pope is said to have had that led to the composition of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel that Catholics are accustomed to recite after Low Mass. This vision is described, among other sources, in a 1935 booklet published by a Benedictine priest:

A rather peculiar circumstance induced Pope Leo XIII to compose this powerful prayer. After celebrating Mass one day he was in conference with the Cardinals. Suddenly he sank to the floor. A doctor was summoned and several came at once. There was no sign of any pulse-beating, the very life seemed to have ebbed away from the already weakened and aged body. Suddenly he recovered and said: “What a horrible picture I was permitted to see!” He saw what was going to happen in the future, the misleading powers and the ravings of the devils against the Church in all countries. But St. Michael had appeared in the nick of time and cast Satan and his cohorts back into the abyss of hell. Such was the occasion that caused Pope Leo XIII to have this prayer recited over the entire world at the end of the Mass.

(Rev. Celestine Kapsner, O.S.B., Begone Satan! [Collegeville, MN: Celestine Kapser, 1935], p. 24)

More detail regarding the actual content of the vision is related by Fr. Domenico Pechenino (1873-1950) in the Mar. 30, 1947 edition of La Settimana del Clero (p. 2):

…This is what happened. God had shown Satan to the Vicar of His divine Son on earth, just like He did with Job. Satan was bragging that he had already devastated the Church on a large scale. In fact, these were tumultuous times for Italy, for many nations in Europe, and a bit around the world. The freemasons ruled, and government hadn’t become docile instruments. With the audacity of a boaster, Satan put a challenge to God. — “And if you give me a little more freedom, you could see what I would do for your church!” — “What would you do?” — “I would destroy it.” — “Oh, that would be something to see. How long would it take?” — “Fifty or sixty years.” [–] “Have more freedom, and the time that you need. Then we’ll see what happens.”

(Translation taken from Kevin J. Symonds, Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael [Boonville, NY: Preserving Christian Publications, 2015], p. 44.)

In 1946, the Archbishop of Bologna, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano (1872-1952), related the “historical explanation” for the line in the St. Michael’s prayer that mentions that the demons “prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.” He had received it from Mgr. Rinaldo Angeli, Pope Leo’s long-time personal secretary: “Pope Leo XIII truly had a vision of demonic spirits, who were gathering on the Eternal City (Rome). From that experience — which he shared with the Prelate and certainly with others in confidentiality — comes the prayer which he wanted the whole Church to recite” (Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano, Dio — L’Uomo — Il Diavolo, 2nd ed. [Rome: Figlie della Chiesa, 1951], p. 20; trans. by Bryan Gonzalez).

Some sources claim that the timeframe the devil was given to attempt to destroy the Church is 75-100 years, but since it is not known what year should mark the starting point anyway — it is reasonable, but by no means necessary, to assume that it was the year of the vision — the discrepancy is not that important.

What adds to the difficulty is that the exact date of Pope Leo’s vision is disputed. However, if it happened on Oct. 13, 1884, as some assert, it would mean it took place exactly 33 years before the miracle of the sun at Fatima. Novus Ordo writer and researcher Kevin Symonds concludes that, based on his findings, we may “surmise that the vision may have taken place sometime between January 6, 1884 and August, 1886…” (Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael, p. 29).

Regardless of the precise start and end dates, we have certainly all been able to see the effects of this diabolical power surge, however long it lasted. In fact, it is possible that Pope Leo’s quick reaction to the matter — his institution of the St. Michael’s prayer to be recited throughout the Universal Church — actually delayed the start date for a significant amount of time.

Some may object that even if we assume as much as 100 years’ duration and start from the year of the vision, it would mean that after 1984, or perhaps 1986, the devil’s power was taken away again, which hardly jibes with our experience. However, this leaves out of account the fact that according to the alleged vision the devil received an increase of power for however many years, so it would merely be the additional power that would be taken away from him after the allotted time has elapsed.

Another point to be made is that while Satan still retains plenty of power after — just not as much as over that time span — it cannot be forgotten that he was able to build a tremendous amount of momentum for evil during those years. Thus he now has a huge army of human sycophants happily carrying out his agenda — some of them consciously and maliciously, others as useful idiots, some indifferently, and still others under the diabolical delusion that they are doing the work of God (cf. Jn 16:2).

But whatever the case may be about this or that alleged vision or other private revelation, the objectively verifiable facts demonstrate beyond doubt that a new religion has been established in the Vatican since 1958, a religion that is Masonic and Naturalist in essence, a religion that despises Catholicism. It is, quite manifestly, a religion that expresses itself in art and architecture such as can be seen in the dreadful “hell hall” that is the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican.

Vatican II really did change everything, didn’t it?

Viganò’s Theological Vortex: A Critical Commentary (Part 1)

A whirlwind of error and confusion…

Viganò’s Theological Vortex: A Critical Commentary
(PART 1)

In recent weeks, the now well-known former Vatican nuncio to the United States, “Abp.” Carlo Maria Viganò, has spoken at great length again about his position on the Second Vatican Council and the “conciliar sect” (his words) that emerged from it. On Sep. 1 and 3, respectively, the recognize-and-resist paper Catholic Family News published two of his latest monographs on its web site. They can be found in the following posts:

Upon reading these texts, we decided that a critical commentary on them would be fitting. Readers who may be a bit wary about reading sedevacantist criticism of Fr. Vigano, are encouraged to recall that we do give credit where it’s due: Vigano’s Jun 9, 2020 condemnation of Vatican II and the post-conciliar errors was outstanding, and we acknowledged as much. Unfortunately, Vigano has not drawn the logically necessary conclusion from his findings, with the inevitable result that he has now enmeshed himself in a theological quagmire from which he cannot escape except by recognizing that the “Popes” of Vatican II and the post-conciliar religion are not true Vicars of Christ.

Comments on Viganò’s Response to Stephen Kokx

Vigano’s letter of Sep. 1, 2020, is in reply to Stephen Kokx, a contributor to Catholic Family News, who had sent him a few questions about what, in his opinion, Catholics ought to do now. Since Vigano had suggested that Catholics separate from the Conciliar Church, Mr. Kokx inquired as to what such separation would look like — considering that Vigano acknowledges Francis as the lawful Roman Pontiff and so clearly isn’t telling people to abandon the notion that he is the Pope.

Vigano responded as follows:

While it is clear that no admixture is possible with those who propose adulterated doctrines of the conciliar ideological manifesto, it should be noted that the simple fact of being baptized and of being living members of the Church of Christ does not imply adherence to the conciliar team; this is true above all for the simple faithful and also for secular and regular clerics who, for various reasons, sincerely consider themselves Catholics and recognize the Hierarchy.

Instead, what needs to be clarified is the position of those who, declaring themselves Catholic, embrace the heterodox doctrines that have spread over these decades, with the awareness that these represent a rupture with the preceding Magisterium. In this case it is licit to doubt their real adherence to the Catholic Church, in which however they hold official roles that confer authority on them. It is an illicitly exercised authority, if its purpose is to force the faithful to accept the revolution imposed since the Council.

Once this point has been clarified, it is evident that it is not the traditional faithful – that is, true Catholics, in the words of Saint Pius X – that must abandon the Church in which they have the full right to remain and from which it would be unfortunate to separate; but rather the Modernists who usurp the Catholic name, precisely because it is only the bureaucratic element that permits them not to be considered on a par with any heretical sect. This claim of theirs serves in fact to prevent them from ending up among the hundreds of heretical movements that over the course of the centuries have believed to be able to reform the Church at their own pleasure, placing their pride ahead of humbly guarding the teaching of Our Lord. But just as it is not possible to claim citizenship in a homeland in which one does not know its language, law, faith and tradition; so it is impossible that those who do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church can arrogate to themselves the right to remain within her and even to ascend the levels of the hierarchy.

Therefore let us not give in to the temptation to abandon – albeit with justified indignation – the Catholic Church, on the pretext that it has been invaded by heretics and fornicators: it is they who must be expelled from the sacred enclosure, in a work of purification and penance that must begin with each one of us.

(“Abp.” Carlo M. Viganò, Letter to Stephen Kokx, Sep. 1, 2020; italics given.)

What Vigano proposes here is an utter ecclesiological train wreck. Let’s try to disentangle this so we can see more clearly the absurdity of what the retired nuncio is saying, namely:

  1. The establishment headquartered in Vatican City, and of which Pope Francis is the head, is the Catholic Church
  2. Catholics cannot mix with Conciliarists
  3. Conciliarists are those who, retaining the name of Catholic, publicly embrace and teach the errors and heresies of the Second Vatican Council, knowing them to be contrary to the prior Magisterium
  4. Those who adhere to the errors and heresies of Vatican II not realizing them to be contrary to the prior Magisterium, are Catholics, not Conciliarists
  5. Conciliarists are members of the Catholic Church, from which they should be expelled
  6. Some Conciliarists are members of the hierarchy
  7. Catholics are not permitted to abandon the Catholic Church

Is your head spinning yet?

This response clarifies nothing; rather, it makes it glaringly obvious that “Abp.” Vigano is making it up as he goes along and/or is looking to reconcile the irreconcilable, which he is forced to do if he wants to avoid Sedevacantism: Vigano maintains that Catholics cannot mix with Conciliarists, yet he also maintains at the same time that Catholics are mixed with Conciliarists in the same (Catholic) Church.

His response clearly does not square with traditional Roman Catholic ecclesiology, which is rather straightforward:

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.

(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 22)

Most men feel that the Church’s supreme head and shepherd should decide who are Catholics and who are not.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quartus Supra, n. 15)

In his letter to the Ephesians the apostle teaches that Christ established [the] ecclesiastical power for the benefit of unity. And what is this unity unless one person is placed in charge of the whole Church who protects it and joins all its members in the one profession of faith and unites them in the one bond of love and communion? The wisdom of the Divine Lawgiver ordered that a visible head be placed over a visible body so that “once so established, the opportunity for division might be removed.”

(Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Commissum Divinitus, n. 10)

Vigano is telling his followers that they must determine, on their own authority and — note well! — against the judgment of the (supposedly) legitimate Pope and the Holy See, what magisterial teachings are erroneous and heretical and therefore must be rejected. Furthermore, Vigano wants his followers to determine for themselves who is in good faith and who is in bad faith about the false conciliar and post-conciliar doctrines, and then somehow separate from those they have identified as being in bad faith, even if they happen to be their lawful pastors, and even though they are in full communion with the Pope and enjoy his approval!

Stated bluntly, Vigano is essentially saying that the Catholic Church can teach a truckload of Modernist garbage in her Magisterium — those who recognize that it is garbage and therefore refuse to submit, are Catholics; those who submit by accident because they’ve been deceived and don’t realize it, but wouldn’t submit if they did realize it, are Catholics as well; but those who recognize that it is garbage but submit to it anyway are not Catholics but heretics. In other words, the mere submission to the Roman Pontiff and acceptance of his Magisterium does not guarantee one is a Catholic at all, and in fact may even indicate that one is not a Catholic. That is in direct contradiction to the teaching of Pope Pius IX that “one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17).

Clearly, what Fr. Vigano is proposing is a colossal theological train wreck. In fact, it includes or implies the very concept of schism he disclaims: Pope Pius IX warned that “the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all” (Quartus Supra, n. 12); and the 1917 Code of Canon Law makes clear that he who “refuses to be under the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church subject to him, … is a schismatic” (Canon 1325 §2; Peters translation). That is precisely what Vigano is advocating.

The fact that he accepts Francis as the lawful Pope does not get him off the hook — if anything, it aggravates the matter:

What good is it to proclaim aloud the dogma of the supremacy of St. Peter and his successors? What good is it to repeat over and over declarations of faith in the Catholic Church and of obedience to the Apostolic See when actions give the lie to these fine words? Moreover, is not rebellion rendered all the more inexcusable by the fact that obedience is recognized as a duty? Again, does not the authority of the Holy See extend, as a sanction, to the measures which We have been obliged to take, or is it enough to be in communion of faith with this See without adding the submission of obedience, — a thing which cannot be maintained without damaging the Catholic Faith?

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quae in Patriarchatu [Sept. 1, 1876], nn. 23-24; in Acta Sanctae Sedis X [1877], pp. 3-37; English taken from Papal Teachings: The Church, nn. 433-434.)

Vigano might reply that his position is one of paramount obedience to the true Faith, made necessary by the fact that the lawful prelates, not excepting the Pope himself, have betrayed the Deposit of Faith. Yet such a rejoinder, too, is contrary to the traditional Catholic position and rebuffed by Pius IX and Leo XIII:

Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17)

We congratulate you, therefore, on the fact that although you suffer, doubtless, at the defection of your brothers, separated from you by the breath of perfidious teaching, you are not troubled for all that, and are even being stimulated by their error to receive with greater willingness and to follow with more zeal not only the orders, but even all the directives of the Apostolic See; and by so doing you are certain that you cannot be deceived or betrayed.

(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Didicimus Non Sine; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 439.)

Wherefore it belongs to the Pope to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 24)

The traditional Catholic teaching on the Papacy is as beautiful as it is clear: It is precisely by clinging to the Pope of Rome, to the Magisterium of the Apostolic See, that one’s orthodoxy cannot suffer shipwreck. Unlike all the other dioceses in the world — including Astana in Kazakhstan, we must point out to Athanasius Schneider admirers — it is the Roman See alone that has the divine guarantee of never defecting from the true Faith, because its head is the successor of St. Peter, to whom was promised an unfailing Faith by Christ the Lord (see Lk 22:32):

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 4; underlining added.)

Hence Pope Leo XIII taught: “Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic …. ‘You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held’” (Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 13).

What Vigano is trying to do is split Catholic Truth from the Roman Church. And that is theologically fatal and by no means a safe alternative to Sedevacantism, although it is, alas, a popular one. What drives him to commit such theological suicide? It is the absurd recognition of Jorge Bergoglio as a true Pope, along with his five predecessors. That is what throws a monkey wrench into the clear and straightforward Catholic teaching, because it is impossible to reconcile the Catholic doctrine about the Papacy as the unfailing bulwark of the Faith with the idea that Popes can teach heresy and other errors in their magisterium. Such an attempt to square the circle cannot but result in further confusion, absurdity, and error.

The recognition of a public apostate like Bergoglio as the rightful Roman Pontiff is the linchpin that keeps the entire recognize-and-resist madhouse together. Remove that pin, and the traditional Catholic theology will fall into place.

How is Vigano’s idea of the Catholic Church much different from a Protestant church? What good is a hierarchy and magisterium that can teach heresy and other soul-endangering errors? And how does he claim that Vatican II contains errors and heresies (see his June 9, 2020 monograph) when his own “Pope” and almost the entire “Catholic hierarchy” tell him otherwise? Why would any potential convert from Protestantism be drawn to such a church as the only true Church established by Christ?

Holy Scripture calls the Catholic Church “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Is that an apt description of the Vatican II Sect? Would not a more fitting term be the “operation of error” St. Paul warns about in the last days (2 Thess 2:10), or “the great harlot” St. John speaks of in the Apocalypse (17:1)? Why is it that the recognize-and-resist adherents seem to understand that virtually everything about the Vatican II Church is false — false doctrines, false saints, false Mass, false sacraments, false annulments, etc. — except the Pope? Why is he always genuine? Does it not stand to reason that a counterfeit church can emerge only from counterfeit authorities, that is, from false popes?

Vigano’s position does great damage to the traditional Catholic doctrine regarding the unity of the Church: The Catholic Church is one in Faith, worship, and government; whereas the church about which Vigano speaks is divided in faith, worship, and government. Keep in mind that in his response to Stephen Kokx, Vigano maintains that the Conciliarists “do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church” — and yet he claims they are part of the Catholic Church!

All the strength and the beauty of this mystical body [the Church] results from the firm and constant union of all the members of the Church in the same faith, in the same sacraments, in the same bonds of mutual charity, in submission and obedience to the Head of the Church.

(Pope Pius VII, Apostolic Constitution Ecclesia Christi, n. 1. English taken from Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 134.)

In his letter to the Ephesians the apostle teaches that Christ established [the] ecclesiastical power for the benefit of unity. And what is this unity unless one person is placed in charge of the whole Church who protects it and joins all its members in the one profession of faith and unites them in the one bond of love and communion? The wisdom of the Divine Lawgiver ordered that a visible head be placed over a visible body so that “once so established, the opportunity for division might be removed.”

(Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Commissum Divinitus, n. 10; underlining added.)

Our most beloved Redeemer, Christ the Lord, willed as you well know, venerable brothers, to deliver all men from the captivity of the devil, free them from the yoke of sin, call them from darkness into his wonderful light and be their salvation. When he had blotted out the handwriting of the decree against us, fastening it to the cross, he formed and established the Catholic Church, won by his blood, as the one “Church of the living God,” the one “kingdom of heaven,” “the city set on a hill,” “one flock,” and “one body” steadfast and alive with “one Spirit,” one faith, one hope, one love joined and firmly held together by the same bonds of sacraments, religion and doctrine. He further provided his Church with leaders whom he chose and called. In addition, he decreed that the Church will endure as long as the world, embrace all peoples and nations of the whole world, and that whoever accepts his divine religion and grace and perseveres to the end will attain the glory of eternal salvation.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Amantissimus, n. 1; underlining added.)

