DEC. 31 1929

  1. From this it follows that the so-called “neutral” or “lay” school, from which religion is excluded, is contrary to the fundamental principles of education. Such a school moreover cannot exist in practice; it is bound to become irreligious. There is no need to repeat what Our Predecessors have declared on this point, especially Pius IX and Leo Xlll, at times when laicism was beginning in a special manner to infest the public school. We renew and confirm their declarations,[48] as well as the Sacred Canons in which the frequenting of non-Catholic schools, whether neutral or mixed, those namely which are open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, is forbidden for Catholic children, and can be at most tolerated, on the approval of the Ordinary alone, under determined circumstances of place and time, and with special precautions.[49] Neither can Catholics admit that other type of mixed school, (least of all the so-called “ecole unique,” obligatory on all), in which the students are provided with separate religious instruction, but receive other lessons in common with non-Catholic pupils from non-Catholic teachers.
  2. For the mere fact that a school gives some religious instruction (often extremely stinted), does not bring it into accord with the rights of the Church and of the Christian family, or make it a fit place for Catholic students. To be this, it is necessary that all the teaching and the whole organization of the school, and its teachers, syllabus and text-books in every branch, be regulated by the Christian spirit, under the direction and maternal supervision of the Church; so that Religion may be in very truth the foundation and crown of the youth’s entire training; and this in every grade of school, not only the elementary, but the intermediate and the higher institutions of learning as well. To use the words of Leo Xlll: It is necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught, be permeated with Christian piety. If this is wanting, if this sacred atmosphere does not pervade and warm the hearts of masters and scholars alike, little good can be expected from any kind of learning, and considerable harm will often be the consequence.[50]

The whole document can read here.




MAY 26, 1910

  1. Obviously the need of this Christian instruction is accentuated by the decline of our times and morals. It is even more demanded by the existence of those public schools, lacking all religion, where everything holy is ridiculed and scorned. There both teachers’ lips and students’ ears are inclined to godlessness. We are referring to those schools which are unjustly called neutral or lay. In reality, they are nothing more than the stronghold of the powers of darkness. You have already, Venerable Brethren, fearlessly condemned this new trick of mocking liberty especially in those countries where the rights of religion and the family have been disgracefully ignored and the voice of nature (which demands respect for the faith and innocence of youth) has been stifled. Firmly resolved to spare no effort in remedying this evil caused by those who expect others to obey them (although they refuse to obey the Supreme Master of all things themselves), We have recommended that schools of Christian doctrine be erected in those cities where it is possible.





JAN. 10, 1890


  1. It is, then, incumbent on parents to strain every nerve to ward off such an outrage, and to strive manfully to have and to hold exclusive authority to direct the education of their offspring, as is fitting, in a Christian manner, and first and foremost to keep them away from schools where there is risk of their drinking in the poison of impiety. Where the right education of youth is concerned, no amount of trouble or labor can be undertaken, how great soever, but that even greater still may not be called for.


AUGUST 1, 1897


  1. These are the things to ensure on this point. First, Catholics should not choose mixed schools but have their own schools especially for children. They should choose excellent and reputable teachers for them. For an education in which religion is altered or non-existent is a very dangerous education. We often see both cases occurring in mixed schools. No one should be ready to believe that instruction and piety can be separated with impunity. In effect, if it is true that We cannot exempt ourselves from the duty of religion at any period of life, in private or public affairs, so much the less should this duty be omitted at any age which is thoughtless, in which the spirit is ardent and exposed to so many inducements to evil.


DECEMBER 8, 1897


The question at Issue


  1. The question at issue is assuredly one of the highest and most serious importance. The decisions arrived at seven years ago on the school question by the Parliament of the province of Manitoba must be remembered. The Act of Union of the Confederation had secured to Catholics the right to be educated in the public schools according to their consciences; and yet this right the Parliament of Manitoba abolished by a contrary law. This is a noxious law. For our children cannot go for instruction to schools which either ignore or of set purpose combat the Catholic religion, or in which its teachings are despised and its fundamental principles repudiated. Wherever the Church has allowed this to be done, it has only been with pain and through necessity, at the same time surrounding her children with many safeguards which, nevertheless it has been too often recognized have been insufficient to cope successfully with the danger attending it. Similarly it is necessary to avoid at all costs, as most dangerous, those schools in which all beliefs are welcomed and treated as equal, as if, in what regards God and divine things, it makes no difference whether one believes rightly or wrongly, and takes up with truth or error. You know well, Venerable Brethren, that every school of this kind has been condemned by the Church, because nothing can be more harmful or better calculated to ruin the integrity of the faith and to turn aside the tender minds of the young from the way of truth.





Those parents who allow their children to frequent schools where it is impossible to avoid the loss of souls… according to Catholic moral teaching, such parents, should they persist in their attitude, cannot receive absolution in the Sacrament of Penance.



Non-Catholic Schools

Can. 1374: Catholic children should not frequent non-Catholic, neutral, or mixed schools, i. e., such as are open also to non-Catholics. It is for the local Ordinary to decide, according to the instructions of the Apostolic See, in what circumstances and with what precautions attendance at such schools may be tolerated, without danger of perversion to the pupils.

There is a term used in this canon which recalls the famous controversy waged about the parochial schools in this country a generation ago. It is tolerari possit,” which was given only for particular cases and in view of special circumstances, and may be called an equitable arrangement departing from the letter of the law. 8 The instructions of the Holy See for our country were contained in a document issued by the Holy Office, 8 Nov. 24, 1875. Others of a similar tenor were given for Canada, Ireland, England and missionary countries. All of them revolve around the question whether the influence of the Church is entirely excluded from the public schools and the Catholic pupils are exposed to danger to the faith ; if so, the bishop shall provide for their instruction as far as lies within his power, and at the same time warn the faithful and announce to them that they cannot in conscience permit their children to frequent schools opposed to the Catholic Church.

The circumstances in which attendance at non-Catholic schools may be permitted are expressed in the above-named Instruction to the bishops of the U. S. as follows: “Generally speaking, such cause will exist if there is no Catholic school in a place, or if the one that is there cannot be considered suitable to the conditions and circumstances of the pupils.” This suitability must not be identified with mere fashionableness, for there is no proportion between the danger to faith and “stylishness.”

Hence said instruction continues: “Parents who neglect to give this necessary Christian training and instruction to their children, or who permit them to go to schools in which the ruin of their souls is inevitable, or, finally, who send them to the public schools without sufficient cause and without taking the necessary precautions to render the danger of perversion remote, and do so while there is a good and well-equipped Catholic school in the place, and while they have the means to send them elsewhere to be educated; — such parents, if obstinate, cannot be absolved, as is evident from the moral teaching of the Church.” (A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW, VOL. VII, PP. 414-415, REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., DD.)


Pope Gregory XVI sent the Irish Bishops a letter in 1831 declaring:

The Church cannot approve schools which exclude religion from the curriculum, both because religion is the most important subject in education, and because she contends that even secular education is not possible in its best form unless religion be made the central, vitalizing, and co-ordinating factor in the life of the child. The Church, sometimes, tolerates schools in which religion is not taught, and permits Catholic children to attend them, when the circumstances are such as to leave no alternative, and when due precautions are taken to supply by other means the religious training which such schools do not give. She reserves the right to judge whether this be the case, and, if her judgment is unfavourable, claims the right to forbid attendance.



