As noted nearly a year ago, Friday July 1, 2016, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, when republishing a slightly revised version of The Laver of Redemption, there was a very pertinent commentary on Novus Ordo Watch Wire concerning what was yet another episode of “Edge of Absorption” (see Comments on June 21 Bp. Fellay Interview & June 29 Communique from Menzingen.)
Although I full well recognize the important nature of the Society of Saint Pius X’s possible admission into “full communion” with the heretic and apostate named Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his band spiritual robber barons, there have been so many false starts concerning what has appeared to the Society’s “imminent regularization” that I have lost any kind of real interest in offering any regular commentary on what has become a farcical comedy of back and forth.
Given the fact that the speculation of a rapprochement of the Society of Saint Pius X with the counterfeit church of conciliarism has become newsworthy again, however, I thought it useful to adapt material found in several older articles during what is (at least in those traditional venues holding to the 1954 General Roman Calendar) the Octave of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul for posting at this time. There is really no need to reinvent the wheel on the latest round of “two steps forward, one step backward,” which is why I think that the material adapted from the older commentaries will serve some useful purpose for the relatively few people who continue to read these articles.
To add a bit of perspective to the matter, it was in the latter part of Lent in 2001 that a somewhat prominent priest in the conciliar structures told me that “Pope John Paul II” was going to erect a “personal prelature” or an “apostolic administration” for the Society of Saint Pius X by Easter Sunday, which was on April 15, 2001. Then enmeshed in the throes of indulteritis, I thought this to be wonderful news, proceeding to prepare a commentary for the printed pages of Christ or Chaos entitled “Thank you, Holy Father.”
Gee, guess what?
The commentary, which was formatted using the Microsoft Publisher tool for newsletters, never appeared in print. I had to remove the commentary before the issue went to press as the “rapprochement” never occurred. Just as had been the case in 1988 when after Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre changed his mind after having agreed to the terms proposed to him by Joseph “Cardinal” Ratzinger, the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X pulled back, although it is far from clear that things were as imminent as the priest made them out to be.
The flip-flopping that took place in 1988 should have served to dampen my expectations in 2001. I just did not realize at the time that the leadership of the Society of Saint Pius X was guided by no recognizable principles of Catholic ecclesiology, and that they were unfazed by the head-spinning series of contradictions represented by occasional condemnations of such things as the conciliar heresies of religious liberty and false ecumenism when relations with the conciliar Vatican were in the deep freeze—which has been most of the time—followed by efforts to present more “nuanced” interpretations when it appeared that agreements with conciliar officials appeared imminent.
To wit, here is the Protocol that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre signed on May 5, 1988, before changing his mind the very next day:
I, Marcel Lefebvre, Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Tulle, as well as the members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X founded by me:
a) Promise to be always faithful to the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiff, its Supreme Pastor, Vicar of Christ, Successor of Blessed Peter in his primacy as head of the body of bishops.
b) We declare our acceptance of the doctrine contained in §2541 of the dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of Vatican Council II on the ecclesiastical magisterium and the adherence which is due to it.
c) Regarding certain points taught by Vatican Council II or concerning later reforms of the liturgy and law, and which do not appear to us easily reconcilable with Tradition, we pledge that we will have a positive attitude of study and communication with the Apostolic See, avoiding all polemics.
d) Moreover, we declare that we recognize the validity of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments celebrated with the intention of doing what the Church does, and according to the rites indicated in the typical editions of the Roman Missal and the Rituals of the Sacraments promulgated by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II.
e) Finally, we promise to respect the common discipline of the Church and the ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II, without prejudice to the special discipline granted to the Society by particular law. (Archbishop Lefebvre & the Vatican. Go to "Contents" at the bottom of this link and then to "Documents" on the next page. This is where you will find the May 5, 1988, Protocol.)
This agreement, which the Archbishop signed one day before backing out of it the next after refusing to accept an "episcopal" candidate selected by Wojtyla/John Paul II, came just twelve years after the Archbishop had called the conciliar sacraments to be "illegitimate" rites and the conciliar church a "schismatic church." (Please see Bishop Donald Sanborn's The Mountains of Gelboe for a review of the incredible flip-flopping that occurred in the space of several weeks in 1988.)
Perhaps things never got that close in 2001, but in was in 2009 that later that another “reconciliation” appeared to be in the works. By that time, however, I had been out of the “resist while recognize” camp for over three years, after belatedly coming to the conclusion that the conciliar church is a counterfeit ape of the Catholic Church that has no power from God to issue anything in the name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Here is an excerpt of what I wrote on June 30, 2009, when “doctrinal discussions”/negotiations between representatives of the Society of Saint Pius X and those of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith appeared to be nearing some kind of agreement nearly four years after the Society’s Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay had met with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo on August 29, 2005, and two years after the issuance of Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2008:
The false ecclesiology of the Society of Saint Pius X has been critiqued on this site a number of times (see March to Oblivion, High Church, Low Church, Nothing to Negotiate, Those Who Deny The Holocaust, Recognize and Capitulate, A Little Bit "In," A Little Bit "Out", Disciples of Caiphas, Under The Bus, Story Time in Econe, Shell Games With Souls, Pots and Kettles, One Sentence Says It All, Smashing Through the Conciliar Looking Glass, and Winning at the Waiting Game). It is necessary to do so once again as Father Franz Schmidberger is clearly preparing Catholics who are attached to the chapels of the Society of Saint Pius X for what appears to be a pretty imminent absorption into the structures of the One World Church of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
The Society of Saint Pius X is founded in the false belief that it is possible and even is necessary to sift the words and actions of men who claim to be true "popes" and to compare those words and actions with those of the popes of the past. Indeed, the Society of Saint Pius X sees itself as the vessel anointed by God to do this work of sifting the words and actions of men they have recognized as true "popes" as its bishops and priests "compare" those words and actions with what they call "the supreme magisterium" of Tradition.
Although it took me a few years to divest myself of this Gallicanism, I have indeed learned that it is never necessary to seek to "convert" a true Successor of Saint Peter as it not possible for there to be "heretical" popes (see the section from Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki's Tumultuous Times provided in Story Time in Econe). The Catholic Church brings forth the teaching that she has received from her Divine Founder and Invisible Head in precise fidelity to the spirit expressed by Pope Pius XI inMortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:
For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.)
The very fact that there is a "need' for "negotiations" on the teachings of the "Second" Vatican Council and the conciliar "pontiffs" proves the apostate nature of conciliarism as the doctrines of the Faith "remain intact forever" "that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men."
Indeed, the Society of Saint Pius X's belief that Catholics are not bound by all pronouncements made by a true pope or issued with his approval by the authority of the Catholic Church has been condemned by Pope Pius IX in The Syllabus of Errors:
22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church. -- Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863. (Proposition condemned by Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, December 8, 1864.)
