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Pope Pius IX and the First Vatican Council declared that “in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated.”

 

Psuedo-Trads do not believe the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted but has been tainted with errors. Check out the Remnant Newspaper website and Tradition in Action website on how the Catholic religion has been tainted with lies, errors, and heresies by the Vatican 2 popes. Vigano admits Vatican 2 is heretical. John Salza has argued against “Fr.” Brian Harrison on canonizations and the Vatican 2 doctrine on religious liberty. Harrison himself has criticized the new teaching on the death penalty and the approval of altar girls. Siscoe has argued that Pope Celestine III approved a law that “contradicts divine revelation” and is “contrary to Divine law.”

 

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura “And, we cannot pass over in silence the boldness of those who “not enduring sound doctrine” [II Tim. 4:3], contend that “without sin and with no loss of Catholic profession, one can withhold assent and obedience to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to relate to the general good of the Church and its right and discipline, provided it does not touch dogmas of faith or morals.” There is no one who does not see and understand clearly and openly how opposed this is to the Catholic dogma of the plenary power divinely bestowed on the Roman Pontiff by Christ the Lord Himself of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church…Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe that withholding assent and obedience to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to relate to the general good of the Church and its right and discipline, provided it does not touch dogmas of faith or morals, IS A SIN AND THE LOSS OF CATHOLIC PROFESSION. All psuedo-trads withhold assent and obedience to judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See.

 

Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos: “11. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.”

 

Psuedo-Trads recognize and resist. They don’t obey.

 

 

 

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi: “For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”

 

Psuedo-Trads do not believe the sin of heresy severs from the Body of the Church by its own nature, but rather believe that it is by a judgment from the Church.

 

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum: “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium…. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. “No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe that one is cut-off by the very fact of giving assent to heresy, but rather believe it happens by a declaration from the Church or actually joining another religion. Salza and Siscoe have written extensively on how it takes a declared excommunication to rid heretics from the Church. I have emails from Siscoe saying that Biden and Pelosi are members of the Catholic Church. 

 

Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also…heretics and schismatics…” Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo: “By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe all heretics are outside the Church, but rather believe heretics hold offices in the Church such as the papacy. They hold that when the pope is heretical, he remains the true pope until the Church judges and pronounces that he’s not the pope anymore. Vigano believes Catholics can recognize the pope as a heretic. Harrison wrote how heretics can be elected pope. Siscoe has told me over the phone that he privately believes his pope is an apostate.

 

Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas: “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.”

 

Psuedo-Trads do not believe in the perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy or else they wouldn’t have to resist, reject, criticize, and complain about the teachings of Vatican 2, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or any encyclical, apostolic exhortation, etc. by the Vatican 2 popes.

 

Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas: “From what We have so far explained, venerable brethren, it is clear that the faithful must seek from Scripture, tradition and the sacred liturgy as from a deep untainted source, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus if they desire to penetrate its inner nature and by piously meditating on it, receive the nourishment for the fostering and development of their religious fervor.”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe the liturgy is untainted as Scripture and tradition, but rather believe the novus ordo mass is tainted with some error unlike Scripture and Tradition.  

 

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum: “9 For, since Jesus Christ delivered Himself up for the salvation of the human race, and to this end directed all His teaching and commands, so He ordered the Church to strive, by the truth of its doctrine, to sanctify and to save mankind. But faith alone cannot compass so great, excellent, and important an end. There must need be also the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine Sacrifice and in the dispensation of the Sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline. All these must be found in the Church, since it continues the mission of the Saviour for ever. The Church alone offers to the human race that religion – that state of absolute perfection – which He wished, as it were, to be incorporated in it. And it alone supplies those means of salvation which accord with the ordinary counsels of Providence.”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe the Church offers to the human race that religion – that state of absolute perfection since they have to resist, reject, criticize, and/or complain about it as they tell the human race what they believe is the right and Catholic way. 

