+ Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary+
Prayer Society Intention for June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come! Thy will be done on earth!
New Feeney article posted
Most readers are aware of the controversy surrounding Fr. Leonard Feeney, the Massachusetts Jesuit of “Outside the Church no salvation” fame who taught that Pope Pius XII erred in teaching in Mystici Corporis Christi that certain undetermined souls outside the Church could be saved by implicit desire (“baptism” of desire) to join the Church. Feeney both defied and vilified the Holy Office over this teaching, resulting in his formal excommunication. For decades, beginning in 1954 when the excommunication was first issued, Feeney and his followers wailed and gnashed their teeth over the “fact” that Feeney never received a fair trial from the Holy Office, that the Holy Office officials never answered his communications, that procedures and canonical forms were violated and that according to Canon Law, this rendered his excommunication null and void.
By assuming the role of victim and martyr, especially once Vatican 2 affirmed ecumenism, Feeney was able to draw a good number of followers from among those exiting the Novus Ordo. And in the end Feeney removed all “doubt” about his heresy by reconciling with Novus Ordo officials who managed to have his excommunication lifted, without any recantation on Feeney’s part. In an article published in America on Feb. 25, 1978, shortly after Feeney’s death, Avery Dulles S.J. wrote: “St. Benedict Center, after it moved to Still River, Mass., in January 1958, became a different kind of community, more in keeping with the Benedictine spirit to which Father Feeney himself had long been attracted. Thus it became possible for the major portion of the community, including Father Feeney himself, to be reconciled to the Catholic Church in 1974.” This fact is even admitted on the Internet by his followers, who, however, deny that this made him a member of the Novus Ordo church or that by this act, he joined a non-Catholic sect.
But then despite his trumped-up protestations, Feeney had been a heretic already for 20 years, and as all know the Novus Ordo church had no power to “readmit” him to a church that is not the Catholic Church — they could admit him only to a non-Catholic religion. The gist of this latest article is not to rehash the initial implicit desire decision of the Holy See, which can scarcely be questioned, but rather to better explain the consequences of holding Feeney’s false beliefs and to demonstrate something that has never before, to the best of our knowledge, been documented: The fact that Feeney’s objections were entirely without merit and there was never any violation of Canon Law, something proven by both Canon Law itself and comments made by Novus Ordo officials.
Feeney impugned the authority of the papacy. He was not gifted with the charism of the Holy Ghost, he was not Christ’s Vicar, yet he dared to demand that his interpretation of outside the Church no salvation be held as the correct one. He joins Luther, Wycliffe, Calvin, Huss and all the other heretics of history defying the Roman Pontiff, and like these men he was deprived of Church membership. You can read the latest discoveries about this purulent heresy HERE.
Remembering Prof. Carlos Disandro
I first met Dr. Disandro sometime in 1982, through the mail, when he sent me his article, Doctrinal Precisions. I later had it translated by a friend and posted it to the betrayedcatholics site. Disandro’s inscription in the front of the booklet read: “To my distinguished friend Teresa L. Benns — cordial greetings from Argentina,” a kind breeze in the increasingly hostile Traditional world. This would later be followed in 1988 by a copy of his Spanish translation of Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. While he commended my fervor in wishing to end the sede vacante, he did not support the “election” of David Bawden. It is to my great regret that he died before I came to my senses. Perhaps it is for this reason that I feel obligated to continue his defense of Cum ex… — to fight as he once fought to uphold the Bull he believed was the answer to the madness that already had engulfed us.
Carlos Alberto Disandro was born in La Plata, Argentina on August 26, 1919. While studying at the traditional Monserrat School in Córdoba, he met the philosopher Nimio de Anquín, a professor of Logic and Ethics and a devoted advocate of Cordobese Catholic integralism. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Disandro returned to La Plata, where he graduated as a Professor of Literature at the UNLP (National University of La Plata). After obtaining his doctorate, he was appointed Professor of Classical Languages in 1947, receiving his PhD from the hands of Colonel Perón. In 1959, he founded the Cardinal Cisneros Institute of Classical Culture in La Plata, teaching courses on history, philosophy, religion, and politics.
He was “A politically committed man who delved deeply into his favourite themes: the Homeland as the sum of Land, People, Nation, and State; its defence as a duty and right before the combined onslaught of [its enemies], and both communist and capitalist imperial powers; the spiritual continuity with a West that is Hellenic, Catholic (preconciliar) and respectful of the Hispanic tradition; and the imperative need to fight by all means against the furtive invader who attempts to conquer “the youth, the training institutes of the armed forces and the intellectual and religious strata.”
Some have questioned his political affiliations during the Peron regime in Argentina, and even claim he was involved in terrorist activities within Argentina. But these activities, while attributed to Disandro and Peron, much as the Jan. 6 “terrorist” activities were attributed to Trump and others, were instigated and condoned by Peron himself and were therefore not overtly unlawful. They were activities amounting to a secret war Disandro believed was absolutely justified in order to rid his country of Masonic and elitist influences. But we are not interested in these modern-day speculations regarding his political involvement. We are interested only in his astute analysis, early on, of what was happening to the Catholic Church. For Disandro was a Catholic first, and only when politics invaded the sphere of his Catholic beliefs did he set out to place it on a solidly Catholic foundation.
Disandro’s estimation of the religious situation following the false Vatican 2 council was doctrinally sound and uncompromising. Following a meeting between Marcel Lefebvre and Argentinian Catholic intellectuals in 1977 — quite telling in itself because it reveals an entirely different outlook than the one Lefebvre would later embrace — Disandro released a statement proclaiming the following:
(At the meeting held between Monsignor Lefebvre and Argentinian Catholic intellectuals in the city of the Blessed Trinity and port of Saint Mary of Buenos Aries on July 25th, 1977, the feast of Saint James the Greater, patron of the Spanish nations):
- The Church is suffering a global persecution led by wolves disguised as shepherds — those who have taken possession of THE VACANT SEE OF ROME — a war led by the powerful heresiarch Montini.
- ONE WHO LEADS, PROMOTES AND ENCOURAGES THIS WAR IS NOT ABLE TO BE A PONTIFF; the prophecy of La Salette has been accomplished.
- St. Robert Bellarmine: A heretic pope ceases as pope and must be deposed.
- The Church is suffering an infiltration exercised by a heresiarch who joins Arianism, Nestorianism and Jewish Christianism.
- The Montinian heresy pursues to overthrow the SEMANTIC OF FAITH AND ABOLISH THE CHURCH; to build in Her place and the hearts of the faithful the apocalyptic kingdom of the Beast. We know however that the Church will triumph always…
- There is a usurper in the Apostolic See…The new mass is a false mass and the faithful have reverted to idolatry. The days of Enoch and Elias have come.
- May Our Lady of Lepanto guard and enliven the faith of the Iberian-American peoples, for the dark, threatening clouds of the Bolshevik tyranny already are on the horizon.
This only demonstrates Lefebvre’s intent to mislead exiled Catholics initially joining his movement in the early days, lured in on the pretense that Lefebvre himself held John 23 and Paul 6 as false popes. As these unfortunate souls would later learn, when Lefebvre insisted on celebrating with the John 23 missal, this was not the case and had never been in Lefebvre’s plans from the beginning. To prove the Leftist Lefebvrist’s wrong, in 1978 the Institute of San Anastasio in Cordoba, Argentina released Disandro’s first edition of Pope Paul IV’s 1559 bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio in Latin, laid out side-by-side with his Spanish translation of the Bull and was immediately met by SSPX opposition. (A second edition followed in 1987.) Disandro translated both editions of the Bull from the Latin text of the Magnum Bullarium Romanum, pages 829-831.
Members of the Society of St. Pius X in Argentina critiqued the 1977 publication of Disandro’s work. Publications such as Veritas and Hutton Gibson’s The War Is Now printed parts of the Bull, without offering commentary. Bp. Thuc cited the Bull in his declaration, while quite tellingly indicating his true allegiance, for he signed himself as titular bishop of Bulla Regia, a title granted him by Paul 6. Briton’s Catholic Library (BCL), first in Under the Laws of the Catholic Church the Papal See is Vacant and also in one of their “Library Letters” publicized the entire Bull and wrote what seems to be the only other commentary extant on it. Both BCL and Prof. Benjamin Dryden translated the Bull, with the cooperation of Daniel Dolan, but Dryden followed the SSPX in declaring it had been abrogated.
As Disandro notes in his introduction to Cum ex…, written in 1987: “Americans now know this text; they transcribe it; they quote it, sadly often without giving credit, even in Argentina, to the source of their information, resorting to limited, critical, cautionary remarks that are not always perfectly clear. Nevertheless, in the face of the semantic revolution that other Roman pontiffs have described, what matters, of course, is to affirm the unity of the Trinitarian faith overlaying authoritarian contradictions all too evident in the Church of today.” Veritas claims to have obtained their copy of the bull in 1975 from Hugh McGovern, publisher of The Voice, but printed only a few paragraphs of it. Anacleto Gonzales Flores, longtime associate of Rev. Saenz, sent correspondence to this author in 1982 stating that: “Cum ex Apostolatus Officio…was located by Fr. Buckley of Australia in Oxford, [UK] by petition of Fr. Saenz.” Hutton Gibson had access to this copy but never printed it. And perhaps this is where the Britons Catholic Library obtained their version, although they give no indication of this in their translation. Nor does Dryden indicate where he came across his copy.
So all but McGovern’s few paragraphs may have originated from Dr. Disandro’s 1978 translation. Outside of Briton’s Catholic Library, no one actually published a copy of the entire bull for public consumption. In 1987, Disandro issued a new translation of the bull with commentary, noting that: “The St. Athanasius Institute… a very modest center of learning for understanding the Sources in their purity of Abundant Life, agrees with many friends about the urgency of issuing a second edition, improved in every way possible for the ease of the reader and the student… Each one will then make pertinent conclusions or will confront the line of reasoning of that text with a variable criterion for interpretation. However, what we cannot deny in any case is the existence of the document and it historic design, past or imminent. To do so would be foolish and contrary to the truth.” In the second translation, Disandro included the Latin and Spanish texts of Pope St. Pius V’s Inter multiplices, officially confirming Cum ex… and allowing anyone who had previously been absolved from censures for heresy to be retried in the event that such a lifting of the censure was flawed in any way.
