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“This is the most thoroughly researched and articulately presented book of its kind. Whether you are a Sedevacantist, or researching the movement, this book is irreplaceable. Brilliant!” [1]

TIM STAPLES
Director of Apologetics and Evangelization
Catholic Answers

Tim Staples calls brilliant a book that heretically explains:

a. How the Church can be heretical by law and decree.
b. How the pope can lead the Catholic Church into heresy and error.
c. How anyone, including the pope, can publicly, repeatedly, and knowingly reject the Catholic Religion altogether and still be a member of the Church.

Catholics believe:

a. The Catholic Church is spotless in all her doctrines, laws, decrees, and liturgies. (Popes St. Zosimus, St. Hormisdas, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pope Pius XI, and Pius XII.) [2]
b. The Pope guards the Church from all heresy and error. He doesn’t and can’t believe, instigate, lead, or promote heresy and error against the Faith. (Pope Leo XIII.) [3]
c. Only those are to be accounted really members of the Church who have been regenerated in the waters of Baptism and profess the true faith. (Pope Pius XII.) [4]

Salza/Siscoe and company utterly reject the above three Catholic beliefs. Apparently, Tim Staples does too.

Footnotes:

[1] http://www.trueorfalsepope.com/p/endorsements.html

Further reading: The Anti-Sedevacantist Syndrome

[2] Pope St. Zosimus in Quamvis Patrum traditio 409 AD, Pope St. Hormisdas in Libellus professionis fidei 517 AD, Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura 1864 and the First Vatican Council, Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum 1896, Pope Pius XI in Quas Primas 1925, and Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi 1943 and Haurietis Aquas 1956.

[3] Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum 1896.

[4] Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi 1943.

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071A.David_Slays_Goliath

“David and Goliath” by Gustave Doré (1832-83)

Click below to read the best defense for the position of sedevacantism

The Gates of Hell and the Gates of the Church

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Rev. Brian Harrison responded to another open email from Matt Haltom that Harrison’s, “final” reply to Steve Speray didn’t deal with the First Vatican Council quotes footnoted in my open letter to Karl Keating. Specifically, you failed to address the anathema for redefining any of the sacred dogmas of the Catholic Church. In fact, you offered reassurances about “the papally-approved CDF Declaration Dominus Jesus,” when that document, along with Vatican II, did just that: they created new understandings of the dogma on the nature of the Church. For example, how are these opposites the same understanding? Only those are members of the Church who profess the true faith versus not only those are members who profess the true faith, but those who don’t profess the true faith.

Haltom added that the CDF’s 2007 defense of the new ecclesiology didn’t prove that it did not contradict the traditional teaching, nor did the CDF once offer a quotation from a pre-Vatican II document backing up this assertion.

Harrison replied, “Thank you, but I’m not prepared to continue a (probably interminable) email discussion with you any more than with Mr. Speray. However, the following already published two-part article of mine (the first part of which is has quite a bit on “membership” in the Church and what it means to be “outside” of her) may be of interest to you and perhaps some of the other recipients of this email. http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt149.html (first part) and http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt150.html (second part) “

My latest reply to Harrison:

Rev. Harrison,

The issue at stake is the redefinition of the sacred dogma on the Church being one in faith which is condemned by Vatican I. Your articles don’t touch it. We all know Feeneyism is wrong.

Vatican 2 renders meaningless the teaching of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi that “only those are to be accounted really members of the Church who have been regenerated in the waters of Baptism and profess the true faith.The external forum is presumed as it continues, “…so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican.”

To the contrary, Vatican 2 implies that if a man refuse to hear the Church let him NOT be considered as a heathen and a publican, but as a Christian who doesn’t have the fullness of the truth: “Speaking of the members of these Communities, it declares: ‘All those justified by faith through Baptism are incorporated into Christ. They therefore have a right to be honoured by the title of Christian, and are properly regarded as brothers and sisters in the Lord by the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church’.” (UR 3 and UUS 13)

“Incorporated into Christ” and “in the Lord” means that baptized non-Catholics are members of the Church or else they wouldn’t be incorporated or in Christ.

Vatican 2 assumes every baptized non-Catholic is invincibly ignorant, an assumption it’s utterly incapable of making because only God judges the internal forum.

This new teaching is why Catholic Answers refers to Protestants and Eastern Orthodox (the other lung of the Church?) as members of the Body of Christ and why in a 2002 debate, Patrick Madrid says the same of notorious anti-Catholic apologist James White.

John Paul II even approved the Balamand statement in UUS 59 which recognizes a false religion as part of the Church of Christ.So now it’s not just baptized non-Catholics but their false religions that make up the one Church of Christ.

It’s so blatantly obvious this new teaching under the pretext of a more profound understanding is an abandonment of the sacred dogma in the same sense as Holy Mother Church once declared. It clearly falls under the condemnation of Vatican I. Therefore, the new ecclesiology is anathematized.

It’s astounding you defend it, meaning you don’t really believe in the Catholic Faith.

Steven Speray
http://www.catholictopgun.com

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Matt Haltom sent out another open letter to Patrick Madrid. 

