Yes, you read the title correctly. As the argument goes, there was a time when the Holy Father – in this case, Pope St. Marcellinus (reigned from 296-304) – publicly offered incense to the emperor, thus openly committing acts of idolatry and apostasy. And guess what? No one imagined that in so doing he had ceased to be a member in good standing in the Holy Catholic Church, much less had he relinquished the pontificate.
One of the people making this claim is Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP, who is well known for his many excellent sermons as made available on Youtube.
If the claim is true, then men like me who are convinced beyond all doubt that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, by virtue of his pertinacious and notorious departures from sure Catholic doctrine, has (to quote Fr. Pietro Ballerini) “in a certain way abdicated the Pontificate” (if indeed he ever had it), would have a problem. At minimum, we would have to reconsider our position; we might even have to join Michael Matt and others in calling Jorge our “Holy Father!”
But is the story true? In the video below, John Lane and I dissect the claims made about Pope Marcellinus as presented in a sermon delivered by Fr. Wolfe.
The thing is, at the time of Marcellinus…there was no notion of “Pope” as most people understand it today.
Much less was there any sort of notion of “infallibility” whatsoever. That came MUCH later- more than a thousand years later. Most importantly of all, infallibility has it has exactly ZERO basis in Apostolic Tradition. Zero.
Therefore it doesn’t really matter whether Marcellinus offered his pinch of incense or not. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. We really don’t know with absolute certainly.
The intentions of you and and your Ozzie correspondant Mr. Lane are good, but you’re both on the wrong track, Mr. V. As is Fr. Wolfe. You’re both trying to uphold a papalism/hyperpapalism which has seen its day as a legitimate foundation for the institutional church.
The real foundation is faith in Jesus based in the Apostolic Tradition.
There are many R&R types out there who rely on the historical record produced by protestants, Gallicans, and eastern schismatics when it comes to searching for an heretical Pope. They would rather side with enemies of the Church to prove their point.
From 20:57 to about 24-odd minutes into the video are somewhat worthwhile food for thought (thought I think Lane ends up getting it all wrong by presuming the interior motive of Marcellinus).
Here’s a link, beginning at 20:57-
What you have to keep in mind is that you can commit any mortal sin or break any commandment as many times as you want and your simply a Catholic in the state of mortal sin. That goes for even breaking the 1st commandment. Did Pope St. Marcellinus say publicly that idolatry is not a sin or not against the Catholic faith? That would be heresy, and that is what is necessary to lose office if a validly elected Pope was not protected by the Prayer of Jesus and could lose office. If someone said that publicly they could not be validly elected to the papacy.
Get a grip Mr. Verrecchio, even your argument that you would have to call the bishop in white “Holy Father” is dependent on more things then you imply in this article, like Pope Benedict actually resigning and the St. Galen Mafia not forcing his retirement. Your normally more defined and precise then this, and wouldn’t use a fear trigger so carelessly. When you 1st posted a talk by Mr. Lane, you said you were not a Sedevacantist, are you one now? If your not a Sedevacantist, why don’t you ever try to refute them? Is it money, is it readership, is it friendship, what is it? To me it simply does not add up, because its an imitation if what you claim and find repulsive about Mr. Matt.
You, like Mr. Verrecchio and Mr Lane and Fr. Wolfe, haven’t the foggiest idea of what you are talking about.
You’re a “sedevacantist”, This is to say that you…like Verrecchio, Lane, and Wolfe…ultimately think that the papacy is some divinized oracular thing via “infallibility”.
And you…you all…seek to uphold this papal ideology even when all history, all facts, all logic and all reality contradict this ideology.
I’m saying this in earnest to everyone who will hear it: dump the papacy as an ultimate foundation for the church. It’s not Traditional, it was not the original, Apostolic understanding of the church, and it will very likely bring about the annihilation of the institutional church if it continues.
Individual, personal, public reasoned faith in Jesus is the foundation of the visible, institutional church. Reasoned faith which based in Apostolic Tradition.
I don’t know how many ways I can say all of this.
