Archive for November, 2018

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.

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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.   

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