+St. Peter’s Chair at Rome+
© Copyright 2022, T. Stanfill Benns (All emphasis within quotes added by the author)
The purpose of this blog is to further clarify and address some reprehensible and dangerous teachings still circulating on the Internet, errors that have existed now for quite some time. These false teachings have been addressed in past blogs but not as specifically as they should have been. Therefore, it is my intention here to try and address them all, although this is going to be a pretty lengthy blog.
I have been quite alarmed, as I am sure you all have, at the steady progress made by the powers that be to conclude their plans for the absolute annihilation of Christianity and their final push to introduce a new world order and religion. The only way these monsters will truly conquer us is to destroy our precious faith and they are using every means available to do this. Sadly this includes employing even those who appear to be with us when they are actually against us and who stealthily spread false teaching without us even realizing it. At this time more than any other time in history, true Catholics need to unite in their prayers and hold firmly to the Deposit of Faith, yet it is being attacked in a manner that could split them apart. This can only be a work of the Devil and we must earnestly pray that such efforts be understood for the satanic attacks they truly are.
One of the primary reasons such attacks have been so successful in the past is that people have forgotten how to think properly and use their reasoning abilities in the manner taught by the Church. For this reason, it becomes easy to mislead and confuse them. I am posting here a link that is not specifically Catholic, but which does adequately explain the necessity of using logic (taught by the Church as scholastic philosophy) to avoid the traps laid by those claiming falsely to be true authorities or who are trying to lead others to accept such authorities. I encourage everyone to look through the article and follow the links it provides, especially those regarding incentive and motive — https://effectiviology.com/false-authority/
Below we will list the truths of faith which continue to be attacked both publicly and through email and phone correspondence. It is crucial that all who wish to hold fast to the truths of faith thoroughly understand the nature of these errors and denounce them, if they wish to remain Catholic and weather the frightful storm that is soon to descend upon us.
An overview of heresies at issue
The link provided above should help readers to better determine the legitimacy of those posing as authorities, but they are still going to face difficulty sorting out whether what such people are saying is actually in agreement with Catholic truth. For either they fail to produce sufficient proofs from the magisterium to support their case or they present such proofs in such a convoluted manner that the reader is overwhelmed. Often these “proofs” proceed from a series of false premises that force the reader to dive down rabbit hole after rabbit hole. It is almost impossible to test their initial assumptions without considerable prior knowledge and study, something many do not have time for and cannot always conduct on their own. This is a major problem among Traditionalists and even certain supporters of the homealone position. Those trying to assist others in better understanding their faith have an obligation to at least attempt to explain things in a way they can be understood, although given the difficulty of the subject matter such explanations often must be long and involved.
But an important distinction must be made between simply inferring that something is true when it actually cannot be proven to be true and in the outright denial of truths of faith. One is the holding of a false and illogical opinion, the other is error or heresy, depending on the classification assigned to it by the Church. The heresies to be dealt with here are the nature and constitution of the Church, which have been used most frequently to discredit those choosing to pray at home. These include: the pope’s primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church; the necessity of canonical election for papal validity, the nature of the power of jurisdiction held by the bishops and the intent of the Church in teaching that Christ would be with Her until the consummation, the denial of Pope Pius XII’s definition in Mystici Corporis Christi that while bishops do receive their power to rule directly from our Lord, they may validly exercise it only through the Roman Pontiff, and the current role of the laity in the Church.
Before addressing these heresies, we will begin with defining terms to be used.
Logic is known to the Catholic as the Scholastic method taught by St. Thomas Aquinas and scholastic debate ordinarily begins with definitions. “Nominal definitions are used chiefly at the beginning of a disputation to indicate what is the subject under dispute. If the word has only one definite meaning, that is to be adhered to… Real definition is an explanation not merely of the term, but the thing signified by it” (A.C. Cotter, S.J.’s ABC of Scholastic Philosophy, 1945).
Church — St. Robert Bellarmine:
“The one and true Church is the assembly of men, bound together by the profession of the same Christian faith, and by the communion of the same sacraments, under the rule of LEGITIMATE pastors, and in particular of the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff” (De Controversiis Christianae Fidei, vol. II, Naples, 1857. p. 74).
Pope Pius XII — (Mystici Corporis Christi): “Now since its Founder willed this social body of Christ to be visible, the cooperation of all its members must also be externally manifest through their profession of the same faith and their sharing the same sacred rites, through participation in the same Sacrifice, and the practical observance of the same laws. Above all, it is absolutely necessary that the Supreme Head, that is, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, be visible to the eyes of all.”
“The faithful, and more precisely the laity are stationed in the front ranks of the life of the Church, and through them the Church is the living principle of society. Consequently, they must have an ever-clearer consciousness, not only of belonging to the Church, but of BEING THE CHURCH, that is, of being the community of the faithful on earth under the guidance of their common leader, the Pope, and the bishops in communion with him. THEY ARE the Church…” (Pope Pius XII, Feb. 20, 1946, to the newly made cardinals).
