+Our Lady of Ransom+
Some have objected that the term abomination of desolation does not necessarily refer to Antichrist and therefore the use of this phrase by Pope Paul IV in his bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio is not a true interpretation of this Scripture phrase. In the next few blogs that will be posted here, the importance of understanding the meaning of these distinctions will be demonstrated. Catholics cannot be ignorant of the truths so necessary to understanding the current world situation today and its relation to their faith. As we draw closer to the culmination of the events that surely must be precipitating either the end proper or some worldwide disaster, no one can afford to any longer believe the fairy tales that some earthly force will deliver us; we alone are the captains of our own souls. Below please find the answer to this important question according to Catholic sources.
The best source of information on this topic is St. Jerome, who according to the Catholic Encyclopedia “was very careful as to the sources of his information… The Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes.” St. Jerome wrote as follows on the abomination: “It is possible to apply this text easily to either the Antichrist, to the statue of Caesar which Pilate placed in the Temple or even to the equestrian statue of Hadrian, which down to this present day stands on the very site of the holy of holies. In the Old Testament, however, the term abomination is applied deliberately to idols. To identify it further, ‘of desolation,’ is added to indicate that the idol was placed in a desolate or ruined temple. The abomination of desolation can be taken to mean as well every perverted doctrine. When we see such a thing stand in the holy place, that is in the Church and pretend it is God, we must flee…,” (Breviary Lesson for the 24th and Last Sunday after Pentecost).
The value and the amazing utility of this phrase, as explained by St. Jerome, is that it expresses several meanings, all of which correspond to the behavior and person of Antichrist and fit the actions of Paul 6 to a “T.” Other commentators concur with St. Jerome. Commenting on the term abomination of desolation in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Francis Gigot writes: “While most commentators regard the first ‘shíqqû,’ usually rendered by ‘abomination,’ as designating anything (statue, altar, etc.) that pertains to idolatrous worship, others take it to be a contemptuous designation of a heathen god or idol. Again, while most commentators render the second ‘shômem’ by the abstract word ‘desolation,’ others treat it as a concrete form referring to a person, ‘a ravager,’ or even as a participial known meaning ‘that maketh desolate.’
“After studying the picture of Antichrist in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Thessalonians, one easily recognizes the ‘man of sin’ in Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, 21, where the Prophet describes the ‘little horn.’ A type of Antichrist is found in Daniel 8:8 sqq., 23, sqq., 11:21-45, in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes. Many commentators have found more or less clear allusions to Antichrist in the coming of false Christs and false prophets (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:6, 22; Luke 21:8), in the ‘abomination of desolation,’ and in the one that ‘shall come in his own name’ (John 5:43; Catholic Encyclopedia, A.J. Maas). Both these articles make it clear that the abomination has been identified with Antichrist, and who else has ravaged the Church, propagated heresy and made Her desolate if not Paul 6 and the V2 usurpers?
In the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Antichrist we read that: “Antichrist simulates Christ, and the Pope is an image of Christ, [so] Antichrist must have some similarity to the Pope, if the latter be the true Vicar of Christ.” This was certainly expressed in the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, and this allusion to a false pope as the abomination and Antichrist pre-dated Pope Paul IV. St. Bernard, a Doctor of the Church, was the champion of Pope Innocent II. Innocent later recovered the papacy from antipope Anacletus, who for several years occupied the papal see in Rome. We find in St. Bernard’s letters the following: “Whether we like it or not, the words of the Holy Ghost must sooner or later have their fulfillment and the revolt predicted by the Apostle (2 Thess. 2:3) must come to pass. ‘Nevertheless, woe to that man by whom it cometh; it were better for him if that man had not been born,’ (Matt. 18:7; 26:24). Who is this antipope but the ‘man of sin’ (2 Thess. 2:3)… That beast of the Apocalypse, to whom has been given a mouth speaking blasphemy and power to wage war against the saints (Apoc. 13:5-7) “He has seated himself in the Chair of Peter…The holy place…he covets, not for its holiness, but for its height. He has, I say, got possession of the holy place [but]…not through the merit of his life. The election whereof he boasts is buta cloak for his malice. To call it an election at all is an impudent lie…”
In another letter he writes: “Behold, Innocent, the Christ, the anointed of the Lord, is ‘set for the fall and resurrection of many’ (Luke 2:34). For they that are of God willingly adhere to him, while opposed to him stand Antichrist and his followers. We have seen the ‘abomination of desolation standing in the holy place,’ (Matt. 24: 15), to obtain which the antipope ‘burned with fire the sanctuary of God’ (Psalm 73: 7). He persecutes Innocent and hence all innocence…” (The Life and Teaching of St. Bernard, Ailbe J. Luddy, O. Cist., 1927). Clearly St. Bernard identifies the Holy Place with the See of Peter, nothing else. In this he simply follows St. Jerome. Why would Paul IV deviate from these two great doctors?
The Council of Florence
The following was taken from the Council of Florence, held in Florence, Italy from 1438-1447, a little over 100 years before the reign of Pope Paul IV. The Council was a continuation of the Council of Ferrara, and that council in turn was a continuation of the Council of Basel, in Switzerland. It was convoked in 1431 by Pope Martin V and in 1440 condemned the reign of Antipope Felix V (Duke Amadeus of Savoy). Clearly the idea of an antipope or false pope as the incarnation of Antichrist was not limited to the letters of St. Bernard, as evidenced by excerpts from the council below.
“With the approval and help of this sacred ecumenical council, avenge with condign penalties this new frenzy which has become inflamed to your injury and that of the holy Roman church, your spouse, and to the notorious scandal of the whole Christian people. By the authority of almighty God and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul and by your own authority, remove and separate from God’s holy church, by a perpetual anathema, the aforesaid wicked perpetrators of this prodigious crime and their unfortunate heresiarch and veritable antichrist in God’s churchtogether with all their supporters, adherents and followers and especially his execrable electors or rather profaners.
“For our part, as soon as we were aware from the reports of trustworthy people that so great an impiety had been committed, we were afflicted with grief and sadness, as was to be expected, both for the great scandal to the church and for the ruin of the souls of its perpetrators, especially Amadeus that antichrist whom we used to embrace in the depths of charity and whose prayers and wishes we always strove to meet in so far as we could in God.Already for some time we had it in mind to provide salutary remedies, in accordance with our pastoral office, against an abomination of this sort.
“That within fifty days immediately following the publication of this letter, the antichrist Amadeus should cease from acting anymore and designating himself as the Roman pontiff and should not, in so far as he can, allow himself to be held and called such by others, and should not dare hereafter in any way to use papal insignia and other things belonging in any way to the Roman pontiff; And that the aforesaid electors, or rather profaners, and adherents, receivers and supporters should no longer, either in person or through others, directly or indirectly or under any pretext, aid, believe in, adhere to or support the said Amadeus in this crime of schism…”
Pope Leo XIII
Then we have the prayers written by Pope Leo XIII, reportedly following a frightening vison of demonic activity throughout the world; this happened sometime before 1886. On September 25, 1888, Pope Leo XIII approved a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel with a 300 days indulgence that was at some point included in The Raccolta. The passage from this prayer pertinent to what is being discussed here reads: “In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”
Two years later, Pope Leo XIII approved a new, longer prayer, “Exorcism against Satan and Apostate Angels,” including the 1888 prayer, which served as a sort of preamble to a series of exorcism prayers. These prayers were later appended to the Roman Ritual. This prayer eventually disappeared from the Raccolta and some Traditionalists claim it referred not to any infiltration of the Holy See, but to political events occurring at the time. It was removed, they said, because the pope was in negotiations with certain political powers and hoped to resolve the matter. While this could be true, no sources are cited to verify it. Nor can it be denied that it could just as easily have referred to a danger to the pope and his retinue, with Mariano Rampolla then Pope Leo XIII’s secretary of state. Why else include this prayer in an exorcism, of all things, if this was not a serious matter? A pope would not allow some transient political events to influence the content of a sacramental rite.
Pope Paul IV merely confirmed the idea of a false pope as Antichrist and Antichrist as the abomination, following St. Jerome and St. Bernard. Pope Leo XIII utilized the same language to describe what was happening to the Church during his pontificate. We cannot dispute the outcome; what they described is precisely what we have witnessed.
Paul IV’s usage of the abomination of desolation
“Whereas We consider such a matter to be so grave and fraught with peril that the Roman Pontiff, who is Vicar of God and of Jesus Christ on earth, holds fullness of power over peoples and. kingdoms, and judges all, but can be judged by no one in this world — (even he) may be corrected if he is apprehended straying from the Faith. Also, it behooves us to give fuller and more diligent thought where the peril is greatest, lest false prophets (or even others possessing secular jurisdiction) wretchedly ensnare simple souls and drag down with themselves to perdition and the ruin of damnation the countless peoples entrusted to their care and government in matters spiritual or temporal; and lest it befall Us to see in the holy place the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, We wish, as much as possible with God’s help, in line with our pastoral duty, to trap the foxes that are busily ravaging the Lord’s vineyard and to drive the wolves from the sheepfolds, lest We seem to be silent watchdogs, unable to bark, or lest We come to an evil end like the evil husbandmen or be likened to a hireling.”
Given the content and recurring condemnations of Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Pope Paul IV’s intent in issuing this bull is unmistakable. We see above that no less than St. Jerome interprets “the holy place” as the Church itself. And St. Jerome is the ultimate authority on scriptural interpretation. As for the abomination of desolation, the Catholic Encyclopedia has confirmed that commentators understand it as referring to Antichrist, although as St. Jerome also says it can mean “every perverted doctrine,” as well as idol worship: (“Bread idols, bread of lying, bread of wickedness, wheat bringing forth thorns, profitless wheat, vine without grapes, wine of iniquity, bitter wine, the wine of the condemned, the two iniquities [bread and wine], a strange god, idols without life, an idol moving the God of the Eucharist to jealousy, altars unto sin, a sin graven on the horns of the altar, sin of the sanctuary, unacceptable holocaust, a conspiracy, vain sacrifices, throne of iniquity, sin of the desolation (Dan. 8:13), falsehood personified, a lying vision, the abomination of desolation, (Dan. 11:31) — Fr. Kenelm Vaughn’s Divine Armoury)” So both the person and the idol worshipped is included in the same phrase used by Daniel as biblical usage elsewhere demonstrates.
Paul IV is concerned with the persons perpetrating the crime. The reason for this is clear — he realizes that souls will be dragged down into hell if these people are not recognized as imposters and removed from office. He clearly sees that the best way to prevent perversion of the faithful is to remove the wolves from the sheepfold before they can devour the sheep. There can be no idol worship ever set up if there is no one to institute it. It is obvious that he believes the abomination to be heresy, and only a heretic could introduce idol worship. Pope Paul IV is careful to explain that a pope could never become a heretic but could only appear to become one owing to commission of it prior to election, invalidating the election. The exception would be that a pope [erring in his private capacity] could be corrected, as the pope says above, (but not removed unless he refused to accept correction). But one who publicly spoke or otherwise disseminated heresy is a different matter. Paul IV distinguishes as follows: “Further, if ever at any time it becomes clear that any Bishop, even one conducting himself as an Archbishop, Patriarch, or primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, even as mentioned, a Legate; or likewise any Roman Pontiff before his promotion or elevation as a Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has strayed from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy, then his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void.”
So here we see that one appearing to be a Roman Pontiff who was a heretic before his elevation or had strayed from the faith in some way is considered never to have obtained the office. If we now consider the abomination of desolation as the pope uses it, we can observe the following. 1) This is a definition of that term, since the Protestants at that time were contending a validly elected pope could become a heretic, i. e., Antichrist. It is not conceivable that Paul IV was not aware of this or did not have it in mind when writing the bull. In the preamble to his bull, Pope Paul states he intends to drive away “those who [are] corrupting the sense of the Holy Scriptures with cunning inventions.”2) It is a definition because prior to that time the holy place had been designated by some commentators to mean the Temple in Jerusalem and by others the Church. The abomination had also been primarily interpreted as a false sacrifice or idol worship, not heresy per se. 3) Certain commentators limited application of the abomination to the time of the Jewish antichrist Antiochus, not extending it to the time of Antichrist as prophesied in the New Testament. Pope Paul IV definitely extended it to our own time. A papal definition is rendered, according to Msgr. J. C. Fenton and Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma, when some matter that has been in dispute is addressed by the pope; that matter is then no longer up for discussion. We must remember how the doctrines regarding the Holy Mass and the papacy both were being attacked by Luther and other Protestants during Pope Paul IV’s reign. The pope had good reason to believe that if a heretic of the Lutheran persuasion ever secretly ascended to the papacy, the Mass could be endangered. And as we see today, Paul IV had good reason to fear that just such a thing could happen.
