+ St. Matthew, Apostle +
The post below will address comments on the sedevacantist Passion of the Church article which was reviewed here last week because this article also makes reference to the possibility that John 23 was validly elected, quoting Pope Pius IX to the effect that even an “unworthy heir” can still reign validly. Other blogsters and Internet commentators are now hyperventilating about a new video by a Fr. Altman detailing the heresies of Francis. One of these is Patrick Henry, whose comments, unfortunately, have been picked up by other blogs. I don’t normally name names here but I am now forced to warn readers that Patrick Henry’s writings are not in compliance with the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs.
I have corrected Henry on this on several occasions, even published blog articles that demonstrate where he is in error, but to no avail. He insists that I believe that the laity comprises the magisterium, when all I have ever done is point to what the magisterium teaches. He denies the binding statement entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis by Pius XII that in the absence of the hierarchy, the laity must take up all of their responsibilities. He refuses to believe that once the papacy is taken away, as St. Paul prophesied, the sheep would scatter as Christ warned. Here we need only cite three of his statements to prove that despite his copious quotes from the popes, he teaches falsely on Christ’s constitution of the Church and the fullness of papal power.
— “Truly Catholic Bishops MUST exist – otherwise there is no Catholic Church today and Jesus Christ would be a liar.”
— “It is heretical to state that the Catholic Church can be in existence without the episcopal order of the hierarchy consisting of Catholic bishops with the power of Orders and the power of jurisdiction.”
— “[Benns states]: The Apostolic hierarchy cannot exist without its head bishop, the pope.” [Should] Catholics believe this last sentence is the truth for even the length of one New York second?”
Notice there is no mention of the pope here as head bishop, implying that he denies the papacy is necessary for the episcopate to exist. This is consistent with the belief of sedevacantists who deny the necessity of the papacy and endorse Gallicanism. We read from the Vatican Council: “So in His Church, [Christ] wished the pastors and the doctors to be even to the consummation of the world. But, that the episcopacy itself might be one and undivided, and that the entire multitude of the faithful through priests closely connected with one another might be preserved in the unity of faith and communion, placing blessed Peter over the other apostles, He established in him the perpetual principle and visible foundation of both unities upon whose strength the internal temple it might be erected and the sublimity of the Church to be raised to heaven might rise in the firmness of this faith” (DZ 1821; emph. mine).
So the way this is worded, the existence of the pastors and doctors even to the end of the world was dependent on whether they are founded on Peter, which explains the beginning of the following sentence with ”But.” The house of the faith cannot stand without its foundation. As quoted in last week’s blog from Pope Pius IX’s encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum: “Religion itself can never totter and fall WHILE THIS CHAIR REMAINS INTACT.” The Church cannot be one and undivided without Peter, for if divided from him, it is not one. If the Novus Ordo church and Traditionalists of all varieties are hopelessly at war with one another, how is anyone ever to arrive at anything close to the truth without adhering to the integral teachings of the Church, the fullness of papal teaching prior to Pope Pius XII’s death? The cacophony out there is so deafening because even people like Henry who pray at home seem to be playing for the same team and have been for some time. More on this later.
One of Henry’s main objections is the fact that Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis renders any bishops consecrated without the papal mandate INVALID, when Henry insists that the Church teaches “no LAWFUL consecration may take place in the entire Catholic Church without the order of the Apostolic See, as the Council of Trent declares.” That is true when a canonically elected pope is reigning, as some have claimed in citing Ad apostolorum principis to support the ”lawful” scenario. But it is NOT true during an extended interregnum, and Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, which will be examined at length below proves this. Anyone who dares to state that Pope Pius XII meant otherwise and fails to accept the conclusions which must logically be drawn from this constitution denies the teachings of the Vatican Council.
The binding force of papal constitutions
The sedevacantist article referred to last week states: “It is reasonable to hold that Roncalli was the first false pope of the 20th century. Since the evidence against John XXIII, however, is not as copious or as clear-cut as it is against Paul VI (r. 1963-78), some believe the first false pope was Paul VI… There are no cardinals appointed by a true Pope alive today, that much is certain, unless we want to posit that there is some true Pope in hiding who has appointed cardinals. While that may or may not be possible, either way it would remain a mere hypothesis.” But if the cardinals are all dead, how could there ever be another pope?, an opponent queries. And the sede blog replies: “Pius XII’s constitution on how to elect a Roman Pontiff is merely ecclesiastical law and therefore human law. It is not divine law, and it is therefore limited of its very nature. A human legislator — in this case, the Pope — can never foresee all possible circumstances that may arise, and human laws, even in the Church, are not meant to address all possible scenarios but are typically made only for ordinary circumstances.”
How any Catholic could possibly believe that this infallible constitution, a teaching of Christ’s Vicar, written with the active assistance of the Holy Ghost is merely a human document is truly astonishing. This grave error has been addressed at length in the article on epikeia. As will be seen below, the first three paragraphs of Title 1, Ch. 1 of Pope Pius XII’s election Constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (abbreviated below as VAS), treats of papal jurisdiction and the nature of the primacy as it exists during an interregnum, not disciplinary matters. Title I has nothing to do with the election itself per se, but with the exercise of that jurisdiction St. Peter and his successors receive directly from Christ. (This, however, does not mean that certain teachings in the election law itself are not infallible.) A constitution is not just a law. It is: “A papal document that deals with serious doctrinal matters regarding the DEFINITION OF DOGMA, changes in canon law or other ecclesiastical matters.” This definition reveals that such constitutions can be either dogmatic or disciplinary, but as seen below they are always binding.
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The binding force of pontifical constitutions, even without the acceptance of the Church, is beyond question. The primacy of jurisdiction possessed by the successor of Peter comes immediately and directly from Christ. That this includes the power of making obligatory laws is evident. Moreover, that the popes have the intention of binding the faithful directly and immediately is plain from the mandatory form of their constitutions.” The Encyclopedia article, taken from S.B. Smith’s Elements of Ecclesiastical Law, calls these constitutions “synonymous” with laws, but not identical to them, since “…even in ecclesiastical usage the word constitution is restricted to papal ordinances.” In this case Pope Pius XII was defining dogma in the first three paragraphs of VAS, as did his predecessor Pope St. Pius X in the very same words. But he made certain there was no doubt that this was exactly what he was doing, adding to Pope St. Pius X’s document that what was stated in those three paragraphs issued from his Supreme Authority (see article HERE).
Whether it concerns matters of faith, morals or discipline, then, when we see that any document has been entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis, we know that this document is binding on the faithful and that the Pope intends us to consider it something that he absolutely commands us to believe and to obey. Pope Pius XII taught in Humani generis that whenever you find any papal act registered in the Acta Apostolica Sedis, it is binding. This is explained here by Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton. Now if you read a papal document and it says “with the fullness of our Apostolic authority, with our Supreme Authority, We define, decree, declare” or anything like that you know the Pope is telling you that this is something that you are definitely bound to believe and to hold, an order issuing directly from him as the pastor of souls and the voice of Jesus Christ. But it doesn’t necessarily have to say this, in so many words, to be binding on the faithful. When the pope does say this, though, that should tell the faithful something. It should tell them that whatever it is he is saying is coming not from his lips alone, but from the mouth of Christ.
So Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis is a binding document for the simple reason that it treats matters of dogma and is entered into the 1946 Acta Apostolica Sedis (5 – ACTA, vol. XIII, n. 3. — 4-2-946). Traditionalists can try to pretend they have the power to dispense from it and override it, but that is exactly what the constitution was written to prevent and why such attempts are infallibly declared to be invalid. For the pope explains that during an interregnum (a) no one can usurp the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff following his death or do anything that was reserved to the Roman Pontiff during his lifetime; (b) no one can violate the rights or prerogatives of the Church and everyone must defend them and finally (c) no one can change papal law or papal teaching or dispense from it in any way during an interregnum because those laws emanate primarily from the Roman Pontiffs and the ecumenical councils. This is clearly a clarification of Divine jurisdiction, which is why Pius XII concludes with the following:
“In truth, if anything adverse to this command should by chance happen to come about or be attempted, we declare it, BY OUR SUPREME AUTHORITY, to be null and void.”
This invalidation of acts would include but is not limited to: (a) the election of Angelo Roncalli contrary to the laws and teachings of the Church and in violation of VAS and its provisions; (b) any attempt to consecrate bishops without the mandatory papal approval; (c) presumption of the VALIDITY of ordinations and consecrations performed by bishops approved by Pius XII without a decision by the Holy See, when the disposition of such irregular activities are reserved to his judgment alone; (d) the validity of first tonsure and obligatory examination of priestly candidates by those who lost jurisdiction through heresy and schism (since tonsure is a jurisdictional act) or who never became bishops per VAS, but were mere laymen; (e) any attempt, by anyone, to interpret VAS is automatically null and void since it is reserved strictly to the cardinals, who have all expired.
Essentially what Pope Pius XII has issued here is an (infallible) invalidating and incapacitating law. It applies only to interregnums which for the past several centuries have been limited by papal law and are relatively brief. Therefore, the temporary suspension of the papal approval of bishops and supplying of jurisdiction, also decisions on papal cases pending, was not burdensome. But the current interregnum is unprecedented and any so-called remaining bishops living at the time of Pope Pius XII’s death are entirely culpable for the length of its existence. “No ignorance of invalidating or disqualifying laws excuses from their observance; namely no ignorance of the aforementioned laws can make acts valid which they have rendered invalid nor can it make persons capable of acting whom they have declared incapacitated from acting. Nor can subjects be excused from the observance of these laws, for the matter is in no way dependent on the will of the agent but on the contrary depends entirely on the will of the legislator who issued such laws BECAUSE THE COMMON GOOD REQUIRED IT” (Abp. Amleto Cicognani, Canon Law, 1935, Can. 16).
Both Pope St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII invalidated all acts contrary to papal law and teaching and every usurpation of papal jurisdiction to defend the sacred institution of the primacy. Pope Pius XII did so by his Supreme Authority, making it clear there was no possibility this law could be dismissed as a mere human or disciplinary law. And given the nature of invalidating laws and what’s happened to the Church, we know why Pius XII wrote this constitution: It was for the good of the Church, because he knew that there is no better time to upend everything than when the See is vacant; and the mutineers were already at work. Denial that the Pope must be canonically elected is a heresy condemned long ago by the Church that is also reflected in Canon Law.
What is meant by canonical election?
Canon 147: “An ecclesiastical office is not validly obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons.”
A decision of the Sacred Congregation regarding this Canon was issued June 29, 1950 (AAS 42-601). It levied excommunications “specially reserved to the Holy See” against those who violate Can. 147 and who contrive against legitimate ecclesiastical authority or attempt to subvert their authority, also anyone who takes part in such a crime. This only further confirms the first three paragraphs of Pius XII’s election law.
Canon 160: “The election of the Roman Pontiff is governed exclusively by the constitution of Pope Pius X, Vacante Sede Apostolica… amended and completely revised by [Pope Pius XII’s] constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis of December 8, 1945.” Thus the Code itself confirms the papal constitutions regarding elections in its laws. It is not per se a law itself, however, since it issues directly from the Pontiff himself.
Canon 219: “The Roman Pontiff legitimately elected obtains from the moment he accepts the election the full power of supreme jurisdiction by divine right” (see also Can 109).
“Immediately on the canonical election of a candidate and his acceptance, he is true pope and can exercise full and absolute jurisdiction over the whole Church.”(Catholic Encyclopedia)
Canon 436: “During the vacancy [of an episcopal see] no innovations shall be made,” and as Rev. Anscar Parsons notes below: “The election of the Holy Father has been the prototype for the election of inferior prelates.”
