+St. John of Matha+
A long overdue and important update to the Masonic origins of Traditionalism article is now available here: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/?s=Masonic+Origins. What follows in this blog piece is directly related to and attributable to that article and should be kept in mind while reading what is written below. It renders even more questionable those dubious “orders” received and conferred by Traditionalists. And it places in an entirely different light the entire purpose and intent of founding Traditionalism altogether. Below we will delve into the circumstances surrounding the examination of Anglican orders by Pope Leo XIII to further demonstrate that the claims of ALL Traditionalists are seriously flawed and incapable of being considered as certainly valid. It does not take a rocket scientist to seriously study Pope Leo XIII’s Apostolicae Curae and conclude that those today who present as validly ordained and consecrated Traditionalist priests and bishops, for lack of a right intention, manifested externally, possess the same doubtfully valid orders and episcopal consecrations as the Anglicans Pope Leo XIII considered in his bull.
What is the intention required for the Sacrament of Orders? The Catholic Encyclopedia answers: The common doctrine now is that a real internal intention to act as a minister of Christ, or to do what Christ instituted the sacraments to effect, in other words, to truly baptize, absolve, etc., is required. Can Traditionalists become true ministers of Christ if they deny the necessity of observing His command that they obey His vicar on earth? Rev. Bernard Leeming S.J., in his 1955 work Principles of Sacramental Theology, explains that heresy of itself does not destroy the validity of the one conferring Orders provided that a contrary internal intention has not somehow been manifested. That was one of the things emphasized in Pope Leo XIII’s decision on Anglican orders: their intention was made clear in their alteration of the rite, not just the essential form.
Leeming tells us that it is now the universal opinion of theologians that a Sacrament is invalidated by a contrary intention, even a secret one, “contrary to the substantial nature of the Sacrament” (p. 484). He remarks that if the minister is “…so convinced that Christ does not will a particular effect of the Sacraments that they absolutely exclude this from their intention,” then the presumption that they validly confer the Order is seen to fail (p. 493). Traditionalists, from the beginning, have been convinced that bishops alone minus their head, the Roman Pontiff, can constitute Christ’s Church on earth, even though this is clearly belief in the Gallicanist heresy, as proven many times over from Church teaching. In receiving episcopal consecration and executing their episcopal duties, they must intend obedience to the Pope and be included in the Apostolic College. And it is clear from what we see and what is explained below that they absolutely exclude any intention of such inclusion or obedience.
Before we begin, let us remind readers of what Pope Pius XII said in his infallible constitution on Holy Orders. The Pope mentions “essential words,” regarding the form, indicating this is the bare minimum needed for validity. Furthermore, Pope Pius XII states, “It shall be in no way right to understand from what we have declared and ordained above as to matter and form, that it would be lawful to neglect in any way or to omit the other established rites of the Roman Pontifical. Indeed, We ever command that all the prescribed details of that Roman Pontifical be religiously observed and carried out… in case any doubt arises, it is be submitted to this Apostolic See. Below we will go point by point and consider Traditionalist orders versus Anglican Orders.
From Apostolica Curae
Pope Leo: “Paul IV issued his Bull Praeclara Charissimi on June 20 of that same year . In this, whilst giving full force and approbation to what [Cardinal] Pole had done, it is ordered in the matter of the Ordinations as follows: “Those who have been promoted to ecclesiastical Orders … by anyone but a Bishop VALIDLY AND LAWFULLY ORDAINED are bound to receive those Orders again.”
Comment: Was Marcel Lefebvre validly and lawfully ordained? Could and did Peter Martin Ngo dinh Thuc validly and lawfully ordain anyone? There are grave doubts regarding the valid ordination and consecration of Lefebvre by the Freemason Lienert as well as his own membership in a secret society (see link above). And the validity of the Thuc ordinations and consecrations, owing to Thuc’s mental state was sufficiently demonstrated by Clarence Kelly in his work, The Sacred and the Profane. Without a decision from the Holy See, such doubts are not capable of being resolved, as Kelly admits.
“Where [the Church] judges that the previous orders were certainly valid it permits their use, supposing the candidate to be acceptable; where it judges the previous orders to be certainly invalid it disregards them altogether, and enjoins a re-ordination according to its own rite; where it judges that the validity of the previous orders is doubtful, EVEN THOUGH THE DOUBT BE SLIGHT, it forbids their use until a conditional ceremony of re-ordination has first been undergone” Cath. Encyc., Anglican Orders. And such re-ordination/consecration is not satisfied by simply appealing to a different schismatic Traditionalist, Old Catholic or other sect; a decision must be received from Rome regarding the status of the orders given. Note that even those orders considered valid presume the fitness of the candidate, and as demonstrated on this site in numerous places, very few if ANY Traditionalist candidates for the “priesthood” satisfied requirements laid down by the Sacred Congregation of Rites prior to 1958.
And according to the Very Rev. P. Pouratt, V.G. : “In the administration of the Sacraments, the safest course must ever be followed. According to Benedict XIV, “When there is reason to believe that a sacrament which cannot be repeated and is of great importance, v. g. Baptism or Holy Orders, has been very probably conferred by a minister who had not the interior intention, that sacrament is to be repeated conditionally, unless time allows to consult Rome on the line of conduct to be followed. Rome’s answer will almost always be that Baptism or Ordination must be repeated conditionally” (Theology of the Sacraments, B. Herder, 1910).
The theologian Jean-Marie Herve also comments: “[Regarding] the sacrament of Holy Orders …the public good demands that the unworthy applicant, even if he be secret, be repelled though his offense cannot juridically be proved. The reason is that in this case the reception of the Sacraments is considered to be inferior in worth to the worthy exercise of the sacred functions and the public good of the Church. Moreover, says Pesch, the public good cannot effectively be defended without injury to the latter…” (Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Sacraments, Vol. I-II). So much for the Traditionalists’ pretended concern for the cura animarum!