The Society of Saint Pius X's belief that it is necessary for various bishops or a council not convened by a true pope to review the words and actions of a legitimate Successor of Saint Peter has been condemned by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794:
6. The doctrine of the synod by which it professes that "it is convinced that a bishop has received from Christ all necessary rights for the good government of his diocese," just as if for the good government of each diocese higher ordinances dealing either with faith and morals, or with general discipline, are not necessary, the right of which belongs to the supreme Pontiffs and the General Councils for the universal Church,—schismatic, at least erroneous.
7. Likewise, in this, that it encourages a bishop "to pursue zealously a more perfect constitution of ecclesiastical discipline," and this "against all contrary customs, exemptions, reservations which are opposed to the good order of the diocese, for the greater glory of God and for the greater edification of the faithful"; in that it supposes that a bishop has the right by his own judgment and will to decree and decide contrary to customs, exemptions, reservations, whether they prevail in the universal Church or even in each province, without the consent or the intervention of a higher hierarchic power, by which these customs, etc., have been introduced or approved and have the force of law,—leading to schism and subversion of hierarchic rule, erroneous.
8. Likewise, in that it says it is convinced that "the rights of a bishop received from Jesus Christ for the government of the Church cannot be altered nor hindered, and, when it has happened that the exercise of these rights has been interrupted for any reason whatsoever, a bishop can always and should return to his original rights, as often as the greater good of his church demands it"; in the fact that it intimates that the exercise of episcopal rights can be hindered and coerced by no higher power, whenever a bishop shall judge that it does not further the greater good of his church,—leading to schism, and to subversion of hierarchic government, erroneous. (Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794.)
The Society of Saint Pius X has considered itself to be a "check" upon the sacramental rites authorized by and the statements made and the actions committed by men they have considered to be true, valid and legitimate Successors of Saint Peter. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, however, founded the Catholic Church upon the rock of Peter, the Pope, not upon the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X. It is without precedent for a society of apostolic life that has not had a "canonical mission" to exercise any ministry within the Catholic Church for over thirty-three years to serve as "check" on the theological orthodoxy and the liturgical reverence exhibited by men deemed to be true popes. Is it necessary for the infallible guidance of God the Holy Ghost that is guaranteed to Holy Mother Church to be augmented by the Society of Saint Pius X? This is without precedent in the history of the Catholic Church.
Father Schmidberger admitted in his recent interview with the Catholic News Agency of Germany that the Society of Saint Pius X desires to provide "medicine" to the "pope" and his "bishops" even though they may not realize that they are need the Society's "medical" assistance:
KNA: More ordinations are planned for the coming weekend, although Rome has said that they are illicit. Why do you insist on these ordinations?
Schmidberger: The highest law of the Church is the salvation of souls. The faithful have the right to the celebration of the traditional form of the Mass. It is all about providing priests that desire to proclaim the gospel. The ordinations are not meant to be an affront to anybody. They are actually being done to help the Pope and the bishops, but they are acting like sick people who refuse to take the medicine that would help the improve their health.
KNA: And so you claim the role of physician.
Schmidberger: Yes that is true. Tradition is the only guide to bringing the Church out of the present crisis. In 1950, 13 million Catholics [in Germany] went to Sunday Mass. Now it is just under 2 million. That is a drop of 85 percent. In ten years all of the Churches will be empty. Is that what the bishops want? What is going to happen to our children? It is about preserving Christianity in the West. (Fr. Schmidberger: 'In the direction of Tradition)
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI sees his role as a physician as well! He wants to "heal" the Society of Saint Pius X of "one-sided" positions so that they will learn to "broaden" their "vistas" just as other traditionally-minded Catholics in the conciliar structures have been pacified as a result of the 1984 and 1988 "indults" granted by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and his own Summorum Pontificum, which was issued on July 7, 2007:
So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and, in various ways, always) the Church's real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small. That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who 'has something against you' and to seek reconciliation? Should not civil society also try to forestall forms of extremism and to incorporate their eventual adherents - to the extent possible - in the great currents shaping social life, and thus avoid their being segregated, with all its consequences? Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole? I myself saw, in the years after 1988, how the return of communities which had been separated from Rome changed their interior attitudes; I saw how returning to the bigger and broader Church enabled them to move beyond one-sided positions and broke down rigidity so that positive energies could emerge for the whole. Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim Him and, with Him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?
"Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things - arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them - in this case the Pope - he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint. (LETTER ON REMISSION OF EXCOMMUNICATION LEFEBVRE BISHOPS)
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's dose of Melatonin is already taking its effect on the bishops and priests of the Society of Saint Pius X as they have learned how to be as silent about offenses he, Ratzinger/Benedict, has given to the honor and majesty and glory of the Most Holy Trinity by praising false religions and their places of "worship" and their "values" as means to help "build" the "better" world. Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X, and Father Schmidberger have been as silent as Bishop Fernando Rifan of the Society of Saint John Mary Vianney and Father John Berg of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and Monsignor Gilles Wach of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and every other traditionally-minded priest or presbyter attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism about the apostasies and blasphemies committed by Ratzinger/Benedict during his recent pilgrimage to Jordan and Israel.
Ratzinger/Benedict wants to pacify the bishops and priests of the Society of Saint Pius X by giving them a "personal prelature" somewhat along the lines of Opus Dei, something admitted by Father Schmidberger in his German news agency interview, while at the same time reassuring his "ultra-progressive" conciliar "bishops" that their own participation in this exercise of pacification will help to institutionalize acceptance of the "Second" Vatican Council and the "magisterium" of the "post-conciliar" popes and of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. Ratzinger/Benedict wants to put an end to the totally baseless suspicions of those "ultra-progressive" bishops that he, the false "pontiff," desires to use the Society of Saint Pius X to undo the "council" when his goal is to purchase silence from the Society of Saint Pius X about conciliarism in exchange for a place in a little corner of the conciliar "zoo," to borrow a phrase used by Bishop Fellay himself in a sermon he gave at Christ the King Church in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on Sunday, November 7, 2004. Ratzinger/Benedict believes in his "diversity in unity" as the model for "false ecumenism" with non-Catholics and as the basis for "reconciling" "diverse" views and practices within the conciliar church.
Father Schmidberger criticized false ecumenism and took a swipe at the Novus Ordo in his German news agency interview while working to "correct" these matters:
KNA: Be frank, Do you believe that the old and new rites can continue to coexist over the long term?
Schmidberger: Well we will have to see how things develop. There are profound differences between the two rites; for example, the direction of the celebration. The old rite is God-centered. The new is man-centered. Many of the gestures, symbols, and rituals have been fundamentally changed. Today the old rite is like a solid rock amidst the pounding surf, that must remain unchanged. The new rite requires radical reworking so that the sacrificial nature is once again explicitly expressed.
