Bombshell basis for the “material pope” theory:
Why Traditionalists never left the Novus Ordo church
© Copyright 2013, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)
Part I: Infallible truths
The late French theologian Michel Louis Guérard des Lauriers, O.P., is credited with originating the “Cassiciacum thesis” or what Traditionalists refer to as the materialiter/non-formaliter theory, also known as sedeprivationism. Those holding this theory teach that from John 23 onwards, all the Vatican 2 usurpers have been “bad” popes, yet not antipopes, so there is no real sede vacante. They contend that because they all espoused the Modernist heresy, they enjoy(ed) only a marginal share in papal power. Although only potential popes, each one who ascends would be able to remove the impediment of heresy by returning to the faith and would then attain full papal power. Regardless of any enthusiastic claims concerning des Lauriers scholarship and orthodoxy (although exactly why he left the Vatican as Pope Pius XII’s confessor in the early 1950s is unclear), it must be remembered that he received consecration without papal mandate from a notoriously heretical bishop (Peter Ngo dinh Thuc) and in writing his thesis was attempting to justify the jurisdiction he had received from Thuc. His jurisdiction had no other source but the very Novus Ordo church Thuc was still actively involved with, by his own admission, just prior to des Lauriers “consecration.” Subsequently, des Lauriers “consecrated” as bishop Fr. Robert McKenna on August 22, 1986 in France. McKenna was a former member of the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement founded by Fr. Francis Fenton in the early 1970s. The author of the piece to be critiqued in this article, Donald Sanborn, later was consecrated himself by “Bp.” McKenna.
Sanborn was originally a Society of Pope St. Pius X (SSPX) priest ordained by Marcel Lefebvre in 1975. At one time he served as seminary rector for the Society. He and eight others later left the SSPX in 1983 owing to liturgical changes. In order to become a bishop, he had to agree to accept the sedeprivationist position. This reportedly was a condition required prior to his “consecration,” by “Bp.” Robert McKenna in June, 2002. In this piece, “The Material Papacy,” Sanborn attempts to build a case which will prove that this position is the answer to all the Traditionalists’ jurisdiction problems and eventually will result in the resolution of the crisis in the Church. Including John 23, six men have now unlawfully occupied the See of St. Peter and none have recanted. Over the years, the sedeprivationist position has taken on new dimensions, revealing the true colors of its proponents. Even those sedevacantists who do not agree that the see is only quasi-vacant must grudgingly tolerate the position because it is the only real explanation for why Traditionalists think they have jurisdiction — their only defense remaining in the face of irrefutable proofs to the contrary that they cannot possibly claim it and have never possessed it. But unfortunately Sanborn’s ill-conceived and error-ridden paper only serves to prove more convincingly than ever that Traditionalists possess a hidden agenda and are hell-bent on carrying it out.
How is this so? Because he fails to prove his case from infallible sources which have been readily available for years, and it is a case that raises very serious issues. This is true even tough many others have made it clear that these infallible proofs apply to the situation today. His is a case built on a plethora of probabilities and false presumptions. From a practical standpoint, sedeprivationists attempt to split the office of the pope from his Christ-given authority, assigning the office’s designation to flawed humans and pretending they can assign such an office to one who possesses none of the qualifications legislated (even infallibly) by the Church — not membership in the Church, valid ordination/consecration, true holiness, (which Cardinal Pie defines as orthodoxy) or any other positive qualities. He presumes, for example, that John 23 was validly elected by qualified electors when this in no way is certain and actual and solid proofs exist to the contrary, not the least of these being the signing of Vatican 2 documents by nearly all of the very cardinal-bishops who “elected” Roncalli and Montini. He presumes, without ever defining terms (which is essential to the scholastic argument he pretends to present), that pertinacity and public heresy are something other than that defined by approved scholastic theologians, even though the Church Doctors and Canon Law clearly teach otherwise. He erroneously reasons that a pope who has clearly spoken heresy prior to his election and even during his “papacy” can be held as quasi-legitimate in direct contradiction to an infallible and probably ex cathedra papal document. He teaches that a declaration must be issued for a latae sententiae penalty for heresy to be incurred. He strips the faithful of any power whatsoever to demand that those who rule them do so only if they certainly possess the proper jurisdiction, a right guaranteed them by Canon Law. As the title of his “theory” indicates, he is a proponent of the idea, held as liberal prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, that material heresy is not imputable and that all these Vatican 2 “popes” are guilty only of material heresy. It is this final liberal treatment of heretics, coupled with a false liberal charity that would extend ignorance to lengths the Church never intended it to go that exposes Sanborn and his ilk for what they truly are. This will be demonstrated below.
St. Thomas Aquinas on the necessity of infallible truth
First of all, if Sanborn wishes to claim he is abiding by St. Thomas Aquinas’ scholastic method, he must abide by the rules governing that same method. Scholastics teach that “an explanation or hypothesis must take account of ALL the evidence,” (“Summary of Scholastic Principles,” Bernard Wuellner, 1956). “An hypothesis must be probable (not in conflict with other truths and not leading to consequences against the facts) useful (as guiding and suggesting further research and experiment) and capable of being further tested,” (Ibid). And Sanborn’s theory is only a hypothesis, because it is nothing more than a provisionally adopted supposition put forth for the sake of argument, (Webster’s). But the subjects Sanborn treats are not able to be explained and categorized in any way but by referral to infallible truth.
On pages 60 and 78 of his book “Sacred Theology,” Rev. J. C. Fenton relates the reasons for not employing syllogistic methods in the subject of sacred theology. First he quotes St. Thomas’ opinion on this subject, noting that while human reason can err, sacred doctrine cannot. He then comments: “Since the certitude of theology is of divine knowledge, it cannot be explained merely in function of the syllogistic process by which its conclusions are derived…The theological demonstration is a complex process, and the theological conclusion is not extrinsic to the body of actually revealed doctrine… The crystal splendor of Sacred Theology is the resultant of processes far too complex and diversified to be expressed adequately even under the heading of the syllogism.” Fenton states that this will be apparent from examining the actual contents of the literature of the greats, such as St. Anselm, St. Augustine, St. Thomas and others, then adds: “…These men…understood that there were different kinds of intellectual activity which entered into the process of sacred theology, and that this special science could never be considered and treated accurately except in function of all these procedures.”
As St. Thomas Aquinas expounds, “It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God, besides philosophical science built up by human reason…” Were this not the case, “Those truths about God such as reason could discover would only be known by a few and that after a long time, with the admixture of many errors…It was therefore necessary that, besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation…Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy,” (Summa Pt. I, Q. 1, Art. 1; also Reply Obj. 2). St. Thomas teaches further: “Other sciences are called the handmaidens of this one…because other sciences derive their certitude from the natural light of human reason, which can err; whereas this derives its certitude from the light of the divine knowledge, which cannot be misled,” (Summa Pt. I, Q. 1, Art. 5).
And in another article he writes: “[Sacred] Doctrine is especially based upon arguments from authority, inasmuch as its principles are obtained by revelation: thus we ought to believe on the authority of those to whom the revelation has been made. Nor does this take away from the dignity of this doctrine, for although the argument from authority based on human reason is the weakest, yet the argument from authority based on divine revelation is the strongest. But sacred doctrine makes use even of human reason, not indeed, to prove faith (for thereby the merit of faith would come to an end) but to make clear the other things that are put forward in this doctrine. Since therefore grace does not destroy nature, but perfects it, natural reason should minister to faith as the natural bent of the will ministers to charity…Hence sacred doctrine makes use also of the authority of philosophers in those questions in which they were able to know the truth by natural reason…Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities as extrinsic and probable arguments and properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may be properly used, yet merely as probable,” (Summa, Pt. 1. Q. 1, Art. 8, Reply Obj. 2).
In such serious matters concerning the rights of third parties and attaining eternal salvation, (since one must ordinarily be subject to the pope to attain it,) Catholics are not allowed to use probable opinions such as contained in Sanborn’s work on which to base a judgment, as St. Thomas has just noted. Pope Innocent XI taught that probable opinions could not be used in these cases (DZ 1151) but it was also the unanimous opinion of modern theologians, (Rev. Dominic Prummer’s “Handbook of Moral Theology”). The Catholic Encyclopedia has the following to say on probability: “From what has so far been said it is clear that these various moral systems come into play only when the question concerns the lawfulness of an action. If the uncertainty concerns the validity of an action which must certainly be valid, it is not lawful to act on mere probability unless, indeed, this is of such a nature as to make the Church certainly supply what is needed for the validity of the act. Thus, apart from necessity, it is not lawful to act on mere probability when the validity of the sacraments is in question. Again, it is not lawful to act on mere probability when there is question of gaining an end which is obligatory, since certain means must be employed to gain a certainly required end. Hence, when eternal salvation is at stake, it is not lawful to be content with uncertain means…It is evident, then, that the question which arises in connection with the moral systems has to do solely with the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action,” (Probabilism).
These matters have been reasoned out time and time again, using only the documents of the continual magisterium, which take precedence over all else. As seen above, no one is obliged to follow Sanborn or even St. Thomas if such a line of thinking leads them from obedience to papal decrees. In fact to do so would be heresy. But Sanborn is intent on completely ignoring the teachings of the continual magisterium by pretending to offer an inferior argument from scholastic philosophy that requires Traditionalists to reason from probable opinions. For in Part II, n. 5 para. 3 of his work he states:
“To Saint Thomas and the scholastics in general, law has an essential order to the common good, in such a way that if this order ceases, the obliging force of law would also cease, as well as the very name of law…Law is defined as an order of reason for the common good. Therefore in order that the will of the superior oblige in conscience, it is necessary that he objectively intend the common good. Otherwise the definition of law is not fulfilled. For which reason a law which contradicts a superior law does not oblige in conscience; it is an evil law, which all must resist…”
And what of the laws of the Roman Pontiffs here, superior to all others? Also Canon Law, which is negatively infallible? As Rev. Cicognani notes: “The common good demands certitude concerning the validity of acts…The common welfare demands that these laws have absolute effect,” (Canon Law, 1935). The highest possible certitude, formal certitude is found in infallible decrees which explain divine revelation concerning faith and morals. Acts involving the canonical election and validity of the Popes, which amount to dogmatic facts are secondary objects of infallibility, and also are considered infallible. The se subjects will be addressed further below. But concerning Traditionalists and all who wish to be truly Catholic, if the “superior” is actually acting against the common good, then once Catholics have arrived at the necessary certitude, they are not obliged to follow him and must in fact resist him. While Traditionalist “clerics” claim that they must supply the Mass and Sacraments to save souls, in reality their ministrations damn souls because they are illicit and in nearly every case at least questionably valid, hence sacrilegious. This St. Thomas treats in another section of his Summa.
What Sanborn does not acknowledge is that he has a higher duty he must obey. Since he relies on St. Thomas as the sole support for his theory, he should have the common decency to quote him in context. For St. Thomas also writes: “The first sin of our first parents, which sin was transmitted to all men was not disobedience as such but pride, from which the man proceeded to disobey…It is a greater duty to obey a higher than a lower authority, in sign of which the command of a lower authority is set aside if it be contrary to the command of a higher authority…The higher the person who commands, the more grievous it is to disobey him,” (Summa, Pt. II-II, Q. 105, Art.1 and 2, Rep. Obj. 3). “Indirectly and accidently…pride makes a man despise the Divine law which hinders him from sinning, (Jeremias 2:20; Summa, Pt. II-II, Q. 162, Art. 2). Throughout his work Sanborn consistently ignores this duty, mentioning theologians only by name but never quoting them, and actually quoting St. Thomas only on occasion. Nowhere in his work does he quote the teaching of the Roman Pontiffs, and the question therefore is this: to whom does Sanborn pledge his true allegiance? It is one thing to hold with sedevacantists that the see is vacant; it is quite another thing to proceed as though the teachings of the entire continual magisterium are of no consequence, as will be shown below.
The binding nature of infallible and non-infallible decrees
The Vatican Council has declared: “We, therefore …teach and define that the Pontiff, when he speaks ex-Cathedra; that is, when acting as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he, by his doctrine touching faith or morals which is to be held by the whole Church, enjoys by a divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed when defining a doctrine touching faith or morals.” (DZ 1839.)
Father J.C. Fenton, (Sacred Theology), writes concerning this definition of infallibility by the Council: “The …definition of which the Council speaks, consists in a solemn judgment of the Holy Father terminating with absolute finality some question which has arisen about the content of revealed truth …the Vatican Council speaks of the solemn declaration of the Catholic Church in contradistinction to that ordinary teaching which is likewise infallible as a judgment.” (pp. 116-118.) Thus, Fenton names the two types of infallibility: ordinary and extraordinary (solemn declaration). These types are called the “magisterium” of the Church, or teaching authority: “…which resides in the Roman Pontiff and in the bishops, inasmuch as they are subject to and united with him.” Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, Parente, Piolanti, Garofalo, 1951, p. 71.) On page 72, the Dictionary lists the following sources from which a declaration of the extraordinary magisterium can issue: “…A solemn declaration of the Pope, through a bull or other document; declaration of an ecumenical council or of a particular council approved by the Pope; symbols and professions of faith emanating from or approved by the Church.” The ordinary magisterium is defined as also consisting in the unanimous consent of the fathers and theologians, unanimous preaching of the bishops, consent of the faithful or liturgical usage. J.C. Fenton defines the ordinary magisterium as “…continuous and …positive exposition of divine revelation …conducted by the Church since Her inception.” (p. 104.) He explains “liturgical usage” as the doctrine of approved texts of catechisms and sacred theology.
Listed below are the various grades of theological certainty and how they bind Catholics:
(1) Those truths which must be accepted by Catholics as formally revealed truths are those contained in revelation itself and those truths defined by the Church as contained in revelation. (De fide definita.)
(2) Catholic truths or Church doctrines finally defined by the Church are as infallible as formally revealed truths, even though they are based only on the Church’s authority. These are called Fides ecclesiastica.
(3) Sentae fidei proxima is a teaching proximate to faith and generally considered by theologians to be a truth of Revelation, but one which has not been finally decided as such.
(4) A teaching is theologically certain if it can be proven by way of a properly ordered theological conclusion. These teachings are those which have not been formally decided by the Church and are known as theologica certa or sententia ad fidem pertinans. J.C. Fenton notes, however, that if such conclusions are of faith, they must be accepted as well.
(5) Common teaching is what is accepted by theologians in general; probable opinions are those which enjoy a greater probability of law.
Only the first three grades of certainty require that assent which is immediate and irrevocable. Nevertheless, teachings not infallible, which emanate from the Holy See or one of its offices are to be accepted with a firm inner consent. The key to this statement is
“not infallible,” for the Pontiff can teach infallibly even through those letters or directives not issued officially as encyclicals. Rev. Fenton, in the March 1953 edition of the American Ecclesiastical Review, writes: “…in the encyclical “Humani Generis,” the Holy Father made it clear that any doctrinal decision printed in the pontifical Acta must be accepted as normative by all theologians. This would apply to all decisions made in the course of the Sovereign Pontiff’s ordinary magisterium.” (p. 187, Infallibility in the Encyclicals.)
Later in this article, Fenton distinguishes between papal teaching that defines a matter (ex-Cathedra) and one which merely teaches something as “…true and morally certain.” (p. 197.) Yet Fenton asserts that infallibility can be claimed for certain statements in selected encyclicals, and certainly he claims in his Sacred Theology, that the ordinary magisterium teaches infallibly when the divine truths are dispensed continuously throughout the world by the authorities of the Church. The functions of the ordinary magisterium, which Fenton seems to envision, are mainly the condemnations of errors and heresies used personally by the Pope (such as those on Americanism, religious unity and other subjects). All instructions which clearly define and proscribe error as such must be considered infallible.
In Fenton’s “The Doctrinal Authority of Papal Encyclicals,” Pt. II, (American Ecclesiastical Review, September, 1949) he also points out that not only can the Holy Father teach infallibly in his ordinary magisterium as defined by the Vatican Council, but he also is “capable of issuing infallible definitions on matters included in what sacred theology knows as the secondary object of the Church’s magisterium [i.e.,] …theological conclusions…dogmatic facts, approval of religious orders, canonization of saints,” and certain philosophical matters.
1. Infallible judgments can be rendered both by the extraordinary and ordinary magisterium. All those documents found in the Acta Apostolica Sedis can be counted as part of the ordinary magisterium, (Humani Generis).
2. The Pope is infallible when he addresses the universal Church, in a matter of faith and morals, in his office as teacher and shepherd, with the fullness of his power, and concerning some subject not yet defined.
Rev. J.C. Fenton clarifies the true nature of infallibility by qualifying these five conditions as follows: “What I have listed as the second of the five conditions requisite for … an ex-Cathedra …decision turns out to be not a distinct condition at all. It is necessarily present whenever and wherever the other four elements are found … Circumstantial solemnity…has absolutely no necessary connection with the infallibility of a papal definition…The visible head of the universal Church does not require or depend upon such solemnities in order that he may speak effectively and infallibly to the flock for which he is responsible to Christ. (American Ecclesiastical Review, March 1953, Infallibility in the Encyclicals, p. 188.)
3. The Pope also can render infallible judgments when treating theological conclusions, dogmatic facts, approval of religious orders, canonization of saints,” and certain philosophical matters.
4. An infallible document can be recognized by certain expressions, such as “we decree, declare, proclaim, define, teach as a doctrine of faith,” etc.., or by the phrases such as “by our Supreme Authority” or “Supreme Apostolic Authority,” although J.C. Fenton writes that no form of any kind need be present for a definition to exist.
5. Scripture and tradition are also infallible.
6. There are three senses of Scripture: literal, spiritual and accommodated.
7. The Church has the right to govern the interpretation and guide the study of Scripture.
8. In order to benefit from the study of Scripture and avoid sin, the rules of Catholic interpretation must be followed.
9. Sacred tradition is also infallible and can be divided into three grades; divine, apostolic, and ecclesiastical.
10. Sacred tradition is subject to the ordinary magisterium.
11. Canon law is considered “negatively “ infallible, meaning that nothing in the Code can contradict anything concerning faith or morals, (see the Catholic Encyclopedia on this subject).