Pope Leo: “But who those Bishops not ‘validly and lawfully ordained’ were had been made sufficiently clear by the foregoing documents and the faculties used in the said matter by the Legate; those, namely, who have been promoted to the Episcopate, as others to other Orders, ‘not according to the accustomed form of the Church,’ or, as the Legate himself wrote to the Bishop of Norwich, ‘the form and intention of the Church,’ not having been observed.”
Comment: The “intention of the Church” is to consecrate bishops who will obey the pope and rule their flocks under his direction. No one, not Lefebvre, not Thuc, not any other bishop consecrating without the papal mandate could possibly have consecrated bishops with this intention. The following is the consecration form taken from:
The Traditional Catholic Rite of Consecration of a Bishop According to the Roman Pontifical dated 30 March 1892, + Michael Augustinus Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboraci:
The first part includes the form of ascertaining solemnly that the Bishop-elect has the right to Episcopal consecration; of receiving his oath of submission to the Holy See, the centre of unity… NO ONE is to be consecrated unless first the Consecrator shall be sure of the commission to consecrate, either by apostolic letters, if he be outside the curia, or by verbal commission given by the Sovereign Pontiff to the Consecrator, if the Consecrator himself be a cardinal.
“Most Reverend Father, our holy Mother the Catholic Church, asks that you promote this priest here present to the burden of the episcopate.” The Consecrator says:
“Have you the Apostolic Mandate?” The senior assistant bishop answers:
The Consecrator says: “Let it be read.”
Then the notary of the Consecrator, taking the mandate from the assistant bishop, reads it from the beginning to the end: in the meanwhile all sit with heads covered. The mandate having been read, the Consecrator says: “Thanks be to God.”
Or, if the consecration is made by virtue of Apostolic letters [used only in the case of titular or auxiliary bishops, which is not under consideration here] by which even the reception of the oath to be made by the Bishop-elect is committed to the Consecrator, these letters being read, before the Consecrator says anything else, the Bishop-elect coming from his seat, kneels before the Consecrator and reads, word for word, the oath to be taken according to the tenor of the aforesaid commission, in this manner, viz:
Form of Oath
“ I N., elected to the Church of N., from this hour henceforward will be obedient to Blessed Peter the Apostle, and to the holy Roman Church, and to our Holy Father, Pope N. and to his successors canonically elected. I will assist them to retain and to defend the Roman Papacy without detriment to my order. I shall take care to preserve, to defend, increase and promote the rights, honors, privileges and authority of the holy Roman Church, of our Lord, the Pope, and of his aforesaid successors. I shall observe with all my strength, and shall cause to be observed by others, the rules of the holy Fathers, the Apostolic decrees, ordinances or dispositions, reservations, provisions and mandates. I shall come when called to a Synod, unless prevented by a canonical impediment. I shall make personally the visit ad limina apostolorum every ten years, and I shall render to our Holy Father, Pope N., and to his aforesaid successors an account of my whole pastoral office, and of all things pertaining in any manner whatsoever to the state of my Church, to the discipline of the clergy and the people, and finally to the salvation of the souls which are entrusted to me : and in turn I shall receive humbly the apostolic mandates and execute them as diligently as possible.
“But if I shall be detained by legitimate impediment, I shall fulfil all the aforesaid things through a designated delegate having a special mandate for this purpose, a priest of my diocese, or through some other secular or regular priest of known probity and religion, fully informed concerning the above-named things. I shall not sell, nor give, nor mortgage the possessions belonging to my mensa [by mensa is understood the real estate or investments set aside for the proper support of the Bishop], nor shall I enfeoff [exchange land for service] them anew or alienate them in any manner, even with the consent of the chapter of my Church, without consulting the Roman Pontiff. And if through me any such alienation shall occur, I wish, by the very fact, to incur the punishments contained in the constitution published concerning this matter.”
And in questions asked by the one consecrating there is this:
5.) Will you exhibit in all things fidelity, submission, obedience, according to canonical authority, to Blessed Peter the Apostle, to whom was given by God the power of binding and of loosing, and to his Vicar our Holy Father, Pope N. and to his successors the Roman Pontiffs? (http://bishopjosephmarie.org/doctrine/EpiscopalConsecrationRite.html).
The entire portion of the ceremony above involving the reading of the mandate was necessarily omitted by Traditionalists, or something was inserted in its place, depending on the one “consecrating.” (No written form of the “consecrations” now in use could be found on the Internet or elsewhere.) Note that NO ONE is to be consecrated without the apostolic mandate. The section of the oath highlighted above will be addressed later below.
Pope Leo: “That ‘form’ [in ordination] consequently cannot be considered apt or sufficient for the Sacrament which omits what it ought essentially to signify. The same holds good of episcopal consecration. For to the formula, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost,’ not only were the words ‘for the office and work of a bishop.’ etc. added at a later period, but even these, as we shall presently state, must be understood in a sense different to that which they bear in the Catholic rite… As the Sacrament of Order and the true sacerdotium of Christ were utterly eliminated from the Anglican rite…and hence the sacerdotium is in no wise conferred truly and validly in the episcopal consecration of the same rite, for the like reason, therefore, the episcopate can in no wise be truly and validly conferred by it, and this the more so because AMONG THE FIRST DUTIES of the episcopate is that of ordaining ministers for the Holy Eucharist and sacrifice.
Comment: Traditionalists intend to receive the episcopacy in “a sense different to that which they bear in the Catholic rite…” because they deny the necessary subordination of bishops to the Roman Pontiff. Here Leo is speaking of the essential form, yes, but in the context of “the Catholic rite.” The final word on the full extent of this subordination of bishops to the Roman Pontiff was not defined until Pope Pius XII wrote Mystici Corporis. While ordaining ministers is “among” the first duties of the episcopate, a bishop’s first and primary duty is obedience to the Roman Pontiff and inclusion in the Apostolic College. Otherwise he cannot even hope to tend to be assigned a diocese or ordain priests — the rite itself says he cannot be raised to the episcopacy without the necessary mandate.
