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Christ told us several things about how we should live in order to be saved.

Jesus said…

 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. 6 If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father’s commandments, and do abide in his love.” (Matthew 15:4-10)

“But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)

“For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. 22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matthew 5:20-22)

“But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.” (Matthew 6:15)

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven.” (Luke 12-10)

God through St. Paul taught…

“As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.” (Galatians 1:9)

“Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.” (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

“Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” (I Timothy 4:16)

How many of us are not living right? How many of us are holding grudges against others? How many of us are fornicating with our boy and girl friends, being impure with ones self, or merely lusting after others? How many of us are getting drunk all the time, cheating others out of their money, or coveting our neighbor’s spouses or goods? How many of us are following false doctrines that are against the historic Christian Faith out of convenience?

Heaven has no place for us that live in any one of these sinful ways.

Today, our priest Fr. Oswalt posted the following writing of St. Alphonsus Liquori on preparation for death in our church bulletin. 

Preparation for Death

(St. Alphonsus M. Liguori) 1700’s 

Sixth Consideration, Death of the SinnerThird Point: God unceasingly threatens sinners with an unhappy death. “Then they shall call upon me, and I will not hear.”— Prov. i. 28. “Will God hear his cry when distress shall come upon him? ” — Job xxvii. 9. “I also will laugh in your destruction, and will mock.” — Prov. i. 26. According to St. Gregory, God laughs when he is unwilling to show mercy, ”Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time.” — Deut. xxxii. 35. The Lord pronounces the same threats in so many other places; and sinners live in peace as securely as if God had certainly promised to give them, at death, pardon and paradise. It is true that at whatsoever hour the sinner is converted, God promises to pardon him. But he has not promised that sinners shall be converted at death; on the contrary, he has often protested that “they who live in sin shall die in sin” — John viii. 21. “You shall die in your sins.” — Ibid. 24. He has declared that they who shall seek him at death, shall not find him. “You shall seek me, and shall not find me.” — John vii. 34. We must, therefore, seek God while he may be found. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.” — Isa. Iv. 6. A time shall come when it will not be in our power to find him. Poor blind sinners! they put off their conversion till death, when there shall be no more time for repentance. “The wicked,” says Oleaster, “have never learned to do good unless when the time for doing good is no more.” God wills the salvation of all; but he takes vengeance on obstinate sinners.

Should any man in the state of sin be seized with apoplexy and be deprived of his senses, what sentiments of compassion would be excited in all who should see him die without the sacraments and without signs of repentance! And how great should be their delight, if he recovered the use of his senses, asked for absolution, and made acts of sorrow for his sins! But is not he a fool, who has time to repent, and prefers to continue in sin? or who returns to sin, and exposes himself to the danger of being cut off by death without the sacraments, and without repentance? A sudden death excites terror in all; and still how many expose themselves to the danger of dying suddenly, and of dying in sin?

“Weight and balance are the judgments of the Lord.” — Prov. xvi. 11. We keep no account of the graces which God bestows upon us; but he keeps an account of them, he measures them; and when he sees them despised to a certain degree, he then abandons the sinner in his sin, and takes him out of life in that unhappy state. Miserable the man who defers his conversion till death. “The repentance which is sought from a sick man is infirm.” St. Jerome teaches, that of a hundred thousand sinners who continue in sin till death, scarcely one shall be saved. St. Vincent Ferrer writes, that it is a greater miracle to bring such sinners to salvation, than to raise the dead to life. What sorrow, what repentance can be expected at death from the man who has loved sin till that moment? Bellarmine relates that when he exhorted to contrition a certain person whom he assisted at death, the dying man said that he did not know what was meant by contrition. The holy bishop endeavored to explain it to him; but he said, “Father, I do not understand you; these things are too high for me.” He died in that state, leaving, as the venerable cardinal has written, sufficiently evident signs of his damnation. St. Augustine says, that, by a just chastisement, the sinner who has forgotten God during life, shall forget himself at death.

“Be not deceived,” says the apostle, “God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall he reap corruption.” — Gal. vi. 7. It would be a mockery of God to live in contempt of his laws, and afterwards to reap remuneration and eternal glory. But God is not mocked. What we sow in this life we reap in the next. For him who sows the forbidden pleasures of the flesh, nothing remains but corruption, misery, and eternal death.

Beloved Christian, what is said for others is also applicable to you. Tell me; if you were at the point of death, given over by the physicians, deprived of your senses, and in your last agony, with what fervor would you ask of God another month or week, to settle the accounts of your conscience! God at present gives you this time; thank him for it, and apply an immediate remedy to the evil you have done; adopt all the means of finding yourself in the grace of God when death shall come; for then there shall be no more time to acquire his friendship.

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Crisis Magazine has recently posted an article that perfectly demonstrates how Vatican 2 Catholics misunderstand Catholicism and particularly the papacy and the nature of the Church. Two striking features that stand out to me is the lack of critical thinking and the enormous amount of ignorance with the sedevacantist position. It’s as if they’ve never read a single thing we’ve ever written on the subject. However, I’m very thankful for the article since it gives us great opportunity to set the record straight once again.

The author of the piece, Kennedy Hall begins by stating, “mainstream diocesan bishops and clergy are questioning whether Pope Francis has published material or formal heresy.”

This immediately struck me. Has theological training become so bad that there’s such questioning?

Material heresy is when someone inculpably advances a heretical proposition by inadvertent ignorance. Formal heresy happens the moment one sufficiently knows the existence of the rule of the faith in the Church and that, on any point whatsoever, for whatever motive and in whatever form, one refuses to submit to it.

Theologians know what the Church teaches. Therefore, when they put forth a heresy to be believed, obstinacy is presumed, and it’s considered formal heresy. There should be no question about the matter when the subject is the papal claimant, because there’s no such thing as a true pope advancing material heresy only.

Hall continues with “there has never been a definitive teaching on how a pope could lose his office, or what we should do if he did.”

Sedevacantists do not think the Vatican 2 popes have lost the papal office. We believe they never had the Office to lose. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if there’s never been an explicit and definitive answer about how a pope can lose office or what to do if it happens. I would like to offer four explicit and definitive teachings that actually do tell us something concerning the crisis in which we can make a judgment call.

The First Vatican Council defines how a pope must be. [1] In light of the Council’s definition, has Francis kept the Catholic religion unsullied and teaching holy and remained unimpaired by any error? Does Francis have unfailing faith from Christ’s prayer and does he strengthen his brethren with the Catholic Faith? Has Francis turned the poisonous food of error away from the flock of Christ and nourished the Catholic flock with heavenly doctrine? Has Francis removed all occasion of schism that the Church might be saved as one and does he stay firm against the gates of hell?

If Francis fulfills the Vatican Council’s description, there’s no need to question his orthodoxy, how do depose him, etc. He would be the pope and that would be the end of it.

In his Encyclical, Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943, Pope Pius XII declared:

“Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed…For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”

Does Francis profess the true faith? If not, can a public heretic, schismatic, or apostate be the Head of the Catholic Church?

Pope Leo XIII declared in his Encyclical, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896:

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

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

Pope Leo is very clear about it. Yet, it’s as if Vatican 2 Catholics won’t listen at all to his teaching nor will they apply it.

Lastly, we have Canon 188.4 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law: “There are certain causes which effect the tacit (silent) resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are… (4) publicly defects from the Catholic faith.”

Very Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac taught in his “General Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law,” pp. 349-350: Loss of Ecclesiastical Offices. Canons 185-191, “applies to all offices, the lowest and the highest, not excepting the Supreme Pontificate.” [p. 346] (d) Public defection from the faith, by formal heresy or apostasy, with or without affiliation with another religious society. The offense must be public, that is, generally known or liable to become so before long. (Can. 2197.)

Kennedy Hall says he can’t follow the arguments of sedevacantists, because he believes “it is not fitting for there to be no pope.” My question for him is how is it fitting there can be a heretical pope in light of the four explicit and definitive teachings I just mentioned?

It’s clear from this article that Hall doesn’t know the sedevacantist arguments in order to follow them. He makes a “Sedevacantist Wager,” but what is there for us to wager based on the teaching and law of the Church?

