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Dogmatic Theology, (Volume II), Christ’s Church

Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Christ’s Church,
by Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D. 

CHAPTER III
The Properties of the Church

The Church’s properties are those qualities which flow from its very essence and are a necessary part of it. Authors differ somewhat in enumerating these properties; and some distinguish between properties and endowments. But the difference seems to concern method and terminology rather than the matter itself. Seven properties, then, can be listed: visibility, indestructibility, infallibility, unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity. Since visibility and indestructibility have already been considered, there remain for discussion only the last five.

Article I

THE CHURCH’S INFALLIBILITY

1. Meaning of the Term

The word infallibility itself indicates a necessary immunity from error. When one speaks of the Church’s infallibility, one means that the Church can neither deceive nor be deceived in matters of faith and morals, It is a prerogative of the whole Church; but it belongs in one way to those who fulfill the office of teaching and in another way to those who are taught. Hence the distinction between active infallibility, by which the Church’s rulers are rendered immune from error when they teach; and passive infallibility, by which all of Christ’s faithful are preserved from error in their beliefs.
Passive infallibility depends on and is caused by active infallibility: for the faithful are kept free from error in religious matters only by loyally following their rulers. Consequently, it is limited by the same restrictions as is active infallibility, and it will therefore suffice to treat only the latter. Active infallibility may be defined as follows: the privilege by which the teaching office of the Church, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, is preserved immune from error when it defines a doctrine of faith or morals.

The words through the assistance of the Holy Spirit indicate that this freedom from error is something derived; the words when it defines a doctrine of faith or morals limit this inerrancy to definite subject matter.

II. Errors

1. Protestants in general ascribe infallibility to no church, at least to no visible church. The Puseyists were willing to grant it to some sort of ideal Church made up of the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Anglican communions. The Pistoians asserted that infallibility, like all sacred power, had been given principally and directly to the whole body of the faithful, but to rulers only as agents of that body. The Jansenists of Holland seem to follow the same opinion, since they demand for an infallible decree: (a) that delegates or representatives of the whole “Church” be gathered together for a ecumenical council; (b) that these delegates agree that the doctrine belongs to the deposit of faith and that it has always been accepted by the whole Church; (c) that their judgment be ratified universally by the Church throughout the world.

2. Modernists, since they acknowledge not even a divinely established teaching office, naturally do not admit that the privilege of infallibility was granted this office. The doctrinal or dogmatic authority which they themselves grant the Church’s rulers means only this: that these rulers are to be watchfully alert for what may, at any given period, be going on in the Christian consciousness, so that they may give it apt formulation. Of course the formulae must be modified as soon as they no longer correspond with the new mentality and the evolution of religious consciousness. In fact, in the Modernist system, the duty of doctrinal authority is not to see to it that there is never any change in the believing or in the understanding of the absolute and immutable truth preached from the beginning by the apostles. This authority is rather to take care that that be maintained which may seem best adapted to the cultural level of each generation. (1)

The first step in the treatment to follow will be a demonstration of the fact of infallibility. Next in order will be a study of its object or extent, and finally an investigation into its nature. The special discussion of the subject of infallibility fits more conveniently into the second section of this treatise. Suffice it to mention here, in anticipation of the fuller discussion, that that subject is both the body of the Church’s rulers together with its head, in other words, the Roman Catholic college of bishops, and the supreme ruler of the whole Church, the Roman pontiff.

Ill. The Fact of Infallibility (2)

PROPOSITION: When the teaching office of the Church hands down decisions on matters of faith and morals in such a way as to require of everyone full and absolute assent, it is infallible.

This is a dogma of faith.

The teaching office of the Church or, as they say, “the teaching Church,” is made up of those to whom God entrusted the right and the duty to teach the Christian religion authoritatively. The words “in matters of faith and morals in such a way as to require of everyone full and absolute assent” are included in the proposition because, according to Catholic teaching, the Church’s rulers are infallible not in any and every exercise of their teaching power; but only when, using all the fulness of their authority, they clearly intend to bind everyone to absolute assent or, as common parlance puts it, when they “define” something in matters pertaining to the Christian religion. That is why all theologians distinguish in the dogmatic decrees of the councils or of the popes between those things set forth therein by way of definition and those used simply by way of illustration or argumentation. For the intention of binding all affects only the definition, and not the historical observations, reasons for the definition, and so forth. And if in some particular instances the intention of giving a definitive decision were not made sufficiently clear, then no one would be held by virtue of such definitions, to give the assent of faith: a doubtful law is no law at all.

Although this proposition has never been defined in the precise form in which it is here stated, it is a dogma of faith by reason of the universal teaching of the Church. Moreover, the Vatican Council did define that the Roman pontiff “enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished His Church to be equipped in defining a doctrine of faith or morals.” (3)

Proof:

1. From the promises of Christ. (a) Christ said to the apostles in the Last Supper discourse, “And I will ask the Father, and he will grant you another Advocate to be with you for all time to come, the Spirit of Truth … he will make his permanent stay with you and in you … but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and refresh your memory of everything I have told you” (John 14:16-17, 26). “But when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will conduct you through the whole range of truth” (John 16:13). Then, after His Resurrection, He added, “…you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence … you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:5, 8).

Two things are promised in these texts: the Holy Spirit, as the Teacher of truth (a) will come upon the apostles to imbue them with an exceedingly rich knowledge of the Christian religion; (b) He will remain with them forever. The purpose and the result of both these aids is that the apostles will preach Christ’s religion pure and unabridged “even to the very ends of the earth.”

The former promise has in view especially the first communication of the Christian religion and, furthermore, at least in the strict and full sense, refers to the apostles alone. The latter promise, which is concerned more directly with the practice and preservation of this religion, cannot, in view of the words themselves(4) and of the purpose intended, be limited to the apostles personally; but embraces the apostolic college as it is to continue forever. But if the Holy Spirit is to remain with the successors of the apostles forever, and is to be in them that they may be witnesses of Christ to the ends of the earth, He will doubtless keep them from error when they define Christian doctrine. For would they really be witnesses of Christ if they corrupted His doctrine in even one point and unjustifiably demanded the assent of all to a falsehood?

(b) “Absolute authority in heaven and on earth has been conferred upon me. Go, therefore, and initiate all nations in discipleship … and teach them to observe all the commandments I have given you. And mark: I am with you at all times as long as the world will last” (Matt. 28:20). These words contain a promise to the apostolic college, as to a perpetual institution, of continuous and effective aid in teaching all nations the religion of Christ (see no. 20). But this aid certainly includes infallibility, for if they could err at times in defining Christian doctrine, the purpose of the aid would not be realized.

Furthermore, the force of Christ’s promise is highlighted in an extraordinary manner by the obligation enjoined on all men to accept the doctrine preached by the apostles and by their successors throughout all ages: “He that believes … will be saved, but he that does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Could our Lord have imposed this obligation without any limitation or restriction, and under the threat of eternal damnation, if He had left to posterity a teaching authority which was liable to error?

2. From the testimony of the Apostle. St. Paul: I write these instructions to you, so that … you may know what your conduct should be in the house of God which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth (I Tim. 3:14-15). Truth purely and simply is the whole body of truth leading to eternal salvation: Christian doctrine in its entirety. The Church considered absolutely, i.e., the universal Church, is called a thoroughly solid pillar of this truth,(5) because it bears and supports the truth as an unshakably solid pillar supports a building. But it would not be the pillar and bulwark of the truth if it could shift from the truth in even one matter. Therefore we have here a direct statement of the infallibility of the Church as a whole; but one can immediately deduce from this the infallibility of the teaching office, since the whole Church depends on this office for its knowledge and profession of the truth.

3. From the testimony of the early fathers. They have left, in unmistakably clear or at least equivalent terms, testimony to their belief in the infallibility of the teaching office or, what actually comes down to the same thing, of the Church itself.

St. Ignatius:

Live in harmony with the mind of God. Surely, Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, for His part in the mind of the Father, just as the bishops, though appointed throughout the vast, wide earth, represent for their part the mind of Jesus Christ.—Epistula ad Ephesios 3. 2; ACW translation.

Now, if those who do this to gratify the flesh are liable to death, how much more a man who by evil doctrine ruins the faith in God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified! Such a filthy creature will go into the unquenchable fire, as will anyone who listens to him. The Lord permitted myrrh to be poured on His head that He might breathe incorruption upon the Church. Do not let yourselves be anointed with the malodorous doctrine of the Prince of this world.—Ibid. 16. 2-17. 1; ACW translation.

St. Irenaeus:

One should obey the presbyters [bishops] of the Church, for they are the successors of the apostles and along with episcopal succession have received the sure charism of truth according to the good pleasure of the Father.(6)

Tertullian makes sport of the thesis that

the Holy Ghost sent by Christ and asked of the Father for this very purpose, viz., to teach the truth, neglected His duty by allowing the Church to understand and to believe otherwise than what He Himself taught the apostles. — De praescriptione 28.

St. Athanasius: “The only words you need for answering those [paradoxes of the heretics] are the following: ‘This is not the teaching of the Catholic Church’” (Epistula ad Epictetum 3).

St. Jerome: “I was able to dry up all the rivulets of false assertions with the one sun of the Church” (Altercatio luciferiani et orthodoxi 28).

St. Augustine:

Many tongues and various heresies speak in opposition … hasten to the tabernacle of God, hold fast to the Catholic Church, depart not from the rule of truth, and you will find in this tabernacle asylum from the tongues which wag in opposition. — Enarrationes in Psalmos 30. 3. 8.

The Catholic Church wages war against all heresies. It can give battle, but it can never be vanquished. All heresies have gone forth from it [the Church] like useless branches pruned from a vine; but it remains itself firmly fixed in its roots, in its vine, in its love. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. (7)

4. Theological argument. The Church, according to Christ’s promises, is indestructible (no. 19); but it would fail through corruption if it strayed from the true teaching of Christ; and it would so stray, indeed inevitably, if its teaching authority were to err at any time in defining points of doctrine.

Corollary

Since even in the Old Testament period the revealed religion was to be piously safeguarded, theologians usually bring up at this juncture the question of the infallibility of the Synagogue. Opinions vary, but, here, in sum, is that of Cardinal Franzelin.(8) (a) The Aaronic priests undoubtedly exercised authoritative teaching power in sacred matters; but there is no sufficient proof that the charism of infallibility was granted this ordinary teaching body. However, (b) even at that time God was watching over the preservation of sacred doctrine, and He did so in a manner suited to the special character of that stage of religious development, when revelation was not only to be safeguarded but also to be steadily increased. He effected this increase through new revelations made to the prophets, whose mission, however, was directed no less to the safeguarding of already promulgated revelation than to its further unfolding. Consequently the teaching office of the Old Testament comprised two elements, the ordinary teaching office of the priests and the extraordinary teaching office of the prophets; and so, considered in its entirety, it guarded the deposit of faith with infallible sureness, inasmuch as the prophets corrected any mistakes which the ordinary teachers might possibly have made.

IV. The Object of Infallibility

In the definition given above the object of infallibility was expressed in these words borrowed from the Vatican Council: “when it defines a doctrine of faith or morals.” It remains now to fix more accurately the meaning and the scope of this formula. This will be done on the basis of the words of Christ and of the apostles cited in the course of the proof; and on the basis, too, of the purpose for which the privilege of infallibility was granted.

It is important to pay attention above all to the word doctrine; for infallibility concerns the teaching office and so has as its special object doctrines, or at least doctrinal decisions by which some truth is presented to be believed or maintained by everyone.

The formula, “a doctrine of faith or morals,” comprises all doctrines the knowledge of which is of vital concern to people if they are to believe aright and to live uprightly in accordance with the religion of Christ. Now doctrines of this sort have either been revealed themselves or are so closely allied with revelation that they cannot be neglected without doing harm to the latter. Consequently the object of infallibility is twofold: there is a primary and a secondary object.

PROPOSITION 1: The primary object of infallibility is each and every religious truth contained formally in the sources of revelation.

By a religious truth is meant anything (doctrine or fact) which pertains to religion, i.e., to faith and morals, and insofar as it does pertain to it. The various ways in which a truth can be formally contained in the sources of revelation will be explained in the treatise on Faith. According to all Catholics, the present proposition is a dogma of faith.

Proof: That religious truths contained formally in the sources of revelation are the object of infallibility calls for no explicit demonstration.

That infallibility extends to each and every one of these truths, whether they be matters of intellectual concern or of practical action, is clear: (1) from the words of Christ, who promised His assistance to the apostles and sent them forth to teach the nations “to observe all the commandments I have given you,” and who promised them the Spirit of truth who “will teach you everything.” (2) from the express purpose of infallibility. If the latter did not embrace all these truths, one could be doubtful about almost any single truth; for where could one find a criterion for distinguishing fundamental from not-so-fundamental truths?

Sequel

To the primary object of infallibility belong specifically:
1. Decisions on the canon, or the material extent, of Sacred Scripture, or on its true meaning in passages dealing with faith or morals.
2. Decisions acknowledging and explaining the records of divine tradition.
3. Decisions on the selection of terms in which revealed truth is to be presented for belief (dogmatic terminology, creeds, dogmatic decrees).
4. Decisions on doctrines directly opposed to revealed truth (condemnation of heresies). For he who knows with infallible certainty the truth of a proposition knows with the same infallibility the falseness of a contradictory or contrary proposition.

PROPOSITION 2: The secondary object of infallibility comprises all those matters which are so closely connected with the revealed deposit that revelation itself would be imperilled unless an absolutely certain decision could he made about them.

The charism of infallibility was bestowed upon the Church so that the latter could piously safeguard and confidently explain the deposit of Christian revelation, and thus could be in all ages the teacher of Christian truth and of the Christian way of life. But if the Church is to fulfill this purpose, it must be infallible in its judgment of doctrines and facts which, even though not revealed, are so intimately connected with revelation that any error or doubt about them would constitute a peril to the faith. Furthermore, the Church must be infallible not only when it issues a formal decree, but also when it performs some action which, for all practical purposes, is the equivalent of a doctrinal definition.

One can easily see why matters connected with revelation are called the secondary object of infallibility. Doctrinal authority and infallibility were given to the Church’s rulers that they might safeguard and confidently explain the deposit of Christian revelation. That is why the chief object of infallibility, that, namely, which by its very nature falls within the scope of infallibility, includes only the truths contained in the actual deposit of revelation. Allied matters, on the other hand, which are not in the actual deposit, but contribute to its safeguarding and security, come within the purview of infallibility not by their very nature, but rather by reason of the revealed truth to which they are annexed. As a result, infallibility embraces them only secondarily. It follows that when the Church passes judgment on matters of this sort, it is infallible only insofar as they are connected with revelation.

When theologians go on to break up the general statement of this thesis into its component parts, they teach that the following individual matters belong to the secondary object of infallibility: 1. theological conclusions; 2. dogmatic facts; 3. the general discipline of the Church; 4. approval of religious orders; 5. canonization of saints.

Assertion 1: The Church’s infallibility extends to theological conclusions. 
This proposition is theologically certain.

theological conclusion is a proposition which by genuinely discursive reasoning is deduced with certainty from two premises, one of which is formally revealed, the other known with natural certitude. It can be strictly a matter of intellectual knowledge, like the fact that the Son proceeds from the Father by a process of intellectual generation; or it can be a matter of practical knowledge, like the fact that one may not directly abort a foetus to save the life of the mother. To assert that the Church is infallible in decreeing these conclusions is to affirm implicitly that it is infallible in rejecting errors opposed thereto; the principle is the same for both.

Proof:

1. From the purpose of infallibility. The Church is infallible in matters so closely connected with revelation that any error in these matters would constitute a peril to the faith. But theological conclusions are matters of this type. The conclusion is obvious.

Major. 
It is evident from Christ’s promises that the teaching office of the Church was endowed with infallibility so that it might be able to carry out its mission properly: to safeguard reverently, explain confidently, and defend effectively the deposit of faith. But the realization of this purpose demands the extension of infallibility to related matters, in the sense explained above. Here is the reason. The security of the deposit requires the effective warding off or elimination of all error which may be opposed to it, even though only indirectly. This would be simply impossible without infallibility in related matters. If the Church were infallible only in the field of revealed truth and not in that of matters annexed thereto, it would be like a general who was assigned to defend a city but was given no authority to build up defenses or to destroy the material which the enemy had assembled. It would be like a caretaker to whom the master of the house had said, “Take care that my house doesn’t burn down; but don’t put out any flames as long as they remain merely nearby”!

Minor. Every conclusion is so connected with its premises that a denial of the conclusion involves necessarily the denial of at least one of those premises. Now one of the premises upon which every theological conclusion rests is a truth evident from reason, and since no one can very well deny such a premise, there is danger that an error in the conclusion may give rise to an error about the revealed premise.

2. From the mind of the Church. The Church surely makes no mistake when it determines the force and extent of its infallibility, for the greatest of harm would result if the Church, by stretching infallibility beyond its limits, could force everyone to give unqualified assent to a matter about which it is liable to be mistaken. But the fact is that the Church has often and openly expressed its conviction of being infallible in the matter of theological conclusions. It has expressed this conviction at least in an active, practical way, by irrevocably repudiating doctrines which, while not directly opposed to revealed truths, are opposed to theological conclusions. See, e.g., DB 602, 679, 1542, 1748.

Assertion 2: The Church’s infallibility extends to dogmatic facts.

This proposition is theologically certain.

dogmatic fact is a fact not contained in the sources of revelation, on the admission of which depends the knowledge or certainty of a dogma or of a revealed truth. The following questions are concerned with dogmatic facts: “Was the Vatican Council a legitimate ecumenical council? Is the Latin Vulgate a substantially faithful translation of the original books of the Bible? Was Pius XII legitimately elected bishop of Rome?” One can readily see that on these facts hang the questions of whether the decrees of the Vatican Council are infallible, whether the Vulgate is truly Sacred Scripture, whether Piux XII is to be recognized as supreme ruler of the universal Church.

From the time of the Jansenist controversies, theologians have understood by the term “dogmatic fact” especially the following question: “Is such and such a doctrine (orthodox or heretical) really contained in such and such a book?” The Jansenists in fact admitted the Church’s infallibility in a question of right or of dogma, i.e., the Church could decide whether this or that doctrine (considered in itself and prescinding from the book in which it was said to be expressed) was heretical. But at the same time they denied its infallibility in a question of fact, e.g., whether this (heretical) doctrine was really stated in such and such a book, as, e.g., Jansen’s Augustinus.(9) One can readily see that a determination of this fact would determine whether one could or could not maintain and defend the doctrine of this book.

Proof:

1. From the purpose of infallibility. The Church is infallible in those related matters in which an error would constitute a danger to the faith. But dogmatic facts are matters of this kind. The reason should be obvious from the examples alleged above. What good would it do to proclaim in theory the infallible authority of ecumenical councils if one could licitly doubt the legitimacy of a specific council? What good would it do to acknowledge the inspiration of the Sacred Books in their original forms — forms long ago extinct — if one could not definitively establish the substantial fidelity of copies of the original, and of the translations which the Church has to use? Could Christians be effectively protected against errors in their faith if the Church could not warn them against poisonous fare, such as are books which contain heresy or errors in religious matters?

2. From the practice of the Church, which (a) often resolutely and officially repudiated heretical writings as e.g., the Thalia of Arius in the Council of Nicaea and the works of Nestorius in the Council of Ephesus; (b) declared the Vulgate to be authentic at the Council of Trent,(10) and the Canon of the Mass to be free of any error; (11) (c) asserted specifically in the case of Jansen that “reverent silence” about a dogmatic fact is not at all adequate, “but that all faithful Christians must condemn as heretical in their hearts as well as with their lips the opinions [which the Church has] condemned in the five aforementioned propositions of Jansen’s book, opinions which the very words of those propositions quite clearly state.” (12)

A famous objection is that concerned with the Three Chapters (Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia and his works; some of the works of Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhus, and the letter of Ibas, a priest of Edessa, to Mans of Persia, all of which works favored Nestorianism). The Council of Chalcedon is said to have approved these works and the Second Council of Constantinople and Pope Vigilius subsequently to have condemned them. Consequently, they say, at least one of them was in error about a dogmatic fact. But this conclusion is not justified, for although the fathers of Chalcedon, after having expressly condemned Nestorianism, accepted Theodore and Ibas as members of the Council, they passed no explicit decision regarding the Three Chapters.(13)

Corollary

The Church does not usually pass judgment directly on the dogmatic fact itself; but on the proposition which, through the medium of a dogmatic fact, is deduced from a revealed premise (either through a true reasoning process or through a merely explanatory syllogism). Of course, whatever the Church declares directly must be maintained by everyone, e.g., that the Vulgate contains the word of God; that Pius XII is head of the Church; that the doctrine of this or that book is heretical. It arrived at these decisions in the following manner: every faithful translation of the inspired books contains the words of God; but the Vulgate is a faithful translation; therefore, … Anyone legitimately elected bishop of Rome is head of the Church; but Pius XII was legitimately elected; therefore, … Any book containing this doctrine is heretical; but such and such a book contains this doctrine; therefore, … Since then, the Church’s decision is concerned more directly with the conclusion deduced from revelation with the help of a dogmatic fact, rather than with the dogmatic fact itself (which is assumed in the decision rather than directly affirmed), dogmatic facts can rightly be called not only secondary but also indirect objects of infallibility.

It may help to mention that several theologians treat this question a bit differently. For they understand by the term “dogmatic fact” not a premise drawn from history, on which the conclusion would depend, as in the examples above, but the conclusion itself, e.g., that the Vulgate contains the word of God or that such and such a book is heretical. If one prefers this view of the matter, he will then define a dogmatic fact, in the words of the illustrious de Groot, as “a fact in which a doctrine is expressed.” (14)

One may wonder what name is to be given the conclusion, following the view proposed above. To answer that, a distinction is necessary. If the conclusion is the result of a real reasoning process, it is to be called a theological conclusion. But if the syllogism is merely explanatory, then it expresses a truth formally but implicitly revealed. The precise meaning of this distinction will be explained in the treatise on Faith (no. 200).

Assertion 3: The Church’s infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church. This proposition is theologically certain.

By the term “general discipline of the Church” are meant those ecclesiastical laws passed for the universal Church for the direction of Christian worship and Christian living. Note the italicized words: ecclesiastical laws, passed for the universal Church.

The imposing of commands belongs not directly to the teaching office but to the ruling office; disciplinary laws are only indirectly an object of infallibility, i.e., only by reason of the doctrinal decision implicit in them. When the Church’s rulers sanction a law, they implicitly make a twofold judgment: 1. “This law squares with the Church’s doctrine of faith and morals”; that is, it imposes nothing that is at odds with sound belief and good morals. (15) This amounts to a doctrinal decree. 2. “This law, considering all the circumstances, is most opportune.” This is a decree of practical judgment.

Although it would he rash to cast aspersions on the timeliness of a law, especially at the very moment when the Church imposes or expressly reaffirms it, still the Church does not claim to he infallible in issuing a decree of practical judgment. For the Church’s rulers were never promised the highest degree of prudence for the conduct of affairs. But the Church is infallible in issuing a doctrinal decree as intimated above — and to such an extent that it can never sanction a universal law which would be at odds with faith or morality or would be by its very nature conducive to the injury of souls.

The Church’s infallibility in disciplinary matters, when understood in this way, harmonizes beautifully with the mutability of even universal laws. For a law, even though it be thoroughly consonant with revealed truth, can, given a change in circumstances, become less timely or even useless, so that prudence may dictate its abrogation or modification.

