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Robert Robbins has published a short article in attempt to refute a comment I made to him on my website. [1] 

Robbins stated, “The law does not say that, in the case of necessity, one may ignore the law (because it is no longer binding), and go and get oneself some holy orders and exercise the sacerdotal ministry without being sent by any lawful superior. The law does say that, in the time of necessity when it is impossible to receive the sacraments, one’s desire for them satisfies as a substitute for the sacraments themselves…”

Three points:

1. There is a thing known as cessation of law and epieikeia. Robbins has not made a case that the law of consecrating bishops by papal mandate is absolute where cessation of the law or epieikeia is impossible.

2. If consecrating bishops is lawful under the circumstances, then receiving the sacraments would not be impossible for those who have priests.

The desire clause for Baptism and Confession is there to answer the question whether God can save apart from the sacraments, but that doesn’t mean that the two sacraments aren’t necessary. The books tell us that they are a relative necessity based on a positive precept. 

3. Robbins accuses our bishops and priests of “ignoring the law.” However, there’s also the law on publishing Catholic material. Can. 1384 § 1 tells us we don’t have a right to publish books without approval. § 2: “extends the meaning of the term books so as to include newspapers and other periodical publications as well as all other published writings, unless the contrary is manifest.”

Using Robbins’ argument, the law does not say, in case of necessity, one may ignore the law (because it is no longer binding) and go publish whatever Catholic material without lawful authority. Perhaps Robbins was unaware of this law, but to be consistent with his argument, he must now shut down his website and stop publishing. 

Robbins continues making bad arguments by comparing the Japanese situation where they had no priests for hundreds of years and our situation today.

Two more points:

1. Outside of prayer and fasting, there was nothing whatsoever they could do about not having priests. They had no choice in the matter. Because they didn’t have priests and the sacraments, their way to salvation depended solely on faith, desire, and perfect contrition for salvation. They didn’t receive the graces that come via the sacraments.

2. The Japanese didn’t appoint themselves priests, because they understood that they didn’t have the power to do so. Sedevacantist laymen aren’t appointing themselves priests either. However, every bishop has the power to make priests lawful or unlawful, which means licit or illicit. Gregory IX expressly states: “Necessity makes licit what is illicit.”

The necessity of having Catholic bishops and priests and the lack of true sacraments can easily be seen; therefore, our bishops were validly and licitly consecrated. Pope Gregory IX gave us the decretal of necessity, when it’s for the good of the whole Church.

Robbins continues, “I mean, isn’t it that the Sedevacantists think they know better than the Church? They are not guided by the Church by their own admission, for if they have determined that the law has ceased to bind them, then their only authority becomes, not the law, since it has ceased, but their own human prudence, what they have determined to be expedient in this time of necessity.”

Bishop Carmona appealed to the teaching of the Church when he was consecrated bishop. In fact, all of our bishops appeal to Divine law and the teaching of the Church. Robbins should have researched the topic before writing about it. He has admitted that he’s already made up his mind. Therefore, he makes up lies about our bishops. He writes, “have not all the Sedevacantist bishops sought out their own episcopal consecration? How un-Catholic does it get?”

I know no sedevacantist bishop that sought out his consecration. I know for a fact that Carmona, Zamora, McKenna, and Pivarunas did not seek out their consecrations. What proof does Robbins have to make such slanderous remarks?

Lastly, Robbins makes a serious blunder when he says, “There are no known priests in the world, because God has preordained it to be so, and no matter how much we might want there to be sacraments to help us, these, with the priests, have been taken away as a punishment for our sins.”

The power of a bishop to consecrate and ordain is an indelible mark of the priesthood that cannot be deprived. Even the Eastern Orthodox have valid priests and bishops this very day. The Code of Canon Law permits Catholics in danger of death to receive absolution from non-Catholic priests and bishops. Therefore, we have sacraments to help us no matter how much Robert Robbins denies Catholic theology and says no priests exist to administer the sacraments. There are literally tens of thousands of valid priests and bishops around the world.

Robert Robbins prides himself as being one who exposes false teachers and teachings. Yet, he does what he accuses us. He fails to make proper distinctions and creates fairytales, such as saying there are no known priests in the world and telling us and his children his fairytale is true.

I admire Robbins trying to fight for what he believes in, but he’s fighting the wrong battle with the wrong weapons. Like I said in my podcast interview, if you will not consider the possibility that we are right, nothing will convince you. It’s like this with everything.

Robbins must consider that he might be wrong, that there is such a thing as cessation of law, the Church’s necessity to exist makes licit what is normally illicit, the bishop’s power to consecrate can’t be deprived and valid priests exist everywhere even if unlawfully, canon law permits Catholics to receive the sacraments from any priest (heretic, schismatic, vitandus excommunicate) when in danger of death, receiving the sacraments is better than not receiving them, the safer course is to follow the authorities, and not to allow your own opinion to become a dogma and condemn all others for not following your opinion.   

 

 

Footnote:

https://catholiceclipsed.com/2022/08/11/the-fairytale-of-independent-catholicism/

This second installment is a defense of the post-Vatican 2 sedevacantist clergy having authority to administer the sacraments, which sedevacantist home-aloners deny. Also included will be two arguments why the home-alone position is problematic.

Before the great apostasy, the Church had customary channels of power and authority, which we now refer to as ordinary times. Formerly, the Church enjoyed normal papal succession, world-wide hierarchy, and ecclesiastical laws, so that everything worked within the framework of the Church’s existence in those times.

The predicament of the great apostasy, however, is an extraordinary phenomenon unprecedented in history. It has affected the Church to such an extent that many laws of the Church can’t apply, can’t be applied, nor can be enforced; an example being the law on papal elections requiring cardinals. See THE CASE THAT PROVES CHURCH LAWS CAN’T ALWAYS APPLY – Revised

Some theologians and canonists have argued this nightmare can’t happen, but obviously that opinion is proven wrong by the very fact it has.

The Catholic Church has gone into what I call survival mode. Some things that would be illicit now become licit as the 4th rule of Pope Gregory IX lays out:

Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum (Necessity makes licit was illicit)

In ordinary times, bishops and priests had ordinary and delegated jurisdiction, which is the power to rule and the authority to administer. In these extraordinary times, the power and authority has taken on a new form due to the circumstances. Therefore, the Church must supply the jurisdiction to stay alive and carry on its mission of saving souls. Exactly how supplied jurisdiction is granted to sedevacantist clergy is the question.

Supplied jurisdiction is when ordinary or delegated jurisdiction is absent and the Church confers it extraordinarily, when it was not bestowed regularly for the purpose of a grave cause and common good of souls.

Since no pope exists, no bishops with ordinary or delegated jurisdiction exist (insofar as we can tell), the Church must carry on lest the gates of hell effectively prevails.

According to the First Vatican Council, just as Peter has by Divine right successors in the primacy, so too, as is natural, the Church has by Divine right to live and carry on its mission of saving souls through the sacraments. What Catholic could deny this fact?

Rev. Ludwig Ott taught in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, “The Sacraments are the means appointed by God for the attainment of eternal salvation. Three of them are in the ordinary way of salvation so necessary, that without their use salvation cannot be attained. Thus, for the individual person, Baptism is necessary in this way and after the commission of a grievous sin, Penance is equally necessary, while for the Church in general, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is necessary. The other Sacraments are necessary in so far as salvation cannot be so easily gained without them.” [1] Ott tells us on p. 332, “All the Sacraments of the New Covenant confer sanctifying grace on the receivers. (De fide.)”

No ecclesiastical law could be used to prevent the Church as a whole from carrying on its mission of saving souls through these life-giving sacraments.

