The Catechism alone will definitely NOT save your soul

The Catechism alone will definitely NOT save your soul

+St. Gabriel Possenti+

The topic of the “catechism only” as a source of instruction for Catholic adults is one that has prevailed for several months now and certain points need to be resolved in order to understand this issue properly. It has been stated that without learning the catechism you cannot save your soul, and while this is true, it needs to be pointed out that the truths found in the catechism come from a common source, and that without obedience to that entity, above and beyond anything found in the catechism, authored under the direction of the bishops, salvation cannot be had. For as Pope Pius IX taught in Tuas Libentur: “Even when it is only a question of the submission owed to divine faith, this cannot be limited merely to points defined by the express decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this Apostolic See; this submission must also be extended to all that has been handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching authority of the entire Church spread over the whole world, and which, for this reason, Catholic theologians, with a universal and constant consent, regard as being of the faith.” And among these truths are the following.

Pope Boniface VIII: “We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they, by necessity for salvation, are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.

The Vatican Council: “Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in tradition and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as divinely revealed.”

Humani generis: “History teaches that many matters that formerly were open to discussion, no longer now admit of discussion… Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me,” and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians” (Pope Pius XII, 1950).

Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton: Those documents “…sent to the episcopate of one country or region, [and] promptly entered into the Acta of the Holy Father, are thus indirectly sent, as normative documents, to the faithful of the entire world… We must not lose sight of the fact that, in the encyclical Humani generis, the Holy Father made it clear that any doctrinal decision printed in the pontifical Acta [Apostolica Sedis] must be accepted as normative by all theologians. This would apply to all decisions made in the course of the Sovereign Pontiff’s ordinary magisterium… the Holy Father is empowered, not only to obligate the disciples of Jesus Christ to accept, on faith or as certain, statements within the sphere of the Church’s doctrinal competence, but also to impose the duty of accepting other propositions within the same sphere as opinions…Humani Generis reasserts the right of the Roman Pontiff to demand an opinionative assent. When, in his encyclicals or in any other documents or utterances of his doctrinal office, he imposes a teaching upon the members of the universal Church militant with anything less than his suprema magisterii potestas, he is calling for such an opinionative judgment…The theologians of the Catholic Church have always recognized the fact that an intention on the part of the Holy Father is requisite if the faithful are to be bound by the teaching contained in his official Acta. Hitherto, however, there has been too much of a tendency to consider that such an intention would have to be manifested by some sort of formula, as for instance, the use of such terms as ‘define’ or ‘declare.’ The Humani Generishas put an end to this dangerous minimism.” (American Ecclesiastical Review, “Infallibility in the Encyclicals”).

And now we will see how the above is applied to the catechism issue.

The Catechism Controversy

The actual teaching method used and structure of the catechism itself was a much-disputed topic beginning in the late 19th century. This can be gleaned from reading the Catholic Encyclopedia article on catechesis. This heated discussion continued up to the death of Pope Pius XII. It even continued after his death, when the old catechisms were gutted and Vatican 2 versions substituted. One of the last approved directives written on catechetical teaching was authored by the esteemed theologian, Canadian Bp. Emile Yelle, who Msgr. Fenton praised as “…one of the outstanding theologians of our time.”  Bp. Yelle’s little work, The Teaching of Catechism, was written in September 1958. In this gem of a work he emphasizes the fact that rote catechetics had long been a failure because the authors of the catechisms themselves and those teaching from them were not properly disposed, either in their writing of the catechism or their teaching.

He advises those writing catechisms to better illustrate and explain the text, to use “language understood by the child… [for] without preliminary explanation the child understands little or nothing of the text of the catechism. Nevertheless, he is obliged to memorize these formulas and to remember them so as to be able to recite them as a prayer: a tiresome task, the purpose of which he cannot understand, in which he is not interested; an effort which disgusts him with religious instruction and which perhaps without his being aware of it, and the teacher too, all unconscious of it, is fostering in the soul of the child religious indifference for the years to come… We taught mere words without explaining anything. We simply touched the surface without every reaching the life-giving spirit. We merely grazed the child’s faculties, never touching the intelligence and the heart. We taught a verbally correct doctrine, but its vivifying force has remained merely on the surface of the soul. Word for word method without explanation is certainly not the correct method of teaching catechism. It is simply the tyranny of the memory over the intelligence

“The child can easily repeat wise sayings and yet for all that be not more learned, nor better educated. A great and needless fatigue has been imposed on him if indeed we have not contributed to create in him a secret desire to rid himself as soon as possible of this unassimilated burden. This first tedious contact with truth is a very poor introduction for any explanation. One might fancy that his work is done when the child has answered correctly that he has attained his goal and that the child ‘knows his catechism.’ No. It is no proof whatsoever that the child knows his catechism because he easily repeats stereotyped formulas… Instead of enlightening the mind of the child by some rays of light adapted to its capacity we have plunged it into darkness — vague ideas scarcely intelligible because insufficiently suitable — and the little that has been understood has left the impression of a world that is unreal and that has no connection with that in which the child lives and moves and sees. No attraction to religious acts, no invitation to the practice of Christian life: ideas suspended in mid-air like soap bubbles that break when they come in contact with the least speck of dust or explode under the slightest breeze. Terrible danger! And it may well be the explanation for that disheartening gap between the theoretical faith of our people and their actual way of life.”

And as for teachers, Bp. Yelle quotes from Pope Pius XI’s encyclical on education: “’That they be thoroughly prepared and well-grounded in the matter they have to teach [and] possess the intelligence and moral qualifications required by their important office; who cherish a pure and holy love for the truths confided to them, because they love Jesus Christ and His Church, of which these are the children of predilection; and who have therefore sincerely at heart the true good of family and country… It is necessary that the teacher understand the meaning of the text and the knowledge of the profound ‘truth’ that the words express to be able to distinguish the central point of the doctrines in order to revert to them in his explanations and in order to captivate the minds of the children by these beacons: Our Lord, the state of grace, prayer, faith Divine Providence, the Holy Eucharist and the spirit of sacrifice. It is evident that to do this requires more than a mere knowledge of words.”

“The teacher must know what the doctrine is and be able at the same time to express it in other words than those of the text. He must know the doctrine before teaching it; he must learn the Gospel by meditating upon it thus entering into all the details of the life of Our Lord in such a way [as to] be able to teach catechism in a truly Catholic way.” Please tell me who is it who will train us as catechists? Who has offered the means for such training from approved works? Where would we find these things? And even if we possessed them, how could we adapt it successfully to what Bp. Yelle so wisely suggests, when the rote method is all that anyone knows today? The little children’s catechism by Fr. Heeg, (my first catechism), posted on this site thanks to the tireless work of a kind benefactor, was chosen precisely to comply with Bp. Yelle’s suggestions. For it tells a story as well as offers questions to be answered and provides memory aids to help children better remember the lessons.

If those adults teaching and quoting the catechisms do not know or accept the doctrines on which they are based, and those doctrines that flow from what the popes later teach, how can they possibly impart the full scope of truths to their children or adult converts? How can they possibly claim to be obedient to the Roman Pontiffs or to love Our Lord when they are not accepting or teaching the whole truth, integral and entire?? For only from Christ’s Vicars themselves, not the bishops or the theologians, many of whom had long abandoned the true faith even before Vatican 2, can we be assured of infallible truth. Below we will rely on those yet faithful to the truth to explain the importance of what is known as doctrinal development.

How doctrine develops

As Pietro Parente, Antonio Piolante and Salvatore Garofalo write in their Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology (1951): “According to Catholic doctrine, a dogma cannot undergo intrinsic and substantial changes. There is an evolution, however, on the part of the faithful as to understanding and expressing a dogma (extrinsic and subjective evolution). This legitimate progress appears in the history of the dogmatic formulas defined by the Church as gradually the meaning of the truths contained in the sources of divine revelation came to be more profoundly and clearly understood.”

And this is also stated in the Catholic Encyclopedia under dogma: “The full meaning of certain revealed truths has been only gradually brought out; the truths will always remain. Language may change or may receive a new meaning; but we can always learn what meaning was attached to particular words in the past.” The full meaning here under discussion is the binding nature of the pope’s encyclical letters and other documents entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, the intrepid Abbot of Solesmes in his book, Pontifical Monarchy, explained authentic doctrinal development in these words: “It is a fundamental principle of theology, that all revealed truths were confided to the Church at the beginning; that some were explicitly proposed for our belief from the start, whereas others, although contained implicitly in the first set of truths, only emerged from them with the passage of timeby means of formal definitions rendered by the Church with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, through Whom she is infallible.”

“May understanding, knowledge and wisdom progress as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding.” — St. Vincent of Lerin. Msgr. Joseph. C. Fenton, commenting on this statement by St. Vincent points out:

“The Vatican Council has used the words of Saint Vincent of Lerin to declare as a matter of faith that the understanding of one man as well as that of the Church as a whole can progress and grow in its grasp of the revealed truth and that this growth always takes place in one and the same sense and meaning (DZ 1800). There can be no question, of course, of new doctrines or propositions which the ancient Church did not recognize as revealed but which the same Church in later years accepted as having been communicated by God. Neither can there be a question of some statement which God added to the deposit of faith after the death of the last apostle. As a matter of fact, there has been no addition whatever to the content of public revelation since the death of Saint John the Evangelist.

“The Church is, and has been since Her inception, perfectly infallible in Her teaching of the revealed truth. Since She first came into being, She has taught the entire doctrine which God gave to the world through Jesus Christ our Lord without error. Then the definite progress in dogma and in sacred theology has come in the process of resolving problems and questions in such a way that the true and objective meaning which was contained in the divine teaching is set forth continually in answer to attacks against Catholic doctrine and for the enlightenment of the piety of the faithful throughout the ages” (The Concept of Sacred Theology, 1941).

