+St. Sylvester, Pope +
As the New Year dawns, we must repeat what we have said all these years, regardless of the heading to this blog. We wish all those who love the Catholic faith and desire only to keep it the full freedom to know and exercise that faith, a freedom we believe Traditionalists do not enjoy today. This owing to the many errors Traditionalist pseudo-clergy have propagated for decades, errors that enslave their followers and obscure the truth. A reader, frustrated with trying to explain these errors, reminded us of Henry Cardinal Manning’s evaluation of the times of Antichrist. Sadly, his explanation fits only too well all of what we see today.
Traditionalists, as a general rule, reject the notion that we are living in the times of Antichrist and that the spiritual destruction wrought in Rome over the past 64 years can be associated with either the person of Antichrist proper or his system. They expect instead a savior on a white horse, be he pope, king or both, to come rushing in to save them and usher in the era of peace promised at La Salette and by Our Lady at Fatima. They do not take into account that both these messages were warnings to which were attached conditions, and that those conditions were not only never met, but both messages were suppressed, perverted and ignored. Just as the Jews in Christ’s time expected a powerful Messiah to come sweep them away and deliver to them earthly power and prosperity, so the Traditionalists expect a restoration of the Church on earth, Her glorious triumph, and a return to all that went before. And yet the prophet Daniel prophesied in Ch. 9, v. 27 that the desolation we see in Rome and abroad “…shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.” Holy Scripture commentators tell us that this applies to Antichrist proper as well as the Jewish antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes.
This is precisely what Henry Cardinal Manning anticipates in his Temporal Power of the Vicar of Christ: “We are fond of imagining triumphs and glories for the Church on earth — that the gospel is to be preached to all nations and the world to be converted and all enemies subdued and I know not what — until some ears are impatient of hearing that there is in store for the Church a time of terrible trial. And so we do as the Jews of old who look for a conqueror, a king, and for prosperity; and when their Messias came in humility and passion they did not know Him. So I am afraid many among us intoxicate their minds with the visions of success and victory and cannot endure the thought that there is a time of persecution yet to come for the Church of God. I will therefore point out as briefly as I can what appears in the events now around us to be leading on to this result.” And here he goes on to relate that the first sign he saw in his day (the late 1800s) was indifference to the truth. He then predicted the second sign or mark was persecution of the truth and finally, he concludes, the third sign leads plainly to the persecutions of the last days. These consist of the abomination which maketh desolate standing in the Holy Place, the cessation of the continual sacrifice and the strength and the stars being cast down (pgs.148, 151,157).
Marks of perdition
It apparently has never occurred to Traditionalists that by failing to recognize the truly dire nature of our situation and the depth and breadth of this apostasy of all the hierarchy — which occurred before our very eyes — that they could actually be part of Antichrist’s system on earth. After going to great lengths to explain that St. Paul’s “He who withholdeth” is most likely the pope who will be “taken out of the way,” in order that Antichrist may reign and return Rome to the paganism of pre-Christian times, Manning writes: “Antichrist and the antichristian movement has these marks: first, schism from the Church of God; second, denial of its Divine and infallible voice; and thirdly, denial of the Incarnation.” On pgs. 85-86, Manning describes schism as “revolt from authority… the one and universal Church.” Denial of infallibility he characterizes as “the rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost… This necessarily involves the heretical principle of human opinion as opposed to Divine faith; of the private spirit as opposed to the infallible voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church of God” (p. 166). As for denial of the Incarnation, Manning notes on page 161:
“Rome and the Roman states are the inheritance of the Incarnation. The world is resolved to drive the Incarnation off the earth… This is the true interpretation of the anticatholic movement… The dethronement of the Vicar of Christ is the dethronement of the hierarchy of the universal Church and the public rejection of the Presence and Reign of Jesus…” And on page 91: “If heresy in the individual dissolves the unity of the Incarnation, heresy in the nation dissolves the unity of the Church, which is built on the Incarnation.” So let all of the above sink in very slowly. It has been proven time and again on this website that Traditionalists are in schism, because they accept men as their “pastors” who were not trained and authorized by a certainly valid bishop approved by the Roman Pontiff. These men were never “…rightly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical authority,” (Council of Trent, DZ 960, 967; Can. 147) and therefore are hirelings and intruders, as Pope Pius XII and the theologians explain. “The bishop… invested with the episcopal dignity by the clergy or even by a chapter, contrary to the laws of the Church… is an intruder. All who support a priest, bishop, or diocesan administrator who has not lawfully received his mission from the pope, and all who hold intercourse with him in spiritual matters, are, like him whom they support, treated by the Church as schismatics, because by such action they separate themselves from the Church’s unity” (W. Wilmers, S.J., Handbook of the Christian Religion, pgs.112-113, 371).
