Blessed is he whom Thou hast chosen and taken to Thee: he shall dwell in thy courts. We shall be filled with the good things of thy house; holy is thy temple (Psalm 64:5).
Without the slightest doubt, the five decades following the Second Vatican Council is a period of unprecedented crisis and upheaval in Holy Mother Church. Practically everything has changed.
The sacred liturgy, doctrine, discipline, theology, the moral life—personal and social—no dimension of Catholic life has remained untouched.
In more recent times, much has been said and written about the pontificate of Benedict XVI and that of Francis. More specifically, the abdication of Benedict and the subsequent election of Francis.
Though to be honest, at times with emotions getting the best of us, at the expense of calm, rational thought. Even to the extent of losing good friends on Facebook. Our ecclesial woes are very trying times for us all.
That in itself is perfectly understandable. Catholics are justifiably tired of the unending crisis.
And so, in the hopes that some points of serene reflection perhaps can shed some light on all this, though indeed maybe not for everyone:
It’s just common sense that something could in fact be true objectively, without us knowing about it, yes? Because of it possibly being hidden from us, yes?
So… IF Benedict resigned under pressure, THEN his resignation is objectively invalid. Not because I or anybody else says so: the Church’s Canon Law says so, yes?
More to the point: this is not a mere technical requirement for its licitness and validity. This is a fundamental element for its intrinsically essential validity.
So… IF what I just said is objectively true about Benedict’s resignation, THEN it naturally follows that Francis’ election is NECESSARILY and objectively invalid, yes? Again, not because I say so or anybody else says so: the Church’s Canon Law says so.
Furthermore, according to his personal secretary, Archbishop Gänswein, Benedict seems to postulate a sort of “partial resignation” of the munus—the teaching office of Peter’s Successor—but not the office of Peter altogether.
Benedict would in some way carry on the contemplative and prayerful office of Peter, while Francis, his successor, would exercise the munus and the active dimension of the same Petrine office.
A sort of Papal Duarchy when we know dogmatically, that this is quite simply impossible. The Papacy is in reality a Monarchy and can be exercised fully by only one man at a time… either you are the Pope or you are not, the office of Peter cannnot be shared.
AND… IF all of the aforementioned things transpired as I described, THEN all of it IS OBJECTIVELY TRUE.
EVEN IF it is being hidden from us. EVEN IF the Church never admits it because of the obvious and enormous scandal this would cause.
In other words, IF it’s true, THEN it’s true. PERIOD. Whether we ever learn of it publicly and authoritively or not.
The same goes for the Third Secret of Fatima: IF indeed Our Lady spoke of apostasy at the very top of the Hierarchy, IF She spoke of a Pope under the influence of Satan, IF She spoke in other apparitions of Rome being the seat of the Anti-Christ, IF She spoke in terms of a “bad Council” and a “bad Mass”, THEN She did.
Whether or not we ever learn of it authoritatively and publicly, IF She said it, THEN She said it. PERIOD.
IF all of this is true, it’s no wonder at all that all of this should be kept hidden, right?
Speculation based on facts, or potential facts, or evidence, is just common sense application of the gift of reason.
Sure, speculation does not automatically convert itself in truth without proof. But speculation could be true nonetheless if proven in time, and could still be true objectively, even if its proofs are kept hidden always.
In all forthrightness, without any polemical intention on my part, honestly what’s not to understand here?
Typically, opposing arguments will claim that because the moral entirety of the Church has accepted Francis as reigning Pope, it must be therefore believed that his election was necessarily valid. Even with “dogmatic certainty.”
Someone posted the following on Facebook: Anybody else notice that Fr. Gruner didn’t say what Louie says he did? I had some knowledge of Fr. Gruner’s doubts. These doubts occurred before the Church’s theology regarding dogmatic facts & the papacy were exposed to the world. Francis’ papacy is a dogmatic fact – case closed.
To which I thought to respond: Well, not necessarily. If Benedict was forced to resign, his resignation would be objectively invalid according to Canon Law. That would of course invalidate Francis’ election, according to Canon Law. I honestly don’t understand how this possible scenario is so summarily dismissed, merely because we can’t verify it.
Writing back: Fr., you should educate yourself regarding the unanimous opinion of the theologians regarding dogmatic facts. The entire point of their teaching is that acceptance of a pontiff by the Church, specifically the episcopate, “heals in the root” any and all difficulties, including canonical. You do realize that canon law serves the Faith, and non vice-versa, right?
To which I wrote back in turn: Of course, Canon Law serves the Faith. But let us imagine that it were to be proven and publicly acknowledged by the competent Church authority that Benedict’s resignation was forced. How can Francis’ election possibly be valid under a proven and acknowledged invalid resignation of his supposed predecessor, when his election was done under fraud? An acceptance of a Roman Pontiff by the Church, especially the episcopate—all under a proven great lie—how can that be healed in the roots? What’s the point in having Canon Law if a massive fraud such as this can nullify it due to some back-door healing in the roots?
Canonical healing in the roots is reserved for mere technical requirements for licitness and validity. It cannot be applied to essentially intrinsical elements for validity.
Thus, IF Benedict’s resignation was truthfully, genuinely, and entirely free-willed, without any attempt to force him to resign, that is, without any foul play whatsoever, but it was discovered later that in his formula for resignation, a specific, required canonical term was inadvertently missing, or a comma or period was accidentally misplaced, or the Latin grammar of his announcement was incorrect (as some have suggested), then a canonical healing of roots is possible in these cases.
Why? Because these are all canonical examples of technical requirements for resignation of the Papacy. In other words, these are not intrinsically essential requirements for validity.
The same canonical healing of roots could be applied, for example, to a priest who performs a wedding in another parish, but unknowingly does not poseess the required jurisdiction from that parish priest because he was a last-minute substitute. In this case, there is technically an illicit and invalid marriage but it is only a problem of inadvertent common error, easily amended by canonical healing in the roots.
Now, if one of the marriage partners goes to his or her wedding, and one or both are being secretly forced to marry, or one of the partners is withholding the thought to the other that he or she does not wish to have children, these cannot be amended by canonical healing in the roots, precisely because these cases involve intrinsically essential conditions for licitness and validity. In addition to bad intentions.
Indeed, it’s similar to gravely illicit and invalid general absolutions of the sacrament of Penance. That faithful, inculpably ignorant of the fraud, think they receive licit and valid absolution, does NOT mean they receive licit and valid absolution because the sacrament was objectively celebrated illicitly AND invalidly, at its very roots.
God of course takes this into account in favor of the unwary faithful. But there is no question that the general absolution in and of itself is absolutely invalid. No healing in the roots is possible because the intrinsically essential conditions for its licit and valid celebration were totally and purposefully absent.
Another very easy comparison would be to imagine a Novus Ordo parish summer camp for children and adolescents. In my home archdiocese—Oviedo—province of Asturias, in the northwesterly Canabrican coast of Spain, it’s quite common to host these parish summer camps for youth in the neighboring province to the southeast—León.
