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Archive for the ‘Sedevacantism’ Category

Novus Ordo Watch posts new video with the description: Either the Catholic teaching on the Papacy is false, or Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) is not a valid Pope. The former is heresy; the latter is perhaps inconvenient but quite possible.

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One of the main arguments made by pseudo-traditional Catholics is that the heretical novus ordo mass, Second Vatican Council, etc. did not fall under the realm of infallibility. Therefore, the Church [that gave us these things] is not actually heretical. They can resist these abominations and remain in the same church because they weren’t imposed or binding. The Church is still holy.

If we follow this logic, then Protestantism is holy and not actually heretical because Protestants don’t even claim infallibility.

The absurdity is glaring. The Catholic Church can’t teach heresy in any capacity. If it could, it would be essentially no different than the Protestant/Eastern Orthodox religions.

Some Protestants pray the Creed each week saying they believe in “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church,” but their meaning of those words differs from the Catholic Church’s understanding. Vatican 2’s definition is closer to the Protestant understanding. The only difference is that it declared “the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic…subsists in the Catholic Church” which alone has “the fullness of grace and truth.” The Protestant and Eastern Orthodox religions don’t have the fullness thereof. According to Vatican 2, the “Church of Christ” which includes Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox is “one” even though formally divided. [1]

In principle, the pseudo-Traditional Catholic understanding is exactly like the Protestant/Vatican 2 understanding.

Although the “pope” (and most every bishop and priest) believes, promotes, and defends religious liberty, communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics, novus ordo mass, etc., the pseudo-traditionalists who vehemently oppose such things still believe they are one in faith with their pope and his faithful clergy. For them, formal division in dogma and divine law is canceled out because of their union with their pope or church. For Protestants, it’s canceled out because of their so-called union with Christ. For Vatican 2, it’s canceled out because of baptism.

The absurdity continues with the mark of holiness. For pseudo-traditionalists, heresy and abomination is canceled out because infallibility wasn’t used. For Protestants, it’s canceled out because sola scriptura is foundational. For Vatican 2, it’s canceled out because of the human condition which is fallen.

Whatever argument that’s employed by pseudo-traditionalists against sedevacantism, it always comes down to this: They want you to believe in the absurdity that oneness and holiness of the Church includes formal division, heresy, and abomination just like Protestantism and the teaching of Vatican 2.

 

 

Footnote:

[1] In an interview with the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Ratzinger, aka Benedict XVI, stated:

“When the Council Fathers replace the word ‘is,’ used by Pius XII, with the word ‘subsistit,’ they did so for a very precise reason. The concept expressed by ‘is’ (to be) is far broader than that expressed by ‘to subsist.’ ‘To subsist’ is a very precise way of being, that is, to be as a subject, which exists in itself. Thus the Council Fathers meant to say: the being of the Church as such extends much further than the Roman Catholic Church, but within the latter it acquires, in an incomparable way, the character of a true and proper subject.”

Avery Cardinal Dulles, a member of the International Theological Commission: The Church of Christ is not exclusively identical to the Roman Catholic Church.  It does indeed subsist in Roman Catholicism but it is also present in varying modes and degrees in other Christian communities.” (Toward the Church of the Third Millennium: Verso la Chiesa del Terzo Millennio, Brescia: Queriniana, 1979)

Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, one of the main drafters of Vatican II documents, stated: “It is difficult to say that the Catholic Church is still one, Catholic, apostolic, when one says that the others (other Christian communities) are equally one, Catholic and apostolic, albeit to a lesser degree. —- at Vatican Council II, the Roman Catholic Church officially abandoned its monopoly over the Christian religion.”

To the contrary, Pope Pius XII repeatedly taught that “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.” (Mystici Corporis Christi, 1943, Humani Generis, #27, 1950.)

 

 

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On Friday, June 9, 2017, The Remnant Newspaper Blog posted John Salza’s, “Note to Sedevacantists: Heresy Does Not Automatically Sever One from the Church.” [1] In his 5,404 word article, Salza makes the biggest goofball argument against sedevacantism I’ve seen to date.

I would have made a comment on the Remnant blog, but they have a long history of not posting my comments. Therefore, I’m posting my own counterpoint article.

Salza begins his article by quoting the relevant teaching from Pope Pius XII:

For not every offense, although it may be a grave evil, is such as by its very own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.

