+Feast of the Purification+
Month of February, Dedicated to the Holy Family
Prayer Society Intention
Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we humbly beseech Thee to protect our families in these tempestuous times fraught with so many evils. Please keep us ever faithful and always pure in body, mind and soul. Amen.
To our readers
Owing to formatting problems resulting from a WordPress glitch, readers attempting to access site articles may have been unable to decipher some of the site content and for this we apologize. Please know that these errors, with a few exceptions, have now been corrected. Next, we will be working to update links in site articles, but this will be a slow process; please be patient. Non-working links or other issues may be reported at email@example.com
The article featured on the homepage addressing epikeia has been updated to include a part two on “necessity knows no law,” since Traditionalists continue to use this legal principle to justify their operations. It comes at the end of the epikeia article and is only five pages long. See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/epikeia-negates-the-churchs-divine-constitution/ . This is further proof that Traditionalists, from the outset, have tried to make their followers believe that legal principles are superior to revealed truth and can rightfully replace what has been infallibly taught by the Roman Pontiffs.
The Vatican Council on interpretation of papal decrees
The headline above may seem self-evident. But if it truly was understood, there would be no need for many of the articles posted to this website. Nor any need to repeatedly refute the allegations lobbied against these articles/this author. Unfortunately, the misrepresentation and misunderstanding of this most essential dogma is so deeply rooted that it seems a special effort should be made to better explain and demystify it. The entire thrust of the Vatican Council held in 1869 was to define the primacy and the divine nature of jurisdiction entrusted by Christ to Saint Peter and his successors, to rule the Church in His name: “He who hears you, hears me.” For those so enamored of the episcopal power, close to 700 bishops and heads of religious orders, at one time or another, attended the Vatican Council, the largest gathering in Church history. A total of 533 affirmed these dogmas, with only a scant few dissenters. Sixty of those who left to avoid the final vote later accepted the definition. The infallible decrees of this council declared the following, which will be followed by my comments.
Probably the most important of these infallible Vatican Council decisions for us today is the following: “God cannot deny Himself… but a vain appearance of such a contradiction arises chiefly from this: that either the dogmas of faith have not been understood and interpreted according to the mind of the Church or deceitful opinions are considered as the determinations of reason, therefore ‘Every assertion contrary to the truth illuminated by faith we define to be altogether false’” [Lateran Council V, no. 738.]; (DZ 1797).
Comment: Since God cannot deny Himself, this means that the Vatican Council decisions regarding the dogmas of faith must issue directly from God through His Son and to His Vicars on earth, but that is not how they are received today by Traditionalists. As noted earlier on this blogspot, some wishing to oust Francis even have suggested there should be changes to the Vatican Council decisions. Yes, changes, to what God has issued through the mouths of the Apostolic College His Son established to rule in His name! Why has this happened? Because “the dogmas of faith have not been understood and INTERPRETED according to the mind of the Church.” How would this occur?Only by ignoring the laws and teachings of the Roman Pontiff, both past and prior to Pope Pius XII’s death, regarding the doctrines in question. The lawgiver himself, that is the Roman Pontiff and his predecessors, are the only ones Canon Law designates as able to determine the nature of his own laws and pronouncements. Approved theologians pre-1959 may explain them but they cannot interpret them.
Numerous “deceitful opinions… considered as the determinations of reason” have been advanced by those who are not valid clerics, and therefore unable to even explain various points, far less speculate on the intent of the lawgiver. They may appear to be reasonable, but their reasoning has been time and time again shown as consisting in logical fallacies and theological errors. Their actual deceit has been demonstrated in recent blogs on this site, a deceit that under Canons 103 and 104, nullifies and invalidates their actions. “For the doctrine of faith which God revealed has not been handed down as a philosophic invention to the human mind to be perfected.”
Comment: And that is exactly what Traditionalists have done by resorting to mere legal principles such as necessity and epikeia, which they pretend can override the Holy Ghost inspiring the pope and Christ speaking through him.
