Story Time in Econe
by Thomas A. Droleskey
"Is Jackie-boy telling stories again?"
A sister, herself now deceased, of the late Father John Joseph
"Jackie Boy" Sullivan, asked that question, quite sarcastically, to two seminarians (themselves now presbyters in the counterfeit church of conciliarism) at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, when they related in early-1984 the story that had been told in class by Father Sullivan of how he had been called to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction to a woman dying in the supermarket on a crate of oranges. The woman, he said, turned out to be his own mother. "I couldn't believe it," Father said in class. "My own mother, dying on a crate of oranges. I couldn't believe it!" Father Sullivan's sister told my then fellow seminarians (I was not present when the sister debunked the story), "My mother died in bed at our home at 244 Griswold Street in West Hartford, Connecticut."
Yes, Father Sullivan could, shall we say, exaggerate a story now and again, embellishing it with a few fabricated details, something that I noted in my preface to
Jackie Boy. He reminded me in this regard of my late mother's father by adoption, the vaudevillian performer who claimed to be a Sioux Indian chieftain, William Red Fox (whose real name was William Humes, born in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 10, 1884, fourteen years after his own "memoirs" claimed he was born as the nephew of Chief Crazy Horse in the badlands of Montana). Father Sullivan could indeed tell a few stories that were replete with questionable details.
Another one telling stories these days, although stories of longstanding these past few decades, is Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X. A real whopper is contained in his letter to Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI that requests the commencement of meetings to discuss the points upon which the Society of Saint Pius X disputes concerning the "Second" Vatican Council:
In sentiments of thanksgiving we wish to express our deep gratitude for Your act of paternal kindness and for the apostolic courage by which You rendered ineffective the measure which imposed upon us twenty years ago as a consequence of our episcopal consecrations. Your decree dated January 21, 2009 restores in some way the reputation of the venerated founder of our priestly Society, His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. It also procures a great good to the Church, so it seems to us, by doing justice to the priests and faithful worldwide who, attached to the Tradition of the Church, will no longer be unjustly stigmatized for having kept the Faith of their fathers.
Because of this combat for the Faith, we assure Your Holiness, according to the wish You expressed, that we “will spare no effort in exploring as yet unresolved questions through requisite discussions with the authorities of the Holy See.” Indeed we desire to begin, as soon as possible, exchanges with representatives of Your Holiness concerning doctrines opposed to the Magisterium of all time.
By following this path still necessary, mentioned by Your Holiness, we hope to help the Holy See to bring the appropriate remedy to the loss of the Faith inside the Church.
The Immaculate Virgin Mary has clearly guided the steps of Your Holiness toward us, She will continue Her gracious intercession in His favor. With this assurance, we filially ask the Universal Pastor to bless four of His sons most attached to the Successor of Peter and to His charge of feeding the lambs and the sheep of the Lord. (Letter to Benedict XVI)
Yes, it's story time in Econe, well, yes, actually, Meiningen, Switzerland, to be precise. There is no such thing as the "Magisterium of all time." None of the theologians of the Society of Saint Pius X who have worked feverishly to engage in a theology of "special pleading" over the past few decades (efforts to justify the Society's contention that it can operate outside of the authority of a legitimate Roman Pontiff while claiming to recognize him as a true Successor of Saint Peter) can produce a shred of Patristic evidence to support the claim that there is a "Magisterium of all time" that is separate and distinct from the authority of the Catholic Church as represented by a true pope and his bishops at any one point in time. There is simply no such thing
The authority of the Catholic Church cannot give us defective liturgies that are offensive to God. The Catholic Church cannot give us liturgical rites of episcopal consecration and of priestly ordination that must be scrutinized by the theologians of a priestly society of common life. The Catholic Church cannot give us documents as part of its official magisterium that are said to be in conflict with those issued at an earlier time. A true Successor of Saint Peter cannot do and say and believe things that have been condemned repeatedly by the authority of the Catholic Church.
The [First] Vatican Council, relying upon the decrees of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, taught that "in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy:"
“So the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, made this solemn profession: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true Faith. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Who said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18), should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy.’ ...for they fully realized that this See of St. Peter always remains untainted by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of his disciples, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou has turned again, strengthen thy brethren’ (Luke 22:32).” (On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff )
The leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X have recognized the conciliar "pontiffs" and their appointees as having held and exercised authority legitimately in the Apostolic See while at the same time calling into question the actions and words of those "pontiffs" and their appointees. How can the solemn teaching of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, cited by the Fathers of the [First] Vatican Council, that "in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy" have said to have been maintained when those who are said to have been true "popes" and "bishops" have done and said things that have "necessitated" their being called into question by the leaders of a priestly society of common life that has no canonical authority from the Apostolic See (whose leaders they accept as legitimate) to train and ordain priests, no less to constitute its own marriage tribunal and to conditionally confirm Catholics who have been "confirmed" according to a rite promulgated by the authority of the "popes" recognized by the leaders of this priestly society of common life?