Secondly, it also has been proven here at length that Traditionalists deny the authority of the Roman Pontiff by accepting the teachings of these “pastors” in direct contradiction to the laws and infallible teachings of the Catholic Church, for every schism eventually leads to heresy, as all theologians agree. And heresy dissolves the Incarnation, as Manning points out above. So then we arrive at Manning’s third point, denial of the Incarnation. This should be something quite obvious to the average Catholic as a logical consequence of Manning’s first two points, but unfortunately it is not. For “rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost” is a denial of the Third person of the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity is one and undivided; deny one of its Members and you deny all. Christ’s Vicars speak in His name; they are His living voice on earth. Ignore and demean that voice and every bit of the light of sanctifying grace Traditionalists so wrongly prize as issuing from their “sacraments” is extinguished in the soul. Resisting the known truth is not able to be forgiven if one dies in such a state; rather than the Heaven Traditionalists believe they are assured of they will suffer the torments of Hell.
Papal teaching dismissed in favor of human opinion
Note how Manning describes those rejecting the papacy; he speaks of their reliance on human opinion and the “private” spirit” rather than the clear teachings of Christ’s Vicars, and this is precisely what Traditionalists engage in. Everyone assumes a “position” which reduces to nothing more than an opinion, when only one voice speaking in Christ’s name can dictate what that “position” must be. Truly this is a denial of the Incarnation, for Christ, who invested St. Peter with pontifical power, need scarcely have come to suffer and die for us if we could use our human reason to decide these things for ourselves! Those theologians most faithful to the papacy have written at length on the binding nature of papal documents, and those writings have been often quoted on this site (see https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/1-what-constitutes-the-papacy/judging-their-infallible-nature-and-the-assent-they-are-due/). Those considering themselves Catholics may find it hard to swallow, but they are bound even to accept a pope’s opinion on any given matter in preference to their own, because that opinion issues from the person Christ Himself invested with the power to lead us. As Msgr. J. C. Fenton explains: “There is “no such thing as a teaching issued by the Holy Father in his capacity as the spiritual ruler and teacher of all the followers of Jesus Christ which is other than authoritative.” But don’t tell Traditionalists that.
Rev. Leo Haydock comments on Matt. 16:18-19: “All the apostles and their successors partake also of this power of binding and loosing, but with a due subordination to [the] one head invested with supreme power….Although Peter and his successors are mortal, they are nevertheless endowed with heavenly power, says St. Chrysostom; nor is the sentence of life or death passed by Peter to be attempted to be reversed; but what he declares is to be considered a divine answer from heaven, and what he decrees a decree of God Himself. He that heareth you, heareth me…” And this reverence for the papacy is what we find in nearly every work written by approved theologians up to the 20th century, with few exceptions, (those being mainly the works of authors tending to Modernism).
But reverence for the papacy began to wane considerably in the 1900s and following the false Vatican 2 council, those heading Traditional movements made certain that any remaining respect for papal authority was eradicated. The popes were suspect, to be judged, not to be trusted. After all, look at what had happened and the men that continued to be “elected” to fill what everyone still considers, more or less, to be the “Holy See.” In order to bolster their own authority, Traditional pseudo-clergy first had to make certain it would not be challenged by either true popes past or those presenting as such since 1958. Papal teaching was mentioned only when it served their purposes; no one actually taught that it must be accepted and obeyed. If a papal document was used to challenge their ministry, it was immediately labeled as a disciplinary decree, or not applicable in times of emergency. And thus the Incarnation sank with Peter’s Barque to the bottom of the sea, symbolized by the teeming mass of humanity found in Apocalypse 13:1 from which Antichrist and his system would rise.
