Is the Vatican Persecuting The Franciscans of the Immaculate?

Image(Rome) “It takes a permit.” A letter from a Franciscan of the Immaculate describes the life  subject to approval, that the brothers have to lead,  since they were placed under provisional administration.

In 1990,  the Order was  recognized  at the diocesan level and 1998  by Rome, the Order internally moved from the Old Rite  under Pope Benedict XVI. f  to the Old Rite and  for pastoral care it was specified by the Pope as bi-ritual, since 11 July 2013 it has been under provisional administration by the Congregation of Religious. Acting Administrator is the Capuchin Father, Fidenzio Volpi, “a skilled and proven man of power (who  is known to move  between the internal equilibria of the Superior Conference of Male Religious Communities of  Italy – CISM ), with mephistophelian smile and biting repartee, ”  said Messa in Latino .

“We Are no Longer  Able to Print and Disseminate Our Own Books”

The Franciscan of the Immaculate Conception described in his letter that he passed by  the office of Order internal publishing,  Casa Mariana, in Frigento recently. “My heart beat. I felt in me an unusual emptiness and dismay at the thought that we can no longer write for our own publishing house, and are not even allowed to distribute the books of our own publishing company in our convents.

I look at the house. In there are our books. Many of them we have written, and much more contributions to our religious journals: Fides Catholica , Annales Franciscani , Immculata Mediatrix … Many books have been translated by us from  Latin, others we have from Italian, the language most used in the order, translated into other languages. 

That is our life inside, years of study, sweat and sacrifice. The Apostolic Commissioner has ruled that we are no longer authorized to use them. What sin do they represent?

“But it Needs a Permit”

I took courage and rang the bell at the door. A sister opens and I ask her about the new liturgical calendar of the Order, because we didn’t have one in the monastery. 

“I cannot give you one Father, you know that it requires a permit,” replied my sister, kind and understanding. 

What could be sinful about a liturgical calendar? 

“But it needs a permit.” 

Exactly the permit. 

Whose? 

“From the Apostolic Commissioner of course!”

 “Our Life is Made by Applications, Special Permits'”

Since we have been under provisional administration, our life is governed by applications for “special permits” to the Commissioner. You are to provide  a copy in writing  and are granted permission only by expressed personal validation .

A permit is needed to use the books of the Order from the Order’s  own publishing house and be able to impart them. Any “public dissemination” is prohibited. 

A  permit is required to celebrate the Holy Mass in the traditional Rite. 

A permit is required to use the Roman Ritual for the Old Rite. 

A permit is required for the Liturgy of the Hours to celebrate it in the Vetus Ordo. 

A  permit is required to celebrate the Holy Mass with the Sisters of the Order, for both the Old and the New Rite. 

A permit is required to conduct a meeting of the lay community of the Order or of the Third Order. 

A permit is required  to carry out a “Day for Maria” (a day of prayer, which is performed by the Order on pilgrimage or in parish churches and is open to all). 

A  permit is required to visit our Founder. It is strongly advised not to make such a request at all, which is actually not approved anyway. 

A permit is required for any initiative in the Order.

Even more permits are needed of the founders of religious orders: 

“Our Founder even needs explicit permission to be treated at the hospital. He needs an explicit authorization in order to move from one convent to another. He was blamed on the official website of the Order publicly for the fact that he had at first dared to visit the convent of Teramo. In reality, the Apostolic Commissioner had even given the permission to do so.” A grueling guerrilla warFor source, click photo  

66 responses

  1. Yes, they are being persecuted in order to suppress dissemination of their texts which I suspect promote Tradition. The Modernists are closing all avenues toward the Catholic Faith.

  2. The term Commissar hit me in the face, in a manner of speaking, before I even read the Eponymous Flower blogspot. Modernist jackboots are stamping all over the Franciscans of the Immaculate in their efforts to crush any fidelity to the Tridentine Mass and anything that has to do with Tradition. These are the tactics of communism and freemasonry to crush the Catholic Faith, it seems that the hounds from hell have been unleashed.

    This is a coup against what is a vibrant, growing, traditional order, an “modernist oath” to the Novus Ordo Missal and the Second Vatican Council has been imposed upon them. They have a list of things to adhere to, including offering the Tridentine Mass as per Pope Benedict’s XVI Motu Proprio, and the Traditions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Remember too that the Tridentine Mass has never been abrogated.

    The imposition of this oath which differs completely from that of Pope Pius X initiated around 1910 and abolished by Pope Paul VI in 1967 is written about by John Vennari.

    http://www.cfnews.org/oathmodbtryd.htm

    Pope Pius X in answer to modernism gave priests this Oath to say. Now to take an oath or a vow in matters of religion is a very serious event, imagine the great sin in breaking it. This is what the Oath against modernism says.

    http://www.catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/Oath%20Against%20Modernism.html

    • Are you a sedevacantist? The last site you quote is. Just asking as I note your editor was suggesting that everyone leave their diocese. What a danger to souls – telling everyone to leave the One, Holy ,Catholic and Apostolic Church. And yes I attend the Traditonal Latin Mass. Met someone recently who introduced himself – Hello I am SSPX. To which – why hello I am a Catholic.

      • Peter,

        I can assure you that no-one here, least of all Theresa Rose, is sedevacantist. I’m sure her choice of link is entirely innocent.

        Unlike the rest of your comment where you have, arguably, deliberately misconstrued my words on another thread.

        I suggest you read my words again to realise your confusion.

        I’d also like to know the precise context for your claim that someone introduced himself as “I’m SSPX” – I’d really like to know, because, right now, I’m not inclined to believe you ❗

        Finally, your claim to attend the Traditional Latin Mass proves the point that such is not evidence that someone is what is now called “a traditional Catholic”. They may not particularly adhere to the entirety of the Catholic Faith, but, hey, they like Latin. Big deal.

      • Your enquiry as to whether Theresa Rose might be a Sedevacantist on account of her posting a link to an alleged Sedevacantist website is a logical fallacy. People on this blog post links to all sorts of websites, it does not mean they share the source’s views per se. Please practice some critical thinking.

        More pertinently, if you consider the owner of this blog to be a “danger to souls”, then why are you participating on this blog? According to the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (which you so smugly make reference to), we have a moral obligation to avoid those things – whether they be books or websites – that pose a moral danger to our souls.

        Perhaps that person was a priest or member of the SSPX third order, in which case they would be perfectly entitled to introduce themselves as such. Just like one could say, “Hello, I am a Dominican”. It does not disparage their Catholicity.

      • Peter,

        No I am NOT sedevacantist NOW. NOR, have I ever held those views in the past.

        Editor, Miles Immaculatae,

        As you both say my choice of link was innocent. It simply had not struck me that it was an alleged sedevacantist website. Education is indeed a good thing.

        This is what I wrote on another thread on this website, which I hope makes it clearer what I was meaning.

        Theresa Rose says:

        December 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

        Remember Pope Pius X Oath against Modernism mandated on September 1, 1910 where all Catholic clergy had to take. It was rescinded on July 1967.

        For the record: Franciscans of the Immaculate under severe Vatican persecution.
        RORATE brings you all texts:
        * Apostolic Commissioner: FI problem is its “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift”
        * Seminary closed: no ordinations for one year
        * Ordinands must take unprecedented oath on Novus Ordo
        * Ordered “by the Vicar of Christ”

        Is this not a reverse of the above Oath against Modernism. Forcing a Congregation of priests to say the Novus Ordo Mass and stop offering the Tridentine Mass?

        Dangerous times indeed.

        NOW, the Franciscans of the Immaculate have had a list of things imposed upon them.
        They a permit to be able to do things.

        1990 – The Order was recognised at Diocesan Level.
        1998 – The Order was recognised by Rome.
        Under Pope Benedict XVI, the Order had move to Bi-Ritual.

        As I said in my previous thread, I thought Commissar, before I read the Eponymous Flower link provided, and saw it there. It is communistic and freemasonry tactics being used to crucify the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

  3. In case readers have not already seen it, here is an excellent compendium of news and updates regarding the F.I. situation from theRoratae Caeli blog:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/search/label/FFI%20under%20intervention

    This post (taken from the above link) is particularly illuminating, and in my opinion the most important one to read if you do not have time:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/12/for-record-situation-with-franciscans.html

  4. Bishop Fellay touches on this persecution in his recent video on Pope Francis. He says the complaints were made by a handful (a dozen, if that many) friars – I believe he calls them “malcontents” – about the move to the TLM. Theresa Rose has hit the nail on the head: this is communism and freemasonry at work, busily stamping out any resurgence of Tradition and the true Faith, making sure the Church remains a bleak and desolate, and essentially dead Pepperland under the iron-fisted rule of the Blue Meanies.

    I hope there have been some quiet contacts made between the FFI and the SSPX as a result. Perhaps they can come under the organizational wing of the Society?

    • You kidding, Awkward Customer? The Papa Stronsay monks been ignored by the Bishop from the start (both Bishop Moran and Bishop Gilbert) and I’ve not had any thrilled emails from people in the Diocese of Aberdeen telling me the monks are offering a Sunday Mass anywhere in the vicinity.

      Still, the monks are now “in good standing” and that’s all that matters (to them, and to all those worried about the “disobedience” of the SSPX).

      • Well, actually Bishop Hugh regularised them very quickly, has made a couple of visits, and recently referenced them in a homily welcoming some new religious.

        And sure things are slow, but Bishop Hugh has to work with what he’s got for the time being, if he was to start up a Mass instantly (for a start this would be difficult for the monks, they offer a monthly Mass in the old Blair’s college and it’s a three day round trip) as his clergy (of which he has far too few with far too many parishes) could make life very difficult… He has to work with what he’s got and try and lead the more liberal clergy to a position of Truth.

        On the subject of the monks, I don’t think they need be worried. I personally don’t think the FSSP or ICKRP need be worried either. The Franciscans have been gone after because they’re putting the two forms of the Mass alongside one another, increasing the danger (to the liberals) that people from the new Mass might intermingle with the old Mass. Also the fact that they’re bringing traditional Catholic preaching into the New Mass is why they’re being gone after. Oh so I theorise anyway….

        • Sorry, but they’ve gone after the Franciscans of the Immaculate because – in the words of the Vatican’s Apostolic Commissioner – “the FI problem is its “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift”. Could not be clearer.

          Please read the facts – click here – which will prevent you drawing false and baselessly optimistic conclusions.

          As for the Bishop of Aberdeen – oh yes, a real closet traditionalist, waiting patiently to bring his “liberal” clergy to “a position of Truth”. More baseless optimism.

          What is he, a Bishop or a Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer? What am I saying? A Chief Executive of ANY company would sack the entire workforce if that were needed to establish his authority.

          I think any fly on the wall in a meeting between Bishop Gilbert and the Papa Stronsay monks would quickly report back that the Bishop has absolutely no intention of letting them loose in his diocese to provide Sunday Masses. No intention whatsoever.