It did not matter to Traditionalists that in their Catholic University of America dissertations both Rev. Anscar Parsons (Canonical Elections, 1939, page 73) and Rev. Timothy Mock (Disqualification of Electors in Ecclesiastical Elections, 1958, page 54) cite ‘Cum ex…’ as THE OLD LAW governing Canonical (and papal) elections. In the appended footnotes of each author, the reader is referred to #3 and #5 of the ‘Fontes’. In referring to the bibliography the ‘Fontes’ is discovered to be none other than the ‘Codicis Juris Canonici Fontes’ in 9 volumes, by Cardinal Peter Gasparri. Canon 6 n. 4 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law asserts that: “in case of doubt whether some provisions of the Canons differs from the old law, one must adhere to the old law.” And certainly in matters of heresy, apostasy and schism, deposition, and canonical and papal elections there were questions and doubts, but no one adhered to Cum ex…, Nor did a proper papal curse deter them, as clearly stated in the bull and confirmed later by Pope St. Pius V in his Inter multiplices, “No one at all, therefore, may infringe this document of our approbation, reintroduction, sanction, statute and derogation of wills and decrees, or by rash presumption contradict it. If anyone, however, should presume to attempt this, let him know that he is destined to incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul” (Briton’s translation).
Excerpts from Doctrinal Precisions
In fact Traditionalists still maintain the bull’s abrogation today despite articles that have been printed since 1990 by this author proving it is retained in the Code. Disandro vehemently denied the bull’s abrogation early on, and for good reasons. In his Paul IV and Benedict XV: Doctrinal Precisions (1979), after wrangling for two years with SSPX “theologians,” Disandro wrote concerning their position:
“1. In spite of these crystal-clear correspondences, the campaign against the Bull of Paul IV is increasing. Fr. Faure, of the LeFebvrist obedience, delegated from Econe to Argentina, in our land as in Mexico, together with other clerics and supposed teachers, uphold the nullity of the consistorial Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, which has been derogated (according to them) by the Code of Canon Law of Benedict XV, since it is not incorporated into that code. Consequently, one cannot speak of the cessation of legitimacy, or of the vacancy of the pontificate in the cases of John XXIII and Paul VI (of ill-fated memory), and therefore starting with this (super-heretic, not confronted by any canonical disposition, upon the abolition of the Bull), and starting with this pseudo-pope (John XXIII — legitimate, according to them, from the beginning and legitimately functioning until his death), also the anti-popes Luciani and Wojtyla would be valid and functioning. But it is not thus. It is a question either of confusion or a crass ignorance (of Faure or of any other.)
“To clarify other aspects of this panorama, let us make clear in the first place two different levels: a) the theological doctrine common to the Church, which, has its systematic, irrefutable expression in the thesis of St. Robert Bellarmine. This level is previous and independent of any document, in force or not, of the Church; b) a Roman document, with the character of a consistorial Bull, that of Paul IV, which in line with this UNDEROGABLE DOCTRINEsanctions, discriminates, deposes. Here we are occupied with this second canonical level, apropos to the arguments of our contradictors (Progressives, mitigated Traditionalists, or Traditionalists a secas [without any specific affiliation?] ) understanding, however, that the Bull IS DEBTOR OF THAT DOCTRINE (EXPLICITLY IN THE DOCUMENT), and that then it is not merely disciplinary, as has been demonstrated in the preceding chapters.
“Deposed cardinals cannot function now, nor are they subject to excommunication or interdict. Excommunication could refer to other details, while [these cardinals] remain faithful to the Church. The deposition, in effect, is RADICAL, that is it affects not only the privileges or canonical singularities of the subject, but also annuls the dignity itself, (in an irreversible manner), and of course the position in the hierarchy or ofﬁce, assumed or conceived in any manner. How then would an election rule be able to determine the resumption of the state of the cardinalate if the Bull itself takes care to emphasize that it is absolutely impossible?
“4. We affirm in a bold manner:
- a) cardinals deposed, by the force of the Bull are canonically deposed, and they are not able to function either as electors or eligibles;
- b) the reasons defined by the Bull, by referring to the bond between the Faith and the Hierarchy, are imprescribable, and they act ipso facto (by the very fact), such as the text itself of the 16th century intended;
- c) cardinals excommunicated for other disciplinary reasons enjoy the exception granted in the document of Pius XII…” (See the article here for affirmation of the retention of Cum ex… in the Code.)
“5. IT IS THE MONTNIAN SYSTEM OF USING THE CANONICAL DISCIPLINE IN ORDER TO TEAR DOWN DOCTRINES AND TRADITION, a thing which is important because it uncovers the null character of such decisions and substitutions. Thus were laid out two complementary questions which seemed to favor mitigated traditionalism and therefore eventually progressivism: that a bull for perpetuity would be able to be abrogated (with which falls a canonical argument in favor of the Bull Quo Primum); and secondly, that a disciplinary code would be able to nullify as positive legislation of the Church a question which refers to the very heart of doctrine. Discipline thus would acquire primacy over doctrine, and there would be completed also, in a manner surreptitious but effective, one of the great longings of progessivism: to include all dispute, ancient and modern in the context of a disciplinary law,” [ED. NOTE: which laws can be subject to change]. “It is logical that the change in this would be able to bring about a change in doctrine, skillfully veiled by the operation of a subtle theological and semantic transference” (stated in Part 1).
Pope Pius XII’s 1945 papal election law Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) is mentioned no less than seven times in Disandro’s Doctrinal Precisions. It is cited as subrogating (replacing) Pope St. Pius X’s previous election law; as confirming Cum ex… in citing Can. 188 no. 4 (a law deposing those holding any clerical office who are guilty of heresy apostasy or schism, which cites Cum ex… as its footnote and primary source); questioning the legitimacy of Paul 6’s election based on both VAS and Cum ex…, and upheld the nullity of the election in the case of heresy. Disandro writes: “…St. Pius X, modern codifier of the pontifical election, and Pius XII, who substantially reiterated the said codification, retained the sense of the law. In this disciplinary reordering these popes, having in sight ALL THESE DOCUMENTS SINCE THE 14TH CENTURY, 1) DEROGATED EXPLICITLY THE CAUSES OF SIMONIACAL NULLITY and 2) that derived from IMPERIAL VETO. But, THEY STRICTLY MAINTAIN, as not being able to be abolished, 3) THE HERETICAL NULLITY.” And these points were all addressed by Disandro IN 1977. So any pretense by the SSPX or any other Traditional organization to the contrary is bogus.
Yet as seen above, the campaign against the bull only deepened, even after Disandro’s essay was released. And as noted in a blog from last month, it is ongoing. Of great interest is the fact that as far back as the 1970s, Disandro identified the attempt by the Novus Ordo, and subsequently Traditionalists, to override infallible documents by alleging them to be only “disciplinary” laws. This is what lay at the heart of Fr. Leonard Feeney’s claim; it is what is used to discredit Cum ex…, and by the Novus Ordo to quash Quo Primum, and it is what is being used today to dismiss Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis. So all of what Disandro says in his articles still very much applies to the situation today.
One thing Dr. Disandro wrote about, however, has not been brought to the fore, and it has great bearing on what we are experiencing today. It is more in the political realm yet that only superficially, because it completely evaluates the current situation we find ourselves in today from a political perspective. Disandro then proposes the solution from a Catholic perspective. This will be discussed in our next blog.
Mr. Morell-Ibarra biography and link to his book
This author has provided the following biographical information at the request of readers:
“I am a Spanish man, aged 49, teacher of English and Spanish, also Spanish to English and Spanish to French interpreter and translator. How I came to find the true faith is such a long, wonderful story that I intend to write another fundamental essay where I will give a detailed account of my personal ordeal before God found me and put me under the influence of His love, which was revealed to me in a private revelation. It is a story of sorrow and tribulation, but also of God’s infinite mercy and love for one of His sons. There are so many crucial things I must reveal, not just about me, but also about other people, that I feel it has to be done in the form of a written essay, so everyone who reads it may finally understand.
“In the meantime, please be patient, because I promise to live up to all the expectations in a most badly needed essay that will shed much light on a specific subject, and which will hopefully help a lot of poor souls that have to go through the same ordeal as me. With the fundamental aid of the Holy Ghost, I will put light in the darkness and fulfill God’s will for me, trying to be a most precious instrument of Divine Providence.”
Please see the continuation of Mr. Morell-Ibarra’s Catholic Survival Handbook HERE.
+St. Bernardine of Siena+
(CORRECTIONS: The article The Final Chapter…, posted at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Final-Chapter-for-web.pdf has been corrected to show that Charles III, the present monarch ruling Great Britain, (not Charles V as written before), has been labeled by some Protestants as a candidate for the Antichrist. In last week’s blog it was reported that Paul 6 spoke at the UN Oct. 4, 1966. This should have read Oct. 4, 1965 and has been corrected. Thank you, Mark, for catching these.)
A reader has asked if Bp. Fulton Sheen was aware of Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, citing the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InOxXztIa2c . If Sheen wasn’t aware of such an important document, and I assume that he was, he should have been. Certainly he was aware of what was coming, as this video demonstrates. And he almost perfectly described the Antichrist, as the video also reveals, and as I quoted him in The Phantom Church in Rome. That Catholics listened to this broadcast and did not then recognize Paul 6 as its fulfillment is a fearful example of the powerful seduction St. Paul prophesied: the operation of error to believe lies. I have not been able to discover the address that Sheen refers to in the video allowing for the election of a pope outside Rome. But it is mentioned obliquely here, in a conference with the cardinals held shortly after the Nazi attempt to bomb the papal apartments in Rome.
