The three components of Feeney’s Modernist orientation

“Fr.” Leonard Feeney: Unsung Hero or

Modernist Agent Provocateur?


The three components of Feeney’s Modernist orientation, Part Two

© Copyright 2023, T. Stanfill Benns (All emphasis within quotes added by the author)


If you want to set a Feeneyite’s hair on fire, call Leonard Feeney a Modernist. THAT will definitely get their attention, and not in a good way. And if you use the teachings of approved theologians even though they are proven to be loyal to the papacy, and despite the fact Feeney promoters do not hesitate to use them in their own defense of Feeney, they will shriek even more loudly. Below see the evidence proving Feeney’s methods and teachings smacked of the Modernist heresy and the tactics used by the liturgical reformers.

Progressivism vs. Integralism

In describing the Machiavellian battle waged between these two opposing forces in the Church prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, one Internet author writing for Unam Sanctam (not a recommended site) identifies those forces as liberal progressivism (the new theology) and “restorationist” integralism, (a return to the pre-1959 Church). In reality, these two opposing forces are explained by Pope St. Pius X in his condemnation of the Modernists, Pascendi Dominici Gregis. There he teaches that the evolution of the Church promoted by Modernists is comprised of Tradition as a conserving force and another force, tending to progress. It is Tradition which holds together the Church, and religious authority which must protect Tradition (p. 75 of St. Pius X’s Pascendi… as presented in A Catechism of Modernism by Rev. J. B. Lemius). The Modernists believed the laity must advocate for progress as their consciences dictate and a compromise must be reached with authority. (Shades of Lefebvrism!) For as the Pope also notes, concerning the reform of the liturgy, “The admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head.” In other words, as long as Traditionalists want and need the Sacraments in the context of the Latin Tridentine and their vagrant clergy, this is just fine with the Modernists. Traditionalists operate outside of authority and in contradiction of its established norms, and therefore pose no threat, because there is no infallible religious authority to protect their so-called “Tradition.”

Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton explains why integralism is a deterrent to modernism, not, as some Traditionalists believe today, an equally dangerous aberration of the religious “right.” In 1948 he wrote: “[The Catholic unfamiliar with modernism] might possibly come to the dangerously false conclusion that modernism and integralism, as we know them, are two contrary false doctrines, one, as it were to the left, and the other to the right, of genuine Catholic teaching. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth. Modernism, in the technical language of Catholic doctrine, is the name applied to the definite series of errors condemned in the decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, and in the motu proprio Sacra Antistitum. Pope Pius X spoke of Modernism as the ‘conglomeration of all heresies.’ Integralism, on the other hand, is essentially the teaching or the attitude of those who worked for the presentation of an integral Catholicism, of Catholic dogma set forth accurately AND IN ITS ENTIRETY. Most frequently the name of integralism was applied to the doctrine and the viewpoint of those Catholic writers who entered into controversy against the modernists during the first decade of the present century. Understood in this fashion, integralism was nothing else than the contradiction of heretical modernism. It was thus basically only the exposition of Catholic truth,” (The American Ecclesiastical Review, “Two Currents in Contemporary Catholic Thought”).

In a later article on integralism for The American Ecclesiastical Review, (“Integralism and Reform,” February 1952), Msgr. Fenton reviews Rev. Yves Congar’s comments in his book The Church, concerning Catholic integralists. Congar describes integralists as those who “proceed from an attitude of the right,’ which stresses ‘the determination of things by way of authority…It is instinctively for what is done and defined, and what has only to be imposed and received.’” Fenton comments: “The religious proposition of the integralists is also represented as characterized by a RIGIDITY OF DOCTRINE. All that this expression would seem to mean is a resistance to any teaching which the integralist regards as involving a change in Catholic doctrine. Certainly there can be little to stigmatize in this attitude. And just as certainly the designation of the activity of the integralists under these terms makes it difficult to see how Fr. Congar can believe that theirs is not a primarily doctrinal position,” and here Fenton reminds Congar that it was these very integralists who fought the Modernists in Pope St. Pius X’s time. How many times have Feeneyites writing in various Traditional forums accused their opponents of dogmatism, when, that is, they are not condemning them as outright heretics?