(See also definition of Mystical Body)
Addis and Arnold, A Catholic Dictionary: “When the hierarchy is spoken of, what is meant is the organization of ranks and orders in the Christian Church. In a wide and loose sense when the whole Catholic Church is considered as existing in the midst of heretics, schismatics and the heathen even the laity may be considered as a forming a portion of the hierarchy. With this agrees the expression of Saint Peter calling the general body of Christians in the countries to which he is sending his epistle “a kingly priesthood and a holy nation.”… there is a hierarchy of divine right consisting under the primacy of Saint Peter and his successors… of bishops, priests and deacons. There is also a hierarchy by ecclesiastical right or a hierarchy of order… There is also the hierarchy of jurisdiction which consists of the administrative and judicial authorities under the supreme pastorate of the Holy See who are charged with the maintenance of the purity of the faith and union among Christians with the conservation of discipline etc.” (Also found in the work, Cabinet of Catholic Information, 1904, under Hierarchy).
The New Catholic Dictionary — Conde B. Pallen, Ph.D., LL.D. John J. Wynne, S.J., S.T.D.
“Sacred rule or government; hence the totality of sacred ministers in the Church, of distinct and various grades, in which the lower is subordinate to and yields obedience to the higher. Since one is constituted a member of the hierarchy by ordination the sacred ministers of the ecclesiastical hierarchy are by orders and office essentially distinct from the laity. In the Church we distinguish a two-fold hierarchy, one of orders, the other of jurisdiction.”
The Catholic Encyclopedia — https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07322c.htm
Catechism of the Council of Trent — (Subhead, The Internal Priesthood, under Orders):
“All the faithful are said to be priests once they have been washed in the saving waters of baptism. Especially is this name given to the just who have the spirit of God and who by the help of divine grace had been made living members of the great high priest Jesus Christ. For enlightened by faith which is inflamed by charity, they offer up spiritual sacrifices to God on the altar of their hearts. Among such sacrifices must be reckoned every good and virtuous action done for the glory of God. Hence we read in the Apocalypse 1: 5,6: ‘Christ has washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us a kingdom and priests to God and His Father.’ In like manner was it said by the Prince of the Apostles: ‘Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ’ (I Peter 2:5); while the apostle exhorts us ‘to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy pleasing unto God, your reasonable service’ (Rom. 12:1). And long before this David had said, ‘A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit a contrite and humble heart O God thou wilt not despise’ (Ps. 1:19). All this clearly regards the internal priesthood.”
They Have Taken Away My Lord — Fr. Demaris — Nothing better explains the quote above from the Trent catechism than this precious work, available at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/?s=They+Have+Taken+Away+My+Lord
Pope Pius XII — “This initiative of the lay apostolate is perfectly justified even without a prior explicit ‘mission’ from the hierarchy… Personal initiative plays a great role in protecting the faith and Catholic life, especially in countries where contacts with the hierarchy are difficult or practically impossible. In such circumstances, the Christians upon whom this task falls must, with God’s grace, assume all their responsibilities. It is clear however that, even so, nothing can be undertaken against the explicit or implicit will of the Church or contrary in any way to the rules of faith or morals, or to ecclesiastical discipline” (The Mission of the Catholic Woman, Sept. 29, 1957).
Relating to the administration of the law or the office or function of a judge (in Catholic terms, the pope and bishops; Websters 7th Collegiate)
Pope Pius XII — (Mystici Corporis Christi: “If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression “the Mystical Body of Christ” — an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers.”
The Mystical Christ, (Rev. John C. Gruden, S.T.L., 1938) — “Bishop Myers clarifies this difference between the Church and moral bodies in the words: ‘What makes Christ’s Mystical Body so very different from any moral body of men is the character of the union existing between Christ and the members. It is not a mere external union; it is not a mere moral union, it is a union which, as realized in Christ’s Church, is at once external and moral, but also in that primarily internal and supernatural. It is the supernatural union of the sanctified soul with Christ and with all other sanctified souls in Christ. The term Mystical Body is used to convey the idea that the Church is not merely a social organization, but an organism, a communion, a body: the living spiritual or supernatural body of Christ.
“The term mystical or mystic calls attention to the fact that in mere natural or moral bodies the relationship between the members and their head and the relationship between the members one to another is moral only or juridical, whereas the relationship between Christ and the members of the Church, members of His body, is quasi-physical and organic. The bonds that unite Christians to Christ and to one another are organic, physical, sacramental, although supernatural and invisible. The Church is not only ‘a complicated but smoothly functioning administrative machine’ it is more than that; Christians and Christ form a body of a special kind, neither physical nor moral, which lives and grows by a vital force descending from the head Jesus Christ to the members. ‘Christ the head, in His members’ says Bishop Myers ‘constitute a unique entity which is designed by a unique name: the Mystical Body of Christ.’”
“This office was communicated to the Church formally by Christ when he said: “Going, therefore teach ye all nations” (Matt., 28). The Church exercises this teaching power infallibly in matters of faith and morals in virtue of the promise of divine assistance given her by Christ: “And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matt., 28). This command to teach and this promise of special assistance were given to the apostles only. Therefore the actual holders of the teaching office in the Church are the Pope and the bishops as the successors of Saint Peter and the other apostles. The Pope and the bishops constitute the magisterium of the church for the ecclesia doscens, the teaching Church” (The New Catholic Dictionary — Conde B. Pallen, Ph.D., LL.D. John J. Wynne, S.J., S.T.D.)
Fallacies of logic
The numbered items below are taken from Rev. Bernard Wuellner, S. J., Summary of Scholastic Principles, 1956. They prove that the arguments advanced regarding the allegations made against this author are false and that they actually constitute the heresies mentioned above.
- Every judgment must be based on evidence. No argument or conclusion contrary to the evident facts is valid.