How can it be that the Catholic Church can promulgate a putative "missal" that could prompt the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, to preach the following sermon in 1976 following his "suspension" a divinis by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI? One sees in this sermon the Archbishop's rejection of the rites and the teaching of the conciliarists, especially concerning their rejection of the Social Reign of Christ the King, while accepting them as legitimate holders of office in the Catholic Church:
The Revolution made martyrs, but that is nothing to what Vatican II has done; priests have apostatized from the priesthood! This marriage between the Church and the Revolution wishes for by the liberal Catholics who triumph saying: With Vatican II, our principles are accepted": this marriage is adulterous. And this adulterous union can only produce illegitimate children. The new rite of Mass is an illegitimate rite, the sacraments are illegitimate sacraments, the priests who come from the seminaries are illegitimate priests: they no longer know that they are made to ascend to the altar to the office the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only person in the world who can say "I am God." Therefore, He is the only king of humanity. There will be no peace on earth except through the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. His reign--the reign of God's Commandments--will bring about justice and peace. One sees this well in Argentina since they have had a government with principles, and authority.
This is why we also want the Mass of St. Pius V, because it proclaims the royalty of our Lord Jesus Christ who reigns from the cross: Regnavit a ligno Deus.
In all sincerity, peace and serenity, I cannot contribute, I do not want to contribute, to the destruction of the Church by [submitting to] the suspensions that are laid on me, by closing my seminaries, and by refusing to give ordination. When I die and our Lord asks me, "What did you do with your episcopacy, what did you do with the grace of the episcopacy and the priesthood? I do not want to hear our Lord say: "You have joined with the others in destroying the Church."
Some reporters have said [to] me: "Your Grace, don't you feel isolated" I say: "Not at all. I have twenty centuries of the Church with me." I am told: "You judge the Pope." Archbishop Benelli said to my face: "You are not the one who makes the truth!" Of course I am not the one who makes the truth, but neither is the Pope.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth; you must refer to what the whole Church as taught. It is not I who judge the Holy Father, it is Tradition. A child of five with his catechism can tell his bishop a thing or two. If the bishop professes an error, who is right? The catechism!
If only every bishop gave us, gave the Catholic faithful. . .that is what I will ask the Holy Father if he wishes to receive me: "Most holy Father, let us carry out this experiment of Tradition." (Sermon of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, delivered in Lille, France, August 29, 1976, quoted in Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, 2004, pp. 489-490.)
Even though the late Archbishop Lefebvre accepted the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo service on some occasions, he did in this one instance refer to it as an "illegitimate rite" and that the priests ordained by by the conciliar church to be "illegitimate priests." It is not possible for the Catholic Church to provide her children with illegitimate liturgical rites and illegitimate priests. It is no more possible for the Catholic Church to endorse what Pope Saint Pius X termed the absolutely false thesis of the separation of Church and State (a thesis condemned as well by Pope Pius IX in The Syllabus of Errors) than it is for her to deny the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity.
Pope Pius XI made it clear in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, that one must believe in everything contained in the Deposit of Faith without any exception, believing in each article of the Faith as firmly as the others:
Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? 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. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
God has revealed His Social Doctrine with the same firmness and certitude as He has revealed all other doctrines. Pope Pius XI explained in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, that those reject or "re-define" the Social Teaching of the Church subscribe to a form of social, legal and political modernism that was to be condemned no less vigorously than theological modernism:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.
It is necessary ever to keep in mind these teachings and pronouncements which We have made; it is no less necessary to reawaken that spirit of faith, of supernatural love, and of Christian discipline which alone can bring to these principles correct understanding, and can lead to their observance. This is particularly important in the case of youth, and especially those who aspire to the priesthood, so that in the almost universal confusion in which we live they at least, as the Apostle writes, will not be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians iv, 14)
Pope Pius XI noted in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio that it "is necessary ever to keep in mind these teaching and pronouncements which We have made." Does the word "ever" have an expiration date of 1962 or 1965 or 1978 or 2009?
No one can remain a member of the Catholic Church in good standing and reject the Social Reign of Christ the King by rejecting the obligation of the civil state to recognize the true religion in order to endorse the "separation of Church and State" in the name of a "healthy secularity" or a "healthy laicism."
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who is about to issue a new "encyclical letter" to canonize his embrace of the "healthy laicism" and to explain away the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church as but the product of historically-conditioned circumstances that are subject to "adjustment" over the course of time, has told us that he manifestly rejects the obligation of the civil state to recognize the true religion and to accord her the favor and the protection of the laws. Indeed, he explained this most precisely to Archbishop Lefebvre in 1987:
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.)
It is necessary once again to remind readers that Pope Leo XIII taught us in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896, that those who defect from the Faith in one thing fall from It in Its entirety:
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).
