+St. Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr+

Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (70-167) was a disciple of Saint John. He wrote to the Philippians, exhorting them to mutual love and to hatred of heresy. When the apostate Marcion met Saint Polycarp at Rome, he asked the aged Saint if he knew him. “Yes,” Saint Polycarp answered, “I know you for the first-born of Satan.” These were the words of a Saint, most loving and most charitable, and specially noted for his compassion to sinners. He abhorred heresy, because he loved God and man so well.


We have seen here most recently that those upholding the right of Traditionalist bishops to function as valid must trample on infallible papal decrees in order to support their position. How did this come about and why is it so deeply entrenched that they cannot see their errors? It has already been pointed out that a certain element of fraud was involved in the mobilization and redirection of Catholics exiting Vatican 2, (such fraud as defined in Canons 103 and 104). But how was that fraud perpetrated? It was perpetrated because Catholics first believed those validly ordained and consecrated before the death of Pope Pius XII were still lawful pastors, when they were not. Most of them believed this because these men told them they still possessed jurisdiction, and in certain cases they may have for a time. But such jurisdiction quickly expired and when the faithful continued to believe they still possessed it, they simply never bothered to tell them they did not, and could no longer minister to them.

Next the priestly wannabes came along, those ordained under Lefebvre, Thuc and others. These men violated the laws of the Church in ordaining these unqualified aspirants to the priesthood and later consecrated some of them as bishops. According to Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) this rendered these ordinations/consecrations invalid, null and void.  But Lefebvre/Thuc et al never based any of their actions on papal teaching (while mouthing various papal decrees to their own benefit, especially Pope St. Pius V’s Quo Primum), nor advised the faithful of the existence of VAS, limiting what is to be done during an interregnum. They also allowed the faithful to believe these invalidly consecrated bishops had the power to rule them according to Church teaching, when Pope Pius XII’s Mystici Corporis, in this and many other parts an infallible decree, clearly states that only the pope himself can assign them this power. He restates this same teaching in several other documents which are binding on the faithful.

Then there was Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio (1559), an infallible bull retained in multiple canons of the 1917 Code of Canon Law regarding heresy. This bull has been dismissed, ignored, misinterpreted and maligned ever since it was first discovered. A popular recognize and resist site has recently misrepresented it once again as teaching a pope validly elected could fall into heresy, when a careful reading of this bull will show that no such thing was ever taught by Pope Paul IV. In fact the opposite is taught — Paul IV explains that no one who is a heretic prior to his election could ever become pope. The teaching in question reads: “Further, if ever at any time it becomes clear that any Bishop… or likewise any Roman Pontiff before his promotion or elevation as a Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has strayed from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy, then his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void.” This gives the lie to any other interpretation of this bull. And moreover, Pope St. Pius V later confirmed the bull and even strengthened it in his Intermultiplices.

These are the binding papal decisions mentioned in a previous blog as indispensable to a proper understanding of the crisis in the Church. And yet they have been obscured, misinterpreted and even blatantly ignored (VAS). Below we will attempt to explain how this happened and why it is crucial to recognize the fact that it was a concerted effort to erase the papacy as the ultimate source of dogma and guardian of Divine truth.

Distractions and gaslighting

How does someone set about to commit spiritual fraud? Well as seen played out again and again on the idiot box by those reporting on the political scene, one of the best ways to get way with something or to confuse someone is to stage something else to make them look away while it is being done in order to convince them, once it is a done deal, that it is perfectly democratic, constitutional, understandable in the circumstances, legal, forgivable or whatever, despite what the laws of the nation or the Constitution or Bill of Rights might say. And then, as we also have seen for the past several years regarding politics, even those protesting abuses who cite the obvious are categorized as conspiracy theorists, nuts, ridiculous, etc. and are censored on social media and other platforms, sued and even arrested and imprisoned. It is no different with spiritual fraud.

