Monday, January 22, 2018

The Source Of The Problem


 In the more than four years that I have been regularly posting on this blog each week, I have communicated with all kinds of ersatz "Traditionalists." While the large majority of my readers are good people trying to be loyal to the Church in this age of near universal apostasy, there nevertheless remain those that exemplify what was meant by the prophet Zechariah when he wrote, "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered..." In a time of prolonged sedevacantism, people go far astray without a true pope. I have thought quite a bit about the unusual groups that have emerged posing as faithful Traditionalist Catholics in the wake of Vatican II. I have identified the basic groups and what I believe is the underlying source of the problem. Despite their claims that they are the true remnant, most wind up placing themselves outside the One True Church. First, the groups:


  • Feeneyites: Those who deny Baptism of Blood (BOB) and Baptism of Desire (BOD), the most infamous of whom are the phony "Benedictine" brothers, Fred and Bobby Dimond of New York's Most Holy Family "Monastery." 
  • Vacancy Pushers: This is the term I have coined for those who not only reject the "papacy" of Roncalli (John XXIII)  up to Bergoglio (Francis), but "push back the date of the vacancy" by denying the authenticity of pre-Vatican II popes. They accomplish this by digging up some obscure quote from an encyclical or some other papal document of a prior pope, twist it out of context, and declare him an "antipope." There are three main groups; those who, like Michael Bizzaro, declare Pope St. Pius X (d. 1914) as the last pope; those who recognize Pope Pius IX (d. 1878) as the last pope; and the followers of cult leader Richard Ibranyi of New Mexico, who have the last pope as being Pope Honorius II (d. 1130 AD!).
  • Recognize and Resistors: Those who recognize all Vatican II "popes" yet feel free to decide when, how, and if they will obey them. (Groups like the Society of St. Pius X [SSPX] and Bp. Williamson's St. Marcel Initiative, and the notorious Bergoglio-defenders,Robert Siscoe and John Salza). 
  • Apparitionists: People who exalt private revelations and apparitions whether approved by the Church (such as Our Lady of Fatima) or not (such as Our Lady of the Roses) over the teaching of the Church. They obsess over the alleged "true meanings" of messages (as if salvation depended on them), or even accept them to the exclusion of authentic Church doctrines in some area(s). The late "Fr." Gruner falls squarely in this category. 
  • Home Aloners: Like an ecclesiastical version of the 1990 movie, these poor souls think that you cannot go to any Traditionalist priest, but must remain "home alone" without the Mass or sacraments because no one (according to them) has been properly "sent" by the Church. As a consequence, Traditionalist clergy allegedly have no authority to offer Mass and administer the sacraments. 
  • Conclavists: The men and women who believe that, like in the case of David Bawden ("Pope" Michael), you can run a "conclave" with your mommy, daddy, two nice neighbors, and a self-anointed female "theologian" as "electors" on a Kansas farm, thereby producing a "pope." Some Conclavists, like the Palmar de Troya cult, claim "divine intervention," as when Clemente Dominguez said Christ Himself appeared to him in a vision and declared he would become pope upon the death of Montini ("Pope" Paul VI). 
  • Science Deniers: My term for those who think that in order to preserve the faith, they must deny modern science. You must believe that the Earth is exactly 6,000 years old, and/or Earth is the center of the universe. They treat these opinions as "dogma." It is the opposite of some atheists who think that to preserve science you must deny God.   

To make matters more confusing, there are more groups, but these are the vast majority out there. Some people are not easy to pigeon-hole because they can fall into more than one group, such as the former Protestant minister, Gerry Matatics, who used to be both a Feeneyite and a Home Aloner, but is now just Home Alone giving "courses" regarding every subject under the sun on Facebook. You could also be a Science-Denier and a Vacancy Pusher, or an Apparitionist and a Conclavist.

So what's causing these pseudo-Traditionalist groups? All of them either do not understand, or willfully reject, the Magisterium of the Church. As a result, they get things seriously wrong, and most place themselves outside the Church. The purpose of this post will be, therefore, to give a proper exposition of what the Magisterium really is, and what we must believe. I will also answer common objections to the proper role of the Church's Magisterium. In so doing, I will also point out how some groups got it wrong. Nothing that will be written below is mine; I take credit for nothing. It is the teaching of the One True Church Herself. It is my hope that by understanding the teaching authority of the Church, you will never fall into these errors, and maybe this post will give you the ammunition necessary to rescue friends and family that have, unfortunately, fallen victim to them.

The Magisterium

1. What is the Magisterium? According to theologian Parente, it is "the power conferred by Christ upon His Church and strengthened with the charism of infallibility, by which the teaching Church (Ecclesia docens) is constituted as the unique depository and authentic interpreter of divine revelation to be proposed authoritatively to men as the object of faith for their eternal salvation." (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, [1951], pg. 170). Therefore, the Church is divinely appointed to teach all necessary truths of faith to people, free from error, in order that they may attain Heaven. "Magisterium" comes from the Latin magister or "teacher." Christ told His Apostles "Go therefore, teach ye all nations..."(St. Matthew 28:19). 