And in another essay, “The Church and Catholic Dogma,” written for the American Ecclesiastical Review in February 1949, Msgr. Fenton comments further:

“When he began his preparation for the definition of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius IX made it completely clear that he relied upon the assistance of divine grace to enlighten his mind on the project he was about to undertake. In an encyclical letter, dated Feb. 2, 1849, the great pontiff begged the bishops of the Catholic world to have the faithful entrusted to their care pray publicly for him. Yet Pope Pius IX certainly did not consider that this divine help in any way exempted him from examining the properly theological evidence about this doctrine. In this same encyclical he announced the appointment of a pontifical commission to study this evidence and to report to him.

“The commission appointed at that time by Pope Pius IX applied itself first of all to a consideration of the characteristics in function of which a truth or a proposition is said to be definable as Catholic dogma. It indicated no less than nine principles which must be employed in evaluating a proposition as definable. The first four among these principles dealt with the type of evidence not absolutely necessary in order that a proposition should properly be judged as definable.

“(1) The fact that, in the past, there have been conflicting teachings on this subject within the Catholic Church, or the fact that all have not hitherto agreed on this teaching, does not render a doctrine incapable of definition.

(2) The fact that even authoritative writers can be quoted in opposition to a teaching does not render that teaching incapable of being defined.

(3) In order that a doctrine be definable, it is not necessary that there should be explicit, or even implicit, testimony to this doctrine in Sacred Scripture, since it is certain and manifest that the scope of revelation is wider than that of Scripture.

(4) In order to show that the doctrine to be defined belongs to Tradition, it is not necessary to adduce a series of Fathers and of other witnesses reaching back to apostolic times.

“All of these negative principles imply the commission’s conviction that, in order that a doctrine should be considered as definable, there must be real evidence that this teaching is actually to be found in the apostolic deposit of divine public revelation. The commission manifested not the slightest trace of willingness to content itself with a conviction about the definability of a doctrine based upon some corporate religious sense within the Church or upon any other so-called “non-intellectual” factor. This concern of the commission shows itself even more clearly in the positive principles it delineates.

“(1) In order that a statement may be considered as definable, there must be a certain number of solemn testimonies directly pertinent to it.

(2) A proposition is capable of being defined if there can be found one or more revealed principles containing it.)

(3) A proposition is capable of being defined if it shows a necessary connection with dogmas. In other words, a proposition ought to be accepted as revealed when, from the denial of this proposition, there follows by logical and immediate necessity the denial of one or more revealed principles.

(4) A proposition may be defined as Catholic dogma if it is preached as a part of divine public revelation in the concordant teaching of the actual episcopate. (T. Benns commentFound in all Catholic Catechismsduly authorized by diocesan bishops, beginning with the Catechism of the Council of Trent.)

(5) A proposition is capable of definition when it is shown to be a part of divine public revelation by the practice of the Church.

“In calling for a theological examination of the question he considered defining and for a study of the conditions that rendered a truth capable of definition, Pope Pius IX stated clearly that he was following the precedent established by his predecessors on the pontifical throne.” Msgr. Fenton references another article he terms as excellent, Opinions Concerning Doctrinal Development, by Rev. Charles Sheedy, C.S.C., published in the January 1949 edition of The American Ecclesiastical Review,  that places what is said above in perfect perspective. Rev. Sheedy wrote: “Thus it is clear that there has been progress, development in the dogmatic teaching of the Church, not merely in precision of terms but in actual content and subject matter. Doctrines are taught today as divinely revealed which were not explicitly taught 100 years ago and after the Council of Trent, a whole galaxy of truths entered into the dogmatic teaching of the Church, proposed to the faith of Catholics, not as new dogmas, BUT AS CONTAINED IN THE ANCIENT DEPOSIT.

In a genuine development, a doctrine is presented by the Church as pertaining to faith which did not enter into the explicit faith of Christians of earlier times, perhaps a truth which did not even occur to them. Or again, a truth which was not universally accepted but which was thought to lie in the area of free theological disputation is later taken out of that area and formally recognized as part of the original deposit.” This is true regarding the “implicit desire” of the Suprema haec sacra, for example, which inspires so much venom from Feeneyites, and was first contradicted by Leonard Feeney. That contradiction was definitively condemned by Pope Pius XII.

Errors in the catechisms

Can the ignorance of later developments of dogma, decisions of the Roman Pontiffs entered into the Acta, contribute to actual errors or inaccuracies in the catechisms many are using today? They can and they have. Two examples are listed below:

Bishop Louis Morrow, My Catholic Faith, 1958, 1961: In his section on The Sphere of Infallibility, Morrow writes: “The Pope… must speak as the Vicar of Christ in his office as Pope and to the whole Church; to all the faithful throughout the world. In his capacity as private teacher, for example in his encyclical letters, he is as any other teacher of the Church. We accept what he teaches not on faith but in obedience to his authority, out of respect for his experience and wisdom.” Morrow states that Rev. Francis J. Connell “painstakingly reviewed” his work, and yet Connell’s own statement in a previous article and later in his catechism on this subject does not read the same.

Fr. Francis J. Connell’s 1949 Baltimore Catechism: “

In an article for The American Ecclesiastical Review, (November 1947) Rev. Francis J. Connell, C.S.S.R. wrote: “Besides the infallible teachings of the Church on matters contained in Revelation or connected with it, there also are pronouncements of Her official teachers which are authoritative though not infallible. . Such are decisions of the Roman Congregations or Commissions, and also doctrines taught by the pope officially, but without the intention of using the fullness of his authority and of giving a definitive decision. The statements of the Sovereign Pontiff are usually in this category. The faithful are obliged in conscience to accept such decisions internally, for even though their correctness is not guaranteed by the charism of infallibility, those who formulate and promulgate them are undoubtedly aided by the Holy Ghost. Furthermore, every natural precaution is taken before such declarations are published, particularly the meticulous supervision of men who are specialists in the matters involved, [see also DZ 2008]. The acceptance of these decisions is not an act of Divine faith, but is rather an act of obedience, known as religious assent…The general rule is that all Catholics, learned and unlearned, clergy and laity, must acquiesce wholeheartedly to these authoritative (though not infallible) decisions of the Church…”

Bishop Morrow cannot be excused for his statement since it was written 10 years after Humani generis was released in 1950. He went on to accept Vatican 2, while Connell did not. Rev. Connell’s remarks, however, were written prior to 1950 and doubtlessly were adjusted once Humani generis was released, (although one wonders why he would have passed over Bp. Morrow’s statements, given what he says above.) So those using the 1949 Connell and Morrow catechisms are misinformed on this topic because they trust what a priest and a bishop say over what the pope has taught. So how could these catechisms be considered infallible? Msgr. Fenton shows how some tried to pretend that Pius XII never intended to admit that encyclicals could be infallible in the first place by mistranslating one word in Humani generis(Msgr. Fenton’s article on this is available on request). And clearly this belief dichotomy continued into Vatican 2 as Fenton further notes and I have explained from an historical perspective HERE.

Conclusion

It is true that catechisms contain infallible truths; they simply do not generally contain ALL the truths we as Catholics today must know and understand to make sense out of the nightmare we have endured for the past 65 years. Fr. Connell’s 1949 catechism was written for ninth graders. If anyone thinks we were intended to remain at the level of a ninth-grade education to accomplish anything else in life, far less save our souls in these troubled times, they must be mad. As Bp. Yelle pointed out, it is a lack of understanding the catechism and putting it into practice that destroyed the faith of young Catholics and led to Vatican 2. Those believing the catechism is enough to know about their faith obviously have not read the many papal allocutions on Catholic Action or catechesis, and they certainly should heed the words of Peter Michaels, who wrote: “If all Catholics have a moral duty to understand their faith at their level of secular education few of us are going to be saved. A college graduate for instance ought to have a pretty good understanding of Saint Thomas and of the natural law. He ought to see the major issues involved in restoring society to God. Do you by any chance think he does? Pope Pius XI said in another connection: ‘In our day and age, an unenlightened heroism is not enough’” (This Perverse Generation, 1949).

Those advocating “the catechism only” theory have not been honest in pointing out the dangers of their thesis. It is our responsibility to see that those they are misinforming know the truth.

Take up your cross and follow Me: the true meaning of Lent

Take up your cross and follow Me: the true meaning of Lent

+Ash Wednesday+

For those who may still believe that we were not warned beforehand about the evils we see all around us today, evils that we mourn especially this Lent because they crucify Our Lord anew, we offer the following observations from the Roman Pontiffs.

Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 1832

“4. We come to you grieving and sorrowful because We know that you are concerned for the faith in these difficult times. Now is truly the time in which the powers of darkness winnow the elect like wheat.[3] “The earth mourns and fades away….And the earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, they have changed the ordinances, they have broken the everlasting covenant.”[4]

“5. We speak of the things which you see with your own eyes, which We both bemoan. Depravity exults; science is impudent; liberty, dissolute. The holiness of the sacred is despised; the majesty of divine worship is not only disapproved by evil men but defiled and held up to ridicule. Hence sound doctrine is perverted and errors of all kinds spread boldly. The laws of the sacred, the rights, institutions, and discipline — none are safe from the audacity of those speaking evil. Our Roman See is harassed violently and the bonds of unity are daily loosened and severed. The divine authority of the Church is opposed and her rights shorn off. She is subjected to human reason and with the greatest injustice exposed to the hatred of the people and reduced to vile servitude. The obedience due bishops is denied and their rights are trampled underfoot.

