Helping Bishop Fellay To Find His Hermeneutic of Continuity
by Thomas A. Droleskey
"Archbishop" Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., is the Occupy Vatican Movement's Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, serving under "Archbishop" Gerhard Ludwig Muller (see Deft? Daft Is More Like It, part two, Daft? Deft Is More Like It, part three, Does The Defense of Catholic Truth Matter To You?, When Will The Madness End?, part one and Memo To Bishop Fellay: Ratzinger/Benedict Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Loves Gerhard Ludwig Muller, All Together Now: Go Right Ahead, Gerhard, Make Our Day) in that capacity as a vice president of "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei. He has been the subject of several recent articles on this site, including sharing "double-billing" with his boss, Gerhard Ludwig Muller, in many of the above mentioned articles (Anti-Catholicism Brought To You In Scarlet, Deft? Daft Is More Like It, part two, Deft? Daft Is More Like It, part three, Does The Defense of Truth Matter To You? and Contrast The Outrage, part one). It is now necessary to give him a bit of attention once again.
"Archbishop" Di Noia is highly intelligent. He is a Dominican who received his philosophical and seminary formation from the Order of Preachers right at the crest of the revolutionary waves of the "Second" Vatican Council and its aftermath, having taught both at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, District of Columbia (which is located across Michigan Avenue from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America), Saint Joseph's Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, New York, the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., and at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (The Angelicum). He is protege of three of the leading conciliar revolutionaries in the United States of America, William "Cardinal" Levada, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the late conciliar "archbishop" of Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., each of whom served as propagandists and agents in behalf of the theological, liturgical, and moral revolutions wrought by the "Second" Vatican Council. Each has sought to protect moral predators among their subordinate clergy (see, for example, Wuerl's Documented Cover-ups, Nearly A Decade After Law Was Broken and Abuse and Cover-Up in the Louisville Archdiocese). One is known by the company he keeps, and Joseph Augustine Di Noia keeps revolutionary company in matters of Faith, Worship and Morals. Make no mistake about this whatsoever.
"Archbishop" Di Noia has been charged with the important mission of neutralizing the Society of Saint Pius X once and for all. Indeed, he has seen it as something of a personal mission to seek the "regularization" of supposedly wayward traditional clergyman in recent years, having made a stop a few years ago at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Monroe, Connecticut, to visit with Bishop Robert McKenna, O.P., whose Masses Di Noia used to serve at Saint Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. Di Noia knows the traditional scene very well, and he is using that knowledge to try to put the "SSPX" out of the "resist but recognize" column and into the "recognize and capitulate" column in the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide. He is doing this to advance the revolutionary agenda that he shares with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, William "Cardinal" Levada, Gerhard Ludwig Muller, Donald Wuerl and the late Thomas C. Kelly.
A thorough believer in false ecumenism, Joseph Augustine Di Noia, believes that he has found the strategy to effect a modus vivendi between the Society of Saint Pius X and the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
The strategy, as outlined in an Advent letter he sent to Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, and the priests of the Society, is two-fold in nature.
First, as will be discussed in part two of this brief series, "Archbishop" Di Noia has made a case for what can be termed "prudential silence" about "controversial" matters of doctrine and liturgy, invoking the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's original purpose in founding the Society of Saint Pius X to advance the formation of priests and to avoid "polemics." By so doing, you see, Joseph Augustine Di Noia hopes to transform the Society of Saint Pius X into the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, where silence about offenses to God and the harm caused to souls thereby rules the day as many clergymen within the fraternity assuage themselves with the false assertion that they have "no obligation to oppose error" (this was told us to our face by a rather arrogant, foreign-born presbyter in the fraternity when we, having come to recognize the true state of the Church Militant on earth in this time of apostasy an betrayal, confronted him on Ratzinger/Benedict's apostasies, blasphemies and sacrileges nearly six years ago now).
Second, "Archbishop" Di Noia is attempting yet again to help Bishop Bernard Fellay to find his own personal "hermeneutic of continuity," and it is on this point that this current commentary will focus, if ever so briefly.
"Archbishop" Di Noia wrote the following in his long, very well composed and structured Advent letter of December 12, 2012, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
It has been a mistake to make every difficult point in the theological interpretation of Vatican II a matter of public controversy, trying to sway those who are not theologically sophisticated into adopting one’s own point of view regarding subtle theological matters.
The Instruction Donum Veritatis on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 1990) states that a theologian “may raise questions regarding the timeliness, the form, or even the contents of magisterial interventions” (§24), although “the willingness to submit loyally to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters per se not irreformable must be the rule.”
But a theologian should “not present his own opinions or divergent hypotheses as though they were non-arguable conclusions. Respect for the truth as well as for the People of God requires this discretion (cf. Rom 14:1-15; 1 Cor 8; 10: 23-33). For the same reasons, the theologian will refrain from giving untimely public expression to them” (§27).
If, after intense reflection on the part of a theologian, difficulties persist, he “has the duty to make known to the Magisterial authorities the problems raised by the teaching in itself, in the arguments proposed to justify it, or even in the manner in which it is presented. He should do this in an evangelical spirit and with a profound desire to resolve the difficulties. His objections could then contribute to real progress and provide a stimulus to the Magisterium to propose the teaching of the Church in greater depth and with a clearer presentation of the arguments. In cases like these, the theologian should avoid turning to the ‘mass media’, but have recourse to the responsible authority, for it is not by seeking to exert the pressure of public opinion that one contributes to the clarification of doctrinal issues and renders service to the truth” (§30).
This part of the task of a theologian, acting with a loyal spirit, animated by love for the Church, can at times be a difficult trial. “It can be a call to suffer for the truth, in silence and prayer, but with the certainty, that if the truth really is at stake, it will ultimately prevail” (§31).
Nevertheless, critical engagement with the acts of the Magisterium must never become a sort of “parallel magisterium” of theologians (cf. §34), for it must be submitted to the judgment of the Supreme Pontiff, who has “the duty to safeguard the unity of the Church with concern to offer help to all in order to respond appropriately to this vocation and divine grace” (Apostolic Letter, Ecclesiae Unitatem, §1).
Thus we can see that for those within the Church who have the canonical mandate or mission to teach, there is room for a truly theological and non-polemical engagement with the Magisterium. (Di Noia's letter - full text in English.)
In other words, "Archbishop" Joseph Di Noia, O.P., is using the conciliar church's instruction on the work of theologians to prod Bishop Fellay and the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X into accepting the "Second" Vatican Council and the "magisterium" of the conciliar "popes" in light of a mythical "living tradition" that has been repackaged by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI as the infamous "hermeneutic of continuity."