“On February 9, 1944, Pope Pius XII summoned all the Cardinals then in Rome to the Vatican. They awaited him in the Sistine Chapel. Pius came to them not in splendor, as he usually appeared, but walking swiftly in the simple white cassock of every day. Very gravely he told them of the situation and of his resolve that since he had ordered all Catholic Bishops to remain at their post, the Bishop of Rome would not leave his. But he said: “We release you from any obligation to follow our fate. Each one of you is free to do what you think best.”
Then, in that most beautiful Chapel where five years before they had sworn fealty to him and kissed his foot, he absolved them from their oath. If anything should happen to him, he told them, IF HE WERE IMPRISONED OR KILLED, they must gather together WHEREVER THEY COULD and elect a new Pope. White-faced and with tears streaming from their eyes, the Cardinals all refused [to obey] this one command of their Pontiff and together they pledged their faith to him once more” (Crown of Glory, The Life of Pope Pius XII, Alden Hatch and Seamus Walsh, 1957, Hawthorne Books; imprimatur 1956).
This should settle any questions regarding the mind of Pope Pius XII and the absolute necessity of a papal election in an emergency situation. A year later, following the end of the war, Pope Pius XII would write his papal election constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS), which forbids anyone to usurp papal jurisdiction, change papal laws, or change, modify or dispense from Canon Law during an interregnum. This had already been decreed in Pope St. Pius X’s 1904 election constitution, but Pope Pius XII rewrote that constitution, simply restating in his own words, with a few important additions, what Pope St. Pius X had already issued in his previous codification of papal election law. Pius XII appended to his constitution changes made by Pope Pius XI and the requirement the election be decided by a two-thirds plus one majority. He also repeated the sanctions levied should there be any lay interference in the election.
But he made another very important change that few seem to have noticed. Pius XII made it perfectly clear, in paragraph three of his constitution, that should anyone attempt to usurp papal jurisdiction, or to change or dispense from Canon Law or papal law, especially VAS, the attempt and any acts that followed were null, void and invalid, declaring this with his Supreme Apostolic authority. It could be said that even then he feared that something could go very wrong in the next election, and wished to make sure his constitution was airtight. And he was not mistaken in his prescient assessment
1958 papal election
“Because Pope Pius XII had held only two consistories (in 1946 and 1953) during his tenure, the College of Cardinals — whose maximum size, as set by Pope Sixtus V in the sixteenth century, was then seventy — was noticeably short of members. There were fifty-four cardinal electors, of whom twelve had been elevated by Pope Pius XI, but due to travel restrictions imposed by their Communist governments, József Mindszenty and Aloysius Stepinac were not able to travel to Rome. Edward Mooney died before the conclave, leaving fifty-one electors who participated in the conclave, and thus a potential Pope needed only thirty-five votes” (Wikipedia). One source reports that according to Cardinal Tisserant, Roncalli received 36 votes, meaning that the other 15 cardinals voted for another candidate. These most likely were those appointed by Pope Pius XI and a few others.
In a Time magazine article written shortly after Pope Pius XII’s death, one journalist wrote: “In his preoccupation with the world at large and with his diplomat’s tendency to avoid sharp edges, Pope Pius often neglected the Vatican itself. He seemed to shrink from making much-needed appointments to the central machinery of the church. Result, at the time of his death: 15 vacancies in a superannuated College of Cardinals, no Secretary of State, no governor for Vatican City, no camerlengo… Said one of his closest advisers sadly last week: ‘He provided badly for his successor.’ ” But was this really the case?
Sometime in 1952, it appears that Pius XII was entertaining doubts about the credibility of the Fatima message, or at least the reliability of those clerics charged with reporting to him regarding Sr. Lucia’s activities and what she was writing and requesting. It is quite possible that he had even heard rumors of her death and wanted to verify her identity. In late August of 1952, the pope sent the Austrian Jesuit Schweigel to speak to Sr. Lucia and pose 31 questions to the seer. At that time Montini was still acting as Pope Pius XII’s pro-secretary of state in the Vatican. Shortly after Schweigel departed, Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite reports in his work, The Whole Truth About Fatima: The Third Secret, Vol. III, that Pope Pius XII fell gravely ill, according to his physician, Count Galeazzi-Lisi.
As reported by Frere Michel and one account online, also other sources, Galeazzi-Lisi attributed the illness to “chromic acid poisoning” caused by the pope’s toothpaste, which was intended for a one-time use but which the pope unknowingly had continued to brush his teeth with. This report came from John-Peter Pham, an American priest who served in the Vatican diplomatic service. What Galeazzi-Lisi failed to mention is that he had referred Pius XII to the dentist who prescribed the chromic acid treatments. The pope’s gastritis returned the following year and on the advice of Galeazzi-Lisi, the pope received unorthodox treatments for the condition, according to Pham. Pius XII received these same treatments again in January of 1954 when he became gravely ill with gastritis and a diaphragmatic hernia.
According to William E. Barrett’s biography of Paul 6, Shepherd of Mankind, shortly after the death of the former Archbishop of Milan in August of 1954, Pius XII told Montini he would be appointed to the empty see. The official announcement of his appointment was not made, however, until November of 1954. Barrett also confirms the pope had suffered quietly from his stomach condition for some time before it worsened in January of 1954. During the time span of Pope Pius XII’s illness, August of 1952 to December of 1954, the pope had learned many disturbing things about Montini. It was shortly before his illness worsened that Pope Pius XII discovered Montini’s true role as a U.S. agent, working first with the OSS and later the CIA. Ill or not, the pope took action.
Following the additional discovery that Montini was actively cooperating with the Communists, had failed to inform him of a schism in China, and that some of the information he had leaked to the Soviets resulted in the assassination of bishops and priests sent secretly into Russia, he informed Montini of his dismissal as pro-secretary of State. And perhaps, prior to and following Montini’s dismissal, he began to discover certain connections regarding Fatima and Montini’s activities that also alarmed him.
After staying for some time at his summer residence, Castel Gondolfo, the Pope returned to the Vatican on November 27, 1954. Hatch and Walshe report in their biography: “He was literally a wraith. Nearly a year had passed since he had been taken sick. From a normal 145 pounds his weight was down to 105 pounds. The violent hiccupping had returned and he could neither eat nor retain food. As he lay breathing shallowly on his narrow bed, his skin was so white and drawn it appeared translucent. Only his black eyes were still lighted by intelligence and his indomitable spirit. The Pope’s physicians were in despair… On the evening of December 1, virtually all hope was given up. Pius was too weak to lift his head. What life remained in his body was the faintest flicker of animation. All the world knew he was dying… Not only those of the Catholic faith but Orthodox Greek and Protestant as well, were praying for the man they felt to be the most Christ-like of our time.”
Pope Pius XII’s vision
“Pius felt that he was dying… His expectation of death was strengthened later that evening. He was quite alone for a moment when he heard a voice say, “There will be a vision.” Pius woke very early on the morning of December 2. In the light reflected from the streetlamps in the square and the strengthening dawn, he could see quite clearly all the familiar details of his room. He knew that he was weaker than ever and believing that his time was nearly spent, he began to recite a favorite prayer — the Anima Christi (Soul of Christ). As he reached the words, “At the hour of my death call me,” he saw the Savior standing by his bedside, “silent in all His eloquent majesty.” Pius thought that, as long ago, he had come for Peter, saying “Follow Me,” he had come for him. Joyfully the Holy Father spoke to Him: “O bone Jesu! O bone Jesu! Voca me; iube me venire ad Te!” (O good Jesus! O good Jesus! Call Thou me; order me to come to Thee!) Albeit, gentle Jesus had not come to summon Pius, but to comfort him. And after a little while He went away” (Alden Hatch and Seamus Walshe, Crown of Glory, Hawthorne Books, New York, N.Y., 1957, 234-35).
Over the next few days, the Pope seemed much better and resumed his normal activities. While he acknowledged he had received the vision after it was made public, much to his embarrassment, it is quite possible he omitted certain pertinent details. One (unauthenticated) Italian article allegedly relates that Pope Pius XII did indeed receive a divine message during his 1954 vision. He is said to have written down the prophecy and placed it in an envelope, with instructions to open it only after his death. But the article claims Roncalli later read the letter and refused to make it public. Jean Guitton was a noted French Catholic philosopher and theologian (1901-1999). According to a book by Fr. Luigi Villa, Guitton wrote in L’Osservatore Romano, October 19, 1960, that Pius XII himself had said that he was the “last pope.” And so many other indicators confirm this. So can anyone doubt that given all this, and his failure to appoint cardinals and other officials to key positions following his vision, that Pope Pius XII KNEW he was surrounded and that he was helpless to prevent what would happen?
As stated in site articles and in The Phantom Church in Rome, following his vision Pope Pius XII had many things to say from 1955-1958 regarding matters that would directly affect us in the future. Shortly prior to his vision, in October of 1954, Pius repeated his decision first stated in Mystici Corporis Christi regarding the subordination of the bishops to the Roman Pontiff, reminding them that “… The power of jurisdiction which is conferred upon the Supreme Pontiff by the power of divine rights, flows to the bishops by the same right but only through the successor of St. Peter, to whom not only the simple faithful, but even all the bishops must be constantly subject” Ad sinarum gentum). He would repeat this once again in Meminisse iuvat (see below) and in Ad apostolorum principis in 1958. Also in various addresses and encyclicals during this same time period, he told Catholics THEY were the Church, and in the absence of the hierarchy must assume all their duties and responsibilities. And in two separate encyclicals, he addressed the faithful suffering under circumstances similar to our own with the following words of comfort and encouragement.
Dum maurenti animo
June 29, 1956 — To Cardinals Mindszenty, Stepanik and Wyszynski and all the bishops, clergy and laity who suffer persecution in Eastern Europe
Persecution and suppression
“For more than 10 years the Church of Christ has been plundered of her rights. The means have been different in different places. You who have lived through it know this well… Holy shepherds have been so restrained that they no longer have proper authority in exercising their office or have been driven from their sees and committed to exile or confinement. Catholic dioceses of the Oriental rites also have been boldly suppressed and their clergy and faithful urged to schism by every conceivable ruse. We are aware also that many have been subjected to every species of persecution because they openly, honestly and courageously attempt to profess and defend their faith with unwavering constancy. Our heart is filled with a special grief when We realize that the minds of children and youth are being contaminated by false and perverse doctrines which are calculated to separate them from God and His holy commandments, to their great loss in this life and their ruin hereafter.
