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LGBT Activist Contractor Develops Vatican News Internet Platform

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Shocker, eh?

New Vatican News Internet Platform designed and run by Contractor known for its LGBT Activism

On Dec. 17, 2017, the Vatican officially launched its new internet communications platform,, which consolidates and replaces its previous diverse media channels. The launching of the new web site is reportedly the last part of the Unholy See’s ongoing effort to streamline and modernize its communications and media apparatus.

So far, so good. But now it has come to light that the company the Vatican hired to do all this work — both the original design and setup and the ongoing development — is one of the most openly supportive of sexual perversion out there. Accenture is the name of the company that was put under contract by the Vatican for this purpose:

A report published by Life Site reveals the sickening details of this latest move by the Novus Ordo Sect to give aid, comfort, and lots of money to people who aggressively promote the social acceptance sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance. Here is an excerpt:

Eyebrows are being raised following the announcement that a Vatican official with strong ties to LGBT activists has hired an openly homosexualist digital marketing company to design and manage the Holy See’s new internet news service.

The company, Accenture, is famous worldwide for promoting the homosexual political agenda, winning awards for being the top “gay friendly” employer, and producing videos proposing strategies for promoting “LGBT rights” throughout the world.

Accenture maintains an entire webpage of LGBT “pride” materials and a library of twelve LGBT videos on its website promoting homosexual “inclusion” in its company and in society in general. The company’s enthusiasm for pushing homosexuality was great enough to earn it the award for the most “gay friendly” company in all of Britain in 2013, and for being Ireland’s “best LGBT workplace” in 2016.

The company even signed a brief supporting the homosexual plaintiffs in the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which forced all fifty states to recognize gay “marriage.” It also contributes money to the “Human Rights Campaign,” an American gay lobbying organization which has in turn given the company a 100 percent pro-homosexual rating.

According to [Accenture Interactive Italy’s head, Alessandro] Diana, Accenture was not involved in any process of soliciting the contract. Rather Vatican officials approached Accenture of their own accord….

(Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, “Vatican hires LGBT activist company to create and run new internet news platform”Life Site, Dec. 20, 2017)

The curial official in charge of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications is “Mgr.” Dario Edoardo Viganò, who was appointed to the post by Francis in 2015.

This is not the first time that Viganò has shown his LGBT-friendly colors. According to Vaticanist Marco Tosatti, cited in the same Life Site report, Viganò “has also developed a close working relationship with a homosexual radio journalist, Pierluigi Diaco, who publicly celebrated his ‘civil union’ to another man….” In addition, the infamous American “bridge builder” to sodomite hell, “Fr.” James Martin, works as a consultant for Viganò’s communications department, and although it was Francis who appointed him to the post earlier this year, Life Site associates this appointment likewise with Viganò, perhaps because of the latter’s possible influence in the selection of candidates.

To see how open and bold Accenture is in its promotion of sexual perversion as “alternative lifestyles” that are to be accepted as good and normal when in fact they are wicked and depraved, we provide the following links to official Accenture material advertising its pro-LGBT stance:

Although we can expect that there will once again not be lacking a good number of Francis-Vatican defenders who will try to spin this all into a “there’s nothing to see here, move along” story, the fact is quite simply that this is a monstrous scandal that cannot be excused. It also ties perfectly into the outrageous “Nativity scene” currently on display in St. Peter’s Square, which clearly has homosexual overtones.

Thus we see yet another instance of the real Francis Effect: Enabled, facilitated, and protected by Mr. “Who am I to judge?”, the Vatican’s “gay lobby” is fully in charge.

Image source/credit: screenshot,

Vatican II Condemned | Side-by-Side Commentary w/ Catholic Teaching

Comparing side-by-side the documents of Vatican II and of the Catholic Church, we find Vatican II to be condemned…with commentary.

Liturgical Revolution

Original Post on Traditional Mass

Liturgical Revolution

Rev. Francesco Ricossa

The New Mass just was the final stage of a long process.

“The Liturgy, considered as a whole, is the collection of symbols, chants and acts by means of which the Church expresses and manifests its religion towards God.”

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, God Himself, so to speak, is the liturgist: He specifies the most minute details of the worship which the faithful had to render to Him. The importance attached to a form of worship which was but the shadow of that sublime worship in the New Testament which Christ the High Priest wanted His Church to continue until the end of the world. In the Liturgy of the Catholic Church, everything is important, everything is sublime, down to the tiniest details, a truth which moved St. Teresa of Avila to say: “I would give my life for the smallest ceremony of Holy Church.”

      The reader, therefore, should not be surprised at the importance we will attach to the rubrics of the Liturgy, and the close attention we will pay to the “reforms” which preceded the Second Vatican Council.

      In any case, the Church’s enemies were all too well aware of the importance of the Liturgy — heretics corrupted the Liturgy in order to attack the Faith itself. Such was the case with the ancient Christological heresies, then with Lutheranism and Anglicanism in the 16th century, then with the Illuminist and Jansenist reforms in the 18th century, and finally with Vatican II, beginning with its Constitution on the Liturgy and culminating in the Novus Ordo Missae.

      The liturgical “reform” desired by Vatican II and realized in the post-Conciliar period is nothing short of a revolution. No revolution has ever come about spontaneously. It always results from prolonged attacks, slow concessions, and a gradual giving way. The purpose of this article is to show the reader how the liturgical revolution came about, with special reference to the pre-Conciliar changes in 1955 and 1960.

      Msgr. Klaus Gamber, a German liturgist, pointed out that the liturgical debacle pre-dates Vatican II. If, he said, “a radical break with tradition has been completed in our days with the introduction of the Novus Ordo and the new liturgical books, it is our duty to ask ourselves where its roots are. It should be obvious to anyone with common sense that these roots are not to be looked for exclusively in the Second Vatican Council. The Constitution on the Liturgy of December 4, 1963 represents the temporal conclusion of an evolution whose multiple and not all homogenous causes go back into the distant past.”


      According to Mgr Gamber. “The flowering of church life in the Baroque era (the Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent) was stricken towards the end of the eighteenth century, with the blight of Illuminism. People were dissatisfied with the traditional liturgy, because they felt it did not correspond with the concrete problems of the times.” Rationalist Illuminism found the ground already prepared by the Jansenist heresy, which, like Protestantism, opposed the traditional Roman Liturgy.

      Emperor Joseph II, the Gallican bishops of France, and of Tuscany in Italy, meeting together for the Synod of Pistoia, carried out reforms and liturgical experiments “which resemble to an amazing extent the present reforms; they are just as strongly orientated towards Man and social problems.”…”We can say, therefore, that the deepest roots of the present liturgical desolation are grounded in Illuminism.”

      The aversion for tradition, the frenzy for novelty and reforms, the gradual replacement of Latin by the vernacular, and of ecclesiastical and patristic texts by Scripture alone, the diminution of the cult of the Blessed Virgin and the saints, the suppression of liturgical symbolism and mystery, and finally the shortening of the Liturgy, it judged to be excessively and uselessly long and repetitive — we find all these elements of the Jansenist liturgical reforms in the present reforms, and see them reflected especially in the reforms of John XXIII. In the most serious cases the Church condemned the innovators: thus, Clement IX condemned the Ritual of the Diocese of Alet in 1668, Clement XI condemned the Oratorian Pasquier Quesnel (1634-1719) in 1713, Pius VI condemned the Synod of Pistoia and Bishop Scipio de’ Ricci in his bull Auctorem Fidei in 1794.

The Liturgical Movement

      “A reaction to the llluminist plague,” says Mgr. Gamber. “is represented by the restoration of the nineteenth century. There arose at this time the great French Benedictine abbey of Solesmes, and the German Congregation of Beuron.” Dom Prosper Gueranger (1805-1875), Abbot of Solesmes, restored the old Latin liturgy in France.

      His work led to a movement, later called the “Liturgical Movement,” which sought to defend the traditional liturgy of the Church, and to make it loved. This movement greatly benefited the Church up to and throughout the reign of St. Pius X, who restored Gregorian Chant to its position of honor and created an admirable balance between the Temporal Cycle (feasts of Our Lord, Sundays, and ferias) and the Sanctoral Cycle (feasts of the saints).

The Movement’s Deviations

      After St. Pius X, little by little, the so called “Liturgical Movement” strayed from its original path, and came full circle to embrace the theories which it had been founded to combat. All the ideas of the anti-liturgical heresy — as Dom Guranger called the liturgical theories of the 18th century — were now taken up again in the 1920s and 30s by liturgists like Dom Lambert Beauduin (1873-1960) in Belgium and France, and by Dom Pius Parsch and Romano Guardini in Austria and Germany.

      The “reformers” of the 1930s and 1940s introduced the “Dialogue Mass,” because of their “excessive emphasis on the active participation of the faithful in the liturgical functions.” In some cases — in scout camps, and other youth and student organizations — the innovators succeeded in introducing Mass in the vernacular, the celebration of Mass on a table facing the people, and even concelebration. Among the young priests who took a delight in liturgical experiments in Rome in 1933 was the chaplain of the Catholic youth movement, a certain Father Giovanni Battista Montini.

      In Belgium, Dom Beauduin gave the Liturgical Movement an ecumenical purpose, theorizing that the Anglican Church could be “united [to the Catholic Church] but not absorbed.” He also founded a “Monastery for Union” with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, which resulted in many of his monks “converting” to the eastern schism. Rome intervened: the Encyclical against the Ecumenical Movement, Mortalium Animos (1928) resulted in Dom Beauduin being discreetly recalled, a temporary diversion. The great protector of Beauduin was Cardinal Mercier, founder of “Catholic” ecumenism, and described by the anti-modernists of the time as the “friend of all the betrayers of the Church.”

      In the 1940s liturgical saboteurs had already obtained the support of a large part of the hierarchy, especially in France (through the CPL — Center for Pastoral Liturgy) and in Germany.

A Warning from Germany

      On January 18, 1943, the most serious attack against the Liturgical Movement was launched by an eloquent and outspoken member of the German hierarchy, the Archbishop of Freiburg, Conrad Grober. In a long letter addressed to his fellow bishops, Grober gathered together seventeen points expressing his criticisms of the Liturgical Movement. He criticized the theology of the charismatics, the Schoenstatt movement, but above all the Liturgical Movement, involving implicitly also Theodor Cardinal Innitzer of Vienna.

