If you’re interested in still more evidence that this pope has precious little if any sensus Catholicus, look no further than his comments concerning the glories of the Council.
For instance, speaking to a gathering of over 200 bishops, theologians, and historians gathered at the Vatican for a special Holy Year conference on the implementation of Vatican II, the Roman Rock Star said:
The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council has been a gift of the Spirit to his Church … With the Council, the Church first had an experience of faith, as she abandoned herself to God without reserve, as one who trusts and is certain of being loved. It is precisely this act of abandonment to God which stands out from an objective examination of the Acts. Anyone who wished to approach the Council without considering this interpretive key would be unable to penetrate its depths. Only from a faith perspective can we see the Council event as a gift whose still hidden wealth we must know how to mine.
Keep in mind what we’re talking about here; an ecumenical council, which by its very nature is supposed to provide clarity of thought and precise teaching so that all who wish to know can know with relative ease what Holy Mother Church proposes for our belief.
And yet, the pope speaks of the necessity of an “interpretive key” for unearthing the “still hidden wealth” of the Council, as if apart from some sort of doctrinal decoder ring we’ll never be able to “penetrate” the conciliar mystery.
Hidden wealth? Seriously?
This sounds a whole lot more like a Dan Brown thriller than the work of the Holy Spirit, doesn’t it?
What we achieved at the Council was to show that if contemporary man wants to understand himself completely, he too needs Jesus Christ and his Church, which continues in the world as a sign of unity and communion.
We have grown so used to popes speaking in such vague and vapid ways that it would be understandable if one were to miss the gravity of these words, however, pay close attention to what the pope is doing here:
First, he speaks as if the Church was established, not by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for our eternal salvation, but by the Father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, as if she is little more than a useful tool for man’s self-understanding.
Worse still, he is reducing the Church to a mere “sign of unity and communion,” when in truth the Holy Catholic Church, as an alter Christus, is better understood as the cause of unity and communion; so much so that apart from her there is no salvation.
Pope Pius XII put it thus:
As Bellarmine notes with acumen and accuracy, this appellation of the Body of Christ is not to be explained solely by the fact that Christ must be called the Head of His Mystical Body, but also by the fact that He so sustains the Church, and so in a certain sense lives in the Church, that she is, as it were, another Christ. The Doctor of the Gentiles, in his letter to the Corinthians, affirms this when, without further qualification, he calls the Church “Christ,” following no doubt the example of his Master who called out to him from on high when he was attacking the Church: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Indeed, if we are to believe Gregory of Nyssa, the Church is often called simply “Christ” by the Apostle; and you are familiar Venerable Brethren, with that phrase of Augustine: “Christ preaches Christ.” (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis 53)
That’s quite a contrast in ecclesiologies, isn’t it?
Continuing his Holy Year address, the pope went on to invoke one of his (and indeed every modernist’s) favorite themes; newness:
While she [the Church] attests to the newness of the promise, she makes its fulfilment evident …
So that the primacy of the Father’s Revelation to humanity may endure with all the force of its radical newness, theology must first become a coherent tool for understanding it…
The genuine intention of the Council Fathers must not be lost: indeed, it must be recovered by overcoming biased and partial interpretations which have prevented the newness of the Council’s Magisterium from being expressed as well as possible …
To interpret the Council on the supposition that it marks a break with the past, when in reality it stands in continuity with the faith of all times, is a definite mistake. What has been believed by “everyone, always and everywhere” is the authentic newness that enables every era to perceive the light that comes from the word of God’s Revelation in Jesus Christ.
Since when is “authentic newness” a fit expression for the “faith of all times”?
This man is truly delusional, or to use the words of Our Lady, diabolically disoriented.
It has never been believed in the Church, much less “by everyone, always and everywhere,” that:
– There are communities of salvation far too numerous to number (Unitatis Redintegratio 3).
– The Jews in our time have been made one with us in the Cross of Christ (Nostra Aetate 4).
– Man has a right to religious freedom independent of his duty to publicly obey and reverence Christ the King (Dignitatis Humanae)
And yet, the “newness of the Council’s Magisterium” proposes exactly these things and other such “breaks with the past.”
Some “gift of the Spirit to his Church,” eh?
For most readers of this space, it goes without say that this papal reflection on the Second Vatican Council comes not from a true son of the Church, in spite of any claims to the contrary.
What is perhaps less obvious to some, however, is that neither are they the words of Pope Francis, but rather that of John Paul II as given in the year 2000.