KNA: What does the society think about the councils decree on ecumenism?
Schmidberger: It says that other religions also possess the means of salvation. If that is true, then there is no longer any point in engaging in missionary activity. That needs to be cleared up. (German news agency interview.)
The belief that the Catholic Church can give us liturgical rites that are incentives to impiety that need to be "reworked" so that their "sacrificial nature" can be "explicitly expressed" has been condemned by the Council of Trent:
CANON VII.--If any one saith, that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema. (Session Twenty-Two, Chapter IX, Canon VII, Council of Trent, September 17, 1562, CT022.)
Nothing provided us by the Catholic Church needs to be "cleared up."
Yet, of course, this is what Father Schmidberger believes. It was Father Schmidberger who told the concilr "bishops" of Germany to accept the doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King that has been specifically rejected by Ratzinger/Benedict himself. This is madness. It is insanity, as I pointed out in Pots and Kettles three months ago now:
The "Pier Six" donnybrook between the German "bishops" and the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X has included a missive written by the Society's District Superior of Germany, Father Franz Schmidberger, who made a point of emphasizing the Society's commitment to the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church enunciated by popes prior to the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958. Father Schmidberger demonstrates in just a few brief words the Society's fabrication of what he terms a "Supreme Magisterium" to support itself against the teaching of the "Second" Vatican Council:
What the SSPX cannot accept are the false social and moral principles which have always been rejected by the Magisterium of the Popes and tradition and which must be discarded by every Catholic to be in communion with the Catholic Church, even any German bishop.
These false principles are rejected for example in the papal teaching document Quanta cura of Blessed Pius IX., Immortale Dei of Leo XIII.Quas Primas of Pius XI and in the many statements of Pius XII on the social doctrine of the church.
The pastoral council of Vatican II must also be measured against these pronouncements of the Supreme Magisterium. We expect the German bishops to make a clear commitment to the social kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as Pope Pius XII and his predecessors made the duty of all Catholics. (Father Schmidberger Letter)
There is no such thing as a "supreme" magisterium. This is a total fabrication of the theologians of the Society of Saint Pius X who have spent a good deal of the last thirty years trying to devise various theological justifications for their novel ecclesiology that was condemned by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794. And Father Schmidberger's demand that the German "bishops" "make a clear commitment to the social kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ" is absolutely laughable as this Social Kingship has been rejected by the conciliar "pontiffs" themselves, a rejection that the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, confronted the then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger about on July 14, 1987, using, it should be noted, the same false ecclesiology ("traditional magisterium") as Father Schmidberger used with the German "bishops:"
Under pressure, Rome gave in. On July 14, Cardinal Ratzinger received Archbishop Lefebvre at the Holy Office. At first the Cardinal persisted in arguing that "the State is competent in religious matters."
"But the State must have an ultimate and eternal end," replied the Archbishop.
"Your Grace, that is the case for the Church, not the State. By itself the State does not know."
Archbishop Lefebvre was distraught: a Cardinal and Prefect of the Holy Office wanted to show him that the State can have no religion and cannot prevent the spread of error. However, before talking about concessions, the Cardinal made a threat: the consequence of an illicit episcopal consecration would be "schism and excommunication."
"Schism?" retorted the Archbishop. "If there is a schism, it is because of what the Vatican did at Assisi and how you replied to our Dubiae: the Church is breaking with the traditional Magisterium. But the Church against her past and her Tradition is not the Catholic Church; this is why being excommunicated by a liberal, ecumenical, and revolutionary Church is a matter of indifference to us."
As this tirade ended, Joseph Ratzinger gave in: "Let us find a practical solution. Make a moderate declaration on the Council and the new missal a bit like the one that Jean Guitton has suggested to you. Then, we would give you a bishop for ordinations, we could work out an arrangement with the diocesan bishops, and you could continue as you are doing. As for a Cardinal Protector, and make your suggestions."
How did Marcel Lefebvre not jump for joy? Rome was giving in! But his penetrating faith went to the very heart of the Cardinal's rejection of doctrine. He said to himself: "So, must Jesus no longer reign? Is Jesus no longer God? Rome has lost the Faith. Rome is in apostasy. We can no longer trust this lot!" To the Cardinal, he said:
"Eminence, even if you give us everything--a bishop, some autonomy from the bishops, the 1962 liturgy, allow us to continue our seminaries--we cannot work together because we are going in different directions. You are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them.
"For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is everything. He is our life. The Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; the priest is another Christ; the Mass is the triumph of Jesus Christ on the cross; in our seminaries everything tends towards the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. But you! You are doing the opposite: you have just wanted to prove to me that our Lord Jesus Christ cannot, and must not, reign over society.
Recounting this incident, the Archbishop described the Cardinal's attitude: "Motionless, he looked at me, his eyes expressionless, as if I had just suggested something incomprehensible or unheard of." Then Ratzinger tried to argue that "the Church can still say whatever she wants to the State," while Lefebvre, the intuitive master of Catholic metaphysics, did not lose sight of the true end of human societies: the Reign of Christ." Fr. de Tinguy hit the nail on the head when he said of Marcel Lefebvre: "His faith defies those who love theological quibbles." (His Excellency Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, Kansas City, Missouri: Angelus Press, 2004, pp. 547-548.)
For Father Franz Schmidberger to call upon the German "bishops" to make a "clear commitment" to the Social Kingship of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when the German posing as the conciliar "pontiff" rejects this Kingship utterly. It defies all logic and rationality to expect the German "bishops" to endorse the Social Reign of Christ the King that Ratzinger/Benedict himself rejects. Alas, this is what any effort to "reconcile" oneself to the counterfeit church of conciliarism entails: insanity and illogic. The fight between the conciliar German "bishops" and the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X is truly a case of pots calling kettles black. Each set of combatants dissents from Catholic teaching.
Once "reconciled" to the counterfeit church of conciliarism, the Society of Saint Pius X will have to "celebrate" the "feast day" of the soon-to-be "beatified" Giovanni Paolo il Secondo il Grande. And the "reconciled" Society of Saint Pius X will have to remain silent about travesties such as this one that took place during a "papal" "offering" of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo service in Africa last week (Offertory procession at Antipapal Travesty in Africa).
Well, actually, if you really think about it, that is, one can see elements of the future "reform of the reform" of the Novus Ordo in this video. The natives who are bringing up their "gifts" are going about their sacrilegious business as Ratzinger/Benedict ignores them and goes about his business of saying the Talmudic table prayers that constitute what is called the "Preparation of the Gifts" in the Novus Ordo service. Yes, sireebob, that Benedict XVI sure wants to restore "tradition," doesn't he? That "Benedictine" missal is going to set everything right, right?