Hall writes: Suppose there is a pope and we have to be in the Church where he reigns in order to be saved—normally speaking. Then we ought to do just that. If we submit to the pope—in a manner properly understood—then we lose nothing ultimately and stave off the risk of losing everything. If there is no pope but in our Catholic sense we act as if there is, what could we lose?

The problem here is that it’s much more than having a false pope, but an entire religion with doubtful sacraments, heretical papal teaching, and evil and harmful disciplines and laws. Graces are lost that could be gained from valid priests and sacraments. Vatican 2 is directly responsible for the abolition of the Catholic state where religious liberty is not a God-given civil right. You lose the truth by following false teaching such as believing the death penalty is contrary to the dignity of the human person. Belonging to a religion that has as its mission (in certain areas) the LGBTQ lifestyle blessed with the tacit approval of the so-called pope is formal cooperation with evil, not to mention all of its other heretical teachings.

Hall asks: Will we stand before God at the end of our lives and be chastised for praying too much for Francis or any other pope?

This has nothing to do with sedevacantism since we still pray for all our enemies. What we will be chastised for is vincible ignorance and/or cowardice for not doing the right thing. We have plenty of Catholic and Biblical teaching about false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing. Popes are not false teachers or wolves. 

Hall asks: It is Catholic to believe and act as if there is a pope, as this is how Catholics have always lived. In a word, it is fitting to live and think as such.

Not when the entire religion has become Protestant and practically atheistic (modernist). It’s one thing to be honestly wrong about a false pope while the rest of the Church is Catholic. We’ve seen this numerous times in Church history with antipopes. The Vatican 2 religion has dozens and dozens of erroneous beliefs and practices. It can’t possibly be the Catholic Church. How do you live and think correctly as a Catholic in a false and counterfeit religion by which you’re constantly resisting?

Hall states: Even if the sedevacantists were right—which I don’t believe is true—they run a great risk if they are wrong.

There’s absolutely no risk of being wrong or else the Church has been wrong in the past. For the sake of the argument, if sedes are honestly wrong, we would still be members of the soul of the Church. Mortal sin requires knowledge and full consent of the will to do what he thinks is evil. 

Hall makes an observation that’s not true for most sedevacantists. He writes: Of course, if someone is confused, that is one thing—God knows the heart; but if one lives a life of anathematizing other Catholics for an opinion they have no business to dogmatize, then this presents a grave problem.

Sedevacantists are not living a life of anathematizing others. We are simply following what Pope Leo XIII and Pius XII taught above and applying it. Recognizing what’s Catholic is our duty. We are reaching out to Novus Ordo Catholics to tell them what’s going on. We want them to realize they’ve been duped by imposter popes leading them astray from Catholicism. All of us were once there in ignorance. [2] 

Finally, Hall states: In the end, if we wager that there is a pope, then we live as Catholics have always lived and we hope to die as Catholics ought to hope to die. Ultimately, wagering that there is no pope offers us little if anything, other than a great risk if we aren’t careful.

Hall has got it all wrong. You don’t live as Catholics correctly if you follow a religion that has so many blatant errors with a pope who doesn’t profess the faith. In the end, there are only two options: The Vatican 2 popes are false popes or the gates of hell have truly prevailed. There is no middle ground.

I’ve said it many times, if you’re not going to consider sedevacantism, you’re not ever going there. We have enough Church teaching to know that the Vatican 2 religion is not Catholic. The very fact that a Catholic must resist it proves it. After all, the Catholic Church must be one in faith and holy in doctrine and practice.

 

Footnotes

[1] “‘For the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, made this solemn profession: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true Faith. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Who said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ (Matt. 16:18), should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy.’ …for they fully realized that this See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of his disciples, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou has turned again, strengthen thy brethren’ (Luke 22:32)

“‘So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.”

[2] Unfortunately, non-Catholic sedevacantists such as the Feeneyites do condemn everyone but themselves. They have become their own authority against the Roman Catechism, canon law, and popes who’ve taught and supported baptism of desire. Ironically, they do what R&R trads do by following only what they believe is dogmatically pronounced and resist everything else they believe is contrary to those dogmas. They ultimately think the Church is heretical.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OPEN EMAIL DISCUSSION OVER VATICAN II’S “SUBSISTS”

The Heresy on the Nature of the Church

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

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

A Perfect Example of Modernism in Vatican 2

Are Protestants Christians and Members of the Church of Christ?

A Right to the Christian Name

That They May Be One (Ut Unum Sint)

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

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

Religious Liberty and the Dignity of the Human Person

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

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

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Home-aloners say that sedevacantist bishops and priests are not good for the Church, because they don’t believe they are sent by the Church. It is their private opinion that it’s not absolutely necessary to have bishops and priests for the Universal Church at large and if it were absolutely necessary, this necessity alone would not qualify for the lawfulness of administering the Sacraments beginning with Holy Orders. Home-aloners believe it is better not to receive the sacraments and attend Holy Mass and receive Christ from Catholic clergy without ordinary jurisdiction in hope that someone (even though no one knows who and where) can rectify this terrible crisis.

I submit this home-alone position is wrong in every respect.

The Necessity of Having Shepherds and Teachers

Vatican I declared: “So then, just as he sent apostles, whom he chose out of the world [39], even as he had been sent by the Father [40], in like manner it was his will that in his Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time.”

Why would it be the will of Christ that in His Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time?

Holy Scripture gives us the answer in Ephesians 4:12:

“11. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ…”

We see clearly the necessity of having shepherds and teachers until the end of time. Men need to be shepherded and taught. Men also need to be nourished. The Holy Eucharist, for instance, most especially perfects us and is the summit of the ministry. “Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (John 6:54).”

Rev. Cornelius À Lapide writes in his Biblical Commentary on John 6:54:

So here, Unless ye shall eat, &c., i.e., unless there are some, viz. priests, who take the Sacrament of the Eucharist under both species, ye shall not have life in you. For if there be none such, then there will be none to consecrate the Eucharist, none to administer it, and so the whole fruit of the most Blessed Sacrament would be lost, as Bellarmine observes. For it is the office of priests to consecrate and receive in both kinds, that there may be not only a perfect Sacrament, but also that they may offer the sacrifice. This requires both kinds, both to signify perfect nourishment (for the sacrifice is, as it were, the food of God): and this nourishment consists of food and drink: as also that there may be a perfect representation of the passion and death of Christ. 

Shepherds and teachers provide us with the Eucharist and the other Sacraments. They are for the good of the Church and it is Christ’s will that they exist until the end of time. Therefore, they exist, because it’s necessary that they exist for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,and for the edifying of the body of Christ. To deny these two facts is heresy.

Where the Shepherds and Teachers must be Found

Since no shepherds and teachers holding offices with ordinary jurisdiction can be located nor is there a good explanation as to how they can exist without making the Vatican I teaching essentially meaningless, the only logical meaning of Vatican I is in the general sense for all Catholic clergy who are pastors of souls.

Sedevacantist clergy actually do claim to be the shepherds and teachers, which Vatican I is referring to even though they don’t possess particular offices in the Church. They shepherd and teach through the Holy Mass and Sacraments, making them real shepherds and teachers to the faithful.    

Home-aloners believe that only those holding offices are shepherds and teachers, because ordinarily bishops and priests are holding offices. The theological manuals all point to those who have ordinary jurisdiction as the pastors. Therefore, they conclude that ordinary or delegated jurisdiction is necessarily required absolutely under all conditions to be true pastors. However, home-aloners can’t identify the possible existence of any of these shepherds and teachers with ordinary jurisdiction for the Church.

It’s one thing to be in one particular area and not know what’s going on elsewhere, like the Japanese who had no pastors for hundreds of years, because of the persecution by the Japanese authorities. It’s quite another when we have access to the whole world. We know who’s consecrated who. The best argument a home-aloner could make is that a real pastor exists in some Communist prison somewhere that only his parishioners know about. The problem, however, is the Council was referring to shepherds and teachers, which is the plural of them. That rules out the “bishop in the woods” argument. It would have to be more than one.

