+Feast of St. Vincent de Paul+
The articles we have presented here over the past several weeks boil down to two things, in the end: refusal to obey the Roman Pontiffs and an inability to recognize and call out heresy. Some will say, well that was Pope Pius XII’s job. But they could say it also of Popes Liberius and Honorius, and they were not held by the Church, in the end, to be heretics or even certainly blameworthy, in the opinion of some theologians. The pope is the one person in all this who is immune from heresy. He received the charism of infallibility only in matters of faith, morals and discipline (Vatican Council). If he declares a man a heretic, he is definitely a heretic, and we must accept this. If he fails to condemn a man for something we believe to be heresy, but he has not yet determined is heresy, that is a different story. It does not mean he is wrong in not condemning such individuals or that we are wrong in our perceptions either. He may have reasons for not condemning them that we know nothing about and cannot even imagine.
It is the condemnation of a heretic that would be infallible; the lack of a condemnation is a moral fault concerning the pope and a grave sin if he is culpable, but we are not allowed to judge the pope. This goes to impeccability as we explained in another blog. All that Cum ex Apostolatus Officio states is that if it ever “appears” that a pope has “strayed from the faith or fallen into some heresy,” then he is assumed to have been a heretic pre-election. In no way could this ever appear to apply to Pope Pius XII, although certain vicious Traditionalist factions have alleged this. Under Canon Law, only the pope can judge whether bishops or cardinals are heretics, when we have a pope; the only reason we are able to judge the cardinals and bishops today is out of sheer necessity, because we have no pope. And even then, in doing so we must strictly abide by Canon Law according to Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis.
The bishops and cardinals could publicly accuse a pope of heresy or of dereliction of his duty, and ask for a retraction or clarification, as they did with Pope John XXII concerning the Beatific Vision. But no such public event ever occurred in the case of Pope Pius XII. The clearly heretical intent of the cardinals and bishops only manifested itself with the election of Roncalli, whom they knew would support their ecumenical heresies. And that is exactly what happened. I have never insinuated that Pope Pius XII’s will was so attenuated by Montini and his other advisors that they actually controlled all that he did. Persuasion and indirect influence are not the same as someone running the show in the name of a pope, as some have observed is happening with the U.S. government today. That did not happen with Pope Pius XII. They attempted to sway him, and to a certain extent, in some cases, they were successful; but in others they were not. More on this in a separate article soon to be posted.
First, the cardinals violated Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) by ignoring Roncalli’s suspected heresy, and Roncalli and an undetermined number of other cardinals incurred censures which could only be lifted by a FUTURE pope, barring them from election. That they elected him anyway was itself a heresy, for it not only violated VAS, and nullified their actions, but also denied the teachings that the pope must be canonically elected, that is according to the existing law. Errors against this teaching are condemned (see Denzinger’s, nos. 570 d, 650, 652, 674; also Canons 147 and 219). Then, in accepting him as a true pope, they also incurred schism, creating a new church with a false head. And later, in joining in “worship” of him and with him, they committed communicatio in sacris (Can. 2314 §3).
The same is true of the bishops, who should have known on approving and accepting the missalettes, if not before. And it must be understood that these missalettes were distributed all over the Unites States, at least, for they were in the pews of our parish church in Kansas by 1959. And as noted previously, the liturgical movement was international. Under Can. 2200, the bishops are ALL considered heretics the moment they accepted Roncalli as pope, since none ever left him. On this application of Can. 2200, even St. Thomas Aquinas agrees: “Concerning such things, anyone may have a false opinion without danger of heresy, before the matter has been considered or settled as involving consequences against faith, and particularly if no obstinacy be shown; whereas when it is manifest, and especially if the Church has decided that consequences follow against faith, then the error cannot be free from heresy. For this reason many things are now considered as heretical which were formerly not so considered, as their consequences are now more manifest” (Summa Theologica, Q. 32, Art. 4, Pt. I). Malice and obstinacy are presumed in the case of those who are obligated to know the laws and teachings of the Church. Their external acts convict them of schism and heresy and they are outside the Church.
