Canon Law: The Dimond brothers are not monks and their monastery is no monastery (9-29-16)

+ St. Michael the Archangel +

© Copyright 2016, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)

Many who read what is available on this site comment that while they do not agree with the position held by Michael and Peter Dimond, operators of what is known as Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM), they often visit their site because these purported “monks” have good information. A “position,” i.e., an allowable opinion by Church standards would be one thing. But here we are dealing with heresy, and heresy condemned as such by Pope Pius XII, (Feeneyism). It is not “okay” to visit the sites of known heretics, even if they present some things that are interesting or even unique, lest we cooperate in their heresy. While sometimes it is necessary to the truth to include some of these sites in research pieces, they should always be disavowed (and are on this site) and never recommended.

Belloc’s formula for establishing the existence of heresy
Heretics are very clever. They disguise their errors by carefully weaving them into a fabric consisting mainly of truthful statements, the better to lure them in, and this is how they deceive the unwary. In the Introduction to his work, The Great Heresies, (1920s) the respected Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc provides the following components of heretical perversity. “Heresy means…the warping of a system by ‘exception’: by ‘picking out’ one part of the structure and implies that the scheme is marred by taking away one part of it, denying one part of it, and either leaving the void unfilled or filling it with some new affirmation.

“The denial of a scheme wholesale is not heresy, and has not the creative power of a heresy. It is of the essence of heresy that it leaves standing a great part of the structure it attacks. It is the taking away from the moral scheme by which we have lived of a particular part, the denial of that part and the attempt to replace it by an innovation.”
It is very tempting, when one sees that “a great part of it” is right, to then be convinced that a few little errors may not matter and these folks are not so bad after all, just misguided. But that would be a grave error in judgment. Like all Traditionalists, MHFM has “plucked” the papacy from their midst and have denied not only the papacy but also the dogma of baptism of blood and desire, following the heretic Leonard Feeney. They then pose the innovation by setting themselves up as the true authority. According to Wikipedia, (
“Most Holy Family Monastery was founded in 1967, in Berlin, New Jersey, by a self-proclaimed Benedictine monk named Joseph Natale (1933-1995), originally as a community for handicapped men. Natale entered the Benedictine Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1960 as a lay postulant, but left less than a year later to start his own Holy Family Monastery. According to an archivist of the Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Natale left before taking vows; he never actually became a Benedictine monk.

“Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Natale denounced the Second Vatican Council and the New Mass, and by the mid-1970s the community had separated from the Vatican. By mid-1980s, there were ten monks in it, but by 1994 the number declined to three. Shortly after a conference in 1994, John Vennari left to work for Fr. Nicholas Gruner.

“Natale died in 1995, whereupon Michael Dimond (born Frederick Dimond), who joined in 1992 at the age of 19 after converting to Catholicism four years earlier was elected the Superior. Soon after, he relocated to Granger, New York (close to Fillmore, New York), where Natale owned more than 90 acres (36 ha) of donated land.”

Canon Law contradicts MHFM and their followers

Canon 147: “An ecclesiastical office cannot be validly obtained without canonical provision. Canonical provision means the grant of an ecclesiastical office by competent ecclesiastical authority, made according to the sacred canons.” In the Canon Law Digest, Vol. 3, under Can. 147, we find the following comment: “Excommunication as vitandus is inflicted for accepting office from lay authority,” (pg. 71). We are not allowed to associate in any fashion with vitandus heretics, and certainly we are never allowed to read their writings.

Canon 492 §1: “The bishop, but not the vicar-capitular or administrator, can create religious congregations. He shall not establish them, nor allow their foundation, without first consulting the Holy See…

Can. 492 §§2-3: The title and religious habit of an established religious organization cannot be assumed by those not legitimately belonging to it or by a new organization.

Canon 499: “All religious are subject to the Roman Pontiff as their highest superior who they are bound to obey also in virtue of the vow of obedience…

Canon 542§1 (1): Admission into the novitiate is invalid in the case of…Persons who have lapsed from the Catholic Faith into a non-Catholic sect (Traditionalism is a non-Catholic sect).

Canon 572: “For the validity of any religious profession the following is required: (2) He must be admitted to profession by the legitimate superior… (per Can. 147; see above).

(3) A valid novitiate must have proceeded…

Canon 575: (Revs. Woywod-Smith commentary) “The Church wants the novices to be absolutely free to return to the world or to take vows and she guarantees the same freedom to those who take temporary vows.” (All canons taken form Rev. Woywod-Smith’s A Practical Commentary on the [1917] Code of Canon Law.)

So to summarize the above:

1.) Joseph Natale was never a professed religious, far less a legitimately appointed superior.

2.) Only a bishop could create a new religious congregation (Can. 492), and Natale was no bishop; therefore his founding of the monastery under the auspices of the Benedictines was null and void.

3.) Even had he been a true bishop, he would need to have obtained permission of the Roman Pontiff before founding the monastery (Can. 492).

4.) The Canon Laws at the time bound him to obey the Roman Pontiff in all things, even under temporary vows of obedience. In all likelihood such vows were not legitimate in the first place, since nearly all jurisdiction ceased shortly after the death of Pope Pius XII, (Can. 572). But Pope Boniface VIII infallibly taught: “We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that by necessity for salvation they are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff,” (DZ 469).

5.) Natale, throughout this whole process, remained a layman, (Can. 575). As a layman he could scarcely have assumed superiorship of the monastery (by appointing himself). According to Can. 147 and the decision rendered on this canon by Pope Pius XII, he was a vitandus heretic. (See also DZ 960, 967.)

6.) Being only a layman himself, he could scarcely have admitted the Dimonds to the monastery validly or licitly. Michael Dimond accepted his own superiorship as the successor of Natale, a layman, therefore also making himself a vitandus.

7.) The Dimonds entered the “novitiate” under a layperson who had no office or jurisdiction and therefore could not admit them into any monastery (Can. 572).

8.) And at any rate, the Dimonds by then professed Traditionalism, and this disqualified them under Can. 543 §1 (1) from entering any religious house.

9.) No emergency of any kind justified what Natale or the Dimonds did. They were bound to obey Pope Pius XII when he infallibly proclaimed, in his papal election constitution:

“1. While the Apostolic Seat is vacant, let the Sacred College of Cardinals have no power or jurisdiction at all in those things which pertain to the Pope while he was alive…but let everything be held, reserved for the future Pope. And thus we decree that whatever power or jurisdiction pertaining to the Roman Pontiff, while he is alive (unless in as far as it is expressly permitted in this, Our Constitution) the meeting of Cardinals itself may have taken for exercising, is null and void.

“2. “Likewise we order that the Sacred College of Cardinals is not able to dispose of the laws of the Apostolic Seat and the Roman Church in any manner it wishes, nor may it attempt to detract wheresoever from the laws of the same, either directly or indirectly through a species of connivance, or through dissimulation of crimes perpetrated against the same laws, either after the death of the Pontiff or in time of vacancy, [however] it may seem to be attempted. Indeed, we will that it ought to guard and defend against the same contention of all men.

“3. “Laws given by the Roman Pontiffs are in no way able to be corrected or changed through the meeting of the cardinals of the Roman Church [the See] being vacant; nor is anything able to be taken away or added, nor is there able to be made any dispensation in any manner concerning the laws themselves or some part of them. This is very evident from pontifical Constitutions [on]…the election of the Roman Pontiff. But if anything contrary to this prescript occurs or is by chance attempted, we declare it by Our Supreme authority to be null and void,” (Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, paras.1- 3, Ch. 1; Pope Pius XII, 1945.)

We are not answerable to bishops consecrated without any papal mandate, or those not in communion with a true Roman Pontiff, however “orthodox” they may appear to be. We are living during an interregnum and must obey the papal laws that govern such a circumstance. So if the Dimonds or anyone else want to argue whether Canon Law applies during an interregnum, or whether an “emergency” situation overrides present circumstances, let them read this constitution and shake their fists at the pope. It is very clear why some wish to declare Pope Pius XII an antipope, for then they can follow their own Satanic wills straight into hell and ignore the Divine will, conveyed to us by Christ through His Vicars.

T. Benns

Are Trad Priests lllicit or Doubtfully Valid? The Answer Matters…

+ Our Lady of Mt. Carmel +

Dear Readers,
Finally back on the site and hope to be posting these regularly. My apologies to all.

