The Madness Continues…
It seems that last Sunday a St. Jude Shrine “priest” (whose “mass” can be accessed via the Internet) gave a sermon condemning the evils of calumny and detraction by certain “people” and “communities” who remain unnamed, (they — we — were probably identified by the Shrine’s lay handlers prior to the service Sunday). But the definition for these serious sins given by this man left much to be desired. While it admitted that to reveal them in the case of a criminal or pervert was justified, it failed to mention that the obligation to protect SOULS (isn’t the salvation of souls their continual justification for existence?) from crimes against the faith and spiritual perversion are far more ghastly than anything in the civil realm. Even the secret sins of another may be revealed, moral theologians agree, when a grave and documented danger to souls exists.
From the sermon: “Detraction is the unjust damaging of someone’s good name, by revealing a fault or crime of which that person is guilty…A crime publicly known in an exclusive community may not be reported to outsiders.” (So does this mean they know they have no jurisdiction?) “Detraction is a serious sin against charity and justice, unless the matters being revealed are of a trivial nature.” (So they admit they are serious.) “Calumny is the unjust damaging of the good name of another by imputing to him a crime or fault of which he is not guilty. Calumny differs from detraction, because the one guilty of calumny knowingly speaks falsehood about another.” If we truly believe, as all Catholics must, that the Roman Pontiffs teach authoritatively and that Canon Law is negatively infallible, then when it declares all these men are guilty of external heresy/schism until proven innocent (Can. 2200) — which innocence can be determined only by a future valid pope — we have no other option but to accept this canon because it contains a presumption of law. If some lay proposition or baseless theory contradicts papal orders, or what the law commands, how could refuting it possibly be referred to as falsehood? These crazed people are asking us to deny what the Church Herself teaches as true. WE do not accuse anyone of anything; we merely present the constant teachings of the Church and apply them to the situation, and if they complain that what the Church says implicates them in crime, then so be it.
The defamation referred to in this sermon was described as the publicizing of a “private” matter, limited to a small community. But none of what was revealed via e-mail over the past month by this author and others was a private matter; all has been presented before on the public forum known as the Internet; also in books and in other publications, for decades. The canonical definition of a public offense says it can be considered public even if “it was committed under or attended by such circumstances that its divulgation may and must be considered easily possible,” (Can. 2197). What exactly is a “private community”? Revs. Woywod-Smith, in their commentary on Can. 2197, state that “It is maintained by many canonists that at least six persons in a small town or community must know of the offense before it can be called public.” Others place this number at 10. In either case, this number was passed long ago, and this can be proven.
The sermon also speaks of rash judgment, based on “insufficient data or objections motivated by prejudice.” Anyone who has followed this website, or the board that preceded it, knows that for the past five years it has been devoted exclusively to exposing fraudulent Traditionalist sects and especially those whose “clerics” falsely claim to possess canonical mission jurisdiction. Nothing here is based on prejudice and most certainly it could never be said that there has been, at any time, a lack of sufficient data on this site. The priest making these statements should have addressed them to his own “flock.” For the invitation to provide the proofs came from one of the lay operators of the Shrine (Gary Giuffre) who in an e-mail made the following defamatory statements about homealoners, accusing them of:
• posing as anonymous detractor(s)
• deliberate dishonesty or gross ignorance
• being author(s) of a vicious smear
• making comments that are either completely false or a half-truth
• tearing down what little is left of the visible remnant Catholic Church
• being envious of the faithful who still have regular access to those sources of sanctifying grace
• insisting that all is lost and, in effect, that Christ has abandoned His Church
Finally in closing, Giuffre states: “I hereby challenge anyone who would presume to denigrate this holy priest while hiding behind the cover of anonymity, to show himself (or herself)…and make an account of your actions before God and man.”