The Oath Against Modernism
EVERYTHING that happened in 1958-59 can be laid up to the fact that the cardinals and bishops violated the oaths they took at their episcopal consecration to: “…be obedient to Blessed Peter the Apostle, and to the holy Roman Church, and to our Holy Father, Pope …. and to his successors CANONICALLY ELECTED. I will assist them to retain and to defend the Roman Papacy…”; in their oaths on acceptance of the Cardinalate: “For the praise of Almighty God and the honor of the Apostolic See, receive the red hat… By this you are to understand that you must show yourself fearless, even to the shedding of blood, in making our holy Faith respected, in securing peace for the Christian people and in promoting the welfare of the Roman Church…” and at the election of the pope (see Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, para. 12a). Add to this the Oath Against Modernism, contained in every book of Canon Law and required to be professed by all the bishops. Monsignor Joseph C. Fenton wrote on this topic as follows, quoting from Pope St. Pius X’s Oath Against Modernism:
“We believe that no bishop is ignorant of the fact that the wily Modernists have not abandoned their plans for disturbing the peace of the Church since they were unmasked by the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis. For they have not ceased to seek out new recruits and to gather them into a secret alliance. Nor have they ceased, along with their new associates, to inject the poison of their own teachings into the veins of the Christian body-politic by turning out anonymous or pseudonymous books and articles. If, after a re-reading of the above-mentioned encyclical Pascendi: “If this audacity, which has caused Us so much grief, be considered very carefully, it will become quite apparent that these men are just as the encyclical describes them: enemies who are all the more to be feared by reason of their very nearness to us. They are men who pervert their ministry in such a way as to bait their hooks with poisoned meat in order to catch the unwary. They carry with them a form of doctrine in which the summary of all errors is contained. While this plague is spreading abroad over that very part of the Lord’s field from which the best fruits might be expected, it is the duty of all Bishops to exert themselves in defense of the Catholic faith and most diligently to see to it that the integrity of the divine deposit suffers no loss.
“What these men were really working for was the transformation of the Catholic Church into an essentially non-doctrinal religious body. They considered that their era would be willing to accept the Church as a kind of humanitarian institution, vaguely religious, tastefully patriotic, and eminently cultural. And they definitely intended to tailor the Church to fit the needs and the tastes of their own era… What they sought was a declaration on the part of the Church’s magisterium to the effect that these old formulas did not, during the first decade of the twentieth century, carry the same meaning for the believing Catholic that they had carried when these formulas had first been drawn up. Or, in other words, they sought to force or to DELUDE the teaching authority of Christ’s Church into coming out with the fatally erroneous proposition that what is accepted by divine faith in this century is objectively something different from what was believed in the Catholic Church on the authority of God revealing in previous times.
“’All these prescriptions, both Our own and those of Our predecessor, are to be kept in view whenever there is a question of choosing directors and teachers for seminaries and for Catholic universities. Anyone who in any way is found to be tainted with Modernism is to be excluded without compunction from these offices, whether of administration or of teaching, and those who already occupy such offices are to be removed…’ (end of Pope St. Pius X quotes).
Monsignor Fenton comments:
“In other words, the obligation of the individual Bishop to exclude Modernists and sympathizers with Modernism from the administrations and from the professorial staffs of seminaries and of Catholic universities definitely did not begin with the first promulgation of this law by St. Pius X. Given the position and the obligation of the Bishop within the true Church of Jesus Christ, and given the nature and the necessity of the Catholic faith, it is always the clear duty of the Bishop to exclude from the dignity of teaching in the Church in any position under his control any individual who will teach or favor the contradiction of the divinely revealed message. Modernism was and is such a contradiction. Thus it was and always will necessarily remain the duty of the Bishop to see to it that any individual who teaches or who supports Modernism in any way be excluded from any co-operation in the apostolic task of teaching the divine message of Jesus Christ within His Church.