This coming Saturday (April 2, 2016) will mark the 11th anniversary of the polish pope’s death, and there can be little doubt that our neo-conservative friends will be tripping all over themselves to out-do one another in commemorating the “Saintly” pontiff.
Given that this anniversary is coming just weeks before the anticipated publication of the post-Synodal document wherein Francis is expected to, at the very least, invite an overturning of Familiaris Consortio, (the Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II reiterating the Church’s discipline with respect to Communion for the civilly divorced and remarried), I fully expect that some will even go so far as to imply that his lengthy pontificate was something akin to the good ol’ days.
Don’t you believe it.
Francis and John Paul II are kindred spirits; two men unshakably committed to the idea that the Council was the dawn of a new beginning; each one so heavily influenced by a personalist theology that the mission of converting the nations to Christ and His Holy Catholic Church comfortably gives way to a desire to simply accompany their fellow men upon whatever path they may have chosen, perfectly content to assume that the Spirit is active in leading humankind along many and diverse ways, which for those who but follow their conscience ultimately converge in God, a concept closely allied with the Teilhardian theory of evolution toward the “Omega Point.”
While the pontificate of Pope Francis is uniquely disastrous in its own right, it is perhaps best understood as an effort to pick up where John Paul II left off; a reinvigorated return to the task of implementing the conciliar aggiornamento in all of its necrotizing glory.
Keep that in mind as this weekend approaches and, presumably, the proliferation of sappy sentimental tributes in memory of Karol Wojtyla reach a sickening crescendo.
That and the Novus Ordo celebrates “Divine Mercy Sunday” rather than Low Sunday.
The first quote demonstrates that Rome is filled with idolators who worship the false idol called “Vatican II.” Even if Vatican II were something worthy of celebration, which it isn’t, the slobbering praise heaped upon it at every turn would still be disturbing.
Wojtyla and Bergoglio are cut from the same cloth in their worship of Vatican II. The big difference was Wojtyla was a consummate actor (by his own admission) and was able to pull off a façade of holiness which Bergoglio is not able to achieve. Bergoglio is Wojtyla without theatrics.
I am going to commit Trad sacralige and criticize Pope Leo XIII and Pius XI a bit. Pope Leo XIII (Rerum Novarum) and Pope Pius XI (Quadragesimo Anno) realized themselves they were entering new territory; and they claimed the authority to do so out of necessity, as this type of social teaching was an innovation, and had no mission given by Jesus. They criticized any who questioned their claim –
“the slow of heart disdained to study this new social philosophy and the timid feared to scale so lofty a height. There were some also who stood, indeed, in awe at its splendor, but regarded it as a kind of imaginary ideal of perfection more desirable then attainable … …28. A new branch of law, wholly unknown to the earlier time, has arisen from this continuous and unwearied labor to protect vigorously the sacred rights of the workers that flow from their dignity as men and as Christians.”
The Popes had now claimed the authority to urge pagans to behave like Christians without converting them to the faith first. Pius XI wrote that he knew plainly they were attempting to extend their authority over all mankind, instead of only the Catholic Church.
Full steam ahead towards a Christian utopia? Sacred rights of workers? Traditional Catholic scream about the innovations of Vatican II, and its man-centeredness, but can’t bring themselves to critique earlier innovations by their favorite Popes.
“Thus we find ourselves in front of an ecclesiastical world fully incoherent, illogical, searching for compromises between truth and error, between good and evil, between light and darkness, God and Belial.
This shaking of faith truly seems to prepare for the coming of the Antichrist according to the predictions of St. Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians and the commentaries of the Fathers of the Church.
When Our Lord describes the end of times and after Him the Apostles in their letters, they speak to those who shall remain faithful saying: vigilate, vigilate – watch and be ready! “Thus Brothers, St. Paul says, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned.”(II Thess II 14)”
“Rather than read Vatican II in light of Tradition, we really should read and interpret Vatican II in light of the new philosophy. We must read and understand the Council in its real meaning, that is to say, according to the new philosophy. Because all these theologians who produced the texts of Vatican II were imbued with the new philosophy. We must read it this way, not to accept it, but to understand it as the modern theologians who drafted the documents understand it. To read Vatican II in light of Tradition is not to read it correctly. It means to bend, to twist the texts. I do not want to twist the texts.”