The Unam Sanctam author notes in his article: “What [neo-Modernists] have forgotten is that the Church is fundamentally understood as a Body, and in a Body, there is nothing extrinsic. Sure, there are members of more or less centrality. A man can still live with no fingers, but he cannot live with no head.” He describes a process that little by little changed everything that could be changed, including the systematic dismembering of that Body to the point that it left the Church, as She once existed, unable to function. This was at first attributed to the nouvelle theologiens (new theologians) in the Church, the author notes — the very ones responsible for liturgical reform — and it describes their use of a clever change of terms that avoids identification with the Modernists while still conveying the idea of novelty or newness. This is something conservatives rightly disparaged as always condemned by the Church and liberalized Catholics endorsed as an opportunity to bring doctrine into sync with “the times.” But as Pope St. Pius X taught in the Oath Against Modernism: “I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously.”

Finally, the Holy Office instruction on ecumenism, dated Dec. 20, 1949, summarizes the Church’s true teaching on integralism for Catholics as follows: “Therefore the whole and entire Catholic doctrine is to be presented and explained: by no means is it permitted to pass over in silence or to veil in ambiguous terms the Catholic truth regarding the nature and way of justification, the constitution of the Church, the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, and the only true union by the return of the dissidents to the one, true Church of Christ,” (emphasis is in the original. Canon Law Digest, Vol. III, p. 536-542, AAS 42-142). It is precisely the constitution of the Church and primacy of the Roman Pontiff that Traditionalists unbelievably misinterpret and ignore. Essentially then, they just as surely practice ecumenism as the false church in Rome practices it, no matter how vociferously they may condemn this heresy.

Feeney was not just excommunicated for his teachings on Baptism of desire. He also was excommunicated for his teaching, contrary to the Council of Trent, on justification, his contradiction of the dogma regarding sanctifying grace and for other errors, as well as that concerning salvation. In his work on Feeney, Kelly explains how he splits these last two dogmas in two by distinguishing the graces received through Baptism of water from those of Baptism of desire in order to introduce his own ”linch-pin” theories on Baptism. This is a distinct sign of heresy, the Modernist heresy to be more specific, as will be shown below.

Heretical exclusivism

This term was seen mentioned in Part 1 of an article by Fr. Albert F. Kaiser, C.P.P.S., written for the American Ecclesiastical Review in December-January, 1953-54 (“The Historical Backgrounds and Theology of Mediator Dei”). Referring to the liturgical reformers’ disregard for catechetical instruction and dogma, Kaiser states that the liturgy edged out Christian dogma and calls this “heretical exclusivism.” He also accuses the liturgical reformers responsible for the Novus Ordo Missae and its forerunners of seeking refuge in psychological and social ideals instead of emphasizing catechetical instruction as a necessary foundation for understanding sermons and worthily participating in the liturgy. This heretical exclusivism is precisely what was used by Traditionalists to edge out the papacy itself, and Catholics bought into that because they did not know or understand their faith. It also can be seen in the heresies proposed by Feeney as described above. In Part 3, we will quote the condemnation of this teaching by Pope Pius XII, which Rev. Kaiser presents in Part 2 of his article.

Rev. Kaiser goes into great detail explaining the backdrop for the development of exclusivism and other heresies, naming “freedom from Rome” and the heresies of Gallicanism and Febronianism, especially in Germany where liturgical reform efforts began, which would dovetail with Feeney’s attitude and the advent of Traditionalism. While someone might object that this is not specifically the heresy of Modernism, we cannot forget that Pope St. Pius X called Modernism the synthesis of ALL heresies, and that would also include ecumenism. Most interesting is the link Kaiser makes to the influence Nazism had on these reformers, and the trace elements of Nazi philosophy that can be seen embedded in liturgical reform. This might well explain the anti-Semitic stance of Feeney and his followers as well as a certain strata of Traditionalists.  And as one famous author relates, exclusivism is actually part and parcel of heretical perversion itself.

