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Questions and Answers

Can Catholics go anywhere to receive sacraments today?


April 19, 2009

Bro. Michael Dimond

New Article: Where To Receive Sacraments

-Is it ever permissible to go to a validly ordained priest for the sacraments who claims to be Catholic but prays in union with Benedict XVI or holds to some other heresy?-

Many people have asked the question: “Does a person commit sin or cooperate in evil by being present at a traditional Mass or receiving sacraments from a priest at a church where Benedict XVI is prayed for as the pope?” The answer to that question is not an easy one, and we have written some other articles in the past on this difficult subject.  The following is my opinion on the matter, and some common sense on this issue. People often have disagreements and debates about whether someone is cooperating in evil by working for or being present at places where evils take place.  For example, some time ago a person I know would buy groceries at a supermarket which prominently displayed the blasphemous book The Da Vinci Code at the checkout counter.  This book denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and contains other blasphemies that don’t need to be repeated.  Essentially every supermarket today sells evil books and videos, and highly immodest magazines where you check out.  Is it permissible to enter these places that display these evil things and expose people to evil without committing sin?  Are you supporting or accepting evil by going there or by giving the store business?  Can you get the food you need to sustain your physical health?  The answer is that you can go to the store and buy the food you need without committing any sin.  I believe that, on a certain level, this point relates to the issue of whether a person may go to certain churches to receive the sacraments where Benedict XVI is prayed for as the pope in order to receive the spiritual food which is necessary for your spiritual health. I will first answer some questions from those who believe you may not go to these churches for the Mass or the sacraments.  I will later state my position on how a person could possibly attend these churches.  I will also discuss whom I believe should be considered a notoriously heretical priest, as opposed to a heretical priest. Some might phrase the question of going to these churches this way: “If Benedict XVI is so clearly a heretic, how can a person go to churches where he is prayed for as the pope in the Mass?”  I would respond by saying that virtually every Mass that has been offered anywhere for the last century has been offered by a priest who prayed in union with a bishop who was clearly heretical.  For example, more than fifty years ago, every single priest in the Boston area was praying for the arch-heretic “Cardinal” Richard Cushing, who boasted that he had never made one convert in his entire life.  Cushing declared that the infallible Catholic dogma, Outside the Church There is No Salvation, is “nonsense.”  He was also given the Jewish Freemasons’ B’nai B’rith Man-of-the-Year award.  Could you go to the Masses at the churches where Cushing was prayed for as the “Cardinal” of Boston?  Was everyone bound under pain of mortal sin to avoid all the Masses in the Boston area during the 1940s and 1950s?  No.  If you didn’t go, you would have been pretty much without Holy Communion for your whole life. A “traditionalist” priest named Fr. Anthony Cekada recently wrote an article about why he believes that a Catholic may not assist at a Mass where Benedict XVI is prayed for as the pope.  But what gets lost in the discussion about whether Catholics may go to the Mass where Benedict XVI is prayed for as the pope is the fact that the very authors promoting and writing articles on this issue are themselves horrible heretics.  The point I will attempt to demonstrate is that there isn’t that much of a difference between the heretic Benedict XVI and the heretic Fr. Cekada.  If you may go to a Mass which is offered by a heretic (which amounts to almost all Masses for the last century), then you may go to a place where a heretic prays for another heretic as the pope. Benedict XVI, Cekada, and almost all sedevacantist priests are unfortunately heretics Most people who hold that no one may attend any “una cum” Masses believe that you may attend the Masses of other sedevacantist priests.  But I would ask them: “Why do you believe that you may go to a priest who is himself a heretic, as long as he doesn’t pray for a heretic (Benedict XVI)?”  This brings me to my point about Fr. Cekada and other sedevacantists priests who say that you should not go to a Mass where the priest prays for Benedict XVI. Benedict XVI, Fr. Cekada and almost all other sedevacantist priests are arch-heretics and even antichrists because they don’t believe that Jesus Christ, His faith, and baptism are necessary for salvation.  They wouldn’t openly admit this, but they foster the idea that Jesus is not the only Savior.  They basically all hold that men can be saved by their desire, blood or wish.  The late Marcel Lefebvre said that men can be saved by “the practice of their religion, perhaps of what they understand in their religion.”  Catholic teaching states that the only way a person can be put into the state of justification (the state of grace) is by receiving the merit of Jesus Christ’s redemption in holy baptism.  All who promote salvation for people in other ways (outside this one way) are promoting a false Christ of baptism of desire, salvation by invincible ignorance, etc.  The bottom-line is that Benedict XVI, Cekada and virtually every priest in the world believe that an individual practicing and dying in a false religion can be saved.  This is something that no canonized saint of the Church ever believed or promoted.  It’s a blatant denial of the dogma that without the Catholic faith you cannot be saved.  In fact, almost all of the heresies that have been promoted by Vatican II and the last five antipopes deal with the denial of this dogma. Almost every priest for the last one hundred years (with almost no exceptions) believed that a Jew who rejects Jesus Christ can be saved while practicing Judaism.  The difference between Cekada and Benedict XVI is that Cekada (and other sedevacantists priests) wouldn’t promote Judaism or encourage the practice of Judaism or meet with Jews in ecumenical meetings.  But the bottom-line is that Benedict XVI, Cekada and almost every priest today believe that individual Jews and others, who are practicing and dying in their false religions, can be saved.  Therefore, they’re all horrible heretics.  In fact, in the case of Cekada, he will not even let you receive the sacraments if you hold the position that to be saved you must be “born again of water and the Holy Ghost.” Both Benedict XVI, and virtually all the priests and bishops throughout the world are antichrists Both Benedict XVI and the priests and bishops throughout the world who promote salvation for non-Catholics are antichrists.  Benedict XVI is an antichrist to a greater degree; the others are to a lesser degree. While Benedict XVI might be having another meeting with members of Protestant churches, the heretical sedevacantist priest might be busy at work writing a new article which will try to convince people that it’s heresy to believe that all men need to be baptized to be saved.  Whose activity is worse?  The fact is that basically every sedevacantist priest and Benedict XVI hold to the worst heresy that one could hold.  They almost all believe that non-Catholics can be saved and that “natural” birth control may be used by couples to limit the size of their families.  Ask yourself this question: is it worse to meet with members of false religions, or to believe that they can be saved while practicing their false religions?  Many people (incorrectly) believe that by meeting and being friendly to members of false religions, Benedict XVI might encourage them to become Catholics.  If nothing else, they believe that they will hear some Catholic things or get a chance to hear more about the Catholic religion. Fr. Cekada begins his article with these words: “The Grain of Incense.”  The reference to the “grain of incense” is of course meant to imply that to go to a Mass where the priest prays in union with Benedict XVI is equivalent to giving a grain of incense to a false god.  Ironically, Fr. Cekada himself believes that people who practice a false religion in which incense is thrown to a false god can be saved.  Not very long ago, Fr. Cekada stated in an audio sermon (which I listened to) that he has “friends” who are priests and pastors in the Novus Ordo.  I wonder if Cekada has ever shared his article with his “friends,” in which he states that going to their Masses is a mortal sin and equivalent to throwing incense to a false god?  I doubt it. Speaking about Benedict XVI, Cekada stated: “they all place him (Benedict XVI) in the Church, where, as a heretic, he cannot be.”  He cannot be in the Church, according to Fr. Cekada?  But Cekada believes that people who practice false religions can be in the Church somehow and be saved.  I would like to find out how sure Cekada is that Benedict XVI is not inside the Church.  It would also be interesting to ask the heretic Cekada and other sedevacantist priests if Benedict XVI and the priests who pray for him as the pope are definitely in a state of mortal sin and will definitely spend eternity in Hell if they continue on their path.  You might be very surprised at how few, if any, will tell you that Benedict XVI, or the priests who believe he is pope, are definitely in mortal sin and on the road to Hell. In fact, Cekada would have to believe that Benedict XVI might be in the Church.  For he believes that a Jew who rejects Jesus Christ can be justified and united to the Church by an unconscious desire.  This was confirmed in numerous conversations with him.  If a Jew who rejects Christ Himself, the author of faith, can be inside the Church, according to Cekada, why can’t Benedict XVI (who only rejects Christ’s dogmas) also be in good faith and inside the Church?  Cekada’s beliefs require him to admit that it’s possible. Someone like Fr. Cekada is maybe only slightly better than Benedict XVI.  In some ways, Cekada is more evil and dangerous than Benedict XVI.  This is because Cekada is deceiving people who claim to be traditional Catholics, whereas Vatican II “Catholics” don’t take their faith seriously.  Yes, apostates like Cekada spend much time and thought on how you don’t absolutely need baptism or Christ to be saved.  They are the kind of heretics that would be telling missionaries that it isn’t absolutely necessary to risk everything to convert and baptize people.  They would say that men can be saved who are in invincible ignorance or who have some kind of desire for baptism.  So, to have a faithless, apostate priest giving people advice on where people should go to Mass is not something real Catholics should look for. Some other people, who can see that Cekada and the rest are heretics, hold the position that you shouldn’t go to any priest who believes that people can be saved in other religions.   Well, this would mean that you could not have received the sacraments almost anywhere for the last one hundred years.  They conveniently ignore this fact.  The unfortunate fact is that almost every priest has been believing – and most catechisms have been teaching – the worst heresy: that non-Catholics who practice false religions can go to Heaven.  This has been taught or implied in almost every catechism since the late 1880s.  These catechisms would also contradict this by declaring that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation. As you can see, there isn’t a big difference between the sedevacantist priests today, the pre-Vatican II heretical priests, and the “traditionalist” priests who currently believe Benedict XVI is the pope. Some other people (although fewer in number) hold that you must not go to any churches today for the sacraments because some or many of the people going there are heretics.  Well, that was the case before Vatican II.  Most of the people in the pews from approximately 1900 to 1950 believed in salvation outside the Church.  Were the Catholics who did not believe in any heresy “praying with heretics” if they showed up at church before Vatican II because many of the people in the pews (not to mention the priest) were already modernists and heretics?   No. Some of the aforementioned individuals take their false theology to its radically false conclusion and argue that no one may go to any Mass or receive sacraments at any church without first questioning every person in the church to make sure he’s in agreement on every issue.  Well, the Church has never once stated that this is an obligation of a person who is going to receive sacraments; nor has the Church ever once taught that a Catholic receiving a sacrament is responsible for the sacrilegious Communions that someone else in the church might make. Some other people hold that you may not go to any of these churches because they are “non-Catholic” churches – equivalent to Protestant or Eastern “Orthodox” churches.  They think they have become non-Catholic churches by recognizing a manifest heretic and an antipope.  If that were true, then they were all non-Catholic churches in the 1960s and 1970s – during Padre Pio’s and Fr. Feeney’s time – because they recognized Paul VI (a manifest heretic and an antipope) as the pope.  Were all the churches under Paul VI, which offered a traditional form of Mass, non-Catholic churches and thus equivalent to Protestant or Eastern “Orthodox” churches?  Obviously not.  The notion is ridiculous. Certainly the people and the priests who agreed with and/or obstinately defended the heresies of Vatican II, even at that time, put themselves outside the church as much as Protestants or Eastern “Orthodox”; but the building itself was categorically different from a notorious non-Catholic church by virtue of its celebration of a traditional Catholic liturgy and by virtue of its public profession that it holds all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, in trying to prove this point, some of these individuals fall into the most absurd positions.  They wind up arguing that everyone above reason at every church since 1965 or even 1958 became a non-Catholic by virtue of going to “a non-Catholic church.”  By such absurd conclusions, which anyone with any Catholic sense can see are ridiculous, they demonstrate that their premise – that all of these churches are the equivalent of notorious non-Catholic churches, such as Protestant and Eastern “Orthodox” churches – is false. The attempted justifications which priests under Benedict XVI use In his article, Fr. Cekada makes reference to the teaching of theologians that praying in union with a pope is what a Catholic priest must do.  To fail to do so is to separate yourself from the Catholic Church.  The priests who pray for Benedict XVI argue that they must pray for him to be faithful to Catholic teaching.   They say that everything (in their opinion) seems to indicate that he is the pope; and therefore to not pray for him is not the right Catholic thing to do.  As a side note - who the priest prays for in the Mass is a minor part of the Mass or liturgy. Most of the priests are too cowardly to say anything about Benedict XVI publicly.  Maybe some priests realize that once they begin to attack Benedict XVI, they will probably end up saying he is not the pope.  Some priests who believe Benedict XVI is the pope might answer your question on the issue this way: 1)  “Catholics must believe that the man who is widely accepted as pope should be accepted as the valid pope.  To determine that a claimant to the papacy is not the pope is not a judgment that a Catholic has the authority to make, and certainly not one that he must make.  It would be a rash and dangerous decision to decide that Benedict XVI is not the pope.  I can’t be held responsible if he is somehow not the pope.  The safer position is to assume he is the pope.” 2) “Benedict XVI may be bad, evil or doing things that are harmful to the church, but this is something that a valid pope is capable of doing, according to Catholic teaching and theologians.  Pope Martin V even stated that a true pope could be wicked and of the devil.  Also, Benedict XVI’s words and actions do not rise to the level of making him a formal heretic.” 3) “I have to pray for Benedict XVI as the pope in the Mass.  To not do so would be to deny the dogma of the papacy, or the solemn teaching of Vatican I.  I would then be like the ‘Orthodox,’ who deny the supreme jurisdiction of the pope.  It would be denying the Catholic faith.” 4) “The heresies from Benedict XVI are taken out of context and Benedict XVI’s goal is really to convert these non-Catholics.” 5) “If these recent claimants to the papacy are not true popes, then there are no cardinals left (who in recent history have elected the pope) and we could never get another pope.” 6) “It would not be possible for God to allow the pope to become a heretic; it would mean the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Church.” In short, the priest claims to be holding the right Catholic position during this crisis, and using good Catholic common sense.  These attempted justifications by priests who accept Benedict XVI are false and they are answered in our material.  But the important thing to be considered here is that the priest is attempting to defend or justify his position by quoting what he deems to be Catholic teaching and good Catholic common sense on this issue.  While this is not good enough for this priest to escape being a heretic, it is important from the standpoint of determining whether a person could receive sacraments from this priest. My present position on this issue would be that a Catholic may go and receive the sacraments from a validly ordained priest who accepts Benedict XVI as the pope under the conditions explained below.  My personal position on this issue, at this point in the apostasy, is that you are not going for the Mass.  You are merely going to the church to receive Communion and confession.  I have advised people to deliberately arrive at the Mass late because you are there merely to receive the sacraments and for nothing else.  As far as praying with the people, I have told people that they should pray by themselves until Communion is given.  When you see that the priest is about to give Communion, one could then go into the main part of the church to receive Communion. To determine if a particular priest is an option for receiving Communion, you should call the priest and ask him the following questions: 1)  Was he ordained in the eastern rite or in the traditional roman rite by a bishop who was consecrated in the traditional rite?  If he says yes to either question, you are dealing with a validly ordained priest.  If he answers that he was not ordained in the eastern rite or the traditional roman rite, then you are not dealing with a validly ordained priest, so you cannot go to him. 2)  How does he view the modern-day ecumenical movement?  Does he like the fact that Benedict XVI is visiting mosques, synagogues and praising false religions, or does he have a problem with it?  The priest must express that he has some problems with this kind of ecumenism.  If he doesn’t have any problems with it and/or likes the kind of ecumenical activity that Benedict XVI is engaged in, then you cannot go to him for Holy Communion.  Priests who either like ecumenism, or don’t believe we should attempt to convert non-Catholics, or don’t accept you as a Catholic for holding the correct teachings, should be considered notoriously heretical.  (Heretical priests like Cekada, who condemn people who don’t believe in “baptism of desire,” would also be off-limits for the latter reason.)  Holy Communion should not be received from notoriously heretical priests. 3)  Does he believe we should attempt to convert non-Catholics?  The question is not whether he believes non-Catholics can be saved in their false religions, for almost every priest for the last 100 years has believed in that heresy.  The question is whether he believes we should evangelize and attempt to convert and lead people into the one true Catholic Church.  If he says no, then you may not go to him for Holy Communion.  If he says yes, then you may go to him for the sacraments (provided he meets the other conditions).  As a side note on this issue, when a person deals with an eastern rite priest, you should specifically ask him about the members of the “Orthodox” religion.  Many eastern rite priests have an especially soft spot in their hearts for these schismatics.  One of the reasons for this is that the recent antipopes have been quite explicit in issuing directives which state that there is to be no proselytism of the “Orthodox.”  The so-called leaders of the eastern rite churches have also been quite explicit in following the no-conversion-for-the-“Orthodox” line. 4)  You need to tell the priest that you believe that a person has to be a Catholic to be saved, and that you hold that Benedict XVI is a manifest heretic for many reasons and therefore is not the pope, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  If he tells you that he doesn’t believe you are a Catholic for holding these positions, you cannot receive the sacraments from him.  If he still respects you as a Catholic, even though he doesn’t agree, you could receive the sacraments from him. Confession While we would say that the notoriously heretical priest may not be approached for Holy Communion, we believe that those priests who are notoriously heretical because they like ecumenism and praying with and respecting other religions may be approached for confession, if you cannot find any better options for confession within a reasonable distance. If he is a notoriously heretical priest who doesn’t think you are a Catholic because of what you believe, we would say you may only go to him for confession in danger of death. When you go to a priest for confession, you do not have to begin the confession with the words: “Forgive me father, for I have sinned.”  You can begin the confession with: “It has been (insert time) since my last confession, I ask forgiveness for,” then start your confession. If you were attending the New Mass, you need to mention in confession that you attended a non-Catholic or Protestant service for many months or years.  You need to mention that you supported heretical priests or groups.  You will also need to re-confess any mortal sins that were confessed to invalidly ordained priests, or any Catholic dogmas that you denied.  On our website, we also have the profession of faith from the Council of Trent.  All who have been away from the traditional Catholic faith should make this profession before receiving sacraments. How One Could Attend These Churches While there isn’t an obligation to go to any heretic to receive Communion, here is my personal opinion on how a person could go to a church to receive the sacraments where they believe and pray for Benedict XVI as pope.  As stated earlier, at this point in the present apostasy, you are really not going for the Mass, but only to receive the sacraments. If you decide to go to him to receive Communion and confession, I would not recommend going to the priest’s Mass on time.  A person could arrive late, maybe about 10 minutes before Communion is given.  It might even be better to go on Monday through Saturday, instead of on Sunday.  There is no Sunday obligation to go to a heretic.  Also, as we have stated many times before, no one may give donations to these heretical priests.  If a person does support them, he or she commits a grave sin and is directly supporting a heretical priest and/or a heretical organization.  A person should not pray with the other people at the Mass or liturgy.  A person should say the rosary or other prayers privately by themselves and not join in with the prayers or singing of the others present. When you go to these churches, many have clear glass windows when you enter in the back.  A person could pray the rosary out there until they see Holy Communion is about to be distributed.  If a person does go into the main part of the church, he or she should sit in the very back. The only people who can fruitfully receive the sacraments are those who agree with what the Catholic Church teaches.  Therefore, a person needs to be in full agreement with Catholic teaching on the following issues: 1)    You agree that you must be a Catholic to be saved.  You absolutely agree that anyone who is not a Catholic will sadly be lost forever. 2)    You agree that Benedict XVI is a heretic, and therefore cannot be a true Catholic pope.  You do not go to the New Mass. 3)    If you are a married person, you don’t use artificial or “natural” birth control (Natural Family Planning) to deliberately limit the size of your family. The benefits of receiving Communion are obviously great, for it is to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of God himself.  It’s the greatest action in which a person can take part during his brief earthly existence.  The absolute power and graces derived from worthily receiving valid Communion is usually something that is not given much or any weight by those who dogmatically declare that you may not go to a Mass where Benedict XVI is prayed for as pope. The truth is that Communion is the most necessary thing for a Catholic outside of baptism.  We see this from the words of God Himself, “Amen, amen, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6)  Jesus threatens us, by telling us that we cannot have everlasting life unless we receive Him in communion.  Our Lord swears to it.  Therefore, if there is a validly ordained priest who meets the criteria mentioned earlier, a person may take advantage and receive the sacraments from him.  If not, then a person has to stay home.

Is Masturbation A Mortal Sin? Yes.


December 11, 2008

Rejecting the Lust and Impurity of Hell video series We regret that we have to address these issues. However, due to the fact that we have received a high number of queries on this issue, it must be addressed. Since so many are coming out of mortal sin and are convincing themselves that certain things are not sins, we must preach against those sins with some specificity lest people perish in their ignorance.

Masturbation is a mortal sin.

Those who took the time to read our article against Justification by Faith Alone (section), should have noticed a point which concerns this issue. There are about three places where St. Paul gives a list of some of the main mortal sins which exclude people from Heaven. These lists do not comprise every mortal sin, of course, but some of the main ones. Well, it always puzzled many people exactly what is being referred to in the following passages by the sin of “uncleanness” and “effeminacy.” St. Paul says that these sins exclude people from Heaven. Does “effeminacy” refer to acting like a homosexual? What does “uncleanness” refer to?
Galatians 5:19-21- “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11- “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Ephesians 5:5-8- “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
Well, some time back one of us came across the following point in St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas Aquinas identifies masturbation as the biblical “uncleanness” and “effeminacy.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Pt. II-II, Q. 154, A. 11: “I answer that, As stated above (A6,9) wherever there occurs a special kind of deformity whereby the venereal act is rendered unbecoming, there is a determinate species of lust. This may occur in two ways: First, through being contrary to right reason, and this is common to all lustful vices; secondly, because, in addition, it is contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race: and this is called "the unnatural vice." This may happen in several ways. First, by procuring pollution, without any copulation, for the sake of venereal pleasure: this pertains to the sin of "uncleanness" which some call "effeminacy." Secondly, by copulation with a thing of undue species, and this is called "bestiality." Thirdly, by copulation with an undue sex, male with male, or female with female, as the Apostle states (Romans 1:27): and this is called the "vice of sodomy." Fourthly, by not observing the natural manner of copulation, either as to undue means, or as to other monstrous and bestial manners of copulation.”
Thus, not only is masturbation a mortal sin, but it’s a mortal sin which is identified in three different places in Scripture as one which excludes from the Kingdom of God. It’s also classified by St. Thomas as one of the sins against nature, for it corrupts the order intended by God. That’s probably why it’s called “effeminacy.” Though it’s not the same as the abomination of Sodomy, it’s disordered and unnatural. We believe that this sin – since it’s contrary to nature and is classified as “effeminacy” and “the unnatural vice” – is the cause of some people being given over to unnatural lusts (homosexuality). Therefore, people who are committing this sin need to cease the evil immediately and, when prepared, make a good confession. If people are really struggling in this area, then they are not near the spiritual level where they need to be.   God’s grace is there for them; but they need to pray more, pray better, avoid the occasions of sin and exercise their wills. They need to put out more effort spiritually and then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Why would you say that John Vennari is a heretic?


March 5, 2008

The video above is a must-see for anyone familiar with John Vennari.

By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.

There is a very specific and very simple answer to this question.  Every honest person will agree with this, since it is an undeniable fact.  John Vennari holds that one can reject the Catholic Faith and still be a Catholic.  Here’s the proof:

John Vennari, Catholic Family News, “Father Ratzinger’s Denial of Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus,” July 2005, Editor’s Postscript, p. 11: “This is not the first time Father Ratzinger denied the dogma ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’In his 1966 book Theological Highlights of Vatican II, which was a commentary on the Second Vatican Council, Father Ratzinger rejoices that the true teaching of the Council document Lumen Gentium, according to the minds of the progressivists who drafted the document, (Ratzinger was one of them) was that conversion is now an option for the non-Catholic, not an obligation.  He writes: ‘…A basic unity – of churches that remain churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivate to seek it.’  Cardinal Ratzinger admitted on numerous occasions that he had not changed since the time of the Council when he wrote these heterodox statements.  In 1984, Ratzinger said that since the Council he ‘has not changed.’”

John Vennari fully admits that Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) has rejected the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation for years and still rejects it.  Yet, he holds that Ratzinger is a Catholic.  It is a fact, therefore, that John Vennari holds that one can reject the Catholic Faith and still be a Catholic.  John Vennari is a complete heretic and is not a Catholic.  The same applies to “Tradition in Action,” who wrote the article entitled “Father Ratzinger’s Denial of Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus” yet still holds that he is a Catholic.  By continually admitting that people whom they still regard as Catholics reject Catholic dogma, they are simply mocking and denying the necessity of accepting Catholic dogma to be part of the Church.

The truth is that Ratzinger does reject Catholic dogma and is therefore not a Catholic.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: "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 About Bishop Tom S.?


July 16, 2007

By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.

Click here for important update on Bishop Tom -7/16/05- VINDICATED-  OUR ANALYSIS OF BISHOP TOM, THOUGH REJECTED AND CRITICIZED AS UNCHARITABLE BY SOME, PROVED TO BE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT

Dear Brothers,

I have read your articles with great interest!  I would like to know more about Father Dennis M… and Bishop Thom S….  Both groups uphold the teaching of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.  What is your opinion of them?  Is a Catholic safe to approach them for the Sacraments?  In Jesus and Mary, -A. Y.

Introductory Note: 
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos #9, Jan. 6, 1928: “Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment ‘Love one another,’ altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt form of Christ’s teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you.’ (II John 10).”
Charity is not tolerating heresy, sowing confusion or failing to denounce evil.  St. John himself, the Apostle of love, wouldn’t even let a heretic into his house.  So those who claim that the treatment of Bishop Tom in the following article is uncharitable simply cannot perceive evil; they don’t love the Faith and they don’t know what true charity is.  What is said below is not based on one instance or two.  It based on years worth of considering the issue, personal experience and obstinate activity that leads one to an undeniable conclusion.  What is said below must be brought out because it is true and because false pastors who demonstrate obstinate bad will and mislead Catholics must be exposed.

 BISHOP TOM WENT FROM BEING A LAYMAN TO A BISHOP WITHIN A FEW DAYS, ALL AT THE HANDS OF A NON-CATHOLIC

Bishop Tom is an independent Bishop who claims to be a Traditional Catholic.   He received ordination (presumably validly in the traditional rite) from a non-Catholic schismatic, and then was made a Bishop by the same schismatic.  Tom was made a Bishop within a few days after his ordination by the non-Catholic Bishop.  This means that, in a few days, Tom went from being a layman to a Bishop – all at the hands of a non-Catholic schismatic who doesn’t even profess to be Roman Catholic.