 

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos: “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. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the Church and her ministers are embraced.”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe the disciplines sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected. They reject altar girls, women lectors, and the wide-spread abolition of the Latin Mass by their pope.

 

Pope St. Pius X, Letter to Priests: “When one loves the pope, one does not stop to debate about what he advises or demands, to ask how far the rigorous duty of obedience extends and to mark the limit to this obligation. When one loves the pope, one does not object that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to repeat into the ear of each individual his will, so often clearly expressed, not only viva voce, but also by letters and other public documents; one does not call his orders into doubt on the pretext- easily advanced by whoever does not wish to obey-that they emanate not directly from him, but from his entourage; one does not limit the field in which he can and should exercise his will; one does not oppose to the authority of the pope that of other persons, however learned, who differ in opinion from the pope. Besides however great their knowledge, their holiness is wanting, FOR THERE CAN BE NO HOLINESS WHERE THERE IS DISAGREEMENT WITH THE POPE.” Address to the priest of the Apostolic Union, Nov. 18, 1912 In Acta Apostolicae Sedis 4 [1912] p. 695)

Psuedo-Trads do not believe they must love the pope and obey Church discipline without question, nor do they believe there can be no holiness where there is disagreement with the pope. They disagree with the pope on many things concerning faith and morals.

 

Pope Pius IX and the First Vatican Council:

“‘For the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, made this solemn profession: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true Faith. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Who said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ (Matt. 16:18), should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy.’ …for they fully realized that this See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of his disciples, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou has turned again, strengthen thy brethren’ (Luke 22:32)

“‘So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.”

Psuedo-Trads do not believe the pope keeps the Catholic religion unsullied and teaching holy, nor remains unimpaired by any error, nor strengthens his brethren with the Catholic Faith, nor turns the poisonous food of error away from the flock of Christ, nor nourishes the Catholic flock with heavenly doctrine, nor removes all occasion of schism that the Church might be saved as one.

Rather, they believe the pope is the cause of the Church’s passion by attacking tradition with heresy and error. They believe he’s ushering in the gates of hell by not standing firm against it. They write books and articles about how the Catholic Church is supposed to be since their pope is teaching the opposite. The bottom line is that no psuedo-trad believes the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic in faith. They only say they believe in these papal teachings and four marks of the Church, but it’s an obvious lie by the mere fact they work against the mission of their pope.

My brother called me on the phone and asked if I’ve seen Robert Robbins’ latest article against me? He said it was so terrible and funny and how I’m going to laugh when I see it. Sure enough, my brother was right. [1]

Probably against my better judgment, I’m going to reply to it even though it’s so bad. However, it gives me an opportunity to demonstrate how the home-alone position attracts real know-nothings. Not every home-aloner is a know-nothing, but it seems most are. 

Robbins’ begins by making comparisons with a J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy book with our situation. When he’s not dressed up like Mr. Spock from Star Trek, Robbins thinks of himself as a little hobbit from Lord of the Rings. It’s apparent that he likes to play pretend and live in an imaginary dream world.

In defending the home-alone dream world where the Catholic Church is lost and has absolutely no shepherds and teachers, no Eucharist, no Confession, and no Holy Mass throughout the world, Robbins has to make up total nonsense. He quotes Vatican I and writes what he thinks it means:

[Vatican I] “‘So then, just as he sent apostles, whom he chose out of the world [39], even as he had been sent by the Father [40], in like manner it was his will that in his Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time.’”

[Robbins] “This quote does not teach that there must be (necessary mode) pastors until the end of time. Rather, it teaches that God willed (volitive mode) that there should be pastors until the end of time. Steve argues from the volitive mode to a necessary mode, which is fallacious. The argument fails, because it assumes a quality in the conclusion (necessity) that is not in the premises.”

Robbins believes an ecumenical council actually taught that Christ would really like for His Church to have shepherds and teachers till the end of time, but it may not work out that way so don’t expect it. Robbins has to believe this nonsense because he knows that his home-alone position is crushed if Vatican I is interpreted correctly. Robbins’ explanation is not just wrong, it’s blasphemous and heretical.