12. Any unanimous opinions of the doctors and theologians on passages of Holy Scripture is considered to be a rule of faith, (Council of Trent; Vatican Council, DZ
So we see above that although Sanborn attempts to define his thesis outside the normal channels of Catholic theology, this is not possible if one wishes to remain a Catholic. We owe obedience to the documents of the magisterium in varying degrees. Treating such a deadly serious matter as the valid election of a Roman Pontiff outside the confines of Canon Law and binding papal decrees is not only disingenuous but constitutes just the type of innovation one might expect from a John of Jandun, Marsillius of Padua or a John of Paris, whose works were condemned as heretical. Just how Mr. Sanborn managed to do this will be treated in Part II below.
Part II: Discounting Canon Law and papal teaching
Errors concerning the lay and clerical states
Overall Sanborn’s approach is reminiscent of the heretic John of Paris who wrote a work in the 14th century analyzing the powers of the king as related to papal power. In Part I, n. 2, para. 5 he mentions that some have an impediment to receiving authority because they lack certain perfections. Then in para. 6, he makes the statement that a layperson elected pope but not willing to be consecrated a bishop cannot receive this authority because he lacks these perfections. Elsewhere in his work he states that only if one elected pope were to deny episcopal consecration would he be disqualified from receiving authority, entirely ignoring the absolute necessity of determining fitness. “A lay person, who is elected to the papacy, must, in order that he validly receive the authority, have the intention of receiving episcopal consecration, and if this should be absent, he would remain validly designated, but incapable of accepting authority,” (Part II, n. 14, para. 6). But Canon 970 states that “The proper bishop…can deny his clerics for any canonical reason, (even an occult one), and without canonical procedure, promotion…to receive orders,” so the one ordaining or consecrating, if this were necessary, would first have to examine the candidate prior to acceptance of the election. This is true because inquiries would need to be made concerning the candidate’s fitness. Canon 973 insists that the bishop ordaining must obtain positive proofs of this fitness and possess moral certainty before ordaining anyone to the priesthood, and priests who are to be ordained bishops also undergo examination prior to consecration. As we will see below, such examination is necessary in order to comply with the sacred canons as well as Pope Pius XII’s teaching on lay election to the papacy.
In “Six ans se sont,” Pope Pius XII clearly laid down the roles of both laity and clergy. Earlier, he had already made clear the importance of safeguarding the faithful from hirelings in his authoritative interpretation of Can. 147 §2. This canon reads: “An ecclesiastical office cannot be validly obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons.” Pope Pius XII’s interpretation, listed in the Canon Law Digest, is a document of the ordinary magisterium, (AAS 42-601), which is binding on the faithful because it constitutes a canonical decision, (see “infallibility” above). Bouscaren and Ellis point out that this also applies to the papacy. So all Pope Pius XII was saying in “Six ans se sont” is that if Canon 973 is ignored, then the canons are not being followed, primarily Can. 147. Already the Church had long ago decreed that a man could become pope ONLY if canonically (legitimately) elected. This we find in DZ 570d, where Pope Clement VI proposes to the Armenians as an article of faith for reception back into the Church the following: “Whether you and the Armenians subject to you have believed and do believe, have held or are prepared to believe and to hold with the Armenians subject to you that all the Roman Pontiffs, who succeeding Blessed Peter, have entered canonically and will enter canonically, have succeeded Blessed Peter the Roman Pontiff and will succeed in the same plenitude in the jurisdiction of power over the complete and universal body of the militant church which blessed Peter himself received from our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We must remember that the canonical election of a true pontiff who validly accepts and is accepted by the faithful as a true pope becomes a dogmatic fact. Because the faithful must be subject to the Roman Pontiff in order to obtain eternal salvation (Boniface VIII), there can be no uncertainty about the validity of a papal election. As we read above from the Catholic Encyclopedia, “If the uncertainty concerns the validity of an action which must certainly be valid, it is not lawful to act on mere probability unless, indeed, this is of such a nature as to make the Church certainly supply what is needed for the validity of the act.” But there is no one TO supply for the validity of a papal election, because a) election is not an act of jurisdiction and b) even if it was, we have no pope. So “it is not lawful to act on mere probability,” because there is no supplying power for the act. According to the opinions of seven different theologians, fulfilling the requirements of Can. 20 and the moral prerequisites for establishing true probability, “There is no schism involved…if one refuses obedience [to a pope] inasmuch as one suspects the person of the Pope or the validity of his election…” (“The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics,” Rev. Ignatius J, Szal, A.B., J.C.L.). In doubt of validity, one must suspend judgment and refrain from acting. This is a principle as true of papal validity as it is regarding the possession of jurisdiction among Traditional priests.
What Sanborn proposes concerning Six ans se sont is a second patent falsehood, because his consideration entirely omits the quotes from the normative papal document (Six ans se sont) where this very subject is treated. In that document Pope Pius XII states that, “only those fit for ordination and willing to be ordained” can ACCEPT papal election. It was written in French to clear up any confusion among the French people concerning a work by Yves Congar, O.P., where, at the heighth of the liturgical movement that became Vatican II, Congar mentions the possible election of a lay pope without qualifying the matter. Therefore this address amounts to a papal decision and is part of the ordinary magisterium, as it can be found entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis. Here Sanborn adheres to the very error held by his former SSPX “seminarian,” David Bawden (aka “Pope Michael”), who also omitted fitness from this same phrase in Pius XII’s address. In both cases the motivation could only be that if examined for fitness, none of those presenting for election, ordination or consecration after the death of Pius XII could ever claim such fitness, and indeed no one sufficiently competent even existed to examine and qualify them.
Papal designation and Divine Law
In Part II, n. 12, para 3 Sanborn goes on to state that the faithful have no right to designate a pope and he is correct. But neither do clerics who have lost their offices and are reduced ipso facto to the lay state per Can. 188 §4, which is taken directly from Pope Paul IV’s infallible bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. The footnotes for Canon Law include this bull as the old law, as the Latin version of the Code shows. Here is the first part of the gist of Sanborn’s theory:
“’Due proportion of matter to form happens in two ways, namely by the natural order of matter to form, and by the removal of an impediment,’” (St. Thomas). Royal power, therefore, cannot be received, even in him who has a legal designation, unless there is a natural order of matter to form, and impediment is absent. Some disproportion is not able to be removed, namely that which arises from physical impediments, but some is able to be removed, namely that which arises from moral impediments. Through disproportion of physical order, therefore, insane people and women are not able to accept papal authority because they are physically impeded from receiving the power. In these cases, there is a permanent disproportion, and they are not even capable of a valid designation. Through an impediment of the moral order, however, they cannot receive papal power who posit a certain moral obstacle, both voluntary and removable, for example, the refusal of episcopal consecration, or the intention of teaching errors or of promulgating harmful general disciplines, or the refusal of baptism in the case of the election of a catechumen (for example, St. Ambrose, elected to the episcopal see of Milan) These are capable of a valid designation because the impediment is removable, but the authority cannot be infused by God until the impediment is removed. The reason is that they are not capable of promoting the common good to the extent that they do not remove the obstacle,” (Pt. II, n. 9).
Canon 109 states that: “In the Supreme Pontificate, the person legitimately elected and freely accepting election receives jurisdiction by divine law itself.” Canon 219 legislates that: “The Roman Pontiff legitimately elected obtains, from the moment he accepts the election, the full power of supreme jurisdiction by divine right.” Revs. Woywod-Smith comment: “The authority of the Roman Pontiff does not come from the Church, but from Christ…The power of the Pope comes from God, because he is not merely the representative of the people of the Church, but the representative of Christ.” So in other words, these men cannot and DO NOT receive jurisdiction OF ANY KIND according to Sanborn, who states above that, “the authority cannot be infused by God until the impediment is removed.” And yet in Pt. II, n. 14., para. 6 we find:
“Therefore he who is designated to the papacy, even if he does not receive authority, because of an obstacle…nevertheless he is able to nominate others to receive authority, (e.g., bishops) and even electors of the pope, because all these acts pertain merely to the continuation of the material part of authority, and do not involve jurisdiction, because in nomination no law is made…The furtherance of ends of the Church is accomplished by priests and by bishops who have not fallen into heresy, with a jurisdiction which is not habitual but merely transitory, when they posit sacramental acts.”
So either Sanborn is saying that nomination to receive authority somehow grants transitory jurisdiction, or he is saying that Christ grants it, because he has just said that these men would not possess jurisdiction. Yet it is clear that the Roman Pontiff alone supplies jurisdiction whenever it is lacking and the proper conditions exist. This we have seen from Rev. Miaskiewicz and the article on the interpretive theory of jurisdiction. But the pope cannot and will not supply in the case of common ignorance, nor can he supply if he possesses only powers of nomination to offices. It is sacrilegious to assume that Christ will supply when the binding and loosing of what is set down by His vicars, which He already has confirmed, has been ignored or violated. Later it will be made clear how these men believe they have obtained their jurisdiction and from whom they allegedly received it.
In Pt. III, nn. 12-13 Sanborn tells his readers: “…The act of designation to receive an office is not the making of a law. To designate someone to an office is merely to transfer a right or title… The faculty of designating comes from the Church; the faculty of making law comes from God. The Church is able to give the faculty of designating, and at the same time, however, God may not give the faculty of making law because of an impediment.”
“Designation” for an office may not be the MAKING of a law, but it is the denial and destruction of a law, when Sanborn already has stated that these material “popes” have no right to participate in any acts involving legislation. Here Sanborn mangles Can. 147, the subject of a papal decision, which makes it part of the ordinary magisterium, (see above under infallibility). Revs. Bouscaren-Ellis state that this law applies even to papal elections. Nor can he point to the new code of Canon Law issued under Wojtyla if he is saying that these “material popes” have no power to legislate. Here Sanborn attempts, from the outset of his article, to wipe out the entire framework provided by the Church in Canon Law for determining the valid acquisition of offices, including the papacy. First, his “valid electors” were later proved by their recourse to subterfuge and their actions to have been occult heretics whose heresy finally became manifest. John 23rd’s cardinal-electors and the electors for the other usurpers were already committed to destroying the Church, as they proved beyond a reasonable doubt following Roncalli’s election. Many of them were even listed as possible Freemasons. They therefore fell under the condemnations laid down in Cum ex… and did not constitute the “competent ecclesiastical authority acting in harmony with the sacred canons,” required for the valid possession of offices in Can. 147. The retrospective nature of their behavior is precisely what Pope Paul IV anticipates in his bull, Cum ex…
Their actual heresies were not made known until the false Vatican 2 council, by which time Roncalli had already appointed another thirty plus cardinals. Later Paul 6 would ban cardinals 80 and over from voting. Did any of these stalwart Catholic cardinal-bishops protest and proceed to a papal election? Did they resist him and warn the flock, as they were bound to do? We know the answer, and so we also know that ALL of them PUBLICLY favored or at least tolerated what Roncalli and his successors did, by remaining in their appointed positions. We have no doubt that after the fact, the very eventuality Cum ex… so remarkably anticipated, they were heretics and traditores (traitors) all by virtue of their very silence and subterfuge, (Can. 1325). That Sanborn assumes they could remain unscathed in these positions after promulgating a false liturgy and “changing” the rites of the Sacraments is beyond belief.
Novus Ordo Cardinals can unpope their “pope”
“There is no other way of losing the designation. Although there is no authority which is able to judge the pope, nevertheless the body of electors is able to take away from him the designation. For the designation comes from God only mediately, but immediately from the electors…The duration of designation to receive papal jurisdiction: The designation to office endures until (1) the death of the subject; (2) the voluntary refusal or resignation of the subject; (3) the removal of the designation from the subject by him who has the right to do so. There is no other way of losing the designation. Although there is no authority which is able to judge the pope, nevertheless the body of electors is able to take away from him the designation. For the designation comes from God only mediately, but immediately from the electors.”
Sanborn has this entirely turned around. No designation of the electors comes from God, mediately or otherwise, unless he means it passes through God to His Church and then to the electors by way of a canonically elected pope’s valid appointment of men deemed fit to be cardinals. Yet designation is one thing and Christ’s transference of jurisdiction to the designee is quite another. The noted Scholastic theologian Rev. Francisco Suarez, S.J., according to Rev. Timothy Champoux’s “The Juridical Position of the Laity in the Church,” (1939), believed that it was not impossible that a layman legitimately elected to the papacy could validly exercise pontifical jurisdiction prior to receiving orders, (but now of course we must assume that he was deemed fit for ordination and had already accepted the election). Suarez qualified this statement, however, by observing that: “This has never happened in the Church and should never be done because both of the danger and the novelty. If it should happen that a layman is elected, then he advises that the elected be ordained immediately. To his mind, a layman so elected should not attempt to use this jurisdiction until he had received at least minor orders.” This confirms the fact that both Orders and jurisdiction must eventually be present to assure apostolic succession; that without at least the certainty that such Orders can be validly and licitly received, the one elected cannot accept election. For Apostolic Succession to exist, valid and licit Orders as well as jurisdiction are necessary, (see the Catholic Encyclopedia on apostolicity/apostolic succession).
Now Sanborn is not talking orders in discussing designation, but an analogy can be made. None of those who have received orders since the death of Pope Pius XII can prove without a doubt that they were validly or licitly ordained or consecrated. This is demonstrated in the article found at: /articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/canon-law/trad-pseudo-clerics-only-simulating-mass-and-sacraments-pdf/ Unless the entire Code of Canon Law is turned on its ear, and infallible papal teaching tossed in the waste bin, then ANYONE who is now designated to become pope (but only by valid and licitly appointed electors) must prove his orders are valid, prove he is worthy of ordination and/or consecration, and AT LEAST consent to be conditionally ordained/consecrated by certainly valid and licit bishops if he passes muster as a candidate. And where are such bishops? No one knows, although stay-at-homes believe they are somewhere in the world in hiding. And who could blame them? Do they have any reason whatsoever to believe that they would be well-received in this hostile Traditionalist climate? Traditionalist candidates fit for election would be well nigh impossible to find, and would have to be absolved and abjured from a variety of censures, including heresy. And it very well could be that a layman would be a better choice by far, given the fact that nearly every conceivable Traditionalist cleric has committed communicatio in sacris and incurred infamy of law. Only the pope can absolve from this vindicative penalty, and then only if he is so disposed to absolve. In Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, which Sanborn is bold enough to quote, Pius XII infallibly teaches in his preamble that NO ONE may usurp papal jurisdiction, or violate Canon Law and especially papal law, during an interregnum. So how could such men be validly and licitly absolved and abjured from their heresies and irregularities without placing themselves above the pope?
As far as cardinals removing the “designation” from such a man, this would need to be done PRIOR to any acceptance of the election, which alone grants the office and the divine jurisdiction that goes with it. And here lies the crux of the matter. Sanborn would have us believe we have “material” popes who have not yet been able to “formally” obtain such jurisdiction, but who nevertheless can exercise jurisdictional acts, i. e., supplying jurisdiction to Traditionalists as mentioned above. Yet Pope Pius XII’s “Six ans se sont” clearly teaches that a layman only designated as pope, i.e., receiving the votes but not yet deemed as worthy or fit to accept the office, cannot and does not receive any power whatsoever. Until deemed fit to be ordained, he HAS no papal power because he has not accepted papal election. The same can be said for those Novus Ordo cardinals ordained in the new rite (or even Traditionalists ordained in the old rite by schismatic bishops) and therefore not certainly validly or licitly ordained. They would need to be abjured and absolved (if possible) by a valid and licit bishop, examined and conditionally ordained/consecrated, and until then could not possibly possess jurisdiction. As “Six ans se sont” implies, the fullness of jurisdiction can only be bestowed on those who exhibit positive proofs of such fitness (Can. 973) before possessing orders. Without such proofs, bishops cannot form the moral certainty they must have according to law before ordaining them, and therefore could not proceed. And “Six ans se sont” is a teaching of the ordinary magisterium in this regard, because it clarifies this very question.
Already we have seen that in his “The Juridical Position of the Laity in the Church,” (1939), Rev. Timothy Champoux quotes the noted Scholastic theologian Rev. Francisco Suarez, S.J., who believed that it was not impossible that a layman legitimately elected to the papacy could validly exercise pontifical jurisdiction prior to receiving orders. This question was settled by “Six ans se sont,” but Sanborn still holds that one who is at the very least suspected of heresy can validly obtain the papal office, at least materially. He ranks himself, then, as a theologian equal to Suarez and others, when not only has he never possessed the jurisdiction necessary to preach or teach, as did Suarez, but his writings have never been approved by the proper bishop (or any bishops retaining jurisdiction at all), even prior to his “consecration.” What Sanborn is advocating here is that the faithful abandon the sure teaching of the Church concerning the extreme caution one must use to determine the Catholicity and the fitness of those they recognize as their lawful pastors. After all, he must grant leniency to the Novus Ordo usurpers, because is he not himself asking Traditionalists to overlook many of the same deficiencies in himself and other Traditionalist clerics? Lawfulness must somehow be made to appear negligible in order to justify his own position as “bishop.”
And is it really possible that cardinals have the power to more or less depose the pope? The historian Walter Ullmann, in his “The Origins of the Great Schism,” (1948), credited the publicists of the early 14th century with influencing the Cardinals, clergy and people in general by spreading erroneous and heretical ideas concerning the papacy and secular power. He castigated the canonists for accepting the points of view promulgated by the publicists, but noted that the canonists had little influence during this time period. “The writings of the publicists had gained far greater currency and were therefore far better known to men of letters than the somewhat recondite disquisitions of canonists. The former set forth revolutionary theories in a demagogic form, whilst the latter’s views were known only to a limited circle of savants. The attacks against the papacy by the publicists were, for understandable reasons, answered by the Popes with counter-measures.” Ullmann includes among the publicists of these times William of Ockham, John of Paris, Michael of Cesena, as well as the 13th century writers Cardinal Hostiensis and Cardinal Johannes Monachus, who “taught that the Pope should be ruled by the College of Cardinals…[They taught that] the Pope’s relation to the Sacred College was exactly the same as that of any other bishop to his chapter. Neither the bishops could legitimately do away with the jurisdictional powers of the chapter, nor was it permissible for the pope to curtail the cardinals’ powers. These views of Cardinal Johannes Monachus were later adopted by a great number of canonists, although there was already, before Johannes, some inclination to enlarge the powers of the Sacred College.”