The need of this divinely instituted means for the preservation of unity, about which we speak is urged by St. Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. In this he first admonishes them to preserve with every care concord of minds: "Solicitous to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. iv., 3, et seq.). And as souls cannot be perfectly united in charity unless minds agree in faith, he wishes all to hold the same faith: "One Lord, one faith," and this so perfectly one as to prevent all danger of error: "that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. iv., 14): and this he teaches is to be observed, not for a time only - "but until we all meet in the unity of faith...unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ" (13). But, in what has Christ placed the primary principle, and the means of preserving this unity? In that - "He gave some Apostles - and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (11-12).
Although the late Archbishop Lefebvre saw and condemned the conciliarists' rejection of the Social Reign of Christ the King, for example, and their embrace of the separation of Church and State and the "right" of false religions to propagate themselves publicly, condemning as well the practice of the conciliarists' engaging in "interreligious prayer meetings" with heretics and schismatics and abject infidels, he did not come the conclusion that Catholics who reject even one article of the Faith reject It in Its entirety and thus expel themselves as members of the Catholic Church by means of violating the Divine Positive Law.
Indeed, as Pope Pius XI noted in Mortalium Animos, teaching that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted to His true Church is known and taught with ease. It is not difficult to apprehend what the Catholic Church teaches:
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. . . .
Revealed doctrines must remain intact "for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men." There is no need for a priestly society of common life that acts outside the authority of the men they recognize, albeit erroneously, to represent the Apostolic See to "clarify" what the Catholic Church holds intact so that it be taught with ease and security for understanding by her children. It is impossible for the Catholic Church to make difficult or ambiguous that which is to be taught with ease and security. It is never necessary for an archbishop of the Catholic Church to have to write Open Letter to Confused Catholics to explain how liturgical rites promulgated and pronouncements by made by legitimate Successors of Saint Peter are, at the very least, problematic and in need of "clarification."
Indeed, it is without precedent in the history of the Catholic Church for an archbishop to have to warn Catholics as follows: about the sacrilegious nature of Mass promulgated by a legitimate Vicar of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Furthermore it can be said without any exaggeration whatsoever, that the majority of Masses celebrated without altar stones, with common vessels, leavened bread, with the introduction of profane words into the very body of the Canon, etc., are sacrilegious, and they prevent faith by diminishing it. The desacralization is such that these Masses can come to lose their supernatural character, “the mystery of faith,” and become no more than acts of natural religion.
Your perplexity takes perhaps the following form: may I assist at a sacrilegious Mass which is nevertheless valid, in the absence of any other, in order to satisfy my Sunday obligation? The answer is simple: these Masses cannot be the object of an obligation; we must moreover apply to them the rules of moral theology and canon law as regards the participation or the attendance at an action which endangers the faith or may be sacrilegious.
The New Mass, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is subject to the same reservations since it is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith. That being the case the French Catholic of today finds himself in the conditions of religious practice which prevail in missionary countries. There, the inhabitants in some regions are able to attend Mass only three or four times a year. The faithful of our country should make the effort to attend once each month at the Mass of All Time, the true source of grace and sanctification, in one of those places where it continues to be held in honor.
I owe it to truth to say and affirm without fear of error that the Mass codified by St. Pius V--and not invented by him, as some often say--express clearly these three realities: sacrifice, Real Presence, and the priesthood of the clergy. It takes into account also, as the Council of Trent has pointed out, the nature of mankind which needs outside help to raise itself to meditation upon divine things. The established customs have not been made at random, they cannot be overthrown or abruptly abolished with impunity. How many of the faithful, how many young priests, how many bishops, have lost the faith since the introduction of these reforms! One cannot thwart nature and faith without their taking their revenge.
But as it happens, we are told, man is no longer what he was a century ago; his nature has been changed by the technical civilization in which he is immersed. How absurd! The innovators take good care not to reveal to the faithful their desire to fall into line with Protestantism. They invoke another argument: change. Here is how they explain it at the theological evening school in Strasbourg: “We must recognize that today we are confronted with a veritable cultural mutation. One particular manner of celebrating the memorial of the Lord was bound up with a religious universe which is no longer ours.” It is quickly said, and everything disappears. We must start again from scratch. Such are the sophisms they use to make us change our faith. What is a “religious universe?” It would be better to be frank and say: “a religion which is no longer ours.” (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, The Mass of All Times versus the Mass of Our Time).
"A religion which is no longer ours" is a religion that belongs to a false church, the counterfeit church of concilairism, not the Catholic Church.