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais
Pius XI put Bernardino Nogara in charge of the spoils that resulted from the Lateran Treaty. Nogara accepted the position with the condition that no moral or doctrinal constraints be placed on him. Pius XI also ignored Our Lady’s request to Consecrate Russia when she requested it. BTW, the request was made six days after the Lateran Treaty was ratified.
Pius XII kept Nogara on despite the rampant financial corruption. Pius XII was also the first Pope who dared to touch the Liturgy. He made extensive changes to Holy Week and wittingly or unwittingly, paved the way for the Novus Ordo Missae.
Well if we all want to go there, then technically we must go even further back to when-
– Benedict XIV granted an imprimatur to the first edition of the complete works of Galileo (though with stipulations)
– Pius VII allowed Canon Setelle to spread further the heresy of heliocentrism.
– Pope Gregory XVI took Copernicus & Galileo’s works off the Index.
And so on until the defined teachings against Heliocentrism were adopted by later Popes in the face of the onslaught from modernist science.
It is no wonder then that Our Lady of Fatima, alongside warning about more dangers to threaten the faith, was accompanied by a miracle where it was the Sun moving against the Earth. Upholding the authority of the Popes and the Holy Inquisition that condemned the propositions of Copernicus and Galileo as being formally heretical and the Papacy used the full weight of its authority to censor the teachings throughout all of Christendom.
Science to this day cannot prove the Earth’s movement around the Sun, and as the good work done by Robert Sungenis and others have documented, findings today more so than ever reaffirm the Inquisition and St. Robert Bellarmine’s rulings that the Church Fathers were correct as well as Scripture that the Earth is the center of the universe and does not move.
But subsequent Popes even prior to Vatican II were already falling error to it, and even as Cardinal Ratzinger put it, the Vatican II council was a result of the Church periti wanting to deal with the modern age and answer the question as to just how the Church could so badly err in the case of Galileo. In the end the Council didn’t touch the Galileo affair and the latest was only John Paul II apologizing for misunderstands on both sides and that since the current scientific consensus couldn’t tell what was going around what thanks to Relativity, that we’ve all still got a lot to learn.
All in all, the corrosion of the faith and trust in the Church traces itself back to the Galileo affair and assaults of atheistic science against the Church’s stand against the heresy of Copernicism. Something which overtime was abandoned and for which many Popes relaxed in their duty to teach, no doubt many themselves even believing in heliocentrism as fact just as the majority of all people on Earth do today.
So, given Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lord continued to recognize the authority of the Popes even throughout this ordeal, this once again highlights how Popes can unwittingly be capable of spreading heresy yet still retain their office. So the Sedes have a larger problem on their hands than they think, as the issues with the Church can be found rooted as far back as the sympathy for Galileo’s ideas began seeping into the Church. An idea that is not merely some scientific thing, but cuts right into the topics of Scriptural inerrancy, the consensus authority of the Church Fathers, and the infallibility of the Popes.
I recommend anyone out there to go watch a documentary called ‘The Principle’ and pick up Robert Sungenis’ books and DVD on the topic – ‘Galileo Was Wrong, the Church Was Right’ & ‘Journey to the Center of the Universe’ there are also more layman-easier versions – ‘Geocentrism 101’ & ‘Geocentrism 102.’
I like the phone with the marijuana leaf cover. Kind of fitting don’t you think. Pot Catholicism.
I appreciate your interpretation once again (peppered with humor), in order to get us through the familiar muck and mire that are the words of this pope.
You skillfully maneuver through these confusing words ——- so that I don’t have to! Phew, what a relief! Thanks so very much!
“…….. pay close attention to what the pope is doing here:
First, he speaks as if the Church was established, not by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for our eternal salvation, but by the Father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, as if she is little more than a useful tool for man’s self-understanding.”
—————————————- Great insight once again.
But the funniest line was this:
“….the pope went on to invoke one of his (and indeed every modernist’s) favorite themes: newness.”
The documentary called “The Principle” is definitely worth the time and money of any “lover of Truth.”
The first line of the trailer for the movie says this:
“Everything we think we know about our universe…..is wrong.”
That line sums up my life in the last 5 years:
There is almost nothing I “knew” in the 1st 50 years of my life that has not been challenged with my discovery of true Catholicism.
Thanks be to God.
I know exactly what you mean. For me it was the 1st 42 years of my life.
