Archive for the ‘Catholic Answers Live’ Category


Trent Horn of Catholic Answers recently posted a video attempting to rebut sedevacantism. Horn critiques Peter Dimond in his debate with Jeff Cassman, but grossly misrepresents the issues. I will address only the main errors of the first half of Trent Horn’s lengthy video, most of which come from John Salza’s and Robert Siscoe’s heretical book, True or False Pope, which is loaded with error.

Horn’s First Error: It’s almost impossible to find a valid mass in light of the fact sedevacantists claim that Vatican 2 bishops and priests are invalid.

It’s actually very easy. Here is a website that shows where the valid masses are located: Lux Vera USA Directory

Horn’s Second Error: There will always be popes holding the office of Peter.

Horn quotes Pope Leo XIII’s Satis Cognitum and Pope Pius IX’s Etsi Multi to support his claim. However, the issue of the popes he cites are only telling us about the perpetual principle of the papacy, which sedevacantism accepts. The popes aren’t saying that long interregnums won’t happen. I’ve dealt with Horn’s argument many times in the past. See How Long Can the Church Exist Without a Pope?

Horn’s Third Error: The temple in which antichrist sets himself up as god to be worshiped is probably the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

Pope St. Pius X told us the temple of Antichrist is the universe. See The Distinguishing Mark of Antichrist

Trent Horn is a “Catholic” apologist by profession; he should know better.

Horn’s Fourth Error: The sin of heresy does not sever one from the Body of the Church.

Trent Horn makes the same argument as Salza and Siscoe concerning the sin of heresy.

The public sin of heresy is a crime. Pope Pius XII declared in Mystici Corporis Christi: “For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”

The “Body” denotes the external forum of the Catholic Church.

Theologian Van Noort explains: Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of three factors—baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy—pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church. The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. “For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy” (MCC 30; italics ours). By the term public heretics at this point we mean all who externally deny a truth (for example Mary’s Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic). It is certain that public, formal heretics are severed from the Church membership. It is the more common opinion that public, material heretics are likewise excluded from membership. Theological reasoning for this opinion is quite strong: if public material heretics remained members of the Church, the visibility and unity of Christ’s Church would perish. If these purely material heretics were considered members of the Catholic Church in the strict sense of the term, how would one ever locate the “Catholic Church”? How would the Church be one body? How would it profess one faith? Where would be its visibility? Where its unity? For these and other reasons we find it difficult to see any intrinsic probability to the opinion which would allow for public heretics, in good faith, remaining members of the Church.

I dealt with Horn’s fallacy here: A Note to John Salza: Heresy ‘Does’ Automatically Sever One from the Church

Horn’s Fifth Error: All theologians agree that a pope would not lose office without first being found guilty of the canonical crime of manifest heresy. This is done by competent authority that makes a declaration by the cardinals or a council of bishops.

Well, we’ve heard this argument a time or two. At 19:12 through 20:29, Trent Horn misrepresented Suarez and Bellarmine. Suarez gave several ideas about what would happen if a pope became a heretic but then acknowledged that none of the arguments work. Therefore, a pope can’t become a heretic. Suarez didn’t even believe a pope could be an occult heretic, unlike Bellarmine.

Bellarmine thought a pope could be an occult heretic but not a manifest heretic. 20th century canonists Wernz/Vidal explain Bellarmine’s position, “a Pope who fell into public heresy would cease by that very fact to be a member of the Church. Therefore he would also cease by that very fact to be the head of the Church.” Horn completely mangled Bellarmine on this point.

Horn cites the law that no one can judge the pope, then explains how authorities must judge the pope of a canonical crime before he loses office. He, like so many others, don’t see the absurdity of their arguments. A pope loses his office automatically precisely because he can’t be judged for a canonical crime. Dozens of theologians tell us this. A few of examples:

F.X. Wernz, P. Vidal (1943): “Through notorious and openly revealed heresy, the Roman Pontiff, should he fall into heresy, by that very fact is deemed to be deprived of the power of jurisdiction even before any declaratory judgment of the Church…” (Ius Canonicum. Rome: Gregorian 1943. 2:45.)