Comment 1: In articles posted to this website, I have frequently stated that the juridic Church has ceased to exist, composed of actual clerical bodies governing and ministering to the faithful). This statement has been styled as heretical, yet is a proven fact, acknowledged even by some Traditionalists, that the Church no longer exists as She once existed. I have always maintained that She has ceased to exist in every way Catholics once knew Her to exist, including the loss of all jurisdiction and the inability of the Church now to even provide a head for itself. The proofs I present regarding the inability of the Church to posit a papal election now are incontrovertible, resting as they do on infallible papal documents which cannot be contradicted. Consider the following undeniable facts that demonstrate the Church no longer exists juridically on this earth:
- The papal see is held by a series of usurpers and no man was elected pope to counter their reign; they reign unopposed. This has never happened before in the history of the Church.
- The usurpers confiscated and desecrated all the churches, took over all Church properties and institutions, changed all the Sacraments, abolished the Latin Mass, changed Canon Laws.
- They pretended to change infallible Church teaching and succeeded in imposing it on those who were once Catholic.
- They imposed on the faithful false ministers not possessing apostolic succession.
- They made it impossible for any of those who were truly Catholic to avail themselves of the Mass or Sacraments or any of the services and emoluments previously available to Catholics without denying the Catholic faith.
- The laws in existence prior to their usurpation and which yet remain in existence state that no one may be elected pope unless he is a) elected by cardinals who are certainly Catholic; b) who elect a qualified candidate who is certainly Catholic; c) by a 2/3 plus one majority and d) within the allotted time frame.
- The election of John 23 violated all these laws and deprived the college of cardinals of their right to vote (Can. 2391 §1)
- Pope Pius XII’s infallible election law Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis forbids anyone to change this law in any way, and if such an attempt is made it is null and void.
Given these established facts demonstrated as truths on this website for years — which have never been refuted nor can be refuted — it would be contrary to right reason to say that that the juridic Church has NOT ceased to exist. If all the Church ever was meant to be was contained in that juridic constitution, then it could be said that She has ceased to exist entirely. But we have the Church’s own teaching that She will never cease to exist and Christ’s promise that He will always be with Her until the very end. As Rev. E. Sylvester Berry writes in his The Church of Christ, “It is evident that the Apostolic Succession cannot fail in the Apostolic See so long as the Church Herself continues to exist.” And Rev. Berry, Henry Cardinal Manning, Cardinal Pie, Hilaire Belloc, St. Victorinus, St. Francis de Sales and others believe that for a time the Church WILL cease to exist, during the reign of Antichrist, but commentators do not agree on the length of his reign. Yet the Church will emerge from these trials triumphant.
And while the Church currently lacks a visible head, She is ruled by Christ from Heaven, She possesses the Deposit of Faith in all the readily available papal documents in book stores and on the Internet and She has access to nearly all the teachings of the Doctors, the Early Fathers and the saints. She is one and apostolic in Her belief in these doctrines and their origin, particularly the Primacy of the Holy See; She is holy in Her doctrines, also in keeping the faith to the best of Her ability and obedience to the laws of God and His Church; She is universal in her existence in most of the nations, scattered as She is. Therefore it can be said She is in material possession, at least, of the marks and attributes. Opponents deny the possibility of this material existence because they deny the fact that the juridic Church can cease to exist, believing it is the only true expression of Christ’s Church. For this reason they attempt to bind pray-at-home Catholics to the belief that their pseudo-bishops are true bishops, or that bishops exist “somewhere.” But while the existence of the Church as the Mystical Body is a dogma, they cannot support this claim regarding the bishops.
Comment 2: Please provide proof that the juridic Church, as She was constituted by Christ, with St. Peter and his successors visibly governing, can exist without the Roman Pontiff. Do these people expect me to believe them over the very bishop who called for the convocation of the Vatican Council defining papal infallibility and supremacy? This bishop, later named a cardinal, Henry Cardinal Manning, wrote in his The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Christ:
“St. Avitus: ‘If the Pope of the City (i.e., Rome) be called into doubt, it is no bishop, but the Episcopate at once which will be seen to waver’ (p. xi). The event may come to pass that… our Divine Lord… may deliver over His Vicar upon earth, as He delivered Himself, and that the providential support of the temporal power of the Holy See may be withdrawn when its work is done… when the whole number of those whom He hath chosen to eternal life is filled up. It may be that when that is done, and when the times of Antichrist are come, that He will give over His Vicar upon earth, and His Mystical Body at large, [for a time]”. Manning goes on to explain that even before the pope is taken away, the Church’s influence in the world would be much diminished. Then he writes, “The Son of God shall permit, for a time, the powers of evil to prevail. That He will permit it for a time stands in the book of prophecy. But the imperishable Church of God… will live on still through the fires of the times of Antichrist,” (pgs. 55-57; 139).
So do these objectors also wish to accuse Cardinal Manning of heresy? They will contradict a very learned and esteemed cardinal and Scriptural prophecy?! Is it not clear from this statement that the Church can exist in her lay members in the absence of the Roman Pontiff since Cardinal Manning tells us that not only will the POPE be taken away, but “…the Mystical Body at large,” which can be seen to mean the hierarchy as well. This agrees with all Cardinal Manning says below regarding the bishops.
In his The Pastoral Office (1883, London) Manning writes: “Bishops who are assumed by the authority of the Vicar of Christ are legitimate and true Bishops, true pastors whom the Holy Ghost has placed to rule the Church of God. This Divine order is expressed in the Preface of the Holy Mass on the Feasts of the Apostles, in which we pray that the Eternal Pastor may not forsake His flock, but keep it always, by His blessed Apostles, with a continual protection that it may be governed by the same rulers whom He had bestowed upon it as pastors and vicars of Himself” (p. 37). (And why would we pray this if it could never happen?!!!)