Indeed no true and perfect human society can be conceived which is not governed by some supreme authority. Christ therefore must have given to His Church a supreme authority to which all Christians must render obedience. For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino [by divine right].

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 10; italics given; underlining added.)

If these teachings are true — and they are — then it is absolutely impossible for the Vatican II Church to be the Roman Catholic Church.

Somehow, Vigano himself seems to realize this. For that reason, further on in his response to Kokx he speaks of a “conciliar sect”, “a strange and extgravagant Church” which “coexists, like wheat with the tare, in the Roman Curia, in dioceses, in parishes.” Although we have no problem agreeing that there is indeed a strange New Church around that falsely passes itself off as the Catholic Church, any attempt to locate that False Church as somehow present in and existing together with the True Church is necessarily dead on arrival, theologically. This kind of thinking, although no doubt very appealing to many semi-traditionalists, conflates Christ with Satan, truth with lies, salvation with damnation — all of which it locates in one and the same divine institution, even in the very same people at different times and in different senses. It makes the Immaculate Bride of Christ into a whore!

According to what Vigano is proposing, then, Francis would be the Holy Father and Vicar of Christ when he condemns abortion, canonizes a true saint, or extends faculties for confession and marriages to the Society of St. Pius X. Yet the same Francis would then turn into infernal Head of the Conciliar Sect when he teaches the moral licitness of adultery under certain circumstances, signs an apostate declaration on human fraternity, or declares that proselytism is solemn nonsense. It is a kind of theological version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Now imagine all of those things set forth in one and the same “papal” document!

Vigano’s mystifying ecclesiology would mean the complete disintegration of the Church into a hopeless free-for-all of more or less arbitrary resistance, perpetually. Is a certain episcopal appointment to a diocese an instance of the False Church or the True Church acting? You decide. Is the latest encyclical safe to read and embrace? Maybe ask Vigano first. Should this or that mandated liturgical change be implemented or not? Let’s see what “Bp.” Athanasius Schneider thinks about it. Is the newest canonized ‘saint’ a true one to be accepted, venerated, and imitated — or a dangerous charlatan to be cast aside? Check with ‘The Remnant’. Oh, and what about those newly-introduced criteria for declaring a marriage null? That depends — have you gotten along with your spouse lately? (wink, wink). Clearly, this is absurdity on stilts!

A False Church coexisting with the True Church would also create a practical impossibility: From the former, Viganò says, one is required to separate, whereas from the latter, one is not permitted to. Good luck with that!

In truth, Vigano’s idea of a coexisting Antichurch inhabiting the True Church is a clever intellectual fig leaf covering the naked truth that the establishment he recognizes as the Catholic Church is a heretical sect. It does not — and could not possibly — coexist with the True Church, any more than our Blessed Lord would share His Throne with Lucifer (cf. 2 Cor 6:14-16). Ironically, Vigano’s curious Church-Antichurch amalgamation bears a striking resemblance to Vatican II ecclesiology — it’s just not clear exactly how many elements of the one can exist in the other!

How does the former Vatican nuncio think his temerarious idea squares with the pronouncement by Pope Leo XIII that the Church of our Blessed Lord “makes no terms with error, but remains faithful to the commands which it has received to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time and to protect it in its inviolable integrity (Apostolic Letter Annum Ingressi)? Or with this beautiful truth enunciated by St. Cyprian and confirmed by Pope Pius XI: “The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly” (Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 10)? As St. Paul asked rhetorically, although in a slightly different context: “Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid” (1 Cor 6:15).

The motive behind Vigano’s disastrous theological position is clear, of course: Since he will not consider Sedevacantism as even a possibility, he must somehow force the square peg of the heretical Vatican II Sect into the round hole of the Catholic Church. But, as Pope St. Leo IX put it, “we confess the one Church, not of heretics but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside which we believe that no one is saved” (Apostolic Letter Ejus ExemploDenz. 423; underlining added).

That the Church Jesus Christ established is not a church of heretics, should hardly be surprising, inasmuch as Our Blessed Lord’s promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against [His Church]” (Mt 16:18) means precisely that the Church will never be overcome by heresy:

The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter or Cephas, the son of John who first was called Simon, because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome; thus Truth itself promises, through whom are true, whatsoever things are true: “The gates of hell will not prevail against it” [Mt 16:18]. The same Son declares that He obtained the effect of this promise from the Father by prayers, by saying to Peter: “Simon, behold Satan etc.” [Lk 23:31]. Therefore, will there be anyone so foolish as to dare to regard His prayer as in anyway vain whose being willing is being able? By the See of the chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail, been strengthened?

(Pope St. Leo IX, Apostolic Letter In Terra PaxDenz. 351; underlining added.)

All of this shows that people must choose between the Vatican II Church on the one hand, and Catholic truth on the other. The two simply cannot be reconciled, and that is why all attempts to be Catholic in it ultimately always end in failure and frustration.

The solution is obvious: We must affirm Catholic truth and therefore reject Bergoglio and his equally fake predecessors.

To be continued in Part 2. 

Taylor Marshall, “[Infiltration] is the greatest literary accomplishment of my life!”

• Yes, I’d be delighted to right a review of the novel on amazon.com” 

Just “Child’s Play”? Refutation of a Historian who says Vatican II Church will “Bounce Back” from Bergoglian Chaos

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Nothing to see here – move along?

Just “Child’s Play”? Refutation of a Historian who says Vatican II Church will “Bounce Back” from Bergoglian Chaos

Every so often, perhaps because they are exhausted by all the cognitive dissonance adhering to the Novus Ordo Sect while trying to be Catholic brings, certain conservative and semi-traditionalist writers and pundits will push the idea that despite the current morass, things really aren’t quite so bad after all. Compared to other periods of Church history, they contend, the present situation is not nearly so troublesome, or at least it is certainly not without equal precedent. In short: Relax, folks, we’ve weathered other storms before!

In 2018, for example, semi-trad apologist Paul Folbrecht made an argument to that effect as part of a lengthy attempt to refute Sedevacantism. We responded accordingly:

Others, who perhaps do not have the resources to look into Church history, do not even bother making a historical argument at all. They simply tell themselves that, despite initial appearances, nothing that has happened since the death of Pope Pius XII is anything the Church cannot do.

For example, take a look at what James D. at Camp of Saints posted recently. There we have a blogger who, apparently tired of fighting, decided to come off the fence — and jumped onto Bergoglio’s turf. Although acknowledging that he has “doctrinal differences” (!) with the man he believes to be the Pope of the Catholic Church, he conveniently decided that “[m]uch of what has changed in the Church since 1958 has been unwise. None of it has been illegal.” Apparently things like worshipping a pagan fertility goddess in the Vatican Gardens or making the declaration that God has willed a diversity of religions counts as merely “unwise” rather than “illegal” — terms that really have no meaning with regard to doctrine to begin with. In which case one wonders, of course, why the blogger has doctrinal differences with his “Holy Father”, if everything is but a matter of prudence or permission.

In any case, the “it’s really not so bad” argument does rear its unreasonable head now and again, and on Jan. 22, 2020, we saw such an example on a major news and commentary site, namely, that of the so-called National Catholic Register, where Vatican reporter Edward Pentin published an interview he had conducted with Dr. Carlos Eire, a distinguished history professor at Yale University with a Ph.D. from the same (1979).

In this post we will look at some excerpts from the interview and dissect them critically. Ed Pentin’s questions are italicized and in bold; Prof. Eire’s responses are in regular typeface:

Having studied the history of popes, do you think the grace of the office will overcome any challenges and controversies?

Oh, definitely. This is nothing compared to previous crises or previous popes. This is child’s play.

(Edward Pentin, “Church Historian Discusses the Papacy, Past and Present”National Catholic Register, Jan. 22, 2020)

With all due respect to the professor: Even if he takes a different overall view on the matter than we do here, to call the current post-1958 catastrophe “child’s play” is simply indefensible. It may perhaps seem like child’s play to a secularist, one who has no understanding of the Catholic Faith at all and only looks at externals, but to a Catholic or someone who means to be one, this comment is totally off the mark.

Yes, there have been very difficult periods for the Catholic Church in the past, but none comes close to what we presently experience, even if we suppose, for the sake of argument, that the Vatican II Sect is the true Roman Catholic Church and its heads have been true Roman Pontiffs, as Eire obviously believes.

What periods in Church history does the professor have in mind when he claims that today’s madness doesn’t even compare? He will tell us later on in the interview, so we will wait until then.

As for his claim that the grace of the papal office will ultimately prevail, one must point out rather matter-of-factly that a true Pope is always divinely aided in the exercise of his office — in accordance with the promises of Christ — and not only “ultimately”: “Mother Church … possesses in the primacy of Peter and of his legitimate successors the assurance, guaranteed by the divine promises, of keeping and transmitting inviolate and in all its integrity through centuries and millennia to the very end of time”, Pope Pius XII said in his Allocution to the Consistory of June 2, 1944. He made no mention of the Popes getting it right only eventually, with intermittent defection from the Faith.

The divine assistance promised to St. Peter and his successors prevents any Pope from creating precisely the kind of apostate chaos Francis and his five predecessors have unleashed. The grace of the papal office is attached to the office, after all, and so it makes no sense to say that it will work out only eventually. Of what use would the divine protection of the Papacy be if it only worked sometimes or ultimately, when, “because our lifespans are short”, as Eire himself points out later on in the same conversation, “an individual might never see it”?

Continuing with the interview:

But critics say Pope Francis has impinged on doctrine, such as Amoris Laetitia.

Yes, but whenever there’s been any kind of doctrinal conflict or there has been any kind of logjam, it has come, it has gone, sometimes there’s a fallout, but it’s resolved. As with the Old Catholic church after Vatican I, there’s always some fallout, but the Church has survived the crisis.

This makes no sense. Yes, there was a “fallout” after Vatican I, but the crucial difference Eire misses is that it was the so-called “Old Catholics” who had “impinged on doctrine”, not the Pope! If there is “any kind of doctrinal conflict or … logjam”, then a Catholic must be on the Pope’s side, who is always guaranteed to be the safe bulwark of orthodoxy. That is the whole point of the Papacy, the very reason why Christ instituted it to begin with: “This chair [of Peter] is the center of Catholic truth and unity, that is, the head, mother, and teacher of all the Churches to which all honor and obedience must be offered. Every church must agree with it because of its greater preeminence — that is, those people who are in all respects faithful…”, Pope Pius IX declared in his encyclical Inter Multiplices (n. 1).

The Church survived all crises in the past because of the Papacy, not in spite of it.

Continuing with Dr. Eire’s response:

In my Catholic intellectual tradition course, which I co-teach with two colleagues, we’ve tried to get the students to realize that crisis is constant. The details of the crises might be different, and the intensity of the crises might vary, but for heaven’s sake, 70 years in Avignon — and then all the following years of the Great Schism of 1378 where you had not two, but at one point three rival popes — and the Church survived. Conciliarists deposed two popes and elected a new pope, but that only resulted in three popes.

If you were to cross the English Channel during that schism, if you crossed from England to France, you were immediately excommunicated. If you crossed from France to England, it would go the other way, because England recognized the pope in Rome, and France, of course, recognized the pope in Avignon and so there was a mutual excommunication.

It would be even more shocking because there at least you have to get into a ship and cross the water, but on the continent, you just go a few kilometers this way and there was another pope being recognized, and vice versa. So, we shouldn’t really get too concerned, because it will resolve itself.

Here the professor touches upon two anomalies in Church history: the Avignon papacy and the Great Western Schism. Both of these supposedly make the current nightmare look like child’s play by comparison. But do they really?

The “Avignon papacy” is the term used to refer to the time period from 1309-1376, when a series of Popes did not live in Rome but in Avignon, France. It was certainly a turbulent time for the Church, but if the main problem with Bergoglio today were that he resides in Paris, Berlin, or Buenos Aires instead of the Vatican, that could be considered child’s play by comparison to what we are truly witnessing.

The aftermath of the Avignon papacy resulted in the

In his interview with Pentin, Eire resorts to dangerously imprecise language: He speaks of “three rival popes”, of “two popes”, and again of “three popes”, when he knows fully well that there cannot be more than one legitimate pope at a time — any other

There is no denying the great evil that was the Great Western Schism. However, to say it makes the post-Vatican II catastrophe look like child’s play is simply not accurate.

For one thing, none of the papal claimants from 1378-1417 were apostates, as the Modernist Vatican II “popes” are, none more conspicuously than Francis. Secondly, although the problem of rival papal claimants can be resolved fairly easily by all claimants resigning voluntarily, the situation we find ourselves in today is of a different caliber altogether:

  • supposing, for the sake of argument, Francis to be Pope and the Vatican II Sect to be the Catholic Church, as Dr. Eire holds, this would leave us with a defected magisterium, a defected papacy, a defected church;
  • even with the reality of sede vacante since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, the situation is intolerable: a human remedy to the problem seems (seems!) beyond all possibility; confusion and disagreement reign everywhere, even among all those who acknowledge the true nature of the ecclesial situation

But no matter which of these two positions any particular reader of this blog takes, it is simply preposterous to say that it pales in comparison with the evil of the Great Western Schism. Far from it! If anything, the reverse is true.

As far as Eire’s claims of mutual excommunications go, certainly excommunication is no light matter. However, this does not really add anything of substance to the difficulty already acknowledged, for it goes without saying that no matter what claimant you accepted as the true Pope during the Western Schism, there was always at least one other claimant insisting that you had picked the wrong man and were worthy of anathema. Even a miracle worker as holy as St. Vincent Ferrer

Finding himself threatened with excommunication from all sides back then, a Catholic could take refuge in knowing that in the face of a perplexed conscience, if all alternatives seem to be equally sinful, and a choice must be made, then any of them may be chosen without sinning: “If the two alternatives appear equally wrong, and one must be chosen, either may be chosen without sin, for the agent is not free” (Fr. Henry Davis, Moral and Pastoral Theology, vol. 1 [New York, NY: Sheed and Ward, 1935], p. 72, fn. 1; italics added).

As agonizing and scandalous as that turbulent period of Church history was, what we have today is certainly not any less so, and in fact much worse, for we are not merely facing uncertainty with regard to who (if anyone) the Pope is, but with a colossal apostasy throughout the world, a magisterium that teaches heresy and other error, and a church that establishes evil liturgical and disciplinary laws and canonizes public sinners as saints. Would that the only problem were the true Pope living outside of Rome, or that there merely be a quarrel about which of three Catholics claiming to be Pope is the true one!

Returning now to the interview with Dr. Eire:

What is your opinion on cases where a pope has been accused of unorthodoxy or perhaps even heresy?

It is very rare. But again, there is no really big trouble unless Vatican I is invoked, unless infallibility is invoked. That’s where things would get hairy. Being a heretic and not speaking ex cathedra

Once again Prof. Eire shows himself dangerously misinformed on Catholic theology. His remarks reveal that he believes that unless a Pope proclaims heresy ex cathedra — which is impossible, anyway — then there isn’t really anything to worry about. This contention assumes, incorrectly, that Catholics only have an obligation to assent to ex cathedra statements. It also assumes, just as incorrectly, that whenever a Pope is not infallible, he could be heretical. But fallibility is merely the possibility of erring, not the possibility of erring heretically. An erroneous teaching is one thing; a heresy is something else altogether, as it constitutes a rejection of Divine Revelation.

The following two posts demonstrate, using pre-Vatican II Catholic sources, how the Papal Magisterium teaches the faithful and what kind of assent is owed to it:

If the Pope were capable of proposing heresy in his non-infallible Magisterium, then the entire Catholic doctrine on the Papacy would collapse, the Church would be deprived of all credibility, and the Papacy would not only not be a guarantor of orthodoxy but be a positively harmful institution constituting a danger to the salvation of souls. This is not only absurd but also directly contrary to Catholic teaching, which holds that “the teaching authority of the Church … in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men…” (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 9).

The question of the possibility of a heretical Pope came up at Vatican I, of course, and was presented to the Deputation of the Faith for a response. Abp. John Purcell of Cincinnati, Ohio, who attended the assembly, relates the answer the council’s theological experts gave:

The question was also raised by a Cardinal, “What is to be done with the Pope if he becomes a heretic?” It was answered that there has never been such a case; the Council of Bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be Pope, being deposed by God Himself.

If the Pope, for instance, were to say that the belief in God is false, you would not be obliged to believe him, or if he were to deny the rest of the creed, “I believe in Christ,” etc. The supposition is injurious to the Holy Father in the very idea, but serves to show you the fullness with which the subject has been considered and the ample thought given to every possibility. If he denies any dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more Pope than either you or I; and so in this respect the dogma of infallibility amounts to nothing as an article of temporal government or cover for heresy.

(Abp. John B. Purcell, quoted in Rev. James J. McGovern, Life and Life Work of Pope Leo XIII [Chicago, IL: Allied Printing, 1903], p. 241; imprimatur by Abp. James Quigley of Chicago; underlining added.)

This stands in stark contrast to the fairly nonchalant remarks made by Dr. Eire. (More on the Vatican I “heretical Pope” question can be read here.)

