-that heretics are Catholics; that the Catholic Church is apostate; that Peter is the head of a false Church; that Catholics must recognize unbelievers as authorities in the Church-
By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.
We include this discussion of the theological position of Fr. James Wathen vis-à-vis the Vatican II sect on our website because his books have influenced – and are still influencing – many people in the way to view the post-Vatican II apostasy, as well as those heretics who have implemented it. Just this week, we received another e-mail from someone who had been influenced by his writings. Thus, it was about time that his writings were specifically addressed on our website.
First of all, I want to state that we do this only because it is necessary and because Fr. Wathen has demonstrated for years an obstinate rejection of the truths that will be discussed. Various persons we know, including ourselves, have endeavored to charitably point out to Fr. Wathen where his position is mistaken regarding the Vatican II sect; yet he refuses to listen to the facts that are presented – year after year – and he continues to promote the same untenable ideas.
Giving Credit where Credit is Due
For those who don’t know, Fr. James Wathen is a validly ordained traditional priest who was ordained before the changes to the Rite of Ordination by Antipope Paul VI. He never accepted the New Mass and from the beginning condemned it with vigor. For this he deserves tremendous credit. Fr. Wathen is also one of the few priests in the country who believes in the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation and holds that all who die unbaptized and without the Catholic Faith cannot be saved. However, he does seem to regard as Catholic priests who reject this dogma. Fr. James Wathen is also one of the few traditional priests in the country who strenuously condemns the sinful birth control practice of “Natural Family Planning.” In those areas, Fr. Wathen deserves much credit and has positively influenced many Catholics and strengthened the faith of many.
Fr. Wathen is also one of the few traditional priests in the country who takes the solidly Catholic position that he will not give Communion to those who attend the New Mass. He also teaches the New Mass must not be attended for any reason, including funerals, weddings, etc.
Fr. Wathen Admits That John Paul II Is A Blatant Heretic
Fr. James Wathen is also one of the few priests or writers in the “traditional” movement who has been honest enough to label John Paul II an outright heretic – although, in truth, this is to be expected of every honest person who has seen what John Paul II has done. Nevertheless, his position on this matter is rare because most of the “traditional” writers are dishonest and will never label John Paul II what he is: an outright heretic.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 641: “… the Pope is not ashamed of his being a non-believer; he tours the world propagating his heresies. It is the duty of every priest and layperson to warn his fellow Catholics that the Pope is not reliable…”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 593: “We must be content to make a few observations, judging that this must be done, because, beyond all doubt, the presently reigning Pontiff is a great heretic and an enemy of the True Church.”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 593: “An easy case can be made to show that Pope John Paul II is a Marxist, a Modernist, a Universalist [believes in Universal Salvation], a Utopian, and a Revolutionary, but, as we have said elsewhere, there is not a man on earth who can prove that the Bishop of Rome believes anything of the Catholic Faith at all.”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 599: “Throughout the whole Church of several hundred million people, only a tiny handful are aware that the Pope is a committed heretic, a Modernist of the first water.”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 626: “The Pope must be exposed for the destroyer that he is, the atheist that he is, the anti-Catholic persecutor that he is… He cares nothing for the Church, nor the people who are his charges. Like a politician, he mingles among them, but only for his ego’s sake, and the cause of his own Modernism and the divinization of man.”
So, then, you may ask: why does he still believe that John Paul II is the Pope? The answer is that Fr. Wathen holds that once a Catholic, always a Catholic, even if one has been excommunicated for heresy.
