Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Twelve Articles of Catholic Faith If you want to know the basics of the Catholic faith, look no further than the articles of Catholic faith. This list of twelve articles mirrors the Apostles' Creed, a prayer that sets out Catholic tenets: Article 1: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. This affirms that God exists, that he's a Triune God (one God in three persons, known as the Holy Trinity), and that he created the known universe. Article 2: And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. This attests that Jesus is the Son of God and that he's most certainly divine. The word Lord implies divinity, because the Greek Kyrios and the Hebrew Adonaiboth mean "lord" and are ascribed only to God. So the use of Lord withJesus is meant to profess his divinity. The name Jesus comes from the Hebrew Jeshua, meaning "God saves." So Catholics believe that Jesus is Savior. Article 3: Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. This affirms the human nature of Christ, meaning he had a real, true human mother, and also affirms his divine nature, meaning he had no human father but by the power of the Holy Spirit was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He's therefore considered both God and man by Christians—fully divine and fully human. Article 4: He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. The human nature of Christ could feel pain and actually die, and he did on Good Friday. The mention of Pontius Pilate by name wasn't meant so much to vilify him forever in history but to place the Crucifixion within human history. Reference is made to an actual historical person, the Roman governor of Judea, appointed by Caesar, to put the life and death of Jesus within a chronological and historical context. It also reminds the faithful that one can't blame all Jews for the death of Jesus, as some have erroneously done over the ages. Certain Jewish leaders conspired against Jesus, but the actual death sentence was given by a Roman and carried out by Roman soldiers. So both Jew and Gentile alike shared in the spilling of innocent blood. Anti-Semitism based on the Crucifixion of Jesus is inaccurate, unjust, and erroneous. Article 5: He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead. The hell Jesus descended into wasn't the hell of the damned, where Jews and Christians believe the devil and his demons reside. Hell was merely a word that Jews and early Christians used to describe the place of the dead. This passage affirms that on the third day he rose, meaning Jesus came back from the dead of his own divine power. He wasn't just clinically dead for a few minutes; he was dead dead — then he rose from the dead. More than a resuscitated corpse, Jesus possessed a glorified and risen body. Article 6: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. The Ascension reminds the faithful that after the human and divine natures of Christ were united in the Incarnation, they could never be separated. In other words, after the saving death and Resurrection, Jesus didn't dump his human body as if he didn't need it anymore. Catholicism teaches that his human body will exist forever. Where Jesus went, body and soul, into heaven, the faithful hope one day to follow. Article 7: He will come again to judge the living and the dead. This article affirms the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world to be its judge. Judgment Day, Day of Reckoning, Doomsday—they're all metaphors for the end of time when what's known as the General Judgment will occur. Catholics believe that after the death of any human person, immediate private judgment occurs and the person goes directly to heaven, hell, or purgatory (an intermediate place in preparation for heaven). Article 8: I believe in the Holy Spirit, This part reminds the believer that God exists in three persons — the Holy Trinity — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. What's referred to as the Force in the movieStar Wars isn't the same as the Holy Spirit, who is a distinct person equal to the other two — God the Father and God the Son. Article 9: the holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, Catholics believe that the Church is more than a mere institution and certainly not a necessary evil. It's an essential dimension and aspect of spiritual life. Christ explicitly uses the word church (ekklesia in Greek) in Matthew 16 when he says, "I will build My Church." Article 10: the forgiveness of sins, Christ came to save the world from sin. Belief in the forgiveness of sins is essential to Christianity. Catholicism believes sins are forgiven in Baptism and in the Sacrament of Penance. Article 11: the resurrection of the body, From the Catholic perspective, a human being is a union of body and soul, so death is just the momentary separation of body and soul until the end of the world, the Second Coming of Christ, the General Judgment, and the resurrection of the dead. The just go, body and soul, into heaven, and the damned go, body and soul, into hell. Article 12: And in life everlasting. As Christ Our Saviour died, so, too, must mere mortals. As he rose, so shall all human beings. Death is the only way to cross from this life into the next. At the very moment of death, private judgment occurs; Christ judges the soul: * If it's particularly holy and virtuous, the soul goes directly to heaven. * If it's evil and wicked and dies in mortal sin, it's damned for eternity in hell. * If a person lived a life not bad enough to warrant hell but not holy enough to go right to heaven, Catholics believe the soul goes to purgatory, which is a middle ground between heaven and earth, a state where departed souls want to go to be cleansed of any attachments to sin before going through the pearly gates.
NOVUS ORDO WATCH SPECIAL REPORT Assisi 2011: APOSTASY REVISITED On October 27th Benedict XVI traveled to the Umbrian town of Assisi, made glorious as the birthplace of both the thirteenth century church luminary St. Francis, and the religious order he founded, the Friars Minor (or Franciscans). The trip was made to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of John Paul II's World Day of Prayer for Peace at Assisi, in which his predecessor invited "160 religious leaders spending the day together with fasting and praying to their God or Gods. They represented 32 Christian religious organizations and 11 other non-Christian world religions…" In response to the first Assisi interreligious meeting, Society of St. Pius X founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre declared: "He who now sits upon the Throne of Peter mocks publicly the first article of the Creed and the first Commandment of the Decalogue. The scandal given to Catholic souls cannot be measured. The Church is shaken to its very foundations." And two years later in 1988, when raising four men to the episcopacy, Abp. Lefebvre would in part defend his act by saying it was in defiance of the authorities in Modernist Rome (significantly, "Cardinal" Ratzinger was mentioned by name), who sought to "reduce Tradition to naught" and against "the spirit of Vatican II and the spirit of Assisi." Fast-forward a quarter of a century, and one of those four men echoes the words of Abp. Lefebvre. "Yes, we are deeply indignant, we vehemently protest against this repetition of the days at Assisi," declared SSPX Superior Bishop Bernard Fellay back in January. "Everything that we have said, everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had said at the time of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in 1986, we repeat in our own name. It is evident, my dear brothers, that such a thing demands reparation. What a mystery!” Well, only a mystery if by that Bp. Fellay refers to is a mystery of iniquity as was sadly witnessed in 1986, in what was undoubtedly the defining moment of the entire Assisi event, when the Church of St. Peter was the scene of pagans placing a statue of Buddha atop the tabernacle (right). Over a millennium ago, Catholic churches were once built upon the ruins of pagan temples, but now the tables had been turned, so to speak, and an idol now stood in the midst of a church nearly nine hundred years old.…

Thursday, 24 November 2011

This is an excellent and well-researched article that addresses the problems of the modern popes since the 1960's. Please take the time to read this material. Fr. B. I. The Church, a divine society When we take the first and most noble perspective, we try to analyze, understand and judge the present day situation based on the divine factors: the words of Scripture, infallible papal and conciliar documents of the past, as well as the unanimous teaching of Bishops, Saints and Doctors. I believe that a discussion on these points is necessary, but very frequently treacherous, for since a scholar knows that any heretic, upon falling into heresy, disconnects himself from the Church, he is led to apply this to the conciliar Popes and to draw juridical consequences from this fact: The present day Popes are no longer Popes, they lose their jurisdiction, their sacraments are not valid, the Bishops consecrated by them are not Bishops, the priests are not priests, etc. I have accompanied these studies from afar, and I also know that a heretic cannot be a member of the Church. When I apply this principle to the conciliar Popes, however, I stop at the affirmation that they are heretics. I do not enter into the juridical consequences of this fact. The imperative reason is simple: Pope Boniface VIII in the Bull Una Sanctam clearly interpreted the words of Scripture, “The spiritual man judges all things and he himself is judged by no man” (1 Cor 2:15), as applicable to Popes. And he concluded saying definitively that no one can “judge” a Pope. “To judge,” for Boniface VIII, was not to make a dogmatic or moral appraisal about the thinking or the conduct of a Pope, but rather to attribute to oneself the power of deposing him. Boniface VIII was indirectly dealing with the case of the King of France, Philip the Fair, who pretended he could depose and make Popes. Now, when someone affirms today that the conciliar Popes are not Popes, that person implicitly is attributing to himself that power. Even when, to avoid such arrogance, a person says that the Pope automatically ceases to be Pope and therefore the See is vacant, it seems to me that he does not have the right to conclude “therefore the seat is vacant” because here he directly enters the prohibited zone. 1. The New Testament St. Paul told us not to accept a different Gospel, even should it be presented by an Angel from Heaven. Consistent with such teaching, he resisted St. Peter when the latter scandalized the faithful. Such precedent teaches us that we can judge whoever is not in accordance with the Gospel, even if it is a high authority, a representative of Heaven. Thus, we can denounce and resist a Pope when he scandalizes the faithful. However, neither St. Paul nor any other Apostle declared the See to be vacant. We find no example of this in Scriptures. 2. History When we research History, we see that Pope St. Leo II declared his predecessor Pope Honorius a heretic some decades after the death of the latter. St. Leo II, however, did not annul the juridical or sacramental acts of Pope Honorius. The two Ecumenical Councils that pretended to have the power to depose Popes – the Council of Constance (1414-1418) and that of Basel (1431-1445) – were later unauthorized exactly in that pretension. Popes Martin V and Sixtus IV annulled the canons of the Ecumenical Council of Constance that ascribed to itself such power and Pope Eugene IV did the same regarding the Ecumenical Council of Basel. 3. The teaching of three ‘infallible’ papal bulls The two papal bulls most often used in sede-vacantist arguments - Quo primum and Cum ex apostolatus officio – merit special analysis. They are very categorical, some even consider them infallible. I do not discuss these qualifications; I prefer to study their content. A. Quo primum & Quod a nobis Reading Quo primum of St. Pius V about the form of the Tridentine Mass, we see the severe condemnations launched at the end of it for those who dare to change that form. At first glance, we would think that no one – not even a Pope – could change the Mass, and if he were to do so, he would automatically be excommunicated and “therefore cease to be Pope.” Despite the prohibition, Pius X serenely changed the Divine Office & Breviary However, the same St. Pius V wrote the Bull Quod a nobis about the forms of the Breviary and the Divine Office with analogous anathemas against anyone who would change them. Notwithstanding those sanctions, St. Pius X decided to change both the Breviary and the Divine Office, and did so with complete tranquility of conscience when he issued the Constitution Divino afflatu. It has never been reported that he had been excommunicated. It has never even been said that this measure disturbed the process of his canonization, in times when the certainty of the processes of canonization were a reflection of the infallibility of the Church. The analysis of these two bulls by St. Pius V and its “violation” by Pius X leads us to the first conclusion: The sanctions of St. Pius V are not applicable to a Pope. From this conclusion, it seems to me that some teachings follow: The Popes are the supreme spiritual authorities on this earth, but among themselves the Popes are equal. If one Pope at a given moment in History were to issue juridical, liturgical or sacramental laws to be obeyed by all the Popes to come, he would be breaking this fundamental equality and declaring himself superior to the future Popes: It seems to me that he would be setting himself up as a super-pope. From the fact that St. Pius X did not take into consideration the anathemas of the Bull Quod ad nobis, logically derives a second conclusion: Were a Pope to legislate over future Popes, he would