St. Robert Bellarmine’s TRUE Teaching on an Heretical Pope

St. Robert Bellarmine’s TRUE Teaching on an Heretical Pope

+ The Immaculate Conception+

There has been much confusion among Traditionalists regarding exactly what St. Robert Bellarmine taught on whether a true pope could ever become a heretic. We have known for years St. Bellarmine taught that a non-Christian can never be elected as pope. He also taught that a doubtful pope is no pope; but the doubtful pope teaching, to the best of this author’s knowledge, has never been attributed to St. Bellarmine as its rightful author by anyone throughout the entire course of the crisis in the Church. Those pretending Bellarmine did not agree with the Pope Paul IV on the finer points of Cum ex Apostolatus Officio did not examine all his teachings as a comprehensive whole.

  1. Bellarmine taught non-Catholics cannot be elected pope: “This principle is most certain: The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member…” (De Romano Pontifice, Lib II, Cap. 30). This confirms paragraph 6 of Cum ex
  2. Bellarmine also taught that “if a papal election is really doubtful for any reason, the one elected should resign so that a new election may be held… But if he refuses to resign, the bishops can and ought to decide who is the legitimate pope…That is what the Council of Constance did” (De Concilio, ii, 19). (This teaching holds true because the legitimacy of the Roman Pontiff is a dogmatic fact, which cannot be denied because it is so closely connected to the dogma of unbroken succession to the papacy. This fact must be certainly established and when there is positive doubt regarding a papal election, this is not the case.)
  3. St. Bellarmine himself also solved the case of Liberius below, in his De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30, et al:

“Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic.”

This speaks to the old rule of law (concerning the law itself) that a doubtful law is no law, meaning that if there is doubt that it was legitimately made, or that it was properly promulgated, it may be ignored. From this comes the like axiom, “a doubtful pope is no pope” used as a reflex principle in requiring the resignation of all papal claimants at the Council of Constance during the Western Schism. The presumption that St. Robert speaks of above is that stated in Can. 2200: “The evil will spoken of in Can. 2199 means a deliberate will to violate the law and presupposes on the part of the mind a knowledge of the law and on the part of the will freedom of action. Given the external violation of the law, the evil will is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proven.” Revs. Woywod-Smith comment on this canon: “The rule here stated is evidently necessary for the public welfare.” Canon 1825 declares that a presumption of law is stated in the law itself, as is the case in Can. 2200.  And we find in Can. 1827: “He who has a presumption of law in his favor is freed from the burden of proof, which is thus shifted to his opponent. If the latter cannot prove that the presumption failed in the case, the judge must render sentence in favor of the one on whose side the presumption stands.”

In other words, one who is even suspected of being a heretic cannot, in Church practice, be tolerated as a true pope, even if there is a danger that these suspicions are not correct. One who is certainly Catholic must be elected, as was Pope Felix. Thus it is absurd and a great slander against St. Bellarmine to maintain that he believed a true pope could become a heretic, when he had such a horror of it that even a man suspected of this crime could be “stripped of the papacy.” This could never have happened if these clergy had not firmly believed that this pope was a heretic, as Bellarmine indicates above.  For as the Church teaches, “… the Roman Pontiff, who is Vicar of God and of Jesus Christ on earth, holds fullness of power over peoples and.kingdoms, and judges all, but can be judged by no one in this world… (yet even he) may be corrected if he is apprehended straying from the Faith.” Bellarmine did believe that the pope might be able to become a heretic in his private capacity. And regardless of speculation by Traditionalists that he taught the pope could fall into error in his official capacity, Bellarmine later clarified his true position.

Quoting Bellarmine’s Controversies de Summo Pontifice (lib. iv. cap. 2), Henry Edward Cardinal Manning in his work The Ecumenical Council and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, 1859, Spotswoode and Co., London, (p. 58-61), writes:

Bellarmine says: “Both Catholics and heretics agree in two things; first, that the Pontiff, even as Pontiff and with his counsellors, or even with a General Council, may err in controversies as to particular facts, which chiefly depend on the information and testimonies of men; secondly, that the Pontiff, as a private doctor, may err even in questions of faith and morals; and that from ignorance, as at times happens to other doctors. ‘Next, all Catholics agree in two other things, not indeed with heretics, but among themselves. First, that the Pontiff, with a General Council, cannot err in framing decrees of faith, or general precepts of morals. Secondly, that the Pontiff alone, or with his own private Council, whether he may err or not, in deciding anything in a dubious matter is, nevertheless, to be obediently listened to by all the faithful…

“…The Pontiff, whether personally he can be a heretic or no, ‘cannot, in any event, define anything heretical to be believed by the whole Church.’ This is the most common opinion ofnearly all Catholics,” as S. Thomas says. Bellarmine in later years reviewed his ‘Controversies,’ and wrote of this point as follows: “This ‘opinion’ is more rightly the common judgment of Catholics; for opinion implies uncertainty, and we hold this judgment to be certain.”

Clearly from what St. Bellarmine says above he considered it only a matter of opinion that the pope could fall into heresy as a private person. And he accepted as a matter of certainty that in his official capacity, the Pope could never define anything heretical to be believed by the whole Church. Monsignor Fenton confirms that St. Bellarmine supported as “probable” the opinion of Pighius in his day, that the pope could not err in matters of faith and morals even as a private person; and unlike modern works lacking Church approval, Monsignor Fenton’s works are entirely reliable. He comments on this topic as follows:

“St. Robert Bellarmine (died 1621), who contributed more than any other individual theologian to the formation of the thesis on papal infallibility, characterized the teaching of Gerson and Allemain [proponents of what was later condemned as the Gallicanist heresy, which taught the pope is fallible and could be judged — Ed.] as ‘entirely erroneous and proximate to heresy’ (De Romano Pontifice, Lib. IV, cap. 2, “De controversiis christianae fidei adversus huius temporis haereticos,” Ingolstadt, 1586, I, col. 975). On the other hand, he accepted the opinion of Pighius [that the pope could not err even as a private doctor] as ‘probable,’ and defended it, (Ibid., Cap. 5, col. 988). His essential teaching on infallibility is summed up in three propositions.

“I. Under no circumstances can the Supreme Pontiff be in error when he teaches the entire Church on matters of faith and morals.

“II. The Roman Church [the pope and bishops together, the Holy Office speaking with the pope’s express consent] as well as the Roman Pontiff is exempt from the possibility of error in faith (Ibid., cap. 3, col. 975).

“III. The Roman Pontiff is incapable of error, not only in decrees of faith, but also in precepts of morals which are prescribed for the whole Church and which deal with matters necessary for salvation or with matters good and evil in themselves (Ibid., cap. 5, Col. 987).”

So if St. Bellarmine did not even believe the pope could err in his private capacity, how could he ever have taught he could become a heretic in his official capacity?!

Here is the end, finally, to the fallacious and irresponsible assertions by certain Traditionalists claiming St. Robert Bellarmine taught that a canonically elected pope could fall into heresy. Theologians attending the Vatican Council would later specify that the privilege of infallibility does not reside in the pope personally and exists only transiently when he speaks publicly on matters of dogma. In other words, he lacks the charisma of infallibility when speaking privately, for then he is not speaking to the whole Church and any heresy that he might hold either would not be broadcast publicly or could be corrected prior to the release of a written document.

The fact is, it appears this remains a matter of opinion yet today that has not been totally resolved. For as S. B. Smith relates in his Elements of Ecclesiastical Law (Vol. I; Benziger Bros., 1891), written after the Vatican Council: “According to the more probable opinion, that the pope may fall into heresy and err as a private person, yet it is also universally admitted that no pope ever did fall into heresy, even as a private doctor (Ferraris)” (p. 240).

It is important to remember that despite all the claims to the contrary, John 23 and Paul 6 uttered heresy from the chair. Publicly.  This is only proof of their pre-election heresies, which according to Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, the old law now in effect, nullified their respective “elections.” The Vatican Council held in 1869-70 left the question of the pope committing heresy as a private doctor open. In his The True Story of the Vatican Council, Cardinal Manning wrote: “The doctrine affirmed by the schools and by the Holy See was that infallibility attaches to the office…[it] is personal, therefore, only in the sense that the office is borne by a person.” But the heresies of John 23 and Paul 6 in question were never private, either before or after their elections. The case against the Roman usurpers today can be easily proven without ever referring to this open question.

Application to current circumstances, given the above

It has long been known that no one can become pope who has previously been a heretic; this is addressed in Cum ex Apostolatus Officio where Paul IV proclaims that those who are guilty of heresy may not be readmitted to their function as clerics. This is the part of Cum ex… expressed in Can. 188 no. 4. Canon 2200 mentioned above assumes those who have publicly expressed adherence to a non-Catholic sect or stated something heretical are schismatics or heretics until the contrary is proven. Those promoting Giuseppe Cardinal Siri as a hidden pope, “elected” in 1958, believe that these censures do not apply to him because he was elected before there was any evidence he would accept the Vatican 2 reforms and pledge allegiance to Roncalli and Montini. But this is a classic case of failing to prove the point at issue.

The point at issue is there is no definitive way to prove that Siri was ever elected OR that even if he received the vote, he actually accepted election. Accepting election is necessary for the election’s validity, per the election law of Pope Pius XII, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis. And there is a mountain of evidence demonstrating that he not only accepted John 23 and Paul 6 as valid popes, something impossible to do if he was pope himself, but also celebrated the Novus Ordo and to all appearances followed the V2 reforms. The way that Pope Paul IV wrote Cum ex… explains to us how it could be that a man elected pope might later be found to be either a heretic or schismatic before his election. If no one realized that this was the case, evidence would have to be discovered that would verify his condition as a non-Catholic. This could be done in two ways: by someone discovering writings (or today recordings) containing such statements that would leave no doubt he had either left his faith for another sect or denied some truth of faith or by behavior publicly demonstrating the same.

Pope Paul IV gave even the cardinals an unlimited amount of time before these things could be determined. In fact, he wrote in his Bull that “It shall be lawful for all and sundry…even for those who participated in the election of one straying from the Faith, or of a heretic or schismatic to the Papacy, or who otherwise presented and pledged him obedience and paid him homage… to depart with impunity at any time from obedience and allegiance to said promoted and elevated persons and to shun them as sorcerers, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs…” (para. 7). No clear-cut guidelines are given for exactly when the heresy, apostasy or schism must manifest itself. All the Bull says is: “If ever at any time it becomes clear” that such a breach has happened (para. 6). In the case of both John 23 and Paul 6, the heresies SHOULD have been clear prior to their elections. But regardless, with John 23 the election was not canonically conducted, on the testimony of several individuals, and that automatically negated the election of Montini. Even if it was only doubtfully canonical, the longstanding practice of the Church, recommended by St. Bellarmine, is to elect a new pope.

