The Traditionalist Movement Was Never Catholic

The Traditionalist Movement Was Never Catholic

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Many believe that in joining any of the existing Traditionalist groups cropping up after the introduction of the new mass those exiting the counterfeit church in Rome actually remained members of the true Catholic Church of all time whose last true pope was Pope Pius XII — but think again.  All the available evidence indicates that at the very best, they became members instead of a church which appeared to retain much of the (especially external) aspects of the Catholic religion and just enough of Her teachings to appear to be the one, true Church, while actually constituting a church very much resembling the Old Catholic sect, or other sects of that persuasion. This means they belong(ed) to a church which doesn’t outwardly reject the idea of the papacy, but doesn’t necessarily endorse it, either; and this, of course, is a heresy. Traditionalists say they can do nothing to restore the papacy so must rely on their bishops, because the Church constituted by Christ will last forever.

Breaking news: Christ constituted His Church with Peter as its Head Bishop, the rock upon which all the rest would be founded, so where is their pope? Doubtfully valid bishops do not satisfy Our Lord’s conception of a perpetual Church. And as we will see below, the “bishops” from whom these Traditionalists claim to descend were not members of Pope Pius XII’s Church when they founded their Traditionalist sects, so they were and are schismatic, not Catholic. And those they ordained and consecrated outside that Church have not been judged by a true pope to be certainly validly ordained and consecrated, something the Church has always deemed necessary to protect the faithful. In times of antipopes in the past, the first thing the Church did on the return of the true pope was to declare the status of those ordained, consecrated or otherwise promoted under the antipope. In all the cases discovered, presented here under the header on antipope Anacletus, https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/errors-dispelled-for-readers/,  these men’s promotions were declared null and void. But of course today, this deliberately extended interregnum has prevented that.

Those intending to be truly Catholic and save their souls cannot be assured of their salvation unless they are subject to the Roman Pontiff (Boniface VIII, DZ 469). This includes subjection to decrees on specific questions answered by the Holy Office and the Sacred Congregations, (DZ 1684, 2008; Can. 9) whenever such questions are clearly of universal application (when the response does not limit its application to specific persons in a particular area). As has been repeatedly stated on this site, no one may ignore these decisions of the Holy See in favor of the “say so” of so-called priests and bishops not in communion with the Roman Pontiff and whose case of questionable orders has not been decided by Rome.

No one may in good conscience attend their “masses,” or receive their “sacraments,” because the Church teaches that when in doubt, one cannot act, especially when it concerns the validity of the sacraments (see subhead Canons 15 and 16, https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/canon-law-doubts-of-law-and-epikeia/). The decisions of the Holy See prior to the death of Pope Pius XII are binding, even when not universal and are used only as parallels. They are to be taken as authoritative, particularly when they pertain to doctrine, because they represent the voice of true and certain authority in the Church. And that authority still commands obedience today.

Condemned by the decree Lamentabili, Pope St. Pius X, 1907: “They are to be considered free of blame who consider of no account the reprobations published by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by other sacred Roman Congregations,” (DZ 2008). And this from

Pope Pius IX, Tuas Libentur, 1863: “It is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church…It is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations…” (DZ 1684). That there has never been and can never be any certainty regarding the validity, hence authority of Traditionalists, from the very inception of that schismatic group in all its many manifestations, is what will be proven below regarding the true affiliation of “bishops” Marcel Lefebvre, Ngo dinh Thuc and de Castro Mayer. To wit:

— All three men resigned the offices they possessed under Pope Pius XII, (although de Castro Meyer’s resignation was styled as a “forced retirement.”)

— All three men signed Vatican 2 documents. (It is reported, however, that de Castro Mayer refused to implement the Vatican 2 changes in his diocese or allow the Novus Ordo Missae to be said until his “resignation” in 1981.)

— Lefebvre and Thuc celebrated the Novus Ordo Missae.

— Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X does not celebrate the true Latin Mass but an unauthorized liturgy (John 23rd Missal) falsified by a papal pretender

— Thuc died as an N.O. archbishop emeritus of Hue, Vietnam and Lefebvre died as an N.O. bishop emeritus of Tulle, France.

— Both Thuc and Lefebvre were appointed to bishoprics under Paul 6 AFTER the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae.

— Thuc was reconciled to the N.O. church twice, once under Paul 6 and again under JP2.

— All three men consecrated bishops minus the necessary papal mandate.

— Thuc made his original “Declaration” under the title given him by Paul 6: Bishop of Bulla Regia. Those Traditionalists who were “handling” him, to better guarantee acceptance of their “Orders,” later had him issue an amended declaration.

— Thuc and Lefebvre established seminaries without papal approval.

— De Castro Mayer was the principal co-consecrator, with Marcel Lefebvre as consecrator, of four men designated for service in the Society of St. Pius X: Tissier, Williamson, de Galaretta and Fellay.

— De Castro Mayer died as Bishop Emeritus of Campos, Brazil. To his credit, “Bishop de Castro Mayer refused to sign a so-called “formula of reconciliation” (which would include an admission that excommunication was really incurred and that no situation of necessity, as claimed by Lefebvre and Castro Mayer, had existed in 1988) proposed by Vatican delegates at his death bed. He died on 25 April 1991” (Wiki). Unfortunately, this does not excuse him from incurring the censures for consecrating without the papal mandate in violation of Pope Pius XII’s 1945 papal election constitution.

— Alfredo Mendez-Gonzalez (consecrator of “Bp.” Clarence Kelly, Society of St. Pius V), is not considered here because he was consecrated in 1960 under John 23.

The facts stated above can be verified at the following links: Bp. de Castro Mayer: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bcasmay.html; Abp. Ngo dinh Thuc: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bngo.html; Bp. Marcel Lefebvre: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/blefebvre.html; Bp. Alfredo Méndez-Gonzalez, C.S.C.: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bmendez.html)

In his The Communication of Catholics With Schismatics, 1948, (Catholic University of America dissertation), Rev. Ignatius Szal explains that beginning in 1631, the Holy Office began issuing various decisions concerning the use of faculties and the hearing of confessions: “The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith stated that priests could seek permission for the use of their faculties from bishops who were regarded to be Catholic, provided that the priests had that degree of certitude regarding the orthodoxy of the bishops which excluded all suspicion of the schism or the error current in that region as attaching to them.” In the case of Lefebvre, Thuc, et al, it would be the error of ecumenism or irenicism condemned by Pope Pius XII, implicitly committed by remaining within the Novus Ordo Church and refusing to elect a true pope. In answer to further doubts that same year, Szal continues, “the same Congregation replied that it was not permissible to seek the permission for the use of even one of the faculties from schismatic bishops. It insisted that the clause which had stated that permission was to be sought must be understood in regard to bishops who were in communion with the Church of Rome. There was asked the further question whether this permission could be obtained from schismatic pastors, but the reply of the Congregation was the same as that in regard to schismatic bishops” (pgs. 90-91).

A December 20, 1949 instruction on ecumenism issued by the Holy Office summarizes the Church’s true teaching for Catholics as follows: “Therefore, the whole and entire Catholic doctrine is to be presented and explained: by no means is it permitted to pass over in silence or to veil in ambiguous terms the Catholic truth regarding the nature and way of justification, the constitution of the Church, the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, and the only true union by the return of the dissidents to the one, true Church of Christ.”

Lefebvre, Thuc, de Castro Mayer and their successors were actually members of the Novus Ordo church claiming to be dissenters, while in practice remaining under that church’s official umbrella and practicing “recognize and resist” — a civil protest tactic. This was set in motion by sending letters to the false popes, submitting petitions and organizing protests, writing pamphlets, etc., a tacit recognition of their authority as true popes. Their actions would be better described as “recognize and refuse,” which actually translates to Satan’s “I will not serve.” For following the promulgation of the new mass, once they could truly gauge the level of destruction in the Church, they were duty bound to call such an election for the sake of the faithful, but they REFUSED to do this. This is what would truly have secured the “salvation of souls,” as well as guaranteeing the validity of Mass and Sacraments. But then they would have owed the pope obedience, and thus would have forfeited the absolute control they now exercise over their benighted followers.

Many rumors circulated over the years, but no bishops ever seriously discussed the election of a true pope. And yet this was the one thing they were bound to do; NOT consecrate other bishops indiscriminately as they have done. (See the article and comment posted at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/do-any-valid-bishops-still-exist/). Rev. Berry writes: “It is the duty of the Church to see to it that the faithful receive the true doctrines of Christ, and to this end she may use adequate means to protect them from the contaminating influence of those who seek to spread false doctrines. She has not only the right, but also the duty, to take all necessary measures to protect the spiritual health of her members… The very purpose for which the Church was instituted [is], namely, the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The power of Orders is directly concerned with both…” Notice Rev. Berry does not say it is the Church’s duty to make sure the faithful receive the Sacraments, for Christ said “Go ye therefore and teach all nations,” then baptize. How is God glorified when the doctrines of the Church He sent his Son to earth to die for are not even taught to the faithful? Pope St. Pius X teaches in Acerbo Nimis:

“There can be no doubt, Venerable Brethren, that this most important duty rests upon all who are pastors of souls. On them, by command of Christ, rest the obligations of knowing and of feeding the flocks committed to their care; and to feed implies, first of all, to teach… Hence the Apostle Paul said: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,” thereby indicating that the first duty of all those who are entrusted in any way with the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in the things of God.”  Had Traditionalists been well instructed in their faith, they would have known the Church could not exist without a true pope. This is the job they should have devoted themselves to.

Instead, they wasted precious time on “recognize and resist” to bolster their own authority, and and this is where both Traditionalist and Sedevacantist “bishops” deviated from the faith under Can. 1325. When the Novus Ordo Missae was issued, Divine Revelation was falsified in the consecration of the wine in the Canon — Christ’s own words! Many of those exiting the Vatican 2 church left for that very reason — they knew the implications of this horrific change. But somehow these “courageous” episcopal leaders could not bring themselves to simply come out and announce the canon of the new mass violated Divine law and these popes were manifest heretics. They chose sides against Christ, remaining within the pale of that bastard church rather than risking martyrdom and ridicule to defend the Truth and restore the papacy. While hiding behind their self-sacrificing stance to “save souls,” as commanded by Divine law, they ignored the first and most important part of the Church’s Divine purpose: “the glory of God.” Their “manner of acting,” as stated in Can. 1325, told us all we need to know.

Traditionalists reproached those daring to criticize them for this by pointing to their past errors and used additional ad hominem attacks not allowed by the Church to discredit them. But the one thing they did not and could not do was to provide a line-by-line refutation of every issue these critics addressed and provide compelling arguments — a preponderance of evidence from papal and conciliar sources — to counter what was presented. Canon Law states that the burden of proof lies upon those who fail to produce a presumption in law (Can. 1827) and they have yet to meet that burden. Canon 1812 tells us that acts issuing from the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Curia during the exercise of their office and entered as proof in ecclesiastical courts “prove the facts asserted” (Can. 1816), and force the judge to pronounce in favor of the party producing the document, (commentary by Revs. Woywod-Smith). The documents have been produced on this site for over a decade, some of them for several decades, but Traditionalists generally use the Modernist method condemned by Pope St. Pius X as follows:

“When an adversary rises up against them with an erudition and force that render him redoubtable, they try to make a conspiracy of silence around him to nullify the effects of his attack, while in flagrant contrast with this policy towards Catholics, they load with constant praise the writers who range themselves on their side” (Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 1907).