It seems that the argument of validity versus liciety of Traditional “priests” ordained personally by Lefevbre and Thuc will not go away, despite irrefutable proofs offered to the contrary. To begin with a distinction must be made between those ordained as priests by these men and those consecrated as bishops. Not many if any Traditional priests, to my knowledge, can any longer claim direct descent from Thuc and Lefebvre. (While some believe Lefebvre was validly ordained and consecrated, questions concerning the Masonic affiliations of Lefebvre’s ordaining bishop and consecrator Achille Lienart clearly bring his own ordination, hence later consecration, into serious doubt). Some of the priests created by these two men subsequently have been “consecrated” bishops, and as such are vitandus-level heretics. Others may still be functioning as priests, yet their ordinations were never verified as certainly valid, nor can they be at this late date. And papal documents cited only later in the Traditional game prove they are not just illicit but doubtfully valid, and cannot function unless dispensed by the pope himself. This is because all those who followed Lefebvre and Thuc engaged in heresy and schism, and could not be abjured and absolved because no one possessed the necessary faculties to accomplish this. And Can. 2314 adds to heresy — and it has been proven without a doubt that that both Lefebvre and Thuc were heretics — the vindicative penalty of infamy of law, which requires a dispensation only the pope can grant, (Can. 2295). We have no true pope, ergo…

Therefore Lefebvre’s priests’ ordinations, also Thuc’s, are doubtfully valid AT BEST. Why is it important to make this distinction? First of all, because the truth matters. Secondly, because Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius XII have infallibly decreed that this is the case. And thirdly, some believe that because these priests are only “illicit” they may be called to give last rites in danger or death, and there are a (rare) few validly ordained priests left to call. Some canon lawyers and theologians have opined, however, that when summoning a heretic for Extreme Unction under Can. 2261§ 2, there is always a danger of perversion so one is better to simply make a perfect Act of Contrition and Spiritual Communion, or if unable have others pray for and with the person who is dying. Most are in a compromised mental when close to death, and certainly this is not time to try and ward off dangers to the faith. But when the person in question is doubtfully valid, there is actually serious doubt that one is even receiving the Sacrament. The Church teaches that this risk cannot be taken without endangering one’s soul, and so those priests whose ordinations were performed by Lefebvre or Thuc or any other schismatic or heretic bishop cannot be summoned in danger of death.

In his decision that schismatic bishops can never appoint or elect Catholic bishops to an office, Pope Pius IX taught in Etsi multa:

“24. But these men, having progressed more boldly in the ways of wickedness and destruction, as happens to heretical sects from God’s just judgment, have wished to create a hierarchy also for themselves, as we have intimated. They have chosen and set up a pseudo-bishop, a certain notorious apostate from the Catholic faith…

“25. But as even the rudiments of Catholic faith declare, no one can be considered a bishop who is not linked in communion of faith and love with Peter, upon whom is built the Church of Christ; who does not adhere to the supreme Pastor to whom the sheep of Christ are committed to be pastured; and who is not bound to the confirmer of fraternity which is in the world. 26. Therefore following the custom and example of Our Predecessors and of holy legislation, BY THE POWER GRANTED TO US FROM HEAVEN, We declare the election of the said [Old Catholic bishop], performed against the sanctions of the holy canons to be illicit, null, and void. We furthermore declare his consecration sacrilegious. We additionally excommunicate whoever has adhered to them and belonging to their party has furnished help, favor, aid, or consent. We declare, proclaim, and COMMAND that they are separated from the communion of the Church. They are to be considered among those with whom all faithful Christians are forbidden by the Apostle to associate and have social exchange to such an extent that, as he plainly states, they may not even be greeted,” [VITANDUS!] ( In Quartus Supra, Pope Pius IX clearly states that even without a formal declaration, the Armenians resisting the authority of the papal see were considered schismatics. Likewise all who “avoid carrying out their orders” (those of the Roman Pontiffs) are reckoned as schismatics.
And also from Graves ac diuturnae, Pope Pius IX teaches on such Old Catholics: “They repeatedly state openly that they do not in the least reject the Catholic Church and its visible head but rather that they are zealous for the purity of Catholic doctrine declaring that they are the heirs of the ancient faith and the only true Catholics. But in fact they refuse to acknowledge all the divine prerogatives of the vicar of Christ on earth and do not submit to His supreme magisterium…You should remind them to beware of these treacherous enemies of the flock of Christ and their poisoned foods. They should totally shun their religious celebrations, their buildings, and their chairs of pestilence which they have with impunity established to transmit the sacred teachings. They should shun their writings and all contact with them. They should not have any dealings or meetings with usurping priests and apostates from the faith who dare to exercise the duties of an ecclesiastical minister without possessing a legitimate mission or any jurisdiction. They should avoid them as strangers and thieves who come only to steal, slay, and destroy…”

The Old Catholics were the model for ALL Traditional organizations. It is clear from these teachings that no one without committing mortal sin can associate with or receive doubtfully valid Sacraments from such persons without also becoming heretics and schismatics. Pope Pius VI further taught in Charitas: “10. “For the right of ordaining bishops belongs only to the Apostolic See, as the Council of Trent declares; it cannot be assumed by any bishop or metropolitan without obliging Us to declare schismatic both those who ordain and those who are ordained, thus invalidating their future actions…24. They must not grant dimissorial letters for ordinations. Nor must they appoint, depute, or confirm pastors, vicars, missionaries, helpers, functionaries, ministers, or others, whatever their title, for the care of souls and the administration of the Sacraments UNDER ANY PRETEXT OF NECESSITY WHATSOEVER… 26. “We command those who have been or are to be elected, to behave in no way as archbishops, bishops, parish priests, or vicars nor to call themselves by the name of any cathedral or parochial church, nor to assume any jurisdiction, authority, or faculty for the care of souls under the penalty of suspension and invalidity.”

These men cannot function in the capacity of bishops whether elected or self-appointed, (DZ 967). They may have received orders but not jurisdiction, and the pope is declaring the acts they perform null and void for want of an office approved by him and the subsequent jurisdiction that goes with it. Pope Pius XII, in Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, only reiterates the teachings above, applying them specifically to an interregnum such as we have experienced for the past 58 years come this October.

“1. “We decree that whatever power or jurisdiction pertaining to the Roman Pontiff, while he is alive (unless in as far as it is expressly permitted in this, Our Constitution) the meeting of Cardinals itself may have taken for exercising, is null and void. 3. “Laws given by the Roman Pontiffs are in no way able to be corrected or changed through the meeting of the cardinals of the Roman Church [the See] being vacant; nor is anything able to be taken away or added, nor is there able to be made any dispensation in any manner concerning the laws themselves or some part of them. This is very evident from pontifical Constitutions [on]…the election of the Roman Pontiff. But if anything contrary to this prescript occurs or is by chance attempted, we declare it BY OUR SUPREME AUTHORITY to be null and void,” (Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, paras.1- 3, Ch. 1; Pope Pius XII, 1945.)

The laws of the Church concerning dimissorial letters and assignments to a diocese were violated and these priests never received an office, as Pope Pius VI teaches above. This was a law, “…given by the Roman Pontiff(s).” According to Can. 147, “An ecclesiastical office cannot be validly obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons,” (Can. 147). In addition, “Those who have been assigned to the divine ministry at least by the first tonsure are called clerics,” (Can. 108). Can. 118: “Only clerics can obtain the power of either orders or ecclesiastical jurisdiction…” Rev. Charles Augustine, commenting on Can. 118 explains that the nature of first tonsure clearly indicates that it arises from the Ordinary’s office as an act issuing from his jurisdictional faculties granted by the Pope and not specifically the power of Orders, since tonsure is not an order but a ceremony or rite. These men are ordered by Pope Pius VI to assume no “jurisdiction, authority, or faculty.” And Thuc and Lefebvre lost their jurisdiction through their many heresies.

No one is denying that men fit for ordination become priests when unquestionably validly ordained by validly ordained and consecrated bishops, (and I do believe that Lefebvre’s ordination AND consecration were doubtfully valid). But those asserting their validity must prove:
1. Their fitness for ordination under the 1917 Code, (Canons 973-974, also Canons 983-988);

2. Absolution from the proper bishop, abjuration made for such heresy and schism;
3. Dispensation from infamy of law by a true pope;
4. Possession of dimissorial letters, (Can. 955).