Commenting on St. Bellarmine’s teaching regarding a doubtful pope, Rev. E.S. Berry comments in his The Church of Christ: “When there is a prudent doubt about the validity of an election to any official position, there also is a similar doubt whether the person so elected really has authority or not. In such a case, no one is bound to obey him… But a superior whom no one is bound to obey is in reality no superior at all… An authority that may be justly doubted at all times is no authority; it commands neither obedience nor respect as is evident in churches that reject the claim to indefectibility… One who intrudes himself into the ministry against the laws of the Church receives no authority, and consequently can transmit none to his successors” (p. 402). This is why St. Bellarmine, writing in his De conciliis after the Western Schism, limits the calling of an imperfect council, when the Church has no pope, to the cardinals, or “bishops [who] of their own accord come together in one place.” In his The Origins of the Great Western Schism, Walter Ullmann relates that Cardinal Zabarella, writing at the time of the Western Schism proposed that in the event of two claimants to the papal see, only a Council composed of the most capable and senior in position can decide who is truly pope.

Reasoning from the standpoint of the cardinals as electors, Canonist Baldis de Ubaldis, Zabarella’s student, observes that, “Canon Law lays down the dictum that in a doubtful situation, the man elected has to be held as Pope,” (Ullmann). His teaching was later struck down by St. Robert Bellarmine, who based on the history of the Western Schism could see how such a teaching undermined authority. In trying to resolve the Western Schism, Zabarella deplored the “incalculable damage…inflicted upon the Faith and the Church if the latter were in the hands of an heretical pope,” something we have witnessed in our day. Ullmann reports that Zabarella favored the calling of a Council by the Emperor, and presumed that “good clerics and loyal believers and followers of the Church” would support such a council; and they did. Indeed the Emperor Sigismund insisted on the calling of Constance, following Zabarella’s reasoned line of thinking.

For this reason, Pope Paul IV, in Cum ex… taught that those persons among the hierarchy “thus promoted and elevated, if they attempt to continue their government and administration, all may implore the aid of the secular arm against those so advanced and elevated.” But that was in the day of Catholic emperors. The popes of the Western Schism were not publicly heretical; also cardinals originally appointed by a true pope elected these claimants, so they had some claim to valid election. Nevertheless, those senior in position worked to either obtain their resignation, or in the end deposed them. Among them was St. Vincent Ferrar, who abandoned Benedict XIII when he refused to resign in order to advance the resolution of the schism. The Church thereby recognizes that whenever several papal claimants exist, the best plan is abdication and the only other recourse is declaration that such men were never popes. As Cardinal Zabarella wrote: “It is the people themselves who have to summon the neighboring bishops for special purposes if the properly instituted bishop neglects his duty of summoning his colleagues,” (Ibid. Ullmann; emph. mine). In a case such as ours, Zabarella says, “good clerics and loyal believers and followers of the Church” would need to resolve the situation, and God would have to intervene, since the Church, ‘cannot not be.’”

Well where were the faithful required to command the bishops to elect a true Pope in 1958? And where were the bishops? It is amazing that a cardinal actually thought that the faithful would be sufficiently educated and righteously indignant to actually demand such a resolution. Those favored by the Siri crowd trotted off to Rome to peddle a book (The Plot Against the Church) that did not at all suggest rounding up said bishops to elect a real pope, which was the only possible solution to the crisis. Instead this work, ghost-written for Rev. Saenz of Mexico, exacerbated the problem, rather than focusing on the solution, and this even though Saenz at least suspected that Roncalli was not a true pope. Given the climate in Rome at the time, the book indisputably left a bad taste in the mouths of any remaining bishops who might have been willing to work toward addressing the situation. For it unnecessarily put them in a position of defending the book against the rising Novus Ordo tide of correcting so-called injustices to the Jews over the centuries, when conservative-minded bishops were already in the minority.

Having successfully neutralized any remaining faithful bishops, Saenz went on to establish Traditionalism when he should have been lobbying for a papal election. The bishops should have gathered together regardless, but they didn’t. They voted in the Vatican 2 reforms and sent the faithful packing. And those exiting the Church following Vatican 2  laid down and let themselves be used as the paving stones Saenz and other collected “priests” trod upon to resurrect the Old Catholic movement. Rather than assuming their stance as the Church Militant they became the Church Pathetic, victims whining they wanted their Mass and Sacraments back. Even after the official introduction of the NO by Paul 6, Catholics could have risen up, collected at least a small number of bishops and forced one of them to be elected pope. But they were too focused on their losses and perceived spiritual needs. As Pope St. Pius X warned, they perished for a lack of knowledge. Had they risen to the occasion God would have helped them, but that was not the case.

Cardinal Siri could have organized them all, but that didn’t happen. He could have collected cardinal-bishops objecting to John 23rd’s election and, following historical precedent, denounced the election of Roncalli. Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis makes exceptions owing to circumstances for different types of elections within a conclave setting. As few as three cardinals could elect a pope under this method, and as many as seven, delegated by the others. But where impossibility excuses, and no delegation can be made, the law could have been followed as closely as possible but without the delegation, since it could not be validly given. This is according to principles governing Canon Law.

All law and teaching on papal elections is being cast aside by Traditionalists who are championing Siri. The Church’s centuries old traditions on papal lection were codified into the papal election law of Pope St. Pius X, and this law was simply updated and reorganized by Pope Pius XII. Traditionalists, whose name would make one believe they revere Tradition of all kinds, hypocritically betray their own self-adopted moniker. If they push forward with their effort, they will succeed only in accomplishing what they have condemned in others who have supported and participated in illegal papal elections for in the past, producing yet another pretender to the papal see.

It has crossed our mind that they are waiting for the very comments stated above to falsify yet forthcoming “facts” regarding Siri’s behavior and purported election to better disguise the real fact they are acting outside Church law and teaching, not to mention the dictates of even civil law. But no matter. They forged forward to demand their mass and sacraments, so they will now do the same with their “pope.” As with the Jews, they may well have their earthly king, but if they persist they will not have access to the Kingdom of Heaven.

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St. Robert Bellarmine’s TRUE Teaching on an Heretical Pope

Cardinal Manning: Once Rome Has Fallen, God Alone Can Save Us

+St. Catherine Laboure+

 “And He said also to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising from the west, presently you say, ‘A shower is coming, and so it happeneth: and when ye see the south wind blow, you say ‘There will be heat,’ and it cometh to pass. You hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of heaven and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12: 54-56)

“A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign: and a sign will not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. And He left them and went away.” (Matt. 16:4)

“And now I have told you before it come to pass; that when it shall come to pass, you may believe.” (John 14: 29)

It is believed by the majority of Traditionalists that despite the devastation we see in Rome and all around us, all is yet well with the remnant, and we can expect the departure of Francis and anticipate the installment of a new pope that will restore the Church to Her former glory. The Scripture quotes above show the folly of such fanciful thinking, promoted by those gurus calling themselves Catholic priests and lay leaders who ignore the reign of the abomination of desolation and delay the Latter Days to some more convenient time. They would have us believe that the successor of “pope” Siri — a heretic cardinal, who according to Giuffre’s own accounts, whimped out when put to the test — is our best hope to save the Catholic Church! Well let us instead heed the fateful words of a true cardinal and champion of the faith, Henry Cardinal Manning, and abandon the counterfeit for the genuine article. Then we will know what to expect from these signs we see, in order to avoid Our Lord’s condemnation as hypocrites. For once Rome apostatized from the faith, there is no happy ever after for the Church until the great and terrible consequences of this apostasy have run their course. Hear what Manning says regarding the fate of Rome in our day:

“The writers of the Church tell us that in the latter days the city of Rome will probably become apostate from the Church and Vicar of Jesus Christ; and that Rome will again be punished, for he will depart from it; and the judgment of God will fall on the place from ‘which he once reigned over the nations of the world.’ For what is it that makes Rome sacred, but the presence of the Vicar of Jesus Christ? What has it that should be dear in the sight of God, save only the presence of the Vicar of His Son? Let the Church of Christ depart from Rome, and Rome will be no more in the eyes of God than Jerusalem of old. Jerusalem, the Holy City, chosen by God, was cast down and consumed by fire, because it crucified the Lord of Glory; and the city of Rome, which has been the seat of the Vicar of Jesus Christ for eighteen hundred years, if it become apostate, like Jerusalem of old, will suffer a like condemnation. And, therefore, the writers of the Church tell us that the city of Rome has no prerogative except only that the Vicar of Christ is there; and if it become unfaithful, the same judgments which fell on Jerusalem, hallowed though it was by the presence of the Son of God, of the Master, and not the disciple only, shall fall likewise upon Rome.” (The Present Crises of the Holy See Tested by Prophecy, p. 87-88).

Manning does not apologize to his readers for being the bearer of bad news, nor does he sugar coat his predictions, all based on the teachings of the Church, including the approved writers and theologians of his day. He shoots straight from the hip and finds his mark among those Traditionalists who have ignored papal teaching for decades. In his The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ he tells his readers:

“A sorrowful tone, therefore, I readily acknowledge. If it is more so than befits the subject and the time, I acknowledge also the fault, and I trust only that it may be venial.  But to desponding I cannot feel guilty… I should indeed be sorry to write a line in a tone to discourage even one simple faithful soul; but I would do even this for a moment, if in so doing I could purify our confidence of the low, human, unreasoning, unilluminated, and almost boastful and defiant tone too commonly heard. Let no one say, then, that these Lectures have a desponding tone. Sorrowful, I admit; but desponding, it could not be… Sorrowful, I am aware they are; and who can be otherwise than sorrowful, when he sees the havoc of infidelity and anarchy… Such a sorrow every Catholic ought to breathe; and if he does not partake of it, he ought carefully to examine himself, to find the reason of his exemption from a sorrow which seems inseparable from a love of the holy Catholic and Roman Church. I do not know how anyone can treat the trials of the Holy See as an abstraction.

