+Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul+
+Prayer Society intentions for the Month of July,
Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus+
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the conversion of the enemies of our holy Faith.
In response to accusations by certain parties that the premises on which the book The Phantom Church in Rome are based must inevitably result in the conclusion that Pope Pius XII was an heretical pope, I offer the following. The objections of these critics will appear as OBJ and my response as ANS.
OBJ. 1: The crime of apostasy, heresy or schism must be manifested externally, either in words, writings or acts that reveal desertion from the Christian Church, denial of any article of faith or separation from the unity of the Church, according to Can. 2195, §1. Saint Thomas says in Summa Theologica Part II-IIae – Question 39 “Therefore, those who spontaneously and intentionally depart from the unity of the Church, which is the main unity, will be considered as schismatics in the strict sense.”
ANS: In last week’s blog I demonstrated beyond any doubt that such heresy was manifested in word, writing and acts by these bishops under orders of Roncalli and/or his unHoly Office. This only three months following his invalid election. Were all the bishops parties to this? Even if they were not, and we know they later proved their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, they were OBLIGATED to know that what they were promoting was heresy. It occurred in sufficient numbers that it could not be denied or ignored (Can. 2197) and anyone who remained silent regarding said heresy and schism from the Church and teachings of Pope Pius XII and all his predecessors also incurred guilt under Can. 1325. And here I would like to add further proof of this willful and intentional disobedience and rebellion, issued only three months before Pope Pius XII’s death:
OBJ. 2: You state: “I have proven he was both [a usurper and a Masonic agent] and a heretic pre-election. It was the electing cardinals who designated Roncalli as their “pope,” uncanonically placing a heretic in Peter’s Chair.” Are you saying that Pope Pius XII was a formal heretic, by electing as a potential candidate for the papacy a heretic, Modernist and Freemason known to all the Cardinals and the Episcopal Body on October 28, 1958, making him a Cardinal on January 2, 1953 and keeping him until October 9, 1958, and therefore Pope Pius XII was not Pope?
ANS: Pope Innocent III and Canon Law teach that NO ONE may judge the pope. And as one reader pointed out, this applies especially to a pope who was ill and in a most precarious situation, at the mercy of Antichrist himself and his False Prophet! As I explained in my last blog, Roncalli was nominated as a cardinal by Montini, who had not yet shown his true colors to Pope Pius XII. The pope cannot be judged for committing heresy while in office given the Vatican Council definitions which did not yet exist in Pope Paul IV’s time. One would need to prove beyond any doubt that Pope Pius XII, then, was invalidly elected or that he was a heretic pre-election (Can. 2233 and St. Paul: “But PROVE all things; hold fast that which is good” 1 Thess. 5:2). This is something only a future ecumenical council and/or a canonically elected pope could determine.
OBJ. 3: Are you suggesting that before the “election” of Roncalli, the Cardinals chosen by His Holiness Pope Pius XII and His Holiness Pope Pius XI were not legitimate, and it was because of them that the “election” was invalid, and not that it was invalid by the apostate person of Roncalli himself, who, we insist again, was elevated to the Cardinalate by Pope Pius XII?
ANS: No; I am only saying that because the cardinals must designate the man to become pope, they are responsible for first investigating his character. The cardinals electing Roncalli were occult heretics prior to Pope Pius XII’s death who then openly and freely manifested their heresy by electing Roncalli at the behest of the American government/CIA, thereby violating Pope Pius XII’s infallible election law Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) in this and in numerous other ways, deposing themselves and invalidating the election. This is the very “obstinacy and rebellion” referred to in your communique (see below). I never said that ALL the cardinals defected, only those who voted for Roncalli (35 out of 51 or thereabouts.) The cardinals rebelled first of all by failing to follow the commands of Pope Pius XII contained in VAS.
Violations of VAS by paragraph
1) Without a two-thirds plus one vote by CATHOLIC cardinals who have not tacitly resigned from their offices by heresy (Can. 188 n. 4, VAS para. 35), the election is “ipso iure null and void,” (para. 68).
2) Roncalli promoted himself for election prior to Pius XII’s death, a fact proven from several different sources, contrary to the excommunication in para. 93 and Can. 2330 n. 6. If the cardinals attempted to absolve him from that excommunication, this is a usurpation of papal jurisdiction (para. 1), since this excommunication is reserved in a most special manner to the Roman Pontiff. That absolution therefore was invalid under VAS and Roncalli was invalidly elected, since Can. 2265 §1, n. 2, which VAS teaches must be followed along with all the other canons, states: “Every excommunicated person whatsoever is incapable of acquiring dignities offices, benefices ecclesiastical pensions or any position in the Church.” Number one of this same canon would also deprive them of the right to vote, but VAS allows excommunicates (for everything but heresy governed under para. 35) to vote.
3) Any lay interference automatically incurs excommunication reserved in a most special manner to the Roman Pontiff, (paras. 94, 95, also para. 3; Can. 2330, n. 7,8), and there are numerous sources of great import documenting the fact that this actually occurred.
4) Any act violating any of the provisions of VAS itself, especially, or of the Sacred Canons in general is null and void. These would include:
- any attempt to usurp papal jurisdiction (para.1);
- all the canons decreeing excommunication of the cardinals, if not observed;
- any usurpation of papal jurisdiction or unopposed attempts to subvert the election (para. 2).
- The election of one not yet absolved by the Roman Pontiff himself from those censures in VAS especially reserved to him, for this would be a usurpation of papal jurisdiction.
OBJ. 4: We quote from The Communication of Catholics with Non-Catholics, Catholic University of America dissertation on canon law, 1948, on schism: “One must withdraw directly (expressly) or indirectly (by his actions) from obedience to the Roman Pontiff and separate from ecclesiastical communion with the other faithful; the withdrawal must be done with obstinacy and rebellion; in relation to those things by which the unity of the Church is constituted.”
ANS: As already stated above, that withdrawal WAS made with obstinacy and rebellion by a) disobeying the binding decrees of Pope Pius XII, especially VAS in electing an unworthy candidate; b) accepting the authority and “papacy” of John 23 by distributing the 1959 mass booklets, c) preparing for and attending the first session of the false Vatican 2 council, and d) by observing the 1962 missal changes and other calendar changes.
OBJ. 5: Canon 2229 §2. Canon 2316: “A person who knowingly and on his own account helps in any way to propagate heresy, or who communicates in sacred rites (in divinis) with heretics in violation of the prohibition of Canon 1258 incurs suspicion of heresy.” If the law uses the words: “He has the audacity, dares, knowingly, intently, recklessly, on purpose” or other similar words that require full knowledge and full deliberation, any reduction of imputability by the understanding or by part of the will exempts from the penalties ‘latae sententiae’.
ANS: It is presumed that cardinals and bishops act knowingly and on purpose, with full knowledge and deliberation, since they have been educated in the teachings of the Church and Canon Law. This was already stated above. You will notice that Can. 2314 §1 (3) does not use this wording, so they are not exempt. Moreover it cites Can. 188 n. 4 which REMOVES THEM FROM THEIR OFFICES AS BISHOPS FOR RECOGNIZING RONCALLI AS A LEGITIMATE POPE AND FAILING TO DEPART FROM HIM TO ELECT A TRUE POPE. This happened in 1958-59, NOT in 1965! Furthermore, the Very Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac, S.S, D.D., D.C.L., in his Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law writes under Can. 2316: “under the former legislation those who helped the spread of heresy were among the fautores hereticorum who incurred the same excommunication as the heretics themselves. The penalty now is suspicion of heresy and the law more explicitly defines the circumstances under which is it is incurred. The assistance must be given not simply to heretics personally but to the heresy so as to contribute to its propagation.”
In questioning the culpability of the cardinals and bishops, we have a doubt regarding the application of this law. What does the Code of Canon Law tell us to do whenever there is a doubt regarding the application of a law? It tells us to return to the old law under Canon 6 n. 4. What is the old law? Well Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac has just told us what the old law was — heretics who cooperate with the principal agent in the spread of heresy. incur the same excommunication. And guess what the old law governing Can. 2316 is? It is no less than Cum ex Apostolates Officio and we know what that law says — these bishops lose all offices for publicly pronouncing heresy. So there we’ve solved our problem. Now we will examine whether or not under Can. 2316 bishops would be presumed to know or could be considered ignorant (invincibly or otherwise) of the fact that they were committing heresy.
Rev. MacKenzie comments: “The very commission of any act which signifies heresy, e.g., the statement of some doctrine contrary or contradictory to a revealed and defined dogma gives sufficient ground for juridical presumption of heretical depravity. There may be excusing circumstances which excuse from grave responsibility in the external forum and the burden of proof is on the person whose action has given eyes to the imputation of heresy. In the absence of proof all such excuses are PRESUMED not to exist” and here MacKenzie refers obliquely to Canon 2200 of the Code, for later he writes: “…Ignorance must be proved. By virtue of Can. 2200 §2 the fact that a delict has been committed establishes a PRESUMPTION that the delinquent was fully responsible. A mere assertion of ignorance will not suffice. Laypersons will be able to prove this claim more easily than clerics…”
Regarding the election of a future pope, Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis also sheds further light on this matter: “We command those individuals to whom it pertains and will pertain for the time being to vote, that the ordinances must be respectively and inviolably observed by them, and if anyone should happen to try otherwise relative to these things, by whatever authority, KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY, the attempt is null and void” (para. 108). Below I will provide lengthy quotes from theologians well versed in this subject. We must remember that clerics as referred to by Rev. MacKenzie would more likely refer to those who are deacons and priests. Bishops are much higher on the chain than what is assumed here.
Teaching on ignorance and heresy
We must first remember that from the very beginning of his usurpation, John 23 made it very clear that he intended to modernize the Church. This should have served as a grave warning to the bishops. In his 1935 work Canon Law, Abp. Amleto Cicognani quotes Pope Celestine, who said: “No priest may be ignorant of the canons;” and Pope Leo I: “If ignorance is hardly tolerable in laymen, how much more so in those who are over them; such ignorance is inexcusable and intolerable.” Another pope, whose Bull is the basis for nearly every Canon governing heresy in the Code, taught:
“We likewise consider it ﬁtting that those who do not refrain from evil through love of virtue should be deterred therefrom through fear of penalties. Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals [etc.]…, who must teach others and give them good example to keep them in the Catholic Faith — when these prevaricate, they sin more gravely than others; for they not only lose themselves, but drag down with them to perdition and the pit of death countless other peoples entrusted to their care and government or otherwise subject to them… All and sundry Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals…WHO, IN THE FUTURE, SHALL STRAY OR FALL INTO HERESY OR SHALL INCUR, INCITE OR COMMIT SCHISM… being less excusable than others in such matters… (all these persons) are also automatically AND WITHOUT ANY RECOURSE TO LAW OR ACTION, completely and entirely, forever deprived of, and furthermore disqualified from and incapacitated for their rank” (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, para. 3). But our critics are attempting to excuse these cardinals and bishops by having recourse to Can. 2316, when Cum ex… governs this very canon?
In his work, Ignorance in Relation to the Imputability of Delicts (1941), Rev. Innocent Swoboda, O.F.M., J.C.L. observes: “One who is well versed in the law, or one who holds an office in regard to the things pertaining to the office,” is PRESUMED to be unable to claim ignorance of the law or its penalty or ignorance of some fact concerning the delict. Swoboda explains that in priests, (far less bishops), a knowledge of the law is so strongly presumed that even if ignorance is claimed, it would most likely be considered crass by an ecclesiastical court, or culpable, (meaning the offender is at fault). Crass ignorance is subjectively defined by Swoboda as: “A complete lack of diligence when it is known that the truth could be easily discovered… A complete and total failure to use any effort to fulfill the obligation of knowing the law or the pertinent facts surrounding the law. The failure itself may arise from mere sloth or from a sinful habit of acting without due consideration of the results of one’s own conduct… Only the ignorance of those things which can be easily learned can be considered crass or supine.”