“Every reader already well understands that the Bishops, in howsoever great a number they may be assembled, can never form the body, or represent the Episcopal College, if they have not at their head S. Peter in his successor… The episcopal body is not headless (acefalo); but, by the institution of Jesus Christ Himself, has a head in the person of the Roman Pontiff. 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. The Episcopate, which is one and indivisible, is such precisely by reason of the connection of the bishops among themselves, and of their submission to one sole Bishop, who is universal and sovereign. Therefore the full, universal, and sovereign power of governing the Church is the Episcopate, full and sovereign, which exists in the person of S. Peter and of each of his successors, and in the whole Apostolic College united to S. Peter, and in the whole body of the Bishops united to the Pope…” (p. 26-27).
In this same work, Manning quotes from the theologians:
“Peter and his successors possess this twofold plenitude independently of the Apostles and their successors, and can exercise this supreme office alone; but the Apostles could not, and their successors cannot, exercise their office without Peter and his successors.
“Jurisdiction as distinct from the power of Order, if it have no subject on whom to unfold itself, is barren, and lacks all use and exercise. Hence the designation and assigning of subjects, or of a region or diocese in which the episcopal right (episcopate jus, or jurisdiction) may be exercised, is necessary for actual jurisdiction: and he who assigns to Bishops their subjects and dioceses-gives also to them the use and exercise of their jurisdiction…”
Devoti, (writing under the supervision of the future Pope Pius VII):
“But if we consider the Bishops singly, as the rulers of particular Churches, they have received no jurisdiction immediately from Christ. All such jurisdiction arises immediately from the Church, which distributes dioceses, in which each Bishop singly is to exercise jurisdiction, and assigns to him certain subjects whom he is to govern. But it may even be granted and conceded that the jurisdiction, not only of the whole College of Bishops, but even of each singly, proceeds immediately from God Himself. For to the fountain we must return.
“A distinction is to be drawn between the jurisdiction itself and the act and use of it in exercise. The jurisdiction, indeed, may be derived immediately from God; but all act and use of it is from the Church, which gives the use of it (i.e. the right of using it) to each Bishop, when it assigns to him his subjects, on whom he may exercise this jurisdiction, which is itself of Divine right; but so long as it has no subjects it remains an otiose jurisdiction.”
“He shows that there is an influx of the primacy of Peter in the whole Episcopate; for without him no Bishop can be elected, confirmed, or consecrated; and when consecrated, he receives from the successor of Peter the diocese and flock within which to rule the Church. In this sense it is strictly true that all comes through Peter; even the power of Order, which is given immediately by God in the Sacrament of Consecration, comes through Peter as the channel through which the consecration is given. This influx of the head in the members of the Episcopate he abundantly proves by the words of S. Optatus, S. Augustine, S. Leo, and many more.
“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 S. Peter, who was made superior to all the other Apostles. The Episcopate, which is one and indivisible, is such precisely by reason of the connection of the bishops among themselves, and of their submission to one sole Bishop, who is universal and sovereign. Therefore the full, universal, and sovereign power of governing the Church is the Episcopate, full and sovereign, which exists in the person of S. Peter and of each of his successors, and in the whole Apostolic College united to S. Peter, and in the whole body of the bishops united to the Pope.”
Manning then adds: “I mention again, lest it should seem to be forgotten, that although these powers were given to all the Apostles, yet the supreme pastoral, office or primacy was given to Peter alone; so that even the Apostles were numbered in his flock.”
How is the above any different in content than the teaching of Pope Pius IX that without the pope there can be no Church and no Catholic society? Or the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that “In order that the Church exist, there must be one person at the head of the whole Christian people” (Summa Contra Gentiles, Vol. IV, pg. 76). Is it not perfectly clear that Manning and Pope Pius IX were professing the same teaching, that they were well acquainted with each other and with St. Thomas? These disingenuous critics are not accusing me of heresy but those who I provide as sources for my conclusions!
The fact that they attest that such bishops must and do exist and can now constitute the Church without Her Supreme Head favors the Gallicanist heresy and also denies the infallible declaration of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, which reads: “Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church… Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff.” Papal and conciliar decrees must be cited stating specifically that the juridic Church can be said to visibly exist in the bishops alone minus her Supreme Head.
Pope John XXII condemned the errors of the heretic Marsilius of Padua for holding that: “St. Peter received no more authority than the other Apostles, …that Christ gave no head to His Church and appointed no one as His vicar here below — all which is contrary to the Apostolic and evangelic truth. These …lying men say that all priests, be they popes, archbishops, or simple priests are possessed of equal authority and equal jurisdiction, by the institution of Christ” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Marsilius of Padua). In saying that these bishops can constitute the Church without one of them being a true pope, isn’t this implicitly stating that they are equal in power and authority to Christ’s vicar? Heresy may be either implicit or explicit, according to Can. 1325. One either believes that the Pope is necessary for the Church to exist or not.