The Catholic Church cannot be silent; it cannot hold its peace; it cannot cease to preach the doctrines of Revelation, not only of the Trinity and of the Incarnation, but likewise of the Seven Sacraments, and of the infallibility of the Church of God, and of the necessity of unity, and of obedience to the Holy See as to a sovereign principle of truth: and because it will not be silent, and cannot compromise, and will not obey in matters that are of its own Divine prerogative, therefore it stands alone in the world; for there is not another Church so called, nor any community professing to be a Church, which does not submit, or obey, or hold its peace, when the civil governors of the world command.

“We are fond of imagining triumphs and glories for the Church on earth, that the Gospel is to be preached to all nations, and the world to be converted, and all enemies subdued, and I know not what, until some ears are impatient of hearing that there is in store for the Church a time of terrible trial: and so we do as the Jews of old, who looked for a conqueror, a king, and for prosperity; and when their Messias came in humility and in passion, they did not know Him. So, I am afraid, many among us intoxicate their minds with the visions of success and victory, and cannot endure the thought that there is a time of persecution yet to come for the Church of God.

Comment: Well we all know “what” else; without presently obeying the continual magisterium they wish to establish one they believe will be to their liking and exonerate them. They indeed seek a worldly king who will remove the present shame of their existence from them, a living sign that God has not abandoned them. They wear their hatred of the Jews as a badge of honor, scapegoating them for their own sins, contrary to the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs. But ironically, they have fallen into the same errors as the very ones they despise, refusing to understand the ancient Scriptural prophecies as they were intended and longing instead for vindication.

Manning continues from this same work: “The prompting of our natural hearts, when we hear of the sufferings of those we love, is to speak with an impatient sorrow; as Peter, when Jesus took His disciples and told them that the Son of Man  ‘must suffer many things, and be rejected by the ancients, by the high-priests, and the Scribes, and be killed ; and after three days rise again. And He spoke the words openly; and Peter, taking Him, began to rebuke Him’ (St. Mark viii. 31). We too are ready to say, ‘This be far from Thee, Lord; this shall not be unto Thee’ (St. Mark viii. 33). Yet Jesus did not accept this manifestation of a too natural love. His words of rebuke have a divine energy, intended to teach us not to trust our human affections in judging of His supernatural dispensations. ‘Go behind Me, Satan, because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but that are of men’ (St. Matt. xvi. 22).”

Comment: And Traditionalists say: “this shall not be unto us, and to the Church in these times.” They have never divested themselves of the false liberal charity that already prevailed prior to Vatican 2. Their worldly idea of the Church is demonstrated by the Siri conjecture, which has no relation whatsoever to Pope Pius XII’s infallible constitution governing papal elections. They think themselves so favored by God that they will not have to suffer the persecutions of those who gave their lives for the faith behind the Iron Curtain, or during the Protestant Reformation. No, we hear instead that God would never take their Mass from them even though He foretold such an event through His prophet Daniel, as confirmed by the early Church Fathers. He would never leave them without a pope even though his disciple St. Paul warned the faithful of this event and the Church Herself acknowledged it.

In his The Temporal Power…, Manning, quoting Donoso Cortes, then predicts precisely what we are experiencing in these times: “In giving up the empire of faith as dead, and in proclaiming the independence of the reason and of the will of man, society has rendered absolute, universal, and necessary the evil which was only relative, exceptional, and contingent. This period of rapid retrogression commenced in Europe with the restoration of paganism — philosophical, religious, and political. At this day the world is on the eve of the last of its restorations, the restoration of socialist paganism(!) … Society is dying… It is dying because error is killing it, and because society is now founded upon errors. Know, then, that all you hold as incontrovertible is false.” And not recognizing the utter deterioration of the spiritual order, Traditionalists cannot see this as a naturally following consequence of that deterioration.

Manning then proceeds to explain to his readers exactly what to expect during this time of trial. In Lecture One of the just quoted work he writes: “We have here a prophecy of four great facts: first, of a revolt, which shall precede the second coming of our Lord; secondly, of the manifestation of one who is called “the wicked one;”thirdly, of a hindrance, which restrains his manifestation; and lastly, of the period of power and persecution, of which he will be the author.” The revolt had already begun in the days of the Apostles, for St. Paul tells us: “The Mystery of Iniquity already worketh.” Manning traces its progression down through the ages, touching on the many heresies and schisms and culminating in the advent of Rationalism and Pantheism. The wicked one he identifies as Antichrist proper, pointing out that the ancient Fathers teach he is a man, not a system. The hindrance, he says, is who St. Paul refers to as both a person and a thing, the See of Peter and the person who occupies it at that time. The period of power and persecution need not be explained, because we are living it.

Then Manning notes: “This leads on plainly to the marks which the prophet [Daniel] gives of the persecution of the last days. Now there are three things which he has recorded. The first, that the continual sacrifice shall be taken away; the next, that the sanctuary shall be occupied by the abomination which maketh desolate; the third, that ‘the strength’ and, ‘the stars,’ as he described it, shall be cast down. And these are the only three I will notice.” Regarding the cessation of the Continual Sacrifice, Manning comments: “The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist, and have interpreted these prophecies of Daniel, say that about the end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the public offering of the Holy Sacrifice, for a little time, will cease” (and a “little time” by God’s reckoning is not the equivalent of human time).

Comment: And so we have two sets of prophecies — one from St. Paul, the other from Daniel — which leave no room for doubt about what to expect in these times. We have the great revolt, which started with the early heresies in the times of the Apostles, culminating in the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution and the exodus of Catholics from the Novus Ordo church in the 1960s-1970s. We have the arrival of the wicked one, who Manning says is Antichrist, during the reign of he who withholdeth. The wicked one helps move he who withholdeth out of the way, to eventually take his place (Montini’s betrayal of Pope Pius XII). Roncalli begins the gradual taking away of the Continual Sacrifice with his additions to the liturgy and the use of “for all” in the missalettes for the faithful. Then there is Montini’s rise to power, the official cessation of the Continual Sacrifice and the abominable desolation of everything Catholic. The strength, which is the papacy, and the stars which are the bishops and other hierarchy are simultaneously struck down. Those wishing to remain faithful are harangued and persecuted, and their attempts to save the Mass and Sacraments are futile.

The occupation of the sanctuary by the abomination of desolation is described by Manning as he witnessed it in his day. “What is the great flood of infidelity,

revolution, and anarchy, which is now sapping the foundations of Christian society, not only in France, but in Italy, and encompassing Rome, the centre and sanctuary of the Catholic Church, but the abomination which desolates the sanctuary, and takes away the continual sacrifice? The secret societies have long ago undermined and honeycombed the Christian society of Europe, and are at this moment struggling onward towards Rome, the centre of all Christian order in the world… [This is] the casting down of ‘the Prince of Strength;’ that is, the Divine authority of the Church,

and especially of him in whose person it is embodied, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. God has invested him with sovereignty, and given to him a home and a patrimony on earth. The world is in arms to depose him, and to leave him no place to lay his head. Rome and the Roman States are the inheritance of the Incarnation. The world is resolved to drive the Incarnation off the earth. It will not suffer it to possess much as to set the sole of its foot upon. This is the true interpretation of the anticatholic movement of Italy and England: “Tolle hunc de terra.” The dethronement of the Vicar of Christ is the dethronement of the hierarchy of the universal Church, and the public rejection of the Presence and Reign of Jesus.”

Comment: Notice that the abomination must come first, as the order of Holy Scripture dictates, before the Sacrifice is taken away. And yet Traditionalists, vocal as they are about the taking away of the Latin Mass, which has never happened universally in the history of the Church, do not and will not recognize its ultimate cause: the reign of Antichrist as the abomination! They pretend this monstrosity can be quasi-legitimate in direct contradiction of papal teaching and can even “convert”! To satisfy their own wants and needs, they are willing, unbelievably, to even ignore the clear signs provided to the faithful by Our Lord, thus earning His well-deserved epithet of hypocrites. Moreover, they refuse to recognize that to overthrow the papacy is to likewise overthrow the entire hierarchy — cardinals, bishops and priests. They reject the reign of Christ’s Vicars in His stead as King while promoting the Kingship of Christ.

And again from Manning’s The Temporal Power…“The Prophet Daniel, in the twelfth chapter, says that in the time of the end ‘many shall be chosen and made white, and shall be tried as fire; and the wicked shall deal wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the learned shall understand;’ that is, many who have known the faith shall abandon it, by apostasy. ‘Some of the learned shall fall,’ that is, they shall fall from their fidelity to God. And how shall this come to pass? Partly by fear, partly by deception, partly by cowardice; partly because they cannot stand for unpopular truth in the face of popular falsehood; partly because the overruling contemptuous public opinion… so subdues and frightens Catholics, that they dare not avow their principles, and, at last dare not hold them.”

Comment: In other words, Traditionalists — who cannot bear to contemplate the possibility that they have lost their Mass and live in the times of Antichrist because they are ridiculed for these beliefs — will pay for their cowardice by losing the faith. They will accept and have accepted the all-so-popular opinions based on pragmatism (which they call common or even Catholic sense), a system of philosophy condemned by the Church, and abandoned the principles of Scholasticism. They embrace whatever they believe makes “sense” to them, because “all that complicated doctrinal language is so hard to understand.” (Forget that many of them have no problem understanding computer coding or complicated scientific theories.) But the language of Pope St. Pius X in his Oath Against the Errors of Modernism is not at all difficult to decipher: “The external arguments of revelation, that is divine facts, and especially miracles and prophecies… have been especially accommodated to the intelligence of all ages and men, even of these times” (DZ 2145). Yet no one can read the signs of these times and discern the prophecies regarding Antichrist.

Cardinal Manning concludes Lecture 2 of his The Temporal Power… with the following:

“…The Antichrist, and the antichristian movement, has these marks: first, schism from the Church of God; secondly, denial of its Divine and infallible voice; and thirdly, denial of the Incarnation. It is, therefore, the direct and mortal enemy of the One Holy Catholic and Roman Church the unity from which all schism is made; the sole organ of the Divine voice of the Spirit of God; the shrine and sanctuary of the Incarnation and of the continual sacrifice.”