In the 1958 election, Roncalli and an undetermined number of other cardinals incurred censures which could only be lifted by a FUTURE pope, barring them from election. That they elected him anyway was itself a heresy, for it not only violated VAS, and nullified the actions of those cardinals voting for Roncalli, but also denied the teachings that the pope must be canonically elected, that is, according to the existing law. Errors against this teaching are condemned as found in Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma, DZ 570 d, (decree for the Armenians); and the condemnation of Wycliffe and Hus for heresy, (DZ 650, 652, 674). Then, in accepting him as a true pope, these cardinals also incurred schism, creating a new church with a false, monstrous head. And later, in joining in “worship” of him and with him, they committed communicatio in sacris (Can. 2314 §3). Pope Paul IV also refers to canonical election in his 1559 Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, after stating that the faithful may depart from a heretic appearing to be pope without any fear of incurring censure: “Subjects… remain, nevertheless, bound in fealty and obedience to future Bishops, Archbishops, Primates, Cardinals and the canonically established Roman Pontiff.”
Unworthy candidates for the papacy
Above we mentioned that the sedevacantist article quoted Pope Pius IX on the matter of an unworthy heir and this quote reads: “Let the faithful recall the fact that Peter, Prince of Apostles is alive here and rules in his successors, and that his office does not fail even in an unworthy heir. Let them recall that Christ the Lord placed the impregnable foundation of his Church on this See of Peter [Mt 16:18] and gave to Peter himself the keys of the kingdom of Heaven… ” (Nostis et Nobiscum). In his dissertation Canonical Elections, (Catholic University of America Press, 1939), Rev. Anscar Parsons addresses the instance of the election of an unworthy candidate. He begins by stating: “The election of the Holy Father has been the prototype for the election of inferior prelates.” This is important, because it then relates that these canons he refers to regarding ecclesiastical elections are applicable to papal elections as well, under the canons governing what is to be done when there is some doubt about a certain affair, (Canons 18 and 20). As both Rev. Parsons and Rev. Timothy Mock (Disqualification of Electors in Ecclesiastical Elections, Catholic University of America Press, 1958) explain:
“The election of an unworthy candidate is null and void from the beginning, because QUALIFIED ELECTORS are bound to know that the one they elect is duly qualified. By unworthy is meant a person branded by infamy of law or fact or a notorious apostate, heretic, schismatic or public sinner. Canon 2391 §1 provides the parallel passage of the Code mentioned in Can. 18: “A college which knowingly elects an unworthy person is automatically deprived, for that particular election, of the right to hold a new election.” The fact that this election was based on the wishes and desires of the U.S. government alone, as demonstrated in The Phantom Church in Rome, in violation of VAS — not to mention all the other violations noted above — indicates the intent to deliberately act contrary to the commands of Pope Pius XII, i.e., knowingly.
This takes us back to the election of Roncalli himself, still listed in 1958 as a suspected Modernist by the Holy Office, which not only disqualifies him as a candidate but voids the election of Montini and all who followed him. Rev. Parsons comments that those considered unfit or unworthy of election are “…those who are legally infamous or laboring under censure [also] notorious apostates, schismatics… public sinners and persons whose conduct is sinful or scandalous… In normal cases it is PRESUMED that the chapter made its choice with full deliberation and knowledge, because it is their duty to investigate the qualities of the person whom they elect … If the majority elect someone who is unworthy, all the voters, even those who are innocent are deprived of the right to vote in this instance” (p. 197). Wouldn’t the Cardinals have been obligated to vote for anyone BUT a suspected heretic, especially given Pope Pius XII’s public disapproval of Roncalli’s behavior? And doesn’t this prove in a backhanded fashion that he was elected for other reasons, i.e., in collusion with Montini and his CIA friends?
Rev. Mock agrees with Parsons, writing: “…The burden of proof …will be upon the electors to show that they did not know of the defect in the candidate. The electors are PRESUMED to know the qualifications required by law” (p. 137). Parsons poses the question: “Is the election of an unworthy person void from the beginning? It seems that it is. For the law says that the chapter is deprived of the right to proceed ‘…to a new election.’ In making this disposition, the legislator seems to suppose that the original choice was null and void” (p. 197.)” The electors showed their true intent by the subsequent election of Montini, the CIA’s star operative in the Vatican, and the eventual devastation he wreaked upon the Church. What further damning evidence could anyone possibly hope for to prove this case?! (This discussion can be reviewed in its entirety as presented in a previous blog HERE.) In codifying the papal election laws, Pope St. Pius X removed almost every obstacle to canonical election save that of heresy, apostasy and schism. So while Pope Pius IX could be referring to someone elected under infamy of law or fact, or to a public sinner, as unworthy, he COULD NOT have included in his intended meaning anyone guilty of heresy, apostasy or schism; this is a preposterous assumption and would contradict Cum ex Apostolatus Officio.
Pope Leo XIII wrote, in Satis Cognitum, June 20, 1896: “It is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church.” And as St. Robert Bellarmine taught, a man not even a member of the Church can scarcely become its head. We read in the Catholic Encyclopedia on papal elections: “Of course the election of a heretic, schismatic, or female would be null and void. Immediately on the canonical election of a candidate and his acceptance, [the one designated] is true pope and can exercise full and absolute jurisdiction over the whole Church.” And once such an individual reveals that he intends to corrupt the liturgy and create a new idea of the Church, he is a heretic and schismatic, and therefore was never canonically elected. Cum ex Apostolatus Officio is the final word on this topic, although Traditionalists have vilified and ignored it from the beginning. All this argumentation, disputation, and demonization of actual proofs, in order to favor only opinions and theories, could have been avoided long ago by simply following Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, VAS, and the teachings of St. Robert Bellarmine.
To claim Roncalli a qualified candidate for election the following canons would need to be dispensed from, which is infallibly forbidden by Pope Pius XII in VAS.
— Roncalli’s checkered history and close friendship and collaboration with Montini, which is a matter of public knowledge; and especially his listing by Pope Pius XI as a suspected Modernist, proves he indeed was just as guilty of heresy as Montini. For Can. 2209 reads: “Persons who conspire to commit an offense and also physically concur in the execution of the same are all guilty in the same degree…” And if VAS is obeyed, we must accept this Canon as negatively infallible truth.
— Until Roncalli could be cleared of all suspicion of heresy (which is not a possibility), he would have been ineligible for election under Can. 2200, which assumes his guilt as at least a material heretic and therefore places him outside the Church (Rev. Tanquerey, several others) until his innocence is proven (see article HERE). It became publicly known in the 1960s, shortly after his election, that Roncalli was a suspected heretic, making the violation a known external act.
— Canon 2200 contains a presumption of law and cannot be struck down until such innocence is firmly established by competent ecclesiastical authority (Can. 147; see above). The cardinals electing him, who failed to investigate him and later went on to implement the new liturgy and Vatican 2 could scarcely be described as competent. In fact, nearly all were not valid electors and therefore could not have comprised the 2/3 plus one majority necessary to validly elect. Because as Pope Pius XII teaches in para. 68 of VAS, unless this majority exists, the election is invalid.
— Canons 1812, 1814 and 1816: Canon 1812 lists acts of the Roman Pontiffs as “public documents.” Can 1814 states that: “Public documents, both ecclesiastical and civil are presumed genuine until the contrary is proven by evident arguments.” Canon 1816 states: “Public documents prove the facts” of the case … “No further proof is required and the judge must pronounce in favor of the party whose contention is proved by a public document.”
— Canons 1827 and 1828 state that: “He who has a presumption of law in his favor (Canons 1814, 2200) is freed from the burden of proof which is thus shifted to his opponent. If the latter cannot prove that the presumption failed in this case, the judge must render sentence in favor of the one on whose side the presumption stands” (Can 1827). “Presumptions which are not stated in law shall not be conjectured by the judge except from a certain and specific fact which is directly connected with the fact in controversy. The presumption must thus be a kind of reasonable conclusion or inference from another specific fact established by evidence in the case. Since all inferential evidence is dangerous and easily misleads, the Code warns against conjectures” (and Pope Pius XII condemns the use of conjectures in Humani generis).
As we have stated repeatedly, obedience to VAS, to papal teaching in its fullness and to Canon Law would see the way clear to resolving this situation regarding the vacancy insofar as it could be resolved, but no one wishes to obey. Novus Ordo and Traditionalist pseudo-clergy alike, and that includes Henry who received orders himself from Francis Schuckhardt, cannot, will not, swallow their pride and for the good of the Church, bow their heads to VAS and admit that these bishops and priests are invalid and Antichrist has overcome the saints (Apoc. 13:7). For there is actual infiltration of Traditionalist AND pray-at-home ranks as noted in our articles on the Feeneyites. And some of the sources working behind the scenes to seduce the remnant have proven ties not only to Freemasonry but to Gnosticism, even Satanism. This we also have already covered in previous articles. We beg readers to do the only thing that can be done in this situation, the remedy that was suggested in a previous blog: daily pray the long St. Michael’s Prayer, that the evil spirits who have entered into our midst be expunged.
+The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary+
What has reached a fever pitch in our society as the result of the innovations introduced to Catholics via liturgical reform is the desire to avoid pain and discomfort at all costs and at its earliest onset, regardless of how inconsequential it may be. This was referred to by Rev. Kaiser in the series on liturgical reform, concluded last week. As promised, we are writing a separate blog on this issue because it is so widespread and has such far-reaching consequences. But we must also warn below of the deadly rigorist reaction to this attitude of the progressives regarding pain, which is just as harmful as their avoidance of it, if not more so.
In his work, Rev. Kaiser stated: “[Liturgical reform] 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… The unreasoning yen for antiquity and simplicity and so-called “objectivity” is opposed not only to orthodoxy but also to sound psychology… It savors of the unrealistic attempt to acquire happiness and glory without earning them. It ignored the power of sin and the consequent need of expiation…. False esthetic preference for the merely ancient and simple was joined to a merely sentimental aversion to pain and suffering.
“The dilettantes wanted to do without the Cross of pain. So they invented a glorified sentiment in place of the victorious and triumphant historical Christ. There is for us no hope of glory except through the Cross and our faith in Him who died that we might live. Man needs Christ on the Cross, both as a Sacrifice and as an inspiration to courage and resignation… The dilettantes, the exclusivists, the Hegelians could merely flatter man’s penchant for ease and self-glorification — not elevate or divinize him, as they pretended.”
This fear of pain and suffering, the very element so essential to Christ’s death on the Cross to achieve our redemption, was symbolized in the appearance of the “Risen Christ” crosses — Christ risen with his arms upraised, not nailed to the Cross, as Kaiser explains. Some Novus Ordo fanatics even added a 15th “station” of the Resurrection to the traditional 14. This aversion to pain as it appeared in the 1960s was the perfect prelude to the advent, in that same decade, of tranquilizers, pain pills and other palliatives which became a popular refuge for bored housewives and those suffering milder forms of chronic pain. Then of course there was always recourse to illegal drugs, which also began to flourish in that same time-period. So the aversion to pain option cleverly laid the groundwork for future plans of the powers that be to condition Catholics for drug use to avoid or diminish suffering, although few then saw it for what it would later become.
Origin of mind-altering drugs
This would include not only physical but emotional pain, as exhibited in patients suffering from neurosis, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety and depression. Let’s delve a bit into the origin of these drugs. In his Serpent and the Rainbow, researcher Wade Davis explained how a mission into the jungles of Haiti gave rise to the popularity of psychotropic drugs. Davis was dispatched to Haiti by those involved in the development of psycho-pharmaceutical preparations in the 1970s. He found Haiti overrun with secret societies originally introduced via the slave trade. On their arrival in Haiti, these societies eventually allied themselves with tribal chiefs immersed in the occult knowledge of “toxic preparations.” A certain element of these societies terrorized the native Haitian population in much the same way the Holy Vehm had terrorized Germany and Prussia. According to Davis, Haitian secret societies were “the predecessor” of secret societies today, only in the sense that they more closely resembled modern versions of the older model.
