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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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Dear Patrick,

On Thursday’s show, Dec. 6, 2012, you stated, “starting in January onward, we’re doing a whole hour just on the phenomena of radical traditionalism, not just the SSPX, but folks we might affectionately call High Church Protestants…more Catholic than the popes, kind of a handy way of summarizing it.” [1]

This is not the first time you’ve called Catholics holding to the historic Catholic faith inviolate “High Church Protestants.”

Since Protestants are those who reject dogmas of the Church, my first challenge for you is to show that dogma that the SSPX, sedevacantists, etc. are rejecting which would make them Protestants. If you can’t do so, then I submit that you are guilty of bearing false witness against your neighbors, and expect a public apology on your radio show for your derogatory and slanderous remarks.

Please don’t resort to the argument that because traditionalists reject Vatican 2 they are heretics because as you and Tim Staples have admitted, Vatican 2 is not infallible in virtue of itself and therefore a rejection of it wouldn’t constitute a heresy. Also, Tim Staples has tried several times using the old straw-man that sedevacantists reject Vatican I’s definition of perpetual succession. Although, Tim has seen how his Protestant-like private interpretation of Vatican I is contrary to the explanation given by the Vatican’s own theologians, he continues, like the dishonest Mike Gendron, to perpetuate lies about the faith anyway.

My second challenge for you is to explain how your new religion founded in the 1960’s is not more like High Church Protestants when in Nov. 2011 your pope entered a Lutheran temple, praised the radical apostate Martin Luther, bowed towards their altar (which has no real sacrifice) and prayed alongside a woman bishop of that apostate religion that has been anathematized by Trent.

I’m sure Tim Staples thinks this was a good thing as he also stated that he thought it was a good thing for Benedict XVI to go into a mosque, arms folded, shoes off, and bowing towards Mecca as he prayed alongside the Muslim leaders of Islam. He first denied that it ever happened on the radio and even called it a sin. I guess a sin actually becomes a good thing to good ole Tim, as long as his pope is doing it.

You believe and follow Vatican 2’s new definition and explanation of the Church, which falls more inline with Protestantism. Protestants believe that the Body of Christ (the Church) crosses all denominational lines and that it subsists in all denominations. The only difference between Protestantism and Vatican 2ism is that the latter teaches that it has the fullness of truth. The historic Catholic Faith, which you reject, teaches that the Church of Christ is one and the same as the Catholic Church. It doesn’t “extend much further than the Catholic Church” as your pope explained the meaning of Lumen Gentium’s word “subsists” in place of “is.” Vatican 2 teaches that all who have been baptized are members of the Church of Christ, which is simply not true. Heretics (baptized) are not members of Christ’s Body. They’ve been cut off. We don’t assume that everybody is invincibly ignorant and really inside the Church. We also don’t assume that everybody who has been baptized in invincible ignorance remains invincibly ignorant. We don’t call these non-Catholics Christians, yet, your religion says they all have a right to be called Christians.

Can you explain how you are not the real “High Church Protestant?”

Lastly, the whole, “more Catholic than the popes” is incredibly immature. Popes can and have been wrong, and they have been corrected by inferiors. I could give many examples, such as St. Peter Damiani who proved to have known better about Holy Orders than Pope St. Leo IX.  Does that make the inferiors more Catholic? Of course not, because you can’t be more Catholic than another. One is either Catholic or not. The question is whether Benedict XVI is Catholic? I’ll be waiting to hear your explanation why he would be considered a Catholic when he apparently believes his actions in the Lutheran temple are good and righteous. If he believed that artificial contraception or homosexuality was good and promoted it, would you consider him a Catholic? All three are contrary to the Divine law, so what says Patrick Coffin?

I’ll be interested in hearing your one hour show in January devoted to traditional Catholicism. Catholic Answers has never been honest in the past about the subject, so it won’t be surprising to hear a terrible misrepresentation with a ton of straw-man arguments to go with it.

I will post this letter on my blog and any and all replies you send. Again, I expect a public apology on the radio if you can’t produce that heresy proclaimed by those traditional Catholics whom you label “High Church Protestants.”

Sincerely,

Steven Speray

[1] http://www.catholic.com/radio/shows/open-forum-7753

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Hello Tim,

My replies below…

Tim: Hello Steven,

Since I have been around and around with you on this for scores of pages in the past (I am sure we went well over a hundred), I don’t see the need to do this all again. I will respond to this one email, but I really don’t see how any good will come of another several hundred pages with you. Don’t you agree? So please do not expect another back-and-forth because it is not going to happen.

SPERAY2: I didn’t start this thing. I simply asked if you believed if Vatican 2 was infallible in virtue of itself. After you gave your answer, you attacked me on sedevacantism which I had no intention of getting into. So I’m going to defend myself and my position.

Tim: See below:

Dear Tim Staples,

On Catholic Answers Live, July 10, 2012, you gave the wrong answer on three separate points against me on the position of sedevacantism.

First point:

Tim, you argued that since Church law requires that only cardinals can elect a pope, sedevacantism fails because it adherents recognize that the cardinal elect is extinct and there is no way to get another pope. Thus, Christ’s promise of the gates of hell not prevailing, failed, because Vatican I dogmatically defined that there are perpetual successors until the end of the time.

Your argument is a straw-man, because you misrepresented the law and its application. The inability to apply a church law can’t prohibit the Divine right that Peter has successors. Vatican approved experts explain:

“When it would be necessary to proceed with the election, if it is impossible to follow the regulations of papal law, as was the case during the Great Western Schism, one can accept, without difficulty, that the power of election could be transferred to a General Council…Because natural law prescribes that, in such cases, the power of a superior is passed to the immediate inferior because this is absolutely necessary for the survival of the society and to avoid the tribulations of extreme need.” (De Ecclesia Christi, Billot)

Tim: As I said on the air, I would need magisterial authority here. In order to make a claim that papal law could be declared null and void and a “General Council” could exercise such authority I would need to see it taught by the Church and not just by a “Vatican approved expert” as you claim.

SPERAY2: What Church teaching is Cardinal Billot rejecting by saying the cardinal-elect could become extinct? I would like to see that magisterial teaching that states what you’re implying, Tim.

Tim: There are multiple problems here. First, a “General Council” has no authority without a Pope.

SPERAY2: It would have the same authority as the conclave. Why wouldn’t it?

Tim: Second, the Great Western Schism was not settled by a Council taking authority over the Pope.

SPERAY2: Agreed!

Tim: It was settled when Pope Gregory XII graciously submitted his letter of resignation at the Council of Constance. If he had not done so, the Council would have had no authority to depose him and the subsequent election of Martin V would have been invalid.

SPERAY2: Not exactly. You’re assuming Gregory was a true pope. He most certainly was recognized as one by many and his stepping down allowed for Martin to come into the picture, but it wasn’t over yet. Clement VIII was elected and some confusion still remained until Clement abdicated, and then there was absolutely certainty.

Tim: You are presenting a conciliarist argument here, but conciliarism was condemned by both Pius II in his Papal Bull Exsecrabilis and by Vatican I, both of which you acknowledge as valid.

SPERAY2: I’m not presenting a conciliarist argument at all, because I’m not saying that a council had anything to do with it. I’m arguing that reasonable doubt remained until one claimant was left and he was recognized by the rest of the faithful.

“.. . by exception and by supplementary manner this power (that of electing a pope), corresponds to the Church and to the Council, either by the absence of Cardinal Electors, or because they are doubtful, or the election itself is uncertain, as it happened at the time of the schism.” (De Comparatione Auctoritatis Papae et Concilii, Cajetan, OP)

Tim: Interesting theory, but no Church teaching to back it up.

SPERAY2: Where’s the Church teaching to back up your theory, Tim? At least, I present experts that support my position. Can you cite an expert to support yours?

“Even if St. Peter would have not determined anything, once he was dead, the Church had the power to substitute him and appoint a successor to him … If by any calamity, war or plague, all Cardinals would be lacking, we cannot doubt that the Church could provide for herself a Holy Father…Hence such an election should be carried out by all the Church and not by any particular Church. And this is because that power is common and it concerns the whole Church. So it must be the duty of the whole Church.” (De Potestate Ecclesiae, Vitoria)

Tim: We have the testimony of Scripture in Acts 1 with St. Peter clearly stepping in and declaring how Judas’ replacement would be chosen and the testimony of our fourth Pope St. Clement who explicitly tells us that the apostles did in fact make provision that after their deaths “other approved men should take up their office” (see Pope St. Clement I, Letter to the Corinthians, 42, 44).

SPERAY2: I have no problem here, so how does it apply. Vitoria isn’t disagreeing with it, he’s saying “even if” and then the position I’m advocating still works.

