In August of 1998, then President Bill Clinton was asked whether the statement by his lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, to Judge Susan Webber Wright that, "there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton [and Monica Lewinsky]" was truthful, Bill Clinton replied, "It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is." Clinton explained that if "is" meant "never has been" that is one thing; but, if "is" meant "there is none currently" then the statement by Mr. Bennett was the truth. (See Joseph Nye Welch, Esq. at quora.com/What-did-Bill-Clinton-mean-when-he-said-it-depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is-is). In law school we were told by one of my professors, "Don't lie. But if you do, be a real smart liar." Thankfully, most of us don't follow that adage, unlike Mr. Clinton. Playing fast and loose with the meaning of words to make things appear one way (while really meaning something else), was his specialty. Like the Modernists, he was a consummate liar.
In the comments section of last week's post, an apologist for the Vatican II sect called sedevacantism "heresy," and gave a list of four V2 sect "theologians" with doctorates (in Modernist theology) whom I should consult to understand the "true" teachings of Vatican II. They were Dr. Christian Washburn, Dr. Stephen A Hipp, Dr. Christopher Malloy, and Dr. Eduardo Echeverria. As another person who commented wryly observed, more than fifty years after Vatican II ended we need four (spin) doctors to tell us the "true meaning." Indeed. Another person posted a link to a Master's Thesis by one Brian Kusek entitled Subsistit In: Full Identity or Discontinuity? His thesis adviser was none other than Dr. Washburn.
The Vatican II sect was spawned on November 21, 1964, when Montini (Paul VI) signed the heretical document Lumen Gentium. In paragraph #8 we read, This Church [of Christ] constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity. (Emphasis and words in parenthesis mine).
Here's what it means: There is a "Church of Christ" that is distinct from the Roman Catholic Church. It "subsists" there (Latin: subsistit in) in its fullness because it possesses all the "elements" of the Church of Christ. However, it exists in other false sects as well, according to how many "elements" it has. To have all the elements is best, but to have only some is good too, and leads to salvation. The Vatican II sect apologists (both the actual sect members like Washburn, as well as R&R), will deny that this teaching of Vatican II is heretical. They bend over backwards to tell us that "subsists" means "is." If so, why didn't Vatican II simply state that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, as had always been in ages past?
In this post, I will demonstrate that the only true meaning of "subsistit in" must be heretical.
The Magisterium Cannot Teach Ambiguously
In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error.
Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions, which are published in the common language for everyone's use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor St. Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements that disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged. The more freely We embraced a program of complete moderation, the more we foresaw. (Emphasis mine).
On this basis alone, Lumen Gentium can be dismissed, as more than five decades later, there are "explanations" from "theologians" trying to tell us the "true meaning." We are told "subsists" is a more powerful expression of "is" and nothing has changed--Bill Clinton couldn't have said it more disingenuously.
Ratzinger Knows Best
From what better source could we get the true meaning of "subsist" than Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican II peritus ("theological expert") who helped to draft the document, and as "Pope" Benedict XVI, would have binding authority? Remember the teaching of Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Mystici Corporis, If we would define this true Church of Jesus Christ - which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church - we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression 'the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ'- an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers. (para. #13; Emphasis mine). Again, Pope Pius XII taught in Humani Generis: Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. (para. #27; Emphasis mine).
When the Council Fathers replace the word "is," used by Pius XII, with the word "subsistit," they did so for a very precise reason. The concept expressed by "is" (to be) is far broader than that expressed by "to subsist." "To subsist" is a very precise way of being, that is, to be as a subject, which exists in itself. Thus the Council Fathers meant to say: the being of the Church as such extends much further than the Roman Catholic Church, but within the latter it acquires, in an incomparable way, the character of a true and proper subject. (Emphasis mine).
As "pope," Ratzinger approved a document of the Modernist Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (sic) on July 10, 2007 entitled Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of
the Doctrine on the Church. Over forty years after Lumen Gentium, he's still trying to tell us "subsist" means "is." It reads:
In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, "subsistence" means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth. It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church. (Emphasis mine)
We now have what an authoritative decision from a man the Vatican II apologists recognize as "pope." He regurgitates the same "elements" nonsense as in Lumen Gentium, and the text makes clear that the Church of Christ is not identical to the Catholic Church! The "Church of Christ" is concretely found on this earth in the Catholic Church, but it is (allegedly) possible for the Church of Christ to be present in the "churches" not yet "fully in communion" with the Catholic Church because of the "elements" of sanctification that they possess. Interestingly, the document does not cite to one single pre-Vatican II source--and with good reason. There is no Catholic doctrine before Vatican II which supports any of this novel (and heretical) teaching.