Comment: Schism, yes; for Traditionalists do not follow lawful pastors, who can be considered lawful only if ordained by bishops in communion with and personally approved for consecration by the Roman Pontiff. They have set up their own church much as the Old Catholics before them and up to now, have been quite happy to exist without a pope. It has been pointed out for many years, on this site and by others, that Traditionalists refuse to obey the teachings of past Roman Pontiffs and the Sacred Canons. They thereby deny the Incarnation by denying Christ’s divinity, for they implicitly deny that the Church cannot err in the teachings delivered to Her by Our Lord through the Vicar of Christ, His divinely appointed, living voice on earth.

In Lecture 3 of his The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ Manning writes:

“Some thirty Pontiffs fell upon the field. By their blood they purchased the city of Rome and held it as their own.  All the power of ten persecutions, and all the legions of Rome, and all the emperors of the world, could not drive out the Pontiffs from the city which they held for the Son of God. It is theirs by conquest, and by the laws of warfare. It belongs to them by right of endurance, and of patience, and of inflexible courage, to which the world has no equal… [T]hirty popes were compelled to leave Rome; four were imprisoned; four were unable to set foot in Rome; seven reigned in exile in Avignon; making in all forty-five, or one-fifth in the line of the Sovereign Pontiffs. …Nine times the city, in which is the throne of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, has been in the hands of usurpers; yet it has been held with such invincible tenacity of endurance, and such perpetual power of recovery, as to establish as a moral certainty that God, who chose it for the throne of the Vicar of His Son, has done so by a definitive act of His power, which He alone can rescind, and which He never will.”

Comment: And yet we are to believe that Siri, a coward who refused to shed his blood for Christ and His Church, could be numbered among the true popes and credited with “inflexible courage.” Preposterous. Let us draw out the conclusions of Traditionalists’ refusal to recognize the Antichrist and his times, because it will give the lie to their pretensions and demonstrate the absurdity of their position. They recognize that the Mass has been abolished by the Novus Ordo. No matter that the NO consecration formula for the wine was “restored” to their liturgy by Benedict 16; one cannot put socks on a pig. No matter, either, that Traditionalists believe that the Mass has not ended because it is celebrated by their “priests.” As Manning and the Roman Pontiffs teach, there can be no Church — no functioning hierarchy — without the Roman Pontiff. Traditionalists merely create an illusion akin to that foisted upon members of the Novus Ordo church they love to revile.

They cannot deny that Paul 6 abolished the Continual Sacrifice, not only by introducing the NO but by reigning as a false pope whose actions are null and void. His election has been proven invalid now for decades, and all the actions of past papal usurpers have been nullified by the Church. His destruction of the Mass and Sacraments and modernization of the churches, the changing of the calendar and extending the hand of friendship to Freemasons and the Communists alone should have alerted others to the fact he could not be a valid pope. For no one could ever present as a heretic and sit in the Chair of Peter.  But that does not matter to Traditionalists. Nor do they consider who they will call Antichrist if Paul 6 is not the Man of Sin. Who is left in the universal Church to revolt and leave her? Them? That has already occurred. What bishops are left to abandon Her — theirs? No teaching of the Church can ever support their claim they became valid priests, far less bishops. What true pope could be taken out of the way now to admit the Wicked One? And what future abomination in Rome could desolate the Church more than has already been done?

What Traditionalists seek to do is to acknowledge their own “pope” in order to escape the fulfillment of prophecy; to claim that Siri has continued the line of popes in unbroken succession. This despite any compromise they are forced to make regarding his affiliation with the church of Rome or any departure from papal teaching and law they see fit to justify. If they succeed, and they are persecuted by apostate Rome, they will claim that they are fulfilling all the prophecies of the Church’s destruction. But they were never the Church. They are trying to do what they so often have accused others of doing – rescuing the Church, playing the hero, riding in on the white horse which Cardinal Manning says is reserved for Christ alone. Manning writes in his The Present Crisis of the Holy See Tested by Prophecy:

“But there is One Power which will destroy all antagonists; there is One Person who will (Dan. 11: 35) break down and smite small as the dust of the summer threshing-floor all the enemies of the Church, for it is He who will consume His enemies ‘with the Spirit of His mouth,’ and destroy them ‘with the brightness of His coming.’ It seems as if the Son of God were jealous lest anyone should vindicate His authority. He has claimed the battle to Himself; He has taken up the gage which has been cast down against Him; and prophecy is plain and explicit that the last overthrow of evil will be His; that it will be wrought by no man, but by the Son of God; that all the nations of the world may know that He, and He alone, is King, and that He, and He alone, is God.

“The events of every day are carrying men further and further in the career on which they have entered. Every day men are becoming more and more divided. These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church, ‘His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His floor, and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ It is a time of trial, when ‘some of the learned shall fall,’ and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end.”

Comment: This is the trial Traditionalists fail to acknowledge. They are the learned who fall. Even those who patiently wait Our Lord’s resolution of these terrible times wait in fear and trembling, praying they do not slip and fall into these same errors. They have no guarantee of their salvation as some have accused; any Catholic claiming this would be a liar. But by abstaining from those things the Church condemns and Traditionalist’s indulge in, they hope at least to preserve Her as She always was, according to the Christ’s teachings safeguarded by the Roman Pontiffs.

We have no part in this save to pray and watch; this is what Our Lord instructed us to do. We cannot interfere with God’s will; it is for us to be crucified with Him and suffer without complaint until the bitter the end, just as He suffered on the Cross. Then and only then, after our time in the darkness of the tomb, shall we see His Church rise once again; or, by the mercy of God, be escorted to Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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St. Robert Bellarmine’s TRUE Teaching on an Heretical Pope

The Siri conjecture and Catholic truth

+ St. Gregory the Wonderworker +

The Khoat business may be making a little more sense now that a few other shoes have dropped.  Those on Trad forums are commenting that the videos issuing from the Catholic Identity Conference (CIC) two weekends ago are creating new interest in the plausibility of the Siri theory advanced for the past 35 years by Texan Gary Giuffre. The CIC was held for the fourth year in a row to unify Traditionalists (an impossibility), in the midst of the Francis controversy over pachamama and other heresies. I suspect the enthusiasm being generated for this foolishness is mainly among the younger generation who have no personal knowledge of what really went on in the 1970s, 1980s. But whatever was discussed at this conference or decided by it, the underlying reason it was held was to begin to rally Traditionalists in support of a papal restoration, the true reason behind Khoat’s exposure as a shyster.

So maybe we need to look at the Khoat situation from the standpoint of the attempts to “de-pope” Francis. The Siri theory has been encumbered by Khoat and his antics since the 1980s. Those backing Giuffre (Hutton Gibson and son Mel) eventually jettisoned him for failure to prove the case despite hundreds of thousands spent funding his efforts over a 15-year period. Khoat split with Giuffre for a new manager before the Gibsons cut Giuffre loose, muddying the water over the years with his papal restoration campaign. So In the end, he needed to go as well. But he also needed to go for another reason. The Gibsons and others already had their doubts about Khoat and they so informed Giuffre. Giuffre also had been warned by the Gibsons about other “priests” he recruited to say Mass at St. Jude’s Shrine in Stafford, Texas. An excerpt below from Hutton Gibson’s The War is Now, (no. 64, p. 7-8) sums up the situation.

“Gary is a great priest-finder. He tracks them down and brings them to St. Jude’s Shrine, so that Catholics in the area need never do without the traditional Mass. So he has maintained such jewels as Hector (the collector) Bolduc, Mario Blanco [ordered out of the Sacramento, Calif. diocese in 1973; later accused of alleged sexual misconduct with young boys-Ed.] and Vincent (novus ordo) Le Moine, all up to his strict standards. You may have read about our trials with Le Moine in The Enemy Is Still Here!, pages 342 to 353, in which he is called ‘Father X.’” Gibson further relates that these priests remained in their positions even despite numerous complaints to Giuffre regarding their behavior. (This is a great case in point, regarding only one of many Trad operations. Why should it surprise anyone that they would wind up with only NO flotsam as priest material?! Another great reason to keep the faith at home.)

But Giuffre managed to recover from the sound and well merited public trouncing delivered by his funders, and this recovery was not surprising. Giuffre was marketing a commodity Traditionalist organizers desperately needed, and they patiently waited for the right time to use it for their own purposes. They knew the dam would eventually break where Khoat was concerned (and possibly even facilitated the break?), and that this would free them up so they could move forward. Papal restoration could then be entirely their game. Others would be freed to join the cause without Khoat’s embarrassing baggage. And this speculation is based on similar dynamics at work in past Traditionalist splits.

Some believed Khoat was the pope in exile or perhaps a cardinal. (Khoat stated he and others worldwide had been appointed cardinals.) Others did not buy Khoat’s cardinal story while believing in the existence of a Siri successor — somewhere. Khoat was a major player in obtaining “confirmation” that Siri was elected in 1958, but only after flipping his initial story in 1988 — that Siri denied he was elected three times — to a new version in 1989. This was relayed to Jim Condit, alleging that that Siri later told Khoat he was elected pope in 1958. This turnaround happened not long after Siri’s death. To the best of my knowledge, Khoat’s is the only (firsthand) testimony available on this topic, (although it appears that one other person has also changed his story to now report Siri was elected). Yet after what has been revealed regarding Khoat, who could possibly trust anything he says, now or then?! And that being set aside, where is the documentation either of these statements were ever made to Khoat?

The tantalizing details of Siri’s “papacy” are being released piece by piece in interviews with Giuffre on the CIC website. But the details of this story are nothing new; it has changed very little since 1989 when I viewed it as a slideshow. Only those promoting it and the method of delivery has changed. It is new and exciting only to the younger set who don’t realize the implications of this tale and its dubious background. And much of the information on that background has yet to be revealed.

The question begs to be answered — how would Trads benefit from embracing the Siri theory? Well it could be the universal cure all for their nagging ills. With Siri’s successor identified and secured, they might successfully challenge and unseat Francis. They could claim to restore the Church to Her former state of existence. But most importantly, they could rerun the Western Schism scenario and claim the pope in exile and his successor had reigned all along, secretly, guaranteeing jurisdiction for all Trad clerics. It is a problem they have struggled with from the beginning and never successfully resolved. Jurisdiction has been a thorn in their side since the 1980s, when various lay people pointed out Traditionalists did not and could not possess it, neither from Christ Himself nor some other (hidden?) source. And certain validity, while they will not even discuss it as a possibility, also has been lacking from the beginning. The “Siri thesis,” as Giuffre calls it, is the one solution that would tie up every loose end and legitimize their existence. There is just one problem: it’s not a thesis, and IT’S NOT CATHOLIC.