BISHOP TOM HAS, SADLY, SHOWN AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT HIS WORD AND BELIEFS MEAN NOTHING

When we first got in contact with Bishop Tom, he sounded like a very strong Catholic.  He told us that he was fully in agreement that the Vatican II imposters were in fact Antipopes.  He spoke adamantly against the SSPX and other heretical groups.  I distinctly recall him telling me over the telephone that we must pull people out of the Vatican II schism and that the SSPX bishops were schismatics for their non-sedevacantist position.  Yet, to our dismay, we quickly discovered that Tom’s word means basically nothing, and that he is unfortunately a complete phony.  Shortly after the time I spoke with him (when Tom claimed to be a strong Sedevacantist), Bishop Tom held a Conference with the non-sedevacantist “Fr.” Gregory Hesse.  Why would Bishop Tom hold a Conference with Gregory Hesse when Gregory Hesse had consistently attacked the position of Sedevacantism –the position that Bishop Tom claimed to espouse?  The answer is because Tom is, unfortunately, a phony who doesn’t stand for the truth.  In his talk at the Conference, “Fr.” Gregory Hesse even denounced Sedevacantism (the position of Bishop Tom) and Bishop Tom said that God was speaking through Hesse!  During the same Conference which featured Bishop Tom and Gregory Hesse, Bishop Tom specifically mentioned the Bishops of the SSPX in a positive way as if they were true CatholicsThis was well after he told me categorically that he felt that the SSPX was schismatic.  This proved that Bishop Tom was a complete phony. On top of all of this, Bishop Tom, who claimed to be totally against the New Rite of Ordination allowed Gregory Hesse (a “priest” “ordained” in the New Rite) to offer “Mass” for his people at his chapel!  To our dismay, we were figuring out that Bishop Tom is a phony who stands for basically nothing.

BISHOP TOM HAS CLAIMED TO BE SEDEVACANTIST FOR YEARS BUT DOES NOT ENFORCE THE FAITH AT HIS CHAPEL

Before and after the Conference with Hesse, Bishop Tom claimed to be a Sedevacantist, though his policy was not to speak publicly and specifically to his people about this from the pulpit.  That is to say, Bishop Tom never clearly told the people at his chapel that this was his position and that it must be the position of all the people at his Chapel.  He either: 1) was too cowardly to stand for the truth because he feared the reaction of the people; or 2) he didn’t think that the issue of the Vatican II apostasy was important enough to warrant a specific discussion about exactly what Catholics must think of it to receive the sacraments.  So, his policy was – and is to this day – to allow people to come to Communion who may be Sedevacantists and who may not be.  He doesn’t know what they believe since he doesn’t specifically instruct them on what they must hold to come to Communion.  As he told me himself, he tells them that they “must be Catholics in the state of grace,” which even John Kerry would consider himself to be. Sorry, but that is not good enough.  Bishop Tom’s policy is not that of a true Catholic.  A true Catholic, and especially a priest and a Bishop, must specifically instruct Catholics on what they must hold in this time of apostasy.  Those who refuse to accept it must be cleaned out of the Chapel to preserve the unity of the Faith.  “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” (Eph. 4:5)  A good example of this is when we met a person outside a chapel who told us that he believes that “all religions are important” – utter apostasy.  People like this go right to Communion unless the priest specifically instructs people on what they must not hold.

BISHOP TOM’S PARISHIONERS DENY THE SALVATION DOGMA

The heretical nature of Tom’s policy was shown just a few months ago when we got a call from one of Bishop Tom’s parishioners.  This woman has been attending Bishop Tom’s Mass for years.  She is a very loyal parishioner of Tom’s; and she is also familiar with our material.  In fact, our material was heavily responsible for her being a traditionalist.  But now she won’t even look at our material because her “Bishop” Tom won’t give her permission! In my conversation with this woman, I discovered that she believes that there are exceptions to Outside the Church There is No Salvation (heresy) and she holds that Fr. Feeney was condemned by the Church.  [Now, to avoid any confusion I must point out that it is certainly possible that even with a priest who is preaching the Faith (and even if he got all of his parishioners to sign a statement of Faith), there may still be some who dishonestly stay at the chapel and remain heretics.  So, I am not asserting that just because one heretic was discovered at his chapel Bishop Tom is at fault.] But in this case, the woman’s denial of the salvation dogma is evidence of Bishop Tom’s heretical negligence because Bishop Tom admittedly doesn’t discuss specifically what one must hold on salvation and Sedevacantism from the pulpit.  Hence, this woman’s heresy and reception of Communion at his chapel is, in this case, evidence of the bad fruit of his heretical policy.  Bishop Tom is saying nothing at his church to disabuse her of her heretical position.  And what’s most revealing about this is that Bishop Tom recently changed his position on the salvation dogma: he would now claim to hold the position that only baptized Catholics can be saved.  Nevertheless, this woman didn’t even know that Bishop Tom’s position had changedShe didn’t know it because Tom doesn’t instruct the people at his chapel in these issues; and he allows heretics to commune with him at his chapel on his watch.  Thus, Bishop Tom doesn’t preserve the unity of the Faith.  He does not uphold the teaching of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (more on this soon).

BISHOP TOM’S STUNNING HYPOCRISY AND BAD WILL

Bishop Tom also has a severe dislike for us because we have brought his failure to be consistent and stand for the truth to his attention.  In response, he attacks us and implies that we are schismatics for not working with him.  In fact, in one response to us, which truly revealed his utter dishonesty, hypocrisy and bad will, Tom actually implied that we are excommunicated for teaching the Faith without the permission of a Bishop!  This shows Tom’s hypocrisy and bad will because Bishop Tom FULLY AGREES that Catholics have a right and a duty in necessity to teach the Faith in this time, even without the normal Episcopal imprimaturs on books.  These are merely ecclesiastical laws which don’t bind in this situation. As we will see from the following e-mail, we are dealing with a deeper level of insincerity in Bishop Tom.  Below is what he actually wrote to us in an e-mail.  And what is most disappointing about this is not that the phony Bishop Tom could make this charge, but that Fr. M. (whom he works with) tacitly agreed with it!
Bishop Tom to us via Fr. M.:>>>>Who has granted them [the Dimond Brothers]… the power to teach, preach or publish, which according to the Councils of Trent and Lateran V, as well as Canon Law, sentences them to excommunication reserved to the Holy See.>>>
Here was my response to this outrageous hypocrisy:
Bro. Peter Dimond to Bishop Tom: “First, I must say that when one considers this question carefully one easily picks up the hypocrisy at the heart of it.  This is because Canon Law forbids not only laymen from preaching the Faith, but anyone without a mission from a legitimate Superior (Canon 1328).  Specific mention is also made that religious (1385.3) and secular clerics (1386) are forbidden to publish materials teaching the Faith without permission of their Superiors or Ordinaries.  Thus, you and Fr. M… would be in violation of these canons as much as anyone.  So, for one to take your charge seriously is to acknowledge your own excommunication and see your own condemnation in your words.  It’s astounding to me that you, Bishop Tom, who are in direct violation of numerous canon laws which I will list, presume to bind this canon to others – a canon that clearly doesn’t apply in this state of necessity and which you also would be in violation of.  I also find it outrageous that you, Fr. M…, can present this question to us from Bishop [Tom]… as if we are excommunicated for teaching the Faith and not offer any objection to such a false assertion, as you know very well that it is totally without merit and runs contrary to the whole tenor of your position (e.g. “How the Church functions in a time of Crisis”).  Frankly, Fr. M…, this is quite hypocritical on your part to imply that we are excommunicated for teaching the Catholic Faith in this crisis, which you know is not true, but is what you clearly imply by presenting this ridiculous question without offering any objection to [Bishop Tom] about it… … since you bring up the matter of ecclesiastical laws and attempt to criticize us in this regard, let’s look at the facts. It is true to say that your Episcopal Consecration at the hands of a notorious schismatic a day or two after getting Ordained by the same schismatic is probably the most scandalous and irregular of any in the traditional movement.

Canon 2372- “They incur upon the fact a suspension from divine things, reserved to the Apostolic See, who presume to receive orders from one excommunicated or suspended or interdicted after a declaratory or condemnatory sentence, or from a notorious apostate, heretic, or schismatic; but whoever in good faith was ordained by such a one as these lacks the exercise of the orders thus received until he is dispensed.”

According to Canon 2372, you [Bishop Tom] are suspended from divine things and lack the exercise of your orders; i.e., you are for all practical persons to be considered a layman.  You will surely respond by saying that in this state of emergency such a prohibition doesn’t apply.  Then why do you imply that we are excommunicated for teaching the Faith?  With what measure you give to others, it shall be given to you.  Are you totally blinded to your stunning hypocrisy?

Canon 2365- “A presbyter who does not have, either by law or by concession of the Roman Pontiff, faculty to administer the sacrament of confirmation but who dares to administer it is suspended….”

I could list other canons, but I think my point is clear.
In this exchange, we can see the utter dishonesty and hypocrisy of Bishop Tom, as well as (unfortunately) the hypocrisy of Fr. Denis M. for participating in and not condemning Tom’s actionFr. M. offered no objection to such an outrageous and hypocritical charge on the part of Bishop Tom when he sent the e-mail to us, which condemns them both out of their own mouth; nor did he condemn the phony Tom afterwards.  Fr. M. continues to work with this total phony and promote his website, which indicates that he shares his views.

BISHOP TOM PROMOTES AS “TRADITIONAL APOLOGISTS” THOSE WHO REJECT THE FAITH AND HIS POSITIONS

On his website, Bishop Tom has a Photo Gallery.  In the Photo Gallery, he has a picture of himself with “Fr.” Gregory Hesse.  Remember, this is the same Gregory Hesse who, as stated above, is not a validly ordained priest (“ordained” in the New Rite of Paul VI) and who attacks Sedevacantism.  And remember, Bishop Tom claims to be a Sedevacantist and claims to hold that the New Rite of Paul VI is not valid!  “Fr. Hesse” also said that Fr. Feeney may have been a heretic.  Yet, he is pictured and mentioned as “Rev.” on Tom’s website! On his website, Bishop Tom also has a picture of himself with Atila Guimaraes and Marian Horvat, who sell a pamphlet denouncing Sedevacantism and hold that non-Catholics can be saved.  Bishop Tom calls them “traditional apologists.”  The picture also seems to indicate that he gave the Sacraments to these heretics.  All of this shows that Bishop Tom is an insincere phony and a heretic. On his website, Bishop Tom also has a completely unnecessary mention of Fr. Kevin Vaillancourt.  Fr. Vaillancourt teaches in his book that there is salvation “outside” the Catholic Church; and he condemns those who reject baptism of desire.  Yet, there is a completely unnecessary mention of Fr. Vaillancourt on Bishop Tom’s website.  Bishop Tom is a heretic who promotes heretics and stands for nothing. When I pointed out to Tom the problem with promoting such heretics on his site, he didn’t agree.  But then he added a note of sorts that said: “NOTE: THIS IS A "PHOTO GALLERY," AND THEREFORE NOT A "COMPENDIUM OF THOSE WHOSE THEOLOGICAL OPINIONS ARE SHARED BY THE MEMBERS OF …," OBVIOUSLY.”  But his heretical mentality was already shown when he posted the pictures without any clarification; and it was shown when he adamantly disagreed with us that there is any problem with promoting such men after we pointed it out to him.  Further, his note is not sufficient because he presents Gregory Hesse as a validly ordained priest and doesn’t state that he doesn’t regard these people as Catholics.  His true colors as a compromising, liberal phony are clear.

BISHOP TOM AND FR. DENNIS M. BOTH PRAY FOR THOSE WHO DIE OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

When Fr. Paul Wickens died last year, both Bishop Tom and Fr. M. prayed for and requested prayers for this deceased heretic.  Fr. Wickens was a promoter of the heretical SSPX; he rejected the Sedevacantist position for years; he promoted Natural Family Planning; and he willed his church to the apostate Archdiocese of the Vatican II sect!  Nevertheless, both Bishop Tom and Fr. M. prayed for the soul of this deceased heretic as if he can be considered faithfully departed; and, on top of that, neither one (at least in e-mails that I saw in which they requested such prayers) mentioned to their flock that Wickens was a heretic or even that he held heretical positions.  They gave their flock the impression that Wickens can be regarded as a Catholic; and thus that one can be regarded as a Catholic while… supporting the SSPX, willing his church to the diocese, etc.  As a Catholic, I fully acknowledge that anyone, including Fr. Wickens, could convert to the true Faith on his deathbed; but unless there is evidence of such conversion or adherence to the true Faith in the external forum, such a one is presumed to have died as he lived (as a heretic) and cannot be prayed for.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl. Q. 71, A. 5: “Gregory says (Moral xxxiv. 19): There is the same reason for not praying then (namely after the judgment day) for men condemned to everlasting fire, as there is now for not praying for the devil and has angels who are sentenced to eternal punishment, and for this reason the saints do not pray for dead unbelieving and wicked men, because, forsooth, knowing them to be already condemned to eternal punishment, they shrink from pleading for them by the merit of their prayers before they are summoned to the presence of the Judge.”
To pray for one who gave no evidence of conversion or adherence to authentic Catholic truth – but rather, in the case of Wickens, a man who gave evidence of rejection of the Faith by willing a church to heretics as one of his last acts – is to tear asunder the unity of Faith and the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation.  Fr. Dennis M. did so after I specifically mentioned it to him. In fact, Fr. Denis M. revealed to us that he spent time with Fr. Wickens shortly before Wickens’ death.  Fr. M. admitted that he didn’t specifically bring up with Wickens the Sedevacantist issue or his support the SSPX.  It is obvious, therefore, that Fr. M. doesn’t believe that these issues are integral to one’s salvation, which is probably why he shares a similar policy to the heretic Bishop Tom of not addressing these issues with specificity at his chapel. In fact, when the non-Catholic schismatic Bishop Simmons died – the man who ordained and Consecrated Bishop Tom – Bishop Tom said “Rest in Peace.”  I asked Bishop Tom if this non-Catholic Bishop converted to the Catholic Faith before his death.  Bishop Tom responded that he had no evidence of this at all.  Thus, Tom again prayed for one who must be considered as having died a non-Catholic.  Bishop Tom believes that those who die as notorious non-Catholics can have eternal rest.  He shows again that doesn’t believe that the Catholic Faith is necessary for salvation.

BISHOP TOM SAYS THAT IT’S A “GRAVE ERROR” TO CONSIGN ANTIPOPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE FLAMES!

When Antipope John Paul II died, Bishop Tom sent out a public letter which reveals what kind of a liberal, heretical and schismatical phony he actually is.  He writes:
“This day Karol Wojtyla, usurper of the Papal Throne, has passed to his own personal judgment. This day he stands before the Divine Tribunal and must make an accounting of his life and ministry.Over the past several days I prayed for his soul – I prayed that he could repent of his error and heresy and offer up his tremendous suffering for misleading so many millions of souls. Would even that be enough to save his soul? I am content in knowing that it is not for me to know – it is not for anyone to know. There are those who have already canonized him, a grave error; and there are those who have consigned him to the flames, another grave error. Rather, the true Catholic prays that God will have mercy on his soul, and those of all sinners, heretics, and schismatics.”
John Paul II was one of the worst heretics ever – in our view, he was the worst ever.  So, what does Bishop Tom say about indisputably one of the worst heretics and apostates to have ever lived?  He says that it is a “grave error” to say that he is in the eternal flames!  And Tom says that Catholics should pray for his soul!  Now, what kind of faithless heretic would say something like that?  Only a faithless heretic who doesn’t believe that the Catholic Faith is necessary for salvation and rejects that all who die as non-Catholics go to the eternal flames.
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….”
A real Catholic says that John Paul II’s countless acts of heresy and apostasy merited for him what all those who die as heretics suffer: eternal flames.  And since there is no evidence of his conversion and repudiation of his manifest apostasy, he is considered to have died as he lived (as a non-Catholic); and a true Catholic cannot pray for his soul, which is considered damned in the eternal flames of Hell.  Read the Saints of the Church:
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl. Q. 71, A. 5: “Gregory says (Moral xxxiv. 19): There is the same reason for not praying then (namely after the judgment day) for men condemned to everlasting fire, as there is now for not praying for the devil and has angels who are sentenced to eternal punishment, and for this reason the saints do not pray for dead unbelieving and wicked men, because, forsooth, knowing them to be already condemned to eternal punishment, they shrink from pleading for them by the merit of their prayers before they are summoned to the presence of the Judge.” St. Francis Xavier, Nov. 5, 1549: “The corsair who commanded our vessel died here at Cagoxima.  He did his work for us, on the whole, as we wished… He himself chose to die in his own superstitions; he did not even leave us the power of rewarding him by that kindness which we can after death do to other friends who die in the profession of the Christian faith, in commending their souls to God, since the poor fellow by his own hand cast his soul into hell, where there is no redemption.” (The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier by Henry James Coleridge, S.J.Originally published:London: Burns and Oates, 1874 Second Reprint, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 2004, Vol. 2, p. 281.)

BISHOP TOM PUBLICLY CONDEMNS AS SCHISMATICS THOSE WHO SAY WE ARE IN THE LAST DAYS!  HE ALSO QUOTES ANTIPOPE JOHN XXIII WITHOUT KNOWING IT

Tom writes: “This is also a time to publicly and clearly condemn those who clamour Antichrist and Perusia: these false prophets of doom and gloom have again been proven wrong. The nonsense of declaring Wojtyla the Antichrist and that we are in the end times has been proven completely false. Unless those who have “proclaimed” these errors retract and repent, they too must take an accounting of leading others into error and schism.”
First, since Bishop Tom is a phony with no supernatural Faith, he totally rejects the idea that we are in the last days of the world.  Now, let’s think about this:  Bishop Tom agrees that the Chair of St. Peter has been vacant since 1958.  That is 47 years.  He also agrees that the New Mass is an invalid, non-Catholic service.  This means that he agrees that idolatry (worshipping an invalidly consecrated piece of bread) is occurring at almost every so-called “Catholic” church in the world today.  He also believes that the Vatican II sect is an apostate, false church which poses as the Catholic Church, but is not.  But even though he believes that all of this is occurring – a vacancy of the Chair of Peter for 47 years; idolatry in almost every “Catholic” church; and a false church posing as the true Church which has been reduced to a tiny remnant – he utterly rejects that these are the last days!  Does this make any sense whatsoever?  No.  On top of that, Tom not only rejects that we are in the last days, but he holds that those who say we are in the last days are schismatics who must repent. But there is another revealing point about Tom’s words above.  In examining his words carefully, one can see the wicked spirit which moves Bishop TomNotice that Bishop Tom’s words are exactly what Antipope John XXIII, the Freemasonic Conspirator who called Vatican II, said at the opening speech of Vatican II, in ridicule of the Message of Fatima.
Antipope John XXIII, Opening Speech of Vatican II, Oct. 11, 1962: “We feel that we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand.”
Notice the incredible parallel between John XXIII’s words and Bishop Tom’s words.  They say the same thing, both in ridicule of those who say that we are in the last days.  Frankly, they are both moved by the same wicked and unbelieving spirit, which scoffs at those who say we are in the last days.  So without knowing it Bishop Tom is uttering the same words as the Freemasonic Antipope John XXIII, who ridiculed the Fatima children and the apocalyptic significance of their message. Furthermore, when Bishop Tom says that it is “nonsense” and schismatic to say that we are in the last days he is condemning Sister Lucia as a schismatic, who told Fr. Fuentes in 1957 that we are in the last days. Sister Lucia to Fr. Fuentes, 1957:
Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world but she made me understand this for three reasons.  The first reason is because she told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin.  And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat.  Hence from now on we must choose sides.  Either we are for God or we are for the devil.  There is no other possibility…”
Sister Lucia also stated before Vatican II that the Third Secret is in the Gospel and in the Apocalypse; and she specifically mentioned chapters 8 to 13.  All of this shows us what “schismatic nonsense” his own views are. But Bishop Tom is also condemning as schismatic Pope St. Pius X, who said that he believed we were probably in the last days in 1903, and that the Son of Perdition may already be in the world.
Pope St. Pius X, E Supremi #4, Oct. 4, 1903: “When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may already be in the world the ‘Son of Perdition’ of whom the Apostle speaks (2 Thess. 2:3).”
All of this just shows us again what a wicked, faithless phony Bishop Tom is; he condemns those who say we are in the last days because he doesn’t like what they are bringing to his attention: the necessity of vigorously combating this apostasy.   In regard to Tom’s assertion that it is “nonsense” to say that John Paul II is the Antichrist, one can only say that a faithless, dishonest, insincere phony like Bishop Tom – who allows people “ordained” in the New Rite to say Mass for his people when he doesn’t even believe that the New Rite is valid – would certainly have trouble believing that John Paul II could be the Antichrist.  Those who are evil, such as Bishop Tom, cannot perceive it themselves, being mired in their own darkness.  Bishop Tom doesn’t have the Faith to perceive that John Paul II’s distinguishing teaching is exactly what St. John described as the distinguishing teaching of the Antichrist, as we proved; and he doesn’t have the Faith to perceive that “Rome has lost the Faith and become the Seat of the Antichrist,” as Our Lady of La Salette prophesied, as soon as the Vatican publicly endorsed that Jews don’t need Christ (which it has). Tom desires to belittle the evil and the significance of the Vatican II apostasy to justify his failure to combat it and instruct against it.  He admitted to us that mentioning John Paul II from the pulpit “once a year” is sufficient – and even then he doesn’t specifically explain why Catholics must hold that John Paul II was not the Pope to come to Communion.  Someone with this heretical outlook certainly is hoping to belittle the significance of the Vatican II sect. In response to some of our criticism that he doesn’t address these issues from the pulpit, Tom said that he was distributing our flyer on the heresies of Vatican II.  Well, we got a copy of the flyer from a person who was attending his chapel.  We discovered that he was distributing the flyer alright, but with our name and contact information removed.  It’s one thing to remove the name; but for him to give the impression that he is in support of our material when he is simultaneously removing our name from our flyer shows again that he is a phony.

BISHOP TOM PUBLICLY CALLED A HERETIC NAMED JOE S. “THE PROPHET” WHEN JOE S. WAS SUPPORTING HIM 

Tom publicly called a man named Joseph Saraceno “the prophet” at a Conference a few years ago.  At the time, Saraceno was attending and supporting Tom’s chapel.  Compare this fact with what Tom writes now:
Tom writes: “This is also a time to publicly and clearly condemn those who clamour Antichrist and Perusia: these false prophets of doom and gloom have again been proven wrong. The nonsense of declaring Wojtyla the Antichrist and that we are in the end times has been proven completely false. Unless those who have “proclaimed” these errors retract and repent, they too must take an accounting of leading others into error and schism.”
He says that these “false prophets of doom and gloom” have been proven wrong again, when he not long ago publicly endorsed this heretical false prophet Joseph Saraceno who said that we are in the last days! Here’s the key: when Saraceno was supporting Bishop Tom he called him “the prophet”; but now that Saraceno doesn’t go to his chapel Tom condemns him as a false prophet!  Saraceno definitely is a false prophet who thinks that he is one of the witnesses of the Apocalypse because he has put forth the invaluable (?) theory that Christ will return on Pentecost of some year.  Saraceno also denies the salvation dogma and is a heretic.  But the point is that Tom, who doesn’t believe that we are in the last days (and who totally condemns those who say that we are!), called this man “the prophet” when he was supporting his chapel.  Here is what Saraceno wrote to me when I asked him recently if Bishop Tom called him a “prophet.”
Bro. Peter Dimond: … Yes it is true when he [Bishop Tom] quoted my booklet he publicly stated "The Prophet Joseph Saraceno states...." Now let me ask you, do you accept him as a Bishop?????  In Christ, the Prophet, Joseph
I know this is true because I heard Bishop Tom call this false prophet “the prophet” on audio tape.  This really shows us all about how much of a fraud Bishop Tom actually is.

CONCLUSION ABOUT BISHOP TOM AND FR. DENNIS M.

More could be said about Bishop Tom, and if we must say more in the future we will.  But the fact of the matter is that Bishop Tom doesn’t have the Catholic Faith.  Bishop Tom is a schismatic because he condemns those who say that we are in the last days.  He denies the salvation dogma by saying it is a “grave error” to declare that John Paul II must be considered lost to eternal hellfire.  He prays for those who die outside the Church and thus tears asunder the necessity of the Faith.  He allowed a “priest” ordained in the New Rite to offer “Mass” at his chapel when he doesn’t even accept the New Rite as valid.  He promotes heretics who reject his own positions, including Gregory Hesse, Fr. Vaillancourt, Atila Guimaraes and Marian Horvat, on his website.  He allows anyone to come to receive Communion at his chapel, including those who deny the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation and the Sedevacantist position or even those who may go to the Novus Ordo.  He doesn’t tell people that they must reject the salvation heresies and the Vatican II Antipopes if they want to be Catholic and receive the sacraments.  Bishop Tom is a heretic.  This is not a question; this is a fact. Tom’s actions have shown him to be a complete phony and a false shepherd.  He is an example of why Bishops normally couldn’t be consecrated without a Papal Mandate, and why Popes tell us that it is better to have few priests than bad priests.  Now, we hold that a priest who is sincerely Catholic could be consecrated a Bishop without a Papal Mandate in a crisis such as this.  But the candidate must be sincere; he must have his glory in God and in the Catholic Faith; otherwise the evil spirit will take over and help construct a false sect. Bishop Tom went from being a layman to a Bishop within a few days, all at the hands of a non-Catholic.  He has shown again and again that his glory is not in God and the Catholic Faith, but in himself.  And while he denies the Catholic Faith and is definitely a heretic, he is enthralled by externals and his trappings as a “Bishop.”  He acts as if he is a lawfully appointed Bishop of the Catholic Church with authority to command people.  He wrote to us “My sons” as if he had authority over us; he dresses fully as if he were a legitimate Bishop with jurisdiction; he is called by the priests “His Lordship or His Excellency,” etc.  Since Bishop Tom received orders at the hands of a notorious non-Catholic, he is to be considered a layman according to the strict letter of canon law in normal circumstances.   Since he was raised to the Episcopate under such ignominious circumstances in this unusual crisis of the Faith, he should dress as a regular priest.  I believe that if he did become fully Catholic he could exercise his orders in this crisis, even though under normal circumstances he would lack the exercise of his orders; but he absolutely does not deserve the trappings of Bishop or to be called “His Excellency” even if he were fully Catholic, which he is not. Nevertheless, the priests working “under him” call him “His Lordship or His Excellency,” while this heretic is a total disgrace before God and makes a mockery of the Catholic Faith.  Bishop Tom is all about himself, as proven when he condemned as schismatics those who say we are in the last days.  This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements ever made in the traditional movement.  But he didn’t care about the accuracy of his ridiculous charge; he was primarily concerned with vindicating himself against others.   To the heretic Bishop Tom the words of Pope St. Pius X apply:
Pope St. Pius X, Iucunda Sane #30, March 12, 1904: “Of such apostles the Church has no need; they are not apostles of Jesus Christ Crucified but of themselves.”
No Catholic can give any financial support whatsoever to this false pastor, Bishop Tom, who is definitely a heretic who denies the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation.  He is also a schismatic for condemning those who hold that we are in the last days.  He is also a schismatic for acting as if he possesses some ruling authority in the Church, when he has none.  And because Bishop Tom condemns true Catholics as schismatics (and thus imposes heresy upon them), no Catholic should even receive the sacraments from him at all or attend his chapel at all. Related: What About Fr. Dennis M?

