Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

+St. Rose of Lima+

A reader has suggested that I refute a recent attack on my person by a Lefebvre and Thuc defender who suggests that because I promoted and participated in a “papal election” and am a member of the female sex I should maintain perpetual silence and be subject to my male counterparts. (I have heard this many times over the years from male Traditionalists who either are unable or unwilling to do the research necessary to defend their defenseless position.) To begin with, I owe no male any obedience save my husband and then I owe such obedience only as long as it does not contradict anything in way of the faith. Thankfully, my husband has never stood in the way of anything I believed I was required to do regarding my faith, even though he is a convert and has had nothing but horrible examples from Traditionalists regarding what a true male Catholic should be.

Secondly, I have no male counterparts in defending the faith to whom I owe any obedience because none of them are validly or licitly ordained or consecrated, and those laymen pretending to defend the faith under the Traditional banner are nothing more than modern-day Protestant reformers. This has been proven consistently from Church law and teaching so does not need to be reiterated here. I also have repeatedly pointed out on this site that not only am I allowed to defend the faith, I am obligated to do so despite my failings regarding the election of a false pope simply because Pope Pius XII and Church law commands me to do so. This is explained in the article “Where Is Your Imprimatur?” which has been posted on the articles page of my website for many years.

St. Vincent Ferrar did not elect a false pope but he supported one for 22 years, and he was a saint who worked many miracles! No one ever suggested he cease his activities because he made a mistake in good faith and caused others to follow a false pope.  I campaigned only to elect a true pope, never the individual actually elected, who I voted for only as a last resort when no others appeared for the “election.” I have explained all this at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/introduction/how-i-became-involved-in-a-papal-election-and-supported-a-traditionalist-antipope/ but would like to add the following regarding the election facts that so many can never seem to get straight:

Prior to the election, I promoted an imperfect council which I felt was more in keeping with the Church’s teaching on papal elections. That was before I understood that none of those with valid orders could participate in such a council owing to communicatio in sacris and other issues. Once I realized that, I then promoted a papal election, but I never promoted the person later elected, foolishly believing instead a true bishop would show up at the last minute. The person elected was a last-ditch choice because there were no other options, or so those “electing” him were led to believe at the time.  Six people attended the election, held at a second-hand store in Belvue, Kansas on July 16, 1990: myself, the “pope-elect,” his parents and a couple from Michigan who had known him for many years.  All the original followers eventually departed after I began to expose his errors in 2007, except for his mother.  Any followers he has now have been collected since then.

Of course those who are now renewing the attack on the stay-at-home position by referencing the false papal election are supporters of Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc, a man who resigned his position under Popes Pius XI and Pius XII to accept a new position under the false pope Paul 6 as titular bishop of Bulla Regia. Thuc’s followers hold that he received “special faculties” (privileges) from Pope Pius XI on March 15, 1938 which gave him the necessary jurisdiction to perform episcopal consecrations without a papal mandate. The English translation of the privilege bestowed on Thuc by Pope Pius XI reads: “By virtue of the plenitude of powers of the Holy Apostolic See, we appoint as our legate Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc, titular bishop of Saigon, whom we invest with all the necessary powers for purposes known to us.” No one in Traditional circles ever mention, as far as I’m aware, that these privileges were granted to Thuc in his capacity as a legate to Vietnam for the Apostolic See. Those reporting the existence of these faculties do not cite any canons governing them or note the circumstances that might have a bearing on the nature of the faculties.

Once a legate resigns his office, as Thuc resigned the offices of Vicar Apostolic of Vinh Long (and Titular Bishop of Saesina, Vietnam on November 24,1960, held since January 8,1938), his faculties cease. While he did not resign them to a true Roman Pontiff as Canon 268 stipulates, that really has no bearing on his special faculties. Understanding the types of jurisdiction Thuc held is essential to this case, since neither his powers as a legate or his position as a titular bishop entitle him to any real jurisdiction.

“Titular bishops… cannot perform any episcopal function without the authorization of the diocesan bishop; for as titular bishops they have no ordinary jurisdiction. They can, however, act as auxiliary bishops, i.e. they may be appointed by the pope to assist a diocesan bishop in the exercise of duties arising from the episcopal order but entailing no power of jurisdiction” (Catholic Encyclopedia under bishops). So Thuc could never act to consecrate anyone unless he acted only as a co-consecrator under the bishop of the diocese, if there had been any true bishop under whom he could function. As a titular bishop he did not possess ordinary jurisdiction, or really any jurisdiction of his own at all. As a legate he might have possessed ordinary power, but “The legate goes with ordinary jurisdiction over a whole country or nation,” thereby limiting Thuc’s powers to Vietnam only(see the Catholic Encyclopedia under this topic).  But under the heading regarding legates in Canon Law, Can. 265 states: “…The Roman Pontiff has the right to send legates to any part of the world with or without ecclesiastical jurisdiction.” So without the actual confirmation and itemization of the “necessary powers” granted by Pope Pius XI, no one can be certain that any jurisdiction at all was even granted. While Canon 268 states the office of the legate does not expire with the death of the Roman Pontiff, once again, the faculties granted could only apply to Vietnam. Nowhere does it state in the Canon Laws regarding legates that a legate’s power or jurisdiction, even if granted, is considered universal.

That a wide interpretation of such a privilege is not permissible is found in Can. 67, which explains that: “The extent of a privilege must be judged from the wording of the document, and its scope must not be extended or abridged.” And Can. 79 legislates that where written proof is lacking concerning the nature of a privilege, “no one may cite such a privilege in the external forum… unless he can furnish legal proof that he has received that privilege.”  These special faculties are said by Traditionalists to have been renewed by Pope Pius XII in 1939, but no document that we have ever seen confirms this. No official document issued either by Pope Pius XI or Pope Pius XII appears to exist stating what those powers might be, so no one knows the true nature of these privileges unless it is noted in the Acta Apostolica Sedis. In a doubt of law or fact, the law ceases, anyway (Can. 15), although that axiom only works for Traditionalists when they wish to claim exemptions from laws that they cannot excuse themselves from obeying according to Divine law or the law itself. As explained in our Lenten blog series, however, such doubts do not apply where the Sacraments are concerned for where validity is in question, especially in the case of Holy Orders, — where there is a doubt if some Sacramental act is valid — the act is not to be performed and if performed is null and void.

One cannot speculate about any such other powers he might have held, designated by Pope Pius XI as “necessary faculties,” when the Sacraments are at issue. These faculties would need to be spelled out and, in any case, could not be said to amount to the universal jurisdiction granted only to cardinals as explained above in Can. 67. We have only one very faded and vague document granting Thuc the faculties he did possess, which could not have applied to any territory besides Vietnam.  But all this is really irrelevant given Thuc’s later actions, which really indicate he lost all rights he ever had to exercise any powers he might ever have received.

Canons 429 and 430

Sede impedita is a Latin term used in Canon Law to refer to an impediment to possessing episcopal sees and their vacancy, whether by death of the bishop, resignation, transfer or privation. Rev. Charles Augustine defined sede impedita in Canon 429 as a “quasi-vacancy,” leading into, in the minds of the material/formal crowd, a perpetually impeded see when applied to the See of Rome. This quasi-vacancy, however has its limitations and conditions. It occurs in cases of exile officially declared, captivity, and mental or physical inhabilitas or incapability. This, according to Woywod-Smith’s commentary, can and does encompass a wide range of possibilities. Some of these include physical and mental debility (listed by Augustine), physical impossibility, inability to travel owing to war or natural disaster, etc. As both Canons 429 and 430 stress, the vacancy is to be filled within set time limits and the bishop is expected to actually occupy his see within four months, according to Augustine. Until this is possible, a vicar capitular is appointed to administer the diocese.

This Canon is enlightening because it goes into detail concerning the “privation” of the see owing to excommunication. This Augustine defines as the “canonical” death of a bishop. Although it is mentioned elsewhere in the Code, excommunication for heresy is not included under this Canon specifically. But if it was mentioned it would be considered a “tacit resignation,” incurred by the fact itself, or ipso facto, as Canon 188 no. 4 states. Such resignation would be effective immediately and would require no acceptance, only evidence of the facts in the case.

Thuc resigned his offices in Vietnam in 1960 after being appointed Archbishop of Hue by John 23, a position, of course, which he never actually received. This was three years before the war began in earnest in Vietnam resulting in the death of his brother Ngo dinh Diem.  He and his brother would later be accused of graft, corruption and persecution of Buddhists during the period between 1960-1963, and perhaps even earlier, before the war prevented him from returning to Vietnam. He went from being Archbishop of Hue to titular bishop of Bulla Regia in 1968 under Paul 6. It could easily be the case that he lost any offices he ever possessed in Vietnam owing to exile or war, as stated under Can. 429, or that he forfeited his special privileges owing to abuse and deserved to be deprived of them, as mentioned in Canon 78.

Canons 2314 and 188 no. 4

But most importantly, Thuc tacitly resigned his office under Can. 188 no. 4, as Canon Law states, when he received his appointments as Archbishop of Hue and titular Bishop of Bulla Regia from the usurper Paul 6. Traditionalists cannot on the one hand condemn everything the Novus Ordo does as heretical and hold its ministers innocent of heresy. Canon 2314 on heresy states: “All apostates from the Christian faith and each and every heretic or schismatic incur the following penalties: (1) ipso facto excommunication; …(3) If they have joined a non-Catholic sect or have publicly adhered to it, they incur infamy ipso facto, and if they are clerics and the admonition to repent has been fruitless, they shall be degraded. Canon 188 no. 4 provides, moreover, that the cleric who publicly abandons the Catholic faith loses every ecclesiastical office ipso facto and without any declaration.”  

Communicatio in sacris differs from simple heresy

Rev. Charles Augustine in his Canon Law commentary defines the non-Catholic sects referred to in regard to Can. 2314 as “Any religious society established in opposition to the Catholic Church, whether it consists of infidels, pagans, Jews, Moslems, non-Catholics, or schismatics.” In this case, it is schismatics. Formal membership is required for the delict to occur, according to the law, and no more formal membership exists than to be a minister in such a sect. The heretical act is expressed by either joining the sect or expounding its beliefs. In his dissertation The Delict of Heresy (1932), Rev. Eric MacKenzie, A.M., S.T.L., J.C.L. states: “In either case, the delinquent incurs first the basic excommunication inflicted on simple heresy. In addition, as a penalty for his aggravated delict, he incurs juridical infamy ipso facto, whether or no there is further official action by the Church.” Attwater’s Catholic Dictionary defines infamy as “A stigma attached in canon law to the character of a person…” Juridical infamy or infamy of law is a special punitive penance or vindicative penalty attached to certain grave offenses. It includes “repulsion from any ministry in sacred functions and disqualification for legitimate ecclesiastical acts.” (Under Can. 2294, Revs. Woywod-Smith qualify these acts as invalid.) Also, under Can. 188 no. 4, one who has engaged in non-Catholic worship “no longer has any rights or powers deriving from [an ecclesiastical] position,” (Ibid).

Concerning the exception made by Can. 2261 §2 MacKenzie relates: “If a priest has incurred more than a simple excommunication — [if he has] resigned his office by joining a non-Catholic sect,” he cannot even assist at marriages. And of course with the penalty for infamy of law comes loss of jurisdiction, if it was ever granted, so neither can he hear confessions or preach, even at the request of the faithful, because such acts would be null and void. And regardless of any existing censures, MacKenzie explains that to make use of Can. 2261 §2 requires that “the power of jurisdiction [be] already possessed.”

If these individuals attacking this site would actually do the research the Church demands that they do to present the truth to those who are seeking it, they would know that the powers they assign to Thuc are bogus. The only reason this site exists is that they fail to do their due diligence. Helping those desperate to maintain the status quo in a world devoid of all spirituality is a fruitless task. The status quo long ago vanished, and we find ourselves in the midst of the time following the death of Antichrist that St. Thomas Aquinas anticipated. Those who cannot accept that would have ranged themselves on the side of the Jews following the destruction of their temple in 70 A.D., as Christ prophesied. We too have seen the destruction of our temples of worship. But nothing, as St. Paul says, can keep those of us who choose to follow only Him from the love of Christ.

Those who think so little of the heresies of communicatio in sacris committed by Lefebvre, Thuc and other Traditionalists who once embraced the Novus Ordo and celebrated its false mass should consider the words below written by Fr. Frederick Faber:

“If we hated sin as we ought to hate it, purely, keenly, manfully, we should do more penance, we should inflict more self-punishment, we should sorrow for our sins more abidingly. Then, again, the crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God’s truth, which is the worst of all impurities.

“Yet how light we make of it! We look at it, and are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it, and have no fear. We see it touch holy things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor, and show no signs of detestation or disgust. Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for His glory. We do not love men enough to be charitably truthful for their souls.