To be a Catholic, one must think and act like a Catholic. The dictates of Catholic thought and belief are set out by the Popes, decisions of the Holy See, the Ecumenical Councils, Canon Law and the unanimous opinion of scholastic theologians. When one sets out to prove a case, especially something as important as who is the lawful successor of the Roman Pontiff, it is a theological necessity to demonstrate the veracity of the proofs presented in the form prescribed by the Church, according to the most reliable sources available. Before embarking on such a daunting task, one must first make absolutely certain that all preliminary investigation has been duly conducted. If one is proposing that a man be considered as the possessor or potential possessor of a clerical office of any kind, it must first be proven that man is beyond any doubt a baptized Catholic who has not in any way been suspected of or excommunicated for heresy, apostasy or schism. Baptism is proven by church records, but Canon Law determines if someone has abandoned the Catholic faith.

Let us pretend we just heard a rumor Siri was elected pope in 1958. Our first impulse should not be to dive into the middle of the story, but to ask the question, “Who is this Siri?” and proceed from there. With only a little research on the Internet, it is easy to see that Siri was a man who became a cardinal under Pope Pius XII, served in his capacity as cardinal until his death in 1989, celebrated the Novus Ordo Missae, participated in the elections of John 23, Paul 6, John Paul I and John Paul 2 and otherwise endorsed and accepted everything that was the V2 church. Now, if one is a true Catholic who rejects the Novus Ordo as just another non-Catholic sect, s/he should know that Catholics who participate in non-Catholic services and functions are no longer considered members of the Church, especially if they are high-ranking prelates and even if they are not. The hierarchy, however, is held accountable to a higher degree because they are presumed to know better. This sin, resulting in ipso facto excommunication (automatic, with no need of a declaration from a superior), is called communicatio in sacris. It is incurred by anyone assisting at Novus Ordo (or Traditionalist) services in any way.

Had Siri truly been elected with the intent to preserve the Church as She existed under Pope Pius XII, he would have made this fact known. He would not have addressed John 23 as Holy Father, continued his activities as a Novus Ordo cardinal, or participated in subsequent elections of false popes. He would at the very least have resigned as cardinal and retired to some Italian hamlet or left the country. This is only common sense. Was he kept a prisoner and not allowed to function? Shades of the crazy Paul 6 in chains confabulation that circulated in the 1970s! No, the devil made him do it alright, and no one can prove otherwise. Given Siri’s behavior following the election of John 23, could he possibly have been considered a Catholic? There is no way he could have received absolution, since all those who defected from the Church in accepting John 23 automatically resigned their offices and lost all jurisdiction to absolve from censures and forgive sins. Oh, and by the way; only a true pope can absolve from sins involving heresy, apostasy and schism, which Siri committed in accepting the Novus Ordo church. So was Siri even a candidate for consideration as the successor to Pope Pius XII? Not hardly.

Because Siri’s fitness to be considered a papal candidate was never considered, we have the “Siri thesis.” And those pretending to reject the Novus Ordo and all it stands for are actually willing to accept this man — and possibly some trumped up successor — as a true pope! They trash Giuffre’s funders for collaborating with a Novus Ordo publication (Inside the Vatican) to expose the Siri theory as groundless, but think nothing of absolving Siri from all guilt in actively collaborating with the church in Rome. Anything to validate themselves, no matter how flimsy the evidence might be. They believe Giuffre when he trots out his learned “thesis,” not even knowing or understanding the obligation on Giuffre’s part to faithfully fact check his own work.  But then what Giuffre has presented is not really a thesis at all. A thesis is defined in Catholic terms by Rev. A. C. Cotter, S.J. (The ABC of Scholastic Philosophy) as a statement devoid of any ambiguity, obscurity or superfluity, worded with the utmost care. Proofs must be presented and the meaning of the thesis as a whole laid down. The work Giuffre calls a thesis, rather than being free of the flaws just described, is riddled with them. This is not an idle statement, but has been documented over the years by myself and others. Visit the site to read this article: (https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/errors-in-matters-of-faith-and-morals/why-guiseppe-siri-was-never-pope/).

In fact, Giuffre’s ramblings do not even qualify as an hypothesis. Bernard Wuellner, S.J., in his Summary of Scholastic Principles, states that: “An hypothesis must be probable (not in conflict with other truths and not leading to consequences against the facts), useful (as guiding and suggesting further research and experiment) and capable of being further tested” (no. 261, p. 268). Giuffre’s entire presentation on Siri is shot through with factual errors and flies in the face of all the papal documents laying down the procedures for papal elections, as well as the canons regarding ecclesiastical elections. Rather than facilitate further research, it handicaps the researcher, who is forced to wade through a sea of might haves and maybes to get to the bottom of what Giuffre is really trying to say. At best, Giuffre’s observations and conclusions qualify as a conjecture, “An inference formed without proof or sufficient evidence” (Merriam-Webster). Pope Pius XII condemned the use of conjectural opinions in Humani Generis:

“17. Hence to neglect, or to reject, or to devalue so many and such great resources which have been conceived, expressed and perfected so often by the age-old work of men endowed with no common talent and holiness, working under the vigilant supervision of the holy magisterium and with the light and leadership of the Holy Ghost in order to state the truths of the faith ever more accurately, to do this so that these things may be replaced by conjectural notions and by some formless and unstable tenets of a new philosophy… is supreme imprudence and something that would make dogma itself a reed shaken by the wind. The contempt for terms and notions habitually used by scholastic theologians leads of itself to the weakening of what they call speculative theology, a discipline which these men consider devoid of true certitude because it is based on theological reasoning…. If such conjectural opinions are directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God, then the demand that they be recognized can in no way be admitted.”

Scholastic theology has been demeaned by Traditionalists for decades, an error proscribed by Pope St. Pius X in his condemnation of modernism. There is no reason to believe that now, all of a sudden, it will be esteemed and used as the proper method to evaluate the truth. Likewise Canon Law, consistently misrepresented, misconstrued and misinterpreted by Traditionalists since the 1970s. Pope Pius XII’s infallible constitution on papal election, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, is not difficult to follow; the actions of anyone contravening his constitution by usurping papal jurisdiction or violating papal or Church law are declared null and void. The Phantom Church in Rome explains in detail how many of these laws were violated. The book also outlines St. Robert Bellarmine’s teaching on what to do in the case of a doubtful pope. Although Bellarmine has been quoted many times in support of various Traditional propositions, this teaching of his is never cited.

Both Pope St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII taught in their papal election laws that if there was any lay interference whatsoever in the election, it was null and void. If Giuffre has proven anything, he has proven there was interference. Ergo, the entire election was null and void. Could we say there was doubt regarding who was elected pope? That is an understatement. Yes there certainly was doubt, meaning any men issuing as supposed popes from that conclave were no popes at all. The legitimacy of the Roman Pontiff is a dogmatic fact, which cannot be denied because it is so closely connected to the dogma of unbroken succession to the papacy. This fact must be certainly established and when there is positive doubt regarding a papal election, this cannot happen. Serious, positive doubt has been documented regarding Roncalli’s election as well as Siri’s purported election. These very serious doubts, in and of themselves, are sufficient to consider both men out of the running; nothing else needs to be proven. This we have from popes, councils and a Doctor of the Church. But Gary Giuffre and his suspense-laden tale of intrigue and skullduggery is so much more appealing! Obedience to the Roman Pontiffs and the rule of law is so old hat, so boring. Not to mention necessary for the salvation of souls.

And so we leave this as a record, knowing that sooner or later this misguided attempt to recreate the Church will come unglued like all the others. It reminds me of the statue described in the book of Daniel: “And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest the iron mixt with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay. But in the days of those kingdoms, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed…and it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and. Itself shall stand forever.” (Dan. Ch. 2, vs. 42-44). Here, of course Daniel speaks of the Catholic Church, which can never be destroyed, not by the likes of the Siri crowd or any other false sect. Iron and clay, the ideologies of different sectarian parties struggling for control, do not mix.

These Traditionalist sects could not accept the teaching of the continual magisterium of the past and if they elect yet another false pope, they will not be able to accept his rule over them either.  Christ will destroy all with the spirit of His mouth and the brightness of His coming (2 Thess. 2:9), be it during a visitation of His justice or the Second Coming. Lift up your heads… for the time is at hand.

 

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St. Robert Bellarmine’s TRUE Teaching on an Heretical Pope

A Pope and Council endorse “Home Alone”

+Four Holy Crowned Martyrs+

Traditionalist sects and their baseless theories continue to be exposed on this site for what they truly are: a contradiction of Church law and teaching. This lack of response or interest from those calling themselves Catholic reveals a frightening indifference regarding their eternal salvation. In fact, their rationalizations, arguments and objections continue even as the evidence against them mounts. In theological terms, their indifference has another definition: resisting the known truth, a sin against the Holy Ghost that is rarely pardoned.

This week an Anglican cleric submitted a comment for approval that will not be posted, but which resulted in some fascinating and fruitful research. In his commentary, the Anglican submitting the comment likened Home Aloners to “the priestless (Безпоповцы) Old Believers and the French Petite Eglise,” (a Gallicanist sect, some of whose members also embraced Jansenism).

Fortunately, we possess an entire volume on the Old Believers (The Old Believers and the World of Antichrist, Robert O. Crummey, University of Wisconsin Press, 1970). The book chronicles the history of members of the Russian Orthodox Church who broke away from this schismatic sect following the implementation of certain liturgical reforms. Their then-reigning Patriarch, Nikon, reformed the Psalter, ordered the members of the Russian Church to make the Sign of the Cross with three fingers instead of two and instituted some other minor changes the author of the book calls “miniscule.” Rejecting the reforms, several Orthodox bishops and clergy separated themselves from the church and set up their own religious communities. Eventually their clergy members passed away and they were left priestless, yet continued as a sect in Russia even after the 1917 Communist takeover.