Included on the email list: Karl Keating, Mark Brumley of Ignatius Press, Steve Ray, Rev. Vincent Serpa, Scott Hahn, Fr. Cekada, Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, Robert Sungenis, Christopher Ferrara, E. Michael Jones of Culture Wars, John Vennari of Catholic Family News, and Teresa Tomeo of Relevant Radio.

Dear Patrick Madrid,

I’m sending you this open letter to Karl Keating, sent last week, in hopes you might assist him and Catholic Answers.

Also, here’s a link to Steven Speray’s article about your book, Pope Fiction, showing you unwittingly going against V2 and its popes.  Is Steven wrong, and if so, please explain?  Patrick Madrid Proves Sedevacantism True in His Book ‘Pope Fiction’

Matt Haltom

Rev. Brian Harrison replies:

Dear Mr. Haltom,

According to Mr. Speray, “Vatican II taught that men do have a right to believe in and follow a false religion in religious communities, to erect buildings, acquire property for their false religion, and to spread their false religion publicly in speech and writing without hindrance.”

Vatican II did not teach this. Mr. Speray fails to distinguish between (a) the idea of a right to do X and (b) the idea of a right not to be hindered by coercive government action from doing X. Only the latter kind of right is recognized by Dignitatis Humanae for non-Catholics in carrying out the sorts of activities mentioned above. (Asserting the former kind of right implies that X itself is objectively morally good – which, of course, spreading religious error is not. Asserting the latter kind of right merely recognizes the limited jurisdiction of civil governments in religious matters, especially under the modern international, religiously pluralistic conditions which the Council is addressing.)

I guess one of these days I’ll get round to answering Mr. Speray’s flawed attempt to rebut my This Rock article, “Is Ecumenism a Heresy?” I had never seen it until today. (In that article I argue for the doctrinal non-contradiction between Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos and Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism.)

Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

I replied openly to Rev. Harrison

Dear Rev. Harrison,

I made no distinctions about the type of right spoken of by Vatican 2. Therefore, your assertion I failed in this respect is erroneous. Had I inserted “civil” in the sentence you wouldn’t have had a problem. That being said, we had this discussion on religious liberty Christmas 2008 making the same points back then.

Again, Vatican 2 declared, “It regards, in the first place, the free exercise of religion in society…There is a further consideration. The religious acts whereby men, in private and in public and out of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial and temporal affairs. Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power, were it to presume to command or inhibit acts that are religious.” (Dignitatis Humanae)

DH made no distinction between what type of civil government, whether a Catholic state, democratic republic, or monarchy because it would make no difference since religious acts whereby men, in private and in public and out of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial and temporal affairs.

Benedict XVI’s Address to ambassador of Spain, May 20, 2006: “The Church also insists on the inalienable right of individuals to profess their own religious faith without hindrance, both publicly and privately, as well as the right of parents to have their children receive an education that complies with their values and beliefs without explicit or implicit discrimination.”

An inalienable right is a natural right by God. In other words, this civil right on religious liberty is a God-given natural right. Quotes like this could be multiplied, but this example by Benedict XVI gives the interpretation of DH.

Distinct from scenario A (the idea of a right to do X), I submit that scenario B (the idea of a right not to be hindered by coercive government action from doing X) is also heretical because it necessarily implies that:

1. Men have a civil right to propagate false religion in public, which is a moral evil.
2. Civil governments don’t have the God-given right to enforce the moral good of hindering the evil of false religion, because…
3. It’s not a moral good to hinder the evil of false religion.
4. It would be immoral and evil to hinder the civil right of men propagating false religion, since the civil right is an inalienable right.
5. Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII were utterly wrong and promoted immorality for condemning an inalienable right. See below.
6. God endorses moral evil as an inalienable right since this civil right is also an inalienable right in society.
7. The Catholic Church is condemned because She by law hindered by coercion religious liberty for Muslims at the Council of Vienne, which means that an inalienable right was made illegal by the Church.
8. The Gates of hell prevailed.

Let’s not stop there…

because Benedict XVI as Ratzinger wrote in Principles of Catholic Theology that Vatican 2’s text on religious liberty was “a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter syllabus…the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution, was, to a large extent, corrected…”

He also wrote “the declarations of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on evolutionism]… in the details of the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time.” (Joseph Ratzinger, “Instruction on the Theologian’s Ecclesial Vocation,” published with the title “Rinnovato dialogo fra Magistero e Teologia,” in L’Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990, p. 6)

If religious liberty is an inalienable right according to Benedict XVI, then this right would have been unchangeable from the beginning and contrary to the Divine law to ever prohibit this right. Yet, Benedict XVI is acknowledging that the Church in the past was correct in its position against religious liberty. He’s implying that an immutable truth yesterday is not the truth today, or vice versa. This is proof that Benedict is a modernist.

What say you now?

Sincerely,
Steven Speray

Papal Teachings on Religious Liberty whether Civil or Moral.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 15), Aug. 15, 1832: “Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice.”

Pope Leo XIII, Libertas (# 42), June 20, 1888: “From what has been said it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature of man.”

Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei (# 34), Nov. 1, 1885: “Thus, Gregory XVI in his encyclical letter Mirari Vos, dated August 15, 1832, inveighed with weighty words against the sophisms which even at his time were being publicly inculcated – namely, that no preference should be shown for any particular form of worship; that it is right for individuals to form their own personal judgments about religion; that each man’s conscience is his sole and all-sufficing guide; and that it is lawful for every man to publish his own views, whatever they may be, and even to conspire against the state.”

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (#’s 3-6), Dec. 8, 1864, “From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, namely, that ‘liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way. but while they rashly affirm this, they do not understand and note that they are preaching liberty of perdition… therefore, by our apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all the children of the catholic church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.”

Rev. Brian Harrison replies for the final time

Dear Mr. Speray,

   You say, “I made no distinctions about the type of right spoken of by Vatican 2”. I know you didn’t. That’s exactly why I faulted you.  By failing to make that distinction you thereby attributed to the Council what it did not say, and hence were also mistaken in your criticism of Patrick Madrid. That’s the main point I was concerned to make in my brief email.
   I agree that Benedict XVI’s statement that you quote of May 2006 – in a minor allocution that was probably hastily written by one of his many speech writers – was inexact. (He affirmed a ‘positive’ right  – my type (a) right where he should have affirmed a ‘negative’ right – my type (b).)  But I have no doubt that if one were to converse with him about it, reminding him of the distinction in question and of how both the wording of the text of DH and the official explanation given by the relator to the Council Fathers made sure that a negative right only was being recognized for non-Catholic religions, he would agree that, of course, his own true position on the matter is in line with that which was so carefully worked out at the Council.
    I think the same is very probably true of his loosely worded comments about Eastern Orthodox prelates being  pastors of/in “the Church”. It would be more in line with then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s own much more formal and carefully worded (and papally-approved) statement in the CDF Declaration Dominus Iesus to say that Eastern Orthodox dioceses are, by virtue of the Apostolic Succession of their bishops and their valid Eucharist, true – even though seriously ‘wounded’ and defective – “particular churches”; wherefore their prelates are indeed “pastors” of those particular churches. To say they are pastors of “the Church” does, I agree, sound like granting to the Eastern Orthodox communion as a whole the same status as an Eastern-rite Catholic Church, i.e., the status of an integrally and fully united component of the one true universal Church under Peter’s Successor. And of course, the recent popes themselves would be the first agree that such full unity does not exist.
   That’s one of the main problems with you sedevacantists. You go through everything recent popes say with a fine toothcomb and seize upon everything that looks like and (perhaps is) a materially unorthodox statement. Then, in a spirit of “Aha! Gotcha!” you triumphantly assert that this shows them to be heretics and not real popes. You seem to forget that the Holy Office and CDF have always given a chance to wayward theologians to explain, clarify, and if need be, correct, their false statements before concluding that their error or heresy is formal and pertinacious, and so meriting censure and/or removal from office. So you forget that Popes also manifestly deserve the same – or even greater – benefit of the doubt, before and after their election, and so cannot be judged to have been invalidly elected, or have lapsed from office, simply by virtue of having publicly made one or more heterodox statements.
This is my last contribution to this discussion, as I have other very pressing pastoral and academic commitments. As regards your other objections to Dignitatis Humanae, I recommend that you and other interested recipients of this email consider purchasing my full-length book debate with Arnold T. Guminski published last year: Religious Freedom: Did Vatican II Contradict Traditional Catholic Doctrine? It is available online for $35.00 from the publishers, St. Augustine’s Press, at:
Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

I replied a final time

Rev. Brian Harrison,

My statements concerning Vatican 2 and Patrick Madrid were correct based on either one of your distinctions. Apparently, you didn’t catch it. You obviously didn’t read my last email carefully. I made it abundantly clear in eight points why your distinction is heretical. You didn’t touch it.

You argue that DH doesn’t contradict past papal teachings, but Benedict XVI clearly admitted by implication twice that it did. Who are we to believe, you or Benedict XVI?

Since you’re not convinced “Pastors in the Church of Christ…guiding the Church” really meant it the way it’s stated, even though three different “popes” five different times worded it this way, how about you answering the 1993 Balamand statement which runs directly contrary to your explanation:

“that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity.”

John Paul II affirmed the Balamand statement in Ut Unum Sint, another official document that explains how the nature of the Church is to be understood. Can you whitewash this official and heretical statement away?

What’s funny is that even your explanations are heretical.

Pope Pius IX wrote in an official 1868 Apostolic letter to all Protestants and other non-Catholics that, none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity… we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ…”

According to Vatican 2, Ut Unum Sint, and Dominus Iesus, baptized non-Catholics are already part of the one fold of Christ; just not in full communion with the Catholic Church. That’s because those documents deny that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are one and the same thing. “Subsists” is the heretical word that implies it. The CDF point blank lied and provided not a single piece of evidence that any of its teachings be seen throughout Catholic history.

If you’re “not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” then you’re not part of the Visible Church of Christ at all. THAT’S THE REAL CATHOLIC TEACHING. Partial communion is heretical.

The conciliar popes endorse the error of believing in and promoting false religion by having it showcased in front of an altar in an Assisi Basilica, not once, not twice, but three times. And you’re arguing that the conciliar popes don’t hold that it’s an inalienable right to believe in and promote a false religion? Get real! They believe it’s a moral good; the very thing you’ve admitted is error.