2. What constitutes the Magisterium? According to theologian Van Noort: "The subject-matter of divine- Catholic faith are all those truths proposed by the Church's Magisterium for our belief as divinely revealed...The principle laid down above is contained almost verbatim in this declaration of the [First] Vatican Council: 'Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal Magisterium, proposes for belief as having been Divinely-revealed.' [Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith]" (See Dogmatic Theology, Newman Press 3:220-221[1960]; words in brackets and emphasis are mine). 

The Magisterium, therefore, is expressed either solemnly or in an ordinary and universal way. This is clear from both Church history and the dogmatic decree of the First Vatican Council (1870).  The former exercise of the Church's teaching authority is called the Solemn or Extraordinary Magisterium and the latter is called the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium ("UOM"). Both are equally infallible

3. The Extraordinary Magisterium. As theologian Van Noort writes, the Extraordinary Magisterium is comprised of: "(a) definitions made by the pope speaking ex cathedra; (b) definitions made by particular councils which have either been ratified by the pope in solemn form, or accepted by the universal Church. The term 'definition' covers creeds and professions of faith which have been edited or solemnly approved by the supreme Magisterium of the Church." (Ibid, pg. 221). However, this is not the usual way the Church teaches us, hence it is called "extraordinary." The purpose of infallible definitions made solemnly is to confirm what has already been taught by the UOM when brought under attack by heretics. For example, the heresiarch Arius was already considered a heretic for denying the Divinity of Christ (taught by the UOM) before the solemn definitions at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  Martin Luther was likewise considered a heretic for denying the Mass was a real Sacrifice, and teaching justification by faith alone, before the condemnations of the Ecumenical Council of Trent. Exactly what, then, is the UOM?

4. The Universal and Ordinary Magisterium Explained. According to theologian Scheeben, "The Criteria, or means of knowing Catholic truth may be easily gathered from the principles...nearly all set forth in the Brief Tuas Libenter, addressed by Pius IX to the Archbishop of Munich." (See A Manual of Catholic Theology 1:89). Pope Pius IX wrote, ""For even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless, it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith." Pope Pius IX, Tuas Libenter (1863),DZ 1683 (Emphasis mine)

Again the Supreme Pontiff writes, "But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid dogmas of the Church, but that
it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure." Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.

 Van Noort explains: "Clearly if a truth is capable of being declared an object of divine-catholic faith through the force of this ordinary and universal teaching, there is required such a proposal is unmistakably definitive........The major signs of such a proposal are these: that the truth be taught throughout the world in popular catechisms, or even more importantly, be taught by the universal and constant agreement of theologians as belonging to faith." (Van Noort, Ibid, pg. 222; Emphasis mine). 

Canon 1323 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law further gives proof of the belief of the Church regarding the UOM and imposes on the faithful the obligation of consent. The eminent canonist Augustine writes, "The universal and ordinary Magisterium consists of the entire episcopate, according to the constitution and order defined by Christ, i.e., all the bishops of the universal Church, dependently on the Roman Pontiff...What the universal and approved practice and discipline proposes as connected with faith and morals must be believed. And what the Holy Fathers and the theologians hold unanimously as a matter of faith and morals, is also de fide." (See A Commentary on Canon Law, pg.327)

Finally, a great summary by theologian Scheeben, "Although the assistance of the Holy Ghost is not directly promised to theologians, nevertheless the assistance promised to the Church requires that He should prevent them as a body from falling into error; otherwise the Faithful who follow them would all be lead astray. The consent of the theologians implies the consent of the Episcopate, according to St. Augustine's dictum, 'Not to resist an error is to approve of it---not to defend a truth is to reject it.'" (Scheeben, Ibid, pg. 83). 

Remember, too, what constitutes an "approved theologian": Clerics of eminent learning, and orthodoxy in doctrine, at least as insofar their writings are used by the faithful and in seminaries, with the knowledge of (and with no opposition from) the hierarchy and the Holy See. (See, e.g,. theologian Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa, IB, [1955]). 

The Two Errors Inherent in the Pseudo-Traditionalist Groups

I) Reject all teaching except infallible pronouncements from popes and Ecumenical Councils. Here, they jettison most Church teaching. They even (ironically) reject the infallible pronouncement of the First Vatican Council that the UOM is infallible! This is akin to ripping out more than half the pages of a book and expecting to get the story correct. It's not happening.

II) Only accept those infallible pronouncements from the popes and Ecumenical Councils according to their private interpretations, and reject the teaching of the approved theologians which is how the Church teaches us through Her Universal and Ordinary Magisterium, as infallibly defined at the Vatican Council (1870).Theology, like law or medicine, is a science. As such, it is handled by professionals trained and overseen by Holy Mother Church. A layman attempting to interpret a dogma is like a non-physician trying to "diagnose himself" on WebMD or a non-lawyer attempting to defend himself in court. Would you want to entrust your possible loss of liberty to a non-lawyer's advice? Would you let a non-surgeon operate on you and risk death? Of course, no rational person would do this, yet some Traditionalists will risk their eternal salvation by trusting in wannabe "Benedictines" with no formal ecclesiastical education and training, or a "pope" who was "elected" by his parents on their Kansas farm.