And consider the following, also condemned as a heresy: “The apostles and faithful priests of the Lord strenuously in necessities ruled the Church unto salvation before the office of the pope was introduced; thus they would be doing even to the day of judgment were the pope utterly lacking” (DZ 655, heresy of John Hus condemned by the Council of Constance). Isn’t this uncomfortably close as well to what these critics are maintaining? And moreover, in stating that it is blasphemous or heretical, as they do, to hold that a true pope can no longer be elected, what are we to think of the clear teaching that: “Likewise, whether he believes that the Pope canonically elected who lived for a time after having expressed his own name is the successor of the blessed Peter having supreme authority in the Church of God,” (DZ 570d, in different wording but the same meaning, proposed for belief to the Armenians; as stated here, DZ 674, proposed for belief to the Wycliffe and Hussite heretics at the Council of Constance).
And in Canon 219: “the Roman pontiff legitimately elected obtains from the moment he accepts the election the full power of supreme jurisdiction by divine right.” And in Canon 147, which reads: “An ecclesiastical office cannot be validly obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of any ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons.” In an authentic interpretation of this canon, the Holy Office decreed that this is a binding precept per the Council of Trent and entered it into the Acta Apostolica Sedis. Papal elections are governed under Can. 160 in the 1917 Code. No bishops unable to be investigated and determined legitimate by the Holy See could ever be considered competent electors! Only faithful bishops consecrated under Pope Pius XII could possibly have elected a pope, and they long ago expired. So where are the PROOFS that all laws and teachings of the popes and councils on the necessity of canonical election can be contravened in our current situation?
- In doubt, facts cannot be presumed, but must be proved.
Comment: These accusers are presuming such bishops exist; they cannot and have not proven it. So where are they and what good are they, even if they do exist? According to Can. 331, bishops must be at least 30 years old at the time of their appointment. Even if Pope Pius XII approved the appointment of a number of 30-year-old bishops in 1958, which he did not, those bishops today would now be 94 years old and that was the minimum age for episcopal appointment; the average age was more likely 40 to 50 years old. We are being told we must believe that these 94 to 105-year-old bishops still exist and can, without communion with the Roman Pontiff, constitute the true Church today. We are being asked to believe this not knowing if it could be proven they are who they say they are. We are being asked to believe they would have universal jurisdiction over us which only the cardinals and a true pope possess. We are being asked to assume this even though in 2019, in the whole world, there was just one single bishop — an Archbishop Emeritus — then alive who was appointed by Pius XII. (http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/sordb2.html) and he was a Novus Ordo bishop! We are being asked to believe highly improbable facts that no one can establish to arrive at the truth. But this is logic, this is sanity, this is Catholic teaching? I think not.
So what if there are “secret” bishops ordained as infants who exist behind the Iron Curtain? We have considered just such a possibility. (See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/uniate-extraordinary-faculties-do-not-provide-jurisdiction/, subhead A Matter of Infallible Teaching, for Cardinal Manning’s explanation of this and a consideration of the known facts). Let us jump through the hoops proposed by the Church to determine if such men could be considered true bishops. If still alive, they would be quite elderly; it was 1939 when Pope Pius XI sent bishops behind the Iron Curtain to perform these consecrations. And even then, Montini is reported to have revealed their identities to the Soviet authorities who later went in and murdered them! Would they be certainly mentally competent at such an advanced age? Can it actually be proven they are the same individuals that they claim to be? Can any documents not suspect of forgery be produced to verify their claims? We certainly could not trust anything coming from Rome! Can they prove their mission with miracles, as St. Francis de Sales requires in his Catholic Controversy?
Enough of this nonsense. Just as the situation we find ourselves in today, we would have serious doubt regarding their validity. No one but a canonically elected pope could ever decide if such men were true bishops. And following the teaching of Bd. Pope Innocent XI and the unanimous opinion of the theologians, as pointed out in the link in the above paragraph, they are doubtful bishops and would have no jurisdiction over us whatsoever. So how would they ever be considered to constitute the true Church of Christ when to be true successors of the Apostles they need to unquestionably possess both orders AND jurisdiction? (See https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/1-what-constitutes-the-papacy/apostolic-succession-are-schismatic-clergy-and-laymen/).
As one reader phrased it: Who cares if they exist? Who would want to trust such puling, cowardly bishops who for decades have thrown the sheep Our Lord commanded them to feed and protect to the wolves?! And PUHLEASE, do not insult the saintly popes, cardinals and bishops who gave their lives for the faith by pretending that just because certain bishops did not attend Vatican 2, they can be considered true bishops. They remained SILENT in this awful betrayal of the Church, and they were our SHEPHERDS. Read Can.1325 and weep. They were commanded by the Church to elect a true pope for us even if it meant endangering their lives and they failed in their duty to lay down their lives for Christ’s sheep. Their duty to have elected is a fact based on the teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine, established long ago in my first book.
In Pope Pius XII’s definition of the Church from Mystici Corporis above, there is no mention of the bishops as part of this visibility but there is every indication that we today could still materially, at least, satisfy this description even in the absence of the hierarchy. Otherwise Christ’s promise to His Church — that He would be with Her unto the consummation — is a lie, and the prophecy that for a time we would be without a true pope — when he who withholdeth is taken out of the way — is false. So how else are we to understand the certain fulfillment of His promise except in those of us who remain? As Our Lord warned us: “I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed” (Matt. 26:31). But we question this Divine truth, that as Cardinal Manning believes, the pope would follow the fate of his Divine Master?