          • I would prefer not to be patronised. I am extremely well informed on the topic of the FFI, having spoken to a member of the order who filled me in one what’s happening. And yes, I agree, the attack on them is disgusting… And I think, perhaps, you misunderstood what I said. They’re being attacked because of this ‘traditionalist drift’ precisely because it will lead to a lot of what have sadly become the norm in Catholic parishes (contracepting, etc) hearing the truths of the Faith, and people like Fr Volpi want to put a stop to that.

            And I never claimed anything of the sort of Bishop Hugh, I should add… And yes, he could sack all his priests (and there are plenty in my own diocese I would get rid of) but who do you replace them with, pray tell. You could pad it out with one or two religious orders, yes, but such an approach takes time. In the mean time you’d be depriving people of the Sacraments. As St Francis de Sales says, one drop of honey attracts more than a barrel of vinegar. And would it not be preferable for normal members of the clergy in Aberdeen to offer the old Mass rather than dragging those poor monks down once a week…. Or perhaps you’d like to pay for them…

            • No One You Know,

              Yes, I see what you mean about the FFI – if the priests at the new Mass are preaching the Faith that will be influential with the people, but I got the impression that it was the priests who say the novus ordo who complained to Rome about the “traditionalist drift”. So, it’s not really very clear what happened in the beginning. What has happened since because of Fr Volpi, is really unbelievable.

            • No One You Know,

              My intention was not to patronise you – I apologise for giving that impression.

              I think you’re right – I believe I skimmed your original comment and misunderstood that you meant that, with the priests saying both Masses, but preaching authentic doctrine, the people would be gradually more educated in the Faith. Again, I apologise. Typing at over 78 wpm has its drawbacks! What a show off… 🙂

              I believe that was – in part at least – what motivated Pope Benedict to “free” the TLM with Summorum Pontificum. He hoped the old Mass would improve the new.

              However, I see Josephine has made the point that it was a group of “liberals” within the Order who started the rumpus, so it seems they’re not all completely orthodox, after all.

              Something’s definitely not right if anyone – especially a pope – objects to a Religious Order being of a “traditionalist drift”.

              On that, I’m confident, we agree!

          • Editor, I agree with you about the Bishop of Aberdeen and the Papa crowd. A couple of years ago the P.P. in Kirkwall died and the priest in Thurso had to say Mass there and one in Wick and then travel up to Orkney to say an evening Mass or the folk there. That Christmas there was no Mass at all and there was no reason for it. The Bishop could easily have asked the Transalpine Redemptorists to send a priest to say Mass on Sundays and at Christmas and I’m sure the folk in Kirkwall if faced between a choice of a Tridentine Mass or no Mass at all would have welcomed the monks with open arms.

            Regarding the FI, when it was suggested that the same fate might befall the FSSP and the ICK it was pointed out on another blog that this wouldn’t happen because those orders only ever celebrated the Tridentine Mass whereas the FI were Novus Ordo but had gone over to the Tridentine Rite. It was this that annoyed the High Heid Yins in Rome and they decided to act. I think that they were feart that it was the FI today and the Jesuits, Dominicans etc, the morn. Aye, if only…

            • Vianney,

              I agree with you agreeing with me…

              All the intelligence crossing my desk from Aberdeen (if you get my drift, traditionalist or otherwise) is that Bishop Gilbert is not crazy about having the Papa Stronsay monks on his doorstep, so to speak.

              In a diocese where only around 2% are Catholic, and goodness knows how few of those are practising, I would have thought that any Bishop worth his mitre would use all the available means at his disposal to evangelise. But, then, as I keep telling you all (and nobody to date has contradicted me 😥 ) I’m a simple gal.

              • “But, then, as I keep telling you all (and nobody to date has contradicted me 😥 ) I’m a simple gal.”

                Nobody would dare contradict you!

  5. Well said, Theresa Rose.

    This truly shameful persecution really stretches credulity to the limit. It looks like the Franciscan Friars are being crucified along the road as an example to others. I wonder who is next. Step off the reservation where you’ve been put, and see what you get. The message loud and clear appears to be that enemies of the revolution will not be tolerated.

    So the perverts, the antichrists, the heretics, the infidels, the atheists, everyone you can think of, is to be shown boundless love, mercy, tolerance, and understanding, free of judgement, all except those faithful Catholics who worship and believe as all true and faithful Catholics did up to a middle aged lifetime ago.

    This whole episode resembles nothing so much as some ruthless Marxist purge. Remember Archbishop Lefebvre once remarked that at least the Communists went through the motions of a Kangaroo court. And truth be told, the Franciscan Friars weren’t out and out “traditionalists”. They were merely judged guilty of a “drift” towards Tradition, whatever that means. And of course they published a few books that questioned Vatican II. George Orwell couldn’t have dreamt this up. But we can’t be judgemental,of course. Unless it’s judging faithful Catholics.

    It’s worth quoting the following from a very interesting and relevant book.

    “What happened over 1600 years ago is repeating itself today, but with two or three differences: Alexandria is the whole Universal Church, the stability of which is being shaken, and what was undertaken at that time by means of physical force and cruelty is now being transferred to a different level. Exile is replaced by banishment into the silence of being ignored; killing, by assassination of character.”
    Mgr. Rudolf Graber, Bishop of Regensburg,
    Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, p. 23.

    In the year 340 St. Athanasius wrote a letter to his brother bishops throughout the world, exhorting them to rise up and defend the faith against those he did not hesitate to stigmatize as “the evil-doers.” The great Doctor’s words bear repetition, and can surely be directed to all Catholics holding to the Faith and Mass of All Time.

    “The Church has not just recently been given order and statutes. They were faithfully and soundly bestowed on it by the Fathers. Nor has the faith only just been established, but it has come to us from the Lord through His disciples. May what has been preserved in the Churches from the beginning to the present day not be abandoned in our time; may what has been entrusted into our keeping not be embezzled by us. Brethren, as custodians of God’s mysteries, let yourselves be roused into action on seeing all this despoiled by others.”
    -Migne, Patrologia Graeca, XXVII, col. 219.

    • Leo,

      “So the perverts, the antichrists, the heretics, the infidels, the atheists, everyone you can think of, is to be shown boundless love, mercy, tolerance, and understanding, free of judgement, all except those faithful Catholics who worship and believe as all true and faithful Catholics did up to a middle aged lifetime ago.

      This whole episode resembles nothing so much as some ruthless Marxist purge. Remember Archbishop Lefebvre once remarked that at least the Communists went through the motions of a Kangaroo court. And truth be told, the Franciscan Friars weren’t out and out “traditionalists”. They were merely judged guilty of a “drift” towards Tradition, whatever that means. And of course they published a few books that questioned Vatican II. George Orwell couldn’t have dreamt this up. But we can’t be judgemental,of course. Unless it’s judging faithful Catholics.”

      Beautifully summarised. Absolutely on the button.

      I think that one thing we can learn from the FFI persecution is that the SSPX can safely hibernate until the end of this pontificate: without some kind of divine intervention, the Vatican/SSPX talks are both a thing of the past and (hopefully) of the future. In between – we can forget it under the “merciful” Pope Francis.

      • Editor,

        “This whole episode resembles nothing so much as some ruthless Marxist purge.”

        A ruthless Marxist purge, eh. Carried out by – Marxists perhaps?

        Marxism is atheist. A Catholic cannot be a Marxist. If those carrying out this “ruthless Marxist purge” of the FFI are Marxist, then they are not Catholic. And if they are not Catholic, then they have no authority in the Church. That is the logical conclusion of the above quote from Leo.

        • Awkward Customer,

          To say that one thing “resembles” another is not the same thing at all as saying one thing IS another. I mean, think about it. I resemble a typical Miss World, but I’m not Miss World. That, of course, is because there’s no justice in the world, but hey, do you hear me complaining?

          You have taken that comment from Leo out of context and made a meal out of it, from what I can see in your latest posts which, I must admit, I’ve only skimmed as I’m only just home and should be elsewhere, so sticking my oar in quickly here.

          There may be Marxists in the Vatican, there are probably Freemasons and others who are far from being Catholics in any meaningful sense of the word.

          I rather suspect that’s one of the reasons why Cardinal Ciappi noted that “in the Third Secret, it is revealed that the crisis in the Church begins at the top.”

          Look, I could be wrong here, but I get the feeling that you hanker after the sedevacantist position. We’ve well and truly covered that on this blog and in the newsletter some time ago. It is a position which makes absolutely no sense.

          At no time did Our Lady of Fatima hint that the Church would be left without a pope. She spoke, always, of “The Holy Father”.

          If bad popes, then, are good enough for Our Lady (in a manner of speaking) they should be good enough (in a manner of speaking) for us 🙂

          • Editor,

            A true Marxist purge would involve either a bullet in the back of the head beside an open grave in some forest location, or 25 years forced labour in the Gulag. But since Marxists believe that the end always justifies the means, and are more than ready to lie, cheat and dissemble to achieve their ends, a Marxist would have no problem instigating a soft purge of opponents until such times as they could dispose of those opponents in the time-honoured way. To someone like me, who was brought up by Marxists, something that only resembled a Marxist purge would be a purge carried out by Marxists who hadn’t yet achieved sufficient power to murder everyone that disagrees with them

            My position on Sedevacantism is one of ‘Not Proven’, a term you will recognise, since Scotland has one of the few legal systems in the world which can hand down this verdict. So you will be aware that it means there is insufficient evidence to pronounce either ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’.

            I think it a great pity that Traditionalists are at each other’s throats over this issue and wonder at how much good work could have been done if there was a bit more of an ‘agree to disagree’ attitude. Is there any possibility that Traditionalists on both sides of this argument could adopt a ‘Not Proven’ position and then agree to work together for the benefit of everyone? I live in hope.

            As for Our Lady of Fatima never giving a hint that the Church would be left without a pope – She didn’t say that the Church would always have a pope either. What’s more, in the vision part of the Third Secret released in the year 2000, Sister Lucy describes a “bishop in white” being shot with rifles and arrows alongside other priests and religious while fleeing a ruined city.

            This bishop in white, according to Sister Lucy, “looked like the Holy Father”. Looked like the Holy Father!! Doesn’t mean he WAS the Holy Father, despite looking like the Holy Father. In fact he could have been a fake. It is so easy to interpret private revelations in a number of ways.

            Any chance of a softening of attitudes on both sides so that the SSPX and the Sedes could start to cooperate, even just a little bit?

            Oh well. It was just a thought.

  6. This use of the term “Lefebvrist” smacks of the same technique used by the Communists in America during and after the McCarthy era. Whenever some brave soul made a stink about Communists having infiltrated the government, the orchestrated shouts of “McCarthyism” – i.e. witch hunt – would fill the media, since, after all, McCarthy had been thoroughly discredited by this same media. Likewise, all some malcontent – laity or clergy – has to do is to say “Lefebvrist” and the forces of hell at the levers of power within the Church descend with fury. Witch hunt in reverse!

    PS: The New York Times, aka Hell’s Bible, finally though quietly admitted during the 90s that McCarthy was correct about Communists in the State Department. Wonder how long long it will be before L’Osservatore Romano admits that Abp. Lefebvre was correct about the Novus Ordo?