Getting back to the interview, Eire’s response continues:

And actually, most Catholics don’t know about the famous case that was invoked during the First Vatican Council, which was the case of Pope Honorius I, who in conversations with the patriarch of Constantinople expressed agreement with the heretical proposition about Christ — Monotheletism — the idea that the Christ had only one will, the divine will. Pope Honorius said, “Sounds right to me.” So, during Vatican I this was brought up as an example of popes not being infallible. But this is where the ex-cathedra cloud comes in: Honorius was not speaking ex cathedra. That was a private conversation.

The case of Pope Honorius I was debated up and down before, during, and after the First Vatican Council. The facts are not quite as the Yale historian presents them. Some years ago we published an exclusive translation of a series of lectures by Fr. Louis-Nazaire Bégin on the Honorius question, first printed in 1873. The author, a doctor of Sacred Theology who was later appointed Archbishop of Quebec by Pope Leo XIII (1898) and created cardinal by Pope St. Pius X (1914), shows that Pope Honorius “did not fall into heresy, and that the Sixth [Ecumenical] Council [i.e. the Third Council of Constantinople] did not condemn him as a formal heretic, but only as guilty of negligence.”

Here are some of the conclusions Fr. Begin reached after an exhaustive study of the subject matter:

We come now to a very serious question, one which touches the very heart of our subject. This is the question: Did Pope Honorius fall into the heresy of Monotheletism? I answer, “No!” Here I find myself to have for adversaries a throng of writers hostile to the Catholic Church. On the other hand, I am supported by men who are the most eminent for their knowledge and erudition.

In his first letter [to Sergius, Pope Honorius] repeats several times that “the Scriptures demonstrate clearly that Jesus Christ is the same Who operates in things divine and in things human;” that “Jesus Christ operates in the two natures, divinely and humanly.” Nothing could be clearer or more obvious! The heresy is right away knocked down. It is thus evident that Honorius confesses in Jesus Christ not only two natures, but also two wills and two operations. Thus, this Pontiff professes in his letters the Catholic truth; he rejects only the being used to express it, and this for reasons of prudence, in order not to appear to favor Nestorianism or Eutychianism, and also because Sergius astutely portrayed these new expressions as a cause of troubles in the Church and an obstacle to the return of Monosphysites to orthodoxy.

John, secretary to Honorius, who wrote the letter to Sergius and who must have known better than any other the thoughts of the Pontiff, said on this matter: “When we spoke of a single will in the Lord, we did not have in view His double nature, divine and human, but His humanity only…. We meant that Jesus Christ did not have two contrary wills, that is to say one of the flesh and one of the spirit, as we ourselves have on account of sin, but that, with regard to His humanity, He had but one natural will.”

Pope John IV gave to Honorius’s words absolutely the same sense. It is therefore quite evident that the doctrine of Honorius in his letters to Sergius is irreproachable from the point of view of sound theology, because in addition to the divine will, which no one has denied, he confesses the human will in all its perfection.

…[Honorius’] unique goal, and certainly a very praiseworthy one, was to maintain peace in the Church by preventing the introduction of new words and removing all obstacles to the return of heretics to the true doctrine.

Readers interested in the full text of Fr. Begin’s study of Pope Honorius can find it here:

Writing after Vatican I, the author had the benefit of being able to draw from all the research done in preparation for the council, from the acts of the council, and from its teachings. The book in which his treatment of the Honorius issue is included bears the required imprimatur of the Archbishop of Quebec, Canada. It is clear, therefore, that Fr. Begin’s study is a most reliable source — both in terms of assessing the facts of history and of ensuring doctrinal orthodoxy — for unraveling the confusing case of Pope Honorius according to the mind of the Church. It is unfortunate that Dr. Eire has apparently never come across it.

The interview continues:

That was very rare.

It’s very rare, but they did dig up his remains and throw them into the Tiber so it’s that rare. It’s been that rare. But for heaven’s sake, all the disagreements about the Immaculate Conception before it was pronounced a dogma — people fell on both sides, including the popes. But this pope is probably skating on the thinnest ice that anyone — not just living, but dead or watching — is. And they probably are [watching]. It must be that surprising.

Pope Honorius’ remains were thrown into the Tiber? Does Eire have a source to back that up, or is he confusing Pope Honorius with Pope Formosus (r. 891-896), whose corpse was dug up for the infamous Cadaver Synod and later thrown into the Tiber?

As the Catholic Encyclopedia relates:

… [Pope] Stephen VI lent himself to the revolting scene of sitting in judgment on his predecessor, Formosus. At the synod convened for that purpose, he occupied the chair; the corpse, clad in papal vestments, was withdrawn from the sarcophagus and seated on a throne; close by stood a deacon to answer in its name, all the old charges formulated against Formosus under John VIII being revived. The decision was that the deceased had been unworthy of the pontificate, which he could not have validly received since he was bishop of another see. All his measures and acts were annulled, and all the orders conferred by him were declared invalid. The papal vestments were torn from his body; the three fingers which the dead pope had used in consecrations were severed from his right hand; the corpse was cast into a grave in the cemetery for strangers, to be removed after a few days and consigned to the Tiber.

(Catholic Encyclopedias.v. “Formosus, Pope”)

We will not dwell further on the Pope Formosus case here, since it is incidental to the Pentin-Eire interview. It is clearly a vivid anomaly in the history of the Church, but one which neither disproves the Papacy nor Sedevacantism. St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, addressed the strange case in his De Romano Pontifice (Book IV, Chapter 12), in the portion of the book in which he answers objections concerning the orthodoxy of specific Popes.

The final portion of the interview we will look at is the following:

Could one argue that even if a pope changed the whole essence of the papacy, because the office is steered by Christ and the Holy Spirit, that in the long run it really wouldn’t matter? The pope could change it radically and it would still survive.

Oh yes, definitely. We have many examples, not just the popes, but councils that voted the wrong way and then it took some years, but things were corrected. It happens. But what’s always surprised me, both as a historian and a believer, is sort of the… let’s call it “the bounce-back principle,” an effect which you don’t normally see with human institutions. And that’s what I think is one of the more remarkable facets of the history of the Catholic Church.

Several things must be said here.

First, no Pope could change “the whole essence of the Papacy” because then the Papacy would be destroyed. Changing the essence of a thing means changing what that thing is, in consequence of which what the thing was before is no longer in existence. Such an essential or substantial change of the Papacy is impossible and absolutely precluded by the promises of Christ. Substantially changing the Papacy would mean substantially changing the Church, and that would mean defection from the Faith, defection from Christ.

This much should have been clear to Pentin but even more so to Eire. Let’s briefly review the Catholic doctrine on the matter. Pope Pius IX spoke of “the Church instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ”, in which “truth must always continue firm and ever inaccessible to all change, as a deposit given to that Church to be guarded in its integrity, for the guardianship of which the presence and aid of the Holy Ghost have been promised to the Church for ever” (

The same Pope also taught very clearly:

To preserve forever in his Church the unity and doctrine of this faith, Christ chose one of his apostles, Peter, whom he appointed the Prince of his Apostles, his Vicar on earth, and impregnable foundation and head of his Church. Surpassing all others with every dignity of extraordinary authority, power and jurisdiction, he was to feed the Lord’s flock, strengthen his brothers, rule and govern the universal Church. Christ not only desired that his Church remain as one and immaculate to the end of the world, and that its unity in faith, doctrine and form of government remain inviolate. He also willed that the fullness of dignity, power and jurisdiction, integrity and stability of faith given to Peter be handed down in its entirety to the Roman Pontiffs, the successors of this same Peter, who have been placed on this Chair of Peter in Rome, and to whom has been divinely committed the supreme care of the Lord’s entire flock and the supreme rule of the Universal Church.

(Pius IX, Encyclical Amantissimus, n. 2; underlining added.)

His successor, Pope St. Pius X, likewise taught that “in spite of a great number of pernicious opinions and great variety of errors (as well as the vast army of rebels) the Church remains immutable and constant, ‘as the pillar and foundation of truth’, in professing one identical doctrine, in receiving the same Sacraments, in her divine constitution, government, and morality…” (Encyclical Editae Saepe, n. 8).

Clearly, then, a change in the essence of the Papacy is absolutely ruled out a priori by Catholic doctrine. Such a change, if it were possible, would mean a different papacy, just as a change in the essence of the Church would mean a different church. The latter, incidentally, is precisely what the Second Vatican Council engendered, thus exposing itself as a false council, ratified by a false pope: “…[T]he Church succeeded, during the second Vatican Council, in re-defining her own nature”, proclaimed “Cardinal” Karol Wojtyla, the future “Pope Saint” John Paul II, in his book Sign of Contradiction (New York, NY: The Seabury Press, 1979), p. 17; see scan of page here.

Instead of accepting the Catholic teaching on all these things, however, Prof. Eire believes in and promotes the “bounce-back principle”, by which he seems to mean that the Church founded by Christ can defect into heresy at any point but in the future will right herself again and so “bounce back” into orthodoxy — “eventually”! It’s just too bad if one happens to die before the Great Bouncing Back and so, following Eire’s logic, has to either defect into heresy with the Pope or else refuse him submission and thus become a schismatic in the meantime.

Don’t worry, it’ll bounce back!

No, the “bounce-back church” of Carlos Eire is definitely not the Roman Catholic Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, in which, as we just saw, “truth must always continue firm and ever inaccessible to all change” (Pius IX). The Roman Catholic Church is infallible, not inflatable. It does not need to “bounce back” from heresy because it can never be in heresy to begin with.

She is, after all, “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

 

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

A Challenge to Recognize-and-Resist Apologists: Is it a Mortal Sin to adhere to Francis’ Teachings?

In light of Catholic teaching on the Papacy, that is…

A Challenge to Recognize-and-Resist Apologists: Is it a Mortal Sin to adhere to Francis’ Teachings?

The altar of the Chair of St. Peter in the Vatican

Day in and day out we hear from the recognizing-and-resisting semi-traditionalists that this or that error of Vatican II or the post-conciliar magisterium is “not binding.” In a recent live interview on YouTube, semi-trad darling John Salza repeated it once again.

For the sake of argument, we will accept that claim precisely as stated: Certain papal teaching is not binding. That means, of course, that it is optional to embrace — take it or leave it. If it’s optional, however, one naturally wonders why they are so busy resisting it. We know the answer, of course: because they believe it is more than just not binding — it is, in fact, not permissible to adhere to because it is spiritual poison and contradicts what the Church taught for two millennia, often even the very Deposit of Faith directly.

Now of course the semi-trads don’t only resist their supposed Popes but also recognize them, meaning that they are just as certain that the men whose teachings they have decided are definitely not safe to embrace, are nevertheless definitely true Popes. These self-styled traditionalists also tell us that they adhere only to “what the Church has always taught”, and that is not optional.

To sum up, their position is:

  • what the Church “has always taught” is binding on Catholics
  • papal novelties, incl. errors and heresies, are not binding and not permissible to hold because they contradict “what the Church has always taught”
  • Francis is definitely the Pope

OK then. Since these people acknowledge that what the Church has always taught is not only true and correct but is binding on the Catholic conscience, let’s see what the Church has always taught about the Papacy, shall we? Once we’ve looked at that, we’ll apply it to the man whom the recognize-and-resisters are telling us is definitely — some even say infallibly — the current true Pope.

So first, let’s lay out the traditional doctrine.

We’ll begin with Pope Pius IX, who reigned for 32 years — longer than any other Pope in history — and issued plenty of magisterial documents. Among his rich teaching we find this:

Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors.

(Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17)

Now you know well that the most deadly foes of the Catholic religion have always waged a fierce war, but without success, against this Chair; they are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion. Therefore, because of your special faith in the Church and special piety toward the same Chair of Peter, We exhort you to direct your constant efforts so that the faithful people of France may avoid the crafty deceptions and errors of these plotters and develop a more filial affection and obedience to this Apostolic See. Be vigilant in act and word, so that the faithful may grow in love for this Holy See, venerate it, and accept it with complete obedience; they should execute whatever the See itself teaches, determines, and decrees.

(Encyclical Inter Multiplices, n. 7)

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.

(Encyclical Quanta Cura, n. 5)

Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment. The sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 3)

However it has never been possible to prove oneself a Catholic by affirming those statements of the faith which one accepts and keeping silence on those doctrines which one decides not to profess. But without exception, all doctrines which the Church proposes must be accepted, as the history of the Church at all times bears witness.

…For any man to be able to prove his Catholic faith and affirm that he is truly a Catholic, he must be able to convince the Apostolic See of this. For this See is predominant and with it the faithful of the whole Church should agree. And the man who abandons the See of Peter can only be falsely confident that he is in the Church. As a result, that man is already a schismatic and a sinner who establishes a see in opposition to the unique See of the blessed Peter from which the rights of sacred communion derive for all men.

…All these traditions dictate that whoever the Roman Pontiff judges to be a schismatic for not expressly admitting and reverencing his power must stop calling himself Catholic.

But the neo-schismatics say that it was not a case of doctrine but of discipline, so the name and prerogatives of Catholics cannot be denied to those who object. Our Constitution Reversurus, published on July 12, 1867, answers this objection. We do not doubt that you know well how vain and worthless this evasion is. For the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all.

…Most men feel that the Church’s supreme head and shepherd should decide who are Catholics and who are not.

(Encyclical Quartus Supra, nn. 7-9,12,15)

But you, dearly beloved Sons, remember that in all that concerns the faith, morals, and government of the Church, the words which Christ said of Himself: “he that gathereth not with me scattereth” [Mt 12:30], can be applied to the Roman Pontiff who holds the place of God on earth. Ground your whole wisdom therefore, in an absolute obedience and a joyous and constant adherence to this Chair of Peter. Thus, animated by the same spirit of faith, you will all be perfect in one manner of thinking and judging, you will strengthen this unity which we must oppose to the enemies of the Church….

(Apostolic Letter Per Tristissima; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 419)

Now we come to Pope Leo XIII, who, not surprisingly, taught the same things:

To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor.

(Apostolic Letter Epistola Tua)

If in the difficult times in which Our lot is cast, Catholics will give ear to Us, as it behooves them to do, they will readily see what are the duties of each one in matters of opinion as well as action. As regards opinion, whatever the Roman Pontiffs have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach, must be held with a firm grasp of mind, and, so often as occasion requires, must be openly professed.

(Encyclical Immortale Dei, n. 41)

In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in relation to dogmas of which the obstinate denial cannot be disjoined from the crime of heresy. Nay, further, it is not enough sincerely and firmly to assent to doctrines which, though not defined by any solemn pronouncement of the Church, are by her proposed to belief, as divinely revealed, in her common and universal teaching, and which the [First] Vatican Council declared are to be believed “with Catholic and divine faith.” But this likewise must be reckoned amongst the duties of Christians, that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the Apostolic See.

Wherefore it belongs to the Pope to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live.

(Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 24)

Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own.

Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic …. “You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held.”

(Encyclical Satis Cognitum, nn. 9,13)

This is Our last lesson to you: receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church; the strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than the Roman Pontificate.

(Allocution for the 25th Anniversary of his Election, Feb. 20, 1903; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 653)

Pope St. Pius X echoed his predecessors as well because their teachings were precisely “what the Church had always taught”:

They [the Modernists] will learn many excellent things from such a great teacher [as Cardinal John Henry Newman]: in the first place, to regard the Magisterium of the Church as sacred, to defend the doctrine handed down inviolately by the Fathers and, what is of highest importance to the safeguarding of Catholic truth, to follow and obey the Successor of St. Peter with the greatest faith.

(Apostolic Letter Tuum Illud)

And this is why, when we love the Pope, we do not dispute whether he commands or requires a thing, or seek to know where the strict obligation of obedience lies, or in what matter we must obey; when we love the Pope we do not say that he has not yet spoken clearly — as if he were required to speak his will in every man’s ear, and to utter it not only by word of mouth but in letters and other public documents as well. Nor do we cast doubt on his orders, alleging the pretext which comes easily to the man who does not want to obey, that it is not the Pope who is commanding, but someone in his entourage. We do not limit the field in which he can and ought to exercise his authority; we do not oppose to the Pope’s authority that of other persons — no matter how learned — who differ from the Pope. For whatever may be their learning, they are not holy, for where there is holiness there cannot be disagreement with the Pope.

(Address to the Priests of the Apostolic Union, Nov. 18, 1912; in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 4 [1912], p. 695; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 752)

We’re not done yet. “What the Church has always taught” was also laid out by Pope Benedict XV:

All know to whom the teaching authority of the Church has been given by God: he, then, possesses a perfect right to speak as he wishes and when he thinks it opportune. The duty of others is to hearken to him reverently when he speaks and to carry out what he says.

(Encyclical Ad Beatissimi, n. 22)

The same can be said of Pope Pius XI:

Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord.

(Encyclical Casti Connubii, n. 104)

Finally, we come to the last (known) true Pope, Pius XII. Again we find that his teaching was no different either:

They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it.

(Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 41)

The Pope has the divine promises; even in his human weaknesses, he is invincible and unshakable; he is the messenger of truth and justice, the principle of the unity of the Church; his voice denounces errors, idolatries, superstitions; he condemns iniquities; he makes charity and virtue loved.