Tim: Also, I would note that as a matter of history, the entire Catholic world received Pope John XXIII as Pope and not only the Cardinals who elected him. The whole Church has also received each of his successors right down to Benedict XVI. A handful of disgruntled clergymen does not the Church make.

SPERAY2: Not everybody. Dr. Elizabeth Gerstner never accepted Roncalli. She was the Vatican insider who leaked out that Roncalli was going to be elected because it was all planned ahead. She knew them all personally. There are 10,000 Catholics who never received Benedict XVI as pope. Also, Pope Paul IV was clear that it didn’t matter if a heretic is acknowledged as pope by the whole world such a person is not pope. I submit that this teaching is part of the Divine law which is immutable. So your argument is moot.

Hence, the experts presuppose that the cardinal elect could become extinct despite Church law. So, who should we listen to? Tim Staples or the Vatican approved experts?

Tim: Listen to the teaching and directives of the Church.

SPERAY2: So where is that Church teaching that teaches your theory on this matter?

Also, I could point out that the Catholic Church had many true popes in the past who were unlawfully elected. Popes Vigilius, St. Eugene, John XII, and Alexander VI are just a few examples. Therefore, from historic precedent, it’s not absolutely necessary to have a true pope through lawful election. This being said, if Benedict XVI renounced his errors, got conditionally consecrated bishop, we radical traditionalists would accept him as pope for the good of the universal Church. After all, some antipopes in the past just assumed the Chair of Peter by the acceptance of the faithful. If it happened before, it could happen again.

Tim: You assume the nefarious events that surrounded the elections of these Popes means they were invalid.

SPERAY2: I didn’t say they were invalid. They were valid, but they were unlawfully elected.

Tim: The law concerning elections has changed over the years. The Popes have the authority to change those laws. Vigilius’ crimes of simony and at least complicity in murder do not invalidate his election.

SPERAY2: I never said it did. I said he was a pope, but he began unlawfully.

Tim: St. Eugene being elected while his predecessor was still Pope is an interesting case. His election, it is presumed, was validated after the death of St. Martin.

SPERAY2: St. Eugene started off unlawfully. He wasn’t pope until St. Martin abdicated.

Tim: John XII was quite the immoral fellow, but there is nothing about his election that is in question.

SPERAY2:  Oh yes, there was. His election violated the decree of Pope St. Symmachus (March 1, 499 A.D.) forbidding agreements during a pope’s lifetime about the choice of his successor.

Tim: Though some argue against it, there was most likely simony involved in Alexander VI’s election, but the Cardinals certainly and freely elected him.

SPERAY2:  The papal law at that time forbade simony as a nullifying factor in papal elections. Pope St. Pius X changed it. Alexander VI was unlawfully elected.

Tim: And this leads to another point. Even among the various theories of how a Pope could be “deposed” (all of which I reject),

SPERAY2: I agree with you. No one can depose a pope, except the pope himself.

Tim: you first have the theory that an Ecumenical Council could do so (which is absurd because a Council has no authority apart from the Pope as I said).

SPERAY2:  I absolutely agree that a council can’t depose a true pope.

Tim: You also have the theory that the same people who elected the Pope could depose him. Or you have the theory that “the whole Church” could elect or depose. Though I reject all of these theories, none of them apply in the case of sedevacantists today.

SPERAY2: I agree with you 100%. I would even go so far as to say those theories are contrary to the Divine law, and yes, they don’t apply in the case of sedevacantism, because the position of sedevacantism doesn’t hold to anything like that. Only a pope can depose himself.

Tim: The Cardinals who elected Pope Blessed John XXIII were alive and well for years after his election without a peep. The Universal Church received and loved Pope John and all of his successors.

SPERAY2: I submit that this is radically false, but even if it were true which it is not, it doesn’t mean a thing. The whole Church could possibly recognize an antipope as it has done before.

Tim: And I don’t recall Vatican II ever deposing him. So even if any of these theories were true, this little “sedevacantist” sect does not fit the criterion. A couple or three bishops do not make an Ecumenical Council. A handful of sedevacantists (relatively speaking) do not equal “the whole Church.”

SPERAY2: Believe it or not, I agree with this statement 100%. The problem, Tim, is that you don’t really understand sedevacantism at all. You think that you do, but you’ve simply got us wrong.

When asked if you could provide the Church teaching that gives an interregnum limit, you said the Church gave it with Pope Pius XII’s decree and the death of the last cardinal. This is your mere private interpretation of the law which contradicts the experts and simple logic. You may disagree with sedevacantism, but you can’t use the false argument that a true pope can’t be elected without cardinals.

Tim: I argue that a true Pope cannot be elected without the law of the Church.

SPERAY2: The Natural and Divine laws are also part of the Church, but you are incorrect, because I just demonstrated how we have true popes apart from the law of the Church.

Tim: And he certainly cannot be elected by a handful of disgruntled bishops fifty-four years after the election of the last Pope.

SPERAY2: To a certain extent that may be true, because I don’t automatically exclude all novus ordo Catholics as outside of the Catholic Church. Many are just in error, but they are certainly Catholic.

Tim: You do not have the law of the Church on your side.

SPERAY2: I do have the law on my side because I don’t hold to what you think I’m holding. Again, I gave an alternative with Benedict XVI himself.

Second point:

Tim, you argued that we know who the true popes were during the Great Schism. I submit that you may believe who they were, but you can’t say with absolute assurance.

Again the experts explain: “The Church is a visible society with a visible Ruler. If there can be any doubt about who that visible Ruler is, he is not visible, and hence, where there is any doubt about whether a person has been legitimately elected Pope, that doubt must be removed before he can become the visible head of Christ’s Church. Blessed Bellarmine, S.J., says: ‘A doubtful Pope must be considered as not Pope’; and Suarez, S.J., says: ‘At the time of the Council of Constance there were three men claiming to be Pope…. Hence, it could have been that not one of them was the true Pope, and in that case, there was no Pope at all….” (The Defense of the Catholic Church, 1927, Fr. Francis X. Doyle, S.J.)

Tim: It has been believed generally by the overwhelming majority of theologians for hundreds of years now that Gregory XII was the valid Pope who resigned at Constance. My faith is not rooted in the details of past elections, it is rooted in Matthew 16:18-19 as it has been definitively understood in the Church at least since Vatican I. God cannot go back on his own word. He said the gates of Hell would not prevail and they cannot. Your sect bases its existence on nothing but the opinions of this theologian and that theologian.

SPERAY2: That is where you are wrong. I agree with your statement above except the last sentence. You’re not presenting a case against me, because you don’t understand sedevacantism at all.

Tim: And even those are taken out of context. There is nothing in those statements that says they would agree with your interpretation of them nor would they have necessarily agreed with your application of them. You say I don’t have absolute assurance of the line of Gregory XII. You don’t have absolute assurance of anything.

SPERAY2: Of course, I do. You’re not paying attention.

The official list of popes, Annuario Pontificio, is technically not an official Catholic document. It isn’t authoritative and binding on Christians. The Catholic Church has never defined who all has reigned as Roman Pontiffs. As a matter of fact, the Annuario Pontificio has altered the list several times. Boniface VII was removed from the list in 1904 after a thousand years of recognition as true pope.

Tim: I think you are stretching the truth when you say Boniface VII was recognized as true pope for a thousand years. That may well be true, I don’t know, but there is no evidence he was ever validly elected.

SPERAY2: What difference does that make?

Tim: That I do know. And though there is little information at all about Popes of his time, we do know that he was dragged through the streets naked and mutilated after death. He did not seem to be the most beloved of Popes. And he did commit murder a couple times in attempting to gain the Papal throne. While that would not invalidate him per se it does seem to cast some question as to his validity. But again, my faith is not resting in the particulars of history surrounding our 264 successors of St. Peter (depending of course on how many times you count Benedict IX). It rests in Christ and the teachings of the Church, in particular for our purpose here, Session Four of Vatican I, which graces us with infallible assurance that there is and always will be (except for the interregnum periods, which are provided for in the law of the Church) a successor of St. Peter on the throne in the Bishop of Rome.

SPERAY2: I see that you don’t know your papal history very well and that is fine. You’re right about the rest, and I have always agreed with it.

Tim: Your sect is left to a situation where there is no Pope and there is no valid way to elect one.

SPERAY2: What? I explained how we can have a lawful election, and I demonstrated how to have valid pope through an unlawful election. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about! By the way, we aren’t a sect. You’re the sect since you can’t find the Vat2 particulars of your religion prior to Vat2.

We are free as Catholics to accept or not accept the Roman line during the Great Schism.

Tim: Yes, but we are not free to conclude from that that Pope Pius XII was the last valid Pope.

SPERAY2:  I didn’t say or imply it. I’m giving historic precedent. That’s all.

