+Our Mother of Perpetual Help+
A reader has asked for a better explanation of the Vatican Council Decree: “Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy,” wondering how it is that the Church could ever be without a true pope. The answer is that this is a matter of Divine Revelation; as Henry Edward Cardinal Manning teaches, St. Paul seems to indicate in 2 Thessalonians that the withholding power restraining Antichrist’s coming is the papacy. How could Antichrist be “revealed in his time,” as St. Paul explains in 2 Thess. 5-6, unless the pope was first removed from the scene? This withholding power was not to be understood until our own day. And only the appearance of the Man of Sin would itself demonstrate that the event had come to pass. We would not believe it if we had not witnessed it with our own eyes. But now we know what St. Paul warned the early Christians about regarding what would happen to those who lived during the time when the day of the Lord was at hand.
Rev. E.S. Berry in his work The Church of Christ, (1910), provides a comprehensive explanation of perpetuity in its relation to indefectibility below.
“The general notion of indefectibility is indicated by the word itself, which is derived from the Latin in (not) and deficere(to fail). Hence indefectibility is inability to fail, to fall short, to perish. Applied to the Church, it means that she cannot be deprived of any essential power or quality SO LONG AS SHE CONTINUES TO EXIST… The Apostolic See of Rome is the only particular Church to which the promise of perpetual indefectibility has been made. Perpetuity is indefectibility of existence. Strictly speaking, indefectibility pertains to the essential qualities of the Church; perpetuity to Her existence. These two attributes, though really distinct, are so closely related it is difficult to treat them separately. If the Church is indefectible in her essential qualities and perpetual in Her existence, she must be perpetually indefectible in all essential qualities. Therefore the two attributes may be combined as perpetual indefectibility” (pgs. 56-57).
The Church of Christ is perpetually indefectible in all its attributes and properties
“The proposed thesis does not determine the attributes and properties of the Church; it simply states that whatever they may be, the Church can never lose a single one of them, nor fail in her existence…” (DZ 1686, Pope Pius IX: “each one of these marks so clings to the others that it cannot be separated from them…. ” Rev Kinkead states in his catechism that the four marks cannot exist without the three attributes: authority, infallibility and indefectibility — Q. & A. 519-520, which have primary reference to the papacy.) Rev. Berry continues: “It still must be perpetually and indefectibly one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. In other words, it means that the Church founded by Christ must exist until the end of time without any essential change… [for] if the Church could fail in any of its essentials, even for a time, it would lose all authority to teach and govern because the faithful could never be certain at any time that it had not failed — that it had not ceased to be the Church of Christ, thereby losing all authority. But an authority that may be justly doubted at all times is NO AUTHORITY; it commands neither obedience nor respect as is evident in churches that reject the claim to indefectibility.
“Perpetuity of the powers of the Church is a necessary consequence of her perpetual indefectibility. It follows also from the very purpose for which the Church was instituted, namely, the glory of God and the salvation of souls.The power of Orders is directly concerned with both; therefore, it must exist so long as there are men on earth to attain salvation through the proper worship of God. The power of jurisdiction is ordained for the government of the Church, a visible society that must endure until the end of time; therefore, this power itself must be perpetual. Finally, Christ has promised to convey perpetual powers to His Church: “Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world” (p. 263; end of Rev. Berry comments).
“May God give you the grace necessary to defend the rights of the Sovereign Pontiff and the Holy See; for without the Pope there is no Church, and there is no Catholic Society without the Holy See.” — Pope Pius IX, (Allocution to religious superiors, June,1872)
In the book advertised on this site, The Phantom Church in Rome, irrefutable proofs from the popes and Canon Law are given regarding the invalid election of John 23 in 1958. These proofs were first presented in rudimentary form in 1990. They are taken from infallible teachings of the Church and Canon and papal laws. Once Angelo Roncalli, the false prophet, usurped the papal see, he paved the way for Paul 6’s reign — Montini, the Antichrist. None of those elected after John 23 were true popes or could ever be true popes. What we have now in Rome is what Pope Paul IV identified as the abomination of desolation — Antichrist — standing in the Holy Place where he ought not to be. (See Pope Paul IV’s Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio on the Articles page of the website.)
