Robert Siscoe posted an article recently about how I’ve interpreted John of St. Thomas exactly backwards.  Now when Siscoe says I’ve gotten something backwards, it means I’ve gotten it exactly right and it’s he that got it backwards as I’ll demonstrate in two parts. First the article and second an email exchange from last year.
“Steve Speray, recently posted an article on his website in which he argues that John of St. Thomas (JST) criticized St. Bellarmine…”
I posted this article over a year ago on Jan. 23, 2016 which Salza/Siscoe responded to. I even posted a rebuttal to their response on Feb. 7, 2016. Siscoe can’t get basic facts straight, even ones he’s dealt with before. His mind is simply twisted! This will become more apparent as I go through all of his twisted thinking.
It’s Siscoe’s misinterpretation of Bellarmine that causes him to also misinterpret John of St. Thomas. Siscoe insists that Bellarmine taught that two warnings for a pope gone heretical are absolutely necessary before the pope loses his office.
Read Bellarmine closely…
“The fourth opinion is that of Cajetan, for whom the manifestly heretical Pope is not ipso facto deposed, but can and must be deposed by the Church. To my judgment, this opinion [of Cajetan] cannot be defended. For, in the first place [here comes Bellarmine’s argument against Cajetan’s position], it is proven with arguments from authority and from reason that the manifest heretic is ipso facto deposed. The argument from authority is based on St. Paul (Titus, c. 3), who orders that the heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate — which means before any excommunication or judicial sentence. And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that the other sinners are excluded from the Church by sentence of excommunication, but the heretics exile themselves and separate themselves by their own act from the body of Christ. Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?
This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2), St. Athanasius (Scr. 2 cont. Arian.), St. Augustine (lib. de great. Christ. cap. 20), St. Jerome (contra Lucifer.) and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Pope.”
Bellarmine is answering Cajetan who taught that a manifestly heretical Pope is not ipso facto deposed, but can and must be deposed by the Church. So Bellarmine goes to Scripture (Titus, c. 3) not to tell us that warnings are required to show us what we already know, namely, one who’s manifestly heretical, but what happens to one who is manifestly heretical. And Bellarmine shows Cajetan that heretics exile themselves which means they are ipso facto deposed.
Bellarmine even follows up that a “manifest heretic cannot be Pope.”
Yet, Siscoe wants to say the manifest heretical pope has to be warned first, which makes total nonsense out of Bellarmine’s teaching.
St. Paul speaks of warnings to insure that someone who has erred understands the opposition which exists between his error and the teaching of the Church. Popes already know the teaching of the Church and what makes opposition to it. After all, he’s the pope and that’s his job. Therefore, warnings aren’t necessary for popes and St. Paul clearly didn’t intend to apply his teaching to popes.
Bellarmine even proves that he doesn’t believe warnings are necessary for popes because he also wrote elsewhere about the case of Pope Liberius:
“For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic.” 
Again, warnings serve to show whether one is aware of his heresy, but Liberius wasn’t heretical at all. Liberius wasn’t warned but only appeared to be heretical. Bellarmine didn’t believe warnings are necessary for popes.
Now keep this in mind as you read the full context of John of St. Thomas criticizing Bellarmine’s position below…
Objection 1. “A heretic is not a member, so cannot be head of the Church”
Bellarmine objected that the Apostle [St Paul] says that we must avoid the heretic after two admonitions, that is to say, after he clearly appears pertinacious, before any excommunication and sentence of a judge, as St. Jerome says in his commentary, for heretics separate themselves by the heresy itself (per se) from the Body of Christ.
And here is his reasoning:
“A non-Christian cannot be Pope, for he who is not a member [of the Church] cannot be the head; now, a heretic is not a Christian, as commonly say the Fathers; thus, a manifest heretic cannot be Pope.
One cannot object that a character remains in him , because if he remained Pope because of a character, since it is indelible, it could never be deposed. This is why the Fathers commonly teach that a heretic, because of heresy and regardless of excommunication, is deprived of any jurisdiction and power, as say St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose and Jerome.