    • GreatPretender51,

      Well said. I’ve heard the term “Lefebvrists” used so often recently that I’ve decided it’s a clear sign of a lack of Catholicity – to put it mildly. I’m also thinking of describing those who attend the Jesuit church in Glasgow as “Ignatians” to see how they like it !

  7. Dearest Patricia

    How are you ?

    I am not too well at the moment I have had a dreadful waterworks infection..very common with Diabetics and spent most of yesterday morning in my dear DRs Surgery thankfully some very strong anti biotics later I am beginning to feel a bit more Human .

    I am so devastated at the murder of little Mikaeel ….I keep seeing his dear cheeky little face in my minds eye and I shiver ….It seems all of Scotland are mourning this little Angel and speculating on why his Mum did it ?…why him..?….Seas of flowers ,balloons and teddies adorn his home ,where his little body was found,His little Nursery and a local park …its surreal ..The Scots people have been really marvellous I watched in floods of tears old ,young ,disabled ,pregnant all walking along looking for the little tot ..all the time he was over the River !!!!!

    That wonderful Policeman you could see on T V he was just bursting with tears ..I have never seen an officer so devastated I sent him a Sympathy card yesterday what else can we do ?

    I spoke to a friend of mine in Fife she said the whole area has come to a standstill with grief and shock and bewilderment and people are weeping openly …tragic

    Is there much about him in your area ?

    As we know the Social Services were aware of the family but when she moved it seems they were forgotten…how many times have we heard this ? Yet they take the innocent ones

    Well Patricia keep well and warm and keep speaking out for Justice Truth and Right

    Lots of Love

    Wendy

    Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2014 01:24:05 +0000 To: wendy_walker95@hotmail.com

    • It seems all of Scotland are mourning this little Angel and speculating on why his Mum did it ??

      I do hope not. I trust most people will wait until someone is tried and found guilty before speculaing on his/her motive.

    • Wendy,

      Great to hear from you, although sorry to hear about your health problems. Glad you’re on the mend.

      Yes, it’s a terrible case, the story of the little boy who was reported missing by his mother only to be found dead at the back of the previous home. It’s stretching it a bit to think that a total stranger would pick him up in the street and choose to leave his body in that particular place, so – given that she’s been charged with his murder – it does look, on the face of it, as though his mother is “guilty as charged” but we’ll have to await the outcome of the trial for that to be confirmed or for her to be exonerated. It truly beggars belief that a mother could or would kill her own child.

      Thanks again for your kind support, Wendy – I hope all our bloggers remember that you are a very hard-working pro-lifer who is not (yet!) a Catholic. One of these days we catch you, Wendy – watch out 🙂

      God bless.

  8. “…In virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgement, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us.” – Pope Saint Pius V, Quo Primum Tempore, 1570

    “A tyrannical law, through not being according to reason, is not a law, absolutely speaking, but rather a perversion of law.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, II, q.92, a.1, ad 4.

    On basic reason alone, not to mention theological grounds, the idea that the Mass that sustained and sanctified the saints and martyrs could be forbidden, or require a permit, is absurd. What was all that talk about “legalism”?

    It’s a rather obvious statement of fact to say that the progressivists have no heirs to carry on their work of destruction. Long and painful as the road may be, the future will see the restoration of Tradition, in a time of God’s choosing. It strikes me that before they all disappear off to the nursing home and face their particular judgement, there will be a feverish scorched earth policy pursued by modernists in order to try and snuff out the green shoots, or “traditionalist drift”, exemplified by the Franciscans Friars.

    The liquidation and dispersal process appears to be moving quickly, but really, the Friars could still perform a great service to the whole Church by serenely continuing to offer the Mass of the Martyrs. Why not tell Fr. Volpi, calmly, respectfully, but very firmly that they will continue to offer the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary in accordance with the rights granted to all priests by Pope Pius V? Why not tell Father Volpi that he will have to have them physically and forcibly removed from the altar if he wants to prevent them?

    What will the Friars do for Tradition, if they are not prepared to stand firm here? Let’s not forget that the battle against all the modernist novelties that have endangered souls for five decades involves a lot more than the Mass, extremely important as it is. That’s really only the starting point.

    I’m very mindful that we’re into the whole area of obedience, which is indeed a grave matter. Any Catholic with a casual and relaxed attitude here, really needs to straighten up. That said, there is the whole issue of obedience and false obedience, or servility, which has been discussed on this blog repeatedly. And it’s not an issue peculiar to the current crisis. Saint Thomas Aquinas saw fit the address it in detail.

    To state the obvious, under canon law, the supreme law is the salvation of souls. Power in the Church is that of Christ, which means that all power is vicarious, even that exercised by the Pope and also the Bishops. The fullness of power that belongs to the authority of the Pope can only be rightly exercised in accord with the principle set forth by the Fourth Council of Constantinople and reaffirmed by the First Vatican Council, that is, “Our first salvation is to guard the rule of right faith” (Ds 3066). In other words, the Vicar of Christ is not free to suppress the “the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church” referred to in Session 7, canon 13, Council of Trent or the “Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Traditions” (Tridentine Profession of Faith).

    Finally, I see the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculata have a bit of the right stuff. These muliers fortes obviously aren’t prepared to remain silent while their order is persecuted.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/12/important-franciscan-sisters-of.html

    • Leo,

      You said, “On basic reason alone, not to mention theological grounds, the idea that the Mass that sustained and sanctified the saints and martyrs could be forbidden, or require a permit, is absurd.”

      On the other hand, forbidding and/or restricting the true Mass makes perfect sense to a Marxist, Freemason or Modernist. Which is what the hierarchy is being accused of not only on this thread, but elsewhere on other Traditionalist blogs.

      All these quotes from pre-Vatican II texts mean nothing to Marxists, Freemasons and Modernists and only serve to obscure the fundamental question Is Vatican II Catholic?

      If Vatican II is Catholic then we are obliged to accept it and if the Novus Ordo is not to our liturgical taste we can seek out an Indult Mass. Provision is made for this.

      But if Vatican II isn’t Catholic, then surely we have to conclude that those who promote it aren’t Catholic either. And if they aren’t Catholic, why should they care what the documents of Trent have to say? Quote the pre-Conciliar popes to them and they will just laugh. Why? Because they’re not Catholic.

      If Vatican II isn’t Catholic, those non-Catholics who promote Vatican II relentlessly and without apology have no authority in the Church.

  9. The following is, I think, worthy of constant repetition:

    “Pope John Paul asked a commission of nine cardinals in 1986 two questions. Firstly, did Pope Paul VI or any other competent authority legally forbid the widespread celebration of the Tridentine Mass in the present day? No. He asked Benelli explicitly, ‘Did Paul VI forbid the old Mass?’ He never answered –never yes, never no. Why? He couldn’t say, ‘Yes, he forbade it.’ He couldn’t forbid a Mass which was from the beginning valid and was the Mass of thousands of saints and faithful. The difficulty for him was that he couldn’t forbid it, but at the same time he wanted the new Mass to be accepted. And so he could only say, ‘ I want that the new Mass should be said.’ This was the answer all the princes gave to the question asked. They said that the Holy Father wished that all follow the new Mass.

    “The answer given by eight cardinals in 1986 was that, no, the Mass of St. Pius V has never been suppressed. I can say this: I was one of the cardinals. Only one was against…

    “There was another question, very interesting. ‘Can any bishop forbid any priest in good standing from celebrating a Tridentine Mass again?’ The nine cardinals unanimously agreed that no bishop may forbid a Catholic priest from saying the Tridentine Mass. We have no official prohibition and I think the Pope would never establish an official prohibition.”
    – Cardinal Alfons Stickler in The Latin Mass, Summer 1995, p.14.

    The Holy Father would be well advised to read that particular 1986 file.

  10. This thread perfectly illustrates, to me anyway, a real disconnect in much of the Traditionalist movement. Some responses above to the Vatican’s latest moves against the FFI have included terms such as Marxism, Freemasonry and Modernism to explain what is behind the moves. And at the same time, as soon as the term Sedevacantist is mentioned, people rush to deny any association with that position and denounce those who do as almost being lepers.

    There is a profound contradiction here. If the Vatican hierarchy is indeed imbued with Marxism, Freemasonry and Modernism, then that hierarchy is no longer Catholic. It’s that simple. Bishop Fellay, in his 2013 address to the Angelus Conference said of Pope Francis, “We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.”

    Please stop for a moment and take on board what Bishop Fellay is saying here. Because if Pope Francis is a “genuine Modernist”, then he is a genuine heretic. End of. There’s no middle ground. Modernism is heresy according to Pope Pius X. Bishop Fellay has accused Pope Francis of being a heretic. Plain and simple.

    Of course no-one here will accuse Bishop Fellay of espousing Sedevacantism, even when he denounces the Pope as a heretic. Why’s that? Can the ‘Recognise and Resist’ position be summed up as follows – the Marxists, Freemasons and Modernists (heretics) in the Vatican chose a Modernist (heretic) to be pope. But don’t anyone dare suggest that their Marxism, Freemasonry and Modernism, heresies all of them, mean that these people have ceased to be Catholic and therefore have no authority in the Church.

    • Actually not necessarily. Martin Luther and the Protestant reformers are, for example, heretics. A modern day Protestant isn’t one however (unless he apostocised from the Church). Someone is only a heretic if they have been corrected by the authority of the Church and continue to dissent. Heretic, like modernist (though not in the context you used it), is one of those terms thrown around without many of those doing so actually knowing what it means. We should be far more careful

      • No One You Know,

        A modern day Protestant is indeed a heretic. Followers of the new Catholicism promoted by Vatican II prefer not to acknowledge this, however, as it would offend their ecumenical sensibilities.

        As for your claim that “Someone is only a heretic if they have been corrected by the authority of the Church and continue to dissent.”

        There are degrees of heresy. A material heretic is someone who espouses a heresy without realising they are doing so, by mistake if you like.

        But if that person is then corrected and still clings to their mistaken belief, then their heresy becomes pertinacious and they are deemed to be a formal heretic. Someone can be a formal heretic long before being challenged by the authority of the Church to recant. True, they haven’t been formally judged to be guilty of heresy. But they have certainly been judged as having a case to answer by a number of people in authority.

        It is not always helpful to compare Canon law with secular law. If I murder my aging aunt for her money, unless enough evidence is produced in a court of law to convict me, I can walk free. But in the case of a heretic who, with full knowledge, makes their heresy public, the evidence is already there for all to see and hear. The judgement by the authority of the Church on that person puts the seal, if you like, on a heresy that will have been obvious for a long time.

        This article on heresy from the Catholic Encyclopedia might help.

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07256b.htm

      • I think that point was made on another thread – that Pope Francis, as a priest and Cardinal, would have held to heretical positions but never been corrected, so remains a material (not formal) heretic. That point was made but people don’t always register such key information, which leads to them repeating their erroneous conclusions about the pope over and over again.

        Pope Francis is not the first pope to hold to heresy. The Church has suffered many bad popes in the past. This novelty of sedevacantism – to which Awkward Customer leans – fails to take account of that fact.

