Monday, February 19, 2018

Marriage And Authentic Natural Family Planning

 Marriage is under attack as never before. We see sodomite "marriages," "no fault" divorces, and Bergoglio giving "communion" to adulterers. As if this weren't bad enough, there are those who give good Traditionalists who are married wrong information which then burdens and troubles their consciences. I see more and more posts, websites, and comments that declare Natural Family Planning ("NFP") to be mortally sinful--an intrinsic evil that cannot be condoned. There are some who claim kissing between a validly married husband and wife to be sinful. Cult leader Richard Ibranyi goes as far as to state that a married couple who engage in sexual relations for the purpose of begetting children, sin mortally if they take pleasure in the act. Like the Manichean heretics of old, they repudiate the true meaning and beauty of marriage. I will set forth Church teaching on the nature of marriage and the use of NFP.

Marriage is of Divine Institution and was Raised by Christ to the Dignity of a Sacrament

 This is not disputed among the "modern day Manicheans" although they go terribly awry in most other areas concerning marriage. (Manicheanism [sometimes spelled "Manichaeism"] was an ancient heresy which taught, inter alia, all marriage is wrong since the body--and all matter-- was the work and effect of evil). As to the Divine Institution of Holy Matrimony, and its establishment as a sacrament; from the Council of Trent:

CANON I.-If any one saith, that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of the New law, instituted by Christ the Lord; but that it has been invented by men in the Church; and that it does not confer grace; let him be anathema.

Pope Leo XIII:

"God thus, in His most far-reaching foresight, decreed that this husband and wife should be the natural beginning of the human race, from whom it might be propagated and preserved by an unfailing fruitfulness throughout all futurity of time. And this union of man and woman, that it might answer more fittingly to the infinite wise counsels of God, even from the beginning manifested chiefly two most excellent properties - deeply sealed, as it were, and signed upon it-namely, unity and perpetuity. From the Gospel we see clearly that this doctrine was declared and openly confirmed by the divine authority of Jesus Christ. He bore witness to the Jews and to His Apostles that marriage, from its institution, should exist between two only, that is, between one man and one woman; that of two they are made, so to say, one flesh; and that the marriage bond is by the will of God so closely and strongly made fast that no man may dissolve it or render it asunder. "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." (See encyclical Arcanum Divinae para. # 3; Emphasis mine). 

Pope Pius XI:

And to begin with that same Encyclical [Arcanum Divinae], which is wholly concerned in vindicating the divine institution of matrimony, its sacramental dignity, and its perpetual stability, let it be repeated as an immutable and inviolable fundamental doctrine that matrimony was not instituted or restored by man but by God; not by man were the laws made to strengthen and confirm and elevate it but by God, the Author of nature, and by Christ Our Lord by Whom nature was redeemed, and hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to any contrary pact even of the spouses themselves. (See encyclical Casti Connubii para #5; Emphasis mine).

The Primary Purpose of Marriage is the Procreation of Children

Pope Pius XI:
"Thus amongst the blessings of marriage, the child holds the first place. And indeed the Creator of the human race Himself, Who in His goodness wishes to use men as His helpers in the propagation of life, taught this when, instituting marriage in Paradise, He said to our first parents, and through them to all future spouses: "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth." As St. Augustine admirably deduces from the words of the holy Apostle Saint Paul to Timothy when he says: "The Apostle himself is therefore a witness that marriage is for the sake of generation: 'I wish,' he says, 'young girls to marry.' And, as if someone said to him, 'Why?,' he immediately adds: 'To bear children, to be mothers of families'." (See encyclical Casti Connubi para. #11; Emphasis mine). 

The Canon Law (1917), Canon 1013 section 1 states, "The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children.  It’s secondary end is mutual help and the allaying of concupiscence."  

The Secondary Purpose of Marriage is Mutual Love and Support and to allay Concupiscence

Besides the Code of Canon Law cited above, we have this truth beautifully summed up by Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Arcanum Divinae:

"Secondly, the mutual duties of husband and wife have been defined, and their several rights accurately established. They are bound, namely, to have such feelings for one another as to cherish always very great mutual love, to be ever faithful to their marriage vow, and to give one another an unfailing and unselfish help. The husband is the chief of the family and the head of the wife. The woman, because she is flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, must be subject to her husband and obey him; not, indeed, as a servant, but as a companion, so that her obedience shall be wanting in neither honor nor dignity." (para. #11)

Artificial Contraception is Intrinsically Evil

Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii: 
"But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious." (para. #54; Emphasis mine)

Is NFP Artificial Contraception?

NFP is restricting the times of marital relations to the woman's infertile period, so as to avoid pregnancy. The unanimous teaching of the moral theologians pre-Vatican II teach that NFP is NOT the same (or the moral equivalent to) artificial contraception. It was also taught by Pope Pius XII. 

According to theologian Jone:
 "Abstaining from intercourse during this [infertile] period has come to be known as the Rhythm Method of Birth Control [later NFP]. For a proportionate reason and with the mutual consent of husband and wife it is lawful intentionally to practice periodic continence, i.e., restrict intercourse to those times when conception is impossible...[it is subject to three conditions] (1) Both parties must freely agree to the restrictions it involves; (2)The practice must not constitute an occasion of sin, especially the sin of incontinence; (3) There must be a proportionately grave reason for not having children, at least for the time being." ( See Moral Theology, [1961], pg. 542).  

According to theologian Prummer:
"To make use of the so-called safe period has been declared lawful..." (See Handbook of Moral Theology, [1955], pg. 413).

According to theologians McHugh and Callan:
"(b) If birth control refers to a means of family limitation, it is lawful when that means is continence or abstinence from marital relations, not if it is onanism or the use of mechanical or chemical means to prevent conception." (See Moral Theology, [1930], 2:604; Emphasis in original). 

Pope Pius XII:
"Our Predecessor, Pius XI, of happy memory, in his Encyclical Casti Connubii, of December 31, 1930, once again solemnly proclaimed the fundamental law of the conjugal act and conjugal relations: that every attempt of either husband or wife in the performance of the conjugal act or in the development of its natural consequences which aims at depriving it of its inherent force and hinders the procreation of new life is immoral; and that no “indication” or need can convert an act which is intrinsically immoral into a moral and lawful one...

Serious motives, such as those which not rarely arise from medical, eugenic, economic and social so-called 'indications,' may exempt husband and wife from the obligatory, positive debt for a long period or even for the entire period of matrimonial life. From this it follows that the observance of the natural sterile periods may be lawful, from the moral viewpoint: and it is lawful in the conditions mentioned. If, however, according to a reasonable and equitable judgment, there are no such grave reasons either personal or deriving from exterior circumstances, the will to avoid the fecundity of their union, while continuing to satisfy to the full their sensuality, can only be the result of a false appreciation of life and of motives foreign to sound ethical principles." (See Address to Midwives on the Nature of Their Profession, October 29, 1951). 

The Errors of the Neo-Manicheans

Fred and Bobby Dimond, along with Ibranyi, and (among others) have spread various errors. Here is a refutation of the most egregious.

