by T. Stanfill Benns | Feb 28, 2023 | New Blog
Month of St. Joseph
(Please pray for the repose of the soul of Larry K. Benns, July 25, 1951— March 1, 2021)
Prayer society intention for the Month of March
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless us and grant us the grace of openly professing as we are bound to do with courage and without human respect the faith that we received of thy gift in holy Baptism— (Raccolta, no. 257)
+St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows+
The following was written to help those grieving for the Church they lost and the sins they believe they committed by following Traditionalists. If we are to survive spiritually in the coming days, we must better understand how our journey through unbelief to the light affected us, to better prepare ourselves for even greater trials and clear our minds of any misperceptions. Most especially we must diligently avoid the trap of guilt obsession over past sins, a trap set by Satan himself that allows him to prey on our minds and impede any spiritual progress. We must also earnestly petition the Holy Ghost for the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and understanding — especially knowledge of self (nosce te ipsum). This will help clear the way for a more fruitful study and knowledge of our faith as well as facilitate the understanding.
It is clear from a psychological perspective that Catholics never dealt with the loss of their Church, because they were redirected into other channels by Traditionalists. A quick walk through the seven steps of grieving as taught by psychologists will help both readers praying at home and those new to this site to understand the feelings that often threaten to overwhelm them when they realize just how completely they have been deceived.
Seven steps of grief
Shock and denial — Hanging onto Traditionalism despite obvious signs it is not Catholic or moving to another sect thinking it will be the answer. This is the practice of avoidance, in order to relieve the anxiety of dealing with the real problem.
Pain and guilt — Blaming oneself for being fooled by Traditionalists and NO clerics; pain when criticized for questioning or “abandoning” the faith and considering being “home alone;” also the pain of being subjected to shunning and ridicule.
Anger and bargaining — Lashing out at pseudo-clerics and trying to reason with them. Going back and forth between what has been learned and understood about their errors and wanting to belong to what one thought was the true Church.
Depression, reflection, loneliness — All this occurs after separating from these groups. Distrust of self and others, difficulty sleeping, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, panic attacks, difficulty making decisions, spiritual dryness or malaise and other disturbances may continue for a time, but eventually subside if one slowly and carefully re-evaluates the basic truths of faith.
The upward turn — Eventually, with prayer and study, the dark clouds clear and one begins to understand.
Reconstruction and working through — Once one has accepted the fact that the faith can be kept whole and entire only by avoiding these bogus groups then additional study can begin and one can work toward arriving at true certitude.
Acceptance and hope — Once true certitude is obtained, then a commitment can be made to pray at home, amend one’s life and do penance. But this decision must come gradually and cannot be rushed. Any resentment, all remaining doubts, must be vanquished. This can be achieved only by progressing through steps 4-6. And for those to whom God grants this rare and special grace, we urge them to look up, not back, and use these graces to amend their lives and secure their salvation.
Why were the above steps missed? Because, as the early 1970s writer Mary Lejeune in her newsletters, The Sword of Truth and the author Craig Heimbichner later documented in Blood on the Altar, false priests (and bishops) were already in the wings in the 1950s waiting for the changes in the Church, knowing that those exiting would be disoriented and ripe for the picking. And they were. Using mind control as practiced on Cardinal Mindszenty in the 1950s, wolves in sheep’s clothing sympathized with Vatican 2 refugees, to gain their trust. They later offered their services, interrupting the natural psychological process they knew would be necessary to Catholics, a process that would logically have resulted in the election of a true Pope and the survival of the Church. Not only were remnant Catholics vulnerable and in denial about the destruction of their Church, but they were also entirely incapable of comprehending that the very ones rushing to their rescue could possibly be part of the same hideous nightmare they had just escaped. They believed that this would mean that God had abandoned His Church and it no longer existed, something that simply could not be possible in doctrinal terms. And yet the ante-Nicene Fathers predicted that this is exactly what would happen with the advent of Antichrist, although this ancient teaching was never pointed out to them.
Cardinal Mindszenty’s ordeal
On February 18, 1946, Pope Pius XII raised the Primate of Hungary, Jozsef Mindszenty, to the Cardinalate. As Pope Pius XII placed the Cardinal’s hat on his head, the Holy Father said: “Among the thirty-two, you will be the first to suffer the martyrdom whose symbol this red color is.” https://mindszenty.org/mindszenty-bio/ Only two years later, the Communists seized control of Hungary. Cardinal Mindszenty was arrested for “subversive activity” Dec. 28, 1948, after opposing Communism as an “atheistic theology.” Following a mock trial for his “crimes,” preceded by weeks of beatings, sleep deprivation, possibly hypnosis and mind-altering drugs added to his food, Mindszenty spent eight years in jail. He had informed some of his fellow priests before his arrest that should his captors claim he had signed a confession of crimes against the state, placed into evidence during his trial, such a signing would be null and void, the result of human frailty and coercion. Mindszenty was released by a provisory government in 1956 following a brief victory won by the Hungarian Revolution, but the Soviets quickly took control once again, and the cardinal fled for protection to the American Embassy in Budapest.
Despite Mindszenty’s heroic refusal to leave the American embassy for 15 years, in support of the faithful in his country suffering under Communist oppression, Paul 6 lifted the excommunications imposed by Pope Pius XII on his captors and ordered the cardinal to relocate to Rome. A few years later Paul 6 also ordered Mindszenty to resign his Primacy. The cardinal refused, pleading with Paul 6 to consider the consequences of his actions and the evils of Communism, but to no avail. Paul 6 then deposed him on the 25th anniversary of his mock trial, in an attempt to appease the Communists. “This is what I said on February 6, 1974 — there is nothing more to say — and this is how I found, waiting to greet me at the end of the road, complete and absolute exile.” He died in Vienna, Austria 15 months later, at the age of 83. Surely his time in prison could not equal the blow dealt to him by his own Church, the removal of the ancient primacy he had fought so hard to keep all those years as a symbol of hope for his enslaved people.
Why have I related this story? Because Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty could be the “patron saint” of those who today are suffering the mental torments of being duped by Traditionalists, deprived of the Mass and Sacraments, the hierarchy, and most importantly, the papacy. Traditionalism is only the extension of a decades-long Masonic plot to destroy the Church, a plot largely engineered by the CIA, British Intelligence and other American intelligence agencies. A monumental work by international attorney David Wemhoff, published in 2015 and running to 800 pages of documentation, adeptly chronicles this effort. If Catholics and God-fearing men of good will only knew the role the media — not to mention the American government — has played in manipulating the news and destroying the Church, they would be hard-pressed to believe it. And even if they managed to believe it, they still would not be able to draw from it the enormous theological consequences that have cascaded relentlessly around us through the past five decades of our existence.
Mind control used to seduce Catholics
We have covered this at length in previous blogs, But it is best explained in the book The Phantom Church in Rome. There David Wemhoff’s work, John Courtney Murray, Time/Life, and the American Proposition: How the C.I.A.’s Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church is cited as the itemized documentation, taken largely from declassified material, of just how the American government set out to infiltrate, subvert and subjugate the Catholic Church — and other more orthodox Christian churches — using religion as a means of building empire under the guise of combating Communism.
As Wemhoff explains, it was an intense psychological campaign harnessing the print and broadcast media — employing government officials, professors, priests, ministers and American business leaders — to make it appear that the Church had abandoned Her condemnation of Americanism as a heresy. It involved active infiltration and subversion. This out-and-out warfare was declared in order to coerce Catholics worldwide into embracing the Americanist conception of religious liberty and ecumenism. This was accomplished in large part long before Vatican 2 convened; in fact, it was this very protracted campaign that paved the way for the modernization of the Church, largely carried out by its own clergy and liberal members of the educated laity.