        • Editor,

          You said, “Pope Francis, as a priest and Cardinal, would have held to heretical positions but never been corrected, so remains a material (not formal) heretic.”

          This is absurd. Sorry, but it is. It is also wrong.

          A man in Archbishop Bergoglio’s position cannot possibly be described as a material heretic. This terms applies to those who espouse heresy through ignorance or by mistake. How can anyone suggest that a Catholic Archbishop, even a Conciliar one, is unaware of the Traditional teachings of the Church.

          And how do you know that nobody corrected him, or at least pointed it out to him?

          • Editor,

            Let me also reply to your second paragraph. There is a significant difference between a bad pope and an heretical pope, in that a bad Catholic does not necessarily cease to be Catholic whereas a heretic does.

            From what I have read, Sedevacantists are quite aware that there have been heretical popes. I shall revisit their writings on the subject, but I know that they consider five heretical popes in a row to be an entirely unprecedented situation in the Church and one that can hardly be compared to any past situation.

  11. Awkward Customer

    I’m obliged to Editor for making the point very well on my behalf, about careful reading. The word “resembles” does indeed makes a difference. And let’s not forget that there are plenty of very active and effective Marxists combatants who never had to handle a gun to get rid of enemies. I hope mention of the Frankfurt School, Saul Alinksy, and the “march through the institutions” makes the point.

    I don’t think “the hierarchy is being accused of” actually being “Marxist” and “Freemasons” on this thread, as opposed to just resembling them in their actions and methods. Given that incontrovertible evidence against individuals is rather difficult to produce, caution is no bad policy.

    There are plenty of people more knowledgeable than I on these matters. I’ll just say that, given their modus operandi, I would be absolutely amazed if the Communists didn’t make a very determined effort to infiltrate the Church. I don’t want to drag this out, so I’ll just mention the names of Douglas Hyde and Bella Dodd, and the book entitled AA-1025 as a hint to those who wish to spend time on research.

    The very same comments could apply to the Marxists’ demonic siblings, the Freemasons. In the nineteenth century, the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita was widely publicised, as per the wishes of Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII. Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Saint Pio of Pietrelcina were very aware of exactly how grave a threat the Freemasons posed to the Church. “Pecorelli’s List”, which named alleged Freemasons in the hierarchy was published in 1978, a year before its author was assassinated.

    In the case of modernists, identification should be a great deal more straightforward. Pope Saint Pius X’s encyclical, Pascendi Dominici Gregis spelt out in great detail what a modernist duck looks like, walks like, and sounds like. And I’m mindful of the difference between material and formal heresy as outlined previously by Editor.

    For those who are interested, the following link to the eye-witness blogspot has a highly informative article (the third of three) on Modernism, which was linked from Anthony Fraser’s excellent Apropos blog.

    http://theeye-witness.blogspot.ie/2013/12/a-century-of-modernism-part-3.html

    I believe that one of the books, the publication of which go the Franciscan Friars into trouble, was the book, The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: a Much Needed Discussion, by Thomist theologian Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, canon of St. Peter’s, professor emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University, and editor in chief of the journal Divinitas.

    Monsignor Gherardini has expressed the view that:

    “Modernistic ideas can be found in several Council documents, notably in Gaudium et Spes, and a few prominent Council Fathers were openly sympathetic to old and new modernists…In short, their Church was to be a kind of research laboratory rather than a dispenser of Truths from on high.” – A. Zangrando, “Roman Landscape,” Latin Mass Magazine, Summer 2009.

    On the subject of Modernism, the following is a rather thought provoking statement. Many will know that the French philosopher, Jean Guitton, was a close confidante of Pope Paul VI, who gave a very revealing insight about the late Pope’s desire that the New Mass, put together by Bugnini and his committee, would resemble a Calvinist service.

    “When I read the documents relative to the Modernism, as it was defined by Saint Pius X, and when I compare them to the documents of the II Vatican Council, I cannot help being bewildered. For what was condemned as heresy in 1906 was proclaimed as what is and should be from now on the doctrine and method of the Church. In other words, the modernists of 1906 were, somewhat, precursors to me. My masters were part of them. My parents taught me Modernism. How could Saint Pius X reject those that now seem to be my precursors?” (Jean Guitton, Portrait du Père Lagrange, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1992, pp. 55-56).

    Excuse me, Awkward Customer, if I don’t respond at this late hour to your comments about Vatican II and any obligations to accept it. There is plenty to say.

    • Leo,

      Thank you for this information about Monsignor Gherardini’s book and Jean Guitton’s quote. Both sources confirm that Vatican II contains heresy, the heresy of Modernism. This surely indicates that those who promote Vatican II are Modernists and therefore heretics. To be fair, some might be material, as opposed to formal, heretics. But this distinction can hardly apply to the highly educated men of the hierarchy.

      Among those who preach and promote Vatican II’s Modernist heresies include the Conciliar popes and most of the hierarchy of the Church. Your post suggests how this dreadful situation might have come about. I am aware of Bella Dodd and Douglas Hyde’s claims re the infiltration of the Church by Marxists in the 1930s. I am also familiar with the Alta Vendita and, of course, Pope Pius X’s claim in ‘Pascedi’. This describes Modernists as “the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church” because “they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within.”

      Given that Pascendi was written over a century ago, and given the level of infiltration into the Church since then, does it not seem very likely that a high proportion of the Conciliar hierarchy are either infiltrators themselves or were educated and formed by infiltrators? So why step back from actually saying so?

      As for the Cultural Marxists not resorting to force, the answer is simple. The time isn’t right. Their aim is to attack and undermine Western culture to the point of collapse so that they can impose their revolution. Only then will the killing of ‘enemies of the revolution’ begin.

  12. Firstly, I’m not sure how good an idea it was to include a reference to “Pecorelli’s List” in my previous post. That’s not to downplay fears of high level Masonic infiltration and attempted infiltration of the Church: there are other grounds for that, certainly. Rather I don’t know exactly how reliable and well-founded that specific accusation against specific named individuals is.

    Awkward Customer

    I agree with you on likely course of events in the “end game” scenario, given any future Marxist domination. While the extermination lists drawn up by any future Stalins, Molotovs and Berias would have many very predictable targets, there would surely also be a lot of very surprised, erstwhile enthusiastic supporters, among the victims.

    We are probably still just about within sight (maybe this is a bit of “traditionalist drift”) of the thread’s subject so I think it’s fair enough to address your concerns about Vatican II and some of the contents of its documents, and the assent they command.

    I think everyone here is well aware of the oft repeated fact that Vatican II was deliberately placed beyond the infallible protection of the Holy Ghost, and limited to being “pastoral” rather than “doctrinal”. The evidence has been posted repeatedly on the blog, so I won’t include it here. There was no new doctrines defined, no anathemas issued. Infallibility was limited to previous infallible definitions contained in the documents.

    The difference between doctrinal and pastoral teachings has great implications at Ecumenical Councils, of course, because the Church has never, to my knowledge, taught that all Church Councils are in and of themselves infallible. St. Robert Bellarmine, points out that, “Only by the words of the general Council do we know whether the fathers of that council intended to engage their prerogative of infallibility” –De Conciliis,I,17

    For laity or priests to judge Popes and bishops deposed on account of fallible contradictions, ambiguities, and novelties contained in the Council documents really is a leap too far, an extremely dangerous leap in fact.

    In passing we might consider the abominations and dangers that countless souls would have been saved from if the Popes John XIII and Paul VI, together with the Council Fathers had heeded Pope Clement XIII’s warning in his 1761encyclical, Dominico Agro, that none of the faithful should have “extraordinary opinions proposed to them, not even from Catholic doctors; instead, they should listen to those opinions which have the most certain criteria of Catholic truth: universality, antiquity, and unanimity.”

    Father Vincent McNabb O.P. was reflecting the infallible Vatican I teaching on the papacy when he noted that “Neither the Pope nor General Councils are ends in themselves; they are relative entities. They look towards the Church” – Infallibility (London, 1927), Sheed and Ward, Pg. 53.

    The following might be very familiar to many, but I think it useful to those who have placed all their stakes on the “Pope and Council can do no wrong” card.

    For a document of the Magisterium to be considered infallible there are very precise elements, which are necessary. These include a continuity with Tradition (2 Thess 2:10; 1 Corith 11:23, Gal. 1: 8), universality in time and place (Saint Vincnt of Lerins, Commonitorium) and the clear will of the Pope to engage his authority for the ordinary pontifical Magisterium. If one of these elements is not present the acts are not guaranteed with infallibility. In other words if the Ordinary Magisterium is to be infallible, it must be traditional (Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Salaverri, Vol. 1 5th ed.).

    Applying these criteria, is it not reasonable to say that Vatican II would at most come under the ordinary non infallible Magisterium, to which one owes assent only according to a prudential judgment:

    “Since not everything taught by the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, we must ask what kind of assent we should give to its various decisions. The Christian is required to give the assent of faith to all the doctrinal and moral truths defined by the Church’s Magisterium. He is not required to give the same assent to teaching imparted by the sovereign pontiff that is not imposed on the whole Christian body as a dogma of faith. In this case it suffices to give that inner and religious assent which we give to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is not an absolute assent, because such decrees are not infallible, but only a prudential and conditional assent, since in questions of faith and morals there is a presumption in favour of one’s superior… Such prudential assent does not eliminate the possibility of submitting the doctrine to a further examination, if that seems required by the gravity of the question” (Nicolas Jung,Le Magistere de l’Eglise, 1935, pp.153-154

    Again we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    “But before being bound to give such an assent, the believer has a right to be certain that the teaching in question is definitive (since only definitive teaching is infallible)…” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Infallibility” (1910)

    In the case of Vatican II, Catholics who in good conscience do not give full assent to all the contradictions, ambiguities and novelties, can point to the theological note of the Council, from Archbishop Felici, General Secretary of Vatican II:

    “We have to distinguish according to the schema and the chapters those which have already been the subject of dogmatic definitions in the past; As for the declarations that have a novel character, we have to make reservations.”

    • Leo,

      Your comment is very helpful indeed about Vatican II.

      The quotes are great, especially the one at the end from Archbishop Felici because it really nails the lie about Vatican II having to be accepted lock stock and barrel by all Catholics. If ecumenism doesn’t have a “novel character”, I don’t know what does, so I can go on complaining about it without feeling I’m being unfaithful !

      • Thank you, Fidelis.

        Please keep informing people about the One, True, Faith. And please keep blogging here.

        If anyone complains about you “complaining” just refer them to Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Mortalium Animos or to Pope Pius XII’s Instruction on the Ecumenical Movement, issued by the Holy Office in 1949.

        The following booklet is also a very useful aid:

        http://www.carmel-books.org/from-ecumenism-to-silent-apostasy-p-341.html

        And remind everyone of the words of Pope Saint Pius X:

        “For, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!” (Pascendi, 49)

        • Leo,

          So sorry. Of course you’re not Miles.

          I had a tooth out today and am still feeling the effects.

          That’s my only excuse.