Davis journeyed to Haiti to study plant life and return with a drug that would assist anesthesiologists in creating a “zombie-like state” while sedating patients for prolonged surgical procedures. One of his sponsors already had developed the first psychoactive drug used to “cure” insanity: reserpine, derived from the herb snakeroot. Davis found what he was sent to find, but he also discovered a frightening array of toxic plants and preparations used by the secret societies against their enemies; potent drugs that could produce “a body without character, without will.”Despite psychiatry’s disdain as a profession concerning the possibility of possession, Davis is convinced he observed possession firsthand, and feels that the determination as to whether possession exists or not is better left to those who know it best. So now we know the real history behind the term “zombie apocalypse.”
Possession and the “split-mind”
Davis does not seem to address the possibility that his sponsors’ intent could have exceeded their stated professional interest. Yet the subsequent explosion of psychoactive and mind-altering drugs that followed at least suggests that such research paved the way for drug experimentation and the development of succeeding generations of drugs that successfully impede or destroy the memory and the will. And the gurus who would be entrusted to administer them were none other than the students of Sigmund Freud, whose psychoanalytic methods and the theories on which they rested were condemned by the Catholic Church.
Freud defined hysteria, for example, as an organic mental illness distinct from possession, but many theologians believed it to be a state either indicative of possession or preceding it. In the work Soundings on Satanism, by various authors, F.M. Catherinet, writing on the many demoniacs cured by Christ that are recorded in the Gospels, boldly stated that, “All true diabolic possession is accompanied, in fact and by a quasi-necessity, by mental or nervous troubles amplified or produced by the demon.” This also ties into an article written by C. J. Woolen (December 1945 Homiletic and Pastoral Review) entitled “A Schizophrenic Generation.” The article held that already in post-war America a condition existed among Catholics that effectively minimized sin and evil living by attributing its cause to a mental illness which Woolen calls the “split mind,” or schizophrenia, known also today as the dissociative state.
“The Christian, if he is to be faithful, has no choice but to be heroic,” Woolen stated towards the end of his article. The numbing process of denial, psychiatry and psychotropic drugs are modern choices for dulling the pain of living in a materialistic world where true Catholic love of God not tainted by Liberalism would result in loss of earthly goods and the kindly regards of one’s neighbors. Woolen advised in the 1940s that all Catholic priests in every diocese provide the obvious solution — routine exorcism of their parishioners. But the psychotic denial practiced wholesale prior to Vatican 2 gripped the Church with such force that Catholics willingly sacrificed the very things the martyrs gave their lives to preserve rather than appear “out of date.” As the author Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany’s, in his classic work commended by Pope Leo XIII’s Holy Office, Liberalism is a Sin, rightly notes: “The desire to take and make things easy… obscures the understanding.”
Psychotropic drugs are not specifically addressed in Pope Pius XII’s binding decree below on pain prevention and the administration of pain relief at the hour of death. But the pope does provide answers on how Catholics must view pain and suffering. The specifics of pain relief at the hour of death are an important topic because certain rigorist Traditional sects, some claiming to endorse the pray-at-home position, have convinced their followers that one is not allowed to request pain medications when dying and that taking such medications would be a grave sin. Especially in light of the true teaching of the Church below, this is a cruel and merciless position that must be abhorred, and those who sanction it should be treated as the wretches they truly are for depriving Catholics of the comfort at the end of their life that the Church allows. Yet other Traditionalist sects would permit the complete anesthetization of the dying, depriving them of their reason, so desperately needed to make their peace with God. Both extremes must be avoided, as Pius XII explains below. These heretical sects prey on the ignorance and vulnerability of Catholics even at the end of life because their real mission on this earth is to deprive them of eternal salvation. This is why we continue to warn Catholics that despite their pretenses to uphold papal teaching, these sects do no such thing and are truly a danger to those striving to save their souls.
Morality of Pain Prevention
Pius XII, AAS 27-3-1957 (Feb. 24, 1957 – ACTA, vol. XXIV, n. 3, p. 129)
The Pope Speaks, Vol. IV, 1957-58
Moral obligation to endure physical pain
“… It is evident in certain cases that the acceptance of physical suffering is a matter of serious obligation. Thus a man is bound in conscience to accept suffering every time he is faced with the inescapable alternative of either enduring suffering or acting contrary to a moral obligation by positive action or by omission. The martyrs could not avoid torture or death without denying their faith or evading the serious obligation of bearing witness to it when the occasion was given. But it is unnecessary to go back to the martyrs today there are magnificent examples of Christians who for weeks months and even years have endured suffering and physical violence in order to remain faithful to God and their conscience…
“…[But] man, even after the fall, retains the right to control the forces of nature, to employ them for his own use, and, consequently, to derive benefit from all the resources which nature offers him for the suppression and avoidance of physical pain. But Christian suffering is not something purely negative; on the contrary, it is linked with lofty religious and moral values. Hence it may be desired and sought even if no moral obligation to do so exists in a particular case… The Christian is bound to mortify the flesh and strive after his interior purification, for it is impossible in the long run to avoid sin and fulfill all one’s duties faithfully if this effort at mortification and purification is neglected. Physical suffering becomes necessary and must therefore be accepted insofar as without its aid mastery over the self and its disorderly tendencies is unattainable. But to the extent that it is not required for this purpose it cannot be asserted that there is any strict obligation in the matter.
“The Christian, then, is never obliged to desire suffering for its own sake. He considers it a means more or less adapted according to circumstances to the end which he is pursuing. Although it is beyond dispute that the Christian feels his desire to accept and even to seek physical pain in order to share the more in the passion of Christ, to renounce the world and the pleasures of the senses and to mortify his own flesh, it is important to interpret this tendency correctly. Those who manifest it exteriorly do not necessarily possess genuine Christian heroism. And it would also be erroneous to declare that those who do not manifest this tendency are devoid of heroism. Such heroism can indeed express itself in other ways.
“When a Christian performs day after day, from morning till night all the duties imposed by his state in life, his profession AND THE LAWS OF GOD AND MAN, when he prays with recollection, works wholeheartedly, resists his evil passions, shows his neighbor the charity and service to him and endures bravely, without murmuring, whatever God sends him, he is always living under the standard of Christ’s cross whether physical suffering is present or not; whether he endures it or avoids it by permissible means… The acceptance of physical suffering is only one way among many others of indicating what is the real essential: the will to love God and serve him in all things. It is above all in the perfection of this voluntary disposition that the quality of the Christian life in its heroism consists.”
On the use of analgesics for the dying
“Now growth in the love of God and in abandonment to His will does not come from the sufferings which are accepted, but from a voluntary intention supported by grace. This intention in many of the dying can be strengthened and become more active if their sufferings are eased, for these sufferings aggravate the state of weakness and physical exhaustion, check the ardor of soul, and sap the moral powers instead of sustaining them. On the other hand, the suppression of pain removes physical and mental tension, makes prayer easier, and makes possible a more generous gift of self… The sick person should not, without serious reason, be deprived of consciousness. When this state is produced by natural causes, men must accept it. But it is not for them to bring it about on their own initiative unless they have serious motives for doing so… It is to be remembered that instead of assisting toward expiation and merit, suffering can also furnish occasion for new faults.
“When, in spite of obligations still binding on him, the dying man asks for narcosis for which there exist serious reasons, a conscientious doctor will not countenance it, especially if he is a Christian, without having invited the patient, either personally or, better still, through someone else, to carry out his obligations first. If the sick man refuses obstinately and persists in asking for narcosis, the doctor can consent to it without rendering himself guilty of formal cooperation in the fault committed… But if a dying person has fulfilled all his duties and received the last sacraments, if medical reasons clearly suggest the use of anesthesia, if in determining the dose the permitted amount is not exceeded, if the intensity and duration of this treatment is carefully reckoned, and, finally, if the patient consents to it, then there is no objection: the use of anesthesia is morally permissible.
“If, on the contrary, the administration of narcotics produces two distinct effects, one, the relief of pain and the other, the shortening of life, then the action is lawful; however, it must be determined whether there is a reasonable proportion between these two effects and whether the advantages of the one effect compensate for the disadvantages of the other. To sum up, you ask Us: “Is the removal of pain and consciousness by means of narcotics (when medical reasons demand it) permitted by religion and morality to both doctor and patient even at the approach of death and if one foresees that the use of narcotics will shorten life?” The answer must be: “Yes – provided that no other means exist, and if, in the given circumstances, that action does not prevent the carrying out of other moral and religious duties.” As We have already explained, the ideal of Christian heroism does not require — at least in general — the refusal of narcosis justified on other grounds, even at the approach of death. Everything depends on the particular circumstances. The most perfect and most heroic decision can be present as fully in acceptance as in refusal.” (End of Pope Pius XII excerpts)
Pope Pius XII, then, clarifies our Catholic duty to the dying and sets forth the proper attitude we should have regarding the endurance of pain. This sufficiently and authoritatively counters the lax and liberal stance of those belonging to the Novus Ordo sects, Latin Mass attendees, “semi-Traditionalists” mainstream Traditionalists and the radical and rigorist sects among them. A recent article published on one popular sedevacantist site claims that Traditionalists are enduring the mystical Passion of Christ. One wonders if they have any clear understanding of the meaning of the word Passion, as related to Christ’s sufferings on the Cross, and as applied to the faithful living in these times. This will be discussed in detail below.
Traditionalists’ bogus interpretation of the Passion of the Church
Above we read from Pope Pius XII that: “It is evident in certain cases that the acceptance of physical suffering is a matter of serious obligation. Thus a man is bound in conscience to accept suffering every time he is faced with the inescapable alternative of either enduring suffering or acting contrary to a moral obligation by positive action or by omission… There are magnificent examples of Christians who for weeks, months, and even years have endured suffering and physical violence in order to remain faithful to God and their conscience…” This is the pain that cannot be avoided but must be endured by those wishing to be counted as members of Christ’s Mystical Body.
And yet just as Rev. Kaiser describes in his articles, those in the Novus Ordo and Traditionalist sects resort to heretical exclusivism to avoid enduring this necessary pain. Traditionalists, by denying the necessity of the Roman Pontiff as the head of the Apostolic College of bishops and instead embracing the “community of priests” that would serve those exiting the Vatican 2 Church. And the Novus Ordo counter-church in rejecting both the Church’s true teaching regarding the papacy as well as the Latin Mass. The Gallicanist, Febronian, Gnostic “Traditionalist” faction, which Kaiser rightly credits as the forerunner of this tendency, pretends to save orthodoxy, while rejecting the papacy.
And yet we know from Henry Cardinal Manning and other exegetes commenting on Holy Scripture that this Chair could be overthrown, the shepherd would be struck and the poor flock scattered; and until that fateful day Peter’s Faith did indeed remain unshaken. But this overthrow of the papacy could occur only during the last days of the world and Antichrist’s reign. And whom indeed would bring this about? The Passion of the Church would be orchestrated by the very ones claiming to love Christ the most — once again He would be wounded by those professing to be among His dearest friends, His own race and family. Pope Pius IX stated in his encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, “Religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion.” But when that Chair was no longer intact, “religion [WOULD] totter and fall.” Typically, Traditionalists dare to quote these very words of Pope Pius IX above, while ignoring the true import of what he is teaching. They pretend to suffer the Passion of the Church, but how is this possible?
The recent sedevacantist article on the Church’s Passion, answering the “semi-Trads,” defines it as follows: “The true Passion of the Church consists of Catholics, including the Pope, being betrayed, persecuted, humiliated, scourged, calumniated, tortured, and/or killed by the enemies of Christ, His Church, and His Vicar… The sedevacantist does not ‘attempt to eliminate the mystery’ of the Church’s Passion, he tries to understand it correctly.” The horrors of this Great Apostasy is something that all of us have suffered and continue to suffer. This Internet article condemns as false the semi-Trad idea that this Passion is being lived out by the current persecutions aimed at “Pope Francis” and the Novus Ordo Church, an idea which is, of course, ridiculous. But sedevacantists themselves also entertain a false notion concerning the Passion of the Church, because they have no idea, no proper understanding, of the true meaning of the word “obedience.”