Those living in the 1940s-50s had to know there was an ideological war going on, even if they were only the sort of Catholics who seldom did any more than attend Mass on Sunday. It was in the air, and publications from that time period clearly reflect this. But as it turns out, they cannot be blamed entirely for not being able to pin it down, or effectively resist it. When an intelligence agency sets out to deliberately wage psychological warfare on an entire segment of the population, it successfully distorts reality and actually reprograms brains. Edward Hunter, a C.I.A. propaganda operator who worked undercover as a journalist, wrote in his 1956 work:
“The highly educated person who bends medical discoveries to the practice of mind attack is incalculably more evil than any savage using potions, trances, and incantations…The word brain-changing became obscured as brainwashing and began to embrace all the available pressures that could be utilized to bend a man’s will and change his attitudes fundamentally. Brain-changing specifically refers to the complete job in all its wickedness. Cardinal Mindszenty underwent a brain-changing. That was how his vigorous mind was bent. A man’s memory can be physically eliminated, if at all possible, only at the price of permanent damage to the brain. In such a brain-changing, drugs have to be used to destroy the natural alertness and strong character of the individual, and hypnotism must be employed, too, to help in breaking down resistance. Information obtained through the most persistent inquiry by every possible channel reveals that drugs and hypnotism were used on the cardinal.”
And techniques today have been further perfected to anticipate all possibilities and eventualities and to better bind captives to the particular mindset at play. Hunter spoke at length with servicemen and others who were victims of brainwashing; individuals who, following their release, clung to the beliefs they had imbibed while prisoners of the Communists. He became convinced that at some deep level, all who had experienced “brain-changing” had the tentative idea they were deluded and even could be brought to this conclusion through intensive debriefing. “If truth can linger in the mind in spite of the strongest hallucinations, and the evidence I have accumulated indicates it can, the reason is clear why the Reds cannot be sure of even their completest victories, their Mindszentys. They never capture their minds completely!”
And this remark is very revealing. The primary difference between those who were the initial lab rats for brain-changing then and those who experienced it years later is this: Hunter and others noticed that Americans were far more susceptible to these tactics, for some reason, than others, and this cannot have improved with the passage of time. Those wishing to use these tactics always look for the weakest, most vulnerable links — the elderly, the young, the disoriented, the uneducated, the grieving, and those emotionally or mentally unstable, for whatever reason. We read everywhere that prior to the false Vatican 2 council, Catholics in general were not well instructed in their faith and tended to lay undue emphasis on external religion. They certainly never possessed the level of faith and spiritual formation of a Cardinal Mindszenty. And so it is not surprising that they became sitting ducks for those wishing to finish the destruction of the juridical Church once and for all.
Despite the fact that Mindszenty was entirely broken by his captors and his brain thoroughly changed or “washed” — even to the extent that he appeared to deny his faith and concede to all Communist demands — Pope Pius XII neither condemned nor deserted him for these forced concessions. Pope Pius XII’s example concerning Cardinal Mindszenty should indicate the mind of the Church in this matter. His behavior in Mindszenty’s case should prompt us to be more open-minded in dealing with those who have experienced what modern experts adjudge to be even worse and more seductive torments than Mindszenty himself experienced. It is interesting that one of the last constitutions Pope Pius XII wrote contained a section on brain-changing and its evils.
- “There should also be noted those courses of instruction by which pupils are forced to imbibe and embrace this false doctrine [Communism]. Priests, religious men and women, ecclesiastical students, and faithful of all ages are forced to attend these courses. An almost endless series of lectures and discussions, lasting for weeks and months, so weaken and benumb the strength of mind and will that by a kind of psychic coercion an assent is extracted which contains almost no human element, an assent which is not freely asked for as should be the case.
- “In addition to these there are the methods by which minds are upset — by every device, in private and in public, by traps, deceits, grave fear, by so-called forced confessions, by custody in a place where citizens are forcibly “reeducated,” and those “Peoples’ Courts” to which even venerable bishops are ignominiously dragged for trial.
- “Against methods of acting such as these, which violate the principal rights of the human person and trample on the sacred liberty of the sons of God, all Christians from every part of the world, indeed all men of good sense cannot refrain from raising their voices with Us in real horror and from uttering a protest deploring the deranged conscience of their fellow men” (Ad apostolorum principis, June 29, 1958). And indeed, Pope Pius XII himself may well have been one of the unwitting victims of this very psychic coercion, carried on by Holy Office officials skilled in such techniques who practically kept him a prisoner until the time of his death.
Culpability of most Traditionalist followers diminished
Does anyone really think that we would be held entirely accountable for the fraud perpetrated on us, especially when we break away from Traditionalist and Novus Ordo sects and try to do all we can to help others? That we would be given such a great grace to see the truth only to turn it into despair over “sins” committed in good faith? Such a want of confidence in God will not lead us to heaven but will only alienate us from Our Lord. We must fight it at every turn. Those who are victims of fraud cannot be held accountable for their misdeeds if they were erroneously taught and truly believed they were doing the right thing. A grave sin is only a sin if we know it to be wrong — or could and should know it to be wrong — and act despite this knowledge. Given the situation today, there is grave doubt whether the censures for heresy and schism fully apply to those leaving Traditionalism. Historians have dismissed the idea that any real schism existed among the faithful during the Western Schism, and it is most likely that if we ever miraculously see another pope in our lifetime, the large majority of the faithful would be exonerated for their participation in Traditionalism.
There is a difference between absolution from such sins and abjuration from heresy. If we make a perfect Act of Contrition and do penance for these sins, they will be forgiven. It is impossible to seek abjuration, and God will make allowances for this, provided that we earnestly desire to be abjured. Canon 2199 states: “The imputability of an offense depends on the evil will of the delinquent, or on the extent to which his ignorance of the violated law or his omission of proper diligence was culpable.” Lay Traditionalists possessed no evil will. And it can be said only of a scant minority of them that they were culpable of ignorance regarding the law and did not use proper diligence. The general uneducated state of the laity in the 1960s was such that many of them could not even properly understand those truths necessary to salvation, far less the much more complicated precepts of Canon Law and moral and dogmatic theology. Canon 2200 states: “The evil will spoken of in Canon 2199 means a deliberate will to violate a law and presupposes on the part of the mind a knowledge of the law and on the part of the will freedom of action. Given the external violation of a law the evil will is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proved.”
It cannot be said that there was any deliberate will by Traditionalist followers to violate Church law because a true knowledge and understanding of the law was lacking, thanks to the false teachings of Traditionalist pseudo-clergy. And actual cult tactics (coercive persuasion) employed by Traditionalist leaders further complicates matters. Nevertheless, “For formal heresy to exist… it is not necessary that the individual believer realizes that the truth in jeopardy has been revealed” (Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., The Theological Virtues, Vol. I). And here we are talking formal, not material, heresy that has been expressed in belonging to a schismatic sect that was founded on a heresy — a denial of the necessity of the papacy and the supreme jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff. As Can. 2200 teaches, however, the evil will of the delinquent must be presumed until the proper authorities can judge the case on its merits under Can. 2199.
Because we can have no certainty, then, regarding their decision, we must observe the censures, since it is entirely possible, at least in some cases, that — should we ever again see the Church restored, a very faint possibility — the hierarchy might determine us wholly or partially guilty. But there is a remedy the Church offers to prepare oneself for complete abjuration should we ever again see valid clergy. It is based on Canon Law and consists in three years of prayer and study as prescribed under Can. 672, a probationary period which is also referred to in other canons (see https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/begin-the-probationary-period/). This three-year period offers the faithful a welcome respite from the perpetual drama of Traditionalism and allows time for us to better know our faith and practice it. It also allows time for healing and reflection to help complete the grieving process.
The above censures for heresy and schism, however, DO generally apply, in their full rigor, to Traditionalist “clerics” and certain lay leaders who boast they are trained in Canon Law and theology and have benefited both financially and personally, in way of their elevated status as “clerics” or experts. They will bear the lion’s share of the guilt for all this, since the information regarding the necessity of jurisdiction and the inability of the Church to exist without a true pope was made available to them as early as the mid-1980s. The good news is that under Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, their acts were all null and void from the beginning, so no one ever committed actual sacrilege, although they did publicly adhere to a schismatic sect. And Traditional clerics, as leaders of these sects, were guilty of erecting a religious foundation outside the Catholic Church without papal approval, making them not only a non-Catholic sect, but automatically dissolving their organizations (Canon Law Digest, Vol. IV, AAS 49-34, Can. 211). Moreover, they are excommunicated also for “pretending to say Mass or hear Confessions by one who is not an ordained priest” (Can. 2232 §1). This in addition to a slew of other excommunications specially or simply reserved to the Holy See.