And Rev. Eric MacKenzie writes in his 1932 Canon Law dissertation, The Delict of Heresy, p. 48: “Mere ignorance of the penalty does not remove all imputability from the delict but only diminishes it… If the delinquent making this claim be a cleric his plea for mitigation must be dismissed either as untrue or else as indicating ignorance which is affected or at least crass and supine. His ecclesiastical training in the seminary with its moral and dogmatic theology, its ecclesiastical history, not to mention its Canon Law — all ensured that the Church’s attitude toward heresy was imparted to him. Thereafter his professional associations and his contacts with Church affairs offer further guarantee that HE HAD AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW ABOUT HERESY. Hence his present ignorance is unreal or if it be real, it can only be explained as deliberately fostered.” But our critics would excuse these men?
Can. 2200 states that: “…Given the external violation of a law, the evil will is PRESUMED in the external forum until the contrary is proved.” Rev. Chas. Augustine (Bachofen) concurs with Rev. MacKenzie, stating that, “The text adds that if the fact of the violation of the law is certain, the intention or dolus is presumed until the contrary is proved. Hence the proof of ignorance rests on the perpetrator. This is also recognized by civil law.” He adds: “For any culpable act there is required under Canon 2228: (a) knowledge that what the offender is doing is criminal (meaning knowledge that a censure is attached to the delict); (b) culpa(bility), as distinguished from dolus which can arise from ignorance, carelessness or thoughtlessness… (c) [Also], the evil effect must be foreseen at least in a general or confused way, and (d) [there must have been] an obligation to avoid the evil effect. And according to Pope Paul IV and Revs. MacKenzie and Swoboda above, it will be practically impossible for anyone who holds an office in the Church to prove their innocence.
Let’s analyze these point by point:
- a) Knowledge of the crime. Even a good Protestant would admit that it is a terrible thing to change words in the Bible, and if one examines ANY Bible, Catholic or Protestant, it will become clear that nowhere can be found the words “for all men.”
- b) Lack of culpability cannot be granted to those who have received a commission as a successor of the apostles and taken an episcopal oath to preserve the faith and protect the faithful from all error.
- c) The evil effect, Modernism, had been well outlined by Pius XII as well as Pope St. Pius X and these bishops had studied such things in the seminary and the pontifical universities.
- d) These men were strictly obliged to avoid such evils.
The Holy See has clarified the above in regard to both the laity and the clergy in the following decision from the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda, July 20, 1859. As Revs. Woywod-Smith report in A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law: “Formal heresy only is punished with Canon 2314; wherefore, as Cerato remarks, persons born and educated in an heretical sect without knowing the true faith, cannot be said to have stubbornly denied the Catholic faith, and thus, do not incur the penalties of Canon 2314 §1 (3)” [as these critics being addressed here say of the bishops]. “NEVERTHELESS, in the external forum, they are not free from them, for according to Canon 2200, when there is an external violation of Church law, malice is PRESUMED in the external forum until its absence is proven. The Holy See insists that converts from heretical or schismatic sects be not received into the Church until they have first abjured the heresy or schism and been absolved from the censure” (p. 511). The cardinals and bishops later proved their guilt by proceeding to convene the false Vatican 2 council and establish the Novus Ordo religion. Any further questions?
And when exactly did these bishops renounce their heresies and obtain absolution and abjuration if they only just became formal heretics or apostates in 1965? If the Holy See requires this abjuration and absolution of converts, how much more so a CARDINAL OR BISHOP who once held the faith, whole and entire; whereas, a baptized convert is most likely to have been ignorant. This ruling is obviously in place so that the faithful are protected from ANY person who has ever been publicly outside the Church, by requiring a public act or submission to the Church and Her authority before admitting them to the communion of the faithful. Both the canonists Revs. E. J. Mahoney and Adolphe Tanquerey teach the same on this subject.
There is also further consideration of this point under Canons 2207.This canon reads: “Besides other aggravating circumstances, an offense is made worse by the greater dignity of the person who commits the offence or … by the abuse of authority or office for the purpose of committing an offense.” Rev. Charles Augustine comments on this canon as follows: “The higher the dignitary who commits a crime or against whom a crime is committed the greater the crime itself. For not only is the scandal greater but the law itself surrounds these persons with greater protection and inflicts severer penalties for crimes committed against them. Consequently clergymen are more severely punished than laymen… Heresy is more severely punishable in clerics than in laymen. Authority and office may be abused and such abuse is the more detestable the higher the office and being an abuse of a public trust also enhances imputability.”
Finally, as reported in my previous blog, the cardinals could easily have had access to the truth regarding Roncalli’s suspected heresy, which would have disqualified him from election. They were required to have been aware of the laws regarding heresy and the election of a pope. The cardinals are members of the Sacred Congregations and the proof of Roncalli’s suspected heresy issued from one of those congregations. They had a strict obligation to investigate the worthiness of the candidates; in fact they took an oath to do so. Canon 16 § 1 and §2 state: “No ignorance of invalidating or disqualifying laws excuses from their observance unless the law expressly declares otherwise (1). Ignorance or error as a rule is not presumed when it concerns a law or its penalty or one’s own act or when it concernsthe generally known acts of third persons. Concerning the acts of third persons which are not generally known, ignorance is presumed until the contrary is proved (2).”
Therefore there IS NO EXCUSE for the ignorance of the cardinals or the bishops regarding their lack of due diligence in discerning those laws or acts that disqualified Roncalli from election. Abp. Amleto Cicognani comments on this canon: “Wherefore an act performed even in ignorance or error contrary to the prescriptions of an invalidating or disqualifying law, unless it be given as a penalty for an offense, is invalid just as if a person performed the act with full knowledge. Hence the legislator decreed no ignorance of invalidating or disqualifying laws excuses from their observance; namely no ignorance of the aforementioned laws can make acts valid which they have rendered invalid nor can it make persons capable of acting whom they have declared incapacitated from acting.” Rev. Bernard Wuellner S. J. states the same in his Summary of Scholastic Principles (1957): “Laws justly declaring an incapacity to act or to receive benefits invalidate the attempted act or reception even if they are inculpably unknown or facts pertaining to their application in a concrete instance are unknown.”
OBJ. 6: If Roncalli introduced 47 false cardinals, more than half, to the false conclave of 1963, is it not evident that election was anti-canonical by the members of the conclave and by the person elected of Montini himself?
ANS: Roncalli may have remained only suspect of heresy all the years preceding his election, though in retrospect we know that his heresy was more than proven by his subsequent written works and actions. That suspicion was enough to disqualify him, just as it disqualified Cardinal Morone from being elected following the death of Pope Paul IV. I demonstrated that the “elections” of both Roncalli and Montini were uncanonical over 30 years ago in my first published work, Will the Catholic Church Survive…? This according to the method advised under Can. 18 when there arises a doubt about some fact not covered in the law. Canon 18 reads: “Ecclesiastical laws are to be interpreted according to the proper meaning of the terms of the law considered in their context. If the meaning of the terms remains doubtful or obscure one must have recourse to parallel passages of the Code, if there are any, or to the purpose of the law and its circumstances and the intention of the legislator.”
In his dissertation Canonical Elections, (Catholic University of America Press, 1939), Rev. Anscar Parsons states that, “The election of the Holy Father has been the prototype for the election of inferior prelates.” As both Rev. Parsons and Rev. Timothy Mock (Disqualification of Electors in Ecclesiastical Elections, Catholic University of America Press, 1958) explain, the election of an unworthy candidate is null and void from the beginning, because QUALIFIED ELECTORS are bound to know that the one they elect is duly qualified. By unworthy is meant a person branded by infamy of law or fact or a notorious apostate, heretic, schismatic or public sinner. Canon 2391 §1 provides the parallel passage of the Code mentioned in Can. 18: “A college which knowingly elects an unworthy person is automatically deprived, for that particular election, of the right to hold a new election.” The fact that this election was based on the wishes and desires of the U.S. government alone, in violation of VAS — not to mention all the other violations noted above — indicates the intent to deliberately act contrary to the commands of Pope Pius XII, i.e., knowingly.
This takes us back to the election of Roncalli himself, which not only disqualifies him as a candidate but voids the election of Montini and all who followed him. Rev. Parsons comments that those considered unfit or unworthy of election are “…those who are legally infamous or laboring under censure [also] notorious apostates, schismatics… public sinners and persons whose conduct is sinful or scandalous… In normal cases it is PRESUMED that the chapter made its choice with full deliberation and knowledge, because it is their duty to investigate the qualities of the person whom they elect … If the majority elect someone who is unworthy, all the voters, even those who are innocent are deprived of the right to vote in this instance” (p. 197).
Rev. Mock agrees with Parsons, writing: “…The burden of proof …will be upon the electors to show that they did not know of the defect in the candidate. The electors are PRESUMED to know the qualifications required by law” (p. 137). Parsons poses the question: “Is the election of an unworthy person void from the beginning? It seems that it is. For the law says that the chapter is deprived of the right to proceed ‘…to a new election.’ In making this disposition, the legislator seems to suppose that the original choice was null and void” (p. 197.)” The electors showed their true intent by the subsequent election of Montini, the CIA’s star operative in the Vatican, and the eventual devastation he wreaked upon the Church. What further damning evidence could anyone possibly hope for to prove this case?!
In the end, we have the principle of St. Robert Bellarmine confirmed by the practice of the Church Herself: “A DOUBTFUL POPE IS NO POPE, and there is plenty of doubt to go around regarding Roncalli’s election. So what is this hoorah posed by these objectors REALLY all about? These critics have accused me of deliberately refusing to answer their claims. I have answered them at length here, and the burden of proving their own case — that these cardinals and bishops can be held invincibly ignorant and free of censure — now rests with them. Those cardinals and bishops electing and recognizing Roncalli as a true pope are PRESUMED to have known the law and to have acted with full knowledge and deliberation; they are PRESUMED to have been fully aware of the qualifications of Roncalli. Most importantly, Canon 2200 PRESUMES malice until the contrary is proven. And all those miscreant cardinals and bishops not only did not prove their innocence, but they also did everything necessary to prove their guilt!
These presumptions are crucial, for Canon 1827 reads: “He who has a PRESUMPTION of law in his favor is freed from the burden of proof which has thus shifted to his opponent. If the latter cannot prove that the presumption failed in the case, the judge must render sentence in favor of the one on whose side the presumption stands.” My 1958 designation of the beginning of the end of the Great Apostasy with the election of Angelo Roncalli STANDS.
+Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist+
Baptism of our Lord, stained glass window in the Church of St. Ambrose and Theodulus, Stresa, Lago Maggiore, Piedmont, Italy
The attitude of those who today study theology often as amateurs and with little or no opportunity to discuss their work with others, should be one of mutual support and cooperation. This however has not been the case. The tendency to foster one’s own opinions and pet theories should have been set aside to work for the good of the Church in a spirit of true charity, but in these days charity has grown cold. Obedience to Divine law and infallible truths, open mindedness and objectivity should have been the primary goals but all were off on their own tangents, this author, in the early days of writing, included. No real standards for arriving at truth were ever set down; laymen daring to wade into the theological fray were likely to be chewed up and spat out by the pseudo-clerics who then prevailed. And later even laymen writing as amateurs would mount attacks on their fellows in defending the sedevacantist, Traditionalist and other positions. But it is never too late to change direction and work together for the glory of God and the good of His Church. This is our prayer and our constant petition.
The above excerpts were taken from an article I originally penned in 2009, based on the writings of Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton. I have had occasion to return to this article many times. Today it is in reference to a false claim made in the work that has been running as a series on this site for the past several months — Javier Morell-Ibarra’s Survival Guide for Catholics. Unfortunately I will no longer be able to offer this work on my site since the author has refused to correct the statement of a conclusion that contradicts Canon Law and Church teaching on heresy. I do this with regret as there are many things otherwise commendable in Mr. Morell-Ibarra’s work, but this false conclusion cannot be overlooked, even considering the overall import of his book.
Relying solely on his own opinion and not bothering to base anything he says on the teachings of approved theologians and papal documents, he states as a certainty that the Great Apostasy occurred with the conclusion of the false Vatican 2 council and the signing by all the bishops of Vatican 2 documents. I early on registered my opposition to his initial statement HERE (please reread this blog to better understand what follows) but held off to see if he would answer my objections and/or clarify his assertion. I had hoped he would explain further as the book progressed; however this was not the case. In fact when approached privately, he refused to offer any substantial proofs to refute the objections in my past blog and has even accused me of making it appear that Pope Pius XII knowingly elevated a heretic to the office of cardinal.