Some of those who comment on Holy Scripture interpret sheep as the Apostles and by way of comparison their successors. Is not this exactly what happened when the bishops apostatized in the 1960s? Rev. Leo Haydock comments that this same passage in Zacharias (“Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand to the little ones,” Zach. 13:7) means that, “Christ takes care of his little flock, and always is one with the Father.” In the Matt. 26:31 version, he notes that “I will strike” means that Christ’s death (and in an accommodated sense, the vacancy of the Holy See) are trials and sufferings “directed by God.” He quotes from Luke 12:32 which reads: “Fear not little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you a kingdom.” Citing St. Bede, Haydock writes on this verse: “In order to console us in our labors, he commands us to seek only the kingdom of Heaven and promises that the Father will bestow it as a reward upon us.” Why is that not enough for some people? The answer is because it does not fit their pet idea of how God’s will is to be accomplished in these times.
- No inference contrary to the evident facts is true; conjectural opinions are dangerous (and the latter is condemned in Pope Pius XII’s infallible encyclical Humani Generis).
Comment 1: All these objectors can produce is inference regarding my supposed denial that the Church as Christ constituted it yet exists and will last until the consummation. Evident facts show that this is not at all what I have written for many years on my website for those who care to read it. The inference they are asking readers to assume here is that I “teach” that the Church of Christ on earth minus its visible head — the juridic Church — has ceased to exist, and they infer I believe this is all that was ever the Church on earth. But what about the Mystical Body? What about the invisible Head who rules us from Heaven? The interior life of the Church is just as much a living reality as her physical existence, as Bishop Myer states above under definitions and Pope Pius XII taught in Mystici Corporis. And in fact it was the neglect of this interior life that resulted in the false Vatican 2 council and the Traditional movement.
I made it crystal clear in articles written long ago that the Church continues Her existence as the Mystical Body of Christ in the absence of the hierarchy (see the following 2013 articles at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/2-the-church/the-doctrine-of-the-mystical-body-pt-ii/, https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/7-recent-articles/the-church-has-not-failed-and-cannot-fail/). How can these dishonest people claim that I “teach” that the Church has entirely ceased to exist when I explain it at length from papal and other approved works in these and other articles? All that I have ever done is present what the Church Herself and Her approved theologians teach. What is the purpose of going to the macabre lengths of condemning me in moronic, repeated propositions based on unprovable conjectures that bishops must yet exist, when all this has been available on my website for years? THIS is true insanity, and I might even add, in certain cases, proof of malicious intent.
In Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII condemned “popular naturalism, which sees and wills to see in the Church nothing but a juridical and social union… Although the juridical principles, on which the Church rests and is established, derive from the divine constitution given to it by Christ and contribute to the attaining of its supernatural end, nevertheless that which lifts the Society of Christians far above the whole natural order is the Spirit of our Redeemer who penetrates and fills every part of the Church’s being and is active within it until the end of time as the source of every grace and every gift and every miraculous power.” Doesn’t that very last sentence explain precisely how Christ is to be with His Church in these times? Isn’t it exactly what is stated above in the definitions section? Traditionalists and others are so caught up in the existence of the actual physical and external properties of the Church, (which in normal times, of course, must always exist and yet exist in reality in Heaven), they cannot fathom this most necessary and exquisitely tender supernatural union. In other words, they deal Christ right out of His own Mystical Body and the supernatural life, which Pope Pius XII DEFINES as the Church in Mystici Corporis above.
They wish to deny the repeated teaching of Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers of the Church, as defined by the Popes above?! Wake up, people — we don’t live in normal times; we live in the end times and pretending the Church can now come back and change all that with these supposed bishops is wishful thinking. We must deal with REALITY, which the theologians teach can only be attained by applying the rules of logic. “[Logic] is the collection of rules which guide the mind to think correctly in its attainment of truth… Truth, as here understood, means the attainment of knowledge; that is, conformity or agreement of our thoughts with objective reality” (Logic, Joseph B. Walsh, SJ., Fordham Univ., 1940). The truth is, we cannot know for certain how or when the Church will return. We know only that Christ will be with us to the very end and that the Church will eventually triumph. That is something called faith — belief in things unseen.
Pope Pius XII taught that the Church’s indefectibility, though visible, “…is a matter of experience… it remains, nonetheless, a mystery. For it cannot be explained naturally but only by reason of the fact, which is known to us by Divine revelation, that Christ who founded the Church is with Her through every trial to the end of the world” (Dec. 4, 1943 address to Roman Curia). So if it is a mystery, it is something we must simply believe and accept, not question. And it is not something we can know with any certainty. Christ is with us and will always be with us. How is not our concern. The commentators agree only that the Church will triumph — they are undecided regarding whether or not She will enjoy a revival following the death of Antichrist and his system or whether we may expect the consummation and Final Judgment immediately following his death. The Church has never decided this point, although Pope Pius XII taught it cannot be safely taught that the Church will reign on earth with Christ before the Final Judgment. It is taught by a good number of theologians that the triumph of the Church will be the destruction of Antichrist and his system and the renewal of the earth after the consummation, where the saints will then reign with their physical bodies.
The juridic Church as Christ constituted it is likely not coming back, not without an outright miracle anyway. The belief of many regarding this revival after Antichrist’s defeat is fueled primarily by private prophecy, and while Catholics can privately choose to believe this, they cannot beat people over the head with accusations of heresy for not believing it. If certain objectors believe that the laity in these times cannot possibly constitute what is left of the Church since clergy must also exist, they are refusing to accept reality. We did not place ourselves in this position or elevate ourselves to it; we were unlucky enough to find ourselves in it. They are the ones denying that the Church currently exists. The visible bishops they insist on and cannot produce would need to necessarily include a pope, for in order for the Church to exist as Christ’s Mystical Body on earth, as Pope Pius XII states above, “…it is absolutely necessary that the Supreme Head, that is, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, be visible to the eyes of all.”
