Monday, November 27, 2023

A Crooked Path: Walking The "Labyrinth"


It was the late 1990s, and I needed to see a client right away. He informed me he was travelling all over, and the only time he could meet me during his busy journey was during a weekend retreat on Long Island. I agreed to meet him at the Vatican II sect retreat. He was staying at the St. Ignatius Retreat House in the swank town of Manhasset, on the so-called "Gold Coast" of Long Island written about by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the classic novel The Great Gatsby. St. Ignatius was also known as Inisfada (Gaelic for "Long Island") and it had an interesting history.

The mansion turned retreat house was originally the estate of Nicholas Frederic Brady and Genevieve Brady. Mr. Brady was incredibly wealthy. Raised a Protestant, he converted to Catholicism. He was Chairman of the board of directors of New York Edison Co. and a director of Anaconda Copper Mining Co., Westinghouse Electric, National City Bank, Union Carbide, and numerous other companies in the United States and Japan whose activities were primarily in utilities. Brady married Genevieve Garvan, a Catholic as devout as he was, who held many Church honors, including being a Dame of the Order of Malta, Dame of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, holder of the papal Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and a Vice-President of the Welfare Council of New York.

Nicholas Brady was ennobled by Pope Pius XI and created a Papal Duke (ad personam, or non-hereditary) while Genevieve was created a papal duchess in her own right. The couple was unable to have children, and chose not to adopt. While living in a posh luxury apartment on New York City's Fifth Avenue, they purchased 33 square acres of land in Manhasset and had their mansion built in the middle. It was completed in 1920 for $2 million dollars (adjusted for inflation that's approximately $31 million in 2023). The couple hosted many notable clerics. In 1930, Nicholas Brady died, and Mrs. Brady continued hosting clerics, most notably Eugene Cardinal Paccelli in 1936. Three years later, the good Cardinal would become Pope Pius XII. When she died in 1938, she gave her home to the Jesuits who  first used it as a seminary, and in 1963 (as the Robber Council was underway) made it into a retreat center for those wanting to practice the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.  (See, e.g.,,9171,930896,00.html)        

The place is so large, when I entered, one of the office workers gave me a map. You could probably fit about seven NYC homes inside; I couldn't fathom only two people living there. I smiled as I came upon a glass case inside of which was a zucchetto worn and gifted to Mrs. Brady by Cardinal Pacelli. It was the one and only Catholic item I would find there.  Even with the map, I couldn't seem to find my client's room, so I asked a man whom I thought, by dress and appearance to be the janitor, for help. He introduced himself to me as one of the Jesuit "priests." I told him who I was and why I was there. He told me to wait there and he would bring my client down. "Right here is the prayer and meditation room," he said while pointing to the room next to us. "You can wait there if you like." 

When I opened the door, I saw about 10 members of the Vatican II sect sitting in the lotus position on a mat, and staring reverently at a large statue of the Buddha (so much for the Spiritual Exercises). I got out at once, and met my client in the hallway. When we were done, he asked me what I thought of the place. "The architecture is beautiful, but it's now a place for literal pagans to stare at the Buddha." He responded, "Vatican II opened up the windows to let old ideas like a 'One True Church' out!  Go out in the garden out back and walk in the Labyrinth. It teaches you all paths lead to God! I have to run now; 'mass' is going to begin in the Chapel." I said goodbye and decided to look at this "labyrinth." 

I saw a large, convoluted path etched out on the ground and lined by stones. There were several men walking around in circles, saying nothing and looking like lobotomized mental patients with far-off stares. It creeped me out and I left to go back to my office. That was my first encounter with the pagan and occult "labyrinth" that continues to be used today, and is seeing a resurgence in popularity. (St. Ignatius Retreat House was sold by the Jesuits in 2013 for $36.5 million dollars. The mansion was demolished and the land used by developers. Despite Jesuit claims that they had a "new vision to share the [non-existent] Exercises," they needed the money to pay court costs and settlements for 50 members of their order accused of sexual abuse in the NY area---Introibo). 

In this post, I will explain the meaning and dangers of the labyrinth. 

(I have consulted numerous sources in my research regarding labyrinths; both online and books. In addition to those specifically cited herein, I wish to give attribution to Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice [2006], by Lauren Artress, Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth [2000], by Melissa Gayle West, and Walking the Labyrinth: A Place to Pray and Seek God [2014], by Travis Scholl. I take no credit except for putting the information into a concise and readable post---Introibo). 

What are Labyrinths?

A labyrinth is a flat circle or square consisting of a path that winds round to the center (not to be confused with a maze, which is enclosed). In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was the name for the maze-like enclosure for the half-man, half-bull Minotaur. According to one source:

A labyrinth is a meandering path, often unicursal, with a singular path leading to a center. Labyrinths are an ancient archetype dating back 4,000 years or more, used symbolically, as a walking meditation, choreographed dance, or site of rituals and ceremony, among other things. Labyrinths are tools for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation, also thought to enhance right-brain activity. Labyrinths evoke metaphor, sacred geometry, spiritual pilgrimage, religious practice, mindfulness, environmental art, and community building. 

Labyrinths are named by type and can be further identified by their number of circuits. Counting from the center, the drawing at right illustrates a seven circuit design. You begin a labyrinth walk at the entrance and proceed along the path. Lines define the path and often maintain a consistent width, even around the turns. Generally at the center you have travelled half the distance, where it is common to pause, turn around, and walk back out again. (See 

The same source relates:

How are they used? People walk the labyrinth for many reasons. Some do it to relax, some as a walking meditation, some just for fun. There are benefits to walking a labyrinth...

Aren't they strictly some sort of New Age phenomenon? No. Labyrinths are ancient. The labyrinth was a central feature in many of the European Roman Catholic churches in the middle ages and many of these still exist today. The most famous of these remaining labyrinths is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200. It was walked as a pilgrimage and/or for repentance. As a pilgrimage, it was a journey to become closer to God. When used for repentance, the pilgrims would walk on their knees. Sometimes this eleven-circuit labyrinth would serve as a substitute for an actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The cross is at the center of the pattern of the labyrinth and is used in the construction as a guide. Even today, churches with labyrinths encourage people to walk the labyrinth during Lent and Advent. (Ibid). 

The Vatican II sect Jesuits employ this connection to Catholic use, in justifying bringing labyrinths into retreats, and "new" (occult) "spirituality." After the Crusades, the labyrinth remained unused by Catholics and was never meant to be a permanent feature of Catholic devotion such as the Rosary, and much less a replacement for these devotions. Those who push labyrinths will say things like:

Labyrinths have been found all over the world dating from the earliest antiquity. Their origins are lost in the mists of time.(Ibid). They have been found in many places dating back centuries. However, they have occult origins that have been brought back in the wake of Vatican II.