Nice dryer climate, beautiful landscape, typically less green than Asturias, but certainly a great region for such activities. The medieval Gothic Cathedral of León is my personal favorite, a breathtakingly beautiful structure, with soaring arches and large, incredibly richly-colored stained-glass windows.
Let us imagine that the priest(s) in charge of the summer camp celebrate one of those creative youth-oriented “Eucharists”, and along poor liturgical music, poor vestments (if any beyond a stole and alb), and the typical Novus Ordo table-altar, decides to not use even the Missal, inventing prayers, prefaces, Canon, etc.
Let us further imagine that instead of using appropriate bread and wine for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, decides to be really creative and use pizza and coke. Even if the priest were to use the prescribed words of consecration, there would be no valid transubstantiation of the pizza and coke into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, much less licit.
The children, unknowing victims of such a lamentable sacrilege, would upon receiving “Communion”, would not receive the Eucharistic presence of the Lord. Though they would all think that they did!
But… does the children’s subjective and unwary belief that they’re receiving the Eucharistic presence of the Lord make it objectively true? Well of course not! And that is the point I’m trying to make.
No canonical healing in the roots can make an objectively invalid sacrament, valid in any way. PERIOD.
Essentially then, what the proponents of canonical healing in the roots of an objectively invalid Conclave—in the event that one is held despite a reigning Pope’s resignation that was objectively invalid due to pressure—would have us tell the summer camp children in the example given, that the “consecrated” pizza and coke they received was irregular, but in the end it was valid… because the children believed it to be valid!
Seriously? This is no more than knowingly continuing the lie that the children received a valid Eucharistic presence of the Lord in the “Communion” of pizza and coke, when in fact they did not. Pretending, even for their sake, is not going to change objective reality.
This would be the same as having us continue to believe, if demonstrated, the fraud that Francis was elected Pope validly, despite the ulterior authoritative revelation of the fact that Benedict’s resignation was forced, and thus objectively invalid. IF this were proven true one day, how in Heaven’s name could we possibly continue the farce?
My Facebook interlocutor also said: First, of course, not only has no such proof been demonstrated, but the public testimony is to the contrary. I think the first part of your statement contradicts the second. And that you don’t appear to acknowledge the real point of the teaching on dogmatic fact – you are putting the cart of canon law before the horse of the Faith.
The Church has to be able to have moral certainty that a man who is elected and then accepted by the Church as pope (a moral unanimity, especially of the episcopate) is really pope, or else, #1, schism ensues, and, #2, nothing in the Church’s history is certain. The theologians have decided, in other words, that Christ will not allow the Church, on the whole, to accept a man as pope who really is not, for the good of the Church. Multiple public claimants are the only exception, which clearly does not apply in the present case.
It is always, in every case, Christ Himself who decides the papacy: Who binds the man to the form of the office. He does as He will, and, the theologians have concluded, for the good of the Church, yes, even when there may be canonical issues – far from certain in this case! – if there is universal acceptance, He makes the election a fact indeed…
I don’t think your analogy is a good one. No Catholic ever has moral certainty that he’s in a state of grace – that is de fide. But whether or not the Church Itself can have moral certainty in its Vicar is question that has virtually nothing in common. The latter involves the public good of the entire Church.
Somehow, I get the impression that it’s rather pointless to go on though indeed, certainly not without interest. I will say in closing, a few things if I may:
1. The Roman Papacy is a matter of dogmatic faith. The election of a Pope, however, is not. The former is of divine institution. The latter is an administrative issue with canonical effects.
2. That the Holy Ghost is ever dwelling in the Church as its soul, does not mean that the Pope is directly elected by the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. The Pope is elected by a precise canonical procedure (which varies according to dispositions), by the eligible Cardinal electors. The Holy Ghost inspires but does not cast a vote in the Conclave. The Cardinal electors can be docile to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost… or not.
3. The affirmation that Christ himself decides the Papacy, doing as He will, contradicts all that about theologians having concluded that Christ will not allow the Church, on the whole, to accept a man as Pope who really is not, for the good of the Church. Oh, really? Theologians have concluded what Christ must allow or not allow for the good of his Church? Is that so?
4. That Francis’ election is definitely a fact, does not necessarily and infallibly mean that it was necessarily valid if Benedict’s resignation was invalid. It’s not just Canon Law. It’s also good Catholic common sense. So-called universal acceptance of Francis as Pope cannot override the grave fraud of a potentially invalid election as outlined before. That we cannot verify this at present does not necessarily mean that it’s not true.
5. The competent Church authority does not invent the truths of such issues, it only declares them formally and officially to be true—or not—after ascertaining it, and thus apply the corresponding canonical effects. Church authority is only required to actually know the truth, but it is not required for something to be true in and of itself.
In other words, the truths of such matters are not true because the Church authority declares them to be true. It’s the other way around: the Church authority declares them to be true—or prefers not to declare such—but in any case because they have been objectively true from the start. The same argument applies to proclaimed dogmas of the Catholic faith.
6. But again, notwithstanding the enormous scandal it would cause, if it’s ever admitted publicly by competent Church authority that Benedict’s resignation was invalid (i.e., forced, etc.), that would necessarily mean that he was still the living and reigning Pope when the obviously invalidly-held conclave elected Francis. If this is the case, it seems a bit scandalous to assume that the Church must still accept Francis as Pope, because we accepted—under unknown grave fraud at the time—his election as a valid one… even if it were proven later on to have been invalid. Honestly?
7. If we really want to discuss dogmatic fact, I would propose the materially heretical teachings that Francis has written in Amoris Lætitia, and other erroneous elements present in his oral and written magisterium… And the dogmatic implications of a Pope who objectively teaches error, including dogmatic error… and refuses the opportunity to correct himself by “clarifying” himself, i.e., the Amoris Lætitia Dubia. As of this writing, we’re coming up on one full year of disturbing silence…
8. If Benedict’s resignation were to be proven invalid one day, I daresay the so-called “universal acceptance” of Francis would be no more… Even today, regular assistance to Papal Wednesday General Audiences has gone dramatically down. Besides, Francis is generally approved of and applauded by natural enemies of the Church, which itself is most worrisome.
9. Alas, the most likely scenario by far is that we will most probably never know the whole truth of Benedict’s resignation and Francis’ election. Which makes this discussion somewhat a moot point. But crucially important, nonetheless.
So, let us recall again as the psalmist prays, singing: Blessed is he whom Thou hast chosen and taken to Thee: he shall dwell in thy courts. We shall be filled with the good things of thy house; holy is thy temple (Psalm 64:5).
Your same logic can be used to justify sedevacantism. It can also be used to justify Novus Ordo Rites invalid. You may not be a priest even though you think you are. Francis may not be Pope because of his election, but Benedict may not be Pope because of his heresy. What we see as we think is “visible” may objectively be false. We do know objectively that prior to V2, the sacraments were valid. We cannot say the same after the council, since many of the changes contradict the prior teachings. Objectively the whole NO institution may be invalid. This should at least place grave doubt in the mind of faithful Catholics and should lead to a complete avoidance of all things NO and V2.
