Monday, January 25, 2021

Crazy For God?


During the many years when I attended Fr. DePauw's Ave Maria Chapel, there were some colorful characters. Even though I spent 24 years of my life at the Chapel every Sunday and Holy Day (as well as many First Saturdays), I never knew or socialized with most of the people. Since more than half the congregation had far to go (some traveling over three hours one way from other states), the people dispersed rather quickly after Mass. There are are still some Traditionalists at Ave Maria, members long before I started attending in 1981, whose names I do not know, nor would they know anything about me. Fr. DePauw told me that is one of the reasons Traditionalists get labeled "clannish," and unwelcoming. We also hold to a worldview that most of society outright rejects as "strange" and not everyone is up for being hassled all the time, so their guard is up even at Church.

It is also true that, like people everywhere, each person has their quirks; those of us in the One True Church being no exception. There has, however, been a disturbing trend over the last two decades to label anyone who disagrees with the secular humanist/liberal agenda as suffering from mental illness. It is a return to the Cold War era Communist tactic: "You don't think our glorious leader is perfect? You must be crazy!" The dissident in question would wind up in a straightjacket and a padded cell, to be tortured to death and serve as a warning to others who dare to think differently. 

In 2006, the wicked "New Atheist," Richard Dawkins, published his book The God Delusion. The clear message is that if someone believes in God, they suffer from a "delusion," a form of mental illness. Now, anyone who thinks homosexuality is unnatural and sinful has an irrational fear or "phobia." They aren't merely told they are wrong and presented with counter-arguments, they're homophobic--a made-up word to portray those who oppose sin as neurotic and therefore being mentally disturbed. If a person doesn't believe there are fifty-eight genders and it's OK to "pick your pronouns," they suffer from transphobia. Someone who correctly denounces Islam as a false, demonic, and violent sect is suffering from Islamophobia.

Indeed, not only are Christians having their sanity questioned, the world has gone so far as to blaspheme the saints as being insane. Pictured at the top of this post is St. Simeon Stylites. A Syrian ascetic saint, St. Simeon is famous for living 37 years on a small platform on top of a pillar near Aleppo. According to

Simeon entered a monastic community but was expelled because of his excessive austerities and became a hermit. His reputed miracle-working generated popular veneration to such a degree that, to escape the importunities of the people, he began his pillar life northwest of Aleppo about 420. His first column was 2 meters (6 feet) high, later extended to about 15 meters (50 feet), and the platform is said to have been about 1 square meter (about 11 square feet). He remained atop the column for 37 years, permanently exposed to the elements, standing or sitting day and night in his restricted area, protected from falling by a railing, and provided with a ladder to communicate with those below or to receive meagre gifts of food from disciples. Visitors sought spiritual counsel, relief from sickness, intervention for the oppressed, and enlightenment in prayer and doctrine. Simeon apparently converted many people, and he influenced the Eastern Roman emperor Leo I to support the orthodox Chalcedonian party during the 5th-century controversy over the nature of Christ. When he died, his body was found by a disciple and was apparently stooped in prayer. (See Someone I know brought him up as an example of a religious man with "[mental] problems." Wanting to live as a hermit, saints who performed self-flagellation, those who would eat only bread and water, are alleged to show that religion, if taken seriously, leads to strange behaviors that are manifestations of severe neurosis (if not outright psychosis). Christianity, so they claim, is for the feeble-minded who have problems, or the gullible who will become neurotic. Jim Jones will usually be brought up at some point as "proof" that religious people are "nuts." 

What should be our response to such attacks? This post will delineate Church teaching on what constitutes sanctity and stand in defense of the saints. As to the nice man or lady at Church who seems a bit odd, I will attempt to answer the question, "Is sanctity incompatible with neurosis?"

What is "Sanctity" According to the Church?

For this post I wish to cite Fr. Faber's classic work "An Essay on Beatification, Canonization, and the Process of the Congregation of Rites," and Heroic Virtue, a commentary on Pope Benedict XIV's treatise on the issue, [translated by the Fathers of the Congregation of the Oratory in 1850] as my principle sources.---Introibo

Every human being should realize that he is called by God to be perfect even as He is perfect. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (St. Matthew 5:48). Every person must do all in his power to be a saint and live on Earth a beautiful life of charity that characterizes the saints in Heaven. It is true that none of us can be perfect, but we must try. It is an dogma of Divine and Catholic Faith that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of Original Sin, and it is an article of Faith that, by a special privilege of Almighty God, in contradistinction to all other humans, she never committed any actual sin (not even the slightest venial sin) during her entire life. (See theologian Pohle, Dogmatic Theology, [1916], 6:39-80). 

Many approved theologians teach that St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist were pre-sanctified in their mother's wombs from Original Sin, and were also free from actual sin during their lives in view of their exalted callings in life. As the Council of Trent infallibly teaches in its Decree on Justification, CANON XXIII.-lf anyone saith, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, during his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial,-except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard of the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema.

In regards to certain saints (e.g., St. Aloysius Gonzaga), it is piously believed they never committed a single mortal sin their entire life. While it is impossible to achieve the sanctity of the Immaculate Mother of God, or the great St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist, we must all strive to be without mortal sin and avoid venial sin as much as possible. In the words of Pope Pius XI, "For all men of every condition, in whatever honorable walk of life they may be, can and ought to imitate that most perfect example of holiness placed before man by God, namely Christ Our Lord, and by God's grace to arrive at the summit of perfection, as is proved by the example set us of many saints." (See Casti Connubbi [1930], para. #23). 

Lest anyone feel overwhelmed and despair over achieving salvation, it should be pointed out that it is not necessary to obtain spiritual perfection as the saints in order to belong to the One True Church and attain Heaven. Pope Pius VI, in his Apostolic Constitution Auctorum Fidei (1794), condemned as heretical the proposition that only those belong to the Church who are perfect adorers in spirit and in truth. One will save his soul if he dies within the Church and is in the state of sanctifying grace, even without having achieved the spiritual perfection of the saints. However, keep in mind Our Lord's words, "How narrow is the gate, and straight is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!" (St. Matthew 7:14). Whether or not the majority of humanity will be damned has never been decided by the Church. Some theologians (e.g., Godts) believe this is the case, while others (e.g., Klee) think it is repugnant to believe the Kingdom of God (Heaven) to be less populated than the Kingdom of Satan (Hell), especially after the incredible sacrifice of Christ on the Cross to save us. What the Church does teach, is that few answer Christ's call and set out on the way of perfection in this life. 

Theologian Fr. Gabriele de Ste. Marie-Madeline, quotes from an Allocution given by Pope Benedict XV in 1916, wherein the Holy Father gives a very concise and theologically sound definition of sanctity: Sanctity properly consists in simple conformity to the Divine Will expressed in an exact fulfillment of the duties of one's proper state. (See Present Norms of Holiness in Conflict and Light, [1952], pg. 158). This definition by Pope Benedict rightfully declares that sanctity is open to all, but that doesn't make it any easier to attain. It will, however, stimulate many to take up its pursuit precisely because it is the greatest of all goods and within the grasp of anyone who asks the help of God, tries his best to get it, and never gives up. 

All must realize that to obtain the Beatific Vision in Heaven, where we shall see God as He is, we need supernatural help. In these perilous times of the Great Apostasy, how lucky we are if we have the True Mass and Sacraments available to us! Anyone who is so blessed to have such access, and would fail to go as frequently as possible (except under the most serious of circumstances) is not earnestly seeking sanctity. That person is saying to God, "Thanks, but no thanks" for a Gift so great we won't fully understand the enormity of the blessings until we go to Judgement. Woe to that individual! No one can achieve perfection except with the aid of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do not be troubled if, through no fault of your own, you don't have access to a Traditionalist Church or Chapel. God will make it possible for all who truly seek Him, no matter where they may be, to find Him and become holy. The ordinary means of sanctification that all can (and must) use to sanctify themselves are:

  • prayer (both vocal and mental)
  • spiritual reading
  • the practice of self-denial
  • the exact and loving fulfillment of the duties of one's state in life

The Heroic Sanctity of the Canonized Saints

It is unlikely that even those who attain to the heroic sanctity of the saints will be canonized because Holy Mother Church can only canonize a few to serve as examples for the faithful to emulate. What a joke are the "McCanonizations" of the Vatican II sect. Wojtyla (JPII) "canonized" more "saints" from 1978-2005, than the True Church did from 33 to 1958. In order to be a canonized saint, the candidate for sainthood must demonstrate that during his/her life he/she practiced the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity to a heroic degree. I shall examine all three virtues, and what makes them heroic, as described by Pope Benedict XIV.

1. Heroic Faith

According to theologian Tanquerey, Faith is "the supernatural assent by which the intellect, under the command of the will and the influence of grace, firmly accepts revealed truths because of the authority of God Who is revealing." (See Dogmatic Theology 1:193).

First, the candidate must demonstrate the habitual ordinary theological virtue of Faith and there are ten questions that are asked by the Church, the answers to which will determine if the canonization process will go on any further, "Did the candidate...":

  •  openly confess the True Faith in all matters that must be believed, especially when circumstances demanded an open confession?
  • keep the Ten Commandments and the precepts of Holy Mother Church?
  • manifest submission of the heart and mind to God, all decisions of the Church, and to the Holy Roman Pontiff in all things that must be believed and done to achieve salvation?
  • pray frequently to God?
  • have his faith increase, or at least desire such an increase?
  • have the Fear of God?
  • adore God and honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints?
  • have a horror for sin?
  • show patience in all the trials of life?
  • have joy in carrying out good works, in humility and humiliations?
If all are answered and found favorably, the candidate must show they were performed in a heroic degree. How is this demonstrated? According to Pope Benedict XIV, heroic faith is "...discerned by the same acts, that is, if there be a frequency in their performance, if they are accompanied with ease, readiness, delight, and if the circumstances under which they are done there be something eminently arduous, to excite admiration, and so to elevate the agent above the ordinary manner of working, even of good men." (See Heroic Virtue, pgs. 81-82).