I’ve noticed a number of posters here complain that you won’t disclose your religious affiliation. I think this is very disingenuous especially as you’re posting on a Catholic blog while never explicitly denying that you are, in fact, a Catholic – which could easily scandalize and mislead people into believing your papal minimalism is an acceptable stance for a Catholic to take (it isn’t). Only if you come clear, without ambiguity, about your affiliation, then it’ll be much easier for everyone to recognize where you’re coming from.
Here’s how to spot a completely meaningless statement –
“there was no notion of “Pope” as most people understand it today.”
Notice the qualifiers – ‘as most people understand it today’
Let’s apply this logically by substituting other words:
“there was no notion of “Church” as most people understand it today.”
“there was no notion of “Christian” as most people understand it today.”
“there was no notion of the “Mass” as most people understand it today.”
“there was no notion of “priesthood” as most people understand it today.”
By leading with this, the heretic/apostate/infidel “as most people understand them today” then goes on to insert whatever nonsense they wish to fill in the blanks via excuse to what they think hypothetical people of the past may or may not have believes or been informed about, and it shouldn’t be of a surprise when the heretic/apostate/infidel dearly dearly insists that they obviously believed what the heretic/apostate/infidel today believes.
Then upon this entirely false premise, the heretic/apostate/infidel then constructs an argument.
Unfortunately the heretic/apostate/infidel has failed to consider that is there was “no notion of “Pope” as most people understand it today”, then this entire incident wouldn’t at all be the big historical controversy that it was, that even people to this day remember. The only reason it is, is precisely because the people of then, as the people between then and today, all believed certain notions of “Pope” that precisely meant it was a scandal far beyond what the average bishop/priest/layperson would’ve otherwise gotten away with as a footnote amongst other nameless people.
So as usual, the heretics/apostates/infidels of today, continue to operate and behave, as people have always understood them throughout the Church’s existence. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
He is some sort of wacky cross between Gallican Old Catholics (constantly using terms like hyperpapalist) and schismatic Eastern Orthodox (constantly pushing Apostolic Traditon). Either way he is laden with heresies about the Papacy as taught in Pastor Aeternus.
“—>>> MY <<<— Individual, personal, public reasoned faith in Jesus is the foundation of the visible, institutional church."
Fixed this for you to be more accurate.
"I don’t know how many ways I can say all of this."
That's because you're confused about what you're talking about. Being confused, you fall back on the limits of your personal rationality, which ain't Apostolic, nor Traditional, nor even qualifies as schismatic Orthodox.
The only thing you keep repeating here is that you've built your own personal little church and are in need to members, and everyone else from the past was wrong, except for the very few who existed in the first few years of Christianity that everyone else failed to pass on their teachings, but your time machine helped you go back in time to discover why.
I bet that if we dig deep enough, there are likely certain moral teachings that you also believe are also "not what most people understand today.” Such things always logically follow on the heels of Papal rejection. Because there's no reason to get rid of the Pope otherwise!
I suspect that Louie banned NQP, and QeyLIs was born. Otherwise, I see no need for the QeyLIs account. If correct, I do hope that the heretic-schismatic NQP/QeyLIs is banned again.
It’s kind of amusing to watch the back and forth between the trads and qeylIS because, in reality, you both accept the protestant principle of private interpretation. Prots do this with scripture and trads do it with their amorphous notion of “Tradition” but, in the end, the principle is exactly the same.
I don’t think that your wrong about this, Ganganelli. I don’t tend to investigate heresies and fringe religious movements too heavily, other than identify and avoid but… I did long ago read something about the Traditional school and Amanda Coomaraswamy and sometimes when I hear or read from some traditionalists I wonder if they are at all influenced by this type of thinking. It’s a danger and we need the Pope. I am Catholic and not traditionalist. The only reason people started identifying as this is bc of false claimants to the Papacy and I do think it can lead to error. One example being we don’t even need a Pope.
