Archive for December, 2011

Rev. Shannon continues the Vatican 2 debate on “subsists”.  Fri, Dec 30, 2011 11:07 AM

Dear Steven,
Pax Christi!
Believe me…I know the dangerous implications that can be drawn from the wrong meaning of the word subsists, especially regarding the defined dogma, extra ecclesiam nulla salus. I mean, which “Church” are we talking about here…the Church of Christ?…the Catholic Church? I thought they were one and the same thing? They are identical as Fr. Tromp stated on numerous occasions. Fr. Tromp was a peritus that was in the so-called conservative camp during the unfortunate council. As mentioned before, he was the primary author of Mystici Corporis where the Mystical Body of Christ was identified as the Catholic Church. The quotations in your last email are very familiar to me, especially the one by the infamous Dominican, Fr. Edward S., who, by the way, was censured because of his problematic….read heretical…statements. But the Dominican did make a proper observation, viz., that if the Church of Christ is a larger entity than the Catholic Church…and that it finds a place in various denominations, then there is no longer one Church but various groups participating in different degrees in Christ’s work. I totally reject that statement made by Cardinal Ratizinger in that German newspaper interview, which, by the way, was edited by the Vatican newspaper since it was over the top. Also, the statement that the Church of Christ is “present and operative” in other Christian groups is a problem, lest we conclude that the Church of Christ is present and operative in various Satanic masses where the Body and Blood of our Lord is truly present. Do some Christians have a valid baptism? Yes, because they stole the Catholic one. By way of analogy, if a foreign country stole some of our munitions and guns and started using them, we would not refer to America being present and operative in the use of these stolen goods. I admit and believe wholeheartedly that the present pope and the previous one as well, are and were a part of what you label the revolution. The new, so-called orientations that they took and still take are unfamiliar to true Catholicism. Yes, I have read some of Cardinal Ratzinger’s private works…his statements on Original Sin and the resurrection of the body are most disturbing. His movement towards the Jews…the anti-logos party…is also disturbing. Using that previous analogy, the moon is waning big time. I wait for the day that those in authority correct this problems and bring clarity to all their confusion. But knowing that the Church is visible…with visible shepherds…I have moral certainty…not absolute…but moral certainty…that the see is occupied. Our Lady never and I mean never warned us that the see would be empty for so many decades. Don’t you think that she might have mentioned this in one of her various apparitions to prepare the Catholic people?
Be good….Fr. SC

Steven Speray replies 12/31/2011

Dear Rev. Shannon,

You’re a brave man! I’m so glad to hear that you know the problems and reject them. However, I would like to answer your last few sentences.

You say that you have a moral certainty that the see is occupied. Are you saying then that a pope can be a heretic, and a revolutionary against the Church? I can give you over 20 quotes from popes, saints, and canonists that all teach that this is impossible! I also can provide you with Vatican I theologians that teach that the Church is visible without a pope for very long periods. I would love for you to read my history book on the popes Papal Anomalies and Their Implications. I give concrete examples for the foundations of sedevacantism.

You said, “Our Lady never and I mean never warned us that the see would be empty for so many decades. Don’t you think that she might have mentioned this in one of her various apparitions to prepare the Catholic people?”

We have better than an apparition. We have the teachings of the Church and the laws of the Church that spell out the applications for our position. As for apparitions, however, have you not seen the messages of Our Lady of Good Fortune (Good Success)? “…the Church will go through a dark night for lack of a Prelate and Father to watch over it…”  THIS HAPPENS IN THE 20TH CENTURY ACCORDING TO THE APPARITION. Not only does Our Lady tell when it will happen, but she tells us how describing in detail the very events that we are witnessing. She is spot on with the specifics of the terrible catastrophe. As a side note, the seer, Mother Mariana is an incorruptible. Who else is the Prelate and Father but the pope?

We also have the unapproved part of the apparition of La Sallete: “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.”

