Saturday, November 29, 2014

While Rome Burns ...


Actually, one could say 'While the Church burns ...'.

Fr. Carota has a very compelling article (link) that brings to light a couple of interesting elements.

The Church is in theological, moral and structural collapse and it is mostly as a result of actions taken by forces within the Church.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Visionaries and Catholic Principles


In this crisis of the Church, the confusion has clouded the judgement of many.

Excuse making is a simple example of people trying to justify their actions.  In this case they resort to variations on the theme 'change perception of actions'.

I've encountered this in:

  • Sedevacantists: who deny that the Church Doctrine that the recognition of the Pope by the hierarchy is an infallible means of knowing who is the Pope,
  • Resistors: who believe that the ends justify the means, even if they toss out Catholic principles (St. Thomas Acquinas et al) in the process.
  • 'Modern' Catholics: who assert that the SSPX was wrong (about what they were not very specific).

One recent variations is an alleged 'revelation from the Blessed Virgin Mary'. In this case they are attempting to re-cast Bishop Fellay's actions as being against the wish and express command of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A nice way to say that the Virgin Mary trumps St. Thomas Aquinas.

Before dealing with the false assumptions contained in the assertion, it is necessary to establish a basic framework for appraising the visionary and the prophecy.

When someone claims to have seen a vision we have the following possibilities.

They are either:
  1. Mistaken,
  2. lying,
  3. hallucinating / delusional ( psychotic ),
  4. deceived by a evil spirit,
  5. or have been visited by a good spirit
People gravitate towards simple solutions to complex problems, which is the basis for the belief in conspiracy theories.  So most people jump to item #5 when a 'visionaries' tales are aligned with what they want to believe - ie. confirmation bias.

While our task of weeding out true from false apparitions may seem difficult, there is a short cut.  The reliance upon Catholic principles in a similar manner as used to remain on the true path.

The key difference between the first four and last scenarios is that, invariably at some point, the first four will be at odds with Catholic doctrine or principles.

In the most recent case  (ie. Bishop Williamson's "Inside Story") we find the following:
“Tell Bishop Fellay that he cannot move any closer to Rome than he already is, however well-intentioned the Holy Father may be.” And she repeated,“Remember, however well-intentioned the Holy Father may be.” 
What do we have contained within this statement?

A well-intentioned Pope, according to Bishop Fellay, wished to resolve the canonical irregularity of the SSPX.  There is nothing morally wrong with this, and if the Pope were to have followed through by demonstrating the absence of either an immediate or proximate occasion of sin, then the 'command' would have been lawful.

In short the message contains an order to disobey a lawful command that meets St. Thomas' exposition of the principle of obedience, which would be sinful.

A 'message' from Heaven that commands sin is obviously not from Heaven.

This is why it is important to understand and accept Church Teaching and doctrine as the Church understands and not as we would like it to be understood.  Without this foundation we can be easily led astray by well meaning but deluded people.

Bishop Williamson et al had a choice in 2012: Abandon the doctrine of the Church or accept that they were wrong.   They have chosen to abandon the doctrine of the Church.

As for the remainder of the alleged 'message', is just window dressing, or as I would normally say FUD.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Synod Post-Game Show VI


It has been a while since I wrote anything about the Synod - but I just saw the article attached below printed in the Canadian SSPX Convictions Magazine.

The most telling was this:
The most candid admission comes from the President of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, Abp. Paul-André Durocher, who writes unflinchingly on his blog:  “In a way, what we did with family life is what the Second Vatican Council did for the liturgy and ecumenism:  gave a green light to a style of ministry that is already emerging in the Church, assuring its theological foundations, and inviting the whole Church to do the same.  Of course, those who did not like what Vatican II did for the liturgy and ecumenism must not like what this Synod did for family life….” 
Attached below is the original statement with a little of the context recreated.
Cette approche n'est pas nouvelle: beaucoup d'intervenants pastoraux la pratiquent déjà. Mais c'est la première fois - à ma connaissance - qu'un texte de ce genre vient lui donner son aval. Encore plus, il en donne le fondement biblique et doctrinal, et il invite tous les intervenants de l'Église à la mettre en oeuvre.
Ça, c'est nouveau. Et je m'en réjouis. Dans un certain sens, nous avons fait pour la vie de famille ce qu'a fait le Concile Vatican II pour la liturgie et pour l'oecuménisme: donner un feu vert à une pastorale déjà émergente dans l'Église, lui assurer un socle théologique, et inviter toute l'Église à la faire sienne.
Je ne sais pas si les médias y porteront beaucoup d'attention. Mais pour moi, en tant qu'évêque, et pour beaucoup de responsables de paroisse et de communautés chrétiennes, c'est capital. Et pour cela, je remercie le Pape de nous avoir convié à ce grand travail d'Église. (source)
This, since it comes from the president of the Canadian Bishop's Conference, perhaps is a reflection of the majority of the Canadian Bishops.  At least we can be confident that within certain margins it is a reflection of 54% of the Bishops.