The "Labyrinth Effect"

There is research (ongoing) which has disturbing findings about the effects of mindless walking about a labyrinth. According to K.J. Danielson, in his research paper The Transformative Power of the Labyrinth he reports:

I found through my research that the labyrinth does indeed have unique transformative power. Its transforming energy is thought to come from its design based on the ancient science of sacred geometry. Walking the winding path creates a calming meditative state that opens one up to one’s intuitive, non-rational, creative nature, and allows for a shift in consciousness. My relationship with the labyrinth deepened throughout my journey over the past year. Over the time of my work with the labyrinth, I have experienced greater awareness, more focus, and a deeper connection with my spirituality. (Emphasis mine). 

The nonsense about occult "sacred geometry" aside, "a shift in consciousness" can be induced by pagan meditation while walking in a winding path, causing a hypnotic state, which in turn can open a person up to demonic influences. Kathy Doore, an author on "sacred spaces," freely describes the spiritual implica­tions of the labyrinth:

Labyrinths are temples that enhance and balance and bring a sense of the sacred—a place where we can confirm our unity with the cosmos, awaken our vital force and elevate our consciousness. These structures are space/time temples where we can behold realities that oddly enough transcend space and time. The orientation, form and geometry of a labyrinth has symbolic as well as spacial [sic] importance. It is a mirror for the divine, a place to behold the beauty in nature.

Spiraling inward and out, this serpentine flow is the most generative form of subtle energy. The process of moving through the pathway unwinds this stored energy, releasing, magnifying, and ultimately harnessing the flow. Working directly in conjunction with the human energy fields this spiraling flow interacts with the kundalini energy coiled at the base of our spine converting the subtle energy into life force itself. This uncoiling of the kundalini vitalizes us through a process of unfolding both upwards and inwards, an exhalation and ingathering of energies known as the dance of creation.

Labyrinths are known as sacred gateways and have been found at the entrance of ancient sites around the world. Often located at the center of subtle ‘earth energies’ these temples enhance, balance, regenerate and confirm our unity with the cosmos. A type of Labyrinth known as a Yantra was used as a meditation by Hindu midwives to assist in childbirth and served as a means of relaxation for the birth canal, another labyrinthine form. (See; Emphasis mine).  This is pure pagan pantheism being practiced. Hindus used labyrinths for centuries; hence the first labyrinths were of pagan/occult origin. 

Even a secular health website admits walking the labyrinth induces "active meditation" of the same type used in pagan yoga:

Walking a labyrinth is a form of active meditation which is unique from meditation while standing still, sitting, or lying down. Active meditation provides many benefits, and labyrinth walking is a unique spiritual experience. Learn more about labyrinth walking meditation and its potential benefits.

(See; Emphasis mine). The link on active meditation states:

To lasso our ever-wandering minds to the present, mindfulness incorporates behaviors like focusing on breathing, paying attention to our thoughts, withholding judgment, and having compassion for ourselves and others. Activities like yoga and meditation often help place us in this state of mindful awareness. (See; Emphasis mine). 

The message of the labyrinth is clear. It is pagan and pantheistic. There is no One True Church because "you are god," part of the Divine. The person who revived this practice (quickly picked up by the Vatican II sect) was an Episcopalian "priestess," who will be the subject of the next section.

Lauren Artress: Occult Priestess

It is actually Dr. Jean Houston, who is ground zero for the labyrinth movement, who was listed on the Internet as one of the 10 top New Age speakers in North America.  The inside cover of Jean Houston’s 1997 book A Passion for the Possible describes herself as ‘considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest teachers…’  Houston teaches her students in her "Mystery School" how to speak in occult glossolalia [speaking in tongues].  She encourages her participants to "begin describing your impressions in glossolalia" and even to "…write a poem in glossolalia." (See Huston, GodSeed: the Journey of Christ, [1992], pgs. 50-51). Blasphemously, Houston talks of Christ as being an occult Savior, not the Incarnate Second Person of the Holy Trinity. 

As a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, Houston makes use of her doctorate in Philosophy of Religion to gain access to areas where most occultists can’t go.  For example, as noted widely in media a number of years ago, she became a consultant to Hillary Clinton, helping her to "channel" the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. (See Bob Woodward in ‘The Choice’; The Providence Journal Bulletin, Tuesday, 6/25/96, A3). Houston also calls the labyrinth "The Dromenon"--a word from Greek paganism meaning "the thing enacted." In Houston's own words, “The Dromenon is a soul-driven geometry; it brings a new meaning to sacred geometry. It carries us into realms of awakening that we did not know existed and restores the imagination.”

At Houston's "Mystery School," people would pay almost $4,000 each to attend for nine weekends and learn Houston's occult teachings; the labyrinth being foremost among them. "Rev." Lauren Artress (sometimes referred to as "Canon Artress") from Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church brought the Labyrinth back to her Cathedral after experiencing the Labyrinth at Jean Houston’s Mystery School. Artress notes that she was hardly prepared for the force of my own reaction. As soon as I set foot into the labyrinth I was overcome with an almost violent anxiety. Some part of me seemed to know that in this ancient and mysterious archetype, I was encountering something that would change the course of my life. (See Artress, Walking A Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice [2006], pg. 8). 

One of the stated purposes of the Labyrinth is to connect us to the "mother goddess," of which the labyrinth is a symbol.  Also in her book Walking A Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool, Canon Artress states that “The labyrinth is a large, complex spiral circle which is an ancient symbol for the divine mother, the God within, the goddess, the holy in all creation.” Artress says that “You walk to the center of the labyrinth and there at the center, you meet the Divine.” You meet yourself--the "divine within" and commune with "Mother Goddess." 

On the website of Grace Cathedral, Artress states the three "Stages of the Walk:"

Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has just one path, so there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It is a two-way path, so you may meet others coming or going on the path. The are three main stages of the walk:

Purgation (Releasing)

A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.

Illumination (Receiving)

When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.

Union (Returning)

As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work for which you feel your soul is reaching.(See 

People are told that the labyrinth is a tool useful to people of all religions or no religion. Each person's walk can be interpreted differently each time to the same individual. From some of the quotes I have read one can assume life is one big labyrinth. This experiential walk is spiritualized to have meaning. “We are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path” (Artress).

 Labyrinths are being used for reflection, meditation, prayer with various interpretations of what these mean. Some see it as a metaphor of the path of life, a journeying to God. Some ask forgiveness on the way in and empowerment on the way out. The participant can ascribe their own spiritual meaning to this ritual walk, the theory is that by walking the labyrinth one partakes of a spiritual journey of self -examination and enlightenment. What happens to everyone may not all be the same, but many claim to receive a spiritual transformation. Artress tells us: “The space and the experience of walking it become powerful and help one feel a greater sense of Oneness. It is a tool for people of all beliefs to come together for a common spiritual experience.” From the occult outlook, people are told these are "sacred places." There is allegedly power incorporated in the design. The Labyrinth “Is truly a tool for transformation, a crucible for change, a blueprint for the sacred meeting of the psyche and the soul, a field of light, a cosmic dance, it is a center for empowering ritual.” (Artress).