Fatima: Exact words of Sister Lucia (visionary at Fatima) in an interview with Father Augustin Fuentes on December 26, 1957: “Father, the Blessed Virgin is very sad because no one heeds her message; neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on with their life of virtue and apostolate, but they do not unite their lives to the message of Fatima. Sinners keep following the road of evil because they do not see the terrible chastisement about to befall them. Believe me, Father, God is going to punish the world and very soon. The chastisement of heaven is imminent. In less than two years, 1960 will be here and the chastisement of heaven will come and it will be very great. Tell souls to fear not only the material punishment that will befall us if we do not pray and do penance but most of all the souls who will go to hell.” 

Sister Lucia clearly forewarned a chastisement would occur before 1960 and Our Lady is the one telling her this. What was it? I submit the death of Pope Pius XII and the uncanonically elected Roncalli to the papacy was it. What else could it have been?

And the 3rd Secret that Rome gave us was a lie. I’ve written about this. Fr. Malachi Martin read it in 1960, and it has been relayed to me. However, I will tell you that part of it was apostasy at the very top of the Church! Cardinal Ciappi actually tells us that it begins at the top.

Lastly, we many prophecies about the Church. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, The Present Crisis of the Holy See, 1861, London: Burns and Lambert, pp. 88-90:“The apostasy of the city of Rome from the vicar of Christ and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of greatest repute. First Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Biegas, Suarrez, Bellarmine and Bosius that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism. …Then the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early Church.”

St. Antony of the Desert (251-356):  “Men will surrender to the spirit of the age. They will say that if they had lived in our day, Faith would be simple and easy. But in their day, they will say, things are complex; the Church must be brought up to date and made meaningful to the day’s problems. When the Church and the World are one, then those days are at hand. Because our Divine Master placed a barrier between His things and the things of the world.” ([Disquisition CXIV] Quoted in Voice of Fatima, 23 January 1968)

St. Francis of Assisi: “Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.” (Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250)

St. Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) stated: “The Church will be punished because the majority of her members, high and low, will become so perverted. The Church will sink deeper and deeper until she will at last seem to be extinguished, and the succession of Peter and the other Apostles to have expired. But, after this, she will be victoriously exalted in the sight of all doubters.” (Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont, p. 30)

Don’t you think it’s more absurd to have the Church run by the very Gates of Hell for the past 50 years? Why is sedevacantism so difficult to believe, if you already know that Rome is leading a revolt against the Catholic Faith?



Rev. Shannon responds Sun, Jan 01, 2012 07:44 PM

Dear Steven,
Pax Christi!
One of the reasons I have great sympathy for sedevacantists…and I am not belittling you or the movement here in anyway…but I do have sympathy because things have largely collapsed. The facade has come crumbling down. For all it’s worth, I do feel that we are near what is often called the minor chastisement which will be an echo of the major one towards the last days. If Rome will become the seat of the anti-Christ…which I would consider as near a de Fide statement as one can get considering what the Fathers have taught…then the minor chastisement or the echo of the major one will include a major loss of Faith on the part of most including the very pastors called to guide Holy Church. The reason I mention moral certitude is that it allows me to act. You may have received Holy Communion today being that it is the great octave day of Christmas, but did you hear the words? Do you know the priest’s intention? Exteriorly, things seemed fine and for all intensive purposes were fine. The externals were there, therefore you could act. If something external was a problem, i.e., misspoken form or improper matter or the priest treating the Mass as a joke, then you would have some evidence. You may have also gone to confession…who has granted Fr. Leonardi faculties to hear confessions since jurisdiction is included in the very validity of the Sacrament of Penance? Sedevacantists may point to some case of necessity somehow supplying for missing faculties. But since the externals aren’t there, I would strongly question the validity, i.e., I would not have moral certainty. You call me Rev. and not Father, yet you refer to the priest at Regina Pacis with the traditional paternal title. You may question my orders, but I have moral certitude that allows me to act an offer Mass. Granted the new Rite is greatly impoverished in all its Sacraments, it ultimately works…I can be morally certain about that. If I were simply playing with bread and wine at the altar, simulating a Sacrament and committing a great sacrilege, then I would stay as far away from me as possible and I would not deserve any title of reverence for I would be no more than a protestant “minister” / layman. I am morally certain that this pope is a successor of St. Peter which allows me to act. I am not sure how far you go back…you may go for the Siri thing, though he proved to go along with every revolutionary act of the council and the post-conciliar changes. You may accept Pope Pius XII, but then again his actions, especially in regards to the liturgy is quite suspect. Also, his very weak treatment of the great error of evolution has been plaguing us for decades. Pius XI basically dismissed Fatima and refused to consecrate Russia in 1929 even though heaven asked it of him thus allowing the Reds to fully take over Russia. Anyway, have a good New Year.
In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Shannon