I answer [to Bellarmine] that the heretic should be avoided after two admonitions legally made and with the Church’s authority, and not according to private judgment; indeed, a great confusion in the Church would follow , if it was allowed that the admonition is made by a private man, and that the manifestation of this heresy having been made without being declared by the Church and proclaimed to all, in order that they avoid the Pontiff, that all should be required to avoid; for a heresy of the Pope cannot be public for all the faithful on the report of a few, and this report, not being legal, does not require that all believe it and avoid the Pontiff; and therefore as the Church proclaims him legally elected by legally designating him for all, it is necessary that she deposes him by declaring and proclaiming him as a heretic to be avoided.
Therefore, we see that this has been practiced by the Church, when in the case of the deposition of the Pope, the cause itself was first addressed by the General Council before the Pope was declared “No Pope”, as we said above. Therefore it is not because the Pope is a heretic, even publicly, that he will ipso facto cease to be Pope, before the declaration of the Church, and before she proclaims him as “to be avoided” by the faithful.
And when St. Jerome says that a heretic separates itself from the body of Christ, he does not exclude a judgment of the Church, especially in such a serious matter as the deposition of the Pope, but it indicates only the quality of the crime, which excludes per se from the Church, without any further sentence, at least from the moment he is declared [heretic] by the Church; indeed, even if the crime of heresy separates itself (ex se) of the Church, however, in relation to us that separation is not understood as have been made (not intelligitur facto) without this statement.
It is the same thing from the reason added by Bellarmine. A non-Christian who is such in itself AND in relation to us (quoad se et quoad nos) cannot be Pope; however, if he is not in itself a Christian, because he has lost the faith, but if in relation to us he is not legally declared being infidel or heretic, as obvious as it may appear in a private judgment, he is still in relation to us (quoad nos) a member of the Church and therefore the head. Accordingly, a judgment of the Church is required through which he is declared (proponatur) as being a non-Christian and to be avoided, and then he ceases in relation to us to be the Pope, consequently, previously he did not cease to be himself (etiam in se) [Pope], because all what he did was valid in itself.
Siscoe clearly doesn’t understand John of St. Thomas because he doesn’t want to understand John of St. Thomas. Siscoe doesn’t understand anyone or anything that’s opposed to his way of thinking.
Siscoe also claimed that Bellarmine taught that a true pope can be judged even though Bellarmine writes:
“Therefore, the true opinion is the fifth, according to which the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself [NOT BY JUDGMENT OF MEN] to be Pope and head, in the same way as he ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church; and for this reason he can be judged and punished by the Church.
When Bellarmine says, for this reason he can be judged, he obviously doesn’t mean while pope, but because he ceased to be pope because he ceased to be a Christian and member of the Church.
In Bellarmine’s rebuttal to the third opinion, he states that a heretical pope can be judged, but we know that a heretical pope according to Bellarmine is not a Christian and not actually the pope. He’s simply using conventional language.
But Siscoe can’t see the obvious because his thinking is twisted as if possessed. I’ve never seen anyone get so many things completely backwards.
In another instance involving an open email exchange with Siscoe back in Sept. 2016, Siscoe replied to my brother and a friend with the following…
Matt: Not only do Siscoe and Scott reject Pius XII on the sin of heresy by it’s nature cutting one off from the Church, but they reject Leo XIII also.
Dear Ignoramus, if you read our book rather that just repeating Steve’s errors, you would know that we do not reject these teaching. I have two questions for you. If you don’t answer these, I will conclude that you are nothing but a complete and utter moron who lacks any ability to think and simply parrot Steve’s errors.
Here’s my question:
1) Is an occult heretic (who is guilty of the sin of heresy) cut off from the Church? If not, why? If you say yes, explain why Bellarmine was wrong to say occult heretics remain members of the Church.
2) Where does Pius XII say a Pope who commits the sin of heresy automatically loses his office?
I replied back to Siscoe using his favorite theologian, Van Noort, because I knew that he would even twist Van Noort and he did. I wrote:
Mortal sin, as such, does not break the tie which binds a man as a constituent member to the visible Body which is Christ’s. Only such a sin as public heresy, schism, or apostasy does that, and then only because such a sin breaks the tie of visible unity with the Body. Pope Pius XII has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. ”For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.” By the term public heretics at this point we mean all who externally deny a truth (for example Mary’s Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic).
YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THIS, ROBERT?
Since Pope Pius said this sin of heresy severs one from the Body of the Church by its nature, are you suggesting that you keep your office even though you’re severed?