(Address Ancora Una Volta, Feb. 20, 1949)

…[T]his sacred Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith — Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition — to be preserved, guarded and interpreted…. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me” [Lk 10:16]; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine.

(Encyclical Humani Generis, nn. 18, 20)

These are quite a few examples, and yet they are by no means exhaustive (you can find more here).

Now we’ll apply these teachings to Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”), the man we are told over and over again by the mainstream traditionalists is the true Pope. We will do that by replacing any mention of “Roman Pontiff”, “Pope”, “Vicar of Christ”, etc., with the phrase “Pope Francis” and/or make any other appropriate adjustments, indicated in bold red font.

This is how the above teachings read then:

Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to Pope Francis. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See of Pope Francis. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make Pope Francis’ See tolerate even a single one of their errors.

********************

Now you know well that the most deadly foes of the Catholic religion have always waged a fierce war, but without success, against Pope Francis’ Chair; they are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while Pope Francis’ Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion. Therefore, because of your special faith in the Church and special piety toward the same Chair of Peter, We exhort you to direct your constant efforts so that the faithful people of France may avoid the crafty deceptions and errors of these plotters and develop a more filial affection and obedience to this Apostolic See. Be vigilant in act and word, so that the faithful may grow in love for this See of Pope Francis, venerate it, and accept it with complete obedience; they should execute whatever the See itself teaches, determines, and decrees.

********************

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See of Pope Francis, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.

********************

Since Pope Francis, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment. The sentence of the apostolic see of Pope Francis (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of Pope Francis to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to Pope Francis.

********************

However it has never been possible to prove oneself a Catholic by affirming those statements of the faith which one accepts and keeping silence on those doctrines which one decides not to profess. But without exception, all doctrines which the Church proposes must be accepted, as the history of the Church at all times bears witness.

…For any man to be able to prove his Catholic faith and affirm that he is truly a Catholic, he must be able to convince the Apostolic See of Pope Francis of this. For this See is predominant and with it the faithful of the whole Church should agree. And the man who abandons the See of Pope Francis can only be falsely confident that he is in the Church. As a result, that man is already a schismatic and a sinner who establishes a see in opposition to the unique See of Pope Francis from which the rights of sacred communion derive for all men.

…All these traditions dictate that whoever Pope Francis judges to be a schismatic for not expressly admitting and reverencing his power must stop calling himself Catholic.

But the neo-schismatics say that it was not a case of doctrine but of discipline, so the name and prerogatives of Catholics cannot be denied to those who object. Our Constitution Reversurus, published on July 12, 1867, answers this objection. We do not doubt that you know well how vain and worthless this evasion is. For the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all, Pope Francis.

…Most men feel that Pope Francis should decide who are Catholics and who are not.

********************

But you, dearly beloved Sons, remember that in all that concerns the faith, morals, and government of the Church, the words which Christ said of Himself: “he that gathereth not with me scattereth” [Mt 12:30], can be applied to Pope Francis, who holds the place of God on earth. Ground your whole wisdom therefore, in an absolute obedience and a joyous and constant adherence to this Chair of Pope Francis. Thus, animated by the same spirit of faith, you will all be perfect in one manner of thinking and judging, you will strengthen this unity which we must oppose to the enemies of the Church….

********************
To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to Pope Francis.

********************

If in the difficult times in which Our lot is cast, Catholics will give ear to Us, as it behooves them to do, they will readily see what are the duties of each one in matters of opinion as well as action. As regards opinion, whatever Pope Francis has hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach, must be held with a firm grasp of mind, and, so often as occasion requires, must be openly professed.

********************

In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of Pope Francis, it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in relation to dogmas of which the obstinate denial cannot be disjoined from the crime of heresy. Nay, further, it is not enough sincerely and firmly to assent to doctrines which, though not defined by any solemn pronouncement of the Church, are by her proposed to belief, as divinely revealed, in her common and universal teaching, and which the [First] Vatican Council declared are to be believed “with Catholic and divine faith.” But this likewise must be reckoned amongst the duties of Christians, that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the Apostolic See of Pope Francis.

Wherefore it belongs to Pope Francis to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live.

********************

Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, now exercised by Pope Francis, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own.

Union with Pope Francis is … always the public criterion of a Catholic …. “You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Pope Francis is to be held.”

********************

This is Our last lesson to you: receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church; the strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than Pope Francis’ Pontificate.

********************

They [the Modernists] will learn many excellent things from such a great teacher [as Cardinal John Henry Newman]: in the first place, to regard the Magisterium of the Church as sacred, to defend the doctrine handed down inviolately by the Fathers and, what is of highest importance to the safeguarding of Catholic truth, to follow and obey Pope Francis with the greatest faith.
********************

And this is why, when we love Pope Francis, we do not dispute whether he commands or requires a thing, or seek to know where the strict obligation of obedience lies, or in what matter we must obey; when we love Pope Francis we do not say that he has not yet spoken clearly — as if he were required to speak his will in every man’s ear, and to utter it not only by word of mouth but in letters and other public documents as well. Nor do we cast doubt on his orders, alleging the pretext which comes easily to the man who does not want to obey, that it is not Pope Francis who is commanding, but someone in his entourage. We do not limit the field in which he can and ought to exercise his authority; we do not oppose to Pope Francis’ authority that of other persons — no matter how learned — who differ from Pope Francis. For whatever may be their learning, they are not holy, for where there is holiness there cannot be disagreement with Pope Francis.

********************
All know to whom the teaching authority of the Church has been given by God: Pope Francis, then, possesses a perfect right to speak as he wishes and when he thinks it opportune. The duty of others is to hearken to Pope Francis reverently when he speaks and to carry out what he says.

********************

Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor Pope Francis, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord.
********************
They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to Pope Francis. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it.

********************

Pope Francis has the divine promises; even in his human weaknesses, he is invincible and unshakable; he is the messenger of truth and justice, the principle of the unity of the Church; his voice denounces errors, idolatries, superstitions; he condemns iniquities; he makes charity and virtue loved.

********************

…[T]his sacred Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith — Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition — to be preserved, guarded and interpreted…. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters Pope Francis does not exercise the supreme power of his Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me” [Lk 10:16]; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine.

Well, dear recognize-and-resisters, how’s it going? Is your head spinning yet? Or do you perchance not believe in the Papacy?

Actually, though, we haven’t even gotten to the challenge yet. This was just the preparatory work to make semi-trads understand what the true doctrine on papal primacy is — you know, “what the Church has always taught” on that — and what it would mean if Francis were a true Pope.

Here, then, is our challenge to all recognize-and-resist traditionalists, especially those who like to proclaim that they will never be sedevacantists, whom they sillily claim to be schismatics and/or heretics:

Considering your firm belief that Francis is the Pope, in light of the traditional Catholic teaching on the Papacy laid out above, is it objectively a mortal sin to adhere to the ideas promoted by Francis in his official documents and discourses?

In other words: How do you reconcile the traditional Catholic doctrine on the Papacy quoted above with the idea that Jorge Bergoglio is a valid Pope, when the traditional doctrine requires you under pain of mortal sin to adhere to everything the Pope teaches and yet you resist what Francis teaches because you know it is poison and therefore (objectively) a mortal sin to adhere to?

So, have at it, fellows: John Salza, Robert Siscoe, Christopher Ferrara, Michael Matt, Brian McCall, Steve Skojec, Eric Sammons, Eric Gajewski, Matt Gaspers… go ahead, answer the challenge.

As of late, more and more people have been opining that we must wait for a group of Novus Ordo cardinals or bishops to get together in a so-called imperfect council to determine if Francis is a heretic and/or a non-Pope. It is amusingly ironic that oftentimes they are the same people who didn’t care too much for the judgments of the last council that came around.

We sedevacantists believe in the Papacy. Recognize-and-resisters believe in Bergoglio.

Which do you believe in?

 

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

The “But we’ve had Bad Popes before” Objection

Is Francis a “bad father but still your father”?

The “But we’ve had Bad Popes before” Objection

With the recent idolatrous, heretical, and blasphemous circus surrounding the Amazon Synod, Novus Ordo and semi-traditionalist authorities and apologists are once again offering false solutions to their hapless followers, solutions aimed at mostly one thing: the continued acceptance of Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) as the Pope of the Catholic Church, no matter how absurd and indefensible the idea may be — for the only truly intolerable view for them is that of Sedevacantism.

One of the most common objections one hears against Sedevacantism is, “But we’ve had bad Popes before” or, “A bad father is still your father!” People who think that such arguments can legitimize Francis are either not familiar with, or incapable of grasping, the difference between, on the one hand, Catholics who lead immoral lives, and, on the other hand, heretics.

Francis isn’t a bad Catholic. He manifests day in and day out that he is a non-Catholic. That’s the crux. Therefore, saying that we’ve had bad Popes in the past and they were still valid Popes, is totally beside the point. A man who professes the Catholic Faith whole and entire, no matter how wicked he may be, remains a member of the Catholic Church. Even if he hate God. Even if he be a murderer. Even if he be a sodomite.

God forbid, of course! Such a man, if he does not repent, will have an eternity of suffering in hell. His Church membership will have profited him nothing; his Faith, entirely dead because without charity, will not save him in the least. His knowledge of the True Faith will merely add to his misery in hell because he will have sinned with full knowledge of the sinfulness of his deeds.

Yes, all this is true. But such a man, if elected to the papacy, would still be a valid Pope, because what keeps a man from being validly elected to the papacy is not a lack of holiness but the public profession of heresy (among other things). In other words, what keeps him from being a valid Pope is not the commission of sins against morals (otherwise no one could be Pope, since we are all sinners), no matter how many or how grievous, but the commission of certain sins against Faith.

That is standard Catholic teaching and not controversial. Pope Pius XII put it best when he taught authoritatively in his beautiful encyclical on the Church:

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed….

Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. It is owing to the Savior’s infinite mercy that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet. For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.

(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, nn. 22-23; underlining added.)

Note well, ladies and gentlemen: The only sins that by their very nature sever a man from the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, are the sins of schism, heresy, and apostasy. What this means is that these sins are such that committing them renders one a non-Catholic. A heretic, after all, professes a different religion than a Catholic, and so he cannot be a member of the Church, because one cannot be a Catholic and a non-Catholic at the same time. (The same goes, even more so, for an apostate. Schism is slightly different because it is a sin against charity and not against Faith, but this need not concern us here.)

Therefore, a schismatic, a heretic, or an apostate could not be a valid Pope, for this would mean that a man who is not a member of the Mystical Body can nevertheless be the head of that Mystical Body, which is a contradiction. The Catholic Encyclopedia, compiled during the reign of Pope St. Pius X, states very plainly: “Of course, the election of a heretic, schismatic, or female would be null and void” (s.v. “Papal Elections”).

To appreciate how important and serious this difference is between bad Catholic and non-Catholic, let us take a look at one of the most immoral Catholic Popes in history: Pope John XII, who reigned from 955 to 963. Prince Octavian (his birth name) was only 16 years of age when elected, and he was a complete moral reprobate:

Nothing in his life marked him for this office, and everything should have kept him from it. He was rarely seen in church. His days and nights were spent in the company of young men and of disreputable women, in the pleasures of the table and of amusements and of the hunt, or in even more sinful sensual enjoyments. It is related that sometimes, in the midst of dissolute revelry, the prince had been seen to drink to the health of the devil. Raised to the papal office, Octavian changed his name and took the name of John XII. He was the first pope thus to assume a new name. But his new dignity brought about no change in his morals, and merely added the guilt of sacrilege.

Divine providence, watching over the Church, miraculously preserved the deposit of faith, of which this young voluptuary was the guardian. This Pope’s life was a monstrous scandal, but his bullarium is faultless. We cannot sufficiently admire this prodigy. There is not a heretic or a schismatic who has not endeavored to legitimate his own conduct dogmatically: Photius tried to justify his pride, Luther his sensual passions, Calvin his cold cruelty. Neither Sergius III nor John XII nor Benedict IX nor Alexander VI, supreme pontiffs, definers of the faith, certain of being heard and obeyed by the whole Church, uttered, from the height of their apostolic pulpit, a single word that could be an approval of their disorders.

At times John XII even became the defender of the threatened social order, of offended canon law, and of the religious life exposed to danger.

(Rev. Fernand Mourret, A History of the Catholic Church, Vol. 3 [St. Louis, MO: Herder Book Co., 1946], pp. 510-511; underlining added.)

BAM! Did you get that?

Yes, there can be bad Popes, indeed. But in the exercise of their office they will be as orthodox and as Catholic as any other. Christ promised as much: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). That is the Catholic doctrine on the Papacy, backed by God Himself:

…the Church has received from on high a promise which guarantees her against every human weakness. What does it matter that the helm of the symbolic barque has been entrusted to feeble hands, when the Divine Pilot stands on the bridge, where, though invisible, He is watching and ruling? Blessed be the strength of his arm and the multitude of his mercies!

(Pope Leo XIII, Allocution to Cardinals, March 20, 1900; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 349.)

The Pope has the divine promises; even in his human weaknesses, he is invincible and unshakable; he is the messenger of truth and justice, the principle of the unity of the Church; his voice denounces errors, idolatries, superstitions; he condemns iniquities; he makes charity and virtue loved.

(Pope Pius XII, Address Ancora Una Volta, Feb. 20, 1949)

Thus, if one were to say that Francis is the Pope, one would have to conclude that all the Catholic teaching on the Papacy applies to him and that its guarantees are verified in him. To see how Bergoglio measures up, we have put together a handy little tool:

Unlike what so many prominent “traditionalists” have been spouting for decades, the Church is not guaranteed to have a Pope at all times; but when she has one, she is guaranteed to have one who’s Catholic. This is evident also because the Pope is the principle of unity in the Church and the proximate rule of Faith; he is the guarantor of orthodoxy and to him all must submit as a condition of their salvation (see Denz. 469). The idea that a public heretic could be Pope and teach in accordance with his heresies, would throw all of this completely out of sync.

Thus St. Robert Bellarmine, the Doctor of the Papacy, taught:

The Pope is the Teacher and Shepherd of the whole Church, thus, the whole Church is so bound to hear and follow him that if he would err, the whole Church would err.

Now our adversaries respond that the Church ought to hear him so long as he teaches correctly, for God must be heard more than men.

On the other hand, who will judge whether the Pope has taught rightly or not? For it is not for the sheep to judge whether the shepherd wanders off, not even and especially in those matters which are truly doubtful. Nor do Christian sheep have any greater judge or teacher to whom they might have recourse. As we showed above, from the whole Church one can appeal to the Pope yet, from him no one is able to appeal; therefore necessarily the whole Church will err if the Pontiff would err.

(St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book IV, Chapter 3; Grant translation; underlining added.)

Whereas certain self-appointed recognize-and-resist traditionalists want to “unite the clans” so as to mount a unified defense against their “Pope’s” open heterodoxy, the Catholic Magisterium is quite clear that the only principle that can produce the unity of the flock is the Pope, who alone possesses authority over all Christians and who cannot lead the flock astray in matters of Faith and morals:

The vigilance and the pastoral solicitude of the Roman Pontiff … according to the duties of his office, are principally and above all manifested in maintaining and conserving the unity and integrity of the Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God. They strive also to the end that the faithful of Christ, not being like irresolute children, or carried about by every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men [Eph 4:14], may all come to the unity of faith and to the knowledge of the Son of God to form the perfect man, that they may not harm one another or offend against one another in the community and the society of this present life, but that rather, united in the bond of charity like members of a single body having Christ for head, and under the authority of his Vicar on earth, the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Blessed Peter, from whom is derived the unity of the entire Church, they may increase in number for the edification of the body, and with the assistance of divine grace, they may so enjoy tranquility in this life as to enjoy future beatitude.”

(Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolic Constitution Pastoralis Romani Pontificis, March 30, 1741; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 31; underlining added.)

The Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff have primacy in the entire world. The Roman Pontiff is the Successor of Blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, true Vicar of Christ, Head of the whole Church, Father and Teacher of all Christians.

(Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolic Constitution Etsi Pastoralis, May 26, 1742; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 32; underlining added.)

To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor.

(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Epistola Tua to Cardinal Guibert; underlining added.)

Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

(Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam)

Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic…. ‘You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held.’

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 13; underlining added.)

…[T]he strong and effective instrument of salvation is none other than the Roman Pontificate.

(Pope Leo XIII, Allocution of Feb. 20, 1903; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 353)

What? You haven’t heard these things lately from your favorite semi-trad newspaper, blog, or clergyman? You don’t say! Try applying the above quotes to the Vatican II Sect and its “Popes”, and you realize very quickly that their goose is cooked. Is Francis, even in his official acts, “the strong and effective instrument of salvation”? Hardly! If there’s anything he’s strong and effective in, it’s causing loss of Faith and thus damnation.