The Anglican comments: “The Old Believers have happily gone back into communion with the Russian Orthodox Church, and they are allowed to keep their liturgical particularities.” This is what the absorption by Rome of the SSPX is all about: compromise. It will be repeated when remaining Traditionalists are allowed to celebrate their liturgy under the all-inclusive one-world church umbrella offered by the Novus Ordo. The Anglican sums it up nicely: “The way ahead is accepting a via media between tradition and organic change whilst resisting rupture and contradiction.” Really. This is the same broken record titled “Reunion” played by the Anglicans since the Reformation. (Read Liberalism’s Shameful Legacy and the Rise of Socialism on this website.)

Since this schismatic sect was never Catholic to begin with, it is difficult to see where the comparison with Home Aloners comes in. For stay-at-home Catholics stand solely on the dogmas of faith and do not base their separation from the current Novus Ordo church primarily on the falsification of the liturgy. A better comparison here would be to Traditionalists in general, particularly those who question Pope Pius XII’s validity as pope based on the Holy Week changes introduced in the 1950s. The main focus of all these Traditionalist sects is the loss of the Latin Tridentine Mass; the focus of those who avoid Traditionalist sects and keep their faith at home is the loss of the Church as a whole, embodied in the papacy.

In conclusion the Anglican asks: “How long will a person persevere in such conditions before lapsing into modern life like the rest of his family and friends?” Maybe this man should ask those in the countries behind the Iron Curtain, who the Communists forced to live without priests for an entire lifetime (except, perhaps, in rare instances). True Catholics call it white martyrdom and the practice of final perseverance.

Petit Eglise defined

Now to the comment on the Petit Eglise, or little church, which came into being as a result of the French Revolution. The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia describes this sect as follows: “A schism of another nature and of less importance was that of the so-called Petite Église or the Incommunicants, formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century by groups who were dissatisfied with the Concordat and the concordatory clergy. In the provinces of the west of France the party acquired a certain stability from 1801 to 1815; at the latter date it had become a distinct sect. It languished on till about 1830, and eventually became extinct for lack of priests to perpetuate it” (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13529a.htm).

1802 French Concordat

What exactly was the Concordat? The French Concordat between Pope Pius VII and Napoleon Bonaparte was an agreement that restored Catholic order to France in the wake of the French Revolution. The Catholic Encyclopedia under this title states: “The concordat, notwithstanding the addition of the Organic Article [unfavorable commentary made by the French government-Ed.], must be credited with having restored peace to the consciences of the French people on the very morrow of the Revolution. To it also was due the reorganization of Catholicism in France, under the protection of the Holy See. It was also of great moment in the history of the Church. Only a few years after Josephinism and Febronianism had disputed the pope’s rights to govern the Church, the Papacy and the Revolution, in the persons of Pius VII and Napoleon, came to an understanding which gave France a new episcopate and marked the final defeat of Gallicanism.”

The article further explains the newly-established French episcopate was established following the abolition of “the 136 sees of ancient France, a certain number [of which] had lost their titulars by death; the titulars of many others had been forced to emigrate. In Paris the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the church of St-Sulpice were in the possession of ‘constitutional’ clergy,” removed from their offices by the edict of Pope Pius VI (Charitas). Different reports about the number of new bishops established under the concordat make it difficult to determine the true number. We have 83, 60 and 50, respectively. Regardless of the number, the pope believed the situation prior to the concordat justified such a drastic change.

The churches in France were taken over by hostile forces or left in ruins by the revolutionaries. The lawful clergy had been banished or were in hiding. Seminaries in the country no longer existed. Catholics were sore pressed to know where to go or how to resume a normal Catholic life. Even Napoleon saw the benefits of remedying this situation, although only on his own terms.  He controlled the negotiations and caused the Holy See much grief, eventually kidnapping Pope Pius VII. The pope was later allowed to return to Rome.

Pius VI’s ‘Charitas’ and the extent of papal power 

In order to rectify the sad situation in France, Pope Pius VII demanded that all those holding episcopal sees in the country resign. Initially, 14 bishops residing in London refused to relinquish their sees. Later, five of these same bishops tendered their resignations, leaving nine. Pope Pius VII’s secretary, Cardinal Consalvi, who was conducting the negotiations with Napoleon on behalf of Pope Pius VII, reported Nov. 30, 1801 that a total of 27 bishops had resigned and others would follow.  He noted that the reorganization of the episcopal sees would result in “the annihilation of all jurisdiction in the incumbents, (a necessary sequel to the suppression of old sees and the creation of new ones) ones).” This will later be applied to what is said below. These comments are recorded in Artaud de Montor’s The Lives and Times of the Popes, Vol. VIII, Catholic Publication Society, 1911. There we find 266 pages devoted to Pope Pius VII, including several of Cardinal Consalvi’s verbatim communications to Napoleon. One of these addressed Napoleon’s nomination of 15 constitutional bishops to take possession of the newly created sees, a right guaranteed to him in the concordance. Cardinal Consalvi wrote to the emperor as follows:

1.”The case of the constitutional bishops is already decided by the Apostolic See, in the dogmatic brief of Pius VI beginning ‘Charitas.’ That dogmatic definition cannot be reformed. His Holiness may mitigate the penalties therein inflicted on the said bishops, but the judgment of his predecessor is irrefragable.“

2. “The Catholic Church and the whole episcopal body has received and respected this judgment of the Holy See… The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was condemned by the same dogmatic judgment of Pius VI, as containing errors against the deposit of faith… His Holiness observes that, as his predecessor found it impossible to yield to the request made… it is equally impossible for him to admit to his communion and invest with canonical constitution the constitutionals, who, contrary to the dogmatic decision contained in said briefs, persist in maintaining the error condemned in them, refuse to acknowledge their illegitimate character, and to adhere and submit to the judgment pronounced by the Holy See.

3. “A matter of faith is in question. His Holiness observes that, according to the rules of faith, it belongs to him, and to no other, to judge what the constitutional bishops have done… by pronouncing the profession of faith and the oath, and to confer institution if they are nominated… The rules and constant practice of the Church have always required that none should be received into its bosom, much less assigned as pastors, who have left any heresy or schism, unless they avow expressly that they condemn especially their errors.

Pope Pius IX, in his condemnation of the Old Catholic Bishop Joseph Hubert Reinken, likewise taught in his encyclical Etsi Multa: “As even the rudiments of Catholic faith declare, no one can be considered a bishop who is not linked in communion of faith and love with Peter, upon whom is built the Church of Christ; who does not adhere to the supreme Pastor to whom the sheep of Christ are committed to be pastured… But these men having progressed more boldly in the ways of wickedness and destruction, as happens to heretical sects from God’s just judgment, have wished to create a hierarchy also for themselves, as we have intimated. They have chosen and set up a pseudo-bishop, a certain notorious apostate from the Catholic faith, Joseph Hubert Reinkens. So that nothing be lacking in their impudence, for his consecration they have had refuge to those very Jansenists of Utrecht, whom they themselves, before they separated from the Church, considered as heretics and schismatics…

“We declare the election of the said Joseph Hubert Reinkens, performed against the sanctions of the holy canons to be illicit, null, and void. We furthermore declare his consecration sacrilegious. Therefore, by the authority of Almighty God, We excommunicate and hold as anathema Joseph Hubert himself and all those who attempted to choose him, and who aided in his sacrilegious consecration. We additionally excommunicate whoever has adhered to them and belonging to their party has furnished help, favor, aid, or consent.” This is in complete accord with everything decreed by Pope Pius VI.

Certain Traditionalists have insisted that the rigors of Pope Pius VI’s condemnation of the constitutionalists later was relaxed, and that therefore Pius VI’s Charitas was not dogmatic, but the pope states the exact opposite here. Let them present proofs of such relaxation or close their mouths. Below is produced the exact content of Charitas as applies to this matter:

“For the right of ordaining bishops belongs only to the Apostolic See, as the Council of Trent declares; it cannot be assumed by any bishop or metropolitan without obliging Us to declare as schismatic both those who ordain and those who are ordained thus invalidating their future actions.” (see Can. 2265 §1 [2-3]. This means the future actions of any bishops as well as any priests ordained by such men are null and void.)

Pope Pius VI continues: “We therefore severely forbid the said Expilly and the other wickedly elected and illicitly consecrated men, under this punishment of suspension, to assume episcopal jurisdiction or any other authority for the guidance of souls since they have never received it. They must not grant dimissorial letters for ordinations. Nor must they appoint, depute, or confirm pastors, vicars, missionaries, helpers, functionaries, ministers, or others, whatever their title, for the care of souls and the administration of the Sacraments under any pretext of necessity whatsoeverWe declare and proclaim publicly that all their dimissorial letters and deputations or confirmations, past and future, as well as all their rash proceedings and their consequences, are utterly void and without force.”

Hear ye, hear ye Traditionalists. All your actions are voided not only by these popes above, but also by Pope Pius XII, who nullified all acts contrary to papal laws, particularly those stated in his infallible 1945 election law Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis.

Origin and function of the Petit Eglise

With all the above in mind, we now go back to address the previous reference to the Petit Eglise. More on this sect is found in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Editor James Hastings and others, Vol. IX, 1917, Charles Scribner and Sons, New York; by Georges Volet. Here we find some amazing facts. This work relates that after Pope Pius VII issued his bull, Qui Christi Domini, those possessing episcopal sees in exile from France by the revolutionary government had 10 days to turn in their resignations. (Cardinal Consalvi said in de Montor’s work Pope Pius VII later lengthened this time period in case they did not receive the request.) When the 14 bishops in London received the pope’s orders, they mailed Pope Pius VII a refusal, accompanied by a letter explaining why they had the right to retain their episcopal sees.

The reasons they listed were that they are bishops by Divine right (a statement later qualified by Pope Pius XII to read that while this is the case, they still are subject to the Roman Pontiff). They then state they can be separated from their sees only by death and a valid resignation which they have no intention of giving, although later five of them did relent. They professed that the pope’s primacy derived from St. Peter, but did not acknowledge his ultimate power over them, an article of faith later defined by the Vatican Council. They also claimed the concordat was destructive of religion, earning them the name of anti-concordataires. On receiving the letter, de Montor records, Pope Pius VII told Cardinal Consalvi: “’We are entering on a sea of affliction.” Consalvi replied: “Those who write to us are banished by law and kept out of France by another authority than that which they honor… But France contains so many Catholics who have no pastors.”