1.  Montini ("Pope" Paul VI) endorsed NFP in Humanae Vitae. It must be wrong.
 Not everything a false pope says is necessarily untrue. For example, Wojtyla (JPII) often condemned abortion, and on this particular point, he was correct. Roncalli had set up a Commission to "study" whther or not artificial contraception could be used. Clearly, it cannot. It reminds me of Bergoglio "studying" ways for adulterers to receive "communion." The majority of heretics on the Commission wanted to allow artificial contraception. The minority held fast to the prohibition. Fr. DePauw told me that Cardinal Ottaviani had convinced Montini that if he went with the majority report, his "papacy" would be looked upon as illegitimate by many. (Too bad that didn't happen!). So, in 1968, Montini ruled in favor of the minority report.

Paragraph #16 is frequently cited by the Neo-Manicheans: "…married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained." They claim this teaching is "novel." What they omit is the fact that Montini's footnote to this passage cites to the Address given by Pope Pius XII! It was the Traditional teaching of the True Church.

2. Pope Pius XII only taught NFP in an address. It's not infallible.
This argument rejects the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium (UOM) of the Church. Pope Pius XII was simply expressing what had already been taught by the UOM. That's no surprise as all the proponents of these evil teachings are Feenyites (surprise, surprise). See my post of January 22, 2018 for more on the UOM.

3. There is no difference between NFP and artificial contraception. They both prevent conception and stand condemned by Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii. 

NFP makes use of what God placed in human nature. Such couples must have serious reasons, and must practice abstinence during fertile periods. The artificially contracepting couple is using means not intended by God for selfish motives and their own convenience. That's a huge difference. Furthermore, there are decisions of the Sacred Penitentiary (the official Church body that decides definitively questions of morality, especially as they pertain to the sacrament of Penance) which teach NFP. In 1853, the Penitentiary answered a query: "Should those spouses be reprehended who make use of marriage only on those days when (in the opinion of some doctors) conception is impossible?" The answer was: "After mature examination, we have decided that such spouses should not be disturbed [or disquieted], provided they do nothing that impedes generation." This was under Pope Pius IX. The question was raised again in 1880, under Pope Leo XIII, and on June 16, 1880, received the answer that not only may confessors do nothing  to "disquiet" or "disturb" married couples who are already practicing periodic continence; it even authorizes the confessor to advise them about it to prevent onanistic practices (e.g., "withdrawal"). 

Then, in a response dated July 20, 1932, the Sacred Penitentiary answered the following query regarding the exclusive use of the infertile period:

 "Whether the practice is licit in itself by which spouses who, for just and grave causes, wish to avoid offspring in a morally upright way, abstain from the use of marriage – by mutual consent and with upright motives – except on those days which, according to certain recent [medical] theories, conception is impossible for natural reasons." The answer: "Provided for by the Response of the Sacred Penitentiary of June 16, 1880." This was under Pope Pius XI, author of Casti Connubii! The Neo-Manichaens would have us believe Pope Pius XI didn't understand his own encyclical. 

According to the eminent canonists Vermeersch and Bouscaren, in What is Marriage?, a catechism based on Casti Connubii, points out: "Let us observe that there is a great difference between the practice of birth control and the restricted use of marriage of which we speak. The abuses of birth control can be practised constantly, they give free reign to passion, they do not demand the exercise of any moral force whatever; whereas this limited use of marriage requires, for voluntary abstinence on certain days, a moral force the exercise of which is not without social value." (pg. 44). 

4. Married couples are required to have as many children as physically possible. St. Catherine of Sienna was twenty-fifth of twenty-five children.

Married couples should be generous and have many children. However, God's plan is different for each couple. According to theologian John O'Brien, "Contrary to the impression that prevails in some quarters, there is no obligation on any couple to beget any specific number of children, much less to give birth to the largest number possible." (See Lawful Birth Control, [1934], pgs. 61-62). 

5. The marital act is sinful if pleasure is taken therein. states, "Thus, spouses may never kiss each other in a sensual way or in this way provoke themselves into sexual lust or 'pollution,' either as an act that is separated completely from the marital act or as an act that is committed in relationship to the marital act (such as foreplay), even if pollution or ejaculation is excluded." Yes, you read that wacky statement correctly. Furthermore, the site claims the marital act is evil and can only be "excused" by a positive intent to produce a child. Really? Why has the Church always allowed the infertile and older widows/widowers to marry?  They base this insanity partly on a decision condemning lustful kisses on the part of single people!

According to theologian O'Brien, "Contrary to the assertion of misinformed writers, the Church does not look disparagingly upon sex nor upon the enjoyment of the conjugal relationship by married couples even when there is no probability of conception. It is precisely because she holds sex to be the high creation of Almighty God, the source of mankind's deepest happiness, as well as the divinely ordained fountain whence streams race, that she raises Her voice in protest against its degradation by the unnatural method of contraception. Nothing could be farther from the truth than to picture the Church as viewing sex as merely a necessary evil which must be indulged to keep the race from extinction."  (See Lawful Birth Control, [1934], pgs. 49-50).

Pope Pius XII in his Address to Midwives (1951):

"The same Creator, Who in His bounty and wisdom willed to make use of the work of man and woman, by uniting them in matrimony, for the preservation and propagation of the human race, has also decreed that in this function the parties should experience pleasure and happiness of body and spirit. Husband and wife, therefore, by seeking and enjoying this pleasure do no wrong whatever. They accept what the Creator has destined for them."

 If you are married, please don't have your conscience burdened by Neo-Manicheans who denigrate the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. You are not forbidden to use NFP (speak to a Traditionalist priest first) for good cause. You are allowed to enjoy the marital act, even if incapable of having children. Nor must you have as many children as physically possible. Use the sacrament as God intended; to bring the two of you closer to Him and beget children insofar as you may be able under your circumstances in life. Let us all remember to be charitable in our thoughts towards married couples who may have few---or maybe no--- children. Don't assume they are sinners, you don't know their hearts--God does. 

First, look to what the Church's approved theologians teach in all matters, ignoring what others say to the contrary. Second, have charity towards all. Put them together, and it's a "marriage made in Heaven."  

Addendum: This post is about AUTHENTIC NFP, as stated in the title. It is not about contraception by means of any natural method, thereby endorsing the contraceptive mentality of being child free on purpose and merely substituting natural means for artificial means. This is often found among "conservative" Vatican II sect types (e.g., EWTN, etc.)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Shameful Misrepresentations Of Sedevacantism

 The blog "Shameless Popery" is run by one Joe Heschmeyer, a "conservative" member of the Vatican II sect. A friend of mine brought my attention to a post he had written on June 3, 2014 entitled, "Sedevacantism is Impossible: How We Can Know Francis is Pope." Mr. Heschmeyer, by all indications, is an intelligent and thoughtful man. However, reading this post had me shaking my head at how someone ostensibly knowledgeable could write a piece that is filled with blatant misrepresentations of sedevacantism. Are such people culpably ignorant, or just being deceitful? I don't mean to sound uncharitable, but these are really the only two options and I don't know which one is better to believe. I commit no fallacy of the "false dilemma" (i.e., something is falsely claimed to be an "either/or" situation) because if anyone did honest research on the topic, they would have to know what sedevacantists (True Catholics) believe in regard to the state of the papacy. It is certainly not reflected in Mr. Heschmeyer's post. I will break down his attempt to salvage the "papacy" of Bergoglio, and demonstrate where he is wrong. Anyone wishing to read his post in its entirety may find it here:

First point of "Shameless Popery" (hereinafter "SP"): A Validly Elected Pope Isn't an Antipope. 