“Having lost the touch, the taste, the sight, and all the senses of heavenly-mindedness, we can dwell amidst this odious plague, in imperturbable tranquility, reconciled to its foulness, not without some boastful professions of liberal admiration, perhaps even with a solicitous show of tolerant sympathies.

“Why are we so far below the old saints, and even the modern apostles of these latter times, in the abundance of our conversations? Because we have not the antique sternness? We want the old Church-spirit, the old ecclesiastical genius. Our charity is untruthful, because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is untruthful.

“We lack devotion to truth as truth, as God’s truth. Our zeal for souls is puny, because we have no zeal for God’s honor. We act as if God were complimented by conversions, instead of trembling souls rescued by a stretch of mercy.

We tell men half the truth, the half that best suits our own pusillanimity and their conceit; and then we wonder that so few are converted, and that of those few so many apostatize.

“We are so weak as to be surprised that our half-truth has not succeeded so well as God’s whole truth. Where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness.

“A man, who might be an apostle, becomes a fester in the Church for the want of this righteous indignation,” (emphases added).

(The Precious Blood, published in 1860)




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Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

Reply to a Thuc “bishop,” and Vacantis Apostolica Sedis is not just for cardinals

+ Quinguagesima Sunday +

Dear Readers,

Please pray for the brave people in the Ukraine who have endured so much and now seem to be the targets of more persecution.

Recently I received an email from a man who says he received “consecration” from Bishop Thuc, although some deny this. While many are willing to admit is that he became a “bishop,” by whose hand this was done is not certain. The email was all in French. From what little I could make out, he is discussing whether or not Thuc was mental, if he was a member of the Novus Ordo church, the arguments for or against his orders/consecrations being valid, etc…  Of course it is assumed that having been made a priest by Thuc, he is defending him in order to protect his own “validity.” In other words, he has a prejudice in that his own validity is being questioned.

While all the arguments against Thuc being able to rightly consecrate or ordain are relevant and confirmed by several different sources, including Thuc himself, they are not enough in themselves to prove his ecclesiastical ministrations invalid. We are not saying he was not initially a Catholic bishop, only that he could not validly convey his powers to others. He later ceased to remain a Catholic bishop because he signed Vatican 2 documents and failed to denounce the false church in Rome for teaching heresy and apostasy. Therefore he lost his initial office as a bishop from Vietnam and the jurisdiction that went with it, being deposed as a bishop for heresy under Can. 188 no. 4.  He committed communicatio in sacris by accepting a titular bishopric (that of Bulla Regiae) from Paul 6 and participating in Novus Ordo services, which he did nearly up to the day he made his “declaration.” For this he incurred infamy of law, and that prevents him from valid ecclesiastical acts, (Can. 2294).

By acting outside the parameters of his authority to consecrate bishops he also usurped papal jurisdiction. According to Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, his acts were null and void from the moment he attempted them and this by infallible decree. Some will say he had special faculties from Pope Pius XI, but these have never been verified, and even if they had it would not matter today. During an interregnum, bishops cannot be consecrated by the infallible order of Pope Pius XII, period, because this is a usurpation of papal jurisdiction. It is not because even if excommunicated, such men could not validly convey the mark of the order; it is because the pope, who holds the supremacy of jurisdiction, says that during an interregnum they are forbidden to do so without the necessary papal mandate.

Another reader also states that Traditionalists are claiming that Vacantis Apostolica Sedis (VAS) was only addressed to the College of Cardinals, implying that it is not addressed to the universal Church and was not infallible. Nice try, but it is entered in the Acta Apostolica Sedis (A.A.S., vol. XXXVIII, 1946, n. 3; pp. 65-99), which according to “Humani generis,” another infallible encyclical, means it is “normative,” or binding as ordinary teaching on everyone, so must be accepted with a firm and irrevocable assent. The election of a pope scarcely involves JUST the College of Cardinals; the faithful are asked to pray for the election in this constitution and are excluded from any participation in it. They would have to read it or know of it to observe this law. Pius XII writes in the preamble to no. 2 of his constitution: “We desire that the College ought to watch over and defend these rights during the contention of all influential forces.” Indeed the cardinals, in taking their oaths on becoming cardinals, vow to show themselves  “fearless, even to the shedding of blood, in making our holy Faith respected, in securing peace for the Christian people and in promoting the welfare of the Roman Church…” How was the welfare of the Church promoted by violating the provisions contained in VAS, which they took a specific oath to uphold? Certainly Pope Pius XII did not expect the entire college to abandon their faith as they did; he assumed that at least some of the cardinals would protect the Church from the very fate She suffered. But in this he was mistaken, even though he foresaw that something would be attempted.

Also, in para. 109, summarizing what he has written, the pope again stresses: “Moved by the examples of Our Predecessors, We therefore ordain and prescribe these things, decreeing that this present document and whatever is contained in it can by no means be challenged… 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.”  Here we find the word “anyone,” even though in all respects it is only a reiteration of para. 3 of the preamble; so this directive is NOT just limited to the cardinals.  And if only the cardinals’ authority were intended here, it would not read, “by whatever authority.” Traditionalists forget that after all, cardinals are only bishops, priests (and in times past deacons) who have added to their rank an additional honorary title. They are expected to be the bishops and priests extraordinaire during an interregnum, guarding the Church from any and every danger that threatens Her until a true successor of St. Peter is elected. If even the head honchos as bishops and priests are forbidden to exercise these powers when they have universal jurisdiction by virtue of their office (Can. 239), then how can anyone argue that those not granted these privileges could possibly claim: ”But this doesn’t apply to me…”

The basis for the contention bishops can act on their own and do as they please is that held by the late Louis Vezelis, that bishops receive their jurisdiction directly from Christ in virtue of their valid consecration. But the bishops cannot proceed on their own unless they first receive their office and jurisdiction from the Roman Pontiff as taught in Mystici Corpus and Ad Sinarum Gentum; so what Vezelis held is heresy. If the cardinal-bishops and priests are forbidden to act, how can the others presume to do so?! We are talking here of men (Traditionalist bishops) who never received valid tonsure from their bishops (Old Catholics, Orthodox or Lefebvre or Thuc), who lacked jurisdiction to administer tonsure, because they forfeited it as heretics under Can. 188 no. 4. Since tonsure is an act of jurisdiction, no tonsure was conveyed. No priests could be created without tonsure and no bishops could be created if the ones consecrated were not certainly priests. As such they could never be ordained clerics under Canons 108, 118. We also are forgetting Ad Apostolorum Principis, which forbids consecrating without papal mandate and levies excommunications for doing so. Such consecrations might be held as valid but not licit during an interregnum, when the pope could supply, but without a pope to supply could only be null and void for want of supplied jurisdiction as Vacantis Apostolica Sedis teaches.

In any event, the circumstances rendering tonsure and ordination null and void have nothing to do with Vacantis Apostolica Sedis and everything to do with excommunication for heresy. If even the cardinals are forbidden to supply jurisdiction during an interregnum, than certainly no one else can supply it. Any of these men, following the death of Pius XII, could have resolved the situation by electing a true pope, but they did not. They alone had the power to resolve this crisis.

God cannot and will not deprive man of free will. He wished/willed (DZ 1821) that the bishops and among them St. Peter and his successors would continue in their positions to the end of time, but since when have His laws been obeyed? All God’s laws are an indication of His will, but evil men have no qualms about ignoring this salient fact. The cardinals chose to reject the truths of faith and violate their oaths. They all became collective Judas in betraying Christ and His Church. Hence this blog and this site.


T. Benns

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Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

“Bp.” Pivarunas and Bp. Thuc’s heretical orientation

Notes on “Bp.” Pivarunas and Bp. Thuc’s heretical orientation

© Copyright 2014, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.

  1. Pivarunas is arguing beside the point. He has yet to prove that he is a member of the sacred hierarchy. He repeatedly insists that the Church’s mission — the salvation of souls — must continue forward, and he and his fellow priests and bishops must be intended to perpetuate this mission. But Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey states in his Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Vol. II that only the sacred hierarchy is entrusted with this mission, (p. 350, A. 1). By definition, Pivarunus is not a member of this hierarchy, for only those made bishops by appointment of the Holy See, and only those bishops in communion with the Roman Pontiff, can be considered members of the sacred hierarchy. Certainly those who are outside the Church cannot be considered members of the hierarchy. Only those possessing the mission to preach may do so (see DZ 967). Only those with the office and power to receive converts may so receive them. These men could continue this mission as laymen if they repented of their sins and made amends, but not as clerics. By all the definitions of the Canons they are working to the destruction, not the salvation of souls.
  2. There is no benign interpretation of excommunication where heresy is concerned. This is the practice of the Church. (Mahoney, Billot, Woywod-Smith, et al; see below). One suspect of heresy incurs the excommunication if they do not remove the suspicion within six months, (Can. 2315). Thuc did not do so; in fact he accepted the Bulla Regia appointment from Paul 6 after that and confirmed his excommunication. This is proven by his use of the title even in his declaration. Other documents state that like Lefebvre, whom Thuc was seen in the company of at Vatican 2, Thuc signed V2 documents.
  3. To remove such excommunication, Thuc would need to have been abjured by a valid and licit bishop so designated by the Pope, or by the offices of the pope or the pope himself, and to have made the profession of faith. He also would need to have been absolved in the confessional and to have made amends, insofar as possible, for the damage done by his heresy and schism. In addition, he would have needed to be dispensed from infamy of law by a true pope; and all the same could be said of Lefebvre. Obviously none of this happened. As long as these men were under infamy of law, the acts they performed are considered by the Church as though they never took place.(see Trad Acts Null).
  4. Under Can. 188 n. 4 Thuc lost his office as Bishop; he was effectively reduced to the lay state. When in doubt as to whether a law applies, one returns to the old law, (Can. 6 §4). The old law governing excommunications under Canons 188 n. 4 and 2314 is “Cum ex…,” as a footnote to both of these canons proves. There is no doubt under this law that Thuc incurred the ipso facto excommunication. The law simply states that those who receive those so excommunicated “knowingly” also are excommunicated. It does NOT excuse the “Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals, Legates, Counts, Barons, Marquis, Dukes, Kings and Emperors” from incurring the censure, as “Cum ex…” states below:

“Now therefore, having thoroughly discussed these matters with Our venerable brothers the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, upon their advice and with their unanimous consent, We approve and renew, by Our Apostolic authority, each and every sentence, censure or penalty of excommunication, suspension and interdict, and removal, and any others whatever in any way given and promulgated against heretics and schismatics by any Roman Pontiffs Our Predecessors…All and sundry Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals, Legates, Counts, Barons, Marquis, Dukes, Kings and Emperors who in the past have, as mentioned above, have strayed or fallen into heresy or have been apprehended, have confessed or been convicted of incurring, inciting or committing schism or who, in the future, shall stray or fall into heresy or shall incur, incite or commit schism or shall be apprehended, confess or be convicted of straying or falling into heresy or of incurring, inciting or committing schism, being less excusable than others in such matters, in addition to the sentences, censures and penalties mentioned above, (all these persons) are also automatically and without any recourse to law or action, completely and entirely, forever deprived of, and furthermore disqualified from and incapacitated for their rank…” Please note the infallible hallmark of this Bull, “by Our Apostolic Authority…”

  1. It is not the practice of the Church, in receiving bishops from heresy, to automatically reappoint them as bishops. “Cum ex…” in fact teaches that such men are “completely and entirely, forever deprived of, and furthermore disqualified from and incapacitated for their rank…” St. Robert Bellarmine confirms this on CMRI’s own site at http://www.cmri.org/02-bellarmine-roman-pontiff.html
  2. Pope Paul IV also states: “Further, whoever knowingly presumes in any way to receive anew the persons so apprehended, confessed or convicted, or to favor them, believe them, or teach their doctrines shall ipso facto incur excommunication, and, become infamous. They shall not and cannot be admitted orally, in person, in writing, through any spokesman or pro-curator to offices public or private…” Only the Roman Pontiff can dispense from the impediment of infamy. Revs. Woywod-Smith explain the effects of infamy of law under Can. 2294 §1: “A person who has incurred infamy of law is not only irregular, [from defect] as declared by Can. 984 n. 5, but in addition, he is incapacitated from obtaining ecclesiastical benefices, pensions, offices and dignities, from performing legal ecclesiastical acts, from discharging any ecclesiastical right or duty, and must be restrained from the exercise of sacred functions of the ministry.” The authors continue: “The person who has incurred…an infamy of law…cannot validly obtain ecclesiastical benefices, pensions, offices and dignities, nor can he validly exercise the rights connected with the same, nor perform a valid, legal ecclesiastical act,”  (emph. mine).