Exclusivism as it relates to heresy is best explained by Hilaire Belloc in the introduction to his work, The Great Heresies: “Heresy means…the warping of a system by ‘exception’: by ‘picking out’ one part of the structure and implies that the scheme is marred by taking away one part of it, denying one part of it, and either leaving the void unfilled or filling it with some new affirmation. The denial of a scheme wholesale is not heresy, and has not the creative power of a heresy. It is of the essence of heresy that it leaves standing a great part of the structure it attacks. It is the taking away from the moral scheme by which we have lived of a particular part, the denial of that part and the attempt to replace it by an innovation.” Traditionalists abandoned the idea of the papacy and pretended that bishops, minus their head bishop, the Roman Pontiff, could constitute Christ’s Church on earth and function without him. They denied that the papacy is the fount and primary source of all jurisdiction, claiming epikeia could fill the void they created. After picking and choosing what dogmas they wished to retain, they then simply pretended they were the legitimate heirs of the Church Jesus Christ established on earth.

The author of the Unam Sanctam article mentioned above continues to describe the “diabolic” sidestepping and watering down of doctrine in precisely the manner suggested by Fenton. What his description amounts to is actually the desired synthesis or alchemic dilution of dogma by Hegelian means: thesis, antithesis synthesis. The author describes this dilution process as follows: “It became common in the 1940’s and 1950’s to attach the label ‘integralism’ to those who favored the strict approach of Pius X and who still refused to accept the regime of pluralistic liberal democracy. Progressive Modernism was still acknowledged as heretical, condemned, but the nouvelle theologiens also began trotting out critiques of an ‘integralist’ counter-reaction which went too far in the other direction and was not a suitable response to the demands of modern man.” This we see in Msgr. Fenton’s article addressing Congar above. In other words, integralism, in order to be successfully demonized later, had to be managed, properly tagged then channeled. It found its supposed outlet in Traditionalism — especially in its earliest manifestation, Feeneyism —  but the adherence to the dogmas essential to the true meaning of the word were missing in Traditional practice.

At best it was a selective adherence to some dogmas only, at the expense of minimizing or ignoring others, and this is precisely the definition of exclusivism.  It was honed to a fine art by these nouvelle theologians who used it to construct both Novus Ordo theology as well as that of the Traditionalists. How did it come to this? This deadly minimalism — a term you have heard on this site many different times — is a fatal error Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton crusaded against in his articles for The American Ecclesiastical Review and Pope Pius XII later condemned in Humani generis as follows: “In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers, to bring about a return in the explanation of Catholic doctrine to the way of speaking used in Holy Scripture and by the Fathers of the Church. They cherish the hope that when dogma is stripped of the elements which they hold to be extrinsic to divine revelation, it will compare advantageously with the dogmatic opinions of those who are separated from the unity of the Church and that in this way they will gradually arrive at a mutual assimilation of Catholic dogma with the tenets of the dissidents.”

Msgr. Fenton provides the background of minimalism as follows:

Ultimately theological minimalism was a device employed by liberal Catholics to make the rejection of authoritative papal teaching on any point appear to be good Catholic practice. Sometimes it took the crass form of a claim that Catholics are obligated to accept and to hold only those things which had been defined by the explicit decrees of the ecumenical councils or of the Holy See. This attitude… was condemned by Pope Pius IX in his letter Tuas Libenter (DZ 1683). Another crass form of minimalism was the opposition to the Vatican Council definition of papal infallibility. The men who expressed that opposition sometimes claimed to hold the doctrine of papal infallibility as a theological opinion but they showed a furious hostility to the definition which proposed that doctrine as a dogma of divine and Catholic faith” (“The Components of Liberal Catholicism,” The American Ecclesiastical Review, July, 1958).