As can be seen from the above, the idea that the cardinals have any power whatsoever over a true pope is both dangerous and heretical. No one can judge the pope; this is a well known and indisputable dogma. The cardinals might warn him if he was found in heresy as a private person, but there has never been such a case. A public heretic needs no declaration and no deposition, for notoriety removes the necessity for declaration and the latae sententiae penalty itself ipso facto deposes such a person from office. This only points more forcefully to the fact that a man appearing to be pope who publicly falls into some heresy is thereby able to be removed only physically, not by the cardinals, Pope Paul IV says, but by the civil powers. In ages past, armies unseated antipopes, not the Sacred College. Sanborn’s erroneous contention that the cardinals can remove a pope from office is not new and was condemned long ago as the Gallicanist heresy. They might be able to effect such removal by appealing to civil authorities should the usurper be recalcitrant, but it is important to remember that such a man was never pope to begin with, so no one is deposing an actual pope. Sanborn doesn’t figure Cum ex… into the equation; he is saying that his man is at least pope materially, so if he assigns such power to him, then he falls into the same error as the Gallicanists. The Vatican Council forever decided that Peter’s faith could never fail by virtue of Christ’s promise, so the heretical pope idea is not an option, at least until a canonically elected pope can infallibly decide this matter. Until then the old law, as expressed in Pope Paul IV’s bull, prevails.
Cum ex Apstolatus Officio and heresy
It is the common and constant teaching of the Church, a teaching that Sanborn omits, that any man who is a heretic cannot be elected pope precisely because such heresy does involve infamy, as found in Pope Paul IV’s bull Cum ex… (remember that we are now bound to follow the old law because Sanborn claims a doubt of law exists concerning heresy). And if discovered to have “fallen” into some heresy after his “election,” or to be suffering from insanity, such a man is removable. This can be found echoed in the “deposition,” of Pope Liberius, believed to have favored the Arian heresy during his reign. (The pope was later restored to his See.) It also is contained in the 12th century Decretum of Gratian, (Decretum (Si papa), D. 40, Can. 6 and glossa ordinaria.). There it is stated that: “He who will judge all must not be judged by anyone unless he is caught deviating from the faith.” St. Robert Bellarmine even supports the decision of those who deposed Liberius, (who was not actually heretical, he contends), as follows: “For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: 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 [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic,” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30, et al). It must be emphasized here that the persons they deposed, or believed they would be deposing, were not at that point popes, having lost their office. This Cum ex… makes abundantly clear.
Even before Cum ex… was written, we find the seeds for its teachings implanted at the Second Council of Lyons. While it is not directed specifically to papal elections, it echoes the later teachings of Pope Paul IV. “We decree that nobody, after voting for someone whose election follows, or after giving consent to an election made by others, may oppose him concerning the election itself, except for reasons coming to light afterwards, or unless the elect’s evil character previously hidden from the objector is now disclosed, or the existence of some other hidden vice or defect, of which in all probability he could have been ignorant, is revealed. He is however to guarantee his good faith regarding this lack of knowledge by oath.” So in the matter of ignorance (and also in the matter of new evidence), this oath must be added to their statement, swearing that they believe they have sufficient evidence to prove the charges. But, “Those things which Innocent IV of happy memory decreed against those who are unable to prove fully their charges against the form of the persons, we wish to remain in force,” (Canon 3). This actually dovetails in many respects with current Canon Law concerning the rights of the faithful to question such elections, as will be shown below.
Sanborn behaves as though he never even heard of Pope Paul IV’s “Cum ex…” when in fact this bull has been available (at least in its most important parts) to the faithful since the mid-1970s and was also printed in Latin. Nowhere in his work does Sanborn refer to the bull or any other papal documents on election, save a backhanded reference to Pius XII’s election law. Of course Traditionalists in general claim that Cum ex… was abrogated by the Code and no longer is applicable to this situation. Here we note a second patent falsehood which could easily be refuted if they cared to do the research. Such research must be conducted according to the rules governing Canon Law because Cum ex …is the parent law governing numerous canons on heresy, (see the articles section of this site under 9a., Heresy in Canon Law, for a series of articles on this bull that demonstrate these truths). Once the research is completed concerning the doubt of law Sanborn pretends to resolve in his article — that one who has been apparently legitimately elected still retains quasi-legitimacy and can posit valid jurisdictional acts even though laboring under the equivalent diriment impediments — it will become clear that no doubt of law ever existed in the first place. For Pope Paul IV clearly indicates in his bull that one proven to be a heretic pre-election enjoys no kind of power whatsoever. And no mention is made of any need for removal of such a heretic by the Cardinals, for the heresy itself accomplishes this without any declaratory sentence, as Paul IV states. In fact this pope suggests that if the usurper does not leave by choice that he be removed by the civil power, (para. 7).
It is interesting to note that this same ruse — resorting to a philosophical argument for common ignorance and a liberal interpretation of common error (the faithful believing John 23 and Paul 6 were true popes) as justification for supplying jurisdiction — was used by those holding the interpretive theory of jurisdiction who claimed that common error can now be interpreted other than it was traditionally interpreted by previous canonists, (see “The Interpretive Theory of Jurisdiction Held by Traditionalists” in the last section of the articles list on this site). When a doubt of this sort is raised in Canon Law it must be resolved by the rules laid down in the introductory canons of the Code as Canon Law itself instructs. One of these canons is Can. 6 §4, which states that in a doubt of law — concerning common error, heresy, or the holding of any office — one must return to the old law. Cum ex… is listed as the old law in the footnotes for Can. 188 §4 concerning the ipso facto forfeiture of any offices by heretics. We find in Cum ex… itself a special oath calling down the wrath of Sts. Peter and Paul on any who would abrogate it and further stating that: “Lest it befall Us to see in the holy place the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, We wish, as much as possible with God’s help, in line with our pastoral duty, to trap the foxes that are busily ravaging the Lord’s vineyard and to drive the wolves from the sheepfolds…” This is sufficient indication that this pope fully intended to address all the faithful as their supreme pastor fulfilling his divinely established duty as a shepherd guarding his flock. A bull is the “most solemn and weighty form of papal letter,” (Donald Attwater, “A Catholic Dictionary”), and is generally believed to be a document of the extraordinary magisterium in most cases as indicated earlier.
In Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex… we find the answer to Sanborn’s fruitless quest for justification of Traditionalist operations. It was highlighted in the first book this author wrote in 1990, which Sanborn received. Paul IV states quite clearly in his bull that:
“6. Further, if ever at any time it becomes clear that any Bishop, even one conducting himself as an Archbishop, Patriarch, or primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, even as mentioned, a Legate; or likewise any Roman Pontiff who before his promotion or elevation as a Cardinal or Roman Pontiff…has strayed from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy, or has incurred schism, then his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void. It cannot be declared valid or become valid through his acceptance of the office, his consecration, subsequent possession or seeming possession of government and administration, or by the enthronement of or homage paid to the same Roman Pontiff, or by universal obedience accorded him, or by the passage of any time in said circumstances…nor shall it be held as quasi-legitimate,” (“nec pro legitima in aliqua sui parte habeatur” — Prof. Carlos Disandro, Latin version, reprinted in 1987). Oddly enough, some of the English translations of the bull now omit this phrase, and one must wonder if such an omission is not deliberate. As noted above, Paul IV also teaches that, “if they attempt to continue their government and administration, ALL may implore the aid of the secular arm against those so advanced and elevated,” not just the cardinals. We must note here that it is not that such a man LOST the office; he could never have received it to begin with.
Now we come to that part of the bull that is repeated almost verbatim in Can. 188 §4: “The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power…without any exception as regards those who might have been promoted or elevated before they deviated from the faith, became heretics, incurred schism, or committed or encouraged any or all of these.” We also should note that certainly Pope Pius VI did not believe that any warning was needed for ipso facto sentences to have their effect. For he wrote in Auctorem fidei, (Aug. 28, 1794): “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,” (DZ 1547).
And this from 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…In addition to this, what finds itself in the ultimate disposition to death, immediately thereafter ceases to exist, without the intervention of any other external force, as is obvious; therefore, also the Pope heretic ceases to be Pope by himself, without any deposition. Finally, the Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are ipso facto deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity.”
Here is what Sanborn says about Can. 188 §4 in his work:
Objections against the Second Part of the Thesis, VI
“I distinguish the major: Canon 188 para 4 says that he who should publicly defect from the Catholic Faith tacitly renounces his office, if his imputability is public, I concede; however if it is occult, I deny. The reason is that defection from the Faith must be legally known, which happens either by declaration or by notoriety. But the notoriety requires that not only the fact of the crime be publicly known, but also its imputability (Canon 2197). In the case, however, of defection from the Catholic Faith, either through heresy or through schism, it is necessary that the defection be pertinacious in order that it be imputable. Otherwise the law becomes absurd: every priest who through lack of advertence in a sermon pronounces a heresy would be guilty of notorious heresy, with all of the connected penalties, and tacitly would renounce his office. But defection from the Catholic Faith on the part of conciliar “popes,” although it be public with regard to fact, is not public with regard to imputability…”
Deny away Mr. Sanborn but you are bound by Canon Law and this is not what it teaches. Canon 970 quoted above states that “The proper bishop…can deny his clerics for any canonical reason, (even an occult one), and without canonical procedure, promotion…to receive orders.” Rev. Jean Marie Herve confirms this, commenting in his “Sacraments,” (Dogmatic Theology, Vol. I) that while certain exceptions can be made in the case of the other Sacraments concerning their administration despite the unworthiness of the recipient, and reasons can be advanced that would allow their administration for a very serious reason, this cannot be the case with Holy Orders. “In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the public good demands that the unworthy applicant even if he be secret, be repelled even though his offense cannot be juridically proved. In this case the reception of the Sacrament is considered inferior in worth to the worthy exercise of the sacred functions and the public good of the Church.”
Here we see the true idea of public good expressed, not the pious cant of Traditionalists who insist they are bound to minister to the faithful because the Church’s primary mission is the salvation of souls. Rev. Francis Miaskiewicz emphasizes in his Canon Law treatise, “Jurisdiction According to Canon 209”: “In jurisdictional laws it favors the common good more to preserve the law absolutely inviolable than to avoid some personal inconvenience in any one case, [emph. his],” (p. 162). Likewise canonists Woywod-Smith comment under Can. 16: “Ignorance and good faith are immaterial as far as the effect of invalidating and inhabilitating laws is concerned. The common welfare demands that these laws have absolute effect.” In his Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, Pope Pius XII infallibly teaches that during an interregnum, “The laws issued by Roman Pontiffs in no way can be corrected or changed by the assembly of Cardinals of the Roman Church while it is without a Pope, nor can anything be subtracted from them or added or dispensed in any way whatsoever with respect to said laws or any part of them.” Pius XII teaches that, “…if anything adverse to this command should by chance happen to come about or be attempted, We declare it, by Our Supreme Authority, to be null and void.” What part of this invalidating and incapacitating clause contained in an obviously infallible portion of a document specifically directed to our situation do these unbelievably obstinate people not understand?
The number of papal decrees containing infallible statements that Sanborn must contradict in order to “prove” his theory should send up red flags for everyone. His statement that cardinals may “unpope” a man is a reassertion of the Gallicanist heresy and indeed this is most expressive of all his other errors. The assault on Canon Law he conducts is in itself deplorable, but then it seems to be the distinguishing factor common to all Traditionalists. But most alarming by far is the concerted effort to redefine the Church’s clear understanding of heresy; to minimize Her dogma in this matter, misconstrue Her terminology, misstate the will of Her lawgivers and overall to lead the faithful away from the true horror of this sin that has always characterized Her documents and the manner in which She censures and deposes Her subjects. And this assault on the canons does not end here. Next we will watch as Sanborn attempts to justify his notions concerning pertinacity and imputability, (Canons 2199 and 2200).
Pt. III: Definitions of terms, sede impedita and Canon 2200
It is never proper scholastic form to launch into an airy-fairy discussion without first defining terms, as noted above. The need for this exercise is clearly spelled out in the principles governing scholastic method. “An essential definition is one, constant, immutable, necessary and indivisible,” (Ibid., Wuellner). Distinctions also must be made in defining terms. The legal necessity of defining these terms also is carefully outlined in Can. 18. This neglect of defining terms leads to the most serious errors imaginable, such as occurred with Traditionalists in attempting to invoke Can. 209. In reality their ability to validly invoke this canon (if one erroneously believes they are validly and licitly ordained, which they are not) hinged on the definition of one six-letter word — Church. What is the definition of the word Church? We have the classic and most commonly accepted definition, adapted from St. Robert Bellarmine, who describes the Church as: “The assemblage of all Christians, united, by the profession of the same faith, and the use of the same Sacraments, under one common supreme head, the pope, who is the successor of St. Peter, and under the bishops in communion with him, who are the successors of the apostles,” (Rev. W. Wilmers. S. J., “Handbook of the Christian Religion,” 1891).
But even more authoritative than this is Pope Pius XII’s definition of the Church given in his infallible encyclical Mystici Corporis: “69. Now since its Founder willed this social body of Christ to be visible, the cooperation of all its members must also be externally manifest through their profession of the same faith and their sharing the same sacred rites, through participation in the same Sacrifice, and the practical observance of the same laws. Above all, it is absolutely necessary that the Supreme Head, that is, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, be visible to the eyes of all, since it is He who gives effective direction to the work which all do in common in a mutually helpful way towards the attainment of the proposed end.” And when that head is absent, i.e., is not certainly and unquestionably visible, then Catholics must adhere even more resolutely to the teaching of the continual magisterium of all times. Nowhere does the Church teach that during an interregnum the Church ceases to exist. Rev. Charles Journet teaches that during an interregnum it exists “in potency” (The Church of the Word Incarnate). However no one in Traditionalism is united in the same religion; a survey of the various beliefs expressed on the different Traditionalist websites concerning doctrinal matters will soon bear this out. The laws of the Church are routinely disregarded or shamefully misinterpreted. Nor do they have the Sacraments at all, far less the same ones. And why is this so? Because their “bishops” and “priests” possess no jurisdiction — they are not united under one Head, the true successor of St. Peter. The bishops they recognize are not in communion with the Pope, have not been appointed by or through him, and therefore are not true successors of the apostles.
Rev. Miaskiewicz, in his work on jurisdiction tells us that the “When the Church, or more specifically the Roman Pontiff, is said to supply jurisdiction in any case whatsoever…it is readily understood that [he] acts in virtue of the plenitude of the jurisdictional power Christ entrusted to his person,” (Ibid., p. 194). In Can. 209, then, the word “Church” means pope, because no one else in the universe holds the supremacy of jurisdiction but him, and this by the infallible teaching of the Vatican Council. That is how important the meaning of one word can be in the understanding of Catholic truth. It is why the Church is so careful to provide the means to determine these truths in order to avoid error. And yet there are those who do not even bother to consult readily available sources to define these word or terms, but rely instead on their own limited understanding and human reason. The best example of such an exercise in imbecility is presented below.
“In the case of defection from the Catholic Faith, the violation of the law involves pertinacity, and if it should be absent, the law is not violated. Where, therefore, pertinacity is neither notorious nor declared by law, Canon 2200 is not able to be applied,” (Objections, Pt. II, VI). After all, isn’t this the entire basis for Can. 2200, that any violation of the law, be it material or otherwise, is considered deliberate until the contrary is proven? But to clarify this further, let’s see where and how Sanborn draws these conclusions.
Objections against the Second Part of the Thesis, VI
“Instance: Canon 2200 § 2 presumes imputability when there is an external violation of the law. Response: This is to beg the question. To cite this canon is circular, because the violation of the law in the case of heresy requires pertinacity. Read the law: (Canon 1325 § 2): If one, after the reception of baptism, while retaining the name of Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts about any of the truths which must be believed by obligation of divine and Catholic faith, is a heretic; if he gives up the Christian faith entirely, he is an apostate; finally if he refuses submission to the Supreme Pontiff, or rejects communion with the members of the Church subject to the latter, he is a schismatic. Therefore there is not an external violation of the law where there is not external pertinacity.”
Imputability and pertinacity
Imputability (Can. 2199) depends on the existence of the evil will, culpability of the ignorance or the lack of due diligence on the part of the offender, and states that such conditions remain to be determined. One of the footnotes cited in Canon Law for this canon is Paul IV’s Cum ex… Now Sanborn has called this law into doubt. So Sanborn is attempting to manipulate an infallible bull here in order to make his point. But until these conditions in Can. 2199 can be determined, the evil will is presumed in the external forum in Can. 2200. Pertinacity can be established as existing only after the imputability is considered and confirmed or ruled out. Pertinacity is not yet presumed, only guilt is presumed, yet the presumption yields to truth if the one accused can disprove the allegation. Pertinacity does not even come into play until after guilt is determined and the offender is advised it exists. It is decided after the fact, not taken into account at the time of the offense. THEN Can. 1325§2 comes into play when a) the imputability is certainly established; b) the warnings (whether by laity or clergy) are given and c) the warnings are ignored and the offender persists in his error.
Once something is positively proven to have occurred which contradicts the known mind of the Church, a warning can be given unless the offense was public (for then it is not required), or it can be shown that the offender has already received the warnings. Canon 2200 establishes a presumption of law; the burden of proof rests with the accused. As stated in Can. 1827, “He who has a presumption of law in his favor is freed from the burden of proof, which is shifted to his opponent. If the latter cannot prove that the presumption failed in the case, the judge must render sentence in favor of the one on whose side the presumption stands.” And only a lawful superior can make such a determination; how to assess this burden of proof rests with them. St. Alphonsus Liguori teaches concerning the presumption of law: “In doubt, decide for that which has the presumption.” Pertinacity or no, we, not Sanborn and the followers of his baseless theory, have the presumption of law in our favor.
Here we see that Sanborn falsely claims that the presumption of imputability above is an error in scholastic argument, (circular argument) when it is no such thing. Rather Sanborn is the one who argues in a circle (also called begging the question) by claiming pertinacity is required for imputability to exist without offering any proofs whatsoever to support this statement. Rev. Joseph Walsh writes in his work “Logic” (1940) that: “Begging the question consists in assuming as true that which is [yet] to be proved. This is done in various ways by: (b) taking as a premise a universal proposition which cannot be admitted without a proof which presupposes the truth of the proposition which is to be our conclusion.” Pertinacity is not sufficiently defined and distinguished; it cannot be simply assumed to mean what Sanborn says it means without proof that this is the case. It certainly cannot be used as a basis upon which to predicate the truth of how the determination and accusation process of heresy does or does not work in Can. 2200 §2. Lacking a definition, Sanborn assigns to pertinacity a vehemence and an importance that definitions of this term do not bear out.