SP contends, " point is that even if radical Traditionalists were right about Pope Francis being a heretic, he wouldn’t cease to be pope."  Starting with this false principle, SP then goes into a discussion of the Great Western Schism when there were multiple papal claimants and ends by declaring, "The common thread in all of these cases is that it turns on whether a particular man was validly elected to the Chair of Peter. A man isn’t declared an antipope simply because you think he’s wrong, or that he’s doing a bad job."

This is wrong on several grounds:
  • A heretic is barred by Divine Law from obtaining the papacy. The pre-Vatican II canonists affirm that it is not canon law, but rather God's Law that prevents a heretic such as Bergoglio from obtaining the office of pope in the first place.
Proof: According to canonist Coronata, "III. Appointment of the office of the Primacy. 1. What is required by divine law for this appointment: … Also required for validity is that the appointment be of a member of the Church. Heretics and apostates (at least public ones) are therefore excluded." (Institutiones 1:312; Emphasis mine)

According to Wernz-Vidal: "Those capable of being validly elected are all who are not prohibited by divine law or by an invalidating ecclesiastical law… Those who are barred as incapable of being validly elected are all women, children who have not reached the age of reason; also, those afflicted with habitual insanity, the unbaptized, heretics, schismatics…" (Jus Canonicum 1:415; Emphasis mine).

Bergoglio was a heretic much prior to his alleged "election" in 2013. According to the Anti-Deformation League: "Cardinal Bergoglio maintained a close relationship with the Jewish community in Argentina. He has celebrated various Jewish holidays with the Argentinian Jewish community, including Chanukah where he lit a candle on the menorah, attended a Buenos Aires synagogue for Slichot, a pre-Rosh Hashana service, the Jewish New Year, as well as a commemoration of Kristallnacht, the wave of violent Nazi attacks against Jews before World War II." (See; Emphasis mine).

"Cardinal" Bergoglio also participated in an ecumenical service wherein a Protestant minister "laid hands on him" as a religious action: "...then-Cardinal Bergoglio—metropolitan archbishop of Buenos Aires, primate of the Catholic Church in Argentina, and president of the Argentinian Bishops’ Conference—is kneeling, head bowed, between Father Raniero Cantalamessa and Catholic Charismatic leader Matteo Calisi, with Evangelical Pastor Carlos Mraida extending his hand toward the cardinal’s head, as the people invoke the Holy Spirit over him." (See; Emphasis mine).

Participating in false religious worship, according to the approved canonists and theologians, is a manifestation of heresy and/or apostasy. According to theologian Merkelbach, external heresy consists not only in what someone says, but also dictis vel factis, that is "signs, deeds, and the omission of deeds." (Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis, 1:746.)

Therefore, Traditionalists don't reject Bergoglio because he lost his office, but because he never could have obtained it in the first place! The Church does indeed teach loss of papal office through profession of heresy, but we need not even go down that path. Bergoglio was a heretic barred by Divine Law from ever becoming pope. Moreover, this is not a case of "Bergoglio acting badly," but one of a manifest heretic incapable of obtaining the office. The analogy to the Great Western Schism is therefore inapposite because none of the claimants were manifest heretics, so the only thing needed to do was try and determine which papal claimant had the valid election.

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the decree of Pope Paul IV, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio of 1559. The pontiff decreed that if ever it should ever appear that someone who was elected Roman Pontiff had beforehand "deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into any heresy," his election, even with the agreement and unanimous consent of all the cardinals would be "null, legally invalid and void."

Second point of SP: Being a Heretic Doesn’t Make the Pope an Antipope

It sure does. As St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote, "If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the pontificate."( Oeuvres Compl├Ętes. 9:232). This was the unanimous teaching of the approved theologians and canonists before Vatican II.

SP then rehashes the cases of Pope John XXII and Pope Honorius to "prove" that a heretic can be pope. Before I quote what was written, I want to qualify exactly what is required regarding heresy and the loss of papal office. The theologians are clear that if the pope, as a private teacher, becomes a manifest (or notorious) and contumacious (willfully disobedient) heretic, he then immediately falls from office by Divine Law without any ecclesiastical declaration. See if you can spot the problem with what SP writes regarding Popes John XXII and Honorius:

...Pope John XXII (1316-1334), who had a series of sermons in which he denied that Saints enjoy the Beatific Vision prior the Final Judgment. At the time, this was not formal heresy, inasmuch as the doctrine was dogmatically defined only by John’s successor, Benedict XII, in 1336. Theologians corrected the pope’s error, and John had the humility to retract his views. Being wrong on this doctrinal issue didn’t mean that John ceased to be pope. He was just a pope in error. (When sedevacantists refer to “Saint Thomas Aquinas,” they unwittingly concede this, for it was Pope John XXII who canonized Aquinas; if John wasn’t pope, Aquinas isn’t canonized). (Emphasis mine)

Pope John XXII was not denying anything yet a dogma, nor was he contumacious. According to a readily available source (The Catholic Encyclopedia online), "In a consistory held on 3 January, 1334, the pope explicitly declared that he had never meant to teach aught contrary to Holy Scripture or the rule of faith and in fact had not intended to give any decision whatever. Before his death he withdrew his former opinion, and declared his belief that souls separated from their bodies enjoyed in heaven the Beatific Vision." He therefore was not a heretic as the question was open for discussion among the theologians, and even if, ad arguendo, he was--he still lacked the qualification of being contumacious as he never claimed to be definitively teaching anything, and declared himself open to correction by the Magisterium when he preached his sermons and wrote on the topic prior to his election to the papacy.

As to Pope Honorius:
The second is Pope Honorius (625-638), who has the ignoble distinction of being the only pope that’s anathematized. As pope, Honorius permitted the spread of the Monothelite heresy...And guess what? Honorius didn’t cease to be pope. Leo didn’t declare his predecessor an antipope, or nullify all of his papal decrees on the grounds that they weren’t issued by the real pope, etc.

Honorius wrote several letters relating to the Monothelite heresy (i.e.,Christ had only one will, the Divine Will), for which he was later accused, variously, of being a heretic himself or allowing heresy to go unchecked. According to theologian Hurter, "the letters of Honorius were unknown until the death of the Pontiff and Sergius" [a bishop]. (Medulla Theologiae Dogmaticae, 360; words in brackets mine). Since the letters were not made public until after his death, even if they were heretical, he would have been an "occult" (i.e., "secret") heretic, lacking the qualification of being "manifest" necessary for loss of office.

Third Point of SP: This Heretical Antipope Theory is Logically Impossible

Here SP attempts to refute the position of another blogger [Skojec] on the possibility of a future Council or pope declaring Bergoglio an antipope. The point ends by stating, "In this vision of history, none of these men [Roncalli to Bergoglio] were really popes, and had no more authority to appoint Cardinals than do you or me. So if Skojec was right, we would not only be left without a pope, but without any way of ever having a pope. In that case, there’s no possible future pope or future College of Cardinals capable of declaring Vatican II a false Council, because there’s no possibility of a future pope or College of Cardinals at all. There’s simply no more Church."

