Saturday, August 31, 2013

Everything You wanted to know the Infallibility of the Catholic Church but were afraid to ask about - Part 4

While not specifically about infallibility, this post is related to some of Fr. Cekada's work referenced in earlier issues of this series.

I recently was challenged on another forum to "Please thoroughly read Fr. Cekada's 'Frankenchurch' article which link is provided in his post above, and then get back to me... "

This was related to a question that I had asked Fr. Cekada, namely:

What defide doctrines of the Church have the post-V2 Pontiffs explicitly?
Father's response was:
"Credo in unam ecclesiam," for one, because they profess the Frankenchurch heresy. For an explanation, see:
Resisting the Pope, Sedevacantism and Frankenchurch, section II.B
In my earlier review of this thesis (part 1, part 2) I had decided against writing a point by point review of the noted section because I concluded that it wasn't worth the effort since:
"... Much of the remainder of the Fr. Cekada's assertions are of the same vein.
He either takes the quotes out of context or in the face of ambiguity makes a judgement and interprets them in a manner contrary to the teaching of the Church (eg Catechism of the Catholic Church 819, 832,834)."
Given the above challenge, I have decided to revisit the assertions made by Fr. Cekada and document the flaws that I observed when I first read them.

My method will be to reproduce Fr. Cekada's statement in red. This will be followed by a short analysis in blue.

Before I proceed, I want to ensure that my readers are aware that Fr. Cekada's thesis is that the Pope's since Pope Pius XII have lost their authority (sede vacante) due to notorious heresy.

Conclusion (to save you from reading all the way to the bottom)

Based on my review of the context of the statements that Fr. Cekada states support his thesis - it is simple to see that notoriety cannot be deduced from these statements. Therefore Fr. Cekada needs to make a judgement of whether or not some ambiguous statement is actually heretical with the full context.

That is something which neither he (nor I) possess competence.

Without evidence of the Pope explicitly declaring a heresy against a de fide statement thereby establishing his notoriety, there is no support for the Sede Vacantist thesis that Father Cekada holds.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Faith - An Explanation from the Catholic Encyclopedia

What is the Faith?

I'm currently studying some topics for a longer article and thought I would add this here as a good point of reference.

A Catholic Rule of Faith

What is meant by the 'Rule of Faith'?

In summary, it means the de fide teachings that the Church proposes for belief by Catholics.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Outside the Church - Part 3

While researching another topic I came across an article on Baptism in the Catholic Encyclopedia on

For future reference I have added a pared down copy of it below.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Principles of Obedience for the Laity

When I posted the article on the Members of the Church Militant II quoting Dr. Ott, I was struck by the phrase:
By the fulfillment of these three conditions one subjects oneself to the threefold office of the Church. the sacerdotal office (Baptism), the teaching office (Confession of Faith), and the pastoral office (obedience to the Church authority).
Some Catholics, have issues with the faithful who rely upon the SSPX for the sacraments because of the phrase " obedience to the Church authority".  For example, why do I insist upon going to the SSPX Mass Centre when there is an diocesan Parish that also offers the Tridentine Mass?


There is some question as to whether the Pope can be in actual schism as per the Cardinal Torquemada:
Citing the doctrine of Pope Innocent III, Torquemada further teaches: 
"Thus it is that Pope Innocent III states [De Consuetudine] that, it is necessary to obey the Pope in all things as long as he, himself, does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, 'he need not be followed' . . . " [Cited from A Theological Vindication of Roman Catholic Traditionalism, Father Paul Kramer, B.Ph., S.T.D., M. Div. (2nd edition, St. Francis Press, India) p. 29. The full quotation from Cardinal Torquemada reads, "By disobedience, the Pope can separate himself from Christ despite the fact that he is head of the Church, for above all, the unity of the Church is dependent on its relationship with Christ. The Pope can separate himself from Christ either by disobeying the law of Christ, or by commanding something that is against the Divine or natural law." It follows, then, that if it is possible for a Pope to command something against Divine law, then it is likewise possible for a Pope to permit something that is against Divine or natural law, or go against the traditional teaching of the Church. Cardinal Torquemada continues: "By doing so, the Pope separates himself from the body of the Church because the body is itself linked to Christ by obedience. In this way the Pope could, without doubt, fall into schism... (A Theological Vindication of Roman Catholic Traditionalism, Fr. Kramer)

