By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.
Incredibly, Fr. Wathen again defends “Once a Catholic always a Catholic” in a response to our article!Comment: Shortly after we posted the article detailing Fr. James Wathen’s heretical and schimatical views, especially his false and condemned idea that “Once a Catholic always a Catholic,” Fr. Wathen sent out an e-mail to some people attempting to respond. In the e-mail he declares that we are evil and “wolves in monk’s [sic] habits.” The first part of his e-mail contains various false statements and personal attacks against us, which is a typical ploy of dishonest and bad willed heretics. (Ironically, in his book Who Shall Ascend?, Fr. Wathen excoriates the modernists for dishonestly attempting to attack what they deem to be the status or person of “traditionalists,” while failing to address their arguments. Like a true hypocrite, he does the same thing with various false statements and lies.) As for the substance of his attempted response to my article, it is quite lacking and shows his profound bad will and obstinacy in his heretical position “Once a Catholic always a Catholic.” I will quote some of the paragraphs of his e-mail response, which was sent to various persons, and I will interject my comments where appropriate.
Father Wathen’s e-mail, early September: …4. Like all other "Sedevacantists," they [the Dimond Brothers] have an appalling hatred of Pope John Paul II, as if he alone were the main cause of the Church's present malaise. He is not. The Church's present condition is due to the Great Conspiracy, the World Revolution, about which we have been warned by popes of former times and by Christ, our Lady, and other messengers from Heaven. This Conspiracy has filled the offices of the Church with its agents, all of whom are bent on converting it into the "religious" arm of the One World Church.My comment: Fr. Wathen’s statement here reveals at least part of the reason why he has fallen into such a depraved doctrinal situation and why he is of such bad will at this time. Having heard literally hundreds of Fr. Wathen’s sermons on audio tape, I can say that one clearly notices an inordinate emphasis on the political aspect of the Conspiracy over the doctrinal and religious aspect in explaining what has happened. He has become too focused on the New World Order, political conspiracies, etc. and it has drawn him away from the true Faith and seeing the situation clearly from the teaching of the Catholic Church. Politics and secular conspirators are neither bigger nor more significant than the Catholic Church, and the condition of the Catholic Church (founded by Christ) does not lie at the whim of the Great Conspiracy, the World Revolution. Fr. Wathen, having become a heretical priest whose focus is too secular, has failed to realize that one can explain and discover the truth about what has happened solely from the teaching of the Catholic Church without any reference or information on a political conspiracy. Fr. Wathen’s statement also reveals his position that the Catholic Church has become the agent of the World Conspiracy, which is an impossibility because the Church is indefectible and cannot be the agent of Satan.
Fr. Wathen: 5. In order to get Pope John Paul out of his office, it is necessary, as they see it, to get him out of the Church. Any theological principle which prevents them from doing this must be ignored or denied, and anyone who does not see things their way is a "heretic," a "schismatic," or something or the sort. I did not see whether Brother Peter considers me in or outside the Church. 6. The theological dogma which they find obstructive to their view of things is the Indelible Character of Baptism," which we are taught about in the earliest years of our instruction. This Indelible Character signifies that he who has received it has been made an adoptive child of God, a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and given a certain equality with Christ in the love of the Father (because he is a member of Christ). This adoption cannot be lost by any sin or renunciation; it remains for his eternal glory or shame. This is one of the chief lessons our Lord taught us in the parable of the Prodigal Son. 7. Certain texts of popes and saints seem to suggest that an individual can be expelled or can himself withdraw from the communion of the faithful. All baptized Catholics, whether they are clerics or lay people, can estrange themselves from God and Christ and their holy Mother the Church by sin, including the sin of heresy (which is nothing more than the denial of a doctrine), but they can never become "ex-Catholics," so that they would lose the Indelible Mark of Baptism, and their status of adoptive children.My comment: There are various blatant errors in this response, and a few comments need to be made. First, it is astounding to us that a man who professes adherence to the Traditional Catholic Faith can see all of the authoritative doctrinal statements that we cited proving that all heretics are outside the Catholic Church [and are therefore not Catholic] and still defend the opposite position. Ladies and Gentlemen, if some of you have trouble believing that “traditional” priests such as Fr. Wathen are actually insincere and truly of bad will, behold this activity of Fr. Wathen! He has repeatedly been shown and read the following statements DIRECTLY DISPROVING HIS POSITION that heretics remain part of the Catholic Church and yet he still defends it! It is incredible; it is abominable; it is disgusting; and it is despicable. Fr. Wathen, you are a complete, totally obstinate and bad willed heretic on the road to damnation. You make a complete fool out of yourself and mislead others because of your obstinate and stubborn refusal to see the truth.