Proof:

1. From the purpose of infallibility. The Church was endowed with infallibility that it might safeguard the whole of Christ’s doctrine and be for all men a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life. But if the Church could make a mistake in the manner alleged when it legislated for the general discipline, it would no longer be either a loyal guardian of revealed doctrine or a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life. It would not be a guardian of revealed doctrine, for the imposition of a vicious law would be, for all practical purposes, tantamount to an erroneous definition of doctrine; everyone would naturally conclude that what the Church had commanded squared with sound doctrine. It would not be a teacher of the Christian way of life, for by its laws it would induce corruption into the practice of religious life.

2. From the official statement of the Church, which stigmatized as “at least erroneous” the hypothesis “that the Church could establish discipline which would be dangerous, harmful, and conducive to superstition and materialism. (16)

Corollary

The well-known axiom, Lex orandi est lex credendi (The law of prayer is the law of belief), is a special application of the doctrine of the Church’s infallibility in disciplinary matters. This axiom says in effect that formulae of prayer approved for public use in the universal Church cannot contain errors against faith or morals. But it would be quite wrong to conclude from this that all the historical facts which are recorded here and there in the lessons of the Roman Breviary, or all the explanations of scriptural passages which are used in the homilies of the Breviary must be taken as infallibly true.(17) As far as the former are concerned, those particular facts are not an object of infallibility since they have no necessary connection with revelation. As for the latter, the Church orders their recitation not because they are certainly true, but because they are edifying.

Assertion 4: The Church’s infallibility extends to the approval of religious orders. This proposition is theologically certain.

The religious state is essentially the observance, under obligation of a vow, of the evangelical counsels recommended by our Lord Himself. But every congregation or order follows its own constitution, its own laws for living the evangelical counsels and for attaining its own special purposes. The present discussion, therefore, has to do with the approval of this constitution, and furthermore, with that solemn and definitive approval which is reserved for the sovereign pontiff and by which a congregation is established as a religious order in the strict sense of the word.(18)

Practically the same thing is to be said about the approval of orders as was said about the general discipline of the Church: it is an indirect object of infallibility by reason of the doctrinal judgment which it implies. No one claims that the Church is infallible in the decree of practical judgment — as, for instance, whether, in view of the circumstances, it would be expedient to allow the foundation of the new order — but only in the doctrinal judgment — as, for instance, whether such and such a constitution is an apt instrument for the acquiring of Christian perfection.

Proof:

1. From the purpose of infallibility. The Church was endowed with infallibility that it might be forever a trustworthy teacher of Christian truth and perfection. But it would certainly not be, if it could approve, by a definitive decision, a constitution opposed to the gospel or to the natural law. It is useless to object that an error in this sort of affair would harm not the universal Church, but only the members of this particular order. Of course it would harm the latter immediately and most of all, but indirectly it would affect the whole Church; for when an order is solemnly approved, it is recommended to the whole Church as a fit means for acquiring perfection, so that no one may licitly impugn it from this point of view.

2. From the solid conviction of the Church, which, when approving orders, expresses itself in such a way as to make it sufficiently clear that it considers decisions of this type to be infallible. For an example of such a decision, see Pesch, Praelectiones dogmaticae, I, 545.

Assertion 5: The Church’s infallibility extends to the canonization of saints. This is the common opinion today. (19)

Canonization (formal) is the final and definitive decree by which the sovereign pontiff declares that someone has been admitted to heaven and is to be venerated by everyone, at least in the sense that all the faithful are held to consider the person a saint worthy of public veneration. It differs from beatification, which is a provisional rather than a definitive decree, by which veneration is only permitted, or at least is not universally prescribed. Infallibility is claimed for canonization only; (20) a decree of beatification, which in the eyes of the Church is not definitive but may still be rescinded, is to be considered morally certain indeed, but not infallible. Still, there are some theologians who take a different view of the matter.

Proof:

1. From the solid conviction of the Church. When the popes canonize, they use terminology which makes it quite evident that they consider decrees of canonization infallible. Here is, in sum, the formula they use: “By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the apostles Peter and Paul and by our own authority, we declare that N. has been admitted to heaven, and we decree and define that he is to be venerated in public and in private as a saint.”

2. From the purpose of infallibility. The Church is infallible so that it may be a trustworthy teacher of the Christian religion and of the Christian way of life. But it would not be such if it could err in the canonization of saints. Would not religion be sullied if a person in hell were, by a definitive decree, offered to everyone as an object of religious veneration? Would not the moral law be at least weakened to some extent, if a protégé of the devil could be irrevocably set up as a model of virtue for all to imitate and for all to invoke? But it cannot be inferred: therefore the Church must also be infallible in authenticating the relics of the saints; for (a) the Church never issues so solemn a decree about relics; and (b) the cases are not parallel, for in the case of relics, it is a question of relative cult, while in that of the saints it is one of absolute cult.(21)

Corollory

Several considerations urge the conclusion that the Church’s infallibility extends also to equivalent canonization, formerly quite common. By this means, without any formal decree of canonization, a deceased person gradually came to be venerated by the universal Church. However, formal and equivalent canonizations arc not at all on the same plane; in the latter the consent of the supreme pontiff can be taken as purely permissive, in much the same way as the veneration of a beatified person is sometimes permitted the universal Church. Some scholars are led by this observation to think that it is not absolutely impossible that someone who is not a saint might appear among those who, without being formally canonized, have a commemoration or even a full office in the Breviary. The papal approval of the Breviary, they say, as far as they who have not been formally canonized are concerned, amounts to nothing more than an order that no change be made therein. This is not a definitive decree, but rather permission to continue the traditional cult.(22)

Scholion: Is the fact of the Church’s infallibility in matters related to revealed truth itself a revealed truth?

In each instance we have proved the infallibility of the Church’s teaching office in matters related to the deposit of revelation from the express purpose of infallibility and from the mind of the Church. It is, consequently, clear that this infallibility is at least a conclusion from revelation; indeed a conclusion whose validity the Church itself has sanctioned at least by its practical attitude and mode of action. But serious reasons incline us to state that this extension of infallibility — not of course to each of the items considered individually above, but to related matters in general — is a formally revealed truth. There is no doubt that our Lord promised His Church the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17), who would teach “the whole range of truth” (John 16:13); the apostle calls the Church the pillar and bulwark of truth (I Tim. 3:15).(23) What, then, does the word “truth” or the phrase “the whole range of truth” mean in these texts: just revealed truth, or all the truth which the Church, in view of its special purpose, must know with certainty? The answer seems to be that since the terms are general, and the purpose of the Church militates against their being restricted to revealed truths, they must doubtless be understood as referring to all doctrines which concern Christian faith and morality either directly or indirectly. In other words, they must include also matters connected with revealed truth.

This is why Cardinal Franzelin could in the following way describe the general proposition of infallibility in related matters: this assertion, “as all theologians agree, is so certain that its denial would be an error, or even, in the opinion of many, a heresy, even though it has not as yet been explicitly condemned as heretical.”(24)

V. The Nature of Infallibility

1. The privilege of infallibility is not merely actual absence of error, but the impossibility of erring. It is of course a supernatural gift, and since it works not to the advantage of the recipients themselves but to that of the whole Church, it is a gratia gratis data or charism. It is often called “the charism of truth.”

2. Infallibility must not be thought of as a habit permanently residing in the minds of the Church’s officio! teachers, a habit which would express itself in the making of a dogmatic definition, as e.g., the habit of faith expresses itself in an act of supernatural faith. It is rather a privilege which depends for its exercise on some objective external help. This privilege can be called habitual in the sense that it was promised by a definite divine decree. But it is in actual existence only when something is being defined.

3. The efficient cause of infallibility is the assistance of God or of the Holy Spirit. This assistance:

a. is a help inferior in nature to revelation and inspiration; furthermore,
b. it can involve any kind of influence which God may choose to use in order to turn away the teacher’s mind from what is false and to lead him to a sure knowledge of the truth.

As for a: this assistance differs from revelation, through which some new doctrine is received from God. “For,” says the Vatican Council,(25) “the Holy Spirit was promised to Peter’s successors [and the same holds good for the Roman Catholic episcopate] not that they might, as a result of His revelation, make known a new doctrine, but that with His assistance they might reverently safeguard and faithfully explain the revelation handed down by the apostles, i.e., the deposit of faith.”

It is different from inspiration, through which a document is written in such fashion as to be the Word of God and comes from the mouth of God in such a way that God is its principal author and man the instrumental author only. A decree issued under divine assistance, however, is the word of the Church, and its principal author is the pope or a council. It is a question here of inspiration in the strict sense, such as that which the sacred authors enjoyed; any divine assistance could be loosely referred to as inspiration.

As for b: God assists at least negatively by preventing an arrival at an erroneous definition. But it seems that we must go further and say that whenever, and to the extent that it is necessary, God also positively guides the Church’s teachers to a correct knowledge and presentation of the truth He has entrusted to the Church. The means, natural or supernatural, which divine Providence selects for this purpose, can be quite varied, and can operate internally or externally.(26)

4. The divine assistance does not render at all superfluous the hard work and study of men, the investigation of the sources of revelation, etc.; it rather supposes and includes these elements. In actual practice, the usual preamble to doctrinal definitions includes not only the request for divine light, but also the most careful theological research. Consequently, those who object that the promise of divine assistance fosters indolence do so without justification. However, infallibility (or the inability to err) does not depend formally on human industry, but on divine assistance. And so no one can spurn a definition of the Church on the pretext that it is not backed up by adequate research; when a definition has once been issued, one can be sure that the Church’s official teacher did not act precipitously, but did all the necessary preliminary research; or else, if he did act rashly, that his rashness did not adversely affect at least the truth of the definition. All this is, of course, only a supposition, for it seems much more reasonable to hold that the Holy Spirit would never allow the Church’s rulers to act rashly in issuing doctrinal definitions.

5. The assistance promised the Church’s rulers extends to the threefold function which they must fulfill with regard to religious truth. (a) They are infallible witnesses of revelation, in that they always reverently safeguard the deposit entrusted to the Church; (b) they are infallible teachers of religious truth, in that they always faithfully interpret and explain revealed doctrine; (c) they are infallible arbiters of controversies, in that they always decide without error questions which have arisen on matters of religion.

Sequel

The rule of faith. It seems timely to add here a few remarks on the rule of faith. This term signifies the standard or norm according to which each individual Christian must determine what is the material object of his faith.
Protestants claim that the written Word of God, Holy Scripture, and that alone, is the one rule of faith. Catholics, on the other hand, even though they, too, admit that our faith must be regulated in the final analysis by the Word of God — including tradition as well as Scripture — hold that the proximate and immediate rule of faith — that rule to which each of the faithful and each generation of the faithful must look directly — is the preaching of the Church. And so, according to Catholics, there exists a twofold rule of faith: one remote and one proximate. The remote rule of faith is the Word of God (handed down in writing or orally), which was directly entrusted to the Church’s rulers that from it they might teach and guide the faithful. The proximate rule of faith, from which the faithful, one and all, are bound to accept their faith and in accordance with which they are to regulate it, is the preaching of the ecclesiastical magisterium.(27) The following assertions concern the proximate rule of faith.
1. The Church’s preaching was established by Christ Himself as the rule of faith. This can be proved from Matthew 28:19—20 and Mark 16:15—16; the command to teach all nations certainly implies a corresponding duty on the part of the nations to believe whatever the apostles and their successors teach, On the other hand, there is no notice anywhere of Christ’s having commanded the apostles to give the people the doctrine of salvation in writing, and never did He command the faithful as a whole to seek their faith in the Bible.(28)
2. The Church’s preaching is a rule of faith which is nicely accommodated to people’s needs. For (a) it is an easy rule, one that can be observed by all alike, even the uneducated and unlettered. What could be easier than to give ear to a magisterium that is always at hand and always preaching? (b) It is a safe rule, for the Church’s teaching office is infallible in safeguarding and presenting Christ’s doctrine. (c) It is a living rule, in accordance with which it is possible in any age to explain the meaning of doctrines and to put an end to controversies.

Notes.

1. See the decree Lamentabili, propositions 6, 62-64; encyclical Pascendi (DB 2093); Oath against Modernism (DB 2147).
2. See J. C. Fenton, “The Church and Catholic Dogma,” AER, 120 (1949), 123 ff.
3. Constitution Dc ecclesia, chap. 4,
4. It is with utter improbability that some have tried to interpret the words of John 14:16, “for all time to come” and those of Matt. 28:20, “as long as the world shall last” — as “to the end of this age,” i.e., the apostolic age.
5. In vain some Protestants, basing themselves on no good reasons, but forced by the need to holster their position, have tried to refer the words “the pillar and bulwark of truth” either to Timothy or to the mystery of the Incarnation. They would read as follows: “… the Church of the living God. The pillar and bulwark of truth and something clearly great is the sacrament of piety which has been manifested in the flesh.”
6. Adversus haereses iv. 26. 2; see iii. 24. 1.
7. De symbolo ad catechumenos 1. 6.
8. De ecclesia, Thesis 3, 2.
9. It was, then, not a question of this fact, viz., whether the five condemned propositions (DB 1092 ff.) can be found verbatim in the book Augustinus; much less whether Jansen maintained in the secret of his soul and intended to teach the doctrine expressed in the five propositions. Obviously the “mind of the author” which is condemned is nothing other than the meaning which the words of the author objectively express according to the usual norms of interpretation.
10, Session 4.
11. Session 22, chap. 4; and canon 6.
12. Constitution Vineam Domini of Clement XI (DB 1350).
13. See Hefele, Conciliengeschichte (2nd ed.), II, 798 if.; Hergenrother-Kirsch, Kirchengeschichte, I, 602 if. See P. Hughes, op. cit., I, 342 ff.; H. M. Diepen, O.S.B., Les trois chapitres au Concile de Chalcédoine (Oosterhout, 1953).
14. De ecclesia (3rd ed.), p. 318.
15. An example may help to clarify the matter. If the whole Christ were not present under the appearances of bread alone, the law forbidding lay people to drink from the chalice would offend against the faith. Or if the words increase and multiply (Gen. 1:28) constituted an ordinance binding every individual man, then the law of celibacy would be opposed to right morals. The same conclusion would hold if virginal purity were morally impossible for men.
16. The bull Auctorem fidei (DB 1578).
17. See Benedict XIV, De servorum Dei beatificatione, lib. IV, pars II, chap. 13, nos. 7-8. Very many bishops asked the Vatican Council for an appropriate revision of the Breviary on some points “which seem not at all square with established historical fact and sound scriptural exegesis” (Coll. Lac., VII, 874; see VII, 844, 882). There should be nothing surprising about this. At the time the Roman Breviary was edited, the critical apparatus now our disposal was simply not available.
18. On a lower plane than this solemn approbation, there are also: (a) episcopal approbation; (b) permissive papal approbation; (c) commendatory papal approbation. These are all treated in works on canon law.
19. See N. Scheid, “Die Unfehlbarkeit des Papstes bei der Heiligsprechung,” ZkTh (1890), p. 599; F. Spedalieri, Dc Ecclesiae infallibilitate in canonizatione sanctorum quaestiones selectae (Rome, 1949); for a critique of latter work see TS, 12 (1951), 249.
20. The names of canonized saints are inserted in the Roman Martyrology, but this work contains other names besides. That is why scholars, following the lead of Benedict XIV, warn us that the presence of a person’s name in the Martyrology is not conclusive proof that that person is enjoying the bliss of heaven. See N. Paulus, “Martyrologium und Brevier als historische Quellen,” Der Katholik, I (1900), 355.
21. Absolute cult or worship is directed to a person; relative cult is directed to some object or other, not because it possesses any intrinsic worth in itself, as a person would, but because it is connected in some way with a sainted person. See A. Aldama, S.J., Sacrae theologiae Summa, III (Madrid, 1953), 469.
22. See N. Paulus, art. cit., p. 359; A. Spaldak, “Zur geplanten Emendation des romischen Breviers,” Der Katholik, I (1905), 290; Bainvel, De magisterio, p. 111.
23. See J. C. Fenton, “New Testament Designations of the Church and of its Members,” CBQ, 9 (1947), 286.
24. De Traditione et Scriptura (3rd ed.), p. 123.
25. Constitution De ecclesia, chap. 4.
26. See Heinrich, Dogmat. Theol. II, par. 90.
27. The Symbols (Creeds, i.e., those formulae in which the Church’s teaching authority sums up the chief points of its preaching in view of the needs of different ages), are also called rules of faith. But they are material rules of faith, while the formal rule of faith is the preaching itself.
28. An appeal to John 5:39 is in vain: (a) from the context, the verb ereunate seems to be the indicative rather than the imperative (Kleist-Lilly: You have the Scriptures at your finger ends; Confrat. NT: You search the Scriptures); (b) even granting that it is the imperative, the text still proves nothing. From the fact that Christ refers the unbelieving Jews, the Scribes and Pharisees, to the sacred books of the Old Testament that they may learn therein of his divine mission, it does not at all follow that He intends every individual Christian to draw his faith directly from the Scriptures.

(Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D., Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Christ’s Church, Translated and Revised by John J. Castelot, S.S., S.T.D., S.S.L. & William R. Murphy, S.S., S.T.D., The Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1957. pp 102-124.)

Oglasi

The “Heretical” Popes (Part 1): Adrian VI

Setting the Record straight…

The “Heretical” Popes
Part 1: Adrian VI

[UPDATE 07-APR-2015: The First Vatican Council on the Question of a Heretical Pope]

There are two major lines of argument used by people who are rabidly anti-sedevacantist; that is, those who oppose the position of Sedevacantism not on account of evidence, real or imagined, but on account of a desire to see the position opposed for some other motive.

The first line of argumentation is to downplay the problems with the Vatican II “Popes” to make them seem less serious than they are. The second line of argumentation is to exaggerate the problems with some true Popes of the past to make them seem comparable to the situation we find ourselves in today, when outright apostates are claiming the papal office, especially Francis, Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and Paul VI.

As the heresies of Francis are so much out in the open now that anyone who wishes to retain some respectability and credibility can no longer deny them, it is the second line of argumentation that is now receiving renewed emphasis. On various blogs, forums, and web sites, claims are being made by some to the effect that “we’ve always had heretical Popes” — an outrageous and theologically as well as historically erroneous statement that is being uttered with a nonchalantness that could put Hans Kung to shame.

Boiling it down to the basics: The reason it is impossible for the Church to have a publicly heretical Pope is that this would destroy the unity of the Church, one of the hallmarks of her nature. The Church is necessarily united in Faith; if her head publicly held a different faith, she would cease to be one and be no better than the local Protestant church down the street, where each believer may disagree with any other, even with the pastor, about what the truth really is.

Already in Holy Scripture, St. Paul the Apostle refers to Holy Mother Church as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) and teaches that our Lord instituted the sacred hierarchy so that “we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:13-14).

Furthermore, the Catholic Magisterium has consistently taught that all Catholics must be subject to the papacy as a student is subject to his teacher:

“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; under-lining added.)

 

“Our desire is to maintain unity in the bond of peace; and We have no other motive, in exposing the deceits of those who abuse the names of the [Church] Fathers to give false meaning to their words. Let all understand that there is no teaching which the Fathers have more at heart than that all should be kept in unity, attached to this Chair [of St. Peter] which alone Christ has made mother and mistress of all the others.”

(Pope Pius VI, Decree Super Soliditate, Nov. 28, 1786; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 60; 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, Letter Epistola Tua to Cardinal Guibert, June 17, 1885; 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, Nov. 18, 1302; under-lining added.)

 

“Now, whoever will carefully examine and reflect upon the condition of the various religious societies, divided among themselves, and separated from the Catholic Church, which, from the days of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles has never ceased to exercise, by its lawful pastors, and still continues to exercise, the divine power committed to it by this same Lord; cannot fail to satisfy himself that neither any one of these societies by itself, nor all of them together, can in any manner constitute and be that One Catholic Church which Christ our Lord built, and established, and willed should continue; and that they cannot in any way be said to be branches or parts of that Church, since they are visibly cut off from Catholic unity.

“For, whereas such societies are destitute of that living authority established by God, which especially teaches men what is of Faith, and what the rule of morals, and directs and guides them in all those things which pertain to eternal salvation, so they have continually varied in their doctrines, and this change and variation is ceaselessly going on among them. Every one must perfectly understand, and clearly and evidently see, that such a state of things is directly opposed to the nature of the Church instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ; for in that Church 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. No one, moreover, can be ignorant that from these discordant doctrines and opinions social schisms have arisen, and that these again have given birth to sects and communions without number, which spread themselves continually, to the increasing injury of Christian and civil society.”

(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes [1868]; underlining added.)

These quotes speak for themselves, and they are obviously incompatible with the idea that a Pope could be a heretic, and that when he is, each of the faithful needs to determine this for himself and “resist” him accordingly, lest he be led astray and be punished eternally.

If a true Pope could be a heretic and still remain Pope, then the Church would have no need of a Pope — then he would not differ in essence from the leaders of the Anglican sect, or of the Eastern Orthodox churches, or of the Protestant faith communities. He would just become a ceremonial head whose tasks might include that of guiding, directing, and inspecting, but who ultimately holds no genuine authority, in virtue of his office, to teach the Faith and whose teaching demands assent for the mere fact that he, the Pope, is the one who is teaching (cf. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Humani Generis, n. 20).

The one ecumenical council that dealt extensively with the dogmatic teaching on the papacy and the nature and authority of the Catholic Magisterium was the Vatican Council of 1870 (aka the “First” Vatican Council). Listen attentively to what the council teaches so eloquently:

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 tradition. For, 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].

So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.

(Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 4; Denz. 1836-1837; underlining added.)

It should be obvious to all that this teaching cannot be squared with the idea of a Pope who is also a public heretic, that is, one who publicly professes a faith that contradicts the faith of the Catholic Church as received from the Apostles. Quite simply, if a Pope could be a public heretic, then Vatican I’s teaching was false. But this is impossible. Therefore, we know that a Pope cannot be a public heretic.

Nevertheless, time and again assertions are made by anti-sedevacantists that several Popes in the Church’s history were public heretics — the sole objective being, of course, to lend support to the argument that if these “heretical Popes” were still true Popes, then so must we consider Francis and his five predecessors of infelicitous memory likewise to be true Popes, at least until some future Pope should declare otherwise (in which case one would then have to ask why anyone should pay attention to that future Pope if the contemporary ones need not be heeded, since what applies to one Pope necessarily applies to all of them). The position is entirely driven by the desire to justify accepting the Vatican II “Popes” while not having to assent to their teaching or having to submit to their rule.

The names of the alleged “heretical Popes” in Catholic history are usually the following, in chronological order (though others pop up occasionally as well): Liberius, Honorius I, Stephen VII, John XII, and John XXII. We will examine each case one by one, and perhaps a few others, in several installments, of which the current post is but the first, although we must begin with a different name altogether: that of Adrian VI.

Although no one has accused Pope Adrian VI of heresy, we will begin our blog post series on the “heretical Popes” with his case because he is sometimes invoked as having taught and believed that Popes can be heretics. In fact, the infamous quote, “Many Roman Pontiffs were heretics, the last of them being John XXII”, is ascribed to Pope Adrian, and some eager anti-sedevacantists have been quick to circulate this suspicious quote on the internet because, if true, it would help their case tremendously. Yet, this attitude of “Let’s make a claim first and ask questions later” is not acceptable with regard to such a serious and important matter as the orthodoxy of the Vicars of Christ and Catholic teaching on the papacy in general, which is the most august office in the world.