Examples of heroic Faith: St. Teresa of Avila's knowledge of the Divine Presence was so clear, it was akin to a vision. The same was true of St. Peter of Alcantara.

2. Heroic Hope

According to theologian Jone, the theological virtue of Hope is "...a supernatural infused virtue, by which, with reliance on God's Omnipotence, Goodness, and Fidelity, we look forward to eternal salvation and the necessary means to obtain it." (See Moral Theology, [1961], pgs. 73-74).

The Church distinguishes four levels of hope from its complete absence to the heights of perfection.

  • Absence of Hope: no belief in the soul and afterlife
  • Latent Hope: an earnest striving to avoid mortal sin
  • Explicit Hope: a devout spiritual life accompanied by thoughts of eternity and future union with Christ in the enjoyment of the Beatific Vision
  • Heroic Hope: when the soul, by the grace of God, has freed itself from all earthly desires and no longer has any interest in what does not pertain to God and His service. There are various degrees of this fourth level, culminating with an intensity of yearning for Christ that seems, for a time, to bring the soul to the point of seemingly "leaving the body" to be united with Him
How is heroic Hope demonstrated? By the great labors that the person has undertaken for His sake, and the severity of their penitential life, because such labors and penances would never be undertaken without great hope in eternal life. Examples include: entering a religious order and giving up great wealth and power; joy at the news of imminent death; the patience of the martyrs in their horrible torments; special confidence God will aid you when no help seems possible and which help comes to pass,

3. Heroic Charity

According to theologian Jone, the theological virtue of Charity is "...a supernatural, infused virtue by which we love God as the highest good for His Own sake and ourselves and our neighbors for God's sake." (Ibid, pg. 75). 

Pope Benedict XIV lists the common signs of ordinary charity:

  • spending temporal goods to help others
  • undertaking bodily labors on behalf of others
  • correcting those in error and leading them back to the truth
  • the forgiving of injuries
  • the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
Heroic Charity is "...doing the same whenever the occasion offers, promptly, easily, expeditiously, pleasurably, not once or twice but frequently, and above all if the works which are done be difficult; so that from the whole collectively it may be inferred, that the man so working surpasses the ordinary mode working in good men." (See Heroic Virtue, pg. 131).  Examples of Heroic Charity: St. Francis of Assisi's works for the poor and to convert the Moslems; St Maria Goretti who sincerely forgave her murderer and attempted rapist as she lay dying from the stab wounds he inflicted upon her. She wanted God to forgive Him so he could join her in Heaven. 

Were The Saints Insane?

Isaiah 55:8 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Those who follow God will appear strange to those of the world. The closer to God, the more strange do the worldly see them. Hence, someone spending years atop a pillar to concern himself only with the things of God seems strange. This opposing worldview is what causes most of the unfounded accusations of insanity. To be certain, not everything done in the name of religion precludes justified accusations of psychosis. Hence, some signs a person is truly mentally deranged:

  • claiming visions, locutions, and apparitions with no confirming signs (it could also be fraud not insanity)
  • grandiose claims, e.g., to be God or a prophet, etc.
  • inability to function in society
  • stating things contrary to Church teaching while claiming direct communication with God (could also be demonic or fraud)
  • attempts to kill or seriously hurt themselves and/or others
Psychosis, also referred to by the Church as habitual insanity, makes one not have right use of reason. If one is not in their right mind, it precludes both sin and acts of virtue. It also makes one incapable of attaining to (or remaining in) the office of the papacy. According to canonist Badius:

“c) The law now in force for the election of the Roman Pontiff is reduced to these points… Barred as incapable of being validly elected are all women, children who have not reached the age of reason; also, those afflicted with habitual insanity, the unbaptized, heretics and schismatics…” (See Institutiones, pg. 160; Emphasis mine). 

A saint's control over emotions and impulses and power of guiding life to a noble end by the theological virtues (and moral virtues) is not merely outside the region of psychotic defect, but it shows what is possible for human beings at their very best. A psychotic individual is incapable of the managing his life with the perfection of virtues; even pagan psychiatrists and psychologist would agree that severe mental disorder is incompatible with a controlled, regulated life in reasoned self-giving to God and others for the sake of God. Furthermore, to call a canonized saint a psychotic is not only wrong according to the principles of psychology, it is to call into question the judgement of the Church in Her infallible decree of canonization. (See, e.g., The Psychopathic Personality, [1952], a classic study by Dr, David K. Henderson and still cited, showing serious mental illness to be incompatible with the kind of life led by devout souls.). 

What about the neurotic? Those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, acute anxiety disorder, specific phobias (fear of spiders, large bodies of water, etc.), hypochondria, etc.--are they precluded from attaining sanctity and even becoming saints? The answer is a resounding NO.  Those who have such afflictions, and manage them as best they can, are no different than those who suffer physical ills and offer them up as a sacrifice to God. Think of how meritorious it would be for someone who suffers from acute anxiety to try to push those anxious thoughts aside and pray. 

We have the good example of St. Francis de Sales, whose feast day we celebrate this Friday, January 29th. His biographer, M. Hamon, The Life of St. Francis de Sales [1875], recounts how the saint was  about 17 and suffered for six weeks with acute anxiety. He thought this was a sign of God's displeasure with him, and he would most certainly be damned. Depression came upon him as well, but he persevered in his service of God. The mental torture affected him even physically, to the point where he became weak, jaundiced and had intense bodily pains. After six weeks of this enormous suffering, he was passing by a statue of Our Lady. He stopped and devoutly recited the Memorare, asking God by the intercession of Mary to give him back health of mind and body. He then made a vow of perpetual chastity, and promised to recite six decades of the Rosary every day. Immediately, he felt "a movement" come over his entire body. His jaundice, weakness, and pains were gone--as were his anxiety and depression. 

This short account of the mental sufferings of a saint shows us the way in which one can manage mental and physical ills and be sanctified in the process. Abnormal states of anxiety, depression, and the like are not incompatible with sanctity but when properly managed may lead to an increase in spiritual growth. St. Francis died from a cerebral hemorrhage. Suppose instead of a large hemorrhage resulting in death after a few days, he had multiple microscopic hemorrhages over a period of many months which resulted in a condition of habitual insanity with marked cognitive defect and change of character. Would that condition of its own account mean a loss of sanctity and a state of mind incompatible with canonization? Not at all, because what transpires through no fault of our own does not take away from our past merits, nor mean a loss of sanctity previously attained. 

All of us have crosses to bear. In today's world, it is almost impossible not to become overly anxious, depressed, and stressed. That doesn't mean you can't be holy. Use those times in your life to grow spiritually, while managing your problem. God will not fail us. If anyone suffers from a neurotic condition, that will not prevent their sanctity either. People who deride devout Christians as "crazy," speak from either culpable ignorance or disgraceful discrimination and hatred. (We could maybe turn the tables and call them "Christophobic"). 

As for the person at your chapel or church who seems depressed, anxious, or a little "strange"--be extra nice to them and remember three things: (1) You don't know what they are going through and how you would handle it, (2) The people who think they "have it all together" never do and have no clue as to how strong that person really is by God's grace, (3) You might be in the presence of a future saint. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Romanticizing Heresy


The post I had originally scheduled for this week has been purposely delayed. I received a comment from a Vatican II sect apologist, Mr. Aaron Debusschere, who recently set up his own blog entitled "The Romantic Catholic." The author was polite and informed me that he had written a rebuttal to one of my past posts on the Vatican II Constitution Gaudium et Spes. He then invited me to respond if I wanted to do so. Never being one to run from a challenge, and always eager to defend the One True Church against all enemies, especially the Vatican II sect, this post is dedicated to showing the faulty premise upon which Mr. Debusschere (hereinafter "Mr. D") attempts to refute me and defend the sect of Bergoglio. For my readers who would like a full background, please read my post on Gaudium et Spes at Then read the attempted rebuttal at

 I highly recommend doing so, if you have the time, in order to get a fuller appreciation for what follows here. I hope and pray Mr. D is of good will, and as a result of this exchange, he may leave the Vatican II sect and enter the real Catholic Church.

Preliminary Considerations
In my post of August 10, 2020, I stated that Vatican II's "Constitution on the Church in the Modern World" (Gaudium et Spes), was a catalogue of heresies, and I demonstrated four of them: 1. Universalism, 2. The Deification of Humans, 3. Falsifying the Words of Christ to Place Man As God, and 4. False Principles Regarding Marriage and Women. 

Mr. D's defense is the usual fare served up by Vatican II sect apologists; there is nothing wrong with the documents of Vatican II. Traditionalists misinterpret and misrepresent what they really teach which is in perfect harmony with all prior Church teaching. He writes, " reject Vatican II would be to cease being Catholic." Quite the opposite is true, acceptance of Vatican II is rejection of Catholicism, which is the precise reason I'm a sedevacantist. His incorrect premise is that documents of his sect are to be "read in context" without reference to the authoritative interpretations of the men he recognizes as "popes."  What his Vatican II sect Magisterium decrees must be considered the true and binding interpretation--period.  

Before attacking the points I made, Mr. D informs us:

That being said, there are others who recognize the necessary result of sedevantism and embrace it, all the while professing to be the truly faithful Catholics and condemning the “Vatican II sect” of the real schism. This still leaves the sedevacantist to answer for the problem of a Church on earth with no Pope (an essential element of the Church) for several decades since most sedevacantists maintain that the Church has had no visible head since the death of Pius XII in 1958.

Actually, there is no problem with the Church being in a prolonged state of sedevacante as both the Church's own approved theologians and history prove. I've written on this point several times, yet since Mr. D makes it an alleged "weak spot" for sedevacantism, it's worth reaffirming both the teaching and history.