“Furthermore, academies and schools resound with new, monstrous opinions, which openly attack the Catholic faith; this horrible and nefarious war is openly and even publicly waged. Thus, by institutions and by the example of teachers, the minds of the youth are corrupted and a tremendous blow is dealt to religion and the perversion of morals is spread. So the restraints of religion are thrown off, by which alone kingdoms stand. We see the destruction of public order, the fall of principalities, and the overturning of all legitimate power approaching. Indeed this great mass of calamities had its inception in the heretical societies and sects in which all that is sacrilegious, infamous, and blasphemous has gathered as bilge water in a ship’s hold, a congealed mass of all filth.

“6. These and many other serious things, which at present would take too long to list, but which you know well, cause Our intense grief. It is not enough for Us to deplore these innumerable evils unless We strive to uproot them. We take refuge in your faith and call upon your concern for the salvation of the Catholic flock. Your singular prudence and diligent spirit give Us courage and console Us, afflicted as We are with so many trials. We must raise Our voice and attempt all things lest a wild boar from the woods should destroy the vineyard or wolves kill the flock. It is Our duty to lead the flock only to the food which is healthful. In these evil and dangerous times, the shepherds must never neglect their duty; they must never be so overcome by fear that they abandon the sheep. Let them never neglect the flock and become sluggish from idleness and apathy. Therefore, united in spirit, let us promote our common cause, or more truly the cause of God; let our vigilance be one and our effort united against the common enemies.

“7. Indeed you will accomplish this perfectly if, as the duty of your office demands, you attend to yourselves and to doctrine and meditate on these words: “the universal Church is affected by any and every novelty”[5] and the admonition of Pope Agatho: “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.”[6] Therefore may the unity which is built upon the See of Peter as on a sure foundation stand firm. May it be for all a wall and a security, a safe port, and a treasury of countless blessings.[7] To check the audacity of those who attempt to infringe “upon the rights of this Holy See or to sever the union of the churches with the See of Peter, instill in your people a zealous confidence in the papacy and sincere veneration for it. As St. Cyprian wrote: “He who abandons the See of Peter on which the Church was founded, falsely believes himself to be a part of the Church.”[8]

“8. In this you must labor and diligently take care that the faith may be preserved amidst this great conspiracy of impious men who attempt to tear it down and destroy it. May all remember the judgment concerning sound doctrine with which the people are to be instructed. Remember also that the government and administration of the whole Church rests with the Roman Pontiff to whom, in the words of the Fathers of the Council of Florence, “the full power of nourishing, ruling, and governing the universal Church was given by Christ the Lord.”[9] It is the duty of individual bishops to cling to the See of Peter faithfully, to guard the faith piously and religiously, and to feed their flock. It behooves priests to be subject to the bishops, whom “they are to look upon as the parents of their souls,” as Jerome admonishes.[10] Nor may the priests ever forget that they are forbidden by ancient canons to undertake ministry and to assume the tasks of teaching and preaching “without the permission of their bishop to whom the people have been entrusted; an accounting for the souls of the people will be demanded from the bishop.”[11] Finally let them understand that all those who struggle against this established order disturb the position of the Church.

9. Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced.

10. To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”[12] Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human church.”[13] Let those who devise such plans be aware that, according to the testimony of St. Leo, “the right to grant dispensation from the canons is given” only to the Roman Pontiff. He alone, and no private person, can decide anything “about the rules of the Church Fathers.” As St. Gelasius writes: “It is the papal responsibility to keep the canonical decrees in their place and to evaluate the precepts of previous popes so that when the times demand relaxation in order to rejuvenate the churches, they may be adjusted after diligent consideration.”

 Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, 1884

“The enmity of the sectarians against the Apostolic See of the Roman Pontiff has increased its intensity… until now the evil doers have reached the aim which had for a long time that of their evil designs, namely their proclamation that the moment has come to suppress the Roman Pontiff sacred power and to completely destroy the papacy which was divinely instituted.”

Pope St. Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate, 1910

“Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. …Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle.  He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth.”

 Pope Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor, 1928

“How great is the necessity of this expiation or reparation [to the Sacred Heart], more especially in this our age, will be manifest to everyone who, as we said at the outset, will examine the world, “seated in wickedness” (1 John v, 19), with his eyes and with his mind. For from all sides the cry of the peoples who are mourning comes up to us, and their princes or rulers have indeed stood up and met together in one against the Lord and against His Church (Cf. Psalm ii, 2). Throughout those regions indeed, we see that all rights, both human and Divine, are confounded… Bands of boys and girls are snatched from the bosom of their mother the Church, and are induced to renounce Christ, to blaspheme and to attempt the worst crimes of lust; the whole Christian people, sadly disheartened and disrupted, are continually in danger of falling away from the faith, or of suffering the most cruel death. These things in truth are so sad that you might say that such events foreshadow and portend the “beginning of sorrows,” that is to say of those that shall be brought by the man of sin, “who is lifted up above all that is called God or is worshipped” (2 Thessalonians ii, 4).

Leo Panakal tells us that: “After the death of  Pius XI, Pope Pius XII began his pontificate with still another statement which has even more significant implications. In his encyclical Summi Pontificatus, after describing his generation as one “tormented … by spiritual emptiness and deep-felt interior poverty,” he applied to it this passage of the Apocalypse: “Thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy , and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Apoc 3:17). This particular passage is a description of the church at Laodicea which, in the opinion of Catholic interpreters, is a representation of the Church as a whole during the time of the Antichrist. Thus Pius XII’s application of this passage of the Apocalypse to his time would, in effect, be an indication that the age of the Antichrist had in some way already begun.https://www.cathinfo.com/crisis-in-the-church/the-antichrist-by-francis-panakal/

But we have not been warned?! As mentioned in a previous blog, Fr. Albert F. Kaiser, C.P.P.S., in a two-part article written for the American Ecclesiastical Review in December-January, 1953-54 (“The Historical Backgrounds and Theology of Mediator Dei”, it was a particular note of those advocating for liturgical renewal to shrink from suffering — to be treated gently, with kid gloves and cossetted; their desire to de-emphasize the Passion — that destroyed the Mass. Kaiser wrote that in their attempt to simplify everything, bringing the liturgy back to the bare bones of the early Christian era, the liturgical reformers emphasized all the benefits of being Catholic and participating in the liturgy versus the responsibilities of being educated Catholics. And this resulted in ignoring the pain and suffering of Christ on the Cross. As Kaiser explains, there is no way to experience properly the joy of the Resurrection except through acknowledging and participating in the pain of the Crucifixion. “It confused sentimental fear of suffering and psychotic fear of penance with the true role and purpose (both theological and psychological) of the Cross of Christ, as a redeeming principle and the redeeming factor in Christianity. It confused objective and subjective holiness or at least failed to integrate the two in any realistic or even spiritual orientation.”

Let us never be like those who banished Christ from our churches, replacing his Cross of crucifixion with the condemned crosses of the risen Christ. We were warned, and many of us ignored those warnings. Now we must offer all these things back to Him who we know as the Mas of Sorrows. Christ asks us each Lent to fill up what is wanting to His sufferings, not to shrink from them or to see them as something to flee from. Our sufferings consist in all that we have lost because of our many sins, of existing without the Church, without the Mass and Sacraments, but most especially without our Christ-appointed earthly guide the Pope. We should offer these things to Jesus with joy, knowing that in this offering we make satisfaction for our sins, and can comfort Him in his continued sufferings from the horrid evil that men do. Below are some helps to spend Lent in prayer and contemplation. May God bless all in their shared sufferings with Christ on the Cross.

https://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/St.%20Thomas%20Aquinas%20Lenten%20Meditations.html

https://anastpaul.com/category/lent/lenten-prayers-novenas/ (CAUTION: Please ignore any Novus Ordo content on this site and enjoy only the traditional prayers there.)

Those believing LibTrad clergy are only illicit are not Catholic

Those believing LibTrad clergy are only illicit are not Catholic

+St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church+

“They (the Apostles) strove to learn through one, that preeminent one, Peter.” (St. Cyril of Alexandria, c. A.D. 424). Would that all true Catholics living today strove to “learn through Peter,” and not from the mouths of those who teach falsely regarding obedience to the teachings of his successors. This applies especially to those calling themselves bishops and priests, but who we know from Pope Pius XII’s infallible teaching in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) are nothing more than laymen, having never received ordination or consecration. This is true of all who received orders during this lengthy interregnum (see HERE). 

Throughout the years, we have spoken much of VAS, also Pope Paul IV’s 1559 bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio (Cum ex…), and its far-reaching implications. Paul IV’s bull is an infallible decree stating that a man who commits heresy while holding the papal office was a heretic pre-election, so never became pope. But this bull is only one of a certain class of papal documents known as special legislation. Such legislation is called special because it contains what is called a “curse,” a sentence toward the end of these documents calling down the indignation of God and the wrath of Sts. Peter and Paul should any of the papal directives in these teachings be disobeyed. We may add to VAS and Cum ex… Pope Pius II’s Execrabilis, forbidding the appeal of a Roman Pontiff’s decrees to a future council; Pope St. Pius V’s Quo Primum, prescribing the Latin Mass of the Roman Rite be said in perpetuity, further confirmed by Pope St. Pius V’s bull De Defectibus; Pope St. Pius X’s papal election law Vacante Sede Apostolica, a codification of all papal election laws down through the centuries; Pope Benedict XV’s Providentissima Mater Ecclesia, promulgating the 1917 Code of Canon Law and finally VAS itself, which invalidates any change in the laws or teachings of the Church in any way during an interregnum.