Canon 2314 §1, n. 3, declares that by adhering to a non-Catholic sect, one incurs infamy of law. Canon 985 states that by the commission of heresy, apostasy or schism the offender is also irregular by virtue of a crime, and Can. 2314 likewise attaches infamy of law to this irregularity, which is incurred ipso facto. When imposed in the form of a penalty attached to law, this sentence takes place immediately. Revs. Woywod-Smith state that it seems both irregularities apply, whenever subjects openly express a non-Catholic creed. By a non-Catholic creed is included all those who believe the Church can exist indefinitely with out a Roman Pontiff and violate the laws of the Church he and his predecessor laid down and hold as remaining inviolate during an interregnum. Ignoring excommunications and censures issued by the Church as meaningless and choosing to function despite these disciplinary decrees is itself a heresy, as is seen below.

  1. The same comments on Can. 2294 §1 also are provided by Rev. Augustine: “Legal infamy involves irregularity [from defect] according to Can. 984 n. 5, and therefore no layman affected by it can receive the tonsure or any other order without an apostolic dispensation…Legal infamy entails disability, or disqualification for any ecclesiastical benefice, pension, office, dignity; if conferred the act is invalid,” (emph. mine). Here Rev. Augustine refers us to Can. 2391 and a discussion of the word dignus, or dignities and explains that this refers to fitness. (Canon 2391 disqualifies unworthy candidates from election.) Dignities refer to one “who possesses the necessary qualifications, Revs. Woywod-Smith speak of the dignity of the priesthood or the ministry under Can. 968 where the “positive qualifications are required by law for ordination…The irregularities and impediments are not penalties, although some are incurred by the commission of crimes, but they are conditions imposed to safeguard the dignity of the ministry. For this reason the Code states that not only ordination but also the exercise of the orders actually received is forbidden if, even without his own fault, the person incurs an irregularity or impediment.” Rev. Tanquerey tells us that in general order signifies: “A certain grade or dignity, or an assemblage of men adorned with this dignity…Order is the grade or dignity, of itself permanent, resulting from the actual ordination.” Order here is considered synonymous with dignity. If infamy makes invalid the dignities received then these men are not, nor could they ever be, clerics.
  2. The theologian Jean-Marie Herve, writing in the last century, described as unworthy those who are able to receive the Sacraments validly yet cannot profit from them. He refers this definition to public sinners who have been denied the sacraments and those under various censures including penalties for heresy and schism.  He also stresses that it is the strict duty of the minister to ascertain worthiness in order to protect the Sacraments from sacrilege and avoid scandal. While certain exceptions can be made in the case of the other Sacraments concerning their administration despite the unworthiness of the recipient, and reasons can be advanced that would allow their administration for a very serious reason, Herve points out in his “Sacraments,” (Dogmatic Theology, Vol. I) that this cannot be the case with Holy Orders. “In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the public good demands that the unworthy applicant even if he be secret, be repelled even though his offense cannot be juridically proved. In this case the reception of the Sacrament is considered inferior in worth to the worthy exercise of the sacred functions and the public good of the Church. According to Pesch: ‘He who trenches on a public good thereby loses his right to a private good if the public good cannot effectively be defended without injury to the latter.’” He goes on to quote Can. 731 #2 concerning the conferring of the Sacraments on heretics and schismatics: “It is forbidden to administer the Sacraments of the Church to heretics or schismatics even if they err in good faith…unless they first reject their errors and are reconciled with the Church.” Here it appears he is referring to juridical infamy.
  3. Candidates to become CMRI bishops are “elected,” and it is election and appointment that Can. 2391 is concerned with. As Rev. Augustine notes under this Canon, “he is worthy who possesses all the qualities positively prescribed for an office by law and is without the negative qualities that render one unworthy of holding a benefice.” He notes that infamy is one of these negative qualities that render one unworthy. In the case of infamy of law, the Traditionalists in general do not deny that they all have belonged to the Novus Ordo, SSPX or other schismatic/heretical organizations at one time; otherwise they would not be invoking Can. 2261 §2 and Can. 209 for their right to operate. Nor would they have been conditionally reordained if they did not believe they had been ordained by heretics and/or schismatics. Therefore they admit their irregularities and impediments openly. And these affiliations with non-Catholic sects cannot help but bring with them infamy of law under Canons 984 n. 5, 2294 §1 and 2314 §1.

Having said this, we return to Can. 2294 §1 and the canonists, who clearly agree that no layman can receive tonsure who suffers from infamy of law. To receive tonsure, one must definitely produce positive proofs of fitness. All candidates for Traditionalist orders are selected from among the various Trad sects. They are “called” by a bishop who himself suffers from the impediment of infamy of law, and who cannot validly or legally make one capable of acquiring benefices. Any attempts to do so are null and void, and were most likely also null and void concerning their own tonsures and training. If one has never been validly admitted to the clerical state and become a cleric; if he has not been called by the proper bishop; if he has not received the proper and required training at an approved and supervised seminary; if he has received orders from a heretic or a schismatic; if he has not presented dimissorial letters; if a bishop has been consecrated without the papal mandate and if no one has attempted to prevent these delinquents from perpetrating all these acts, then no greater evidence of unworthiness for the priesthood and episcopacy could possibly be presented.

Pivarunas says that the situation in China referred to in “Ad Apostolorum Principis” was that bishops were being intruded into sees whose rightful occupants were in prison or in exile, where our situation is that they are vacant. He is right; the situation is different. By all accounts the Chinese bishops intruded were validly and licitly ordained and their consecrations were valid all except for the mandate. If not, the Pope would have mentioned this. Also they were not consecrated during an interregnum.

The CMRI and others believe that they receive jurisdiction directly from God. This is called extraordinary jurisdiction, condemned by the Church. It is implicit in the beliefs of all the Protestants. St. Francis de Sales and Van Noort both advance good arguments against this teaching, condemned by the Church at the Council of Trent.

Did sedevacantists knowingly resort to Thuc? Could they and should they have known and understood that he was suspect of heresy? Did they ask if he had signed Vatican 2 documents? Rev. Joaquin Saenz-Arriaga, whose teachings undeniably were known to the Mexican bishops, certainly should have known and understood the laws and teaching of the Church. Carmona was the rector of a Mexican seminary, and should have understood the implications of heresy, apostasy schism and irregularity. Guerard des Lauriers, who had benefit of pre-Vatican 2 training, certainly should have been aware of these teachings. If nothing else, he should have known that if Thuc still laid claim to the Bulla Regiae title, by that very fact, he was admitting his acceptance of Paul 6. What happened to the claim, known at least to the Mexican bishops, that Thuc was consecrating those men only to provide electors (candidates?) for a papal election? There is no doubt that this is exactly what was going on. I was an eyewitness to the discussion of this eventuality by Fr. Dan Jones and others, later writing an article about it for Jones’ newsletter in 1982. Did the Mexican bishops agree to consecration only on the contingency that a papal election would follow? Both are dead now, and people can and do say what they want on the matter. But if Carmona was so certain of what was said in the Pontificale, why did he express doubts that he was actually consecrated once he returned to Mexico?

Ignored entirely in all this is the fact that Rev. Saenz before his death in the early 1970s, and Dr. Carlos Disandro in 1978, three years before the Thuc consecrations of des Lauriers, Carmona and Zamora printed the full text of Pope Paul IV’s 1559 Bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio.  Several Traditionalist publications ran excerpts, mostly of para. 6, from the Bull.  Such an important document, it seems, would have been read front to back and studied at length before proceeding with anything like what would later occur. Instead, many seemed intent on minimizing the mention of schismatic alongside heretics in the bull; of relating it positively to Canons 188 n. 4 and 2314. To this day there are those who insist that despite its infallible earmarks, testified to by Henry Cardinal Manning and the definition of infallible marks given at the Vatican Council, the Bull is not infallible. Those who quote Cum ex are denigrated as almost unCatholic. Despite its clear terms, they are accused of interpreting it and interpreting it wrongly. Their critics insist that the Bull is not retained in the Code, although the evidence proving that the Bull is indeed contained in several footnotes to the Code has been available for many years on this site. Taken in its entirety, Cum Ex could have successfully been used to find answers to many controversies about the crisis in the Church. But there are reasons why some prefer that its true status as a solution to this crisis not be brought to light.

The consideration of schism as equivalent to heresy in the Bull and its incontestable relation to the Code as the old law is what gave Traditionalist clerics pause. Prior to the Bull’s discovery and subsequent English translation, laity at least and to some extent priests ignorant of Rev. Saenz’s works could claim ignorance of the indisputable nature of the penalties. But once the Bull was “promulgated,” this immunity ceased, especially in the case of clerics. Pivarunas and others claim that the penalties concerning heresy and schism may be interpreted benignly, but this is not what Canon Law or Pope Paul IV’s Bull says.

Regardless of any mitigating circumstances, a heresy is a heresy and results in ipso facto excommunication. One can be absolved and other punishments also connected to the crime may be softened, but the heresy will still remain a heresy. Can it be adjudged as material and not formal heresy? Not unless very plausible and convincing evidence can be produced. Generally heresy is considered material only when the following three conditions are fulfilled: a) The offender is a baptized non-Catholic raised among Protestants who is following his own religion, as in the case above; b) nevertheless, this person is sincerely seeking the truth, and c) is fully prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church as soon as the heresy is discovered. There also is such a thing as aggravating circumstances in such cases, which make the delict (crime) more grave. Canon 2207 says offenses are aggravated owing to the dignity of the offender’s [perceived, in this case] position and the abuse of his office. Canon 2234 states that a person who has committed several offenses “shall not only be punished more severely, but shall also be subjected to surveillance…,” although such surveillance by superiors is no longer possible. These factors would offset any mitigating circumstances.

“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, (Ignorance in Relation to the Imputability of Delicts, Rev. Innocent Swoboda, O.F.M., J.C.L.) Swoboda explains that in a pastor, priest or judge, 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 fulfil 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 Swoboda combines both error and ignorance for the purposes of his dissertation).

Canon E. J. Mahoney writes, in his questions and answers: “The liberal view [is that] baptized non-Catholics in good faith are members of the body of the Church precisely because they are not excommunicated…The view diametrically opposed to this is [that] the excommunication of heretics applies to material as well as formal heretics…

If a choice had to be made between theses two views…, there is no question that the second fits in best with Catholic discipline, and, in particular, with our practice in reconciling converts…The solution which I think is the correct one consists in perceiving a distinction which the Code itself supplies. The Sacraments are to be denied both to material and formal heretics but for different reasons; to formal heretics because they merit punishment, the censure of Can. 2314 §1; to material heretics because they are excluded by Can. 731 §2, which is a necessary deduction from the concept of the Church: [basically, the Church is a society of men professing the same Christian faith, participating in the same worship, receiving the same Sacraments, from lawful pastors in communion with the Pope, etc…] Those who reject the rule of faith proposed by the Church are not members of the Church, and may not lawfully share in the privileges of members, as, for example, the reception of the Sacraments.”

Mahoney then cites Billot, who explains that formal heresy and schism cannot be excluded as a possibility in these cases. “…In reconciling converts…it is difficult in the first place to say with certainty that a given convert has not incurred the censure. It is not amongst those which crass ignorance excuses, and it is not unlikely that, during a given period previous to his submission, there was sufficient knowledge for incurring a censure. Therefore absolution from censure is given at least ad cautelam…Moreover, the important distinction between the internal and the external forum must always be remembered. The external government of the Church regards the external actions of people…It is open to the authority of the external government of the Church to regard the members of heretical sects as excommunicated, even though, in the internal forum of conscience, they may be guiltless of any act meriting punishment. We say it is “open to them” to do so, but whether they do, as matter of fact, must depend on their own avowal, explicit or implicit. Even though there is no express direction from the competent authority that all converts are reckoned to be excommunicated, the absolution from censure, should, in my opinion, always be given…It is at least a liturgical law…In the “Ordo Administrandi,” [England] …rubric two takes it for granted that absolution from censure will be given to all who have reached the age of puberty. Nothing is said about omitting the absolution in cases where it is said not to have been incurred…Lastly, and the most important point of all…the license of the Ordinary is always necessary before reconciling a convert with the Church.”