To the persecuted cardinals and people
Our concern is deep for all of you who endure hardship, sacrifice and deprivation for the sake of Christ. And so each day, We pray to Almighty God, entreating Him in His merciful kindness to sustain and strengthen your faith, to lighten your sorrow, to console you with heavenly blessings, to bring full health to the sick and desponding members of Christ’s Mystical Body, and to command finally that when this present storm shall have subsided, there shine forth among you and among all men a true and joyous peace fostered by truth, justice and charity.
Christ stands watch
Never, as you well know, does our Redeemer forget His Church. Never does He abandon it. On the contrary, the more violent the waves which tossed the Bark of Peter, the more watchful is the Divine Pilot even if at times he seems to sleep (Matthew 8:24, Luke 8:23). Christ, then, is with you. He will never refuse His divine help when you ask it. But He demands that all give exact obedience to the precepts of the Catholic Church and defend the faith in a spirit of unfailing generosity.
The odds at stake
You know what the issue is. Your eternal salvation and that of your children and all your fellow men has been placed at stake today by the spreading ungodliness of the atheists. But if each and every one of you fights bravely and loyally in this spiritual combat you can never be called vanquished but rather glorious victims. And so from unjust persecution and the pains of martyrdom will be borne new triumphs of the Church to be inscribed in Her in annals in letters of gold.
It is a great consolation to realize that many among you are ready to sacrifice all with heroic courage, even liberty and life, rather than jeopardize the integrity of the Catholic religion… But We also realize with regret that human frailty and uncertainty cause men to waver when they are faced with long, drawn out suffering and persecutions. Then it occasionally happens that some lose heart. Their ardor cools. AND WHAT IS WORSE, THEY ASSUME THE ATTITUDE THAT CHRIST’S TEACHINGS NEED MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION, AS THEY CALL IT, TO A NEW CONTEXT OF TIME, PLACE AND CIRCUMSTANCE. THEY CONTEND THAT THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION MUST BE RELAXED AND MODIFIED SO THAT A SORT OF SPURIOUS WEDLOCK MAY RESULT BETWEEN IT AND THE ERRORS OF THIS AGE OF PROGRESS.
Trust in God
All those who undermine and overthrow their own convictions and those of others should be reminded… of that solemn pronouncement of the Divine Redeemer: ‘Heaven and earth will pass, but my words will never pass’ (Matt. 24:35). Never will an all-powerful and Provident God permit the faithful and stalwart children of the Church to be wanting in divine grace and divine fortitude, and so yield pathetically in this struggle for salvation, fall away, unhappily, from the side of Christ and, helpless, behold the tragic spiritual downfall of their people.
An intact faith
Even though you are hindered by the most serious obstacles, be generous and industrious in performing all your religious duties from a motive of Apostolic zeal. Above all preserve the faith intact. To the best of your abilities, strive earnestly that the light of Christ may illumine all others. Do this primarily by the example of your perseverance in the Christian life just as the Christians of old did when persecutions assailed the Church. Let those who falter, who doubt, who are weak learn from you to identify, to fortify their spirit, to hold fast to their faith which is genuine and unconcealed, to attend to their religious duties and to dedicate themselves to Christ without reservation.
A holy heritage
Direct your suppliant prayers to the most Divine Redeemer, under the patronage of His most holy and our most loving Mother Mary, whose powerful intercession your ancestors enjoyed in every serious crisis. For if we can always ask heavenly favors of the Virgin Mother of God with confidence that we shall receive them, this will especially be true when there is question of the salvation of souls and the defense of the Christian faith in the home and in society.
The courage of the holy martyrs
You may be sure that the whole Christian family looks with reverence upon the trials you have borne so long in silence, hardship and want. Entreat our most merciful God that you may not yield before the bitter onslaught of ungodliness and the willy enticements of error. Pray rather that with the vigorous courage of the holy martyrs, you may bear witness to your faith before all the world so it may come to pass that even your persecutors — for the commands of Christian charity also extends to them — may win forgiveness from Him who awaits all his prodigal children with loving arms outstretched.
July 14, 1958 — On persecution of the Church, addressing both the hierarchy and faithful of the Latin and Oriental rites
- …Many bishops have been driven from their sees or so impeded that they cannot freely exercise their ministry; they have even been cast into prison or exiled. And so with rash daring men undertake to fulfill the words: “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’ … 15. The Church’s rights, including the right, under the mandate of the Holy See, to choose and consecrate bishops who will lawfully govern the Christian flock, have been trod under foot, to the great loss of the faithful, as if the Catholic Church were a creature of a single nation, dependent on its civil authority, and not a divine institution extending to all peoples.
- The society which Christ founded can be attacked, but not defeated, for She draws her strength from God, not from man. And yet, there is no doubt that She will be harassed through the centuries by persecutions, by contradictions, by calumnies — as was the lot long ago of her Divine Founder — for He said: “If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” But it is equally certain that, just as Christ our Redeemer rose in triumph, so the Church shall someday win a peaceful victory over all her enemies.
- Have confidence, therefore; be brave and steadfast soldiers. We wish to counsel you in the words of St. Ignatius, martyr, although We know you do not require such counsel: “Serve Him for whom you fight. . . May none of you desert Him! Your baptism must be a shield; your faith a helmet; your charity a lance; your patience a suit of armor. Your works should be your credentials, so that you may be worthy to receive your reward” (putting on the armor of God).
- And the beautiful words of Bishop St. Ambrose should give you sure hope and unwavering courage: “Hold on to the tiller of faith so that the rough winds of this world may not bandy you. The sea is vast and large, but do not fear;for He has established it (the earth) upon the water, and set it firmly upon the rivers. And so it is understandable that the Lord’s Church stands unmoved among the waves of this world, for She is built on the apostolic rock and holds fast to her foundation, unmoved by the onslaughts of the raging sea. She is battered by the surf, but is not shaken. The physical elements of this world crash with thunder about her, but she provides a safe port for those who toil on the deep.”
- If a Christian way of life flourishes again, as it did in the age of the Apostles and martyrs, then we can reasonably hope that the Blessed Virgin Mary — who longs with a mother’s heart that all her sons should live virtuously — will graciously heed our prayers and will soon grant, in response to our petitions, happier and more peaceful times for the Church of her Only Begotten Son and for the whole human society.
Notice the “if” in the first sentence of the paragraph above. Pope Pius XII had serious doubts about the Church’s triumph on earth, a resurgence of faith so many have eagerly anticipated. There is no guarantee here of one flock and one shepherd; that is something which it appears is now reserved for Heaven alone. Pope Pius XII hoped for the best, but secretly he must have believed that it would come to the worst. He reportedly told his “friend,” Count Galeazzi:
“ ‘I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s message to Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith in its liturgy, its theology, and its soul.’This prophetic Pope also predicted: ‘A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted… She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, ‘Where have they taken Him?’” (Pie XII, devant, l’histoire, Msgr. Roche, p. 52-55; quote taken from Paul Trinchard’s New Age, New Mass, 1995).
We need no reminders, for we live in the times he feared would engulf us. But his writings, left to us in his last will and testament, still can serve to direct and console those he now rules with Christ from Heaven.
(Please read new additions to Mr. Javier Morell-Ibarra’s Catholic Survival Guide here.)
+St. Robert Bellarmine+
Happy Mother’s Day Blessed Mother!
(Please read new additions to Mr. Javier Morell-Ibarra’s Catholic Survival Guide here.)
In our last blog we focused on the meaning of the male child to whom the woman gives birth in Apoc. 12: 5, pointing out that certain commentators have identified this child as the Pope reigning immediately prior to the coming of Antichrist, (Frs. Berry, Kramer). We also explained the meaning of the “rod of iron” with which this Pope was to rule the Church from heaven, tracing its meaning to word origins and biblical usage.
That this form of explaining the Apocalypse is not any sort of private interpretation or novel method of expounding on this prophetic book is explained in detail by Rev. Bernard LeFrois, S.V.D. in his The Woman Clothed With the Sun (1954, Orbis Catholicus, a division of Herder Books, Rome). Lefrois calls this the collective method and uses it to cast light on further phases of Apocalypse 12, including the meaning of the woman herself, of the wilderness/desert and the great eagle, of the 1,260 days, the woman’s offspring, St. Michael’s role in opposing the dragon and the identity of the true remnant.
The results are both enlightening and gratifying and hopefully will help those trying to make sense of the Apocalypse better understand the methodology and imagery used by St. John. Rev. Hugh Pope, O.P., S.T.M, D.SScr., Professor at the Collegio Angelico in Rome, writes in his The Catholic Student’s Aids to the Bible, Vol. V: “In a very real sense we are now at ‘the last hour.’ The interpretation, then, of the Apocalypse must be governed by the rules which hold good in the interpretation of all prophecy. The full light will not be thrown on this prophetical book till those last things have received their ultimate fulfillment. The book [Apocalypse] is replete with mystery; it is itself the sealed book of Chap. 5… St Jerome says: ‘John’s Apocalypse contains as many mysteries as words… in every single word lie hid many meanings.’ And St. Augustine said: ‘In… Apocalypse, many things are said in obscure fashion for the exercising of the reader’s mind. There are but few points in it, but their investigation opens up a laborious understanding of other points… ”
What follows will show readers exactly how the Apocalypse perfectly applies to those praying at home, providing ample proof of the love and tender care both Our Lord and His Blessed Mother have showered on those of us struggling to keep the faith. The sources quoted will demonstrate beyond a doubt that we are carried in the arms of our Blessed Mother, protected by St. Michael, strengthened by the Holy Ghost, and armed with the weapons necessary to conduct the spiritual combat on earth that, if we pray earnestly for perseverance, will earn our eternal reward.