Robert Siscoe responded an hour later after I answered both questions:
Can the ignoramus not answer for himself? Pius XII taught that the sin of heresy, by its very nature, severs one from the body of the Church, yet you are claiming someone can commit the sin of heresy and not be severed from the Church. Why are you denying the teaching of Pius XII?
I immediately replied to Siscoe’s nasty reply:
You’re the ignoramus. I was quoting Van Noort and The Ecclesiastical Review.
Where do you see NOT be severed by the Church? They clearly say it does.
YOU’RE A COMPLETE AND UTTER IDIOT!
Again, Siscoe replied using my own argument that he’s condemned by Quanta Cura:
You are all heretics. You deny the clear teaching of Pius XII about the sin of heresy severing a person from the Body of the Church. You pick and chose what papal teachings you will accept. You are condemned by Quanta Cura.
Again, I replied to Siscoe not believing that he’s really this nuts:
ARE YOU SICK?
WE TOLD YOU THAT THE SIN OF HERESY SEVERS ONE FROM THE CHURCH BY IT’S VERY NATURE.
I QUOTED VAN NOORT THAT SAYS SO.
YOU AND SALZA SAID IT’S NOT SIN BUT A CRIME THAT DOES SO.
We make the proper distinctions and therefore accept the teaching of Pius XII. YOU REJECT IT. You claim that a person can commit the sin of heresy (an occult heretic) but not be severed from the Church. You are a heretic for rejecting the teaching of Pius XII and you are condemned by Quanta Cura. Admit it.
At this point, I figured that my other brother Scott, who worships Siscoe, sees that his hero is a lunatic and I write:
LOL. YOU HAVE SURPASSED YOUR OWN STUPIDITY! EVEN SCOTT KNOWS BETTER.
YOU HAVE TOTALLY MADE A FOOL OF YOURSELF. THIS IS THE FUNNIEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. PERIOD!
Siscoe again replies:
Pius XII said the sin of heresy, by its very nature, severs a person from the body of the Church. You say a person can commit the sin of heresy and not be severed from the body of the Church. That is a direct contradiction. According to your own reasoning, you are condemned by Quanta Cura and so are Matt and Lee if they agree with you. You are finished.
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?
I DON’T SAY THAT. YES, THE SIN OF HERESY SEVERS A PERSON FROM THE BODY OF THE CHURCH BY ITS VERY NATURE.
YOU REALLY ARE SICK! YOU BETTER GO SEE A DOCTOR AND GET YOUR HEAD CHECKED OUT.
I sent an email to my brother:
Well Scott, what do you think of Siscoe now?
I quoted Van Noort and The The Ecclesiastical Review who confirm my position that the sin of heresy severs a person from the body of the Church by it very nature and Siscoe reads it as saying it does NOT sever a person.
NOW YOU CAN FINALLY SEE THAT SISCOE IS TOTALLY MESSED UP.
It finally dawned on Siscoe what’s being said, and he writes:
Steve: “I quoted Van Noort and The The Ecclesiastical Review who confirm my position that the sin of heresy severs a person from the body of the Church by it very nature and Siscoe reads it as saying it does NOT sever a person.”
Siscoe: What? I am saying the exact opposite. I am saying the sin of heresy does sever a person from the body of the Church. It is you who are denying it by claiming that an occult heretic is not severed from the Church, even though an occult heretic has committed the sin of heresy.
I called him out and wrote: You simply can’t get anything right. You completely misrepresent everything.
I quoted those two and you read it as saying the opposite. You’re just a liar.
There’s no point in continuing with you. I say one thing and you accuse me of saying exactly opposite.
Btw, your partner in crime said it’s not the sin of heresy but the crime of heresy that Pope Pius XII taught. You are in union with Salza which makes your position a contradiction
Siscoe still doesn’t admit that he’s wrong and writes:
I didn’t misread anything. You are clearly trying to find a way to get out of this since you CANNOT answer the questions. I will ask again.
Do you believe that an occult heretic – who is guilty of the sin of heresy – is cut off from the body of the Church? Yes or no?
If you say YES, please explain why Bellarmine was wrong in teaching that an occult heretic remains a member of the Church.
AND STOP TRYING TO AVOID ANSWERING BY CLAIMING I MISUNDERSTOOD SOMETHING. I am asking you two simple questions – the same two question I asked Matt, which he couldn’t answer.