So, let’s pose the question directly: Did Pope Adrian VI truly utter or even teach these words, and what is their source?

The fact is that Pope Adrian did no such thing. Rather, the words were uttered by the theologian Adrianus Florentius, who later became Pope Adrian VI (he retained his baptismal name, Adrian, even as Pope). The book in which Adrianus makes this assertion is his Commentary on the Fourth Book of Sentences of Peter Lombard, published in 1516 (and in other editions even before then). Adrian did not became Pope until 1522 and died the following year. The authenticity of the quote can be verified by consulting an original copy of the book, which is available online. We are producing here a snapshot of the paragraph that contains the passage in question:

Source: Hadrianus Florentius, Quaestiones in quartum sententiarum praesertim circa sacramenta (Louvain, Belgium: 1516), fol. XXIII [screenshot of p. 52 of PDF file provided by Google Books]

There is no doubt that this quote and its source are authentic. We see, for example, other Catholic theologians writing at the time of Adrianus Florentius or after — but before the Vatican Council of 1870, we curiously note — referring to Adrian’s quote. For example, Bp. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet of Meaux, France, uses the controversial quotation in Chapter 28 of his monograph Gallia Orthodoxa (1682).

Though in many ways recognized as a great theologian, Bossuet was also a proponent of Gallicanism and opposed the infallibility of the Pope, which was later defined as a dogma by the First Vatican Council, where this tenet of the Gallican school was condemned as heretical. At the time of Bossuet, however, a number of Gallican positions later condemned were still permitted theological opinions, or at least ones that were tolerated. This explains why Bossuet was able to hold this particular idea without being condemned at the time.

Gallicanism was a conglomeration of errors concerning the authority of the Pope mostly found in 17th and 18th-century France, though its origins go back to the 14th century. Over time, various Gallican propositions were condemned by the Church, most notably by Pope Alexander VIII in 1690 and Pope Pius VI in 1794, and most recently by the First Vatican Council in 1870, so that Gallicanism “is now professed only by the heretical sect of the Old Catholics” (Donald Attwater, ed., A Catholic Dictionary, s.v. “Gallicanism”) — note well! It is perhaps no accident that a lot of the errors held and promoted by the Society of St. Pius X resemble those of Gallicanism, as their founder, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, was French.

Back to Bossuet. In the above-mentioned work, he approvingly cites Adrianus Florentius — who, at the time, was a theology professor in Louvain, Belgium — concerning the allegation that “many Roman Pontiffs were heretics”, though he admits that Adrianus wrote this not as Pope but as a theologian before he was raised to the Supreme Pontificate. Nevertheless, Bossuet argues, after Adrian had become Pope, he never retracted his original claim and even published his writings in Rome in 1522, that is, after becoming Pope. This is also the argument made by the rabidly anti-sedevacantist French blog La Question, which features an article on the topic here:

So, this seems like a slam dunk for the anti-sedevacantists, doesn’t it?

Well, not so fast. We need to be careful to distinguish evidence and facts from assumptions and conjecture. Let’s take a step back and list what we know and what we can reasonably infer:

  • Though not clearly proven, it is reasonably established that Adrianus Florentius made the claim that many Popes were heretics — unless the document was a forgery, which, however, would have to be proven
  • It is known that this was Adrianus’ belief before becoming Pope — he uttered it as a theology professor at Louvain
  • This belief, though erroneous, was allowed to be held at the time, or at least tolerated, as we can see from the fact that other theologians who held it, not only Adrianus Florentius but also Bossuet, for example, were not censured at the time (something that St. Robert Bellarmine points out, as we will see below)
  • It has not been directly proven, but merely inferred (albeit reasonably), that the edition of Adrianus’ writing after he became Pope still contains the claim that many Roman Pontiffs were heretics
  • The position taken by Adrianus and seconded by Bossuet was adhered to before the dogmatic teaching on the papacy by the Vatican Council of 1870
  • Even if we were to concede that it is possible for a Pope to become a public heretic and still remain a valid Pope, it is clear that Adrianus’ assertion that “many” Popes were heretics is definitely false
  • The only “Catholic” book we know of that still used the Adrianus quote after the First Vatican Council is Paul Viollet’s 1904 work L’Infaillibilité du Pape et le Syllabus [“The Infallibility of the Pope and the Syllabus”], where the author tries to back up his position that Popes can be heretics. This book, however, was subsequently examined by the Vatican and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books under Pope St. Pius X in 1908

Can you imagine what the anti-sedevacantists would say to us if as “proof” of our position we used a statement written by a Pope before he was Pope on the grounds that he did not retract it after becoming Pope and ordered (or simply didn’t prevent) the publication of his book during his pontificate? We’re talking here about people who do not think they are bound by teachings in papal encyclicals, by papal canonizations, by decrees of ecumenical councils, by universal church law, etc. Why would they care about what a Pope said before he became Pope — even if he allowed the document to be published once more after ascending the papal throne — about 350 years before the First Vatican Council?

It’s really funny how these anti-sedevacantists always demand nothing short of an ex cathedra pronouncement of us to prove our position, but somehow their position is definitively proved by every hiss or sneeze of anyone who wasn’t burned at the stake. The double standard is glaring and quite telling. Apparently, their arguments are determined not by what is true and reasonable, but solely by what helps support their desired conclusion.

But let’s look at some more evidence concerning the position taken by Adrianus Florentius, which he may also have held privately as Pope Adrian VI (we say “privately” because he certainly never made it part of his pontifical Magisterium). It’s not like no Catholic theologian or historian has ever written about this other than Bp. Bossuet and Paul Viollet. In fact, even St. Robert Bellarmine mentioned Adrian VI, as we will see later.

The famous French manual Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique [“Dictionary of Catholic Theology”] has an entry on Adrian VI, and devotes one paragraph in particular to the issue at hand:

In Quaestiones in IVum Sententiarum, the statement that the pope can err, even in something which touches upon the faith has been noted. But it is altogether wrong that certain adversaries of infallibility have seen in this a serious argument in their favor, or that even in our days, certain others pretend to be scandalized by it. Adrian wrote the book from which the citation is taken long before his elevation to the chair of Peter, and it obviously does not participate in any way in the authority of pontifical acts. There is, moreover, no proof that in the mind of its author the assertion applies to ex cathedra definitions; consequently, [the statement] is nothing more than a reproduction of a theological opinion we encounter many times before the sixteenth century, either from the pen of popes themselves or in documents they approved. Thus Innocent III wrote: ‘Faith is so necessary to me that, if for every other fault I am subject to the judgment of God alone, it is only for a sin I commit in a matter of faith that I become subject to judgment of the tribunal of the Church.’ And already even before this, one reads in the Decree of Gratian (dist. XL, c. vi) these words of Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz: ‘No mortal man should pretend to reproach [the Roman Pontiff] for his faults. For, established as the judge of all, he recognizes no judge over himself, at least as long as he does not commit an error against the faith.’ In these texts and many others like it, the pope is obviously spoken of as a private doctor.

(J. Forget, “Adrian VI”, in Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique [Paris: Letouzey, 1913-50], vol. I, c. 461; our translation; some italics removed.)

So, in short, the key take-away here is that what Adrianus said, even if we grant that he ordered it reprinted while he was Pope, is nothing but a “theological opinion” which, at that point in time, was still permissible to hold, but which was certainly no longer acceptable since the First Vatican Council, whose teaching is irreconcilable with the idea that the Pope could be a heretic. Hence it is easy to see why Paul Viollet’s book was put on the Index, even though it actually carried an imprimatur from the local ordinary, Abp. Fulbert Petit (ouch!).

The argument about Adrianus Florentius on the “heretical Popes” is also made by the excommunicated “Old Catholic” heretic Johann von Döllinger in his condemned work Der Papst und das Concil [in English translation as The Pope and the Council (Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers, 1870), p. 306], which he wrote under his pseudonym Janus. The work was also put on the Index of Forbidden Books and was refuted by Cardinal Joseph Hergenröther in his 1870 book Anti-Janus.

Next, let’s go to an Italian resource. The Dizionario di Erudizione Storico-Ecclesiastica [“Dictionary of Historical-Ecclesiastical Erudition”] says regarding Pope Adrian VI:

Adrian VI, Pope 228, formerly Adriano Florenzio, son of the craftsman Florenzio, was born on March 2, 1459 in Utrecht, Netherlands, and not in Sanzano in the diocese of Brescia, as stated without any good reason by the capuchin Mattia Bellintani (Storia di Salò, 1586). He received his degree in Leuven, and after that founded a college in that university which bears his name, which was later also named “Pontifical”. Someone noted that Adrian wrote (in 4 sent. de confirmatione): plures Pontifices fuerunt heretici (multiple Popes were heretics). Lodovico Vincenzo Goti excellently answers this accusation (tom. I verae eccles. cap II. n. 6): Adrian stated this while he was a theologian in Leuven; therefore, if his works were reprinted after he became Pope, without the removal of these words, one cannot say that he, as Pope, would support such a statement. How many times are works not reprinted without the author being aware of it, or with the author not being the last to make amendments? Later, Adrian received the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Leuven, then became dean of the cathedral, and finally vice-chancellor of the university. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, appointed him as preceptor of Charles, his grandson, also sending him as ambassador to Ferdinand, the King of Spain, who appointed him as bishop of Tortosa, in that kingdom. When Charles ascended to the throne, the king gave to Adrian full powers over all the aspects of his monarchy and, since Adrian had already been made Cardinal of Saints John and Paul by [Pope] Leo X after an inquiry of Maximilian, he left him as general inquisitor and governor of Spain for the whole time, before going to Germany and taking possession of that empire under the name of Charles V.

(Gaetano Moroni Romano, ed., Dizionario di Erudizione Storico-Ecclesiastica [Venice: Tipografia Emiliana, 1840], s.v. “Adriano VI”, p. 104; our translation; some italics changed.)

Ah, so maybe the whole matter isn’t as clear-cut as some anti-sedevacantists would have us believe. Viollet, in his condemned work, mentions this reference and even quotes it (see p. 21, fn. 1) but claims it is improbable that Pope Adrian modified his work before being reprinted, or that it was reprinted without his knowledge or permission. All right, so now we’re down to arguing probabilities. That’s fine, as far as it goes, but let’s not act as though we had a clear-cut case here. In addition, let’s not forget that Viollet’s opinion appears in a book that has been condemned by the Church. So, which position had we rather side with?

At the end of the day, however, as already indicated, it does not really matter whether Pope Adrian had this work reprinted with or without this error, for the following two reasons:

  • The error was a permitted theological opinion at the time
  • The error in no wise became a part of his papal Magisterium

St. Robert Bellarmine himself in fact addresses the thesis of Adrianus Florentius in his monumental work De Romano Pontifice, first published by this name in the 17th century. He calls the opinion that the Pope can be a heretic and of himself (though not when making a definition at a council) teach heresy an opinion that “we dare not call properly heretical, for we still see those who maintain this position tolerated by the Church; yet it does seem completely erroneous and proximate to heresy and can rightly be judged heretical by the Church” (St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book 4, Ch. 2, in Opera Omnia, Book 1 [Naples: J. Giuliano, 1856], p. 478; now available in complete English translation here: On the Roman Pontiff).

Now notice one very important thing: St. Robert is writing in the 17th century, over 250 years before the First Vatican Council issued its dogmas on the papacy. This corroborates exactly what we’ve asserted in this post, namely, that before Vatican I, these matters were still being disputed among theologians, especially back in the 1500’s and 1600’s, when Adrianus and Bossuet were writing, and therefore some positions were then either allowed or at least “tolerated” (St. Robert’s word) that can no longer be held today, over 140 years after Vatican I. In fact, St. Robert — who, as of 1931, is a Doctor of the Church, we might add — already says in the 1600s that the position taken by Adrianus and many anti-sedevacantists today could with justice be condemned as heretical in the future. This had not yet been done back then, so the people who held it were not heretics, but it is significant that St. Robert says that it deserves to be condemned as heretical. No wonder books during and after Vatican I who maintainted this position were put on the Index.

Another point that ought to be brought up, even if just for the sake of historical accuracy, is that when Adrianus Florentius wrote that “many Roman Pontiffs were heretics” in his Quaestiones in Quartum Sententiarum, he said it merely in passing and not as part of a treatise on papal authority or the unity of the Church. Rather, the context was dismissing an argument made by a theological opponent regarding the sacrament of confirmation. The opponent had cited St. Gregory the Great to substantiate his point about priests being able to administer confirmations, and Adrianus, disagreeing, said that Gregory had been wrong, and besides (so the theologian Adrianus claimed), “many Roman Pontiffs were heretics”. That is the context of the controversial saying to begin with. This does not, of course, negate what he said, but it is important to keep in mind that Adrianus’ remark was incidental to a discussion on a completely different topic; it was an obiter dictum. In addition to that, we note that he was wrong, not only with regard to confirmation, but also with regard to the question of whether many Popes were heretics. This is something that tends to be glossed over: Adrianus’ assertion is false.

And thus we have demolished yet another misleading anti-sedevacantist argument. As you can see, it takes real research to properly understand such issues, and we Sedevacantists are greatly outnumbered by the (often paid) apologists of the much more popular and convenient “resistance” position, in which you can have all the advantages of the sedevacantist position without any of its disadvantages.

Alas, our critics have the “bully pulpit”. They have the prestige, the positions of authority, the applause of the majority, the fancy broadcasting equipment, and the money and the time to disseminate their position to a wide audience. But there is one thing we have that they do not: the truth. If you would like to help the mission of Novus Ordo Watch, we have listed 12 specific ways you can do so; and no, they do not have to involve money.

A few more closing comments are in order.

In the debate about Sedevacantism, whether the Chair of St. Peter has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, a lot of things are asserted by people who do not really understand the subject matter or who do not take the time to do real research. As we can see in the case of Pope Adrian VI here, it is very disappointing and troublesome to see anti-sedevacantists mindlessly recycle a quote of which they have no real knowledge other than someone having discovered it in a book put on the Index. They use the quote because it helps their case, regardless of what the truth of the matter may be. Such “research” and argumentation are reprehensible, and look at the consequences: They have now put in people’s minds the impious idea that a Pope does not even have to profess the true Faith in order to be Pope, in order to be the bulwark of truth and the principle of unity in the Church. The matter is absurd.

What’s also quite interesting is that these arguments and quotes brought forth by the anti-sedevacantists about the “heretical Popes” tend to be brought up, since 1870, only by people who argued against Vatican I. The only two “Catholic” books we know of since that council that use the case of Adrian VI to argue that Popes can be heretics are Dollinger’s and Viollet’s, and both were put on the Index. Not exactly a positive omen for our critics.

That’s why it is no surprise to see that, in general, any “resistance” quotes brought up by anti-sedevacantists are always from sources before 1870, when the First Vatican Council settled a number of teachings regarding the Papacy and the Magisterium. (Our TRADCAST 003 podcast deals with this matter at length.) Why will they not quote theologians after the council to justify their “recognize-and-resist” stance? Quite simply, because they cannot find any who teach such a thing, that’s why.

In Sacred Theology throughout history, you will always find positions at one time permitted and held that are later condemned or abandoned. This is to be expected, as the task of the theologian is to explain Catholic teaching and show its source in and harmony with Divine Revelation. Over hundreds of years, as theologians debate various issues, there will always be positions accepted that are later rejected by the Church as untenable, erroneous, or even heretical, and the history of the Church is full of precisely that, as the famous doctrinal document collection Denzinger (“The Sources of Catholic Dogma”) attests.

As we have insisted on numerous occasions in the past, it is absolutely essential to distinguish “heretical” Popes from immoral or “bad” Popes. The former is an impossibility, whereas the latter is, unfortunately, not unheard of in the history of the Church. The following resources we have produced will clarify this important distinction and explain the reasons why one is impossible and the other isn’t:

The Vatican II Sect and the resistance position of the Society of St. Pius X have done immeasurable damage to people’s understanding of Catholicism, especially the papacy. People are now accustomed to accusing real Popes (including the fake ones, inasmuch as they believe them to be real) of heresy without batting an eye. Yet notice how, even hundreds of years before Vatican I, St. Robert Bellarmine went out of his way to argue that such a thing was not even possible. If only St. Robert had had the wisdom of today’s resistance bloggers! He had no idea that the history of the Church is filled with “heretical Popes”, and neither did the fathers of the First Vatican Council! Martin Luther would be proud.

In truth, the situation is absurd. In their insatiable desire to see the Novus Ordo “Popes” as true Popes, while rejecting anything and everything from them that they find objectionable, the “resisters” have injected into people’s minds ideas that are entirely at odds with sound Catholic teaching, perverting their Faith to the point that they would never think of applying the clear teachings of the Catholic Magisterium on the papacy to Francis, Benedict XVI, John Paul II, or Paul VI. They would never do so because they know that if they did, it would turn them into heretics. But you cannot fight heresy with more heresy, nor with schism. It is simply impossible to accept Francis and his five predecessors as true Popes (with all that entails, not just the verbal acknowledgment) and still be a Catholic. So, what follows? They cannot have been true Popes. It is a necessary conclusion.

Thus far our first post in our ongoing series The “Heretical” Popes. Others will follow in due time. As you can see, it is very easy to disseminate a quote one has picked up somewhere without knowing the background, and to accuse Popes of the past of having been heretics. But it takes real, painstaking research to disentangle the whole mess and find out what the truth of the matter really is.

 

in Novus Ordo Wire    

Bishop Fellay’s interview

Bp. Bernard Fellay

Bp. Bernard Fellay

Bishop Fellay, who has been, until recently, the head of the Society of Saint Pius X for the past twenty-four years, gave an interview to Tagespost in which he said a few things which deserve attention.

The first is this: “We have never said that the Council directly taught any heresies. But it took away the wall of protection from error, and thereby permitted error to show itself.”

Is this an accurate statement? Did Vatican II merely expose the Church to error? Or did it actually contain heresies? Answer: It contained heresies.

The first heresy of Vatican II: ecumenism. The document Unitatis Redintegratio, or the Decree on Ecumenism, contains a glaring heresy against the Catholic dogma which teaches that outside the Church there is no salvation. The Council states:

It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. [Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3] [Emphasis added].

The Catholic Church teaches as dogma — it was called a “most well-known Catholic dogma” by Pius IX — that outside the Church there is no salvation. The Council states the precise contradictory of the Catholic dogma, namely that there is salvation outside the Catholic Church, that these non-Catholic religions can deliver salvation to their adherents, and are indeed the means by which they are saved. This is heresy.

The second heresy of Vatican II: religious liberty. The Catholic Church, professing to be the one, true Church founded by Jesus Christ, and outside of which there is no salvation, understands religious liberty to be the liberty of the Catholic Church to carry out its mission in the world, to establish itself everywhere, to function freely as an entity distinct from the State. It also claims the liberty of its adherents to profess and practice their Catholic faith without harassment or molestation.

It condemns the idea, as being contrary to Sacred Scripture, that all religions have these same liberties and these same rights. For to assert such a thing would be the same as saying that a person or organization would have a right to do something wrong. But this is contrary to the natural law, and therefore contrary to the Church’s teaching. You can have a right only to do something right, and never a right to do something wrong.

Liberty is the power of electing the good. License is the freedom falsely accorded to the will to elect evil. In order that there be the exercise of true liberty, it is necessary that it not detract from any duty. For liberty does not exist for evil, but for the good. Therefore, for as often as man abuses liberty for the purpose of committing evil, it should not be called liberty but instead license.

Liberty of conscience is absolutely impious. For man is by a most strict duty bound to think correctly about God, and concerning those things which regard both speculative and practical religion. But to go against a most strict duty of nature is license, not liberty. If we are talking about a voluntary transgression of our duty toward God, the aforesaid license is impiety. Because, therefore, through liberty of conscience the right is given to man to think concerning God however he pleases, this liberty, this right, is truly an impiety.

The liberty of religions, considered in itself, is absurd. This proposition is proven by what has been already said. For the liberty of religions is inferred only from the liberty of conscience. Because liberty of conscience is absurd, it follows also that the liberty of religions is absurd. But more must be said. If one concedes the liberty of religions, one takes away from God the power of imposing a determined worship upon men, and one imposes upon God a certain obligation of accepting or at least of approving any form of worship shown to Him by human reason. But God has commanded a form of worship — the Catholic religion. Consequently He is not obliged to accept just any form of worship that human beings give Him. It follows that men cannot, without obvious irreligion and impiety reject the precepts of God, and be the arbiters of their own worship. On the other hand, it is an impiety to deny to God the faculty of determining worship, and to impose some kind of duty upon Him of approving all forms of worship indiscriminately. Therefore the liberty of religions is absurd.

Vatican II, however, teaches that liberty of religion for the individual and for religious organizations is a right which flows from the notion of human dignity. Furthermore, it says that this teaching concerning human dignity is contained in revelation, but gives no reference where in revelation God guarantees the right to believe and practice whatever religion you want.

Vatican II teaches in Dignitatis Humanæ, no. 2:

This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

Some try to defend the Council by saying that the only thing it means is that no one should be converted to Catholicism by the sword. The Church has always taught that conversion should not take place in such a manner, and has condemned any attempt to do so. That this is not the intention of the Council can be seen from the paragraphs subsequent to the one cited above:

The freedom or immunity from coercion in matters religious which is the endowment of persons as individuals is also to be recognized as their right when they act in community. Religious communities are a requirement of the social nature both of man and of religion itself.

Provided the just demands of public order are observed, religious communities rightfully claim freedom in order that they may govern themselves according to their own norms, honor the Supreme Being in public worship, assist their members in the practice of the religious life, strengthen them by instruction, and promote institutions in which they may join together for the purpose of ordering their own lives in accordance with their religious principles.

Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered, either by legal measures or by administrative action on the part of government, in the selection, training, appointment, and transfer-ral of their own ministers, in communicating with religious authorities and communities abroad, in erecting buildings for religious purposes, and in the acquisition and use of suitable funds or properties.
Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word.

Those of us who have lived in a country such as the United States, where the religious liberty described in these paragraphs is considered a normal, even sacred, civil right, fail to see the malice of these words. If we substitute “abortion” for “religion,” the point might become clearer: “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to an abortion.” “Abortion clinics are a requirement of the social nature both of man and of abortion itself.” “Provided the just demands of public order are observed, abortion clinics rightfully claim freedom in order that they may govern themselves according to their own norms, publicly perform abortions, assist their members in the practice of abortion, strengthen them by instruction, and promote institutions in which they may join together for the purpose of ordering their own lives in accordance with their abortion principles.”

Need I go on? It should be pointed out here that, as heinous a crime as abortion is, the profession of a false religion is far more heinous in God’s sight, being directly contrary to His solemn rights. It is not to be forgotten that in Exodus (chapter 32) God ordered the slaying of all those who had participated in the worship of the golden calf, and who had not repented of it. The number of those slain was 23,000. This momentous event was to demonstrate to the Hebrew people the necessity of adhering to the true religion, and of shunning false religions. According to Vatican II, Moses should have proclaimed religious liberty for all of the calf-worshippers.

Religious liberty, as it is taught by Vatican II, is in-deed a heresy. It is solemnly condemned by Pope Pius IX as being against the Scriptures. Furthermore, Archbishop Lefebvre considered religious liberty to be a heresy. He said exactly this to Fr. Cekada in a dinner conversation at Oyster Bay.