usurp a power that belongs only to Our Lord. B. Ex cum apostolatus officio If this is true, the complicated case of the Bull Cum ex apostolatus officio of Pope Paul IV can more easily be understood. In it, we should distinguish the teachings and norms issued when the Pope legislates over those who are inferior to him from the norms issued when he intends to legislate over future Popes. Pope Paul IV issuing a statute In the first case, he establishes norms for religious and civil authorities. When he legislates over Catholic civil authorities – Emperors, Kings, Dukes, Marquis, etc. – he automatically excommunicates and deprives of their civil functions, without the need of any further measure, those who have had any adhesion to heresy. Certainly these determinations show that a laudable zeal inspired the Pontiff. But he seems to ignore the reality when he imagines that the simple words of his Bull will have the effect that he desires. Who could objectively prove that such persons have favored heresy unless they have gone through a judicial process? Is it possible for an excommunication latae sententiae – normally reserved in the Church for secret actions – to have a public effect and deprive an authority of its civil functions without any concurrence of the State? No, it is not possible. Thus, at least insofar as he legislates over Catholic civil authorities in so generic a manner, ignoring all indispensable procedures to make his norms effective, Pope Paul IV destines his Bull to remain a dead law, a blank bullet. I leave aside here the application of the Bull for ecclesiastical authorities. In the second case, another distinction is necessary: When Paul IV declares that no candidate to the Papacy or an elected Pope can be a heretic, he is doctrinally sound. But when he intends to depose a validly elected Pope should he become a heretic, and annul his juridical and sacramental actions, Paul IV is legislating over future Popes. This leads us to draw from the second conclusion above a consequence: Paul IV in Cum ex seems to step outside the ambit of papal authority and set himself up as a super-pope. Argumentandi gratia Notwithstanding this shortcoming, argumentandi gratia [for the sake of argument], if one admits that a Pope can legislate over other Popes, one sees that the Bull of Paul IV is omissive, because he does not establish an ecclesiastical body capable of declaring null the pontificate of the validly elected Pope whose election had been invalidated by heresy. In the hypothesis of the election of a heretic Pope, two main cases present themselves: the Pope who would be a public heretic or the Pope who would be a secret heretic. In the first case, if the Pope had already been a public heretic, the accusation of heresy must also have been extended to the College of Cardinals who elected him. Then, the Bull Cum ex should have supposed such a case and indicated another ecclesiastical body to judge and depose the Pope. This organ should have more power than the validly elected Pope and the College of Cardinals who elected him. Someone could say: Such an organ would have to be an ecumenical council. But, in fact, it had been ruled that ecumenical councils were not authorized to do this, as we said above. Thus, one sees that an organ to depose a Pope does not exist in the Church; it had not been indicated by Paul IV nor by any other Pope. Further, should such an organ exist, it would be doctrinally prevented from deposing a validly elected Pontiff. Pope Stephen VI judges the cadaver of Formosus and deposes him In the second case of a secretly heretic Pope, the solution seems to be even more complicated because that supposed ecclesiastical organ would need to have further power to annul and undo all the juridical and sacramental acts made by the Pope until his heresy became manifest, which could be a short or long period of time. But if this organ were to exercise such power, it would lead the Church into chaos. The 15 years that followed the pontificate of Pope Formosus (891-896) provides us an example of the chaos that the annulling of the sacraments ministered by a Pontiff can propitiate (1). As far as I could verify, the Church closed that confused period suspending the discussion about the validity of the papal sacraments without taking the side of any of the factions, and thenceforth avoided entering into juridical-sacramental disputes of this type. It seems to me that this historical precedent of annulling juridical and sacramental acts of Popes should have showed Paul IV the imprudence of leaving instructions to depose a Pope and to annul his sacramental acts since such actions would lead the Church into chaos. The analysis of those two cases leads to a third conclusion: An organ to depose a Pope does not exist in the Church; if such organ did exist, it would be condemned in the doctrinal order, and would lead the Church into chaos in the practical order. From this would come a general conclusion: The juridical and sacramental sanctions of Cum ex referring to the Popes are not applicable. Historical confirmation Modern History confirms the infeasibility of the application of Cum ex. In fact, Cardinal Mastai Ferratti was a complete liberal before rising to the Pontifical Throne – some add that he was also a member of Freemasonry. After taking the name of Pius IX and converting, he practically declared Catholic Liberalism a heresy. One may say, therefore, he declared that he was a heretic before he was elected. If the Bull of Paul IV were to be applied to this case, Cardinal Mastai Ferratti never could have been Pope; his election should be annulled and all the juridical and sacramental acts of his pontificate should have been invalidated. Pius IX at Vatican I, a null council if Ex cum is applied... Now, this seems absurd, since then two dogmas proclaimed by Pius IX would not be valid and the Ecumenical Council Vatican I would also be invalid. I repeat, this seems absurd. No one with a minimum of Catholic sense doubts that Pius IX, after his conversion, was a model Pope. If more confirmation were necessary, I could add some prophecies of Our Lady, such as those of Good Success in Quito, Ecuador, which mention Pius IX as the legitimate Pope. In fact, Our Lady of Good Success foretold a Pope who would declare the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the 19th century. Therefore, indirectly, Our Lady foretold that Pius IX was a legitimate Pope. If Ex cum had been applied, the validity of the elections of the archliberal Cardinal Pecci, the future Leo XIII, and the para-modernist Cardinal della Chiesa, the future Benedict XV, must also be declared null. Such hypothesis also appears absurd. In the practical order, it would lead the Church into chaos and would seriously vie for her destruction. It seems to me, therefore, that the condemnations of these three papal Bulls, with regard to the powers of jurisdiction and orders, are not applicable to a Pope. Thus, I would say that applying these papal Bulls in this way is not conclusive to declare the See vacant. 4. The ordinary Magisterium When we have recourse to the ordinary Magisterium of the Church, which as you may recall enjoys infallibility when it unanimously affirms the same teaching through the centuries, we do not find a uniform teaching with regard to a heretic Pope. What we find is a theological discussion examining the question of a heretic Pope placed on the level of quaestio disputata [question open to discussion], that is, each theologian can express the opinion he wishes. These studies were already categorized by St. Robert Bellarmine into five basic opinions. The themes discussed include the following: Can the Pope be a heretic? Does the Pope lose the pontificate when he becomes a heretic? What if he were a secret heretic? What if he were a public heretic? It is necessary for some ecclesiastical body to declare him a heretic for him to lose the pontificate or does he lose it automatically? If such declaration were made, would not this ecclesiastical body make itself superior to the Pope? If he is deposed automatically, at what moment does this take place? What happens to the Pope’s power of jurisdiction and orders when he is considered a heretic? Bellarmine's only adds his opinion to a question still open to discussion At the moment, what concerns me is not to make the list of responses to these questions, but rather to emphasize that there has been no definitive teaching on the matter. The opinions of the various theologians are expressed strongly, but with humility, knowing that until the Church speaks, there is no definitive answer. The important conclusion is that there is not unanimity of opinion among the theologians about what happens should a Pope fall into heresy. Even if there were unanimity, this opinion still would not have infallibility. Infallibility resides only in the extraordinary pontifical teachings or in the ordinary pontifical teachings when unanimous, and also in episcopal teachings throughout the centuries when they are unanimous. Even if the opinion of the theologians were unanimous, it would have a non-definitive weight, but at the present stage of the discussion, even this weight cannot be given to it. It seems to me that, regarding this discussion, the partisans of sede-vacantism should be more honest with their followers. Instead of presenting partial opinions of this or that Saint or Doctor as if they were definitive certainties, they should show their followers that the topic is a study in progress that will only be closed when the Church leaves the present day crisis and a good Pope gives a final word on the matter. Concluding this Part I, we see that with regard to the consideration of the Church as divine, we must limit ourselves to saying that the conciliar Popes are heretics, without drawing definitive conclusions about the loss of their powers of jurisdiction and orders. To shed more light on this sad situation of general apostasy, we will change the perspective and go on to look at the Church as a human society, which is much more simple and brief. II. The Church, a human society In its human aspect, the Catholic Church is a societas perfecta, a visible, autonomous and sovereign society that is sufficient in itself and does not depend on any external authority, be it spiritual or temporal. The same laws that govern other visible societies should be applied to her. St. Robert Bellarmine confirms this principle when, in his famous definition of the Church, he affirms that “the Catholic Church is as visible as the Kingdom of France or the Republic of Venice.” In accordance with the laws of visible societies, the conciliar Popes were chosen by a designated electoral body, the College of Cardinal; they were accepted by the ensemble of the Catholic Hierarchy and by the ensemble of the faithful and were recognized as valid Popes by the whole world. One could say, therefore, that these Popes are de facto Popes. The Cathedra of Peter glorified by Bernini Are they also de iure Popes? Just as a temporal ruler acknowledged by all as such has the power of jurisdiction of his office, so also does a conciliar Pope. Therefore, I would say that despite the heresy, they retain the right to command in everything that is not directly heresy. It seems to me that they also retain the power of orders since this is also linked indirectly to the power of jurisdiction, while directly only to the apostolic succession. The Church has always been very careful before affirming that a validly consecrated Bishop has lost the power of orders after becoming a heretic. Since Protestantism (1521), she still has not declared the sacraments of Lutheran bishops invalid; and only after 300 years did Leo XIII declare the Anglican orders to be invalid. Certainly the same criteria should be applied to the power of orders of the conciliar Popes: It is at the least very early to place in doubt the validity of the sacraments ministered by them. When does a bad Pope stop being Pope? (I already gave my opinion on this matter in another place with examples; here I summarize it). In the same way that a bad King stops being de facto King. And when does this happen? When a considerable part of his subjects denies him obedience. In the case of the conciliar Popes, when Catholics become convinced that these Popes are heretics, resist their orders and spread the position of resistance until the government of such Popes becomes unsustainable. It seems to me that this condition of great public notoriety is what some theologians were referring to when they said that the heretic Pope would continue to be Pope until his heresy became “notorious and publicly known.” These are the fruits we can harvest with regard to the Church as a human society. III. Conclusion Concluding and combining the two perspectives – the divine and the human – this is my position: 1.A heretic Pope loses the pontificate automatically before God, who knows his innermost thoughts and actions, at the moment when he falls into heresy, or, if he is already a heretic, at the moment when he reaffirms the heresy after his election; 2.He continues to be Pope before the visible Church until a respectful opposition of the faithful makes his government impossible; 3.Catholics have the obligation to resist him in all that he does that favors heresy; 4.They also have the obligation to spread the position of resistance as much as possible; 5.They should pray much and offer sacrifices asking Our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Head of the Church of which the Pope is only the Vicar, to intervene and bring this great trial for the Church and the faithful to an end. At this moment these are the considerations that occur to me suggested by your amiable letter and by the questions of other correspondents and readers of our website. With consideration, In Jesu et Maria, Atila S. Guimarães Footnote 1. After the death of Pope Formosus and the brief pontificate of 15 days of his