Since Voodooism was practiced and promoted by praising a goddess and being possessed by her in front of an altar in an Assisi basilica through the invitation of Rome, would that mean that Rome holds Voodooism in high esteem being a good religion to practice like this or do they believe Voodooism is bad and evil religion but invited them to practice it in front of the altar anyway?

The practice of Voodooism encouraged, promoted, and praised by Benedict XVI, his bowing towards Mecca in a Mosque as Muslims with Muslims, bowing towards a Lutheran altar and praying with a woman bishop, etc. etc., and John Paul II did the same things over and over again. Your popes believe evil is good! Your popes reject the First Commandment! That’s why they aren’t true popes. THEY AREN’T CATHOLIC!

Yet, you continue to defend them by lying about the situation while attacking real Catholics and the Catholic Faith.

Steven Speray

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Dear Karl,

Since you, Catholic Answers Live radio host, Patrick Coffin, apologists Jimmy Akin and Tim Staples, and staff apologists who take questions via EWTN’s website were unable over the past several weeks to answer the following question, I now ask in front of a larger audience. Included in the email is your friend, Dave Armstrong, who has written about “radical traditionalists” in his book, Reflections on Radical Catholic Reactionaries. Is it because he also doesn’t have an answer that this subject is absent from Armstrong’s book?

Steve Speray has featured this open letter on his website and his offer still stands to post your organization’s official answer to this question.

Yours in Christ,
Matt Haltom

Given the following facts, on what grounds do you believe Vatican II popes aren’t in a state of manifest heresy?

a) Obstinate post-baptismal denial of a dogma is heresy, and public denial is manifest heresy.

b) The First Vatican Council infallibly anathematized anyone who professes that the understanding the Church has always had of a dogma can change. [1] Pope St. Pius X later designated this “evolution of dogma” the heresy of modernism.

c) The Church being one in faith, governance and worship is dogma, so this understanding can’t be redefined or supplanted by a new understanding.

d) Vatican II popes from Paul VI on have openly approved of, or openly declared, that the Church is divided, or that Eastern Orthodox and their religion are part of the Church, which means these popes reject the dogma on the Church being one, and believe dogma can change.

e) Eastern Orthodox are heretics and schismatics for denying papal primacy of jurisdiction, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary. [2]

[1] “Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding (Session 3, chapter 4, para. 14). . . “ If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema” (Canon 4, paragraph 3).

[2] The Catholic-Lutheran Joint Statement on Justification (November 1, 1999), which John Paul II praised numerous times, concludes by saying, “We give thanks to the Lord for this decisive step forward on the way to overcoming the division of the church. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us further toward that visible unity which is Christ’s will.” As for the popes endorsing the idea that the Orthodox and their religion are part of the Church, the Balamand Statement declares that “the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose …“ Paul VI, Benedict XVI and Francis I have all stated publicly that Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs are “pastors in the Church of Christ” who “guide the Church.”

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In his book “Pope Fiction,” Patrick Madrid makes the claim that Sedevacantists “come up empty-handed when it comes to the hard facts needed to make their case. Colorful fantasies are about all the Sedevacantists can muster to support their claim.” p. 273.

Yet, Madrid ignores the real “hard facts” and the two easiest and most important arguments used by Sedevacantists to support the position that the Chair of Peter is empty. I cover one of them directly with Madrid with  The Heresy on the Nature of the Church .  The other argument is found in my book here.

However, Madrid does attempt to answer the argument on religious liberty, and it is here that Madrid accidentally proves himself wrong and sedevacantism right.

Madrid quotes Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors that condemns that “Each one is free to embrace and profess that religion which, led by the light of reason, he thinks is true,” and remarks, “This statement condemns relativism, not the freedom from coercion advocated by Vatican II. It’s true, no one has the right to believe in and follow a false religion; all rights come from God, and He doesn’t endorse error. This fits perfectly with the Declaration’s statement on the ‘moral duty’ of people to pursue the ‘true religion and the one Church of Christ.’ In the pursuit, however, no one is to be forced against his free will. They must embrace the truth of their own accord.” Pp. 276-277.

While it’s true that Vatican II rightly condemns coercion, Madrid missed the second part of Vatican II’s declaration, which is contrary to Madrid’s own admission.

After Vatican II defined that religious liberty consists in the freedom from coercion it continues with, “4. The freedom or immunity from coercion in matters religious which is the endowment of persons as individuals is also to be recognized as their right when they act in community. Religious communities are a requirement of the social nature both of man and of religion itself…

Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered, either by legal measures or by administrative action on the part of government…

in erecting buildings for religious purposes, and in the acquisition and use of suitable funds or properties.

Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word.”

Madrid has implied that sedevacantism would have a case if Vatican II is shown to have taught heresy.

Madrid admitted that “no one has the right to believe in and follow a false religion.”

Madrid falsely concluded that Vatican II declared that religious liberty consists only in the freedom from coercion, because Vatican II taught that men do have a right to believe in and follow a false religion in religious communities, to erect buildings, acquire property for their false religion, and to spread their false religion publicly in speech and writing without hindrance.