The Labyrinth: The Wrong Path

As you can see, the labyrinth is being used by occultists to spread their false doctrines in Churches. Here is a summary of the major problems:

1. It promotes pagan meditation and can induce a hypnotic trance-like state to become "One" with the universe or "Mother Goddess." It is therefore occult and opens a person to demonic possession.

On June 23, 1840 under Pope Gregory XVI, the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office decreed the following regarding hypnotic states:

Excluding all error, and excluding fortune-telling and the invocation of demons, whether explicit or implicit, the use of magnetism [as hypnosis was the called], namely the mere act of  using physical means otherwise permissible, is not prohibited on moral grounds, provided it does not lead to an end that is illicit or improper in any manner. 

Even those who do not get to such altered states, have unwittingly opened themselves up to a decidedly pagan worldview and possible demon possession. The idea of being "divine" is the opposite of Christianity which tells us we are sinners in need of Redemption by the God-Man Jesus Christ.

2. Indifferentism (the idea that "one religion is as good as another") is promoted. 

The labyrinth is publicized as a spiritual tool, not just for Christians, but also for anyone who is seeking a spiritual experience, or even just as a tool for self-reflection. The labyrinth gives many the misleading impression that one can be close to God without Christ and His One True Church. 

3. The idea of  religion as "experience" and "feelings" is imbued. This is pure Modernism.


  • Seeking to evoke an experience often can bring one on. This may create an appetite for more experiences because people can feel good doing it. Then it induces not only a desire for more experiences, but also a sense that one must experience or feel something in order to believe one is genuinely in relationship with God. 
  • Seeking an experience is self-oriented, not God-oriented. Walking a labyrinth automatically sets up an expectation that something special should happen. Disappointment results if there is no feeling or experience.
  • Experiences and feelings can be deceptive. Even if walking a labyrinth gives a powerful experience, it does not mean it is from God or that the person actually is closer to God. Experiences and feelings are not the measure of truth. It can lead a non-Christian into believing they have encountered God when they haven’t. In fact, there is nothing about walking a labyrinth that prevents one from having a counterfeit spiritual experience, even for a Traditionalist. Feeling “close” to God is not the way to gauge our relationship with Him.
  • Labyrinths have been used at Vatican II sect youth group rallies and retreats, thus possibly leading teens to believe that feelings indicate contact with God.


The Labyrinth Walk is an occult practice that has used the pretense of "use in the Middle Ages by Christians" to deceive people into thinking it is a legitimate form of Christian prayer. The Modernists have been successful introducing it into the Vatican II sect by means of retreats, and even outside some Churches. Walking meditation and stopping to quiet oneself is not  promoting prayer. Not all that is claimed to be spiritual, is good or from God. Do we now need experiential prayer elements? Traditionalist Catholics have a different path to follow: "How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!" (St. Matthew 7:14). 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Gen Z Feeneyites


Sadly, I've noticed a disturbing trend among "Gen Zers" (those born from 1997-2012) on the Internet and social media.  These young people are special "Victims of Vatican II." Many, having attending the sect's "Catholic schools," were unwilling to become practical atheists like the rabid Modernists who taught them. So far, good for them. Unfortunately, when seeking the truth, they go to the opposite extreme in reaction to the Modernism which they refused to imbibe. These Gen Z Vatican II sect members reject Bergoglio, and then begin to uphold views that are not Catholic, simply because they are considered extreme and "must be true." Having stumbled across Fred and Bobby Dimond's "Most Holy Family Monastery" site, many become Feeneyites. 

Like the malevolent misfit "monks" from upstate New York, they will refuse to debate in a neutral online forum, and argue like sophists. I've decided to make this post to help them (and any other person of good will) taken in by Feeneyism. I have turned out many posts against Feeneyism in the last 13 years I've been operating this blog. Here, I will combine the most salient points from what I've written, so that the Catholic truth may (God willing) take hold, and they will repent of their heresy. To my readers, I hope this post will be a reminder of the truth, and something to share with anyone you know trapped in the wicked error of Leonard Feeney. As this is a compilation from my prior writings, I have already given due attribution when I first published, and some citations may not be duplicated here. I will gladly direct anyone to my past writings for the citations that back up all which is written in this post. 

 This exposition of the teaching of the Church and the errors of the Feeneyites is not meant to be "definitive" or exhaustive; it is meant to give an adequate overview that (please God) allows people to see the truth of the Faith and the falsehood of the Feeneyites. 

I. What are Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood?

II. Who was Leonard Feeney?
    (a) Feeney was not a theologian or canonist
    (b) Feeney's False Teaching  
    (c) More Strange Teaching
    (d) Leonard Feeney: Cult Leader and Child Abuser
    (e) Feeney was Excommunicated for Heresy

III. Comparison of Feeney to Fred and Bobby Dimond

IV. The "Feeneyite Virus"

V. Understanding the Teaching of the Magisterium
    (a) The Basics
    (b) What, exactly, constitutes an approved theologian of the Church?

VI. Baptism of Desire and of Blood are an Infallible Teaching of the Magisterium  
      Objection #1: "Desire" really means "Intends to Receive"--"Or" really means "And"
      Objection #2: The Canons of Trent "Prove" Only Water Baptism Saves

VII. Canon Law Infallibly Teaches BOD

VIII. Culpable Ignorance about Invincible Ignorance

IX. Two Major Feeneyite Attacks on BOD
        (a) Fred and Bobby's "Best Argument" Against BOD
         (b) BOD and BOB "led to" the Universal Salvationism of Vatican II

X. The Crazy Creed of the Feeneyites

XI. Conclusion

I. What are Baptism of Desire (BOD) and Baptism of Blood (BOB)?
According to Fr. Francis Spirago, in The Catechism Explained, (referencing The Catechism of the Council of Trent): "If baptism by water is impossible, it may be replaced by the baptism of desire, or by the baptism of blood, as in the case of those who suffer martyrdom for the faith of Christ." Neither BOD or BOB are sacraments, they are extraordinary ways to receive the grace of baptism by those who cannot do so. The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis sive Spiritus Sancti) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism. The Latin word flamen is used because Flamen is a name for the Holy Ghost, Whose special office it is to move the heart to love God and to conceive penitence for sin. 

Baptism of Blood means that martyrdom can be a substitute for baptism of water because by it the person is actually conformed to the Passion of Christ from which springs the efficacy of the Sacrament of Baptism. By BOD and BOB, faith and sanctifying grace are infused in the soul, but the indelible character of baptism is not. A person who dies after receiving BOD and BOB is within the Church and is saved. To be saved by BOD or BOB is a rare gift of God, and must not detract us from getting as many converts as possible as the Great Commission tells us. BOD and BOB are dogmas that must be believed. 