Morell-Ibarra uses Cum ex… and Can. 188 §4 to justify his assumption without any explanation. But that is not what we are allowed to do when attempting to arrive at certitude regarding such serious matters. As the scholastic theologian Bernard Wuellner S.J. writes:
- Every judgment must be based on proof.
- In doubt, facts cannot be presumed, but must be proved.
- When in doubt one must stand by presumption.
- There is no argument against the evidence.
- No argument or conclusion contrary to the evident facts is valid, (#s 6-9 taken from Rev. Bernard Wuellner, S. J., “Summary of Scholastic Principles,” 1956).
The Catholic Encyclopedia states regarding proofs: “The proper test of truth is evidence, whether the evidence of a truth in itself or by participation in the evidence of some other truth from which it is proved. Many truths, indeed, have to be accepted on authority; but then it has to be made evident that such authority is legitimate, is capable of knowing the truth, and is qualified to teach in the particular department in which it is accepted.”
When crime scene investigators evaluate the commission of a crime such as murder, they do so based on the evidence that’s found at the crime scene and what can be deduced from witnesses and circumstances surrounding the crime. Oftentimes it happens that it takes many years for the particulars of certain crimes to become known well enough that charges can be made to show what actually occurred, who really committed the crime, how it was committed, whether or not there were accomplices and so forth. In many ways when Catholics came on the scene of what happened to the Church you might in some respects call it a cold case, because many years had elapsed since the actual start of the damage done to the Church. What we were doing was looking at it from a perspective of what had already happened, not from what was actually happening at the time the crime was committed. And Traditionalists obscured our understanding and view of what had happened and what was then taking place.
Heresy, apostasy and schism are categorized by the Church as crimes — soul murder, to be exact. One does not look remotely at a crime scene where the carnage done is patently obvious to those investigating the murders then calculate the guilt of the parties based on how long it took to be certain that the perpetrators actually committed the crime. One who confesses to a murder is held guilty of that murder retroactively, not just from the moment he confesses. It is ridiculous to pretend otherwise. Likewise in Canon Law, the moment that one publicly adheres to heresy, apostasy or schism, he incurs the censure; he is guilty of the crime. And Can. 2314 §1 (3) states that heretics and those who join a false religion lose all offices under Canon 188 §4, issuing from Cum ex apostolatus officio. The moment one affiliates with a false religion, he suffers the penalties for communicatio in sacris which includes infamy of law. And this infamy invalidates all ecclesiastical acts. But already the tacit resignation of an ecclesiastical office based on heresy deprives the offender of all jurisdiction and power.
We must separate the realization by the faithful that these acts had taken place and the actual fact that it already HAD taken place according to the laws and teachings of the Church. A delict does not have to be known by all to be notorious heresy; in a small community 10 who realize it suffices, according to the canonists Woywod-Smith. Some 2,215 bishops attended the first session of the false Vatican 2 council in 1962, and that is no small number. Only 46 of that number voted against the proposed changes in the liturgy, so over 2,100 were well informed of what they were doing and where the Church was going. For already in January of 1959 they had begun to revise the liturgy themselves, with the blessing of John 23. They knew what they were doing was contrary to what the Church had always taught, that it was an innovation; that is why they called it liturgical renewal. These bishops had studied sacred theology and were obligated to know the truths of faith. They simply decided those truths were no longer relevant.
The mutilation of the Consecration of the wine
Now we know that the primary reason everyone exited the Novus Ordo, for the most part, was the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae, especially the change in the consecration of the wine in the Canon of the Mass. And there is a very good reason why the words of the Consecration were at issue. It is because these are Christ’s very own words, and the Church long ago forbid them to be changed. If nearly half of the laity recognized that when it was finally formalized, what excuse could the bishops possibly produce for failing to recognize it sooner? The following series of Henry Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma citations here proves that any public denial of the dogma that these were Christ’s very words and that they must be retained was nothing less than the promulgation of heresy.
DZ 415: “We must however distinguish accurately between three things which are different in this sacrament; namely the visible form, the truth of the body and the spiritual power. The form is the bread and wine, the truth of the flesh and blood, the power of unity and of charity. Therefore we believe that the form of words as it is found in the canon the apostles received from Christ and their successors from them” (Pope Innocent III)
DZ 585: “It is not established in the gospel that Christ arranged the Mass” — condemned as heretical against John of Wycliffe at the Council of Constance by Pope Martin V.
DZ 698: “The words of the Savior by which he instituted the Sacrament are the form of this Sacrament, for the priest speaking in the person of Christ affects the Sacrament” and this was given for belief to the Armenians at the council of Florence from the Bull Exultate Deo.
DZ 876: Christ… soul and divinity, exist under the species of bread and wine, but the body indeed under the species of bread and the blood under the species of wine by the force of the words. Therefore it is very true that as much as contained under either species is under both. For Christ whole and entire exist under the species of bread and under any part whatsoever that species, likewise the whole Christ, is present under the species of wine and under its parts” (Council of Trent)
DZ 953 (which pretty well sums up all the rest): “If anyone says that the Canon of the Mass CONTAINS ERRORS and should therefore be abrogated, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA. (Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent).
DZ 956: If anyone says that the… words of consecration pronounced in a low voice is to be condemned, or that the mass should be celebrated in the vernacular only…Let him be anathema.
Note here that not only did they SAY the wording of the consecration should be changed — THEY ACTUALLY CHANGED IT; first in the mass booklets and later in the Missale Romanum and the missals used by the laity. The Popes condemn such a practice below.
Pope Benedict XIV, commenting on the explicit refutation by St. Thomas Aquinas of the argument that the words “for all men” ought to be used instead of “for many”, says:
“Therefore We say that the blood of Christ was shed for all; however, as regards sufficiency, and for the elect only, as regards efficacy, as Doctor Thomas explains correctly: ‘The blood of Christ’s Passion has its efficacy not merely in the elect among the Jews, but also in the Gentiles’ …. And therefore he says expressly, for you the Jews and for many, namely the Gentiles.” (Book II, Ch. XV, para. 11: De Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio)
(1) In the letter Super quibusdam (Sept.29,1351), Pope Clement VI taught: “The Roman Pontiff, regarding the administration of the Sacraments of the Church, can tolerate and even permit different rites of the Church of Christ….always without violating those things which pertain to the integrity and necessary parts of the Sacraments.”
(2) Council of Trent, Session III, Chap. 2 : “It (the Council) declared furthermore that this power has always been in the Church, that in the administration of the Sacraments, without violating their substance, she may determine or change whatever she may judge to be more expedient for the benefit of those who receive them or for the veneration of the Sacraments, according to the variety of circumstances, times and places.”
(3) Pope St. Pius X in the letter, Ex quo nono (Dec.26, 1910): “It is well known that to the Church there belongs no right whatsoever to innovate anything touching on the substance of the Sacraments.”
(4) On November 30, 1947, Pope Pius XII issued the apostolic constitution, Sacramentum Ordinis, which reiterates and clarifies the same principle. “As the Council of Trent teaches, the seven Sacraments of the New Law have been instituted by Jesus Christ, Our Lord, and the Church has no power over the substance of the Sacraments; i.e., over those things which, with the sources of divine revelation as witnesses, Christ the Lord Himself decreed to be preserved in a sacramental sign.”
Addis and Arnold’s Catholic Dictionary says: “The Council of Trent defines that though the Church may change rites and ceremonies, it cannot alter the ‘substance’ of the Sacraments. This follows from the nature of a Sacrament. The matter and form have no power in themselves to give grace. THIS POWER DEPENDS SOLELY ON THE WILL OF GOD WHO MADE THE GRACES PROMISED DEPEND ON THE USE OF CERTAIN THINGS AND WORDS, SO THAT IF THESE ARE ALTERED IN THEIR ESSENCE, THE SACRAMENT IS ALTOGETHER ABSENT.”
What is heresy?
In his Canon Law dissertation The Delict of Heresy, (1932, Catholic University of America), Rev. Eric MacKenzie defines a heretic as “One who pertinaciously denies or doubts a truth revealed by God and authoritatively proposed by the Church [for belief]… THE VERY COMMISSION OF ANY ACT WHICH SIGNIFIES HERESY; E.G., THE STATEMENT OF SOME DOCTRINE CONTRARY OR CONTRADICTORY TO A REVEALED AND DEFINED DOGMA, GIVES SUFFICIENT GROUND FOR JURIDICAL PRESUMPTION OF HERETICAL DEPRAVITY”
That Christ Himself proposed the words of the Consecration formula for the bread and the wine is a truth revealed in Holy Scripture. That truth is defined and proposed for belief by the Catholic Church above. Canon 1325 tells us: “The faithful are bound to profess their faith publicly whenever silence, subterfuge or their manner of acting would otherwise entail an implicit denial of their faith, a contempt of religion, an insult to God or scandal to their neighbor.” The bishops and cardinals above all the rest were bound to enforce this canon. It did not matter that these words “for all men” did not appear in the Missale Romanum before 1969; that would have invalidated the consecration, yes, but the fact that it was stated and distributed publicly was clearly heresy.
These TRAITORS erred by silence; they explicitly, not implicitly, allowed this heresy to be taught to the faithful, and they implicitly ranged themselves under a false pope whose stated intent, in his January 1959 announcement of the council, was to modernize the Church. It was their job to make certain that all missals published in the various dioceses were free from error. No one spoke out; no one demanded they be pulled from the pews. To the best of my knowledge I am the only one who has ever published proofs that this heresy even existed prior to the issuance of the Novus Ordo Missae. And it was first promulgated by Roncalli and his bishops, not Montini. We learn from a Catholic University of America publication written in 2003 by Jerome Hall, S.J., Intelligent and Active Participation, the Liturgical Press, that:
“In 1958, the Kyriale was followed by Our Parish Prays and Sings, which sold more than five million copies, most of them in paperback. That hymnal’s current successor, The Collegeville Hymnal, appeared in 1990. In1967, as the eucharistic liturgy was translated into English, the monastery began to publish the scriptural texts and music for singing the Mass together with the text of the Ordinary.” To these five million plus copies can be added mass booklets also translating pro multis from the Latin to for all men, such as the ones issued by the Paulist Fathers, also in January of 1959. The copy below is a first edition of Our Parish Prays and Sings, imprimatured in January 1959 for Collegeville Press. It is proof that bishops both embraced and implemented the beginnings of Roncalli’s modernization plan and promulgated it. One cannot say it was not a notorious act.
All the bishops allowing its use assented to it, and the better part of the clerics and religious involved in the Liturgical Movement for decades were aware of its gradual development. That it was a deliberate act geared to lay the foundation for Roncalli’s 1963 heresy on religious liberty in Pacem in Terris is obvious. That it dovetailed with the mistranslated and falsified “lead all souls to Heaven” Fatima prayer between the decades is yet another proof of what was afoot long before liturgical renewal set in. One cannot plead ignorance in the case of bishops, for as the canonists agree, such ignorance is impossible in those who are required by virtue of their office — who took an oath at their consecration — to know, preach, teach, defend and protect the faith and preserve the faithful from error.
According to Hall’s work, the guiding light of Collegeville Press, the Benedictine monk, Lambert Beauduin — a rabid liturgical renewal advocate — had been a dear friend of Roncalli’s for decades. Beauduin’s works inspired the founding of the Press. In 1957, Roncalli said that he owed his ecumenical vocation to Beauduin. And the heretical fruits of that vocation were published for all to see in the work above, distributed by once-Catholic bishops.
Does Roncalli’s pre-election heresy implicate Pope Pius XII?
Mr. Morell-Ibarra has stated that to insist the Great Apostasy began before 1965 would necessarily paint Pope Pius XII as complicit with it, but I have never even come close to intimating this in anything I have written. I have always placed the blame on the cardinal-electors for failing in their duty and electing an unworthy candidate, and Pius XII could scarcely have controlled or predicted their actions.