The whole point of the Church having shepherds and teachers till the end of time is so they can actually shepherd and teach. If all of them are incapacitated, then what’s the point of having them at all? It’s not good enough to say that some bishops must exist in prison camps or somewhere to keep the Vatican I teaching from failing.

The home-aloner has to appeal to a theory with no evidence to maintain the existence of the Church. The problem is that if the Church exists only in the hope that some bishops exist somewhere even though no one knows where or how, the devil has ultimately won anyway. The gates of hell have prevailed, because the will of Christ and His purpose in having shepherds and teachers are ultimately thwarted. Christ left us shepherds and teachers for the benefit of the whole Church only to be incapacitated and our benefit effectively lost. The Church is effectively incapacitated throughout the whole world, which is exactly opposite to the will of Christ and His promise.

Imagine if Christ sent out the Apostles only to be immediately imprisoned so the Church could never take off. What would be the point of sending them out? How would it benefit the Church? Vatican I is saying that shepherds and teachers will exist till the end of time precisely for the same reason Christ sent out the Apostles, to actually be effective and benefit the Church. Again, the gates of hell have prevailed if the Church is totally incapacitated.

The Lawfulness of Sedevacantist Clergy

The sedevacantist clergy are the answer to Vatican I’s teaching.

In ordinary times, the clergy are sent out by being placed in offices. This is how bishops attain full apostolic succession. The sedevacantist clergy are sent, but not in ordinary fashion, because of the extraordinary circumstances of the Church’s existence. All the normal rules and teachings from the theological manuals only address the Church within the framework of pre-apostasy times. The one thing that we must cling to is the teaching of the Church. It is ultimately the one thing that really matters in matters of faith. All Church teachings must be understood in the correct nuance and applied in the circumstance in which it is addressing. Universal opinions have been wrong before.  

Because Christ wills that there shall be shepherds and teachers till the end of time, they must exist by divine right. No human ecclesiastical law can prevent this right. It is absolutely necessary that shepherds and teachers exist for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, which is why Jesus wills their existence.

All bishops have the power to consecrate and ordain validly. This power is not hindered by heresy, schism, or vitandus excommunication. However, authorization is needed to consecrate lawfully, whether it be by law or permission from the pope. Sedevacantist Bishop Carmona cites two rules as the foundation for the lawfulness of his consecration as bishop.

He cites Pope Gregory IX who declared in the 4th Rule of his decretal “On the Rules of Law” “What is not lawful by law, necessity makes lawful.” Pope Gregory IX gave two examples: Working on the Sabbath and breaking a required fast when sick.

Bishop Carmona also cites Rule 88 of Boniface VIII, which expressly states “It is certain that one sins against the rule who adheres to the letter and leaves aside the spirit.” Carmona writes, “Therefore, it is unjust to impute to the legislator a desire to greatly harm the Church during a vacancy of the Holy See by forbidding the ordination of bishops and priests and the administering of the sacraments to the faithful who ask for them. Therefore, in accepting episcopal consecration from Archbishop Thuc, we have relied on these rules, conscious and certain that, given the circumstances in which we live, the consecrations are both valid and licit. We are also conscious and certain that we would have sinned, if by relying on the letter [of the law] we had rejected the consecrations, there being only one Catholic bishop who can now be found to transmit the episcopal succession.”

Bishops Thuc, Carmona, and Zamora did what works for the Church. Divine law and Pope Gregory IX’s decretal give authorization in this time of great tribulation. No theological manual addresses this particular situation. Therefore, to use theological manuals that addresses totally different situations and applying it against sedevacantism is pointless, not to mention, the manuals are offering general opinions anyway.

Before the great apostasy of Vatican 2, the Church was organized perfectly to function and to spread Catholicism. The theological manuals address the framework of the Church in pre-apostasy times ONLY. The Church is in an imperfect form each time a pope dies and in these post-apostasy times, it’s in dire need of a pope and Episcopal offices filled.

What we have today is a Church with no ordinary jurisdiction. However, insofar as individual souls are concerned who attend sedevacantist missions, there’s no substantial difference in having canonical pastors at parishes before the apostasy and our sedevacantist priests in missions and chapels. What we have works and is greatly needed. If fulfills the basic needs of the Church during this crisis and accomplishes the bare minimum that’s required for the Church to exist and function for the good of the Faithful.

Our sedevacantist bishops and priests are not working in an extraordinary mission that works outside the framework of the Church where there exists a pope, his ordinary succession, and bishops with ordinary jurisdiction who are ready and willing to transmit valid orders. Rather, our clergy work in an extraordinary mission that continues the ordinary mission of the Church insofar as possible precisely because these things are wanting. The books don’t cover the extraordinary mission of sedevacantism, but only condemn, and rightly so, those who assume authority apart from the authority of the pope and the ordinary transmission of the faith. 

The home-alone position focuses on the letter of the law and sins against the spirit of the law. It places a private opinion against the only logical answer to Vatican I, and as we will see, the teachings of Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII.

It also implicitly denies that the sacrament of Holy Orders is absolutely necessary for the good of the whole Church, that the Church as a whole needs to be shepherded and taught, and without bishops and priests, there is no Church.

Other Problems with the Home-Alone Position

Staying at home is the antithesis of Catholicism. The Church is sent out. We are sent out after Mass, Ite Missa Est. We don’t stay at home, we go out. If every Catholic stays home, there are no Sacraments except baptism and marriage FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. That’s the foundation of Protestantism.

The home-alone position implies that the principle of perpetual succession of the papacy is over, because relying on God to intervene miraculously means the principle is lost, since it takes God to intervene to fulfil what lacks, viz. the principle. Therefore, it’s heretical on this point alone. The principle of perpetual succession must exist until the end of time, which means there is no need for God to miraculously give us a pope. Vatican I is telling us that Christ placed a built-in means to protect the papacy from such measures.

Also, home-aloners admit that we are in the great apostasy. However, Holy Writ tells us that the great apostasy is part of the reign of Antichrist. The reign of Antichrist is short-lived due to Christ’s return. If we are indeed in the great apostasy, then we are not coming out of it. There’s not going to be anyone to fix the Church save Christ at His Return. Therefore, we can’t stay at home hoping that someone somewhere on earth can rectify this terrible crisis. We must do the best we can and the sedevacantist clergy did just that. They fulfilled having shepherds and teachers for the faithful for the whole Church as Christ willed.

Survival Mode

A dire situation requires dire measures. When a man goes into survival mode, he may have to do things that would be forbidden ordinarily. He may have to eat his dead friends as those Uruguayan rugby players did when they crashed in the Andes Mountains in 1972. He may have to drink his urine as many sailors have done in lifeboats at sea. The body itself will do things to stay alive that it wouldn’t or couldn’t do otherwise.

The point is the Catholic Church is in survival mode, because it’s going through its passion in following Christ. All the powers of hell are assaulting the Church right now. If ever Catholics most needed bishops, priests, the Holy Mass, and the 7 Sacraments, now is the time. “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matt. 28: 18-20).”

Rev. Cornelius À Lapide explains in his Biblical Commentary that “Christ has willed to abide continually in the Church in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.”

Home-aloners must say that Christ has not willed to abide continually in the Church in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, at least not for the vast, vast majority of Catholics. Practically speaking, Christ has abandoned the Church leaving no clergy for teaching, governing, and sanctifying the Faithful through the Holy Mass and the 7 Sacraments. I will say it a third time, the gates of hell have effectively prevailed if the home-alone position is correct. The Catholic Church simply doesn’t exist except in the hopes and dreams of Catholics. That’s not how the Church exists.

The Principle of the Home-Alone Position is Condemned

Pope Pius IX declared in Etsi Multa: [1] 

Further Heresies

They obstinately reject and oppose the infallible magisterium both of the Roman Pontiff and of the whole Church in teaching matters.  Incredibly, they boldly affirm that the Roman Pontiff and all the bishops, the priests and the people conjoined with him in the unity of faith and communion fell into heresy when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council. Therefore they deny also the indefectibility of the Church and blasphemously declare that it has perished throughout the world and that its visible Head and the bishops have erred. They assert the necessity of restoring a legitimate episcopacy in the person of their pseudo-bishop, who has entered not by the gate but from elsewhere like a thief or robber and calls the damnation of Christ upon his head.