II. Who was Leonard Feeney?
Leonard Feeney was born on February 18, 1897, in Massachusetts. He entered the novitiate of the Jesuits in 1914 and was ordained a priest on June 20, 1928. {Whenever I mention Leonard Feeney in this post, I do not use his clerical title of "Fr." or "Father," because an excommunicated cleric loses the right to his ecclesiastical designation. His "reconcilliation" by Montini means nothing, as Paul VI was a false pope---Introibo). In the 1930s, he was literary editor at the Jesuit magazine, America. He became a professor at Boston College, and soon became the chaplain at the Catholic Saint Benedict Center at Harvard Square in 1945. Soon after, he started preaching against BOD and BOB.

 After World War II, Catholics in the United States were exposed to different religions as never before. They became less concerned with what their non-Catholic friends believed as long as they were "nice." It became hard for many to conceive of God letting those outside the One True Church go to Hell. Seeing an opening, the crypto-Modernists in the clergy and religious orders began a brilliant campaign to get ecumenism in the minds of the faithful by distorting a Catholic truth.  Fr. "Love the World" and Sister "Mary Sunshine" would tell people that they need not worry about the fate of non-Catholics because they would all (or almost all) be saved by Baptism of Desire (BOD). This is what caused Feeney to reject BOD and BOB. Instead of correcting the error, he fell into an opposite error.

Since "Outside the Church there is no salvation," and the only way to enter the Church (according to Feeney) is by water baptism, all those not baptized by water in the Catholic Church cannot be saved.
He gained a large following. His Jesuit superiors ordered him to leave the Center for a post at the College of the Holy Cross, but after initially going there, he returned to the Center and repeatedly refused to comply with the order. Feeney was summoned to Rome to answer for his teachings, but he staunchly refused to go. On February 13, 1953, Fr. Feeney was solemnly excommunicated by Pope Pius XII for heresy, not disobedience. More will be stated about this fact.

Prior to his excommunication, Feeney set up a community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was "reconciled" with Montini (Paul VI) and the Vatican II sect in 1972, but was not required abjure his errors, causing his followers to rejoice and claim "his teachings were vindicated." 

(a) Feeney was not a theologian or canonist
Despite the claims of many of his followers that he was some learned scholar, Feeney never held either a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD), or a Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD). His early writings were devotional works. In 1934 he published a collection of essays entitled Fish on Fridays which became a best seller. In it, he made it known he believed that it was possible for a Protestant to be saved (but not as a Protestant, of course, but as a Catholic received in the Church by that rare miracle of BOD). His later works, most notably Bread of Life (1952), set forth his false teachings. 

Theologian Salaverri, makes it clear that to be considered a theologian, that cleric's works must be known for "...orthodoxy of least to this extent recognized by the Church that their writings are used by the faithful and the schools, with the knowledge of and with no opposition from the Magisterium of the Church."(See Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Vol. IB, pg. 327, #857). Obviously, Feeney, a gifted writer, could not be considered either a theologian or canonist ( i.e., Church-approved expert in Canon Law).

(b)Feeney's False Teaching
Justification is the passage from the state of sin to the state of sanctifying grace; salvation is the passage out of this earthly life and persevering to the end in the state of sanctifying grace so as to merit Heaven (either directly, or after time in Purgatory). The Sacrament of Baptism imparts an indelible character on the soul, such that it cannot be repeated. Feeney taught that the character was necessary for salvation. This has never been the teaching of the Church. If a validly baptized person commits mortal sin, they retain the baptismal character, but not sanctifying grace. The two are distinct and separable. In Bread of Life, pg. 118, Feeney writes, "Justification is now being turned into salvation with the aid of water." 

If someone is justified, they have sanctifying grace. Baptism cannot turn anything "into salvation." This would mean you are somehow assured of going to Heaven as "salvation by faith alone" Protestants falsely teach. Feeney claimed BOD confers sanctifying grace yet you cannot enter Heaven until water baptism. In other words, you can have sanctifying grace, but die and go to Hell unless you receive Baptism by water! A person in sanctifying grace is a child of God with the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in his soul. How could such a person go to Hell? They can't. 

Modern-day Feeneyites, such as the Dimond brothers realize the illogical position of Feeney, and thereby teach that without Baptism of water, no one is saved or justified. While more logically consistent (although totally false), they do not believe as Feeney did, but "improve" upon his teaching, a teaching demonstrably illogical as well as contrary to the teaching of the Church.

(c) More Strange Teaching
In Bread of Life, pgs. 97-98, Fr. Feeney writes these most disconcerting words, "I think baptism makes you the son of God. I do not think it makes you the child of Mary. I think the Holy Eucharist makes you a child of Mary. What happens to those children who die between baptism and the Holy Eucharist?...They go to the Beatific Vision. They are in the Kingdom of Mary, but they are not the children of Mary. Mary is their Queen, but not their Mother. They are like little angels. There was a strong tradition in the Church that always spoke of them as 'those angels who died in infancy.' They have the Beatific Vision, and they see the great Queen, but not move in as part of the Mystical Body of Christ...I say: If a child dies after having received baptism, he dies the son of God, but not yet as the child of Mary..."

Baptism makes you part of the One True Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, yet Feeney talks of infants who die after baptism as not moving in Heaven as "part of the Mystical Body of Christ"? They are not true Catholics? Isn't Feeney contradicting his so-called "strict interpretation" of "Outside the Church no salvation"? The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Invisible Head of the Church, and by extension, to each member of His Mystical Body. How dare Feeney call baptized infants who die before First Communion as "not a child of Mary." Note well he never cites to even one approved theologian, canonist, Encyclical, or other authoritative Church declaration in support of his novel ideas--and with good reason: there aren't any. More heresy.

(d) Leonard Feeney: Cult Leader and Child Abuser
Feeney's "Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary" consisted of married men and women living as religious "brothers" and "nuns" without permission from Rome. What is really awful is what happened to the children. There were thirty-nine (39) children of these "married religious" who were raised in a wacky commune built for the "Congregation." The MICM (Latin initials for the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) bought some houses and erected a fence around them. Feeney and "Sr." Catherine (sometimes referred to as "Mother" just as Feeney was known simply as "Father") ran the place in dictatorial fashion. It was called the "St. Benedict Center" (SBC). 

What happened to them can justly be deemed child abuse, on this basis alone. Children have a right by Natural and Divine Law to be raised by their married parents, and not reared as "siblings" of wannabe "nuns" and "brothers." 

The Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 1013 section 1 states, "The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children.  It’s secondary end is mutual help and the allaying of concupiscence." (Emphasis mine). The raising and education of children is the responsibility of the parents, not Leonard Feeney. The children were referred to as "Little Brothers" and "Little Sisters." Their parents were known only by their religious names, not "mom and dad." As a matter of fact, the children were forbidden to call their parents by anything other than their "religious" names, and they were told it was wrong to be "too attached" to any person.