In other words, minimalism was an attack on papal authority. No matter what the popes taught, it could be undercut and explained away, and a good “emergency” was all that was needed for it to be utilized to its full extent. Already in the 1950s the Modernists were in complete control, if covertly, and Pope Pius XII knew this, predicting, “…after me, the deluge.” So where does this attack on papal authority, this watering down of papal and conciliar teaching, of censures levied in Canon Law and the faithful observance of moral laws lead? A reader recently supplied the following, from an unidentified source, but it is so compelling that it needs to be included here. It explains where eventually minimalization leads, and how truly dangerous it is, which is why Pope Pius XII condemned it in the first place. And it perfectly illustrates the very tactics used by Traditionalists for decades.

“If you bring up the obligation ‘We have to accept Catholic dogma or become heretics,’ the liberal Catholic will answer, Yes, but the dogmas have to be interpreted broadly so that almost no one really falls into heresy. There is always a minimization, a restriction to avoid reaching the final consequences and not reach a more complete and richer understanding of Catholic truths. This attitude of soul evolves. That is, no liberal Catholic remains in the same position. It is like a leprosy that progresses and eventually consumes the whole person. If the person has a long life, at its end he will have lost or almost lost the Faith.” Summarizing the rest of this quotation, these are the basic characteristics of the liberal Catholic:

  • He takes a contradictory position, which accepts two radical and opposed mentalities.
  • He is hypocritical because he says he wants to serve God when he wants to serve himself.
  • Also, he lies to himself by veiling the concessions he makes.
  • He is resentful, revengeful and deceitful.
  • His error evolves towards apostasy.”

So basically heretical exclusivism is the end result of the successful minimizing of dogma. The minimalists falsely teach that Catholics cannot reconcile their beliefs according to the legitimate development of doctrine as taught by the popes but must adopt a new understanding of it that excludes or severely minimizes certain other dogmas. Feeney blew the salvation dogma out of all proportion, not just minimizing, but actually DENYING the existence of other dogmas such as justification and sanctifying grace. This is one of many devious tools the Modernists used to abolish first the papacy and then the Mass. For the Modernist, dogma must evolve, it must actually change — a teaching condemned by the Vatican Council and by Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi dominici gregis (DZ 2080). And that was the mission most likely entrusted to Feeney — to make it appear that papal teaching contradicted dogma, while he himself was the one contradicting it. This would deny yet another teaching of the Catholic Church opposed to the Modernists’ evolution of dogma: doctrinal development.

Doctrinal development

As Pietro Parente, Antonio Piolante and Salvatore Garofalo write in their Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology (1951): “According to Catholic doctrine, a dogma cannot undergo intrinsic and substantial changes. There is an evolution, however, on the part of the faithful as to understanding and expressing a dogma (extrinsic and subjective evolution). This legitimate progress appears in the history of the dogmatic formulas defined by the Church as gradually the meaning of the truths contained in the sources of divine revelation came to be more profoundly and clearly understood.”

And this is also stated in the Catholic Encyclopedia under dogma: “The full meaning of certain revealed truths has been only gradually brought out; the truths will always remain. Language may change or may receive a new meaning; but we can always learn what meaning was attached to particular words in the past.” The full meaning here under discussion is precisely that of the word Church, and the meaning of that word was not fully understood until Pope Pius XII issued his encyclical Mystici Coprporis Christi, defining the Church as Christ’s Mystical Body on earth.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, the intrepid Abbot of Solesmes in his book, Pontifical Monarchy, explained authentic doctrinal development in these words: “It is a fundamental principle of theology, that all revealed truths were confided to the Church at the beginning; that some were explicitly proposed for our belief from the start, whereas others, although contained implicitly in the first set of truths, only emerged from them with the passage of time, by means of formal definitions rendered by the Church with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, through Whom she is infallible.”