successor Boniface VI (896), Stephen VI (896-897) was elected. Nine months after his election, under pressure from partisans of a faction opposed to Pope Formosus, he contested the election of the latter, exhumed his body, and then judged, deposed and excommunicated him at the so-called Cadaver Synod (897); he also annulled all the juridical and sacramental acts of his pontificate. However, in a public uprising against the Cadaver Synod, Stephen VI was deposed and thrown in prison where he was strangled. That same party favorable to Formosus brought the next Pope, Romanus (897) to the throne; he died four months later. His successor, Theodore II, had an even briefer pontificate, but he was able to hold a synod that annulled all the decisions of Eugene VI. The successor of Theodore was Sergius, of the anti-Formosus faction, who held the papal throne for only some months until he was deposed in 898 by a revolution, and John IX (898-900) was elected. This Pope, favorable to Formosus, confirmed all his juridical and sacramental acts. Benedict IV (900-903) followed the same line of John IX. At his death, Leo V was elected; he remained on the papal throne for two months and was deposed by a palace revolution. Christopher, later considered an antipope, took the place of Leo V and threw him in prison. After a few months, Christopher was deposed and imprisoned by Sergius, who had been dismissed in 898. After some time in prison, the two deposed popes, Leo V and Christopher, were executed. Rising to the pontifical throne with the name of Sergius III (904-911), this pope declared the pontificates of John IX, Leo V and Christopher to be null. Sergius III called a synod in Rome that annulled the decisions opposed to the Cadaver Synod and again installed them in full vigor. With this decision, later contested by historians, the disputes over the validity of the juridical and sacramental acts of Pope Formosus did not resurface. A new era of intrigue in the Papacy, not directly linked to our study, would begin. One can well imagine the chaotic sacramental consequences for the Church in Rome from this dispute in the Papacy: With each new annulling or rehabilitation of the previous papal acts, the members of the Hierarchy and the clergy lost or regained their episcopal consecrations or priestly ordinations. This is an excellent and well-researched article that addresses the problems of the modern popes since the 1960's. Please take the time to read this material. Fr. B. I. The Church, a divine society When we take the first and most noble perspective, we try to analyze, understand and judge the present day situation based on the divine factors: the words of Scripture, infallible papal and conciliar documents of the past, as well as the unanimous teaching of Bishops, Saints and Doctors. I believe that a discussion on these points is necessary, but very frequently treacherous, for since a scholar knows that any heretic, upon falling into heresy, disconnects himself from the Church, he is led to apply this to the conciliar Popes and to draw juridical consequences from this fact: The present day Popes are no longer Popes, they lose their jurisdiction, their sacraments are not valid, the Bishops consecrated by them are not Bishops, the priests are not priests, etc. I have accompanied these studies from afar, and I also know that a heretic cannot be a member of the Church. When I apply this principle to the conciliar Popes, however, I stop at the affirmation that they are heretics. I do not enter into the juridical consequences of this fact. The imperative reason is simple: Pope Boniface VIII in the Bull Una Sanctam clearly interpreted the words of Scripture, “The spiritual man judges all things and he himself is judged by no man” (1 Cor 2:15), as applicable to Popes. And he concluded saying definitively that no one can “judge” a Pope. “To judge,” for Boniface VIII, was not to make a dogmatic or moral appraisal about the thinking or the conduct of a Pope, but rather to attribute to oneself the power of deposing him. Boniface VIII was indirectly dealing with the case of the King of France, Philip the Fair, who pretended he could depose and make Popes. Now, when someone affirms today that the conciliar Popes are not Popes, that person implicitly is attributing to himself that power. Even when, to avoid such arrogance, a person says that the Pope automatically ceases to be Pope and therefore the See is vacant, it seems to me that he does not have the right to conclude “therefore the seat is vacant” because here he directly enters the prohibited zone. 1. The New Testament St. Paul told us not to accept a different Gospel, even should it be presented by an Angel from Heaven. Consistent with such teaching, he resisted St. Peter when the latter scandalized the faithful. Such precedent teaches us that we can judge whoever is not in accordance with the Gospel, even if it is a high authority, a representative of Heaven. Thus, we can denounce and resist a Pope when he scandalizes the faithful. However, neither St. Paul nor any other Apostle declared the See to be vacant. We find no example of this in Scriptures. 2. History When we research History, we see that Pope St. Leo II declared his predecessor Pope Honorius a heretic some decades after the death of the latter. St. Leo II, however, did not annul the juridical or sacramental acts of Pope Honorius. The two Ecumenical Councils that pretended to have the power to depose Popes – the Council of Constance (1414-1418) and that of Basel (1431-1445) – were later unauthorized exactly in that pretension. Popes Martin V and Sixtus IV annulled the canons of the Ecumenical Council of Constance that ascribed to itself such power and Pope Eugene IV did the same regarding the Ecumenical Council of Basel. 3. The teaching of three ‘infallible’ papal bulls The two papal bulls most often used in sede-vacantist arguments - Quo primum and Cum ex apostolatus officio – merit special analysis. They are very categorical, some even consider them infallible. I do not discuss these qualifications; I prefer to study their content. A. Quo primum & Quod a nobis Reading Quo primum of St. Pius V about the form of the Tridentine Mass, we see the severe condemnations launched at the end of it for those who dare to change that form. At first glance, we would think that no one – not even a Pope – could change the Mass, and if he were to do so, he would automatically be excommunicated and “therefore cease to be Pope.” Despite the prohibition, Pius X serenely changed the Divine Office & Breviary However, the same St. Pius V wrote the Bull Quod a nobis about the forms of the Breviary and the Divine Office with analogous anathemas against anyone who would change them. Notwithstanding those sanctions, St. Pius X decided to change both the Breviary and the Divine Office, and did so with complete tranquility of conscience when he issued the Constitution Divino afflatu. It has never been reported that he had been excommunicated. It has never even been said that this measure disturbed the process of his canonization, in times when the certainty of the processes of canonization were a reflection of the infallibility of the Church. The analysis of these two bulls by St. Pius V and its “violation” by Pius X leads us to the first conclusion: The sanctions of St. Pius V are not applicable to a Pope. From this conclusion, it seems to me that some teachings follow: The Popes are the supreme spiritual authorities on this earth, but among themselves the Popes are equal. If one Pope at a given moment in History were to issue juridical, liturgical or sacramental laws to be obeyed by all the Popes to come, he would be breaking this fundamental equality and declaring himself superior to the future Popes: It seems to me that he would be setting himself up as a super-pope. From the fact that St. Pius X did not take into consideration the anathemas of the Bull Quod ad nobis, logically derives a second conclusion: Were a Pope to legislate over future Popes, he would usurp a power that belongs only to Our Lord. B. Ex cum apostolatus officio If this is true, the complicated case of the Bull Cum ex apostolatus officio of Pope Paul IV can more easily be understood. In it, we should distinguish the teachings and norms issued when the Pope legislates over those who are inferior to him from the norms issued when he intends to legislate over future Popes. Pope Paul IV issuing a statute In the first case, he establishes norms for religious and civil authorities. When he legislates over Catholic civil authorities – Emperors, Kings, Dukes, Marquis, etc. – he automatically excommunicates and deprives of their civil functions, without the need of any further measure, those who have had any adhesion to heresy. Certainly these determinations show that a laudable zeal inspired the Pontiff. But he seems to ignore the reality when he imagines that the simple words of his Bull will have the effect that he desires. Who could objectively prove that such persons have favored heresy unless they have gone through a judicial process? Is it possible for an excommunication latae sententiae – normally reserved in the Church for secret actions – to have a public effect and deprive an authority of its civil functions without any concurrence of the State? No, it is not possible. Thus, at least insofar as he legislates over Catholic civil authorities in so generic a manner, ignoring all indispensable procedures to make his norms effective, Pope Paul IV destines his Bull to remain a dead law, a blank bullet. I leave aside here the application of the Bull for ecclesiastical authorities. In the second case, another distinction is necessary: When Paul IV declares that no candidate to the Papacy or an elected Pope can be a heretic, he is doctrinally sound. But when he intends to depose a validly elected Pope should he become a heretic, and annul his juridical and sacramental actions, Paul IV is legislating over future Popes. This leads us to draw from the second conclusion above a consequence: Paul IV in Cum ex seems to step outside the ambit of papal authority and set himself up as a super-pope. Argumentandi gratia Notwithstanding this shortcoming, argumentandi gratia [for the sake of argument], if one admits that a Pope can legislate over other Popes, one sees that the Bull of Paul IV is omissive, because he does not establish an ecclesiastical body capable of declaring null the pontificate of the validly elected Pope whose election had been invalidated by heresy. In the hypothesis of the election of a heretic Pope, two main cases present themselves: the Pope who would be a public heretic or the Pope who would be a secret heretic. In the first case, if the Pope had already been a public heretic, the accusation of heresy must also have been extended to the College of Cardinals who elected him. Then, the Bull Cum ex should have supposed such a case and indicated another ecclesiastical body to judge and depose the Pope. This organ should have more power than the validly elected Pope and the College of Cardinals who elected him. Someone could say: Such an organ would have to be an ecumenical council. But, in fact, it had been ruled that ecumenical councils were not authorized to do this, as we said above. Thus, one sees that an organ to depose a Pope does not exist in the Church; it had not been indicated by Paul IV nor by any other Pope. Further, should such an organ exist, it would be doctrinally prevented from deposing a validly elected Pontiff. Pope Stephen VI judges the cadaver of Formosus and deposes him In the second case of a secretly heretic Pope, the solution seems to be even more complicated because that supposed ecclesiastical organ would need to have further power to annul and undo all the juridical and sacramental acts made by the Pope until his heresy became manifest, which could be a short or long period of time. But if this organ were to exercise such power, it would lead the Church into chaos. The 15 years that followed the pontificate of Pope Formosus (891-896) provides us an example of the chaos that the annulling of the sacraments ministered by a Pontiff can propitiate (1). As far as I could verify, the Church closed that confused period suspending the discussion about the validity of the papal sacraments without taking the side of any of the factions, and thenceforth avoided entering into juridical-sacramental disputes of this type. It seems to me that this historical precedent of annulling juridical and sacramental acts of Popes should have showed Paul IV the imprudence of leaving instructions to depose a Pope and to annul his sacramental acts since such actions would lead the Church into chaos. The analysis of those two cases leads to a third conclusion: An organ to depose a Pope does not exist in the Church; if such organ did exist, it would be condemned in the doctrinal order, and would lead the Church into chaos in the practical order. From this would come a general conclusion: The juridical and sacramental sanctions of Cum ex referring to the Popes are not applicable. Historical confirmation Modern History confirms the infeasibility of the application of Cum ex. In fact, Cardinal Mastai Ferratti was a complete liberal before rising to the Pontifical Throne – some add that he was also a member of Freemasonry. After taking the name of Pius IX and converting, he practically declared Catholic Liberalism a heresy. One may say, therefore, he declared that he was a heretic before he was elected. If the Bull of Paul IV were to be applied to this case, Cardinal Mastai Ferratti never could have been Pope; his election should be annulled and all the juridical and sacramental acts of his pontificate should have been invalidated. Pius IX at Vatican I, a null council if Ex cum is applied... Now, this seems absurd, since then two dogmas proclaimed by Pius IX would not be valid and the Ecumenical Council Vatican I would also be invalid. I repeat, this seems absurd. No one with a minimum of Catholic sense doubts that Pius IX, after his conversion, was a model Pope. If more confirmation were necessary, I could add some prophecies of Our Lady, such as those of Good Success in Quito, Ecuador, which mention Pius IX as the legitimate Pope. In fact, Our Lady of Good Success foretold a Pope who would declare the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the 19th century. Therefore, indirectly, Our Lady foretold that Pius IX was a legitimate Pope. If Ex cum had been applied, the validity of the elections of the archliberal Cardinal Pecci, the future Leo XIII, and the para-modernist Cardinal della Chiesa, the future Benedict XV, must also be declared null. Such hypothesis also appears absurd. In the practical order, it would lead the Church into chaos and would seriously vie for her destruction. It seems to me, therefore, that the condemnations of these three papal Bulls, with regard to the powers of jurisdiction and orders, are not applicable to a Pope. Thus, I would say that applying these papal Bulls in this way is not conclusive to declare the See vacant. 