The third heresy of Vatican II: The new ecclesiology. By ecclesiology we mean the Church’s doctrine concerning its own nature, that is, its essence and characteristics. Vatican II teaches a heretical ecclesiology. It is contained in Lumen Gentium.

The traditional dogma of the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church, and it alone, is the one true Church of Christ, and that therefore any entity outside of itself is a false religion. This includes even those schismatic religions of the East which may have a valid priesthood and valid sacraments. If you are cut off from the center — the pope — you are nothing but a dead branch that has fallen off the vine.

Vatican II altered this doctrine in order to include other Christian denominations in the Church of Christ, saying that the Church of Christ, as an organized body, subsists in the Catholic Church.

What does it mean to subsist in? Subsistence is a perfection of a thing whereby it exists on its own, and not in something else. For example, a color cannot exist on its own, but must always exist in something else, e.g., paint, a flower, a cloth. That “something else” must have its own subsistence.

Applying this to ecclesiology, if the Church of Christ does not subsist on its own, but must subsist in something else, it means that the Church of Christ is really distinct from what it subsists in, namely that they are by nature two different things. It means that the Church of Christ is not the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ. If they were by nature not two different things, then they would be the same thing, and it would be necessary to say the the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, which is precisely the dogma of the Catholic Church.

The “subsists in” doctrine also means that the Church of Christ could subsist in something else, like the Lutheran Church, for example.

While this doctrine does wonders for the heresy of ecumenism and religious liberty, it destroys the Church’s teaching that the Catholic Church is exclusively the Church of Christ, and vice versa. The Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are one and the same, and exclusively so, meaning that no other “Christian” organization can call itself the Church of Christ in any way whatsoever. The only appropriate name for them is a heretical or schismatic sect.

The fourth heresy of Vatican II: Collegiality. This doctrine, also contained in Lumen Gentium, holds that the subject (possessor) of supreme power in the Church is the college of bishops. Listen to the Council:

The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.

This is heresy. For the Catholic Church teaches that the Roman Pontiff is the head of the Catholic Church. Listen to the Council of Florence: “We likewise define that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff, hold the primacy throughout the entire world, and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of Blessed Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and the true Vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the entire Church, and the father and teacher of all Christians; and that the full power was given to him in Blessed Peter by Our Lord Jesus Christ, to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church; just as is contained in the acts of the ecumenical councils and in the sacred canons.” (Decree for the Greeks, July 6, 1439)

Pope Pius VI condemned this doctrine: “All the bishops together and in one body govern the same Church, each one with full power.”

Some try to save Vatican II from heresy by saying that the Council states that the pope is the head of the college, and that it cannot act without him. But this does not save it from heresy, because the pope in that case simply becomes another member of the college of bishops, and merely a condition of their power, but not the source of their power.

Others try to save the Council by pointing out that the document asserts that the Pope is the head of the Church: “In virtue of his office, that is, as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church.” This is a futile attempt, however. No organization can have two heads, two supreme legislators. For example, it is impossible that both king and parliament be the supreme legislator. One must have the last word, to whom the other is subservient. King Charles I of England lost his head by upholding the supremacy of the king over parliament.

Yet others try to save the Council by citing the Preliminary Note of Explanation (the Nota Prævia), but this is worthless, since it is not part of the document accepted by the bishops. The modernist theologian Yves Congar was swift to point this out when he was a peritus at the Council. Besides, there is nothing in the Nota Prævia which cancels out the conciliarist heresy in the document.

The Catholic doctrine is that the pope, as supreme head of the Church, may invite the bishops into a general council, in which, by his consent, they participate in his power to rule the Church. Apart from these general councils, the authority of bishops is confined to their dioceses. The power to rule the diocese is from Christ, but comes to them through the Roman Pontiff, who may remove the power from them whenever he will. Pope Pius XII taught in the Encyclical Mystici Corporis: “Yet in exercising this office they [the bishops] are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff.” (no. 42)

Bishop Fellay sells out to the Modernists on the Council. About a year ago, the Vatican told the Society of Saint Pius X that there could be no hope of reconciliation unless the SSPX accepts Vatican II and the post-Vatican II magisterium. By saying that there is no heresy in Vatican II, Bishop Fellay is saying that Vatican II is orthodox, that is, Catholic, and is not offensive to the Catholic Faith.

If that be so, then what have we been doing for the past fifty years?

Bishop Fellay also sells out on the question of the New Mass. Bishop Fellay makes this remark-able statement: “Not every New Mass is a scandal directly, but the repeated celebration of the New Mass leads to a weakening or even a loss of faith.”

Question: how could it not be a scandal if it leads to a loss of faith? How could an infallible and indefectible Church, the Church of Christ, assisted by the Holy Ghost, the pillar and ground of truth, as St.Paul calls it, promulgate to the whole world a rite which leads to the loss of faith? Bishop Fellay’s statement falls under the anathema of the Council of Trent: “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.”

Bishop Fellay states in this same interview that the traditional Mass is like a silver trumpet, whereas the New Mass is like a brass trumpet:

I say only that if you are receiving a head of State, and you have the choice between a silver trumpet and a brass trumpet, would you choose the brass trumpet? It would be an insult. You would not do it. Even the best New Masses are like trumpets of brass, in comparison to the traditional liturgy. For God, we would choose what is better.

The only conclusion to draw from this statement is that the New Mass is a Catholic Mass but it is merely inferior to the traditional Mass. After all, they are both trumpets! The silver one is merely nicer than the brass one. I think a better analogy would have been to compare the New Mass not to a brass trumpet, but to a giant elephant passing gas.

Bishop Fellay, until recently, was the head of the organization which purports to be the bulwark of tradition, the single hope of the Catholic faithful who want to be protected from Vatican II and its reforms. Yet he is all mixed up in regard to the highest guiding principles of resistance to Vatican II. On the one hand he says that the New Mass weakens or destroys your faith — which means that it is poison — and then a few lines later says that it is a brass trumpet and not a silver one, indicating that there is merely a difference of quality between the two Masses.

It is for this reason that we rejoice over our separation from the SSPX in 1983. We saw the seeds of this utter theological confusion, this theology à la Maxine Waters, and wanted no part of it.

We may be small in comparison to the SSPX, but we are not mixed up. As Garrigou-Lagrange put it: “A thousand idiots do not equal one genius.” Likewise a thousand mixed up priests do not equal one priest with his head screwed on right.

Bishop Fellay’s interview

Recognize-and-OBEY is the Traditional Catholic Teaching

Not ‘recognize-and-resist’…

Recognize-and-OBEY is the Traditional Catholic Teaching

The sedevacantist blogger Steven Speray has recently released an important blog post we are happy to republish on this web site, with his permission. It concerns the foundational belief of those who try to be traditional Catholics while believing the “Popes” after Pius XII to be valid and true Vicars of Christ — the so-called “recognize-and-resist” position (R&R).


Pope Pius XI Squashes the Recognize-and-Resist Position

by Steve Speray (Aug. 27, 2019)

Can the faithful recognize and resist the pope? I dealt with this question in a 2015 article. However, I recently stumbled upon some teachings from Pope Pius XI that castigate the recognize-and-resist theology. I’ve highlighted the relevant parts within the context that contradicts R&R-ism.

In Mortalium Animos – On Religious Unity, Jan. 6, 1928, Pope Pius XI declared:

#5 Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil; for We are confident that by the writings and words of each one of you the people will more easily get to know and understand those principles and arguments which We are about to set forth, and from which Catholics will learn how they are to think and act when there is question of those undertakings which have for their end the union in one body, whatsoever be the manner, of all who call themselves Christians…

#7…There are some, indeed, who recognize and affirm that Protestantism, as they call it, has rejected, with a great lack of consideration, certain articles of faith and some external ceremonies, which are, in fact, pleasing and useful, and which the Roman Church still retains. They soon, however, go on to say that that Church also has erred, and corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines which are not only alien to the Gospel, but even repugnant to it.

#11…Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. Did not the ancestors of those who are now entangled in the errors of Photius and the reformers, obey the Bishop of Rome, the chief shepherd of souls?

The words “recognize and obey” are exactly opposite to “recognize and resist.”  The R&R crowd doesn’t obey those they call the legitimate successors of Peter. They ignore them, resist them, and reject their teachings. They are most certainly trying to stand in the way of the Vatican II popes and implementing Vatican II and the Novus Ordo. Of course, the R&R crowd is correct in rejecting the Modernism of the Vatican II “popes”, but their justification for doing so in opposition to what is recognized as the papal authority, is heretical, blasphemous, and just plain stupid.

The underlying principle of Mortalium Animos is rejected by the R&R crowd. But then again, every papal document is an instance of the Roman Pontiff putting forth his papal authority for the faithful to obey, not to resist.

On Dec. 31, 1929, Pope Pius XI declared in Divini Illius Magistri – On Christian Education:

18. Hence it is that in this proper object of her mission, that is, “in faith and morals, God Himself has made the Church sharer in the divine magisterium and, by a special privilege, granted her immunity from error; hence she is the mistress of men, supreme and absolutely sure, and she has inherent in herself an inviolable right to freedom in teaching.’…

20.The Church does not say that morality belongs purely, in the sense of exclusively, to her; but that it belongs wholly to her.…

25. The extent of the Church’s mission in the field of education is such as to embrace every nation, without exception, according to the command of Christ: “Teach ye all nations;” and there is no power on earth that may lawfully oppose her or stand in her way. In the first place, it extends over all the Faithful, of whom she has anxious care as a tender mother.

The whole document is about the importance of getting a good, holy, and true Christian education, which can only come about by following and obeying the teachings of the Roman Pontiff and following his rules for this education. What’s the point if the Catholic Church is propagating error like every other religion, as the R&R proponents essentially claim?

The position of the R&R crowd makes the Catholic Church out to be the biggest hypocritical organization in the world. It would mean that the Catholic Church is more or less permitted to lead people astray with error, while all other religions are condemned by the Catholic Church for doing the same thing. It would mean only the Catholic Church gets to be heretical, while Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy are condemned by the Catholic Church as false religions when they do so.

That’s why the R&R position is heretical, blasphemous, and stupid.

On Dec. 31, 1930, Pope Pius XI promulgated Casti Connubii – On Christian Marriage. Once again, the pope emphasizes his authority over all the faithful. He declares in #104:

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.

The approach of the R&R crowd is to resist, dismiss, and disdain every papal teaching that they think comes short of proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas protected by infallibility. In principle, the R&R crowd is really no different than the liberals who reject the teaching of Casti Connubii on the authority of the Roman Pontiff as much as they do — they just apply it to a different issue (that of contraception; see #54).

The pick-and-choose mentality of the R&R crowd is what makes them the worst of hypocrites. They profess to be obedient and faithful Catholics but are neither.

Jesus told us where hypocrites go in Matt. 24:51 — and it’s not paradise.


Minor edits have been made to this post to enhance readability and consistency, with the author’s permission. The original can be found here.


 

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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.

 

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The Doctrinal Value of the Pope’s Ordinary Magisterium

In view of the encyclical Humani Generis

The Doctrinal Value of the Pope’s Ordinary Magisterium

Countless people of varying theological positions and alliances proclaim themselves, and sincerely seek to be, traditional Roman Catholics. Few, however, actually consult the very sources from which genuine traditional (i.e. pre-Vatican II) Catholic teaching can be gleaned, such as this 8-volume dogmatic theology manual, preferring instead the popular literature of authors who wrote in response to the revolution of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

Yet it stands to reason that, if all prejudice towards any traditionalist “camp” is to be avoided, there can be no better source to dispel the theological confusion and controversies of our times than the very authorities and works on matters of Sacred Theology that were used by the Church herself before the Modernists usurped the positions of power at the very top, beginning with the election of Angelo Roncalli as “Pope” John XXIII in 1958.

A very common error in our day is the idea that papal teaching is not binding, not authoritative, unless it is proclaimed ex cathedra, in which case it is protected by infallibility due to the special assistance of the Holy Ghost. This error has its root in another mistaken notion, namely, the idea that the believer’s obligation to assent arises from the Church’s inability to err. But this is false: The obligation to assent arises from the Church’s authority as the divinely appointed teacher, even aside from matters of infallibility: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me” (Lk 10:16).

The question thus presents itself: What is the origin of this widespread error about the binding nature of papal teaching? Where are people getting the idea that only infallible Church dogma must be assented to? Whatever their source is, it is most certainly not a traditional Catholic theology book, that is, not one from an approved theology work published before the death of Pope Pius XII.

The following three essays, clearly written not only for theologians but also for educated laymen, are a good example of the true traditional teaching expounded at a time when no one yet knew of a “Vatican II” or “Novus Ordo” anything:

In 1950, Pope Pius XII published the landmark encyclical Humani Generis, an absolutely critical document that refuted many theological errors renascent at the time, including the idea that the ordinary teaching of the Pope is little more than an opinion one can choose to take or leave. The Pope shot this down when he stated clearly: “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…” (Humani Generis, n. 20).

At the Sixth Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) in 1951, Fr. Edmond Darvil Benard (1914-1961) gave a lecture on this very topic, the transcript of which, including an appended “digest of discussion”, we are excited to share with you today.

Fr. Benard’s presentation is entitled “The Doctrinal Value of the Ordinary Teaching of the Holy Father in View of Humani Generis” and has been made available at the web site of Boston College. It can be accessed for reading online at the following link:

“The Doctrinal Value of the Ordinary Teaching
of the Holy Father in View of Humani Generis

by Fr. Edmond D. Benard
Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America
Vol. 6 (1951), pp. 78-107

The scanned PDF file can also be downloaded, simply by clicking the “Download” button at the top right in the viewer that opens when you click the link.

We hope that this essay will enlighten many souls, reminding them that traditional Catholic teaching (for example, on the Papacy) is to be sought not in the works of Michael Davies and Roberto de Mattei but, first and foremost, in the approved theological works before the Vatican II Sect came into being. Traditional Catholic doctrine can never be replaced by theological ideas proposed in our day, which often are merely custom-tailored to account for the apostasy that has taken place while at the same time carefully aiming to avoid the highly undesirable conclusion of Sedevacantism.

Our position with regard to the Vatican II apostasy, the nature of the institution that has emerged with it, and the status of the papal claimants after Pius XII’s death, must be the consequence of the pertinent Catholic doctrine taught, believed, and held by the Church before the entire mess began. Hence, consulting and trying to understand that very doctrine is of the utmost importance.

Those accepting Francis as Pope while trying to adhere to the traditional Catholic Faith should ask themselves how Francis fits into Pope Pius XII’s description of the papal office in Humani Generis: “…this 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…. (n. 18).

Thus, if it is admitted that Francis’ magisterium is not “the proximate and universal criterion of truth” for the Catholic — and it obviously isn’t –, then either traditional Catholic doctrine is false, or Francis isn’t a valid Pope.

Now which of these two alternatives is compatible with traditional Catholicism?

 

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Francis vs. Pope Pius XI: The Catholic Position on Sex Education

July 11, 2019

Modernist Apostate vs. Vicar of Christ

Francis vs. Pope Pius XI:
The Catholic Position on Sex Education

by Francis del Sarto

“More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”
–Our Lady to the children at Fatima on July 13, 1917

“The Least Serious Sins are the Sins of the Flesh.”
–“Pope” Francis to an agnostic French sociologist, 2017 (source)

Ever wonder how pretend-pope Francis wakes up in the morning? It could be that he has his clock radio blast the tango to get him going on the desired chaotic trajectory, after which he rises and consults his day planner to see what part of the Magisterium he’s scheduled to contradict that day. On very rare occasions, he will come across a listing marked “Double Down Day”, when he gets to set aside his vaunted (ahem) humility and take aim at a pair of Church teachings in one fell swoop.

Such an opportunity for double-down lunacy occurred January 28, 2018, during an on-board discussion he had with reporters as he returned to Rome on Airhead One at the conclusion of World Youth Day in Panama City. A previous article on this web site had already taken apart the heretical comments he made then concerning one of the dire consequences resulting from abortion:

In the same stand-up routine — er, in-flight press conference — the Oracle of the Pampas had another such “pearl of wisdom”, this time on the need for sex education. The exchange went as follows:

Q: Many girls in Central America get pregnant too early. The Church’s detractors say it’s the Church’s responsibility because it’s opposed to sexual education. What is your opinion on sexual education?

A: Sexual education must be given in school; sex is a gift of God, it’s not a monster; it’s a gift of God to love. That some then use it to earn money or to exploit is another problem. But it’s necessary to give an objective sexual education, without ideological colonization. If you begin to give a sexual education full of ideological colonization, you destroy the person.

However, sex must be educated as a gift of God. To educate in the sense of having the best of people emerge and to accompany them along the way. The problem is the system: the teachers and textbooks must be chosen for this task. I’ve seen some rather dirty books. There are things that make one mature and things that do harm. I don’t know if they are working on this in Panama; I don’t go into politics. But it’s necessary to have sexual education. The ideal is to begin at home. It’s not always possible because there are so many varied situations in families. And, therefore, the school supplies this, because otherwise there will be a void, which will then be filled by any ideology.

(Source: “Holy Father’s In-flight Discussion with Reporters (Full Text)”Zenit, Jan. 29, 2018; underlining added.)

The reporter’s question seems as though it may have been scripted, giving Francis an opportunity to respond to the charge that “the Church” is to blame for girls getting pregnant before they should in Panama, “because it’s opposed to sexual education”. He gives the sort of reply one expects from a Modernist, couching part of it in somewhat Catholic-sounding terms like “sex is a gift from God”, but also asserting, in direct repudiation of numerous authentic Church pronouncements, that “sexual education must be given in school”. His justification? After acknowledging that instruction in the home is “ideal”, it is “not always possible because there are so many varied situations in families”. And, as if to assuage any concerns about what will be taught, he emphasizes that he wants “objective sex education, without ideological colonization [sic]”.

Yet if some traditionally-minded souls are somewhat relieved at the qualifier objective, then they really don’t fully appreciate the level of devious mischief Jorge Bergoglio is capable of making out of one little word. For them it means that there won’t be any special interest group taking the lessons into places that impressionable young ears should not hear; for Francis, on the other hand, it has an altogether different meaning, as will be seen shortly.

“Pope” Francis can’t seem to keep Bergoglian dialectics out of any discussion, no matter the subject. Does the term “ideological colonization” have a certain Marxist ring to it? Well, it should, because like much of Francis’ rhetoric, that’s where it finds its roots. Among his many firsts, Bergoglio is the first of the Novus Ordo “popes” to use the term (no true Pope ever used it either, for that matter; but then, none of them were leftist Argentinians either).

His use of the term “ideological colonization” in regard to sex education is only the most recent time he’s invoked it, but don’t let that fool you — it’s a pet phrase of his, a go-to deprecation for whatever irks his Modernist sensibility. According to a Crux article from November 2017, he used the buzzword in the course of a homily. The reporter sought to give it a bit more context:

Francis has used the term “ideological colonization” to describe what he sees as a form of oppression of developing societies by affluent ones, especially the West, through imposing an alien worldview or set of values on poorer societies, often by making adoption of those values a condition of humanitarian or development aid.

(Inés San Martín, “Pope Francis: Ideological colonization a ‘blasphemy against God’”Crux, Nov. 21, 2017)

If that sounds like so much quasi-Marxist claptrap, it’s because that’s precisely what it is. In its promotion of a book on Francis’ theology, the publishing arm of the radical Maryknoll Order, Orbis Books, notes that

he has drawn not only from the social teaching of the Latin American Church, but also in a particular way from a school of the­ology that arose in Argentina called “Theology of the People.” A type of liberation theology, it emphasizes respect for the culture and popular religious expressions of the poor.

(Publisher’s description of Pope Francis and the Theology of the People by Rafael Luciani)

When “Theology of the People” is mentioned, one should think of the word “People” in the sense it is used by so many Communist countries past and present (as in: People’s Republic of China, Hungarian People’s Republic, etc.), and other similar instances, such as the publication of the Communist Party USA, People’s World (they’re fans of Bergoglio, by the way), ex-Beatle and leftist John Lennon’s song “Power to the People”, or the satirical conservative site, The People’s Cube. In all of these cases, the term signifies the lower socio-economic class — it’s always the people because leftists insist on emphasizing the collective to the detriment of individual worth.

Nearly forgotten due to an attempted Vatican cover-up by the scrubbing of a web page, the recognize-and-resist publication Tradition in Action is to be commended for exposing how Francis celebrated the 60th anniversary of the bloody, anti-Catholic Cuban revolution by welcoming a circus troupe from that island tyranny.

Indeed, the career of the “hammer-and-sickle crucifix pope” has been so consistently to the far left that it’s no wonder famed Vatican reporter Sandro Magister could write a column credibly titled “The Communists the Pope Likes. And Vice-versa”.

In any case, the question may now be asked, what possible relevance could Francis’ mention of “ideological colonization” have in the context of his sex-ed remarks? The Crux article explains:

Francis has a long record of denouncing ideological colonization, especially one form he believes it often takes, which is the imposition of “gender theory.”

“A great enemy of marriage today is the theory of gender,” Francis said in Georgia in Oct. 2016.

“Today, there is a global war trying to destroy marriage… they don’t destroy it with weapons, but with ideas. It’s certain ideological ways of thinking that are destroying it…we have to defend ourselves from ideological colonization,” he said.

(Inés San Martín, “Pope Francis: Ideological colonization a ‘blasphemy against God’”Crux, Nov. 21, 2017)

Further on in these 2016 comments, Bergoglio had alluded to “that wickedness shown today, by indoctrinating people with the gender theory”, citing this example:

A French father told me that he was chatting with his children at table once and asked his 10-year-old son: ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ ‘A girl!’ the boy said. The father realised that school text books were teaching the gender and this goes against what is natural. For a person to have this inclination, or this option or those who change sex, is one thing. It is quite another to teach according to this line at school, in order to change people’s mentality. This is what I call “ideological colonisations”.

(Andrea Tornielli, “This is how, I, as Pope, welcome homosexual people and transsexuals”Vatican Insider, Oct. 3, 2016)

But doesn’t Francis seem to be confused here? After all, if there is nothing wrong with a person having such an “inclination”, of what harm is there to acknowledge this in school as part of a broad gender “spectrum”?

Indeed, he himself brings this up in the next breath when he speaks of how he invited Diego Neria Lejárraga, a Spanish woman “identifying” as a man, and her female “fiancee”, to the Vatican, and endorsed their unnatural relationship. So, still more confusion. A photo shows Bergoglio posing with the “couple”. One wonders how Novus Ordo parents explained to their children how the “no gender theory in school pope” is giving free positive publicity to the transgender movement! Of course, as is so often the case, this was not so much Bergoglio’s personal confusion as it was him fomenting it.

Novus Ordo Watch, in an article from that time entitled “Francis on Transgenders: Case-by-Case Discernment Needed!”, addressed his hypocrisy in this way:

So, in short, the apostate pretend-pope gave his standard one-size-fits-all answer that says nothing concrete and leaves everything up in the air, just like in his infamous exhortation Amoris Laetitia. As always, he wants to have it both ways and remains vague and ambiguous so that each side — conservative or liberal — can pick whatever it prefers. On the one hand, he said “sin is sin” and we must accompany with “truth” — but then he also said we need to be “open” and use “mercy” and “accompany”, “discern”, and “integrate” because “this is what Jesus would do today”. You know, like our Blessed Lord did when He sensitively told the Samaritan adulteress at the well: “…he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband” (Jn 4:18). That kind of accompaniment?