Steven Speray replies 1/2/2012

Dear Rev. Shannon,

Why do you say the externals are missing with Fr. Leonardo? I submit that the externals are solidly there. I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “You call me Rev. and not Father, yet you refer to the priest at Regina Pacis with the traditional paternal title.”   I have referred to Rickert as Rev. and when I have used the term father with him in the past, I first put it in quotations marks. I don’t recognize Rickert’s ordination anymore than I recognize yours. I hold that there is reasonable doubt about both of your orders, since the 1968 Form is so problematic, making appear to be irreconcilable to the teachings of both Popes Leo XIII and Pius XII. I’ve not seen anyone give an explanation that removes that doubt.

You may say that you have a moral certitude that the Holy See is occupied because it allows you to act, but that’s not what I asked. I asked, “Are you saying then that a pope can be a heretic, and a revolutionary against the Church?”  Based on what you’ve stated, you appear to hold that the conciliar popes are heretics and revolutionaries. According to Divine law, this is not possible, but also according to Canon law. You must reject them as true popes if you indeed think they are heretics. To continue to hold that the Holy See is occupied by Benedict XVI is to reject the laws of God and Church.

You may say that your orders are valid, because the sacraments “ultimately work” and that you “can be morally certain about that”, but you must first answer why you can have a moral certainty that the Holy See is occupied. We can get into the orders issue later if you wish, but that’s another topic. By the way, I don’t accuse of you of believing  that your sacraments are invalid. The Anglicans may also believe their sacraments are valid, but they’re not.

As far as the Siri election is concerned, I wrote about it. He was never pope, and even if he was, he would at best be seriously questionable/doubtful which means we couldn’t accept him.

I don’t think Pope Pius XII’s liturgy is suspect, and a weak treatment of evolution is not the same as erroneous treatment. Big difference! As for Pope Pius XI and Fatima, he may have not believed in it. He didn’t have to, right? But you said that there was no apparition of Our Lady to warn us of a popeless Church for so long, and I gave you examples that she may in fact have done so. That’s all. If you don’t believe in those apparitions, that’s up to you. I just provided them. However, if you do believe in Fatima:

What was it (great chastisement before 1960 foretold by Sr. Lucia)? You didn’t address this whopping claim by Fatima’s main seer. Either something happened or Sr. Lucia was wrong. You also have the “terrible catastrophe” Our Lady of Good Success (approved apparition) predicted when the Church will go through a dark night without a pope in the 20th century. I see a connection, do you?

Also, I noticed that you didn’t answer my other questions. Don’t you think it’s more absurd to have the Church run by the very Gates of Hell for the past 50 years? Why is sedevacantism so difficult to believe, if you already know that Rome is leading a revolt against the Catholic Faith?

Anyway, why don’t you get conditionally re-ordained and join the counter-revolution? You can’t be a counter-revolutionary and be in union with the revolutionaries at the same time. That would be like fighting for the British Loyalists while, at the same time, establishing and being in union with the Independent Patriots during the American Revolution. You have to take a side. You can’t have your church cake with a heretic pope, too.



