“Father” Harrison’s Dummy Theology
By Steven Speray
Father Valentine, OFM, of St Peter’s Church in Lexington, KY has promoted an article, from “The Latin Mass” magazine, in the church’s bulletin as a response to sedevacantism. He has refused to have an open forum on this topic in the past, and promoting this article is just another closed forum in which no rebuttals are allowed (I have contacted ‘The Latin Mass’ magazine which also refused any rebuttals.)
The following is one such rebuttal…
Anti-sedevacantists – those who go so far as to say the See of Peter can be filled by an actual “public heretic or schismatic” – continue to be active in giving silly illogical arguments in defending their modernist novus ordo religion.
One such novus ordo apologist is the Reverend Brian Harrison. His latest article in “The Latin Mass Magazine” is a nice follow-up to his piece, “White Smoke, Valid Pope A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly” was printed several years ago in “Living Tradition” and “This Rock,” so-called Catholic magazines.
As the title implies, the article was a 2,800-word essay explaining a radically novel theory that a heretic or schismatic can be pope. The purpose of the article, of course, was to deflect one specific argument of sedevacantism that a pope must hold to the Catholic Faith, a position Harrison outright rejects.
If a pope does not even need to be Catholic, then the sedevacantist’s argument goes up in smoke. Since he cannot refute the logical and sound arguments of the sedevacantists, the best he can do is attempt to undercut the position with a total absurdity.
Harrison’s whole argument is based on a faulty interpretation of canon law and Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis while confusing the application of licitness and validity.
The universal teaching of the Church Fathers is that the pope ipso facto loses his office if he becomes a heretic. Harrison says this teaching is not doctrine but a debatable theological opinion with which we are free either to agree or disagree. Never once does he address the historic papal teaching on the issue. For example:
Pope Leo XIII stated in Satis Cognitum (#15), June 29, 1896 – Bishops Separated from Peter and his Successors Lose All Jurisdiction: “From this it must be clearly understood that Bishops are deprived of the right and power of ruling, if they deliberately secede from Peter and his successors; because, by this secession, they are separated from the foundation on which the whole edifice must rest. They are therefore outside the edifice itself; and for this very reason they are separated from the fold, whose leader is the Chief Pastor; they are exiled from that Kingdom, the keys of which were given by Christ to Peter alone… No one, therefore, unless in communion with Peter can share in his authority, since it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church.”
Think about this for a moment…
If all bishops are to be in communion with Peter and his successors to have “ruling power”, would it not follow that all true popes must also be in communion with Peter and his successors to have ruling power?
Because a possible heretic or schismatic could be elected pope, Harrison’s conclusion is the pope-elect may continue to be Head of the whole Church and remain a heretic or schismatic.
Pope Pius XII never intended that a heretical or schismatic bishop could be elected pope and remain a heretic or schismatic, because it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside the Church could be Head commanding the whole Church.
To counter the possibility of a non-Catholic being elected pope, the Council of Florence required all pope-elects to recite the Papal Oath as the form of consent before the election is to be recognized. Interesting, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI both refused to take the oath.
The testimony of the Church Fathers, such as saints Antioninus, Bellarmine, Francis de Sales, and Alphonsus Liquori, and the teaching of Pope Leo was the divine law of God that the pope must hold the Catholic Faith or else he could not be pope at all.
Divine laws cannot be changed by anyone whomsoever.
What Harrison does in, “White Smoke, Valid Pope,” is fail to make the distinction between ecclesiastical laws and divine laws and applies the ecclesiastical laws over and above the divine laws.
It appears in his latest thesis found in the Latin Mass Magazine, “Sacramental Validity for Dummies,” Harrison once again uses an illogical argument to support the validity of Holy Orders found in the new rite.
The premise of his article is that because the majority of Catholics are ignorant dummies, Christ would not or could not allow this devastating position of sedevacantism to occur especially when as Harrision states, “the calamity would be occurring precisely because these ingenuous lambs are trusting and obeying Jesus in His promises to Blessed Peter and his Successors!”
What Harrison is betting on is that you, the reader, are such a dummy that you’ll actually buy into the absurdity.
From the outset, one glaring and outrageous lie Harrison makes is saying, “For it’s an historical fact that the sedevacantist theory never occurred to anyone at all till about a decade after the Council.”
The truth is Fr. Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga, S.J., Doctor and Theologian, (one of several examples) immediately recognized it. His most popular book New Montinian Church, a 600 page book, was printed in 1971 just six years after the Council. In it, he alludes to other previous writings on the issue.