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 heretics and 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."WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN? Here we can see that all Catholics are bound under pain of mortal sin to believe that a heretic is outside the Catholic Church. Fr. Wathen, you reject this dogma and are anathematized. You are not a Catholic, no more than John Kerry.
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."WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN?
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."WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN?
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."WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN?
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."WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN?
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."WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN? Second, the point which Fr. Wathen constantly brings up in an attempt to defend his heretical and false position is the dogma that the Character of Baptism is indelible. This is true, of course, but it has nothing to do with the issue.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Canons on the Sacraments, Can. 9: “If anyone shall say that in the three sacraments, namely, baptism, confirmation, and orders, there is not imprinted on the soul a sign, that is, a certain spiritual and indelible mark, on account of which they cannot be repeated: let him be anathema.”The three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, confer an indelible mark or character on the soul, which is why these sacraments cannot be repeated. The mark of Baptism, just like the mark of Confirmation and Holy Orders, will remain on a person’s soul forever, even if he is damned in Hell. But the fact that the mark of baptism is indelible does not mean that all the baptized are always Catholic. Fr. Wathen’s argument is a classic flaw in logic, besides being directly contrary to the teaching of the Church. The Catholic Church teaches that those baptized Catholics (who have received the indelible mark of the Sacrament) cease to be Catholic and part of the Church when they lose the Faith by an obstinate rejection of it, as we saw above. If they have denied the Faith they are not Catholics, even though they possess the mark of Baptism, because they have lost the Faith which one must have to be part of the Church.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6, Chap. 11: “…the grace of justification, although received, is lost not only by infidelity, whereby even faith itself is lost…”It is really so simple and clear that once a person has it pointed out to him, he should immediately agree. The fact that this has to be repeatedly stressed in response to Fr. Wathen just demonstrates his profound bad will and spiritual depravity. The fact of the matter is that Fr. Wathen denies that the Catholic Church is one in Faith (as in one, holy Catholic and apostolic). He refuses to see that only those who possess the true Faith remain part of the Church. He doesn’t believe in a Church in the Catholic sense. In fact, at this point, Fr. Wathen does not, in his wildest imagination, believe in one of the essential marks of the Church: the unity of Faith in the Catholic Church. His heresy that once a Catholic always a Catholic would mean that a Catholic man who apostatized and became a Jewish Rabbi is still part of the Catholic Church.
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 22): “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.”WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN? It is called the unity of Faith in the Catholic Church, which you spurn and mock by your obstinacy.
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).” Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, Session 11, Dec. 19, 1516:“For, regulars and seculars, prelates and subjects, exempt and non-exempt, belong to the one universal Church, outside of which no one at all is saved, and they all have one Lord and one faith.”WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MR. WATHEN? Besides all of these dogmatic statements, Fr. Wathen of course rejects the unanimous teaching of the Saints and Doctors of the Church, that heretics are not Catholics.