    • Miles,

      It is precisely the arguments you present here that are causing my discomfort. I have been hearing them for years, although not necessarily the exact quotes you give. It just doesn’t seem right to me that five popes and the entire hierarchy of the Church could preach and proclaim the teachings of Vatican II for 50 years, and it not be incumbent on Catholics to accept these teachings. So I did some digging of my own and found out that maybe we do have to accept them. If they are true popes and bishops, that is.

      But firstly, you make the Vatican II-was-only-a-pastoral-Council argument. Those who refute the pastoral-therefore-not-infallible argument, point to the fact that Pope Paul VI concluded each of the 16 documents of Vatican II with the following:

      “Each and all these matters which are set forth in this decree have been favorably voted on by the Fathers of the Council. And We, by the apostolic authority given Us by Christ and in union with the Fathers, approve, decree, and establish them in the Holy Spirit and command that what has thus been enacted in synod be promulgated for the glory of God.

      Given in Rome at St. Peter’s, November 21, 1964

      I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church”

      This is binding language, is the claim, which fits an ex cathedra statement as defined by Vatican I. But it only appears in the original Latin and not in the English translations. Is your Latin up to confirming or refuting this? Mine isn’t. I linked to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (in Latin) simply because it is one of the 16 documents. Any one of them would do.

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_lt.html

      And now for the Ordinary UNIVERSAL Magisterium, ie the pope in union with the bishops of the world preaching and proclaiming a teaching. The claim is that these teachings are, in fact, infallible and consequently must be believed by Catholics. Because there are three organs of infallibility in the Church – the Pope speaking ex cathedra; an Ecumenical Council; and the Ordinary Universal Magisterium of the pope in union with the bishops of the world. And surely the Conciliar popes in union with the bishops of the world – the Ordinary UNIVERSAL Magisterium – have been preaching Vatican II consistently and relentlessly, thus binding Catholics to them. The Ordinary Magisterium is, of course, not infallible as you point out.

      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm

      But here’s a quote from Pope Pius X which goes to the heart of the problem for me, for this is how we should regard the Pope.

      “The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals; he is the custodian of the principles that make families sound, nations great, souls holy; he is the counsellor of princes and of peoples; he is the head under whom no one feels tyrannized because he represents God Himself; he is the supreme father who unites in himself all that may exist that is loving, tender, divine.

      It seems incredible, and is even painful, that there be priests to whom this recommendation must be made, but we are regrettably in our age in this hard, unhappy, situation of having to tell priests: love the Pope!

      And how must the Pope be loved? Non verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veritate. [Not in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth – 1 Jn iii, 18] When one loves a person, one tries to adhere in everything to his thoughts, to fulfill his will, to perform his wishes. And if Our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, “si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit,” [if any one love me, he will keep my word – Jn xiv, 23] therefore, in order to demonstrate our love for the Pope, it is necessary to obey him.

      Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents; we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey – that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority; we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope.

      This is the cry of a heart filled with pain, that with deep sadness I express, not for your sake, dear brothers, but to deplore, with you, the conduct of so many priests, who not only allow themselves to debate and criticize the wishes of the Pope, but are not embarrassed to reach shameless and blatant disobedience, with so much scandal for the good and with so great damage to souls.”

      Saint Pius X
      Allocution Vi ringrazio to priests on the 50th anniversary of the Apostolic Union
      November 18, 1912

      Five successive Conciliar popes and who among Traditionalists can claim to feel even a fraction of this about any one of them? Something isn’t right. I am still looking in to this but it seems that the Vatican-II-is-not-infallible argument can be refuted quite easily. The quotes above only represent a tiny portion of their claims.

      Meanwhile, watch and pray.

  13. Awkward Customer

    I hope you are recovered from your visit to the dentist. Thank you for your post. Hopefully the following might serve as a reasonable and thought-provoking reply, although I never intended it to be nearly so long.

    I take your point about the solemn language used by Pope Paul VI used to conclude each of the Council’s 16 documents. It hardly requires stating that I leave it to those who are so qualified, to speak with authority on the precise force and implications of the words “decree” and “promulgated” in this instance, but I think a couple of quotations below are very relevant. I would have thought that infallible definitions or anathemas have to be set out in unmistakably clear language within the texts. What I will say is that the fact that the same wording was used in the case of all documents, does not suggest the intention to issue a binding, infallible teaching. The documents include the Decree on the Media of Social Communications, Inter Mirifica (I had to look the name up). Now, I don’t think anyone has ever suggested that this document is part of the solemn, infallible Magisterium.

    I’ve mentioned Archbishop Pericle Felici’s evidence previously. I think that the evidence of Pope Paul VI himself on 8 December 1965 at the closing of the Council (quoted further down), and in his general audience of 12 January 1966, here quoted, rather settles the question of infallibility :

    “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium, which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document”.

    There are well known statements made by Cardinal Ratzinger, Bishop Tom Morris, Cardinal Heenan, Bishop Butler, and Bishop Rudolf Graber which confirm that there were no dogmatic definitions at the Council.

    I think the following quote from an article entitled “Papal Authority and Vatican II, a Defence of Those who say Vatican II taught errors” by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, although lengthy, also addresses, your query, Awkward Customer. (If I could find a link, I would attach the whole article).

    “In Spiritu Sancto (December 8, 1965) Pope Paul VI, did not impose the acceptance of Vatican II’s documents, with obligation of faith, but rather decreed:

    ‘We command, however, and precept, that, what has been synodally established in the Council, be holily and religiously observed by all of Christ’s Faithful, for the ornament of Holy Mother Church and the tranquillity and peace of each and every man.’

    This “holily and religiously observed” is rather the duty of showing an obsequium religiosum, that is a reverent presumption of correctness, and assent of the intellect to the teaching and practice to be held.

    This obsequium religiousum, due such documents as those of Vatican II, is classified as that level of teaching which can contain, formally, error, by such authors as Cardinal Journet, S.J. (The Church of the Word Incarnate: on the Case of Galileo), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (‘Instruction Concerning the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian’, n. 24, May 24, 1990), and Fr. Regis Scanlon, OFM Cap., in “Non-Infallibility: The Papacy and Rahner”, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, 1994, pp. 64-69, who when speaking of the obsequium religious due to documents of the Roman Congregation, says:

    ‘Once more, since the Pope (John Paul II) states that these Vatican congregational propositions are non-infalllible, they can possibly be in error. And, if these propositions can be in error, then it is possible for a theologian to know that they are in error. It is absurd, however, to think that God, the Author of Truth, would bind a person to submit in will and mind or intellectually assent to a speculative judgement which is in error for the sake of his salvation. One can only be bound to intellectually assent to a proposition, or a speculative judgement, that is true and certain’.

    That this Apostolic Brief, In Spiritu Sancto of Paul VI, concludes with the same condemnatory approbation found at the end of Papal Bulls, does in no way alter its character or free Vatican II from the possibility of error, as has been shown, above, in the Bulls of Sixtus V, John XII, and that of the Council of Florence. It is rather the expressed intention regarding the level of teaching, as quoted in the Nota Previa of Lumen Gentium, which reflects the authentic intention of the Council Fathers, and which is confirmed by this Apostolic Brief of Paul VI, thus, exculpating both the Council Fathers from the charge of heresy and Paul VI as well.”

    In a letter to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on July 20, 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger states that:

    “It must be noted that, because the conciliar texts are of varying authority, criticism of certain of their expressions, in accordance to the general rules of adhesion to the Magisterium, is not forbidden. You may likewise express a desire for a statement or an explanation on various points. … You may that personally you cannot see how they are compatible, and so ask the Holy See for an explanation.”

    It is impossible for infallible texts to “vary in authority”. As for asking the “Holy See for an explanation”, I’m sure many here are aware of the Dubia which Archbishop Lefebvre submitted to Rome in October 1985, setting out thirty nine doubts concerning the continuity of the Council’s teaching on religious liberty with previous Church teaching. These doubts are published in the book, Religious Liberty Questioned.

    Rome’s fifty page reply, received about eighteen months later if I’m not mistaken, addressed none of the doubts in particular, admitted that the doctrine on religious liberty was “incontestably a novelty”, but claimed that it was the outcome of “doctrinal development in continuity.”

    Support for the Archbishop’s criticism concerning lack of continuity comes from an unlikely source:

    “It cannot be denied that a text like this (the declaration on Religious Liberty) does materially say something different from the Syllabus of 1864, and even almost the opposite of propositions 15 and 77-79 of that document.” Yves Congar, Challenge to the Church, p.147

    As for “the Conciliar popes in union with the bishops of the world – the Ordinary UNIVERSAL Magisterium … preaching Vatican II consistently and relentlessly, thus binding Catholics to them”, all I will say is that that’s OK if 1962 is to be taken as some sort of year zero in the Church. If a proposition wasn’t in continuity with previous constant papal teaching, in 1962, then it isn’t in continuity now.

    In Ecclesia Dei Adflicta in 1988, Pope John Paul II admitted:

    “Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council’s continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church.”

    Archbishop Lefebvre’s Dubia puts forward the case against “continuity” for just one of the documents. Similar questions of a breach with traditional teaching can be raised towards the contents of at least four others.

    I mentioned Thomist theologian Monsignor Brunero Gherardini in a previous post. His scholarly book entitled The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much Needed Discussion, raises very serious questions as to “continuity”, closing with a very respectful request to Pope Benedict for clarification. Bishop Athanasius Schneider has requested a “Syllabus of Errors” regarding Vatican II to establish what exactly is requiring of belief. Both requests have, to my knowledge been met with a deafening silence.

    The quote you give from Pope Saint Pius X is certainly an interesting one. It’s usually used by neo-Catholics who take it upon themselves to exercise private judgement in charging the Society with all sorts of things, if not to try to draw some degree of “traditionalist” contradiction of the sainted Pope. I will say that if all Popes were of similar greatness, I don’t think there would be anything too remarkable about the statement. Certainly it is completely normal for all Catholics to “love the Pope” and show due obedience to him with genuine and unswerving fidelity. How many martyrs for the Faith in these islands and elsewhere were unyielding in their loyalty to the successors of Peter in their time of trial?

    I think the vital consideration about the above quote, though, is context. It appears obvious to me that Pope Saint Pius was directing his words towards those Modernist clergy of the time. Who else could have been meant by the use of the words “dissent” and “shameless and blatant disobedience, with so much scandal for the good and with so great damage to souls”?