Traditionalists cannot possibly claim to be in the right with their stance of recognize and resist. By resisting they admit they doubt the authority of Francis, for no one could remain a member of the Church and resist a true pope. And as St. Robert Bellarmine teaches and Rev. Berry with him says above, doubtful authority is NO authority. The Church cannot be deprived of any essential power or quality SO LONG AS SHE CONTINUES TO EXIST… The Apostolic See of Rome is the only particular Church to which the promise of perpetual indefectibility has been made.” But she no longer exists. As Pope Pius IX taught, “Without the Pope there IS no Church.” and no Catholic society. Traditionalists must prove a true pope exists so that they may exist as members of that church, and they can prove neither premise.
For as long as the Pope ruled the Church, Peter’s faith never failed; the Church was indefectible. The only time identified as a prophesied break in the established order of things was during the reign of Antichrist and his abominable system, and this is where we find ourselves. Those who disagree must do one of three things: 1) Accept Francis and his five predecessors as true popes; 2) Demonstrate that for the last 62 years no doctrines of the Church have been violated by the apostate church or Traditionalists and 3) Prove that the Church as Christ constituted it can exist with a doubtful or absent head. Yet they can do none of these and remain Catholic.
We have had no true pope for 62 years. The end of time for the Church was 1958. We now live in the period predicted by St. Thomas Aquinas as that time existing after the death of Antichrist and before the coming of Christ. But Rev. Berry does not classify this coming of Christ necessarily as the Second Coming and Final Judgment. First, he writes concerning the verse in Holy Scripture, “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive, if possible, even the elect”:
“Christ is here warning the faithful against the prodigies that the agents of Satan will produce in the days of Antichrist, to deceive them if possible. Such prodigies are not miracles, but as St. Paul says, “signs and lying wonders.” This very warning on the part of Our Lord presupposes the power of miracles in the Church, for otherwise there would be no reason for Satan to attempt such counterfeits. There can be no counterfeit coins where there are no genuine coins to counterfeit. The prophecies of the Apocalypse show that Satan will imitate the Church of Christ to deceive mankind; he will set up a church of Satan in opposition to the Church of Christ. Antichrist will assume the role of Messias; his prophet will act the part of Pope, and there will be imitations of the Sacraments of the Church. There will also be lying wonders in imitation of the miracles wrought in the Church.”
Comment: So he anticipates precisely the position we are in and what we have experienced since Pope Pius XII’s death. Bp. Fulton Sheen and others predicted the same. How can such obvious signs and lying wonders NOT be the fulfillment Rev. Berry describes? He continues:
“The mystery of iniquity mentioned by St. Paul grows apace with the spread of the Church, and will culminate in the coming of Antichrist, when Satan will make a last supreme effort to prevent the universal reign of Christ in His Church. After a short but desperate struggle, the Church will emerge victorious, Antichrist will perish, and the powers of Satan will be curbed, so that he should no more seduce the nations. After the defeat and destruction of Antichrist, all nations will flow into the Church, the Jews will enter her fold, and the universal reign of Christ will be established over all peoples, tribes, and tongues. Then shall the words of Christ be literally and completely fulfilled: I have overcome the world. After a long period of time, symbolically designated as a thousand years, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go forth to seduce the nations which are over the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and shall gather them together to battle for a final persecution of the Church. By special intervention of God, these hostile nations shall be quickly defeated, and the Church shall stand forth once more victorious. Then will the day of judgment be near at hand.