For all of his condemnations of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service and religious liberty and the questionable nature of the conciliar rite of priestly ordination, however, Archbishop Lefebvre ran "hot and cold" with conciliar officials, even going so far as to accept its presbyters as legitimately "ordained" priests despite his criticism of what he called "illegitimate rites" (please review Father Anthony Cekada's
- The Nine vs. Lefebvre: We Resist You to Your Face and Bishop Donald Sanborn's
The Mountains of Gelboe), which was of the breaking points with "The Nine." The Archbishop also accepted the decrees of nullity issued by conciliar marriage tribunals (before the Society established its own tribunal for its own members) and chose to insert the second Confiteor in the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition that had been omitted from the missal promulgated by Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII in 1961 and 1962. The Archbishop arrogated unto himself the right to determine that conciliar decrees and "papal" pronouncements were "Catholic" and which were not. This is Gallicanism, not Catholicism. (For a brief discussion of Gallicanism and the mythology of "heretical popes" that was propagated by opponents of papal infallibility at the [First] Vatican Council and has been revived in these our own times by the resist and recognize movement, please see material from Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki's Tumultuous Times that is appended after the Litany of Saints.)
One wonders what will happen to those priests in the Society of Saint Pius X who did undergo conditional ordination, something considered a grave sacrilege by the Catholic Church--which the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X believe has been represented by the "popes" John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI--as it places into question the legitimacy of a rite promulgated by a Sovereign Pontiff, after leaving their dioceses or religious communities. Will these priests be forced to abjure their conditional ordination? Will the Society of Saint Pius X be forced to admit its bishops acted erroneously in performing these conditional ordinations? Will these priests be forced to ask permission from their diocesan "bishops" or the heads of their religious communities to remain in the Society of Saint Pius X? Will they be indemnified from performing the Novus Ordo service? Or will the conciliar officials simply shrug their shoulders about all of this in order to reach a "concordat" that will represent yet another step in the completion of the house that is the One World Church? Inconsistency and inconstancy may indeed serve as a "bridge" between the leaders of the Society of Saint Pius X and those of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, therefore, is simply following the trajectory of the Archbishop himself in the current machinations with the officials of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. It is entirely consistent for the Society of Saint Pius X to refer to what Archbishop Lefebvre called the "Mass of all times" as the "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite." As Bishop Donald Sanborn has pointed out, what matters in the Society of Pius X is not the teaching of the Catholic Church but the decisions reached by the Society's leadership, which are presented in an ipso facto manner as that of the Church. As noted just above, there is indeed much more "common ground" between the Society of Saint Pius X and the counterfeit church of conciliarism than one might perceive at first glance.
Alas, Pope Leo XIII made it clear in Satis Cognitum that the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is living and permanent. It is impossible for a true pope to put into question the perennial nature of the teaching that has been entrusted by Holy Mother Church's Invisible Head and Mystical Bridegroom, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as the "magisterium" "of the moment:"
Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often, therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man. "Lord, if we be in error, we are being deceived by Thee" (Richardus de S. Victore, De Trin., lib. i., cap. 2). In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? - without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others. Faith, as the Church teaches, is "that supernatural virtue by which, through the help of God and through the assistance of His grace, we believe what he has revealed to be true, not on account of the intrinsic truth perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, the Revealer, who can neither deceive nor be deceived" (Conc. Vat., Sess. iii., cap. 3). If then it be certain that anything is revealed by God, and this is not believed, then nothing whatever is believed by divine Faith: for what the Apostle St. James judges to be the effect of a moral delinquency, the same is to be said of an erroneous opinion in the matter of faith. "Whosoever shall offend in one point, is become guilty of all" (Ep. James ii., 10). Nay, it applies with greater force to an erroneous opinion. For it can be said with less truth that every law is violated by one who commits a single sin, since it may be that he only virtually despises the majesty of God the Legislator. But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honour God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith. "In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me the many things in which they are will not profit them" (S. Augustinus in Psal. liv., n. 19). And this indeed most deservedly; for they, who take from Christian doctrine what they please, lean on their own judgments, not on faith; and not "bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. x., 5), they more truly obey themselves than God. "You, who believe what you like, believe yourselves rather than the gospel" (S. Augustinus, lib. xvii., Contra Faustum Manichaeum, cap. 3).
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, as has been demonstrated countless times on this site, defects from the Faith in numerous ways, starting with his embrace of a notion of dogmatic truth that is contrary even to natural reason and has been anathematized solemnly by the authority of the Catholic Church. Perhaps a reiteration of these points, made a month ago today in, A Little Bit "In," A Little Bit "Out", will be helpful:
Ratzinger/Benedict denies the nature of dogmatic truth, cleaving to philosophically absurd notion that dogmatic truth can never be expressed adequately at any one point in time, that each expression of dogma is necessarily "conditioned" by the historical circumstances in which it was pronounced. Condemned by the [First] Vatican Council, Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, and The Oath Against Modernism, and by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.
Ratzinger/Benedict specifically rejects the "ecumenism of the return," thereby making a mockery of the exhortations of one true pope after another for such a return of non-Catholics to the true Church.
Ratzinger/Benedict embraces concilairism's definition of "religious liberty" as he praises the nonexistent ability of false religions to "contribute" to the "betterment" of nations and the world. Condemned by Pope Pius VII in Post Tam Diuturnas, April 29, 1814, Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, and by Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864.)