When in doubt, consult Can. 18
In a case of doubt, for those questioning Pope Paul IV’s intention regarding his mention of the abomination of desolation, Canon 18 requires that Catholics first resort to parallel passages of the Code, if any; to the end and circumstances of the law and to the mind of the legislator. Here it is most important to consult the end and circumstances of the law. Therefore, it is necessary to delve into the history behind the bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, which we have done before but which will be useful to repeat here. Pope Paul IV suspected Cardinal Giovanni Morone of heresy, something to do with the misinterpretation of Scripture and his sympathies with the Lutherans. Morone also reportedly had been holding meetings behind the pope’s back to promote himself as Paul IV’s successor even prior to the pope’s death. This prompted Paul IV to write Cum ex. Morone was tried for his heresy and imprisoned. But when Paul IV died, he was back in the running for the papacy. He ran full force, however, into Cardinal Ghislieri, the future Pope St. Pius V. The historian Hergenrother, in his “The History of the Popes” reports that Morone’s campaign as papabili was “quashed by the intervention of Cardinal Ghislieri, who pointedly remarked that Morone’s election would be invalid owing to the question mark hanging over his orthodoxy,” (emph. mine). And this is the opinion not only of a great Pope, but of a great saint.
We also have the following quote from Paul IV himself, provided by author Glenn Kittler: “If I discovered that my own father was a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him,” Paul IV said. During the trial of Cardinal Morone, Kittler says that Paul IV “decreed that any cardinal accused of heresy could not be elected pope,” (The Papal Princes, pg. 254). And there is to be no exception concerning those who deviated from the faith “secretly” before their election; that is, some heresy that was committed pre-election but became public only after the election. They too are automatically deposed. Here we have a perfect reflection of the mind of the lawgiver concerning an election, worth its weight in gold. In response to Morone’s attempt to promote himself as pope, Paul IV also penned the apostolic constitution Cum secundum Apostolum sometime in 1559. The constitution decreed extreme penalties against those who discuss the election of the future pope, behind the back and without permission of his predecessor while he is still alive, a crime now visited by Pius XII with the highest possible excommunication on the books: a latae sententiae penalty reserved in a most special manner to the Holy See. This means that only the pope can dispense from such a censure.
As explained in a previous blog, Pope Paul IV was a very strict disciplinarian. He gave no quarter where heresy or the honor of the Church was concerned. Pope Paul III appointed him to head the Roman Inquisition after Paul IV himself suggested it be convened. His whole career seems to have been devoted to stamping out heresy at all costs, and given the terrible toll exacted by the Protestant Reformation, who can wonder that this would be so? His legacy on this topic is enshrined in Canon Law, with Cum ex… cited as a footnote in several canons, nearly all involving heresy. The articles below in the Archives section of the site chronicle this.
- Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio: Infallible & Retained in the Code (PDF)
- How “Cum Ex…” Is Retained In the Code (PDF)
- “Cum Ex…” and Ecclesiastical Discipline
- Doctrinal Conclusions Drawn From “Cum Ex…”
Finally, there is this regarding the interpretation of the law from Rev. Amleto Cicognani’s Canon Law:
- Clear words admit no interpretation nor conjecture of the will.
- General words are to be generallyunderstood, (“excommunicated”).
- Where the law does not distinguish, neither are we to distinguish.
- An indefinite expression is equivalent to one that is universal.
- The words of law also should be considered in their context, (“except,” “any just reason”).
- Any argument made should not be made outside the heading of the statute, (i.e., it should remain within the bounds of the subject being discussed under the heading of each section insofar as is possible. The heading for the statutes derived from Pope Paul IV’s bull involves censures and excommunication for heresy.)
- Where the words are not ambiguous, they need no interpretation.
(For more on this topic visit https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/canon-law/who-interprets-the-law/)
Nothing in Pope Paul IV’s law is unclear or ambiguous; ergo, it needs no interpretation. As proofs go, Canon Law tells us it is absolute and no other proof against it is admissible. We have no reason whatsoever to believe Pope Paul IV would not follow the teaching of St. Jerome and St. Bernard, also the Council of Florence and other councils, in his bull. The abomination of desolation is any high-ranking heretic who purports to hold an ecclesiastic (or even secular) office and publicly teaches heresy. This includes the pope. We know he is speaking, however, of the pope in this passage because he refers to him standing in the Holy Place, that is the See of Peter, as St. Bernard teaches. And this can be gleaned from the circumstances of his law regarding Cardinal Morone.
Many of the controversies concerning the times in which we live can be answered by asking the following question: Who is prophesied to take away the Continual Sacrifice? Daniel tells us it is the Antichrist of our day. Will anyone deny that the Sacrifice has indeed been taken away by John 23 and Paul 6? It would be difficult to find even a Traditionalist who would deny this. But as is so tellingly the case with all these Traditionalists and Novus Ordo types, they fail to complete the logical consequences of what they believe and follow them to the very end. Only Antichrist could have abolished the Sacrifice. It is the unanimous opinion of theologians, as stated by Henry Cardinal Manning, that the Sacrifice will indeed cease: “The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist and the prophecies of Daniel — all of them unanimously — say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar will cease.” And the Council of Trent has determined that when the Fathers unanimously agree on a point of Holy Scripture, as explained above, they cannot be mistaken.
We find in St. Paul that Antichrist will be dispatched as follows: “And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, (2 Thess. 2: 8).” In other words, as Rev. Haydock explains, it will be an easy thing to take out the Son of Perdition. It is no coincidence, then, that Montini died on the day that he did. According to the reports of the Swiss guards, as related by John Parrot in the 1990s, he was tormented days before his death, and cries of despair were heard coming from his room; his face reportedly became so contorted no one could bear to look at him. His agony was ended on the feast of the Transfiguration. Holy Scripture describes the appearance of Christ during the Transfiguration as follows: “His face did shine as the sun, and His garments were white as snow” (Matt. 17: 2). This fact is examined at length by Francis Panakal in his work, The Man of Sin. It is something at least to ponder, for often the dramatic fulfillments we seek today can be explained in less obvious ways. We need only think of the Apostles, who missed so many of the meanings of Christ’s parables. Yet regarding the abomination of desolation Christ advises, “Let him who reads understand.”
+Most Holy Name of Mary+
A few more comments are in order on the subject of visibility and apostolicity. It is a topic that should be treated in far greater depth at some point, but unless and until a sufficient number of Catholics begin to take their faith seriously, there is no need to say more than what has already been written here. Our appeal is the same as that of Pope Pius XII, who wrote in Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943:
“4. And it is to be hoped that Our instructions and exhortations will bring forth abundant fruit in the souls of the faithful in the present circumstances. For We know that if all the sorrows and calamities of these stormy times, by which countless multitudes are being sorely tried, are accepted from God’s hands with calm submission, they naturally lift souls above the passing things of earth to those of heaven that abide forever, and arouse a certain secret thirst and intense desire for spiritual things. Thus, urged by the Holy Spirit, men are moved, and, as it were, impelled to seek the Kingdom of God with greater diligence; for the more they are detached from the vanities of this world and from inordinate love of temporal things, the more apt they will be to perceive the light of heavenly mysteries. But the vanity and emptiness of earthly things are more manifest today than perhaps at any other period, when Kingdoms and States are crumbling, when enormous quantities of goods and all kinds of wealth are being sunk in the depths of the sea, and cities, towns and fertile fields are strewn with massive ruins and defiled with the blood of brothers.
“5. Moreover, We trust that Our exposition of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ will be acceptable and useful to those also who are without the fold of the Church… Before their eyes nation rises up against nation, kingdom against kingdom and discord is sown everywhere together with the seeds of envy and hatred. If they turn their gaze to the Church, if they contemplate her divinely-given unity — by which all men of every race are united to Christ in the bond of brotherhood — they will be forced to admire this fellowship in charity, and with the guidance and assistance of divine grace will long to share in the same union and charity.”
This is our message to Traditonalists. The visibility of the Church could increase and the mark of unity could at least be partially realized if only those believing themselves to be Catholic would heed this pope’s words.
(All quotes below are from the theological manuals quoted in our last blog.)
— Material visibility requires a public, not a private profession of faith.
— Members all over the world are united by the profession of a common faith, by participation in a common worship, and by obedience to a common authority.
— The Church’s members are visible, for they are flesh and blood people.
— To insist on the Church’s being visible is not to claim that all its elements are immediately apparent to the senses. THE CHURCH MUST BE ADJUDGED TRULY VISIBLE EVEN IF SOME ELEMENT WHICH IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF ITS MAKEUP CANNOT BE SEEN DIRECTLY, provided that this element be by its very nature joined to and eternally manifested by some visible element.
— Without the profession of the same faith, participation in the same rites and obedience to the same authority by true Catholics, there is simply no Church of Christ. (End of quotes)
So as we observed in our initial blog on this subject, a website which can be seen by anyone in the world is a public profession of the faith. Those subscribing to it, donating to it and commenting on it are part of that public profession. These people are flesh and blood Catholics. They are either members of the Church by actual Baptism or baptism of desire. They profess the same faith, avail themselves of the two remaining Sacraments and of the substitutes for Penance and the Eucharist, recite the Mass of St. John and obey ALL the teachings of the Popes and the Ecumenical Councils, also Canon Law. Even though we have no visible pope and hierarchy, we are yet members of Christ’s Mystical Body. As such we can count ourselves as at least materially visible. Pope Pius XII taught in Mystici Corporisregarding this body, “If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression ‘the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ,’ an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers.”
And Christ, the invisible Head, rules this body as Supreme Pontiff, so materially we also have a Head of this Church. We are in daily communion with the Church Triumphant in Heaven and the suffering souls in Purgatory. In Heaven Our Lord Himself offers Sacrifice on the heavenly altar, St. Alphonsus Liguori teaches. He tells us that the Sacrifice and priesthood will never cease even during the time the Holy Sacrifice is taken away, since “the Son of God, Eternal Priest, will always continue to offer Himself to God, the Father, in Heaven as an Eternal Sacrifice” (Holy Eucharist). St. Gregory Nazianzan wrote: “What then? Will they forbid us their altars? Even so, I know of another altar, and the altars we see now are but a figure of it… All the activities ’round about that altar are spiritual; one ascends to it by contemplation. At this altar I shall stand, upon it I will make immolations pleasing to God, sacrifices, oblations, holocausts, better than those that are offered now…“(Ibid). St. Thomas of Aquinas writes: “The state of the New Law is intermediate between the state of the Old Law… and the state of glory, in which all truth will be fully and perfectly manifested. Then there will be no more Sacraments; but now, inasmuch as we see only through a glass darkly, we have to enter into spiritual things through sensible signs.”