Objections Answered

  • Theologians are not infallible. Yes, individual theologians can be in error, but not as a corporate body. What kind of teaching authority would that be? It is blasphemous to suggest that Christ's One True Church could allow error to go unchecked for almost two millennium, as in the case of BOD and BOB. The Church would have defected, but this is impossible. St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Thomas Aquinas taught both the absolute necessity of water baptism and BOD/BOB. This would imply that two of the greatest theologians and Doctors of the Church--brilliant men--were contradicting themselves in their own writings if what the Feeneyites teach is true. This smacks of a mental disorder being attributed to two of the greatest saints in Church history. Notice too, the hypocrisy and irrationality of the Dimond brothers who state that these saints made "innocent mistakes" regarding BOD and BOB, yet everyone else who believes it is of bad will and damned to Hell. Consider the countless popes and saintly bishops and priests who scrutinized the works of Aquinas and Liguori for hundreds of years. Their works were especially scrutinized for heresy and error when they were considered for canonization and again when being considered for the title of "Doctor of the Church." Yet not one pope, bishop, or priest caught the "innocent mistake" until an excommunicated Jesuit from Boston came along in the 20th century. Please.
  • We only need to believe infallible teachings of the popes and Ecumenical Councils. The Church has condemned this very idea. Condemned proposition #22 of the Syllabus of Errors, addressed to the whole Church teaches, "22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and writers are absolutely bound is restricted to those matters only which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Church, to be believed by all as dogmas of the faith." Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, 1794, condemns: ''...the Church, governed by the Holy Spirit, could impose a disciplinary law that would be not only useless and more burdensome for the faithful than Christian liberty allows, but also dangerous and harmful."  Pope Gregory XVI in Quo Graviora (1833) states, "The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, all of which truth is taught by the Holy Spirit. Should the Church be able to order, yield to, or permit those things which tend toward the destruction of souls and the disgrace and detriment of the sacrament instituted by Christ?" Pope Pius XII condemns the idea popes need not be given assent in their teachings that are not ex cathedra: "It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in these the popes do not exercise the supreme powers of their Magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent ‘He who heareth you, heareth me.’; and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine." (Humani Generis [1950]).  Hence, not adhereing to this principle, "recognize and resist" folks can claim Bergoglio is pope because he was "not speaking infallibly" when he allowed adulterers to receive the Novus Bogus "communion" or Wojtyla was not infallibly speaking when he wrote Ut Unam Sint. It is impossible for the pope to approve that which is erroneous or evil. You must either accept what they do, or reject their claim to the papacy! 
  •  The information on the UOM is incorrect. No, I cited the infallible teaching of Vatican Council I (1870), and the Code of Canon Law which was promulgated by Pope Benedict XV. The Church is infallible in Her universal disciplinary laws, such as the Code. The approved theologians likewise echo what the Council and the Code teach regarding the UOM. 
  • You reject the popes from John XXIII to Francis, so we can apply the same rule to past popes and reject them. No, you are not "applying the same rule." I reject Vatican II and its so-called "popes" based on the complete irreconcilable ecclesiology taught pre- and post- Vatican II. Everyone realized something was seriously wrong (or at least very different) in the aftermath of Vatican II. No pope or theologian taught that non-Catholic sects are a "means of salvation" as did Vatican II. As a matter of fact, the exact opposite was taught. The errors were notorious and ubiquitous; there for all to see and the rejection of Roncalli to Bergoglio is based on the loss of papal office taught by the theologians. This is not the same as claiming, e.g. Pope Pius IX was the last pope because of some obscure quote pulled out of context written by Pope Leo XIII which allegedly makes him a "heretic." There was no huge movement claiming the Church had changed from Pope Pius IX to Pope Leo XIII, who kept Tradition intact, condemned Freemasonry, and declared Anglican orders invalid. To say otherwise is just plain false. 
  • We must elect our own pope right away to end this confusion. Easier said than done. I agree that we need to work towards such a state of affairs, but that's very different from having your mommy, daddy, and some nice neighbors "elect you to the papacy." It has all the validity that should come with a tinfoil tiara. 
Conclusion
 The Feeneyites, and the other pseudo-Traditionalist groups suffer from what a friend of mine called a "sickness of soul." I agree. The sickness comes from a rejection of the authentic Magisterium. They fall into every imaginable error and, unfortunately, make Traditionalists look strange (at best) and deranged (at worst). Almost all of them (with very few exceptions) are uncharitable boors. I could retire a wealthy man right now if I had a dime for every time they resort to ad hominem attacks calling me (and anyone else who does not agree with every jot and tittle they profess) "liars," "apostates," etc. Then again, when you don't have facts or logic on your side, name-calling is all that's left to do. Please remember how the Church teaches us, and avoid the source of the problem that makes you "Traditionalist Catholic" in name only. 

59 comments:

  1. If sedevacantists truly believe there is no pope, then its the duty of the sede clergy to elect one. That is what the Church does when there is no Pope. It elects a new one. Bawden may be off his rocker, his "conclave" lacks credibility, but he has the shown us the solution. Hold a credible conclave and elect a Catholic Pope.

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    1. I agree but with all the divisions I don’t know if a credible Council is possible yet. I might do a future post on the topic. For now, I will agree with you in principle, but the application might still be years off.

      May God hasten the day!

      —-Introibo

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    2. The problem will always be what constitutes a credible council. "Pope" Michael would claim his election was credible while most would not. When is the point of "credibility" reached? Good luck with finding consensus on that one.