Alas, it was this very instruction on the vocation of the theologian that prompted Joseph Ratzinger to remark as follows upon its release on July 2, 1990:
The text [of the document Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation] also presents the various types of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It
affirms - perhaps for the first time with this clarity - that there are
decisions of the magisterium that cannot be the last word on the matter
as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all
an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition.
The nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances
of the times influenced, may need further correction.
In this regard, one may think of the declarations
of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as
well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century,
above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on
evolutionism]. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and
superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage
such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church's
anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from
falling into the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of
the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having
fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time.
(Joseph Ratzinger, "Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial
Vocation," published with the title "Rinnovato dialogo fra Magistero e
Teologia," in L'Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990, p. 6, cited at Card. Ratzinger: The teachings of the Popes against Modernism are obsolete)
This is the very theological foundation of the "great facade" of the "Second" Vatican Council and the "magisterium" of the conciliar "pontiffs" that has been reinforced by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who has repeatedly and unequivocally expressed his support for the philosophically absurd and dogmatically condemned notion that dogmatic statements made by Holy Mother Church's true councils and the teaching of our true popes were conditioned by the historical circumstances in which they were made, meaning that certain "contingent truths" contained in those statements need to be adjusted from time to time as circumstances require. This is what the leaders of the Occupy Vatican Movement, including Joseph Augustine Di Noia, want the bishops and priests of the Society of Saint Pius to accept so that they can come to recognize that certain magisterial statements can become "obsolete" in the "determinations they contain."
One of Di Noia's mentors, the aforementioned William Levada, echoed his own mentor, Ratzinger/Benedict, when he said the following in a interview with the Whispers in the Loggia website that was published on March 3, 2007:
The role of the Church in that dialogue between an
individual and his or her God, says the Cardinal, is not to be the first
interlocutor, but the role is indispensable. "We believe that the
apostles and their successors received the mission to interpret
revelation in new circumstances and in the light of new challenges. That
creates a living tradition that is much larger than the simple and
strict passing of existing answers, insights and convictions from one generation to another.
But at the end of the day there has to be an
instance that can decide whether a specific lifestyle is coherent with
the principles and values of our faith, that can judge whether our
actions are in accordance with the commandment to love your neighbor.
The mission of the Church is not to prohibit people from thinking,
investigate different hypotheses, or collect knowledge. Its mission is
to give those processes orientation". ( Levada Gives Rare Interview: "I Am Not Responsible for the Crusades, Past or Present.)
Di Noia himself expressed this same apostate view of dogmatic truth in an interview given to the National Catholic Register six months ago, claiming that the words of the documents of the "Second" Vatican Council do not matter, that they can be understood as part of what he says is the Catholic Church's "living tradition" and can be understood differently now than had been intended when they were issued, making a specific comparison with the the Supreme Court's interpretation of Constitution of the United States of America to prove his point:
What would the Society of St. Pius X bring that would positively impact the Church if they reconcile?
The traditionalists that are now in the Church, such as the Priestly
Fraternity of St. Peter, have brought what the Pope has insisted upon:
that in the solemnity of the way in which they celebrate the liturgy,
especially in the area of the liturgy, they are a testimony to the
continuing liveliness of liturgical tradition previous to the Council,
which is the message of Summorum Pontificum. The thing is: They can’t say that the Novus Ordo is invalid, but their celebration of the 1962 Missal is something that
remains attractive and nourishes faith, even of those who have no
experience of it. So that’s a very important factor.
I’ve tried to find an analogy for this. Let’s say the American
Constitution can be read in at least two ways: Historians read it, and
they are interested in historical context: in the framers, intentions of
the framers, the backgrounds of framers and all of that historical work
about the Constitution. So, you have a Constitution you can study
historically and shed a great deal of light on the meaning of it.
However, when the Supreme Court uses the Constitution, when it’s read
as an institutional living document upon which institutions of a country
are based, it’s a different reading. So what the framers thought,
including not only experts upon whom they’re dependent — they are
parallel to the bishops, and the experts are parallel to the periti [theologians who serve participants at an ecumenical council].
Those documents have an independence from all of them. I often say that
what Council Fathers intended doesn’t matter because it’s how you apply
it today that matters. It’s a living document. ("Archbishop Di Noia" Ecclesia Dei and the Society of St. Pius X.)
You see "Archbishop" Di Noia, the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America were not guided by God the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately for you and your fellow conciliar revolutionaries, the Fathers of Holy Mother Church's twenty true councils were so guided. Infallibly. They used language that was precise and clear because it was formulated with the guidance and infallible protection of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. The very notion of "living tradition" that you want the Society of Saint Pius X to accept and that serves as the cornerstone of the whole foundation of the counterfeit church of conciliarism makes a mockery of all truth just as much as Chief Justice John Glover Roberts, Jr., did in the combined cases of National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. and Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Florida, et al. on Thursday, June 28, 2012. It is a farce of dogmatic truth and an act of blasphemy against God the Holy Ghost. (For a review of how the Supreme Court Associate Justice William Brennan defined a "living constitution," see the appendix below, followed by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani's rejection of the concept of a "living tradition" in the Catholic Church.)
The "living tradition," which was invoked endlessly by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and has been invoked a lot by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and Ratzinger/Benedict's "hermeneutic of continuity" have been condemned solemnly by the [First] Vatican Council and by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, and The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910, and by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950:
For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward
- not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence,
- but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
Hence, too, that meaning of the
sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by
holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this
sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.
God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth.
The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either: the
dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the
mind of the church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions
Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false. . . .
3. If anyone says that it is possible that
at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be
assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from
that which the church has understood and understands: let him be
And so in the performance of our supreme pastoral
office, we beseech for the love of Jesus Christ and we command, by the
authority of him who is also our God and saviour, all faithful
Christians, especially those in authority or who have the duty of
teaching, that they contribute their zeal and labour to the warding off
and elimination of these errors from the church and to the spreading of
the light of the pure faith.
But since it is not enough to avoid the
contamination of heresy unless those errors are carefully shunned which
approach it in greater or less degree, we warn all of their duty to
observe the constitutions and decrees in which such wrong opinions,
though not expressly mentioned in this document, have been banned and
forbidden by this holy see. (Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session III,
Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, On Faith and
Reason, April 24, 1870. SESSION 3 : 24 April 1.)
Hence it is quite impossible [the Modernists assert] to maintain that they [dogmatic statements] absolutely contain the truth: for, in so far as they are symbols, they
are the images of truth, and so must be adapted to the religious sense
in its relation to man; and as instruments, they are the vehicles of
truth, and must therefore in their turn be adapted to man in his
relation to the religious sense. But the object of the
religious sense, as something contained in the absolute, possesses an
infinite variety of aspects, of which now one, now another, may present
itself. In like manner he who believes can avail himself of varying
conditions. Consequently, the formulas which we call dogma must
be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change.
Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. Here we have
an immense structure of sophisms which ruin and wreck all religion.
It is thus, Venerable Brethren, that for the
Modernists, whether as authors or propagandists, there is to be nothing
stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor, indeed, are they without
forerunners in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our predecessor
Pius IX wrote: 'These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress
to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it
introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the
work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery
susceptible of perfection by human efforts.' On the subject of
revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists
offers nothing new. We find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX,
where it is enunciated in these terms: ''Divine revelation is imperfect,
and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress,
corresponding with the progress of human reason'; and condemned still
more solemnly in the Vatican Council: ''The doctrine of the
faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human
intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical
system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be
faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of
the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother
the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on
plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth.'
Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith,
barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and
maintained. For the same Council continues: 'Let intelligence and
science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and
vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the
whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation.' (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the
apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and
always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical'
misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to
another different from the one which the Church held previously. . . .
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the
modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or
what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with
the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple
fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact,
namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have
continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his
apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the
belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was,
and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the
apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be
tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture
of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by
the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different,
may never be understood in any other way.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles
faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way
deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing.
Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. (The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910; see also Nothing Stable, Nothing Secure.)
These new opinions, whether they originate from a
reprehensible desire of novelty or from a laudable motive, are not
always advanced in the same degree, with equal clarity nor in the same
terms, nor always with unanimous agreement of their authors. Theories
that today are put forward rather covertly by some, not without cautions
and distinctions, tomorrow are openly and without moderation proclaimed
by others more audacious, causing scandal to many, especially among the
young clergy and to the detriment of ecclesiastical authority. Though
they are usually more cautious in their published works, they express
themselves more openly in their writings intended for private
circulation and in conferences and lectures. Moreover, these opinions
are disseminated not only among members of the clergy and in seminaries
and religious institutions, but also among the laity, and especially
among those who are engaged in teaching youth.
In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and
from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers, to bring about a
return in the explanation of Catholic doctrine to the way of speaking
used in Holy Scripture and by the Fathers of the Church. They cherish
the hope that when dogma is stripped of the elements which they hold to
be extrinsic to divine revelation, it will compare advantageously with
the dogmatic opinions of those who are separated from the unity of the
Church and that in this way they will gradually arrive at a mutual
assimilation of Catholic dogma with the tenets of the dissidents.
Moreover they assert that when Catholic
doctrine has been reduced to this condition, a way will be found to
satisfy modern needs, that will permit of dogma being expressed also by
the concepts of modern philosophy, whether of immanentism or idealism or
existentialism or any other system. Some more audacious affirm that
this can and must be done, because they hold that the mysteries of faith
are never expressed by truly adequate concepts but only by approximate
and ever changeable notions, in which the truth is to some extent
expressed, but is necessarily distorted. Wherefore they do not consider it absurd, but altogether necessary, that
theology should substitute new concepts in place of the old ones in
keeping with the various philosophies which in the course of time it
uses as its instruments, so that it should give human expression to
divine truths in various ways which are even somewhat opposed, but still
equivalent, as they say. They add that the history of dogmas consists in the reporting of the various forms in which revealed truth has been clothed, forms
that have succeeded one another in accordance with the different
teachings and opinions that have arisen over the course of the
It is evident from what We have already said, that
such tentatives not only lead to what they call dogmatic relativism,
but that they actually contain it. The contempt of doctrine commonly
taught and of the terms in which it is expressed strongly favor it.
Everyone is aware that the terminology employed in the schools and even
that used by the Teaching Authority of the Church itself is capable of
being perfected and polished; and we know also that the Church itself
has not always used the same terms in the same way. It is also manifest
that the Church cannot be bound to every system of philosophy that has
existed for a short space of time. Nevertheless, the things that have
been composed through common effort by Catholic teachers over the course
of the centuries to bring about some understanding of dogma are
certainly not based on any such weak foundation. These things are based
on principles and notions deduced from a true knowledge of created
things. In the process of deducing, this knowledge, like a star, gave
enlightenment to the human mind through the Church. Hence it is not
astonishing that some of these notions have not only been used by the
Oecumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong
to depart from them.
Hence to neglect, or to reject, or to devalue so
many and such great resources which have been conceived, expressed and
perfected so often by the age-old work of men endowed with no common
talent and holiness, working under the vigilant supervision of the holy
magisterium and with the light and leadership of the Holy Ghost in order
to state the truths of the faith ever more accurately, to do this so
that these things may be replaced by conjectural notions and by some
formless and unstable tenets of a new philosophy, tenets which, like the
flowers of the field, are in existence today and die tomorrow; this is
supreme imprudence and something that would make dogma itself a reed
shaken by the wind. The contempt for terms and notions habitually used
by scholastic theologians leads of itself to the weakening of what they
call speculative theology, a discipline which these men consider devoid
of true certitude because it is based on theological reasoning.
Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily
pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even
contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives
such authoritative approval to scholastic theology. This Teaching
Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an
obstacle in the way of science. Some non Catholics consider it as an
unjust restraint preventing some more qualified theologians from
reforming their subject. And although this sacred Office of Teacher in
matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal
criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted
by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith -- Sacred Scripture and
divine Tradition -- to be preserved, guarded and interpreted, still the
duty that is incumbent on the faithful to flee also those errors which
more or less approach heresy, and accordingly "to keep also the
constitutions and decrees by which such evil opinions are proscribed and
forbidden by the Holy See," is sometimes as little known as if it
did not exist. What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman
Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is
deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving
force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the
ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not
wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians,
so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent
constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from
the writings of the ancients.
Although these things seem well said, still they
are not free from error. It is true that Popes generally leave
theologians free in those matters which are disputed in various ways by
men of very high authority in this field; but history teaches that many
matters that formerly were open to discussion, no longer now admit of
Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in
Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing
such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their
Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary
teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you,
heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in
Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic
doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents
purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is
obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the same
Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion
among theologians. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
Yes, as has been documented on this site endlessly, Ratzinger/Benedict has repeatedly, both before and during his false "pontificate," taught a concept of dogmatic truth that has been condemned by Holy Mother Church. This foundational falsehood is the means that Ratzinger/Benedict has fortified the "great facade" of conciliarism on a brick-by-brick basis as he has sought to cement the new ecclesiology, false ecumenism, episcopal collegiality, separation of Church and State, religious liberty and false interpretations of Sacred Scripture and of the writings of the Church's Fathers and Doctors. He has done so by rejecting Scholasticism in favor of the "new theology" that is itself an enshrinement of the condemned Modernist theology of the "evolution of dogma" that has been so thoroughly condemned and is even in opposition to right reason on the natural level.