What type of documentation would it take to refute the mountain of evidence presented against them from papal decrees, decisions issued by the Holy Office and Sacred Congregations, ecumenical councils and Canon Law? To begin with, anytime there is evidence of the type explained above presented regarding the validity of an ordination or consecration, it must be submitted to the Holy Office for consideration. And remember: no valid ordination, no consecration. Then the decision must be made either to conditionally ordain or to educate the individual in a Catholic seminary, IF he repents, is abjured and is approved for ordination by a true bishop. It is doubtful that consideration would be given to any episcopal orders purportedly received when ordination was not even certain, (see Rev. Leslie Rumble, Are Liberal Catholic Orders Valid? Homiletic and Pastoral Review, March 1958).

Citing a Nov. 18, 1931 decree of the Holy Office, Fr. Rumble writes: “A Catholic who lapses from the Church and receives orders from a schismatical bishop can be received back into the Church only on the understanding that such ordination, even if valid, will be completely disregarded.” And episcopal orders from a schismatic sect are seldom, if ever, recognized, Rumble notes. St. Robert Bellarmine cites the unanimous teaching of the Fathers in his work de Romano Pontifice, where he states: “Heretics who return to the Church must be received as laymen, even though they have been formerly priests or bishops in the Church” St. Optatus (lib. 1 cont. Parmen.).

Proper intention to ordain, consecrate doubtful

As noted in a previous blog, the mind of the minister must be conformed to the mind of the Church. Rev. Bernard Leeming S.J. stated here https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/errors-dispelled-for-readers/ that in order for the minister to intend to do what the Church does, he must intend to join those ordained or consecrated to “the united body of the Churchin accord with the mind of the religious body of which he is a minister…” which means both the body of the hierarchy and the Mystical Body of Christ. This is also the teaching of Rev. P. Pouratt: “The intention of the minister is that of the Church which he represents” (The Theology of the Sacraments, 1910).

Fr. Rumble, in the same article cited above quotes from the 1956 work of Rev. Francis Clarke S.J., Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention: “’It belongs to the true Church to determine when a rite performed in given circumstances is an exteriorisation of her own faith; that is whether it is her own act; or whether it is, on the contrary expressing the faith of another separated Church, qua separated.’” Rumble comments: “In this latter case the rite is not valid. Thus Pope Leo XIII decreed in the concrete that Anglican ordinations do not remain acts of the true Church… In them the ‘ritual contact’ with the faith of Christ’s Church is not maintained” (all emph. Rumble’s). My question is: What faith?

Traditionalists are fond of pointing to the fact that both Lefebvre and Thuc were ordained and consecrated under Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII, but they neglect to mention that both men resigned the episcopal sees to which they were appointed by Pope Pius XII and accepted appointments to titular sees from John 23, Paul 6 and in Thuc’s case, John Paul 2. Clearly all three men were opposed to at least the Novus Ordo Missae and certain decrees of Vatican 2. And yet as opposed as they reportedly were to the new mass, they still accepted offices under the usurpers, did not formally condemn them as false popes, and in practice recognized them as valid pontiffs.

As explained in the blog on “Errors…” (https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/errors-dispelled-for-readers/), it cannot be certainly ascertained that both Lefebvre and Thuc, who never formally left their obedience to the Novus Ordo church, intended to ordain and consecrate bishops and priests obedient to a canonically elected successor to Pope Pius XII. For they certainly were not obedient even to the usurpers, and the bishops they consecrated never proceeded to elect a true pope. Therefore, it cannot be said they consecrated such bishops merely to restore the Church to its former condition, which would have been the only possibly acceptable reason for any consecrations at all.

They may have had in mind something Fr. Rumble described in his article which was attempted by a successor of the Old Roman Catholic “Abp.” Arnold Harris Mathew, a man named Bernard Mary Williams. Williams, well educated in Catholic theology and Canon Law, “taught a religion of ‘Catholicism without the Pope.’ He maintained all Catholic dogmas, including papal infallibility, and wanted to build up in England a considerable church absorbing many Anglo-Catholics which would eventually submit to Rome if the Pope would agree on the basis of an “’English Catholic Uniate Rite.’” Isn’t that exactly what has happened with Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X? One former SSPX member declared decades ago that it was Lefebvre’s secret intent to eventually lead his Society back into the Novus Ordo church.

Conclusion

This question begs to be answered more than ever then: What Church were these bishops consecrated for, and how can we have any certainty in this matter given the membership of Lefebvre and Thuc in the Novus Ordo, not the Church of Pope Pius XII as Traditionalists pretend?! Did they secretly believe as the heretic John Hus believed that “Christ, through his true disciples scattered throughout the world, would rule His Church better without such monstrous heads”? (DZ 654). Did they use the blueprint of the Old Roman Catholic Williams to make an end-run on the faithful exiting the V2 church in the 1960s-1970s? If these two bishops were truly faithful to the Church of Pope Pius XII, they would have followed the example of József Cardinal Mindszenty, who refused to give up his position as Primate of Hungary until Paul 6 removed him from this position in 1974. Instead they resigned their bishoprics under a true pope to accept “offices” from false popes who promoted manifest heresy. This and their failure to subsequently elect a true pope rightfully leaves the faithful in doubt regarding the validity of the consecrations. The strong evidence of a doubtful intention justifies their rejection of these bishops and their successors.

The following sums up the state of affairs regarding the consequences of these bishops’ refusal to do their duty and protect the flock entrusted to them by Christ by electing a true pope.

  1. Documentation of John 23rd’s pre-election heresy and credible accounts of his behavior prior to the election have been available for decades, providing the necessary proof that a) he was never validly elected and an interregnum indeed exists (read the Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio on the contents page); and b) the need to elect a true pope has existed since October of 1958. (See The Phantom Church in Rome for this documentation.)
  2. Paul 6’s heresies also were well-known pre-election and Canon 2391, no. 1 invalidates any election by the same set of cardinals who have elected an unworthy candidate (John 23rd).
  3. Failure to follow the teaching on conducting elections laid down in Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis also invalidated the election, as Pope Pius XII infallibly decreed.
  4. Episcopal consecrations without the required papal mandate constitute a usurpation of papal power; this and the violation of papal law voids all acts by Traditionalists per Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis.
  5. The claim to supplied jurisdiction has always been a ruse intended to distract Traditionalist followers from the real issue — questionable validity. “Supplied jurisdiction” — which cannot exist without a true pope and falsely presupposes valid orders — is therefore a moot point. Traditionalist orders cannot be validated or dismissed without a determination by a true pope.
  6. By pretending these bishops could constitute the Church minus a true pope and focusing on the continuation of the Mass and sacraments, also other familiar ceremonies and external devotions of the Church, those believing they were preserving the Catholic faith whole and entire were lulled into a false sense of security.
  7. In adopting the attitude that the usurpers were valid but destructive elements in the Church and by withholding the true nature of the teachings on “the constitution of the Church and the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff,” Traditionalist leaders and “clergy” maliciously destroyed Catholic trust in and reverence for the papacy. This destruction continues with the campaign now underway against Francis, viciously attacked by those still recognizing him as pope. This because they REFUSE to acknowledge that all those men elected after Pope Pius XII’s death are only usurpers and antichrists serving under the system established by Roncalli and Montini (John 23, Paul 6), diametrically opposed to the true Apostolic Succession.
  8. Given all of the above, Traditionalists have never belonged to the unchangeable Catholic Church of the ages as they believed. And the “priests and bishops” they relied upon to transmit the faith whole and entire would be nothing more than laymen in the eyes of the true Church and are nothing more than laymen today.

“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.” (Psalm 126:1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Traditionalist Movement Was Never Catholic

False Sedevacantist Salvation Claims Refuted

+St. Joseph the Worker and Patron of the Universal Church+

Those playing the part of valid and licit Catholic clergy, in order to retain their exalted positions, have now gone to new and detestable heights to defend the indefensible and further confuse their followers. They are claiming that their supposed mission to deliver mass and sacraments in order to save souls is a divine command, while the decrees of the popes are only human law, and thus they are obeying the “higher law.” But like the Pharisees whom Christ so scathingly condemned, they “shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you yourselves do not enter in and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter” (Matt. 23:13).

THE FOLLOWING ARE MATTERS OF DIVINE FAITH AS WELL: 

– “As the Father has sent me, I also send you,” (John 20:21)

– “How can they preach unless they be sent?… BUT ALL DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL. For Isaias saith: Lord, who hath believed our report? (Romans 10:15-16)

– “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts, 19:13).

And what of Peter the Rock, and the power of binding and loosing? Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven,” (Matt. 16:18-19).

Rev. Leo Haydock comments on this last verse: “All the apostles and their successors partake also of this power of binding and loosing, but with a due subordination to [the] one head invested with supreme power… Although Peter and his successors are mortal, they are nevertheless endowed with heavenly power, says St. Chrysostom; nor is the sentence of life or death passed by Peter to be attempted to be reversed; but what he declares is to be considered a divine answer from heaven, and what he decrees a decree of God Himself. He that heareth you, heareth me… The power of binding is exercised, Haydock continues,

1. by refusing to absolve;

2. by enjoining penance for sins forgiven;

3. by excommunication, suspension or interdict;

4. by making rules and laws for the government of the Church and

5. by determining what is of faith by the judgments and definitions of the Church.” 

Only PROTESTANTS bypass the Roman Pontiff to point to Holy Scripture as the sole source of doctrinal authority!

The Council of Trent, condemning the heresies of the Reformers and basing its anathema on Holy Scripture, teaches:

“Sess. 23, Can. 8: “If anyone says that the bishops who are chosen by the authority of the Roman Pontiff are not true and legitimate bishops, but a human invention, let him be anathema” (DZ 968; cf. 960). 

Isn’t that indeed what you are saying, that “HUMAN LAW” ONLY forbids Traditionalists to act as bishops? That the Roman Pontiff does not have to appoint them? Then anathema to you! 

Also from Sess. 23, Council of Trent, cited in Can. 7: “This Holy Synod teaches that, in the ordination of bishops, priests and other ordersthose who are called and instituted only by the peopleor by the civil powerand proceed to exercise these offices, and…those who take these offices upon themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be regarded as ‘thieves, robbers and those who have not entered by the door,'” (DZ 960; Canons 108-109; authentic interpretation of Can. 147). “If anyone says that … those who have neither been rightly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical authority, but come from a different source, are the lawful ministers of the Word and of the Sacraments, let him be anathema.” (The Council of Trent, Sess. 23, July 15, 1563; DZ 967, 424; all emphasis in these texts are mine).