Unknowingly, Madrid proved the truth of sedevacantism, since Vatican II rejects and contradicts what Madrid has admitted is Divine law.

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I recently received a comment in my Against Tim Staples page that stated, “Tim Staples is correct, this blog is lame.” What was lame was the comment since no examples were given.

So let’s take a look back at five examples of Tim Staples’ argumentation against me.

1. On the late Protestant leader Br. Roger Schultz: Tim Staples said Br. Roger Schultz converted privately to the Catholic Faith in 1972 and Ratzinger did nothing wrong by giving him communion. In fact, Schultz claimed that he never broke communion with his Protestant sect. [1] Therefore, Staples was incorrect.
2. On the infallibility of Church Disciplines: Tim Staples said, “I am saying that Church disciplines are not infallible… [again] Disciplines are not infallible…. You guys cannot make the proper distinctions between dogma, doctrine and discipline.” Yet, five popes and at least seven highly respected theologians stated or implied that Church disciplines are infallible. [2] Therefore, Staples is incorrect again.
3. On religious liberty: Tim Staples denied that post-Vatican 2 Rome gave men a right to be wrong, when in fact Vatican 2 taught the contrary. [3]
4. On papal elections: Staples said that electing a pope without cardinals can’t be done because of the law, and therefore, sedevacantism is debunked by this fact. I quoted three theologians that claimed that the cardinal-elect could become extinct or unable to elect a future pope, and therefore the normal law would be suspended under extraordinary conditions. Staples has absolutely no authorities to back his arguments, but rather creates laws that don’t exist. Tim also wrote: I argue that a true Pope cannot be elected without the law of the Church. Yet, I gave him historic examples of true popes unlawfully elected and not elected at all despite the laws. [4] Staples once again is incorrect.
5. On praying and worshiping with non-Catholics: Staples said that it was a good thing when Benedict XVI bowed towards Mecca and worshiped with Muslims as Muslims do, barefoot with arms folded in a Mosque. The Catholic Church has always and everywhere repeatedly taught that praying and worshiping with non-Catholics is contrary to the Divine law. In 1729, the Holy Office even taught that praying with non-Catholics was contrary to the Natural and Divine law, which confirms the Holy Scriptures in II Cor. 6.14-16. [5]

[1] http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2008/08/conversion-of-brother-roger-of-taize.html
http://www.traditioninaction.org/Questions/F016_SchultzConversion.html
http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/206302?eng=y

[2] Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, 78 (1794): “as if the Church which is ruled by the Spirit of God could have established discipline which is not only useless and burdensome for Christian liberty to endure, but which is even dangerous and harmful and leading to superstition and materialism, – false, rash, scandalous, dangerous, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Church and to the Spirit of God by whom it is guided, at least erroneous.” (Denzinger 1578; DS 2678)
Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 9 (1832): “Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or branded as contrary to certain principles of the natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the Church and her ministers are embraced.” He confirms it again in Quo Graviora, 4-5 (1833):
Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Sept 13, 1907: “Venerable Brethren, the principles from which these doctrines spring have been solemnly condemned by Our predecessor, Pius VI, in his Apostolic Constititution Auctorem fidei.”
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 66 (1943): “Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors.”
The Theologians
Monsignor G. Van Noort, S.T.D. Dogmatic Theology 2:91 (1958): “The Church’s infallibility extends to….ecclesiastical laws…. the Church is infallible in issuing a doctrinal decree…. If the Church should make a mistake in the manner alleged when it legislated for the general discipline, it would no longer either be a loyal guardian of revealed doctrine or a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life.”
P. Hermann, Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae (4th ed., Rome: Della Pace, 1908), vol. 1, p. 258: “The Church is infallible in her general discipline….”
A Dorsch, Institutiones Theologiae Fundamentalis. Innsbruck: Rauch 1928. 2:409: “The Church is also rightfully held to be infallible in her disciplinary decrees…”
R.M. Schultes De Ecclesia Catholica. Paris: Lethielleux 1931. 314-7: “The Church is infallible in matters of faith and morals. Through disciplinary laws, the Church teaches about matters of faith and morals, not doctrinally or theoretically, put practically and effectively. A disciplinary law therefore involves a doctrinal judgment…. The reason, therefore, and foundation for the Church’s infallibility in her general discipline is the intimate connection between truths of faith or morals and disciplinary laws. The principal matter of disciplinary laws is as follows: a) worship….”
Valentino Zubizarreta Theologia Dogmatico-Scholastica. 4th ed. Vitoria: El Carmen 1948. 1:486: “ Corollary II. In establishing disciplinary laws for the universal Church, the Church is likewise infallible…”
Serapius Iragui, Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae. Madrid: Ediciones Stadium 1959. 1:436, 447: “Therefore, when the Church establishes disciplinary laws, she must be infallible.”
Joachim Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa. 5th ed. Madrid: BAC 1962. 1:722,723: “3) Regarding disciplinary decrees in general which are by their purpose [finaliter] connected with things which God has revealed. A. The purpose of the infallible Magisterium requires infallibility for decrees of this kind…. Specifically, that the Church claims infallibility for herself in liturgical decrees…”

[3] Tim Staples said to me, “You misrepresent the teaching of the Church. The Church does not teach there is a “right to be wrong,”

Quoting DH of Vatican2, I wrote: “in religious matters, nor prevented from acting according to his conscience, whether in private or in public, within due limits….Therefore this right to non-interference persists even in those who do not carry out their obligations of seeking the truth and standing by it; and the exercise of this right should not be curtailed, as long as due public order is preserved.”