According to theologian Dorsch, "The Church therefore is a society that is essentially monarchical. But this does not prevent the Church, for a short time after the death of a pope, OR EVEN FOR MANY YEARS, from remaining deprived of her head. [vel etiam per plures annos capite suo destituta manet]. Her monarchical form also remains intact in this state.…
Thus the Church is then indeed a headless body.… Her monarchical form of government remains, though then in a different way — that is, it remains incomplete and to be completed. The ordering of the whole to submission to her Primate is present, even though actual submission is not…

For this reason, the See of Rome is rightly said to remain after the person sitting in it has died — for the See of Rome consists essentially in the rights of the Primate.

These rights are an essential and necessary element of the Church. With them, moreover, the Primacy then continues, at least morally. The perennial physical presence of the person of the head, however, [perennitas autem physica personis principis] is not so strictly necessary." (de Ecclesia 2:196–7; Emphasis mine). 

Therefore, the Church can remain for many years deprived of a pope, and the form of government remains "then in a different way." Moreover, there was a historical situation in the Church for 51 years called The Great Western Schism. From 1378 until 1429, when Pope Martin V became the universally recognized pontiff, there were up to three claimants to the papal throne, all with arguments for their legitimacy. Only one (or possibly none) could have been the true pope.

As theologian Van Noort teaches, "[During the Great Western Schism]...hierarchical unity was only materially, not formally, interrupted.  Although Catholics were split three ways in their allegiance because of the doubt as to which of the [papal] contenders had been legitimately elected, still all were agreed in believing that allegiance was owed to one legitimate successor of Peter, and they stood willing to give that allegiance." (See Dogmatic Theology [1956] 2:131; First Emphasis in original, second emphasis mine). So too, Traditionalists stand "willing to give that allegiance" when there is a true pope. 

The real nail in the coffin was delivered by theologian Fr. Edmund James O'Reilly, one of the most orthodox and erudite theologians of the 19th century. He wrote a book in 1882 (a scant twelve years after the Vatican Council), entitled The Relations of the Church to Society — Theological Essays. On page 287, he writes in reference to the Great Western Schism:

There had been anti-popes before from time to time, but never for such a continuance... nor ever with such a following...
The great schism of the West suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here. If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical. They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation. Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant. But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not be. 

Yet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise. What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit. We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfill His promises; not allow anything to occur at variance with them; that He will sustain His Church and enable her to triumph over all enemies and difficulties; that He will give to each of the faithful those graces which are needed for each one’s service of Him and attainment of salvation, as He did during the great schism we have been considering, and in all the sufferings and trials which the Church has passed through from the beginning. 

We may also trust He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself to by His promises. We may look forward with a cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the troubles and misfortunes that have befallen in the past. But we, or our successors in future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment. I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever. All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree. (Emphasis mine).

 The following points are made unmistakably clear:
  • The Vatican Council's 1870 decree on the papacy has been misconstrued. The institution of the papacy is perpetual; there is no need nor guarantee of actual men to fill that See at every point in time.
  • The Great Western Schism sets historical precedent for a de facto interregnum of 51 years, since no one knew which papal claimant was pope, and there was a real possibility that none of the claimants was Vicar of Christ. 
  • The teaching of the theologians clearly shows a vacancy of the Holy See lasting for an extended period of time. Such a vacancy cannot be pronounced to be incompatible with the promises of Christ as to the Indefectibility of the Church.  Therefore, all Four Marks, including Apostolicity and everything else the Church requires, continue of necessity, even if we may not know the exact answers in any given situation. The Magisterium would not allow theologians to teach a hypothetical situation as a real possibility, if that would somehow be incompatible with the dogma of Indefectibility and the promises of Christ. 
  • It is also taught by the theologians that it would be exceedingly rash to set any prejudged limits as to what God will be prepared to allow to happen to the Holy See, except for that which would be contrary to Divine Law (such as a "heretical pope"--an oxymoron)
Having shown Mr. D's argument against sedevacantism in general to be without merit, I will turn to his arguments against my claims of heresy in Gaudium et Spes; but I must point out a fatal flaw in his reasoning. He implicitly rejects the ability of the Magisterium to render a correct and binding interpretation of Vatican II's documents thereby using private interpretation. Ironically, this charge is usually (and falsely) leveled against sedevacantists. Here is what he writes:

While his arguments were at best grasping at straws [not by a long shot], they may cause some of his readers to doubt the teachings of Vatican II [and reject them, I hope] while providing further support for those who already hold some form of opposition or malice toward the [pseudo-] Council and the [pseudo-] Magisterium; as such, I thought it may be worthwhile to provide a response both in defense of what the document actually says and what the Church actually teaches. I will, therefore, present here briefly the arguments made by Introibo followed by a more accurate reading of the text.

Who will give us the "more accurate reading of the text"?  How about "Pope" "St." John Paul II? According to theologian Salaverri:

"We say in the thesis that an internal and religious assent of the mind is due to the doctrinal decrees of the Holy See, either formally published by the Supreme Pontiff or approved in the specific form by him, although they do not reach the grade of infallibility;..."(See Sacrae Theologiae Summa IB, [1955], pg. 245; Emphasis in original). On the next page, Salaverri cites to the great encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis: "Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians." (para. #20; Emphasis mine). 

With this in mind, let's examine each of his attempted defenses against the charges of heresy in Gaudium et Spes ("GS"). Please note that once you see why the defense against the charge of Universalism fails, the rest fall pretty quickly. 

Attempted Defense Against The Charge of Universalism
In GS para. #22 we read, For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. I explained that if every man is united with Christ he cannot be damned. 

Wojtyla, a man Mr. D recognizes as both a pope and saint, taught in Redemptor Hominis (1979), para. #13: Christ the Lord indicated this way especially, when, as the Council teaches, "by his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man"(Emphasis in original). Continuing in the same encyclical, Wojtyla writes, Accordingly, what is in question here is man in all his truth, in his full magnitude. We are not dealing with the "abstract" man, but the real, "concrete", "historical" man. We are dealing with "each" man, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united himself forever through this mystery. (Emphasis mine). 

Mr. D tells us that by reading the context of GS, "It is clear that the fashion in which the Son of God united Himself with every man is by taking on human nature..." and "The union present by GS is that of a common human nature; he is consubstantial with each man in His manhood." Is this what Wojtyla is teaching? In a word: No. The background of Karol Wojtyla is in order. He is John Paul the Great Apostate because he does not have the Faith.

According to theologian Tanquerey, Faith is "the supernatural assent by which the intellect, under the command of the will and the influence of grace, firmly accepts revealed truths because of the authority of God Who is revealing." (See Dogmatic Theology 1:193). John Paul II sees Faith as "an experiential state." Speaking to a group of clerics, Wojtyla said, "To enter into dialogue with God means to allow oneself to be won over and conquered by the luminous figure of the Revealed Jesus, and by the love of the Father Who sent Him. It is in precisely this that the faith consists. In faith, man interiorly enlightened and attracted by God, goes beyond the limits of purely natural knowledge, and experiences God in a manner that would otherwise be impossible." As you can see, Wojtyla is a good Modernist who reduces "faith" from an act of the intellect to feelings and experiences. This is reflected in the Novus Bogus "mass" where human entertainment, feeling good about yourself, and the elimination of anything deemed "negative theology" (like sin and Hell) reign supreme. 

Wojtyla was a close friend of arch-Modernist Fr. Karl Rahner, whose teaching on the "anonymous Christian" was tantamount to universal salvation. Rahner was censured by Pope Pius XII, rehabilitated by Montini (Paul VI), and had a friend in Wojtyla who was greatly influenced by him. Wojtyla was also influenced by Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, who was a censured pantheist/evolutionist and died in 1955. The heretical Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes (The Constitution of the Church in the Modern World) had Wojtyla, Cardinal Montini ( the future Paul VI), Cardinal Suenens, and Cardinal Lecaro as the chief architects. All were Modernists to the core. Gaudium et Spes along with Lumen Gentium (Constitution on the Church), set the foundation for the new religion--the Vatican II sect.

Lumen Gentium set up a false dichotomy between "the Church of Christ" and the Roman Catholic Church. In reality, they are identical, but this document of Vatican II falsely teaches that they are distinct. According to this Modernist document, the Church of Christ "subsists" in its fullness in the Catholic Church, but also subsists elsewhere in false sects according to how many "elements' they have. To have all the elements is best, but to have just some is equally good and leads to salvation. As I wrote in my post, now under fire by Mr. D, Gaudium et Spes teaches one of the trademark heresies of the Vatican II sect; the idea that by His Incarnation, Christ united himself with each man.  Vatican II speaks of a union between Christ and each man that results from the incarnation itself.  Wojtyla has taken this heresy and run with it full speed ahead to its logical consequence - universal salvation in a "church" that subsists everywhere. 

Wojtya rejects Thomism for phenomenology and personalism. (See "The Phenomenology of Karol Wojtyla. On the Problem of the Phenomenological Foundation of Anthropology," in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 42 (1982), pp. 326-334 by Hans Kochler). As I stated, he admired heretic Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955). On May 12, 1981, on the occasion of the centennial of the birth of the monistic-pantheistic Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin, the Secretariat of State sent "in the name of the Holy Father" a highly laudatory and favorable letter to the rector of the Institut Catholique of Paris. In this message the "pope" praises "the wonderful repercussions of his [Teilhard's] research and investigations as well as the marked influence of his personality and the richness of his thought." (See L'Osservatore Romano, June 10, 1981). "Richness of his thought"? 

Teilhard's philosophy transformed the universe from a place in which we exist to a place that, through evolution, exists with us. Evolution, for Teilhard, is the hermeneutic key for understanding the place of Christ within the vast cosmos. Teilhard saw everything moving towards perfection—which he called the Omega Point—as a movement toward God that was simultaneously physical and spiritual. He called the transformation divinization, and saw humanity as currently passing through an evolutionary-spiritual dimension he termed the Noosphere, so that we can enter the final stages of the Pneumatosphere and become one with God. It's basically pantheism with evolution thrown in the mix. 