Sensible signs, taken to Modernist extremes by Traditionalists, reduce to the fact that they must have the Sacraments at all costs, even if it means receiving them from men who were never ordained or consecrated. This “need” arising from impulses and perceived necessities — but which is actually the product of a deranged sentimentalism — is condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his Pascendi Dominici Gregis, but they cannot and will not admit this applies to them. They refuse to believe that we have a Pope in Christ the Supreme Pontiff; the wealth of pontifical teachingleft to us over the centuries, available on the Internet worldwide; hierarchy in the heavenly host of saintly popes, priests and bishops, and Holy Mass, celebrated at the altar before the throne of God in heaven, which is referred to many times in St. John’s Apocalypse. We also have the Sacraments necessary to salvation, and substitutes for Penance and Holy Communion. They scoff at the assertion that in these times it is at this heavenly altar that we offer ourselves as victims in union with the eternal Sacrifice, attended in Heaven by Popes, bishops, priests, abbots, abbesses, religious and all the angels and saints — joining our prayers to theirs. Let the Jesuit priest Maurice de La Taille, (The Mystery of Faith, Bk. I, pgs. 225-26) quoting from a commentary on the teaching of St. Augustine by Gerhoh of Reichersberg, better explain this great mystery:
“We have seen that St. Augustine calls Christ an altar. He sets apart the earthly altar at which both the just and the unjust assist. Christ is the one priest of the celestial altar, and yet not alone. It is as the whole Christ, Head and members, that He stands there, (In Psalms 25). There is also an altar before the eyes of God; the priest who first offered Himself for us has entered there. He is the heavenly altar. If you betake yourself to this altar you will be taken up in the Holocaust and from being mortal you will be made immortal again…: You have the tabernacle of the present Church, the altar common to the good and the bad… There is another altar, sublime invisible, accessible to the good alone unto which — like the high priest who alone and not without sacrifice enters into the holy of holies — the just man enters once only. He does this when he is taken up to God body and soul as a Holocaust, that his youth in every part of his being may be renewed there. He does not go into that altar in sadness, with any interior affliction derived from the old external trappings of his humanity, but all that he is and with all his being, he cleaves to God who rejoices his youth. I shall go into this altar too, repenting at last of my sins, to God who rejoices my youth,” (In Psalm 42). Introibo ad altare Dei, Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meum.
This time on earth without Mass, Sacraments and the hierarchy is an invitation to draw close to God on His heavenly throne and experience a foretaste of Heaven, to prepare ourselves for departure from this earth and the final fulfillment of all our spiritual hopes and aspirations. But Traditionalists are rejecting it. They choose sensible signs on earth over manna from heaven, as though their probation here is the end all be all. Why do Traditionalists remain blind to this? Because they have allowed themselves to be seduced by a material and Modernist idea of the Church. They have followed false shepherds and hirelings, despite Christ’s warnings regarding the last days. Therefore they cannot profess the same faith or obey the same authority, necessary to visibility. They have forgotten, if they ever knew, what is written in the Apocalypse: That the Church will flee into the desert, accompanied by Our Lady. It is said by some writers that her Rosary is the eighth Sacrament, (for those who bemoan their loss of the Sacraments should they do the right thing and abandon their position), so it as not as though we flee as motherless orphans. The desert in early Christian times was associated with the lack of Mass and Sacraments, according to St. Francis de Sales. In the desert, the early hermits and penitents hid themselves to devote their lives to two things: prayer and contemplation. This is the meaning of the two wings of the great eagle in the opinion of some commentators writing on the Apocalypse.
We read also in the Apocalypse that the man-child brought forth by the woman, who was to rule with a rod of iron, is taken up to God and his throne in Heaven. Some commentators identify this child as the pope to be elected during the time of Antichrist. God Himself, then, has taken away our pope, whether by martyrdom in some unknown circumstance or simply by allowing a false election to take place owing to the sinful will of the electors. Christ tells us in Matt. 26: “For it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed.” And then Judas betrayed Him and all the apostles abandoned Him, just as all the cardinals and bishops did likewise during the election following the death of Pope Pius XII and at the false Vatican 2 council. But Traditionalists cannot accept this. And they forget the most important part of apostolicity: apostolicity of doctrine, without which there can be no apostolic succession.
(All quotes below are from the theological manuals quoted in our last blog.)
— Apostolicity of doctrine and mission is necessary.
— If the Church of Christ still exists it must be teaching His doctrine. Hence Apostolicity of mission is a guarantee of Apostolicity of doctrine.
— Jurisdiction is essential to the Apostolicity of mission… One who intrudes himself into the ministry against the laws of the Church receives no authority, and consequently can transmit none to his successors. There is not the slightest intimation in Scripture or tradition that Christ ever promised to confer authority directly upon the ministers of the Church.
— All legitimate succession, or Apostolicity of ministry in the Church, depends upon communion with the chair of Peter and is lost the moment that communion is severed. Hence no particular part of the Church is indefectibly Apostolic, save the See of Peter.
— Christ has either failed in His promises, or the Church must ever preserve and teach all truths committed to her through the ministry of the Apostles.
— Apostolicity of doctrine is the logical and indispensable consequence of the unity required in the true Church. (End of quotes)
All we have ever said is that the Church is not visible as a juridic body, that some of Her essential elements cannot be seen directly; that She now lacks the hierarchy and a true pope ruling from Rome. We have always claimed to possess access to Her apostolicity of doctrine, as presented on these pages for the past 14 years. And we have always acknowledged Christ as the origin of that doctrine. We have taught against the manifold errors regarding jurisdiction for over 36 years. We have championed the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, the necessity of the papacy, also the importance of adherence to all the teachings of the magisterium, for 40 years. And we have emphasized repeatedly that without legitimate succession and communion with Rome, Traditionalists cannot possibly possess any pretension to the four marks.
So given this fact and the length of time this information has been available, how Traditionalists can continue to maintain they are truly Catholic while denying the necessity of the papacy and ignoring the absence of jurisdiction is truly mind-boggling. That they selfishly continue to insist — despite long-existing, irrefutable evidence of their heresies — that they must have the “Mass and Sacraments” leads one to wonder whether they are either secretly working for the other side or are intellectually incapable of understanding the written word which expounds the teachings of Christ. Locked in the high-school mentality of defending their hero-leaders and rooting against members of the Novus Ordo led by the heresiarch Francis, they treat the faith as either a political contest or a drive to win the Superbowl. All is geared to the secular idea of enjoying the Church as She existed in the 1950s, but without the necessity of the interior life or any commitment to learning Catholic doctrine and engaging in Catholic Action. All is superficial and consists of nothing but the external elements of religion, as previously noted.
Traditionalist “clergy” pretend to be the sources of Catholic truth and teaching, but this is a betrayal of Christ, because no one has ever sent them; they are not clerics and possess no mission. As quoted above, the Church must ever preserve and teach all truths committed to her through the ministry of the Apostles or Christ has failed in His promises. So they today are testifying by their very existence that Christ’s promises have failed! For the one truth they deny most blatantly is the necessity of true apostolic succession, both of doctrine and of mission, in addition to the necessity of the papacy. They seem to care nothing that the consequences of this for their followers could be the loss of their souls, for engaging in false worship and failing to follow all the teachings of the continual magisterium up to the reign of Pope Pius XII. We must tell the truth here but we wish them no ill; we wish only that they abandon their errors and help unite the faithful in a true effort to restore the Church. The Church can finally triumph on earth if all accept Her teaching on Apostolic succession and the necessity of the papacy. A mighty force, united in belief, could finally confront the evils of this world, if only they would admit their errors, do penance and embrace the truth. We eagerly seek their conversion but must remember that the remnant consists of only a few, selected out of grace. How many would constitute that few has not been revealed to the Church.
It is that grace we continue to pray for and to which we direct all our works. “Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word. That they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me” (John 17: 20-21).
+Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary+
We address yet another accusation: “You believe in a Church that has defected and is not visible.” This time someone else is being accused, but it has been the primary objection to what I have presented here for years. One wonders if anyone has ever bothered to really read and understand the true meaning of visibility, which is secured by the four marks. Or to fully understand and comprehend the fullness of the four notes or marks themselves, which, in reality, could still exist if those claiming to be Catholic would abandon their schismatic sects and obey the teachings of the Church regarding the marks. Could they exist in their fullness? No, not without the hierarchy, which necessarily includes a canonically elected pope. But all of these guarantees of faith yet exist de jure, if not de facto; that is, by right if not in fact. Apostolicity of mission, that is apostolic succession, is only one of three components of apostolicity, which will be demonstrated below. And while we do not have a true pope, cardinals or bishops, we do have the wealth of teachings left by the continual magisterium to guide the Church, and this supplies in part for the absence of the hierarchy.
As for claims in various articles and by certain theologians that the Church, ”can never become corrupt in faith or in morals; nor can it ever lose the Apostolic hierarchy, or the sacraments through which Christ communicates grace to men,” we can only say that this is a statement open to interpretation; and regarding the hierarchy, one that fails to take into account the time of Antichrist, the cessation of the continual sacrifice and St. Paul’s prophecy that he who withholdeth (the Roman Pontiff) will be taken out of the way. The true Church could never become corrupt in faith and morals, of course, but could appear to do so (among those believing the Novus Ordo church was the true Church). As for the Sacraments, the necessary Sacraments are still available to us and the substitutes for the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist confer graces, when the actual Sacrament is not available. Since the Sacrifice of the Mass has ceased, it is impossible to obtain these graces in any other manner. However, we also may obtain graces by prayer and good works. So it is not as though we are bereft of the means to obtain grace.
Since the latest claim is based on our supposed denial of the Church’s visibility, let us see what is actually said by theologians about this property of the Church. (Bolded text is used to emphasize points for later comment.)
The material visibility of the Church involves no more than that it must ever be a public, not a private profession; a society manifest to the world, not a body whose members are bound by some secret tie. Formal visibility is more than this. It implies that in all ages the true Church of Christ will be easily recognizable for that which it is, viz. as the Divine society of the Son of God, the means of salvation offered by God to men; that it possesses certain attributes which so evidently postulate a Divine origin that all who see it must know it comes from God.
Formal visibility is secured by those attributes which are usually termed the “notes” of the Church — her Unity, Sanctity, Catholicity, and Apostolicity (see below). The proof may be illustrated in the case of the first of these. The unity of the Church stands out as a fact altogether unparalleled in human history. Her members all over the world are united by the profession of a common faith, by participation in a common worship, and by obedience to a common authority.
Msgr. G. Van Noort, S.T.D, Christ’s Church
On page 12 and 13 he writes: It is due to the institution of Christ himself that the Church is visible; this proposition is certain. That the Church is visible follows necessarily from the fact it is a real society, for there can be no genuine society in the world of men unless it be visible… It is one thing to ask whether the church which Christ founded is a public society and quite another to ask whether that society can be recognized as the true Church of Christ by certain distinguishing marks. It’s being formally recognizable presupposes it’s visible, but the two are not identical. Furthermore, the present discussion centers on the visible character of the Church insofar as it is a society. No one denies that the church’s members were visible for they are flesh and blood people, but some do question whether by the institution of Christ Himself these members are bound together by external bonds so as to form a society that can be perceived by the senses, a society of such a nature that one can readily discern who belongs to it and who does not. Mark well the words “the institution of Christ Himself,” for the question is precisely this: did Christ personally found a visible church, one which, by its very nature, would have to be an external public society so that the invisible church could not possibly be the true Church of Christ? For once one proves that the one and only Church which Christ founded is visible from its very nature, then it necessarily follows that an invisible church such as that to which Protestants appeal is a pure fiction and that all the promises which Christ made to his church refer to a visible church. Note lastly that to insist on the Church’s being visible is not to claim that all its elements are immediately apparent to the senses. Just as a man is really visible even though one cannot see his soul directly, so too the church must be adjudged truly visible even if some element which is an essential part of its makeup cannot be seen directly, provided that this element be by its very nature joined to and eternally manifested by some visible element.
From the threefold bond which Christ himself imposed it was indicated above how our Lord founded the church by enjoining on his disciples the profession of the same faith, participation in the same rights and obedience to the same authority. It is by these bonds that the church is drawn into unity and held together. Without them there is simply no Church of Christ. Now since these bonds are external things which people can see, they necessarily make the Church an external, visible society. One can discern, using one’s external senses, which men profess the same doctrine, frequent the same sacraments and obey the same rulers. It is then clear that the Church is visible by the very institution of Christ or in other words that its visibility flows necessarily from its very nature.