However, it wouldn’t matter if it did take a decade for anyone to realize it, for even so, it wouldn’t invalidate sedevacantism. There have been other times in history when it took saints years to realize they were following an antipope. To this very day, we are still not certain about a couple of claimants to the papacy, whether they were true popes or antipopes.
There are two false points in Harrison’s overall premise. One: Christ would not allow this position of sedevacantism and Two: because of the ignorance of Catholics.
Debunking False Point Number One
Christ could very well allow this worldwide calamity precisely because of the opposite of what Harrison says. Catholics are not trusting and obeying Jesus in His promises to Blessed Peter and his Successors.
The Great Apostasy began with the laity as well as with the clergy.
Liberalism and modernism was condemned in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Pope Pius IX and Pope St Pius X. Many, if not most, American Catholics rejected these statements.
Seminaries all across the world were becoming modernized and what followed was a modenized clergy.
We even see Angelo Roncalli, later John XXIII, being removed from his post as Professor of Patristics at the Latern University because of suspicion of modernism and teaching the theories of Rudolf Steiner.
The extreme modernist and New Ager Teilhard de Chardin’s writings were being spread far and wide. He is often mentioned and praised by Ratzinger who even admits to being a liberal. He gladly acknowledges Vatican 2 as a counter-syllabus to Pope Pius IX solemn and infallible condemnation of the errors of moderate rationalism, indifferentism, liberalism, and specifically, errors concerning the church and her rights, and errors about civil society.
With the laity, Pope St Pius X had to expell teachers from Catholic Universities. After he died, they were reinstalled and the faithful following their modernist professors, themselves embraced modernism.
It is easy to look and see how pre-Vatican 2 American Catholics loved the US Constitution because it gives everyone the right to their own religion, even though it is condemned by the Catholic Church. These same individuals think that a rejection of Catholicism is not necessarily the rejection of salvation.
This kind of Americanism spread to Europe and elsewhere, until the whole Christian world was modernized.
By time Pope Pius XII died, the so-called Catholic Faithful was ripe for an authorized modernist church by someone claiming to be pope. Vatican 2 was the answer and the obedience to Jesus to now follow the pope and the church was really just an excuse to have the modernist church everyone wanted anyway.
You might ask, what about the truly faithful Catholics who really want to follow Christ and His Church? Would Christ allow them to fall into error?
All one has to do is look into history. The schism of the East followed later by the Great Schism is proof this sort of thing has happened before. Yes, they all have valid sacraments but the Church of England doesn’t. They fell into error and without the sacraments.
After all, some of them were ignorant too, right?
Besides the history, other novus ordo apologists, such as Reverend William Most, EWTN priests as Reverends Mitch Pacwa and Benedict Groeschel, Dr Robert Sungenis of CAI, and all the apologists of Catholic Answers, promote and defend the modernism of New Rome because they love and embrace it.
Might these be some of the dummies Harrison is referring to?
When the real issues are brought out, these same apologists make excuses, skew and skate around the issues, and build straw-man arguments, as Harrison himself is doing because they are unable to give a sound logical rebuttal against sedevacantism.
Harrison said Hutton Gibson never replied to his arguments on Rome’s heresies. No wonder, Harrison believes heretics can be popes. Why would Gibson waste his time proving the Novus Ordo popes are really antipopes?
Catholic Answers never gave a response to me after I demonstated their error of believing a pope can be a non-Catholic heretic.
What Christ are these people being obedient to but the antichrist of modernism?
From the sedevacantist’s point of view, they hate our Christ, and obey nobody but their own insatiable appetites to defend the new religion of Rome, which is nothing like the historic Catholic Faith.
When all of this stuff is brought to the attention of the typical novus ordo “dummy,” they either go into denial, ignore it, or worse; are glad to hear Rome has abandoned its history for modernism.
I guess dummy is what dummy does.
It seems all the “dummies” could care less about pleasing and obeying God, because TRUTH is not what any of them are really interested in, and in the end, dummies they all remain.
The fact is God has told us in Holy Writ that a great revolt would take place, and if it were possible even the elect would be decieved, but not only that, but God Himself “will send upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Harrison suggests that a heavenly intervention, such as Fatima, might occur to correct any serious blunder but Sister Lucia of Fatima actually said the great chastisement (far worse than WWII) will happen before 1960.
What was it? What would be worse than having an antipope claiming the papacy, only later to call a council to redefine what the Church is and how She should believe and worship?