Here is a partial listing of the bizarre and abusive behaviors that took place under Feeney:

  • Fr. Feeney was convinced that the "outside world" (i.e., all those not in SBC) were evil and out to get both him and his followers
  • Therefore, no one was allowed to read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch movies, or have any contact with those outside SBC
  • As a way to keep their activity secret, they developed strange code words. Morning Mass offered by Feeney was to be called "First Breakfast," Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the evening was called "Tea," and the Blessed Sacrament Itself was called "D.N." for "Dominus Noster"---"Our Lord"
  • Every child was assigned an "Angel" (so-called nun) to watch over them and punish them for the slightest infraction of the rules
  • Punishment included being sent to Br. Isidore, who was called "B.P." for "Big Punisher." Punishments included being cracked over the buttocks repeatedly with a two by four (wooden plank), being punched with closed fists, getting ten lashes with a long black rubber hose across the bare back and stomach which left marks, and being repeatedly beaten with a belt in front of the other Little Brothers and Little Sisters to show them what happens when you disobey a rule of Feeney (Father) and/or "Sr." Catherine Clarke (Mother). It was done to "save them from Hell."
  • The children were told an angel from heaven would be watching them at "First Breakfast" and if they didn't pay attention, the angel would report back to God so that they would get an especially painful place to burn in Hell forever if they did not confess to Father right away and change their ways
  • One boy suffered from nocturnal enuresis (i.e., nighttime bed wetting) and instead of being taken to the doctor, was accused of "disobedience" when he was told to stop but couldn't help himself. In order to make him stop wetting the bed, the B.P. beat him in front of the other kids with the belt. When that didn't work, he was given only bread and water to eat for days, then scalded with hot water, and even burned with matches
  • The children were told not to get close to anyone emotionally, including their parents. "Particular friendships" were forbidden by Sr Catherine. The children were not allowed to have real friendships with each other and were punished if their "Angel" thought they were becoming friendly with anyone. Particular friendships were "worldly" and "sinful"  
  • When someone from the "outside world" would criticize something Feeney said (usually when he was out protesting against Cardinal Cushing), Feeney would blasphemously make the sign of the cross over them and say in English, "I curse you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"
  • Even prior to Vatican II, Feeney did not allow any member of MICM to attend the Mass of any other priest, as they were all "heretics" and part of the "evil world"
  • Feeney would refer to His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, as a "dirty WOP." (WOP, meaning "without a passport," is a degrading and derogatory ethnic slur used against Italians) 
(e) Feeney was Excommunicated for Heresy
The decree of excommunication against Feeney reads:

Since Father Leonard Feeney remained in Boston (St. Benedict Center) and since he has been suspended from performing his priestly duties for a long time because of his grave disobedience to the Authority of the Church, in no way moved by repeated warnings and threats of incurring excommunication ipso facto, and has still failed to submit, the most Eminent and Reverend Fathers, charged with the responsibility of safeguarding faith and morals, during a plenary session held on February 4, 1953, have declared him excommunicated with all the effects that this has in law.

On Thursday, February 12, 1953, Our Most Holy Father Pius XII, Pope by Divine Providence, has approved and confirmed the decree of these Most Eminent Fathers, and ordered that this be made a matter of public record.

Given in Rome in the general quarters of the Holy Office, February 13, 1953. 

Marius Crovini, notary (Emphasis mine).

Note well two facts:
1. The Holy Office is charged with safeguarding faith and morals, not enforcing discipline.
2. The decree of excommunication was approved and confirmed by Pope Pius XII and ordered to be published.

Proof of #1 above: According to canonists Abbo and Hannon, "The Sacred Congregation for Religious is exclusively competent in matters affecting the government, the discipline, the studies, the property, and the privileges of religious of the Latin Rite, including religious of both sexes, those of both solemn and simple vows, and members of societies livining in common without vows, as well as members of secular Third Orders." (See The Sacred Canons, [1952], 1:308; Emphasis mine). Hence, if Feeney's problem was merely and exclusively one of disobedience, it would be a disciplinary matter to be handled by The Sacred Congregation for Religious. The Holy Office would not (and could not) involve itself in a purely disciplinary matter.

Proof of #2 above: "In one respect, the Holy Office differs from all the other Congregations in that it exercises both judicial and administrative power, or, at least, may only use judicial power at the request of the parties interested. Thus, the Holy Office in dealing with all matters which directly or indirectly concern faith or morals, will not judge only heresy, but, where it pronounces an adverse judgement, will also apply the canonical punishments incurred by heretics and schismatics." (See theologian Williams, The Catholic Church in Action, [1958], pg. 92). The Holy Office has the authority to excommunicate any person. The Prefect is the pope himself, a "Pro-Prefect" heads the Congregation on a daily basis, but the pope must personally approve all decisions and order them published. Pope Pius XII personally approved the decree of excommunication emanating from the Holy Office and ordered it published.

The letter of solemn excommunication against Father Leonard Feeney was duly published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official publication of the Holy See. Its reference number is 45-100. All laws promulgated through it have binding force with no other form of publication/promulgation being necessary.

The inescapable conclusion is that Fr. Feeney was properly and validly excommunicated for his false teachings. 

III. Comparison of Feeney to Fred and Bobby Dimond
Rarely does heresy stay isolated. Those who deny Catholic teaching on BOD and BOB hold up as a modern day "savior" the late Jesuit, Fr. Leonard Feeney. This is a priest who:
  • was never qualified as a theologian or canonist  
  • was disobedient to his lawful superiors and refused to report to the Holy See during the reign of Pope Pius XII and defend his teachings. He was subsequently excommunicated by Pope Pius XII
  • taught a strange, mixed-up notion of Justification and Salvation which is rejected even by his modern day followers
  • started a "religious order" consisting of married couples with children without ecclesiastical approval and in violation of Canon Law
  • abused the children of those "religious" by raising them communally and depriving them of their mother and father as God intended
  • taught that baptized infants were not somehow in the Mystical Body of Christ and could not be considered "children of Mary"
  • sought and received reconciliation in the false Vatican II sect which will accept ANY teaching as long as it isn't the teaching of the One True Church. 
Notice how their most ardent supporters, Fred and Bobby Dimond, have many of the same problems, They:
  • Claim to be Benedictines, yet are sedevacantists. Having been born in the 1970s, they could not be members of the Traditional Benedictines, so they either are "self-appointed" or were made such by someone in the Vatican II sect they claim to abhor. More phony "religious."
  • Have no education beyond high school, and possess no formal ecclesiastical training or degrees, yet pontificate on every topic and "damn to Hell" anyone who disagrees
  • Claim to understand Church teaching on BOD better than Doctors of the Church, such as St. Alphonsus Liguori
  • Have "found errors" in the works of the most highly educated approved theologians of the Church, such as theologian Van Noort
  • Used to tell people they can attend the Mass of sedevacantist priests who are "heretics" (believe Church teaching on BOD and BOB), as long as they don't contribute money. By the same logic you could attend the Mass of an Eastern Schismatic/Heretic as long as you don't contribute money!
  • Claimed that a Mass with the name of the false pope in the Canon (such as by the SSPX) is a grave evil to attend, yet for years attended the "mass" of the Eastern Rite Vatican II sect which always puts the name of the false pope in the Anaphora (their Canon)
  • Deny the Blessed Mother of her rightful title as Co-Redemptrix
  • Claim that married people must have as many children as possible and any use of the natural infertility period is sinful
  • Have often claimed to know that certain people who died were in Hell (we cannot know, except by special revelation who is in Hell except for Judas Iscariot)
  • Have an unhealthy fascination with UFOs, and material that's fit to be published in supermarket tabloids
Lest someone accuse this section of being an an ad hominem attack, it was used to show that the originator (and perpetuators) of the attack on Church teaching regarding BOD and BOB are prideful, disobedient, and lie/misrepresent themselves holding themselves out to be some sort of "theological experts."  Moreover, Feeney was either mentally unbalanced or pure evil. 