This is all a cruel farce, a travesty, a mockery of God and of the Holy Faith that He has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church for Its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping. The Catholic Church cannot be stained by any taint of error, as pope after pope has taught us. It is the Society of Saint Pius X that is in error and that has misled countless thousands of souls into believing that a true pope can give us defective liturgies and liturgical rites and can contradict articles contained in the Deposit of Faith while remaining a member of the Catholic Church in good standing.
By the way, no “agreement” was reached in 2009.
The belief that Ratzinger/Benedict was going to “restore tradition”—which was delusional at the time and, sadly, a delusion among many in the resist while recognize movement today—no longer applies today as no one who is in the least bit sane and rational can claim that Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to “restore” that which he hates, namely, anything and everything to do with what he sees as the “no church” that existed before the “Second” Vatican Council, including, if not especially, the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
The delusional projection of Catholic doctrine into the mind of the “new theologian,” Ratzinger/Benedict, who has made warfare against the very immutable nature of dogmatic truth throughout the course of his sixty-five years as a priest, was such, however, that the leadership of the Society of Saint Pius X came very close to securing a finalized agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2012.
Here is an excerpt from a commentary written four years ago when such an agreement, which I was gullible enough to think was a done deal, was generating a great deal of news:
As I have noted several times on this site in recent weeks as the farce within the Society of Saint Pius X plays to its ultimate conclusion and Bishop Bernard Fellay completes his long march into oblivion (see Just Sign On The Dotted Line P.S. Don't Sweat The Details, Preparing To Sign On That Dotted Line?, Just About To Complete A Long March Into Oblivion, On The Terms Of The Enemies Of Christ The King, Trying to Stop the Waltz, "Yer Durn Tootin'", False Doctrine, Father Pfluger?,Uncrossed Ts and Undotted Is?, Oyster Bay Cove On Steroids, Oyster Bay Cove On Steroids, part two, Monkey Wrenches, Admit Bearer Only After Denying The Catholic Faith, Fret Not About Denying The Faith, Fret Not, Way, Way Over The Rainbow, Compromise With Error Must End In Disaster, Truly Needless Strife, and What Lines Are You Reading Between, Bishop Fellay?), it is important to escape from the needless strife that has as its root cause the false, Gallican ecclesiology that contends that Catholics have a right to "sift" through magisterial decrees an papal statements that might contain kernels of error before deciding to accept them. The Society of Saint Pius X has seen it as its mission to safeguard the integrity of the Faith against the errors of "Modern Rome" as its leaders adhere to what they call "Eternal Rome."
Alas, this is erroneous. This is no such thing as "Eternal Rome." There is the Catholic Church or there is apostasy.
Time and time again, my good, few and, at least for the most part, penurious readers, I have tried to point out that the Catholic Church cannot give us any liturgy that is an incentive to impiety, no less one that is invalid on its face and thus offensive to God and harmful to souls, or teaching that is erroneous or ambiguous, no less contradictory of articles contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith and that have been taught from time immemorial by Holy Mother Church. It is impossible for a true pope to embrace one anathematized proposition after another or to give joint "blessings" with members of the Protestant laity dressed up as clergymen.
Sure, it has taken some of us a lot longer than it should have to understand and accept this as being true. Granted.
At this late date, however, it does a disservice to the very cause of truth that some in the Society of Saint Pius X dearly want to advance with all of their Catholic might to keep insisting that the Society's "resist but recognize" is valid. It is not. It is false. This false view of Holy Mother Church and of the papacy has done as much harm to the truth of the nature of her Divine Constitution and the doctrine of papal infallibility as have the "new ecclesiology" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Adherence to error can never be the path to the restoration of the Church Militant in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was very courageous to have taken the stand that he did against the conciliar authorities. He was personally pious. Even though others, such as Father Gommar DePauw, had seen the problems with conciliarism as early as the mid-1960s, it was Archbishop Lefebvre who formed an organization that spread out across the world to attempt to defend the Faith and preserve at least a semblance of the traditional Worship of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church at a time of cataclysmic upheavals.
Archbishop Lefebvre did so despite being personally castigated by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI and his top lieutenants in apostasy. He did so despite being hated and denounced by conciliar bishops, many of whom were indeed true Successors of the Apostles in the 1970s despite their having defected from the Catholic Faith thereafter, and by "conservative" commentators eager to clothe their "papal" emperor with one rationalization after another.
To wit, I personally heard Father Benedict Groeschel, then still a member of the Orders of Friars Minor Capuchin, say in a day of recollection at Saint John the Baptist Church near Pennsylvania Station in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, New York, that the "problems" in the Church began after the "Second" Vatican Council with a man who had been a missionary bishop to Africa by the name of Marcel Lefebvre. Even though I was not ready to recognize that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was an apostate and that conciliarism was a false religion, I thought that Father Groeschel's observation (and I was a friend of his for a long time) was very harsh. Why the hatred for a man who simply was trying to defend the Faith?
All of this having been noted, however, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre embraced a view of the Church that was wrong. This takes nothing away from his courage and holiness. Not at all. We must, however, adhere to truth, not to persons, no matter how grateful we may be to them for all of their courage and no matter how respectful we may be of their personal holiness and zeal for souls. Archbishop Lefebvre was not infallible. Neither is the Society of Saint Pius X, which is not now nor ever has been the "true church" in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
While the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X have been stalwart, valiant defenders of the Social Reign of Christ the King and fierce opponents of false ecumenism and cultural liberalism, a disease that afflicts so many fully traditionally-minded Catholics and chapels, its ecclesiology is false.
Moreover, it does a grave disservice to the cause of truth to seek to adhere to the "mind" of Archbishop Lefebvre as he had been dead since March 25, 1991. Although it is entirely irrelevant to the cause of truth to seek to discern the mind of the Society of Saint Pius X's founder, none of those who are objecting to Bishop Bernard Fellay's pending "reconciliation" with the conciliar authorities can say with certainty what Archbishop Lefebvre's mind would be under today's circumstances. He did, after all, say different things at different times, including speculating publicly whether it might be necessary to say one day that "the pope is not the pope." None of those trying to adhere to the approach of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre can say with any certainty at all how he would view things now.
More to the point, of course, is the simple fact that truth stands on its own. We must embrace the truth regardless of the respect for and gratitude to others who did not in the past or cannot at the present time see things clearly themselves.
So many Catholic, are so very steeped in the emotionalism and sentimentality of our naturalistic culture that they are prone to view as "disloyalty," perhaps even "hatred," any disagreement with those they hold in high esteem and thus do not want to believe are capable of being wrong on a point of fact or guilty of the slightest decree of inappropriate behavior.
This is nothing other than a different kind of manifestation of the attitude that some parents have about their children, namely, that they can do no wrong and that anyone, perhaps a teacher, who points out a child's deficiencies of thought or conduct is the problem, not the child himself.