Third point:

Tim, you denied that Benedict XVI ever bowed towards Mecca. This fact is so devastating that you and Catholic Answers Live have to deny that it ever happened, but it most certainly did as you can read here: http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/m012rpRatzingerInMosque.html

Tim: This is an example of why it is near impossible to have a meaningful discussion with you, Steven. You misrepresent what I say time and again. This is just like the old days. And it is never enough with you to simply disagree respectfully, you have to publish every word I say and try to make me (or any of your opponents) look as bad as you can. I truly feel sorry for you.

SPERAY2: This is simply untrue! You said Benedict XVI never bowed towards Mecca. If I’m publishing every word you say and you look bad, that’s not my fault. I’m trying to show people the truth which Catholic Answers doesn’t do all the time.

Tim: But at any rate, what I said was the Pope did bow and pray. In fact, I did a little more research and found that he took off his shoes as well. I’m sure you are upset about that as well. I am not. This he did out of respect. I think that is a good thing. The Pope simply bowed and prayed in the same direction everyone else did. And yes, it was toward Mecca. And BTW, this is also the same direction as Jerusalem. Hmmmmm.

SPERAY2: But you said he didn’t bow towards Mecca and that’s my point. Why couldn’t you just admit that you were wrong instead of falsely accusing me of misrepresenting you? BTW, Benedict XVI also folded his arms like the Muslims and I’m sure you think that’s a good thing too. Shoes off, arms folded, bowing towards Mecca while praying with Muslims, and you think this is a good thing! I rest my case!!!!

Tim: But why do Muslims bow to Mecca in the first place? It is believed that the Ka’aba (the black square building toward which Muslims face) contains an altar that was built by Abraham, our Father in the Faith according to Scripture. The Pope may well have been praying in the direction of Mecca to show our solidarity with Muslims in our belief in the one God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I really don’t believe he was rejecting Christ and acknowledging Muhammad as his prophet, nor was he involving himself in some sort of syncretism. The reason why I did not agree with you is because of your conclusion from the fact that he bowed and prayed, not that he bowed and prayed. You assume the worst; I choose to give the benefit of the doubt unless I can be given reason not to. Reason that you and your article did not supply.

SPERAY2: Inter-religious worship is what you think is a good thing. I’m sorry, but this is where you depart from historic Christianity.

Tim, you stated that bowing towards Mecca would only constitute a sin and not a loss of the pontificate. Are you more Catholic than your pope? Benedict XVI doesn’t think it’s a sin. He promotes his actions as good Catholic discipline. Last year, he bowed before a Lutheran altar and prayed with a woman bishop. Watch the devastating video here: http://youtu.be/UD53KzHx-2Q By the way, would this be a venial or mortal sin for a knowledgeable theologian like Ratzinger?

Tim: Once again you misrepresent me. I said, “even if he did” fall into some sort of sin that would not result in the loss of his pontificate. I did not say he actually did. Can you at least see why I would not want to have an on-going dialogue with you? Just like last time where I spent an enormous amount of time trying to help you, I have to spend a huge proportion of the time just correcting your mis-representations of what I say. No, thank you. This will end my discussion with you.

SPERAY2: You also misrepresent me, when I’m trying to help you. You didn’t get the difference between unlawfully elected and invalidly elected. What about bowing towards the Lutheran altar and praying with a women bishop? Good thing, too?

Benedict XVI, as did John Paul II, teaches and promotes inter-religious worship which the Catholic Church has always taught as contrary to the Divine law. In 1986, John Paul II actually wore a pagan stole as he actively participated with a priestess in a Zoroastrian worship ceremony. Look at photos here: http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A281rcJPII-Zoroastrian.htm

Tim: I’ve been down this road with you before. Why are you doing this again?

SPERAY2: What are you talking about? You never dealt with this with me.

I could give many more examples but these suffice. Your “great popes” aren’t mere sinners, but radical apostates. Apostates aren’t popes! We have many saints who gave up their very lives for refusing to bow or worship in pagan temples. John Paul II and Ratzinger even receive public blessings from shamans. Read one such example: http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A111rcWojtylaShaman.htm

Tim: There is a qualitative difference between being forced to offer adoration to false Gods and freely choosing to acknowledge legitimate agreements we have with other religions. But here we go again. We’ve done this before. And for a lot of pages. In fact, I still have all of them.

SPERAY2: There is a qualitative difference between being forced to receive blessings from heathens and freely choosing to be blessed by heathens. There’s also a qualitative difference between being forced into pagan temples and wearing their outfits and freely choosing to do so. Your “popes” freely do so and that’s my point!!!!

The Church considers blessings from heretics as curses, but your Vatican 2 popes think nothing of receiving blessings from heathens. Canon XXXII states, “It is unlawful to receive the blessing of heretics, for they are rather curses, than blessings.” (The Seven Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 14, Hendrickson Publishers, 1995)

Tim: A heretic is someone who has knowingly and willingly left the Catholic Faith that they possessed. That canon does not apply to a situation where a person of another religion wishes to bless someone.

SPERAY2: The principle most certainly applies.

The Vatican 2 popes mock the papacy established by Christ, the Catholic Faith and the blood of those martyrs, all the while Catholic Answers defends these claimants to the papacy as greats.

Tim: Just as before, you haven’t given me any examples of this.

SPERAY2: You’re right, this discussion is useless.

The fact remains, however, that Benedict XVI bowed towards Mecca which you denied on the radio with your outright silly explanation about how you might accidently bow towards Mecca while praying in your California chapel.

Tim: That was called an “analogy.” The reason why I gave it is because I was trying to help you to see that bowing and praying in a Mosque does not mean that one is committing a sin ipso facto. It may mean, as I said before, he is acknowledging what we have in common with Muslims. This is not heresy nor is it a sin.

SPERAY2: That is not what you meant on the radio. Come on, Tim.

In my first question over the radio, you were dishonest in your reply about your debate several years ago with Sungenis over the infallibility of Vatican 2. Back in 2003, Sungenis clearly explained that Vatican 2 was not infallible in virtue of itself and you argued against him because (as you wrote), “It was an Ecumenical Council that was ratified by the Pope and used language that was very clear, for example, as I said before, in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church and the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation. Did you catch that word ‘Dogmatic’?”  Based on your position now, you couldn’t admit that back then, you were wrong and Sungenis was right. I have the full debate on file.

Tim: I have it as well. And Bob and I agreed that there is much in Vatican II that is infallible, but there were no new infallible declarations made extraordinarily. That is what he meant by “it is not infallible.” He was correct. I just thumbed through our dialogue and I did not see anywhere where I claimed that there were extraordinary infallible statements. But if I did, I would be wrong. However, I did see where I pointed out that there are other means whereby the Church can declare something infallibly. For example, the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. I pointed out that we have to listen to the language of the Council (do we see words like, “we must believe…” or “the Church holds definitively…” or words to that effect), and if we have teachings that have been repeated in the Church over time, we may well be seeing infallible teaching communicated in that way as well. Let me use another analogy. Pope John Paul II, in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,  declared the Church does not have the authority to ordain women and it uses very strong language. However, it was not an ex cathedra statement. But does that mean it was not infallible? By no means! It was infallible by virtue of the fact that it was repeating what was already the teaching of the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. We may well have examples analogous to this from the Council. For example, when the Council taught, in Gaudium et Spes 22, “… we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery.” Is this a new and infallible declaration of the Extraordinary Magisterium? No. But it may be (notice, I said “may be,” which means good Catholics can disagree on this) that this is a reiteration of a teaching that was already infallible by the fact that it is taught by the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium. In fact, I argue that this statement has antecedents as far back as the Council of Trent, in Pope Leo XIII, John Paul II and more, but at any rate, that is just an analogy.

Lastly, Patrick Coffin and you manipulated the discussion and used the 10 second delay in airtime to edit out my comments you didn’t want to deal with. My views were therefore misrepresented to an audience unsuspecting of your tactics. In the end, you made me and sedevacantism look foolish over the airwaves. If you were so sure that you’re right, then you would have given both sides a fair hearing. I only got a couple seconds to answer before you interrupted with your long replies (several minutes apiece). What you did is supremely dishonest, and uncharitable.

Tim: Actually, I let you speak while you interrupted me more than once.

SPERAY2: Not true. You never let me speak.

Tim: The only time I interrupted you is when you started plugging your website while refusing to answer the question at hand.

SPERAY2: I was trying to plug my website because you weren’t letting me speak. I knew as soon as I started to say something, you would interrupt me, and you did.

Tim: And I don’t have to “make” sedevacantism look foolish. It does that all by itself. It is a foolish position to take.

SPERAY2: Then you should have had no worries letting speak. Clock the time I spoke after you went after me on sedevacantism.

When it comes to topics concerning the papacy and sedevacantism, you should call yourselves Not-so-Catholic Answers Live.

Tim: In your opinion, which is ultimately what your sect is based upon. Your opinion and the opinions of others. Your sect is void of any Magisterial authority precisely because you have left the living Magisterium of the Church.