What is a collective
A collective is “…an object both individual and collective. [It is] not disparate, diverse or unrelated, both together forming a unit or totality. The identical symbol in one and the same passage represents simultaneously both the individual and the collective. Both the Holy Ghost and the sacred author intended it as such… The individual collective is a fluctuation of symbols concerning individual and collective interpretations; neither is to be considered primary or secondary. This commingling of the collective and individual ‘is proper to Hebrew mentality’ (Rohr) or ‘vicarious solidarity’ (Lattey), or ‘corporate personality, where the whole group including its past, present and future members might function as a single individual through any one of those members conceived as representative of it’” (Wheeler Robinson). LeFrois endorses Robinson but relates what Robinson describes to “the semitic total conception of things or thinking of the individual and the species at one and the same time.” He also refers it to types.
This solves the problem of the Protestant interpretation of Apocalypse, which held primarily to the ancient context in which it was written, or to events that have already passed (historicism). St. Robert Bellarmine and other Jesuits taught that Apocalypse rather predicts future events culminating in a period occurring immediately prior to the Second Coming — the futuristic or Catholic interpretation of Apocalypse (also the book of Daniel and 2 Thess. 2). Collectivism gives the sacred book a wider scope of past, present and future. As Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade observes in his Abandonment to Divine Providence, it is a continuing cycle repeating itself until the final consummation. Collectivism is seen in the Apocalypse’s mention of the seven churches, the two witnesses, both Mary and the Church as the great sign, the beast with seven heads, and in other verses.
The woman and the popes
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Apoc. 12:1)
For centuries, commentators generally interpreted Apoc. 12:1 as referring primarily to the Church. But in his definition of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII described Our Lady as “…clothed with the sun and crowned with stars.” Pope St. Pius X also indulgenced a prayer that reads in part: “O Mary, crowned with stars, who has the moon for your footstool and the wings of the angels for your throne…” (AAS 37, 1904-1905). While LeFrois does not credit this as an official interpretation of Apoc. 12:1, he quotes Pope Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu as encouraging exegetes to find a new solution to the interpretation of this verse, since many more modern authors began associating it with the Blessed Mother. LeFrois provides a lengthy list of these. In the collective sense, Mary can be seen as the woman giving birth not only to her Divine Son, but to all the members of the Mystical Body after Christ’s death on the Cross. It is most fitting that Christ placed His Mother in St. John’s care, and St. John in His Mother’s care, embracing the entire Church — fitting because it was this very apostle who gave us the Apocalyptic visions.
LeFrois calls Our Lady both an individual and a collective, “an arch-type of the Church… clothed in the fullness of the Divinity… [She] alone conceived the entire Christ, both head and members, to be mother of all the living.” LeFrois insists, however that the male child she bears in Apoc. 12: 5 can only be the Messiah Himself, symbolizing the joint rule of God with Christ. The “rod of iron” he defines as the rigor Christ will exercise in the end to punish and judge His enemies. But if we apply the collective method to this verse, how can it not also refer to the pope then reigning, who is “taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2: 7)? For while Our Lady gives birth to the Messias, it is the Church, already part of the collective, which, in like manner, “gives birth” to the pope. This is what Frs. Berry and Kramer believed, and what Henry Cardinal Manning taught would occur shortly before Antichrist reigns. This pope, of course, would be one of the members Our Lady conceived, belonging to the Mystical Body, the actual earthly head of that Body; the very member who defined the nature of the Mystical Body in Mystici Corporis Christi.
The pope and Christ rule dually as Head of the Church on earth. As Pope Pius XI stated: “You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on the earth, the vicar of Christ, which means I am God on the earth.” LeFrois simply failed to extend the collective method directly to Apoc. 12:1, perhaps to avoid controversy. Other commentators, however, did so apply it, and we have seen that their estimations more closely fit the circumstances we experience today.
The 1,260 days in the wilderness
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her for 1,260 days” (Apoc. 12: 6).
(River in tundra, Alaska)
Revs. Berry, Allo, LeFrois, and the Fathers Lactantius and St. Hippolytus all maintain there will be two separate 1,260-day periods where the Church will be protected from the full brunt of Antichrist’s torments. (St. Augustine says these days can mean any length of time, according to Fr. Arminjon, as does St. Bede, and LeFrois and Heidt, among others agree). The first period follows the invalid 1958 election and is set in days but appears to be an indefinite period — three- and one-half years. The second time-period mentioned is referred to as a time, times and half a time, or the entire time.
LeFrois explains: “Oddly enough, there is no mention of the time element of three and a half years in the book of Kings where the life of Elias is recounted… but only of ‘many days’ when there was no rain. Hence it seems that the phrase three and a half years is a technical symbol, which does not wish to express so much a period of time as a period of tribulation and woe, (emph. his). This of course does not exclude the idea that it is a period of time, but it clarifies the issue that three and a half years are not to be taken in a literal sense.” Abbe Constant Fouard, in his St. John and the Close of the Apostolic Age notes that: “These three years and a half, the half of seven, the number signifying perfection, denote an imperfect time which will not be completed.”
LeFrois quotes a J. Bonsirven in support of this statement. He continues: “The peculiar detail of 1,260 days, which is intended to be the equivalent of 42 months as well as three and a half years, may refer simply to the Messianic era in its entirety, considered from various angles, (Rev. Allo).” So Rev. Allo also agrees with this interpretation of the 1,260 days or 42 months as an indefinite time period. One Father, St. Augustine, states that, “…The word day in Holy Scripture is to be understood in the sense of any length of time,” (Malachias 3: 1,2;” The End of the Present World and Mysteries of the Future Life, Rev. Charles Marie Antoine Arminjon, 1881). The first time the Church shelters in the wilderness (Verse 6), the second time in the desert (verse 14). Revs. Kramer and Berry opine the wilderness is some non-Catholic nation signified by the great eagle but Kramer also identifies the two wings as those of St. Michael, aiding the Church, as does Rev. LeFrois. A few other commentators suggest this as well.
This could indicate the St. Michael Prayer abrogated by the false Vatican 2 council in 1964 and officially abrogated with the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae in 1969, when many finally realized what the V2 changes really meant and began to exit the Church. As mentioned before, the three years and a half (1,260 days) all assume to be the brief duration of Antichrist’s entire reign is described by many commentators as only the heighth or pinnacle of his reign of (spiritual) terror. This might be counted from Paul 6’s victorious address to the United Nations Oct. 4, 1965 — two weeks after the passage of the schema on religious liberty by the council fathers –1,997 to 224 — to the official promulgation of the Novus Ordo on April 3, 1969: this is almost exactly three years and a half. After leaving the Novus Ordo church, Catholics found themselves wandering in the wilderness. Wilderness, in this sense, could mean (at least a temporary) cleansing from “all inclination to idolatry” (Fr. Kramer) as was the case with the Chosen People in the wilderness or desert. But of course, this did not last.
Wilderness defined in detail
LeFrois, by cross-referencing wilderness to its root origins and usage in Holy Scripture observes that basically wilderness means “being solitary (from the Greek), which could translate to “on your own.” It is also a “solitary place devoid of people,” or with only “a few inhabitants.” For Our Lord, the wilderness is “a solitary place well-suited for communion with God.” It can also mean “a place of refuge for the persecuted, a woman desolate because she is without children.” It also suggests disobedience and chastisement (1 Cor. 10:5, 6-11; Heb. 3: 8, 3-17;Ps. 77, 78). If wilderness is seen as a conviction that one can only pray at home to observe God’s laws, then certainly it can serve as a fitting penance for previous disobedience to those laws as well as a chastisement for all Catholics, in losing the Mass and Sacraments. In this sense we might view ourselves as scapegoats, sent into the wilderness in the Old Testament bearing the sins of the people (Lev. 16: 1-34), there to perish for the sins of others (by martyrdom of blood or of spirit; the “white martyrdom” St. John himself experienced as a result of his exile to the isle of Patmos). Christ Himself has been called a scapegoat, for He took upon Himself all of our sins. We should therefore wear our exile as a badge of honor.
But LeFrois paints a more glorious picture of this wilderness/desert experience, writing that: “Wilderness implied par excellence God’s special divine Providence toward Israel and her delivery from the enemy through God’s intervention (Jn. 3: 14, 6:31, 49; Acts 13:18). Also 3 Kgs. 17:2 and 19:3 and the Didactic books of Psalms and Wisdom refer to the wonderful things wrought by God for His people in the wilderness. The Messiah was to make His appearance in the wilderness in proper sense of the word, but reactionary forces also associated themselves with the wilderness and our Lord warned them against this: “If they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness, do not go out,’” Matt. 24:26, (Ed — A pointed reference to Traditionalist reactionaries who took matters into their own hands). “But Apocalypse depicts the wilderness as a place of refuge for the woman fleeing from the dragon and in pursuit of her. So wilderness is not literal but symbolic… Wilderness implies God’s special divine Providence and intervention by which the woman is sustained in life until a period of trial and tribulation is over.” And yet it can be said in our case to apply literally in a sense as well.
LeFrois then quotes the Bible verse that Protestants use to justify the rapture, for the REAL RAPTURE lies in God’s miraculous intervention and Our Lady’s protection of her children on this earth. LeFrois continues: “The wilderness is a definite place or state. The woman is inviolable against attacks of Satan not only by means of her being carried away to a place prepared by God but also by means of the earth coming to the aid of the woman and swallowing up the river the dragon had poured from his mouth” (Apoc. 12:16). He then describes how God sends the woman (Mary and the Church) “…special divine protection through angelic assistance and she is kept miraculously from harm and destruction.” While being sheltered in the wilderness with Our Lady, which LeFrois refers to several times, the faithful are miraculously protected. Eagle wings, he says, points to the extraordinary. And although he explains it in a different way, Rev. Rev. H.B. Kramer also intimates this miraculous intervention, commenting on Apoc. 10: 7, which he interprets as assuring “the preservation of the faithful and the triumphant ascendancy of the Church above the smoke of the great conflagration.”