Can. E. J. Mahoney’s words are only strengthened by the commentary of Revs. Woywod-Smith on Can. 731: “All canonists and moralists agree that those who are heretics or schismatics and know they are wrong cannot be given the Sacraments of the Church unless they renounce their errors and are reconciled with the Church. Numerous decrees of the Holy Office put this point beyond controversy.” As Mahoney observes above, “Those who reject the rule of faith proposed by the Church are not members of the Church, and may not lawfully share in the privileges of members…”

Identifying heresy

To condemn a person as a heretic you must produce the specific doctrine doubted or denied, explicitly or implicitly. The article denied by the one in question must directly correspond to a doctrine condemned by the Church as heretical. In his “Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology,” Rev. Pascal Parente states that in order to judge something truly heretical, it must be opposed to a truth revealed by God, and also declared infallibly by the Church to be revealed by God. Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange expounds further on the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas concerning heresy. Aquinas defines heresy as “obstinately [embracing] a false opinion concerning truths that belong to the faith, either directly or principally…or indirectly and secondarily, like revealed verities of less importance…A heretic is one who refuses ‘to choose whatever Christ has truly taught,’” (“The Theological Virtues”). A heretic must be pertinacious, Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange tells us, meaning that “The sin of heresy consists in an obstinate upholding of a personal view, recognizable as being against the faith, after the opposite truth or truths of faith have knowingly become sufficiently manifiest. (…Once [heresy] becomes commonly known, especially on a large scale, it passes as manifest heresy…) Such a position cannot be ascribed to ignorance. It is the product of ill-will…[Pertinacity] can be instantaneous, a sudden seizure of ill-will against the faith after it has been sufficiently propounded by the Church.” For formal heresy to exist, “It is not necessary that the individual believer realizes that the truth in jeopardy has been revealed.” So what is needed from the outset is proof that a false opinion concerning truths of faith was actually expressed publicly and denied directly or indirectly.

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Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

No approval needed for prayer society; and the Church’s passion begins in earnest on March 25

+ St. Gabriel, Archangel +

Some have asked if the Church allows lay people to participate in and establish prayer societies. I originally and mistakenly quoted Can. 686 on this subject years ago, but this canon does not refer to the type of society we recently invited people to join, for several reasons enumerated below. The Society for Reparation to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary:

  1. is not a community that lives in common, such as religious do;
  2. does not collect dues or participate in any sort of fundraising activities;
  3. is not offering anyone any special indulgences granted to it as a society;
  4. has no set minimum requirements for membership, only suggestions and
  5. has no governing body.

Therefore, it does not even exist as defined by the Church itself and is strictly a lay organization. The distinction between lay and religious societies in law is explained under Canon 1489, which discusses the St. Vincent de Paul Society, founded by lay people, not religious. This society is discussed by the canonists Woywod-Smith under Canon 686, where they comment that such lay societies are not included in those canons which refer to associations which are strictly ecclesiastical, and a lay society only is what we intended to establish and are able to establish.

Lay persons have a right to demand spiritual goods, and prayer in common is definitely a spiritual good. They have the obligation to do all they can to work for the salvation of souls, and this society is a society of reparation, to appease God’s anger and make reparation to Our Lady for the sorrows caused by her straying and confused children; also to pray for the conversion of sinners, the dying and the souls in Purgatory. Those belonging to lay societies are not required to organize under their diocesan bishop, only be subject to him in matters of faith and morals. This is according to a decision of the Holy Office on the lay status of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in 1920 (AAS 13-1335). But such obedience is demanded from all Catholics, not just members of lay and religious associations.

Troubling issues behind the questions

Catholics questioning the founding of this society have every right to do so. And no one is being compelled to join; it was merely established to provide a prayer link between like-minded Catholics praying for things in common. But what is disturbing about the motives prompting the questions are the (sometimes scrupulous) reasons they were posed in the first place, reasons tied to erroneous thinking that has been perpetrated by Traditionalists since they first arrived on the scene. The sources of this erroneous thinking are the three reasons most often cited by Traditionalists to justify their operations — epikeia, necessity and impossibility. Epikeia has been discussed at length on this site and in a more recent blog its Gallicanist origins were revealed. While Traditionalists adamantly defend their right to invoke it in the present circumstances, all modern theologians agree it cannot be used whenever the validity of the Sacraments is in question.

Rev. Lawrence Joseph Riley, A.B., S.T.L., in his The History, Nature and Use of EPIKEIA in Moral Theology, 1948), basically explains that for the use of epikeia to be considered lawful, the law in question must be assumed to be: a) deficient by reason of its universality; b) in need of correction or amendment; c) is challenged by one who goes against the clear rules of the law d) using a probable presumption that the legislator did not intend to include this particular case when fashioning the law. It cannot be said that legislators were ignorant of the possibility of extended interregnums. Or that they had never encountered cases where Catholics were without Sacraments for long periods of time such as during the Arian heresy, the Japanese in the 1600s and those behind the Iron Curtain, all of whom refused to allow schismatics to minister to them. Specifically regarding episcopal consecrations without the papal mandate, it has been seen that the mind of the legislator definitely DOES anticipate such cases, since these are implicated in the very context of the constitution Ad Apostolorum Principis as well as Pope Pius XII’s papal election law governing interregnums, The mind of the legislator also is demonstrated in papal decrees such as Charitas, not to mention numerous decisions of the Sacred Congregations barring reception of the Sacraments from schismatics. Regarding the use of epikeia in the reception of the Sacraments, Fr. Riley states the following:

“The inquiry is made as to whether in reference to them [the sacraments] epikeia may ever be lawfully used. This question should not be confused with what would at first glance appear to be a somewhat kindred point, namely whether it is ever lawful to employ doubtful matter in confecting a sacrament, but this is not the precisely the question which concerns us now. Our interest turns rather to the problem of whether a sacrament can ever be given validly with matter or form that is certainly substantially different from that prescribed… It would be difficult to find any theologian who would ever allow epikeia under such circumstances. As the council of Florence declared, a sacrament is constituted by its matter, its form and ‘by the person of the minister conferring the sacrament with the intention of doing what the Church does; if any of these is lacking, the Sacrament is not fulfilled’ (DZ 695). In the words of Suarez: These are the quasi-foundations of the visible Church of Christ. If they be altered then in that Church there would result a substantial mutation contrary to the manifest intention of its founder.” Those elements which are necessary for the validity of a sacrament remain so even in the face of extreme difficulty or impossibility … The sacraments exist according to the institution of Christ or they do not exist at all. In short, it may be concluded that in regard to matters which touch the essence of the sacraments the use of epikeia is always excluded.”

The papal mandate is required both for the validity of ordinations and episcopal consecrations. To validly ordain, one must have been assigned to a diocese by competent ecclesiastical authority, and this was not the case with either Lefebvre or Thuc. No such mandates were issued to Lefebvre or to Thuc for their consecration of bishops. Without these mandates, Pope Pius XII teaches, the acts of anyone attempting to consecrate are null and void, i.e., they never create priests or bishops. Canon 147 states: “An ecclesiastical office cannot be VALIDLY obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons.” In the case of bishops, this authority is the Roman Pontiff; in the case of priests, bishops in communion with the Roman Pontiff, possessing an office assigned to them by the Roman Pontiff.

None of those ordained or consecrated by Lefebvre or Thuc can claim to have received an office from competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons. At one time both Lefebvre and Thuc possessed offices under Pope Pius XII, but they resigned those offices to accept offices under John 23 and Paul 6. So they cannot claim, either, to have received offices from the competent ecclesiastical authority, valid ordination and consecration or not. Canon 147 is not concerned with the validity of orders received, it speaks only of offices, which have to do with jurisdiction, not orders.  This is explained in Can. 109, which states that all those degrees of jurisdiction outside those of the Roman Pontiff are received “…by canonical appointment.” This canon’s authentic interpretation by the Holy See, (AAS 42-601), reminds the hierarchy that Can. 147 proceeds from Divine law and the infallible decrees of the Council of Trent (DZ 960, 967), so that none can proceed against Can. 147 with impunity. It furthermore declares an excommunication reserved especially to the Holy See against those who violate this canon, and that includes any among the laity who cooperate in any way in these crimes. Under Can. 147 in the Canon Law Digest, Vol. 3, The Sacred Congregation of the Council declared:

“The Catholic Church is, in virtue of its institution by Christ Himself, a perfect society hierarchically established, whose full and supreme power of government and jurisdiction rests with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter in the primacy. Hence no one can presume to intrude himself or others into ecclesiastical offices or benefices without a legitimate canonical investiture or provision… The Council of Trent declared that, “those who undertake to exercise these offices merely at the behest of and upon the appointment by the people or the secular power and authority, AND THOSE WHO ASSUME THE SAME ON THEIR OWN AUTHORITY, are all to be regarded not as ministers of the Church but as thieves and robbers who have entered not by the door,” (Cap. IV, Session XXIII, de reform). Both orders AND jurisdiction are required for apostolicity as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

“Apostolicity of mission consists in the power of holy orders and the power of jurisdiction derived by legitimate transmission from the Apostles. Any religious organization whose ministers do not possess these two powers is not accredited to preach the Gospel of Christ. For ‘How can they preach,’ asks the Apostle, ‘unless they be sent?’” (Rom. 10:15). And from Rev. E. S. Berry’s The Church of Christ: “…Jurisdiction in the Church can neither be obtained nor held against the will of her supreme authority; its transmission depends entirely upon legitimate succession. It is not sufficient, therefore, that a church have valid Orders; it must also have a legitimate succession of ministers, reaching back in an unbroken line to the Apostles, upon whom our Lord conferred all authority to rule His Church… There can be no legitimate successor in the Church of Christ who has not received jurisdiction either directly or indirectly from her supreme authority.” And without a true pope there is no one to even indirectly supply such jurisdiction, despite Traditionalist claims to possess supplied jurisdiction.

Who has given these Traditionalists the jurisdiction necessary to apostolicity to minister to the faithful as a lawfulminister, which can only be obtained by possessing a canonically appointed office? As Rev. Berry also points out in his work and Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XII teach: “There is not the slightest intimation in Scripture or tradition that Christ ever promised to confer authority directly upon the ministers of the Church; consequently, it can only be obtained by lawful succession from those upon whom Christ personally and directly conferred it, i. e., from the Apostles.” Whatever the Traditionalist argument is regarding offices, those who do not receive them cannot be considered as lawful ministers of the Church, but only thieves and hirelings. We must follow the laws and teachings of the Church, not claims against these teachings made by Traditionalists. Pope Pius XII’s Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis leaves no doubt regarding the true status of those usurping papal jurisdiction and acting outside papal laws during an interregnum: all their acts are null and void.

Necessity and impossibility

Necessity is a term often credited to the Decrutum of Gratian but it is not something that in practice was ever used for the type of situation we find ourselves in today. It was mainly cited in marriage cases and sometimes in cases of justifiable homicide. In his Summary of Scholastic Principles, (1956) Rev. Bernard Wuellner says this about necessity: “Necessity knows no law… No law can bind a subject to do the impossible or anything morally evil… No one ever has a right to do a wrong,” (nos. 333, 337, 484). But how does this definition of necessity correspond to what is being done by Traditionalists? Moral evil is committing idolatry or gravely risking its commission by attending the masses and receiving the sacraments from those doubtfully ordained and consecrated. This can definitely be classified as “a wrong.” Traditionalists have no right to do this wrong, either on their own account but especially concerning others. And it is not impossible to keep the faith without resorting to doubtful sacraments. So how they manage to use this principle in any meaningful way is baffling in light of its definition.

Impossibility is discussed as follows by Revs. McHugh and Callan in their work, Moral Theology, A Complete Course:

“317. …though the law itself remains, there are cases in which non-observance of it is excused from guilt. These cases can be reduced to physical and moral impossibility.

(a) In cases of physical impossibility (i.e., when the powers requisite for observance are wanting), one is manifestly excused; for law is reasonable, and it is not reasonable to require impossibilities.

(b) In cases of moral impossibility (i.e., when a law cannot be kept without the infringement of a higher law or the loss of a higher good), one is also excused; for it is unreasonable to prefer the less to the more important.

“489. (b) Impossibility excuses from both obligation and guilt.

“492. Absolute or physical impossibility (i.e., the want of the power or of the means of complying with a law), of course, excuses from its observance; for no one is bound to what is impossible. This applies to divine law, and hence much more to human law. Example: He who is unable to leave the house is not obliged to go to Mass.

“494. Moral impossibility excuses from the observance of a human law in the following cases:

(a) One is excused when a considerable loss in health, reputation, SPIRITUAL ADVANTAGE, property, etc., or a grave inconvenience will result from observing a law which is not a prohibition of nature in the sense of the previous paragraph; for the legislator cannot impose obligations that are needlessly heavy, and hence positive law does not oblige in case of such moral impossibility. Example: OUR LORD REPROVED THE INHUMAN RIGOR OF THE PHARISEES, WHO INSISTED THAT THEIR REGULATIONS MUST BE OBSERVED, WHATEVER THE DIFFICULTY OR COST.

(b) One is excused when a lower or less urgent law is in conflict with a law that is higher or more urgent. In such a case the greater obligation prevails, and the lesser obligation disappears.”

Conclusions from the above

In invoking all the above, Traditionalists have created a prejudice among Catholics regarding the proper use of these principles. It is not wrong to appeal to epikeia in certain cases if one does so only in grave need, with great caution, and on rare occasions. But it was never meant to be used as a long-term solution for an ongoing emergency. And it cannot be used where there is any doubt regarding sacramental validity. Necessity does not apply because it seems to forbid the very things Traditionalists claim it allows them to do. They interpret laws forbidding them to act as an evil against the common good when such laws were made precisely to protect the faithful against the ministrations of hirelings and the sin of idolatry. There were other things that could have been done that would have greatly benefited the faithful but they failed to take the safer course and employ those means. Ironically, necessity could be used to support those choosing to pray at home.