Wrong. According to theologian Dorsch: "The Church therefore is a society that is essentially monarchical. But this does not prevent the Church, for a short time after the death of a pope, OR EVEN FOR MANY YEARS, from remaining deprived of her head. [vel etiam per plures annos capite suo destituta manet]. Her monarchical form also remains intact in this state.…
Thus the Church is then indeed a headless body.… Her monarchical form of government remains, though then in a different way — that is, it remains incomplete and to be completed. The ordering of the whole to submission to her Primate is present, even though actual submission is not…For this reason, the See of Rome is rightly said to remain after the person sitting in it has died — for the See of Rome consists essentially in the rights of the Primate. These rights are an essential and necessary element of the Church. With them, moreover, the Primacy then continues, at least morally. The perennial physical presence of the person of the head, however, [perennitas autem physica personis principis] is not so strictly necessary." (de Ecclesia 2:196–7; Emphasis mine).

The most probable way of restoring the papacy is an "imperfect General Council." Some pre-Vatican II theologians pondered such a Council in the absence of cardinals. Indeed, theologian Van Noort pondered it as late as 1956 (See Dogmatic Theology 2: 276).

 Theologian Cajetan wrote: " exception and by supplementary manner this power [electing a pope], corresponds to the Church and to the Council, either by absence of Cardinal Electors, or because they are doubtful, or the election itself is uncertain, as it happened at the time of the schism."  (See De Comparatione Auctoritatis Papae et Concilii)

Theologian Billot wrote: "When it would be necessary to  proceed with the election, if it is impossible to follow the regulations of papal law, as was the case during the Great Western Schism, one can accept, without difficulty, that the power of election could be transferred to a...Council...Because natural law prescribes that, in such cases, the power of a superior is passed to the immediate inferior because this is absolutely necessary for the survival of the society and to avoid the tribulations of extreme need." (See De Ecclesia Christi).

Then again, we may be living in the end times when Christ will return. In any case, SP's contention is false.

Fourth Point of SP: Skojec’s [a blogger who's "flirting" with sedevacantism] Proposal Flirts with Heresy

SP quotes the Ecumenical Council of Constance which condemned heretic Jan Hus' proposition:
"20. If the pope is wicked, and especially if he is foreknown to damnation, then he is a devil like Judas the apostle, a thief and a son of perdition and is not the head of the holy church militant since he is not even a member of it." This is correct--a wicked [morally corrupt] pope remains pope. No Traditionalist denies this fact. We are not talking about being evil, but being heretical. SP is talking about apples when we talk about oranges.

Fifth point of SP: If We Can’t Be Sure Who (If Anyone) is Pope, Catholicism is Chaos

"...[what] sedevacantists [teach] would mean that a validly-elected pope could, at any moment, teach heresy and secretly cease to be pope."  The Church teaches no such thing as demonstrated above. The heresy must be manifest and contumacious.

What I wrote in this week's post is not something new. The position of the Church on heresy and loss of (or inability to gain) office is very clear. I am certainly not the first or the only person to make these facts public. Since the late 1990s, sedevacantism has been more and more vocal as it gains more converts to True Catholicism. Can Joe Heschmeyer be oblivious to all this information? The only thing our opponents can do is repeat misrepresentations (or even lies) and hope the unsuspecting will believe it to be so. I'll pray for Joe Heschmeyer that " shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (St. John 8:32).  

Monday, February 5, 2018

Singing For Satan---Part 7

This week I continue my once-per-month series of posts regarding an informal study I undertook in the early 1990s regarding rock and pop music. The purpose of my study (and the background to it) can be read in the first installment of August 7, 2017. If you have not read that post, I strongly encourage you to do so before reading this installment. I will only repeat here the seven (7) evil elements that pervade today's music:

1. Violence/Murder/Suicide
2. Nihilism/Despair
3. Drug and alcohol glorification
4. Adultery/ Fornication and sexual perversion
5. The occult
6. Rebellion against lawful superiors
7. Blasphemy against God, Jesus Christ in particular, and the Church

 The exposing of the bands/artists continues.

The Beatles and John Lennon

 Without a doubt, The Beatles are the most influential (and wicked) rock band of all time. They started what became known as the "British Invasion" of rock and roll, when music artists from England came to the United States and started the counterculture of drugs, perversion, and turning away from God. The band was formed in Liverpool, England in 1957 under the name The Quarrymen. In 1960, they changed their name to The Beatles in honor of rock singer Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets. Holly had died in 1959 from injuries sustained in a plane crash. The Beatles or "The Fab Four" as they became known to the world, were comprised of John Lennon (d. 1980), George Harrison (d. 2001), Paul McCartney (b. 1942), and Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey in 1940).  It is literally impossible to understate the influence they have had upon pop and rock music and-- by extension--the world.

They are the best-selling band in world history, having sold more than 800 million albums. This is not including the successful solo careers of the four as individuals. McCartney still tours and sells out stadiums wherever he goes. The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and are ranked #1 in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time." 

Tuning Out God, Turning People On To Drugs

McCartney and Harrison were both baptized in the One True Church, but McCartney was raised without any religious upbringing by his nominally Catholic mother and agnostic father, whereas Harrison was raised Catholic only to forsake it by his late teens. Lennon and Starr were both raised Anglican, forsaking religion by their late teens as well. According to, all four had completely turned their backs on God by 1964, the year of the so-called "British invasion" and the year the Vatican II sect was created. Paul McCartney said, "We probably seem anti-religious because of the fact that none of us believe in God." He continued, "In America, they're fanatical about God. I know somebody over there who said he was an atheist. The papers nearly refused to print it because it was such shocking news that somebody could actually be an atheist ... yeah ... and admit it." To which Ringo Starr stated, "He speaks for all of us." Not to be outdone, John Lennon said, "If you say you don't believe in God, everybody assumes you're antireligious, and you probably think that's what we mean by that. We're not quite sure 'what' we are, but I know that we're more agnostic than atheistic."

In 1965, a Hindu presented each band member with a book on reincarnation. Harrison began a life-long association with pagan Eastern religion, as did all the band members for a brief time in the late 1960s. Only Harrison remained openly enamored with paganism until his death in 2001 from lung cancer. His ashes were scattered in India in alignment with Hindu tradition. Harrison's song My Sweet Lord has actually been used at the Novus Bogus "mass" because of its "Christian lyrics":

My sweet Lord
Mm, my Lord
Mm, my Lord
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you, Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord
My sweet Lord
Mm, my Lord
Mm, my Lord
I really want to know you
I really want to go with you
Really want to show you, Lord
That it won't take long, my Lord
My sweet Lord
My Lord
My sweet Lord
However, the song is really about the demon "gods" of Hinduism. Harrison repeats part of a Hindu mantra in the lyric when he sings, "Hare Krishna... Krishna, Krishna" in the background. The Hare Krishna movement is a branch of Hinduism, formally known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Its name comes from its chant — Hare Krishna — which devotees repeat over and over.  John Lennon proclaimed The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus Christ" in 1966. There was an uproar around the world, and Lennon claimed he was "misunderstood." He gave a half-hearted "apology" which Montini ("Pope" Paul VI) accepted on behalf of the Modernist Vatican. I wonder if he was also "misunderstood" when he called Jesus Christ a "...garlic eating, stinking, little yellow, greasy fascist bast**d Catholic Spaniard." (See Lennon's book A Spaniard In The Works, Simon & Schuster [1965], pg.14; profanity censored by me). What blasphemy!