Here's what Wojtyla said about the Eucharist: When I think of the Eucharist, and look at my life as a priest, as a Bishop and as the Successor of Peter, I naturally recall the many times and places in which I was able to celebrate it. I remember the parish church of Niegowic, where I had my first pastoral assignment, the collegiate church of Saint Florian in Krakow, Wawel Cathedral, Saint Peter's Basilica and so many basilicas and churches in Rome and throughout the world. I have been able to celebrate Holy Mass in chapels built along mountain paths, on lakeshores and seacoasts; I have celebrated it on altars built in stadiums and in city squares... This varied scenario of celebrations of the Eucharist has given me a powerful experience of its universal and, so to speak, cosmic character. Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world. It unites heaven and earth. It embraces and permeates all creation. (See Ecclesia Eucharistica, 2003, para. #8; Emphasis mine). The Eucharistic Christ "permeates" all creation? Here's what the Vatican Council of 1870 infallibly declared:

CANON III. If anyone says that the substance or essence of God and that of all things are one and the same: let him be anathema.

CANON IV.  If anyone says that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from the divine substance; or that the divine essence, by the manifestation and evolution of itself becomes all things or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: let him be anathema.

This teaching of Wojtyla is definitely not the divinization taught by the Church Fathers. Now, here is his teaching in Dominum et Vivificantem (1986):

The Incarnation of God the Son signifies the taking up into unity with God not only of human nature, but in this human nature, in a sense, of everything that is "flesh": the whole of humanity, the entire visible and material world. The Incarnation, then, also has a cosmic significance, a cosmic dimension. The "first-born of all creation," becoming incarnate in the individual humanity of Christ, unites himself in some way with the entire reality of man, which is also "flesh" and in this reality with all "flesh," with the whole of creation. (para. #50; Emphasis mine). 

This is clearly Teilhardian "cosmic pantheism." Can anyone think Wojtyla is teaching Christ is not really "united with every man" so as to effectuate Universal salvation? Does this sound like "It is clear that the fashion in which the Son of God united Himself with every man is by taking on human nature"? 

In his 1977 book, written by him in Italian, Segno di Contraddizione,("Sign of Contradiction") "Cardinal" Wojtyla states, "Tutti gli uomini, fin dall'inizio del mondo e fino alla sua fine, sono stat redenti e giustificati da Cristo e dalla sua Croce."  Translation: "All men, from the beginning of the world and until its end, have been redeemed and justified by Christ and his Cross." (pg. 90) If we are justified we are in the state of sanctifying grace, and thereby saved if we die in that state. "All men" means "all humans" whether or not baptized and whether or not they are even in good faith. The German edition also contains this exact phrase. The English edition deletes the heretical words "and justified." All three were published simultaneously and I have access to all three editions. Since Wojtyla wrote the original text of the Italian manuscript, and the German and English editions were put out by translators, Wojtyla penned the heresy. It is affirmed in German, and I must consider the English translation (pg. 87) to an error of the translators. Never was a correction put out by the Vatican or Wojtyla, who became "pope" one year later. Are we still to believe he's not teaching Universalism? 

   In his speech at the first Interfaith Assisi abomination on October 27, 1986, Wojtyla said:

Religious differences reveal themselves as pertaining to another order. If the order of unity is divine, the religious differences are a human doing and must be overcome in the process towards the realization of the grandiose design of unity which presides over creation. It is possible that men not be conscious of their radical unity of origin and of their insertion in the very same divine plan. But despite such divisions, they are included in the grand and single design of God in Jesus Christ, who united himself in a certain way with every man (Gaudium et Spes, 22) even if he is not conscious of it.

Still think he's teaching that "It is clear that the fashion in which the Son of God united Himself with every man is by taking on human nature"?  Mr. D? Anyone? 

Let me spell it out for you: All men belong to a pantheistic Christ who is united to each man, whether he knows it or not, by virtue of his Incarnation. That is rank heresy. Moreover, it cannot be defended by citing to the text of GS, because the pope is protected by the Holy Ghost from teaching error, and not just in ex cathedra declarations. So if Wojtyla is your pope, then GS teaches Universalism. 

As Pope St. Pius X teaches about Modernists:
Though they express astonishment themselves, no one can justly be surprised that We number such men among the enemies of the Church, if, leaving out of consideration the internal disposition of soul, of which God alone is the judge, he is acquainted with their tenets, their manner of speech, their conduct. (See Pascendi Dominici Gregis, para. #3; Emphasis mine). Heresy consists in dictis vel factis — not only in words, but also in “signs, deeds, and the omission of deeds.” (See theologian Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis, 1:746.). Not only does Wojtyla use the same language as heretics, but his actions belie his heresy as well. He believes that all religions are more or less good and lead to Heaven according to the damnable and heretical Vatican II ecclesiology whereby the Church of Christ "subsists" in false religions. That's why he:
  • kissed the blasphemous and evil Koran
  • participated in all forms of non-Catholic worship (Protestants, Jews, and Hindus, to name but three)
  • said that Moslems and Catholics worship the same God in a speech to the Moslems in Paris, May 31, 1980
And all of this was ratified, so to speak, by Bergoglio who openly and unapologetically stated, "I believe in God - not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being." (See; Emphasis mine). 

Attempted Defense Against the Charge of the Deification of Humans
Given the foregoing, can anyone sincerely doubt that in para. #12, when GS teaches,  According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown, it is deifying Man, and in the heretical Teilhardian-pantheistic sense? 

Rather than address Mr. D's contention that What is made clear in paragraph 12 is that man is indeed the “center and crown of all things on earth.” Man is created in the image and likeness of God, which has a threefold meaning: (1) he is a rational being capable of knowing and loving, (2) he is a social being created as male and female, and (3) he has dominion over the earth, I will defer to an authoritative source for members of the Vatican II sect: Herr Ratzinger. Before he became "pope" he was head of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (sic)," the former Holy Office, and was charged with defending the "faith" from heresy. What did he say regarding GS?

 If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus. Harnack, as we know, interpreted the Syllabus of Pius IX as nothing less than a declaration of war against his generation.  This is correct insofar as the Syllabus established a line of demarcation against the determining forces of the nineteenth century: against the scientific and political world view of liberalism.  In the struggle against modernism this twofold delimitation was ratified and strengthened.  Since then many things have changed.  The new ecclesiastical policy of Pius XI produced a certain openness toward the liberal understanding of the state.  In a quiet but persistent struggle, exegesis and Church history adopted more and more the postulates of liberal science, and liberalism, too, was obliged to undergo many significant changes in the great political upheavals of the twentieth century.  As a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution was to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no statement of the relationship that would exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789.  In fact, an attitude that was largely prerevolutionary continued to exist in countries with strong Catholic majorities.  Hardly anyone today will deny that the Spanish and Italian Concordats strove to preserve too much of a view that no longer corresponded with the facts.  Hardly anyone today will deny that, in the field of education and with respect to the historico-critical method in modern science, anachronisms existed that corresponded closely to this adherence to an obsolete Church-state relationship.  Only a careful investigation of the different ways in which acceptance of the new era was accomplished in various parts of the Church could unravel the complicated network of causes that formed the background of the "Pastoral Constitution", and only thus can the dramatic history of its influence be brought to light.

   Let us be content to say that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789.

(See "Cardinal" Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology,  [1987] pgs. 381-382; Emphasis mine).  What was the "new era" of 1789? The French Revolution with its Masonic motto of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." There is nothing wrong with the correct understanding of those terms, but they are perverted by what Pope Leo XIII called "...the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God." Masonry exalts Man, degrades God and seeks to eliminate Him from the minds of all humans. 

Let's take GS #12 in context with the teaching of Ratzinger (never censured or condemned by Wojtyla) and see how it really is a "counter-syllabus" of Errors:

On Equality:

GS, Ch. II, para. 29: Nevertheless, with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent. (Emphasis mine)

The True Religion cannot be given preference over false sects. That would be "discrimination." 

On Liberty:

GS, Ch. I, para. 21: Hence the Church protests against the distinction which some state authorities make between believers and unbelievers, with prejudice to the fundamental rights of the human person.(Emphasis mine).
What "fundamental rights of the person" prevents the State from making distinctions between those who profess the Truth, and those who are partisans of error?

On Fraternity:

GS, Ch. V, para. 91: Drawn from the treasures of Church teaching, the proposals of this sacred synod look to the assistance of every man of our time, whether he believes in God, or does not explicitly recognize Him. If adopted, they will promote among men a sharper insight into their full destiny, and thereby lead them to fashion the world more to man's surpassing dignity, to search for a brotherhood which is universal and more deeply rooted, and to meet the urgencies of our ages with a gallant and unified effort born of love. (Emphasis mine)

Atheists, agnostics, and members of the Church can "fashion the world more to man's surpassing dignity" and achieve "universal brotherhood" in which God is irrelevant at best. Pure Masonic poison. 

Man is indeed the center and crown as well as the "measure of all things" in this Masonic design. As "Pope" Benedict XVI, he also proved himself as a faithful disciple of Teilhard. He said:

The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host. And let us pray the Lord to help us become priests in this sense, to aid in the transformation of the world, in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves. That our lives may speak of God, that our lives may be a true liturgy, an announcement of God, a door through which the distant God may become the present God, and a true giving of ourselves to God. (See; Emphasis mine).