St. Francis De Sales (17th century), Doctor of the Church: "Thus we do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinions, as did John XXII; or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he [the Pope] is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church..." St. Antoninus (1459): "In the case in which the pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off. A pope who would be separated from the Church by heresy, therefore, would by that very fact itself cease to be head of the Church. He could not be a heretic and remain pope, because, since he is outside of the Church, he cannot possess the keys of the Church." (Summa Theologica, cited in Actes de Vatican I. V. Frond pub.) St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30: "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."Third, notice Fr. Wathen’s other major error. He states: “…they can never become "ex-Catholics," so that they would lose the Indelible Mark of Baptism, and their status of adoptive children.” Notice that Fr. Wathen has equated the Indelible Mark of Baptism with the status of adopted children of God. This is totally wrong. The phrase “adopted son or child of God” (John 1:12) does not refer to the mark of Baptism – which mark, however, is absolutely necessary in becoming an adopted child of God – it refers to the state of Justification (the state of grace), as taught in Sess. 6, Chap. 4 of Trent!
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6, Chap. 4: “In these words a description of the justification of a sinner is given as being a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam to the state of grace and of the ‘adoption of the sons’ [Rom. 8:15]…”Fr. Wathen demonstrates that he doesn’t know what he is talking about in the least, while he claims that we don’t know what we are talking about. By stating that one can never lose the status of an adopted child of God, he is actually stating that one can never lose the state of grace! But since Fr. Wathen obviously doesn’t know what the term “adoption of the sons” means in Catholic theology, he fails to realize the full implications of his heresy. The worst part of all this is not that Fr. Wathen was and is wrong about this, but that he maintains his heretical error with obstinacy and pride in the face of the correction given to him from the teaching of the Catholic Church. His pride is astonishing, and deadly, for many simply have trusted – and still do trust – Fr. Wathen’s opinion on these matters because he comes across as if he knows what he is talking about, when the fact of the matter is that he most certainly doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Fr. Wathen: “8. I do not want to overlook the fact that there is nothing heretical in "Brother's" list. It is surely not a heresy, nor an act of schism, to maintain that John Paul II is the true Pope, even though a bad one, or to include his name in the Canon of the Mass. Neither is it a heresy to say that "once a Catholic, always a Catholic." I think Sedevacantists are inclined to think that it is grave heresy to disagree with them.My comment: Yes, Fr. Wathen, it is a sin to obstinately – that is, after comprehending the evidence and seeing why you should not– pray for a heretic in the Canon of the Mass, as the following Papal quotes show. And it is heresy to say that once a Catholic, always a Catholic, as we have shown already.
Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum (# 23), March 1, 1756: “Moreover heretics and schismatics are subject to the censure of major excommunication by the law of Can. de Ligu. 23, quest. 5, and Can. Nulli, 5, dist. 19. But the sacred canons of the Church forbid public prayer for the excommunicated as can be seen in chap. A nobis, 2, and chap. Sacris on the sentence of excommunication. Though this does not forbid prayer for their conversion, still such prayer must not take the form of proclaiming their names in the solemn prayer during the sacrifice of the Mass.” Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra (# 9), January 6, 1873: “For this reason John, Bishop of Constantinople, solemnly declared – and the entire Eighth Ecumenical Council did so later – ‘that the names of those who were separated from communion with the Catholic Church, that is of those who did not agree in all matters with the Apostolic See, are not to be read out during the sacred mysteries.’” Libellus professionis fidei, April 2, 517, profession of faith prescribed under Pope St. Hormisdas:“And, therefore, I hope that I may merit to be in the one communion with you, which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which there is the whole and the true solidity of the Christian religion, promising that in the future the names of those separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, those not agreeing with the Apostolic See, shall not be read during the sacred mysteries. But if I shall attempt in any way to deviate from my profession, I confess that I am a confederate in my opinion with those whom I have condemned. However, I have with my own hand signed this profession of mine, and to you, HORMISDAS, the holy and venerable Pope of the City of Rome, I have directed it.” (Denz. 172) Fr. Wathen: 9. I have repeated often enough that as Catholics and as human beings we have both the right and the obligation to judge the opinions, positions, and ideas of everyone else. Our life in this world consists in making judgements about other people--whether they can be trusted, whether they are telling the truth, whether they will repay us if we lend to them, etc.; and to judge their opinions, whether they are true or false, right or wrong. As Catholics, we must always be wary of heresy from every quarter, including him who sits on the Chair of St. Peter--as he is not personally infallible.My comment: Fr. Wathen judges and rejects the solemn “Canonizations” of his Pope, which is heretical and schismatical. He also judges that the “Church” of his “Pope” (what he mockingly calls the “Conciliar Church”) is a non-Catholic sect inside of which there is no salvation. This is also schismatical, and makes him an obstinate schismatic, because he refuses communion with the members of the Church subject to his “Pope.”