The Beatles with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a Hindu "guru" who introduced pagan meditation into the West 

To fill the void in their lives when they pushed out God, they replaced Him with drugs and encouraged the world to do the same. 

The song With A Little Help From My Friends openly speaks of getting high:

What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm gonna try with a little help from my friends (Emphasis mine)

The Walrus is a nonsensical song that ends with the refrain "smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot." Lennon claimed that it was nonsense words being sung and it just sounded that way because he wanted to "mess with people's heads." However, in his final interview with the pornographic rag Playboy, Lennon admitted in 1980 that "The first line was written on one acid trip [LSD] one weekend. The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko." 

Their song Strawberry Fields Forever is about the red patch of skin that develops on the arm of a heroin user, called a "strawberry field" in 1960s hippy lingo. Interestingly, part of Central Park, NYC was named "Strawberry Fields" in Lennon's honor after his murder. Most of the public thought the song was just about "peace and love," yet it really is a fitting "tribute" to a drug addicted musician who sang the praises of dope. All of The Beatles were drug addicts and alcoholics for at least most of their careers.Lennon would always try and exculpate himself and the group by claiming their songs were not about drugs. For example, he said Strawberry Fields Forever was about a garden in which he would play as a child growing up in Liverpool, England.

Upon inspection, Lennon's claim doesn't hold up. The lyrics to Strawberry Fields Forever speaks to a hazy, empty-minded drug induced place where "nothing is real:"
Let me take you down
'Cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever

Furthermore, in the song Glass Onion, Lennon references many of  The Beatles' other tunes. He also perpetrates a fraud upon the public that "Paul [McCartney] is dead." It was a publicity stunt to sell even more records that contained backward masked messages of how McCartney died and was replaced by a look-alike. Such deception to sell records! Now we're supposed to believe this man--- a drug addict--- when he says his songs aren't about the drugs he enjoys so much? From Glass Onion:

I told you about strawberry fields

You know the place where nothing is real...

Well here's another clue for you all

The walrus was Paul. (The opening once again has the idea of a drug induced state, and the lyrics near the end are about the "McCartney is dead" fiasco).

  Other songs that praise drugs:
  • Day Tripper (recreational drug use)
  • Magical Mystery Tour (marijuana)
  • Got To Get You Into My Life (McCartney admitted it was not about a girl but marijuana)
  • Happiness Is A Warm Gun ("warm gun" was slang for a hypodermic needle hot with heroin, and the lyrics say to "shoot" as in "shoot up")
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Lennon claimed it was about his son seeing the Peanuts character Lucy in the stars or "with diamonds." Actually, it is an acrostic for "LSD")
From the Pagan to the Satanic

 Despite their claims of "agnosticism" and disavowal of all religion, the band members never fully severed ties with pagan Hinduism. In addition, the band was an admirer of Satanist Aleister Crowley (born Edward Alexander Crowley in 1875; died 1947). Crowley wrote The Book of the Law which declared that its followers should "Do what thou wilt" and seek to align themselves with their "True Will" through the practice of magick (spelled with "k" at the end, it refers to the occult practice as opposed to slight of hand parlor tricks spelled "magic"). He founded his own Satanic religion called Thelema of which his The Book of the Law was their "Bible." Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and Satanist. He was banned from Italy in 1923, and described in the press as "the wickedest man in the world." (See Martin Booth,  A Magick Life: The Biography of Aleister Crowley,  London: Coronet Books [2000]). 

The Beatles propelled Crowley to fame, and many rock and pop stars became followers of his teachings as a result. In 1967, The Beatles released their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. The cover featured a montage of people; mostly the infamous. There are four Hindu gurus pictured along with the evil Crowley. Below is an image of the album cover with Aleister Crowley's picture highlighted.

Adolph Hitler was also supposed to be on the cover, but for reasons never fully made clear, his image was removed prior to the album's release. Lennon wasn't kidding when he wrote, "I've sold my soul to the devil."(See Ray Coleman Lennon, McGraw-Hill, 1984 ed., pg. 256). 

John Lennon
 Lennon was the most famous of The Beatles, and I remember clearly when he was murdered by a mentally disturbed man, Mark David Chapman, on December 8, 1980. I was in high school, and you would have thought it was the president being assassinated by the way everyone reacted. He was treated as some ersatz "martyr." There were candlelight services that were overflowing in NYC, and other places around the world. I remember people were crying because he was killed violently, yet believed in "peace and love." Needless to say, I do not advocate violence, and Chapman remains (rightfully) in prison over 27 years later. However, the idea of Lennon being some "love and peace" advocate and martyr is just plain lunacy. As we have already seen, Lennon used and promoted drugs, rejected God for paganism and admired Satanist Aleister Crowley. As if that were not bad enough, there's much more sinister things about him.

  • Lennon advocated for the rejection of God and Christianity.
In his song God, he claims not to believe in anything, which is itself a lie since he advocated for Hindu "gurus," and promoted the teachings of a libertine Satanist.  Here are the lyrics:

God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I'll say it again
God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-Ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in yoga
I don't believe in kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me

His song Imagine has been called "an atheist anthem."

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... Aha-ah...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

  • Lennon admitted to being a wife beater
In his 1980 interview with porn rag Playboy, Lennon admitted, "...I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things she loved...I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically--any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women." He was also emotionally abusive and a dead-beat dad to his first son, Julian, who stated that Paul McCartney was more of a father to him than Lennon ever was.  

  • Lennon frequently lied about his life
Just some of his lies include claiming he was working class poor growing up when he was comfortably middle class. He said he left The Beatles over disputes with McCartney, when the truth was that he became unable to function from his heroin addiction. When he made a comeback before his murder, he said he was looking after his son, when in fact he had been in a drugged up stupor most of the time.

  • Lennon was an exhibitionist
He appeared completely naked with his second "wife," Yoko Ono (herself an occultist) on the album entitled Two Virgins. The photo is so pornographic it had to be censored by the record company.

  • Lennon's concubine, Yoko Ono, was deeply involved in paganism and astrology
"She seems to blend astrology, eastern philosophies, and mysticism into a meta-religious approach." (See 

  • Lennon was the ultimate hypocrite
While claiming to believe in nothing but himself, he and The Beatles promoted pagan religion and a Satanist. The man who wanted us to "imagine no possessions" was a multi-millionaire. He was anti-war and denounced the United States for acts of violence while beating his wife Cynthia, emotionally abusing his son Julian, and on at least one occasion was filmed making fun of the physically-challenged. 

The Beatles began the evil trend in modern pop and rock music. John Lennon is still spoken about in hushed tones as some great man to be revered, or even a "martyr" for "love and peace." The truth is quite different. Lennon once claimed The Beatles were more popular than Christ. In that same interview, he said, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right." Sorry, Mr. Lennon. You've gone to Judgement and now know the Truth. As much as your Hellish companions and you have tried (and as much success as you've had corrupting people and turning them away from God), we have Our Lord's promise, "...behold I am with thee all days, even to the consummation of the world " (St. Matthew 28:20), and "...the gates of Hell shall not prevail..." (St. Matthew 16:18). The One True Church shall remain long after your evil music is forgotten.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Church Of Oprah

 It's a truism that a person is known by the company he or she keeps. The fact that Jorge Begoglio (aka "Pope" Francis) is always with heretics, infidels and pagans and not trying to convert them, tells you he is not someone who believes in the Integral Catholic Faith. By this standard it should be understood that one of the most evil people today is the much-beloved American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, and producer Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey (b. 1954) has had enormous influence on the world through her TV talk show which began in 1986. She is credited with having helped elect abortionist, sodomite-supporter, and Communist Barak Obama as the 44th President of the United States. She has recently ruled out a run for president herself in 2020, but that's not to say she couldn't change her mind. According to Forbes magazine, she is the richest African-American in the world with a net worth of 2.8 billion dollars.