The "living tradition" and the "hermeneutic of continuity" are simply euphemisms to mask the reality of their being the same repackaged Modernism condemned and anathematized by the [First] Vatican Council and by Popes Saint Pius X and Pius XII. It is a neat trick whereby men such as Joseph Augustine Di Noia and his boss, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, can just wave a hand and dismiss anything they do not "like" or contradicts the conciliar "orientation."
For all of his posturing and seeming scholarship, Joseph Augustine Di Noia cannot reconcile the dogmatic statement in Cantate Domino (February 4, 1441) with Nostra Aetate or the statements of the conciliar "popes" and he cannot the condemnation of false ecumenism contained in Iam Vos Omnes (September 13, 1868), Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae (June 29, 1894) and Mortalium Animos (January 6, 1928) with concilairism's rejection of what Ratzinger/Benedict calls the "ecumenism of the return." It is similarly impossible for Di Noia to "reconcile" conciliarism's embrace of Protestant sects as "ecclesial communities" that are not in "full communion" with the Catholic Church and its contention that individual Protestants are "members" of the Catholic Church Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943:
Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this
perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and
similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore, in His divine wisdom, He ordained in His Church Unity of Faith; a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the faithful - "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. iv., 5). That
is, as there is one Lord and one baptism, so should all Christians,
without exception, have but one faith. And so the Apostle St. Paul not
merely begs, but entreats and implores Christians to be all of the same
mind, and to avoid difference of opinions: "I beseech you, brethren, by
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing,
and that there be no schisms amongst you, and that you be perfect in the
same mind and in the same judgment" (I Cor. i., 10). Such passages
certainly need no interpreter; they speak clearly enough for themselves.
Besides, all who profess Christianity allow that there can be but one
faith. It is of the greatest importance and indeed of absolute
necessity, as to which many are deceived, that the nature and character
of this unity should be recognized. And, as We have already stated, this
is not to be ascertained by conjecture, but by the certain knowledge of
what was done; that is by seeking for and ascertaining what kind of
unity in faith has been commanded by Jesus Christ. (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
"It is for this reason that so many who do not share
'the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church' must make use of
the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which
received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration
of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements
[demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state
that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She
does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to
tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and
lead them back within holy Mother Church, where their Ancestors found
salutary pastures of life; where, in an exclusive way, is conserved and
transmitted whole the doctrine of Jesus Christ and wherein is dispensed
the mysteries of heavenly grace.
"It is therefore by
force of the right of Our supreme Apostolic ministry, entrusted to us by
the same Christ the Lord, which, having to carry out with [supreme]
participation all the duties of the good Shepherd and to follow and
embrace with paternal love all the men of the world, we send this Letter
of Ours to all the Christians from whom We are separated, with
which we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten
to return to the one fold of Christ; we desire in fact from the depths
of the heart their salvation in Christ Jesus, and we fear having to
render an account one day to Him, Our Judge, if, through some
possibility, we have not pointed out and prepared the way for them to
attain eternal salvation. In all Our prayers and supplications,
with thankfulness, day and night we never omit to ask for them, with
humble insistence, from the eternal Shepherd of souls the abundance of
goods and heavenly graces. And since, if also, we fulfill in the earth
the office of vicar, with all our heart we await with open arms the
return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive
them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to
enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for
the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon
which depends not only the salvation of all of them, but above all also
of the whole Christian society: the entire world in fact cannot enjoy
true peace if it is not of one fold and one shepherd." (Pope Pius IX, Iam Vos Omnes, September 13, 1868.)
Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request.
It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity and a
desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and
union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and
complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was
brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of Belief
and an intercourse of Fraternal love. The True Union between Christians
is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and
desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity of Government. (Pope Leo XIII, referring to the Orthodox in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1884.)
Let, therefore, the separated children
draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul,
the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See,
We repeat, which is "the root and womb whence the Church of God
springs," not with the intention and the hope that "the Church of the
living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" will cast aside the
integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary,
that they themselves submit to its teaching and government.
Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our
predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those
children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God
our Savior, "Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the
knowledge of the truth," would hear us when We humbly beg that He
would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this
most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the
prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious
over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us
the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the
voice of Her divine Son, and shall be "careful to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace." (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.)
Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church
who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been
so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or
been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one
Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free." As therefore in
the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one
Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And
therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered -
so the Lord commands - as a heathen and a publican. It follows that
those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the
unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine
Spirit. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943.)
Adding further insult to the injury caused by Joseph Augustine Di Noia's assault upon the nature of dogmatic truth as a "living tradition," is his contention that the "new and improved" version of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service is a "revision" of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. "Archbishop" Di Noia, this is simply intellectually dishonest. It is not true.
While the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition promulgated in 1961 and 1962, which was in effect universally in the conciliar church for all of three years prior to be supplanted by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI's Ordo Missae on the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 1964, was meant to lead to the Novus Ordo, it is simply not true to re-state the lie that was told in the immediate aftermath of the Novus Ordo's promulgation on April 3, 1969, and its implementation on Sunday, November 30, 1969. It is a lie that was exploded by Monsignor Klaus Gamber in The Reform of the Roman Liturgy:
Liturgy and faith are interdependent. That
is why a new rite was created, a rite that in many ways reflects the
bias of the new (modernist) theology. The traditional liturgy simply
could not be allowed to exist in its established form because it was
permeated with the truths of the traditional faith and the ancient forms
of piety. For this reason alone, much was abolished and new rites,
prayers and hymns were introduced, as were the new readings from
Scripture, which conveniently left out those passages that did not
square with the teachings of modern theology--for example, references to
a God who judges and punishes.
At the same time, the priests and the faithful are
told that the new liturgy created after the Second Vatican Council is
identical in essence with the liturgy that has been in use in the
Catholic Church up to this point, and that the only changes introduced
involved reviving some earlier liturgical forms and removing a few
duplications, but above all getting rid of elements of no particular
Most priests accepted these assurances about the
continuity of liturgical forms of worship and accepted the new rite with
the same unquestioning obedience with which they had accepted the minor
ritual changes introduced by Rome from time to time in the past,
changes beginning with the reform of the Divine Office and of the
liturgical chant introduced by Pope St. Pius X.
Following this strategy, the groups pushing for
reform were able to take advantage of and at the same time abuse the
sense of obedience among the older priests, and the common good will of
the majority of the faithful, while, in many cases, they themselves
refused to obey. . . .
The real destruction of the traditional
Mass, of the traditional Roman rite with a history of more than one
thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which it
was based, a faith that had been the source of our piety and of our
courage to bear witness to Christ and His Church, the inspiration of
countless Catholics over many centuries. Will someone, some day, be able
to say the same thing about the new Mass? (Monsignor Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, p. 39, p. 99, pp. 100-102.)
