Though some seem intent on insisting otherwise, the question posed in the title above couldn’t be simpler: Either the institution presently housed within the Vatican walls (let’s call it the conciliar church) is what it claims to be, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, or it is a counterfeit. It’s one or the other. Period.
As many others have observed and I firmly believe, the conciliar church – in light of its erroneous teachings, harmful disciplines, fake canonizations, man-centered liturgy, etc. – simply cannot be the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Rather, it appears quite obvious that the conciliar church is an imposter merely posing as the Church established by Christ. It is, in other words, a counterfeit church, the likes of which esteemed theologians, churchmen and saints have long since written.
“I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city.” – Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich
“He [Satan] will set up a counter-church, which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the devil, is the ape of God. It will be the mystical body of the anti-Christ that will, in all externals, resemble the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.” – Fulton J. Sheen (1948)
“Satan will imitate the Church of Christ to deceive mankind.” – Fr. Sylvester Berry
Though it is hardly necessary for regular readers of this space, I will cite just two glaringly erroneous teachings that serve as prime examples of the imitation church’s efforts to deceive mankind.
Vatican Council II teaches that, in addition to the Catholic Church, there are numerous communities of salvation, namely, the heretical and schismatic communities that Our Lord allegedly uses as “means of salvation” (See UR 3). This same Council also insists upon man’s right to religious liberty (Dignitatis Humanae), which has been described by Benedict XVI as “the freedom to choose and practice religion, and the freedom to change it, as fundamental human rights and freedoms.”
Neither of these propositions are reconcilable with the constant teaching of the Catholic Church; the former makes meaningless the doctrine extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, while the latter is condemned nearly verbatim in the Syllabus of Errors (no. 15) of Pope Pius IX.
Furthermore, both of these false teachings do injury to those who accept them; i.e., they lead souls directly away from Christ, the Sacraments and life eternal.
There can be no question that the institution that offers such teachings to its followers is not the Catholic Church, which, in the words of the eminent pre-conciliar theologian Monsignor G. Van Noort, “will keep Christ’s religion incorrupt right up to the end of time.” (Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 2, pg. 25, 1956)
Coming to the realization that the conciliar church is not the true Church should be a no brainer for anyone with even a modest grasp of ecclesiology, and yet it is a conclusion frequently overlooked, deliberately avoided, and at times mightily resisted, even by many so-called “traditionalists.”
The reason for such intellectual dishonesty?
It often appears to be nothing more than a matter of sheer weakness, a lack of firm resolve to seek and to embrace the truth no matter how uncomfortable or costly doing so may be.
You see, to admit that the institution presently housed within the Vatican walls is not the Catholic Church is to come face-to-face with some very grave implications that cannot but challenge any number of one’s heretofore firmly held convictions. Clearly, such an admission, if made plain and public, also promises to stress old friendships and obliterate current associations, in some cases, it may even threaten one’s livelihood.
Our Lord forewarned us about the price of accepting the truth: “Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation” (Luke 12:51).
Some, however, lack the mettle to pay it.
So, rather than embrace the obvious, “excuses” are often put forth in light of the conciliar institution’s bad behavior in an effort to explain how it can be both a repository of error, and, at one and the same time, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).
For example, the observation is often made that even though the false notions presented above (and many others) are undeniably held, officially taught and consistently dispensed to the laity by the hierarchs of the conciliar institution going all the way to the top, neither the institution itself nor its head have ever attempted to present them as infallibly defined and universally binding.
The suggestion is thus being made that all bets are off with regard to “keeping Christ’s religion incorrupt” (Van Noort), as if to make acceptable the preposterous notion that the institution that propagates these errors – which all agree are leading souls away from the Sacraments – is indeed the Holy Roman Catholic Church, albeit mistaken.
A related maneuver is to attribute the obvious errors and evil activities of the conciliar imposter to the institutional Church, in her humanity, as if these are somehow separate from the actual Church that it claims to be, in this way supposedly absolving the putative “Church” of any guilt for leading souls to Hell.
Michael Voris, for example, recently said, “For faithful Catholics, the truly disturbing part is that the large part of the Church, institutionally speaking, is cooperating with the anti-God side.”
It’s not uncommon to encounter such rhetoric in reference to the doctrinal foibles and assorted errors of “Francis” and his mitred minions, but let’s be clear: The qualifiers “institutionally speaking” and “in her humanity” are not the get of jail free cards that some seem to think they are.
The Catholic Church is an institution. It is a visible, hierarchically ordered society that is the Mystical Body of Christ, the soul of which is the Holy Ghost who leads her into all truth. Indeed, it is both human and divine in a manner analogous to the hypostatic union, such that “the Church [not just her divine Head] enjoys perfect and perpetual immunity from error and heresy” (cf Quas Primas 22).