In the past, Salza argued that the “offense,” which Pope Pius XII was referring should be translated “crime.” And that crime has to be established by the Church and only then is the person who committed the crime of heresy understood to be severed from the Body of the Church by its nature. Salza writes:

Pope Pius XII is referring to the “offense” or CRIME (not SIN) of heresy, which severs one from the Body of the Church, after the formal and material elements have been proven by the Church. After the crime has been established, the heretic is automatically severed from the BODY (not SOUL) of the Church without further declaration (although most theologians maintain that the Church must also issue a declaration of deprivation). [2]

I responded to that argument Feb. 19, 2016 in an article titled The Sin of Heresy – Why John Salza and Robert Siscoe Get It Wrong (Part II) .

Now Salza introduces a new argument that differs from his old argument:

We affirm that heresy, by its nature, severs one from the Church spiritually (quoad se), and also disposes one to be severed legally (quoad nos, by Church authorities). Said differently, heresy, by its nature, severs the spiritual bond formally, and the legal bond dispositively. As Van Noort said, “internal heresy, since it destroys that interior unity of faith from which unity of profession is born, separates one from the body of the Church dispositively, but not yet formally.” [3]

Salza quotes Van Noort and completely misrepresents him. Van Noort is not saying that external heresy separates one from the body of the Church dispositively. It’s the internal sin that does so. External heresy separates one from the Body of the Church formally and that’s the issue at hand. Pope Pius XII is not referring to the internal sin of heresy. 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. [4]

Where does Salza find words like spiritual and legal bond? It appears that he creates words to fit his understanding of the canonists and theologians. At least, you don’t see him quoting any of them using the phrase “legal bond.”

However, he lets us in on what he means by “legal bond.” Salza writes:

The Pope heretic is not a member of the Church as far as the substance and form [the spiritual bond] which constitute the members of the Church; but he is the head as far as the charge and action [the legal bond]

[O]ccult heretics are still of the Church, they are parts and members [the legal bond]… therefore the Pope who is an occult heretic is still Pope.

…but would still retain his jurisdiction by which he would influence the Church [the legal bond] in ruling it. Thus he would still be nominally the head of the Church, which he would still rule as head, [Then why does John Salza refuse to let Francis rule him?]though he would no longer be a member of Christ, because he would not receive that vital influx of faith from Christ [the spiritual bond], the invisible and primary head. Thus in quite an abnormal manner he would be in point of jurisdiction the head of the Church [the legal bond], though he would not be a member of it.

The quoad se/quoad nos distinction used by John of St. Thomas harmonizes perfectly with the spiritual/legal bond distinction we have discussed in this article (as well as the Body/Soul distinction used by Bellarmine and others that we did not address here). Those who are united to the Church quoad nos (according to us) remain legal members of the Church (and if they are clerics, they retain their jurisdiction), even if they are spiritually severed from the Church; whereas those who cease to be united to the Church quoad nos (i.e., those who have openly left the Church or who have been declared heretics), do not. Because God alone knows who truly possesses interior faith and are thereby united to the Church quoad se,[19] if only these individuals (i.e., those who possess interior faith) were members of the Church, the Church would not be a visible society (whose members could be known), but rather “an invisible Church of true believers, known to God alone” which is a Protestant heresy that the Sedevacantists have embraced. [This accusation will be answered at the end.]

I think we can safely say that Salza’s meaning behind “spiritual bond” is Soul of the Church and his meaning behind “legal bond” is Body of the Church where persons can operate with authority.

As I also demonstrated in my 2016 article, The Ecclesiastical Review and Msgr. Van Noort explain that Pope Pius XII was speaking about the public external sin of heresy and how this external sin of heresy severs one from the Body of the Church by its nature. The internal forum, the internal sin of heresy and and even the external sin of heresy if occult have never been the issue. The reason Salza keeps bringing it into the equation is to confuse and misrepresent our position while hiding his error on the subject.

Salza then misrepresents and misapplies the plain meaning behind Rev. Sylvester Berry’s teaching below…

A heretic is usually defined as a Christian, i.e., a baptized person, who holds a doctrine contrary to a revealed truth; but this definition is inaccurate, since it would make heretics of a large portion of the faithful. A doctrine contrary to a revealed truth is usually stigmatized as heretical, but a person who professes an heretical doctrine is not necessarily a heretic. Heresy, from the Greek hairesis, signifies a choosing; therefore a heretic is one who chooses for himself in matters of faith, thereby rejecting the authority of the Church established by Christ to teach all men the truths of revelation. (…) A person who submits to the authority of the Church and wishes to accept all her teachings, is not a heretic, even though he profess heretical doctrines through ignorance of what the Church really teaches; he implicitly accepts the true doctrine in his general intention to accept all that the Church teaches.”