The words uttered by Traditionalists receiving the Sacrament and conferring it mean nothing. And without that sense, the Sacrament is null and void. This is true of those words uttered by Traditionalists promising allegiance and obedience to the Pope, which, quite frankly, is an outright lie. No truly Catholic man could be considered a bishop who never planned to submit to the Roman Pontiff, be obedient to him as the head bishop, and thereby constitute a part of the Apostolic College. Only those in communion with the Roman Pontiff are considered to be true bishops.
Pope Leo: “All know that the Sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, ought both to signify the grace which they effect, and effect the grace which they signify.
Comment: How can it possibly be that men never rightly vetted as candidates for the priesthood, never trained in properly approved seminaries that preserved and rigorously developed holiness of life, never taught theology and so many other subjects by truly Catholic superiors, who confessed to men having no jurisdiction over them, so were never forgiven their sins or released of any impediments or irregularities, possibly be fit subjects to receive the grace of ordination, far less episcopal consecration?! Has anyone ever heard the tales that come from these so-called seminaries, told by those who have departed from them in disgust???
Pope Leo: “For once a new rite has been initiated in which, as we have seen, the Sacrament of Order is adulterated or denied, and from which all idea of …” (in our case, obedience to the Roman Pontiff and “his successors canonically elected;” also defense of the papacy and the rights, honor and privileges of the Roman Church) have been removed, the rite becomes “words without the reality which Christ instituted.”
Comment: Here we must mention the absolute hypocrisy of Traditionalists who continually demonize the Novus Ordo for changing the rites of the Sacraments, when the very oath of obedience to the Pope above has been entirely eliminated from the Novus Ordo rite (https://www.hrcac.org.uk/Comparison-of-Old-and-New-Consecration-Rites-2.pdf). Christ never intended to institute the episcopacy without Peter as its inseparable head, to whom the bishops owe strict obedience. This is defined by the Vatican Council (DZ 1821). This is an obedience and subservience dictated by Divine authority. Rev. Leeming says that “If the rite is changed, then the minister who uses that rite is presumed to conform his intention to that of the body which uses the changed rite” (p. 495), and an investigation must be conducted; but by whom? Traditionalists then must be ordaining in the Novus Ordo, or Old Catholic rite or the rite of some other schismatic sect, but they are not consecrating bishops in the Catholic rite!
As Rev. Alan McCoy O.F.M., J.C.L. wrote in his 1944 dissertation, Force and Fear in Relation to Delictual Imputability and Penal Responsibility, (Catholic University of America, 1944), under the general heading of “Delictual Acts Interdicted by Divine Authority,” anytime that “…an act is intrinsically evil, or involves contempt of the faith or of ecclesiastical authority, or works to the detriment of souls… imputability is not taken away in such cases since in these instances the observance of the law still urges under the pain of sin, even though the most severe personal hardship or danger, or also the greatest private harm might come from such observance. And the reason for this is that some spiritual good, either of God or of the Church or of individual souls is involved… There is consequently always grave guilt in the deliberate transgression of such a law.” Certainly the use of the consecration formula as it stands involves at the very least contempt of the ecclesiastical authority of the Roman Pontiff, if not contempt of the faith itself.
On page 97, under the heading “Acts that Work to the Detriment of Souls,” McCoy writes: “These are all acts which draw people away from the faith or from the practice of Christian morals and thus expose them to the danger of eternal damnation… Those acts which, by their nature, work to the detriment of souls are listed particularly in Titles XVI and XVII of the fifth book of the Code…bearing the headings: ‘Offenses Committed in the Administration or Reception of Orders or the Other Sacraments’ and ‘Offenses Against the Obligations Proper to the Clerical and Religious State.’” Among the offenses McCoy lists that work TO THE DETRIMENT OF SOULS are: “…the administration of Sacraments to those who are forbidden to receive them…the consecration of a bishop without a papal mandate…the reception of Orders from unworthy prelates…the negligence of a pastor in the care of souls.”
These are the Church’s ideas of what constitutes contempt of faith and a true detriment to souls. So rather than working to save souls, Traditionalists, by acting without the papal mandate and resorting to unworthy prelates are endangering these souls. Given the above, no one pretending to receive a Sacrament and falsely swearing to defend the papacy and work “for the salvation of souls,” as the episcopal consecration states, could receive the very graces they spurn by administering consecration or accepting the same from a doubtfully ordained and consecrated schismatic without the papal mandate. It is ludicrous to presume, as some Traditionalists do, that Pius IX’s allocution Luctuosis exagitati — reluctantly granting bishops dealing with the civil government permission to satisfy the civil demands in certain countries — applies to them today. The allocution intended to facilitate “the care and salvation of souls, which is the supreme law for us, and which were called into open risk” in specific cases only, where bishops unquestionably validly ordained and consecrated and in communion with Rome were experiencing difficulties. These pseudo-clerics are grasping at straws, and they know it.
The situation Pope Leo is addressing here in Apostolica curae deals with an altered rite which denied the existence of a sacrificing priesthood, able to consecrate the Eucharist. Yes, the alteration affected the actual form, but Pope Leo was considering the offering of the Holy Sacrifice, the Consecration of the Eucharist, and the intent to create a sacrificing priesthood. This is not what we are considering here. Here we are considering only the episcopal consecration, The situation regarding Traditionalists concerns a fictitious swearing to a pope who does not even exist and who the men “consecrated” know full well they will not restore to his throne. They promise an obedience they will never be held to and commit to things they will never be required to execute, since they will never be assigned to a diocese. A mockery is made of the entire ceremony. And lest it be thought that this also could be said of schismatics and heretics consecrating validly in their own sects without the said mandate, this distinction must be made: TRADITONALISTS ARE MEN CLAIMING TO BE AND REPRESENTING THEMSELVES AS THE SURVIVING MEMBERS OF CHRIST’S TRUE CHURCH ON EARTH, not as members of a schismatic sect, although in reality that is all they truly are. This is not true of heretical and schismatic sects who generally give only a passing recognition to Rome, if that, and never claim Church membership. Given such chicanery, how could the grace necessary for the effect of the Sacrament be presumed?