In other words, the "clan" must always stick together no matter what. Never admit error. Never admit wrongdoing. Never admit anything that might make one look "bad" in the eyes of the world and thus hurt one's "work." Never admit that one's most highly revered mentor (a father, a bishop, a priest, a teacher, a politician, a celebrity, maybe even a putative "pope") can be wrong about anything as to do so is be "disloyal" to the person held in such high esteem.
We must assess the truthfulness of a given proposition or the facts of any situation with dispassion. One of the sure signs of defensiveness on the part of those who are unwillingness to do so is the immediate resort to expletive-laden, hyperbolic denunciations of those who with they disagree or have cast aspersions on a position they hold or a person they revere and trust.
For example, many "conservative" Catholics and those in the "resist but recognize" camp just dismiss anyone who is known to be a "sedevacantist" no matter the arguments he may put forth. Such people have "made up their minds" on the subject and will thus dismiss everything that a person they stigmatize as as "schismatic" and castigate as "disloyal" or filled with a "Protestant spirit" of rebellion. Nothing said or written by a "sedevacantist" on any subject is thus worthy to consider, being dismissed out of hand
Others might dismiss anyone who criticizes or cannot reflexively follow or publicly support their "favorite" bishop or priest or writer, just "writing off" such people as being unworthy of any further human contact, perhaps even unworthy of prayer.
There are so many entirely emotionally-laden reasons, each of which has nothing to do with logic grounded in a complete and unequivocal commitment to truth, that can be employed to "write off" friends or former associates who are deemed to be "disloyal" to a favored mentor and/or an adherent of a position that could not, they keep trying to convince themselves, be true under any circumstances.
A variety of "supporting" reasons are given very frequently to justify a recourse to emotion as the ready defense against reason.
One of the most common used against "sedevacantists" is that many of them are arrogant and filled with righteousness bordering on a sense of absolute infallibility while others of their numbers are dismissed as not being very "nice."
Ah, being "nice" has nothing to do with being correct on a given point.
Mind you, every Catholic has an obligation to be charitable in his relations with others, it is nevertheless an obligation of the Spiritual Works of Mercy to admonish the sinner and to instruct the ignorant. While it is important to do in as Christ-like manner as possible, one must also remember that human beings are weak vessels of clay and that disordered passions may get the better of them, perhaps more often than not in the case of some people. Being "nice" is nice. Being "nice" has nothing to do about being correct.
If this is the case, you see, then Saint Jerome, whose Vulgate translation of the Bible is a "heretic" because he was not very "nice" by today's standards (see Putting Love of God Above All Else).
Saint Jerome denounced error. He called it by its proper name. He did not make any compromises with error. He did not have a "strategy" to be "nice" to its adherents in order to get them to accept his own position. He did not call those steeped in error as "confused." He simply denounced those who defied the clear teaching of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, hoping that his words of correction, of admonition, if you will, would help to warn others who wanted to associate with or who admired them that such associations were dangerous and such admiration was wholly unwarranted. Saint Jerome, a native of Dalmatia, did not care what people thought about him as he did so.
Saint Jerome was not unmindful of his own sins. He noted the following in a letter, written in the year 385, to Asella:
"Some consider me a wicked man, laden with iniquity; and such language is more than justified by my actual sins" (Letter XLV, To Asella, as found in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume VI, St. Jerome: Letters and Select Works, reprinted in 1989 by William B. Erdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 102).
Saint Jerome knew his sins very well. He knew that his work had suffered in the eyes of some because of his well-known temperament.
Saint Jerome also noted that those who were accusing him in this instance of inappropriate conduct with an upright woman named Paula, who lived a very penitential life of prayer and self-denial, were quick to find good in those who were bad in actual truth:
Yet in dealing with the bad you do well to account them good. (Letter XLV, To Asella, as found in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume VI, St. Jerome: Letters and Select Works, p. 102.)
Those in the Society of Saint Pius X and elsewhere in the "resist but recognize" camp seeking a "reconciliation" with conciliar authorities are very quick to castigate those who adhere to the truth of our ecclesiastical situation as "bad" while finding "good" in one who is actually bad, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI.
Is it a good thing to violate the First and Second Commandments openly and brazenly, thus catechizing Catholics and non-Catholics alike that God is not in the least offended by a putative "pope" calling false religions as instruments of "peace" when they are of the devil and for the devil?
Is it a good thing for a "pope" to attempt to give a "joint blessing" with a non-Catholic clergymen or to step into the temple of a false religion?
Is it a good thing for a "pope" to defy the anathematized proposition that the language used in dogmatic pronouncements is conditioned by the historical circumstances in which they were made, thus blaspheming God the Holy Ghost, under Whose infallible direction they were formulated?
Who's the "bad" guy? Those who read and pray, study and reflect on the state of apostasy and then come to the conclusion so well defended and articulated in Gregorius's The Chair is Still Empty? Or the man who denies the Faith repeatedly while claiming that "all" he is doing is "understanding" it anew in light of the circumstances in which "modern men" live and according to the "insights" provided by "developments" in "modern theology" (see What Lines Are You Reading Between, Bishop Fellay?).
We must abide by truth, not by persons. We cannot let our lives be dictated by "human respect," the desire to curry or to keep favor with those we "like" or trust or believe are beyond criticism or reproach of any kind at any time for any reason. Offending God and His Holy Truths? Putting into the jeopardy the eternal and, quite possibly, the temporal welfare of souls? This can be tolerated so as to not to offend creatures or to be considered "disloyal" to them and/or those who knew such people personally if now deceased?
That was written five years ago now, that is, in 2012. Little has changed.
Well, actually a lot has changed because Jorge Mario Bergoglio has never hidden what his predecessor wrapped in the convoluted language of his "new theology": a contempt for Catholic doctrine as taught without any deviation by the Catholic Church.
What is truly ironic about the news last year (as well as the Society's ongoing dance with heretics this year, 2017) of the Society of Saint Pius X’s possible amalgamation into the One World Ecumenical Church is that Bishop Fellay said in 2004 that he was not interested in having a place in a corner of the “conciliar zoo” at a time when he was criticizing Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan, the head of the “Personal Apostolic Administration” of the Society of John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil, which had been “reconciled” to the conciliar authorities on January 18, 2002, admitted that he simulated concelebrating a Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical travesty in Recife, Brazil, on September 8, 2004:
I just would like to give you some steps on one person who is the head of Campos. Before he was consecrated a bishop, Fr. Rifan, just a few months before, said in Rome to the Vicar General —who repeated it to Fr. Schmidberger, so we have it from a direct source —said, "I have no problem with celebrating the New Mass, but I don’t do it because it would cause trouble to the faithful." So when Rome is consecrating Rifan a bishop, they know already that he has no objection to celebrating the New Mass. I think it is important to see that. That is the first step.