And without such proofs, which they cannot provide, there can be no certitude of their validity! In 1347, the Holy See condemned the heresy that certainty cannot be obtained by resorting to the Thomistic method, (DZ 553-54; 556). All these teachings come to us from the very decrees of Christ’s vicars whose decisions we are bound to abide by, regardless of our “opinions” or the teachings of self-appointed “experts.” We are certain these men are invalid because they are proclaimed to be such from the mouth of infallible formal certitude. The Vatican Council teaches that where papal teaching is concerned, “It is not sufficient to shun heretical iniquity, unless those errors are also shunned which come more or less close to it,” (DZ 1820). Language matters; liciety is lawfulness, and without it one cannot function as a legitimate pastor according to DZ 967. But validity means such men are conducting ceremonies which amount to idol worship, simulating Mass and Sacraments and worshipping a piece of bread as the Body of Christ. For even those who justify their attendance at Traditional “masses” by claiming their actions are only “illicit” believe they are receiving Christ in the Eucharist, (although gravely sinning in the process). This reduces Traditionalism to nothing more than paganism.

As St. Robert Bellarmine taught, a doubtful pope is no pope. Therefore a doubtful priest is no priest, just as a (truly) doubtful law is no law. Yes, Trads have cited the canon saying that orders have the presumption of validity, but presumption must yield to infallible truth under the law itself (Can. 1827) and the teachings of Trent echoed in the Sacred Canons. Infallible papal laws and teachings cannot help but prevail over presumptions which hold for the usual, not the extraordinary case. In the 1347 errors of Nicholas Autrecort, one error stands out as particularly applicable to the situation today. Autrecort falsely held that evidence from one matter could not be used to draw inferences from or arrive at conclusions regarding another matter. This is precisely how the rules governing doubtful laws read in Canon Law. One is to use parallel passages in the Code, the purpose and circumstances of the law and determine the intent of the legislator to resolve a doubtful law. Here the legislator is assumed to be the pope (in most cases) and the councils, as commentators on the Code have affirmed.

The footnotes to the Canons, recommended for use in Can. 6 §4 in cases of doubt where one must follow the old law, also are a fruitful source of remedies. Traditionalists, in citing the laws and practices of the Church in the past to justify the absence of a papal mandate regarding episcopal consecrations totally ignore Canon Law. For while it was true that in the past there were bishops chosen without papal mandate in certain cases, recent laws issued by Pope Pius XII make it clear that such practices are no longer tolerated, (Ad Apostolorum Principis and Mediator Dei). Canon 22 states: “A more recent law given by the competent authority abolishes a former law…if it is directly contrary to the old law.” Also no evidence is admissible, Rev. Amleto Cicognani says, against documents signed by the Roman Pontiffs. This was precisely the reason for the Vatican Council definition of the jurisdictional supremacy of the Roman Pontiff; once Rome has spoken, the cause is finished.

Maintaining that bishops may validly exercise orders received from heretics and schismatics outside the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff is a subterfuge which qualifies as heresy on two different counts. First of all, it contradicts the infallible decision of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corpus and Ad Sinarum Gentum that bishops receive their jurisdiction only through the Roman Pontiff who has the right to regulate such jurisdiction; not directly from Christ Himself. Secondly, it denies that the Pope has the power to exercise this right over bishops and limit such jurisdiction, when the Vatican Council has decreed that “The Roman Pontiff has the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals but also in those things which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church,” (DZ 1831). Those who count as only illicit the ministrations of Traditionalists must ask themselves: Do I accept papal teaching in its entirety, believing all the popes, St. Peter through Pius XII, have taught concerning divine revelation, without reservation? Because THAT is the true measure of a Catholic.

T. Benns

Does Gerry Matatics respect his fellow Catholic writers?

(With an evaluation of Matatics’ BOB/BOD stand)


+ St. Raymond Nonnatus +

Dear Readers,

In 2007, I noticed that the title of what I felt was a rather important article I had written and distributed on the internet from 2005 on was being used by Gerry Matatics to launch one of his popular CD series, (proof of this available on request). I was somewhat taken aback, since I do not expect fellow Catholics to trade on the works of others, especially when it involves a profit making venture. But following Catholic principles, I simply gave him the benefit of the doubt, thinking he might have read it somewhere, forgot it and later thought it was his own idea. More recently, an acquaintance casually mentioned that he thought Matatics was using my work as the background for his CDs, but this would be hard to prove. And even given the above, I was loathe to believe that someone presenting as a true Catholic would behave in this way.

Flash back to the present, and last week I opened my email to see the title of one of my site pages (Catacomb Catholics) heading up an article on Matatics site and in the subject line of his email, (see /catacomb-catholics/). I also found paraphrased in this email a point taken from one of my own articles, minus any attribution — a violation of journalistic ethics. Now I know one cannot copyright titles, phrases and slogans, but again, this is not a civil matter but a matter of Catholic ethics and professional courtesy. Use of my own titles also could imply, in the minds of some, permission to use them and concurrence in belief on what is written. But I want to make it perfectly clear here that this is not the case. There are several points on which I disagree with Matatics, and while I have not addressed these publicly, perhaps it is time that I did.

One of the most concerning matters is the totally false representation of the Church’s teaching on Baptism of Blood/Desire, presented by Matatics as follows. “Some of these websites take too unacceptably liberal a view of this dogma (“outside the Church no salvation”), holding, for example, that those who do not profess the Catholic Faith could still be saved — despite the clear teaching of the Athanasian Creed and infallible papal pronouncements to the contrary,” ( As repeatedly stated on my website, this is NOT a liberal view and is in fact the teaching of the Church from antiquity. If Matatics is distributing apologetic literature on CD and conducting lectures and debates he should know this.

It seems that the “outside the Church no salvation” controversy has reached a crescendo recently in different venues. There has been increased traffic to the website on this issue lately, but I will not address these people publicly because they deny Church teaching. It has been reported that so virulent are the attacks on the true position — that Baptism of Blood and Desire do exist as infallible Church teaching — that some even have privately suggested burning the 1917 Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Council of Trent in protest on account of the “errors” on EENS in these works. This is where “rad Trad” teaching leads — straight to the destruction of the magisterium. Once again Christ is wounded in the very house of those who were supposed to love Him.

As I have said too many times to count, the cause of all this is the total rejection of papal authority in all areas and refusal even by those proclaiming to be homealone (many of whom, unfortunately, hold the Feeneyite position) to accept papal teaching as binding, even when it is not considered infallible. A secondary cause is the failure of those attempting to present the Catholic faith to others to employ the Scholastic method required by the Church, using proofs primarily from Holy Scripture, the popes, the ancient Fathers and councils, then canon law and approved theologians. The rejection of BOB/BOD is a perfect example of this. The Church defined the true sense of EENS in Mystici Corporis Christi and Suprema haec sacra, but the debate goes on, as though any layperson can gainsay the popes. Oh but wait; the next thing is that they are not popes, clear back to the convening of the Council of Trent, where these “errors” were first taught, right? I have a suggestion: Go back to the Protestant sects where you all belong. There are no popes to worry about there.

As for Catholic ethics and professionalism, it only behooves those presenting such noble truths to behave in a manner that speaks well of the Church and reflects the age-old courtesies and respect existing, or that should exist, among the servants of God. Even the Novus Ordo Catholic Press Association Code of Ethics proscribes “the intentional appropriation and use of another’s work, whether in print or on an Internet site, as this violates basic principles of journalism [and] is a failure of justice…Attribute material from other newspapers and other media.” By using the work of others to promote our own agenda, we cheapen the idea of Catholic truth. We also give others the impression that we are so intellectually destitute we cannot formulate catchy phrases and imposing titles or copy of our own, and so desperate to make a profit we care not who we step on to do it.

In defense of the Faith,

T. Benns

Three new articles on Cum ex… and more


+ St. Louis, King of France +

Dear Readers,

It is fitting that at this point we release a long awaited translation of the late Professor Carlos Disandro’s preface and introduction to Pope Paul IV’s 1559 bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, translated thanks to the generosity of a dear friend. Disandro knew in 1987 what we are only learning today about Pope Paul IV’s bull, and his translation and commentary are essential contributions to the continuing research into this papal document. We also are posting Inter Multiplices, Pope St. Pius V’s motu proprio confirmation of Cum ex… I have taken the liberty to annotate both these documents and believe that Professor Disandro, a dear friend, would not object. We think these translations will help provide much–needed perspective into why Paul IV’s bull is the only real answer to resolving the problems facing us today.

In addition to confirming Pope Paul IV’s Bull, Inter Multiplices infallibly decrees that when there is any doubt concerning whether or not certain individuals are laboring under the censure of heresy or schism, even if a previous pope granted absolution from these censures, or a future pope should grant them, they are null and void and these individuals are to be tried again. The Church gives no quarter where heretics and schismatics are concerned. Let’s just say that when the Church is restored, the ecclesiastical court calendar will be booked solid for years. (See the Free Content site, Most Recent Articles for both of these new posts).