Fr. Wathen’s principal heresy: “once a Catholic always a Catholic”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 634: “Despite the fact that one often sees language which suggests it, one can never cease to be a Catholic: ‘Once a Catholic, always a Catholic,’ is just as surely true as once a priest, always a priest,’…”
His statement here is incorrect. This mistake constitutes Fr. Wathen’s principal heresy. It is the reason that he still accepts John Paul II as the Pope, even though he admits over and over again that John Paul II is not a Catholic; that he is a blatant heretic; that he is a non-believer; that he is an atheist, etc. Fr. Wathen believes that once a person is a baptized Catholic he always remains a Catholic, even if he is excommunicated for heresy. He believes that those excommunicated for heresy are in mortal sin and are separated from the communal life of the Church, but that they are still part of the Church. But this is false. It would actually mean that Martin Luther remained a Catholic and part of the true Church after he started the Protestant revolution.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 634: “It is surprising that many priests do not seem to understand that the censure of excommunication does not cause one’s expulsion from the Church. Excommunication does not mean expulsion from the Church. It means that he who receives this censure is not only in the state of mortal sin, but also, that he is not permitted to take part in the communal life of the Church.”
It is true that once a priest always a priest: Thou art a priest forever according to the Order of Melchisedech. But it is not true to say that heretics are not expelled from the Catholic Church. Those who are automatically excommunicated for heresy or schism or apostasy are expelled from the Catholic Church ipso facto and cease to be Catholic. This is a dogma. Here are some dogmatic and Magisterial statements which teach exactly the opposite of Fr. Wathen.
The Catholic Church contradicts Fr. Wathen and teaches that all heretics cease to be Catholic and are outside the Church
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, "Cantate Domino," 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or hereticsand schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives.”
Here we can see that all Catholics are bound under pain of mortal sin to believe that a heretic is outside the Catholic Church. Here are some other testimonies from the Magisterium which affirm this fact.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, "Cantate Domino," 1441: "Therefore the Holy Roman Church condemns, reproves, anathematizes and declares to be outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views."
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 23), June 29, 1943: "For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy."
Here we see again, directly contrary to the teaching of Fr. Wathen, that heresy does sever a man from the Church.
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: "The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium."
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9): "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic."
Here we see again, directly contrary to the teaching of Fr. Wathen, that heretics are not Catholic anymore. They do not always remain Catholic.
Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208: "By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved."
One can see that the Church teaches the opposite of what Fr. Wathen teaches. Fr. Wathen may have been mistaken in good faith on this point for some time, until the Church’s teaching (and how his position conflicts with it) was specifically pointed out to him. But that has been done. That time has passed, and Fr. Wathen still has not changed his position. We know people who have tried to bring this to Fr. Wathen’s attention. But he obstinately refuses to look at the teaching of the Church on this matter. I personally tried to call Fr. Wathen and charitably discuss the issue. He up on me less than one minute into the conversation. That is 1) quite cowardly; and 2) a demonstration that he fears the teaching of the Church on this issue. He fears having to admit that he has been wrong more than he fears denying the Catholic faith.
In fact, we know someone who personally approached Fr. Wathen with Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Satis Cognitum, in which Pope Leo teaches clearly that if any one holds to one single heresy “he is not a Catholic." Fr. Wathen refused even to look at it. This is obstinacy in heresy. It has persisted for years now, so there is no excuse for him. That's why he is a heretic, sadly.
As quoted above, the truth that heretics are not Catholics and that they cease to be part of the Church was defined in the Bull Cantate Domino of Pope Eugene IV. Ironically, Fr. Wathen begins Chapter One of his book, Who Shall Ascend? (p. 16), by quoting this Bull and its teaching that all heretics are outside the Catholic Church! He then goes on to say on the next page about this Bull:
“Being ex cathedra definitions, they must be taken literally, unequivocally, and absolutely. Hence, to attempt to modify or qualify them in any way is to deny them.”
So, according to page 17 of his book, to modify or qualify in any way the Bull Cantate Domino’s teaching (including its teaching that heretics are outside the Church) is to deny this Bull. Yet his own book contradicts the teaching of this Bull by asserting that heretics are still part of the Catholic Church. While he may have simply missed the significance of this years ago, there is no excuse for him any longer.
Thus, one can see that Fr. Wathen’s position that John Paul II is a heretic, but still the Pope, is completely untenable. All who admit that John Paul II is a heretic (as all who see the facts must), must admit that he is outside the Catholic Church and therefore not the Pope. This is why the saints and doctors (as we have quoted many times) unanimously teach that a heretic cannot be the pope.