Yet they do not blush to call themselves Catholics and Old Catholics, while in their doctrine, novelty, and number they show themselves in no way to be either old or Catholic. Certainly the Church rises up with greater right against them than it once did through Augustine against the Donatists. Diffused among all people, the Church was built by Christ the Son of the living God upon the rock, against which the gates of Hell will not prevail, and with which He Himself, to Whom all power in heaven and on earth is given, said He would be with until the consummation of the world. “The Church cries to her Spouse: Why do certain men withdrawing from me murmur against me? Why do these lost men claim that I have perished? Announce to me the length of my days, how long I will be in this world? Tell me on account of those who say: it was and is no longer; on account of those who say: the scriptures have been fulfilled, all nations have believed, but the Church has apostatized and perished from all nations. And He announced and the voice was not vain. What did He announce? ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ Moved by your voices and your false opinions, it asked of God that He announce to it the length of its days and it found that God said ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ Here you will say: He spoke about us; we are as we will be until the end of the world. Christ Himself is asked; He says ‘and this gospel will be preached in the whole world, in testimony to all nations, and then will come the end.’ Therefore the Church will be among all nations until the end of the world. Let heretics perish as they are, and let them find that they become what they are not.”

Old Catholics claimed the Roman Pontiff, all bishops, priests, and the people in union with the pope apostatized. They asserted that there were no shepherds and teachers throughout the world. Pope Pius IX condemned the idea that there are no shepherds and teachers throughout the world as heresy, because it’s contrary to Christ’s promise and meaning in Matt. 28:18-20.

When Pope Pius IX said “all nations” that would not mean literally all nations, but in general all nations. The bible says all men have sinned, but all doesn’t mean literally all, but generally all, since Our Lord and our Lady have not sinned.

“We are as we will be” doesn’t mean exactly with a pope and offices filled, but generally with shepherds and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, because Christ wills it.

Pope Leo XIII declared in Satis Cognitum: “8…But, as we have already said, the Apostolic mission was not destined to die with the Apostles themselves, or to come to an end in the course of time, since it was intended for the people at large and instituted for the salvation of the human race. For Christ commanded His Apostles to preach the “Gospel to every creature, to carry His name to nations and kings, and to be witnesses to him to the ends of the earth.” He further promised to assist them in the fulfilment of their high mission, and that, not for a few years or centuries only, but for all time – “even to the consummation of the world.” [2]

The Apostolic mission is explained by Pope Leo in the same encyclical.

3…The Apostles received a mission to teach by visible and audible signs, and they discharged their mission only by words and acts which certainly appealed to the senses.

4…What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. “As the Father hath sent me, I also send you” (John xx., 21). “As thou hast sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world” (John xvii., 18).

But the mission of Christ is to save that which had perished: that is to say, not some nations or peoples, but the whole human race, without distinction of time or place. “The Son of Man came that the world might be saved by Him” (John iii., 17). “For there is no other name under Heaven given to men whereby we must be saved” (Acts iv., 12). The Church, therefore, is bound to communicate without stint to all men, and to transmit through all ages, the salvation effected by Jesus Christ, and the blessings flowing there from. Wherefore, by the will of its Founder, it is necessary that this Church should be one in all lands and at all times. To justify the existence of more than one Church it would be necessary to go outside this world, and to create a new and unheard – of race of men.

8…There must needs be also the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine Sacrifice and in the dispensation of the Sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline. All these must be found in the Church, since it continues the mission of the Savior for ever. 

The Apostolic mission is to save souls, and this comes by correct teaching, the Holy Mass, and the Sacraments, which necessarily means there must be shepherds and teachers for the people at large as Christ willed.

The home-alone position doesn’t fit even remotely with the teachings of Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII, or even Vatican I. 

Our position of sedevacantist clergy fits and works if interpreted properly. If home-aloners insist that Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII meant bishops with ordinary jurisdiction ONLY, then they must admit that it’s over for Christianity altogether. Either we are right or they must stop being Catholic. There’s no middle ground.

The pseudo-traditionalists that recognize the Vatican 2 popes insist that sedevacantism is wrong, but in doing so they have condemned Christianity, since there’s no possible way the Church is heretical with heretics holding the papacy. Home-aloners are in that same boat. In claiming there are no shepherds and teachers throughout the world, they have condemned Christianity, since there’s no possible way the Church is without them throughout the world. The home-alone position is heretical, plain and simple.

There’s only one solution and that’s the position of the sedevacantist clergy. Bishops Thuc, Carmona, and Zamora saw it plainly. They did what they had to do and by the grace of God, the Church is making it through till the end.

Footnotes

[1] http://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius09/p9etsimu.htm

[2] Satis Cognitum – Papal Encyclicals

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This second installment is a defense of the post-Vatican 2 sedevacantist clergy having authority to administer the sacraments, which sedevacantist home-aloners deny. Also included will be two arguments why the home-alone position is problematic.

Before the great apostasy, the Church had customary channels of power and authority, which we now refer to as ordinary times. Formerly, the Church enjoyed normal papal succession, world-wide hierarchy, and ecclesiastical laws, so that everything worked within the framework of the Church’s existence in those times.

The predicament of the great apostasy, however, is an extraordinary phenomenon unprecedented in history. It has affected the Church to such an extent that many laws of the Church can’t apply, can’t be applied, nor can be enforced; an example being the law on papal elections requiring cardinals. See THE CASE THAT PROVES CHURCH LAWS CAN’T ALWAYS APPLY – Revised

Some theologians and canonists have argued this nightmare can’t happen, but obviously that opinion is proven wrong by the very fact it has.

The Catholic Church has gone into what I call survival mode. Some things that would be illicit now become licit as the 4th rule of Pope Gregory IX lays out:

Propter necessitatem, illicitum efficitur licitum (Necessity makes licit was illicit)

In ordinary times, bishops and priests had ordinary and delegated jurisdiction, which is the power to rule and the authority to administer. In these extraordinary times, the power and authority has taken on a new form due to the circumstances. Therefore, the Church must supply the jurisdiction to stay alive and carry on its mission of saving souls. Exactly how supplied jurisdiction is granted to sedevacantist clergy is the question.

Supplied jurisdiction is when ordinary or delegated jurisdiction is absent and the Church confers it extraordinarily, when it was not bestowed regularly for the purpose of a grave cause and common good of souls.

Since no pope exists, no bishops with ordinary or delegated jurisdiction exist (insofar as we can tell), the Church must carry on lest the gates of hell effectively prevails.

According to the First Vatican Council, just as Peter has by Divine right successors in the primacy, so too, as is natural, the Church has by Divine right to live and carry on its mission of saving souls through the sacraments. What Catholic could deny this fact?

Rev. Ludwig Ott taught in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, “The Sacraments are the means appointed by God for the attainment of eternal salvation. Three of them are in the ordinary way of salvation so necessary, that without their use salvation cannot be attained. Thus, for the individual person, Baptism is necessary in this way and after the commission of a grievous sin, Penance is equally necessary, while for the Church in general, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is necessary. The other Sacraments are necessary in so far as salvation cannot be so easily gained without them.” [1] Ott tells us on p. 332, “All the Sacraments of the New Covenant confer sanctifying grace on the receivers. (De fide.)”

No ecclesiastical law could be used to prevent the Church as a whole from carrying on its mission of saving souls through these life-giving sacraments.

Just as doctrine develops over time, so too, ecclesiastical law develops. It is in this development that we discover how our clergy have jurisdiction supplied to them by the Church.

For example, canon law tells us that Confession can only be granted by a priest lacks ordinary or delegated jurisdiction in the case of danger of death.

Can. 882 states: When there is danger of death, any priest, even though not otherwise approved for hearing confessions, may validly and licitly absolve any penitent from whatever sins and censures, including those which are reserved and notorious, even though an approved priest may be present.  But the rules laid down in can. 884 and 2252 must be observed. [2]

Therefore, based on this canon, any priest (including valid non-Catholic priests) can absolve when there is danger of death. Over the years, the application of this canon has developed.