One true priest called those suffering mental torments “martyrs of the mind,” and this is a most apt description of what has happened to many Catholics desperately trying to keep the faith in these days. We should all remember that St. Therese of Liseux and other commentators described those living in the end times as the greatest saints of all, and we must at least try to be those saints! That seems impossible, but what we are really being asked to do is to become white martyrs, who willingly suffer without shedding their blood, or better yet, victim souls. This we examined in one of our Advent blogs here.
“A victim soul is a chosen soul who freely sacrifices oneself, one’s health, material goods, happiness etc. as an offering to divine justice for the sins of the world, for sinners or for the benefit of the Church… In the mysterious designs of the Eternal Father, a certain reparation must still be made for sin so that our sufferings and trials ‘…may fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ’” (Col. 1:24). Another author writes: “A victim soul is an individual who has been chosen by God to undergo physical, and sometimes spiritual, suffering beyond that of normal human experience. The victim soul willingly accepts this unique and difficult mission of offering up his or her pains for the salvation of others” (Gerald Korson).
Every member of the laity leaving a Traditionalist sect has been given the opportunity to make this most precious and grace-filled gift of self to God — that of becoming a victim soul by praying at home and offering up their sufferings. How can one resist this invitation issued directly by Our Lord to participate in his Passion this Lent? Are we not undergoing the Passion of His Church on earth? Can we not watch one hour with Him? Let no one waste this precious gift, thinking they are condemned by God and cannot redeem themselves. Let them rather gladly take up their cross and follow that Holy One who has so sweetly called them.
Mental Suffering with Christ
As strange as it may sound, there is a reason why so many today suffer with various kinds of mental difficulties. We are told that we are reliving the Passion of Christ, and this condition has to do with filling up what is wanting to His Passion. Rev. Alan Keenan O.F.M. writes: “‘For who can overcome the hatreds of the world, or the whirlwinds of temptation or the terrors of those who persecute if Christ suffering in all of us and on behalf of all of us did not say to His Father: Thy will be done,’ (St. Leo, Sermon 16, de Passsione)…The neurotic carries the mental stigmata of Christ. This is credible, but for some, not palatable. Only the flame of faith will carry conviction of it, and even then the flame may scorch while yet it heals…The nearest friends of Christ, the chosen apostles, were invited to Gesthemane. They were healthy and slept. Perhaps only the sick of mind can really keep the vigil. The supernatural limit to pain is martyrdom. Martyr of course means witness. The neurotic is called to martyrdom within. Only the nearest friends of Christ are invited there.”
It is most assuredly God’s will and a matter of Scriptural truth that the worst persecution ever will occur in the time of Antichrist. Mental and spiritual torment is far more painful than anything Antichrist and his system can do to our bodies. We must bear witness to all that has happened, and yet we must fight giving in to our neuroses if we wish to watch one hour with Christ. This is martyrdom of the spirit at its finest, and we are privileged to be able to offer these sufferings back to Jesus, especially during Lent, who suffered so much more for us.
Consoling Scripture verses
“But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, In chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, In the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left; By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known; As dying, and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things” (2 Cor 6: 4-10).
“Wherein you shall greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in divers temptations: That the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honour at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, you love: in whom also now, though you see him not, you believe: and believing shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorified; Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and diligently searched, who prophesied of the grace to come in you. Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them did signify: when it foretold those sufferings that are in Christ, and the glories that should follow: To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you they ministered those things which are now declared to you by them that have preached the gospel to you, the Holy Ghost being sent down from heaven, on whom the angels desire to look” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
by T. Stanfill Benns | Feb 18, 2023 | New Blog
+ St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr +
As we prepare for the Lenten season, may those honoring Our Lady daily increase their devotion to her, Mother of Sorrows, whose Divine Son in the Blessed Trinity is the source of all truth. Another article has been completed further exposing the fallacies promoted by Traditionalists to shore up their false claims to validity and liceity. This piece addresses the longstanding work of Anthony Cekada, Canon Law and Common Sense, which can still be found circulating on the Internet. It explains how Traditionalists dismissed Canon Law as solely the product of human law to justify their use of epikeia and necessity in order to promote their agenda. You may read it here.
Peering into the future
The train carrying the Novus Ordo and various Traditionalist sects is slowly leaving the station, bound for who knows where. Same train, different cars. Whether Rome anathematizes the “Latin Tridentine Mass” (so many believe it is identical to the John 23 Missal, which tells us how much they know about their faith) is scarcely the issue. It is only thesymbol of a romanticized Church that once existed long ago. The true Mass was the fulfillment of Christ’s request to commemorate His Passion and death on the Cross, the actual re-enactment of that Holy Sacrifice. But it could onlyBE that actual re-enactment if offered by valid and licit priests and bishops in communion with a canonically elected Roman Pontiff, and that ended with the death of Pope Pius XII. For as Henry Cardinal Manning taught in his The Vatican Decrees and Their Bearing on Civil Allegiance: “The doctrine of the Church does not determine the doctrine of the Primacy, but the doctrine of the Primacy does precisely determine the doctrine of the Church.”
The Traditionalist train is leaving the station because they have never possessed the true faith to begin with, and now it is becoming increasingly clear. They have embraced political ideologies and heretical propositions condemned by the Church. They have made a travesty of Catholicism because they have touted the Mass, rather than the papacy, as the source of unity and belief. And if it is taken from them, they lose nothing, because they never had it in the first place. But many of them could easily lose their way, because this is the sole focus of their identity as Catholics. It is the one thing separating them from Novus Ordo believers and other non-Catholics, (although some would say that they could never accept Francis as a true pope, and of course this is correct). Yet they fail to even consider, far less understand, that this all began with John 23rd, not Francis. And we have the material-formal proponents to thank for that. So where will they go and what will they do once their make-believe mass disappears?
I think we all know a time is soon coming when we will either be persecuted for our faith or lose our lives defending it. Or we will die in one of the many staged events we see playing out across this country today, events that will only become more prevalent and more deadly with the passage of time. It seems likely that we may see an actual Communist takeover, and/or experience a financial disaster that will change forever the way we have lived for over a century. Traditionalist preppers think they are ready for this, but I have news for them. They may have gathered together many of the necessities for physical survival but they know little of what it will take to survive spiritually. That requires a very disciplined approach, and years of training. It involves trial and error, swift repentance, solitude, study, prayer and sacrifice — a separation from everything worldly and an entering into self, to purge and learn to be vigilant.
The great betrayal
This has been stated many times before, but it needs to be emphasized here: Traditionalist pseudo-clergy have betrayed their people. They kept them in diapers and made sure they had their pacifiers in place when they needed to be training the spiritual equivalent of Green Berets and Navy Seals. They told them fairy tales instead of delivering hard truths and gave them stones for bread. They kept them immersed in a fantasy world and never attempted to bring them to the knowledge of the truth. They failed to teach them how to develop the interior life because of course they could not, having never developed it themselves. And yet the means to do this were out there, had been out there for many years. The work that needed to be done was made clear even before Vatican 2, but none of the clergy possessed the humility, the courage — the unfailing faith — to implement it.
In a previous blog we quoted Solange Hertz, writing for The Wanderer in the 1980s, who penned the following: “Fr. François Dufay, who witnessed the battle at close quarters in China [in the 1940s], says to lose no time in preparing the Church of the Catacombs: “Take as principle that normal exterior life – liturgy, teaching, apostolate – should continue as far as possible [but only when certainly valid clergy are available — Ed.]. But, at the same time, prepare Christians to preserve their essential religious life in the absence of priests, worship and Sacraments… Prepare memory aids on the dogmas of necessary means, marriage without clergy, perfect contrition, assistance to the dying, Baptism, child education, etc., and place these leaflets in safe places…”
“It would be good if trustworthy priests of high caliber were to set themselves to living the life of the people. They need profound dogmatic and spiritual formation, especially on the theology of the Church, the meaning and value of persecution and suffering, and should be steeped in the remembrance of the great saints and martyrs of the past. Thus armed, the Christian faith will use its bad times for growth in charity,” making the most of the service Communism will render it by purifying and detaching it from all that is not God here below. And again, “Actually it’s solitaries who must be found and trained, in other words, Christians capable of living their faith all alone, amid the strongest pressures, the most painful happenings and the most forbidding of deserts.”
And no one has trained them.