And then there is also this: “For the doctrine of faith …has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the spouse of Christ TO BE FAITHFULLY GUARDED AND INFALLIBLY INTERPRETED. Hence also that understanding of the sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained which Holy Mother Church has once declared and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deep deeper understanding.”
Comment: God’s revelations are not to be interpreted by men. They are entrusted only to the Roman Pontiff who alone is guided by the Holy Ghost in his determinations. Anyone who dares to attempt to interpret papal documents, when the popes are quite clear in what they mean and what they teach, are usurping the papacy. This is especially true during an interregnum, when all such attempts are declared null, void, and invalid in Pope Pius XII’s 1945 election constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS). And how does one faithfully guard what God has revealed as presented in an infallible document? Certainly not by ignoring it, minimizing it, dismissing it, and disputing it!! As recently emphasized in various blogposts, those who do such things are not just disposing of the necessity of the papacy — they are denying that Christ founded His Church on Peter the Rock and that the Holy Ghost speaks through the Roman Pontiffs to us.
“But that the episcopacy itself might be one and undivided, and that the entire multitude of the faithful, through priests closely connected with one another might be preserved in the unity of faith and communion, placing the blessed Peter over the other apostles He established in him the perpetual principle and visible foundation of both unities, upon whose strength the eternal temple might be erected and the sublimity of the Church to be raised to heaven might rise in the firmness of this faith. And since the gates of hell to overthrow the Church, if this were possible, arise from all sides with ever greater hatred against this divinely established foundation,We judge it to be necessary for the protection, safety and increase of the Catholic flock, with the approbation of the council, to set forth the doctrine on the institution, perpetuity and nature of the sacred Apostolic primacy in which the strength and solidarity of the whole Church consist…” (DZ 1821).
Comment: So the pretend episcopacy of Traditionalists is one and undivided without a pope? And the unity of faith is preserved? This would be a laugh-out-loud moment if it wasn’t such a sad and serious matter. Exactly how many Traditionalist sects are there today — hundreds, maybe even thousands? Certainly neither both unities, the episcopacy nor the entire multitude of the faithful, could ever be said to be one. The Vatican Council states that the definition of infallibility was declared specifically to prevent the overthrow of the Church and for the protection and safety of the faithful. And yet that is the one thing Traditionalists failed to secure for the faithful — a true pope; and having failed at that, they do not even uphold infallibility or obey papal decrees. So can we doubt that there has indeed been an overthrow of the Church, one they helped orchestrate and perpetuate? The Vatican Council decrees that the primacy is the strength and solidarity of the whole Church, but we must fend off attacks for Pius IX’s statement that “without the pope there is no Church”? Clearly Pope Pius IX as well as the bishops was of one mind in this matter.
“So this gift of truth and never-failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair… that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one and relying on her foundation, might stay firm against the gates of hell” (DZ 1837).
Comment: So we see that without the foundation of the primacy, the Church cannot stay firm against the gates of hell. Once again, Traditionalists failed to lobby for a papal election but they have the best interests of the Church at heart? They are indeed working for “the salvation of souls” as they have claimed for decades when Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed that in order to be saved, all must obey the Roman Pontiff? Schism everywhere we look is all the proof we need that we have no true pope. What the Vatican Council tried to protect us against is exactly what happened. And now the only protection we can claim is strict adherence to everything issuing from the continual magisterium and the censuring of any and all who presume to interpret papal teachings or speak in his name. If we cannot have Christ’s Vicar at our side, we can at least gather around his throne and pray, promising to honor all the popes have ever taught and obey their commands.
Papal documents bind infallibly even when a censure is not heretical
In his Tuas libentur, addressed to German theologians, Pope Pius IX stated; “Perfect adhesion to revealed truth [cannot] be obtained if faith and obedience were given only to the dogmas expressly defined by the Church. Or even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical councils or of the Roman Pontiffs and of the See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world and therefore by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith” (DZ 1683)… “[For] it is not sufficient to shun heretical iniquity unless these errors also are shunned which come more or less close to it…” (DZ 1820; Can. 1324).