That all the papal pronouncements containing such an oath are protected from any sort of abrogation is explained by Rev. Nicholas J. Neuberger, in his Canon 6: The Relation of the Codex Juris Canonici to Preceding Legislation, Catholic University of America, 1927.) Rev. Neuberger comments on the phrase “hac immutabili et in perpetuum valitura constitutione” stating that while such a phrase does not curtail the power nor invalidate future acts of a (legitimate) successor of the Roman Pontiff, nevertheless “the legislator attaches an especial juridical sanction to laws which have such a clause appended. Pihring advances the theory that the laws of general councils are not abolished unless a derogatory clause is annexed next to the posterior enactment… If a prior law is bound up with an oath which reads into it immunity from abrogation, the law is not countermanded unless express mention is made to that effect. The reasons for this assertion are that the legislator is mindful of a law which has an oath attached and hence abrogation would be invalid.

All of the above are Church teachings which can neither be questioned nor violated; they can only be changed by the pope himself. And these are just the papal documents containing this curse that we know about. There are doubtless other laws that contain this curse, and in every case the same reason can be adduced for its use: the legislator wished it to be a seal of sorts guaranteeing the inviolability of the law, unless indicated otherwise. It is interesting, though, that so many related laws with this same curse come together for application in the present crisis the Church has endured over the past 65 years, and in a certain sense they are all interrelated. First, we have the bull Execrabilis, issued by Pope Pius II in 1460. It became necessary to issue this bull because the Gallicanists were still at work undermining the papacy and the pope believed that their activities could precipitate a schism. The Vatican Council, intended to deal the death blow to Gallicanism, only succeeded in disabling it for a time: it reappeared in full force with the advent of Vatican 2, collegiality and then Traditionalist pseudo-clergy, with their odious claims to represent the Church minus her head bishop.

Pius II’s Execrabilis states: “An execrable, and in former ages unheard-of abuse has sprung up in our time; namely, that some people, imbued with the spirit of rebellion, presume to appeal to a future council from the Roman Pontiff… They do not do so because they are anxious to obtain sounder judgment but in order to escape the consequences of their sins… Anyone who is not ignorant of the laws can realize how contrary this is to the Sacred Canons and how detrimental to the Christian community.” (And this is exactly what the apostate cardinals and bishops did following the death of Pope Pius XII at the false V2 Council, since neither John 23 nor Paul 6 had the authority to call it.” “Consequently, We enjoin that nobody dares under whatever pretext to make such an appeal from any of our ordinances, sentences or commands and from those of our successors, or to adhere to such appeals, made by others, or to use them in any manner…We denounce them as erroneous and detestable, and entirely quash and annul them.” So aside from John 23 being a false pope, such a council never happened. Yet how many insisted on separating out the “good” V2 decrees from the heretical or erroneous, when all were condemned outright?

Then  of course there is Quo Primum, which many LibTrads now consider non-infallible, and have relegated to the status of only a “disciplinary law.” Pope St. Pius V taught: “Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used… We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force…” There also is Pope St. Pius V’s De Defectibus, given at the conclusion of the Council of Trent,

De Defectibus

(Papal bull decreed by Pope St. Pius V in ratifying the Council of Trent)

V Defects of the form

  1. Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating. Now the words of the Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are:

HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM, and HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI, NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI: MYSTERIUM FIDEI: QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM

If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament.

And here is the condemnation of all that was introduced in the Novus Ordo. We also wish to include a comment on the rubrics, or rules governing the celebration of the liturgy, below:

Follow the Rubrics (from: The Pastor, Vol.1, 1882):

“Follow the Rubrics” (Serventur Rubricae), which frequently occurs in the decisions of the Sacred Congregation of Rites means, that the rubrics, as they appear on their face in the missal, are to be simply followed, neither adding to, nor taking anything from them, changing nothing, explaining nothing or interpreting nothing. For the missal clearly indicates what the rubrics are, and how and when to be observed.

“On this head nothing could be plainer than the words of the Bull of St Pius V, Quo primum, dated July 1570, and prefixed to all our missals. The saintly Pontiff therein declares “that he ordered the missal as revised and corrected to be printed and published, in order that priests may know what rites to use, which rites and ceremonies they are thenceforth to retain in the celebration of mass.” Then he solemnly decrees “that nothing shall ever be added, taken from or changed in this our missal under pain of indignation.” Nay further he expressly forbids the introduction of any ceremony not found in the missal, “prescribing, in virtue of holy obedience, that all sing and say mass according to the rite, and after the style and manner, which are now set forth in this missal; nor shall any in the celebration of mass presume to add other ceremonies, or recite other prayers than those contained in this missal.” (https://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/Quo%20Primum.html).

Then we have Pope St. Pius X’s papal election law, a codification of all papal election laws throughout the century. One of the purposes of this codification was to make it difficult for any government entity to interfere with a papal election. This following the jus exclusivae veto of Mariano Cardinal Rampolla, advanced by the Austria-Hungary emperor, Franz Joseph during the 1903 papal election. Rampolla, a suspected Freemason, had presented as a papal candidate and appeared to be winning, so Franz Joseph blocked his election. Even though the emperor was right to do as he did, Pope St. Pius X saw the dangers if other governments, most of which were already non-Catholic and even anti-Catholic, were ever allowed to influence an election. And in this he was correct.  One wonders if he did not better understand the intent of Franz Joseph following the death of Rampolla in 1913, and the reported discovery by St. Pius X of his Masonic membership after his death, especially when Franz Joseph was later assassinated. For the pope himself died shortly after these events, in August of 1914, just as Europe entered World War I.

Pope St. Pius X began the codification of canon law with the codification of papal law in his Vacante Sede Apostolica, making sure it was invalid to invoke the exclusivae in future elections. Pope Benedict XV then continued the codification of canon law begun by his predecessor, concluding this onerous labor by officially promulgating the 1917 Code in his Providentissima Mater Ecclesia. In his bull, Benedict XV explained how the Church spent 13 years purging laws from her books which had been abrogated over the centuries by other papal laws and were no longer able to be applied for various reasons, adjusting and reconciling laws that were too strict or too lax and laws that no longer served the common good. This was done “for the restoration and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline.” To accomplish this, Benedict XV explained how first St. Pius X and later he himself consulted all the bishops, appointed a commission of Cardinals, then called together only canon law experts to do the actual work on the rest of the Code. These were succeeded, as they died, by yet other experts appointed by Benedict XV, until the work was completed.

Pope Pius XII himself was one of those who assisted these men in their labors. In the process, a commission for the authentic interpretation of the Code was established to resolve questions as they arose. These decisions are reflected in the revised editions of the Code issued in the 1950s. So in consulting these works, we can be relatively certain that the authors have reconciled their comments with the decisions of the Roman Pontiffs and the decisions of the Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code. These decisions, Can. 17 states, can be made only “by the lawmaker and his successor and by those to whom the lawmaker has committed the power to interpret the laws. The authoritative interpretation of the law has the same force as the law itself.” In promulgating the Code, Pope Benedict XV wrote:

“Therefore, having invoked the aid of Divine grace, and relying upon the authority of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, of Our own accord and with certain knowledge, and in the fullness of Apostolic power with which we are invested, by this Our constitution, which we wish to be valid for all time, We promulgate, decree, and order that the present Code, just as it is compiled, shall have from this time forth the power of law for the Universal Church, and we confide it to your custody and vigilance… Wherefore let no one violate or rashly oppose in any way this document of Our constitution, ordinance, limitation, suppression, derogation, and expressed will. And if anyone shall presume to attempt to do so, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of his Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

There is no doubt that this decree is infallible, for it contains in this sentence all the necessary marks required for infallibility. But who has kept the law and followed it “just as it is compiled,” even as set forth by commentators in the 1950s? Certainly not LibTrad pseudo-clerics, (who never received valid orders nor were properly instructed in Canon Law themselves, and therefore ignore and misinterpret them), or certain laymen who pretend to be knowledgeable in these laws yet lead others into error concerning them. Instead of enforcing these laws with the due vigilance counseled by Pope Benedict XV, they have instead consistently acted contrary to the law, dispensed from these laws, or have changed these laws to “suit the times.” These are acts allowed only to the lawgiver, his successors or the Commission for the law’s interpretation established by the Code. Is Canon Law itself infallible? Indirectly at least, according to the constant teaching of the Church on this matter, which tells us She could legislate nothing that would act against the best interests of the faithful.

The Vatican Council provides the most recent testimony to this teaching: “This power of jurisdiction on the part of the Roman Pontiff, is truly episcopal and immediate; and with respect to this the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both as separate individuals and all together, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church…” (DZ 1827; emph. mine). Needless to say, this is an infallible pronouncement which must be obeyed.

The Vatican Council also condemned the following: “For the doctrine of the faith has not been handed down as a philosophical invention to the human mind to be perfected, but has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be a recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding…” (DZ 1800). This teaching reflects the later issuance of Pope Pius XII’s papal election law.

Pope St. Pius X taught in his Oath Against Modernism: “I accept sincerely the doctrine of faith transmitted from the Apostles through the orthodox fathers, always in the same sense and interpretation, even to us,” (DZ 2145). Pope St. Pius X also taught that “Hence the triple authority in the Catholic Church [is] disciplinary, dogmatic and liturgical…” (DZ 2091).

Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) abrogated the previous 1904 election law of Pope St. Pius X, yet generally left Pope St. Pius X’s law intact with a few exceptions. This confirms the statements of Rev. Neuberger above, that such laws can be abrogated only by the pope himself, and even here Pius XII was very careful to only strengthen his predecessor’s law, not weaken it in any way. For in one change he clearly marked the first three paragraphs of his revised constitution as infallible, also adding references to censures regarding the cardinals from the Code of Canon Law which had not yet been completed and promulgated when Pope St. Pius X issued his law. Another most notable change required a two-thirds plus one vote, to prevent any cardinal from being elected because he voted for himself.