Does the violation of the law (Can. 1325 §2), which Sanborn says cannot be had without the pre-existence of pertinacity, pertain to Can. 1325 §2? Not according to the heading of the canons, which Rev. Cicognani tells us must be used to determine the nature of the subject matter in the Code. Can. 1325 §2 falls under the heading “Of the Teaching Authority of the Church.” The heading for Canons 2199 and 2200 §2 reads: “Of the Imputabilty of an Offense, the Causes Which Aggravate or Diminish Imputability and the Juridical Consequences of an Offense.” Sanborn is assuming the juridical consequences before they are even determined by bringing in pertinacity before it can even be shown to exist. Canon 1325 is merely advising Catholics how heresy is viewed by the Church and when and how it takes place. Canons 2199-2200 deal with what is required to qualify the offense AS AN ACTUAL CRIME. The violation of the law is presumed in Can. 2200 §2, precisely as the heading indicates, but not the pertinacity. The pertinacity is NOT presumed because the offender still has the ability to present evidence to prove that the law was never violated in the first place.
Imputability stands alone, preceding any determination of pertinacity. Canon 2199 lays down the basis for Can. 2200 prior to the determination of whether or not pertinacity even exists. This canon clearly states that it Presupposes all the conditions mentioned in Can. 2199 until the contrary is proven. The level of Sanborn’s sophistry here is deplorable; clearly he intends to confuse his readers in order to make his point, and this in itself demonstrates his ill will. He makes no effort whatsoever to establish his case by quoting approved sources on this subject or identifying the Church’s definition of pertinacity, as the scholastic method and canons of the Code bid him to do. How does Sanborn, engrossed in his skewed idea of “logic,” possibly convince himself that anything the V2 usurpers did was NOT against the known mind of the Church?! How can he prove that men who have spent decades denying the pre-Vatican 2 teaching of the Church on apostolicity and jurisdiction to follow their own will are not pertinacious? The following theologians define and qualify the true nature of pertinacity:
• St. Thomas Aquinas comments on the nature of pertinacity in the following passage of the Summa: “On the contrary, Augustine says against the Manichees: In Christ’s Church, those are heretics, who hold mischievous and erroneous opinions, and when rebuked that they may think soundly and rightly, offer a stubborn resistance, and, refusing to mend their pertinacious and deadly doctrines, persist in defending them. Now pertinacious and deadly doctrines are none but those which are contrary to the dogmas of faith, whereby the just man liveth (Rom. i. 17),” (Pt. II-II Q. 11 Art. 2).
• Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange teaches in his “The Theological Virtues: Faith” that: “Pertinacious adherence to his error is the most distinctive character of a heretic. The sin of heresy consists in an obstinate upholding of a personal view, recognizable as being against the faith, after the opposite truth or truths of faith have knowingly become sufficiently manifiest. (…Once [heresy] becomes commonly known, especially on a large scale, it passes as manifest heresy…) Such a position cannot be ascribed to ignorance. It is the product of ill will… Pertinacity dignifies completeness of attachment, not necessarily temporal duration. The attitude can be instantaneous, a sudden seizure of ill-will against the faith after it has been sufficiently propounded by the Church…Heretical pertinacity is not directed immediately against God’s word, or truth in revealing. Its target is the infallibility of the Church’s authority,” and certainly that is the case with Traditionalists, who ignore the need of obeying papal teaching.
• Revs. Bouscaren-Ellis define pertinacity under Can. 1325 §2 as follows: “[In the definition of a heretic] pertinaciter does not imply duration, nor violence; it simply means setting up one’s mind against the known mind of the Church.”
• Canon E. J. Mahoney writes: “Guilt or culpability, or in other words good or bad faith, does not enter into the definition of heresy, because the word ‘pertinaciter’ does not necessarily convey this notion: it is merely a convenient and brief way of stating that a person knows some doctrine to be taught by the Catholic Church and nevertheless withholds his assent…People who know of the Catholic Faith and nevertheless, for reasons that seem good to them, elect to follow another rule of faith are ‘pertinacious,’”(Priest’s Problems,” p. 440-441, 1958). Sound like Traditionalists?
• “Obstinacy may be assumed when a revealed truth has been proposed with sufficient clearness and force to convince a reasonable man,” (Dom Charles Augustine: A Commentary on Canon Law, Vol. 6, pg. 335.)
• Catholic Encyclopedia on heresy: “Pertinacity, that is, obstinate adhesion to a particular tenet is required to make heresy formal. For as long as one remains willing to submit to the Church’s decision he remains a Catholic Christian at heart and his wrong beliefs are only transient errors and fleeting opinions.” Yet in reality, Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey teaches, such a material heretic is outside the Church.
Duration does not necessarily qualify pertinacity, Garrigou-LaGrange states, but it certainly may be considered an aggravating factor when a truth has repeatedly been proposed and denied over an extended period of time. The “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth” tactic is Communist propaganda, put to very good use by the Novus Ordo church as well as Traditionalists.
Sanborn, Objections to Pt. I, X:
“Instance: Even heretics who err in good faith are not members of the Church.
Response: I distinguish: heretics who are born into non-Catholic sects, who err in good faith, are not members of the Church, I concede; heretics, however, who have been baptized in the Catholic Church, who err in good faith, are not members of the Church, I deny. This distinction is of the greatest importance, and those who do not make it fall into great confusion. The reason is that those who have received Catholic baptism are legally members of the Church until they cease to be either through (1) pertinacious and notorious heresy, (2) pertinacious and notorious schism, (3) pertinacious and notorious apostasy, (4) excommunication.”
In the case of the last six antipopes, we are talking here about men most of whom were true priests, bishops and cardinals at one point; men of sufficient, even great learning who were presumed to know the law. In such cases their ignorance is crass and supine ignorance, so we must assume that their rejection is CONSCIOUS. Can. 2229 §2, n. 1 states: “crass or supine ignorance of the law or of the penalty only does not exempt from any penalty latae sententiae…[Even] ignorance which is NOT crass and supine does not excuse from vindicative penalties latae sententiae.” Therefore a reasonable explanation for the actions of these usurpers simply cannot be construed, because as the theologians agree, crass or supine ignorance (meaning that ignorance which arises from neglect of due care or study) certainly existed, owing to their education. Even if a man is found “deviating” from the faith, as Pope Paul IV teaches, and even if the bishop knows the reason to refuse ordination is occult, this will bar any man, including a candidate for the papacy, from receiving Holy Orders. And without Holy Orders, one cannot have true apostolicity. Canonists Woywod-Smith write: “The authorities presume, therefore, that a subject knows the law and, if he violates it, he is considered to have broken it willfully. If he claims to be free from liability, the burden of proof rests with him.” The censures for heresy and schism are ipso facto, or latae sententiae, and under Can. 2242 Woywod-Smith observe: “Contumacy of the offender is implied in the deliberate violation of a law to which a censure latae sententiae is attached, and therefore the censure is incurred immediately with the breaking of the law. The violation is considered to be deliberate where disqualifying and invalidating laws are concerned, such as a lack of jurisdiction which invalidates the Sacrament of Penance.” Nothing more need be said on this point.
XII. The thesis has no foundation in Canon Law.
Resp. I deny. If you research topics concerning the vacancy of ecclesiastical offices, you will find the distinction of offices which are vacant (1) de iure and de facto; (2) de iure but not de facto; (3) de facto but not de iure. The thesis holds that the office of the papacy is vacant de facto but not de iure in this sense: John Paul II de facto does not possess the office of the papacy, but he possesses a right to the papacy, given that there has been no declaration to the contrary by competent authority.
Here we enter into the realm of doubts of law and fact. This was covered in previous site articles. In a doubt of law or fact, one first must consult the old law. Then if the doubt cannot be resolved, it is necessary to study the proper meanings of the terms of law, parallel passages in the Code, the purpose of the law and its circumstances and the intention of the legislator. In Can. 19 we learn that exceptions to the law cannot be used as precedents. In Canon 20, where it is necessary to actually construct a law because there is no law to govern the case, one is to consult similar cases and can use epikeia if invalidating and inhabilitating laws are not involved. But those availing themselves of this law also must seek out the decisions of the Roman Curia and the common and constant teachings of doctors, [canonists].
Sanborn is talking here about an impediment to possessing episcopal sees and their vacancy, whether by death of the bishop, resignation, transfer or privation. Rev. Charles Augustine defined sede impedita in Canon 429 as a “quasi- vacancy,” (“A Commentary on Canon Law,” 1918), leading into, in the minds of the materialiter/non-formaliter crowd, a perpetually impeded see when applied to the See of Rome. This quasi-vacancy, however (which Pope Paul IV says cannot exist in the case of an heretical “pope,” which excludes any application of this canon to the papal see) even has its own limitations and conditions. It occurs in cases of exile officially declared, captivity, and mental or physical inhabilitas or incapability; and it must be “brought about either by force or by an act of the civil power, be it in war or peace.” This, according to Woywod-Smith’s commentary, can and does encompass a wide range of possibilities. Some of these include physical and mental debility (listed by Augustine), physical impossibility, inability to travel owing to war or natural disaster, etc. It is interesting that this canon treats only of an existing bishop, validly and licitly consecrated and already appointed to his see, who is unable to administer his diocese for whatever reason; NOT a see lacking a bishop. As both Canons 429 and 430 stress, the vacancy is to be filled within set time limits and the bishop is expected to actually occupy his see within four months, according to Augustine. Until this is possible, a vicar capitular is appointed to administer the diocese.
This Canon is enlightening because it goes into detail concerning the “privation” of the see owing to excommunication. This Augustine defines as the “canonical” death of a bishop. Although it is mentioned elsewhere in the Code, excommunication for heresy is not mentioned under this Canon specifically. This is because it has already been stated in Can. 188 §4 and defined as a “tacit resignation,” incurred by the fact itself, or ipso facto, as this canon states. Such resignation would be effective immediately and would require no acceptance, nor any action by electors, only evidence of the facts in the case. This brings us to the matter of the actual declaration of the vacancy. Augustine states that such declaration, wherever excommunication is involved, requires “juridical certainty obtained by means described in law.” These means are pre-emptory admonition, official summons, or a juridical document, (such as “Cum ex Apostolatus Officio”). Any papal documents which condemn what those accused of such delicts have done are sufficient, as the canons determining these very declarations in ecclesiastical courts prove below.
We have noted before that the materialiter/non-formaliter crowd, by their obvious dedication to inaction, also the “Siri is pope” devotees constituted the very impediment preventing a pope from occupying his See in Rome. This they did by failing to unite and force any remaining valid and licit bishops and/or Cardinals to convene and elect a true pope, per the advice of St. Robert Bellarmine and the 14th century canonist Zabarella. This was the true purpose and intent of those working in concert to discredit the authority of Cum ex… Rev. Augustine qualifies the last condition for a sede impedita — inhabilitas, or inability for, whatever reason, to take possession of the see — as follows. This particular impediment must exist “without anyone’s fault or cooperation,” (“A Commentary on Canon Law,” Vol. 2). That it in fact exists solely on account of the deliberate collusion and scandalous cooperation of those wishing to justify their operations without the proper jurisdiction is obvious. These shameful cooperators must look to the penal section of the Code that deals with such infractions to discover their true juridic status. And the faithful must realize and admit that their actions were heinous, a betrayal to the flocks entrusted to them by Christ and a thinly-veiled attempt to usurp the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff by failing to champion his authority.
“Of Proofs” in Canon Law
Under this heading in Canon Law we discover that “In every kind of trial, proof by documents, both public and private, is admitted [including] (1) Acts of the Supreme Pontiff, of the Roman Curia, and of Ordinaries, if issued in the exercise of their office and in authentic form.” Such acts are irrefutable: “Public documents prove the facts that are directly and principally asserted,” (Can. 1816). “Proof to the contrary is not admitted against Letters of the Roman Pontiff bearing his signature,” (Cicognani, ibid. p. 626, ft. note). Documents entered into the Acta Apostolic Sedis do not need to be submitted in the original or be an authenticated copy, (Can. 1819). This is “juridical certainty obtained by means described in law.” It is the highest degree of certainty because no evidence is admitted against it. It has routinely been produced for the past 45 years or more and has consistently been ignored, by first the Roman usurpers and then by Traditionalists themselves. This especially was true when it came to light in the mid-1980s that jurisdiction is required to validly minister the Sacraments. So the evidence produced from even infallible sources has been repeatedly dismissed, and only half-baked, scholastically untenable theories such as materialiter/non formaliter advanced as justification for Traditionalist operations.
As demonstrated many times in this article as well as other articles appearing on this site, papal elections are, by infallible decree CANONICAL, so one must return to the old law (Canons 6 §2 and 6 §4) to determine how they are to be obeyed. De facto and de uire is to be determined by the canons which appear in the opening pages of the Code (Canons 6 through 22), which means that the value of such facts are governed solely by the laws themselves. Please see the article “Consecrating Bishops During an Interregnum, Pt. I” for an explanation of this obligation to follow these laws. That no need for a declaration is necessary according to the OLD law is proven below.
“If ever at any time it becomes clear that any Bishop, even one conducting himself as an Archbishop, Patriarch, or primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church
…or likewise any Roman Pontiff before his promotion or elevation as a Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has strayed from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy, or has incurred schism, then his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void. The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power, without any exception as regards those who might have been promoted or elevated before they deviated from the faith, became heretics, incurred schism, or committed or encouraged any or all of these,” (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Paul IV, 1559, para. 6).
“There is no basis for that which some respond to this: that these Fathers based themselves on ancient law, while nowadays, by decree of the Council of Constance, they alone lose their jurisdiction who are excommunicated by name or who assault clerics. This argument, I say, has no value at all, for those Fathers, in affirming that heretics lose jurisdiction, did not cite any human law, which furthermore perhaps did not exist in relation to the matter, but argued on the basis of the very nature of heresy. The Council of Constance only deals with the excommunicated, that is, those who have lost jurisdiction by sentence of the Church, while heretics already before being excommunicated [receiving an official sentence] are outside the Church and deprived of all jurisdiction. For they have already been condemned by their own sentence, as the Apostle teaches (Tit. 3:10-11), that is, they have been cut off from the body of the Church without excommunication, as St. Jerome affirms… All the ancient Fathers…teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2) who speaks as follows of Novatian, who was Pope [i.e. antipope] in the schism which occurred during the pontificate of St. Cornelius: “He would not be able to retain the episcopate [i.e. of Rome], and, if he was made bishop before, he separated himself from the body of those who were, like him, bishops, and from the unity of the Church,’” (St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30; see http://www.cmri.org/02-bellarmine-roman-pontiff.html . This link is placed merely for purposes of attribution; no endorsement of this site is hereby intended.) Also pertinent is this quote form St. Robert Bellarmine’s de Romano Pontifice, Bk. 2, Chapter 40: “The Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are ipso facto deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity …Saint Nicholas I (epist. Ad Michael) repeats and confirms the same. Finally, Saint Thomas also teaches (II-II, Q39, A3) that schismatics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and that anything they try to do on the basis of any jurisdiction will be null.”
Rev. Francis E. Hyland, in his 1928 dissertation, “Excommunication,” comments on this subject as follows: “The question of whether excommunicates cease to be members of the Church has given rise to quite a controversy among theologians. Suarez is under the opinion that persons under ban of excommunication continue to be members of the Church…Bellarmine maintains that excommunicates cease to be members of the Church…According to the more common opinion of most of the recent dogmatic theologians the tolerati do not cease to be members of the Church, [but] with regard to the vitandi, the more commonly accepted opinion is that, at least temporarily, they are cut off from all external communion with the Church. Tanquerey remarks that the question has little practical bearing since the Church is wont to declare as vitandi only notorious heretics and schismatics. FROM THESE REMARKS IT IS CLEAR THAT THOSE EXCOMMUNICATES UNDER CONSIDERATION IN THIS CANON ARE NOT THOSE EXCOMMUNICATED FOR HERESY AND SCHISM, FOR THESE ARE ALREADY OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, AS REV. TANQUEREY OBSERVES.”
Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey teaches in his “Manual of Dogmatic Theology,” (translated 1959): “All theologians teach that publicly known heretics, that is those who belong to a heterodox sect through public profession, or those who refuse the infallible teaching authority of the Church, are excluded from the body of the Church even if their heresy is only material heresy,” (emph. his except for bolded portion; p. 160, Vol. I). Traditionalists deny the very meaning of the definition of the Church advanced by St. Robert Bellarmine, the Council of Trent’s definition of lawful pastors (DZ 967) and the dogmatic necessity of canonical mission jurisdiction. This necessarily classifies them as belonging to a “heterodox sect through public profession… who refuse the infallible teaching authority of the Church.”
Hyland explains that, “In pre-Code law, all excommunicates were deprived of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in such a manner that they could not exercise acts thereof, at least licitly. This privation affected even the tolerati…Vitandi were altogether stripped of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, [but] the tolerati were not altogether stripped of the power of jurisdiction, but were forbidden to exercise acts thereof. Hyland states that in the case of Can. 2232 §1, “This canon states that a latae sententiae penalty, whether medicinal or vindictive, ipso facto binds the delinquent who is conscious of the delict in both forums; before a declaratory sentence, however, the delinquent is excused from observing the penalty whenever he cannot observe it without loss of good repute and no one can exact the observance of this penalty in the external forum UNLESS THE DELICT IS NOTORIOUS,” that is, generally known. As stated above, numerous proofs from papal documents, irrefutable in court, have been presented but rejected by Traditionalists for decades. Their imputability as heretics, then, is generally known. As St. Alphonsus teaches below, “If the crime is public… infamy or notoriety is already present [and] no correction ought to precede.”