Take a good look also at the dogmatic teaching of the First Vatican Council on the connection between the Papacy and the True Faith, a connection which is not merely incidental but essential and necessary:

To satisfy this pastoral duty, our predecessors always gave tireless attention that the saving doctrine of Christ be spread among all the peoples of the earth, and with equal care they watched that, wherever it was received, it was preserved sound and pure. Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, now individually, now gathered in Synods, following a long custom of the churches and the formula of the ancient rule, referred to this Holy See those dangers particularly which emerged in the affairs of faith, that there especially the damages to faith might be repaired where faith cannot experience a failure. The Roman Pontiffs, moreover, according as the condition of the times and affairs advised, sometimes by calling ecumenical Councils or by examining the opinion of the Church spread throughout the world; sometimes by particular synods, sometimes by employing other helps which divine Providence supplied, have defined that those matters must be held which with God’s help they have recognized as in agreement with Sacred Scripture and apostolic traditionFor, the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth. Indeed, all the venerable fathers have embraced their apostolic doctrine, and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed it, knowing full well that the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” [Luke 22:32].

(Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, n. 4; Denz. 1836; underlining added.)

It’s time to change the channel, folks. It’s time to stop imbibing the semi-traditionalist propaganda produced by The Remnant and its theological cousins.

As Catholics, we can take a debauched but Catholic Pope John XII over a “nice” but heretical Francis any day. Pope Pius IX reminds us of this once more:

Now you know well that the most deadly foes of the Catholic religion have always waged a fierce war, but without success, against this Chair [of St. Peter]; they are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Inter Multiplices, n. 7; underlining added.)

But the supposed “Chair of St. Peter” in the Vatican II Sect has tottered and fallen; it therefore cannot be the true and genuine Chair of St. Peter.

Where, then, is the true Pope? We do not know. For all we know, we do not have a Pope. The See of Peter has been either vacant or impeded since 1958. It has most definitely not been validly occupied by the impostors of the Vatican II Church (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis).

But keep in mind: Though the Church may not always have a Pope, she will always have the True Faith. And for this reason alone we know that the Vatican II Sect cannot be the Catholic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So… now what, you ask? Now go and be a real Catholic.

 

Monkey Business at the Amazon Synod: A First Review

October 15, 2019

It’s worse than expected…

Monkey Business at the Amazon Synod: A First Review

The long-awaited and much-touted Pan-Amazon Synod in the Vatican is in full swing, and the first week has seen fireworks. Whether it be an idolatrous ceremony held in the Vatican Gardens, prelates bewailing “ecological sins”, churches being profaned with paganism and indecency, Francis preparing his sheeple for a deluge of “newness”, a nun at the Vatican press conference saying she “hears confessions” in the Amazon region, or the general relator attacking priestly celibacy in his opening address — you name it, the first synod week had it on sale!

In fact, one can probably say that things have been worse than most people expected, and expectations were not high. Even an indigenous protest at St. Peter’s Basilica right after the opening “Mass” was part of the synodal experience, at least until Vatican police took care of the problem. That there are heretical “German fingerprints on this synod” need hardly be mentioned. But either way, before you read on, make sure you fasten your seatbelts: It’s going to be a wild ride!

Spiritual Crime Scene in the Vatican Gardens

The inofficial kickoff for the synod was the gathering in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4, an event which was marketed as a dedication of the synod to St. Francis of Assisi. Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis) himself presided over the celebration and stood by watching when his quasi-prophets from the Amazon began dancing around idols they had placed on the ground and prostrated themselves before them, as we reported in a separate post.

The casual mention of “Mother Earth” — otherwise known as “Gaia” or “Pachamama” — at a subsequent Vatican press conference fit right in with that, and when the professional Bergoglio admirer Austen Ivereigh tried to get “Bishop” David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea to tell the world that the image of a naked fertility goddess apparently worshipped in the Vatican Gardens was really an Amazonian version of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the latter declined to do so. Instead, he answered that there was no need to give it any particular interpretation and that it “probably represented ‘Mother Earth, fertility, woman, life.’” Oops!

To counteract that, Francis’ loyal subjects at Where Peter Is were busy scraping the bottom of the barrel to make the scandalous Oct. 4 event in the Vatican Gardens into a Catholic celebration of the Mother of God, on the grounds that the woman who subsequently handed the carved image over to Francis reportedly said, “[This is] Our Lady of the Amazon.” They furthermore found one “missionary priest for indigenous peoples in Peru” who identifies it as “an image of a [sic] Blessed Mother, who is pregnant. She is the Virgin, and we have called her Our Lady of the Amazon.” But then he elaborates most interestingly: “She represents the Amazon, because what is the Amazon? The Amazon is a woman, she is female, she has a female face. Why? Because the earth is a mother, the earth gives life. So that is the Amazon.” In other words: Mother Mary = Mother Earth = Gaia? Is that where they’re going with this?

It should be pretty clear that merely calling an idol “the pregnant Virgin” or even “Our Lady” does not make it into the Blessed Mother — just as worshipping the moon under the title “queen of heaven” (cf. Jer 7:18) doesn’t make one a Marian devotee — especially when the thing looks more like the Whore of Babylon (cf. Apoc 17:1-5) than the Mother Most Pure. While it is standard Novus Ordo apologist practice to find all kinds of excuses for the “papal” status quo, it is actually not the job of the common lay folk to look for ways to make what to all appearances is abominable idolatrous creature worship into a perfectly Catholic ceremony. Rather, it would be incumbent upon the Vatican to ensure that no scandalous activities take place there, and that anything exotic or unusual that is nevertheless perfectly fine is properly explained beforehand to ensure that no wrong appearances are given and that no one is presented with an unnecessary occasion of sin.

Thus, even if we assume for the sake of argument that what transpired in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4 was an entirely Catholic ritual — and it wasn’t! –, nevertheless it clearly had the appearance of being pagan earth worship, on account of which countless people have been scandalized. Scandal is defined in Catholic moral theology as “any conduct that has at least the appearance of evil and that offers to a neighbor an occasion of spiritual ruin” (Rev. John A. McHugh and Rev. Charles J. Callan, Moral Theology, n. 1447; underlining added). So, let’s keep in mind that the burden of proof, or the blame, is not to be shifted onto those “hermeneuts of suspicion” — really, why would anyone have cause to be suspicious about what goes on in the Vatican in 2019 AD?! — but rather is to be found with those Vatican authorities who authorized this wickedness, above all, the Jesuit apostate Bergoglio.

Profanation of Churches

Alas, the abomination was not confined to the Vatican Gardens. That awful naked pregnant Amazonian statue made its way also into the synod audience hall and St. Peter’s Basilica itself — in a canoe, of course! As far as who or what the carved image actually represents, one will probably get as many answers as the number of people one asks. What is definitely going on there is syncretism — the mixing of Catholic elements with pagan earth worship. Even the Novus Ordo grandson of a former shaman was scandalized.

But perhaps the worst of it all took place at the Roman church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, roughly 1,300 feet (400 meters) away from the Vatican. The following tweets show pictures/video of the horrific profanation that took place there under the label of “Amazonian spirituality” (caution! contains nudity):

A report by the so-called Catholic News Agency states:

The Amazon spirituality meeting Oct. 9 included singing and testimonies gathered around various objects from Amazon communities, including a wooden canoe, displayed at the foot of the sanctuary of the church, and a controversial wooden figure of a pregnant woman, which has been described as both a Marian image and as a traditional indigenous religious symbol of the goddess Pachamama, or Mother Earth.

The meeting included a moment where a woman sitting in the canoe was lifted up by participants, and concluded with the praying of the Our Father and Hail Mary.

In addition to posters displaying images of missionaries who have worked, and in some cases died in the Amazon, a poster was displayed in the Church of a woman holding a baby while breastfeeding a small animal.

(“Amazon spirituality events organized by network of Latin American and European groups”Catholic World Report, Oct. 10, 2019)

Yes, you read correctly! The poster displayed a woman breastfeeding an animal! The vile image, obviously containing nudity, was marketed under the theme of “Everything is connected” (“Todo está conectado”), a quote from Francis’ eco-encyclical Laudato Si’ (n. 117)!

An Oct. 11 Life Site report offers additional details, in case your stomach can still take more. And just as we were preparing this post for publication, Life Site‘s editor John-Henry Westen released a brand new video with yet more details about this obscenity:

Interestingly enough, Westen mentions that the Vatican press office has still not responded to their request for information about what that indigenous ceremony in the Vatican Gardens was all about, and specifically what that hideous carved image represents.

If you can’t take it anymore at this point and simply need some comedic relief, a traditionalist member of the Vatican II religion who humorously calls himself Hank Igitur produced a hilarious clip on this madness:

But back to the actual synod.

The “Spirit” bloweth inside the Synod Hall

Francis himself had already prepared his sheeple at the opening “Mass” for the synod on Sunday:

Prudence is not indecision; it is not a defensive attitude. It is the virtue of the pastor who, in order to serve with wisdom, is able to discern, to be receptive to the newness of the Spirit. Rekindling our gift in the fire of the Spirit is the opposite of letting things take their course without doing anything. Fidelity to the newness of the Spirit is a grace that we must ask for in prayer. May the Spirit, who makes all things new, give us his own daring prudence; may he inspire our Synod to renew the paths of the Church in Amazonia, so that the fire of mission will continue to burn.

(“Pope Francis Opens Synod of Bishops for Amazon with Mass in Vatican Basilica”Zenit, Oct. 6, 2019; italics given; underlining added.)

The next day, at the synod’s first blather session, he expressed his displeasure at having heard someone complain of an indigenous man bringing up the gifts (i.e. bread and wine) during the prior day’s liturgy in St. Peter’s while wearing a feathered Indian headdress. “Tell me”, the pseudo-pontiff asked his underlings gathered in the synod hall, “what difference is there between wearing feathers on his head and the three-cornered hat used by some officials in Vatican Departments [i.e. the biretta]?”

There we see the profound spiritual wisdom of Jorge Bergoglio on full display: It’s all the same. All head coverings are the same; all traditions are the same; all times and places are the same; all religions are the same. Hey, everything’s connected, right? So beware: The next time Francis creates bogus cardinals, he may just put Indian feathers on their heads instead of a red hat. At this point, he might as well.

“Cardinal” Claudio Hummes, relator general of the synod, gave the first address after Francis delivered his remarks, and he got right down to business, checking off all of the magic buzzwords in his opening paragraph:

From the very beginning of his papal ministry, Pope Francis has emphasized the Church’s need to move forward. The Church cannot remain inactive within her own closed circle, focused on herself, surrounded by protective walls and even less can she look nostalgically to the past. The Church needs to throw open her doors, knock down the walls surrounding her and build bridges, going out into the world and setting out on the path of history….

(“Introductory Report on Amazon Synod by General Relator, Cardinal Hummes (Full Text)”Zenit, Oct. 7, 2019)

Where have we heard this before? At Vatican II, of course! John XXIII threw open the windows to the world, and a few years later Paul VI feigned surprise that somehow the “smoke of Satan” had entered the church.

Hummes also immediately touched upon that thorn in the flesh that has been piercing the Modernists from time immemorial: priestly celibacy. We may surmise that the approach he took did not catch anyone by surprise:

It will be necessary to define new paths for the future. During the consultation stages, indigenous communities, faced with the urgent need experienced by most of the Catholic communities in Amazonia, requested that the path be opened for the ordination of married men resident in their communities, albeit confirming the great importance of the charisma of celibacy in the Church. At the same time, faced with a great number of women who nowadays lead communities in Amazonia, there is a request that this service be acknowledged and there be an attempt to consolidate it with a suitable ministry for them.

There’s nothing like using an old Vatican II strategy: Get your foot in the door with a revolutionary premise (ordaining married men), then immediately slam the brakes by emphasizing the importance of tradition (“the great importance of the charisma of celibacy”). This way the groundwork for revolution is laid but tempered with a big “however” that is subsequently dispensed with. (Vatican II did this, among other things, with the use of Latin in the Roman liturgy, and we know how that ended.) Now of course we all know that if a married clergy is good enough for Amazonia, then it’s good enough wherever else there is an “urgent need” for priests. After all, when the “Spirit” speaketh, who shall contradict it?!

As for that “suitable ministry” for Amazonian women, even if Club Francis eventually decides against women priests or deacons, there’s no reason why the Bergoglian god of surprises might not reveal some other calling for them, especially considering the “rich tradition” surrounding Gaia, Pachamama, or Mother Earth — entities that are distinctly female.

Towards the end of his report, Hummes even managed to provide the initial premises from which later a kind of pantheism — the idea that everything is God — will be able to be drawn:

Integral ecology teaches us that everything is connected, human beings and nature. All living beings on the planet are children of the earth….

The Son of God too became a man and his human body comes from the earth. In this body, Jesus died for us on the Cross to overcome evil and death, he rose again among the dead and now sits to the right of God the Father in eternal and immortal glory. The Apostle Paul writes, “For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him (…) whether those on earth or those in heaven.” (Col. 1,19-20). In Laudato si’ we read that, “This leads us to direct our gaze to the end of time, when the Son will deliver all things to the Father, so that “God may be everything to everyone” (1 Cor.15:28). Thus, “the creatures of this world no longer appear to us under merely natural guise because the risen One is mysteriously holding them to himself and directing them towards fullness as their end” (LS, 100). It is thus that God has definitively connected Himself to His entire creation. This mystery is accomplished in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

(underlining added)

It won’t take long before someone in the Vatican II Sect will conclude that by worshipping the earth, we are really worshipping God, since, you know, “everything is connected”. And then it simply won’t matter anymore whether we are adoring God the Father or Mother Earth, Jesus Christ or Pachamama, the Holy Ghost or the spirits of the forest, the Holy Eucharist or mere bread. Problem solved! Anything else would mean falling into a ridig black-and-white/either-or mentality that is obviously not open to the “newness of the Spirit”!

Nun says she hears Confessions

A curious incident occurred during the very first day’s press conference. A Novus Ordo nun, Sr. Alba Teresa Cediel Castillo, was part of the Vatican panel, and when she was asked about the work women religious do in the Amazon, she happily shared her experience — including this detail:

Sometimes we also had to listen to confessions. Of course we cannot give absolution but at the bottom of our hearts we place ourselves in a position of listening with humbleness, thinking about the person who comes to us for a word of comfort, somebody who perhaps [is] before death, and so the presence of women in Amazonia is very great and very fertile….

(Source)

What made this more explosive still is that she preceded these remarks by referring to herself as a “woman priest” or “priestess” — and this also confused the translator somewhat because she garbled the sentence a bit, and Sr. Alba’s rapid flow of words didn’t help things.

What the Novus Ordo sister actually said, in Spanish, was this: “Qué hacemos? Por lo que puede ser también una mujer desde el bautismo, como mujeres sacerdotes, como reinas, y como prophetas.” In English: “What do we do? Well, what a woman can also do on account of baptism, as priestesses, as queens, and as prophetesses.” The curious mention of “priestesses, queens, and prophetesses” is a reference to the Novus Ordo teaching that all the baptized are incorporated into Christ’s triple office of Priest, Prophet, and King (see Catechism of the Catholic Churchn. 1241; cf. n. 436). If all the baptized are priests, prophets, and kings in that sense, then it follows that baptized females are priestesses, prophetesses, and queens, right? Perhaps this is the opening that will be used to try to get women ordained in the Vatican II Sect. Considering the context of the synod, the remarks by “Bp.” Adriano Ciocca Vasino, and the “hearing of confessions” the same sister also mentioned, it certainly cannot be ruled out.

But the story doesn’t end there. The Vatican apparently thought Sr. Alba’s words were explosive enough to step in: Although Vatican Media had already put up the full video and audio of the press conference with simultaneous translation on its English language YouTube channel, the video was suddenly removed, without explanation (it is still available, without the translation, on the international Vatican Media channel). Thankfully, we had saved an audio version of the entire press conference in English and thus still have the full clip — the relevant Q&A excerpt can be accessed here.

That same day, the Vatican’s in-house journalist, Andrea Tornielli, put up an article on the English edition of Vatican News regarding the incident, entitled: “Amazonia: the women religious who ‘hear confessions’”. He gives the following rendition of what Sr. Alba said:

We are present everywhere and we do what a woman can do by virtue of her Baptism: we accompany the indigenous people, and when priests cannot be present, we perform baptisms. If someone wants to get married, we are present and we witnesses to the love of the couple. We have often had to listen to confessions, but we have not given absolution. In the depth of our hearts, though, we have said that with the humility with which this man or woman approached us because of illness, or because they were close to death – we believe God the Father intervenes there.

One thing is notably absent: Tornielli chose to omit Sr. Alba’s words about being priestesses, queens, and prophetesses in virtue of baptism — without even so much as indicating the omission through an ellipsis, as is standard professional practice.

After this wild first day of the synod, we produced a 17-minute podcast with commentary on what had transpired. We have embedded it here:

But wait, there’s more!

On Wednesday of the first week of the synod there was proposed an “Amazonian rite of Mass” — as though the liturgical freak shows of the annual diocesan Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles weren’t exotic enough yet. What such an “Amazonian rite” might look like, we can only imagine after seeing the atrocities shown above. Trying to prepare the way to a married priesthood, Austrian “Bp.” Erwin Krautler, a retired “missionary” in Brazil, claimed that the indigenous inhabitants of Amazonia just “do not understand celibacy” — no doubt a most difficult concept to explain in between teaching catechism lessons on the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of God the Son, and Transubstantiation.

