© Copyright 2014, T. Stanfill Benns ( All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)
It is not surprising that generations raised on fairy tales might believe the Siri pope and his successor theory, but as St. Paul tells us, men put away the things of children when they mature. Obviously not, as the gullible souls willing to swallow the Siri theory demonstrate. There are numerous reasons for casting this foolish fable aside, namely because it is not and could never be Catholic. Having remained a practicing and functioning member for the Vatican 2 church long after the false council; having signed Vatican 2 council documents and celebrated the Novus Ordo Missae, this man, who never even exhibited any real sympathy for Traditionalists, presented as a heretic and schismatic.
Under Can. 2200 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law he would at least have been classified as deviating from the faith, a phrase found in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, on which this law is based. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, he must be treated as a heretic/schismatic, unless and until, at some future date, a true pope decides his case. This would also automatically disqualify any alleged successor issuing from him. One cannot use a probable opinion concerning validity in determining questions involving the means for eternal salvation; this is the teaching of Bl. Pope Innocent XI, (DZ 1151).
Traditionalist “clergy” trade on providing all the means necessary to salvation, yet have failed to emphasize the fact that the first of these is subjection to the Roman Pontiff, Siri promoters are using this necessity to lure followers to their cause. The proof of this teaching is found in the following: “We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they, by necessity for salvation, are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff,” (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, DZ 469). To be subject to anyone, one must be certain he has the right to command and compel to obey. St. Robert Bellarmine wrote concerning the bishops: “If a papal election is really doubtful for any reason, the one elected should resign so that a new election may be held. But if he refuses to resign it becomes the duty of the bishops to adjust the matter…”
For as Rev. E. S. Berry who provided this quote states, “an authority that may be justly doubted at all times is no authority; it commands neither obedience nor respect.” The evidence proving the existence of grave doubt and canonical impossibility in this case was long ago presented and recently updated. It can be studied at: /articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/errors-in-matters-of-faith-and-morals/why-guiseppe-siri-was-never-pope/, also at /free-content/reference-links/7-recent-articles/siri-theory-a-good-example-of-anti-scholastic-thinking/
Most of the witnesses in this case are dead and reliable testimony is unavailable, only deepening the doubt in this situation. And yet already the Siri enthusiasts are running to accept yet another antipope in a long line of pretenders to the papal throne. But before they jump recklessly from the frying pan into the fire, perhaps a few words of caution from someone who has “been there” could make them rethink their position.
Necessity of canonical election and doubtful popes
As Rev. Berry states elsewhere in his work quoted above (The Church of Christ, 1910), once it appears the apostolic succession has been lost, it can only be regained “by a direct intervention from Christ.” And here Berry, joining others, admits that the Church could come to a pass where only a miracle would save Her. As St. Robert Bellarmine teaches in his De Concilio (ii, 19), “a doubtful pope is no pope” and no one is bound to obey him; he should be forced to resign. I once believed and stated that we should not wait for miracles, but should proceed to a papal election; at that time I thought I had found evidence indicating that the laity could elect a pope. A man we believed was able (barely) to be elected pope was actually elected, but this became a very trying situation when we realized that he was totally incapable of functioning as any kind of head for the Church and was never absolved from heresy pre-election. Later it was discovered that the laity are strictly forbidden to take any part whatsoever in papal elections and are excommunicated for doing so, and all who had participated in that election save one renounced the so-called “pope.”
This Siri successor situation is more dangerous because people have been led to believe, based on almost thin air, that a man who was never proven to have become a canonically elected pope was actually elected. And the intimation here is that he is the only one who could be considered a true pope because he descends from Pope Pius XII lineally. But NO PAPAL ELECTION is valid unless it is canonical and this is to be held as dogma, Msgr. J. C. Fenton says in his The Concept of Sacred Theology. That is, unless it conforms to all those norms laid down for validity by Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis and canon law itself, it cannot be counted as a true election. Canon 147 clearly states that those electing or appointing anyone to office must truly be considered competent to do so, and this includes the cardinals who are to designate the man destined to receive Divine jurisdiction from Christ Himself. Do the feckless Traditionalists who hold that Siri was actually elected, based on no proof whatsoever, really believe that those cardinals who elected Siri were competent when they went on to recognize the Novus Ordo antipopes, participate in Vatican 2 and celebrate the Novus Ordo Missae? Do they not understand that Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio condemns them as heretics prior to such an election, nullifying and voiding all their actions, if it later becomes apparent that they have held such heresies? No of course not; for having never been obedient to canon law to begin with, and Pope Pius XII tells us in his infallible encyclical Mystici Corporis that anyone claiming the name Catholic MUST obey such laws, they see no need to be obedient now.