Just as doctrine develops over time, so too, ecclesiastical law develops. It is in this development that we discover how our clergy have jurisdiction supplied to them by the Church.

For example, canon law tells us that Confession can only be granted by a priest lacks ordinary or delegated jurisdiction in the case of danger of death.

Can. 882 states: When there is danger of death, any priest, even though not otherwise approved for hearing confessions, may validly and licitly absolve any penitent from whatever sins and censures, including those which are reserved and notorious, even though an approved priest may be present.  But the rules laid down in can. 884 and 2252 must be observed. [2]

Therefore, based on this canon, any priest (including valid non-Catholic priests) can absolve when there is danger of death. Over the years, the application of this canon has developed.

Several canonists such as Rev. Guiseppe d’Annibale and Rev. Matthaeus a Coronata taught that a long-term lack of a confessor may be regarded as equivalent to danger of death for purposes of supplied jurisdiction. It’s an opinion not agreed upon by others. However, I find that d’Annibale and Coronata are applying a fundamental rule of jurisprudence by applying as broad as possible an interpretation on the words of a favorable law. [3]

The novel interpretation by d’Annibale and Coronata demonstrates that the canon does not have to be interpreted absolutely in the strictest sense. If d’Annibale and Coronata are correct, then by this particular canon, the Church supplies jurisdiction to our sedevacantist clergy. Therefore, we have a law that’s lacking an expressed prescription that canonists think is possible and considered within that law.

Where did they get the opinion that a long-term lack of a confessor is equivalent to danger of death? d’Annibale cites two earlier authorities that taught the “in danger of death” law to mean possibly dying without a priest or confessor over a long period of time. A particular auspicious authority we’ll examine is the Doctor of the Church and Patron Saint of Confessors, St. Alphonsus Liquori who taught:

“Is any priest able to absolve from any sins and censures, not only at the point of death, but also in danger of death? This is denied by [various names] but more truly and more commonly affirmed by…The reason for this is that in this matter, the danger is taken for the point, as is clear from…For in such a case, anyone in mortal sin is bound to confess in the same way as if he were at the point of death. This is accepted by…provided that such a danger be so grave that it can scarcely be distinguished with certainty from the point: but, more immediately, it seems to be sufficient that there be prudent fear that death will arise in the danger. Now such a danger is considered to be present in a battle, in a long sea voyage, in a difficult delivery, in a dangerous disease, and similar cases…The same is true of one who is in probable danger of falling into insanity (amentia)…and the same of those who are captives among infidels with small hope of liberty. For it is believed that they will have no other priests in the future.” [4]

It would seem that in battles, long sea voyages, etc. the same priest without ordinary jurisdiction will be present throughout the situation. In such a case, that same priest can absolve a man repeatedly over the duration of war, long sea voyages, etc.

That said, St. Alphonsus then offers another situation that’s related, but not precisely the same as in danger of war, long sea voyage, pandemic, etc. He refers to those who are captives among infidels (not those who are in danger of falling captives). He’s not very clear what this means precisely. However, we can conclude that this particular situation is not exactly a danger of death. It’s a case outside of some immediate danger of death.

It may be that St. Alphonsus intended to mean those who expect to never have a priest again, which is manifestly not the situation where Catholics today have access to a priest regularly.

If we were able to ask St. Alphonsus, what if there was a priest without ordinary jurisdiction made captive himself with small hope of liberty, can he absolve the other captives as long as they are captives, since there’s small hope of liberty?

It’s reasonable to presume that St. Alphonsus would say yes, since it’s the obvious conclusion. That conclusion is precisely the situation Catholics find themselves today. The problem with our situation is that it’s not addressed anywhere, probably because it wasn’t considered possible.

When Rev. Guiseppe d’Annibale explains the law of absolving in danger of death, he lists the different situations in the same order as St. Alphonsus. He even cites St. Alphonsus, because he’s using him as the source. However, when d’Annibale comes to the section of “probable danger of falling into insanity and captives among infidels with small hope of liberty,” he lists it as “Besides, if one is in danger of falling into perpetual insanity, or is in such circumstances that henceforth he is likely not to have a confessor available any more, he is likewise to be regarded as if he were in danger of death.” [5] Interestingly, he doesn’t cite St. Alphonsus, perhaps because he’s already cited him twice, even though Liguori speaks about insanity, but d’Annibale does cite Rev. Leonardo Duardo.

Rev. Leonardo Duardo wrote in Commentaria in Bullam Coenae Domini (1638):

“But that is also to be noted, that if one bound by some censure of our Bull is found in that state, in which if he is not absolved now, it is to be feared as likely, that before death he will not have a Confessor available, as can happen in India, or in some captivity; then I say that he can be absolved by someone other than the Roman Pontiff; because although he is said to be outside the imminent danger of death, still in this matter, and morally speaking, this case is not different from danger of death: all the more, because in such a case, if he were to have access to a confessor he would be bound by divine law to make his confession: as Suarez says in the place cited: as taken from Suarez.” (probably Suarez de pentitentia, disp. 35, sec. 2 & 3) [6]

Duardo and Liguori make the “in danger of death” clause to include in danger of dying without another priest or confessor. It’s technically not “in danger of death” at all. Yet, they include it in the law. These authorities have developed the application of the law to mean something the law doesn’t specifically mention.

Rev. Matthaeus Conte a Coronata, O.F.M. Cap., Institutiones Iuris Canonici, IV. n. 1760 4th edition, published in 1955, writes:

“Danger of death is present for him who is in such circumstances that death is truly and gravely probable, but who also may survive. This situation can arise from various causes, e.g. from illness, injury, difficult childbirth, extreme old age, dangerous journey, imminent battle, surgical operation to be undergone, extreme torture etc.”

“He may be regarded as equal to those in danger of death who is in grave danger of falling into perpetual insanity or who is in such a condition that henceforth he will not have a confessor available anymore.”

Coronata cites d’Annibale as the source demonstrating that he agrees with d’Annibale’s analysis of Duardo and St. Alphonsus. They don’t spend much time on the topic, probably because it’s such a rare situation. Perhaps, they didn’t think an in-depth examination was needed. However, their explanations using confessor rather than priest have connotations that resembles our great apostasy age. As long as Catholics are in a situation where they could die without a confessor, any priest can absolve as many times as needed. It’s the logical extension of Duardo and Liguori’s application.

Duardo and St. Alphonsus are laying out a principle that cases exist outside of immediate danger of death that are equivalent to being in danger of death. They don’t list every possibility, but they came up with something that’s novel and not found elsewhere.

There’s no reason why our scenario can’t be figured into the law and put into practice by our theologians and canonists. d’Annibale and Coronata already point that way.

In his Moral Theology, book 6, n. 560, p. 443, St. Alphonsus Liguori lays out a practical teaching:

“The question is: whether heretics, schismatics, and vitandus excommunicates can absolve a dying man, if no other priest is present.”

“The first opinion says that they can, based on the Council of Trent’s statement that it is ecclesiastical tradition that there’s no reservation [of jurisdiction to absolve] when a man is dying.”

“The second opinion, (which St. Alphonsus agrees), says that such priests can’t validly absolve a dying man because the council wasn’t speaking of priests with no jurisdiction, but of those who lack jurisdiction over reserved cases (that is, reserved to the bishop or the Holy See on account of censure); also because the Council of Trent didn’t make a new law, but only approved the ancient law, which was that priests cut off from the unity of the Church cannot validly absolve under any circumstances.”

