The Rome Conference

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On April 7th a conference took place in Rome. The title of the conference was: “Catholic Church, where are you going?” The speakers were the usual do-nothing and hand-wringing Novus Ordo conservatives, such as the two remaining signers of the Dubia (the list of questions put to Bergoglio about the scandalous and heretical document Amoris Lætitia), that is, Novus Ordo Cardinals Burke and Brandmuller. Also speaking was Novus Ordo Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who has made the Novus Ordo conservative rounds nearly everywhere. There were others. About four hundred persons attended.

You would think that, in the wake of Bergoglio’s public denial of hell, the speakers would have said: “The sedevacantists are right. Bergoglio is a heretic. Vatican II has all but destroyed Catholicism in the world.” Instead, the theme seemed to be one of why there is confusion in the Church. Confusion? The only ones that are confused are the Novus Ordo conservatives, since they choose to be confused. For the Modernists are not confused; they know what they are doing. The sedevacantists are not confused; we know what the problem is and how to solve it. It is these conservatives who want to solve this problem in the Church without becoming sedevacantists. This is true even though sedevacantism has overpowering support on the part of Sacred Theology, holy Doctors of the Church, and eminent theologians. Beyond that, and more importantly, the vacancy of the Roman See is a conclusion which is demanded by the indefectibility of the Church, which pertains to faith. It is the faith itself which draws the conclusion that the Vatican II “popes” cannot be true popes, since the faith requires us to believe that the Church’s authority cannot, on a universal level, promulgate false teachings, evil disciplines, and false liturgical practices.

We are now fifty-two years since the close of Vatican II in 1965, and these people are asking where the Church is going? I remember attending lectures at Fordham University in the late 1960’s where they were asking the same question.

Bergoglio says there is no hell — again

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About a month ago, just before Easter, Bergoglio gave an interview to Eugenio Scalfari, the 93-year-old journalist, an atheist, and friend of Bergoglio. He granted an interview to Scalfari back in 2015, in which he denied the existence of hell, saying that really evil people do not go to hell after death, but are merely annihilated, that is, cease to exist.

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A frequently asked question

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People ask me from time to time whether it is permissible to go to confession to a validly ordained Novus Ordo priest.

There are some traditionalist priests, although sedevacantists, who give an affirmative answer to this question. They allow it in case of necessity. They argue that since the Novus Ordo priest is not excommunicated, and does not belong to a declared non- Catholic sect, Canon Law admits that he could be approached for sacraments. Continue reading

A good question

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Recently in Church History class we were discussing the heretic Nestorius, the Archbishop of Constantinople who, in 428, pronounced his heresy that Mary was not the Mother of God because the two natures in Christ, divine and human, were only connected in an accidental manner.

Already in 428, the clergy of Constantinople broke communion with him, that is, they did not recognize him as a Catholic archbishop. Similarly, as the people were seeking the traditional preaching of the Faith, they publicly cried out: “An Emperor we have, but no bishop.” It was not until 431, however, at the Council of Ephesus, that he was officially condemned. At that council, up until the moment of his condemnation, he was addressed as “Your Reverence” and given other formalities of honor. (Yet they did not permit him to sit among the bishops, but in a special place as an accused culprit).

So a seminarian asks the question: If Bergoglio is not yet officially condemned, then why do we not give him the title of “Your Holiness?” There are essentially three answers to this question: (1) people would vomit on calling him “Your Holiness;” (2) one must always distinguish between the world of reality and the world of legality; (3) the normal processes of accusation and condemnation are not available to us. I will not address the first reason, since it is obvious to all. I will proceed to the second.

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For those who think that they have heard it all

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The Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Argentinean Novus Ordo Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, declared that “at this moment, the Chinese are the ones implementing Catholic social teaching best.”

He said that the Chinese “look for the common good and subordinate other things to the general welfare.” He said, “the central Chinese value is work, work, work. There’s no other way, basically it’s what Saint Paul said: whoever does not work should not eat.” (Why Sorondo quotes St. Paul in this way I do not know. Saint Paul does not sound like a socialist or a promoter of the welfare state).

The next day, a Novus Ordo expert on China, a Father Cervellera, blasted Sorondo for his comments. He pointed out that people are arrested for practicing any religion. He said that since February 6th, all the unofficial churches have been closed. This would include the non-approved churches where Catholics have gone in order to avoid the government-controlled “Catholic Church” established by the Chinese communists since the time of the revolution. He said that local authorities now forbid minors under the age of 18 from entering churches, even official ones. He also pointed out that although China signed the Paris Climate Accord, nonetheless, according to Cervellera, China “has the most devastated and poisoned environment in the world.”

Cervellera concludes: “Idolizing China is an ideological affirmation that makes the Church a laughing-stock and hurts the world.”

To these comments we should add the following: (1) China is an officially atheistic country; (2) China is a communist country, communism having been condemned by Pope Pius XI as intrinsically evil; (3) China has had a one-child policy for decades, only recently permitting two; (4) China extols Mao Tse Tung as the founder of its present system, someone who murdered at least thirty million people. (5) China permits abortion on demand, as well as contraception on demand.