The teaching of Vatican II in Unitatis Reditegratio para. #3, brings the teaching of Lumen Gentium to its logical conclusion:
For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them [false sects] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. (Emphasis mine).
The Church has never taught that false sects, as corporate bodies, can help anyone achieve salvation. Quite to the contrary, they are means of damnation.
Here IS Church Teaching
This is what the True church teaches:
- You can't be "partially Catholic"--you are in communion with the Church or not.
Pope Pius XII: Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. 'For in one spirit' says the Apostle, 'were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.' As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered - so the Lord commands - as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit. (Mystici Corporis #22).
Therefore, to be in the Church you must (a) be validly baptized, (b) profess the Integral Catholic Faith (no heresy) (c) not be separated from the Body of Christ (no schism), and (d) not be excluded by legitimate authority (excommunicated). There's no wiggle room for being in "partial communion."
Pope Pius IX: None [of false sects], not even taken as a whole, constitutes in any way and are not that one, Catholic Church founded and made by Our Lord and which He wished to create. Further, one cannot say in any way that these societies are either members or parts of that same Church, because they are visibly separated from Catholic Unity. (See Iam vos omnes #3; Emphasis mine).
Pope Leo XIII: Jesus Christ never conceived of nor instituted a Church formed of many communities which were brought together by certain general traits - but which would be distinct one from another and not bound together among themselves by ties which make the Church one and indivisible - since we clearly profess in the Creed of our Faith: " 'I believe in one...Church.' (See Satis Cognitum #4; Emphasis mine).
Pope Pius XI: It is absurd and ridiculous to say that the Mystical Body can be formed out of separated and disjunctive members, whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head. (See Mortalium Animos #10; Emphasis mine)
- False sects do not help you to Heaven. If you have all the parts of a car engine except the battery, it takes you no place. Having 99% of a car engine is just as bad as having none. You don't have a working automobile. Likewise, the "elements of sanctification" are all necessary for salvation. Whatever Bible, valid sacraments, Creed, etc., is used by false sects, they are not efficacious unto sanctification and salvation because they are as stolen goods that are not meant to be used outside the One True Church.
Pope Leo XIII: The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. (See Satis Cognitum #9)
- The True Church already possesses fullness of unity. It is not "divided," "separated,"or "wounded" because of those who are not united and form false sects. The Church is One. She does not "need" the return of those outside Her fold; they need Her. False sects are just that--sects or groups of people with no right to exist. They are not a "church" and God does not recognize them.
Pope Pius XI: And here it seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends. For authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: "That they all may be one.... And there shall be one fold and one shepherd," with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment. (See Mortalium Animos #7).
Pope Pius XII: Also they must restrain that dangerous manner of speaking which generates false opinions and fallacious hopes incapable of realization; for example, to the effect that the teachings of the Encyclicals of the Roman Pontiffs on the return of dissidents to the Church, on the constitution of the Church, on the Mystical Body of Christ, should not be given too much importance seeing that they are not all matters of faith, or, what is worse, that in matters of dogma even the Catholic Church has not yet attained the fullness of Christ, but can still be perfected by other religions. (See Instruction "On the Ecumenical Movement" by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, December 20, 1949).
Joseph Ratzinger ("Pope" Benedict XVI) knew what "subsist" meant and why it was said "the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church" rather than the "Church of Christ is the Catholic Church." He was theological expert (peritus) to Cardinal Frings, the leader of the Moderrnists at Vatican II. Ratzinger himself was under suspicion of Modernism by the Holy Office until Roncalli rehabilitated him. Ratzinger helped to craft Lumen Gentium, and as "pope" approved an authoritative decision which runs counter to all Church teaching prior to Vatican II. His Modernist Congregation tries to assure us "subsist" means "is" even as they reiterate the idea of a dichotomy between "the Church of Christ" and the "Roman Catholic Church." "Pope" Francis now tells us that God "wills" false religions! I guess if they contain "elements of truth" Francis must believe God at least partially wills them. (Whatever that means).
Ratzinger, and the Vatican II apologists, are the ecclesiastical version of Bill Clinton. Maybe Francis will tell us more lies about Vatican II: "Read my lips, no new doctrine!"