Everything You wanted to know the Infallibility of the Catholic Church but were afraid to ask about - Part 3

As a follow up to some of the items discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series - I wanted to add the following:

With regard to the doctrinal teaching of the Church it must be well noted that not all the assertions of the Teaching Authority of the Church on questions of Faith and morals are infallible and consequently irrevocable. Only those are infallible which emanate from General Councils representing the whole episcopate, and the Papal Decisions Ex Cathedra (c£ D 1839). The ordinary and usual form of the Papal teaching activity is not infallible. Further, the decisions of the Roman Congregations (Holy Office, Bible Commission) are not infallible. Nevertheless normally they are to be accepted with an inner assent which is based on the high supernatural authority of the Holy See (assensus internus supernaturalis, assensus religiosus). The so-called "silentium obiequiosum." that is " reverent silence" does not generally suffice. By way of exception. the obligation of inner agreement may cease if a competent expert, after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at the positive conviction that the decision rests on an error. (Ott - Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma)
It is noted that this seems to leave out the ordinary and universal magisterium.

The totality of the Bishops is infallible, when they, either assembled in general councilor scattered over the earth, propose a teaching of faith or morals as one to be held by all the faithful. (De fide.)

The key item is that when the Pope or Bishops exercise their infallibility in either the ordinary or extra-ordinary manner they have to propose a "teaching of faith or morals as one to be held by all the faithful."

If they don't manifest the desire to impose a decision on faith and morals in either a positive (what to believe) or negative (what not to believe) manner - the power of infallibility is not invoked.

Additional Information on Dogmatic Facts from Hunter:

Dogmatic Facts.—But besides these speculative truths, there are certain matters of fact concerning which the Church can judge with infallible certainty. These are called by many writers dogmatic facts, although others use this expression only of one class among them, which was much discussed in the course of the controversy with the Jansenists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These heretics were anxious to keep the name of Catholic, and finding their doctrine on grace condemned by the Church, endeavoured to escape from the condemnation by showing that the Church had misunderstood their writings, to which it was replied that the infallibility of the Church extended to the determination of the true sense conveyed by a form of words ; and the phrase  dogmatic fact " was little heard of except in regard to such determinations.

We will proceed to mention some dogmatic facts, in the wider sense, adding the reason why we hold that they come within the infallible authority of the Church. But it must be remembered that if the Church speak on any of these matters, it does not follow that she has exercised her infallibility; she may have intended to exert a merely disciplinary authority alone (n. 203), regulating the  outward conduct only, but not touching men's inward belief. The doubt that may sometimes arise in particular cases must be solved by considering the terms and circumstances of the utterance. In this part of the subject we are not writing controversially, at least as regards those who do not acknowledge the authority of the Holy See; we are merely stating the Catholic doctrine.

First, then, the Church is infallible when she declares what person holds the office of Pope ; for if the person of the Pope were uncertain, it would be uncertain what Bishops were in communion with the Pope; but according to the Catholic faith, as will be proved hereafter, communion with the Pope is a condition for the exercise of the function of teaching by the body of Bishops (n. 208) ; if then the uncertainty could not be cleared up, the power of teaching could not be exercised, and Christ's promise (St. Matt, xxviii. 20; and n. 199, II.) would be falsified, which is impossible.

This argument is in substance the same as applies to other cases of dogmatic facts. Also, it affords an answer to a much vaunted objection to the claims of the Catholic Church, put forward by writers who think that they find proof in history that the election of a certain Pope was simoniacal and invalid, and that the successor was elected by Cardinals who owed their own appointment to the simoniacal intruder; from which it is gathered that the Papacy has been vacant ever since that time.

A volume might be occupied if we attempted to expose all the frailness of the argument which is supposed to lead to this startling conclusion; but it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined.

In just the same way the infallibility extends to declaring that a certain Council is or is not ecumenical; that certain systems of education are, or are not, injurious to faith and morals; that the principles of certain societies are immoral; and that certain ways of life, especially in Religious  orders, are not merely free from moral evil, but are laudable. Unless the Church could judge upon these matters, she could not exercise her office of guiding and instructing her members.