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    3. No doubt it will be incredibly difficult. However, the point of credibility will be reached when the Traditionalist bishops stop infighting and start looking at what the theologians wrote. As long as some bishops are e.g. Doubting orders from Abp. Thuc, they will not try to work together in finding a problem. We don’t need numerical unanimity, but we must be morally unanimous where Bergoglio (or his successor) is generally rejected as pope and V2 is seen as a non-Catholic aberration. A very high hurdle to overcome, but with God, all things are possible.

      “Pope” Michael can claim what he wants—the theologians are clear that what he considers a “conclave” is no such thing (despite his delusion).
      So, Tom I agree it will be very difficult, and maybe Christ will return soon so as to render the issue moot. Only time will tell my friend.


      —-Introibo

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    4. Correction: Will not work together in finding a solution to the problem

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  2. I am 64 yrs old and just found Traditionalism 3 yrs ago. I have had to stumble and work my way thru many of the errors listed above and then some. I recently came across a group that tries to make a dogma out of the “three days of darkness”. Being a woman I have had my share of put downs. I am NOT a feminist. I have been berated for going for pedicures and accused of being “vain” because of it. I have been put down and berated because I worked for years outside the home. I have been accused of not being Catholic because of my lack of children (I had tumors when I was 18 yrs old and had a hysterectomy as a result). I have seen “Traditionalist” groups tell women they can’t wear heels on their shoes above 2 inches. Then their is the judgments over the length of a woman’s dress. The war over women wearing pants, not in Church, but outside of Church. How much jewelry and makeup is too much? I realize that I am about the only woman who posts on this blog, but these are just some of things a woman goes through and has to deal with in “Traditionalism”. I realize there are probably men who think I shouldn’t even posting as I am a woman. “Traditionalist” men, please lighten up on the “Sharia Law”. Rant over!!
    Introibo - If you don’t want to post my “rant”, I will understand.

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    1. Joann,
      I don’t think you’re ranting. You bring up an often neglected point. I’m sorry for the way you’ve been unfairly treated. One of my good friends (a Traditionalist) told me how his wife was a Traditionalist too, until some woman at the Chapel they attended came up to his wife and publicly scolded her because her skirt was “long enough” (it was well below the knees). She went back to the V2 sect.

      Traditionalists can often be their own worst enemy.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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    2. Correction—her skirt WAS NOT “long enough”!

      —-Introibo

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    3. I understand that some of the Traditionalists are reacting to the way the women in the Novus Ordo dress and act and are, therefore, going in the opposite direction. However, “the truth is in the middle”!!

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    4. The behaviors that I listed above are, in my opinion, cultish type behaviors. “By their fruits you shall know them” (love, joy, peace, long suffering, etc), not by how long someone’s dress is, or the height of the heels on their shoes, or how many children they have or don’t have!!

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    5. To be sure Joann, there are pharisees. Just remember that Christ works in spite of them. There was even one bad apple among the Apostles chosen by Christ! He did this to show that the truth of the Church endures despite them, so don’t let those shameful people get to you. My blog welcomes your comments and contributions, as well as those of any/all other ladies who are treated as equals with the men in this endeavor!

      —-Introibo

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  3. This is great. Please what do you have to say concerning those who say that Siri was elected pope in 1958 and was forced to back down. They also say that he made a secret group of cardinals before his death who have elected a new pope who is hidden.

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    1. Please see the two posts I have written on that topic:

      http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2015/02/one-question-siri-cant-answer.html?m=1


      http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2015/02/its-black-and-white-there-is-no-pope-in.html?m=1

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  4. Good article except that you forgot to include yourself in a category - the "real" Sede magisterium.

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    1. I’m not the Magisterium. I’m merely pointing out what it is and is not according to Holy Mother Church. If you didn’t get that from the post you might want to go back and read it again—you missed it the first time.

      —-Introibo

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  5. Introibo, you wrote:

    "Yes, individual theologians can be in error, but not as a corporate body. What kind of teaching authority would that be? It is blasphemous to suggest that Christ's One True Church could allow error to go unchecked for almost two millennium, as in the case of BOD and BOB."

    OK, first of all, where is the magisterial support for the thesis that the theologians as a body constitute an infallible teaching authority, (I mean, beyond the rather self-serving claims of some theologians)? In other words, where does the magisterium expressly state that the theologians as a body are infallible? Until I see that explicit teaching, I'm going to tend to doubt the thesis. For is it not true, for example, that after St. Augustine, virtually all the theologians held that unbaptized infants suffer the pains of fire, and, then, after St. Thomas virtually all the theologians rejected the old Augustinian position held that they suffered no pains of fire? One body of theologians were, therefore, necessarily in error. But how could this be if the theologians were infallible as a body?

    Secondly, while it seems pretty obvious that there's something to the BOB/BOD thesis, it, nonetheless, has never been explicitly defined by the REAL teaching authority of the Church (and why do you think that's the case?); and, therefore, is left open to dispute by those who claim that the thesis is contrary to defined Catholic dogma, which it certainly seems to be, if you go by the plain wording of the dogmatic texts. It's a messy situation, to be sure, but that's the reality of the situation, in my opinion. And we shouldn't be too quick to declare people outside the Church who disagree with us with respect to it.