The invalidation of any acts usurping papal jurisdiction — also the paragraph invalidating all acts contrary to papal law, the election law itself, but also any of the Sacred Canons — is found in both Pope Pius XII’s as well as St. Pius X’s election laws. This upholds the validity of Execrabilis, (Can. 2332), as well as all the laws promulgated in the 1917 Code by Pope Benedict XV. It invalidates any election held contrary to these laws, especially one in which a secular government was involved. This even aside from Roncalli’s heresies, which under Cum ex… exclude him as pope. This is why there is reference in VAS to Can. 188 §4, also to another bull by Paul IV excluding all from election who promoted themselves as candidates prior to the reigning pontiff’s death, which Roncalli did. Quo primum of course is a moot point, for all know that the Mass existed under this bull until the usurpers abolished it. As pointed out before, it was all an illusion. With Pope Pius XII’s death, both Quo primum and VAS stand, incapable of ever being abrogated in any way. Pope Pius XII concludes VAS as follows:

“These same documents are manifestly and will be always and perpetually true, valid, and effective, and acquire and obtain their own full and undiminished results; and we command those individuals to whom it pertains and will pertain for the time being to vote, that the ordinances must be respectively and inviolably observed by them, and if anyone should happen to try otherwise relative to these things, by whatever authority, knowingly or unknowingly, the attempt is null and void… Therefore, let it be permitted to no man to weaken this Our constitution, ordinance, abrogation, commandment, binding order, warning, prohibition, precept, and will, or to go against it by a rash undertaking. Moreover, if anyone presumes to attempt this, let him know that he will incur for it the anger of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

Conclusion

Given the above, that no one is to weaken this constitution or go against it, and that should this occur, one will suffer God’s indignation and the wrath of Sts. Peter and Paul for deviating from these papal commands in any way, it is impossible to understand how one could misinterpret, disregard, ignore, contest and defy such teachings. And yet we see statements by certain parties presumably praying at home who piously claim to “reject all modernism, heresy, dissent from Catholic teaching, including the Novus Ordo … and uphold the Catholic faith in its entirety” yet state they cannot participate in “liturgical practice” because it is conducted by “illicit clergy.” They claim to take the “gentle” approach (read here the approach of those practicing liberal charity), but there is no escaping the stern and undeniable warnings found in the papal documents above. We know and must believe, as stated in VAS, that LibTrads parading as clerics were never validly consecrated or ordained, because such acts were infallibly declared “null, void and invalid” as a usurpation of papal jurisdiction by Pius XII.

I remember well my time in a conclavist sect when I first began to realize that a lay papal election was not valid or even possible. It was an agony to decide if I dared to leave a man I had believed to be pope, on the off chance I was wrong and he was after all a true pope. The revelation that he knew he was not qualified to become pope because he had been involved in heresy pre-election finally convinced me he was not validly elected. But fear of disobeying him as pope kept me a prisoner of that sect for many years.

Today there is no fear of sinning or displeasing God in any way. And the true nature of infallibility has been so successfully obscured by the LibTrads that they can get away with justifying almost anything. None of the young rubes they prey upon realize that even if something that is considered only a papal opinion is registered in the Acta Apostolic Sedis (AAS), as taught by Pope Pius XII in Humani generis, this binds them to believe. They are duty bound to believe and obey what the popes teach and flee from those who have no authority to teach them at all.

“Fear of the Lord [of offending Him or angering Him] is [only] the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.” (Prov. 9:10). No matter what they may have learned in their LibTrad sects, those are not wise, nor are they holy or prudent, who do not tremble at the words of the popes declaring the indignation of almighty God and the wrath of Sts. Peter and Paul. The clear words of VAS, duly entered into the AAS, show that LibTrad clergy are invalid not just illicit, for attempting to usurp papal jurisdiction. When those now believing them to be only illicit once reject the trap set for them by their deceivers and accept and obey these infallible papal teachings, then and only then will they be members of Christ’s Mystical Body — true Catholics. Until then they are, sadly, outside the Church.

 

The interior life, conformist LibTrads, and technology today

The interior life, conformist LibTrads, and technology today

+St. John Bosco+

Prayer Society Intention for the Month of February, Month of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family 

“Most Holy Trinity we adore Thee, and through Mary we entreat Thee: Make all men one in faith and give them the courage to profess it faithfully.” (Raccolta)

Catholic Conformism

The first person to create a name for those praying at home was the late “Fr.” Anthony Cekada, who described us as “home alone.” I think the true psychological implications of this term, however, have been lost on those to whom it was applied. Cekada intended the term to be derogatory and to suggest that few held this position. But he also intended to appeal to the fear harbored by most LibTrads that they would more or less be outcasts or rejects, not members of any Catholic religious group or body. This fear of being isolated is a result of the herd mentality instilled into children in public schools and even private schools. They are taught that to be accepted by their peers and teachers one’s thinking and believing must coincide with the mainstream. Most LibTrads today are second and third generations issuing from the initial Vatican 2 breakaways, some of whom, at least, had attended Catholic schools, so they knew that their salvation could not be assured by conformity.

But Cekada’s characterization of those praying at home resonated with those not as well educated. They didn’t want to be excluded especially from “mass and sacraments,” to be seen as different, and so they went along to get along. But even before Vatican 2, the tendency to conformity had been chronicled by at least one Catholic theologian, Rev. Paul Furfey, who wrote: “[Certain] things are so perfectly plain and clear and obvious that no Catholic can logically hesitate for an instant to accept them. Yet some Catholics do hesitate. In defiance of all logic, they betray their hesitation not by positively denying any supernatural doctrine but by talking as though such doctrines did not exist. They can discuss the sociology of the family by the hour without ever once mentioning marriage as a sacrament They can discourse learnedly about the evils of modern war but not from the standpoint of the doctrine of the Mystical Body. They remain consistently silent about all these social doctrines which are peculiar to the Catholic Church.

“Thus they convey the impression they do not differ basically from materialists in their social thought. No one would gather from their language that there is sharp antithesis between the viewpoints of Catholics and unbelievers on social questions. Such persons may be appropriately dubbed Catholic conformists, for they are Catholics in the sense that they deny no doctrine of the Church outright and they are conformists in that they conform as closely as they dare to the viewpoint of unbelievers… This phenomenon cannot be explained by logic. It can be explained only in terms of cowardice. It requires unusual courage to break sharply with current opinion and this courage the conformist lacks. So he tries to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. He attempts to retain the respect of both Catholics and unbelievers. Of course in the long run the attempt is bound to fail but to the timid soul of the Catholic conformist it seems the easiest course.”

“…Many Catholics have lost their sense of horror and disgust at dogmatic error. Had they not done so they would not be so easily inclined to seek a common ground with heretics and infidels… A Catholic must love all heretics and infidels with the strong love of charity but he should have only an overwhelming disgust for the loathsome errors to which these heretics and infidels are a prey. The Catholic in the modern world must constantly rub shoulders with unbelievers. He should not love these men tepidly because of their errors neither should he abominate the errors the less because they are the errors of his friends… Catholics can never make their rightful contribution to social reform until they set a very high price on the dogmatic truths that are theirs. These are the truths which Christ himself brought to the world. They are the truths which countless martyrs loved so well that they died rather than abandon the smallest part of them. To overlook them, to abandon them — even in part — or to under emphasize them is to render ourselves ineffective against the mystery of iniquity. To hold them uncompromisingly without conforming to the spirit of the world to the slightest degree is they sure road to success” (The Mystery of Iniquity, 1945). And until these truths are held 100 percent in their entirety, the Mystery of Iniquity triumphs and Catholics remain divided.

The Mystery of Iniquity

How can we possibly reconcile the above with the most shining examples of our faith? Without the sacrifices of the heroic Christian martyrs of the early centuries who attended house churches and definitely were defying the religious norm, none of us would be here today! Those praying at home in these times who are constantly seeking out others of their same age group are missing the point. While it is true that in the past Catholic communities existed that functioned as such that is not the reality we face today. Rev Furfey calls his book The Mystery of Iniquity for a reason. He explains that such conformists are the very ones who will not see that that “mystery” was at work even in St. Paul’s day and was already well advanced in the 1940s. He comments further:

“The mystery of iniquity is mysterious because it is secret  — the forces of evil operate in devious and hidden ways. But it is mysterious also by its very nature for it represents a degree of evil which surpasses our comprehension…He explains how the passages in Apocalypse Ch. 13 concerning the land and sea beasts “typify the use of deception. Thus the symbolism of these apocalyptic beasts makes it clear that force and deceit, all power and all wicked deception, are the characteristic weapons of the mystery of iniquity… It is aided in its machinations by an organized society called the world or synonymously the Kingdom of this world, that is the Kingdom of Satan…” Therefore, he concludes, “The mystery of iniquity [is] …the Satanic plan to bring to naught the saving work of Jesus Christ… The use of force, violence and deception [accomplish] this end.” He goes on to name Communism and fascism as examples of this system, but he clearly refers to the forces of Freemasonry when he paraphrases Pope Leo XIII, describing this Mysteryas “a group of forces which at first glance appears separate and independent but which on closer examination prove to be interlocking so that in spite of their seeming separateness they actually cooperate surprisingly well against the Kingdom of God.”