Use of coercive tactics to retain supporters
Siri theorists, incapable of conducting their own research, have even been so bold as to selectively use the research developed on this site for decades to support their evil claims. They have been doing this since 1989, when they first realized they could not claim Siri was elected in 1963 after this author proved (in a series of articles and later a self-published book) that John 23 was a heretic, so was never validly elected; nor could the cardinals proceed to elect another “pope.” But they are not presenting the whole story for those they are so cunningly attempting to mislead, because they are not following Canon Law as members of Christ’s Church are infallibly bound to do. Nor have they followed the scholastic method of St. Thomas Aquinas to present their proofs as the Church commands and therefore cannot be considered as ever presenting such proofs. Just as we were led to believe by the later pope-elect when promoting the election, the Siri successor promoters dangle as a carrot on a stick the promise to absolve from censures and provide jurisdiction, when this is a canonical impossibility. This is a cult tactic known as coercive persuasion, or as Pope Pius XII defines it in Ad Apostolorum Principis, “psychic persuasion,” as developed by the Chinese communists. It is a shameful attempt to gather moral and financial support for a mere theory presented as an accepted truth, according to popular opinion based on out and out fabrications.
This neglect of approved sources and true scholarship that contradicts the reasoning which leads to such fabrications was soundly condemned by Pope Pius XII in his infallible encyclical, Humani Generis:
“17. Hence to neglect, or to reject, or to devalue so many and such great resources which have been conceived, expressed and perfected so often by the age-old work of men endowed with no common talent and holiness, working under the vigilant supervision of the holy magisterium and with the light and leadership of the Holy Ghost in order to state the truths of the faith ever more accurately, to do this so that these things may be replaced by conjectural notions and by some formless and unstable tenets of a new philosophy, tenets which, like the flowers of the field, are in existence today and die tomorrow; this is supreme imprudence and something that would make dogma itself a reed shaken by the wind. The contempt for terms and notions habitually used by scholastic theologians leads of itself to the weakening of what they call speculative theology, a discipline which these men consider devoid of true certitude because it is based on theological reasoning.”
It is sheer absurdity to maintain that those who will not even follow the dictates of the continual magisterium throughout the ages and have defied all its principles and teachings to date could possibly determine that they May accept a man as pope while continuing to ignore these same binding principles. What binding papal teachings, also those produced by the theologians mentioned above have these clueless lay leaders promoting this travesty based their reasoning upon? What popes, what councils, what laws have they cited that grounds their belief that such a thing could ever happen outside the teachings of the Church Christ established on earth?! The new philosophy they teach is that of the pre-eminence of human reason over the teachings of the Church; human determinations and “catholic sense” as opposed to scholastic theology. This has already been discussed in the second of the articles linked to betrayedcatholics website above. It is the undiluted Traditionalism of Augustine Bonnetty condemned by Pope Pius IX as a heresy in his “Qui pluribus,” (DZ 1649-52; the doctrines listed in Denzingers state the true teaching of the Church, as opposed to the false teaching spread by Bonnetty).
First of all it must be noted that no one can coerce Catholics into accepting such a doubtful man as pope by threatening them with the teaching that all must be subject to the Roman Pontiff to be saved, that in order for the Church’s indefectibility to remain intact a true pope must exist and/or that such a pontiff is necessary to remove censures of excommunication. As Rev. Berry teaches per St. Robert Bellarmine’s teaching above: a doubtful pope is no pope. According to the opinions of seven different theologians, fulfilling the requirements of Can. 20 and the moral prerequisites for establishing true probability, “There is no schism involved…if one refuses obedience [to a pope] inasmuch as one suspects the person of the Pope or the validity of his election…” (The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, Rev. Ignatius J, Szal, A.B., J.C.L.). Of course one would need to offer valid reasons for such doubts, reasons provided elsewhere by this author, and they are readily available in this instance. Notice that one need only suspect that the man claiming to be Pope is a heretic or invalidly elected, (Can. 2200, taken from the old law, Cum ex…). Only doubt, NOT CERTITUDE that such a man is not pope, is required. In order to act in such a case, i.e., accept such a man as a true pope, moral theologians state, all doubts must be completely resolved, something that is impossible in this particular situation. Conclaves by their very nature are secret, and those participating in this conclave later proved themselves heretics. No reliable testimony could ever issue from such an event. Catholics do not need to worry that by not accepting such “popes,” they will endanger their souls, for the Church cannot and does not teach this, as demonstrated above.