Comment: So where is the obedience to those things not condemned as heretical? Certainly this belief that we owe no obedience to such things is not limited to Traditionalists. And yet it is stated by the popes in many other places as well. Why would any sincere Catholic prefer the opinion of a theologian, or even several theologians, over the teachings of a pope, especially in these uncertain times? As Revs. Pohle-Preuss write in The Sacraments, Vol. IV (1931): “It matters not what the private opinions of…theologians [are]. It is not the private opinions of theologians but the official decisions of the Church by which we must be guided.” And as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton wrote in one of his articles for the American Ecclesiastical Review: “It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand.” Henry Cardinal Manning wrote in his work The Vatican Council and its Definitions (1887):
“To deny the infallibility of the Church in the censures less than for heresy, is held to be heretical” (and here he lists 11 approved theologians including Ferraris, De Lugo and others). “All, therefore, affirm the Church in passing such censures to be infallible. The infallibility of the Church in all censures less than heresy may be proved from the Acts of the Council of Constance. In the eleventh article of the Interrogatory proposed to the followers of Huss are included condemnations of all kinds. “In like manner, again, in the Bull Auctorem Fidei, the propositions condemned as heretical are very few, but the propositions condemned as erroneous, scandalous, offensive, schismatical, injurious, are very numerous.
“During the last three hundred years, the Pontiffs have condemned a multitude of propositions of which perhaps not twenty were censured with the note of heresy. Now in every censure the Church proposes to us some truth relating to faith or morals; and whether the matter of such truths be revealed or not revealed, it nevertheless so pertains to faith and morals that the deposit could not be guarded if the Church in such judgments were liable to error… In like manner all censures, whether for heresy or with a note less than heresy, are doctrinal definitions in faith and morals, and are included in the words in doctrina de fide vel moribus definienda…
“…The infallibility of the Church extends, as we have seen, directly to the whole matter of revealed truth, and indirectly to all truths which though not revealed are in such contact with revelation that the deposit of faith and morals cannot be guarded, expounded, and defended without an infallible discernment of such unrevealed truths, that this extension of the infallibility of the Church is, by the unanimous teaching of all theologians, at least theologically certain; and, in the judgment of the majority of theologians, certain by the certainty of faith.” He then quotes Pope Pius IX:
“Wherefore the Church, by the power committed to it by its Divine Author, has not only the right but above all the duty, of not tolerating but of proscribing and of condemning all errors, if the integrity of the faith and the salvation of souls should so require. On all philosophers who desire to remain sons of the Church, and on all philosophy, this duty lies, to assert nothing contrary to the teachings of the Church, and to retract all such things when the Church shall so admonish. The opinion which teaches contrary to this we pronounce and declare altogether erroneous, and in the highest degree injurious to the faith of the Church, and to its authority.” (Papal Letter Gravissimas Inter, Dec. 1862)
Objections by John Lewis addressed
So it is infallibility itself that is denied by those who hold that propositions not labeled as heretical may be held without incurring the penalty for heresy because there has been no “final determination,” refusing to render obedience to papal teaching. And if anyone is to be believed among the theologians, surely Henry Cardinal Manning, who took a vow before Pope Pius IX to bring the Vatican Council and its definition to fruition, is to be trusted far and away before any other theologian, especially when he quotes so many other approved theologians. Furthermore, there is an abundance of proof that what Cardinal Manning states is straight from the mouth of Pope Pius IX as seen below. To address more recent claims by John Lewis I state the following:
- As to the assertion that no one ignores VAS, this is ridiculous. Traditionalists are ignoring VAS by the simple fact that they continue to function and hold themselves validly ordained and consecrated. This is why generally no individual names are mentioned when writing these articles: all are ignoring it.