This conclusion is corroborated by the manner of speaking employed by Christ. The apostles and the earliest fathers who clearly had in mind a visible society whenever they spoke of the Church. Christ compares his Church to a Kingdom, to a flock, to a house, to a net set down into the sea, to a field producing wheat and weeds, to a city built on a mountain peak. He teaches besides that sinners whose reformation is proving difficult are to be reported to the Church. The apostles called the Church a body in which many members are joined together and are mutually interdependent, the House of God in which pastors live, the pillar and mainstay of truth, the flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed the bishops as shepherds. The earliest Fathers urged the absolute obligation of belonging to the Church of Christ and clearly teach that it is easily discernible. They could have done neither were the Church not visible. A further consideration is the fact that long before this the prophets had described the Kingdom or Church of the Messiah as a very high mountain which attracts people to itself precisely because it can be seen from anywhere. (End of Van Noort excerpt)
(Comment: Given these two sources, and they do not differ in teaching from any of the other sources consulted, it can be determined that at least materially, the Church as professed by flesh and blood, stay-at-home Catholics publicly on the Internet constitutes visibility. They all profess the same doctrine, frequent the same Sacraments and their substitutes, engage in the same worship and obey the popes, councils and Canon Law. So how does the teaching and belief of the true Church as demonstrated on this website not constitute as much visibility as is possible today?)
And as for apostolicity, claimed by those who pretend their invalid priests and bishops provide them with this mark of the Church against all Church teaching to the contrary, those objecting to this website and its content have completely misrepresented the meaning of this mark as will be seen below.
Apostolicity is the mark by which the Church of today is recognized as identical with the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. It is of great importance because it is the surest indication of the true Church of Christ, it is most easily examined, and it virtually contains the other three marks, namely, Unity, Sanctity, and Catholicity… the Church is called Apostolic, because it was founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. Apostolicity of doctrine and mission is necessary. Apostolicity of doctrine requires that the deposit of faith committed to the Apostles shall remain unchanged. Since the Church is infallible in its teaching, it follows that if the Church of Christ still exists it must be teaching His doctrine. Hence Apostolicity of mission is a guarantee of Apostolicity of doctrine… The writings of the Fathers constantly refer to the Apostolic character of the doctrine and mission of the Church. St. Cyprian (Ep. 76, Ad Magnum): “Novatianus is not in the Church, nor can he be considered a bishop, because in contempt of Apostolic tradition he was ordained by himself without succeeding anyone.” Billot emphasizes the idea that the Church, which is Apostolic, must be presided over by bishops, who derive their ministry and their governing power from the Apostles. Apostolicity, then, is that Apostolic succession by which the Church of today is one with the Church of the Apostles in origin, doctrine, and mission.
…The very fact of separation destroys [Anglican] jurisdiction. They have based their claims on the validity of orders in the Anglican Church. Anglican orders, however, have been declared invalid. But even if they were valid, the Anglican Church would not be Apostolic, for jurisdiction is essential to the Apostolicity of mission. A study of the organization of the Anglican Church shows it to be entirely different from the Church established by Jesus Christ.
Rev. E. S. Berry, The Church of Christ, Vol. 1
Historians use the term to designate the Church as it existed in the days of the Apostles; with theologians, it means that the Church is, in some manner, derived from the Apostles. In this sense the Church is Apostolic in origin, doctrine, and ministry. The Church is Apostolic in origin, because it is and must ever remain, the identical society founded by Christ and organized through the ministry of the Apostles; it is Apostolic in doctrine, because it teaches the self-same truths that Christ committed to its custody in the persons of the Apostles. Finally, the Church is Apostolic in ministry (or succession), because the authority which Christ conferred upon the Apostles has come down through an unbroken line of legitimate successors in the ministry of the Church.
A formal, or legitimate, successor not only succeeds to the place of his predecessor but also receives due authority to exercise the functions of his office with binding force in the society. It is evident that authority can be transmitted only by legitimate succession; therefore, the Church must have a legitimate, or formal, succession of pastors to transmit apostolic authority from age to age. One who intrudes himself into the ministry against the laws of the Church receives no authority, and consequently can transmit none to his successors.
No one can be a legitimate successor in any society unless he receive due authority therein; it follows, therefore, that there can be no legitimate successor in the Church of Christ who has not received jurisdiction either directly or indirectly from her supreme authority. But, as will be proved elsewhere, supreme authority in the Church of Christ was committed to St. Peter and his lawful successors, the bishops of Rome: consequently all legitimate succession, or Apostolicity of ministry in the Church, depends upon communion with the chair of Peter and is lost the moment that communion is severed. Hence no particular part of the Church is indefectibly Apostolic, save the see of Peter, which is universally known by way of eminence as the Apostolic See.
(Comment: Therefore, there are three parts of apostolicity. The first two parts yet exist as long as Catholics are faithful to all the doctrinal teachings of the Church. It is only the third part that is absent, and that is because all the bishops defected and those pretending to be bishops were never validly ordained or consecrated. The defection of the bishops at Vatican 2 is hardly the fault of the faithful. If we want to know why there is such doctrinal confusion today it can be cited as proof that there are no true bishops ruling the Church, for the two go hand in hand. Can we have apostolicity of doctrine without apostolicity of mission? If we adhere to the teachings of the Church as taught prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, when true bishops yet existed, yes: for the teaching of the Church is a living thing and it shall never cease to exist.
In the above, Berry also refutes the de facto, de iure arguments advanced by Sedevacantists regarding the V2 usurpers. The Sedes require competent authority to declare the usurpers heretics, and since none to their mind exist, they believe that they remain at least de iure in office. This is the denial of the teaching found in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, which clearly states no such declaration is necessary, and even the secular authority can remove a pope who deposes himself through heresy from office. Canon Law itself also states this regarding the need for a declaration. Since Cum ex… is the parent law for all canons concerning heresy, and Canon Law itself declares that in a doubt of law one is to follow the old law (Can. 6 §4), there is no excuse for this false teaching put forward by these Sedevacantists. What a thorn in their side Cum ex… must truly be!)
Thesis.—The Church of Christ is necessarily Apostolic in origin, doctrine, and ministry.
That the Church is in some sense Apostolic, is a dogma of faith as appears from the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Apostolicity of ministry and of doctrine have been de- fined, at least implicitly, by the Vatican Council: “If anyone should say that it is not by the institution of Christ, and therefore not by divine right, that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in his primacy over the whole Church, . . . let him be anathema.” l
“The Holy Ghost was not promised to the successors of Peter that He might reveal to them a new doctrine, but that He should assist them to preserve religiously and faithfully expound the revelation, or deposit of faith, handed down by the Apostles.”
PROOFS from Reason and Scripture. The thesis is a self-evident truth, rather than a proposition to be demonstrated.
- a) Origin. Christ instituted but one Church through the ministry of the Apostles, and to none other did He give any authority to organize a church in His name. Consequently a church existing at any time since then, is either the identical Church established by Him, and therefore Apostolic, or it is not that identical Church, and therefore in no wise the Church of Christ, but merely a false claimant having no right to exist.
- b) Doctrine. Our Lord committed the teaching of all His doctrines to the Apostles and promised to be with them until the consummation of the world: “Teach all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . . And behold, I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.” He also promised to them the Spirit of Truth, to remain with them forever guiding them in all truth: “I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete that he may abide with you forever . . . he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.” Christ has either failed in His promises, or the Church must ever preserve and teach all truths committed to her through the ministry of the Apostles. In other words, the Church must be Apostolic in her doctrine even to the consummation of the world.
- c) Ministry. It is evident that there can be no authority in the Church save that which comes directly or indirectly from her Divine Founder, Jesus Christ. But 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, e., from the Apostles. In other words, the Church must be Apostolic in her ministry by means of a legitimate succession reaching back in an unbroken line to the Apostles.
Unity of Doctrine
PROOFS. /. From Scripture. Christ commissioned His Apostles to “teach all nations . . . all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” He also promised to be with them “all days even to the consummation of the world,” and to send upon them the Spirit of Truth to abide with them forever, and to bring to their mind all things whatsoever He had taught them. Consequently the Church must teach all the doctrines committed to her; she must teach them to all nations and at all times, even to the consummation of the world — a mission made possible by the abiding presence of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth. But in thus proclaiming all the doctrines of Christ, to all people, at all times, the Church enjoys the most perfect unity; her doctrines are the same at all times and in all places
Unity of profession
Unity in the profession of faith is a natural consequence of the unity of doctrine; a mere corollary to be explained rather than proved. Members of a society must accept its principles, or teachings, at least in word and action, for he who rejects the very principles of a society by word or act, thereby rejects the society itself and ceases to be a member. Therefore, every member of the Church must accept its teachings, i. e., he must make at least an outward profession of faith, “for with the heart we believe unto justice; but with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” Since this outward profession concerns the one faith taught by the Church, it will be essentially the same for all its members; in other words, there will be unity in the outward profession of faith.
Unity of Worship
PRELIMINARY REMARKS. Unity of worship, known also as liturgical unity, refers especially to acts of public worship, in which the faithful participate in their capacity as members of a society, the Church. It applies only to those things that are of divine institution, which may be summed up in the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments.
Nature of Holiness
The English word holiness originally meant wholeness, soundness, or health. It is now used almost exclusively as an equivalent of the Latin sanctitas, from the verb sancire, — to set apart, to dedicate. Therefore a thing is holy (sanctum) when set apart or devoted in some manner to God, and holiness or sanctity is the state or condition of the thing thus set apart and devoted to God. Holiness also includes the idea of being pleasing to God because of some union or conformity with Him. Finally, that which serves to manifest holiness is also said to be holy. Hence we have a three-fold holiness, — physical, moral, and manifestative.
- a) Physical Holiness consists in the consecration or dedication of a thing in some manner to the honor and glory of God. It is also called real because it is often connected with inanimate things (res in Latin). In this sense a church, an altar, or a chalice is said to be holy. Persons are also holy in this sense if consecrated to God in some special manner.
- b) Moral Holiness consists in the consecration of the will to God by conforming it to His will. Moralists usually define it as that moral uprightness by which a person is made like to God and united with Him through charity.
- c) Manifestative Holiness, as the name indicates, is any external evidence that a person or thing is holy and pleasing in the sight of God.
When applied to the Church, it may mean (a) that the Church is to endure for all time; (b) that she teaches all the doctrines of Christ and uses all the means instituted by Him for salvation; (c) that she is destined for all men; or (d) that she is spread throughout the whole world.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem briefly explains the Catholicity of the Church in these various senses: “It is called Catholic, then, because it extends over all the world from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely one and all the doctrines which ought to come to man’s knowledge concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins which are committed by soul and body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and in words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.”
Christian Apologetics, Rev. Devivier
In saying that the true Church is necessarily apostolic, we mean that she must profess the doctrine taught by the apostles: this is apostolicity of doctrine; then, that she must be able to trace her descent from the apostles through the succession of her lawful heads: this is apostolicity of ministry or government. Apostolicity of doctrine is the logical and indispensable consequence of the unity required in the true Church. The necessity of this characteristic is rarely disputed, but it is of little service as a note, as a positive means of discerning the true Church. Hence we shall dwell more particularly on the apostolicity of ministry. We have shown above, pp. 303 f., 318 f., that all authority in the Church has been really bestowed upon the apostles. This authority must, as we shall prove, pass to their successors.
Art. II — The Church of Rome Possesses the Four Positive Notes of the True Church.
- The Church of Rome Possesses Unity
- The Church is One in Doctrine. — Throughout the whole world we find the children of the Church chanting and professing the same creed, accepting the same precepts, the same sacrifice, the same sacraments. And if we go back to apostolic times we find the same identity of doctrine.
The Church, moreover, possesses a principle which necessarily sustains unity of belief: she professes as an essential dogma that all must accept every doctrine which she proclaims to be of faith, under pain, if they persist in error, of being ejected from her bosom.
- The Church of Rome Possesses Sanctity
The Church of Rome is holy in her final end, which is the sanctification and the salvation of the faithful. She is holy in the means she employs; in her dogmas, which are attacked only because of their sublimity and because many of them transcend, as to their essence, the limit of human reason; in her moral teaching, to which even her adversaries pay homage, which proscribes all vices, inculcates all virtues, and culminates in the perfection of the evangelical counsels; in her sacraments, fruitful sources of grace and holiness; in her worship, the most spiritual which ever existed, the purest and freest from immoral or superstitious practices. She is holy, finally, in the members who faithfully follow her precepts; only those who refuse to conform to her teaching, and thus incur her condemnation, fail to witness to her sanctity.
Catholic means universal. The application of this word to the Church means that at every period of her existence, after the adequate diffusion of the Gospel, she must extend morally throughout the whole world, and be everywhere the same.