SPERAY2: Right back at ya!

Tim: God Bless,

Tim

Sincerely,

Steven Speray

TIM STAPLES REPLIES AGAIN IN ANOTHER LETTER BELOW

Tim,

I knew you couldn’t resist replying to me again. Now I will leave you with another reply since you ignored or misrepresented the issues as usual.

Steven,

As I said before, after 118 pages with you before I am not going to re-argue everything. But I did read your letter and I must say it was painful to read. When I said the whole world accepted the elections of John XXIII, you said, “Not everybody. Dr. Elizabeth Gerstner never accepted Roncalli.” Dr. Elizabeth Gerstner. Really? Is that really your answer?

SPERAY: That’s right. She’s not the only one, of course, but she is important because she proved that something was wrong. But you also said that the whole world accepted Benedict XVI and that’s simply false. You forgot 10,000 Catholics who rejected him on the basis that he is a radical modernist. You know, the kind of guy who likes to invite pagans to pray to their pagan gods, or bows toward Mecca with Muslims in a Mosque, and towards Lutheran altars and praying alongside women bishops. But you know what, my original letter was about 3 wrong answers you made and instead of admitting that you’re wrong, you’ve attacked my position more and have made this a debate about sedevacantism. My intention was not to debate sedevacantism, but to simply show where and why you were mistaken on those 3 points.

Moreover, if you don’t know the difference between a Papal conclave, which has the authority of the Pope behind it, and a group of bishops without Papal authority, I don’t know what to say.

SPERAY: Why would a group of bishops not have the same authority as a papal conclave in extraordinary circumstances? If you can’t understand the simple explanation of the experts, I don’t know what to say.

There is a qualitative difference here akin to the difference between a dog and a human being. There is a substantial difference between the two.

SPERAY: Are you serious? That’s the best you can do? It’s hard for me to believe you had the nerve to send this to everybody. I asked you to give me that magisterial teaching that supports your theory which Cardinal Billot is rejecting and you give me nothing, but a… I don’t know what to say.

I will leave you with this. You can multiply theories from Cardinals long past and recount disciplinary documents from over 1,500 years ago that have been superseded all you want, but Pope St. Pius X and later Pius XII (long after Cardinal Billot, BTW) declared the way in which Popes would be chosen. Roma locuta est, causa finite est.

SPERAY: UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, WHICH I AGREE! The law about only cardinals electing was in play during Billot’s time too. That’s why Cardinal Billot stated, “if it is impossible to follow the regulations of papal law” THEN WHAT, TIM?Your Protestant-like personal interpretation of the law isn’t found anywhere in Church teaching or even by theologians. You can’t cite one source to support your theory. Thanks for proving me right again!

Whatever the Pope binds on earth is bound in heaven.

SPERAY: No kidding?

Though these matters are not infallible, that does not mean the Holy Spirit does not guide the Pope. The Holy Spirit guides the Church even in matters juridical. For Catholics, when the Pope speaks the matter is settled and the power of heaven will move heaven and earth to back up the Church. You may have had an argument a few hundred years ago (though even then there would need to be more things happen to give your sect claim to even a hint of a legitimate argument), but the Holy Spirit saw your little sect coming. The Church (the Kingdom of God) is as a grain of mustard seed (Jesus said that, remember), it starts small and grows becoming more and more distinguishable and defined.

SPERAY: You sound like a fifth-grader. I cited an approved manual by a famous Bishop and I believe that manual was used in the Pontifical Schools in Rome and yet, you can’t admit that you were wrong.

The Church has moved on from Conciliarism. It has moved on from questions as to whether or not a Pope’s personal sins can depose him automatically. They cannot.

SPERAY: You obviously didn’t read my reply very well or you wouldn’t have stated any of this. I don’t believe in conciliarism, and I don’t believe that a pope’s mere personal sins can depose him. So what is it, Tim? Where do we stand? You don’t know, because you don’t care to know. Your reply shows just how you’re being deliberately ignorant on the subject.

I have already gone over the difference between a Pope losing his authority de more verse de jure. All of your questions concerning the election of Popes have been answered by our Popes. The Pope has spoken. There is nothing more to say. We’ve been back and forth on this and a lot more.

SPERAY: You may do good against Protestants, but you lose every time to Catholics.

The way I see it, your sect has lost the Faith because it lost its faith in God to keep his word. Read Luke 22:29-32 and notice the emphasis on 1. the juridical authority of the Popes and bishops in union with the Pope (notice the emphasis on Jesus making the Apostles “judges”) and 2.

SPERAY: Another fifth-grade answer, from one who refuses to know where we stand. You don’t have the faith at all, unlike Sungenis who knows that inter-religious worship is contrary to the Divine law. I can recognize Sungenis, Tradition in Action, etc. as Catholics even though they reject sedevacantism. I respectfully disagree with them, on that point. However, you’re a radical modernist who hates the traditional Catholic Faith, and what’s worse, you’re egotistical. No one at Catholic Answers is quite like you. Akin, Keating, and Serpa, at least sound humble, but not ole Tim. He’s got to go overboard with the Scripture verses to show how much he knows. I could listen to Jimmy all day answer questions. I don’t want to sound uncharitable, but someone has to tell you. I’d be surprised if at least one of your co-workers didn’t think the same. Go ask them to give you an honest answer, and if they all think I’m nuts, then maybe it really is just me.

It is the devil that loves to intervene in these matters juridical to divide the Church. Unfortunately, your sect has fallen prey to the Devil’s schemes to divide the Church resulting in a few disgruntled clergy and laity throwing pebbles to try and knock down Mt. Everest.

SPERAY: I feel like I’m having rocks thrown at me by a child in elementary school.

Finally, if I couldn’t help you in 118 pages of back-and-forth, I don’t think 118 more will help. So please note for the record that I will not respond to any more emails from you.

SPERAY: We’ll see, but I suggest you keep quiet too, since you keep digging yourself a deeper grave.

Believe it or not, Steve, I respond to hundreds and hundreds of emails. I have to be judicious about who I spend time with as there are only 24 hours in a day. I have spent more time on your emails than 99% of people who email me. But there has to be a time when someone decides to stop. That someone is going to be me and that time is now. So please respect my decision on this and leave me out of any further of these email exchanges.

God Bless,

Tim Staples

SPERAY: I’ll be praying for your conversion, at least one of humility if nothing else.

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On the first hour of Catholic Answers Live on June 29th, John Martignoni attempted to give an answer to sedevacantism. My letter to John below:

Dear John,

I heard the program “Catholic Answers Live” today and can see that you were unaware of the sedevacantist arguments. In an open email discussion with Rev. Brian Harrison, I prove that Vatican 2 did in fact change Catholic doctrine. Read here: OPEN EMAIL DISCUSSION OVER VATICAN II’S “SUBSISTS”

Benedict XVI and John Paul the First have admitted that Vat2 changed doctrines. Their statements and much more can be found on my website.

No one can judge a true pope not to be a true pope, but it doesn’t take any authority to say an antipope is an antipope.

Benedict XVI, as did JP2, teaches, practices, and promotes inter-religous worship which has always been condemned as intrinsically evil and contrary to the Divine Law. I can provide many bible verses, papal, council, and saint condemnations, not to mention laws, to prove this fact. Just read Mortalium Animos by Pope Pius XI.

Sorry, but Benedict XVI (2006) bowing with Muslims towards Mecca with shoes off, arms folded, in a mosque is an abomination!!!! John Paul 2 wore a pagan stole, and actively participated in an Zoroastrian worship ceremony in 1986. He praised Voodoo and invited them to practice their demonic religion in Assisi twice.  To think that all of this is okay, or good is totally anticatholic!!!!

To call them popes is an affront to Christ and the Catholic Faith!

Catholic Answers will have Rev. Brian Harrison on in August to talk about “radical traditionalists” like me, but he will do nothing but misrepresent us and use straw-man arguments against us for the world to hear. I’ve taken on Harrison several times and his red-herrings and silly arguments have helped me win over several converts to the real Catholic Church.

Please read: UPDATE: Approved Marian Apparition Warns of a Popeless Church in the 20th Century (Rev. Shannon replies)

Sincerely,

Steven

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In Jan. 2009, Rev. Brian W. Harrison wrote an article titled “Is Ecumenism a Heresy?” for the Catholic Answers magazine formally known as This Rock. You can find the article here: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/is-ecumenism-a-heresy . Due to the success of Catholic Answers and Harrison’s misrepresentation of the Catholic Faith, I thought a real Catholic Answer needed to be given. I’ll give an answer to everything Harrison writes in order that the context is not lost. Harrison writes:

Vying with the Declaration on Religious Liberty for the honour (or disgrace, depending on one’s theological outlook) of being the Second Vatican Council’s most doctrinally innovative document is its Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (UR). Those at both traditionalist and liberal ends of the Catholic spectrum have seen this Decree (with sentiments of glowering gloom and gloating glee respectively) as representing a significant departure from traditional doctrine. The latter, of course, emphasized Catholicism as the one true religion, to which separated Christians will simply have to return if ever unity is to be restored.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Catholics have no choice but recognize that there are no Christians truly outside of the Catholic Church, and the unity can only happen with a return of these heretics.