Christ’s will in the quote is not a mere wish or desire. Vatican I tells us that “in like manner” there should be shepherds and teachers as Christ Himself was sent, who then also sent the Apostles. It’s going to happen because He WILLS it. 

Vatican I’s own Cardinal Manning wrote on his 1871 letter “The Vatican council and its definitions”:

He prayed unto the Father, not for the apostles only, but for those also who through their preaching should come to believe in Him, that all might be one even as He the Son and the Father are one. (St. John XVII. 21.) As then He sent the Apostles whom He had chosen to Himself from the world, as he Himself had been sent by the Father: so He willed that there should ever be pastors and teachers in His Church to the end of the world. And in order that the Episcopate also might be one and undivided, and that by means of a closely united priesthood the multitude of the faithful might be kept secure in the oneness of faith and communion, He set Blessed Peter over the rest of the Apostles, and fixed in him the abiding principle of this two-fold unity, and its visible foundation, in the strength of which the everlasting temple should arise and the Church in the firmness of that faith should lift her majestic front to Heaven. [2]

Robbins continues…

The arguments on the absolute necessity of the sacraments has already been disproved elsewhere on this website. But suffice it to say that the sacraments are not in themselves absolutely necessary for salvation, and to insist otherwise is actually a form of Feeneyism, which insists that at least one sacrament, baptism, is absolutely necessary as such for salvation, which the Church has taught time and again to be false and ridiculous.

Robbins missed the point completely. Of course, it’s not absolutely necessary for individuals to have the sacraments to be saved, but it IS absolutely necessary for the Church as a whole to have all the sacraments. 

Robbins quotes Trent’s Canon as if I said something different:

CANON VI.–If any one saith…that those who have neither been rightly ordained, nor sent, by ecclesiastical and canonical power, but come from elsewhere, are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments; let him be anathema. 

I demonstrated clearly how our clergy are rightly ordained and sent using Bishop Carmona’s explanation. Apparently, Robbins doesn’t understand what he reads. He misses point after point. He cites St. Francis de Sales, but I already explained how our clergy are not doing what St. Francis de Sales is condemning.

He missed the point about how staying at home is the antithesis of Catholicism. Perhaps, Robbins prefers having just two Sacraments and no one to confess to, like the Protestants.

He missed my point on the perpetual principle of the papacy. He writes, “Steve thinks that because the Church teaches that the papacy will be perpetual, this means that there will always be popes. But this is utterly false even on the facts. There hasn’t been a pope in over a half a century! The principle of perpetual succession of the papacy simply means that there will always be the potential for there to be a pope…”

I’ve made it clear in numerous articles and books that I don’t believe there will always be popes, but only the potential of having them. In fact, I don’t think there will ever be a pope again. The point is that if the principle is present, there’s no need for a miracle. Robbins doesn’t believe the principle is there, but only the potential which now requires a miracle. 

Robbins missed the point about the Great Apostasy. The point is that we aren’t to stay at home hoping someone else will fix the problem of not having sacraments for the whole Church before Our Lord returns. Again, Christ wills that the Church at large has the Sacraments. Robbins just doesn’t believe he needs the sacraments at all, nor does the whole Church.

Home-aloners are on the opposite side of the pendulum with Feeneyites who say you absolutely can’t get to heaven without the Sacraments. Home-aloners say who needs the Sacraments anyway? Both positions are stupid!

On my survival mode point, Robbins states, “Steve makes the argument that one is able to break the law when required to do so for survival.” This is an outrageous lie. I’ve made it clear that our clergy are not breaking the law but are following the spirit of the law and not sinning against it.

Robbins actually cites the Baltimore Catechism about the indefectibility of the Church and then argues how it has defected by not having, nor needing to have shepherds, teachers, the Mass, and the Sacraments.