IV. The "Feeneyite Virus"
Like a virus, Feeneyism mutates into different forms, but all give you the same "sickness of soul," as my friend Steve Speray has said. There are Vatican II sect Feeneyites who accept the Modernist-Universalist Vatican and Bergoglio, yet teach against BOD and BOB. They note that Montini (Paul VI) received Feeney into the sect without having to abjure his heresy--proof the Vatican II sect will tolerate anything except the truth. Then you have the sedevacantist Feeneyites like Fred and Bobby Dimond. 

Whether or not affiliated with the Vatican II sect, all Feeneyites can be placed into four categories; namely, those who teach:

(a) BOD and BOB are heretical and to be completely rejected. (The teaching of Fred and Bobby Dimond). Leonard Feeney held nearly the same; he taught BOD and BOB could effectuate justification but not salvation. This is as illogical as it is heretical. If you are justified, you are in the state of sanctifying grace. Nevertheless, you would go to Hell justified unless you received water baptism. Fred and Bobby "improved" on Feeney's teaching and made it more logical by claiming BOD and BOB effectuate neither justification nor salvation; however it is just as heretical. 

(b) BOD and BOB are not Church dogma; you may accept or reject it. (Heretical because BOD/BOB are dogma and must be accepted). 

(c) BOD is to be rejected but not BOB. (This is not only heretical but illogical as the proponents admit that there is an exception to water baptism for salvation). 

(d) Explicit faith is necessary for BOD and BOB; implicit faith (what they falsely deem "invincible ignorance") will not save. (These Feeneyites sinfully reject Church teaching, especially that of Pope Pius IX). 

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

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

Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal Magisterium, proposes for belief as having been Divinely-revealed.(Dei Filius, Emphasis mine). 

The Extraordinary Magisterium is expressed by (1) solemn definitions ex cathedra promulgated by either the Roman Pontiff or an Ecumenical Council approved by the Roman Pontiff; (2) professions of faith decreed by the Church; (3) theological censures contrary to heretical propositions. (See theologian Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, [1959], 1:174). 

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

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

Approved theologians therefore, hold great importance in the Church. As theologian Tanquerey teaches, They [theologians] are not to be esteemed lightly no matter what the Protestants, Modernists or other adversaries have alleged against them. (Ibid, pg.180; Emphasis mine). Hence, those who deny the importance of the teachings of approved theologians are Protestants, Modernists and other enemies of the Church, not Catholics.

(b) What, exactly, constitutes an approved theologian of the Church? 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]). The doctorate may only be dispensed by the Roman Pontiff if the cleric is found by the Vicar of Christ to be highly proficient in both Canon Law and Sacred Theology; such is the case with bishops as well (See 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 331; see also canonists Abbo and Hannon, The Sacred Canons, [1952], 1:357-358). 

Theologians demonstrate, and do not determine Catholic doctrine. Theologians do not determine whether some doctrine is de fide or some other theological note, like "certain."  They merely demonstrate, or manifest, or give witness, that a particular doctrine is Church teaching and to what degree. They prove their assertions with convincing arguments, so that when theologians reach an objective, morally unanimous consensus, we must accept such conclusions as belonging to the Faith. According to Schultes (cited above), theologians are witnesses not only to whether a doctrine is defined, but also to its meaning. 

Theologian Fenton's The Concept of Sacred Theology makes clear that Councils, encyclicals, etc., are the raw data the theologian uses for his work. Theology is not simply quoting Church documents, any more than law is not simply quoting the Supreme Court. 

VI. Baptism of Desire and of Blood are an Infallible Teaching of the Magisterium
The Extraordinary Magisterium pronounces it dogma as does the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium.

From the Council of Trent:

CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema. (Emphasis mine).

From the Decree on Justification: 

By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious is indicated,-as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior. And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. (Emphasis mine). 

How do we know what these passages mean? The unanimous consent of all approved theologians and the Catechism of the Council of Trent tell us so.

If you inform a Feeneyite that there was unanimous consent of the theologians and Fathers regarding the reception of the effects/grace of Baptism apart from the sacrament (BOD/BOB) making it also a teaching of the infallible Universal and Ordinary Magisterium, you will get two standard responses from Fred and Bobby's script:

(1) Not ALL the Fathers agreed, and (2) theologians are not infallible. They usually throw in Aquinas not accepting the Immaculate Conception as further "proof" that theologians and Doctors of the Church can be wrong. 

First, they don't understand that it's not  NUMERICAL unanimity but MORAL unanimity that counts. According to the Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary (1957):

When the Fathers of the Church are morally unanimous in their teaching that a certain doctrine is a part of revelation, or is received by the universal Church, or that the opposite of a doctrine is heretical, then their united testimony is a certain criterion of divine revelation. As the Fathers are not personally infallible, the counter testimony of one or two would not be destructive of the value of the collective testimony; so a moral unanimity only is required.

So moral unanimity is the criteria for Fathers and theologians. As to the fact that theologians and even Doctors of the Church are not infallible, again, I turn to theologian Scheeben:

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

As to Aquinas, the matter of the Immaculate Conception was not settled but open to debate among the theologians. His main problem was how to reconcile Mary's Immaculate Conception with the fact she (like all humans) needed to be redeemed. Pope Pius IX addressed this concern in his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus when he defined that Mary was preserved free from Original Sin "in view of the merits of Jesus Christ." Hence, she was redeemed by Christ in a unique manner.

 BOD/BOB is infallible by means of the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium as well as the Extraordinary Magisterium. 

Objection #1: "Desire" really means "Intends to Receive"--"Or" really means "And"
Feeneyites will state that "without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof,..." means that  a person must intend to receive baptism because the sacrament would be invalid if forced upon someone who didn't want it. When it's pointed out that the conjunction "or" is used meaning you must receive the laver of regeneration OR have the desire for it, the Feeneyite will retort that "or" really means "and." When you say a car can't run without gas OR oil, you really need both. Forget the Fathers, Doctors, and approved theologians--Fred and Bobby know best.

Even the very documents of Trent prove the Feeneyites wrong.   In Trent's Decree on Penance and Extreme Unction, we read:

The Synod [Trent] teaches moreover, that, although it sometimes happen that this contrition is perfect through charity, and reconciles man with God before this sacrament [Penance] be actually received, the said reconciliation, nevertheless, is not to be ascribed to that contrition, independently of the desire of the sacrament which is included therein. (Emphasis mine). 