Everywhere the same; for true Catholicity supposes unity of doctrine and of communion, otherwise the Church in China, for example, would not be the same as the Church existing in Brazil; and it would be false to say that it is one and the same Church in Brazil and in China. Hence it is evident that a collection of sects having nothing in common but a name (it is well known that this is the present condition of Protestantism), even though its various elements are spread throughout the entire world, cannot merit the name of Catholic or universal religion.
- The Church of Rome Possesses Apostolicity.
- The Doctrine of the Church of Rome Goes back to THE Time of the Apostles. — Her doctrine of today is the same as that of the apostles. In speaking of the unity of doctrine in the Church we demonstrated a complete identity between the oldest creeds or professions of faith, the writings and decisions of the first ages and those of our time.
Protestants claim, it is true, that after the first centuries the Church of Rome created new dogmas; for example, that of the real presence, purgatory, and the invocation of the saints. We have replied to this objection (p. 332). Moreover, such a statement is worthless unless proved. It is necessary to show when and how these dogmas were introduced into the Church; this our opponents have never done, and for a good reason. Meanwhile what is stated without proof the Church has a right to deny without proof, for she is in possession. She does not, however, lack proof: she has history to testify how zealously in the first ages popes and bishops opposed all doctrinal innovations. Hence they would have offered the same opposition to the introduction of the important dogmas contested by Protestants. They did not do so, for ecclesiastical history, so watchful in matters of this kind, is silent on this point. Perhaps it will be said that all the members of the Church, pastors and flocks in all parts of the world, agreed to admit without protest such numerous and grave innovations. In the first place, this hypothesis is absurd; in the second, the heretics of that period would not have failed to make themselves heard: condemned as innovators by the Church, they would have seized the opportunity to reproach her with her own innovations. (End of Devivier quotes.)(Comment: If we substitute the entire history of the teachings of the magisterium for the lack of apostolic succession, and accept all these truths as binding, including the necessary avoidance of all Traditional clergy, there is no reason why Catholics could not claim to possess the four marks as they are described above. All that has ever been maintained on this site is that Traditionalists cannot and do not possess them. The attributes of authority, infallibility and indefectibility must exist for the four marks to exist. Authority can be found in all the binding papal documents, the teachings of the Councils and Canon Law, which yet exist. Infallibility is demonstrated in these documents and indefectibility means these infallible teachings will exist and be obeyed by flesh and blood Catholics until the consummation. Given the facts and circumstances existing today there is simply no other way to explain the meaning of the Church’s indefectibility, which Pope Pius XII described as follows: “If this indefectibility is a matter of experience it remains nonetheless a mystery, for it cannot be explained naturally but only by reason of the fact, which is known to us by divine revelation, that Christ, who founded the Church, is with Her in every trial to the end of the world” (address to the Roman Curia, delivered December 4, 1943).
So who is it that Pope Pius XII considers to be the Church? This question is answered below.
We Are the Church
“The faithful, and more precisely the laity are stationed in the front ranks of the life of the Church, and through them the Church is the living principle of society. Consequently, they must have an ever-clearer consciousness, not only of belonging to the Church, but of BEING THE CHURCH, that is, of being the community of the faithful on earth under the guidance of their common leader, the Pope, and the bishops in communion with him. THEY ARE the Church, and therefore even from the beginning, the faithful, with the consent of their bishops, have united in associations directed to the most diverse types of human activity. The Holy See has never ceased to approve and praise them,” (The Catholic Church in Action, by Michael Williams, quoted from an address delivered by Pope Pius XII Feb. 20, 1946, to the newly made cardinals).
But what happens when there is no pope or bishops?
“The initiative of the lay apostolate is perfectly justified even without a prior explicit ‘mission’ from the hierarchy… Personal initiative plays a great part in protecting the faith and Catholic life, especially in countries where these contacts with the hierarchy are difficult or practically impossible. In such circumstances the Christians upon whom this task falls must, with God’s grace, ASSUME ALL THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES, (emph. mine). It is clear however that – even so – nothing can be undertaken against the explicit and implicit will of the Church, or contrary in any way to the rules of faith, morals or ecclesiastical discipline,” (Address to the 14th Congress of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, Sept. 29, 1957.)
“In a wide and loose sense, when the whole Catholic Church is considered as existing in the midst of heretics, schismatics, and the heathen, even the laity may be considered as forming a portion of the hierarchy. With this agrees the expression of St. Peter, calling the general body of Christians in the countries to which he is sending his epistle “a kingly priesthood” and “a holy nation” (1Peter 2: 9). Saint Ignatius, writing to the Smyrnaeans, salutes “the Bishop worthy of God and the most religious presbytery, my fellow servants the deacons and all of you individually and in common.” So at the Mass, the priest turning to the people bids them pray that his and their sacrifice may be acceptable to God and at the incensing before the Sanctus the acolyte, after the rite has been performed to all the orders of the clergy within the sanctuary, turns toward and bows to the laity and incenses them also.” Catholic Cabinet of Information, various authors, p. 131).
In earlier days, I spent much time urging Catholics to engage in Catholic Action. Pope Pius XI tells us not to do so is a sin of omission, which can be grave in some cases, and it would seem that this is one of those cases. I have tried to do my part with this site. Many excerpts from papal addresses on this topic can be found at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/2-the-church/the-popes-on-catholic-action/ What I am about to say may offend some readers, but if anyone is guilty of facilitating the denial of visibility and negating the three attributes and four marks, insofar as we can possess them today, it is Traditionalists as a body. They have destroyed apostolicity of origin and doctrine by committing communicatio in sacris with their invalid clergy. The only way that the Church can fulfill Her mission on earth until the consummation under the present circumstances is to faithfully adhere to the doctrines taught by Christ and His Church regarding Apostolic Succession. Therefore, they must do the thing they most abhor and become stay-at-home Catholics. As Rev. Devivier teaches, “Apostolicity of doctrine is the logical and indispensable consequence of the unity required in the true Church.”
If Traditionalists en masse would abandon these hirelings and imposters and place their energies toward becoming a truly visible Church, obedient to the continual magisterium, the Church could be restored to the best of lay abilities and be made a recognized presence once again on this earth. We are the Church militant, engaged in a warfare on this earth that is neither recognized nor appreciated for what it truly is. Our calling to do battle as members of the Catholic faith is a deadly serious business. There is no time to entertain light-mindedness or flights of emotional fancy. Longing for those comforts and consolations of the past is only a refusal to face the very stark realities facing us today and indicates a lack of faith and longsuffering. Catholics may fear they cannot worthily aspire to martyrdom, but they are being called to become at least martyrs in spirit. They may long for Mass and Sacraments but today we cannot pretend to receive them unless we are literally willing to sell our souls to obtain them.
It is high time Traditionalists faced the ugly fact that to remain where they are is a full-fledged denial that communicatio in sacris means today what it meant in the 1950s, the 1700s, the 1600s, the 1500s and before. In true Modernist fashion, whether they realize it or not, they shout with everything they are and believe that doctrine evolves, and that because it evolves, they can validly attend Mass and receive the very Sacraments their Catholic forbearers eschewed as fatal to the faith, dying rather than tasting their poison. True Catholics can choose to obey what the Church teaches or join the rest of the world in its sure march to hell.
+St. Louis, King+
A reader identified only as “anonymous” has leveled a charge that the last published blog could be taken as defamation against Traditionalists. I have no obligation whatsoever to address anything coming to me anonymously; newspapers will not even publish anonymous letters to the editor. But to set the record straight and be totally transparent myself, I think it is important to make some distinctions as suggested by this person below.
Define what you mean by the terms “anti-semite,” “Neo-Nazi,” and “white supremacist.”
Do not take me to task for definitions regarding anti-Semitism. The definitions of the terms used in the last blog on John 23 as the founder of Traditionalism are in total keeping with the Church’s own definitions on this topic. If you are going to accuse someone of defamation, get your facts straight. I am not the one who defined those terms, at least the term anti-Semitic; it was Pope Pius XI (see below). The other two terms can be taken from their current obvious meaning. Neo-Nazi means the new Nazis, those professing Nazi or fascist beliefs or sympathies post World War II. White supremacy, which resurged in the US in the 1950s-60s, is simply a term that grew out of that movement. It is usually associated with the “White Power” movement — the KKK, various neo-Nazi organizations, and the religious Christian Identity groups. Some of these sects have reportedly aligned themselves with Islamic groups. The Christian Identity groups are those most likely, in my opinion to be “skinheads,” or Aryan Nation types.
Perhaps you would like to define the word Catholic for me. Sorry, but I do not consider Traditionalists as Catholic – anyone seriously studying this site knows that. They also should know that the only definitions I hold are those provided by approved authors, the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and the ecumenical councils, also Canon Law. I have never said Traditionalists planned to slaughter Jews, although I do know many blame them for the destruction of the Church. They thereby justify any ill-feeling this generates as a defense of the faith, and if taken to extremes I am simply warning this could be dangerous and is indeed dangerous given the present state of affairs. I simply quoted a source that merely warned of this alarming trend among Traditionalists, written three decades ago. This is confirmed by my own personal experience, on many different occasions, of this very phenomenon over the past 40 years. I can easily support this with existing evidence.
Are you saying that Fr. Coughlin harbored hatred or genocidal intentions toward Jews? Are you saying that people who attend traditionalist chapels… are haters and potential murderers?
Maybe you should read what Coughlin wrote and what Traditionalists read and believe and answer that question for yourself. Coughlin was brought up short and silenced by no less than the future Pope Pius XII, and after Pacelli’s election Coughlin accused him of favoring Communism. One biographer writing about Coughlin called Henry Ford “a very close friend” of Coughlin’s, and Ford received one of the highest military honors in Germany from Hitler himself. Coughlin was accused of siding with the Germans in one of his radio speeches because he excused them for their sanctions against the Jews (in 1938, before World War II broke out), arguing they were necessary to combat supposed Communism in Germany, which many believed the Jews helped engineer.
Ford also was an open proponent of British Israelism. According to Wikipedia and as evidenced by Ford’s own work, The International Jew, William J. Cameron (1878–1955), publicist for Henry Ford, advocated British Israelism in Ford-sponsored publications. British Israelism is listed on Lady Queensborough’s Masonic pyramid as a lower level of Masonic initiation. So was Coughlin not only anti-Jew but also a Masonic sympathizer? Read the historic works my friend and stop making such foolish comments! The evidence is there. Even Catholics at the time were critical of Coughlin and interpreted his stance as anti-Semitic, and certainly Ford was a known anti-Semite. Was Coughlin agitating for the extermination of the Jews? Certainly not. But he was accused of fomenting unrest and dislike, even hatred for them, in his speeches.
Now we come to the beliefs of Traditionalists, the ones who for decades have used The Plot Against the Church by Maurice Pinay as practically the founding document of their movement. This book has been promoted by Traditionalists on the web since the 1990s but has been pulled from some sites because of the recent political climate. It is available on many different platforms today. If you want to read a work that could be classified as anti-Semitic work, read that book. Then compare it to what Pope Pius XI describes below as the definition of anti-Semitism. I am not going to engage in a semantic war with you over the definition of the word hate, which Pius XI mentions. This word appears in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Seventh Edition, issued in 1934 as follows: “To feel an intense aversion to; to detest or abhor.” And under hatred: “Strong aversion or detestation coupled with ill will.” This makes it contemporaneous with Pius XI’s use of this word. Notice there is no reference whatsoever to potential murder, nor did I intend to ever suggest that this was the case. I challenge you to point to one thing in that blog that would lead anyone to believe this is what I was suggesting. The death factor came to be identified with the anti-Semitism term after Hitler’s “final solution.”
All I was attempting to point out is exactly what other Catholic writers pointed out to Fr. Coughlin in the 1930s: aligning oneself with these openly anti-Jewish groups can rile more volatile types among Catholics to violence. But while many hated the Jews and still do, unfortunately, this does not mean the majority entertain homicidal tendencies toward them; only this more easily agitated minority. Most Catholics may want the openly anti-Christian sects among them suppressed, yes, and wish for the conversion of all Jews; but they do not want them imprisoned or murdered. No true Catholic could ever promote such a thing. What I referred to in my article that is driving Traditionalists underground is their association with those known white supremacist (Christian identity) groups now classified as domestic terrorists. That is a real concern, but they should not pretend that in going underground “into the catacombs” it is because of their Catholic faith, because they are not truly Catholic. On the contrary, it is because they are aligning themselves with an heretical group known to be Masonic that they fear retribution. And that is quite a different scenario.