Terrified children need soothing fairy tales to make the bogey men go away, and that is what the ones concocting these theories have spun for them. In the happily ever after world of Traddie land, no one is a heretic, no one ever loses their office, the Mass and Sacraments are never taken away, the Antichrist is projected far into the future and in the end, the good guys don’t run the bad man out of Dodge — the bad man exchanges his black hat for a white one and High Noon never happens, (material-formal scenario). If this is reality, then Traditionalists do not live in the same world as the rest of us. Name one such successful transformation in recent history; it can’t be named, because it doesn’t exist. And no, I don’t believe that Russia is no longer a Communist country; it simply no longer appears to be one. Sound familiar?

Also new to the Most Recent Articles list on the Free Content site is a long overdue article on integralism. This will explain the Traditionalist disconnect and why so many hide out in Traditionalist chapel groups to avoid being tagged as religious fanatics. (Good thing our Lord was not so inclined.)

In the future, to answer the continuing questions of how a true pope can be elected, we also will publish an article explaining that while this may have been possible early in the throes of the Great Apostasy, we now must rely on God’s mercy and a miracle to resolve the interregnum. We believe this is a test of our faith and belief in His unfailing promises. As such we pray fervently He shorten the times, ever bending our will to His.


T. Benns

Integralism, Modernism and Traditionalism

© Copyright 2015, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)


In articles on this site there has been frequent mention of the pre-conditioning of the clergy and faithful that took place several decades before the advent of the neo-Modernism that resurged among once Catholic bishops and priests to destroy the juridical Church. Those who read these articles consistently will realize that if the destruction of the ”juridical Church” is mentioned, it is always in conjunction with the continued existence of the “Mystical Body of Christ.” For the Church Christ founded on earth could never fail nor has it failed — it is only the exterior façade of that Church that has temporarily disappeared with its earthly head, as Holy Scripture foretold. Yet Christ is the true head of the Church, of His Mystical Body, and the main timbers and foundation stones that were His Church are still intact, awaiting reconstruction at a future date and reunion with its visible head. The only Apostle Christ ever vested with infallibility was St. Peter and his successors, and Catholics must fix this idea firmly in their heads. Because the reason Catholic thinking today is so irremediably skewed is precisely because of the preconditioning of their parents and grandparents mentioned above, a subtle deviation from the true faith that eroded the authority of the papacy and filtered down to those who later would witness Vatican 2. And that un-Catholic pre-conditioning accounts for the inability of Traditionalists to appreciate the fact that they are not behaving as Catholics today because their progenitors ceased being truly Catholic, without their knowledge, long ago.

Religious narcissism

It was author Will Herberg in the mid-1950s, (“Protestant, Catholic, Jew,” 1955) who chronicled the amalgamation of American religious sects of every stripe into an indifferent sort of civic religion, something he believed was already very much in evidence. His work demonstrated that already at that time, the Americanist mindset that we see among both Novus Ordo and Traditionalist Catholics was already in place and that religion, as Herberg said, was one based on man’s needs, not God’s due. He and even those touted as Catholic scholars such as Fr. Bruce Vawter, (in an article written for “The Commonweal” in 1964), called this state religiosity — a “caricature of religion,” projecting religious practice without religious conviction. “It is not man who serves God but God who is mobilized and made to serve man… a religiousness without religion, a way of… belonging rather than a way of reorienting life to God…religiousness without real inner conviction,” Herberg wrote. And it should be added here that in the case of Catholics, it is religiousness without the benefit of that knowledge of dogma concerning the truths of faith, more necessary to the Catholic by far than “Mass and Sacraments,” if they wish to practice what Christ imparted to His Apostles while on earth.

Herberg describes the then evolving Judaeo-Christian religious consciousness of his time as a sort of “religious naricissism,” where “the church becomes a kind of emotional service station to relieve us of our worries.” (Whatever happened to working out our salvation “in fear and trembling”?) He quoted Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle of Washington on this problem as follows: “At first glance, piety [religiosity] seems to be everywhere, [but many persons appear to be] turning to religion as they would to a benign sedative to soothe their minds and settle their nerves.” In other words what O’Boyle and Herberg were viewing was the beginning of the Great Apostasy, a gradual slipping away from the Catholic faith occurring quietly over many years as a result of the misidentification of a “blind religious feeling” as faith itself. And the descent into neo-Modernism that they observed was initiated, in the “Catholic progressive” sphere, by the Modernists of the “new theology,” who destroyed the unity of faith by attacking the integral truths Christ bequeathed to His Church. And the destruction did not stop there. The enemies of the Church used mental conditioning to reshape the psyches of their followers and induce “floating” states that makes the intellect vulnerable to truly diabolical manipulation, even possession.

Ironically, even modern-day descriptions of narcissistic behavior fit the Traditionalist mindset and approach. Many of the people who challenge what is posted on this site correspond to the narcissistic profiles found on psychology sites. They are quick to criticize and name-call, and in fact rush in to verbally crush their opponents even without provocation. They can be shown any number of theological proofs, proofs which according to the laws and teachings of the very Church they claim membership in prove them wrong. But they will never admit they have erred or become heretics or schismatics and they refuse to produce proofs of their own from the continual magisterium demonstrating what they are doing is Catholic. They twist to suit their own purposes whatever is written or spoken and if that is not sufficient they simply lie, to themselves as well as others, as narcissists do. Their sense of entitlement (to Mass and Sacraments, also their pseudo-clerical guru of the moment) is so compelling that they will happily choose their needs over love of God and obedience to Him, comitting sacrilege rather than deprive themselves of their narcissistic supply. Just as the narcissist manipulates and cruelly torments those s/he loves, Traditionalist narcissists claim they love our Lord, yet crucify Him once again. In short, they are not only brainwashed by their cultistic mentors but suffer from a frightening mental condition as well. And the game goes on.

Progressivism vs. Integralism

In describing the Machiavellian battle waged between these two opposing forces in the Church prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, one Internet author writing for Unam Sanctam (not a recommended site) identifies those forces as liberal progressivism (the new theology) and “restorationist” integralism, (a return to the pre-1959 Church). In reality, these two opposing forces are explained by Pope St. Pius X in his condemnation of the Modernists, Pascendi Dominici Gregis. There he teaches that the evolution of the Church promoted by Modernists is comprised of Tradition as a conserving force and another force, tending to progress. It is Tradition which holds together the Church, and religious authority which must protect Tradition (p. 75 of St. Pius X’s “Pascendi…” as presented in “A Catechism of Modernism” by Rev. J. B. Lemius). The Modernists believed the laity must advocate for progress as their consciences dictate and a compromise must be reached with authority. (Shades of Lefebvrism!) For as the Pope also notes, concerning the reform of the liturgy, “the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head.” In other words, as long as Traditionalists want and need the Sacraments in the context of the Latin Tridentine and their vagrant clergy, this is just fine with the Modernists. Traditionalists operate outside of authority and in contradiction of its established norms, and therefore pose no threat. In the end all will be reunited and allowed to follow their own preferences.

Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton explains why integralism is a deterrent to modernism, not, as some Traditionalists believe today, an equally dangerous aberration of the religious “right.” In 1948 he wrote: “[The Catholic unfamiliar with modernism] might possibly come to the dangerously false conclusion that modernism and integralism, as we know them, are two contrary false doctrines, one, as it were to the left, and the other to the right, of genuine Catholic teaching. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth. Modernism, in the technical language of Catholic doctrine, is the name applied to the definite series of errors condemned in the decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, and in the motu proprio Sacra Antistitum. Pope Pius X spoke of Modernism as the ‘conglomeration of all heresies.’ Integralism, on the other hand, is essentially the teaching or the attitude of those who worked for the presentation of an integral Catholicism, of Catholic dogma set forth accurately and in its entirety. Most frequently the name of integralism was applied to the doctrine and the viewpoint of those Catholic writers who entered into controversy against the modernists during the first decade of the present century. Understood in this fashion, integralism was nothing else than the contradiction of heretical modernism. It was thus basically only the exposition of Catholic truth,”

(The American Ecclesiastical Review, “Two Currents in Contemporary Catholic Thought”).