The most perfect worship is to obey God
Our Lord petitioned his Father to be relieved of the Chalice of His Passion in the Garden of Olives. “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me… [But] if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done” (Matt. 26: vs. 39, 42). We have explained God’s signified will on this site many times; it can be found, St. Francis de Sales tells us, in: “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., p. 18, 22). Yet Traditionalists deny that this extends to ecclesiastical law “in these times.” Rev. Aldolphe Tanquerey, that great master of the spiritual life, also wrote:
“Now to conform our wills to that of God is assuredly to cease to do evil, and to learn to do good. Is not this the meaning of that oft repeated text: ‘FOR OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICES’ (1 Kings XV, 22; Osee VI, 6; Matt IX, 3 also XII, 7). In the New Law, Our Lord declares from the very moment of His entry into the world that it is with obedience that He will replace the sacrifices of the Ancient Law: ‘Holocausts for sin did not please Thee. Then I said: Behold I come … that I should do Thy will, O God.’ (Hebrews X, 6-7; Phil 11, 8; Phil, IV, 3). And in truth, it is by obedience unto the immolation of self that He has redeemed us: ‘He was made obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.’ (John 4, 34) In the same way, it is through obedience and through the acceptance of God-ordained trials in union with Christ that we shall atone for our sins and cleanse our soul.” (The Spiritual Life,pages 240-241). But Traditionalists must have their sacrifices at all costs, even the cost of their eternal salvation.
And in his Our Greatest Treasure (1942), Rev. John Kearney wrote: “Obedience is not merely doing what you are told but being cheerfully willing to be told what to do…To obey the Church, therefore, is to obey God, for She commands in His name. And to obey God, to submit to God’s Will, is to offer Him the most perfect worship.” Sedevacantists, as explained in previous blogs, did all they could do to avoid this obedience to ALL the popes teach regarding the primacy, the divine law that is jurisdiction, and the infallible decrees of the Council of Trent and the Vatican Council. They cherry-pick what teachings of the popes they choose to quote and even then, they entirely obscure the full meaning of what they are quoting. They violate every Canon Law pertaining to their operations and pretend that these laws do not issue directly from the Popes and the Councils. This has been demonstrated on this site in numerous articles, so does not bear repeating here.
ALL Traditionalists refuse obedience to the full range of binding teachings issuing from the Continual Magisterium. They deny the integral nature of the Church’s dogmatic teaching, practice heretical exclusivism and steadfastly ignore doctrinal development. They insist on enjoying the emoluments of the Catholic religion despite the prohibitions and condemnations of Her Pontiffs, and the infallible command of Pope Pius XII that this cannot be done during an interregnum. So what are they suffering? What obedience are they offering to Our Lord as a sacrifice, in imitation of His acceptance of His Father’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane? Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph endured a perilous several-day journey over mountain passes and deserts, in the cold of winter, to obey a civil law, and they are suffering a renewal of Christ’s Passion? To obey WHAT?! Only their own will.
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and one of her deepest sorrows today is the refusal of those entrusted to her sorrowful heart to obey the laws and teachings of her Divine Son and His Vicars. We pray for their conversion daily. If we truly wish to suffer with Our Lady and her beloved Son, that we too may fill up some of what is “wanting” to Christ’s Passion, Mother Mary Potter has this advice to offer:
“The Church appears to have entered upon the time when she mystically represents the Passion of Our Lord, and her members are unusually afflicted and tried; therefore the thought cannot be too often in your mind of the priceless value of suffering, of the short time the severest suffering can last, if it lasted without intermission through your whole life which it does not. Meditate again and again, in union with the Mother of Sorrows, upon the value (we might almost say infinite value) of suffering, since it will procure an infinite reward. It will be well to remember, likewise, that suffering not only procures a closer union with God, and therefore greater happiness in Heaven, but it likewise begets a greater happiness even on earth. You will taste a joy — you who suffer till your soul seems sorrowful even unto death — not conceived by those who pass through life with but its ordinary cares. Suffering is the one thing we may glory in. Suffering borne patiently, borne as God wills, is a present we may offer in some way back to God, and be sure it will be a gift most pleasing to Him. All that we suffer we of course, in our fallen state, deserve; but if God sees that in our hearts we are willing to suffer even undeserved suffering to please Him, to save our souls, He accepts that will, and our suffering is beautified to some resemblance to Our Lady’s” (Path of Mary, 1878, p. 85).
“O let us with the Church unceasingly ask Jesus that He raise sinners from their spiritual death, enlighten those in error, so that all recognize the truth, find, and walk the path which leads to life” (Rev. Leonard Goffine’s Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels, 1874, 15th Sunday after Pentecost).
+Novena to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary+
(See novena below following this bog post)
Please accept my apologies for the long delay in posting the second part of this series. Unfortunately I was waylaid by yet another Leonard Feeney supporter and this prompted a review of the Feeney error, which strangely enough ties into the methods used to reform the liturgy. I have now completed a new three-part series which provides some long-overdue deep insights into the origins of Leonard Feeney’s heresy and more clearly exposes the errors of those supporting him. For while Feeneyites claim to strictly uphold papal teaching they instead distort it, misrepresent it and even at times falsify it. It is a travesty that has been going on for many decades and successfully continues to seduce the unwary. This by attempting to garner sympathy for one they portray as a champion of pre-Vatican 2 Catholicism, but in truth was a condemned heretic who most likely played a clandestine part in dismantling the Church. I provide the link here knowing that many will not wish to spend time reading this series but do so for those who may have friends or relatives entangled in this troublesome heresy. It can be accessed HERE.
Before presenting Part 2 of Rev. Kaiser’s article on Mediator Dei, a brief history of the liturgical movement is provided below.
The emergence of the liturgical movement
A reader has provided the following information from two Novus Ordo sites on the liturgy (http://journalworship.org/About/VatII and https://www.biola.edu/talbot/ce20/database/virgil-michel#biography): “The liturgical movement had its origins in 1832 at the Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes in France. It was there that Dom Prosper Guéranger endeavored to recover authentic Gregorian chant. His work and the work of other monks at the center for liturgy spurred new interest in all aspects of liturgical life (Weiss 1998, 61). In 1903, Pius X issued a motu proprio on church music and by 1909 a conference focusing on liturgy was held in Malines, Belgium. Dom Lambert Beauduin led the conference that underscored full participation in the liturgy as a way of instructing the faithful and deepening their faith. These ideas were pastoral in nature and pointed to the catechetical potential of the Mass. In an article on liturgy and catechesis, Joseph Weiss quotes Virgil Funk,
Beauduin held that an understanding of the nature of the Church as the body of Christ would enable the development of a deeper sense of community in both worship and life. Worship, Beauduin stressed, was the common action of the people of the Church, an action that involved them all in a sharing in the saving work of Christ in and for the world. . . . The “active participation” of the people, a phrase first used officially by Pope Pius X, was promoted through early and frequent communion, the restoration of community singing, and the translation of the Roman Missal as a devotional manual for the people. (Funk 1991, 699)… It was Dom Beauduin who was the inspirational force behind Michel’s desire to revive the liturgical worship of the Catholic Church in the United States. From the elder monk, Michel grew to see the theology of The Mystical Body of Christ as a key element in understanding the nature of the liturgy and its ability to touch the whole person, individually and collectively.”
Virgil Michel, O.S.B. (1890-1938), a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, was the leader of the Roman Catholic Liturgical Movement in the United States. It was the Collegeville Press that first printed the Our Parish Prays and Sings missalettes in 1959, translating the Latin pro multis as “for all men,” a topic which has been discussed in previous blogs. His life’s work was broadly centered on “bringing about a more Christian society through education for a greater understanding of and participation in the worship of the Church.” A trip to Europe in 1924 brought Michel into contact with courses in liturgy being taught by a monk from Mont César in Belgium named Lambert Beauduin, who believed that the work of saving souls, to be truly effective, must be rooted in the liturgy (Marx 1957, 28). Michel’s biographer writes: “’Virgil Michel was deeply influenced by the scholarly and energetic Dom Lambert who wrote of their meeting: ‘Religious education of the laity was at the heart of his desire to effect liturgical reform. Michel believed that a deeper understanding of the liturgy would in turn lead participants to lead more vibrant Christian lives and, consequently, bring about a more just society. He stressed the inherent link between the liturgy of the Church and action for social justice.’”
Michel later worked with several Protestants to develop his liturgical theology notions. His biographer states that Michel believed that “the laity as well as the clergy made up the Church and each member of the Body of Christ was given special gifts in order to help build up the Church. For Michel, the laity must be at the heart of the liturgy as the ‘work of the people.’ Participation in the Mass and an active Catholic laity were central to Michel’s thought.” And yet the Mystical Body was not defined by the Church until Pope Pius XII wrote Mystici Corporis Christi in 1943, and by that time Michel had already passed away. So what were Beauduin and his student really teaching? Rev. Kaiser will explain some of this below.
Early inklings of reform
The Liturgical Movement was first established in the late 1800s to FIGHT the abuses related to liturgical reform, although it was swiftly overtaken by the Modernists and put to work to promote ecumenism. It was seen as dangerous even in its infancy, long before Pope Pius XII’s death. Many of the reforms that would later be introduced were already being promoted in a work in 1879 entitled History of the Mass, by Rev. John O’Brien where the author writes regarding the consecration of the wine:
“According to the best authorities and Pope Benedict XIV among others, and the Enchiridion, page 72, the word “many” is here to be taken as meaning ‘all,’ a mode of expression by no means uncommon in the Holy Scripture. St. Thomas Aquinas also interprets it in this way.” Patrick Henry Omlor, in his The Robber Church comments: “This TOTALLY erroneous paragraph penned by Father John O’Brien is disturbing enough. Even MORE DISTURBING is the fact that the book wherein it appears was published in  and BEARS THE IMPRIMATUR of John Cardinal McCloskey. Now, in the first place, Father O’Brien’s claim would make a mockery of Saint Pius V and his CATECHISM BY DECREE OF THE HOLY COUNCIL OF TRENT. The reader will recall that earlier in this monograph we quoted a passage from this CATECHISM which begins thus: “With reason, therefore, were the words FOR ALL not used.”(!) Or wasn’t this saintly Pope aware that the word “MANY “…is here to be taken as meaning “ALL“??
“That Father O’Brien would actually use Benedict XIV and St. Thomas as authorities to prove his point is INCREDIBLE!Because they both held EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what Father O’Brien is trying to ‘prove.’ This quotation of St. Alphonsus… needs repeating here: “The words PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS (`For you and for many’) are used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our Savior is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. … THIS IS THE EXPLANATION OF ST. THOMAS, AS QUOTED BY BENEDICT XIV.” (Emphasis added) And this disingenuous misinterpretation of crucial texts is a tactic repeatedly employed by Traditionalists and the Feeneyites among them.
Fr. O’Brien also notes that: “As far back as the year 1815 when devotion to St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of our divine Lord was making rapid headway, the Sacred Congregation of Rites was earnestly besought to grant permission to add the name of this venerable patriarch to [the Canon of the Mass], one of the reasons assigned for making the request being that many persons had a particular devotion to him. The request was not granted, the reply to the question being ‘Negative,’ and this was denominated a response urbis at orbis that is, binding in Rome and everywhere else.” So as can be seen here, the liturgical reform advocates were already at work and it is interesting that in the same volume, two of the later innovations appear that would actually be implemented under Angelo Roncalli. Now to Rev. Kaisers Part 2 on “The Background of Mediator Dei.”