There are voluminous papal writings condemning Jewish subversion.
Not so voluminous as you pretend. I commented on this claim in a previous article at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/what-the-popes-teach-about-the-jews/ Yes, a good number of popes condemned Jewish incursions into the Church and their efforts to subjugate Catholics, as they were bound to do. The majority of them, however, remained silent on this topic. If you want a true Catholic definition of anti-Semitism, here is Pope Pius XI’s teaching on this subject, taken form the booklet below, written in 1944, by an approved Catholic author:
This is what the Church teaches on anti-Semitism and how she defines it. If anyone would like a copy of the entire booklet, I would be happy to provide it. Yes, those who call for mass conversion or death may have been included in this definition of hatred, The popes, however, forbade forced baptism of the Jews. And no rightly believing stay-at-home Catholic today calls for such conversion. How would such mass conversion even be possible today? Without the visible Church to accept such converts there is nothing to convert to!
+Feast of St. Joachim+
The latest false pope braying over the internet, Jacobus I, claims no one can prove Roncalli was a Freemason therefore he and his mass cannot be questioned. Forget the fact that Roncalli was the first to allow the insertion of the words “for all men” into the consecration of the wine in dialogue mass missalettes used by the faithful. This was one of the first acts he performed in January of 1959, following his election, at about the same time he appointed the future Paul 6 as a “cardinal.” Makes a person wonder doesn’t it? Dear Jacobus and his mindless followers forget that no one needs to prove ANYTHING regarding Roncalli’s Masonic connection: the Church has already weighed in on this. A doubtful pope is no pope and infallible papal documents defining the nature of elections and the inability of even suspected heretics to be elected cannot be questioned. If he truly knew Canon Law and his Faith, he would know this.
There is a reason why Traditionalists are so anxious to keep dear Angelo Roncalli as a true pope and his corrupted missal as a true Mass. Has anyone ever questioned why Society of St. Pius X hacks so strenuously defend Marcel Lefebvre against the charge of Freemasonry, but seem to simply brush off allegations of heresy? Or why they have worked for decades to discredit the Bull of Pope Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, as non-infallible and abrogated by the Code of Canon Law? All these issues have been addressed by this author for over three decades and not once has anyone presented a scintilla of evidence to prove otherwise. Roncalli was a known liberal on a Holy Office watch list, and that is not enough for them? It tells us what they are. As a suspected heretic he could never have been validly elected. He proved himself a friend of the Masonic sect both before and after his election, was a known Communist sympathizer and that is not enough either.
We are not the ones that have to prove anything; the burden of proof rests with them. We are the ones following the rules. When it involves a matter of faith, they must prove that the danger to the faith does not exist, not us (Canons 2200: “Given the external violation of the law the evil will is presumed in the external forum;” also Canon 21). They are the ones claiming a pope can be deposed, or rather deposes himself for heresy in the chair, (which cannot happen but let us take their erroneous claim to its logical conclusion). If a pope is automatically deposed, then most certainly a cardinal also loses his dignity, as Pope Paul IV teaches in his Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. And while cardinals may be exempt from censures, this cannot and does not apply to deviations from the faith. But Traditionalists cannot follow logic, nor do they have any intention of doing so. When questioned they simply intone “You must obey.” Well it is God and His law we must obey, not mindless men. They pretend that their “theologians” can refute these teachings with probable arguments. But please explain how the clear words of the Roman Pontiffs could ever be said to be a “probable conjecture about an uncertain affair,” when the Roman Pontiff is the Supreme Lawgiver and one can never DOUBT these teachings without falling into heresy!
We have no need to stand by presumption in the case of Roncalli’s validity; the case presented is grounded in irrefutable pontifical and conciliar teaching. This is superior to any presumption of law; it is perfect proof that cannot be overcome. This is clearly stated in Canons 1812, 1816 and 1819; pontifical documents properly entered into the AAS are considered official documents and they cannot be overcome as proofs. Those decisions concerning the law entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis are considered authentic, (Can. 9; Humani Generis). They are binding in conscience and are to be held with at least a firm assent, (Can. 9; Msgr. J.C. Fenton, J.C.L, Rev. Billot and Rev. Connell as well as others). Canon 1812 tells us that acts issuing from the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Curia during the exercise of their office and entered as proof in ecclesiastical courts “prove the facts asserted,” (Can. 1816), and force the judge to pronounce in favor of the party producing the document, (commentary by Revs. Woywod-Smith). “Proof to the contrary is not admitted against Letters of the Roman Pontiff bearing his signature,” (Cicognani, ibid. p. 626, ft. note). Documents entered into the Acta Apostolic Sedis do not need to be submitted in the original or be an authenticated copy, (Can. 1819).
Let them find papal documents that support their case; they cannot. The seamless tunic that is the integral teaching of the Church makes such a thing impossible. Now that they have been “deprived” of the “mass” they treasure, the one authorized by a false pope collaborating with the very forces that destroyed the true Church, they dramatically claim they have been driven into the catacombs and dare to call themselves catacomb Catholics. Well they may well have to retreat to the underground, but let us not call their abode catacombs, for they are anything but Catholic. And the reason they may need to retreat there is not the one they claim, but one that we have warned about on this site for many years and have exposed for literally decades.
Priory of Sion
An organization known as the Priory of Sion first came into existence as a vanguard for the European monarchies with the creation of the Knights Templar in 1090, by one Godfroi deBoullion. Its official headquarters was Notre Dame du Mont de Sion in Jerusalem. This occurred nine years before the founding of the Knights Templar by Hugues de Payon, a vassal of the count of Champagne. How the two were connected is not clear from history, but regardless of their connection, the Priory remained a vital and moving force, which operated underground once the Templars suspected of worshipping idols and engaging in devil worship were condemned. After the organization was disbanded, it appears to have grown phenomenally in power and influence over the centuries and is thought to have helped foment the Protestant Reformation. The members of this organization believed that the monarchs of Europe, especially of France and England, through intermarriage, were direct descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. They deny the doctrine of Christ’s spiritual mission to make the monstrous claim that Jesus sired children by Mary Magdalene, also her sister Martha.
Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea, they hold, journeyed across the ocean with these children to Europe in 70 A.D. and the line of Christ’s “human” family was perpetuated, eventually siring French kings. The fables supporting this story vary, some saying a substitute was crucified for Christ or that He survived by magical means. In using the term, “Guardians of the Grail,” sect members refer to the womb of Magdalene bearing divine descendants, or the necessity of ensuring that the “blood royale” is preserved throughout the centuries. (This fable is also the basis for Mormonism, a product of Freemasonry.) Some also say that rebel “Abp.” Marcel Lefebvre, who founded the St. Pius X Society, was a member of the Priory. Lefebvre belonged to Action Francais, condemned by Pope Pius XI, and was a known monarchist. (Shortly before WWII, there was a movement underway to restore the French monarchy.)
This ancient heresy is nothing more than the continuation of pre-Christian Gnosticism into Christianity, to remove the spiritual element and introduce carnal pagan/gnostic Jewish elements. Jules LeBretton and Jacques Zeiller, S.J., in their work The History of the Primitive Church, Vol. II wrote: “Gnosis…almost always claims to be based upon some ancient message transmitted secretly by a chain of initiates…The hermetic books present themselves as revelations made to Hermes or received by him; others appeal to Asclepios. Similarly the Christian Gnostics place their revelation under the patronage of some apostle, or often, of Mary Magdalene, who is supposed to have received them from Christ before the Ascension.” In the case of the descendants from the Virgin Mary’s side of Christ’s family, who apparently migrated to Western Europe, a legitimate claim to “royal blood” could be made and was even taken into consideration by the Church. There is no mystery here nor any impure connotations; it was only later that the stories were circulated concerning Christ’s “union” with Mary Magdalen. These would arise only with the condemned Templar members, secretly, and finally publicly, with the official establishment of Freemasonry in the 1700s. Mormonism would later even teach this lie as part of their religion.
It is important to separate the departure of the Desposyni into various sects in the early centuries A. D. from the alleged migration of the Virgin Mary’s family members to Western Europe. The disaffected Desposyni may also have migrated to Western and Eastern Europe; or they may already have been living in Roman settlements in Gaul shortly after Christ’s death. Once they formally objected to the failure to retain Jewish customs and practice as part of Christianity, they ceased to be members of the Catholic Church. As such they would have comprised an already antagonistic resistance to both papal rule and the rule of any hierarchy not connected to Mary’s family. This ready-made seedbed of opposition may have provided support for those not content with a one-sided connection to Christ, who needed instead to believe they were divine themselves and superior to their fellow men. The Catholic Church suspected the true origins of this claim and denied the divine right theory. Divine right fueled the lay investiture controversy fought for years by the Church with its insinuation that a direct connection to Christ placed those nobility possessing it at least on an equal par with the hierarchy. In later centuries it would become the belief that man was a part of God and could attain divinity, (secular humanism).
Was John 23 a Priory initiate?
Constance Cumbey, an evangelical Protestant lawyer, fingered Roncalli in 1983 (Hidden Dancers of the Rainbow), when she wrote: “If there has been a single Catholic Pope who permitted the New Ager’s plan to take root within the Roman Catholic Church, it was Pope John XXIII, who is spoken of reverentially by New Agers and ‘Catholic’ modernists.” (p. 160.) This mammoth conspiracy has obviously covered all bases. Today, it is headquartered somewhere in France, probably the Languedoc region. Its surname indicates that it may have successfully penetrated all of the Catholic sects and factions, for it is given as Chivalry of Catholic Rules and Institutions of the Independent and Traditionalist Union or CIRCUIT, from a Priory publication of the same name, as mentioned above. It is also called “The Rose-Croix Veritas.” Its meetings and method of operation are shrouded in secrecy, but it could very well have been from this very group that the Traditionalist “priests” and bishops emanated on anticipation of the Church’s hostile takeover. Many of these Traditionalist clerics could not be traced through the Catholic Directory, had been dismissed for various reasons from their posts, or came from unknown backgrounds. This use of the world tradition, discussed in other blogs as a reference more akin to the heresy of Traditionalism and the neo-traditionalism now afoot today, was also noted by one of Roncalli’s biographers. “It was well known that Roncalli did not get along with the Roman Curia, who thought him an inept diplomat. He called them ‘the other school,’” as Meriol Trevor relates in her book Pope John. (p. 205.) This tag for curial officials indicates more than just disagreement, and indeed, Trevor relates on the same page: “…he thought of himself as representing a different tradition…With the least possible fuss, he went his own way.” (p. 206.) As the canny Catholic writer Mary Lejeune noted in the 1970s, the Gnostics had already set up their own “clergy” to sweep up dissenters following Vatican 2.
Roncalli’s behavior was consistent with that of a man who had received a mission. Knowing the extent of Masonic influence and infiltration in the Vatican, it has undoubtedly crossed the minds of many good Catholics that Brother Angelo was carrying out the orders of the Satanic Pontiff, the equivalent of Pope of all Masonry. Piers Compton, in his book The Broken Cross, relates the alleged initiation of Roncalli into the masonic lodge of the Rose Croix. Pier Carpi’s book The Prophecies of John XXIII, divulges that Roncalli took the name “Johannes” at his initiation, which apparently took place while he served as Apostolic Delegate to Istanbul, Turkey, in 1935. The connection of Roncalli with the Rosicrucians could perhaps be put aside if it were not for the fact that many of Roncalli’s subsequent actions can be seen to confirm such an affiliation. His remark concerning the unimportance of baptism and conversion in the case of the Jews he helped to escape during World War II certainly is in keeping with Masonic doctrine. And his later appointment as Nuncio to France, combined with his anti-Catholic behavior there, provides us with a clue to the source of his Masonic affiliations.