What Catholics can and should do in the present apostasy


February 5, 2007

First, if you’re not a Catholic, you need to become a traditional Catholic as soon as possible, since there is no salvation outside the one Church Christ has established.  The information in this book shows that the Devil’s assault in the final days is on the one Church established by Christ; it is the Devil’s attempt to establish a counterfeit of the true Church.  This counterfeit Church has reduced the true Catholic Church to a remnant in the last days.  Non-Catholics should contact us for more information about how to convert; the profession of faith for converts to the Catholic Faith is given below.

Where to go to Mass or Confession?

This is probably the most frequent question that we receive and it is the hardest to answer.  This is because there is hardly a solid Catholic priest to be found in the entire country today.  We offer some guidelines here, and our opinion.  Obviously, no Catholic may attend the New Mass under any circumstances.  No Catholic may receive sacraments from a “priest” ordained in the new rite of ordination of Paul VI.

Attending Mass on Sunday and Holy Days is the Church’s law, which is only obligatory if the Church provides you with a true traditional Mass and a truly Catholic priest within a reasonable distance.  Many Catholics throughout history were in situations where they had no Mass to attend or no Mass which was offered by an acceptable priest.  They were thus forced to stay home.  Hence, it’s not a sin to stay home on Sundays and sanctify the day by praying your Rosary if there is no acceptable traditional Mass option in your area, which is the case for many Catholics today in this time of the Great Apostasy.  Those who only have a New Mass in their area would therefore have to stay home on Sundays.  Contact us for more information on this question about possible traditional Mass locations, and consult our website (www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com).

If a person has committed mortal sin and needs to go to Confession, he can go to a Novus Ordo priest who was ordained in the Traditional Rite of Ordination (before 1968) as long as the priest says “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”  This can be done if a person needs to go to Confession.

Profession of Faith for New Converts and People Leaving the Novus Ordo (the New Mass)

If you are a convert, make the Council of Trent’s Profession of Faith for converts.

Profession of Catholic Faith for Converts

 Promulgated solemnly by Pope Pius IV and the Council of Trent

  • I, N., with firm faith believe and profess each and every article contained in the symbol of faith which the holy Roman Church uses; namely:
  • I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in
  • one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages; God from God, light from light, true God from true God; begotten not made, of one substance (consubstantial) with the Father, through whom all things were made;
  • who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
  • He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, died, and was buried; and
  • He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven;
  • He sits at the right hand of the Father, and He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and of His kingdom there will be no end.
  • And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who equally with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified; who spoke through the prophets.
  • And I believe that there is one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.
  • I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I hope for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
  • I resolutely accept and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and the other practices and regulations of that same Church.
  • In like manner I accept Sacred Scripture according to the meaning which has been held by holy Mother Church and which she now holds. It is Her prerogative to pass judgment on the true meaning and interpretation of Sacred Scripture. And I will never accept or interpret it in a manner different from the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.
  • I also acknowledge that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and that they are necessary for the salvation of the human race, although it is not necessary for each individual to receive them all.
  • I acknowledge that the seven sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that of the seven, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without committing a sacrilege.
  • I also accept and acknowledge the customary and approved rites of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of these sacraments.
  • I embrace and accept each and every article on Original Sin and Justification declared and defined in the most holy Council of Trent.
  • I likewise profess that in Mass a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice is offered to God on behalf of the living and the dead, and that the Body and Blood together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, and that there is a change of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood; and this change the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation.
  • I also profess that the whole and entire Christ and a true Sacrament is received under each separate species.
  • I firmly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained there are helped by the prayers of the faithful.
  • I likewise hold that the saints reigning together with Christ should be honored and invoked, that they offer prayers to God on our behalf, and that their relics should be venerated.
  • I firmly assert that images of Christ, of the Mother of God ever Virgin, and of the other saints should be owned and kept, and that due honor and veneration should be given to them.
  • I affirm that the power of indulgences was left in the keeping of the Church by Christ, and that the use of indulgences is very beneficial to Christians.
  • I acknowledge the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and…
  • I unhesitatingly accept and profess all the doctrines (especially those concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching authority) handed down, defined, and explained by the sacred canons and ecumenical councils and especially those of this most holy Council of Trent (and by the ecumenical Vatican Council I). And at the same time:
  • I condemn, reject, and anathematize everything that is contrary to those propositions, and all heresies without exception that have been condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the Church.
  • I, N., promise, vow, and swear that, with God’s help, I shall most constantly hold and profess this true Catholic faith, outside which no one can be saved and which I now freely profess and truly hold. With the help of God, I shall profess it whole and unblemished to my dying breath; and, to the best of my ability, I shall see to it that my subjects or those entrusted to me by virtue of my office hold it, teach it, and preach it. So help me God and His holy Gospel. – end of Profession

If there is a specific sect to which you belonged, add at the end that you also reject that heretical sect.  If you are a person who has been involved in the Vatican II/Novus Ordo apostasy, you should also make that same profession of Faith from the Council of Trent.  If there were particular dogmas that you denied (such as Outside the Church There is No Salvation), then add at the end of the Profession that you reject anything contrary to that particular dogma.  The convert would then need to make a Confession to a validly ordained priest (see New Rite of Ordination section) mentioning all mortal sins that he or she has committed, including belonging to and/or spreading and supporting a non-Catholic sect.

People leaving the Novus Ordo also need to make a Confession (to a validly ordained priest, see New Rite of Ordination section) that they attended a non-Catholic service and for however long they attended.  If they participated in other things at the Novus Ordo (e.g. were a lay-minister, dressed immodestly, etc.) or accepted false ecumenism or denied some other dogma, these things should also be mentioned in Confession.  This must be done before receiving Communion at the Traditional Mass (if there is an acceptable one for you to attend in your area).

Baptism and Conditional Baptism:  The form of baptism is: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

If there is some doubt about the validity of your baptism, the conditional form of baptism is: “If you are baptized, I do not baptize you again, but if you are not yet baptized [pour water on the head, making sure it touches the skin] I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Since there are barely any true Catholic priests in the whole country, you can have a Catholic friend perform a conditional baptism, and you can baptize your own children.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Exultate Deo,” 1439: “In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or a deacon, but even a layman or woman, yes even a pagan and a heretic can baptize, so long as he preserves the form of the Church and has the intention of doing what the Church does.”[1]

Also, please contact us if you need a summary of the Catholic Catechism.

PRAYING THE ROSARY AND DEVOTION TO OUR LADY

For those who are Catholic, devotion to Our Lady and the Hail Mary are essential.  Catholics must come to learn and understand the power of devotion to Our Lady and the Hail Mary.  This will give them the spiritual armor to ward off the attacks of the Devil, and the light to see the truth of what’s really going on.

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “Blessed Alan de la Roche who was so deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin had many revelations from her and we know that he confirmed the truth of these revelations by a solemn oath.  Three of them stand out with special emphasis: the first, that if people fail to say the Hail Mary (the Angelic Salutation which has saved the world) out of carelessness, or because they are lukewarm, or because they hate it, this is a sign that they will probably and indeed shortly be condemned to eternal punishment.”[2] (The Secret of the Rosary, p. 45)

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “… there are some very sanctifying interior practices for those whom the Holy Ghost calls to high perfection.  These may be expressed in four words: to do all things by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary; so that we may do them all the more perfectly by Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus.[3] (True Devotion to Mary #257)

St. Louis De Montfort (+ c. 1710): “By this practice [the True Devotion to Mary which he teaches], faithfully observed, you will give Jesus more glory in a month than by any other practice, however difficult, in many years…”[4] (True Devotion to Mary #222)

St. Louis De Montfort: “… many others have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers (among others, St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure), that devotion to Mary is necessary to salvation, and that… it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin.”[5] (True Devotion to Mary # 40)

Regarding the Holy Rosary, Sister Lucia told Father Fuentes in a famous 1957 interview:

"Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary.  She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary.  There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.  With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves.  We will sanctify ourselves.  We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls."

We recommend that Catholics pray the entire 15-decade Rosary each day, if possible.  One set of mysteries at three different times in the day is the recommendation of St. Louis De Montfort as a good way to get that accomplished.  Frankly, many Catholics who are home most of the day are not getting this accomplished, when they easily could.  They are missing out on tremendous graces and the opportunity to help save other souls by their prayers. 

We also urge all Catholics to obtain and read the following books.  If one reads and meditates upon the four last things (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell), one will most likely avoid sin.  He will avoid the occasions of sin and live a good life.  We consider the following books to be essential for a proper spiritual formation; we believe that one will gain more from reading them than many other books.

-True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort

-The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis De Montfort

-Preparation for Death by St. Alphonsus (abridged version)

-Our Lady of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh (get to know and live the message Our Lady delivered at Fatima)

Endnotes:

[1] Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, no. 696.

[2] St. Louis De Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1999, p. 45.

[3] St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, Bay Shore, NY: The Montfort Fathers, 1946, p. 188.

[4] St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, p. 167.

[5] St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, p. 26.

Was Vatican II infallible?


January 21, 2007

Video: Was Vatican II Infallible?

Debate: Busting Myths about Vatican II’s “Infallibility”

Each and every one of the things set forth in this Decree has won the consent of the fathers.  We, too, by the Apostolic Authority conferred on us by Christ, join with the venerable fathers in approving, decreeing, and establishing these things in the Holy Spirit, and we direct that what has thus been enacted in synod [council] be published to God’s glory… I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church.” [1] (Paul VI, solemnly closing every document of Vatican II)

We have exposed in detail the heresies of Vatican II.  We have also shown that the men who implemented this non-Catholic Council were not true popes of the Catholic Church, but antipopes.  Despite all of the evidence, some people remain unconvinced.  They hold that there are indeed doctrinal problems with Vatican II; but, according to them, this is no problem for Paul VI because he did not infallibly promulgate any of the Vatican II heresies.  “The heresies of Vatican II don’t matter,” they say, “because Vatican II was not infallible!”  We will now show that if Paul VI had been a true pope, the documents of Vatican II would have been promulgated infallibly.  This will prove, again, that Paul VI (the heretic who promulgated the apostate documents of Vatican II, changed the rites to all seven sacraments, changed the Mass into a Protestant service, oversaw the systematic and world-wide dismantling of Catholicism, ruined the world-wide Catholic school system, and initiated the greatest apostasy from Catholicism in history) was not and could not have been a true pope.  He was an antipope.

There are three conditions that need to be met for a pope to teach infallibly: [1] the pope must carry out his duty as pastor and teacher of all Christians; [2] he must teach in accord with his supreme apostolic authority; and [3] he must explain a doctrine of faith or morals to be believed by the universal Church.  If a pope fulfills these conditions, he, through the divine assistance promised him as successor of Peter, operates infallibly, as the following definition of Vatican Council I teaches.

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 4, Chap. 4: “… the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, [1] WHEN CARRYING OUT THE DUTY OF THE PASTOR AND TEACHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS [2] IN ACCORD WITH HIS SUPREME APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY [3] HE EXPLAINS A DOCTRINE OF FAITH OR MORALS TO BE HELD BY THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His Church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable.  But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathema.”[2]

We will now prove, point by point, that Paul VI’s promulgation of the documents of Vatican II fulfilled all three of these requirements, which would make the documents of Vatican II infallible if he had been a true pope.

1) A Pope must act as Pastor and teacher of all Christians

The first requirement for a pope to teach infallibly is that he must act as pastor and teacher of all Christians.  If he was the true pope, Paul VI fulfilled this requirement.

EACH ONE OF THE 16 DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II BEGINS WITH THESE WORDS:

“PAUL, BISHOP, SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD, TOGETHER WITH THE FATHERS OF THE SACRED COUNCIL FOR EVERLASTING MEMORY.”[3]

Pope Eugene IV began the 9th session of the dogmatic Council of Florence with these words: “Eugene, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for an everlasting record.”[4]  Pope Julius II began the 3rd session of the dogmatic 5th Lateran Council with these words: “Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record.”[5]  And Pope Pius IX began the 1st session of the dogmatic First Vatican Council with these words: “Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record.[6]  This is the customary way in which the decrees of general/dogmatic/ecumenical councils are solemnly begun by popes.  Paul VI began every document of Vatican II in the very same way, with the very same words!

By beginning each document of Vatican II in this way, Paul VI (if he was a true pope) clearly fulfilled the first requirement to teach infallibly.

2) A Pope must teach in accord with his supreme apostolic authority

The second requirement for a pope to teach infallibly is that he must teach in accord with his supreme apostolic authority.  If he was the pope, Paul VI fulfilled this requirement.

EACH ONE OF THE 16 DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II ENDS WITH THESE WORDS (OR WORDS BASICALLY IDENTICAL TO THESE):

“EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE THINGS SET FORTH IN THIS DECREE HAS WON THE CONSENT OF THE FATHERS.  WE, TOO, BY THE APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY CONFERRED ON US BY CHRIST, JOIN WITH THE VENERABLE FATHERS IN APPROVING, DECREEING, AND ESTABLISHING THESE THINGS IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND WE DIRECT THAT WHAT HAS THUS BEEN ENACTED IN SYNOD BE PUBLISHED TO GOD’S GLORY... I, PAUL, BISHOP OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.”[7]

Wow!  This little known fact is utterly devastating to any claim that Paul VI could have been a true pope.  Paul VI ended each Vatican II document by invoking his “apostolic authority,” followed by his signature!  He clearly fulfilled the second requirement for infallibility.  In fact, this paragraph in itself fulfills not just the second requirement for Papal Infallibility, but all three; for in it we see Paul VI is “approving, decreeing and establishing” in “the holy Spirit” and “by his apostolic authority” all the things contained in each document!  This is infallible language.  Anyone who would deny this simply doesn’t know what he is talking about.

The approval given to Vatican II by Paul VI (quoted above) is even more solemn than the approval given to the infallible Council of Nicaea (325) by Pope St. Sylvester.  It’s more solemn than the approval given to the infallible Council of Ephesus (431) by Pope St. Celestine.  In other words, in approving the true councils of the Catholic Church, these true popes approved the documents of these councils in ways that were even less extraordinary than the way in which Paul VI approved Vatican II; and yet their approval of these true councils was sufficient to qualify as infallible and binding – a fact which no Catholic questions.

It is, therefore, a fact that each Vatican II document is a solemn act of Paul VI.  Each document is signed by him; each one is begun with him speaking as “pastor and teacher of all Christians”; and each one finished with him “approving, decreeing and establishing” all of the document’s contents in virtue of his “apostolic authority.”

This proves that if Paul VI was the pope the documents of Vatican II are infallible!  But the documents of Vatican II are not infallible; they are evil and heretical.  Consequently, this DESTROYS ANY POSSIBILITY that Paul VI was ever a true pope; for a true pope could never promulgate the evil documents of Vatican II in this authoritative manner.

3) A Pope must explain a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church

We’ve already proven that Paul VI fulfilled all three requirements to teach infallibly at Vatican II if he were the pope.  For the sake of completeness, however, we will finish the point-by-point proof by noting that the Vatican II documents are filled with teachings on faith and morals (part of the third requirement).  And they must be held by the universal Church, if Paul VI was the pope, because Paul VI solemnly approved, decreed and established them, in virtue of his “apostolic authority,” ordering that they be published.

Therefore, the third requirement for infallibility was also fulfilled by Paul VI in his promulgation of Vatican II.  But there’s still more!

In his brief declaring the council closed, Paul VI again invoked his “apostolic authority” and acknowledged that all the constitutions, decrees and declarations of Vatican II have been approved and promulgated by him.  He further stated that all of it must be “religiously observed by all the faithful”!  He further declared all efforts contrary to these declarations null and void.

Paul VI says Vatican II is to be Religiously Observed

Paul VI, “Papal” Brief declaring Council Closed, Dec. 8, 1965: “At last all which regards the holy Ecumenical Council has, with the help of God, been accomplished and ALL THE CONSTITUTIONS, DECREES, DECLARATIONS, AND VOTES HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE DELIBERATION OF THE SYNOD AND PROMULGATED BY US.  Therefore, we decided to close for all intents and purposes, WITH OUR APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, this same Ecumenical Council called by our predecessor, Pope John XXIII, which opened October 11, 1962, and which was continued by us after his death.  WE DECIDE MOREOVER THAT ALL THAT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED SYNODALLY IS TO BE RELIGIOUSLY OBSERVED BY ALL THE FAITHFUL, for the glory of God and the dignity of the Church… WE HAVE APPROVED AND ESTABLISHED THESE THINGS, DECREEING THAT THE PRESENT LETTERS ARE AND REMAIN STABLE AND VALID, AND ARE TO HAVE LEGAL EFFECTIVENESS, so that they be disseminated and obtain full and complete effect, and so that they may be fully convalidated by those whom they concern or may concern now and in the future; and so that, as it be judged and described, ALL EFFORTS CONTRARY TO THESE THINGS BY WHOEVER OR WHATEVER AUTHORITY, KNOWINGLY OR IN IGNORANCE, BE INVALID AND WORTHLESS FROM NOW ON.  Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the [seal of the] ring of the fisherman, December 8… the year 1965, the third year of our Pontificate.”[8]

There you have it.  The apostate Second Vatican Council is to be “religiously observed,” if you accept Paul VI.  There can be no doubt that if Paul VI was a true pope the gates of Hell prevailed against the Catholic Church on Dec. 8, 1965.  If Paul VI was the pope, Jesus Christ’s promises to His Church failed.  If Paul VI was the pope, all of Vatican II’s teaching on faith or morals was promulgated infallibly (ex cathedra).  But this is impossible – and anyone who would say that it is possible doesn’t believe in Catholic teaching on the indefectibility of the Catholic Church.  Thus we know that Giovanni Montini (Paul VI) was not a true successor of Peter, but an invalid antipope – which we already proved so clearly in exposing his incredible heresies which showed that his “election” – since he was a manifest heretic – was invalid.

And if you are not convinced of this, ask yourself this question: Is it possible for a true Catholic pope to “approve, decree and establish” all of the heresies of Vatican II “in the Holy Spirit” and by his “apostolic authority”?  Your Catholic sense tells you the answer.  No way.  Therefore, those who recognize the heresies of Vatican II and the facts that we are presenting here, and yet still maintain that it was possible that Antipope Paul VI was a true pope, are unfortunately in heresy for denying Papal Infallibility and for holding a position which means that the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Catholic Church.

Some people will erroneously argue that for a pope to speak ex cathedra he must condemn the opposing view or set forth penalties for non-observance.  This is not true.  Nowhere in the definition of Pope Pius IX on papal infallibility does he say that the pope must condemn in order to operate infallibly.  There are a number of infallible definitions where popes don’t condemn or set forth any penalties.

Objections- We will now refute the common objections made by those who argue that Vatican II wasn’t infallibly promulgated by Paul VI even if he was the pope.

Objection #1)  At his speech to open Vatican II, John XXIII said that Vatican II was to be a “pastoral council.”  This proves that Vatican II was not infallible!

Response:  This is not true.  John XXIII did not say in his opening speech at the council that Vatican II was to be a pastoral council.  Here is what John XXIII actually said:

John XXIII, Opening Speech at Vatican II, Oct. 11, 1962: “The substance of the ancient deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another.  And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions OF A MAGISTERIUM WHICH IS PREDOMINANTLY PASTORAL IN CHARACTER.”[9]

Here we see that John XXIII did not say that Vatican II would be a pastoral council.  He said that it would reflect the Church’s Magisterium, which is predominantly pastoral in character.  So, despite the incredibly widespread myth, the truth is that John XXIII never even called Vatican II a pastoral council in his opening speech.  By the way, even if John XXIII had called Vatican II a pastoral council in his opening speech, this wouldn’t mean that it is not infallible.  To describe something as pastoral does not mean ipso facto (by that very fact) that it’s not infallible.  This is proven by John XXIII himself in the above speech when he described the Magisterium as “pastoral,” and yet it’s de fide (of the faith) that the Magisterium is infallible.  Therefore, even if John XXIII did describe Vatican II as a pastoral council (which he did not) this would not prove that it is not infallible.

Most importantly, however, the fact that John XXIII did not actually call Vatican II a pastoral council in his opening speech at Vatican II doesn’t actually matter.  This is because, as we saw already, it was Paul VI who solemnly confirmed the heresies of Vatican II; and it is Paul VI’s confirmation (not John XXIII’s) which proves that Vatican II is binding upon those who accept him.

Objection #2)  Paul VI said in his General Audience on Jan. 12, 1966, that Vatican II “had avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas affected by the mark of infallibility.”

Response:  It is true that Paul VI stated in 1966 (after Vatican II had already been solemnly promulgated) that Vatican II “had avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas affected by the mark of infallibility.”  However, Antipope Paul VI’s statement in 1966 is irrelevant.  It does not and cannot change the fact that he solemnly promulgated (in a way that would be infallible if he were the pope) all of the documents of Vatican II on Dec. 8, 1965.  Paul VI had already signed and sealed Vatican II long before Jan. 12, 1966.  Vatican II was solemnly closed on Dec. 8, 1965.  This means that if Paul VI was the pope (which he wasn’t), the gates of Hell prevailed against the Church on Dec. 8, 1965 because of his solemn and final promulgation of all the heretical Vatican II documents on that day.

The Magisterium is a teaching authority whose teachings are “irreformable” (de fide definita, Vatican I, Denz. 1839).  Since they are irreformable, they are unalterable from the date on which they are declared.  If Antipope Paul VI had been a true Pope, Vatican II was irreformable and infallible on Dec. 8, 1965.  Nothing said or done after Dec. 8, 1965 could undo (if Paul VI were a true pope) that which was done already, for then the Magisterium’s teaching would become reformable.  Hence, the speech of Antipope Paul VI in 1966 (after the council was closed) has no relevance to whether or not Vatican II was infallible.

But why, then, would Antipope Paul VI make such a statement?  The answer is simple.  The diabolical (satanic) intelligence guiding Antipope Paul VI knew that, eventually, everyone with a traditionally Catholic mindset would not accept these decrees of Vatican II as infallible, since they are filled with errors and heresies.  Consequently, if he hadn’t made this statement in 1966 that Vatican II had avoided extraordinary definitions with infallibility, a vast body of people would have come to the immediate conclusion that he (Giovanni Montini - Antipope Paul VI) was not a real pope.  So the Devil had quite a bit riding on this statement.

The Devil had to propagate among “traditionalists” the idea that Paul VI did not “infallibly” promulgate Vatican II.  It was essential to the Devil’s entire post-Vatican II apostasy; he was scared to death that millions would have become sedevacantists denouncing Antipope Paul VI, his false Church and his false mass (the Novus Ordo).  Hence, the Devil inspired Antipope Paul VI to say (well after Vatican II had been solemnly promulgated by him) that Vatican II didn’t issue dogmatic statements.  This assurance, the Devil hoped, would give Paul VI the appearance of legitimacy among those who maintained some attachment to the traditional Faith.  But this diabolical ploy collapses when one considers the fact that Vatican II had already been closed in 1965.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it must be pointed out that in the same Jan. 12, 1966 General Audience, Paul VI said:

Paul VI, General Audience, Jan. 12, 1966: “The Council is a great act of the magisterium of the Church, and anyone who adheres to the Council is, by that very fact, recognizing and honoring the magisterium of the Church…”

If people are going to quote Paul VI’s Jan. 12, 1966 General Audience to attempt to prove that Vatican II wouldn’t have been infallible even if Paul VI was the pope, then logically they must accept other statements about Vatican II which Paul VI made in that General Audience, such as the one quoted above and the one quoted below.  In this quotation above, we clearly see that Paul VI says (in the very same General Audience) that Vatican II is an act of the Magisterium and that anyone who adheres to Vatican II is “honoring the magisterium of the Church”!  [The Magisterium is the infallible teaching authority of the Church.]

Pope Pius XI, Rappresentanti in Terra (# 16), Dec. 31, 1929: “Upon this magisterial office Christ conferred infallibility, together with the command to teach His doctrine to all.”[10]

Therefore, Paul VI’s speech means that, according to him, Vatican II is infallible – since he says that it is the teaching of the Magisterium, which is infallible.  His speech further says that anyone who accepts Vatican II’s teaching (i.e., its heresies) – such as that non-Catholics may receive Holy Communion or the heresies on religious liberty or that Muslims and Catholics worship the same God, etc. – is honoring Catholic teaching.  Anyone who wants to “go by” this speech, therefore, must admit that those who accept these heresies honor Catholic teaching!  This is clearly absurd and false; it proves that, no matter which way one wants to look at this issue in conjunction with this General Audience of Paul VI, Vatican II is binding upon all who hold that Paul VI was a valid pope – which proves that Paul VI definitely was not a true pope.  You cannot quote this General Audience to say one is not bound to accept Vatican II, when the same General Audience says that anyone who follows it is honoring the Magisterium!  Paul VI goes on to say in the same speech:

“…it [the Council] still provided its teaching with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium.  This ordinary magisterium, which is so obviously official, has to be accepted with docility, and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents.”

This part of the speech is almost never quoted by the defenders of Paul VI, probably because they know that the teaching of the Supreme Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, which means that even this General Audience of Antipope Paul VI affirms the infallibility of Vatican II.  In the same General Audience, Paul VI also said this:

“It is the duty and the good fortune of men in the post-Conciliar period to get to know these documents, to study them and to apply them.”

Furthermore, Paul VI stated in his encyclical Ecclesiam Suam (addressed to the entire Church) that Vatican II had the task of defining doctrine.

Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam (# 30), Aug. 6, 1964: “It is precisely because the Second Vatican Council has the task of dealing once more with the doctrine de Ecclesia (of the Church) and of defining it, that it has been called the continuation and complement of the First Vatican Council.”[11]

This means that Vatican II had the task of teaching infallibly.  And in the next section we will quote from Paul VI’s 1976 speech where he addresses the very subject of whether Vatican II and the New Mass are binding and specifically rejects the claims of false traditionalists who want to be able to hang on to Paul VI’s legitimacy while rejecting his Mass and council.

Objection #3)  Vatican II was not infallible because there was a note attached to the document Lumen Gentium that said it was not infallible.

Response:  [Note: the response to this objection is in-depth and involved, and some might not find it interesting.  If you are not looking for the answer to this objection, you might want to skip this one.]