Udalricus Beste (1946): “Not a few canonists teach that, outside of death and abdication, the pontifical dignity can also be lost by falling into certain insanity, which is legally equivalent to death, as well as through manifest and notorious heresy. In the latter case, a pope would automatically fall from his power, and this indeed without the issuance of any sentence, for the first See [i.e., the See of Peter] is judged by no one.  (Introductio in Codicem. 3rd ed. Collegeville: St. John’s Abbey Press 1946. Canon 221)

My favorite is St. Antoninus, O.P. (1389-1459): “In the case in which the pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off. ‘A pope who would be separated from the Church by heresy, therefore, would by that very fact itself cease to be head of the Church.  He could not be a heretic and remain pope, because, since he is outside of the Church, he cannot possess the keys of the Church.’”  (Summa Theologica cited in Actes de Vatican I. V. Frond pub.)

Only a small number of theologians use the absurd argument that a declaration must be made beforehand. However, most of them see the absurdity and conclude that a pope can’t become a heretic to begin with. Cajetan and John of St. Thomas are exceptions.

Horn’s Sixth Error: Canon 10 of the Fourth Council of Constantinople condemns rash judgment of the pope.

The canon actually condemns rash judgment of any sitting Patriarch. However, Horn misapplies the canon to sedevacantism.

1. The Council and Canon 10 have nothing to do with sedevacantism.

2. The Council condemned usurpers to the throne AND their supporters, which would, in principle, condemn Francis I and Trent Horn who represent the new Photius and his support group.

3. The Council deposed Photius after declaring he never had office, which means being deposed doesn’t presuppose one actually had the office.

4. The Catholic Encyclopedia states, “By this act Photius committed three offences against canon law: he was ordained bishop without having kept the interstices, by an excommunicate consecrator, and to an already occupied see. To receive ordination from an excommunicate person made him too excommunicate ipso facto.”

5. Canon 10 condemns judging rashly a patriarch. It’s not about judging rightly about one who manifestly professes heresy whereby such individuals lose office ipso facto, because they ipso facto cease to members of the Body of the Church before trial, judgment, and excommunication.

Horn’s Seventh Error: Laymen are not qualified to recognize when a bishop is a manifest heretic.

This implies that we can’t follow Our Lord’s words when He said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matt. 7:15-16)”

St. Paul tells us in Acts 20:28-29 that wolves will enter the Church.

“Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”

There will be wolves acting as bishops but according to Horn, we aren’t qualified to recognize they are wolves.

Horn’s Eighth Error: No bishop declared John XXIII or Paul VI a manifest heretic because they were not manifest heretics.

Actually, there were a few bishops that thought so. One bishop for sure did declare it. However, failure to make a declaration has nothing to do with whether they were indeed manifest heretics. Bishops can fail in their duty as they did.

No priest in the Diocese of Lexington has declared Bishop John Stowe a manifest heretic despite the fact that Stowe manifestly endorses and promotes the LGBTQ objective, which is to be recognized and accepted as a legitimate way of life.

What bishop has condemned Francis for praising, supporting, and endorsing LGBTQ priest James Martin or his tacit approval of the blessing of same-sex couples by the numerous bishops around the world? If public approval of the LGBTQ objective is not manifest heresy, then there’s no such thing as manifest heresy. Imagine if Francis praised and endorsed Planned Parenthood or NAMBLA? Would that constitute manifest heresy and if not, may Catholics follow Francis in his endorsement of these different organizations?  

Horn’s Ninth Error: Popes can have lesser errors against the faith than heresy, such as John XXII teaching on the Beatific Vision.

Popes can err but not against the Faith, not even a little bit. John XXII did not err against the faith since it was an open question at the time. The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us so. 

Horn’s Tenth Error: Vatican 2 doesn’t teach any heresies.

Horn actually tells us one heresy, viz, baptized non-Catholics are members of Christ, but denies it is heresy. I cover it in Horn’s Eleventh Error.

Other Vatican 2 heresies include religious liberty covered in Horn’s Twelfth Error and the heresy that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. See UPDATE: Fathers of Mercy Priest Enters Vatican II’s “Subsists” Debate


The Heresy on the Nature of the Church

Horn’s Eleventh Error: Non-Catholics are members of the Body of Christ in virtue of their baptism but have an imperfect communion and the Apostle Paul taught in Rom. 6 that everyone validly baptized is united to Christ.

This is blatant heresy. St. Paul said no such thing. I have written extensively on this subject, so I’ll refer to the articles I’ve already written on the subject.

A Perfect Example of Modernism in Vatican 2

Are Protestants Christians and Members of the Church of Christ?