      Few people know that Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ, who then lived in Vienna, wrote a response to Grober. We shall meet Karl Rahner again as the German hierarchy’s conciliar “expert” at the Second Vatican Council, together with Hans Kng and Schillebeeckx.

Mediator Dei

      The dispute ended up in Rome. In 1947 Pius Xll’s Encyclical on the liturgy, Mediator Dei, ratified the condemnation of the deviating Liturgical Movement.

      Pius XII “strongly espoused Catholic doctrine, but the sense of this encyclical was distorted in the commentaries made on it by the innovators and Pius XII, even though he remembered the principles, did not have the courage to take effective measures against those responsible; he should have suppressed the French CPL and prohibited a good number of publications. But these measures would have resulted in an open conflict with the French hierarchy”.

      Having seen the weakness of Rome, the reformers saw that they could move forward: from experiments they now passed to official Roman reforms.

Underestimating the Enemy

      Pius XII underestimated the seriousness of the liturgical problem: “It produces in us a strange impression,” he wrote to Bishop Grober, “if, almost from outside the world and time, the liturgical question has been presented as the problem of the moment.”

      The reformers thus hoped to bring their Trojan Horse into the Church, through the almost unguarded gate of the Liturgy, profiting from the scant attention of Pope Pius XII paid to the matter, and helped by persons very close to the Pontiff, such as his own confessor Agostino Bea, future cardinal and “super-ecumenist.”

      The following testimony of Annibale Bugnini is enlightening:

“The Commission (for the reform of the Liturgy instituted in 1948) enjoyed the full confidence of the Pope, who was kept informed by Mgr. Montini, and even more so, weekly, by Fr. Bea, the confessor of Pius Xll. Thanks to this intermediary, we could arrive at remarkable results, even during the periods when the Pope’s illness prevented anyone else getting near him.”

The Revolution Begins

      Fr. Bea was involved with Pius XII’s first liturgical reform, the new liturgical translation of the Psalms, which replaced that of St. Jerome’s Vulgate, so disliked by the protestants, since it was the official translation of the Holy Scripture in the Church, and declared to be authentic by the Council of Trent. (Motu proprio, In cotidianis precibus, of March 24, 1945.) The use of the New Psalter was optional, and enjoyed little success.

      After this reform, came others which would last longer and be more serious:

  • May 18, 1948: establishment of a Pontifical Commission for the Reform of the Liturgy, with Annibale Bugnini as its secretary January 6, 1953: the Apostolic Constitution Christus Dominus on the reform of the Eucharistic fast.
  • March 23, 1955: the decree Cum hac nostra aetate, not published in the Acta Apostolica Sedis and not printed in the liturgical books, on the reform of the rubrics of the Missal and Breviary.
  • November 19, 1955: the decree Maxima Redemptionis, new rite of Holy Week, already introduced experimentally for Holy Saturday in 1951.

      The following section will discuss the reform of Holy Week. Meanwhile, what of the rubrical reforms made in 1956 by Pius XII ? They they were an important stage in the liturgical reforms, as we will see when we examine the reforms of John XXIII. For now it is enough to say that the reforms tended to shorten the Divine Office and diminish the cult of the saints. All the feasts of semidouble and simple ranks became simple commemorations; in Lent and Passiontide one could choose between the office of a saint and that of the feria; the number of vigils was diminished and octaves were reduced to three. The Pater, Ave and Credo recited at the beginning of each liturgical hour were suppressed; even the final antiphon to Our Lady was taken away, except at Compline. The Creed of St. Athanasius was suppressed except for once a year.

      In his book, Father Bonneterre admits that the reforms at the end of the pontificate of Pius XII are “the first stages of the self-destruction of the Roman Liturgy.” Nevertheless, he defends them because of the “holiness” of the pope who promulgated them.

“Pius XII,” he writes, “undertook these reforms with complete purity of intention, reforms which were rendered necessary by the need of souls. He did not realize — he could not realize — that he was shaking discipline and the liturgy in one of the most crucial periods of the Church’s history; above all, he did not realize that he was putting into practice the program of the straying liturgical movement.”

Jean Crete comments on this:

“Fr. Bonneterre recognizes that this decree signaled the beginning of the subversion of the liturgy, and yet seeks to excuse Pius XIl on the grounds that at the time no one, except those who were party to the subversion, was able to realize what was going on. I can, on the contrary, give a categorical testimony on this point. I realized very well that this decree was just the beginning of a total subversion of the liturgy, and I was not the only one. All the true liturgists, all the priests who were attached to tradition, were dismayed.

“The Sacred Congregation of Rites was not favorable toward this decree, the work of a special commission. When, five weeks later, Pius XII announced the feast of St. Joseph the Worker (which caused the ancient feast of Ss. Philip and James to be transferred, and which replaced the Solemnity of St Joseph, Patron of the Church), there was open opposition to it.

“For more than a year the Sacred Congregation of Rites refused to compose the office and Mass for the new feast. Many interventions of the pope were necessary before the Congregation of Rites agreed, against their will, to publish the office in 1956 — an office so badly composed that one might suspect it had been deliberately sabotaged. And it was only in 1960 that the melodies of the Mass and office were composed — melodies based on models of the worst taste.

“We relate this little-known episode to give an idea of the violence of the reaction to the first liturgical reforms of Pius XII”.

The 1955 Holy Week: Anticipating the New Mass

      “The liturgical renewal has clearly demonstrated that the formulae of the Roman Missal have to be revised and enriched. The renewal was begun by the same Pius XII with the restoration of the Easter Vigil and the Order of Holy Week, which constituted tile first stage of the adaptation of the Roman Missal to the needs of our times.”

      These are the very words of Paul VI when he promulgated the New Mass on April 3, 1969. This clearly demonstrates how the pre-Conciliar and post-Conciliar changes are related. Likewise, Msgr. Gamber wrote that

“The first Pontiff to bring a real and proper change to the traditional missal was Pius XII, with the introduction of the new liturgy of Holy Week. To move the ceremony of Holy Saturday to the night before Easter would have been possible without any great modification. But then along came John XXIII with the new ordering of the rubrics. “Even on these occasions, however, the Canon of the Mass remained intact. [Also John XXIII introduced the name of St. Joseph into the Canon during the council, violating the tradition that only the names of martyrs be mentioned in the Canon.] It was not even slightly altered. But after these precedents, it is true, the doors were opened to a radically new ordering of the Roman Liturgy.”

      The decree, Maxima Redemptionis, which introduced the new rite in 1955, speaks exclusively of changing the times of the ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, to make it easier for the faithful to assist at the sacred rites, now transferred after centuries to the evenings those days.

      But no passage in the decree makes the slightest mention of the drastic changes in the texts and ceremonies themselves. In fact, the new rite of Holy Week was a nothing but a trial balloon for post-Conciliar reform which would follow. The modernist Dominican Fr. Chenu testifies to this:

“Fr. Duploye followed all this with passionate lucidity. I remember that he said to me one day, much later on. ‘If we succeed in restoring the Easter Vigil to its original value, the liturgical movement will have won; I give myself ten years to achieve this.’ Ten years later it was a fait accompli.”

      In fact, the new rite of Holy Week, is an alien body introduced into the heart of the Traditional Missal. It is based on principles which occur in Paul VI’s 1965 reforms.

      Here are some examples:

  • Paul VI suppressed the Last Gospel in 1965; in 1955 it was suppressed for the Masses of Holy Week.
  • Paul VI suppressed the psalm Judica me for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar; the same had been anticipated by the 1955 Holy Week.
  • Paul VI (following the example of Luther) wanted Mass celebrated facing the people; the 1955 Holy Week. initiated this practice by introducing it wherever possible (especially on Palm Sunday).
  • Paul VI wanted the role of the priest to be diminished, replaced at every turn by ministers; in 1955 already, the celebrant no longer read the Lessons, Epistles, or Gospels (Passion) which were sung by the ministers –even though they form part of the Mass. The priest sat down, forgotten, in a corner.
  • In his New Mass, Paul VI suppresses from the Mass all the elements of the “Gallican liturgy (dating from before Charlemagne), following the wicked doctrine of “archaeologism” condemned by Pius Xll. Thus, the offertory disappeared (to the great joy of protestants), to be replaced by a Jewish grace before meals. Following the same principle, the New Rite of Holy Week had suppressed all the prayers in the ceremony of blessing the palms (except one), the Epistle, Offertory and Preface which came first, and the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.
  • Paul VI, challenging the anathemas of the Council of Trent, suppressed the sacred order of the subdiaconate; the new rite of Holy Week, suppressed many of the subdeacon’s functions. The deacon replaced the subdeacon for some of the prayers (the Levate on Good Friday) the choir and celebrant replaced him for others (at the Adoration of the Cross).

The 1955 Holy Week: Other Innovations

Here is a partial list of other innovations introduced by the new Holy Week:

  • The Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics became the “Prayer for Church Unity”
  • The genuflection at the Prayer for the Jews, a practice the Church spurned for centuries in horror at the crime they committed on the first Good Friday.
  • The new rite suppressed much medieval symbolism (the opening of the door of the church at the Gloria Laus for example).
  • The new rite introduced the vernacular in some places (renewal of baptismal promises).
  • The Pater Noster was recited by all present (Good Friday).
  • The prayers for the emperor were replaced by a prayer for those governing the republic, all with a very modern flavor.
  • In the Breviary, the very moving psalm Miserere, repeated at all of the Office, was suppressed.
  • For Holy Saturday the Exultet was changed and much of the symbolism of its words suppressed.
  • Also on Holy Saturday, eight of the twelve prophecies were suppressed.
  • Sections of the Passion were suppressed, even the Last Supper disappeared, in which our Lord, already betrayed, celebrated for the first time in history the Sacrifice of the Mass.
  • On Good Friday, communion was now distributed, contrary to the tradition of the Church, and condemned by St. Pius X when people had wanted to initiate this practice
  • All the rubrics of the 1955 Holy Week rite, then, insisted continually on the “participation” of the faithful, and they scorned as abuses many of the popular devotions (so dear to the faithful) connected with Holy Week.

      This brief examination of the reform of Holy Week should allow the reader to realize how the “experts” who would come up with the New Mass fourteen years later had used and taken advantage of the 1955 Holy Week rites to test their revolutionary experiments before applying them to the whole liturgy.