“In the Si diligis, Pope Pius XII explains the directives issued by St. Pius X in the Pascendi and in the Sacrorum antistitum. The members of the apostolic hierarchy of jurisdiction, the Pope and the residential Bishops throughout the world are responsible before God Himself for the teaching in the Catholic Church. All the legitimate teaching in the Church is issued by them or under their direction. They have full responsibility and full competence to see to it that the faithful of Christ receive His message in all of its purity and integrity.Naturally if they themselves contradict, or transform, or withhold any portion of the revealed truth, which has been entrusted to them, they will have been recreant to the commission they have received from Our Lord Himself. … The man who takes the Oath calls upon God as His Witness that he rejects these false judgments and firmly accepts the statements of Catholic doctrine opposed to them. The man who taught or in any way aided in the dissemination or the protection of Modernistic teachings in a seminary or in a Catholic university after the issuance of the Sacrorum antistitum would mark himself, not only as a sinner against the Catholic faith, but also as a common perjurer.” (“Sacrorum Antistitum and the Background of the Oath Against Modernism,” Catholic University of America Press, October 1960. End of Fenton quotes.)
And perjury goes directly to the “…silence, subterfuge or manner of acting” which signals “an implicit denial of their faith, a contempt of religion an insult to God or scandal to their neighbor,” the very definition of heresy found in Can. 1325. But eventually, of course, their heresy became undeniably explicit.
That someone as astute as Msgr. Fenton could not see Modernism’s full impact, even in 1960, testifies to the fact that the campaign to destroy the Church was so well disguised, had gone so deeply underground, that until Roncalli was elected the extent of its true damage was almost imperceptible. Msgr. Fenton would later comment in his diary, while attending the first session of the false Vatican 2 council: “The sense or feeling of this gathering seems to be entirely liberal. I am anxious to get home. I am afraid that there is nothing at all that I can do here. Being in the council is, of course, the great experience of my life. But, at the same time, it has been a frightful disappointment. I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THE EPISCOPATE WAS SO LIBERAL…” (Oct. 31, 1962). Perhaps in a way, Msgr. Fenton had lived too long in an ivory tower, as so often happens with those in academia, and had entirely lost touch with the episcopacy. But it is also likely that the bishops had been careful not to reveal overt signs of their liberalism/ Modernism. After all, that is precisely how double-agents operate.
So if anyone wishes to know why these bishops were already rotten to the core, the answer is stated above. Modernism never left the Church. It simply went more deeply underground. It lurked in the shadows and hid under false pretenses. After Pope Pius XII became ill and began to decline in 1953, it moved in for the kill. As one Catholic theologian explained it: ”Careless, unprecise departures from traditional and enshrined doctrinal expressions have a way of coming back like boomerangs upon the unsuspecting pious, whose enthusiasms are not always as contagious as their errors. Storms do not spring forth from a clear, unclouded sky. Movements spring forth from ideas and even from clever shibboleths and catch phrases” (“The Historical Backgrounds and Theology of Mediator Dei,” by Albert F. Kaiser, C.P.P.S., Pt. 1; American Ecclesiastical Review, December,1953). Men secretly working behind the scenes had everything ready to implement their plans the moment Pope Pius XII breathed his last; and they did. And their years of secret preparation paid off handsomely.
All Catholics must hate heresy
It is appropriate here to remind Catholics that not only must they study their faith in order to learn to recognize heresy and flee the moment they detect it; they must also pray for the gift of piety, that they may hate it. Why this is true is explained below.