At the press briefing of Oct. 12, the sixth day of the synod, a journalist seriously asked why it would be important to evangelize the Amazon region when the indigenous there already have a religion. That such a question would be raised by anyone attending a Vatican press conference shows what the last six decades of “interreligious dialogue” and “mission” have accomplished. Roughly 100 years earlier, the great Pope St. Pius X, in a beautiful encyclical letter on the indigenous of South America, spoke of his desire “to deliver the Indians, where their need is greatest, from the slavery of Satan…” (Encyclical Lacrimabili Statu, n. 6). How’s that for an answer!

By the way: Amazonians who disagree with Francis’ leftist agenda, do not have much of a voice at the synod, unsurprisingly. “A Synod exists to listen constantly to the Holy Spirit”, Vatican News proclaims, but, as Robert Royal so aptly put it: “The ‘listening Church’ that we have heard so much about in recent years seems very much to listen with the left ear, not the right.” Touché!

At the same time, of course we must give credit where it’s due: At least there were clear calls to conversion at the synod. Granted, the context was ecological conversion, but at least in that one regard conversion isn’t optional and proselytism is still permitted — so much so that “the Church must speak with a prophetic voice in order for the issue of integral ecology to enter the agenda of international bodies”, a decisive affirmation the likes of which one will search for in vain with regard to the Social Kingship of Christ, about which Pope Pius XI proclaimed less than a century earlier: “While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights” (Encyclical Quas Primas, n. 25).

Besides conversion, confession of sins too was a hot topic during the synod’s first week — confession of ecological sins, that is, and to priests rather than female religious:

A desire was also expressed for an “ecological conversion” that would allow people see the gravity of sins against the environment as sins against God, against our neighbour, and against future generations. This would imply a need to produce and spread more widely a theological literature that would include “ecological sins” alongside traditional sins.

(“Amazon Synod Day 2: The Church confesses ‘ecological sins’”Vatican News, Oct. 8, 2019)

Perhaps the only way to prevent the mass production of pertinent “theological literature” would be to remind people that printed paper requires the use of trees, which are a precious ecological resource that surely we cannot afford to waste. “Everything is connected”, we have learned, and who’d want to mess with that cycle?

The “Resistance” speaks — sort of

With all this madness going on in the Eternal City, Novus Ordo conservatives were disappointed to find that their “only friend in the Vatican”, “Cardinal” Robert Sarah, had preemptively shot down any suggestion that he might be a voice of opposition to the Jesuit apostate from Buenos Aires. In an interview published in the Italian press on Oct. 7, Sarah declared:

The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the vicar of Christ, that is by the pope. And whoever is against the pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church…. Those who place me in opposition to the Holy Father cannot present a single word of mine, a single phrase or a single attitude of mine to support their absurd – and I would say, diabolical – affirmations…. I would add that every pope is right for his time. Providence looks after us very well, you know.

(“Cardinal” Robert Sarah, quoted in Cindy Wooden, “Cardinal Sarah: To oppose the pope is to be outside the Church”Crux, Oct. 9, 2019.)

As Scripture says: “Put not your trust in princes” (Ps 145:2). According to Catholic doctrine, the only one you can always count on to be your safe teacher on matters of Faith and morals is the Pope, a truth which clearly disqualifies Bergoglio from the start.

Naturally, the unemployed Vatican “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller once again positioned himself as a conservative voice highly critical of the synod, pretending not to be a Modernist himself. At least he had a most apt and memorable line in his interview with Il Foglio: “…the mission of Peter and of his successors consists in uniting all believers in faith in Christ, who did not recommend involvement with the waters of the Jordan or the vegetation of Galilee.”

Right now Rome is an infernal mess. Not that that would be news, but it’s never been worse than now. When Francis’ bosom buddy Eugenio Scalfari wrote in one of Italy’s most widely-read newspapers that “Pope” Bergoglio had told him he doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is God, the Vatican press office was merely able to produce two carefully-worded non-denials. At this point, it’s par for the course.

With all of these developments, what has been the reaction of the Novus Ordo conservatives and recognize-and-resist traditionalists?

In a video message blasting the synod, a confused John-Henry Westen declared within the same 60 seconds that “what is plainly obvious is that what is being set up is a false church…” and yet that “we won’t leave the church — this is the one true Church, and there is no other.” Got it.

Over at Crisis, which should consider renaming itself into Catastrophe at this point, writer Julia Meloni says that with the Amazon Synod, a Pandora’s box has been opened. Another scathing summary of the “hot mess” that is the apostate synod in Rome was posted by Mark Lambert.

Meanwhile, The Remnant offered its usual Catholicism-free do-it-yourself traditionalism. Reporting straight from Rome, Michael Matt chronicled in several videos (see here and here and here and here, for example) the apostasy unfolding in the Eternal City. Still believing, however, that the people responsible for this wickedness are the legitimate Roman Catholic hierarchs, he effectively turned himself into an apostle for a defected Church, which is heresy. Verbally blaming it on some unspecified “human element” doesn’t get him off the hook, however, since if the official teachings, laws, and sacramental rites of the Church are the human element, then there is nothing left to constitute the divine.

As Pope Leo XIII taught very clearly and beautifully:

In the Catholic Church Christianity is incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the mystical body of Jesus Christ and which has for its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Saviour, the daughter and the heiress of His redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance, and of that immortality which have been promised it, it makes no terms with error, but remains faithful to the commands which it has received to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time and to protect it in its inviolable integrity.

(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Annum Ingressi)

On the eve of the synod, Remnant contributor and blatant public heretic Hilary White had claimed that the people she recognizes as the highest ecclesiastical authorities have no power to inflict canonical penalties on the laity: “No one here can be placed under any canonical sanctions”, she remarked, contrasting the laity with the clergy who might be punished by their superiors.

But is that so? Even a cursory look at canon law refutes that notion: “The law gives … a list of the principal penalties common to clergy and laity, which ecclesiastical superiors can inflict upon any member of the Church according to his guilt”, canon law professor Fr. H. A. Ayrinhac writes in his formidable work Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law ([New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1920], n. 158; p. 154; underlining added).

This should not be surprising. After all, laymen are part of the Church as much as any other member, hence they are not immune from judgments and penalties for grave wrongs committed. The Pope and the bishops are the shepherds, and the faithful are the sheep ruled by them. In 1870 the First Vatican Council clearly defined the Pope’s jurisdiction as being not only over the clergy but also the laity, both collectively and individually:

If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 3; Denz. 1831; underlining added.)

That probably won’t impress Miss White very much, however, considering that she is on record publicly doubting (=denying) Vatican I, which is heresy. To a Catholic, on the other hand, the issue is clear. It’s really tragic but at times it seems that the only non-negotiable qualification one must have to be allowed to write for The Remnant is not being a sedevacantist.

Apocalypse Now

Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the Vatican II Sect is nearing its well-deserved end. The Novus Ordo Modernists have discovered the “noble savage” in the Amazon and are preparing to synthesize his idolatrous indigenous nature religion with the Vatican II religion. Which, frankly, isn’t all that difficult, considering what the apostate council declared:

…[O]ther religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.

(Vatican II, Declaration Nostra Aetate, n. 2)

Ah yes, everything is connected. There we go again.

What is happening now in Rome clearly has apocalyptic contours and is perhaps ushering in the worst but final stage of the apostasy. At the synod, though, they won’t care. They “have eyes and see not”, “noses and smell not” (Ps 113:13,14). They are too busy walking together, probably even moving forward.

And move forward they will — straight into the abyss.

 

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

TRADCAST 025 is here

Novus Ordo Watch for your ears…

TRADCAST 025 Now Available 

TRADCAST — The Traditional Catholic Podcast

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
AND TO LISTEN TO ALL EPISODES

In case you missed our initial announcement on August 21: We have published another full-length episode of our popular TRADCAST podcast program. As always, it is loaded with real traditional Catholicism, hard-hitting refutations of various errors, and razor-sharp analysis. Our content is typically challenging but is always delivered with a relieving touch of humor.

TRADCAST 025 consists of two separate segments. First we evaluate Dan Marcum’s effort to paint Francis as an “anti-liberal”, and in the process we examine the the Modernist strategy of using ambiguity and contradiction in order to spread heresy more effectively and with impunity. Then we comment on what happened when an “indult Mass” goer discovered what religion he is really a part of, and we examine the three main currents that developed in response to the revolution of Vatican II in the 1960s. We wrap up the first segment with a response to Robert Siscoe’s argument, based on an abridged quote from Cardinal Louis Billot, that the “universal peaceful acceptance” by the Church of a papal claimant is an infallible sign of his legitimacy.

The second portion of the podcast begins with a brief announcement concerning Dr. Taylor Marshall’s book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within and then introduces Dr. Peter Chojnowski’s “Sister Lucy Truth” project, which is dedicated to determining scientifically whether Sr. Lucy of Fatima was replaced with an imposter around 1960. We also preview the Vatican’s upcoming Pan-Amazon Synod and expose the contradictory theology of the One Peter Five web site. We end the program by considering whether Sedevacantism really is, as is often alleged, a “dead end”.

If you are new to the program, you will find that listening to TRADCAST is like drinking from a firehose of information. As always, the podcast is interlaced with important insights, quotes from solid Catholic sources, and some much-needed humor! The total run time of TRADCAST 025 is 1 hour and 11 minutes.

You can listen free of charge by playing the YouTube video above, or you can go to our TRADCAST 025 page, where you will find all the information you need for this show, including links to all the articles, books, blog posts, etc., mentioned in the podcast, and where you will also find ways to download this episode to your computer and sign up to be notified of new episodes by email.

Here’s an idea: Why not throw a late-summer party and invite some friends, neighbors, or family members and listen to the show together and discuss it over hotdogs and burgers? Or how about hosting a virtual discussion with traditionalist or non-traditionalist friends using Google Hangouts or a similar conference tool?

If you are interested in listening to older shows, you can do so using our complete episodes list; or listen to a sermon or an apologetics/catechism class with your friends and family as well. This makes for great conversation — much more important than the usual family discussions — and will open people’s eyes about Francis and the Novus Ordo Sect! It’s one way you can do evangelization the easy way. In any case, don’t miss this TRADCAST and spread the word!

As always, TRADCAST is entirely free of charge. Listeners who would like to support this podcast with a tax-deductible donation, may do so here.

Annoy the heck out of Francis — listen to TRADCAST!

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

TRADCAST 025 (August 21, 2019)

TRADCAST 025 (21 AUG 2019)

Contents

  • Segment 1: Francis the Anti-Liberal? – ambiguity and contradiction as part of the Modernist strategy; bursting the diocesan traditional Latin Mass bubble; the revolution of Vatican II vs. the traditional Catholic teaching on the Church; is it a “dogmatic fact” that Francis is Pope? – response to Robert Siscoe
  • Segment 2: Brief announcement regarding Taylor Marshall’s book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within; how you can support this podcast; Peter Chojnowski’s “Sister Lucy Truth” project: was Sr. Lucy of Fatima replaced with an imposter around 1960?; the trouble with diabolical disorientation; a preview of the Vatican’s upcoming Amazon Synod; the contradictory theology of One Peter Five; Sedevacantism – a dead end?
  • Total run time: 1 hr 11 mins

You can listen to the show by clicking the big play button in the embedded player above. Alternatively, you can choose right below from more listening/viewing options:

Alternate Show Links (Audio and Video)

Links to Items mentioned in the Show & Related Information

The Errors of Michael Davies: A Comprehensive Refutation

John Daly destroys Semi-Trad Pioneer

The Errors of Michael Davies:
A Comprehensive Refutation

MICHAEL DAVIES — AN EVALUATION
by John S. Daly

(1st ed. 1989, 2nd ed. 2015)

FREE DOWNLOAD!

One of the most prominent and influential writers of the traditionalist movement in the Vatican II Church was the English writer Michael Treharne Davies (1936-2004), shown above with then-“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger. No individual has written more prolifically than Davies on traditionalist issues, and probably no single layman, with the possible exception of Dietrich von Hildebrand, has enjoyed wider prominence, credibility, and trustworthiness than him. But is this respect Mr. Davies has enjoyed really well-founded? If not, what does this mean for the people who base most of their understanding of the traditionalist subject matter on the research and argumentation of this one individual?

In a devastating dossier of 584 pages entitled Michael Davies — An Evaluation, Englishman John S. Daly (web site here) thoroughly dismantles the star apologist for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X. This exhaustively-researched and well-documented book exposes and refutes the errors, fallacies, dangers, false theology, and sloppy scholarship of Michael Davies. Twenty-six years after it was first published, a new revised and expanded edition of this invaluable work was made available to the public in 2015, both in hardcopy and electronically, the latter as a free PDF download only through Novus Ordo Watch. We have advertised this outstanding work in various ways on this web site before and are happy to do so once more.

The book description provided by the author reads as follows:

Cambridge-educated translator John S. Daly puts the scholarship of the late Michael Davies under the spotlight. What emerges from systematic comparison with statements of the Magisterium and the greatest theologians must destroy Davies’s credibility in the eyes of every serious reader. “Michael Davies – An Evaluation” remains not only an unanswered indictment of Davies as a Catholic scholar, but a standing refutation of the entire ecclesiology of those who believe it possible for an orthodox Catholic to reject the doctrinal errors and reformed rites spawned by Vatican II without calling into doubt the legitimacy of recent papal claimants and the validity of the new sacraments….

(source)

There is no doubt, of course, that Davies has done considerable good and provided excellent analysis and refutation of many errors promoted by the Vatican II religion. His work as a whole is certainly responsible for opening the eyes of a great many people to the dangers and heresies of the Novus Ordo Sect (which he, alas, identified with the Catholic Church), and has (re)kindled in countless souls a love for the Holy Catholic Mass offered in the traditional Roman rite.

Daly’s exposé does not mean to detract from the good which has admittedly been accomplished by Davies over the years. However, this good must be weighed against the considerable damage he has done and harm to souls he has caused, as demonstrated throughout this work. A glass may be filled 80% with nutritious juice, but if the remaining 20% are poison, the entire glass will be contaminated, and death or serious illness will result. Pointing out that 80% of the contents were good, will not help to undo or minimize the damage of the 20%. It would also be quite irresponsible and deceptive to focus only on the healthful content and pretend the poison does not exist.

It is for this reason that we wish to assist in the distribution of Mr. Daly’s dossier — to reveal, for the good of souls, the many dangerous errors, fallacies, and problems in the research and argumentation of Michael Davies, upon whom so many, quite unjustifiedly but in good faith, have relied in their understanding of traditionalist Catholic issues over the years.

The author himself clarifies his motives for exposing Davies in the introduction to his study:

In view of Mr. Davies’s uniquely influential position in the Catholic world today, a candid examination of his writings to assess to what extent his facts, theology and reasoning can be relied upon seems to be an appropriate undertaking. That is what this Evaluation sets out to achieve by subjecting Mr. Davies’s writings to careful analysis in the light of Catholic authority.

…After several years of study and work in Catholic publishing I reached the conclusion that an Evaluation such as this was necessary in order to accomplish three main objectives:

(i) To refute the gravely erroneous positions of Mr. Davies … in which his assertions have been responsible for leading many souls astray in matters upon which salvation may quite literally depend.

(ii) To show by careful analysis that Mr. Davies is a grossly unreliable author whose statements about Catholic doctrine should never be accepted without verification from genuine Catholic authorities.

(iii) To set out in a single study the main points of disagreement among those commonly referred to as traditional Catholics, allowing both sides to state their case, and showing by rigorous demonstration in each case where the truth lies.

(John S. Daly, Michael Davies — An Evaluation, new ed. [Saint-Sauveur de Meilhan: Tradibooks, 2015], pp. XIII-XV)

Davies was a very interesting speaker, and his writing was usually quite pleasant to read. His English accent and delightful humor contributed to his affable personality. We have already conceded that much of his research and argumentation was valid and good. However, this cannot exonerate him from the many erroneous arguments he advanced and the inadequate or selective research he engaged in, often with regard to issues impacting Sedevacantism (case in point: his widely-repeated but false thesis that St. Athanasius was excommunicated by Pope Liberius, refuted here and also here).

The conclusions author John Daly reaches about Michael Davies are less than flattering:

The conclusions reached in this Evaluation are that Mr. Davies is a shameless purveyor of false doctrine, sometimes reaching actual heresy; intensely ignorant even on many elementary points of theology as well as on matters of historical fact and general Catholic knowledge; not infrequently guilty of downright dishonesty; an execrable scholar; arrogant and foolish; a source of huge scandal and, in fine, an utter disgrace to the name of Catholic. Naturally these conclusions are far from savoury. My only justification for reaching them is that they are inescapably true, and my justification for publishing them is that the good of souls demands that so great a source of danger be exposed as publicly as possible.