After quoting Berry, Salza writes:

As even the Sedevacantists would be forced to concede, all the conciliar Popes acknowledged the Church as the infallible rule of Faith. This means that even if Modernism has so confused their minds that they professed errors or even heresies, this material profession itself would not have formally severed their external and legal bond to the Church (and which, of course, means they retained their office and jurisdiction).

A note to Salza: The church the conciliar popes acknowledge is not the Catholic Church. In fact, modernism is more than merely professing errors and even heresies. Modernism is the “Synthesis of all Heresies” so said Pope St. Pius X. The conciliar popes are practical atheists and don’t acknowledge an infallible rule of faith at all. To call the conciliar pope’s false profession of Faith “material” means they are ignorantly and innocently professing Modernists.

Because the hearts of man can’t be read by mortals, we can’t say that any pope has professed a heresy materially. We can only say he has professed heresy!

Unfortunately, Salza leaves out the rest of Fr. Berry’s teaching (just like he didn’t provide his readers the full scope of Msgr. Van Noort’s teaching). Berry and Van Noort completely undercut Salza’s entire article. Fr. Berry continued:

“A heretic is one who chooses for himself in matters of faith, thereby, rejecting the authority of the Church established by Christ to teach all men the truths of revelation. [Notice here that Berry is talking about rejecting the teaching authority of the Church, not simply the profession of a heretical doctrine.] He rejects the authority of the Church by following his own judgment or by submitting to an authority other than that established by Christ. A person who submits to the authority of the Church and wishes to accept all her teachings, is not a heretic, even though he profess heretical doctrines through IGNORANCE of what the Church really teaches.” [5]

The SIN of heresy that severs one from the Church by its nature as Pope Pius XII taught in MCC is absent when the heresy professed is done through ignorance when that person wishes to accept all the Church’s teachings. However, that sin can be either occult or public which leads to different conclusions with his membership either in the Body or Soul of the Church.

Berry went on to say:

“A person may reject the teaching authority of the Church knowingly and willingly, or he may do it through ignorance. In the first case he is a formal heretic, guilty of grievous sin; in the second case, he is a material heretic, free from guilty. Both formal and material heresy may be manifest or occult. Heresy is manifest when publicly known to such an extent that its existence could be proved in a court of law; it is occult if not externally manifested by word or act, or if not sufficiently public to allow proof of its existence in court.

EXCLUDED FROM MEMBERSHIP. Manifest heretics and schismatics are excluded from membership in the Church. Heretics separated themselves from the unity of faith and worship; schismatics from the unity of government, and both reject the authority of the Church.  So far as exclusion from the Church is concerned, it matters not whether the heresy or schism be formal or material. Those born and reared in heresy or schism may be sincere in their belief and practice, yet they publicly and willingly reject the Church and attach to sects opposed to her; they are not guilty of sin in the matter, but they are not members of the Church. For this reason, the Church makes no distinction between formal and material heresy when receiving converts into her fold.

There is no need to adduce arguments from Scripture or tradition for a truth that is practically self-evident. St. Jerome says:  “An adulterer, a homicide, and other sinners are driven from the Church by the priests (I.e., by excommunication); but heretics pass sentence upon themselves, leaving the Church by their own free-will.” [Notice that heretics have left the Church which is the definition of defection of faith. Joining another sect is not necessary as Very Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac taught in his “General Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law” on Can. 188.4.] 19 St. Augustine gives expression to the same doctrine: “If you do not wish to belong to the Church,…separate yourself from her members, put yourselves off from her body. But why should I now urge them to leave the Church, since they have already done this? They are heretics, and therefore already out.”

Rev. Berry’s teaching says it all. The heretics Fr. Berry is talking about as being excluded from membership in the Church, regardless of whether they’re innocent or guilty of the sin of heresy, are those who “reject the teaching authority of the Church”, which would mean Protestants, etc., not simply Catholics who happen to say something heretical without meaning to go against the teaching authority of the Church.

Now getting back to Salza’s statement below…

The quoad se/quoad nos distinction used by John of St. Thomas harmonizes perfectly with the spiritual/legal bond distinction we have discussed in this article (as well as the Body/Soul distinction used by Bellarmine and others that we did not address here). Those who are united to the Church quoad nos (according to us) remain legal members of the Church (and if they are clerics, they retain their jurisdiction), even if they are spiritually severed from the Church; whereas those who cease to be united to the Church quoad nos (i.e., those who have openly left the Church or who have been declared heretics), do not. Because God alone knows who truly possesses interior faith and are thereby united to the Church quoad se,[19] if only these individuals (i.e., those who possess interior faith) were members of the Church, the Church would not be a visible society (whose members could be known), but rather “an invisible Church of true believers, known to God alone” which is a Protestant heresy that the Sedevacantists have embraced.