For those not familiar with the works of Teilhard, he believed in polygenism, which posits the idea that the human race had different origins, as opposed to a single couple; Adam and Eve. His heretical theory was roundly condemned in the brilliant encyclical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII, which was drafted by the eminent Dominican theologian Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. As the result of his evolutionism and polygenism, he denied not only the First Parents of the human race, but as a necessary consequence, he denied the dogma of Original Sin.  Let's see how the True Church reacted to Teilhard de Chardin:
  • 1926, his Superior forbade him to teach
  • 1933, the Holy See ordered him to give up his subsequent post in Paris
  • 1939, the Holy See banned some of his writings
  • 1947, Rome also forbade him to write or teach on philosophical subjects
  • 1955, his Superiors forbade de Chardin to attend the International Congress on Paleontology. That same year, de Chardin died in New York on Easter Sunday

Even under Roncalli (John XXIII), he was censured posthumously. On June 30, 1962, a Monitum ("warning") was given at Rome by the Holy Office: It is sufficiently clear that the above mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine. For this reason, the most eminent and most reverend Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as Superiors of Religious Institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Teilhard de Chardin and his followers. Of course the Monitum of 1962 was a dead letter, which was never enforced, as Teilhard's works spread like wildfire in seminaries and Catholic Universities during the early 1960s. 

Here are some of the results of his ideas:

1. If there is no Original Sin, there is no need of a Redeemer. If there was no Adam, Christ could not be the Second Adam Who died to ransom us from sin. (Sin, in all forms, is downplayed or outright denied). He became Man to help us evolve towards "godhood."

2. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not the unbloody re-presentation throughout time of the Sacrificial death of Christ, since there was no need of it. (Mass becomes a "celebration of the people" who are "evolving towards God" and will become One). 

3. Since everything is evolving, there is no fixed and immutable dogmas or morality (One religion or set of morals is as good as another).

4. Eventually, everyone gets to enjoy happiness--there is no Hell for the wicked (Hell is considered "negative" and outdated theology).

5. In his pantheistic idea, not only humanity, but all of nature is evolving. Hence, there should be reverence for the Earth; Teilhard will sometimes describe Earth as an "altar" upon which humanity and nature are "transubstantiated."

Given that both Masonry and Teilhard deify Man (and not in the orthodox sense of the Church Fathers), and given that Ratzinger was (a) a disciple of Teilhard and (b) interpreted GS as a "counter-syllabus" and "an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789"--are we to suppose GS #12 is not
the heretical deification of Man?

Attempted Defense Against the Charge of Falsifying Christ's Words
From GS para. #24: This is why the first and greatest commandment is love of God and of neighbor.
I cited the Gospel of St. Mark :

And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all.

And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.

 And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these. (St. Mark 12:28-31; Emphasis mine).

The first and greatest Commandment is therefore love of God, and the second is love of neighbor as yourself. This is what Christ said and what the Church always taught until Vatican II.  To place these two Commandments on equal footing is to equate God and Man, or to (once more) deify humans.

Mr. D counters that One may also notice that GS has presented the twofold commandment in much the same way as [the Gospel of St.] Luke, presenting it as one commandment, though with love of God before love of neighbor. If this were an orthodox document, like those of Pope Pius XII, one could very well give it such a favorable interpretation. Yet, since it has been decreed a "counter-syllabus" by Herr Ratzinger and that interpretation given no censure from Wojtyla, it is not a stretch of the imagination that it was to further the heretical deification of Man, and not an imitation of the wording from St. Luke.

Attempted Defense Against the Charge of Giving False Principles Re: Marriage and Women

My two charges against GS in this regard were that it inverts the primary and secondary ends of Matrimony and promotes a false feminism. GS #48 it states  By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown.  Mr. D responds that In this case we are not speaking of children as the culmination or crowning achievement of marriage, but a crown or garland placed upon the head of the spouses. Children are the glory of the parents, a glory which can only be attained through the conjugal love of the spouses.

In 1968 when Montini ("Pope" Paul VI) published Humanae Vitae (more or less upholding the Church's condemnation of contraception), entire episcopates immediately refused this condemnation, saying spouses needed “a physical expression of their love.” (See Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of France, 11/8/1968). These episcopates did not hesitate to use GS #51 as the basis of their dissent because it made the two ends of marriage equal. According to Vatican II sect theologian Joseph Selling, a professor of Moral Theology, states In Paragraph 6 of Humanae Vitae, Paul VI rejected the findings of his commission on the grounds that "certain criteria of solutions had emerged which departed from the moral teaching on marriage proposed with constant firmness by the teaching authority of the Church." As a professor of moral theology, I have spent upward of four decades searching for that "constant teaching," only to find that, like many other moral teachings of the church, such as those about usury, slavery, and religious freedom, it has been in a continuous state of evolution. [Teilhard?Also, there was no substantial change in Church teaching in any of those subjects pre-Vatican II.]

Although Gaudium et Spes did not directly address the question of regulating fertility it did:
  • Reduce the status of the teaching on the ends of marriage to a historical reference;
  • Put forth a theological understanding of the sacrament of marriage based on the model of "covenant" (in contrast to the notion of a "contract" in canon law);
  • Present its understanding of marriage to be based upon conjugal love (#49) and separately developed its understanding of the fruitfulness of marriage along the lines of responsible parenthood (#50);
  • Clearly state (#51) that whatever approach would be used to deal with the regulation of fertility needed to be based not upon a biological norm or natural law, but rather upon an understanding of the "human person integrally and adequately considered" (Expensio Modorum, 104).
(See; Emphasis mine). This idea is being taught in Moral Theology courses and without censure or condemnation. Mr. D's own sect's theologians dispute his understanding.

As to the status of women, I stated GS para. #12 teaches, But God did not create man as a solitary, for from the beginning "male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). This statement is, once more, deceiving. God did create man and woman, but the citation to Genesis leaves out Genesis 2:18, 23: "And the Lord God said: It is not good for a man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself...And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man." (Emphasis mine). GS gives the false idea that man and woman were created at the same time, thereby implying strict equality.

Mr. D takes umbrage with what he posits as my analysis of women being indirectly in the image of God while men are directly in God's image. His problem is not from me but from my cited source: theologian Wahl, The Exclusion of Women from Holy Orders, [1959], pgs. 45-55 which is there for all to read and which he conveniently omits in his argument. So if he thinks he understands St. Bonaventure and Church teaching better than an approved pre-Vatican II theologian, I'll simply dismiss it as hubris. 

A Possible Vatican II Sect Objection Anticipated and Refuted
One common objection Vatican II sect apologists will use is the fallacious Appeal to Ambiguity, as I like to call it. It basically runs like this: "GS [or any other Vatican II sect document] is capable of an orthodox interpretation. John Paul II didn't specifically say that all man are united to Christ forever in the Teilhardian manner. It could mean we are united to Christ by His human nature. The deification could be interpreted to be like the Church Fathers. GS is capable of orthodox interpretations so we must assume it to be so and read it as such." 

Even if, ad arguendo, GS was capable of an orthodox interpretation, the very fact that it is open to a heretical understanding is enough for it to stand condemned. The Church cannot (and does not) teach ambiguously in expressing theological truths. Any deliberate ambiguity must be interpreted against the orthodoxy of the one teaching ambiguously. Propositions that are ambiguous or admit of interpretations that are either orthodox or heterodox are deemed "heretical by defect." This is also the case with propositions that are true, but are calculated to omit pertinent truths or terms they ought to include. The following proposition of the Jansenist Pseudo-Synod of Pistoia was condemned:

After the consecration, Christ is truly, really and substantially present beneath the appearances (of bread and wine), and the whole substance of bread and wine has ceased to exist, leaving only the appearances.

In 1794, Pope Pius VI condemned that proposition in the Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei because it entirely omits to make any mention of transubstantiation or the conversion of the entire substance of the bread into the Body, and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which the Council of Trent defined as an article of Faith...insofar as, through an unauthorized and suspicious omission of this kind, attention is drawn away both from an article of Faith and from a word consecrated by the Church to safeguard the profession of that article against heresies, and tends, therefore, to result in its being forgotten as if it were merely a scholastic question.

Aaron Debusschere tells us that The easiest way to clarify the meaning of a text is to take it in context. In the case of Gaudium et Spes, or any Magisterial text, this means reading the sentence in the context of the whole paragraph, the whole chapter, the whole document, and even the whole body of documents...determining whether the meaning of the given text is in continuity with the Scriptures or the Tradition of the Church is always easier when one actually looks at the Scriptures and Tradition as a whole. Actually, the best and only authoritative way to determine the meaning of a Magisterial text is to simply have the Vicar of Christ, Roman Congregations, and the approved theologians tell it to you. What good is having a Teaching Authority (Magisterium) that can't teach? 

Moreover, when we had a real pope and real approved theologians, they wrote and spoke in the clear language of Scholasticism/Neo-Scholasticism. Now we are subjected to gobbledygook wherein there is "cosmic significance," a "cosmic dimension,"  whereby the Eucharistic Christ "permeates all Creation" and "celebrated on the altar of the world."  The real mystery is trying to make heads or tails of what any of this verbiage means--phrases you will never find pre-Vatican II. I have demonstrated:

  • Both the teaching of the approved theologians and Church history prove that an extended vacancy of the Holy See is in no way incompatible with the Indefectibility of the Church and the promises of Christ
  • A member of the Vatican II sect recognizes Roncalli through Bergoglio as true Vicars of Christ. As such, they must give assent to the authoritative pronouncements they make on matters of Catholic doctrine
  • Wojtyla (John Paul II) is an ecumenist and disciple of heretics. It is proven in his words and deeds. He has authoritatively interpreted GS as teaching each human is united with Christ so as to preclude damnation. This goes hand in glove with his equally heretical declaration that by the Cross all men, from the beginning of the world, are both redeemed and justified 
  • Ratzinger is also an ecumenist heretic. He called GS a "counter-syllabus" and "an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789" Masonry seeks the deification of humanity in a way contrary to all Church teaching
  • Vatican II sect "bishops" and "theologians" have used GS as proof that the primary and secondary ends of marriage are either inverted or equal according to its text and have used it to justify artificial contraception
  • Pre-Vatican II theologians taught that women are indirectly in the image of God while men are directly in God's image, which is one reason advanced as to why women cannot be validly ordained as priests
The manifest weight of the credible evidence proves Aaron Debusschere's attempted refutation of my arguments to be without merit. Moreover, he must submit to his pope and the interpretations/clarifications he gives. That Vatican II makes some orthodox and orthodox sounding statements is meaningless considering Protestant sects do the same, but that doesn't make a Lutheran document "Catholic." Mr. D ends his post by claiming that I "threw GS, Vatican II, and the Magisterium of the last sixty years out the window, and the fullness of the Truth flew out with them." 