Roncalli: Modernist Connections.

      Pius XII succeeded by John XXIII. Angelo Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, Roncalli was involved in affairs that place his orthodoxy under a cloud. Here are a few facts:

      As professor at the seminary of Bergamo, Roncalli was investigated for following the theories of Msgr. Duchesne, which were forbidden under Saint Pius X in all Italian seminaries. Msgr Duchesne’s work, Histoire Ancienne de l’Eglise, ended up on the Index.

      While papal nuncio to Paris, Roncalli revealed his adhesion to the teachings of Sillon, a movement condemned by St. Pius X. In a letter to the widow of Marc Sagnier, the founder of the condemned movement, he wrote: The powerful fascination of his [Sagnier’s] words, his spirit, had enchanted me; and from my early years as a priest, I maintained a vivid memory of his personality, his political and social activity.”

      Named as Patriarch of Venice, Msgr.Roncalli gave a public blessing to the socialists meeting there for their party convention. As John XXIII, he made Msgr. Montini a cardinal and called the Second Vatican Council. He also wrote the Encyclical Pacem in Terris. The Encyclical uses a deliberately ambiguous phrase, which foreshadows the same false religious liberty the Council would later proclaim.

The Revolution Advances

      John XXIII’s attitude in matters liturgical, then, comes as no surprise. Dom Lambert Beauduin, quasi-founder of the modernist Liturgical Movement, was a friend of Roncalli from 1924 onwards. At the death of Pius XII, Beauduin remarked: “If they elect Roncalli, everything will be saved; he would be capable of calling a council and consecrating ecumenism…”‘

      On July 25, 1960, John XXIII published the Motu Proprio Rubricarum Instructum. He had already decided to call Vatican II and to proceed with changing Canon Law. John XXIII incorporates the rubrical innovations of 1955–1956 into this Motu Proprio and makes them still worse. “We have reached the decision,” he writes, “that the fundamental principles concerning the liturgical reform must be presented to the Fathers of the future Council, but that the reform of the rubrics of the Breviary and Roman Missal must not be delayed any longer.”

      In this framework, so far from being orthodox, with such dubious authors, in a climate which was already “Conciliar,” the Breviary and Missal of John XXIII were born. They formed a “Liturgy of transition” destined to last — as it in fact did last — for three or four years. It is a transition between the Catholic liturgy consecrated at the Council of Trent and that heterodox liturgy begun at Vatican II.

The “Antiliturgical Heresy” in the John XXIII Reform

      We have already seen how the great Dom Guranger defined as “liturgical heresy” the collection of false liturgical principles of the 18th century inspired by Illuminism and Jansenism. I should like to demonstrate in this section the resemblance between these innovations and those of John XXIII.

      Since John XXIII’s innovations touched the Breviary as well as the Missal, I will provide some information on his changes in the Breviary also. Lay readers may be unfamiliar with some of the terms concerning the Breviary, but I have included as much as possible to provide the “flavor” and scope of the innovations.

  1. Reduction of Matins to three lessons. Archbishop Vintimille of Paris, a Jansenist sympathizer, in his reform of the Breviary in 1736, “reduced the Office for most days to three lessons, to make it shorter.” In 1960 John XXIII also reduced the Office of Matins to only three lessons on most days. This meant the suppression of a third of Holy Scripture, two-thirds of the lives of the saints, and the whole of the commentaries of the Church Fathers on Holy Scripture. Matins, of course, forms a considerable part of the Breviary.

  1. Replacing ecclesiastical formulas style with Scripture. “The second principle of the anti-liturgical sect,” said Dom Guranger, “is to replace the formulae in ecclesiastical style with readings from Holy Scripture.” While the Breviary of St. Pius X had the commentaries on Holy Scripture by the Fathers of the Church, John XXIII’s Breviary suppressed most commentaries written by the Fathers of the Church. On Sundays, only five or six lines from the Fathers remains.

  1. Removal of saints’ feasts from Sunday. Dom Gueranger gives the Jansenists’ position: “It is their [the Jansenists’] great principle of the sanctity of Sunday which will not permit this day to be ‘degraded’ by consecrating it to the veneration of a saint, not even the Blessed Virgin Mary. A fortiori, the feasts with a rank of double or double major which make such an agreeable change for the faithful from the monotony of the Sundays, reminding them of the friends of God, their virtues and their protection — shouldn’t they be deferred always to weekdays, when their feasts would pass by silently and unnoticed?”

      John XXIII, going well beyond the well-balanced reform of St. Pius X, fulfills almost to the letter the ideal of the Janenist heretics: only nine feasts of the saints can take precedence over the Sunday (two feasts of St. Joseph, three feasts of Our Lady, St. John the Baptist, Saints Peter and Paul, St. Michael, and All Saints). By contrast, the calendar of St. Pius X included 32 feasts which took precedence, many of which were former holydays of obligation. What is worse, John XXIII abolished even the commemoration of the saints on Sunday.

  1. Preferring the ferial office over the saint’s feast. Dom Guranger goes on to describe the moves of the Jansenists as follows: “The calendar would then be purged, and the aim, acknowledged by Grancolas (1727) and his accomplices, would be to make the clergy prefer the ferial office to that of the saints. What a pitiful spectacle! To see the putrid principles of Calvinism, so vulgarly opposed to those of the Holy See, which for two centuries has not ceased fortifying the Church’s calendar with the inclusion’ of new protectors, penetrate into our churches!”

      John XXIII totally suppressed ten feasts from the calendar (eleven in Italy with the feast of Our Lady of Loreto), reduced 29 feasts of simple rank and nine of more elevated rank to mere commemorations, thus causing the ferial office to take precedence. He suppressed almost all the octaves and vigils, and replaced another 24 saints’ days with the ferial office. Finally, with the new rules for Lent, the feasts of another nine saints, officially in the calendar, are never celebrated. In sum, the reform of John XXIII purged about 81 or 82 feasts of saints, sacrificing them to “Calvinist principles.”

      Dom Gueranger also notes that the Jansenists suppressed the feasts of the saints in Lent. John XXIII did the same, keeping only the feasts of first and second class. Since they always fall during Lent, the feasts of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gregory the Great. St. Benedict, St. Patrick, and St. Gabriel the Archangel would never be celebrated.

  1. Excising miracles from the lives of the Saints. Speaking of the principle of the Illuminist liturgists, Dom Gueranger notes: “the lives of the saints were stripped of their miracles on the one hand, and of their pious stories on the other.”

      We have seen that the reform of 1960 suppresses two out of three lessons of the Second Nocturn of Matins, in which the lives of the saints are read. But this was not enough. As we mentioned, eleven feasts were totally suppressed by the preconciliar rationalists. For example, St. Vitus, the Invention of the Holy Cross, St. John before the Latin Gate, the Apparition of St. Michael on Mt. Gargano, St. Anacletus, St. Peter in Chains, the Finding of St. Stephen, Our Lady of Loreto (“A flying house! How can we believe that in the twentieth century!”); among the votive feasts, St. Philomena (the Cure of Ars was so “stupid” to have believed in her).

      Other saints were were eliminated more discreetly: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Ransom, St. George, St. Alexis, St. Eustace, the Stigmata of St. Francis — these all remain, but only as a commemoration on a ferial day.

      Two popes are also removed, seemingly without reason: St. Sylvester (was he too triumphalistic?) and St. Leo II (the latter, perhaps, because he condemned Pope Honorius.)

      We note finally a “masterwork” which touches us closely. From the prayer to Our Lady of Good Counsel, the 1960 reform removed the words which speak of the miraculous apparition of her image, if the House of Nazareth cannot fly to Loreto, how can we imagine that a picture which was in Albania can fly to Genzzano?

  1. Anti-Roman Spirit. The Jansenists suppressed one of the two feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18), and also the Octave of St. Peter. Identical measures were taken by John XXIII.

  1. Suppression of the Confiteor before Communion. The suspect Missal of Trojes suppressed the Confiteor. John XXIII did the same thing in 1960.

  1. Reform of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday. and Holy Saturday. This happened in 1736, with the suspect Breviary of Vintimille (“a very grave action, and what is more, most grievous for the piety of the faithful,” said Dom Gueranger.) John XXIII had his precedent here, as we have seen!

  1. Suppression of Octaves. The same thing goes for the suppression of nearly all the octaves (a usage we find already in the Old Testament, to solemnize the great feasts over eight days), anticipated by the Jansenists in 1736 and repeated in 1955-1960.

  1. Make the Breviary as short as possible and without any repetition.This was the dream of the renaissance liturgists (the Breviary of the Holy Cross, for example, abolished by St. Pius V), and then of the illuminists. Dom Gueranger said that the innovators wanted a Breviary “without those complicated rubrics which oblige the priest to make a serious study of the Divine Office; moreover, the rubrics themselves are traditions, and it is only right they should disappear. Without repetitions…and as short as possible… They want a short Breviary. They will, have it; and it will be up to the Jansenists to write it.”

      These three principles will be the public boast of the reform of 1955 and 1960: the long petitions in the Office called Preces disappear; so too, the commemorations, the suffrages, the Pater, Ave, and Credo, the antiphons to Our Lady, the Athanasian Creed, two-thirds of Matins, and so on.

11. Ecumenism in the Reform of John XXIII. The Jansenists hadn’t thought of this one. The reform of 1960 suppresses from the prayers of Good Friday the Latin adjective perfidis (faithless) with reference to the Jews, and the noun perfidiam (impiety) with reference to Judaism. It left the door open for John Paul II’s visit to the synagogue.

      Number 181 of the 1960 Rubrics states: “The Mass against the Pagans shall be called the Mass for the Defense of the Church. The Mass to Take Away Schism shall be called the Mass for the Unity of the Church.”

      These changes reveal the liberalism, pacifism, and false ecumenism of those who conceived and promulgated them.

  1. The Office becomes “private devotional reading.”        One last point, but one of the most serious: The Ottaviani Intervention rightly declared that “when the priest celebrates without a server the suppression of all the salutations (i.e., Dominus Vobiscum, etc.) and of the final blessing is a clear attack on the dogma of the communion of the saints.” The priest, even if he is alone, when celebrating Mass or saying his Breviary, is praying in the name of the whole Church, and with the whole Church. This truth was denied by Luther.