St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30: "This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2), St. Athanasius (Scr. 2 cont. Arian.), St. Augustine (lib. De great. Christ. Cap. 20), St. Jerome (contra Lucifer.) and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Pope."
Fr. Wathen’s false teaching that heretics always remain Catholics, and therefore that John Paul II is still the Pope, has led him to confuse the Catholic Church with the Vatican II sect. It leads to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is apostate.
Fr. Wathen says that John Paul II is the head of the Catholic Church and also the head of the “Conciliar Church” – a “Church” which he admits is an apostate, non-Catholic sect
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 414: “The reader is implored to believe that as it is in the spirit of Christian charity that we have been compelled to proclaim the Catholic Church to be the sole and exclusive instrument of salvation for men on earth, it is in the same spirit that we assert the major thesis of this third part, namely, the Conciliar Church is not the Catholic Church, though it is within it, like a fifth column. Hence, no one who maintains membership within it can be saved.”
Here we see that Fr. Wathen says that the Conciliar “Church,” i.e., the Vatican II Church headed by John Paul II (the word Conciliar referring to the Vatican II Council), is not the Catholic Church. He even says there is no salvation within the Conciliar, i.e. the Vatican II sect. Yet, he says that this Conciliar Church is inside the Catholic Church! This is impossible; for the Catholic Church cannot be contaminated.
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 10), Jan. 6, 1928: “During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: ‘The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly.”
Pope Hadrian I, Second Council of Nicaea, 787: “… Christ our God, when He took for His Bride His Holy Catholic Church, having no blemish or wrinkle, promised he would guard her and assured his holy disciples saying, I am with you every day until the consummation of the world.”
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 9, March 23, 1440: “…the Spouse of Christ is uncontaminated and modest, knowing only one home, and she guards the sanctity of their marriage bed with chaste modesty.”
Pope St. Siricius, epistle (1) Directa ad decessorem, Feb. 10, 385: “And so He has wished the beauty of the Church, whose spouse He is, to radiate with the splendor of chastity, so that on the day of judgment, when He will have come again, He may be able to find her without spot or wrinkle [Eph. 5:27] as He instituted her through His apostle.”
It is contrary to Catholic teaching to say that the Catholic Church can be contaminated. But Fr. Wathen’s position is that the Catholic Church is not only contaminated but that it contains a non-Catholic sect within itself! This is clearly false and offensive to Catholic doctrine. This leads him to equate a non-Catholic sect (the Conciliar Church) with the Catholic Church.
One must abide in the Church’s very bosom in order to be saved.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “….nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
But to abide in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church, according to Fr. Wathen, is to abide in a non-Catholic sect!
Fr. Wathen equating the Catholic Church with what he admits is an apostate, non-Catholic sect
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 657: “…the Conciliar Church is not the Catholic Church, and you are a member of the former.”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 637: “The Conciliar Establishment has been erected on misrepresentation, like all heretical sects...”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 674: “We trust that you know that, in the Conciliar Church, you can be either a Mason, or a Communist, a Protestant, or an atheist, and still be in perfectly good standing.”
In his book, Fr. Wathen indicates over and over again that the Conciliar Establishment (headed by John Paul II) is a non-Catholic sect. Now please watch as he equates the Catholic Church with this heresy filled, non-Catholic, “Conciliar Establishment.”
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 683: “You [John Paul II] are responsible also for all the rampant heresy in the Church. The theology so prevalent in the Conciliar Church might be described as ‘consensus theology.’”
Notice that Fr. Wathen says that the John Paul II is responsible for all the rampant heresy in the Church (i.e. the Catholic Church). So, Fr. Wathen is saying that this heresy is in the Catholic Church. He then says that this heresy is so rampant in the Conciliar Church (the Vatican II Church) that it might be called the “consensus theology.” He has clearly equated the Catholic Church with the Conciliar Church. He has clearly equated the one true Church of Christ, indefectible and immaculate, with the Conciliar Church – a Church that he admits is an apostate, non-Catholic sect!
Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas (# 22), Dec. 11, 1925: “Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy.”
Notice that Fr. Wathen’s statement directly contradicts Pius XI in Quas Primas. The logical conclusion of Fr. Wathen’s false position is that the Catholic Church has defected. That is basically what he says in his book, whether he understands it or not.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 414: “This book is written to bring home, as forcefully as possible, to everyone who thinks himself a Catholic, that that which calls itself the Catholic Church is no longer so. A great Revolution has occurred, and the official Church has been transformed into a Humanist bureaucracy…”
Fr. Wathen telling us that Peter (the Pope) is the head of the true Church and a false Church, which is impossible
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 653: “In John Paul II, we have the heretical head of the Catholic Church, and at least the titular head of the Conciliar Church.”
So, according to Fr. Wathen, John Paul II is the head of the true Church of Christ while at the same time he is the head of a false non-Catholic sect. This is impossible; for where Peter is, there is the Church.
Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae, Jan. 22, 1899: “Where Peter is, there is the Church.”
To make, therefore, John Paul II a true Petrus is to make the Vatican II Church a true Ecclesia. Where there is a true Peter, there is a true Church; where there is a false Peter, there is a false Church. But not: where there is a false Peter, there is a true Church, nor where there is a true Peter, there is a false Church. Impossible, for the Pope is the principle of unity in the Catholic Church. The identity of the Catholic Church, therefore, is inseparable from the identity of the Roman Pontiff. You cannot separate Pope and Church.
Therefore, to acknowledge the Vatican II Church as a false Church requires that one acknowledge its head, Antipope John Paul II, as a false Peter. On the other hand, to acknowledge Antipope John Paul II as a true Peter requires that one acknowledge his false Vatican II Church as a true Church.
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (#15) June 29, 1896: “When the divine founder decreed that the Church should be one in faith, in government, and in communion, He chose Peter and his successors as the principle and center, as it were, of this unity.”
Fr. Wathen making the Church two folds with one Shepherd, instead of one fold and one Shepherd
Fr. Wathen’s position also makes the Church two folds with one shepherd. He would have you believe that when Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “And there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16), that He really meant “And there shall be two folds and one shepherd.” Two folds: 1) The Catholic Church and 2) The Vatican II Church, simultaneously under one Vicar of Christ, John Paul II.
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302: “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and hold the one, holy, Catholic Church, and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. One she is of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her’ (Cant. 6:8); which represents one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5)… since the Lord says in John, ‘to be one flock and one Shepherd’ (John 10:16).”
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 7), Jan. 6, 1928: “For the authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: ‘That they all may be one… And there shall be one fold and one shepherd,’ (Jn. 17:21; 10:16) with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment. For they are of the opinion that the unity of faith and government, which is a note of the one true Church of Christ, has hardly up to the present time existed, and does not today exist.”
Since in the true Church of Christ there is only one flock and one shepherd and a unity of faith, to acknowledge a “head” in Antipope John Paul II and condemn his flock as the “new”, non-Catholic Church is equivalent to schism.
Canon 1325.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “One who after baptism… rejects the authority of the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him, he is a schismatic.”
Fr. Wathen’s position is completely schismatic
Fr. Wathen not only refuses communion with the people subject to his Pope, but he refuses communion with the entire “Church” which is subject to his Pope (the “Conciliar Church”). Please tell me how this is not schismatic? It’s like the situation with the Society of St. Pius X, which operates a world-wide priestly apostolate completely independent of the bishops they recognize as the Catholic hierarchy. At the beginning of the Vatican II revolution one could possibly understand the SSPX’s position in this regard: they wanted to resist the new religion and preserve the Latin Mass. But they did not see all the implications of what was happening in Rome. After decades, however, they had to ask themselves: If the Novus Ordo/Vatican II sect is so bad and non-Catholic (which it is) that we must be independent of it, then we cannot recognize this hierarchy as the Catholic hierarchy. On the other hand, if the Novus Ordo/Vatican II sect is still Catholic and therefore the true hierarchy (as the SSPX says), then we have no justification for operating independently of it and we are truly schismatic. The SSPX and Fr. Wathen still operate independently of the bishops they recognize as the hierarchy and are truly schismatic.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 656: “You, whoever you are, who imagine that you can practice the Old Faith within the Conciliar Establishment…are deceiving yourself. You have abandoned the Faith already.”