Did Pius XII necessarily know of Roncalli’s lapses? It could easily have been hidden from him by Montini or made to appear of no consequence, and this was most likely the case. Certainly Pius XII did not begin to suspect Montini’s actions until later in 1953-54, after his physician Galeazzi-Lisi reported he had been ”accidentally” poisoned. And when he discovered he was a traitor, he sent him to Milan as Archbishop minus the usual red hat. Paul Murphy reports, based on conversations with Pius XII’s housekeeper, Sr. Pasqualina, that “Roncalli wasn’t anyone to stand up in defense of Pius’s papacy for he had not shown that much liking for the Holy Father or for the style of his regime. Pius had kept a tight rein on Roncalli and allowed him no latitude in decision making. Under the imperious Pope the cardinal was never his own man” (La Popessa, p. 379). So Pius seems to have done what he could, given Roncalli’s appointment prior to his discovery of Montini’s various betrayals. Was Montini the one who recommended Roncalli for the cardinalate? What follows seems to confirm this was the case.
“Giovanni Montini knew Angelo Roncalli well. They came from the same part of the country and had met each other innumerable times at the Vatican when Montini had been Pro-Secretary of State. It had been Montini’s intervention with Pope Pius XII which had sent Roncalli to Paris as nuncio. Montini and Roncalli had worked closely together during the days of the worker priests… Knowing of the Archbishop’s shy longing for the title of cardinal, Montini had again brought to the attention of Pius XII the sterling qualities Roncalli had brought to his work in Ankara and finally in Paris. At the consistory of January 12, 1953, one of the two consistories Pius 12 had held in his lifetime, Pius had named Angelo Roncalli a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.
“It had been Montini who told Pius that the pace and pressures of the diplomatic post in Paris were a little wearing for a 71-year-old … who had been in the service of the Church for almost half a century. On his visit to Rome to thank Pius XII, Roncalli had a long talk with Montini… Montini [later] confided to one of his friends that Cardinal Roncalli was one of the wisest men he had ever known. The new patriarch of Venice had kept in close touch with Montini during the first month of his stay in Venice. He went to him for advice and counsel whenever he felt in need of such advice” (Andre Fabert, Pope Paul VI, 1963).
“For years the Holy Office had maintained a dossier on Roncalli which read “suspected of Modernism.” The file dated back to 1925, when Roncalli, who was known for his unorthodox teachings, was abruptly removed from his Professorship at the Lateran Seminary in mid-semester (he was accused of Modernism) and shipped off to Bulgaria. This transfer to Bulgaria began his diplomatic career. Of particular concern to Rome was Roncalli’s continuing, close association with the defrocked priest, Ernesto Buonaiuti, who was excommunicated for heresy in 1926” (Lawrence Elliot, I Will be Called John, 1973; pgs. 90-92). Pope Pius XI began an investigation of Roncalli after he maintained correspondence with Buonaiuti even after he was defrocked. The file then lay dormant for 14 years until Pius XII was elected pope. And it would be another 14 years before he made Roncalli a cardinal, at the behest of Montini.
Elliot writes: “Roncalli was to learn nothing of this until 1958 when he became Pope and, visiting a certain Congregational office, asked to see his own file. There he found marked alongside his name the charge “suspected of Modernism.” As evidence, the file contained a postcard addressed to him by Buonaiuti. Then the rarely manifested Roncalli anger erupted. Demanding a pen, he wrote beneath the condemnatory words: ‘I, John 23rd, Pope, declare that I was never a Modernist!.” Sometime later, when talking to a group of seminarians concerning doctrinal principles he remarked: “I am the living example that a priest who has been placed under observation by the Holy Office can still become Pope.” It is to be wondered why, since that file was still available in 1958 prior to Roncalli’s election, those electing him did not access it and reject him as a candidate. The above comments on unworthy candidates by Rev. Parsons certainly makes it clear that investigation of candidates is the responsibility of the electors. The Congregational offices are generally manned or at least overseen by Cardinals.
Past papal miscalculations
In 1560 Pope Paul IV’s successor Pius IV authorized a revision of the process against Giovanni Cardinal Morone, tried by Pope Paul IV for heresy, and this even after he attempted to promote himself as a candidate for pope while still under suspicion of heresy. “As a result the imprisonment of the cardinal and the whole procedure against him were declared to be entirely without justification, [Cum ex… not withstanding]; the judgment also recorded in the most formal terms that not the least suspicion rested upon his orthodoxy.” He was later appointed cardinal protector of England. So was Pius IV suspect of favoring a man apprehended and charged with heresy? Pope St. Pius V later reaffirmed Cum ex… and judged that any previous cases against those accused of heresy could be reopened (see Inter multiplices).
And what about the following: “In the ninth century Pope John VIII over indulgently allowed the Slavs their own tongue in the celebration of the liturgy. But on reading a letter later of the pontiff’s, the 95th, one hardly wonders at his admission of the drawbacks of such a dispensation. In fact Gregory VII revoked it but too late; too late to save the Russians…” (Tito Casini, The Torn Tunic, 1967). More recently we could cite Pope St. Pius X’s support of Charles Maurras and Action Francais, later condemned by Pope Pius XI. Shall we declare them all suspect? We are not to judge the popes, and this is a judgment against them if we presume they could tolerate heresy.
During the election of Pope Pius IV, Morone was one of three frontrunners, but ran full force into Cardinal Ghislieri, the future Pope St. Pius V. Of all people, Cardinal Hergenrother is reported to have written, in his The History of the Popes, that Morone’s campaign was “quashed by the intervention of Cardinal Ghislieri, who pointedly remarked that Morone’s election would be invalid owing to the question mark hanging over his orthodoxy.” So where were the saints among the cowardly cardinal-bishops who elected Roncalli?
Do we now excommunicate these popes for their actions? Heaven forbid, although the wicked have certainly cast their aspersions. We do not judge the popes, not understanding or ever being able to know the exact circumstances, the advice provided by their consulters, their frame of mind or any number of other determining factors.
The bishops disobeyed Pope Pius XII
I have shown both in my first work Will the Catholic Church Survive…? And in my most recent work, The Phantom Church in Rome, compelling proofs that Roncalli could never have been validly elected. In electing him, then following him and implementing his directives, the cardinals and bishops lost their offices by publishing heresy and deceiving the faithful. This is further confirmed by an allocution from Pope Pius XII delivered in November 1954 which taught:
“We note with joy that in many dioceses there have sprung up special liturgical institutes, that liturgical groups have been established, that …rallies on liturgical matters have been held and that gatherings have been or will be organized on an international level. But venerable brothers however you show favor, and rightly, to the practice and development of the sacred liturgy, do not allow those studying this subject in your diocese to withdraw from your guidance and watchfulness or to adapt and change the sacred liturgy according to their own judgment contrary to the Church’s clearly declared norms. IT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE ALONE TO DETERMINE THE SACRED LITURGY AND TO APPROVE LITURGICAL BOOKS (Can. 1257).
“And particularly with regard to the celebration of Mass, all customs to the contrary being revoked, a priest celebrating must observe accurately and devoutly the rubrics of his ritual books and take care not to add other ceremonies or prayers at his own whim (Can. 818)… The Church is fitted and authorized, as also are the bishops for the faithful entrusted to them in accordance with Canon Law, to promote ecclesiastical discipline and see to its observance, that is to establish an external norm of action and conduct for matters which concern public order and which do not have their immediate origin in natural or divine law. Clerics and laity may not exempt themselves from this discipline; rather all should be concerned to obey it …” (AAS, 46-666; Canon Law Digest, Vol. 4).
This binding allocution was primarily addressed to the bishops, who were required to read it and obey it. By ignoring its binding nature and embracing instead the wishes and desires of the usurper Roncalli, these bishops clearly chose Roncalli as their false pope, and committed heresy at his bidding. For as noted in this allocution: “It is the function of the Apostolic See alone to determine the sacred liturgy and to approve liturgical books.” It can thus be concluded that Roncalli himself approved the publication and issuance of these works, and that from then on, these bishops should have run from the perfidious Novus Ordo bathhouse to elect a true pope.
In attempting to reconcile this issue, I recommended to Mr. Morell-Ibarra: If you wish to explain your apostasy theory, follow what Henry Cardinal Manning states in his book Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, which would then give it some credibility other than your own: “The revolt is an apostasy or a dicessio. a ‘departure’; a seditious separation from some authority… The authority then from which the revolt is to take place is that of the Kingdom of God on earth [as] prophesied by Daniel…
“The inspired writers expressly describe its notes. The first is schism: “It is the last hour and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh even now there are become many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us.” The second note is “the rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost. This necessarily involves the heretical principle of human opinion as opposed to divine faith; of the private spirit as opposed to the infallible voice of the Holy Ghost speaking through the Church of God. The third note is that the denial of the Incarnation. By the denying the mystery of the Incarnation, either the true Godhead, or the true manhood, or the unity or divinity of the person of the Incarnate Son” This is apostasy, or the denial of Christ Himself… [These are] the three notes of Antichrist.”
Denial of the Incarnation should be something quite obvious to the average Catholic as a logical consequence of Card. Manning’s first two points, but unfortunately it is not. For “rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost” is a denial of the Third person of the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity is one and undivided; deny one of its Members and you deny all. Christ’s Vicars speak in His name; they are His living voice on earth. When all the heretical bishops stood at the final session of Vatican 2 and declared that the Church had spoken, they officially denied the existence of the papacy, the Apostolic College and the Incarnation, for the only inspiration that concluded that council was the satanic spirit of Antichrist.
We then have schism, which began with the invalid election of Roncalli by the cardinal-bishops and cardinal-priests and the subsequent subjection to him of the rest of the bishops, communicating with him in his schism when he was not assisted by the Holy Ghost. Next, we have the heresy of the bishops themselves shortly after his election. And finally there is the completion of this cycle with the false election of Montini and the public affirmation by the bishops of the already existent false religion, followed by the falsification of the Sacraments and the Novus Ordo Missae — the apostasy. This describes it perfectly, but Mr. Morell-Ibarra apparently is not a fan of Henry Cardinal Manning and does not think much of his assessment of our times. Cardinal Manning, however, is the approved theological expert, not Morell-Ibarra.
The bishops denied “the infallible voice of the Holy Ghost speaking through the Church of God ” in distributing mass booklets containing heresy. They instead expressed “the heretical principle of human opinion as opposed to divine faith.” If Mr. Morell-Ibarra wishes to assert that they retained their offices as bishops until 1965 (and for what reason?) he must first disprove what the Church Herself teaches above regarding the Consecration formula and the ipso facto censures for heresy. If he merely wishes to demonstrate that after incurring schism and heresy they fell finally into apostasy, that is another matter. We sincerely hope it is the latter.
+Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus+
Having fought the Feeneyite wars recently (AGAIN), it has become even clearer than before how the plan to demean and renounce papal authority was carefully laid out long before the death of Pope Pius XII. First, of course, by the Modernists, (and Feeney may very well have been in their employ. More on this in next week’s blog.) But most successfully by Traditionalists, who were the creators of the pope-less church model. If they did not actually renounce the popes, they ignored them, sidestepped them, criticized them and consistently disobeyed them. I created this site to address those abuses. And while I can understand and sympathize with the concerns of those who are uncomfortable with the voting situation today, I can hardly derail the stated purpose of this site and ignore my bounden duty as a Catholic to obey the popes.
I can tell you that the popes considered it a mortal sin not to vote for the candidate who was at least the lesser evil, but I cannot declare you convicted of that sin because I am not your confessor. No one, however, has the right to question the pope’s duty to say this and every Catholic’s strict obligation to uphold it. We follow the safer course as Catholics praying at home precisely because we have no confessors to consult. That course is to follow the Roman Pontiffs in all things, even if we harbor personal doubts, because they speak to us with Christ’s own voice. I have been torn over this; I have considered all sides even before writing the last blog. But always I intended to vote as I have done all my adult years, exactly as Pope Pius XII teaches. This even though I may be sympathetic, inclined to agree with certain points, and well aware of the conscience struggles readers might face. Because in the end obedience has nothing to do with what WE think or feel, which is a Modernist error, and everything to do with obeying the popes in order to secure our eternal salvation.