Kaiser opens his article with these words: “In Mediator Dei Pius XII not only refutes the errors of Borgman and Doerner, [writers who helped popularize radical liturgical reform], but also corrects the vagaries of both the indifferent and the enthusiasts. But he does much more. He presents in summary form a beautiful and significant synthesis of Catholic teaching and worship — an integrated philosophy and theology of liturgy. Here we find a truly Catholic and doctrinal integration — one that the enthusiasts might very well use to correct their false sacramentalism and one that heretics might admire and copy in their return to historical and dogmatic values.”
T. Benns comment: And here we ask, why is it that certain “credentialed” individuals antagonistic to Pope Pius XII prefer to write articles condemning him for changes in the Holy Week liturgy and the Breviary; also for failing to deliver the good in Mediator Dei? Such unjust criticism of Pope Pius XII is placed in its proper perspective by the following:“Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church” (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, 1864). Would it not have been much better to simply do a little research and present Rev. Kaiser’s analysis of the topic, along with those of other approved theologians, who were so much closer to the issues of the day?
Kaiser: “…The liturgy has a divine and unchangeable element as well as a human or merely ecclesiastical element, as Pius XII says: ‘The human components admit of various modifications, as the needs of the age, circumstances and the good of souls require, and as the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy under the guidance of the Holy Spirit may have authorized. . . .’ The Pope goes on to give the causes of this development as due, among other things, to a more explicit formulation of doctrine. As doctrine came to be determined with greater certitude and clarity, new ritual forms came to reflect and express the new light shed on the truths of faith.” Pius XII writes in Mediator Dei: “The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism… she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded.”
T. Benns comment: Critics of the liturgy changes instituted by Pope Pius XII do not believe that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to male them? That he could err in a matter of faith? We may not know the exact reasons for these changes but we have no right to question the pope’s ability to make them, as long as they do not touch the substance of the Sacraments. Doctrine develops, and the pope did his best to ensure in this encyclical that it developed in a manner that safeguarded the integrity of Catholic doctrine.
Kaiser: “A perfect harmony is realized between divine faith in the mind and the divine life in the soul, brought about by the integration of Scripture, dogma, moral, and ascetics in liturgy… However, liturgy does not exclude the value and need of other forms of worship and other means of sanctification. It presupposes and requires private worship and private devotion.
T. Benns comment: Here we see the “heretical exclusivism” Rev. Kaiser spoke of in Part 1 of his article, as explained in our last blog. I can’t think of a better way to describe how Traditionalists make the liturgy out to be the “end all, be all” of Catholic faith and belief, excluding all other forms of sanctification such as prayers, devotions, the Perfect Act of Contrition and Spiritual Communion. This teaching of Pope Pius XII in his ordinary magisterium condemns their disparagement and rejection of praying at home. We also must note that this rejection of all other forms of sanctification is also the rejection of an integral Catholicism, and as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton explained in a previous blog, that rejection is a clear indication of Modernist teaching.
Kaiser: “(Social supper hypothesis) “The Pope adds: ‘They therefore err from the path of truth who do not want to have Masses celebrated unless the faithful communicate… This social supper hypothesis flows from the heretical concept of the community of priesthood as well as from an exaggerated view of Communion as a communal act.”
T. Benns comment: This “community priesthood” — perpetuated by Traditionalists who rely solely on their “precious priests” and “bishops at large,” minus their head bishop, the pope — flourishes precisely because Traditionalists make the Mass and Sacraments the sole focus of Catholic belief and practice, stripping the Church of Her ability to rule infallibly in Jesus’ name. This again is heretical exclusivism, separating the Church, the Mass and the Sacraments, from the direction of Her Vicar.
Kaiser: Pius XII writes: “’It is false, insidious and pernicious to conclude that all Christian piety must be centered in the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ — with no regard for what is personal or subjective.’ … The supremacy of the Mass and Communion is to be maintained without denying or underestimating the value and need of the other sacraments and rites and likewise without prejudice to all the other non-sacramental means of holiness. Liturgy is indeed the master key but not the only key to the heavenly treasures… Surely the people should have understood the pernicious results of a teaching that tried to separate liturgy from private prayer and devotions and all regard for personal, individual holiness.”
T. Benns comment: So here is proof positive that Traditionalists err in a matter of faith when they condemn those praying at home and tell their followers that it is not possible for them to receive the graces necessary for salvation unless they attend Mass and receive the Sacraments from them. And no, prior to Vatican 2, the people obviously did NOT understand the dire effects of this heretical exclusivism that now has pervaded everything ever once thought to be Catholic. Clearly Traditionalist errors, especially those of the Feeneyites, center wholly around the manner in which grace is distributed. And this is precisely what Mediator Dei condemned. Kaiser sums up his articles as follows.
Kaiser: The author explains that without naming them personally, Pope Pius XII condemned the teachings of Doerner and Borgman, which Kaiser describes as “Nestorian ideas [issuing] indirectly through liberal Protestantism [and] through Febronianism (German Gallicanism), which culminated in Josephinism and its secular ideas of religion and religious government. The pretense at giving all bishops equal power and denying supreme papal jurisdiction was a cover up for so-called nationalistic and “Los vom Rom” [free from Rome] delusions of Febronianism…” He terms their confusion regarding the operation of grace to “to a monistic conception of identity of the soul in grace with Christ the Author of grace… Whilst Christ is really and substantially present in the Eucharist, Holy Communion is not a substantial union with Christ but rather a spiritual and moral union with the real and substantial presence of Christ in the soul. That may be the reason why some pictured the Eucharistic presence as such as abiding even after the species is dissolved. Here is where Hegelianism and Quietism led to a kind of pantheism. How else explain the term “numerically one and the same grace” of Christ if they merely meant to identify sanctifying grace with the Eucharistic presence? It is therefore an error insofar as it identifies the sacramental Christ with a mere member of His Mystical Body.
“In short, the new doctrine confused the natural and sacramental priesthood of Christ as well as the lay-priesthood with clerical and ordained human priesthood. It confused the sacramental and Mystical Body of Christ. It confused the hypostatic union of the divine and human in Christ with the merely moral and spiritual union of the soul with Christ in Holy Communion. It confused the temporary Eucharistic presence of Christ’s humanity in the soul of the communicant with the longer-lasting presence of sanctifying and sacramental grace in the souls of the just. It mistook antiquarianism and simplicity for true historical and scientific research into the backgrounds of doctrine, liturgy and theology.
“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. It confused Hegelian monism and the unity of truth. It confused scientific scholasticism and mere arbitrary and perfunctory nominalism, or in other words real thinking and mere labeling. And it mistook Quietism for mysticism; syncretism for integration, humanism for divine faith. And finally its socialistic community worship led to community of priest, community of Christ, community of God. Not evolution, but revolution and devolution.
T. Benns comment: Whew! Here we have in a nutshell not only the errors of the Novus Ordo reformers but the Traditionalists as well. It is backhanded proof that they were working both ends to meet in the middle. Errors regarding the necessity of maintaining an integral faith, of the true nature of sanctifying grace, the condemned notion of equality of the bishops with the pope and the heretical exclusivism that separated the liturgy from the papacy — all of these are present in what Kaiser wrote. What is most startling is his assessment that this community priest idea, which Traditionalists have cultivated for decades, is actually a manifestation of socialism, the people running and directing the clergy, in reverse order to the Vicar of Christ reigning over all the faithful, including bishops and priests.
Further thoughts on the liturgy and the Church
As Pope Pius XII explained in Mediator Dei, after reminding the faithful that the Credo is a key part of the liturgy, “The entire liturgy has the Catholic Faith for its content…it bears public witness to the faith of the Church. For this reason whenever there was a question of defining a truth revealed by God, the Sovereign Pontiff and the Councils, in their recourse to ‘theological sources,’ as they are called, have not seldom drawn many an argument from this sacred science of the Liturgy…’The rule for prayer determines the rule for belief.’ The Sacred Liturgy does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic Faith… If one desires to differentiate and described the relationship between faith and the Sacred Liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say…’let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer.’”
And so Catholic doctrine stands outside and above the liturgy. Here we see that Pope Pius XII deliberately reversed the “Lex orandi, lex credendi” touted by the liturgists to prove a point. And he did so because people like Roncalli and his associates were already using this rule to advocate and facilitate actual changes. And yet even Traditionalists reject this clear teaching of the ordinary magisterium as false and injurious to the Church today. This is proven by the many “opinions” concerning the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM), the lawfulness of attending an NOM, of using priests ordained in Novus Ordo rites and other matters. It also is seen in the constant criticism aimed at Pope Pius XII for allowing even those changes he was permitted to make in the liturgy. This even though the pope taught in this same encyclical that:
“The Sacred Liturgy does include Divine as well as human elements. The former, instituted as they have been by God, cannot be changed in any way by men…The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification…No private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body, and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.”
Rev. Ernest Graf summarized Mediator Dei for the Homiletic and Pastoral Review in July, 1948. It is a most enlightening article. One of the first things Graf addresses is Pope Pius XII’s condemnation of a false interpretation of lex orandi, lex credendi, “…which would make of the Liturgy a touchstone of orthodoxy and the content of faith…Though the Liturgy does not absolutely and authoritatively constitute or designate the Catholic faith, valuable arguments may be drawn from it in support of particular points of Christian doctrine.” Thus idolatry of the liturgy as the primary focal point for the practice of the Catholic faith was long ago condemned as dangerous to that faith.
Graf continues: “Changes may be introduced and new forms of devotion approved by the Supreme Pontiff alone…The Pope…sternly rebukes those who, on their own new rites and customs, or to revive others that have become obsolete…Individual priests must not use their churches for liturgical experiments. With a view to preventing abuses, the liturgical movement should be watched and directed by a special committee to be set up in each diocese…Above all, let the laws of the Church be obeyed.”
Pope Pius XII relied on the bishops to obey him and exercise vigilance. They did not. This is far from allowing anything. Pope Pius XII made a very important decision in reserving liturgical change to the Pope. He proved that the Pope is the center of the Catholic faith not the liturgy, or at least not the liturgy without the Pope. Reintroducing or not reintroducing the Tridentine rite is not the gold standard. As Adrian Fortescue explained in the Catholic Encyclopedia under the Mass, the center of unity in belief in the Catholic Church is the papacy, but the Holy Sacrifice is the expression of that unity. Catholics pray according to what they believe, (lex orandi, lex credendi). When the Church’s teachings are overturned, this invariably results in a disintegration of the liturgy.
Therefore the destruction of the symbol of unity, inextricably bound up with the doctrine of the papacy was mistaken for the thing itself. This is an echo of the manner in which the Modernists intended to represent the faith: external symbols of doctrines themselves were all that was needed to satisfy the superficial Catholic. Heretical exclusivism separates dogmatic integrity from liturgical practice. It makes the Mass and Sacraments the sole means of obtaining grace by excluding other means. It disrupts integral belief in the Church as an unchangeable, undivided whole. It destroys the Apostolic College by decapitating its head, excluding the necessity of perpetual succession and pretending that it can operate without the Vicar Christ established as the sole source of all unity and infallibility. But the most tragic consequence of all these heresies is that they exclude those wishing to be truly Catholic from membership in the Mystical Body of Christ and rob them of their eternal salvation.
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Novena to the Sorrowful Mother
(Can be started at any time before the actual feast on Sept. 15)
MOST BLESSED and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother’s pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart.
I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the Cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request.
(Here pause and name the favors which you are asking Our Sorrowful Mother to obtain for you through this Novena. Let your secondary intention be to pray for the intentions of all the people making this Novena anywhere in the world, and especially for the prayer associates on this site. Thus a great mass prayer for all Novena intentions will arise to Our Blessed Mother.)