Pope Leo: “With this inherent defect of “form” is joined the defect of “intention” which is equally essential to the Sacrament. The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do (intendisse) what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the RITE be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church AND OF REJECTING WHAT THE CHURCH DOES, AND WHAT, BY THE INSTITUTION OF CHRIST, BELONGS TO THE NATURE OF THE SACRAMENT, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and DESTRUCTIVE OF THE SACRAMENT…
Comment: The audacity of Traditionalists to claim validity outside the authority of the Roman Pontiff is definitely external proof of their lack of intention. How could they possibly “seriously” use the form when there is no Roman Pontiff and they can reasonably foresee there will not be one?! Whenever the rite is altered, especially when in the rite itself consecration without the mandate is expressly forbidden, then intention comes into question. There can be no doubt that in omitting the necessary mandate those pretending to consecrate reject what the Church does in demanding that Her bishops be approved by the Roman Pontiff, to protect the faithful. And they likewise reject precisely what belongs to the nature of the Sacrament — that necessary inclusion of all bishops as members of the Apostolic College, and subsequently in subjection to the head bishop of that College, the Roman Pontiff.
Clearly the intention of these men in their attempt to become bishops is adverse to the Sacrament and destroys it, since there is never any intent of that necessary subjection to the Roman Pontiff. And in fact their actual intent, condemned by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei and elsewhere as schismatic and leading to schism (DZ 1506, 1507, 1508), is to act OUTSIDE the supervision of the Holy See entirely. And of course this is aside from the proven fact that the authority of the Roman Pontiff and his necessity for the Church’s existence is entirely ignored by Traditionalists, which is heretical as the Vatican Council defines.
Pope Leo: Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.”
Comment: And likewise those of Traditionalists as well, for lack of intention and alteration of the rite. Of course the cry will be raised, as it always is, “But this cannot apply to our case, we are not the Anglicans,” (or the Chinese, in the case of Ad Apostolorum Principis, or the Germans, in the case of the Old Catholics or the English re the Old Roman Catholics). It doesn’t matter. Protest all you want, you cannot exercise the disputed orders without a decision from the Holy See. And if you don’t have a Holy See to appeal to, you have no one to blame but yourselves.
Pope Leo: “We decree that these letters and all things contained therein shall not be liable at any time to be impugned or objected to by reason of fault or any other defect whatsoever of subreption or obreption of our intention, but are and shall be always valid and in force and shall be inviolably observed both juridically and otherwise, by all of whatsoever degree and preeminence, declaring null and void anything which, in these matters, may happen to be contrariwise attempted, whether wittingly or unwittingly, by any person whatsoever, by whatsoever authority or pretext, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.”
Comment: And from the Catholic Encyclopedia under Anglican Orders: “What may be safely assumed is that it [Apostolica Curae] fixes the belief and practice of the Catholic Church irrevocably. This at least Leo XIII must have meant to signify when in his letter to Cardinal Richard, of 5 November, 1896, he declared that his “intention had been to pass a final judgment and settle (the question) forever” (absolute judicare et penitus dirimere), and that “Catholics were bound to receive (the judgment) with the fullest obedience as perpetuo firmam, ratam, irrevocabilem.” Rome has spoken and the case is closed.
(Note: Of course the above is no official “pronouncement” against the Traditionalist sect, but it is a carefully reasoned conclusion based on Church teaching and Church practice. In the end, only a canonically elected Roman Pontiff can decide the validity of ordinations and consecrations, but we have no doubt that at the very least all would need to be conditionally re-ordained and that the episcopal consecrations would be completely ignored. And as we continue to insist, Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis infallibly declares all these attempted ordinations and consecrations, performed during an interregnum, NULL and VOID.)
But there is much more…
The Church, in Her practice both before and since Apostolicae Curae was issued, has continued to demonstrate her rejection of anyone claiming episcopal orders outside the papal mandate. The first of these can be found in Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, where he condemns all those professing heresy, apostasy or schism, be they bishop, archbishop or even one appearing to be pope, forever deprived “ipso facto and without need for any further declaration …of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power.” Because so much doubt has been raised concerning the laws regarding heresy, Canon Law tells us under Can. 6 §4 that we must adhere to the old law governing those canons, which is listed in the footnotes for the Canons on heresy, and Cum ex… is contained in those footnotes. This alone should disqualify all Traditionalists, but of course they will not hear of it. Then we also have Pope Pius VI’s Charitas, stating that: “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 as schismatic both those who ordain and those who are ordained thus invalidating their future actions” (see Can. 2265 §1 [2-3]). So as schismatics they lose all power under Pope Paul IV’s bull, which later was ratified by Pope St. Pius V in his Intermultiplices.
Then we have the declarations against the Old Catholics and the Old Roman Catholics issued by Popes Pius IX and St. Pius X. Pope Pius IX teaches: “They have chosen and set up a pseudo-bishop, a certain notorious apostate from the Catholic faith, Joseph Hubert Reinkens. So that nothing be lacking in their impudence, for his consecration they have had refuge to those very Jansenists of Utrecht, whom they themselves, before they separated from the Church, considered as heretics and schismatics.. But… 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… Therefore, by the authority of Almighty God, We excommunicate and hold as anathema Joseph Hubert himself and all those who attempted to choose him, and who aided in his sacrilegious consecration. 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” (in other words, the pope condemned him as a vitandus).
So it is clear that no one is considered a bishop who is not in communion with Peter. And Traditionalists may want to think about supporting these impersonators given the excommunication pronounced above. Moreover, this is not even taking into consideration the many decisions from Rome regarding the need for unconditional and conditional ordination, decisions from the Roman Congregations which are binding on Catholics, found here under the subheading “Valid and Licit”: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/true-status-of-schismatic-priests-and-bishops-ignored/status-of-those-ordainedconsecrated-by-schismatics/ .