The matters of Beatification and Canonization require a few words more of explanation. The great authority on the whole subject is the work of Pope Benedict XIV. De Cajionizatione, from which the late Dr. Fabcr took the matter of the Essay which served as a kind of preface to the Oratory series of Lives of the Saints. (Faber, Essay on Beatification, &c.) It is enough to say here that sometimes the Holy See, after suitable investigation, pronounces a solemn judgment that the virtue  of a deceased person was heroic (n. 231), and that God has testified to his sanctity by miracles worked by his intercession ; and then it is accustomed to declare that the person may be publicly allowed the title of '' Blessed," and that Mass and Office may be said in his honour within certain limits of place, or by certain classes of persons. If after an interval it is judged that God has been pleased to show by further miracles His approval of what has been done, then a further decree may  be issued by which the Pontiff defines that the person is a " Saint," and is to be honoured as such in the whole Church with public worship. No writer of repute doubts that this last decree of Canonization is an exercise of the infallible authority of the Church, for were it mistaken, the whole Church would be led into offering superstitious worship ; but there is a controversy as to whether this same can be alleged of Beatification, for this decree is in a manner reviewed in the subsequent process. We have no space to enter into the arguments on both sides of this question, and will only remark that on every view the decree of Beatification commands at least the respect of all the faithful, as being the deliberate judgment of the common Father. If any one be inclined to scoff at the process by which the miracles are established in these cases, he ma\' be referred to the records of the causes, where he will see the scrupulous care with which the evidence is scrutinized. (See v. 255.)

Lastly, the Church's infallible authority extends to determining the true sense conveyed by forms of speech, whether solitary words, or propositions, or books; and this without reference to the meaning intended by the author, of which in general the Church does not judge. This is the class of cases to which the name of dogmatic facts is more particularly applied. The exercise of this power by the Church has in all ages been most distasteful to all who have wished to retain the character of being Catholic, at the same time that they are wanting in the spirit of hearty interior submission to the living teacher, and statesmen who care little about truth and much about peace, join in protesting against what they represent as undue insistence on mere words. Thus the Arians of the fourth century, in conjunction with the Emperor Constantius, protested against the Catholics who insisted on their acceptance of the word ** consubstantial," which the Council of Nice had used in defining the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity ; they wished, they said, to use no words not found in Scripture, novel words; but the Catholics replied by asking whether newlydiscovered poisons might not render necessary novel drugs as antidotes (St. Hilar. Contra ConstantiiuUj n. 15, 16; P.L. 10, 594); and since that day the disputed word has held its place in the Catholic Creed. In the same way, the Council of Trent (Sess. 13, can. 2 ; Denz. 764) defined that the word Transubstantiation was most fit to apply to the  change of the elements in the Eucharist ; and the
Synod of Pistoia, which raised objections similar to those just quoted from the Arians, and would have omitted the word, was condemned b}^ Pope Pius VI. {Auctorem Fidei, prop. 29; Denz. 1392) on the ground that the word was consecrated by the Church for the defence of the faith against heresies. The controversy with the Janscnists turned partly on the question whether the Church had authority to declare that the famous five propositions were contained in the book written by Jansenius ; this was felt to be the central point of the whole matter, for if the Church could not determine the meaning of language she would be powerless to teach : her only medium of instruction is human language. For an account of this mortal contest, the reader must go to the historians. (See Jungmann, Diss, in Hist, Eccles. Diss. XL.) At the present day, Jansenism as a heresy no longer exists, at least in any conspicuous form ; but the spirit of Jansenism, which
wishes to claim Catholic communion without submission of mind and will to the hierarchical Church, still shows itself frequently in various forms.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Outside the Church - Part 2

I came across this article on and realized that it would mesh nicely with part 1 of this topic.

I also have included the full text of the letter to Archbishop Cushing.

The doctrine 'Outside the Church There is No Salvation' - is usually misunderstood by both Modern and Traditional Catholics.

These two references provide a good overview of the Church teaching on this matter.