For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hail Mary, Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us. (Seven times)
+St. Louis, King+
I hesitate here to spend too much time on the heretical new liturgy that was introduced into the Catholic Church by the Roman usurpers beginning in 1959 because strictly speaking, we can no longer enjoy the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass owing to the lack of valid clergy. However what has happened regarding the Mass is important, because Traditionalists, of various shades and descriptions, have been so bold as to suggest that Pope Pius XII was implicated in the Mass changes and can be blamed for what later happened regarding the Latin Mass. I have already directed people to read the passion of Pope Pius XII which is under the More Recent Articles section of my Articles/Study the Faith page. So I hope that in reading that article people will have a better understanding of what actually happened, why it happened and why it may appear to some that Pius XII was indeed complicit in this, although he was not.
I don’t think that it’s stating too much to say that those who blame Pope Pius XII for changing the Holy Week liturgy and the Breviary are demonizing him in the hopes of perhaps, at one point, declaring him part of the plot to introduce usurpers into the Catholic Church and destroy the Mass. Having spent a good part of my life studying the writings of Pope Pius XII and the theology of the Church as it existed prior to his death, I do think that it is a terrible travesty for anyone to believe that he could have been complicit and I expressed this in the article just mentioned in the opening paragraph. People who are involved with Traditionalists in some way are very much the victims of these pseudo-clergy who would like nothing better than to destroy even the idea of the Catholic Church in order to supplant it themselves. And this is nothing new — I’ve been explaining these aberrations on this site for nearly 20 years. But it keeps resurfacing, particularly among the recognize and resist crowd, and other “rad-Trad” types who have been openly anti-Semitic and suspected of harboring neo-Nazi sympathies. It seems oddly coincidental to me that these individuals are the very ones who seem most devoted to this condemnation of Pius XII regarding the liturgy.
While the “conservative” media is calling out the Department of Justice and the FBI for targeting radical Traditionalists, saying that it’s totally unjustified, these media claims are entirely bogus. I’m sorry — I don’t support anything the DOJ or FBI are doing regarding the violation of our personal freedoms, but I have personally witnessed the existence of these ties to neo-Nazi groups among Traditionalists and have documented its existence. If the so-called conservative media would do their homework instead of cowering to their bosses and be honest in all this — if they would read back a couple of decades into the history of Traditionalism —they would see there were concerns long ago about these neo-Nazi tendencies. Many of them centered around the activities of the Society of St. Pius X.
Some Traditionalists most adamant in condemning Pope Pius XII for his Holy Week and Breviary changes also insinuate he was a Jewish sympathizer, siding with those among the Jews and Protestants accusing him of this for the past two decades. This would only serve to inflame any Traditionalists harboring neo-Nazi tendencies as well as fuel opposition to the liturgical changes he made. In other words, they are reacting out of an entrenched prejudice based on anti-Semitism, a prejudice condemned by the Church, even though Pope Pius XII did not do anything contrary to faith and morals in executing the changes he made to the liturgy. But is there a more fundamental link to the Nazi mentality that somehow explains how it contributed to not only liturgical reform, but to the anticipated Hegelian reaction to that reform — the Latin Mass movement? (thesis: Latin Mass; antithesis Novus Oro Missae; synthesis, splitting of the Mass entirely from it’s ancient safeguard, the papacy).
There is indeed proof there was such a connection, as explained by 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”). Perhaps those sporting secular “credentials” who are now busy bashing Pius XII and this encyclical on the liturgy should have conducted more thorough research before daring to criticize and defame a true pope, acting well within the limits of his jurisdiction. Certainly what Fr. Kaiser relates in his article is an eye-opener, for not only does he make the neo-Nazi connection; he also spells out other heresies that exist today among the Novus Ordo and Traditionalist sects. According to Fr. Kaiser in Part 1 of his article, the following tendencies and errors contributed to the clamor for liturgical reform. See my comments in blue.
- The heresies of Gallicanism, Jansenism and Febronianism — all promoted by the Protestants especially in Germany, where the liturgical movement had its deepest roots — limited papal jurisdiction to favor episcopal equality, which made it difficult to fight and overcome National Socialism (Naziism).
Comment: The anti-papal heresies of Gallicanism and Febronianism have been covered at length on this site. The Gallicanist theologian Jean Gerson taught: “The decision of the Pope alone, in matters which are of faith, does not as such bind (anyone) to believe; Bishops in the primitive Church were of the same power as the Pope; The Roman Church, the head of which is believed to be the Pope …may err, and deceive and be deceived, and be in schism and heresy, and fail to exist.” (Henry Cardinal Manning, The Ecumenical Council and the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff: a Letter to the Clergy, 1869). And here is recognized the very same teachings which the Anglicans and Luther used to justify their separation from Rome at the time of the Protestant Reformation.
Febronianism went even further, declaring: “The final court of appeal in the Church is the ecumenical council (cap. vi), the rights of which exclude the pretended monarchical constitution of the Church. The pope is subordinate to the general council; he has neither the exclusive authority to summon one, nor the right to preside at its sessions, and the conciliar decrees do not need his ratification. Ecumenical councils are of absolute necessity, as even the assent of a majority of bishops to a papal decree, if given by the individuals, outside a council, does not constitute a final, irrevocable decision. Appeal from the pope to a general council is justified by the superiority of the council over the pope. According to the Divine institution of the episcopate (cap. vii), all bishops have equal rights; they do not receive their power of jurisdiction from the Holy See… Febronius, while ostensibly contending for a larger independence and greater authority for the bishops, seeks only to render the Churches of the different countries less dependent on the Holy See, in order to facilitate the establishment of national Churches in these states, and reduce the bishops to a condition in which they would be merely servile creatures of the civil power.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911).
This of course essentially establishes the bishops as equal to the pope and does to discipline what liturgical reform accomplished in the liturgy. It successfully reduced it to its primitive forms (ignoring all development of doctrine and discipline over the ages), and opened the door to the state religion, such as was established in Germany by the Old Catholics and was also advanced by National Socialism (Aryanism). It eventually led to the “collegiality” of Vatican 2 and the rule of Traditional “bishops” lacking valid orders and jurisdiction, pretending to be able to constitute the Church without their head bishop, the Roman Pontiff. Later concessions to American belief and the heretical teachings of John Courtenay Murray were conceded at the false Vatican 2 council, granting non-Catholics in America equal status with Catholics where salvation is concerned.
- The constant struggle between Progressives concerning liberalism and Catholic orthodoxy was especially pronounced in the German universities, where Protestants, of course, were in the majority.
Comment: This was the direct result of the inroads made by Liberalism and Modernism.
- There was a growing ambition, even among some of the religious centers, to free themselves from the authority of Rome.
- The proponents of Gallicanism and Febronianism were the primary agitators for the free from Rome movement, and this dovetailed in a sense with the Nazi political movement. For Naziism was it’s own religion, the religion of the state, and already the Old Catholics had succeeded in making inroads as the state religion. This heightened the battle waged by Protestants to champion state over Church.
Comment: Pope St. Pius X writes in his encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis: “The Modernists try in every way to diminish and weaken… authority. They propose to remove the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character and rights and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries.”
- Hitler lured youth away from Sunday instruction with his youth movement and the liturgical movement placed its emphasis strictly on the liturgy ridiculing and de-emphasizing catechetical instruction. This considerably weakened the authority of those of insisting upon the necessity of instructing children in Catholic dogma. Pope St. Pius X wrote on this grave error:
“How many and how grave are the consequences of ignorance in matters of religion! And on the other hand, how necessary and how beneficial is religious instruction! It is indeed vain to expect a fulfillment of the duties of a Christian by one who does not even know them… the Council of Trent, treating of the duties of pastors of souls, decreed that their first and most important work is the instruction of the faithful. It therefore prescribes that they shall teach the truths of religion on Sundays and on the more solemn feast days; moreover during the holy seasons of Advent and Lent they are to give such instruction every day or at least three times a week. This, however, was not considered enough. The Council provided for the instruction of youth by adding that the pastors, either personally or through others, must explain the truths of religion at least on Sundays and feast days to the children of the parish, and inculcate obedience to God and to their parents” (Acerbo nimis).
- The reform liturgists appealed to the popular will and the popular mind by use of the vernacular in the liturgy. They also favored the teachings of National Socialism and showed a tendency to nationalize and desacralize religion itself.
- Dr. Pius Parsch encourage the cultural and social aspects of the liturgy and the use of the vernacular in both the pew and on the altar, and this in the 1920s.
- Dom Odo Casel advocated for the “community cult” or community priesthood in Germany, which Kaiser says “disturbs the hierarchical order.” It ignores the Apostolic College and the Pope and Bishops in communion with him as the only real teachers in the Church.
Comment: “We must now consider upon whom rests the obligation to dissipate this most pernicious ignorance and to impart in its stead the knowledge that is wholly indispensable. There can be no doubt, Venerable Brethren, that this most important duty rests upon all who are pastors of souls. On them, by command of Christ, rest the obligations of knowing and of feeding the flocks committed to their care; and to feed implies, first of all, to teach. “I will give you pastors according to my own heart,” God promised through Jeremias, “and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.” Hence the Apostle Paul said: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,” thereby indicating that the first duty of all those who are entrusted in any way with the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in the things of God” (Pope St. Pius X, Acerbo nimis).
It was not the championing and celebration of the Latin Mass and the Eucharist that would render the salvation of souls Traditionalists falsely profess to be so solicitous in procuring. That false theology is exactly the same basis used to justify liturgical reform, and the allowance of the Latin Mass was already built into that reform. Their primary duty was to first educate themselves, then educate the faithful in Christian doctrine. They disobeyed Pope St. Pius X’s and Our Lord’s command to educate, obeying instead the popular will and the popular mind, which demanded the Latin Mass be provided and the Sacraments be administered to them. This is also contrary to Canon Law and the Council of Trent which as noted under Can. 147 in the Canon Law Digest, Vol. 3, where the Sacred Congregation of the Council declared: “The Catholic Church is, in virtue of its institution by Christ Himself, a perfect society hierarchically established, whose full and supreme power of government and jurisdiction rests with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter in the primacy. Hence no one can presume to intrude himself or others into ecclesiastical offices or benefices without a legitimate canonical investiture or provision.
“The true rule of Canon Law in this matter is found in Rule VI…And the Council of Trent declared, “that those who undertake to exercise these offices merely at the behest of and upon the appointment by the people or the secular power and authority, and those who assume the same on their own authority, are all to be regarded not as ministers of the Church but as thieves and robbers who have entered not by the door,” (Cap. IV, Session XXIII, de reform). More, the same Sacred Synod defined as follows: “If anyone says…that those who are neither duly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical authority, but who come from elsewhere, are legitimate ministers of the word and of the Sacraments, let him be anathema,” (Ibid. Can. VII, also the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, no. 50).” Here related canons 2331 §2, 2334 nos. 1 and 2, 147 §1 and 147 §2, 332 §1 and 2394 are cited as already having condemned these abuses. Canons 330, 331 §1, §2, §3 also apply in this case.
It was at the request of “the people” that Traditionalists established their chapels. Traditional priests possess no offices, as required under Can. 147: “An ecclesiastical office cannot be validly obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons,” Pope Pius XII’s infallible constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) nullifies any acts performed contrary to Canon Law and papal teaching during an interregnum. Clearly in violating the teachings of the Council of Trent and VAS, any acts attempted by Traditionalists who admit they possess no offices is and was null and void.
What Traditionalists did was no different than what those promoting the changes to the liturgy did in helping to establish the Novus Ordo Missae. Both were contrary to Divine revelation and the infallible teachings of the Church.
- Kaiser states that regarding the use of the vernacular and the term community priesthood “…Such phrases were loaded with danger. It is possible they became handles for heresy when the time was ripe for change, as in Nazi Germany, Austria, and to a lesser extent in France. Phrases originally intended to express secondary social aspects of religion and to stimulate new and vitalized interest in Iiturgical revival were possibly twisted to become spearheads of liberals, Hegelians, mitigated Quietists and just plain religious compromisers.”