Yes. And another thing we should be wary of is this ” Devine Mercy Sunday”, as Andrew above mentioned. Talk about tripping over each other to outdo one another. This has very successfully been shoved down our throats to a cringable level. Obviously the fruits of V2 will be nothing but wicked and rotten. This one is quite peculiar. This “chaplet” which hijacks Our Lady’s Rosary is so embraced and perpetuated that not only do I cringe whenever I hear it mentioned-which seems to have been nonstop since Christmas, but it makes me really wonder what they’re trying to do-besides steal the rosary from Our Blessed Mother. I don’t like it.
anything “newness” we must be wary of-Anything so pushed in the New Order. Here’s a trailer to a movie being shown in some new order chuches. I get an uncomfortable almost corny feeling when I watch this which seems to validate what I already think about “Devine Mercy Sunday”. I also get the feeling that Louie would have a field day analyzing this trailer pointing out the “whys” of why this trailer so bothers me. Rock Star Jesus. It reminds me of modern day confirmation preparation classes or something filled with loud music and fast moving pictures- “selling someone’s brand” of the Catholic Church.
Sorry. I just watched that trailer again and I can’t help but analyze- Louie would do a much better job though. Ahhh! It says nothing. It talks about colors in the picture which means nothing and even has Harry Conic Jr. Commenting- flaunting the authoritative “musician/actor” after his name. By the way he also stars in “American Idol”. YIPPY!” One of the highlights is also when a bishop reveals that “Jesus is risen”. Wow thanks for that information. SO SO CORNY! This is theology for today. Whatever anybody says. Why not? We were formed to know nothing. Rock on!
If popes can be heretics and teach heresy then the Orthodox are right. The rock then is not Peter because the gates can, and have, prevailed against the one whose faith cannot fail, and the Church founded on this rock,
Oh, I’m seeing now. Our Lady’s Rosary, the means for our salvation, as she told us at Fatima-hijacked. They will stop at NOTHING to mock Our Lady and steal souls. SHE will crush his head.
By the way did you know that they rewrote the bible reading this past Christmas. Instead of “she” they changed it to “he” will crush his head.?? I couldn’t believe my ears. Of course nobody flinched. Bah! Bah! Blind sheep!
Mr Sungenis’s and Mr Bennett’s book, “Galileo was Wrong, The Church was Right” is a very comprehensive compilation of the history of experimental science and mathematical analysis on the issue of the Earth’s relationship to the Sun. All school-age children ought to be taught this.
Not saying that a Pope can officially teach heresy. But the use of Encyclicals, or even a Council to teach what is mere opinion is an abuse of the Petrine Office. It is generally agreed among theologians that Catholics owe teachings in Encyclicals and Councils “religious assent” as part of the ordinary Magisterium. However, we have seen what are merely the opinions of Popes raised to the level of “de fide.” Socialism and humanism have cloaked their evils in a veneer of Catholicity as a result, like wrapping a dog’s pill in bacon, so we get berated if we do not support a state mandated minimum wage, open borders, universal government health care, international bodies with the power to stop war, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, for instance, and get accused of not being “Catholic” if we do not support such things. The Church has no right to tell pagans what to do, especially if she has no intent to convert them. The Church has no right to demand pagans act like Christians, with no intention of making them into Christians. The Popes rule applies to Christians only, not “all mankind.” The abuse of the Encyclicals and the Council have forced Traditional Catholics to go back and look at Scripture and authentic Sacred Tradition for reliable answers and for ammunition to resist the abuses. Otherwise, unthinking obedience becomes slavish cultism to personalities like that given the Dalai Lama or Jim Jones.
You make the same mistake that John Salza made with the “gates of hell” expression from Scripture. We Catholics simply assume the interpretation that this phrase applies to the indefectibility of the Church. We got that interpretation ultimately from Origen and a later parenthetical expression by a sixth century Pope who was fighting against heretics. Origen said a “gate of hell” was a like a sin that was an open pathway to damnation, including a sin such as heresy. But what is overlooked is that all commenters in the Church before Origen understood “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” as an understanding of the Resurrection and the power of Christ and members of His Church over death itself. The indefectibility of the Church was a later secondary meaning which has now totally supplanted the primary and original meaning in the thought of the Church. So you can’t use the phrase as a proof text for papal infallibility and Church indefectibility and think it’s a grand slam open-and-shut legal case
I completely agree with you regarding what I also consider the misinterpretation of the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it” passage.
Not only sedes misuse it but neo-cats as well as trads who stretch it to back up their different positions where the indefectibility of the Church takes them.
