Disappointment With Viganò

Here and here, I spoke about the statements of Novus Ordo Archbishop Viganò. These were cerebral and succinct condemnations of the Second Vatican Council and of the effluent from that dreadful meeting.

In a recent statement to the Remnant, however, which is a recognize-and resist publication, the Archbishop took the position of what I would call recognize and ignore. He says, essentially, that Vatican II can just be ignored. Its false teachings do not matter since there were no definitions of dogma, and therefore are fallible statements.

This idea, that the only things which we are bound to believe are solemnly defined doctrines, defined either by the pope alone (ex cathedra) or by a general council in union with the pope, is a very serious error. For it neglects the much more common way of teaching, which is by universal ordinary magisterium (UOM). Doctrines which are taught by UOM are just as much the object of divine faith as solemnly defined dogmas, and therefore just as infallible. To doubt or deny them would be heresy.

A review of universal ordinary magisterium. The Vatican Council of 1870 taught this: “By divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the word of God, either written or handed down, and which are proposed by the Church either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal magisterium, to be believed as divinely revealed.”

Let us examine the statement. The Church gives various conditions for the requirement that something be believed by divine and Catholic faith. (1) The first is that what is taught be found either in Sacred Scripture or Tradition, at least implicitly; (2) the second is that the doctrine be proposed either by a solemn pronouncement or by the universal and ordinary magisterium; (3) the third is that the Church propose it as something to be believed as divinely revealed.

What is divine and Catholic faith? Divine faith is a supernatural assent to whatever God reveals, whether it is contained in Sacred Scripture or Tradition. Therefore everything in Sacred Scripture is the object of divine faith. For example, Saint Paul, in II Timothy IV: 13 says: “The cloak that I left at Troas, with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, especially the parchments.” Because Sacred Scripture is the inspired word of God, we believe with divine faith that St. Paul did indeed leave his cloak at Troas with Carpus.

The Church, however, does not explicitly propose for belief, in her magisterium, everything that is in divine revelation, but only certain things. Those things which she proposes for belief, taken from revelation, are the object of divine and Catholic faith. This means that the universal Church (i.e., “Catholic” meaning universal) must make public profession of the proposed doctrines, under pain of the crime of heresy.

The Church may do this proposition of doctrine in two ways: (1) by solemn pronouncement; (2) by the universal ordinary magisterium.

By far the more common way in which the Church teaches is by the UOM. Indeed, it is the ordinary way.

What is the UOM? It is the doctrine which is taught by the pope and at least the majority of bishops, dispersed throughout the world, which is contained in revelation, at least implicitly, and which is proposed for belief as being divinely revealed.

Pope Pius XI

Notice I say doctrine. People commonly make the mistake of asking, “Is the encyclical infallible?” A document is not infallible, but a doctrine is infallible. The pope and the bishops may choose any kind of organ of communication, even verbal, such as sermons or allocutions. In these forms of communication there is usually a whole array of doctrines, ranging from the lowest level, what is merely the pope’s opinions [1], to the highest level, which is solemn magisterium. In the encyclical Casti Connubii Pius XI spoke mostly about exhortations to virtue in married life. But when it came to artificial birth control, he made a solemn statement, condemning the practice. So it is necessary to look at the doctrine, and how it is proposed, to determine whether or not it is the object of divine and Catholic faith. The document, or the organ of presentation in general, has no bearing.

How is the universal ordinary magisterium exercised? It happens in various ways: in the creeds in common use in the Catholic Church, as well as other professions of Faith, in sermons given by the pope and diocesan bishops; by doctrines contained in approved catechisms; by the common teaching of approved theologians; by approved liturgical feasts and practices; by devotions approved by local bishops.

There could be other ways. The important elements are that (1) the pope teaches it; (2) the majority of bishops teach it. For example, there is no solemn pronouncement that Guardian Angels exist. Yet, by the universal celebration of the feast, it is part of the universal ordinary magisterium. The same was true of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary before its solemn definition in 1950. Nearly all of the Church’s moral teaching is by means of the UOM.

A sign of UOM is that the faithful throughout the world believe it, and have always believed it. The reason why they believe it is that it has been taught to them universally by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The reason why they have always believed it is that the Church never contradicts herself, but always teaches the same thing.

Does Vatican II contain UOM? Absolutely it does. While most of it is just nonsensical gobbledygook, endless and boring verbiage, and juxtaposed antithetical statements, there are certain things in it which fulfill the conditions.

Most glaring is religious liberty. It fulfills, first of all, the condition that it is about morals, for a right concerns morals. Secondly, the text says: “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.” [emphasis added] The word declares is indicative of an authoritative statement. Third, it cites divine revelation: “The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.” [emphasis added] The document is terminated by these words: “Each and every thing which in this Declaration has been declared has pleased the Fathers of the Sacred Council, and We, by the apostolic power given to Us by Christ, approve, decree, and establish those things in the Holy Ghost, together with the venerable Fathers, and We decree and order that those things which have been established in a synodal way be promulgated for God’s glory.” It is signed by Paul VI.

All of the bishops of the world promulgated this decree. It fulfills all of the conditions of UOM. It is therefore of divine and Catholic faith and is infallible — according to the rules. In fact it is a blasphemous heresy.

To understand what I just said, merely substitute the word “abortion” for “religious liberty,” and you will grasp it right away.

The SSPX attempts to whitewash the doctrine of religious liberty, however. Although Archbishop Lefebvre considered it heretical, the SSPX interprets it to mean that the Church should not force conversions. Of course the Church teaches this, but this is clearly not the sense of the document.

Proof is that in a few paragraphs down, the Council gives the right to false religions to propagate themselves and found their own communities: “Provided the just demands of public order are observed, religious communities rightfully claim freedom in order that they may govern themselves according to their own norms, honor the Supreme Being in public worship, assist their members in the practice of the religious life, strengthen them by instruction, and promote institutions in which they may join together for the purpose of ordering their own lives in accordance with their religious principles.”

The worship of the Golden Calf

The Council grants people, in other words, the right to blaspheme God by a false religion. This is utterly contrary to Sacred Scripture, as we see God’s anger at the Hebrews’ adoration of the Golden Calf. At God’s command, 23,000 were put to the sword for their idolatry. (Exodus 32) According to Vatican II, they should have had the right to honor the Supreme Being — the Calf — in public worship, instruct their people in the worship of the Calf, train clergy for Golden Calf worship, and establish religious orders and institutions for the cult of the Golden Calf .

There are many other cases in the Old Testament of God’s anger with false religions. In the New Testament, Our Lord predicted that Jerusalem would be destroyed because it knew not the time of its visitation, that is, the visitation of the Son of God. Approximately one million perished in 70 A.D. for infidelity to the true God and the true Son of God. The punishment for infidelity to the true religion was far more severe in the New Testament than in the Old.

Vatican II cannot be ignored. I have given only one example of why Vatican II is universal ordinary magisterium, and why it cannot be “ignored.” To recognize Vatican II as a true Council promulgated by a true pope is to destroy the Catholic Church’s seamless garment of consistency in teaching infallible truth throughout the ages.

Ignoring Vatican II demolishes the Roman Catholic Church altogether, and makes all of the arguments in defense of her divine origin and her perpetual divine assistance and protection completely worthless, false, null, and void.

The only way out of Vatican II is the painful declaration that it was the work of Modernist infiltrators in the hierarchy, starting with John XXIII and continuing up to and including Francis, and that all of the acts of these so-called pontiffs are null.

[1] Pius XII in his Christmas message of 1956, for example, expressed the desire that the U.N. be given more authority and strengthened [!] Obviously this is only his opinion, and not UOM.