What is certain, as Cardinal Kasper and Archbishop Durocher have indicated, is that the theological principles of the Second Vatican Council are coming to their logical pastoral conclusion.

It could not be any other way.  An organization, no less than a person, can maintain two opposing thoughts in their head indefinitely.  Eventually, they either choose one to reduce the 'cognitive dissonance' or they go insane. The choice is now being made by many and so we are now nearing the end of this crisis.
He will love the one and hate the other, or hate the one and love the other.
"They" have chosen their camp and soon the Lord will make known his decisions.


Courtesy of

Friday, November 21, 2014

SSPX in the news - November 10, 2014


I will admit that I was angered when I read the news that Catholics who attend the SSPX for the sacraments are excommunicated.

The irony was not lost on me, when I know 'Modern' Catholics who regularly attend protestant liturgies with impunity.

Then I was nonplussed when I read the Catholic Culture article.  I've never seen such a beautiful example of 'cognitive dissonance' at work.  Talk about trying to spin straw into gold.

Pray for them because eventually they will either go mad or become rational again. 

In either case they need our compassion.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pat Archbold and Hermeneutics


For decades the SSPX has been persecuted for saying just what Mr. Archbold said in this article.  I wonder if EWTN will pull the article as it steps across the 'Accept All of Vatican II' cultural assumption.

The whole article is worth reading but here's a very telling point

But I think it is fair to say that such hermeneutics are merely a Band-Aid to a self-inflicted wound, a wound of ambiguity.

National Catholic Register - Pat Archbold


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Can the Church Depose an Heretical Pope? - The Remnant


This article was too good to not be added to my series on sedevacantism.

It also is telling that people are seriously concerned about the direction that the Pope is heading.

Frankly, it is consoling to see non-Trads coming to the realization that all is not well.


Courtesy of the Remnant

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Can the Church Depose an Heretical Pope?

Written by  Robert J. Siscoe

Excommunicated by the Second Council of Constantinople, 553

“Indeed the Church has the right to separate herself from an heretical pope according to divine law. Consequently it has the right, by the same divine law, to use all means of themselves necessary for such separation…”
John of St. Thomas

“The Church must render a judgment before the pope loses his office. Private judgment of the laity in this matter does not suffice.”
Robert J. Siscoe

A recent article by Fr. James V. Schall S.J., which was re-posted as “the article of the week” on the popular Traditional Catholic website Rorate Caeli, has caused quite stir in some quarters. In the short article, which is titled On Heretical Popes, Fr. Schall briefly discusses the claims of heresy leveled against the post-Conciliar Popes, especially Pope Francis, and raises the question of whether a pope can fall into heresy, and, if so, how the Church would go about deposing him. The article was written in a very moderate tone, but the issues addressed were evidently too much for the extreme Left and their newly discovered Ultramontanism.
A writer at the ultra-liberal National Catholic Reporter reacted with outrage that Fr. Schall would dare mention such issues during the current Pontificate. He declared Fr. Schall’s article to be “irresponsible and inflammatory”, and suggested the only response to this “danger” is “to seek even harder to embrace Pope Francis and his effort to renew the Church.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sense Making


The media chatter has risen above the normal level of late.  In fact it is hard to pick out the key items that merit my attention as I am still extremely busy.

That said, here's a quick synopsis of signals that have popped up over the noise.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bloggin Pauses


To my readers,

I've been able to keep up a steady stream of articles for the past few months because I was off work.

That changed October 6th.

As a result after this last pre-programmed blog post, I will be posting less frequently.


Thursday, November 6, 2014



That the Church is in the midst of a crisis is, for those not blinded by enthusiasm, obvious.

Understanding the different levels of authority for the documents of the Church is one of the underpinnings of keeping sane and not falling off the knife's edge.

In this academic article Dr. Lamont has, I believe, provided the key to unlocking one of the locks  of this Crisis.  The documents of the Second Vatican Council.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Synod Post-Game Show 5: Apologies for Appearing to Criticize the Pope


There have been a number of apologies made by people who believe that they have given the impression that they were criticizing the Pope.