For neo-cats it is proof that ‘the Spirit’ is always in control, choosing every pope the ‘faithful’ are to consider happily blessed with.
Trads can be complacent in believing it is inevitable that all will be restored one fine day. Of course we must all hope, fight and pray for that end.
When Our Lord asked if there will be ANY faith when He returns I believe He meant it is a genuine conjecture.
What else can that imply if not complete apostasy? I realise I can be criticised for making my own interpretation of scripture but I am taking Our Lord at His word. The truth is God has given each one of us free will. It is the misuse of free will that has led to the betrayal of Christ by the high ranking clergy who called and contributed to Vatican II and the desecration of the Mass aka Novus Ordo.
More grave, I think, is that this new devotion to Christ’s Mercy overshadows the traditional devotion to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. In His Sacred Heart we find ALL His qualities and attributes, including Mercy.
Two books that help us understand where all this crap is coming from:
“The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West” by Michael Walsh. This books explains the evil result of the Frankfort School’s infiltration into the West from Germany in the 20s. We can see just how deeply the evils of Nazism and Communism have penetrated our every modern thought and word. Available for Kindle.
“Revolution and Counter-Revolution” by Plinio Correa de Oliveira. Terrific essay (short book length) on just how revolutions are fought and how they win, and how a counter-revolution must be waged. This is also available for Kindle, and in PDF.
Since I can’t take my finger and point to a picture or map and say “here is the Church” anymore I will grant you what you say. But then the teaching that we must be submissive to the bishops and pontiffs is questionable if they are not guaranteed to teach the faith. Anyone can pick up a copy of Denzinger and say “no way sir”. If this organisation is STILL the Catholic Church despite teaching a different faith then the Church no longer serves the purpose God has made it for. How is this possible?
Read this article, the section on indefectability: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03744a.htm
I am so lost and confused. I know that the Church must be easy to find but I honestly can’t see it. The Church cannot lose the faith, but individual members can. Where is the pope, and if it is Francis, why does he hate Catholicism?
I read this somewhere else, and apologize for not attributing properly, but I believe these words reflect what is really meant by the “will prevail” suggestion:
“For those who state the usual paragraph “But the flames of hell will not prevail on the gates of my church” here is something they are missing in their faulty interpretations: Christ, by such phrase, meant to say that Hell and the forces of evil will not prevail on His Church, comprised of all those faithful Christians of all denominations who will form His Remnant Army at the End Times.
They also seem to forget that the Antichrist WILL sit on the Throne of Peter and will bring the abomination. So, how could Christ say that His Church (who they believe to be the Vatican) will be immune to Satan’s power when Satan himself will sit on the throne in Saint Peter’s?
Can the Vatican be trusted blindly? Wasn’t the Third Secret of Fatima (and still is) totally manipulated? Don’t we know that the Illuminati entered the Vatican centuries ago? Didn’t the Vatican disobey the Virgin Mary’s order (at Fatima) of consecrating Russia to Her Immaculate Heart so to weaken the Red Dragon? Don’t we know yet that the pedophilia phenomenon among the servants is related to ritualistic and occult practices hidden behind closed doors? Don’t we know of the scandals related to the banking international cartel the Vatican played a huge role in? There are hundreds more scandals and dark secrets that MUST make us suspicious and cautious about who is controlling the faithful.
Did Jesus Christ mean to protect only the Vatican and the Catholic Church (formed by the people) from the forces of evil? Obviously not. There are many Protestants, for example, who live holy lives and love Christ more than many lukewarm inside the Catholic Church. Isn’t believing and loving Christ enough for a soul to enter Heaven? Surely, the thief next to Christ entered Heaven on that same day without any Catholic sacrament.
I’m saying this not because I’m anti-catholic (as many of you might falsely state) but to emphasize that the CHURCH Christ talked about (which is mentioned in the Book of Daniel and John) is the TRUE CHURCH: the Remnant formed by all those who truly will remain faithful to the teachings of Our Lord, no matter their denomination. This Church, the Remnant Church, will keep on practicing the Sacraments and the Holy Mass in the same fashion with which the Church did for 2,000 years.”
Sedevacantism: A Bridge Too Far
The dogmatic sedevacantist position is one that appears as a legitimate solution to this crisis in the Church (the worst in Her history) only to those who have not yet fully explored its ramifications and/or do not know her theology well enough. In point of fact, there are at least several “one-shot kills” of the position – simple facts that, in and of themselves, render it untenable and, even, impossible. We will explore a few of them here.