What Sorondo should have said was: “at this moment, the Chinese are the ones implementing Novus Ordo socialist teaching best.” In this he would be correct. The Novus Ordo is concerned only about this world, and the “betterment” of society through communism. Bergoglio’s speeches and writings are loaded with this sentiment.

Imperfect Catholicism?

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Not too long ago I was having a discussion, lively as usual, with a Novus Ordo conservative priest. In the discussions, I always press for an answer to the question: Is the Vatican II religion Roman Catholicism? Is it a homogeneous development of Catholicism, with nothing substantially different? Or is it a substantial rupture with the past? For everything we do and they do rests upon the answer to this question. For we would be wrong to oppose the reforms of Vatican II, if they are indeed a continuation of Catholicism. Conversely they would be wrong to accept them, if indeed they constitute rupture.

Well, I finally got an answer: “It is Catholicism, but imperfect Catholicism.” I never heard it put this way, but it di make me understand much better the position of the Novus Ordo conservative.

For I never understood how so many of them applaud — very discreetly — what we are saying and doing, but at the same time remain in the Novus Ordo.

Can Catholicism be imperfect? First we must define imperfect. There are three senses of imperfect: (1) to be incomplete; (2) to have a defect; (3) to be less perfect than something more perfect. A house under construction is imperfect in the first sense. A house with a leaky roof is imperfect in the second sense. A one thousand square foot home in good condition is less perfect, as a house, than a ten thousand square foot home. But these differ only accidentally, since both houses do the job of a house.

Catholicism cannot be imperfect in either of the first two senses. It cannot be incomplete, for this would mean that Our Lord failed to provide it with its necessary structure an elements.

Nor can it have any substantial defect. The substance of any religion consists in (1) its doctrines, both dogmatic and moral; (2) its laws and disciplines; (3) its worship and liturgical rites. Because the Catholic Church is assisted by the Holy Ghost, and is therefore indefectible, it cannot be defective in any of these areas.

It is to say that it cannot promulgate false doctrines. This means that anything which the Catholic Church universally promulgates as doctrine, contained in Revelation and to be believed as such, cannot be false. The Catholic Church is also infallible in condemning errors which are contrary to its teaching. Even when the Church is engaged in non-infallible teaching, called authentic magisterium, although these teachings could contain error, the error could never be pernicious. This is to say that the Church could never teach something in its authentic magisterium which would be sinful to accept, or a condemned doctrine, or anything contrary to faith or morals. This authentic magisterium is typically found in encyclicals and allocutions of popes, where, in most cases, they do not intend to use their full authority to bind the faithful in matters of faith, but nonetheless do teach authoritatively, and not merely as private theologians. Encyclicals and allocutions, however, can contain infallible teaching. The level of authority in all cases is determined by the language which the pope uses.

Indefectibility also ensures that the Church cannot promulgate sinful practices in its laws and disciplines. While laws and disciplines are always changeable, and while some laws may be more prudent than others, the Church could never make laws by which you would be required to accept or do something sinful.

Indefectibility also protects the Church’s worship, rites, and ceremonies. The Church could never change in the Mass or sacraments something which is of divine origin. What is completely under the Church’s control, however, are the liturgical ceremonies which surround the essential rites of the Mass and the sacraments. Here the Church is free to compose them and alter them as it will, but cannot prescribe a ceremony which does not conform to the doctrine of the Mass or the sacraments. In other words, the Church cannot compose a liturgy which would corrupt the faith or morals
of those who attend it.

More and less perfect. The only way in which the Church could be “imperfect” is in the third sense, that is, more or less perfect. A computer screen, for example, can be more o less perfect in regard to the definition of the image. One might be more defined than the other, but each serves its essential purpose of projecting images truthfully.

So the Church defines more and more clearly her never-changing dogmas by means of new dogmatic formulas. For example, the dogma of the Incarnation was far more defined after the many early general councils which declared this dogma against heresies. It does not mean, however, that the Church’s teaching before these definitions was faulty, but merely less defined.

Likewise the Church, as the centuries progressed, refined both her liturgical rites and her disciplines. It does not mean that her previous rites or disciplines were tainted or evil in any way, just less perfect than what came after them.

Is Vatican II merely imperfect Catholicism? I say no, because of the following reasons:

• Vatican II promulgated condemned and heretical doctrines: (1) Religious liberty, solemnly condemned by Pope Pius IX, (2) the new ecclesiology, which does not absolutely and exclusively identify the Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church; (3) that non-Catholic religions are means of salvation, which is a heresy; (4) that the college of bishops has supreme authority over the whole Church.

• The post-conciliar magisterium contains these errors in more explicit terms.

• The New Mass has been stripped of Catholic doctrines, and portrays a false notion of the Mass, the priesthood, and the Holy Eucharist.

• The 1983 Code of Canon Law sanctions sinful practices, such as giving Holy Communion to non-Catholics.

• The sinful practice of giving Holy Communion to adulterers, sanctioned officially by Bergoglio.

These are merely some of the reasons why the new religion must be termed a substantial alteration of the Catholic Faith. The severe decline in the faith of the clergy and people, the decline in religious vocations, the lack of unity of faith through the failure to impose Catholic doctrine, and the severe decline in the morals of the clergy are further signs of  substantial change.

Where are the four marks of the Church to be found in the new religion?