Actually, it is Aaron Debusschere who fails to submit to the teachings of his popes and tries to substitute his own interpretation of GS. It is you who needs to throw out all Church teaching from St. Peter to Pope Pius XII in order to evolve into the pneumatosphere where all will be united to Christ in some cosmic fashion. Welcome to the Vatican II sect, Mr. Debusschere. I hope you will not stay long.

Addendum 2/14/21
Aaron Debusschere published a post on 2/13/21 entitled "To A Simple Man" in which he writes a "letter-response" to this blog's guest-poster who goes by the name A Simple Man. Mr. D doesn't even attempt to answer my post above either because (a) he can't or (b) he didn't understand it. Instead, he claims:
The following week he [yours truly--Introibo] proceeded to respond to my arguments, or at least to my post. It was my hope that we could engage in a rational dialogue over matters of faith, in accordance with the tagline of this blog. What was presented as a response, however, was very little, if any, engagement with my arguments. At best he brought forward more quotes from John Paul II and Benedict XVI to argue that they are universalists, pantheists, or Free Masons[sic], none of which have anything to do with the orthodoxy of an Ecumenical Council (more on this below). At worst, he brushed off my arguments as invalid simply because the Council is not orthodox (an a priori assumption rather than the logical conclusion) or as “hubris” because I disagreed with St. Bonaventure...

In short, his response was rather disappointing and did not engage with my arguments; if this were a submission from one of my students I could hardly give it more than a D, and that only because he convincingly showed Teilhard de Chardin to be a heretic… Since one cannot actually engage in dialogue with one who is unwilling to engage or to seek the truth in a rational manner, I do not see much point in further pursuing critiques of Introibo‘s thought. 

Translation: I can't respond, so I'll pretend YOU are "unwilling to seek the truth in a rational manner." In order to seek truth in a rational manner, one must be rational enough to understand and correctly represent your opponent's position. All he did was a splendid job of presenting a strawman. He claims to be a teacher, so let's hope when he grades his students' papers he actually understands them. As a former science teacher, I wince when I think of a future populated by people taught by the likes of Aaron Debusschere. It's time for me to educate the woefully ignorant educator. I can dispense with him quite easily here; it doesn't require another post.
  • If you are Catholic, the pope can and does bind you to the authoritative interpretation of a text.
1. The pope is the Supreme Teacher of the Faith. He commands both external and internal submission to his judgements, such as in encyclicals, even though not infallible. 

2. Aaron believes Wojtyla (John Paul II) and Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) are true popes.

3. Wojtyla and Ratzinger have taught that GS supports their contentions that "by his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man" (which supports the heresy of Universalism) and it is a "counter-Syllabus" going against what was taught prior to Vatican II.

Therefore, Aaron must subscribe to Universalism and cannot claim to have the "better" or "orthodox" interpretation. That's the job of a Magisterium; to teach. Whatever he thinks or claims about "the right way to interpret GS" is irrelevant. He tries to escape this debacle by stating:

 It is for this reason that we cannot take a single quote from John Paul II to interpret the whole of Vatican II; rather, the whole of Tradition is necessary to interpret the one quote from John Paul II.

1. How about an entire passage from a whole book written by Herr Ratzinger, the Pro-Prefect of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" before becoming "pope" who praised GS precisely because it goes against Tradition?  I guess he didn't understand the correct way to interpret things, like Aaron.

2. It's not one quote, but was repeated in defense of the Assisi abomination of 1986. How are we to interpret communicatio in sacris with the "whole of Tradition"? Maybe one of the African witch doctors can tell us? 
  • If I'm right about Teilhard being a heretic, then..
Wojtyla and Ratzinger who admired him, used his heretical verbiage, praised him, and subscribed to those same ideas would also be heretics. Apparently, Aaron failed "Basic Logic 101." 

  • Ignorance and shoddy scholarship
You shouldn't write on theological matters if you do not understand what constitutes an "approved theologian." 

Frankly, I find it laughable that he would “dismiss it as hubris” when he himself thinks “he understands St. Bonaventure and Church teaching better than an approved pre-Vatican II theologian,” namely Aquinas and Augustine, whose arguments I had presented. He seems to think that “theologian Wahl” is the supreme authority on Church teaching or anthropology; I wonder if he realises [sic] the approval of this “pre-Vatican II theologian” took place in 1991 by Pope St. John Paul II. The work cited by Introibo seems to be the only thing Fr. Wahl ever published: a 69 page dissertation for a licentiate in theology.

Wahl apostatized after Vatican II; he was approved prior to the Council, and JPII had nothing to do with it. Note well that it was a dissertation for a Doctorate in Sacred Theology, not a Licentiate which he already possessed. I can also cite to Wahl just as I can cite to  Tertullian when he was Catholic.   While I don't think theologian Wahl is the "supreme authority," his interpretation is the one developed under true popes as theologians progressed in an orthodox manner. Aaron then writes:

I’ve seen this terminology of “approved theologians” thrown around on Introibo‘s site and, frankly, I find it a rather ambiguous phrase. What do you mean by it exactly? My first assumption would be that it refers to the Doctors of the Church, those who are officially entered into the canon of approved teachers of the faith. 

The book by Fr. Reginald-Maria Schultes OP, De Ecclesia Catholica: Praelectiones Apologeticae [Apologetic Lectures on the Catholic Church], 2nd. ed., Paris: Lethielleux 1931, was used by priest-students studying for doctoral degrees at Pontifical Universities. Fr. Schultes himself taught at the world-renowned Angelicum University. A theologian is thus defined by him (and recognized by the Church) as "learned men who after the time of the Church Fathers scientifically taught sacred doctrine in the Church."

 The pre-Vatican II theologians were all clerics (i.e., priests and bishops) who received either a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) or a Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD). The latter are known as canonists and apply the proper theological principles to the Sacred Canons to ascertain the correct meaning and application of each Canon to each unique situation. Every theologian had to defend and publish a dissertation before the Board of Examiners of a Pontifical University, and it had to bear an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat declaring the work free from all error against faith and morals.  The breadth and depth of theological knowledge enjoyed by theologians was vastly superior to both laymen and the average priest or bishop because of the excellence of their training.

Theologians are said to be "approved" at least insofar as (a) they manifest a certain eminence in doctrine in their writings and (b) display orthodoxy at least to the extent recognized by the Church that their writings are used by the faithful and the theological schools, with the knowledge of (and with no opposition from) the Magisterium of the Church.  (See, e.g,. theologian Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa, IB, [1955]). 

Aaron: Either way, the only unanimous opinions that hold moral weight are those of the Magisterium, that is the bishops in communion with the Pope, and Tradition, especially the Fathers and the Scholastics.

Wrong again professor! 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).

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.'"(See A Manual of Catholic Theology 1:83).

  • Ambiguity about ambiguity
If it is the case that “any deliberate ambiguity must be interpreted against the orthodoxy of the one teaching ambiguously,” then Pope St. Liberius must be considered an Arian heretic, because he signed the First Profession of Faith of Sirmium deliberately on account of its ambiguity. 

Nope. Actually, the majority of historians doubt that Liberius ever excommunicated St Athansius or signed the heretical by defect profession of faith. 

According to the early Church historian Socrates (not to be confused with the Greek philosopher), they drove Felix [usurper of the papacy] out of Rome and Constantius was obliged to bring Liberius back. But by the end of his exile, Liberius, under duress, had excommunicated St. Athanasius and signed an ambiguous Arian statement that could be interpreted in either a heretical or an orthodox light.

"St. Jerome says that Liberius returned to Rome “conquered by the tedium of exile and subscribing to heretical wickedness.” St. Athanasius adds: “Liberius, having been exiled, gave in after two years, and, in fear of the death with which he was threatened, signed.” That's why Pope Pius IX wrote of him, "And previously the Arians falsely accused Liberius, also Our predecessor,to the Emperor Constantine, because Liberius refused to condemn St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, and refused to support their heresy." (See Quartus Supra, para. #16; Emphasis mine.). Remember that Canon 2199 of the 1917 Code includes as an excuse against heresy physical force which according to canonists Abbo and Hannon includes extreme duress (See The Sacred Canons, 2:789). 

Therefore, even if Liberius signed he would NOT be guilty of "heresy be defect" due to extreme duress of having his life threatened. 

I'll stop here as I've shown Aaron, in the battle of wits, comes unarmed. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Wisdom Of Fr. Ronald Knox


To My Readers: This past week saw an incredible demand on my time from both professional and personal obligations. To finish my post, I would have had to work into the late night getting maybe an hour or so of sleep before going to work today (1/11/21) for a twelve hour workday. Normally, that's what I would have done and it would have taken quite a toll on me. Thanks to A Simple Man, I am putting up one of his fine posts; the post I was planning for today will be finished up and published next Monday.