Those appearing on the scene following the close of Vatican 2 and the promulgation of the new sacrilegious mass in 1969 used the same method of operation. They presented the cessation of the Mass as the primary problem in the Church, ignoring the fact — already being voiced in the early 1970s — that Paul 6 was not a true pope and that both he and John 23 were Freemasons. But before we begin to explain how and why these diversion tactics were implemented to shift focus from the lack of a true pope to the cessation of the Latin Mass, the term distraction must be adequately defined. Simply put, distraction is something practiced to divert attention from other, more important issues. Most people naturally avoid concentrating for too long on serious matters and eventually seek out lighter topics and objects of interest to relieve them of serious headwork. But some shift their focus to other subjects as a way to escape figuring out problems they would rather not face.

Then there is gaslighting, which is really just a cover-up. It is often employed by those described as narcissists, (a subject we discussed not long ago and have posted an article on HERE). Gaslighting attempts to distort reality and create a new reality by eroding self-trust, self-confidence and self- esteem and especially one’s intellectual ability to correctly judge a given situation or concept. Gaslighting is usually an attempt to hide or conceal something — meaning it also can be classified as a distraction. And many have fallen prey to this tactic. Another tool used by narcissists is the creation of circular conversations, which have no end in sight, as a method to distract their targeted audience. They often simply refuse to answer questions or the answers they do give are off the real topic. This is certainly something readers of this blog are familiar with, since several opponents have been called out here for their fallacies of argument from a logical standpoint.

Deception is the ultimate hidden distraction, as one Internet psychologist notes. Peeling off the many layers to find the root cause of the deception can be painful and confusing. While certain information is withheld, other information which sounds rational but is contrary to Catholic teaching, is presented to those following Traditionalists as a must-read, or something that must be believed to remain in Traditional sects. Yet honest questions remain unanswered or are relegated to the no-need-for-the-laity-to-know basket. This only adds to the layers and complicates matters. Truth has no layers; it simply is what it is. One need only accept and obey.

As stated many times before, Catholics poorly educated in the faith were sitting ducks for these tactics. Preying on their ignorance was/is actually a logical fallacy. But none of them realized this. They followed along because they were unable to make the finer distinctions, and those who should have helped them to do this were working instead to keep their pockets lined and their bellies full. Detailed examinations of what Traditional pseudo-clergy were teaching was and is necessary to refute every erroneous point, because most of their followers did not have the resources, time or ability to conduct such research. And such studies had to be undertaken in the interests of truth and for the honor and glory of God, ignored by these pseudo-clerics, who catered only to the need for Mass and sacraments insisted on by their followers. And when Traditionalist teaching and claims are examined from a strictly magisterial and dogmatic standpoint, the resulting discrepancies become more evident and the pattern of deception begins to emerge.

The first deception: Tradition reinterpreted

Those following Traditionalists were blinded by their redirection and re-definition of the faith. This new definition effectively rendered the Church as a human institution only, governed by men who had no right and no power to profess themselves as possessing any sort of mission. As the 19th century defender of the primacy, William Allies wrote: “The contest in Church history really lay not between Ultramontane and Gallican opinions, but between the liberty, independence, and spirituality of Christ’s Church on the one hand, or on its being made a servile instrument of State government on the other: between a divine and a human Church.” The popular BLM/ANTIFA motto “erase and replace” was in use without being recognized as such long before the 21st century. The cultural war and destruction of tradition and doctrine that began with the election of John 23 and the false Vatican 2 council was continued under the banner of preserving Tradition, and those exiting the false Church rallied under that banner.

But as pointed out before, it was the use of amphibology, a false argument in logic, regarding the true Catholic meaning of Tradition that misled those followers. Because according to the Catholic Encyclopedia: “Tradition can only be defined as either doctrine itself, or the mode by which doctrine is transmitted… a magisterium, or teaching authority… 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. But a Church without the guidance of that living magisterium is Tradition capable of defining and transmitting Divine truth? It is doctrine capable of being transmitted without reference to the transmitter appointed by Christ, the Supreme Pontiff?