We sedevacantists don’t recognize that the Visible Church is made up of members with the interior faith only. Where did he come up with that nonsense? It’s as if Salza has never read or tried to understand our position. In fact, it’s Salza’s position that is reminiscent of the Protestant heresy because his position is that you can profess any and every heresy under the sun and still be considered a member of the Church unless declared a heretic by authorities. Salza’s visible church is made up of individuals that are divided in faith.

So, if Salza is looking for a Protestant church, he needs to look no further than the institution headed by Jorge Bergoglio, where anything goes, as long as it’s not Catholic.

 

Footnotes:

[1] http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/3232-note-to-sedevacantists-heresy-does-not-automatically-sever-one-from-the-church

[2] John Salza Responds to Another Sedevacantist

[3]http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/3232-note-to-sedevacantists-heresy-does-not-automatically-sever-one-from-the-church

[4] Dogmatic Theology Volume II: Christ’s Church, Van Noort, p. 241-242

[5] Rev. Sylvester Berry’s Church of Christ, p 128:

 

 

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Novus Ordo Watch recently posted in their News Digest a headline titled: On the Bus and Off the Rocker: Feminist Pro-Abortion Nun blasts “Male Power” at Vatican conference — Hey, she’s in “full communion”!

What’s interesting about this article is the fact that it points to a heresy in the Vatican 2 sect held by all of its members, especially the “traditionalists.”

That error is the belief that a person can publicly believe, practice, and promote heresy without losing membership in the Church even though they know what the Church teaches, such as the pro-abortion, anti-Christian nun from the headline. Yes, I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’m saying it again hoping that it somehow finally clicks with people.

The SSPX, Tradition in Action, the Remnant Newspaper, etc. know that “Pope” Francis I knowingly and publicly rejects Catholic dogmas and morals, yet they all believe he remains a member of the Church as its head.

They will make up excuses that warnings are needed to prove obstinacy even though Francis is blatantly obstinate. Are we to believe that Francis is a dummy and ignorant of Catholic Faith and Morals? Warnings aren’t given to popes, but even if they were, they wouldn’t be needed to prove the obstinacy of “Pope” Francis. He simply hates Catholicism!

When these “traditionalists” are shown Pope Pius XII’s teaching that “only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith” they will give the reply that profession of faith doesn’t have to be perfect. While that’s true, it still has to be professed to the best of the ability of the individual. “Pope” Francis doesn’t profess the Catholic Faith at all! There’s not a Catholic bone in his body.

When Canon Law 188.4 is presented that defection of Faith requires no declaration for someone in the Church, including the pope, to lose his office, these “traditionalists” will say that defection of Faith means joining another religion only. In other words, as a long as a pope (or anyone holding an office) claims to be Catholic even though he may profess the faith of some other religion without joining it, he technically hasn’t defected from the faith.

This is the foolishness that comes from individuals who won’t admit the obvious because of pride, anger, and plain stupidity.

What it comes down to is that “traditionalists” united to “Pope” Francis are heretics because they believe in the heresy that Catholics need not profess the Catholic Faith but can actually reject it completely and remain a member of the Church, even its head.

Is there another way to say it? Do I need to say it again? What will it take?

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Pope Pius XII declared in Mystici Corporis Christi: “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.”

Theologian and priest, Father Adolph Tanquerey taught: “For there to be pertinacity, it is not necessary that the person should be admonished several times and persevere for a long time in his obstinacy, but it is sufficient that consciously and willingly he refused a truth proposed in a sufficient manner, be it through pride or delight in contradiction or for any other reason.” (Syn. Th. Mor. et Past, pg.473.)

Those who are baptized and profess heresy are not professing the true faith. It only takes one heresy to be completely severed from membership in the Church, but the more heresies one professes, the farther from the true faith he strays. The following are the top 10 absolute blasphemous heresies and errors professed by those who call themselves traditionalist Catholics.