If we pretend we can discern the mind of the pope in this issue in such a way that allows us to exempt ourselves, we are no better than Traditionalists. For this is a thinly-veiled appeal to epikeia based on the presumption that Pope Pius XII would not wish it to apply in this case. This presumption would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt according to the rules governing Canon Law, which both St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII have infallibly taught must be observed to the letter during a sede vacante. Given the proofs presented below, from so many different sources, of Pope Pius XII’s true intent in this regard there can be no doubt regarding the mind of the lawgiver. In fact given the dire circumstances prevailing today, the need to observe his commands is probably even more urgent now than in the past. And Catholics have no right to hold a different “opinion” in this matter. For as Pope Leo XIII wrote in Immortale Dei:
“If in the difficult times in which Our lot is cast, Catholics will give ear to Us, as it behooves them to do, they will readily see what are the duties of each one in matters of opinion as well as action. As regards opinion, whatever the Roman Pontiffs have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach, must be held with a firm grasp of mind, and, so often as occasion requires, must be openly professed.” And we also must take to heart what it really means to love and obey the pope, taught to us by Pope St. Pius X:
“…To love the Pope, it is sufficient to reflect who he is. The Pope is the guardian of dogma and morals; he is the depository of the principles which ensure the integrity of the family, the grandeur of nations, the sanctity of souls. He is the counsel of princes and peoples; he is the chief under whose sway none feels tyrannized, because he represents God Himself. He is par excellence the father who unites in himself all that is loving, tender, divine.
“And how must the Pope be loved? Not in word alone. but in deed and in truth. Non verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veri. “Not in word nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth” (a) When we love someone, we seek to conform ourselves in everything to his thoughts, to execute his will, to interpret his desires. And if Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, Si quis diligit me, sermonum meum servabit: “If anyone love me, he will keep my word” (b), to show our love for the Pope we must obey him. And this is why, when we love the Pope, we do not dispute whether he commands or requires a thing OR SEEK TO KNOW WHERE THE STRICT OBLIGATION OF OBEDIENCE LIES, or in what matter we must obey; when we love the Pope we do not say that he has not yet spoken clearly — as if he were required to speak his will in every man’s ear, and to utter it not only by word of mouth but in letters and other public documents as well.
“Nor do we cast doubt on his orders, alleging the pretext which comes easily to the man who does not want to obey, that it is not the pope who is commanding, but someone in his entourage. We do not limit the field in which he can and ought to exercise his authority; we do not oppose to the Popes authority that of other persons — no matter how learned — who differ from the Pope. For whatever may be their learning, they are not holy. For where there is holiness, there cannot be disagreement with the Pope” (Allocution to the members of the Apostolic Union, November 18, 1912, on the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Union. Congratulations on the piety of the Union vilerims — Duties of priests; Solesmes Monks).
Notice that what is stated above applies just as easily to papal opinions as to de fide teachings. Catholics, especially those in America, have imbibed from the cradle the belief that they have the inherent right to decide things for themselves and make up their own minds regarding, especially, temporal affairs. This conviction is so strong that they often cannot be shaken from it. Human reason, however, must always be enlightened by faith, and the truths of faith cometh from the lips of the Holy Father, whose decisions are guided by the Holy Ghost. That we find ourselves today without a visible Church is the result of man relying on his own proud efforts to reason and interpret what the popes have said and commanded us to do. We cannot allow that to continue in a time when we are left without guidance of any kind, save that of Christ’s Vicars. Below we will see that the bulk of those documents exhorting us to vote for the candidate who is the lesser evil are found in the Acta Apostolica Sedis and are therefore binding on all Catholics.
Help from our readers is much appreciated!
Readers have really come through in helping firm up this papal teaching, providing additional proofs, sources and support. My heartfelt thanks.
From our dear and faithful Catholic friends in Spain, Cefas (and Javier), we received the following:
“Blessings, dear brothers, obeying what was said by Pope Pius XII and Catholic moral theology, observing even the reflex principles that it gives us, we are absolutely certain that abstaining from elections is a serious offense against morality and civil society , and a mortal sin as determined by Pope Pius XII, allowing through abstention that a more unacceptable party or candidate can roam free, thus making us accomplices of it.**
Saint Paul to the ROMANS XIII, 1-7
“THIS CHAPTER INSTILLS THE DUTIES TOWARDS THE CIVIL POWER, AND IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT St. PAUL WROTE THESE WARNINGS IN THE TIME OF NERO, AN EXTREMELY CRUEL PERSECUTOR OF CHRISTIANS. Obeying the authorities is an obligation independent of the personal qualities of the representatives. See Mt 22, 21; 1 Pet. 2, 13-15; Jn. 19, 11. The Fathers of the Church tried with all diligently profess and propagate this same doctrine: “Let us not ascribe but to the true God the power to give the kingdom and the empire” (S. Agustín). We see an eloquent confirmation of this doctrine in Eph. 6, 5 ff. And in the submission of Paul and Peter to prison and martyrdom. 1770 7. That is to say that the payment of taxes is not a merely civil obligation, of which a Christian cannot be dispensed in conscience, but a religious duty. The Gospel is thus not only the strength of God for salvation (1, 16), but also the insurmountable motor of each soul for the order and well-being of organized society.”
DOCTRINAL POINT – STANDARDS FOR ELECTIONS
Norms for the elections Meeting in 1931, the Argentine Episcopate, to deal with modern secularism and the civic duties of Catholics, established the following norms of conscience for all elections:
“Those who have the right to vote are obliged, as a general rule, to exercise their right, as long as no obstacle of gravity proportional to the importance of the election stands in the way; because ABSTENTION WOULD BECOME COMPLICITY AND RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE GOD, as long as she can contribute to the triumph of an unworthy candidate or to the defeat of a remarkably better candidate.”
“WHEN ALL THE CANDIDATES OR LISTS THAT ARE PRESENTED ARE UNACCEPTABLE, FROM THE CATHOLIC POINT OF VIEW, ONE MUST VOTE FOR THE LEAST UNACCEPTABLE…”
– GRAVE SIN, A DEADLY FAULT (1951)
– STRICT OBLIGATION (1948)
– ACT OF GRAVE MORAL RESPONSIBILITY (1946)
Pope Pius XII:
“It is a right and a duty to draw the attention of the faithful to the extraordinary importance of elections and the moral responsibility that falls on all those who have the right to vote. Without a doubt, the Church intends to remain outside and above the political parties, but how can you remain indifferent to the composition of a Parliament, when the Constitution grants you the power to pass laws that so directly affect the highest religious interests and even the condition of life of the Church itself? Also other arduous questions, above all economic problems and struggles that closely affect the well-being of peoples. Insofar as they are of a temporal order (although in reality they also affect the moral order), the ecclesiastics leave it to others to ponder and deal with them. Technically with them for the common good of the nation. From all this it follows that: IT IS A STRICT DUTY FOR ALL WHO HAVE THE RIGHT, MEN OR WOMEN, TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ELECTIONS. WHOEVER ABSTAINS, ESPECIALLY OUT OF COWARDICE, COMMITS A SERIOUS SIN, A DEADLY FAULT. Everyone has to vote according to the dictates of his own conscience. Now, it is evident that the voice of this conscience imposes on every sincere Catholic the duty to vote for those candidates, or those lists of candidates, that really offer sufficient guarantees to safeguard the rights of God and of the souls of men, for the real good of individuals, families and society, according to the law of God and Christian moral doctrine” (Address to the Delegates of the International Conference on Migration, October 17, 1951: https://archive.org/details/popespeaksteachi0000pius/page/301/mode/1up?q=).
Pope Pius XII:
THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS AN ACT OF SERIOUS MORAL RESPONSIBILITY, AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO ELECTING THOSE WHO ARE CALLED TO GIVE THE COUNTRY ITS CONSTITUTION AND ITS LAWS, IN PARTICULAR THOSE THAT AFFECT, FOR EXAMPLE, THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE PARTIES, MARRIAGE, FAMILY, SCHOOL, REGULATION ACCORDING TO JUSTICE AND EQUITY OF MULTIPLE SOCIAL CONDITIONS. IT IS, THEREFORE, UP TO THE CHURCH TO EXPLAIN TO THE FAITHFUL THE MORAL DUTIES DERIVED FROM THIS ELECTORAL RIGHT.” https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/it/speeches/1946/documents/hf_p-xii_spe_19460316_quaresimalisti.html
Pope Pius XII:
That, in the present circumstances, IT IS A STRICT OBLIGATION OF ALL MEN AND WOMEN WITH THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ELECTIONS. Each one has to vote according to the dictates of his conscience. Now, it is evident that the voice of conscience requires every sincere Catholic to cast his vote for those candidates or lists of candidates that offer truly sufficient guarantees for the protection of the rights of God and of souls, for the true good of people, families. And society, according to the law of God and Christian moral doctrine. https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/it/speeches/1948/documents/hf_p-xii_spe_19480310_intima-gioia.html
(Comment by T. Benns: In the work Papal Social Principles by Thomas J. Harte, C.S.s.R, 1956, the following comments on the above quote are listed: “Pius XII insisted that it was the right and duty of the priests to call the attention of the faithful to the extraordinary importance of these elections. He lays down two principles as guides. (1) In the existing circumstances, for those who have the right, it is a strict obligation to take part in the elections. Whoever absents himself, especially through indolence or spite, commits thereby a grave sin (commette in se un peccato grave). (2) Each one must vote according to the dictates of his own conscience. But every sincere Catholic is bound in conscience to vote for those candidates who offer sufficient guarantees for the upholding of the rights of God of souls and for promoting the true good of individuals the family and society AAS XL, 1948,119).
Additional Pope Pius XII quote (added by T. Benns):
“For Catholic women, especially at the present time, the vote is an important means of fulfilling her STRICT OBLIGATION IN CONSCIENCE (per adempire il suo rigoroso dovere di coscienza). Her path to the voting booth is the path of peace, not of class war or belligerency. She will keep to that path and the interests of the family and its welfare, refusing support to any tendency which would subordinate the internal or external peace of the nation to any selfish desires for domination” (Questa grande, October 21, 1945; AAS 37, 1945, 284-295).
Continuing from Cefas: “We must always have this principle to succeed in everything: what I see as white, believe that it is black if the hierarchical Church so determines; Believing that, between Christ our Lord, husband, and the Church, his wife, is the same Spirit and our Lord who gave the Ten Commandments, is ruled and governed by our holy Mother Church.”
** As long as their candidates are not materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of communism, since its propagation is condemned with excommunication since July 13, 1949.
Causes for excommunication:
- “Christifideles, qui communistarum doctrinam materialisticam et antichristianom profltentur”
- ”print who eam efendant vel propagant”
- ”Tamquam apostatae a fide catholica
It is evident that those who profess the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of Communism totally abandon the Catholic faith, since they deny the very foundations of natural religion: the existence of a personal God, the spirituality of the soul, the freedom of the will and all rewards. Or punishment in the afterlife. To profess, then, the communist doctrine is not to deny one or another dogma of the Christian faith (heresy); it is to deny all of them “radicitus”, in their very foundations; it is total and complete abandonment of the faith.
THERE ARE EVEN OBJECTIONS:
Since “L’Osservatore Romano” stresses that supporting communism with suffrage in elections, with support in social or political discussions and other similar acts, ARE NOT, IN THEMSELVES, A DEFENSE OR PROPAGANDA OF THE MATERIALIST DOCTRINE AND ANTICHRISTIAN. (Sic) Spanish Magazine of Canon Law. 1949, volume 4, #11. Pages 603-626; https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/50598531.pdf (End of Cephas comments)
Pius XII teachings and reader comments
Notice above in the teachings of Pope Pius XII that he is telling us how our conscience must be educated and exercised in order to satisfy obedience to the teachings of the Roman Pontiff. Is there validity to the argument that such papal law no longer binds because the moral conditions and subject matter has ceased? Only a canonically elected pope could determine the situation is beyond all repair. We can rightly judge that this is the case regarding the papacy because it can be verified by existing Canon Law, Church teaching, demonstrable facts and Scripture prophecy. The Church is a Divine institution and operates on entirely different principles allowing for Her corruption to be more easily verified. There can be no analogy between the two. While the secular government is certainly run by a synarchy, as Disandro ably details, he emphasizes bolstering up participation in government and restoration of cultural, educational, military and economic systems through the application of Catholic values, (something which had actually existed under Peron in the 1950s). Disandro encourages citizens to valiantly work to re-establish these institutions, not withdraw their support because the synarchy is in control.