In his Manual of Christian Doctrine, written for religious congregations and Catholic institutions of higher learning, seminary professor Rev. John Joseph McVey wrote in 1926:

Q. 60: Who after the pope are lawful pastors of the Church?

A.The bishops who have been canonically instituted, i.e., who have received from the Sovereign Pontiff a diocese to govern.

Q. 73: Why is it not sufficient to be a bishop or priest in order to be a lawful pastor?

A.Because a bishop must also be sent into a diocese by the Pope, and a priest must be sent into a parish by the bishop. In other words, a pastor must have not only the power of order, but also THE POWER OF JURISDICTION, (emph. McVey’s).

Q. 77: How is the power of jurisdiction communicated?

A. Priests receive their jurisdiction from the bishop of the diocese; bishops receive theirs from the pope; and the Pope holds jurisdiction from Jesus Christ. A bishop who did not have his spiritual powers from the Pope, a pastor who did not have his from the lawful bishop, would be AN INTRUDER OR SCHISMATIC,” (emph. McVey’s).

Rev. W. Wilmers, S.J., an advisor at the 1869 Vatican Council, adds to this as follows: “To become a successor of the apostles, it is necessary to be received into the body of the apostles — into that body which Christ gave power to rule His Church, [the “united body” spoken of in our last blog]. Thus even at the times of the apostles, their successors were appointed… Jurisdiction is possessed only by those in communion with, and under the obedience of the supreme head of the Church… The Roman Catholic Church is apostolic because the body of its teachers and rulers lawfully succeeds the Apostles… The apostolicity of the teaching body of the Church is to us a guarantee for the apostolicity of the Church’s doctrine and Sacraments, and of all its permanent institutions… The bishops, being the successors of the apostles, cannot discharge their office independently of the pope, their supreme head, for the apostles acknowledged St. Peter as their supreme head…

“The dependence of the bishops upon the pope is still greater than was that of the apostles on Peter; for the apostles, having received the extraordinary mission to preach the gospel… received also extraordinary power from our Lord which they did not transmit to their successors… Bishops individually do not inherit this extraordinary power… The bishop… invested with the episcopal dignity by the clergy or even by a chapter, contrary to the laws of the Church… is an intruder. All who support a priest, bishop, or diocesan administrator who has not lawfully received his mission from the pope, and all who hold intercourse with him in spiritual matters, are, like him whom they support, treated by the Church as schismatics, because by such action they separate themselves from the Church’s unity” (Handbook of the Christian Religion, pgs. 100-101, 112-113, 371).

SUPPLIED JURISDICTION IS A USURPATION OF PAPAL POWERS

Pius XII’s constitution on laws governing interregnums, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, infallibly forbids anyone to usurp papal jurisdiction when the See is vacant. This happens when those bishops who never received an office from the pope, or pastors who were never delegated jurisdiction by those who received an office from the pope, presume they possess supplied jurisdiction. Supplied jurisdiction can be granted only by the Roman Pontiff, who alone possesses the fullness of jurisdiction (Vatican Council, 1870). Such pretensions to possess such jurisdiction are clearly a usurpation of papal powers. As such, even the attempt to usurp this jurisdiction is null and void — invalid — per Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis. Therefore, nothing that Traditionalists claiming such jurisdiction have ever done actually happened.

IMPUGNING THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH

The divine Deposit was given to the Church by Christ and His Apostles to safeguard inviolate. Rev. Peter Finlay S.J.,professor at the National University of Ireland, teaches: “God from the beginning, has made revelations to mankind… And this whole body of revelation is spoken of as the Deposit of Faith… All the truths contained in it are to be accepted and believed by members of the Church… (p. 1-2). Every truth set forth distinctly, in Holy Scripture, every article of the Catholic Creeds, every solemn, dogmatic definition of a pope or a General Council, is included in the Deposit of Faith… Every doctrine of faith, which after a period of seeming doubt and hesitation the Church defines… are all contained in the original Deposit [of Faith], delivered to the Church by Christ through the Apostles; and they are separated out and put forward by the Church, with infallible assistance from the Holy Ghost, as times and other circumstances may require. For the Church, like all societies, is a living organization: and the Deposit of Faith is a living Deposit.” (p. 51, 238; Divine Faith, 1917).”

So how is it Traditionalists separate all these truths out as though they are opposed to each other?

This is also infallibly decreed as follows by the Vatican Council: “For the doctrine of faith which God revealed has not been hand down as a philosophic invention to the human mind to be perfected but has been entrusted as a Divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that understanding of the sacred dogmas must always be retained which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession form that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding. Therefore…let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense and understanding(St. Vincent of Lerins),” (DZ 1800).

“Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel… You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?” (Matt. 23: 24, 29).

 

 

 

 

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The Traditionalist Movement Was Never Catholic

Errors Dispelled for Readers

+St. Louis Grignion de Montfort+

This site has never ceased to promote obedience to the Roman Pontiffs, a love for the papacy and obedience to the Sacred Canons. Careful study of the articles available here will yield a complete understanding of how and why the Church forbids Catholics today to receive the Sacraments at the hands of Traditionalists. Yet some, it seems, have not fully completed this study, and continue to be ensnared by the sophists rampant among Traditionalists. Traditionalist pushback appeared over the past several weeks following the articles posted in our ongoing blog series, and the errors in their presentations are comprehensively refuted here, once again. Our series details papal prohibitions regarding the inability of those who have received orders from the hands of schismatics to function validly.

Despite these explanations, based almost entirely on papal and conciliar documents and Canon Law, reportedly some are now confused after listening to a recent Internet interview regarding supplied jurisdiction. This interview was posted shortly after the blog series began running in March. The individual giving this interview (we shall call him Theodotus) mistakenly informs his listeners there is papal and conciliar support for the supplied jurisdiction Traditionalists claim to possess. The recent betrayedcatholics blog series answers all but a few of the issues addressed in the interview, but certain things must be clarified and reiterated to clear up any misconceptions.

  1. Can Traditionalists possibly possess supplied jurisdiction?

In a word, no. This pretention presumes they are able to possess it, i.e., are validly ordained/consecrated and are able to exercise said jurisdiction, when these two premises have not been proven. In fact, they have been disproven by papal and ecumenical council decrees and approved theologians enacted before the death of Pope Pius XII. Here we return to the fallacious argument known as petitio princippii, or begging the question: Assuming as true that which has yet to be proved, and a fallacious argument, according to the rules of scholastic philosophy, cannot be used as evidence in any truly Catholic forum.

Traditionalists have yet to prove their validity. And in fact there is no way they can prove it unless and until a true pope returns to determine whether Orders received during an interregnum in violation of Pope Pius XII’s election law are valid, need to be repeated conditionally or need to be repeated entirely. Only a sitting pope can supply jurisdiction; no other entity, not even Christ, can be said to so supply, as was explained in a previous blog. These men purportedly possessing such orders exist in the limbo known as doubt regarding their true status. This is why they cannot convey the Sacraments and the faithful must avoid them. And it may well be that bishops objecting to Vatican 2 made no effort to elect a true pope because they feared he might rein in the hierarchy and void all of the Vatican 2 “reforms,” some of which they actually favored. In that case we were better off without them.

  1. Does employing a valid form in Holy Orders really constitute a right intention?

Theodotus maintains the validity of those calling themselves priests and bishops must be presumed, and cannot be questioned, even if they are heretics or schismatics, provided that they possessed the proper intention, (Can. 951). He repeatedly refers to the deviousness and treachery of those who infiltrated the Church, warning listeners not to underestimate their ability to deceive. And yet he upholds the proper intention hence the validity of the orders administered by Lefebvre, Thuc and Alfredo Mendez-Gonzalez. This even though so many indicators point to grave doubts regarding their intentions, (in Lefebvre’s case, his own ordination and Masonic affiliations, and in the case of Thuc, his sanity. Mendez was consecrated under John 23rd). The Church does not teach this regarding intention in Holy Orders, however, and Theodotus errs in not elaborating on this principle for his hearers.

Theodotus asserts that the only thing the Church requires as necessary to confirm a right intention exists is the correct external performance of the rite of ordination/consecration. But in his constitution on Anglican orders, Apostolicae Curae, Pope Leo XIII separates form from intention, observing that those bishops not validly and lawfully ordained — Anglicans promoted to the episcopate and other orders not according to the accustomed form of the Church… the form AND intention of the Church” — were the ones who could not be considered to have been validly (ordained or) consecrated. So intention is something separate from the form and is required in addition to it. This is broken down into part acts by Rev. Bernard Leeming, S.J., in his Principles of Sacramental Theology:

“[In the case of the Sacraments] common sense indeed presumes… that the minister intends to do a religious act, to do it in accord with the meaning of the rite which he uses and in accord with the mind of the religious body of which he is a minister…” (And P. Pourrat, in his Theology of the Sacraments, 1910, agrees with Leeming stating that: “The intention of the minister is that of the church he represents”). Leeming continues: The mind of the Church is clear that it is possible for a minister to have the intention of not doing what the Church does, and that if such is the case, the sacrament is invalid. This teaching is universally accepted by modern theologians [and hence it is binding on the faithful] who agree that a sacrament is invalidated even by a secret intention of the minister contrary to the substantial nature of the sacrament… The concept of the commission given by Christ seems to demand more than the physical performance of the rite…In orders the bishop gives a man the recognized standing of a minister in the united body… Priests and bishops… are entrusted by Christ with His flock and in no wise fulfill that trust if there is a will positively to exclude what the Church of Christ does for the flock…

“There is always a presumption that a man intends to do what he actually does; nevertheless, a presumption is always liable to be overthrown by clear evidence… It is clearly contrary to common sense to say that the spoken word inevitably reflects the inward mind,” and here he gives the example of those who lie or those who swear false oaths. So much for the contentions of Theodotus, since Rev. Leeming, a professor of dogmatic theology writing in 1955, enjoyed the approval of the Church under Pope Pius XII, something Theodotus could never claim. Leeming is eminently credible; Theodotus is not.

Rev. Leeming further explains that there is really little difference in actual invalidity and “a practical legal invalidity.” In examining “re-ordinations” from previous ages, he writes: “The practical effect is the same whether orders are declared invalid or whether the recipient is refused all permission to exercise them. In theory the difference is very great; but in practice there is very little difference, and, because of the practical effects,” it is easy to confuse the two. Leeming continues: “Various expressions which seem at first sight to indicate invalidity of orders means in fact a practical legal invalidity, in the sense that the Church to which the bishop or priest was consecrated owed him no support or obedience and his acts had no legal effect.”

This is the type of invalidity that has been observed in the blog pieces regarding Traditionalists, a legal invalidity now imposed by Pope Pius XII’s infallible Vacantis Apostolica Sedis (VAS). Theodotus keeps repeating that we live in perilous times and the current laws cannot be applied. That is because there is a law written specifically for interregnums that DOES apply, and no Traditionalist will acknowledge that. The actual validity of the Orders received by those claiming to have been ordained and consecrated cannot be determined until a true pope exists to judge them. But the legal validity of their acts in light of VAS, which has declared them null and void — invalid, according to Pope Leo XIII’s definition in Apostolicae Curae — cannot be questioned, coming as it does from a binding papal document. This presents exactly the situation that is described in the blog on epikeia, one of doubt; for no one can presume to know what a future pope might decide.