Well Traditionalists, are you going to ignore the commands of Pope Pius IX on the pretext no one has personally excommunicated YOUR pseudo-bishop? Of course you will, because no one can exact obedience from your all-hallowed intellects. And likewise you will ignore Pope St. Pius X’s bull Cravi Iamdiu Scandalo, issued Feb. 11, 1911, excommunicating the Old Roman Catholic Arnold Harris Mathew and two other bishops. In this bull he denounces Mathew for “arrogating unto himself the title of Anglo-Catholic Archbishop of London [and] all others who lent aid, council, or consent to this nefarious crime, by the authority of Almighty God, we hereby excommunicate, anathematize and solemnly declare to be separated from the communion of the Church and to be held for schismatics.” This bull called Mathew a pseudo-bishop and condemned him as a vitandus. And of course CMRI pseudo-bishop Pivarunas has explained away the meaning of Pope Pius XII in Ad apostolorum principis, condemning such consecrations, by stating the following:
“When there is a true Pope, no bishop may be consecrated without papal authorization, much less to establish a “hierarchy” for a schismatic Church… Some may claim that those who perform or receive episcopal consecrations during the present interregnum have incurred excommunications according to Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ad Apostolorum Principis of June 29,1958. However, those who claim this fail to understand the very nature of law and the principles of Canon Law… Pope Pius XII in his encyclical was addressing the situation in China in which the Communist government had established a schismatic Church to rival the Catholic Church. When there is a true Pope, no bishop may be consecrated without papal authorization, much less to establish a “hierarchy” for a schismatic Church… There is certainly no parallel between the situation in China in the 1950’s and that of traditional Catholics today.”
Ad apostolorum principis is not Canon Law, which is indirectly infallible, but a specific papal law, entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis (AAS), which is directly infallible. Anytime a papal document appears in the AAS, it is considered a document for EVERYONE, a teaching of the ordinary magisterium, as Msgr. J. C. Fenton has explained numerous times before in documents on this site. Entry into the AAS as authoritative was defined by Pope Pius XII in his infallible encyclical Humani generis, also an AAS document. There doesn’t need to be any “parallel.” And speaking of parallels, this is what blows Pivvy clear out of his little mud puddle here. Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, written 13 years prior in 1945, tells us that there is no way for anyone to change the laws of the Church or usurp papal jurisdiction when there IS NO TRUE POPE, not just when the pope is reigning. This also is entered into the AAS and has been available on my website for years: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/1-what-constitutes-the-papacy/apostolic-constitution-vacantis-apostolicae-sedis/. Moreover, this papal election constitution clearly states in para. 3 that it is issued with “Our Supreme authority,” a clear hallmark of papal infallibility. Of course no mention is made of this constitution on any of the Trad websites unless it is to be dismissed as inapplicable “in our times.”
So do the many Traditionalist pseudo-bishops, all emanating from the same questionably valid sources (Lefebvre, Thuc and others consecrating without the papal mandate), really receive episcopal consecration? Not according to Pope Leo XIII’s definition given above in Apostolicae Curae and all the succeeding and preceding decisions of the Roman Pontiffs. Had the Traditionalist founder bishops been truly Catholic and performed their sacred, bounden duty to the Church, they would have provided Her with a head, but this obviously was not God’s plan for these times. For the VERY FIRST DUTY of any truly Catholic bishops remaining in the Church was NOT to ordain and consecrate priests and other bishops, but to re-establish the head, the center of unity and the source of all jurisdiction in the Church. That they did not do so, and as will be shown below DELIBERATELY refused to do so is even further proof of their true intent — not to continue the Church as She once existed, but to establish yet another counter-church, one without even the appearance of a true pope.
The rest of the story…
Below are excerpts from the first book I wrote in 1990, promoting a papal election. While that book and the “election” it prompted has been the object of sneers, derision, ridicule, falsified accounts and countless ad hominem attacks, even physical threats, there is a reason for this. It was not the “election” itself they objected to, but the basis for calling such an election. After proving that Roncalli and Montini were heretics and offering proofs they were members of secret societies, after carefully explaining from Canon Law itself that Roncalli had been invalidly elected and was never Pope, nor Montini following him, I then observed that all this had long ago been predicted by Pope Paul IV in his 1559 bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, and a remedy for the situation provided. The SSPX especially, and others, then renewed their attacks against the bull, which had begun following its first appearance in Spanish in 1978. They continue to malign it today, despite irrefutable proofs that it was completely incorporated into Canon Law under the laws governing heresy and related matters.
No, these Gallicanist pseudo-bishops wanted to hear none of that and they had to make certain that the entire idea of a papal election was beat into the ground, as well as anyone promoting such an enterprise. Even though I long ago left the false pope elected and spent two years on the Internet refuting the errors of his sect, the malicious calumnies and slander continue. I welcome it as proof that the sore point I hit on so long ago actually yet causes them pain for deceiving so many of those intended to be the elect. It is time that some at least become aware of their true episcopal status, what could and should have been done and why it was not done, so that they may understand that this is precisely why we find ourselves in the dire straits we face today. Please read the statements below and ask yourselves why such an election was not conducted immediately following the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae and destruction of the Sacraments in 1968.
It is clear to all save Traditionalists apparently, ignorant of their faith and eager to follow anyone wearing the precious collar or the purple, that every society must have a head. This is considered an indisputable necessity in the Catholic Church since Christ left us this head to speak in His name — this Head and no other, not even, without him, the “body of bishops.” This is explained well by Rev. Clement H. Crock in his Discourses on the Apostles’ Creed:
“In every well-regulated society, some head is necessary. You can call him by whatever name you will — mayor, governor, president, prince, or king. Without such a head, it is impossible to preserve peace and order, much less develop any activity for the upbuilding of a community. Should then, the Church of Christ alone be lacking in what the whole world acknowledges to be a prime necessity for every other institution? Should the Church of Christ spread through the whole world for the purpose of keeping all nations, all countries in the unity of faith and life and not be protected against the unrelenting attacks of enemies and infidels by some visible head? God owed it to His wisdom and His providence to give His Church a visible chief to preserve intact, the deposit of faith and guide the faithful until the end of time. Napoleon, his profound knowledge of men and his genius for organization, saw the absolute necessity for a supreme head of the spiritual world. Hence, to him, is credited the saying, that if the papacy did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. But this provision was made by a greater genius than Napoleon; Christ Himself, when He said: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (pp. 220-221.)