Hirelings, not pastors
This is what I would love to be able to earnestly impress on those who may soon be left without any spiritual compass, when the going gets tough: If these men truly loved the faith; if they had been validly ordained priests, they would never have lived this charade and involved those emotionally attached to the Mass and other religious externals to be used as props in their infernal plots. “By their fruits you shall know them,” our Lord said, and He warned us to be wary of the hirelings and false christs. Isn’t it clear that no one has nourished the flock, that there are no fruits? Pope St. Pius X taught that the primary duty of bishops and priests before conveying the sacraments was first to teach, just as our Lord instructed: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; [then] baptizing them…” (Matt. 28: 19-20). In Acerbo nimis, Pope St. Pius X wrote:
“’I will give you,’ God promises by the mouth of the Prophet Jeremias, ‘pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine’ (a). And so the Apostle said: ‘Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel’ (b), indicating thus that THE FIRST OFFICE of those who are set up in any way for the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in sacred doctrine.” Please tell me, how can any of these men pretend to teach the doctrines of Christ when they refuse to acknowledge His Vicars? Pietro Parente, Antonio Piolanti, and Salvatore Garofalo write in their Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology (May 1, 1951, p. 170-171):
“According to Catholic doctrine therefore, Holy Scripture and Tradition are only the remote rule of faith, while the proximate rule is the living magisterium of the Church, which resides in the Roman Pontiff and in the bishops, inasmuch as they are subject to and united with him. The Vatican Council (sess. 4, c. 4, DB, 1832) has sealed this truth by defining that the primacy of Peter and his successors is included in the supreme power of teaching, which is veritatis et fidei numquam deficientis charisma (“the chrism of never-failing truth and faith”).”
In other words, those who pass themselves off as pastors and teachers are not and cannot be such if not in communion with and subject to the pope. Because we have no pope today and no hope of electing one, anyone attempting to present sacred doctrine for belief must at least be united to the Roman Pontiffs by desire and willing to strictly obey all the Continual Magisterium ever taught. Catechetical centers, not Mass centers, is what should have been established. Much could have been accomplished if those of good will had not committed schism by jpoining the Traditionalist movement. But Traditionalist pseudo-bishops did not possess the necessary office, hence jurisdiction, to ever become teachers. They were B-movie actors at best; amateur philosophers, perhaps, but they never were and never could be teachers commissioned by Christ as successors to the Apostles; the “pastors according to my own heart” spoken of by the prophet Jeremias.
Liturgy junkies and neo-Modernists
Some people say they get tired of the Traditionalist clergy beat-up. Well I am tired too; tired of sad, discouraged and frustrated Catholics trying to save their souls, going from group to group, being battered with political sermons and bored with talk of the bishop’s cats, weathering scandal after scandal, but never receiving the soul-saving doctrinal food they deserve. Or even worse, they hear sermons and instructions that contain false doctrine; or pieces of the truth but not the integral truth necessary to increase faith; or in some cases the standard sermon one would have heard pre-1959, when so much more than the average doctrinal fare is required today. Catholics deserve the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and that comes only from God’s mouth, through His Son, to Christ’s Vicars enlightened by the Holy Ghost and bishops commissioned by Him. If bishops had fulfilled their teaching duties instead of obsessing over liturgical renewal, bishops who later brought us Vatican 2, we wouldn’t be here today.
Traditionalists are no less liturgy junkies than their Novus Ordo counterparts; they simply chose a different “liturgy.” Neither the John 23 “mass” or a mass simulated by those never ordained is any more “worship” than the Novus Ordo Missae purports to be. In all cases it is a matter of pandering to the emotions and the senses.; entertainers, actors parodying the mass in Latin and officiating at “sacraments” with all due pomp and splendor. This to produce optical wonders and effect magical graces. Pope St. Pius X, in his encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis, notes how Modernistsuse sentiment and emotion to “hijack the intelligence.” What he says about this is very revealing, for he explains that faith is to be reduced to a “religious sentiment” and dogmatic formulas “sanctioned by the heart.” Sacraments are only “symbols and signs, although not devoid of a certain efficacy… [They are] the result of a double need, for everything in their system is to be explained by,” INNER IMPULSES OR NECESSITIES.” And after all, isn’t necessity one of the main tenets of Traditionalism?
This sainted pope continues: “Since God is the object of religion, we must conclude that faith, which is the basis and the foundation of all religion, consists in a sentiment which originates from a need of the divine. This need of the divine replaces intellectual knowledge of God with a “a certain special sentiment” (which the pope identifies as Fideism, condemned by the Church). Modernism finds in this sentiment not faith only “but with faith, as they understand it, revelation… This makes God both the object and the cause of faith, this revelation being the same time of God and from God; that is God is both revealer and revealed.” And according to Pope Pius X, this leads to indifferentism and naturalism — “…It is religious consciousness given as the universal rule, to be put on an equal footing with revelation. And all things must be made subject, even the supreme authority of the Church,” to this pernicious Modernist doctrine. (Taken from Rev. J.B Lemius, A Catechsim of Modernism).
Here we see the beloved symbolism, the emotional need, the “necessity” which bypasses the intelligence to create a religion of the emotions. And we ought to begin to see, then, who was behind the engineering of this false Traditionalist church. Pope St. Pius X explains the dual personality of a Modernist, describing such a heretic as “…proclaiming publicly his profound respect for authority, while continuing to follow his own bent.” This is how Traditionalists dismiss the papacy and is followed by a contempt for dogma and discipline, which the pope also notes. St. Pius X further condemns Modernists for their contempt for the scholastic method of philosophy and theology, the authority of the ecumenical councils and the Fathers, and the authority of the Supreme Magisterium itself. He concludes: “They propose to remove the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character and rights and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries.” What better description of what has happened to the Church without her Supreme Head could one possibly hope for?
We have fully documented and repeatedly demonstrated on this site Traditionalists’ contempt for the scholastic method, the ecumenical councils, especially Trent and the Vatican Council, their revival of the Gallicanist heresy, their rejection of Canon Law and all ecclesiastical discipline, and finally their rejection of the papacy itself by pretending bishops alone can rule the Church. Ah yes, they profess to respect and even quote papal documents when it suits them, all the while “continuing to follow [their] own bent.” But they do not obey them, and they refuse to teach their followers the integral truths they contain. So shall we simply call them neo-Modernists?
When reality sets in
What happens then when reality sets in, and what today IS that reality? Some would say that Traditionalist followers had to be coddled and shielded from the unvarnished truth; that many would have either lost their faith or given way to despair. But that remains to be seen. Without the right support and guidance, some probably would have suffered in this way; but with the truth comes peace, and power. Truth alone, Scripture tells us, will set us free. For “Whoever sincerely seeks the truth is already by that fact armed with a terrible force.” (Theodor Dostoyevsky). Traditionalists could have offered that support, been those guides, warned of the dangers awaiting us. Because it is quite clear now, although it wasn’t in the beginning, that wherever we are in time, whatever lies ahead, only a miracle, one we don’t deserve, will save us from utter disaster.
And we needed to know, to prepare. Because it is quite possible we could see the Second Coming, and who is really spiritually capable of even comprehending this? What situations might we face, how have Catholics coped in the past, what moral teachings bind us in the event of persecution, even torture, what devotions are most profitable, what spiritual helps most beneficial and how are we to keep oil for our lamps — that we not fall asleep before the Bridegroom cometh, but continue to watch?
For those just now realizing the deceits of Traditionalism, the safest refuge is Our Lady of Sorrows, mercifully waiting to hide in her garments those who are distressed and confused, unable to sufficiently prepare themselves spiritually. We are reliving Christ’s Passion on earth, and She alone best understands our sufferings. As Lent approaches, let us ponder these things, and remember how even the Apostles did not expect Christ’s death on the Cross. Let us gather, not scatter, as they did that night in Gesthemane.
by T. Stanfill Benns | Feb 10, 2023 | New Blog
+ St. Scholastica, Virgin +
In our last blog, and in the article HERE, we explained why Pope Pius XII’s infallible constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) must be taken exactly as it stands without any further interpretation. We also presented proofs from Pope Pius IX, the Vatican Council and Henry Cardinal Manning which condemn the arguments of those who dismiss VAS as a non-binding disciplinary decree, the object of “secondary or indirect” infallibility. But as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton explains below in his American Ecclesiastical Review article “Infallibility in the Encyclicals,” the encyclical Humani Generis made it unquestionably clear what absolutely binds Catholics and what does not. Pope Pius IX likewise made the Church’s position on disciplinary decrees beyond dispute, calling those who refuse to accept such decrees as authoritative and binding “schismatics.”