      Now this attack on dogma was already included in the Breviary of John XXIII it obliged the priest when reciting it alone to say Domine exaudi orationem meam (O Lord, hear my prayer) instead of Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you). The idea, “a profession of purely rational faith.” was that the Breviary was not the public prayer of the Church any more, but merely private devotional reading.

A Practical Conclusion

      Theory is of no use to anyone, unless it is applied in practice. This article cannot conclude without a warm invitation, above all to priests. to return to the liturgy “canonized” by the Council of Trent, and to the rubrics promulgated by St. Pius X.

      Msgr Gamber writes: “Many of the innovations promulgated in the last twenty-five years — beginning with the decree on the renewal of the liturgy Holy Week of February 9, 1951 [still under Pius XII] and with the new Code of rubrics of July 25, 1960, by continuous small modifications, right up to the reform of the Ordo Missae of April 3. 1969 — have been shown to be useless and dangerous to their spiritual life.”

      Unfortunately, in the “traditionalist” camp, confusion reigns: one stops at 1955; another at 1965 or 1967. Archbishop Lefebvre’s followers, having first adopted the reform of 1965, returned to the 1960 rubrics of John XXIII even while permitting the introduction of earlier or later uses! There, in Germany, England, and the United States, where the Breviary of St. Pius X had been, recited, the Archbishop attempted to impose the changes of John XXIII. This was not only for legal motives, but as a matter of principle; meanwhile, the Archbishop’s followers barely tolerated the private recitation of the Breviary of St. Pius X.

      We hope that this and other studies will help people understand that these changes are part of the same reform and that all of it must be rejected if all is not accepted. Only with the help of God — and clear thinking — will a true restoration of Catholic worship be possible.

(The Roman Catholic, February–April 1987).

Traditional Priests, Legitimate Sacraments

Original Post on Traditional Mass

Traditional Priests, Legitimate Sacraments

Rev. Anthony Cekada

Divine law obliges rather than forbids us to confer sacraments.

NOW AND AGAIN a traditional Catholic will hear someone claim that the sacraments he receives are illicit.

 Sometimes members of the Novus Ordo establishment  the diocesan bishop or local pastor, say  will make this charge, citing one provision of canon law or another.

 Or a traditional Catholic may come across a tract by a traditionalist type popularly called a home-aloner. This is someone who rejects Vatican II and the New Mass, but at the same time denounces the sacramental ministrations of all (or most) traditional Catholic priests as illegal, sinful, punishable by excommunication, against canon law or, in the case of confession, invalid. So in place of receiving sacraments, he recommends that you stay home alone.

 In the early 1990s I wrote two articles dealing with these issues, Canon Law and Common Sense and Home Alone, both of which enjoyed a fairly wide circulation in traditionalist circles.

 I decided to return to the topic because several new home-aloner tracts have appeared over the past few years, the most recent claiming that traditionalist clergy violate not merely canon law, but divine law.

Now, making credible arguments based on such concepts requires a fairly high degree of specialized knowledge in moral theology, canon law, sacramental law, and dogmatic theology. Ordinarily this can only be acquired by taking formal courses in these disciplines at a Catholic seminary or university, and then augmenting this basic knowledge through comparative study of major canonical and theological works, all of which are in Latin. (Some are listed in the bibliography below.)

 No home-aloners I know of have this background, or even suspect how extensive their ignorance of these disciplines really is. Hence it is not surprising to find in their most recent writings two underlying errors.

First, these writers assume that the most important question a Catholic priest must always ask about a sacrament is whether he is permitted or forbidden to confer it.

This turns everything on its head. The priesthood is not just a privilege that stintingly permits something; it is a munus or officium (duty) to do something: to offer sacrifice and to dispense sacraments. So for a priest the real question is always: What sacraments am I now obliged to confer?

Second, probably because less specialized works sometimes use the terms indiscriminately, the writers confuse two distinct concepts in canon law as they relate to the administration of the sacraments: (1) deputation (a legitimate faculty or permission from the Church to administer sacraments) and (2)jurisdiction (ruling power over others in spiritual things.)

A priest or bishop must have legitimate deputation for all the sacraments he confers because their confection and administration is divinely committed to the ministry of the Church. (Cappello, de Sacramentis 1:49) Jurisdiction, on the other hand, is required only for confession.

The would-be lay canonists, however, seem to think the law requires a priest to have jurisdiction whenever he confers a sacrament, and they base most of their criticism on this hidden assumption. But since deputation suffices, such arguments are beside the point.

I will briefly develop both these issues below. Most of what follows serves equally well for answering the home-aloners and members of the Vatican II establishment.

I. Divine Law

OUR LORD’S commands to baptize (Mt 28:19), forgive sins (Jn 20:22), offer Mass (Lk 22:19), etc. constitute a divine law that binds all Catholic bishops and priests until the end of time.

Some priests are obliged in justice to administer sacraments; the rest are obliged on other grounds, explained either as in charity or in virtue of ordination. Here are the principles:

  1. Obligation in Justice(ex justitia). This category comprises all priests who have thecura animarum (care of souls).

This technical term in canon law refers to priests who, by reason of their office or special title of jurisdiction, whether ordinary (a diocesan bishop, a superior general, a pastor or his equivalents) or delegated (coadjutor or assistant pastors) are obliged to shepherd a particular part of Christ’s flock. (Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis 3:86)

Their obligation to administer sacraments arises from the divine law [SS citations] that commands shepherds to feed their sheep and indeed procure their spiritual good and their salvation. (Herv,Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae 4:491)

Priests with the cura animarum were gravely bound by divine law to provide the sacraments to faithful Catholics qualified to receive them.

  1. Obligation in Charity(ex caritate). Other priests who lack this type of ordinary or delegated jurisdiction  e.g., seminary professors, administrators, teachers, unassigned, retired, etc.  are also nevertheless obliged to provide sacraments to the faithful, depending on how serious the need is for an individual or a community.

Some authors say their obligation is based in the virtue of charity: When priests who have the cura animarum are lacking,other priests are bound out of charity to administer the sacraments, in serious need for a community, [such priests] are bound to administer the sacraments, even at the risk of their lives, as long as there is reasonable hope of assisting and there is no one else who will help. This obligation binds under pain of mortal sin. (Merkelbach 3:87. My emphasis.)

  1. Obligation in Virtue of Ordination.Other authors say that such priests are obliged to provide sacraments not simply out of charity, but in virtue of theirsacramental ordinationitself. Here is one explanation:

They are bound by a certain general obligation arising from the sacred order they received. For Christ the Lord made them priests to devote themselves to saving souls. Because of this purpose, their special duty is to administer the Sacraments. This is obvious from the ordination rite, which gives them the power to offer sacrifice and absolve from sins, and which specifies administering the other sacraments among their other duties. This obligation binds more gravely depending on the seriousness of the spiritual need of the faithful in the diocese where [such a] priest is supposed to serve or in the place where he lives. When such a community is obviously in serious need  when, for instance, due to the small number of priests or confessors, people have no convenient way to assist at Mass on Sundays and feast days and receive the Eucharist, or where it is inconvenient for people to frequent the Sacrament of Penance, so that many remain in sin  a priest has a grave obligation to administer these sacraments and to prepare himself properly for the duty of confessor. (Aertnys-Damen, Theologia Moralis 2:26: Generali quadam obligatione tenentur ex ordine suscepto  in necessitate simpliciter gravi talis communitatis gravis est obligatio Original emphasis.)

These principles apply as follows: After Vatican II nearly all bishops and priests with the cura animarum defected to the new religion. The few priests who resisted, on the other hand, were professors, outcasts in their religious orders or dioceses, retired, etc.

These priests were then bound by divine law to provide sacraments for Catholics, who, since their pastors had apostasized, were now obviously in serious need. The priests were not obliged to seek permission. Rather, they were obliged, both in charity and in virtue of their ordination, to baptize, absolve, offer Mass, etc.

Not only that, but the bishops among them  Abps. Lefebvre and Thuc  were obliged to confer Holy Orders on worthy candidates who would then continue to provide sacraments for faithful Catholics throughout the world.

Their obligation arose from the sacred order of episcopacy they had both received. The one-sentence exhortation to the candidate in the Rite of Episcopal Consecration expresses this obligation succinctly: It is the duty of a bishop to judge, to interpret, to consecrate, to ordain, to offer sacrifice, to baptize and to confirm.

Moreover, those of us who derive our orders from Abps. Lefebvre or Thuc obviously have no appointment to the cura animarum. But like all other priests, we are likewise obliged by divine law, in charity and in virtue of ordination, to provide sacraments to the faithful who remain in grave common need.

  1. Legitimate Deputation & Mission

FURTHER, AS regards legitimacy all authority to dispense the sacraments originates from the mission given to the apostles by means of the same divine commands cited above (to baptize, absolve, offer Mass, etc.). (Billot, De Ecclesiae Sacramentis 1:179.) This is because:

No one dispenses another person’s property legitimately unless he does so based on that person’s command. Now, the sacraments are Christ’s property. Only those, therefore, who have a mission from Christ  namely, those to whom the apostolic mission derives  dispense them legitimately.(Billot, ibid.)

Those whom Our Lord has bound by divine law to confer sacraments, then, simultaneously receive from Him the legitimate deputation and the apostolic mission to confer them.

III. Human Ecclesiastical Law

ALTHOUGH CERTAIN canons in the Code expressly recall principles of the divine positive law (for examples, see Michels, Normae Generales Juris Canonici 1:210ff), the canons that prescribe how thelegitimate deputation to baptize, absolve, offer Mass, etc. is conferred or obtained are not themselves divine law, but only human law.

According to general principles of law, a human law:

A. Ceases automatically and positively when it becomes harmful (nocivato observe. For this, see the works by moral theologians and canonists Abbo-Hannon, Aertnys-Damen, Badii, Beste, Cappello, Cicognani, Cocchi, Coronata, Maroto, McHugh-Callan, Merkelbach, Michels, Noldin, Regatillo-Zalba, Vermeersch, Wernz-Vidal, etc. in the bibliography below.