Some defenders of Paul VI make reference to a theological note that was attached to the document Lumen Gentium.  They think this clarification proves that Paul VI didn’t promulgate Vatican II infallibly or authoritatively.  But this argument doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.  Here is the crucial portion of the theological note that was attached to the document Lumen Gentium:

“Taking into account conciliar custom and the pastoral aim of the present council, this holy synod defines as binding on the Church only those matters of faith and morals which it openly declares to be such.  THE OTHER MATTERS WHICH THE SYNOD PUTS FORWARD AS THE TEACHING OF THE SUPREME MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH, EACH AND EVERY MEMBER OF THE FAITHFUL SHOULD ACCEPT AND EMBRACE ACCORDING TO THE MIND OF THE SYNOD ITSELF, WHICH IS CLEAR EITHER FROM THE SUBJECT MATTER OR THE WAY IT IS SAID, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES OF THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION.”[12]

First, this note is not even part of the actual text of the document Lumen Gentium; it’s an appendix to the text of Lumen Gentium.[13]

Second, this note is attached only to Lumen Gentium, not the rest of the documents.  In other words, even if this theological note did “save” Paul VI’s promulgation of the heresies in Lumen Gentium (which it didn’t), it still did not “save” his promulgation of the rest of the Vatican II heresies.

Third, if one reads the above note one can see that it declares that the subject matter, or the way something is said within Vatican II, identifies that Vatican II is enacting the supreme Magisterium of the Church, in accordance with the rules of theological interpretation – that is to say, as the Church in the past has enacted the supreme Magisterium.  Paul VI’s declaration at the beginning and end of every Vatican II document (quoted already) definitely indicates, by “the way it is said,” “in accordance with the rules of theological interpretation” (that is, paralleling past dogmatic decrees), that he is enacting the supreme Magisterium (if he had been a pope).  Therefore, this theological clarification attached to the document Lumen Gentium does not diminish or negate the solemn language of Paul VI found at the end of every Vatican II document.  Rather, his language at the end of every Vatican II document fulfills the requirements of the theological note.

Fourth, those who attempt to use this note in order to “save” all of the documents of Vatican II from compromising Papal Infallibility don’t pay much attention to what it actually said.  The note clearly stated that “the other matters which the synod (Vatican II) puts forward as the teaching of the supreme Magisterium of the Church, each and every member of the faithful should accept and embrace according to the mind of the synod itself, which is clear either from the subject matter or the way it is said, in accordance with the rules of theological interpretation.” 

This is a very important point!  There are numerous instances in Vatican II where Vatican II is setting forth what it believes to be the teaching of the supreme Magisterium, which “each and every member of the faithful should accept and embrace according to the mind of the synod itself, which is clear either from the subject matter or the way it is said…”  For instance, in its heretical Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae), Vatican II says this:

Vatican II document, Dignitatis Humanae (# 9): “The statements made by this Vatican synod on the right to religious freedom have their basis in the dignity of the person, the demands of which have come to be more fully known to human reason from the experience of centuries.  But this teaching on freedom also has its roots in divine revelation, and is for that reason to be held all the more sacred by Christians.”[14]

Here Vatican II explicitly indicates that its heretical teaching on religious liberty is rooted in divine revelation and is to be held sacred by Christians.  This clearly fulfills the requirements of the theological note for a teaching that “each and every member of the faithful should accept and embrace according to the mind of the (Vatican II) synod itself, which is clear either from the subject matter or the way it is said…” And there is more:

Vatican II document, Dignitatis Humanae (# 12): “Hence the Church is being faithful to the truth of the Gospel and is following the way of Christ and the apostles, when it sees the principle of religious freedom as in accord with human dignity and the revelation of God, and when it promotes it.  Throughout the centuries it has guarded and handed on the teaching received from the master and the apostles.”[15]

Here Vatican II explicitly indicates that its heretical teaching on religious liberty is: 1) faithful to the truth of the Gospel; 2) follows the way of Christ and the apostles; and 3) is in accord with the revelation of God!   We remind the reader again of the wording of the theological note, which stated that “the other matters which the (Vatican II) synod puts forward as the teaching of the supreme Magisterium of the Church, each and every member of the faithful should accept and embrace according to the mind of the synod itself, which is clear either from the subject matter or the way it is said, in accordance with the rules of theological interpretation.” 

Therefore, according to the theological note itself, those who accept Paul VI as a pope are bound to accept Vatican II’s heretical teaching on religious liberty as the teaching of the supreme Magisterium of the Church!  The theological note binds them to accept Vatican II’s heretical teaching on religious liberty as: 1) faithful to the truth of the Gospel; 2) following the way of Christ and the apostles; and 3) in accord with the revelation of God because this is “the mind of the synod itself (Vatican II), which is clear from the subject matter or the way it is said…”  It’s very simple: those who believe that Antipope Paul VI was the pope are bound to the heretical document on religious liberty.

To summarize all of the points made so far: 1) the theological note attached to Lumen Gentium does not apply to every document; 2) the theological note attached to Lumen Gentium does not diminish or negate the language of Paul VI at the end of every Vatican II document, but rather proves that his language at the end of every document fulfills the requirements for infallible teaching of the Magisterium; 3) even if the theological note did apply to every document – and somehow did make Paul VI’s solemn language at the end of each document non-binding (which it most certainly doesn’t) – the theological note itself still proves that various documents in Vatican II are infallible and binding by the way Vatican II presents its teaching on these matters.  No matter which way one tries to escape the reality that Antipope Paul VI could not have been a true pope and at the same time promulgate Vatican II, he fails.

St. Peter vs. Anti-Peter

In his dogmatic encyclical Quanta Cura, Pope Pius IX infallibly condemned the heretical doctrine of religious liberty (which had also been condemned by numerous other popes).  Pope Pius IX explicitly anathematized the heretical idea that religious liberty should be a civil right in every rightly constituted society.  The Catholic Church teaches that a government which recognizes the right to religious liberty - like the U.S.A. – is, of course, preferable to one which suppresses Catholicism.  Nevertheless, this situation is only the lesser of two evils.  The ideal is a government which recognizes the Catholic religion as the only religion of the state and does not give every person the “freedom” to practice and propagate his/her false religion in the public domain.  Therefore, the idea that religious liberty should be a universal civil right is heretical, as Pope Pius IX infallibly defined in Quanta Cura.

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (#’s 3-6), Dec. 8, 1864, ex cathedra: 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, NAMELY, 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… But while they rashly affirm this, they do not understand and note that they are preaching liberty of perdition…  Therefore, BY OUR APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, WE REPROBATE, PROSCRIBE, AND CONDEMN ALL THE SINGULAR AND EVIL OPINIONS AND DOCTRINES SPECIALLY MENTIONED IN THIS LETTER, AND WILL AND COMMAND THAT THEY BE THOROUGHLY HELD BY ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AS REPROBATED, PROSCRIBED AND CONDEMNED.”[16]

Pope Pius IX condemned, reprobated and proscribed (outlawed) by his apostolic authority the heretical idea that every state should grant the civil right to religious liberty.  But watch this!  Whereas Pope Pius IX condemned, reprobated and proscribed (outlawed) this doctrine by his apostolic authority, Antipope Paul VI approves, decrees and establishes this condemned teaching by his “apostolic authority.”  In other words, that which Pope Pius IX solemnly condemns by his apostolic authority is exactly what Antipope Paul VI solemnly teaches by his “apostolic authority”!

Antipope Paul VI, Vatican II Declaration on Religious Liberty: “PAUL, BISHOP, SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD, TOGETHER WITH THE FATHERS OF THE SACRED COUNCIL FOR EVERLASTING MEMORY… This Vatican synod declares that the human person has the right to religious freedom … THIS RIGHT OF THE HUMAN PERSON TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SHOULD HAVE SUCH RECOGNITION IN THE REGULATION OF SOCIETY BY LAW AS TO BECOME A CIVIL RIGHT… Each and every one of the things set forth in this decree has won the consent of the Fathers.  WE, TOO, BY THE APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY CONFERRED ON US BY CHRIST, JOIN WITH THE VENERABLE FATHERS IN APPROVING, DECREEING, AND ESTABLISHING THESE THINGS IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, and we direct that what has thus been enacted in synod be published to God’s glory… I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church.”[17]

The Authority of St. Peter                         vs.               The Authority of Anti-Peter

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (#’s 3-6), Dec. 8, 1864, ex cathedra: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, NAMELY, 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… But while they rashly affirm this, they do not understand and note that they are preaching liberty of perdition…  Therefore, BY OUR APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, WE REPROBATE, PROSCRIBE, AND CONDEMN ALL THE SINGULAR AND EVIL OPINIONS AND DOCTRINES SPECIALLY MENTIONED IN THIS LETTER, AND WILL AND COMMAND THAT THEY BE THOROUGHLY HELD BY ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AS REPROBATED, PROSCRIBED AND CONDEMNED.”[18] Antipope Paul VI, Vatican II Declaration on Religious Liberty: “PAUL, BISHOP, SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD, TOGETHER WITH THE FATHERS OF THE SACRED COUNCIL FOR EVERLASTING MEMORY… This Vatican synod declares that the human person has the right to religious freedom … THIS RIGHT OF THE HUMAN PERSON TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SHOULD HAVE SUCH RECOGNITION IN THE REGULATION OF SOCIETY BY LAW AS TO BECOME A CIVIL RIGHT… Each and every one of the things set forth in this decree has won the consent of the Fathers.  WE, TOO, BY THE APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY CONFERRED ON US BY CHRIST, JOIN WITH THE VENERABLE FATHERS IN APPROVING, DECREEING, AND ESTABLISHING THESE THINGS IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, and we direct that what has thus been enacted in synod be published to God’s glory… I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church.”[19]

Is it possible for Paul VI to possess the same “apostolic authority” as Pope Pius IX?  Does the apostolic authority of St. Peter contradict itself?  No way!  It is heresy to say so! (Lk. 22:32; Vatican I, Sess. 4, Chap. 4.)

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: “… Christ instituted a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed… As often, therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true.  If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man.”[20]

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, Session 4, Chap. 4, ex cathedra: “So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair… 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.”[21]

With these facts in mind, one can see why those who obstinately maintain that Paul VI was a true pope deny Papal Infallibility.  They deny the indefectibility of the Church; they assert that the apostolic authority conferred by Christ upon the successor of Peter contradicts itself; and they assert that the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Catholic Church.

The truth is that Antipope Paul VI was never the validly elected pope of the Catholic Church; and therefore his solemn promulgation of the heresies of Vatican II did not infringe upon Papal Infallibility.  As we saw already, the Catholic Church teaches that it’s impossible for a heretic to be elected pope, since a heretic is not a member of the Catholic Church.  This was defined in Pope Paul IV's Apostolic Constitution Cum ex Apostolatus Officio.

*For more information on Vatican II’s primary heresies, consult our article: The Heresies in Vatican II located on our website.

Endnotes:


[1] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, The America Press, 1966, p. 366, etc.

[2] Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, no. 1839.

[3] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, pp. 137, 199, etc.

[4] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Sheed & Ward and Georgetown University Press, 1990, Vol. 1, p. 559.

[5] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, p. 597.

[6] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, p. 802.

[7] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, p. 366, etc.

[8] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, pp. 738-739.

[9] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, p. 715.

[10] The Papal Encyclicals, by Claudia Carlen, Raleigh: The Pierian Press, 1990,Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 355.

[11] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 5, p. 140.

[12] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, p. 898.

[13] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, p. 97.

[14] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, p. 1006.

[15] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, pp. 1008-1009.

[16] Denzinger 1690, 1699.

[17] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, pp. 675, 679, 696.

[18] Denzinger 1690, 1699.

[19] Walter M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, pp. 675, 679, 696.

[20] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 2 (1878-1903), p. 394.

[21] Denzinger 1837.

Objection 16): The Vatican II popes haven’t taught manifest heresy, because their statements are ambiguous and require commentary.


January 19, 2007

Chris Ferrara, Catholic Family News, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” Oct. 2005, p. 8: “Now that which is manifest – i.e., plain, evident, obvious, unmistakable and undoubted – requires no explanation.  The very quality of not needing to be explained is what makes a thing manifest.  Thus, before the Enterprise can even get to first base, it must show us not merely papal statements made openly, but statements whose alleged heresy requires no explanation to demonstrate.  The papal words themselves – not sedevacantist interpretations of those words – must denote heresy.

     “If a Pope were to proclaim to the whole Church in some document or public pronouncement ‘There is no Holy Trinity.  There is only God the Creator, just as the Muslims believe!’ his heresy would be manifest in the full and correct sense of the word.”[1]

Answer:  The one making this objection, Chris Ferrara, is completely wrong, as usual.  First, there are many examples of manifest heresies from the post-conciliar antipopes which require no explanation or commentary, as we have seen.  Second, papal authority teaches us that some heresies do require explanation, deep study and analysis to uncover and condemn, as we will also see.

Before we expand on those two points, it is necessary for the reader to examine the example of heresy that Ferrara gives.  Ferrara gives the example of heresy: “There is no Holy Trinity.”  According to Ferrara, this is an undeniable example of manifest heresy.  He is correct that this statement is heretical, but notice that even in this example we are not dealing with an exact word-for-word denial of a dogmatic definition.  As far as we’re aware, there is no dogmatic definition on the Holy Trinity which states “There is a Holy Trinity.”  There are definitions, such as the following:

Pope Gregory X, Council of Lyons II, 1274, ex cathedra: “We believe that the Holy Trinity, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is one God omnipotent…”[2]

Of course, Catholics immediately recognize that the statement “There is no Holy Trinity” equates to a direct denial of this dogmatic definition, even though it doesn’t deny the dogmatic definition verbatim.  So, in giving his single example of heresy – a single example Ferrara probably concocted because he feels confident that that the sedevacantists can produce no equivalent heresy on the Trinity from Benedict XVI – Ferrara proves our point: statements that equate to a direct denial of dogma, even though they are not exact word-for-word denials of a dogmatic definition, are examples of manifest heresy.

So, just as Catholics immediately recognize that the statement “There is no Holy Trinity” is a manifest heresy, even though there is no dogma declaring exactly the opposite word-for-word, they likewise immediately recognize that Benedict XVI’s declaration that Protestantism is not heresy is, of course, a direct denial of the Catholic dogmas which condemn Protestant teachings as heresies.  Thank you for proving our point again, Mr. Ferrara.

We will now quote more than 10 statements from Benedict XVI (and just one from John Paul II) and give no commentary whatsoever.  Everyone who is sincere and honest will see that they equate to direct rejections of Catholic dogma without any analysis being required.

“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood, pp. 87-88: “The difficulty in the way of giving an answer is a profound one.  Ultimately it is due to the fact that there is no appropriate category in Catholic thought for the phenomenon of Protestantism today (one could say the same of the relationship to the separated churches of the East).  It is obvious that the old category of ‘heresy’ is no longer of any value… Protestantism has made an important contribution to the realization of Christian faith, fulfilling a positive function in the development of the Christian message… The conclusion is inescapable, then: Protestantism today is something different from heresy in the traditional sense, a phenomenon whose true theological place has not yet been determined.”[3]

No comment necessary.

Joseph Ratzinger, Theological Highlights of Vatican II, pp. 61, 68: “… Meantime the Catholic Church has no right to absorb other Churches.  The Church has not yet prepared for them a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled to… A basic unity – of Churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it.”[4]

No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 197-198: “Against this background we can now weigh the possibilities that are open to Christian ecumenism.  The maximum demands on which the search for unity must certainly founder are immediately clear.  On the part of the West, the maximum demand would be that the East recognize the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the full scope of the definition of 1870 and in so doing submit in practice, to a primacy such as has been accepted by the Uniate churches.  On the part of the East, the maximum demand would be that the West declare the 1870 doctrine of primacy erroneous and in so doing submit, in practice, to a primacy such as has been accepted with the removal of the Filioque from the Creed and including the Marian dogmas of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  As regards Protestantism, the maximum demand of the Catholic Church would be that the Protestant ecclesiological ministers be regarded as totally invalid and that Protestants be converted to Catholicism none of the maximum solutions offers any real hope of unity.”[5]

No comment necessary.

 “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World, 2000, p. 209: “It is of course possible to read the Old Testament so that it is not directed toward Christ; it does not point quite unequivocally to Christ.  And if Jews cannot see the promises as being fulfilled in him, this is not just ill will on their part, but genuinely because of the obscurity of the texts and the tension in the relationship between these texts and the figure of Jesus.  Jesus brings a new meaning to these texts – yet it is he who first gives them their proper coherence and relevance and significance.  There are perfectly good reasons, then, for denying that the Old Testament refers to Christ and for saying, No, that is not what he said.  And there are also good reasons for referring it to him – that is what the dispute between Jews and Christians is about.[6]

No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (1982), p. 377: “…There is an obsession with the letter that regards the liturgy of the Church as invalid and thus puts itself outside the Church.  It is forgotten here that the validity of the liturgy depends primarily, not on specific words, but on the community of the Church...”[7]

No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (1982), p. 202: “It means that the Catholic does not insist on the dissolution of the Protestant confessions and the demolishing of their churches but hopes, rather, that they will be strengthened in their confessions and in their ecclesial reality.”[8]

No comment necessary.

John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint (# 84), May 25, 1995:
“…[Speaking of non-Catholic “Churches”] These saints come from all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities WHICH GAVE THEM ENTRANCE INTO THE COMMUNION OF SALVATION.”[9]

No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1982, p. 381: "If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter syllabusAs a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution was, to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789."[10]

 No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth, 1990, p. 217: “The question that really concerns us, the question that really oppresses us, is why it is necessary for us in particular to practice the Christian Faith in its totality; why, when there are so many other ways that lead to heaven and salvation, it should be required of us to bear day after day the whole burden of ecclesial dogmas and of the ecclesial ethos.  And so we come again to the question: What exactly is Christian reality?  What is the specific element in Christianity that not merely justifies it, but makes it compulsorily necessary for us?  When we raise the question about the foundation and meaning of our Christian existence, there slips in a certain false hankering for the apparently more comfortable life of other people who are also going to heaven.  We are too much like the laborers of the first hour in the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt. 20:1-16).  Once they discovered that they could have earned their day’s pay of one denarius in a much easier way, they could not understand why they had had to labor the whole day.  But what a strange attitude it is to find the duties of our Christian life unrewarding just because the denarius of salvation can be gained without them!  It would seem that we – like the workers of the first hour – want to be paid not only with our own salvation, but more particularly with others’ lack of salvation.  That is at once very human and profoundly un-Christian.”[11]

No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth, 1990, p. 29: “To borrow Congar’s cogent phrase, it would be both foolish and perverse to identify the efficacy of the Holy Spirit with the work of the ecclesial apparatusThis means that even in Catholic belief the unity of the Church is still in the process of formation; that it will be totally achieved only in the eschaton [the end of the world], just as grace will not be perfected until its effects are visible – although the community of God has already begun to be visible.”[12]

No comment necessary.

“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, 2004, p. 349: “It now becomes clear that the real heart of faith in the resurrection does not consist at all in the idea of the restoration of bodies, to which we have reduced it in our thinking; such is the case even though this is the pictorial image used throughout the Bible.”[13]

No comment necessary.

The Jewish People and the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Bible, Section II, A, Prefaced by Benedict XVI: “Jewish messianic expectation is not in vain... to read the Bible as Judaism does necessarily involves an implicit acceptance of all its presuppositionswhich exclude faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God… Christians can and ought to admit that the Jewish reading of the Bible is a possible one[14] 

There are many others, but these constitute more than ten examples of manifest heresies which equate to a direct denial of Catholic dogma without any commentary being necessary.

CHRIS FERRARA VS. POPE PIUS VI ON AMBIGUITY IN HERESY = A KNOCKOUT FOR POPE PIUS VI

In addition to the fact that there are manifest heresies which require no commentary from the Vatican II antipopes, as we saw above, WHAT UTTERLY DESTROYS FERRARA’S POINT is the fact that Pope Pius VI teaches exactly the opposite of Ferrara on heresy and ambiguity.  Pope Pius VI declares that heretics, such as Nestorius, have always camouflaged their heresies and doctrinal errors in self-contradiction and ambiguity!

Pope Pius VI, condemning the Synod of Pistoia, Bull “Auctorem fidei," August 28, 1794: “[The Ancient Doctors] knew the capacity of innovators in the art of deception.  In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, they sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner.  Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith which is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation.  This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used.  For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error.

"Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up to the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.

"It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions which are published in the common language for everyone's use.  Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error.  It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor Saint Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity.  Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.

"In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: WHENEVER IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO EXPOSE STATEMENTS WHICH DISGUISE SOME SUSPECTED ERROR OR DANGER UNDER THE VEIL OF AMBIGUITY, ONE MUST DENOUNCE THE PERVERSE MEANING UNDER WHICH THE ERROR OPPOSED TO CATHOLIC TRUTH IS CAMOUFLAGED.”

Pope Pius VI teaches us that if someone veils a heresy in ambiguity, as heretics have done throughout the ages, a Catholic must hold him to the heretical meaning and denounce the heretical meaning which is camouflaged in ambiguity!  This alone blows Chris Ferrara’s entire series of articles and objections against sedevacantism out of the water.  (And please note an important distinction: we are not asserting that documents or statements that are merely ambiguous, but which teach no clear doctrinal contradiction of Catholic Faith, are heretical; no, we are asserting with Pope Pius VI that documents which contain heretical statements or assertions which clearly contradict Catholic dogma (“shocking affirmations,” according to Pius VI) but which also contain self-contradiction and ambiguity along with those heretical statements, are still just as heretical despite the ambiguity and self-contradiction that accompanies the heresy.  An example would be an alleged “Catholic” who consistently supports abortion, but sometimes says that he accepts Church teaching on abortion.  This person is a manifest heretic, despite the self-contradiction and ambiguity that his position implies.  Another example would be a man who states that we shouldn’t convert Protestants (a manifest heresy), but who also states that the Catholic Church alone is the fullness of the Christian Faith which all should embrace.  He is a manifest heretic, despite the fact that the latter statement seems to some to contradict the former statement.  Heretics are dishonest and liars, so they often attempt to contradict or mitigate the offensiveness of their heresies through subtle tactics of self-contradiction and accompanying ambiguity; that is the point of Pope Pius VI.)

Notice how directly Chris Ferrara contradicts the teaching of Pope Pius VI.

 

 

 

Chris Ferrara, Catholic Family News, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” Oct. 2005, p. 25: “Thus, we are dealing with a document [Dignitatis Humanae of Vatican II] that contains apparent self-contradictions, which seem to have resulted from the Council’s attempt to appease both conservative and liberal factions among the Council FathersA document that contradicts itself by appearing to uphold and negate the traditional teaching at one and the same time can hardly be said to constitute a manifest contradiction of the traditional teachingFor what is at issue are ambiguities, internal inconsistencies, and novelties…”

 

Pope Pius VI: "Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up to the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error.  It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.

" It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor Saint Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity

Obviously, Pope Pius VI is correct and Chris Ferrara is completely wrong.  Notice that Pius VI also says that some of these doctrinal errors (which are also heresies in this case, since he is referring to the heresies of the arch-heretic Nestorius) were only uncovered through careful study and analysis!

Pius VI: “It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor Saint Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity.  Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.”

But we thought that such analysis and study wouldn’t be needed for manifest contradictions of Catholic teaching?  That’s what Chris Ferrara said. 

Chris Ferrara, The Remnant, Sept. 30, 2005, p. 18: “…where are the objectively heretical statements?  If they exist, it should be a simple matter to quote the heretical propositions uttered… The ‘heresies’ should speak for themselves without any helpful ‘commentary’ by sedevacantist accusers.[15]

Chris Ferrara couldn’t be more wrong.  Heretics deceive through contradictions and ambiguity because heresy itself is a lie and a contradiction.

Pope Pius XI, Rite expiatis (# 6), April 30, 1926: “…heresies gradually arose and grew in the vineyard of the Lord, propagated either by open heretics or by sly deceivers who, because they professed a certain austerity of life and gave a false appearance of virtue and piety, easily led weak and simple souls astray.”[16]

Notice, heresies arise both through open and undeceiving heretics as well as by sly deceivers, such as Benedict XVI, who mixes in conservative statements and actions among his astounding and undeniable heresies.  Illustrating this point again is the fact that the arch-heretic Arius got himself approved by Constantine by giving him an ambiguous profession of faith.  St. Athanasius was not fooled, however, and refused to consider him a Catholic.

Arius presented himself with Euzoios, his ally in doctrine and exile.  He left with the Emperor [Constantine] a wary profession of Faith which could be interpreted either in the Arian or the orthodox sense but which did not contain the word ‘consubstantial.’  Constantine was content, revoked his sentence of exile, and ordered that Arius should be readmitted to his rank in the clergy.  Arius’ ecclesiastical superior, Athanasius, however, refused to accept him.”[17]

According to Chris Ferrara, Catholics should have accepted the Christ-denier Arius as a Catholic, as Constantine did, since his profession was ambiguous.  Chris Ferrara is the perfect dupe of Satan; all the Devil needs to have the heretic do after teaching his heresy is spice in a little ambiguity, and pepper in a little contradiction, and he will be telling the world to follow the heretic and remain under his aegis.  And that is exactly how the Devil has been so successful in keeping people in the apostate, manifestly heretical Vatican II sect.  People see a few conservative statements or actions from the heretics, and they convince themselves that they couldn’t be malicious heretics, even though they are denying and destroying the Faith all around them, as we’ve shown.  In this way, the Devil wins.

To further illustrate the “patent absurdity” of Chris Ferrara’s “theology” John Doe could write a document which denies that Our Lady is immaculate over and over again, and then state at the end that he upholds Church teaching on the Immaculate Conception, and the document wouldn’t be manifestly heretical because it contains “self-contradiction.”  Could anything be more stupid?  Ferrara applies this false theology, which is directly contrary to the teaching of Pope Pius VI (as we saw above), to his analysis of Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty.

Chris Ferrara, Catholic Family News, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” Oct. 2005, p. 25: “The [Sedevacantist] Enterprise’s claim of manifest heresy in DH [Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty] becomes even weaker when one considers that Article 1 of DH states that the Council ‘leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.’”[18]

Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty contains clear heresy against the Church’s dogma that the State has the right to repress the public expression of false religions.  The fact that Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty claims to “leave untouched traditional Catholic doctrine” means absolutely nothing.  The “Old Catholics” said exactly the same, as did heretics throughout history.

Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (# 2), March 23, 1875: “They [the ‘Old Catholics’] repeatedly state openly that they do not in the least reject the Catholic Church and its visible head but rather that they are zealous for the purity of Catholic doctrine…  But in fact they refuse to acknowledge all the divine prerogatives of the vicar of Christ on earth and do not submit to His supreme Magisterium.”[19]

According to Ferrara, then, the case that the “Old Catholics” are heretics is invalid, for they repeatedly state that they are zealous for the purity of Catholic doctrine, and they openly declare that they don’t reject Catholic teaching.  But no, the Catholic Church teaches that they are manifest heretics, and all who adhere to their teachings and sect are considered heretics.