A French writer, Pier Carpi, in his book Les Properties de Jean XXIII, (1976), states that Angelo Roncalli took the name John XXIII, last used (1410-1415) by anti-Pope Baldassare Cossa, probably because under the name (i.e., Baldassare Cossa) he (Roncalli) joined the Masonic Rosicrucians in Turkey (1935). Further, Charles Riandey, a Masonic Sovereign Grand Master, contributed the following preface to Ecumenism as seen by a Traditionalist Freemason (Paris,1969) by Yves Marsaudon, State Minister of the Superior Council of France (Scottish Rite):
“To the memory of Angelo Roncalli, priest, Archbishop of Messamaris, Apostolic Nuncio in Paris, Cardinal of the Roman Church, Patriarch of Venice, Pope under the name of John XXIII, who has deigned to give us his benediction, his understanding and his protection.”
And according to Paul Murphy’s La Popessa, “(Bishop) Roncalli appointed Baron Yves Marsaudon, a close friend and 33rd degree Freemason, as head of the strictly Catholic organization [Knights of Malta] in France.” Several other works also confirm this. Pope Pius XII refused to allow the appointment of a new head for the Knights of Malta. According to John XXIII and Masonry – The Pope of the Council, (Sodalitium, Oct.-Nov. 1996):
“On November 14, 1951, Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere, Grand Master of the Order of Malta died in Rome. Normally, the Knights would have then convened to elect a successor; but they did not do so. They were unable to do so: Pius XII formally forbade them to do so. The Pope appointed a commission of Cardinals [Papal Commission] charged to reform (or suppress) the Order of Malta, and for the rest of the days of Papa Pacelli, the Knights would not have a Grand Master. All of that changed on June 24, 1961. On that date, the feast of Saint John the Baptist, patron of the Order (and of Masonry), John XXIII received the Knights at the Vatican, and to their great satisfaction, publicly issued the Brief by which the Commission of Cardinals instituted by Pius XII was suppressed,” (http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/post/pope_mason.html).
“A certain number of Anglican Knights were received by the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John. The ante litteram ecumenism of the Order was extolled by Brother Marsaudon himself. (3) But most unsettling was the infiltration of Masonry into the Order of Malta. (4) This infiltration was confirmed by documents and admitted by the masons themselves, for example, Marsaudon and Mola. (5) This is why Cardinal Nicola Canali intervened. (6) Cardinal Canali, who had contributed to Pius X’s anti-modernist battle, was alarmed by the masonic infiltration that we have already mentioned.
“This is treated in the ‘Editorial Note’ of Marsaudon’s book, L’Oecumenisme vu par un franc-macon de Tradition, written by Editor Vitiano. “Attacked under the Pontificate of Pius XII, by the integrist Roman clan, he [Marsaudon] resigned his office of Plenipotentiary of the Order, but was immediately promoted to the high office of Minister Emeritus, the only Knight of Malta to currently have that distinction. The Grand Magistrate of Malta, in his struggle against Cardinal Canali, never abandoned Baron de Marsaudon who, from his side, was constrained to continue to give his services to the diplomatic and hospitalier plans. In fact, Marsaudon, a Freemason, was discovered to be in the Order, and that was the reason he was forced to resign.” (Marsaudon – who was none other than Roncalli’s dear French comrade.) “Also, Franco Belligrandi’s (disputed) account of the episode in his work Nikita Roncalli does not seem at all unfounded, and did much to clarify at least some of the affair:
“In this French period, an incident took place, ignored for the most part, which for a moment lifted the veil covering Roncalli’s presumed membership in the Masonic sect. A letter from Cardinal Canali, hard as a rock, was sent (9) to His High Eminence, Prince Chigi Albani della Rovere (10). Pius XII….had just learned….that the minister of the Order of Malta in Paris was a mason…He discovered that [Marsaudon] had been given “the Grand Magisterial Cross” on the recommendation of his predecessor [de Pierredon] and, above all, as is known, on the recommendation of the Nuncio in Paris, Roncalli. The result of this first inquest was immediately referred to the Vatican, to Cardinal Canali who exclaimed: ‘Poor Roncalli. I am upset at having to embarrass him and I hope that it won’t cost him the Cardinal’s hat…’ With the greatest circumspection, the Vatican decided to put the Order in Paris out to pasture and sent a person to Paris who would attend to this highly delicate affair. In effect, three persons implicated in this period are of central interest: the Nuncio, because of his collaboration with the Order of Malta over some delicate affairs in Argentina; the Comte de Pierredon for the many years of his service, first in Bucharest and then in Paris; and Baron Marasaudon himself, for meritorious work in obtaining the official recognition of the Order by the French government.’” (End of Anglefire site quote.) According to one of his biographer’s Meriol Trevor, “Pius XII himself criticized Roncalli for his extensive travels throughout France, objecting that it was unbecoming to a Nuncio, (Pope John, p. 206).
Dr. Cyril Andrade, writing in 1976, explains the paramount significance of this heretical document:
“In a previously circulated paper The New Mass is Invalid, one of the many reasons for invalidity I mentioned was that the Preface of the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer — one of the several such prayers that have replaced what used to be the Canon of the Mass in pre-Vatican II times — contained these words: “Father in Heaven, you alone are God” (denial of the Blessed Trinity).
“Before Vatican II, all Catholics were taught, even in kindergarten, that there are three Persons in God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, each being God. Now Vatican II tells us that only the Father is God, thus saying in unequivocal terms that Christ, God the Son, is not God. Also, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is not God.
“This heresy, i.e., the denial of the divinity of Christ and the Blessed Trinity, was raised in the first century by Cerinthus and the Ebionites; in the second century by the Monarchianists, and in the fourth century by Arius (the Arian heresy). This heresy was condemned by the Church on each of these occasions.
“Yet now, the new counterfeit church of Vatican II has revived this heresy and it has been swallowed, hook line and sinker, by some 800 millions of so-called Catholics. St. Paul prophesied a “Great Apostasy” in the latter days and this must surely be it, for today more Catholics have embraced Vatican II and its heresies than the 80% who embraced the Arian heresy in the fourth century. Broadly speaking, heretics fall into two groups:
- material heretics who hold heretical views from ignorance of the faith and -so are inculpable before God, and
- formal heretics who know they are heretics yet cling to their heresies and are therefore culpable before God.
“Is it possible to believe that those ostensible Catholics who accept Eucharistic Prayer IV, which denies the divinity of Christ, are merely material heretics. inculpable before God, and not culpable formal heretics?! The very idea is absurd. What profound theological knowledge is required to know this denial of Christ’s divinity, on which the entire Catholic Faith rests, is unadulterated heresy” (end of Andrade quote).
Even before his “election,” Roncalli had rehabilitated Marc Sangier, founder of the Sillon and “undisputed master” of the Christian Democrats. As Brother Michael of the Trinity relates: “Abp. Roncalli, in a letter clearly intended to be circulated in French political circles, canonized the founder of the Sillon [following his death], rejoicing that for their part ‘the most authoritative voices in French public life,’ Masonic, laicizing and Socialist voices, also canonized him in their own way,” (The Whole Truth About Fatima: The Third Secret, pg. 354). Vicomte Leon de Poncins in his Freemasonry and the Vatican documents in detail the favorable association with Roncalli and the secret societies during his “papacy.” It is important to note that the following papal condemnation, by virtue of Pope Paul IV’s bull Cum ex…, excommunicated Roncalli even before his election, and this was later confirmed by his relations with them as “pope,” documented by de Poncins.
Pope Clement XII wrote: “We command the faithful to abstain from intercourse with those societies in order to avoid excommunication… which will be the penalty imposed upon all those contravening this, Our order. None, except at the point of death, could be absolved of this sin except by…the then existing Roman Pontiff,” (In Eminenti, 1738; renewed by Pope Leo XIII in Humanum Genus, 1884). Commenting on Pope Clement’s statement, the Freemasonry expert Msgr. Jouin wrote: “Not only is the condemnation by Pope Clement XII extended to Masonic sects, but it applies also to all…who, although they are not members of societies called Freemasonic, favor them in any manner,” (Speech given Dec. 8, 1930). Monsignor Jouin received Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Blessing for his work.
— Since the Priory’s inception, according to Holy Blood, Holy Grail, “…every grand master, on assuming his position, has adapted the name Jean (French for John) …This succession was clearly intended to imply an Hermetic papacy based on John, in contrast (and perhaps, opposition) to the esoteric one based on Peter …Roncalli caused considerable consternation when he chose the name John XXIII, anathematized since it was last used … by an anti-pope … In 1958 (Jean) Cocteau held the grand mastership …(when) Pope Pius XII died …and the assembled cardinals elected Roncalli. …Cocteau did not die until 1963.” (pp. 132-133.) Roncalli was only a transitional Pope, and his death coincided with that of Cocteau. If both “thrones” fell vacant at the same time, did Montini alone fall heir to the “throne?” Was the “transition” Roncalli was designated to make the deliverance of the papacy into the hands of the “Satanic Pontiff?” The identity of the present grand master is unknown; there has not been one since Cocteau’s death. This is, in itself, a dire omen.
— Roncalli has been said to be obsessed with John the Baptist. Thus, he gave us the reason for selecting the name John as his love for Christ’s cousin. (See Urbi et Orbi, Oct. 1958.) Actually, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist are held in high esteem by Freemasons, who Piers Compton reports, make a point of meeting on their feast days (Dec. 27 and June 24). It is said by some that both John the Baptist and John the Divine were Essenes, although the Catholic Church has never favored this opinion. (See Essenes; Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition.) Since the Essenes were a Jewish sect, the Church sees no need to bother with them. But not so Theosophists today, whose founder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky is the mother of the New Age thinking. The Theosophical Society has taken the Dead Sea Scrolls and presented them in such a manner that an entirely different Tradition, contrary to that handed down by the Church, is presented. The authors endeavor to accredit the Essenes with the lengthy ministrations of Christ during his early ministry, and so [they also claim] His cousins, who are part of His “bloodline.”
These “Essenic Gospels” are entirely Gnostic in character and emphasize what we know today as humanism. To claim that Christ could have thought this way is heresy, but then the Theosophists are heretics. (See DZ 2189.) But it provides us with an explanation for the use of the two Saints John. For as far as it can be determined, the Essenes, if not a secret society, were at least an elite who clung rigidly to all the old Jewish laws of fast and purification. Their tenor can probably be best described as hermetic (more Jewish than the Jews), which refers us back to its Catholic counterpart, the Hieron de Val d’Or. Holy Blood, Holy Grail, however, gives us the real reasons behind Roncalli’s use of the name John on page 55: “…the Templars were infected with the Johannite or Mandian heresy, which denounced Jesus as a false prophet and acknowledged John as the true Messiah.”
So Roncalli was honoring Masonic tradition. And Roncalli’s “mission,” mentioned earlier, was to act in a capacity which coincided with the role of his idol, John the Baptist. For Roncalli was the precursor; the voice crying in the modernist wilderness; the one who would prepare the way for the “Rex Mundi.” The reason for Roncalli’s choice of name is given by Jean Bardet in his Les Clefs De La Recherche Fondamentale. On page 72, he writes: “…Roncalli…was elected the 28th of October [and] took the name of John XXIII, in honor of France, for John XXIII was the last Pope of Avignon.” This is an interesting comment when we consider that the first John XXIII was elected at Pisa (a council never considered ecumenical by the Church) and was later deposed at Constance. It seems that the plan to unite the papacy and the monarchy was conceived long ago, but was dealt a setback once Martin V was elected at Constance and the papacy permanently established in Rome, once again. Roncalli’s contribution to the “bloodline,” as “pope” was to insert the “precious blood” into the divine Praises that the God-man might become a man-God, as surely it did when Montini (Paul 6) embarked on his campaign to deify man.
— In St. Malachy’s prophecies, John 23 is designated as “Pasteur et Nautionner” (Shepherd and Navigator). The official title of the Priory’s Grand Master is “Nautionnier.” Whether these prophecies are truly genuine, or clever forgeries as some have suggested (perhaps interjections by Masons themselves?), they accurately identified Roncalli’s dual personality while “pope.” And the objection cannot be made that Roncalli’s identification with Malachy’s “motto’ affords him legitimacy, for Malachy’s list contains mottoes for several anti-popes.