I may say that there is even a step before. Before that, he goes with the diocesan Corpus Christi procession, and he says to those who oppose it, "If we would not have done that, we would have jeopardized the agreement with Rome." It shows you the direction.
The next step will be the jubilee of the diocese of Campos. For that occasion, of course, the local bishop is having a great ceremony, and Rome invites Bishop Rifan to go to that New Mass, to be there. And Bishop Rifan goes there. He does not participate in the sense of concelebrating the Mass, but he is there present with all his ecclesiastical ornaments, with a surplice and so on. He is really there at this New Mass.
The next step will be the Requiem [i.e., the Novus Ordo "Resurrection"] Mass for the bishop who had kicked them out, Bishop Navarro. At that Requiem Mass, you have Bishop Rifan there, and also the nuncio. The nuncio invites Bishop Rifan to go to Communion, and Bishop Rifan receives Communion at this New Mass.
The next step will be the Mass of Thanksgiving of the new cardinal of Sao Paolo. This time, Bishop Rifan is there again present at that New Mass; he is in the choir. He is not in his surplice; nevertheless, at the time of consecration, with the other priests and bishops celebrating, he raises his hands and says the words of consecration. A seminarian saw him.
And now, the 8th of September this year, we have photos and even a video of the Mass concelebrated by Bishop Rifan on the occasion of the centennial of the coronation of Our Lady of the Aparecida, who is the patroness of Brazil. He is concelebrating the New Mass, a New Mass where you have really scandalous happenings: ladies giving Communion in the hand, a ceremony of coronation where, among all the cardinals and bishops, there is a lady who is crowning our Lady, and so on. Trying to defend himself, he said "But I did not say the words of consecration." I may say, that makes it even worse, because that means he is cheating.
That’s the evolution: now he is two years a bishop, and he is already concelebrating the New Mass. You see, and that is the natural development which was announced from the start by the officials in Rome, Cottier, now Cardinal Cottier and Msgr. Perl. At the time of the agreement between Campos and Rome, Cottier said: "Now they have recognized the Council. The next step will be the new Mass." He even said, "There is a natural, psychological dynamic." And you see in Bishop Rifan a real, natural, clear demonstration of this phrase. Extract from Bishop Fellay's November 10, 2004 conference in Kansas City, MO regarding Bishop Rifan's actions.)
The price of "recognition" by the conciliar authorities is indeed quite high.
Many of those who assist at the Society's chapels have been convinced that the Society of Saint Pius X is the true "church within the Church" that would never lead them astray even as the Society has propagated multiple falsehoods about the infallibility of the Universal Ordinary Magisterim of the Catholic Church. Adherents of the Society of Saint Pius X are convinced them that it is possible for a true pope to authorize and promulgate a liturgy that is offensive to God and can give rise to all manner of outrages heretofore unknown even among the heretics (Arians, Novatians, Donatists, etc.) of old. Even sadder still, many of those who assist at the Society’s chapels believe that one can publicly criticize the teachings of a one they accept as a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter.
As has been pointed out on this site in the past, however, the belief that one can “sift” the teachings of a true pope, no less to publishing articles and commentaries critical of him, has been condemned by Pope Leo XIII, and to this date I am not aware of anyone in the “resist while recognize” movement who has even acknowledged Pope Leo’s teaching, which is clear and entirely unambiguous:
To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor. In this subordination and dependence lie the order and life of the Church; in it is to be found the indispensable condition of well-being and good government.On the contrary, if it should happen that those who have no right to do so should attribute authority to themselves, if they presume to become judges and teachers, if inferiors in the government of the universal Church attempt or try to exert an influence different from that of the supreme authority, there follows a reversal of the true order, many minds are thrown into confusion, and souls leave the right path . . . .
On this point what must be remembered is that in the government of the Church, except for the essential duties imposed on all Pontiffs by their apostolic office, each of them can adopt the attitude which he judges best according to times and circumstances. Of this he alone is the judge. It is true that for this he has not only special lights, but still more the knowledge of the needs and conditions of the whole of Christendom, for which, it is fitting, his apostolic care must provide. He has the charge of the universal welfare of the Church, to which is subordinate any particular need, and all others who are subject to this order must second the action of the supreme director and serve the end which he has in view. Since the Church is one and her head is one, so, too, her government is one, and all must conform to this.
When these principles are forgotten there is noticed among Catholics a diminution of respect, of veneration, and of confidence in the one given them for a guide; then there is a loosening of that bond of love and submission which ought to bind all the faithful to their pastors, the faithful and the pastors to the Supreme Pastor, the bond in which is principally to be found security and common salvation.
In the same way, by forgetting or neglecting these principles, the door is opened wide to divisions and dissensions among Catholics, to the grave detriment of union which is the distinctive mark of the faithful of Christ, and which, in every age, but particularly today by reason of the combined forces of the enemy, should be of supreme and universal interest, in favor of which every feeling of personal preference or individual advantage ought to be laid aside.
That obligation, if it is generally incumbent on all, is, you may indeed say, especially pressing upon journalists. If they have not been imbued with the docile and submissive spirit so necessary to each Catholic, they would assist in spreading more widely those deplorable matters and in making them more burdensome. The task pertaining to them in all the things that concern religion and that are closely connected to the action of the Church in human society is this: to be subject completely in mind and will, just as all the other faithful are, to their own bishops and to the Roman Pontiff; to follow and make known their teachings; to be fully and willingly subservient to their influence; and to reverence their precepts and assure that they are respected. He who would act otherwise in such a way that he would serve the aims and interests of those whose spirit and intentions We have reproved in this letter would fail the noble mission he has undertaken. So doing, in vain would he boast of attending to the good of the Church and helping her cause, no less than someone who would strive to weaken or diminish Catholic truth, or indeed someone who would show himself to be her overly fearful friend. (Pope Leo XIII, Epistola Tua, June 17, 1885.)
Not only must those be held to fail in their duty who openly and brazenly repudiate the authority of their leaders, but those, too, who give evidence of a hostile and contrary disposition by their clever tergiversations and their oblique and devious dealings. The true and sincere virtue of obedience is not satisfied with words; it consists above all in submission of mind and heart.
But since We are here dealing with the lapse of a newspaper, it is absolutely necessary for Us once more to enjoin upon the editors of Catholic journals to respect as sacred laws the teaching and the ordinances mentioned above and never to deviate from them. Moreover, let them be well persuaded and let this be engraved in their minds, that if they dare to violate these prescriptions and abandon themselves to their personal appreciations, whether in prejudging questions which the Holy See has not yet pronounced on, or in wounding the authority of the Bishops by arrogating to themselves an authority which can never be theirs, let them be convinced that it is all in vain for them to pretend to keep the honor of the name of Catholic and to serve the interests of the very holy and very noble cause which they have undertaken to defend and to render glorious.