Many reasons are given why the 1955 missal should be rejected. I’ll point out the facts, certain Catholic teachings along with my opinion and let the reader decide the answer.

1. Pope St. Pius X and Pius XII were calling for and working on reforming the liturgy. Pope St. Pius X began with Divino Afflatu November 1, 1911.

2. The Sacred Congregation of Rites promulgated the explanation for the 1955 reform in a general decree that can be read here.

Whatever the final outcome was to be, the changes would not have led to the 1969 Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI, but to another mass that was fully orthodox because…

3. Pope Pius XII declared a year after the 1955 reform: “the faithful must seek from Scripture, tradition and the sacred liturgy as from a deep untainted source.” Haurietis Aquas, May 15, 1956.

4. Pope Pius XI declared: “Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy.Quas Primas, 22, Dec. 11, 1925.

5. Pope Gregory XVI declared: “Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or branded as contrary to certain principles of the natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. ” Mirari Vos, 9 (1832).

Other papal teaching could be provided including theologians such as…

6. P. Hermann, Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae (4th ed., Rome: Della Pace, 1908), vol. 1, p. 258: “The Church is infallible in her general discipline. By the term general discipline is understood the laws and practices which belong to the external ordering of the whole Church. Such things would be those which concern either external worship, such as liturgy and rubrics, or the administration of the sacraments…”

7. McHugh and Callan, Moral Theology wrote: 415. The dangers of epieikeia also place limitations on its use.

(a) There is the danger that one may be wrong in judging that the lawgiver did not wish to include a case under his law. If this is not certain, one should investigate to the best of one’s ability, and have recourse, if possible, to the legislator or his representative for a declaration or dispensation. It is never lawful to use epieikeia without reasonable certainty that the legislator would not wish the law to apply here and now.

(b) There is the danger that one may be in bad faith in deciding that the common good or justice requires the use of epieikeia; the motive in reality may be self-interest or escape from obligation. Hence, a person should not use epieikeia except in necessity, when he is thrown on his own resources and must decide for himself; and, even then, he must be sure that he acts from sincerity and disinterestedness.

In light of the Catholic teaching, can we ascribe to the 1955 reform that it has “false principles and practices” that are found in the 1969 Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI?

Can we say that using the 1955 reform promotes the dangerous error that Paul VI’s “reform” was merely one more step in the organic development of the Catholic liturgy? If so, then how was the 1955 reform ever really untainted, perfectly and perpetually immune from error, or perfect as the Church declares the liturgy must be?

Is it absolutely necessary to apply epieikeia?

Who decides?

One thing is certain. To claim the 1955 missal was inherently bad (as all the arguments appear to be), then one is rejecting the 2nd article of Faith at least implicitly.

Is it not really the case that the private interpretation for applying epieikeia to the 1955 missal promotes this dangerous heresy anyway?

On Friday, June 9, 2017, The Remnant Newspaper Blog posted John Salza’s, “Note to Sedevacantists: Heresy Does Not Automatically Sever One from the Church.” [1] In his 5,404 word article, Salza makes the biggest goofball argument against sedevacantism I’ve seen to date.

I would have made a comment on the Remnant blog, but they have a long history of not posting my comments. Therefore, I’m posting my own counterpoint article.

Salza begins his article by quoting the relevant teaching from Pope Pius XII:

For not every offense, although it may be a grave evil, is such as by its very own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.

In the past, Salza argued that the “offense,” which Pope Pius XII was referring should be translated “crime.” And that crime has to be established by the Church and only then is the person who committed the crime of heresy understood to be severed from the Body of the Church by its nature. Salza writes:

Pope Pius XII is referring to the “offense” or CRIME (not SIN) of heresy, which severs one from the Body of the Church, after the formal and material elements have been proven by the Church. After the crime has been established, the heretic is automatically severed from the BODY (not SOUL) of the Church without further declaration (although most theologians maintain that the Church must also issue a declaration of deprivation). [2]

I responded to that argument Feb. 19, 2016 in an article titled The Sin of Heresy – Why John Salza and Robert Siscoe Get It Wrong (Part II) .

Now Salza introduces a new argument that differs from his old argument:

We affirm that heresy, by its nature, severs one from the Church spiritually (quoad se), and also disposes one to be severed legally (quoad nos, by Church authorities). Said differently, heresy, by its nature, severs the spiritual bond formally, and the legal bond dispositively. As Van Noort said, “internal heresy, since it destroys that interior unity of faith from which unity of profession is born, separates one from the body of the Church dispositively, but not yet formally.” [3]

Salza quotes Van Noort and completely misrepresents him. Van Noort is not saying that external heresy separates one from the body of the Church dispositively. It’s the internal sin that does so. External heresy separates one from the Body of the Church formally and that’s the issue at hand. Pope Pius XII is not referring to the internal sin of heresy. Van Noort explains:

Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of three factors—baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy—pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church. The same pontiff 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” (MCC 30; italics ours).

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). It is certain that public, formal heretics are severed from the Church membership. It is the more common opinion that public, material heretics are likewise excluded from membership. Theological reasoning for this opinion is quite strong: if public material heretics remained members of the Church, the visibility and unity of Christ’s Church would perish. If these purely material heretics were considered members of the Catholic Church in the strict sense of the term, how would one ever locate the “Catholic Church”? How would the Church be one body? How would it profess one faith? Where would be its visibility? Where its unity? For these and other reasons we find it difficult to see any intrinsic probability to the opinion which would allow for public heretics, in good faith, remaining members of the Church. [4]

Where does Salza find words like spiritual and legal bond? It appears that he creates words to fit his understanding of the canonists and theologians. At least, you don’t see him quoting any of them using the phrase “legal bond.”

However, he lets us in on what he means by “legal bond.” Salza writes:

The Pope heretic is not a member of the Church as far as the substance and form [the spiritual bond] which constitute the members of the Church; but he is the head as far as the charge and action [the legal bond]

[O]ccult heretics are still of the Church, they are parts and members [the legal bond]… therefore the Pope who is an occult heretic is still Pope.

…but would still retain his jurisdiction by which he would influence the Church [the legal bond] in ruling it. Thus he would still be nominally the head of the Church, which he would still rule as head, [Then why does John Salza refuse to let Francis rule him?]though he would no longer be a member of Christ, because he would not receive that vital influx of faith from Christ [the spiritual bond], the invisible and primary head. Thus in quite an abnormal manner he would be in point of jurisdiction the head of the Church [the legal bond], though he would not be a member of it.

The quoad se/quoad nos distinction used by John of St. Thomas harmonizes perfectly with the spiritual/legal bond distinction we have discussed in this article (as well as the Body/Soul distinction used by Bellarmine and others that we did not address here). Those who are united to the Church quoad nos (according to us) remain legal members of the Church (and if they are clerics, they retain their jurisdiction), even if they are spiritually severed from the Church; whereas those who cease to be united to the Church quoad nos (i.e., those who have openly left the Church or who have been declared heretics), do not. Because God alone knows who truly possesses interior faith and are thereby united to the Church quoad se,[19] if only these individuals (i.e., those who possess interior faith) were members of the Church, the Church would not be a visible society (whose members could be known), but rather “an invisible Church of true believers, known to God alone” which is a Protestant heresy that the Sedevacantists have embraced. [This accusation will be answered at the end.]