The actual form used by Thuc to consecrate Guerard des Lauriers was even called into question by the two principle witnesses of the consecration, Mssrs. Hiller and Heller. Did Thuc or Lefebvre really have the intention to conform to “the mind of the religious body of which he is a minister”?  Either both men were members of the Novus Ordo Church or they were acting outside of the Church and her laws. By virtue of his “consecration, Mendez was a member of the Novus Ordo church.  Either way, they could not be described as being affiliated with the Catholic Church or comprising ministers “of the united body.” Since when would anyone ever dream of describing Traditionalists as “united”?! That is a contradiction in terms. The only true unity envisioned by Leeming when making this statement was that of the hierarchy in communion with the Roman Pontiff, something we know was not the case.

  1. False Western Schism analogy

To support his supplied jurisdiction scenario, which he confusedly refers to as “ordinary,” Theodotus resorts to the (false) analogy of the Western Schism. A false analogy is yet another fallacious argument in scholastic philosophy, and therefore, it has no standing.

The reason the interview hinges on supplied jurisdiction is that orders in and of itself is not sufficient to establish apostolicity. The one ordained, illicitly or not, must also somehow possess jurisdiction in order to establish true descent from the Apostles (see Apostolicity) and administer the Sacraments. In Theodotus’ references to supplied jurisdiction he seems to imply that perhaps a secret pope is supplying it, so it can be assumed as supplied in the same manner jurisdiction was, according to him, supplied during the time of the Western Schism: it was simply out there. The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes the schism below.

“From this brief summary it will be readily concluded that this schism did not at all resemble that of the East, that it was something unique, and that it has remained so in history. It was not a schism properly so called, being in reality a deplorable misunderstanding concerning a question of fact, an historical complication which lasted forty years. In the West there was no revolt against papal authority in general, no scorn of the sovereign power of which St. Peter was the representative. Faith in the necessary unity never wavered a particle; no one wished voluntarily to separate from the head of the Church. Now this intention alone is the characteristic mark of the schismatic spirit (Summa, II-II, Q. xxxix, a. 1).” As explained in our last blog post, the failure of any remaining “faithful” bishops to gather together and elect a true pope screamed their intention not to be ruled by a Sovereign Pontiff and not to perpetuate the papacy. This contrary intention speaks volumes regarding those they ordained and consecrated, men who were not created as ministers existing in a “united body.”

So no, the Western Schism cannot be said to be analogous to our times because there is no one at all who even appears to be a true pope reigning today. And no “free-floating” jurisdiction existed then to justify the acts of the antipopes and their clergy, either. A true pope existed the entire time who could secretly have supplied jurisdiction, although from all indications, the Council of Constance under Gregory XII supplied whatever was lacking to the people in their depositions of the two antipopes. After condemning John XXIII as a simoniac, fomenter of schism, and notoriously incorrigible, the council declared: “The said holy synod does now remove, deprive and depose him. It declares each and every Christian, of whatever state, dignity or condition, to be absolved from obedience, fidelity and oaths to him. It forbids all Christians henceforth to recognize him as pope, now that as mentioned he has been deposed from the papacy, or to call him pope, or to adhere to or in any way to obey him as pope. The said holy synod, moreover, from certain knowledge and its fullness of power, supplies for all and singular defects that may have occurred in the above-mentioned procedures or in any one of them.” (See link below.)

Antipope Benedict XIII was condemned as “a perjurer, a cause of scandal to the universal church, a promoter and breeder of the ancient schism, that long established fission and division in God’s holy church, an obstructer of the peace and unity of the said church, a schismatic disturber and a heretic… [He is] deprived of all benefices, dignities and ecclesiastical or secular honours, and under other penalties of the law, even if the dignity is that of a bishop, a patriarch, a cardinal, a king or the emperor. If they act contrary to this prohibition, they are by this very fact deprived of these things, on the authority of this decree and sentence, and they incur the other penalties of the law. This holy synod, moreover, declares and decrees that all and singular prohibitions and all processes, sentences, constitutions, censures and any other things whatsoever that were issued by him and might impede the aforesaid, are without effect; and it invalidates, revokes and annuls them; saving always the other penalties which the law decrees for the above cases” (http://www.dailycatholic.org/history/16ecume1.htm). This is but a precursor of Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, for having identified Benedict XIII as a heretic only claiming to be pope, they then simply declare that anything he attempted to do had no effect.

In the deposition of John XXIII, deposed in May 1415, it appears Gregory XII supplied jurisdiction for the acts of all those in that “obedience” since he did not resign until July 4, 1415. The wording is different for those who were in the obedience of Benedict XIII, since there was no longer even a claimant to the papacy heading the council to supply. But in both instances, all the “papal” acts are revoked.  Gregory XII was later determined to be the true pope, so we can assume all those following him were covered validity wise. And no doubt Pope Martin V provided for those who had been under obedience to Benedict XIII; we do not have all his decrees, but this is only is only right and just.

  1. Ad Evitanda Scandala is not what it appears to be

Theodotus points to Pope Martin V’s Ad Evitanda Scandala, 1417, as proof that regardless of any excommunication for whatever reason, excommunicated clergy could function and validly dispense the Sacraments. (Again, first prove unquestionable validity, then this matter can be considered.) Ad Evitanda basically states that “No one henceforth shall be bound to abstain from communion with anyone in the administration or reception of the sacraments or in any other religious or non-religious acts whatsoever, nor to avoid anyone nor to observe any ecclesiastical interdict, on pretext of any ecclesiastical sentence or censure…” And Theodotus says this removes any censures incurred by those under the antipopes during the schism. But over 125 years or so after the close of the Council of Constance, St. Robert Bellarmine clarified, per Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio (1559), who precisely was included in Pope Martin V’s decree as follows:

“There is no basis for that which some respond to this: that these Fathers based themselves on ancient law, while nowadays, by decree of the Council of Constance, they alone lose their jurisdiction who are excommunicated by name or who assault clerics. This argument, I say, has no value at all, for those Fathers, in affirming that heretics lose jurisdiction, did not cite any human law, which furthermore perhaps did not exist in relation to the matter, but argued on the basis of the very nature of heresy. The Council of Constance only deals with the excommunicated, that is, those who have lost jurisdiction by sentence of the Church, while heretics already before being excommunicated are outside the Church and deprived of all jurisdiction. For they have already been condemned by their own sentence, as the Apostle teaches (Tit. 3:10-11), that is, they have been cut off from the body of the Church without excommunication, as St. Jerome affirms… All the ancient Fathers…teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2) who speaks as follows of Novatian, who was Pope [i.e. antipope] in the schism which occurred during the pontificate of St. Cornelius: “He would not be able to retain the episcopate [i.e. of Rome], and, if he was made bishop before, he separated himself from the body of those who were, like him, bishops, and from the unity of the Church.’” — St. Robert Bellarmine, An Extract from St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30, (http://www.cmri.org/02-bellarmine-roman-pontiff.html .This link is placed merely for purposes of attribution; no endorsement of this site is hereby intended.)

The above gives the lie to Theodotus’ belief that no one has ever challenged Ad Evitanda Scandala. Furthermore, St. Robert Bellarmine, in de Romano Pontifice, Bk. 2, Chapter 40 taught: “The Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are ipso facto deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity …Saint Nicholas I (epist. Ad Michael) repeats and confirms the same. Finally, Saint Thomas also teaches (II-II, Q39, A3) that schismatics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and that anything they try to do on the basis of any jurisdiction will be null.” Bellarmine could scarcely say otherwise, since already Pope Paul IV in Cum ex Apostolatus Officio had infallibly decreed that:

“Further, if ever at any time it becomes clear that any Bishop, even one conducting himself as an Archbishop, Patriarch, or primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, even as mentioned, a Legate; or likewise any Roman Pontiff before his promotion or elevation as a Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, [has strayed from the Catholic Faith or] fallen into some heresy, [or has incurred schism] …his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void. It cannot be declared valid or become valid through his acceptance of the office, his consecration, subsequent possession or seeming possession of government and administration…The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power…” (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559). This Bull is the basis and foundation stone for nearly every canon on heresy, apostasy and schism contained in the 1917 Code of Canon Law; the old law from which all the others spring.

  1. Canon 2261 §2: Does it give Traditionalists carte blanche?

Ad Evitanda Scandala is the old law on which Can. 2261 §2 is based (Gasparri in his Fontes). In his 1928 Catholic University of America dissertation, Excommunication, Rev. Francis E. Hyland, agrees with Bellarmine’s assessment regarding those excommunicated for heresy, apostasy and schism, commenting on this subject: “Tanquerey remarks that… the Church is wont to declare as vitandi only notorious heretics and schismatics. From these remarks it is clear that those excommunicates under consideration in this canon [2261 §2] ARE NOT THOSE EXCOMMUNICATED FOR HERESY AND SCHISM, for these are already outside the Church, as Rev. Tanquerey observes.” Tanquerey’s manuals on dogma were in common use in seminaries in the last century and as Msgr. Joseph Fenton observes, one cannot call his teaching into question without also questioning the Church’s proper training of Her seminarians.

Again, Hyland far and away trumps Theodotus. But here we do not even need to worry about Can. 2261 §2; first those claiming this privilege must prove themselves to be clerics validly ordained and consecrated, for this canon applies to clerics only! All the rest depends on this proof and until a true pope can make this determination there is no certainty whatsoever; only doubt. Once they are cleared of heresy, apostasy and schism and their status is declared, then we can ask for an authentic interpretation of Canon 2261 §2.

  1. The Decree of the Fourth Lateran Council, Chap. 26

This is cited by Theodotus to prove that those who have been elected bishops can wait for papal approval (the papal mandate) indefinitely and still function. “There is nothing more harmful to God’s church than for unworthy prelates to be entrusted with the government of souls. Wishing therefore to provide the necessary remedy for this disease, we decree by this irrevocable constitution that when anyone has been entrusted with the government of souls, then he who holds the right to confirm him should diligently examine both the process of the election and the character of the person elected, so that when everything is in order he may confirm him… Bishops too, if they wish to avoid canonical punishment, should take care to promote to holy orders and to ecclesiastical dignities men who will be able to discharge worthily the office entrusted to them.

“Those who are immediately subject to the Roman pontiff shall, to obtain confirmation of their office, present themselves personally to him, if this can conveniently be done, or send suitable persons through whom a careful inquiry can be made about the process of the election and the persons elected. In this way, on the strength of the pontiff’s informed judgment, they may finally enter into the fullness of their office, when there is no impediment in canon law. For a time, however, those who are in very distant parts, namely outside Italy, if they were elected peaceably, may by dispensation, on account of the needs and benefit of the churches, administer in things spiritual and temporal, but in such a way that they alienate nothing whatever of the church’s goods. They may receive the customary consecration or blessing(http://www.dailycatholic.org/history/12ecume3.htm, no. 26).