This time I wrote to my brother, Scott, and summed up what’s just happened…
See Scott how messed up Siscoe is. He accused me of heresy for something Van Noort says, AND then says he never said it. Lol. He still doesn’t answer my questions. Again…Siscoe wrote:
2) Where does Pius XII say a Pope who commits the sin of heresy automatically loses his office?
I replied: Since Pope Pius said this sin of heresy severs one from the Body of the Church by its nature, are you suggesting that you keep your office even though you’re severed?
Then Siscoe replied: Pius XII taught that the sin of heresy, by its very nature, severs one from the body of the Church, yet you are claiming someone can commit the sin of heresy and not be severed from the Church. Why are you denying the teaching of Pius XII?
Right after I said the opposite.
But Siscoe didn’t stop. I replied again… WE TOLD YOU THAT THE SIN OF HERESY SEVERS ONE FROM THE CHURCH BY IT’S VERY NATURE. I QUOTED VAN NOORT THAT SAYS SO.
And Siscoe replies: We make the proper distinctions and therefore accept the teaching of Pius XII. YOU REJECT IT. You claim that a person can commit the sin of heresy (an occult heretic) but not be severed from the Church. You are a heretic for rejecting the teaching of Pius XII and you are condemned by Quanta Cura. Admit it.
After explaining again, Siscoe still accuses me of denying that sin severs from the Body of the church by its very nature.
AND NOW SISCOE SAYS HE DIDN’T MISREAD ANYTHING. LOL.
He still didn’t answer my question, but he wants me to answer his questions. Matt doesn’t have a computer. He has to go to library each day but Siscoe, like Dimond, falsely accuses Matt of not being able to answer the question. I can assure you he can.
He would answer that occult heresy alone severs one from the soul of the Church but not the Body. But Pope Pius was referring to public sin as Van Noort explained. The public sin of heresy severs one from the Body of the Church.
Salza denies it. He says it’s not sin but the crime that does so.
But my question still stands: Since Pope Pius said this [public] sin of heresy severs one from the Body of the Church by its nature, are you suggesting that you keep your office even though you’re severed?
After answering all of Siscoe’s questions explicitly, Siscoe writes me yet again about the same questions I just answered…
Why won’t you answer the questions? If you do, all the questions you’ve raised will quickly be sorted out and answered. If you are throwing in the towel, I will again ask Matt to answer the questions. Here they are again:
Question 1: Do you believe that an occult heretic – one who is guilty of the sin of heresy – is severed from the body of the Church? If not, how to you reconcile it with the teaching of Pius XII who said the sin of heresy, by its nature, severs a person from the body of the Church?
Question 2: If you do believe an occult heretic remains united to the body of the Church, explain why Bellarmine was wrong when he taught the EXACT OPPOSITE.
These are simple questions, Matt. Steve REFUSES to answer them, so I am give you the chance. In fact, Lee can also answer since he accused me of rejecting the teaching of Pius XII.
My brother Scott writes everyone on the email list with:
Robert is right. If someone would answer the questions, you will see what you haven’t up to this point.
I finally ended it with:
This is why you’re a waste of time. I answered the question explicitly in the third paragraph from the end of my last email and you say I didn’t answer it. Stop saying I refuse to answer the question when I answer your questions explicitly. AND you haven’t answered any of my questions. We all know why, Robert. You can’t answer my questions without subverting you’re own argument.
Yet, both of you have already debunked yourselves. You claim I’m a heretic for going against Pope Pius’ encyclical (which I never did), yet your popes are not heretics for going against the same encyclical. AND you claim I’m condemned by quanta cura for rejecting a papal encyclical (which I don’t), yet you reject your own pope’s encyclicals. Ha.
I’m a heretic for going against the faith, but your popes are not heretics for going against the faith. The Dimonds argue exactly the same way. They say you are a heretic for BOD, but the popes are not heretics for BOD.
I have many other instances of Robert Siscoe getting things exactly backwards, but these suffice for the moment.
Siscoe’s mind is totally twisted. His website and book is filled with misrepresentations and lies of Fr. Cekada, Mario Derksen, Fr. Paul Kramer, etc., not to mention every pope, saint, canonist, and theologian. It’s mind boggling how anyone can take him seriously.
 Book IX, Ch IX, n. 15)