Francis can verbally and theoretically reject transgenderism as being “against what is natural” all he wants; in actual practice he sings a different tune, and he admitted as much. Several times he referred to the Spanish girl as “male” simply because she “felt like a boy” and later, as an adult, had herself surgically mutilated. But as a biological female, how would she possibly know what it feels like to be a male, anyway? Still, Francis accepts her as male and thus in practice swallows the entire gender theory he just verbally denounced, hook, line, and sinker. Whatever he may say, the fact is that he accepts genderism; he accepts the female as a male simply because she “feels” that way. What is even worse, Francis also accepts that this woman-pretending-to-be-a-man can enter a marriage with a woman! This is beyond sickening!

But should anyone be surprised? This is a “Pope”, after all, who also believes in a transgender god, as it were, who is both father and mother. Remember?

(“Francis on Transgenders: Case-by-Case Discernment Needed!”Novus Ordo Wire, Oct. 2, 2016)

The same “Pope” Francis warns that “there is a global war trying to destroy marriage”, but again and again he shows himself to be an ideological colonialist who wages war against matrimony and traditional sexual morality by:

This is what must be considered at the forefront of his promotion of sex-ed. If you’re interested in understanding his spin on “objective sex education” (read: virtue-free, Bergolian XXX sex education), look no further than the July 29, 2016 LifeSiteNews article, “Vatican sex ed ‘surrenders’ to sexual revolution: Life and family leaders react”. Columnist Pete Baklinski opens by reporting:

Three international life-and-family leaders who have defended Catholic teaching on marriage, sexuality, and life for decades have called the Vatican’s newly released sex-ed program for teens “thoroughly immoral,” “entirely inappropriate,” and “quite tragic.”

“I find it monstrous that an official arm of the Church would not only create a sexual education program for teens but one that bypasses parents as the primary educator of their children,” said Dr. Thomas Ward, Founder and President of the National Association of Catholic Families as well as a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The program, titled “The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People,” was released last week by the Pontifical Council for the Family to be presented this week to young people at World Youth Day in Poland.

(Pete Baklinski, “Vatican sex ed ‘surrenders’ to sexual revolution: Life and family leaders react”Life Site, July 29, 2016; underlining added.)

In a separate piece on the Vatican’s sex-ed, Mr. Baklinski notes that “sexual sins are not mentioned at all [and] immoral videos are used as springboards for discussion.” And among his bullet points (from a much, much longer list) we read:

  • Handing the sexual formation of children over to educators while leaving parents out of the equation.
  • Failing to name and condemn sexual behaviors, such as fornication, prostitution, adultery, contracepted-sex, homosexual activity, and masturbation, as objectively sinful actions that destroy charity in the heart and turn one away from God.
  • Failing to warn youths about the possibility of eternal separation from God (damnation) for committing grave sexual sins. Hell is not mentioned once.
  • Failing to distinguish between mortal and venial sin.
  • Failing to speak about the 6th and 9th commandment, or any other commandment.
  • Failing to teach about the sacrament of confession as a way of restoring relationship with God after committing grave sin.
  • Not mentioning a healthy sense of shame when it comes to the body and sexuality.
  • Teaching boys and girls together in the same class.

(Pete Baklinski, “At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin”Life Site, July 27, 2016. Further indication of the very naturalistic orientation of the Vatican’s program is evident from a link near the beginning of the article to a slideshow of course offerings that comes with a viewer advisory that reads “Caution: Sexually explicit images.” Novus Ordo Watch reported on the outrage here.)

So, it turns out that the detractors mentioned in the question to Bergoglio were way behind the curve in suggesting that the Novus Ordo religion was against sex education, as it had already been in place and sowing its poisonous seeds for years. Now, if those detractors were somehow confusing the Vatican II Sect for the Catholic Church, then they would be right in thinking there is opposition to sex education, as it was explicitly condemned numerous times by the true Church.

Now might be as good a time as any to contrast what the American hierarchy 12 years before the start of Vatican II and three years after its conclusion were thinking about sex education. If you want a prime example of the hermeneutic of discontinuity, look no further! In an article entitled “Amoris Laetitia and ‘Sex Education’”, author and researcher Randy Engel observes:

On Nov 17, 1950, the National Catholic Welfare Council issued a formal statement titled “The Child: Citizens of Two Worlds” in the name of ALL the American bishops in which the hierarchy reminded parents of their special competence and duty in regard to the provision of sex instruction to their children. The paragraph ended with the solemn warning, “We protest in the strongest possible terms against the introduction of sex instruction into the schools.”

Take note of the date. It’s the last time you will see the American bishops’ collective support of Divini Illius Magistri. Eighteen years later, in their Pastoral, Human Life In Our Day, the American bishops made sex instruction “a grave obligation” and called for “systematic” provisions for classroom sex instruction in the diocesan curriculum due to “the new circumstances of modern culture and communications.” In fact, the only real change was the disintegration and collapse of the collective hierarchial spine.

(Randy Engel, Amoris Laetitia and ‘Sex Education’”AKA Catholic, Apr. 29, 2016; formatting given.)

It’s great that she sheds light on this pre-Vatican II/post-Vatican II disconnect but regrettable that she didn’t follow up on her last statement. Yes, there’s been a “disintegration and collapse of the collective hierarchical spine”, but why? That’s the big question, but it didn’t occur by accident, nor were they coerced due to societal changes. This Dr.-Jekyll-to-Mr.-Hyde transformation took place because they imbibed deeply of the toxic, vaporous potion of Modernism concocted at Roncalli-Montini Laboratories (“new circumstances of modern culture and communications”, as if fundamental human nature could be radically altered), and served in tall flasks and test tubes at the mad scientists’ conference known as the Second Vatican Council.

As the Novus Ordo is wont to be, things would soon go from bad to worse. One may reasonably ask the question: How could nominally Catholic teachers ever have been persuaded to turn away from sound teaching to include curricula so vile and impure as to lead countless pupils to embrace sexual promiscuity, even to the point of becoming sodomites, who in some cases became “clerical” sex abusers? To help answer this question, we turn to a 2002 World Net Daily article entitled “Catholics Learning Sex from Kinsey’s Disciples”. There, columnist Art Moore reports:

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ latest proposal to create “safe environments” for children through an “Office of Child and Youth Protection” offers little comfort to some members who closely monitor the Church’s gatekeepers.

For lay activists who have documented corruption in the church hierarchy over the past several decades, it comes as no surprise that the radical, anything-goes philosophy of famed “sexologist” Alfred Kinsey, a reputed pedophile, has triumphed over traditional teaching in Catholic institutions across the U.S., creating a flourishing environment for priests who abuse teens and children.

“It’s like fighting cancer with a topical medication,” said Stephen Brady, president of the lay group Roman Catholic Faithful. “They are not addressing the problem – but they can’t because many of these bishops are compromised and waiting to be exposed [for abuse] themselves.”

The influence of the “father of the sexual revolution” on the Church can be easily illustrated in a course called “Sexual Attitude Restructuring,” which urges participants to rethink “restricting attitudes” acquired in their religious upbringing and adopt a lifestyle of free sexual expression.

The course is a staple of an institute started nearly 30 years ago by Kinsey disciples that directly or indirectly influences nearly every sex education and therapy program in the country. The San Francisco-based Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, or IASHS, requires its students to complete the SAR, where participants have been known to strip down and interact sexually with each other while surrounded by multiple screens that display hard-core pornographic films.

In her book, “Kinsey, Crimes and Consequences,” Judith Reisman, a noted researcher of Kinsey’s legacy, documents the IASHS leaders’ characterization of the course contents as the “f—orama.”

The SAR and its X-rated theater – perhaps missing only the in-class “lab work” – was offered to parishioners for 10 years by the Milwaukee Archdiocese under Rembert G. Weakland, who recently took early retirement after admitting to a $450,000 payment by the archdiocese that settled a complaint by a young man with whom he had an “inappropriate” relationship.

Lay activists, including Roman Catholic Faithful, have documented Weakland’s legacy of amoral values and homosexuality in diocesan schools and in pastoral and lay training.

Activist Thomas Phillips says in the preface to a dossier he collected on the archdiocese: “It is within this climate of lax sexual mores set by Rembert Weakland that proclivities toward sexual abuse have grown and festered, until giving rise to an explosion of pedophilia cases, criminal convictions and lawsuits.”

That was written nearly 10 years ago when seven priests had been accused of abuse. Since then, more cases have arisen, leading up to the present media focus on a crisis that afflicts not only Milwaukee, but the entire U.S. Church.

Brady states what is obvious to fellow Catholics who have connected the dots between the kind of environment created by Weakland and the current sex scandal.

“When you break down sexual barriers and open people to not being sensitive or ashamed, then you start to make them vulnerable to sin,” he told WorldNetDaily.

(Art Moore, “Catholics Learning Sex from Kinsey’s Disciples”World Net Daily, June 12, 2002)

It was Kinsey who did the most to open the Pandora’s Box known as the “sexual revolution” that has plagued American society and other parts of the world for over 70 years, since his 1948 book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. This and its companion volume, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), were pivotal in leading to the weakening or outright abandonment of traditional morality concerning the sexual act in favor of a naturalistic, statistics-driven, virtue-free conception.

Indeed, the late Hugh Hefner, founder of the pornographic Playboy, a magazine that introduced sexual hedonism to a mass audience, was “inspired” by Kinsey, even stating in an editorial from the inaugural issue that “we believe… we are filling a publishing need only slightly less important than the one taken care of by the Kinsey report.”

But there were even darker dimensions to Kinsey’s pseudo-scientific “research”: He utilized the testimony of inmates incarcerated for sex crimes, and he sanctioned and concealed the systematic abuse of children — even infants. By using this “data” and other highly objectionable “scientific findings”,

…Kinsey has created a “field” that advocates for normalization of sex between adults and children, including infants and youths as well as sex with animals. Indeed, Kinsey himself, viewed morality based standards of “normal” and “abnormal” as non-pragmatic, unrealistic and unenforceable. Unfortunately, such a perspective has become the seed of a social contagion that has infected the law, medicine, education, the media as well as religious and cultural institutions worldwide.

(Judith A. Reisman and Mary E. McAlister, “ECOSOC, the Kinsey Institute and Child Sexual Abuse”International Center on Law, Life, Faith and Family)

And there was also Kinsey’s involvement with the occult, which ties in with the child abuse. In 1955, eight years after the death of the notorious Satanist Aleister Crowley, Kinsey journeyed to Sicily to visit the ruins of Crowley’s so-called Abbey of Thelema, where he met filmmaker Kenneth Anger, a fellow devotee of Crowley, co-founder of the Church of Satan, and producer of movies with explicitly sinister titles such as Lucifer Rising and Invocation of My Demon Brother.

The two were drawn to the site based on its reputation as a center for “sex magick” (as spelled by Crowley to distinguish it from stage illusions). Rumors had it that the children who lived there witnessed — and perhaps participated in — such rituals. Other bizarre stories involved such incidences as when a follower, upon Crowley’s orders, drank cat blood and died. Benito Mussolini forced the cult out of Italy in 1923.

The rumors likely have more than a grain of truth, for in 2011 four members of a Welsh sex magick cult based on Crowley’s Book of the Law (a demonically-dictated tome that solemnly declares the advent of the “Æon of Horus”, an age that would signal the end of Christianity) were convicted of various crimes, including dozens of counts of perverted acts with children.

With such a background of Kinsey, the thought that his warped thinking is echoed in a “Sexual Attitude Restructuring” course, which urges participants to rethink “restricting attitudes” concerning sex, is beyond disturbing. Of course, in order for anti-Christian propaganda to have entered the doors of once-Catholic institutions, it required someone with enough power to open the doors for them in a welcoming manner.

That man was “Pope Saint” Paul VI, who at Vatican II pushed for sex education in the declaration on “Christian” education, Gravissimum Educationis, the first “magisterial” document to go against the previous teaching of the Church on the subject. So important is that declaration to the Novus Ordo revolution that Francis felt obliged to cite it in his infernal document Amoris Laetitia, which itself takes the revolution to a whole new level:

The Second Vatican Council spoke of the need for “a positive and prudent sex education” to be imparted to children and adolescents “as they grow older”, with “due weight being given to the advances in the psychological, pedogogical and didactic sciences”. [Vatican II, Declaration Gravissimum Educationis, n. 1]

(Antipope Francis, Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 280)

In the subsequent paragraph of Amoris Laetitia, Francis attempts to allay concerns by speaking about modesty and the need for age-appropriate material in such curricula, but the truth can be seen by examining the bullet points above to see that neither of these are in reality of particularly great importance to him — it’s just another example of him playacting as a Catholic. What follows will show how vast the divide is between authentic Catholic thought concerning the sexual instruction of youth and what is being falsely presented as Catholic in the Novus Ordo religion.

As a general principle, even before the evil of sex-ed was proposed in recent times, The Roman Catechism (aka Catechism of the Council of Trent, a work written primarily for parish priests) gave a recommendation on how the Sixth Commandment should be taught:

In the explanation of this Commandment, however, the pastor has need of great caution and prudence, and should treat with great delicacy a subject which requires brevity rather than copiousness of exposition. For it is to be feared that if he explained in too great detail or at length the ways in which this Commandment is violated, he might unintentionally speak of subjects which, instead of extinguishing, usually serve rather to inflame corrupt passion.

(Catechism of the Council of Trent, trans. by John A. McHugh and Charles J. Callan [New York, NY: Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1923], p. 431)

So, the mind of the Church is such that this is a topic about which a priest is to be circumspect even with adults.

As for modern sex education, the first condemnation was by Pope Pius XI in the encyclical titled Divini Illius Magistri (On the Christian Education of Youth) issued on December 31, 1929. Here, His Holiness specifically mentions the great importance of a 16th-century work by a teacher of St. Charles Borromeo (principal editor of The Roman Catechism):

54. While treating of education, it is not out of place to show here how an ecclesiastical writer, who flourished in more recent times, during the Renaissance, the holy and learned Cardinal Silvio Antoniano, to whom the cause of Christian education is greatly indebted, has set forth most clearly this well established point of Catholic doctrine. He had been a disciple of that wonderful educator of youth, St. Philip Neri; he was teacher and Latin secretary to St. Charles Borromeo, and it was at the latter’s suggestion and under his inspiration that he wrote his splendid treatise on The Christian Education of Youth. …

65. Another very grave danger is that naturalism which nowadays invades the field of education in that most delicate matter of purity of morals. Far too common is the error of those who with dangerous assurance and under an ugly term propagate a so-called sex-education, falsely imagining they can forearm youths against the dangers of sensuality by means purely natural, such as a foolhardy initiation and precautionary instruction for all indiscriminately, even in public; and, worse still, by exposing them at an early age to the occasions, in order to accustom them, so it is argued, and as it were to harden them against such dangers.

66. Such persons grievously err in refusing to recognize the inborn weakness of human nature, and the law of which the Apostle speaks, fighting against the law of the mind; and also in ignoring the experience of facts, from which it is clear that, particularly in young people, evil practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions, and unsupported by the means of grace.

67. In this extremely delicate matter, if, all things considered, some private instruction is found necessary and opportune, from those who hold from God the commission to teach and who have the grace of state, every precaution must be taken. Such precautions are well known in traditional Christian education, and are adequately described by Antoniano cited above, when he says:

Such is our misery and inclination to sin, that often in the very things considered to be remedies against sin, we find occasions for and inducements to sin itself. Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details, nor refer to the various ways in which this infernal hydra* destroys with its poison so large a portion of the world; otherwise it may happen that instead of extinguishing this fire, he unwittingly stirs or kindles it in the simple and tender heart of the child. Speaking generally, during the period of childhood it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice. *[hydra — The etymology is from the Greek, “a many-headed monster.”]

68. False also and harmful to Christian education is the so-called method of “coeducation.” This too, by many of its supporters, is founded upon naturalism and the denial of original sin; but by all, upon a deplorable confusion of ideas that mistakes a leveling promiscuity and equality, for the legitimate association of the sexes. The Creator has ordained and disposed perfect union of the sexes only in matrimony, and, with varying degrees of contact, in the family and in society. Besides there is not in nature itself, which fashions the two quite different in organism, in temperament, in abilities, anything to suggest that there can be or ought to be promiscuity, and much less equality, in the training of the two sexes. These, in keeping with the wonderful designs of the Creator, are destined to complement each other in the family and in society, precisely because of their differences, which therefore ought to be maintained and encouraged during their years of formation, with the necessary distinction and corresponding separation, according to age and circumstances. These principles, with due regard to time and place, must, in accordance with Christian prudence, be applied to all schools, particularly in the most delicate and decisive period of formation, that, namely, of adolescence; and in gymnastic exercises and deportment, special care must be had of Christian modesty in young women and girls, which is so gravely impaired by any kind of exhibition in public.

(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, nn. 54,65-68)

There is scarcely a precept expounded on here upon which Bergoglio and his “objective” sex education program haven’t made a full-on attack. The very grave danger against the purity of morals, about which Pius XI warns, namely Naturalism, is the demon lurking just beneath the very thin veneer of a Modernist Rome’s pseudo-Catholic curriculum.

But let us continue, for there is much more of relevance from this papacy. The following year, Pope Pius came out with Casti Connubii, his celebrated landmark encyclical on Christian Marriage. Although not directly addressing sex education, it lays out principles that show that those who advocate a naturalistic approach to treating carnal appetites, one that shoves God aside and relies on “natural means”, are “greatly deceived” to believe this way can “establish chastity”:

87. …since man cannot hold in check his passions, unless he first subject himself to God, this must be his primary endeavor, in accordance with the plan divinely ordained. For it is a sacred ordinance that whoever shall have first subjected himself to God will, by the aid of divine grace, be glad to subject to himself his own passions and concupiscence; while he who is a rebel against God, will, to his sorrow, experience within himself the violent rebellion of his worst passions.

1o1. They are greatly deceived who … think that they can induce men by the use and discovery of the natural sciences … to curb their natural desires. We do not say this in order to belittle those natural means which are not dishonest; for God is the author of nature as well as of grace, and He has disposed the good things of both orders for the beneficial use of men. But they are mistaken who think that these means are able to establish chastity in the nuptial union, or that they are more effective than supernatural grace.

(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Casti Connubii, nn. 87,101)

However, Bergoglio’s program is even worse in a sense, because, as noted, not only does it ignore “a healthy sense of shame when it comes to the body and sexuality” — something absolutely necessary to keep passions in check –, it also fails to identify and condemn “objectively sinful actions that destroy charity in the heart and turn one away from God”. In other words, it is pure Naturalism.

In 1931, the Holy Office issued this pertinent judgment:

QUESTION: May the method called “sex education” or even “sex initiation” be approved?

ANSWER: No. In the education of youth the method to be followed is that hitherto observed by the Church and the Saints as recommended by His Holiness the Pope in the encyclical dealing with the Christian education of youth promulgated on December 31, 1929. The first place is to be given to the full, sound and continuous instruction in religion of both sexes. Esteem, desire and love of the angelic virtue must be instilled into their minds and hearts. They must be made fully alive to the necessity of constant prayer, and assiduous frequenting of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist; they must be directed to foster a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin as Mother of holy purity, to whose protection they must entirely commit themselves. Precautions must be taken to see that they avoid dangerous reading, indecent shows, conversations of the wicked, and all other occasions of sin.

Hence no approbation whatever can be given to the advocacy of the new method even as taken up recently by some Catholic authors and set before the public in printed publications.

(Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, Decree on “Sex Education” and on “Eugenics”, Mar. 21, 1931; in Acta Apostolicae Sedis XXIII [1931], pp. 118-119; underlining added. Translation taken from EWTN.)

Pope Pius XI even made mention in Mit Brennender Sorge (On the Church and the German Reich), his 1937 encyclical to the German hierarchy in light of the ascendancy of the National Socialist ideology, of how compulsory naturalistic education (though not sex-ed, which was not favored by the Nazis) in government schools was gravely violating the rights of parents. Like with Francis’ sex education, the Hitler regime bypassed parents as the primary educators of their children. So, what’s important here to the present-day discussion is that the Pope restated the Church’s perennial position on said parental rights and obligations, declaring:

Parents who are earnest and conscious of their educative duties, have a primary right to the education of the children God has given them in the spirit of their Faith, and according to its prescriptions. Laws and measures which in school questions fail to respect this freedom of the parents go against natural law, and are immoral. The Church, whose mission it is to preserve and explain the natural law, as it is divine in its origin, cannot but declare that the recent enrollment into schools organized without a semblance of freedom, is the result of unjust pressure, and is a violation of every common right.

(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, n. 31)

It is certainly worth reviewing the words of his successor, Pope Pius XII, whose comments in 1951 directed to French fathers shows how far the Modernists had made inroads in this regard, showing an ill-disguised contempt for anyone so backward as to think Pius XI’s words were still relevant (as if truth needed to change with the times in order to keep up with the advances of psychology, sociology, and other natural sciences):

…There is one field in which the work of educating public opinion and correcting it imposes itself with tragic urgency [i.e., classroom sex-ed].… Even the principles so wisely illustrated by Our Predecessor Pius XI, in the encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, on sex education and questions connected thereto are set aside — a sad sign of the times! With a smile of compassion: Pius XI, they say, wrote twenty years ago, for his times! Great progress has been made since then! … Fathers of families… Unite… to stop and curtail these movements under whatever name or under whatever patronage they conceal themselves or are patronized.

(Pope Pius XII, Allocution to French Fathers and Families, Sep. 18, 1951; excerpted in Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, eds., Papal Teachings: Education [Boston, MA: Daughters of St. Paul, 1960], nn. 568,572; underlining added.)

And in the same place Pius XII warned about so-called Catholic sex-ed literature in the strongest possible terms:

One is appalled at the intolerable impudence of such literature; and while paganism itself, in the face of the secret of matrimonial intimacy, seemed respectfully to draw the line, We are compelled to witness this mystery violated and its vision – sensual and dramatised – offered as food to the public at large, even to the youth. It is the case really to ask oneself if the dividing line is still sufficiently visible between this initiation, which is said to be Catholic, and the press which with erotic and obscene illustrations purposely and deliberately aims at corruption and shamefully exploits, for vile gain, the lowest instincts of fallen nature.

(Ibid., n. 570; underlining added.)

Here, Pope Pius almost seems to be casting a prophetic eye towards our times to castigate the sexual instruction favored by Bergoglio and his minions.