“[Berry FOOTNOTE]: “The interpretation of the prophecies regarding the time of Antichrist and subsequent events is given as an opinion to be accepted for what it is worth. So far as we know, there is no pronouncement of the Church on this question. In fact, no doctrine is involved. It is generally held by Catholic theologians that the Church will be completely Catholic after the days of Antichrist. This doctrine is not materially affected by the further consideration concerning the time of his appearance. This is merely an interesting speculation, of which the above solution seems probable to us. It might be objected that Christ Himself places the end of the world immediately after the attainment of complete Catholicity by the Church: This gospel shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come. (Matt, xxiv, 14.) And St. Paul connects the coming of Antichrist with the second coming of Christ: And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus . . . shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (2 Thess. ii, 8). Neither objection has any weight; in the first Our Lord was simply assuring the Apostles that there would be sufficient time to carry the gospel to all nations, since the consummation will not come until that has been accomplished. He does not say that it will come immediately upon its accomplishment. In the other case, we see no reason why ‘His coming’ …must be taken to mean the personal coming of Our Lord at the last day rather than a metaphorical coming in manifest judgment against Antichrist.” (pgs. 137-38).
“Christ has either failed in His promises, or the Church must ever preserve and teach all truths committed to her through the ministry of the Apostles. In other words, the Church must be Apostolic in her doctrine [also, Berry says, Her origin and ministry] even to the consummation of the world” (p. 143).
Comment: As Berry notes, the Church has never decided on any of these matters. Christ tells us no one knows the day nor the hour of His Second Coming and the Church says that no one was to predict who would be the Antichrist in advance of his appearance. But the faithful were carefully instructed by the Apostles on how to recognize and resist him once he came. Only a remnant would be selected out of grace and if possible, even the elect would be deceived. Christ says when He comes He will find few on earth who have preserved their faith. The greatest deceit perpetrated by the apostate Church in Rome and Traditionalists is to make it appear that a) the Church yet exists, and in the case of Traditionalists is able to exist without a true pope; b) that, in the case of Traditionalists, Mass and Sacraments are still available to the faithful and c) that we are not living in the end times; that Antichrist has not yet reigned and is yet to come.
Many point to the fact that Christ promised He would be with His Church, as it was constituted, until the consummation, so this means that the hierarchy would exist until the very end. This can be true only if there is a brief peace and the papacy is miraculously restored. For already the Church as Christ constituted it no longer exists, since its most important constituent element — the Roman Pontiff —has been absent for 62 years! And once again, Pope Pius IX says without the pope there can be no Church and no Catholic society. Paul IV teaches that the abomination of desolation (Antichrist), who he then feared would gain the papacy, would reign as a falsely elected pope. This man would hold heretical beliefs and would be nothing more than a usurper who would have no authority whatsoever to rule the Church. This is the entire gist of his Bull. Traditionalists condemn it as a disciplinary decree voided by the 1917 Code of Canon Law as part of the old law, but this is an absolute falsehood.
Abp. Amleto Cicognani wrote in his Canon Law: “The Code is exclusive, excluding and declaring abolished all former laws and customs excepting those explicitly or implicitly contained in the Code and… laws… reserved in the Code. The Code is therefore not to be considered absolutely exclusive of all other laws … Outside the Code there still remains in force law… in accordance with the Code or with the old law at least implicitly contained in it… In a commentary on the Canons the footnotes must never be neglected” (pgs. 432-433). Pope Paul IV’s Bull can be found in the footnotes to the Code in a number of different places and is the basis for nearly every canon in the 1917 Code regarding heresy. (See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/canonical-proofs-cum-ex-apostolatus-officio-is-retained-in-the-1917-code-of-canon-law/).
Have all the signs predicted by St. Paul regarding the end times and Antichrist’s coming been fulfilled? Before any of these signs can appear, he who withholdeth must first be taken out of the way (2 Thess. 2: 6-7). Cardinal Manning teaches that this means the Roman Pontiff will be removed from his throne. Apocalypse 12: 5 seems to indicate that the pope intended to reign either dies or is unable to ascend the throne for whatever reason; and therefore God removes him to heaven or at least suspends his power and reserves it to Himself. And no, this cannot apply to Cardinal Siri who signed Vatican 2 documents, endorsed the false popes and con-celebrated the Novus Ordo with his buddies. (See photos and article at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/errors-in-matters-of-faith-and-morals/siri-engages-in-communicatio-in-sacris/)
Once Pope Pius XII died, the following signs predicted by St. Paul took place:
- First will come the revolt, then the Man of Sin is revealed (2 Thess. 2: 3). The hierarchy revolted by embracing ecumenism, Americanism and other heresies even before the death of Pope Pius XII. The cardinals revolted by electing John 23, an unworthy candidate, to the papacy and attending the false Vatican 2 council. Half of the faithful revolted by remaining within the Novus Ordo church; the other half rightly rejected the false council and left the NO in the 1960s,1970s following the abrogation of the Latin Mass.