I don’t understand this obsession about whether or not Benedict resigned willingly or was forced to resign. He is the one who invented this impossible notion there can be two popes at the same time.
The only difference between Benedict and Francis is Benedict (and JPII) laid the foundations for the perpetual success of Modernism and the eventual destruction of the Catholic faith while Francis is the total embodiment of its diabolical and thus, destructive ideology.
Louie, you analysis raises some questions: 1) If Benedict dies soon and Francis outlives him, does that mean the Papacy would be vacant for the duration of Francis’ “reign”, since the pope (Benedict) would be dead and Bergolio is not pope? 2) If Bergolio were to die with Benedict outliving him, and a new “pope” is elected who then outlives Benedict by x number of years, there would be no pope during the time of this “successor” to Bergolio? 3) If a new conclave is held after Bergolio goes to his eternal reward, can the cardinals that Bergolio appointed vote? If Bergolio is not really pope, then none of his appointments are valid, right? 4) And so even once Benedict and Bergolio have left this world, there will be confusion about who are valid cardinals, rendering a conclave questionable, right?
Caritas, you aren’t suppose to ask such troubling questions. Just drink the NO kool-aid like a nice lad.
“Now some priests (even some priests in the Society) say that we Catholics need not worry about what is happening in the Vatican; we have the true sacraments, the true Mass, the true doctrine, so why worry about whether the pope is heretic or an impostor or whatever; it is of no importance to us. But I think that is not true. If any man is important in the Church it is the pope.” (The Angelus, July 1986)
Just keep saying your mantra:
“Modernists are Catholics”
“Modernists are Catholics”
“I do believe”
“I do believe”
Repeat as needed if you find yourself thinking logically again and all will be fine. There, there….
I think we need to anticipate the election of a successor to Benedict, if he dies while Bergoglio is still around. We would see real schism then.
Indeed, I think the good Archbishop Lefebvre might well agree with my article. 🙂
Thank you for your article, Father. It convinces me that we have only one true advocate between Earth and Heaven during these confusing times—no IFs, ANDs, or BUTs about it—Our Lady.
“O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
“The Church has to be able to have moral certainty that a man who is elected and then accepted by the Church as pope (a moral unanimity, especially of the episcopate) is really pope, or else, #1, schism ensues, and, #2, nothing in the Church’s history is certain. The theologians have decided, in other words, that Christ will not allow the Church, on the whole, to accept a man as pope who really is not, for the good of the Church. Multiple public claimants are the only exception, which clearly does not apply in the present case.
It is always, in every case, Christ Himself who decides the papacy: Who binds the man to the form of the office. He does as He will, and, the theologians have concluded, for the good of the Church, yes, even when there may be canonical issues – far from certain in this case! – if there is universal acceptance, He makes the election a fact indeed…”
“I don’t think your analogy is a good one. No Catholic ever has moral certainty that he’s in a state of grace – that is de fide. But whether or not the Church Itself can have moral certainty in its Vicar is question that has virtually nothing in common. The latter involves the public good of the entire Church.”
I think your Facebook interlocutor is attempting to apply supplied jurisdiction, improperly of course, to Papal Elections. The deafening screaming question for him in my mind is, what would be his take on I believe the (3) elected Popes during the time of St Catherine of Sienna? So did the Church claim that each of these Popes were Validly elected Pope’s just because the majority believed it to be so? Giving this guy the benefit of doubt, he probably has the intention to prevent further distrust in the Catholic Church as a whole but that is because he fails to recognize and therefore believe that their is a Crisis in the Church already and that the great Schism started 50 years ago already. So his intention is trying to prevent something that already has existed for 50 years and he is just pulling his head out of the sand and saying wait, I see what is happening now and I have to stop a schism. It’s as though he’s living in 1965 when the schism in the Church finally took place but of course the fact of the matter is it is 2017. Either stick your head back in the sand and wait and hope you don’t lose your soul which I don’t want to suggest but for the willful ignorant this may be the best option or bring yourself up to date and recognize and resist with your true friends in Christ (US).
“Alas, the most likely scenario by far is that we will most probably never know the whole truth of Benedict’s resignation and Francis’ election. Which makes this discussion somewhat a moot point.”
“Somewhat” a moot point? This discussion is a moot point and way past its expiration date. This topic has been hashed out many times before. I must conclude that this is another calculated post meant above all, to feed the Sedevacantist fishes that swim in these waters.
“Keep smiling. It is a grand thing to cultivate a smile. Keep the corners of your mouth up especially if you have an attack of the dumps. “Oh my God, I will never complain. You will get to heaven by keeping this one resolution”
Fr William Doyle
Every time maryiloveher posts I remember just what a gift God gave us in this man at a critical point in history. What of the true sacred liturgy would remain were it not for him? How many truly faithful would there be? His words are timeless. Saint-in-waiting to someday join St. Athanasius as a mighty defender of the faith.
Rushintuit, sorry but your comment is misguided. I don’t see how my article has anything to do with sedevacantism. All I’m saying is that if Benedict was forced to resign, his abdication is invalid as per Church law. This in turn would invalidate Francis’ election because Benedict would still be the reigning Pope when the Conclave that elected Francis was held. What does this have to do with sedevacantism?
Just take a look at the first comment. More will follow as the weekend progresses. I would like Mr LV to explain why Pope Francis is the Pope in a concise manner.
Yes, it seems to me that it is Benedict himself who believes he is still Pope, if only partially. This seems to be the point we should look at. Taken to it’s logical conclusion, how many ways can the papacy be divided – 3, 5, 10, more? A papacy divided cannot stand (I just thought of that).
So do I. And I couldn’t agree with you more, Fr. Campo.
Thanks for this excellent article.
Here is what the author of this article does not understand. If the election of a pope is accepted by at least a moral unanimity of Catholic, it not only provides infallible certainty that he is the true pope, but it also provides infallible certainty that all of the necessary conditions had been met for him to become a true pope. This is not a disputed point. Read Cardinal Billot:
Billot: “the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the CONDITIONS required for legitimacy itself. … Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any CONDITION whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence OF ALL THE REQUIRED CONDITIONS.”
John of St. Thomas teaches the same. He writes: “From the de fide truth that this man is Pope, it follows as a consequence that all the requisite CONDITIONS must have been observed.”
Now, one of the necessary CONDITIONS required for a man to become the Pope is that the papal see is vacant at the time of his election, which would only be the case if Benedict’s resignation was valid. Therefore, since Francis’ election was accepted by the entire Church (at least a moral unanimity), this “de fide truth” provides infallible certitude that Benedict’s resignation was valid. Period.
So all the speculation about whether Benedict truly resigned or not is definitively answered by the fact that Francis’ election was accepted by the Church. The latter proves the former, and was even confirmed by the testimony of Benedict himself who said: “There isn’t the slightest doubt about the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry … Speculation about its invalidity is simply absurd.”