To further reinforce where the mind of the Church stands on the subject, let’s also take a moment to reflect on the sage wisdom of Pope Leo XIII, who taught in his encyclical Sapientiae Christianae (1890) the vital importance of parents inculcating virtue in their children — faith, piety, charity and chastity — which is of special importance when the enemies of Christ had redoubled their efforts to attack Him by attacking families through the instruction of little ones in wickedness:

This is a suitable moment for us to exhort especially heads of families to govern their households according to these precepts, and to be solicitous without failing for the right training of their children. The family may be regarded as the cradle of civil society, and it is in great measure within the circle of family life that the destiny of the States is fostered. Whence it is that they who would break away from Christian discipline are working to corrupt family life, and to destroy it utterly, root and branch. From such an unholy purpose they allow not themselves to be turned aside by the reflection that it cannot, even in any degree, be carried out without inflicting cruel outrage on the parents. These hold from nature their right of training the children to whom they have given birth, with the obligation super-added of shaping and directing the education of their little ones to the end for which God vouchsafed the privilege of transmitting the gift of life. It is, then, incumbent on parents to strain every nerve to ward off such an outrage, and to strive manfully to have and to hold exclusive authority to direct the education of their offspring, as is fitting, in a Christian manner, and first and foremost to keep them away from schools where there is risk of their drinking in the poison of impiety. Where the right education of youth is concerned, no amount of trouble or labor can be undertaken, how great soever, but that even greater still may not be called for. In this regard, indeed, there are to be found in many countries Catholics worthy of general admiration, who incur considerable outlay and bestow much zeal in founding schools for the education of youth. It is highly desirable that such noble example may be generously followed, where time and circumstances demand, yet all should be intimately persuaded that the minds of children are most influenced by the training they receive at home. If in their early years they find within the walls of their homes the rule of an upright life and the discipline of Christian virtues, the future welfare of society will in great measure be guaranteed.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 42)

It is evident that Catholics have a moral obligation to oppose sex education; and arguably even more so in 2019 than in the late 1800s or mid-1900s, given that the level of vile degradation to which such indoctrination has sunk is vastly worse than anything imagined back in those days. And yet this is the kind of spiritual sickness that Modernist Rome not only says we need not oppose but practically mandates as the only way to spiritual health for teens and pre-teens.

The more we hear from the lips of “Pope” Francis, the more clearly evident it is that he’s on a counter-crusade, a crusade against purity among the youth.

Earlier this year, Novus Ordo Watch carried a report entitled “Moral Advice from ‘Pope’ Francis: ‘The Least Serious Sins are the Sins of the Flesh’”, which covers a series of interviews he gave to Dominique Wolton, a French sociologist who happens to be an agnostic. (Don’t worry, Dominique, your skepticism is safe with Jorge.)

After citing the relevant passage, this web site responded as follows:

This is so outrageous and filled with error and half-truths that, in order to refute it, it’s a good idea to first provide a succinct recap of just what Bergoglio is actually affirming, namely:

  1. Sins of impurity are the least serious of all sins.
  2. Sins of impurity are not necessarily the gravest.
  3. Pride and vanity are more serious sins than sins of impurity.
  4. Not reading the Gospel is a more serious sin than impurity.
  5. Confessors ought not to inquire as to circumstances in which a sin of impurity was committed, and those who do need a psychiatrist.

We offer the following succint points in response, some of which we will then elaborate on:

  1. False. Impurity does not admit of light matter, wherefore every such sin, if committed with full knowledge and consent, is mortal.
  2. True, but so what? It does not follow from that that they are therefore the lightest of all sins or that they are not grave or very dangerous.
  3. False. Ordinarily, pride and vanity are only venial sins, although they can be mortal under certain circumstances.
  4. False. Although reading the Gospels is very much to be encouraged, not doing so is not in itself a sin. There is no divine law that states: Thou shalt read the Gospel.
  5. False. Although needless details must be avoided, the penitent must confess all the circumstances necessary to make known the species of the sin and the number of times he has committed it. If he does not do so, the confessor has the right to ask for this information. Such questions also help the confessor to assess the general spiritual state of the penitent’s soul.

Before we look at the subject matter in greater depth, it must be pointed out that in this controversy no one can defend Francis, as is so often done, on the grounds that he was merely speaking off-the-cuff and therefore may be excused for not having the most theologically precise terminology at the ready. This is not true. We are talking about a book publication that gets proofread, vetted, and edited as necessary before final release in order to ensure all the words printed say exactly what the person interviewed wants to communicate. In other words: There is no “slip of the tongue” in Wolton’s interview book. All of the words attributed to Francis are definitely and intendedly his.

So, is it true to say that the “least serious sins are the sins of the flesh”? That the “more serious sins are elsewhere”? Although it is clear that there are sins graver than those of a sexual nature, it does not follow that therefore sins of lust are among the least serious or the least dangerous.

Sacred Scripture is clear that sins of impurity, if not genuinely repented of, make the sinner worthy of eternal punishment. St. Paul wrote to the Hebrews: “[Let] Marriage [be] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4).

(“Moral Advice from ‘Pope’ Francis: ‘The Least Serious Sins are the Sins of the Flesh’”Novus Ordo Wire, Feb. 14, 2019)

From this we get further proof that the mind of Bergoglio is not remotely one with the mind of Christ and His Church, and is, in fact, much closer to one of the gravest errors against orthodox moral teaching: Antinomianism. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains what the term signifies:

The heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law. The term first came into use at the Protestant Reformation, when it was employed by Martin Luther to designate the teachings of Johannes Agricola and his sectaries, who, pushing a mistaken and perverted interpretation of the Reformer’s doctrine of justification by faith alone to a far-reaching but logical conclusion, asserted that, as good works do not promote salvation, so neither do evil works hinder it; and, as all Christians are necessarily sanctified by their very vocation and profession, so as justified Christians, they are incapable of losing their spiritual holiness, justification, and final salvation by any act of disobedience to, or even by any direct violation of the law of God.

Although the term designating this error came into use only in the sixteenth century, the doctrine itself can be traced in the teaching of the earlier heresies. Certain of the Gnostic sect — possibly, for example, Marcion and his followers, in their antithesis of the Old and New Testament, or the Carpocratians, in their doctrine of the indifference of good works and their contempt for all human laws — held Antinomian or quasi-Antinomian views. In any case, it is generally understood that Antinomianism was professed by more than one of the Gnostic schools. Several passages of the New Testament writings are quoted in support of the contention that even as early as Apostolic times it was found necessary to single out and combat this heresy in its theoretical or dogmatic as well as in its grosser and practical form. The indignant words of St. Paul in his Epistles to the Romans and to the Ephesians (Romans 3:8, 31; 6:1; Ephesians 5:6), as well as those of St. Peter, the Second Epistle (2 Peter 2:18, 19), seem to lend direct evidence in favour of this view.

(Catholic Encyclopedias.v. “Antinomianism”; underlining added.)

While it is true that Francis doesn’t openly promote the outright rejection of the moral law, he certainly relativizes it in Amoris Laetitia, and he not-so-subtly undermines it by continually minimizing the gravity of sin and its offense to Almighty God. It is fair to say that his is a quasi-Antinomianism, which is no less a heresy since it blurs, and at times erases, the line between mortal and venial sin, as well as trivializes its consequences, as when he went so far as to deny the very existence of Hell. Parents who knowingly send their children to schools that include Francis’s virtue-free sex-ed classes are in effect guilty of poisoning their youngsters’ souls.

Of course, any school using a Modernist, post-Vatican II curriculum will have the same deadly effect on souls, though sex-ed is where the lethal dose is perhaps most likely to find easy entrance. Children must be removed from such schools as quickly as if a venomous snake were about to strike them, because in a sense that’s exactly what happens. The only options available are homeschooling or traditional Catholic schools, though even some schools promoting themselves as traditional have proven to be suspect, to say the least, as shown here.

In any case, parents will not be held blameless before the Judgment Seat if they allow their children to be spiritually ruined, when their responsibility is to raise them chastely and keep them out of harm’s way, and that means keeping them out of Bergoglio’s Schools of Scandal — and out of Novus Ordo schools in general.

How sage has the observation of the English writer Malcolm Muggeridge proven to be:

So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over — a weary, battered old brontosaurus — and became extinct.

(Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus: The Man Who Lives [London: Collins, 1975], pp. 32-33; underlining added.)

And all along, the Novus Ordo Counterfeit Church has been complicit in the destruction, at every step inverting Catholic teaching and becoming more and more openly aligned with anti-Christian maxims of the world. No one seems to embrace this destructive work with so unconcealed a glee as pretend-pope Francis.

May God quickly remove the smirk from his mouth, and by removing him and the rest of the Modernists from Rome, rescue the Church from their clutches!

“Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil.”
–Isaias 5:20

“And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
–Matthew 18:5-6 (Are you listening, Jorge Bergoglio?)

 

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How we got to this point: Bishop Sanborn explains the History of Christendom

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Over 3 hours of video — free!

How we got to this point:
Bp. Sanborn explains the History of Christendom 

Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn

We live in the year of our Lord 2019. Although it has been evident for a long time that this world is headed in the wrong direction, certainly the last six years of “Pope” Francis have convinced a great many who consider themselves faithful Catholics that something is terribly amiss, not just in the world but also in the institution they believe to be the Roman Catholic Church. The world is drowning in unbelief, false philosophies, immorality, and hostilities; and the religion practiced and preached in the Vatican is simply no longer the Catholic religion of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors.

However, there is no reason to be discouraged or despair. On the contrary. Judging from the viewpoint of Divine Revelation and prophecy, we could say that “everything is going according to plan” — so to speak. While we must at all times fight for religious truth, good morals, decency, common sense, and true justice, nevertheless we know that this world will at some point in the future be ruled by the Antichrist, not because God positively desires it so, but because He permits it as part of salvation history in order to draw a greater good from it. This has been revealed to us in Holy Scripture by Almighty God Himself (e.g., 2 Thess 2; 1 Jn 2:18; cf. Mt 24).

Although the knowledge that it will and must happen is no excuse to surrender, to sit back and watch it all come about, it is cause to not despair, to not be dismayed, and to understand why all these frightening social and pseudo-ecclesiastical upheavals against God’s law — both natural and revealed — are happening, and why God is permitting them. This, in turn, boosts our trustful and loving surrender to Divine Providence, full of Faith and hope, keeping in mind that even though the times in which we live are evil, nevertheless Almighty God, who is all-knowing, all-good, and all-powerful, has chosen to place us into precisely this time of human history and no other — and He did so because He foreknew that this would be most conducive to our salvation.

Some years ago, True Restoration Media conducted three interviews with Bishop Donald Sanborn, rector of Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida, on the history of Christendom, beginning with the Edict of Milan in the fourth century and ending in 1788, the eve of the French Revolution. This journey through the history of Western civilization is so powerful and so informative that we cannot recommend it too highly to anyone who wishes to understand how it is that we have come this far, and what lies ahead.

In the past, the three videos on the history of Christendom were available to the public only through a True Restoration subscription or by purchase. We are excited to announce that Novus Ordo Watch has now sponsored the release of these videos to the entire public — they are now free of charge:

FIRST VIDEO: The History of Christendom from the Edict of Milan to 1274

SECOND VIDEO: The History of Christendom from 1274 to 1648

THIRD VIDEO: The History of Christendom from 1649 to 1788

Listen to Bp. Sanborn as he explains how Christian society as it is willed by God was realized perfectly in the High Middle Ages (13th century), which were the apex, as it were, of Christian civilization, and what has caused its gradual but steady decline ever since. Understand how it all hangs together — how we went from a society imbued with the sacred and the supernatural, in conformity with Catholic teaching, to a Freemasonic-naturalist society in which God has been discarded and man and his “liberty” enthroned in His place. Understand how we got from St. Thomas Aquinas to Martin Luther, why the latter can be called the “father” of the modern world, and how the Protestant Reformation inevitably had to lead to Socialism, Communism, Freemasonry, and Modernism. As the “synthesis of all heresies”, dubbed such by Pope St. Pius X (Encyclical Pascendi, n. 39), Modernism is still with us today and has ushered in the current eclipse of the Catholic Church as part of the “operation of error” warned about by St. Paul the Apostle (2 Thess 2:10).

Bp. Sanborn’s video series on the history of Christendom is eminently educational and quite fascinating. It is not boring! At the end of it you will say, “It all makes sense now. I can see clearly now why we are where we are, how we got here, and where it’s all headed.”

You might wonder why this series on the history of Christendom ends in 1788, and why that which is perhaps the most important part, beginning with the French Revolution of 1789, is not included. The reason is that an interview with His Excellency on that most recent part of Church history was never conducted; however, it is covered in True Restoration‘s audio program The Root of the Rot, of which the first 7 episodes are likewise free:

We must never lose sight of the fact that all the trials we are now undergoing, both in the Church and in society, are not a negation or refutation of the holy Catholic religion, but actually its vindication and reaffirmation, which will ultimately lead to its inevitable, divinely-guaranteed triumph.

Pray much, especially the Holy Rosary, as urged by our Lady of Fatima, and devote yourself to her Immaculate Heart. She will guide us through these difficult and stormy times into which our souls have been placed by Divine Providence.

Everything is going according to plan. It’s time we all understood the plan.

Links to Related Information:

 

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The Anti-Catholic Religion of the Second Vatican Council: A Book Review of “Vatican II Exposed”

Move over, Taylor Marshall…

The Anti-Catholic Religion of the Second Vatican Council:

A Book Review of
Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism

On Mar. 6 of this year, we posted an announcement about a brand-new book exposing the history and heresies of the Novus Ordo religion, its false popes, and its other pivotal players. The work is an 809-page tome called Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism and was written by Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI:

People interested in buying a copy may do so directly from the authors, at this link (Novus Ordo Watch does not make a commission on the sales). Despite initial plans, it is unlikely that Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism will be available through Amazon.com soon, except perhaps in electronic format.

Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism is a mammoth work of sturdy quality!

We are excited to be able to offer now a sizable review of this book, contributed by a reader of this blog who wishes to remain anonymous. The book reviewer presents a mostly-descriptive Overview (Part 1) followed by a Critical Analysis and Conclusion (Part 2) from the perspective of a simple layman who holds no formal qualifications in theology, history, nor journalism. The opinions expressed in the review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Novus Ordo Watch.


Book Review: Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism
by Fr. Francisco Radecki, CMRI and Fr. Dominic Radecki, CMRI.
Copyright 2019, St. Joseph’s Media

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

PART 1: Overview
The first thing that struck me was the size of this book. It is a huge tome, with 757 pages of text, or 809 pages counting the Bibliography. Each page measures approximately 8 and a half inches by 11 inches. The font used is average in size, and the line spacing is generous which makes this book easy to read, insofar as visual comfort. It is a very beautifully presented hardback with dustjacket. The dustjacket is of matching design to the cover itself, but unlike many books, it isn’t hiding, nor making up for, a plain nor inferior cover underneath. The artwork is truly commendable, being both clever in symbolism and elegant in appearance. Very few book covers are so striking for their aesthetically-pleasing quality; implementing a very tasteful color scheme, including metallic red and metallic silver accents, with embossed three-dimensional imagery and text.

Upon opening the book, in the Introduction, we are told:

Why This Book was Written
Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism doesn’t merely tell what occurred at Vatican II, but the who, when, where, why and how. Masterminds, guided by Satan, prepared the way for the creation of the Modern, Counterfeit Church.

The task undertaken by the authors must have been daunting given the quantity and nature of material that they chose to try to somehow sort through. The list of references is probably of the broadest spectrum I have ever come across in one book; the authors certainly cannot be accused of overly-selective resourcing of opinions, viewpoints or accounts. The claims of people from all walks of life, so to speak, have been presented in this volume, ranging from the most authoritative sources such as popes via papal encyclicals, followed by reliable contemporary clergy who are renowned for their theological rectitude, such as Bp. Donald Sanborn (Catholic Restoration), Fr. Noel Barbara, Fr. Anthony Cekada and Fr. Francesco Ricossa (whose articles published in the esteemed priestly periodical, Sacerdotium, made the latter well known to the English-speaking traditional Catholic milieu), right through to such unexpected sources as websites including wikipedia.com, washingtonpost.com, businessinsider.com, strangehistory.net and psywarrior.com. Even the enigmatic Malachi Martin was given a hearing and is quoted at least twice. No one can dare point the finger of “discrimination.”

In view of website articles comprising a substantial portion of the Bibliography (can it still technically be called a “Bibliography” if the reference list includes mostly non-books?), this book obviously doesn’t purport to be a weighty scholarly work — nor do the authors make any such claim. Refraining from pretentious language and extensive theology, they instead use everyday parlance presented in a style that would be comfortable to the average modern mind. Hence, people who get daunted by heavy theological treatises shouldn’t be frightened by the substantial physical size of this book because the approach is very casual overall; and the mode is even conversational in many parts. Consequently, if you aren’t a canon lawyer, nor inclined to pick up the Summa Theologica for your bedtime reading, fear not, because this is nothing like hard-core scholasticism. It seems to be aimed at the common layman who isn’t accustomed to intense academia, nor to rigid and laborious study. Rather, the reader will find within these pages a collection of stories of deception, intrigue, suspicions and allegations of murder, extensive Freemasonic plotting and scheming, shocking examples of disgusting immorality of Modernists even as far back as before the Second Vatican Council – and worst of all, the unspeakable tragedy of the widespread loss of Faith of countless clergy, of all ranks, even up to the highest positions in the Church, which led to the unprecedented catastrophe of the near-universal loss of Faith, which renders the 20th century not only the allegedly “bloodiest of centuries” but surely the most reprehensible.

As part of an attempt to organize what would seem to many people an overwhelming amount of information, numerous lists and tables were formulated, including, but not limited to, those with the following titles:

  • European Modernist Training Centers
  • French Modernists
  • German Modernists
  • American Modernists who Attended Vatican II
  • Belgian Modernists who Attended Vatican II
  • Dutch Modernists who Attended Vatican II
  • Italian Modernists who Attended Vatican II
  • Modernists from Formerly Communist Countries who Attended Vatican II
  • Commissions Controlled by Modernist Cardinals
  • Various Addresses of Pope Pius XII
  • John XXIII’s Meetings with Representatives of Other Religions
  • Members of the International Theological Commission

A large portion of the book is devoted to the documents of Vatican II. Though this is contained in only five chapters out of 31, viz. Chapters 18 through 22, it spans pages 283 through 514. Each of the six recent antipopes, from Roncalli/John XXIII through Bergoglio/Francis, has a chapter devoted specifically to him, as does Pope Pius XII, and there are chapters discussing the Novus Ordo invalid Mass and invalid sacraments, as well as the valid Tridentine Mass.

When reading some of the tales of the characters in the events surrounding the whole disaster of Vatican II and its aftermath, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” came to mind; not the movie itself, which I’ve never seen and therefore wouldn’t be recommending, but merely the title. Sadly, “the good” are pitifully few in number (there are only 18 people in the list presented on page 127 of “Cardinals and Bishops who Opposed Modernism”), and these few are overwhelmingly outnumbered by “the bad” who are also “the ugly” due to their ugly beliefs and actions of which they seemingly remained unrepentant (there are about 193 people listed in the tables of Modernists from various nations, presented on pages 54 through 126).

PART 2: Critical Analysis and Conclusion

Some Notable Pros

  1. The extensive lists of the names of Modernists (“the bad” and “the ugly”) who were actively attacking the Church around the time of Vatican II, could prove useful to refer to, or commit to memory if nearly 200 names is within one’s memorizing capacity, when reading any material of a religious nature published between the late 1800s through to the 1960s. Unfortunately, even writings bearing an Imprimatur carry no guarantee of orthodoxy nor harmlessness, especially in view of the insidious and deceptive manner in which Modernists operate. Hence, for example, if one has a book with an Imprimatur from, say, 1950, that is written by, or even based on ideas held by, any of these Modernists, one would know to beware.
  2. In Chapter 24, “Preparing the Ground for the New Mass”, enough information is presented for the reader to conclude that the Novus Ordo Missae didn’t just get dropped suddenly like a bomb. Rather, the principle of gradualism, combined with tenacious cunning, was employed by conspiring Modernists to desacralize the liturgy, introducing heretical and dangerous elements as far back as the 1920s; and even earlier trial balloons occurred in a localized manner.
  3. The untrustworthiness of Modernists and their modus operandi of cleverly crafted deception techniques, combined with bully tactics when needed, is really rammed home throughout this book. We are alerted to always be wary because in spite of artful phraseology in attempts to disguise what they really mean, everything they say should be presumed to be intended to work toward their evil agendas.
  4. The information presented in the chapters specifically about the Second Vatican Council, taken as a whole, is sufficient for the reader to conclude that the main characters involved and their Modernist errors (“the bad” and “the ugly” again) formally brought into existence an entirely different religion to the Catholic Faith. Moreover, this undoubtedly was their intention, as evident from their own words.