Now it appears that the actual wording of VAS must be addressed since some have insisted that no papal document can invalidate orders received, only the exercise of jurisdiction. But this is a strawman, (a non sequitur or irrelevant counterargument or conclusion, dismissed by scholastics as an invalid argument) as will be seen below.
As can be seen from Msgr. Fenton’s article, and coursing through the conditions he lists for infallibility, (A-E) — especially regarding a papal constitution — VAS qualifies as infallible on all counts. In VAS, Pope Pius XII:
(A) Speaks to ALL Christians as a ruler and teacher, (for in para. 98 of his constitution he orders the prelates and bishops to instruct the faithful to “perform repeatedly intercessory petitions of suppliant prayers for the swift and happy outcome of so great a matter.” The pope must also:
(B) Use his supreme apostolic authority. In paragraph 1, Pius XII states: “We declare invalid and void any power or jurisdiction pertaining to the Roman Pontiff in his lifetime, which the assembly of Cardinals might decide to exercise (while the Church is without a Pope)”, and in paragraph 3, he declares: “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. This prohibition is especially applicable in the case of Pontifical Constitutions issued to regulate the business of the election of the Roman Pontiff. In truth, 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.”
And in para. 108, he states: “We therefore ordain and prescribe these things, decreeing that this present document and whatever is contained in it can by no means be challenged… These same documents are manifestly and will be always and perpetually true, valid, and effective… If anyone should happen to try otherwise relative to these things, by whatever authority, knowingly or unknowingly, the attempt is null and void.” Clearly the will of Pope Pius XII, in virtue of his supreme authority, is that nothing can be changed in this constitution without utterly voiding all the effects of such an act. It is important to note that in the usurpation of papal authority addressed in para. 1, the pope specifically mentions: “We declare invalid and void ANY POWER OR JURISDICTION pertaining to the Roman Pontiff in his lifetime… which the assembly of Cardinals might decide to exercise.”
An attempt to usurp papal jurisdiction is a violation of VAS, this very papal election law which in para. 3 Pius XII forbids to be violated. Does it require papal jurisdiction and power to approve bishops prior to their consecration? It does. And such an attempt also violates canon law, which is proscribed in para. 3. Is it a usurpation of papal jurisdiction to erect a seminary? Canon Law reserves such erection to the pope, and para. 3 nullifies and voids any such erection. So if the consecration ATTEMPT of a bishop occurs without the papal mandate, it never happens; that man is invalidly consecrated and never becomes a bishop. And if such a bishop presumes to erect a seminary and ordain priests, that never happens either; since those men never became bishops and that seminary was never erected, those presenting themselves for ordination never become priests. All of this has been proven in various website treatises.
(C) The doctrine on which he is speaking has to do with faith and morals. Nothing is more essential to Catholic faith than the election of a Roman Pontiff in obedience to Christ’s establishment of the papacy which He intended to be perpetual, since this is the very act of perpetuating it. The definition of a papal constitution is: A papal document that deals with serious doctrinal matters regarding the definition of dogma, changes in canon law or other ecclesiastical matters. Apostolic constitutions are issued as papal bulls because of their solemn, public form. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The binding force of pontifical constitutions, even without the acceptance of the Church, is beyond question. The primacy of jurisdiction possessed by the successor of Peter comes immediately and directly from Christ.” This condition seems to be a no-brainer.
(D) A definitive judgment is issued (in this case on interregnums and papal elections). Use of Pope Pius XII’s supreme authority and command that this law can never be challenged or changed should be indisputable proof that this is a definitive judgment.
(E) He wills that this definitive judgment be accepted by the universal Church. The very fact that Pope Pius XII uses his supreme authority to seal this document, and that it is entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis (38-65) should be enough, given all the above, for any rational creature to see that this constitution is indeed infallible, at least in the first three paragraphs governing interregnums.
I think what is stated above is more than sufficient to prove the uncontestable infallibility of VAS. Now the question is: who among those wishing to remain truly Catholic stand ready to obey this infallible decree?
As in Holy Scripture, Fr. Felix Sarda states in his Liberalism is a Sin, so it is also with papal documents; THEY ARE TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY unless indicated otherwise by the very sense of the statement. Paragraph 4 of VAS declares that: “If any doubts should arise concerning the sense of the regulations that are contained in this Our Constitution, or even concerning the means according to which these things should be set forth in practice, or about any other chapter at all of this our Constitution, We ordain and declare that the power of imposing an authoritative decision about these things is only in the hands of the Sacred College of Cardinals.” Therefore NO ONE may even attempt to interpret it, and if they do so, it is null and void. We may only judge this document by those norms provided by Msgr. Fenton and other orthodox and approved theologians, existing when the Church was yet the Church.
Additional papal proofs Traditionalist Orders not valid
As far as orders actually received goes, I think it is quite clear from the above that Pope Pius XII, in all his many pronouncements on the papal oversight of bishops and the excommunications levied for consecration without the papal mandate for ALL rites, has sufficiently established his mind and intent in these matters. He states in VAS that should the cardinals or anyone else (para. 2) even attempt to violate any of the provisions of his constitution, that attempt is null and void. And by his specific referral in paragraph one to the invalidity of any “power or jurisdiction” which some might attempt to exercise in the pontiff’s absence, he does not, as some claim, refer only to jurisdictional matters, but to the very power — and how can this reference refer to any other power? — granted to those who possess Orders. For already in 1943 he had defined as “certain” in his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, that the bishops are dependent on the Roman Pontiff and subordinate to his authority, an authority plainly exercised to its fullest in VAS.
This too is an infallible definition since it clarifies matters under discussion for many centuries that are related to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, and this we have explained at length in previous blogs. Grammatically the word “or” indicates a distinction or separation, and the only alternate to that distinction is the exercise of Orders or some other power specifically granted to an individual by the Pope himself as VAS indicates. Now in any doubt that Orders have been received — and certainly there is grave doubt regarding all Traditionalist ordinations and consecrations — a pope may determine, as did Pope Leo XIII in Apostolica Curae in the case of the Anglicans, that they indeed have not received Orders. In VAS Pope Pius XII prohibits the exercise, during an interregnum, of Orders unquestionably received; but we are talking here of putative Orders no pope has never determined as valid in the case of Traditionalists, and that is an entirely different matter.
It is no secret that the Orders received by Lefebvre would need to be determined as valid by a true pope, and those conveyed by Thuc have even been questioned by certain Traditionalists who admit a papal decision would be necessary to judge their validity. If even validly consecrated and ordained men have no power or jurisdiction and cannot usurp papal jurisdiction during an interregnum or change Church laws, how much more so those whose validity has not even yet been officially determined!! Even so, VAS is sufficiently precise in its wording to be absolutely certain that such men never become priests or bishops. Yet another document kindly forwarded to us by our Spanish readers confirms what Pope Pius VI already taught infallibly in his Charitas: priests ordained by schismatic bishops cannot and do not receive Holy Orders.
This ancient decree issued by Pope St. Leo I, the Great, proves that from the earliest times, the Church refused to recognize those ordained by bishops who were ordained without the approval of a bishop in communion with the Roman Pontiff. The Catholic Encyclopedia says of Pope St. Leo I: “[Pope St. Leo I, the Great] died 10 November, 461. Leo’s pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity.” Pope St. Leo the Great is quoted below, and the author quoting him notes that other popes, not just Pope St. Leo I, taught as he did.
“To Anastasius of Thessalonica, apostolic vicar in Illyria, the pontiff Saint Leo the Great told him: «Let no bishop be ordained in those churches without your approval: in this way he will take care, to make the choice with maturity, knowing that they have to pass your examination. The metropolitan who, disregarding our mandates, will be ordained without your notice, let him know that WE WILL NOT CONSIDER HIS ORDINATION AS VALID; and he will be responsible before us for the USURPATION HE PRESUMED TO MAKE OF THE HOLY MINISTRY. If each metropolitan is entrusted with the power to ordain the bishops of his province, only to you do we reserve the ordination of metropolitans, provided, however, that a mature and thoughtful examination precede this; for although no bishop should be consecrated who is not tested and pleasing to the Lord, we want the one who is to preside over the others to excel all (73)». Pope Saint Zosimus explained himself in almost the same terms when he created Protoclus of Arles his vicar in France: Similar were the phrases with which Gregory II delegated the power to institute archbishops and bishops to the evangelical workers he sent to Bavaria, France and Germany (74)”.