Before we begin, there is something else to note: The dogma sedevacantist position actually encompasses the “recognize & resist” response to wayward prelates (which is what the Church really teaches, more or less) that they loathe, but simply takes it further – at least one bridge too far (and sometimes as many as 30 or so). Those who recognize prelates the Church has validly elected (as the Church and even common sense require, in the end), but decline to accept their non-binding, non-infallible teachings (again, as the Church commands) use their intellects and actual, binding Church teaching to determine what is congruent with that teaching and what is not – just as God and the Church have always required. Sedevacantists do the same, but then, continue where they have no logical or lawful right to go, declaring that a pope the Church has elected is not really a pope because the individual determines he is a heretic either before or after his election. So, when the sede disparages the position that the popes and theologians have aspired, to recognize but resist prelates with false (but non-binding) teachings, they condemn their own position as well, essentially.
Concerning that critical determination of heresy, it is here where the dogmatic sedes first go wrong – and these errors in premise result in large errors in conclusion. The fact (as has been thoroughly demonstrated by Robert Siscoe over the past few years, causing sede leaders to (futiliy) change their positions, etc.) is that there is no theologian in the history of the Church who ever sanctioned in any sense what the sedes do: Make the critical determination of formal heresy a matter of private judgment. Bellarmine, the sedes’ go-to theologian, was explicit in the fact that the determination of formal heresy is something that belongs to *the Church*: the Church must, at the least, issue two formal warnings to an erring pontiff before it declares him *to have judged himself* (since he can be judged by no man).
So, the basic tenet of dogmatic sedevacantism – that men canonically elected pope are actually *not*, and that an individual can determine this for himself and then insist upon it as a *public fact* that mus be accepted by all – can be proven false rather simply and from several different angles. Here are a few:
1) The Fourth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, Canon 10: The Church directly and formally considered the question of whether or not the faithful can formally separate from any prelate sans judgment by the Church, and the answer was no. Sedevacantists live materially under the anathema the council declared:
“… this holy and universal synod justly and fittingly declares and lays down that no lay person or monk or cleric should separate himself from communion with his own patriarch before a careful enquiry and judgment in synod, even if he alleges that he knows of some crime perpetrated by his patriarch, and he must not refuse to include his patriarch’s name during the divine mysteries or offices.”
Fr. Cekada, in a perfect display of what sedevacantism is really about, objects that this canon that says one can’t depose prelates doesn’t apply to the prelates he wants to separate from because he’s declaring them deposed. It comes back to his judgement, which he insists must be regarded as factual and accepted with ecclesiastical (if not divine) faith, regardless of any “careful enquiry and judgment in synod”.
So, already, we can say sedevacantism is false: QED.
2) The Church’s public acceptance of a supreme pontiff is itself proof of his validity; the theologians agree that it is a dogmatic fact. I.e., if we didn’t know if we ever had a pope we wouldn’t know ANYTHING: We wouldn’t know the dogmas he’d proclaimed (directly or via ratification of an ecumenical council’s teachigs) were true or not. Thus, the Holy Ghost would not allow, could not allow the visible Church to accept a pope as such if he were not. Anarchy (such as the anarchy of sedevacantism) would be the result if the Church did not have certainty in the validity of a papal election: Not only would no one ever know if we had a pope or not at the present time, no one could ever have even moral certainty in the validity of past popes, and thus no one could grant even ecclesiastical faith to *any* of the Church’s dogmas (since the validity of the promulgating pontiff would not be morally certain). (And we do have sedevacantist leaders extent who have declared invalid popes that reigned centuries ago that the Church has always recognized as valid pontiffs, so this not some kind of theoretical red herring.)
(Note that the exceptions such as the Western Schism do not undo this rule: In such cases there obviously was *not* universal acceptance of the pontiff.)
3) The Visibility of the Church: The Church’s visibility is one of her three attributes – necessary qualities that follow directly from her nature – and sedevacantism leads directly to a denial of it (or her indefectibility, which is an even more serious breach of Catholic doctrine).
This visibility has both material and formal aspects: Materially, people can identify the Church by her visible members & hierarchy and also (the important, formal part) know that this is the Catholic Church, by her Marks. For God to command that souls enter this Church (as He does) as the Ark of Salvation, it must be formally visible. As Christ’s incarnate, physical Body was visible, so is that of His Church. (And as He is composed of two natures, divine and human, so is the Church – one can err, one cannot.)