As always, the doctrine of the Church concerning dogmatic facts provides the answer for this disputed question – at least for those who are willing to accept what the Church teaches. But, unfortunately, we live in a day when the vast majority of Catholics are either ignorant of Church teaching, or openly reject it. Those who claim Benedict’s resignation was invalid not only fall into one of these two categories, but are forced to contradict the explicit testimony of Benedict himself. And in so doing, these “Catholics” not only cause confusion and division among the faithful, but are guilty of a mortal sin against the faith (if not heresy), which is the penalty attached to those who reject the legitimacy of a Pope whose election has been accepted by the Church.
First, Cdl Billot offers his opinion here and does not speak authoritatively. Second, the universal adhesion you speak of is not universal. What is the limit of dissent required to make it not universal? Also during the Western Schism there were up to three claimants to the papacy, so lacking any universal decree, there should have been no Pope. But objectively there was a Pope. And finally, the universal claim you posit is the universal acceptance by modernists of modernists. You are simply arguing about who is or who is not the so called head of the modernist apostate conciliar church. Its not the Catholic Church so who cares? Can one of you confused Catholics please explain how a modernist can be a Catholic?
Thank-you Father, that was a solid argument which addressed the “healing at the root” objection. If we are dealing with a different animal, the same rules do not apply. Canon Hess (RIP) uses the same line of thinking to argue for the validity of the Novus Ordo sacraments.
The Church is bleeding thanks to all the Popes going back to Pius XII. Pope Benedict’s abdication created a stronger hemorrhage of blood. The sharks will feast and gorge themselves at every opportunity.
John 314, the healing of the root being discussed is about jurisdiction and not validity. There’s a huge difference here. Canon Law supplies the jurisdiction of validly ordained clerics, but that does not cover invalid matter, form, or intent. In fact the Church, while liberal in its application of jurisdiction, is quite the opposite in guarding the validity of Sacraments. De Defectibus is quite stringent. And please do not bring Hesse into this issue. He uses the fact that he “feels” his priesthood as evidence for validity of NO Ordination Rites. I actually enjoyed all his videos too and learned much about Church history from him when I started questioning V2.
TomA: First, Cdl Billot offers his opinion here and does not speak authoritatively.
JP: You sedevacantist heretics crack me up. When you find a quote that you think supports your schism you spread it all over the internet. When you are presented with one that directly refutes you, you reject it as being a mere “opinion”. And Billot was not giving a mere opinion, as the context makes clear, he was expounding a doctrine of the Church that all theologians hold. What your response shows is that you and your fellow sedevacantist heretics are no better than the Modernists, since you both pick and choose what Catholic doctrines you will accept and which you reject.
Tom A: Second, the universal adhesion you speak of is not universal. What is the limit of dissent required to make it not universal?
JP: There is at least a moral universality today, since all the hierarchy accepts Francis and well over 99% of the faithful. And don’t forget that you and your fellow sedevacantist heretics don’t count. You have publicly separated from her and therefore are no longer members of the Church.
TomA: Also during the Western Schism there were up to three claimants to the papacy, so lacking any universal decree, there should have been no Pope. But objectively there was a Pope.
JP: Are you really that ignorant? Just because a Pope is not universally accepted does not mean he is not the Pope. It just means the doctrine of the peaceful and universal acceptance cannot be used to prove that he is Pope. Surely even a sedevacantist can understand that, right?
Tom A: And finally, the universal claim you posit is the universal acceptance by modernists of modernists. You are simply arguing about who is or who is not the so called head of the modernist apostate conciliar church. Its not the Catholic Church so who cares?
JP: Wrong again. The sedevacantist claim that the hierarchical Church defected and became a “new Church” is itself heretical. Since you have publicly embraced that heresy, you too are a heretic.
It is true that the Catholic Church today contains within it some (many) who are infected with modernism, just as during the 4th Century the Catholic Church contained within the many who were infected with Arianism; but both then and now the Promise of Christ – that “the gates of hell did not prevail” – has not been broken.
Tom A: Can one of you confused Catholics please explain how a modernist can be a Catholic?
JP: You mean why did Pope St. Pius X say modernists are “within the heart and veins of the Church” in Pacendi? Here’s the answer: A Catholic who falls into error or heresy only ceases to be a member of the Church if his heresy becomes notorious. The majority of Modernists are far to cleaver and crafty to be qualified as notorious heretics. Therefore, they remain members of the Church. That’s how a modernist can be a Catholic.
But you should be more worried about yourself than them. You’re the one who has openly left the Church and who is now forced to reject basic Catholic doctrines to justify it. You are actually in a worse condition than the Modernists within.
Canon Hess makes the case that because the Novus Ordo and it’s rites are schismatic, they cannot be evaluated as to validity by simply comparing them to the traditional Latin rites. They should be evaluated as the Church does any other schismatic rite, such as the Greek and Russian Orthodox, which have always been considered valid, and the Anglican, which was pronounced invalid by Pope Leo XIII. His “feeling” about his priesthood is obviously his pius belief but that is not what the talk is about. To suggest otherwise, frankly, I see as mean spirited.
This is analogous to Father’s point in this thread. Pope Francis’ election cannot simply be “healed at the root” as if this were a normal papal election. It has to be evaluated in a different way.
The “healing in the root” objection does not apply to the argument that Benedict’s resignation was invalid. It more aptly applies to questions concerning canonical irregularities in Francis election. These are related, but they are two different issues.
What proves Benedict’s resignation was valid is that it was a *condition* for Francis to have become Pope. In other word, the fact that Francis’ election was accepted by the Church provides infallible certitude that he is a true pope. This infallible certitude (that he’s the true Pope) logically provides infallible certitude that all of the necessary conditions – e.g., that Benedict’s resignation was valid – were satisfied.
Francis’ legitimacy is not a matter of dispute. It is a matter of faith, and therefore must be accepted by faith. Anyone who accepts the doctrine of the Church will know that Francis is the Pope. Those who don’t accept it are in very grievous error and probably in heresy.
I can only hope that Catholics who read this article are not led into heresy by it, and I hope the good Father who wrote it will reconsider his position in light of the doctrine of the Church. His salvation may well depend upon it.
But we know that the resignation was not invalid since it was a condition for Francis to become Pope. And we have infallible certitude that he did become Pope due to the fact that his election was accepted by the entire Church.
What this means is that we have infallible certitude that Benedict was correct when he said “there isn’t the slightest doubt about the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry” (Retired Pope Benedict XVI). If you knew and accepted the doctrine of the Church concerning dogmatic facts, you would agree with the person who you mistakenly think is the Pope.
I pray that you study this matter more thoroughly and then publicly renounce you erroneous position, since you are doing much damage to souls and causing tremendous division. I would also note that heretics who persist in their errors for long rarely return to the Church. I pray this is not the case with you.
Yes I saw that video too and it makes sense to evaluate them as one would another schismatic rite. However, seeing how there is currently only modernist “popes”, there is no Pope like Leo XIII to evaluate the NO rites. Hesse simply concludes his talk saying he believes the NO rites valid. In fact, if you were to read Leo XIII declaring Anglican rites invalid, you could easily see how they could apply to NO rites also being invalid. The similarities are striking and should cause doubt.
