+ Sts. Peter and Paul +


I have added an article to the recent articles list on Free Content covering the inability of true Catholics to avail themselves of the Sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice from those known as Uniates who take their orders from Rome under the Novus Ordo umbrella or operate “independently,” (as if). By Uniate orders I mean those priests and bishops of the Byzantine and other Eastern rites who returned to Rome from schism prior to the death of Pope XII, for they are every bit as guilty of communicatio in sacris as their Latin rite counterparts. In fact, Canon Law determines they are guilty of heresy right along with Latin rite Catholics any time they deny an article of faith or participate in false worship. They are NOT excused from such sins against faith by any differences in Oriental law, despite the questions raised by Traditionalists on this point. As is usually the case, the teachings of the canonists and theologians concerning this truth of faith are readily available, and we are bound to follow approved theologians, NOT Traditionalists.

All this should be easy to deduce from what already is available on the site. But some wish to engage in wishful thinking and pretend that these men really have received their orders from those consecrated by men whose faculties were secretly granted by Pope Pius XII; the Siri group is among these. In reality, nothing can be certain about these men or their orders owing to the clandestine nature of operations behind the Iron Curtain. The nature of their faculties cannot be positively verified, which is essential before one can request the Sacraments. No one is denying the validity of their orders, unlike the situation with Traditionalists. But what they cannot do is exercise their orders during an interregnum without usurping papal jurisdiction, per Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, for all jurisdiction must issue only through the Roman Pontiff, absent from his throne for nearly 57 years. It is preposterous to believe that they could function validly or licitly under an antipope (who some of them even acknowledge may not be a true pope!) because they possess unverifiable “extraordinary faculties.”

The Uniate ruse is yet another means of ensnaring the faithful. It is an attractive one filled with gorgeous icons, unfamiliar yet somehow enchanting liturgical rites and a quietistic sort of mysticism that has suffered much under Novus Ordo influence, while still pretending to be strictly allied with the practice of the early desert Fathers. Unfortunately Latin Rite Catholics are not allowed to change rites. But then Canon Law is so generally ignored and demeaned these days that this statement means nothing to those wanting to experiment with the Oriental rites and commit sacrilege. They have the excuse that the Orientals are not bound by our code but as mentioned above, that does NOT include matters of faith or morals or even those things connected to them. How is it that those who have once known the importance of remaining a stay-at-home Catholic are enticed into deviating from the faith?

In one instance it was the CMRI argument that their priests (and deacons) are able to perform what appears to be valid exorcisms. Since even the laity are permitted to recite (and expect results from reciting) the exorcism prayers privately, how could one be certain that such results are not a grant of God’s mercy to the laity (since such “priests” act only as laymen), or even a deceit of the devil? It is sheer human pride to assume that one could discern such matters known only to God. After all, it is speculated that “perfect” possession can even mimic the absence of aversion to holy objects. And what better way for the Evil One to enslave more souls than to pretend that he has been cast out, when indeed he is still lurking within? As noted in the Uniate article, it is the unanimous opinion of modern theologians (Rev. Dominic Prummer) that we are required to have formal certitude concerning such serious matters, otherwise we cannot assume they are true (a dangerous practice Pope Pius XII condemned in Humani Generis) or act (where sacramental validity or eternal salvation are concerned). This rests on the teaching of Bd. Pope Innocent XI, (DZ 1151).

Now a new invention, based on the claim of certain Traditionalists — that of an “Emergency Apostolic Mandate” — may be tempting stay-at-homes to avail themselves of Traditionalist services. This teaching heretically contradicts Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolica Sedis, Ad Apostolorum Principis, the dictates of Can. 147, and Pope Pius XII’s lengthy commentary on Can. 147 with the accompanying excommunications attached to this very canon. Canon 147 is cross-referenced with Can. 2394 which advises the reader of a decree issued by the Sacred Congregation of the Council, June 29, 1950 on this canon. In the decree, the council delivered excommunications especially reserved to the Holy See from Pope Pius XII, stating in part that: “Anyone, who without a canonical investiture or provision made according to the sacred canons occupies an ecclesiastical office, benefice or dignity,” or allows anyone “to be unlawfully intruded into the same,” is excommunicated, (Canon Law Digest, Vol. III). In this decree, the Sacred Congregation makes it clear that the Council of Trent has declared appointments assumed by anyone on their own authority and those made by the people or secular government anathema, (DZ 967; Trent, Session XXIII, Ch. 4, Can. 7). They reference this decree to Can. 147§1, which declares such appointments invalid.

Those objecting to the fact that Vacantis Apostolica Sedis cannot apply to such “emergencies” fail to note that it always has, and was even cited by lay canonists writing during the then prevailing “emergency” that was the Western Schism. Professor and historian Walter Ullmann, in his “The Origins of the Great Schism,” relates what later became law under future popes. Speaking of the lay canonists Baldus de Ubaldis and Joannes de Lignano, Ullmann, calls Ubaldis one of the two “greatest jurists of the 14th century.” Lignano he styles as enjoying respect and “authority in ecclesiastical circles…His reputation was great…Both jurists deal at length with the authority of the cardinals over the pope and both reach the conclusion that cardinals have no jurisdictional powers over the pope; they cannot be accusers, witnesses, and judges [all] in one…all disputes concerning intentions, motives and will must be decided by a judge, but who should be the judge in this case? Certainly nobody else but a general council… [which could only be] lawfully summoned by…Urban VI…Baldus refers to a commentary of Clem. I.iii.2, which passage expressly lays down that during a vacancy the Sacred College cannot exercise papal jurisdiction nor can the cardinals change the constitution of the Church,” and here Ullmann notes this is found in Pope Pius X’s Vacante Sedis Apostolica, (reiterated by Pius XII in his 1945 constitution that abrogate Pope St. Pius X’s law). Baldus further taught that the cardinals also can clear the pope elected of all irregularities “except one, and that is persistent heresy.”

Unlike our times, during the Western Schism there was a true pope then supplying jurisdiction (or who later supplied it at the Council of Constance before resigning) — Gregory XII and his predecessors. Yet still, even in those uncertain times, the teachings were the same: neither the cardinals, nor the body of bishops as a whole were superior to the pope. And it took lay canonists, not the clergy, to point this out and bring the schism to an end. Yet suddenly today this is no longer the case? We “need” these schismatic pseudo-bishops, but not the pope???

This post will be published long after the feasts of St. Peter and Paul, although it was written on that day. It is no coincidence that the excommunications Pope Pius XII decreed concerning the usurpation of offices by those without a canonical appointment or provision was also issued on this feast day in 1950. The pope alone enjoys the primacy of jurisdiction; the bishops receive such jurisdiction only through Peter, not directly from Christ, as defined by Pope Pius XII. I am sure that this definition chaps the hides of those demanding recognition as Traditionalist bishops, but they simply need to get over it. We owe fealty and obedience to Christ the King and the bishop of Rome on his glorious return, no one else.

(See 7. Most Recent Articles under Free Content for new posts on these topics.)


T. Benns


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