After all the disturbing and horrific events perpetrated by the forces of evil, I'm most happy to publish this edifying post on the life of the good and holy priest, Fr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957). Please feel free to comment to Simple Man, and I will respond as well in the evenings when I get the chance. I always respond to comments and queries, especially when addressed to me. Simple Man, thank you for another wonderful post and allowing me to get the sleep I needed! Be assured of my continual prayers for you, my dear readers---Introibo

The Wisdom Of Fr. Ronald Knox

by A Simple Man

In times where the One True Church has been eclipsed by the ecumenical farce known on this blog as the Vatican II Sect (mistakenly identified as the Roman Catholic Church by the world at large), the task of handing on the true teaching of the Church has been carried out diligently by Traditionalists scattered throughout the world. Although it is a great blessing to have been raised within the true Catholic religion in these times, it must be said that many Traditionalists were once strangers to Holy Mother Church (yours truly included). Whatever flavor of non-Catholic one may have been (including those who were temporarily “fallen away Catholics”, i.e. those who apostatized from the faith only to later return to it), there is a certain edification to be found in reading the writings of those who underwent similar struggles and difficulties in the past.

On the list of those who converted to Catholicism, famous names from recent centuries include (in no particular order, from both laity and clergy) G.K. Chesterton, John Henry Newman, Henry James Coleridge, Frederick Faber, Leonid Feodorov, Orestes Brownson, William Lockhart, Francis Paul Libermann, and Henry Edward Manning. One such convert whose words we shall turn to today was a man who went by the name of Ronald Arbuthnott Knox.

The following sources have been consulted for this post:

A Spiritual Aeneid (By R. A. Knox, it was written in 1918 and is an autobiographical depiction of his life leading up to his conversion. It is available online as a public domain work.)

Encyclopedia Britannica (Online edition, biographical entry on Ronald Knox.)

The Book of Catholic Authors (By Walter Romig, Sixth Series, published in 1960; online edition hosted by

Monsignor Knox, A Reluctant Legend (By Wilfrid Sheed, from the February 1957 issue of “The Catholic World”, published by the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle, New York; online transcript hosted by EWTN.)

In Soft Garments (A collection of conferences held by R. A. Knox when he was the Chaplain serving Catholics attending Trinity College at the University of Oxford. Version cited is the 2010 edition by Ignatius Press.)

The Priestly Life (A retreat by Ronald Knox, online edition hosted by EWTN.)

The Essentials of Spiritual Unity (A companion work of sorts to his autobiography, written by R. A. Knox in fits and starts from August 1915 through September 1917. Online edition hosted by EWTN.)

The Mass in Slow Motion (By R.A. Knox, published in 1948 by Sheed & Ward, New York; online edition hosted by Corpus Christi Watershed. It is a collection of sermons for a convent school run by the Assumption Sisters.)

To summarize Fr. Knox’s life, he was born on February 17, 1888 as the youngest of six children. He spent much of his youth within a country rectory under the care of his father’s mother and siblings, immersed in a rural Protestantism that bore more similarities to the simple affectations of Evangelical devotion than to the codified doctrine and liturgical rituals of Anglicanism. However, Knox spoke fondly of the placid, God-fearing atmosphere of his Victorian home; with an Anglican bishop as a father and Anglican bishops as grandfathers (indeed, on both sides of his family!), this combination and pedigree seemed ill-suited to produce a “rebel”, as Ronald would sometimes refer to himself in retrospect.

A student of exceptional brilliance, he began writing hymns from the age of six, progressing to plays and verse in Greek and Latin by the age of twelve. From the boarding school of Eton College to the Balliol College of Oxford University, he seemed to shine wherever he went. At the age of seventeen, driven by his ascetic impulses and an inward recognition of how much his nature would crave the helps of a happy marriage, he made a vow of celibacy; after graduation, he became an Anglican priest in 1912 and was appointed Chaplain at Oxford’s Trinity College. Even so, his literary output continued in the form of poems and satirical works, to the point his humor was recognizable by much of the English public (even though he himself did not purposefully seek notoriety or self-aggrandizement). As such, his conversion to Roman Catholicism came as a shock to his Anglican brethren.

To those close to him, it might not have been so. Ronald Knox’s attachment to the Oxford Movement (known also as Tractarianism, it was a movement within “High Church” Anglicanism to restore older Christian traditions into the Church of England’s liturgy and theology that had fallen out of practice; John Henry Newman was a particularly famous proponent of this movement prior to his conversion to Catholicism) within the Anglican Church (which Knox’s father was opposed to as part of the Church of England’s Evangelical Party) was driven by his opposition to not only the popular skeptics and agnostics of that day, but also Anglicans who pursued ecumenism at the expense of doctrine and theology (sound familiar?). Among the many influences which drove him towards the One True Church included: two trips to Catholic Belgium (wherein he found himself desiring to transplant their religious practices to the Church of England); the deaths during the early years of World War I of Pope Pius X (whom he had never met), Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (a convert from Anglicanism that he had met but once), and Father Maturin (a friend who perished when the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat); the Jesuit Fr. C. C. Martindale (Monsignor Benson’s biographer); Eusebius’s history of the Catholic Church in Greek (which enhanced his understanding of the Papacy’s importance to the early Church); the outbreak of the Great War, which drove many of his friends and pupils to becoming Catholic before they entered military service; and finally, a “spiritual exile” from Trinity College that lasted for over two years, during which he resided at Shrewsbury, worked for the British War Office in military intelligence, and then (at the suggestion of the Oratorian Fr. John Talbot, another convert from Anglicanism) underwent a retreat to the Benedictine abbey in Farnborough at Hampshire. It was there where Ronald Knox was received into the Church on September 22, 1917.

After his conversion, Ronald Knox was shortly thereafter ordained as a Catholic priest at Westminster; he was appointed as Chaplain for the Knights of Malta in 1922; from 1926 to 1939 he served as Chaplain to Catholic students at Oxford. Such was his reputation that he paved the way for other learned Englishmen to realize that Catholicism was not a religion to be ashamed of. (In an interesting turn of events, Knox referred to G. K. Chesterton as an “oracle” and his “earliest master and model”; in turn, Chesterton would credit Fr. Knox, to some degree, for his eventual conversion in 1922. Fr. Knox would return the favor by delivering a famous eulogy at Chesterton’s Requiem Mass in 1936.) He continued with his prolific literary output, which included not only collections of sermons and apologetical works, but also detective novels of great renown.

After retiring from the Oxford Chaplaincy in 1939, he began his work on a new English translation of Sacred Scripture at the request of the bishops of England and Wales. He would be the first Catholic since St. Jerome to not only attempt such a gargantuan task as a solitary effort (for even the Douay-Rheims and the majority of Protestant translations were due to the work of many hands and many minds), but to complete it; his translation of the New Testament was completed in 1945, and the Old Testament would follow four years later. His approved translation was so popular and widespread that it now simply goes by “the Knox Bible”. After completing this monumental work, he would go on to produce exemplary translations of both Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ and St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography. The latter would prove to be his last completed work (even though several of his books were published posthumously); after coming down with a sudden illness in 1957, he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer.

On August 24, 1957, Fr. Ronald Knox passed away at the age of sixty-nine.

Not a bad life, all things considered! He would probably feel quite chagrined at all the fuss being made about him and his catalog.

A scant excerpt of his many words follows: all spelling, italics, and punctuation are as cited. Bolded words are my emphasis.

“In order to preach the Gospel well, the ministers of Christ want to have pure hearts and pure lips. Pure hearts, because in proportion as their consciences reproach them with the kind of life they are living, the kind of thoughts they are thinking, in that proportion they will feel false inside, and to feel false inside means a want of conviction about the handing on of your message. Pure lips, because it is on the whole by what we say, and the way in which we say it, that other people judge our characters; and if the priest is given to backbiting, to outbursts of anger in his speech, to boasting, to flattery, to grousing, to lying, to blasphemy, to unseemly talk, he is not likely to impress the people who listen to his sermons. That does not apply only to the clergy. Every Christian is preaching Christ, every day, by the life he or she lives, by the words he or she utters, from day to day; you are all the time unconsciously influencing other people. Don't try to influence other people CONSCIOUSLY, to talk good and put on airs of goodness; it will only turn you into a prig, and your friends will see through it. Try to live near to our Lord; get inside the thought of what his words mean, live on that model, so that you may be a friend of his, so that you may be the kind of person he feels at home with. Then, unconsciously, you will influence other people. In this nasty, wind-swept world, in which charity has gone cold and there is a frost of winter all about us, your life will be a glow of love; a faint glow, perhaps, but one at which other people can just warm their hands.” – The Mass in Slow Motion, p. 41-42

“Why do Christian sects insist on monogamy? Not on any purely ethical ground, for such ground is lacking. Let us take monogamy as a case in point. On what ground is a Church which claims divine institution to deny access to her privileges to the bigamist? It is very hard to say that the principle is part of the common delivery of the conscience of mankind; the Mahomedans sanction other practices, so did the ancient Jews—communities where we find clear recognition of the intimate tie between morality and religion. The utilitarian test, always doubtful in this connection, breaks down absolutely in face of a great war [World War I] that stamps out a large part of the male population. We might say that in Europe it has become part of the recognized principles of society and could not therefore be abrogated without infinite confusions, but even this return to the practical appeal would be nugatory in those African countries where society at large tolerates the principle of the harem and those who desire to become Christians find great social difficulties in consequence. We must have a divine utterance to support us if we are to incur the odium of insisting on this particular taboo. In this ease [recte case], it appears, we are bound to invoke a supernatural authority, and, if we have once invoked it, we are henceforward its servants, wherever it chooses to lead us. That is to say, we must invoke an authority. In doing so, we must see clearly what we are doing. In order to plead an authority here, we are submitting to the dictation of our authority (whatever it may be) on all subjects on which it may choose to dictate-not merely on all matters on which we find it convenient to appeal to it, for this is clearly destructive of the very essence of authority. It must be such that we cannot say "I do not agree with it here"—for, if not, our friend with the four wives will ask us to take no notice of it in his case either. In emancipating ourselves from the indecisive rule of King Log—practical convenience, etc.—we are electing King Stork. In appealing to the bramble for a ruling, we are making it king of all the trees-not for this or that occasion, over this or that issue, but at all times and everywhere alike: With it, not with us, rests the decision as to how far it will carry us.” – The Essentials of Spiritual Unity, paragraphs 17-18