Sorry to keep repeating myself, but this is referring only to unquestionably validly ordained priests peaceably elected as bishops by certainly qualified electors under a true pope. It does not apply to those whose ordinations or elections are in question during an interregnum. And notice that this is only allowed “for a time.” It is not very likely that the council fathers meant this to last for 800 years. Since then we have the 1917 Code which adjusts all these matters. Also, as noted in the blog on the heresy of Antiquarianism, prior arrangements now obsolete are no longer valid, and there is no indication whatsoever that this decision of the Lateran Council XIV could have survived into our own day, even as a precedent.

  1. Antiquarianism and Ad Apostolorum Principis

This subject has been well addressed in a previous blog but the contents of the post obviously bear repeating. Theodotus claims the mere mention of a past practice of the Church justifies its adaptation and use by Traditionalists. They cite paragraph 43 of the pope’s constitution which reads:

“We are aware that those who belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed defend their position BY RECALLING A USAGE WHICH PREVAILED IN AGES PAST. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise. In no sense do they excuse their way of acting by appealing to another custom, and they indisputably prove that they follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which they ought to be obeying…”

Theodotus seizes only on the phrase “a usage which prevailed in ages past,” and flies past the part where the pope declares such usages no longer valid. Pius XII’s decisive words mean nothing once Traditionalists think they have found the long-lost loophole they need to establish their “case.” To do this, he ignores Pope Pius XII’s infallible teaching in Mediator Dei: Clearly no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas by the Church, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit with abundant fruit for souls, because it pleases him to hark back to the old formulas. NO MORE CAN ANY CATHOLIC IN HIS RIGHT SENSES REPUDIATE EXISTING LEGISLATION OF THE CHURCH TO REVERT TO PRESCRIPTIONS BASED ON THE EARLIEST SOURCES OF CANON LAW.” And there it is in black and white; no Catholic in his right senses can do such a thing. That tells us all we need to know about Traditionalists.

  1. Pope Innocent II and the Antipope Anacletus — Deliberate Disinformation?

Theodotus tells his listeners that those who in the past elected antipopes and served under them were eventually readmitted to the clergy. He cites the case of Pope Innocent II, championed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and he says Pope Innocent readmitted all of Anacletus’ clergy to the Church following the antipope’s deposition. Ailbe J. Luddy, O. Cist., in his 1950 work, The Life and Teaching of St. Bernard, records the following:

“[Innocent II] pronounced sentence of deposition against all who had been ordained or consecrated or promoted to any ecclesiastical rank or dignity by Anacletus or Gerard of Angouleme, not excepting such as had freely and early renounced the schism.” At the General Council of the Lateran held in 1139, Innocent II, according to the historian Baronius pronounced the following: “Whatsoever he [Anacletus] has established I annul; whomsoever he has exalted, I depose; whomsoever he has consecrated, I suspend and degrade.” This hardly agrees with what was reported by Theodotus. And it was not the last time that a council voided dignities received by the clergy from antipopes.

From the Third Lateran Council, Canon 2: Renewing the decision taken by our predecessor of happy memory, Innocent, we decree that the ordinances made by the heresiarchs Octavian and Guido, and also by John of Strumawho followed them [antipopes Victor IV (1159-1164), Paschal III (11641168) and Callistus III (11681178)] and by those ordained by them, are void; and furthermore that if any have received ecclesiastical dignities or benefices through the foresaid schismatics, they are to be deprived of them. Moreover alienations or seizures of ecclesiastical property, which have been made by these schismatics or by lay persons, are to lack all validity and are to return to the church without any burden to it. If anyone presumes to act against this, let him know that he is excommunicated. We decree that those who of their own accord have taken an oath to remain in schism are suspended from sacred orders and dignities” (http://www.dailycatholic.org/history/11ecume1.htm).

(The following is from the Council of Florence held in Florence, Italy from 1438-1447. The Council was a continuation of the Council of Ferrara, and that council in turn was a continuation of the Council of Basel, in Switzerland. It was convoked in 1431 by Pope Martin V. Following Martin’s death, his successor Blessed Pope Eugene IV opened it and met open resistance from many of the bishops. Therefore he dissolved the Council, moving to Ferrara, Italy in 1438 because of the schismatic bishops who elected the antipope Felix V. Felix attempted to depose Eugene IV. These are the condemnations aimed at Felix and his followers who did not repent and return to the Church.)

“May he and all the aforesaid be cast out like an antichrist and an invader and a destroyer of the whole of Christianity. Let no appeal in this matter ever be allowed to him or to them. Let them and their posterity and successors be deprived without appeal of every ecclesiastical or secular rank and dignity whatsoever. Let all of them be condemned by a perpetual anathema and excommunication and may they be counted among the wicked who will not rise at the judgment.” (17th Council of Florence, 1431-1445; part 10).

Then of course there is Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio in 1559, quoted above, regarding such an antipope and those appointed by him: “…his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void. It cannot be declared valid or become valid through his acceptance of the office, his consecration, subsequent possession or seeming possession of government and administration…The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power…”

9. St. Vincent Ferrar didn’t need jurisdiction

This subject is somewhat amusing since it proves a point I am sure Traditionalists never intended to make. One pro-Trad jurisdiction tract in particular uses the case of St. Vincent Ferrar to almost singlehandedly demonstrate that jurisdiction existed during the time of the Western Schism. They allege that the antipope Benedict XIII, who St. Vincent then believed was the true pope, was able to grant him jurisdiction to preach and hear confessions. Well curiously, there is a very obvious answer to this particular jurisdiction question that needs to be pointed out. The following quote is taken from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Controversy, where he rebukes the Protestants.

“Your party have taken ground elsewhere than in the ordinary mission and have said that they were sent extraordinarily by God because the ordinary mission has been ruined and abolished, with the true Church itself, under the tyranny of Antichrist. This is their most safe refuge, since it is common to all sorts of heretics… First I say that no one should allege an extraordinary mission unless he prove it by miracles…Where should we be if this extraordinary mission was to be accepted without proof? Would it not be a cloak for all sorts of reveries?”  Well needless to say, St. Vincent Ferrar worked many notable miracles, and hence no jurisdiction was ever necessary.

And no, this argument, then, cannot be used to say that since St. Vincent did not have an office under the anti-pope, neither do Traditionalists need an office. He was given the gift of miracles and that was his office of preacher complete with jurisdiction. Traditionalists can scarcely claim the same.

10. Other issues

Theodotus seems to believe that it is a matter of opinion only that the popes following Pope Pius XII are heretics. Traditionalists, of course, do not believe in the necessity of certitude before proceeding to act as the Church teaches, so this is not surprising. He encourages those listening to his interview to let the moderator know their opinions on the matter, as if the Church had ever allowed anyone at any time to opine on the validity of the Sacraments and the veracity of papal decisions. Nothing like a nice Novus Ordo-style dialogue to determine how best to violate papal jurisdiction, right? Or are they taking their cues from the “pope” they seem to be alluding to in the interview…! Who knows what they will eventually trot out — at this stage of the game all bets are off. If readers had not requested a review of the errors exposed here, this, like so many other fantastical Traditional presentations would have passed unnoticed and unworthy of comment.

In an attempt to smooth the ruffled feathers of stay-at-home Catholics, Theodotus concedes that those who believe they must remain at home and not receive the Sacraments are not committing mortal sin. Thanks for that, Theodotus. But it is not much consolation when you and so many others refuse to admit staying at home is not merely an option, but an obligation, and many of those not availing themselves of it ARE committing mortal sin. It is these unacknowledged sins that are the underlying cause of the discord among all Traditionalists vying to compete in the “Catholic restoration” efforts. As one reader in touch with certain Traditional factions noted recently, “There’s no way there will be ‘union among the clans’ as they call it. They hate each other BITTERLY… How they treat each other… they’re like demons. It is horrible.” Sadly, I cannot help but agree. “Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you” (Luke 6: 27-36). That is all we can do.

(Pease see my commentary below, as well.)

 

 

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The Traditionalist Movement Was Never Catholic

Do Any Valid Bishops Still Exist?

+St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen+

Addressing some concerns

A reader informed me of a Traditionalist piece circulating on the Internet, warning against homealoners who accuse Traditionalist clergy of violating not only canon law, but divine law. The article states that making such accusations requires specialized training in moral theology, canon law, sacramental law, and dogmatic theology, something available only by enrolling in courses at a Catholic seminary or university. It concludes by noting that none of these unnamed homealoners can boast such a background or realize the extent of their vast ignorance regarding these topics. Well please wipe off your shoes, Mr. Traditionalist, because now you have really stepped in it.

Everything on this site comes from the popes themselves and credible and approved theological sources writing before the death of Pope Pius XII. These are the Church’s finest examples of scholarship, men Traditionalists cannot even begin to compete with. The majority of papal decrees available on the Internet are in English and were written by the popes for all the faithful, not just the “illumined” Traditional “hierarchy.” We are assured by Pope St. Pius X that these teachings of the popes on Divine revelation have been “accommodated to the intelligence of all ages and men, even to these times,” (Oath Against the Errors of Modernism, DZ 2145). Not surprisingly, this article did not even bother to list papal sources in its references.

The theological sources these Traditionalists prefer are often taken out of context by their so-called clergy or never brought to the attention of those who follow them. Comically the author lists his “superior sources” at the end of his article, and many of these same sources have been quoted on this website for nearly two decades. He also tries to confuse jurisdiction with “deputation,” a term not even listed in canon law manuals and dictionaries or found in other theological works. As for his “superior knowledge,” imbibed at the knees of St. Pius X Society gurus operating a “seminary” without papal permission, please forgive me while I guffaw into my hanky. Such sophistry is used for one reason only: to confuse and keep in line followers asking serious questions. The author then launches into a pious tirade promoting the devotion of Trad “priests” to their faithful and defending their right to minister to these poor, needy souls.

After falsely accusing homealoners of arguing beside the point in the opening paragraphs, the article proceeds to demonstrate a perfect case of the fallacious argument Petitio principii or begging the question: Assuming as true that which has yet to be proved. Five pages follow that assume all Traditional priests and bishops are validly ordained and consecrated; that they represent the true Church of Christ referred to by the theologians quoted in the article to prove the case and that they possess he jurisdiction necessary to function. This without ever offering one scintilla of proof regarding their validity. Proof of their invalidity has been offered in abundance on this website, papal proofs that cannot be refuted even by pre-V2 theologians. And now the burden of proof rests with them. The proofs presented represent the highest proofs available — those taken from the Roman Pontiffs — establishing a presumption in law. “He who has a presumption of law in his favor is freed from the burden of proof, which is 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.” Canon 1812 tells us that acts issuing from the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Curia during the exercise of their office and entered as proof in ecclesiastical courts “prove the facts asserted,” (Can. 1816), and force the judge to pronounce in favor of the party producing the document, (commentary by Revs. Woywod-Smith).