Several canonists such as Rev. Guiseppe d’Annibale and Rev. Matthaeus a Coronata taught that a long-term lack of a confessor may be regarded as equivalent to danger of death for purposes of supplied jurisdiction. It’s an opinion not agreed upon by others. However, I find that d’Annibale and Coronata are applying a fundamental rule of jurisprudence by applying as broad as possible an interpretation on the words of a favorable law. [3]

The novel interpretation by d’Annibale and Coronata demonstrates that the canon does not have to be interpreted absolutely in the strictest sense. If d’Annibale and Coronata are correct, then by this particular canon, the Church supplies jurisdiction to our sedevacantist clergy. Therefore, we have a law that’s lacking an expressed prescription that canonists think is possible and considered within that law.

Where did they get the opinion that a long-term lack of a confessor is equivalent to danger of death? d’Annibale cites two earlier authorities that taught the “in danger of death” law to mean possibly dying without a priest or confessor over a long period of time. A particular auspicious authority we’ll examine is the Doctor of the Church and Patron Saint of Confessors, St. Alphonsus Liquori who taught:

“Is any priest able to absolve from any sins and censures, not only at the point of death, but also in danger of death? This is denied by [various names] but more truly and more commonly affirmed by…The reason for this is that in this matter, the danger is taken for the point, as is clear from…For in such a case, anyone in mortal sin is bound to confess in the same way as if he were at the point of death. This is accepted by…provided that such a danger be so grave that it can scarcely be distinguished with certainty from the point: but, more immediately, it seems to be sufficient that there be prudent fear that death will arise in the danger. Now such a danger is considered to be present in a battle, in a long sea voyage, in a difficult delivery, in a dangerous disease, and similar cases…The same is true of one who is in probable danger of falling into insanity (amentia)…and the same of those who are captives among infidels with small hope of liberty. For it is believed that they will have no other priests in the future.” [4]

It would seem that in battles, long sea voyages, etc. the same priest without ordinary jurisdiction will be present throughout the situation. In such a case, that same priest can absolve a man repeatedly over the duration of war, long sea voyages, etc.

That said, St. Alphonsus then offers another situation that’s related, but not precisely the same as in danger of war, long sea voyage, pandemic, etc. He refers to those who are captives among infidels (not those who are in danger of falling captives). He’s not very clear what this means precisely. However, we can conclude that this particular situation is not exactly a danger of death. It’s a case outside of some immediate danger of death.

It may be that St. Alphonsus intended to mean those who expect to never have a priest again, which is manifestly not the situation where Catholics today have access to a priest regularly.

If we were able to ask St. Alphonsus, what if there was a priest without ordinary jurisdiction made captive himself with small hope of liberty, can he absolve the other captives as long as they are captives, since there’s small hope of liberty?

It’s reasonable to presume that St. Alphonsus would say yes, since it’s the obvious conclusion. That conclusion is precisely the situation Catholics find themselves today. The problem with our situation is that it’s not addressed anywhere, probably because it wasn’t considered possible.

When Rev. Guiseppe d’Annibale explains the law of absolving in danger of death, he lists the different situations in the same order as St. Alphonsus. He even cites St. Alphonsus, because he’s using him as the source. However, when d’Annibale comes to the section of “probable danger of falling into insanity and captives among infidels with small hope of liberty,” he lists it as “Besides, if one is in danger of falling into perpetual insanity, or is in such circumstances that henceforth he is likely not to have a confessor available any more, he is likewise to be regarded as if he were in danger of death.” [5] Interestingly, he doesn’t cite St. Alphonsus, perhaps because he’s already cited him twice, even though Liguori speaks about insanity, but d’Annibale does cite Rev. Leonardo Duardo.

Rev. Leonardo Duardo wrote in Commentaria in Bullam Coenae Domini (1638):

“But that is also to be noted, that if one bound by some censure of our Bull is found in that state, in which if he is not absolved now, it is to be feared as likely, that before death he will not have a Confessor available, as can happen in India, or in some captivity; then I say that he can be absolved by someone other than the Roman Pontiff; because although he is said to be outside the imminent danger of death, still in this matter, and morally speaking, this case is not different from danger of death: all the more, because in such a case, if he were to have access to a confessor he would be bound by divine law to make his confession: as Suarez says in the place cited: as taken from Suarez.” (probably Suarez de pentitentia, disp. 35, sec. 2 & 3) [6]

Duardo and Liguori make the “in danger of death” clause to include in danger of dying without another priest or confessor. It’s technically not “in danger of death” at all. Yet, they include it in the law. These authorities have developed the application of the law to mean something the law doesn’t specifically mention.

Rev. Matthaeus Conte a Coronata, O.F.M. Cap., Institutiones Iuris Canonici, IV. n. 1760 4th edition, published in 1955, writes:

“Danger of death is present for him who is in such circumstances that death is truly and gravely probable, but who also may survive. This situation can arise from various causes, e.g. from illness, injury, difficult childbirth, extreme old age, dangerous journey, imminent battle, surgical operation to be undergone, extreme torture etc.”

“He may be regarded as equal to those in danger of death who is in grave danger of falling into perpetual insanity or who is in such a condition that henceforth he will not have a confessor available anymore.”

Coronata cites d’Annibale as the source demonstrating that he agrees with d’Annibale’s analysis of Duardo and St. Alphonsus. They don’t spend much time on the topic, probably because it’s such a rare situation. Perhaps, they didn’t think an in-depth examination was needed. However, their explanations using confessor rather than priest have connotations that resembles our great apostasy age. As long as Catholics are in a situation where they could die without a confessor, any priest can absolve as many times as needed. It’s the logical extension of Duardo and Liguori’s application.

Duardo and St. Alphonsus are laying out a principle that cases exist outside of immediate danger of death that are equivalent to being in danger of death. They don’t list every possibility, but they came up with something that’s novel and not found elsewhere.

There’s no reason why our scenario can’t be figured into the law and put into practice by our theologians and canonists. d’Annibale and Coronata already point that way.

In his Moral Theology, book 6, n. 560, p. 443, St. Alphonsus Liguori lays out a practical teaching:

“The question is: whether heretics, schismatics, and vitandus excommunicates can absolve a dying man, if no other priest is present.”

“The first opinion says that they can, based on the Council of Trent’s statement that it is ecclesiastical tradition that there’s no reservation [of jurisdiction to absolve] when a man is dying.”

“The second opinion, (which St. Alphonsus agrees), says that such priests can’t validly absolve a dying man because the council wasn’t speaking of priests with no jurisdiction, but of those who lack jurisdiction over reserved cases (that is, reserved to the bishop or the Holy See on account of censure); also because the Council of Trent didn’t make a new law, but only approved the ancient law, which was that priests cut off from the unity of the Church cannot validly absolve under any circumstances.”

“Nevertheless, the Continuator of Tournely says rightly that in such a case, a priest who is a heretic or a vitandus excommunicate, when no other priest is present, may well give conditional absolution to a dying man, because in extreme or urgent necessity according to the common opinion of doctors, as we said n. 482 [citation omitted] … it is licit to follow an opinion that is only slightly probable.” [7]

The Holy Office settled the issue on July 39, 1891, which affirmed the first opinion. However, the relevant part of Liguori’s answer is the last sentence. To follow the opinion of d’Annibale and Coronata is licit.

To follow the opinion of d’Annibale and Coronata is licit. Also, the Church is in urgent necessity of bishops and priests. The fact that we have all of our theologians and canonists presenting the same argument (I would think) makes it at least slightly probable.

I can think of other possible scenarios not addressed by saints or any theologian (that I’ve found). What if a priest shipwrecks on an island where no civilized persons have ever witnessed? Therefore, the likelihood of being rescued is slim to none. The priest converts the natives and baptizes them. However, we are to understand that he can’t administer the other sacraments because of some particular Church law that’s not referring to this particular situation? Is this the will of Christ and His Church? The priest wasn’t technically sent by the ordinary laws of Church, therefore, the poor Catholics are just out of luck until there is imminent danger of death?