"Archbishop" Di Noia never addresses himself to the inconvenient little fact that the "revised" Roman Missal of the Novus Ordo is still governed by the General Instruction to the Roman Missal, which is a document fraught with contempt for the Faith expressed in the text and rubrics of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. Here is but one example:
15. In this manner the Church, while remaining
faithful to her office as teacher of truth, safeguarding "things old,"
that is, the deposit of tradition, fulfills at the same time the duty of
examining and prudently adopting "things new" (cf. Mt 13:52).
For part of the new Missal orders the prayers of the
Church in a way more open to the needs of our times. Of this kind are
above all the Ritual Masses and Masses for Various Needs, in which
tradition and new elements are appropriately brought together. Thus,
while a great number of expressions, drawn from the Church's most
ancient tradition and familiar through the many editions of the Roman
Missal, have remained unchanged, numerous others have been accommodated to the needs and conditions
proper to our own age, and still others, such as the prayers for the
Church, for the laity, for the sanctification of human labor, for the
community of all nations, and certain needs proper to our era, have been
newly composed, drawing on the thoughts and often the very phrasing of
the recent documents of the Council.
On account, moreover, of the same attitude toward the
new state of the world as it now is, it seemed to cause no harm at all
to so revered a treasure if some phrases were changed so that the
language would be in accord with that of modern theology and would truly
reflect the current state of the Church's discipline. Hence, several
expressions regarding the evaluation and use of earthly goods have been
changed, as have several which alluded to a certain form of outward
penance which was proper to other periods of the Church's past.
In this way, finally, the liturgical norms of the
Council of Trent have certainly been completed and perfected in many
particulars by those of the Second Vatican Council, which has carried
into effect the efforts to bring the faithful closer to the Sacred
Liturgy that have been taken up these last four centuries and especially
those of recent times, and above all the attention to the Liturgy
promoted by St. Pius X and his Successors. (Paragraph 15 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal, English translation confirmed by the conciliar officials in the Vatican.)
"Archbishop" Di Noia is simply steeped in concilairism's morass of lies. Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder the Order of Preachers he entered in the 1960s, and Saint Thomas Aquinas must be mightily displeased that a Dominican can make the assertions that he has in defense of concepts anathematized by Holy Mother Church.
Mind you, Di Noia is trying to sell the Society of Saint Pius X on the notion that the conciliar authorities want to work with its bishops and priests only if they accept the false concept of the "Second" Vatican Council as part of the Catholic Church's "living tradition" that is capable of being interpreted and understood differently that its originators intended.
I will say this, however, in "Archbishop" Di Noia's defense on one point that he has made consistently in the past six months since he became the vice president of "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei: he has been and continues to be entirely correct when stating that the Society of Saint Pius X must accept the "Second" Vatican Council, that it is not up to them to "pick and choose," that the Catholic Church cannot err on matters of Faith and Morals. Absolutely correct! Ah, but this is why anyone who is blessed with what is called the ability to reason and the courage to suffer the consequences can conclude, after prayer and study and reflection, that the conciliar church cannot be the Catholic Church because it does err, starting with the very nature of dogmatic truth.
Yes, one either accepts the results of what one considers to be a true council and the statements of men thought to be true popes or be considered a schismatic by the officials they "recognize" but "resist." In other words, the Society of Saint Pius X has got to recognize once and for all that the errors some that of its bishops and a score or more of its have catalogued and critiqued cannot come from the Catholic Church, that the conciliar church is a counterfeit ape of the Catholic Church with false doctrines and invalid sacramental rites and false officials who are nothing other than spiritual robber barons.
"Archbishop" Di Noia is making a carefully constructed appeal to convince the bishops and priests of the Society of Saint Pius X to "live in peace" with they have opposed for over four decades ago. It will be hard for Bishop Fellay to turn this down after Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI "re-excommunicates" Bishop Richard Williamson when he, as is expected, consecrates Father Joseph Pfeiffer in the near future. Joseph Augustine Di Noia may be very successful in helping Bishop Fellay to find his "hermeneutic of continuity."
Those of us to accept and to embrace the true state of the Church Militant in this time of apostasy and betrayal must beg Our Lady for the grace of perseverance as it is very easy to make accommodations, whether suddenly or incrementally, to the conciliar falsehoods, founded as they are upon a reconciliation with the very Protestant and Judeo-Masonic principles of Modernity. To do this, of course, we must carry the cross with love and gratitude, knowing that the cross of rejection, ridicule and calumny for adhering to the truth is the means by which the good God desires to purify us and thus to sanctify us as the consecrated slaves of His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
We must take the following words of Saint Louis de Montfort quite seriously:
54. Tenth. Be resolved then, dear Friends of the Cross, to suffer any kind of cross without
excepting or choosing any: all poverty, all injustice, all temporal
loss, all illness, all humiliation, all contradiction, all calumny, all
spiritual dryness, all desolation, all interior and exterior trials.
Keep saying: "My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready" (Ps. 56, 8) Be
ready to be forsaken by men and angels, and seemingly by God Himself.
Be ready to to be persecuted, envied, betrayed, calumniated, discredited
and forsaken by everyone. Be read to undergo hunger, thirst, poverty,
nakedness, exile, imprisonment, the gallows, and all kinds of torture,
even though you are innocent of everything with which you may be
charged. What if you were cast out of your our home like Job and St.
Elizabeth of Hungary; thrown, like this saint, into the mire; or
dragged upon a manure pile like Job, malodorous and covered with
ulcers, without any to bandage your wounds, without a morsel of bread,
never refused to a horse or a dog? Add to these dreadful misfortunes,
all the temptations with which God allows the devil to prey upon you,
without pouring into your soul the least feeling of consolation. . . .
Firmly believe that this is the summit of divine glory and real happiness for the true, perfect Friend of the Cross.
55.Eleventh. For proper suffering, form the pious habit of considering four things:
the Eye of God. God is like a great king, who from the height of a
tower observes with satisfaction his soldier in the midst of battle, and
praises his valor. What is it on earth that attracts God's attention?
Kings and emperors on their thrones? He often looks at that with nothing
but contempt. Brilliant victories of a nation's armies, precious
stones, any such things that are great in the eyes of men? "What is
great to men, is an abomination before God" (Luke 16, 15). What then
does God look upon with pleasure and delight? It is about the
man who is fighting for Him against riches, against the world, hell and
himself, the man who is cheerfully carrying his cross. Hast thou not
seen upon the earth that great wonder which the heavens consider with
admiration? said the Lord to Satan; "hast thou considered My servant
Job" (Job 2, 3) who is suffering for Me?