I think we can safely say that Salza’s meaning behind “spiritual bond” is Soul of the Church and his meaning behind “legal bond” is Body of the Church where persons can operate with authority.

As I also demonstrated in my 2016 article, The Ecclesiastical Review and Msgr. Van Noort explain that Pope Pius XII was speaking about the public external sin of heresy and how this external sin of heresy severs one from the Body of the Church by its nature. The internal forum, the internal sin of heresy and and even the external sin of heresy if occult have never been the issue. The reason Salza keeps bringing it into the equation is to confuse and misrepresent our position while hiding his error on the subject.

Salza then misrepresents and misapplies the plain meaning behind Rev. Sylvester Berry’s teaching below…

A heretic is usually defined as a Christian, i.e., a baptized person, who holds a doctrine contrary to a revealed truth; but this definition is inaccurate, since it would make heretics of a large portion of the faithful. A doctrine contrary to a revealed truth is usually stigmatized as heretical, but a person who professes an heretical doctrine is not necessarily a heretic. Heresy, from the Greek hairesis, signifies a choosing; therefore a heretic is one who chooses for himself in matters of faith, thereby rejecting the authority of the Church established by Christ to teach all men the truths of revelation. (…) A person who submits to the authority of the Church and wishes to accept all her teachings, is not a heretic, even though he profess heretical doctrines through ignorance of what the Church really teaches; he implicitly accepts the true doctrine in his general intention to accept all that the Church teaches.”

After quoting Berry, Salza writes:

As even the Sedevacantists would be forced to concede, all the conciliar Popes acknowledged the Church as the infallible rule of Faith. This means that even if Modernism has so confused their minds that they professed errors or even heresies, this material profession itself would not have formally severed their external and legal bond to the Church (and which, of course, means they retained their office and jurisdiction).

A note to Salza: The church the conciliar popes acknowledge is not the Catholic Church. In fact, modernism is more than merely professing errors and even heresies. Modernism is the “Synthesis of all Heresies” so said Pope St. Pius X. The conciliar popes are practical atheists and don’t acknowledge an infallible rule of faith at all. To call the conciliar pope’s false profession of Faith “material” means they are ignorantly and innocently professing Modernists.

Because the hearts of man can’t be read by mortals, we can’t say that any pope has professed a heresy materially. We can only say he has professed heresy!

Unfortunately, Salza leaves out the rest of Fr. Berry’s teaching (just like he didn’t provide his readers the full scope of Msgr. Van Noort’s teaching). Berry and Van Noort completely undercut Salza’s entire article. Fr. Berry continued:

“A heretic is one who chooses for himself in matters of faith, thereby, rejecting the authority of the Church established by Christ to teach all men the truths of revelation. [Notice here that Berry is talking about rejecting the teaching authority of the Church, not simply the profession of a heretical doctrine.] He rejects the authority of the Church by following his own judgment or by submitting to an authority other than that established by Christ. A person who submits to the authority of the Church and wishes to accept all her teachings, is not a heretic, even though he profess heretical doctrines through IGNORANCE of what the Church really teaches.” [5]

The SIN of heresy that severs one from the Church by its nature as Pope Pius XII taught in MCC is absent when the heresy professed is done through ignorance when that person wishes to accept all the Church’s teachings. However, that sin can be either occult or public which leads to different conclusions with his membership either in the Body or Soul of the Church.

Berry went on to say:

“A person may reject the teaching authority of the Church knowingly and willingly, or he may do it through ignorance. In the first case he is a formal heretic, guilty of grievous sin; in the second case, he is a material heretic, free from guilty. Both formal and material heresy may be manifest or occult. Heresy is manifest when publicly known to such an extent that its existence could be proved in a court of law; it is occult if not externally manifested by word or act, or if not sufficiently public to allow proof of its existence in court.

EXCLUDED FROM MEMBERSHIP. Manifest heretics and schismatics are excluded from membership in the Church. Heretics separated themselves from the unity of faith and worship; schismatics from the unity of government, and both reject the authority of the Church.  So far as exclusion from the Church is concerned, it matters not whether the heresy or schism be formal or material. Those born and reared in heresy or schism may be sincere in their belief and practice, yet they publicly and willingly reject the Church and attach to sects opposed to her; they are not guilty of sin in the matter, but they are not members of the Church. For this reason, the Church makes no distinction between formal and material heresy when receiving converts into her fold.

There is no need to adduce arguments from Scripture or tradition for a truth that is practically self-evident. St. Jerome says:  “An adulterer, a homicide, and other sinners are driven from the Church by the priests (I.e., by excommunication); but heretics pass sentence upon themselves, leaving the Church by their own free-will.” [Notice that heretics have left the Church which is the definition of defection of faith. Joining another sect is not necessary as Very Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac taught in his “General Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law” on Can. 188.4.] 19 St. Augustine gives expression to the same doctrine: “If you do not wish to belong to the Church,…separate yourself from her members, put yourselves off from her body. But why should I now urge them to leave the Church, since they have already done this? They are heretics, and therefore already out.”

Rev. Berry’s teaching says it all. The heretics Fr. Berry is talking about as being excluded from membership in the Church, regardless of whether they’re innocent or guilty of the sin of heresy, are those who “reject the teaching authority of the Church”, which would mean Protestants, etc., not simply Catholics who happen to say something heretical without meaning to go against the teaching authority of the Church.

Now getting back to Salza’s statement below…

The quoad se/quoad nos distinction used by John of St. Thomas harmonizes perfectly with the spiritual/legal bond distinction we have discussed in this article (as well as the Body/Soul distinction used by Bellarmine and others that we did not address here). Those who are united to the Church quoad nos (according to us) remain legal members of the Church (and if they are clerics, they retain their jurisdiction), even if they are spiritually severed from the Church; whereas those who cease to be united to the Church quoad nos (i.e., those who have openly left the Church or who have been declared heretics), do not. Because God alone knows who truly possesses interior faith and are thereby united to the Church quoad se,[19] if only these individuals (i.e., those who possess interior faith) were members of the Church, the Church would not be a visible society (whose members could be known), but rather “an invisible Church of true believers, known to God alone” which is a Protestant heresy that the Sedevacantists have embraced.

We sedevacantists don’t recognize that the Visible Church is made up of members with the interior faith only. Where did he come up with that nonsense? It’s as if Salza has never read or tried to understand our position. In fact, it’s Salza’s position that is reminiscent of the Protestant heresy because his position is that you can profess any and every heresy under the sun and still be considered a member of the Church unless declared a heretic by authorities. Salza’s visible church is made up of individuals that are divided in faith.

So, if Salza is looking for a Protestant church, he needs to look no further than the institution headed by Jorge Bergoglio, where anything goes, as long as it’s not Catholic.



[1] http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/3232-note-to-sedevacantists-heresy-does-not-automatically-sever-one-from-the-church

[2] John Salza Responds to Another Sedevacantist


[4] Dogmatic Theology Volume II: Christ’s Church, Van Noort, p. 241-242

[5] Rev. Sylvester Berry’s Church of Christ, p 128:



Robert Siscoe posted an article recently about how I’ve interpreted John of St. Thomas exactly backwards. [1] 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.

Siscoe begins:

“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.” [2]

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).


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.



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:






Siscoe replied:

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:




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.


I replied:





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.



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.


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.


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.