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    1. George,
      You are an intelligent and charitable man. Even though we disagree, you are open to Church teaching in principle, so I would not consider a man like you outside the Church.

      Please consider that:
      Vatican I Infallibility declared the UOM equally infallible to the UOM.

      The Code of Canon Law falls under the Infallibility of a universal discipline. It was promulgated by Pope Benedict XV and expressly defines the UOM as including the unanimous consent of the theologians.

      However, if you need an express ex cathedra pronouncement, you effectively deny the infallible teaching of Vatican I (ex cathedra) that the UOM is equally infallible.

      I have quoted Pope Pius IX and other Pontiffs who CONDEMNED the idea that we must only submit to ex cathedra decisions. This pretty much settles the matter George.

      As to Limbo, that doctrine was—and remains—-open. There was never unanimous consent either way, and you can still believe that unbaptized children suffer the least pains of Hell.

      You seem to suggest the REAL Magisterium is only those rare ex cathedra pronouncements. I’m glad you see something to BOD and I pray for you. May Christ continue to lead you into the Truth, George.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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    2. Correction: Vatican I declared the UOM equally infallible to the EM(Extraordinary Magisterium)

      ---Introibo

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  6. Oh so that clears everything up. So you are the "true" interpreter of the "real" magisterium. And you differ from all the other sedes you criticize in what way? Wait, I think I know the answer...You are the one who is correct.

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    1. Vatican I Infallibility declared the UOM equally infallible to the UOM.

      The Code of Canon Law falls under the Infallibility of a universal discipline. It was promulgated by Pope Benedict XV and expressly defines the UOM as including the unanimous consent of the theologians.

      However, if you need an express ex cathedra pronouncement, you effectively deny the infallible teaching of Vatican I (ex cathedra) that the UOM is equally infallible.

      I have quoted Pope Pius IX and other Pontiffs who CONDEMNED the idea that we must only submit to ex cathedra decisions. This pretty much settles the matter.

      If you can show me —-specifically—-how and why I’m wrong, please do so. I always follow the evidence where it leads.

      —-Introibo

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  7. It is ridiculous to say that "theologians as a body" are infallible. This is to err by excess and is a misunderstanding of papal teaching on the role of the theologian. Also, it is a disputed question as to whether discipline falls under the scope of infallibility. The fact that you cite it as certainly true shows your own ignorance of what theologians teach ironically. You remind me of a layman trying to defend himself in court.

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    1. Please explain how I misunderstood Pope Pius IX. The great theologians such As Scheeben And Van Noort whose works were scrutinized by the popes pre-Vatican 2 also misunderstood him and were allowed to openly spread their errors in the seminaries throughout the world!

      That universal disciplinary laws are infallible is a necessary corollary of the dogma of the Indefectibility of the Church. Otherwise, the Church could give that which is evil. That is wrong, blasphemous and I’d love for you to cite a theologian who teaches the contrary.
      I won’t be holding my breath.

      Even though I am a lawyer, I wouldn’t want to defend myself and have a fool for a client. It’s better for me to deal with the foolish who make claims they can’t back up right here.

      —-Introibo

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  8. The constant and unanimous teaching of theologians is a SIGN that the doctrine is in fact part of the ordinary and universal magisterium. It is one SIGN among several to help indicate the status of a doctrine. Their consensus is not a condition of infallibility separate from the magisterium, they do not serve as a para-magisterium endowed with divine protection. Theologians are not the proper subject of infallibility they merely point to a doctrine that is part of the infallible ordinary magisterium and hence infallible. The same applies to theological conclusions which are certain truths deduced by theologians. These are not per se infallible, but their authority rests upon the nature of certitude itself with the approbation of the magisterium in various forms through history. Why do you think it is orthodox to insist on expanding infallibility to ridiculous proportions unheard of in the whole history of the Church?

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    1. According to theologian Schultes:

      The unanimous teaching of theologians in matters
      of faith and morals establishes certitude for the proof of a
      dogma.
      A. First Proof: The connection of theologians with the Church.
      1. As men who study theological science, theologians have only a scientific and historical authority. But as servants, organs, and witness of the Church, they possess an authority that is both dogmatic and certain.
      2. Church doctrine on matters of faith and morals possesses
      an authority that is dogmatic and certain. (a) The unanimous teaching of theologians testifies and expresses the doctrine of the Church,
      because the Church accepts the common teaching of theologians as true and as her own when she either tacitly or expressly approves
      it. (b) Theologians as ministers and organs of the Church instruct the faithful in the doctrines of the faith. So, in fact those things
      preached, taught, held and believed are those same things the theologians propose and teach.
      3. And so, because of the theologians’ connection with the Church, their agreement on a doctrine has an authority that is both dogmatic and certain, because otherwise the authority of the
      Church herself would be endangered, because she admitted, fostered or approved the [false] doctrine of theologians.
      4. This proof is confirmed because the dogmatic authority of
      theologians is denied by all those and only those who: (a) Deny or refuse to admit the dogmatic authority of the Church; or (b) At least refuse to consider the connection of theologians with the Church. It is no wonder that all enemies of the Church or Catholic truth are likewise enemies of Catholic theology.

      (See Reginald-Maria SCHULTES OP, De
      Ecclesia Catholica: Praelectiones Apologeticae [Apologetic Lectures on the Catholic
      Church], 2nd. ed., Paris: Lethielleux 1931, pp. 667ff.)