A Right to the Christian Name

That They May Be One (Ut Unum Sint)

Horn’s Twelfth Error: Vatican 2’s teaching on religious liberty is only about coercion in civil society. In other words, men can’t be forced to be Catholic.

While it’s true that men can’t be forced to be Catholic, Vatican 2 goes much further. Again, I’ve dealt with this in the past as well. See

Religious Liberty and the Dignity of the Human Person

Rev. Brian Harrison Responds to My Article on Patrick Madrid and Religious Liberty

Trent Horn obviously hasn’t done his homework on the issues. It appears he’s made a cursory reading on the subject and repeats the same tired arguments we’ve refuted numerous times. It’s just sorry and dishonest!

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The subject of whether Protestants and Orthodox are Christians and their religions are part of the Church of Christ comes up frequently on “Catholic” Relevant Radio, youtube, etc.

According to the religion of Vatican 2, which falls in line with  some Protestants, membership in the Church includes all who are baptized and profess Christ while rejecting dogmas of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican 2 religion has gone out of its way to say that the Eastern Orthodox religion is part of the one Church of Christ in the Balamand statement. [1] It also implied that the Lutheran churches are part of the Church of Christ. [2]

Vatican 2 apologists such as Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., and Patrick Madrid don’t hesitate for a second to say that the Church has never changed a doctrine while in the same breath saying Protestants and Orthodox are Christians but without the fullness of truth.

To the contrary, the great Pope Leo XIII reiterated in Satis Cognitum what the Church has always taught and practiced. Below are the relevant parts.

“4 Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: ‘I believe in one Church.’ ‘The Church in respect of its unity belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts… And so dispersed members, separated one from the other, cannot be united with one and the same head. ‘There is one God, and one Christ; and His Church is one and the faith is one; and one the people, joined together in the solid unity of the body in the bond of concord. This unity cannot be broken, nor the one body divided by the separation of its constituent parts’….

5 So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a hereticthe life of the spirit follows not the amputated member.

9 The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a tertian portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos)….

The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium….

St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. “No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic” (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88)…

And as souls cannot be perfectly united in charity unless minds agree in faith, he wishes all to hold the same faith: “One Lord, one faith,” and this so perfectly one as to prevent all danger of error: “that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. iv., 14): and this he teaches is to be observed, not for a time only – “but until we all meet in the unity of faith…unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (13). But, in what has Christ placed the primary principle, and the means of preserving this unity? In that – “He gave some Apostles – and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (11-12). …

In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? – without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others…

Pope Pius XI continued with the subject and declared in Mortalium animos:

11. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.

For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.

Since the Second Vatican Council, Rome now calls heretics and schismatics Christians or separated brethren, and even denies that they are heretics and schismatics.

For instance, Vatican II states:

The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection…. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” (Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, Chapter 1, para. 3)

Children born and raised in false churches would be accused of the sin of separation if they come to know or should know better and remain separated. We don’t presume that everybody remains invincibly ignorant. Regardless, only God can read hearts. We don’t presume to know if one is truly guilty or innocent. To say they all “are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian” is a reversal in Church teaching.

We demonstrated that Pope Leo XIII taught exactly the opposite in Satis Cognitum.

Pope Pius XII declared:To be Christian one must be Roman. One must recognize the oneness of Christ’s Church that is governed by one successor of the Prince of the Apostles who is the Bishop of Rome, Christ’s Vicar on earth” (Allocution to the Irish pilgrims of October 8, 1957).

The terms heretics and schismatics are canonical and doctrinal Catholic terminology referring to the baptized some of whom were justified by faith at one time. Non-baptized persons aren’t called heretics and schismatics, but rather infidels, heathens, pagans, etc. We have long standing and official Catholic terminology which the Vatican 2 religion deems inappropriate, inaccurate, and counterfactual.

We might call heretics “Christians” in conventional language, but to claim they have a “right” to the Christian name would make calling them heretics and schismatics wrong and hateful. Yet, Popes have called Protestants and Orthodox heretics in official documents. Just a few examples include Pope Benedict XIV in Ex Quo (On the Euchologion – 1756), Pope Pius VI in Charitas (In the Civil Oath in France – 1791), Pope Gregory XVI in Summo Iugiter Studio (On Mixed Marriages – 1832) and Probe Nostis (On the Propogation of the Faith – 1840), and Pope Pius IX in Omnem Sollicitudinem (On the Greek-Ruthenian Rite – 1874). Pope Leo XIII used it the most in several documents.