Some Caveats

  1. The initial outlines of Freemasonry and Modernism seem a bit hazy. If the reader had no prior knowledge of the nature and history of them, the background provided in this book, alone, wouldn’t provide a sufficiently thorough foundation, nor a very clear understanding, which would be required for properly grasping the full import of what is presented afterwards about the activities of the Freemasons and Modernists in the Church, State and society in general. Before handing this book to anyone new to Sedevacantism, it would be advisable to have them study some encyclicals on these subjects, such as Pascendi Dominici Gregis and Humanum Genus and books such as Fr Denis Fahey’s The Kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism to provide a more solid base. Near the end of the book, the authors do recommend and reference Pascendi Dominici Gregis, but reading that encyclical prior to starting this book would probably be beneficial for everyone.
  2. The overview provided regarding the Bugnini Holy Week liturgical changes of 1955, mostly on pages 169-171, sufficiently explains the viewpoint of those clergy who hold the opinion that it is fine to keep using those changes. However, the position held by sedevacantist clergy who reject the use of this interim liturgical form was presented in a way that would likely lead the reader to an inaccurate apprehension of the issue. It seems that the authors mustn’t have come across the number of articles available on traditionalmass.org explaining their rationale. Reading those articles (and for those who like videos, viewing Fr. Anthony Cekada’s recently released presentation on this topic) should suffice to dispel any false notions. It should be noted that the authors clearly respect Fr. Cekada’s scholarship, as attested to by his booklet, “Sedevacantism, A Quick Primer” being quoted at length on p. 236 – in addition to two books and one article by the same author also being referenced in a favorable light.
  3. Numerous Modernists are exposed by name, yet when they are quoted it sometimes seems that their words are to be taken as being in some way credible, despite what is made clear about Modernists as mentioned in Pro #3 (above). Most of the time what the Modernists are quoted to have said or done is obviously included in the book to demonstrate their devious scheming and heretical beliefs; however, there are places where the reader could get the impression that their words are being used as a verification. As an example, in line with the topic of Caveat #2 (above): a Fr. Antonelli is quoted on p. 169 as criticizing the pre-1955 Holy Week liturgy (an entire paragraph of his is presented on that page) and the authors distill his quote as remarking “how the phrases ‘splendor of the night,’ ‘blessed night’ and ‘holy night’ are inappropriate when ceremonies are performed on Holy Saturday morning.” Yet, on p. 557, Fr. Antonelli (who is definitely the same person as the previously quoted Fr. Antonelli, as evident from this book which refers to the same source) is manifested as a clearly questionable source – whose opinion should be presumed to be in support of the Modernist agenda – by the following statement: “Fr. Fernando [sic] Antonelli, who revered the writings of Beauduin and Casel, was a close friend of Botte, Jungmann and Martimort.” Similarly, Abp. Bugnini is listed on p. 108 as a “Freemason” who “Helped Write the New Mass” and is exposed in great detail throughout the book for the scheming Modernist that he was, including on p. 109: “As chief architect of the New Mass, Bugnini worked with liturgical committees before, during and after Vatican II. If he ran into opposition, Bugnini would merely say, ‘The pope wills it,’ and continue.” On p. 557, it states, “Bugnini, the driving force behind liturgical change, boldly declared, ‘I am the liturgical reform!’ His methods were so chaotic and hurried that Paul VI told him to slow down. When one considers the incompetent men who formed the New Mass and New Sacraments, it is no wonder they turned out so poorly.” All this justifiable criticism of Bugnini and his liturgical havoc seems inconsistent with the overall sense of praise given by the authors for his 1955 liturgy. Another example of how possible confusion could result from what might seem a mixed message, is the Dialogue Mass. It is presented in a way that one could think there are no problems associated with it, viz., in the chapter describing the Tridentine Mass vs. the New Mass, in a section titled, “Active Participation in the Liturgy”, it states: “The Faithful are encouraged to join the choir in singing the various parts of the Mass or hymns during a Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) or to answer Latin responses of the priest during the Dialogue Mass.” Some readers may not be aware that the majority of scholarly works since Vatican II which substantially address the Dialogue Mass have used it as a stepping-stone to the Novus Ordo Missae, encouraged by Modernists. This led to the concept of the inability to offer Mass when there is no congregation present, which then led to the Novus Ordo concelebration nonsense; so one can certainly question its prudence.
  4. On page 201, it states that “Holy Scripture foretold that before the coming of Antichrist, the protective power of the papacy would be eliminated” and St Paul, 2 Thessalonians 2:7, is quoted as referring to this, as follows: “St Paul wrote: For the mystery of iniquity is already at work; provided only that he [the pope] who is at present restraining it, does still restrain, until he is gotten out of the way.” Some readers might presume that the phrase “the pope” inserted in square brackets is referring to an explicit mention of “the pope” occurring in the surrounding text of Scripture, thus indicating that that meaning of the pronoun “he” is self-evident. However, that is not the case, so the distinction between that being merely an opinion and not fact, must be made. Scriptural exegetes are divided as to what that passage might mean which reminded me of a section in Rev. E. Sylvester Berry’s book, The Apocalypse of St. John, where he similarly propounds such a possibility, on pages 121-122. Whereas the 1940s’ Dominican Fr. H. M. Feret in his book on the same subject presents a completely different approach, founded on doctrine and history, being devoid of speculations.
  5. Towards the end of the book, the authors state: “Hopefully, this book will inspire readers who have never attended the Tridentine Latin Mass to see what they have been missing”, followed by directing readers to the CMRI website to access a list of where some such Masses are being offered in the United States. However (unless I overlooked a statement to the contrary), after leading the reader to the conclusion that the Novus Ordo Counterfeit Church is not Catholic, one might be led to be content with assisting at FSSP (Fraternity of St. Peter) or SSPX (Society of St. Pius X) Masses, since they are “valid” Tridentine Masses (assuming the priest is validly ordained, which is a big “if”) because the illicit nature of assisting at such Masses isn’t expressly condemned. Nor could I find an explicit warning for the need to strictly avoid these organizations, entirely, due to their heterodoxy and deviations from orthopraxy. Reading this book will do little good if from it people end up with the SSPX as “crypto-sedevacantists” who assist at the Holy Sacrifice offered in union with heretics. Therefore, one must take very seriously the full ramifications, and practical consequences, implicit in their words: “It is important to realize there is much more at stake than just Mass being offered in Latin. The very foundation of the Church was attacked at Vatican II. This is the time to defend God’s Church, not the time to find excuses to remain in a man-made Church”, and “After reading this book, it is evident that a choice must be made, to either remain faithful to Christ and His Church, or belong to the Counterfeit Church. There is no room for neutrality.” Thus, to make it clear: Organizations of the likes of the FSSP and SSPX, regardless of whatever personal piety and good will the people in them may have, represent precisely this condemnable “neutrality” and constitute part of this antichrist “man-made Church.”

Some Additional Notes about the Bibliography

  1. Although the format of the referencing doesn’t apparently follow a consistent nor standardized system, the reader should be able to work around this with a little bit of resourcefulness.
  2. The Wikipedia website features as the most abundant source, followed by Catholic-hierarchy.org.
  3. Youtube.com video presentations and TV documentaries are included.
  4. Sometimes the timestamp is included for when a website was accessed and a reference was downloaded. Because of this it can be ascertained that the work of gathering information for this book goes back to at least 2012.
  5. Mainstream sources as well as those that might be considered “conspiratorial” or “dubious” (albeit the latter are often more trustworthy than the former) are included. Examples from the former category include rollingstone.com, “Rebel Pope” – National Geographic documentary, theguardian.com, nytimes.com, History Channel, CNN.com, bbc.com. Examples from the latter category include, beforeitsnews.com, 2nddegreemasons.org, Chiesa Viva, crisismagazine.com, lifesitenews.com, eyeofthetiber.com, satanic-kindred.org and thedailybeast.com.
  6. Religious and historical sources both orthodox and heterodox are referenced. Examples of the former include Haydock/Douay Rheims Bible, St. Robert Bellarmine, Dom Prosper Guéranger, Baltimore Catechism, Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Msgr. Philip Hughes and G. K. Chesterton. Examples of the latter include EWTN, Teilhard de Chardin, Yves Congar, Masonic Book Club, “Cardinal” Walter Kasper and Hans Kung.
  7. Winning entry for irony is “Bringing the Sacraments to the People” from the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc, 1966, being right before the sanctioned attempts to annihilate the possibility of bringing sacraments to any people, by the imposition of invalid sacraments.
  8. Winning entry for most nauseating is Peggy Noonan’s book entitled, “John Paul II the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father.” And no need for the ipecacuanha if one has a copy handy of, “Pope Benedict in America; the Full Texts of Papal Talks Given during His Apostolic Visit to the United States,” 2008 – no need to even open the book either; the title, alone, will surely do the job.
  9. Winning entry for what best exemplifies the era of the millennials is the presence of a pinterest.com reference.
  10. Winning entry for “You can’t make this stuff up!” is Catholic World Report article titled, “Pope’s former professor: Francis never supported a Marxist-based liberation theology.”
  11. Modernist gobbledygook award (despite ample competition by virtue of the inherent quality of Modernist talk) goes to Jennifer Cooper’s “Humanity in the Mystery of God: the Theological Anthropology of Edward Schillebeeckx” (due to entries being limited to one category, this one missed out on the “most emetic award”). Runner-up is “Cornerstones of Faith: Reconciliation, Eucharist and Stewardship” by “Cardinal” Thomas Collins, 2013.
  12. The winner of the shortest book in the world, sight unseen (provided the contents are true to the title, it presumably has no pages in it at all): “The Legacy of Pope John Paul II: His Contribution to Catholic Thought,” 2000.

Once the restoration of the Church has taken place, future generations will likely access the written record to ascertain the many different ways that Catholics in our times assessed and addressed this monumentally horrendous situation; and this book will form part of that written record, which will show the melange of the human reactions to this frightful and awful period of history. It will exist alongside books which present similar subject matter, such as Iota UnumThe Rhine Flows into the TiberPeter Lovest Thou Me? and The Great Sacrilege, yet which, unlike Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism, fail to point out that the sedevacantist conclusion is the only logical and true position, with its concomitant responsibility to categorically reject the Novus Ordo Church and its various offshoots in their entirety.


A view of the book with the dust jacket taken off

Again, Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism may be purchased directly from the authors here (quantity discounts available).

 

in Novus Ordo Wire     0

Ending Cognitive Dissonance: Recognize-and-Resist Blogger becomes Sedevacantist

Deo gratias!

Ending Cognitive Dissonance:
Another Recognize-and-Resist Blogger becomes Sedevacantist

Cognitive dissonance can be defined as “the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values” (Wikipedia).

On July 10, 2016, we posted the article “The Trouble with Jorge: Semi-Trads at the Breaking Point”. After providing some papal quotes on the traditional Catholic doctrine on the Magisterium and the Papacy, we observed: “The cognitive dissonance involved in perhaps professing these truths externally — as the semi-trads might very well do — while at the same time thinking, acting, and speaking in contrary fashion is beginning to push people over the edge.”

In April of the following year, we published the essay “Anything but Sedevacantism! Analysis of a curious Phenomenon”. There, too, we spoke about the same subject: “We have seen that the Papacy has consequences. So does a denial of the Papacy. The cognitive dissonance of a ‘practical sedevacantism’ [proposed by Steve Skojec] will be coming home to roost.”

And finally, we again brought up the issue in the July 25, 2017 post “The Stumbling Block of the Papacy: Why Bergoglio doesn’t fit”.

We were all the more hopeful, therefore, when we noticed a new post on a recognize-and-resist blog the other day that was entitled, “Ending Cognitive Dissonance”, written by one Jonathan Byrd. The site’s name is Traditional Catholic Priest.

And indeed, we were not disappointed. The blogger in question (shown on the left) is a layman “with a wife, 10 kids, 4 cats and a dog”, as his profile says. He had already been convinced that Francis was a false pope, but he thought Benedict XVI was the true Pope instead. In other words, he held the position we have dubbed “Resignationism”, due to doubts about the validity of the resignation of Benedict XVI in 2013.

Byrd wrote his post to outline the evidence — the data and the reasoning — that have led him to understand that the only way to be a true traditional Catholic — one who actually believeswhat the Church traditionally taught, especially about the Papacy — is to dump Francis and the entire Vatican II religion. In other words, he has taken the difficult but necessary step to becoming what is typically called a sedevacantist. Mr. Byrd, congratulations!

We would like to encourage all to read his post in full. What follows below are some of the highlights (bold print and italics in original):

These reasons are all objective – all based on the teachings of the church, the doctors of the church the popes, etc. In short, all identify exactly what Francis is without the need or worry about what Benedict “meant” when he “resigned”.

We can know from the above a few things that have held constant:

Christ will always be with His Church

The Church is a teaching Church

The Pope has the power to loose and bind and that he who hears Peter hears Christ.

This is what the Church has always held from the very beginning.

Our souls were so important to Christ He offered up His life for us in the most brutal way imaginable so do you really think a God made Man who suffered this much for our salvation wasn’t going to make the Faith and consequently our Salvation objectively easy to comprehend?

The spotless bride of Christ – Our holy Mother – The Church hasn’t left us without recourse.  Our Father was well aware of the situation all Catholics would be in today so He provided, through the Church, the solutions to end our cognitive dissonance.

The way forward – the way to Truth – is to look back. We look back to what the Church has taught.

We don’t bring our intellectual criticism – our thoughts, our opinions, our blogs, our blog followers, our livelihood, our comforts, our friends, our “mother and brethren” into this equation.

We can know The Truth and as a Catholic, we have a duty to seek it out at all cost as it is the Pearl of Great price and then give our assent to that Truth no matter what the cost is to us.

Our Holy religion teaches us that our Holy Mother the Church is the pure spotless bride of Christ.  This church can only give us Bread – she can’t give us stones. She can be trusted in all matters because Christ promised “he who hears you hears ME.”

We look around at what we see around us occurring in the world and in what we know as the church and all we see is heresy – stones being fed to us – someone – something – that can’t be trusted if you want to keep the faith.

I recently had a conversation with a priest friend of mine and I asked him about teaching what the church currently teaches and he told me “if I did that I would go to hell.

This about sums up the current state of affairs in the church and at the same time provides the cognitive dissonance that we all feel.

The problem with the above is it directly contradicts what the church has always taught about the Magisterium of the Church, the honor, respect and obedience we owe to Her and to the Pope, and it doesn’t square at all with the Church Fathers, Doctors and Theologians.

Because of this apparent contradiction we have tried to explain why this could be the case. The problem is, while trying to explain this away – we have done harm to the Faith.

How so?

We did the very things that the modernist have done – namely- we have twisted words to suit new meanings.  

We want to cling to this idea that all is well when we know full well it isn’t.  This dissonance has spawn so many theories, arguments, and innumerable bloggers making a living off of trying to explain this dissonance.  The problem is this hasn’t helped.

If this was the answer we would have figured it out sometime before the last 60 years. Instead of spending all of this energy trying to understand how a heretic calling himself pope francis could be the pope – we failed to be Catholic.

In fact, we have lost what it means to be Catholic by explaining away the faith to justify how people like Francis can all themselves Catholic. Think about this for a moment.

I can go on and on showing the changes but we are all aware of them. They have been talked about ad nauseam for the last 60 years yet no one seems any closer to the answer.

But maybe, just maybe, they do know the answer and that answer shakes them to the core of their being.

That answer is what keeps them up at night because they know if they ever truly accept it – it would mean being an outcast.

They know they would have to come outside the camp, take up their cross and proceed to the inevitable crucifixion and that would cost them too much……

I converted nearly 10 years ago and I was firmly in the Recognize and Resist camp from the very beginning.

Coming from my protestant background – that never sat well with me. I just left “Protesting the Church” to join a church so I could continue protesting….

That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Its extremely illogical and extremely NOT Catholic.

One thing that we have to always keep at the forefront of our mind is that we can’t twist facts to make it come to the conclusion we want.  We simply have to state the facts and see where it leadsand this is what is going to be outlined below.

The person that is the Pope must first be Catholic and if he isn’t Catholic then he isn’t the pope.  1+1=2…ain’t that hard to understand.

The Conclusion is very simple

If you accept Francis is the pope then you must acceptcommunion for adulterers, you must accept allowing communion for protestants, you must accept LGBT novelties, you must accept the novus ordo mass, the new rites, the “cult of man”, Ecumenism, that the Roman Catholic Church is just one of many that lead to heaven, That error has rights, and all of the other profanations you see around you because it is from the pope and the magisterium and Vatican II……

If the above is abhorrent to you…

If you would rather die a thousand deaths than to give your consent to such abdominal practices…

Then welcome to Sedevacantism….

Welcome indeed! Again, the full post is really worth reading and can be found here:

It is wonderful to see that another soul has allowed God’s grace to prevail, despite the tireless efforts of our opponents to fight Sedevacantism tooth and nail.

Rejoice, fellow-sedevacantists, for another good man has seen the light and followed it wheresoever it led, no matter the consequences! Let us “make merry and be glad, for this [our] brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found” (Lk 15:32)! Pray for Jonathan Byrd and his family, that they will persevere to the end, and that there may be many more like them.

Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary, pray for us.

Bouix on the “Heretical Pope”: A big Nothingburger from John Salza and Robert Siscoe

Another irrelevant argument… 

Bouix on the “Heretical Pope”: A big Nothingburger from John Salza and Robert Siscoe

More than three years after the release of their book True or False Pope? A Refutation of Sedevacantism and other Modern Errors, John Salza and Robert Siscoe are still busy wasting everybody’s time.

On May 14, they posted on their web site an English translation of an excerpt from the 3-volume book Tractatus de Papa, ubi et de Concilio Oecumenico (“Treatise on the Pope and the Ecumenical Council”) written by the French canonist Marie Dominique Bouix (1808-1870). Bouix took the unusual position that if a Pope as a private person were to become a heretic, he would not lose the pontificate in any way, nor could anyone take it from him. In other words: If a Pope were to become manifestly heretical, he would still be Pope, and no one would be able to do anything about it.

The question of the Papa haereticus — that is, what would happen if a Pope were to become a heretic in his private capacity — was debated among theologians for centuries before the First Vatican Council (1870). Five different positions emerged in the course of the dispute:

  1. That the Pope cannot become a heretic even in his private capacity, so the question is moot.
  2. That a Pope who becomes a heretic even only internally (by pertinaciously assenting to heresy in his mind) would immediately and automatically fall from the pontificate.
  3. That a Pope who becomes a heretic does not fall from the pontificate, regardless of how manifest his heresy is.
  4. That a Pope who becomes a heretic loses the pontificate only after a declaration by the Church.
  5. That a Pope who becomes a heretic automatically falls from the pontificate as soon as his heresy is public and manifest.

Out of all the theologians who argued in depth about this subject, so far only one has been declared a saint and, more pertinently, a Doctor of the Church. It is St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (1542-1621). He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930 and declared a Doctor of the Church by the same pope the following year.

In his monumental work on the Papacy, De Romano Pontifice (“On the Roman Pontiff”), St. Robert argued that “[i]t is probable and may piously be believed that not only as ‘Pope’ can the Supreme Pontiff not err, but he cannot be a heretic even as a particular [=private] person by pertinaciously believing something false against the faith” (Book IV, Chapter 6). In other words, Bellarmine believed that out of the five opinions enumerated above, Position 1 was the most likely to be correct.

In the event, however, that Position 1 was not correct and a Pope could indeed become a heretic, Bellarmine insisted on and argued convincingly for Position 5, that such a “heretical Pope” would immediately and automatically cease to be Pope, without the need for a declaration or other ecclesiastical intervention:

Although Fr. Bouix, like Bellarmine, also believed that Position 1 was the most likely to be correct, he held that if it was possible for a Pope to become a heretic, then this would not affect his holding of the Papacy at all — in other words, he supported Position 3 as the correct one, although in his Tractatus de Papa it is numbered differently, namely, as Position 4. He concludes:

Certainly, just as to Suárez and many others, myself included, it seems more probable that the Pope, even as a private person, cannot fall into heresy. But in the hypothesis that the Pope could become a heretic privately, I would absolutely deny that he is ipso facto deposed, or capable of being deposed by any council.

(D. Bouix, Tractatus de Papa, vol. II [Paris: Lecoffre, 1869], p. 666, trans. by Gerardus Maiella; in “Bouix On The Question of an Heretical Pope”True or False Pope?, May 14, 2019.)

It appears that Salza and Siscoe are now trying, as they have done in the past with other theologians, to advertise this as some kind of a “refutation” of the Sedevacantist position, which is identical to that of Bellarmine. St. Robert called the position Bouix takes “exceedingly improbable” and said that “it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd” (De Romano PontificeBook II, Chapter 30).

But what is perhaps even more significant, Bouix seems to be the only theologian who defended Position 3. The non-sedevacant Brazilian layman Arnaldo Vidigal Xavier da Silveira (1929-2018), whom Salza and Siscoe happily advertise on their site as endorsing their book, remarks: “This third opinion … is defended by one sole theologian, among 136 ancient and modern theologians whose position on this matter we could verify” (Da Silveira, Can the Pope go Bad?, trans. by John Russell Spann [Greenacres, WA: Catholic Research Institute, 1998], p. 31); and again a bit later: “…it has against it the practically unanimous Tradition of the Church” (p. 36); “We remind the reader that of 136 authors whom we consulted, only Bouix defends this opinion” (p. 36, fn. 16).

Moreover, the position Bouix takes is not even that taken by Salza and Siscoe themselves, nor does it apply to the case of the manifest heresies of “Pope” Francis, for Bouix explicitly states that he is talking only about the case of a Pope who becomes a heretic as a private individual, not a “Pope” whose private heresies become part of his magisterium, as is clearly the case with Francis:

There is no sufficient reason why Christ should be thought to have provided that a Pope heretic would be able to be deposed. Surely that reason would be the vast detriment which would come to the Church unless such a Pope were deposed. But that reason is not valid; as much because the Pope heretic is not so harmful an evil that the Church therefore must necessarily be ruined and perish; as because the remedy, the Pope’s deposition, would be a much worse evil. And firstly, the heresy of the Pope about which this question is moved, is not so grave an evil that it is necessary to think that Christ had willed the deposition of such a Pontiff. The matter is only of private heresy; not which the Pope professes as the Pastor of the Church and in his Papal decrees or acts, but to which he adheres as a private doctor, and only in his private sayings or writings. What is more, so long as the Pope, whenever he defines and speaks Pontifically, teaches the right faith, the faithful are sufficiently safe, although at the same time it would be clear that the same Pope privately adheres to some heresy. All would readily understand that the opinion argued for by the Pope as a private doctor lacks authority, and he is only to be followed when he defines and relates the faith ex officio and with Pontifical authority.

(Bouix, Tractatus de Papa, vol. II, p. 670; underlining added.)

Precisely what, then, are Salza and Siscoe attempting to accomplish by putting up Bouix’s theological argumentation concerning the Papa haereticus?

It seems they are trying to amass writings from theologians that dispute the position taken by sedevacantists regarding “heretical Popes”. There is only one problem: With one possible exception (one that we still need to investigate fully), as far as we have seen, all the “evidence” they have published in that regard comes from books that were written before the First Vatican Council, which promulgated rich teaching on the Papacy such as the following:

So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.

(Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 4; Denz. 1837; underlining added.)

The ecclesiastical approbation given to Bouix’s Tractatus de Papa is dated Aug. 20, 1868, almost two full years before the promulgation of Pastor Aeternus. The first two volumes were published in 1869, the third in 1870. The translated excerpt published by Salza and Siscoe is from volume 2.

In addition, one should keep in mind that although Bouix was writing roughly 250 years after Bellarmine’s death, he was writing before St. Robert was canonized or declared a Doctor of the Church, or even beatified (his beatification took place in 1923). In other words, although he certainly took Bellarmine’s argumentation into consideration as coming from a most capable and renowned theologian, he did not have the privilege of learning from SaintBellarmine, Doctor of the Church.

The notion of a “heretical Pope” — at least the kind the world has seen in the Vatican II “popes” since the 1960’s — is impossible to reconcile with the teaching of Pastor Aeternus. Whoever doubts it is advised to take our special papacy test with regard to the manifest heretic Jorge Bergoglio. Our test replaces every mention of the phrase “Roman Pontiff” in the conciliar constitution with the words “Pope Francis” — and the results are… interesting:

Although Vatican I did not address the issue of the Papa haereticus directly in its dogmatic constitution on the Papacy, the question did indeed come up during the deliberations, and the deputation on the Faith responded to it. Abp. John Purcell of Cincinnati relates what happened and how the council answered:

After Vatican I, the alternatives to Position 1 and Position 5 were abandoned, and instead we find theologians in agreement that a “heretical Pope” would automatically cease to be Pope:

…it cannot be proved that the Roman Pontiff, as a private teacher, cannot become a heretic, for example, if he contumaciously denies a dogma previously defined; this impeccability was nowhere promised to him by God. On the contrary, [Pope] Innocent III expressly admits that the case can be conceded. But if the case should take place, he falls from office by divine law, without any sentence, not even a declaratory one. For he who openly professes heresy places his very self outside the Church, and it is not probable that Christ preserves the Primacy of His Church with such an unworthy individual. Consequently, if the Roman Pontiff professes heresy, he is deprived of his authority before any whatsoever sentence, which [sentence] is impossible.

(Rev. Matthaeus Conte a Coronata, Institutiones Iuris Canonici, vol. I, 4th ed. [Rome: Marietti, 1950], n. 316c; our translation; underlining added.)

For more examples of what theologians writing after Vatican I have said about the scenario of a “heretical Pope”, please see our informative commentary on the recent “Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church” accusing Francis of heresy:

Quite frankly, the Bouix text Salza and Siscoe have presented is a big nothingburger: So they found a theologian writing before Vatican I who argued that a Pope cannot lose his pontificate at all, no matter how manifestly heretical he is. So what? In Church history you can find all sorts of theologians writing on disputed questions before they were settled by the Church, including a position on the Beatific Vision by St. Bernard of Clairvaux that was later declared to be heretical (see Fr. Joseph Sagüés, On the Last Things, p. 298, n. 30).

The real question is: Is it possible to affirm of the Novus Ordo “popes” everything the Catholic Church teaches about the Papacy and still remain faithful to the Catholic religion of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors? But we all know the answer to that.

By the way: Bouix’s Tractatus de Papa ends with the words: “Scripta mea omnia judicio ac correctioni Romani Pontificis subjicio” — “I subject all my writings to the judgment and correction of the Roman Pontiff” (vol. 3, p. 436).

Would John Salza and Robert Siscoe do that?