- He shall sit in the temple of God, showing himself as God, (2 Thess. 2: 4). Some thought it would be the temple in Jerusalem, others the Church. Obviously it is the Church, and Paul 6 received the usual “papal adoration” following his invalid election as prescribed in the papal election law. But it is clear from Pope Paul IV’s Bull, which interprets an actual verse of Holy Scripture, that he will be a usurper reigning as a true pope. This interpretation is binding on the faithful). As Pope Pius XII taught, the Pope is Christ on earth; he is Christ’s own Vicar. He may bind and loose and Christ confirms these decisions in Heaven. Did Paul VI purposely take this name to transpose the Roman numerals of Paul IV’s name, indicating a reversal of papal teaching as well as a fulfillment of all his predictions?
- The coming of Antichrist will be “according to the working of Satan,” exercising Satan’s power, signs and lying wonders (2 Thess. 2: 9). How but by the power of Satan could Paul 6 have managed to appear to secure papal election, reconvene the false Vatican 2 council, promulgate false rites of the Sacraments, close the council and abrogate the Latin Mass, all within the space of six years?
- He will cause the Continual (Perpetual) Sacrifice to cease: “And it was magnified even to the prince of the strength: and it took away from him the continual sacrifice, and cast down the place of his sanctuary. And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground, and he shall do and shall prosper” (Daniel 8: 11-12). And there shall stand up in his place one despised, and the kingly honor shall not be given to him: and he shall come privately and shall obtain the kingdom by fraud… And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice: and they shall place there the abomination unto desolation” (Daniel 11: 21, 31).
St. Francis de Sales and St. Alphonsus Liguori both teach that the Sacrifice will 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 earth…All 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).” St. Alphonsus 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 it is only at this altar, in the privacy of their homes, that those who strive to keep the faith without recourse to unlawful pastors choose to honor Him.
- Take away the papacy and you take away the Mass, and vice versa. The Mass is called continual or perpetual, yet it is taken away. Peter shall have perpetual successors, and yet Cardinal Manning says he who withholdeth, the Holy Father, shall be taken out of the way and then Antichrist will come. Because those who succumb to Antichrist will not love the truth, they will not believe these things will happen. They shall be seduced by the operation of error, and will be judged (2 Thess. 2: 10-11).
Pope Paul IV defines the abomination of desolation as a person; Scripture commentators tend to identify it as the cessation of the Continual Sacrifice, which happened in the time of the Maccabees under Antiochus. But St. Jerome tells us in the Breviary the term abomination can just as easily be applied to Antichrist himself, and that “of desolation” refers to a “ruined temple’ where the Sacrifice to idols (Holy Scripture refers to them as bread idols) is set up. And so the person and the false Sacrifice are linked one to the other, just as Adrian Fortescue says in the Catholic Encyclopedia regarding the Mass and the papacy: “As union with Rome is the bond between Catholics, so is our common share in this, the most venerable rite in Christendom, the witness and safeguard of that bond.”
None of us know when or how all that we are witnessing today will end. It may end with Christ coming briefly to inflict the long-expected chastisement and a restoration of the Church or Christ could easily come for the Final Judgment; commentators are divided on this subject. The Fatima apparitions seem to indicate that there will be a brief peace after the death of Antichrist and before the last persecution and final judgment. But that was predicated on whether enough Catholics said the Rosary and performed penance for the conversion of sinners; also whether or not the Pope consecrated Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart in the manner in which she requested. We have no way of knowing if this was actually the case. Praying and watching is what Our Lord asked us to do; for the Master comes when He is least expected, and only those awaiting Him with their lamps aglow will avoid being cast into the external darkness.