Ratzinger/Benedict endorses the "separation of Church and State," a thesis called absolutely false by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, and rejects the obligation of the civil state to recognize the Catholic Church as its official religion and to pursue the common temporal good in light of man's Last End, an obligation reiterated by pope after pope following the rise of the religiously indifferentist civil state of Modernity.
Ratzinger/Benedict has entered one mosque and two synagogues, engaging in acts of apostasy and blasphemy as he, who believes himself to be the Vicar of Christ on earth, has permitted himself to be treated as an inferior as he has treated places of false worship that are hideous to God as worthy of respect, thereby scandalizing His little ones no end.
Ratzinger/Benedict has termed Mount Hiei in Japan, where the adherents of the Tendei sect of Buddhism, worship their devils, as "sacred."
Joseph Ratzinger has long rejected the official philosophy of the Catholic Church, the Scholasticism of Saint Thomas Aquinas, in favor of the condemned precepts of the so-called "New Theology, the subject of an article, The Memories of a Destructive Mind: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's Milestones
, on a Society of Saint Pius X website that may well "disappear"--along with other "damaging" citations that will have to be removed as part of the conciliar process of "purification of memory"--once a formal "regularization" takes place. (See also: Attempting to Coerce Perjury
Ratzinger/Benedict holds to a view of the Doctrine of Justification that, in essence, hinges on the belief that the Fathers of the Council of Trent, who met under the influence and protection of God the Holy Ghost, were wrong (as is explained in Attempting to Coerce Perjury
The desire of the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X to engage in "discussions" with the officials of the counterfeit church of conciliarism on various points as doctrine is as absurd as the efforts on the part of the conciliarists' to engage in such "discussions" with representatives of other non-Catholic religions. "Dialogue" with heretics and apostates is fruitless. One can just as soon engage representatives of the Anglican "church" in "discussions" as to engage those of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Neither set of representatives are members of the Catholic Church.
To point out these simple truths is not to break "unity" in the "traditional" movement. Catholics seek only to be united in the truths of the Holy Faith. It is not in the service of the Faith to reaffirm others in falsehoods, such as those propagated by the Society of Saint Pius X that it is possible for the Catholic Church to give us defective liturgies and doctrinal pronouncements that must be "filtered" by its own bishops and theologians. Those concerned about "breaking" unity in the "traditional movement" ought to be concerned first and foremost with absolute fidelity to the truths of the Holy Faith, starting with the recognition that it is impossible for true popes to do and to say the things that the conciliar "pontiffs" have said and done in the past fifty years. We might as well adhere to the Novus Ordo service and all of the falsehoods of concilairism if we are concerned first about a "unity" that is founded on anything other than an absolute adherence to everything taught by the Catholic Church, including the nature of her infallibility as summarized by His Excellency Bishop Donald A. Sanborn in
Vatican II, the Pope and SSPX: Q & A:
Why cannot authority of the Roman Catholic
Church give to the universal Church false doctrines,
false liturgical practices, and false disciplines?
Precisely because it is the authority of Christ. The
Pope is assisted by the Holy Ghost in the promulgation
of dogma and morals, and in the enactment of liturgical laws and pastoral disciplines. In the same
way that it is unimaginable that Christ could promulgate
these errors or enact these sinful disciplines, so
it is unimaginable that the assistance which He gives
to the Church through the Holy Ghost could permit
such things. Hence, the fact that the Vatican II popes
have done these things is a certain sign that they
have do not have the authority of Christ.
The teachings of Vatican II and the reforms which
proceed from it are contrary to the Faith and ruinous
of our eternal salvation. But since the Church is both
indefectible and infallible, it cannot give to the
faithful doctrines, laws, liturgy, and disciplines
which are contrary to the Faith and ruinous of our eternal salvation. We must therefore conclude that
this Council and these reforms do not proceed from the
Church, that is, the Holy Ghost, but from an evil influence
within the Church. From this it follows that
those who have promulgated this evil Council and
these evil reforms have not promulgated them with
the authority of the Church, which is the authority
of Christ. From this we rightfully conclude that their
claim to have this authority is false, despite whatever
appearance they may have, even despite an apparently
valid election to the papacy.
As has been noted before on this site, any "concordat" between the Society of Saint Pius X and the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism would place this priestly society of common life in "full communion" with the likes of Roger "Cardinal" Mahony, who has once again expressed his disdain for the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. A "church" composed of men who have a hatred for the Mass that produced most of the canonized saints of the Catholic Church, the Mass that was offered by many of those saints who were bishops and priests, might be many things. Such a "church" cannot be the Catholic Church, however. Those who contend that the true Church can produce the reign of apostasy and blasphemy that is associated with conciliarism do indeed believe in "story time." They are telling "stories" along the lines of "Jackie Boy."
Although each person must consider these points and reach his own conclusions in the Providence of God, we remain grateful to the true bishops and the true priests who helped us find our own way out of the counterfeit church of conciliarism and to avoid even the slightest hint of being "una cum" the arch-heretic who claims to be the Successor of Saint Peter. It is really very simple:
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. . . .