      I guess theologian Schultes just isn't as astute as you, but I'll stick with him and the other learned and holy theologians connected with Holy Mother Church just the same.

      ---Introibo

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  9. Secondly, you imply that universal discipline is the proper object of infallibility and that this infallibility is positive and not merely negative. This is a grievous error. The extent of negative disciplinary infallibility is indeed a matter of free discussion. Theologians generally hold that it is part of the secondary object of the magisterium and purely negative, meaning the Church cannot oblige anyone to obey an evil law. In fact an otherwise prudent and reasonable law can become evil in particular circumstances.

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    1. You are correct that universal disciplinary laws are not primary objects of the Church's infallibility, but that changes nothing as to the logical outcome.

      According to theologian Van Noort, "The Church's infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church...it can never sanction a universal law which would be at odds with faith or morality or would by its very nature conducive to the injury of souls." Hence, when the 1917 Code tells us in Canon 1239, sec 2 that "catechumens who through no fault of their own, die without baptism, are to be treated as baptized." Hence, BOD must be true, or the Church, which allows such catechumens to receive a Requiem Mass, would be going against faith and morals by giving people reason to believe someone has been saved without water baptism.

      The same applies to Canon 1323, and as theologian Scheeben points out in my post, "Although the assistance of the Holy Ghost is not directly promised to theologians, nevertheless the assistance promised to the Church requires that He should prevent them as a body from falling into error; otherwise the Faithful who follow them would all be lead astray. The consent of the theologians implies the consent of the Episcopate, according to St. Augustine's dictum, 'Not to resist an error is to approve of it---not to defend a truth is to reject it.'" (Scheeben, Ibid, pg. 83).

      And theologian Tanquerey teaches that "Bishops spread throughout the world, but with the Roman Pontiff forming one Corporate Body, are infallible when declaring a teaching on faith or morals." (See "Dogmatic Theology" 1:177) The consent of the theologians implies the consent of the bishops which are infallible as a corporate body.

      That a particular law can become noxious because of its circumstances, never makes it evil per se. Some Traditionalist priests use the pre-1955 Rite of Holy Week on this basis, but they are NOT WRONG OR EVIL IN THEMSELVES.

      ---Introibo

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  10. Of course the earth is 6000 years old. How old do you think it is?

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    1. Approximately 4.54 billion years old, plus or minus 50 million years according to most astronomers.

      ---Introibo

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    2. Introibo, all the Fathers of the Church taught that the world was about 6,000 years old; and this they concluded from Scripture, because no science of their age was teaching it. The philosophers of that age were, in fact, teaching that the world was eternal. The teaching of the holy fathers was, therefore, of faith, not science; and they were unanimous in this teaching; and the Council of Trent taught that where the fathers were unanimous in matters of faith they cannot be gainsaid by any Catholic.

      Does any of this matter at all to you?

      And, by the way, just because Rome allowed some wildly liberal opinions to be circulated during the 19th and 20th centuries does not mean those opinions were consistent with Catholic truth. After all, do you think that the Great Apostasy came out of nowhere?

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    3. George,
      What the Fathers meant to communicate was that the universe had a beginning and is not co-eternal with Him as the pagan philosophers held. The Fathers were proven correct by science itself, when the Big Bang Theory declared that everything, including space and time itself, came into existence about 13.7 billion years ago. Everything that begins to exist must have a cause. The universe had a beginning, therefore the universe has a Cause. This Cause must be immaterial (there was no matter), timeless (there was no time), spaceless (there was no space), and an Intelligence of Infinite Power. Sounds like GOD! This was the message of the Fathers not 6,000 years being an actual number that is part of the Integral Catholic Faith.

      Furthermore, how would you explain Pope St. Pius X allowing a non-literal six days of creation to be taught, and Pope Pius XII allowing for evolution of the body to be taught?

      Your last paragraph says you believe in a Magisterium in name only because it cannot really teach us! There is no "liberal" or "conservative" when it comes to being Catholic. You are or you are not Catholic. How did the great popes, especially Pope Pius IX, Leo XIII, and St. Pius X allow these opinions to be circulated to the detriment of the faithful? (Not to mention ALL of the bishops who approved their works to be taught in seminaries). The Great Apostasy came out of the CENSURED theologians who were rehabilitated by Roncalli (JOHN XXIII). Kung, Rahner, even Ratzinger, were all suspect of Modernism and placed on file with the Holy Office to watch them. Not so with the approved theologians. Otherwise, Holy Mother church defected by failing to keep Her children safe from harm. We both know that cannot happen.

      ---Introibo

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    4. Introibo, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the children of Holy Mother Church have NOT, in fact, been kept safe. And if I'm right about that, and surely a prima facie case can be made to support it, then the whole thrust of your argument is predicated on a false premise.

      Now, if I'm willing to keep an open mind about BOB/BOD, then, perhaps, you should be willing to entertain the thesis that the institutional Church had indeed been shirking its duty for many years before the 1958 conclave.

      Regards,
      George

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  11. How long have astronomers believed the universe to be this age? And what was their estimate before they came up with the figure you quoted?

    How did they come up with the previous estimate and how long did they hold that estimate before coming up with the current estimate of 4.54 billion?