    One can only speculate on what the great custodian of the Faith would say today, but I can’t see the sainted pastor directing such words towards faithful Catholics who today refuse to give assent to the novelties, ambiguities and contradictions of the Conciliar era. “Indeed the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators: they are traditionalists.”- Our Apostolic Mandate, 1910

    I doubt Pope Saint Pius would have disagreed with the words of two of his predecessors:

    “It is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed.”
    – Pope Innocent III, De Consuetudine

    “If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith,
    do not follow him.” – Pope Pius IX, Letter to Bishop Brizen

    I’m sure he would not take issue with two great Dominican theologians, namely, Juan Cardinal De Torquemada, O.P. (1388-1468(uncle of the Grand Inquisitor),given the title “Defender of the Faith” by Pope Eugenius IV:

    “Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope
    can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are
    not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that
    he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good.”(Summa de Ecclesia
    [1489], founded upon the doctrine formulated and defined by the Council
    of Florence and defined by Pope Eugenius IV and Pope Pius IV)

    or
    Sylvestro Mazzolini(Prierias), O.P. (1460-1523):

    “What should be done when the pope, because of his bad customs,
    destroys the Church…? What if the pope wanted, without reason,to
    abrogate positive law…? He would certainly sin; he should neither be
    permitted to act in such a fashion nor should he be obeyed in what was
    evil; but he should be resisted with a courteous reprehension.” (De
    Iuridica et Irrefragabili Veritate Romanae Ecclesiae Romanique
    Pontificis, secs. 4 and 15)

    There is also of course the much quoted words of Saint Robert Cardinal Bellarmine about resisting a Pope “who attempts to destroy the Church”. I believe there has been some controversy over this quotation and its relevance (something to do with context and secular rulers, I think). It does however end with the unambiguous words:

    “… it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him (the Pope), since these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. Il, chap. 29, in Opera Omnia, vol. I, p.418)

    And I think that really is the nub of the issue when it comes to sedevacantism. The Church must decide and rule, and act through Her rightful authorities, not individual laymen and priests. The issue has been discussed at length here, with contributions from those far more qualified than this blogger. I’m thinking of Gandalfolorin on a thread before Christmas, and the words of Father Laisney that 3 Little Shepherds has kindly shared with us on the “Pope Francis Latest” thread. I agree with Editor has posted elsewhere on the subject of sedevacantism. Simply put, for me, it’s not on to hold to the belief that there hasn’t been a “captain” on the barque of Peter for 56 years. And where is the next Pope going to come from? As has been repeatedly pointed out, what does this say to Our Lord, about His promise to his Bride, the Church?

    Maybe it’s the nature of this issue, but things seem to go around and around in never diminishing circles. I think a discussion could go on till after Christmas. I’ll leave it to others, however, who are more learned and qualified in this area. I’ve made my own little attempt at a contribution (way too long) so I’m pulling up now. I’ll be short of time for a few days, so this might be well timed.

    Having, I hope, made my point that there is no way I think anybody should be getting on the sedevacantism bus, travelling up a perilous dead end, I think we will agree on one thing, Awkward Customer. It strikes me as being just one more scandal of this unprecedented crisis that any Catholic not born into Tradition, and who wants to get properly informed about the Faith, has to do a lot of searching for themselves, as in the case of yours truly, a very ordinary five eights.

    Secondly, I agree that we really do need to watch and pray, and ask our patron saints, our Guardian Angels, Saint Joseph, and above all Our Mother in Heaven, to guide us and protect us from all snares around us, that we may reach the harbour of salvation.

    • Leo,

      Your post is extremely helpful. I think it’s clear that we only accept of Vatican II what was already taught before. That makes sense to me.

      I also found this at the end of your post very interesting, where you say: “It strikes me as being just one more scandal of this unprecedented crisis that any Catholic not born into Tradition, and who wants to get properly informed about the Faith, has to do a lot of searching for themselves.”

      I’m finding that this blog is a very good place to do that searching.

      • Fidelis,

        I’m finding that this blog is a very good place to do that searching.”

        That’s great to hear! You’re more than welcome!

      • Thank you once more, Fidelis, for your very kind words.

        We have all certainly learnt a lot, thanks to so many who contribute to this blog. And make sure, Fidelis, that you get the Newsletter. If you haven’t done so already, check out the tab on the home page, where you can download previous editions.

    • Leo,

      Thank you for your considerate reply. And yes, I am feeling better, but still aching a bit.

      I shall also try to be brief, although I may not succeed. We agree that the documents of Vatican II themselves contain no solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. Pope Paul VI said so in his general audience of 12 January 1966, as you have quoted. But where we disagree is in the conclusion you have drawn from this, because Pope Paul VI also said that Vatican II, “… provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium, which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document.”

      According to the Sedevacantists, the Ordinary Magisterium is misunderstood by many Traditionalists who don’t realise that there are three organs of Infallibility in the Church. These are the pope speaking ex Cathedra (Solemn); the pope in union with an Ecumenical Council (Solemn) and, lastly but most crucially here, the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.

      It is crucial to understand that the Ordinary Universal Magisterium is infallible, whereas the Ordinary Magisterium is not.

      The Ordinary Universal Magisterium is none other than the teaching of the pope in union with the bishops of the world. The Conciliar popes in union with the Bishops of the world have been preaching and teaching Vatican II for 50 years. If these popes are true popes, the teachings of Vatican II are guaranteed by the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium of the Church.

      There is no ‘anathema sit’ in any of the 16 Vatican II documents. This is true. The documents of Vatican II do not invoke Solemn, Extraordinary Infallibility. We agree on this because Pope Paul VI said so. But the article you cite by Br. Alexis Bugnolo quotes Pope Paul VI as also saying:

      “We command, however, and precept, that, what has been synodally established in the Council, be holily and religiously observed by all of Christ’s Faithful….”

      “We command …” – is not Pope Paul VI invoking the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium? And whether he is or not, the fact that the Conciliar popes in union with the bishops of the world have been preaching Vatican II for 50 years must mean that those teachings are infallible if the Conciliar popes are true popes.

      So why is the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium so overlooked?

      Apparantly, many Modernists at the time of the Council began playing down the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, claiming that the pope is only infallible in the first two, quite rare situations. This, they claimed, leaves Catholics free to question teachings which have not been Solemnly defined, for example the prohibition against women priests, among many others. But the fact is, these teachings have already been defined by the infallible Ordinary Universal Magisterium of the pope in union with the bishops of the world.

      How ironic, then, that Traditionalists should use the same argument against Vatican II. But it is an argument that cannot hold water any more. The Conciliar popes in union with the bishops of the world have been consistently and relentlessly teaching Vatican II since the Council. If these are true popes then these teachings are infallible. But they cannot possibly be infallible because they contradict the Traditional teachings of the Church.

      There is only one conclusion to draw. The Conciliar ‘popes’ are not true popes. They can’t be. If they were, the teachings of Vatican II would be infallible. And that is impossible.

      People always say that if there has been no pope for the past fifty years then this makes a mockery of Christ’s promise to His Church. On the contrary, what makes a mockery of Christ’s promise to His Church is the claim that these men are true popes.

  14. Awkward Customer

    The question of “religious submission of mind and will” is certainly central. I think the last three paragraphs of the quote from Br. Alexis Bugnolo in my previous post address that issue.

    There are other theologians who have expressed reservations on the issue of assent to be given to non-infallible teachings of the papal or conciliar Magisterium, stating that in rare cases assent may be withheld.

    Diekamp states that the obligation to adhere to non-infallible papal teachings “can begin to cease” in the extremely rare case in which an expert, after a very diligent analysis, “arrives at the persuasion that error entered that decision” (Th. Dog. Man., I, 72)

    Hurter affirms that, regarding non-infallible decisions, it can be licit to “fear error, give conditional assent, or even suspend one’s assent” (Th. Dogm., I. 492)

    On this subject of infallibility and the ordinary magisterium, perhaps I could give a mention to a small book (77 pages) by Dom Paul Nau OSB and Canon Rene Berthod entitled Pope or Church? (available from Carmel Books).

    http://www.carmel-books.org/pope-or-church-p-990.html

    The following words of Canon Berthod, for many years the Rector at the Seminary at Econe, may be of interest to readers. I think they make the vital point about the “universal” requirement.

    “For them (the ordinary acts of the magisterium) to be considered as belonging to the Church’s teaching, to which the divine promise is attached, they cannot be taken separately, but must be consonant with the body of the Church’s teaching: they are infallible only insofar as they reflect or echo the permanent teaching and unchanging Faith of the Church. In short they are only infallible insofar as they agree with Catholic Tradition…

    “It would be an abuse to declare irreformable all the acts of the ordinary magisterium. In order for them to be preserved from error according to the divine promise, they must be universal, which means that they must teach what the Church has always believed and always taught since the time of the Apostles, since the revealed deposit was closed…The notion of universality comprises two dimensions: extension in space and duration in time…They (theologians) never base their arguments on just one testimony or act of the ordinary magisterium, no matter what the source, even pontifical.

    “The sovereign pontiffs likewise have the custom of presenting their teaching as proceeding from the Catholic past, by accumulating references to the ancient testimonies of the magisterium and to the acts of their predecessors. We can see in this an implicit avowal that to break with the past would be contrary to their bounden duty as guardians of the revealed deposit. It is also an avowal that the lone testimony of any one pontiff would not suffice to confirm the Faith of the Church.” (p. 58)

    “The required attribute of the authentic ordinary magisterium of the Church are the following : (1) the agent is an authority exercising itself upon the Church, or in union with her; (2) it must contain a teaching in matters of faith or morals; (3) in conformity to the constant teaching of the Church (as “as revealed truth,” cf. Vatican I). For the ordinary magisterium of the Church to be infallible, it must be universal in the full sense of the word, including both space and time.” (p.60)

    You have identified the crucial difference, Awkward Customer, between the ordinary and universal Magisterium (that which has always been held to be true by the Church) which is INFALLIBLE, and the Ordinary Magisterium (not considered an expression of what the Church has always held to be true) which can be FALLIBLE. In the case of non-infallible teachings, I believe canon 752 applies. “Religious assent” is not required, but rather “religious submission of mind and will”, whatever that amounts to. The same canon’s admonition that “Christ’s faithful are therefore to ensure they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine” appears to only make sense if that doctrine does not contradict previous Magisterial teaching.

    I realise this is all rather high altitude flying. Can you just imagine Catholics up to fifty years ago having to spend time on such matters. No, I can’t either. They were free to devote their reading time to material such as the Imitation of Christ or the Lives of the Saints. Anyway, Awkward Customer, the last word will be yours, if you wish. I don’t really think there is much more I can say without being guilty of repetition.

    • Leo,

      There is no need for repetition when such a vital but largely forgotten subject has been unearthed, namely, the infallibile Ordinary Universal Magisterium of the Church. It is a fact that Vatican II made no pronouncements invoking Extraordinary and Solemn infallibility. Everyone agrees on this and to keep referring to it would indeed be unecessary repetition. And so we are left with a crucial question – did Vatican II invoke the authority of the infallible Ordinary Universal Magisterium of the Church?

      The source you named – ‘The Ordinary Magisterium of the Church’, by Dom Paul Nau, OSB, contains the following:

      ‘By a strange reversal, while the personal infallibility of the pope in a solemn judgment, so long disputed, was definitely placed beyond all controversy, it is the Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Church which seems to have been lost sight of.’