Whose Vicar is a person who says that Jesus made himself the devil?
In this link, straight from the Vatican website, unfortunately only available in Italian, you find the following: «come memoria di colui che si è fatto peccato, che si è fatto diavolo, serpente, per noi;…», (“the memory of him who has made himself sin, the devil, the serpent, for us”):
Please explain how such a statement can possibly come from the Vicar of Christ.
I would say that when one says the NO “mass” one is pretty much notorious. Its about as public as one can get. When one kisses a koran, that is pretty notorious too. Modernism is no longer hidden as it was 100 years ago. It out in the open and very easy to see who has apostasized. These conciliar prelates are not simply in error anymore, they have publically adhered to modernism. Ask one what he thinks of anything traditional. Ask them is they believe that we worship the same merciful god as the muslims do?
The theory (the Barnhardt theory) that Benedict held to an untenable notion of a “dual papacy” that made a valid resignation impossible is very seductive.
It all hinges on the notion of “substantial error.”
I hold that Barnhardt and those who follow her thinking are misapplying the concept of “substantial error.”
Benedict said he was resigning “in such a way that the See will be vacant.” Obviously, that is the EXACT equivalent of saying “there will be no Pope.”
Barnhardt’s claim is that Benedict’s belief that he would still be a kind of “co-Pope” invalidated his resignation. I say that his error was real, but irrelevant. I.e., his error was not about the resignation, and therefore could not invalidate the resignation.
Suppose we were to learn from Benedict’s own lips that he believed that resigning the See of Rome would instantly make him Queen of England.
That would certainly be an error! Would it have invalidated the resignation? No! Because it would be irrelevant. The end product of his resignation would be a befuddled old man who HAD BEEN Pope and never would be Queen of England.
Benedict correctly understood that he was Pope. He correctly understood that a Pope has the power to resign. He correctly understood that to cause the See to be vacant would cause his papacy to come to an end. Error about any of THOSE propositions would be relevant. Benedict’s notions about who or what he would be AFTER his resignation were and are irrelevant.
The end product of Benedict’s resignation was an old man who HAD BEEN Pope and would never be any sort of “co-Pope”–whether that was his expectation or not.
You are writing about Pope Benedict, right?
JPeters, I’m afraid it’s simpler than it seems. Canon Law (1983) states: Can. 332 §1 The Roman Pontiff acquires full and supreme power in the Church when, together with episcopal consecration, he has been lawfully elected and has accepted the election. Accordingly, if he already has the episcopal character, he receives this power from the moment he accepts election to the supreme pontificate. If he does not have the episcopal character, he is immediately to be ordained Bishop.
§2 Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.
Nowhere in my article do I state categorically that Francis is not the Pope. Nowhere in my article do I state categorically that Benedict’s resignation was forced and therefore invalid.
What I do state is nothing more, nothing less, than what Holy Mother Church says. That is, IF Benedict’s resignation was forced (even if we can’t verify it now), THEN it was invalid. IF this is the case, THEN Francis’ election could not be valid. IF, IF, IF, in the conditional. I affirm nothing. I only state in the conditional.
The fact that Benedict’s resignation supposed the possibility of Francis’ election, and the material fact that Francis was indeed elected, does not mean a “dogmatic” certainty that it is necessarily valid, merely because the Church has accepted it. His election is presumed valid IF it’s not proven otherwise.
But based on available evidence for all to see, how can one just dismiss and “dogmatically” exclude the possibility of massive fraud that hasn’t been proven yet? Could Francis’ election be proven invalid IF it were discovered at a later time that Benedict’s resignation was forced all along? I mean, is this a “dogmatically” impossible possibility? I honestly think not. Mind you, it’s extremely unlikely because as I’ve said in the article, the scandal and repercusions would be enormous…
But as you are rightly concerned about possible heresies in my article, if it’s real palpable heresy you wish to warn others about, much more worrisome is a Pope who without a doubt, objectively teaches error, including dogmatic error, i.e., in Amoris Lætitia, though not exclusively in this document, to be sure. There are assertions therein that are an outright contradiction of St. Paul and the Council of Trent, going against the perennial doctrine of the Catholic Church, including the Magisterium of his two immediate predeccessors.
And regarding AL, with the exception of the Cardinals’ Dubia and the impressive theological critique signed by 45 theologians worldwide, Francis is mainly getting away with grave doctrinal errors. Now THAT is dangerous for the salvation of souls.
Before Vatican II, this is known as heresy, material heresy to be specific. But Francis’ nearly year-long refusal to correct himself by “clarifying” himself on the AL Dubia, supplies evidence that he wishes to persist in his grave doctrinal errors. There is therefore a reasonable cause to suspect formal heresy.
And that’s pretty serious… in a Pope. You know why? Because a Pope who were to fall into formal heresy (by persisting in material heresy after disregarding attempts at correction by “clarification”), he would automatically cease being the Pope. Even Cardinal Burke recalled this Catholic doctrine in an interview.
The theological reasoning is pretty straightforward: a heretic is not Catholic; a non-Catholic cannot be Pope. Not because I say so, the Church says so. Agree?
So ironically, Francis’ definite material heresy—and possible formal heresy—is outdoing (by far!) any conceivable canonical doubts as to the validity of his election.
And here’s my quote for the day “It doesn’t matter that in past centuries some pontiff has been elected in an illegitimate fashion or has taken posssesion of the pontiff by fraud: it suffices that he has been accepted as Pope by all the Church, for this fact he has been the true pontiff.” ~ St. Alphonsus De Liqouri
Who is Pope is not a matter of faith. What is a matter of faith is that one must submit to the Roman Pontiff. There’s no room for sifting a Pope’s teachings. JPeters seems to says its di fide but only quotes theologians and not Popes to bolster his position. If this is the case, then St Vincent Ferrer was a heretic for believing the wrong person Pope.
Are you saying that Francis’ refusal to correct his error can lead to him being a heretic and therefore not Pope? Because if I read your logic correctly, you can also applies this logic to Ottaviani and Lefebrve asking Paul 6 to correct his errors. Why is Francis being held to a higher standard than Paul 6, JP2, and Benedict 16? All the post conciliar popes taught error and many traditional Catholics drew attention to their errors but they never corrected themselves either. The fact is they were and are all notorious modernist heretics. Continuing to place the Catholic label on heretics is confusing the faithful Catholics remain.
I agree that the similarities are striking and I understand why most people look at this and say that the N.O. rites are invalid or doubtful. What Canon Hess is saying though, that in terms of a schismatic rite, the N.O. forms are adequate (and in some cases even clearer than the Tradition Latin rites), and the proper intention is still “on the books”. They still believe in mass as sacrifice, they still have Eucharistic adoration, they still have confession, they still pray the rosary—all things that the anglicans did away with long ago. So officially, and in many cases, in practice, the N.O. has the proper intention, along with matter and form, which makes their sacraments valid beyond any positive reasonable doubt.
Even Father Hesse doesn’t pass the purity test.
Fr. Campo: Nowhere in my article do I state categorically that Francis is not the Pope. Nowhere in my article do I state categorically that Benedict’s resignation was forced and therefore invalid.