4. The ordinary Magisterium When we have recourse to the ordinary Magisterium of the Church, which as you may recall enjoys infallibility when it unanimously affirms the same teaching through the centuries, we do not find a uniform teaching with regard to a heretic Pope. What we find is a theological discussion examining the question of a heretic Pope placed on the level of quaestio disputata [question open to discussion], that is, each theologian can express the opinion he wishes. These studies were already categorized by St. Robert Bellarmine into five basic opinions. The themes discussed include the following: Can the Pope be a heretic? Does the Pope lose the pontificate when he becomes a heretic? What if he were a secret heretic? What if he were a public heretic? It is necessary for some ecclesiastical body to declare him a heretic for him to lose the pontificate or does he lose it automatically? If such declaration were made, would not this ecclesiastical body make itself superior to the Pope? If he is deposed automatically, at what moment does this take place? What happens to the Pope’s power of jurisdiction and orders when he is considered a heretic? Bellarmine's only adds his opinion to a question still open to discussion At the moment, what concerns me is not to make the list of responses to these questions, but rather to emphasize that there has been no definitive teaching on the matter. The opinions of the various theologians are expressed strongly, but with humility, knowing that until the Church speaks, there is no definitive answer. The important conclusion is that there is not unanimity of opinion among the theologians about what happens should a Pope fall into heresy. Even if there were unanimity, this opinion still would not have infallibility. Infallibility resides only in the extraordinary pontifical teachings or in the ordinary pontifical teachings when unanimous, and also in episcopal teachings throughout the centuries when they are unanimous. Even if the opinion of the theologians were unanimous, it would have a non-definitive weight, but at the present stage of the discussion, even this weight cannot be given to it. It seems to me that, regarding this discussion, the partisans of sede-vacantism should be more honest with their followers. Instead of presenting partial opinions of this or that Saint or Doctor as if they were definitive certainties, they should show their followers that the topic is a study in progress that will only be closed when the Church leaves the present day crisis and a good Pope gives a final word on the matter. Concluding this Part I, we see that with regard to the consideration of the Church as divine, we must limit ourselves to saying that the conciliar Popes are heretics, without drawing definitive conclusions about the loss of their powers of jurisdiction and orders. To shed more light on this sad situation of general apostasy, we will change the perspective and go on to look at the Church as a human society, which is much more simple and brief. II. The Church, a human society In its human aspect, the Catholic Church is a societas perfecta, a visible, autonomous and sovereign society that is sufficient in itself and does not depend on any external authority, be it spiritual or temporal. The same laws that govern other visible societies should be applied to her. St. Robert Bellarmine confirms this principle when, in his famous definition of the Church, he affirms that “the Catholic Church is as visible as the Kingdom of France or the Republic of Venice.” In accordance with the laws of visible societies, the conciliar Popes were chosen by a designated electoral body, the College of Cardinal; they were accepted by the ensemble of the Catholic Hierarchy and by the ensemble of the faithful and were recognized as valid Popes by the whole world. One could say, therefore, that these Popes are de facto Popes. The Cathedra of Peter glorified by Bernini Are they also de iure Popes? Just as a temporal ruler acknowledged by all as such has the power of jurisdiction of his office, so also does a conciliar Pope. Therefore, I would say that despite the heresy, they retain the right to command in everything that is not directly heresy. It seems to me that they also retain the power of orders since this is also linked indirectly to the power of jurisdiction, while directly only to the apostolic succession. The Church has always been very careful before affirming that a validly consecrated Bishop has lost the power of orders after becoming a heretic. Since Protestantism (1521), she still has not declared the sacraments of Lutheran bishops invalid; and only after 300 years did Leo XIII declare the Anglican orders to be invalid. Certainly the same criteria should be applied to the power of orders of the conciliar Popes: It is at the least very early to place in doubt the validity of the sacraments ministered by them. When does a bad Pope stop being Pope? (I already gave my opinion on this matter in another place with examples; here I summarize it). In the same way that a bad King stops being de facto King. And when does this happen? When a considerable part of his subjects denies him obedience. In the case of the conciliar Popes, when Catholics become convinced that these Popes are heretics, resist their orders and spread the position of resistance until the government of such Popes becomes unsustainable. It seems to me that this condition of great public notoriety is what some theologians were referring to when they said that the heretic Pope would continue to be Pope until his heresy became “notorious and publicly known.” These are the fruits we can harvest with regard to the Church as a human society. III. Conclusion Concluding and combining the two perspectives – the divine and the human – this is my position: 1.A heretic Pope loses the pontificate automatically before God, who knows his innermost thoughts and actions, at the moment when he falls into heresy, or, if he is already a heretic, at the moment when he reaffirms the heresy after his election; 2.He continues to be Pope before the visible Church until a respectful opposition of the faithful makes his government impossible; 3.Catholics have the obligation to resist him in all that he does that favors heresy; 4.They also have the obligation to spread the position of resistance as much as possible; 5.They should pray much and offer sacrifices asking Our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Head of the Church of which the Pope is only the Vicar, to intervene and bring this great trial for the Church and the faithful to an end. At this moment these are the considerations that occur to me suggested by your amiable letter and by the questions of other correspondents and readers of our website. With consideration, In Jesu et Maria, Atila S. Guimarães Footnote 1. After the death of Pope Formosus and the brief pontificate of 15 days of his successor Boniface VI (896), Stephen VI (896-897) was elected. Nine months after his election, under pressure from partisans of a faction opposed to Pope Formosus, he contested the election of the latter, exhumed his body, and then judged, deposed and excommunicated him at the so-called Cadaver Synod (897); he also annulled all the juridical and sacramental acts of his pontificate. However, in a public uprising against the Cadaver Synod, Stephen VI was deposed and thrown in prison where he was strangled. That same party favorable to Formosus brought the next Pope, Romanus (897) to the throne; he died four months later. His successor, Theodore II, had an even briefer pontificate, but he was able to hold a synod that annulled all the decisions of Eugene VI. The successor of Theodore was Sergius, of the anti-Formosus faction, who held the papal throne for only some months until he was deposed in 898 by a revolution, and John IX (898-900) was elected. This Pope, favorable to Formosus, confirmed all his juridical and sacramental acts. Benedict IV (900-903) followed the same line of John IX. At his death, Leo V was elected; he remained on the papal throne for two months and was deposed by a palace revolution. Christopher, later considered an antipope, took the place of Leo V and threw him in prison. After a few months, Christopher was deposed and imprisoned by Sergius, who had been dismissed in 898. After some time in prison, the two deposed popes, Leo V and Christopher, were executed. Rising to the pontifical throne with the name of Sergius III (904-911), this pope declared the pontificates of John IX, Leo V and Christopher to be null. Sergius III called a synod in Rome that annulled the decisions opposed to the Cadaver Synod and again installed them in full vigor. With this decision, later contested by historians, the disputes over the validity of the juridical and sacramental acts of Pope Formosus did not resurface. A new era of intrigue in the Papacy, not directly linked to our study, would begin. One can well imagine the chaotic sacramental consequences for the Church in Rome from this dispute in the Papacy: With each new annulling or rehabilitation of the previous papal acts, the members of the Hierarchy and the clergy lost or regained their episcopal consecrations or priestly ordinations.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Confessor

St. Augustine of Hippo Augustine Aurelius was born on November 13, 354, in Tagaste, North Africa. His father was a pagan, his mother, St. Monica. Still unbaptized and burning for knowledge, he came under the influence of the Manicheans, which caused his mother intense sorrow. He left Africa for Rome, deceiving his mother, who was ever anxious to be near him. She prayed and wept. A bishop consoled her by observing that a son of so many tears would never be lost. Yet the evil spirit drove him constantly deeper into moral degeneracy, capitalizing on his leaning toward pride and stubbornness. Grace was playing a waiting game; there still was time, and the greater the depths into which the evil spirit plunged its fledgling, the stronger would be the reaction. Augustine recognized this vacuum; he saw how the human heart is created with a great abyss; the earthly satisfactions that can be thrown into it are no more than a handful of stones that hardly cover the bottom. And in that moment grace was able to break through: Restless is the heart until it rests in God. The tears of his mother, the sanctity of Milan's Bishop Ambrose, the book of St. Anthony the hermit, and the sacred Scriptures wrought his conversion, which was sealed by baptism on Easter night 387. Augustine's mother went to Milan with joy and witnessed her son's baptism. It was what it should have been, the greatest event of his life, his conversion — metanoia. Grace had conquered. Augustine accompanied his mother to Ostia, where she died. She was eager to die, for now she had given birth to her son for the second time. In 388 he returned to Tagaste, where he lived a common life with his friends. In 391 he was ordained priest at Hippo, in 394 made coadjutor to bishop Valerius, and then from 396 to 430 bishop of Hippo. Augustine, numbered among the four great Doctors of the Western Church, possessed one of the most penetrating minds of ancient Christendom. He was the most important Platonist of patristic times, the Church's most influential theologian, especially with regard to clarifying the dogmas of the Trinity, grace, and the Church. He was a great speaker, a prolific writer, a saint with an inexhaustible spirituality. His Confessions, a book appreciated in every age, describes a notable portion of his life (until 400), his errors, his battles, his profound religious observations. Famous too is his work The City of God, a worthy memorial to his genius, a philosophy of history. Most edifying are his homilies, especially those on the psalms and on the Gospel of St. John. Augustine's episcopal life was filled with mighty battles against heretics, over all of whom he triumphed. His most illustrious victory was that over Pelagius, who denied the necessity of grace; from this encounter he earned the surname "Doctor of grace." As an emblem Christian art accords him a burning heart to symbolize the ardent love of God which permeates all his writings. He is the founder of canonical life in common; therefore Augustinian monks and the Hermits of St. Augustine honor him as their spiritual father. Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch. Categories: Devotional, Liturgical Notes

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

SACRAMENTUM ORDINIS
AAS 40-5. Volume 3, Canon Law Digest, 1954
Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius XII on the Essential Rites of Ordination for Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopacy with the valid and only words and form for Ordination, without which one is not ordained either a deacon, a priest or a bishop.