- (73 . S. Leo M. Ep. 1. ad Anast. Thessalon).
- (74 . En Tomasin part. 1 , lib . 1 , c . 42 , n . 3 y 5).
- (S. Leo M. Ep. 1 ad metropol. Illyriæ ap . Labbé)
The balance between the two powers: that is, The rights of the Church vindicated against the attacks of Dr. D.F. de P.G. Vigil. by Reverend Fray Pedro Gual, Vol.3, p. 202 https://books.google.es/books?id=tcOjv14YMKQC&pg=PA488&dq=equilibrio+2+potestades+tomo+tercero&hl=es&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwij5cWv9of9AhUITcAKHVd0D9gQ6wF6BAgEEAE#v=snippet&q=202&f=false
It has taken 64 years to realize the full import of VAS, and certainly now there is nothing that can be done to rectify the situation in the Church unless and until a true pope declares Traditionalist Orders certainly valid, and that we shall ever see such a true pope now is highly unlikely. This is primarily due to the anti-Catholic teachings, distractions and disinformation peddled by Traditionalists for nearly six decades which prevented the See from ever being occupied again — a conspiracy against the papacy. Although it was God’s express will that this should happen, that fact excuses no one for their failure to act. Next, we shall see what happens when Catholics fail to obey the popes.What in the World…
What in the World…
In a Fox News report HERE, whistleblowers have revealed from a leaked document that the FBI considers “radical” Latin Mass Traditionalist Catholics as at least suspected domestic terrorists/white supremacists. (see also the articles in Newsweek and the Catholic News Agency.) The FBI later said it will remove the document from the Bureau’s system because it is not consistent with its standards. Warnings against affiliating with these white supremacy/Christian Identity (British Israel) sects have existed on this site for over a decade. Particularly emphasized in these articles have been the dangers of reading and promoting the book written by Maurice Pinay (pseudonym for Anacleto Gonzales-Flores), The Plot Against the Church. Pinay’s work blames the Jews for destroying Tradition, the infiltration of the clergy and the Vatican 2 changes.
Concerns regarding these sects did not originate with the FBI but came from more conservative Traditionalist groups and newChurch organizations, including Fidelity magazine, decades ago. The anti-Semitic orientation of many Traditionalist sects can be traced back to the founding of so-called “Catholic Freemasonry” (Knights of St. John Jerusalem, or OSJ aka the Shickshinny Knights, other sects) in the 1950s-1960s. These sported ties to Marcel Lefebvre and other shady actors. (See the article HERE for a full explanation).
The Catholic News Agency reports that “The organizations identified in the document as adhering to “radical-traditionalist Catholic ideology” include Tradition in Action, The Remnant, Culture Wars Magazine, and the Fatima Crusader… Both the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) are listed as potential points of contact for outreach.”
While several news commentators have denounced the investigation of the radical segment of the Traditional movement as a violation of the First Amendment, Traditionalists have left themselves wide open for these allegations by frequenting these extremist groups, which often have been charged by law enforcement and the FBI as openly plotting anarchy. Sadly, many who are innocent of such charges will be pulled in behind those who are/were involved in these activities. We by no means believe that the majority of Traditionalists are/were members of this or any other secret society or white supremacy group promoting racial hatred and anti-Semitism. But unfortunately some of them were, especially in the 1970s-1990s. And as Americans discovered with those involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol protest, the ones who were arrested or who are now under suspicion are not just those who entered the Capitol building or were on the Capitol grounds. Guilt by association was once a rejected basis for arrest, but apparently no more.
Yet the danger of being apprehended and punished is not the reason why Catholics must oppose anti-Semitism; they must oppose anti-Semitism because it is intrinsically wrong and because the Church forbids us to engage in it. We explain this in the articles HERE and HERE.
Just as our parents so often warned us as children not to do certain things or frequent certain places without explaining in any great detail why, so the Church warns her children in the same way. Membership in Traditionalist sects is forbidden because they are schismatic, and schismatic sects are dangerous for many reasons, not just reasons dealing directly with the Mass and Sacraments. They are dangerous because they lack a pope who can rule without error in doctrinal matters, and direct the faithful. The popes have been consistent over the centuries in their teaching regarding how we are to treat the Jews, and especially Pope Pius XI and XII, given the Nazi persecution, were adamant that no one injure them or their property and that Catholics were to help them and protect them when the need arose.
We have explained over and over again how destructive of the faith disobedience to the popes and implicit denial of their infallibility, through membership in these schismatic Traditionalist sects, has been all these years. Yet all falls on deaf ears. So since Traditionalists appear to esteem Louis Cardinal Billot, perhaps they will hearken to what he says below if not our own words. Speaking of schismatic sects he writes:
“Hence, if perchance true sacraments be found in the sects, they are not in them except as goods belonging to another, which cannot profit to the salvation of anyone who receives them in full awareness of the facts as long as the error of separation or schism remains uncorrected. Moreover, the sects as such are called THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN [Apoc. 3: 9], whose heads are ANTICHRISTS, as is stated in I John 2, 18 et seq. So it is impossible that they should legitimately hold goods entrusted by Christ to the Church” (On Sacraments and Mission, De Membris Ecclesiae, Fr. Fraghi).
Why, why do these people cling to these fraudulent pseudo-clerics and groups when they can keep their faith at home without fear of offending our Lord? Are they really willing to give up their families and perhaps even their lives for them?!
Cult expert Thomas Case with Fidelity magazine wrote the following articles referencing the anti-Semitism rife among the SSPX; also the dangers to the faith posed by the OSJ and various Traditional groups:
Anthony Cekada wrote an article warning Traditionalists against the OSJ in 1981, but failed to mention several prominent Traditional clergy as known members of the organization: (http://www.traditionalmass.org/articles/article.php?id=56&catname=1).
by T. Stanfill Benns | Feb 2, 2023 | New Blog
+Feast of the Purification+
Month of February, Dedicated to the Holy Family
Prayer Society Intention
Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we humbly beseech Thee to protect our families in these tempestuous times fraught with so many evils. Please keep us ever faithful and always pure in body, mind and soul. Amen.
To our readers
Owing to formatting problems resulting from a WordPress glitch, readers attempting to access site articles may have been unable to decipher some of the site content and for this we apologize. Please know that these errors, with a few exceptions, have now been corrected. Next, we will be working to update links in site articles, but this will be a slow process; please be patient. Non-working links or other issues may be reported at email@example.com
The article featured on the homepage addressing epikeia has been updated to include a part two on “necessity knows no law,” since Traditionalists continue to use this legal principle to justify their operations. It comes at the end of the epikeia article and is only five pages long. See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/epikeia-negates-the-churchs-divine-constitution/ . This is further proof that Traditionalists, from the outset, have tried to make their followers believe that legal principles are superior to revealed truth and can rightfully replace what has been infallibly taught by the Roman Pontiffs.
The Vatican Council on interpretation of papal decrees
The headline above may seem self-evident. But if it truly was understood, there would be no need for many of the articles posted to this website. Nor any need to repeatedly refute the allegations lobbied against these articles/this author. Unfortunately, the misrepresentation and misunderstanding of this most essential dogma is so deeply rooted that it seems a special effort should be made to better explain and demystify it. The entire thrust of the Vatican Council held in 1869 was to define the primacy and the divine nature of jurisdiction entrusted by Christ to Saint Peter and his successors, to rule the Church in His name: “He who hears you, hears me.” For those so enamored of the episcopal power, close to 700 bishops and heads of religious orders, at one time or another, attended the Vatican Council, the largest gathering in Church history. A total of 533 affirmed these dogmas, with only a scant few dissenters. Sixty of those who left to avoid the final vote later accepted the definition. The infallible decrees of this council declared the following, which will be followed by my comments.