— Roncalli was the first pope to contradict the excommunication of his predecessors for membership in a Masonic sect. His relaxation of this application of canon law came with Pacem in Terris, which extolled the United Nations and granted a general relaxation of discipline begun at the start of Roncalli’s reign. In her Son of Perdition, C. Lereux relates: “John XXIII …allowed a revision of canon law to be expected. While awaiting these ‘new laws,’ everyone proceeded to do and say whatever they wished.” (p. 36.)
— In June of 1960, Roncalli issued an “apostolic letter” on the Precious Blood. The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grailclaim that he attached “…a hitherto unprecedented significance to that blood. It emphasized Jesus’ suffering as a human being and maintained that the redemption of mankind had been effected by the shedding of His blood … If man’s redemption was achieved by the shedding of Jesus’ blood, his death and resurrection become incidental.” (p. 135.) How strange that Roncalli would attach such significance to the very reason for the Priory’s existence if he was not a member. One would need to be very blind, indeed, to fail to make the connection between Roncalli and Freemasonry in the face of such damning evidence. We can chalk Roncalli’s successful imposture up to the fact that liberal charity “prohibited” the hierarchy from putting two and two together and taking the appropriate action.
It is difficult to see, considering what we know today, how Roncalli could have been anything OTHER than the false prophet spoken of in Apocalypse 13, vs. 11. E.S. Berry, in his Apocalypse of St. John, writes: “The beast arising from the earth is a false prophet, the prophet of Antichrist …the false prophet …will be endowed with the plenitude of satanic powers to deceive the nations, as indicated by his resemblance to the lamb. The prophet will probably set himself up in Rome as a sort of anti-pope” (p. 135.) Reverend P. Huchede, in his little work The History of AntiChrist, tells us: “…this false prophet will be an individual person … he will not be a king, or a general of an army, but a clever apostate fallen from the episcopal dignity … he will become the first preacher of the false messiah” (p. 24.) Rev. C.C. Martindale quotes Father Allo on the false prophet in his commentary on the Apocalypse: “…the false prophet represents that vague, solvent ‘toleration,’ which was then going to become Gnosticism …the lazy, flattering notion that all creeds are finally of a muchness is, indeed, as modern as it was prevalent in ancient but decadent days. There could then, be two ‘foci’ of anti-Christianity–the openly persecuting state and the vague, subservient ‘religion,’ which the state could patronize without damage to itself.” (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, (p. 1206.)
All of the above is OUTSIDE the indisputable facts that Roncalli could not qualify as a canonically elected pope for several different reasons, not just those listed above. If all this does not constitute enough doubt to give pause to a truly rational human being, then the only conclusion that can be reached is that such beings no longer exist. Those supporting Roncalli’s mass and “papacy” are not true Catholics. They belong to that other heretical tradition Roncalli embraced — Traditionalism, Modernism, Americanism and the Masonic brotherhood.
Lefebvre and the Priory
Society of St. Pius X founder Marcel Lefebvre publicly uttered heresy June 29, 1976, before a crowd of approximately 500 friends and relatives of the men he “ordained” as “priests” and “subdeacons.” Lefebvre restated the Trinitarian heresy on this date almost verbatim, for in his speech to the crowd, he pronounced: “The humanity of our Lord Jesus was penetrated by the divinity of the Word of God …divinity itself descending into humanity.” In 537, Pope Vigilius condemned the following: “If anyone says or holds that the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ was first formed in the womb of the holy Virgin, and that after this, God, the Word, and the Soul, since it had preexisted, were united to it, let him be anathema” (DZ 205.) This excommunication was renewed by Paul IV in Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, and the infallibility of this document has been viciously attacked by Pius X Society theologians for decades. Strangely enough, the Albigensians teach this selfsame doctrine, since they deny the Trinity. This is yet another proof of Lefebvre’s affiliation with the Priory.
Is there a link between Lefebvre and the Priory of Sion? In the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, we read on pages 155-186 a quote from one Jean Delaude, who the authors report addressed a pamphlet to the Priory: ‘For what is the Prieure de Sion preparing? I do not know, but it represents a power capable of confronting the Vatican in the days to come. Monsignor Lefebvre is a most active and redoubtable member, capable of saying: ‘You make me Pope, and I will make you King.’” The authors of this book (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) also identify one Abbe Ducaud-Borget as a one-time grand master of the Priory. Like Lefebvre, Ducaud-Borget was a prominent traditionalist in France and opposed Paul 6. The authors remind the readers that the Priory’s subtitle is “Chivalry of Catholic Rules and Institutions of the Independent and Traditionalist Union.” They inform us that before World War II, Lefebvre was a member of Action Francais, which sought to restore the French monarchy. They even address the possibility that Delaude may have deliberately attempted to discredit Lefebvre and Ducaud-Borget. But they concluded that both Lefebvre and the Abbe were, instead: “…agents provocateurs, whose objective was systematically to create turmoil, sow dissension,” and “foment schism…”
The February 1977 edition of the Kentucky publication Veritas quotes Dr. Hugo Maria Kellner’s Letter Number 72, of July 1977. The following excerpts are taken directly from this Letter:
– Lefebvre, in a U.S. speech August 28, 1971, compared his Fraternity to the Society of the priests of St. Sulpice (Kellner, p. 11.) The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, implicate the Society of St. Sulpice as aiders and abettors of the Priory, calling them: “…a bastion of rather questionable orthodoxy.” (p. 120.)
– Lefebvre’s seminary is located in the diocese of Sion, Switzerland. Kellner reports Lefebvre’s Society to be: “…secured by a contractual agreement with the Vatican,” which “can only be dissolved by the Pope.” (p. 11.)
– Kellner reports on page 31 that Lefebvre calls each branch of his Society a “priory”(!)
– The subtitle of Lefebvre’s organization is “The Apostles of Jesus and Mary.” Which Jesus and Mary? — Jesus the Jewish prophet and Mary Magdalene, or Our Lord and His Blessed Mother?
– Newsweek magazine’s review of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (Feb. 22, 1982), quotes French journalist Jean Luc Chaumeil, an expert on the Templars, as asserting that Lefebvre resigned his membership in the Priory in 1981.
Dr. Kellner maintained, and rightly so, that Lefebvre’s supreme goal in establishing his Society was to: (a) intercept and pacify Catholics unhappy with Paul 6 and Vatican 2, (b) neutralize these Catholics and confuse them with a pretense of piety and pseudo Catholic teaching, (c) prevent the organization of the Remnant Church by “buying out” traditional chapels and offering greater organization, a seminary, a “united front,” “”credibility,” etc. In this, Lefebvre has succeeded thus far. Admittedly, the proofs we have offered of his Priory affiliation are circumstantial. But when it is once realized that both his ordaining and consecrating bishop was Lienart, who’s Masonic affiliation is well known in traditionalist circles; and when it is understood that Lienart also instructed Lefebvre in the seminary and was his ordaining bishop per his (Lefebvre’s) request, then the water becomes a bit muddier. The question of Lefebvre’s validity must be decided in the negative to safeguard the sacraments and protect the faithful. That he has filled his role as agent provocateur as suggested by the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, is obvious. If he yet remains an enigma, he is an enigma we must avoid, in order to safeguard the Sacraments and the faith that is in us.
It was Thomas Case who assayed the Traditionalist sects and found that several clergymen were markedly anti-Semitic, with definite neo-Nazi or British Israel leanings, (Fidelity Magazine, October 1992). He noted that militia groups flourish in the St. Mary’s, Kansas area, home to the SSPX, (this is reportedly known to the local sheriff there). Case flagged the Society’s Fr. Ramon Angles, “Bp.” Richard Williamson, and Fr. Gregory Post, providing specific documentation in each case. He also fingered British Israel promoter Dan Jones of Colorado and Jones’ longtime friend, “Bp.” Oliver Oravec, last known to be living somewhere in Czechoslovakia. Jones’ Sangre de Cristo Newsnotespublication unabashedly promoted the Aryan Nations position for years, alongside other articles written by prominent Traditional clergymen. The late Fr. Lawrence Brey, at one time, at least, also professed admiration for the 1930s radio-priest Fr. Coughlin in an article featured in The Remnant and has mixed with many anti-Semitic Traditionalists over the years.
Fr. George Musey of Texas also expressed neo-Nazi sentiments to several colleagues and followers during the course of his lifetime, a fact witnessed by this author. The openly anti-Semitic publication Veritas, now defunct, pumped out anti-Jewish sentiments for decades, although it also furnished the faithful with much good information on the teachings of the Church. If any doubt exists concerning Traditionalists’ anti-Semitic orientation, a quick survey of anti-Semitic literature for sale on various Traditionalist web sites should prove that what is said here is no exaggeration. And some identification of Traditionalists with anti-Semitism has been more public than others, i.e., that of Mel Gibson and his father.
It has been speculated that Hitler was linked to the Priory in some way, and may even have attempted to secede from it, thus bringing the wrath of Europe on his head. But if he attempted to secede, it was not owing to his moral sense, but rather to his burning desire to rule all and be subject to none. The upper echelon Nazis were immersed in the Grail legends and pre-Christian religious practices. (The “Search for the Holy Grail” is a veiled allegory imitative of the Gospel parables. It is used by the degrees of Masonry to symbolize the search for man who became God; i.e., the bloodline. This is the mirror reverse of God’s Son, who as God, assumed a human body.) In her book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, Constance Cumbey relates that Hitler was influenced early in his school years by the abbot of a Benedictine monastery school he attended near his home.
The abbot “…was fascinated by the lore of the Albigensians or Cathars, who could probably be accurately classified as early New Agers, in that they believed man could gain the powers of a god.” It was here, Cumbey notes, that Hitler “…was initiated into the finer mysteries of the occult” (p. 100). Cumbey further instructs us, on page 102, as to the origin of the “Aryan” nations obsession with Hitler. She writes: “…one of the seven Atlantean races was that of the Aryans …the Aryans were the master race, or supermen of the Atlantean races.” This is, indeed, an interesting development, when we consider that Atlantis sank. And it is especially interesting when one considers the connection between modern Traditionalists and neo-Nazi groups.
As we have already learned, the Jewish settlement to which Mary Magdalene and Jesus “fled,” produced the Merovingian kings and the “bloodline” eventually. While the debate still rages on the internet regarding the Priory of Sion “hoax” and its supposed non-existence, this should surprise no one familiar with secret societies. After all, isn’t that the idea behind their clandestine operations? As one pro-Priory site explains well: “Essentially, the Priory of Sion is a coherent initiatory system, composed of interdependent symbols and allegories, which does not need to be “real” to be true.” Who would expect reality from a secret society?
Let the heathens rage, let them call themselves catacomb Catholics and continue to operate in the shadowland of non-belief. They are no threat to us and they will someday be held accountable by their Maker. “Nothing conquers except truth; the victory of truth is charity.” — St. Augustine. And as Louisa May Alcott said: “Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.” The day of reckoning is not far off and the handwriting is on the wall for these people. We read from the Catholic Encyclopedia under Baltasar:
“Baltasar is the Greek and Latin name for Belshazzar, which is the Hebrew equivalent for Bel-sarra-usur, i.e., ‘May Bel protect the king.’ Bel was the chief and titular god of Babylon. In Daniel, v, Baltasar is described as the son of Nabuchodonosor (A. V., Nebuchadnezzar) and the last King of Babylon. It is there narrated how the town was invaded — by the Medes under Darius, as would seem from Daniel 5:18-19 — whilst the king was giving a sumptuous feast to his nobles. The king himself was slain. The narrator further informs us that the sacred vessels which Nabuchodonosor had carried with him from Jerusalem were defiled on that occasion. By order of king Baltasar they were used during the banquet, and his wives and concubines drank out of them. In the midst of the revelry a hand is seen writing on the wall the mysterious words Mane, Thecel, Phares (A. V., Mene, Tekel, Peres). The king’s counsellors and magicians are summoned to explain the writing, but they fail to do so. The Queen then enters the banquet hall and suggests that Daniel should be called for. Daniel reads and explains the words: the days of the kingdom had been numbered; the king had been weighed in the balance and had been found wanting; his kingdom would be given to the Medes and the Persians.” And so these pestiferous enemies will soon meet their end and their kings will soon perish, even though at present they try “the faith and patience of the saints.”