Sin and ignorance
How has this scourge of Traditionalism, this rejection of papal authority come to be? Manning tells us: “‘Some of the learned shall fall’ (Dan. 11:35) from their fidelity to God. And how shall this come to pass? Partly by fear, partly by deception, partly by cowardice; partly because they cannot stand for unpopular truth in the face of popular falsehood; partly because the overruling contemptuous public opinion, subdues and frightens Catholics…” (p. 163). And here I must add, partly from spiritual sloth. For so many individuals who are capable of reading and understanding have failed to truly study their faith from trustworthy sources, or have allowed these dratted Traditionalist “clergy” to guide them and interpret the fruits of their studies. In the end, perhaps this can be laid up to fear — fear of discovering the truth and being obligated to finally do something about it. But that they have such an obligation cannot be denied. Canon 1322 reads: “Christ our Lord confided to the Church the deposit of faith in order that She, with the perpetual assistance of the Holy Ghost, might faithfully preserve and expound the revealed doctrine. Independently of any civil power whatsoever, the Church has the right and duty to teach all nations the evangelical doctrine and all are bound by the DIVINE LAW to acquire a proper knowledge of this doctrine and to embrace the true Church of God.”
Two things are at work here: Sin and ignorance and much of the latter can be classified as willful or affected ignorance, which the Church will not readily excuse. The prophet Daniel relates that the Holy Sacrifice will be taken away “because of sins, and truth shall be cast down onto the ground” (Ch. 8:12). We have seen this happen; we should know why it happened. That we don’t is because no one obeys Canon 1322 and the command of the popes to defend the faith by engaging in Catholic Action. Who studies doctrine? Where are the schools erected that Catholics might study their faith in the absence of the clergy? If these Traditional pseudo-clerics really were pastors of the flock, they would have set up commissions to study the laws and teachings of the Church and catechetical classes for adults as well as children, not Mass centers. For the one thing that was lacking was the necessary knowledge of faith, far superior to the comforts of external religion. If Traditionalist clergy were true successors of the Apostles, they would have heeded the words of St. Pius X in Acerbo Nimis concerning the ignorance of the laity:
“Now we must inquire who has the duty to safeguard minds from this pernicious ignorance and impart to them the necessary knowledge. On this point, Venerable Brothers, there can be no doubt this very grave obligation is incumbent on all those who are pastors of souls. They are certainly obliged by the precept of Christ to know and to nourish the sheep confided to them. Now to nourish is first of all to teach. “I will give you,” God promises by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah, “pastors according to my own heart and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.” And so the apostle said: “Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel,” indicating that thus the first office of those who are set up in any way for the government of the church is to instruct the faithful in sacred doctrine,” (and this is labeled in the Monks of Solesmes Papal Teaching book as a doctrinal teaching, binding on the faithful). Pope St. Pius X then goes on to describe the plight of the faithful in his day as follows:
“It is a common complaint, unfortunately too well founded, that there are large numbers of Christians in our own time who are entirely ignorant of those truths necessary for salvation. And when we mention Christians, We refer not only to the masses or to those in the lower walks of life – for these find some excuse for their ignorance in the fact that the demands of their harsh employers hardly leave them time to take care of themselves or of their dear ones – but We refer to those especially who do not lack culture or talents and, indeed, are possessed of abundant knowledge regarding things of the world but live rashly and imprudently with regard to religion. It is hard to find words to describe how profound is the darkness in which they are engulfed and, what is most deplorable of all, how tranquilly they repose there. They rarely give thought to God, the Supreme Author and Ruler of all things, or to the teachings of the faith of Christ. They know nothing of the Incarnation of the Word of God, nothing of the perfect restoration of the human race which He accomplished.
“….They have no conception of the malice and baseness of sin; hence they show no anxiety to avoid sin or to renounce it. And so they arrive at life’s end in such a condition that, lest all hope of salvation be lost, the priest is obliged to give in the last few moments of life a summary teaching of religion, a time which should be devoted to stimulating the soul to greater love for God. And even this as too often happens only when the dying man is not so sinfully ignorant as to look upon the ministration of the priest as useless, and then calmly faces the fearful passage to eternity without making his peace with God. And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.”
And this is where those following the false shepherds of Traditionalism find themselves today.