Again, the logical conclusion is that “in danger of death” could include dying without a confessor, but if a priest is present, he can absolve as long as necessary. It isn’t specifically mentioned, but it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t in the books about possibly dying without a priest or confessor years in the future until a theologian and a canonist thought of it years later. St. Alphonsus and Duardo’s scenarios don’t become true for the law, because they thought of it. It was always true. The same thing applies to our situation. The “in danger of death” law provides the means for our sedevacantist clergy.

If home-aloners reject my explanation out of novelty or because it’s not a real danger of death scenario, then they would have to apply that same rule to St. Alphonsus Liguori for the same reasons. Then the argument turns against the Patron Saint of Confessors.

The Council of Trent declared, “For those who after baptism have fallen into sin, the Sacrament of Penance is as necessary unto salvation as is baptism itself for those who have not yet been regenerated” (Sess. XIV, c. 2).

We don’t wait until we’re in imminent danger of death for the Sacrament of Penance. We are not living in ordinary times with ordinary circumstances. We have no recourse to ordinary channels of priests with ordinary and delegated jurisdiction. Yet, we have priests and bishops all around us. There’s a law that lacks an express prescription, which is considered by our theologians and canonists to work for the current situation.

Getting back to the problem with home-aloners, I have a question to ponder:

Is it possible for the Church to unintentionally prohibit the administration of all the sacraments to the whole Church except Baptism and Marriage for a day, a year, 50 years, or indefinitely?

The home-alone position must submit that the Church is withholding and prohibiting the sacraments to the whole Church unintentionally, which is contrary to Christ’s mission of the Church. The Church’s mission can’t become counter-missionary to itself. Would Christ place a time-bomb in the establishment of His Church?

It doesn’t say much for a loving Mother that hinders ALL HER children from living and dying as holy a life as possible to be saved.

Home-aloners necessarily hold that the entire Church is incapacitated and paralyzed from administering the sacraments. It would mean that Christ does not and has not provided the means for the administration of the sacraments to His whole Church. The mission of the Church has come to a screeching halt and the devil has thwarted God’s positive Will for His Church of accomplishing what it was sent out to do.

I submit the gates of hell have prevailed if our clergy are wrong for administering the sacraments. What good is a Church that has been totally incapacitated? It would mean the Church’s mission is effectively over and the devil has won. In my estimation, the home alone position is not just impossible, it’s anti-Catholic.

This all leads to my two final arguments.

Before the great apostasy, there were opinions permitted to be held, which post-apostasy circumstances prove to be false opinions. One such false opinion held by the majority of theologians and canonists is the universal acceptance of the Church guarantees a true pope. At least 5 theologians and canonists disagreed with this opinion and were proven right by the circumstances of the great apostasy. This is one reason why listing a collection of theological opinions proves nothing.

So too, the circumstances of the great apostasy prove that the home-alone opinion of supplied jurisdiction to be false by the mere fact that the Church can’t be counter-missionary to itself and be completely incapacitated to administer the sacraments as a whole. The Church has by Divine right to exist and carry on its mission of saving souls through the sacraments. That Divine right must exist somehow even if it can’t be shown explicitly.

Lastly is the argument of reason: If we consider both the home-alone position and the sedevacantist clergy position as sincere opinions, what are the pros and cons of each position from the viewpoint of being right or wrong?

If the home-aloners are correct and avoided sedevacantist clergy, they have gained nothing, but the fact they followed their conscience, which both sides do anyway. However, if they are wrong:

     1. They lose numerous graces from the sacraments they could have received.

     2. Their chance of losing their souls becomes greater.

     3. Their chance of gaining heaven becomes less.

     4. The probability of having a tougher purgatory becomes greater.

     5. They will not have lived and died in the greatest possible manner.

     6. They will not be as close to Jesus and Mary in life and in death.

     7. Their place in heaven may not reach the heights it could have been.

If our sedevacantist clergy are wrong, we have lost nothing. We died in good faith, but were mistaken. However, if we are right:

     1. We gained numerous graces from the sacraments.

     2. The chance of losing our souls decreases.

     3. The chance of gaining heaven increases.

     4. The probability of having a tough purgatory decreases.

     5. We will have lived and died as holy as possible with the sacraments.

     6. We will be closer to Jesus and Mary in life and in death.

     7. Our place in heaven becomes the highest it could possibly be, because of the sacraments.

The argument from reason demonstrates that the home-alone position gains nothing and stands to lose so much. Our position stands to lose nothing and gains everything. While this argument doesn’t prove which side is right, it does prove which opinion is better.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Rev. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pp. 340-341:

The Sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for the salvation of mankind. (De fide.)

As Christ instituted the Sacraments and bound them up with the communication of grace they are necessary to us for the achievement of salvation (necessitate medii), even if not all are necessary for each individual. The efficacious reception of a Sacrament can, in case of necessity, be replaced by the desire for the Sacrament (votum sacramenti) (hypothetical necessity).

The Council of Trent declared against the Reformers who, on the ground of their “sola fides” doctrine, contested the necessity of the Sacraments for salvation: Si quis dixerit sacramenta novae Legis non esse ad salutem necessaria, sed superflua, ct sine eis aut eorum voto per solam fidem homines a Deo gratiam iustificationis adipisci, licet omnia singulis necessaria non sint. A.S. D. 847. In the Middle Ages the necessity of the Sacraments was controverted by the Cathari.

The Sacraments are the means appointed by God for the attainment of eternal salvation. Three of them are in the ordinary way of salvation so necessary, that without their use salvation cannot be attained. Thus, for the individual person, Baptism is necessary in this way and after the commission of a grievous sin, Penance is equally necessary, while for the Church in general, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is necessary. The other Sacraments are necessary in so far as salvation cannot be so easily gained without them. Thus Confirmation is the completion of Baptism, and Extreme Unction is the completion of Penance, while Matrimony is the basis for the preservation of the Church Commonwealth, and the Eucharist is the end (finis) of all the Sacraments. C£ S. the III 6S, 3 and 4.

[2] Rev. Charles Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, vol. IV, p. 286

[3] “A fundamental rule of jurisprudence is to put as broad as possible an interpretation on the words of a favorable law and to interpret unfavorable laws strictly (e.g., penal laws). (C. 19.)” Moral Theology, Fr. Heribert Jone, p. 23.

[4] Theologia Moralis, Liguori, Bk.6, no. 561, Q.2

[5] Summula theologiae moralis : Giuseppe d’ Annibale : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

[6] Commentaria in bullam S.D.N.D. Pauli Papae V lectam in die Coenae Domini … – Leonardo Duardo (C.R.) – Google Books

[7] https://archive.org/details/theologiamoralis02ligu_0/page/442/mode/2up

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Vatican 2 declared that “all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, (21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” [1]

The context is referring to baptized non-Catholics.

The right to be called Christian is an issue that involves the external forum, because it presumes an objective fact that’s known or proved to be true. The body is also reference to the external forum, because it refers to something physical or material and tangible. The Latin corpus (body) is the root word for corpse, corporal, and corporeal.

As Catholics, we believe Christ’s Body is the Catholic Church. Pope Leo XIII declared in his 1896 Encyclical Satis Cognitum, #3:

For this reason the Church is so often called in Holy Writ a body, and even the body of Christ – “Now you are the body of Christ” (I Cor. xii., 27) – and precisely because it is a body is the Church visible: and because it is the body of Christ is it living and energizing, because by the infusion of His power Christ guards and sustains it, just as the vine gives nourishment and renders fruitful the branches united to it. And as in animals the vital principle is unseen and invisible, and is evidenced and manifested by the movements and action of the members, so the principle of supernatural life in the Church is clearly shown in that which is done by it.

From this it follows that those who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error: as also are those who regard the Church as a human institution which claims a certain obedience in discipline and external duties, but which is without the perennial communication of the gifts of divine grace, and without all that which testifies by constant and undoubted signs to the existence of that life which is drawn from God. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone. The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. The Church is not something dead: it is the body of Christ endowed with supernatural life. As Christ, the Head and Exemplar, is not wholly in His visible human nature, which Photinians and Nestorians assert, nor wholly in the invisible divine nature, as the Monophysites hold, but is one, from and in both natures, visible and invisible; so the mystical body of Christ is the true Church, only because its visible parts draw life and power from the supernatural gifts and other things whence spring their very nature and essence.

