St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
The question often comes up — why isn’t anything ever posted on this blog about Francis’ errors and the many heresies issuing from the Vatican during his “papacy”? I can find numerous Traditional/conservative Novus Ordo websites and blogs that deal with these issues and some even say outright that Francis is not a true pope. They operate much like cable news networks dealing with the current political situation, reacting to every word out of Francis’ mouth or the mouths of his close associates, every untoward event, any and all reports of sexual misconduct or abuse, ad nauseum. In many respects these sites are little more than gossip mills and stages on which to play out the daily drama of someone or something that no one should even be interested in. Why?
Because Francis is not a true pope. He is not even a bishop. He was excommunicated long ago for his involvement with the Novus Ordo for a censure known as communicatio in sacris, which means communication in sacred matters (see https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/3-the-latin-mass/jurisdiction-lawful-pastors-and-communicatio-in-sacris/). In other words, whenever any Catholic participates in services that are not Catholic, even though they may appear to be (as in the case of schismatics), they incur ipso facto excommunication for such acts. This applies doubly to (validly ordained) clerics who are presumed to know the laws of the Church and abide by them. Celebration of the Novus Ordo automatically knocks them out of commission — as does celebration even of the Latin Mass by Traditionalists — who are doubtfully ordained/and or consecrated and possess no permission of any kind, canonical or otherwise.
Why this chasing of heretics and the monotonous chronicling of all they do? Because it makes good copy and puts people “in the (secularist) know.” Yes, there is good and even necessary information on many of these sites. I sometimes quote them myself with the proper disclaimers. It is not up to me to act as the moral police and make the judgment that such and such a person is not strong enough in their faith to visit such sites without injury to their convictions. But in between the lines of this good information lies the assumption that Traditionalists or Vatican 2 “Catholics” are the continuation of Christ’s true Church on earth, and this is consumed along with any otherwise valuable information that is imparted by the authors of these sites. Like a little poison in a glass of wine as regards the body, one never knows the danger to the intellect that insidiously enters and remains lurking in the subconscious, undetected, until one begins to doubt the faith.
Many report they often read the works of people who come so close to the truth it is painful to witness, yet however gifted or knowledgeable these writers may be, they never quite make it across the finish line. There can only be three reasons for this: 1) Vincible ignorance, which in one eager to seek and adhere to the truth can be overcome and of which such writers should be so informed; 2) Invincible ignorance, which of its very nature is generally inculpable but impossible to overcome without a miracle of grace (Rev. John Kearney); or 3) affected ignorance, which does not excuse from penalties of excommunication unless the law states that its violation requires full knowledge and deliberation on the part of the violator (Can. 2229, Secs. 1, 2 and Sec. 3, #1). But even inculpable ignorance will not excuse from the imputability of the delict or violation of the law, although it does diminish it. Actual inculpable inadvertence or error in regard to the law has the same effect as inculpable ignorance (Can. 2202, at al). Inculpable ignorance is determined by age, circumstance, the sex of the person, the dignity or state of life of the person in question, whether the act was committed owing to force, fear, or passion, etc.
The above is taken from the Revs. John A. McHugh and Charles J. Callan’s Moral Theology — A Complete Course, based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the best modern authorities (1958). What they write on this topic is important for Catholics to know. Many remain confused regarding what follows. And so it is necessary to include below the entire teaching of these well-respected moral theologians, whose works were considered the standard of their day.
Revs. McHugh and Callan
854. The kinds of printed matter forbidden by the Code (Canon 1399) are as follows: (a) the prohibition extends to books, to other published matter (such as magazines and newspapers), and to illustrations that attack religion and what are called “holy pictures” (i.e., images of
our Lord and the Saints), if opposed to the mind of the Church; (b) the prohibition extends to published matter dangerous to faith, and therefore to the following; to writings or caricatures that attack the existence of God, miracles or other foundations of natural or revealed
religion, Catholic dogma, worship or discipline, the ecclesiastical hierarchy as such, or the clerical or religious state; to those that defend heresy, schism, superstition, condemned errors, subversive societies, or suicide, duelling, divorce; to non-Catholic publications of the Bible and to non-Catholic works on religion that are not clearly free from opposition to Catholic faith; to liturgical works that do not agree with the authentic texts; to books that publish apocryphal
indulgences and to printed images of holy persons that would be the occasion of error (e.g., the representation of the Holy Ghost in human form).