      And also this:

      ‘Since 1870 [the year of Vatican I], manuals of theology have taken the formulae in which their statements of doctrine have been framed from the actual wording of the Council text. None of these treated in its own right of the ordinary teaching of the pope, which has accordingly, little by little, slipped out of sight and all pontifical teaching has seemed to be reduced solely to solemn definitions ex cathedra. Once attention was entirely directed to these, it became customary to consider the doctrinal interventions of the Holy See solely from the standpoint of the solemn judgment, that of a judgment which ought in itself to bring to the doctrine all the necessary guarantees of certainty.’

      http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/2002_January/Popes_Infallible_Magisterium.htm

      Far from being guilty of repetition, discussions on the infallibile Ordinary Universal Magisterium are concerned with a subject which has ‘slipped out of sight’, according to Dom Paul Nau. Unfortunately, Canon Berthod, former Rector of Econe Seminary, who you quote, doesn’t seem to make the crucial distinction between the infallible Ordinary Universal Magisterium and the fallible Ordinary Magisterium.

      So, did Vatican II invoke the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium of the Church? Let me state here that this question is also new to me and so, at this stage, I can only offer the following quote from ‘Lumen Gentium’ (para 25) for consideration.

      ‘….. religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

      Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith…….

      …… The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith…..’.

      Admittedly this is simply a quote from the text of ‘Lumen Gentium’ (25) and not a formal declaration of any kind. But it raises an important question, one which surely requires further investigation.

      Vatican II did not attach the authority of the infallible Extraordinary Magisterium to any of its documents or teachings. This is a fact.

      But, did Vatican II invoke the authority of the equally infallible Ordinary Universal Magisterium?

      • Awkward Customer,

        I think it has been very clearly explained, over and over again, that nothing which contradicts the traditional infallible teaching of the Church, can possibly claim to have any authority whatsoever.

        Ecumenism, e.g. is an error of Vatican II. Being encased in a document of the first ever “pastoral” Council in the Church’s history, doesn’t make a jot of different. Ditto all the other errors.

        Those dogmas repeated in the documents of Vatican II – which have always been held by the Church, such as LG 25 on the authority of the Supreme Pontiff – are infallible teachings, not because they were repeated at Vatican II, but because they have always been the teaching of the Church.

        None of the errors of Vatican II can EVER claim legitimacy; they carry NO weight of authority, whatsoever. Therefore, it is well above any pope’s pay scale to try to invoke infallibility for Vatican II. None have tried, proof positive that the Holy Spirit did, indeed, make His way to Rome in 1962.

        • Editor,

          Pope Paul VI invoked the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, as have the other Conciliar popes. In this way they are definitely claiming that Vatican II carries the authority of INFALLIBILITY!!

          Unfortunately, the Ordinary Universal Magisterium is misunderstood by many Traditionalists who don’t realise that there are THREE organs of Infallibility in the Church. Two of these are Extraordinary – these are the pope speaking ex Cathedra and the pope in union with an Ecumenical Council.

          But the third organ of infallibility, always overlooked by Traditionalists, is Ordinary, and this is the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, which consists of the pope teaching in union with the bishops of the world. This is what the Church has always taught and there’s no way round it. The Ordinary (non-universal) Magisterium, however, is not infallible, and this is where the confusion lies and might explain why the infallibility of the Ordinary UNIVERSAL Magisterium has simply slipped out of the consciousness of many catholics.

          Read again the exchanges above between myself and Leo, and you will find Leo pointing to Dom Paul Nau, OSB who explains in his book, published by the Angelus Press, how this happened.

          It is a fact that Vatican II contained no Extraordinary dogmatic definitions carrying the weight of infallibility. Everybody agrees on this. There are no ‘anathema sits’ in the Council document. We know that. In order to appear non-authoritarian, the Council Fathers made a conscious decision not to invoke EXTRAORDINARY infallibility.

          Instead, the Council Fathers invoked Ordinary infallibility through the ORDINARY Universal Magisterium of the pope teaching in union with the bishops of the world. Pope Paul VI did just this during his General Audience of January 12, 1966. (See above) And the Conciliar popes continue to do this.

          As you point out, Lumen Gentium 25 contains traditional teaching on the authority of the Supreme Pontiff. But it also contains traditional teaching on the authority of the pope teaching in union with the bishops of the world – the Ordinary Universal Magisterium – which is INFALLIBLE.

          To sum up. When the pope teaches in union with the bishops of the world, this constitutes the INFALLIBLE Ordinary Universal Magisterium. This is the infallibility being invoked for Vatican II.

          It’s hard to take on board, I know. But this point is crucial. And there’s no way round it. The Ordinary Universal Magisterium is INFALLIBLE. This is the traditional teaching of the Church.

          • Awkward Customer,

            “The way round it” the apparent problem which you raise has been pointed out to you by Leo some time ago – when he explained that the Pope is the VICAR of Christ on earth and cannot replace God. God cannot possibly bind us to false teaching and thus neither can any pope. They may think they are invoking infallibility but – there it is again, that annoying warning from Our Lady which scuppers the sedevacantists big time – we are going through a period of foretold diabolical disorientation, a disorientation which reaches to the top. We are expected, during this time, to use our brains but not lose faith. We do what Catholics have always done when the hierarchy, including the upper hierarchy, preach error. We ignore them and cling to Catholic Tradition. We must reject novelties, including the novelty of sedevacantism because they come from the Devil.

            “Infallibility” is a gift from God to guarantee the truth. If a pope is pronouncing something that is manifestly NOT the truth, he cannot invoke infallibility.

            It reminds me of the former priest who used to line up in the Communion queue in a parish in England when I lived there. He, his live-in “domestic partner” and their children, lined up for the priest’s blessing which, of course, our dissenting priest gladly gave.

            Do you think God “blessed” that man and his family?

            Do you really think God is telling us that Vatican II is an infallible Council of the Church? Is that what you think?

            Of course you don’t. You think that the popes think that. So what? We have had a succession of bad popes and this latest one gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “going from bad to worse”.

            The sedevacantists, on the other hand, have made a bad situation go from bad to worse to crazy. Leave them to their nonsense. There is no basis for their position either in Scripture or in Tradition. I cannot imagine why you want to waste so much time on this baloney. I really can’t Their perceived answers to all the criticisms of their position, which you mentioned before, are in the same league as the Protestant “answers” to Catholicism. Rubbish. Patent rubbish which do not stand up to any serious examination.

  15. Awkward Customer

    Having read your recent posts, I must go back on my intention to give you to last word in any exchange between the two of us. I think that is justified, as some readers may be needlessly confused.

    Before quoting from Canon Rene Berthod in my previous post (January 26, 12.22am) I stated that “I think they make the vital point about the “universal” requirement”.

    I think therefore that my surprise at your subsequent comments about the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, Awkward Customer, is understandable.

    I think it is with precisely the “universal” element that all four paragraphs quoted actually deal with in a clear and concise. Readers can scroll up to check, but I think the following repetitions are a reasonable representation of the words of Canon Berthod that I have already quoted.

    “In order for them” (the acts of the ordinary magisterium) “to be preserved from error according to the divine promise, they must be universal, which means that they must teach what the Church has always believed and always taught since the time of the Apostles, since the revealed deposit was closed…The notion of universality comprises two dimensions: extension in space and duration in time…They (theologians) never base their arguments on just one testimony or act of the ordinary magisterium, no matter what the source, even pontifical.”

    “For the ordinary magisterium of the Church to be infallible, it must be universal in the full sense of the word, including both space and time.” (p.60)

    I’ll leave it to readers to form their own judgment. It’s relevant, I think, to mention in passing that I have found myself using the same quotes in a discussion on the old blog with what I would describe as a hard line neo-con papolatrist. That similar evidence is used to combat papolatry and sedevacantism, surprises me not a bit. They just come from different directions.

    With that, I think I can say, Awkward Customer, that this is my final contribution to the discussion. If I haven’t made the point by now, I have to admit deficiencies in the use of language.

    • Leo,

      There’s no confusion in your language at all. It’s just that most of the sources you quote come from a pro-SSPX source and are therefore supportive of the SSPX’s position.

      The quote from Canon Rene Berthod which you have repeated above addresses the subject of the ‘universal’ requirement of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium and its infallibility. Allow me, then, to provide a quote from a Sedevacantist source which contradicts what Canon Berthod is saying. This source is an article by John S Daly titled ‘Did Vatican II Teach Infallibly?’

      “(4) …… They claim in particular that the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium is infallible only when the teaching it proposes is not only taught by all the bishops at a given moment but can also be shown to have been taught by them over a very lengthy period. To justify this claim they appeal to the famous “Vincentian Canon” or touchstone of traditional doctrine: “What has always been believed, everywhere, and by all.” This requirement is also useful to those who deny the Church’s teaching that Baptism “in voto” (by desire) can suffice for justification and thus for salvation.

      But the requirement is in fact heretical! The teaching of the 1870 Vatican Council on the subject is dogmatic and plain and any doubt of interpretation is resolved by reference to the conciliar discussions. The term “universal” implies universality in place, not in time. In technical terms, it is synchronic universality, not diachronic universality, which conditions the infallibility. What has been believed always and everywhere is infallibly true, but teaching may be infallibly true without having been explicitly believed always and everywhere.”

      http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=8267

      The term ‘universal’ implies universality in place, not in time, according to the above. Not having studied the documents of Vatican I, I am in no position to judge who is correct. All I know is, not one of the non-SSPX (and not necessarily SV) sources I have read on the infallible Ordinary Universal Magisterium have said anything about universality across time. They have only referred to universality as meaning quite simply the ‘the bishops across the world’, in other words, universality in place.

  16. Awkward Customer

    Your latest post contains some rather amazing material. Amazing as in surprising.

    Before going further, but I presume that your remark that “ most of the sources you quote come from a pro-SSPX source” relates to issue of “universality” raised in my last two posts.

    I take it that Canon Rene Berthod is that “pro-SSPX source” and therefore the suggestion is that he can’t be put forward as an “independent” witness when it comes to discussing the crucial issue if universality as it relates to the infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium. I’ll just remind readers that my post on January 22, 9.45PM did mention “Pope Clement XIII’s warning in his 1761 encyclical, Dominico Agro, that none of the faithful should have ‘extraordinary opinions proposed to them, not even from Catholic doctors; instead, they should listen to those opinions which have the most certain criteria of Catholic truth: universality, antiquity, and unanimity.’”

    As well as the statement that:

    “For a document of the Magisterium to be considered infallible there are very precise elements, which are necessary. These include a continuity with Tradition (2 Thess 2:10; 1 Corith 11:23, Gal. 1: 8), universality in time and place (Saint Vincnt of Lerins, Commonitorium) and the clear will of the Pope to engage his authority for the ordinary pontifical Magisterium. If one of these elements is not present the acts are not guaranteed with infallibility. In other words if the Ordinary Magisterium is to be infallible, it must be traditional (Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Salaverri, Vol. 1 5th ed.).”

    I think that should help put your mind at ease, Awkward Customer. While they by no means stands in isolation over time, I would make the point that all the available evidence points to fact that the Society appear to be about the only ones in this day and age that are making the point about the imperative requirement of remaining faithful to Tradition. You latest post merely confirms that the neo Catholic papolatrists and sedevacantists are on the same side, working from different angles.

    In the Conciliar era of apparent crackdown on overt demonstrations of adherence to Tradition it’s a bit optimistic to expect battalions of cheering supporters among the theologians. I don’t doubt, however, that are some “Nicodemus’” who support the Society.