As we also stated years ago on this website and have restated recently: Canon 1812 tells us that acts issuing from the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Curia during the exercise of their office and entered as proof in ecclesiastical courts “prove the facts asserted,” (Can. 1816), and force the judge to pronounce in favor of the party producing the document, (commentary by Revs. Woywod-Smith). “Proof to the contrary is not admitted against Letters of the Roman Pontiff bearing his signature,” (Abp. Amleto Cicognani, Canon Law, p. 626, ft. note). Documents entered into the Acta Apostolica Sedis do not need to be submitted in the original or be an authenticated copy, (Can. 1819). Produce the signed papal statements that the Church can indeed exist with only bishops at Her head minus the pope and that bishops, not regularized or approved by Her, possess the jurisdiction necessary to apostolicity.
Refute the infallible papal election law of Pope Pius XII which teaches that during an interregnum, all is held in abeyance until the election of a true pope. Only the cardinals may make emergency decisions and we have none. Such decisions would have devolved on those faithful bishops consecrated under Pius XII who could have done only one thing: elect a true pope. But that did not happen, and no bishops today presenting some 64 years after the fact are able to resolve this situation without receiving a decision regarding the status of their consecrations from a true pope. The previous election law of Pope St. Pius X that Pius XII rewrote and updated in 1945 changed very little. Why? Because it reflected all the laws of the Church regarding papal elections throughout the centuries. So who is really violating the constant teaching of the Church here?
Comment 2: There also is inference involved concerning the absurd accusation that I “teach” we have only two Sacraments left to us. Again, stick to the facts. It is a proven fact that we cannot avail ourselves of five of the Sacraments today because our Church has ceased to exist juridically. I have carefully gone into all of this on my website. For two of these, Confession and Communion, we have spiritual substitutes. While ignoring the fact that I have repeatedly documented why we cannot receive the five Sacraments in question, some opponents jump to the entirely false and unsubstantiated conclusion that I have denied the existence of the other Sacraments. This is the best demonstration of their inability to reason properly so far. If I tell you that I have seven equally valuable and beautiful classic cars in my oversized garage but that I have a clear title to only two of them, and therefore cannot drive the other five because I cannot register them, does this mean that I am denying the existence of the other five or diminishing their beauty and value? Hardly. After all, someday I might be able to clear all those titles! I think this point alone sufficiently illustrates the irrational thread running through all these accusations.
- The common good demands certitude concerning the validity of acts (Cicognani).
Comment: Can we be certain such bishops exist? No, as explained above. Are we to believe it on a mere conjecture? Pope Pius XII forbids it. I have pointed this out before regarding the Siri “election.” The evident facts from papal decrees and the teachings of the Holy Office, also binding, are proofs that cannot be refuted. If such bishops are to be considered as the hierarchy, it is assumed that at some point those promoting them as the hierarchy would expect them to act as such. But they cannot so act in the absence of the Roman Pontiff; they are not able to elect a pope when their validity and competency is in question. We are facing the same situation with these fictitious bishops that we face at present, and we must behave the same: regarding anything involving eternal salvation and the validity of the sacraments we must take the safer course.
It is outrageous to follow the conclusions proposed in the fallacious reasoning advanced in this matter because it leads us to the very “heresy” I am accused of “teaching.” These so-called Catholics are asking the laity to judge the validity of these bishops and accept them as hierarchy — a usurpation of papal authority condemned in Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, by the Council of Trent and forbidden by Canon Law! So who is really promoting a lay church here? These people clearly have an agenda, they may already have these men waiting in the wings and they may even be prepared to receive orders from them. What else could account for the viciousness of these attacks and the strident denial of such a self-evident truth? For as Cardinal Manning stated above: “EVERY READER already well understands that the bishops, in howsoever great a number they may be assembled, can never form the body, or represent the Episcopal College, if they have not at their head S. Peter in his successor…”
Unless one wishes to accept the Traditionalists or the Novus Ordo as the true Church, there is no argument or conclusion that can contradict the evident facts, as stated above in no. 1: we no longer have a valid hierarchy, the Mass or the Sacraments. However you wish to look at it, the juridic Church is gone. At least one of the early Fathers, St. Victorinus, saw this and commented on Apocalypse Ch. 6:14 as follows: “And the heaven withdrew as a scroll that is rolled up.” For the heaven to be rolled away, that is, that the Church shall be taken away.” And Ch. 15:1: “And I saw another great and wonderful sign, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is completed the indignation of God.” For the wrath of God always strikes the obstinate people with seven plagues, that is, perfectly, as it is said in Leviticus; and these shall be in the last time, when the Church shall have gone out of the midst.” http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0712.htm
A final note: Paul 6 as Antichrist
Finally we must address the subject of Paul 6 as Antichrist, an opinion I set forth in my first self-published work in 1990 and have taken considerable heat for ever since. But all that has been said above applies to this topic as well, only in mirror reverse. Opponents present claims they insist must be taken as fact without the required proofs and evidence. In the matter of Antichrist, they attempt to force their readers to believe those things that are only opinions of the Scripture commentators as facts that are written in stone. Granted, some of these are the opinions of the early Fathers, but by no means are they unanimous, meaning that we are not obliged to accept them as certain. Very little at all is certain regarding Antichrist as the commentators all agree. And those things that ARE certain are the very things these objectors reject out of hand. They take completely out of context what has been said on this topic and offer no alternative explanation whatsoever to refute meticulously well-documented facts and events presented on this site about the Man of Sin.