Furfey then goes on to describe Catholic conformists as inclined to materialism and not truly appreciative of the dangers posed by the existence of this evil and the eventual arrival of Antichrist. And this is what we are seeing today, only to a much greater degree, because today it is clear that the “saving work of Jesus Christ” has effectively been brought to an end. And yet this does not seem to faze those living in these times in the least. They seem not to understand that a high degree of sanctity is now required of us. Dom Chautard said over 125 years ago: “In former centuries, ordinary piety was enough to preserve souls from the contagion of evil. Nowadays, for the poison of violence multiplied a hundredfold inoculated by the allurements of the world, a much more energetic, vigorous serum is required. For want of laboratories capable of producing efficacious antidotes, our workers have been satisfied with producing sentimental fervour, tremendous outbursts no sooner ablaze than extinguished; or else they have been able to reach only a small minority.”

True meaning of sanctity

Such sanctity cannot be measured by exterior conformity to standards set by LibTrads, exterior acts of piety that extend only to the appearance of true holiness — whited sepulchres filled with dead men’s bones, outwardly beautiful but filthy inside. (Matt. 23: 27-28). One cannot be truly holy unless they are actually members of Christ’s Mystical Body, obeying the Commandments, all the popes have taught and obeying Canon Law. And sadly those who are calling themselves sedevacantists who pray at home have not only adopted LibTrad standards of exterior piety, but have also adopted their attitude toward papal teaching, refusing to obey binding decrees and daring to pick and choose for themselves what to believe. They present as holy. They believe themselves to be holy and wish others to see them as holy. They fill the Internet with lengthy and raucous outbursts that are anything but holy, because they are not faithful to the laws and teachings of the Roman Pontiffs in presenting them.  And they do all this because they know nothing of true holiness as the Church has always taught it.

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us concerning holiness: “Sanctity, says the Angelic Doctor, is the term used for all that is dedicated to the Divine service, whether persons or things. Such must be pure or separated from the world, for the mind needs to be withdrawn from the contemplation of inferior things if it is to be set upon the Supreme Truth— and this, too, with firmness or stability, since it is a question of attachment to that which is our ultimate end and primary principle, viz., God Himself — “I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels. . . nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39)… In the moral order sanctity is the assertion of the paramount rights of God; its concrete manifestation is the keeping of the Commandments… Thus to keep the Commandments faithfully involves a very real though hidden separation from this world, as it also demands a great strength of character or stability in the service of God…

Worldliness and living with oneself

But many today do not embrace this separation. They live in the world and pretend that they are not of it, because their participation in worldly things bears a religious flavor, or so they delude themselves. Those saints and theologians writing on the interior life warn that without a close personal relationship with our Lord that can be gained only in solitude — by prayer and contemplation — we cannot hope to engage in any kind of meaningful action. Dom Chautard, in his Soul of the Apostolate (one of Pope St. Pius X’s bedside books) wrote:

“Saint Gregory the Great said of Saint Benedict: “He lived with himself.” To live with oneself, in oneself; to wish to govern oneself and not be governed by the exterior; to reduce one’s imagination, feeling even ones intelligence and memory to the part of servants of the will and continually to conform this will to the will of God, is a program that is less and less accepted in this century of feverish agitation which has seen a new ideal spring up: love of action for action’s sake. To escape from this discipline of the faculties any pretext is held to be good: business, family cares, health, good reputation, love of country, the honor of one’s congregation the pretended glory of God — all these vie with one another to prevent us from living in ourselves. This sort of frenzy for exterior life even succeeds in gaining over us an irresistible attraction…” And here we must pause for a moment to note what St. Francis de Sales taught: “Obedience to the Commandments, both divine and ecclesiastical, is of obligation for all, because there is question here of THE ABSOLUTE WILL OF GOD WHO HAS MADE SUBMISSION TO THESE ORDINANCES A CONDITION OF SALVATION(Holy Abandonment, Rt. Rev. Dom Vital Lehody O.C.R., page 9).

Dom Chautard continues: “We should ask ourselves [if] we have not an excessive confidence not only in certain noisy amusements but even in various means (pilgrimages, ostentatious festivals, congresses, speeches, publications, syndicates, political action etcetera,) lavished so abundantly in our day and very useful, without doubt, but which would be lamentable to put in the first place. Preaching by example will always be the chief lever. Lectures, good books, the Catholic press and even excellent sermons ought to revolve around this fundamental principle: to organize the apostolate for the people by the example of fervent Christians who make Christ live again by sending forth the sweet odor of His virtues… Since holiness is nothing else than the interior life developed up to the closest union of the will with that of God, the soul as a rule, unless by a miracle of grace, does not reach this end until it has gone through all the stages of the purgative and illuminative life by means of continuous and laborious efforts…”

Helps to holiness

Who today, without a spiritual director, could even come close to this? And yet we must try our best. How, though, could Catholics ever hope to achieve such union and act as an example to others where there is no obedience to Christ’s Vicar on earth, no regard for the laws of the Church and only contempt for fellow Catholics who insist on upholding these laws and teachings? In this there can be no likeness of Christ or imitation of His virtues whatsoever. In past blogs we have recommended a simple work by Rev. Robert Eiten, A Layman’s Way to Perfection, that helps Catholics begin their journey to the interior life. It is available for free download on the Internet. Some excerpts are listed below:

“For one reason or another it may at times be difficult to find a suitable spiritual director. In this case good spiritual reading will be the best substitute since in reality spiritual reading is in a certain sense written direction for achieving sanctity. It is as it were written spiritual direction. In the matter of books, we ought to aim to read only the best since there is not enough time for reading even the best. Our first aim should be to read the great modern authors since besides giving what the older authors give, they will give us the latest results of modern scholarship. This is especially true of the lives of Christ. A list of such authors will include such names as Prat, Lagrange, Goodier, Boylan, Plus, Marmion, Tanquerey, Lehodey and Leen. In an appendix of Boylan’s This Tremendous Lover, a fine selective bibliography of great modern authors on various spiritual topics is given.

“After we have finished reading most of the great modern authors, we can turn to the great spiritual writers of the last few centuries. Such names as St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Paul of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross will be included here. We will also find selections from such earlier authors as St. Augustine, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas very helpful. After this field of spiritual reading has been covered, we will have rather definite ideas on what we need and like. Good solid spiritual books such as the Imitation of Christ should be read slowly, thoughtfully, and prayerfully. Other lighter books as biographies may be read more rapidly. We might even scan or skip certain parts of them. It is sometimes very helpful to re-read — even several times — certain passages which have particularly struck us.

“Finally let us never forget that the greatest of all books is the Bible, especially the New Testament. Let us make this our constant companion, be able to quote freely from it, and enjoy reading passages of it again and again.” After reading this list offered by Rev. Eiten, it is hard to see how there could be any real development of the spiritual life in watching rambling, lengthy videos or hearing DVD’s. The interior life involves communion with God in mental prayer, a development of self-realization regarding one’s own shortcomings; it is not focused on the voice and images of a facilitator. Visual or audio means of communications cannot produce the necessary reverence, devotion and union with God sought in mental prayer. And if many Catholics made excuses, they were not able to find time for mental prayer in the 1940s when Rev. Eiten wrote his work, as he notes, how could they make time for it now if they spend hourswatching videos and listening to DVD’s without neglecting their daily duties?!

A saintly author on solitude

To learn the value of such meditation, listen to the holy advice of one of the author’s Rev. Eiten recommends above:

“1. Seek a suitable time for thy meditation and think frequently of the mercies of God to thee. Leave curious questions. Study such matters as bring thee sorrow for sin rather than amusement. If thou withdraw thyself from trifling conversation and idle goings about, as well as from novelties and gossip, thou shalt find thy time sufficient and apt for good meditation. The greatest saints used to avoid as far as they could the company of men, and chose to live in secret with God.

“2. One hath said, “As oft as I have gone among men, so oft have I returned less a man.” This is what we often experience when we have been long time in conversation. For it is easier to be altogether silent than it is not to exceed in word. It is easier to remain hidden at home than to keep sufficient guard upon thyself out of doors. He, therefore, that seeketh to reach that which is hidden and spiritual, must go with Jesus “apart from the multitude.” No man safely goeth abroad who loveth not to rest at home. No man safely talketh but he who loveth to hold his peace. No man safely ruleth but he who loveth to be subject. No man safely commandeth but he who loveth to obey.

“4. …O how good a conscience should that man keep, who never sought a joy that passeth away, who never became entangled with the world! O how great peace and quiet should he possess, who would cast off all vain care, and think only of healthful and divine things, and build his whole hope upon God!

“5. No man is worthy of heavenly consolation but he who hath diligently exercised himself in holy compunction. If thou wilt feel compunction within thy heart, enter into thy chamber and shut out the tumults of the world, as it is written, ‘Commune with your own heart in your own chamber and be still’ (Psalm 4:4). In retirement thou shalt find what often thou wilt lose abroad. Retirement, if thou continue therein, groweth sweet, but if thou keep not in it, begetteth weariness…

“6. In silence and quiet the devout soul goeth forward and learneth the hidden things of the Scriptures. Therein findeth she a fountain of tears, wherein to wash and cleanse herself each night, that she may grow the more dear to her Maker as she dwelleth the further from all worldly distraction. To him who withdraweth himself from his acquaintance and friends, God with his holy angels will draw nigh. It is better to be unknown and take heed to oneself than to neglect oneself and work wonders. It is praiseworthy for a religious man to go seldom abroad, to fly from being seen, to have no desire to see men.

“7. Why wouldest thou see what thou mayest not have? The world passeth away and the lust thereof. The desires of sensuality draw thee abroad, but when an hour is past, what dost thou bring home, but a weight upon thy conscience and distraction of heart? A merry going forth bringeth often a sorrowful return, and a merry evening maketh a sad morning? So doth all carnal joy begin pleasantly, but in the end it gnaweth away and destroyeth. What canst thou see abroad which thou seest not at home? Behold the heaven and the earth and the elements, for out of these are all things made.