Pope Leo XIII also declared in Satis Cognitum: “Therefore if a man does not want to be, or to be called, a heretic, let him not strive to please this or that man… but let him hasten before all things to be in communion with the Roman See.”



[1] The 1993 Balamand Statement approved by John Paul II on May 25, 1995, in Ut Unum Sint, n. 59, declared:

  1. In fact, especially since the panorthodox Conferences and the Second Vatican Council, the re- discovery and the giving again of proper value to the Church as communion, both on the part of Orthodox and of Catholics, has radically altered perspectives and thus attitudes. On each side it is recognized that what Christ has entrusted to his Church – profession of apostolic faith, participation in the same sacraments, above all the one priesthood celebrating the one sacrifice of Christ, the apostolic succession of bishops – cannot be considered the exclusive property of one of our Churches.
  2. It is in this perspective 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. According to the words of Pope John Paul II, the ecumenical endeavour of the Sister Churches of East and West, grounded in dialogue and prayer, is the search for perfect and total communion which is neither absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love (cf. Slavorum Apostoli, n. 27).


by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church Nov. 1, 1999

  1. 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.

John Paul II approved and blessed the Joint Declaration as seen below.


Edward Cardinal Cassidy

President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

  1. On the Catholic side, the Official Common Statement and the Annex have been approved by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. His Holiness Pope John Paul II has been informed accordingly and has given his blessing for the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, together with the Official Common Statement with its attached Annex on the date and in the place to be decided by the two partners.



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Senior apologist Jimmy Akin over at “Catholic Answers” has attempted to explain away “Pope” Francis’ new catechism change on the death penalty. [1] Akin argues that capital punishment is not intrinsically evil. The reason, he gives, is that today’s penal sanctions can protect society without the need for the death penalty, whereas in the past, the Church understood the death penalty as a necessary requirement to protect society.

Akin takes it further and states, “the death penalty could still be justified as a means of protecting society” and “one could understand the death penalty as something that involves ‘an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person’ but an attack that could be tolerated or even required in situations where there is no other way to effectively protect society.”

The whole problem here is that the catechism implies the precise opposite to Akin’s argument.

The revision denotes that in the past the dignity of the person was considered lost due to serious crimes which justified the use of capital punishment. However, now “an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes” and “Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person’, [1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

The footnote points to Francis’ address in 2017 where he stated that the death penalty is “contrary to the Gospel” and “is an inhuman measure.” That means the death penalty is intrinsically evil.

In case you missed it, the catechism is saying the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and dignity of the person, but Akin argues that the same quote admits that such an attack is admissible. It can be justified, tolerated, or even required.

Apologist Patrick Madrid (formally of “Catholic Answers”) admits that Francis’ new teaching is contrary to past Church teaching and the death penalty is not an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person. Madrid asserts the change is Francis’ “personal pastoral approach” and “pastoral opinion” but no change in doctrine. [2]

If we pay close attention, we can see that the Francis’ catechism revision is implying four things:

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

All four implications are blasphemies against the Church and outright heresies against the Holiness of the Church.

Madrid understands the error of Francis’ teaching but asserts that a pope has the right to make and apply a heretical and blasphemous opinion as a pastoral approach.

Over at the Remnant Newspaper, we have Christopher Ferrara rightly pointing out Francis’ nonsense but then calling his pope’s magisterium “fake.” Well, that’s interesting. We sede’s call Francis’ magisterium fake, too, because Francis isn’t pope. However, Ferrara calls it fake because it’s heretical. [3]


Jimmy Akin twists the very words of “Pope” Francis and his catechism revision to say precisely opposite of their clear meaning.

Patrick Madrid implies that a pope has the right to promulgate a heretical pastoral approach.

Christopher Ferrara thinks his pope’s magisterium is fake with no authority because in Ferrara’s crazy religion, popes can have fake magisteriums and promulgate heresy without losing their office or membership in the Church.

All I can say is, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”



[1] http://jimmyakin.com/2018/08/understanding-the-catechisms-death-penalty-revision.html

[2] http://jimmyakin.com/2018/08/understanding-the-catechisms-death-penalty-revision.html

[3] https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4000-killing-capital-punishment-francis-vs-the-catholic-church#comment-4020553214

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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]

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.


[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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“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

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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?

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

[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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