“These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretence of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein. By means of specious and plausible words, they cunningly allure the simple-minded to inquire into their system; but they …and these simple ones are unable, even in such a matter, to distinguish falsehood from truth…” — St. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies
“In Christ’s Church, those are heretics, who hold mischievous and erroneous opinions, and when rebuked that they may think soundly and rightly, offer a stubborn resistance, and, refusing to mend their pernicious and deadly doctrines, persist in defending them.” — St. Augustine of Hippo
“What, then, shall a Catholic do … If some novel contagion attempts to infect, no longer a small part of the Church alone but the whole Church alike? He shall then see to it that he cleave unto antiquity, which is now utterly incapable of being seduced by any craft or novelty.” — St. Vincent of Lerins’ Commonitorium
“[Heretics] mean one thing in their heart; they promise another with their lips. They speak with piety and conceal impiety. They speak Christ and hide the Antichrist, for they know that they will never succeed with their seduction if they disclose the Antichrist. They present light only to conceal darkness; through light they lead to darkness.” St. Jerome, Homilies on the Psalms
“The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied… It is a work of charity to shout: “Here is the wolf!” when it enters the flock or anywhere else.” — St. Francis de Sales, The Devout Life
“And therefore it is that everyone who has in him the gift of piety has also an instinctive hatred of heresy. The instinct which detests and recoils from heresy is part of the gift of piety, because piety loves the revealed truth of Jesus Christ. We are thought to be intolerant and bigoted, because we will keep no peace with heresy. But how can any man love Jesus Christ, and not love every jot and tittle of His truth? And if we love His truth, that which contradicts it must be hateful, for it contradicts Himself.” — Henry Cardinal Manning, The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost, p. 236.
Fr. Frederick Faber on Heresy
“If we hated sin as we ought to hate it, purely, keenly, manfully, we should do more penance, we should inflict more self-punishment, we should sorrow for our sins more abidingly. Then, again, the crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God’s truth, which is the worst of all impurities.
“Yet how light we make of it! We look at it and are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it and have no fear. We see it touch holy things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor and show no signs of detestation or disgust. Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for His glory. We do not love men enough to be charitably truthful for their souls.
“Having lost the touch, the taste, the sight, and all the senses of heavenly-mindedness, we can dwell amidst this odious plague, in imperturbable tranquility, reconciled to its foulness, not without some boastful professions of liberal admiration, perhaps even with a solicitous show of tolerant sympathies.
“Why are we so far below the old saints, and even the modern apostles of these latter times, in the abundance of our conversations? Because we have not the antique sternness? We want the old Church-spirit, the old ecclesiastical genius. Our charity is untruthful, because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is untruthful.
“We lack devotion to truth as truth, as God’s truth. Our zeal for souls is puny, because we have no zeal for God’s honor. We act as if God were complimented by conversions, instead of trembling souls rescued by a stretch of mercy.
“We tell men half the truth, the half that best suits our own pusillanimity and their conceit; and then we wonder that so few are converted, and that of those few so many apostatize.
“We are so weak as to be surprised that our half-truth has not succeeded so well as God’s whole truth. Where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness.
“A MAN, WHO MIGHT BE AN APOSTLE, BECOMES A FESTER IN THE CHURCH FOR THE WANT OF THIS RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION.” — Fr. Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, 1860
So it is now clear: Only those lacking true piety make excuses for cardinals and bishops, commissioned as defenders of the faith, who defect from that very faith. As Louis Cardinal Pie, the ultramontane friend of Henry Cardinal Manning, stated in one of his sermons: “The first requirement for holiness is orthodoxy.” Cardinal Pie also remarked: “Everything has to be redone to create a Christian people: this will not happen by a miracle or by a series of miracles especially; it will be through the priestly ministry, or it will not happen at all, and then society will perish… The true dignity, the true liberty, the true emancipation of modern nations lies in their right to be governed in a Christian manner… The time has not come for Jesus Christ to reign? Well, then the time has not come for governments to last” (Cardinal Pie, meeting with Emperor Napoleon III). Cardinal Pie died in 1865.
With this blog we end the discussion of the bishops and when they first fell into heresy. In the next few weeks, for those who are yet interested, we will post articles on the site under the Papacy and the Mass which will track the gradual development of the Novus Ordo Missae over time, explaining how it was intended to democratize the Church and prepare the way for the New World Order. Links to these articles will be provided in future blogs.