Impugning the Deposit of Faith
The divine Deposit was given to the Church by Christ and His Apostles to safeguard inviolate. Rev. Peter Finlay S.J.,professor at the National University of Ireland, explains the Deposit in his 1917 work Divine Faith: “God from the beginning, has made revelations to mankind… And this whole body of revelation is spoken of as the Deposit of Faith… All the truths contained in it are to be accepted and believed by members of the Church… (p. 1-2). Every truth set forth distinctly, in Holy Scripture, every article of the Catholic Creeds, every solemn, dogmatic definition of a pope or a General Council, is included in the Deposit of Faith (p. 51).” Embracing the truths of both Scripture and Tradition as well as the dogmas of faith, Christian morals, the Sacraments and the hierarchical constitution of the Church (Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, Revs. Pietro Parente, Antonio Piolanti and Salvatore Garofalo, 1951), this term is explained by the Vatican Council as follows: “And the doctrine of faith which God revealed is proposed not as a mere philosophical discovery to be elaborated by human minds but as the divine Deposit delivered by Christ to His spouse to be by Her faithfully guarded and infallibly declared” (Sess. 3, Ch. 4).”
In explaining the docility with which papal teaching is to be received by the faithful, the Monks of Solesmes, in their work Papal Teachings: The Church (1962) write: “Even when the question does not concern a revealed truth that has its object some truth of the natural order, this docility will make him prefer out of deference the teaching of the master who speaks in the name of God to opinions which are purely human. Finally, this docility will subject him to the guidance of the Church for the work of clarification which is the ordinary line of progress and doctrinal development. For the magisterium of the church is not simply, like Scripture and Tradition a locus theologicus or theological source where is to be found the Deposit of revealed truth; it is a living teacher charged with safeguarding this Deposit, with revealing it and interpreting it as the needs and the crises of each epoch demand.”
But docility is not found in the Traditionalists’ vocabulary, unless it is the slavish “obedience” so many feel they owe these pseudo-clerics. And this even though such obedience is rarely related in any way to the binding teachings of the Deposit of Faith. Who today is guarding and declaring this Deposit which can never perish from the face of the earth? As Parente et al. explain in their work, “The Deposit of Faith has come from God and is entrusted to those to whom a special assistance of the Holy Ghost is assured (2 Tim. 1:14), i.e., to those who succeed the Apostles in their magisterium and in their ministry. Christ has transmitted the deposit whose content cannot be subjected to alterations.” But this cannot apply to Traditionalists, who possess not one iota of apostolicity. And is it not an alteration of the hierarchical structure of the Church to defy this Deposit by pretending the Church can exist outside that hierarchical structure minus Her Supreme Head?! So once again, as Cardinal Manning demonstrates, the Incarnation is denied in denying and demeaning the Deposit. Who are these charlatans who have done this? They are nothing more than confirmed Modernists, whose attitude toward dogma Parente describes as follows in his Dictionary… under dogma:
“The Modernists, having reduced dogma to a symbolic expression of religious sentiment in continual development (see symbolism), or to a practical rule or norm of religious consciousness (see pragmatism) have admitted an intrinsic evolution of dogma which must correspond to the indefinite phases of that sentiment and of that consciousness. These errors were condemned by Pope St Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis and Lamentabili (DZ 2022, 2026 and 2079). According to Catholic doctrine, a dogma cannot undergo intrinsic and substantial changes; [but] there is an evolution… on the part of the faithful as to understanding and expressing a dogma.” Please explain how what Traditionalists teach regarding their now headless Church, and their authority to act as ministers of that Church, (which they cannot and do not possess), is not exactly what is described above? For pragmatism is the heresy of action based not on belief and religious conviction, but on human opinion. Traditionalists tell their followers they have a “duty” under Divine law to administer the Sacraments, and are acting in their best interests. But this is merely an opinion on their part, condemned by the Church numerous times during the course of Her history. This we have demonstrated repeatedly here.
Symbolism, Parente explains, “…depreciates and eliminates the entire doctrine of faith determined by the Church in its dogmatic formulas… Every dogma expresses primarily a truth to be believed and, as a consequence, a rule of action.” In other words, dogma does not bind the Modernist; it is only a guideline they are free to interpret and/or disregard. Exterior acts that can be seen and are visible to satisfy the senses alone are the expression of faith and this also was condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his Pascendi: “For them the Sacraments are a resultant of a double need, for as we have seen: everything in their system is explained by impulses and necessities. The first need is that of giving some manifestation to religion; the second is that of propagating it, which could not be done without some sensible form and consecrating acts, and these are called Sacraments.”