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Rev. Shannon M. Collins entered 12/22/2011  into the “subsists” debate found elsewhere (4 posts below) on this blog.

He wrote:

Dear Steve,

Pax Christi! Just a couple of things, although I have entered late into the game. The word “subsists” is actually quite a good one, if properly understood. A philosophical dictionary would tell us that it means – esse in se et non in alio, i.e., being that exists in itself and not in another. Fr. Sebastian Tromp, who basically wrote the great encyclical of Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, is the one who introduced the term “subsists” into the council debates. For him it was simply – the Mystical Body of Christ or the Church of Christ subsists or exists exclusively in and no where else but in the Apostolic Roman Church. What we must avoid here is the false notion that the Church of Christ is some free floating, Platonic form that somehow informs various material Christian assemblies here below. That is why Pope Pius XII was so adamant in Humani Generis when he stated that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Catholic Church are identical. So far our good theologians have had to give us multiple explanations of this term and we are still quite confused. Perhaps it would be best to simply return to IS. Be good!

Steven Speray replied 12/25/2011:

Dear Rev. Shannon,

Thanks for your reply, as well as the pleasant discussion we had a few months back in person.  I was especially impressed by your kindness, something which often lacks when other priests enter these debates. I see that you’ve had a change of heart on the matter since we last spoke, that is, you told us that use of the word “subsists” in the council was flawed. It sounds as if you’ve been talking to Rev. John Rickert, FSSP, and pastor of Lexington’s Regina Pacis Latin Mass Community and have adopted his view. Is that what’s happened?

I agree that we must avoid the false notion of how the Church of Christ might exist. You say that the word is good provided it is properly understood, but Rome tells us how it should be properly understood.

The Vatican 2 experts understand the word subsists, not as Fr. Sebastian Tromp (according to your claim), but rather as I’ve explained from the classical Latin meaning of the word, which according to Ratzinger is not substantially different from the philosophical meaning of the word insofar as it applies to the question at hand. None of the Vatican 2 theologians (that I’ve seen) confirm that “subsists” means “exclusively in and nowhere else.”

Avery Cardinal Dulles, a member of the International Theological Commission as follows: The Church of Christ is not exclusively identical to the Roman Catholic Church.  It does indeed subsist in Roman Catholicism but it is also present in varying modes and degrees in other Christian communities.”

Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, one of the main drafters of Vatican II documents, stated: “It is difficult to say that the Catholic Church is still one, Catholic, apostolic, when one says that the others (other Christian communities) are equally one, Catholic and apostolic, albeit to a lesser degree. —- at Vatican Council II, the Roman Catholic Church officially abandoned its monopoly over the Christian religion.”

Walter J. Burghardt, S.J., “First, all of us who are baptized (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox) — all of us belong in a very real way to the Church of Christ.” 

Fr. Gregory Baum, “Concretely and actually the Church of Christ may be realized less, equally, or even more in a Church separated from Rome than in a Church in communion with Rome.  This conclusion is inescapable on the basis of the understanding of Church that emerges from the teaching of Vatican Council II.” (Quotes taken from Joseph Maurer’s Open Letter to Catholic Family News)

Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote in a 2000 essay, The Ecclesiology of the Constitution Lumen Gentium, “The term subsistit derives from classical philosophy, as it was further developed in Scholasticism…. Subsistere is a special variant of esse. It is ‘being’ in the form of an independent agent.”

In the same year in an interview to the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Ratzinger states:

“When the Council Fathers replace the word ‘is,’ used by Pius XII, with the word “subsistit,” they did so for a very precise reason. The concept expressed by ‘is’ (to be) is far broader than that expressed by ‘to subsist.’ ‘To subsist’ is a very precise way of being, that is, to be as a subject, which exists in itself. Thus the Council Fathers meant to say: the being of the Church as such extends much further than the Roman Catholic Church, but within the latter it acquires, in an incomparable way, the character of a true and proper subject.”