“May understanding, knowledge and wisdom progress as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding.” — St. Vincent of Lerin. Msgr. Joseph. C. Fenton, commenting on this statement by St. Vincent points out:

“The Vatican Council has used the words of Saint Vincent of Lerin to declare as a matter of faith that the understanding of one man as well as that of the Church as a whole can progress and grow in its grasp of the revealed truth and that this growth always takes place in one and the same sense and meaning (DZ 1800). There can be no question, of course, of new doctrines or propositions which the ancient Church did not recognize as revealed but which the same Church in later years accepted as having been communicated by God. Neither can there be a question of some statement which God added to the deposit of faith after the death of the last apostle. As a matter of fact, there has been no addition whatever to the content of public revelation since the death of Saint John the Evangelist. The Church is and has been since Her inception perfectly infallible in Her teaching of the revealed truth. Since the She first came into being, She has taught the entire doctrine which God gave to the world through Jesus Christ and our Lord without error. Then the definite progress in dogma and in sacred theology has come in the process of resolving problems and questions in such a way that the true and objective meaning which was contained in the divine teaching is set forth continually in answer to attacks against Catholic doctrine and for the enlightenment of the piety of the faithful throughout the ages” (The Concept of Sacred Theology, 1941).

And in another essay, “The Church and Catholic Dogma,” written for the American Ecclesiastical Review in February, 1949, Msgr. Fenton provides perhaps the most crushing blow of all to the prideful Feeney’s pretension to ultimate orthodoxy outside his excommunication, relating how Pope Pius IX set down decisions regarding the definition of dogma.

“When he began his preparation for the definition of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius IX made it completely clear that he relied upon the assistance of divine grace to enlighten his mindon the project he was about to undertake. In an encyclical letter, dated Feb. 2, 1849, the great pontiff begged the bishops of the Catholic world to have the faithful entrusted to their care pray publicly for him. Yet Pope Pius IX certainly did not consider that this divine help in any way exempted him from examining the properly theological evidence about this doctrine. In this same encyclical he announced the appointment of a pontifical commission to study this evidence and to report to him.

“The commission appointed at that time by Pope Pius IX applied itself first of all to a consideration of the characteristics in function of which a truth or a proposition is said to be definable as Catholic dogma. It indicated no less than nine principles which must be employed in evaluating a proposition as definable. The first four among these principles dealt with the type of evidence not absolutely necessary in order that a proposition should properly be judged as definable.

“(1) The fact that, in the past, there have been conflicting teachings on this subject within the Catholic Church, or the fact that all have not hitherto agreed on this teaching, does not render a doctrine incapable of definition.

(2) The fact that even authoritative writers can be quoted in opposition to a teaching does not render that teaching incapable of being defined.

(3) In order that a doctrine be definable, it is not necessary that there should be explicit, or even implicit, testimony to this doctrine in Sacred Scripture, since it is certain and manifest that the scope of revelation is wider than that of Scripture.

(4) In order .to show that the doctrine to be defined belongs to Tradition, it is not necessary to adduce a series of Fathers and of other witnesses reaching back to apostolic times.

“All of these negative principles imply the commission’s conviction that, in order that a doctrine should be considered as definable, there must be real evidence that this teaching is actually to be found in the apostolic deposit of divine public revelation. The commission manifested not the slightest trace of willingness to content itself with a conviction about the definability of a doctrine based upon some corporate religious sense within the Church or upon any other so-called “non-intellectual” factor. This concern of the commission shows itself even more clearly in the positive principles it delineates.

“(1) In order that a statement may be considered as definable, there must be a certain number of solemn testimonies directly pertinent to it. (T. Benns comment: Found in Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma, DZ 388, 413, 796, Can. 737)

(2) A proposition is capable of being defined if there can be found one or more revealed principles containing it. (T. Benns comment: St. Dismas, St. Emerentia, man who tried to baptize himself, et al)

(3) A proposition is capable of being defined if it shows a necessary connection with dogmas. In other words, a proposition ought to be accepted as revealed when, from the denial of this proposition, there follows by logical and immediate necessity the denial of one or more revealed principles. (T. Benns comment: See #1 above. Deny Baptism of desire and you deny the dogmas of grace, justification, and God’s mercy.)