In this short article I shall limit myself to a comparison between UR and the pre-conciliar papal document most frequently cited as being incompatible with it, Pope Pius XI’s 1928 encyclical on fostering true religious unity, Mortalium Animos (MA). This encyclical set out the Catholic Church’s position regarding the fledgling movement for religious unity which had been gathering steam in liberal Protestant circles since the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In order to compare these two magisterial documents, we first need to recall the distinction between a reversal of official Church policy, discipline or pastoral strategy, and a contradiction of doctrine. The former type of change has often taken place in the course of Church history, in response to changing circumstances. And in this practical, disciplinary respect, a comparison between MA and UR reveals an undeniable and very marked change of direction – indeed, practically a U-turn. Pius XI flatly forbade any Catholic participation in inter-church or inter-religious meetings and activities motivated by the desire for restoring Christian unity. Vatican Council II, on the other hand, authorizes and positively encourages Catholic participation in such activities (within certain limits).

SPERAY’S COMMENT: The conciliar popes have actively participated in pagan, Jewish, Islamic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox worship services to the point of donning their counterpart outfits. The only limit perhaps, is the fact that a Catholic can’t receive communion in Protestant services. Outside of that, anything goes.

The modern Church has thus made a prudential judgment that the risks and dangers of indifferentism and confusion about the faith occasioned by such activities – perils strongly emphasized by Pius XI – are outweighed by the great good to be hoped for as the long-term result of ecumenism: gradual better mutual understanding leading to that unity which Christ willed for all who profess to be his disciples.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Harrison readily admits that Vatican 2’s UR is a complete U-turn from the historic Faith as taught by Pope Pius XI, but what he fails to do is to tell his readers that this 180 degree turn is not merely a prudential judgment against some out-dated practice, but rather is a contradiction to Divine Law. The long-standing practice of condemning participation in inter-church or inter-religious worship meetings and activities was explained by Pope Pius XI in MA: “for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ.” The practice of inter-religious worship meetings and activities combine the way of truth with the way of error. We are to worship God in spirit and truth where there is no room for Satan and his lies. The Second Council of Constantinople: “For we are taught, ‘What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?’” To do what Harrison admits UR is promoting is apostasy. In another place, MA clearly implies that it goes against the Divine law when Pope Pius XI stated, “Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies.”Harrison admits that the reversal is a scandal because it can lead one away from the faith, too. Read carefully that Harrison is trying to persuade his readers that the end (gradual better mutual understanding leading towards unity) justifies the an evil means (the risks and dangers of indifferentism and confusion about the faith occasioned by such activities – perils). Notice that it is indeed a risk and that the end result may not be accomplished. In other words, an evil means justifies a possible end. How disturbing is that? 

At the more fundamental level of doctrine, however, the short answer to the charge of contradiction between MA and UR is that what Pius XI condemned is by no means the same thing that Vatican II affirms.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: In one of his classic moves to rectify the problem, Harrison will now change the argument. He already admitted that UR is a complete reversal of MA. Now, he’s going to say that the two documents are referring to two different subject matters. He’s also going to suggest that UR doesn’t mean what he just said it means.

What, exactly, did Pope Pius condemn as false doctrine? Basically, the liberal Protestant theology that dominated ecumenical initiatives in the early 20th century. More specifically, this theology embodied – explicitly or at least implicitly – several specific theses censured by Pius XI.

1. Early pan-religionists usually took a “lowest common denominator” approach: they envisaged a world-wide religious ‘unity’ in which all would agree on a few basic beliefs while ‘agreeing to differ’ on others. The Pope observes that these religious liberals apparently “hope that all nations, while differing indeed in religious matters, may yet without great difficulty be brought to fraternal agreement on certain points of doctrine which will form a common basis of the spiritual life”.[1] This hypothetical ‘unity’ in one ‘world religion’ would of course include non-Christians of all types.

2. Pius XI insisted that the above error involves another at a deeper level: denial of the very principle of revealed truth, which requires assent to God’s Word on his own authority. Contemporary pan-religious efforts operating on principle (1), the Pope says,

presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, inasmuch as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of his rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favor this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings, is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God.[2]

This idea that all religions are just varying (and fallible) human expressions of a natural religious impulse or instinct was one of the fundamental errors of that modernism which had been so recently condemned by Pope St. Pius X.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Yet, this is precisely what the conciliar popes are teaching and promoting. The Assisi Events are a perfect example. Vatican 2 also promotes that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, at least, the Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, and other various religions, in its document Nostra Aetate

3. Turning from the inner nature of faith to outward forms of visible organization, Pius XI found another related error. In those initiatives limiting the quest for unity to those who already professed faith in Christ – what the Church today calls “ecumenism” as distinct from “interreligious dialogue” – the Pope discerned a false ecclesiology (theological understanding of the Church). For the visibly united ‘Christian Church’ that these liberal Protestant ecumenists dreamed of would be “nothing more than a federation of the various Christian communities, even though these may hold different and mutually exclusive doctrines”.[3]

SPERAY’S COMMENT: It’s not hard to find Vatican 2 theologians and the conciliar popes teaching such a thing. For instance, Cardinal Dulles (who was never censored but praised) wrote, “it can be defended that the Council implicitly taught that the united church of the future will not come about by a capitulation of the other churches and their absorption into Roman Catholicism. The desired una sancta can be a joint creation, which will simultaneously complete and transform all the churches that enter it. The Catholic Church, without being dissolved in any way, would modify herself by entering this embracing unity.” (Avery Dulles, “Ecumenismo: Problemi e Possibilita per il Futuro,” in Verso la Chiesa del Terzo Millennio, Brescia: Queriniana, 1979, pp. 112-3).

4. The Pope pointed out that such an ecclesiology in turn involves the related idea that the unity which Christ prayed for – ut unum sint – “merely expressed a desire or a prayer which as yet has not been granted. For they [the contemporary ecumenists] hold that the unity of faith and government which is a note of the one true Church of Christ has up to the present time hardly ever existed and does not exist today. . . . [I]t must be regarded as a mere ideal”.[4]

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Yet, Vatican 2 echoes the same error in UR: 1. “Yet almost all, though in different ways, long for the one visible Church of God, that truly universal Church whose mission is to convert the whole world to the gospel, so that the world may be saved, to the glory of God.” 4. “Nevertheless, the divisions among Christians prevent the Church from realizing in practice the fullness of Catholicity proper to her, in those of her sons and daughters who, though attached to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her. Furthermore, the Church herself finds it more difficult to express in actual life her full Catholicity in all its bearings.”

Before looking at UR in the light of these condemned ideas, we can consider another common complaint. Traditionalist critics often claim that UR leaves the key concept of ecumenism dangerously undefined. I suspect this concern arises from a faulty translation in the common Flannery edition of the documents, which has the Council merely “indicating” what “the ecumenical movement” involves. A more faithful translation of the opening of UR 4’s second paragraph, bringing out its character as a definition, would be this: “The term ‘ecumenical movement’ is understood to mean (Per “motum oecumenicum” intelleguntur) those activities and initiatives which are encour-aged and organized, according to the various needs of the Church and when suitable occasions arise, in order to promote the unity of Christians.”

SPERAY’S COMMENT: When Vatican 2 refers to the Church, is it speaking about the Church of Christ or the Catholic Church since it already taught that they’re not one and the same? Fr. Edward Schillebeechx, Walter J. Bughardt, S.J., Fr. Gregory Baum, and Ratzinger have all repeated in a roundabout way the teaching of Avery Cardinal Dulles that: The Church of Christ is not exclusively identical to the Roman Catholic Church.  It does indeed subsist in Roman Catholicism but it is also present in varying modes and degrees in other Christian communities.”Therefore, the Church is not unified yet or else there would be no reason to promote the unity of Christians as UR is teaching.

The Council then makes this definition more precise by setting out the kinds of “activities and initiatives” it has in mind: (a) avoiding all misrepresentations of separated Christians’ beliefs and practices; (b) dialogue between scholars of different denominations for the purpose of better mutual understanding; (c) a more extensive collaboration in carrying out duties toward the common good recognized by “every Christian conscience”; (d) meeting for common prayer, where this is permitted; and

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Point (d) is the crux of the problem as explained before about the Divine Law and the actual practice of the conciliar popes.