Concerning the necessity of such a warning, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church writes, under the heading The Duty of Accusing or Denouncing Another: “Here it is asked whether fraternal correction must precede accusation. Several distinctions must be made…(1) If the crime is public, since for this reason infamy or notoriety is already present, (e.g., before a number of people in the street), then no correction ought to precede. (2) If the crime is not public, even if known to a few, then correction ought to precede if a result is hoped for; for then the common good need not be considered, but the good of the sinner, who is more readily set right by private warning than public punishment…Thus St. Thomas, Sanchez, Sotus, Paludanus and Salmant with the common opinion. In such a case, to quote St. Thomas, ‘The remedy must not be applied only to him who has sinned that he may improve, but also to those who notice the crime has come.’ And for this reason, a public crime ought to be punished. The truth is you do not sin either against charity or against justice if you accuse without warning (1) When the crime gives injury to the common weal as in conspiracy and…above all, heresy…For with these crimes, scarcely, if ever, is it to be hoped that correction will be fruitful, and delay can be exceedingly harmful…Formal heresy, of its very nature, creeps like a cancer and therefore it is never far from injuring the community…We are obliged to hold the opinion that everyone without exception is obliged to denounce for the same reason which has previously been given, namely that heresy is so poisonous a plague that it is cured with difficulty and leads to common injury. But this refers exclusively to formal heretics.” (Theologia Moralis).
St. Robert Bellarmine: “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 Saint Paul, 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.” As seen from St. Alphonsus, Catholic laity are all obliged to denounce formal heretics. Traditionalists quote this doctor in this way to show that two warnings are needed to prove that such a person is manifest and obstinate, when this is not indicative of official excommunication or sentence. But as Pope Paul IV says above, such a warning is not even needed in the case of a man notoriously “deviating from the faith,” as those exiting the V2 Church following the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae gave testimony to by their very departure. Fr. Joaquin Saenz-Arriaga put Paul 6 on notice with his book, Sede Vacante, as did the Jesuits according to Yves Compton in his book “The Broken Cross.” Other lay groups officially petitioned Rome objecting to the changes. The periodical “Veritas.” Which enjoyed wide distribution for nearly three decades, consistently denounced the Roman usurpers. Even Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc put John Paul 2 on notice with his “Declaration,” however badly and insincerely made. These antipopes also were condemned as such in my co-authored book, “Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century?” distributed internationally in 1990.
These were all official warnings in that they were public notification of publicly heretical and schismatic actions. They were issued by the laity only because there was no one in the hierarchy able or willing to declare these facts, and in this situation the laity are able — and obligated — to act in their stead. While Traditionalist “clergy” are phobic about prescribing any power whatsoever to the laity, for fear they will abuse it, in Canon Law the laity has a good deal more power than their Traditionalist leaders would like them to know. Some claim to advance the sedeprivationist position to prevent sedevacantists from proceeding to a papal conclave, but the laws and teachings of the Church forbid this. Traditionalist clergy are to be considered as laymen until competent authority can issue a judgment on their orders. As St. Alphonsus proves, the faithful can rebuke even those who are not notorious heretics and nowhere in Canon Law does it state that such warnings need to be made only by the authorities of the Church. Nor should it be construed by Traditional clergy who are not lawful pastors to begin with as a flagrant and criminal exercise of authority in opposition to established authority, when they possess no office, no jurisdiction and therefore have no right to rule or guide the consciences of the faithful. In fact the Canons state just the opposite. This will be further examined in what follows below.
Once again, the damage done to the true teachings concerning heretics and schismatics in the Church is not to be countenanced. We cannot fulfill our duties as faithful Catholics if we allow ourselves to follow the teachings of one who has so little esteem for the constant teachings of the Church, Her rules of engagement, Her laws and the sacred Foundation on which She is built. In the presentation of any hypothesis, it is a scholastic rule that all evidence be considered, and this has not been done. Only by excluding the evidence of others — facts admissible in the case — is Sanborn able to piece together his article. Therefore, as explained below, the laity must realize its obligations in this case.
Part IV: The faithful’s obligation to accuse and denounce
22. Response to objections.
Objections against the First Part of the Thesis
I. That thesis is erroneous which places in the faithful the right of accusing him who has been elected to the papacy of not intending the good of the Church, because this right pertains only to the competent authority. But the thesis places in the faithful the right of accusing him who has been elected to the papacy of not intending the good of the Church. Therefore the thesis is erroneous.
Resp. I distinguish the major: it does not pertain to the faithful, but to competent authority to legally accuse him who has been elected to the papacy of not intending the good of the Church, I concede; it does not pertain to the faithful, but to competent authority to privately accuse him who has been elected to the papacy of not intending the good of the Church, I deny. And I counterdistinguish the minor: the thesis would have the faithful accuse legally him who has been elected to the papacy of not intending the good of the Church, I deny; privately, I concede. And I deny the conclusion. The faithful have no right to condemn legally someone elected to the papacy, but only with a private judgment by comparing the changes of Vatican II with the previous magisterium and practice. The reason is that the faithful cannot give their assent to formulas which are contradictory. Because, however, the “magisterium” of Vatican II contradicts the previous magisterium, the faithful cannot not accuse, by private judgment, him who promulgates this “magisterium,” in the same way that the faithful of Constantinople accused Nestorius.
Pope Paul IV: “It shall be lawful for all and sundry who would have been subject to persons so promoted and elevated, had these not first strayed from the Faith or been heretics, or incurred or incited or committed schism…to depart with impunity at any time from obedience and allegiance to said promoted and elevated persons and to shun them as sorcerers, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs…ALL may implore the aid of the secular arm against those so advanced and elevated,” (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559).
Pope Alexander VII: (proposition condemned and prohibited as at least scandalous): “Although it is evidently established by you that Peter is a heretic, you are not bound to denounce him if you cannot prove it,” (DZ 1105).
St. Robert Bellarmine: “Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: 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 [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic.”
St. Thomas Aquinas: “If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith,” Summa Pt. II-II, Q. 33, Art. 4, Reply Obj. 2).
Canon 1325 §1: “The faithful are bound to profess their faith publicly whenever silence, subterfuge or their manner of acting would otherwise entail an implicit denial of their faith, a contempt of religion an insult to God or scandal to their neighbor. Any baptized person who, while retaining the name of Christian, obstinately denies or doubts any of the truths proposed for belief by the divine and Catholic faith, is a heretic; if he abandons the Christian faith entirely, he is called an apostate; if, finally, he refuses to be subject to the Supreme Pontiff, or to have communication with the members of the church subject to the Pope, he is a schismatic,” (Can. 1325, Revs. Woywod-Smith). This canon bears some careful analysis and thought. Catholics are not given a choice about defending their faith in these matters; they are bound to profess it, and profess it publicly. They can fail to do this in several ways, which mainly fall under the different types of cooperation in sin. To remain silent when the faith is openly denied or insulted is an implicit denial of the faith. To secretly engage in any cooperation with, say, the Novus Ordo or any other non-Catholic church — by supporting them financially, communicating in prayers and devotions with them, promoting them in any way — then professing to be a “Traditionalist” and publicly attending their services, would be classified as subterfuge. It also qualifies as communicatio in sacris. Rev. Eric MacKenzie, in his “The Delict of Heresy,” tells us that manner of acting could be something as simple as consistently refusing to remove one’s hat during the Consecration at Mass. So far from being hard to detect and assess, heresy is relatively easy to pin down.
But there’s something more that Catholics miss when they read this definition. Not only can they be guilty of heresy implicitly, meaning it is not necessary to deny a truth of faith openly, but by failing to defend the faith they also can fall victim to heresy through prevailing doubt, which persists and is not resolved despite the offender’s presentation with the truths of faith. Let’s say perhaps that I show you that the Church truly teaches that even if Traditionalists could claim certainly valid ordination (which they cannot), there is no one to supply because we have no true Pope. You doubt you can attend your Traditional mass and do not go that Sunday. But the next Sunday you are persuaded to return by Fr. Whoseit even though you still are uneasy about what you have heard. That is doubting a truth of faith — that outside the supreme jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff Sacraments can be had from those who are not certainly validly ordained and have never received canonical mission jurisdiction from a bishop appointed to office by a true pope. In a case of doubt, the one harboring the doubt cannot act; they cannot return to what they do not know is right or wrong until arriving at a high level of certitude. This is the teaching of the theologians. Not only do they deny the dogma of jurisdiction in this case, they err by using a probable opinion regarding the validity of the Sacraments, which was condemned by Pope Innocent XI, (DZ 1151). These papal teachings are easily determined and once determined need only be obeyed. It should be clear even to Traditionalists that if they disobey them, they are denying the truths advanced by the continual magisterium and become schismatic.
Canon 1816: “Public documents prove the facts that are directly and principally asserted.” Msgr. Cicognani notes that, “Proof to the contrary is not admitted against Letters of the Roman Pontiff bearing his signature,” (Canon Law, 1935, p. 626, ft. note). The canonists Woywod-Smith comment on this canon, stating that, “No further proof is required and the judge must pronounce in the favor of the party whose contention is proved by a public document,” (that has not successfully been disproven as false).
Canon 1933-1946: Under the heading in Canon Law, “Of Criminal Trials: Of the Action of Accusation and Denunciation,” we find the following:
1) “Offenses which are subject to criminal procedure are public offenses…Penances, penal remedies, excommunication, suspension, and interdict can be inflicted…by way of precept without judicial procedure, provided the offense is certain,” (Can. 1933).
2) …Any of the faithful may at all times denounce the offense of another for the purpose of demanding satisfaction…or to get damages for losses sustained through the criminal act of another [regarding crimes] or out of zeal for justice to repair some scandal or evil. Even an obligation to denounce an offender exists whenever one is obliged to do so either by law or by special legitimate precept or by the natural law in view of the danger to faith or religion or other imminent public evil,” (Can. 1935).
3) Such denunciation must be made in a signed [and notarized] document to the local Ordinary or other Church officials, (Can. 1936).
4) “The person who denounces an offense must render assistance to the prosecutor to prove the offense,” (Can. 1937).
5) A cleric, religious or (especially) an ecclesiastical dignitary may be named as an agent of an injury or grave defamation, (Can. 1938).
6) “If an offense is neither notorious or altogether certain, but has become known through rumor or public report, or through denunciation…or from any other cause, a special investigation must be conducted to ascertain whether and how far the incrimination is justified before a person can be summoned to answer for his offense,” (Can. 1939) “The investigation must always be secret and conducted thereby with the greatest caution,” [when it is not already notorious?], Can. 1943.
7) If the denunciation lacks solid foundation, a declaration to this fact will be issued. If it suggests inclinations but not sufficient proofs, the suspects will be watched and the findings kept in the archives. If certain or at least probable and sufficient reasons exist to proceed, the accused is summoned and the trial goes forward, (Can. 1946)
8) If the accused confesses, the judge may issue a judicial rebuke unless he deems such a rebuke insufficient to repair scandal and satisfy justice. But he cannot issue such a rebuke in the following cases: a) In offenses which entail excommunication reserved to the Holy See in a special or most special manner, or in cases involving infamy, also other cases, (Canons 1947-1948). Those hearing confessions without any claim to jurisdiction incur such a censure. So do those who deny the necessity of a papal mandate to consecrate bishops.
The investigation and any subsequent hearing are conducted along the lines of a grand jury process and proceed accordingly. Arbitration may be used. There are currently no answers, however, as to who would initiate such a process in the absence of the Ordinary, although a citizen grand jury made up entirely of true Catholics seems to be the most logical alternative. This appears to be sanctioned by Pope Pius XII in his address to midwives in 1957, where he ordered that: “In countries where the contact with the hierarchy is difficult or practically impossible…Christians must, with God’s grace, assume all their responsibilities. Even so, nothing can be undertaken against the implicit or explicit will of the Church, or contrary in any way to the rules of faith or morals or ecclesiastical discipline.” It is ironic that the Church initially was the one to employ the grand jury process during medieval times. Is it possible now? Probably not, But it demonstrates that the laity had far more options than their pseudo-clerics claim they had.
Canon 2223 refers us to Can. 1935. Under this heading for Can. 2223, “Rules By Which the Judge or Superior Must Be Guided in the Imposition of Penalties,” we find: “It is as a rule left to the discretion of a superior to declare a penalty latae sententiae; but he must issue the declaratory sentence if an interested party demands it or if the public welfare requires it.”
Canon 2259: This canon is listed under the heading “Cenusres: Of Excommunication, Article 1.” It states that, “From active assistance which entails some participation in celebrating the Divine Offices (services), not only an excommunicatus vitandus is to be barred, but also every excommunicated person whose excommunication was inflicted by a declaratory or condemnatory sentence, or whose excommunication is otherwise notorious.” Rev. Francis E. Hyland, in his 1928 dissertation, “Excommunication” observes that under Can. 2261 §2, even if those considered tolerati were publicly known to be under a ban of excommunication they could validly exercise jurisdiction as long as they were not objected to by the faithful. However, “THE FAITHFUL COULD PREVENT THEIR JURISDICTIONAL ACTS FROM HAVING EFFECT BY OBJECTING TO THEM ON THE SCORE OF EXCOMMUNICATION AND BY PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF THE CENSURE.”
Canon 2294 §1 and §2: A person who has incurred infamy of law or infamy of fact must be restrained from the exercise of sacred functions of the ministry or exercise of the ministry and from legal ecclesiastical acts. Those suffering infamy of law cannot validly exercise their rights or perform valid or legal ecclesiastical acts, (Woywod-Smith commentary on these canons). As we have seen above, the laity can and must restrain them if no one else is able to do so. If they allow religion to be insulted by such men described in these last three canons and permit them to commit sacrilege, not only do they implicitly deny their faith; they also cooperate with such individuals in their sins.
And to conclude on this subject, it is interesting to note that the past practice of the Church, in cases of disputed papal elections, was to turn to the emperor who, on behalf of the people would call a general council to resolve the situation. As Ullmann points out, this happened in the case of Pope Symmachus and Pope Laurentius in 458, when King Theodoric, an Arian, called a council to determine which of the two was the true pope. It happened again at Constance which initially was convoked by the Emperor Sigismond and later officially convoked by Pope Gregory XII before he resigned. Pope Paul IV also advised this method in the case of one usurping the papal see who would not quit Rome voluntarily, (but without calling a general council). Ullmann says that the canonist (Cardinal) Zabarella reasoned from Canon Law on this topic (Dist. 17, c. 6, Decretals of Gratian) that, “the Emperor is nothing but the (temporal) representative of the whole Christian people, since all imperial and supreme power has been transferred to him by the people. The Emperor simply takes the place of the people, and in this way…the circle of historical development seems to be closed: first the Emperor, then the Pope, then in special cases the people, and lastly the Emperor again…The Schism plainly concern[ed] the faith and, here again, Canon Law states that the Emperor may take part in councils, not in order to boast of his might but to avow his faith publicly,” (in obedience to the teachings now found in Can. 1325, later included in the Code).
While the “a doubtful pope is no pope” theory has been challenged by those who point out that practically there is no way to invalidate a papal election under Pope Pius XII’s current election law, they are not taking a good number of points into consideration. First of all, the Church, especially at Constance, seems to have abided by this very theory in requiring that all those claiming to be pope resign. Secondly, in the Preamble to Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, Pope Pius XII states that “Likewise we command that the Sacred College of Cardinals shall not have the power to make a determination in any way it pleases concerning the rights of the Apostolic See and of the Roman Church, nor attempt in any way to subtract directly or indirectly from the rights of the same on the pretext of a relaxation of attention or by the concealment of actions perpetrated against these same rights even after the death of the Pontiff or in the period of the vacancy… The laws issued by Roman Pontiffs in no way can be corrected or changed by the assembly of Cardinals of the Roman Church while it is without a Pope, nor can anything be subtracted from them or added or dispensed in any way whatsoever with respect to said laws or any part of them.” In electing Roncalli, the majority of the cardinals participated in a conspiracy to overthrow the power of the papal see and redirect the Church into liturgical renewal, ecumenical and other channels, amounting to the “concealment of actions perpetrated against these same rights even after the death of the Pontiff or in the period of the vacancy.”
All it would have taken is for a handful of cardinals to announce the fact of Roncalli’s heresies — promoting Freemasonry and Communism (see the section on this site under antipopes) — who then could have assembled elsewhere and elected a true pope. This has happened before in the history of the Church, for example in the election of Innocent II. Would it have started a schism? Yes, but we also would have gained a true pope. It is not as though antipopes have been rare in the Church’s history, although until our own times, one had not been elected since the 1400s. Yet those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Antipopes have always appeared at times of unrest in the Church, and certainly there was unrest among the faithful during the 1950s. The push for the Church to fully enter the modern age and to lower the bar for the recognition of non-Catholics, including the Jews, also the “updating” of the liturgy, had never been stronger. The approval of missalettes containing “for all” in 1959 was sufficient warning of what was to come, followed by Roncalli’s further revision of the Canon of the Mass in 1962. And Roncalli’s pronouncement on religious liberty, actually penned by Montini, was only a preview of future events in regards to the separated brethren so beloved by John 23. Yet the cardinals held fast.
That they failed to act tells us two things. One, that these men were united in their purpose to support Roncalli and his successor and modernize the Church. This is why Pope Pius XII had little to do with these cardinals and ran the Vatican entirely on his own, from the time he was poisoned in 1953-54 until his death. Reports of this were even printed in popular magazines prior to the conclave that “elected” Roncalli. Secondly, it was not God’s will that we have another pope at this time. He had set this time apart to reveal the Man of Sin, halt the Holy Sacrifice and complete the Great Apostasy, which had begun with the Reformation. But this hardly excuses the cardinals, who were bound by oath to defend the Church. For they swear on the occasion of their appointment: “For the praise of Almighty God and the honor of the Apostolic See, receive the red hat…By this you are to understand that you must show yourself fearless, even to the shedding of blood, in making our holy Faith respected, in securing peace for the Christian people and in promoting the welfare of the Roman Church. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” That each violated their solemn oath in not separating themselves from Roncalli is clear.
Of course there is no Catholic or Protestant emperor today to stand for the people and few people are willing to stand. All the laity could do in addition to the above is summon any existing true bishops to possibly convoke an Imperfect Council. But where are these bishops? God seems to have left their whereabouts a mystery for the time being. Resolute Catholics may well be obliged to convene a grand jury to condemn the actions of the antipopes and declare them doubtfully elected, but this would be a monumental undertaking. Whether this ever happens or not, there is definite proof from Canon Law that the laity is well within their rights to do such a thing. Despite the contentions of Sanborn and others to the contrary, they need not leave the fate of their Church in the hands of professed Traditional clerics, precisely because these men cannot prove they were validly ordained and certainly are unable to prove they ever possessed any sort of jurisdiction. Catholics are not bound in any way by the counsels of those who cannot prove they are lawful pastors. There are sound reasons to doubt the validity of the V2 usurpers and their electors, (see /articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/lay-elections-and-false-popes/the-truth-about-papal-claims/ ) And this no reasonable man could possibly deny.