At the time that Disandro wrote, Peron’s regime had been overthrown by a military junta, and this paved the way later for the establishment of a democracy. Many of the efforts to change and overthrow Latin American governments during this time period were secretly sponsored by elements working simultaneously with or for the CIA/Vatican, under the auspices of Felix Morlion, founder of Pro Deo and universities throughout South America educating those who would become the future leaders of these Latin American democracies. This eventually spawned Liberation theology, the theoretical basis for a “people’s church” openly supported by Montini. While we cannot perhaps be an active force in restoring our own nation’s government because the corruption is so deep, we can continue to vote for the least objectionable candidates, and hope that someday there will be an opportunity to contribute something toward rebuilding our nation on Catholic principles.
CATHOLIC VOTING PRINCIPLES
And from a very dear friend in Australia and her family, who have been loyal to the faith these many decades, we received the following: https://www.stjoanarc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Catholic-Voting-Principles.pdf
(This is a Novus Ordo site but it quotes all pre-1959 sources)
“On February 20, 1906, Pope St. Pius X sent a letter to the Spanish people, on the duty of voting, saying that when the cause of religion or of the state is endangered, no one can be indifferent. St. Pius X repeated the same to the French in Notre charge apostolique. Leo XIII speaking of politics in Immortale Dei warned against Catholics allowing people to come to power who will not improve the nation.
“Pope Pius XI in the encyclical to Mexico Firmissimam constantiam, March 28, 1937, said: “A Catholic will take care not to pass over his right to vote when the good of the Church or of the country requires it.” AAS 29, 189. Pope Pius XII said in 1946, “The exercise of the right to vote is an act of grave responsibility…” AAS 38, 187. Pope Pius XII, in a speech given September 11, 1947, wrote: “There is a heavy responsibility on everyone… who has the right to vote, especially when the interests of religion are at stake… Abstention in this case is, itself — it should be thoroughly understood — a grave and fatal sin of omission.” When there was a threat to the Church in Italy in 1948, Pope Pius XII said, “In the present circumstances it is strictly obligatory for whoever has the right… to take part in the elections. He who abstains, particularly through indolence or from cowardice, thereby commits a grave sin, a mortal offense.” AAS 40, 119.
“So, what does a conscientious Catholic do when one has two major candidates, both of questionable moral character? In 1921, in a letter from the French hierarchy to all the Catholics of France, the bishops wrote, “It is your duty to vote wisely; that is to say, in such a way as not to waste your votes. It would be better to cast them for candidates who, although not giving complete satisfaction to all our legitimate demands, would lead us to expect from them a line of conduct useful to the country, rather than to keep your votes for others whose program indeed may be more perfect, but whose almost certain defeat might open the door to the enemies of religion and of the social order.” St. Robert Bellarmine even pointed out in his work De laicis that some rulers who were personally immoral sometimes do more good than harm, such as the Kings Saul and Solomon.
The traditional theologian Adolphe Tanquerey said that if the vote is between two evil persons, however one is worse than the other, one may vote for the less evil and most profitable to the cause of good. (Tomus Tertius, De Variis Statuum Obligationibus, Caput I, De officiis laicorum, n. 999). Dominic Prummer, O.P., another traditional theologian, says the same. The Dominican Merkelbach states that when given a choice between two unworthy candidates, it is licit to elect the better candidate to prevent a more unworthy candidate from coming into power IF THERE IS NO HOPE THAT A GOOD CANDIDATE WILL BE ELECTED. He adds the following admonition: “Voters who, through grave fault by abstaining from voting do not stop an evil decision, election, or law from coming to pass, if they are bound by a specific duty to stop a foreseen harm which follows, are cooperators in evil.” (Summa Theologiae Moralis, Tomus Secundus, Tractatus De Virtute Cardinali Justitiae, Tertia Pars, Sectio A, De Justitia Commutativa, n. 316)
“He [St. Thomas] also says in his tract on justice that “By the virtue of distributive justice one should elect the more worthy candidate, not absolutely, but among those that can be had. If the vote for a more worthy candidate will not be beneficial, then one can elect a less worthy candidate to avoid the election of the more unworthy candidate.” (Summa Theologiae Moralis, Tomus Secundus, Tractatus De Virtute Cardinali Justitiae, Quarta Pars, De Justitia Distributiva, Questio Secunda, n. 619) Since the act of voting is good, it is lawful to vote for such an unworthy candidate provided there is a proportionate cause for the evil done and the good lost. These three moral theologians were used in nearly every seminary in the early 1900s – there are others as well: I’m just citing these three.
“Every traditional moral theologian that I found said that a citizen may elect an unworthy candidate in order to avoid the election of a more unworthy candidate. It is lawful to vote for a perfect moral candidate, a perfectly prolife candidate, that has no chance of winning but one must weigh the prudence of this when a vote for the perfect candidate might take away votes for another candidate who could actually win, preventing the worst candidate from gaining power. Included in ‘voting your conscience’ must be the reason why one didn’t use his or her vote to exclude the more unworthy candidate, who was going to promote greater evil, from being elected when one could have.
“Remember the nation I was describing at the beginning of this [article]? …The nation filled with gluttony, lavish homes, Christian symbols removed from the public, Christian interests dismissed by the courts, pagan principles taught in public schools, people inventing their own morality, contraception, immodesty, abortion? Which nation was this? The nation I was actually describing was the fourth century Roman Empire, under the leadership of Julian the Apostate – one bad president: 3.5 years in office – did this damage. That society turned around and the Catholic Church later flourished in it, but it didn’t happen overnight… If one does not use one’s vote to limit the evil in our nation, how will one go before God and explain that one could have used one’s vote to keep the worst candidate out of office AND DID NOT DO SO?” (End of St. Joan of Arc site quotes)
DUTIES OF THE CATHOLIC CITIZEN — Rt. Rev. John A. Ryan, 1947
(A Treasury of Catholic Thinking, compiled and edited by Ralph Woods, 1953)
“According to his abilities and opportunities, every Catholic must promote the welfare of the Church as a society in all its relations. All other members of the Church are his brothers in Christ. They are all organically united — members of a living body of which Christ is the Head. Therefore, the individual Catholic is obliged not merely to love his fellow Catholics as individuals but to further the welfare of the Christian brotherhood as such, as the supernatural body from which all derive their unity and spiritual goods and benefits…
“Every citizen has both the right and the duty to bring about the repeal of unjust legislation. A Catholic citizen would have the right and the duty to oppose any unjust laws aimed at the rights of the Church or of individual Catholics. Catholic citizens may properly appeal to legislators and to candidates for office, may threaten to vote against and actually vote against candidates who support legislation of this kind; but they do not need to organize themselves into a Catholic political party. Neither the Church as such nor the Catholic body as such should identify itself with or give its constant support to any partisan organization of a political character. This kind of political action the Holy Father has forbidden to Catholic Action. Nor should local Catholic bodies, such as a parish or a group of parishes, commit themselves to the general support of one political party rather than another. While such a course may sometimes seem to be beneficial, in the long run the advantages are more than offset by the disadvantages.
The Catholic citizen . . . is morally bound to make use of the electoral franchise. From the performance of this duty he can be excused only by a correspondingly grave inconvenience. Since public officials possess great power either to harm or to benefit the community, those who select them are charged with grave responsibility. The Catholic citizen is also obligated to vote intelligently and honestly. He does wrong when he casts his ballot for incompetent or corrupt candidates on the lazy assumption that their opponents are just as bad, or because he desires to put a friend or a fellow Catholic into office. Legal justice obliges the voter to exercise the franchise always for the common good, not for private advantage.
Finally, the Catholic citizen is morally bound to acquaint himself, as far as he reasonably can, with the merits of candidates and with the public policies which promote the common good. He should vote only for those candidates who understand and advocate the right policies in the halls of the legislature. Lawmakers need to possess something more than elementary honesty. They must know the measures that are best for the common welfare and must have the ability to advocate and the courage to fight for them. Therefore, the voter is under obligation to pay specific attention to these qualifications in making his choice among legislative candidates.
“The man to be elected should be the best man for the task, not necessarily the person with the finest character, or the most full of charity.” St. Thomas Aquinas ( ca.1270 )
All the above should sufficiently prove that Catholics have no choice but to vote for that person who presents the “lesser of two evils.” Our straits are more dire than any ever faced in history. If we fail to do our duty now, we not only fail Christ and disobey his Vicars, but we fail all our other brethren serving Our Lord as members of his Mystical Body on earth.
(See recent additions to Mr. Javier Morell-Ibarra’s Catholic Survival Handbook here.)
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A reader has brought a work to our attention that is a very good resource on voting and may be downloaded at https://archive.org/details/CatholicPrinciplesOnVoting Below we would like to comment on some of the content of this work.
Overall, it supports all the popes have taught on voting with some exceptions.
The author, Rev. Titus Cranny, notes on page 89: “It should be noted that while the Pope, bishops, and theologians have emphasized the importance of voting, they did so under different conditions. The Pope and the bishops generally stressed the obligation in times of crisis when there was danger of evil forces gaining control of the government, e.g., the elections in Italy in 1946 and in 1948, while the theologians considered the obligation as a function of the citizen in a republican state. Despite this difference the authority of the Pope and of the members of the hierarchy can be called upon to emphasize the need of voting in elections apart from unusual conditions, for good government is dependent upon the way the voters use their ballot. Moreover, some of the bishops, such as Cardinal Spellman and Archbishop McNicholas have pointed out the obligation of voting apart from any grave danger imminent at the time.”
Comment: This brings us to the sticking point of Pope Pius XII’s comment contested by certain readers: ”In these present circumstances…” regarding his 1948 statement on the elections in Italy. (And no, it is not a simple matter of sentence structure or holding a “right” to vote. Anyone claiming we have lost such a right must bring forth theological arguments to prove that this is the case, and they are not extant in Cranny’s work or anywhere else that I have found.) What we need to consider is what exactly were those circumstances in Italy in 1948.
Following the war, the Communists were aggressively attempting to gain a foothold in Italy and had successfully aroused popular sympathy for their party. Of course they openly opposed the Church and the clergy. Even though Pope Pius XII was not altogether in favor of the Christian Democrat party opposing the Communists, headed by Giovanni Montini’s father Giorgio, he urged Italians to vote against all Communist candidates to avoid the danger of Italy eventually being communized. Once Roncalli usurped the papal throne, the Christian Democrats formally aligned themselves with the left. But Pius XII did all he could to prevent that alignment during his papacy.
French Catholics in the late 1940s were advocating for a “Catholic-Communist rapprochement,” (which John 23/Roncalli would later achieve) and Catholic intellectuals were also sympathizing with the scientific approach to social problems advanced by the Communists (Portrait of Pius XII, 1957). This situation was truly a crisis and the pope’s voting address was followed by the Holy Office’s Decree on Communism in 1949. Everyone knows the strong stand taken by Pope Pius XII against Communism. My question here is, isn’t this exactly what we are facing today? In many respects Communism is already here, I realize that. But if we could possible delay it, retard it, or push it back even an inch, is not this precisely what Pope Pius XII would have wished us to do? This is NOT a normal election referred to by Cranny above but the very crisis he mentions as then existing in Italy. The phrase regarding the “circumstances” in Pius XII’s address does not limit or omit our obligation to vote but actually mandates it. Is it a last ditch effort? Probably. Are we bound to do it?