Pope Pius IX, Graves ac diuturnae (#'s 1-4), March 23, 1875: "… the new heretics who call themselves 'Old Catholics'... these schismatics and heretics... their wicked sect... these sons of darkness... their wicked faction… this deplorable sect… This sect overthrows the foundations of the Catholic religion, shamelessly rejects the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council, and devotes itself to the ruin of souls in so many ways.  We have decreed and declared in Our letter of 21 November 1873 that those unfortunate men who belong to, adhere to, and support that sect should be considered as schismatics and separated from communion with the Church." [20]

Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra (# 6), Jan. 6, 1873: “It has always been the custom of heretics and schismatics to call themselves Catholics and to proclaim their many excellences in order to lead people and princes into error.” [21]

We can see that Chris Ferrara’s “theology” is directly at variance with not only the teaching of the popes, but common sense.  In fact, the satanic idiocy of Ferrara’s (and many others’) position – that the Vatican II apostates and antipopes are not manifest heretics because they sometimes contradict themselves and employ ambiguity along with their astounding heresies – is perhaps best exemplified by looking at the case of the apostate John Kerry. 

We would doubt that almost anyone reading this article believes that John Kerry is a Catholic.  Even the people at Franciscan University admit that: “You cannot be a Catholic and be pro-abortion,” as their signs declared in protest when he spoke in Ohio.  But John Kerry states that he accepts Catholic teaching, even though he consistently votes in favor of abortion. 

During the 2004 Presidential Debate with George W. Bush, John Kerry stated: “I cannot impose my article of faith on someone else.”  Did you get that?  John Kerry has stated publicly that the Church’s teaching against abortion is his article of faith, but that he simply cannot apply that or impose that in the public sphere.  His argument is absurd, a lie, a contradiction, of course – as all heresies are.  But according to Chris Ferrara, John Kerry must be considered a Catholic, for something that:

 “contradicts itself by appearing to uphold and negate the traditional teaching at one and the same time can hardly be said to constitute a manifest contradiction of the traditional teaching…”[22]

We can see that this statement is pure nonsense.  If it were true, then John Kerry can hardly be said to be a manifest heretic when he publicly affirms that Church teaching against abortion is his article of faith, but contradicts that by adamantly supporting abortion.  John Kerry must be considered a Catholic, according to the despicable perversion of Catholic teaching, inspired by Satan, that the heretic Chris Ferrara is peddling in “traditional” publications.  This conclusion would also put Ferrara at variance with another of his colleagues and good friends, Michael Matt, who declared unequivocally (on his own authority, since this has not been declared by his “pope”) that John Kerry is an apostate.

Michael Matt, The Remnant, April 15, 2004, p. 5: “Take Senator John F. Kerry, for example, the first Catholic nominated for the presidency by either major party since 1960.  Kerry, whose paternal grandparents were Jewish, by the way, is doing a remarkably good Kennedy impersonation these days: ‘We have a separation of Church and state in this country,’ Kerry recently told Time magazine.  ‘As John Kennedy said very clearly, I will be a President who happens to be Catholic, not a Catholic president.’  On that, at least, we can agree with the gentleman from Massachusetts!  In fact, we would take it one step further by noting that presidential candidate Kerry isn’t Catholic at all.

     “Oh, yes, the former altar boy says he’s Catholic; he allegedly complains when his staff doesn’t leave adequate time on his schedule for Sunday Mass; his official web site announces that ‘John Kerry was raised in the Catholic faith and continues to be an active member of the Catholic church.’  But he’s not Catholic, and neither is his wife – another anti-Catholic who claims to be a practicing one.  John Kerry’s description of himself and his wife is simply untrue: ‘[I’m a] believing and practicing Catholic, married to another believing and practicing Catholic.’  Sounds nice.  Trouble is, John Kerry is an apostate.’”[23]

It seems that Ferrara and Matt have some talking to do.  And really, the case of John Kerry proves the point, for if you cannot say that Benedict XVI, who takes active part in Jewish worship, doesn’t believe that Jesus is necessarily the Messiah and Son of God, teaches that we shouldn’t convert Protestants, was initiated into Islam, etc. can’t be considered a heretic – then you have no justification whatsoever to label John Kerry one.  In fact, the dogmas that Benedict XVI denies have been defined far more times than the dogma that Kerry denies.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Chris Ferrara, Catholic Family News, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” Oct. 2005, p. 8.

[2] Denzinger 461.

[3] Benedict XVI, The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood, pp. 87-88.

[4] Benedict XVI, Theological Highlights of Vatican II, New York: Paulist Press, 1966, pp. 61, 68.

[5] Benedict XVI, Principles of Catholic Theology (1982), pp. 197-198.

[6]  “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World, Ignatius Press, 2000, p. 209.

[7] “Cardinal” Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 377.

[8] “Cardinal” Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 202.

[9] The Encyclicals of John Paul II, p. 965.

[10] “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 381.

[11] “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth, Ignatius Press, 1990, p. 217.

[12] “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth, p. 29.

[13] “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, Ignatius Press, 2004, p. 349.

[14] The Jewish People and the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Bible, Section II, A, Prefaced by Benedict XVI, www.vatican.va.

[15] Chris Ferrara, The Remnant, Forest Lake, MN, Sept. 30, 2005, p. 18.

[16] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 294.

[17] Abbot Ricciotti, The Age of Martyrs, Tan Books, p. 275; see also Fr. Laux, Church History, Tan Books, 1989, p. 113; Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 2 (The Building of Christendom), p. 18.

[18] Chris Ferrara, Catholic Family News, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” Oct. 2005, p. 25.

[19] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 451.

[20] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), pp. 451-452.

[21] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 414.

[22] Chris Ferrara, Catholic Family News, Oct. 2005, p. 25.

[23] Michael Matt, The Remnant, April 15, 2004, p. 5.

Objection 5): The Church cannot exist without a pope, or at least it cannot exist for 40 years without a pope, as Sedevacantists say…


Answer: The Church has existed for years without a pope, and does so every time a pope dies.  The Church has experienced a papal interregnum (i.e. period without a pope) over 200 different times in Church history.  The longest papal interregnum (before the Vatican II apostasy) was between Pope St. Marcellinus (296-304) and Pope St. Marcellus (308-309).  It lasted for more than three and a half years.[i]  Further, theologians teach that the Church can exist for even decades without a pope.

EDMUND JAMES O’REILLY CRUSHES THE NON-SEDEVACANTISTS’ MAIN ARGUMENT ON THE LENGTH OF A PAPAL INTERREGNUM (PERIOD WITHOUT A POPE) BY TEACHING THAT THE CHURCH CAN EXIST FOR DECADES WITHOUT A POPE

Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly was an eminent theologian who lived at the time of Vatican I.  Writing after Vatican I and its definitions on the perpetuity of the Papal Office, he taught that God could leave the Church without a pope for over 39 years – e.g., during the entire span of the Great Western Schism (1378-1417).  Here is a quote from Father O’Reilly’s discussion of the Great Western Schism:

“We may here stop to inquire what is to be said of the position, at that time, of the three claimants, and their rights with regard to the Papacy.  In the first place, there was all through, from the death of Gregory XI in 1378, a pope – with the exception, of course, of the intervals between deaths and elections to fill up the vacancies thereby created.  There was, I say, at every given time a pope, really invested with the dignity of the Vicar of Christ and Head of the Church, whatever opinions might exist among many as to his genuineness; not that an interregnum covering the whole period would have been impossible or inconsistent with the promises of Christ, for this is by no means manifest, but that, as a matter of fact, there was not such an interregnum.”[2]

Fr. O’Reilly says that an interregnum (a period without a pope) covering the entire period of the Great Western Schism is by no means incompatible with the promises of Christ about His Church.  The period Fr. O’Reilly is speaking about began in 1378 with the death of Pope Gregory XI and ended essentially in 1417 when Pope Martin V was elected.  That would be a 39-year interregnum (period without a pope).  And Fr. O’Reilly was one of the most eminent theologians of the 19th Century.

It’s obvious that Fr. O’Reilly is on the side of those who, in rejecting the Vatican II antipopes, hold the possibility of a long-term vacancy of the Holy See.  In fact, on page 287 of his book, Fr. O’Reilly gives this prophetic warning:

“The great schism of the West suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here.  If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical [absurd].  They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation.  Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant.  But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not beYet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise.  What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit.  We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfill His promises… We may also trust that He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself by His promises.  We may look forward with cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the trouble and misfortunes that have befallen in the past.  But we, or our successors in the future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment.  I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever.  All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree.”[3]

This is an excellent point.  Fr. O’Reilly explains that if the Great Western Schism had never occurred, Catholics would say that such a situation (three competing claimants to the Papacy with no thoroughly ascertained head for decades) is impossible – just like those today who say the sedevacantist “thesis” is impossible, even though the facts prove that it is true. 

The Great Western Schism did happen, Fr. O’Reilly says, and we have no guarantee that worse things, that are not excluded by divine promises, won’t happen.  There is nothing contrary to indefectibility in saying that we haven’t had a pope since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.  There is everything contrary to the indefectibility of the Catholic Church in asserting that true popes could promulgate Vatican II, officially endorse false and pagan religions, promulgate the Protestant New Mass, and hold that non-Catholics don’t need to convert for salvation.  Leaving the Church without a pope for an extended period of the Great Apostasy is the punishment inflicted by God on our generation for the wickedness of the world.

Prophecy of St. Nicholas of Fluh (1417-1487): “The Church will be punished because the majority of her members, high and low, will become so perverted.  The Church will sink deeper and deeper until she will at last seem to be extinguished, and the succession of Peter and the other Apostles to have expired.  But, after this, she will be victoriously exalted in the sight of all doubters.” [4]

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Denzinger 51-52e; Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 1 (The Founding of Christendom), p. 494; J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 25.

[2] Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly, The Relations of the Church to Society – Theological Essays, 1882.

[3] Fr. O’Reilly, The Relations of the Church to Society – Theological Essays, p. 287.

[4] Yves Dupont, Catholic Prophecy, Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1973, p. 30.

Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism


Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553:
“… we bear in mind what was promised about the holy Church and Him who said the gates of Hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics)…”[1]

There are many objections launched against the sedevacantist position – that is, the position expounded in this book according to which the Chair of St. Peter is vacant because the post-Vatican II “popes” are not true popes, but non-Catholic antipopes.  We will now address all of the major objections that are launched against this position.

Objection 1): The Gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church, as Christ said (Matthew 16).  He said He would be with His Church all days until the end of the world (Matthew 28).  What you are saying is contrary to the promises of Christ.

Answer: No, indefectibility (the promise of Christ to always be with His Church, and that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it) means that the Church will, until the end of time, remain essentially what she is.  The indefectibility of the Church requires that at least a remnant of the Church will exist until the end of the world, and that a true pope will never authoritatively teach error to the entire Church.  It does not exclude antipopes posing as popes (as we’ve had numerous times in the past, even in Rome) or a counterfeit sect that reduces the adherents of the true Catholic Church to a remnant in the last days.  This is precisely what is predicted to occur in the last days and what happened during the Arian crisis. 

Objection 2): What’s your authority for making these judgments?  Your use of dogmatic statements is private interpretation.

Answer: The authority a Catholic has to determine that heretics are not members of the Church is Catholic dogma, which teaches us that those who depart from the Faith are considered alien to the Church.

Objection 3): You cannot know if someone is a heretic or denounce him as such without a trial and declaratory sentence.

Answer: Not so.  The declaratory sentence which follows an automatic excommunication is merely a legal recognition of something which already exists.  If this were not true, the automatic excommunication would be meaningless. 

Objection 4): What about material heresy?  Can’t the Vatican II Popes only be material heretics?

Answer: A “material” heretic is a Catholic erring in good faith about a dogmatic issue.  The Vatican II antipopes are without doubt real heretics.  They cannot be material heretics (Catholics erring in good faith) for many reasons, most important among those reasons being: 1) they don’t hold the essential mysteries of Faith; 2) they reject obvious dogmas of which they are fully aware.

Objection 5): The Church cannot exist without a pope, or at least it cannot exist for 40 years without a pope, as sedevacantists say...

Answer: The Church has existed for years without a pope, and does so every time a pope dies.  The Church has experienced a papal interregnum (i.e. period without a pope) over 200 different times in Church history.  The longest papal interregnum (before the Vatican II apostasy) was between Pope St. Marcellinus (296-304) and Pope St. Marcellus (308-309).  It lasted for more than three and a half years.[2]  Further, theologians teach that the Church can exist for even decades without a pope.

Objection 6): Vatican I’s definitions on the perpetuity of the Papal Office contradict the claims of the sedevacantists.

Answer: Vatican I’s dogmas don’t contradict a vacancy of the Papal See; in fact, it’s only those who reject the Vatican II antipopes who can consistently accept these papal dogmas, since Benedict XVI utterly rejects them.

Objection 7): No one can judge the Holy See… thus the Vatican II popes are true popes.

Answer: First, people need to understand what the teaching “No one can judge the Holy See” means.  It comes from the early Church.  In the early Church, when a bishop was accused of a crime, there would sometimes be a trial presided over by other bishops or by a patriarch of greater authority.  These bishops would sit in judgment on the accused bishop.  The Bishop of Rome, however, since he is the supreme bishop in the Church, cannot be subjected to any trial by other bishops or by other people.

Objection 8): St. Robert Bellarmine said that one cannot depose a pope, but that one can licitly resist him.  Sedevacantists judge, punish and depose the pope…

Answer: Many of those who believe Benedict XVI is the pope, yet reject the official actions of his “Church,” such as Vatican II, attempt to see a justification for their false position in this passage from St. Robert Bellarmine.  In fact, this passage is one of the most commonly used pieces of evidence that people attempt to throw against the sedevacantist position.  Unfortunately, the passage has been completely misapplied and distorted.

Objection 9): Pope Liberius gave in to the Arian heretics and excommunicated St. Athanasius, yet he remained the pope…

Answer: It is not true that Pope Liberius gave in to the Arians, signed any Arian formula, or even excommunicated St. Athanasius.  Pope Liberius was a staunch defender of the truth during the Arian crisis, but his return from exile gave some the idea that he had compromised, when, in fact, he had not.  We quote Pope Pius IX.

Objection 10): Pope Pius XII declared in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis that a cardinal, no matter what excommunication he’s under, can be elected pope.

ANSWER:  As we’ve already shown, it’s a dogma that 1) heretics are not members of the Church; and 2) that a pope is the head of the Church.  It is a dogmatic fact, therefore, that a heretic cannot be the head of the Church, since he is not a member of it.

Objection 11): What does it matter whether or not Benedict XVI/Francis is a pope?  The issue does not concern me.

Answer: If whether or not Benedict XVI is a pope does not matter, then the non-Catholicism of the Vatican II sect does not matter, the New Mass doesn’t matter, etc.  One cannot separate one from the other.  You cannot separate pope and Church.  Furthermore, to maintain that Benedict XVI is the head of the Catholic Church is to assert that the gates of Hell have prevailed against Her.

Objection 12): How could the entire Church and all the cardinals recognize an antipope, such as in the case of John XXIII (1958-1963)?

Answer: Pope Paul IV declared that Catholics could not accept such a heretical claimant, even if obedience were given to him by "all" – indicating by such a statement that all giving obedience to such an antipope is a possibility.

Objection 13): John XXII was a heretic, who was even denounced by Cardinal Orsini as a heretic, yet he remained the pope.

Answer: John XXII was not a heretic, and his reign is no proof that heretics can be popes.

Objection 14): Pope Honorius was condemned for heresy by a general council after his death, yet the Church does not consider him to have ceased to be pope, even though he was accused of heresy during his reign.

Answer: As we have already seen, it’s a dogmatic fact that a heretic cannot be the pope, since it’s an infallibly defined dogma that a heretic is not a member of the Catholic Church.

Objection 15): The Church and the hierarchy will always be visible.  If the Vatican II Church is not the true Catholic Church, then the Church and hierarchy are no longer visible.

Answer: 1) People misunderstand in what the visibility of the Church consists; 2) the Vatican II sect cannot be the visible Church of Christ; and 3) the Vatican II sect denies this very teaching on the visibility of the Church.

Objection 16): The Vatican II popes haven’t taught manifest heresy, because their statements are ambiguous and require commentary.

Answer:  The one making this objection, Chris Ferrara, is completely wrong, as usual.  First, there are many examples of manifest heresies from the post-conciliar antipopes which require no explanation or commentary, as we have seen.  Second, papal authority teaches us that some heresies do require explanation, deep study and analysis to uncover and condemn, as we will also see.

Objection 17): Both the 1917 and 1983 Codes of Canon Law teach that a declaration is needed for one to lose his office due to heresy.

Answer: This is simply not true.  Antipope John Paul II’s heretical and invalid 1983 Code states that such a declaration is necessary in Canon 194 § 3.  But the 1917 Code doesn’t.  The 1917 Code’s parallel canon to canon 194 is canon 188.  Canon 188 of the 1917 Code does not contain this provision, but simply declares that a cleric who “Publicly defects from the Catholic faith” (188 § 4) loses his office by that very fact “without any declaration.”

Objection 18): The Council of Constance condemned the idea that a heretic would cease to be the pope.

Answer: No, the Council of Constance didn’t condemn the idea that a heretic would cease to be the pope at all.  This is a serious misunderstanding of this proposition.  As we see clearly above, the Council condemned something significantly different.  It condemned the proposition that a wicked man would cease to be the head of the Church, since he is not a member of it.  The proposition from the heretic Hus rightly asserts that one who is not a member of the Church cannot be the head of the Church, but it falls into trouble by stating that the pope ceases to be a member if he is “wicked.”

Objection 19): The Joint Declaration with the Lutherans is not manifest heresy because John Paul II and Benedict XVI didn’t sign it.

Answer: The Joint Declaration with the Lutherans by itself proves that the Vatican II “popes” are non-Catholic antipopes.  The fact that John Paul II and Benedict XVI neither wrote the document nor signed it is completely irrelevant.  They both approved of it publicly numerous times, and agreed with it.

There is No Reason not to accept the Sedevacantist Position

We have addressed in much detail the major objections launched against the sedevacantist position.  We can see that there is nothing in the teaching of the Catholic Church which should cause one not to accept the undeniable fact that the Vatican II sect is not the Catholic Church, and that the men who have headed this sect (the post-Vatican II “popes”) are not popes at all, but non-Catholic antipopes.  On the contrary, there is undeniable proof for this position and every reason to accept it.

Endnotes:

[1] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Sheed & Ward and Georgetown University Press, 1990, Vol. 1, p. 113.

[2] Denzinger 51-52e; Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 1 (The Founding of Christendom), p. 494; J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 25.

Objection 1): The Gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church, as Christ said (Matthew 16). He said He would be with His Church all days until the end of the world (Matthew 28). What you are saying is contrary to the promises of Christ.


Answer: No, indefectibility (the promise of Christ to always be with His Church, and that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it) means that the Church will, until the end of time, remain essentially what she is.  The indefectibility of the Church requires that at least a remnant of the Church will exist until the end of the world, and that a true pope will never authoritatively teach error to the entire Church.  It does not exclude antipopes posing as popes (as we’ve had numerous times in the past, even in Rome) or a counterfeit sect that reduces the adherents of the true Catholic Church to a remnant in the last days.  This is precisely what is predicted to occur in the last days and what happened during the Arian crisis. 

St. Athanasius: "Even if Catholics faithful to tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ."[1]

Further, it should be noted that the Church has defined that heretics are the gates of Hell which Our Lord mentioned in Matthew 16!

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553:
“… we bear in mind what was promised about the holy Church and Him who said the gates of Hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics)…”[2]

Pope St. Leo IX, Sept. 2, 1053: “The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter… because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome.”[3]

St. Thomas Aquinas (+1262): “Wisdom may fill the hearts of the faithful, and put to silence the dread folly of heretics, fittingly referred to as the gates of Hell.”[4] (Intro. To Catena Aurea.)

Notice that heretics are the gates of Hell.  Heretics are not members of the Church.  That’s why a heretic could never be a pope.  The gates of Hell (heretics) could never have authority over the Church of Christ.  It’s not those who expose the heretical Vatican II antipopes who are asserting that the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Church; it’s those who obstinately defend them as popes, even though they can clearly be proven to be manifest heretics.

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.”[5]

St. Francis De Sales (17th century), Doctor of the Church, The Catholic Controversy, pp. 305-306:  "Now when he [the Pope] is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church..."

There is not one teaching of the Catholic Church that can be quoted which is contrary to the fact that there is presently a counterfeit sect which has reduced the true Catholic Church to a remnant in the days of the Great Apostasy, which is presided over by antipopes who have falsely posed as popes.  Those who assert that the Vatican II sect is the Catholic Church assert that the Catholic Church officially endorses false religions and false doctrines.  This is impossible and would mean that the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Catholic Church.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Coll. Selecta SS. Eccl. Patrum. Caillu and Guillou, Vol. 32, pp 411-412

[2] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, p. 113.

[3] Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, no. 351.

[4] The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, Regnery, Co: Chicago, IL, 1963, Vol. 1, pp. xxiv.

[5] Denzinger 423.

Objection 2): What’s your authority for making these judgments? Your use of dogmatic statements is private interpretation.


Answer: The authority a Catholic has to determine that heretics are not members of the Church is Catholic dogma, which teaches us that those who depart from the Faith are considered alien to 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.”[1]

Moreover, to assert that adhering to this Catholic dogma is to engage in private interpretation, as this objection does, is to assert precisely what Pope St. Pius X condemned in his Syllabus of Errors against the Modernists.

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #22:
The dogmas which the Church professes as revealed are not truths fallen from heaven, but they are a kind of interpretation of religious facts, which the human mind by a laborious effort prepared for itself.”- Condemned[2]

Pope Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #54:
The dogmas, the sacraments, the hierarchy, as far as pertains both to the notion and to the reality, are nothing but interpretations and the evolution of Christian intelligence, which have increased and perfected the little germ latent in the Gospel.”- Condemned[3]

Notice, the idea that dogmas are interpretations is condemned.  But that’s exactly what this objection is asserting, whether those who make it will admit it or not.  They are saying that to apply the truth of a dogma is “private interpretation.”  Further refuting this objection is the fact that, in its Decree on the Sacrament of Order, the Council of Trent solemnly declared that the dogmatic canons are for the use of all the faithful.

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 13, Chap. 4: “These are the matters which in general it seemed well to the sacred Council to teach to the faithful of Christ regarding the sacrament of order.  It has, however, resolved to condemn the contrary in definite and appropriate canons in the following manner, so that all, making use of the rule of faith, with the assistance of Christ, may be able to recognize more easily the Catholic truth in the midst of the darkness of so many errors.”[4]

The word “canon” (in Greek: kanon) means a reed; a straight rod or bar; a measuring stick; something serving to determine, rule, or measure.  The Council of Trent is infallibly declaring that its canons are measuring rods for all so that they, making use of these rules of Faith, may be able to recognize and defend the truth in the midst of darkness!  This very important statement blows away the claim of those who say that using dogmas to prove points is “private interpretation.”  Catholic dogma is the authority of all who come to these correct conclusions.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 7), Aug. 15, 1832: “… nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.”[5]

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] The Papal Encyclicals, by Claudia Carlen, Raleigh: The Pierian Press, 1990, Vol. 2 (1878-1903), p. 393.

[2] Denzinger 2022.

[3] Denzinger 2054.

[4] Denzinger 960.

[5] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 236.

Objection 7): No one can judge the Holy See… thus the Vatican II popes are true popes.


Answer: First, people need to understand what the teaching “No one can judge the Holy See” means.  It comes from the early Church.  In the early Church, when a bishop was accused of a crime, there would sometimes be a trial presided over by other bishops or by a patriarch of greater authority.  These bishops would sit in judgment on the accused bishop.  The Bishop of Rome, however, since he is the supreme bishop in the Church, cannot be subjected to any trial by other bishops or by other people.

Pope St. Nicholas, epistle (8), Proposueramus quidem, 865: “… Neither by Augustus, nor by all the clergy, nor by religious, nor by the people will the judge be judged… ‘The first seat will not be judged by anyone.’”[1]

This is what “No one can judge the Holy See” means.  It does not refer to recognizing a manifest heretic who claims to be the pope as one who is not a true pope.  This brings us to the second point, which is the most important in this regard.

Second, the Holy See has told us that no heretic can be accepted as the valid occupant of the Holy See (the Pope)! With the fullness of his authority, Pope Paul IV declared that anyone who has been promoted to the Papacy as a heretic is not a true and valid pope, and that he can be rejected as a warlock, heathen, publican and heresiarch.

Pope Paul IV, Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Feb. 15, 1559: “6. In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity, We enact, determine, decree and define:] that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:

(i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless; (ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation; (iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way…

(vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power 7. Finally, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity, We] also [enact, determine, define and decree]: that any and all persons who would have been subject to those thus promoted or elevated if they had not previously deviated from the Faith, become heretics, incurred schism or provoked or committed any or all of these, be they members of anysoever of the following categories: (i) the clergy, secular and religious; (ii) the laity; (iii) the Cardinals [etc.]… shall be permitted at any time to withdraw with impunity from obedience and devotion to those thus promoted or elevated and to avoid them as warlocks, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs (the same subject persons, nevertheless, remaining bound by the duty of fidelity and obedience to any future Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals and Roman Pontiff canonically entering).

10. No one at all, therefore, may infringe this document of our approbation, re-introduction, sanction, statute and derogation of wills and decrees, or by rash presumption contradict it. If anyone, however, should presume to attempt this, let him know that he is destined to incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul.

Given in Rome at Saint Peter's in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1559, 15th February, in the fourth year of our Pontificate.

+ I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church…”

Thus, one is obeying and adhering to the teaching of the Holy See in rejecting as invalid the heretical post-Vatican II claimants.  They are not true popes, according to the teaching of the Holy See.

Third, it was near the beginning of this Bull, prior to the declaration that the faithful can reject as totally invalid the “election” of a heretic, that Pope Paul IV repeated the teaching that no one can judge the pope.

Pope Paul IV, Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Feb. 15, 1559: “1.  In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fullness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.”

Unlike non-sedevacantists who use the “no one can judge the Holy See” argument, Pope Paul IV correctly distinguishes between a true Catholic pope, whom none can judge, and a manifest heretic (e.g. Benedict XVI). A manifest heretic has revealed himself to be a non-Catholic who is not the pope, since he is outside the true Church.  This is striking proof that sedevacantists, who hold as invalid the “elections” of the manifest heretics Joseph Ratzinger, Jorge Bergoglio, etc., are not judging a pope.

Fourth, many of the people who defend the Vatican II “popes” by arguing “no one can judge the Holy See” are themselves guilty of judging the most authoritative actions of the men they claim occupy the Holy See.  Many of those "traditionalists" reject Vatican II, the “canonizations” of the Vatican II “popes,” etc.  That is a schismatic position.  They reject the authoritative actions of that which they deem to be the Holy See.  Hence, the errors and false doctrines in the universal and authoritative actions of the Vatican II antipopes prove that they do not, in fact, occupy the Holy See.  They are not true popes but heretical antipopes.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Denzinger 330.