“For the theologians teach us that Our Lord, as Man, was "simul viator et comprehensor:" he lived in our world, and at the same time he enjoyed, even as man, that full and open vision of God which is to be man's reward in heaven. We cannot begin to understand such a conception; but it is theologically certain that while he lay in the manger at Bethlehem, stretching out his hands in helpless infancy to his Virgin Mother, while he hung upon the Cross, every muscle wearied out with the strain of his agony and every joint racked with suffering, he was even then enjoying in that secret fastness the open vision of God. Our Lord was, all his life, at one with the Church Militant and simultaneously at one with the Church Triumphant. "Semper agens"--there was no incident of mortality, sin only excepted, that he would not experience. "Semper quietus"--he achieved that experience without ceasing to enjoy, even in his human nature, the rest which is the supreme recompense for all human endeavor. And if we expect to find the Life of God mirrored in the human Nature of Our Lord, so we expect to find his human Nature mirrored in the Blessed Sacrament. Here, too, he is always active, yet always at rest. Always active; from day to day, through the hands of his priests, he offers himself upon a million altars for the world's salvation. Not, indeed, that he can labor or suffer or sorrow any more; that is all over; only once the Agony and the scourging, only once the nails and the lance and the Crown of Thorn. But the force which was generated, if we may so crudely describe it, by the Sacrifice made once for all on Calvary still pulsates and energizes in the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar. The Divine Victim is still at work, fresh graces to be won, fresh needs to be met, fresh sins to be atoned for. Think of a piece of music, that is finished, you might say, once for all when the composer's hand makes the last scratch upon the paper. In a sense, yes, but in a sense it has only just begun; the same piece of music will be played again and again all the world over; the echoes of the original composition will not die, it may be, as long as mankind lasts. So it is with our Lord's sacrifice; in a sense the stab of the lance put the final stroke to it, yet in a sense it has never ceased and never can cease while the world stands. Christ still lives among us, his fellow-men, and because he so lives, he is still at work. We go up to the altar with our hearts full of desires and longings which our conscious thoughts can hardly express; and all these desires and longings of ours are caught up and whirled away from us by the continuous stream of intercession which goes up from the Sacred Heart. It is a great furnace, this Sacrament of the altar, a great work-shop of prayer; never idle for a moment, while there are human needs to be met, and human tears to be wiped away.” – The Priestly Life, Chapter 1

“LET ME SUGGEST this point to you—that God, not man, must be the measure of the universe, must be the standard by which we are to judge all our experience. If we make man the centre of all our experience, then the riddle of existence becomes insoluble, and we had far better give it up. […] Now if you deny the existence of God, or if you deny it for practical purposes by treating it as a fifty-fifty probability, or if you use the word "God" in an insincere way, meaning a mere abstraction or a mere ideal when you use it, then you have to say that man is the measure of all things; that his thought is the highest form of wisdom which exists, that his conscience is the standard by which good and evil must be determined, that his intuitions are the only test of beauty. And indeed more than that; if you are to attain any kind of intellectual satisfaction, you must say that man’s thought is the source of all truth, makes things true; that his conscience is the arbiter of good, makes things right and wrong; that his intuitions are the origin of all beauty, make things beautiful or ugly. And that notion, if you press it, leads to mere intellectual despair.” – In Soft Garments, p. 19-20

“I’ve been trying to show that our Lord did claim to bring with him a unique revelation from God—not merely a new moral code, but the foundations of a theological certitude which previous ages had never even aspired to. And that is the conclusion which would, I think, be reached by any impartial critic approaching the documents for the first time. The reason why many non-Catholic writers, especially of the older generation, are blind to all that, don’t recognize the far-reaching nature of our Lord’s claims, is because they shrink from the corollaries which such a recognition would involve. They shrink, through a kind of rationalist prejudice, from having to admit that our Lord was, in a unique sense, the Son of God. They shrink, through a kind of sentimental reverence, from having to admit that one whose career has had so profound an influence on history was an impostor or a madman. But it is a mark of intellectual cowardice, to shrink from corollaries. God wouldn’t have given us an intellect, if he didn’t want us to think straight.” – In Soft Garments, p. 54-55

“The divine miracles, as we understand them are exceptional favours, bestowed here and there, now and then—birthday presents, as it were, to remind us that we are after all his children. He does not perform them as a rule to order, unfailingly, in answer to some special effort on our part…in the ordinary way he does mean miracles to be the exception, not the rule. We are not to pension off the doctors and neglect to have the drains seen to because, sometimes, there may have been a miraculous cure of typhoid. We are not to neglect prayers for the dead because, now and again, we have supernatural proof that a soul has missed its Purgatory. That is what is the trouble with these modern devotees of miracle; they overdo it, they make it the rule, not the exception. They want us to believe that there is no such thing as pain, that it cannot be God’s will for a human being to suffer. They want us to believe that there is no such thing as death, no plunge into the mysteries of the unknown. And that is not our philosophy, nor is it a human philosophy at all; we cannot believe that God countenances it, whatever manifestations may accompany it.” – In Soft Garments, p. 75

You must join the Church as a religion, not as a party or as a clan. But if I am asked where I find peace in being a Catholic—does It look like it? Rather it seems to me that in the disintegration of the world, and of Europe in particular (far greater, perhaps, than we yet realize) which must follow [World War I], men will look for guidance to the two institutions which override the boundaries of country—International Socialism and the Catholic Church. And the forces of disintegration which will be at work will be in conflict most of all with the latter institution, because, being more centralized, it will be at once more formidable and more vulnerable. To feel every stab the Church feels, to rejoice in the triumph she celebrates, that should be enough to keep a man’s interests active, and his heart awake.” – A Spiritual Aeneid, p. 254

It would go far beyond the length of this blog to document all the words of Fr. Ronald Knox, that distinguished son of England; I will leave you with a particularly insightful excerpt regarding the year 1914, when Ronald Knox was still an Anglican priest, writing his satirical pieces to point out the issues affecting the Church of England as he saw them. To those of us suffering through a Post-Vatican II world, some of his words will seem quite awfully prescient:

“The argument of [Reunion All Round] was a simple reductio ad absurdum. If (as the British public seemed to think) it was the duty of all Christian bodies to unite for worship, sinking their differences on each side, why should the movement be confined to Christians? What about the Jews, from whom we were only separated by the Council of Jerusalem? And if the Jews, why not the Mohammedans? We could always split the difference between monogamy and tetragamy by having two wives all round. The Brahmins presented few difficulties: the worshippers of Mumbo-jumbo only needed a passing reference. At this point the spirit of satire carried me away, and I suggested with every appearance of misgiving that perhaps after all, given proper precautions, charity should demand of us that we should accept the submission of the Pope. After making arrangements for the suitable degradation of the Roman hierarchy, I went boldly forward to the case of the atheists, and suggested that we might join with them in a common definition of the Divine Nature, which should assert it to be such as to involve Existence and Non-existence simultaneously. Here, with a few exhortations to the public, I left my argument to my readers. Now, a reductio ad absurdum argument may be used merely for fun, and without any serious purpose of satire behind it. But I did not write in this vein of good-tempered exaggeration: I meant what I said—or rather, of course, I meant the opposite of what I said. If you are to do this, your logical developments must depend upon a valid reasoning process in satire, no less than in a mathematical treatise. Thus, although it was possible to regard Reunion All Round as merely a graceful jeu d'esprit, I meant it for much more than this: I meant that, if the principles of Kikuyu [Author’s note: Knox is referring to a 1913 missionary conference that had occurred in Kikuyu, Kenya – then known as British East Africa – where the matter of admitting non-Anglicans to the Anglican Communion was suggested, among other “heretical” proceedings.] were right, something like this (discounting, of course, the casual absurdities) did really follow as a logical consequence. If, in the name of charity, it was the duty of the Church to aim at the inclusion of all good men who were professing Christians, and herself make sacrifices in order to do so, why should she not have the same duty in connection with all good men simply because they were good? Why should a belief, often of the shadowiest, in the undefined "Divinity" of Christ be a touchstone of Church membership? For the life of me I could never see why we had to regret being out of communion with a good man like Dr. Horton, more than being out of communion with a good man like Professor Gilbert Murray, who repudiates Theism. If the Church, without being called "uncharitable," is to have tests and definitions at all, why should you draw the line at this test or that definition, and cry out in horror, "No, no, that would be uncharitable?" I know that some of my Anglican readers think all this very preposterous; but we must wait till Theosophy [Author’s note: Theosophy is an occult religion that originated in late 19th century America, which has – among its many aims – an intent to eclipse all religions in pursuit of an “ancient, universal religion.” Naturally, it is rife with many elements common to Freemasonry.] has come out a little more into the light of day. I have read a manual of theosophical belief which declares confidently that the religion of the future lies in a combination of all that is best in Christianity and Brahminism—that very combination that tickled us so when we read it in Reunion All Round. And Mr. Wells, who is an adept at the logical carrying out of implied principles, has already provided us with a religion in which a personal God, not an Incarnate God, is asserted as a basis of doctrine.” – A Spiritual Aeneid, p.166-168

I can only wonder what Fr. Knox would have said if he had lived long enough to witness Vatican II promulgating the same ideas that he had satirically mocked decades prior!

In conclusion, Fr. Ronald A. Knox was a master of the literary craft, a tireless worker, and a humble man. In my personal opinion, his works are incredibly edifying, and would make wonderful gifts for anyone, be they non-Catholics ripe for conversion, or Catholics seeking to increase their understanding of the faith they profess. It is my sincerest hope that such a resolute and learned defender of the Catholic Faith is now among the saints of Heaven. Alas, lacking a true Pope to beatify or canonize, we can only pray for the repose of his soul: eternal rest grant unto Fr. Ronald Knox, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.