Whatever is not certain in this matter does not bind us to belief; we are free to believe or not. In fact the Scripture commentators, even St. Robert Bellarmine, leave to those living in the time of Antichrist to determine what is meant by the texts which remain obscure: Antichrist’s name, number and mark, as well as other details. (Ryan Grant’s translation of St. Bellarmine on Antichrist, p. 100). Rev. Huchede tells us in his work on Antichrist that “The events connected with the end of the world will alone remove the mystery on which the sacred text is at present enveloped… I leave what is mysterious to be explained by the event.” He even admits that regarding the explanation of these mysteries, even “the greatest theologians and some of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have failed.” Regarding the teachings of the Fathers, Huchede tells us we may “abandon their opinion with deference,” when it fails to conform to the truth, while accepting what they teach that is not fulfilled as probable. In very little are the Fathers unanimous regarding Holy Scripture, as Pope Pius XII notes in his encyclical on Scripture studies, Divini Afflante Spiritu.
But in my preliminary evaluation, I proceeded not on the opinions of commentators, not even primarily on the Fathers, but on the predictions of the popes. These are three: Pope Paul IV, who remarkably defined the very Scripture verse on the abomination of desolation that fits Antichrist’s advent to a “T”; the long St. Michael’s prayer written by Pope Leo XIII, warning that the abomination had already appeared in the holy place and Pope St. Pius X’s 1903 announcement that he believed Antichrist was already born (Montini was six years old at the time). Then of course there is the unanimous opinion of the Fathers which must be accepted as a rule of faith (DZ 1788) — that Antichrist will cause the Holy Sacrifice to cease. How anyone can deny the fact that Paul 6 caused the Holy Sacrifice to cease is beyond me. That is probably the most telling prophetical fulfillment of all since it is an actual fact that even Traditionalists acknowledge. But these objectors are no respecters of facts. They try to make it appear that just because the Mass ceases it does not mean the hierarchy does not exist. And so they return to their endless circular arguments regarding the non-cessation of the juridical Church.
St. Robert Bellarmine writes in his work on Antichrist that, “In the times of Antichrist ALL PUBLIC OFFICES and divine sacrifices will cease on account of the vehemence of the persecution” (p.134). But we will still have the hierarchy? Once again, I think I will take the opinion of a notable Doctor over that of my opponents. Bishops without an office are not apostolic; they are bishops in name only. Those objecting to my opinion on Antichrist do so because it conflicts with their own ideas of what is to come, or what they have planned. They may not agree with my opinion on Paul 6, but I challenge anyone to be able, at this point in time, to find the conditions necessary to support the fulfillment of the prophecies today. How can the Sacrifice now cease publicly since it no longer exists? Who would be those constituting the Great Revolt (defection of the cardinals and bishops even before Paul 6 reigned)? What large body of Catholics today are left to apostatize? Who and/or what is withholding today when we are without a true pope, and everything is in ruins?
As stated above, it has occurred to me that all this may be a prelude to some attempt to introduce “true bishops” and satisfy the longing of many pray-at-home Catholics for a restoration of what they might be led to believe is the Church. I pray with all my heart this is not the case. We live in very dangerous and perilous times that I believe could soon culminate in the final realization of all the end times prophecies. Rather than destroy what unity exists among us, we need to huddle together to survive the horrific storm about to descend on us all if we wish to keep our faith intact. It is God’s will that at this present time the Sacrifice has ceased, and we have no hierarchy to guide us. Why are we questioning His will? Why are we not accepting all this as a penance for our sins? If and when God decides to send us a true pope and bishops we will know it and there will be no doubt they are who they say they are. Yes, in the past I have said I believed they exist somewhere, but these hopes can no longer be realized after all these years, as explained above, without an outright miracle. Please excuse me if I dismiss all these pestiferous Pharisees in favor of the prophetic words of a truly holy man, Cardinal Louis Pie of Poiters, France:
“The Church, though of course still a visible society, will be increasingly reduced to individual and domestic proportions. She who in Her young days cried out: “The place is strait: give me room wherein to dwell,” will see every inch of Her territory under attack. Surrounded on all sides, as the other centuries have made Her great, so the last will strive to crush Her. And finally the Church on earth will undergo a true defeat: “…and it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” (Apocalypse 13:7). The insolence of evil will be at its peak. Now, in this extremity, what will be the remaining duty of all true Christians, of all men of faith and courage?
“The answer is this: Spurred on to ever greater vigour by the apparent hopelessness of their predicament, they will redouble their ardour in prayer, their energy in works, and their courage in combat so that their every word and work cries out together:
“Oh God, Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, on earth as it is in Heaven,Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven,Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven, Sicut in coelo…et in terra!”
“And they shall still be murmuring these words as the earth is snatched from beneath their feet. And just as of old, after a comparable calamity, the Roman Senate and every rank of the state once went forth to greet the conquered consul Varro on his return and to honour him for not despairing of the Republic (“…quod de re publica non desperasset…”), so shall the celestial senate, all the choirs of angels and all the ranks of the Blessed come out to welcome the generous athletes who have continued the combat to the end, hoping against hope itself, “…contra spem in spem…” (Romans 4:17). COME, LORD JESUS!”