False religions are “wrongs” and Vat2 is saying that these “wrongs” have rights in the public square.

Staples replied: That is not what the document says. That is what you said. The Church is emphasizing the right of every person to worship God free from coercion and violence which is contrary to nature as well as nature’s God. “Within due limits” has to be understood in the context of our tradition just as the rest of the document does.

I responded: This is not what the document says. That is what you say. It doesn’t say “worship God” but instead says, “In religious matters” which can be in any way with any god. This is wrong but the document says this is a right. It also says that they can do it in public and in writing, without hindrance.

Staples continued: You lie when you say “Vatican 2 says men have a right to be wrong.” I’ve read every word. It is not there.

I replied again: I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT I’M HEARING. I SHOWED YOU WHAT VATICAN 2 states. You are the liar, unless of course, you don’t think being a practicing non-Catholic is wrong. Am I wrong in my position as I email, write articles, and convert people out of your novus ordo religion? If so, do I have a “right” to do this? You’re so blind.

Staples final reply: You have the right to practice what you believe free from coercion. The government has the right to say it is Catholic and to pass laws that give preferential treatment to the Church. However, the government does not have the right to use coercion to force you to be Catholic. You have the freedom ‘within due limits” to practice your faith in your non-Catholic sect.

My last nail in Staples’ coffin: You can’t answer the question (Am I wrong is my position?) without subverting your own argument. You said nowhere in Vatican 2 does it give man the right to be wrong. You said I was lying by saying it did. I asked you if I was wrong in what I believe and do with it, and do I have a right according to Vatican 2? You didn’t answer the question. You are the liar!

[4] OPEN LETTER TO TIM STAPLES OF “CATHOLIC ANSWERS” AND HIS TWO REPLIES https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/open-letter-to-tim-staples-of-catholic-answers/

[5] http://www.lulu.com/shop/steven-speray/latitudinarian-maxims-the-divine-law-on-catholic-communication-in-religion-with-non-catholics-contrasting-the-past-with-the-present/paperback/product-21532016.html

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I recently called Catholic Answers Live and the Right Here, Right Now radio show with host Patrick Madrid. Without being antagonistic, I just asked them some simple questions about membership in the Church, the Balamand statement, etc. What I got were discombobulated answers to the questions. The day I called Madrid’s show, he began talking how he’s about the truth and getting to the truth. But when I challenged him with papal declarations, he cut me off, and then he cut me short without dealing directly with the actual question. When I called back the next day to follow up on my question, I was told that I wouldn’t get on the program.

It’s funny really. Catholic radio criticizes mainstream media for misrepresentation, yet they do precisely what they condemn. Interestingly enough, Patrick Madrid spoke about hypocrisy the day I was told that I wasn’t going to be brought back on air to follow up on the Balamand statement. There’s nothing like criticizing hypocrisy while being hypocritical.

Anyway, below is my position that the so-called Catholic media won’t allow the public to hear.

Pope Pius XII repeatedly taught that “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.” (Humani Generis, 1950)

In Mystici Corporis Christi the same pope declared: “Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, ….And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”

Later in the same document, Pope Pius XII taught that heresy, schism, and apostasy severs one from the Body of the Church.

As a Catholic, I believe there’s only one true Church and that all other churches are false churches. It doesn’t matter how many truths a church has, if it has one error in doctrine, then it’s a false church.

The 1993 Balamand statement heretically teaches “that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity.”

It’s heretical because it implies that the one visible Church is divided. The Balamand statement implies that the one Church of God is made up of false churches, hence false religions. The Orthodox churches are in no way (formal or informal) part of the Church of God. On May 25, 1995, John Paul II, in Ut Unum Sint, n. 59, approved the Balamand declaration.

The 1999 JOINT DECLARATION with the Lutherans heretically states, “44. We give thanks to the Lord for this decisive step forward on the way to overcoming the division of the church. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us further toward that visible unity which is Christ’s will.”

It’s heretical because it’s implying that Lutherans are part of the Body of Christ the Church, and that the Church of Christ is not visibly unified. This is a blatant rejection of the Dogma. John Paul II approved and blessed the Joint Declaration.

In an Apostolic Letter by Pope Pius IX to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868: “neither any one of these societies by itself, nor all of them together, can in any manner constitute and be that One Catholic Church which Christ our Lord built, and established, and willed should continue; and that they cannot in any way be said to be branches or parts of that Church, since they are visibly cut off from Catholic unity…

we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ…

we await with open arms the return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon which depends not only the salvation of all of them…”

Notice that baptized non-Catholics are not members of the Body of Christ, and that they are guilty of the sin of separation since they are “wayward sons” and need to “return.”

Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos (1928) affirmed Pope Pius IX: “the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it…”

In a Jan. 22, 2013 L’Osservatore Romano article titled: The divisions among Christians disfigure the face of the Church, it was written that Benedict XVI said, “One of the gravest sins ‘that disfigure the Church’s face’ is the sin ‘against her visible unity’, and, in particular, ‘the historical divisions which separated Christians and which have not yet been surmounted’”.

The two references of the “Church’s face” and “Against her visible unity” is a point blank denial of the dogma that the visible Church is one in faith.

Conclusion:

The Catholic Church has declared that the Mystical Body of Christ (Church of Christ) is the Catholic Church and that it’s visibly one in Faith. This is an Article of Faith, a dogma and highest form of Catholic doctrine.

Vatican 2 and the conciliar popes have declared that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. Other non-Catholic churches form part of the Mystical Body of Christ as well. Therefore, the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are not one and the same thing. The Catholic Church is visibly one, but the Church of Christ is not visibly one.

For 2000 years, the Church has declared that only those who are baptized and profess the true Faith are to be counted as really members of the Church, meaning in the external forum.

Vatican 2 and the conciliar popes have declared that all baptized persons regardless of profession of faith are to be counted as members of the Church in the external forum. All baptized persons have a “right” to be called Christian.

It’s gone from…

YES, the visible Church is one in Faith, to
NO, the visible Church is not one in Faith.

YES, the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, to
NO, the Church of Christ is not the Catholic Church.

YES, heresy, schism, and apostasy severs you from the Church, to
NO, heresy, schism, and apostasy only keeps you from the fullness of truth but membership in the Church is maintained.

YES, all baptized non-Catholics are outside the Church of Christ in the external forum, to
NO, all baptized non-Catholics are inside the Church of Christ in the external forum.

I often hear on Relevant Radio that no doctrine changed after the Second Vatican Council. Yet, one can easily see that there’s no continuity with the past on doctrines and dogmas concerning the nature of the Church.

What I’ve discovered over the years is that if a person is not willing to consider the possibilities that his position on religion is wrong, then no argument, no matter how brilliant or logical, will convince such a person of his error. He will not concede. Only those with the ability to consider the possibilities will be able to see and understand the facts, the arguments, and the truth.

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After months of failed promises, on May 31, Catholic Answers Live finally did a 2-hour show on “radical traditionalism” with Patrick Coffin as host, and Tim Staples as guest speaker.

During the first hour, Staples got some of the facts wrong. For instance, Staples said Archbishop Lefebvre signed all sixteen documents of Vatican II. 

In fact, Lefebvre refused to sign Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes and spoke out against them (The Spotlight, 1988 interview with Lefebvre.)

If you can’t get simple facts straight, then you have to wonder how your theological arguments can be trusted. Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours in email exchanges with Tim Staples dealing directly with his accusations, yet he continues to misrepresent sedevacantism over and over on the airwaves.

About 38 minutes into the program, Staples used his old straw-man argument against sedevacantism. In brief, it goes like this: Vatican I declared that Peter will have perpetual successors. Pope Pius XII legislated that only cardinals can elect a new pope. Sedevacantists believe the cardinal-elect is extinct. Therefore, no future pope is possible and Vatican I’s declaration goes up in smoke, making Christ’s promise fail and the Gates of Hell would prevail against the Church. 

I’ve already given Staples the answer to this argument. You can read the exchange here: Open Letter to Tim Staples of “Catholic Answers” and His Two Replies

This is now the fourth time that I’m aware of since our exchange that Staples has used his argument on the radio after I have thoroughly debunked it using Vatican approved Catholic canonists and historic precedence. This is extremely dishonest! Apparently, Catholic Answers Live has no problems bearing false witness against their neighbors.

Patrick Coffin asked if radical traditionalists could be called “High Church Protestants.” In the past, I wrote Coffin and challenged him to explain how he’s not the real “High Church Protestant” here: A Challenge to Patrick Coffin of “Catholic Answers”

Of course, he never replied.

The rest of the first hour was lot of nothing, along with the second hour until the last 15 minutes of the program. Much to their surprise, Father Anthony Cekada called in and nicely explained how canon law arguments don’t apply to the papacy. Staples tried to use canon 2232 which doesn’t apply to heresy anyway, particularly to the pope. The Divine law is never dealt with by Staples, because this law ends the debate with Catholic Answers coming out defeated at their own game. 

Fr. Cekada tried to explain the Frankenchurch heresy only to be interrupted over and over again by Staples, who refuses to listen to anyone who can challenge Catholic Answers.

Staples didn’t answer how heretics and schismatics are part of the Church, because the Frankenchurch heresy taught by Vatican II and the conciliar popes includes heretics and schismatics as part of the Church of Christ. Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XII taught otherwise.

Finally, Fr. Cekada was asked how his name is properly pronounced and after Fr. Cekada told them, Coffin and Staples continued to mispronounce it. This shows how Catholic Answers doesn’t really pay attention. If they can’t even get simple things like how to pronounce someone’s name correctly after being told, how can they understand theological arguments? They simply can’t, therefore, they will continue to use silly straw-man arguments and misrepresent the Church’s theology.