In 1803, the article says, 38 London bishops addressed a “canonical remonstrance” to Pope Pius VII. At least nine of these bishops continued to administer their dioceses through the priests sharing their Gallicanist and anti-concordataires views and refused to resign. Thus was the Petit Eglise born. The encyclopedia article calls it “remarkable” that during this time period, the bishops in London did not see fit to ordain any priests, saying that “perhaps” they believed that the concordat [or Pope Pius VII-Ed.] would be short-lived. Or was it possible that these bishops knew they would be exposing their followers to sacrilegious Sacraments if they ordained priests, since Pope Pius VI nullified any acts performed by such French clergy in his Charitas? Over time, the group was eventually reduced to just one bishop. But even given the prospective situation of retaining no priests to carry on ministering to the faithful, he refused to ordain candidates presented to him for such work, objecting that they held Jansenist opinions. He thus demonstrated a restraint not exercised by Traditionalists.

A question was posed sometime after 1830, [most likely to Rome, or perhaps to one of the newly-appointed bishops; the article does not make this clear], by some of the remaining Petit Eglise priests that since “the pre-concordat bishops were dead, the bishops of the concordat ought not to be considered as lawful.” The answer they received and the quote that arrived with it should settle the Home Alone question for good and forever, but of course it will not. The secular encyclopedia states: “A negative answer was arrived at, on the principle that the apostolic succession having been broken, the effects of the rupture were enduring.” (Remember the words of Cardinal Consalvi above regarding Pope Pius VII’s intention to remove jurisdiction from those bishops who previously held the episcopal sees.) “The decisions of ancient councils were also appealed to. One of these, held in Benevento in 1087 by (Bl.) Pope Victor III, had decreed as follows:

‘The Sacraments of Penance and Communion are to be received only at the hands of a Catholic priest; if none such is to be found, it is better to remain without communion and to receive it invisibly from Our Lord.’And a doubtfully Catholic priest is no priest. De Montor records that Victor III forbade Catholics to receive penance or the Eucharist “at the hands of heretics or simoniacs.” According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it was during the 1087 Council at Benevento, one of several held there over a 30-year timespan, that “Victor III excommunicated Guibert, the antipope.” (In excommunicating Guibert, who had reigned in Rome for three years, it would appear that Pope Victor was warning Catholics not to receive the Sacraments from any of those clerics created by this antipope.)

This judgment approved by Pope Victor III was deduced from what he had experienced at the hands of an antipope during his brief reign. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that “ Victor III …was compelled, eight days after his coronation in St. Peter’s (3 May, 1087), to fly from Rome before the partisans of Guibert …of Ravenna, antipope Clement II.I” (Bl.) Pope Victor III, known as the Benedictine abbot Desiderius before his election, “was the greatest of all the abbots of Monte Cassino, with the exception of the monastery’s founder, St. Benedict. As such he won for himself ‘imperishable fame’ (Gregorovius).” Reluctant to become pope in the first place, he agreed to return to Rome only if he could retain his position as abbot of Monte Cassino.

When the Petit Eglise bishops and priests finally passed on, members of this sect — who refused to recognize the bishops appointed by Pope Pius VII and so were in schism — were left on their own. Some of them were heretics as well, as their own bishop acknowledged. The article reports they kept the faith in their homes, and most had a private chapel there. They read the offices of the Church and the ancient liturgy of Lyons. They engaged in the reading of Holy Scripture and works of piety. Their children were instructed from the diocesan catechism and made their First (spiritual) Communion. They appointed one of their own to conduct liturgical prayers, funerals and baptisms, the only sacrament they administered. This is what the Japanese also did during their persecution in the 1600s.

Some of the Petit Eglise communities were quite large, the article reports, one being that of Lyons and the other located in Deux-Sevres (Courlay) and La Vendee. One sported some 3,000 members. According to the encyclopedia article by Voltes, “In 1869, when the Vatican Council was sitting, these two congregations petitioned Rome for the recognition of the pre-concordat bishops, as the condition of their own return to the Roman obedience. But the attempt failed, and the Council, by declaring the pope to be immediately the bishop of each diocese, laid down a principle the direct contrary of that by which the opponents of the Concordat had been guided.”  Therefore, Rome has spoken and the case is closed. The Anglican cleric comments that the Petit Eglise has now been almost entirely absorbed by the Novus Ordo Church and other sects.

Conclusion

And so the Anglican commentator’s analogy fails in this case as well. Stay-at-home — Catacomb — Catholics are all about obeying everything taught by the continual magisterium. They live in a timeframe where there IS no true pope, and this was not the case with the Petit Eglise. Catacomb Catholics rest their entire case on the fact that John 23 and subsequently all his “successors,” (according to Canon Law) were not and never could have been elected to the papacy for the very reasons stated above by Pope Pius VII — their very Catholicity and the Catholicity of their electors was in question. The case for this has been presented in very great detail and from the most trustworthy sources. It is the unanimous opinion of theologians that when there are very serious reasons for doubting a pope was not validly elected, then there is no schism and no sin in refusing to recognize him. If there is positive doubt about such validity, St. Robert Bellarmine teaches, this successfully disqualifies such a man as pope and a new election must be held. But the Petit Eglise never questioned the pope’s validity, only his authority over their bishops.

The answers to these questions regarding validity have been examined and explained for well over a decade on this site. Like the followers of “Gregory XVIII,” no one will listen. As we read in the book of Apocalypse, Ch. 16, despite the plagues God sends in the end times, they will not depart from their evil ways and do penance. Doing penance and making reparation, Catacomb Catholics know, is the only way to keep company with Our Lord’s Sorrowful Mother, and St. John, the beloved Apostle, at the Foot of the Cross. Considering what Christ suffered for us, it is the least we can do.

(All emphasis within quotes was added by the author.)

 

 

 

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St. Robert Bellarmine’s TRUE Teaching on an Heretical Pope

Gregory XVIII / “Fr.” Tran Van Khoat fraud exposed! 

All Souls Day

The following link is posted on a site that has promoted (Peter) Tran Van Khoat as Gregory XVIII, Giuseppe (Cardinal) Siri’s “successor,” for the past two decades: (http://www.tcwblog.com/182861438/6821741/posting/manifest-heretic-khoat-van-tran-in-plush-vn-pad-w-wife). It reveals that Khoat is married (his wife’s name is Nguyen Thi Giang Huong) and has been an international businessman for all these years. Another site lists Khoat as the father of at least two sons (http://ourladysresistance.org/peter-khoat-van-tran.html. (This link is provided only for reader reference; the website creators falsely teach Pope St. Pius X was the last true pope.)

This, of course, is no surprise. Since 1989, I have warned Catholics away from Khoat. Why? His 1967 ordination was never confirmed by Traditionalists and could not be confirmed. He is not listed in the Catholic Directories for 1967 or 1968. He arrived in the U.S. with no proof of his ordination, at least none that has ever been seen or could ever be verified. The NO hierarchy may not have been able to easily confirm his credentials because of the war years (1960s, 1970s). They later declared him excommunicated for functioning without their jurisdiction, initially as a Pius X Society “priest,” but were they sure he was ever qualified to possess it? Only they can answer that question.

A 1975 article in a Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas newspaper quotes the head of a “Catholic Conference of Chaffee” as reporting that Khoat had been “relieved of his duties in Saigon and was no longer a representative of any (emph. mine) religious group.” So did NO church officials sanction him or government officials? The South Viet Nam government was not interfering with the functioning of the NO church at that time; this occurred only after 1975, (see https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vietnam-catholic-church). Was Khoat dismissed by NO officials because he was married? Was he possibly involved in other non-Catholic religious activities as well?  The visuals on this Vietnamese language site might offer readers some clues: (http://hotranvietnam.vn/index.php/home/chitiethodongtrantoc/1. And one reader conducting additional research alleges that Khoat may actually be a Viet Nam Buddhist who belongs to the Tran Dynasty! This seems further supported by information below.

I received correspondence regarding this situation with Khoat and his fatherhood/ business dealings several years ago. Because revealing it would have involved crossing Today’s Catholic World editor David Hobson, and because I had been advised by others to wait until a more opportune time to address it, I did not post it to my website. In 2008, Hobson threatened to sue me for comments posted about Khoat. I did correct a typo he objected to, but that was not enough. He eventually attacked my website, which cost me a good chunk of change to rebuild. I had no desire to tangle with him again and every reason to believe he would respond just as hatefully as he did the first time if I tried to forward the information. I have kept all those emails if anyone is interested in corroborating this.

Catholic theologians teach no one is obliged to correct someone if there is good reason to believe they will not listen. Neither Hobson nor his followers have ever given the slightest indication they are open to any criticism of Khoat or the Siri fantasy. But now Hobson has been forced to admit Khoat has perpetrated a gigantic hoax on those belonging to his papal restoration crowd. And to his credit he has corrected at least some of the record, but only after Khoat self-published his Catholic Manifesto book. He has yet to take down his many pages supporting Khoat and the Siri “papacy.”

The whole tragedy could have been avoided if the laws and teachings of the Church had been followed in the first place. A doubtful cleric is no cleric at all. It is the unanimous opinion of theologians, the theological manuals state, that a doubtful opinion regarding the validity of the Sacraments is not sufficient to justify their reception. And being unanimous, such an opinion must be followed, according to the teaching of Pope Pius IX. We have grave doubt that Khoat received valid ordination — if he received orders at all, it was from an NO bishop who possessed no jurisdiction to ordain him in the first place. Ecumenical councils and the continual magisterium have consistently nullified all the acts of antipopes and their illegitimate hierarchies. We have only Khoat’s say-so that he was ordained in 1967, in the old rite, and there is nothing to back this up. Do we really trust this man to tell anyone the truth?!

The laws governing papal election and clergy functioning without papal approval are deadly serious matters, but no one takes them seriously. Pope Pius XII made obedience to papal and church law a necessity for Church membership, so those not obeying these laws and openly flaunting them cannot be considered Catholic. But who listens to the popes? Who follows their teachings and instructions? Certainly not Traditionalists who would rather receive “Catholic” truths from men Christ considers hirelings and false shepherds. It is total disregard for and outright hatred of both papal laws and Canon Law that has led all these people down this road; that and the refusal to perform due diligence in vetting the “clergy” to whom they entrust the most precious gift of all — their eternal salvation.

The following background on Khoat could have been discovered by those who truly value their faith, and the people so zealously promoting these fraudulent characters. Why did they failed to uncover it? That is a question that demands answers.