Michael Voris made his 'apology' here, even though he called it a 'clarification'.  Cardinal Burke issued a clarification as did Dr. Malloy.

Dr. Malloy's 'I Apologize' post is reproduced below - because it is no longer available on his site.
I will note that I do not have Dr. Malloy's permission to post this apology, and I only do so to maintain a copy as an example of a phenomenon.  If he requests that I remove it ... I will do so willingly.

The common thread between Voris and Dr. Malloy is found in the last paragraph:

God has given us Peter. We do not need to run to a guru. Our Peter is Francis. Let us pray for him, as he serves us(1). I apologize for having marred my own reception and anyone else’s reception of this great gift of God to us(2). I thank God for good example of other public theologians doing the same. I repudiate all schism(3). Without Peter, no salvation (Boniface VIII)(4). And I thank God for the marvelous sacrament of Confession, which is valid only if offered by those priests who are in full communion and regular canonical situation with Rome and the particular church(5), whereby my foolishness can be brought back into the charity of the fold.
There are a few problems with this paragraph or at least what I perceive as the thought behind it.

Point by point here are my thoughts:

  1. It is important to remember that the Successor of Peter is the Vicar of Christ - not Christ Himself. As such, if Peter denies Our Lord, we are not to follow his example.
  2. That the Papacy is the Unity of Both Faith and Communion is de fide. However, it remains that the Pope can err when he steps speaks as a private person.  If he deviates from the Truth that then hierarchy has an obligation to speak the truth with clarity.  When they fail in their duty, it falls upon the rounded shoulders of the laity.  Always with respect for the person who holds the office of the Papacy.
  3. If the Pope errs, saying the truth does not constitute schism. If the Pope breaks with the past by setting aside various rules etc - is this not a schismatic act (non canonical) in severing the ties that bind to the traditions of the Church?
  4. See #2
  5. Well this appears to be vastly wrong. 
    1. Even Fr. Z claims that the confessions of the Orthodox (read:schismatic) are valid - heck just look at the Code of Canon Law.  So that undermines the entire thesis.
    2. In the case of the SSPX, in cases where there is ignorance etc - the Church Herself supplies the jurisdiction.  This is without recourse to the concept of a 'state of necessity'. 
    3. There is a difference between the statements that the SSPX executes no legitimate ministry within the Church and the invalidity of the Sacraments that people, in their understanding of a state of necessity, seek from them.
The first and highest law in the Church is the Salvation of Souls.

That ought to count for something.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Synod Post-Game Show 4 - The Aftermath of the Synod / Council As Demonstrated By Statistics


In the aftermath of the 'Synod', I think we see simply the fruits of the 'Council'.

In many ways it has every appearance of being a very similar conflict.  With the key difference that in the Council the conflict was over doctrine, in this 'Synod' or 'mini-Council' was over ... morals.  Of course, you can never separate morals from doctrine as they are intrinsically linked.

While most articles that I've seen focus on the final document( DICI ), for good reason, I'd like to make my own contribution to the discussion by focusing on what the Synod told us about the health of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The seed of this can be found in this post by Rorate.  It contains some very simple results on the voting on two core issues: Communion for the 'Divorced and Remarried' and Civil Gay Unions.  Why is this important?

Because these results are, in essence, an opinion survey.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Staring Contest Between Rome and the SSPX - Guess Who Just Blinked 3


In my last post on this topic, I mentioned that it appeared that the good cop / bad cop game was once again being played.

Now rorate is reporting that another Bishop, this time in Argentina, is 'excommunicating' those who turn to the SSPX for the sacraments.

Synod Post-Game Show 3 - DICI: Rejected But Kept


A quick post for today.

NTP (Note To Pope): Traditionalists don't seek refuge in the letter of the Law but in the Truth.

Here are some inter-related truths:

1. Popes, Bishops and Priests have an obligation to teach the Truths of the Faith.
2. A Valid Marriage lasts until one of the partners dies.
3. To attempt remarriage while the other partner yet lives is to enter into a continual state of concubinage. It they perform the marriage act - it is done outside of wedlock and is motally sinful.
4, See #1
5. To receive Holy Communion in a state of Mortal sin, is sacrilegious and mortally sinful.
6. To officially allow people in a state of mortal sin to receive Holy Communion is itself enabling the priests to become party to their sin - sinning themselves.

As for the rest, remember to pray for the Pope. From both spiritual and organizational points of view, the Church will not emerge from this crisis until the Pope takes the first big step.