We have a teaching on "Penance by desire." Later, the Decree states,

This Sacrament of Penance is, for those who have fallen after baptism, necessary unto salvation; as baptism itself is for those who have not as yet been regenerated.

The Council of Trent says here that the sacrament of penance is necessary for the salvation of those who have fallen after baptism, as baptism itself is for those who have not as yet been regenerated. However, it is very clear that Trent admits that a man can receive the effect of the sacrament of Penance by desire, before actually receiving the sacrament itself.

Thus, if one wishes to hold that baptism by water is necessary in such a way that the effect of baptism cannot be received before the sacrament itself, one must also hold that the same thing is true of Penance. Otherwise, it would not be true that the sacrament of penance is necessary after sinning just as the sacrament of baptism before being baptized.

Objection #2: The Canons of Trent "Prove" Only Water Baptism Saves
Once, more the interpretation of the Church is jettisoned for private interpretation. 

The Feeneyites will cite Trent's second canon on Baptism:

CANON II.-If any one saith, that true and natural water is not of necessity for baptism, and, on that account, wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of our Lord Jesus Christ; Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost; let him be anathema. (Emphasis mine). 

Yes, but context is everything. This canon was formulated by the theologians at Trent to condemn the heresy of the so-called Reformers (principally Martin Luther) who taught that since faith alone saves, if someone doesn't have water to baptize you can substitute it with milk or beer. Trent was defining the matter of the Sacrament of Baptism, not condemning BOD or BOB. 

Next, they cite Trent's fifth canon on Baptism:

CANON V.-If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.

Trent uses the exact same wording in regards to Penance:

CANON VI.--If any one denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right;...let him be anathema.

Does that mean one who has just been baptized and dies right away will be damned because Penance is "necessary to salvation"? What about baptized babies? What about those who have been baptized, fall into mortal sin, and have never before confessed--can't they be saved by an Act of Perfect Contrition, or "Penance by desire"? Baptism is the instrumental cause of salvation, to use Scholastic terminology. It is that through which we are saved, just as a pen is the instrumental cause of someone writing something down on paper. The principal efficient cause of salvation is Faith and sanctifying grace; the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

Therefore, just as a writer can substitute a pencil for a pen (for he is the one who produces the words as principal efficient cause), so too can God substitute another instrumental cause (BOD/BOB) for the Sacrament of Baptism.

Finally, they quote from Trent that Baptism is the "Sacrament of Faith" and no one can be saved without Faith. From Trent's Decree on Justification:

"...the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which (faith) no man was ever justified;..."

So why is Baptism the "Sacrament of Faith"? The Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches, "The holy Fathers designate [Baptism] also by other names. St. Augustine informs us that it was sometimes called the Sacrament of Faith because by receiving it we profess our faith in all the doctrines of Christianity. (pg. 110) Nowhere in the Council, its Catechism, or in the teaching of any approved theologian/canonist is it held that Baptism is called "the Sacrament of Faith" because it is the only way one can first receive Faith.

VII. Canon Law Infallibly Teaches BOD
There are two deadly Canons in the (1917) Code that destroy the Feeneyite position. 

Canon 737 states, Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually or at least in desire, is necessary for all for salvation...(Emphasis mine).

This should end any doubt as to how the Church understands Trent's Canon IV on Baptism. However, Canon 1239, section 2 delivers another crushing blow:

Catechumens who, through no fault of their own, die without Baptism, are to be treated as Baptized.
Canonists Abbo and Hannon comment, "The reason for this rule is that they are justly supposed to have met death united to Christ through Baptism of Desire." (See The Sacred Canons, [1951], pg. 493). 

This is devastating to the cause of Fred and Bobby, so they must deny that Canon Law is infallible. First, it is established that the Church is infallible in Her universal disciplinary laws such as the 1917 Code of Canon Law. 

Proof: According to theologian Van Noort, "The Church's infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church...By the term "general discipline of the Church" are meant those ecclesiastical laws passed for the direction of Christian worship and Christian living." (See Dogmatic Theology, 2: 114-115; Emphasis mine). 

According to theologian Herrmann:
"The Church is infallible in her general discipline. By the term general discipline is understood the laws and practices which belong to the external ordering of the whole Church. Such things would be those which concern either external worship, such as liturgy and rubrics, or the administration of the sacraments…. If she [the Church] were able to prescribe or command or tolerate in her discipline something against faith and morals, or something which tended to the detriment of the Church or to the harm of the faithful, she would turn away from her divine mission, which would be impossible."
(Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae, Vol. 1, p. 258; Emphasis mine)

Pope Gregory XVI teaches: "[T]he discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced." (See Mirari Vos, para. #9).

Feeneyites will make two objections: (1) The Code is not universal since it only applies to the Latin Rite and not the Eastern Rites, and (2) Canon 1 "proves" it's not universal.

In response to the first objection, it is sheer ignorance of Canon Law. According to the eminent canonist Buscaren: A general [universal] law is one which is not limited to a particular territory; it is a universal law of the Church. This does not mean it is binding on all Catholics. It may be enacted for a special class of persons, or for certain particular circumstances. (See Canon Law: A Text and Commentary [1951], pg. 27). Therefore, "universality" means "pertaining to all members of a Rite throughout the world," and not just in a particular territory. The 1917 Code is therefore universal.

In response to the second objection, Canon 1 does state that the Code as a general rule does not affect the Oriental Church (i.e., Eastern Rites). However, as Buscaren explains, there are some matters in which it [the 1917 Code] affects also the Oriental Church and Oriental Catholics. He enumerates three categories that apply to all Rites: (1) Canons which express dogmatic truths; (2) Canons which declare Divine Law; and (3) Canons which expressly and explicitly mention the Oriental Rites. (See Ibid, pg. 16).

To summarize:
  • Universal disciplinary laws are infallible
  • The 1917 Code of Canon Law is a universal disciplinary law by the Church's own definition
  • The Code also applies to all Rites when it expresses a Divine Truth and/or declares something is Divine Law
  • Canon 737 teaches a Divine truth as to what is necessary to salvation
  • Canon 1239 is an extension of Canon 737 in declaring a dogmatic/Divine truth
Conclusion: BOB and BOD are therefore infallibly taught by the 1917 Code of Canon Law

VIII. Culpable Ignorance about Invincible Ignorance
Many Feeneyites think that the Church teaches people are saved by invincible ignorance. That statement is itself ignorant. Here, we will see that the Church teaches "Outside the Church there is no salvation," and BOD by implicit desire.

The Teaching of the Church:
 Outside the One True Church, There is no Salvation

"There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved." Pope Innocent III, ex cathedra, (Fourth Lateran Council, 1215).

"We declare, say , define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

"The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her... No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." Pope Eugene IV (Cantate Domino, 1441). 

The Syllabus of Errors (1864):
CONDEMNED PROPOSITION 16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.