- The reform liturgists attempted to tie all sources of grace to the Sacraments strictly, not broadly. They tried to use the liturgy as a way to test doctrines before they were embodied in the Church by the Pope. Kaiser calls this an “…heretical attitude. This, liberals believe, is how doctrine develops,” he says, identifying this attitude as the error of pragmatism.
Comment: How many times have we heard from Traditionalists that unless one attends their masses and receives their sacraments, they cannot obtain the fullness of sanctifying grace or even be certain their sins are forgiven because they rely only on a Perfect Act of Contrition?
There is a heresy that can be traced to the Council of Basle and the heretics Wycliffe and Hus which the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia identifies as Utraquism The Encyclopedia author defines this belief as: “Man, in order to be saved, must receive Holy Communion when he wishes and where he wishes, under the forms of bread (and wine)…That this is of Divine precept, continued the Hussite, is further evident from tradition.” The article’s author, Joseph Hughes goes on to explain that reception of the Eucharist is not by necessity of means (“an imperative must”) but by necessity of precept, meaning, “an obligation imposed by a command, and for good reasons that which is prescribed may be dispensed with. The Hussites contended that the Eucharist was a necessary means to salvation, so that those who died without having received the Eucharist, (the young, the insane) could not be saved… (But) the Catholic Church denies the Eucharist is necessary as a means to salvation…(it) is a precept; from it dispensations are possible.”
Shades of the Jansenists and the Feeneyites, the Jansenists for rigoristically teaching contrary to the Council of Trent that Perfect Contrition can never procure salvation and the Feeneyites for proclaiming that no one may be saved unless they receive actual water Baptism.
- Referring to the disregard for catechetical instruction and dogma, Kaiser states that the liturgy edged out Christian dogma and calls this “heretical exclusivism.” He also accuses them of seeking refuge in psychological and social ideals instead of emphasizing catechetical instruction as a necessary foundation for understanding sermons and worthily participating in the liturgy.
Comment: This heretical exclusivism is precisely what was used by Traditionalists to edge out the papacy itself, and Catholics bought into that because they did not know or understand their faith. Many had never attended Catholic school or been well instructed in the Catechism. The mania for social reform and the increase in emotional and mental disturbances which came as a result of the advent of psychiatry, usurping the role of the confessor, further complicated their understanding of the faith. Pope St. Pius X writes:
“We are indeed aware that the work of teaching the Catechism is unpopular with many because as a rule it is deemed of little account and for the reason that it does not lend itself easily to the winning of public praise. But this in Our opinion is a judgment based on vanity and devoid of truth. We do not disapprove of those pulpit orators who, out of genuine zeal for the glory of God, devote themselves to defense of the faith and to its spread, or who eulogize the saints of God. But their labor presupposes labor of another kind, that of the catechist. And so if this be lacking, then the foundation is wanting; and they labor in vain who build the house. Too often it happens that ornate sermons which receive the applause of crowded congregations serve but to tickle the ears and fail utterly to touch the hearts of the hearers. Catechetical instruction, on the other hand, plain and simple though it be, is the word of which God Himself speaks through the lips of the prophet Isaias: ‘And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth and water it, and make it to spring and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: so shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth. It shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it… Since it is a fact that in these days adults need instruction no less than the young, all pastors and those having the care of souls shall explain the Catechism to the people in a plain and simple style adapted to the intelligence of their hearers. This shall be carried out on all holy days of obligation, at such time as is most convenient for the people, but not during the same hour when the children are instructed, and this instruction must be in addition to the usual homily on the Gospel which is delivered at the parochial Mass on Sundays and holy days.’”
- 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 v. the responsibilities of being educated Catholics, ignoring the pain and suffering of Christ on the cross which led to the joys of the resurrection. 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.
Comment: This is a subject that deserves a treatment all its own, and it will be covered in a future blog. Pain and suffering in this age of easily available pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and the belief that all pain must be alleviated and not borne leaves little room for sharing in the pain of the Crucifixion, even among those professing to be Catholic. Pope Pius XII has much to say on this topic that is so little appreciated or understood.
The principles of Liturgical Reform were exercised not only by those establishing the Novus Ordo, but eq
ually by Traditionalists, who chose liturgy over dogma, eschewed scholasticism, opted for episcopal equality over the necessity of the papacy and the community priesthood over the necessity of jurisdiction to guarantee apostolicity. It is not difficult to pin down the main heresies of the liturgical reformers, something that was done by a German bishop, as Kaiser notes below:
“In 1942, Bishop Conrad Groeber of Freiburg in a memorandum to the German hierarchy deplored:
(1) the new definition of faith as sensation, emotion or interior intuition;
(2) the penchant for criticizing contemporary forms of religious life, including developments in the liturgical cult, with the view of returning to primitive Christianity with its bare table altar, etc.;
(3) veering from Scholastic philosophy to Hegelianism. The latter was considered more vital, the former only of historic interest and value;
(4) use of oriental philosophies and Protestant terms in connection with dogma;
(5) veering away from the historic redeeming Christ and His symbol, the Crucifix in our churches, to a new concept of the so-called Triumphant Christ, whose image should replace the Crucifix on the altar;
(6) a new concept of the Eucharistic Christ outside of time and space and not connected with the historical Redeemer;
(7) a new concept of the Church as a biological organism rather than the historically and divinely established hierarchical Kingdom of Truth, and guide to salvation.”
All of the above, also the ridicule of dogma and rejection of the papal supremacy mentioned previously, point to one heresy, and that the synthesis of all heresies — Modernism. Everything Groeber details is denounced in Pope St. Pius X’s Pascendi; liturgical reform was the Modernist Trojan horse used to seduce the remaining faithful, among both the Novus Ordo sect as well as Traditionalists.
(Next week: Kaiser reviews liturgical reform in the light of Mediator Dei.)
“Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages. — Pope Pius XII, MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS
With this blog we conclude the article from Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton and our comments on its contents. But I would like to return for a moment to the statements made on unity by Msgr. Fenton in Part I of this blog series. There Msgr. Fenton wrote:
“The factor that unites men in their activities within God’s supernatural kingdom on earth is, of course, divine charity, the supernatural love for God which necessarily involves the love of our neighbors, and particularly of those who are closest to us as our fellow members of Our Lord’s Mystical Body. Theological discussion is meant to contribute towards unity in the line of thought by reason of its accuracy. It attains that accuracy through the faithful adherence to the teaching of the Church’s magisterium. It is meant to serve the unity of charity within the true Church of Jesus Christ by showing Catholics how and why they must consider and treat each other as brothers in Christ precisely by reason of their membership in God’s household, the Church.”
And here we also would like to include Henry Cardinal Manning’s definition of unity, so pertinent to our own times: “[The definition of infallibility]… declares that the ends for which [the charism of infallibility] is given is (1) that the whole flock of Christ on earth may never be misled and (2) that the unity of the Church may always be preserved. Unity of faith generates unity of mind, unity of heart, unity of will. Truth goes before unity. Where truth is divided unity cannot be. Unity before truth is deception. Unity without truth is indifference or unbelief. Truth before unity is the law and principle and safeguard of unity” (The True Story of the Vatican Council, 1870).
But the best explanation of why there is no unity is found in Daniel 8:12, 24, where the prophet speaks of the coming of Antichrist: “And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice,because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground, and he shall do and shall prosper… And he shall destroy the mighty, and the people of the saints.” There is no unity because there is no truth, and there is no truth because Christ’s mouthpiece on earth, His Vicar, enabled by the Holy Ghost, has been taken away, along with the Holy Sacrifice.
The objector mentioned in Part 1 who criticized the use of Msgr. Fenton’s works on this site also sneered at the idea that Catholics praying at home can enjoy any kind of unity without the presence of the visible head of the Church on earth, the Roman Pontiff. But that statement is missing the entire point of how and why the Church yet exists in Her visible members today, residing as they do in the unity of Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church. And to say that this means the Church today cannot enjoy a modicum of unity in obedience to the decrees and commands of the Continual Magisterium is a concession to Traditionalism that simply will not be allowed on this site. For it is Traditionalism that has made it appear that apostolicity exists only in those purporting to possess valid orders and that without the existence of those claiming to be bishops and priests, apostolicity — which contains all the other marks — is lacking and the Church itself cannot exist. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To begin with, the very mark of apostolicity — which the Catholic Encyclopedia states “virtually contains the other three marks” — presumes that in the preservation of this essential mark, there is no deviation from the term apostolicity itself as intended by Our Lord. The entire definition of apostolicity as explained in the Catholic Encyclopedia is that the Church ever remain the very same Church Christ established, precisely as He established it. Traditionalists are excluded from this definition as the Encyclopedia explains:
“Therefore the Church is called Apostolic because it was founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. Apostolicity of doctrine and mission is necessary. Apostolicity of doctrine requires that THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH COMMITTED TO THE APOSTLES SHALL REMAIN UNCHANGED. Since the Church is infallible in its teaching, it follows that if the Church of Christ still exists it must be teaching His doctrine. Hence Apostolicity of mission is a guarantee of Apostolicity of doctrine. St. Irenæus (Adv. Haeres, IV, xxvi, n. 2) says: “Wherefore we must obey the priests of the Church who have succession from the Apostles, as we have shown, who, together with succession in the episcopate, have received the certain mark of truth according to the will of the Father; all others, however, are to be suspected, who separated themselves from the principal succession”, etc. In explaining the concept of Apostolicity, then, special attention must be given to Apostolicity of mission, or Apostolic succession… Apostolic succession must be both material and formal; the material consisting in the actual succession in the Church, through a series of persons from the Apostolic age to the present; the formal adding the element of authority in the transmission of power. It consists in the legitimate transmission of the ministerial power conferred by Christ upon His Apostles.”
So Traditionalists, in excluding the very Vicar of Christ and the only dispenser of that formal power to bishops, cannot and do not possess apostolicity of mission. And if they do not possess apostolicity of mission then they cannot possess apostolicity of doctrine or the other three marks, either. Yet in the absence of the juridic Church, apostolicity of doctrine and the recognition of the necessity of apostolicity of mission can and is retained by strict adherence to all that was taught by the popes prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, and all the teachings of those specificallyrecognized and approved by them. This includes Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton, a domestic prelate, papal chamberlain, and the recipient from Pope Pius XII of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award for faithful service to the Church and the Roman Pontiff. This was addressed in our last blog. All the four marks yet exist, and can be demonstrated, as long as they are proclaimed and practiced by members of the Mystical Body.
This then applies also to unity. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Hence the Church which has Christ for its founder is not to be characterized by any merely accidental or internal spiritual union, but, over and above this, it must unite its members in unity of doctrine, EXPRESSED BY EXTERNAL, PUBLIC PROFESSION; in unity of worship, manifested chiefly in the reception of the same sacraments ; and in unity of government, by which all its members ARE SUBJECT TO AND OBEY THE SAME AUTHORITY, which was instituted by Christ Himself… it was the intention of Christ that His Church should be one, and that, not in any accidental internal way, but essentially and visibly. Unity is the fundamental mark of the Church, for without it the other marks would have no meaning, since indeed the Church itself could not exist.”
All this has been covered before in previous blog posts. Doctrine taught by the legitimate successors of the Apostles and obeyed, honored and preserved by true Catholics is a living entity. Those praying at home possess all the above marks as far as they are able and have access to the necessary Sacraments and their substitutes, according to God’s will for this time. They are visible, breathing proof the Church on earth still exists. And indeed God promised it would exist until the consummation. Biblical prophecy had to be fulfilled at some time in history, and we should thank God that it is being fulfilled both by us and in us, if we correspond with grace. But if we do not accept all the Church teaches, precisely as She teaches it, then we cannot claim to possess the marks. We can be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic only if we accept all of Her teachings and make certain that we know what those teachings are and how the Church Herself understands them.