    On the issue of “universality” and the infallible magisterium , this might be an opportunity to introduce three more “witnesses” who should prove persuasive to most.

    “What is found to have its origin in the opinion of some Holy Father or particular Council is not a Divine Tradition, even though it should be celebrated throughout the entire Church. For if we did not attend to this rule, we should have to admit without certain foundation, new revelations regarding faith or morals, which has been always abhorred and impugned in the Church by men the most attached to religion. Hence, the sovereign pontiffs, the Councils, and the Fathers, have been most careful to reject all novelties or new doctrines on matters of faith, which differed from those that had been already received.”[18]
    – St. Alphonus Liguori, Exposition and defense of all the points of Faith discussed and defined by the Sacred Council of Trent, Dublin 1846, Pg. 51

    “This you (the bishops of the world) will do perfectly if you watch over yourselves and your doctrine, as your office makes it your duty, repeating incessantly to yourselves that every novelty attempts to undermine the Universal Church and that, according to the warning of the holy Pope Agatho, “nothing that has been regularly defined can bear diminution, or change, or addition, and repels every alteration of sense, or even words.” – Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari vos 15 August 1832

    “This office of the Holy Ghost consists in the following operations: first, in the original illumination and revelation…fourthly, in defining that truth in words, and in the creation of a sacred terminology, which becomes a permanent tradition and a perpetual expression of the original revelation; and lastly, in the perpetual enunciation and proposition of the same immutable truth in every age.”
    Cardinal Henry Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, Burns, Oates: London, 1909.

    I don’t think it is necessary to repeat the quotes from Saints, Doctors of the Church, and Popes which are regularly posted here.

    I’m open to correction here, but the only way I can read the words of John Daly quoted by you, Awkward Customer, are that he contends that the oft highlighted requirement on infallible teaching put forward by Saint Vincent of Lerins, Doctor of the Church “is in fact heretical”! Vatican I is claimed as support and the statement is made that “the term ‘universal’ implies universality in place, not in time’. Well, pardon me if I express amazement, an amazement that is no doubt shared by many.

    In the 4th Century, St. Vincent of Lerins explained what constitutes the proper development of Catholic doctrine:

    “Let, then, the intelligence, science, and wisdom of each and all, of individuals and of the whole Church, in all ages and in all times, increase and flourish in abundance; but simply in its own proper kind, that is to say, in one and the same doctrine, one in the same sense, and one in the same judgment.”

    Rather than being contradicted, that teaching on Tradition was dogmatically and infallibly enshrined in Vatican I, which teaches in the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius:

    “Hence that meaning (sensus) of the sacred doctrine must always be retained which holy mother the Church has once declared, and we must never abandon that meaning under the appearance or in the name of a deeper understanding.”

    It goes on to say that any authentic development in the understanding of doctrine “must proceed in its own class, in the same dogma, with the same meaning and the same explanation.” This is the same basic wording of St. Vincent, unchanged for over 1400 years.

    Pope Saint Pius X obviously approved. His Oath Against Modernism required those taking the Oath to swear before God to, “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 explanation (eodem sensu eademque sententia).”

    And if infallibility involves a “universality in place, not in time” as sedevacantists appear to imply, what is there to say on the issues raised by Humanae Vitae and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Where would their authority rest if it was reliant on the universal adherence of the world’s bishops in this post Conciliar era to the teaching of the Pope. I don’t think there is any need to elaborate. No, the settled infallibility of this documents rests precisely on constant Church teaching over time.

    Here’s the now promoted Pericle Cardinal Felici again, this time in the context of Humanae Vitae:

    On this problem we must remember that a truth may be sure and certain, and hence it may be obligatory, even without the sanction of an ex cathedra definition. So it is with the encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which the pope, the supreme pontiff of the Church, utters a truth which has been constantly taught by the Church’s Magisterium and which accords with the precepts of Revelation (L’Osservatore Romano, Oct. 19, 1968, p.3).

    Certain sedevacantists might be inclined to take on board the words of Cardinal Siri. In the October-December 1968 edition of the review Renovatio, after giving a summary of the Church’s continuous tradition on contraception, from the Didache to the encyclical Casti Connubii of Pope Pius XI, the Cardinal concludes:

    “This Encyclical recapitulated the ancient teaching and the habitual teaching of today. This means that we can say that the conditions for the Ordinary irreformable” [i.e. infallible.] “Magisterium were met. The period of widespread turbulence is a very recent fact and has nothing to do with the serene possession” [of the Magisterium] “over many centuries.”

    I don’t think it is necessary to make the same point in relation to Ordinationis Sacerdotalis settling the issue of the issue of the ordination of women to the priesthood. The evidence is available for those wish to study the words of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger.

    I hope that’s a help, Awkward Customer. I’ve said before that I’m pulling up, so that’s it from me.

    • Leo,

      I agree. I’m pulling out too. You have put forward a host of very useful and informative information, which I cannot possibly absorb in a short space of time. I would like to thank you for having engaged in this debate in such a considered way. I am very grateful for every source you have given me. I have not intentionally played devil’s advocate here, but on reflection it seems that every Sedevacantist challenge I have thrown your way has prompted you to provide yet more counter-arguments. This has been good, for me at least. I have learned a lot.

      This is exactly the kind of discussion I think should be happening at a wider level between the SSPX and the Sedes, without resorting to wild accusations. Both camps are, after all, responding to the same grave situation.

      For fifty years, the Conciliar popes in union with the bishops of the world have been imposing the novelties and errors of Vatican II on the Church. To this end they have claimed the authority of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium which they give the appearance of representing. The Sedes claim that true popes could not, do this. The SSPX claim that true popes could do this but that it is up to the faithful to discern whether or not their teachings accord sufficiently with Tradition to be accepted as infallible.

      Given the magnitude of the problems facing the Church, I find it sad that this mere difference of opinion should generate so much vitriol. I do understand that there is a history here which might be adding emotion to the debate.

      At any rate, you have given me much food for thought and so again – many thanks. My stated hope from the beginning was that a ‘Not Proven’ position might help generate debate between the two sides. Thank you, again, for allowing this debate to continue.

      Oh, and ….

      Editor,

      Many thanks to you too for working tirelessly to provide a forum where these discussions can take place.

      • Thank YOU Awkward Customer for your kind words and for pushing us to think through Catholic teaching on the issues relevant to this topic. The courteous yet frank exchanges between Leo, 3LittleShepherds and yourself are a model of what we seek to achieve on this blog.

        Gratitude, too, to Leo for his very helpful posts. One day, he’ll be canonised the Patron Saint of Perseverance – but not for a very long time, I hope. We need him here in readiness for The Return of Awkward Customer… 😀

  17. Awkward Customer,

    Thank you for very much for your extremely gracious words. You’re right: it certainly should be possible to have a reasonable and respectful discussion about matters of such grave importance.

    I agree about how serious the whole situation is in the Church in these times. I really do think that good, faithful Catholics are being tested in a heretofore unimaginable way. It’s not possible to overstate how complex and messy the crisis actually is, and in purely human terms, how seemingly intractable it is. If people can’t see “diabolical disorientation” around about them in these times, they really are blinded. So much of Catholic prophecy appears to be inexorably coming together, and the father of lies and his minions are having a field day. If the Holy Ghost wasn’t in charge, I think despair would be the understandable option. I know the waves are coming in all over the place and holes are being drilled from the inside, but we can’t ever forget that Our Lord, the Head of His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is still in the boat and will be until the end of time, and we all have to play our part in either keeping souls on board or dragging them out of the water. And the Pope, no matter how much scandal he causes us, really does need our prayers.

    As I said before, Awkward Customer, I agree with you that we really do need to watch and pray, and also ask our patron saints, our Guardian Angels, Saint Joseph, and above all Our Mother in Heaven, to guide us and protect us from all snares around us, that we may reach the harbour of salvation.

    Like never before we must pray and fast, and cling to the Mass and our Rosaries.

    Thanks once again, most sincerely, Awkward Customer, for your very kind words. And that’s not the reason I say to keep blogging here. It’s all hands on deck right now. And the enemy are all around.

    God bless

    Editor,

    “Patron Saint of Perseverance”? You really must be thinking of my long lost twin brother. Of course, with there being no devil’s advocate anymore…

    Ah, you reminded me of something I don’t want to think about for three months, almost.

    • Leo,

      “it certainly should be possible to have a reasonable and respectful discussion about matters of such grave importance.”

      I learned a lot from your replies to Awkward Customer and the politeness of them. It goes to show that it’s possible to debate serious issues from diametrically opposed positions and still be friendly with it. It has been refreshing to read your posts without any acrimony creeping in.

      • Thank you, Josephine.

        I’m sure you agree that the politeness was two way.

        Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy to avoid a bit of sparkiness. We’ve had a few occasional visitors discussing other topics, who might have tested the forbearance of most saints. Of course sins of the tongue are very dangerous to everybody, but it’s at such times that I am mindful of the following words.

        “The good of all good is the divine Good, just as God is for all men the Neighbour of all neighbours. As a consequence, the love due to a man, insomuch as he is our neighbour, ought always to be subordinated to that which is due to our common Lord. For His love and in His service we must not hesitate of offend men. The degree of our offense toward men can only be measured by the degree of our obligation to Him.”

        “Modern Liberalism reverses this order. It imposes a false notion of charity: our neighbour first, and, if at all, God afterwards. By its repeated and trite accusations toward us of intolerance, it has succeeded in disconcerting even some staunch Catholics.”

        “But our rule is too plain and too concrete to admit of misconception. It is this: Sovereign Catholic inflexibility is sovereign Catholic charity.

        “This charity is practiced toward our neighbour when, in his own interest, he is crossed, humiliated and chastised. It is practiced toward a third party when he is defended from the unjust aggression of another, as when he is protected from the contagion of error by unmasking its authors and abettors and showing them in their true light as iniquitous and perverse, by holding them up to the contempt, horror and execration of all. It is practiced in relation to God when, for His glory and in His service, it becomes necessary to silence all human considerations, to trample underfoot all human respect, to sacrifice all human interests – even life itself – to attain this highest of all ends.”

        (Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, Liberalism Is a Sin, pp. 94-95)

        http://www.liberalismisasin.com/

        • Leo

          “Sparkiness” is fine. I think everyone is impressed that this particular debate between Awkward Customer, 3LittleShepherds and yourself was conducted without any personal nastiness. That’s the important thing. “Sparkiness” – i.e. robust, frank discussion – is great! Seems not a lot of people have the skill to conduct a robust, frank, “sparky” discussion without descending to nasty personal remarks, which is a pity because it not only spoils the atmosphere, it’s against the house rules. 🙂 (Of course, it’s against the house rules because it spoils the atmosphere!) Personal remarks causes people to lose sight of the whole purpose of a discussion/blog, which is to learn. So, again, thanks to thee three for your robust, but respectful, exchanges.

          And many thanks, too, for the link to “Liberalism is a Sin.”

  18. Leo,

    Thank YOU for thanking Awkward Customer for thanking YOU – and for reminding me of something you don’t want to think about for three months, that I don’t want to think about either – at all! 🙄

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