In a later article on integralism for The American Ecclesiastical Review, (“Integralism and Reform,” February 1952), Msgr. Fenton reviews Rev. Yves Congar’s comments in his book “The Church,” concerning Catholic integralists. Congar describes integralists as those who “proceed from an attitude of the right,’ which stresses ‘the determination of things by way of authority…It is instinctively for what is done and defined, and what has only to be imposed and received.’” Fenton comments: “The religious proposition of the integralists is also represented as characterized by a rigidity of doctrine. All that this expression would seem to mean is a resistance to any teaching which the integralist regards as involving a change in Catholic doctrine. Certainly there can be little to stigmatize in this attitude. And just as certainly the designation of the activity of the integralists under these terms makes it difficult to see how Fr. Congar can believe that theirs is not a primarily doctrinal position,” and here Fenton reminds Congar that it was these very integralists who fought the Modernists in Pope St. Pius X’s time.

The Unam Sanctam author notes in his article: “What [neo-Modernists] have forgotten is that the Church is fundamentally understood as a Body, and in a Body, there is nothing extrinsic. Sure, there are members of more or less centrality. A man can still live with no fingers, but he cannot live with no head.” He describes a process that little by little changed everything that could be changed, including the systematic dismembering of that Body to the point that it left the Church, as She once existed, unable to function. This was at first attributed to the nouvelle theologiens (new theologians) in the Church, the author notes, a clever change of terms that avoids identification with the Modernists while still conveying the idea of novelty or newness — something conservatives rightly disparaged as always condemned by the Church and liberalized Catholics endorsed as an opportunity to bring doctrine into sync with “the times.” But as Pope Pius X taught in the oath against Modernism: “I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously.”

“New theologians” and the jurisdiction controversy

A prime example of this practice of adapting dogma to suit “the times” or the “needs of the people” by the new theologians is seen in Rev. Francis Miaskiewicz’s Canon Law thesis “Supplied Jurisdiction According to Canon 209,” (Catholic University of America, 1940), where he goes into the problems surrounding the interpretive and ignorance theories and explains why they were not tenable, even then. He refutes the canonist Rev. James Kelly for his erroneous views on common error re the “interpretative theory” as regards supplied jurisdiction. Kelly cites the Jesuit canonists Wernz-Vidal as sharing his opinion, and the canon law commentary written by these two Jesuits is favored by a good number of Traditionalists, although Miaskiewicz says Wernz-Vidal do not share Kelly’s opinion. Miaskiewicz writes: “Once there was a public fact that could lead others into error, [these men teach] common error is already present …[This] reflects an attempt on their part to close a gap in logic without the aid of a logical connecting link,” (pg. 139). “If any and all jurisdictional activity is to be considered as valid because of the verification of common ignorance, what jurisdictional act could ever be considered as invalid? The difficulties of the interpretive theory are difficulties resulting from an attempt to break away from a traditionally accepted doctrine. They are difficulties which border closer and closer upon pure absurdity according as the individual authors venture to reduce common error to greater and greater insignificance. And it must be said that for such veering away from the traditional concept no limit can properly be set, precisely because it seems that the interpretive school has substituted its personal feeling of how they would want the law to be interpreted for the ordinary legal and objective norms which the law maintains must be followed…” As will be duly noted below, it is precisely the ignorance of Traditionalists these Modernists fed upon so eagerly, and nothing is more indicative of the Modernist mindset than their reliance on feelings versus clear facts and traditional Church teaching as the basis for their own opinions and conclusions.

While failing to identify the progressive/conservative struggle as an actual process used by the Modernists to facilitate change, as Pope Pius X taught, the author of the Unam Sanctam article continues to describe the “diabolic” watering down of doctrine in precisely the manner suggested by Fenton. What his description amounts to is actually the desired synthesis or alchemic dilution of dogma by Communist means: thesis, antithesis synthesis. The author describes this dilution process as follows: “It became common in the 1940’s and 1950’s to attach the label ‘integralism’ to those who favored the strict approach of Pius X and who still refused to accept the regime of pluralistic liberal democracy. Progressive Modernism was still acknowledged as heretical, but condemned, but the nouvelle theologiens also began trotting out critiques of an ‘integralist’ counter-reaction which went too far in the other direction and was not a suitable response to the demands of modern man.” This we see in Msgr. Fenton’s article addressing Congar above. In other words, integralism, in order to be successfully demonized later, had to be managed and properly channeled. It found its supposed outlet in Traditionalism, but the adherence to the dogmas essential to the true meaning of the word were missing in Traditional practice. At best it was a selective adherence to some dogmas only, at the expense of minimizing or ignoring others.

Eventually integralism would be anathematized as “radical” and its proponents as fanatics; this happened to Msgr. Fenton when he was relieved of his duties at the Catholic University of America in the 1960s. Once the false Vatican 2 council was concluded, then progressivism in the Church was given full sway. When progressivism receded somewhat during the reign of JP2, something the Unam Sanctam author calls “evangelical” Catholicism emerged among the Novus Ordo crowd to replace integralism, as if this was possible. The real struggle was one of obedience to the continual magisterium; as one writer categorized it, progressives denied authority and integralists fought to uphold it, something the writer portrayed as two undesirable extremes. This was the real motive behind the synthesis; the dismantling of authority, as Fenton was well aware. But the supposition that Traditionalists could be identified with integralism was false. Traditionalists recognized no authority other than their priests and the occasional bishop; they fostered all the goals and beliefs of Modernism. The Modernists used the movement as their necessary antithesis, and that was all. In order to avoid the appearance of radicalism, they shunned the strict observance of dogma to maintain their very existence, for dogma required them to continue their operations only if they were headed by a canonically elected pope. This was the very essence of Herberg’s religiosity — the appearance of religion without its substance.

Why Modernism made a comeback

In retrospect, what happened was exactly what those who orchestrated the demise of the Church was hoping would happen. Thanks in great part to the attitude of Lefebvre, that true popes may be severely criticized and chastised while yet regarded as popes; also with the creation of several laughable Traditionalist antipopes, authority became a joke, and the popes became second-class potentates that Traditonalists could either ignore or function without. What remained was a deep-seated distrust of all authority, consistent with the anti-establishment sentiments of the 1960s and 70s. And those promoting the new theology were only too happy to allow the rising anti-authority tide in the secular sphere to carry them to where they wished to go. That this anti-authority stance was nothing else but the revival of Modernism as described in St. Pius X’s Pascendi did not escape the likes of Msgr. Fenton and a scant few others, who stepped in to defend integralism. But Fenton would only later discover, as his diaries testify, that the damage had been done beforehand in the development of religiosity and Americanism, aided and abetted by his arch-foe John Courtney Murray. In part, at least, the success of Modernism’s reoccurrence can be laid at the door of the herd mentality and agnostic atmosphere of public schools, which half of Catholics in the country attended then. But that is only in part.

The other part is the abysmal and seemingly voluntary ignorance evidenced by the majority of Catholics where dogma is concerned. This was another concern raised by Pope St. Pius X during his reign — the catechization of the faithful. This pope said in Pascendi: “[Concerning] the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first one which presents itself, and the chief one, is ignorance.” And no wonder, for already in 1905, he had written in Acerbo Nimis: “It is a common complaint, unfortunately too well founded, that there are large numbers of Christians in our own time who are entirely ignorant of those truths necessary for salvation. And when we mention Christians, We refer not only to the masses or to those in the lower walks of life — We refer to those especially who do not lack culture or talents and, indeed, are possessed of abundant knowledge regarding things of the world but live rashly and imprudently with regard to religion. It is hard to find words to describe how profound is the darkness in which they are engulfed and, what is most deplorable of all, how tranquilly they repose there…The Council of Trent, treating of the duties of pastors of souls, decreed that their first and most important work is the instruction of the faithful,and yet Traditionalist clergy would have you believe it is providing the faithful with Mass and Sacraments! Pope St. Pius X ordered bishops to see that priests instructed both adults and children in their catechisms weekly, but this command was generally ignored. And Modernists were only too happy to fill the void.

Had the bishops seen to it that the pastors faithfully carried out these instructions, there would not have been so many uneducated Catholics in the 1950s, unaware of what was happening to their Church. But the bishops, even then, were not obeying the pope, or were lax in such obedience. Later the dire shortage of priests forced Popes Pius XI and Pius XII to recruit catechists from the laity and encourage the laity to become involved in Catholic Action. But rather than address the woeful lack of doctrinal knowledge St. Pius X describes, many of those who should have engaged in Catholic Action to promote dogmatic teaching instead promoted liturgical renewal and ecumenical activities, something Pope Pius XII warned about on several occasions. A love of novelty and brotherhood was afoot and it could be traced to the secret influence of those Modernists within the Church itself, aided and abetted by Freemasons and Communists outside the Church, who silently infiltrated learning and teaching institutions following the death of Pope St. Pius X. Thanks to the war years and the disruption this caused at all levels, priests and bishops promoting Modernist ideas were able to float just far enough below the radar to remain undetected and stay out of trouble. By the time they triumphantly emerged, the damage was done.