“Nevertheless, the Continuator of Tournely says rightly that in such a case, a priest who is a heretic or a vitandus excommunicate, when no other priest is present, may well give conditional absolution to a dying man, because in extreme or urgent necessity according to the common opinion of doctors, as we said n. 482 [citation omitted] … it is licit to follow an opinion that is only slightly probable.” [7]

The Holy Office settled the issue on July 39, 1891, which affirmed the first opinion. However, the relevant part of Liguori’s answer is the last sentence. To follow the opinion of d’Annibale and Coronata is licit.

To follow the opinion of d’Annibale and Coronata is licit. Also, the Church is in urgent necessity of bishops and priests. The fact that we have all of our theologians and canonists presenting the same argument (I would think) makes it at least slightly probable.

I can think of other possible scenarios not addressed by saints or any theologian (that I’ve found). What if a priest shipwrecks on an island where no civilized persons have ever witnessed? Therefore, the likelihood of being rescued is slim to none. The priest converts the natives and baptizes them. However, we are to understand that he can’t administer the other sacraments because of some particular Church law that’s not referring to this particular situation? Is this the will of Christ and His Church? The priest wasn’t technically sent by the ordinary laws of Church, therefore, the poor Catholics are just out of luck until there is imminent danger of death?

Again, the logical conclusion is that “in danger of death” could include dying without a confessor, but if a priest is present, he can absolve as long as necessary. It isn’t specifically mentioned, but it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t in the books about possibly dying without a priest or confessor years in the future until a theologian and a canonist thought of it years later. St. Alphonsus and Duardo’s scenarios don’t become true for the law, because they thought of it. It was always true. The same thing applies to our situation. The “in danger of death” law provides the means for our sedevacantist clergy.

If home-aloners reject my explanation out of novelty or because it’s not a real danger of death scenario, then they would have to apply that same rule to St. Alphonsus Liguori for the same reasons. Then the argument turns against the Patron Saint of Confessors.

The Council of Trent declared, “For those who after baptism have fallen into sin, the Sacrament of Penance is as necessary unto salvation as is baptism itself for those who have not yet been regenerated” (Sess. XIV, c. 2).

We don’t wait until we’re in imminent danger of death for the Sacrament of Penance. We are not living in ordinary times with ordinary circumstances. We have no recourse to ordinary channels of priests with ordinary and delegated jurisdiction. Yet, we have priests and bishops all around us. There’s a law that lacks an express prescription, which is considered by our theologians and canonists to work for the current situation.

Getting back to the problem with home-aloners, I have a question to ponder:

Is it possible for the Church to unintentionally prohibit the administration of all the sacraments to the whole Church except Baptism and Marriage for a day, a year, 50 years, or indefinitely?

The home-alone position must submit that the Church is withholding and prohibiting the sacraments to the whole Church unintentionally, which is contrary to Christ’s mission of the Church. The Church’s mission can’t become counter-missionary to itself. Would Christ place a time-bomb in the establishment of His Church?

It doesn’t say much for a loving Mother that hinders ALL HER children from living and dying as holy a life as possible to be saved.

Home-aloners necessarily hold that the entire Church is incapacitated and paralyzed from administering the sacraments. It would mean that Christ does not and has not provided the means for the administration of the sacraments to His whole Church. The mission of the Church has come to a screeching halt and the devil has thwarted God’s positive Will for His Church of accomplishing what it was sent out to do.

I submit the gates of hell have prevailed if our clergy are wrong for administering the sacraments. What good is a Church that has been totally incapacitated? It would mean the Church’s mission is effectively over and the devil has won. In my estimation, the home alone position is not just impossible, it’s anti-Catholic.

This all leads to my two final arguments.

Before the great apostasy, there were opinions permitted to be held, which post-apostasy circumstances prove to be false opinions. One such false opinion held by the majority of theologians and canonists is the universal acceptance of the Church guarantees a true pope. At least 5 theologians and canonists disagreed with this opinion and were proven right by the circumstances of the great apostasy. This is one reason why listing a collection of theological opinions proves nothing.

So too, the circumstances of the great apostasy prove that the home-alone opinion of supplied jurisdiction to be false by the mere fact that the Church can’t be counter-missionary to itself and be completely incapacitated to administer the sacraments as a whole. The Church has by Divine right to exist and carry on its mission of saving souls through the sacraments. That Divine right must exist somehow even if it can’t be shown explicitly.

Lastly is the argument of reason: If we consider both the home-alone position and the sedevacantist clergy position as sincere opinions, what are the pros and cons of each position from the viewpoint of being right or wrong?

If the home-aloners are correct and avoided sedevacantist clergy, they have gained nothing, but the fact they followed their conscience, which both sides do anyway. However, if they are wrong:

     1. They lose numerous graces from the sacraments they could have received.

     2. Their chance of losing their souls becomes greater.

     3. Their chance of gaining heaven becomes less.

     4. The probability of having a tougher purgatory becomes greater.

     5. They will not have lived and died in the greatest possible manner.

     6. They will not be as close to Jesus and Mary in life and in death.

     7. Their place in heaven may not reach the heights it could have been.

If our sedevacantist clergy are wrong, we have lost nothing. We died in good faith, but were mistaken. However, if we are right:

     1. We gained numerous graces from the sacraments.

     2. The chance of losing our souls decreases.

     3. The chance of gaining heaven increases.

     4. The probability of having a tough purgatory decreases.

     5. We will have lived and died as holy as possible with the sacraments.

     6. We will be closer to Jesus and Mary in life and in death.

     7. Our place in heaven becomes the highest it could possibly be, because of the sacraments.

The argument from reason demonstrates that the home-alone position gains nothing and stands to lose so much. Our position stands to lose nothing and gains everything. While this argument doesn’t prove which side is right, it does prove which opinion is better.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Rev. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pp. 340-341:

The Sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for the salvation of mankind. (De fide.)

As Christ instituted the Sacraments and bound them up with the communication of grace they are necessary to us for the achievement of salvation (necessitate medii), even if not all are necessary for each individual. The efficacious reception of a Sacrament can, in case of necessity, be replaced by the desire for the Sacrament (votum sacramenti) (hypothetical necessity).

The Council of Trent declared against the Reformers who, on the ground of their “sola fides” doctrine, contested the necessity of the Sacraments for salvation: Si quis dixerit sacramenta novae Legis non esse ad salutem necessaria, sed superflua, ct sine eis aut eorum voto per solam fidem homines a Deo gratiam iustificationis adipisci, licet omnia singulis necessaria non sint. A.S. D. 847. In the Middle Ages the necessity of the Sacraments was controverted by the Cathari.

The Sacraments are the means appointed by God for the attainment of eternal salvation. Three of them are in the ordinary way of salvation so necessary, that without their use salvation cannot be attained. Thus, for the individual person, Baptism is necessary in this way and after the commission of a grievous sin, Penance is equally necessary, while for the Church in general, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is necessary. The other Sacraments are necessary in so far as salvation cannot be so easily gained without them. Thus Confirmation is the completion of Baptism, and Extreme Unction is the completion of Penance, while Matrimony is the basis for the preservation of the Church Commonwealth, and the Eucharist is the end (finis) of all the Sacraments. C£ S. the III 6S, 3 and 4.

[2] Rev. Charles Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, vol. IV, p. 286

[3] “A fundamental rule of jurisprudence is to put as broad as possible an interpretation on the words of a favorable law and to interpret unfavorable laws strictly (e.g., penal laws). (C. 19.)” Moral Theology, Fr. Heribert Jone, p. 23.

[4] Theologia Moralis, Liguori, Bk.6, no. 561, Q.2

[5] Summula theologiae moralis : Giuseppe d’ Annibale : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

[6] Commentaria in bullam S.D.N.D. Pauli Papae V lectam in die Coenae Domini … – Leonardo Duardo (C.R.) – Google Books

[7] https://archive.org/details/theologiamoralis02ligu_0/page/442/mode/2up

The fastest growing criminal industry in the world is the buying and selling of people. Millions of people are being trafficked around the world. [1] In happens in all 50 states of America. 