[1] http://www.trueorfalsepope.com/p/steven-sperays-erroneous-interpretation.html

[2] Book IX, Ch IX, n. 15)

The following story was taken from https://www.olrl.org/stories/wizclip.shtml

I’m posting the story here to help spread the truth of Catholicism and make others aware of the seriousness of living correctly. Read it carefully!


“One of the most wonderful manifestations of God’s benevolence during the struggles of the primitive Church in these United States” – such is the impressive estimate of the learned Jesuit scholar, Father Joseph M. Finotti, concerning the extraordinary but little known spiritual drama which took place some 200 years ago near Martinsburg, West Virginia.

And in fact, in the year 1797, on a farm near the present Middleway, Jefferson County, West Virginia, a Lutheran family was saved from diabolical persecutions by a Catholic priest and then instructed in the Catholic religion by a mysterious, invisible Voice from the other world, that continued for seventeen years to enlighten, guide, and inspire these former Protestants and their Catholic friends to live as fervent and model Christians. Frequently during those years, this mystic Voice, whose “influence was always beneficial,” communicated timely warnings, prophecies, and messages of charity and mercy for many persons, which resulted in numerous conversions.

That such seemingly miraculous phenomena did actually take place has never been questioned by serious historians. According to the scholarly Professor P. J. Mahon, in his Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in America (Chicago, 1907), “no facts are better substantiated.” Non-Catholic authorities also confirm the truth of the events. In 1904, an article in The West Virginia Historical Magazine admitted, “the people there had no doubt of the facts related.” And as recently as 1941, the West Virginia guidebook of the American Guide Series compiled by the Writers’ Program of the Works Project Administration gave nearly a whole page to an objective account of the locally famous Mystery of the Wizard Clip.

We shall now narrate the principal incidents of this fascinating and significant chapter in the early history of the Catholic Church in the United States. This will be, for the most part, in the same words as they are recorded by eyewitnesses and by the children of eyewitnesses in Father J. M. Finotti’s valuable collection of documents entitled The Mystery of the Wizard Clip (Baltimore, 1879, 143p.). Holy Scripture teaches us “it is honorable to reveal and confess the works of God” (Tobias 12:7). And it is our hope and prayer that many American Catholics – and non-Catholics too – may come to share Father Finotti’s conviction that this stirring historical narrative “draws our heart near to God; it teaches lessons of supernatural wisdom; the Finger of God is Here! … Herein lies the beauty of the story.”

Adam Livingston was an honest and industrious Lutheran who owned considerable property in York County, Pennsylvania. Due to mysterious causes, however, his property began to diminish in various ways: his barn burned down, and his horses and cattle died. As these losses continued, Livingston and his family decided to move. Early in the seventeen nineties, therefore, with his second wife and several children, he left Pennsylvania and migrated to the lower end of the lovely Shenandoah Valley, where he settled on a large estate of the triangle formed by Charlestown, Martinsburg, and Winchester, all of which were then in the state of Virginia.

But there too the same mysterious forces continued to afflict the Livingston household. There too the cattle and horses died. Now the very house in which Adam and his wife and children lived seemed to have become haunted: at night, they were kept awake by weird noises, such as loud knocks and rumblings as of galloping horses and wagons. But even in daylight, their furniture would be suddenly banged about and their crockery smashed onto the floor by invisible hands. Chunks of fire rolled out of the beds across the rooms. At times, the heads and legs of chickens and geese were seen to drop off suddenly. But by far the most sensational of these devilish afflictions was the strange persistent clipping and cutting that attacked almost every piece of cloth and leather on the Livingston estate. Sheets, table clothes, shirts, dresses, suits and even leather boots and saddles, whether in use or locked up in closets, were skillfully slit and clipped into crescent-shaped strips by invisible shears! The noise of the scissors clipping merrily away was distinctly heard on many occasions by members of the family.

One old woman in Martinsburg, wishing to satisfy her curiosity, went to visit the Livingstons, but before entering the haunted house, she carefully took off her new silk hat and wrapped it in her large handkerchief, to save it from being clipped. Upon leaving, however, she found her new hat cut into small ribbons! Poor old Mr. Livingston’s mental torture was acute and he turned to the Bible for help against these attacks, which were clearly diabolical. As Father Gallitzin later wrote, “the good old man reading in his Bible that Christ had given to His ministers power over evil spirits, started from his home to Winchester in Virginia, and having, with tears in his eyes, related to his minister the history of his distress, losses and sufferings, begged of him to come to his house and to exercise in his favor the power he had received from Jesus Christ. The parson candidly confessed that he had no such power. The good man. . .therefore rationally concluded that Parson S ____ could not be a minister of Christ …and applied to other persons calling themselves ministers of Christ, some of whom promised relief. They came, prayed and read; but they prayed and read in vain…”

As a result of so many disappointments, Mr. Livingston almost came to the conclusion that Christ no longer had any true ministers on earth. So in desperation he turned to some local conjurers or magicians, one of whom promised to banish the evil spirit if paid a good sum in advance, but refused the job when the shrewd old farmer offered to pay him double that amount – after he succeeded! Three others came very confidently from Winchester, but took to their heels when they saw a large stone whirl around the living room without any support for fifteen minutes!

Then one night, Mr. Livingston had a strange dream. He saw a beautiful Church and in it a “minister dressed in peculiar robes” and he heard a voice say to him, “That is the man who can relieve you.” He decided to search that same morning for the minister dressed in robes. He was directed to the estate of a distinguished Catholic family named McSherry. Late that evening Mrs. McSherry saw Mr. Livingston, whose farm was about four miles away, coming toward her house and she met him at the gate. When he asked to see the priest, she told him there was no priest there then, but that one would “hold church” at a home in Shepherdstown the following Sunday morning.

On the next Sunday, the McSherrys met Mr. Livingston in the Catholic home in Shepherdstown. As soon as the priest, Father Dennis Cahill of Hagerstown, appeared at the altar vested for Mass, the old Lutheran farmer suddenly burst into tears and exclaimed, “That is the very man I saw in my dream – he is the one who will relieve me!” When the Mass was over, going right to the priest, he poured out his sad story and earnestly begged him for help. After much persuasion, Fr. Cahill agreed to visit the haunted house. The priest questioned the whole Livingston family, but they all told him exactly the same story. He therefore consented to say some prayers and to sprinkle the house with Holy Water. And as he was leaving, a sum of money that had lately vanished mysteriously from the farmer’s locked chest was suddenly laid by invisible hands on the doorsill between the priest’s feet!

Now the Livingston home became quiet for several days. But soon the weird noises and dreaded clipping started again. So Father Cahill came a second time and celebrated Holy Mass in the house, after which the various disturbances ceased – for good! The old Lutheran farmer was so deeply grateful for having obtained the relief that had been promised him, that he thereupon decided to accept the Catholic religion with all his family.

It was at this time, in the fall of the year 1797, that a very remarkable young priest was sent by his superiors to investigate these strange happenings at Cliptown: the 27 year old Father Demetrius A. “Smith”, who was born Prince “Mitri” Gallitzin, the son of a German countess and a Russian prince-ambassador of the Empress Catherine the Great. Later, during his forty years of holy and heroic service to God at Loretto, Pa., he was to become famous as the great “Apostle of the Alleghenies.” Here is his testimony: “My view in coming to Virginia and remaining there three months was to investigate those extraordinary facts at Livingston’s, of which I had heard so much … and which I could not prevail upon myself to believe; but I was soon converted to a full belief of them. No lawyer in a court of justice did ever examine or cross-examine witnesses more strictly than I did all those I could procure.” Through the divine power of the True Church of Christ, the evil spirits were banished and in their place appeared a Spirit of Light and Truth whose inspiring spiritual guidance brought about profound changes for the good in the lives of the Livingstons, the McSherrys and their neighbors.