“8. What canst thou see anywhere which can continue long under the sun? Thou believest perchance that thou shalt be satisfied, but thou wilt never be able to attain unto this. If thou shouldest see all things before thee at once, what would it be but a vain vision? Lift up thine eyes to God on high, and pray that thy sins and negligences may be forgiven. Leave vain things to vain men, and mind thou the things which God hath commanded thee. Shut thy door upon thee, and call unto thyself Jesus thy beloved. Remain with Him in thy chamber, for thou shalt not elsewhere find so great peace. If thou hadst not gone forth nor listened to vain talk, thou hadst better kept thyself in good peace. But because it sometimes delighteth thee to hear new things, thou must therefore suffer trouble of heart“ (Thomas a’ Kempis’ Imitation of Christ, Ch. 20).

Conclusion

Modernism is a heresy with many faces. It was a system devised by men secretly selected to reform the Church and first weaken, then destroy, Her authority. This in preparation for what we later saw happen at Vatican 2. One of the errors they taught is that all things must somehow become modern to be acceptable and to attract others, especially the young — to be truly effective tools of conveying information — when this is not the case. Yet how is it that for 1900 years the Church managed to exist without radio, without television, without computers without cell phones and Her information and her teachings were nevertheless conveyed succinctly by the bishops and the priests and most especially by the Roman Pontiffs? If even the home-schooled young of a Traditional bent truly do better understand things if they are preached to them in audio and video form as they claim, then it would seem the aims of the neo-Modernists have been achieved.  Because all this amounts to is the fascination with the new and how things must evolve in order to be relevant; how we must adapt ourselves to these methods and abandon the old ways.

Why are we throwing away the best parts of our faith to bow down to technology? Because that is what this is really about. Yes, it’s true that this website is taking advantage of technology to spread the truth. I dare say that Pope St. Pius X who encouraged use of the press to spread the truth would not disagree that it should be employed to spread the teachings of the popes and the saints, approved theologians and canonists. But that is the right use of things — the videos on this site are only there because people requested them and claimed that they could not understand the faith in written form as well as they could  understand it through these mediums. But that does not mean that reading, study and meditation — which we have encouraged for decades — should ever be slighted or abandoned. Novelties and innovations are most dangerous when used in a manner that appears to promote the truth when instead they are actually teaching error and leading the faithful away from true spirituality. And sadly, this is what we are dealing with today.

It seems that everyone has forgotten why Vatican 2 happened and what went before it that brought about the changes in the first place. Certain left-leaning lay people calling themselves Catholic effectively lobbied for a more people friendly liturgy, greater participation in the liturgy and other Church functions, the removal of Latin because they couldn’t understand it, a more modern approach to education, a Catholic version of “fellowship,” and various other (basically Protestant) innovations. THEY WEREN’T INTERESTED IN MAKING THEMSELVES MORE PLEASING TO GOD, BUT IN MAKING GOD AND HIS CHURCH MORE PLEASING TO THEM. They welcomed John 23rd’s aggiornamento, because it made them look good to their Protestant friends. They wanted a church more in tune with the times and that is exactly what they got. And it isn’t any different with those who want an up-to-date Church today, one Traditionalist enough to suit the LibTrads and conservative enough to hopefully draw in those who pray at home: true conformism. And here we see the good old Hegelian principles at work: thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

The paragraphs above only echo what St. Paul taught in 1 Cor. 2: 12-16: “Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God; that we may know the things that are given us from God. Which things also we speak, not in the learned words of human wisdom; but in the doctrine of the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined. But the spiritual man judgeth all things; and he himself is judged of no man. For whom hath known the mind of the Lord, that we may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

May God’s peace be with you; never cease to pray and watch.

Angels of light, novelties, and perversions of truth for sale

Angels of light, novelties, and perversions of truth for sale

+St. Raymond of Penafort+

Introduction

“The Church is infallible in selecting terms suitable to convey the truths which she defines. Truths can be set forth in words only, i. e., by means of creeds and dogmatic decrees. Therefore, to be infallible in teaching, the Church must also be infallible in choosing words that accurately express her meaning without ambiguity” (The Church of Christ, Rev. E. S. Berry, p. 504-505). For as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton commented: “It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand.” And we must always remember, “It makes no difference whether a person who breaks the bonds of Catholic communion does so in good faith or in bad. In either case, he ceases to be a member of the Church. The innocence or guilt of the parties involved is purely an internal matter, purely a matter of conscience; it has no direct bearing on the question of one of the external and social bonds requisite for membership” (Msgr. G. Van Noort, S.T.D., Christ’s Church, Vol. II, no. 154).

All of us who are refugees of the Novus Ordo and LibTrad sects have communicated in false religious rites (communicatio in sacris, Canons 2314 and 1258). Even though we may have been in good faith, we thus placed ourselves outside the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, and must work diligently to regain that membership (see HERE).

We know that the devil constantly roams about seeking whom he may devour, and that his time is short. He works in darkness — what he does is often hidden from view. He is crafty and  deceitful, a liar from the beginning, yet he comes as an angel of light. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If anyone preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. For I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For neither did I receive it of man, nor did I learn it; but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” Gal. 1: 8-11). So likewise it is with the teachings of His vicars on faith and morals which He has guaranteed free from any error.

Truth is one for God is one; Christ is the truth, the way, the life. As demonstrated on this website since its inception, the teaching of Christ’s Vicars in these faithless and evil times are our only sure guide: “He who hears you hears me,” as Christ told St. Peter and His apostles. But no one speaks in His name without being in communion with Peter’s successors. And if they are not in communion with him, they are angels of darkness sent to deceive us. As noted above, the popes need no interpretation; their words are clear. And if we need any explanation of their teachings, we must strive to find it only from the most reliable, approved pre-1959 sources we can find. No one has the right to presume to interpret, far less flatly ignore, papal teaching regardless of any supposed secular credentials they may claim to possess, for these mean nothing in the eyes of God (see HERE). As Saint Paul teaches, we are not servants of God if we follow mere men who, who then and today seduce their hearers with novelties and honeyed words. And if we prefer their allurements to the teachings of the popes, we are outside the Church — and this whether we are in good faith or not.

Although we have covered the ground below many times before, renewed attacks made known to us by readers seems to indicate that this shorter and easier explanation may better assist those still of good will in answering questions on this topic.

Pope Pius XII declaresTraditionalist orders invalid

  1. Bps. Ngo dinh Thuc and Marcel Lefebvre could not validly create priests and bishops during an interregnum because a papal mandate and confirmation of episcopal appointment could not be obtained. The appointment of bishops and issuance of the papal mandate has been reserved exclusively to the Roman Pontiffs for centuries. To presume the possession of the papal mandate and confirmation of any appointment to the episcopacy is therefore a usurpation of papal jurisdiction according to Pope Pius XII’s infallible 1945 election constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) that invalidates any attempt at consecration. (See the full analysis of this bull HERE). In addition, men who never became bishops could scarcely establish seminaries or validly ordain priests, acts which can be executed only by a validly consecrated bishop in communion with the Roman Pontiff.
  2. Some claim that the supposed orders conveyed by Thuc and Lefebvre cannot be considered invalid because these men were approved and appointed under Pope Pius XII. But the validity of Lefebvre and Thuc’s ordinations/consecrations in the 1970s-80s and the subsequent ordinations conferred by their “bishops” has been questioned even by Traditionalists for decades. Therefore they are already doubtful and to be avoided. But this is not all.
  3. For in presuming the validity of these ordinations and consecrations without a decision by the Holy See, Traditionalists usurp papal jurisdiction BECAUSE ONLY THE POPE MAY DETERMINE SUCH VALIDITY. Therefore said presumption is null, void and invalid.
  4. VAS also invalidates THE EXERCISE of any orders received after 1958, even by bishops approved under Pope Pius XII, just as Pope Pius VI’s Charitas and other papal decrees have done. Because of their adherence to the Novus Ordo (and later, Traditionalist sects), the men conveying these orders, even if they used the old rite, were at least suspect of communicatio in sacris and therefore presumed to have incurred this censure under Can. 2200 (and undoubtedly other censures as well). Can. 2200 holds them guilty until the pope determines otherwise. To presume the lifting of these censures and vindicative penalties, which is clearly an act of papal jurisdiction, is to usurp said jurisdiction. Therefore any EXERCISE of these orders, even if otherwise valid, constitutes a presumption of absolution and dispensation from these censures, a usurpation of papal jurisdiction rendering them null, void and invalid.
  5. It is a proven and indisputable fact that the only source ever cited for supplying jurisdiction throughout the history of the Church is the Roman Pontiff, who holds supreme jurisdiction in the Church. To claim that such jurisdiction is supplied in his absence by the law itself is an absurdity, (since Canon Law itself is predicated on papal law and the perpetual existence of the Roman Pontiff); and to say that it is supplied by Christ is a Protestant heresy, condemned at the Council of Trent (DZ 960, 967). VAS forbids appeal to the supplying principle and invalidates any such appeal as a usurpation of papal jurisdiction during an interregnum.
  6. Any attempt to change or dismiss canon law also is nullified. This would include the violation of Can. 6 n. 4, which requires Traditionalists to adhere to the old law regarding heresy, meaning no declaratory sentence is needed for its existence; Can. 104, reflected in VAS, which invalidates anything done based on error; Can. 147, which requires that in order to possess jurisdiction, certainly validly ordained or consecrated clergy must first receive an office from competent authority; Can. 200, which requires proof of jurisdiction be presented; Can. 804, which requires presentation of the celebret in order to celebrate Mass in a place other than the priest’s proper diocese and Can. 2265 §1 which forbids those excommunicated from advancing to orders. And these are only a few among many.