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    1. Science is in flux. For example, it was thought that it was impossible for any creature to be an autotroph without light. In the 1970s scientists discovered bacteria that existed miles below the surface of the ocean, where there was no light, and made their own food via chemicals--a process now known as chemosynthesis. Science (properly so-called, not scientism) follows the evidence where it leads.

      The best answer to your query is as follows:
      "Many independent measurements have established that the Earth and the universe are billions of years old. Geologists have found annual layers in ice that are easily counted to multiple tens of thousands of years, and when combined with radio isotope dating, we find hundreds of thousands of years of ice layers. Using the known rate of change in radio-active elements (radiometric dating), some Earth rocks have been shown to be billions of years old, while the oldest solar system rocks are dated at 4.6 billion years. Astronomers use the distance to galaxies and the speed of light to calculate that the light has been traveling for billions of years. The expansion of the universe gives an age for the universe as a whole: 13.7 billion years old." (See e.g., the works of Dr. Roger Penrose, Biologos, to whom I attribute the quote, etc.)

      ---Introibo

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    2. Thank you for your response. The reason I asked is because only two years ago scientists were equally sure that the earth is three times older than the 4.54 billion years you mention:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2016/04/29/how-do-we-know-the-age-of-the-universe/#473d6e356155

      The article states: "The number we get — most precisely from Planck but augmented from the other sources like supernova measurements, the HST key project and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey — is that the Universe is 13.81 billion years old, with an uncertainty of just 120 million years. This means we’re confident in the age of the Universe to 99.1% accuracy, which is an amazing feat!"

      It states furthermore that the number is between 13 and 15 billion years, and "we've determined that with extreme certainty."

      I just wanted to know because it seems a little weird that something could be 4.54 billion years old today and just two years ago be known with "extreme certainty" to be three times that old, and that this second figure is known to "99.1% accuracy", as the article states.

      I don't believe Catholics sin against the Faith by believing that the universe is millions of years old, so I don't think I would be included in the group you described as "Science Deniers", but seriously, ... I've been a fan of this blog for a long time, and I think you are an intelligent and serious man, and indeed a zealous Catholic. This made it all the more shocking to see the last group in your list. Even if scientific "theories" on the age of the universe were not in the pathetic condition I just outlined, it is still disheartening on a Catholic blog to see people who believe in a Catholic cosmology to be listed alongside schismatics, Feeneyites, apparition fanatics, and other wretched and detestable people.

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    3. My Friend,
      The age of the UNIVERSE is what that article is discussing, and I wholeheartedly agree. The universe (not Earth) is about 13.7-13.8 Billion years old.

      You are correct that you would not be in the group labeled Science Deniers because you do not seek to impose your view by declaring any who disagree as non-Catholics or sinners. (I do not impose my view either for it is not some “dogma”).

      I do however, see your point that the error is in no way as bad as the others listed. I agree, but my point was not that all groups are equally detestable, but they don’t understand the UOM, the source of the problem. You DO accept the UOM and don’t enforce scientific ideas as “dogma.” I therefore consider you a good and zealous Traditionalist Catholic who’s views in an area not connected to the Integral Faith simply disagree.

      I hope this helps clarify what I wrote, and it was not my intention to disturb the conscience or offend the moral sense of good Traditionalist Catholics, like you.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

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  12. The problem with these discussions is infallibility. Infallibility is just a myth as far as I can determine. Everything after V2 makes a lot more sense when we just admit it. I think the E. Orthodox Church probably has it right. I never thought I'd come around to that but that makes a lot more sense then listening to you guys fight over which magisterial teaching had it right.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Infallibility would be a topic for another post. Suffice it to say that you have unwittingly become another Victim of Vatican II. Everything after V2 makes more sense? You mean the belief that one religion is as good as another? Moral relativism? The Eastern Schismatics fell for this a very long time ago. They belong to the World Council of Churches and work towards the One World Religion of Modernism--of which the V2 sect is at the forefront. The fact that people disagree over something, doesn't make that something insignificant, nor does it prove there is no objectively true answer. Next, you'll be saying, "I'd rather adopt a position of agnosticism rather than listen to which religion is correct or whether God exists." Modernism leads to agnosticism in belief and morals--and ultimately atheism. I'll be praying for you my friend.

      ---Introibo

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    2. Vatican II and what happened afterwards makes a lot more sense if infallibility is a false doctrine. Well to me it does. It is only when you try and uphold infallibility in any of its defined modes that all the contradictions surface. I am just saying that Eastern Orthodox never accepted papal infallibility and neither did a lot of Catholics for 19 centuries. The more I read on this issue it seems that infallibility may not be true and if that is true than it would explain a lot. Thanks for praying for me and I will pray for you.

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  13. I've been reading this blog every week for awhile now and greatly appreciate it. Just wanted JoAnn and intoibo know that there are other women readers.
    And I have to ask, who is that poor man in the photo?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Great to hear from you Barbara! The man in the photo is Richard Ibranyi, who leads the cult in New Mexico claiming that Pope Honorius II was the last pope who died in 1130 A.D.! He began as a Feeneyite (and still is one) associated with the Dimond brothers.

      God Bless you Barbara!

      ---Introibo

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    2. I'm not sure if Ibranyi is a feeneyite. That seems to be the one radical opinion he's not sure about.