One evening, after he had been a Catholic for several weeks, Mr. Livingston perceived a dazzling light in one corner of his room and in an instant the whole house became filled with almost blinding light. And then the old man began to hear a mysterious Voice, which instructed him in the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist. Often the Voice would come and exclaim, “I want prayers” It would awaken Mr. and Mrs. Livingston at night and tell them to pray hard for perseverance and for sinners. Sometimes it made them pray for three hours; they admitted that it did not seem to be more than a few minutes. And it would suddenly summon the whole family in the evenings with these words: “Come-take your seats!” And then it would instruct them very thoroughly in the various dogmas of the Catholic religion.

It emphasized that although they could not see the person who was speaking to them, they should always obey the visible voice, which was the priest. Some of the young children are reported to have seen the author of the Voice. It revealed to Mr. Livingston that it had once been in the flesh as he was, and that if he persevered he would know who it was before his death. But he must have taken the secret to the grave when he died in 1820. The Voice, having sung three times, very beautifully in Latin and in English the Livingstons naturally thought that their mysterious visitor had perhaps been a priest. And indeed, during the next seventeen years the Voice acted as a wise but strict spiritual director for the Livingston and McSherry families.

Whenever it came – sometimes accompanied by the bright light, it would say, ” In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, three great Names! None greater on earth! None greater in Heaven!” Once it ordered the Livingstons to keep a forty days’ fast with three hours of prayer each day. It also commanded them to keep March 4th each year as a special holy day, in thanksgiving for their conversion. And it was on that day, at the end of the forty days’ fast, that Mr. Livingston heard it sing so beautifully, as also on one All Souls Day. It said the souls in Purgatory were much rejoiced on the day of All Souls on which the whole world was praying for them.

Every night the Voice would join the family in their prayers, saying the Rosary with them and instructing them how to pray well. It also explained the Mass to them and stated that “One Mass was more acceptable to Almighty God than all the sighs and tears of the whole world put together, for it was God, a pure God, offered up to God.” It stressed what a blessing it is for us to have the merciful Mother of God as our Advocate and that she has great power on behalf of poor sinners. And because Mrs. Livingston, who had been a Presbyterian, was somewhat stubborn about honoring the Blessed Virgin, the Voice insisted that in the second part of the Hail Mary they say, “Holy, Holy, Holy Mary, Mother of God…”

Once when one of the Livingston girls went to confession and failed to mention a certain sin through shame, the Voice not only told the whole family that she had not mentioned it, but reminded her of it and pressed her to confess it as soon as possible.

When Mr. Livingston’s son Henry came of age, he refused to do the reaping unless his father paid him regular harvest wages. But very soon he was taken with a pain in his knee, which became so swollen and infected that he was confined to bed for eighteen months. After he had suffered that length of time, the Voice announced that “he had satisfied the Justice of God for his disobedience and disrespect to his father,” and the young man was healed. He must have taken this severe lesson to heart, for it is recorded that he too lived a very holy life henceforth. On the other hand, Father Gallitzin wrote that some of the other Livingston children, “I believe they care very little for the Church.”

It was particularly for the souls suffering in Purgatory that the Voice urged the Livingstons and McSherrys to pray, promising them that these souls, when delivered, would intercede for them at the throne of Almighty God. It told Mr. Livingston that every prayer they said for the poor souls was like a fresh plaster on a sore wound. And it gave them several unforgettable examples of the sufferings of Purgatory.

One day when Mr. Livingston was working in the fields with his sons, all of a sudden he was apparently taken ill, for they saw him turn deathly pale and double up. As they helped him to walk home, he explained that he had just heard a soul in Purgatory screaming for help. And later he often said that he could never forget that shriek – it had been so dreadful!

One night the Voice made the Livingstons get up three times to pray for a certain soul in Purgatory. And when one of the girls began to think that after all the souls could have saved themselves and they deserved their pains and anyhow the whole thing was exaggerated, suddenly they all heard a voice shrieking: “Help! Help!” When asked what kind of help was needed it replied, “Prayers – for we are in excruciating torments. Hand me something – and you will be convinced!” And as soon as a shirt was held up, a whole human hand was burned into it, leaving the spaces between the fingers not scorched. The entire family saw both the flame and the hand. On another occasion, the letters IHS were cleanly burned in deep red colors on a vest. These supernaturally marked objects, as well as some of the clipped cloth, were kept and seen by many persons for over thirty years, although unfortunately they were all eventually lost or destroyed.

The Voice often spoke of the grave troubles that were hanging over the world, and it told Mr. Livingston to inform Mrs. McSherry “she would not live to see it, but her children would – war, pestilence and famine!” It added that those of the family who would remain faithful to God would not suffer from these scourges and that they would know when they were in God’s favor. And as a matter of fact, during the Civil War, none of the eight sons and daughters received the slightest injury, except for one son who died from overexertion in his work in a military hospital.

Mrs. McSherry asked where the soul of her former confessor was, expecting to hear that he was long since in Heaven, as he had been a very holy priest who had died seventeen years before. The Voice replied, “Father F____ is still detained in the scorching flames of Purgatory, on account of some carelessness in the management of some property of orphans he had charge of. He trusted it to someone else, and did not see to it that it was properly attended to.”

Early one morning Mr. Livingston went over to the McSherry estate and told Mrs. McSherry that the Voice had just informed him that her sister, Mrs. Mary Spalding, had died at midnight in Baltimore, that she was in Purgatory “for over-indulgence to her children,” and that Masses should be offered for her soul. Several days later, a letter arrived from Baltimore announcing the death of Mrs. Spalding at the very hour mentioned by the Voice. Mrs. McSherry had eighty Masses said for her sister. And one day when she was walking to the Livingston’s with her husband, the gates were all opened for them to pass through, without anyone touching them. The Voice explained, “Mrs. Mary Spalding had opened them.” Mrs. McSherry had a brother at Georgetown College studying for the priesthood. Through Mr. Livingston, the Voice informed her that her brother had become a blasphemer, who openly stated that he did not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament nor the power to priests to forgive sins. The Voice added that if he died in that state of mind he would open his eyes in the raging flames below among the damned. The Voice commanded his brothers and sisters to go to him, fall upon their knees and say to him, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, why will you not believe that there is a God and that nothing is difficult or impossible to Him. It is as easy for Him to give us His Precious Body and Blood as to give us a cup of cold water.” But he did not return to God and, as the Voice foretold, he died in his sins. He was thrown from a horse and died of a broken neck. This sad event occurred in Kentucky.