Courtesy of

Synod's troubles continue

October 24, 2014 
What is the status of the Synod's scandalous Interim Report? And what is the Catholic media saying about the Synod?
We offer here for our readers two pieces from DICI that deal with the continuing troublesome ripple effect of the Synod on the Family.

Editorial: Rejected but kept

After the scandalous Interim Report dated October 13, the Final Report of the Synod was published on the evening of October 18; it is a compromise among the various tendencies, aimed at relieving tensions and reassuring the timid. In fact, however, this report is only provisionally “final”.
Three paragraphs concerning communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics and welcoming homosexuals did not get the required two-thirds majority, and therefore they were rejected, but—at the order of Pope Francis—they were kept in the text of the report. Rejected by collegiality, but kept by authority. All the bishops are equal, synodally speaking, but some are more equal than others.
In reality, these paragraphs are awaiting their hour. They are not there for purely documentary purposes; they have one year now to ripen. The next Synod, in October 2015, ought to reward their patience. We bet that this wait will not be passive, and that after the overly noisy opponents are set aside, efforts will begin to make what has been sown in the documents spring up in people’s heads. Unless….
Although some intended to have a Synod on the Family-for-Everyone-at-Any-Price, others can, with God’s help, work for a Synod that manifests the Faith everywhere and for everyone. They too have one year to recall loud and clear that what God has joined man (if he is a man of the Church!) cannot put asunder.
Fr. Alain Lorans
Source: DICI—10-23-2014

Press Review: After the Synod, it all begins

The Final Report of the Synod (Relatio Synodi), published on October 18, 2014, draws no conclusion at all; quite the contrary, it presents topics for reflection that the dioceses will now take up, before the Synod in October 2015 reexamines them.
As for the question about Communion for the divorced-and-remarried, Cardinal Walter Kasper is not losing hope. In the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, cited by the weblog of the French Catholic newspaper La Croixon October 20, he confides to the reporter:
The question is still on the table. It will reappear in the documents of the next synod. The discussion about it is now at the level of each country. We will see.
On the previous day, October 19, the French daily newspaper reported this tidbit:
At the beginning of the week, we hoped to be able to go further,’ one cardinal close to Pope Francis commented, and he immediately added, with a lopsided smile, ‘But patience, patience…. we’re getting there.’ In his homily on October 19 for the Beatification of Paul VI, Francis described this ‘journey which, in the Churches throughout the world, is bringing us to the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in October 2015.’ He invited his listeners to let God surprise them. ‘God is not afraid of new things!’ he remarked.”
On October 20, in a report broadcast by Vatican Radio, Romilda Ferrauto stressed that the Final Report
recognizes the presence of valuable elements outside of Christian marriage, provided that these forms are based on a stable, authentic relationship between a man and a woman and oriented toward Christian marriage.”
This is what the October 13 Interim Report had already said:
a new dimension of today’s family pastoral consists of understanding the reality of civil marriage and also of cohabitation, while taking the differences between them into account…. In such unions [i.e., common law marriages] it is possible to see authentic family values or at least the desire for them. Pastoral accompaniment should start from these positive aspects.”
Sebastian Maillard, Rome correspondent for La Croix, in an article entitled “On the Art of Managing a Divided Synod”, points out the preponderant role of the pope, “who has described himself as being ‘un po furbo’ (a little crafty)”:
Although the Final Report shattered the Interim Document, and three paragraphs [from it] on sensitive subjects in the debate were rejected, he [Francis] gained the upper hand in no time—a maneuver that deserves careful study by political scientists…. The Synod was orchestrated by this Jesuit pope to shape this exercise in discernment. From the start, he imagined not one but two synodal assemblies, and also, between one and the other, a real consultation with the lay faithful, which will proceed by way of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015. The Catholic Church is thus put into a state of permanent Synod (sic), the institutional version of a way of always setting out on a journey.”
—And of calling oneself into question, which is also called permanent revolution.
Back from Rome where he was covering the Synod, journalist Jean-Marie Guenois declares in the October 21 issue of Le Figaro:
This Synod launched the discussion. The bishops are now giving the floor to the world so that the debate can continue in the local Churches. But they will have to watch out for manipulations. For example, you are going to see petitions cropping up everywhere. Like the one that German Cardinal Marx—one of the members of the G8 [the group of eight cardinals appointed by Pope Francis for frequent consultation]—took the liberty of bringing to the Synod, declaring, petition in hand, that “all the German bishops” expected reform with regard to the divorced-and-remarried. We should therefore expect a lot of media hype that will put pressure on public opinion. When the second session of the Synod [i.e., the Ordinary Synod in October 2015] takes place, the fruit will be ripe. But the arguments of theologians who base their reasoning on the Tradition of the Church and not on opinion, will not have budged…. Meanwhile several special working commissions will have prepared practical, juridical solutions to advance….
Some mention the risk of ‘schism’. There already are de facto schisms in the Catholic Church, with many priests or lay faithful who do not share the Catholic faith about the Eucharist or about the Virgin Mary, for example, but who call themselves Catholics, whereas they are genuine Protestant Christians! So there might in fact be a silent, invisible schism if the decisions were to go too far. What is certain, on the other hand, is that this Synod is starting a ‘crisis’ in the Church in the ancient sense of this word: it is presenting a choice, a decision that must be made. Once again this pope who is not a theologian but a pastor sees the Church as “a people on the move” which collectively discovers along the road new paths to take. And we have not yet realized, especially in France and in some circles, as I try to explain in my recent book (Jusqu’ou ira Francois [J.-C. Lattes, 2015], How Far Will Francis Go?] the breadth and depth of the change in the papacy between Benedict XVI and Francis. The shock of this Synod will perhaps open the eyes of some. This change of Pontiff is not just a new pope but also a major milestone and a turning point."
The most candid admission comes from the President of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, who writes unflinchingly on his blog:
In a way, what we did with family life is what the Second Vatican Council did for the liturgy and ecumenism: gave a green light to a style of ministry that is already emerging in the Church, assuring its theological foundations, and inviting the whole Church to do the same. Of course, those who did not like what Vatican II did for the liturgy and ecumenism must not like what this Synod did for family life….”
No comment.
It would be better to read or reread The Rhine Flows into the Tiber by Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D. (1967; reprinted TAN Books, 2009) and The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story by Roberto de Mattei (Loreto Publications, 2012).
(Sources: Apic/IMedia/La Croix—DICI no.303 dated October 24, 2014)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tony Palmer (RIP) & the Joint Declaration On The Doctrine of Justification -1999