During an interregnum, bishops can only elect a pope
(Some of the following information has been expanded upon and added to the quotes originally contained in the 1990 book Will the Catholic Church Survive…)
“Indeed, Holy Writ attests that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were given to Peter alone, and that the power of binding and loosening was granted to the Apostles and to Peter; but there is nothing to show that the Apostles received supreme power without Peter, and against Peter. Such power they certainly did not receive from Jesus Christ. Wherefore, in the decree of the Vatican Council as to the nature and authority of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, no newly conceived opinion is set forth, but the venerable and constant belief of every age (Sess. iv., cap. 3)” (Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII)
“A body without a head is not that (body) to which Jesus Christ, gave the Episcopate full and sovereign. He conferred it on the College of the Apostles, INCLUDING SAINT PETER, who was made superior to all the Apostles” (Henry Cardinal Manning, The Pastoral Office)
- Reverend J. Wilhelm, S.T.D., Ph.D — “A council… acting independently of the Vicar of Christ… is unthinkable in the constitution of the Church… such assemblies have only taken place in times of great constitutional disturbances, when either there was no pope, or the rightful pope was indistinguishable from anti-popes. In such abnormal times, the safety of the Church BECOMES THE SUPREME LAW, and the first duty of the abandoned flock is to find a new shepherd, under whose direction the existing evils may be remedied.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, IV.)
- Reverend William Humphrey, S. J. — “The function of the electors, whoever they may be — the cardinals, as at present, or others, as in times past — is to designate the person who is to occupy the vacant See of Rome. The mode of designation has not been determined by God by any divine law and so it remains free to be determined by ecclesiastical law.:. (Urbs Et Orbis, p. 272.)
- The Archbishop of Grenada — (speaking at the 22d session of the Council of Trent): “…When any bishop is elected Supreme Pontiff, either by cardinals, or by the clergy, or by the people according to the times, from whom does he obtain the supreme power of jurisdiction? From Christ, of course…. ” Concilium Tridentuum. Editio Goerresiana, Vol. IX, No. 50; Frieburgi Br. 1919.)
- St. Robert Bellarmine — (Here St. Robert is considering the case of a Pope “held captive among infidels, dead, effectively insane or [who] has repudiated the papacy.” He writes): “For the Church without doubt has the authority of providing itself with a head although it is not able without the head to decide about many things… In no case would a true and perfect council be able to be convoked without the authority of the Pope, of which kind of council here we do not dispute; because obviously it would have the authority of defining questions of the faith. For there is a special authority in the head, that is in Peter, who is ordered that he confirm his brethren, and for this also our Lord prayed for him that his faith might not fail (Luke 22).
“Nevertheless, in these [above] cases an imperfect council will be able to be gathered, a council which would be sufficient for providing for the head of the Church. For the Church without doubt has the authority of providing for itself a head, although it is not able, without the head, to decide about many things which it is able [to decide] with the head, as Cajetan rightly teaches in his little work about the power of the Pope (Ch. 15 and 16).“…Previously presbyters of the Roman Church taught [this] in the epistle to Cyprian which is in the 7th book in the works of Cyprian. But that imperfect council will be able to happen if either it is called by the College of Cardinals or bishops of their own accord, who come together in one place” (De Conciliis, Chap. 14, under Certain Doubts Are Explained).
“And in another place, St. Robert Bellarmine writes: “But if a papal election is really doubtful for any reason… [and the pope] refuses to resign, it becomes the duty of the bishops to adjust the matter, for although the bishops without the pope cannot define dogmas nor make laws for the universal Church, they can and ought to decide, when occasion demands, who is the legitimate pope; and if the matter be doubtful, they should provide for the Church by having a legitimate and undoubted pastor elected. That is what the Council of Constance rightly did.” (De Concilio, II, 19). Bellarmine says this because in his lifetime Pope Paul IV, in his 1559 bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, gave even the cardinals an indefinite amount of time to determine such things. Paul IV wrote in his Bull that, “It shall be lawful for all and sundry…even for those who participated in the election of one straying from the Faith, or of a heretic or schismatic to the Papacy, or who otherwise presented and pledged him obedience and paid him homage… to depart with impunity at any time from obedience and allegiance to said promoted and elevated persons and to shun them as sorcerers, heathens, publicans, and heresiarchs [without fear of censure]…” (para. 7).
- Francis Cardinal Zabarella — In his work The Origins of the Great Schism (1948), Walter Ullmann relates that Cardinal Zabarella deplored the “incalculable damage… inflicted upon the Faith and the Church if the latter were in the hands of an heretical pope,” something we have witnessed in our day. Ullmann reports that Zabarella favored the calling of a Council by the Emperor and presumed that “good clerics and loyal believers and followers of the Church” would support such a council; and they did. Indeed, the Emperor Sigismund insisted on the calling of Constance, following Zabarella’s reasoned line of thinking. The Church thereby recognizes that whenever several papal claimants exist, the best plan is abdication and the only other recourse is a declaration that such men were never popes. As Cardinal Zabarella wrote: “It is the people themselves who have to summon the neighboring bishops for special purposes if the properly instituted bishop neglects his duty of summoning his colleagues.” In a case such as ours, Zabarella says, “Good clerics and loyal believers and followers of the Church” would need to resolve the situation, and God would have to intervene, since the Church, ‘cannot not be.’” This should have been the sole purpose of Catholic Action in our day; instead, no one was even aware of the rights and obligations of the laity to force any true bishops who remained to provide the Church with a head.