Considering that Paul VI illegally changed this in his own Roman Pontifical, it brings up the necessary question: In light of this, are all cardinals entering the conclave who were ordained after 1968 actually ordained priests? If not, then they could not only not be cardinals and are therefore legally ineligible to vote, but hold no authority whatsoever in the Church Christ founded. His Holiness' most certain words below give credence to this.
1. The Catholic Faith professes that the Sacrament of Order instituted by Christ, by which are conferred spiritual power and grace to perform properly ecclesiastical functions, is one and the same for the universal Church; for, just as Our Lord Jesus Christ gave to the Church but one and the same government under the Prince of the Apostles, one and the same faith, one and the same sacrifice, so too He gave her but one and the same treasury of efficacious signs of grace, that is, Sacraments. For these Sacraments instituted by Christ Our Lord, the Church in the course of the centuries never substituted other Sacraments, nor could she do so, since, as the Council of Trent teaches (Conc. Trid., Sess. VII, can. 1, De Sacram, in genere), the seven Sacraments of the New Law were all instituted by Jesus Christ Our Lord, and the Church has no power over "the substance of the Sacraments," that is, over those things which, as is proved from the sources of divine revelation, Christ the Lord Himself established to be kept as sacramental signs.
2. As regards the Sacrament of Order, of which We are now speaking, it is a fact that, notwithstanding its unity and identity, which no Catholic has ever dared to question, in the course of time, according to varying local and temporal conditions, various rites have been added in its conferring; this was surely the reason why theologians began to inquire which of the rites used in conferring the Sacrament of Order belong to its essence, and which do not; it also gave rise to doubts and anxieties in particular cases; and as a consequence the humble petition has again and again been addressed to the Holy that the supreme Authority of the Church might at last decide what is required for validity in conferring of Sacred Orders.
3. All agree that the Sacraments of the New Law, as sensible signs which produce invisible grace, must both signify the grace which they produce and produce the grace which they signify. Now the effects which must be produced and hence also signified by Sacred Ordination to the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy, namely power and grace, in all the rites of various times and places in the universal Church, are found to be sufficiently signified by the imposition of hands and the words which determine it. Besides, every one knows that the Roman Church has always held as valid Ordinations conferred according to the Greek rite without the traditio instrumentorum; so that in the very Council of Florence, in which was effected the union of the Greeks with the Roman Church, the Greeks were not required to change their rite of Ordination or to add to it the traditio instrumentorum: and it was the will of the Church that in Rome itself the Greeks should be ordained according to their own rite. It follows that, even according to the mind of the Council of Florence itself, the traditio instrumentorum is not required for the substance and validity of this Sacrament by the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If it was at one time necessary even for validity by the will and command of the Church, every one knows that the Church has the power to change and abrogate what she herself has established.
4. Wherefore, after invoking the divine light, We of Our Apostolic Authority and from certain knowledge declare, and as far as may be necessary decree and provide: that the matter, and the only matter, of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy is the imposition of hands; and that the form, and the only form, is the words which determine the application of this matter, which univocally signify the sacramental effects - namely the power of Order and the grace of the Holy Spirit - and which are accepted and used by the Church in that sense. It follows as a consequence that We should declare, and in order to remove all controversy and to preclude doubts of conscience, We do by Our Apostolic Authority declare, and if there was ever a lawful disposition to the contrary We now decree that at least in the future the traditio instrumentorum is not necessary for the validity of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy.
5. As to the matter and form in the conferring of each Order, We of Our same supreme Apostolic Authority decree and provide as follows: In the Ordination to the Diaconate, the matter is the one imposition of the hand of the Bishop which occurs in the rite of that Ordination. The form consists of the words of the "Preface," of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:
"Emitte in eum, quaesumus, Domine, Spiritum Sanctum, quo in opus ministerii tui fideliter exsequendi septiformis gratiae tuae munere roboretur."
    In the Ordination to the Priesthood, the matter is the first imposition off hands of the Bishop which is done in silence, but not the continuation of the same imposition through the extension of the right hand, nor the last imposition to which are attached the words: "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum: quorum remiseris peccata, etc." And the form consists of the words of the "Preface," of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:
"Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Pater, in hunc famulum tuum Presbyterii dignitatem; innova in visceribus eius spiritum sanctitatis, ut acceptum a Te, Deus, secundi meriti munus obtineat censuramque morum exemplo suae conversationis insinuet."
["Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty Father, invest this Thy servant with the dignity of the Priesthood; do Thou renew in his heart the spirit of holiness, so that he may persevere in this office, which is next to ours in dignity, since he has received it from Thee, O God. May the example of his life lead others to moral uprightness."]
    Finally in the Episcopal Ordination or Consecration, the matter is the imposition of hands which is done by the Bishop consecrator. The form consists of the words of the "Preface," of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:
"Comple in Sacerdote tuo ministerii tui summam, et ornamentis totius glorificationis instructum coelestis unguenti rore santifica."
["Perfect in Thy priest the fullness of thy ministry and, clothing him in all the ornaments of spiritual glorification, sanctify him with the Heavenly anointing."]
    All these things are to be done as was determined by Our Apostolic Constitution "Episcopalis Consecrationis" of 30 November, 1944.
6. In order that there may be no occasion for doubt, We command that in conferring each Order the imposition of hands be done by physically touching the head of the person to be ordained, although a moral contact also is sufficient for the valid conferring of the Sacrament.
    Finally, what We have above declared and provided is by no means to be understood in the sense that it be permitted even in the slightest detail to neglect or omit the other rites which are prescribed in the Roman Pontifical; on the contrary We order that all the prescriptions laid down in the said Roman Pontifical be religiously observed and performed.
    The provisions of this Our Constitution have not retroactive force; in case any doubt arises, it is be submitted to this Apostolic See.
    These things We proclaim, declare, and decree, all things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those worthy of special mention, and accordingly We will and order that in the Roman Pontifical they be clearly indicated. Let no man therefore infringe this Constitution which We have enacted, nor dare to contravene the same.
Given at Rome from Saint Peter's, on the thirtieth of November, Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, in the year nineteen hundred and forty-seven, the ninth of Our Pontificate.
AAS 40-5; Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution, 30 Nov., 1947 Cf. Periodica, 37-9 (Hurth): Commentarium pro Religiosis, 1948, p. 4 (Pujoiras).