Several organizations are fighting hard against child trafficking. One such organization is Operation Underground Railroad. They exist to rescue children and have a youtube channel with many documentaries on the subject. You might recognize this familiar face who’s involved in the fight.

The Child Liberation website has posted and explained the makings of the new upcoming movie, Sound of Freedom, starring Jim Caviezel and Mira Sorvino. 

We must do whatever we can to stop this satanic operation of human trafficking. The two links above give all the necessary information on how you can help.

God Speed to all in this fight!

 

Footnote

[1] https://togetherfreedom.org/trafficking-facts-statistics/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlK-WBhDjARIsAO2sErTfu34EgHXzGh7Jvaw9Bw5xXr8qdkudzyqaHOlC0aAJYf80I00-EcoaAqaMEALw_wcB

 

The “home-alone” position holds that sedevacantist bishops and priests are illegitimate and unauthorized shepherds. The problem with this position is two-fold.

1. Only novus ordo heretics and a few sedevacantist laymen hold the position that the post-Vatican 2 sedevacantist bishops and priests are unauthorized and illegitimate clergy.

None of the sedevacantist clergy have taught or practiced it as home-aloners insist.

Theologians such as Bishop Guerard Des Lauriers (Pope Pius XII’s spiritual director who drafted the Assumption dogma), Fr. Stepanich, and Fr. Saenz Y Arriaga (Doctor of Theology, Canon law, and Philosophy) all believed and held that their actions were legit and consistent with Church teaching and canon law.

The Doctor of Canon Law, Fr. Gommar DePauw actually condemned the home-alone position as “sheer insanity” and said those who spread it are “dangerously ignorant of Canon Law.” [1]

To prefer our untrained opinion on the law against the universal position of all the last Catholic authorities who specialize in the field is not reasonable. In fact, it’s not Catholic.

2. The home-alone opinion held only by the heretics and laymen can’t be proved.

The Church has never addressed the possibilities and extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves today. The teaching on Episcopal consecrations needing the approval of the Apostolic See is an ecclesiastical discipline according to Pope Pius XII who said so in the very document that forbids consecrations without the approval of the Apostolic See. [2] That discipline is the law under ordinary times and circumstances, which no longer exists. Pope Pius XII was not addressing our times and circumstances. In fact, all the teachings from popes and theologians on consecrating bishops, jurisdictional issues, etc. do not address the extraordinary circumstances of the post-Vatican 2 Church.

However, Pope Pius XII does allude to a possible good reason to consecrate bishops without the approval of the Apostolic See. Writing about Communism and the Church in China, the pope says:

50. It is obvious that no thought is being taken of the spiritual good of the faithful if the Church’s laws are being violated, and further, there is no question of vacant sees, as they wish to argue in defense, but of episcopal sees whose legitimate rulers have been driven out or now languish in prison or are being obstructed in various ways from the free exercise of their power of jurisdiction. It must likewise be added that those clerics have been cast into prison, exiled, or removed by other means, whom the lawful ecclesiastical superiors had designated in accordance with canon law and the special powers received from the Apostolic See to act in their place in the government of the dioceses. [3]

If it were absolutely necessary to have the approval of the Apostolic See under all conditions, the question of vacant sees would be irrelevant. Yet, he mentions it as a false defense, because the sees are not vacant. This implies that real vacant sees in a Communist world (where communication with Rome could be impossible) is a legitimate reason for consecrating bishops without approval. It would then be a necessity that excuses from the law. 

All of the remaining faithful Catholic bishops and priests did what they believed was necessary. Bishops consecrated bishops, bishops ordained priests, and they continued on as best as possible to continue the mission of the Church.

Bishop Moises Carmona explained:

Pope Gregory IX left eleven rules and Boniface VIII eighty-eight for the true interpretation of the law. These rules, according to Canon 20, can supply the defect of the rule in a particular case, as in the case we presently find ourselves. Consequently, the fourth rule of Gregory IX expressly states: Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum (Necessity makes licit what is illicit.)

The necessity of having Catholic bishops and priests and the lack of true sacraments can easily be seen; therefore, we were validly and licitly consecrated.

Rule 88 of Boniface VIII also expressly states Certum est quod is committit in legem qui legem verbum complectens contra legis nititur (It is certain that one sins against the rule who adheres to the letter and leaves aside the spirit.) Therefore, it is unjust to impute to the legislator a desire to greatly harm the Church during a vacancy of the Holy See by forbidding the ordination of bishops and priests and the administering of the sacraments to the faithful who ask for them. [4]

Bishop Carmona was a seminary professor. In 1991, he was tragically killed in an automobile accident. The October 2016 newsletter Adsum reported, “After a number of years, his body [Bp Carmona’s] was transferred to a crypt in a lower chapel below Divina Providencia Church. There are pictures of his body when laid in the crypt. His body showed no signs of decomposition and looked the same as his funeral.” [5]

It appears that God has performed the miracle of incorruptibility with Bp. Carmona as sign of his holiness, but also as testimony to sedevacantism and sedevacantist clergy.

The Great Western Schism was unprecedented in the 14th century. It required a novel explanation to resolve the difficulty of having a materially divided church over who was the true pope if there was one at all. The doubtful pope theory was one such novel explanation and it was not commonly accepted at first.

So too, the post-Vatican 2 Church is unprecedented. The Church has literally gone into survival mode. Catholics have come up with new theories on how to make sense of the disaster. What we don’t want to do is force our opinions and make the Church essentially ineffective, which is contrary to the Will of Christ and the teaching of the First Vatican Council.

We are not theologians and canonists. Our opinions are just our opinions. We ought to defer to the authorities as it is the safer course.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Introibo Ad Altare Dei (introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com)

[2] AD APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON COMMUNISM AND THE CHURCH IN CHINA (1958)

37. We have heard that many such elections have been held contrary to all right and law and that, in addition, certain ecclesiastics have rashly dared to receive episcopal consecration, despite the public and severe warning which this Apostolic See gave those involved.

Since, therefore, such serious offenses against the discipline and unity of the Church are being committed, We must in conscience warn all that this is completely at variance with the teachings and principles on which rests the right order of the society divinely instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord.

43. We are aware that those who thus belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed, defend their position by recalling a usage which prevailed in ages past. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise. In no sense do they excuse their way of acting by appealing to another custom, and they indisputably prove that they follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which they ought to be obeying.

44. We mean that discipline which has been established not only for China and the regions recently enlightened by the light of the Gospel, but for the whole Church, a discipline which takes its sanction from that universal and supreme power of caring for, ruling, and governing which our Lord granted to the successors in the office of St. Peter the Apostle.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Bishop Carmona’s Defense of His Acceptance of Episcopal Consecration – CMRI: Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen

[5] https://www.cmri.org/adsum/adsum-2016-10.pdf

 

 

 

 

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Vatican 2 declared that “all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, (21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” [1]

The context is referring to baptized non-Catholics.

The right to be called Christian is an issue that involves the external forum, because it presumes an objective fact that’s known or proved to be true. The body is also reference to the external forum, because it refers to something physical or material and tangible. The Latin corpus (body) is the root word for corpse, corporal, and corporeal.