- An apostolic constitution is a papal document that deals with serious doctrinal matters regarding the definition of dogma, changes in canon law or other ecclesiastical matters (https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/vacantis-apostolicae-sedis-vindicated/). Apostolic constitutions are issued as papal bulls because of their solemn, public form. That the manner of electing a true pope would need to be modified in the present situation, were this possible (and it is not possible without unquestionably valid bishops to elect) I affirm. That the first four paragraphs of this constitution dealing with both dogmatic and canon law matters is not a matter of the primary, but the secondary object of infallibility, I deny. Even were such a thing only the secondary object of infallibility involving a disciplinary matter, Pope Pius IX teaches:
“…Discipline is often so closely related to doctrine and has such a great influence on its preservation and its purity, that the sacred councils have not hesitated to cut off from the Church by their anathema those who have infringed its discipline… Nor can the Eastern Churches preserve communion and unity of faith with Us without being subject to the Apostolic power in matters of discipline… Teaching of this kind is HERETICAL, and not just since the definition of the power and nature of the papal primacy was determined by the ecumenical Vatican Council (DZ 1827)
“… But the neo-schismatics say that it was not a case of doctrine but of discipline, so the name and prerogatives of Catholics cannot be denied to those who object. Our Constitution Reversurus, published on July 12, 1867, answers this objection. We do not doubt that you know well how vain and worthless this evasion is. For the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all. Schismatics avoid carrying out their orders and even deny their very rank. [These] are schismatics even if they had not yet been condemned as such by Apostolic authority” (Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra, 1873).
Three years after writing Quartus Supra, we also hear the following from Pope Pius IX, in Quae in patriarchatu: “In fact, Venerable Brothers and beloved Sons, it is a question of recognizing the power (of this See), even over your churches, not merely in what pertains to faith, but also in what concerns discipline. He who would deny this is a HERETIC; he who recognizes this and obstinately refuses to obey IS WORTHY OF ANATHEMA,” (Pope Pius IX, September 1, 1876, to the clergy and faithful of the Chaldean Rite.) See also Manning above.
- I have never said bishops do not have ordinary jurisdiction and could not function during an interregnum IF they had kept the faith. In a previous response to your objections, I pointed out that I am speaking here only of this PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE AND SITUATION, not the normal course of things, since it no longer exists. I have said and continue to say no valid bishops exist and that all the valid bishops attending the false Vatican 2 council became heretics, as well as most of those those not attending the false council, since they failed to rally and elect a true pope: this was the command and intention of Pope Pius XII and all those preceding him. They are now all deceased, as noted previously.
- I am well aware that there are cardinal-priests and cardinal-bishops; I wrote a book stating this in 1990, remember? But the majority of those cardinals electing John 23 were consecrated bishops, and whether cardinals or not, they hardly lost their episcopal powers just by being appointed cardinals. This is what the Apostolic College is all about. The point I was attempting to make is that they lost their office as cardinals in bowing to secular governments and determining, prior to Roncalli’s election, that he would indeed be the one elected. This invalidated the election, as VAS decrees, and these cardinals were reduced to (infamous, excommunicated) bishops; this is verified in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, the (old) law which serves as the fontes for Can. 188 no. 4, cited in VAS. You are the one who does not seem to be logically following here.
- You are arguing beside the point, (hence your argument is invalid), when you state that I falsely claim Mystici Corporis teaches “without the Pope the bishops have no power.” Bishops referred to above who defected from the Church have no power ; had any bishops remained faithful, they would have retained their power. Bishops excommunicated for heresy lose all jurisdiction and incur infamy of law. Traditional pseudo-bishops and those upholding their purported power by their actions deny that the pope alone has the power to direct and supervise all they do, and that this power can come from no other source; hence they deny infallibility as explained above. (See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/?s=Ott). The canon law defining heresy declares that it is committed by “manner of acting” (Can. 1325), among other things.