“Impossibility excuses from both obligation and guilt,” meaning we cannot be blamed for not resorting to a bishop who does not exist. Physical impossibility is clearly at work here when we consider that it is impossible today to find a true priest or bishop to validly convey the Sacraments, far less consult to found a prayer society. And when the ecclesiastical superiors are lacking whom the law tells us we must approach in the usual order of things, then we can do what we need to do to provide for our spiritual needs without consulting them, within limits. This because moral impossibility excuses us from suffering a loss of a spiritual advantage, and not being able to pray together is definitely a disadvantage. Hence moral theology would allow us to pray together as long as we are willing to subject ourselves to a true pope and hierarchy should they ever be restored. McHugh and Callan note it was the Pharisees who insisted on a strict adherence to the law with no exceptions whatsoever. It is hoped this will satisfy those who may have doubts about praying together.

What in the World

We have been viewing the virtual circus regarding what began as the consecration of Russia and Ukraine, “bishops” invited (not ordered) to join in, Ratzinger tacked on as a backup “pope” for conservative NO’s and some Trads, and now the news that humanity will be consecrated with especial mention of Russia and Ukraine. This amid cries from those watching the show that “this won’t work.” Well of course it won’t work – Francis is no pope. Who knows what comes next, but it is interesting to note that double agent Malachi Martin told one interviewer in 1996 that according to John Paul 2, Russia would move on the Ukraine and attempt to take Kiev. This would occur before 2017, and it would have something to do with Russia’s conversion, the “final solution.” (See the interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sosatXEV9JU. The whole event was preplanned over 25 years ago. Martin should know as one of the conspirators working both sides. Did Trump interrupt their timeline, precipitating his 2020 defeat? Possibly.

A clue to what is really about to happen may be found here: https://www.marysway.net/icon-consecration-of-russia-final-marian-dogma/ On Nov. 27, 2001, Josyp Terelya, patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church’s conservative branch, consecrated Russia and its peoples to the Immaculate Heart of Mary along with the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. The image used for the consecration is called the Miraculous Icon, portraying the “final Marian dogma.” The patriarch presented Putin with a large, framed portrait of the Icon. This is interesting only because it provides a backdrop for what will likely evolve from the consecration event March 25. This event is a cleverly staged drama that will begin with the consecration by Francis and B16 which then will appear to halt the war. The culmination of the consecration could consist in the “return” of Russia to Rome as part of some pledge of peace, probably introducing Putin as the head of some new European/Asian alliance based on Russian orthodoxy — making him the “great monarch” and Francis “the great pope.” Francis would then help Putin negotiate peace for all and the two would rule the newly re-ordered world; scary and sobering stuff here. This would mark the realization of the great reset already in progress. And it will be based on what appears to be devotion to Our Lady, but instead is a frightening New Age perversion of that devotion.

Or, something unexpected could happen to throw everything off course. These people only THINK they are in control and can escape the wrath of God indefinitely. But that wrath will come upon them when they least expect it. We can only pray that in the aftermath we remain steadfast and save our own souls. O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Bp. Ngo dinh Thuc possessed no special faculties or ordinary jurisdiction

Intention undeniably lacking in Trad episcopal consecrations (and an important update)

+St. John of Matha+

A long overdue and important update to the Masonic origins of Traditionalism article is now available here: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/?s=Masonic+Origins. What follows in this blog piece is directly related to and attributable to that article and should be kept in mind while reading what is written below. It renders even more questionable those dubious “orders” received and conferred by Traditionalists. And it places in an entirely different light the entire purpose and intent of founding Traditionalism altogether. Below we will delve into the circumstances surrounding the examination of Anglican orders by Pope Leo XIII to further demonstrate that the claims of ALL Traditionalists are seriously flawed and incapable of being considered as certainly valid. It does not take a rocket scientist to seriously study Pope Leo XIII’s Apostolicae Curae and conclude that those today who present as validly ordained and consecrated Traditionalist priests and bishops, for lack of a right intention, manifested externally, possess the same doubtfully valid orders and episcopal consecrations as the Anglicans Pope Leo XIII considered in his bull.

What is the intention required for the Sacrament of Orders? The Catholic Encyclopedia answers: The common doctrine now is that a real internal intention to act as a minister of Christ, or to do what Christ instituted the sacraments to effect, in other words, to truly baptize, absolve, etc., is required. Can Traditionalists become true ministers of Christ if they deny the necessity of observing His command that they obey His vicar on earth? Rev. Bernard Leeming S.J., in his 1955 work Principles of Sacramental Theology, explains that heresy of itself does not destroy the validity of the one conferring Orders provided that a contrary internal intention has not somehow been manifested. That was one of the things emphasized in Pope Leo XIII’s decision on Anglican orders: their intention was made clear in their alteration of the rite, not just the essential form.

Leeming tells us that it is now the universal opinion of theologians that a Sacrament is invalidated by a contrary intention, even a secret one, “contrary to the substantial nature of the Sacrament” (p. 484). He remarks that if the minister is “…so convinced that Christ does not will a particular effect of the Sacraments that they absolutely exclude this from their intention,” then the presumption that they validly confer the Order is seen to fail (p. 493). Traditionalists, from the beginning, have been convinced that bishops alone minus their head, the Roman Pontiff, can constitute Christ’s Church on earth, even though this is clearly belief in the Gallicanist heresy, as proven many times over from Church teaching. In receiving episcopal consecration and executing their episcopal duties, they must intend obedience to the Pope and be included in the Apostolic College. And it is clear from what we see and what is explained below that they absolutely exclude any intention of such inclusion or obedience.

Before we begin, let us remind readers of what Pope Pius XII said in his infallible constitution on Holy Orders. The Pope mentions “essential words,” regarding the form, indicating this is the bare minimum needed for validity. Furthermore, Pope Pius XII states, “It shall be in no way right to understand from what we have declared and ordained above as to matter and form, that it would be lawful to neglect in any way or to omit the other established rites of the Roman Pontifical. Indeed, We ever command that all the prescribed details of that Roman Pontifical be religiously observed and carried out… in case any doubt arises, it is be submitted to this Apostolic See. Below we will go point by point and consider Traditionalist orders versus Anglican Orders.

From Apostolica Curae

Pope Leo: “Paul IV issued his Bull Praeclara Charissimi on June 20 of that same year [1555]. In this, whilst giving full force and approbation to what [Cardinal] Pole had done, it is ordered in the matter of the Ordinations as follows: “Those who have been promoted to ecclesiastical Orders  … by anyone but a Bishop VALIDLY AND LAWFULLY ORDAINED are bound to receive those Orders again.”

Comment: Was Marcel Lefebvre validly and lawfully ordained? Could and did Peter Martin Ngo dinh Thuc validly and lawfully ordain anyone? There are grave doubts regarding the valid ordination and consecration of Lefebvre by the Freemason Lienert as well as his own membership in a secret society (see link above). And the validity of the Thuc ordinations and consecrations, owing to Thuc’s mental state was sufficiently demonstrated by Clarence Kelly in his work, The Sacred and the Profane. Without a decision from the Holy See, such doubts are not capable of being resolved, as Kelly admits.

“Where [the Church] judges that the previous orders were certainly valid it permits their use, supposing the candidate to be acceptable; where it judges the previous orders to be certainly invalid it disregards them altogether, and enjoins a re-ordination according to its own rite; where it judges that the validity of the previous orders is doubtful, EVEN THOUGH THE DOUBT BE SLIGHT, it forbids their use until a conditional ceremony of re-ordination has first been undergone” Cath. Encyc., Anglican Orders.  And such re-ordination/consecration is not satisfied by simply appealing to a different schismatic Traditionalist, Old Catholic or other sect; a decision must be received from Rome regarding the status of the orders given. Note that even those orders considered valid presume the fitness of the candidate, and as demonstrated on this site in numerous places, very few if ANY Traditionalist candidates for the “priesthood” satisfied requirements laid down by the Sacred Congregation of Rites prior to 1958.

 And according to the Very Rev. P. Pouratt, V.G. : “In the administration of the Sacraments, the safest course must ever be followed. According to Benedict XIV, “When there is reason to believe that a sacrament which cannot be repeated and is of great importance, v. g. Baptism or Holy Orders, has been very probably conferred by a minister who had not the interior intention, that sacrament is to be repeated conditionally, unless time allows to consult Rome on the line of conduct to be followed. Rome’s answer will almost always be that Baptism or Ordination must be repeated conditionally” (Theology of the Sacraments, B. Herder, 1910).

The theologian Jean-Marie Herve also comments: “[Regarding] the sacrament of Holy Orders …the public good demands that the unworthy applicant, even if he be secret, be repelled though his offense cannot juridically be proved. The reason is that in this case the reception of the Sacraments is considered to be inferior in worth to the worthy exercise of the sacred functions and the public good of the Church. Moreover, says Pesch, the public good cannot effectively be defended without injury to the latter…” (Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Sacraments, Vol. I-II). So much for the Traditionalists’ pretended concern for the cura animarum!

Pope Leo: “But who those Bishops not ‘validly and lawfully ordained’ were had been made sufficiently clear by the foregoing documents and the faculties used in the said matter by the Legate; those, namely, who have been promoted to the Episcopate, as others to other Orders, ‘not according to the accustomed form of the Church,’ or, as the Legate himself wrote to the Bishop of Norwich, ‘the form and intention of the Church,’ not having been observed.”

Comment: The “intention of the Church” is to consecrate bishops who will obey the pope and rule their flocks under his direction. No one, not Lefebvre, not Thuc, not any other bishop consecrating without the papal mandate could possibly have consecrated bishops with this intention. The following is the consecration form taken from:

The Traditional Catholic Rite of Consecration of a Bishop According to the Roman Pontifical dated 30 March 1892, + Michael Augustinus Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboraci:

The first part includes the form of ascertaining solemnly that the Bishop-elect has the right to Episcopal consecration; of receiving his oath of submission to the Holy See, the centre of unity… NO ONE is to be consecrated unless first the Consecrator shall be sure of the commission to consecrate, either by apostolic letters, if he be outside the curia, or by verbal commission given by the Sovereign Pontiff to the Consecrator, if the Consecrator himself be a cardinal.

“Most Reverend Father, our holy Mother the Catholic Church, asks that you promote this priest here present to the burden of the episcopate.” The Consecrator says:

“Have you the Apostolic Mandate?” The senior assistant bishop answers:

“We have.”

The Consecrator says: “Let it be read.”

Then the notary of the Consecrator, taking the mandate from the assistant bishop, reads it from the beginning to the end: in the meanwhile all sit with heads covered. The mandate having been read, the Consecrator says: “Thanks be to God.”

Or, if the consecration is made by virtue of Apostolic letters [used only in the case of titular or auxiliary bishops, which is not under consideration here] by which even the reception of the oath to be made by the Bishop-elect is committed to the Consecrator, these letters being read, before the Consecrator says anything else, the Bishop-elect coming from his seat, kneels before the Consecrator and reads, word for word, the oath to be taken according to the tenor of the aforesaid commission, in this manner, viz:

 Form of Oath

“ I N., elected to the Church of N., from this hour henceforward will be obedient to Blessed Peter the Apostle, and to the holy Roman Church, and to our Holy Father, Pope N. and to his successors canonically elected. I will assist them to retain and to defend the Roman Papacy without detriment to my order. I shall take care to preserve, to defend, increase and promote the rights, honors, privileges and authority of the holy Roman Church, of our Lord, the Pope, and of his aforesaid successors. I shall observe with all my strength, and shall cause to be observed by others, the rules of the holy Fathers, the Apostolic decrees, ordinances or dispositions, reservations, provisions and mandates. I shall come when called to a Synod, unless prevented by a canonical impediment. I shall make personally the visit ad limina apostolorum every ten years, and I shall render to our Holy Father, Pope N., and to his aforesaid successors an account of my whole pastoral office, and of all things pertaining in any manner whatsoever to the state of my Church, to the discipline of the clergy and the people, and finally to the salvation of the souls which are entrusted to me : and in turn I shall receive humbly the apostolic mandates and execute them as diligently as possible.

“But if I shall be detained by legitimate impediment, I shall fulfil all the aforesaid things through a designated delegate having a special mandate for this purpose, a priest of my diocese, or through some other secular or regular priest of known probity and religion, fully informed concerning the above-named things. I shall not sell, nor give, nor mortgage the possessions belonging to my mensa [by mensa is understood the real estate or investments set aside for the proper support of the Bishop], nor shall I enfeoff [exchange land for service] them anew or alienate them in any manner, even with the consent of the chapter of my Church, without consulting the Roman Pontiff. And if through me any such alienation shall occur, I wish, by the very fact, to incur the punishments contained in the constitution published concerning this matter.”