During this time period, Catholic children attended Catholic schools, their parents attended Church-sponsored lectures and retreats, they read Catholic publications and little by little the liberal/Modernist poison was disseminated, as Herberg documented, into the body Catholic. Rather than suspect a new offensive by the Modernists on the spiritual front, Catholics who saw the lax attitude of the clergy and questioned the new theology were given a political reason for what they were experiencing: the Communists were making inroads into the clergy, an answer that fit in perfectly with the Cold War that America was then waging. Catholic Action became little more than a Catholic demand for equality on a social level, both at the secular and Church level. Rather than concentrating on studying papal documents in Catholic Action circles that dealt with truths of faith, Catholics preoccupied with trying to make a living wage to support their families or inching up a notch on the social ladder concentrated instead on the many social encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII and their emphasis on the social order and the working man.

This demonstrates Catholics’ indifference to the teaching of Leo’s predecessor Pope Pius IX, who condemned Modernism’s forerunner, liberalism, in his Syllabus as well as some Modernist principles in their infancy. These condemnations included the notion that Divine revelation is imperfect and must be subject to progress (DZ 1705); that all men are free to choose their own religion (DZ 1715) and that the Church has no right to teach that Catholicism is the only true religion (DZ 1721); that there is good hope for salvation of those not Catholic, (DZ 1718); the Church is to be separated from the state, and the state from the Church (DZ 1755); it is false that civil liberties granting the exercise of every idea and opinion leads to the corruption of minds and morals and eventually to indifferentism, (DZ 1779) and finally that the Roman Pontiff should adapt himself to progress, liberalism and modern times, (DZ 1780). And if they referenced the Syllabus at all, it was to argue in favor of the Americanist interpretation of these teachings.

All the above can be seen as what later became the basis for ecumenism and the successful Americanization of Catholics in this country as chronicled by Herberg. The secular community replaced the Catholic community, allowing the participation of Catholics but only according to democratic principles. The community movement, still very much in vogue now, was not identified, (as it should have been by wary Catholics), with the “commune” principles of Communism, from whence it really sprang. Today it is known as communitarianism, the new and accepted word for Communism. What happened to the Church globally in the 1960s had been condemned only 100 years prior in the 1860s. The new church classified the above errors as not binding on Catholics, even though the preamble to the Syllabus clearly states that these “errors of our age” were initially condemned in encyclicals, constitutions and the bull, Quanta Cura. The Freemasons and Modernists picked up the ball with the Syllabus’ last condemned proposition, (DZ 1780), and ran with it. The next century would be devoted to undermining the Church from within, in order to form the clergy necessary to bring about the election of the “pontiff” open to their designs, per the instructions of the Alta Vendita. Their first near-victory was the attempted election of suspected Freemason Cardinal Mariano Rampolla in 1903, a loss that set them back over 50 years.

Traditionalists’ parents and grandparents instructed in Modernism

Their next incursion into the ranks of the clergy was far more calculated and almost impossible to detect, and for that reason it was all the more lethal. They hid under the cover of war and social unrest, and their operations were often attributed to their Communist and Masonic allies. By the time the smoke cleared in the late 1940s, many of them were already in the drivers’ seat as parish priests, bishops, religious superiors, cardinals and Vatican officials. The young adults living then and the children born to them, who came under the tutelage of these men, were ripe for the picking. Already Novus Ordo-style masses had been offered in Germany and France, beginning in the 1920s. Pope Pius XII was forced to condemn false notions of the Church in Mystici Corporis, errors taught concerning the liturgy in Mediator Dei, anti-scholastic, anti-magisterial trends among theologians in Humani Generis and clarified Church teaching concerning lay participation in Church affairs in other papal documents. The ecumenical movement Pius XII condemned as antiquarianism continued to gather steam in the 1950s, and finally met with success under John 23rd. The black paganism he warned against, a paganism more sinister that its precursor because it worshipped the gods of self, Hollywood and the political realm, pervaded Catholic ranks.

How, exactly, did these insidious errors become an actual part of Catholic teaching even before the death of Pope Pius XII? Part of the problem has been attributed to a softening of the content in some of the catechisms and theological manuals, where the treatment of authority, infallibility, doctrinal development, salvation outside the Church, the ordinary magisterium, and other truths of faith were concerned. Many point to seminarians not properly screened by their bishops who should never have become priests, and whose formation left much to be desired. Why the doctrinal decline began is not as important as the fact that it actually happened, for whatever reason. And there is no doubt that it did happen and can be proven to have happened. As St. Pius X illustrates in Pascendi, the errors of the Modernists can be seen to correspond without fail to nearly every “hitch” in Traditional belief. We have to realize that at the time those who were infected with this heresy were learning their “faith,” they believed it to truly BE Catholicism, as taught to them prior to the reign of the antipopes beginning with John 23rd. They did not realize that what they were imbibing was not the true faith. This is why they keep insisting they are Catholics.

And these same people then passed these errors from generation to generation, believing they were passing on Catholicism. The Traditionalist priests and lay leaders who sought out those who departed from the Novus Ordo in the 1960s and 1970s knew they were dealing with people who did not base their beliefs on the doctrinal content of their faith but instead on their social and emotional needs, just as Herberg described in his work. If these “clerics” had not possessed Modernist leanings themselves they would have known Canon Law and Church teaching on jurisdiction, and when their jurisdiction expired, or they learned they could no longer provide Mass and Sacraments, they would have explained this to the faithful, but none did. And because none of them did, and Catholics truly believed they were able to function, they also believed that this must be in keeping with Church law and teaching. Owing to a false idea of authority originating in the error of fideism, they believed they were not obligated themselves to figure things out. But Christ would scarcely have warned them to beware of false shepherds and hirelings had He not expected them to be able to successfully identify them.

Eventually those who had recently left the Novus Ordo became wary of the Traditionalist movement in the 1970s, but even these Catholics fell into their traps. Some groups over-emphasized the part played by the Jews in destroying the Church, others relied on “older priests” validly ordained, but who had been excommunicated nonetheless for communicatio in sacris and could not function, and others who, even at that early date, embraced the material-formal mindset. Because of a Catholic education devoid of the proper emphasis on the teachings of the Roman Pontiff, but especially because they ultimately felt betrayed and abandoned by the hierarchy, they relied more on the teachings of older theologians, some of these not sound themselves, and took the defensive versus the offensive stance, bouncing off every new development issuing from Rome. Neither those actively involved with the Traditionalists nor those on the sidelines seemed to particularly worry about the fact that they themselves might be laboring under excommunication for once attending the Novus Ordo or Eastern rite services, or perhaps even resorting to the Orthodox or Old Catholics.

Chapel-goers didn’t worry because they just knew in their heart (Lemius, p. 38) that God would never be so cruel as to deprive them of their Mass and Sacraments, or make it impossible for them to avail themselves of these means of grace. Forget the fact that God had done exactly that in previous times, in the case of people very likely more deserving of His mercy than this perverse generation; or that Holy Scripture tells us He will allow Antichrist to take away the Holy Sacrifice. These people exhibited the entitlement syndrome so common today; psychologically speaking, the very prerequisite necessary to the diagnosis of “religious narcissism” described by Herberg. They were quick to invoke their “right” to these means of grace, and totally indifferent to the fact that in order to merit these rights, they had corresponding obligations. One prominent champion of the Latin Tridentine Mass, a man revered for his orthodoxy, told a friend in the early days that without the Mass to attend he feared he would lose his faith. If faith was such a fragile thing, even for those who professed it most vocally, then the nourishment required to make it strong and resilient had been lacking for some time previously. Pope St. Pius X tells us there were many lay Catholics, also priests who secretly embraced Modernism in the early 20th century, and that their entire purpose was to destroy the Church, (p. 14, 32). So it only stands to reason that after the first blows dealt by Pope St. Pius X, they lay low for a time, only to rise again with a vengeance when the Popes were distracted by war.