The second deception: Mass, sacraments can exist without pope

Now the authority established by God in His Church, the papacy, can only be certainly exercised by he who has the fullness of the priesthood. This supreme office is the symbol of Christ’s universal teaching authority; the Mass and the papacy are the intertwined symbols of Catholic unity. When he who withholdeth is taken out of the way; when the shepherd is struck and the sheep are scattered, no surer indication of God’s will, no greater indication of prophecy fulfilled could exist. The absence of the Mass and Sacraments must be rightly interpreted as a punishment. For in Daniel 11:31, we read that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will cease. Why will it cease? Daniel tells us: “And strength was given him [Antichrist] against the continual sacrifice because of sins, and truth shall be cast down on the ground…” (Dan. 8:12). Christ gave up His Body for our sins, and he gave to His Vicar on earth alone the right and the power to see that the re-enactment of His Holy sacrifice was renewed on earth in a fitting manner. He who gave can also taketh away, for we find in the book of Job,1:21: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.” Where among Traditionalists do we find the resignation and the patience of Job, the patience of the saints prophesied for the last days?

We have already demonstrated at length on this site, and especially in the last two blogs on Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, that Traditionalists had no hope of functioning validly or licitly during an interregnum. So why did they offer Catholics their services when they at the very least doubted, or professed to doubt, that the men succeeding Pope Pius XII were legitimate; when they had to have known — to have fabricated such elaborate theories as epikeia, necessity, material-formal and extraordinary mission jurisdiction, all ascribed to the heretics — that they had no authority to do so?? Once proscribed, without a true pope to appeal to, there was no hope of ever reviving the Continual Sacrifice. And its proscription was scarcely doubted or unknown; Henry Cardinal Manning writes in his The Present Crisis of the Holy See: “The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist and the prophecies of Daniel — all of them unanimously — say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar will cease.” And the Council of Trent determined that when the Fathers unanimously agree on a point of Holy Scripture, no one may interpret it otherwise (DZ 995; also DZ 1788).”

St. Francis de Sales and St. Alphonsus Liguori also taught that the Sacrifice would cease in the latter days. St. Francis writes: “The revolt and separation must come…the Sacrifice shall cease and…the Son of Man shall hardly find faith on earthAll these passages are understood of the affliction which Antichrist shall cause in the Church…But the Church… shall not fail, and shall be fed and preserved amidst the deserts and solitudes to which She shall retire, as the Scripture says, (Apoc. Ch. 12),” (The Catholic Controversy). In his The Holy Eucharist, St. Alphonsus stated that: “It is true [the Mass] will cease on earth at the time of Antichrist: the Sacrifice of the Mass is to be suspended…according to the prophecy of Daniel, (Dan. 12:11).” But he goes on to explain, however, that in reality the Sacrifice and priesthood never will cease since “the Son of God, Eternal Priest, will always continue to offer Himself to God, the Father, in Heaven as an Eternal Sacrifice.” And we also hear from St. Robert Bellarmine: “In the time of Antichrist, all public offices and divine sacrifices will cease on account of the vehemence of the persecution” (Antichrist, St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., Ryan Grant translation 2015).

We can only conclude that by refusing to accept God’s will regarding the Mass, Traditionalists successfully demoted Christ as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Redeemer of the world, since He would never be present on their altars. They then denied Him as the supreme source of all Divine jurisdiction in favor of those purporting to be bishops possessing valid orders without papal approval. Those claiming they received their jurisdiction directly from Christ against His express will, as made know by His Vicars, receive(d) a curse instead. Traditionalists, then, effectively transferred the center of all unity to the Mass and Sacraments outside the papacy. As Adrian Fortescue explained in the Catholic Encyclopedia under the Mass, THE CENTER OF UNITY IN BELIEF IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE PAPACY, but the Holy Sacrifice is the expression of that unity. Yet without a true pope, how can the Holy Sacrifice by itself express unity in belief? When the Church’s teachings are overturned, this invariably results in a disintegration of the liturgy. Therefore the destruction of the symbol of unity, inextricably bound up with the doctrine of the papacy was mistaken for the thing itself. This is an echo of the manner in which the Modernists intended to represent the faith: external symbols of doctrines themselves were all that was needed to satisfy the superficial Catholic.