If the word is exclusive in the philosophical meaning, why does Ratzinger explain otherwise? Why make a big deal out of the difference between the classical Latin meaning and the philosophical meaning, if in the end, you’re still identifying the Church of Christ as something not being one and the same thing as the Catholic Church?

In defending Ratzinger, local priest Rev. John Rickert restated Ratzinger, “[1] The concept expressed by ‘is’ (to be) is far broader than that expressed by ‘to subsist.’”

In reply to Rickert’s explanation, I asked him, “a red-herring? Using your philosophical explanation that ‘is’ is broader than subsists, how could the broader sense of ‘is’ apply in the phrase, ‘This Church…is the Catholic Church’ so that the phrase is incorrect, improper, or not specific enough? Are you suggesting that the Church of Christ is something other than the Catholic Church since the time honored way of expressing the two as one and the same thing is by using the verb ‘is?’”

I never received an answer, but he did confirm Ratzinger that the being of the Church is broader than the Catholic Church.

What did Ratzinger mean that “the concept expressed by ‘is’ (to be) is far broader than that expressed by ‘to subsist’” since his explanation actually gives the word “subsists” a broader expression than “is”?

Interestingly enough, I found another example of the word used by Fr. Leo Haydock in his bible commentary that, “the Roman Empire subsists in Germany.” Yet, he didn’t mean that the Roman Empire doesn’t exist elsewhere. Since when has the Church ever used a word that is not to be understood in the normal everyday use to teach something that’s so vital as the very definition of the Church? As I told Brian Harrison, why not just say, the Church of Christ is one and the same as the Catholic Church? Of course, the reason is given by Rome. They want to say that this is not necessarily true.

Since the Vatican 2 experts such as those above (including Benedict XVI) convey the false notion that the Church of Christ is found outside of the Catholic Church, is the word really good? In other words, is the word subsists good if the normal and everyday meaning is different from an obscure hidden philosophical meaning which nobody including Rome teaches that way?

Again, we have Paul VI and Benedict XVI calling heretical/schismatic Patriarchs, “Pastors in the Church of Christ.”

To the contrary, Pope Pius VI taught, “For no one can be in the Church of Christ without being in unity with its visible head and founded on the See of Peter.”

Pope Pius IX taught that, “all who want to belong to the true and only Church of Christ must honor and obey this Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff.”

Pope Pius XI taught, “No one is in the Church of Christ, and no one remains in it, unless he acknowledges and accepts with obedience the authority and power of Peter and his legitimate successors.”

Pope Pius XII taught, “Now, to define and to describe this true Church of Christ — which is [n.b.not subsists in] the holy, Catholic, apostolic, Roman Church — there is nothing nobler, nothing more excellent, finally no more divine expression can be found than that which designates her “the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.”

Pope Pius XII also taught, “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.”

Despite these constant teachings of popes and the historic understanding, you’ll also find right in the Vatican 2 documents ideas that run contrary to them. This shows what the council fathers meant when they used the word “subsists” confirming Dulles, Schillebeeckx, Burghardt, Baum, and Ratzinger:

Lumen Gentium, Chapter 2, “The People of God”

15. “For several reasons the Church recognizes that it is joined to those who, though baptized and so honored with the Christian name, do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve communion under the successor of St. Peter.”

You’re honored with the Christian name even when you don’t profess the faith in its entirety? This could only be possible if the Church of Christ is something different from the Catholic Church.

Unitatis Redintegratio, Chapter 1 “Catholic principles of ecumenism”

4. “Nevertheless, the divisions among Christians prevent the Church from realizing in practice the fullness of Catholicity proper to her, in those of her sons and daughters who, though attached to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her. Furthermore, the Church herself finds it more difficult to express in actual life her full Catholicity in all its bearings.”

If this is true, then the Protestant understanding of the four marks of the Church in the Creed fits their theology, thus confirming what “subsists” really meant to the council fathers after the recitation of those marks in LG, Chapter 1.