- Rev. Charles Journet — (Professor at the Major Seminary at Fribourg): “During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Church… possesses only the power of proceeding to the election of a new pope, either through the cardinals, or in default of them, by other ways….” (The Church of the Word Incarnate, p. 480.) Journet asks: “In whom does the power to elect the Pope reside?” Cajetan answers: “The Pope can settle who the electors shall be and change and limit in this way the mode of election.” Journet, in summarizing Cajetan’s arguments writes: “In a case where the settled conditions of validity have become inapplicable, the task of determining new ones falls to the Church by devolution, this last word being taken, as Cajetan says (Apologia, Chap. xiii, No. 745), not in the strict sense (devolution is strictly to the higher authority in case of default the lower), but in the wide sense, signifying all transmission, even to an inferior” (p. 480). And the order for this devolution is given by Cardinal Cajetan below.
Journet tells us that it was during the course of the disputes concerning papal authority versus the authority of an Ecumenical Council in the 15th and 16th centuries, that questions of who was invested with the power to elect the pope were brought up. He records Cajetan’s thinking on this subject as follows: “…The power to elect the Pope, resides in his predecessors eminently, regularly, and principally… the Church, in her widowhood, [is] unable to determine a new mode of election, save ‘in casu,’ unless forced by sheer necessity…. During a vacancy of the Apostolic See, neither the Church nor the Council can contravene the provisions already laid down to determine the valid mode of election. However… if the Pope has provided nothing against it, or in case of ambiguity (for example, if it is unknown who the true cardinals are, or who the true Pope is…), the power ‘of applying the papacy to such and such a person’ devolves on the universal Church, the Church of God”(Caietan: De Comparata, Cap. xiii, No. 202- )04; also, Apologia, Cap. xiii, No. 736).
Next, [Cardinal] Cajetan affirms through Journet’s reasoned explanation: “…When the provisions of canon law cannot be fulfilled, the right to elect will belong to certain members of the Church of Rome. In default of the Roman clergy, the right will belong to the Church universal, of which the Pope is to be bishop….” John of St. Thomas says: “…The concrete mode in which the election is to be carried out… has been nowhere indicated in Scripture; it is mere ecclesiastical law which will determine which persons in the Church can validly proceed to election.” (Journet, pp. 280-281. Journet and Wilhelm both agree that the only function the Church can perform in a sede vacante is that of the election of the Roman Pontiff. It also should be noted here, however, that a papal election law which is infallible, i.e., Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, is not just ecclesiastical law, but a law binding on all Catholics for belief; see the link to this document above. John of St. Thomas wrote long before the reign of Pope Pius XII.)
(End of Will the Catholic Church Survive …quotes).
Comments on the above
Attempts to organize an imperfect council prior to the election push were unsuccessful. The documents I had published at the time explaining how such a council could be convened (in John Beauclair’s Francinta Messenger, Boise, Idaho) and other information were plagiarized and used in the early 1990s to promote the imperfect council idea in South America and this country, to no avail. Had bishops used St. Robert Bellarmine’s opinion alone, and the precedent provided by the Council of Constance, there could have been a valid election using Can. 20 as a template. But this was never what Traditionalists intended. And it is useless to cite the necessity of the papacy — that Peter must have perpetual successors as the Vatican Council and other papal teachings decree (DZ 1825, 638-39, 654); or that denial of the necessity to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is a heresy (DZ 469). It hardly needs to be said that a vacancy of the Holy See is dangerous and rife with the possibility of untold harm to the Church. We have witnessed that firsthand. And the fact it was maliciously allowed to continue by those pretending to rule the Church in the place of the Roman Pontiff is undeniable.
Vicomte Leon de Poncins explains in his Freemasonry and the Vatican that Freemasonry sets up both sides of the spectrum in infiltrating various organizations — the right and the left. This is as true here of the Church as it is in modern-day politics, something we have seen ample evidence of just recently. The left set up the counter-Church in Rome, the right set up its own counter-Church, Gallicanist/Gnostic Traditionalism, and here we are today. Proof of this can be found in the link provided at the beginning of this article on Freemasonry. So all the wasted rantings and ravings over the terrible Novus Ordo and the constant updatings regarding the antics of the usurper clowns have only been a distraction. And it succeeded in preventing the unwary from properly assessing and then questioning the authority and validity of Traditionalists and their organizations. This when Traditionalism is even more offensive to God than the Novus Ordo, claiming as it does to represent the Church we lost when it does nothing of the sort, being only one more accursed heretical sect.
False basis for episcopal supremacy
How do we know Traditionalist clergy actually discouraged a papal election? Well first we have the case of Lefebvre, who was all too happy to blast the usurpers from his lofty throne, while using them to “legitimize” his seminary and sanctioning their John 23 missal, also marital and other policies. You can scarcely consider a papal election when you’re playing pattycakes with the enemy. And then we have the Thuc bunch, plagued from the very beginning with scandal, fraud and disorganization. A recent Internet find shows us exactly who and what all these people were — and remember, Lefebvre and Thuc were bosom council buddies — and what they really believed. Below are excerpts from an April 30, 1983 letter by the Mexican layman Alvaro Ramirez Arandigoyen to Moises Carmona. Carmona, a follower of Rev. Joaquin Saenz Arriaga (an admitted member of a secret society), was one of two Mexican priests “consecrated” by Thuc. The translation of the letter was first printed in the German publication Einsicht. Ramirez is asking Carmona to clarify “the essential complex of questions of the episcopal powers and their importance in the framework of the Church.” Ramirez writes as follows:
“The Bishop of Rome… possesses the universal power of jurisdiction as well as the infallibility, a privilege, which, by tradition, is being recognised and defined for the Bishop of Rome as follower of St. Peter and the Vicar of Christ. But in the strict sacramental sense of the Church, as administrator of the Holy Mysteries, the Bishop of Rome possesses no greater power of office than the other bishops, as followers of the Apostles… It is therefore clear that the Bishop of Rome is entitled to the universal jurisdiction for the election of all bishops of the local jurisdiction. But this election is in no way essential for the episcopal power of consecration in the sacramental sense.