What I do state is nothing more, nothing less, than what Holy Mother Church says. That is, IF Benedict’s resignation was forced (even if we can’t verify it now), THEN it was invalid. IF this is the case, THEN Francis’ election could not be valid. IF, IF, IF, in the conditional. I affirm nothing. I only state in the conditional. THE FACT THAT BENEDICT’S RESIGNATION SUPPOSED THE POSSIBILITY OF FRANCIS’ ELECTION, AND THE MATERIAL FACT THAT FRANCIS WAS INDEED ELECTED, DOES NOT MEAN A “DOGMATIC” CERTAINTY THAT IT IS NECESSARILY VALID, MERELY BECAUSE THE CHURCH HAS ACCEPTED IT. HIS ELECTION IS PRESUMED VALID IF IT’S NOT PROVEN OTHERWISE.
JP: No Father, you seem to have it backwards. The fact that Francis was elected and the election was accept by the Church PROVES (infallibly), not only that he became the true Pope, but it also PROVES that all the required CONDITIONS for him to become Pope were met. That the conditions were all satisfied is a theological conclusion derived from the infallible certainty that the man became the Pope. That’s why Cardinal Billot said that the Church’s acceptance of a man as Pope provides INFALLIBLE CERTAINTY that the CONDITIONS were met.
Now, one of the conditions for Francis to have become Pope is that the see was vacant at the time of his election. And for the papal see to have been vacant, it was necessary that Benedict’s resignation was valid. Therefore, the validity of Benedict’s resignation (CONDITION) is a theological conclusion that is known with infallible certainty based on the infallible certainty we have the Francis became Pope.
So, the reasoning concerning dogmatic facts STARTS with the certitude that Francis is the true Pope. This infallible certainty logically proves that all the required conditions were met. That’s why you never have to worry if a Pope was not a true bishop, or not baptized, or not a male (Pope Joan). All of that is known with certitude if his election is accepted by the entire Church.
Fr. Campos: “But based on available evidence for all to see, how can one just dismiss and “dogmatically” exclude the possibility of massive fraud that hasn’t been proven yet? Could Francis’ election be proven invalid IF it were discovered at a later time that Benedict’s resignation was forced all along? I mean, is this a “dogmatically” impossible possibility? I honestly think not. Mind you, it’s extremely unlikely because as I’ve said in the article, the scandal and repercusions would be enormous…
JP: I am not questioning whether there was massive fraud. What I am saying is that we have infallible certainty that Benedict’s resignation as valid (just as Benedict himself said) BECAUSE we have infallible certainty that Francis is the Pope (because his election was accepted by the entire Church). If you accept the Church’s teaching concerning dogmatic facts, your doubts concerning Benedict’s resignation will be infallibly resolved. And if you don’t accept the Church’s teaching concerning dogmatic facts, how can you complain if Francis apparently rejects moral teachings of the Church? We don’t needs popes or priests who pick and choose what doctrines they will accept and which they will reject.
What the faithful need today are strong and faithful priest, who are courageous enough to accept ALL that the Church teaches, even if it is difficult to do so. Those so-called Traditional Catholics who reject this or that teaching because it is hard to accept due to the circumstances, have no reason to complain if they think Francis and Kasper are doing the same with the Church’s moral teachings. This is nothing but two sides of the same coin.
Fr. Campos: But as you are rightly concerned about possible heresies in my article, if it’s real palpable heresy you wish to warn others about, much more worrisome is a Pope who without a doubt, objectively teaches error, including dogmatic error, i.e., in Amoris Lætitia, though not exclusively in this document, to be sure.
JP: Of course I am concerned about Francis’ errors, just as I was about the errors of the other recent Popes and the second Vatican Council. All errors should be resisted, including the error of those who reject the Church’s teaching on dogmatic facts, don’t you agree? Or do you believe that one error should be countered by another?
And to be honest, I’m actually less troubled by Francis than I was by his recent predecessors, since he is opening the eyes of many to the crisis in the Church. In that, God is bringing good out of the evil He is permitting.
I don’t think Francis is going to deceive Traditional Catholics, but priests who oppose Francis AND END BY REJECTING DOCTRINES OF THE FAITH may deceive them and lead them into error and heresy. This is what I see happening today. Traditional Catholics are being led astray by the sedevacantist heretics and other priests who claim to be Traditional, yet reject traditional doctrine. What is surprising to me is how easily they are being deceived, and how quick they are to reject a traditional doctrine of the Church when they are persuaded to do so by a priest whom they mistakenly believe to be traditional. That is the danger for Traditional Catholics. Not Francis.
Fr. Campos: Before Vatican II, this is known as heresy, material heresy to be specific. But Francis’ nearly year-long refusal to correct himself by “clarifying” himself on the AL Dubia, supplies evidence that he wishes to persist in his grave doctrinal errors. There is therefore a reasonable cause to suspect formal heresy.
JP: Yes, but “suspect of formal heresy” does not cause a Pope to lose his office. Not to mention that you are now shifting to a different argument, but I’ll go there with you.
Fr. Campos: And that’s pretty serious… in a Pope. You know why? Because a Pope who were to fall into formal heresy (by persisting in material heresy after disregarding attempts at correction by “clarification”), he would automatically cease being the Pope. Even Cardinal Burke recalled this Catholic doctrine in an interview. The theological reasoning is pretty straightforward: a heretic is not Catholic; a non-Catholic cannot be Pope. Not because I say so, the Church says so. Agree?
JP: A NOTORIOUS heretic ceases to be a Catholic. Therefore, many theologians hold that if a Pope becomes a notorious and contumacious heretic he will automatically lose his office. Cardinal Billot held this position. This is no doubt what Cardinal Burke meant by the phrase “formally professed heresy”. But Francis is definitely not a notorious heretic at this time, which explains why the same Cardinal Burke said he was “far from heresy” (far from notorious heresy).
To become a notorious heretic, Francis would have to either leave the Church of his own accord, or else persist in a doctrine that was directly contrary to a defined dogma after being warned by the Church. The reason warnings are necessary is because, as Cajetan teaches, divine law has determined that human judgment, in cases of heresy, is established by ecclesiastical warnings. That’s why even canon law (and the practice of the Church before canon law existed) requires that one who is suspected of heresy be warned and given an opportunity to retract his position before being considered a heretic by the Church. The same obviously applies to a Pope.
None of the recent popes were notorious heretics, and therefore none of the recent popes lost their office.
Obviously then I can state that “Satan is our true God” without being declared a formal heretic….as long as nobody “warned” me. Is Mr Bergoglio really so stupid that he needs to be “warned” about things that even a solid 12 year old Catholic would know better than to utter?
Being a good Catholic isnt easy….having common Catholic sense is very easy.