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.”Please tell me how Fr. Wathen – as well as many other false traditionalists who obstinately maintain a similar position with regard to the Conciliar Church, such as the SSPX – doesn’t fit the latter part of this definition, especially in light of the following quotation?
Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend?, p. 414: “… 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.”He couldn’t fit the second part of the definition for schism more clearly.
Fr. Wathen: 10. The law of the Church forbids us to pass judgement on the STATUS of the reigning pope, whether he is the pope, whether we are bound to obey him in all religious matters that are not contrary to the Faith. I trust it is not necessary to repeat that the pope is infallible in his TEACHING OFFICE, not in his GOVERNING OFFICE. This is why we do not have to accept the New Mass, because its issuance is a part of the governing office (even though THERE IS NO LAW ESTABLISHING IT AS THE LITURGY OF THE ROMAN RITE). 10 [sic]. Keep in mind also that there is a very great difference between the pope's or any other cleric's propounding erroneous views, which Pope John Paul does all the time, and their endeavoring to impose such views upon us as a matter of doctrine and salvation. Pope John Paul has never commanded us to believe any of his heretical opinions under pain of sin. Sedevacantists cannot comprehend this simple truth.My comment: Here we see Fr. Wathen using the same tactic that I discussed in the “E-Mail Discussions article” about another false traditionalist. I quote what I wrote: “Here we see the most common escape attempt of the defenders of Antipope John Paul II. We’ve seen this tactic employed time and time again. When you pin them down that those who reject defined dogma cannot be considered Catholics (as they admit with John Kerry), they quickly switch the topic and begin arguing about infallibility and whether the heretic has imposed his heresy infallibly as a de fide teaching. Remember this tactic, because it is used all the time. When they are pinned down on the heresy issue, they then conflate [fuse together] the heresy issue and the infallibility issue. No longer does one have to be a heretic, but he must be a heretic “infallibly”! Although we don’t need to show that John Paul II has bound his heresies upon Fr. Wathen to prove the point, the fact is that he and Paul VI have bound many of their heresies, as we’ve proven in other articles on Vatican II, etc. If you accept John Paul II as the Pope, you must accept the teachings that non-Catholics can receive Communion; that Muslims worship the one true God with Catholics, etc., as we have proven elsewhere.
11. Sedavacantists [sic] also have the idea that anything a legitimate pope teaches becomes a part of the "Sacred Magisterium." This is entirely wrong. Only those teachings which are conformable to the body of teaching which has accumulated through the years from the days of the Apostles, whose teaching we refer to as the "Deposit of Faith" is a part of the Magisterium. Anything that is a variance therewith is not.My comment: Sorry, but a real Pope cannot teach manifest heresies in a Council approved by his “apostolic authority” and in his official Catechism solemnly promulgated by his “apostolic authority.” A real Pope cannot err when solemnly Canonizing Saints, and he cannot be an apostate non-Catholic.
12. The two "Brothers" Dimond are evil…”My comment: No, Mr. Wathen, you are the one who is evil. You have become an obstinate heretic and schismatic, who blasphemes the Church of Christ, the infallibility of the Papacy and, most of all, the unity of the Faith in the Catholic Church.
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