This brings us to…Debunking False Point Number Two
The majority of Catholic dummies will not keep alive the validity of the sacraments merely because God would not expect all of us to be knowlegeable theologians.
Pulling the valid Holy Orders rabbit out of this un-theological hat works like every trick of a theological magician. You’re not seeing something and that something is Pope Leo XIII’s 1896 document, Apostolicae Curae, concerning the invalidity of the Anglican Orders, which Harrison never once refers to.
The reason is the Catholic Church has infallibly declared that the Holy Orders of the Anglican Church are invalid because of a deficiently defective form. The novus ordo rite issued from Rome in 1968 has the very same deficiencies. By logical extension, Rome’s new rite is also invalid, thus no valid priesthood just as the Anglicans.
Harrison is employing an argument that is saying that Pope Leo’s infallible document would not apply to Catholic dummies but it does apply to Anglican dummies.
The bottom line is ignorance has nothing to do with whether a sacrament is valid or not, and it most certainly would not cause the sacrament to be valid.
According to the infallible decree of Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence, the validity of sacraments requires four things: Matter, Form, Intention, and Minister. If any of these elements are missing or incorrect, you have no sacrament.
Harrison did say something quite interesting though: “sedvacantists are at least materially schismatic, for they are repudiating totally and unequivocally the authority of him who is in truth the legitimate Roman Pontiff and source of visible Catholic unity.”
This would be true if sedevacantists were wrong, but the truth is, worse could be said of novus ordo “Catholics,” for they are at the very least materially heretical and schismatic as they repudiate totally and unequivocally the authority of Christ who is the Truth for believing that Christ through a legitimate pope gave us the heretical blasphemies taught in Vatican 2 and the Protestant novus ordo mass.
Believing in the oxymoron “heretic pope,” as Harrison, is itself rejecting the divine law of God.
If you are truly a “dummy” to these arguments and would make a wager on who was right; would you bet on the possibility that your sacraments were invalid or on the positive certitude your sacraments are valid?
Sedevacantists have valid sacraments according to the new religion of Rome, but if those sedevacantists are right, your novus ordo sacraments are invalid.
In other words, you can’t lose with the sedevacantists.
As for the novus ordo rite of Holy Orders, it wouldn’t matter if they were valid; the doubt would remain for the honest knowledgeable person. Doubtful sacraments are almost as bad as invalid ones for the individual. You can’t receive valid sacraments in doubt.
Just as simple as Harrison was trying to defend his novus ordo Orders, the argument for rejecting them is even simpler.
The promises of Christ in Matt 16 and Luke 11 cut both ways.
The Catholic Church cannot give us doubtful sacraments based on, as Harrison puts it, “because these ingenuous lambs are trusting and obeying Jesus in His promises to Blessed Peter and his Successors!”
It was precisely our (sedevacantists) love for Christ and to obey Him through legitemate popes which led us out of the new religion of Rome. Christ sent the Holy Spirit on our souls to see through the false and counterfeit religion and remain Catholic.
Harrison argues that both sides are the same religion with one side holding to an extreme error, but the truth is they are completely two religions.
Christ’s promise was to His “Catholic” Church only, not another distinct counterfeit faith. If Harrison were right, the Anglicans would still have valid Holy Orders despite their ignorance.
We sedevacantists believe in the Council of Florence and Pope Leo XIII’s document.
We believe in Christ’s promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.
What are the gates of hell?
Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553: “These matters having been treated with thorough-going exactness, we bear in mind what was promised about the holy Church and Him who said the gates of hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics)… and so we count along with the devil, the father of lies, the uncontrolled tongues of heretics and their heretical writings, together with the heretics themselves who have persisted in their heresy even to death.”
Pope St. Leo IX, In terra pax hominibus, Sept. 2, 1053, to the “Father” of the Eastern Orthodox, Michael Cerularius, Chap. 7:“The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter or Cephas, the son of John who first was called Simon, because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome.”
These gates of hell have, without doubt, prevailed against new Rome.
It is logically impossible, for new Rome, with all her heretical blasphemies and contradictory teachings, to even be part of, much less leading the Catholic Church.
The historic Catholic Church is distinctly different in doctrine, practice, and worship from the new religion coming out of Rome today.
Even a complete dummy can see that.
So don’t be a dummy and follow dummy theologians. They’re counting on you to give up trying to figure this mess out hoping you just accept their modernistic religion based on dummy arguments.