Now, We, exceedingly desirous that any who have strayed return to soundness of mind and that deference to the sacred Bishops inhere deeply in the hearts of all men, in the Lord We bestow an Apostolic Blessing upon you, Venerable Brother, and to all your clergy and people, as a token of Our fatherly good will and charity. (Pope Leo XIII, Est Sane Molestum, December 17, 1888. The complete text may be found at: Est Sane Molestum, December 17, 1888. See also Pope Leo XIII Quashes Popular “Resist-And-Recognize Position.)
Both of these apostolic letters were entered into Pope Leo XIII’s Acta Apostolicae Sedis and are thus binding upon the consciences of every single Catholic around the world without any reservations, exceptions or qualifications whatsoever.
The late Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton, who was the much-respected theologian and editor of the American Ecclesiastical Review between 1943 and 1963, reached the conclusion that everything a true pope causes to be placed into his Acta Apostolicae Sedis is binding, thus closing all discussion upon a given subject. This means there no Catholic is free to “dissent” or to question publicly any point of what a true pope inserts into his Acta:
The text of the Humani generis itself supplies us with a minimum answer. This is found in the sentence we have already quoted: "And if, in their 'Acta,' the Supreme Pontiffs take care to render a decision on a point that has hitherto been controverted, it is obvious to all that this point, according to the mind and will of these same Pontiffs, can no longer be regarded as a question theologians may freely debate among themselves."
Theologians legitimately discuss and dispute among themselves doctrinal questions which the authoritative magisterium of the Catholic Church has not as yet resolved. Once that magisterium has expressed a decision and communicated that decision to the Church universal, the first and the most obvious result of its declaration must be the cessation of debate on the point it has decided. A man definitely is not acting and could not act as a theologian, as a teacher of Catholic truth, by disputing against a decision made by the competent doctrinal authority of the Mystical Body of Christ on earth.
Thus, according to the clear teaching of the Humani generis, it is morally wrong for any individual subject to the Roman Pontiff to defend a thesis contradicting a teaching which the Pope, in his "Acta," has set forth as a part of Catholic doctrine. It is, in other words, wrong to attack a teaching which, in a genuine doctrinal decision, the Sovereign Pontiff has taught officially as the visible head of the universal Church. This holds true always an everywhere, even in those cases in which the Pope, in making his decision, did not exercise the plenitude of his apostolic teaching power by making an infallible doctrinal definition.
The Humani generis must not be taken to imply that a Catholic theologian has completed his obligation with respect to an authoritative doctrinal decision made by the Holy Father and presented in his published "Acta" when he has merely refrained from arguing or debating against it. TheHumani generis reminded its readers that "this sacred magisterium ought to be the immediate and universal norm of truth for any theologian in matters of faith and morals." Furthermore, it insisted that the faithful are obligated to shun errors which more or less approach heresy, and "to follow the constitutions and decrees by which evil opinions of this sort have been proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See." In other words, the Humani generis claimed the same internal assent for declarations of the magisterium on matters of faith and morals which previous documents of the Holy See had stressed.
We may well ask why the Humani generis went to the trouble of mentioning something as fundamental and rudimentary as the duty of abstaining from further debate on a point where the Roman Pontiff has already issued a doctrinal decision, and has communicated that decision to the Church universal by publishing it in his "Acta." The reason is to be found in the context of the encyclical itself. The Holy Father has told us something of the existing situation which called for the issuance of the "Humani generis." This information is contained in the text of that document. The following two sentences show us the sort of condition the Humani generis was written to meet and to remedy:
"And although this sacred magisterium ought to be the immediate and universal norm of truth on matters of faith and morals for any theologian, as the agency to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the entire deposit of faith - that is, the Sacred Scriptures and divine Tradition - to be guarded and defended and explained, still, the duty by which the faithful are obligated also to shun those errors which approach more or less to heresy, and therefore 'to follow the constitutions and decrees by which evil opinions of this sort have been proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See,' is sometimes ignored as if it did not exist. What is said in encyclical letters of the Roman Pontiffs about the nature and constitution of the Church is habitually and deliberately neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they claim to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks."
Six years ago, then, Pope Pius XII was faced with a situation in which some of the men who were privileged and obligated to teach the truths of sacred theology had perverted their position and their influence and had deliberately flouted the teachings of the Holy See about the nature and the constitution of the Catholic Church. And, when he declared that it is wrong to debate a point already decided by the Holy Father after that decision has been published in his "Acta," he was taking cognizance of and condemning an existent practice. There actually were individuals who were contradicting papal teachings. They were so numerous and influential that they rendered the composition of the Humani generis necessary to counteract their activities. These individuals were continuing to propose teachings repudiated by the Sovereign Pontiff in previous pronouncements. The Holy Father, then, was compelled by these circumstances to call for the cessation of debate among theologians on subjects which had already been decided by pontifical decisions published in the "Acta."
The kind of theological teaching and writing against which the encyclical Humani generis was directed was definitely not remarkable for its scientific excellence. It was, as a matter of fact, exceptionally poor from the scientific point of view. The men who were responsible for it showed very clearly that they did not understand the basic nature and purpose of sacred theology. For the true theologian the magisterium of the Church remains, as the Humani generis says, the immediate and universal norm of truth. And the teaching set forth by Pope Pius IX in his Tuas libenter is as true today as it always has been.
But when we treat of that subjection by which all Catholic students of speculative sciences are obligated in conscience so that they bring new aids to the Church by their writings, the men of this assembly ought to realize that it is not enough for Catholic scholars to receive and venerate the above-mentioned dogmas of the Church, but [they ought also to realize] that they must submit to the doctrinal decisions issued by the Pontifical Congregations and also to those points of doctrine which are held by the common and constant agreement of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions which are so certain that, even though the opinions opposed to them cannot be called heretical, they still deserve some other theological censure.
It is definitely the business of the writer in the field of sacred theology to benefit the Church by what he writes. It is likewise the duty of the teacher of this science to help the Church by his teaching. The man who uses the shoddy tricks of minimism to oppose or to ignore the doctrinal decisions made by the Sovereign Pontiff and set down in his "Acta" is, in the last analysis, stultifying his position as a theologian. (The doctrinal Authority of Papal allocutions.)
Are there any further questions about the binding nature of what a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter places in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis?
Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton denounced "the shoddy tricks of minimism to ignore the doctrinal decisions made by the Sovereign Pontiff and set down his his 'Acta'."
Yet it is that more and more people are resorting to "the shoddy tricks of minimism" to ignore the doctrinal decisions made by "Pope Francis" that he causes to be set down in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
To what end?