As was made perfectly clear in the blog post on epikeia, Bd. Pope Innocent XI (DZ 1151) forbids the use of probable opinions in the reception of the Sacraments. Rev. Dominic Prummer writes: “A doubtful law has no binding force whenever the doubt concerns the lawfulness of an act AND NOT ITS VALIDITYAll modern theologians are agreed this principle cannot be applied regarding:” the validity of the Sacraments, something which is absolutely necessary for salvation or the established right of a third party. This would include the Sacrament of Orders and Penance. Traditionalists can scarcely range themselves against the unanimous opinion of theologians, quoting them as they do. And should they attempt this, they must deal not with homealoners, but with Pope Pius IX:

“It is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church…It is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some other censure” (Tuas Libentur, 1863: DZ 1684). Having addressed this once again, we now move on to this week’s topic.

Are true bishops out there?

Can valid and licit bishops still be alive who could elect a true pope and restore the Church? It’s possible, but not likely. In some of the early articles on this site, I assumed there were such bishops, but as the years go by it is less and less likely they are still alive, if they ever indeed did exist. Those who insist there must still be valid clergy alive do so on the premise that the Church as it was constituted by Christ must last until the consummation. To deny this, they maintain, is to deny the Church’s indefectibility.

Christ “wished the pastors and Doctors to be ‘even unto the consummation’” (DZ 1821), but He also gave man free will and the hierarchy failed miserably in its duty to the flock. When Pope Pius XII taught that the bishops can receive their jurisdiction only through his hands, and do not possess it as a direct grant from Christ, it appears that he likewise resolved this controversy about whether the bishops could retain their powers “unto the consummation” without being in communion with the pope. For the prior teaching held by the Gallicanists was fashioned after their belief that the bishops were necessary somehow to the pope in declaring infallible pronouncements. (In truth the early Gallicanists believed the bishops were, as a body, the pope’s superiors, since, in democratic fashion, they represented the entire body of the faithful.) And in the final analysis, those who claim Traditionalist bishops are the fulfillment of this teaching are making a laughingstock of themselves, for Christ constituted the Church with Peter as its head and we have no pope!

Those attending the Vatican Council in 1869 expressed this belief (that the Church as Christ constituted it would last unto the consummation) in council documents on the Constitution of the Church which were never discussed or voted upon. It appears that in many works prior to Vatican 2, theologians relied on this unofficial and unadopted teaching of the Church to determine the nature of indefectibility. The unofficial Vatican Council document states that “Christ’s Church can never lose its properties and qualities, its sacred teaching authority, priestly office or governing body…” (The Church Teaches, Jesuits of St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s Kansas, 1955). Surely Henry Cardinal Manning would not have agreed, since he wrote before the council that St. Paul’s “He who withholdeth” (2 Thess. 2: 6-7) is the Pope, and he would be “taken out of the way” during the time of Antichrist. In defining the true nature of the authority received by the bishops, Pope Pius XII made it clear that without a true pope, they essentially cannot claim to function. To believe otherwise is a Gallicanist heresy. Catholic prophecy suggests there could still be true bishops alive, but Catholic prophecy is not equal to the teaching of the Church.

Even if bishops were ordained as infants in Russia, as some historians have asserted, or were secretly consecrated using extraordinary faculties, how would this ever be able to be proven with the necessary degree of certainty? Those consecrated as infants might not even know it themselves. Even if they had been given perpetual extraordinary faculties — and Pope Pius XII’s infallible papal election constitution, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS), does not withdraw such faculties during an interregnum — how would one ever prove that those claiming to  possess them actually did possess them, when such documents, especially today, could so easily be forged (as it appears was the case with Abp. Thuc)? We must trust in God to provide these proofs and if they surface, He will either see to it that these credentials are undeniably authenticated, or will gift their bearers with miracles, as St. Francis de Sales requires. We cannot assume these hidden clerics even exist, far less supply anything when we cannot verify their certain existence or confirm these facts. As Abp. Cicognani was quoted in a  previous post, “Epikeia has no place in invalidating laws, for the common good demands certitude concerning the validity of acts.”  The safer course means just that; one does not assume the extraordinary and errs on the side of caution.

What happens in problematic interregna

The hierarchy is a whole, with the pope at its head. Without the pope it cannot do much, as St. Robert Bellarmine teaches. If such bishops and senior priests physically exist, their only function would be to elect a true pope.Concerning the duty of bishops to elect a true pope in such circumstances, Bellarmine writes: “If he [the pope] refuses to resign, it becomes the duty of the bishops to adjust the matter, for although the bishops without the pope cannot define dogmas nor make laws for the universal Church, they can and ought to decide, when occasion demands, who is the legitimate pope;  and if the matter be doubtful, they should provide for the Church by having a legitimate and undoubted pastor elected. That is what the Council of Constance rightly did,” (Fr. Berry, The Church of Christ, De concilio, ii, 19). And in another part of his work Bellarmine wrote: “In no case can a true and perfect council be convoked to define matters of faith without the authority of a Sovereign Pontiff. But in both cases (of an heretical or insane pope) an imperfect council can be convened to give the Church a Chief, but without a Chief, many matters cannot possibly be defined,” (De Concilis, L. I., C. 14). The Council of Constance determined that all three popes were doubtful, clearing the way for the cardinals to elect. In our case, there are no cardinals OR known bishops presiding. Only a miracle could make them known to us and secure their apostolicity.

Theologians, writing on the various possibilities that might face the Church, say that when the regular electors are not available, the devolution principle comes into play under Canon 178. This means that the right to election falls on various bodies in descending order. The theologian Sylvester Ferraris believed that in the event of the Cardinals all being dead, the election of a pope would devolve upon a general council. Cardinal Cajetan believed that the task fell to the clergy of the universal Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that it could not fall upon a general council, but would fall to the remaining clergy of Rome, agreeing with what St. Bellarmine says above regarding the inability to call a true and perfect council. Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis also teaches that during an interregnum, the cardinals have no authority to change Church laws or teaching, but must refer all matters save a set few governing the election to a future pope.

Rev. Anscar Parsons, in his dissertation, Canonical Elections (Catholic University of America Press, 1939) notes that papal election law is based on the canon laws governing ecclesiastical elections. Whenever there seems to be no law governing a certain matter, Canon 18 refers those seeking answers to parallel passages of the Code and the mind of the lawgiver. Canon 160 governs papal elections. Parallel passages of the Code on ecclesiastical elections, which must be consulted when the law is not clear, require that an election can only be delayed when over half of the electors are impeded from electing, which is the case in this situation, and in such a case: “The election can be indefinitely prolonged… [However] The impediments to action must be extraordinary, such as war, or pestilence” (Parsons). Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis allows only 18 days to complete a papal election following the death of the pope. In ecclesiastical elections, only three months is granted to complete the election, and if those who are obligated to hold the election do not act within that time, then they lose the right to elect. “If the three months expire without action…all right to election is lost and the appointment devolves” Parsons writes. This would apply to the cardinals, but the election could only devolve as far as the bishops of the universal Church, for no one but certainly valid and licit clergy currently have the right under law to elect.

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. 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. Cardinal Zabarella further 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.’”

So it was the bishops who failed the faithful, for how could the people compel them to vote when they refused to even consider the See of Rome vacant?! Some hold that after the death of a pope bishops do not lose jurisdiction, but how is this possible when they follow a false pope? This would constitute schism and schism results in excommunication and loss of jurisdiction. Yes, such a bishop, not compromised in the manner of Lefebvre and Thuc, could validly consecrate priests, but this has already been discussed in previous website articles and blog pieces. Bishops receive jurisdiction directly from the Roman Pontiff prior to their consecration; this is what the papal mandate is based upon. This is called ordinary jurisdiction, exercised from a specific office, and it can be directly exercised only on subjects in a certain area. Bishops following Vatican 2 lost their offices as proven below in Pope Paul IV’s bull. And because bishops following the death of Pope Pius XII acknowledged a false pope, they could not be abjured from their schism nor exercise any jurisdiction once received.

Situation in the 1960s and Cum ex Apostolatus Officio

According to an article in the New York Times Nov. 23, 1970, Paul 6 forbade Cardinals over 80 years of age to participate in the election of a new Pope. The prohibition went into effect Jan. 1, 1971. The article notes: “The reform… increases the chances for the next Pope to be non‐Italian and, possibly, a progressive. A total of 25 cardinals who were 80 years of age by Jan. 1, 1971 were eliminated from the College of Cardinals by the new rule. Eleven of them were Italians, and the article states: “Most of these and of the 14 non‐Italian Cardinals in the group are noted conservatives” (https://www.nytimes.com/1970/11/24/archives/voting-for-popes-is-barred-to-cardinals-over-80-prelates-over-80.html). They remained members of the Sacred College of Cardinals, but generally it was understood they would not be candidates for papal election.

Those cardinals over 80 furloughed by Paul 6 in 1970 could have gathered together, decided he and Roncalli were invalidly elected and elected a true pope, but this did not happen. After three months of having been officially cut loose and supposedly better able to protest the last two “papacies,” the false V2 council and the NOM, they also lost any right to elect.  The bishops who did not agree with Vatican 2 and saw what was happening in the Church and that these cardinals, even after being disrespected by Paul 6 refused to act, were then obligated to gather and elect a true pope, but this did not happen either; all of them were corrupt.

In the previous blog on doubtful papal elections, the Bull of Pope Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio was quoted to show that there is no time limit for departing from false popes and disavowing their elections. This bull falls under Can. 6 §4, which governs the entire code regarding doubts of law. It reads: “In case of doubt whether some provision of the Canons differs from the old law, one must adhere to the old law.” In this case the doubt regards heresy in one appearing to be pope, a case never encountered since the definition of the Vatican Council on infallibility in 1870. The last anti-pope recorded in Church history reigned in the 15th century. The Vatican Council forever defined that a true pope could never be a heretic and only barely conceded he could possible fall into heresy as a private person (although this has never occurred in Church history). Cum ex… is the only known document that deals with both heresy in general and the case of a pope appearing to be a heretic as pope in particular. It also is the parent law of nearly all the laws regarding heresy that are cited in the Code.  Traditionalists and others insist this bull was abrogated by the 1917 Code but this claim was long ago refuted in the site article Cum ex…, Infallible and Retained in the Code.

 There is no record anywhere of any abrogation of Cum ex…, most certainly not in the 1917 Code. The Latin version of the Code, Codex Iuris Canonici by Peter Cardinal Gasparri (Newman Press, 1957) makes several references to Cum ex… in the footnotes. He lists not only Can. 188 §4 but also several other Canons, including Can.167 §3, 2198, 2209 no. 7, 2264, 2314, 2316 and 2317 — all of which deal with heresy, apostasy and schism — and there may be others, (actual photographic copies of this listing are available upon request). Rev. Amleto Cicognani comments: “Under the canons are placed footnotes or notes…first from the ‘Codicis Iuris Canonici,’ the Constitutions of Popes, from the Sacred Congregations, and from Liturgical Books…In the Code there are nearly 26,000 citations of the old law. Of these, 8,400 are from Gratian’s Decretum; about 1,200 from Ecumenical Councils; about 4,000 from Papal Constitutions and about 11,200 from the Sacred Congregations and 800 from liturgical books.” Cicognani further notes that Cardinal Gasparri had already prepared some six volumes of the footnotes under the title Codicis Iuris Canonici Fontes and more volumes were in preparation.