(Daly, Michael Davies, p. XV)

To give you a snapshot of the valuable information contained in Michael Davies — An Evaluation, we are reproducing here its table of contents:

Introduction to the New 2015 Edition

Introduction

I. Davies’s Attitude to Authority

II. Shockingly Slipshod Scholarship

III. The Vacancy of the Holy See

Appendix: Suarez on the Heretical Pope

IV. Dishonesty, Inconsistency and Arrogance

V. Which Side is Michael Davies on?

VI. Miscellaneous Doctrinal Errors

VII. The Society of St. Pius X

VIII. Davies as an Anarchist

IX. Errors of Sacramental Theology

(a) The Orders of Archbishop Lefebvre
(b) The 1968 New Rite of Ordination
(c) Validity and “Significatio Ex Adjunctis”
(d) Validity of the Novus Ordo Missæ

X. The Alleged Fall of Pope Liberius

XI. Salvation Outside the Church?

XII. Doctrinal Evolution?

XIII. Open Letter to Mr. Michael Davies

At almost 600 pages, the reader will find this work is quite comprehensive in its critique of the Lefebvrist apologist. Such a critique is necessary because we who live in these times are engaged, at least in prefigurement, in the battle of Christ vs. Antichrist, and certainly that of Pope vs. Antipope, Church vs. Counterchurch. Human respect can never get in the way of defending the truth, no matter how unpopular it might be.

To purchase a copy of this dossier on Michael Davies in paperback, you may do so directly from Mr. Daly’s web site:

If you prefer to order through Amazon.com, you may do so by clicking here.

If you would like to download for free an electronic copy of this book — fully searchable through optical character recognition — you may do so at the link below:

Download Here:
PDF Format (3.5 MB)

Michael Davies — An Evaluation
by John S. Daly
New Edition (2015)
© John S. Daly

Although this book reserves copyright, Novus Ordo Watch is distributing it with the full and explicit permission of the copyright holder, author John S. Daly.

The battle for truth is an essential part of the battle for the salvation of souls, our own as well as those of others. It is therefore imperative for people to see falsehood exposed for what it is, and to realize that Michael Davies, whom many consider a weighty authority on the pressing issues or our time, was in fact a dangerous charlatan, even if he was right on many points. People who object in principle to a critique such as the one by Mr. Daly, on the grounds that “we should not be criticizing fellow-traditionalists”, have not understood the nature and the severity of the situation we are dealing with. Motives aside, we must know who is working on the side of Christ and the Truth, and who is working for the other side.

In his second epistle to the Thessalonians, St. Paul wrote that God would permit, in the end, the “operation of error” to blind many souls because they did not love the truth:

And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.

(2 Thess 2:6-11; underlining added.)

If you have not seen it yet, make sure you read Cardinal Edward Manning’s commentary on this passage and the great research he did on the question of the Pope, the Antichrist, and the latter times, in which we must surely now be, simply because that which 60 years ago would have been considered practically impossible, has now come to pass, and things are deteriorating quickly:

The situation in which we find ourselves today is unprecedented but not unexpected. A long-term vacancy of the Apostolic See, with no clear way out, seems to be a necessary condition enabling the rise of the Antichrist, else “he who withholdeth” — the Pope — would indeed restrain him. So, keep this in mind, whenever you hear some uninformed loudmouth tell you that “God would never permit this!”, that what God will or won’t permit is told to us in Divine Revelation, including Holy Scripture, and the matter is clear: God will not only permit but even “send”, as it were, the “operation of error”, with the precise intent that people will “believe lying” so that “all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity”.

Davies in his last years

We must remember also that while good will is necessary in this battle, it is not sufficient. The late great Fr. Frederick William Faber warned that one reason why the deception of the Antichrist would be so successful is that many “manifestly good” men would follow him and do his work, in ignorance:

We must remember that if all the manifestly good men were on one side and all the manifestly bad men on the other, there would be no danger of anyone, least of all the elect, being deceived by lying wonders. It is the good men, good once, we must hope good still, who are to do the work of Anti-Christ and so sadly to crucify the Lord afresh…. Bear in mind this feature of the last days, that this deceitfulness arises from good men being on the wrong side.

(Fr. Frederick Faber, Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, 1861; qtd. in Fr. Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World [text here]; underlining added.)

Besides, fallen men tend to deceive themselves, quickly ascribing good will to themselves when in fact the truth may be quite different. How often do we not tell ourselves we are only interested in the truth when in fact we are not and prefer our own self-interest before all else! (On this, see the same Fr. Faber’s excellent spiritual advice on self-deceit in Spiritual Conferences, 2nd ed. [1860], pp. 153-235.)

Jeffrey Knight’s talk on Sedevacantism and willful ignorance is also apropos here, a real eye-opener:

So, remember, ignorance alone will not get you off the hook, because much ignorance today is quite culpable. This doesn’t mean that those who are culpably ignorant are guilty of malice or ill will — no, it may simply be a case of culpable negligence. It’s time to show some fortitude, which is, after all, one of the four cardinal virtues and also a gift of the Holy Ghost: This is about the eternal destiny of your soul, for heaven’s sake! And if you have a spouse and children, it is about their souls as well. It’s time to take things seriously! Stop kidding yourself and look the facts in the eye! They do not cease to be facts just because we refuse to look.

Likewise, remember that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain: If Sedevacantism is true, it does not become false just because you refuse to look at the evidence; and if Sedevacantism were false, it would not become true just because you are looking into it. Besides, consider that Sedevacantism is entirely safe. By adhering to it, you cannot be led into heresy, nor into schism, if you are faithful to Catholic teaching. Supposing, for the sake of argument, that the position were false, where would be the danger? What could you be accused of?

The worst that could be said of you is that you were wrong about who the Pope was, or whether there was a Pope. You believed, in good faith, that there was no Pope when in fact there was one — but at least you acted consistently and in accordance with Catholic teaching, to the best of your ability and in peace with your conscience. You could be accused of having made a sincere mistake, nothing more; a mistake regarding the identity of the true Pope, as many others did before in Church history, and quite innocently (assuming, of course, that you have done your best to figure it out). This is the worst that could be said. You could not be accused of adhering to or spreading false doctrine (heresy), nor of refusing to be subject to the man you acknowledged to be the Pope (schism). That you would not submit to a man you were sincerely convinced could not possibly be Pope, cannot be laid to your charge, since a Catholic is required to refuse submission to an impostor.

God does not require us to be infallible, but He does require us to adhere to Catholic teaching at all times and in the same sense and meaning it has always had, and He requires us to accept manifest facts as true and to reject contradictions as false. Sedevacantism is the only position that can reconcile the known empirical facts with Catholic teaching. For this you cannot be faulted, even if — per impossibile — it turned out to be false.

But back to Michael Davies, the man upon whose research and argumentation so many have relied for their understanding of traditionalist issues, from the Novus Ordo Missae to Sedevacantism to the illicit episcopal consecrations of Archbishop Lefebvre.

On April 22, 1980, Davies appeared on Firing Line with Bill Buckley, Jr., debating a Novus Ordo priest and the infamous pseudo-traditionalist Malachi Martin. The video of the show is available online, and we are embedding it below as a little perk so you can experience Michael Davies at a time when he had just published the first volume of his Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre:

Michael Davies on Bill Buckley’s Firing Line (1980)

What’s interesting — and very telling — is that although Michael Davies lived until 2004, he never responded to John Daly’s blistering critique, which had first been published fifteen years prior. One would think that if such a powerful refutation of one’s own writings was being disseminated, that the individual targeted would do everything in his power to defend himself to retain or regain his credibility, certainly over a period of time as long as 15 years and at the request of several intellectuals (see Daly, Michael Davies, pp. IX-X). Not so with Michael Davies — even though his critic had even provided a convenient summary of his findings, issued as an open letter consisting of very specific errors he challenged Davies to address (found in the book as Chapter 13, pp. 553-584). No attempt at a rebuttal was ever made by the Lefebvrist apologist.

Davies died on September 25, 2004, and so has already received his judgment. We pray that it was a merciful one and that he repented of all his errors and sins before being summoned to appear before the Divine Judge. It is not our desire to focus so much on the person of Davies as on his errors, powerfully refuted in this work by John Daly, because these errors are still alive and well today, not least because the name of Michael Davies has been attached to them. Nevertheless we must call attention to the fact that it is not wrong, according to the Catholic position on personal polemics, to attack, besides the argument itself, also the person making it. Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany explained this in his Vatican-endorsed book Liberalism is a Sin (1886):

This monumental dossier on Michael Davies is as explosive as it is detailed, and yet it is also eminently readable. You will find a great many arguments still heard today from people in the “recognize-and-resist” camp competently refuted by the sound reasoning and authentic Catholic sources used in this powerful critique, which most people have never seen or even heard of.

This Evaluation of Mr. Davies will prove a very valuable tool in defending the sedevacantist position and debunking one of its foremost critics. We do not think it an exaggeration to say that after these 584 pages, there is nothing left of the credibility of the celebrated Lefebvrist apologist.

The facts are in; the truth is out. Exit Michael Davies…

That Novus Ordo Paradigm: Contribution to a Dispute between Steve Skojec and Louie Verrecchio

Why didn’t they just look it up?

That Novus Ordo Paradigm: Contribution to a Dispute between Steve Skojec and Louie Verrecchio

A recent argument about sacramental validity between semi-trad bloggers Steve Skojec and Louie Verrecchio illustrates quite beautifully what the fundamental problem is in the camp of non-sedevacantist traditionalists.

Let’s examine chronologically what has happened.

On July 26, 2019, Steve Skojec, editor of the theology-free resistance propaganda blog One Peter Five, published a post entitled “The ‘Novus Ordo Paradigm’ — What It Is and Why It Matters”.

We won’t dwell much on the fact that in this article Skojec essentially describes how his religion has defected from the Gospel and is therefore worthy of anathema (cf. Gal 1:8-9) and a grave danger to Faith and morals and therefore salvation. For example, he puts forward the theologically absurd, utterly outrageous, and solemnly condemned idea that “you are the victim of a crime” if you “have access to nothing but” Mass in a liturgical rite approved by the (supposed) Supreme Pontiff. (By this he means the Novus Ordo Missae (“New Mass”) of Paul VI.)

Such an idea is gravely injurious to the traditional Roman Catholic Faith, for the Church teaches: “If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church uses in the celebration of Masses, are incentives to impiety rather than the services of piety: let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Session 22, Canon 7; Denz. 954). And further: “Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children…” (Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, n. 66). But then, the recognize-and-resisters rarely allow actual traditional Catholicism to interfere with their “traditional Catholic” position.

This is evident also in the rest of Skojec’s piece, where he proclaims (quite correctly, of course, but nevertheless inconsistently) that “Novusordoism and Catholicism [are] Not the Same Religion” — while at the same time insisting that Francis is the head of both of them, making him the Vicar of Christ and the Vicar of the Devil. In Resistance Land, this is what is smugly offered under the label “the gates of hell shall not prevail” — it boggles the mind!

Confecting the Eucharist outside of Mass: Skojec vs. Verrecchio

But let’s turn to the part now that triggered the public skirmish between the two bloggers. Skojec wrote:

Now let’s get this out of the way, because I can hear the objections coming: yes, offered according to the rubrics, the Novus Ordo [Mass] is valid. What does that mean? It means that the Eucharist is confected, and the bread and wine become Our Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity during that liturgy.

But too many people stop there.

Technically, a priest has the power to consecrate the Eucharist anywhere. It’s legally forbidden, but he can do it. He can sit at a bar, drunk, and consecrate bread and wine if he says the right words with the right intention. He could even do the same thing at a satanic Mass for the purposes of desecration.

(Steve Skojec, “The ‘Novus Ordo Paradigm’ — What It Is and Why It Matters”One Peter Five, July 26, 2019; underlining added.)

Skojec is wrong, of course, in saying that the Novus Ordo Missae is valid. It is not, but that’s not our topic now.

All the controversy is about the last paragraph in the above quote, specifically the sentence: “He can sit at a bar, drunk, and consecrate bread and wine if he says the right words with the right intention.”

Blogger Louie Verrecchio, a recognize-and-resister who believes Benedict XVI is the currently-reigning Pope, responded to Skojec, asking him to correct his position:

The grave error in question concerns the following statement:

Technically, a priest has the power to consecrate the Eucharist anywhere. It’s legally forbidden, but he can do it. He can sit at a bar, drunk, and consecrate bread and wine if he says the right words with the right intention. He could even do the same thing at a satanic Mass for the purposes of desecration.

Frankly, I was positively stunned to read this; not because of the source, but mainly since so many people that I respect – people who should know better – had given the article a big thumbs up without making any mention of this horrendous falsehood.

(Louie Verrecchio, “MAJOR CORRECTION: The ‘Novus Ordo Paradigm’”aka Catholic, July 31, 2019; italics given.)

Verrecchio then proceeds to explain why he believes Skojec is wrong. There is no need to repeat all he says here — readers interested in the full argumentation can read it by clicking on the source link given above.

The same day Verrecchio published his post challenging Skojec, the latter reacted to it on Twitter. Be sure to check out the entire thread here.

What interests us in this dispute is not so much the question of who is right — we will get to that later — but rather the way both bloggers go about documenting and defending their respective positions. Let’s have a look at that now:

  1. In his original article on the “Novus Ordo Paradigm”, Skojec did not back up his contention at all that a priest can confect the Holy Eucharist anywhere, as long as he says the right words over the right matter with the right intention. He simply asserted it.
  2. In his response to Skojec, Verrecchio appealed to the following perceived Catholic authorities: a woman professor who teaches Novus Ordo canon law; the oddball canon lawyer “Fr.” Gregorius Hesse; and Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, who was the Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers (at the time he said the words quoted by Verrecchio) and would later go on to found the Society of St. Pius X to resist the Vatican II Church while acknowledging its leadership as the legitimate Catholic hierarchy.
  3. In his Twitter rebuttal to Verrecchio, Skojec pointed to a sermon given by the SSPX’s then-Superior General Bp. Bernard Fellay in 2o11 and also referred his critics to that same woman canon lawyer Verrecchio himself had quoted (and whom Skojec had brought up originally).

What is noticeable in all three cases is what is noticeably absent, namely: documentation from pertinent Catholic theology books published before Vatican II. Instead, all (supposed) authorities appealed to wrote or spoke during or after Vatican II.

Thus, the million-dollar question is: Why is neither Skojec nor Verrecchio quoting from pre-Vatican II Catholic theology books on this issue?

Their failure to even attempt to do so illustrates the fundamental problem so prevalent in Resistance Land: They proclaim themselves traditional Catholics but don’t ever — or very rarely — actually bother to look up what traditional Catholic theology says. Instead they offer ideas from personal reflection, share something their favorite traditional priest or bishop has said, copy argumentation found in a pamphlet written by Michael Davies or a blog post authored by Chris Ferrara, refer to a publication of the SSPX, or rely on a perpetually-recycled quote ascribed to a saint or Pope they have never actually verified and whose meaning they have never researched (the Bellarmine resistance quote is a perfect example). They may even quote something from a book by a real theologian if they can find it easily and quickly by means of an internet search.

Ladies and gentlemen, the issues we are facing are too important for such silliness.

If we are serious about traditional Catholicism, then those of us who blog and speak about theological matters in public are going to need to do real research, and that can require real effort: It will take some money, a decent amount of time, as well as prayer and also perseverance. Sometimes you may end up spending hours reading things only to find that your question still hasn’t been answered and you need to look elsewhere. But no matter the cost, it is definitely worth it, and there is no alternative.

If we’re going to be traditional Catholics, if “preserving Catholic Tradition” is to be more than just a pretty slogan on the masthead of our newspaper or web site, then we’ll have to study and hold fast to the doctrines and principles that were actually taught and believed before all the changes took place. Otherwise, we end up with nothing more than an empty “Latin-Mass-ism” that consists in beautiful externals and pious devotions but is devoid of the actual doctrinal underpinnings of real Catholicism, as beautifully explained by Bp. Donald Sanborn in a recent sermon. It would be like putting makeup on a corpse.

So… who’s right? Skojec or Verrecchio?

Since the main focus of this blog post is the semi-trad propensity of not consulting traditional Catholic literature on matters of traditional Catholic theology, we have only done some cursory research on this issue, which is a bit complex. As far as we have been able to ascertain, the traditional Catholic position on the question of the validity of consecrating the Eucharistic species outside of Mass, simply by a validly-ordained priest pronouncing the essential words over valid matter, is that it is probably invalid and at least doubtful. In other words, the preponderance of the evidence appears to favor Verrecchio over Skojec. If we stipulate that the priest in question is drunk, the attempted sacrament is definitely invalid because intoxication inhibits the use of reason and therefore prevents a valid interior intention of doing what the Church does (and to that extent, Skojec’s premise of a priest “sit[ting] at a bar, drunk” yet “with the right intention” is a clear contradiction).

Once we leave Novus Ordo canon lawyers or popular resistance clergy aside and turn to the pre-Vatican II traditional Catholic theological literature, here is what we discover:

First of all, in order to have the sufficient intention of doing what the Church does, “the minister must always act as a serious human agent, for a fictitious intention or an action in jest would be insufficient, since the Church does not act in that way, nor does the minister wish to perform a serious rite” (Rev. Raphael De Salvo, The Dogmatic Theology on the Intention of the Minister in the Confection of the Sacraments [Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1949], p. 27). For this reason, explains the same author, the Protestants were wrong “when they maintained that the sacraments would be valid even if the minister should be manifestly acting out of amusement as he united the matter and the form” (p. 22).