Gang, well thanks to V2 and the conciliar fake popes, what choice does a Catholic have? To follow your pope and the conciliar magisterium of the last 60 years is to be on a path to damnation. I agree that private judgment formed by pre V2 teachings and an historical understanding of ecclesial traditions is all that anyone has for guidance since V2. To follow the NO V2 sect is to abandon the Catholic Faith.
Lol, not Amanda and not your, *you’re and *Ananda. I usually just eat these dumb mistakes but I don’t want to call the man Amanda.
Melanie and Tom A,
Well I guess everyone has their, “Is this religion really true” line. I’m able to reconcile the pre-and post conciliar Popes without much difficulty so it’s no problem for me.
Now, if I was to be expected to believe that we haven’t had a pope for 62 years(which would by necessity mean we also have zero licit bishops), I’d simply believe that Catholicism was no more divinely founded than Mormonism.
Wow, that’s weird. Opposite. I can believe in illicit Bishops but not New Order is Catholic. You seem like a fairly reasonable man, I can’t understand how you reconcile the two when they really contradict each other.
Well I was a trad and even was married in an SSPX chapel. What really changed my opinion was seeing the “contradictions” or “development” in the pre-conciliar Church. Delayed ensoulment of the fetus, Usury, and salvation outside the Church were the biggest ones for me.
So once I accepted that the Church has developed/changed teaching in the past it wasn’t hard for me to accept it in the present.
Like I said though, I think everyone has their “Is this Catholic religion really true” line. So if a Pope were to come along and declare that Mary was the 4th person of the Godhead, yeah I’d reject the whole thing rather than believe we stopped having Popes 100 years ago.
I feel like Catholics fall back on abortion is wrong because it’s murder of a person, just two cells have a soul and maybe that’s true, I don’t really care. Same with artificial birth control; they fall back on, it could be an abortifacient. Well, if the Pope says these acts are sinful bc they thwart the will of God than that should suffice but there is only a fake Pope now so you can’t look to that authority to make that argument and nobody does. But as far as I know, abortion has always been considered mortal sin, no? What were the changes made to usury and salvation outside the Church?
On Abortion, while I agree that abortion even before quickening was generally considered sinful, St. Antoninus said it was not sinful at all if done to save the life of the mother.
More importantly, the Church’s canon law specifically taught, “He is not a murderer who brings about abortion before the soul is in the body” (Decretals 8.32.2). How many Catholics who claim to be “traditionalists” were happy to see *that* canon law developed/changed?
On usury, the Church consistently taught that the taking of *any* interest on a loan was considered the mortal sin of usury. The most recent condemnation of the taking of any interest as the mortal sin of usury was Vix Pervenit in 1745.
Finally, on salvation outside the Church, all one has to do is read Cantate Domino from the Papal Bull of Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence and compare it to the Catechism of Saint Pius X or the Holy Office instruction to Leonard Feeney under Pius XII. You’ll not find a clearer case of contradiction or “development” if you tried.
Wow Ganganelli, you are really reaching here. I don’t know if you have some vested interest in wanting abortion to be okay but it isn’t. Saving the life of a mother is not the same as an abortion. You are conflating things in order to cause confusion where none exists. Abortion is an evil act that I do believe it actually incurred excommunication. If I give something to anybody I never expect to see it again and I assume everyone outside the Church is going to Hell and I hope not a single one of them does. I don’t know what to tell you but we couldn’t remain on the barter system here and I just think you’re really reaching to see rupture where it just doesn’t exist. I think this vacancy is a big problem and I am extremely distraught over it. I do absolutely see that it is an agonizing test of faith. The problem needs to be rectified and nobody is making any moves to do so. It’s terrible. And I do not even give the world’s smallest tiniest fig about where the Earth happens to be in the Universe so please nobody throw that at me.
Gang, your association with SSPX explains your gallican view of the Church.
“Development of doctrine” is not a new thing at ALL in the history of the Church. You’re referring to things which aren’t key to faith- usury, ensoulment -but I mean it in the sense pertaining to things which tie into basic parts of the Apostolic Tradition.
