The Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451 AD

Painting by Vasily Ivanovich Surikov in 1876


The main objection to Catholicism by the Eastern Orthodox is papal authority. Everything hinges on this Catholic doctrine, when it comes down to other doctrines, such as the Immaculate Conception, Filioque, etc.

The Eastern Orthodox claim the keys given to Peter in Matthew 16:19 only represent the same binding and loosening power found in Matt. 18:18 where Christ tells the other Apostles, “whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” Therefore, Peter has no authority over the other Apostles.

An examination of the passages shows a distinct difference. In the Old Testament, we find a key holder over the Kingdom of David. Eli’akim is given the key to the kingdom of David even though Hezekiah is the king (Is. 22:22). Is it a mere coincidence that Christ uses this imagery or was Christ drawing from Isaiah to illustrate His intention?

Peter is mentioned throughout Holy Scripture as “Peter and the others” or some other similar phrase. Peter is found over 190 times in Scripture. The next most mentioned Apostle is John found under 30 times. Peter is clearly understood as one with a special significance over the others.

Just as David’s kingdom had a key holder, Jesus, the eternal Son and King assigns a key holder to His eternal kingdom, the Church. The passage in Isaiah denotes that the key holder has successors to maintain the authority over the kingdom. Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that the intention of Jesus is for Peter to have successors with the same authority as Peter.

The context of the keys in Chapter 16 is different from Chapter 18, which shows Christ assigning a tribunal to the Church, which obedience ought to be rendered, on pain of being excommunicated and considered a heathen. All bishops have authority of binding and loosening but not on the same scale as Peter, who alone was given the keys.

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (d. 258) (venerated by the Eastern Orthodox) explains:

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven’… On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep, and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair, and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church, first edition 251 AD.)

In the second edition, St. Cyprian changes it to:

It is on one man that He builds the Church; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles after His resurrection…nevertheless, in order that unity might be clearly shown, He established by his own authority a source for that unity, which takes its beginning from one man alone. Indeed, the other Apostles were that also which Peter was, being endowed with an equal portion of dignity and power; but the origin is ground in unity, so that it may be made clear there is but one Church of Christ. …If someone does not hold fast to this unity of the Church, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he resists and withstands the Church, can he still be confident that he is in the Church…? Most especially must we bishops, who exercise authority in the Church, hold firmly and insist upon this unity, whereby we may demonstrate also that the episcopate itself is one and undivided. Let no one mislead the brotherhood with a lie, let no one corrupt the faith by a faithless perversion of the truth. The episcopate is one, of which each bishop holds his part within the undivided structure.” (emphasis mine)

St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem (d. 386) tells us that only Peter has the keys and is the chief of the apostles:

“[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . They launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven. …In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis; and at Joppa he raised the beneficent Tabitha from the dead.” (Catechetical Lectures [350 AD] 6:14 and 17:27).

The great Eastern Father, St. Ephraim of Syria wrote about Jesus to Peter:

“Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on Earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the firstborn in my institution so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures” (Homilies 4:1, 351 AD).

St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (d. 407) in his homily 54 [55] teaches that by the delivery of these keys by Christ to Peter, there was committed to him the care and government of the whole world, and that he was created pastor and head of the entire Church. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200154.htm

If the Eastern Orthodox claim is true that all Apostles had equal authority, why did the great Eastern Fathers St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ephraim of Syria, and St. John Chrysostom teach the contrary? Why do we not see Eastern Fathers making it clear that Peter was equal in authority when his successors exercised their authority over the territories of Patriarchs without objection?

For instance, Pope St. Clement (the same Clement mentioned Philippians 4:3) wrote a letter to the Corinthians in 80 AD condemning their “abominable and unholy sedition” and to be “obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit.”

The letter of Pope St. Clement was so important that it was read in Church thought to be Scripture. Saint Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, wrote a letter to Pope Soter in 170 AD: “For from the beginning it has been your custom to do good to all the brethren in various ways and to send contributions to all the churches in every city. . . . This custom your blessed Bishop Soter has not only preserved, but is augmenting, by furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints and by urging with consoling words, as a loving father his children, the brethren who are journeying… Today we have observed the Lord’s holy day, in which we have read your letter. Whenever we do read it, we shall be able to profit thereby, as also we do when we read the earlier letter written to us by Clement” (Letter to Pope Soter in Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea), Church History 4:23:9 and 11).

Pope Julius I asserted his authority in the East in defending the great St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.

Perhaps the most glaring contradiction to the Eastern Orthodox assertion that Peter is equal in authority to the other Apostles is the councils. They raise the argument against Peter’s supreme authority on the claim that James lead the Council of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts. This anachronistic approach is unreasonable.

Peter settles the matter after much debate in Acts 15:7. Barnabas and Paul confirm the truth in verse 12 and then James puts in his two-cents worth. James has to say, “Listen to me” since his words need everybody’s attention unlike Peter’s, who already has everybody’s attention. Peter does not have to say, “listen to me” because they listen and when he spoke, “the assembly kept silence (Acts 15:12).” James then gives his judgment on how Peter’s words are to be applied just as all bishops do when the pope lays down the law.

Again, it is Peter most mentioned in the Book of Acts. “Peter stood up among the brethren…and said (Acts 1:15).” “Peter standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them (Acts 2:14).” “Peter and the rest of the Apostles” (Acts 2:37). “Peter said to them (Acts 2:38).” “Peter saw it and addressed the people (Acts 3:12).” “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them (Acts 4:8).” “Peter and the apostles answered (Acts 5:29).” Peter is mentioned another 49 times in the Book of Acts alone, but we are to believe James was the leader at the council?

All heresiarchs used their biblical knowledge and appealed to tradition to promulgate their heresies. In every case, the East looked to Rome for the final answer. St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria appealed to Pope St. Celestine I against Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople. The result was the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431 AD, which condemned Nestorius. In the Acts of the Council, session 3, it’s declared:

“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod.’”

The great council of the East witnesses to the Catholic dogma that Peter and his successors arehead of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church.”

A greater example of this council’s testimony came after the heresiarch Eutyches spread his Monophysitism heresy. In 449 AD, Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexander, led the Second Council of Ephesus, which deposed orthodox bishops and refused Pope St. Leo’s Tome against Monophysitism to be heard. Pope Leo the Great condemned the “Robber Council” and declared its members to be deposed.

The Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451 AD, which had over 600 mostly Eastern bishops implemented Pope Leo’s direction. Dioscorus was to be deposed if he remained steadfast in heresy, to restore the repentant bishops to their sees, and define the faith according to the Tome, which was done to the letter. The Council clearly and unambiguously recognized the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome, as its actions reflected. The Council’s declaration in deposing Dioscorus proved that it recognized Pope St. Leo as the final authority:

“Wherefore Leo, the most holy and blessed Archbishop of great and older Rome, by us and by the present holy synod, together with the thrice blessed and worthy of all praise, the blessed Apostle Peter, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, has stripped him of his episcopate and deprived him of all sacerdotal dignity.”

The Chalcedonian (mostly Eastern) fathers again confessed their belief in the papal doctrine:

“After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: ‘This is the faith of the fathers! This is the faith of the apostles! So we all believe! Thus the orthodox believe! Anathema to him who does not thus believe! Peter has spoken thus through Leo! . . . This is the true faith! Those of us who are orthodox thus believe! This is the faith of the Fathers!’” (Acts of the Council, session 2).

After the Eastern Orthodox finally split from the Catholic Church in 1054, they had no more Ecumenical Councils.

Today, we still hear arguments against the papacy by the Eastern Orthodox (and used by Protestants) such as St. Paul’s rebuke of Peter in Galatians 2:11: “But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.”