 

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The Case Against Roncalli

I learn quite a lot thanks to my readers. Each week in the comments section, there are many good discussions. Most are on the same topic as the post, but not always, and that’s fine by me. When I’m challenged on a topic I often re-think my position, to get a better understanding both for my own edification and that I may be of more informative value to my readers. I believe in the axiom,”He who does not understand his opponents’ point of view, doesn’t fully understand his own.” Last week, a comment was made by someone who objected to my designating Roncalli (John XXIII) as a false pope. He had challenged me on this point about a year ago, and I was going to research my position more thoroughly, but alas, life so often gets in the way of our plans.

This time, I started to research the topic and my findings were most fruitful–resulting in this post you’re now reading. Anyone who wishes to read the whole thread between my interlocutor and myself may do so by referring to the comments section of last week’s post. In sum, he said, “Sedevacantists recognize Paul VI onwards as pseudo-popes based on SOLID, IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE. For some reason you’re not applying this standard to Roncalli…Again, I don’t know if Roncalli was an usurper. Neither do you, so perhaps you should pull back on DECLARING him a pseudo-pope, and instead just state that YOU believe he was problematic to the point that YOU have your doubts that he was genuine. ” (Emphasis in the original).

In this post, I will put forth the reasons, proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that Roncalli must be objectively dismissed as a false pope. There’s so much that could be written, but I will confine myself as best as possible to make it terse and get the point across without delving into all aspects of his life. Hence, you will not see, for example, accusations that he was a Freemason addressed. I might touch on such issues in another post. This one will suffice for the stated purpose.

Angelo Roncalli: A Brief Background
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the man who would convoke the Robber Council Vatican II, was born the fourth of thirteen children in 1881. He was born to a family of sharecroppers who lived in an Italian village. Roncalli studied for the priesthood, and completed his doctorate in Canon Law the same year as his ordination, 1904.  He became Professor of Patristics at the Lateran University in 1924, only to be relieved of his post within months “on suspicion of Modernism.”
In February 1925, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri summoned him to the Vatican and informed him of Pope Pius XI’s decision to appoint him as the Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria (1925–1935). He was subsequently consecrated a bishop in 1925 by Cardinal Porchelli. On 12 January 1953, he was appointed Patriarch of Venice and raised to the rank of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca by Pope Pius XII. After the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958, Roncalli was allegedly elected pope on the eleventh ballot occurring on October 28th. He took the regnal name of John XXIII. Interestingly, this was the first time in over 500 years that this name had been chosen; previous popes had avoided its use since the time of Antipope John XXIII during the Great Western Schism several centuries before. Both his name and his “reign” would be an appropriate foreshadowing of the Vatican II sect which he helped to create.
Preliminary Considerations
1. A pope who falls into heresy— as a private individual— automatically loses his papal authority by Divine Law.
 According to Doctor of the Church St. Alphonsus Liguori, “If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the pontificate.” (See Verita della Fede, Pt. III, Ch. VIII, 9-10).
According to Wernz-Vidal, “Through notorious and openly divulged heresy, the Roman Pontiff, should he fall into heresy, by that very fact [ipso facto] is deemed to be deprived of the power of jurisdiction even before any declaratory judgement by the Church….A pope who falls into public heresy would cease ipso facto to be a member of the Church; therefore, he would also cease to be head of the Church.(See Ius Canonicum. Rome: Gregorian [1943] 2:453).
2. A heretic is incapable by Divine Law of attaining the papacy.
 According to theologian Baldii, “Barred as incapable of being validly elected [pope] are the following: women, children who have not reached the age of reason, those suffering from habitual insanity, the unbaptized, heretics and schismatics…” (See Institutiones Iuris Canonici [1921]; Emphasis mine).
According to canonist Coronata, “III. Appointment of the office of the Primacy. 1. What is required by divine law for this appointment: …Also required for validity is that the appointment be of a member of the Church. Heretics and apostates (at least public ones) are therefore excluded.” (Institutiones 1:312; Emphasis mine)
3. If one has a reasonable suspicion regarding the election of a pope, he may be considered as a doubtful pope, and therefore no pope in the practical order.
According to theologian Szal, “Nor is there any schism if one merely transgresses a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state.” (See The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, CUA Press [1948], pg 2; Emphasis mine).
Remember that we need not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt (moral certainty) but SUSPICION. A reasonable suspicion in civil law is seen as more than a guess or hunch but less than probable cause. It is based on “specific and articulable facts,” “taken together with rational inferences from the circumstances.” Hence, if someone were elected pope, and coerced into resigning, he would remain pope. Any subsequent Cardinal “elected” could not attain to the papacy even if not a heretic. Moreover, with the death or true resignation of the man elected pope (at a time subsequent to the invalid election), it would not thereby automatically make the invalidly elected cardinal the Vicar of Christ.
Was Roncalli a Heretic Prior to His Election?
  • In the biography by Lawrence Elliot entitled I Will Be Called John:A Biography of Pope John XXIII,[Reader’s Digest Press, 1973] it is recorded that as early as 1914, Roncalli was accused of Modernism while a teacher at the seminary at Bergamo. Cardinal De Lai, Secretary for the Congregation of Seminaries, formally reprimanded Roncalli, saying: “According to the information that came my way, I knew that you had been a reader of Duchesne [an author of a three volume work placed on the Index of Forbidden Books  for teaching Modernist tenets—Introibo] and other unbridled authors, and that on certain occasions you had shown yourself inclined to that school of thought which tends to empty out the value of tradition and the authority of the past, a dangerous current which leads to fatal consequences.” (pg. 59)
  • For ten years (1905-1915), Roncalli was secretary for Bishop Radini Tedeschi, a Modernist sympathizer. Roncalli describes him thus: “His burning eloquence, his innumerable projects, and his extraordinary personal activity could have given the impression to many, at the beginning, that he had in view the most radical changes and that he was moved by the sole desire to innovate…[Tedeshi] concerned himself less with carrying out reforms than with maintaining the glorious traditions of his diocese and with interpreting them in harmony with new conditions and the new needs of the times.”(See Leroux, John XXIII: Initiator of the Changes, pg. 10) Bp. Tedeschi wanted to “update” traditions by re-interpreting them with the “needs of the times.” Sound familiar?
  • He received the red hat of a cardinal from the hands of French President Vincent Auriol in 1953 at Roncalli’s own insistence. Auriol was a committed Socialist, of whom Roncalli said he was an “honest socialist.” Pope Pius XI had stated, “No one can be, at the same time, a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.”(See Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno [1931], para #120)
  • While working in Bulgaria, Roncalli became well acquainted with Eastern Schismatics. His heretical ecumenism shone through “Catholics and Orthodox are not enemies, but brothers. We have the same faith; we share the same sacraments, and especially the Eucharist. We are divided by some disagreements concerning the divine constitution of the Church of Jesus Christ. The persons who were the cause of these disagreements have been dead for centuries. Let us abandon the old disputes and, each in his own domain, let us work to make our brothers good, by giving them good example. Later on, though traveling along different paths, we shall achieve union among the churches to form together the true and unique Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (See Luigi Accattoli, When A Pope Asks Forgiveness, New York: Alba House and Daughters of St. Paul, [1998], pp. 18-19; Emphasis mine.) Do the schismatics share the same faith with the One True Church? Obviously not.
  • According to Renzo Allegri (translated from the original Italian Il Papa che ha cambiato il mondo, Testimonianze sulla vita private di Giovanni XXIII, pg. 66) a Bulgarian journalist named Stefano Karadgiov stated, “I knew Catholic priests who refused to go into an Orthodox Church even as tourists. Bishop Roncalli, on the contrary, always participated in Orthodox functions, arousing astonishment and perplexity in some Catholics. He never missed the great ceremonies which were celebrated in the principle Orthodox church in Sofia. He put himself in a corner and devoutly followed the rites. The Orthodox chants especially pleased him. (Emphasis mine)
  • The import of Roncalli actively participating in false worship cannot be understated. Participating in false religious worship, according to the approved canonists and theologians, is a manifestation of heresy and/or apostasy. According to theologian Merkelbach, external heresy consists not only in what someone says, but also dictis vel factis, that is “signs, deeds, and the omission of deeds.” (Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis, 1:746; Emphasis mine)
  • Nor is this an isolated report of Roncalli participating in prayer with those outside the Church. According to John Hughes in Pontiffs:Popes Who Shaped History [Our Sunday Visitor Press, 1994], “He [Roncalli] became good friends of the Reverend Austin Oakley, chaplain at the British Embassy and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s personal representative to the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch. Even more unusual were Roncalli’s visits to Oakley’s chapel, where the two men prayed together.” (Emphasis mine). Furthermore, according to Kerry Walters in John XXIII (A Short Biography) Franciscan Media,[2013], Roncalli once proclaimed from the pulpit that Jesus Christ “died to proclaim universal brotherhood.” (pg. 14)
Did Something Strange Happen at the 1958 Conclave?
 1.  There were several top contenders for the papacy after the death of Pope Pius XII. Fr. DePauw, my spiritual father, made it known to me that his personal friend, Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, who was in charge of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, was so certain he would be elected, that he had already picked out his regnal name as Pope Pius XIII. Other strong contenders included Cardinals Agagianian (Modernist sympathizer), Lercaro (Modernist sympathizer), and Siri (anti-Communist and anti-Modernist like Ottaviani). The U.S. government was very interested in the election, as the Cold War was in high gear, and they wanted another staunch anti-Communist like Pope Pius XII.
In October of 1958, there were only 55 Cardinals in the world, the lowest number in decades because Pope Pius knew so many bishops were suspect of Modernism. It was the “second wave” of resurgent Modernism. Pope St. Pius X had driven the Modernists underground, but had not extirpated them. So why did Pope Pius XII give the red hat of a Cardinal to Roncalli? Contrary to what many think, the Church doesn’t simply excommunicate clerics on a whim. The fact that they were censured or held suspect of heresy is the Church doing Her job. The hope is to reform those who go astray and bring them back into the fold. Even the great St. Pius X gave the worst Modernists time to reform before excommunication. To be clear, the Church is in no way infallible when it comes to ecclesiastical appointments. Choosing someone as a Cardinal does not relieve their censure or suspicion of heresy automatically.
Pope Pius XII had a back-stabbing Judas as his confessor; Fr. Augustin Bea. Bea was thought to be anti-Modernist, but at Vatican II he worked for the passage of Nostra Aetate, the heretical document on non-Christian religions. He was an ecumenist to the extreme and wanted the Jews “absolved” for their crime of Deicide. Could he have protected Roncalli, having the ear of Pope Pius and convincing him he was “reformed” and/or not electable as pope? This is one of many possibilities, but the crux of the matter is it does nothing to absolve Roncalli of his false teachings and even without ecclesiastical excommunication, he would have been removed from the Church by Divine Law for profession of heresy.
2. Confusing white smoke signals appeared and American intelligence had allegedly found out that Cardinal Siri had been elected pope. Then the smoke was black. White smoke signals mean that a Cardinal had been elected and accepted his election as the new pope. This has lead some to speculate that Siri was elected pope (“Gregory XVII”) and was forced to resign. Therefore Roncalli’s election was null and void. I don’t accept the “Siri Theory” for good reason.

See my post http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2015/02/one-question-siri-cant-answer.html for my thoughts on the “Siri Theory.” Is it possible some other Cardinal was elected, forced to resign (which made Roncalli’s election null and void), and then lost office by going along with the Modernists? It’s a possibility. Lest anyone say there is no evidence of seriously confusing smoke, according to Kirk Clinger, “The partly white, partly dark smoke confused even the Vatican radio announcers. They had to apologize frequently for their error. The column of smoke which rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel was first whitish, then definitely white, and only later definitely black.” (See A Pope Laughs: Stories of John XXIII,Holt, Rinehard, and Winston[1964], pg. 43)

3. The most convincing report I heard was that both Cardinals Ottaviani and Siri were unable to muster the two-thirds plus one vote to be elected. As a result, a group of “moderates” convinced most Cardinals to give their votes to Roncalli as a “transitional” pope. He was 77 years old, and (so the reasoning went) wouldn’t do much. Could there have been threats to a Cardinal that got elected and he was forced to resign? At least two Cardinals present made disparaging statements about what transpired at that conclave, which is highly suggestive that there was something seriously wrong. They were Cardinals Ottaviani and Spellman.
4. Does this give us a reasonable suspicion, such that we may doubt Roncalli’s election? Reasonable suspicion is a low standard of evidence, so I’d say definitely so. However, there is more than ample proof Roncalli was a heretic prior to his election and therefore could not attain to the papacy. Finally, let’s not forget that a cause can be discerned by examining the effects. For example, the intelligent design of the universe points to a Creator. Likewise, if the man who came out of the conclave did what a true pope would not (indeed could not) do, we can safely say he wasn’t elected pope.
5. Roncalli, as “pope” rehabilitated every major heretic that had been censured under Pope Pius XII and had them as approved periti (theological experts) at Vatican II. These heretics included the likes of Congar, de Lubac, and Hans Kung, among many others, none of whom were required to abjure any errors. Roncalli promoted ecumenism. He ordered the words removed from the prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus : “Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism.” He changed the Good Friday prayers so as to remove the phrase “perfidious (i.e., faithless) Jews.” He modernized the Mass, Breviary, and Calendar. He was friends with Socialists, Communists, and Freemasons, none of whom he sought to convert. Are these the actions of a true Vicar of Christ?
Pacem In Terris: Heresy On Earth
The death-knell for those who wish to consider Roncalli pope lies in the fact that he professed heresy in his encyclical Pacem In Terris, published April 11, 1963. This section of my post is taken from the work of Mr. John Lane called John XXIII and Pacem in Terris. I give full credit to Mr. Lane for his incredible research  and incisive analysis. I have condensed the pertinent parts of his article in this section and included some of my comments and research, which I mixed in.—Introibo
The encyclical Pacem in Terris, was about “establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity, and liberty,” and in addition to the Church, it was addressed “to all men of good will.” The heretical proposition is the opening sentence of paragraph #14. The official Latin version, published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (“AAS” –Acts of the Apostolic See), No. 55, 257-304 is as follows:

In hominis juribus hoc quoque numerandum est, ut et Deum, ad rectum conscientiae suae normam, venerari possit, et religionem privatim et publice profiteri. 

In English it means, “We must include among the rights of man that he should be able to worship God according to the rightful prompting of his conscience and to profess his religion privately and publicly.”
Those who defend Roncalli will point out (correctly) that the Church teaches humans have the right to profess and practice only the Catholic religion which is the One True Church, outside of which no one is saved. Error has no rights. There is nothing wrong with this statement in Pacem (they contend) because the word rightful modifies the “prompting of his conscience” such that it implies that one is not simply entitled to follow his conscience in the worship of God unless his conscience is rightful (i.e., in accordance with the One True Church). What no Catholic can declare is that each person should be able “to profess his religion privately and publicly.” This implies (as we shall see) that one can profess any religion, be it the True Religion or any of the myriad false religions, both privately and in public; which idea is heretical and condemned by the Church.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The possessive adjective “his” does not appear in the official Latin text published in the AAS. However, its interpolation by translators (including the official English text available on the Modernist Vatican’s website) is by no means unjustified for two reasons:

(a) Latin very rarely includes such adjectives, frequently showing them to be  understood from the context.
(b) Abundant evidence shows that John XXIII’s true meaning is represented by the inclusion of “his”–which evidence will be examined.

If you read the sentence without the word “his” it admits of an orthodox interpretation: i.e., people have the right to profess religion publicly and privately provided it’s the Catholic religion. Nevertheless, we cannot omit that word without altering the intended sense of the encyclical; a sense that is unabashedly heretical. Let no one protest that this is an exercise in mere semantics. The semi-Arian heretics, under pressure from the Emperor, were prepared to submit to every syllable of the Nicene Creed except they rejected the statement that Our Lord was consubstantial (homo-ousion) with the Father, but He was merely (homoi-ousion) of like substance, not the same substance. One letter marked the all important line between Catholic doctrine and heresy.

It is beyond dispute that the meaning Roncalli wished to convey, and to which he consciously lent his (alleged) “authority,” was that each person has the right to profess his religion—whatever that religion may be–both privately and publicly. Here is the evidence:

1. The encyclical was not, as traditionally done, addressed only to the members of the Roman Catholic Church, but to “all men of good will.” If it was only addressed to Catholics, one could argue that they would know that “his” religion is the Catholic religion, because only the Truth may be openly professed and preached. After all, he would then only have Catholics as his intended audience. It is completely unreasonable to expect Jews, Mohammedans, Protestants, and Eastern Schismatics (among other non-Catholics) to obtain that understanding from the context. The only reasonable conclusion at which they would arrive is that the encyclical guarantees every single one of them the objective moral right to practice and professhis particular false religion in public.

2. The 32nd edition of Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum [The Enchiridion is a compendium of all the basic texts on Catholic dogma and morality since the Apostolic Age. Commissioned by Pope Pius IX, it has been in use since 1854, and has been regularly updated since] was edited by Fr. Schonmetzer and has the offending sentence tagged with a footnote referencing the Masonic United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) article 18:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

This passage is irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine, yet it is linked to the very sentence that would make a reader believe that everyone is free to express his religion in public, no matter if it is the true religion or not. It would suggest that Roncalli was conscious of that portion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as he penned Pacem in Terris. If this does not contradict Catholic teaching, nothing does.

As Pope Gregory XVI taught: “Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care…This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it.” (See Mirari Vos [1832], para. #13 and 14).

The defenders of Roncalli will protest that there is a “lack of evidence” that Roncalli authorized the footnote; but such objection fails miserably. The authors of the Enchiridion are selected precisely to ensure that their references and explanations will meet with official approval of the Holy See, and any remark misrepresenting the mind of same would meet with a public rebuke and a retraction demanded by Rome, which was far from the case. Moreover, the involvement of the editors of the 32nd edition is more demonstrable than in any prior edition. It was the first time that the passage of Pope Pius IX’s condemnation of religious liberty was omitted.  The startling omission is explicable only on the basis that it was intended to conceal the explicit contradiction between Pacem in Terris and Quanta Cura. 

This passage was omitted: From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an “insanity” viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.” But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching “liberty of perdition;” and that “if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.” (See Quanta Cura [1864], para. #3).

Clearly, it cannot be reasonably maintained that those who took such great care to arrange the suppression of the “offending” part of Quanta Cura were not also responsible for the footnote to Pacem in Terris which concerned the same subject.

3. That fact that the sentence from Pacem in Terris must be understood in connection with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is confirmed by the fact that in Pacem itself, the Masonic United Nations and its Declaration are commended and praised in paragraphs #142, 143, and 144. Roncalli said of the Declaration “It is a solemn recognition of the personal dignity of every human being; an assertion of everyone’s right to be free to seek out the truth, to follow moral principles, discharge the duties imposed by justice, and lead a fully human life. It also recognized other rights connected with these.” (para. #144; Emphasis mine). An encyclical is carefully read over by the Pontiff before signing and promulgating it. Moreover, high ranking theologians craft it at the direction of the pope. Each word is carefully chosen. If these “other rights” written in the Declaration did not include the infamous “right” to religious liberty, is it not obvious this would have been made clear?

4. The encyclical was roundly praised by the Masonic lodges and the secular media both of which promote religious Indifferentism and religious liberty through supporting separation of Church and State.

5. The Church cannot (and does not) teach ambiguously in expressing theological truths. Any deliberate ambiguity must be interpreted against the orthodoxy of the one teaching ambiguously. Propositions that are ambiguous or admit of interpretations that are either orthodox or heterodox are deemed “heretical by defect.” This is also the case with propositions that are true, but are calculated to omit pertinent truths or terms they ought to include. The following proposition of the Jansenist Pseudo-Synod of Pistoia was condemned:
“After the consecration, Christ is truly, really and substantially present beneath the appearances (of bread and wine), and the whole substance of bread and wine has ceased to exist, leaving only the appearances.”

In 1794, Pope Pius VI condemned that proposition in the Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei because “it entirely omits to make any mention of transubstantiation or the conversion of the entire substance of the bread into the Body, and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which the Council of Trent defined as an article of Faith…insofar as, through an unauthorized and suspicious omission of this kind, attention is drawn away both from an article of Faith and from a word consecrated by the Church to safeguard the profession of that article against heresies, and tends, therefore, to result in its being forgotten as if it were merely a scholastic question.”

Summation: It is impossible to excuse Roncalli (John XXIII) from the charge of heresy by arguing that this sentence can admit of an orthodox interpretation, because it does not. Even if, ad arguendo, it could so admit of an orthodox interpretation, Roncalli would still be guilty of heresy by defect because it has been shown that the obvious sense of the sentence, taken in both text and context, is incontrovertibly heretical.

Conclusion
What, then, are the practical and objective conclusions we can deduce from the so-called pontificate of “Good Pope John”?
  • He was influenced and kept friends with Modernists, Masons, Socialists and other sworn enemies of the Church from his earliest days in the priesthood
  • He was removed from his teaching post on suspicion of heresy (Modernism)
  • He worshiped and prayed with heretics and schismatics
  • He made an overtly heretical statement regarding Catholics and Eastern Schismatics having the “same faith”
  • The conclave of 1958 was surrounded by suspicious activity and lead many to believe that someone else had been elected pope prior to Roncalli
  • After his “election” Roncalli rehabilitated all the living censured theologians under Pope Pius XII and had them actively serve as theological experts during Vatican II
  • Roncalli taught the heresy of religious liberty in Pacem in Terris; he paved the way for its adoption at Vatican II in the heretical document Dignitatis Humanae

Therefore,

1. It is morally certain that Roncalli was not pope since at least the promulgation of the heretical encyclical Pacem in Terris of April 11, 1963. A true pope cannot teach heresy.
2. Was Roncalli “pope” from October of 1958 until April 11, 1963? In a word: No. We know a cause by the effect it produces. If you see someone who’s sick, you know it’s caused by an illness, even if you can’t diagnose exactly what illness it is. Pope’s do not rehabilitate heretics, promote ecumenism and teach heresy. It is highly more probable than not that Roncalli was a heretic at the time he entered the conclave and never attained to the papacy in the first place. It is also possible (but not likely) that someone else was elected pope and resigned under duress, making Roncalli’s subsequent “election” invalid. There’s more than sufficient evidence prior to the promulgation of Pacem in Terris that we can suspect the validity of his election (due to heresy, election of another, or both) to treat him as a dubious pope –which is no pope in the practical order.
I could write dozens of posts on “Evil Pseudo-Pope John.” However, I hope this one will be sufficient to put to rest the arguments of those who are “agnostic” about his “papacy” and think he might have been pope. Finally, for those who have even the slightest qualm of conscience or scintilla of doubt remaining, let me add that Bergoglio “canonized” him a “saint.” The same Argentinian apostate who gave us “St.” John Paul the Great Apostate and “St” Paul VI, gave us “St” John XXIII. If that’s not enough to make you realize the destruction he caused, and for which the Vatican II sect praises him, no amount of information can wake you from your denial.
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AMOR DE LA VERDAD

que preserva de las seducciones del error” (II Tesal. II-10).

Ecclesia Militans

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St. Gertrude the Great

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Speray's Catholicism in a Nutshell

Apologia for Sedevacantism and Catholic Doctrine

SCATURREX

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St. Anthony of Padua - Hammer of Heretics

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Introibo Ad Altare Dei

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TraditionalMass.org Articles

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TRADITIO.COM: The Traditional Roman Catholic Network

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True Restoration

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Homunizam

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

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