Proofs to this effect can be found under Current Articles — The Binding Power of the Papacy Voids Traditionalist Acts — and will explain the true nature of indefectibility from Catholic teaching and the absolute necessity of certainly verified canonical election. Please also see the articles refuting attacks on the infallibility of Cum ex… as well as “The Truth About Papal Claims.” And for any who are in doubt about the Church’s views considering those who accept an antipope, please read the scathing condemnations of the Council of Florence:
The Council of Florence
The Council of Florence was held in Florence, Italy from 1438-1447. The Council was a continuation of the Council of Ferrara, and that council in turn was a continuation of the Council of Basel, in Switzerland. It was convoked in 1431 by Pope Martin V. Following Martin’s death, his successor Blessed Pope EugeneIV opened it and met open resistance from many of the bishops. Therefore he dissolved the Council, moving to Ferrara, Italy in 1438 because of the schismatic bishops who elected the antipope Felix V. Felix attempted to depose Eugene IV. While it appears he was a layman on election, the Catholic Encyclopedia says only that he was consecrated following his election in 1439. He then was excommunicated by Bd. Eugene IV. In 1439 the bubonic plague forced the entire Council to move again, this time to Florence where it was closed eight years later in 1447 by Eugene IV. The following text is taken from the ninth session of the Council of Florence which condemned in session the antipope Felix V and demanded he cease and desist from all pretensions to the papacy.
“…Say with the psalmist: I will pursue my enemies and crush them, and I shall not return until I consume them. I shall consume and crush them and they will not rise; they will fall at my feet. For it is wrong that so wicked a deed and so detestable a precedent should be allowed to pass by disguised, lest perhaps unpunished daring and malice find an imitator, but rather let the example of punished transgressions deter others from offending.
[Concerning Amadeus aka Felix V and his bishop friends]: “They adopted an attitude of opposition and, prodigal of their good name and enemies to their own honour, they strove to their utmost with pestilential daring to rend the unity of the holy Roman and universal church and the seamless robe of Christ’, and with serpent-like bites to lacerate the womb of the pious and holy mother herself.
“The leader and prince of these men and the architect of the whole nefarious deed was that first-born son of Satan, the most unfortunate Amadeus, once duke and prince of Savoy. He meditated this scheme for long. Several years ago, as is widely said, he was seduced by the trickery, sooth sayings and phantoms of certain unfortunate men and women of low reputation (commonly called wizards or witches or Waldensians and said to be very numerous in his country), who had forsaken their Saviour to turn backwards to Satan and be deceived by demonic illusions, to have himself raised up to be a monstrous head in God’s church. He adopted the cloak of a hermit, or rather of a most false hypocrite, so that in sheep’s clothing, like a lamb he might assume the ferocity of a wolf. Eventually he joined the people at Basel. By force, fraud, bribery, promises and threats he prevailed on the majority of those at Basel, who were subject to his sway and tyranny, to proclaim him as an idol and Beelzebub, the prince of these new demons, in opposition to your holiness, the true vicar of Christ and the undoubted successor of Peter in God’s church.
“Thus that most ill-starred Amadeus, a man of insatiable and unheard of greed, whom avarice (which, according to the Apostle, is the service of idols) has always blinded, was set up as an idol and like a statue of Nebuchadnezzar in God’s church by that most wicked synagogue, those offscourings of forsaken men, that shameful cesspool of all Christianity, from among whom certain heinous men, or rather demons hiding under the form of men, had been deputed as electors or rather as profaners. He himself, agitated by the furies of his own crimes and sinking into the depth of all evils, said after the manner of Lucifer: I will set my throne in the north and I shall be like the most High. He grasped with avid and detestable greed at the above-mentioned election, or rather profanation made of him, which he had earlier sought with intense fever of mind and anguish of heart. He did not shrink from adopting and wearing papal robes, ornaments and insignia, from behaving, holding himself and acting as Roman and supreme pontiff, and from having himself venerated as such by the people. Further, he was not afraid to write and despatch to many parts of the world letters which were sealed with a leaden seal after the manner of the Roman pontiffs. By these letters, in which he calls himself Felix even though he is the most unhappy of mortals, he tries to spread the poisons of his faction among the people of Christ.