Lastly, Robbins completely ignores how Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII tell us that we shall have shepherds and teachers for the Church at large till the end of time. Of course, he ignores it and/or denies it, because he has to. He has to twist everything from Vatican I and canon law to papal teachings and the Baltimore Catechism.

I expect Robbins to reply again with more buffoonery, more lies, and more hypocrisy. After all, he believes he can ignore, twist, or break ecclesiastical laws and publish without permission since he has made himself the final authority in his churchless world. This is to be expected from home-aloners because they’ve lost the Church. It only exists in their imaginary dream world where they pretend to be hobbits cuddled together in their little cottages.

 

Footnotes

[1] Home Alone Hobbits: A Refutation of Steve Speray’s Problems with being a Catholic during the Apocalypse | Catholic Eclipsed

[2] The Vatican council and its definitions: a pastoral letter to the clergy : Manning, Henry Edward, 1808-1892 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Home-aloners say that sedevacantist bishops and priests are not good for the Church, because they don’t believe they are sent by the Church. It is their private opinion that it’s not absolutely necessary to have bishops and priests for the Universal Church at large and if it were absolutely necessary, this necessity alone would not qualify for the lawfulness of administering the Sacraments beginning with Holy Orders. Home-aloners believe it is better not to receive the sacraments and attend Holy Mass and receive Christ from Catholic clergy without ordinary jurisdiction in hope that someone (even though no one knows who and where) can rectify this terrible crisis.

I submit this home-alone position is wrong in every respect.

The Necessity of Having Shepherds and Teachers

Vatican I declared: “So then, just as he sent apostles, whom he chose out of the world [39], even as he had been sent by the Father [40], in like manner it was his will that in his Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time.”

Why would it be the will of Christ that in His Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time?

Holy Scripture gives us the answer in Ephesians 4:12:

“11. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ…”

We see clearly the necessity of having shepherds and teachers until the end of time. Men need to be shepherded and taught. Men also need to be nourished. The Holy Eucharist, for instance, most especially perfects us and is the summit of the ministry. “Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (John 6:54).”

Rev. Cornelius À Lapide writes in his Biblical Commentary on John 6:54:

So here, Unless ye shall eat, &c., i.e., unless there are some, viz. priests, who take the Sacrament of the Eucharist under both species, ye shall not have life in you. For if there be none such, then there will be none to consecrate the Eucharist, none to administer it, and so the whole fruit of the most Blessed Sacrament would be lost, as Bellarmine observes. For it is the office of priests to consecrate and receive in both kinds, that there may be not only a perfect Sacrament, but also that they may offer the sacrifice. This requires both kinds, both to signify perfect nourishment (for the sacrifice is, as it were, the food of God): and this nourishment consists of food and drink: as also that there may be a perfect representation of the passion and death of Christ. 

Shepherds and teachers provide us with the Eucharist and the other Sacraments. They are for the good of the Church and it is Christ’s will that they exist until the end of time. Therefore, they exist, because it’s necessary that they exist for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,and for the edifying of the body of Christ. To deny these two facts is heresy.

Where the Shepherds and Teachers must be Found

Since no shepherds and teachers holding offices with ordinary jurisdiction can be located nor is there a good explanation as to how they can exist without making the Vatican I teaching essentially meaningless, the only logical meaning of Vatican I is in the general sense for all Catholic clergy who are pastors of souls.

Sedevacantist clergy actually do claim to be the shepherds and teachers, which Vatican I is referring to even though they don’t possess particular offices in the Church. They shepherd and teach through the Holy Mass and Sacraments, making them real shepherds and teachers to the faithful.    

Home-aloners believe that only those holding offices are shepherds and teachers, because ordinarily bishops and priests are holding offices. The theological manuals all point to those who have ordinary jurisdiction as the pastors. Therefore, they conclude that ordinary or delegated jurisdiction is necessarily required absolutely under all conditions to be true pastors. However, home-aloners can’t identify the possible existence of any of these shepherds and teachers with ordinary jurisdiction for the Church.