As Catholics, we believe Christ’s Body is the Catholic Church. Pope Leo XIII declared in his 1896 Encyclical Satis Cognitum, #3:

For this reason the Church is so often called in Holy Writ a body, and even the body of Christ – “Now you are the body of Christ” (I Cor. xii., 27) – and precisely because it is a body is the Church visible: and because it is the body of Christ is it living and energizing, because by the infusion of His power Christ guards and sustains it, just as the vine gives nourishment and renders fruitful the branches united to it. And as in animals the vital principle is unseen and invisible, and is evidenced and manifested by the movements and action of the members, so the principle of supernatural life in the Church is clearly shown in that which is done by it.

From this it follows that those who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error: as also are those who regard the Church as a human institution which claims a certain obedience in discipline and external duties, but which is without the perennial communication of the gifts of divine grace, and without all that which testifies by constant and undoubted signs to the existence of that life which is drawn from God. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone. The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. The Church is not something dead: it is the body of Christ endowed with supernatural life. As Christ, the Head and Exemplar, is not wholly in His visible human nature, which Photinians and Nestorians assert, nor wholly in the invisible divine nature, as the Monophysites hold, but is one, from and in both natures, visible and invisible; so the mystical body of Christ is the true Church, only because its visible parts draw life and power from the supernatural gifts and other things whence spring their very nature and essence.

Pope Pius XII taught and declared: “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. (Mystici Corporis, 1943, Humani Generis, 1950)

“…the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful “filled up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ . . . for His Body, which is the Church”(Mystici Corporis,1943)

We also believe that only Catholics are Christians. [2] See A Right to the Christian Name

This means the right to be called Christian is also the right to be called Catholic, because the words mean the same thing and are interchangeable. [3]

Vatican 2 is teaching something radically different and tries to make it sound Catholic by footnoting [21] the 1439 Decretum Exultate Deo from the Council of Florence. However, the Decretum in no way implies that baptized non-Catholics are members of Christ’s Body. Thus, the council’s footnote is misleading if not deceptive.

Vatican 2’s teaching that non-Catholics are members of Christ’s Body can only mean one of two things:

1. Non-Catholics have a right to be called Catholics and are members of the Catholic Church.

However, we know this is not what Vatican 2 is teaching, because it says in Lumen Gentium 15 that these non-Catholics are only “linked” to the Church. They are not yet “peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd.” [4]

Therefore, the only other implication is that…

2. Catholic and Christian do not mean the same thing and one can be a true Christian in the external forum without being Catholic despite the fact that at least 2 popes taught otherwise. Again, Lumen Gentium 15 tells us these non-Catholics are “consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ.” [5]

To declare that baptized non-Catholics “are members of Christ’s body,” “united to Christ,” and to tell us these “members” are not yet united members of the Catholic Church contradicts Pope Pius XI’s 1928 Encyclical Mortalium animos, which declared,

“for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it…For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, [22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.[24] ([22]. I Cor. xii, 12., [23]. Eph. Iv, 16., [24]. Cf. Eph. v, 30; 1, 22.)”

Notice that Pope Pius XI is citing Holy Scripture to prove his point. Christ’s Body is the Catholic Church and is only made up with the members united to the Catholic Church, but apparently that fact was too exclusive for the fathers of the Second Vatican Council. They were bent on including non-Catholics as members of Christ’s Body.  

Vatican 2 continued in Unitatis Redintegratio: We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God.

“Fully incorporated” implies there’s such a thing as partial incorporation, which is diametrically opposed to Pope Pius IX’s teaching from his Apostolic Letter to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868, “Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity.”

We have Vatican 2 telling us that baptized non-Catholics are Christian with the right to the name.

To the contrary, Pope Pius XII and Pope Leo XIII tell us that only Catholics are truly Christians. [6] Christian used merely in conventional language means something else as seen in footnote 3. 

Vatican 2 tells us that baptized non-Catholics are united with Christ and members of Christ’s Body. We have the polar opposites with Pope Pius IX telling us they need to return to the Body of Christ; [7] Pope Leo XIII telling us they are not united to Christ’s Body; [8] Pope Pius XI telling us they are separated from Christ’s Body; [9] and Pope Pius XII telling us they are not members of Christ’s Body. [10]

Vatican 2 tells us by implication that baptized non-Catholics are partially incorporated into the Church.

Pope Pius IX tells us there’s no such thing as partial incorporation into the Church. [11]

Vatican 2 chucked all the relevant papal teachings from the previous 100 years and presented an evolution of doctrine, a perfect example of modernism. Therefore, Vatican 2’s teaching on Christ’s Body is anti-Catholic. Only a robber council can do such a thing and true popes could never approve it as all the Vatican 2 popes have done.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Referring to non-Catholics, Unitatis Redintegratio of Vatican 2 declared: For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, (21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. (22)”

[2] Pope Pius XII declared: “To be Christian one must be Roman. One must recognize the oneness of Christ’s Church that is governed by one successor of the Prince of the Apostles who is the Bishop of Rome, Christ’s Vicar on earth” (Allocution to the Irish pilgrims of October 8, 1957).

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, “5 So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a heretic – the life of the spirit follows not the amputated member.”

[3] The generic term Christian in conventional language, which identifies those who claim to follow Christ as opposed to Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. would not be included as a God-given right precisely, because it is a generic term of conventional language. 

[4] Lumen Gentium 15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] In an Apostolic Letter of His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868, that they might return to the Catholic Church:

“Nobody will certainly be able to doubt or deny that this Jesus Christ, to the end that the fruits of His Redemption might be applied to all the race of men, has built here on earth, upon Peter, the only Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic; and that He has conferred upon her the power necessary to preserve whole and inviolate the deposit of faith; to transmit this same faith to all peoples, tribes, and nations; to call [elect] to unity in this Mystical Body, through baptism, all men, for the purpose of preserving in them, and perfecting, that new life of grace, without which no one can merit and obtain eternal life; wherefore this Church, which constitutes the Mystical Body, will persist and prosper in her own stable and indefectible nature until the end of the ages, and offer to all Her sons the means of salvation….

Whoever thus gives proper attention and reflection to the situation which surrounds the various religious societies, divided amongst themselves and separated from the Catholic Church – which, without interruption, from the time of Christ the Lord and of His Apostles, by means of her legitimate sacred Shepherds, has always exercised, and exercises still, the divine power conferred upon Her by the Lord – it will be easy to convince [them] that in none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity…

It is for this reason that so many who do not share “the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church” must make use of the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements [demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and lead them back within holy Mother Church…we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ…we await with open arms the return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon which depends not only the salvation of all of them…”

[8] Ibid.

[9] Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, “the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the returnto the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it…”

[10] Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi:  “14. If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: “Though many we are one body in Christ.” [14] But it is not enough that the body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: “the Church is visible because she is a body.” [15] Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond….”

[11.] Ibid.

Feeneyites have recently argued that St. Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church, understood the Council of Trent as not teaching Baptism of Desire.

Saint Peter Canisius (May 8, 1521 – December 21, 1597) was a Jesuit who fought against the Protestants in Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, and Switzerland. He was a major player in Germany’s restoration to Catholicism after Luther. He was at the Council of Trent and was sent by Pope Pius IV to bring the council’s documents to Germany. St. Peter Canisius was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1864 and canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church on May 21, 1925 by Pope Pius XI. His amazing story can be read at CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Peter Canisius (newadvent.org)

In 1555, St. Peter Canisius wrote his “Summa doctrinæ christianæ . . . in usum Christianæ pueritiæ” for his advance students. The work consisted of two hundred and eleven questions in five chapters. The following is a 1622 English translation of his teaching on Baptism:

“What is Baptism, and is it necessary to all? This is the first and most necessary sacrament of the New Law, consisting in the outward washing of the body and the due pronunciation of the words in according unto the institution of with Christ.