A little history

President Ngo dinh Diem (a Catholic) was the leader of (South) Vietnam during the 1950s and up to his assassination in 1963. He had several brothers, two of whom were Ngo dinh Nhu and Ngo dinh Thuc, the Traditionalist bishop. In his capacity as bishop, Ngo dinh Thuc helped his brother rule South Vietnam; his assigned area was Cochin, China. He was very ambitious and his brother actively campaigned to have him appointed cardinal.

Cochin China was a hotbed for criminal activity dating back to the 1920s. Chinese criminal organizations infiltrated existing Viet Nam gangs and crime families during this time period and set up camp there. This region was often referred to as the birthplace of the “Vietnamese Mafia.” A young street thug named Bai Vien headed the criminal activities of what was known as the Binh Xuyen in Cochin during this time period. After spending many years in prison, Bay Vien escaped and went back to his old haunts and habits. His organization later evolved into a secret society. In August 1945 the Viet Minh’s chief of Cochin China, Tran Van Giau, formed an alliance with Bay Vien and others against the French.

Competing for power with Bai Vien were two sects, one of which was “the monotheistic, syncretic religion officially established in the city of Tây Ninh in southern Vietnam in 1926 known as Cao Dai, or Caodaism.” The official name of the religion means “The Third Great Universal Religious Amnesty… Caodaism teaches that, throughout human history, God the Father has revealed his truth many times through the mouths of many prophets, but these messages were always either ignored or forgotten due to humanity’s susceptibility to secular desires. Adherents believe that the age has now come when God speaks to humanity directly” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caodaism). The sect has its own “pope” and “hierarchy. (Compare this definition to Khoat’s description of his new book, “A unique book that prepares us for the “true new time” on Earth…Khoat’s next book “will be about ‘God Our Heavenly Father’s “True New Time” on Earth …called the Catholic Revolution” (https://outskirtspress.com/catholicmanifesto; also https://selfpublishingauthor.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/introducing-rev-khoat-van-tran-ph-d-author-of-catholic-manifesto-a-trilogy/). So was Khoat claiming all this time to be a Caodaist pope or a Catholic Pope?! Was he a Caodaist, a Buddhist or both? At this point, only Khoat himself knows, and he isn’t telling.)

Ngo dinh Nhu, brother of Ngo dinh Diem and Ngo dinh Thuc, was married to a Buddhist woman who converted to Catholicism. Madame Nhu’s maiden name was Tran van. Her father, Tran van Chuong was the Vietnamese ambassador to Washington, Canada, Argentina, and Brazil, and his wife was a Vietnam representative to the UN. The historian Hilaire du Berrier (Background to Betrayal, p. 46) wrote that Diem established his political base on his brothers and immediate family, and then, “Beyond them would come the in-laws, and their in-laws, spreading downward through ever widening rings of cousins…Wherever one looked there were only Ngo dinhs and Tran vans…” Du Berrier describes the Ngo dinhs and Tran Vans as Viet Nam royalty. Khoat claims to have met Ngo dinh Thuc only once after coming to the U.S., but we suspect  there is far more of a connection there than Khoat was willing to reveal.

The Viet Nam war began in earnest during the Johnson administration, ending in 1975. It was at this time that Khoat emigrated to the U.S., according to court documents later filed in 1996 (https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/1657831/tran-v-fiorenza/). We believe Tran van Khoat may be related to Madame Nhu, which is how he obtained citizenship so quickly, long before the “boat people” he came with were able to do so. In 1977 Khoat bought a Baptist church he used for services to minister to the Vietnamese — Vietnamese Resurrection Church dedicated by Marcel Lefebvre. Eventually these Vietnamese left him to open their own church within the Novus Ordo diocese there. In the mid-1980s, Khoat sold the Baptist church to the Buddhists. Where the money came from originally to purchase this church and where it went when it was sold is not clear.

As the court document shows, Khoat represented a number of fishermen from a village in Viet Nam. He said they were distant relatives and acquaintances but one article states none of them even knew him until he began organizing the immigrants in Ft. Chafee, Arkansas in 1975 (see quotes from article above). While he contended with Novus Ordo authorities for years over running Resurrection Church under their auspices, he eventually joined forces with Lefebvre who then dedicated the church. The Novus Ordo declared he had been automatically excommunicated for this action and for not deeding the church over to the diocese, as the court documents demonstrate. If they knew anything about his Saigon separation, they do not indicate it. But transparency on this subject would have gone a long way to clarify the situation and protect others from being duped by Khoat.

A Tran Van Khoat also is connected with a company called Keystone Development Management SA in Switzerland, which could be connected to the Keystone Development Co. in the U.S. Two separate articles in the Stroudburg, Pennsylvania Pocono Record, written in 2001 detail what homeowners describe as the unethical mortgage maneuvers used by this company to acquire real estate and what they suffered as a result of these practices. (Google Unreal Deals: inflated prices spur mortgage mess). In 2010, the Keystone Development Management SA was deleted from the commercial register in Geneva, Switzerland. The firm went bankrupt in June 2005 shortly after a Swiss financial publication reports that Keystone went into “liquidation,” as reported here: (https://www.moneyhouse.ch/en/company/keystone-development-management-sa-en-21474044571. Tran Van Khoat is listed as the contact for liquidation along with a Quang Thach Ngo. In the autobiography for his newly released book, Catholic Manifesto, Khoat mentions his business activities (https://selfpublishingauthor.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/introducing-rev-khoat-van-tran-ph-d-author-of-catholic-manifesto-a-trilogy/), identifying Switzerland as one of his bases of operation.

“Fr.” Khoat and Siri

Later Khoat accepted money sent to Gary Giuffre by Hutton Gibson to visit Siri in Italy,  then eventually declared himself to be Siri’s successor. All this was based only on Khoat’s accounts of his trip to Italy. No documentation from Siri was ever presented confirming the fact he was pope, that he discussed his “papacy” with Khoat, that he was a “prisoner,” that Khoat’s “orders” were regularized as he claims on Hobson’s site, etc. Several Traditionalist writers, including Hutton Gibson, eventually abandoned the Siri theory as promoted by Gary Giuffre, who miserably failed to prove his case for Siri as pope. And the funding of that project began in earnest in 1991, following David Bawden’s “election”!  They eventually abandoned their efforts because the facts could not and did not prove the case. In his January 2006 newsletter, The War Is Now, Gibson concludes: “Gary was an extremely selective investigator who thought to cover the fact that he covered facts.” Nuff said.

My personal experience with Khoat occurred in March of 1989 when, at the invitation of David Bawden, I attended a religious retreat Khoat hosted in Port Arthur, Texas Bawden had been in contact with Khoat since October of 1988, when he traveled to Texas to speak to him about Khoat’s meeting with Siri that May. He later went to Port Arthur to study under Khoat in February of 1989. When I first entered Khoat’s rectory, I was shocked to find a large picture of Karol Wojtyla hung over the entrance to his office. When I asked Bawden about it, the excuse was given that he used it to lure people in, then would explain the Traditionalist stance. But I wasn’t convinced. The slide presentation I attended given by Giuffre to promote the Siri “papacy” was not convincing either. Something was off, and I would later find out why my radar was sending urgent signals.

During the retreat, Khoat made several outrageous statements, suggestive of what Bawden had already revealed in a letter: his intention to establish a Catholic Secret Society based on the Essenes, an idea favored by Traditionalists Dennis D’Amico (aka Ely Jason) and Spark* editor Christopher Shannon. He was very interested in the Essenes, as were those who were connected with Britons Catholic Library. Towards the end of the retreat, he denied that the documents of the ordinary magisterium could contain infallible statements and limited the incidence of infallibility to rare occasions. He also endorsed the material/formal heresy, as did the Thucites. On hearing these heresies, I stood up during the retreat session, told him he was teaching heresy, left the retreat and returned home a few days later, in time for Easter. (There were several witnesses to this among those also attending the retreat.) Bawden remained in Port Arthur for an indefinite period of time after my departure. He did not leave Texas for Kansas until April 19. From April 5-April 8, 1989, Bawden does not make it clear exactly where he was.

In 2007 or 2008, Bawden posted on his website that Khoat officiated at a Buddhist wedding on April 8 but does not say whether this ceremony was held or how he knew about the ceremony. (I left Bawden in March 2007.) Bawden states on his site that Khoat’s family had recently converted from Buddhism and notes that under Canon Law, by marrying the Buddhist couple, Khoat was more or less guilty of communicatio in sacris. Bawden also lists some of Khoat’s questionable business dealings. In March of 2008, David Hobson posted documents on his website that prove Bawden had completely accepted the Siri “fact,” as Hobson called it and had even approached a “Siri bishop” for ordination while in Texas with Khoat. This is documented with Bawden’s own letters at http://www.todayscatholicworld.com/mar08tcw.htm#kook-in-kan. I have signed letters from Bawden which show I never realized he accepted the Siri theory and did not approve of his studies with Khoat. This even before I journeyed to Texas for the retreat.

In attempting to counter Bawden’s claims regarding Khoat’s business practices, Hobson wrote on his site: “Fr. Khoat did no wrong here. I have gone through hundreds of documents concerning his life and business dealings — what is the point, here?” Well the point is that where there is smoke a fire often exists, and a meticulous investigation needs to be conducted. I am sure Mr. Hobson is beginning to understand this, now that he has been badly burned and his followers blinded by the dense smoke this fire created for so many years. But if he isn’t aware of all the background information above, he cannot possibly come completely clean with his readers. And he still has yet to admit that those who divested themselves of Giuffre, for failing to prove Siri was really the pope elected following John 23, were right all along. He also claims that the “sacraments” Khoat administered to the papal restoration group were valid until only recently, when he “suddenly” became a heretic. But there was nothing sudden about Khoat’s change of heart; no one can be certain he was ever a priest in the first place.

As documented in The Phantom Church in Rome and elsewhere, Siri was not a Catholic cardinal going into the conclave to begin with. He proved this beyond a reasonable doubt by remaining a prominent member of the Novus Ordo hierarchy, excommunicating himself by accepting John 23 as a true pope and participating in succeeding conclaves. What “prisoner pope” elects a new “pope”? Following such theories down the proverbial rabbit hole and trying to make sense of anything only leads to a condition approaching total insanity. We decided a long time ago we were not going there. Who needs drama and make-believe when we have1,958 years of Catholic teaching to guide us!

 

 

 

 

 

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