This is why Fr. Wathen refuses Communion to people who go to the Indult Mass (the Latin Mass under the Novus Ordo Bishop). The SSPX also discourages Catholics from attending the Indult Mass. But how can they consistently hold that it's a compromise of the faith to attend the Indult Mass (the Latin Mass celebrated under the authority of the bishop they say Catholics must recognize as the lawful Bishop)! It is schismatic!
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 654: “The faith of Pope John Paul II is the faith of the Conciliar Church, in that he is responsible for what is taught as its official doctrine. What is taught as its official doctrine is that the Catholic Faith matters not at all. Those who accept the teaching of the Pope, in so far as it is at variance with Catholic doctrine, must recognize that they have lapsed from the Faith. Here the ‘principle of solidarity’ must be seen to be operative: Unless one positively removes oneself from, and disavows the heterodoxy of, the Conciliar Church, one has lapsed from the Faith and is the state of mortal sin.”
There are a few things that are worthy of note here: 1) Fr. Wathen says that John Paul II’s faith is that of the Conciliar Church. This means that John Paul II does not have the Catholic faith, since Fr. Wathen admits in this very quotation that: “Unless one positively removes oneself from, and disavows the heterodoxy of, the Conciliar Church, one has lapsed from the Faith.” But all in the Church must have the same faith as the Pope! So, Fr. Wathen’s position requires one to have a non-Catholic faith.
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22), June 29, 1943: “As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”
Is Fr. Wathen divided in faith from John Paul II? Of course he is. He denounces John Paul II as a non-believer and his “Church” as a non-Catholic sect! But all in the same Body must have the same faith. Therefore, since he claims that John Paul II is the pope, the head of his body, he has John Paul II’s non-Catholic faith.
Pope Gregory XVI, Commissum Divinitus (#10), May 17, 1835: “… Christ established this ecclesiastical power for the benefit of unity. And what is this unity unless one person is placed in charge of the whole Church who protects it and joins all its members in the one profession of faith…”
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (#9), on the unity of the Church: “… that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians.”
Pope Pius X, Editae Saepe (#8), May 26, 1910: “… the Church remains immutable and constant, ‘as the pillar and foundation of truth,’ in professing one identical doctrine…”
St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church: “The Church is a holy university or general company of men united and collected together in the profession of one same Christian faith…”
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 10), June 29, 1896: “For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the Church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino (by divine law).”
2) Fr. Wathen admits that the official doctrine of the Conciliar Church, which John Paul II heads, is that the Catholic faith does not matter. Therefore, the official doctrine of the Conciliar Church is heresy. But John Paul II is also the head of the Catholic Church, according to Fr. Wathen. So he must admit that the official doctrine of the Catholic Church is also heresy.
Confusing the Catholic Church with the Conciliar Church/ Confusing the Bride of Christ with a harlot
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 637: “Contrary to such reasoning, it is within the Conciliar Establishment that one finds the historical and structural continuity of the True Church; even though they are serving Satan, those who hold ecclesiastical offices hold them legitimately.”
Here we see Fr. Wathen indicating that it is within the non-Catholic sect he calls “the Conciliar Church” that one finds the historical continuity of the true Church. Huh?
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 661: “It is not the Catholic Church which the Conciliar Establishment is principally bent on preserving, although they mean to maintain control of its structure, the jurisdictional power, and the property...”
Here we see Fr. Wathen stating that it is not the Catholic Church that the Conciliar Establishment preserves, but that the Conciliar Establishment means to maintain control of the jurisdictional power of the true Church. Huh?