“With the approval and help of this sacred ecumenical council, avenge with condign penalties this new frenzy which has become inflamed to your injury and that of the holy Roman church, your spouse, and to the notorious scandal of the whole Christian people. By the authority of almighty God and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul and by your own authority, remove and separate from God’s holy church, by a perpetual anathema, the aforesaid wicked perpetrators of this prodigious crime and their unfortunate heresiarch and veritable antichrist in God’s church together with all their supporters, adherents and followers and especially his execrable electors or rather profaners.
“May he and all the aforesaid be cast out like an antichrist and an invader and a destroyer of the whole of Christianity. Let no appeal in this matter ever be allowed to him or to them. Let them and their posterity and successors be deprived without appeal of every ecclesiastical or secular rank and dignity whatsoever. Let all of them be condemned by a perpetual anathema and excommunication and may they be counted among the wicked who will not rise at the judgment. May they feel the anger of God against them. May they feel the rage of saints Peter and Paul, whose church they dare to throw into confusion, both in this life and in the next. May their dwelling be a desolation, let no one dwell in their tents. May their children be orphans and their wives be widows. May the world fight against them and all the elements be opposed to them, so that they may be cast out, destroyed and eliminated by all and so that, as they grovel in permanent penury, death may deservedly be their refuge and life their punishment. May the merits of all the saints cast them into confusion and display open vengeance on them in their lifetime. May they receive a deserved fate with Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Finally, unless they repent from their hearts, perform deeds worthy of repentance and make worthy satisfaction to your holiness and the universal church for the enormity of their sins, may they be thrust with the wicked into the everlasting darkness, doomed by the just judgment of God to eternal torments…
“Therefore, in order that so enormous and execrable a deed may, with the help of God whose cause is at stake, be destroyed from its very roots, we are applying, in conjunction with this holy council and with the least possible delay, a remedy in accordance with the holy canons…Nevertheless we and this holy synod, imitating the mercy of God who desires not the death of the sinner but rather that he be converted and live, have decided to show all possible mercy and to act, in so far as we can, in such a way that the proposed mildness may recall them to heart and lead them to recoil from the above-mentioned excesses, and so that when at last they return to the bosom of the church like the prodigal son, we may receive them with kindness and embrace them with fatherly love…
“We exhort, beg and beseech the antichrist Amadeus and the aforesaid electors, or rather profaners, and whoever else believes in, adheres to, receives or in any way supports him, straightaway to stop violating the church’s unity for which the Saviour prayed so earnestly to the Father, and to cease from rending and lacerating fraternal charity and peace …We strictly enjoin and order him and them in virtue of holy obedience and under the penalties of anathema, heresy, schism and treason which have been inflicted in any ways against such persons, whether by men or by the law:
“That within fifty days immediately following the publication of this letter, the antichrist Amadeus should cease from acting any more and designating himself as the Roman pontiff and should not, in so far as he can, allow himself to be held and called such by others, and should not dare hereafter in any way to use papal insignia and other things belonging in any way to the Roman pontiff; And that the aforesaid electors, or rather profaners, and adherents, receivers and supporters should no longer, either in person or through others, directly or indirectly or under any pretext, aid, believe in, adhere to or support the said Amadeus in this crime of schism…
“If Amadeus and the said electors, believers, adherents, receivers and supporters shall act otherwise — though may it not be so — and do not effectively fulfill each and all of the aforesaid points within the appointed time, we wish and decree that from then as from now they automatically incur the stated penalties…,” (end of Council quote. All emphasis within quotes in this document is the author’s.)
“Exiled” and hidden popes treated as resigned
While it is true that the Apostolic See at present is not filled, and so such a man would not reign as opposed to a true pope, that man still would perfectly fit the definition of Antichrist found in the Catholic Encyclopedia: a king reigning during an interregnum. He also would fit the description given by Pope Paul IV in “Cum ex…,” a heretic raised to the See who only appears to be pope. The current papal election legislation by Pope Pius XII infallibly teaches: “We command that the Sacred College of Cardinals shall not have the power to make a determination in any way it pleases concerning the rights of the Apostolic See and of the Roman Church, nor attempt in any way to subtract directly or indirectly from the rights of the same on the pretext of a relaxation of attention or by the concealment of actions perpetrated against these same rights even after the death of the Pontiff or in the period of the vacancy.” The rights of the Apostolic See demand a canonical election of a truly worthy candidate. It cannot be proven that Siri’s election was canonical, posed as it was by heretics sanctioned under Cum ex…, who later amply demonstrated the extent of their treachery. Siri could scarcely be considered a worthy candidate, cooperating with the antichurch and acknowledging the usurpers of the Holy See at every turn. Proofs exist concerning this acknowledgement and cooperation, and no proofs exist confirming his orthodoxy.