And there can be no pleas of ignorance by the malefactors. One of the theologians favored by some Traditionalists has expressed it well: For authority [in the Church] comes directly from God through Christ, and from Christ to his Vicar, and from the Vicar of Christ it descends to the remaining prelates without the intervention of any other physical or moral person (Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J., Tractatus De Ecclesia Christi – Rome: Aedes Universitatis Gregorianae -1927, Vol. 1. p. 524). It is fairly evident that all this shifting and transferring in matters related to Christ’s very divinity, without any realization by the faithful that this was even occurring, amounts to diversion and gaslighting. The machinations of Traditionalists were a quantum shift by those who knew full well what they were doing — establishing their long-awaited Gallicanist and autonomous church ruled only by putative bishops. How they arrived at the fulfillment of their fondest dreams did not matter. Christ Himself did not matter. It is no coincidence that, as Fortescue himself reports, those leaving the Church for Anglicanism proclaimed, “It is the Mass that matters.” The church of man began with the rejection of the papacy by Henry VIII and Martin Luther and the denial that it was of Divine institution. This was the “tradition” continued by Traditionalists and embraced by the Novus Ordo.

That Traditionalism is just an extension of the Novus Ordo has been suggested here, and by others, for decades. And as Dr. Cyril Andrade points out in his work, Are Papal Elections Inspired by the Holy Ghost, we should not be surprised. “In the fourth Eucharistic prayer which they have concocted for their Novus Ordo Missae (New Mass) they state categorically: ‘Father in heaven, you alone are God . . .’” (Emphases added), thus excluding the Son and the Holy Ghost from the Trinity Godhead.” Traditionalists can scream all they like that this is not the case, but without the Pope there is no voice of Christ and no Divine assistance of the Holy Ghost; without obedience to and recognition of his decrees, there is every indication Traditionalists no longer consider the pope necessary to the Church’s existence. Was this not indeed, from the beginning, a calculated effort by Traditionalists to appear as champions of orthodoxy while silently humanizing the Church and removing from it every vestige of Divinity?

The third deception: a cunning use of amphibology

Amphibology is s statement that can be taken in two different ways or whose meaning is otherwise unclear. But it is not so much that those who deal in wording Traditionalist position statements make use of ambiguous terms, although this is also a problem in many of their writings; the other technique they employ is more difficult to explain and detect than that. Rather they cite a perfectly true statement and twist it to pretend that it actually supports what they are trying to prove when in fact it proves the opposite. Case in point: One Traditionalist, trying to prove that jurisdiction can be granted bishops (and then delegated to priests} directly from Christ gave the following quotes to support this false proposition:

“The power of the Church, therefore, does not die with the death of the pope as far as jurisdiction is concerned, which is, as it were, a form in the papacy, but remains in Christ. Nor does it die as far as the choice and determination of the person is concerned, which is like something material, but it remains in the college of cardinals, BUT DIES AS FAR AS THE ACTUAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE JURISDICTION IS CONCERNED, because when the pope dies the church becomes vacant, and is deprived of administration” (St. Antoninus of Florence, Summa Theologiae, p. III, c. II.).  And yet another Traditionalist quoted this in support of the same proposition:

“Jurisdiction …operates through the pope, however, as a minister and INSTRUMENT OF DIVINITY, and therefore not by authority proper to the Church, but rather by God exercising His own authority.” (Merkelbach 3: 569). In other words, jurisdiction comes directly from God, but only through the popes! This is exactly the same statement made by Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J.: “For authority [in the Church] comes directly from God through Christ, and from Christ to his Vicar, and from the Vicar of Christ it descends to the remaining prelates without the intervention of any other physical or moral person” (Tractatus De Ecclesia Christi – Rome: Aedes Universitatis Gregorianae -1927, Vol. 1. p. 524).