Errors Modernists and Traditionalists have in common

The Italian bishop, Geremia Bonomelli of Cremona, wrote an excellent treatise on the necessity of both interior and exterior devotion in the early 20th century, outlining the very symptoms of Modernism most noticeable among Traditionalists exiting the Novus Ordo in the 1960s-70s. He explained that interior devotion is prayer said silently with meditation and spiritual reading. Exterior devotion is public or vocal prayer, Sunday devotions, and singing. But, Bonomelli cautioned, these two methods “must not be considered as separate or separable things, but only distinct from each other…Exterior worship is derived from interior devotion. Both are a necessity and a duty of man towards God…but interior worship comes first in order of time and intrinsic value; exterior worship comes second in both these respects,” (“On Religious Worship,” 1906, B. Herder publishers). Pope Pius X notes in Pascendi that this attachment to the exterior part of religion is only Americanism, which stresses the need for action, (Lemius, p. 110), and this is exactly the point made by Herberg in his work, (see pg. 1 above). The pope condemns the following Modernist errors, also taken from Lemius’ work.

  • The “need for the divine,” which Modernists confuse with the faith, (p. 25).
  • The “double need” (p. 59), the first of these being “giving some [external] manifestation for religion;” the second, “is that of propagating it, which could not be done with some sensible form and consecrating acts, and these are called Sacraments.” Pope St. Pius X points out that the notion the Sacraments fostered and strengthened the faith is condemned by the Council of Trent, (DZ 848).
  • The belief that they may choose democratically what to believe or not believe in way of dogma and may even critique it; their pretended obedience to doctrine and acceptance of papal authority, (p. 69-70).
  • They have no use for logic or scholasticism, (pgs. 123-25).
  • The identification of Tradition with whatever Catholics hold in way of a “common mind” or collective experience of what went before (false “sensus catholicus,” p. 63-76). We read in the Catholic Encyclopedia under Tradition: “Tradition, in the double meaning of the word… is Divine truth coming down to us in the mind of the Church and it is the guardianship and transmission of this Divine truth by the organ of the living magisterium, by ecclesiastical preaching, by the profession of it made by all in the Christian life.”
  • Modernists use Traditionalists’ perceived need for the Mass and Sacraments to make it appear they are conserving Tradition while paying lip service to authority, (p. 75).
  • The laity must advocate for progress (or conservation) as their consciences dictate and a compromise must be reached with authority, (p. 75). This will accomplish the desired synthesis.
  • Traditionalists’ operation outside of authority and in contradiction of its established norms is to be used as a way to facilitate their eventual reabsorption into the Novus Ordo, where they will be allowed to celebrate their Latin Mass and follow their own preferences, (p. 76). The material pope theorists are currently working for this reunion.
  • Traditionalists regarded dogma so lightly and believed it should be adaptable to the circumstances (p. 38-39) because they were imbued with the false idea of being able to choose what to believe from among these dogmas, (p. 64-65). This is the democratic idea of governance by the people, versus accepting without question what the Supreme Pontiff teaches as Christ’s Vicar on earth.
  • The Modernists ignore the condemnations of the Church, (p. 103). They come to each other’s aid when attacked, and vent their fury on those who defend Catholic dogma, (pgs. 128-29). They are incorrigible and refuse to desist from their heresy, (pgs. 15, 17).
  • “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,” (p. 128-29). That describes to a “T” what Traditionalists have done for years regarding this site and the articles published here.


Pope St. Pius X did not hesitate to point out that the Modernists chief aim was to remove the magisterium and destroy the Church. And it was the Modernists’ presentation of Mass and Sacraments divorced from the “guardianship and transmission of this Divine truth [Tradition] by the organ of the living magisterium,” (Catholic Encyclopedia) that convinced ignorant Catholics following them they need no longer worry about obeying anyone other than these priests. By dividing the Mass and Sacraments from the necessity of the papacy and obedience to papal teaching; by communicating in worship with those not in communion with Rome, “Traditionalists” successfully gutted the faith of Tradition and retained only its external practices, demolishing the very integralism necessary for the Church’s survival. Stay-at-home advocates have not said it; those teaching with Church approval said it shortly before it became a reality. No Traditionalist can ever explain away their ignorance of the true meaning of Tradition and their open invitation to unlawful pastors to minister to them in violation of Church law and teaching. What we hear in way of objections to our “rigid” stance is exactly what Msgr. Fenton pointed out in 1952 as the claim of the new-theology advocate Yves Congar: “The religious proposition of the integralists is…represented as characterized by a rigidity of doctrine. All this expression would seem to mean is a resistance to any teaching which the integralist regards as involving a change in Catholic doctrine.” What Traditionalists claim about this site and stay-at-home Catholics is no different, then, than what Congar accused the “integralists” of in 1952, as reported by Msgr. Fenton.

Traditionalists have not yet tumbled to the fact that their Modernist non-clergy have used them as dupes to perpetuate the Modernist agenda all these years by falsifying the true teaching of the Church concerning Tradition. And stay-at-home Catholics may only now realize that what they have been fighting in trying to reach their separated brethren is something that was transmitted to them by parents and grandparents as THE Catholic faith decades ago, when in fact it was Modernism all along.

Many tears have been shed, families split apart, friends lost because of this insidious disease deliberately spread by closet progressives. And unfortunately Pope St. Pius X had little hope for the return of those who succumbed to the Modernist mindset, commenting in Pascendi that they are not easily deterred and prefer to continue on their chosen path: “Their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds…this almost destroys all hope of a cure… [But] it may be they have persuaded themselves that they are really serving God and the Church.” Having seen the destruction wrought by their accursed intransigence, however, and the feeble hope of repairing the damage done, it is difficult to believe that today. At least we know now why they are so unlikely to convert and that rather than fear they are a product of our own shortcomings, we can lay their loss up to those “serpents in the bosom of the Church” as Pope St. Pius X described them. The only question left to answer is this: now that the real problem has been identified, will they continue to cling to their Modernist errors, as Pope St. Pius X feared, or will they finally depart from them, knowing their origin?

“Forgive them Father…” for truly, “they know not what they do.”


Pope St. Pius V’s Inter Multiplices Confirms Cum ex…

Pope St. Pius V’s MOTU PROPRIO Inter Multiplices

(Dec. 21, 1566)

 Among the manifold cares that continuously affect our mind, the foremost is, as it should be, that the Church of God — entrusted to Us from on high and cleansed to the greatest degree possible of all heresies after the total removal of perverse teachings founded on erroneous opinions — be able to serve safely in Christ’s army and, like a ship on a calm sea, after all the tempestuous waves and storms have settled, sail without worry and reach the longed-for port of salvation. Therefore, while We, in our assignment at the Most Holy[1] Office of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, were dealing with matters in lesser affairs against heretical perversity, We learned at length from long custom and the teaching of experience that many indicted accused parties — parties who had been indicted even in the aforesaid Holy Office or elsewhere before a local bishop, parties who had been tried by inquisitors for heretical perversity and investigated for heretical perversity for causing false witnesses to be examined[2] in their defense, and who were enjoying the assistance and testimony of corroborating character witnesses[3] little informed of their life and teaching, and who, by various other illicit means, were deceiving and deluding through guileful justifications and roguery the aforesaid sacred Office of the Most Holy Inquisition, other judges, and even Roman Pontiffs — obtained or extracted, just as though they were innocent of the charges against them (1) definite declarations of absolution from the aforesaid judicial processes and inquisitions, (2) declaratory pronouncements of their life and teaching through a previous canonical clearance of a charge based on the oaths of others with respect to their presumed good and Catholic faith, or (3) decrees from the same Holy Office, from other ordinaries of places or delegates and inquisitors, and even from Roman Pontiffs who were our predecessors.

The aforementioned Roman Pontiffs confirmed these judicial pronouncements and decrees with the added imposition of permanent silence, along with a prohibition lest said Holy Office or other inquisitors might be able to or should go forward in respect to additional details. Also, moreover, the popes confirmed these pronouncements (a) by means of a summons to appear before the Roman Pontiff alone (under whose protection they were placed), (b) by means of other legal modifications, and (c) by the most legally effective provisos (some even nullifying), or (d) by other decrees, even by enhancing them in the form of a letter of indulgence. The pontiffs further confirmed these pronouncements through their several motu proprios and, in addition, through letters sent under the official seal or the ring of the Fisherman, even issued in consistory or in a consistorial manner.