B. Ceases in common need, even if the law would otherwise render a sacrament invalid.Thus, for instance, an invalidating impediment to marriage normally requiring dispensation by a church official with ordinary jurisdiction would cease to bind because of common need, when access to someone with the requisite authority is impossible. (Merkelbach 1:353)

Such a common need would also occur, for instance, during a time of persecution or upheaval in a particular country. In this case, if the purpose of the law would cease in a contrary way for the community that is, if common harm would result from it the law would not bind, because it would rightly be considered to be suspended, due to benign interpretation of the mind of the lawgiver. (Cappello 5:199)

C. Does not bind when it conflicts with the divine law. In a conflict of obligations, the higher one takes precedence. Divine positive law takes precedence over human legislation. (Jone, Moral Theology 70). The supreme rule in the matter is this: The obligation that prevails is the one arising from the law which, considering its nature and purpose, is of greater importance Precepts of the divine positive law must prevail over precepts of human positive law. (Noldin, Summa Theologiae Moralis 1:207)

  1. Application

AS REGARDS the human ecclesiastical laws cited as prohibiting traditional Catholic priests to administer sacraments in the present situation:

A. Common Good.Applying these laws would deprive Catholics of the sacraments and thus directly impede the common good (bonum commune) that the Church intends for all her laws. This common good, the theologian Merkelbach says, is the worship of God and the supernatural sanctification of men. (Summa Theol. Mor. 1:325: Dei cultus et sanctificatio supernaturalis hominum)

B. Cessation. Such human ecclesiastical laws would therefore become harmful (nocivae), and as such would, according to the general principles of law laid down by moral theologians and canonists, automaticallycease. (See III.A)

This includes Canons 953 and 2370, which would otherwise forbid the consecration of a bishop without an apostolic mandate (the papal document authorizing the consecration), because observing them would eventually deprive the faithful of sacraments whose conferral requires a minister in Holy Orders.

This also includes Canon 879.1, which governs jurisdiction for absolution: To hear confessions validly jurisdiction must be granted expressly, either orally or in writing. The moral theologian and canonist Prmmer specifically characterizes this canon as ecclesiastical law. (Manuale Theologiae Moralis 3:407: A jure ecclesiastico statuitur, ut jurisdictionis concessio a) sit expressa sive verbis sive scripto Original emphasis).

Since the canon is human ecclesiastical law and not divine law, the requirement for an express grant of jurisdiction could therefore cease on grounds of common need (see III.B), because Catholics in mortal sin need absolution and because we priests are obliged to provide it.

Our obligation would arise, as St. Alphonsus explains, out of the very nature of the priestly office itself, to which Christ’s institution has connected this duty, and that a priest is bound to fulfill it when the need of the people demands it. (Aertnys-Damen 2:26n. ex proprio Sacerdotis officio quod Sacerdos exercere tenetur Original emphasis.)

C. Prevailing Obligation. In any case, the grave obligation to dispense the sacraments that divine law imposes on traditional Catholic priests in charity and in virtue of their ordination takes precedence over the human ecclesiastical laws cited against them. (See III.C)

  1. Legitimate Deputation & Mission.Simultaneously, this same divine law necessarily endows traditional Catholic bishops and priests with legitimate deputation or an apostolic mission to dispense sacraments. (See II) Moreover, if it were otherwise, God would be imposing a grave obligation while withholding any morally licit means to fulfill it quod impossibile.
  2. Jurisdiction for Absolution

IN THE CASE of legitimate deputation for confession, divine law requires that for valid absolution of sinners, a priest must also possess the power of jurisdiction in addition to the power of Holy Orders. No traditional Catholic priest I know of disputes this.

Jurisdiction is a moral power to rule subjects in those things that pertain to their supernatural end. (Merkelbach 3:569) As noted above, jurisdiction is either ordinary (attached to an office) or delegated (committed to a person, either by law or a superior). It operates in the external forum (the Church as a society) or the internal forum (the individual before God usually meaning in confession).

The jurisdiction we traditional Catholic priests possess has been delegated to us from Christ Himself in virtue of the divine law and operates in the internal forum, because:

  1. Canon 879 ceases.The human ecclesiastical law (canon 879) requiring that jurisdiction for confessions be expressly granted in writing or orally has ceased. (See IV.B)
  2. Divine Law provides jurisdiction.The divine law by which Christ grantsjurisdiction to those he commands to forgive sins (as distinct from sacramental power to do so) is found in John 20:21: As the Father sent me, so I send you. (Merkelbach 3:574)

This divine law always endures, together with the jurisdiction from Christ necessary to fulfill it. It is obvious, says the theologian Herrmann, that this power of the keys will last forever in the Church. For since Christ willed that the Church last until the end of the world, He also lavished upon her the means without which she could not achieve her purpose, the salvation of souls. (Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae 2:1743. My emphasis.)

Indeed, Christ’s Church must supply jurisdiction for absolution in extraordinary circumstances: The Church must, because of her special purpose, provide for the salvation of souls, and so she is therefore bound to provide everything that depends on her power. (Cappello 2:349. My emphasis.)

For although, as Cardinal Billot says, ecclesiastical law is directed more at binding than loosing, and divine law is more directed at loosing than binding, ultimately, the Church’s instrumental jurisdiction is directed at loosing indeed, at loosing the bonds which depend not upon ecclesiastical law, but upon divine law. (Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi 1:476. My emphasis.)

  1. God exercises the authority.Our delegated jurisdiction in the internal forum is not an ecclesiastical power, but a divine power granted by authority proper to God Himself (who alone is able directly to touch the conscience and the bond of sin). It operates through the pope however as a minister and instrument of divinity, and therefore not by authority proper to the Church,but rather by God exercising His own authority. (Merkelbach 3:569. My emphasis.)

To sum up the foregoing:

Divine law obliges traditional Catholic priests and bishops to administer sacraments to the faithful. (See I)

This same divine law also provides legitimate deputation and apostolic mission for their apostolate. (See II)

Human ecclesiastical (canon) laws whose application impedes fulfilling this divine law have ceased because they are now harmful (nocivae). (See III & IV)

This includes canon 879, requiring an express grant of jurisdiction for validity of absolution. (See III.B & IV.B)

Instead, divine law directly delegates jurisdiction in the internal forum to traditional Catholic priests for the absolution they impart. (See V)

None of this, I hasten to add, justifies ignoring the many other provisions of ecclesiastical law regulating the conferral and reception of the sacraments, especially those forbidding the conferral of Holy Orders on the ignorant and the unfit.

Christ Himself commands His priests to dispense His sacraments to His flock. Since the pastors invested with jurisdiction for the cura animarum have all defected to the modernist religion, their obligation now devolves to us, the few faithful priests who remain.

We confer Christ’s sacraments because He has made it our duty.

(Pamphlet, July 2003)


ABBO, J & J. Hannon. The Sacred Canons. St. Louis: Herder 1957. 2 vols.

AERTNYS, I. & C. Damen. Theologia Moralis. 17th ed. Rome: Marietti 1958.

BADII, C. Institutiones Iuris Canonici. 3rd ed. Florence: Fiorentina 1921.

BESTE, U. Introductio In Codicem. CollegevilleMN: St. John’s 1946.

BILLOT, L. (Cardinal). De Ecclesiae Sacramentis. Rome: 1931. 2 vols

__________. Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi. 5th ed. Rome: Gregorian 1927. 2 vols.

CAPPELLO, F. Institutiones Iuris Canonici. 5th ed. Santander: Sal Terrae: 1956. 2 vols.

__________. Tractatus Canonico-Moralis de Sacramentis. Rome: Marietti 1951. 5 vols.

CICOGNANI, A. Canon Law. 2nd edWestminsterMD: Newman 1934.

COCCHI, G. Commentarium in Codicem Iuris Canonici. 6th ed. Rome: Marietti 1938. 8 vols.


CORONATA, M. De Sacramentis: Tractatus Canonicus. Turin: Marietti 1943. 3 vols.

__________. Institutiones Juris Canonici. 4th ed. Turin: Marietti 1950. 3 vols.

HERRMANN, P. Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae. Rome: Della Pace 1908. 2 vol.

HERV. J. Manuale Theologiae Dogmaticae. Paris: Berche 1932. 4 vols.

JONE, H. Moral Theology. WestminsterMD: Newman 1955.

MAROTO, P. Institutiones Iuris Canonici. Rome: 1921. 4 vols.

MCHUGH, J, & C. Callan. Moral Theology. New York: Wagner 1929.

MERKELBACH B. Summa Theologiae Moralis. 8th ed. Montreal: Descle 1949. 3 vols.

MICHIELS, G. Normae Generales Juris Canonici, 2nd ed. Paris: Descle 1949. 2 vols.

NOLDIN, H. & A. Schmitt. Summa Theologiae Moralis. Innsbruck: Rauch 1940. 3 vols

PRMMER, D. Manuale Theologiae Moralis. 10th ed. Barcelona: Herder 1946. 3 vols.

REGATILLO, E. & M. Zalba. Theologiae Moralis Summa. Madrid: BAC 1954. 3 vols.

VERMEERSCH, A & I. Creusen. Epitome Iuris Canonci. 7th ed. Rome: Dessain 1949. 3 vols.

WERNZ, F. & P. Vidal. Ius Canonicum. Rome: Gregorian 1934. 8 vols.

An Inside Look at the New Church of Vatican II | Fr. Michael Oswalt

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Insights from a former Novus Ordo priest

An Inside Look at the New Church of Vatican II
by Fr. Michael Oswalt

As a former Novus Ordo priest, now a Catholic priest, Fr. Michael Oswalt is in a unique position that allows him to tell truly the inside story of the conciliar sect. This he did on Oct. 12, 2017, at the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen’s annual Fatima Conference in Spokane, Washington.

With the kind permission of Fr. Oswalt, we are making this audio available to you. The talk is entitled, “An Inside Look at the New Church of Vatican II”. You can listen free of charge by using the player below:

More information about the conference at which Fr. Oswalt spoke and recordings of the other talks given, can be obtained here:

Long-time readers of Novus Ordo Watch will be familiar with Fr. Oswalt. In 2015, he appeared as a guest on the podcast radio program Escape from the Novus Ordo, produced by True Restoration, which we gladly sponsored and featured on this blog. Here is a listing of all episodes, which are still available in full and entirely free of charge:

Before his conversion, Fr. Oswalt was a “Catholic priest” for the Modernist diocese of Rockford, Illinois. At some point he began to realize that the religion in which he was operating was not — as he had previously thought — the Roman Catholic religion established by our Lord Jesus Christ, but a Modernist counterfeit whose beliefs and practices undermine and even outright contradict the traditional Roman Catholic teachings of all Popes until the death of Pius XII in 1958.