Objection 3): You cannot know if someone is a heretic or denounce him as such without a trial and declaratory sentence.


Answer: Not so.  The declaratory sentence which follows an automatic excommunication is merely a legal recognition of something which already exists.  If this were not true, the automatic excommunication would be meaningless. 

Canon 2314, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “All apostates from the Christian faith and each and every heretic or schismatic: 1) Incur ipso facto [by that very fact] excommunication…”[1]

The excommunicated person is already severed from the Church.  Most heretics are known to be heretics without a trial or declaratory sentence, and must be denounced as such.

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794:
“47.  Likewise, the proposition which teaches that it is necessary, according to the natural and divine laws, for either excommunication or for suspension, that a personal examination should precede, and that, therefore, sentences called ‘ipso facto’ have no other force than that of a serious threat without any actual effect” – false, rash, pernicious, injurious to the power of the Church, erroneous.[2]

As we see here, the Catholic Church teaches that formal processes and judgments are not necessary for ipso facto (by that very fact) excommunications to take effect.  They are very often, as in the case of the heretic Martin Luther, formal recognitions of the ipso facto excommunication that has already occurred.  This should be obvious to a Catholic; but to illustrate this point, here is what Martin Luther said before he was formally condemned as a heretic by the pope.

Martin Luther, speaking before the Bull of Pope Leo X giving him the final sixty days to retract before a declaration of excommunication was published: “As for me, the die is cast: I despise alike the favor and fury of Rome; I do not wish to be reconciled with her, or ever to hold any communion with her.  Let her condemn and burn my books; I, in turn, unless I can find no fire, will condemn and publicly burn the whole pontifical law, that swamp of heresies.’”[3]

Are we to believe that the man who uttered this quotation (well before he was formally condemned as a heretic by a declaratory sentence) was a Catholic or could have been considered one?  If such an idea isn’t patently absurd, then nothing is.  Obviously, Martin Luther was a manifest heretic prior to the formal declaration, and any Catholic aware of his beliefs could have and should have denounced him as a manifest heretic once that Catholic encountered his outrageously heretical views.

That’s why, prior to the trial of Luther, Cardinal Cajetan “contacted Elector Frederick, Luther’s sovereign and protector, urging him not to ‘disgrace the good name of his ancestors’ by supporting a heretic.”[4]

The same principle applies to a heretic such as John Kerry, the notorious supporter of abortion.  Almost all conservative-minded professing Catholics would immediately agree that John Kerry is a heretic and not a Catholic, since he obstinately rejects Catholic teaching against abortion.  But they are making this “judgment” on their own, since no declaratory sentence has ever been issued against him.  They are thus proving the point that a declaration is not necessary to condemn a heretic.  Most heretics in Church history, and almost all heretics in the world today, have been and must be considered heretics without any declaration by virtue of their heresy being manifest.

When the heresy is manifest and clearly obstinate, as in the case of Luther or Benedict XVI (who says we shouldn’t convert non-Catholics and takes active part in Synagogue worship), Catholics not only can denounce him as a non-Catholic without a trial, but must do so.  That is precisely why St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, in addressing this precise question, states unequivocally that the manifest heretic is deposed and must be avoided as a non-Catholic with no authority before any “excommunication or judicial sentence.”  In this context, St. Robert uses the word “excommunication” to refer to the ferendae sententiae penalty (the formal declaration by the pope or judge).

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30, speaking of a claimant to the Papal Office:  "For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is 'ipso facto' deposed.  The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus 3:10), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate - which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence.  And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ."

Let us repeat that: WHICH MEANS BEFORE ANY EXCOMMUNICATION OR JUDICIAL SENTENCE!  So, we can see that non-sedevacantists, in arguing that Catholics cannot denounce manifest heretics such as Benedict XVI since there hasn’t been a formal trial, have gotten it all wrong.  Their conclusion makes a complete mockery out of the unity of Faith in the Church.  In case we have forgotten, there is a unity of Faith in the Catholic Church (as in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.)

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.”[5]

According to the non-sedevacantists’ conclusion, Catholics would have to affirm communion with a man who publicly avowed that he wanted no communion with the Catholic Church, and held that the whole Pontifical law is a swamp of heresies; or a man who is obstinately pro-abortion, just because no formal declaration was made against him.  To state that Catholics should hold communion with such a manifest heretic because no process against him had been completed, is contrary to Catholic teaching, Catholic Tradition and Catholic sense.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30:
“… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; BUT WHEN THEY SEE THAT SOMEONE IS A HERETIC BY HIS EXTERNAL WORKS, THEY JUDGE HIM TO BE A HERETIC PURE AND SIMPLE, AND CONDEMN HIM AS A HERETIC.”

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, translated by Dr. Edward Von Peters, San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2001, canon 2314, p. 735.

[2] Denzinger 1547.

[3] The Catholic Encyclopedia, “Luther,” Robert Appleton Company, 1910, pp. 445-446.

[4] Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 2000, Vol. 4 (The Cleaving of Christendom), p. 10.

[5] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 4 (1939-1958), p. 41.

Objection 13): John XXII was a heretic, who was even denounced by Cardinal Orsini as a heretic, yet he remained the pope.


Chris Ferrara, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise,” Catholic Family News, August 2005, p. 21: “Compare the [Sedevacantist] Enterprise’s lack of success in finding ‘manifest’ heresy in the pronouncements of the conciliar popes with the historical example of Pope John XXII.  In 1331, certain French theologians and Cardinal Orsini denounced John XXII as a heretic when, in a series of sermons, he taught that the souls of the blessed departed, after finishing their appointed time in Purgatory, do not see God until after the last judgment.  Cardinal Orsini called for a general council to pronounce the Pope a heretic… Confronted in this public manner, John XXII replied that he had not intended to bind the whole Church to his sermons, and he impaneled a commission of theologians to consider the question.  The commission informed the Pope that he was in error, and he did retract the error several years later, the day before his death.  Yet despite being denounced as a heretic and threatened with a general council to declare his heresy, John XXII never ceased to be regarded by the Church as Pope, and Church history duly records him as such.”[1]

Answer: John XXII was not a heretic, and his reign is no proof that heretics can be popes.

First, we want the reader to consider something very interesting: when Ferrara (the person launching this objection) is discussing John XXII, notice that the affair is exaggerated.  He doesn’t hesitate to label it as an example of actual heresy.  But when he is addressing the clear heresies of the Vatican II “popes”, they are all diminished so much that he denies that any of them even constitute heresy.  For instance:

Chris Ferrara, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise,” Catholic Family News, August 2005, p. 21: “But the [Sedevacantist] Enterprise does not even get to first base since, as we shall see, despite its indefatigable efforts it has failed to identify any ‘manifest’ heresy among the many ambiguous pronouncements and disturbing (even scandalous) actions of John Paul II or Paul VI...”[2]

Okay, so none of the clear heresies from John Paul II and Paul VI (e.g., teaching that there are saints in other religions; stating that we shouldn’t convert non-Catholics; etc.) even constitute heresy, according to Ferrara; but the case of John XXII certainly rose to the level of heresy.  What complete nonsense!  Does anyone not see the profound hypocrisy and utter dishonesty here?  When Ferrara and other non-sedevacantists feel that it is an advantage to belittle the heresy, they raise the bar for heresy, so that basically nothing rises to the level of actual heresy.  But when they deem it useful to exaggerate a heresy (as in the case of John XXII), because they think that it will be useful in opposing sedevacantism, they overstate it and make it seem much worse than it was.

The fact of the matter is that John XXII was not a heretic.  John XXII’s position that the souls of the blessed departed don’t see the Beatific Vision until after the General Judgment was not a matter that had yet been specifically defined as a dogma.   This definition occurred two years after Pope John XXII’s death by Pope Benedict XII in Benedictus Deus,[3] but apparently Ferrara didn’t feel that it was important to mention that fact.

The fact that Cardinal Orsini denounced John XXII as a heretic doesn’t prove anything, especially when we consider the context of the events.  To provide a brief background: John XXII had condemned as heretical the teaching of “the Spirituals.”  This group held that Christ and the apostles had no possessions individually or in common.  John XXII condemned this view as contrary to Sacred Scripture and declared that all who persistently adhere to it are heretical.[4]  “The Spirituals” and others like them, including King Louis of Bavaria, were condemned as heretics.

When the controversy about John XXII’s statements on the Beatific Vision occurred, the Spirituals and King Louis of Bavaria profited by it and accused the pope of heresy.  These enemies of the Church were supported by Cardinal Orsini, the man Ferrara mentions in his article.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, “John XXII,” Vol. 8, 1910, p. 433: “The Spirituals, always in close alliance with Louis of Bavaria, profited by these events to accuse the pope of heresy, being supported by Cardinal Napoleon OrsiniIn union with the latter, King Louis wrote to the cardinals, urging them to call a general council and condemn the pope.”[5]

With this background, we can see that Ferrara’s statement that “Cardinal Orsini called for a general council to pronounce the pope a heretic…” takes on a different light: Yes, Cardinal Orsini and his good friends: the excommunicated heretics.  In fact, in his book Dogmatic Theology, even Ferrara’s own “pope” notes that the scandal was exploited by the enemies of the Church for political ends:

“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), Dogmatic Theology, 1977, p. 137: “The scandal [of John XXII] was exploited for political ends in the accusation of heresy brought by the pope’s Franciscan opponents [the Spirituals] in the circle of William of Ockham at the court of the emperor Louis of Bavaria.”[6]

Ferrara places himself right in the company of the enemies of the Church with his exaggeration of the case of John XXII.  John XXII was not a heretic.  In addition to the fact that the matter had not yet been specifically defined as a dogma, John XXII also made it clear that he bound no one to his (false) opinion and was not arriving at a definitive conclusion on the matter:

The Catholic Encyclopedia, on Pope John XXII: “Pope John wrote to King Phillip IV on the matter (November, 1333), and emphasized the fact that, as long as the Holy See had not given a decision, the theologians enjoyed perfect freedom in this matter.  In December, 1333, the theologians at Paris, after a consultation on the question, decided in favor of the doctrine that the souls of the blessed departed saw God immediately after death or after their complete purification; at the same time they pointed out that the pope had given no decision on this question but only advanced his personal opinion, and now petitioned the pope to confirm their decision.  John appointed a commission at Avignon to study the writings of the Fathers, and to discuss further the disputed question.  In a consistory held on 3 January, 1334, the pope explicitly declared that he had never meant to teach anything contrary to Holy Scripture or the rule of faith and in fact had not intended to give any decision whatever.  Before his death he withdrew his former opinion, and declared his belief that souls separated from their bodies enjoyed in heaven the Beatific Vision.”[7]

All of this serves to show that John XXII was not a heretic.  He held a personal opinion that was dead wrong, one which he explicitly declared was nothing more than opinion.  In fact, despite his significant error, John XXII was quite vigorous against heresy.  His condemnation of the Spirituals and King Louis of Bavaria is proof that he did condemn heresy.  To compare him to the Vatican II antipopes who don’t even believe that heresy exists is utterly ridiculous.  As established already, Benedict XVI doesn’t even believe that Protestantism is heresy!  It’s absurd that anyone would obstinately (in the face of these facts) assert that this man is a Catholic.  The fact is that wherever non-sedevacantists turn (to the dogma of the Papacy, or the actions of Luther, etc.), they are refuted.  Indeed, since we’re on the topic of John XXII and the General Judgment, it should remembered that Benedict XVI denies perhaps the most central Catholic dogma with regard to the General Judgment: the Resurrection of the Body, as we demonstrated in the section on his heresies.

Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity, 2004, p. 349: “It now becomes clear that the real heart of faith in the resurrection does not consist at all in the idea of the restoration of bodies, to which we have reduced it in our thinking; such is the case even though this is the pictorial image used throughout the Bible.”[8]

Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity, 2004, pp. 357-358: “To recapitulate, Paul teaches, not the resurrection of physical bodies, but the resurrection of persons…”[9]

Therefore, when non-sedevacantists bring up the issue of John XXII and the Last Judgment, they do nothing except remind us of another dogma that Benedict XVI denies and another example of why he is not the pope.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Chris Ferrara, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise,” Catholic Family News, August 2005, p. 21.

[2] Chris Ferrara, “Opposing the Sedevacantist Enterprise,” Catholic Family News, August 2005, p. 21.

[3] Denzinger 530.

[iv] Denzinger 494.

[4] The Catholic Encyclopedia, “John XXII,” Vol. 8, 1910, p. 433.

[6] Benedict XVI, Dogmatic Theology, The Catholic University of America Press, 1977, p. 137.

[7] The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, p. 433.

[8] Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity, p. 349.

[9] Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity, pp. 357-358.

Objection 4): What about material heresy? Can’t the Vatican II Popes only be material heretics?


Answer: A “material” heretic is a Catholic erring in good faith about a dogmatic issue.  The Vatican II antipopes are without doubt real heretics.  They cannot be material heretics (Catholics erring in good faith) for many reasons, most important among those reasons being: 1) they don’t hold the essential mysteries of Faith; 2) they reject obvious dogmas of which they are fully aware.

“Material heretic” is a term used by theologians to describe a Catholic erring in good faith regarding some Church teaching, who has not denied it deliberately.  The only way that one can be a “material heretic” is by being unaware that the position that he holds is contrary to the teaching of the Church.  Such a person would change his position immediately upon being informed of the Church’s teaching on the matter.  Thus, a so-called “material heretic” is not a heretic, but rather a confused Catholic who denies nothing of that which he knows the Church to have taught.  The fact that a so-called “material heretic” is not a heretic is proven by the fact that a so-called “material heretic” does not cease to be part of the Church; and we have already shown by many quotations that all heretics cease to be members of the Church. 

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441:
“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…”[1]

Furthermore, a so-called “material heretic” (an erring Catholic) does not bring down on his head eternal punishment for denying the faith; and all heretics bring down on their heads eternal punishment for denying the faith.

Pope St. Celestine I, Council of Ephesus, 431:
“… ALL HERETICS corrupt the true expressions of the Holy Spirit with their own evil minds and they draw down on their own heads an inextinguishable flame.”[2]

A material heretic, therefore, is not a heretic, but a Catholic who is innocently mistaken about some Church teaching.  Hence, those who claim that Benedict XVI is unaware of all of the dogmas that he denies, and is therefore only a “material heretic” (in other words, a mistaken Catholic) are not only arguing that which is absurd, but that which is IMPOSSIBLE.  It is impossible that Benedict XVI is only a so-called “material heretic” for three reasons: 

Number 1):  It is a fact that Benedict XVI knows of the many dogmas of the Church which he denies.  He knows more about Catholic teaching than almost anyone in the world.  He discourses on the Church’s dogmatic pronouncements – the very same ones he contradicts and rejects, such as Vatican I – all the time.

Benedict XVI, Principles of Catholic Theology (1982), p. 239: “Anyone who inquires about the Church’s teaching with regard to holy orders finds at his disposal a relatively rich supply of source materials; three councils have spoken extensively on the subject: Florence, Trent, and Vatican II.  Mention should also be made of the important apostolic constitution of Pius XII (Sacramentum ordinis) of the year 1947.”[3]

Benedict XVI, Principles of Catholic Theology (1982), pp. 197-198: “On the part of the West, the maximum demand would be that the East recognize the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the full scope of the definition of 1870 [Vatican I] and in so doing submit in practice, to a primacy such as has been accepted by the Uniate churches… none of the maximum solutions offers any real hope of unity.”[4]

In these quotations we see just a glimpse of Benedict XVI’s familiarity with Catholic teaching, including the very councils he denies.  The same applies to John Paul II and his “predecessors.”  For example, in the 1999 agreement with the Lutheran Church on Justification, approved by John Paul II, John Paul II agreed that the Council of Trent no longer applies.

Vatican-Lutheran Agreement on the Doctrine of Justification, approved by Benedict XVI: “# 13.  IN LIGHT OF THIS CONSENSUS, THE CORRESPONDING DOCTRINAL CONDEMNATIONS OF THE 16TH CENTURY [i.e., the canons of the Council of Trent] DO NOT APPLY TO TODAY’S PARTNER.[5]

It goes without saying that he cannot be unaware of the Council of Trent if he agrees that it no longer applies.  Further, Benedict XVI holds several doctorates in theology and has written many books dealing with the intricacies of Catholic dogma.  One of us has read 24 of his books, and can say that Benedict XVI is more familiar with what the Catholic Church teaches than almost anyone in the world.  To assert that Benedict XVI or John Paul II or Paul VI or John XXIII remained unaware of the simplest Church teachings which they denied on Our Lord, against Protestantism, on salvation, against false religions, on religious liberty, etc. is false and ridiculous in the highest degree.  To assert, for instance, that Benedict XVI is unaware of the dogma that Protestants are bound under pain of heresy to accept the Papacy – remember that he teaches just the opposite – is pure insanity.  It’s equivalent to asserting that one can be the head chef at a five star restaurant and not know what lettuce is.  But that’s exactly what those who advance the “material heretic” argument would have us believe. 

Number 2):  It’s impossible for Benedict XVI to be only a “material heretic” or a mistaken Catholic because – supposing for a moment that he were unaware of the many dogmas which he denies (which, as we have stated, is definitely not true) – being a man who claims to be a bishop and the pope, he is bound to have learned them.  Therefore, there is no excuse for him on the grounds that he is unaware of the fundamental Church dogmas which he denies.

A canon law manual: “If the delinquent making this claim be a cleric, his plea for mitigation must be dismissed, either as untrue, or else as indicating ignorance which is affected, or at least crass and supine… His ecclesiastical training in the seminary, with its moral and dogmatic theology, its ecclesiastical history, not to mention its canon law, all insure that the Church’s attitude towards heresy was imparted to him.”[6]

Number 3):  It is impossible that Benedict XVI is merely a “material heretic” because there are certain things that every adult must hold by a necessity of means in order to be a Catholic, and Benedict XVI doesn’t hold those things.  Every adult Catholic must believe in the Trinity, the Incarnation, that Jesus Christ and His Church are true, and that other religions outside of Jesus Christ are false.  These essential mysteries must be known by a necessity of means.

Pope Benedict XIV, Cum Religiosi (# 1), June 26, 1754:
“We could not rejoice, however, when it was subsequently reported to Us that in the course of religious instruction preparatory to Confession and Holy Communion, it was very often found that these people were ignorant of the mysteries of the faith, even those matters which must be known by necessity of means; consequently they were ineligible to partake of the Sacraments.”[7]

In other words, every Catholic above the age of reason must have a positive knowledge of certain mysteries of faith to be saved.  There are no excuses, even for ignorance.  Thus, if one holds a belief which destroys faith in those mysteries, even if he has been taught incorrectly, he is not a Catholic.

Pope Benedict XIV, Cum Religiosi (# 4):
“… confessors should perform this part of their duty whenever anyone stands at their tribunal who does not know what he must by necessity of means know to be saved…”[8]

Pope St. Pius X, Acerbo Nimis (# 2), April 15, 1905:
“And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: ‘We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.’”[9]

For instance, if one really believes in three different gods and not one God in three divine persons, then he is not a Catholic – period.  This is true even if he was never taught the true doctrine on the Trinity.  He is not a Catholic, since his belief contradicts an essential mystery he must possess to hold the true Faith.

Likewise, if one believes that other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, etc. are also good, then one doesn’t believe that Christ (and, by extension, His Church) is the only truth.  If one doesn’t believe that Christ (and, by extension, His Church) is the only truth, then one doesn’t have the Catholic Faith – period.  This is true even if he was never taught the true doctrine on this matter, which is why Pope Pius XI says that all who hold the opinion that all religions “are more or less good and praiseworthy” have abandoned the true religion – period.

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 2):
“…  Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.  Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.”[10]

Well, we have shown that Benedict XVI and his “predecessors” believe that Judaism, Islam, etc. are good.  Benedict XVI was even initiated into Islam in a mosque on Nov. 30, 2006.  He and his “predecessors” praise these religions.  Benedict XVI specifically called Islam “noble” and said that it represents “greatness.”   It’s not possible for him to believe this and be a Catholic “material heretic,” since he doesn’t believe in an essential mystery he must possess to hold the true Faith: that Christ is the only truth.  Therefore, Benedict XVI is not a Catholic – period. 

This is also proven from another angle.  Since it’s an essential mystery of Catholic Faith that Christ (and, by extension, his Church) is the only truth, it follows that those who believe this mystery also hold that Christ’s Church must be believed.  This is the teaching of Pope Leo XIII.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 13), June 29, 1896:
“You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held.[11]

If one holds that the Catholic religion doesn’t have to be accepted by non-Catholics, then one is not a Catholic.  As we’ve shown, the Vatican II antipopes teach that the Catholic religion doesn’t have to be accepted by non-Catholics; they specifically teach that the Eastern Schismatics don’t need to convert to the Catholic Faith.

Paul VI, Joint Declaration with the Schismatic “Pope” Shenouda III, May 10, 1973: “Paul VI, Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church, and Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark… In the name of this charity, we reject all forms of proselytism… Let it cease, where it may exist…”[12]

John Paul II, Homily, Jan. 25, 1993: “’The way to achieve Christian unity, in fact,’ says the document of the Pontifical Commission for Russia, ‘is not proselytism but fraternal dialogue...[13]

Benedict XVI, Address to Protestants at World Youth Day, August 19, 2005: “And we now ask: What does it mean to restore the unity of all Christians?... this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith historyAbsolutely not!”[14]

Furthermore…

The law of the Church presumes pertinacity in heresy unless the contrary is proven.

In addition to the above facts which demonstrate that the Vatican II antipopes are definitely formal heretics, the presumption of the law is against them:

Canon 2200.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “When an external violation of the law has been committed, malice is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proven.”

A commentary on this canon by Rev. Eric F. Mackenzie, A.M., S.T.L., J.C.L, states:

The very commission of any act which signifies heresy, e.g., the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma, gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity… [E]xcusing circumstances have to be proved in the external forum, and the burden of proof is on the person whose action has given rise to the imputation of heresy.  In the absence of such proof, all such excuses are presumed not to exist.”[15]

Not only have the Vatican II antipopes made literally hundreds of statements contrary to revealed and defined dogma, but they have also explicitly declared themselves to be in communion with – in the same Church as – schismatics and heretics.  They have, furthermore, confirmed these statements with acts which further manifest their adherence to heresy, such as communicatio in sacris (communication in sacred things) with various false religions.  It is not, therefore, the law or the spirit of the Church to exonerate someone publicly spewing heresy, but rather to presume him guilty.

Pope Innocent IV, First Council of Lyons, 1245:
“The civil law declares that those are to be regarded as heretics, and ought to be subject to the sentences issued against them, who even on slight evidence are found to have strayed from the judgment and path of the Catholic religion.”[16]

St. Robert Bellarmine explains why this must be.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30:
“… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic.”

A simple illustration will also demonstrate why this must be.

Suppose you had some sheep and you appointed a shepherd to watch over them.  Suppose one day the shepherd became a wolf and began eating the sheep and tearing them to pieces.  Would you, looking after the welfare of these sheep, maintain the wolf as head of the sheep?  Would you demand that the other sheep not yet eaten subject themselves to the wolf, and thus place themselves in proximate danger of being eaten?  Of course you wouldn’t, and neither would God.

God could never allow one who is promulgating manifest heresy in the external forum to maintain authority in the Church or be able to demand the submission of Catholics, regardless of what his intentions are.  Remember, heresy kills souls.  Suppose the wolf in our story is just hungry, or having a bad day.  Does this change the fact that the sheep are being eliminated?   No.

Furthermore, what wolf who was trying to deceive people would openly declare himself to be a non-Catholic or an enemy of the Church?

Matthew 7:15- “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” 

There is no more effective way to assist a false prophet than to insist that he, despite his public profession of heresy, maintains authority in the Church.  Pope St. Celestine authoritatively confirms the principle that we cannot regard a public heretic as a person with authority when dealing with the case of the heretic Nestorius.  Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, began to preach the heresy that Mary was not the Mother of God.  The faithful reacted by breaking communion with him, having realized that since Nestorius was preaching public and notorious heresy he could not have authority in the Catholic Church.  The following quote from Pope St. Celestine is found in De Romano Pontifice, the work of St. Robert Bellarmine.

Pope St. Celestine:
The authority of Our Apostolic See has determined that the bishop, cleric, or simple Christian who had been deposed or excommunicated by Nestorius or his followers, after the latter began to preach heresy shall not be considered deposed or excommunicated.  For he who had defected from the faith with such preachings, cannot depose or remove anyone whatsoever.”[17]

Pope Pius IX confirms this principle by teaching that one is considered a heretic or a schismatic even if one has not yet been declared as such by the Holy See.

Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra (# 12), Jan. 6, 1873:
“Since the faction of Armenia is like this, they are schismatics even if they had not yet been condemned as such by Apostolic authority.”[18]

This is why the saints, theologians, doctors, canonists and popes who speak to the issue of a “heretical pope” avoid the terms “material” and “formal” heresy, for these are terms that imply a judgment of the internal forum.  Rather, they use the words public, manifest, notorious, etc. – terms corresponding to the external forum. 

F.X. Wernz, P. Vidal (1943):
“Through notorious and openly revealed heresy, the Roman Pontiff, should he fall into heresy, by that very fact is deemed to be deprived of the power of jurisdiction even before any declaratory judgment of the Church…”[19]

Canon 192, 1917 Code of Canon Law:
“A person may be unwillingly deprived of, or removed from, an office, either by operation of law or an act of the lawful superior.”

Canon 188.4, 1917 Code of Canon Law:
There are certain causes which effect the tacit (silent) resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration.  These causes are… (4) if he has publicly fallen away from the faith.

What is a public defection from the faith?

Canon 2197.1, 1917 Code of Canon Law:
“A Crime is public: (1) if it is already commonly known or the circumstances are such as to lead to the conclusion that it can and will easily become so…”

Thus, we have shown in great detail why it’s utterly false to assert that the Vatican II antipopes are merely “material heretics.”  They cannot be material heretics because 1) they know very well of the dogmas which they deny; 2) they are bound to know the Catholic Faith as “bishops,” especially the dogmas which they deny; and 3) they lack and contradict the essential mysteries of Faith which one must hold to be a Catholic.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, p. 578.

[2] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, p. 74.

[3] Benedict XVI, Principles of Catholic Theology, Ignatius Press, 1982, p. 239.

[4] Benedict XVI, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 197-198.

[5] L’Osservatore Romano, Special Insert, Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification, November 24, 1999, #13.

[6] G. McDevitt, The Delict of Heresy, 48, CU, Canon Law Studies 77. Washington: 1932.

[7] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 45.

[8] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 46.

[9] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 30.

[10] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), pp. 313-314.

[11] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 2 (1878-1903), p. 399.

[12] L’Osservatore Romano (the Vatican’s Newspaper), May 24, 1973, p. 6.

[13] L’Osservatore Romano, Jan. 27, 1993, p. 2.