POPE PIUS XII's SACRAMENTUM ORDINIS
www.DailyCatholic.org

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sedevacantism

Sede Vacantism brings The two Witnesses into the World August 29th - Saint John the Baptist, Last of the Major Prophets And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the Prophet; and not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. St. Lk. 4:23-30 Our Lord was demonstrating why those who lack faith seldom see signs and miracles, as He continues, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the Prophet. St. Matt. 12:39. A prelude to our times as this generation, too, demands signs from God's witnesses preceding the Second Coming of Christ. After Christ are Prophets still needed? NO; witnesses to their prophecies, yes. When we think of prophecy, we think of the foretelling of things to come, but there is more to it, Prophets are also messengers of God. The outstanding Prophet is Jesus Christ-He is God. He proclaims that He is our salvation. In Him the message and the Prophet are one. The whole Church, the assembly of those incorporated into Christ, takes over His role to continue to witness to His prophecy. Prophets always speak with reference to salvation and Messianic times. They foretell or herald the coming of the messianic kingdom. Through faith and the Sacraments we are living in the glorious messianic times, and we witness to them by our way of life. 1. As St. John the Baptist stated, "He must grow, and I must disappear." St. Jn. 3:30. Once Christ established the Papacy, the Popes became the number one High Priest, Prophet of Prophets and Doctor of Doctors. This means there is no human placed above the Pope. One must never forget that prior to being Pope, and in order to be Pope, he must first of all be a believer, one who himself has the faith. As a result of this the Pope adheres to the teaching of all his predecessors. He is taught by them. 2. The Church teaches public revelation is contained either in the Bible or in the deposit of the Apostolic Tradition. After the death of the last Apostle there could be no addition to public revelation. Whenever the majority of God's people become sinful, God sends us His punishments. Both fonts of public revelation, Scripture and tradition, have been given to the Church; only the Church can authentically interpret the Bible; only the Church can authoritatively declare the content of the Apostolic tradition; but the Church does not receive new revelations, it guards, explains and makes explicit for the faithful the content of the revelations made to the Apostles. Revealed truths proposed by the Church are believed by Catholics with divine faith i. e., because of the authority of God who has revealed them. Anything of Faith is Old not New. To deny a revealed truth proposed for our belief by the Church is heresy. 3. As long as we have a true Pope in the world there can not be any major prophets and as for the two witnesses which come into the world during the Great Apostasy, (Schism) we will be without a true Pope as the Antichrists will control the apostate church while the faithful seek refuge in the wilderness. Apoc. 12. Elias and Enoch do not come back but are represented by the current two witnesses. In Christ's time we had two witnesses: St. John the Baptist, who represented Elias 4, and Jesus who represented Enoch. Enoch was married and represents the married state in the mystical body of Christ. Christ also represents the married state as the Groom of His Church. Isaias 7:15. Elias and St. John the Baptist represents the single or chaste state. It's my understanding of why we say the Confiteor twice, each time at Mass, as it is said once for the married state and once for the single state. Or you could apply it as well to saying the Confiteor once for Enoch and the other for Elias. The two witnesses in the end times cannot be of the Religious simply because Enoch was married and his replacement would represent the married state. Also, both witnesses would have to be free of any control of the religious nature, as they would be speaking in the place of the Pope. They will explain the status of Church, prepare the faithful for the battle of Armageddon (the last battle), the great chastisement (fire from heaven), and the Second Coming of Christ. By faith Enoch was taken up lest he should see death; and he was not found because God took him up-for before he was taken up he had testimony that pleased God and without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder to those who seek him. Heb. 11:5. Notes: 1. St. Andrew Bible Missal 1962 2. . Fortes in Fide.# 1, Father Noel Barbara 3. . Catholic Encyclopedia 4. . Ott, Fund. of Catholic Dogma, pg.487 Saint Quote: A man cannot receive any thing, unless it be given him from heaven. You yourselves do bear me witness, that I said, I am not Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. -Saint John the Baptist in John 3:26-30 Bible Quote: 11. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12) <><><><> O glorious Saint John the Baptist, greatest prophet among those born of woman, although thou wast sanctified in thy mother's womb and didst lead a most innocent life, nevertheless it was thy will to retire into the wilderness, there to devote thyself to the practice of austerity and penance; obtain for us of thy Lord the grace to be wholly detached, at least in our hearts, from earthly goods, and to practice Christian mortification with interior recollection and with the spirit of holy prayer. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be... O most zealous Apostle, who, without working any miracle on others, but solely by the example of thy like of penance and the power of thy word, didst draw after thee the multitudes, in order to dispose them to receive the Messiah worthily and to listen to His heavenly doctrine; grant that it may be given to us, by means of the example of a holy life and the exercise of every good work, to bring many souls to God, but above all those souls that are enveloped in the darkness of error and ignorance and are led astray by vice. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be... O Martyr invincible, who, for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, didst with firmness and constancy withstand the impiety of Herod even at the cost of thine own life, and didst rebuke him openly for his wicked and dissolute life; by thy prayers obtain for us a heart, brave and generous, in order that we may overcome all human respect and openly profess our faith in loyal obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, our divine Master. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be... V. Pray for us, Saint John the Baptist, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray. O God, who hast made this day to be honorable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John, grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Imprimatur: + Francis Spellman, Archbishop of New York, May 30, 1951.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Sede Vacante and Sede Vacantism--Anti Popes and Anti Christs

Explaining Sede Vacante and Sede Vacantism--Anti Popes & AntiChrists The definition of Sede Vacante is not defined correctly. It is an adopted word to explain an empty chair as a result of a death or resignation of a pope. The problem with this definition alludes to the state of the church to be headless. Our Lord said "Thou art Peter . . . . and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." This implies that no matter what happens to the pope there will always be someone to act in the place of the pope who will run the church until another pope is elected. Hence we have the term "perpetual successors". The Church has always taught that St. Peter's successors to be in an unending, an unbroken chain. So up until the Vatican II Council, there has never been a break in the line of successors (Vatican Council I). What I wish to state is up until the Vatican II Council, the proper understanding of Sede Vacante is really Sede Transition for, as I pointed out, the Church is never without its delegated authority. Sede Vacantism explained. As many of you know the results of the Vatican II Council propagated by Paul VI caused a split in the Catholic Church, the split was caused by what appeared to be a legally elected pope? Paul VI instituted into Church teaching (ex-cathedra to the whole church) decrees which have been previously condemned by other dogmatic councils. As a result of this action Sede Vacantism was perpetuated among many of the traditionalists, while the other groups continued to hope for a turn-around. Being a Sede Vacante in this present form cannot be related to its past meaning because in the past, again, the church maintained its formal jurisdictional authority. Today Sede Vacantists do not have formal jurisdictional authority, even if, to explain this dilemma, they tried to explain it away by saying that we are going through just another interregnum. If you accept this position then who's in charge of the Church and why are they not trying to elect a true pope? An interregnum means a break between popes; but these Sede Vacantists have no jurisdictional way to elect one -- or if they did, why haven't they? The problem here is unless they can find a way to elect a pope, the line of successors (popes) has been broken in violation of Church teaching. I will cover this problem in the next two subjects. Anti-Popes and AntiChrists These are two different meanings. To begin with an antipope is someone who is opposed to another legally elected pope. Now, as many of you know we have had plenty of antipopes all through the centuries. You will find however, that, an antipope can still be a Catholic and continues to belong to the church. As a matter of fact the first antipope actually became a Saint, St. Hippolytus of Rome (217-235 AD). During the western schism, which really wasn't a schism, we had three popes for about thirty years. To begin with this was more about politics and not matters of faith. So we had two antipopes and one true pope at this time. Once the division came to an end all the participants remained in the church, therefore, you could not call these antipopes 'AntiChrists.' Defining Anti Christ The true definition of an AntiChrist is a God against God or someone in place of God and in our case, it's someone in the place of Christ. St. John the Apostle is the only one to use the word AntiChrist.The first true AntiChrist that St. John is referring to in the Apocalypse was the High Priest Caiphas who sat in the chair of Moses and had Christ killed (The Synagogue of Satan). In the future the chair will become the chair of Peter of whom the AntiChrists will take over and be accepted as true Popes by most of the world.(1). St. Paul referred to him as the 'man of sin' or the 'son of perdition.' The generic term for AntiChrist can be used for any sinner but mostly those with authority who go against Christ. The AntiChrist spoken of in the Great Apostasy (schism) or in the end times are specific individuals generally related as 'each' or as 'one person each.' Our Lord makes it very clear in speaking about the 'abomination of desolation' . . . "for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets [many] in so much as to deceive the elect." Matt 24:24 My friends, traditionalists are the elect. Our Lord makes it clear that many of these AntiChrists in the end times will be followed by the elect. What this means is, those who remain as Sede Vacantists will be saved and those who compromise with these AntiChrist popes will be lost. So you have it my friends of the truth. The line of successors has been broken without any acceptable way to mend it. According to most Doctors of the Church the Great Apostasy lasts about 40 to 50 years and we are in the 42 year which concludes with Our Lords Return. (1) The Book of Destiny, Fr. Herman Kramer. Pg. 321 Grace be with you, In Christ, Joseph

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pope St Pius V

Pope Saint Pius V (1566-1572) Canonized 1712 by Pope Clement XI Antonio Michaele Ghislieri (1504-1572) Cardinal Ghislieri was no respecter of persons. He prosecuted eight French bishops for heresy. Moreover, he did not hesitate to oppose even Pope Pius IV to his face when the pope wished to elevate a thirteen-year-old member of the Medici family to the Sacred College of Cardinals. He rebuked the pope again when he wished to subsidize his nephew out of the papal treasury. After his election as pope, Pius V vigorously undertook the task of translating the work of the dogmatic Council of Trent from theory into practice. In 1567 he declared St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church and directed that an edition of his works be prepared and printed in seventeen volumes. In sacred music, he was the patron of arguably the Church's finest polyphonic composer, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. In affairs of state, he courageously excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for her schism and savage persecutions of Catholic laymen and priests, the English martyrs. The last great event of his pontificate was the victory at Lepanto of the greatly-outnumbered Catholic forces over the Mohammedan Turks, who threatened to overrun Europe. The saintly pope attributed this victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in recognition of which fact, he instituted a new Marian feast, Our Lady of Victory.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Extract from Dr. Coomaraswamy writings

A RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE IN SEL DE LA TERRE by BROTHER PIERRE MARIE (AND THE ANGELUS IN TRANSLATION) ON THE VALIDITY OF POSTCONCILIAR ORDINATIONS One is surprised to find an official journal of the Society of Pius X coming to the defense of the post-Conciliar rite for the consecration of Bishops, a rite upon which the Apostolic succession in the Catholic Church depends. It is even more surprising that Father Schmidberger of the SSPX and the Abbe Gaudron from the Priory FSSPX were collaborators in the production.[1] All this only goes to support the contention that the SSPX and FSSPX are nothing more than conservative cults associated with the Novus Ordo establishment. Be this as it may, I find their contention that they have proven me to be in error, and that the new post-Conciliar rite for consecrating Bishops is valid, highly questionable. It is of interest that the author(s) inform us that after the close of the Second Vatican Council, the Sacrament of Orders was the first rite that the reformers wished to “Aggionamentalize.” Truly, the reformers knew how to strike at the heart of Holy Mother Church! If the post-Conciliar Bishops are not true Bishops, then the “priests” they ordain are not priests. Now the very idea of updating the Churches rites smells of heretical intent. There had been a perfectly adequate rite in use for some 17 centuries – and indeed as the authors point out in one of their foot-notes, the use of the traditional rite can be traced back to the Third Century, and hence is as ancient as the supposed rite of Hippolytus. The only possible reason for creating a new Sacrament of Orders was to introduce new and different beliefs about the nature of Orders, and to create a rite that was mutually acceptable to Protestants. In this they were quite successful. And why should we need such changes – only 20 years previously Pope Pius XII had promulgated his Sacramentum ordinis which specified the traditional rite unchanged and delineated the absolutely necessary requirements for any valid ordination rite – requirements that the reformers clearly violated. “We teach, declare, and determine this, all persons not withstanding, no matter what special dignity they may have, and consequently we wish and order such in the Roman Pontifical . . . No one therefore is allowed to infringe upon this Constitution given by us, nor should anyone dare to have the audacity to contradict it . . .” Sacramentum ordinis One might point out that highly respected theologians and Canonists such as Herve and Capello have indicated the infallible and de fide character of Pius XII’s declaration. What is shocking and indeed scandalous is in that Pierre Marie’s defense of the new rite, appeal is made to the authority of such nefarious individuals as Annibale (Freemason) Bugnini who boasted that the changes in the liturgy were “a major conquest of the Catholic Church”; Father Lucuyer, whose strange views on the nature of the Catholic priesthood have led Mgr. Tissier of the SSPX to characterize him as a heretic[2], and Dom Botte whose false claims with regard to the Apostolic traditions of Hippolytus have been exposed, and whose linguistic contortions with regard the phrase spiritus principalis are spelled out in my original paper. One wonders whether or not one will in the near future see these individuals on the altars (tables) used by the Society. Clearly the author(s) are happy to sleep with strange bedfellows. As these characters may be somewhat unfamiliar to American readers, more will be said of them below. Brother Pierre Marie has knowingly or unknowingly perpetuated many of the errors and downright falsehoods used by the above mentioned individuals in their efforts to justify the new rite for Consecrating Bishops. These falsifications have been pointed out by the French text Rora Sanctifica. The failure of the author(s) to either disprove or admit these errors which totally destroys their contentions as to the validity of the new rite they created, is evidence of their intent to mislead the Catholic faithful. Furthermore it is intellectually dishonest, and as such a sin against the Holy Ghost. THE INFALLIBLE TEACHING OF POPE PIUS XII How does one determine the essentials of a rite? It is a question of the exact manner of action of the person who possesses the power of consecration (the consecrator) who says in an imperative manner (words of the form of the rite) and God who acts by the application of this form (which in an unequivocal fashion expresses the sacramental effects) combined with the matter (the imposition of hands on the recipient), and as a result it is God who confers the Episcopal consecration and the plenitude (fullness) OF Holy Orders and the sacramental powers which all is part of the chain of Apostolic Succession. As Leo XIII taught: “In a rite which involves the confection and administration of any sacrament, one logically distinguishes between the ceremonial part and the essential part which one calls the matter and the form. Everyone knows that the Sacraments of the new law signify in a sensible and efficacious manner, the invisible grace that they signify. It is true that this signification should be found in the essential part of the rite, which is to say, the matter and the form; but it especially pertains to the form for the matter is an indeterminate part of the rite.” Leo XIII, Apostolicae Curae. 1896.[3] In 1947 Pope Pius XII specified the requirements of the form of a rite for Episcopal consecration: “This is why after having invoked the divine light, in virtue of Our supreme Apostolic Authority, and from certain knowledge, declare, and as far as may be necessary, decree and provide: that the matter and only matter of Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood and the Episcope is the imposition of hands; and that the form and the only form, is the words which determine the application of this matter, which unequivocally signify the sacramental effects – namely the power of Order and the grace of the Holy Spirit – and which are accepted and used by the Church in that sense.” Sacramentum ordinis. “In the ordination or Episcopal consecration, the matter is the imposition of hands by the consecrating Bishop. The form consists of the words of the Preface of which the following are essential and are required for validity: Compte in Sacerdote tuo ministrii tui summm, et ornamentis totius glorificationis instructum coelestis unguenti roar sanctifica. (Give your priest the plenitude (fullness) of your ministry and provide him with all the glory of heavenly instruction and sanctify him with the graces of heavenly unction.) All these rites are accomplished in conformity with the prescriptions of Our Apostolic Constitution “Episcopus Consecretionis” of Nov. 30, 1944.” Pius XII, Sacramentum Ordinis. Now, in the new post-Conciliar rite for consecrating Bishops, the essential form is specific and contains the phrase spiritus principalis. It is the only reference to spiritus used during the time when the ordaining Bishop places his hands on the head of the ordinand, and hence the only spiritus transferred. The omission or negation of even one of the two conditions (the power of Orders or the “fullness of the priesthood” and the Holy Spirit) suffices to show that any rite for consecrating Bishops is invalid. In accordance with this principle, the new post-Conciliar rite for consecrating Bishops is clearly invalid. IT FAILS TO CONFER EITHER THE PLENITUDE OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS OR THE HOLY SPIRIT. As such, IT CAN NO LONGER BE CONSIDERED A SACRAMENT; THOSE WHO ARE ORDAINED UNDER ITS AEGIS ARE IN NOW WAY CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND THE SEMINARIANS THAT THESE LATTER ORDAIN ARE IN NO WAY CATHOLIC PRIESTS. This then clearly demonstrates that the new rite is “intrinsically” invalid. As we shall see, the author(s) of this new rite will make an attempt to justify the validity of the new rite by “extrinsic” validations by claiming that it is similar to valid Oriental rites still in use, or to the ancient rite of the so-called rite of Hippolytus. THE FALSE COMPARISON WITH ORIENTAL TEXTS IN AN ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE EXTRINSIC PROOF OF VALIDITY The authors would like us to believe that the use of the phrase spiritus principalis in various oriental rites, or in the Hippolytus document provide proof of the validity of their new rite. In this way they hope to prove validity by having recourse to its analogy with rites the validity of which has been accepted by the Church – namely Oriental rites “still in use,” or that of Hippolytus. The same technique was used by the Anglicans in their attempt to justify the validity of their rites of ordination. The author(s) in doing this either knowingly or unknowingly involve themselves in propagating errors of fact, errors which Dom Botte and Father Lecuyer deliberately used in order to achieve the acceptance of the new rite. Let us first consider the Apostolic tradition of Hippolytus which the reformers claim is a valid source of their new rite. In effect, they justify the new rite by the false exhumation and “reconstruction” of this document which is presented to us as a return to the primitive tradition of the Church.[4] Dom Botte was one of the “scholars” involved in the “reconstruction” of the Hippolytus document which supposedly represented ancient Roman practice and was also used in the ancient partriarchies of Antioch and Alexandria. Both the reconstruction and the contentions of Dom Botte were disproved by the work of M. Richard and J. Magne and others, and was openly shown to be totally hypothetical at a conference on the topic held at Oxford University in September 1967. Despite this Dom Botte presented his work as an authentic text that should be used for creating the new rite, a contention which Pierre Marie finds acceptable.[5] A further problem with the Botte reconstruction lies in the fact that in a fragment taken from the sixth century one does not find the phrase spiritus principalis, but the words spiritu primates sacedotium. There also exists an Oxford translation dating from the last century and available on the internet which translates this as “free spirit.” Needless to say Dom Botte failed to mention this in his supposedly scholarly studies. This allowed the reformers to claim that the prayer of Episcopal consecration and the new rite and its essential form was derived from the Apostolic Tradition attributed to Hippolytus of Rome, a document of dubious origins “reconstructed” by Dom Botte himself. AN EXAMINATION OF THE ORIENTAL RITES AND THEIR FALSIFICATION. The reformers, and Brother Pierre-Marie who is the author of the article in Sel de la Terre (translated in the Angelus) have accepted the false and erroneous arguments of the reformers and claim with them to support the validity of the new Conciliar rite by claiming there exists “an established and fundamental agreement” between the new form of Episcopal consecration with the Oriental rites that are sacramentaly valid and which are “still in use,”[6] namely the Coptic rite of Episcopal Consecration and the rite of “consecration” of a Maronite patriarch.[7] This method gives the reader the impression of an external validation of the new rite by means of its “analogy” with the valid oriental rites. This proof by analogy can be considered as a tentative proof of the extrinsic validity of the rite. Let us first of all consider the Syrian rite for the enthronement of an Archbishop. This “rite” is falsely presented to us as a rite of Episcopal Consecration “still in use.” The fact of the situation is that this “rite” is only a sacramental and for at least the past two or three hundred years, the archbishop is chosen from those already ordained as Bishops. In such a situation the use of the phrase spiiritu principalis is certainly appropriate. Similarly, the Dominicans have presented the “ordination” prayers of a Coptic metropolitan as a sacramental act, when in fact the prayers involved are a supplement to the consecration of a Bishop and gives the Bishop the dignity of the Archbishoporic. In fact the term “spiritus hegemonicus = spiritus principalis” of the Coptic text is also to be found in the Coptic benediction of an abbot – again not as a sacrament. Even if one were to grant that the phrase spiritus pricipalis is to be found in some Oriental rites, this changes nothing. In Paul VI’s rite the essential form is specific and contains the phrase spiritus principalis. It is the only reference to spiritus used during the time when the ordaining Bishop places his hands or the ordinand’s head, and hence the only spiritus transferred. In the Coptic, Syrian and other rites Pierre Marie refers to, the entire Preface is said during the time the ordaining Bishop places his hands on the ordinand’s head. Hence not only would the spiritus principalis be transferred, but also the Spiritus Sanctus (which incidentally is capitalized). Hence a true and proper consecration with the Holy Spirit occurs. In addition, by the use of the entire consecrating prayer, the problem of Significati ex Adjunctis is also to a great extent obviated. The rite of Paul VI in fact suffers from the same defects as the Anglican rite which as Leo XIII explained were invalid because of a deficient form which did not express clearly the fullness of the priesthood. The Anglican rite was declared by him to be irreformably “null and void.” In addition, in transcribing the Syrian text, the