(e) renewing and reforming the Church herself in faithfulness to Christ’s will. It seems clear enough that while (b), (c) and (d) do indeed relax the disciplinary prohibitions of MA, none of these five points contradicts any doctrinal truth laid down by Pius XI in his encyclical.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Ah, but it does! It contradicts the doctrinal truth laid down by Christ and taught in MA. Truth doesn’t mix with error. Light doesn’t mix with darkness. Christ doesn’t mix with Satan.

Now we can go on to consider UR in the light of the four above-mentioned doctrinal errors reprobated by Pope Pius:

I. Does Vatican II adopt a “lowest common denominator” approach to ‘balance’ unity and truth? Not at all. UR, 3 affirms that while the separated brethren[5] have many elements of truth, God’s will is that they all come to that plenitude which can be found only in Catholicism:

For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone . . . that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic College alone, of which Peter is the head . . .  that we believe the Lord entrusted all the benefits of the New Covenant in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ, into which all those who already in some way belong to the people of God ought to be fully incorporated.[6]

The Decree also recalls that while there is a “hierarchy” of Catholic truths, insofar as these vary in “their relationship to the foundation of the Christian faith”,[7] this does not mean that the less ‘fundamental’ Catholic beliefs – those not shared by Protestant and/or Orthodox Christians – are ‘negotiable’ or can be swept under the rug. On the contrary, “It is of course essential that [Catholic] doctrine be presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and obscures its genuine and certain meaning.”[8]

SPERAY’S COMMENT: If salvation can be found only in the Catholic Church then it can’t be found anywhere else even partially. Salvation is salvation. If you’re saved in the fullness of truth or in partial truth, you’re still saved, nonetheless. UR is attempting to balance the salvation field to include an outside means. UR is stating that although salvation if found fully in the Catholic Church, it is found partially outside of Church. To say that the people of God must be fully incorporated in the Church implies that the people of God can be found outside of the Church. Although, they “ought to be fully incorporated” into the Church, they don’t have to be fully incorporated to be saved. This is the implication of the Vatican 2 document. UR IS HERETICAL! Benedict XVI even teaches it: “The question that really concerns us, the question that really oppresses us, is why it is necessary for us in particular to practice the Christian Faith in its totality; why, when there are so many other ways that lead to heaven and salvation, it should be required of us to bear day after day the whole burden of ecclesial dogmas and of the ecclesial ethos. And so we come again to the question: What exactly is Christian reality? What is the specific element in Christianity that not merely justifies it, but makes it compulsorily necessary for us? When we raise the question about the foundation and meaning of our Christian existence, there slips in a certain false hankering for the apparently more comfortable life of other people who are also going to heaven. We are too much like the laborers of the first hour in the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt. 20:1-16). Once they discovered that they could have earned their day’s pay of one denarius in a much easier way, they could not understand why they had to labor the whole day. But what a strange attitude it is to find the duties of our Christian life unrewarding just because the denarius of salvation can be gained without them! It would seem that we – like the workers of the first hour – want to be paid not only with our own salvation, but more particularly with others’ lack of salvation. That is at once very human and profoundly un-Christian.” (Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth, Ignatius Press, 1990, p. 217.)

II. Does UR imply a gradual descent into naturalism at the expense of divine revelation, leading to an abandonment of all revealed truth? No, because it never accepts the premise that Pius XI says leads to that ‘dead end’, namely, the modernist idea that the different religions all just “give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God”. The conciliar teaching, in contrast to this naturalistic account of religion, stresses the supernatural realities of revelation and faith. UR asserts that “the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace”.[9]

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Here is another example that the conciliar popes believe in that “modernist idea that the different religions all just “give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God.” In his message on Sept. 2, 2006, Benedict stated: “This year is the 20th anniversary of the Interreligious Meeting of Prayer for Peace, desired by my venerable Predecessor John Paul II on 27 October 1986 in Assisi. It is well known that he did not only invite Christians of various denominations to this Meeting but also the exponents of different religions. It constituted a vibrant message furthering peace and an event that left its mark on the history of our time… attestations of the close bond that exists between the relationship with God and the ethics of love are recorded in all great religious traditions. Among the features of the 1986 Meeting, it should be stressed that this value of prayer in building peace was testified to by the representatives of different religious traditions, and this did not happen at a distance but in the context of a meeting… We are in greater need of this dialogue than ever… I am glad, therefore, that the initiatives planned in Assisi this year are along these lines and, in particular, that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has had the idea of applying them in a special way for young people… I gladly take this opportunity to greet the representatives of other religions who are taking part in one or other of the Assisi commemorations. Like us Christians, they know that in prayer it is possible to have a special experience of God and to draw from it effective incentives for dedication to the cause of peace.”

Furthermore, “Christ entrusted to the College of the Twelve the task of teaching, ruling and sanctifying. . . . And after Peter’s confession of faith, he determined that upon him he would build his Church . . . [and] entrusted all his sheep to him to be confirmed in faith”.[10] The Fathers who promulgated UR were of course also those who, just one year later, promulgated the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, which serves as an interpretative key to other conciliar documents touching on that subject.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: The conciliar popes are rejecting the task Christ entrusted the Twelve, and are promoting the opposite.

III. Does UR envisage a united ‘Church’ of the future as being a “federation” of different Christian denominations agreeing to differ in at least some doctrinal matters?  Nowhere is there any such suggestion. Vatican II presents the unity willed by God as one in which everyone is . . . surprise, surprise! . . . Catholic! Having made it clear that by “the Church” they mean the body led by “the bishops with Peter’s successor at their head” – i.e., the Roman Catholic Church – the Fathers continue:

The Church, then, God’s only flock, like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it, ministers the Gospel of peace to all mankind, as it makes its pilgrim way in hope towards its goal, the fatherland above. This is the sacred mystery of the unity of the Church, in Christ and through Christ, with the Holy Spirit energizing its various functions.[11]

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Perhaps UR isn’t on this point, but the conciliar popes most certainly are.

IV. From what has been said already, it should be clear that the Decree on Ecumenism does not teach the fourth heresy censured by Pius XI in MA, namely, the idea that Church unity is a mere future ideal which separated Christians must work to construct, insofar as it does not yet exist. Of course, we need to distinguish carefully here between the unity of the Church as such, and unity among Christians. Obviously, if we understand the word “Christian” to cover everyone who professes faith in Christ, the latter unity does not exist yet – and never has existed since the first schisms arose already in New Testament times! But such divisions do not imply that the Church herself is – or ever could be – disunited, in the sense of being divided into different denominations holding different doctrines. Our credal article of belief in “One, holy Catholic, apostolic Church” rules this out. And so does UR when it expresses the hope that, as a result of ecumenism,

little by little as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the unity of the one and only Church, which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, exists completely[12] in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and which we hope will continue to increase until the end of time.[13]

SPERAY’S COMMENT: Harrison was careful here to define the terms “Christian” and “Church.” However, UR understands the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church as two different entities based on the “subsists” expression found in Vatican 2’s Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium. UR already implied that the one visible Church of God doesn’t exist yet, and that the Church can’t practice the fullness of Catholicity proper to here until the divisions of other “Christian” communities cease. MA’s condemnation that, The idea that Church unity is a mere future ideal which separated Christians must work to construct, insofar as it does not yet exist” is precisely what UR is suggesting.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Whether or not, in the decades since Vatican II, ecumenism as UR expounds it has always been faithfully implemented – even by the Church’s own leadership – is of course a distinct question. A further one is whether or not the results achieved after about half a century vindicate, with the benefit of hindsight, the prudence of UR’s ‘window-opening’ disciplinary changes. I think Catholics can now legitimately debate both these questions. In any case, if this brief comparison has helped to show that the Council did not fall into the doctrinal aberrations reprobated by Pius XI in 1928, it will hopefully have served a useful purpose.

SPERAY’S COMMENT: We need to get back to the original point of the controversy, because Harrison’s four points were nothing more than a giant red-herring. Harrison has admitted that UR undid the long-standing practice of condemning participation in inter-church or inter-religious worship meetings and activities. Pope Pius XI explained that it was contrary to the Divine Law and Harrison omitted those references in MA that implies it. Harrison even attempted to defend the change by UR, implying that the Church determined that it would promote a scandalous practice if the possible end result outweighed the evils that would come from it. The entire history of the Catholic Church, much less MA, forbade what UR promotes as an intrinsically evil practice. The Church cannot reverse a practice and teaching that is conformity to the Divine Law. Again, St. Paul taught, “Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Be’lial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (II Cor. 6:14-16)

 


[1] MA (Gregorian Press edition, Berlin, New Jersey, 1988), p. 2. (The sections of the encyclical are not numbered in this edition, which contains 15 pages.)

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., p. 5.

[4] Ibid., p. 6

[5] Far from being a post-conciliar ‘novelty’, referring to heretical or schismatic Christians as “brethren” goes back as far as St. Augustine, who is cited to that effect in footnote 18 to UR, 3.