Probably the most important of these infallible Vatican Council decisions for us today is the following: “God cannot deny Himself… but a vain appearance of such a contradiction arises chiefly from this: that either the dogmas of faith have not been understood and interpreted according to the mind of the Church or deceitful opinions are considered as the determinations of reason, therefore ‘Every assertion contrary to the truth illuminated by faith we define to be altogether false’” [Lateran Council V, no. 738.]; (DZ 1797).
Comment: Since God cannot deny Himself, this means that the Vatican Council decisions regarding the dogmas of faith must issue directly from God through His Son and to His Vicars on earth, but that is not how they are received today by Traditionalists. As noted earlier on this blogspot, some wishing to oust Francis even have suggested there should be changes to the Vatican Council decisions. Yes, changes, to what God has issued through the mouths of the Apostolic College His Son established to rule in His name! Why has this happened? Because “the dogmas of faith have not been understood and INTERPRETED according to the mind of the Church.” How would this occur?Only by ignoring the laws and teachings of the Roman Pontiff, both past and prior to Pope Pius XII’s death, regarding the doctrines in question. The lawgiver himself, that is the Roman Pontiff and his predecessors, are the only ones Canon Law designates as able to determine the nature of his own laws and pronouncements. Approved theologians pre-1959 may explain them but they cannot interpret them.
Numerous “deceitful opinions… considered as the determinations of reason” have been advanced by those who are not valid clerics, and therefore unable to even explain various points, far less speculate on the intent of the lawgiver. They may appear to be reasonable, but their reasoning has been time and time again shown as consisting in logical fallacies and theological errors. Their actual deceit has been demonstrated in recent blogs on this site, a deceit that under Canons 103 and 104, nullifies and invalidates their actions. “For the doctrine of faith which God revealed has not been handed down as a philosophic invention to the human mind to be perfected.”
Comment: And that is exactly what Traditionalists have done by resorting to mere legal principles such as necessity and epikeia, which they pretend can override the Holy Ghost inspiring the pope and Christ speaking through him.
And then there is also this: “For the doctrine of faith …has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the spouse of Christ TO BE FAITHFULLY GUARDED AND INFALLIBLY INTERPRETED. Hence also that understanding of the sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained which Holy Mother Church has once declared and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deep deeper understanding.”
Comment: God’s revelations are not to be interpreted by men. They are entrusted only to the Roman Pontiff who alone is guided by the Holy Ghost in his determinations. Anyone who dares to attempt to interpret papal documents, when the popes are quite clear in what they mean and what they teach, are usurping the papacy. This is especially true during an interregnum, when all such attempts are declared null, void, and invalid in Pope Pius XII’s 1945 election constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS). And how does one faithfully guard what God has revealed as presented in an infallible document? Certainly not by ignoring it, minimizing it, dismissing it, and disputing it!! As recently emphasized in various blogposts, those who do such things are not just disposing of the necessity of the papacy — they are denying that Christ founded His Church on Peter the Rock and that the Holy Ghost speaks through the Roman Pontiffs to us.
“But that the episcopacy itself might be one and undivided, and that the entire multitude of the faithful, through priests closely connected with one another might be preserved in the unity of faith and communion, placing the blessed Peter over the other apostles He established in him the perpetual principle and visible foundation of both unities, upon whose strength the eternal temple might be erected and the sublimity of the Church to be raised to heaven might rise in the firmness of this faith. And since the gates of hell to overthrow the Church, if this were possible, arise from all sides with ever greater hatred against this divinely established foundation,We judge it to be necessary for the protection, safety and increase of the Catholic flock, with the approbation of the council, to set forth the doctrine on the institution, perpetuity and nature of the sacred Apostolic primacy in which the strength and solidarity of the whole Church consist…” (DZ 1821).
Comment: So the pretend episcopacy of Traditionalists is one and undivided without a pope? And the unity of faith is preserved? This would be a laugh-out-loud moment if it wasn’t such a sad and serious matter. Exactly how many Traditionalist sects are there today — hundreds, maybe even thousands? Certainly neither both unities, the episcopacy nor the entire multitude of the faithful, could ever be said to be one. The Vatican Council states that the definition of infallibility was declared specifically to prevent the overthrow of the Church and for the protection and safety of the faithful. And yet that is the one thing Traditionalists failed to secure for the faithful — a true pope; and having failed at that, they do not even uphold infallibility or obey papal decrees. So can we doubt that there has indeed been an overthrow of the Church, one they helped orchestrate and perpetuate? The Vatican Council decrees that the primacy is the strength and solidarity of the whole Church, but we must fend off attacks for Pius IX’s statement that “without the pope there is no Church”? Clearly Pope Pius IX as well as the bishops was of one mind in this matter.
“So this gift of truth and never-failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair… that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one and relying on her foundation, might stay firm against the gates of hell” (DZ 1837).
Comment: So we see that without the foundation of the primacy, the Church cannot stay firm against the gates of hell. Once again, Traditionalists failed to lobby for a papal election but they have the best interests of the Church at heart? They are indeed working for “the salvation of souls” as they have claimed for decades when Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed that in order to be saved, all must obey the Roman Pontiff? Schism everywhere we look is all the proof we need that we have no true pope. What the Vatican Council tried to protect us against is exactly what happened. And now the only protection we can claim is strict adherence to everything issuing from the continual magisterium and the censuring of any and all who presume to interpret papal teachings or speak in his name. If we cannot have Christ’s Vicar at our side, we can at least gather around his throne and pray, promising to honor all the popes have ever taught and obey their commands.
Papal documents bind infallibly even when a censure is not heretical
In his Tuas libentur, addressed to German theologians, Pope Pius IX stated; “Perfect adhesion to revealed truth [cannot] be obtained if faith and obedience were given only to the dogmas expressly defined by the Church. Or even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical councils or of the Roman Pontiffs and of the See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world and therefore by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith” (DZ 1683)… “[For] it is not sufficient to shun heretical iniquity unless these errors also are shunned which come more or less close to it…” (DZ 1820; Can. 1324).
Comment: So where is the obedience to those things not condemned as heretical? Certainly this belief that we owe no obedience to such things is not limited to Traditionalists. And yet it is stated by the popes in many other places as well. Why would any sincere Catholic prefer the opinion of a theologian, or even several theologians, over the teachings of a pope, especially in these uncertain times? As Revs. Pohle-Preuss write in The Sacraments, Vol. IV (1931): “It matters not what the private opinions of…theologians [are]. It is not the private opinions of theologians but the official decisions of the Church by which we must be guided.” And as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton wrote in one of his articles for the American Ecclesiastical Review: “It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand.” Henry Cardinal Manning wrote in his work The Vatican Council and its Definitions (1887):
“To deny the infallibility of the Church in the censures less than for heresy, is held to be heretical” (and here he lists 11 approved theologians including Ferraris, De Lugo and others). “All, therefore, affirm the Church in passing such censures to be infallible. The infallibility of the Church in all censures less than heresy may be proved from the Acts of the Council of Constance. In the eleventh article of the Interrogatory proposed to the followers of Huss are included condemnations of all kinds. “In like manner, again, in the Bull Auctorem Fidei, the propositions condemned as heretical are very few, but the propositions condemned as erroneous, scandalous, offensive, schismatical, injurious, are very numerous.