 Any book Winfrey endorses seems to end up at the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller List. Who and what she endorses is most disturbing. She has used her influence to promote occult ideas and personalities that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. While claiming the title "Christian," Winfrey denies Our Lord and promotes evil. This post will expose her true beliefs, and the people she promotes. It is scary to think of this woman any more powerful than she is already.

Helen Schucman

 Helen Schucman (d. 1981) was the author of the book A Course in Miracles, which was taught on satellite radio by Marianne Williamson with the encouragement and support of Oprah Winfrey. In October of 1965, then 56 year old Schucman, a Jewish atheist psychologist and associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in NYC, began receiving what she claimed were channeled messages from a "spirit guide" identifying itself as "the voice of Jesus Christ." Soon, Schucman became used to the "voice" which dictated things for her to write down. She acted as a scribe, with her hand moving in what is known as "automatic writing." Popular in occult circles this automatic writing means that the writer's hand forms the words, but the person is unaware of what will be written.

 One of the most infamous "automatic writers" was Helene Smith (born Catherine Muller in 1861) who claimed her automatic writing was an attempt by Martians to communicate with Earth. She also declared that she was able to translate the "Martian Language" into French and was the reincarnation of a Hindu princess and Marie Antoinette. (See; See also; and Occult and Supernatural Phenomena, by Donovan Rawcliffe, Dover Publications [1988], pgs. 178-186).  

The result of Schucman's automatic writing was the book A Course in Miracles. The book tells us that our beliefs are unimportant. What is important is the application of the book's ideas which will bring you into a "higher form of consciousness." It further states that what is important is the inner core of our own being that unifies all religions of the world. This is a sample of what the "spirit guide" dictated to Schucman:

Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem quite startling. This does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you they are true.

Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reaction to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required. (See A Course in Miracles: Text, Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers, Glen Ellen, CA, The Foundation for Inner Peace [Reprint 1977], pg.ix).

This is pure religious indifferentism combined with a blind trust in something that will comport with all beliefs. This garbage didn't take off until it was popularized by a woman whom Oprah pushed to fame, namely, Marianne Williamson.

A Return to Paganism
Marianne Williamson (b.1952), calls herself "an American spiritual teacher" (although what qualifies her for this title remains an enigma). Her life was transformed by reading Schucman's Course. Williamson's first book, A Return to Love, is a popular exposition of A Course in Miracles. The original book by Schucman contains a lesson for everyday, or 365 "lessons" per calendar year. Winfrey pushed Williamson's book on her TV show in 1992, the year of its publication, and it spent 39 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Williamson then began to teach her lessons, based on those of Schucman, on XM radio to even more millions of people. 

Here are some of the "life lessons to be learned" from Marianne Williamson:
  • Lesson #35: "My mind is part of God's. I am very holy."
  • Lesson #38: "There is nothing my holiness cannot do."
  • Lesson #61: "I am the light of the world"
  • Lesson #96: "Salvation comes from my one self."
  • Lesson #191: "I am the holy Son of God Himself."
These "lessons" are pure blasphemy from the father of lies himself. A single Jewish mother (who refuses to identify the father of her child), Williamson used to run a "metaphysical bookshop" (occult themes, not philosophy) before Oprah catapulted her to fame and fortune. Williamson is therefore not unacquainted with the demonic, and actually calls herself a witch:

During the wee hours of the morning, both angels and demons take shape...In those hours that I've lain so inconveniently awake, I think I've begun to know at last what awakened means. Noting the witching hour---4:15---at which I awake more often than not, stealing outside to look at the stars and marvel at the moon, I return again to my ancient self. In those hours, I am not a menopausal nutcase, I'm a magical witch, and I can feel it in my bones. (See Williamson's book The Gift of Change, San Francisco, HarperCollins, [2004], pg. 244; Emphasis mine). 

This woman, and the teachings of Schucman would never have ensnared so many people had it not been for Oprah Winfrey. 

Oprah and the Vatican II Sect

 Oprah has made many friends in the Vatican II sect, and pushes the work of "Fr" Richard Rohr (b. 1943) a proponent of the evil "Enneagram" (See my post for more on that subject). Rohr pushes many heretical and immoral positions:

  • Claims God is androgynous: "God is the ultimate combination of whatever it means to be male and whatever it means to be female."
  • Supports sodomite "rights" groups and claims the Church "failed" by "judging" and "excluding" sodomites
  • Denies the Crucifixion of Our Lord was necessary for Redemption: "Incarnation is already redemption, and you do not need any blood sacrifice to display God's commitment to humanity. Once God says yes to flesh, then flesh is no longer bad but the very ‘hiding and revealing' place of God."
  • Denies the true nature of Original Sin by calling it "the common pain of being human"
  • Claims the sacraments have no efficacy if their accompanying ritual does not produce a desired psychological effect
(See "Fr" Bryce Sibley, himself a Vatican II sect "priest," taking Rohr apart;

Not surprisingly, there is nothing "Catholic" about the "priest" Oprah endorses; it is more occultism and Modernism.  Consider Oprah's own words:

When a lady in her audience asked, "What about Jesus?"  Oprah defiantly answered her by repeating the question, "What about Jesus?" Oprah went on to explain how she had been a Baptist until she heard a charismatic Pastor make the statement that God was a jealous God.  She told her viewers in her opinion God was simply love and God being described as a Jealous God made her really stop and think. 

On another occasion she stated:

One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way. Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.

Yet another "gem" from Ms. Winfrey:

Well, I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity.


 In 2015, Bergoglio, upon visiting the U.S., sought advice on  "the Church’s portrayal in Western entertainment" from Oprah Winfrey and movie actor Matt Damon. Is it any wonder Bergoglio, who submits to and promotes the pagan "Reiki healing" would seek advice from this equally pagan woman? Oprah Winfrey has consistently pushed a pagan worldview while claiming the title "Christian" and donating generously to charity. Many are fooled who forget what Our Lord said, "The poor you will always have with you,but you will not always have Me." (St. Matthew 26:11). The purpose of this life is to save our soul. "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" (St. Mark 8:36). 