56. Second, the Hand of
God. Every disorder in nature, from the greatest to the smallest, is the
work of His almighty Hand. The Hand that devastates an army of a
hundred thousand (4 Kings 19, 35) will make a leaf drop from a tree and a
hair fall from your head (Luke 21, 18). The Hand that was laid so
heavily upon Job is particularly light when it touched you with some
little trial. This Hand fashions day and night, sun and darkness, good
and evil. God permits the sin which provokes you; He is not the cause of
its malice, although He does allow the act.
If anyone then, treats you as Semei treated King David (2 Kings 16, 5-11), loading
you with insults and casting stones at you, say to yourself, "I must
not mind; I must not take revenge for this is an ordinance of God. I
know that I have deserved every abuse and it is only right that God
punish me. Desist, my hands, and strike not; desist, my tongue, and
speak not; the person who injures me by word or deed is an ambassador,
mercifully sent by God to punish me as His love alone knows how. Let us
not incur His justice by assuming His right to vengeance. Le us not
despise His mercy by resisting the affectionate strokes of His lash,
lest, for His vengeance, He should remand us to the rigorous justice of
Consider how God bears you up with one Hand, of infinite power and wisdom, with with the other He chastises you.
With the one He deals out death, while with the other He dispenses
life. He humbles you and raises you up. With both arms, He reaches
sweetly and mightily (Wisdom 8, 1). from the beginning of your life to
its end. Sweetly: by not allowing you to be tempted or afflicted beyond
your strength. Mightily: by favoring you with a powerful grace,
proportioned to the vehemence and duration of your temptation or
affliction. Mightily:--and the spirit of His holy Church bears
witness--"He is your stay on the brink of a precipice, your guide along a
misleading road, your shade in the scorching heat, your raiment in the
pouring rain or the biting cold. He is your conveyance when you
are utterly exhausted, your help in adversity, your staff on the
slippery way. He is your port of refuge when, in the throes of a
tempest, you are threatened with ruin and shipwreck. (Saint Louis de Montfort, A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Montfort Publications, pp. 25-26.)
With Saint Louis de Montfort, we entrust ourselves to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits, grateful to suffer now so that we might be able to know glory for all eternity in Heaven.
Remember, Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end! Keep praying for the fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message and for the restoration of Holy Mother Church and of Christendom in the world.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
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.
Saint Timothy, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
The Late Associate Justice William Brennan's Understanding of a "Living Constitution"
[Thomas A. Droleskey preface:
As has been noted in numerous articles on this site, the principal means by which
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI seeks to "reconcile" the conciliarism with
Catholicism is by claiming that that the dogmatic statements of Holy
Mother Church's true dogmatic councils, each of which met under the
infallible guidance of God the Holy Ghost, and the past procurements of
our true popes, each of whom was merely teaching what was contained in
the Deposit of Faith without any deviation or alteration whatsoever, can
be interpreted anew because those statements and pronouncements were
"conditioned" by the historical circumstances in which they were made.
He has been thoroughly consistent in this condemned view throughout the
course of his priestly life, which began on June 29, 1951.
[Is the text Constitution of the United States of America, written
by men who did not recognize the authority of the Catholic Church to
govern men in all that pertains to the good of their immortal souls and
thus who believed that they could provide the foundation for a just
republic without any regard for what she teaches in the Holy Name of the
Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, more
"immutable" in its meaning than, say, the decrees of the Council of
Florence on the fact that all non-Catholics, including Jews, need to
convert to the Catholic Faith or those of the Council of Trent on the
Doctrine of Justification? Are the words of the framers, each of whom
was a product of Modernity--and to the extent that some of them might
have been influenced by the writing of Saint Robert Bellarmine they did
so through the filter provided by Protestantism and the "Enlightenment,"
more binding on the consciences of succeeding generations than the
condemnations of religious liberty made by Popes Pius VI, Pope Pius VII,
Gregory XVI, and Pius IX? Why should the words of the Constitution be
any more "hallowed" than those given us to by the Fathers of true
councils and by our true popes?
[Please read, therefore, the Catholic
pro-abort William Brennan's words below as they are words of a son of
Modernity. And these words are identical in their spirit to the words of
a son of Modernism by way of the New Theology, Joseph
To remain faithful to
the content of the Constitution, therefore, an approach to interpreting
the text must account for the existence of these substantive value
choices, and must accept the ambiguity inherent in the effort to apply
them to modern circumstances. The Framers discerned fundamental
principles through struggles against particular malefactions of the
Crown; the struggle shapes the particular contours of the articulated
principles. But our acceptance of the fundamental principles has not and
should not bind us to those precise, at times anachronistic, contours. Successive
generations of Americans have continued to respect these fundamental
choices and adopt them as their own guide to evaluating quite different
historical practices. Each generation has the choice to overrule or add
to the fundamental principles enunciated by the Framers; the
Constitution can be amended or it can be ignored. Yet with
respect to its fundamental principles, the text has suffered neither
fate. Thus, if I may borrow the words of an esteemed predecessor,
Justice Robert Jackson, the burden of judicial interpretation is to
translate "the majestic generalities of the Bill of Rights, conceived as
part of the pattern of liberal government in the eighteenth century,
into concrete restraints on officials dealing with the problems of the
twentieth century." Board of Education v. Barnette, [319 U.S. 624, 639 (1943),] We
current Justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as
Twentieth Century Americans. We look to the history of the time of
framing and to the intervening history of interpretation. But the
ultimate question must be, what do the words of the text mean in our
time. For the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning
it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the
adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and
current needs. What the constitutional fundamentals meant to
the wisdom of other times cannot be their measure to the vision of our
time. Similarly, what those fundamentals mean for us, our descendants
will learn, cannot be the measure to the vision of their time. This
realization is not, I assure you, a novel one of my own creation. Permit
me to quote from one of the opinions of our Court, Weems v. United States, [217 U.S. 349,] written nearly a century ago:
"Time works changes, brings into existence
new conditions and purposes. Therefore, a principle to be vital must be
capable of wider application than the mischief which gave it birth. This
is peculiarly true of constitutions. They are not ephemeral enactments,
designed to meet passing occasions. They are, to use the words
of Chief Justice John Marshall, 'designed to approach immortality as
nearly as human institutions can approach it.' The future is their care
and provision or events of good and bad tendencies of which no prophesy
can be made. In the application of a constitution, therefore, our contemplation cannot be only of what has been, but of what may be."