First off, John Vennari has an excellent post on Tony Palmer's funeral and the issues that it brings to light about the Ecumenism of Convergence that currently holds sway within the Church of Christ.  Pope Pius XI was definitely prophetic.  (Requiem for Tony Palmer)

Second, the untimely death of Tony Palmer (RIP) prompted me to review his introduction to the Ark Community.

Suffice to say, there are numerous problems with this perception of the Protestant Schism / Heresy.
I was going to write a lengthy article about the problem of 'false ecumenism', of which Mr. Palmer (RIP) was a manifestation.

However, events have carried that into the past as the Pope has now, in a recent meeting with the Tony Palmer's group, highlighted the key problem:

I am grateful to Archbishop Robert Wise and to Emiliana, who have chosen to carry the torch, this dream which was Tony's: this dream of being able to walk in communion. We are sinning against Christ's will, because we continue to focus on our differences; our shared baptism is more important than our differences. We all believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Courtesy Louie Verrecchio

Really there isn't much more to say, as the problem is embedded in this short statement by the Pope. The main problem is that the Pope appears to believe that we are 'sinning' by focusing on the Dogmas that separate the Protestants from the Catholics.

Obviously, this is wrong.

I wonder how far the Holy Ghost will allow the Pope to wander in his opinions about different dogmas.

As always,


Catholic Culture (Dr. Jeff Mirus) is Just Plain Confusing


In their attempts to spin the outputs of the Synod, some 'Neo-Con' commentators heads are now facing backwards.

Dr. Jeff Mirus is one such commentator.  Who creates a straw-man argument about why the Traditionalists oppose allowing people living in concubinage to receive Holy Communion.

The Truth is hard, but here is goes:

  1. People living in state of concubinage, whether civilly sanctioned or not, are objectively living in a state of mortal sin.
  2. To receive Holy Communion knowingly in the state of mortal sin is to commit the sin of sacrilege.
  3. If the Church were to 'officially' allow them to receive Holy Communion, then is it enabling the performance of these acts of sacrilege and furthering the guilt of the people committing these sins of sacrilege.
The logic is fairly simple ... 

Is the Chair of St. Peter Vacant -


Many years ago Fr. Boulet wrote an article concerning sedavacantism.

It's is valuable for its rationale as well as for the words of Archbishop Lefevbre that it contains.

In addition to the article, I came across this:  SSPX: Little Catechism On Sedevacantism

Courtesy of