Winfrey has pushed many pagan ideas and personalities upon the world. A full listing would take another post; I didn't even mention Rhonda Byrne, author of the pagan (and very popular) book The Secret. Beware should she attempt a run for president; I shudder at the thought of "President Winfrey" and her occult driven Cabinet members. Upon meeting Bergoglio, Winfrey had this to say to "Pope" Francis: "Your Holiness (sic) I wanted to take a moment to extend my warmest welcome to you. I hold your life and work in the highest esteem. (Emphasis mine). Need any more be said? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Source Of The Problem

 In the more than four years that I have been regularly posting on this blog each week, I have communicated with all kinds of ersatz "Traditionalists." While the large majority of my readers are good people trying to be loyal to the Church in this age of near universal apostasy, there nevertheless remain those that exemplify what was meant by the prophet Zechariah when he wrote, "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered..." In a time of prolonged sedevacantism, people go far astray without a true pope. I have thought quite a bit about the unusual groups that have emerged posing as faithful Traditionalist Catholics in the wake of Vatican II. I have identified the basic groups and what I believe is the underlying source of the problem. Despite their claims that they are the true remnant, most wind up placing themselves outside the One True Church. First, the groups:

  • Feeneyites: Those who deny Baptism of Blood (BOB) and Baptism of Desire (BOD), the most infamous of whom are the phony "Benedictine" brothers, Fred and Bobby Dimond of New York's Most Holy Family "Monastery." 
  • Vacancy Pushers: This is the term I have coined for those who not only reject the "papacy" of Roncalli (John XXIII)  up to Bergoglio (Francis), but "push back the date of the vacancy" by denying the authenticity of pre-Vatican II popes. They accomplish this by digging up some obscure quote from an encyclical or some other papal document of a prior pope, twist it out of context, and declare him an "antipope." There are three main groups; those who, like Michael Bizzaro, declare Pope St. Pius X (d. 1914) as the last pope; those who recognize Pope Pius IX (d. 1878) as the last pope; and the followers of cult leader Richard Ibranyi of New Mexico, who have the last pope as being Pope Honorius II (d. 1130 AD!).
  • Recognize and Resistors: Those who recognize all Vatican II "popes" yet feel free to decide when, how, and if they will obey them. (Groups like the Society of St. Pius X [SSPX] and Bp. Williamson's St. Marcel Initiative, and the notorious Bergoglio-defenders,Robert Siscoe and John Salza). 
  • Apparitionists: People who exalt private revelations and apparitions whether approved by the Church (such as Our Lady of Fatima) or not (such as Our Lady of the Roses) over the teaching of the Church. They obsess over the alleged "true meanings" of messages (as if salvation depended on them), or even accept them to the exclusion of authentic Church doctrines in some area(s). The late "Fr." Gruner falls squarely in this category. 
  • Home Aloners: Like an ecclesiastical version of the 1990 movie, these poor souls think that you cannot go to any Traditionalist priest, but must remain "home alone" without the Mass or sacraments because no one (according to them) has been properly "sent" by the Church. As a consequence, Traditionalist clergy allegedly have no authority to offer Mass and administer the sacraments. 
  • Conclavists: The men and women who believe that, like in the case of David Bawden ("Pope" Michael), you can run a "conclave" with your mommy, daddy, two nice neighbors, and a self-anointed female "theologian" as "electors" on a Kansas farm, thereby producing a "pope." Some Conclavists, like the Palmar de Troya cult, claim "divine intervention," as when Clemente Dominguez said Christ Himself appeared to him in a vision and declared he would become pope upon the death of Montini ("Pope" Paul VI). 
  • Science Deniers: My term for those who think that in order to preserve the faith, they must deny modern science. You must believe that the Earth is exactly 6,000 years old, and/or Earth is the center of the universe. They treat these opinions as "dogma." It is the opposite of some atheists who think that to preserve science you must deny God.   

To make matters more confusing, there are more groups, but these are the vast majority out there. Some people are not easy to pigeon-hole because they can fall into more than one group, such as the former Protestant minister, Gerry Matatics, who used to be both a Feeneyite and a Home Aloner, but is now just Home Alone giving "courses" regarding every subject under the sun on Facebook. You could also be a Science-Denier and a Vacancy Pusher, or an Apparitionist and a Conclavist.

So what's causing these pseudo-Traditionalist groups? All of them either do not understand, or willfully reject, the Magisterium of the Church. As a result, they get things seriously wrong, and most place themselves outside the Church. The purpose of this post will be, therefore, to give a proper exposition of what the Magisterium really is, and what we must believe. I will also answer common objections to the proper role of the Church's Magisterium. In so doing, I will also point out how some groups got it wrong. Nothing that will be written below is mine; I take credit for nothing. It is the teaching of the One True Church Herself. It is my hope that by understanding the teaching authority of the Church, you will never fall into these errors, and maybe this post will give you the ammunition necessary to rescue friends and family that have, unfortunately, fallen victim to them.

The Magisterium

1. What is the Magisterium? According to theologian Parente, it is "the power conferred by Christ upon His Church and strengthened with the charism of infallibility, by which the teaching Church (Ecclesia docens) is constituted as the unique depository and authentic interpreter of divine revelation to be proposed authoritatively to men as the object of faith for their eternal salvation." (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, [1951], pg. 170). Therefore, the Church is divinely appointed to teach all necessary truths of faith to people, free from error, in order that they may attain Heaven. "Magisterium" comes from the Latin magister or "teacher." Christ told His Apostles "Go therefore, teach ye all nations..."(St. Matthew 28:19). 

2. What constitutes the Magisterium? According to theologian Van Noort: "The subject-matter of divine- Catholic faith are all those truths proposed by the Church's Magisterium for our belief as divinely revealed...The principle laid down above is contained almost verbatim in this declaration of the [First] Vatican Council: 'Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal Magisterium, proposes for belief as having been Divinely-revealed.' [Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith]" (See Dogmatic Theology, Newman Press 3:220-221[1960]; words in brackets and emphasis are mine). 

The Magisterium, therefore, is expressed either solemnly or in an ordinary and universal way. This is clear from both Church history and the dogmatic decree of the First Vatican Council (1870).  The former exercise of the Church's teaching authority is called the Solemn or Extraordinary Magisterium and the latter is called the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium ("UOM"). Both are equally infallible

3. The Extraordinary Magisterium. As theologian Van Noort writes, the Extraordinary Magisterium is comprised of: "(a) definitions made by the pope speaking ex cathedra; (b) definitions made by particular councils which have either been ratified by the pope in solemn form, or accepted by the universal Church. The term 'definition' covers creeds and professions of faith which have been edited or solemnly approved by the supreme Magisterium of the Church." (Ibid, pg. 221). However, this is not the usual way the Church teaches us, hence it is called "extraordinary." The purpose of infallible definitions made solemnly is to confirm what has already been taught by the UOM when brought under attack by heretics. For example, the heresiarch Arius was already considered a heretic for denying the Divinity of Christ (taught by the UOM) before the solemn definitions at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  Martin Luther was likewise considered a heretic for denying the Mass was a real Sacrifice, and teaching justification by faith alone, before the condemnations of the Ecumenical Council of Trent. Exactly what, then, is the UOM?

4. The Universal and Ordinary Magisterium Explained. According to theologian Scheeben, "The Criteria, or means of knowing Catholic truth may be easily gathered from the principles...nearly all set forth in the Brief Tuas Libenter, addressed by Pius IX to the Archbishop of Munich." (See A Manual of Catholic Theology 1:89). Pope Pius IX wrote, ""For even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless, it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith." Pope Pius IX, Tuas Libenter (1863),DZ 1683 (Emphasis mine)

Again the Supreme Pontiff writes, "But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church, but that
it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure." Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.

 Van Noort explains: "Clearly if a truth is capable of being declared an object of divine-catholic faith through the force of this ordinary and universal teaching, there is required such a proposal is unmistakably definitive........The major signs of such a proposal are these: that the truth be taught throughout the world in popular catechisms, or even more importantly, be taught by the universal and constant agreement of theologians as belonging to faith." (Van Noort, Ibid, pg. 222; Emphasis mine). 