The initial e-mail in question contained only a statement that the one receiving the e-mail did not believe that Giuffre’s “priest” could validly and licitly offer Mass or convey Sacraments; a simple statement of fact sent to an e-mail list containing members of Giuffre’s sect. That is what unleashed the entirely unsolicited comments above. And the one sending the statement to Giuffre’s followers did not send it anonymously; a simple inquiry to the e-mail address would have produced his surname. In taking up Giuffre’s challenge, those who responded did so without rancor, following the scholastic method that the Church demands all those dealing with the truths of faith employ. The authors quickly proved that their objections were based solidly on Catholic dogma and Canon Law as taught by the Church prior to the death of Pope Pius XII. No dishonesty or ignorance, falsehoods or half-truths could ever be alleged here unless one wishes to attribute it to the Church Herself. Far from being a vicious smear, it was proven from reliable sources that Giuffre, not those he calumniated, was the one who misrepresented the truth.
It is almost with a smile that I answer the last several calumnies, since a thorough reading of this site and others like it will easily dispel such blatant falsehoods. Nowhere will anyone find that others or myself hold anything even remotely suggestive of the above statements/positions alleged by Giuffre. We have sought all these years only to build up what remains of Christ’s Church on earth and to instruct the faithful concerning what the Roman Pontiffs, the Councils and approved authors taught prior to the reign of the first anti-pope, John 23. We dutifully flee the sacrilegious masses and sacraments of those who exercise doubtfully valid orders and are bereft of jurisdiction, knowing full well that we can obtain sanctifying grace from our Spiritual Communions and good works. If we believed everything was lost, as one Catacomb Catholic recently said, would we really be making the effort to preserve the faith as we do by strictly adhering to the laws and teachings of the Church, thereby inspiring the wrath of others by inviting them to do the same?! In a recent article on the indefectibility of the Church we also explained how we have not denied such indefectibility as others impudently claim, but rather hold it as the early Fathers and later Doctors of the Church held it, while maintaining it by what we believe and practice.
And finally, despite the meticulous work to put together a response to Giuffre and his followers, he has made no attempt whatsoever to respond in kind and in fact cannot, and knows he cannot. Instead he has allowed others to lamely object and attempt to defend the faith, armed with no proofs whatsoever, offering nothing other than their misplaced “convictions” and meaningless “opinions” as demonstrations of the truth. Some of these individuals definitely are prejudiced, and therefore liable to rash judgment, as they are the children either of Giuffre or his partner. So in comparing our response to Giuffre’s e-mail list and his e-mail above, and also to his “priest’s” sermon on calumny and detraction, who are really the calumniators and detractors here? If this is publicly addressed from the pulpit we have a right to respond to the implied accusation.
The Church only teaches one truth. And that truth does not issue from the mouths of those without canonical mission, hence the jurisdiction necessary to preach, proceeding in a direct and uninterrupted line from Christ to His apostles and their successors. No apostolic mandate, no bishop; and as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, no bishop, no priest. As Giuffre wrote in an article for his website, “The overthrow of the Pope and his replacement by a usurper was the enabling act for the instantaneous creation of a false church in October 1958, by which a counterfeit council with counterfeit doctrines would later come about. The robber council merely put the finishing touches on the anti-church’s program for the total destruction of the faith of Catholics.” The Church clearly teaches us what happens when a false pope presents as true in Pope Paul IV’s “Cum ex Apostolatus Officio” and other official documents. It is the broad consequences of that teaching, reflected in Canon Law, that Traditionalists cannot accept. And it is really quite simple: if they refuse to acknowledge the infallible teaching of the Roman Pontiffs, then they long ago ceased to be Catholic.
Following the example set by the Apostles in Acts 17, we attempted to “reason” with those who have misapprehended the faith, and demonstrate revealed truth to them as defined by the Church from Holy Scripture itself. But like these Jews in St. Paul’s day, “ ‘lewd followers of the baser sort,’ without any investigation, without any inquiry, set the city in an uproar,” causing the Apostles to flee to Berea. And as Acts 17 says of the Bereans, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so. Therefore, many of them believed.” And now we understand why even when they are shown Church law and teaching, they do not investigate or inquire, because they are afraid they might believe. It is as St. Anthony Mary Claret announced at the Vatican Council: “Some do not wish to understand Scripture,” and here he was referring to those who still denied the infallibility and Supremacy of the Roman Pontiff despite the incontrovertible proofs found in Holy Writ. They deny it yet today, and choose to remain in a religion that far from worshipping our Lord, crucifies Him again in a most cruel manner on their altars.
So like the Apostles, we now depart Thessalonica in search of the Bereans.