While LeFrois combines the wilderness and desert period into one period, he could not foresee how it might be interpreted differently in what would transpire following the invalid election of Angelo Roncalli (John 23). First the Church was delivered from the idolatry of the Novus Ordo usurpers and their sacrilegious liturgy. But as explained in Apoc. 12:17, Satan waited to war against the rest of her seed, those born prior to the death of Pope Pius XII who had not yet reached maturity. This is when the second wave hit – Traditionalism parading as true Catholicity, luring the faithful once again into sacrilege. Only a tiny minority would escape this subterfuge to shelter in the desert. For this reason the wilderness/desert will be treated as two separate periods here, and what he says about the Church nourished in the wilderness will be applied instead to their desert time.
Desert vs. wilderness
“And… the dragon… persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child, and there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time from the face of the serpent.” (Apoc. 12: 13-14)
The meaning of desert corresponds with the desolation wrought by Antichrist and his system, as in the abomination of desolation. Desert is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “3. A desolate or forbidding area.” From etymology it can be defined as a “waterless, treeless region of considerable extent” …in Middle English, [which] gradually became the main meaning, Classical Latin indicated this idea with deserta, plural of desertus.” It also can mean “to leave, abandon, either in a good or bad sense; fact of deserving a certain treatment (for good or ill) for one’s behavior.” (https://www.etymonline.com/word/desert) Wilderness, on the other hand, is defined at the same site as “wild, uninhabited, or uncultivated place,” The word is show as wil+ deer+ ness, deer or “deor” being the equivalent to “wild animal, beast, any wild quadruped” and ness “denoting action, quality, or state.” So perhaps wilderness indicates Catholics subject to men they do not yet know are beasts, the sea beast and the land beast, (John 23 and Paul 6) of Apoc. Ch. 13, But this ends when Paul 6 announces the institution of his “new mass.”
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The word wilderness, which is more frequently used than desert of the region of the Exodus, more nearly approaches the meaning of the Hebrew, though not quite expressing it… When we speak of the desert our thoughts are naturally borne to such places as the Sahara, a great sandy waste, incapable of vegetation, impossible as a dwelling-place for men, and where no human being is found except when hurrying through as quickly as he can. No such ideas are attached to the Hebrew words for desert. It is from the root dabar, “to lead” (cattle to pasture)The inhabitants were mostly nomads. For the desert was not a place regularly cultivated like the fields and gardens of ordinary civilized districts. Rather, it was a region in which was to be found pasturage, not rich, but sufficient for sheep and goats… The desert, too, was looked upon as the abode of wild beasts…” [the assaults on those praying at home by Traditionalists]. “It was not fertilized by streams of water, but springs were to be found there… ‘Arabah, derived from the root ‘arab, “to be arid”, is another word for desert… It conveys the idea of a stretch of country, arid, unproductive, and desolate.
“Horbah, derived from the root harab, “to lie waste”, is translated in the Septuagint by the words eremos, eremosis, eremia. In the Vulgate are found the renderings ruinœ, solitudo, desolation… The lexicon of Gesenius gives as the first meaning of horbah, “dryness”; then as a second meaning, “a desolation“, “ruins.” Jeshimon, derived from jasham, “to be desolate”. It was looked upon as a place without water, thus Isaiah 43:19: “Behold I shall set up streams in the desert [jeshimon].” So those of us praying at home can be seen as sin-goats led out to pasture by Our Lady, the Holy Ghost and St. Michael, after the ruin and desolation of our Church, to live as solitaires in a place that provides limited food and water, but enough to sustain (spiritual) life. This spiritual desert experience is referred to indirectly by St. Francis de Sales, who noted that while the early Fathers fled to the desert to avoid contamination of the world and persecution of their enemies, in the early centuries they were deprived of the Sacraments. Yet we have the necessary Sacraments, and our manna, the Act of Contrition and Spiritual Communion. We live in the desert, until released by death or the Second Coming.
(Man in robe walking in the desert created with Generative AI technology.)
So the distinction between wilderness and desert is an important one. In the wilderness, 1958-1969, for a brief time, there was yet (limited) access to valid Sacraments, for there are sometimes mighty rivers and streams (water signifying the Sacraments in general) in the wilderness. Catholics then, for the most part, were not yet aware that their Church had been hijacked. But conditions in the desert are not so kind. There is a big difference between uncultivated land (meaning it could be cultivated) and land largely unable to be cultivated; between streams and rivers and (seasonal) creeks and springs, or infrequent oases. The two separate time periods of the woman’s escape from the clutches of the dragon (1,260 days, 42 months, Apoc. 13:5) are both part of the collective (time, times and half-a-time) of Apoc. 12:14. The Church is actually in the desert/wilderness for the entire time, (70 years, or an entire biblical generation) although many do not realize this until later. The Man of Sin runs his course, but his system lives on, resulting ultimately in the return of Satan to encompass the camp of the saints (Apoc. 20: 7-8).
On eagle’s wings
An eagle could easily signify the mighty assistance of the Holy Ghost, ordinarily depicted as a dove. Those who are borne on the wings of the eagle to the desert may be referenced in the following verses: Exodus 19:4: “I have carried you upon the wings of eagles and brought you unto myself;” Malachi 4:2: “But unto you that fear my name the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings”; and from Isaias: 40:31; “But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” All of these verses are replete with the idea of nourishment and protection, renewal of spiritual health and strength; everything needed by the weary faithful tossed to and fro in the turbulent wake created by the Sea Beast. Berry says the two wings symbolize faith and prayer; Rev. Haydock says love of God; others, prayer and contemplation. Commenting on the verse from Exodus, Rev. William Heidt says: “The figure [in Exodus] would carry overtones of loving care, of speedy assistance, of absolute security… As Israel’s stay in the desert of Sinai was cherished as her ideal period of intimacy with Yaweh, so the woman fleeing into the wilderness…”
The serpent, frustrated at the woman’s escape, sets off to “make war with the rest of her seed who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Apoc. 12:17). Analyzing the origins of the word seed, LeFrois observes: “In speaking of the rest of her offspring, the seer implicitly refers to the entire offspring. Hence the vision represents the entire offspring of the woman as a unit which she brings forth in verse 5 after [the male child] is carried off to God’s throne. The rest of her offspring are still on earth (verse 17)… This symbolizes a totality which comprises both an individual and a collectivity. The rest of her offspring makes it clear that they are the members of Christ, or the branches of the true vine in the language of John. The rest of the woman’s offspring are contrasted with the child who was born of her and snatched away to the throne of God.
“The rest are characterized as those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus (Apoc. 12: 17). Hence, though the woman gives birth to them and they form part of her “sperma” or seed, they are her spiritual sons similarly as the Gentiles by faith become the spiritual sons of Abraham.” And this “sperma” alone initially could come only from the woman’s spouse, the Holy Ghost, who has carried her and the Church itself into the desert on His mighty wings. Not only are the woman’s offspring bound to keep the commandments and bear witness, but they must also keep all the laws of the Church and obey all the commands of Christ’s vicars who spoke with His voice while on earth. This Pope Pius XII states in Mystici Corporis Christi, in his definition of who comprise the Church and may be considered as Her members. And this same pope binds all from heaven, during this extended earthly interregnum, with his papal election constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, which infallibly nullifies and invalidates any attempt to change papal or canon laws.
LeFrois says of those faithful nourished in the desert/wilderness: “[Word] is a favorite Johannine expression occurring eight times in the gospel, 11 times in the Apocalypse and seven times in the first letter. In all but a few cases it is bound up with the commandments or the word given to the disciples by Christ that they might live worthily as children of God. In the Apocalypse, commandment is never spoken of without Jesus being mentioned. Whole passages from 1John are a commentary on the phrase ‘keep His commandments.’ Such a one abides in God; such are the children of God and they receive whatever they ask of God; whoever bears testimony that Jesus is the son of God abides in God and God in him; everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is the child of God.
“In Apoc.12:17 the rest of the woman’s offspring are characterized as those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus, hence the woman’s offspring is the Messias-King who is the Son of God, and the sons of God members of Christ who are also born of her. Together they are destined to rule the nations (Apoc. 12:5 and 2:26). Together they are destined to share the throne of God (Apoc. 12:5 and 3:21). But first of all, in the footsteps of the Lamb, they must be prepared for persecution and death. The Lamb’s sacrificial death is their pledge of victory (Apoc. 12:11), and they will conquer by confessing Christ even unto death (12:11). When the dragon goads the beast on to overcome them, ‘Here is a call from the endurance of the Saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus’ (Apoc. 14:12).”
The etymology of the word “camp,” from the 1520s, is “a place where an army lodges temporarily… tents or rude places of shelter… body of adherents of a doctrine or cause… The Latin word had been taken up in early West Germanic as *kampo-z and appeared originally in Old English as camp “contest, battle, fight, war” (see etymology link above). So when the Church militant, those trying their best to be soldiers of Christ, are surrounded in their temporary desert abode, then comes the very end. LeFrois concludes his work with the following comments: “In Apocalypse 12 we are dealing with an optical or visionary context. Events widely separated in their fulfillment are described together. Sharing the nature of the apocalyptic, they refer partly to the past and partly remain to be fulfilled. Abrupt passage from the one to the other is quite in keeping with what has been mentioned above. If these basic facts are kept in mind, the message of Apocalypse 12 becomes clearer.