As one reader commented recently, all of this is really rather simple. If we wish to know what we should do and believe, we must read the encyclicals, bulls and constitutions of the popes and believe and obey whatever they say. We should read the articles here and here in order to understand that we are not alone in this; Catholics have been deprived of clergy and been forced to pray at home in ages past. The reason so much has been posted to this site over the years is because Traditionalists have confused the laity regarding the entire nature of the Church and very few indeed have informed them of their obligation to avoid unlawful pastors, which Traditionalists most certainly are. Untangling the web they have spun to entrap their followers takes time, prayer, study, and perseverance. As noted in our last blog, Traditionalists and those of the Novus Ordo sect present many teachings previously condemned by the Church as still in force and remain silent about other dogmas which may be somewhat difficult to understand but are essential to the faith. This is the very same method used by the Modernists, and it is described below by Msgr. Fenton in concluding his article.
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Pope Benedict XV and the rules for theological discussion
(Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton, American Ecclesiastical Review, July 1956)
(5) The part of the Ad bravissimo which has been perhaps most frequently mentioned in the years since its original appearance is that in which the Sovereign Pontiff asked his people to refrain from “using distinctive names by which Catholics are marked off from Catholics.” From the context there can be hardly any room for doubt that the term to which the Pope objected was “integralist.” And, for this reason, some Catholic lecturers and writers have professed to see in this a condemnation of the group to which the name “integralists” had been applied. The text of the encyclical and the actual history of Modernistic literature show us that such a claim is entirely erroneous. The Ad beatissimi definitely and clearly objects to the use of the name. In no way does it state or even imply any dissatisfaction with the persons to whom that name had been applied. And, in point of historical fact, it is quite evident that the term “integralists” was not first used by the opponents of the Modernists but by the Modernists themselves.
T. Benns: This assignment of names began in the late 19th, early 20th century, with tags such as liberal, moderate, progressive used to distinguish the tendencies of the hierarchy. These categories follow the political order, when no Catholic can rightly be described as liberal or moderate, and certainly not progressive, since these are attitudes condemned by the Church. Later it would extend to Traditionalist sects, but then these sects certainly cannot be called Catholic.
“The theologians who contradicted and exposed the original Modernists protested against their efforts to pass over or to modify some individual dogmas of the Catholic Church. They insisted that the content of Divine Revelation presented to us by the ecclesia docens must be believed, kept, and professed integra, in its entirety. In taking this stand they were merely repeating the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, who condemned the doctrine of those who “contend that it is opportune, in order to attract the wills of those who differ from us, to set aside some points of doctrine as of lighter moment or so to modify them that they no longer retain the meaning which the Church has always held.’”
T. Benns: Here and in the paragraphs that follow Msgr. Fenton explains how integralism became a “dirty word” used to shame those insisting that objective truth is one, as Pope Pius XII teaches, and is not to be deviated from or minimized, for anyone or in any situation. The detraction the Modernists resorted to and their devotion to useless questions is still very much alive among Traditionalists. In an earlier article for the American Ecclesiastical Review, Msgr. Fenton observed: “The religious proposition of the integralists is also represented as characterized by a rigidity of doctrine. All that this expression would seem to mean is a resistance to any teaching which the integralist regards as involving a change in Catholic doctrine. Certainly there can be little to stigmatize in this attitude.” And how many times have Traditionalists accused those pointing out their errors of exercising this rigidity?
“The Modernists replied to this insistence on the fides integra by dubbing their opponents “integralists.” They worked to spread abroad the notion that these “integralists” were men of inferior culture, working for dishonorable motives to discredit the efforts of their betters. They could thus pass over any evidence adduced by the “integralists” without betraying their own inability to cope with the situation. The Modernists were obviously poor theologians. But they were outstandingly able in the field of publicity. Results of the systematic work of detraction they accomplished against their opponents remain until this day. One of those results is the stigma which, in the popular mind, still is attached to the designation ‘integralists.’”
T. Benns: And publicity and the manipulation of public opinion, by those such as Fr. Felix Morlion, John Courtenay Murray and his friend Henry Luce, publisher of Time/Life magazine, also the writings of many others, is what catapulted the Modernists into the Vatican itself.
“Far from repudiating or condemning the men to whom the title “integralist” had been applied, Pope Benedict XV went out of his way, in the Ad beatissimi, to state their basic thesis. He insisted that it is the duty of all those who are devoting themselves “to the good of the Catholic cause” to work in this way: “ut summo opere contendant integram conservare fidem et incolumen ab omni erroris afflatu, sequentes eum maxime, quem Christus constituit custodem et interpretem veritatis” (from the letter Testem benevolentiae, Denz., 1967.) This, rather than inquiry into useless questions, was what the Catholic Church demanded of its theologians, according to Pope Benedict XV.
“(6) One of the false reports sedulously encouraged by the Modernists and their sympathizers was that Modernism itself was a brief and relatively unimportant movement in the Church. People were led to believe that, with the exception of Loisy and a few like him, those who had been infected by the errors condemned by St. Pius X quickly acknowledged their mistakes, and that Modernism as a movement ended with the issuance of the Pascendi dominics gregis.
“The Ad beatissimi is a blessing to the Church for many reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that it points out that more than seven years after the Pascendi dominici gregis had been published, “this so pestilential evil” had not been entirely stamped out. It warned that it was still creeping abroad, secretly but with a certain effectiveness. It was still a movement against which loyal Catholics should be on their guard, and against which they were to stand. It was something which Pope Benedict XV felt called upon to condemn again, in its teachings and in its very spirit.”
T. Benns: The fact that bishops did not work together to take all precautions to exclude those of a Modernist bent from their seminaries and refuse imprimaturs to those writing books that exhibited Modernist tendencies, as Pope St. Pius X had ordered them to do, shows that the Modernists had stealthily infiltrated the episcopal ranks long before the death of Pope Pius XII. The poison was already circulating in the veins of the hierarchy and would eventually lead to their own self-destruction, and that of the Church.
“In the light of this encyclical it is difficult to see how anyone can ever hold that the Modernist movement was dead after 1907, and that there was no real Modernism for the Association of St. Pius V to fight against after the issuance of the Pascendi dominici gregis. The great lesson of the Ad beatissimi is its insistence upon the need of serious and loyal work by Catholic theologians to keep the Catholic faith in all of its integrity and purity. This, according to the encyclical, is exactly what the Catholic Church demands of those who devote their lives to its service. The document takes cognizance of the fact that anything done in this direction will be accomplished in the face of strong opposition.The Church, according to Pope Benedict XV, insists that its priests contend with all their might to prevent the setting-aside or the changing of any dogma of the faith on the part of Catholics. The language of the Ad beatissimi obviously implies that Pope Benedict meant that work for the integrity and purity of the Catholic faith is faced with serious opposition.”
T. Benns: Clearly priests did not fulfill their duties, particularly when it came to the education of the laity as commanded in papal encyclicals, also the proper direction of liturgical renewal. Even bishops did not oppose the Modernists as they were commanded to do, something later addressed by Msgr. Fenton in a subsequent essay. And this is why priests themselves were at a loss to carry out their duties; they had no leadership from the top.
“Thus the Ad beatissimi indicates the existence of a second kind of controversy in the field of sacred theology, and shows that sometimes this second kind of controversy may be required of any theologian. The first kind of controversy with which the encyclical was concerned was that between two men who supported opposite opinions on a point which had not as yet been settled by a decision of the Holy See. This second type of controversy is one in which a theologian points to or argues against some teaching which threatens the purity or the integrity of the Catholic faith.
“This was the type of controversy into which the opponents of the Modernists were being drawn fifty years ago. The Ad beatissimi points out the immediate and necessary objectives of such controversial writings when it asserts that Catholics must avoid the teachings and the spirit of those who are contradicting the doctrines of the Church. The rules for this second type of controversy must be seen in the light of this essential objective. It is clear that the defender of the Catholic truth must write modeste, that he must avoid all intemperate language, and that he must be guided always by the standards of truth, justice, and divine charity.”
T. Benns: This second type of controversy was carried on by theologians within the Catholic Church writing when the Church was still the Church. At that time, those against whom the faithful theologians such as Msgr. Fenton were writing could be referred to the Holy See by their bishops for disciplinary action if they refused to withdraw their false teachings, although bishops derelict in their duties already in the 1940s and 1950s often did not report them to the Holy Office. Under Canons 1935 and 2223, we as laity are guaranteed the right to be heard in calling these heretics out as a danger to the faith and in the absence of the hierarchy, as Pope Pius XII teaches, we are obligated to do so.
The behavior we see today mirrored in the discussions of the many-splintered Traditionalist sects and their publicists, also other non-Catholic sects, is nothing more than a continuation of Modernism as it existed even before the death of Pope Pius XII. There can be no Catholic charity, no truly Catholic discussion when there are no true Catholics to engage in it. True Catholics follow the rules as Msgr. Fenton has laid them down. True Catholics are integralists championing papal authority, not Modernists refusing to acknowledge the necessity of the papacy, or at least obedience to all papal decrees and teaching in its absence. This is best explained by Rev. Francis J. Connell below, in an answer to John Courtney Murray’s teaching on religious liberty ( American Ecclesiastical Review, January, 1952).
“As Catholics we must regard the Church’s teaching and practice as the proximate criterion of the tenableness of any theological theory that may be proposed; and when the theory seems to be opposed to the Church’s teaching or practice, a thorough investigation should be made to see if a reconciliation is possible. This should be done, not at the end, after support for the theory has been sought from other sources, but at the very beginning. For, if no reasonable way of establishing such a reconciliation can be found, the theory should be abandoned, however convincing the arguments in its favor may seem. Now, Fr. Murray’s theory on the relation between Church and State seems in some respects to be out of harmony with the Church’s teaching and practice. If he can prove that there is no opposition, theologians will cease to object to his opinions on this ground. But if he cannot or will not prove this point, he must expect that his theory will be viewed with suspicion.
“However, since Fr. Murray prefers to attack me instead of answering my objections, the task devolves on me of defending myself against his charges. I shall try to follow as closely as possible the order in which he brings up his objections…” Fr. Connell concludes his article with the following: “…Let me add a word about the attitude which Fr. Murray manifests toward me in his article. Frequently he uses expressions indicating that I have shown a lack of intellectual ability in this controversy. He ascribes to me ‘a lack of breadth, depth, comprehension and clarity,’ ‘falsity of perspective,” and “confusions in my political thought.’ He says that I give no idea of what is the speculative problem with which I am dealing, that I have a “genius for the peripheral,” and that I am guilty of logicism. This last he defines as ‘the achievement of a pseudo-consequence by a concatenation of propositions that represent mere conceptualizations,’ which, I take it, is a somewhat complicated way of saying that I am rather stupid.” So the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This is a picture-perfect example of how Traditionalists treat their opponents. They refuse to look for any conceivable way to reconcile differences, whenever possible, for the betterment of the Church and to promote unity among the faithful. And when this is not possible, they also then refuse to abandon their heretical teachings. To discredit their critics they then resort to ad hominem attacks since they cannot answer in kind the valid objections their opponents have raised. They reply in a condescending manner, reminding readers of their “seminary training” and “clerical authority,” when scholastic philosophy teaches that: ”Authority clothed with the necessary conditions is true authority. False authority makes the same claims although it lacks these conditions… Authority is not the last criterion of truth or motive of certitude.” And we have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that according to the teachings of the Continual Magisterium, these men have no authority whatsoever, and can be considered only pseudo-clergy. So much for their “seminary training,” which does not even teach them how to argue their non-existent cases in scholastic form.
This is why, repeatedly, given these ad hominem attacks, we have been forced to launch a defense against them on this site. For as Msgr. Fenton so aptly states: “The worst scandal that can be given comes from allowing a contradiction of Our Lord’s teaching to go unanswered. Of that I am absolutely sure. The people who utter the contradiction are usually so incompetent that nothing about much can be done about them.”
And all we can say to that is Amen.