  1. Contend that without sin and with no loss of Catholic profession, one can withhold assent and obedience to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to relate to the general good of the Church and its right and discipline, provided it does not touch dogmas of faith or morals. [1]

  1. Contend that in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has NOT always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy, and that the See of St. Peter DOES NOT always remain unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of his disciples. [2]

  1. Popes need not profess the Catholic Faith. Popes can and have publicly rejected the Catholic Faith and remained popes. [3]

  1. Popes can be and are judged, ignored, and/or rejected by inferiors. Submission for pseudo-traditionalists just means praying for and acknowledging one as pope. [4]

  1. The Catholic Church is formally divided in doctrine. [5]

  1. The Catholic Church can and has promulgated heresy by Law and Decree. [6]

  1. The Catholic Church can and has promulgated unholy liturgies, laws, disciplines, and decrees, which implies the Catholic Church is unholy. [7]

  1. It’s permissible to actively pray and worship with public heretics and/or be united in faith to them. [8]

  1. The minority opinion of a past theologian outweighs the Church’s present law and/or teaching. [9]

  1. The gates of hell and the gates of the Catholic Church are one and the same, which could imply that the Church is hell or that Christ allows the gates of hell to be in charge of the Catholic Church. Take your pick. [10]

 

Footnotes:

[1] Pope Pius IX declared those who make this contention that: “There is no one who does not see and understand clearly and openly how opposed this is to the Catholic dogma of the plenary power divinely bestowed on the Roman Pontiff by Christ the Lord Himself of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church. In such great perversity of evil opinions, therefore, We, truly mindful of Our Apostolic duty, and especially solicitous about our most holy religion, about sound doctrine and the salvation of souls divinely entrusted to Us, and about the good of human society itself, have decided to lift Our Apostolic voice again. And so all and each evil opinion and doctrine individually mentioned in this letter, by Our Apostolic authority We reject, proscribe, and condemn; and We wish and command that they be considered as absolutely rejected, proscribed, and condemned by all the sons of the Catholic Church.” (Quanta Cura)

[2] Pseudo-traditionalists claim that the apostolic see is sullied by unholy Vatican 2 teaching with a Vatican 2 pope contaminated with error. They complain, ridicule, and mock their pope for it. However, Vatican I infallibly declared the very opposite to the pseudo-traditionalist position.

[3] Pseudo-traditionalists readily admit that Francis I is a total apostate. Of course, they say that it’s only their private judgment which carries no weight.

[4] Canon 1556 specifically declares, “The first or primatial see is subject to no ones judgment.”

[5] The Church’s unity is the first article of the Catholic Faith, yet pseudo-traditionalists believe that Church is divided in faith with those who hold fast and promote Vatican 2 and the Novus Ordo Mass and those who completely reject it all.

[6] Pseudo-traditionalists actually believe the Church is heretical which makes it no different from any other religion in that respect. Even some sedevacantists, who believe Baptism of desire is heretical even though it is taught in the Catechism of Trent and Canon law, are guilty of this blasphemous heresy.

[7] The holiness of the Church is the second article of Faith. This holiness encompasses the liturgy, laws, disciplines, and decrees as taught by numerous popes over the centuries.

[8] Pseudo-traditionalists hold that many cardinals, bishops, priests, and their pope are heretics, yet have no problem praying and worshiping with them and calling them their fathers in faith. The Church has condemned this evil a hundred times in history including this condemnation in Canon law.

[9] Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, and a few others are often cited as proof that a heretic remains in office and retains jurisdiction. However, canon 188.4 declares: “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.” Canonist Very Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac taught in his commentary that resignation of ecclesiastical offices in canons 185-191, “applies to all offices, the lowest and the highest, not excepting the Supreme Pontificate. (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.”

[10] The Catholic Church twice declared that the gates of hell are heretics and their heresies. Pope Benedict XV declared that the Gates of the Church is the papacy. Even if you privately believed your pope was a heretic, then you necessarily privately believe the gates of hell and the gates of the Church are one and the same. It’s the ultimate absurdity and blasphemy against Christ.

 

 

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billot

Church law requires only cardinals to elect the pope, but it’s by Divine right that Peter has successors. [1]

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

[1] Vatican 1 Canon declared, “if anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by Divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church . . . let him be anathema.”

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piusix

Withholding assent and obedience to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to relate to the general good of the Church and its right and discipline, provided it does not touch dogmas of faith or morals, IS A SIN AND THE LOSS OF CATHOLIC PROFESSION. [1]

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…” (Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943.)