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Dear Jimmy Akin,

I emailed you a couple of weeks ago and have not heard a reply. Therefore, I’m sending this open email about two of your radio replies plus an article you’ve written.

On Catholic Answer’s Live, March 13, 2013, at roughly around 35:51 into the program, you stated,

“They are a group of people who are very attached to certain expressions of the Catholic Faith that were very common prior to the Second Vatican Council, and are not as common today, they’re still valid expressions of the Catholic faith, but some people have become so attached to them that it’s caused them to actually have refused to embrace or even tolerate the alternative expressions of the Catholic Faith that have become common in the years since the council. And so as a result , they didn’t like how the way things went after the council and that’s something that people can have different opinions with, obviously there have been problems in the Church, but some of them have let that so dominated their thinking they’ve actually gone into a state of schism, they have accused the pope of not really being the pope, that group of people are called sedevacantists…

and they, therefore have severed communion with the pope…

by rejecting communion with those popes they have split themselves from the Church. That’s what schism is. It’s when you refuse communion with the pope, or those who are in communion with them. So if you’re saying, this guy or this group of guys isn’t the real pope, there is no real pope, then you have left communion with the Catholic Church, and that’s a very tragic situation…”

What expressions (pre and post – Vatican 2) are you referring to? What is it precisely that sedevacantists don’t like after the council that so dominated their thinking that Catholics can have differing opinions on? Catholics holding to sedevacantism don’t accept as true popes those who reject dogmas and Divine laws. In other words, the pope must be a Catholic. Mere expressions and opinions are not foundations for sedevacantism. So I would like to know what you meant, since your reply is a misrepresentation of sedevacantism. I’m sure you know that bearing false witness against your neighbors is a mortal sin if your intent was not to explain the truth of our position.

As for your explanation of schism, would you say that St. Vincent Ferrer severed communion with the Catholic Church when he “refused” to be in communion with the Rome line pontiffs? Could “sedevacantists” be considered merely mistaken Catholics rather than schismatics who’ve separated from the Catholic Church? I consider as members of the Catholic Church, Catholics who’ve ignorantly or mistakenly followed the conciliar popes.

Also, on the radio April 4, 2013, a caller asked you how Benedict XVI’s statement that Jews and Catholics worship the same Lord can be reconciled with the fact that Jews reject Christ as God. You said in a roundabout way that Jews in the Old Testament were unaware of the Trinitarian God, but they in fact worshiped God. Therefore, Jews and Muslims can worship the true God though not knowing the Trinitarian God.

Catholic Answers is quick to point out distinctions unless those needed distinctions have a negative effect on the Vatican 2 religion, at which point they are glossed over. Case in point: You fail to make the distinction between merely being ignorant of the Trinitarian God verses actually rejecting the Trinitarian God. Jews and Muslims reject Jesus as God and even blaspheme the Most Holy Trinity. They aren’t ignorant of the Christian faith on this point. I’d like an answer to how one can knowingly reject Christ, reject and blaspheme the Most Holy Trinity and at the same time worship and pray to Him?

This is a major problem because John Paul II and Benedict XVI have made numerous statements about Jews and Muslims worshiping the one true God of Christianity. NA3 of Vatican 2 goes even further: “The Church also looks upon Muslims with respect.  They worship the one God living and subsistent, merciful and mighty, creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to humanity and to whose decrees, even the hidden ones, they seek to submit themselves whole-heartedly,just as Abraham, to whom the Islamic faith readily relates itself, submitted to God…Hence they have regard for the moral life and worship God in prayer, almsgiving and fasting.”  

Muslims have a high regard for the moral life, when their religion blasphemes the Most Holy Trinity, practices and promotes polygamy, hypocritically mistreats and sometimes kills their own women, commits suicide for promised sensual pleasure, and who knows what else… seriously?

Apparently, John Paul II was serious about it. In a message to “Grand Sheikh Mohammed,” Feb. 24, 2000, he stated “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) We have a supposed pope thanking those who are developing Islamic culture that blasphemes the Most Holy Trinity while misleading literally a billion people away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he didn’t stop there. The very next month, March 21, 2000, John Paul II stated, “May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam and all the people of Jordan…” (L’ Osservatore Romano, March 29, 2000, p. 2) This is absolutely stunning because John Paul II did not just say, may St. John protect a people, but a false religion that denies the divinity of Christ. How is this not blasphemy?

This reminds me of your latest article about Francis I’s foot-washing a Muslim woman. You imply that Francis I doesn’t have to follow Canon Law because popes can basically grant themselves dispensation. However, Francis I was breaking this law as bishop in South America long before his election in Rome. Therefore, your explanation doesn’t help in his defense. Also, you claim “If the Church can survive altar girls, it can certainly survive a change in the discipline regarding who has their feet washed.” Pope Gelasius called evil the practice of altar girls because the roles “are not suited to their sex, having been assigned exclusively to those of masculine gender.” The Church has forbidden them for 2000 years for good reason. It doesn’t have the authority to permit an evil practice anymore than permitting women priestesses. Altar girls are the rotten fruit of a counterfeit church.

I will post this letter on my website and any and all replies thereafter.

Sincerely,

Steven Speray

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