[6] UR, 3, emphasis added.  

[7] The revealed truths about Our Lady, for instance, derive from the Incarnation, not vice versa.

[8] UR, 11. 

[9] UR, 4. See also the quotation referenced by note 6 above.

[10] UR, 3.

[11] UR, 2, final paragraphs, emphasis added.

[12] Latin subsistit.

[13] UR, 4, third paragraph, emphasis added.

 

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On Tuesday, July 6, the question was posed to the Rev. John Trigilio on the Q and A Forum of “Catholic Answers Live.”

Trigilio says that sedevacantists use the “very convoluted argument” that the last 5 “popes” are heretics and therefore are not valid.

He stated that the problem with this position is as long as all the cardinals recognize the validity of the pope then there is a valid pope regardless of his private position.

He continues to say that a heretical pope would be prevented from teaching ex cathedra “so that even if one could establish a heresy of the pope,” he would still be pope as this has been the position since Peter and therefore “the sedevacantist position falls apart.”

Trigilio also mocks sedevacantists by stating that the Holy Spirit must have been asleep leaving the Church without a pope for the last 50 years.

What’s wrong with these arguments posed by “Catholic Answers Live”?

First, how is it a very convoluted argument by saying that a pope cannot be a heretic?

The only thing convoluted is the reasoning given by “Catholic Answers Live” as to why a pope can be a heretic.

A true pope can have a personal error about the Faith insofar that he doesn’t knowingly reject some doctrine. The distinction must be made between material and formal heresy. Material heresy is merely an error which comes from ignorance but one with good intentions to believe the truth. Formal heresy comes from full knowledge while rejecting some point of doctrinal truth.

Ex Cathedra statements have nothing to do with it.

Many popes have been material heretics, but it is the universal teaching of the popes and saints that a pope cannot be a formal heretic.

As a matter of fact, “Catholic Answers” contributor to “This Rock” magazine, Rev. Brian Harrison, invented the idea (or at least made popular) that a pope could be a formal heretic with his article “White Smoke, Valid Pope A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly.”

His argument is based on a faulty understanding of Pope Pius XII’s teaching in Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis along with the Canon Laws.

You can see a complete refutation of his argument in my book “Debunking Sedevacantism?”

But simply put, Harrison has to reject the universal teaching of the popes and saints on the subject not to mention the sheer nonsense that a non-Catholic can be a pope.

This is what Rev. Trigilio is trying to say without actually stating it because it is so ridiculous that even he wouldn’t buy it. He simply is not looking deeply at what he is proposing.

Secondly, Pope Paul IV was very clear that if all the cardinals and even all the world recognize a heretic as a valid pope, he would still not be one.

Pope Pius XII never abolished this teaching as it is the Divine Law of God that a pope must be a member of the Church which a heretic is not!

Trigilio said that he personally has not seen any heresy come from the last 5 “popes.”

I’ll give you a very simple one.

Click on EWTN’s own website here http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP890111.HTM and read my exposition here https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/one-of-the-great-heresies-of-john-paul-ii-in-his-own-words/ of John Paul II’s outright rejection of the historic understanding of a very basic doctrine.

Lastly, “Catholic Answers Live” uses the argument that the Holy Spirit would have been asleep for 50 years if the Church would be left without a pope.

This is a straw-man since the Church during The Great Schism left doubt about who was the true pope for 51 years. Was the Holy Spirit asleep then?

It is precisely because of the Holy Spirit was active and working to keep the Church alive during The Great Schism then and The Great Apostasy now.

Trigilio even mentions The Great Schism in his reply without realizing the consequences.

Earlier in the radio show, he tells how disciplines are not infallible because they change, but this is a heresy. In fact, this is the same heresy of Tim Staples, of “Catholic Answers,” found here. https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/against-catholic-answers/

The doctor of theology confuses infallibility with immutability, a common error with Vatican2-ites.

I first came to the conclusion of sedevacantism, not because of the heresies of the last 5 claimants to the papal throne, but because the Vatican 2 Church has harmful laws and practices (disciplines) which have been previously condemned by the Catholic Church. This is impossible!

In other words, if the Vatican 2 Church is the Catholic Church, then the Gates of Hell prevailed because of the teaching of spotless laws and practices which have been breached.

When it comes to the position of sedevacantism, “Catholic Answers Live” is not the place to turn for answers.

 

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Sedevacantists have assumed authority to themselves which they don’t have, no matter how strong the convictions, no matter how many seemingly legitimate accusations brought against the pontiffs of the Catholic Church.

A Catholic “sedevacantist” could make the same counter accusation. Members of the Vatican 2 religion have assumed authority to themselves which they don’t have, no matter how strong the convictions, no matter how many seemingly legitimate arguments to defend modernists as true pontiffs of the Catholic Church.

 

You have no authority to recognize antipopes as legitimate popes.

 

As one can see, these accusations are loaded.

 

The heart of the debate is whether we have a true pope and how to recognize the difference. It is not whether a layman has the authority to depose a true pope or acknowledge a false one for he has no authority to do either.

 

No pope, doctor or saint ever taught or prophesied that in the future the Church would be without a pope for almost half a century, or that a succession of popes claiming to be popes would not be legitimate popes. No one of repute in all of Catholic history has said such things, and thus there is no basis in Tradition for the claims of sedevacantists.

The basis need not be explicit. The basis is found in tradition and Holy Scripture implicitly.

 

For instance, St. Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) stated:

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

It does appear that succession has been extinguished but Catholic “sedevacantists” know that it has not since bishops still exist. This prophecy very much looks like the position of sedevacantism and would not apply if the Vatican 2 religion is legit.

However, it would not matter if an explicit prophecy existed. Anti-sedevacanters would not hear it regardless.

 

Then we have…

 

There is little difference with sedevacantists than Martin Luther with the “Here I stand” position, who likewise accused the popes of formal heresy and disavowed them from being the vicars of Christ on earth.

There is a load of difference since the so-called vicars of Christ today agree with Martin Luther on at least one position formally condemned by true vicars of Christ.

 

Anti-sedevacanters don’t defend the modernism that comes out of Rome that honestly shows that sedevacantism is correct, but rather attacks sedevacantism with silly arguments while misrepresenting true Catholicism.

 

If sedevacantism is false, then an explanation needs to be given how Vatican 2 reversed the Church’s teaching on religious liberty rather than saying there has been no actual reversal. A logical explanation needs to be given how John Paul II can reject the historic doctrine that Christ actually descended into hell rather than metaphorically as proposed by a man claiming the papacy. A logical explanation needs to be given how John Paul can actually participate in pagan ceremonies and inviting pagans to pray to their pagan gods when the Church has been very clear over its long history that such things are apostate. A logical explanation is needed how John XXIII and Paul VI can be recognized as validly elected popes when solid evidence has been produced that clearly demonstrates their involvement with Masonry, Communism and promotion of modernism.

 

Of course, there is no logical explanation since anti-sedevacanters think apples are the same as oranges, formal heresy can sometimes be material heresy, the false gods of paganism and infidels are really the same one and true God as the Catholics, and solid evidence is meaningless or that Catholics can’t be ipso facto excommunicated by acts of apostasy.

 

Then we have…

 

Moreover, placing oneself under the authority of the Church does not allow one to pick and choose which authority one will accept. One cannot, for example, say that a pope from the past is one’s authority, but not a pope from the present. If not, the matter of authority becomes entirely subjective, and we are once again back to the Protestant dilemma. That cannot be. Either one accepts the papacy in toto or he doesn’t accept it at all. There is no in-between state.

This silly argument confuses the subjects. It’s not about accepting the papacy but the one claiming to hold the office.

 

If one were to follow this argument, Catholics would have been expected to follow antipopes of the past such as Benedict X and Anacletus II.

 

Sedevacantists don’t accept an antipope of the present as a true pope since this is how the Catholics have always done with antipopes in the past.  Sedevacantists accept the papacy in toto. The Protestant dilemma rejected the papacy altogether.

If by personal conviction one believes a particular pope to be in error on a certain teaching, the history of the Catholic Church shows that there is room for popes to have erroneous concepts and questionable actions (Virgilius, Honorius, Formosa, John XXII, et al.), but at no time has the Church ever stated that those particular popes lost their office because of their errors. At no time has a pope, acting officially in his papal chair, ever been charged by another pope or council of formal heresy, let alone convicted of formal heresy. Thus, it is absolutely ludicrous that now, mere laymen, seek to go beyond these historical limitations and indict not only one pope, but five popes in succession for what they themselves determine as formal heresy.

Sedevacantists don’t say that the last five claimants lost the chair but rather never had it. Also, the popes mentioned above were true popes unlike the present.

 

I’ve asked this question to anti-sedevacanters and they always refuse to answer it.

 

If theologian Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame who outright rejects the existence of the devil as a fallen creature of God were elected to the papacy would you recognize him as pope?