A necessary sacrament, I say, not only for those(a) that are years of discretion, but(b) infants also and withall effectual for them to life everlasting. All are born the sons of(c) wrath; therefore even infants also have need to be purged from sin, neither can they be cleansed and regenerated into the children of God without this(d) sacrament. For generally hath the Lawmaker proclaimed, that(e), “unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” And in an other place: It is(f) not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one perish of the little ones.” But infants(g) also not baptized should perish, as of old in the Synagogue of the Jews, children(h) uncircumcised. [1]

Feeneyites take this teaching with his reference to the Council of Trent’s teaching from Session 6, ch. 4 [2] and his references to Augustine and Ambrose on the necessity of baptism. Combining these teachings, Feeneyites argue that Canisius’s interpretation of Session 6, ch. 4 doesn’t mean Baptism of Desire, nor does Augustine and Ambrose’s.

For instance, a reference by Augustine: “No matter how much a catechumen advances, he still carries the load of his iniquity: it is not forgiven him until he has come to baptism.” (St. Augustine, Tractate 13 on the Gospel of John)

Feeneyites think this proves that Augustine and Canisius believed that Catechumens can’t possibly obtain Baptism of Desire if they die without baptism.

St. Augustine’s statement is true or else the catechumen would never need to be baptized. This has nothing to do with Baptism of Desire, which is something that happens if the catechumen dies and couldn’t be baptized because of some unforeseen circumstances. St. Augustine wrote his Tractate around the same time as he wrote his most famous work, the City of God where he taught: 

“Those also who die for the confession of Christ without having received the laver of regeneration are released thereby from their sins just as much as if they had been cleansed by the sacred spring of baptism. For He who said, ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,’ (John 3:5) by another statement made exceptions to this when He said no less comprehensively: ‘Everyone… that shall confess me before men, I will confess before my Father who is in Heaven.’ (Matthew 10:32).”

Obviously, St. Augustine didn’t believe that all catechumens go to hell if they don’t get baptized as he tells us about Baptism of Blood. If Canisius knew about Tractate 13, he most certainly would know about the City of God. Feeneyites are grasping for straws, but they grasp more straws with Ambrose when Canisius references him teaching:

“The catechumen believes in the cross of the Lord Jesus, by which also he is signed: but unless he is baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, he cannot receive the remission of sins nor gain the gift of spiritual grace.” (St. Ambrose, De mysteriis)

This teaching from Ambrose is true as long as the catechumen lives. What happens if he should die without getting Baptism because of some accident? Baptism is absolutely necessary ordinarily. The issue is about extraordinary circumstances. It should be noted that St. Ambrose converted St. Augustine and was his teacher.

Ambrose and Augustine don’t support the Feeneyite’s ridiculous interpretation of Trent.

Lastly, Feeneyites make another false and futile argument.

Caninius taught, “For generally hath the Lawmaker proclaimed, that(e), “unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

The Feeneyites argue that “generally” or ‘generatim’ is a reference to two classes of people: adults and infants. It doesn’t mean a general rule, which is a precept. It means an absolute universal law.

The problem with this Feeneyite argument is two-fold. First, Canisius could have used the word “absolutissime” or “absolute” instead of generatim and then explain what Session 6, chapter 4 meant, since he references it twice in his catechism. He doesn’t do so. Instead, we are left with a word that proves nothing. Even if Canisius meant universal law, it wouldn’t necessarily mean what the Feeneyites want. However, the word generatim, which is translated in all the English translations as “generally or general” appears to mean that baptism is the general rule and not an absolute rule. It works against Feeneyism.

In 1606, the Jesuits published Canisius’ work with testimonies of Divine Scripture and the solid evidence of the holy Fathers. [3] On page 218 concerning Session 6, chapter 4, the marginal note says “justification does not occur without baptism or its desire” — that is, either the sacrament itself, or the desire for it. The same passage from Trent is quoted again later in St. Peter Canisius’s catechism. [4]

The obvious reading from Trent means Baptism of Desire. Therefore, an explanation should follow why Baptism of Desire is a false belief especially in light of the fact that St. Robert Bellarmine implies that it was universally believed in the Church during his time precisely because of Trent’s teaching and that of Ambrose, Augustine, and even Pope Innocent III. [5]

The second problem with the Feeneyite argument is that Protestants like to use the original language game to see if they can get a translation with an interpretation that fits their theology. If we want to know what Scripture really means, we turn to the Church and read it with an analogy of Faith.

If we want to know what St. Peter Canisius really believed, then we look to all of his contemporaries on this point. They would not be diametrically opposed on such a crucial point of doctrinal teaching from a council. It would be ludicrous to think otherwise.

I demonstrate in footnote 5 how St. Robert Bellarmine understood Ambrose, Augustine, and Session 6, ch. 4 of Trent as teaching Baptism of Desire. St. Peter Canisius would not hold the exact opposite view. That would imply that Bellarmine or Canisius is teaching heresy based on the same sources.

We also have the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent published 9 years after Canisius’ catechism. St. Charles Borreomeo superintended the redaction of the original Italian text, which, thanks to his exertions, was finished in 1564. It was then published in Latin and Italian as “Catechismus ex decreto Concilii Tridentini ad parochos Pii V jussu editus, Romae, 1566” (in-folio). Translations into the vernacular of every nation were ordered by the Council (Sess. XXIV, “De Ref.“, c. vii).

The Roman Catechism taught that adults “are not baptized at once…The delay is not attended the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any foreseen accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and righteousness.” (p 179) [6]

In 1582, 27 years after Canisius’ catechism was written, the English College of Rheims published the Rheims New Testament. It was the official English translation approved by Rome. In the commentary of John 3:5, the Rheims Bible reads, “…this sacrament [Baptism] consisteth of an external element of water, and internal virtue of the Holy Spirit…Though in this case, God which hath not bound his grace, in respect of his own freedom, to any Sacrament, may and doth accept them as baptized, which either are martyred before they could be baptized, or else depart this life with vow and desire to have the Sacrament, but by some remediless necessity could not obtain it.” [7]

Francisco Suarez, S.J. (1548-1617) cites St. Robert Bellarmine S.J. on Baptism of Desire in his 1602 work Opus de triplici virtute theologic, a Tractus de fide, Disp.XII, sect.4, n.22 : [As to] what is further added, that outside the Church there is no salvation, some say, as Cano, that this proposition is to be understood of the Church in general, as it always was, and not only of the Church, as it was specially instituted by Christ. But this response is unsatisfactory, both because the Church is always one, and also because the Councils really speak of this Church of Christ, and one must hold as true in some sense concerning it, that outside of it nobody is saved. Thus it is better to reply according to the distinction given between necessity in fact, or in desire [in re, vel in voto]; for thus nobody can be saved, unless he should enter this Church of Christ either in fact, or at least in will and desire. Bellarmine responds thus to a similar question. And it is manifest, that nobody is actually inside this Church, unless he is baptized, and yet one can be saved because the will to be baptized is sufficient, and likewise the will to enter the Church; thus we say the same of any faithful person who is truly penitent and is not baptized, whether he shall have come to explicit faith in Christ, or only to implicit faith : for by that faith he can have at least an implicit desire, which is sufficient with regard to baptism, as St. Thomas teaches in the aforesaid places. [8]

Fr. Cornelius à Lapide, S.J. (1567- 1637) a Flemish Jesuit and renowned exegete wrote in his great biblical commentary on John 3:5 around 1615:

Lastly, born of water ought here to be understood either in actual fact, or by desire. For he who repents of his sins, and desires to be baptized, but either from want of water, or lack of a minister, is not able to receive it, is born again through (ex) the desire and wish for baptism. So the Council of Trent fully explains this passage (Sess. 7, Can. 4). [9]

Conclusion

Every Church authority, which includes official biblical interpretations, understood Session 6, chapter 4 and Session 7, Canon 4 as teaching Baptism of Desire. The Feeneyites are absolutely delusional to think that St. Peter Canisius was the only one to think exactly the opposite to every other authority who taught and wrote on the subject.