It’s one thing to be in one particular area and not know what’s going on elsewhere, like the Japanese who had no pastors for hundreds of years, because of the persecution by the Japanese authorities. It’s quite another when we have access to the whole world. We know who’s consecrated who. The best argument a home-aloner could make is that a real pastor exists in some Communist prison somewhere that only his parishioners know about. The problem, however, is the Council was referring to shepherds and teachers, which is the plural of them. That rules out the “bishop in the woods” argument. It would have to be more than one.

The whole point of the Church having shepherds and teachers till the end of time is so they can actually shepherd and teach. If all of them are incapacitated, then what’s the point of having them at all? It’s not good enough to say that some bishops must exist in prison camps or somewhere to keep the Vatican I teaching from failing.

The home-aloner has to appeal to a theory with no evidence to maintain the existence of the Church. The problem is that if the Church exists only in the hope that some bishops exist somewhere even though no one knows where or how, the devil has ultimately won anyway. The gates of hell have prevailed, because the will of Christ and His purpose in having shepherds and teachers are ultimately thwarted. Christ left us shepherds and teachers for the benefit of the whole Church only to be incapacitated and our benefit effectively lost. The Church is effectively incapacitated throughout the whole world, which is exactly opposite to the will of Christ and His promise.

Imagine if Christ sent out the Apostles only to be immediately imprisoned so the Church could never take off. What would be the point of sending them out? How would it benefit the Church? Vatican I is saying that shepherds and teachers will exist till the end of time precisely for the same reason Christ sent out the Apostles, to actually be effective and benefit the Church. Again, the gates of hell have prevailed if the Church is totally incapacitated.

The Lawfulness of Sedevacantist Clergy

The sedevacantist clergy are the answer to Vatican I’s teaching.

In ordinary times, the clergy are sent out by being placed in offices. This is how bishops attain full apostolic succession. The sedevacantist clergy are sent, but not in ordinary fashion, because of the extraordinary circumstances of the Church’s existence. All the normal rules and teachings from the theological manuals only address the Church within the framework of pre-apostasy times. The one thing that we must cling to is the teaching of the Church. It is ultimately the one thing that really matters in matters of faith. All Church teachings must be understood in the correct nuance and applied in the circumstance in which it is addressing. Universal opinions have been wrong before.  

Because Christ wills that there shall be shepherds and teachers till the end of time, they must exist by divine right. No human ecclesiastical law can prevent this right. It is absolutely necessary that shepherds and teachers exist for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, which is why Jesus wills their existence.

All bishops have the power to consecrate and ordain validly. This power is not hindered by heresy, schism, or vitandus excommunication. However, authorization is needed to consecrate lawfully, whether it be by law or permission from the pope. Sedevacantist Bishop Carmona cites two rules as the foundation for the lawfulness of his consecration as bishop.

He cites Pope Gregory IX who declared in the 4th Rule of his decretal “On the Rules of Law” “What is not lawful by law, necessity makes lawful.” Pope Gregory IX gave two examples: Working on the Sabbath and breaking a required fast when sick.

Bishop Carmona also cites Rule 88 of Boniface VIII, which expressly states “It is certain that one sins against the rule who adheres to the letter and leaves aside the spirit.” Carmona writes, “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. Therefore, in accepting episcopal consecration from Archbishop Thuc, we have relied on these rules, conscious and certain that, given the circumstances in which we live, the consecrations are both valid and licit. We are also conscious and certain that we would have sinned, if by relying on the letter [of the law] we had rejected the consecrations, there being only one Catholic bishop who can now be found to transmit the episcopal succession.”

Bishops Thuc, Carmona, and Zamora did what works for the Church. Divine law and Pope Gregory IX’s decretal give authorization in this time of great tribulation. No theological manual addresses this particular situation. Therefore, to use theological manuals that addresses totally different situations and applying it against sedevacantism is pointless, not to mention, the manuals are offering general opinions anyway.