Today is the Feast of Saint Casimir Jagiellon, a magnificent exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King, whose just stewardship of temporal affairs according to the Mind of the King of Kings as He has discharged It exclusively in the Catholic Church has made his memory revered in both Poland and Lithuania from his own day, the Fifteenth Century, to our own.
Saint Casimir's defense of the Social Reign of Christ the King should inspire us to recognize that not a single, solitary Catholic who rejects the Sacred Rights of Our Divine Redeemer to reign as the King of all men and of each and every nation, including the United States of America, is a member in good standing of the Catholic Church. His example of prayer and penance and fasting and mortification should inspire us as well in the First Week in Lent to deny ourselves in this life so that we might have life everlasting in Heaven, please God and by the graces He won for us and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, that we die in states of Sanctifying Grace.
May we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit so that we might plant more and more seeds for the conversion of all men, including the conciliarists, to the true Faith as we make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady told us that her Immaculate Heart would triumph in the end. We must place our confidence in this promise that has been made to us by the Mother of God herself.
In the meantime, of course, we continue to entrust our souls exclusively to true bishops and true priests who make no concessions at all to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds, false shepherds who defect from the Faith in numerous ways and who think nothing of blaspheming God by esteeming the symbols of false religions and treating the "ministers" of non-Catholic religions as legitimate representatives of God, remembering these words of Saint Paul the Apostle in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians:
Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6: 14-18.)
Viva Cristo Rey!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
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 Casimir, pray for us.
Pope Saint Lucius I, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.
Tumultuous Times on Gallicanism and the Mythology of "Heretical" Popes
Papal infallibility had been assailed by an ideology called Gallicanism (Conciliarism) for more than 400 years prior to the [First] Vatican Council. Gallicanism "tended to restrict the authority of the Church regarding the state (Political Gallicanism) or the authority of the pope regarding councils, bishops, and clergy (Ecclesiastico-Theological Gallicanism). These erroneous teachings were widely professed by the clergy of France (formerly called Gaul, hence the name) and later spread to Flanders, Ireland and England. Some prelates at the council followed the Gallican ideology and wished to make papal authority dependent on the bishops and the approbation of general councils.
In the 14th century in consequence of the confusion in ecclesiastical and political affairs, the status of the papacy sank considerably. This was fatefully reflected in its effects on the teaching of papal primacy. William of Ockham, in his battle against Pope John XXII, tried to undermine the divine institution of the primacy. Marsilius of Padua and John of Jandun directly denied it and declared to primacy to be a mere honorary primacy, and ascribed the supreme judicial power and doctrinal power to the general council. At the time of the great Western Schism (1378-1417) many reputable theologians, such as Henry as Langenstein, Conrad of Gelnhausen, Peter of Ailly and John Gerson, saw in the doctrine of the superiority of the general council over the pope (conciliary theory) the sole means of reuniting the Church. The viewpoint appeared that the general Church was indeed free from error, but that the Roman Church could err, and fall into heresy and schism. The Council of Constance (Fourth and Fifth Sessions) and of Basle (Second Session) declared for the superiority of the council over the pope. However, the resolutions referring to this did not receive the papal ratification and were consequently legally invalid (D 657 Amm. 2). In Gallicanism the theory of the superiority of a general council lived on for hundreds of years. (Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 289.)
Many Italians and Romans who opposed Gallicanism and defended the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff became known as Ultramontanists. "Ultramontanism [is] a term used to denote integral and active Catholicism, because it recognizes as its spiritual head the pope, who, for the greater part of Europe, is a dweller beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is, beyond the Alps. Ultramontanists stressed the monarchical role of the pope, his universal jurisdiction, his primacy over the Catholic Church and his infallibility in ex cathedra pronouncements.
The Chief Doctrinal Error of the Time
The conflict between theses two groups is described by a contemporary writer:
Each council was convened to extinguish the chief heresy, or to correct the chief evil of the time. And I do not hesitate to affirm that the denial of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff was the chief intellectual or doctrinal error as to faith, not to call it more than proximate to heresy, of our times.
It was so because is struck at the validity of the pontifical acts of the last 300 years, weakened the effect of papal decisions of this period over the intellect and conscience of the faithful. It kept alive a dangerous controversy on the subject of infallibility altogether, and exposed even the infallibility of the Church itself to difficulties not easy to solve. As an apparently open or disputable point, close to the very root of faith, it exposed even the faith itself to the reach of doubts.
Next, practically, it was mischievous beyond measure. The divisions and contentions of 'Gallicanism' and 'Ultramontanism' have been a scandal and a shame to us. Protestants and unbelievers have been kept from the truth by our intestine controversies, especially upon a point so high and so intimately connected with the whole doctrinal authority of the Church. Again, morally, the division and contention on this point, supposed to be open, has generated more alienation, bitterness and animosity between Pastors and people, and what is worse, between Pastor and Pastor, than any other in our day. (Cardinal Manning, The Vatican Council and Definitions, pp. 41-42.). . . .