“Surely this is a very eloquent reply to those who think that since the Code the old laws of the Church have lost all utility, and the history of their sources is become meaningless …Outside the Code there still remains in forcethe old written law, contained (at least implicitly) in the Code,” along with several other laws, customs and privileges listed by Cicognani. He continues: “In a commentary on the Canons the footnotes must never be neglected, lest that occur of which Quintilian spoke: ‘the pediments are viewed, the foundations are hidden,’” (Canon Law, Dolphin Press 1935). Rev. Nicholas Neuberger comments in his Canon 6 dissertation: “When it is doubtful whether the prescription of a Canon disagrees with the old, the latter must be upheld. In doubt, the presumption is in favor of the former legislation. The presumption is merely in favor of a more seasoned (or “certain”) rule of interpretation.” And whether it is the old law, Cum ex…, or the new, the results are the same: the Vatican 2 era bishops cannot escape censure.

Bishops excommunicated under Cum ex… and the 1917 Code

The bishops who failed to fulfill their duties following Vatican 2, conceding to the celebration of the “new mass” and acknowledging John 23rd and Paul 6 as true popes, incurred communicatio in sacris and infamy of law along with the censure for heresy and/or schism under Can. 2314.  Canon 2314 reads:

“All apostates from the Christian faith and each and every heretic or schismatic incur the following penalties: (1) ipso facto excommunication; (2) If they have been admonished and do not repent, they shall be deprived of any benefice, dignity, pension, office or other position which they may hold in the Church; they shall be declared infamous and, if they are clerics, they shall, after renewed admonition, be deposed; (3) If they have joined a non-Catholic sect or have publicly adhered to it, they incur INFAMY ipso facto, and, if they are clerics and the admonition to repent has been fruitless, they shall be degraded,” (and here is made reference to Can. 188§4). Lay persons also can incur infamy of law. There is also Can. 2264 to consider, a canon which has Cum ex… as a footnote: “Acts of jurisdiction by an excommunicated person are illicit and if a condemnatory or declaratory sentence has been issued against him, his acts of jurisdiction are invalid, without prejudice to the rule of Can. 2261 §2. Nor Can. 2261 §2 mention notorious heresy, apostasy or schism, which are not considered under this canon. Can. 2265 also says that those who are excommunicated — for any reason, not just apostasy, heresy or schism — cannot be ordained.

If the old law, Cum ex…, is referenced regarding whether these declarations must be made in order to “activate” the excommunications, Pope Paul IV teaches: “…Each and every one of their statements, deeds, enactments, and administrative acts, of any kind, and any result thereof whatsoever, shall be without force and shall confer no legality or right on anyone. The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power…” The old law is now the law governing their actions, because there is no other law that adequately covers this complicated situation. Canon 6 §4 states “in doubt… one must adhere to the old law.” Revs. Woywod-Smith lay out the effects of infamy of law under Can. 2294 §1:

“A person who has incurred infamy of law is not only irregular, as declared by Can. 984 n. 5, but in addition, he is incapacitated from obtaining ecclesiastical benefices, pensions, offices and dignities, from performing legal ecclesiastical acts, from discharging any ecclesiastical right or duty, and must be restrained from the exercise of sacred functions of the ministry.” The authors continue: “The person who has incurred…an infamy of law…cannot validly obtain ecclesiastical benefices, pensions, offices and dignities, nor can he validly exercise the rights connected with the same, nor perform a valid, legal ecclesiastical act,” (all emph. within quotes in this article is the author’s). When imposed in the form of a penalty attached to law, this sentence takes place immediately. Infamy is an additional penalty separate from excommunication.

As explained in Rev. Eric Mackenzie’s’ The Delict of Heresy (Catholic University of America,1932 ; pgs. 69 and 72): “The joining of the non-Catholic sect may follow after the externalization of heretical error as a consequence, or may itself be the first internal act which manifests the internal sin of heresy…As a penalty for his aggravated delict, he incurs juridical infamy ipso facto. This is quite independent of infamy of fact and may be incurred without the loss of reputation in the judgment of the general public.” Revs. Woywod-Smith comment on Can. 731: “All canonists and moralists agree that those who are heretics or schismatics and know they are wrong cannot be given the Sacraments of the Church unless they renounce their errors and are reconciled with the Church. Numerous decrees of the Holy Office put this point beyond controversy.”

So did these bishops KNOW they were wrong? Ignorance of the laws (and teachings) of the Church is no excuse for those expected to be the successors of the apostles. If say only five bishops, or 10 worldwide had gathered at an incomplete or imperfect council together with a few senior priests, after seeing the default of the cardinals, an election could have been held. All were summoned by some of the faithful in 1989-90 and none responded. Many of them by that time were dead, but surely some were still alive. The vast majority of the bishops at Vatican 2, including Lefebvre and Thuc, signed all the false council documents. Only a handful were left who could have credibly separated themselves and held such an election. This is confirmed by the vote tally obtained from the Vatican Secret Archives, although those providing this tally admit it may not be accurate. Still, even if the opposing votes are reduced to one-third of what was reported, plenty of bishops remained who could have posited such an election.

If the same bishops consistently voted against the V2 propositions, how could it be said they didn’t know the council was wrong or at the very least, fatally flawed? If lay people with limited resources could discover the alternative in such a case, what excuse could they possibly offer that would justify their actions? Cum ex Apostolatus Officio was first unearthed in the mid-1970s but was roundly ignored and is still demonized as an archaic, non-infallible document to this day; had it been acknowledged and followed it would have resolved everything.  How have these bishops answered to God for betraying the sheep entrusted to them? We cannot fool ourselves into thinking there were bishops who opposed V2 and fulfilled their obligations when these same men turned around and, in the end, remained within the V2 church. Force or fear could not excuse them, nor could ignorance of Church law and teaching excuse them. If they were so cowardly as to desert the flock entrusted to them they were nothing but wolves posing as shepherds. They had one duty to perform and they failed to carry it out: the canonical election of a Roman Pontiff.

If certain bishops still had extraordinary faculties to consecrate other bishops without the papal mandate they could have done this, but only in order to create just enough bishops to accomplish a papal election. The fact is, none of them with such faculties stepped up to fulfill their obligations and declare the See vacant after the false V2 council ended. Some will say Thuc did this, but then he signed himself in his declaration as the Bishop of Bulla Regiae and this was a title granted him by Paul 6! It easily demonstrates he did not understand the dynamics of the crisis in the Church or the consequences of what he was declaring. These bishops with extraordinary faculties would not have been justified in trying to operate on their own without electing a true pope because this is an explicit denial of the necessity of the papacy and constitutes heresy. As St. Robert Bellarmine and Cardinal Zabarella explained above, an imperfect council could have been convened by valid bishops and domestic prelates (monsignors) to elect a true pope; it was not. The faithful should have risen up and demanded action; they did not. Instead they made excuses for the very pastors who deserted them, and some maintain these men can be excused on the grounds of force and fear. This will be treated below.

Force and fear in the commission of delicts

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

As Rev. William Conway also notes in his Problems in Canon Law, grave inconvenience which excuses from the observance of a law applies only to ecclesiastical laws; McCoy speaks here of violations of Divine law. And McCoy duly notes that not even the gravest personal hardship or greatest private harm excuses from observing the law. Here we find ourselves back at the absolute obligation to follow the safer course where Divine law is concerned. In the violation of the Divine law, positive or natural, only grave fear externally manifested to witnesses would excuse from incurring the censure attached to the violation of such laws, (1937 decision by the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code). Most authors agree it does not excuse from the sin, however, and in our case there is no indication that there was ever a question of grave fear in these cases; so the censure still binds. While it applies to delictual acts that are intrinsically evil, it does not excuse from those acts which, “involve contempt of the Faith or work to the public harm of souls,” (Ibid).

On page 92 McCoy discusses what the Code considers to be acts involving contempt of the faith. He identifies the titles in the Code containing these acts as XI and XII of the fifth book, concerning “Delicts Against the Faith and Unity of the Church and Delicts Against Religion.” These include heresy, apostasy and schism; communication in sacred rites with heretics; usurpation of priestly functions and sacrilege, also any recourse to the civil power from the acts of the Apostolic See and interference with the liberty and rights of the Church, among others. These last two offenses must be considered because both Pope Pius XII’s papal election law and the Church’s rights have been ignored. As mentioned elsewhere, Catholics are bound by Can. 1325 to profess their faith in the face of persecution, and this means they are never to resort to silence, subterfuge or indicate by their manner of acting that they are denying their faith. The above acts in bold outline precisely the delicts committed by Vatican 2 bishops. These acts show a particular contempt for the laws and rights of the papacy as well as the faithful. This undeniably works to the public harm of every soul on earth.

On page 97, under the heading “Acts that Work to the Detriment of Souls,” McCoy writes: “These are all acts which draw people away from the faith or from the practice of Christian morals and thus expose them to the danger of eternal damnation…Those acts which, by their nature, work to the detriment of souls are listed particularly in Titles XVI and XVII of the fifth book of the Code…bearing the headings: ‘Offenses Committed in the Administration or Reception of Orders or the Other Sacraments’ and ‘Offenses Against the Obligations Proper to the Clerical and Religious State.’” Among the offenses McCoy lists that work TO THE DETRIMENT OF SOULS are: “…the administration of Sacraments to those who are forbidden to receive them…the consecration of a bishop without a papal mandate…the reception of Orders from unworthy prelates…the negligence of a pastor in the care of souls.” So in these last two paragraphs we have covered both the excommunications of Vatican 2 bishops and all Traditionalist wannabe clerics. So much for Traditionalists’ solicitous concern for souls.

Canon 2229 §3, (3) states: “Grave fear does not exempt from penalties latae sententiae if the offense entails contempt of the faith, or of ecclesiastical authority, or public injury to souls.” Both NO and Traditionalist “bishops” are guilty of this contempt as well as detriment to the souls they involve in sacrilege and cooperation in sin. How can these times in which we live be anything but the Great Apostasy foretold by St. Paul? Strike the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered,” (Zach. 13:7). Without the pope, there IS no Church.

 

 

 

 

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The Traditionalist Movement Was Never Catholic

Doubtful popes and the safer course

+Pope St. Anicetus+

What was said in our last blog — that as all theologians teaching before the death of Pope Pius XII unanimously taught — matters regarding the validity of the Sacraments and eternal salvation do not fall under the category of doubtful laws. This is because “A doubtful law has no binding force whenever the doubt concerns the lawfulness of an act and not its validity” (Rev. Dominic Prummer) and  “…The common good demands certitude concerning the validity of acts,” (Abp. Amleto Cicognani). When the doubt concerns something which is absolutely necessary for salvation, (for example, the necessity of obedience to the Roman Pontiff), then a probable opinion (probability) cannot be relied upon to determine validity. One must know the man elected is a certainly valid pope before rendering obedience. That it is the validity of the one elected and not lawfulness per se is proven in the following from Fr. E. Sylvester Berry in his The Church of Christ.