[14] L’Osservatore Romano, August 24, 2005, p. 8.

[15] Eric F. Mackenzie, A.M., S.T.L., J.C.L. Rev., The Delict of Heresy, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic Univ. of America, 1932, p. 35. (Cf. Canon 2200.2).

[16] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, p. 283.

[17] St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30.

[18] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 416.

[19] Ius Canonicum. Rome: Gregorian 1943. 2:453.

Objection 14): Pope Honorius was condemned for heresy by a general council after his death, yet the Church does not consider him to have ceased to be pope, even though he was accused of heresy during his reign.


Answer: As we have already seen, it’s a dogmatic fact that a heretic cannot be the pope, since it’s an infallibly defined dogma that a heretic is not a member of the Catholic Church.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, 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 …”[1]

The case of Pope Honorius doesn’t prove that a heretic can be the pope.  In condemning Pope Honorius as a heretic after his death, the III Council of Constantinople made no statement – nor has the Church ever made a statement – that he remained pope until his death.

Third Council of Constantinople, Exposition of Faith, 680-681: “… the contriver of evil did not rest, finding an accomplice in the serpent and through him bringing upon human nature the poised dart of death, so now too he has found instruments suited to his own purpose – namely, Theodore… Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter… and further Honorius, who was pope of elder Rome, Cyrus… and Macarius… - and has not been idle in raising through them obstacles of error against the full body of the Church, sowing with novel speech among the orthodox people the heresy of a single will and a single principle of action…[2]

The Church didn’t address the issue of whether Honorius lost the Papal Office after falling into heresy; it simply condemned him.  (Honorius was also condemned by the Fourth Council of Constantinople and the Second Council of Nicea.)  Since Honorius was a validly elected pope (which is why he is listed in the list of true popes), if he became a true heretic during his reign then he did lose the Papal Office; for, as even non-sedevacantists who make this argument admit, “heretics are not Catholics, and non-Catholics cannot be popes.” 

Pope Honorius had been dead for more than 40 years when he was condemned by the III Council of Constantinople.  Honorius had issued no dogmatic decrees, and only “reigned” for three and ½ years after the incident of heresy occurred.  Hence, the question of whether he remained the pope and ruled the universal Church for the last three and ½ years of his thirteen-year pontificate wasn’t especially relevant to the faithful at the time.

Therefore, it is perfectly understandable that the Church didn’t issue any proclamation that Honorius lost his office because nothing was riding on the issue at the time, and it would have involved a major theological discussion and an entire can of worms that didn’t need to be opened.

Further, there still remains some confusion among people (including among Honorius’s successors) as to whether Pope Honorius had been a heretic or merely guilty of failing to stamp out heresy or whether he had been completely misunderstood, as The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907 states.  Certain scholars who have even studied the question in great detail remain unconvinced that Honorius was condemned as a true heretic by the III Council of Constantinople.  Their argument rests in the fact that Pope St. Agatho, who was alive during the council, died before it was over.  Since a council’s decrees only possess the authority which are given to them in the confirmation by the pope, they argue that Pope St. Leo II, the pope who actually confirmed the council, only confirmed the condemnation of Honorius in the sense that he failed to stamp out heresy, and therefore allowed the faith to be polluted.  This confusion is surely why we see that St. Francis De Sales says what he says (see below) about Honorius.

In order to further differentiate the case of Honorius from the Vatican II antipopes, it’s important to point out that the lapse of Pope Honorius was almost completely unknown during his reign and for years after his reign.  Honorius’s two letters which favored the monothelite heresy (written in 634) were letters to Sergius, the Patriarch of Constantinople.  These letters were not only almost completely unknown at the time, but were also misunderstood by a pope who reigned just after Honorius.

For instance, Pope John IV (640-643), who was the second pope to reign after Pope Honorius, defended Honorius from any charge of heresy.  Pope John IV was convinced that Honorius had not taught the monothelite heresy (that Christ has only one will), but that Honorius merely emphasized that Our Lord doesn’t have two contrary wills.

Pope John IV, “Dominus qui dixit” to Constantius the Emperor, Regarding Pope Honorius, 641: “…So, my aforementioned predecessor [Honorius] said concerning the mystery of the incarnation of Christ, that there were not in Him, as in us sinners, contrary wills of mind and flesh; and certain ones converting this to their own meaning, suspected that he taught one will of His divinity and humanity which is altogether contrary to the truth.”[3]

With these facts in mind, one can see: 1) the case of Pope Honorius doesn’t prove that heretics can be popes, since the Church has never declared that he remained the pope after his lapse; and 2) the facts of the case of Pope Honorius are drastically different from the case of the Vatican II antipopes, since Honorius’s two letters containing heresy were almost completely unknown at the time, and were even misunderstood by popes who succeeded him.  To compare Pope Honorius’s two letters to the acts and statements of the manifest heretics Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI is like comparing a grain of sand to the seashore.

Finally, if you want further confirmation that heretics ipso facto cease to be popes, and that the case of Pope Honorius provides no evidence to the contrary, you don’t have to take our word for it.

St. Francis De Sales (17th century), Doctor of the Church, The Catholic Controversy, pp. 305-306:  "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 wasNow when he [the Pope] is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church..."[4]

In the same paragraph in which St. Francis De Sales (Doctor of the Church) mentions Pope Honorius, he states unequivocally that a pope who would become a heretic would cease to be pope.  St. Francis De Sales wasn’t sure if Pope Honorius was a heretic or merely failed to stamp out heresy; but, whatever it was, St. Francis knew the case of Honorius didn’t affect the truth that heretics cannot be popes.

St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Alphonsus were also familiar with the case of Pope Honorius.  His case didn’t cause them to hesitate in declaring:

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."

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1787), Doctor of the Church:  "If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the Pontificate."[5]

With these facts in mind, we can see that the argument from Honorius doesn’t prove anything for the non-sedevacantist; but rather it reminds us of the Doctors of the Church who, while recalling his case, simultaneously declared that heretics cannot be popes.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, p. 578; Denzinger 714.

[2] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, pp. 125-126.

[3] Denzinger 253.

[4] St. Francis De Sales, The Catholic Controversy, pp. 305-306.

[5] Oeuvres Complètes, 9:232.

Objection 8): St. Robert Bellarmine said that one cannot depose a pope, but that one can licitly resist him. Sedevacantists judge, punish and depose the pope…


St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chap. 29: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church.  I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will.  It is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him, or to depose him.”

Answer: Many of those who believe Benedict XVI is the pope, yet reject the official actions of his “Church,” such as Vatican II, attempt to see a justification for their false position in this passage from St. Robert Bellarmine.  In fact, this passage is one of the most commonly used pieces of evidence that people attempt to throw against the sedevacantist position.  Unfortunately, the passage has been completely misapplied and distorted.

First, in the chapter immediately following the above quote from Bellarmine, he teaches this:

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.”[1]

Now, hold on a second.  In chapter 29 (the quote cited in objection 2), St. Robert says that you cannot “judge, punish or depose” the pope.  In chapter 30, he says that a manifest heretic ceases to be pope (i.e., he is deposed) and he can be “judged and punished” by the Church. 

My question to the objector is this:  Is St. Robert Bellarmine an idiot?

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, chapter 29

One cannot “judge, punish or depose” a pope

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, chapter 30

A pope who is a manifest heretic is deposed, “judged and punished”

St. Robert Bellarmine is neither an idiot nor contradicting himself.  He is a doctor of the Church, and knows exactly what he is trying to say.  It is blatantly obvious, therefore, that he is not speaking about a manifestly heretical pope in chapter 29, but rather a true pope who gives bad example, who is not a manifest heretic.  The context of the chapter confirms this beyond any doubt.

Chapter 29 involves St. Robert’s lengthy refutation of nine arguments favoring the position that the pope is subject to secular power (emperor, king, etc.) and to an ecumenical council (the heresy of conciliarism).  During the Middle Ages, the heresy of conciliarism (subjecting a pope to an ecumenical council) became a major problem.  In contradiction to this heresy, St. Robert Bellarmine says that while a Catholic can resist a bad pope, he cannot depose him, even if the pope gives bad example, disturbs the state or kills souls by his action.  He is speaking of a bad pope who is not a manifest heretic; for he deals with the proper reaction to manifest heresy in the next chapter!  It’s quite simple.  He says that a manifest heretic is considered not to be the pope in the next chapter! 

With this in mind, the objection raised from Bellarmine against sedevacantism is refuted.  He is not talking about a manifest heretic in chapter 29, but a true pope who acts inappropriately; for he explains that a manifestly heretical pope is deposed, judged and punished in chapter 30.  It is a mortal sin of omission for “Catholic” writers to quote over and over again the passage of chapter 29, without ever giving St. Robert’s statement on manifestly heretical popes in chapter 30.  Among such people we include those who write for some of the more popular “traditional” publications.  These writers suppress St. Robert’s teaching in chapter 30, along with all the other saints, popes and canonists who teach that manifestly heretical popes lose their office, because they want to deceive their readers into thinking that St. Robert condemns sedevacantism, when in reality he and all the early Church Fathers support the fact that a manifest heretic is not a pope.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30:
“For, in the first place, it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is ‘ipso facto’ deposed.  The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus 3:10), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate – which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence.  And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ.”

And again St. Robert Bellarmine teaches:

This principle is most certainThe 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.”[2]

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30.

[2] St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, II, 30.

Objection 10): Pope Pius XII declared in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis that a cardinal, no matter what excommunication he’s under, can be elected pope.


Pope Pius XII, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, Dec. 8, 1945: "34.  None of the cardinals may in any way, or by pretext of any excommunication, suspension, or interdict whatsoever, or of any other ecclesiastical impediment, be excluded in the active and passive election of the Supreme Pontiff.  We hereby suspend such censures solely for the purposes of the said election; at other times they are to remain in vigor (AAS 38 [1946], p. 76)."

ANSWER:  As we’ve already shown, it’s a dogma that 1) heretics are not members of the Church; and 2) that a pope is the head of the Church.  It is a dogmatic fact, therefore, that a heretic cannot be the head of the Church, since he is not a member of it.

What, then, does Pope Pius XII mean in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis?  First off, one needs to understand that excommunication can be incurred for many things.  Historically, excommunications were distinguished by the terms major and minor.  Major excommunications were incurred for heresy and schism (sins against the faith) and certain other major sins.  Those who received major excommunication for heresy were not members of the Church (as we have just proven at length).  Minor excommunication, however, did not remove one from the Church, but forbade one to participate in the Church's sacramental life.  Pope Benedict XIV made note of the distinction.

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."[1]

Minor excommunication, on the other hand, was incurred for things such as violating a secret of the Holy Office, falsifying relics (c. 2326), violating a cloister (c. 2342), etc.  These are all ecclesiastical or Church penalties.  Such actions, though gravely sinful, did not separate a person from the Church.  And though the terms major and minor excommunication are no longer used, it remains a fact that a person could incur an excommunication (for something other than heresy) which would not separate him from the Church, and he could incur an excommunication for heresy which would separate him from the Church.

Therefore, a cardinal who receives an excommunication for heresy is no longer a cardinal because heretics are outside the Catholic Church (de fide, Pope Eugene IV).  But a cardinal who receives an excommunication for something else is still a cardinal, though in a state of grave sin.  So when Pope Pius XII says that all cardinals, whatever ecclesiastical impediment they are under, can vote and be elected in a Papal conclave, this presupposes cardinals who have received an excommunication for something other than heresy, since a cardinal who has received an excommunication for heresy is not a cardinal at all.  The key point to understand is that heresy is not merely an ecclesiastical impediment – thus it is not what Pius XII is talking about – but an impediment by divine law. 

The canonist Maroto explains: “Heretics and schismatics are barred from the Supreme Pontificate by the divine law itself, because, although by divine law they are not considered incapable of participating in certain types of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, nevertheless, they must certainly be regarded as excluded from occupying the throne of the Apostolic See…”[2]

Notice, heretics are not excluded from the Papacy by merely ecclesiastical impediments, but impediments flowing from the divine law.  Pius XII’s legislation doesn’t apply to heresy because he was speaking about ecclesiastical impediments: “…or any other ecclesiastical impediment…”.  Thus, his legislation does not show that heretics can be elected and remain popes, which is why he didn’t mention heretics.  Pope Pius XII was referring to Catholic cardinals who may have been under excommunication. 

To further prove the point, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Pope Pius XII’s legislation did mean that a heretical cardinal could be elected pope.  Notice what Pius XII says:

“We hereby suspend such censures solely for the purposes of the said election; at other times they are to remain in vigor.”

Pius XII says that the excommunication is suspended only for the time of the election; at other times it remains in vigor.  This would mean that the excommunication for heresy would fall back into force immediately after the election and then the heretic who had been elected pope would lose his office!  Thus, no matter what way you look at it, a heretic could not be validly elected and remain pope.

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.)

If a heretic (one who denies the faith) could be the head inside the Church, then the dogma that the Church is one in faith (as in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic) would be false.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 84.

[2] Institutiones Iuris Canonici, 1921.

Objection 11): What does it matter whether or not Benedict XVI/Francis is a pope? The issue does not concern me.


Answer: If whether or not Benedict XVI is a pope does not matter, then the non-Catholicism of the Vatican II sect does not matter, the New Mass doesn’t matter, etc.  One cannot separate one from the other.  You cannot separate pope and Church.  Furthermore, to maintain that Benedict XVI is the head of the Catholic Church is to assert that the gates of Hell have prevailed against Her.

Further, to obstinately recognize Benedict XVI as the pope is to commit a sin against the Faith; for it is to assert that one has the true Faith who, in fact, is a manifest heretic and apostate against it.  Moreover, to recognize Benedict XVI and the other Vatican II antipopes as true popes is to scandalize non-Catholics; it is to be unable to consistently present the Faith to a non-Catholic.  On this point, we must now see The Devastating Dilemma to demonstrate just how much this issue matters.

The Devastating Dilemma: Why Catholics cannot even present the Faith to a Protestant if they accept the Vatican II antipopes as true popes

Suppose that tomorrow you encounter a well-informed Protestant who is interested in becoming a Catholic.  While this man claims to be interested in becoming “Catholic,” he has major problems with the teaching of the Catholic Church on justification: he rejects the canons and decrees of the 16th century Council of Trent.  As he explains his position you think to yourself: “How does this man expect to become Catholic when he doesn’t believe in the teaching of the Council of Trent on justification?”  

So you, being a charitable Catholic, inform him that if he wants to become Catholic he must accept and believe the Council of Trent’s teaching on justification and repudiate Luther’s view of justification by faith alone (sola fide), since the Catholic Church (not to mention scripture – James 2:24) condemns the idea of justification by faith alone. 

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 10, ex cathedra:
“‘You see, that by works a man is justified AND NOT BY FAITH ALONE’ (James 2:24).”[1] 

But the Protestant responds by saying:

“Excuse me sir, I do not have to accept and believe the Council of Trent’s teaching on justification to become Catholic.  Nor do I have to believe that justification by faith alone is a heresy, as you say.  Your pope, Benedict XVI, and his predecessor, John Paul II, who are both Catholics agree with and have approved of a document that says that faith alone is not a heresy, and that Trent’s canons on justification do not apply to the Lutheran explanation of justification.”  And he proceeds to make three points in succession to prove this. 

#1) The Protestant first cites the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification, approved by the Vatican on Oct. 31, 1999.  He quotes two selections from the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification, which he happens to have in his briefcase.

Joint Declaration With Lutherans: “# 5.  THE PRESENT JOINT DECLARATION has this intention: namely, to show that on the basis of their dialogue the subscribing Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ.  It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and SHOWS THAT THE REMAINING DIFFERENCES ARE NO LONGER THE OCCASION FOR DOCTRINAL CONDEMNATIONS.”[2] 

After citing this, the Protestant correctly explains that this rules out any condemnation of the Lutheran view of justification (faith alone, etc.).  He then cites # 13.

Joint Declaration With Lutherans: “# 13.  IN LIGHT OF THIS CONSENSUS, THE CORRESPONDING DOCTRINAL CONDEMNATIONS OF THE 16TH CENTURY DO NOT APPLY TO TODAY’S PARTNER.”[iii]

After citing this, the Protestant rightly explains that this also means that Trent’s condemnations (in the 16th century) of the Lutheran view of justification no longer apply. 

#2)  To further substantiate his point, the Protestant proceeds to cite two more selections from the same Joint Declaration With the Lutherans.

Joint Declaration With Lutherans: “# 41.  Thus the doctrinal condemnations of the 16th century, in so far as they are related to the doctrine of justification, appear in a new light: THE TEACHING OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCHES PRESENTED IN THIS DECLARATION DOES NOT FALL UNDER THE CONDEMNATIONS FROM THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.[4]

The Protestant points out the obvious fact that this means that none of the Lutheran teaching contained in the Joint Declaration is condemned by the Council of Trent.  He then proves that justification by faith alone is among the teaching of the Lutheran churches in the Joint Declaration.

Joint Declaration With Lutherans: “# 26.  ACCORDING TO THE LUTHERAN UNDERSTANDING, GOD JUSTIFIES SINNERS IN FAITH ALONE (sola fide).  In faith they place their trust wholly in their Creator and Redeemer and thus live in communion with him.”[5]

He concludes, with perfect logic, that according to the Vatican’s own agreement with the Lutherans on justification, faith alone is most assuredly not condemned by the Council of Trent.  Thus, he says to you:

You see, sir, the Catholics who adhere to and believe in the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification do not hold that faith alone is a heresy that is anathematized infallibly by decree of the Council of Trent, as you claim a Catholic must believe in order to be Catholic.”

#3) Finally, this smart Protestant knows that you will try to say that John Paul II and Benedict XVI didn’t sign the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification.  So he points out that the Joint Declaration was signed under John Paul II’s auspices and repeatedly approved by Benedict XVI.

John Paul II, Jan. 19, 2004, At a Meeting with Lutherans From Finland: “… I wish to express my gratitude for the ecumenical progress made between Catholics and Lutherans in the five years since the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.”[6]

Benedict XVI, Address to Methodists, Dec. 9, 2005: “I have been encouraged by the initiative which would bring the member churches of the World Methodist Council into association with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999.”[7]

 The Protestant concludes his presentation by saying:

“Benedict XVI (and, before him, John Paul II) is a Catholic and adheres to the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the doctrine of justification, which declaration explicitly teaches that faith alone is not anathematized by Trent, and that the remaining differences between Lutherans and Catholics on justification are not the occasion for any doctrinal condemnationsTherefore, when I become a Catholic, I will hold the same position as Benedict XVI and as the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans sets forth.  I will hold that faith alone justifies, and I will not hold that it is an anathematized heresy!  And I will not embrace the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent, because John Paul II and Benedict XVI have accepted, endorsed and agreed with the Joint Declaration, which explains that Trent’s canons are no longer in force.”

You know that as a Catholic, you have a strict obligation to tell him that belief in faith alone and belief in the Catholic religion are incompatible.  So what do you say in response?

If you hold that Benedict XVI and John Paul II are/were valid popes, you spit back the following response, which is the only thing that you can think of:

John Paul II and Benedict XVI are wrong.  They aren’t infallible in everything they say or do.  The Joint Declaration is not infallible.  The Council of Trent is infallible.” 

And the smart Protestant, quickly detecting the flaws in this illogical and poor response, replies:

“Sir, I never said that the Joint Declaration is infallible.  Infallibility has nothing to do with our discussion.  The bottom-line is that you admit that Benedict XVI is a Catholic with whom you are in communion, and with whom every Catholic must be in communion.  You admit that he is not a heretic who is outside the communion of the Catholic Church for embracing the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification, so you must admit that I will also be a Catholic in communion with the Church (not a heretic) when I take the same position. 

If you hold that Benedict XVI is a valid pope, you would then have nothing to say in response to this Protestant.  The debate is over, and you have lost.  You cannot on the one hand say that acceptance of faith alone and the Joint Declaration With the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification is incompatible with this Protestant’s entrance into the Catholic Church (which you must as a Catholic, since this was defined infallibly at Trent), while you simultaneously give obedience to Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic Church, who has demonstrated his acceptance of the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification quite publicly.  The Protestant has cornered you and you are forced to admit that he can indeed become Catholic and hold to what is taught in the Joint Declaration.  This proves that those who accept Benedict XVI as the pope cannot even consistently present the Catholic Faith to a Protestant.  THEY MUST ADMIT THAT ONE CAN BE A “CATHOLIC” AND HOLD THAT FAITH ALONE IS NOT AN ANATHEMATIZED HERESY, AND THAT TRENT’S CANONS DO NOT APPLY TO THE LUTHERAN VIEW OF JUSTIFICATION

As long as one acknowledges Benedict XVI as the Catholic pope, he is defending a Church that has repudiated the Council of Trent, a “Church” that is, by definition, a non-Catholic Church – a Church of heretics.

Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, profession of faith, 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.”[8] 

The same judgment and authority by which you determined that this non-denominational Protestant was a heretic and outside the Catholic Church – a judgment you made upon meeting him and finding out what he believed and how he repudiated the Council of Trent – is the same exact judgment that you absolutely are forced to make about Benedict XVI.  It should hit you in a striking and illuminating way that you are not guilty of judging the Holy See or a pope when you correctly judge that Benedict XVI is a non-Catholic; rather, you are identifying a non-Catholic for what he is, just as you correctly identified the non-denominational Protestant you met as a non-Catholic, as well as any Calvinist, Methodist or Episcopalian.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, p. 675.

[2] L’Osservatore Romano, Special Insert, Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification, November 24, 1999, #5.

[3] L’Osservatore Romano, Special Insert, Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification, November 24, 1999, #13.

[4] L’Osservatore Romano, Special Insert, Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification, November 24, 1999, #41.

[5] L’Osservatore Romano, Special Insert, Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification, November 24, 1999, #26.

[6] L’Osservatore Romano, Jan. 28, 2004, p. 4.

[7] L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 21/28, p. 5.

[8] Denzinger 423.

Objection 12): How could the entire Church and all the cardinals recognize an antipope, such as in the case of John XXIII (1958-1963)?


Answer: Pope Paul IV declared that Catholics could not accept such a heretical claimant, even if obedience were given to him by "all" – indicating by such a statement that all giving obedience to such an antipope is a possibility. 

Pope Paul IV, Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Feb. 15, 1559: “6. In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define:] that if ever at any time it shall appear that… the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy… (ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;…”

But we’ve already had a situation where all of the cardinals recognized an antipope!  As covered earlier in the book, during the Great Western Schism 15 of the 16 cardinals who had elected Pope Urban VI withdrew from his obedience on the grounds that the unruly Roman mob had made the election uncanonical.  The one cardinal who did not repudiate Pope Urban VI was Cardinal Tebaldeschi, but he died shortly thereafter, on Sept. 7 – leaving a situation where not one of the cardinals of the Catholic Church recognized the true pope, Urban VIAll of the living cardinals then regarded his election as invalid.[1]

In the 12th century, Antipope Anacletus II – who reigned eight years in Rome while rivaling the true Pope, Innocent II – gained the majority of the cardinals, the Bishop of Porto, the Dean of the Sacred College, and the entire populace of Rome as his supporters.[2]

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 3 (The Glory of Christendom), pp. 432-434.

[2] The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 447.

Objection 15): The Church and the hierarchy will always be visible. If the Vatican II Church is not the true Catholic Church, then the Church and hierarchy are no longer visible.


Answer: 1) People misunderstand in what the visibility of the Church consists; 2) the Vatican II sect cannot be the visible Church of Christ; and 3) the Vatican II sect denies this very teaching on the visibility of the Church.

No one denies that the Catholic Church could cease to exist in all the countries of the world except one.  The visibility of the Church does not require that the faithful or the hierarchy be seen in every single geographical location around the globe.  This has never been the case.  Simply, the visibility of the Church signifies real Catholic faithful who externally profess the one true religion, even if they are reduced to a very small number.  These faithful who externally profess the one true religion will always remain the visible Church of Christ, even if their ranks are reduced to just a handful.

And that is precisely what is predicted to happen at the end of the world.

St. Athanasius: "Even if Catholics faithful to tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”[1]

Our Lord Himself indicates that the size of the Church will become frighteningly small in the last days.

Luke 18:18: “But yet, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find, think you, faith on earth?”

The Apocalypse of St. John seems to indicate the same.

Apocalypse 11:1-2:
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod, and it was said to me: Arise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that adore in it.  But the court, which is without the temple, cast out, and measure it not, because it is given to the Gentiles…” 

The Haydock version of the Douay-Rheims Bible, a popular compilation of Catholic commentary on the Scriptures by Rev. Fr. Geo. Leo Haydock, contains the following comment on Apoc. 11:1-2.

Catholic Commentary on Apoc. 11:1-2, Haydock version of the Douay-Rheims Bible:
“The churches consecrated to the true God, are so much diminished in number, that they are represented by St. John as one church; its ministers officiate at one altar; and all the true faithful are so few, with respect to the bulk of mankind, that the evangelist sees them assembled in one temple, to pay their adorations to the Most High. - Pastorini.”[2]

The Magisterium of the Catholic Church has never taught that there must always be a certain number of bishops or faithful for the Church to exist.  As long as there is at least one priest or bishop and at least a few faithful, the Church and the hierarchy are alive and visible.  Today there is much more than a handful of faithful left who maintain the unchanging Catholic Faith.  Thus, the argument of our opponents from the standpoint of visibility lacks any merit and is contrary to the prophecies of Sacred Scripture.

Further, during the Arian crisis the true Faith was eliminated from entire regions, so much so that there were hardly any Catholic bishops to be found anywhere.

Fr. William Jurgens: “At one point in the Church’s history, only a few years before Gregory’s [Nazianz] present preaching (+380 A.D.), perhaps the number of Catholic bishops in possession of sees, as opposed to Arian bishops in possession of sees, was no greater than something between 1% and 3% of the totalHad doctrine been determined by popularity, today we should all be deniers of Christ and opponents of the Spirit.”[3]

Fr. William Jurgens: “In the time of the Emperor Valens (4th century), Basil was virtually the only orthodox Bishop in all the East who succeeded in retaining charge of his see… If it has no other importance for modern man, a knowledge of the history of Arianism should demonstrate at least that the Catholic Church takes no account of popularity and numbers in shaping and maintaining doctrine: else, we should long since have had to abandon Basil and Hilary and Athanasius and Liberius and Ossius and call ourselves after Arius.”[4]

The Arian heresy became so widespread in the 4th century that the Arians (who denied the Divinity of Christ) came to occupy almost all the Catholic churches and appeared to be the legitimate hierarchy basically everywhere. 

St. Ambrose (+382): “There are not enough hours in the day for me to recite even the names of all the various sects of heretics.”[5]

Things were so bad that St. Gregory Nazianz felt compelled to say what the Catholic remnant today could very well say.