Benedict himself it is obvious by now may deeply regret retirement. Francis prompt advancement of Homosexually promotion clergy and bishops Farrel and Cupich etc has brought the faith into a grave crisis. Obviously that is what Capsized ship comments at A. B Dubai cardinal funeral by Benedict was about. Schism is forthcoming. Good advice to.join Eastern rite or latin mass fsspetc R . C. sect is sound advice. Hopefully Benedict 16th will call for A Burke correction of Francis and Amoris Latoya etc.. . Otherwise schism and fatal decline of Novis ordo fading church is forthcoming and is sadly likely upon us already .
To answer the question that is implicit in what you wrote, in an extreme case the Church can judge someone to be a notorious heretic and excommunicate them without issuing warnings. It is the exception to the rule and is left to the discretion of the authorities. But two points should be noted concerning this. 1) It is the Church who decides that the case is so extreme that warnings are unnecessary and would be fruitless. 2) If the person suspected of heresy is a Pope, warnings MUST be issued before he can be declared a heretic. No exceptions in his case.
I would also point out that Francis is certainly not a notorious heretic at this time. Not even close, as Cardinal Burke himself said.
Hhave you ever read what Bellarmine said about the Arian bishops of the fourth century? The very ones who persecuted St. Athanasius? Do you think Bellarmine condemned them as “manifest heretics” who lost their office? That is the judgment that’s rendered by the sedevacantists , but it is not what Bellarmine taught. On the contrary, he EXCUSED the “majority” of these Arian bishops. While admitting that they publicly subscribed to the heresy, he did all he could to excuse them on the basis that they really didn’t understand what they were subscribing to. That is a very liberal judgment on his part, wouldn’t you say?
The point is, while we should strongly resist any errors being taught, we should be slow to render a judgment about the person. This is how the Church herself acts.
I find it somewhat surprising that you posted our exchange, but not my final reply. Here it is (I could certainly add much more, and might change a few things, but this is exactly what was posted):
First of all, thank you very much for being courteous, civil, and showing priestly charity. May God bless you also, and all Catholics in these confusing times. I do feel the need to respond to what you’ve written below.
1. This is simply not entirely true: You are ignoring the theology of dogmatic fact regarding papal elections.
Fr. E. Sylvester Berry’s definition: “A dogmatic fact is one that has not been revealed, yet **is so intimately connected with a doctrine of faith that without certain knowledge of the fact there can be no certain knowledge of the doctrine**. For example, was the First Vatican Council truly ecumenical? **Was Pius IX a legitimate pope? Was the election of Pius XI valid?** Such questions must be decided with certainty before decrees issued by any council or pope can be accepted as infallibly true or binding on the Church.”
In other words, we have to be able to have moral certainty in the validity of papacies or else all Church teaching crumbles. Why? Because every dogma of the faith is promulgated by a pope, either directly or indirectly (via ratification of an ecumenical council).
And so your assertion that papal elections lie entirely in the realm of the “administrative” or canonical I think is a serious error.
2. Of course Christ does not elect a pope, but he *is* most certainly the efficient cause of the binding of the man to the office. The papacy is a divine creation, of course; to join a man to it is something only God can do. I am pretty sure this qualifies as theologically certain.
3. Indeed! See the next point for an example.
4. Again, you miss the point of dogmatic fact. Are you familiar with this theology? The lesson is that the *by the fact of papal acceptance itself* we know there were no canonical barriers.
Cardinal Billot – please read this very carefully (and some of it applies to 3.): “…**the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself**. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and the infallible providence of Christ: ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ and ‘Behold I shall be with you all days.’ For the adhesion of the Church to a false Pontiff would be the same as its adhesion to a false rule of faith, seeing that the Pope is the living rule of faith which the Church must follow and which in fact she always follows. As will become even more clear by what we shall say later, God can permit that at times a vacancy in the Apostolic See be prolonged for a long time. He can also permit that doubt arise about the legitimacy of this or that election. He cannot however permit that the whole Church accept as Pontiff him who is not so truly and legitimately.
Therefore, **from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy**. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions” (emphasis mine).
This is not a teaching in any dispute. The Cardinal theologian tells us the following:
– When the Church as a whole accepts a Pope, *we know by that fact alone he is really a valid Pope*. (There is no doubt that a moral unanimity of the episcopate accepted Francis as Pope, and immediately as well.)
– Christ will not allow the Church to follow a false Pope *for the good of the Church*
– It is **not permitted** to raise doubts about the validity of a Pope who has been accepted by the Church
The only scenario where these teachings don’t apply – because there is no universal acceptance – is that of multiple public claimants to the papacy, which has *never been the case in the present situation.*
5. If you properly considered and accepted the dogmatic fact of Francis’ papacy, you would see this is not a possibility.
But, to continue that line of thought, how are you morally certain that no pope of the last 2,000 years had some canonical issue that escaped attention at the time, and nullified his papacy? Perhaps this was the cause with Pius IV, and thus the dogmas of the Council of Trent which he ratified are not really infallible truths at all. Troubling line of reasoning, isn’t it? That’s why the Church doesn’t work this way.
6. No. Please read what Fr. Berry, Cd. Billot, and others wrote regarding papal dogmatic facts. When morally universal acceptance occurs, the fact is established, and facts do not ever stop being facts.
7. So we come down to it – you can’t believe Francis is really pope because he wrote an encyclical with materially heretical statements. But he has not been judged a heretic himself by the Church – most certainly not *before* his election. And he has not tried to bind the Church to any error. In fact, the fact that he has not is evidence that he’s a pope, isn’t it? An antipope could do absolutely anything. In any case, this is a completely separate topic. But the line of reasoning you’re espousing here is exactly the same one the sedevacantists use to reject the other popes they don’t like.
8. We already know.
Pope Francis is nothing to be afraid of, in the end. I find the hidden blessing of the Franciscan papacy especially comforting: The Opening Of The Eyes effect. So many more people are coming to see that we are in a monumental crisis due to Francis’ actions. The Modernist Borg beginning to swallow the moral sphere as it has the liturgy and theology hits some harder (though I’d argue what’s going on now is of far lesser importance than the Protestantation of the Mass. Still, now, many more people are coming to Tradition, and that is good news.
This has nothing to do with sedevacantism, which an untenable theory anyway, as we have no authority to depose a Pope, however heretical he is.
But a simple parallel to the present case: If a Pope was kidnapped and imprisoned and his kidnappers held a fake funeral and had another Pope elected, what would happen if the real Pope escaped and reappeared? No amount of recognition by the people of the false ‘Pope’ could make him into a real one, if the first was still alive.
I don’t think any theologian has ever commented on such a situation, as it would be too outrageous to discuss. But Pope Benedict seems to be trying to say something, by continuing to wear a white cassock and the Papal cross and ring.
And we saw in an immense light that is God: “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it” a Bishop dressed in White “we had the impression that it was the Holy Father”. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain…
This is from the Third Secret as it appears on the Vatican website, which uses exactly the same punctuation as in Sr. Lucy’s handwriting. The double inverted commas certainly make no sense as quotation marks. Could they be Sr Lucy’s way of emphasizing the phrases, like underlining? In both cases they enclose a phrase with a possible element of unreality. First, they see the Bishop dressed in White like a reflection in a mirror, but not the man himself, and then they have the ‘impression’ it is the Holy Father. Wouldn’t they have assumed straight away that such a man was the Pope? Sr Lucy seems to be trying to give the phrases special significance.