The mystic Voice from the other world always placed just as much stress upon living a true Christian life as upon praying for the souls in Purgatory. It strongly recommended hospitality and it often severely warned the Livingstons and the McSherrys against the vanities of the world and especially against fashions. It urged the wealthy McSherrys to set aside all pride and vanity and to humble themselves to the earth as though they were sackcloth and ashes. It informed them that some of their relatives who had been long detained in Purgatory because of their worldliness, very much lamented their children being so worldly and so full of worldly grandeur. It claimed that ruffles and fringes, flounces and tuckers and “modesty pieces” (Lace worn over the bosom) were all inventions of Satan. Our Lord had come meek and lowly, it asserted, and so how could we, sinful worms of the earth, deck and adorn our sinful bodies? It declared that thousands of persons were burning in hell forever because of grievous sins that had resulted from their wishing to follow the fashions of the world. Once when three McSherry girls were fitting on some new dresses and admiring themselves, the large mirror before which they were standing was suddenly shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces! In this connection, it is certainly significant that Father Gallitzin, who was intimately acquainted with the teachings of the Voice, always strongly opposed any ostentation in his parishioners, especially in the dress of the women at church and he frequently preached against such display.

On one occasion, when Mr. Livingston’s family assembled in one room, they saw a man in the midst of them and supposing him to be a beggar, as he was poorly dressed and barefooted, the day being cold, Mr. Livingston offered him clothes and shoes, which he accepted but said they were not needed where he came from. He tarried for some time, instructing them in the Christian doctrine and talking to them. He told them; “Luther and Calvin were in Hell and every soul that was lost through their fault added to their torments.” When he left the house, Mr. Livingston thought to watch him, to see where he went, as they had not seen him when he came in; they saw him go out by the front part of the house and then disappear.

As was only to be expected, these extraordinary events and revelations resulted in the conversion of many friends and relatives of the two favored families. In fact, during one winter fourteen persons are known to have joined the Catholic Church in the region around “Priest’s Place,” as the Livingston property now came to be called. And the Catholics nearby of Maryland and Virginia were inspired to lead better lives, particularly when they saw that the Livingstons and the McSherrys, under the guidance of the mystic Voice, had become ardent lay-apostles of Christ. Mr. Livingston, before his conversion, bore his losses very impatiently, but after his conversion, he never complained.

In January 1800, when the Protestant wife of the somewhat lax Catholic, Mr. Joseph Minghini, fell dangerously ill, at the bidding of the Voice Mrs. McSherry visited and consoled her. After they had repeated an Act of Contrition together, the dying woman seemed to be truly penitent and ready to see a priest. But her husband protested that she had her own preachers and that there was no priest within forty miles. Finally, however, as the Voice had urged and predicted, Father Gallitzin was summoned and he received Mrs. Minghini into the Church. The Voice had also specified that the messenger would meet both Father Cahill and Father Gallitzin, but that the latter was the one intended for the woman, “as being of a milder nature.” A few weeks later, in a letter to Bishop Carroll, Father Gallitzin described the conversion as “miraculous”. When Mrs. McSherry returned home, she dreamed that she saw a little child strike a great rock with a stick, whereupon the stone crumbled to dust. The next morning the Voice informed her through the Livingstons that Mrs. Minghini had died during the night and that her sins had crumbled away, like the rock, as a result of her sincere contrition and the priest’s absolution.

Another striking incident, however, served as a vivid warning against waiting for a deathbed conversion. The Protestant wife of a Catholic man in Winchester being near death and having finally asked for a priest, a messenger was sent to the McSherry’s estate and found the priest there. But when they searched for the priest’s horse, Old Bull, in a small nearby field called Spring Pasture, where it had been seen only a few moments before, no one could find the horse! After considerable searching and delay, one of Mr. McSherry’s horses was saddled and the priest left. Soon afterwards Old Bull was heard neighing and was found in the middle of Spring Pasture to the utter amazement of the thirty persons who had just searched for him in vain. Then Mr. Livingston was told by the Voice that the horse had been there all the time. That it had been made invisible, because the woman put off her conversion until the last moment, that she had died before the priest could reach her – as was subsequently confirmed – and that Almighty God had permitted this as a warning to the living not to depend on a death-bed repentance. The Voice frequently advised the Livingstons to pray for perseverance and that there was but one Church out of which there was no salvation.

One night, in hard rain, a stranger came to Mr. McSherry and asked for a night’s lodging. It was most convenient for Mrs. McSherry to put him in the room where the Priest usually slept and where the Church vestments, etc. were kept. They both knew him to be a Methodist Preacher. After retiring, Mr. & Mrs. McSherry heard someone walking briskly about in that room, somewhat like one heavily booted. They were kept awake the whole night and much disturbed. In the morning, they asked the stranger whether he had not been sick during the night; but he replied, no, he had slept very well. Mr. Livingston meantime, came and told them they had had an unpleasant night, being kept awake. The Voice had told him to tell them; “God had permitted them to be disturbed to punish them for harboring him in a place where sacred things were kept – a minister of the devil.”

In August 1804, Mr. McSherry nearly died of a severe illness. Having had some unpleasant difference with Father Cahill, he had not been to confession and communion for some time. But now the Voice told Mr. Livingston to go to Mr. McSherry and “his dear helpmate,” as it always called his wife (according to Father Gallitzin), and to tell them that Mr. McSherry “should humble himself and go to confession, and touch Christ through the Church and he would be cured.” The apparently dying man immediately sent for Father Cahill and that same night, which his family thought would be his last, he made his confession, received Holy Communion, made his thanksgiving and then fell into a peaceful sleep. The next morning he was up before anyone else and when his family saw him walking around the house, some of them at first thought he was a ghost. Actually, though still pale and emaciated, he was completely cured. And he lived until September 7, 1822.

Mr. Livingston’s second wife, despite the fact that she heard the Voice more frequently than anyone, was never sincerely converted. She herself used to say that she was the Judas of the family, and she constantly tried to falsify whatever the Voice said. One Thursday evening when some meat-soup was left after dinner, she decided to serve it on Friday and she therefore locked it in the cellar. But the next morning she found the pot in which she had left the soup filled with exactly the same quantity of clear water! And the Voice told her that it had done it for “it was more proper to take water than to violate the rules of the Church!” Mrs. Livingston herself told Mrs. McSherry the whole occurrence. She also stated that the Voice had said, “If she would not submit to the rules of the Roman Catholic Church, she would open her eyes in Hell.” The Voice also prophesied that she would die in her own home and room, and so when she became ill she deliberately left the house, in order to prove the Voice wrong, and went to live with a Quaker family, whose daughter happened to be dying. This girl told Mrs. Livingston that she wanted some spiritual help but did not know just what it was she needed. The Voice informed Mrs. Livingston that it was Baptism and urged her to arrange for it. After the girl died without being baptized, the Voice told Mrs. Livingston that this would appear against her on Judgment Day. And when she was near death, she was obliged by circumstances to beg to be taken home, where she died in her own room, just as the Voice had foretold. Everything that the Voice predicted happened accordingly.

One of the Livingston girls, Eve, became a very saintly woman. However, once after joining the Catholic Church, she went to a Protestant meeting and while there, she was moved to tears at the sight of so many persons who did not know anything of the True Church. But the Voice reproved her for going to the meeting, saying that she “had committed a great sin, as the people thought she was affected by what she heard – they did not know her thoughts.” Eve Livingston spent much of her time with the devout old Mrs. McSherry, and after she died “in the odor of sanctity,” the Voice declared, “Her soul did not even pass through Purgatory.”