The above quotes state exactly how jurisdiction operates in the Church and it is exactly as Pope Pius XII describes it in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis and his other binding decrees. The idea that is being planted here by Traditionalists, however, is that the Church can never fail, so therefore Christ is more or less forced, against His Divine will, to grant these men jurisdiction to keep His Church alive as He promised. A fine bit of blackmail, that! But here they are sadly mistaken, for it is the faith of Peter, not the Church, Herself, that can never fail. As seen above, there is a time when She will indeed seem to fail, when her visible head will be removed and Her Holy Sacrifice taken away. Nowhere in what is stated above is it said that in the absence of the pope the cardinals or bishops may hijack the Church; St. Antoninus says just the opposite. And yet they lead their readers to believe that the failure of valid bishops to elect a true pope so they could then receive the proper to jurisdiction in no way leaves them without it.

As explained in the opening paragraphs above, this same technique has been used to also discredit Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, which was crucial to establishing the papal vacancy and proceeding to an election. More on this topic is presented next.

The fourth deception: Cum ex… suppressed and ignored

In his speech at the Vatican Council, St. Anthony Mary Claret summed up why it was that infallibility was not properly understood. First, he said, it is because Scripture itself is not understood. And it is not understood 1) (quoting St. Teresa of Avila) because men do not truly love God. 2) They lack humility and 3) There are some who do not wish to understand Scripture simply because they do not wish the good. In his 1559 bull Cum ex…, Pope Paul IV explained the meaning of the abomination of desolation in Holy Scripture, but no one today accepts his intended definition. He said he was issuing his bull “lest it befall Us to see in the holy place the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” And the entire bull consisted of declaring deposed from offices of any kind those who possessed them and became heretics, and any Roman Pontiff who as a cardinal professed heresy before his election. Such an election, he decreed, would be “invalid, null and void.”

The fact that John 23 was a heretic pre-election was first documented in 1990, and that is only ONE thing that disqualified him; there were several other disqualifying election-related issues as proven in The Phantom Church in Rome. But no one has ever accepted the fact that, having been recognized as a pope when not one at all, he then became the abomination of desolation as Pope Paul IV defined it in his bull (see more on this term HERE). Nor has the invalid election evidence ever been analyzed and publicly discussed, to the best of my knowledge, by anyone but myself. The link just provided shows that St. Bernard, also the earlier ecumenical councils have always referred to antipopes as antichrists, so this was nothing new. What WAS indeed new was the fact that both John 23 and Paul 6 abrogated the Latin Mass of Pope St. Pius V, completing the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Antichrist, when the faithful not willing to accept the new mass left the false church. This concluded the Great Apostasy begun by the Cardinals who “elected” John 23 and the bishops who signed the documents issuing from the false Vatican 2 council.

As pointed out on this site repeatedly, it was then the duty of any remaining validly consecrated bishops who had not attended the false Vatican 2 council to invoke Cum ex…, convene an imperfect council as suggested by St. Robert Bellarmine in such cases and elect a pope. I began advocating for this in 1987. There were others who were aware of it even before then, including Fr. Joaquin Saenz-Arriaga and others from the Mexican Union of Trent, also Daniel Dolan, who reportedly was working with one of the translators of Cum ex.., (Prof.) Benjamin Dryden. Dolan posted an article he says he and Dryden co-authored on one Traditionalist site, dated 1980, explaining Can. 188 no. 4. So why was a pope never elected?

Because that was never the plan. The plan was to act as though nothing could be done because of doubts regarding the validity of the usurpers and their elections, which was the reason Guerard des Lauriers wrote his heretical material-formal thesis. And yes, it was heretical, because he ascribes to pontiffs assisted by the Holy Ghost a dual, schizoid personality and denies the very consequences of heresy itself, not to mention contradicting Cum ex Apostolatus Officio  and the history of Canon Law regarding papal elections. Now we see this thesis being aggressively questioned by CMRI adherents, but to what purpose? The damage was done long ago. In reality, this has all been God’s Holy Will. We live in the midst of Antichrist’s system following his death, as St. Thomas Aquinas said might well happen, and more likely than not, all we can hope for is God’s mercy in hastening the Second Coming.