(4) A proposition may be defined as Catholic dogma if it is preached as a part of divine public revelation in the concordant teaching of the actual episcopate. (T. Benns comment: Found in all Catholic Catechisms, duly authorized by diocesan bishops, beginning with the Catechism of the Council of Trent.)

(5) A proposition is capable of definition when it is shown to be a part of divine public revelation by the practice of the Church.

“In calling for a theological examination of the question he considered defining and for a study of the conditions that rendered a truth capable of definition, Pope Pius IX stated clearly that he was following the precedent established by his predecessors on the pontifical throne.”

Msgr. Fenton references another article he terms as excellent, “Opinions Concerning Doctrinal Development,” by Rev. Charles Sheedy, C.S.C., published in the January 1949 edition of The American Ecclesiastical Review,  that places what is said above in perfect perspective. Rev. Sheedy wrote: “Thus it is clear that there has been progress, development in the dogmatic teaching of the Church, not merely in precision of terms but in actual content and subject matter. Doctrines are taught today as divinely revealed which were not explicitly taught 100 years ago and after the Council of Trent, a whole galaxy of truths entered into the dogmatic teaching of the Church, proposed to the faith of Catholics, not as new dogmas, BUT AS CONTAINED IN THE ANCIENT DEPOSIT.

In a genuine development, a doctrine is presented by the Church as pertaining to faith which did not enter into the explicit faith of Christians of earlier times, perhaps a truth which did not even occur to them. Or again, a truth which was not universally accepted but which was thought to lie in the area of free theological disputation is later taken out of that area and formally recognized as part of the original deposit.” This is what was pointed out in Part I of this work. For it certainly could be argued that the “implicit desire” of the Suprema haec sacra which inspires so much venom from Feeneyites was first contradicted by Leonard Feeney and that contradiction was definitively condemned by Pope Pius XII

Conclusion: How does the above apply to the Feeneyites?

By denying the truths taught as a result of doctrinal development, one basically denies both the infallibility of the Holy See and its Divine mission to teach all nations until the very end. For as Pope St. Pius X taught in his Oath Against Modernism: “I admit and recognize the external arguments of revelation, that is, divine facts, and especially miracles and prophecies as very certain signs of the diverse origin of the Christian religion; and I hold that these same arguments have been especially accommodated to the intelligence of all ages and men, even of these times.” The Vatican Council and Pope St. Pius X have declared the development of dogma to be a matter of faith, an accommodation necessary to better explain Christ’s teachings to the faithful and defend them against the attacks of the enemy.

Many perceive Feeney as a consummate integralist and the ultimate champion of orthodoxy — defending ancient Catholic truth and Her constant teaching while spitting in the face of the enemies of the Church. But nothing could be further from the truth. Feeney was no integralist, for he did not embrace integralism as the teaching or the attitude of those who worked for the presentation of an integral Catholicism, of Catholic dogma set forth accurately and in its entirety.” He embraced the “no salvation outside the Church dogma at the expense of the dogmas on grace and doctrinal development,” and even denied the right of the Holy Father Pius XII to infallibly affirm the actual development and application of this dogma in defining Christ’s Mystical Body in Mystici Corporis Christi. Thus, Feeney engaged in heretical exclusivism, attempting to make it appear that the “no salvation dogma” was contradicted by Pope Pius XII, and that the Church could not, at the same time, teach other equally important dogmas — such as God’s mercy, the operation of sanctifying grace, and the definition of who were actual members of His Mystical Body, as well as how those appearing to be outside it might still attain salvation.