Mrs. McSherry, “the dear helpmate,” had at least two remarkable mystical experiences. One day she was frightened at seeing a cradle containing her infant son William being rocked violently without anyone touching it. Later the Voice told her through Mr. Livingston, “it was the Devil who was trying to destroy the child, knowing that he would one day be his enemy.” And in fact, that child became the Very Reverend William McSherry, one of the Provincials of the Society of Jesus in the United States.

One Sunday Mrs. McSherry stayed home with a sick child while the rest of the family went to Church. As she was praying for her child in an upstairs room, she suddenly saw a beautiful person standing before her in a light cloud, with one hand up and the other down, and a nail running through each hand, who said to her: “Whatsoever you do for one of My little ones, you do it for Me.” She told no one about this marvelous vision, until the priest informed her that the Voice had described it to Mr. Livingston.

One night the good old farmer and his daughter Charlotte were sitting together. The Voice spoke from a bright light in a corner of the room and told the girl that the Devil had been trying to tempt her all day and would have succeeded, if she had not been holding in her arms all the time a neighbor’s baby; “the innocence of the babe had protected her.”

Of course, in those times as today many persons refused to believe what they heard about these supernatural events. Once when Mr. Livingston wanted to warn some acquaintances about their way of living, the Voice said, “No – they are like Dives: if they will not hear the Church, they will not hear a voice from the dead.” However, soon after his conversion, the former Lutheran went to Baltimore to see Bishop Carroll and the wise and cautious old “Founding Father” of the Catholic Church in the United States, after a thorough examination, declared he thought the man had received his knowledge from above. Nevertheless, the Voice warned Mr. Livingston that many people would not believe these things, that even some priests would laugh and not believe and that when he saw this, he should not try to convince them.

Mr. Livingston seems to have become especially devoted to Father Gallitzin, whom he visited at Conewago near Gettysburg only a year or two after joining the Catholic Church. He is known to have walked there and back, and the Voice told him “that it had been with him the whole way.” It is also said, though without conclusive evidence, that through Mr. Livingston the Voice disclosed to Father Gallitzin some of his future sufferings and advised him how to bear them. In any case it is a significant fact that, according to Father Gallitzin, “Mr. Livingston removed from Virginia to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, about twenty miles from here (Loretta), where he died in the spring of 1820. I had Mass at his house repeatedly. He continued, to the last, very attentive to his duties, but did not receive the rites of the Church in his last sickness, which carried him off too quick to afford any chance of sending for a priest.”

Let us end our story with this wise advice from Father Joseph M. Finotti, S.J.: “The narrative of the Clip is for edification; it draws our heart near to God, it teaches lessons of supernatural wisdom. With uncovered head, then, unsandalled feet, and humble brow we approach the spot and reverently exclaim – The Finger of God is here!”

One of the greatest truths this story confirms is the infallible teaching of the Church that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. Please recall Mrs. Livingston’s statement that the Voice told her, “If she would not submit to rules of the Roman Catholic Church she would open up her eyes in Hell.” The teachings of the Church, as confirmed by the Voice, not only apply to Mrs. Livingston, but to all who wish to be saved. Pray and work for the salvation of souls. Distribute this wondrous story of the Wizard Clip so that many others may benefit from its revelations.


Novus Ordo Watch recently posted in their News Digest a headline titled: On the Bus and Off the Rocker: Feminist Pro-Abortion Nun blasts “Male Power” at Vatican conference — Hey, she’s in “full communion”!

What’s interesting about this article is the fact that it points to a heresy in the Vatican 2 sect held by all of its members, especially the “traditionalists.”

That error is the belief that a person can publicly believe, practice, and promote heresy without losing membership in the Church even though they know what the Church teaches, such as the pro-abortion, anti-Christian nun from the headline. Yes, I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’m saying it again hoping that it somehow finally clicks with people.

The SSPX, Tradition in Action, the Remnant Newspaper, etc. know that “Pope” Francis I knowingly and publicly rejects Catholic dogmas and morals, yet they all believe he remains a member of the Church as its head.

They will make up excuses that warnings are needed to prove obstinacy even though Francis is blatantly obstinate. Are we to believe that Francis is a dummy and ignorant of Catholic Faith and Morals? Warnings aren’t given to popes, but even if they were, they wouldn’t be needed to prove the obstinacy of “Pope” Francis. He simply hates Catholicism!

When these “traditionalists” are shown Pope Pius XII’s teaching that “only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith” they will give the reply that profession of faith doesn’t have to be perfect. While that’s true, it still has to be professed to the best of the ability of the individual. “Pope” Francis doesn’t profess the Catholic Faith at all! There’s not a Catholic bone in his body.

When Canon Law 188.4 is presented that defection of Faith requires no declaration for someone in the Church, including the pope, to lose his office, these “traditionalists” will say that defection of Faith means joining another religion only. In other words, as a long as a pope (or anyone holding an office) claims to be Catholic even though he may profess the faith of some other religion without joining it, he technically hasn’t defected from the faith.

This is the foolishness that comes from individuals who won’t admit the obvious because of pride, anger, and plain stupidity.

What it comes down to is that “traditionalists” united to “Pope” Francis are heretics because they believe in the heresy that Catholics need not profess the Catholic Faith but can actually reject it completely and remain a member of the Church, even its head.

Is there another way to say it? Do I need to say it again? What will it take?

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a youtube channel and website that produces documentaries on saints and martyrs. Although the website recognizes the Vatican 2 popes, it does provide good educational material such as their recently posted video on English Jesuit Martyr Nicholas Owen. This is a good video to demonstrate to anti-Jesuit conspiracy theorists that the pre-Vatican 2 Jesuits (Society of Jesus) are no devil-worshiping Illuminati organization.

Subscribe to Mary’s Dowry youtube videos and find other rich documentaries as seen below…

Robert Siscoe’s latest article “Pope Celestine III’s Error on the Indissolubility of Marriage” published by the Remnant Newspaper is historically and theologically flawed throughout.

I recently posted a comment after the article from Cardinal Manning who taught precisely the opposite to Siscoe’s conclusion. The Remnant Newspaper removed my comment. In fact, the Remnant Newspaper has removed dozens of my comments over the years that expose their lies and misrepresentations. The Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, and others have removed my comments as well. I’m not the only one who gets censored in order that these pseudo-catholic publishers can save face.

Fr. Paul Kramer was also censored by the Remnant after sending a comment correcting all the errors of Siscoe’s article.

Fr. Kramer’s excellent reply proves that CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC are not the only fake news outlets. The outrageous lies published by the Remnant Newspaper are inexcusable.  After being corrected, they remain obstinate in their sin against Christ and the Catholic Faith.

Below is Fr. Kramer’s rebuttal.

I have read the relevant Latin texts of Celestine III, and of Innocent III. They were ruling on two different cases. Gregory (incorporating Celestine’s ruling into Canon Law) ruled that the husband who defected from the faith out of hatred for his wife, thereby forfeited his matrimonial rights, so that the wife was not bound to return to her first husband, but was free to enter the monastic life, even with the husband opposed; and that the husband could marry the former infidel wife, converted to the Catholic faith, only after the death of the first wife.