And in questions asked by the one consecrating there is this:

5.) Will you exhibit in all things fidelity, submission, obedience, according to canonical authority, to Blessed Peter the Apostle, to whom was given by God the power of binding and of loosing, and to his Vicar our Holy Father, Pope N. and to his successors the Roman Pontiffs? (http://bishopjosephmarie.org/doctrine/EpiscopalConsecrationRite.html).

The entire portion of the ceremony above involving the reading of the mandate was necessarily omitted by Traditionalists, or something was inserted in its place, depending on the one “consecrating.” (No written form of the “consecrations” now in use could be found on the Internet or elsewhere.) Note that NO ONE is to be consecrated without the apostolic mandate. The section of the oath highlighted above will be addressed later below.

Pope Leo: “That ‘form’ [in ordination] consequently cannot be considered apt or sufficient for the Sacrament which omits what it ought essentially to signify. The same holds good of episcopal consecration. For to the formula, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost,’ not only were the words ‘for the office and work of a bishop.’ etc. added at a later period, but even these, as we shall presently state, must be understood in a sense different to that which they bear in the Catholic rite…  As the Sacrament of Order and the true sacerdotium of Christ were utterly eliminated from the Anglican rite…and hence the sacerdotium is in no wise conferred truly and validly in the episcopal consecration of the same rite, for the like reason, therefore, the episcopate can in no wise be truly and validly conferred by it, and this the more so because AMONG THE FIRST DUTIES of the episcopate is that of ordaining ministers for the Holy Eucharist and sacrifice.

Comment: Traditionalists intend to receive the episcopacy in “a sense different to that which they bear in the Catholic rite…because they deny the necessary subordination of bishops to the Roman Pontiff. Here Leo is speaking of the essential form, yes, but in the context of “the Catholic rite.” The final word on the full extent of this subordination of bishops to the Roman Pontiff was not defined until Pope Pius XII wrote Mystici Corporis. While ordaining ministers is “amongthe first duties of the episcopate, a bishop’s first and primary duty is obedience to the Roman Pontiff and inclusion in the Apostolic College. Otherwise he cannot even hope to tend to be assigned a diocese or ordain priests — the rite itself says he cannot be raised to the episcopacy without the necessary mandate.

The words uttered by Traditionalists receiving the Sacrament and conferring it mean nothing. And without that sense, the Sacrament is null and void. This is true of those words uttered by Traditionalists promising allegiance and obedience to the Pope, which, quite frankly, is an outright lie. No truly Catholic man could be considered a bishop who never planned to submit to the Roman Pontiff, be obedient to him as the head bishop, and thereby constitute a part of the Apostolic College.  Only those in communion with the Roman Pontiff are considered to be true bishops.

Pope Leo: “All know that the Sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, ought both to signify the grace which they effect, and effect the grace which they signify.

Comment: How can it possibly be that men never rightly vetted as candidates for the priesthood, never trained in properly approved seminaries that preserved and rigorously developed holiness of life, never taught theology and so many other subjects by truly Catholic superiors, who confessed to men having no jurisdiction over them, so were never forgiven their sins or released of any impediments or irregularities, possibly be fit subjects to receive the grace of ordination, far less episcopal consecration?! Has anyone ever heard the tales that come from these so-called seminaries, told by those who have departed from them in disgust???

Pope Leo: “For once a new rite has been initiated in which, as we have seen, the Sacrament of Order is adulterated or denied, and from which all idea of …” (in our case, obedience to the Roman Pontiff and “his successors canonically elected;” also defense of the papacy and the rights, honor and privileges of the Roman Church) have been removed, the rite becomes “words without the reality which Christ instituted.

Comment: Here we must mention the absolute hypocrisy of Traditionalists who continually demonize the Novus Ordo for changing the rites of the Sacraments, when the very oath of obedience to the Pope above has been entirely eliminated from the Novus Ordo rite (https://www.hrcac.org.uk/Comparison-of-Old-and-New-Consecration-Rites-2.pdf). Christ never intended to institute the episcopacy without Peter as its inseparable head, to whom the bishops owe strict obedience. This is defined by the Vatican Council (DZ 1821). This is an obedience and subservience dictated by Divine authority. Rev. Leeming says that “If the rite is changed, then the minister who uses that rite is presumed to conform his intention to that of the body which uses the changed rite” (p. 495), and an investigation must be conducted; but by whom?  Traditionalists then must be ordaining in the Novus Ordo, or Old Catholic rite or the rite of some other schismatic sect, but they are not consecrating bishops in the Catholic rite!

As Rev. Alan McCoy O.F.M., J.C.L. wrote in his 1944  dissertation, Force and Fear in Relation to Delictual Imputability and Penal Responsibility, (Catholic University of America, 1944), under the general heading of “Delictual Acts Interdicted by Divine Authority,” anytime that “…an act is intrinsically evil, or involves contempt of the faith or of ecclesiastical authority, or works to the detriment of souls… imputability is not taken away in such cases since in these instances the observance of the law still urges under the pain of sin, even though the most severe personal hardship or danger, or also the greatest private harm might come from such observance. And the reason for this is that some spiritual good, either of God or of the Church or of individual souls is involved… There is consequently always grave guilt in the deliberate transgression of such a law.” Certainly the use of the consecration formula as it stands involves at the very least contempt of the ecclesiastical authority of the Roman Pontiff, if not contempt of the faith itself.

On page 97, under the heading “Acts that Work to the Detriment of Souls,” McCoy writes: “These are all acts which draw people away from the faith or from the practice of Christian morals and thus expose them to the danger of eternal damnation… Those acts which, by their nature, work to the detriment of souls are listed particularly in Titles XVI and XVII of the fifth book of the Code…bearing the headings: ‘Offenses Committed in the Administration or Reception of Orders or the Other Sacraments’ and ‘Offenses Against the Obligations Proper to the Clerical and Religious State.’” Among the offenses McCoy lists that work TO THE DETRIMENT OF SOULS are: “…the administration of Sacraments to those who are forbidden to receive them…the consecration of a bishop without a papal mandate…the reception of Orders from unworthy prelates…the negligence of a pastor in the care of souls.

These are the Church’s ideas of what constitutes contempt of faith and a true detriment to souls. So rather than working to save souls, Traditionalists, by acting without the papal mandate and resorting to unworthy prelates are endangering these souls. Given the above, no one pretending to receive a Sacrament and falsely swearing to defend the papacy and work “for the salvation of souls,” as the episcopal consecration states, could receive the very graces they spurn by administering consecration or accepting the same from a doubtfully ordained and consecrated schismatic without the papal mandate. It is ludicrous to presume, as some Traditionalists do, that Pius IX’s allocution Luctuosis exagitati — reluctantly granting bishops dealing with the civil government permission to satisfy the civil demands in certain countries — applies to them today. The allocution intended to facilitate “the care and salvation of souls, which is the supreme law for us, and which were called into open risk” in specific cases only, where bishops unquestionably validly ordained and consecrated and in communion with Rome were experiencing difficulties. These pseudo-clerics are grasping at straws, and they know it.

The situation Pope Leo is addressing here in Apostolica curae deals with an altered rite which denied the existence of a sacrificing priesthood, able to consecrate the Eucharist. Yes, the alteration affected the actual form, but Pope Leo was considering the offering of the Holy Sacrifice, the Consecration of the Eucharist, and the intent to create a sacrificing priesthood. This is not what we are considering here. Here we are considering only the episcopal consecration, The situation regarding Traditionalists concerns a fictitious swearing to a pope who does not even exist and who the men “consecrated” know full well they will not restore to his throne. They promise an obedience they will never be held to and commit to things they will never be required to execute, since they will never be assigned to a diocese. A mockery is made of the entire ceremony. And lest it be thought that this also could be said of schismatics and heretics consecrating validly in their own sects without the said mandate, this distinction must be made: TRADITONALISTS ARE MEN CLAIMING TO BE AND REPRESENTING THEMSELVES AS THE SURVIVING MEMBERS OF CHRIST’S TRUE CHURCH ON EARTH, not as members of a schismatic sect, although in reality that is all they truly are. This is not true of heretical and schismatic sects who generally give only a passing recognition to Rome, if that, and never claim Church membership. Given such chicanery, how could the grace necessary for the effect of the Sacrament be presumed?

Pope Leo: “With this inherent defect of “form” is joined the defect of “intention” which is equally essential to the Sacrament. The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do (intendisse) what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the RITE be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church AND OF REJECTING WHAT THE CHURCH DOES, AND WHAT, BY THE INSTITUTION OF CHRIST, BELONGS TO THE NATURE OF THE SACRAMENT, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and DESTRUCTIVE OF THE SACRAMENT…

Comment: The audacity of Traditionalists to claim validity outside the authority of the Roman Pontiff is definitely external proof of their lack of intention. How could they possibly “seriously” use the form when there is no Roman Pontiff and they can reasonably foresee there will not be one?! Whenever the rite is altered, especially when in the rite itself consecration without the mandate is expressly forbidden, then intention comes into question. There can be no doubt that in omitting the necessary mandate those pretending to consecrate reject what the Church does in demanding that Her bishops be approved by the Roman Pontiff, to protect the faithful. And they likewise reject precisely what belongs to the nature of the Sacrament — that necessary inclusion of all bishops as members of the Apostolic College, and subsequently in subjection to the head bishop of that College, the Roman Pontiff.

Clearly the intention of these men in their attempt to become bishops is adverse to the Sacrament and destroys it, since there is never any intent of that necessary subjection to the Roman Pontiff. And in fact their actual intent, condemned by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei and elsewhere as schismatic and leading to schism (DZ 1506, 1507, 1508), is to act OUTSIDE the supervision of the Holy See entirely. And of course this is aside from the proven fact that the authority of the Roman Pontiff and his necessity for the Church’s existence is entirely ignored by Traditionalists, which is heretical as the Vatican Council defines.

Pope Leo: Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.

Comment: And likewise those of Traditionalists as well, for lack of intention and alteration of the rite. Of course the cry will be raised, as it always is, “But this cannot apply to our case, we are not the Anglicans,” (or the Chinese, in the case of Ad Apostolorum Principis, or the Germans, in the case of the Old Catholics or the English re the Old Roman Catholics). It doesn’t matter. Protest all you want, you cannot exercise the disputed orders without a decision from the Holy See. And if you don’t have a Holy See to appeal to, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Pope Leo: “We decree that these letters and all things contained therein shall not be liable at any time to be impugned or objected to by reason of fault or any other defect whatsoever of subreption or obreption of our intention, but are and shall be always valid and in force and shall be inviolably observed both juridically and otherwise, by all of whatsoever degree and preeminence, declaring null and void anything which, in these matters, may happen to be contrariwise attempted, whether wittingly or unwittingly, by any person whatsoever, by whatsoever authority or pretext, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Comment: And from the Catholic Encyclopedia under Anglican Orders: “What may be safely assumed is that it [Apostolica Curae] fixes the belief and practice of the Catholic Church irrevocably. This at least Leo XIII must have meant to signify when in his letter to Cardinal Richard, of 5 November, 1896, he declared that his “intention had been to pass a final judgment and settle (the question) forever” (absolute judicare et penitus dirimere), and that “Catholics were bound to receive (the judgment) with the fullest obedience as perpetuo firmam, ratam, irrevocabilem.” Rome has spoken and the case is closed.

(Note: Of course the above is no official “pronouncement” against the Traditionalist sect, but it is a carefully reasoned conclusion based on Church teaching and Church practice. In the end, only a canonically elected Roman Pontiff can decide the validity of ordinations and consecrations, but we have no doubt that at the very least all would need to be conditionally re-ordained and that the episcopal consecrations would be completely ignored. And as we continue to insist, Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis infallibly declares all these attempted ordinations and consecrations, performed during an interregnum, NULL and VOID.)

But there is much more…

The Church, in Her practice both before and since Apostolicae Curae was issued, has continued to demonstrate her rejection of anyone claiming episcopal orders outside the papal mandate. The first of these can be found in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, where he condemns all those professing heresy, apostasy or schism, be they bishop, archbishop or even one appearing to be pope, forever deprived “ipso facto and without need for any further declaration …of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power.” Because so much doubt has been raised concerning the laws regarding heresy, Canon Law tells us under Can. 6 §4 that we must adhere to the old law governing those canons, which is listed in the footnotes for the Canons on heresy, and Cum ex… is contained in those footnotes. This alone should disqualify all Traditionalists, but of course they will not hear of it. Then we also have Pope Pius VI’s Charitas, stating that: “For the right of ordaining bishops belongs only to the Apostolic See, as the Council of Trent declares; it cannot be assumed by any bishop or metropolitan without obliging Us to declare as schismatic both those who ordain and those who are ordained thus invalidating their future actions(see Can. 2265 §1 [2-3]). So as schismatics they lose all power under Pope Paul IV’s bull, which later was ratified by Pope St. Pius V in his Intermultiplices.