Therefore, when it comes to error-ridden, evil things, like Vatican Council II, the Novus Ordo, Amoris Laetitia, or any other “anti-God” operation officially dispensed, one has but two choices: 1) to conclude that they did not come from the Catholic Church at all, institutionally speaking, humanly, or otherwise, but from another distinctly different institution, or 2) to affirm that the poisonous food does indeed come from the Church, thus forcing one to redefine what the Church is, and losing one’s faith in the process.
As for the “it’s not infallible and binding” defense, on close inspection, this argument not only fails to make the case as intended, it actually serves to bring the identity of the conciliar institution as imposter into even sharper focus.
Thus far, we have approached the question at hand primarily in light of what one should expect of the post-conciliar institution if indeed it is the true Church. Now, we will consider the matter from the opposing perspective.
If indeed the conciliar church is merely a counterfeit, it is essentially just another non-Catholic, self-described “Christian,” sect – not entirely unlike like the protestants – but with certain unique features. The most obvious of these features is that it presents itself to the world as the Catholic Church, and its adherents largely and sincerely consider themselves to be members of the same. The similarities between them, however, are far more telling.
For instance, while it can be said that the protestant sects embrace certain fundamental doctrines as “non-negotiable” Christian truths, it’s not the nature of these sects to define infallible doctrines, much less enforce them. The absence of a divinely established hierarchical structure in these communities, in spite of any claims to the contrary, is such that there is no real binding authority able to effectively rule that one is no longer a member of the Christian community, much less is there an authority in place that is able to declare that one’s salvation is in jeopardy as a result.
The conciliar church, in this regard, is far more similar to the protestant sects than one may initially realize.
The preponderance of the conciliar church’s hierarchy, most notably as concentrated in the Vatican, also gives verbal affirmation to the idea that certain Catholic dogmas are “non-negotiable,” but let’s be honest; it pretty much ends there. As the witness of the last six decades makes plain, the leaders of the conciliar sect, especially at the top, appear loathe to enforce doctrinal discipline in any meaningful way, much less are they willing to even suggest that the rejection of dogmatic truths places one’s salvation in jeopardy.
On the contrary, as the text of Vatican II alone makes plain, the conciliar church is at pains to reassure heretics (and Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, you name it) of their salvific relationship with God.
We may even say that, like the protestants, it’s not the nature of the conciliar church to define infallible doctrines, the very purpose of which is to set forth the true faith in unmistakable terms, instructing the faithful as to what is necessary for belief in order to remain within the Mystical Body of Christ, apart from which there is no salvation. If little else is clear, it is obvious that the conciliar church does not really believe this.
All indications are that what is missing, with respect to the conciliar church’s apparent aversion to infallible binding teaching, is precisely what is missing in the other non-Catholic “Christian” sects, and that is legitimate God-given authority.
In order for the true Church to carry out its mission, it is necessary for this binding authority not only to be present within her, but to be exercised unto the salvation of souls. Apart from this, unity of faith could not exist among its members, a mark of the one true Church. To be clear:
It is not possible that there be [in the Catholic Church] a diversity in the objective truths of faith. The unity of faith is manifested by all the faithful professing their adhesion to one and the same object of faith. All admit that God, the Supreme Truth, is the primary author of their faith, and from their explicit willingness to submit to the same external authority to whom God has given the power to make known whatever has been revealed, their faith, even in truths explicitly unknown, is implicitly external. All are prepared to believe what-ever God has revealed and the Church teaches. (Catholic Encyclopedia)
Unity of faith exists as a mark of the true Church, and it is her nature to exercise the binding authority that God has given to her; the two go together. In other words, apart from the authority given by God and exercised by the Church, the willingness to submit that is necessary for unity cannot be expressed, leaving unity of faith unrealized.
In the non-Catholic “Christian” milieu, by comparison, there is no unity of faith simply because there is no divinely established authority. As such, submission is supplanted by choice as individuals pick from a menu of disparate beliefs.
With this in mind, one notes the degree to which this phenomenon pervades the conciliar church, with “full communion” members-in-good-standing, hierarchs included, left free to espouse all manner of false doctrines.
Truly, it is no exaggeration to say that disunity of faith is a “mark” of the conciliar church!
One also dares to note that, unlike the pre-conciliar popes, not even one of the men who have laid claim to the papacy since Vatican II – from John XXIII to Francis – have shown any willingness to foster unity of faith by commanding, ruling, and enforcing doctrinal order. Could it be that they simply do not possess the God-given power to do so?
At this, dear reader, I leave it for you to decide:
Is the post-conciliar institution presently housed within the Vatican walls the true Church of Christ, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, or is it merely a counterfeit?
It’s an eminently simple, but gravely important question. Don’t avoid it. Own your answer:
By the grace of God, may it serve as a springboard for diving more deeply into the truth.