 

The reason they don’t answer the question is because in doing so they will have proved the position of sedevacantism while at the same eliminating all the stupid arguments of private judgment, authority to judge, and the laws of election.

 

Regardless of whether it is true that a pope in heresy cannot hold the office of pope (which has never been dogmatically defined and officially established by the Church), the unassailable fact remains that we laymen simply do not have the authority, or in most cases even the theological acumen or experience, to declare the pope a formal heretic.

It has been defined that a heretic is not a member of the Church and therefore it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that such a person cannot be head of an organization such as the Church of Christ if he is not a member of it.

 

However, laymen do have the authority not to recognize a non-Catholic as pope.

 

Lastly,

 

Asserting that someone is a formal heretic is a very serious charge. It is a charge that can only be indicted, administered and adjudicated by a canonical court presided over by the highest officials of the Church. Even then the Church herself is officially undecided as to what the procedure would be to depose a pope who has been canonically branded with formal heresy.

 

This is a half-true statement.

 

There is a thing as automatic excommunication. So depending on the heresy, individual, and other accounts, asserting that someone is a formal heretic sometimes does take a court, but not always. If a theologian says that he rejects the Apostles’ Creed no matter what anybody in the Church says but is still a member of the Church, do you really think a court is necessary? Again, the question about McBrien as pope proves my point.

 

Catholic “sedevacantists” are not deposing any pope, but are recognizing who is a Catholic or not. Catholics are bound to do so less he follows that wolf in sheep’s clothing.

 

Christ’s order to beware of false prophets and teachers would be meaningless, if we can’t judge them as false prophets and teachers.

 

Catholics don’t recognize the current claimant to the papacy because they have judged him to be a false teacher and non-Catholic.

 

Vatican II members do recognize the current claimant to the papacy because they have decided not to judge a false teacher as such but rather go along with the crowd, bury their head in the sand, argue that he has not the authority to follow Christ’s commandment, or worse, argue that their heresies and acts of apostasy are not heresies or acts of apostasy at all.

 

Whatever the case, it is always a subjective decision which answers what all the previous objections were hiding.

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On Thursday, March 11, 2010, Tim Staples on the radio program “Catholic Answers Live” said that many theologians teach that baptism of desire applies to unbaptized infants with parents who desired for the salvation of their unbaptized children. Therefore, we can hope for their salvation. On Tuesday, Staples said we can hope for the salvation of all unbaptized children. Of course, this is the position of the new religion of Rome.

However, this teaching is precisely what the notorious Protestant John Calvin taught.

St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori responded with: “Calvin says that infants born of parents who have the faith are saved, even though they should die without Baptism. But this is false: for David was born of parents who had the faith, and he confessed that he was born in sin. This was also taught by the Council of Trent in the Fifth Session, number Four: there the fathers declared that infants dying without Baptism, although born of baptized parents, are not saved, and are lost, not on account of the sin of their parents, but for the sin of Adam in whom all have sinned” (Explanation of Trent, Duffy Co., 1845, p.56).

A Flemish Jesuit named Cornieilis Van Den Steen declared in his Commentaria: “Calvin, in order to detract from the necessity of Baptism, maintains that the children of believers are justified in the womb simply because they are children of believers. But this is absurd and perverse, and condemned by the Church as heretical. If it be lawful to wrest this passage with Calvin, then we may do the same with every other passage, and thus pervert; the entirety of Scripture. No commandment will survive, not even the institution of Baptism itself!” (In John III).

The Council of Florence states, “With regard to children, since the danger of death is often present and the only remedy available to them is the sacrament of baptism by which they are snatched away from the dominion of the devil and adopted as children of God, it admonishes that sacred baptism is not to be deferred for forty or eighty days or any other period of time in accordance with the usage of some people, but it should be conferred as soon as it conveniently can; and if there is imminent danger of death, the child should be baptized straightaway without any delay, even by a lay man or a woman in the form of the church, if there is no priest” (Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils Vol.1, p. 576)

The Catechism of Trent says baptism for infants should not be delayed “Since infant children have no other means of SALVATION except Baptism…” (p. 178)

Again, the Catechism of Trent also says adults “are not baptized at once….The delay is not attended the same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned…” (p. 179)

Notice: The implication is the infants already come from adults who have the Faith, and it is those children that need to be baptized without delay.

Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415. Condemning the articles of John Wyclif Proposition 6:

“Those who claim that the children of the faithful dying without sacramental baptism will not be saved, are stupid and presumptuous in saying this.” Condemned

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Speaking about the novus ordo mass, Tim Staples recently told a friend, “the Roman Missal was promulgated by the authority of the Pope, not Bugnini. Therefore, Catholics can know that it is valid and good for the Church. And so it is. Pope Benedict XVI is making it even better…thus, we can rest assured there is nothing in it that is contrary to the Faith. And there isn’t.”

SEE HOW STAPLES GETS HIMSELF IN A CONTRADICTION HERE….

Since Benedict himself said “The drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969 provoked extremely serious damage to the Church…I am convince that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter anymore whether God exists and whether He speaks and listens to us.” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, La Mia Vita, San Paolo Editor, 1997),

this means Benedict is admitting that the Church did something that Catholic Church said was impossible to do!

This means that the new mass is contrary to the faith since it was harmful, even by the words of Ratzinger.

In the past, Staples said, “I think if you would be honest you would admit that Benedict does not mean “harmful” as you do. Benedict would agree with me, not you.”

I replied back: “I think you would be honest if you would look at what he said again and admit that he meant harmful in the sense that the change caused the problem, therefore, it was objectively harmful. That change was a “break” and it had “tragic” “consequences” and it is because the liturgy “collapsed.” This is actually what the Church said it could not do. He doesn’t agree with you at all and you even admit that you don’t agree with him.”

Later Tim stated about this quote: “I don’t agree with Cardinal Ratzinger entirely here.”

I stated: “It doesn’t matter whether you agree with him here. He believes it, which is contrary to what the Church can do.”

TIM: I would attribute much more to the abuses than to the actual reforms. But good Catholics can disagree on these matters.

I stated: “Abuses, sure, but agree that the liturgy itself caused serious damage to the Church? This is precisely what the Church said it could not do. The Church cannot give us liturgy that was so harmful that it cause serious damage to the Church.”

TIM: But I also think you are taking Ratzinger out of context as well. He makes the distinction between the abuses of the reform and the reform itself as well.

I stated: “He says that reform itself cause the damage.”

TIM: But again, I don’t agree with everything Cardinal Ratzinger says. But most importantly, all Catholics, including Cardinal Ratzinger, agree that there is no universal legislation in the Church that is contrary to the Natural or Divine Law.

I stated: “We already know that the Church cannot issue a law contrary to the Natural or Divine Laws. The question I asked you is: Can the Church issue a discipline that is contrary to the truth in any way? Can a discipline objectively be problematic? Crippled? With error? The Church is perfectly clear. It cannot do so.”

How is this possible if the Church can’t do such a thing? Is not Benedict rejecting the Church’s teaching on disciplines? Of course he is, because he is a modernist.

TIM later said to me for condemning the new mass, altar girls, women acolytes, etc: “Pope Pius VI made very clear, in the Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei, of August 28, 1794 that it would be “at least erroneous” to say the Church could promote disciplines that would be “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.” Notice, he says it would be an error to say these things.”

IN OTHER WORDS, STAPLES IS SAYING POPE PIUS VI IS CONDEMNING ME FOR MAKING THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE VATICAN 2 WORSHIP PRACTICES.

NOW THINK ABOUT THIS…

WHAT ABOUT RATZINGER’S AKA BENEDICT XVI STATEMENT?

SINCE BENEDICT SAID THE LITURGY [NEW MASS] COLLAPSED AND PROVOKED EXTREMELY SERIOUS DAMAGE TO THE CHURCH, HIS STATEMENT, ACCORDING TO POPE PIUS VI, WOULD BE FALSE, RASH, SCANDALOUS, DANGEROUS, OFFENSIVE TO PIOUS EARS, INJURIOUS TO THE CHURCH AND TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD BY WHOM IT IS GUIDED.

NON-VATICAN 2 COOL-AID DRINKERS KNOW THAT RATZINGER WAS RIGHT BUT ALSO THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CHURCH TO DO WHAT RATZINGER STATED PROVING SEDEVACANTISM!

THE FACT IS THE NEW MASS was promulgated by an antipope who had ties to the Communists and was a Mason (even though Vat2 apologists don’t want to believe it.) Pope Pius XII was not happy at all with him. However, we can rest assured that it is totally Lutheran/Cramner’s mass with words at the Consecration that are not what Christ said or meant! Only those drinking the Vatican 2 cool-aid, thinks it is totally Catholic. In actuality, it is almost completely Protestant.

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