Here Pope St. Pius X has just described how Modernists set up a false church to honor their beliefs. They first ignore dogma and Canon Law, since necessity knows no law; the obligation to be validly trained, ordained and consecrated, since acting like bishops and priests is more important than actually being validly ordained or consecrated. This is a perversion of St. Thomas Aquinas’ principle that in order to act, one first must “be” (the intellect must first determine by reasoned consideration that such an action is good and is not prohibited by the natural, divine or positive law; this also refutes the error of pragmatism). These men next appeal to the needs of followers asking for their services by providing what appears to be the Sacraments. They also foster and encourage their followers’ impulses to champion the Mass and fight to keep it available and to accept the heresy that bishops can constitute Christ’s Church on earth without being in communion with the Roman Pontiff. Anything rather than adhere to and defend the Deposit of Faith and its guardian, the Roman Pontiff, which would mean separating themselves from Traditionalism.
Traditionalists went to wage a war and fought on the wrong side. Had these men been real priests they would have been careful to educate them regarding the Church’s true status quo, not rush to provide Mass and Sacraments. They especially should have advised them of their precarious position regarding jurisdiction, which expired shortly after the death of Pope Pius XII. Canon 200 clearly states that anyone claiming to possess jurisdiction has the burden of proving it. Catholics exiting Vatican 2 had no understanding of Canon Law, and to be honest, even priests ordained in the 1940s-1950s were woefully ignorant both of Canon law and the true nature of infallibility. But Traditionalists are not interested in Canon Law or magisterial teaching because they are not Catholic.
He who hears you hears Me
Christ’s words as the author of the Divine Deposit and the Man of Sorrows who opposeth those antichrists standing in the temple of God, showing themselves as if they were God, are sufficient for us. The gods Traditionalists worship now standing in the place of Christ’s vicar, whether it be the false pope Francis or the numerous Traditionalist mini-popes, usurp the place of Christ. They are the abomination standing in what should be the holy place, for the Catholic Encyclopedia (Vol. 1) reports that this term can be taken in a concrete form as well, “…referring to a person, a ‘ravager,’ or even as a participal noun, (he) ‘that maketh desolate.’” Both the Old and New Testament treat of this great dishonor to God, applying the word abomination to several different types of serious sin. Proud, deceitful men; wicked shepherds, liars, detractors, idolaters; and those engaging in forbidden sexual relations are referred to as abominations. Especially intended as abominable in the Scripture texts is any unclean or unworthy sacrifice, or an acceptable sacrifice offered before idols. And Traditionalist pseudo-clergy have all the above. They have set up in the name of the true Church the very evil those following them thought they were escaping in exiting the Novus Ordo.
It should be remembered, as another reader reminded me recently, that Moses, who led his people into the desert from captivity, was long delayed while receiving the Ten Commandments. His people thought he would not return. They became bored and wanted to worship something, anything really. So gathering against Aaron, selected for the priesthood by God, they prevailed upon him to fashion the golden calf for them. When Moses returned with the Ten Commandments, he found them paying tribute to the calf, dancing and carrying on, and he ground it to powder. He then summoned all those who wished to remain faithful to God and ordered them to slay the others, some 23,000.
Some believe Aaron only meant for the people to worship the calf as a symbol of God, but that did not satisfy Moses, or God for that matter. Moses had to plead with God to spare even the few who remained (Exodus 32: 7-35). How similar this is to Traditionalists who, after leaving the Novus Ordo, first prevailed upon (then validly ordained) priests to offer the Mass for them when they had no power or permission to do so, simply to satisfy their perceived needs. The bread and priestly idols sacrilegiously worshipped in these so-called masses were no different than the adoration of the golden calf in Moses’ time. And sadly the fate of those who refuse to educate themselves in matters of faith will be no different than that of the Chosen People before them.
That the precious body of the Deposit should be cast aside by those calling themselves Catholics and bread idols and pseudo-priests worshipped in its stead is a sacrilege. It is a denial of the Incarnation, a denial of Christ’s establishment on earth of a hierarchical Church, a denial of all He came to earth to suffer and die for. Traditionalists are not just members of a false church — they are deniers of the very Christ they believe they receive from the hands of their antichrists. The words of the Apocalypse call out to them, the angels of the Lord entreating them in pathetic tones, crying: “Fear the Lord and give Him honor, because the hour of His judgment has come” (Ch. 14:7). “Go out from [Babylon] my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and the Lord hath remembered her iniquities” (Ch. 18: 4-5).