The notion of an invisible Church (with visible members) was, of course, one of the primary errors/denials of the early “Reformers”, and that is exactly where sedevacantists have pitched their tent today – as with the Protestants, it is essentially a necessary consequence of their position. Sede leaders have advanced models of the Church that are identical to the Protestant definition. But the Church cannot be invisible; it cannot be hidden; it cannot be some visible entity other than what it was in the past. Any of these things destroy the Church’s teachings regarding her visibility. Sedevacantism tosses this to the wind with their talk of the “false church of Vatican II”. If this Church is now false, where, now, is the Catholic Church? Clearly they cannot point to any specific Church that has her four Marks and necessary attributes.
(Somewhat related to visibility is the mark of universality (catholicity). Theologians have discussed two two aspects of catholicity: right & fact. The former of these means that the Church always had the aptitude to spread throughout the world, and the latter that it did, in fact, do so. Van Noort, among others, notes that once the Church became universal in fact (spread to many nations) this characteristic became a permanent, necessary quality of it. Thus, once the Church (visible as she always has been and will be) became spread broadly among many nations, this so-called moral universality became a permanent property. The Church is now formally visible throughout virtually the entire world, perpetually – everyone (generally speaking) knows of the Catholic Church. It can never be the case that the Church that was once so broadly visible can cease to be visible, formally, anywhere. It will also never be reduced to a number or size that lacks moral universality – a *tiny* remnant.)
I think there are more one-shot killers such as these but that will suffice.
I think we can say it’s intuitively obvious that the Church just can’t work the way the sedes assert. If personal heresy (judged authoritatively by a third-party individual) were enough to deprive a pope of his ecclesiastical office (or prevent him from obtaining it), no Catholic at any time in history would know if we had a pope or not and thus no Catholic in the world at any time or place could have ecclesiastical faith in anything the Church has ever taught as definitive. This point is intentionally reiterated for effect.
God hasn’t given us a Church, perpetual, indefectible, and immaculate, the infallible Ark of Salvation, so ridiculously fragile and subject to individual whim as they imagine. It can’t have been meant to work that way and it does not work that way. Realizing how terrible this crisis of modernism is, seeing the Church bruised and bloodied, is indeed impetus for *exploring* notion such that the pontiffs who have ruled over this ruin were and are not truly popes. However, it simply is not possible to conclude so without embracing not only logical absurdities but material heresy as well.
So, concluding that sedevacantism just doesn’t work, what’s a Catholic to do when faced with Popes who at least seem to undermine Catholic doctrine in their statements and practices, and even foist (but not authoratively) a new Rite of Mass upon the entire Roman Church designed to subjugate Catholic dogma so as to appeal to heretics? Fortunately, the answer to that query is essentially provided by the theologians and popes of old. The below is nothing but the barest of bare treatises of the subject.
Sedevacantists like the papal bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio because they think it justifies their position. However, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio speaks of *valid popes*: “the Roman Pontiff… who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the faith”. Here we have a veritable R&R proof-text, don’t we? We have a Supreme Pontiff telling us in a papal bull no less that the faithful should, indeed, “contradict” (resist) a pope who has “deviated from the faith”. Implicit in the statement is the notion that human beings must be willing to use their intellects to determine what is congruent with the defined, infallible Faith and what is not. He is to be resisted, but certainly there no justification for declaring him deposed.
St. Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church: “We must point out, besides, that the faithful can certainly distinguish a true prophet (teacher) from a false one, by the rule that we have laid down, but for all that, if the pastor is a bishop, they cannot depose him and put another in his place [recognize]. For Our Lord and the Apostles only lay down that false prophets are not to be listened to by the people [resist], and not that they depose them [recognize]. And it is certain that the practice of the Church has always been that heretical bishops be deposed by bishop’s councils, or by the Sovereign Pontiff” (from De Membris Ecclesiae, as quoted in True Or False Pope, pp 645-646; bracketed portions are from True of False Pope). So, the sedes’ go-to theologian tells us that false prophets are “not to be listened to” *and* specifically that they “not depose him”.
Pope Adrian II: “It is true that Honorius was posthumumously anathematised by the Eastern churches, but it must be borne in mind that he had been accused of heresy, *the only offense which renders lawful the resistance of subordinates to their superiors, and their rejection of the latter’s pernicious teachings*” (Cited by Billot, Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi, as quoted in True or False Pope, pp 647, emphasis mine).