“During the last three hundred years, the Pontiffs have condemned a multitude of propositions of which perhaps not twenty were censured with the note of heresy. Now in every censure the Church proposes to us some truth relating to faith or morals; and whether the matter of such truths be revealed or not revealed, it nevertheless so pertains to faith and morals that the deposit could not be guarded if the Church in such judgments were liable to error… In like manner all censures, whether for heresy or with a note less than heresy, are doctrinal definitions in faith and morals, and are included in the words in doctrina de fide vel moribus definienda…
“…The infallibility of the Church extends, as we have seen, directly to the whole matter of revealed truth, and indirectly to all truths which though not revealed are in such contact with revelation that the deposit of faith and morals cannot be guarded, expounded, and defended without an infallible discernment of such unrevealed truths, that this extension of the infallibility of the Church is, by the unanimous teaching of all theologians, at least theologically certain; and, in the judgment of the majority of theologians, certain by the certainty of faith.” He then quotes Pope Pius IX:
“Wherefore the Church, by the power committed to it by its Divine Author, has not only the right but above all the duty, of not tolerating but of proscribing and of condemning all errors, if the integrity of the faith and the salvation of souls should so require. On all philosophers who desire to remain sons of the Church, and on all philosophy, this duty lies, to assert nothing contrary to the teachings of the Church, and to retract all such things when the Church shall so admonish. The opinion which teaches contrary to this we pronounce and declare altogether erroneous, and in the highest degree injurious to the faith of the Church, and to its authority.” (Papal Letter Gravissimas Inter, Dec. 1862)
Objections by John Lewis addressed
So it is infallibility itself that is denied by those who hold that propositions not labeled as heretical may be held without incurring the penalty for heresy because there has been no “final determination,” refusing to render obedience to papal teaching. And if anyone is to be believed among the theologians, surely Henry Cardinal Manning, who took a vow before Pope Pius IX to bring the Vatican Council and its definition to fruition, is to be trusted far and away before any other theologian, especially when he quotes so many other approved theologians. Furthermore, there is an abundance of proof that what Cardinal Manning states is straight from the mouth of Pope Pius IX as seen below. To address more recent claims by John Lewis I state the following:
- As to the assertion that no one ignores VAS, this is ridiculous. Traditionalists are ignoring VAS by the simple fact that they continue to function and hold themselves validly ordained and consecrated. This is why generally no individual names are mentioned when writing these articles: all are ignoring it.
- An apostolic constitution is a papal document that deals with serious doctrinal matters regarding the definition of dogma, changes in canon law or other ecclesiastical matters (https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/vacantis-apostolicae-sedis-vindicated/). Apostolic constitutions are issued as papal bulls because of their solemn, public form. That the manner of electing a true pope would need to be modified in the present situation, were this possible (and it is not possible without unquestionably valid bishops to elect) I affirm. That the first four paragraphs of this constitution dealing with both dogmatic and canon law matters is not a matter of the primary, but the secondary object of infallibility, I deny. Even were such a thing only the secondary object of infallibility involving a disciplinary matter, Pope Pius IX teaches:
“…Discipline is often so closely related to doctrine and has such a great influence on its preservation and its purity, that the sacred councils have not hesitated to cut off from the Church by their anathema those who have infringed its discipline… Nor can the Eastern Churches preserve communion and unity of faith with Us without being subject to the Apostolic power in matters of discipline… Teaching of this kind is HERETICAL, and not just since the definition of the power and nature of the papal primacy was determined by the ecumenical Vatican Council (DZ 1827)
“… But the neo-schismatics say that it was not a case of doctrine but of discipline, so the name and prerogatives of Catholics cannot be denied to those who object. Our Constitution Reversurus, published on July 12, 1867, answers this objection. We do not doubt that you know well how vain and worthless this evasion is. For the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all. Schismatics avoid carrying out their orders and even deny their very rank. [These] are schismatics even if they had not yet been condemned as such by Apostolic authority” (Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra, 1873).
Three years after writing Quartus Supra, we also hear the following from Pope Pius IX, in Quae in patriarchatu: “In fact, Venerable Brothers and beloved Sons, it is a question of recognizing the power (of this See), even over your churches, not merely in what pertains to faith, but also in what concerns discipline. He who would deny this is a HERETIC; he who recognizes this and obstinately refuses to obey IS WORTHY OF ANATHEMA,” (Pope Pius IX, September 1, 1876, to the clergy and faithful of the Chaldean Rite.) See also Manning above.
- I have never said bishops do not have ordinary jurisdiction and could not function during an interregnum IF they had kept the faith. In a previous response to your objections, I pointed out that I am speaking here only of this PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE AND SITUATION, not the normal course of things, since it no longer exists. I have said and continue to say no valid bishops exist and that all the valid bishops attending the false Vatican 2 council became heretics, as well as most of those those not attending the false council, since they failed to rally and elect a true pope: this was the command and intention of Pope Pius XII and all those preceding him. They are now all deceased, as noted previously.
- I am well aware that there are cardinal-priests and cardinal-bishops; I wrote a book stating this in 1990, remember? But the majority of those cardinals electing John 23 were consecrated bishops, and whether cardinals or not, they hardly lost their episcopal powers just by being appointed cardinals. This is what the Apostolic College is all about. The point I was attempting to make is that they lost their office as cardinals in bowing to secular governments and determining, prior to Roncalli’s election, that he would indeed be the one elected. This invalidated the election, as VAS decrees, and these cardinals were reduced to (infamous, excommunicated) bishops; this is verified in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, the (old) law which serves as the fontes for Can. 188 no. 4, cited in VAS. You are the one who does not seem to be logically following here.
- You are arguing beside the point, (hence your argument is invalid), when you state that I falsely claim Mystici Corporis teaches “without the Pope the bishops have no power.” Bishops referred to above who defected from the Church have no power ; had any bishops remained faithful, they would have retained their power. Bishops excommunicated for heresy lose all jurisdiction and incur infamy of law. Traditional pseudo-bishops and those upholding their purported power by their actions deny that the pope alone has the power to direct and supervise all they do, and that this power can come from no other source; hence they deny infallibility as explained above. (See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/?s=Ott). The canon law defining heresy declares that it is committed by “manner of acting” (Can. 1325), among other things.
- It is obviously the will of God that we no longer have valid bishops to elect a pope, or valid priests for that matter. The failure of Traditionalists to demand that such an election be held and try to rally remaining valid bishops and senior clergy to do this is proof they never intended to obey the pope in the first place. Some will say that this effort was made; I have yet to see any proof that this was ever the case and have pointed out in several articles that such an attempt to elect someone was actually circumvented.
- You state: “Neither of these groups (Cardinals or bishops) can cease to exist in the Church.” And yet they have physically ceased to exist, because we live in the one time exempted from their existence in Holy Scripture, when “he who withholdeth will be taken out of the way” and the flock will be scattered — the time of Antichrist. If Traditionalists don’t accept this, it is not my problem. Even Protestants look around at this world and seem to think that the Second Coming is imminent. And if it is indeed imminent, it could not happen unless Antichrist proper, the Man of Sin, had already come, although his system remains.
- As to your advice on how to argue with others, I quote from the link you provided to Vermeersch: “If we were to summarise what is needed in our interactions with other Catholics in one word, it would not be “charity”. Rather, it would be the very title of the book from which this extract is taken: “Tolerance… It often is not right for us to conclude that someone is a heretic or schismatic unless we are really compelled to do so.” I wish that I could say that I consider those I am dealing with as Catholic. Sadly, I cannot. Most of the pseudo-clergy I even consider as pertinacious heretics. I prefer Rev. Felix Sarda-Salvany’s approach in Liberalism is a Sin on this subject, whose work was approved by the Holy Office. And I am obligated in these evil times to warn people against men whose practices lead them into mortal sin and eternal damnation, not to mention the obligation I owe Our Lord to defend His Church.
Fr. Sarda states: “Sovereign Catholic inflexibility is sovereign Catholic charity. This charity is practiced in relation to our neighbor when in his own interests he is crossed, humiliated, and chastised. It is practiced in relation to a third party, when he is defended from the unjust aggression of another, as when he is protected from the contagion of error by unmasking its authors and abettors and showing them in their true light as iniquitous and pervert, by holding them up to the contempt, horror and execration of all… The love due to a man inasmuch as he is our neighbor ought always to be subordinated to that which is due to our common Lord. For His love and in His service we must not hesitate to offend men. The degree of our offense toward men can only be measured by the degree of our obligation to Him. Charity is primarily the love of God, secondarily the love of our neighbor for God’s sake. Therefore to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a true act of charity. Not to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a sin.”
And on that note I will end this, with one more observation. Several years ago I wrote an article explaining the true motive and intent of this minimization of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiffs. This in a time when the only right thing we can do is defend and uphold the Deposit of Faith and condemn the actions of those who impugn it. I suggest that those who would seek a better understanding of why this is happening should read or reread this article at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/material-formal-hypothesis-condemned-as-heresy/ . If people objecting to what is written here would pay closer attention to what has already been said for nearly 20 years — both in the books and articles on this site — there would be none of these superfluous questions.
As the Vatican Council teaches, truths of faith presented from reason are not sufficient to facilitate conversion. What is needed is grace. This we fervently beseech God to grant all those today who wander in this vast wilderness of unbelief.