I should have added that Pope Francis is appearing as a mirror image of Pope Benedict in this ‘dual papacy’.
Dear JPeters and Caritas especially,
First it must be pointed out that Pope Paul lV expressly stated in Cum Ex Apostolatis Officio that no heretic can validly be elected Pope even if all the Cardinals and all people believe that he is Pope. So much for the presumptuous statement that we have infallible certitude that Francis is Pope. I have moral certitude that Francis has been a heretic long before he was apparently elected Pope. How do I know Francis is a heretic? Anyone with eyes and ears can tell. There are Catholic
websites dedicated to listing his heresies !!!
Caritas certainly raises some interesting questions. For those who believe Benedict is still the Pope (which he never was) what will they do if Benedict dies? They would have to become sedevacantists!!! God forbid. They would be ashamed to appear in public. If Francis died before Benedict and a new “Pope” was apparently elected and then Benedict died they would again have to become sedevacantists! Who knows? Maybe some day it will become fashionable.
Well, it does seem rather odd that the Church does not apply the same theological reasoning to marriages. If the “dogmatic certainty” of papal elections mentioned absolutely guarantees the validity of an elected Pope, by virtue of the Conclave held, election of a Pope and universal acceptance of that elected Pope, if this were applied to
marriages, there would no longer be any possibility for annulments.
This reasoning would mean that a man and a woman who undertook all the arrangements to get married, the Church was willing to marry them, and they eventually get married, and consumate their marriage, would “dogmatically” guarantee the validity of the marriage only by virtue of having been celebrated.
It’s like the example Louie gave in one of his articles: a valid marriage (one without annulment) one of the partners abandons and goes off to a foreign country, proposes to get married in the Church with another, does all the arrangements, gets “married”, the Church recognizes and accepts it… is it objectively a valid marriage? No, because there was fraud and the original marriage is still valid.
Or the textbook classic examples for marriage annulments: when partners are secretly forced against their will, or when one partner hides from the other that he or she does not want to have children, etc. Of course, none of this is known at the time of the wedding. If later on such claims are made and proven true to the belief of the ecclesiastical tribunal, said “marriages”, presumed valid, are declared null and never were marriages. So, in these cases, it’s not the actual celebration of marriage that dogmatically guarantees the validity of a marriage: if some reasons come up later on as grounds for annulment, such annulments are possible. Of course, it’s a matter of truth and justice.
Granted it’s an extremely unlikely scenario, but let us imagine Benedict on his death bed. And he wishes to discharge his troubled conscience and heavy heart. He dares to admit publicly that he was forced out of the Papal office. That he feared those wolves who threatened him, his brother, etc., with scandal, extorsion, death, whatever. But that he really had no intention whatsoever to resign but was forced to do so, completely against his will…
What would we have if such startling revelation were to be admitted? According the Church’s own Canon Law (CIC 332) his so-called resignation was not freely given after all, nor was it properly manifested after all. Unknown at that time, obviously.
Is it not Benedict’s alledged resignation that opened the way for Francis’ election? Does it not logically follow therefore that Benedict’s resignation must first be valid before a valid Conclave and election take place?
But what that itself NECESSARILY implies: that Benedict XVI was in fact DOGMATICALLY and thus NECESSARILY still the reigning Pope (though presumed resigned by the Church) when the Conclave met to elect Francis. How could that not invalidate that illegitimate Conclave and election? How can a Pope be elected when there is DOGMATICALLY a reigning Pope who everybody thought had resigned, but whose “resignation” he himself later on his deathbed denounces as false and invalid?
Is Francis mocking those who say B-XVI’s Incomplete Resignation is a Dogmatic Fact, when he says and I quote: “I am the bishop dressed in white.” https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/05/francis-in-fatima-i-am-bishop-dressed.html
According to this article even Steve Skojec of 1P5, is open to Fr. Campo’s argument that it might be possible that Pope Francis was never The Pope. https://onepeterfive.com/if-francis-is-an-antipope-we…/
Exactly, yes. As Steve Skojec says in his OnePeterFive article: IF Francis is an Anti-Pope, we can’t know it yet. Which proves he is not dogmatically certain that Francis’ election was necessarily valid.
Of course, that’s what Louie and I are saying, too. It all DEPENDS FIRST on Benedict’s resignation being genuinely valid; otherwise, it would have been dogmatic fact that Benedict XVI was still the reigning Pope during the Conclave that elected Francis…
Fr. Campo, do you agree, because of the confusion, questions, and uncertainty surrounding Benedict’s incomplete resignation and the absurdity of an “Expanded Papacy” one active and one contemplative stated by a Bishop who knows his mind, is It possible that a priest could have an option as to which Pope to put in The Canon for as long as B-XVI is alive, because there is real doubt to which one is The True Pope? And if so would you agree if B-XVI died first, then you would be forced to put Francis’s name in The Canon because their is no longer an option and it’s possible Francis was and is The Pope, and by not placing his name in The Canon after B-XVI’s death you would be disposing him before a judgement by The Church? Thanks!
The Novus Ordo ship is going down faster than the Titanic and all you guys can do is argue about who is supposedly at the helm. Who cares at this point. Get off that sinking NO ship before its too late and find a lifeboat. No one ever promised that the Barque of Peter was going to be a luxury cruise ship. We should be so lucky that its just a raft.
I think I have found a prudent position for me to take (Canon #209), that is applicable not just to sedevacantism, but also to B-XVI’s questionable resignation. It’s a letter from Bishop Tissier to a Fr. Paul Schoonbroodt. And yes in taking this position, I understand that I would be rejecting putting B-XVI’s name in The Canon.
“To: Fr. Paul Schoonbroodt 2/28/2009 Dear Fr. I received your letter upon my return from the U. S. I can see why a priest or a layman can entertain doubts as to the validity of a Pope such as J.P. II or Benedict XVI; did not Msgr. Lefebvre entertain them? However just as our venerable founder, I myself do not wish to make this legitimate doubt the main reason for my combat or as a justification for my actions. My combat is based totally on the duty to defend the faith as per St. Paul. As for him who is seated on the See of Rome: Because there is a doubt, the presumption is in favour of the possessor; and since the Sede-Vacante arguments are not accepted by the vast majority of the traditionalist Catholics, it is necessary to apply Can. # 209: “in dubio positivo….juridictionem supplet ecclesia pro fors tum externo tum interno.” (in case of positive doubturi… jsdiction is supplied by the Church in both the internal and external forums.); that is why the SSPX maintains contact with Benedict XVI; of course, not to embrace his errors, but to convert him. Please accept dear Fr. The assurance of my religious devotion in spite of all this in Our Lord Jesus Christ. +Bernard Tissier de Mallerais”
In matters of jurisdiction the Church does supply for the salvation of souls. But in matters of validity of sacraments the Church does not supply validity when there is invalid form, matter, or intent. Doubtful sacraments should be avoided.