It certainly didn’t all pop up suddenly like a mass of mushrooms with Modernism and Vatican II. It has been happening sporadically since patristic times. However, the real “developer of doctrine” in the Latin West was Augustine during his fight against Pelagius. The Latin West took Augustine and elevated him almost to the level of the Gospels.
It’s nearly impossible, hence, for the average Catholic, or even Protestant, to speak of his faith or the church in terms which aren’t to some degree Augustinian. That’s how profound his influence is. And not at all for the better.
On the basis of the Apostolic Tradition and early church history, along with the underpinning of moderate/Thomist realist philosophical understanding, I argue that the promulgation of doctrine of infallibility by Pius IX and the First Vatican Council was an err. I won’t say “heresy” outright…but most definitely a great err.
One which the Catholic Church is now suffering greatly from. That much is beyond dispute.
I am not suggesting or arguing for “getting rid of the Pope” per se.
I AM, however, arguing for an end to papalism/hyperpapalism based on its historical development and culmination found in Pastor Aeternus. There’s a solid argument that the doctrine/dogma in that document was a serious err at best.
That being said, the Roman papacy could function as a sort of prima inter pares as it has in past time and eras based on the honor given to Peter AND Paul (not just Peter! That co-equal commemoration is found throughout the Roman Rite- and not just the Mass and its Canon). But this honor and deference can only be legitimate inasmuch as the pope holding the office is faithful to the Apostolic Tradition- which is NOT the absolute, supernatural “charism” sort of “guarantee” as infallibility claims it to be. That renders the Pope into a puppet or oracle.
I really don’t think so Tom. I’m mostly accused of being a papal maximalist.
Melanie- The reason contraception and abortion are sinful is not because “the Pope says so”, but because they are directly contrary to the natural law and therefore intrinsically evil.
One doesn’t even need to be Christian to recognize those as evil. It’s simply written into human nature. Abortion and contraception have universally been recognized for the evils they are throughout history, even if individual people and occasionally entire cultures of people haven’t always lived up to the natural law.
The reason I say this is because I get the impression based on your comments here that you believe that the Pope literally speaks with the voice of God.
With all due respect- that’s neither a Catholic Christian attitude, nor a reasonable one.
I appreciate your attempt at disparaging humor directed towards me, but you’re simply failing to understand what I’m saying and driving at. Just as you have before in some of the quarrels we’ve had when I used the name “NobisQuoquePeccatoribus”.
Faith in Jesus is indeed an individual thing. However, unlike the neo-Modernist/gnostic V2 Church which bases faith solely on internal “experience” or “encounter” (which is to say feelings and emotions or some vague “sense”), an actual Catholic Christian has for his basis of faith objective, factual, historical evidence external to him and his intellect: God’s historical Self-Revelation in Jesus as recorded and preserved in the Apostolic Tradition.
I think part of the problem here is that you subscribe to an OVER-reaction against Modernism and Vatican II which denies ANY personal aspect to faith in Jesus whatsoever.
You might find this hard to believe, but one can over-react to a heresy or something otherwise evil. It’s happened before. That’s what Fr. Feeney did almost nearly a century ago by rejecting baptism of desire. That’s what Tertullian did 1800 years before him by condemning everything in sight. Just to name a few.
So, all that being said…
If individual, manifest, lived-out faith in Jesus isn’t the basis of the visible, earthly Church, then what is it? What unifies all of the individual faithful- in other words what do they all share in common -if not their individual faith itself?
Also not so.
I would say this: that the Church has most definitely been a Eucharistic, liturgical one since the earliest days. But there was no Roman Rite resembling anything we would recognizd until a few centuries after Christ (not to mention because there was no Roman Church to speak of until well into the 1st century). Furthermore, the admixture of the notion of transubstantiation into the Roman Canon during the Middle Ages following upon the translation of the works of Aristotle into Latin added a dimension to the Roman Canon which wasn’t there prior. I view this “added dimension” in the pejorative because it tends to render the Mass into a conjuring act or bad magic trick in which a man on an altar says special words to “confect” Jesus. I reject this understanding completely, and I do so on the basis of the words of the Roman Canon itself.