Pope Pius XII taught and declared: “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. (Mystici Corporis, 1943, Humani Generis, 1950)

“…the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful “filled up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ . . . for His Body, which is the Church”(Mystici Corporis,1943)

We also believe that only Catholics are Christians. [2] See A Right to the Christian Name

This means the right to be called Christian is also the right to be called Catholic, because the words mean the same thing and are interchangeable. [3]

Vatican 2 is teaching something radically different and tries to make it sound Catholic by footnoting [21] the 1439 Decretum Exultate Deo from the Council of Florence. However, the Decretum in no way implies that baptized non-Catholics are members of Christ’s Body. Thus, the council’s footnote is misleading if not deceptive.

Vatican 2’s teaching that non-Catholics are members of Christ’s Body can only mean one of two things:

1. Non-Catholics have a right to be called Catholics and are members of the Catholic Church.

However, we know this is not what Vatican 2 is teaching, because it says in Lumen Gentium 15 that these non-Catholics are only “linked” to the Church. They are not yet “peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd.” [4]

Therefore, the only other implication is that…

2. Catholic and Christian do not mean the same thing and one can be a true Christian in the external forum without being Catholic despite the fact that at least 2 popes taught otherwise. Again, Lumen Gentium 15 tells us these non-Catholics are “consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ.” [5]

To declare that baptized non-Catholics “are members of Christ’s body,” “united to Christ,” and to tell us these “members” are not yet united members of the Catholic Church contradicts Pope Pius XI’s 1928 Encyclical Mortalium animos, which declared,

“for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it…For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, [22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.[24] ([22]. I Cor. xii, 12., [23]. Eph. Iv, 16., [24]. Cf. Eph. v, 30; 1, 22.)”

Notice that Pope Pius XI is citing Holy Scripture to prove his point. Christ’s Body is the Catholic Church and is only made up with the members united to the Catholic Church, but apparently that fact was too exclusive for the fathers of the Second Vatican Council. They were bent on including non-Catholics as members of Christ’s Body.  

Vatican 2 continued in Unitatis Redintegratio: We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God.

“Fully incorporated” implies there’s such a thing as partial incorporation, which is diametrically opposed to Pope Pius IX’s teaching from his Apostolic Letter to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868, “Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity.”

We have Vatican 2 telling us that baptized non-Catholics are Christian with the right to the name.

To the contrary, Pope Pius XII and Pope Leo XIII tell us that only Catholics are truly Christians. [6] Christian used merely in conventional language means something else as seen in footnote 3. 

Vatican 2 tells us that baptized non-Catholics are united with Christ and members of Christ’s Body. We have the polar opposites with Pope Pius IX telling us they need to return to the Body of Christ; [7] Pope Leo XIII telling us they are not united to Christ’s Body; [8] Pope Pius XI telling us they are separated from Christ’s Body; [9] and Pope Pius XII telling us they are not members of Christ’s Body. [10]

Vatican 2 tells us by implication that baptized non-Catholics are partially incorporated into the Church.

Pope Pius IX tells us there’s no such thing as partial incorporation into the Church. [11]

Vatican 2 chucked all the relevant papal teachings from the previous 100 years and presented an evolution of doctrine, a perfect example of modernism. Therefore, Vatican 2’s teaching on Christ’s Body is anti-Catholic. Only a robber council can do such a thing and true popes could never approve it as all the Vatican 2 popes have done.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Referring to non-Catholics, Unitatis Redintegratio of Vatican 2 declared: For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, (21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. (22)”

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

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, “5 So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a heretic – the life of the spirit follows not the amputated member.”

[3] The generic term Christian in conventional language, which identifies those who claim to follow Christ as opposed to Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. would not be included as a God-given right precisely, because it is a generic term of conventional language. 

[4] Lumen Gentium 15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] In an Apostolic Letter of His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868, that they might return to the Catholic Church:

“Nobody will certainly be able to doubt or deny that this Jesus Christ, to the end that the fruits of His Redemption might be applied to all the race of men, has built here on earth, upon Peter, the only Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic; and that He has conferred upon her the power necessary to preserve whole and inviolate the deposit of faith; to transmit this same faith to all peoples, tribes, and nations; to call [elect] to unity in this Mystical Body, through baptism, all men, for the purpose of preserving in them, and perfecting, that new life of grace, without which no one can merit and obtain eternal life; wherefore this Church, which constitutes the Mystical Body, will persist and prosper in her own stable and indefectible nature until the end of the ages, and offer to all Her sons the means of salvation….

Whoever thus gives proper attention and reflection to the situation which surrounds the various religious societies, divided amongst themselves and separated from the Catholic Church – which, without interruption, from the time of Christ the Lord and of His Apostles, by means of her legitimate sacred Shepherds, has always exercised, and exercises still, the divine power conferred upon Her by the Lord – it will be easy to convince [them] that in none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity…

It is for this reason that so many who do not share “the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church” must make use of the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements [demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and lead them back within holy Mother Church…we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ…we await with open arms the return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon which depends not only the salvation of all of them…”

[8] Ibid.

[9] Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, “the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the returnto the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it…”

[10] Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi:  “14. If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: “Though many we are one body in Christ.” [14] But it is not enough that the body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: “the Church is visible because she is a body.” [15] Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond….”

[11.] Ibid.

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Many of those who recognize and are united to Bergoglio as pope have contempt for the new mass. Yet, if it is an approved rite of the Church, this behavior is anathema. The mass is an “untainted source,” must be “embraced,” and is “perfect.”  

SESSION VII, CANON XIII. If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema. 

Is the novus ordo missae an approved rite that administers the sacrament of the Eucharist? 

SESSION XXII, CANON VII. If any one saith, that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema. 

How could the novus ordo missae be a problem if those things within it can’t be? 

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 9 (1832):Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or branded as contrary to certain principles of the natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the Church and her ministers are embraced. 

How can a Catholic not embrace the novus ordo missae as sound, perfect, and holy, since this teaching must be accepted as true? 

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (1896): For, since Jesus Christ delivered Himself up for the salvation of the human race, and to this end directed all His teaching and commands, so He ordered the Church to strive, by the truth of its doctrine, to sanctify and to save mankind. But faith alone cannot compass so great, excellent, and important an end. There must need be also the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine Sacrifice and in the dispensation of the Sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline. All these must be found in the Church, since it continues the mission of the Saviour for ever. The Church alone offers to the human race that religion – that state of absolute perfection – which He wished, as it were, to be incorporated in it. And it alone supplies those means of salvation which accord with the ordinary counsels of Providence. 

How can there be a state of absolute perfection if the novus ordo missae is not?

Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas, May 15, 1956: From what We have so far explained, venerable brethren, it is clear that the faithful must seek from Scripture, tradition and the sacred liturgy as from a deep untainted source, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus if they desire to penetrate its inner nature and by piously meditating on it, receive the nourishment for the fostering and development of their religious fervor. 

All this means the novus ordo mass can’t be treated with contempt, nor spoken of as contemptible, or leading to impiety, if Francis is a true pope. 

Yet, most all pseudo-traditionalists have problems with the new mass in some way. All of them have anathematized themselves by their own contempt for their own religious rites approved by their own pope and church.

Keep this in mind when you speak to family and friends who fall in this category. 

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Lutherans, Anglicans and Methodists say the Apostles Creed claiming the church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

Contrary to Catholicism’s definition, oneness or unity simply means the Church made up by believers across denominational lines are united to Christ. There is no formal unity. It doesn’t require a unity of faith in all doctrine, but a merely an acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior with some basic beliefs surrounding Christianity. There’s no definition as to what constitutes what beliefs are necessary. However, if there was a denial of hell, Christ’s divinity, or Trinity, you may not be considered by these particular Protestants as Christians united to Christ.

Vatican 2 redefined the nature of the Church by promulgating this Protestant understanding. The Vatican 2 religion through its popes promote this Protestant understanding in decrees, letters, addresses, and other documents, such as the Balamand Statement and the Joint Declaration with Lutherans.

In Lumen Gentium, Vatican 2 declared:

     “This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic…”

According to same Vatican 2 religion, this Church of Christ is also formally divided and not unified in faith.