The canon Si Papa, part of canon law for around eight centuries, says this: “Let no mortal man presume to accuse the Pope of fault, for, it being incumbent upon him to judge all, he should be judged by no one, unless he is suddenly caught deviating from the faith.” (This quote is sometimes attributed directly to Pope Innocent III; it is likely not his, but clearly reflects not just theological opinion but Church law. It is also used by sedevacantists themselves to justify individuals’ formal separation from/deposition of a pontiff, but it clearly justifies no such thing.)
Of course, there are many more such quotations, from theologians including Aquinas, that could be brought to bear.
These teachings of the theologians and papal Magisterium are congruent with what the Magisterium teaching about itself, in that it is the Deposit of Faith that is the primary rule of faith, with the Magisterium secondary. The secondary Rule cannot contradict the primary without losing its essence and validity. Aquinas: “We believe the successors of the apostles only in so far as they tell us those things which the apostles and prophets have left in their writings” (De Veritate, as quotes in True or False Pope, pp 648). Aquinas points out that it is the virtue of Faith that allows Catholics to sense error – Catholics have the blessing of the Church as Mother and Teacher, but, especially in abnormal times, no Catholic can leave himself without the benefit of both his intellect and the enlightenment of the Holy Ghost.
This post is intended to be as brief, given the venue. I recognize that references are not provided consistently. If you’d like to challenge any particular point, please go ahead, and I will respond with more detail and references.
Finally, for a thorough demonstration on how the leaders of the sedevacantist movement have completely and absolutely failed to meaningfully engage, much less refute, Salza & Siscoe’s new work, have a look here:
Sorry, Lynda, to have to disagree, but is both not what the Church teaches (or has ever taught) and is scientifically untenable. Mr. Sungenis, with his completely bogus “doctorate” degree, is nothing but a sophist when it comes to science. I’m sorry to be so blunt, as I realize many very well-meaning people are taken in by this, but that is the way it is, and Truth is Truth.
Here’s just a little something along those lines:
(Mr. Palm, who runs this site, is perhaps not exactly a Traditionalist (though he does attend Tridentine Mass at least sometimes), but, well, he’s right on this issue.)
I think Siscoe/Salza and Bp Sanborn/Fr Cekada need to sit down to a nice debate.
The debate’s been going on for years. And, honestly, it’s over. What’s come out in the past few months is that in the end the other side has nothing. Including, unfortunately, intellectual honesty.
What we can do is pray for Fr. Cekada to renounce his errors.
Well you have a Church that you can find but can’t trust and I have a Church that I cannot find but trust. I think RnR is based on the necessity of the visibility of the Church and sedevacantism on the necessity of the Church teaching the Catholic faith. I don’t think either of us can agree and both of us are lacking an essential component of the Catholic Church.
Sorry A Catholic Thinker, but you are spreading FUD.
To be blunt, David Palm doesn’t know what he is talking about, and has completely LIED about Sungenis’ degrees. Something Sungenis has publicly refuted him on.
David palm also relies on atheists committed to the current scientific paradigm to do his arguing for him because Palm himself doesn’t know the subject matter, and has long had a personal bone to pick with Sungenis regarding other theological topics.
I recommend you begin actually looking into Sungenis’ work rather than have Palm do your thinking for you. For that matter, you can also ask John Salza, also a Geocentrist.
All one needs to know about David Palm’s character here:
And for that matter, you don’t seem to realize that the Church had authoritatively condemned the propositions of Galileo:
a) That the Sun does not move
b) That the Earth moves; other than internally in its inner foundations with respect to Earthquakes etc.
This canonical trail, reinforced by subsequent Popes using the full weight of their authority, including the long censoring of such works on the Index, has never been rescinded. Not even John Paul II’s re-investigation of the affair produced results. Because he could not overturn what his predecessor’s had upheld, thus he then resorted to appealing to the current consensus’ belief in Relativity to cover over the issue.
Ever since then, our Church leaders would rather flee the topic or used sophistry to argue around it just as they do every known openly violated moral teaching or other dogmas we see to date.
Follow the history of the Church during the Galileo affair and how the ruling was treated and how it was gradually chipped away at until it became a dead letter thanks to modernist theologians and cardinals and you will discover that one should not be surprised to see rogues like Kasper and Co. following the same strategy today. Their tactics are no different than the subterfuge carried out in the past to get the Church to relax its opposition to the advancements of secular humanist science that made her teachings ‘outdated.’