Interpretation must account for the transformative
purpose of the text. Our Constitution was not intended to preserve a
preexisting society but to make a new one, to put in place new
principles that the prior political community had not sufficiently
recognized. Thus, for example, when we interpret the Civil War
Amendments to the charter—abolishing slavery, guaranteeing blacks
equality under law, and guaranteeing blacks the right to vote—we must
remember that those who put them in place had no desire to enshrine the
status quo. Their goal was to make over their world, to eliminate all
vestige of slave caste. ("Constitutional Interpretation by Justice William J. Brennan, Jr")
[Thomas A. Droleskey afterword: William Brennan could
have been a "bishop" in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Pray
Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani on the Modernist Methodology to Dispense with the True Social Teaching of the Catholic Church
Here the problem presents itself of how the Church
and the lay state are to live together. Some Catholics are propagating
ideas with regard to this point which are not quite correct. Many of
these Catholics undoubtedly love the Church and rightly intend to find a
mode of possible adaptation to the circumstances of the times. But
it is none the less true that their position reminds one of that of the
faint-hearted soldier who wants to conquer without fighting, or of that
of the simple, unsuspecting person who accepts a hand, treacherously
held out to him, without taking account of the fact that this hand will
subsequently pull him across the Rubicon towards error and injustice.
The first mistake of these people is
precisely that of not accepting fully the "arms of truth" and the
teaching which the Roman Pontiffs, in the course of this last century,
and in particular the reigning Pontiff, Pius XII, by means of
encyclicals, allocutions and instructions of all kinds, have given to
Catholics on this subject.
themselves, these people affirm that, in the body of teaching given in
the Church, a distinction must be made between what is permanent and
what is transitory, this latter being due to the influence of particular
passing conditions. Unfortunately, however, they include in this second
zone the principles laid down in the Pontifical documents, principles
on which the teaching of the Church has remained constant, as they form
part of the patrimony of Catholic doctrine.
In this matter, the pendulum theory,
elaborated by certain writers in an attempt to sift the teaching set
forth in Encyclical Letters at different times, cannot be applied. "The
Church," it has been written, "takes account of the rhythm of the
world's history after the fashion of a swinging pendulum which, desirous
of keeping the proper measure, maintains its movement by reversing it
when it judges that it has gone as far as it should.... From
this point of view a whole history of the Encyclicals could be written.
Thus in the field of Biblical studies, the Encyclical, Divino Afflante
Spiritu, comes after the Encyclicals Spiritus Paraclitus and
Providentissimus. In the field of Theology or Politics, the
Encyclicals, Summi Pontificatus, Non abbiamo bisogno and Ubi Arcano Deo,
come after the Encyclical, Immortale Dei."
Now if this were to be understood in the sense
that the general and fundamental principles of public Ecclesiastical
Law, solemnly affirmed in the Encyclical Letter, Immortale Dei, are
merely the reflection of historic moments of the past, while the swing
of the pendulum of the doctrinal Encyclicals of Pope Pius XI and Pope
Pius XII has passed in the opposite direction to different positions, the statement would have to be qualified as completely erroneous, not
only because it misrepresents the teaching of the Encyclicals
themselves, but also because it is theoretically inadmissible. In the
Encyclical Letter, Humani Generis, the reigning Pontiff teaches us that
we must recognize in the Encyclicals the ordinary magisterium of the
Church: "Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical
Letters does not of itself demand assent, in that, when writing such
Letters, the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their teaching
authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching
authority, of which it is true to say "He who heareth you heareth Me"
(St. Luke 10:16); and generally what is expounded and inculcated in
Encyclical Letters already belongs for other reasons to Catholic
Because they are afraid of being accused of wanting to return to the Middle Ages, some of our writers no longer dare to maintain the doctrinal positions
that are constantly affirmed in the Encyclicals as belonging to the life
and legislation of the Church in all ages. For them is meant the
warning of Pope Leo XIII who, recommending concord and unity in the
combat against error, adds that "care must be taken never to connive, in
anyway, at false opinions, never to withstand them less strenuously
than truth allows." (Duties of the Catholic State in Regard to Religion.)
Monsignor Joseph Clinton Fenton on the Binding Nature of Papal Declarations
(As Extracted From a Previous Article)
The late Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton, who had taught my own late seminary professor, Father John Joseph "Jackie Boy"
at Saint Bernard's Seminary in Rochester, New York, in the late-1930s,
wrote a superb explication of the teaching authority of encyclical
letters a year before Humani Generis. It was my late friend, Mr. Jerry Meng, the author of Joseph Ratzinger Is Not the Pope, who had provided me with information about Father Fenton's material, which appeared in the American Ecclesiastical Review,
that I had read several years ago but had faded into the deeper
recesses of my memory in the meantime. To Father
It would manifestly be a very serious fault on the part of a Catholic writer or teacher in this field, acting on his own authority, to set aside or to ignore any of the outstanding doctrinal pronouncements of the Rerum novarum or the Quadragesimo anno,
regardless of how unfashionable these documents be in a particular
locality or at a particular time. It would, however, be a much graver
sin on the part of such a teacher to pass over or to discountenance a
considerable section of the teachings contained in these labor
encyclicals. In exactly the same way and for precisely the same reason
it would be seriously wrong to contravene any outstanding individual
pronouncement in the encyclicals dealing with the relations between
Church and State, and much worse to ignore or disregard all of the
teachings or a great portion of the teachings on this topic contained in
the letters of Pius IX and Leo XIII.
It is, of course, possible that the Church might come to modify its
stand on some detail of teaching presented as non-infallible matter in a
papal encyclical. The nature of the auctoritas providentiae doctrinalis within the Church is such, however, that this fallibility extends to
questions of relatively minute detail or of particular application. The
body of doctrine on the rights and duties of labor, on the Church and
State, or on any other subject treated extensively in a series of papal
letters directed to and normative for the entire Church militant could
not be radically or completely erroneous. The infallible security Christ
wills that His disciples should enjoy within His Church is utterly
incompatible with such a possibility. (Doctrinal authority of Papal Encyclicals.)
To wit, Pope Saint Pius X wrote the following about the falsehood represented by the separation of Church and State:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a
most pernicious error. . . .
Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required,
to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
Gee, I wonder who has spent a
great deal of the past eighty-six and one-half months endorsing this false thesis: Joseph
Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, that's who. This cannot be. It is impossible for
a true Roman Pontiff to contradict another on a matter that is part of
the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
entrusted to His Catholic Church for Its eternal safekeeping and
Some glib commentators might protest that not every
papal statement demands our assent, that we can "sift" through what a
true pope says. This is false, which is one of the reasons why true
popes never spoke in interviews as they knew that their words, which
were carefully chosen and vetted by theological advisers (yes, the
rendering of this word as "advisors" is also accepted usage), carried
the weight of their papal office, that the faithful weren't and could
not be expected to make unnecessary distinctions between "official" and
"unofficial" words and deeds, which was the whole point of Words and Actions Without Consequences.