After coming to terms with the fact that his “bishop” was not in fact the legitimate Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese and he himself was not a validly ordained priest, Mr. Oswalt exited the Vatican II Church and became a real Catholic. In March of 2009, he wrote a letter to the Novus Ordo clergy in his diocese, explaining why he was abandoning what he appropriately called the “impostor church”. The letter has been made available on the internet in English and Spanish:

Later in the same year, Mr. Oswalt went on to study for the true priesthood, and he was finally ordained a genuine Catholic priest in 2011 by Bp. Mark Pivarunas. At the current time, Fr. Oswalt is stationed at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Huntsville, Alabama.

Between 2009 and 2011, Stephen Heiner of True Restoration went to interview Mr. (later Fr.) Oswalt and speak to him about his conversion from the Novus Ordo. These interviews can be watched at the following link:

It is a tremendous gift of grace for a Novus Ordo priest to realize that he is not in fact in the true Catholic Church and that his ordination is null and void, or, depending on the particulars of the ordination, at least doubtful. Fr. Oswalt responded generously to an outpouring of grace from Almighty God and thus multiplied the talents he had been given, to the joy of his Divine Lord (cf. Mt 25:14-30). We pray that Fr. Oswalt’s conversion story will inspire many Novus Ordo clergy unwittingly stuck in the pseudo-catholic religion of Vatican II to do likewise, so that they too will abandon the Novus Ordo Sect and convert to the true Roman Catholic religion as the world knew it from 33 AD until 1958.

“Lord, that I may see” (Lk 18:41). May this be the prayer of all people of good will who seek to be true Catholics but have fallen victim to the Modernist usurpers.


False pope Francis Counters Church Teaching, Allows Communion for Public Adulterers

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Clarification appears in ‘Acta Apostolicae Sedis’…

False pope Francis Counters Church Teaching, Allows Communion for Public Adulterers “Authentic Magisterium”

Analysis & Commentary

After more than 19 months of reports, analyses, arguments, interviews, rumors, conjectures, accusations, excuses, warnings, “corrections”, promises, allusions, and plenty of spin, the “doubts” about the correct interpretation of Francis’ “Apostolic” Exhortation Amoris Laetitia have now been officially put to rest: In a tacit move behind the scenes, Francis ordered that his Sep. 2016 endorsement of the interpretation offered by the Argentine “bishops” of the Buenos Aires region for their flock become a part of his (putative) “authentic Magisterium” and be included in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which is the official Vatican organ publishing papal texts and decisions. Semi-Traditionalists and conservative Novus Ordos are in shock, scrambling to figure out what this means and what to do next.

Before we proceed to analyze and evaluate this latest move on the part of the “Pope”, which puts an end to the debate over Amoris Laetitia at least de jure, let’s first recall the background and look at the raw facts:

  • The Buenos Aires Guidelines on the Interpretation of Amoris Laetitia and Francis’ approval of them in letter to Buenos Aires “Bishops” on Sep. 5, 2016
  • Full Text in Spanish and English of Buenos Aires Guidelines (PDF)
  • Full Text in Spanish and English of Francis’ Approval of Buenos Aires Guidelines (PDF)
  • Although these guidelines and Francis’ endorsement were originally leaked to the public, some time ago they were published on the Vatican web site
  • The most offensive portion of the Buenos Aires Guidelines is this one: “If one arrives at the recognition that, in a particular case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability…, particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist…. These in turn dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the aid of grace. However, it is necessary to avoid understanding this possibility as an unrestricted access to the sacraments, or as though any situation might justify it. What is proposed is a discernment that adequately distinguishes each case” (nn. 6-7).
  • Francis’ endorsement of the Buenos Aires Guidelines is clear and definitive: “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”
  • The Buenos Aires Guidelines as well as Francis’ endorsement have been published in the Oct. 2016 edition of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (vol. CVIII [108], n. 10; pp. 1071-1074). Francis’ endorsement is called an “Apostolic Letter” (p. 1071).
  • Appended to the two documents is a “Rescript ‘from an Audience with His Holiness’” by “Cardinal” Pietro Parolin, dated June 5, 2017, which reads: “The Supreme Pontiff decreed that the two preceding documents be promulgated through publication on the Vatican website and in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, as authentic Magisterium.”
  • The Acta Apostolicae Sedis (“Acts of the Apostolic See”) is the “only official publication of the Holy See … in which all official acts and laws in whatever form are promulgated” (Michael Williams, The Catholic Church in Action [New York, NY: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1958], p. 155). It was instituted by Pope St. Pius X in 1908 with the Apostolic Constitution Promulgandi. Although not all decisions of the Roman Congregations are published in the Acta, nevertheless, “if they contribute to the interpretation of some point of canon law or are of interest in jurisprudence, they are published” there (The Catholic Church in Action, p. 90).

These are the facts. After catching up on covering all the news items from Francis’ recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, Novus Ordo news sites began to report on this Amoris Laetitiadevelopment. Here are links to just a few:

Considering that the Novus Ordo Sect itself requires its adherents to hold that the “authentic Magisterium” of the man they recognize as Pope requires their “religious submission of the intellect and will” (see Canon 752 of Novus Ordo Canon Law), conservative Novus Ordos and Semi-Traditionalists now have an obvious problem on their hands, one they must either admit and seek to resolve or else deny and explain away.

Which is exactly what they’re doing. We look at a few of their efforts and evaluate them:

“Deacon” Nick Donnelly

In a tweet of Dec. 2, 2017, English “Deacon” Nick Donnelly asked: “Has Francis deposed himself as the successor of St Peter by attempting to make the heretical interpretation of AL Authentic Magisterium?” For a Novus Ordo cleric, this is quite a courageous question to raise, and it is refreshing to see. A great many of his colleagues do not have the guts to do so. Pray for all of them, that they may begin (or continue) to wake up.

“Bishop” René Henry Gracida

Likewise on Dec. 2, René Henry Gracida, a retired Novus Ordo bishop from Texas, wrote on his blog: “Francis’ heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letters to the Argentine bishops in the ACTA APOSTOLICA SEDES [sic] making those letters magisterial documents.” The “bishop” has been republishing posts from other blogs that denounce or are severely critical of Francis. Earlier this year, Gracida became the first (and, so far, only) Modernist “bishop” to publicly voice doubt regarding Francis’ legitimacy.

Vox Cantoris

David Domet at Vox Cantoris is willing to call Francis a “pernicious and filthy heretic” but still believes that “cardinals must now begin the formal process” of accusing/warning and judging him — an idea that is totally at odds with the Catholic dogma that the Pope — and this the blogger believes him to be — cannot be judged by any man, for all men are his inferiors. But while no one can subject a true Pope to an ecclesiastical trial, what can be done is recognize that a particular papal claimant is indeed a “pernicious and filthy heretic”, as obviously even Mr. Domet agrees with regard to Francis. But from this it follows with necessity that he is not the Pope of the Catholic Church, and for this cognitive (not legal) judgment, no authority is needed. It is the only possible and therefore necessary conclusion to draw from all the evidence.

Michael Voris

Michael Voris of Church Militant fired up his spin machine and, unable to ignore this big of a story, he at least sought to focus his viewers’ attention away from Francis and instead directed it to those evil “bishops” who are basically doing what Francis has been doing. Not once but twice did Voris try this tactic:

  • Vortex“Critical Moment”, Dec. 4, 2017: “While this may appear to be a crisis regarding the papacy, we’d like to point to something even more critical….”
  • Vortex“The Real Deal”, Dec. 5, 2017: “…another much more important question needs to be asked. How is it — regardless of what the pope meant — that so many various bishops and bishops’ conferences seem to agree that those in an objective state of mortal sin can in some circumstances receive Holy Communion?”

We call his enterprise Church Disneyland for a reason. His Vortex is in reality a Distortex.

Steve Skojec

Over at One Peter Five, rhetorician Steve Skojec presented an “expert” assessment from Dr. John Joy on Francis’ move to have the Buenos Aires Guidelines and his endorsement added to the Acts of the Apostolic See. Joy advanced a rather curious thesis: Although the inclusion in the Acta “means that it is an official act of the pope rather than an act of the pope as a private person”, and although it is clearly “an official endorsement” of the Buenos Aires interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, nevertheless Joy claims that “this doesn’t necessarily mean that the letter to the Argentine bishops is itself magisterial” — and so religious submission of intellect and will wouldn’t necessarily be required. Apparently Joy missed the fact that Francis had explicitly decreed that the two documents be given the status of “authentic Magisterium.”

Louie Verrecchio

Resignationist Louie Verrecchio was also not impressed by Joy’s expert analysis. In fact, Verrecchio succinctly summarized the whole spectacle about the latest Amoris Laetitia development thus: “Jorge Bergoglio is a heretic; notorious, formal, pertinacious, and that, my friends, is hardly breaking news.” Being a Resignationist, Verrecchio already believes Francis isn’t a valid Pope (he thinks Benedict XVI is), so he finds his rejection of the Argentinian impostor corroborated.

Dan Hitchens

In a convoluted post at Catholic Herald, columnist Dan Hitchens offers what sounds like a rather desperate attempt to persuade himself and others that it is best to move along because there is really nothing to see here. He maintains that Francis’ decision to include the Buenos Aires Guidelines and his endorsement in the Acta “may somewhat clarify what the Pope is saying” while noting “the ambiguity of the document” and concluding that “this episode leaves us pretty much where we were.” In other words: whatever.

David Martin

The Semi-Traditionalist comedy site The Remnant failed to surprise in its commentary, which was provided by David Martin:

Hence Amoris Laetitia [Chapter] VIII, which proposes that people living in adultery can be guiltless and thus be admitted to the sacraments of Confession and Communion when “concrete circumstances” make it difficult to renounce their adulterous state, is now declared “magisterial” by the Holy See. 

The problem with this is that heresy or sacrilege can never be declared magisterial, so that if it is, it not only has no binding force, but the faithful are obliged to resist and refute such a declaration. St. Thomas Aquinas says in his Summa Theologiae: “If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate [pope] even publicly.”