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    3. Hunter,
      He has seemingly held contradictory opinions as he grows more bizarre by the day. The last I read on his website, he seemed to hold the Feeneyite opinion in its original form—-BOD and BOB can justify you but not save you.

      —-Introibo

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  14. Great Article as usual. Does Richard Ibranyi truly have followers “in real life?” He seems to be so outlandish and deluded in his beliefs that I find it hard to believe that he has actual adherents.

    Jesus and Mary
    David

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    1. David,
      Believe it or not, Ibranyi is alleged to have about two dozen followers in his New Mexico cult. His beliefs are indeed outlandish (to say the least). Not only does he place the last pope in 1130 A.D., he claims it’s a mortal sin for a married couple trying to conceive a child to enjoy marital relations(!)

      This is where V2 has taken us.

      God Bless,
      —-Introibo

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    2. I know one of his followers. He doesn't accept some of his views but he still says ridiculous things like "the heretic Thomas Aquinas"

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    3. Yes, which would push the vacancy back to the 13th century (at the least). The source of the problem is the same—as I wrote above!

      God Bless

      —-Introibo

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  15. He’s falling into a form of Manichaeism?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a host of other Heresies/problems.

      —-Introibo

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  16. Richard has a video on YouTube where he goes off and calls Fr.Ratzinger a Faggot.
    I am sorry but I literally LoL upon first seeing this video.
    Still his talks always entail a few moments of unhinged ranting.
    He needs to see a sound Priest (Fr.Skierka) and chill on the self appointed prophetic role.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I’m not a psychologist, Mr. Ibranyi seems to have serious psychological issues. Did his heretical views lead him to this point? I think so. He was a Feeneyite in his early days but did not seem completely unhinged as he does today.

      —-Introibo

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    2. It's a shame because Richard has so much potential to be a powerful articulate voice for Traditional Catholicism.
      So many individual people to pray for,including myself!
      Hopefully he will move the vacancy up to 1951 or 1958 and join the rest of us.

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  17. Svaka sloboda, mišljenja, govora, činjenja, koja je puki egoizam, jer traži zadovoljenje samo svojih interesa i želja, kratko rečeno, koja hoće svoje želje, hoće sebe, i tako se svodi na puku egologiju i puki egocentrizam, u krajnjoj liniji vodi obožavanju samoga sebe, svoga tijela, svoga mišljenja, svoga izgleda, pretvaranju samoga sebe u lažno božanstvo, tj. u idola, te takva sloboda vodi razaranju svega oko sebe i samorazaranju vlastitoga bića.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have posted this comment which is in Croatian after checking that there was nothing inappropriate. However, I’m not certain of exactly what was meant since I don’t know Croatian and the idioms of that language. I welcome my readers from all countries to comment, but please try to translate it to English first.

      —-Introibo

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  18. Good article! Thank you for writing it.

    These posts also address this problem in an interesting way:

    Feeneyism, Traditionalism, & the Ordinary Magisterium
    http://tradcath.proboards.com/thread/1107/feeneyism-traditionalism-ordinary-magisterium

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  19. Hello. The article is great. Thank you. Joann, you are not alone. There is still an element of Puritanism in Americans in general, and it makes me very angry when people have the courage to leave the Novus Ordo, they are met with with these fanatics about dress lengths etc. For me, those exteriors are the cherry on top, and modesty comes naturally with a true conversion of heart. I no longer wear pants or jeans, but I think older ladies should be able to wear women’s pants. Not all pants are immodest. I have a Catholic friend who is older with severe varicose veins, she wears nice big pants with long jackets over to her thigh. At one time, showing the ankle was inmodest, then the knee. If we follow the adage that clothes are for concealing the body and not for revealing the body, we should be ok. (By the way, there are certain skirts that do not leave anything for the imagination and so you see, you can wear a skirt, even below the knee and still be inmodest). This was a very good article, because much like the pants issue, some will hear NFP and be off on a rant. Maybe it is just me, but I have observed that chapels never grow, they just subdivide like cells. I think these rules are imposed purposely to discourage people. I do believe there are a few Enemies in tradyland who then train new priests to be excessive. After all, if the Enemy went to such trouble to infiltrate Holy Mother Church, would they really not try to discourage those in tradyland? I have seen this over and over. We need to use our good Catholic sense and our natural common Sense given to us by God. Our Lord Jesus Christ said repeatedly the evil comes from within, so I encourage everyone to persevere when faced with these Pharisees who by the way, never get around to telling us how to save our souls, they just rant on about Vatican 2 which we All know about already!

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    1. Amen!
      Vatican 2 was over 50 yrs ago!
      We need to hear about something new,I agree.

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    2. Sensus Fidelium is a YouTube channel with unique, interesting,insightful & original Catholic sermons.
      Most sermons are all about the problems tribulations and abominations of the 21st century,not Vatican 2.
      Now,it's mainly the voice of 1 FSSP (Novus Ordo Indult) presbyter named
      CHAD RIPPERGER.
      Yes,it's
      "Traditional Novus Ordo" so it's not true Catholicism yet his sermons are close.
      Personally,I hold the sedevacantist opinion & attend a traditional chapel offering pre-1950 rubrics and Mass.
      This channel has given me Hours of listening and learning.

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