This led to his denial of doctrinal development. As Msgr. Fenton wrote, “The Vatican Council has used the words of Saint Vincent of Lerin to declare as a matter of faith that the understanding of one man as well as that of the Church as a whole can progress and grow in its grasp of the revealed truth and that this growth always takes place in one and the same sense and meaning (DZ 1800). There can be no question, of course, of new doctrines or propositions which the ancient Church did not recognize as revealed but which the same Church in later years accepted as having been communicated by God.”  And this is yet another denial of infallible papal teaching the “consummately orthodox” Feeneyites can add to their very long list of offenses censured by the Church.

The Unam Sanctum author expresses the same dis-ease regarding those misconstruing integralism that we expressed in Part I, when referring to the strange personality of Leonard Feeney. Speaking of the nouvelle theologiens who brought about Vatican 2, he writes:

They are utilizing a false dichotomy created by Modernist innovators who sought to disassociate the intellectual element of faith from the experiential, to embrace modern liberal pluralism, and to destroy the authority of the Holy See. They did this by asserting that Pius X had gone too far in his persecution of Modernism, and labeled those who agreed with the Pian attacks on “the conglomeration of all heresies” as …Thus, the whole ground was shifted under the feet of the faithful, and those who simply retained an integral approach to the faith became extremists while the progressive nouvelle theologie became mainstream. It was a bait and switch, perhaps the greatest ever fostered upon the human race – a bait and switch so clever as to be diabolical.And of course it WAS AND IS diabolical, since as Our Lord said, Satan and his henchmen were liars from the beginning. Pope St. Pius X says it best in his description of the Modernists:

“One understands how it is that the Modernists express astonishment when they are reprimanded or punished. What is imputed to them as a fault they regard as a sacred dutyWith consummate audacity, they criticize the Church, as having strayed from the true path by …clinging vainly and tenaciously to meaningless formulas, while religion itself is allowed to go to ruin. “Blind’- they are, and “leaders of the blind,” puffed up with the proud name of science, they have reached that pitch of folly at which they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true meaning of religion; in introducing a new system in which “they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the holy and apostolic traditions, they embrace other and vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, unapproved by the Church, on which, in the height of their vanity, they think they can base and maintain truth itself

“If we pass on from the moral to the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first and the chief which presents itself is ignorance. Yes, these very Modernists who seek to be esteemed as Doctors of the Church, who speak so loftily of modern philosophy and show such contempt for scholasticism, have embraced the one with all its false glamour, precisely because their ignorance of the other has left them without the means of being able to recognize confusion of thought and to refute sophistry. Their whole system, containing as it does errors so many and so great, has been born of the union between faith and false philosophy.”

Denying obedience to Suprema haec sacra

One popular Feeney site treats Leonard Feeney the heretic as a martyr and has erected a virtual monument to him, replete with thoughts for the day, taken from his writings. Meanwhile true Catholic holy people who served on the American continent such as the self-sacrificing priest Ven. John Neumann of Philadelphia, Penn., the Korean War martyr and Medal of Honor recipient Fr. Emil Kapaun of Marion County, Kans., and the Cristero martyr Fr. Miguel Pro, S.J. of Mexico go unrecognized and are forgotten. The excuse given to justify this adulation is that he was persecuted by Pope Pius XII and the Holy Office officials, deprived of his rights and that his excommunication was invalid and not issued by the Pope himself. They accuse others of using theologians as their primary sources versus papal documents when they fail to acknowledge the full scope of papal documents themselves and quote the theologians when it suits their perverse purposes. They are preoccupied with the goings-on in Rome as thought this has any bearing on us today and is of any real value spiritually or even merits more than a passing glance and a disinterested shrug.