 

[1] Pope Pius IX taught:

“And, we cannot pass over in silence the boldness of those who “not enduring sound doctrine” [II Tim. 4:3], contend that “without sin and with no loss of Catholic profession, one can withhold assent and obedience to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to relate to the general good of the Church and its right and discipline, provided it does not touch dogmas of faith or morals.” There is no one who does not see and understand clearly and openly how opposed this is to the Catholic dogma of the plenary power divinely bestowed on the Roman Pontiff by Christ the Lord Himself of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church…Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.” (Quanta Cura, Dec 8, 1864.)

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Holiness

The Church founded by Christ is Holy. This Second Mark of the Church is de fide.

The First Vatican Council declared that “in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated.”

The Council of Trent, Session XXII, Can. 7: If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church uses in the celebration of Masses, are incentives to impiety rather than the services of piety: let him be anathema [cf. n. 943]. (D. 954.)

Pope Gregory XVI declared, “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.” (Mirari Vos)

Pope Leo XIII declared, “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 forever. The Church alone offers to the human race that religion – that state of absolute perfectionwhich 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.” (Satis Cognitum)

Pope Pius XI declared, “Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy.” (Quas Primas)

A Church that promotes erroneous or heretical teachings or practices by law and decree would not be holy. Even the liturgy is perfect. This article of faith is denied by many because the laws, the liturgy, the practices, or the doctrines are considered crippled, harmful, and unholy.

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papal symbol

Due to the fact that many points I make in articles are being overlooked or forgotten, I’ve decided to highlight them in a series of articles. I will add other points relative to sedevacantism and the attacks against it.

The current position of most all sedevacantists is that none of the Vatican 2 popes have lost the pontificate. They never had it. Therefore, all the arguments about a pope losing his office do not actually apply to sedevacantism.

However, our position is the same about how a pope loses his office by way of heresy, apostasy, or schism. He loses it automatically on his own without a declaration from the Church. It’s called defection of faith and canons 188.4 and 1325 cover it.

According to the Church, no one, not even the whole Church, can judge or declare a true pope as a heretical antipope. No one is needed to say that an antipope is an antipope. Therefore, all arguments advocating judging or declaring a true pope heretical are itself heresy.

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Catherine_of_SienaSt. Catherine of Siena

Last month I received an interesting email asking about a quote from St. Catherine of Siena and how to reconcile it with sedevacantism. Here’s the quote:

Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.”

— Saint Catherine of Siena in St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222.

The answer:

St. Catherine is simply using hyperbole to emphasize a point. Popes, bishops, and priests may be wicked but that doesn’t necessarily make them non-popes/bishops/priests.

Notice that St. Catherine is referring to a pope, not an antipope. By Divine and Church law, heretics/apostates can’t be popes at all. Therefore, St. Catherine wasn’t referring to the oxymoron heretical pope.

Our position is that popes must be Catholic to be popes. Their holiness or wickedness has no bearing on the question as far as we’re concerned today. Therefore, St. Catherine’s statement has no bearing on sedevacantism except that her statement supports our position against the SSPX, which advocates disobeying popes.

That being said, St. Catherine’s contemporary, St. Vincent Ferrer gives us the historic precedent. I wrote about it here: The Sedevacantist Saint Vincent Ferrer

Keep in mind that the second mark of the Catholic Church is holiness. It’s an article of Faith that the Church is holy. That would include all of its teachings, laws, and practices. If a single teaching, law, or practice were not holy, then you know it’s not the Catholic Church.

So while a pope may be unholy, he could never promulgate an unholy teaching, law, or practice for the universal Church. Yet, the popes of Vatican 2 have already promulgated things the Church has condemned as unholy, such as a harmful liturgy. Benedict XVI even admitted in his autobiography that the new mass “provoked extremely serious damage to the Church” which is impossible for the true Church, especially in light of Pope Pius XII’s teaching that the liturgy is an untainted source. Altar girls have been condemned repeatedly, but John Paul II has approved them by canon law. Read here: Altar Girls are Impossible for the True Catholic Church

The Vatican 2 popes have promulgated several heresies and condemned practices, such as: the heresy of a formally divided Church of Christ, communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics, a civil right to religious liberty, Divine Revelation was completed at the Crucifixion, the Jews are not presented in Scripture as rejected or accursed, deficiencies in the formulation of Church teaching should be put right, etc. I could provide other things, but these suffice.

Either sedevacantism is true or the gates of hell have prevailed. Take your pick.

If St. Catherine of Siena lived today, she would be appalled to think any Catholic could believe that Francis I is pope. She would say the Devil is more qualified.

I’m posting this question and answer for others out there who’ve hesitated to embrace the fact that Francis isn’t pope based on St. Catherine’s quote.

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