The above conclusions by Sanborn are truly stunning. Sanborn has no problem dismissing all those who exited the Novus Ordo church following Vatican 2 and the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae; Catholics who left because they believed that the Novus Ordo Missae falsified Christ’s very words in the consecration of the wine. This is a matter of divine revelation. He has no qualms, apparently, about considering their reasons for leaving as practically meaningless. He accords all clerics the excuse of ignorance, without actually stating this, by assuming that their delicts were not “deliberate,” that is, “formed, arrived at or determined upon as a result of careful thought,” (Webster’s 7th Collegiate Dictionary). These bishops and cardinals had three years to think about the false Vatican 2 Council and determine whether its teachings were in conformity with the faith. They had two years before the Novus Ordo became mandatory in all parishes. If they did not investigate then the onus is on them, as quoted by Rev. Swoboda in his Canon Law thesis, (see Pertinacity and Heresy in the articles section on this site).
s Rev. J. C. Fenton states, “Strict doctrinal accuracy is the primary responsibility of the theologian. “The immediate standard of doctrinal accuracy in the field of sacred theology is none other than the immediate rule of faith itself, the actual teaching of the ecclesiastical magisterium. Hence, however brilliant and influential an individual teacher or writer may be, if he presents conclusions at variance with or opposed to the statements of the ecclesiastical magisterium, he is not acting as a competent theologian. Furthermore, it is definitely not enough to have one’s teachings in harmony with those solemn judgments of the magisterium in which dogmas of the Catholic faith are defined. This is brought out with special clarity in the letter Tuas Libentur…(1863),” where Pope Pius IX teaches that theologians must obey the teachings of the ordinary magisterium as well as the decisions of the Pontifical Congregations and those things which are the common and constant teachings of Catholics, (American Ecclesiastical Review, “Appraisal in Sacred Theology,” January 1956).
Sanborn’s most glaring error is that he spurns the teachings of the continual magisterium in these matters, revealing his Gallicanist bent. Secondly he circumvents Canon Law and moral theology by pretending that the probability he develops or claims to develop in his article is sufficient to establish the type of certitude necessary to prove that a valid papal election has taken place. But those acts involving validity can never be the subject of probable fulfillment. For the canonical election of a pope and his subsequent validity affects the valid transfer of jurisdiction throughout the entire Church. Sanborn ignores Canon Law in general and when he does quote it he fails to cross-reference what he quotes. Instead of referring to the Canons specified for explaining the meaning of these laws, contained in Canon Law itself, he relies on his own opinions and conclusions. For this very reason he places undue significance on pertinacity and misapplies imputability. He demands a declaratory sentence for heresy when a return to the old laws under the Canons mentioned requires none. He denies the rights of the laity to rebuke the clergy for sins against the faith. And thirdly, he dangerously and shamefully minimizes the Church’s laws guarding the faithful against the contagion of heresy, to admit the wolves into the sheepfold. And the list goes on and on as already demonstrated.
In his “Humani Generis and the Holy Father’s Ordinary Magisterium,” (American Ecclesiastical Review, July 1951) Rev. J. C. Fenton warns against the pervasive error of downplaying papal authority and how it is expressed as follows: “In other words, the Holy Father is empowered, not only to obligate the disciples of Jesus Christ to accept, on faith or as certain, statements within the sphere of the Church’s doctrinal competence, but also to impose the duty of accepting other propositions within the same sphere as opinions…Humani Generis reasserts the right of the Roman Pontiff to demand an opinionative assent. When, in his encyclicals or in any other documents or utterances of his doctrinal office, he imposes a teaching upon the members of the universal Church militant with anything less than his suprema magisterii potestas, he is calling for such an opinionative judgment…The theologians of the Catholic Church have always recognized the fact that an intention on the part of the Holy Father is requisite if the faithful are to be bound by the teaching contained in his official Acta. Hitherto, however, there has been too much of a tendency to consider that such an intention would have to be manifested by some sort of formula, as for instance, the use of such terms as ‘define’ or ‘declare.’ The Humani Generis has put an end to this dangerous minimism.” If Sanborn had taken papal documents on these matters as the final word on these subjects, sedeprivationism would have died a-borning.
Yet perhaps it is not so much Sanborn’s errors in his theory that are alarming, but the schizoid approach he uses to convince Traditionalists that they now should simply cuddle up to the Novus Ordo and let bygones be bygones, as long as Rome says it is sorry. This ridiculously simplistic and heretically indifferent approach could never have been sprung on the parents of those known as Traditionalists today with any real success. But then today’s new generation has not lived through a Vatican 2 or experienced the resultant culture shock. They mainly believe what their parents before them believed without any real firsthand knowledge of the faith, other than that received, perhaps from Traditionalist schools and what passes for sermons issuing from Traditionalist pulpits. They also have imbibed the slightly modified version of Novus Ordo liberal charity dished out by Traditionalists that teaches we are not to be critical of those deviating from the faith but to love all as potential brothers in Christ, forgiving their errors and working to bring them into the full light of faith (more minimalism and Americansim). This without any valid absolution or abjuration, required repentance, or the reparation prescribed in Canon Law. Today the faith itself is up for grabs and Sanborn is not the only one who is advocating for a sort of “Novus Ordo reunionism,” ala the SSPX’s attempts to also breach the gap with Rome. There have been recent indications, from both Traditionalists and Novus Ordo publicists, that a meeting of the minds concerning materialier /non-formaliter is taking shape and moving forward.
So what have they put in the collective Kool-Aid?
Apparently some pretty potent hallucinogens, to make it appear that suddenly the differences between the Novus Ordo and Traditionalists could effectively be resolved. Nearly 30 years ago, an ex-SSPX member confided to me that all Lefebvre really wanted to do was to find a way to lead his followers right back into the Novus Ordo church, albeit with some concessions on the part of John Paul 2. Well Sanborn and his buddies are ex-SSPX, so maybe there is a connection here. What will be examined in Part V will certainly leave no doubt in the minds of those reading these articles that what Traditionalists have followed all along, without their informed consent or knowledge, has been a full-fledged variation of the Novus Ordo, a variation even sanctioned by the Vatican 2 usurpers. All these years Traditionalists have been aboard a ship listing and struggling on these stormy seas, but making headway nonetheless — albeit a ship flying under false colors. And maybe this is the final leg of that protracted and circuitous journey to reach Novus Ordo shores. If you already have the game, after all, what does it matter if you finally lay claim to the name?!
Part V: “Traditionalism” unmasked
Sec. I: The Old Catholic conspiracy is very much alive
While many Traditionalists are content to use whatever passes for a priest today, some are careful to use only priests validly ordained up to Oct. 9, 1958; “older” priests ordained between 1958-1967, believing they must be more orthodox than the rest. While this seems logical and exhibits some discretion, appearances are deceiving. In fact “older” priests, especially those validly ordained were actually required to know more about the faith for the simple fact they WERE trained at a time that should have guaranteed a better priestly education, although this was not always the case. What follows is a list of authors who knew some of these priests personally and/or thoroughly researched their backgrounds and affiliations. As a result, they warned Catholics against trusting them with their souls, for very sound reasons. It is necessary to present this brief history in order to provide a foundation for the final section of this work.
When faithful Catholics left the Church in the late 1960s and began referring to themselves as “Traditionalists,” they fell under the spell of priests who appeared to be orthodox but who secretly and carefully were prepared to intercept those exiting the Novus Ordo church. In her “Sword of Truth,” published in the 1970s, that champion of the Catholic faith, Mary Lejeune traces these “priests” to their true source: “Awhile back, I received a booklet from a reader. It is entitled, Brotherhood of the Illuminati and it is written by the Freemasons themselves. It is published in London, England and within the pages we read all about the so-called “Pre-Nicene Church” (Arianism) which these Freemasons set up in October, 1953 while we Catholics were praying and acting like Catholics, unaware of the fact that a Masonic revolution was about to come down upon our unsuspecting heads. Let me quote, please: ‘This Church was formed in October, 1953, with the objects of carrying on the true Catholic Tradition and the original Mysteries of Jesus and the Gnosis of the Soul. Candidates for the Priesthood (which would maintain the traditions) must have completed three years’ probation in the Brotherhood of the Illuminati; they are required to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Gnostic Church for the first three centuries of the Christian Era. PRIVATE CHAPELS WILL BE ESTABLISHED AS AND WHEN THE NEED ARISES.”
Former Communist and Catholic convert Bella Dodd also warned of such an infiltration that began at an even earlier date. In an article that appeared in Christian Order magazine (November 2000), written from a speech given in the 1950s, Dodd revealed that prior to WWII, Communist leaders issued a directive throughout the world that the Catholic Church must be infiltrated. “In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within,” she told her audience. Dodd warned that these men, “now…are in the highest places in the Church.” In her book, “School of Darkness,” Dodd explains exactly how the political side of Communism would be introduced to Americans: “Trachtenberg once said to me that when communism came to America it would come, ‘in labels acceptable to the American people…’ and one of those labels, he added, would be that of ‘progressive democracy.’” Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s Communist “witch hunt” was well timed then, but the infiltration was far too advanced to be contained. And McCarthy admitted in the end that he had been deceived by certain false informants with connections to Britain and its Masonic/Gnostic credo, British Israelism. For already Communism had risen, as Dodd noted, to the highest places in the Church. As Mary Lejeune attested, she herself and others, McCarthy included, valiantly fought to save this country, but they lacked the support of their bishops. “America is doomed — not because good people didn’t fight to save her. America is doomed because the Catholic Hierarchy (made up of enemies and cowards) robbed the American people (both Catholics and Protestants) of a strong, spiritual leadership.” In her later years, European Catholic Traditionalist Elizabeth Gertsner would come to the same conclusions.
Similar to the effort to raise consciousness concerning the threats of Socialism and Communism in conservative circles today, the John Birch Society also began its organization on a conservative, patriotic basis in the 1950s. Following Roncalli’s election, the group especially zeroed in on those opposing the Vatican’s relaxed attitude towards Communism; those, that is, who still held Communism as the undisputed enemy. But as Lejeune noted, “Mr. Welch is not very interested in having Catholics (the strong ones) join his Society. I quote from the Blue Book (page 135) as follows: ‘For those who already have such a bedrock of faith and stand by it, I can offer nothing. But for those who are no longer sure exactly where they do stand, on what rocks or how firmly, I want to try to show them.’ Mr. Welch believes in evolution (some Christian!) as anyone turning to page 140 of his Blue Book can clearly see. On page 155 of the same book we find that the Society is both a religion and a revolution…,’” (and as such Catholics were forbidden under Can. 1258 and 1325 to participate in whatever might pass as the “services” of such a religion under penalty of excommunication). So when we hear these words, we must remember that especially today, Freemasonry wears many masks, hides itself among the seemingly most respectable enterprises and constantly adapts itself to the circumstances and needs of the times. While it wore the face of conservatism, and was even embraced by “Traditional” clergy themselves, who thought nothing of preaching their philosophy from the pulpit, Welch’s organization simply was not Catholic.
In short, the aims and philosophy of the JBS are not unlike those of the Masonic sects themselves, (although we are not insinuating here that the JBS is overtly Masonic). And those offering their own solutions to the problem may only be well placed but clueless plants, no matter how sincerely they may believe in their cause. This is especially true since so many sounding the alarm today seem intent on omitting the fact that Socialism and Communism were spiritual dangers long ago condemned by the Church, dangers arising from Freemasonry and not to be disassociated from it. As Pope Leo XIII taught in “Humanum Genus” in 1888, it is clear that although these sects all took great pains to appear unrelated, they “are identical to Freemasonry, which is the central point from which they proceed and toward which they converge.” In 1902 he also described Freemasonry as “the permanent personification of the Revolution. It constitutes a sort of society in reverse whose aim is to exercise an occult overlordship upon society as we know it, and whose sole raison d’ etre consists in waging war against God and His Church,” (“Freemasonry and the Vatican,” Leon de Poncins). Pope Pius IX, in his “Nostris et Nobiscum” (Dec. 8, 1849), threatened members of the faithful with Divine vengeance if they cooperated in the schemes of Socialism and Communism, warning, “There will come from these conspiracies an increase in miseries and calamities.” And despite the efforts of so many Catholics who truly love their country and have struggled to save her from these evils, these miseries and calamities have arrived.
Catholic writer William J. Strojie, who wrote Catholic books and periodic newsletters from the early 1970s until his death in the late 1980s, also was convinced that Gnostics had taken over the Church. Speaking of those who began acting as priests following Vatican 2, Strojie cites the cases of several men with shady backgrounds and questionable credentials. Of Father A, the tape priest, Strojie wrote: “These men have no authority for their Mass centers; they lack the necessary delegated jurisdiction to absolve sin in the confessional…The tie-in of Traditionalists with the schismatic old Catholics and bishops of the ‘ecclesiastical underworld,’ as the thorough investigator Peter Anson called it [in his “Bishops At Large,” 1964] surely explains Father A’s graveside emergence as a bishop. We had a priest on our mailing list who, as we were informed at the time of his death, was also buried as a bishop…
“The Traditional door is wide open to all priests who come speaking their opposition to Vatican Two, and who promise Mass and Sacraments to Catholics opposed to Vatican Two…I might seem to have deliberately chosen mostly bad examples of Traditional priests. Not at all. I have painted a dark picture lightly. When the door is open to any priest who calls himself Traditionalist, and who is therefore accepted by laymen uninformed in these matters, (many are misinformed and self-deceived), the house, wide open to every kind of opportunist, is sure to be crowded…I myself know of several hundred families who simply say their prayers at home. They decline both the new religion and offers of Traditionalist priests to act for them in the place of their Church…Before Vatican Two Catholics cared enough about their Protestant friends and neighbors to want them to have the fullness of Catholic faith and practice…Now our reformed clergy wallow in the added confusion of the Second Vatican Council. Catholics and others are invited to join them in their renewal of the ancient Gnosticism,” (Letter No. 84, April 15, 1986).
So where exactly did these Gnostic priests and bishops come from? Author Peter Anson, quoted by Strojie, traced the origins of these schismatic groups through countless factionalizations and transformations in his previously mentioned work, “Bishops at Large.” When the Stuart Jacobists fled from England to France in the late 1700s, they were able to take advantage of political conditions there, already stirred up by Weishaupt, to further their own “spiritual” aims. After the French Constitutional Church was founded in 1790, Pope Pius VI forbade Catholic clergy to take an oath upholding this unlawful seizure of the monarchy. Initially, nearly the entire body of the clergy refused to take the oath and went into exile. Left with only four bishops brazen enough to defy the Pope’s commands, the state church eventually recruited other schismatic Catholic priests and bishops who gained adherents for the new church. When this situation was remedied under Napoleon and the dissenting bishops submitted to Pius VII, others faithful to the state church remained with schismatic clergy who refused to submit to the Pope. Thus was one schismatic body created. The second schism arising from the French Revolution came when Pius VII ordered all the priests in exile to return to their dioceses. Certain of these priests refused to accept any agreement between the Pope and the new French government, maintaining that no such agreement could be made from a “Catholic” point of view. Many lay people faithful to these pastors followed them into schism to become the “petite eglise” (little church), joining forces with some of the Jansenists. The clergy in these two groups provided the anti-papal clerical pool from which the Old Catholics and their offshoots would later drink. And as theosophical influence increased, these groups gradually regressed to their Gnostic origins.
Anson tracked this Gnostic resurgence to the Martinists, who had secretly kept the Knights Templar alive in France, especially following the “Little Resurrection” of the Templars in 1804. Some of them, he says, had been initiated into the Memphis-Mizraim rites, reportedly introduced in Europe in the first century A.D by the Egyptian priest Ormus. Some associate this with a group known as the Priory of Sion, a kissing cousin of British Israelism that possessed a “Catholic” bent. (Later it would be rumored that Marcel Lefebvre, also Abbe Ducaud-Borget and even Ronacalli himself were members of this group.) The Priory’s influence first surfaced in the early appearance of neo-Gnosticism, founded by Jules Doinel in 1890. Doinel’s example was soon followed by the ex-Catholic Jean Bricaud, Recteur de la Rose-Croix, who founded his own Gnostic sect. “Gnosticism was very much in the air,” Anson wrote. “All over France, especially in the South and West, little groups of neo-Gnostics flourished. Most of them had their own priests and bishops…” It is no wonder that Giovanni Papini calls France “Satan’s Promised Land.” Melanie Calvat knew well the extent of perversion in her native land, having experienced firsthand the resistance of Gallicanist-minded priests and bishops to the release of Our Lady’s La Salette warning. L’Osservatore Romano, in its Christmas 1904 edition, admitted that Melanie knew her crusade to reveal the secret would incur the wrath of French Freemasonry. Horribly maligned by her enemies, forced to relocate repeatedly, suffering from ill health, she refused to give the enemy any quarter. The Secret was published twice during Melanie’s lifetime, in 1878 and 1904, even though it has been discredited and suppressed for over 100 years.
Gnostics fit in well with the hodgepodge of Old Catholic believers, including Rosicrucians, Theosophists, Freethinkers, Spiritists and others. Regardless of their variations however, Anson described all these groups as embracing the Gallican premise that championed bishops and faithful over the authority of the pope. He reported that it was Gnosticism that fueled reunionist activities, noting that French Gnostics celebrated one of the first Roman Rite masses in the vernacular. Later, former Old Catholic bishops turned Liberal catholic would celebrate a “magical” edition of mass in the vernacular. These developments demonstrate that the Novus Ordo Missae wasn’t nearly as new as its creators pretended and in fact already was in the process of adaptation shortly after its appearance among quasi-catholic sects. These are the very Old Catholics who left the Church following the definition of infallibility at the Vatican Council. Cardinal Manning tells us that this schism was a well-orchestrated conspiracy conceived between the dissident bishops and the German state before the council ever convened. The ultimate goal was to use the Old Catholics as the basis for a national German Church, a plan that succeeded only temporarily. Here we digress for a moment to better illustrate the role played by Old Catholics in the scheme of Traditionalist activities.
Old Catholics — the model for Traditionalists?