Their argument would necessarily be a condemnation of heresy for either St. Peter Canisius or every other authority, not to mention, an argument for complete stupidity for one of the two sides, all of which is a total absurdity.

 

Footnotes

[1] A Sum of Christian Doctrine : St. Peter Canisius : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

[2] In these words a description of the justification of a sinner is given as being a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam to the state of grace and of the ‘adoption of the sons’ (Rom. 8:15) of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior and this translation after the promulgation of the Gospel cannot be effected except through [or without] the laver of regeneration or a desire for it, (sine lavacro regenerationis out eius voto) as it is written: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter in the kingdom of God (John 3:5).”

[3] https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_dGsGlgHmLgUC/page/218/mode/2up?

On page 218, top of 2nd column under TESTIMONIA: 1. B is the passage from Trent session 6, chapter 4. The marginal note says “Iustificatio non fit sine baptismo aut eius voto”

[4] https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_dGsGlgHmLgUC/page/n951/mode/2up

[5] St. Robert Bellarmine on Baptism of Desire and the Council of Trent | Speray’s Catholicism in a Nutshell (wordpress.com)

St. Robert Bellarmine in De Controversiis: De Sacramento Baptismi. Lib. I, cap. 6., 1596 A.D. :

But without doubt it is to be believed, that true conversion supplies for Baptism of water, when not through contempt but through necessity someone dies without Baptism of water. For this is expressly held by Ezech. 18: If the impious shall do penance for his sins, I will no more remember his iniquity. Ambrose openly teaches the same in his oration on the death of Valentinian the younger: “He whom I was to regenerate, I lost; but that grace, for which he hoped, he did not lose.” Likewise Augustine book 4 on Baptism, chap. 22. and Bernard epist. 77. and after them Innocent III. chap. Apostolicam, of an unbaptized priest. Thus also the Council of Trent, sess. 6. chap. 4. says that Baptism is necessary in reality or in desire.

[6] http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/catechism/Holy7Sacraments-Baptism.shtml

[7] 1582 Douai Rheims Douay Rheims First Edition 3 Of 3 1582 New Testament : Douay (Douai) Rheims College – scanned by www.fatimamovement.com : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

[8] Suarez, Francisco, S.J. Opus De Triplici Virtu, Te Theologica, Fide, Spe, Et Charitate. Cum superiorum permissu & Privilegio Caesareo. Sumptibus Hermanni Mylij Birckmanni, Excudebat Balthasar Lippius, 1922.

 #229 – R. P. Francisci Suarez, Granatensis, e Societate Iesu doctoris … – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library

[9] CHAPTER III (catholicapologetics.info)

Just as St. Alphonsus Liguori understood Session 6, Chapter 4 of the Council of Trent as teaching baptism of desire, so did St. Robert Bellarmine  who taught in his De Controversiis: De Sacramento Baptismi. Lib. I, cap. 6., 1596 A.D. See Footnote:

First proposition: Martyrdom is rightly called, and is a kind of Baptism. 

Second proposition: Perfect Conversion, and Penance is rightly called Baptism of wind, and it supplies for Baptism of water at least in cases of necessity. Note that not just any conversion is called Baptism of wind, but perfect conversion, which includes true contrition, and charity, and also desire, or will to receive Baptism.

Secondly, note that this proposition was not as certain with the ancients, as was the above. For as regards Martyrdom none of the ancients, as far as I know, denied that it could supply for Baptism of water: but as regards conversion and penance there were some who denied it. Indeed the book written on the dogmas of the Church, which is falsely attributed to Augustine, chap. 74. openly teaches that a Catechumen is not saved, although he should have lived in good works, unless he be purified by the baptism of water or of blood. Also it is clear from epistle 77 of St. Bernard, that some in his time believed the same.

But without doubt it is to be believed, that true conversion supplies for Baptism of water, when not through contempt but through necessity someone dies without Baptism of water. For this is expressly held by Ezech. 18: If the impious shall do penance for his sins, I will no more remember his iniquity. Ambrose openly teaches the same in his oration on the death of Valentinian the younger: “He whom I was to regenerate, I lost; but that grace, for which he hoped, he did not lose.” Likewise Augustine book 4 on Baptism, chap. 22. and Bernard epist. 77. and after them Innocent III. chap. Apostolicam, of an unbaptized priest. Thus also the Council of Trent, sess. 6. chap. 4. says that Baptism is necessary in reality or in desire. Finally, true conversion is associated with Martyrdom, and with Baptism of water, in the name of Baptism and in two effects; therefore it is credible that it also be associated in another effect, which is to forgive guilt, and to justify man, and in this way to supply for Baptism of water.

Feeneyites think St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Alphonsus Liguori were both dummies that didn’t understand Latin or the Catholic Faith on salvation. They think these two saints and theologians didn’t understand the Council of Trent and actually taught the very opposite to its true meaning.

 

 

Footnote:

https://books.google.com/books?id=GIs31FMKgooC&pg=PA119#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=Chg-AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA229#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WGacU16zNqBjadJ3SqNeN8A6WOMbRLBc/view?usp=sharing

After my podcast on Feeneyism, the Feeneyites have come out of the cracks to attack Baptism of Desire.

One of their fundamental errors is failing to make the distinction between making an error over an opinion and actually teaching heresy.

Popes, saints, and theologians most certainly can err over theological opinions, but they can’t err against a dogma and remain Catholic. Feeneyites will say St. Alphonsus was a material heretic and/or erred innocently. They won’t apply that same courtesy to the Vatican 2 popes (if sedes.) When the Vatican 2 popes error against the faith, it’s malicious, but when great popes and saints do the exact same thing, it’s not malicious. 

St. Alphonsus Liguori taught two things that Feeneyites call heresy. I dealt with one of those issues over 4 years ago here.

The second issue concerns the faith and what is needed to be saved. Feeneyites profess that it’s dogmatic that those who are of the age of reason absolutely must have explicit faith in the essential mysteries of faith to be saved. 

However, Catholicism is clear that it’s not dogmatic. It’s a theological opinion. This opinion is broken down into different classes of necessity.  

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains: In relation to the means necessary to salvation theologians divide necessity into necessity of means and necessity of precept. In the first case the means is so necessary to salvation that without it (absolute necessity) or its substitute (relative necessity), even if the omission is guiltless, the end cannot be reached. Thus faith and baptism of water are necessary by a necessity of means, the former absolutely, the latter relatively, for salvation. In the second case, necessity is based on a positive precept, commanding something the omission of which, unless culpable, does not absolutely prevent the reaching of the end.

According to Feeneyites, the above teaching from the Catholic Encyclopedia is heretical for denying that the Sacrament of Baptism is a necessity of means for salvation.

The faith that’s a necessity of means can be broken down even further. St. Alphonsus taught that it’s “sufficiently probable – that by necessity of precept all are bound to believe these Mysteries explicitly; but by necessity of means, it suffices if they be believed implicitly.” 

Those same Feeneyites must call St. Alphonsus a formal heretic, since he’s contradicting their believed “dogma” that explicit faith is a necessity of means. 