Work of Mercy (Spiritual and Corporal), Beatitudes and Gifts of the Holy Ghost

For my own reference!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Organizational Culture and the Purpose for this Blog

The following was my reason for starting this blog:
The first goal of this blog is to provide a venue to post and discuss different approaches to help the Church to emerge from this crisis. I want to discuss and develop ways to move forward, hence the title of the blog.
I had thought that the bulk of the work  / discussion would focus on helping 'Modern Catholics' to adjust to a Church that they haven't known.  Hence the series on the 'Wedge' focusing on some core elements of Catholic Culture that have been forgotten or worse suppressed since the Second Vatican Council.

That was before I became heavily involved in discussions (read: arguments) with people who have separated themselves from the SSPX because of the willingness to obey a legitimate command of the Vicar of Christ when such a command is given.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Day Without Yesterday

I've been aware for sometime that the originator of the 'Big Bang Theory' was a Catholic priest.  I was not aware that his accepted theory supports the conclusion that "time, space and matter actually did begin at a moment of creation, and that The Universe will end".

The Rosary

A friend passed this on to me and as usual I place it here for your edification as much as my own!

  1. Demon, your name is “laziness” and “distaste” for hard work. By the joyful mysteries of the Lord’s Life, be gone.
  2. Demon your name “refusal of any suffering” and an “resentment at the cross.” By the sorrowful mysteries of our Lord’s life, be gone.
  3. Demon your name is “forgetfulness of heaven” and “obsession with the passing world.” By the glorious mysteries of Lord’s life and our Lady’s too, be gone.

Pope Leo XIII encyclical on the Rosary

Perhaps something to be said before each mystery to help meditation?

Summorum Pontificum - A Debate III - Article 5.2

Well the timing of the discussion could not have been more appropriate.  An official english translation has been published.

While I have yet to read the official english translation (what took so long?) in its entirety,  I have looked at Article 5.2:

§2  Celebration according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sundays and feast days, however, such a celebration may also take place.
So what do we find?  The word 'one' does not appear in the translation. In its place we have the word 'a', although I'm certain some will read this as 'only one'.

Additional Thought:

What does the first article state?

Art 1.  The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite.  The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage.  These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.
It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.  The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows ... 
Breaking it down we have:

  1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. 
    1. This seems to be a statement of fact and also reinforces that the Missal of Pope Paul VI was promulgated.
  2. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage.
    1. The Tridentine Mass expresses the rule of prayer etc
  3. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.
    1. Given that the object of the motu proprio is the re-introduction of the Tridentine Mass, this is similar to saying that nothing has changed in the rule of faith. This follows that the Church is protected from explicitly teaching something contrary to the rule of faith.
  4. It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.
    1. Because there is no division in the rule of faith it is permissible to use the 1962 missal. In other words, what the Church taught then, it teaches now.  There is no change in the rule of faith.
  5. The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows ...
    1. The rules set down in Summorum Pontificum replace the Indults of 1984 and 1988.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summorum Pontificum - A Debate II - Article 5.2


After reviewing Summorum Pontificum in part 1, the only issue with Summorum Pontificum that I wanted to explore further was article 5.2:

Art. 5. § 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.
Since this appears to be a restriction, I wanted to know how this fit into the law of the Church and why there is an apparent contravening of this law by the FSSP and Canons of St. John Cantius. In other words is this really a restriction on the priest or is it something else within the juridical structure of the Church.

SSPX Sine Qua Non Conditions: Ecumenism unveiled or just another faulty argument?

On one web forum the following argument was put forth as a reason for not attending the Masses offered by the SSPX.

The SSPX is officially willing to make a canonical agreement without a doctrinal resolution, so long as Rome gives the SSPX the right to teach the Faith and condemn the errors of Vatican II against the same Faith. However, the SSPX does not demand from Rome the same as part of the agreement. This position contains an implicit but necessary admission that Rome has the right to teach those errors it currently holds; this position reduces the Faith to opinions; this position is a non-Catholic variant of ecumenism/religious liberty. The SSPX leaders and the priests who consent to this position, either explicitly or by their silence, are hence co-operating in objective grave sin, at least on the level of principle.