3. “Moreover some, and even most, of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too.”

Living a life of grace must necessarily come from the forgiveness of sin, yet the dogma of the Church is, “we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin” (Unam Sanctum). But if the Church of Christ is found outside of the Catholic Church, then living a life of grace could exist, thus confirming again what the council really means by“subsists.”

UR, 3: “It follows that these separated churches and communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation whose efficacy comes from that fullness of grace and truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

Could the council be any clearer how “subsists” should be understood?

UR, Chapter 3: “Churches and ecclesial communities separated from the Roman apostolic see”

13-15. “We now turn our attention to the two chief types of division as they affect the seamless robe of Christ. The first division occurred in the east, when the dogmatic formulas of the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon were challenged, and later when ecclesiastical communion between the eastern patriarchates and the Roman See was dissolved… Everyone knows with what great love the Christians of the east celebrate the sacred liturgy… Hence, through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in each of these Churches, the Church of God is built up and grows, and through concelebration their communion with one another is made manifest.”

This means the Church of God is built up and grows outside of the Catholic Church. Therefore, the council’s use of “subsists” is expounded to mean that Church of Christ is some free floating, Platonic form that somehow informs various material Christian assemblies. In other words, the Church of Christ is not one and the same as the Catholic Church.

Of course, you could attempt to reconcile all these statements, by saying that those infants who receive Baptism and Communion are really Catholics and that this is how the Church of Christ (Catholic Church) is built up and grows, but is the council trying to teach this, or was it referring to them all? Let me emphasize once again that Paul VI and Benedict XVI refer to Eastern heretical/schismatic Patriarchs as “Pastors in the Church of Christ.” Why do they do this unless they believe that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are two different entities?

Those theologians (especially the papal claimant) that have given multiple explanations to “subsists” have not left me confused since they are quite clear what it means. I wouldn’t call them good either, because it’s heretical, not to mention, leaving a confused flock about the very definition of the Church is not possible by the Church. Christ didn’t leave us orphans, but after 2000 years, you’re still confused about the definition of His Church, then orphans you surely remain.

Merry Christmas,


Rev. Shannon replies Wed, Dec 28, 2011 10:58 AM

Dear Steve,
Pax Christi! I am presently on the road up in Massachusetts doing a retreat. No change of heart here, my friend, if the word subsists is properly understood according to Fr. Tromp. I am very familiar with the quotations you use…they are very flawed and yes heretical sounding. Isn’t that the thing, though. It seems that many of the teachings coming forth from theological “experts” is very unfamiliar and alien sounding. What I would suggest is looking up a homily by St. Ambrose about the Church being the moon illuminating the night. At times, the moon seems to lose its light, especially during a new moon. The Church is still here, but it seems filled with shadows because of her members. Many private prophecies from various saints do speak about a future council that will be called that we answer all questions of Faith will great clarity instead of all the ambiguity that we receive today. In short, the revolution has won the hour and we are suffering in all areas of the Church. If you want, I could send you a link to a conference I did on Holy Church as a part of our mission series. You could listen to it if you want. Be good.
Fr. SC

Steven Speray answers 12/29/2011…

Dear Rev. Shannon,

Thank you again for the reply.

You say that you don’t have a problem when the, word subsists is properly understood according to Fr. Tromp,” but you seem to have missed the bigger picture. Rome, along with all of her top theologians, with Ratzinger leading the charge, doesn’t understand “subsists” according to Tromp. The Second Vatican Council didn’t understand “subsists” according to Tromp. I demonstrated this fact by several other quotes in Vat2. Even other explanations don’t do it, such as those offered by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and Dominus Iesus, since they give the classical Latin understanding of the word. Again, according to your “pope” the philosophical understanding is not substantially different from the classical Latin.