This nationalist movement began in Germany during the second half of the 19th century. Henry Cardinal Manning repeatedly demonstrates in his “The Vatican Decrees and Their Bearing on Civil Allegiance,” (1875), that the Old Catholics deliberately set out to do exactly what the Arians had done: conspire with the civil government to persecute the Church and deprive Her of Her liberty. Kulturkampf was drummed up with the Old Catholics in mind as the replacement state church for Catholics, although this attempt failed, as noted below. Manning condemned Kulturkampf as the “Old Catholic conspiracy,” the outgrowth of opposition to the definition of papal infallibility by a German bishop Dollinger and a German professor of dogma, Friedrich von Schulte. Anson says in his work that Old Catholic splits in Utrecht and France paved the way for Old Catholic activities in Germany, where two schismatic priests related remotely to these splits helped “create a mentality which made it easy for many more priests in Germany and Switzerland to throw off the yoke of the Holy See after the definition of the doctrine of infallibility by the Vatican Council in 1870. Such was the origin of the Old Catholic churches on the continent of Europe, which today (1964) claim a membership of 600,000 [in Europe]. They have given rise to several more schismatic bodies in the course [of the 20th century].” The progression and proliferation of schism is what was intended all along, Manning notes, and this is documented from other sources.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says under Kulturkampf: “It seems strange that a movement carried on with so much intellectual vigour and one receiving such large support from the State should from bad management have gone to pieces thus rapidly and completely, especially as it was aided to a large degree in Germany and Switzerland by a violent attack upon Catholics. The reason is mainly the predominant influence of the laity under whose control the ecclesiastics were placed by the synodal constitution. The abrogation of compulsory celibacy showed the utter instability and lack of moral foundation of the sect…In case the German clergy remained loyal to the Church these measures meant the withdrawal of the sacraments from the Catholic people, i.e., the most grievous spiritual suffering. The plans of Herr Falk, appointed Minister of Worship [by the Prussian Prince Bismarck] in January, 1872, were formulated in four bills. [Falk was] a clever and personally well-meaning man, but a jurist of a very formalist type and an extreme partisan. The first bill was laid before the Landtag in November, 1872, the other three in January, 1873, though the royal consent was obtained with difficulty and only after insistence on the severity of the aforesaid papal allocution at Christmas of 1872. It was during the discussion of these Falk Bills that the word Kulturkampf was first used. The Landtag (Prussian Assembly) Commission to which the Falk Bills were referred expressed grave doubts as to their constitutionality, seeing that the Prussian Constitution guaranteed to the Catholic Church an independent administration of its own affairs. The Commission did not, therefore, advise the rejection of the Falk Bills, but rather proposed an amendment to the Constitution to the effect that in all her administration the Church was subject to the laws of the State and the juridically authorized supervision of the same.
“Falk sought to overcome all this Catholic opposition by fresh ravages on the pastoral ministry. New laws of the Landtag (May, 1874) supplemented his authority and put at his disposal new means of compulsion. It was provided that when a bishop was deposed a representative agreeable to the Government should be appointed; if none such were to be had, appointments to vacant parishes should lie in the hands of the “patrons” in each parish, or should take place by free election of the parishioners. The Reichstag aided by passing a Priests-Expulsion Law (Priester-ausweisungsgesetz) by which all priests deprived of their offices for violation of the May Laws were turned over to the discretion of the police authorities. During the debates on this law the Archbishops of Posen and Cologne and the Bishop of Trier were condemned to imprisonment; later, the Archbishop of Posen (Count Ledochowski) was deposed. Shortly after the promulgation of the new May Laws the Ministry saw to it that all the Prussian sees were vacated. A very great number of parishes were also deprived of their pastors.
“The ecclesiastical educational institutions were closed. These renewed efforts were no more successful than the former measures. No cathedral chapter chose an administrator, and no parish elected a parish priest. The exiled bishops governed their sees from abroad through secretly delegated priests. The faithful everywhere made it possible to hold Divine Service. The pope declared, 5 Feb., 1875, the May Laws invalid (irritas).” Yet Card. Manning tells us in his previously quoted work: “Being thus deprived of their pastors, [Catholics in Germany would] meet in farms or outbuildings for common worship; and yet even this liberty is not always conceded to them. It is only in profound secret they can receive the Sacraments or hear mass, and they even bury their own dead without the assistance of a priest.” So this picture is not as rosy as it seems and later conditions would deteriorate even further.
“On all sides exasperation was well-nigh boundless…By the end of 1880, 1,125 parish priests and 645 assistants had fallen victims to the new laws (out of 4,627 and 3,812, respectively). Within the circle of their operation 646,000 souls were entirely deprived of spiritual assistance. We must add to this the Falk Ordinance of 18 Feb., 1876, issued with Bismarck’s consent, by which in the future religious instruction in the primary schools was to be given only by teachers appointed or accepted by the State, i.e., all Catholic ecclesiastical control was suppressed…” This state of affairs continued until 1886 when Pope Leo successfully negotiated a truce with Bisamarck. “Bismarck still held with tenacity to the former government claims. In the matter of the Anzeigepflicht, the nominations of parish priests at least should not take place without the Government’s approval. Nor would he listen to the restoration of the former recognition of the Church by the Prussian Constitution. Finally, he held in its entirety to the state control of the schools. In reality he was able to maintain these three points; on the other hand he yielded to the Church, practically, the control of ecclesiastical education, permitted the re-assertion of the papal disciplinary authority over the clergy, allowed the restoration of public worship and the administration of the sacraments, the application of ecclesiastical disciplinary measures (censures, etc.), and held out to the religious orders the hope of returning. This is substantially the content of the two comprehensive laws (21 May, 1886, and 29 April, 1887), that modified the May Laws in an acceptable way and thereby ended formally the long conflict since known as the Kulturkampf.”
“Filled with ideas of ecclesiastical Liberalism and rejecting the Christian spirit of submission to the teachings of the Church, nearly 1,400 Germans issued, in September, 1870, a declaration in which they repudiated the dogma of Infallibility “as an innovation contrary to the traditional faith of the Church.” They were encouraged by large numbers of scholars, politicians, and statesmen, and were acclaimed by the Liberal press of the whole world. The break with the Church began with this declaration, which was put forth notwithstanding the fact that the majority of the German bishops issued, at Fulda on 30 August, a common pastoral letter in support of the dogma…The movement against the dogma was carried on with such energy that the first Old Catholic Congress was able to meet at Munich, 22-24 September, 1871. Before this, however, the Archbishop of Munich had excommunicated Döllinger on 17 April 1871, and later also Friedrich. The congress was attended by over 300 delegates from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, besides friends from Holland, France, Spain, Brazil, Ireland, and the representatives of the Anglican Church, with German and American Protestants. The moving spirit in this and all later assemblies for organization was Johann Friedrich von Schulte, the professor of dogma at Prague.”
Quoting Bp. Ketteler, Manning explains how the entire method of operation initiated by the Old Catholics working with the German officials was intended to destroy the Catholic faith: “’The German people must be torn away by force from the Church; and in order to attain this end, the Protestant State church, the ‘Old Catholics,’ are to be used as weapons to fight the Catholic Church and to destroy it internally…’ Such is the end and aim; now for the means. Dr. Friedburg says, ‘One must first attempt to draw off the waters carefully, letting them flow into other channels and conducting them into reservoirs; what remains will then be easily absorbed into the air.’ In other words, dry up the Church; draw from it all intellectual, moral and spiritual influence over the people; paralyze the action of its pastors; [substitute secular bureaus, state officials and teachers]; make its worship a State ritualism, a ceremonial of subjective feelings, not objective Truth. This done, religion will soon evaporate.” The end result of this, Manning says is that, “The priests [will] be perfectly released from the jurisdiction of the Head of the Church [and] from their own bishops…Any fit and worthy priest may be kept out of the care of souls and all spiritual offices by veto of the State. Any unfit and unworthy, any immoral or heretical priest may be supported in defiance of his bishop to the scandal of the Church and the perdition of souls…This would result in the breaking up of all authority and discipline over clergy and people; universal moral corruption of the whole Church; introduction of error and things contrary to the faith…among the teachers and loss of Christian faith among the people.”
The Old Catholics eventually dispersed to England and other countries, including America, and it is in England and Germany that Anson fixes them as converging with the Gnostics. They later succeeded in doing among Traditionalists under different circumstances what their movement failed to do in Germany. Notice above that they claimed to be preserving “the traditional faith of the Church,” which is a dead giveaway to the true origin of the tag “Traditionalists.” Jurisdiction became irrelevant, as well as its primary source — the papacy. Fitness for ordination and consecration became a political football. Like the situation in Germany, unworthy pastors ruled the Church to the detriment of souls. Discipline went by the wayside, and as Manning predicted, universal corruption is now the order of the day and the problem is all pervasive. As they intended from the very start, in refusing to accept infallibility (which dealt the death-blow to Gallicanism), Old Catholics succeeded in the 1960s in successfully making an end-run around the papacy and putting all their original plans into practice. They succeeded only because Traditionalists did not know their faith, and were willing even when they learned of it to cling to a “Tradition” that defied every core belief ever taught by the Church. It was nothing to Traditionalists that their ancestors had been persecuted for refusing to do what they did and had even died rather than deny their faith to do it. Traditionalists chose the mass and sacraments at all costs, and that cost was their birthright as Catholics.
When it came time to fish, Vatican 2 refugees fell for the bait dangled by this amorphous body of apostates without even a second thought. As Anson observed, “These schismatic bodies…are always quarreling among themselves, and forming yet more splinter churches. Some obtain bishops from other lines of succession or having done so, get them reconsecrated anew to assure a more ‘valid’ episcopal status.” As Rev. Henry St. John pointed out in his introduction to Anson’s book, “Mr. Anson’s story shows us a reductio ad absurdam of the divinely ordained hierarchical structure of the Church constituted by apostolic succession, when divorced from almost every consideration but a mechanical conception of validity. The obsession of the ‘bishops at large’ and their followers with the validity of orders has brought them to the belief that such validity is the sole hallmark of the nature of the Church and its authority…They are in effect reduced to saying ‘Get valid orders and you can choose what you believe.’ …What they have forgotten…is that even a valid apostolic succession is of small value unless it is possessed by a believing community that is a visible organic society, divinely preserved from the loss of its structural unity.”
Where the liturgists focus on the primitive forms, Traditionalists focus on the appearance of connection to the apostolic Church, and this may be in order to leave open a door to return to the “Mother Church” when the signal is given. While many of the early Old Catholics and Liberal Catholics celebrated their rite in the vernacular, even the Modernists made allowances for those who preferred the traditional Latin. This is another indication that eventually the Novus Ordo church planned to readmit the black sheep under certain conditions and in their own good time. In a book entitled “Toward Vatican III,” a collaborative work written in 1973 anticipating the development of yet further changes in the Novus Ordo church, it is made clear that eventually Traditionalists will be readmitted and granted their own rite. (Reference to plans for Vatican III appeared in Jean le Carre’s “AA 1025,” a reportedly fact-based account of a Communist mole burrowed deep inside the priesthood. Le Carre’s work was published for the first time in 1972, seven years before the publication of “Vatican III.”) When John 23 became the first usurper in 1958, his goal was to reconcile the Church with Freemasonry. This is documented by Leon de Poncins in his “The Vatican and Freemasonry.” This he did remarkably well, even managing to use Masonic dupes in clerical garb to deceive the remaining elect.
In his “Blood on the Altar,” (2005, Independent History and Research) Craig Heimbichner agreed with Lejeune, writing the following concerning the infiltration of Freemasonry’s Order of Oriental Templars (OTO) into Traditionalist ranks: “[The OTO] planted the seeds of destruction both on Christianity’s Left wing (the ‘ecumenists’ and ‘concilarists’) as well as on its right wing, (the ‘traditionalists’), in a process known in alchemy as coincidentia oppositorum, (‘coincidences of opposites’). Much has been written about occult infiltration coming from the Left; but most analysts have failed to investigate and expose subversion playing on right-wing tastes and affinities. Yet secret societies have a record of manipulating both sides of the human psyche and persona, shepherding those who crave egalitarianism and anarchy, as well as those who seek elite standards and authority.” Heimbichner describes a book written by OTO author James Wasserman as “the opening of a new and daring public appeal to the American Right Wing.” He notes that Wasserman openly praises the John Birch Society, although admitting he is not a member “for personal reasons,” while endorsing its condemnation of Islamo-fascism. Like the JBS, Heimbichner explains, Wasserman seeks to focus the spotlight on organizations such as the UN, directing it away from Freemasonry and the (more radical) elements of Judaism. Heimbichner concludes: “The OTO believes that the John Birch Society is a highly useful tool for distracting attention away from Judaism to Islam, and away from Masonry to the United Nations.”
He identifies many of those initially singing the praises of the Latin Tridentine Mass in the late 1960s, early 1970s as practicing theosophists, who succeeded in luring traditionalists, into “Latin Mass” groups. He links the awe for the old Mass to C.W. Leadbetter, founder of the Liberal catholic (Theosophical) church in Sydney, Australia in 1917, citing several quotes proving theosophic occultism later was introduced into Traditional circles. He quotes Wasserman as stating that “Persons of Gnostic-hermetic interests have more in common with traditionalist Catholics than with either modernist Vatican II Catholics or with Protestants…The Right-wing exploits a superstition among some Catholics who hold to a kind of unspoken ‘magic sacramentalism,’ [condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical ”Pascendi” against Modernism], i.e, the notion that being present at the Holy Mass itself, with its awe-inspiring solemnity and its bells, incense and candles, and not one’s state of grace, fidelity to the Commandments of God or relationship with Jesus Christ — becomes the individual’s guarantor of sanctity.” Heimbichner calls this a “Satanic perversion” of Catholicism, mixing pagan elements with the true, much as is done in the Satanic rituals connected to Voodoo and Santeria.
In a footnote to his work, Heimbichner notes: “This writer and other investigators have compiled evidence of occult agents making inroads into the Traditional Mass movement in the U.S. in the past 12 years,” (his work was written in 2005; Lejeune had detected this trend much earlier in the TradMass game). “It should be noted, however that many Traditional Catholics have — thus far — remained free of these connections and would be horrified if they were to learn of them. A similar struggle occurred in the Church centuries ago between advocates of the Council of Trent, from which the name ‘Tridentine’ is derived, and Renaissance-humanist advocates of a ‘Christian Kabbalah.’” (The popes, however, never denied the existence of a benign Mosaic Kabbalah, which offered a correct perception of God-centered astronomy, at least, as it related to the Israelitic faith. It was the perversion of this astronomy and other Kabalistic teachings that Freemasonry would later appeal to in its use of the false Kabbalah.)
This perverse process of high level, alchemic Masonry is constructed so that the Left creates the thesis, the Right reacts, and the clean-up crew rushes in to “rescue” the survivors. Always the clean-up crew, then and now, was patiently waiting in the wings: the very ones riding to the rescue anticipated it all along. Moreover, they were trained to deal with it, to head it in a specific direction and in reality are a hidden extension of the same people and organizations the survivors ran from in the first place. It happened to the Church, and it is happening today. The first clean-up crew promoted religious conservatism with a political bent (Traditionalism) and the second, political conservatism with a “spiritual” outlook, (as promoted by some Tea Party and patriot groups today). But Lejeune and others knew over 30 years ago that the fight does not lie in the political ring.
“Today, dear readers, we are in a spiritual battle, a death-struggle between the real Catholic Church and Satan himself and there isn’t a political organization in existence today which can save the world — especially this country. The morals in this country today are so decadent that only the great chastisement from the hand of God can purify it…The chief cause of the immorality in our country today is that Catholics, among its citizenry, lost their way and adopted the secular ideas of the world. They have not listened to Our Lady of Fatima (she, who is the great foe of communism) when she pleaded for prayers, sacrifice and reparation for the sins of the world.”
Lejeune died in the 1980s. Thank God she was spared witnessing the horrors of these past 25 years and has escaped the full fury of the Evil One, now ferociously venting the last vestiges of his vengeance on the world. The information that should have convinced Catholics early on that they indeed were witnessing the dreaded arrival of the Antichrist was readily available, but those who should have seen the truth were craftily rechanneled into believing that there was no real way to arrive at certainty concerning their true identity and the seriousness of the times in which they lived. Instead they were coerced into ignoring their best instincts and denying the necessity of the papacy and the apostolic authority structure of the Church as taught by Christ. In this Strojie serves as a prophet, for as he predicted, indeed the lengths Satan’s henchmen would go to in order to seduce the remnant went far beyond anything those exiting the NO could anticipate or comprehend. And as he noted in Letter 84, while many Traditionalists believe that they embrace all the Catholic Church believes and teaches, “They do not long for Christ’s return in this time of general apostasy but only for a return of the old parish.”
While there may have been a few true priests in the beginning, they long ago passed to their eternal reward. Surely if LeJeune and Strojie, two of the leading remnant writers in their day knew how perverted the priesthood truly was in the 1980s, then the situation has not improved today and in fact has only become much worse. We know that bishops and priests exist somewhere in this world beyond our reach, and that for some reason God wishes us to be without them until He restores His Church. Some today say the “why” of this is not important. But for those who did not witness the actual destruction of the Church as Catholics born in the thirties, forties and fifties witnessed it, the reason why IS important, because they have no context for the before and after scenario we were forced to deal with. Telling and experiencing are two different things. The pain of being without the visible Church, and knowing, experiencing that Pearl of Great Price that we lost, cannot be properly conveyed in words. Even for some of us now, it seems chimerical; a dream perhaps. And yet we know it was no dream. The trouble is, all who refuse to believe we live in the latter days are not prepared to suffer with Christ, and perhaps that is why they wish only to have their parish back. No pain, no gain, the saying goes, and it is no different in spiritual matters.