Before the great apostasy of Vatican 2, the Church was organized perfectly to function and to spread Catholicism. The theological manuals address the framework of the Church in pre-apostasy times ONLY. The Church is in an imperfect form each time a pope dies and in these post-apostasy times, it’s in dire need of a pope and Episcopal offices filled.

What we have today is a Church with no ordinary jurisdiction. However, insofar as individual souls are concerned who attend sedevacantist missions, there’s no substantial difference in having canonical pastors at parishes before the apostasy and our sedevacantist priests in missions and chapels. What we have works and is greatly needed. If fulfills the basic needs of the Church during this crisis and accomplishes the bare minimum that’s required for the Church to exist and function for the good of the Faithful.

Our sedevacantist bishops and priests are not working in an extraordinary mission that works outside the framework of the Church where there exists a pope, his ordinary succession, and bishops with ordinary jurisdiction who are ready and willing to transmit valid orders. Rather, our clergy work in an extraordinary mission that continues the ordinary mission of the Church insofar as possible precisely because these things are wanting. The books don’t cover the extraordinary mission of sedevacantism, but only condemn, and rightly so, those who assume authority apart from the authority of the pope and the ordinary transmission of the faith. 

The home-alone position focuses on the letter of the law and sins against the spirit of the law. It places a private opinion against the only logical answer to Vatican I, and as we will see, the teachings of Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII.

It also implicitly denies that the sacrament of Holy Orders is absolutely necessary for the good of the whole Church, that the Church as a whole needs to be shepherded and taught, and without bishops and priests, there is no Church.

Other Problems with the Home-Alone Position

Staying at home is the antithesis of Catholicism. The Church is sent out. We are sent out after Mass, Ite Missa Est. We don’t stay at home, we go out. If every Catholic stays home, there are no Sacraments except baptism and marriage FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. That’s the foundation of Protestantism.

The home-alone position implies that the principle of perpetual succession of the papacy is over, because relying on God to intervene miraculously means the principle is lost, since it takes God to intervene to fulfil what lacks, viz. the principle. Therefore, it’s heretical on this point alone. The principle of perpetual succession must exist until the end of time, which means there is no need for God to miraculously give us a pope. Vatican I is telling us that Christ placed a built-in means to protect the papacy from such measures.

Also, home-aloners admit that we are in the great apostasy. However, Holy Writ tells us that the great apostasy is part of the reign of Antichrist. The reign of Antichrist is short-lived due to Christ’s return. If we are indeed in the great apostasy, then we are not coming out of it. There’s not going to be anyone to fix the Church save Christ at His Return. Therefore, we can’t stay at home hoping that someone somewhere on earth can rectify this terrible crisis. We must do the best we can and the sedevacantist clergy did just that. They fulfilled having shepherds and teachers for the faithful for the whole Church as Christ willed.

Survival Mode

A dire situation requires dire measures. When a man goes into survival mode, he may have to do things that would be forbidden ordinarily. He may have to eat his dead friends as those Uruguayan rugby players did when they crashed in the Andes Mountains in 1972. He may have to drink his urine as many sailors have done in lifeboats at sea. The body itself will do things to stay alive that it wouldn’t or couldn’t do otherwise.

The point is the Catholic Church is in survival mode, because it’s going through its passion in following Christ. All the powers of hell are assaulting the Church right now. If ever Catholics most needed bishops, priests, the Holy Mass, and the 7 Sacraments, now is the time. “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matt. 28: 18-20).”

Rev. Cornelius À Lapide explains in his Biblical Commentary that “Christ has willed to abide continually in the Church in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.”