855. (Condemned matter in a writing)
(b) …Works are not forbidden, unless they contain not only agreement with error, but also argument in defense of error. Thus, books in favor of heresy, schism, suicide, duelling, divorce,
Freemasonry, etc., are forbidden when they champion wrong causes by disputing in their behalf.
(c) Other works are forbidden, not because they state, but because they approve of error. Such are books that attack or ridicule the foundations of religion or the dogmas of faith, those that disparage worship, those that are subversive of discipline, those that defend proscribed propositions, those that teach and favor superstition, etc.
858. How is one to know in a particular case whether a book falls under one of the foregoing classes forbidden by the Code? (a) If the Holy See has made a declaration, the matter is of course clear; (b) if no declaration has been made, and one is competent to judge for oneself,
one may read as much as is necessary to decide whether the book is one of those proscribed by the Code; but if a person has not received the education that would fit him for judging, he should consult some person more skilled than himself, such as his parish priest or confessor.
859. Is it lawful to read newspapers, magazines, or reference works (such as encyclopedias), which contain some articles contrary to faith, and others that are good or indifferent, if these papers or books have not been condemned? (a) If the reading or consultation, on account of
one’s individual character, will subject one to grave temptations, then according to natural law it should be avoided. (b) If there is no serious danger or temptation, but the policy of the works or journals in question is anti-religious or anti-Catholic, as appears from the space given to hostile attack, their frequency or bitterness of spirit, then, according to the law of the Code just mentioned, one should avoid such reading matter. Examples of this kind of literature are papers
devoted to atheistic or Bolshevistic propaganda, anti-Catholic sheets, etc. (c) If there is no danger to the individual, and the editorial policy is not hostile, one may use such matter as is good and useful, while passing over any elaborate or systematic attack on truth or
defense of error. (End of McHugh and Callan material)
Without a true pope or hierarchy, such decisions are difficult to make. But as repeatedly stressed in the website articles, when there is any possibility that any action whatsoever would endanger eternal salvation, any doubt, then the safer course must be taken. This is the unanimous opinion of theologians and as such is binding on Catholics. Being honest with oneself is not always easy and recognizing and banishing prejudices is a difficult task. It should be clear to those reading these Traditionalist and NO websites that their authors support and promote schism, at the very least, and flaunt condemned errors. How else could they possibly refer readers to various Traditionalist organizations and encourage attendance at “mass” and the reception of “the sacraments”?
In all their works, these non-Catholics implicitly deny the necessity of the papacy by refusing to address the laws of the Church governing papal validity and the necessity of the papacy for the Church’s very existence. Do they not insist they possess the four marks, in direct contradiction of Church teaching that the Pope and lawful pastors only are to be considered the One, True Church of Christ, and only that Church is endowed with the necessary marks and attributes? Do they not at least implicitly contend that bishops are superior to or at least the equals of the Roman Pontiff and therefore can lead the Church in his absence (the heresy of Gallicanism)? Do they not flout Church law and discipline at every turn by ignoring (especially) the canons governing jurisdiction, papal election and heresy, apostasy and schism? Why would stay-at-home Catholics wish to boost their readership numbers when they obviously cannot be members of Christ’s Church?
How many Catholic conservatives refuse to purchase products they believe are tainted with ingredients obtained from abortions, or even GMO material for that matter, and yet think nothing of imbibing Catholic disinformation and errors against the faith on the web?! The Church has always insisted Catholics read only approved authors which is why so many of those writing prior to the death of Pope Pius XII are repeatedly quoted on this site; many books written by these theologians are now available as free downloads. But far superior to these writings are the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs, and there is no dearth of pre-October 9, 1958 encyclicals, constitutions and papal allocutions posted to the Internet.
If Catholics would make these binding documents their primary reading material, there would be fewer and fewer questions and doubts and a much better understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith. And the popes have assured us that their teachings are capable of being understood by all men of good will who pray for Divine guidance.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us! Holy Ghost, grant that by Thy light we may be always truly wise!
Beautiful posting,Teresa. Thanks for writing about this.
The barking internet watchdogs sound like wimpering pups, compared to the pre-1958 Catholic writers. There is such clarity and stillness in the writings of the popes. It’s like drinking from a pure mountain spring.
This is great information to help us discern what to read. And what to avoid. For the sake of those out there who may not know how to find the pre-October 9, 1958 encyclicals, constitutions and papal allocutions on the internet, can you advise?