“The sounding of the seventh trumpet was not only the signal for the third woe. it also proclaimed the consummation of God’s mystery or sacred designs. Thus the Angel made it known in Apoc. 10:6-7: “The angel… swore by him who liveth forever and ever… THAT TIME SHALL BE NO LONGER… But in the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, THE MYSTERY OF GOD SHALL BE FINISHED, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets.” Hence the seer has the last sounding of the trumpet introduce THE CONSUMMATE STAGE OF THE CHURCH ON EARTH simultaneously with the third woe, “ (Ed. — and this is the confirmation of the end of the age). “If in the godless reign of Antichrist the mystery of evil shall seem to triumph over everything, the mystery of God shall have reached maturity and shall stand prepared to bear witness to the Lamb. But before that scene unfolds, the stupendous vision of chapter 12 is introduced which discloses the reality behind the scenes, clarifies the goal as well as the means to reach it and imparts the needed assurance of victory…
“On that Marian Church of the consummation Satan sees but the woman he hates and hence the full flood of his spirit is launched against her. It is a last gigantic attempt to blot out the image of the woman from the face of the earth. He will muster the whole world and all nations against her in a destructive avalanche of terror and death. But God protects the chosen Mother of Christ. Though the beast may kill many of the Saints and thus seem to conquer them, the Marian church remains inviolable and indestructible till the very end of time for the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. God will intervene to sustain her both with angelic assistance and divine judgments on the satanic hordes. In her special place prepared by God, Satan will not enter nor shall he overcome her. It is the inviolable character of the Virgin Mother that is blossoming forth also in this respect in the totality for which she stands. For Satan there is only defeat…
“Let Christ’s faithful ones lift up their heads in confidence. Though the beast rules mightily from east to West and is adored over the whole world, dominion and power and universal rule belong to Christ and those that are one with Him. From His mouth issues a sharp sword which with to smite the nations and He will “rule them with a rod of iron;” He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”
+Pope St. Pius V+
First Friday, First Saturday
(See the latest additions to Javier Morell-Ibarra’s work most instructional work here: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/survival-guide-and-reference-handbook-during-the-great-tribulation-and-the-operation-of-error/)
In our April 30 blog, we opined, based on pre-1958 scriptural commentaries, that Pope Pius XII is the male child or son referred to in Apoc. 12:5, where the Church is portrayed as a woman (Holy Mother Church) in labor to give birth. There is much more to be covered on this topic but we will begin with a general refresher on the book of Apocalypse as a whole, before proceeding to the role Pope Pius XII plays in this very real end-times drama we are witnessing.
In 1911, Dr. Michael Seisenberger, author of Practical Handbook for the Study of the Bible (imprimatur of translated edition by Abp. John Farley) wrote regarding St. John’s Apocalypse:
“The apocalypse is a prophetic book and foretells the future destiny of the Church and the faithful. But just as many of the Old Testament prophecies became intelligible only after their fulfillment, so it will probably be with those in the Apocalypse. Failing special instruction by the infallible teaching authority of the Church, it is scarcely possible to have a perfectly sure comprehension of this book, [for] (a) it does not contain an account of events themselves but of their types which admit of various interpretations. (b) We are living in the midst of the events foretold in the books and just as it is scarcely possible for each combatant in a war to form an opinion as to the general the course of it or even of a single battle, so is any complete comprehension of the struggles of the Church denied as a rule to individual Christians. Moreover, (c) many of the events foretold lie still in the future.
“It must not be assumed that all the things foretold are bound to happen exactly in the order in which they stand in the book. For instance in Chapter 18 we read of the fall of Babylon which primarily means heathen Rome. But we need not suppose that all the incidents described before this chapter belong to the period before the fall of that city and that only those that stand after it belong to the centuries following the destruction of the pagan city. We cannot as a rule look for sequence of time in prophetic visions.
“Stress is laid on the following points:
- The future is determined by God and not by man.
- The future of man depends on Christ and His Church.
- The various evils of this life are decreed by God as a punishment but also for the amendment of man.
- God is long-suffering; He waits long before he permits the judgment to come.
- Many of the Jews and a countless multitude of the gentiles will attain to eternal salvation through Christianity.
- The depravity of this world will not remain limited to mankind outside the Church but will penetrate even into the Church; that is to say, amongst Christians, but will not injure it in its essential character.
- There are three chief enemies to Christ and his Church: the devil, the anti-Christian powers of the world and false knowledge.
- The victory of Christ and his Church over those enemies is absolutely certain.
- A completely new order of things is to follow the Resurrection and the Last Judgment for Heaven and earth are to be transformed and glorified as the dwelling place of God’s servants while the wicked are cast out.” (End of Seisenberger quotes)
What Dr. Seisenberger says above has been stated also by commentators on the Apocalypse, including St. Robert Bellarmine: only those witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecies in Apocalypse will realize they have and are being fulfilled and how they are being fulfilled. Apocalypse means “Latin, as apocalypsis, referring to the Greek apokálypsis, interpreted as manifestation or discovery, from the prefix apo-, in the sense of outside or as a distance determiner, based on the Indo-European *apo-, for distancing or from, and the verb kályptein, indicating the action of hiding, making its root in the Indo-European obvious in *kel-, for covering or concealing. In turn, the adjective form apocalyptic can be observed in the Greek apokalyptikós” (https://etymology.net/apocalypse/).
The 1957 Dictionary of Word Origins, by Joseph Shipley traces the meaning of the word apocalypse to “an unveiling…Calypso, in the Odyssey, gave Odysseus a magic veil.” We are watching as the veil is lifted from all that St. John the beloved apostle saw in his vision. But we must be diligent in penetrating the meaning of the terms used in Holy Scripture by cross-referencing them and becoming fully aware of their true signification.
What is the Scriptural meaning of an “iron rod”?
Historically, in biblical times, the rod was a weapon shepherds carved from the root of a tree or a tree branch which was fitted to the individual shepherd’s hand. A shepherd’s rod is about 30 inches long with an end resembling a mace, where the shepherds would embed heavy pieces of iron. One can easily see how this would become an intimidating and deadly weapon. Shepherds used this club-like device to drive away rustlers, or predators such as snakes, coyotes, wolves or cougars threatening the sheep. David utilized such a rod when protecting his sheep from wild animals (I Samuel 17:34-36).
In addition, the rod is often used to guide straying sheep back into the fold when they wander away from their shepherd or their pens. Sheep are stubborn and heedless; like goats they will indiscriminately eat anything they see. So the shepherd uses first his staff, to nudge them back into their pen, then, if they don’t respond, he loops the crook at the end of the staff around their necks to forcefully pull them back into line with the other sheep. If this fails, he may then resort to the rod to forcefully drive them back to the fold.
In Prov. 10:13, we see the “rod on the back of him that wanteth sense,” and in Prov. 22:15, “a rod of correction” is employed to discipline a foolish child, hence the old proverb, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” There are numerous references in Exodus to the “rod of God” used by Moses and Aaron to turn all the ponds, streams and rivers of the Pharoah into blood, and to initiate the other plagues. Isaiah 10:5 speaks of “the rod and staff of my anger and in 11: 4, God “striking the earth with the rod of his mouth.” The “rod of his indignation” is mentioned in Lam. 3:1. Clearly the use of the rod indicates just punishment and the end of God’s patience with man. Rev. Leo Haydock, commenting on the “rod and staff” in Ps. 22:4 tells us that the rod is to punish and the staff to support, adding that straying sheep are beaten “for the good of the flock.”
There are three references to the rod in Apocalypse. One is found in Ch. 2:27, another in Ch. 11: 1 and the third in Ch. 12:5. Rev. Berry says of Ch. 2: 27: “the faithful are warned of the necessity of good works for salvation. Those who persevere in them unto the end shall have part with Christ in the judgment of the wicked. They shall participate in the power He has received from the Father to rule the nations with a rod of iron.” Regarding Ch. 11: 1, where St. John is ordered to measure the temple, “the altar and them that adore therein” with “a reed, like unto a rod.” Berry writes: “The temple is a figure of the Church and those who worship there are the faithful who remain steadfast during the great persecution of Antichrist.” Commenting on Ch. 11:2 he says: “The outer court cast off and given over to the Gentiles signifies that a great number of Christians will fall away from the faith in those days.”
Rev. Haydock says basically the same as Fr. Berry regarding Apoc. 2:27. He comments as follows on Ch. 11:1: “The churches consecrated to the true God are so much diminished in number that they are represented by St. John as one church; its ministers officiate at one altar and all the true faithful are so few, with respect to the bulk of mankind, that the evangelist sees them assembled in one temple to pay their adorations to the most high (Pastorini ).” If this does not describe those praying at home, I don’t know what does. The minister officiating at the one altar is Christ Himself. For as St. Alphonsus de Liguori explains, in reality the Sacrifice and priesthood will never cease since, “The Son of God, Eternal Priest, will always continue to offer Himself to God, the Father, in Heaven as an Eternal Sacrifice” (The Holy Eucharist).
Rev. H.B. Kramer, who wrote The Book of Destiny also wrote on Apoc. 2: 27, 11:1 and12: 5:
“She brought forth a male child who was destined to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The Pope elected is virile and fearless. He is the one destined by Providence to overthrow the schemes of the dragon. The text in the Vulgate is in the future tense. This is the nearest way of expressing in Latin the force of the Greek words ‘the child was to have ruled’ or ‘was on the point of ruling’ with an iron rod. The one whom God has destined for the papacy at that time will institute the needed reforms. The lax clergy of that time will extol the conditions then existing and will try to keep out of the church Apostolic purity and virtuous severity and will oppose the decrees of the Pope with deliberate fanaticism.” [And this cannot help but evoke in our minds an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the papacy. — Ed.]
Fr. Kramer continues: “The clause “that he might devour her son” does not necessarily mean assassination… This “son” will hardly have time to purify the Church before he is persecuted, imprisoned and martyred… The dragon is a symbolic form of the evil world powers who will resent the existence of a spiritual empire among them and through them and independent of them in its essential functions and will attempt to subject this empire to their will and service. They will try to make the Church a ‘state church’ everywhere. This is possible only if they can subject the Pope to their wills and compel him to teach and rule as they direct. That would be literally devouring the papacy. Since they are defeated in this, they have the Pope assassinated and he is taken up to God and to his throne, just as Christ by His death was taken away from distress (Isaiah 43: 8).