The best answer to this question was provided by Cardinal Hlond of Poland in 1946, as included in Cranny’s Appendix: “The deeper the changes which occur in the state, the greater the responsibility of its citizens for the direction of public life. The greater the difficulties of the state the stronger the effort that must be made for the common good. The greater the danger threatening the state the more earnest and conscientious must be the fulfillment of civic duties. The deeper and more widely the authority of the state enters human life and civil civic rights the more important it becomes that good competent trustworthy and really Christian men should exercise authority…
“Separating themselves from religion and the Church, modern states do not cease to interfere in purely religious matters. They lay down laws concerning the rights of the Church and the truths and dogmas of the faith and Christian morality entirely without knowledge of the Church and behind Her back. The Church is constantly injured in Her rights under the pretext of the separation of church and state. Under such conditions, elections for Catholics are all the more important. For it is not a matter of indifference to us whose hands will be entrusted our affairs with God, our religion and our Church. We live through a period of crucial changes while recognizing the importance and the necessity of political social and economic changes we consider that they can be carried out on the basis and with the limits of the natural law and the law of God preached by the Church.
“And although many things may and should change, God’s law must be respected. ‘In times when political life encroaches upon religious matter Catholics and all those who believe in God personified cannot let themselves be frightened and should realize their strength” — Pius XII, letter of January 1946. It is not a physical or armed strength, but Catholics should know that the Church possesses a splendid truth and aims which have great importance for the state when religious matters are so closely linked with political affairs. We have no intention of listening or breaking this link but we do not want this link to consist in the liberty of the states.”
So regardless of what the theologians state in Cranny’s work and especially in our present situation, we are safest in following the teachings of the pope. It is a rule of law that in a conflict of law, the higher law always prevails. St. Thomas also writes: “The first sin of our first parents, which sin was transmitted to all men was not disobedience as such but pride, from which the man proceeded to disobey…It is a greater duty to obey a higher than a lower authority, in sign of which the command of a lower authority is set aside if it be contrary to the command of a higher authority…The higher the person who commands, the more grievous it is to disobey him,” (Summa, Pt. II-II, Q. 105, Art.1 and 2, Rep. Obj. 3).
Is our current form of government legitimate?
“The Church recognizes any form of legitimate government, provided it is organized according to the laws and aimed at the achievement of the common welfare. It is the duty of Christians to vote in political and administrative elections, and the vote of everyone should be free and given according to his conscience. It is gravely unlawful for any of the faithful to give their votes to candidates, or lists of candidates, that are manifestly contrary to the Church.” (pg. 90) Also on page 90 of Rev. Cranny’s work: “If the election were interpreted as the recognition of a tyrannical form of government or an unlawful one there would be no obligation to vote. Indeed there would be an obligation of not voting.
“Tanquerey rightly points out that if a person were morally certain that his ballot would in no way affect the outcome of an election, he could refrain from voting for a slight cause although he adds it would be better to vote for some worthy candidate and thus give good example… “ Under his final conclusions on page 134, Cranny writes: “A citizen may be excused from voting if there is danger that his vote would bring physical or moral harm to himself or his family or if the voting would be considered an acknowledgement of a tyrannical or illegitimate form of government. If the obligation to vote is grave, only a grave reason will excuse. If the obligation to vote is slight, a slight reason will excuse.”
Comment: Currently, the Constitution and Bill of Rights still rules this form of American government just as it did during Pope Pius XII’s reign; it simply is not being enforced nor obeyed. The current president was most likely elected illegally, and it is his rule as president — and his party’s predominant rule, not the actual form of government itself as it was established and recognized by the Church — that is in question. Is rule by conservatives or moderates better? Only fractionally. And then only if it preserves our freedom to practice our religion, which is better than what this country is facing if the Progressives retain power. Catholics should remember that it behooves the enemies of religion to use their propaganda machines to instill deep fear in voters that America is not salvageable, but even if this is the case, the need is even greater to vote as Cardinal Hlond explains. And prayer for this country and a successful outcome may not even be heard because we do deserve tyranny as punishment for our many sins. But at least in fulfilling our duty, we will not add to these.
Cranny uses with approval the following statement from a booklet by the cardinals and bishops of France some years ago, Les principes catholiques d’action civique: “To the extent that the constitution of a state established the right of voting as a means of participating in the conduct of civil affairs the citizens, inasmuch as they are bound to use this right for the public good, should regard its existence as a matter of conscience. Therefore, they are obliged, first, to make use of this constitutional right, and secondly, to use it for the common good of all.” Our right to vote is established by the state, and although currently all is being done to control, misdirect and interfere with these rights, they are still legitimate rights.
Statements from the theologians
Summing up the teachings of the theologians on voting, Cranny writes: “From the statements of theologians it seems that the obligation of voting is grave ex genere suo, whose matter is important in itself but which admits of parvity of matter in individual cases. That is, in individual cases the matter may be light, and a person would commit a venial sin by not voting or by voting contrary to moral principles. We speak of parvity of matter, for just as the sin of theft is mortal ex genere suo, but admits of lightness of matter in some cases, so that all sins of theft are not mortal sins; so in voting, while the obligation is grave ex genere suo, still in individual cases there may not be a sufficiently grave reason for voting at this time or for this person, or contrary to the same, so that the obligation would be light and the sin committed would be venial because the matter would be light. However, a failure to take part in elections at all times or for a long time would be a serious sin, while failure to vote in an individual election (whose consequences are not grave) would be a venial sin. Those who vote for unworthy candidates in ordinary elections, all things being considered, sin venially. Such principles hold in national, state, county, and local elections.”
But regardless of what the theologians state in Cranny’s work and especially in our present situation, we are safest in following the teachings of the pope. It is a rule of law that in a conflict of law, the higher law always prevails. St. Thomas Aquinas also writes: “The first sin of our first parents, which sin was transmitted to all men was not disobedience as such but pride, from which the man proceeded to disobey…It is a greater duty to obey a higher than a lower authority, in sign of which the command of a lower authority is set aside if it be contrary to the command of a higher authority…The higher the person who commands, the more grievous it is to disobey him,” (Summa, Pt. II-II, Q. 105, Art.1 and 2, Rep. Obj. 3). And as the theologians Pohle and Preuss, echoing the popes on their ordinary magisterium so aptly put it in “The Sacraments, (Vol. IV): “It matters not what the private opinions of…theologians [are]. It is not the private opinions of theologians but the official decisions of the Church by which we must be guided.”
+Feast of Corpus Christi+
For those who like to keep an eye on what passes as “news” on television and on the internet, I have a question: What among all these reports of secular madness (literally) will help us attain salvation? While some documentaries and essays are perhaps useful to help especially the younger generation understand what has happened to the world and more importantly to the Church, the majority of them are actually chockful of error, and even those that are helpful are often incomplete and/or must be mentally purged of certain things not in conformity with Catholic truth. While an eye must be kept to a certain extent on world affairs, devoting too much time to these pursuits has pulled many into error.
Even some among those praying at home routinely visit Traditionalist sites, read Traditionalist literature and even consider certain Traditionalist views as worthy of credence. We have explained before how the Church considers this a grave danger to the faith. Some Catholic truths can be found on these sites, yes; but that makes them all the more dangerous, because it is much easier to lure others into error when it is mixed with truth. Especially those articles and documentaries that profess a scientific basis have no way to be evaluated properly by Catholics, since the Church is the sole judge of what can be believed in the scientific realm.
This also applies to those chasing down endless sensationalistic conspiracy theories, both political and religious, a type of voyeurism. This unfortunate hobby often preoccupies these people to such an extent that they become discontented with simply praying at home and tending to daily duties. These are the ones, spoken of in Holy Scripture, who possess itching ears, and who, always seeking novelties, even go so far as to flirt with new alternatives to practicing their faith. Because of their carelessness and unbridled curiosity, they often succumb to those outside the Church who maintain they are justified in questioning, even denying, the Scriptural and magisterial proofs pointed out here and elsewhere.
Those preying on the weaker members among pray-at-home Catholics neglect to offer credible, verifiable proofs for what they profess, often relying on hearsay, third-hand reports and blatant misinterpretations and misrepresentations of Canon Law and Church teaching, or their own private opinions on these, which are not certainties. This despite the words of St. Paul: “But prove all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:2).
If true Catholics would only limit themselves to those things presented in accordance with Catholic teaching, then searching no further, they would be far better informed and far less likely to be led astray. Since politics and world affairs seem to be such a draw for many of them and have become a national pastime, also since a crucial election is looming in this country next year, it is important that (relatively recent) sources be mentioned here that are based on Catholic truth.
Democracy defined and a bold new definition of government
Australian Yves Dupont’s 1962 work The Popes and Democracy is a good primer on democracy and its development over the centuries. Unfortunately, he quotes works by John 23 and Paul 6 and recommends (in the 1976 Tenet Books edition) works by Marcel Lefebvre. On a more serious note, Dupont recklessly states that there have been several heretical popes throughout history, an opinion also voiced by Traditionalist writer Hutton Gibson. This, of course, is heretical in itself, as the Vatican Council teaches. Before reading Dupont, Catholics must FIRST read Pope St. Pius X’s entire encyclical on the Sillon, Our Apostolic Mandate, and then the ENTIRETY of those documents mentioned in Dupont’s work. Only then will the mind of the Church on democracy be sufficiently known. So those reading Dupont’s work should ever keep in mind the cautions and suggestions above, in reading this essay. But f these things are discounted, and their bearing on the topic dismissed, this work presents a good overall view of the origins of democracy and its many dangers. Yet its conclusion is deficient, for reasons seen below.
In his other works, Dupont promotes the discredited “Great Monarch” theory, shown by several sources as Protestant, even pagan in origin. He also believes the peace promised at Fatima will occur during this “monarch’s” reign, prior to the coming of Antichrist. This alone, knowing Paul 6 was Antichrist proper and the Fatima predictions are questionable, shoots down his assumptions. And so his work, while definitely worth the read (given the necessary cautions), leaves the reader with unanswered questions. Those questions are laid to rest in Prof. Disandro’s work, written at about the same time, (1966). Disandro had a much clearer picture of the end result, and he knew that what America and other countries call democracy was no such thing. To give the readers a taste of what is contained in these essays, excerpts of their content will be provided below.
Dupont on democracy
“…The basic principle of democracy, the designation of rulers from the people and by the people, is good and reasonable. But even then, its use is limited. Moreover, it is within a hierarchical and monarchical structure that it works best. The designation of rulers cannot be equated with the granting of authority; this is the error of the agnostic philosophers of the 18th century, and which is now widely accepted even among Christians… Modern Democracy is inseparable from other evils; it inevitably evolves into tyranny. These two main points have been acknowledged by countless thinkers all over the world. When numbers count more than individuals, when the community counts more than persons, when society is considered as an end for which man exists, when it is regarded as a living thing whose interests have precedence over individual interests, tyranny is sure to follow sooner or later… It does not matter whether the tyranny to which some of these evils give rise is called Bureaucracy, Plutocracy, Sociocracy, Technocracy, Fascism, Socialism or Communism, it is still the same tyranny and the only difference is a difference of emphasis. It is all rooted in Liberalism and Humanism [democracy included].”
“Like Communism, though to a lesser extent and to a lower degree, Democracy has most of the anti-Christic characteristics: craving for unlimited material power (Antichrist will want to create things), rejection of God (Secularism), and, last but not least, modern Democracy has such a wide appeal as to deceive a large number of the elect themselves. This craving for power and deceptive appearance were noted by Pius XII: ‘ … a social order which, beneath a deceptive appearance, or mask of conventional formulas, conceals a fatal weakness and an unbridled lust for profit and power’ (Christmas address,1952)… St. Thomas Aquinas, who had studied both authors, did not advocate absolute democracy, but only democratic institutions within a monarchical social structure (it being understood that the monarch should have real authority, and not be a mere figurehead). In more recent times, St. Pius X made a similar remark about tyranny – ‘Yes, truly, one can say that the Sillon (i.e. Democracy) brings in its train Socialism’ (St. Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate).”