What’s most interesting is that Cornelius a Lapide notes in his biblical commentary how some Eastern Fathers try to explain away the incident to protect Peter, while the majority of Latin Fathers don’t do so. Cornelius writes:

Because he was to be blamed. (1.) Because he had been blamed (κατεγνωσμένος) by other brethren, whom Peter had offended by this proceeding, in their ignorance of his true intention and motive, as Chrysostom and Jerome say, or, as Ephrem turns it, “because they were offended in him.” (2.) Theophylact and Œcumenius understand it: Peter had been blamed by the other Apostles because he had eaten with the Gentile Cornelius at Cæsarea. Fearing lest he should be blamed again by them or by other Jews, he withdrew himself from all intercourse with the Gentiles. (3.) The opinion of Ambrose is better. He had fallen under the condemnation of the truth and of Gospel liberty, which sets the Gentiles free from the darkness and slavery of Judaism. (4.) The Vulgate reprehesiblis (in place of reprehensus, as with the authors cited above) is better, and agrees with the context. It gives the reason for resisting Peter, because he was to be blamed for simulating Judaism.

It may be asked whether Peter was really blameworthy and was actually blamed by Paul. For many years there was a sharp dispute on this point between S. Jerome and S. Augustine, as may be seen in their epistles. Jerome, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Baronius answer in the negative, and hold that the rebuke was only theatrical. They argue that Peter, who had lawfully followed the Jewish customs at Jerusalem among Jews, lived as a Gentile among Gentiles at Antioch; when, however, the Jews arrived who had been sent to Antioch from Jerusalem by James, he withdrew from the Gentiles in favour of the Jews, lest he should offend those who had been the earliest to receive the faith (see ver. 9), and also that he might at the same time give Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, an opportunity of rebuking him, that by yielding he might teach the Jews that the time for Judaising was past. On the other side S. Augustine maintains that Peter was really blameworthy, and was blamed by Paul, as the record distinctly declares.

Out of this arose a dispute between S. Augustine and S. Jerome about simulation and lying. Jerome argued from this action of Peter’s that any similar simulation is lawful. Augustine denied that he did simulate, and laid down the unlawfulness of all lying or simulation, especially in matters of religion. In this second question, however, neither seems to have understood the other’s position. Jerome did not maintain that Peter told a lie, or put on a profession of Judaism while secretly detesting it, as Augustine, by the strength of his language, seems to think that Jerome held. The latter did not say that Peter was right in professing Judaism; if he did, then it would be right for any one of the faithful to make a profession of any false faith or any heresy. But Jerome only held what S. Chrysostom did, viz., that the rebuke administered to Peter by Paul was not really intended, but was merely theatrical, it being arranged between them beforehand that Paul should rebuke Peter, not for simulation, but for thoughtless dissimulation, and that Peter should accept the rebuke thus arranged for, that so the Judaisers might be really rebuked in the specious rebuke given to Peter, and with him might clearly understand that Judaising was forbidden. The lawfulness of such an action is not denied by Augustine, all he denies is that the proceeding was of this nature.

From this it appears how little ground Cassian (Collat. xvii. 17- 25), Origen, Clement, Erasmus, and others (see the passages in Sixtus of Sens, lib. v. annot. 105) had for founding the lawfulness of lying on this passage, or for endorsing the saying of Plato, that, although a lie is an evil thing, yet it is occasionally necessary, just as we use hellebore or some other drug, for this is now an established error condemned by Innocent III. (Tit. de Usuris, cap. super eo.), and by Ecclesiasticus vii. 14. Against it too S. Augustine writes two treatises, one entitled de Mendacio and the other contra Mendacium. Nor is there any exception to be taken here against Jerome and Chrysostom. They only understand and excuse a secret arrangement, whereby no lie was acted, but a rebuke was simulated, and this is a legitimate action, as is evident in military stratagems, when for instance, the enemy feigns to flee, and so draws its foes into an ambush.

A third question was also disputed between Jerome and Augustine as to the date when the Old Law came to an end, but this is outside the present subject, and it is sufficient therefore to say very briefly that the Old Law, so far as obligation goes, came to an end at Pentecost, when the New Law was promulgated, but that its observance did not wholly cease, it being lawful to observe it for a while, till the Jews had been gradually weaned from it, that so in due time it might receive an honourable burial. In this dispute Augustine seems to have held the stronger position.

It may be urged that in this act of Peter’s there was at least something sinful, if not actually erroneous in faith, as some have rashly asserted. By his action it may be thought that he thoughtlessly made a profession of Judaism, and so put a stumbling-block in the way of the Gentiles, and tempted them to Judaise with him. He had previously lived with the Gentiles, but he afterwards withdrew from them suddenly, went over to the Jews, and lived with them. From this the Gentiles might properly infer that judaism was necessary to salvation, both for him and themselves, and was binding on Christians; for though the Old Law, with its ceremonies, was not yet the cause of death, and might be preserved so as to secure for itself an honourable burial, and also to draw the Jews to the faith of Christ, yet it was dead, and in one sense death-giving, viz., to any one who should keep it on the supposition that it was binding on Christians. Although Peter, however, did not so regard it, yet his action was so imprudent as to give the Gentiles good reason for thinking that he did.

The justness of this remark is evident from the two remarks made by Paul: I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed; and: When I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, Why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?—viz., by your simulation, or what the Greeks call hypocrisy. All this shows that either Peter sinned or that Paul told a lie, which God forbid. See S. Augustine (Ep. 8, 9, and 19 to Jerome), Cyprian (Ep. ad Quintum), Gregory (Hom. 18 in Ezech.), Ambrose, &c.

To what has been said I add this: This sin of Peter’s was venial, or material only, arising from want of thought, or from want of light and prudence. He seems to have thought that, being the Apostle of the Jews especially, that he ought rather to avoid scandalising them than the Gentiles, and that the Gentiles would readily recognise the rightfulness of this line of action. In so doing he erred, for “although,” as S. Thomas says, “the Holy Spirit who descended an the Apostles at Pentecost established them thereafter in such prudence and grace as to keep them from mortal sins, yet he did not also save them from venial sins.”

Observe that a lie may consist in deeds as well as in words. For example, if a man lead another to suppose by his conduct that he is a good man or his friend, when he is neither of these, then he is guilty of a lie. This lie by deed is what is properly called hypocrisy. Similarly, if any Christian at Rome wears a yellow cap he acts a lie, by thus giving himself out as a Jew.

Notice, however, with Cajetan that falsity in deeds is more easily excused than falsity in words. The reason is that words are express signs of mental concepts, but deeds are not, and so admit a wider interpretation. Hence if soldiers feign flight to draw the enemy into an ambush, they are not guilty of hypocrisy, as they would be if they were to say in words: “We flee, 0 enemy, because we are afraid of you.”

Again, observe the following rule: When there is a just cause of concealing the truth, no falsehood is involved. Peter, in the act under discussion, had partly a just cause, viz., the fear of offending the Jews. His withdrawal from the Gentiles was not a formal declaration that he was a Judaiser, but only tantamount to saying that he preferred to serve the Jews rather than the Gentiles, the just cause of this preference being that he was more an Apostle of the former than of the latter. I say partly, for he was not wholly justified in so acting, inasmuch as he was bound, as universal pastor, to care for the Jews without neglecting the Gentiles. Hence it follows also that in one respect he sinned through want of due consideration. The infirmity of man’s mind, however, is such that he cannot always hit the exact mean, and under complex circumstances benefit one without harming another.

Some one will object then: Since Paul corrected Peter, he was of equal, if not superior authority; in other words Paul, and not Peter, was the head of the Apostles.

I deny the consequence. For superiors may, in the interests of truth, be corrected by their inferiors. Augustine (Ep. xix.), Cyprian, Gregory, and S. Thomas lay down this proposition in maintaining also that Peter, as the superior, was corrected by his inferior. The inference from what they say is that Paul was equal to the other Apostles, inferior to Peter, and hence they all were Peter’s inferiors; they were the heads of the whole Church, and Peter was their chief. Gregory (Hom. 18 in Ezech.) says: “Peter kept silence, that the first in dignity might be first in humility;” and Augustine says the same (Ep. xix. ad Hieron.): “Peter gave to those who should follow him a rare and holy example of humility under correction by inferiors, as Paul did of bold resistance in defence of truth to subordinates against their superiors, charity being always preserved.”

He did eat with the Gentiles. He ate, according to Anselm, of pork and other forbidden meats, without any scruple, to show that the Ceremonial Law was abrogated.

For the record, many saints have stood up against popes over the centuries. St. Irenaeus stood up to Pope Victor over the Easter celebration and nearly anathematizing Asia Minor over it.

St. Bridgit of Sweden wrote to Pope Gregory XI, “Show yourself a man and begin to renew My Church which I have bought with My blood, so that it may be born again and return to its former state … But this you shall know of a surety, that if you do not obey My will, judgment will be passed upon you as upon a prelate who is degraded and deprived of his ecclesiastical vestments. Everything that has formerly been peace and honor to you shall then be damnation and shame. …And every devil in hell shall have a piece of your soul and fill it with everlasting damnation.” 

St. Catherine of Sienna wrote to the same pope, “Most Holy Father … because He [Christ] has given you authority and because you have accepted it, you ought to use your virtue and power. If you do not wish to use it, it might be better for you to resign what you have accepted; it would give more honor to God and health to your soul. … If you do not do this, you will be censured by God. If I were you, I would fear that Divine Judgment might descend on me.”

St. Vincent Ferrer stood up to “Pope” Benedict XIII many times and finally rejected him as pope.

In no way does Gal. 2:11 demonstrate that Peter is equal in authority to the rest of the Apostles.

No reasonable explanation can be given against papal authority. All we see from the Eastern Orthodox is the same old tired arguments that have been refuted by their own fathers. If the Eastern Orthodox would only listen to the Eastern Fathers, but alas, people only hear what they want to hear.



Further reading:


Fr. Reuben Parsons, Some Lies and Errors of History, The “Orthodox” Russian and the Schismatic Greek Churches

Fr. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, The Papal Primacy

Bp. Francis Kenrick, The Primacy of the Apostolic See Vindicated









St. Nicholas

Saint Nicholas, 7th–8th Century
Icon detail, Monastery of St. Catharine, Mount Sinai


Many years ago, I submitted the following short essay on St. Nicholas to the local newspaper. It was never printed. After my little essay, I’ve included a documentary on St. Nicholas that shows his actual bones on camera and what he might have looked based on his bone features.


St. Nick to Santa Claus


One year during Christmas when I was a little boy, an argument arose over the existence of Santa Claus. Two older boys had said to me that Santa doesn’t exist. I remember feeling very sad, because to me the whole story did seem a little far-fetched and I deeply wanted to believe. Now that I’m older, I know the truth. Those two boys were dead wrong.

Of course, Santa doesn’t fly around in a sleigh with 8 or 9 tiny reindeer. He’s also not a big jolly man who slides down chimneys stuffing stockings and leaving presents under trees. No, Santa Claus is much greater and even more powerful than that.

Many people have forgotten who this man is. I say is, because he is still very much alive.  First, we must go way back into history.

1431 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 1263 years before the first Baptist church was erected, 1147 years before Columbus discovered America for Europe, 455 years before Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, 265 years before Mohammed founded Islam, in the year 345 AD, one of the holiest and most famous Catholics that ever lived had completed his life on earth.

St. Nicholas, as he is better known, was a Catholic Bishop in the city of Myra, in present day Turkey. He is considered the greatest saint in the East after the Apostles and the many churches named in his honor testify to his holiness and popularity with the faithful. Many traditions surround this great man.

The greatest yet forgotten tradition of this patron saint of children is the one concerning the Council of Nicea in 325 AD where he slapped another Bishop named Arius who denied the Divinity of Jesus. Nicholas was deprived of his Episcopacy and thrown into prison. However, Jesus and His Mother, Mary appeared to him, freeing him and restoring his Bishopric. His love for the truth caused him much suffering, and his devotion to the Catholic Church and his teaching kept his people from falling away. Myra was the one city in the Catholic world, the Arian heresy never touched.

Other traditions show Nicholas as a very generous man giving gold to girls without dowries, keeping them out of prostitution. He is also a patron saint of sailors. In the East, there are many stories of sailors being rescued who invoked his help.

Being a very ascetic man, he ate only on Wednesdays and Fridays. He is even known to have raised children who died back to life.

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6. Children receive treats and gifts on this holy day. After the Protestant Revolt of the 16th century, the Dutch Protestants continued the celebration calling it the feast of Sinter Klaas.  Eventually, the English Protestants adopted the celebration translating his name to Santa Clause. However, celebrating a Catholic Saint was not something the English Protestants wanted to do.

They solved the problem by transferring the gift giving celebration and hiding it in Christmas. The Santa Claus of Christmas evolved from a conglomeration of St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Christmas Man, and the German god Thor by the European Protestants over the years. He’s not to be confused with the English Kris Kringle, a whole other story.

During the 1800’s, poems and cartoons slowly depicted a familiar Santa. In the early 1900’s, the Coke Cola Co. hired an artist who first captivated Santa as we now know him.

Good old St. Nick may not be remembered as he ought, but he is very much alive in Christ of whom he was a great witness and imitator. If he were here today, he would be the first person who would be reminding us to remember the real reason for the season. Since the true story is greater than the fairy tale, you can bet I will tell my children the truth about good Ole St. Nick.

So the next time you see a Santa somewhere, you’ll know why he is a true sign of Christmas. St. Nicholas is a man of Jesus Christ.



I sent the following on Mon, 26 Nov 2018 20:16:55 GMT

Dear Ann Barnhardt,

In your latest video, you claim that your email box fills up “all day, every day” with emails from sedevacantists who are more interested in killing rather than converting Jews, holocaust deniers, and schizophrenic conspiracy theorists such as “flat-earthers.”

The problem is that you lump all sedevacantists together with the fringe groups and you do so to smear the position of sedevacantism. Ironically, you’re doing this because you’re complaining about being falsely accused of being a sedevacantist. In other words, you smear us as a defense of being falsely accused of being us because you think its a smear.

Regardless, as stupid as the belief in a flat-earth or perhaps a real or fake holocaust, none of these things are heresies against the Church. You make an issue out of these weird fringe groups as what happens when you go schismatic from what you call “Holy Mother Church” i.e, the Vatican 2 religion complete with a mass devoid of 80% of traditional prayers, faulty consecration, altar girls, women lectors and Eucharistic ministers, and “popes” who worship with Protestants, Muslims, pagan witches and warlocks, while promoting by decree and law one heresy after another like religious liberty, communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics, and a formally divided Church of Christ. You also have inside your church the massive problem of those who reject the Real Presence, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the condemnation of abortion and artificial birth control and particularly homosexuality, which is literally everywhere from the bottom to the top.

Who’s really in heresy and schism?

Come on, now. You’re smarter than that.

Steven Speray


My letter is a reply to the following video.



By the way, I don’t believe in a flat-earth. I believe Hitler was evil and his regime killed at least a million Jews and Catholics, but I don’t believe the six-million number because of its symbolism in Judaism and for a few other reasons.

A favorite line from Pseudo-traditionalists is “it’s not infallible.” They say “Pope” Francis’ apostolic exhortation wasn’t infallible, Vatican 2 wasn’t infallible, and the canonization of “Pope” Paul VI wasn’t infallible. What’s implied is the absurdity that when the pope issues decrees, encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, canon laws, or a universal catechism without the charism of infallibility, it means those teachings could be heretical.

The question about what’s infallible and what’s not is not the concern of this study. The only concern for now is the treatment of what is thought to be non-infallible Church teachings in the minds of psuedo-traditionalists.

In the case of the Vatican 2 religion, pseudo-traditionalists recognize that their religion has heretical tenets and are looking for a way to explain how their religion is still Catholic. They’ve spent too much time and energy to admit that the position of sedevacantism is the answer. Therefore, sedevacantism is out of the question.

In the case of Feeneyite sedevacantists, the argument is made that the Roman Catechism of Trent, Canon Law, and the Pope St. Pius X Catechism aren’t infallible. Therefore, the teaching of baptism of desire found in these three sources can be rejected because it’s heretical and contrary to John 3:5 and Trent’s canons. [1]

There are three main reasons why this pseudo-traditionalist novelty is absurd.

          1.  Heresy is a denial of Catholic dogma. Religious assent, both external and internal, is required for  non-infallible teachings of the Church. Religious assent can’t be given to heresy without loss of profession of  faith. The Catholic Church can’t require a denial of its own dogmas.

          2.  All non-infallible decrees, encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, canon laws, etc. would have to be taken with a grain of salt. Suspicion would necessarily follow from all of these teachings. Fear of error would always be present. 

          3.  Protestant churches are heretical even though they are not infallible. If the Catholic Church can promulgate heresy by universal catechism (for instance), it would be the height of hypocrisy for the same church to condemn Protestantism for promulgating heresy

Infallibility means there’s no possibility of error. That doesn’t imply the Church can be heretical outside the charism of infallibility. You won’t find heresy promulgated in any form by the Catholic Church. The possible errors that might be found in non-infallible Church teachings would be very limited. An example might be the Holy Office condemnations under Popes Paul V, Urban VIII, and Alexander condemning Galileo and/or heliocentrism. However, Pope Benedict XV rejects the absolute affirmation of geocentrism in In Praeclara Summorum.

All heresy is error, but not all error is heresy. The possibility of error in non-infallible documents should not be understood as a “possibility of heresy.”

Both sides [Vatican 2 traditionalists and Feeneyite sedevacantists] start with a [false] premise and work out how that premise is true by looking at everything anachronistically. That’s not how it’s supposed to be done. You don’t start with a conclusion and then try to find an argument to prove your conclusion by twisting, ignoring, and rejecting facts, evidence, and reason.

In 1958, Rev. John A. McHugh, OP. and Rev. Charles J. Callan, OP. explain in their Moral Theology study [3] how non-infallible teachings are to be regarded by the faithful and why.           

760.    Many tenets of the Church, indeed, have not the prerogative of infallibility–for example, decrees of the Popes not given ex cathedra, decisions of Congregations made with Papal approval, teachings of Bishops to particular members of the Church, doctrines commonly held by Catholics as theological truths or certain conclusions. These decrees, decisions, etc., receive not the assent of Catholic faith, but what is called religious assent, which includes two things, viz., external and internal assent. 

(a) External assent should be given such teachings–that is, the homage of respectful silence due to public authority. This does not forbid the submission of difficulties to the teaching authority, or the scientific examination of objections that seem very strong. 

(b) Internal assent should be given such teaching–that is, the submission of the judgment of the individual to the judgment of the teacher who has the authority from Christ and assistance from the Holy Spirit. This internal assent differs, however, from the assent of faith, inasmuch as it excludes fear of error, but not of the possibility of error, and it may later on be suspended, called into doubt, or even revoked. Pope Pius X in his Motu proprio, “Praestantiascripturae Sacrae” (Nov. 18, 1907), indicated the binding force of the decrees both of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of all doctrinal decrees: All are bound in conscience to submit to the decisions of the Biblical Commission which have been given in the past and which shall be given in the future, in the same way as to the decrees which appertain to doctrine, issued by the Sacred Congregations and approved by the Supreme Pontiff; nor can they escape the stigma both of disobedience and temerity, nor be free from grave guilt as often as they impugn their decisions either in word or writing; and this over and above the scandal which they give and the sins of which they may be the cause before God by making other statements on these matters which are very frequently both rash and false. (Reaffirmed by the Biblical Commission on Feb. 27, 1934.)

761. The objects, therefore, which formally or reductively pertain to the virtue of faith, are as follows:

(a) Divine faith has for its object all the truths revealed by God as contained in the Canonical scriptures approved by the Church, and in the teachings received by the Apostles from Christ or the Holy Spirit and handed down to the Church as Tradition. Private revelations in exceptional cases may also be the object of divine faith. 

(b) Catholic faith has for its object all the truths formally revealed in scripture and Tradition that have been defined as such by the Church. The definitions of the Church are either solemn (e.g., those given in the Creeds, ex cathedra definitions of the Popes, decisions of Ecumenical Councils) or ordinary (e.g., those contained in the universal preaching, practice or belief of the Church, encyclical letters [see Humani Generis, n.20]). Equivalent to definitions are the condemnations of error opposed to revealed truths. 

(c) According to some theologians ecclesiastical faith has for its object all infallible decisions of the Church about matters not revealed, but connected with revelation, or necessary for the exercise of the teaching office of the Church. Such are: (i) definitions, that is, definitive declarations of theological conclusions or of dogmatic facts, disciplinary laws made for the entire Church, canonization of the saints, solemn approbation of religious Orders, express or special recognition of Doctors of the Church, declaration of the relation of private revelations to the public revelation; and (ii) censures, that is, condemnations of teachings, on account of falsity, as heretical, near to heresy, savoring of heresy, erroneous, rash, etc.; on account of their expression, as equivocal, ambiguous, presumptuous, captious, suspected, ill-sounding, offensive to pious ears, etc.; on account of their tendency, as scandalous, schismatical, seditious, unsafe, etc. Examples: The definitions concerning the sense of the book Augustinus, the suitability of the terms “consubstantial” and “transubstantiation,” the agreement of the Vulgate with the original scriptures, the lawfulness of the insertion of the Filioque.

(d) Religious assent has for its object all doctrinal pronouncements of the Church that are not infallible, but are yet official and authoritative. Examples are ordinary instructions and condemnations given by Pontifical Congregations and Commissions. The Syllabus of Modern Errors issued by Pius IX was most likely not an infallible or definitive document, although many of the errors it rejects are contrary to dogma, and hence, even apart from the Syllabus, they are to be rejected as opposed to Catholic faith. Likewise, many of its tenets are drawn from encyclical letters. Papal allocutions, radio addresses, and the doctrinal parts of Apostolic Constitutions, in themselves, are in this class. 

(e) Respect is due to the judgment of the Church even in non-doctrinal matters and where no obligation is imposed by her, on account of her position and the careful examination given before decision. Example: It would be disrespectful to reject without good reason a pious belief which the Church after mature deliberation has permitted to be held.   


Pope Benedict XIV


Canonization is a decree and definition by the Catholic Church that a certain individual has died heroically in a state of grace to be venerated by the faithful as a saint with a place on the liturgical calendar as a holy day.

The formula for canonization, which has been in use since the eleventh century, declares:
“In honor of . . . we decree and define that Blessed N. is a Saint, and we inscribe his name in the catalogue of saints, and order that his memory be devoutly and piously celebrated yearly on the . . . day of . . . his feast.”
Feast days or Holy Days are binding on the whole Church. It’s part of the sacred liturgy of the Church. The saint of a particular feast day is recognized by name in the liturgy making him part of the prayers of the sacred liturgy.
It’s not difficult to find reputed saints and theologians teaching that canonizations are infallible.
Sts. Thomas Aquinas, Antoninus, Bellarmine, and Alphonsus Liquori explained how and why canonizations are infallible. [1]
Cardinal Manning declared after the First Vatican Council how the council included in its definition canonization. [2]
NovusOrdoWatch cites Fr. Joachim Salaverri on how canonizations are infallible. [3]
In the 1700’s, Pope Benedict XIV taught as a cardinal, “If anyone dared to assert that the Pontiff had erred in this or that canonization, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious, a giver of scandal to the whole Church, an insulter of the saints, a favorer of those heretics who deny the Church’s authority in canonizing saints, savoring of heresy by giving unbelievers an occasion to mock the faithful, the assertor of an erroneous opinion and liable to very grave penalties” [4]
Pope Benedict XIV quotes over 60 canonists and theologians on how and why canonizations are infallible. He notes that only a select few of ancient authors professed the contrary.
If canonizations are not infallible then Pope Pius XI couldn’t declare in 1925, Quas Primas, (22) : 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.
Pope Pius XII declared in 1956, Haurietis Aquas: It is clear that the faithful must seek from Scripture, tradition and the sacred liturgy as from a deep untainted source.
A liturgy that recognizes a canonized saint is untainted. Therefore, canonizations must be infallible for the possibility of error is absent.
In addition to the canonization of saints is the veneration of relics of the saints.
The Council of Trent decreed in Session XXV: “the holy bodies of holy martyrs and of others now living with Christ—which bodies were the living members of Christ and ‘the temple of the Holy Ghost’ (1 Corinthians 6:19) and which are by Him to be raised to eternal life and to be glorified are to be venerated by the faithful, for through these [bodies] many benefits are bestowed by God on men, so that they who affirm that veneration and honor are not due to the relics of the saints, or that these and other sacred monuments are uselessly honored by the faithful, and that the places dedicated to the memories of the saints are in vain visited with the view of obtaining their aid, are wholly to be condemned, as the Church has already long since condemned, and also now condemns them.”
Relics, particularly of martyrs, are placed in altar stones as part of the consecrated altar of churches named for the particular saint of whose relic is used. The churches themselves are named after canonized saints.
The decree by the Council of Trent implies that canonizations are infallible.
The same council also declared in Session XXII, Can. 7: If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church uses in the celebration of Masses, are incentives to impiety rather than the services of piety: let him be anathema [cf. n. 943]. (D. 954.)
None of the above teachings of popes and council make sense if canonizations are not infallible. Having infallible implications of fallible decrees is like the Protestant position of having a fallible canon of Scripture of infallible books. You can’t have your fallible decree with infallible conclusions.
If it’s not infallible that St. Ignatius of Loyola is a saint, then having churches built in his name, veneration of his relics, liturgical prayers that ask, “O God, Who, to spread abroad the greater glory of Thy name, didst, through blessed Ignatius, strengthen the Church militant with a new reinforcement, grant that we, who are fighting on earth by his help and after his example, may deserve to be crowned with him in heaven. Through our Lord”, and our profession of Faith that he’s in heaven is all based on a possible error. St. Ignatius is just one example. How many possible non-saints do we have with their churches, relics, and liturgical prayers all around the world? To suggest the possibility is insanity!
To say canonizations are not infallible is an outright attack on the Catholic Faith because the only reason why anyone today would make such a claim is because he doesn’t like the individual or individuals canonized.
Pseudo-traditionalists know how bad it is that John Paul II and Paul VI have been canonized, but they would rather take down all the Church holds sacred in the profession of faith concerning the communion of saints than to admit that sedevacantism is true.
[2] “In a word, the whole magisterium or doctrinal authority of the Pontiff as the supreme Doctor of all Christians, is included in this definition [at Vatican I] of his infallibility. And also all legislative or judicial acts, so far as they are inseparably connected with his doctrinal authority; as for instance, all judgments, sentences, and decisions, which contain the motives of such acts as derived from faith and morals. Under this will come the laws of discipline, canonization of the saints, approbation of Religious Orders, of devotions, and the like; all of which intrinsically contain the truths and principles of faith, morals and piety. The definition, then, does not limit the infallibility of the Pontiff to his supreme acts ex cathedra in faith and morals, but extends his infallibility to all acts in the fullest exercise of his supreme magisterium or doctrinal authority.” (Cardinal Manning, The Vatican Council and its Definitions, New York: D.J. Sadlier, 1887, pp. 95-96.)
[3] Jesuit theologian Fr. Joachim Salaverri explains the Church’s teaching on the infallibility of canonizations as follows:
…the end of the infallible Magisterium demands those things that are necessary in order to direct the faithful without error to salvation through the correct worship [=veneration] and imitation of the examples of Christian virtues. But for such a purpose infallibility concerning decrees on the Canonization of Saints is necessary.
[This] is certain, because by the solemn decrees of the Canonization of Saints the Church not only tolerates and permits, but also commends and instructs the whole flock of the faithful that certain definite Saints whom it canonizes are to be honored, and it proposes them as examples of virtue who are worthy of imitation. But the mere possibility of error in such a solemn declaration would take away all confidence from the faithful and fundamentally would destroy the whole cult of the Saints; because [then] it could happen that the Church would solemnly propose to all and mandate that condemned and evil men perpetually should be honored. Therefore, in order to direct the faithful without error to salvation through correct worship and imitation of the examples of Christian virtues, infallibility is necessary concerning the solemn decrees of the Canonization of Saints.
(Fr. Joachim Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa IB: On the Church of Christ, trans. by Fr. Kenneth Baker [original Latin published by BAC, 1955; English published by Keep the Faith, 2015], n. 724; underlining added; italics removed.)
This is the Catholic teaching, to deny which would be “temerarious, bringing scandal to the whole Church, … smacking of heresy … affirming an erroneous proposition”, in the words of Pope Benedict XIV (see Salaverri, n. 726; italics removed).
[4] Pope Benedict XIV: De Canonisatione Sanctorum L.1 c.43 n.3. quoted by Tanquerey, de Lugo, Salaverri, and others to defend the infallibility of canonizations.


On Oct. 17, 2018, The Remnant Newspaper Blog posted John Salza’s, “Has Pope Francis Lost His Office for Heresy?” [1] If it looked familiar, it’s because it’s a rehash of Salza’s June 9, 2017 article, “Note to Sedevacantists: Heresy Does Not Automatically Sever One from the Church,” which I thoroughly refuted here.

Michael Matt asks in the comment section why sedevacantists attack John Salza if we all agree that Francis is the enemy. To answer Mr. Matt, a reply must be posted elsewhere, since the Remnant Newspaper will censor any sound argument against Salza.

There are two points concerning Matt’s question and Salza’s article, which is a consistent theme in their material concerning papal heresy/loss of office.

The first is how Salza blasphemes Christ and the Catholic Church.

He writes that a Catholic pope, “departs from his predecessors by attacking basic Catholic moral teaching (e.g., indissolubility of marriage; exclusion of adulterers from Holy Communion, etc.).” and “In light of Francis’ unprecedented attacks on Church doctrine and practice, some traditional Catholics, in seeking a solution to this papal crisis, are unfortunately being tempted to embrace the theology of the Sedevacantists.”

He concludes, “Indeed, how a true Pope could promote these evils.” Salza qualified those evils to be “clerical heresy and sodomy disfiguring the Church in an unthinkable way.” 

This is total heresy and blasphemy.  True popes don’t attack Church doctrine and practices and promote clerical heresy and sodomy. A true pope is the rock of truth as Christ and Vatican I declared. It’s upon this truth that sedevacantism (Catholicism) rests. The Gates of hell are not the popes as Salza most emphatically implies they are. See here and here. 

The second point is how Salza picks and chooses which popes of whose authority he will and won’t accept. He tells us how to interpret and accept Pope Pius XII’s Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. However, Salza doesn’t think the Vatican 2 papal teachings at Vatican 2 or their encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, canonizations, or general laws are to be accepted, at least, not all of them.

Salza quotes St. Robert Bellarmine, Revs. Laymann, Billuart, and Sylvester Berry as trusted authorities but utterly rejects as authoritative the teachings of his popes “St.” John XXIII, “St.” Paul VI, and “St.” John Paul II. 

Salza and the Remnant crew have no foundation of authority.

Lastly, Salza does get something right for a change. He writes that popes who openly leave the church would cease to be popes. What Salza gets wrong is what “openly leaves the church” means. He quotes St. Bellarmine on how Novation openly left the Church, but omits Bellarmine’s teaching on Nestorius openly leaving the Church. As I’ve repeated in past articles, St. Bellarmine writes in De Romano Pontifice:

And in a letter to the clergy of Constantinople, Pope St. Celestine I says: The authority of Our Apostolic See has determined that the bishop, cleric, or simple Christian who had been deposed or excommunicated by Nestorius or his followers, after the latter began to preach heresy shall not be considered deposed or excommunicated. For he who had defected from the faith with such preachings, cannot depose or remove anyone whatsoever.

Defecting from the faith is openly leaving the Church. It happens by preaching heresy! The canonists all say this specifically!

Salza quotes Rev. Sylvester Berry on how innocently professing heresy, while wanting to be united to the Catholic Church doesn’t make one a heretic. Salza then applies Berry’s teaching to Francis as if Francis really wants to be Catholic and united to the Catholic Church, therefore, he’s not truly a heretic. The problem is that Salza has already admitted several times that Francis is attacking the Catholic Faith. There’s no reason to believe that Francis wants to be united to the real Catholic Church. He wants his false heretical religion to be called the Catholic Church. The conciliar popes are heretics because they KNOW they are going against the Catholic Faith.

Salza’s argument runs contrary to St. Bellarmine and Pope St. Celestine I’s explanation of Nestorius, who they said “defected from the faith with such preachings [heresy].”

“Defection of Faith” is how anyone including the pope tacitly resigns his office which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration. Can. 188.4 

The canonists of the 1917 code have explicitly refuted Salza’s position with canon 188.4 which utterly demolishes his entire argument. That’s why the Remnant completely ignores Can. 188.4 in a serious discussion on the issue. See here for more on Can. 188.4



[1] https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/4145-has-pope-francis-lost-his-office-for-heresy


Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini


Giovanni Battista Montini sealed the fate for the Church in Rome. He took the name of Paul VI. As his predecessor, he had a very suspicious election.

He, like his predecessor John XXIII, was a modernist. Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies (Pope St. Pius X), which would make him a modernist, the synthesis of all heretics.

-His mother was a convert from Judaism. Her funeral monument has Masonic symbols engraved all over it. They are so blatant, that a wall was built in front of it to hide them. The Montini family is listed in the Golden Book of Noble Italian Heritage (1962-1964, p. 994): “A branch of the… noble family from Brescia… wherefrom their noble blazon comes and which avows as its sure trunk and founder, a Bartholomew (Bartolino) de Benedictis, said Montini was of Hebrew origin.” (Fr. Joaquin Saenz Y Arriaga, The New Montinian Church, p. 391. Jesuit Father Joaquin Saenz Y Arriaga was a doctor of Theology, Church History, and Canon Law. He was one of the first sedevacantists recognizing it in the mid to late 1960’s, perhaps earlier.)

-There is no record of Baptism for Giovanni Montini (Paul VI).

-Was known in his seminary days as a notorious homosexual.

-In 1944, he worked with the Soviets through a childhood friend Togliatti, who was head of the communist Party in Italy. The Archbishop Primate of the Protestant Church in Sweden, who was state official, informed Pope Pius XII of the situation. It came as shock to Pius XII who exiled Montini to Milan without the traditional red hat. He was so angry that he refused the cardinal’s beretta from Pius XII. Investigations into Montini’s Soviet affair resulted in finding that his private secretary, the Jesuit Tondi, was a KGB agent who was once the Professor of Atheism at the University of Marxism-Leninism. Tondi gave the Soviets the names of all the clergy sent to Russia who were immediately caught and executed. Tondi was imprisoned and later married his mistress, the militant communist Carmen Zanti in a civil service. After Montini’s election to the papacy, Tondi returned to Rome to work in the Vatican’s Civil Service as a cover for his KGB activities. Paul VI was greeted on the balcony after his “election” with cries of “il Papa Montinovsky.”

-Paul VI was a communist sympathizer. The Pact of Metz held in 1962, guaranteed that the Vatican would not condemn communism at the Second Vatican Council. However, earlier, in 1942, talks already were in the works with communist Moscow. “It was in that year, that Vatican Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, who himself later succeeded to the Papacy as Paul VI, talked directly with Joseph Stalin’s representative. Those talks were aimed at dimming Pius XII’s constant fulminations against the Soviet dictator and Marxism. Stato himself had been privy to those talks. He had also been privy to the conversations between Montini and the Italian Communist Party leader, Palmiro Togliatti, in 1944… “Stato offered to supply reports from the Allied Office of Strategic Services about the matter, beginning, as he recalled, with OSS Report JR-1022 of August 28, 1944.” (Malachi Martin, The Jesuits – The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987; pp. 91-92)

-Mark Winckler, interpreter working at the Vatican, tells of a meeting he had with Cardinal Pignedoli (then Msgr.) Pignedoli told him in 1944 that the failed Freemasonic plan to have Cardinal Rampolla elected pope in 1903 would be corrected when they elect Montini.  (The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, updated and revised, 2006, Rama P. Coomaraswamy  p. 145)

-Montini stated, “Our times, can they also not have an Epiphany which corresponds to its spirit, to its capacities? The marvelous scientific evolution of our days, can it not become this star, this sign that thrusts modern humanity towards a new quest for God, towards a new discovery of Christ?” (Milan, 1956, Le Pape de  l’Epiphanie)

-Montini stated, “Modern man, will he not gradually come to the point where he will discover, as a result of scientific progress, the laws and hidden realities behind the mute face of matter and give ear to the marvelous voice of the spirit that vibrates in it? Will this not be the religion of our day? Einstein himself glimpsed this vision of a universal religion produced spontaneously [i.e., without revelation]. Is this not perhaps today my own religion?” (Conference in Turin, Mar. 27, 1960)

-Montini stated, “We…Catholics…must…first of all, love the world…our times…our civilization…our technical achievements…and above all…love the world.” (Bodart’s La biologie et l’avenir de l’homme)

“At his coronation as Pope Paul VI, several American newspapers accused him of being a member of the Lodge B’nai B’rith – a photograph served as proof.” (The Hidden, But Victorious Way Of The Free-Masonry, Rev. Fr. Henri Mouraux)

-30 Days magazine reported the Chair of Peter for Paul VI was engineered by a large group of Masonic and Modernist cardinals meeting in the home of a leading freemason named Umberto Ortolani just prior to the conclave. (November 3, 1993)

– “The sense of universalism that is rampant in Rome these days is very close to our purpose for existence. Thus we are unable to ignore the Second Vatican Council and its consequences… With all our hearts we support the Revolution of John XXIII… This courageous concept of the Freedom of Thought that lies at the core of our Freemasonic lodges, has spread in a truly magnificent manner right under the Dome of St. Peter’s.” (L’oecumenisme vu par un Franc Macon de Tradition, Yves Marsaudon, 1964, Paris)

-Yves Marsaudon wrote, “Born in our Masonic Lodges, freedom of expression has now spread beautifully over the Dome of St. Peter’s… This is the Revolution of Paul VI. It is clear that Paul VI, not content merely to follow the policy of his predecessor, does in fact intend to go much further…” (Freemasonry and Vatican Two, Y.L. Dupont, Britons: London, 1968)

-Carlos Vazquez Rangel, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Masons of Mexico, in a 1993 interview with the political weekly Processo stated: “On the same day, in Paris the profane Angelo Roncalli and the profane Giovanni Montini were initiated into the august mysteries of the Brotherhood. Thus it was that much that was achieved at the Council was based on Masonic principles.”

-Paul VI promised to pray for the success of Mrs. Hollister and her “Temple of Understanding” (which Cardinal Bagnozzi told him was “an occult enterprise of the Illuminati whose aim is the founding of ‘the World Religion of Human Brotherhood’).

-The Masonic plans were, of course, to infiltrate the Church until one of their own became pope, knowing full well that obedience will be given to him. Thus, the Masonic doctrines will be held as Catholic Orthodoxy. Paul VI stated, “All men must obey him [the pope] in whatever he orders if they wish to be associated with the new economy of the Gospel.” (Allocution, June 29, 1970)

-Paul VI, Message, Sept. 8, 1977: “Stress is legitimately laid nowadays on the necessity of constructing a new world order…” (L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 22, 1977, p. 11)

-Following Vatican II, Paul VI changed all seven of the sacraments.

-Paul VI approved the help of six Protestants to concoct the ‘novus ordo missae’ (the new mass).

Exorcist Fr. Malachi Martin reported that on June 29, 1963, the night before Paul VI’s coronation, a black mass was celebrated and Satan was enthroned in the Vatican! (Windswept House) Fr. Malachi has confirmed several times in interviews that this is a fact from his book, and has believed the Vatican has been possessed by Satan ever since.

-Paul VI, Address, July 9, 1969: “She [the Church] has also affirmed, during Her long history, at the cost of oppression and persecution, freedom for everyone to profess his own religion. No one, She says, is to be restrained from acting, no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs… As we said, the Council demanded a true and public religious freedom…” (L’Osservatore Romano, July 17, 1969, p. 1)

-Paul VI, Letter, July 25, 1975: “…the Holy See rejoices to see specifically emphasized the right of religious liberty.” (L’Osservatore Romano, Aug. 14, 1975, p. 3)

These statements stem from Dignitatis Humanae (Declaration of religious freedom) of Vatican 2. However, the Council of Vienne declared by implication that man does not have the right of religious freedom expressed publicly.

-Paul VI, Telegram after the election of a new Patriarch of Constantinople, July, 1972: “At the moment when you assume a heavy charge in the service of the Church of Christ…” (L’Osservatore Romano, July 27, 1972, p. 12)

Notice that Paul VI is recognizing a schismatic patriarch and church as part of the Church of Christ.

-Paul VI, Joint Declaration with the [schismatic/heretic] Shenouda III, May 10, 1973: “Paul VI, Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church, and Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark… In the name of this charity, we reject all forms of proselytism… Let it cease, where it may exist…” (L’Osservatore Romano, May 24, 1973, p. 6)

-Paul VI, Address, April 28, 1977: “…relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion… these words of hope, ‘The Anglican Communion united not absorbed,’ are no longer a mere dream.” (L’Osservatore Romano, May 5, 1977, p. 1)

All these statements stem from the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of Vatican 2 that implies that the Church of Christ exists outside the Catholic Church, as Paul VI actually states about the Church of Constantinople.

-Paul VI invited Anglicans to use Catholic altars in the Vatican for their services (a sacrilegious act), and place his papal ring on the Anglican “archbishop” and invited him to bless the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.  (The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, updated and revised, 2006, Rama P. Coomaraswamy  p. 152)

-For the sake of ecumenism he did not hesitate to even desecrate the Sacred Body of Our Lord, as for example when he personally authorized giving communion to Barbara Olson, a Presbyterian, at her Nuptial Mass (Sept. 21, 1966) without her abjuring her Presbyterian views or her going to Confession.. Not an isolated act by any means, for he also gave Communion under the same circumstances to the Lutherans (Forts dans la foi, No. 47). As the Abbe of Nantes said, “No one in the world, bishop or cardinal, Angel or even the Pope himself, has any right whatever to give the Sacrament of the Living to those who are spiritually dead.” (Liber Accusationis) quoted in (The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, updated and revised, 2006, Rama P. Coomaraswamy  p. 152)

-He joined Cardinal Willebrands in “the common prayer of the World Council of Churches” (Doc. Cath. Jan 17, 1971)

-Paul VI, Message to United Nations, May 24, 1978: “…we are aware that the path which must lead to the coming of a new international order… cannot in any case be as short as we would like it to be… Disarmament, a new world order and development are three obligations that are inseparably bound together…” (L’Osservatore Romano, June 15, 1978, p. 3)

-On November 13, 1964, Paul VI gave away the triple-crowned papal tiara. Paul VI had the tiara auctioned at the New York World’s Fair. (Fr. Joaquin Saenz Y Arriaga, The New Montinian Church, pp. 394-395)

The Papal Tiara is a sign of a true Pope’s authority – the three crowns representing the dogmatic, liturgical and disciplinary authority of a pope. In giving it away, Paul VI was symbolically giving away the authority of the Papacy. “Cardinal” Ottaviani is by the side of Paul VI as he does this atrocious deed.

-Paul VI gave his Shepherd’s Crook and Fisherman’s Ring to U Thant, head of the UN, who sold them to a Jewish businessman in the Midwest. (The Voice, Dec. 9, 1972 and documented in Hubert Monteilhet, Papa Paul VI – L’Amen-Dada)

-Paul VI abolished the oath against Modernism, at a time when Modernism was everywhere, and why not, for the new religion of Rome, it’s heretical to be against modernism.

-On Nov. 21, 1970, Paul VI also excluded all cardinals over 80 years of age from participating in papal elections. (L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 3, 1970, p. 10)

This fixes the next conclave.

-Paul VI gave all the bishops a new gold ring in place of the traditional ones as a sign of the new church. He asked the bishops not to use their shepherd’s crooks.

-Paul VI abolished the rite of Tonsure, all four Minor Orders, and the rank of Subdiaconate. (The Reign of Mary, Vol. XXVI, No. 81, p. 17)

– “Paul VI gave back to the Muslims the Standard of Lepanto. The history of the flag was venerable. It was taken from a Turkish admiral during a great naval battle in 1571. While Pope St. Pius V fasted and prayed the Rosary, an out-numbered Christian fleet defeated a much larger Moslem navy, thus saving Christendom from the infidel. In honor of the miraculous victory, Pius V instituted the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary to commemorate her intercession. In one dramatic act, Paul VI renounced not only a remarkable Christian victory, but the prayers and sacrifices of a great pope and saint.” (Mark Fellows, Fatima in Twilight, Niagara Falls, NY: Marmion Publications, 2003, p. 193)

-Under Paul VI, the Holy Office was reformed: its primary function now was research, not defending the Catholic Faith. (Mark Fellows, Fatima in Twilight, p. 193)

-According to those who watched film of Paul VI’s visit to Fatima, he did not pray one Hail Mary.  (Mark Fellows, Fatima in Twilight, p. 206)

-In 1969, Paul VI removed forty saints from the official liturgical calendar. (Nino Lo Bello, The Incredible Book of Vatican Facts and Papal Curiosities, Ligouri, MO: Liguori Pub., 1998, p. 195)

-Paul VI removed solemn exorcisms from the baptismal rite. In the place of the solemn exorcisms, he substituted an optional prayer that makes only a passing reference to fighting the Devil. (The Reign of Mary, Vol. XXVIII, No. 90, p. 8)

-Paul VI granted more than 32,000 requests from priests to return to lay status. (Malachi Martin)

-Paul VI’s disastrous influence was visible immediately. For example, in Holland not a single candidate applied for admission to the priesthood in 1970, and within 12 months every seminary there was closed.  (Piers Compton, The Broken Cross, Cranbrook, Western Australia: Veritas Pub. Co. Ptd Ltd, 1984, p. 138)

-Paul VI, Speech to Lombard Seminary, Dec. 7, 1968: “The Church finds herself in an hour of disquiet, of self-criticism, one might say even of self-destruction… The Church is wounding herself.” (L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 19, 1968, p. 3)

-Paul VI, General Audience, Oct. 1, 1969: “On the other hand, She [the Church] is also trying to adapt herself and assimilate herself to the world’s ways; She is taking off her distinctive sacral garment, for She wants to feel more human and earthly. “She is tending to let herself be absorbed by the social and temporal milieu. She has almost been seized by human respect at the thought that She is different in some way and obliged to have a style of thought and life which is not that of the world. She is undergoing the world’s changes and degradations with conformist, almost avantegarde zeal.” (L’Osservatore Romano, Oct. 9, 1969, p. 1)

-Paul VI, Homily, June 29, 1972: “Satan’s smoke has made its way into the Temple of God through some crack…” (L’Osservatore Romano, July. 13, 1972, p. 6)

Pretty clever statements to keep the faithful aloof, as Paul VI was one opening up the crack created by John XXIII, to let the smoke of Satan in. Apocalypse 9:1-3: “And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace…”

-Jean Guitton, an intimate friend of Paul VI, related what Paul VI said at the final session of Vatican II: “It was the final session of the Council,” Guitton wrote, “the most essential, in which Paul VI was to bestow on all humanity the teachings of the Council. He announced this to me on that day with these words, ‘I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse.’” (Jean Guitton, “Nel segno dei Dodici,” interview by Maurizio Blondet, Avvenire, Oct. 11, 1992)

-Paul VI said, “All honour to Man, king of the earth and now prince of the heavens!” (Documentation Catholique’ no.1580)

“Paul went so far once as to state that a pope – to be truly pope – must be acknowledged by the whole human race. One century before this, a French philosopher named Lamennais had been condemned as a heretic for saying just that. And every one of Paul’s predecessors, including Roncalli, would have unhesitatingly condemned Paul VI for saying so…Paul’s new view meant recognizing the autonomy of the individual person and therefore accommodating all possible views. It meant that anyone had a right to be wrong. It meant the Catholic Church was no longer “the one true church of Christ.” It meant embracing the concept of religious pluralism, and abstention from all “missionary activity.” It meant that the people would decide for themselves what to believe and how to behave. Meanwhile, the church was there to minister to their social and physical needs…Paul consented, further, to abandon the age-old Catholic belief that the Mass was a sacrifice. It was, he propounded in an official document, a sacred memorial meal presided over by a “priest”; and only threats by the powerful cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, saved Paul from proclaiming what would have been this formal heresy. …He gave moral support to terrorists in Spain and left-wing parties in Latin America. He allowed himself and his office to be used by the Communist government of North Vietnam in order to make the Tet offensive of 1968 possible. He favored Castro’s Cuba, and gave free rein to Marxist bishops and priests and nuns in his church of the Americas and Europe and Africa. But Paul never uttered one syllable to protest the crucifixion of Lithuanian Catholics by the Soviets, the persecution of all believers in Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the tortured prisoners of Castro’s Cuba; no more than he did about the planned destruction of the faith he was elected to protect and spread.” (Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church, Putnam: N.Y. 1981, p. 275) Fr Malachi said in interviews that Paul VI was not an intellectual, and was a weak man.

Interestingly, Humanae Vitae of Paul VI is the most noted document of his papacy. In it, he rejects artificial birth control, yet Pope Pius XI already solemnly condemned it in Casti Cannubi as did Pope Pius XII. Never do we hear how two popes had already solemnly condemned artificial birth control. Rather, all we hear is how Humanae Vitae proves Paul VI’s great orthodoxy as pope.

The Rev. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., M.A., S.T.D., a Novus Ordo priest of the Society of the Oblates of Wisdom, is a retired Associate Professor of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, P.R. He’s an author of several books and contributor to magazines such as the Latin Mass Magazine and This Rock of Catholic Answers.

On Sept. 15, I received an open email from a (sedevacantist) friend on the death penalty change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The email was sent to many influential members of the Vatican 2 sect such as: Brian Harrison, Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Karl Keating; Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, E. Michael Jones, Mark Brumley, Dave Armstrong, Robert Sungenis; Professor Mike Sirilla, MItchell Pacwa, Al Kresta, and members of the Diocese of Lexington, KY such as Bishop Stowe and several of his priests.

The (sede) friend erroneously called the catechism change the universal and ordinary magisterium bound to the assent of faith by the church.

Rev. Brian Harrison responded the next day with:

This is theologically untenable, Mr. [name withheld].  Putting a doctrinal assertion into the Catechism does not upgrade it to the status of “universal ordinary magisterium” that requires from all Catholics “the intellectual assent of faith”. (That’s something due only to infallible teachings.)

According to then-Cardinal Ratzinger, chief architect of the CCC, statements in the Catechism have no more or less doctrinal authority than they had previously:  in this case, that’s the authority  of one single papal speech (addressed to a limited audience, not the universal Church) in October 2017.  Papal speeches, as such, have quite low magisterial authority, and none at all if they contradict 2,000 years of previous teaching from the ordinary and universal magisterium.  In the event of such contradiction, this indisputably non-infallible papal assertion about capital punishment should be considered a papal error, not as authentic magisterium requiring the “religious assent of mind and will” of Catholics.  “Non-infallble” means by definition that it’s not guaranteed to be true. Therefore, logically, it could be false.

Scroll down to see the relevant excerpt from my recent LifeSiteNews posting on this subject. The full text can be accessed at:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/can-pope-francis-death-penalty-teaching-be-harmonized -with-scripture-and-tr. (It was republished in The Wanderer, August 30, 2018, p. 7B.)

Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

Not a few commentators have opined that adding a citation from Pope Francis’ 2017 speech to the Catechism gives the cited statement greater magisterial weight than it had previously. But according to the original chief architect of the CCC, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, this is not the case. In his little book Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), Ratzinger, who was then Prefect of the CDF, considered the question of the CCC’s doctrinal authority and pointed out that, as an essentially pastoral document � a compendium of already-existing Catholic doctrine  �  it does not have  the inherent authority to hand down new magisterial judgments: �The individual doctrines which the Catechism presents receive no other weight than that which they already possess� (p. 26).

In that case, the present contentious amendment to the Catechism still has no more authority than that of the 2017 papal allocution which it cites as its one and only magisterial source. And allocutions are not high up in the �pecking order� of papal interventions; they fall well below the level of Encyclical Letters and Apostolic Exhortations, Epistles and Constitutions in which the popes express their major doctrinal judgments. If, as seems very likely, Pope Francis means to teach in the new version of CCC #2267 that capital punishment is �in itself contrary to the Gospel,� then with all due respect, Catholics cannot be expected to give their assent to a teaching so flagrantly contrary to the clear teaching of Sacred Scripture as interpreted  by all previous popes and their approved catechisms.

On the 18th, I responded to Harrison and the whole group with the following:

Dear Rev. Harrison,

You are right, of course, that the catechism is not universal ordinary magisterium. However, that doesn’t mean a Catholic catechism can provide, “a teaching so flagrantly contrary to the clear teaching of Sacred Scripture as interpreted  by all previous popes and their approved catechisms” because such a teaching would be heretical!

The Catholic Church can’t promulgate heresy in any form, whether by law, letter, or catechism. If it could it would be no different from any other Protestant religion. A religion that promulgates heresy is a false religion. Period!<

Even St. Robert Bellarmine taught in De Laicis that the unlawfulness of capital punishment was a “chief heretical belief” of the Anabaptists.

That being said, the new catechism teaching implies:

  1. The Church in the past was wrong for thinking the dignity of the person is lost for serious crimes.
  2. The Church was wrong for thinking it was an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes.
  3. The Church was ignorant of the fact that the dignity is still present after serious crimes.
  4. The Church immorally attacked the inviolability and dignity of the person when such an attack is inadmissible because of the inviolability and dignity of the person.

I’ve read the numerous so-called experts explain that Francis was not saying the death penalty is intrinsically evil. However, the footnote points to Francis’ address in 2017 where he stated that the death penalty is “contrary to the Gospel” and “is an inhuman measure.” That means the death penalty is intrinsically evil according to “Pope” Francis, not to mention, the change blasphemes the Catholic Church by implication.

That Catholic Church can’t promulgate what Francis teaches. It’s that simple!

Steven Speray

Less than an hour later, Harrison replied:

The sedevacantist Mr. Speray says, “The Catholic Church can’t promulgate heresy in any form, whether by law, letter, or catechism”.

In other words, he is saying all papal letters and papally approved catechisms are infallible in the sense of enjoying an absolute guarantee of freedom from heresy.

That is not, and never has been, Catholic teaching. There is (at least, thus far in church history and the development of doctrine up till now) no absolute doctrinal guarantee that any individual statement of the Church’s teaching office other than an ex cathedra definition of a pope, or a similar definition of an ecumenical council, will not be heretical.

This is my last contribution to this exchange.

Fr. Harrison

An hour and a half later, I submitted my final reply:

You say the Catholic Church can be heretical.

Thank you for proving that you’re not Catholic, Mr. Harrison, because that is a heresy!

I did not imply that papal letters and catechisms are infallible. When infallibility is not applied, that doesn’t mean such Church teachings can be contrary to dogmas proposed by the same Church. That would make the Catholic Church contradictory. People who teach heresy are heretics and religions that teach heresy are heretical and false religions.

You won’t find the Catholic Church ever teaching heresy!

To address your last paragraph, the Catholic Church has numerous teachings on the issue. Take a look at Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. He just preached heresy and Pope St. Celestine I declared that Nestorius defected from the faith and Pope Pius VI called him an imposter. Yet, you claim the Pope and the Catholic Church could do what Nestorius did for he just preached where infallibility is absent.

Now I know why you’re in your heretical Vatican 2 religion where heresy abounds and blasphemy is commonplace from your pope downward.

Steven Speray

The most astounding aspect of this exchange is the fact that a theologian doesn’t understand infallibility and how and why it works. There’s this false understanding held by so many people, including some sedevacantists, that when infalliblity is absent, the pope and Catholic Church can promulgate heresy.