In Unitatis Redintegratio, Vatican 2 declared:

     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.”

This statement makes no sense unless Vatican 2 is saying the Eastern Orthodox and Protestants and their false religions make up the Church of Christ. However, the Vatican 2 popes have removed all doubt that this, indeed, is what Vatican 2 means:

In 1972, Paul VI addressed the newly elected Patriarch of Constantinople a telegram saying: “At the moment when you assume a heavy charge in the service of the Church of Christ…” (L’Osservatore Romano, July 27, 1972, p. 12)

In a 2006 Joint Declaration with the Eastern Orthodox, Benedict XVI referred to Patriarch Bartholomew and himself “as Pastors in the Church of Christ.” (www.zenit.org, Zenit news report, Nov. 30, 2006)

The following year in the Common Declaration with the Eastern Orthodox, Benedict XVI referred to Archbishop Chrysostomos II and himself “as Pastors in the Church.”

That same year Benedict XVI’s told the Eastern Orthodox Romanian Patriarchate: “I also wish to express my earnest good wishes for you and your brother Bishops as you guide the Church in this time of transition.”

In a Jan. 22, 2013 L’Osservatore Romano article titled: The divisions among Christians disfigure the face of the Church, it was written that Benedict XVI said, “One of the gravest sins ‘that disfigure the Church’s face’ is the sin ‘against her visible unity’.”

On May 25, 1995, John Paul II, in Ut Unum Sint, n. 59, approved the 1993 Balamand declaration, which declared:

     14. It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity. According to the words of Pope John Paul II, the ecumenical endeavour of the Sister Churches of East and West, grounded in dialogue and prayer, is the search for perfect and total communion which is neither absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love (cf. Slavorum Apostoli, n. 27).

According to this statement, the visible Church of God is divided and the Eastern Orthodox churches form the one Church of God.

The Nov. 1, 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification  by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church states:

     44. We give thanks to the Lord for this decisive step forward on the way to overcoming the division of the church. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us further toward that visible unity which is Christ’s will.

Again, we see the rejection of the dogma on the visible unity of the Church and the heresy that Lutherans are part of the Body of Christ the Church. John Paul II approved and blessed the Joint Declaration.

The Vatican 2 religion and popes hold the Protestant-style oneness doctrine opposed to the Catholic definition.

The Catholic doctrine of oneness is so foundational, deviation from it amounts to an avalanche of heresies. The Trinity is one, Christ is one with His Body, and the Church must be one in faith. If it were divided in faith, Christ would be divided with truth, Christ’s prayer for unity would be a failure, the true Church couldn’t be identified because it would not truly exist, the Catholic definition would be false, Scripture and particular I Tim. 3:15 would be a lie, thus making the gates of hell the prevailer of the Church and ultimately proving Christianity a false religion.

The Church is one in faith or else Christ is not Lord.

What I find astounding is how pseudo-traditionalist “Catholics” hold to the same heretical principle of oneness as Vatican 2 and Protestantism. They claim to hold the oneness dogma, while outwardly being divided in faith with Vatican 2 and their pope. What blindness! 

For further reading see That They May Be One (Ut Unum Sint) 

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Lately, I’ve been trying to hit all the different angles of the pseudo-traditionalist errors.

One particular pseudo-traditionalist here in Kentucky that I’ve been emailing, can’t see the forest for the trees. He misunderstands the differences between material and formal heresy, internal and external forum, the application of laws, dogmas and opinions, etc. Rather than getting bogged down in explaining the differences, I’ve decided to get it down to one main point.

One thing that’s undeniable is the fact that there are four marks, which are four dogmas that identify the true religion.

Many of these fake Catholics acknowledge that Vatican 2 and the Vatican 2 popes have promulgated heretical teachings. The pseudo-trad from Ky is no exception.

As soon as the pseudo-traditionalist points to this or that heresy of his religion, the question comes down to how his religion still has those four marks and how he still holds to them himself. Claiming the Church teaches heresy by law or decree leads to an avalanche of heresy against the four marks of the Church.

Oneness in Catholic faith can’t exist in the external forum if the magisterium is promulgating heresy. The Church will be divided between those who accept and reject the heresy. The Church would be no different from the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox religions in principle.

Holiness would be missing since heresy is unholy. The true Church can’t have unholy doctrines or else it would be no different from the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox religions.

Catholicity would be missing since heresy is damning.  The Roman Catechism declared the Catholic Church to be “universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to and embrace her, like those who entered the ark to escape perishing in the flood. This (note of catholicity), therefore, is to be taught as a most reliable criterion, by which to distinguish the true from a false Church.” Heresy severs from Catholicism, which severs from salvation.

Apostolicity would be missing since heresy is not Apostolic. Protestant and Eastern Orthodox religions have false teachings, which prove they are not apostolic.

Pseudo-traditionalists like to attack sedevacantism for not having bishops with the fullness of apostolic succession. They fail to see that apostolicity requires the fullness of apostolic teaching. The Roman Catechism notes on the Apostolic mark, The true Church is also to be recognised from her origin, which can be traced back under the law of grace to the Apostles; for her doctrine is the truth not recently given, nor now first heard of, but delivered of old by the Apostles, and disseminated throughout the entire world. Hence no one can doubt that the impious opinions which heresy invents, opposed as they are to the doctrines taught by the Church from the days of the Apostles to the present time, are very different from the faith of the true Church.”

So when the fake Catholic acknowledges heresy from its councils, laws and other decrees, it necessarily follows that he denies the four dogmatic marks of his own religion. He becomes his own worst enemy.

Six years ago, I posted: Missing the Marks: The Church of Vatican 2.  If one knows that his religion denies the four marks, then again, it necessarily follows that he will, too.

There is no escape for the pseudo-traditionalist. He’s trapped in a false religion with an avalanche of his own heresies.   

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Since the Protestant Revolt, a particular Scripture verse has been used to counter the Protestant sola scriptura argument. Nowadays, this same verse is rejected by the pseudo-traditionalists in union with the Vatican 2 popes.

St. Paul to St. Timothy:

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15).

Fr. Leo Haydock writes in his commentary: Ver. 15. By the promises of Christ to direct his Church by the infallible spirit of truth; (see John xvi. 7. Mat. xxviii. 20. &c. Wi.) and therefore, the Church of the living God can never uphold error, nor bring in corruptions, superstition, or idolatry. Ch. — That the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, is to be conducted by the constant superintendence and guidance of the Holy Spirit into all truth to the consummation of days, every one whose mind is not strangely prejudiced may easily discover in various places of the inspired writings.

Yet, pseudo-traditionalists argue that the Catholic Church upholds error and brings in corruptions of all types.

The Remnant Newspaper  published an article by Robert Siscoe arguing that Pope Celestine III taught heresy by law.

Tradition in Action devotes most of its website denouncing the errors of Vatican 2, its popes, and the new mass.

Christopher Ferrara’s “Great Facade” attacks Vatican 2, its popes, and the new mass as novelty that contradicts past teaching.  

The Catholic Family News writes about resisting the errors of Vatican 2, its popes, and the new mass.

Archbishop Viganò criticizes Vatican 2 as erroneous, leading Catholics into schism, and creating a false church alongside the true Church.  He, also, says a pope can be a heretic.

The list goes on and on, but this can only mean these pseudo-traditionalists believe the Church is not the pillar and foundation of truth.

For every error they claim comes from the Church, an equal and opposite error is professed by them. For example, when they claim the Vatican 2 teaching on religious liberty is false or the new mass is harmful, it necessarily means the Church is the source of corruption and error, which is itself heresy and contrary to First Timothy 3:15.

If, however, they deny these things came from the Church, but only from a Vatican 2 pope, it necessarily means the First Vatican Council’s definition of the pope is false; another pseudo-traditionalist heresy.

It’s impossible for one to say the Catholic Church or pope promulgates error and heresy without himself disseminating error and heresy. Pseudo-traditionalists are as equally erroneous and heretical as their pope and religion.

“In the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” there’s no need to attack, resist, or criticize councils, papal teaching, and liturgies. 

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