St. Alphonsus Liguori taught in Theologia Moralis, Lib. II, tract. 1, cap. 1 

1.  Which mysteries must be believed by a necessity of means?

Of those things which the faithful are bound to believe explicitly, some must be believed by a necessity of means, or end; without which, even if inculpably unknown, no one can obtain the ultimate end; others, by a necessity of precept, without which, if they be inculpably omitted, the ultimate end may be obtained. — Sanchez, Azor, Valentia. By a necessity of means these two things are necessary: (1) To believe explicitly that God is, and is a rewarder of the good; according to that of the Apostle to the Hebrews, xi. 6: One must believe. Council of Trent. (2) After the sufficient promulgation of the Gospel, to believe explicitly, as says Molina; or at least implicitly, as some teach as probable with Coninck and Laymann, in Christ and the Most Holy Trinity.  See Escobar, where from Vasquez he teaches that culpable ignorance of these mysteries, or negligence in learning them, is a grave sin, distinct from that which is its cause.  See Diana. It is a theological virtue, infused by God, inclining us to firmly assent, on account of the divine veracity, to all that God has revealed, and by the Church has proposed to our belief.  It is said (1) A theological virtue, that is, which has God for its object; for faith, as also hope and charity, is aimed directly at God, and thus differs from the moral virtues, which refer to Him indirectly.  (2) Infused by God; because faith is a supernatural gift of God.  (3) Inclining us to firmly believe; for the assent of faith cannot be joined with fear, as was wrongly said in proposition 21 proscribed by Innocent XI, but must be absolutely firm.  (4) On account of the divine veracity.  For the infallible truth (which is God Himself) is the formal object of faith. (5) To all that God has revealed; for everything revealed by God is the material object of faith.  (6) And by the Church has proposed to our belief; for the divine revelation would not be made known to us, except by the Church, which proposes the things revealed; as it is otherwise evident, on account of the signs of credibility (among which are prophecies, miracles, the constancy of the Martyrs, and such like), that the Church can neither deceive nor be deceived.  Apart from which St. Augustine famously uttered the saying: I would not believe the Gospel, unless the authority of the Catholic Church so moved me.

2.  Whether the mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation must be believed explicitly?

It is asked: whether the Mysteries of the Most Holy Trinity and the Incarnation, after the promulgation of the Gospel, must be believed with an explicit faith by necessity of means or of precept?

The first opinion, which is more common and seems more probable, teaches that they are to be believed by a necessity of means. Thus hold Sanchez, Valentia, Molina, Continuator Tournely, Juenin, Antoine, Wigandt, Concina with Ledesma, Serra, Prado, etc.; also Salmant., Cuniliati and Roncaglia. But these last three say, that accidentally and in a rare case one may be justified with a faith that is only implicit. — This they prove from the Scriptures, from which they say is clearly proved the necessity of means.  They prove it also from reason: for, granting that before the promulgation of the Gospel an implicit faith in Christ was sufficient, yet after the promulgation, because the state of grace is more perfect, a more perfect knowledge is required, indeed an explicit faith in Christ and the Trinity.

The second opinion, which is also sufficiently probable, says, that by necessity of precept all are bound to believe these Mysteries explicitly; but by necessity of means, it suffices if they be believed implicitly. — Thus Dominicus Soto, where he says: Although the precept of explicit faith (that is, in the Trinity and the Incarnation) is absolutely obligatory upon the whole world, nevertheless many may be excused from this obligation on account of invincible ignorance.  Franciscus Sylvius writes: After the sufficient promulgation of the Gospel, explicit faith in the Incarnation is necessary for all for salvation by a necessity of precept, and indeed also (as is probable) by a necessity of means.  And in the conclusion that follows, he says the same about the mystery of the Trinity.  Cardinal Gotti says: I say (1The opinion which denies that explicit faith in Christ and the Trinity is so necessary, that without it no one can be justified, or be able to be saved, is very probable.  And he asserts that Scotus holds this opinion.  Eusebius Amort, the recent and most learned writer, defends absolutely the same opinion.  Elbel writes, that today this opinion is held by the illustrious Doctors Castropalao, Viva, Sporer, Laymann, who says this (second opinion) is not less probable than the first, with Richardo, Medina, Vega, Sa, and Turriano. — Cardinal de Lugo calls the first opinion speculatively probable [footnote: Or more correctly: Lugo n. 90, calls the first opinion fairly common], but defends absolutely and in great detail this second one as more probable, with Javello, Zumel, and Suarez; and de Lugo writes, that this same opinion appears to be that of St. Thomas, where the Holy Doctor says: Before Baptism, Cornelius and others like him receive grace and virtues, through their faith in Christ and their desire for Baptism, implicit or explicit.  From which Lugo argues: as Cornelius obtained grace through implicit faith, because the Gospel was not yet perfectly promulgated in that region, likewise he can obtain it who is invincibly ignorant of these mysteries; for likewise to these the Gospel is not sufficiently promulgated.

But they say it is repugnant to the divine goodness and providence, to damn adults who are invincibly ignorant, who live honestly according to the light of nature, against which there is: In every nation, he who fears Him, and works justice, is acceptable to Him? (Acts x. 35) — Indeed they respond that all Scriptures, and testimonies of the Holy Fathers that are opposed to this view, can easily be explained as of necessity of precept: either because ordinarily almost no one can be saved without explicit faith in these Mysteries, because after the promulgation of the Gospel almost no one labors under invincible ignorance of them; or because, says Lugo, they may be explained as referring to implicit faith, or explicit in desire. — Furthermore, says Laymann, an adult, if mute and deaf from birth, though he be baptized, could not receive the other Sacraments, although he so desired; indeed he could not be saved, because it is unbelievable that such a man could rightly apprehend and explicitly believe the mystery of the Incarnation, and especially of the Trinity.

It is noted by Tannerus, Silvius, Azor and Valentia, with Gulielmo Parisiensi according to Sanchez, that if one were so very untaught, that he could not grasp these mysteries, then he would be excused on account of inability, and compared to infants, and dunces. — But Sanchez says, that it is one thing to believe, another to know the mysteries, and to give an explanation of them.  Thus he thinks that all adults are bound by a necessity of means, to eventually believe such mysteries, but by a necessity of precept to know them; from which precept to know the slow of mind are excused; and he says that the authors cited are to be understood in this way.  And he concludes with Gabriele, who says: It is sufficient … for them (that is, the untaught), that … they explicitly believe individual [articles] when proposed to them.

However, propositions 64 and 65 condemned by Innocent XI, say: A man is capable of being absolved, however ignorant he may be of the mysteries of faith, and even if through negligence, even culpable, he does not know the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ — It suffices that he should have believed them once; but Viva says with Marchant, that it is probably not necessary to repeat Confessions made in ignorance of the aforesaid Mysteries; since by the aforementioned opinion it is quite probable that they were valid, if the ignorance was inculpable.  For it is certain, that such ignorance, if it be vincible, is a mortal sin.  But the aforesaid proposition was justly condemned, because it said that even he is capable of being absolved, who at the time of confession suffers from ignorance of the aforesaid mysteries. — But the opinion of Father Viva is not sufficiently probable in my view.  For although the penitent probably made a valid confession, so that afterwards he appears exempt from repeating his confession, because he confessed in good faith before; yet out of respect for him who certainly sinned gravely, it should always be urged that above all one is obliged to make a confession, not only probably, but certainly valid.  On which account, when one becomes aware that his confession was possibly valid, but also possibly null, because of ignorance of the mysteries of the Most Holy Trinity or the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, he is obliged, after he has been instructed in these Mysteries, to repeat his confession.

Moreover, he is said to believe implicitly, who believes something explicitly, in which another thing is implicit; for example, if you believe what the Church believes.  See the Scholastics and Laymann. [1]

 

Footnote

[1] https://archive.org/details/theologiamoralis01ligu_0/page/212/mode/2up