St. Gregory Nazianz, “Against the Arians” (+380): “Where are they who revile us for our poverty and pride themselves in their riches?  They who define the Church by numbers and scorn the little flock?”[6]

This period of Church history, therefore, proves an important point for our time: If the Church's indefectible mission of teaching, governing and sanctifying required a governing (i.e., jurisdictional) bishop for the Church of Christ to be present and operative in a particular see or diocese, then one would have to say that the Church of Christ defected in all those territories where there was no governing Catholic bishop during the Arian heresy.  However, it is a fact that in the 4th century, where the faithful retained the true Catholic faith, even in those sees where the bishop defected to Arianism, the faithful Catholic remnant constituted the true Church of Christ.  In that remnant, the Catholic Church existed and endured in her mission to teach, govern and sanctify without a governing bishop, thus proving that the Church of Christ's indefectibility and mission to teach, govern and sanctify does not require the presence of a jurisdictional bishop

It should also be noted that the hierarchy can be defined in two ways: the jurisdictional hierarchy and the ecclesiastical hierarchy.[7] 

Pope Pius XII, Ad Sinarum gentum (# 13), Oct. 7, 1954: “Besides – as has also been divinely established – the power of orders (through which the ecclesiastical hierarchy is composed of bishops, priests, and ministers) comes from receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders.”[8]

Only those who have ordinary jurisdiction (i.e., jurisdiction which is attached to an office) constitute the jurisdictional hierarchy.  All valid Catholic priests, on the other hand, constitute parts of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.  It is possible that as long as the ecclesiastical hierarchy remains the hierarchy exists. 

Non-sedevacantists who raise this objection cannot point to one real Catholic bishop with ordinary jurisdiction.  To whom are they going to point?  Are they going to point to "Bishop" Bruskewitz, who conducted an interfaith Seder Supper with a group of rabbis in his own cathedral during Holy Week?[9]  Are they going to point to "Cardinal" Mahony or "Cardinal" Keeler? 

If it’s true that there must be one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction somewhere (which is something that has not been proven), then he is somewhere.  But it doesn’t change the fact that Benedict XVI and his apostate bishops are not Catholic and therefore not part of the hierarchy.  Against a fact there is no argument; against this fact there is no argument.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Vatican II sect rejects the visibility of the Catholic Church, thus proving again that it’s not the visible Catholic Church!

Vatican II document, Unitatis Redintegratio (# 1):
“Yet almost all, though in different ways, long for the one visible Church of God, that truly universal Church whose mission is to convert the whole world to the gospel, so that the world may be saved, to the glory of God.”[10]

Remember this one?  At the very beginning of its Decree on Ecumenism, Vatican II teaches that almost everyone longs for a truly universal and visible Church whose mission is to convert the world to the Gospel.  Again, for those who doubt that Vatican II was here denying that the Catholic Church exists, we will quote Antipope John Paul II’s own interpretation of this passage.

John Paul II, Homily, Dec. 5, 1996, speaking of prayer with non-Catholics: “When we pray together, we do so with the longing ‘that there may be one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and sent forth to the whole world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God’ (Unitatis Redintegratio, 1).”

John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint (# 7), May 25, 1995: “And yet almost everyone, though in different ways, longs that there may be one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and sent forth to the whole world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God (Vatican II document Unitatis Redintegratio, 1.).”[11]

So, if you accept the Church’s teaching on its visibility, that’s just one more reason to reject the Vatican II sect and its antipopes.  

By the way, the idea of an invisible Church – taught by the Vatican II sect – has been condemned at least three times: Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 3), June 29, 1896;[12] Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 10), Jan. 6, 1928;[13] Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 64), June 29, 1943.[14]

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 3), June 29, 1896:
“‘Now you are the Body of Christ’ (1 Cor. 12:27) – and precisely because it is a body is the Church visible… From this it follows that those who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error.”[15]

Moreover, here is an interesting quote from the Lay Investiture crisis (1075-1122).  During this crisis the evil King of Germany, Henry IV, instituted an antipope (who was supported by many German bishops).  Henry also appointed his own bishops who were also subject to the antipope.  The result was two bishops in most dioceses and massive confusion.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, 1910, “Investitures,” p. 86: “There was now much confusion on all sides… Many dioceses had two occupants.  Both parties called their rivals perjurers and traitors…”[16]

The point is: while we are currently dealing with an unprecedented apostasy, the Church has seen confusing times before, including those in which the true hierarchy was not easily ascertainable.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Coll. Selecta SS. Eccl. Patrum, Caillu and Guillou, Vol. 32, pp 411-412.

[2] The Douay-Rheims New Testament with a Catholic Commentary, by Rev. Leo Haydock, Monrovia, CA: Catholic Treasures, 1991, p. 1640.

[3] Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1970, Vol. 2, p. 39.

[4] Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 3.

[5] Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 158.

[6] Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 33.

[7] Donald Attwater, A Catholic Dictionary, “Hierarchy,” Tan Books, p. 229.

[8] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 4 (1939-1958), p. 267.

[9] Catholic Family News, January, 1999.

[10] Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, p. 908.

[11] The Encyclicals of John Paul II, Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1996, p. 918.

[12] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 2 (1878-1903), p. 388.

[13] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 317.

[14] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 4 (1939-1958), p. 50.

[15] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 2 (1878-1903), p. 388.

[16] The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, 1910, “Investitures,” p. 86.

Objection 17): Both the 1917 and 1983 Codes of Canon Law teach that a declaration is needed for one to lose his office due to heresy.


Chris Ferrara, ”A Challenge to the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” The Remnant, Sept. 30, 2005, p. 18: “Indeed, both the 1917 and 1983 codes of canon law provide that no one may insist that an ecclesiastical office has been lost due to heresy unless this has been established by a declaration of the competent authority.”[1]

Answer: This is simply not true.  Antipope John Paul II’s heretical and invalid 1983 Code states that such a declaration is necessary in Canon 194 § 3.  But the 1917 Code doesn’t.  The 1917 Code’s parallel canon to canon 194 is canon 188.  Canon 188 of the 1917 Code does not contain this provision, but simply declares that a cleric who “Publicly defects from the Catholic faith” (188 § 4) loses his office by that very fact “without any declaration.”

Canon 188.4, 1917 Code of Canon Law:
There are certain causes which effect the tacit (silent) resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration.  These causes are… (4) if he has publicly fallen away from the faith.[2]

Notice that the 1917 Code doesn’t say anything about a declaration being necessary; it says just the opposite – “without any declaration”!  When one compares the two canons, one sees the glaring difference. 

Canon 194.1-3, 1983 Code of Canon Law: “One is removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself: ... 2- who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church… The removal from office referred to in nn. 2 and 3 can be enforced only if it is established by the declaration of a competent authority.”[3]

This is probably why Ferrara provides no citation to the 1917 Code in his footnote; he only provides a reference to the 1983 code.  Thus, we are dealing with another blatant falsehood from Ferrara.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Chris Ferrara,”A Challenge to the Sedevacantist Enterprise, Part II,” The Remnant, Sept. 30, 2005, p. 18.

[2] The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, translated by Dr. Edward Von Peters, p. 83.

[3] The Code of Canon Law (1983), A Text and Commentary, Commissioned by the Canon Law Society of America, Edited by James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1985, p. 111.

Objection 18): The Council of Constance condemned the idea that a heretic would cease to be the pope.


Errors of John Hus, Condemned by the Council of Constance: “#20. If the Pope is wicked and especially if he is foreknown (as a reprobate), then as Judas, the Apostle, he is of the devil, a thief, and a son of perdition, and he is not the head of the holy militant Church, since he is not a member of it."[1] – Condemned

Answer: No, the Council of Constance didn’t condemn the idea that a heretic would cease to be the pope at all.  This is a serious misunderstanding of this proposition.  As we see clearly above, the Council condemned something significantly different.  It condemned the proposition that a wicked man would cease to be the head of the Church, since he is not a member of it.  The proposition from the heretic Hus rightly asserts that one who is not a member of the Church cannot be the head of the Church, but it falls into trouble by stating that the pope ceases to be a member if he is “wicked.”

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.”[2]

A merely wicked pope doesn’t cease to be pope, but a heretic or schismatic does.  This is because heresy and schism and apostasy separate one from the Church, while other sins (no matter how grave or wicked they are) do not.  Thus, we can see clearly that the proposition is condemning the idea that wickedness separates one from the Church.  It is not condemning the truth that a heretic ceases to be the pope.  In fact, many of the other propositions from John Hus which were condemned by the Council of Constance repeat the false idea expressed above in different ways: that the wicked are not part of the Church.[3]

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chap. 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.”

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] Denzinger 646.

[2] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 4 (1939-1958), p. 41.

[3] Denzinger 627 ff.

Objection 19): The Joint Declaration with the Lutherans is not manifest heresy because John Paul II and Benedict XVI didn’t sign it.


Answer: The Joint Declaration with the Lutherans by itself proves that the Vatican II “popes” are non-Catholic antipopes.  The fact that John Paul II and Benedict XVI neither wrote the document nor signed it is completely irrelevant.  They both approved of it publicly numerous times, and agreed with it. 

John Paul II, Jan. 19, 2004, At a Meeting with Lutherans From Finland: “… I wish to express my gratitude for the ecumenical progress made between Catholics and Lutherans in the five years since the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.”[1]

Benedict XVI, Address to Protestants at World Youth Day, August 19, 2005: “… the important Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999)[2]

James Smith could draw up a document denying the Immaculate Conception, and if you were to go around giving speeches about how great Smith’s document is, that would make you a manifest heretic.  The fact that you didn’t write Smith’s document or sign it means nothing; you publicly approved of it.  John Paul II and Benedict XVI publicly approved of the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on Justification, which teaches that the worst Lutheran heresies are not condemned by the Council of Trent.  They are manifest heretics.

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] L’Osservatore Romano, Jan. 28, 2004, p. 4.

[2] L’Osservatore Romano, August 24, 2005, p. 8.

Objection 9): Pope Liberius gave in to the Arian heretics and excommunicated St. Athanasius, yet he remained the pope…


Answer: It is not true that Pope Liberius gave in to the Arians, signed any Arian formula, or even excommunicated St. Athanasius.  Pope Liberius was a staunch defender of the truth during the Arian crisis, but his return from exile gave some the idea that he had compromised, when, in fact, he had not.  We quote Pope Pius IX.

Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra (# 16), January 6, 1873, On False Accusations:
“And previously the Arians falsely accused Liberius, also Our predecessor, to the Emperor Constantine, because Liberius refused to condemn St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, and refused to support their heresy.”[1]

Pope Benedict XV, Principi Apostolorum Petro (# 3), Oct. 5, 1920:
“Indeed, lest they should prove faithless from their duty, some went fearlessly into exile, as did Liberius and Silverius and Martinus.[2]

According to Pope Pius IX and Pope Benedict XV, Pope Liberius didn’t falter in any way during the Arian crisis, and was falsely accused by the Church’s enemies for standing firm.  Pope St. Anastasius I bears witness to this as well.

Pope St. Anastasius I, epistle Dat mihi plurimum, about 400 AD:
“For at this time when Constantius of holy memory held the world as victor, the heretical African faction was not able by any deception to introduce its baseness because, as we believe, our God provided that the holy and untarnished faith be not contaminated through any vicious blasphemy of slanderous men… For this faith those who were then esteemed as holy bishops gladly endured exile, that is Dionysius, thus a servant of God, prepared by divine instruction, or those following his example of holy recollection, LIBERIUS bishop of the Roman Church, Eusebius also of Vercelli, Hilary of the Gauls, to say nothing of many, on whose decision the choice could rest to be fastened to the cross rather than blaspheme God Christ, which the Arian heresy compelled, or call the Son of God, God Christ, a creature of the Lord.”[3]

It was not Pope Liberius, but the pseudo-bishop Ischyras, who, before he usurped the See of Alexandria, ejected St. Athanasius from his See.

Pope Pius VI, Charitas (# 14), April 13, 1791:
“Perhaps in appreciation of these actions, the bishop of Lidda, Jean Joseph Gobel, was elected Archbishop of Paris, while the archbishop was still living.  He is following the example of Ischyras, who was proclaimed bishop of Alexandria at the Council of Tyre as payment for his sinful service in accusing St. Athanasius and ejecting him from his See.”[4]

See other Answers to the Most Common Objections Against Sedevacantism

Endnotes:

[1] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 417.

[2] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 195.

[3] Denzinger 93.

[4] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 1 (1740-1878), p. 180.

Does Pius XII’s speech to midwives prove baptism of desire? No.


October 16, 2006

PIUS XII’S SPEECH TO MIDWIVES

OBJECTION- Pope Pius XII taught that an adult can be saved without Baptism in his speech to Midwives, Oct. 29, 1951. This proves baptism of desire.

“In the present economy there is no other way of communicating [sanctifying grace] to the child who has not yet the use of reason [other than Baptism]. But, nevertheless, the state of grace at the moment of death is absolutely necessary for salvation. Without it, it is not possible to attain supernatural happiness, the beatific vision of God. An act of love can suffice [i.e., Baptism of Desire] for an adult to obtain sanctifying grace and supply for the absence of Baptism; for the unborn child or for the newly born, this way is not open...."[1] --Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives, Oct. 29, 1951

ANSWER- No, this a speech to Italian midwives; a speech to Italian midwives is not infallible.

In fact, in a Nov. 22, 1951, speech to the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Pius XII repeatedly taught that the Earth is “billions” of years old.

Pius XII, Speech To Pontifical Academy Of Sciences, Nov. 2, 1951: "... the work of the omnipotent Creator, Whose power, aroused by the mighty ‘fiat’ pronounced billions of years ago by the Creative Spirit, unfolded itself in the universe and, with a gesture of generous love, called into existence matter, fraught with energy."

Pius XII, Speech To Pontifical Academy Of Sciences, Nov. 2, 1951: "Thus this energy, in the course of billions of years, is slowly but irreparably transformed into radiation."

Pius XII, Speech To Pontifical Academy Of Sciences, Nov. 2, 1951: "In the course of billions of years, even the quantity of atomic nuclei, which is apparently inexhaustible, loses its utilisable energy and matter approaches, to speak figuratively, the state of a spent and wasted volcano." (https://inters.org/pius-xii-speech-1952-proofs-god)

That’s completely wrong. It’s another example of why it’s crucial to distinguish between what popes teach with the full weight of the office and what they might say in other capacities.

Pius XII's speech to midwives is less authoritative, in fact, than Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Ad Salutem. In his encyclical of 1930, in discussing those who “beg for baptism” and die before being regenerated [i.e. baptized], Pope Pius XI makes his own the words of St. Augustine which declare that “utter ruin” is their lot. In other words, no man who begs for baptism can be saved by his desire without the waters of regeneration.

Pope Pius XI, Ad Salutem (#44), April 20, 1930: “Some bishops and priests were at a loss as to what course to pursue in the midst of so many crushing disasters. One of them asked Augustine his opinion: ‘Surely we know [Augustine said] that when such perils reach their crest and no escape is possible, people of both sexes of all ages are wont to flock to the Church. Some beg for baptism, some for reconciliation, some for the performance of penance, all for consolation and the sacraments to be made available and administered. In such a crisis, if ministers be lacking, utter ruin is the lot of those who leave this world unregenerated or unshriven.’”[2]

A pope is infallible only when speaking from the Chair of Peter or reiterating what the Church has always taught in her ordinary and universal Magisterium.

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, Session 4, Chap. 4:
“…the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra [from the Chair of Peter], that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority he explains a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church... operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His Church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable.”[3]

Pius XII’s speech to midwives doesn’t bind Catholics. Further, his speech to the Italian midwives is not more authoritative than Pope St. Siricius’s letter to Himerius in 385, in which that pope strongly declares that the man who begs for regeneration and dies without it will not be saved.

Pope St. Siricius, Letter to Himerius, 385:
“As we maintain that the observance of the holy Paschal time should in no way be relaxed, in the same way we desire that infants who, on account of their age, cannot yet speak, or those who, in any necessity, are in want of the water of holy baptism, be succored with all possible speed, for fear that, if those who leave this world should be deprived of the life of the Kingdom for having been refused the source of salvation which they desired, this may lead to the ruin of our souls. If those threatened with shipwreck, or the attack of enemies, or the uncertainties of a siege, or those put in a hopeless condition due to some bodily sickness, ask for what in their faith is their only help, let them receive at the very moment of their request the reward of regeneration they beg for. Enough of past mistakes! From now on, let all the priests observe the aforesaid rule if they do not want to be separated from the solid apostolic rock on which Christ has built his universal Church.”[4]

The fact that popes can make mistakes in their fallible capacity is proven throughout Church history. Pope John IV wrongly attempted to defend the heretical words of Pope Honorius, which were condemned by the III Council of Constantinople.

Pope John IV, “Dominus qui dixit” to Constantius the Emperor, Regarding Pope Honorius, 641: “…So, my aforementioned predecessor [Honorius] said concerning the mystery of the incarnation of Christ, that there were not in Him, as in us sinners, contrary wills of mind and flesh; and certain ones converting this to their own meaning, suspected that He taught one will of His divinity and humanity which is altogether contrary to the truth.”[5]

In studying papal errors throughout history in preparation for its declaration of papal infallibility, the theologians at Vatican I found that over 40 popes held wrong theological views. In a notorious case of papal error, Pope John XXII held the false view that the just of the Old Testament don’t receive the Beatific Vision until after the General Judgment. But none of these errors were taught by popes from the Chair of St. Peter, just like Pius XII’s speech to Italian midwives is not a declaration from the Chair of St. Peter.

Perhaps the most notorious case of papal error in Church history is the “Synod of the Corpse” of 897. This was where the dead body of Pope Formosus – who by all accounts was a holy and devoted pope – was condemned after his death by Pope Stephen VII for a number of supposed violations of canon law.

“In late January 897 the terrible Duchess Ageltrude and her son Lambert II who called himself emperor, entered Rome. There very soon followed the nightmare scene graven forever upon the historical memory of Christendom. The decayed body of Pope Formosus was taken out of its tomb in St. Peter’s. It was dressed in pontifical robes, and under them even the hair shirt the ascetic pope had worn in life, was put on the corpse. It was propped upon a seat. It was charged with violations of canon law… A deacon was assigned as canon lawyer for the defense. The ‘case’ was heard. Pope Stephen VII pronounced the corpse guilty as charged… Its robes and the hair shirt were stripped off again. The three fingers of its right hand, which had been raised for pontifical blessings, were cut off.”

This quote doesn’t mention that after the condemnation of Formosus by Pope Stephen VII, Pope Formosus’s body was thrown into the Tiber.

But some years later in 898, “In mid-summer Pope Stephen VII was arrested… by whom or for what reasons we do not know… His successor, Romanus, ruled just four months. Romanus’ successor, [Pope] Theodore II, ruled for only twenty days. But during those twenty days he ordered that the body of [Pope] Formosus, which had been rescued from the Tiber, be returned with all honor to its original tomb in St. Peter’s; and he restored the Roman clergy ordained by Pope Formosus whom Stephen VII had degraded.”[6]

So, Pope Theodore II overturned the condemnation of Pope Formosus which was issued by Pope Stephen VII.

In 898, Pope John IX was elected to succeed Pope Theodore II. He agreed with Pope Theodore II on the Formosus issue, and “condemned the entire proceedings of Stephen VII against Formosus’s body, and burned its records.”[7]

We can see that Pope John IX also agreed with Pope Theodore II, and condemned Pope Stephen VII’s condemnation of Pope Formosus.

However, a few years later Pope Sergius III (904-911) was elected pope. He held a different view on the Pope Formosus issue. Pope Sergius III “went so far as to praise the memory of Stephen VII while still condemning that of Formosus, whom he called a ‘haughty intruder,’ and John IX, whom he called ‘a wolf.’ He once again declared Formosus’s ordinations invalid, and many priests who had been ordained by Formosus were required to undergo a rite of reordination.”[8]

So, to summarize: We have Pope Stephen VII and Pope Sergius III who were in favor of the condemnation of Pope Formosus, while Pope Theodore II and Pope John IX condemned the condemnation of Pope Formosus. None of these decisions were promulgated as a binding teaching on faith or morals to be believed by the universal Church (i.e. infallibly). This should show us all very clearly that not every decision, speech, opinion or judgment of a pope is infallible.

Furthermore, Pope Pius XII was a very weak pope who was the bridge to the Vatican II apostasy. It’s not a surprise that he believed in explicit baptism of desire for adults. That view was very widespread at the time. The thing which is of utmost importance in this regard is not what saints, theologians or even popes taught in their fallible capacity; it’s what God has allowed the infallible Magisterium of the Church to define. That’s the key (literally and figuratively – Mt. 16:18-20).

Pope Pius XII allowed the denial of the salvation dogma to run rampant throughout his reign. He reformed the Holy Week rites (a decision of his which many of those who love baptism of desire reject), and in the same fallible speech to Italian midwives cited above he endorsed the birth control method of Natural Family Planning. In his encyclical Humani Generis, Pius XII also said that the Magisterium doesn’t forbid investigation into a certain type of theistic evolution, which is absurd.

Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis (#36), Aug. 12, 1950: “For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter -- for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faithful.”[9]

Theistic evolution holds that creatures were living, evolving and dying for perhaps millions of years before Adam lived and died. But Scripture and Catholic dogma teach that through Adam’s sin death first entered the world! Thus, theistic evolution and Catholic teaching are incompatible. Moreover, notice how John Paul II used Pope Pius XII’s fallible teaching to promote evolution as true.

John Paul II, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution, Oct. 22, 1996: "In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points....Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies -- which was neither planned nor sought -- constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."[10]

Thus, people shouldn’t get carried away with something that Pius XII said in his fallible capacity. Baptism of desire advocates cannot, for a moment, argue that Pius XII’s speech to midwives proves baptism of desire. (It should be emphasized that Pius XII is only enunciating the position of explicit baptism of desire for adults). Pope Pius XII was simply wrong in his fallible capacity, just like he was wrong on theistic evolution and NFP. Baptism of desire is proven false by numerous irrefutable arguments from the infallible teaching of the Chair of St. Peter, which baptism of desire advocates cannot even begin to respond to. And Pius XII’s own official teaching on baptism in Mystici Corporis declares that no unbaptized person is to be considered a member of the Church.

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (# 22), June 29, 1943: “Actually only those are to be numbered among the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration [water baptism] and profess the true faith.”[11]

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, Sess. 7, Can. 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that baptism [the Sacrament] is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation (cf. Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema.”[12]

[1] Quoted in John McCarthy, Problems in Theology, Vol. I (Newman Press, 1956), p. 53.

[2] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 387.

[3] Denzinger 1839.

[4] Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S.J. and Fr. Josef Neuner, S.J., The Christian Faith, Sixth Revised and Enlarged Edition, Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 1996, p. 540.

[5] Denzinger 253.

[6] Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 2 (The Building of Christendom), 1987, pp. 388-399.

[7] Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 2 (The Building of Christendom), 1987, p. 389.

[8] Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 2 (The Building of Christendom), 1987, p. 390.

[9] The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 4 (1939-1958), p. 181; Denzinger 2327.

[10] John Paul II, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution, Oct. 22, 1996, available on the internet.

[11] Denzinger 2286.

[12] Denzinger 861; Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 2, p. 685.

Where in Portugal is the dogma of Faith being preserved and by whom?


September 23, 2006

Dear Brothers,

Where in Portugal is the dogma of Faith being preserved and by whom? I am referring to what the Blessed Mother told Sister Lucia in Fatima.  I surmise that the Blessed Mother is stating that it is the country, as a whole, that will be preserving the Catholic Faith until, I assume, Christ's Second Coming .. can you offer an explanation?

Thanks,

LML

MHFM

Since we don’t have the complete sentence, we cannot say for sure, but it could be:

“In Portugal the dogma of Faith will always be preserved in a faithful remnant…”
Or:
“In Portugal the dogma of Faith will always be preserved until the Great Apostasy…”

About Consecration to Mary


September 22, 2006

Dear Brothers Dimond

I wish to make a Consecration of myself to Mary, following the St Louis de Montfort method.  However, I note that on the day of Consecration we are supposed to receive Holy Communion and make the Act after this, as well as make an offering such as light a candle to Our Lady in Church.  In these times of apostasy, I am unable to attend a Catholic Mass (only the Indult is available), and I would appreciate your advice on how a person should make the Consecration in these circumstances of not being able to receive Holy Communion or visit a Catholic Church that is not connected with the counterfeit Catholic Church.

Best wishes
Gerard

MHFM

Thanks for the question. There is no obligation to make the Consecration to Mary before a priest or in a church, especially today. You should make it in your home.

On the Last Gospel of the Mass from St. John


September 19, 2006

In the Last Gospel of the Mass from St. John we read:

"But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

What does the bold faced quotations mean - what does it refer to? Does "born" refer to baptism. It seems pretty clear to me, but I may not be understanding it clearly. Could you give me a take on what it might mean? I read it  every Sunday at Mass and wonder it's meaning.

Thanks!
Dede

MHFM

Thanks for the question. Yes, we have an opinion about this verse. This was actually mentioned in our book Outside the Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation (section 22). While we cannot say infallibly what this particular verse means since the Church has never issued any infallible declaration on this specific verse, here is what is said about it in the book. We think the correct conclusion is pretty obvious:

John 1:12-13-“But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God: to them that believe in His name: WHO ARE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.”

The context of the passage is dealing with “becoming the sons of God,” that which St. Paul called “adoption of sons” (Rom. 8:15). This is the theological and scriptural term for Justification, the state of sanctifying grace (Trent, Sess. 6, Chap. 4). The term signifies the transition from being a child of Adam (the state of original sin) to becoming an adopted son of God (the state of sanctifying grace). Pope St. Leo the Great, in fact, confirms that this passage of St. John’s Gospel is talking about becoming a son of God by the Sacrament of Baptism.

Pope St. Leo the Great, Sermon 63: On the Passion (+ c. 460 A.D.): “… from the birth of baptism an unending multitude are born to God, of whom it is said: Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn. 1:15).” (The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 151.)

So as God, through St. John, is describing man’s being “born again” to the state of grace in Baptism, He speaks of those who are born, “NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD”! The “will of the flesh” is desire. The “will of man” is desire. “Blood” is blood. In my opinion, what God is saying here in this very verse is that in order to become a son of God – in order to be justified – it does not suffice to be born again of blood or desire (i.e., baptism of blood or desire). One must be born again of God. The only way to be born again of God is to be baptized with water in the name of God: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Mt. 28:19).

Can one attend a lecture on Creationism by a Protestant?


September 18, 2006

Dear Br Dimond.

A protestant invites me to attend a lecture on creation by another protestant this Friday. It's not in any protestant temple and there's no religious service. If there's no praying together, can I attend it? Thanks

MHFM

Yes, we don’t see any reason why you couldn’t go unless attacking the Catholic Faith is somehow an integral part of his presentation on Creation (which we highly doubt). You should at least try to convert the Protestant who invited you, of course, if you haven’t done so already.

^