  • “If the Church could fail in any of its essentials, even for a time, it would lose all authority to teach and govern, because the faithful could never be certain at any time that it had not failed — that it had not ceased to be the Church of Christ, thereby losing all authority. But an authority that may be justly doubted at all times is no authority; it commands neither obedience or respect…” (p. 55-56) “Jurisdiction can be conferred only by a lawful superior…and may be revoked at any time. [It] can neither be obtained nor held against the will of her supreme authority; its transmission depends entirely on legitimate succession…” And on p.  402: “When there is a prudent doubt about the validity of an election to any official position, there is also a similar doubt whether the person so elected really has authority or not. In such a case, no one is bound to obey him, for it is an axiom that a doubtful law [the duty to obey one doubted to be a true pope] begets no obligation — a doubtful law does not oblige. But a superior whom no one is bound to obey is, in reality, no superior at all. Hence the saying of Bellarmine: a doubtful pope is no pope.”
  • “A doubtful pope may be really invested with the requisite power, but he has not practically in the Church the same right as a certain pope — he is not entitled to be acknowledged as Head of the Church, and may be legitimately compelled to desist from his claim,” (The Relations of the Church to Society — Theological Essays, Rev. Edmund James O’Reilly, S.J.). The statement regarding desisting from his claim can only be a reference to Pope Paul IV’s bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio.
  • This teaching is reflected in the opinions of six different notable theologians (Reiffenstuel, Schmalzgrueber, Ferraris, Vecchiotti, Vermeersch-Creusen), satisfying the moral prerequisites for establishing true probability, “There is no schism involved…if one refuses obedience [to a pope] inasmuch as one suspects the person of the Pope or the validity of his election…” (The Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, Rev. Ignatius J. Szal, A.B., J.C.L.). Still, no positive doubts regarding the validity of a papal election can be entertained without presenting at least oneserious and compelling reason for such doubts. Below are listed seven areas of doubt regarding the election of Angelo Roncalli, John 23rd, following the death of Pope Pius XII, and not all doubts may have been covered in this list.

 Questions regarding John 23rd’s election

  1. Were the electors of John 23rd competent to elect? (Because they were not acting in harmony with the sacred canons and in retrospect were doubtful Catholics they were not competent electors according to Can. 147, Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS). Their heresy may have been occult at the time but was later unquestionably manifested during the false Vatican 2 council.)
  2. Did a two-thirds plus one majority elect? (This majority is necessary for validity per VAS and cannot be omitted without voiding the election.)
  3. Was the one elected certainly a member of the Catholic Church on election? (The one elected must certainly be a Catholic for validity according to the teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine. Roncalli’s Communist and liberal leanings, also his liturgical renewal sympathies and Masonic affiliations pose grave doubts regarding his Catholicity.)
  4. Was the one elected qualified for election under VAS? (Grave doubts exist as to whether the candidate was able to be elected because he campaigned for election prior to the death of Pius XII and was subject to excommunication reserved to a future pope. Many reports also suggest there was lay interference during the conclave, forbidden by VAS.)
  5. “The Pope, having full authority in the government of the Church, may establish laws which would render a papal election null and void unless the prescribed conditions be fulfilled. It is true the laws made by one pope do not bind his successors, but they can and do bind the one to be elected” (Berry, p. 399). See also https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/1-what-constitutes-the-papacy/apostolic-constitution-vacantis-apostolicae-sedis/.
  6. Were those who accepted Roncalli’s election truly Catholic? Certainly by 1969 it was clear who was and who was not siding with the Novus Ordo church. No claim can be made that an election is validated by the acceptance of the faithful if those accepting are not faithful CATHOLICS, uncontested members of Christ’s Mystical Body. Most of the bishops were no longer Catholic as proven at Vatican 2; many of the faithful were certainly not Catholic after John 23rd’s election, either, because the majority accepted Vatican 2 and the new mass. And those who exited the Vatican 2 church following Paul 6’s promulgation of the NOM certainly can be said to have doubts regarding the authority demanding such a promulgation or they would never have left.
  7. In Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Pope Paul IV teaches in paragraph seven: “It shall be lawful for all and sundry who would have been subject to persons so promoted and elevated, had these not first strayed from the Faith or been heretics, or incurred or incited or committed schism; for clerics, secular or regular, and for laymen; likewise for Cardinals, 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… Nor shall they be liable to reprisal through any censure or penalty, as renders of the Lord’s robe, for departing…

 John 23rd’s papacy was short, just a little over four and a half years. Not many major changes were made, and the average Catholic had little reason for alarm. But when the false Vatican council ended in 1965, the rites of the Sacraments were changed in 1968 and the Novus Ordo Missae issued in 1969, true Catholics realized something was very wrong and began exiting the Church. Some estimate up to 40 percent of all Catholics left at that time, but most of them remained only nominally Catholic. The rest affiliated with the Traditionalist movements, which wasted no time in organizing. Had it not been for the questionable character of John 23, and proofs which emerged only much later that his election was not held according to Pope Pius XII’s election constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS), we might be able to say he was validly elected. Knowing today that he was only a “transition pope,” something said at the time he was elected but not fully understood, in and of itself suggests that a plan was in place to elect not only Roncalli, but a specific person after his reign ended. This alone voided Montini’s election, since it was a second prearranged plan in violation of VAS.

From Rev. Francis Connell we read: “What certainty have we that the reigning Pontiff is actually the primate of the universal Church – that is, that he became a member of the Church through valid baptism, and that he was validly elected Pope? We have human moral certainty that the reigning Pontiff was validly elected in conclave and accepted the office of Bishop of Rome, thus becoming head of the universal Church. The unanimous consensus of a large group of Cardinals composing the electoral body gave us this assurance… For if we did not have infallible assurance that the ruling Pontiff is truly in the eyes of God the chief teacher of the Church of Christ, how could we accept as infallibly true his solemn pronouncements?” This is but an echo of Fr. Berry above, who provides the answer. Louis Cardinal Billot, Rev. Charles Journet and others are of the same opinion as Connell, agreeing the acceptance of the Church cures defects in election.

But they are presuming that the man elected was indeed a Catholic, when this fact cannot be certainly known given the evidence of Cardinal Roncalli’s activities and statements pre-election. They also are assuming there was no question that the cardinals electing were Catholic. The papal bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, retained in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, declares that any man who was a heretic, apostate or schismatic prior to his election as pope, or appointment as a cardinal or bishop, never assumes the position in question and has no power to command whatsoever. The pope cannot become a heretic as pope: this must occur before his election. But cardinals and bishops can definitely become heretics and schismatics while seeming to retain their positions, as later happened following Vatican 2. Paul IV’s bull gives Catholics, even cardinals and bishops, time to figure out a man falsely elected was never pope without incurring censure. But the liturgical renewal crowd who happily accepted John 23rd’s election still accepted him and Paul 6 as undoubted popes even after Vatican 2 and the introduction of the NOM. This despite the doubts raised by Traditionalists regarding their Catholicity. So in the end, were those who accepted these two men as “popes” even Catholic themselves?

Those cardinals electing John 23 are condemned by the words of Pope Pius XII as follows, “We command those individuals to whom it pertains and will pertain for the time being to vote, that the ordinances must be respectively and inviolably observed by them, and if anyone should happen to try otherwise relative to these things, by whatever authority, knowingly or unknowingly, the attempt is null and void.” Yet despite this the cardinals elected a man many of them knew to be unworthy, a man who promoted his own election contrary to Pope Pius XII’s specific ordinance and therefore was not capable of being elected according to the law. Numerous examples of Roncalli’s and Montini’s dalliances with socialism and Communism, also Freemasonry, are documented in the book The Phantom Church in Rome, available on this website. The statements they made pre-election as well as their actions both before and after their “elections” would create grave doubt even among the simplest of Catholics. And that is just one doubt, which is all that is needed to call an election into question.

Summary of doubts about John 23rd’s election

  1. Roncalli’s own heresy and Masonic affiliations, which amount to apostasy
  2. His violation of the provisions of Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, which subsequently voided the election, consisting in:a) allowing himself to be promoted for election prior to the death of Pius XII; b) agreeing to act as a “transition pope” to usher in the false Vatican 2 Council and c) in order to make Giovanni Montini, Paul 6 a cardinal; d) this to enable Montini, a candidate favored by the secular powers that influenced the election, capable of election at the next conclave; and e) despite the four different latae sententiae excommunications attached to these violations, Roncalli allowed himself to be selected as a grossly unworthy candidate incapable of accepting the election.
  3. The questionable Catholicity of several of the Cardinal-bishops based on statements made prior to the conclave (most of whom later participated in Vatican 2 and helped implement the changes it dictated). Their collaboration with those promoting Roncalli voided the election, It furthermore called into question the two-thirds plus one majority of cardinals mandated by Pius XII to elect the pope, something that is strictly required for validity.
  4. In retrospect, the Catholicity of those “accepting” John 23rd’s election, clergy and laity alike, seeing that most of them later also accepted the V2 changes and NOM mass. Under Paul IV’s bull, they were allowed ample time to assess the situation and separate themselves from it but did not even consider this possibility when doubts were later raised.

How many different ways would one wish to see an election voided? None of those writing about the acceptance of a papal election ever anticipated these circimstances. There are clear proofs from several sources that Roncalli promoted himself for election. His own words show he associated with Communists, and historians and journalists have chronicled his associations with Freemasons. Once again, all this is documented in The Phantom Church in Rome and was initially documented in part long before that in this author’s first self-published work. In addition, according to Can. 2391, “A college which knowingly elects an unworthy person is automatically deprived, for that particular election, of the right to hold a new election.” This would automatically void the “election” of Paul 6. While this canon may be said by some not to apply to a papal election, the law does not specifically exclude such application, either.

Still, strictly speaking, the canon is not needed since it applies to ecclesiastical elections and laws. The matters we have addressed here pertain to divine law because the pope canonically elected receives jurisdiction from God, not the electors, upon acceptance of the election; but only if the election is canonical. This is a matter of faith. And canonical means it must be carried out in full compliance with Pope Pius XII’s 1945 election law. It is plain to see, however, that the provisions of this law were not followed in Roncalli’s election. That election was therefore voided according to the infallible command of Pope Pius XII. Obedience upon which one’s salvation depends cannot be rendered to a doubtful authority; this is an absurd proposition, as Fr. Berry notes above. The safer course — keeping the faith at home — protects all Catholics from sacrilege, idolatry and the false teachings of thieves and hirelings, including those of a false pope. This was clearly the intention of the popes and Ecumenical Councils in their laws and teachings condemning antipopes and those who falsely claimed the offices of bishops without papal approval.

Pope Paul IV taught that these usurpers can never be considered as quasi-legitimate and all of their actions, including appointments or promotions to Holy Orders, are null and void. But Traditionalists and their followers resort instead to “recognize and resist,” a thoroughly unCatholic principle, or use the lack of bishops and priests to justify creating their own hierarchy, as with sedevacantists. Only recognition of the extent of the damage done to the Church will result in a true reconciliation of these groups, but it seems God did not intend this to be. Therefore we must trudge forward and accept His will, knowing that while we may be persecuted for following our conscience, we are protecting God’s rights and safeguarding our immortal souls.

 

 

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