Dupont duly notes that the popes were opposed to the two-party system, which can only lead to endless disputes and factional rivalries. In essence the two-party system is only a tool in the arsenal of Hegelianism, the Communist tactic of thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Example: Trump moves the country to the far right. Biden takes over and moves it far left. Far right is certainly where it once was from an historical standpoint, but never mind. The goal is to spread the poles so far apart than when the next man takes office, the middle will actually look more like the far right when it actually is much closer to the far left by contrast. This is true because unbeknownst to the public, their perception of it has been readjusted. Even among those who realize this, compromise seems preferable and less wearing than to continue the fight for truth and justice, And because this is really psychological warfare, the powers that be know this! We continue with quotes from Dupont:
“Being the triumph of private individual judgment as against the judgment of an elite, Modern Democracy is in politics what the Reformation was in religion. It has a complete faith in public opinion and claims that public opinion is expressed by the press and the party, or parties… Pius XI noted that representative regimes were dangerous. “It is patent that these led themselves more readily than any others to factional intrigues.” (Pius XI “Urbi Arcano Dei”). Once a party is in power, the State becomes only a means to further its ambitions and the masses become the instrument: “The masses … can be used by the State to impose its whims on the better part of the real people.” (Pius XII – Christmas 1944) Cardinal Pie noted that the first attempt at universal suffrage (in the Christian era), resulted in the release of Barabbas and the condemnation of Christ, a very striking observation which fully justifies the warning given 19 centuries later by Leo XIII, namely, not to confuse “the deceptive wishes of the multitude with truth and justice.”
“As long as we do not recognise our errors we will not be prepared to introduce any changes. Whilst the fatalism of history is a myth, the free choice of an error has fatal historic consequences. When things come to a show-down, it is probable that the western democracies will crack from within. Faced with agonising alternatives and harrowing dilemmas, the wavering middle-of-the-course leaders will gradually give way to more resolute and more extremist Leftist politicians. Then, the transition from Socialism to Communism will be a speedy process. A global war is unlikely, but that does not mean that there will be no fighting at all. Nor does it mean that the struggle will be over, but only that our social order, as such, will collapse… If Communism is to be a divine punishment, (we have seen that it is, and the Fatima message, among others, gives an implicit confirmation), it is logical to expect that it should score a temporary victory…” (End of Dupont quotes)
And here we quote something from Pope St. Pius X that Dupont does not quote, something that is yet another example of the ability of this great saint to foresee the future: “Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train. We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men who become brothers and comrades at last in the “Kingdom of God”… [For they say]: “We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind.” (St. Pius X, “Our Apostolic Mandate”).
What Dupont envisioned above was not to be. No Great Monarch, no Fatima peace, even temporary, because the faithful failed to sufficiently practice prayer and penance prior to World War II. What happened instead is exactly what Pope St. Pius X predicted. One thing Dupont states that must especially be taken to heart is the fact that we might still expect a miracle to save us, but only if we prove to Our Lord we are willing to fight; and to this I add make sacrifices, especially in avoiding all non-Catholic sects and their services. But this is not what happened following Vatican 2.
Catholics allowed themselves to be lured into a state of complacency and a distrust, bordering on contempt, of the papacy. And since the papacy has been taken away and cannot be restored by the hierarchy, something those claiming to be “valid” priests and bishops allowed, with the concurrence of the “educated” laity, it is certainly apparent that God will not count this as a willingness to fight for the Church. The game, however, was already over when Pope Pius XII died. And although Dr. Disandro laid out a very fine plan for reviving Catholic rule in Argentina, using democratic principles, this did not transpire either because there were then no Catholics left to fight for it and put it into practice and/or because the rot was already beyond rooting out. Yet he left us with a much better description of government today, something Dupont with his Lefebvrist-Traditionalist mindset did not anticipate and therefore could not describe. Disandro defined it as synarchy.
What is Synarchy?
Wikipedia defines this noun as “…rule by a secret elite. The word synarchy is used, especially among French and Spanish speakers, to describe a shadow government or deep state, a form of government where political power effectively rests with a secret elite, in contrast to an oligarchy where the elite is or could be known by the public.” And so America is in the grips of this sinister form of government, a fact even openly admitted by certain politicians, and cannot and must not be referred to any longer as a democracy. Regarding Disandro’s understanding of it specifically, the authors below explain:
“Synarchy is a belief in the existence of a global network sustained by forces as diverse as capitalism, communism, Freemasonry and Zionism, claimed to be working together to undermine the spiritual, material and territorial integrity of a country. Our analysis reconstructs the projection and impact of such conspiracy theories in Argentina during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. While we distinguish between anti-Semitic trends and the broader hold of Conspirationism in Argentina, we show that narratives about a conspiring Synarchy, with roots in early 20th-century radical nationalist and right-wing Catholic circles, were adopted – albeit without anti-Semitic purposes – by Juan Domingo Perón following the coup that toppled him from power in 1955… While not necessarily anti-Semitic, the suspicion of an underground affected the imaginary of society, spilling at times and under certain circumstances into explicit anti-Semitism.
“Perón relied on others, among them the Catholic nationalist philologist Carlos Disandro, a central figure in a group of far-right Peronist university instructors and students… Disandro had impressed General Perón with an essay on the Synarchy that he delivered in person in Madrid in 1966. In a letter thanking Disandro, the leader expressed his admiration: “Your excellent work deepens analysis and profoundly depicts the problem of Argentina, as it [the country] became submissive to the strategy of Synarchy power … ” (Perón 1966)… For Disandro, Synarchy was demarcated by a sort of agreement between the “pseudo- empires” of the United States and the Soviet Union, which, even if appearing as strongly opposed, would subjugate the “spiritual essence” of the other nations of the world. To this kind of plot, Disandro added post-Vatican II Catholicism and Judaism, through what he called “the myth of the Judeo-Christian tradition” (Piglia 2007; Graf, Fathi, and Paul 2011; Conspirationism_Synarchism_and_the_long_shadow_of_Perón_in_Argentina (Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 2018).
And in another work we find:
“For Disandro, as he writes in his essay, the power of the United States constitutes a pseudo-empire, whose capitalist plot seeks technocratic rulership over the old and crumbling works of liberalism. The Soviet power, in turn, is another pseudo-empire, whose socialist-communist framework has been built on the disastrous results of iniquitous wars and sinister plans. The Soviet Union and the United States are veiled invaders that threaten the Nation. That is why he cries out…: ‘Total war against the invader, consolidation of the entitative Justice of the Nation, establishment of a foundational State, forged by Argentines, with the joyful consecration of the Argentine land.’
“The enemies it faced were powerful: not only the Soviet Union and the United States, but also Zionism and a Catholic Church ruled from the Vatican by a communist infiltrator known as John XXIII. To encompass all these enemies, Disandro lumped them together in a blurry category – ‘the agents of the international synarchy’” [blurry because they remain incapable of being identified! – Ed.]. “In his essay The Synarchic Conspiracy and the Argentine State, he writes that “Synarchy, according to its etymological background, means the radical convergence of principles of power at work in the world since the origins of mankind. This convergence of opposed principles of power is what indicates that we are in a new moment in the process of world government, because this has until now not occurred, neither in the Illuminist lodges of the 17th and 18th centuries, nor in the revolutions of the 19th century; it occurs instead in the 20th century, after the process of liquidation of the world wars.” By Eduardo Anguita and Daniel Cecchini (https://ormulus.substack.com/p/carlos-disandro-the-quiet-classics?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2)
In a later essay, Disandro would describe the actual foundational state, based on Catholic principles. He excoriates the writings of Paul 6 confidante Jacques Maritain on integral humanism and the “Christian Democracy” tenets promoted by Giorgio Montini, father of Paul 6. He also writes a very telling description of traditionalism, one that should be remembered by all. He explains that genuine traditionalism, the type mentioned by Pope St. Pius X in his Our Apostolic Mandate, is the kind that recognizes God as its source and the Catholic Church acting as the representative of God’s Son on earth. The second type of Traditionalism “…has to do with the men, institutions, events, etc., that constitute the logical surface phenomenon but whose validity depends on the correct relation with their sources. That is why it has been said above that this aspect tends toward frequent errors.”
This description refers not only to the Church, making those not properly related to their Apostolic sources and guarantors invalid, but to the State, when in violation of its own laws and founding documents. In the second instance, Disandro writes, “This relationship is not guaranteed, and the Nation is not obliged to safeguard something which would mean its suicide.” In other words, Godless men do not come from the proper source, even if according to the popular understanding — no matter how false it may be — that this country was founded as “one nation under God.” Because that relationship is not guaranteed and we cannot know what the people who govern us truly believe or think, this country has ceased to exist as a democracy and can now be defined as a synarchy.
And in that synarchy, Disandro states: “…there are religious powers at play, embodied in the vast manoeuvring of Judeo-Christianity, whose visible manifestation is ecumenism, contrary to the best religious and patriotic traditions. These synarchical powers are… opposed to national sovereignty… The Nation is independent of global centralizing tendencies, and its destiny should not be submitted for any reason to the dictates of destructive international powers: money, banks, propaganda, military-political technology, esoteric sects, etc. Each of these factors should be studied in order to overcome its attacks and ambushes, because they seek to CRUSH THE NATION” (emph. his). So here we see the denunciation of globalization with its many evils and the very complaints that are being voiced by those categorized as “the radical right.” But that faction makes three fatal mistakes:
1) They fail to insist that no country can be successfully ruled without acknowledging God as the ultimate source of any power held by its leaders and without obedience to His laws.
2) If they demand God be recognized as the founder of this nation, as some do, they recognize Him only in way of a God who considers all religions on an equal footing, a heresy.
3) None of them proclaim that unless the spiritual situation is addressed and resolved first, then no possible hope of “draining the swamp” can ever be realized. Swamp creatures or those secretly aligned with them cannot police themselves.
Pope Pius XII on the duty of voting
God alone can deliver us from the rule of overlords empowered by Satan; man is helpless to do this himself. This brings us to the question: How must Catholics view this since they are commanded by Pope Pius XII to vote in elections, as pointed out by our Spanish readers? The pope teaches: “IT IS A STRICT DUTY FOR ALL WHO HAVE THE RIGHT, MEN OR WOMEN, TO PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONS. WHOEVER ABSTAINS, ESPECIALLY OUT OF COWARDICE, COMMITS A GRAVE SIN, A MORTAL FAULT. Everyone has to vote according to the dictates of his own conscience. Now, it is evident that the voice of this conscience imposes on every sincere Catholic the duty to give his vote to those candidates, or to those lists of candidates, WHO REALLY OFFER SUFFICIENT GUARANTEES TO SAFEGUARD THE RIGHTS OF GOD AND OF THE SOULS OF MEN, for the real good of individuals, families and society, ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF GOD AND CHRISTIAN MORAL DOCTRINE” (Address to the Delegates of the International Conference on Emigration, 17 October 1951).
When Pius XII made this statement there was still some hope that things could be reversed, and that voting for moral, God-fearing candidates could effect this reversal. That is not the case today, as Dr. Disandro explains, especially given the demise of the Church. So can ANY of the candidates in the running in this country today truthfully be said to offer these guarantees?! Or are they all members of this synarchy whose intent is well-expressed above, and who, despite their rhetoric, cannot be trusted to even honor the promises they make to the public? The answer to this question is anything but clear. But we cannot proceed to make such a decision based on agenda-driven documentaries and videos, conflicting reports from the media or assumptions, either, since truth has become an almost unobtainable commodity these days.
We can judge only by the good fruits we see as attributable to such people, by external actions, as Canon Law teaches regarding such situations. All we can do is follow what Pope Pius XII teaches and vote for the person who seems most sincerely committed to upholding the Constitution, particularly the First Amendment, guaranteeing our right to at least practice the Catholic faith. We cannot be faulted if somehow we should err, but did so only to follow what the pope has taught. Yes, we have the ironclad responsibility to vote even for the lesser of two evils, as long as we can be relatively certain that the candidates(s) for whom we vote at least appear to be sincere about protecting the right of freedom of religion. As St. Robert Bellarmine has observed: “For men are not bound, or able to read hearts;” but must be judged by their external works. There is no guarantee of course that our candidate will win, but there could always be a defector buried in the bowels of the synarchy.
May the Holy Ghost enlighten and guide us in these evil times
(See recent additions to Mr. Javier Morell-Ibarra’s Catholic Survival Handbook here.)