To the end of avoiding what even a conciliar "cardinal," now deceased, admitted in February of 2005 when Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was suffering from the final stages of Parkinson's Disease just three months before his death:
It is true that the canonical doctrine states that the see would be vacant in the case of heresy. ... But in regard to all else, I think what is applicable is what judgment regulates human acts. And the act of will, namely a resignation or capacity to govern or not govern, is a human act. (Cardinal Says Pope Could Govern Even If Unable to Speak, Zenit, February 8, 2005.)
It does not take one with a doctorate in sacred theology to see that Jorge Mario Bergoglio and each of his predecessors have been heretics. It simply takes the courage to recognize the truth of the state of the Church Militant in this time of apostasy and betrayal as we are reminded once again by the words of Pope Pius XI that were cited at the beginning of this commentary and repeated a second time for the sake of providing newer readers with the peace of mind in knowing that the Catholic Church can never be the author of any doctrinal errors or heresy that a true pope caused to inserted into theActa Apostolicae Sedis:
Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy. (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.)
No one can claim that a person can be considered a Catholic while defecting from even one article of the Faith. This is simply an immutable truth of the Catholic Faith:
With reference to its object, faith cannot be greater for some truths than for others. Nor can it be less with regard to the number of truths to be believed. For we must all believe the very same thing, both as to the object of faith as well as to the number of truths. All are equal in this because everyone must believe all the truths of faith--both those which God Himself has directly revealed, as well as those he has revealed through His Church. Thus, I must believe as much as you and you as much as I, and all other Christians similarly. He who does not believe all these mysteries is not Catholic and therefore will never enter Paradise. (Saint Francis de Sales, The Sermons of Saint Francis de Sales for Lent Given in 1622, republished by TAN Books and Publishers for the Visitation Monastery of Frederick, Maryland, in 1987, pp. 34-37.)
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine:they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88). (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
No, “partial credit” does not cut it to retain one's membership in good standing within the maternal bosom of Holy Mother Church:
Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: ‘This is the Catholic Faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved’ (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim ‘Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,’ only let him endeavor to be in reality what he calls himself.
Besides, the Church demands from those who have devoted themselves to furthering her interests, something very different from the dwelling upon profitless questions; she demands that they should devote the whole of their energy to preserve the faith intact and unsullied by any breath of error, and follow most closely him whom Christ has appointed to be the guardian and interpreter of the truth. There are to be found today, and in no small numbers, men, of whom the Apostle says that: "having itching ears, they will not endure sound doctrine: but according to their own desires they will heap up to themselves teachers, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables" (II Tim. iv. 34). Infatuated and carried away by a lofty idea of the human intellect, by which God's good gift has certainly made incredible progress in the study of nature, confident in their own judgment, and contemptuous of the authority of the Church, they have reached such a degree of rashness as not to hesitate to measure by the standard of their own mind even the hidden things of God and all that God has revealed to men. Hence arose the monstrous errors of "Modernism," which Our Predecessor rightly declared to be "the synthesis of all heresies," and solemnly condemned. We hereby renew that condemnation in all its fulness, Venerable Brethren, and as the plague is not yet entirely stamped out, but lurks here and there in hidden places, We exhort all to be carefully here and there in hidden places, We exhort all to be carefully on their guard against any contagion of the evil, to which we may apply the words Job used in other circumstances: "It is a fire that devoureth even to destruction, and rooteth up all things that spring" (Job xxxi. 12). Nor do We merely desire that Catholics should shrink from the errors of Modernism, but also from the tendencies or what is called the spirit of Modernism. Those who are infected by that spirit develop a keen dislike for all that savours of antiquity and become eager searchers after novelties in everything: in the way in which they carry out religious functions, in the ruling of Catholic institutions, and even in private exercises of piety. Therefore it is Our will that the law of our forefathers should still be held sacred: "Let there be no innovation; keep to what has been handed down." In matters of faith that must be inviolably adhered to as the law; it may however also serve as a guide even in matters subject to change, but even in such cases the rule would hold: "Old things, but in a new way." (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914.)
No, a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter never needs to convert to the Catholic Faith.
Yes, it is all or nothing with Catholicism.
It is black and white.
It is yea or nay.
It is “this” or “that.”
It is truth or error.
It is Christ or chaos.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his predecessors since October 28, 1958, have been men of sin.
Anyone who does not see this by now is to be pitied.
To be pitied more, however, are those who know this to be true and who keep insisting that these men of have sin have been true and legitimate Successors of Saint Peter, which means that there have been and continue to be heretical "popes," something that Saint Robert Bellarmine taught could never be the case (see Saint Robert Bellarmine's Defense of Popes Said to Have Erred in Faith).
The Gospel that is read in Holy Mass on the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, which will be celebrated this year on Sunday, July 23, 2017, contains Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's specific warning to us to beware of the false prophets posing as sheep when they are actually ravenous wolves:
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 7: 15-21.)
The Catholic Church can never produce any kind of bad fruit as she is the true and infallilbe oasis of salvation, outside of which there can be no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
Serving as a rebuke to the words and actions of the conciliar "popes," the sermon of Saint Hilary of Poitiers included in the readings for Matins in the Divine Office for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, explains that, quite contrary to the endless ravings of Bergoglio, men must quit their sins, not celebrate them:
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven.
What use is there in calling the Lord, Lord? Would He not be Lord all the same, whether or not we called Him so What holiness is there in this ascription of a name, when the true way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is to do the will of our Father, Who is in heaven? "Many will say to Me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name?” Already here doth the Lord rebuke the deceit of the false prophets, and the feigning of the hypocrites, who take glory to themselves because of the power of their words, their prophesying in teaching, their casting out of devils, and such-like mighty works.
Because of all these things they promised unto themselves that they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven as though in their words and works any good thing were their own, and not all the mighty working of that God upon Whom they call, since reading bringeth knowledge of doctrine, and the Name of Christ driveth out devils. That which is needed on our part to win that blessed eternity, that of our own which we must give, is to will to do right, to turn away from all evil, to obey with our whole heart the commandments laid on us from heaven, and so to become the friends of God. It should be ours rather to do God's will, than to boast of God's power. And we must put off from us and thrust away such as are by their wicked works already estranged from His friendship. (Saint Hilary of Poitiers, as found in Matins, Divine Office, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.)
We must always remember that this is the time that God has appointed from all eternity for us to live and thus to sanctify and to save our immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church. The graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flows into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, are sufficient for us to handle whatever crosses--personal, social and ecclesiastical--that we are asked to carry. We must give thanks to God at all times for each of our crosses as we seek to serve Him through Our Lady in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
Remember the words of the late William C. Koneazny (see A True Catholic Rendezvous: A Personal Reminiscence of the late +William C. Koneany, R.I.P. ): "Our Lady will come and throw the bums out!"
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.