Then we have the declarations against the Old Catholics and the Old Roman Catholics issued by Popes Pius IX and St. Pius X. Pope Pius IX teaches: “They have chosen and set up a pseudo-bishop, a certain notorious apostate from the Catholic faith, Joseph Hubert Reinkens. So that nothing be lacking in their impudence, for his consecration they have had refuge to those very Jansenists of Utrecht, whom they themselves, before they separated from the Church, considered as heretics and schismatics.. But… no one can be considered a bishop who is not linked in communion of faith and love with Peter, upon whom is built the Church of Christ; who does not adhere to the supreme Pastor to whom the sheep of Christ are committed to be pastured… Therefore, by the authority of Almighty God, We excommunicate and hold as anathema Joseph Hubert himself and all those who attempted to choose him, and who aided in his sacrilegious consecration. We additionally excommunicate whoever has adhered to them and belonging to their party has furnished help, favor, aid, or consent. We declare, proclaim, and command that they are separated from the communion of the Church. They are to be considered among those with whom all faithful Christians are forbidden by the Apostle to associate and have social exchange to such an extent that, as he plainly states, they may not even be greeted” (in other words, the pope condemned him as a vitandus).

So it is clear that no one is considered a bishop who is not in communion with Peter. And Traditionalists may want to think about supporting these impersonators given the excommunication pronounced above. Moreover, this is not even taking into consideration the many decisions from Rome regarding the need for unconditional and conditional ordination, decisions from  the Roman Congregations which are binding on Catholics, found here under the subheading “Valid and Licit”: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/true-status-of-schismatic-priests-and-bishops-ignored/status-of-those-ordainedconsecrated-by-schismatics/ .

Well Traditionalists, are you going to ignore the commands of Pope Pius IX on the pretext no one has personally excommunicated YOUR pseudo-bishop? Of course you will, because no one can exact obedience from your all-hallowed intellects. And likewise you will ignore Pope St. Pius X’s bull Cravi Iamdiu Scandalo, issued Feb. 11, 1911, excommunicating the Old Roman Catholic Arnold Harris Mathew and two other bishops. In this bull he denounces Mathew for “arrogating unto himself the title of Anglo-Catholic Archbishop of London [and] all others who lent aid, council, or consent to this nefarious crime, by the authority of Almighty God, we hereby excommunicate, anathematize and solemnly declare to be separated from the communion of the Church and to be held for schismatics.” This bull called Mathew a pseudo-bishop and condemned him as a vitandus. And of course CMRI pseudo-bishop Pivarunas has explained away the meaning of Pope Pius XII in Ad apostolorum principis, condemning such consecrations, by stating the following:

“When there is a true Pope, no bishop may be consecrated without papal authorization, much less to establish a “hierarchy” for a schismatic Church… Some may claim that those who perform or receive episcopal consecrations during the present interregnum have incurred excommunications according to Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ad Apostolorum Principis of June 29,1958. However, those who claim this fail to understand the very nature of law and the principles of Canon Law… Pope Pius XII in his encyclical was addressing the situation in China in which the Communist government had established a schismatic Church to rival the Catholic Church. When there is a true Pope, no bishop may be consecrated without papal authorization, much less to establish a “hierarchy” for a schismatic Church… There is certainly no parallel between the situation in China in the 1950’s and that of traditional Catholics today.”

Ad apostolorum principis is not Canon Law, which is indirectly infallible, but a specific papal law, entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis (AAS), which is directly infallible. Anytime a papal document appears in the AAS, it is considered a document for EVERYONE, a teaching of the ordinary magisterium, as Msgr. J. C. Fenton has explained numerous times before in documents on this site. Entry into the AAS as authoritative was defined by Pope Pius XII in his infallible encyclical Humani generis, also an AAS document. There doesn’t need to be any “parallel.” And speaking of parallels, this is what blows Pivvy clear out of his little mud puddle here. Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, written 13 years prior in 1945, tells us that there is no way for anyone to change the laws of the Church or usurp papal jurisdiction when there IS NO TRUE POPE, not just when the pope is reigning. This also is entered into the AAS and has been available on my website for years: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/1-what-constitutes-the-papacy/apostolic-constitution-vacantis-apostolicae-sedis/. Moreover, this papal election constitution clearly states in para. 3 that it is issued with “Our Supreme authority,” a clear hallmark of papal infallibility. Of course no mention is made of this constitution on any of the Trad websites unless it is to be dismissed as inapplicable “in our times.”

So do the many Traditionalist pseudo-bishops, all emanating from the same questionably valid sources (Lefebvre, Thuc and others consecrating without the papal mandate), really receive episcopal consecration? Not according to Pope Leo XIII’s definition given above in Apostolicae Curae and all the succeeding and preceding decisions of the Roman Pontiffs.  Had the Traditionalist founder bishops been truly Catholic and performed their sacred, bounden duty to the Church, they would have provided Her with a head, but this obviously was not God’s plan for these times. For the VERY FIRST DUTY of any truly Catholic bishops remaining in the Church was NOT to ordain and consecrate priests and other bishops, but to re-establish the head, the center of unity and the source of all jurisdiction in the Church. That they did not do so, and as will be shown below DELIBERATELY refused to do so is even further proof of their true intent — not to continue the Church as She once existed, but to establish yet another counter-church, one without even the appearance of a true pope.

The rest of the story…

Below are excerpts from the first book I wrote in 1990, promoting a papal election. While that book and the “election” it prompted has been the object of sneers, derision, ridicule, falsified accounts and countless ad hominem attacks, even physical threats, there is a reason for this. It was not the “election” itself they objected to, but the basis for calling such an election. After proving that Roncalli and Montini were heretics and offering proofs they were members of secret societies, after carefully explaining from Canon Law itself that Roncalli had been invalidly elected and was never Pope, nor Montini following him, I then observed that all this had long ago been predicted by Pope Paul IV in his 1559 bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, and a remedy for the situation provided. The SSPX especially, and others, then renewed their attacks against the bull, which had begun following its first appearance in Spanish in 1978. They continue to malign it today, despite irrefutable proofs that it was completely incorporated into Canon Law under the laws governing heresy and related matters.

No, these Gallicanist pseudo-bishops wanted to hear none of that and they had to make certain that the entire idea of a papal election was beat into the ground, as well as anyone promoting such an enterprise. Even though I long ago left the false pope elected and spent two years on the Internet refuting the errors of his sect, the malicious calumnies and slander continue. I welcome it as proof that the sore point I hit on so long ago actually yet causes them pain for deceiving so many of those intended to be the elect. It is time that some at least become aware of their true episcopal status, what could and should have been done and why it was not done, so that they may understand that this is precisely why we find ourselves in the dire straits we face today. Please read the statements below and ask yourselves why such an election was not conducted immediately following the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae and destruction of the Sacraments in 1968.

It is clear to all save Traditionalists apparently, ignorant of their faith and eager to follow anyone wearing the precious collar or the purple, that every society must have a head. This is considered an indisputable necessity in the Catholic Church since Christ left us this head to speak in His name — this Head and no other, not even, without him, the “body of bishops.” This is explained well by Rev. Clement H. Crock in his Discourses on the Apostles’ Creed:

“In every well-regulated society, some head is necessary. You can call him by whatever name you will — mayor, governor, president, prince, or king. Without such a head, it is impossible to preserve peace and order, much less develop any activity for the upbuilding of a community. Should then, the Church of Christ alone be lacking in what the whole world acknowledges to be a prime necessity for every other institution? Should the Church of Christ spread through the whole world for the purpose of keeping all nations, all countries in the unity of faith and life and not be protected against the unrelenting attacks of enemies and infidels by some visible head? God owed it to His wisdom and His providence to give His Church a visible chief to preserve intact, the deposit of faith and guide the faithful until the end of time. Napoleon, his profound knowledge of men and his genius for organization, saw the absolute necessity for a supreme head of the spiritual world. Hence, to him, is credited the saying, that if the papacy did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. But this provision was made by a greater genius than Napoleon; Christ Himself, when He said: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (pp. 220-221.)

During an interregnum, bishops can only elect a pope

(Some of the following information has been expanded upon and added to the quotes originally contained in the 1990 book Will the Catholic Church Survive…)

“Indeed, Holy Writ attests that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were given to Peter alone, and that the power of binding and loosening was granted to the Apostles and to Peter; but there is nothing to show that the Apostles received supreme power without Peter, and against Peter. Such power they certainly did not receive from Jesus Christ. Wherefore, in the decree of the Vatican Council as to the nature and authority of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, no newly conceived opinion is set forth, but the venerable and constant belief of every age (Sess. iv., cap. 3)” (Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII)

“A body without a head is not that (body) to which Jesus Christ, gave the Episcopate full and sovereign. He conferred it on the College of the Apostles, INCLUDING SAINT PETER, who was made superior to all the Apostles” (Henry Cardinal Manning, The Pastoral Office)

  1. Reverend J. Wilhelm, S.T.D., Ph.D “A council… acting independently of the Vicar of Christ… is unthinkable in the constitution of the Church… such assemblies have only taken place in times of great constitutional disturbances, when either there was no pope, or the rightful pope was indistinguishable from anti-popes. In such abnormal times, the safety of the Church BECOMES THE SUPREME LAW, and the first duty of the abandoned flock is to find a new shepherd, under whose direction the existing evils may be remedied.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, IV.)
  2. Reverend William Humphrey, S. J.“The function of the electors, whoever they may be — the cardinals, as at present, or others, as in times past — is to designate the person who is to occupy the vacant See of Rome. The mode of designation has not been determined by God by any divine law and so it remains free to be determined by ecclesiastical law.:. (Urbs Et Orbis, p. 272.)
  3. The Archbishop of Grenada(speaking at the 22d session of the Council of Trent): “…When any bishop is elected Supreme Pontiff, either by cardinals, or by the clergy, or by the people according to the times, from whom does he obtain the supreme power of jurisdiction? From Christ, of course…. ” Concilium Tridentuum. Editio Goerresiana, Vol. IX, No. 50; Frieburgi Br. 1919.)
  4. St. Robert Bellarmine — (Here St. Robert is considering the case of a Pope “held captive among infidels, dead, effectively insane or [who] has repudiated the papacy.” He writes): “For the Church without doubt has the authority of providing itself with a head although it is not able without the head to decide about many things… In no case would a true and perfect council be able to be convoked without the authority of the Pope, of which kind of council here we do not dispute; because obviously it would have the authority of defining questions of the faith. For there is a special authority in the head, that is in Peter, who is ordered that he confirm his brethren, and for this also our Lord prayed for him that his faith might not fail (Luke 22).

“Nevertheless, in these [above] cases an imperfect council will be able to be gathered, a council which would be sufficient for providing for the head of the Church. For the Church without doubt has the authority of providing for itself a head, although it is not able, without the head, to decide about many things which it is able [to decide] with the head, as Cajetan rightly teaches in his little work about the power of the Pope (Ch. 15 and 16).“…Previously presbyters of the Roman Church taught [this] in the epistle to Cyprian which is in the 7th book in the works of Cyprian. But that imperfect council will be able to happen if either it is called by the College of Cardinals or bishops of their own accord, who come together in one place(De Conciliis, Chap. 14, under Certain Doubts Are Explained).

“And in another place, St. Robert Bellarmine writes: “But if a papal election is really doubtful for any reason… [and the pope]  refuses to resign, it becomes the duty of the bishops to adjust the matter, for although the bishops without the pope cannot define dogmas nor make laws for the universal Church, they can and ought to decide, when occasion demands, who is the legitimate pope; and if the matter be doubtful, they should provide for the Church by having a legitimate and undoubted pastor elected. That is what the Council of Constance rightly did.” (De Concilio, II, 19). Bellarmine says this because in his lifetime Pope Paul IV, in his 1559 bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, gave even the cardinals an indefinite amount of time to determine such things. Paul IV wrote in his Bull that, “It shall be lawful for all and sundry…even for those who participated in the election of one straying from the Faith, or of a heretic or schismatic to the Papacy, or who otherwise presented and pledged him obedience and paid him homage… to depart with impunity at any time from obedience and allegiance to said promoted and elevated persons and to shun them as sorcerers, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs [without fear of censure]…” (para. 7).