(David Martin, “Communion to Adulterers Promulgated as ‘Authentic Magisterium’”The Remnant, Dec. 4, 2017)

And there you have The Remnant‘s entire theological “competence” on display. We may rephrase Martin’s argument thus: “What cannot be magisterial cannot be magisterial; so if it is, then it doesn’t count. And look over here, we found a nice quote from St. Thomas Aquinas. It has nothing to do with the subject matter, but don’t let the facts get in the way of our propaganda.”

Only if Francis were to issue his endorsement of the Buenos Aires Guidelines ex cathedra (i.e., meeting Vatican I’s conditions for infallibility) would Francis cease to be Pope, Martin assures his hapless readers — incorrectly, of course. Although even this much would be contrary to The Remnant‘s usual position, we must remind Martin that Francis has already done things a true Pope is divinely protected from doing — such as declaring John Paul II a saint of the Catholic Church, for the canonization of saints is an act protected by infallibility, as even Remnant columnist Christopher Ferrara once knew.

Christopher Ferrara

Speaking of Chris Ferrara, we would be totally remiss, of course, if we did not pay particular attention to what this professional spindoctor has to say about Francis’ declaration that the Buenos Aires Guidelines are now “authentic Magisterium.” As of the time of this writing, Ferrara has published three posts on the matter at the Fatima Network web site:

In the first post, Ferrara correctly shows that there is no reasonable way to absolve Francis of error here; but then he asserts that whether or not Francis has fallen into heresy is “ultimately … not for any of us, but only for the Church (an ecumenical council or subsequent Pope as in the case of Honorius I), to judge definitively.” This is nonsense, of course. Whether or not Francis has embraced heresy is not dependent on some authoritative judgment, definitive or otherwise, but on Catholic teaching applied to the empirically verifiable facts.

Interestingly enough, Ferrara knows this and acts accordingly when it comes to individuals other than the ones who claim to be Pope, especially when it is helpful to the case he’s arguing at a given moment. For example, consider what Ferrara said about “Cardinal” Walter Kasper a few years back, also in connection with Amoris Laetitia:

Kasper is one of the Church’s most notorious post-conciliar Modernists, who, among other heresies, has denied the historicity of the Apostolic Succession. Not surprisingly, then, his address to the cardinals calls for a “pastoral solution” that would allow certain divorced and “remarried” Catholics, living in a state of public adultery, to receive Holy Communion.

(Christopher A. Ferrara, “The Francis Effect: A Gathering Storm”The Remnant, Mar. 11, 2014; underlining added.)

Here we see the lawyer Ferrara identifying Kasper as not only a heretic but in fact a “most notorious” one, correctly labeling the heresy he adheres to as Modernism. More specifically, The Remnant‘s chief polemicist accuses Kasper of denying the historicity of the Apostolic Succession and notes that this is but one “among other heresies” the “cardinal” holds. A little later in the same article, Ferrara even accuses Kasper not only of being a heretic but of deliberately “undermin[ing] [an] aspect of the Faith”.

So, when it comes to “Cardinal” Kasper, Ferrara has no problem detecting heresy and identifying and condemning him as a heretic. Yet when Bergoglio does the same thing Kasper does, suddenly we “don’t know” if it’s heresy. This isn’t principled Catholic commentary on Ferrara’s part — it is simply propaganda meant to persuade the reader in favor of The Remnant‘s editorial position.

As far as the case of Pope Honorius I goes, by the way, that argument has been refuted here.

Francis’ decision to declare the explanation of Amoris Laetitia given by the Buenos Aires “bishops” to become part of his “authentic Magisterium” is a devastating blow to Ferrara, who has maintained for years that none of the errors since Vatican II have ever been “official” or “binding” and therefore not truly “magisterial”; rather, the lawyer from Virginia maintains, there has been a “great facade” erected that makes it appear as though the regime of novelty since the council were official, binding, and magisterial, when in reality it is not so.

Ferrara argues this at length in a book he co-authored with Thomas E. Woods, Jr., entitled, The Great Facade: The Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church from Vatican II to the Francis Revolution (2nd ed., 2015). This book had appeared in its first edition in 2002. We will quote two sentences from this work, found in both editions, that have now come back to bite the authors: “Satan understands better than any other creature that the Magisterium can never officially teach error…. [W]e have the divine assurance that the Church can never officially teach error” (The Great Facade, 1st ed: p. 66; 2nd ed: p. 60; italics given).

But this is exactly what Francis has now done, and it is absolutely undeniable, since he explicitly used the phrase “authentic Magisterium” with regard to his approval of the Buenos Aires Guidelines and ordered them to be published in the official compilation of papal pronouncements, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. In other words: It doesn’t get any more official or magisterial than this (in degree, yes, but not in kind).

Faced with this unhappy refutation of his own position, Ferrara’s task was now to find a way around it all. This he did in his second post on the subject:

As the explosive new book on Pope Francis, The Dictator Pope, makes its appearance as a best seller in both English and Italian editions, the Church is confronted with an astonishing dictatorial abuse of the Magisterium itself by Francis and what some have called his “magic circle” of handpicked ultra-progressivists.

(Christopher A. Ferrara, “The Authentic Magisterium is Truth, not a Trademark”Fatima Network, Dec. 5, 2017)

Notice that in the opening sentence already our lawyer calls Francis’ move a “dictatorial abuse of the Magisterium”. But if, as Ferrara believes, Francis is Pope, what should be “abusive” about ordering one of his own Apostolic Letters to be included in the Acta? Did not Pope Pius IX do the same thing when he commended the German bishops for their explanation of the dogma of papal infallibility in his Apostolic Letter Mirabilis Illa Constantia (see Denz.-H. 3112-3117)?

Of course, what constitutes the “dictatorial abuse of the Magisterium” for Ferrara is not the form of promulgation but the falsity of Francis’ teaching. However, the truth of a doctrine can never itself be part of the criteria for what constitutes an authentic exercise of the Magisterium, for that would result in absurdity: It would require the faithful to know ahead of time and independently of the Magisterium what is true and what is false in religious matters, when the whole point of the Magisterium is to teachpeople what is true and what is false concerning faith and morals. Thus the role of teacher and taughtwould be entirely reversed.

Ferrara proceeds to criticize Francis’ inclusion of the two documents in the Acta as follows:

This move is a blatant attempt to halt all criticism of AL (including the seemingly imminent “formal correction” by Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller) by cloaking the letter and the guidelines in the language of Canon 752 of the 1984 Code of Canon Law, which (citing Vatican II) provides “[a]lthough not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.”

The ploy cannot succeed. Francis’ novelty cannot be part of the “authentic Magisterium” because it transgresses the fundamental divine limitation on papal doctrinal authority as enunciated by the First Vatican Council:

“For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

Francis is here claiming to announce new doctrine, overturning the teaching of his own predecessor in keeping with all of Tradition. As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under John Paul II declared in 1998, the absolution and admission to Holy Communion of public adulterers in “second marriages,” without a commitment to cease adulterous sexual relations, “is intrinsically impossible” and “The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception.” That is because this is a norm “over which the Church has no discretionary authority. The indissoluble nature of marriage… goes back to Christ Himself and is thus identified as a norm of divine law,” and the admission of public adulterers to Holy Communion would violate that divine moral norm.

This is the usual line of argumentation used by the recognize-and-resist crowd: What constitutes the genuine Roman Catholic Magisterium is determined not by the (putative) Vicar of Christ, the Pope, but by some American lawyer with access to the traditional Denzinger, who routinely reviews the Pope’s pronouncements to judge their orthodoxy and then informs the populace as to what is and isn’t to be accepted from the man who is “judged by no one” (1917 Code of Canon LawCanon 1556). No doubt, St. Pius X would have been impressed!

What is worse is that Ferrara thinks that Vatican I is helping his case, but this is not so. If we look at the words he quoted in their proper context, this becomes evident. Their source is Chapter 4 of the Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus. This document contains the council’s solemn teaching about the Papacy. Chapter 1 shows how our Blessed Lord instituted the Papacy and made St. Peter the first Pope; Chapter 2 explains how this primacy exists in all true successors of St. Peter, even until the end of time; Chapter 3 explains in what the papal primacy consists; and Chapter 4 defines the infallible teaching authority of the Pope.

We will now look at Chapter 4 in its entirety to see the full context. The words quoted by Ferrara we will mark red:

That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This holy see has always maintained this, the constant custom of the church demonstrates it, and the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion.

What is more, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession: “The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled.”

Then there is the definition of the council of Florence: “The Roman pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church.”

To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received.

It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this apostolic see those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing.

The Roman pontiffs, too, as the circumstances of the time or the state of affairs suggested, sometimes by summoning ecumenical councils or consulting the opinion of the churches scattered throughout the world, sometimes by special synods, sometimes by taking advantage of other useful means afforded by divine providence, defined as doctrines to be held those things which, by God’s help, they knew to be in keeping with sacred scripture and the apostolic traditions.

For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviourto the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office.

Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the christian faith, to the glory of God our saviour, for the exaltation of the catholic religion and for the salvation of the christian people, with the approval of the sacred council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.

Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

(Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 4; underlining added.)

Clearly, what Vatican I is teaching is that because he is assisted by the Holy Ghost, the Pope will“religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles” and will not “make known some new doctrine” by the revelation of the same Holy Ghost.

Mr. Ferrara, on the other hand, reduces this teaching to little more than a superficial banality: He claims it simply means that the Pope isn’t supposed to make new doctrines, for that is not why the Holy Ghost was given him. Such an interpretation of the text is not tenable because this much is true of anyone, not just of the Pope alone. In fact, even a Protestant would agree that his own self-styled pastor isn’t supposed to teach his own strange doctrines. That’s hardly a profound insight to be taught by a Catholic ecumenical council!

Secondly, notice that the conciliar constitution says that “the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine…” (italics added). If Ferrara’s understanding of this passage were correct, it would mean that the Pope is not supposed to proclaim new doctrines that are nevertheless revealed to him by the Holy Ghost — a grotesque thing for a Catholic council to teach.