They also dare to  impugn the authority of the Holy Office calling the Suprema haec sacra an “alleged” document, stating that “a common form Holy Office letter is not infallible and can be rejected if it contradicts something of greater weight.” And to justify this, who do they quote? Why the theologians of course, one of them Ludwig Ott,  one of the most unreliable of the lot (see HERE). As seen in Part 1, this is definitely NOT the teaching of the Roman Pontiffs to whom they claim unstinting loyalty! They are bound to present their readers with a list of Sacred Congregation documents withdrawn if they wish to enjoy any credibility at all, but this of course they fail to do. And they deceitfully and hypocritically omit in the article posted on Suprema haec sacra, which cites Pope St. Pius X’s decision regarding the Biblical Commission are the following condemnations regarding Modernism and those violating decrees of the Sacred Congregations:

“Intending to repress the daily increasing boldness of spirit of many Modernists who buy sophisms and artifices of every kind endeavour to destroy the force and the efficacy not only of the decree left Lamentabili sane exitu which was published at our command by the sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition… but also of our encyclical letter Pascenti Dominici gregis… By our apostolic authority we repeat and confirm not only that decree of the Sacred Supreme Congregation but also that encyclical letter of ours adding the penalty of excommunication against all who contradict them and we declare and decree this: if anyone, which May God forbid, proceeds to such a point of boldness that he defends any of the propositions, opinions and doctrines disproved in either document mentioned above he is ipso facto afflicted by the censure imposed in the chapter Docentes of the constitution of the Apostolic See, first among those excommunications latae sententiae which are reserved simply to the Roman Pontiff (DZ 2114). And so failure to accept the decisions of the Sacred Congregations is linked to Modernism, as it definitely in the case of Feeney.

These pretenders also cite Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton to support their false teaching without even bothering to quote him and no wonder, since he confounds their falsehoods, as we have seen in Part 1. They assert that Suprema haec sacra was never published in an official capacity when it appeared in The Canon Law Digest (Vol. III, p. 525-530), which gives as its source as The Catholic Mind, a publication which often printed English translations of papal documents (see below). This is not only lack of due diligence in research but a lie used to justify a slur against the Holy See, an error they are bound to correct. No truly serious Catholic researcher is without a copy of the Canon Law Digest, but then Feeneyites and Traditionalists in general have little use for Canon Law, dismissing much of it in violation of Pope Pius XII’s Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis and ignoring the rest. This particular Feeney site has practically nothing on Canon Law, citing only a few canons here and there that fit their false philosophy and agenda while ignoring the rest.

Misconstruing Tuas Libentur

Not only do the Feeneyites operating this site reject Suprema haec sacra, they entirely misrepresent the teaching of Tuas Libentur and fail to quote it in its entirety, stating: ”Pope Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #22: “The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church.” — Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, “Tuas libenter,” Dec. 21, 1863.They use this quote to try and convince readers that it is misapplied and does not mean the Sacred Congregations are incapable of error. But they fail to quote the full context of Tuas Libentur here, for the Pope also taught: “It is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church… It is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions PERTAINING TO DOCTRINE which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations[and]…TO THOSE FORMS OF DOCTRINE WHICH ARE HELD BY THE COMMON AND CONSTANT CONSENT OF CATHOLICS AS THEOLOGICAL TRUTHS AND CONCLUSIONS, SO CERTAIN THAT OPINIONS OPPOSED TO THESE SAME FORMS OF DOCTRINE, [which], although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some other censure,” (DZ 1684).

Would Pope Pius IX actually bind Catholics to these decisions if he believed they were capable of error? Have any of those reading this and similar Feeney sites even bothered to double check the authenticity of what they are teaching? Or do those blindly following them secretly enjoy the thrill of endangering their faith and hope for eternal salvation? One has to wonder…

Of course they must uphold the non-binding nature of Suprema haec sacra and question the decisions of the Sacred Congregations and the Holy Office if they wish to defend their miscreant hero, Feeney. Because Suprema haec sacra was but a prelude to what would follow, the final nail in Feeney’s coffin. They may object to the Suprema… for its lack of entry into the Acta Apostolica Sedis, but they cannot protest Feeney’s excommunication for heresy, duly entered into the Acta. And not only was it Feeney who has incurred this excommunication, but those who disseminate his errors today. These errors will be enumerated in Part 3.


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