What you have done, by your own admission whether you realized it or not, is indicted Ratzinger and the church at Rome because they are the ones causing the very Revolution you condemn. Even Rev. John Rickert, FSSP, defends and agrees with Ratzinger’s explanation that “subsists” implies, “the being of the Church as such extends much further than the Roman Catholic Church.   This means Rev. Rickert is part of the Revolution that’s winning the hour and causing the suffering. Is this why you didn’t answer any of my questions I posed, such as, “If the word is exclusive in the philosophical meaning, why does Ratzinger explain otherwise? Why make a big deal out of the difference between the classical Latin meaning and the philosophical meaning, if in the end, you’re [church at Rome is] still identifying the Church of Christ as something not being one and the same thing as the Catholic Church”?

As for Tromp’s understanding of “subsists”, I don’t think your claim is correct or solves the problem. Tromp is simply wrong, too. I submit that Tromp probably understood the word to mean it the way Rome is now teaching, which is that the Church of Christ “exists exclusively in and no where else” IN FULL in the Catholic Church, but that it does exist partially elsewhere. Can you prove otherwise? Therefore, the word “subsists” is not exclusive in the sense that the Church of Christ IS the Catholic Church. That’s why “is” is not used. Rome admits it and you can’t say otherwise without rejecting Rome. Lastly, Rome says that “subsists” is consistent with tradition, not adding anything new, but this is clearly a lie. While making this outlandish statement, Rome doesn’t provide a single historic example to back the statement up.

The implications to the problem are as gigantic as the problem itself. You can’t go your merry way and recognize as Catholic those that are part of the Revolution.



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Here we are December 2011, and Tradition in Action continues to misrepresent sedevacantism in its latest article, “To Pray or Not to Pray for the Pope.”

While you’re absolutely right that “we can do nothing about any “bad” Pope (real or imagined)… No Catholic on earth is empowered to do anything about a bad Pope, certainly Catholics are unable to “declare” anything, to remove him, or judge him as a non-pope,” you’re absolutely wrong that, “charitable groups of “Sede Vacantists”  [think they] are able to do this.”

You quote St. Robert Bellarmine that we may resist a pope who would destroy the Church stating, “This indicates that a Pope may possibly work to “destroy the Church” in some capacity. Yet, he remains the Pope.” 

However, St. Robert Bellarmine distinguishes between mere bad popes, and popes who cease to be popes through heresy.  In the very same writing, which you omit, the great saint continues,

Now, a Pope who remains Pope cannot be avoided, for how could we be required to avoid our own head? How can we separate ourselves from a member united to us?

This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian, as is clearly taught by St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2), St. Athanasius (Scr. 2 cont. Arian.), St. Augustine (lib. de great. Christ. cap. 20), St. Jerome (contra Lucifer.) and others; therefore the manifest heretic cannot be Popetherefore, also the Pope heretic ceases to be Pope by himself, without any deposition…the Pope who is manifestly a heretic ceases by himself to be Pope and head,For even bad Catholics [i.e. who are not heretics] are united and are members,…but manifest heretics do not pertain in any manner, as we have already proved.”

We most certainly can resist a true pope, who orders one to sin, or tries to destroy the Church through reverie, licentiousness, murder, and war, but a pope who becomes a heretic ceases to be a true pope automatically. St. Robert Bellarmine lays the foundation principle of sedevacantism quite nicely.

Also,the last five conciliar popes never lost their pontificates, because they never had it! Thus, your statement, “Any “anti-popes” you can read about were never, in the first place, legitimate Popes who occupied the Petrine office validly” is precisely the current sedevacant position.

The scholarly Rev. P.C. Augustine, OSB in his commentary on the Code of Canon Law, 1923, whom you quote, also provides the principles of sedevacantism using Canon Law.

It’s not about taking matters into your own hands. It’s about obeying Church law and the Catholic Faith. If you actually followed all of the teachings of the Church and the 1917 Code of Law, you wouldn’t be praying for and resisting what isn’t there, a true pope.

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