The Case of Pope Liberius
Pope Liberius reigned during the height of the Arian heresy and was exiled by order of the Emperor Constantius for his opposition to it. Some authors claim that the pope signed a document promoting Arianism. Frs. Rumble and Carty have refused this false claim by asserting:
Historical research has shown that it is doubtful whether he signed the document at all. ...St. Athanasius and St. Hilary, who thought he did sign, insist that no charge of heresy could be made against Liberius on the score that the document was not necessarily heretical. ...On his return from exile he defended the Nicene decisions against Arianism, and remained a most uncompromising defender of the orthodox doctrine until his death in 366 A.D. (E. Hales, First Vatican Council, pp. 21-22.)
Ballerini says that if Liberius compromised the faith, " 'which is by no means certain,' ... it was 'not the result of full free-will; for the fear of the Emperor Constantius was the motive; and still les in this fall was a definition of the faith involved.' "Many authors, like Socrates, Theodoret and Sulpicius Severus testify in favor of Liberius. Of the testimonies brought against him, several are evidently spurious, and even if they were genuine, they show only a semi-Arian Catholicizing formula, but not an 'Arian creed.'
Hagemann in the Journal of Theological Literature notes: "Liberius can be accused, not of what he did, but what he omitted to do; he can, from a moral point of view, be blamed for his silence, for his weakness, while the dogmatic purity of his faith remains intact."
The Case of Pope Honorius I
The council witnessed many heated debates concerning papal infallibility. Opponents to papal infallibility fabricated every objection possible in order to prevent or defer its definition, even claiming that Honorius I was a heretical pope.
Cardinal Manning refuted their false allegations:
In the judgment of a cloud of the greatest theologians of all countries, schools, and languages, since the controversy was opened two hundred years ago, the case of Honorius has been completely solved. Nay more, it has been used with abundant evidence, drawn from the very same acts acts and documents, to prove the direct contrary hypothesis, namely, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiffs. ...They who have cleared Honorius of personal heresy, are an overwhelming majority compared with their opponents.
It is in vain for the antagonists of papal infallibility to quote this case as if it were certain. Centuries of controversy have established, beyond contradiction, that the accusation against Honorius cannot be raised by his most ardent antagonists to more than a probability. And this probability, at its maximum, is less than that of his defense. I therefore affirm the question to be doubtful; which is abundantly sufficient against the private judgment of his accusers. The cumulus of evidence for the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff outweighs all such doubts. ...The following points in the case of Honorius can be abundantly proved from documents:
(A) That Honorius defend no doctrine whatsoever.
(B) That he forbade the making of any new definition.
(C) That his fault was precisely in this omission of Apostolic authority, for which he was justly censured.
(D) That his two epistles are entirely orthodox; though, in the use of language, he wrote as was usual before the condemnation of Monotheletism, and not as it became necessary afterwards. It is an anachronism and an injustice to censure his language, used before that condemnation, as it might be just to censure it after the condemnation had been made.
To this I add the following excellent passage from the Pastoral of the Archbishop of Baltimore: 'The case of Honorius forms no exception; for 1st, Honorius expressly says in his letters to Sergius, that he meant to define nothing, and he was condemned precisely because he temporized and would not define; 2nd, because in his letters he clearly taught the sound Catholic doctrine, only enjoining silence as to the use of certain terms, then new in the Church; and 3rd, because his letters were not addressed to a general council of the whole Church, and were rather private, than public and official; at least they were not published, even in the East, until several years later. The first letter was written to Sergius in 633, and eight years afterwards, in 641, the Emperor Heraclius, in exculpating himself to Pope John II, Honorius' successor, for having published his edict--the Ecthesis--which enjoined silence on disputants, similar to that imposed by Honorius, lays the whole responsibility thereof on Sergius, who he declares, composed the edict. Evidently, Sergius had not communicated the letter to the Emperor, probably because its contents, if published, would not have suited his wily purpose of secretly introducing, under another form, the Eutychian heresy. Thus falls to the ground the only case upon which the opponents of infallibility have continued to insist. This entire subject had been exhausted by many learned writers.' (Cardinal Manning, The Vatican Council and its Definitions, pp. 245-246). . . .
A Heretical Pope--an Impossibility
A legitimate pope cannot contradict or deny what was first taught by Christ to His Church. An essential change in belief constitutes the establishment of a new religion.
The attribute of infallibility was given to the popes in order that the revealed doctrines and teaching of Christ would remain forever intact and unchanged. It is contrary to faith and reason to blindly follow an alleged pope who attempts to destroy the Catholic Faith--for there have been 41 documented antipopes. Papal infallibility means that the Holy Ghost guides and preserves the Catholic Church from error through the succession of legitimate popes who have ruled the Church through the centuries. All Catholics, including Christ's Vicar on earth, the pope, must accept all the doctrinal pronouncements of past popes. These infallible teachings form a vital link between Christ and St. Peter and his successors.