reformers changed the word “quam” into “quem,” (from “who” to “which”) and the Dominicans of Avrille followed suit, thus in fact falsifying the comparison and transitively changing the import of the rite to accommodate the Adoptionist heresies of Father Lecuyer. They have also arbitrarily rearranged the phrases of the Maronite rite on page 102 (French original) to force an “analogy” with the counterfeit form used in the Conciliar rite. THE QUESTION OF “INTENTION” AND THE HERETICAL ROLE OF FATHER JOSEPH LECUYER The role of this nefarious individual is highly significant, and once again, it is extraordinary that the Society should turn to him in its attempt to justify the new post-Conciliar rite of ordination. First of all Father Lecuyer was an enemy of Archbishop Lefebvre and was responsible for the Archbishop’s deposition. According to Mgr. Tissier de Mallerais’s Life of the Archbishop: “Father Lecuyer collected these complaints [against Archbishop Lefebvre] and others: authoritarianism, absence of consultations required by the constitutions before making decisions, government according to his personal views, imposition of his personal ideas with regard to liturgical language and collegiality, ‘taking positions that went against the decisions of the French Episcopate,’ which risked losing confidence in the French seminary. And finally, the fear that Mgr Lefebvre would not apply the Conciliar decisions. He sent the “dossier on Lefebvre to Paul VI and it was examined by the Sacred College of Religious orders which demanded of the superior general Lefebvre who made no attempt to refute this tissue of reproaches, ineptitudes, at times malevolent and calumnious.” The biography of Mgr. Lefebvre also informs us that Father Lecuyer was the person who carried out the decision to expel Mgr. Lefebvre at the orders of Franc-Mason Cardinal Villot. “The response was a telephone order by Cardinal Villot to have the Archbishop leave Rome and no longer stay there. The Archbishop responded: “Even though one send a battalion of Swiss Guards in order to force me to leave.” It was Father Lecuyer who received Villot’s order and transmitted it to Mgr Lefebvre.”[8] Far more serious however is the fact that Father Joseph Lecuyer is, as Mgr, Tissier has publicly stated, a heretic.[9] The propagating of his opinions on the nature of the priesthood is well described in Rora Sanctifica as “the hidden intention of the new rite. (The ecumenical intention is not in any way hidden.) This heresy is not easy to explain and the following is taken from Lecuyer’s essay entitled The Meaning of the rites of ordination among the Fathers, L’Orient Syrien, Vol. V, 1960: “The prayer that accompanies the imposition of hands according to Hippolytus of Rome, and which is found in substance in nearly all the eastern rituals, express with this a great richness: The ordinand receives in substance that which Christ Himself had received and which he passed on to the Apostles: this Spirit, this pneuma is also ‘the Spirit of the high priest.’ In brief, it is a question of a special grace which resides in the bishop in his double role as chief and of high priest, and which gives him the power of continuing, among the People of God, the double dignity of being head of the priests of the Old Testament. The formulas of Hippolytus, so full and rich, present the Episcope in the light of the institutions of the Old Testament, and in fact, very often similar to that of St. Clement of Rome who compares the Bishop to Aaron while the priests are compared to the sons of Aaron. However, this does not apply directly to the symbolism of the imposition of hands (. . . ). However, I wish to stress certain points. 1) In Apraate, as Theodoret admits, John the Baptist imposed his hands on Our Lord’s head. 2) The imposition of hands as such conferred upon him the priesthood. The same teaching or one very like it, is found with Saint Ephrem in his Commentary on Diatessaron: “Christ received from John the Baptist the dignity of prophet and priesthood. As for the royal dignity of the family of David, He derived this from the family of his birth.” The last point made by Aphrante is especially interesting, namely that the imposition of hands corresponds to the anointing of kings and high priests in the Old Testament: In two places in effect (Luke 4: 18 and Acts 10:38). The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at the Jordan is identified with a spiritual anointing.” All this is somewhat confusing, but in essence it states that the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at the Jordan was his spiritual anointing. It is a denial of the fact that Christ, from the first instant of His incarnation, in virtue of the hypostatic union, was called and consecrated by God a priest for all eternity. (Cf. Thomassin, De incarnatione, IX c VIII) As Garrigou Lagrange put it: “Christ did not receive this special character [of Holy Orders] since he was priest in virtue of the eternal grace of the hypostatic union.” This error is further reinforced by the addition by Dom Botte of the word ipse (not in any reconstructed Hipolytus document) to the consecratory prayer in the new rite: “dffunde super hanc electrum eam virtutem, quae a te est Spiritum principatum, quem dedisti dilecto Filio tuo JC, quam ipse donavit sanctis Apostolis.” SOME ANCELLARY ISSUES The Role of Bugnini who was at the time Secretary of State under Montini was highly significant. He was appointed the task of overseeing the activities of the Concilium appointed to aggorniamentalize the new rite for consecrating Bishops and was responsible for appointing Father Lecuyer. Moreover, Bugnini et al, by introducing the various changes into the Roman rite, opened the ecumenical door as is demonstrated by the fact that the Anglicans (according to the authors) are now using this rite in consecrating their “bishops.” He was the individual who supervised the production of The Pontificalis Romani in June of 1968 and the Novus Ordo Missae in 1969. He stated in 1965 that “we have stripped our Catholic prayers and the Catholic liturgy of everything that could act in any way as stumbling-block to unity with our separated brethren, namely the Protestants.”[10] He was later (1974) to boast that “the liturgical changes represented a major conquest of the Catholic Church.” He was personally rewarded with the Archbishop’s hat by Montini in January of 1972. Because of the exposure of his Freemasonic connections, he was exiled a second time in January of 1976. The author(s) of the article in Sel de la Terre raise another interesting point which I had not considered in detail – namely yet another aspect of the “intention” of the rite. Despite their attempts to void this matter, they discuss the implications of collegiality which the new rite allows for. They argue that the Church had altered aspects of the traditional rite in the 12th century to preclude any such understanding or limitation on the Pope’s authority and that therefore the new rite in opening the door to collegiality did not involve accepting any real change in doctrine. Now if the embracing of collegiality by Vatican II is not a change in doctrine, than words have lost their meaning. It is pertinent that Father Lecuyer worked very hard at the Second Vatican Council to establish the principal of collegiality. The author(s) also raise the issue of Archbishop Levebre’s position claiming that he did not object to the new rite. Now it is well known that Archbishop Lefebvre held that all the new Sacraments were “in se” valid. While I am not at all sure what he means by the term “in se,” but what confuses me is why the SSPX fails to use all the new Sacraments which they claim to be valid and which the Pope whose authority they recognize wishes them to use. This of course raises yet another issue which is outside of the scope of this response. The authors also claim that Cardinal Ottaviani gave his approval, and indeed “showed his pleasure” in the new rite. The source of this is the Memoires of (Freemason) Bugnini whose reliability is certainly questionable. In view of the fact that Cardinal Ottaviani was virtually blind and advantage was taken of this to get him to sign a letter approving of the Novus Ordo Missae, would allow us to at least question Bugnini’s veracity. CONCLUSIONS It is clear that on the basis of Catholic Sacramental theology, as well as the de fide teaching of Pope Pius XII, that the new post-Conciliar rite for consecrating Bishops is “intrinsically” invalid. It suffers from the same defects as the Anglican ordination rites which led Leo XIII to irreformably condemn them. The attempts at claiming an ‘extrinsic” validity based on parallelism with valid Oriantal rites “still in use,” or with a return to primitive practice (so-Called Hippolytus’ prayer) fall flat in that Rora Sanctifica has clearly demonstrated that such assumptions are based on poor scholarship if not outright fraud. (The author(s) of the Sel de la Terre article are in fact probably only guilty of accepting the work of Dom Botte and Father Lecuyer at face value, though their current refusal to admit the factual demonstrations of Rora Sanctifica demonstrates their willingness to mislead the Catholic laity and manifests their intellectual dishonesty and is as such a sin against the Holy Ghost.) The claim that I was in error in my initial study on the question of the validity of the new rite also, as a result, is also false. The issue is of major importance because it demonstrates, not only that the Apostolic succession in the post-Conciliar Church is non existent, but also that their Bishops are not Bishops (indeed most are simply laymen) and that they have absolutely no power to ordain priests. The issue becomes clearer when one understands that the desire for unity with the various groups of separated brethren requires that the post-Conciliar Church make their Apostolic succession and their Orders “null and void.” The reason for this is that even the most conservative of Protestants reject the idea of the Apostolic succession, the seven Sacraments, and a valid Catholic priesthood. In so far as the post-Conciliar Church will probably soon be allowing the use of the Tridentine Mass, it should be clear that unless the confecting priest was ordained prior to 1965, or was ordained by a true and valid Bishop, nothing will be achieved. Further, those priests associated with the Society of Pius X, and who boast of their not being conditionally re-ordained (Father Hesse, rip; Father Perez in California, their name is legion) are simply not priests. They neither have the power to confect the Eucharistic Sacrament nor to absolve sins. To use a phrase taken from the English reformation, “They are not “massing priests.” The new rite further incorporates the heresies of a false ecumenism, of collegiality, and of the Adoptionist heresies of Father Lecuyer. The replacement of the true Catholic rite with one that declares the bishop is only endowed with the spiritus principalis or governing spirit, concedes to the Protestants their idea of the function of their bishops. (European Lutherans and Anglicans retain the title though not the essence of the Episcope.) The new and post-Conciliar rite for consecrating Bishops is then at least doubtful, if not downright “null and void.” [1] Correspondence with Philippe Bourcier de Carbon. [2] Ordination sermon, 2002. [3] The intention should also be considered and should conform to the intention to do what the Church does. [4] “At the same time, they have greatly distorted the matter by agreeing with the erroneous doctrines of innovators under the pretext of returning to its primitive form.” Leo XIII, Apostolicae Curae, 1896, [5] It is of interest that Mgr. Martimort, a member of the circle of Dom Botte, ended up by recognizing in 1987 (BLE.SCII/2, 1991, pgs. 133-144)that the Apostolic tradition was not truly attributable to Hippolytus of Rome. “I dare say , it is of little importance that matters little whether it was by Hippolytus or not: It is a most ancient document and most precious for the history of the liturgy.” [6] To quote Pauil VI’s Pontificalis Romani “. . . the Apostolic tradition of Hippolytus of Rome, a document from the beginning of the 3rd Century, and which in great part is still used in the liturgy for the ordination among Copts and Western Syrians.” This statement, as will become clear, is simply untrue. [7] The term is ambiguous for the exact word is “chirotonia” and the rite taken from Denzinger is dependent upon the publication Codex Liturgicus of Assemani (Rome, 1758, since reproduced in facsimile in 1902), according to the use or not of certain parties serve for the non sacramental enthronement of a patriarch, preceded or not by a sacramental Episcopal consecration depending upon whether or not the ordinand was already a bishop and not just a simple priest. Certain parts of the rite were or were not used, according to the situation. And the way in which this the sacramental use of this rite of enthronement of a Maronite patriarch had for many years before 1968 ceased to be used. Those chosen to be patriarchs were long before this time chosen from among Bishops, and thus endowed with fullness of Holy Orders. The Sacramental parts of the rite wee therefore not used in order to avoid the sacrilege of repeating the sacraments, unlike the practices used among the heretics and Nestorian schismatics. [8] Taken by Mgr. Tissier from Iota unum by Romano Amero) [9] Sermon on the ordination of priests, 2002. [10] L’Osservatore Romano, 19 March, 1965