Punishments to be expected for deceiving the faithful

Hear what Canon Arvisenet, speaking to seminarians and priests as Christ, tells those who unworthily conduct public ceremonies: “How long will you dishonor me? How long will you trample underfoot the faith and piety of my people? How long will My flock cry out in indignation: Where is their God? Can we believe that He will come down on their altar? Will He not destroy those who have violated his sanctuary…Let fire come from thy tabernacle and devour them, and let them expire before thy face. They have taken away faith by living, let them restore it by dying” (Epitome of the Priestly Life, 1921). Every Traditionalist pseudo-cleric should read about the punishment God meted out to Core, son of Levi, and his followers, (Num., Ch. 16) for rebelling against Moses and Aaron. Verses 1-4 explain how Core, Dathan, Abiron, and others, followed by 250 “leading men of the synagogue,” told Moses that he had taken too much upon himself and that his (Core’s) group had the Lord on their side. For defying Moses, “…the earth broke asunder under their feet…and opening her mouth, devoured them,” (vs. 31-32).

Rev. Leo Haydock comments on these verses in Numbers: “The crimes of these men, which were punished in so remarkable a manner, was that of schism, and REBELLION AGAINST THE AUTHORITY ESTABLISHED BY GOD IN HIS CHURCH; and their pretending to the priesthood without being lawfully called and sent; the same is the case of all modern sectaries. Let them dread a similar punishment; not only the authors of such wicked pretensions, BUT ALSO THOSE WHO CONSENT TO THEM,” (emphasis Haydock’s).  “They believed in the same God, yet because they took upon themselves to sacrifice, they were forthwith punished by God, and their unlawful sacrifices to God could do them no service…If we give any encouragement to schismatics, or go to their meetings, we must expect to be involved in their sins.”

And we read again from Canon Arvisenet, speaking as Christ: “O priest, not a pastor but a seducer of My flock! An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth shall this most wicked man restore. O wicked [ones], through whom so many scandals have come, through whom so many people, so many nations have fallen away from the faith and from the unity of My Church, unjustly imputing your crimes to My most chaste Spouse! On account of you, on account of your evil deeds, the world is laid waste by the sword and perishes by the destroyer. Woe to you, brood of Vipers! The depths of hell will swallow you up before the rest of sinners and the mouth of the pit of torment will reach out with greater fury to receive you than others.”


Simplicity and humility — these are the two virtues that Traditionalist pseudo-clergy never possessed. These virtues would have enabled them to properly assist the faithful fleeing the wreckage of the Church following the false V2 council and the abrogation of the Latin Mass. Humility would have laid down any so-called orders received and explained to the faithful, hard as that might have been, that they needed to obey Church teaching, educate themselves and keep the faith at home. Humility would have inspired penance and a contrite spirit, not the scornful contempt and proud defiance displayed by Traditionalist pseudo-clergy.  What is simplicity? Speaking of the virtues so necessary to priests, Canon Arvisenet tells us: “Be simple in all things; show thyself sincere and straightforward; act without dissimulation; speak without guile… Simplicity is more effective than all manner of schemes and diligence… O blessed simplicity, that proceeds from a good and perfect heart!”

Simplicity would have acknowledged the truth and faced it, no matter how difficult the task, and accepted the judgment of the Roman Pontiff regarding the observance of Canon Law and usurpation of the papacy during an interregnum. Simplicity would have radiated a childlike docility in obedience to papal decrees and confidence in the teachings of the Roman Pontiff as Christ’s will for us. Simplicity would not dare question these teachings or the dictates of Canon Law. And simplicity would certainly never resort to deceitful practices such as gaslighting and creating distractions to deceive the faithful. “Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven” (Matt. 18:3).

We must remember what St. Paul told us concerning the workings of Satan in these days: “…in all power, signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). Satan is the father of lies; the master of deception and illusion. And if the elect continue to remain entrapped in his snares, it will not be because no one has bothered to warn them.

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