Fr. Wathen and judging “the Pope”
Fr. Wathen attempts to justify his heretical and schismatic position by telling people again and again that “No one can judge the Pope.” The actual teaching of the Church to which he is referring is that the “The First Seat will not be judged by anyone.”
Pope St. Nicholas, epistle (8), Proposueramus quidem, 865: “… Neither by Augustus, nor by all the clergy, nor by religious, not by the people will the judge be judged… ‘The first seat will not be judged by anyone.’” (Denz. 330)
Pope St. Leo IX, In terra pax hominibus, Sept. 2, 1053, Chap. 11: “By passing judgment on the great See, concerning which it is not permitted any man to pass judgment, you have received anathema from all the Fathers of the venerable Councils…” (Denz. 352)
This has nothing to do with recognizing that a manifest heretic such as Antipope John Paul II is not a Catholic and therefore not the Pope. This teaching means that the authoritative decrees emanating from the Chair of Peter cannot be rejected.
It is Fr. Wathen and others who accept John Paul II as the Pope who reject the authoritative proclamations of what they deem to be “the Holy See.” Fr. Wathen rejects Antipope John Paul II’s solemn Canonization of Josemaria Escriva, which John Paul II proclaimed from the “Holy See.” This proves again that Fr. Wathen is a schismatic and a heretic.
Antipope John Paul II, Oct. 6, 2002, “Canonizing” Josemaria Escriva: “In honor of the Blessed Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the growth of Christian life, with the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Our Own, after lengthy reflection, having assiduously invoked God’s assistance and taken into account the opinion of many brothers of ours in the episcopate, we declare and define Blessed Josemaria Escriva to be a Saint, and we enroll him in the Catalogue of the Saints, and we establish that in the whole Church he should be devoutly honored among the Saints. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Besides his rejection of John Paul II’s solemn “Canonizations,” Fr. Wathen judges his “Pope” over and over again. He judges that he is a heretic, a non-believer and that he will pay horribly in hell.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 686: “You [John Paul II] are responsible for all those who have left the Catholic Church… You will be in Hell with these people, and they will accuse you of some part of their damnation… And you will pay! Oh horrible, how you will pay!”
I would say that that is “judging” his “Pope,” wouldn’t you? So, what exactly does “No one can judge the Holy See” mean to you, Fr. Wathen? Obviously, the dogma “No one can Judge the Holy See” (the First Seat) does not have anything to do with recognizing a non-Catholic, manifest heretic such as John Paul II for what he is – a non-Catholic with no authority in the Church.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 639: “Whether the pope is orthodox in his personal theology is not the issue. The only issue to be considered is that none of the pope’s subjects has the right to pass judgment on the pope with respect to his office. They can and must form their judgment on his doctrine, because they must be ever on their guard against false teaching.”
Here again we see Fr. Wathen saying that Catholics must judge the doctrine of his “Pope.” He even gives 23 recommendations for him to restore the Church.
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 676: “…we are confronted with the question, what must be done in order that a general restoration of the Church might be brought about?”
The Catholic Church does not need restoration. The words of Fr. Wathen were directly condemned by Pope Gregory XVI.
Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 10), Aug. 15, 1832: “Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain ‘restoration and regeneration’ for her (the Church) as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune.”
The fact is that in recognizing that Antipope John Paul II is not the Pope, one is not judging the Holy See or a Pope – but rather one is correctly identifying a non-Catholic for what he is.
St. Robert Bellarmine (+1610), Doctor of the Church: "A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction."
One could go on with the discussion of Fr. Wathen’s position. But the point should be clear: it is not tenable for any Catholic; it is schismatical and heretical. To say that one refuses communion with the Vatican II sect of John Paul II, but maintains communion with John Paul II (the head of the Vatican II sect), is like saying:
“I refuse communion with the entire Communist Party, but I’m in communion with the head of the Communist Party.”
The Church headed by Peter is not our greatest enemy; it cannot be apostate; and it cannot lead souls to hell. The fact that the “Church” headed by John Paul II is a Catholic’s greatest enemy, is non-Catholic and is apostate, shows us again that John Paul II is not Peter.
Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208: “By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved.”
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