Let Catholics remember that when headed by a true pope the Church is only visible if it can be identified as such. Even in the early centuries of the Church the faithful always knew who their pope and bishops were and even lived in hiding with them at times. In 1804, Pius VII signed an abdication of the papal throne prior to departing for Paris to crown Napoleon. The abdication was to take effect in the event that he was held captive in France. During World War II, Pius XII is reported to have signed a document stating that should he be abducted by the Nazis, he was to be considered as having resigned as pope. In the past, Pope St. Pontian was exiled and a new papal election held and this also happened to other popes. A secret reign of a pope for over 20 years has no precedent whatsoever in the Church. No better definition of doubt could be found than that of a supposed pope, named and kept in hiding, who cannot be verified as even existing!
If God wished us to have a pope at this time, He would miraculously provide us with one. This is the only way Catholics would know with any certainty that he was legitimate. But the real reason is that Siri himself proved to be a heretic/schismatic, so no true successor could ever issue from him. Those observing that sedevacantism is no longer a viable position are right insofar as those believing the See to be vacant cannot in the meantime set up their own church. But neither can people set up a false church by promoting a false pope, either.
Who is Peter Tran Van Khoat
Before receiving any lifting of censures or revalidation of marriages or whatever else may be offered by Gregory XVIII via Peter Tran Van Khoat, those making these requests should ask themselves:
• Who is Fr. Khoat? Where are his priestly credentials? Since he was affiliated with the Novus Ordo, Lefebvre, Giuffre and other Traditionalists, has HE been absolved of his censures and irregularities and how do we know this?
• Where is the proof of his ordination and jurisdiction? Consecration, if applicable? Or if not a bishop, extraordinary faculties to absolve from such censures which are always reserved to the Roman Pontiff, or at the very least a bishop designated by him.
• Khoat claims he was created whatever in 1988 (bishop, cardinal?) and his orders “regularized” by the “pope,” but where is the proof? Was this “pope” Siri, and is Khoat the successor? Siri died in 1989.
• What is required of the faithful before receiving absolution and abjuration? What is an abjuration and what should precede it — does anyone even know?
As has been pointed out in the article at /free-content/reference-links/7-recent-articles/siri-theory-a-good-example-of-anti-scholastic-thinking/ , the first teaching of the Church Siri supporters deny is the insistence by numerous popes on the exclusive use of the scholastic system for weighing evidence and arriving at truth. It demonstrates the falsehoods manufactured today by those who spin endless scenarios to construct conspiracy theories, which is basically what the Siri theory amounts to. But a theory is not a fact, and Pope Pius XII actually forbids us to indulge in such “conjectural notions” and “unstable tenets” as noted above. No lay leaders primarily using prophecy as proof (which has no guarantee of infallibility or doctrinal weight of any kind); no shadowy middleman whose past is a series of unanswered questions; no unidentified, unnamed and questionably elected pope, whether Siri or his successor, can gainsay true popes or make it appear that those who reek of doubtful origin could ever be considered a true head of the Church.
Slowly but surely, those who consider themselves true Catholics are being absorbed by groups either prepared to accept the “papacy” of Francis, once he “converts,” (another absurdity and insult to the intellect propagated by those who preach the probability of a material/formal papacy); by means of reconciliation with the false church of Rome as has happened with the St. Pius X Society members or by allegiance to a series of false popes existing here and there, (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope). Still others, we hear, have gone over to the Indult Mass from Traditionalism, thus returning to their vomit. Holy Scripture warns that false christs and wolves in sheep’s clothing will abound to deceive even the elect in the latter days, and they are definitely at work as these words are being written.
In his The Essentials of Formal Logic, the foundation of scholastic philosophy/theology, Rev. Michael J. Mahony, S. J., provides a list of what is known in philosophy as a fallacy of argument or a sophism — “a falsehood hidden under the appearance of truth.” Let that resonate for a moment, because it is the key to everything that Traditionalists have done for the past five decades. Under the heading of “Fallacies” in Ch. XI of his 1918 work, Mahoney lists the following under the subhead of false induction: “False observation, false interpretation, seeing what we wish to see, not seeing what we do not wish to see.” It isthe lying visions and operation of error spoken of by St. Paul. Beg our Lord for the grace to open your eyes, before you are led by these blind guides into the eternal abyss.