Accordingly, the result was that the aforesaid investigated parties — under the cover and protection of the aforementioned declaratory pronouncements, Apostolic letters, and especially the force of a prohibitory proviso (made in secret against the inquisitors sitting in session) — never truly returned to the bosom of the Church, sometimes by even remaining openly steadfast in their old errors against the Catholic faith. Instead, by safely keeping company with others as Catholics, they were able to corrupt and infect the minds of those individuals and easily draw them into their own heretical opinions, to the not inconsequential scandal of all Christendom, and to the injury, ruin, and detriment of the aforesaid fallen souls.

  1. Desiring to confront this very dangerous and contagious scandal, to be mindful of and to provide for the salvation of the above-mentioned souls, to remove all the doubt and the disputes of legal experts and any impediments and obstacles by which the Holy Inquisition was hindered or delayed in any way whatsoever with regard to heretical perversity, by a like motu proprio, and based on Our established knowledge and on the fullness of Apostolic power, We declare, decree, establish, and ordain, by our Apostolic authority, that the following instruments have never been applicable nor in the future can be applicable to a decided case: (a) above all, each and every one whatsoever of the Apostolic letters under whatever form, including the afore cited and any judicial processes of heresy; (b) the motu proprios etc., including those issued in a consistorial manner and others howsoever derived; (c) likewise also the official attestations of the motu proprios and whatever other documents pertaining to the law and justice, which abate legal decisions; (d) similarly, the already mentioned letters in regard to the prosecutorial authority of the aforenamed Holy Office of the Inquisition and of other ordinary or appointed judges; (e) prohibitions and also repeals and whatever other provisos that open a loophole, insofar as they may be contrary to the inclination or the manner of procedure of the said Office.

We completely and perpetually revoke them, each and every one whatsoever by means of this Our universal constitution that will be valid perpetually. We include in our revocation those documents that confer absolution in instances of declared innocence, or those declaratory judgments issuing from a previous canonical clearance in any verbal form whatsoever, including definitive judgments and decrees incurred in favor of the same parties investigated and denounced by the afore cited Holy Office, by other ordinary and appointed judges, and even by the Roman Pontiffs, or those judgments and decrees that are to be imposed in the future even by Us and by our successor Popes in the course of time.

  1. In respect to the aforementioned judgments and decrees, albeit in accordance with Apostolic letters, even those in the form of an indulgence, including those renewed, and also those issued, confirmed or to be confirmed by several Roman Pontiffs, along with any legal modifications whatsoever, including nullifying or other provisos or decrees, as well as prohibitions and even canonical sanctions, We desire the contents of each and every one of them, and of others sent in advance, and of those thence to follow, to be considered as included expressly and totally in this present document, as if they were incorporated word for word, notwithstanding any others whatever acting to the contrary. Furthermore, by the same Apostolic authority, We, in like manner, wish and command, through the agency of the aforesaid Holy Office of the Holy Inquisition and the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church (our beloved present-day sons and those who will emerge over the course of time as inquisitors of heretical perversity, appointed now and in the course of time over said Office), that the same accused, denounced, and investigated individuals can and should be investigated and tried again, even if they were or are Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals of the same Holy Roman Church, Legates, including the highest ranking Papal Legates, Counts, Barons, Marquises, Dukes, Kings, and Emperors, both in respect to the past as well as recent times with regard to the same issues of law, the witnesses received or to be received, and other arguments, proofs, and evidence, according to the faculties in any way whatever given and conceded to the same Cardinal inquisitors by Us and by any of Our predecessors, and respectively to be given and conceded in the future by Our successors, the Roman Pontiffs, who emerge in the course of time, and by the Apostolic See (completely and wholly as well), just as if the aforementioned judgments, decrees, and Apostolic letters, including canonical clearances, had not been issued in favor of the aforesaid denounced, accused, and investigated persons, including Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Primates, Cardinals, Legates, Counts, Barons, Marquises, Dukes, Kings, and Emperors[4], especially where it would appear, by means of new, supervening evidence of the same or another species of heresy (including evidence relating to past time), and through other evidence, that the party had been absolved by illicit means before he had been denounced or investigated.

We grant to the same Cardinal inquisitors, appointed now and in the course of time over the Holy Office of the Holy Inquisition, the full, free, abundant, and complete faculty, power, and authority (a) of reviewing cases of this kind, including those decided by the authority of the Universal Ecumenical Council of Trent; and (b) of taking them up again under the status and terms in which they were howsoever found before the aforementioned judgments, decrees, including canonical clearances; and (c) of bringing them to a close by a proper settlement, just as in other pending undecided cases it may and usually does occur through the agency of the same Cardinals in accordance with their faculties.

  1. And closely following upon the footsteps of Our predecessor of happy memory Paul IV, We renew, in accordance with this motu proprio, the constitution against heretics and schismatics previously issued by the same predecessor Paul, namely the one dated at Rome at St. Peter’s[5], in the year of our Lord’s Incarnation, February 15, 1558 [sic][6], in the fourth year of his pontificate, and We also confirm it as inviolable and wish and command that it be observed to the letter, according to its contents and wording.

 Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, December 21, [1566,] in the first year [of Our pontificate].

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Editor’s Note: It should be noted here that during the reign of Pope Paul IV, Pope St. Pius V was well acquainted with Cardinal Giovanni Morone, imprisoned and placed on trial by Pope Paul IV as a heretic. Morone was charged with reading forbidden books and conspiring with other cardinals to reconcile the Catholic faith with Lutheranism. The Catholic Encyclopedia classifies him as a liberal. (It must be remembered that it was the Lutherans who first promoted the papal antichrist theory.) Pope Paul IV published two bulls; one on “engaging in intrigues to reach the pontificate” (Artaud de Montor, “Lives and Times of the Popes,”) on Dec. 16, 1558 and the other only two months later — Cum ex Apsotolatus Officio. De Montor tells us that St. Charles Borromeo so strongly approved of the 1558 bull that he “absolutely declined to talk about the future pope.” It should not be forgotten here that Roncalli, a suspected Modernist as a young priest, also campaigned for his election prior to Pope Pius XII’s death, (see the articles on Roncalli in the section on antipopes, Free Content page.)

The first bull was most likely written after Paul IV realized his health was failing, for he died the same year Cum ex…was written. Seeing that sympathy was mounting for Morone and support gathering for his exoneration and future election; knowing he would be a likely candidate, the pope took the appropriate precautions. (This provision can still be found today, reflected in Pope Pius XII’s papal election constitution Vacantis Apostolica Sedis.) When no verdict came in Morone’s trial, the pope realized there, too, the dangers it would pose to the Church should a man not cleared of heresy be elected. When Paul IV died, Morone, still a prisoner, was released to attend the conclave. At first he was one of three frontrunners, but ran full force into Cardinal Ghislieri, the future Pope St. Pius V. Of all people, Cardinal Hergenrother is reported to have written, in his “The History of the Popes,” (late 1800s) that Morone’s campaign was quashed by the intervention of Cardinal Ghislieri, who pointedly remarked that Morone’s election would be invalid owing to the question mark hanging over his orthodoxy.

Pope St. Pius V had good reason, then, to ratify Cum ex… Pope Pius IV may have exonerated Morone of all charges of heresy leveled by Pope Paul IV, yet Pope St. Pius V says in his motu proprio above that previous popes were deceived by men such as Morone, and the letters exonerating them, “even from Roman Pontiffs who were our predecessors,” were to be considered null and void. Clearly this was a vindication of Pope Paul IV’s suspicions of Morone by the saint who prevented his election as pope.

(This comment and all emphasis in Pope St. Pius V’s document was added by T. Stanfill Benns. Footnotes are by the translator.)

[1] The text reading sanctissime has been emended by translator to sanctissimi. Verified against Bullarum Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 7 (Turin, 1862).

[2] The text reading mandati has been emended by translator to mandari. Verified against Bullarum Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 7 (Turin, 1862).

[3] The Latin word, compurgator, technically means one of a group of neighbors called by the accused to swear that he was testifying truthfully. “Character witness” is an approximation since compurgators were not witnesses but oath takers who expressed their belief in the truthfulness of the accused’s testimony.

[4] The text reading Imperatorem has been emended by translator to Imperatorum. Verified against Bullarum Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 7 (Turin, 1862).

[5] The text reading Patrum has been emended by translator to Petrum. Verified against Bullarum Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 7 (Turin, 1862).

[6] Same year given in several different editions of the Bullarum. Other sources on the Internet give the year of Cum ex apostolatus as 1559. Lancelotti’s Bullarum prints Cum ex apostolatus with year of 1558 and a date of 16 (not 15 as in Inter multiplices) days before the Kalends of March, or February 14.