Traditionalists who yet believe that priests possessing the necessary jurisdiction exist have not done their homework. And even those who limit their use of these priests to those validly ordained or “older” are failing to see the bigger picture. The priesthood was infiltrated long ago, as the Alta Vendita and Bella Dodd explained. We have been warned of this possibility repeatedly; in 1846 Our Lady of La Salette warned that no priests existed then who were worthy of offering the Holy Sacrifice. But Traditionalists somehow think that they are available today? One of the tests of a true Catholic is whether or not they accept and fully believe in reality. Reality is that which truly is, as it is. Did the Popes and holy seers not warn us that the secret societies would infiltrate the Church? Pope Leo XIII’s private St. Michael’s prayer for priests openly states that, “In the holy place itself they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the pastor has been struck, the sheep will be scattered.” And didn’t Pope St. Pius X warn us during his pontificate that the “Partisans of error…lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, the more mischievous the less conspicuously they appear…Many belong to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who feigning a love for the Church lack the firm protection of philosophy and theology, [being] imbued with poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church…
“The danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain the more intimate is their knowledge of Her.” Here Pope St. Pius X referred to the Modernists, but are not those who are closest of all to the Church in Her teachings and practices today, the neo-Modernists, even more dangerous for this very reason than any heretics before? Is it really a coincidence that one of the primary aims of the Modernists was to “remove the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character and rights and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries,” when this is precisely how these neo-Modernists (think they) have successfully sidestepped the necessity of the papacy today?!
As prophesied in the Book of Daniel, the Holy Sacrifice has ceased; that this would eventually occur is the unanimous opinion of the Fathers, hence a rule of faith. Do we not believe that the Vatican 2 usurpers abrogated the true Mass? And if the true Mass is abrogated, if it is no longer said publicly (and commentators say that this is what is indicated in the prophecy) then how can there be true masses still being said? The commentators say there may be scattered and private Masses held in secret; that is all. Traditionalists offer their masses publicly, giving the impression that this prophecy has not been fulfilled. Yet the prophecy says what it says; once it is fulfilled, once the Novus Ordo Missae was introduced, the Mass ends. So we deny there has been a Great Apostasy, that the Man of Sin and his system have come, that he who withholdeth (the Pope) has been taken out of the way (“Strike the shepherd and the flock will be dispersed…” Zach. 13:7 and Matt. 24), that the operation of error is rampant and that the elect have been at least temporarily deceived? Christ chastised those who failed to read the signs of their own times. The signs of these times could not possibly be clearer, yet we are being asked to ignore everything we see with our own eyes and perceive with our other senses in order to follow Traditionalists?
Little wonder that in denying these prophecies have come to pass, in insisting that they possess supplied jurisdiction to confer Orders, administer the Sacraments and offer Mass — to whomever, whenever and wherever they may choose — Traditionalists would be asked to pay a price. And now it is time to pay the piper.
Sec. II: The unbelievable source of Traditionalists’ “jurisdiction”
For decades Traditionalists have insisted they possess jurisdiction, from various sources. But increasingly it has been stated by nearly every Traditionalist group in existence that they not only possess it, but that it is universal in nature. And this is true even of those not formally promoting or endorsing the “material pope” theory. Those refuting them have assumed they were alluding to the fact that they erroneously believe they possess it somehow from the Church of Pius XII, but that apparently has not been the case. The evidence was there (for those with time to waste reading their various websites and publications), wrapped in layers of the “tradspeak” so very much reminiscent of the language used by the Conciliar church. At any rate, Traditionalist “clerics,” fearful of losing any of their supporters, certainly have not openly stated just WHAT source supplies them jurisdiction. To win over adherents, material pope enthusiast, Griff Ruby, stresses that his theory is the only logical and acceptable answer to the conclavists, whose mental instability — even insanity — led them to do what they did and (GASP!) champion the papacy.
He smugly pretends that real Catholics should prefer to support a professed heretic rather than attempt to do what the Church has always done in the past — try to elect a true pope. No, the laity cannot accomplish this, regrettably, but they had this much right: the Vatican 2 usurpers were never quasi-legitimate, all their acts were invalid and the Church must have a canonically elected pope if She is to exist at all. One thing the material papacy crowd will never understand: a true love for the Pope and his teachings drove Conclavists, disgusted with Traditionalist infighting between mini-popes, to try and do what they at that time sincerely believed would heal the crisis in the Church. It was a pendulum–swing reaction to the neo-Gallicanist stance of the opposition, and as all such swings are, it was excessive and ill-conceived. But the material pope theory is not a sane solution either; for what mentally stable person would ever try to polish cow pies and convince potential buyers they were heirlooms?
Griff Ruby, obviously. Following Sanborn’s act, he attains to new levels of fallacious reasoning, documented by nothing but his own personal feelings and observations. He piously intones that the Church is visible, indefectible and perpetual; she has to remain in existence. How she remains in existence apparently does not matter. All the laws of the Church can be cast aside; infallible papal teaching such as that found in Vacantis Apostolica Sedis can be abrogated by the likes of Antichrist Paul 6; the irreparable damage created by the tidal wave of heresies inundating the Church from Roncalli through Francis can simply be overlooked in order to win that sweet prize of jurisdiction. Just ask Ruby — he will tell you. There is no need to rely on the rules of Canon Law or the wisdom of past theologians, far less the truths of papal encyclicals we must accept with at least a firm assent. Unlike Sanborn, he doesn’t even bother to abuse the Scholastic method to make his point.
After all, today’s Traditionalists have transcended all that old-fashioned nonsense. Their reasoning is so superior we can take them on their word alone. These sycophants thunder out of one side of their mouths against the Vatican 2 council and condemn the church in Rome, and out of the other side they schizophrenically inform those following Traditionalist “clerics” that the very Masses they attend and Sacraments they receive are delivered courtesy of this same Novus Ordo church! All those endorsing this bizarre theory strip the Church of everything that is sacred in order to fashion a way to seize by any means necessary what they cannot claim in Her name. Some examples of this rubbish are included below.
“Where was the Church [following the death of Pope Pius XII]? In Her Bishops and Cardinals and all who were attached to them, loyally willing to submit to the man elected to take the place of Pius XII…November 5. It is the day after John XXIII has been crowned Pope, donning the triple tiara, and was led through all the streets of Rome to the tune of “Tu Es Petrus.” Where was the Church then? Obviously still visibly with him, even if some legitimate questions have since arisen as to whether he truly accepted the responsibility of Pope or merely pretended to, and whether election had been free and valid. During Roncalli’s natural lifetime, not so much as a single soul ever once raised the slightest question or doubt as to his being the Pope, and as it is taught, if someone is universally accepted as a Pope, then he is a Pope, regardless of any questions regarding his election or qualifications. Materially, he was Pope. Whether he was Pope formally as well is something the Church will have to settle some day in the future. Therefore the visibility of the Church still resided with him, and to be organizationally apart from him and his organization was to be separated from the Church and therefore outside it. There things remain through June 2, 1963. On the third, he died.
“The same things apply for Paul VI. Materially he was Pope upon his election, with considerably more room to doubt that he was formally Pope, but again, the Church must resolve that question when better times return. At first there were again no questions raised as to his papal claims. The first documented instance of any such doubts on the part of anyone occurred in 1965 when Paul VI called upon the world to look to the United Nations as the last hope for peace. Upon Paul VI’s election, the Church still visibly and exteriorly centered on him. To say otherwise would pose severe problems as to where the visibility of the Church could have possibly resided by that point, with no answer…What is needed is an obvious, visible, and accessible official document which grants jurisdiction to such “irregularly” consecrated bishops. I maintain that Lumen Gentium is such a document. It is obvious; it is confirmed by Pope and Council; it is readily available to everyone for checking and verification. It is visible, and therefore provides visible recognition to any and all such truly Catholic bishops “irregularly” consecrated since November 21, 1964…That document grants jurisdiction to any Catholic bishop or priest, whether inside or outside the Vatican institution. At another point, that same document explicitly states that bishops who are validly consecrated, but outside the Vatican institution now HAVE jurisdiction.
“So, to sum up, there is the basic fact that the Divine necessity of continuing the Church renders (at least for the duration of this current crisis) the mere Ecclesiastical law imposed by Pope Pius XII, which applies even if my theory regarding Lumen Gentium were somehow mistaken (and the only possible area of weakness towards that comes from the direction of “Was Paul VI really a Pope in the first place?”). Apart from that extremely unlikely proposition, there is the law mandated at Vatican II, namely in Lumen Gentium, which effectively removes Pope Pius XII’s law from the books, until such time as Vatican II is revoked, and thus granting real, visible jurisdiction to all such traditional bishops and priests…The Vatican Leader, whose jurisdiction is restricted by Lumen Gentium, is incapable of binding the whole Church for he lacks that fullness of authority…How could any man whose jurisdiction is thus limited be Pope? Even if he were totally and unquestionably orthodox in all his faith and morals, he still cannot be Pope until Lumen Gentium gets revoked. Nor can anyone else be Pope either…For we are, as Lumen Gentium states, all “forces impelling towards unity.” Like the Arian crisis, nearly all the former bishops of the Church have defected, leaving the barest handful of those who walk in the shoes of the faithful St. Athanasius. Like with the fall of England, the non-Catholics have stolen our Church buildings and physical plant and even many fine clerics who unfortunately seem to have thought more of their earthly retirement plans than their heavenly one,” (from various writings by Ruby found on the Daily Catholic and in his book, “The Restoration of the Roman Catholic Church”).
So now we know that all along Traditionalist “bishops” have more or less secretly held that they receive universal jurisdiction from a document issued by the head of the Novus Ordo church and they are able to delegate it to the “priests” they ordain. It has nothing to do with holding all the teachings of St. Peter through Pope Pius XII inviolate; all the lip service paid to past papal teaching and the councils is a charade. And they don’t even dare mention Cum ex…, for it specifically addresses the situation today, and dismisses an acceptance of such a pope by anyone whatsoever once it is proven he was unable to be elected. The proofs numerous Traditionalist writers have amassed to this fact over the past five decades is more than enough to indict Roncalli; Ruby doesn’t need to pretend it has only been “conclavists” or those dreaded “homealoners” who have presented these damning proofs. And it is precisely Can. 2200 that commands we hold them guilty until they can be officially judged, which is especially true in this case since only the Popes and ecumenical councils have ever determined dogmatic facts. No wonder Sanborn was so anxious to wipe out this canon! Ruby even admits we must wait for the Church to judge the situation and wait we must. But the waiting goes back to the questioned election of Roncalli; until it is determined whether or not he was a truly valid pope nothing else can be decided and nothing certainly is able to be presumed concerning any such granting of jurisdiction. Cum ex… states that it does not matter how much time may have elapsed in such a situation, and Canon 2200 says individuals accused of heresy are to be presumed guilty until it is determined that they are guiltless. The laity can and must treat them as guilty and denounce them since the heresy is notorious, which is the equivalent of a declaration or sentence, but only a canonically elected pope and/or ecumenical council can officially confirm that they indeed were never true popes.
The presumption of law contained in Canon 2200 is in our favor; as Rev. Cicognani notes: “The common good demands certitude concerning the validity of acts,” (Canon Law, 1935). And as Woywod-Smith comment: “…The common welfare demands that these laws have absolute effect.” What could possibly affect the common welfare more profoundly than the acceptance of an heretical pope as a true pope? The faithful must be entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff in order to obtain eternal salvation, (Boniface VIII, DZ 469), and Catholics are never allowed to use a probable opinion, such as a material papacy, in matters concerning eternal salvation, (Pope Innocent XI, DZ 1151). So are these people really telling us that 1) we are to commit mortal sins and excommunicate ourselves for disobeying the teaching of the popes in order to accept their absurd theory and 2) we are to do this in order to cooperate in their sins and the sins of others by making it appear that they possess jurisdiction when they do not? There is no certitude concerning the election of these men; this was established well before des Lauriers ever advanced the material pope theory. He is initially the one who failed to address the proofs of those who had already written on this head. So given the pre-existence of these proofs and his failure to factor them into his hypothesis, it does not stand. Nor does Ruby’s assumption that Lumen Gentium could ever abrogate anything written by Pope Pius XII. If the Church must decide these matters, then there can be no assumption of validity until they are decided.
Just as the Old Catholics were loyal to their civil government, so are Traditionalists obedient and subservient to their true mother — the whore of Babylon. How many Traditionalist followers really understand that the jurisdiction these men claim comes from this source? Would it matter if they really knew and understood, insofar as it is possible for them to do so? Does it matter to them at all that the Church they all claim to issue from — the pre-Vatican 2 Church of Pope Pius XII — demands they safeguard all the papal laws existing until that time and refuse to allow the Cardinals (or anyone else) to violate them until a new pope can be elected? Do they realize that basically Pope Pius XII, in teaching this infallibly in Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, committed the Church into the hands of whoever would defend Her against the assaults of the Enemy? Not only that, but he pronounced as null and void any such acts that would even be attempted! So not only are Traditionalists, both lay and “clerical” forbidden to violate these laws, they are forbidden to act in any way at all that could be construed as a usurpation of papal jurisdiction (consecrating bishops and extending them jurisdiction, absolving and abjuring heretics, promoting the use of any theory such as sedeprivationism to justify the actual exercise of episcopal and priestly jurisdiction, when Pius XII declared even the attempt to do such a thing is null and void.)
Listen up, people: This is the infallible Church ruling you and teaching you! It is the voice of the continual magisterium commanding you in the name of Christ THROUGH HIS VICARS to obey His LawS AND teachings, TEACHINGS HE HAS ALSO BOUND IN HEAVEN! Ignore that, deny that and you are outside the Church. Is the prospect of living in the time of the Great Apostasy and witnessing the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice and the reign of Antichrist so terrifying that you would readily cast your lot with Satan’s system than faithfully obey the laws and teachings of Christ’s Church on earth? That you would risk the fate of Dathan and Core? That you would make your very prayers an abomination by disobeying God’s laws, (Prov. 28: 9)? Is it really possible that the very people who consider themselves the remnant would willingly allow themselves to be used to fulfill the frightful prophecy of Isaiah for these times: “The earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, they have changed the ordinance, they have broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore shall a curse devour the earth, and the inhabitants thereof shall sin; and therefore they that dwell therein shall be mad, and few men shall be left,” (Isa. 24: 1-6). Madness arises from the chaos that results when the laws and order established by Christ for His Church are cast aside. No wonder Christ asked His Apostles if they really thought that He would find faith on earth when He returned; for paganism has returned, and with a vengeance.
Some Catholic commentators have interpreted verse 13:3 in Apocalypse (revival of the slain head) as predicting paganism’s return with the coming of Antichrist. We have witnessed this very thing in our own lifetimes. So perhaps knowing the origins of one of the most common pagan gods throughout history might be useful in understanding our present situation. Ba-al proper was the storm god of heaven; his father’s name was El, or Al, the Phoenician nature god. “Man’s Religion,” by John B. Noss, defined El as a “superhuman being or divinity” used to address “major and minor divinities alike. It also was applied to demons,” or fallen angels. The Mason Pike falsely claimed that the el-al endings were used in the names of the archangels to commemorate the Al god, (the Gnostics name seven archangels, but the Church officially recognizes only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.) In Muslim belief, Al refers to the three daughters of Allah — Al-Lat, Al-Manah and Al-Uzzah. The Catholic Bible Dictionary, by Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, ranked Baal as “identical to the sun” and synonymous with Bel. Other works identify the god with the symbol of a bull, and connect him to Bel, Belial, Baal-Zebub, Baal-Amun, Baal-Tsaphun, Baal-Peor, Moloch, the Persian Mithra and other gods. In Greek and Roman mythology, numerous gods can be linked to “parent” gods, primarily Baal, who also can be linked to Jupiter. In Scripture this is demonstrated by the use of the plural ‘baalim,’ referring to the multitude of gods Baal can represent.
In Canaan, where the cult first gained popularity, baals were farm gods unique to each region; the pagans believed these idols lent fertility to the land, their animals and themselves. The Bible confirms this, describing the unfaithful Israelites’ false belief that Baal, not the true God, gave them their “bread, water, wool, flax and drink,” (Osee 2:5). They worshipped these gods on hills, in groves of trees and ideally near bodies of water. In his “Idol Worship of the World,” Frank S. Dobbins explained that temples to Baal were referred to as high places, strongholds, “fortresses,” where the money left by the god’s devotees was worshipped along with the god. This can be referred to the prophet Daniel’s description of the priests of Bel and their coffers. Baal worship has the dubious distinction of being the first crude form of secular humanism — its devotees were said to kiss their own hands to worship their god, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. This same article stated that anything and anyone could be worshipped as a Baal. In Semitic etymology the word Baal means “to possess sexually,” giving some idea of the depravity involved in the god’s cult. Scripture relates the self-abuse, self-mutilation and homosexuality that accompanied Moloch and Baal worship, reminding the Israelites of the punishments associated with these detestable crimes.
Amazingly, the current situation with the promotion of the material pope theory as Catholic truth is really just the Old Testament story of the priests of Bel all over again. In Daniel’s time, Bel, a huge statue of a snake, had all the appearances of a living god, (just as Traditionalism had all the appearances of being remnant Catholicism). The pagans, including King Nebuchodonosor, worshipped Bel unquestioningly, just as Traditionalist followers blindly believe all their “leaders” tell them. The prophet Daniel spoiled the game by telling the king that Bel was not a living god worthy of adoration and he could prove it. He exposed the imposture of the priests who pretended to feed the god by proving that they secretly entered the temple where he was worshipped at night with their families, the “aristocracy,” (chapel going Traditionalists pretend to be superior to others who refuse to participate in these services). There they would eat all that had been fed to the serpentine image during the day. The Roman usurpers, particularly Montini fed the beast that was the Antichurch for decades, and one of those receiving the benefits bestowed by Montini, false gifts offered to a false god, was Traditionalism. His successors in iniquity have continued in this role and have seduced many. Just as Daniel relates, all about the seat of the beast, imprinted in the ashes he spread, can be seen the telltale footprints of the faithless priests, who fleece their devotees and offer stones for bread. Novus Ordo and traditional masses alike are the food of Bel. And unless Christ’s Mystical Body refrains from eating this bread of damnation, they will meet with the fate of Bel’s priests and followers, who the King ordered be put to death.
It is no coincidence that this biblical account succeeds Daniel’s verses predicting the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice and the rise of Antichrist. It was a warning placed there by the prophet, just as the Apostles and Our Lord Himself warned us of false prophets, antichrists, ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing and “certain men secretly entered in,” (St. Jude). These warnings have been repeated over and over again, and still those bewitched by the operation of error do not heed them. As the prophet Elias challenged the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel, “How long do you halt between two sides? If the Lord be God follow Him. But if Baal, follow him. And the people did not answer him a word,” (3 Kings 18: 21)…”Hear me O Lord, hear me, that this people may learn that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart again,” (3 Kings, 18: 37).