Monsignor Fenton elaborated on this point when applying the teaching stated by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis to the authority of papal allocutions:
Despite the fact that there is nothing like an
adequate treatment of the papal allocutions in existing theological
literature, every priest, and particularly every professor of sacred
theology, should know whether and under what circumstances these
allocutions addressed by the Sovereign Pontiffs to private groups are to
be regarded as authoritative, as actual expressions of the Roman
Pontiff's ordinary magisterium. And, especially because of the tendency towards an unhealthy minimism current in this country and elsewhere in the world today, they should
also know how doctrine is to be set forth in the allocutions and the
other vehicles of the Holy Father's ordinary magisterium if it is to be
accepted as authoritative. The present brief paper will attempt to consider and to answer these questions.
The first question to be considered is this: Can a
speech addressed by the Roman Pontiff to a private group, a group which
cannot in any sense be taken as representing either the Roman Church or
the universal Church, contain doctrinal teaching authoritative for the
The clear and unequivocal answer to this question is contained in the Holy Father's encyclical letter Humani generis, issued Aug. 12, 1950. According to this document: "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
Thus, in the teaching of the Humani generis, any doctrinal decision made by the Pope and included in his "Acta" are authoritative. Now many of the allocutions made by the Sovereign Pontiff to private groups are included in the "Acta" of the Sovereign Pontiff himself, as a section of the Acta apostolicae sedis. Hence, any doctrinal decision made in one of these allocutions that is published in the Holy Father's "Acta" is authoritative and binding on all the members of the universal Church.
There is, according to the words of the Humani generis, an authoritative doctrinal decision whenever the Roman Pontiffs, in their "Acta," "de re hactenus controversa data opera sententiam ferunt."
When this condition is fulfilled, even in an allocution originally
delivered to a private group, but subsequently published as part of the
Holy Father's "Acta," an authoritative doctrinal judgment has
been proposed to the universal Church. All of those within the Church
are obliged, under penalty of serious sin, to accept this decision. . . .
Now the questions may arise: is there any
particular form which the Roman Pontiff is obliged to follow in setting
forth a doctrinal decision in either the positive or the negative
manner? Does the Pope have to state specifically and explicitly that he
intends to issue a doctrinal decision on this particular point? Is it
at all necessary that he should refer explicitly to the fact that there
has hitherto been a debate among theologians on the question he is going
There is certainly nothing in the divinely
established constitutional law of the Catholic Church which would in any
way justify an affirmative response to any of these inquiries. The
Holy Father's doctrinal authority stems from the tremendous
responsibility Our Lord laid upon him in St. Peter, whose successor he
is. Our Lord charged the Prince of the Apostles, and through him, all
of his successors until the end of time, with the commission of feeding,
of acting as a shepherd for, of taking care of, His lambs and His
sheep. Included in that responsibility was the obligation, and, of
course, the power, to confirm the faith of his fellow Christians.
And the Lord said: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath
desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed
for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted,
confirm thy brethren."
St. Peter had, and has in his successor, the duty
and the power to confirm his brethren in their faith, to take care of
their doctrinal needs. Included in his responsibility is an obvious
obligation to select and to employ the means he judges most effective
and apt for the accomplishment of the end God has commissioned him to
attain. And in this era, when the printed word possesses a
manifest primacy in the field of the dissemination of ideas, the
Sovereign Pontiffs have chosen to bring their authoritative teaching,
the doctrine in which they accomplish the work of instruction God has
commanded them to do, to the people of Christ through the medium of the
printed word in the published "Acta."
The Humani generis reminds us that the doctrinal decisions set forth in the Holy Father's "Acta"
manifestly are authoritative "according to the mind and will" of the
Pontiffs who have issued these decisions. Thus, wherever there is a
doctrinal judgment expressed in the "Acta" of a Sovereign Pontiff, it is clear that the Pontiff understands that decision to be authoritative and wills that it be so.
Now when the Pope, in his "Acta," sets
forth as a part of Catholic doctrine or as a genuine teaching of the
Catholic Church some thesis which has hitherto been opposed, even
legitimately, in the schools of sacred theology, he is manifestly making a doctrinal decision.
This certainly holds true even when, in making his statement, the Pope
does not explicitly assert that he is issuing a doctrinal judgment and,
of course, even when he does not refer to the existence of a controversy
or debate on the subject among theologians up until the time of his own
pronouncement. All that is necessary is that this teaching, hitherto
opposed in the theological schools, be now set forth as the teaching of
the Sovereign Pontiff, or as "doctrina catholica."
Private theologians have no right
whatsoever to establish what they believe to be the conditions under
which the teaching presented in the "Acta" of the Roman Pontiff may be accepted as authoritative.
This is, on the contrary, the duty and the prerogative of the Roman
Pontiff himself. The present Holy Father has exercised that right and
has done his duty in stating clearly that any doctrinal decision which
the Bishop of Rome has taken the trouble to make and insert into his "Acta" is to be received as genuinely authoritative.
In line with the teaching of the Humani generis,
then, it seems unquestionably clear that any doctrinal decision
expressed by the Sovereign Pontiff in the course of an allocution
delivered to a private group is to be accepted as authoritative when and
if that allocution is published by the Sovereign Pontiff as a part of
his own "Acta." Now we must consider this final question: What
obligation is incumbent upon a Catholic by reason of an authoritative
doctrinal decision made by the Sovereign Pontiff and communicated to the
universal Church in this manner?
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.
In line with the teaching of the Humani generis,
then, it seems unquestionably clear that any doctrinal decision
expressed by the Sovereign Pontiff in the course of an allocution
delivered to a private group is to be accepted as authoritative when and
if that allocution is published by the Sovereign Pontiff as a part of
his own "Acta." Now we must consider this final question: What
obligation is incumbent upon a Catholic by reason of an authoritative
doctrinal decision made by the Sovereign Pontiff and communicated to the
universal Church in this manner? (The doctrinal Authority of Papal allocutions.)
The crashing sound you hear in
the background is the whole facade of the false ecclesiology of the
"resist but recognize" movement that has been propagated in the past
forty years as the "answer" to "resisting" the decrees of the "Second"
Vatican Council and the "encyclical" letters and statements and
allocutions of the conciliar "popes" crumbling right to the ground.
The rejections, for example, of the clear and
consistent Catholic condemnation of religious liberty and separation of
Church and State while endorsing the sort of false ecumenism condemned
by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, and while
propagating the "new ecclesiology" of the "new theology" that is a
public and manifest rejection of the very nature of the Church as
summarized by Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943,
are no mere acts of "modification" of past papal statements as they are
applied in the world today. They are a wholesale rejection of Catholic
truth, which is why they have been shrouded in a cloud of ambiguity and
paradox as to deceive many of the elect.