“Meanwhile the bishop, who consecrates new bishops without required apostolic mandate, commits an illegal act of consecration, illegal consecrations and an extremely grave sin, which, by canonical right, is punished with excommunication. But this illegality does not affect in any way the internal value and the sacramental validity, as the bishop has the distinguishing feature of a sacramental authority of power, a MYSTERIOUS, ALL VALID AND ABSOLUTE POWER, which is neither less than the one belonging to the Bishop of Rome, it does not proceed from him, nor can it be essentially been brought about through him.”
“A curve of the Church’s decadence of the latest centuries proves that it always occurs when the bishops cease to exercise their power of authority. The holy episcopal powers, received from the Apostles and carried on through tradition, are of divine right. And here we ask the question which forces itself to be solved, regarding the Roman and Apostolic Church in our historical hour of the present crisis and worldwide apostasy: there is no doubt, that the Roman Pontiff, bishop of Rome, is competent — through holy tradition — to appoint the bishops sees according to his own right of universal jurisdiction. This is undisputable and must not be violated… It is an elementary truth, which cannot be proclaimed loud enough, that the holy, Catholic, visible and hierarchical Church is not founded solely on Peter, but Peter and the Apostles, united in the community of faith in Jesus Christ. According to the divine right it is therefore a duty in conscience for a bishop, who has still remained faithful in the world, under the threat of losing his salvation, to exercise his apostolic powers without restrainment, fully und wholly, so to continue the Church of Christ….
“The bishop…, as well as the new bishops consecrated by him, would certainly not be authorised to elect the Bishop of Rome, because this right belongs to the local church in Rome, which is, today illegally usurped by a heresy (heretic). They also are not authorised to occupy the usurped bishoprics held by the heretics of the whole world, but in agreement with tradition, they may found new churches and provide them with the necessary powers of office.*)… WHAT THESE BISHOPS SHOULD NOT DO, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, IS TO ELECT A NEW POPE, also not to found any kind of sect and also not to adopt an universal jurisdiction by founding a modern religious order, which would not be in accordance with the apostolic intention, (as Lefebvre does). What they should do, is just this: to act the way the Apostles did — and nothing else.
* Editor’s note: Mgr. M.L. Guêrard des Lauriers has published an explanation, which refers also to this subject and its first part has been published already in the SAKA-INFORMATIONS of January 1984, the second part has now followed in the February issue. We shall also try to find authors, who can give us an information about the election of a Pope as such, about its possible realisation under today’s circumstances. Then the suggestions made by Mr. Ramirez would have to be reconsidered. (The editor listed for this article is one G. Resch.)
It can only be assumed that what Ramirez said above was fully adopted, from that point on, by Traditionalists. Shall we begin by enumerating the heresies?
Heresy 1: “But in the strict sacramental sense of the Church, as administrator of the Holy Mysteries, the Bishop of Rome possesses no greater power of office than the other bishops, as followers of the Apostles.” From the Vatican Council: “If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction but not 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 which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread out over the whole world; or that he possesses only the more important parts but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate or over the Churches altogether and individually and over the pastors and the faithful all together and individually let him be anathema” (DZ 1831; see also Satis Cognitum above).
Heresy 2: “The bishop has the distinguishing feature of a sacramental authority of power, a MYSTERIOUS, ALL VALID AND ABSOLUTE POWER, which is neither less than the one belonging to the Bishop of Rome.” (See again DZ 1831; also the decision regarding bishops made by Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis and Ad sinarum gentum, that bishops, for all their powers, are still subordinate to the Roman Pontiff.) The mysterious and all valid absolute power he accredits to these bishops is reminiscent of the “magic of apostolic succession,” referred to by Peter Anson in his book Bishops at Large, (p. 296). There Anson chronicles the plethora of sects, many of them Gnostic and occult in origin, which proceeded from schismatic and other unauthorized consecrations in the 20th century. Anson also notes: “All over France, especially in the South and West, little groups of neo-Gnostics flourished. Most of them had their own priests and bishops, for it was believed that the magical rites could only be effective with an Apostolic succession guaranteed to be valid” (p. 309.)” Also the “divine right” episcopacy mentioned by Ramirez smacks of Gallicanism, as does his entire letter.
Heresy 3: “…The holy, Catholic, visible and hierarchical Church is not founded solely on Peter, but Peter and the Apostles.” From the Vatican Council: “The primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church of God was promised and was conferred immediately and directly upon the blessed apostle Peter by Christ our Lord… Upon Simon Peter alone Jesus, after His resurrection, conferred the jurisdiction of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold saying, ‘Feed my lambs feed my sheep… To this sacred teaching of Holy Scripture… as always understood by the Catholic Church… are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely deny that the form of government in His Church was established by Christ the Lord; that to Peter alone before the other apostles, whether individually or altogether, was confided the true and proper primacy of jurisdiction by Christ” (DZ 1822).
“The bishop…, as well as the new bishops consecrated by him, would certainly not be authorised to elect the Bishop of Rome, because this right belongs to the local church in Rome, which is, today illegally usurped by a heresy (heretic).” Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, already available in Spanish as early as 1978, resolved this entire issue, and resolved it infallibly. All heretics lose their offices, and these offices cannot be restored to them. (See the excerpt from this bull above). Obviously Ramirez didn’t do much research regarding the papal election business. The right to elect devolves, as Cardinal Cajetan explains above, and this is apparent from what happened at the Council of Constance, as St. Bellarmine notes. Of course it could never devolve on Thuc or Lefebvre or any of those they attempted to elect, all of them being heretics and schismatics disqualified by Paul IV’s bull, Canon Law and Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis.
The editor’s note to this letter is interesting, and perhaps provides a motive for why Guerard des Lauriers felt the need to arrive at his absurd material/formal theory regarding the papacy. A papal election was not what these “bishops” wanted — they wished to reign as mini-popes in their own little fiefdoms. And therefore today they continue to do so, despite the fact that without the pope they had no other function but to elect a true successor of St. Peter. Having failed to do this when it was possible, they have doomed the Church to Her present state and forever lost the opportunity to remedy this situation. God alone will now resolve it, at His own pleasure and in His own good time.