If a pope did not accept and believe this entire body of formulated teachings (the Deposit of Faith), he could not himself be a Catholic. He would cease to belong to Christ's Church. If he no longer belongs to the Catholic Church, he cannot be her Head.
One who, after baptism, retaining the name of Christian pertinaciously denies (rejects) or doubts a divinely revealed truth is a heretic and by that fact ceases to be a Catholic. A heretic incurs ipso facto excommunication, i.e., (by that very fact) automatically, without sentence of law. A heretic is not a Catholic and the pope must be a Catholic. . . .
Therefore, a heretical pope is deposed by his public sin against Divine Law. Were a pope ever to teach formal heresy, he would cease to be pope. There can be no such thing as a heretical pope. This is an oxymoron--heresy and the papacy are diametrically opposed and the terms are irreconcilable.
In his letter of May 25, 1999, Fr. Martin Stepanich, OFM (S.T.D.) says:
If it is true, as some theologians reasonably maintain, that a true people, one validly elected, cannot become a heretic, because of special divine protection, and cannot for that reason fall from the papacy, then the only logical conclusion to draw is that a heretic occupying the Chair of Peter was a heretic already before being elected, and could therefore not have been a legitimate valid candidate for election to the papacy to begin with.
If any baptized person (even an alleged pope) "pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths which must be believed by an obligation of divine and Catholic faith, he is a heretic; if he gives up the Christian faith entirely, he is an apostate..." Obviously the pope cannot change 2,000 years of Catholic faith, morals and worship. Canon law states: "If one after the reception of baptism, while retaining the name Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths which must be believed by an obligation of divine and Catholic faith, he is a heretic."
A heretic ceases to belong to the Catholic Church and loses his office and authority. This is not a matter of "judging the pope," it is a recognition of fact. Popes and general councils don't create new doctrines; they merely clarify existing teaching. . . .
The question of a heretical pope was raised by one of the cardinals at the Vatican Council of 1870:
'What is to be done with the pope if he becomes a heretic?' It was answered that 'there has never been such a case; the council of bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be pope, being deposed by God Himself. If the pope, for instance, were to say that the belief in God is false, you would not be obliged to believe him, or if he were to deny the rest of the creed; I believe in Christ, etc. The supposition is injurious to the Holy Father in the very idea, but serves to show you the fullness with which the subject has been considered and the ample thought given to every possibility. If he denies any Dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more pope than either you or I. (Father James McGovern, The Life and Work of Pope Leo XIII, p. 241.).
Christ established His Church upon the rock of Peter and promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. St. Ambrose tells us that faith is the foundation of the Church; because of the faith, and the person of Peter, the Church will always be preserved from error.
To guarantee the lifeline of truth, Our Lord gave the attribute of infallibility to His Vicar on earth. If it were possible at any time for the pope using his supreme apostolic authority to teach error on matters of faith and morals to the universal Church, it would affect the entire Church, thereby giving the gates of Hell power to prevail over Her.
If the Vicar of Christ on earth could lead the Church astray, the devil himself would have prevailed over the immaculate Bride of Christ, the Church. this is an impossibility because we have Christ's guarantee that His Church, the Catholic Church, will last until the end of time, unvanquished by the lies and deceits of Satan. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can neither deceive nor be deceived. He will protect His Church from false doctrine until the end of time.
The attribute of infallibility was given to the pope so that the revealed doctrines and teachings of Christ would remain forever intact and unchanged. Any pope who changes such teachings held for almost 2,000 years is a heretic and ceases to belong to the Catholic Church. A heretic is not a Catholic and therefore cannot be head of the Church.
Our study of 20 General Councils of the Catholic Church (325 AD--1870) concludes with Vatican I. During the same period, there were also 20 false councils. Some were convoked by antipopes and many taught heresy. On which side would you place Vatican II?
St. Vincent of Lerins asserted: "Do not be misled by various and passing doctrines. In the Catholic Church Herself we must be careful to hold what has been believed everywhere, always and by all; for that alone is truly and properly Catholic." (Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, Tumultuous Times, pp.236-238; 251-253; 274-275; 276; 278-279.)
A Final Note on Pope John XXII from Thomas A. Droleskey
Anti-sedevacantist authors assert that Pope John XXII (Jacques D'Euse) was a "heretical pope" because he taught the only souls in Heaven who could see the Beatific Vision were those who had bodies. Theologians beseeched him to correct his error on this matter, which had not yet been defined solemnly by the authority of the Catholic Church. Pope John XXII did recant his error before he died. It is important to emphasize, however, that the matter had not been declared by the authority of the Church. Pope John XXII was not, as Cardinal Manning pointed out at the [First] Vatican Council, a "heretical pope."