- It is obviously the will of God that we no longer have valid bishops to elect a pope, or valid priests for that matter. The failure of Traditionalists to demand that such an election be held and try to rally remaining valid bishops and senior clergy to do this is proof they never intended to obey the pope in the first place. Some will say that this effort was made; I have yet to see any proof that this was ever the case and have pointed out in several articles that such an attempt to elect someone was actually circumvented.
- You state: “Neither of these groups (Cardinals or bishops) can cease to exist in the Church.” And yet they have physically ceased to exist, because we live in the one time exempted from their existence in Holy Scripture, when “he who withholdeth will be taken out of the way” and the flock will be scattered — the time of Antichrist. If Traditionalists don’t accept this, it is not my problem. Even Protestants look around at this world and seem to think that the Second Coming is imminent. And if it is indeed imminent, it could not happen unless Antichrist proper, the Man of Sin, had already come, although his system remains.
- As to your advice on how to argue with others, I quote from the link you provided to Vermeersch: “If we were to summarise what is needed in our interactions with other Catholics in one word, it would not be “charity”. Rather, it would be the very title of the book from which this extract is taken: “Tolerance… It often is not right for us to conclude that someone is a heretic or schismatic unless we are really compelled to do so.” I wish that I could say that I consider those I am dealing with as Catholic. Sadly, I cannot. Most of the pseudo-clergy I even consider as pertinacious heretics. I prefer Rev. Felix Sarda-Salvany’s approach in Liberalism is a Sin on this subject, whose work was approved by the Holy Office. And I am obligated in these evil times to warn people against men whose practices lead them into mortal sin and eternal damnation, not to mention the obligation I owe Our Lord to defend His Church.
Fr. Sarda states: “Sovereign Catholic inflexibility is sovereign Catholic charity. This charity is practiced in relation to our neighbor when in his own interests he is crossed, humiliated, and chastised. It is practiced in relation to a third party, when he is defended from the unjust aggression of another, as when he is protected from the contagion of error by unmasking its authors and abettors and showing them in their true light as iniquitous and pervert, by holding them up to the contempt, horror and execration of all… The love due to a man inasmuch as he is our neighbor ought always to be subordinated to that which is due to our common Lord. For His love and in His service we must not hesitate to offend men. The degree of our offense toward men can only be measured by the degree of our obligation to Him. Charity is primarily the love of God, secondarily the love of our neighbor for God’s sake. Therefore to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a true act of charity. Not to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a sin.”
And on that note I will end this, with one more observation. Several years ago I wrote an article explaining the true motive and intent of this minimization of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiffs. This in a time when the only right thing we can do is defend and uphold the Deposit of Faith and condemn the actions of those who impugn it. I suggest that those who would seek a better understanding of why this is happening should read or reread this article at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/material-formal-hypothesis-condemned-as-heresy/ . If people objecting to what is written here would pay closer attention to what has already been said for nearly 20 years — both in the books and articles on this site — there would be none of these superfluous questions.
As the Vatican Council teaches, truths of faith presented from reason are not sufficient to facilitate conversion. What is needed is grace. This we fervently beseech God to grant all those today who wander in this vast wilderness of unbelief.
Great, great article.
If one is completely sincere and wants to die a true Catholic in this pagan world in which we find ourselves, he or she can accomplish this by fervently study all the writings on BetrayedCatholics.com. There are so many helpful links to Church teachings, papal encyclicals, etc., in each article. My unsolicited advice to the reader is that once one has studied about three-fourths of the whole site, then it is time to slowly begin to ask questions, praying to desire truth no matter the cost. And then one will be “mature” enough to digest the answers and dodge the propaganda that is constantly out there.
I learned while taking art lessons a simple rule (took me many years) and that is that the only way to really learn to paint/draw is to submit yourself wholeheartedly and humbly to correction. It’s actually funny in the beginning level art classes where we all take umbrage to any criticism of our “masterpieces”! We can’t see at that point. Once we can see we are freed. Some of the best teachers I had said to me something along this vein when giving a critique of my work, “Fascinating! Now ERASE the whole thing and start over!”
Their honesty helped me more than anything else.