Therefore Traditionalists are only laymen simulating the Sacraments, and this we know infallibly from the mouth of Pope Pius XII. Christ warned us that in these times we would be inundated by false shepherds, hirelings and false Christs. In a binding decision approved by Pope Pius XII regarding Can. 147, which declares invalid anyone who claims to possess jurisdiction without first being assigned an office in the Church by “competent ecclesiastical authority,” the Holy Office describes such men “as thieves and robbers who have not entered by the door (AAS 42-601). Flee then while you can, lest such men rob you of that pearl of great price — your eternal salvation.

The “bishops must always exist” error

The proponents of this error falsely teach that valid episcopal orders were conveyed up till the end of the false Vatican 2 council in 1965 or the institution by Paul 6 of the false episcopal and ordination rites in 1968. Those promoting this error generally agree that John 23 and Paul 6 are antipopes or were invalidly elected. They imply that those men consecrated during the reign of these two usurpers could then have proceeded to ordain and consecrate others validly, so true bishops could and even must still exist. To presume to believe and teach this they necessarily deny the following truths of faith:

  1. They hold that Pope Pius XII was the last true pope, yet they deny that he had the right to exercise the fullness of his jurisdictional power of binding and loosing, granted him by Christ as proclaimed at the Vatican Council, in invalidating all acts usurping papal jurisdiction and violating canon law during an interregnum (DZ 1831). This constitution does not nullify Orders already received; it nullifies the act of proceeding to said consecration without the necessary papal mandate or letter of appointment.
  2. By teaching the body of bishops — the Apostolic College — must always exist, yet implying it can exist independently of its head, the Supreme Pontiff, those teaching this error deny the perpetuation of the Divine constitution of the Church as Christ established it, (Gallicanism, errors of the Hussites).
  3. While condemning Traditionalist “bishops” for teaching that their jurisdiction comes directly from Christ, they insinuate it in their own teaching, for they deny that Pope Pius XII definitively settled the question of episcopal jurisdiction — whether it comes directly from Christ or through the Roman Pontiff. In his infallible encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII taught that: “The bishops are not entirely independent but are placed under the due authority of the Roman Pontiff, although they enjoy the ordinary power of jurisdiction obtained directly from the same Highest Pontiff” (DZ 2287; AAS 35, 1943, 211f). This teaching then is binding on all the faithful, despite what some claim to be taught by Ludwig Ott in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. (See HERE where Ott’s work is described as containing “serious defects.”) As the theologians Pohle and Preuss write: (The Sacraments, Vol. IV): “It matters not what the private opinions of…theologians [are]. It is not the private opinions of theologians but the official decisions of the Church by which we must be guided.”
  4. They dare to spurn the teaching of Pope Paul IV’s infallible bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, (para. 6), that those who are heretics cannot be validly elected to any office, a bull confirmed by Pope St. Pius V. They teach then that a man never elected as true pope, a bishop this bull calls a heresiarch who is to be avoided as the heathen and the publican, can approve a bishop for consecration when this bull forbids it and nullifies it, as does VAS.
  5. In ordinary times, a consecration by a heretic bishop, which Roncalli was even before his election, is considered valid, but the one receiving the orders, also the one consecrating, is automatically excommunicated and forbidden to exercise these orders (Can. 2370). Rev. Charles Augustine comments: “This suspension ipso iurelasts until the Apostolic See expressly dispenses therefrom.” He then lists the following in his footnotes: “For the right of ordaining bishops belongs only to the Apostolic See, as the Council of Trent declares; it cannot be assumed by any bishop or metropolitan without obliging Us to declare as both schismatic both those who ordain and those who are ordained thus INVALIDATING their future actions.” This quote is taken from Pope Pius VI’s Charitas, 1791, issued against three bishops who consecrated another bishop without the papal mandate. Augustine notes it is listed as the Fontes, or old law, for Can. 2370, commenting that this is “…an example of its effective application.”

During an interregnum, the exercise of these orders is a usurpation of papal jurisdiction (presuming the cessation of the censure, which can only be lifted by the pope) and a violation of Canon Law. Therefore, any acts attempted by these men while under this censure during an interregnum are null and void.

Don’t fall for false shepherds, lay or otherwise

All the above is directly from the infallible teachings of the Roman Pontiffs or Canon Law, which itself is based on papal and conciliar teachings as well as divine law; this is why they call them the Sacred Canons. The Church has always taught that these laws are negatively infallible — that is, nothing they command or forbid can be contrary to faith or morals. Pope Pius XII infallibly teaches in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis that anything done contrary to these canons during an interregnum is null and void. And only approved pre-1959 theologians can analyze and explain these canons. Some of you may have recently been invited to join various groups praying at home by individuals who may present as praying at home, but do not hold or practice the truths of faith. To determine if such groups are truly Catholic, potential members should first determine whether or not their leaders:

  • Insist on obedience to the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and ecumenical councils primarily as the source for what they propose or do.
  • Place emphasis on the popularity, “holiness” and personal appeal of certain persons claiming to be knowledgeable, thereby promoting a personality cult
  • Provide references from papal pronouncements and the councils, Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma or Canon Law for the whole of their work
  • Condemn the works of others on the basis of their opponents’ alleged unworthiness, lack of credibility or past sins, when they themselves have been guilty of equally grave or even graver offenses
  • Restrict their followers’ access to other sources by means of such condemnation. Cult expert Steven Hassan tells us that personality cults often exert undue influence on members, not due influence: “Due influence involves informed consent, your choice, right to question, listening to your inner voice, freedom to interact with anyone, free will, and the freedom to leave.”
  • Show the necessary respect for and obedience owed to Canon Law as Pope Pius XII commands
  • Explain to their readers that, as Canon Law teaches, that because everyone has previously participated in the rites of the Novus Ordo or Traditionalists, all are excommunicates, themselves included
  • And if all are excommunicates (and some of them many times over), why is it that they have such a penchant for pointing to others as guiltier than themselves when Rev. Van Noort, quoted above, writes: “The innocence or guilt of the parties involved is purely an internal matter, purely a matter of conscience; it has no direct bearing on the question of one of the external and social bonds requisite for membership.” So why are these self-proclaimed teachers of truth preaching leniency and charity towards Traditionalists but not others?

How many times have readers seen their friends and relatives leave the Novus Ordo or some LibTrad sect, only to then join an even more destructive sect, often with disastrous consequences? This is the perfect example of inviting in seven devils worse than the first! (Matt. 12: 43-45). But there is one devil that has not yet been addressed that is especially loathsome and needs to be exorcised, as we will see below.

For Sale: perversions of the Truth

We said in an earlier blog that some professing praying at home offer the truth for a price, but that is not really what they are doing. For just as all heretics do, they mix truth with error and present it as truth, in ways that the faithful cannot easily detect or assess. They then request and even demand allegiance and financial support necessary to promote these perversions. This is a form of simony, which the moral theologians McHugh and Callan define as: “…the studied will to buy or sell for a temporal price or consideration something that is spiritual, either intrinsically or extrinsically” (2318). The spiritual is that which proceeds from God or tends to Him as the Author or End of eternal salvation (viz., the destiny, law, means, works, etc., proposed to us in Christian revelation and religion). Among these things those are intrinsically spiritual that pertain to the supernatural order on account of some inherent character of their own (e.g., grace, Sacraments, Mass, miracles) or some intimate union with things spiritual (2317e). The temporal price in simony is some temporal good or advantage.

“St. Gregory the Great distinguishes three kinds of simoniacal prices as follows: (a) the price from the hand…is either money or things that have a money value, such as movable or immovable property, corporeal or incorporeal rights. It would be simony to give a benefice

in exchange for a sum of money, for a loan, for real estate; (b) the price from the tongue… is any kind of patronage, such as praise, recommendation, protection, defense, opposition to competitors, etc. (c) the price in service… is any kind of temporal labor or assistance given for another’s benefit, such as the management of his business or the instruction of his children” (2319). (End of McHugh and Callan quotes) So if someone offers others membership in a group with fringe benefits, such as the purchase of goods, property, special instruction or so on — based on the specific acceptance and profession of certain spiritual beliefs, at least some of them Catholic — then this seems to fit the definition of simony.  And certainly if one benefits from the sale of things purportedly Catholic, and repeatedly requisitions those s/he is “serving” for funds to continue this service, this fits the definition of simony above.

Conclusion

The above is why, other than my 2018 book (which I wrote specifically at the request of readers, in case the Internet failed), I have consistently refused to solicit donations or sell my articles — they were written for everyone. The research on this site has been open and available to all for nearly 20 years. It was taken up first and foremost to defend the faith and warn of error, as all are obliged to do. But it also was written to spare Catholics of good will seeking the truth the agonizingly painful spiritual, mental and emotional consequences of being entangled in the webs of those many deceivers — hirelings, false prophets, false christs. For their own perverse reasons, these deceivers wish to rob them of their spiritual innocence, their children, their self-respect, their ability to reason, not to mention their hard-earned cash. I know because I have been there. As a Catholic we have the obligation to assist our neighbor in extreme spiritual necessity. You may not realize the dangers you are in, because as one sage has explained, some learn by reading (and meditating), others by observation, but there are those who will learn only by seizing the electric fence for themselves; that is, they must learn the hard way, and they are in abundance today. No one can be dragged kicking and screaming into heaven. But all can pray that those who have been deceived may be granted the light to see before they leave this world.