  1. Francis Cardinal Zabarella — In his work The Origins of the Great Schism (1948), Walter Ullmann relates that Cardinal Zabarella deplored the “incalculable damage… inflicted upon the Faith and the Church if the latter were in the hands of an heretical pope,” something we have witnessed in our day. Ullmann reports that Zabarella favored the calling of a Council by the Emperor and presumed that “good clerics and loyal believers and followers of the Church” would support such a council; and they did. Indeed, the Emperor Sigismund insisted on the calling of Constance, following Zabarella’s reasoned line of thinking. The Church thereby recognizes that whenever several papal claimants exist, the best plan is abdication and the only other recourse is a declaration that such men were never popes. As Cardinal Zabarella wrote: “It is the people themselves who have to summon the neighboring bishops for special purposes if the properly instituted bishop neglects his duty of summoning his colleagues. In a case such as ours, Zabarella says, “Good clerics and loyal believers and followers of the Church” would need to resolve the situation, and God would have to intervene, since the Church, ‘cannot not be.’” This should have been the sole purpose of Catholic Action in our day; instead, no one was even aware of the rights and obligations of the laity to force any true bishops who remained to provide the Church with a head.
  2. Rev. Charles Journet(Professor at the Major Seminary at Fribourg): “During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Church… possesses only the power of proceeding to the election of a new pope, either through the cardinals, or in default of them, by other ways….” (The Church of the Word Incarnate, p. 480.) Journet asks: “In whom does the power to elect the Pope reside?” Cajetan answers: “The Pope can settle who the electors shall be and change and limit in this way the mode of election.” Journet, in summarizing Cajetan’s arguments writes: “In a case where the settled conditions of validity have become inapplicable, the task of determining new ones falls to the Church by devolution, this last word being taken, as Cajetan says (Apologia, Chap. xiii, No. 745), not in the strict sense (devolution is strictly to the higher authority in case of default the lower), but in the wide sense, signifying all transmission, even to an inferior” (p. 480). And the order for this devolution is given by Cardinal Cajetan below.

Journet tells us that it was during the course of the disputes concerning papal authority versus the authority of an Ecumenical Council in the 15th and 16th centuries, that questions of who was invested with the power to elect the pope were brought up. He records Cajetan’s thinking on this subject as follows: “…The power to elect the Pope, resides in his predecessors eminently, regularly, and principally… the Church, in her widowhood, [is] unable to determine a new mode of election, save ‘in casu,’ unless forced by sheer necessity…. During a vacancy of the Apostolic See, neither the Church nor the Council can contravene the provisions already laid down to determine the valid mode of election. Howeverif the Pope has provided nothing against it, or in case of ambiguity (for example, if it is unknown who the true cardinals are, or who the true Pope is…), the power ‘of applying the papacy to such and such a person’ devolves on the universal Church, the Church of God(Caietan: De Comparata, Cap. xiii, No. 202- )04; also, Apologia, Cap. xiii, No. 736).

Next, [Cardinal] Cajetan affirms through Journet’s reasoned explanation: “…When the provisions of canon law cannot be fulfilled, the right to elect will belong to certain members of the Church of Rome. In default of the Roman clergy, the right will belong to the Church universal, of which the Pope is to be bishop….” John of St. Thomas says: “…The concrete mode in which the election is to be carried out… has been nowhere indicated in Scripture; it is mere ecclesiastical law which will determine which persons in the Church can validly proceed to election.” (Journet, pp. 280-281. Journet and Wilhelm both agree that the only function the Church can perform in a sede vacante is that of the election of the Roman Pontiff. It also should be noted here, however, that a papal election law which is infallible, i.e., Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, is not just ecclesiastical law, but a law binding on all Catholics for belief; see the link to this document above. John of St. Thomas wrote long before the reign of Pope Pius XII.)

(End of Will the Catholic Church Survive …quotes).

Comments on the above

Attempts to organize an imperfect council prior to the election push were unsuccessful. The documents I had published at the time explaining how such a council could be convened (in John Beauclair’s Francinta Messenger, Boise, Idaho) and other information were plagiarized and used in the early 1990s to promote the imperfect council idea in South America and this country, to no avail. Had bishops used St. Robert Bellarmine’s opinion alone, and the precedent provided by the Council of Constance, there could have been a valid election using Can. 20 as a template. But this was never what Traditionalists intended. And it is useless to cite the necessity of the papacy — that Peter must have perpetual successors as the Vatican Council and other papal teachings decree (DZ 1825, 638-39, 654); or that denial of the necessity to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is a heresy (DZ 469). It hardly needs to be said that a vacancy of the Holy See is dangerous and rife with the possibility of untold harm to the Church. We have witnessed that firsthand. And the fact it was maliciously allowed to continue by those pretending to rule the Church in the place of the Roman Pontiff is undeniable.

Vicomte Leon de Poncins explains in his Freemasonry and the Vatican that Freemasonry sets up both sides of the spectrum in infiltrating various organizations — the right and the left. This is as true here of the Church as it is in modern-day politics, something we have seen ample evidence of just recently. The left set up the counter-Church in Rome, the right set up its own counter-Church, Gallicanist/Gnostic Traditionalism, and here we are today. Proof of this can be found in the link provided at the beginning of this article on Freemasonry. So all the wasted rantings and ravings over the terrible Novus Ordo and the constant updatings regarding the antics of the usurper clowns have only been a distraction. And it succeeded in preventing the unwary from properly assessing and then questioning the authority and validity of Traditionalists and their organizations. This when Traditionalism is even more offensive to God than the Novus Ordo, claiming as it does to represent the Church we lost when it does nothing of the sort, being only one more accursed heretical sect.

False basis for episcopal supremacy

How do we know Traditionalist clergy actually discouraged a papal election? Well first we have the case of Lefebvre, who was all too happy to blast the usurpers from his lofty throne, while using them to “legitimize” his seminary and sanctioning their John 23 missal, also marital and other policies. You can scarcely consider a papal election when you’re playing pattycakes with the enemy. And then we have the Thuc bunch, plagued from the very beginning with scandal, fraud and disorganization. A recent Internet find shows us exactly who and what all these people were — and remember, Lefebvre and Thuc were bosom council buddies — and what they really believed. Below are excerpts from an April 30, 1983 letter by the Mexican layman Alvaro Ramirez Arandigoyen to Moises Carmona. Carmona, a follower of Rev. Joaquin Saenz Arriaga (an admitted member of a secret society), was one of two Mexican priests “consecrated” by Thuc. The translation of the letter was first printed in the German publication Einsicht. Ramirez is asking Carmona to clarify “the essential complex of questions of the episcopal powers and their importance in the framework of the Church.” Ramirez writes as follows:

“The Bishop of Rome… possesses the universal power of jurisdiction as well as the infallibility, a privilege, which, by tradition, is being recognised and defined for the Bishop of Rome as follower of St. Peter and the Vicar of Christ. But in the strict sacramental sense of the Church, as administrator of the Holy Mysteries, the Bishop of Rome possesses no greater power of office than the other bishops, as followers of the Apostles… It is therefore clear that the Bishop of Rome is entitled to the universal jurisdiction for the election of all bishops of the local jurisdiction. But this election is in no way essential for the episcopal power of consecration in the sacramental sense.

“Meanwhile the bishop, who consecrates new bishops without required apostolic mandate, commits an illegal act of consecration, illegal consecrations and an extremely grave sin, which, by canonical right, is punished with excommunication. But this illegality does not affect in any way the internal value and the sacramental validity, as the bishop has the distinguishing feature of a sacramental authority of power, a MYSTERIOUS, ALL VALID AND ABSOLUTE POWER, which is neither less than the one belonging to the Bishop of Rome, it does not proceed from him, nor can it be essentially been brought about through him.”

“A curve of the Church’s decadence of the latest centuries proves that it always occurs when the bishops cease to exercise their power of authority. The holy episcopal powers, received from the Apostles and carried on through tradition, are of divine right. And here we ask the question which forces itself to be solved, regarding the Roman and Apostolic Church in our historical hour of the present crisis and worldwide apostasy: there is no doubt, that the Roman Pontiff, bishop of Rome, is competent — through holy tradition — to appoint the bishops sees according to his own right of universal jurisdiction. This is undisputable and must not be violated… It is an elementary truth, which cannot be proclaimed loud enough, that the holy, Catholic, visible and hierarchical Church is not founded solely on Peter, but Peter and the Apostles, united in the community of faith in Jesus Christ. According to the divine right it is therefore a duty in conscience for a bishop, who has still remained faithful in the world, under the threat of losing his salvation, to exercise his apostolic powers without restrainment, fully und wholly, so to continue the Church of Christ….

The bishop…, as well as the new bishops consecrated by him, would certainly not be authorised to elect the Bishop of Rome, because this right belongs to the local church in Rome, which is, today illegally usurped by a heresy (heretic). They also are not authorised to occupy the usurped bishoprics held by the heretics of the whole world, but in agreement with tradition, they may found new churches and provide them with the necessary powers of office.*)… WHAT THESE BISHOPS SHOULD NOT DO, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, IS TO ELECT A NEW POPE,  also not to found any kind of sect and also not to adopt an universal jurisdiction by founding a modern religious order, which would not be in accordance with the apostolic intention, (as Lefebvre does). What they should do, is just this: to act the way the Apostles did — and nothing else.

* Editor’s note: Mgr. M.L. Guêrard des Lauriers has published an explanation, which refers also to this subject and its first part has been published already in the SAKA-INFORMATIONS of January 1984, the second part has now followed in the February issue. We shall also try to find authors, who can give us an information about the election of a Pope as such, about its possible realisation under today’s circumstances. Then the suggestions made by Mr. Ramirez would have to be reconsidered. (The editor listed for this article is one G. Resch.)

It can only be assumed that what Ramirez said above was fully adopted, from that point on, by Traditionalists. Shall we begin by enumerating the heresies?

Heresy 1: “But in the strict sacramental sense of the Church, as administrator of the Holy Mysteries, the Bishop of Rome possesses no greater power of office than the other bishops, as followers of the Apostles.” From the Vatican Council: “If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread out over the whole world; or that he possesses only the more important parts but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate or over the Churches altogether and individually and over the pastors and the faithful all together and individually let him be anathema” (DZ 1831; see also Satis Cognitum above).

Heresy 2: “The bishop has the distinguishing feature of a sacramental authority of power, a MYSTERIOUS, ALL VALID AND ABSOLUTE POWER, which is neither less than the one belonging to the Bishop of Rome.” (See again DZ 1831; also the decision regarding bishops made by Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis and Ad sinarum gentum, that bishops, for all their powers, are still subordinate to the Roman Pontiff.) The mysterious and all valid absolute power he accredits to these bishops is reminiscent of the “magic of apostolic succession,” referred to by Peter Anson in his book Bishops at Large, (p. 296). There Anson chronicles the plethora of sects, many of them Gnostic and occult in origin, which proceeded from schismatic and other unauthorized consecrations in the 20th century. Anson also notes: “All over France, especially in the South and West, little groups of neo-Gnostics flourished. Most of them had their own priests and bishops, for it was believed that the magical rites could only be effective with an Apostolic succession guaranteed to be valid” (p. 309.)” Also the “divine right” episcopacy mentioned by Ramirez smacks of Gallicanism, as does his entire letter.

Heresy 3: “…The holy, Catholic, visible and hierarchical Church is not founded solely on Peter, but Peter and the Apostles.”  From the Vatican Council: “The primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church of God was promised and was conferred immediately and directly upon the blessed apostle Peter by Christ our Lord… Upon Simon Peter alone Jesus, after His resurrection, conferred the jurisdiction of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold saying, ‘Feed my lambs feed my sheep… To this sacred teaching of Holy Scripture… as always understood by the Catholic Church… are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely deny that the form of government in His Church was established by Christ the Lord; that to Peter alone before the other apostles, whether individually or altogether, was confided the true and proper primacy of jurisdiction by Christ” (DZ 1822).

The bishop…, as well as the new bishops consecrated by him, would certainly not be authorised to elect the Bishop of Rome, because this right belongs to the local church in Rome, which is, today illegally usurped by a heresy (heretic).” Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, already available in Spanish as early as 1978, resolved this entire issue, and resolved it infallibly. All heretics lose their offices, and these offices cannot be restored to them. (See the excerpt from this bull above). Obviously Ramirez didn’t do much research regarding the papal election business. The right to elect devolves, as Cardinal Cajetan explains above, and this is apparent from what happened at the Council of Constance, as St. Bellarmine notes. Of course it could never devolve on Thuc or Lefebvre or any of those they attempted to elect, all of them being heretics and schismatics disqualified by Paul IV’s bull, Canon Law and Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis.

The editor’s note to this letter is interesting, and perhaps provides a motive for why Guerard des Lauriers felt the need to arrive at his absurd material/formal theory regarding the papacy. A papal election was not what these “bishops” wanted — they wished to reign as mini-popes in their own little fiefdoms. And therefore today they continue to do so, despite the fact that without the pope they had no other function but to elect a true successor of St. Peter. Having failed to do this when it was possible, they have doomed the Church to Her present state and forever lost the opportunity to remedy this situation. God alone will now resolve it, at His own pleasure and in His own good time.





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