Canon 1323 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law further gives proof of the belief of the Church regarding the UOM and imposes on the faithful the obligation of consent. The eminent canonist Augustine writes, "The universal and ordinary Magisterium consists of the entire episcopate, according to the constitution and order defined by Christ, i.e., all the bishops of the universal Church, dependently on the Roman Pontiff...What the universal and approved practice and discipline proposes as connected with faith and morals must be believed. And what the Holy Fathers and the theologians hold unanimously as a matter of faith and morals, is also de fide." (See A Commentary on Canon Law, pg.327)

Finally, a great summary by theologian Scheeben, "Although the assistance of the Holy Ghost is not directly promised to theologians, nevertheless the assistance promised to the Church requires that He should prevent them as a body from falling into error; otherwise the Faithful who follow them would all be lead astray. The consent of the theologians implies the consent of the Episcopate, according to St. Augustine's dictum, 'Not to resist an error is to approve of it---not to defend a truth is to reject it.'" (Scheeben, Ibid, pg. 83). 

Remember, too, what constitutes an "approved theologian": Clerics of eminent learning, and orthodoxy in doctrine, at least as insofar their writings are used by the faithful and in seminaries, with the knowledge of (and with no opposition from) the hierarchy and the Holy See. (See, e.g,. theologian Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa, IB, [1955]). 

The Two Errors Inherent in the Pseudo-Traditionalist Groups

I) Reject all teaching except infallible pronouncements from popes and Ecumenical Councils. Here, they jettison most Church teaching. They even (ironically) reject the infallible pronouncement of the First Vatican Council that the UOM is infallible! This is akin to ripping out more than half the pages of a book and expecting to get the story correct. It's not happening.

II) Only accept those infallible pronouncements from the popes and Ecumenical Councils according to their private interpretations, and reject the teaching of the approved theologians which is how the Church teaches us through Her Universal and Ordinary Magisterium, as infallibly defined at the Vatican Council (1870).Theology, like law or medicine, is a science. As such, it is handled by professionals trained and overseen by Holy Mother Church. A layman attempting to interpret a dogma is like a non-physician trying to "diagnose himself" on WebMD or a non-lawyer attempting to defend himself in court. Would you want to entrust your possible loss of liberty to a non-lawyer's advice? Would you let a non-surgeon operate on you and risk death? Of course, no rational person would do this, yet some Traditionalists will risk their eternal salvation by trusting in wannabe "Benedictines" with no formal ecclesiastical education and training, or a "pope" who was "elected" by his parents on their Kansas farm.

Objections Answered

  • Theologians are not infallible. Yes, individual theologians can be in error, but not as a corporate body. What kind of teaching authority would that be? It is blasphemous to suggest that Christ's One True Church could allow error to go unchecked for almost two millennium, as in the case of BOD and BOB. The Church would have defected, but this is impossible. St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Thomas Aquinas taught both the absolute necessity of water baptism and BOD/BOB. This would imply that two of the greatest theologians and Doctors of the Church--brilliant men--were contradicting themselves in their own writings if what the Feeneyites teach is true. This smacks of a mental disorder being attributed to two of the greatest saints in Church history. Notice too, the hypocrisy and irrationality of the Dimond brothers who state that these saints made "innocent mistakes" regarding BOD and BOB, yet everyone else who believes it is of bad will and damned to Hell. Consider the countless popes and saintly bishops and priests who scrutinized the works of Aquinas and Liguori for hundreds of years. Their works were especially scrutinized for heresy and error when they were considered for canonization and again when being considered for the title of "Doctor of the Church." Yet not one pope, bishop, or priest caught the "innocent mistake" until an excommunicated Jesuit from Boston came along in the 20th century. Please.
  • We only need to believe infallible teachings of the popes and Ecumenical Councils. The Church has condemned this very idea. Condemned proposition #22 of the Syllabus of Errors, addressed to the whole Church teaches, "22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and writers are absolutely bound is restricted to those matters only which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Church, to be believed by all as dogmas of the faith." Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, 1794, condemns: ''...the Church, governed by the Holy Spirit, could impose a disciplinary law that would be not only useless and more burdensome for the faithful than Christian liberty allows, but also dangerous and harmful."  Pope Gregory XVI in Quo Graviora (1833) states, "The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, all of which truth is taught by the Holy Spirit. Should the Church be able to order, yield to, or permit those things which tend toward the destruction of souls and the disgrace and detriment of the sacrament instituted by Christ?" Pope Pius XII condemns the idea popes need not be given assent in their teachings that are not ex cathedra: "It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in these the popes do not exercise the supreme powers of their Magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent ‘He who heareth you, heareth me.’; and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine." (Humani Generis [1950]).  Hence, not adhereing to this principle, "recognize and resist" folks can claim Bergoglio is pope because he was "not speaking infallibly" when he allowed adulterers to receive the Novus Bogus "communion" or Wojtyla was not infallibly speaking when he wrote Ut Unam Sint. It is impossible for the pope to approve that which is erroneous or evil. You must either accept what they do, or reject their claim to the papacy! 
  •  The information on the UOM is incorrect. No, I cited the infallible teaching of Vatican Council I (1870), and the Code of Canon Law which was promulgated by Pope Benedict XV. The Church is infallible in Her universal disciplinary laws, such as the Code. The approved theologians likewise echo what the Council and the Code teach regarding the UOM. 
  • You reject the popes from John XXIII to Francis, so we can apply the same rule to past popes and reject them. No, you are not "applying the same rule." I reject Vatican II and its so-called "popes" based on the complete irreconcilable ecclesiology taught pre- and post- Vatican II. Everyone realized something was seriously wrong (or at least very different) in the aftermath of Vatican II. No pope or theologian taught that non-Catholic sects are a "means of salvation" as did Vatican II. As a matter of fact, the exact opposite was taught. The errors were notorious and ubiquitous; there for all to see and the rejection of Roncalli to Bergoglio is based on the loss of papal office taught by the theologians. This is not the same as claiming, e.g. Pope Pius IX was the last pope because of some obscure quote pulled out of context written by Pope Leo XIII which allegedly makes him a "heretic." There was no huge movement claiming the Church had changed from Pope Pius IX to Pope Leo XIII, who kept Tradition intact, condemned Freemasonry, and declared Anglican orders invalid. To say otherwise is just plain false. 
  • We must elect our own pope right away to end this confusion. Easier said than done. I agree that we need to work towards such a state of affairs, but that's very different from having your mommy, daddy, and some nice neighbors "elect you to the papacy." It has all the validity that should come with a tinfoil tiara. 
 The Feeneyites, and the other pseudo-Traditionalist groups suffer from what a friend of mine called a "sickness of soul." I agree. The sickness comes from a rejection of the authentic Magisterium. They fall into every imaginable error and, unfortunately, make Traditionalists look strange (at best) and deranged (at worst). Almost all of them (with very few exceptions) are uncharitable boors. I could retire a wealthy man right now if I had a dime for every time they resort to ad hominem attacks calling me (and anyone else who does not agree with every jot and tittle they profess) "liars," "apostates," etc. Then again, when you don't have facts or logic on your side, name-calling is all that's left to do. Please remember how the Church teaches us, and avoid the source of the problem that makes you "Traditionalist Catholic" in name only.