Home-aloners must say that Christ has not willed to abide continually in the Church in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, at least not for the vast, vast majority of Catholics. Practically speaking, Christ has abandoned the Church leaving no clergy for teaching, governing, and sanctifying the Faithful through the Holy Mass and the 7 Sacraments. I will say it a third time, the gates of hell have effectively prevailed if the home-alone position is correct. The Catholic Church simply doesn’t exist except in the hopes and dreams of Catholics. That’s not how the Church exists.

The Principle of the Home-Alone Position is Condemned

Pope Pius IX declared in Etsi Multa: [1] 

Further Heresies

They obstinately reject and oppose the infallible magisterium both of the Roman Pontiff and of the whole Church in teaching matters.  Incredibly, they boldly affirm that the Roman Pontiff and all the bishops, the priests and the people conjoined with him in the unity of faith and communion fell into heresy when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council. Therefore they deny also the indefectibility of the Church and blasphemously declare that it has perished throughout the world and that its visible Head and the bishops have erred. They assert the necessity of restoring a legitimate episcopacy in the person of their pseudo-bishop, who has entered not by the gate but from elsewhere like a thief or robber and calls the damnation of Christ upon his head.

Yet they do not blush to call themselves Catholics and Old Catholics, while in their doctrine, novelty, and number they show themselves in no way to be either old or Catholic. Certainly the Church rises up with greater right against them than it once did through Augustine against the Donatists. Diffused among all people, the Church was built by Christ the Son of the living God upon the rock, against which the gates of Hell will not prevail, and with which He Himself, to Whom all power in heaven and on earth is given, said He would be with until the consummation of the world. “The Church cries to her Spouse: Why do certain men withdrawing from me murmur against me? Why do these lost men claim that I have perished? Announce to me the length of my days, how long I will be in this world? Tell me on account of those who say: it was and is no longer; on account of those who say: the scriptures have been fulfilled, all nations have believed, but the Church has apostatized and perished from all nations. And He announced and the voice was not vain. What did He announce? ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ Moved by your voices and your false opinions, it asked of God that He announce to it the length of its days and it found that God said ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ Here you will say: He spoke about us; we are as we will be until the end of the world. Christ Himself is asked; He says ‘and this gospel will be preached in the whole world, in testimony to all nations, and then will come the end.’ Therefore the Church will be among all nations until the end of the world. Let heretics perish as they are, and let them find that they become what they are not.”

Old Catholics claimed the Roman Pontiff, all bishops, priests, and the people in union with the pope apostatized. They asserted that there were no shepherds and teachers throughout the world. Pope Pius IX condemned the idea that there are no shepherds and teachers throughout the world as heresy, because it’s contrary to Christ’s promise and meaning in Matt. 28:18-20.

When Pope Pius IX said “all nations” that would not mean literally all nations, but in general all nations. The bible says all men have sinned, but all doesn’t mean literally all, but generally all, since Our Lord and our Lady have not sinned.

“We are as we will be” doesn’t mean exactly with a pope and offices filled, but generally with shepherds and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, because Christ wills it.

Pope Leo XIII declared in Satis Cognitum: “8…But, as we have already said, the Apostolic mission was not destined to die with the Apostles themselves, or to come to an end in the course of time, since it was intended for the people at large and instituted for the salvation of the human race. For Christ commanded His Apostles to preach the “Gospel to every creature, to carry His name to nations and kings, and to be witnesses to him to the ends of the earth.” He further promised to assist them in the fulfilment of their high mission, and that, not for a few years or centuries only, but for all time – “even to the consummation of the world.” [2]

The Apostolic mission is explained by Pope Leo in the same encyclical.

3…The Apostles received a mission to teach by visible and audible signs, and they discharged their mission only by words and acts which certainly appealed to the senses.

4…What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. “As the Father hath sent me, I also send you” (John xx., 21). “As thou hast sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world” (John xvii., 18).