This is very true. The notion of a “presbyter” only came about well after Christ.
That aside, consider that there is really only One True Priest: Christ Himself. The priest at Mass is really only a priest by analogy; in fact I’d even say that it is better to understand the priests role as the officiant who acts on the behalf of the church. That general understanding, I believe, is one thing which is more emphasized in the Byzantine Rites than in the Latin/Roman Rites.
What is you Catholic Bishop’s name?
Who’s your Bishop?
I don’t know. I do know that the heretic that occupies the Cathedral that is in my archdiocese is not my bishop because he does not profess the Catholic Faith.
I dont know. But it is not the heretic who pretends to be my local bishop.
Yep! Can’t complete those circular arguments without them qualifiers.
Sophists would be lost without them.
Agree! “Tedious Bore” comes to mind. After all why use 4 words when you can use 400….to say the exact same thing… aka….Nothing, Nada, Zip, Zero,
That’s a disingenuous rebuttal. In fact, it’s not even a rebuttal, to say that Qey is saying “nothing.”
One can summarize his arguments as follows, as far as I can tell:
– The primary criterion of the Christian religion is fidelity to Apostolic Tradition, as contained in the Gospels and the earliest writings and liturgies of the Fathers, including the Roman Canon.
– The ideas of St. Augustine were a divergence from Tradition in favor of a philosophy influenced (so he asserts) by neo-Platonic and pseudo-gnostic principles. By contrast, he’s spoken positively of Thomistic philosophy.
– Any and all problems facing the modern Christian Church are rooted in divergences from this Tradition.
Now, I’m not sure exactly how Qey can square the above positions with the qualities ascribed to the Church within Scripture, nor how Qey can positively claim to have a better understanding of devotion to Apostolic Tradition than the Church itself.
However, for you to assert that such arguments say “nothing, nada, zip, zero” is not only objectively untrue, but is tantamount to you saying that you can’t raise a single counterargument against Qey’s position.
I just want to say that heretic Geylis is talking about fixing the church ourselves, the Papacy being a big mistake. That places him outside the Church. We spoke in another thread of people’s tendency to follow charismatic leaders; this tendency leads to false sects. The Papacy is the only thing that keeps the Church from ranging off into la la land. And there are Catholics (maybe not Catholics) that will mock this idea and say -ooooh the magicsterium. Well, to me magic means some sort of trick as opposed to an actual miracle which truly is outside natural occurrence, but yes I do consider the Papacy a supernatural protection and I thought all Catholics believed this.
Hey A simple Man, maybe you know some Jehova’s Witness evangelists or some Branch Dravidians we can welcome to this site? I’m sure they have something to say, maybe we can spend some time producing some awesome counter arguments for the fun of it.
If any Jehovah’s Witnesses or Branch Davidians showed up here (though I wouldn’t know why) and posted their heretical arguments, then asserting that they’re saying “nothing” – and leaving it at that – would be just as disingenuous and worthless a rebuttal as jacobum’s to Qey’s.
I’m just saying that such a response is weak. Nothing more and nothing less.
A Simple Man, What does “Let him be anathema mean?”
Let ME, as simple woman, tell you what I think it means. It means that if I am discussing with Catholic friends a formidable crisis in the Catholic Church and some clown walks up and says, “Morons, who the heck needs a Pope? Stupid.” I, personally, am not going to get dragged into bringing that heretic back to the Church. Someone else has that vocation, for sure, but not me, a simple woman. And I think that it is perfectly acceptable for your every day Catholic man to hear that line and say, “You, sir, have nothing further to say to me. I am a Catholic.” I don’t know why you even started such a stupid attack on Jacobum. I have no knowledge of him be a heretic but I know that sob Geylis pronounce heresy every other comment.
Note to Louie: An editing function in this combox would be of tremendous benefit to everyone here. That or simply install Disqus.
If you honestly believe that what I wrote to jacobum is an “attack”, then with all sincerity and charity, you need to grow a thicker skin.