Thirdly, Ferrara’s interpretation does not jibe with the surrounding context, which establishes the prerogatives and uniqueness of the Papacy, protected by the Holy Ghost. What sort of divine protection would the Holy Ghost provide if the Pope were merely “not supposed to” invent new doctrines but nevertheless be quite capable of doing so? Wouldn’t that be true also of your local grocery store clerk and the grumpy bus driver on your morning commute? Aren’t they, too, “not supposed to” come up with a new gospel?

It is evident, therefore, that Vatican I teaches, not that the Pope ought not to teach new (or false) doctrine, but that he actually does not. That is the meaning of the special assistance of the Holy Ghost for the Pope. Ferrara turns the doctrine of Vatican I from describing a truth about the Papacy into a merely normative rule for papal conduct — but the idea that dogmas are merely normative and not descriptive was actually condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his Syllabus of Modernist Errors: “The dogmas of the Faith are to be held only according to their practical sense; that is to say, as preceptive norms of conduct and not as norms of believing” (Pius X, Decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, error n. 26). This statement is to “be held by all as condemned and proscribed”, according to the Pope.

Ferrara concludes his Dec. 5 post as follows:

In sum, “authentic Magisterium” stands for the truth of Christ and what the Church has always taught in His name and by His authority. It is not a trademark that Pope Francis can blithely affix to his absurd novelties in order to declare them beyond criticism or discussion.

Never in the entire history of the Church has any Pope dared to abuse the Magisterium in this manner. There have been other papal tyrants in Church history, but never has there been a Pope who tried to tyrannize Catholic doctrine itself by demanding universal submission to his own errant ideas.

Several observations must be made here.

First, a man who believes the Vatican II Sect is the Roman Catholic Church can hardly speak about “what the Church has always taught”, for the Vatican II Church does not teach, for example, the social kingship of Christ, the absolute identity of the Church our Lord founded with the Catholic Church, or the necessity of the Church for salvation. Thus it is false to say that the church he believes in “has always taught” this. His church hasn’t taught it for the last 50 years — so “always” is simply not true. We notice that our lawyer from Virginia has now carefully added the caveat “in His name and by His authority” — this will allow him to argue later that whatever heresies or other errors may proceed from the Novus Ordo magisterium henceforth, cannot be considered as being taught “in [Christ’s] name and by His authority.” This may be clever on his part, but it is totally unworthy of Sacred Theology. People need to remember that when they read Ferrara, they are simply watching a skilled lawyer at work.

Secondly, notice that Ferrara shies away from quoting any Catholic dogmatic theology manual for a definition of what constitutes the “authentic Magisterium” — which would have been the natural thing to do. But where Ferrara fails, Novus Ordo Watch is happy to help out:

Authentic magisterium (from [Greek] authentia = authority) is the office of handing on doctrine instituted by a legitimate authority. Therefore, it implies in the teacher the power and office of handing on doctrine; but in the disciples [i.e. in the taught] the obligation and right to receive instruction. Magisterium can be authentic in two ways: in the broad sense and in the strict sense.

Authentic magisterium in the broad sense is that which by itself does not have the power to demand from the disciple the assent of the intellect. Such is, for example, the magisterium of a professor in a university. Authentic magisterium in the strict sense is that which has such power in itself to impose doctrine, that the disciples by that very fact are bound to give the assent of the intellect, because of the authority of the legate of God which the teacher makes use of.

(Fr. Joachim Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa IB: On the Church of Christ, trans. by Fr. Kenneth Baker [original Latin published by BAC, 1955; English published by Keep the Faith, 2015], n. 504; italics given.)

Why did Mr. Ferrara not see fit to quote a definition such as this for his “explanation” of what constitutes the authentic papal Magisterium? Quite simply, because it sinks his boat. Ferrara does not proceed from Catholic teaching in his argumentation and then reason to a necessary conclusion. Instead, he begins with his desired conclusion and then tries to find (highly selective) evidence to back it up — at the expense of traditional Catholic teaching if need be. This is why we call him a propagandist and rhetorician.

Ferrara’s position on the authentic Magisterium, which is held by virtually all recognize-and-resist adherents, is also blown to pieces by St. Robert Bellarmine, the Doctor of the Papacy, who emphasized that the nature of the papal teaching authority is such that if God did not prevent it from teaching error, all the faithful would be led into such error precisely because of their divinely-mandated duty of submission:

The Pope is the Teacher and Shepherd of the whole Church, thus, the whole Church is so bound to hear and follow him that if he would err, the whole Church would err.

Now our adversaries respond that the Church ought to hear him so long as he teaches correctly, for God must be heard more than men.

On the other hand, who will judge whether the Pope has taught rightly or not? For it is not for the sheep to judge whether the shepherd wanders off, not even and especially in those matters which are truly doubtful. Nor do Christian sheep have any greater judge or teacher to whom they might have recourse. As we showed above, from the whole Church one can appeal to the Pope yet, from him no one is able to appeal; therefore necessarily the whole Church will err if the Pontiff would err.

(St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book IV, Chapter 3; translated by Ryan Grant as On the Roman Pontiff [Mediatrix Press, 2016], vol. 2, p. 160; underlining added.)

It’s just too bad that this Doctor of the Church did not take into consideration that there is quite an easy solution to this conundrum: an American layman could just declare on various online and print publications that the “Pope” has it all wrong — problem solved and gates of hell kept from prevailing!

Ferrara himself loves to quote Bellarmine whenever he can find a quote that supports (or so he thinks) the position he is arguing (see, for example, here and here — with a sedevacantist response here). But when Bellarmine clearly refutes him, Ferrara sides with…. Ferrara!

The same goes for the American lawyer’s quoting of Pope Pius IX, for example. He will be happy to quote certain parts of the encyclical Quanta Cura, but you will scarcely find him quote the following text from the same document:

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quanta Cura, n. 5)

Little did the good Pius IX suspect that eventually there would be found the likes of Chris Ferrara, who refuse assent and obedience even to those judgments of the (putative) Holy See that do touch upon faith and morals — in the name of “Tradition”, of course!

Ferrara’s position is also dangerously close to that which was explicitly condemned by St. Pius X, namely, the following assertion: “In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced” (Decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, error n. 7). But then again, if a layman from the United States gets to reject the “authentic Magisterium” of one man he accepts as Pope, why not also that of others?

Joseph Shaw

Other high-profile individuals who have commented on Francis’ latest addition to the “authentic Magisterium” include Dr. Joseph Shaw, the official spokesman for the famous Filial Correction effort. He appears to be grasping at straws as he tries to persuade his readers that, in essence, nothing has really changed — totally ignoring Francis’ now “magisterial” statement that “[t]here are no other interpretations” of Amoris Laetitia‘s Chapter VIII than the one given by the Buenos Aires “bishops.”

Edward Peters and “Fr.” John Zuhlsdorf

Canon lawyer Ed Peters seeks refuge in an argument that can only be considered legalistic: Canon 915in Novus Ordo Canon Law states that people “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion”; and since Francis has not explicitly decreed that this canon be revoked or considered superseded, Peters reasons, nothing has really changed. (Mr. John Zuhlsdorf, otherwise known as “Fr. Z”, agrees with him in essence.)

While this argument may work for a canon lawyer, who only considers what pertains specifically to the theological discipline of canon law, it is simply a red herring. The issue is not that Canon Law has or has not been changed — the elephant in the living room is that Francis has used his putative authentic Magisterium to impose the idea that reception of the sacraments is not per se impermissible for people who are in public mortal sin of which they have not repented.

Concluding Remarks

In summary, we can say that the reactions among the conservative Novus Ordos and Semi-Traditionalists are quite varied. While some select few are willing to concede that Francis has squared the circle and therefore some serious questions now need to be asked regarding his legitimacy, others maintain silly positions that run the gamut from “he didn’t actually say it” to “he may have said it but he didn’t mean it” to “he said it and meant it but it doesn’t count.” But only Michael Voris managed to insult his audience so badly that he basically said, “Who cares? You should be worried about the evil bishops!”

Interestingly enough, Francis’ move doesn’t just leave prominent Novus Ordo and Semi-Trad commentators with the proverbial egg on their faces. “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller, too, doesn’t look too good now. Recall that Muller was interviewed about Amoris Laetitia in May 2017 by EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo:

ARROYO: Why do you think Amoris Laetitia has been so…It was a document intended, I think, to bring everyone together around the centrality of marriage and family, and yet it has caused such global division. I mean even the Pope himself, when he approves of the Argentine bishops interpretation, that seems to give credence and weight to the absolute opposite of what you’re…the interpretation that you’re advancing; that you can’t change this and that nothing has changed and that there is no possibility of this. The Pope seems to be giving a preference to the Argentines who say there is a path here…

MÜLLER: I’m not that clear with all that actions, bishops interpret the pope, the pope interpret the bishops. And, we have some rules in how to act in the Church. We have synods, coming together and then the pope make a summary and with his papal authority he gives his explanation or writes the documents and then must be…all be finished not with interpretation of the interpretation; that is not good for (the) Church. And I am saying (this) as a Catholic theologian.

(Interview with “Cardinal” Gerhard Muller, The World Over, May 25, 2017; transcript here; video here)

We’ll just leave it at that.

By the way, now that the Buenos Aires Guidelines and Francis’ endorsement of them are included in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, we can expect that they will also show up in the next Novus Ordo edition of Denzinger. Think about that for a minute.

The upshot of all this is a very simple Catholic truth we have repeated here time and again: The Papacy has consequences. Recognizing a man as the Pope of the Catholic Church who is in fact a manifest anti-Catholic heretic or even apostate, has dire consequences because the office of Vicar of Christ is more than just a title. The Pope is a teacher, legislator, and administrator with genuine authority given him directly by God.

We would like to remind all our readers of some articles we have published here before regarding the Papacy, demonstrating that the true Catholic teaching about the Pope has been eclipsed by today’s self-proclaimed “traditionalists” who recognize Francis as Pope but then refuse him submission:

Those interested in more sedevacantist commentary on Francis’ move to include the Buenos Aires Guidelines in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis may wish to read what Tom Droleskey has written:

If there is indeed going to be a schism between the conservative and the liberal Modernist camps in the Novus Ordo Sect over Francis, this move should be the trigger point. If this doesn’t do it, there will be no schism at all.

The Papacy has consequences, and one of these consequences is that a true Pope cannot do what Francis has done.