“The words of Psalm 2: 9 “Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron” was said of Christ. But in our text they are said of His Vicar. The rod of iron is a scriptural symbol of divine chastisement or law enforcement by which the good are separated from the wicked. The reference here is to Apoc. 11: 1 where the sanctuary of God is to be measured with a reed like unto a rod. This one event is thus shown under a different aspect in each of three chapters. The Church will be purified. The good will accept the enforcement of divine laws but the wicked will rebel and apostatize… The words “and to his throne” point to chapter 22: 6: “and they lived and reigned with Christ 1000 years.” This Pope will be given the power to rule over the destiny of the Church immediately from heaven. He carries out the will of God and loses his life in consequence, and immediately as part of his reward he receives in heaven patronage over the Church on earth.” According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Sanctuary is “the space in the church for the high altar and the clergy.” This has a dual meaning as will be seen below.
The above seems to reflect VAS, the final governing document that yet rules us during this extended interregnum; the shepherd’s club delivering its blows to those daring to spirit away and spiritually murder the flock. There is yet an unexplored meaning of the word rod, however, that makes this scriptural prophecy even more specific to our own situation, and this is discussed below.
The etymological meaning of canon
“Canon is derived from the Greek kanon, i.e. a rule or practical direction” (Catholic Encyclopedia). But a more precise definition is discovered by inquiring into its origins. The 1957 Dictionary of Word Origins, by Joseph Shipley states: “Preceptors enforced their canons with a cane; countries used cannons. All three words are the same. The origin is probably oriental. There is the Arab qanat or cane; the Hebrew qaneh or reed, thence Greek kanna, kanne, reed; whence, from the straight, hollow tube, cannon. But also Greek, kanon, whence Latin, a rod, then a rule in the sense of a carpenters rule or measure meaning any rule or law.”
And from www.dictionary.com : “Word Origin for canon: Old English, from Latin, from Greek kanōn rule, rod for measuring, standard; related to kanna reed, cane.” And from www.bible.org: “The word canon… comes from the Greek kanon and most likely from the Hebrew qaneh and Akkadian, qanu. Literally, it means (a) a straight rod or bar; (b) a measuring rule as a ruler used by masons and carpenters; then (c) a rule or standard for testing straightness.” in classical Latin, “measuring line, rule,” from Greek kanon “any straight rod or bar; rule; standard of excellence,” perhaps from kanna ‘reed’” (https://www.etymonline.com/word/canon).
Above Rev. Kramer wrote: “The rod of iron is a scriptural symbol of divine chastisement or LAW ENFORCEMENTby which the good are separated from the wicked.” The iron-clad rod or club has to do with protection, discipline and punishment, as in excommunication and exclusion from Church membership. Normally the shepherd uses his crook to guide or direct the sheep — the crook Christ is carrying in the many depictions of Him as the Good Shepherd. But the iron rod is reserved for predators and the sheep who stubbornly refuse the direction of the shepherd. Canons of excommunication, especially for heresy, apostasy or schism are the most severe punishments in the 1917 Code of Canon of Law. A shepherd may either drive predators away (threaten excommunication), incapacitate them by permanently wounding them (paralyzing, rendering them brain injured, amputating a limb, the equivalent of incapacitating them from acting) or they can kill them (sentence, deposition, degradation).
Incapacitation (invalidation) and deposition are both mentioned in VAS. Basically any censures for heresy and schism incurred during an interregnum or before it occurs incapacitate the individual who cannot be admitted again to the Church unless a new pope is elected. And the declaration of these censures by an ecclesiastical judge is not necessary under Canon Law and Cum ex… In our last blog it was explained how Pope Paul IV declared null, void and invalid any of the acts of heretics or schismatics promoted to office. Below we see that his bull was intended to guard the flock and drive away all those preying upon it.
Pope Paul IV, Cum ex apostolatus officio
“1. The Apostle’s office entrusted, to Us by God, though beyond any merit of Ours, lays upon Us the general care of the Lord’s flock. Hence We are bound, to watch over the flock assiduously, as a vigilant shepherd, with faithful protection and wholesome guidance… 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, lest We seem to be silent watchdogs, unable to bark, or lest We come to an evil end like the evil husbandmen or be likened to a hireling.”
“3. All and sundry Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals… [who] have strayed or fallen into heresy or have been apprehended, have confessed or been convicted of incurring, inciting or committing schism or who, in the future, shall stray or fall into heresy or shall incur, incite or commit schism or shall be apprehended, confess or be convicted of straying or falling into heresy or of incurring, inciting or committing schism, being less excusable than others in such matters, in addition to the sentences, censures and penalties mentioned above, (all these persons) are also automatically and WITHOUT ANY RECOURSE TO LAW OR ACTION, are completely and entirely, forever deprived of, AND FURTHERMORE DISQUALIFIED FROM AND INCAPACITATED FOR THEIR RANK. They shall be treated, as relapsed and subverted in all matters and for all purposes, just as though, they had earlier publicly abjured such heresy in court. THEY CAN NEVER AT ANY TIME BE REESTABLISHED, RE-APPOINTED, RESTORED OR RECAPACITATED FOR THEIR FORMER STATE.”
“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… 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, then his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void.”
All of the above is reflected in various canon laws listing Cum ex… as the source for their existence in the Code (see them here). These canons are forever held in force by Pope Pius XII’s 1945 papal election law, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS). No one can be admitted to orders who is not determined by due investigation, conducted by the proper authorities, to be a devout Catholic. No bishops who have professed heresy or promoted schism, whether before assuming their offices or afterwards, may validly ordain or consecrate because all their acts are forever invalidated. These laws regarding heresy and schism are upheld in Can. 6 §4 and in turn are eternally protected from violation by VAS, which itself refers to two laws enacted by Pope Paul IV. Any violation of papal law, or canon law, particularly VAS, are infallibly decreed as null, void and invalid. And Christ, ruling with Pope Pius XII from Heaven, binds all that the popes bind and loose on earth.
Could there be another interpretation of the word canon? Yes, the Canon of the Mass, which we believe is what is referred to in the measurement of the sanctuary in Apoc. 11:1. This part of the Mass is called a “canon” because it is governed by liturgical rules or laws. In the bulls Quo Primum and De Defectibus, also by the Council of Trent, the Latin rite’s inviolability and the inviolability of the consecration are ensured. These laws are papal and conciliar laws protected under VAS.
In the use of this one term, rod of iron, is encapsulated the entire explanation of the cessation of the continual sacrifice, he who withholdeth, the end of the age and how the Church is yet ruled and governed from heaven during the sede vacante.
The name Pius seems to correspond with scriptural (and private) prophecies predicting a series of holy popes bearing the same name who are responsible for their disciplinary contributions to the Church. The following list seems to give some credence to this prediction.
- Pope Pius IV — Presided over the conclusion of the Council of Trent treating the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the approval of bishops by the pope alone, issuing the Profession of Faith and declaring that the decrees of the Council and of the Apostolic See are to remain untouched.
- Pope St. Pius V — Inter multiplices (confirming Pope Paul IV’s bull Cum ex apostolatus officio), Quo Primum, De Defectibus, implementation of the Council of Trent decrees
- Pope Pius VI — Charitas, Auctorem Fidei
- Pope Pius IX — The Vatican Council, the Syllabus, definition of the Immaculate Conception
- Pope St. Pius X — Vacante sede apostolica, codifying papal elections; the commencement of the codification of Canon Law; condemnation of the Modernists and the Sillon
- Pope Pius XI — Condemnation of atheistic Communism and socialism, Quas Primas on Christ the King, Casti Cannubi, condemning birth control and abortion
- Pope Pius XII — Vacantis apostolicae sedis, Mystici Corporis, Humani generis, Ad apostolorum principis, definition of the Assumption, and so many others. This also includes the address to women engaged in Catholic Action, included in the AAS, empowering the laity to assume the duties of the hierarchy in their absence.
Could these be the seven thunders spoken of in Apoc. 10: 4? There St. John writes: “When the seven thunders had uttered their voices…, I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ’Seal up what the seven thunders have spoken.’” Both Fr. Berry and Fr. Kramer state that these voices may be those “…teaching divine truth, condemning error, and threatening persecutors with the vengeance of God [the rod of iron]” (Berry). Fr. Kramer writes:
“The thunders may mean dogmatic declarations of the Church against infidels, expressed in an ecumenical council… The seven thunders might mean the voices of several popes declaring infallible doctrines of the Church such as that of the Immaculate Conception or of the infallibility of the Pope… Pope St. Pius X’s condemnation of modernism” etc. Certainly the above list includes two major ecumenical councils, one ending in the wake of the Great Apostasy’s advent. Pope Pius XII seems to have been the “thundering velvet hand” in all this, for his decrees, particularly VAS, were not appreciated as they might have been during his lifetime. Their significance became more evident only following the end of the Great Apostasy, the reign of the usurpers and the founding of Traditionalism.
This is especially true of VAS, the “thunder” of which lies in the words added to this constitution. These words were absent from Pope St. Pius X’s original election law. Both constitutions invalidated all attempted actions to usurp papal jurisdiction. But regarding any changes contrary to papal or canon law, Pope Pius XII further proclaimed: “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.”
It is interesting that further on in Ch. 10, vs. 6-7, we find these words uttered by the angel addressing St. John: “Time shall be no longer. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished.” Fr. Berry comments: “This does not mean that the end of the world is at hand but that the time for judgment against obstinate sinners and persecutors has arrived. This judgment shall be the great persecution of Antichrist and its attendant evils. Then shall be accomplished the mystery of God which has been announced by the prophets.”
And from Fr. Kramer on these verses: “There shall be no more delay in the execution of God’s judgments is the angel’s oath. [But] the world is not to be destroyed…” Here we see the Scriptural dividing line between the end of the age and the consummation of the world. Was the seventh angel also Pope Pius XII, referred to by some as the “angelic shepherd”? We can do nothing more than speculate, and yet all seems to be as it is presented above, as well as in our previous blogs and articles. We can only continue to chronicle events as they occur, and to note the further explanation of events past, when better understood. We are witnesses, not prophets. And as is the task of all witnesses, we must simply shine our burning lamps on whatever we may see until the Bridegroom cometh.