I can’t speak for why Louie allows Qey/NQP to continue posting here (since he doesn’t seem to be responding to comments anymore these days); maybe he finds his arguments compelling, for all I know.
But trite responses certainly offer nothing of substance in response.
The problem is, qeylIS, you can no more define “The Tradition” than can your average high-church prot.
The Papacy is indispensable to functioning Christianity and #FrancisIsOurPope
Sure I can. Read the New Testament- first and foremost the four gospels.
Also- read the Roman Canon.
Since you’re adamant about Jorge Bergoglio being the Pope:
Bergoglio may have the designation of Pope of Rome and all that comes with it, but in departing from the Apostolic Tradition he has arguably lost any real authority he might have had. This because all legitimate authority doesn’t derive from simple human designation but rather from God Himself. This has been the consensus of more than a few theologians down the centuries. It was also the understanding of the Apostle Paul (Galatians).
I have the Apostle Paul, Aquinas, Cajetan and Bellarmine, to name a few, on my side when I argue that Francis is an empty suit.
Who’s on your side?
Alternately, if you would like a concise, handy useful sort of definition, I’d say that the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers something to this end. The following excerpts are found on this page on the Vatican’s website. I’ve put in bold what I believe is most important: https://www.vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html#God%20Comes%20to%20Meet%20Man
9. What is the full and definitive stage of God’s Revelation?
The full and definitive stage of God’s revelation is accomplished in his Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, the mediator and fullness of Revelation. He, being the only-begotten Son of God made man, is the perfect and definitive Word of the Father. In the sending of the Son and the gift of the Spirit, Revelation is now fully complete, although the faith of the Church must gradually grasp its full significance over the course of centuries.
12. What is Apostolic Tradition
Apostolic Tradition is the transmission of the message of Christ , brought about from the very beginnings of Christianity by means of preaching, bearing witness, institutions, worship, and inspired writings. The apostles transmitted all they received from Christ and learned from the Holy Spirit to their successors, the bishops, and through them to all generations until the end of the world.
13. In what ways does Apostolic Tradition occur?
Apostolic Tradition occurs in two ways: through the living transmission of the word of God (also simply called Tradition) and through Sacred Scripture which is the same proclamation of salvation in written form.
14. What is the relationship between Tradition and Sacred Scripture?
Tradition and Sacred Scripture are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ. They flow out of the same divine well-spring and together make up one sacred deposit of faith from which the Church derives her certainty about revelation.
You have your *private interpretation* of “tradition” while I have the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
How do I, for example, know that non-Catholics can be saved despite various interpretations of the “tradition” arguing against that point? Because I have the Supreme Vicar of Christ.
Saint John Paul II sums it best in his letter detailing the excommunication of the schismatic Marcel Lefebvre:
“4. The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, “comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth”.(5)
But especially contradictory is a notion of Tradition which opposes the universal Magisterium of the Church possessed by the Bishop of Rome and the Body of Bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to the Tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the Apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his Church.(6)
You have your *private interpretation* of “tradition” while I have the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Really? Private interpretation?
I just offered an excerpt from Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church taken from the Vatican’s own website.
Not sure how that qualifies as my private opinion or interpretation.
As far as your excerpt from Ecclesia Dei, it’s Ratzingerian neo-Modernism combined with hyperpapalism (after all, it wasn’t JPII but Ratzinger who was the brainchild of Ecclesia Dei)
I can only surmise from your citation of this specific part of it that you’re onboard with neo-Modernist tendencies and Vatican II.
I think we’re done here for now.
The Faith is simple, that’s why guys like you end up in Hell. Please take note of the length of my comment.
He’s not presuming the interior motive of Marcellinus at all. The facts surrounding the story themselves tell us that objectively, he was forced into what he did against his will.
There’s nothing wrong in wondering about Louie’s thoughts and actions, especially since you’ve been reading and commenting here for a good while, but do you truly think that publicly becoming a sedevacantist is a means of creating popularity, fame and fortune?
No chance. It must be some other motive. LV has always stood out as honest, and not afraid to change position if truth and his conscience demand it. I would say that it’s nothing more than that.