Innocent ruled on a case referred to him by Bishop Hugo of Ferrara, that the wife of a man who defected into heresy could not remarry. Two entirely different cases. Celestine & Gregory did not rule that the woman could divorce and remarry, but only that she was not bound to return to the first husband, and was free to enter religious life, even against the opposition of her husband, who had forfeited his matrimonial rights. Celestine did make the error of basing his correct ruling on an erroneous interpretation of the Pauline Privilege, and thus condoned the woman’s second marriage — however, his error was not expressed in a magisterial teaching, but was only an erroneous opinion expressed in a legal case, upon which he correctly ruled that the woman was no longer bound to return to the first husband. He expressed an erroneous opinion that the woman’s second marriage was legitimate, but that was not his RULING, but only an erroneous basis for a CORRECT RULING that the woman was free to enter religion against the will of her first husband.

Siscoe’s claim that, “The case eventually reached Pope Celestine III (d. 1198), who considered the matter and judged that the woman should remain in her second adulterous union, rather than returning to her true husband”, is utterly false. Likewise, Siscoe’s claim that Celestine TAUGHT the error in his magisterium [1] is false, and likewise, his claim that Gregory IX incorporated into Canon Law [2] a ruling allowing divorce and remarriage is absurdly nonsensical, and only demonstrates how utterly incompetent he is in Canon Law and Theology.

[1] “The erroneous judgment of Pope Celestine highlights the limitations of papal infallibility by showing that a true Pope can, as part of his teaching office (Magisterium), render a judgment that contradicts divine revelation and confirms a person in objective mortal sin.”

[2]  “Celestine’s Error Incorporated into Canon Law” : “The limitations of Papal Infallibility is further highlighted by the fact that the error of Pope Celestine was later included in the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX (known as Quinque Libri Decretalium), which was the first collection of Canon Law promulgated by a Pope for the universal Church.” And, “this non-infallible papal judgment confirmed a woman in the objective state of adultery.”

Fr. Paul Kramer B.Ph., S.T.B., M.Div., S.T.L. (cand.)


Siscoe’s article:


http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/3047-pope-celestine-iii- s-error-on-the-indissolubility-of-marriage


The page of Gregory IX’s Decretals, quoting Celestine III’s ruling:


http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/digital/collections/cul/texts/ldpd_6029936_002/pages/ldpd_ 6029936_002_00000336.html?toggle=image&menu=maximize&top=199px&left=70px


Innocent III’s ruling:


Quanto te magis novimus in canonico iure peritum, tanto fraternitatem tuam amplius in Domino commendamus, quod in dubiis quaestionum articulis ad sedem apostolicam recurris, quae disponente Domino cunctorum fidelium mater est et magistra, ut opinio, quam in eis quondam habueras, dum alios canonici iuris peritiam edoceres, vel corrigatur per sedem apostolicam vel probetur. Sane tua nobis fraternitas suis literis intimavit, quod, altero coniugum ad haeresim transeunte, qui relinquitur ad secunda vota desiderat convolare et filios procreare, quod, utrum possit fieri de iure, per tuas nos duxisti literas consulendos. Nos igitur consultationi tuae de communi fratrum nostrorum consilio respondentes, distinguimus, licet quidam praedecessor noster sensisse aliter videatur, an ex duobus infidelibus alter ad fidem catholicam convertatur, vel ex duobus fidelibus alter labatur in haeresim, vel decidat in gentilitatis errorem. Si enim alter infidelium coniugum ad fidem catholicam convertatur, altero vel nullo modo, vel saltem non sine blasphemia divini nominis, vel ut eum pertrahat ad mortale peccatum, ei cohabitare volente: qui relinquitur, ad secunda, si voluerit, vota transibit. Et in hoc casu intelligimus quod ait Apostolus: “Si infidelis discedit, discedat. Frater enim vel soror non est servituti subiectus in huiusmodi,” et canonem etiam, in quo dicitur, quod “contumelia creatoris solvit ius matrimonii circa eum, qui relinquitur.” Si vero alter fidelium coniugum vel labatur in haeresim, vel transeat ad gentilitatis errorem, non credimus, quod in hoc casu is, qui relinquitur, vivente altero possit ad secundas nuptias convolare, licet in hoc casu maior appareat contumelia creatoris. Nam etsi matrimonium verum quidem inter infideles exsistat, non tamen est ratum. Inter fideles autem verum quidem et ratum exsistit, quia sacramentum fidei, quod semel est admissum, nunquam amittitur; sed ratum efficit coniugii sacramentum, ut ipsum in coniungibus illo durante perduret. Nec obstat, quod a quibusdam forsan obiicitur, quod fidelis relictus non debeat iure suo sine culpa privari, quum in multis casibus hoc contingat, ut si alter coniugum incidatur. Per hanc autem responsionem quorundam malitiae obviatur, qui in odium coniugum, vel quando sibi invicem displicerent, si eas possent in tali casu dimittere, simularent haeresim, ut ab ipsa nubentibus coniugibus resilirent. Per hanc ipsam responsionem illa solvitur quaestio, qua quaeritur, utrum ad eum, qui [vel] ab haeresi vel infidelitate revertitur, is, qui permansit in fide, redire cogatur. [Dat. Lat. Kal. Maii 1199.]




Pope Innocent III: On the Bond of Marriage and the Pauline Privilege [From the letter “Quanto te magis” to Hugo, Bishop of Ferrara, May 1, 1199]

405 Your brotherhood has announced that with one of the spouses passing over to heresy the one who is left desires to rush into second vows and to procreate children, and you have thought that we ought to be consulted through your letter as to whether this can be done under the law. We, therefore, responding to your inquiry regarding the common advice of our brothers make a distinction, although indeed our predecessor seems to have thought otherwise, whether of two unbelievers one is converted to the Catholic Faith, or of two believers one lapses into heresy or falls into the error of paganism. For if one of the unbelieving spouses is converted to the Catholic faith, while the other either is by no means willing to live with him or at least not without blaspheming the divine name or so as to drag him into mortal sin, the one who is left, if he wishes, will pass over to second vows. And in this case we understand what the Apostle says: “If the unbeliever depart, let him depart: for the brother or sister is not subject to servitude in (cases) of this kind” [1 Cor. 7:15]. And likewise (we understand) the canon in which it is said that “insult to the Creator dissolves the law of marriage for him who is left.” [from Isaac406 But if one of the believing spouses either slip into heresy or lapse into the error of paganism, we do not believe that in this case he who is left, as long as the other is living, can enter into a second marriage; although in this case a greater insult to the Creator is evident. Although indeed true matrimony exists between unbelievers, yet it is not ratified; between believers, however, a true and ratified marriage exists, because the sacrament of faith, which once was admitted, is never lost, but makes the sacrament of marriage ratified so that it itself lasts between married persons as long as the sacrament of faith endures.

Summary: 1) Quanto te affirms that true marriage does exist among unbelievers, (notwithstanding the fact that they do not regard marriage as indissoluble.)

2) Quanto te affirms that a marriage between believers is “ratified” because of the”sacrament of faith.” A ratified marriage remains even if one of the partners should renounce their faith.

3) The Pauline Priviledge is affirmed and the groundspermitting the convert to remarry are expanded to include not only

a) convert who have been deserted by the unbelieving spouse, (as per Paul) but also, b) a convert who would be subjected to blasphemy by an unbelieving spouse who remains, or, c) a convert who would be led into mortal sin by a spouse who remains.

How the unbeliever’s blasphemy or drawing to mortal sinamounted to the forteiture of the unbelievers marriage and how these acts were to be proved were not determined by these decretals.

The implication of course was significant: a valid, consummated marriage between Christian and unbeliever was dissoluble.