But the mission of Christ is to save that which had perished: that is to say, not some nations or peoples, but the whole human race, without distinction of time or place. “The Son of Man came that the world might be saved by Him” (John iii., 17). “For there is no other name under Heaven given to men whereby we must be saved” (Acts iv., 12). The Church, therefore, is bound to communicate without stint to all men, and to transmit through all ages, the salvation effected by Jesus Christ, and the blessings flowing there from. Wherefore, by the will of its Founder, it is necessary that this Church should be one in all lands and at all times. To justify the existence of more than one Church it would be necessary to go outside this world, and to create a new and unheard – of race of men.

8…There must needs be also the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine Sacrifice and in the dispensation of the Sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline. All these must be found in the Church, since it continues the mission of the Savior for ever. 

The Apostolic mission is to save souls, and this comes by correct teaching, the Holy Mass, and the Sacraments, which necessarily means there must be shepherds and teachers for the people at large as Christ willed.

The home-alone position doesn’t fit even remotely with the teachings of Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII, or even Vatican I. 

Our position of sedevacantist clergy fits and works if interpreted properly. If home-aloners insist that Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII meant bishops with ordinary jurisdiction ONLY, then they must admit that it’s over for Christianity altogether. Either we are right or they must stop being Catholic. There’s no middle ground.

The pseudo-traditionalists that recognize the Vatican 2 popes insist that sedevacantism is wrong, but in doing so they have condemned Christianity, since there’s no possible way the Church is heretical with heretics holding the papacy. Home-aloners are in that same boat. In claiming there are no shepherds and teachers throughout the world, they have condemned Christianity, since there’s no possible way the Church is without them throughout the world. The home-alone position is heretical, plain and simple.

There’s only one solution and that’s the position of the sedevacantist clergy. Bishops Thuc, Carmona, and Zamora saw it plainly. They did what they had to do and by the grace of God, the Church is making it through till the end.

Footnotes

[1] http://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius09/p9etsimu.htm

[2] Satis Cognitum – Papal Encyclicals

Robert Robbins Gravatar Image

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

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for great home school tutoring, look no further than Hoyle Tutoring.

My good friend Eric Hoyle is offering free home school tutoring for the first month. He’s a solid Catholic with outstanding abilities in education. Eric is a seasoned tutor. He’s worked with over 300 students since 2008.

Eric’s SAT score was 1580 and is a graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. He taught AP Chemistry at South River High School, mostly 10th graders, all of whom passed the AP exam.

Eric also has a general knowledge of Latin and Spanish.

Below are a few testimonials:

Eric,

I just wanted to say Thank You for being available to tutor Miranda in her College Chemistry Class. Your availability was crucial a couple of times when Miranda was made aware from her professor that a test was the next day, and you came through for her and helped her tremendously. You will be happy to know that she passed with a B in her class. She is super excited and so am I. Miranda has a younger sister and if she needs any Math or Chemistry tutoring in the near future, I will certainly be emailing you.

Thank you again for all your help!!!

— Susan S.

Eric,

I wanted to say thank you VERY MUCH for helping Josh with chemistry and algebra.  He scored high enough on both exams to bring his final, yearly grade up to a C.  I know that a C is not as good as an A or B, but, considering his previous exams, it is a definite improvement!

I believe his final grade would have been an F or possibly a D without tutoring.  So, once again, thank you so much.

— A. L.

Dear Eric,

Thank you for the help that you were able to provide for my son, Brandt, when he was making a difficult transition mid-year.  I know that your assistance was invaluable.

Thank you again for being such a big help and I look forward to using your services in the future for my younger son and stepson.

— Allison S.

Eric tutored my 11 year old son in math.  He helped Brady pull his math score up an entire letter grade!  He was very patient with Brady and helped Brady arrive at the solution by himself — giving him the understanding to solve the problems without giving him the answers.  We have used other tutors in the past and never had the success we had with Eric.  I would highly recommend him!

— L. E.

Eric has been tutoring our son for the past few months and we find him to be very competent.  He is patient, thorough and encouraging, and makes sure that the material is understood and the student can do the work on their own.  We are extremely pleased with his service.

— Linda S.

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)