Regarding the specific question of the validity of consecrating bread and wine outside of Mass, the sources we have consulted all say more or less the same thing, namely:

To consecrate outside the Mass would not only be a sacrilege, but probably also an attempt at invalid consecration. The priest would certainly not perform that action in the person of Christ, nor according to the intention of the Church, which is restricted to the celebration of the Mass.

(Rev. P. Charles Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, vol. IV [St. Louis, MO: Herder, 1920], p. 156)

The canonist Augustine bases his opinion on the teaching of the celebrated moral theologian Fr. Dominic Prummer, who states in his Manuale Theologiae Moralis, vol. III [Freiburg: Herder, 1955], n. 176, that if an evil priest were to pronounce the words of consecration over bread at a bakery, it would be “probably invalid” (probabiliter invalida).

The canon law professor Fr. Henri Ayrinhac echoes that very same position:

…[A] priest who would deliberately decide to consecrate only one element or knowingly use insufficient matter would commit a grave sin of disobedience to the command of Christ to do what He had done; moreover, according to some theologians, his act would be invalid, because he has not the intention of doing externally what the Church does. Still less would we find that external, whatever may be the interior, intention in the case sometimes proposed as an objection, of a priest passing in front of a bakery and pronouncing the words of consecration over baskets of bread.

(Very Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac, Legislation on the Sacraments [New York, NY: Longmans, Green and Co., 1928], pp. 114-115)

This position is confirmed also by Fr. Nicholas Halligan:

Even in a case of extreme necessity it is never allowed to consecrate except within the Mass. A consecration which is not accompanied by the principal parts of the Mass is probably invalid. …To consecrate one species without the intention to consecrate the other renders the consecration doubtful.

(Rev. Nicholas Halligan, The Administration of the Sacraments [Cork: The Mercier Press, 1963], p. 106)

Finally, regarding the question of a priest being drunk when attempting to confect a sacrament, we also have a rather clear answer from an unquestionably traditional source:

…[H]e who would administer a sacrament in a drunken, or somnambulistic [=sleepwalking], or hypnotic state, would perform an action that is null, even though before the occurrence he might have had the most formal intention of doing what the Church does; for in that abnormal state he no longer acts as a rational being capable of being the representative of Christ and the Church.

(Very Rev. P. Pourrat, Theology of the Sacraments [St. Louis, MO: Herder, 1910], p. 393)

So much for Skojec’s idea that a priest could be drunk and intend to do what the Church does.

Concluding Thoughts

At this point we have a fairly clear picture of how the Catholic Church has traditionally looked upon the question of consecrating bread and wine outside of Holy Mass. We’ve consulted genuinely traditional Catholic sources by serious theological authors and not simply relied on a Bp. Fellay sermon, a blog post by a Novus Ordo canonist, or a talk by “Fr.” Hesse.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if a traditional Catholic wants to know the answer to a theological problem, he ought to look it up in the traditional Catholic literature, i.e. in the books that were written and used before the whole Novus Ordo religion started. That’s the safe way to proceed, keeping in mind that if we do not use the right method in the search for knowledge, we run the grave risk of arriving at a flawed conclusion — and at a correct one only by accident.

Skojec is known for being rich in rhetoric but short on actual Catholic theology. Two years ago he suggested on his web site that people should be sedevacantists in practice but not in theory. In other words: Say Francis is Pope but act like he’s not. What he must have thought of as a smart Catholic idea — he called it “Practical Sedevacantism” — is really just called hypocrisy and schism in moral theology.

Verrecchio makes more of an effort to be serious about theology but his work tends to be flawed because it is still so heavily influenced by the Lefebvrite resistance propaganda the Society of St. Pius X has been spewing with great success for decades. In 2015, Verrecchio had a similar dispute with another blogger (that time with the English writer Mundabor), and there too he relied on the argumentation of his hero “Fr.” Hesse instead of turning to pre-Vatican II Catholic theology books. (We published a powerful critique of him, Mundabor, and the celebrated Hesse in this post.)

With regard to both Skojec’s One Peter Five and Verrecchio’s aka Catholic, we can say: For web sites that supposedly seek to promote, defend, and restore Catholic Tradition, it’s amazing to see just how little of it is actually found there.

By the way: As far as the validity of Paul VI’s “New Mass” goes, which Skojec affirms and Verrecchio disputes to an extent, that issue is pretty much moot, since the large majority of such “Masses” is now conducted by clerics who are themselves bereft of valid holy orders (having been ordained in the 1968 Novus Ordo rite or by a “bishop” himself ordained in such a rite); and of course it does not matter how valid the words of consecration are in themselves if they are pronounced by a mere layman.

That, at least, is what traditional Catholicism says.

 

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

The Death of Vincent Lambert and the Silence of “Pope” Francis

July 17, 2019

Frenchman starved to death by court order…

The Death of Vincent Lambert and the Silence of “Pope” Francis

When it concerns a matter he really cares about, Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis) always has his trap open: Whether the topic be migrants, the poor, integral ecology, sustainable development, the elderly, climate change, clean water, albinos in Africa, educational initiatives for the youth in Argentina, or the rights of the indigenous in the Amazon region — for all those causes, Bergoglio couldn’t stop his tongue from moving if his life depended on it.

Of course no one is saying that these aren’t worthy causes for the most part — that’s not the point. Rather, the point is that Francis practices a rather obvious double standard, for when it comes to things of equal or greater importance, the Jesuit apostate suddenly discovers the importance of silence — and if he does say or do something, it’s usually only late in the game, after a sufficient amount of pressure, and/or in minimal fashion.

Here are some examples:

Sadly, the recent high-profile case of Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old tetraplegic man in France, was no different for the otherwise garrulous pseudo-pope.

Lambert had suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident on Sep. 29, 2008, that left him “a brain-damaged paraplegic in a minimally conscious state”, according to a Life Site report by Jeanne Smits. Although he was connected to a feeding tube for nutrition and hydration, Lambert was not terminally ill and not in need of special treatment, nor was he on life support equipment, such as a respirator. He was not dying but was quite alive.

His severe handicap, however, was enough for a number of people to seek his death:

His wife and six of his siblings supported a recommendation made by doctors in 2013 that the provision of nutrition and hydration through a gastric tube should be stopped. Lambert was able to breathe on his own.

But Lambert’s parents and two other siblings had fought the decision in courts, insisting as the Catholic Church does that nutrition and hydration are not extraordinary measures for prolonging his life.

Doctors at the clinic in Reims, France, where Lambert had been cared for, started withdrawing nutrition and hydration in May when a court ruled in his wife’s favor.

However, a few hours later, an appeals court reversed the decision and ordered a resumption of tube feeding and hydration.

In late June, another court ruled that care could be discontinued; doctors began withholding nutrition and hydration July 2.

(“Pope laments death of Vincent Lambert”La Croix International, July 15, 2019)

Lambert died on July 11, a full nine days after nutrition and hydration were withheld from him, and only because they were withheld.

What is even more shocking is that during his starvation ordeal Lambert “received no deep sedation and … during the first days of his agony, he was moaning and groaning, gasping for breath, and crying”, as related by his mother, Viviane, “who could not even give him a drink”. “He also had quieter moments but his eyes were open and he reacted to Viviane when she talked to him until then”, according to a July 11 article by Smits.

And where was Francis? Where was the Vatican?

For his favorite political issues, Francis has lots of time and lots to say. He is able to crank out book-length interviews, addresses, statements, special audiences, forewords, livestreams, video messages — you name it. He had a special message for the Super Bowl in 2017, shared words of wisdom with the same year’s G20 Summit, and blathered at the youth in a video message for a TED conference. Even personal phone calls or in-person visits are not out of the question for something that is dear to him. Two years ago he had fun chatting with astronauts on the International Space Station, and he once even found time to write the foreword to a psychotherapist’s book about the bad habit of complaining.

The fact is that Francis has plenty of time and energy — when it concerns something he actually cares about! As we’ve found out, that’s how it works with his knees, too: He is quite capable of kneeling, he just needs to find a good enough reason to actually do so. Too bad the Feast of Corpus Christi isn’t one for him.

So, what is Francis’ record on the Vincent Lambert case, which is clearly setting a judicial precedent in France for the fate of the handicapped who are effectively deemed “useless eaters” and therefore “unworthy of life”?

In 2018, Francis mentioned Vincent Lambert by name twice (April 15 and April 18) but only briefly as part of his post-Audience/Regina Caeli shout-outs. That’s the time when he makes fleeting remarks on world affairs, requests prayers for various intentions, and greets various pilgrim groups in attendance, such as the dairy farmers from Lesotho or the newlyweds from Micronesia.

On May 20, 2019, Francis sent a generic tweet about protecting human life, by which he includes, of course, opposition to the death penalty, which is not a “natural end” to life:

Whenever Francis or some other Novus Ordo big shot speaks out against murder, he will typically put it in general terms that lump together and condemn all killing, even that which is just and necessary, such as capital punishment meted out by the state for capital crimes, or killing enemy combatants in a just war. In this manner, innocent victims like Lambert or Gard are effectively put on a par with the most heinous criminals, such as Albert FishJames DeBardeleben, or this monster.

On July 10, roughly a week after the hospital had begun starving Lambert to death, Francis tortured himself to release the following tweet:

The Novus Ordo news video site Rome Reports seriously attempted to spin this tweet into a “strong plea for Vincent Lambert’s life” on the part of Francis, when it was clearly no such thing. First, because it does not mention Lambert by name at all; second, because it does not address his case even in general terms. Lambert was not “left to die.” He wasn’t dying at all. He was starved to death. He was dehydrated to death. If putting a convicted murderer in a prison cell and giving him no food or water until he is dead were a method of execution in the United States, the entire world would decry it as barbaric, inhumane, and excessively cruel. Francis himself would omit no opportunity to denounce and condemn it.

Not so in the case of Vincent Lambert, an innocent man whose only objectionable deed was that he was too ill to feed himself.

Not surprisingly, once Lambert’s court-ordered murder had been carried out successfully, Francis suddenly managed to remember his name again:

Thus far Francis’ personal interventions, or lack thereof. Too bad Lambert wasn’t a migrant trying to break down a border fence somewhere.

On May 21, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and the Pontifical Academy for Life had released the following joint statement:

In full agreement with the affirmations of the Archbishop of Reims, H.E. Msgr. Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, and the auxiliary bishop, H.E. Msgr. Bruno Feillet, in relation to the sad case of Mr. Vincent Lambert, we wish to reiterate the grave violation of the dignity of the person that the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration would constitute. Indeed, the “vegetative state” is certainly a burdensome pathological state, which however does not in any way compromise the dignity of those people who find themselves in this condition, nor does it compromise their fundamental rights to life and to care, understood as the continuity of basic human assistance.

Nutrition and hydration constitute a form of essential care, always proportionate to life support: to nourish a sick person never constitutes a form of unreasonable therapeutic obstinacy, as long as the person is able to receive nutrition and hydration, provided this does not cause intolerable suffering or prove damaging to the patient.

The suspension of such care represents, rather, a form of abandonment of the patient, based on a pitiless judgment of the quality of life, expression of a throwaway culture that selects the most fragile and helpless people, without recognizing their uniqueness and immense value. The continuity of assistance is an inescapable duty.

We therefore hope that solutions may be found as soon as possible to protect Mr. Lambert’s life. To this end, we assure the prayer of the Holy Father and all the Church.

(“Declaration on the case of Mr. Vincent Lambert”Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, May 21, 2019)

The text was signed by McCarrick associate “Cardinal” Kevin Farrell and the scandal-ridden “Abp.” Vincenzo Paglia. Impressive! A few lines of text about human dignity from two Vatican officials nobody knows or pays any attention to. The only thing missing was a quote from Evangelii Gaudium.

A day before Lambert’s death, the Italian periodical Famiglia Christiana published an article penned by Paglia that effectively undid the May 21 declaration’s call for the protection of Lambert’s life and which “perpetuates the confusion between medical treatment and administration of food and fluids”, as one critical review put it.

After Lambert’s passing, Vatican News published a report that put a spin on the facts: “Lambert’s wife and some of his siblings wanted care to be withdrawn, but his Catholic parents, backed by other relatives, launched a series of legal bids to force doctors to keep him alive” (underlining added). This choice of words makes it appear as though Lambert was dying and the hospital was artificially keeping him alive. But that is not so. A report by AsiaNews.it hits the nail on the head: “He died of hunger and thirst, but was not near death and did not need machines to support his vital functions. But his doctors and wife decided he had to die.”

By contrast to all these reactions, the conservative “Cardinal” Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, erred on the opposite side, claiming that Lambert had “died as a martyr”Except he didn’t. He was murdered, yes; but he was not martyred. While it is true that Lambert was “a victim of the frightful madness of the men of our time”, as Sarah accurately described the situation, that is not what martyrdom is.

Donald Attwater’s Catholic Dictionary defines martyrdom as the “voluntary endurance of death for the Catholic faith, or for any article thereof, or for the preservation of some Christian virtue, or for some other act of virtue relating to God” (s.v. “Martyrdom”). Lambert was cruelly murdered in cold blood, but he was not killed for the Catholic Faith or for some supernatural virtue; so to apply the label of “martyr” here dangerously reduces martyrdom to the suffering of any kind of death that is brought about deliberately and unjustly, thereby making the concept meaningless. Sarah also contradicted himself when he said that he “pray[s] for the eternal repose of the soul of Vincent Lambert”, since it makes no sense to pray for the souls of genuine martyrs, who, rather, ought to be invoked to pray for us: “…the Church never prays for the repose of the souls of martyrs” (Catholic Dictionary).

The 2008 accident that put Lambert into this horrifying condition was a very tragic occurrence, but accidents do happen. Much more tragic, on the other hand, is how Lambert’s life was implicitly declared by courts to be superfluous and therefore ordered to be disposed of.

When people are diagnosed as being in a so-called “vegetative state”, this does not necessarily mean that they are not conscious, not aware of their surroundings, as patients who have come out of such a state have testified. In any case, we do not cease to be human simply because we cannot move, or cannot feed ourselves, or are unable to communicate. Human life is not the sum total of various bodily functions.

The following video shows Lambert weeping after hearing that the court had ordered him to be starved to death. His mother beautifully attempts to console him, telling him repeatedly, “Don’t cry” (ne pleure pas):

Lambert’s parents are now pressing murder charges against his doctors. Murder is the deliberate and direct killing of the innocent, and it is one of only four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance (the other three are sodomy, oppression of the poor, and defrauding the laborer of his just wages).

It is certainly true that no one is obliged to use extraordinary means to prolong his life, but this is not even relevant here: Lambert was not hooked up to life support; he was merely fed through a feeding tube. When it was disconnected, he wasn’t “allowed to die”; he was forcibly dehydrated and starved to death because a court had decided it was in his “best interest.”

Years ago there was a debate among sedevacantist priests as to whether or not a feeding tube constituted extraordinary means — with no Pope to render an authoritative decision, the issue could not be settled. However, this debate need not concern us here, for our focal point in this post is the behavior of Francis, whose own religion has judged feeding tubes to be merely ordinary means.

To sum up: Vincent Lambert was lying in a hospital bed, too ill to feed himself. For nine days the hospital refused to give food or water to him, until he died — and the ever-talkative “Pope” had practically nothing to say.

“For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me” (Mt 25:42,45).

 

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

¿Quis ut Deus? Veritas Vincit

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

¿Quis ut Deus? Stat Veritas

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Traditional Catholic Education

A Traditional Catholic(Sedevacantist) Site.

Call Me Jorge...

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

AMOR DE LA VERDAD

IGLESIA CATÓLICA igual en 2000 años hasta la muerte de Pío XII

Ecclesia Militans

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

St. Gertrude the Great

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Speray's Catholicism in a Nutshell

Apologia for Sedevacantism and Catholic Doctrine

SCATURREX

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

St. Anthony of Padua - Hammer of Heretics

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Introibo Ad Altare Dei

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

: Quidlibet :

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

TraditionalMass.org Articles

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

TRADITIO.COM: The Traditional Roman Catholic Network

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

True Restoration

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Homunizam

homoseksualizacija društva - politička korektnost - totalitarizam - za roditelje: prevencija homoseksualnosti - svjedočanstva izlaska iz homoseksualnosti

¿Quis ut Deus? Veritas Vincit

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

¿Quis ut Deus? Stat Veritas

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Traditional Catholic Education

A Traditional Catholic(Sedevacantist) Site.

Call Me Jorge...

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

AMOR DE LA VERDAD

IGLESIA CATÓLICA igual en 2000 años hasta la muerte de Pío XII

Ecclesia Militans

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

St. Gertrude the Great

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Speray's Catholicism in a Nutshell

Apologia for Sedevacantism and Catholic Doctrine

SCATURREX

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

St. Anthony of Padua - Hammer of Heretics

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Introibo Ad Altare Dei

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

: Quidlibet :

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

TraditionalMass.org Articles

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

TRADITIO.COM: The Traditional Roman Catholic Network

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

True Restoration

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Homunizam

homoseksualizacija društva - politička korektnost - totalitarizam - za roditelje: prevencija homoseksualnosti - svjedočanstva izlaska iz homoseksualnosti

%d blogeri kao ovaj: