Archive for September, 2010

I’ll simply respond to each point made by Salza.


The Errors of Sedevacantism and Ecclesiastical Law

John Salza, J.D.

Sedevacantists use many different authorities and arguments to support their thesis that we have no Pope. However, their biggest “stick” is Pope Paul IV’s Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (1559).

Speray: Not at all. We don’t even need Cum Ex at all to support sedevacantism.

In this Apostolic Constitution, Pope Paul IV declared that if the Roman Pontiff, prior to his election to the papacy, was a heretic, then his election to the papacy is invalid. Pope Paul IV further declared that the invalidity of such an election happens automatically, without any need for further declaration. (Cum Ex does not address the situation of a legitimately elected Pope who falls into heresy after his election, which most Sedevacantists believe is almost if not entirely impossible; however, the analysis that follows also applies to that hypothetical).

Speray: Sedevacantists don’t believe that it is almost entirely impossible for a legitimately elected Pope to fall into heresy. 

Following are the pertinent parts of Cum Ex:

“In addition, if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:

“(i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;

“(iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way;

“(vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power.”

Pope Paul IV’s decree on the invalidity of the papal election of a heretic affirms the Divine Law that formal heresy results in self-expulsion from the Church, without the need for ecclesiastical censure, and that such self-expulsion disqualifies one from being Pope (one severed from the Body cannot rule the Body). This begs the obvious question: How does one determine whether a Cardinal was a heretic prior to his election to the papacy? How does one know whether self-expulsion for pre-election heresy has occurred?

Speray: The same way you determine whether anyone is a heretic. St. Bellarmine said De Romano Pontifice, II, 30: “… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic.”

Does Salza imply that it is impossible to tell? What’s the point of Pope Paul IV’s Bull if it is impossible?

While Sedevacantists answer the question by literally “taking the law into their own hands,” Catholics are required to look to the ecclesiastical law of the Church to resolve the issue.

Speray: Now Salza is ignoring Pope Paul’s teaching, “shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration.”

Pope Paul just gave us the law. It’s automatic with no further declaration, but Salza will proceed to tell us that a declaration is needed and disregard Cum Ex. Amazing!

Ecclesiastical law (canon law and other papal legislation) helps to understand the Divine Law in light of the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Because Sedevacantists believe Pope John Paul II was an “anti-pope,” they believe that the 1917 Code of Canon Law (and not the 1983 Code promulgated by John Paul II) is the operative law. Hence, we begin by looking to the 1917 Code.

First, the 1917 Code says that the Pope is the sole judge of the Cardinals. Canon 1557, par. 1-2 says: “It belongs entirely to the Roman Pontiff to judge Cardinal Fathers / Cardinal Priests.”

Moreover, canon 1558 says: “In the causes of which canon 1556, 1557 treat, the incompetence of any other judge is absolute.” In other words, only the Pope “and no one else “can judge a Cardinal in doctrinal or disciplinary matters. The Pope’s authority is absolute (est absoluta) in this regard. Unlike the Pope, who has no judge, the Cardinals do have a judge “and it is the Pope alone. Therefore, the Pope alone determines if a “Cardinal” prior to his elevation as Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy.”

Speray: If one were to take the canons to the literal interpretation of Salza, only the pope could judge whether a Cardinal is a heretic and since there is no pope to judge whether a Cardinal is a heretic for the election of a new pope, then it is impossible for any Cardinal to be deprived of the election on grounds of heresy.

Thus, Pope Paul’s Cum Ex is made to be ridiculous since it cannot apply.

The fact is, Salza’s last sentence is false because the previous canons cited have nothing whatsoever to do with heresy which automatically makes a Cardinal a non-Cardinal. If a Cardinal falls into heresy, he has already been judged by God and the average lay Catholic is obligated to recognize such a man as a non-Catholic, non-Cardinal heretic outside of the Catholic Church.

Let’s use Salza’s proposition and take it to its logical conclusion…

Pope Paul in Cum ex also states: “the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless.”

This can’t apply under Salza’s proposition and yet, if the rubric under his proposition is true that heretical Cardinals can only be judged and excommunicated by the previous dead pope, then such an elevation of an excommunicated Cardinal would mean that all the other Cardinals ignored the pope and rejected the pope’s decision which would automatically make them ALL SCHISMATICS AND OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH.

For Cum ex to apply, the average Catholic must be able to judge who is and is not inside the Church as St. Robert Bellarmine taught.

Salza continues… As applied to the Sedevacantist thesis, Sedevacantists claim that Pope John XXIII (Cardinal Roncalli) was invalidly elected because he was a heretic prior to claiming the papal throne. This is a reason why Sedevacantists don’t believe we have had a Pope since 1958.

Speray: Not exactly. John XXIII was a Mason, too. His election was rigged and even exposed beforehand. Salza was a Mason and doesn’t tell you this nor admits to it. What does this tell you? Is he a disinformation agent defending Masons as legitimate popes? It sure appears that way.

But in order for Cardinal Roncalli’s election to the papacy to have been invalidated for heresy (or any other transgression), Pope Pius XII would have had to judge that Cardinal Roncalli was a heretic, since Pius XII is sole judge of his Cardinals under canons 1557 and 1558 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law. But he did not. Therefore, Cardinal Roncalli’s election to the papacy cannot be invalidated using Cum Ex because Pope Pius XII did not judge him guilty of heresy, or any other crime which violates Divine Law.

Speray: What if a Cardinal became a heretic after the death of the Pope? Oh well, according to Salza, a heretic Cardinal can become a heretical Pope. So much for the Church’s teachings, but of course Salza doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s looking for excuses and in doing so, makes the Church out to be stupid.

Sedevacantists correctly maintain that Divine Law expels a formal heretic from the Church without further declaration. They point to canon 188, par. 4 of the 1917 Code which says that “all offices whatsoever fall vacant and without any declaration if the cleric publicly defects from the Catholic Faith.” However, the same Code of Canon Law also determines how we know a cleric has publicly defected from the Faith and lost his office as a result of the defection: The Church tells us.

Speray: Automatic…without any further declaration means automatic without any further declaration, but Salza tells us that the Church must tell us “declare” what is automatic anyway.

Salza can’t use very simple logic.

Anytime the Church declares someone a heretic, it doesn’t mean that heretic is now outside of the Church. The Church declares what is already true, making it public. It already happened automatically, and the Church makes it known to those who may not know. The Church is obligated to make known heretics when it can, but it doesn’t mean that only a Church declaration makes one a heretic and outside the Church since it is ALWAYS AUTOMATIC!

Thus, ecclesiastical law follows Our Lord’s directive: “tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Mt 18:17). While the person in Matthew 18 was publicly suspected of a transgression, Jesus tells us to treat him as excommunicated only after the Church judges the matter.

Speray: This verse doesn’t at all apply. Salza completely misrepresents Christ here. Disagreeing parties couldn’t call each other heretics outside of the Church on a subject undefined by the Church. Thus, material heresy calls for a different approach more apt to Christ words in Matt. 18.

There are other examples that could be used, but Matt. 18 doesn’t work at all to theologians who reject known Catholic teachings. The Catholic Church has already given the law and specifically Pope Paul IV when he said, “without any further declaration.”

Salza can’t have automatic anathemas or his position is out the window so he twists the words of Our Lord. How disgusting! Salza will continue with his Protestant type of interpretation in his next statement…

Attempting to ignore Jesus’ words and take matters into their own hands, Sedevacantists also refer to Titus 3:10-11 where St. Paul tells Titus to avoid a heretic after two admonitions because he is self-condemned. However, Titus 3 is consistent with Matthew 18. Titus has the authority to determine who is a heretic in his diocese because he is their bishop.

Speray: Wait a second, self-condemned means something that happens not because he was declared so by a bishop but because he is automatically by his own actions. Sure, a bishop can determine someone to be a heretic, but so can anybody else. If not, then Salza is condemning not only sedevacantists, but St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope Paul IV, and all the rest of the saints and popes who said what sedevacantists are saying.

He has God-given authority over his subjects. St. Paul is not giving every Catholic the authority to make a formal and binding determination of another Catholic’s orthodoxy. Titus 3 is an instruction from one apostle and bishop to another bishop concerning his ecclesial authority.

Speray: Yes, St. Paul is giving every Catholic the ability to know when a heretic is a heretic, since a heretic is self-condemned by his own actions. This is why all the popes and saints agree with sedevacantists. Even the laws of the Church state as much which Salza ignores.

Canon 192, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “A person may be unwillingly deprived of, or removed from, an office, either by operation of law or an act of the lawful superior.”

Canon 188.4, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “There are certain causes which effect the tacit (silent) resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are… (4) if he has publicly fallen away from the faith.”

Publicly fallen away can be determined…

Canon 2197.1, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “A Crime is public: (1) if it is already commonly known or the circumstances are such as to lead to the conclusion that it can and will easily become so…”

Canon 2200.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “When an external violation of the law has been committed, malice is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proven.”

Salza continues…

Similarly, Matthew 18 is an instruction from Our Lord to his future bishops concerning their authority. Both passages reveal that ecclesial authority (either the bishop of a diocese or the Church at large) must determine whether Divine Law has been violated. The case of a claimant to the papal throne would necessarily involve the jurisdiction of the Church at large (a “Matthew 18” case vis-à-vis a “Titus 3” case).

Speray: And I will repeat that Salza’s reasoning renders Pope Paul’s teaching ridiculous since it cannot apply.

As applied here, the Pope is the sole judge of whether the self-expulsion of a Cardinal contemplated by Cum Ex and canon 188.4 has occurred. This papal judgment is required even if the Pope does not affirm the self-expulsion with a public decree of excommunication (but, as we will see, canon law also requires declaratory sentences to be issued for the common good of the Church).

Speray: Declarations are required for the common good but such declarations are only declaring what already took place regardless whether there is such a declaration.

Said differently, with regard to the putative heresy of a Cardinal, ecclesiastical law requires the Pope (and no one else) to determine whether Divine Law has been violated (irrespective of whether the Pope issues a canonical censure). Sedevacantists ignore the mandates of the governing ecclesiastical law and Scripture itself and, consequently, make themselves the judge of Divine Law.

Speray: Salza is the one ignoring the laws and mandates since “without any further declaration” doesn’t require that further declaration.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law imposes other requirements that Sedevacantists ignore. For example, canon 1939, par. 1 requires a special investigation for certain transgressions against Divine Law (e.g., heresy):

If the transgression is not notorious, or not entirely certain, but has arisen from rumor or public report . . . before anyone is summoned to answer for the transgression, a special investigation must be undertaken to decide whether, and or what foundation, the charge may be founded.

Speray: Sedevacantists have not ignored anything. This is common sense.

The alleged heresies of Cardinal Roncalli must be considered “not notorious” and “not entirely certain” because they do not meet the definition of “public” and “notorious” under canon 2197 of the 1917 Code. The alleged heresies cannot be considered “public” under canon 2197, par. 1 because they were not “already commonly known” (evidenced by the fact that Pope Pius XII neither investigated nor rendered any judgment against Roncalli for heresy and almost the entire Catholic population accepted Roncalli as Pope).

Speray: Salza is now giving us his declaration that Roncalli’s heresies do not meet the definition. Roncalli was a Professor of Patristics at the Lateran University, and removed several months “on suspicion of modernism” and for teaching the theories of Rudolf Steiner, an illuminati member and originator of “The Science of the Spirit known as Anthroposophy.” A file dated to 1925, the Holy Office had maintained a dossier on Angelo Roncalli which read “suspected of Modernism.”

Yes, it was commonly known!

At best, this would lead to doubting whether he was a Catholic.

The Catholic population accepting him means nothing since the entire Catholic population also recognized other antipopes such as Boniface VII to give one example in history.

However, the fact that he was a Mason supersedes this whole thing.

Further, under the same canon, the circumstances were not such as to lead to the conclusion that the alleged heresies would easily become commonly known (evidenced by the fact that, over the last 50 years, the College of Cardinals, the four successor Popes and almost the entire Catholic world held Roncalli as a true Pope).

Speray: This is no evidence at all since in the last 50 years most of the Church including his successors agreed with his heresies. Besides, this contradicts Cum ex which said that even if all the Cardinals “even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless” and yet, Salza uses the argument that Cum ex condemns. Salza just argues for the sake of it, without realizing how foolish his arguments are.

Further, the alleged heresies cannot be considered “notorious in fact” under canon 2197, par. 3 because they were not “publicly known” (for the reasons explained above) and were not committed under such circumstances that “no maneuver can conceal nor legal defense excuse” them.

Speray: Already answered it. He was notorious for outwardly being a modernist.

In fact, since Pope Pius XII (or anyone else with ecclesiastical authority) never even alleged that Roncalli committed heresy, it is not possible to raise, much less evaluate, a “maneuver” or “legal defense” (to such “non-allegations”) as this canon requires. Of course, if no canonical defense could excuse Roncalli’s public and notorious heresies, then one must explain how Pope Pius XII failed to recognize such grievous crimes, much less punish Roncalli for them.

Speray: Pope Pius XII could have recognized them and was too cowardly or perhaps too sickly to do so. However, since Roncalli was a modernist suspect, then he was a suspect to be the synthesis of all heretics. Since he was a Mason, he was automatically excommunicated anyway.

How can a man on the official Vatican list as a modernist suspect be elected pope and not be suspect of actually being a modernist making him an antipope?

The same canonical conclusions apply to the alleged heresies of Cardinals Montini, Wojtyla and Ratzinger before they were validly elected to the papacy.

Speray: The heresies are not merely alleged. Vatican 2 made them quite public anyway.

That being the case, ecclesiastical law requires a special investigation (inquisition specialis) to be undertaken to assess such accusations of transgression.

Speray: What good would this do if all such members agree with the same heresies? Why should anyone even believe in such an investigation?

This investigation is required for “anyone” who is suspected of a transgression, and would certainly apply to someone who claimed to be Pope.

Speray: Sure, but we are not talking about mere suspect. Rev. Richard McBrien (Notre Dame theologian) rejects the existence of the Devil as a fallen angel of God. Does this make him a mere suspect of heresy?

Further, canon 1939, par. 2 specifically applies this rule to the question of whether a declaratory sentence is required against someone who has already incurred self-expulsion for heresy.

Speray: Theologians who reject known dogmas would not apply in this case, but would for the mere average Catholic who might be in error out of ignorance. Theologians are not ignorant.

As we alluded to, Canon 2223, par. 4 sets forth the rules for when declaratory sentences are required:

Speray: Doesn’t apply with the sedevacantist position.

In general, to declare a penalty latae sententiae is left to the prudence of the superior; but whether at the instance/request of a party who is involved, or because the common good requires it so, a declaratory sentence must be given.

Speray: Salza is now making up his own protocol. A declaration sentence is not absolute needed as Pope Paul IV states, “Automatically… without any further declaratation.”

While, according to Divine Law, formal heresy results in self-expulsion from the Church without the need for a declaratory sentence, ecclesiastical law (can 2223.4) requires a declaratory sentence (sententia declaratoria dari debet) of said heresy if the common good of the Church requires it.

Speray: Again, Salza’s own made-up protocol and it is a contradiction. Salza is saying an automatic “without a declaratory sentence” requires what it say is needs not.

Needless to say, it is in the best interests of the Catholic Church to know whether we have a valid Pope.

Speray: And according to Salza, you must accept a heretic as pope if one were to be elected. Not only that, but implies that a pope can indeed be a heretic. But, oh well, we poor Catholics can’t acknowledge an outsider as an outsider.

Nothing more important for the Church could possibly be imagined. Hence, a declaratory sentence proclaiming a Cardinal’s pre-election heresy “must be given.”

Speray: Ridiculous!

If such an ecclesiastical declaration were not required, the Church would never know with certainty whether Divine Law has been violated, and this uncertainty would undermine the Church’s very mission and existence.

Speray: Ridiculous!

This also means maintaining the Sedevacantist position (that a given papal election is invalid) in the absence of a declaratory sentence attacks the best interests of the Church.

Speray: Ridiculous!

Further, it should go without saying that the required declaratory sentence must be given by ecclesiastical authority (Mt 18:17; Titus 3:10-11).

Speray: Ridiculous, especially in light that the law says the opposite.

Of course, nothing in either positive law or Divine Law permits just any Catholic individual or group to issue declaratory sentences and ecclesiastical censures, nor does the law permit Catholics to licitly resist a duly elected Pope in the absence of these required ecclesiastical adjudications.

Speray: Wrong as previously pointed out. Catholics are bound to recognize who is and is not Catholic especially when a non-Catholic is elected pope by a bunch of other non-Catholics.

As applied here, since the elected Pope would be the object of the investigation, any declaratory sentence would have to come from the College of Cardinals “the next highest authoritative rank in the Church. Further, we are reminded that a declaratory sentence of heresy against an anti-pope would simply affirm that he excommunicated himself (ecclesiastical law determining that self-expulsion occurred under Divine Law), and that a valid Pope has no judge on earth but God.

Speray: Cum ex revisisted… the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fullness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the faith…

Ecclesiastical law poses further problems for the Sedevacantist thesis. Popes St. Pius X and Pius XII legislated that a Cardinal’s election to the papacy is presumed to be valid, irrespective of any ecclesiastical censures he may have incurred prior to his election.

Speray: This is a lie.

Pope St. Pius X: “None of the Cardinals may be in any way excluded from the active or passive election of the Sovereign Pontiff under pretext or by reason of any excommunication, suspension, interdict or other ecclesiastical impediment” (Vacante Sede Apostolica, 1904).

Speray: This doesn’t apply to heretics since heretics are no longer Cardinals. Cardinals under minor excommunications are still Cardinals but not those under major excommunications.

Pope Pius XII: “None of the Cardinals may, by pretext or reason of any excommunication, suspension, or interdict whatsoever, or of any other ecclesiastical impediment, be excluded from the active and passive election of the Supreme Pontiff” (Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, 1945).

Speray: Same rule applies and I will show why Salza’s next argument is silly.

First, to participate “actively” in the election of the Supreme Pontiff means to vote for the Pope, and to participate “passively” in the election means to be elected Pope (to be the “passive” object of the “election”). Second, Popes St. Pius X and Pius XII’s legislation is clear that “by reason of any excommunication “whatsoever” a Cardinal is not excluded from being elected to the papacy. “Any excommunication whatsoever” necessarily includes a Cardinal’s excommunication for heresy.

Speray: Salza is teaching something that doesn’t exist. A Cardinal who was excommunicated for heresy is no longer a Cardinal and therefore, Pope Pius X and XII weren’t including them.

Also, Salza doesn’t show you the rest of the teaching of Vacantis Apostolicae Sedi.

Pope Pius XII continues… “We hereby suspend such censures solely for the purposes of the said election; at other times they are to remain in vigor.”

If taken to the logical conclusion of Salza, Pius XII would be saying that the excommunication of such a Cardinal is suspended only for the time of the election; at other times it remains in vigor. This would mean that the said election of such a Cardinal would immediately lose the papacy since the suspended excommunication would fall back into force after the election.

Salza continues…

This means the governing ecclesiastical law “which Sedevacantists agree applies to the question at hand “presumes the validity of papal elections, until there is a determination by the Church of whether or not Divine Law has been violated. Ecclesiastical law, then, requires this formal determination to be made by the Church after the election.

Speray: No, it doesn’t. Cum ex states that is possible that ALL THE CARDINALS could elect a heretic. Who makes that formal determination if ALL THE CARDINALS agree with the very heresies of the said elected heretic?

As applied here, we recall that Pope Pius XII never declared Cardinal Roncalli a heretic. Roncalli was never excommunicated under ecclesiastical law.

Speray: Doesn’t matter if he did. Salza would still recognize Roncalli if elected by the College, because Salza rejects the plain words of Cum ex and what he says next.

Thus, if, according to the Pius X/XII legislation, a Cardinal who was a heretic by both Divine and ecclesiastical law (self-expulsion affirmed by judicial sentence) can be elected to the papacy, how much more so can a Cardinal be elected Pope who, like Cardinal Roncalli, never incurred ecclesiastical censure for heresy!

Speray: There it is. A pope can be a heretic according to Salza’s ridiculous interpretation of both popes. Thus, it doesn’t even matter if a heretic has incurred automatic excommunication under both Divine and Church laws, a heretic (one outside of the Church) is the pope and head of the Church which he is not a member.

Why should I even continue? Salza’s arguments undercut all the laws of the Church and logic itself.

The “more” includes the “lesser,” and thus if a self-expelled censured heretic (the “more”) can be elected Pope, then a self-expelled but non-censured heretic “the Sedevacantist claim against Cardinal Roncalli “(the “lesser”) can also be elected Pope.

Speray: Ridiculous!

These ecclesiastical provisions provide Cardinals with the opportunity to follow the same path to the papacy as St. Peter himself took. St. Peter committed a public act of apostasy by denying Our Lord before validly ascending to the papal office.

Speray: Peter’s denial was not a public act of apostasy. His denial was done out of fear. He didn’t actually reject Christ or any other doctrine. In a sense, all our public sins are denials of Christ but they don’t qualify as acts of apostasy. Salza gets more ridiculous by the minute.

Hence, ecclesiastical law requires the Church to presume that the elected Pope has reconciled with Christ (as St. Peter did) and thus pre-election heresy, apostasy or schism does not automatically invalidate his election (whether the offense continues after the election is a separate question determined by the same procedures of ecclesiastical law requiring special investigations and declaratory sentences).

Speray: This is absolutely contrary to the very laws of the Church and specifically Cum ex. How anybody could take Salza seriously is beyond me!

If there were no presumptive validity of papal elections, then Catholics would never have assurance that they have a true Pope, for any ecclesiastical impediment would operate to nullify his election. This would cripple the Church.

Speray:  Ridiculous! We can presume valid papal elections when Catholic Cardinals elect a Catholic. We can never presume valid papal elections of men who are suspicious modernists, Masons, or anything else not Catholic. Get real, Salza!

The presumption of valid papal elections is also reflected in the 1917 Code. Canon 2264 provides that even if a Cardinal excommunicated himself for heresy prior to his election to the papacy, his jurisdiction as pope is valid, and also licit if recognized by the faithful:

Speray: Salza, again, mangles the Canons…

An act of jurisdiction carried out by an excommunicated person, whether in the internal or the external forum, is illicit; and if a condemnatory or declaratory sentence has been pronounced, it is also invalid, without prejudice to can. 2261, par. 3 [not applicable to self-expelled heretics]; otherwise it is valid and also licit, if it was requested by the faithful in accordance with the norm of can. 2261, par. 2.

Canon 2261, par. 2 provides:

Without contradicting paragraph 3, the faithful may, for any just cause, request sacraments and sacramentals from an excommunicated person, especially if other ministers are not available, in the this case the excommunicated person can administer them and is not under any obligation to enquire as to the reason for the request.

Speray:  None of the above have anything whatsoever to do with the papacy. This Canon simply means a Catholic can go to an excommunicated priest or bishop for the sacraments under extraordinary conditions. That’s it! It doesn’t imply that such an individual can become a pope in his heretical condition. Salza should be ashamed of himself for implying such nonsense.

As applied here, Cardinals Roncalli, Montini, Wojtyla, and Ratzinger were never excommunicated by declaratory sentences before being elected to the papacy. Therefore, Canon 2264 says they had (and Pope Benedict XVI continues to have) valid jurisdiction over the universal Church. Canon 2264 also indicates that even a Pope who, as a Cardinal, “excommunicated” himself for heresy (self-expulsion), still has valid jurisdiction over the Church if no “condemnatory or declaratory sentence has been pronounced.” Moreover, because the faithful (which is 99.9 percent of the people in the Catholic Church) request the sacraments from the current Pope and the bishops and priests in communion with him, his jurisdiction is also licit in addition to being valid.

Speray: Salza doesn’t know what he is talking about. Ordinary and Supplied jurisdictions must be distinguished but Salza just lumps them altogether hoping you buy into his ridiculous assertion.

Pope Leo XIII stated in Satis Cognitum (#15), June 29, 1896, “Bishops Separated from Peter and his Successors Lose All Jurisdiction: “From this it must be clearly understood that Bishops are deprived of the right and power of ruling, if they deliberately secede from Peter and his successors; because, by this secession, they are separated from the foundation on which the whole edifice must rest. They are therefore outside the edifice itself; and for this very reason they are separated from the fold, whose leader is the Chief Pastor; they are exiled from that Kingdom, the keys of which were given by Christ to Peter alone… No one, therefore, unless in communion with Peter can share in his authority, since it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church.”

Think about this for a moment… This means all true popes must be in communion with Peter and his successors, and if they are not in communion with Peter and his successors, then they cannot share in his authority, since it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church.

Pope Pius XII never intended that a heretical or schismatic bishop could be elected pope and remain a heretic or schismatic, because it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside the Church could command the whole Church.

Salza continues…

Thus, even if Sedevacantists argue, for example, that Cardinal Ratzinger was self-expelled before his papal election for heresy (often pointing to some of his controversial writings as a private theologian), the Sedevacantists are still subject to his jurisdiction as Pope, which is both valid and licit under the Church’s ecclesiastical law.

Speray: As proven, a heretic cannot have jurisdiction as pope as Salza keeps implying. His position actually rejects all the teachings of all the popes and saints that had anything to say about it.

By withdrawing submission from the Holy Father and the faithful in communion with him, Sedevacantists are schismatic and hence automatically excommunicated from the Church under both Divine and ecclesiastical law (canon 1325, par. 2).

Speray: According to Salza, we are still in the Church until that declaration is given and we can even be elected pope. However, I will use the same argument on Salza. Since he says that a heretic can be pope rejecting all the laws especially Cum ex, and for following a notorious heretic as pope, Salza is both a heretic and schismatic and hence automatically excommunicated from under both Divine and ecclesiastical laws. Oh yes, it really is automatic without any further declaration.

In summary, ecclesiastical law presumes we have a valid Pope unless the Church formally declares otherwise.

Speray: Not according to Church laws 188.4, 2197.1, and 2200.2. Not according to Pope Paul IV or St. Robert Bellarmine, and not according to logic and common sense.

These ecclesiastical provisions serve the Divine Law and the Church’s unicity and indefectibility. They also reflect the wisdom of the Church which recognizes that determining formal heresy is a sensitive matter requiring great caution and prudence “especially when dealing with a claimant to the papal throne. To be a formal heretic, one must willfully and pertinaciously deny or doubt a dogma of the Faith.

Speray: According to Salza’s rubric, it doesn’t matter. Such a heretic can still be pope.

If St. Paul formally and publicly rebuked St. Peter for a disciplinary matter (Gal 2:11-12), how much more formal and public would the investigation of a Pope need to be for a doctrinal matter, and one whose outcome determines the validity of his office!

Speray: But Salza has argued that it doesn’t determine the validity of his office. A heretic can be pope according to him.

As with St. Peter, the reigning Pope must be formally confronted with his errors by legitimate authority, and given time to respond before any offense can be asserted. As we have seen, the Church’s ecclesiastical law mandates the requirements for this procedure.

Speray: This is contrary to Cum ex and the other canon laws cited.

In 1917, Our Lady came to Fatima to warn the Church of the crisis of Faith we are now experiencing. She also revealed that the Holy Father would have much to suffer (in none of Her reported communications did She say the Pope would lose his office for heresy).

Speray: That’s because there was no pope who lost his office. And how can anyone know for sure what she said since we can’t trust what was given as the 3rd secret?

Even Salza doesn’t believe in the 3rd secret given by the Vatican.

Yes, Our Lady did warn the Church of the crisis of Faith and Pope Pius XII suffered greatly!

Our Lady also said a very Great Chastisement would befall the world between 1957 and 1960. What was it?

Roncalli was falsely elected in 1958 and nearly everybody accepted him! It doesn’t get any worse than that!

In that same year, Pope Benedict XV providentially promulgated law that would prevent people from saying the forewarned crisis was so bad we no longer have a Pope.

Speray: That’s a lie as already demonstrated.

As we have seen, Popes St. Pius X and Pius XII followed suit with their own legislation.

Speray: That’s a lie as already demonstrated.

Sadly, Sedevacantism is an over-reaction to the crisis in the Church foretold by Our Lady, accompanied by an ignorance of ecclesiastical law.

Speray: Salza downplays the crisis and then interprets the laws to include heretics as popes.

In fact, it is fair to conclude that Sedevacantism is part of the very crisis in question, since it has created even more confusion among the faithful, already so confused and scandalized by the doings of the post-conciliar era.

Speray: In fact, it is fair to conclude Salza is part of the apostasy foretold by Our Lady’s real 3rd Secret, as he has created even more confusion among the faithful with his mangled versions of Church teachings. Salza is like the Protestants of old.

Restoring the Church will be furthered by recognizing the authority of the current Pope, as well as properly distinguishing his binding papal teachings from his mere opinions and actions, which may be the product of human weakness or self-respect, but which can never be evidence of formal heresy.

Speray: Well, according to Salza it wouldn’t matter if Ratzinger was a formal heretic, because he would still accept him as a legit pope. What would be the point of me pointing out all his outrageous heresies and real acts of apostasy? Salza will follow him regardless!

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The New Oxford Review is another liberal so-called Catholic magazine that prizes itself as being a staunchly orthodox Catholic publication.

They even go so far as to advertise whether you have the guts to subscribe and read what they think is so orthodox while adding the little comment, “No bozos or sissies, please.”

However, after sending my article to two different NOR email addresses back in the month of June, I never so much as received an email confirmation from either one.

Now, you can see what it is they don’t want their readers to read.

Hardly Playing Devil’s Advocate

by Steven Speray

John Paul II mostly likely will be canonized by Benedict XVI.

And why shouldn’t he be?

Tom Bethell’s article “Playing Devil’s Advocate” gives possible reasons why this canonization should perhaps be put on hold, but hardly plays devil’s advocate as to the reason why this process should not take place. In the end, Bethell dismisses his entire advocate thesis with, “Obviously, John Paul was a man of personal holiness” and “should proceed without haste in formally discerning his sanctity.”

Bethell states, “only the Church can declare someone a saint,” but the fact remains that great Catholic saints of the past were recognized by the faithful while never being declared so by the Church.

St. Patrick is a prime example!

John Paul II, who like St. Patrick, is recognized by many as a saint. But is John Paul II really like Patrick, a great Catholic leader filled with personal holiness?

To question John Paul’s personal holiness among Vatican 2 “Catholics” is like questioning whether Mohammed was a true prophet among Muslims. It cannot be done without greatly upsetting the devout lovers of such men.

However, truth doesn’t man-please and truth is what matters.

What makes John Paul II a man of holiness or unholiness?

Like St. Patrick, John Paul II did seem to be a deeply prayerful man.

Obviously, orthodoxy would be a necessary part of holiness.

Was John Paul orthodox in his teaching? Did he knowingly believe and teach any kind of heresy by way of word or action that would be contrary to the faith keeping or leading men into heresy and apostasy?

In Ireland, St. Patrick didn’t waste any time condemning the Druid religion as one that worships the Devil. He went about the countryside declaring the Gospel while denouncing druid paganism. He did not welcome druids to pray to their gods for peace. He did not go inside their pagan temples and pray with them at all, and he certainly never received as a bishop the blessings from leaders of this pagan religion. He actually broke their laws in public and prayed incessantly that his life be spared from death by the druid hand.

St. Patrick was concerned of the Druid spells and poisons precisely because he knew the evils of false religion with its black laws of heathenism, false laws of heresy, and the deceits of idolatry.

The result of Patrick’s witness to Christ in Ireland was the complete conversion of the entire country to Catholicism which, in turn, saved civilization as the Scriptures (as well as many other great works) were preserved by his monks.

How does this contrast with John Paul II?

In 1985, John Paul II prayed “with” African Animists known as “witch doctors.” (L’Osservatore Romano, August 26, 1985, p. 9.)

On February 5, 1986, in the city of Chennai (Madras for the Zoroastrians) India, John Paul II, alongside Dr. Meher Master Moos, actively participated in a Zoroastrian ceremony by lighting a candle while wearing a pagan stole with the symbols of the pagan religion.

The following year, “During his visit to Phoenix in 1987, John Paul II received a ritual ‘blessing’ from the Pima Indian shaman Emmet White using an eagle’s feather. John Paul said that the act had ‘enriched the Church.'”

In 1986 and 2002, John Paul II invited all the world’s religious leaders to come to Assisi, Italy and pray and offer sacrifices to each of their individual gods for world peace. Leaders from Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Tenrikyo, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and Voodoo attended with prayers and even with animal sacrifices from the Voodooists all in the name of peace.

John Paul II also promoted Islamic culture when he stated in his message to “Grand Sheikh Mohammed,” Feb. 24, 2000: “Islam is a religion. Christianity is a religion. Islam has become a culture. Christianity has become also a culture… I thank your university, the biggest center of Islamic culture. I thank those who are developing Islamic culture…” (L’Osservatore Romano, March 1, 2000, p. 5.)

This is a culture that blasphemes the Most Holy Trinity while misleading literally a billion people away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Later, John Paul II, on March 21, 2000, stated: “May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam and all the people of Jordan…” (L’ Osservatore Romano, March 29, 2000, p. 2.)

In his Feb. 4, 1993, address to the Voodoo representative of Benin at Cotonou, John Paul II actually promoted the African religion of Voodooism implying that man may be saved in Voodoo.

Voodoo priests saw John Paul’s “Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa” as an endorsement of their religion. In a paper by N. Adu Kwabena-Essem entitled “Pope’s Apology to Africans,” the Voodooist said, “African religions had their biggest boost two years ago when Pope John Paul II, on a visit to Benin, apologized for centuries of ridiculing African cultural beliefs by the Western world. Benin is the home of Voodoo…The crucial question is whether the Pope’s ‘penance’ will force others to start respecting African cultures, in particular the belief in African religions.”

In 1993, the L’Osservatore Romano estimated the adherents of Voodoo in Benin to comprise a mere 25 percent of its population and dying.

What was the result of John Paul’s visit?

Voodoo grew a staggering 60 percent in that same country, according to a January 1996 Associated Press report. Now, Benin celebrated the rebirth of voodoo as an officially recognized religion.

Many more examples of John Paul II mixing religions and taking part in non-Christian religious services, not to mention his recognizing Protestant sects as holy and righteous worthy of papal blessings could be given but these suffice.

Unlike St. Patrick, John Paul knowingly and freely taught by way of word and action complete and total apostasy from true Catholicism.

Unlike St. Patrick who converted millions to the true Catholic Faith, John Paul kept and led millions in the darkness of false religion including his own subversion of Christianity as Our Lady of Good Success, La Salette, and Fatima warned about and he did so in the name of Catholicism as one dedicated to Our Lady. His totus tuus was a cover as was the papal throne which he obviously never truly possessed.

Benedict XVI most likely will canonize John Paul II, and why shouldn’t he?

John Paul II is the saint of the new religion of Rome masquerading as Catholicism.

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