CONDEMNED PROPOSITION 17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. 

The position of the Church is clear.

The Teaching of the Church:
Ignorance does not--and cannot-- save anyone
In his Allocution Singulari Quadem [1854], Pope Pius IX teaches, "On the other hand it is necessary to hold for certain that ignorance of the true religion, if that ignorance be invincible, is not a fault in the eyes of God."

As theologian Fenton teaches, "He [Pope Pius IX] stated simply that God will blame no man for invincible ignorance of the Catholic Church, any more than He will blame anyone for invincible ignorance of anything else...non-appurtenance to the Catholic Church is by no means the only reason why men are deprived of the Beatific Vision. Ultimately, the only factor that will exclude a man from the eternal and supernatural enjoyment of God in Heaven is sin, either Original or mortal." (See The Catholic Church and Salvation In the Light of Recent Pronouncements of the Holy See, [1958], pgs. 45-46).

The same holy Pontiff, in his encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore [1863], teaches:

Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of Divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments. Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. (para. #7 and 8; Emphasis mine).

Notice that Pope Pius IX affirms the absolute necessity of belonging to the Church for salvation twice, and between these affirmations, he discusses those in invincible ignorance of the true religion who "are able to" (not "will") attain eternal life. Unless you are a Feeneyite, it is apparent that a pope cannot teach error to the whole Church, even when not speaking infallibly. Nor was he schizophrenic; contradicting himself in the same document by affirming the absolute necessity of  belonging to the Church and invincible ignorance. Therefore, invincible ignorance is not an exception to being within the Church. 

First, who are those that Pius IX indicates "may be saved" despite (not because of) invincible ignorance? There are several stringent requirements. The person must:

  • be invincibly ignorant of the Catholic religion
  • carefully observe the natural law (the duty to "do good and avoid evil" as recognized by human reason)
  • observe all the precepts of natural law, which are those specific obligations of the natural law and are known to all people who have not extinguished the light of true conscience within them. Such obligations include, but are not limited to, adoring God, not to steal or kill, to reserve sex for marriage, etc. 
  • "lead a good and upright life" thus striving to to inform and obey his conscience in regard to every action
  • be "ready to obey God" by being disposed to do whatever He may want Him to do, and "lead an honest life" thereby having perfect contrition for sin
If a person meets these requirements, is he/she assured of salvation? In a word: No. They need "Divine light and grace." What does this mean? God can, before death, enlighten the mind by infusing the basic truths of Faith and imbue sanctifying grace in the soul. The person thereby is within the Church with grace and can be saved. St Thomas Aquinas in De Veritate, question 14, article 11, discusses whether it is necessary to have explicit Faith to be saved. The Angelic Doctor answers in the affirmative, and this comports with implicit faith being changed to explicit Faith by Divine Light. Aquinas teaches:

"For if anyone thus brought up [someone raised in the woods or among brute animals] were to follow the guidance of natural reason in seeking good and shunning evil, it must be held most certainly that God would reveal to him even by an internal inspiration those things which are necessary to be believed, or would direct some preacher of the Faith to him, even as He sent Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10). (Emphasis mine).  Hence, theologian Lacroix teaches that "...the faithlessness of those who have heard nothing of the Faith [not even by internal inspiration] not a sin, but the penalty of sin; because if they had done what lay within their power, God would not have concealed the faith from them." (See Theologia Moralis, De Fide, cap. 5, dub 1). 

If someone in invincible ignorance meets many stringent requirements, it is possible that God can bring him into the Church through BOD before death. It is a rare miracle of grace. Therefore, we must pursue the Great Commission with full vigor. Just as God has miraculously allowed certain saints to survive by ingesting nothing but the Holy Eucharist, we can't take a rare miracle like that and use it to justify not feeding the poor because "God can feed them by a miracle." 

IX. Two Major Feeneyite Attacks on BOD
(a) Fred and Bobby's "Best Argument" Against BOD:
BOD gives the grace of baptism, yet temporal punishments remain, unlike in the sacrament of Baptism by water. Therefore, you are not receiving "the grace of Baptism" and BOD does not exist.

There is confusion on the meaning of the term "grace of Baptism." First, the Feeneyite objection will be set forth in a syllogistic form:

1. An adult who receives water baptism validly and who dies before committing a sin goes immediately to Heaven because the "grace of baptism" washes away all sin and all punishment due to sin.

2. An adult who receives baptism of desire does not have all punishment due to sin washed away.

3. Hence, an adult who receives baptism of desire is receiving something other than the "grace of baptism."

4. Therefore, an adult who receives baptism of desire, is not actually receiving the "grace of baptism," and will not go to Heaven were he to die before receiving water baptism.

It seems valid, but the problem lies in the term "grace of baptism" not being properly understood. The term applies to a bundle of gifts that the Sacrament alone gives to the recipient. Those gifts are:

  • The infusion of sanctifying grace (which washes away all sin, both Original and actual [mortal and venial])
  • The infusion of the three theological virtues (these actually never exist in a soul without sanctifying grace, but are distinct from sanctifying grace)
  • The removal of all temporal punishment for sin
  • The communication of the baptismal character on the soul which gives the soul a right to participate in the Church's sacramental life
  • Incorporation into the Church as a member
BOD does not communicate "the bundle" that is always communicated via the "grace of baptism."
BOD does communicate the first two items in the bundle, however, and as a consequence puts the recipient within the One True Church. So while it does not communicate "the grace of baptism," it communicates enough of the gifts included in the grace of baptism to justify.  This is because justification consists simply in the existence of God's life in the soul and the habituation of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.  While it is true that a man who receives baptism of desire receives something other than the "grace of baptism" technically considered, the person who receives BOD does receive the justifying effects of baptism.

In revisiting the Feeneyite objection above, #4 does not logically follow from numbers 1-3. They actually beg the question when they assert "BOD does not communicate the grace of baptism," because they are really saying:

BOD is not the same as being justified by water baptism. Water baptism is the only way to be justified. Therefore, BOD does not justify. 

Yet, the whole point of dispute is whether water baptism (the sacrament) is the only way to be justified, and they gratuitously assume it to be true in making their objection to BOD. Finally, there is the condemned proposition #31 of Michael du Bay (Condemned in the decree Ex omnibus afflicionibus of Pope St. Pius V on October 1, 1567) which states:

CONDEMNED: Perfect and sincere charity, which is from a "pure heart and good conscience and a faith not feigned" [1 Timothy 1:5], can be in catechumens as well as in penitents without the remission of sins. 

So a catechumen can have perfect and sincere charity which necessitates the remission of sin. It says nothing about the remission of temporal punishments. BOB, on the other hand, is considered by theologians as removing all temporal punishments. This is most likely because death in the service of Christ is a kind of penance whereby those debts are remitted. Such a penitent type of willful surrender of one's life to Christ is different than a catechumen who has a heart attack or a car accident causing death prior to Baptism.

The "best argument" of Fred and Bobby is fallacious. 

(b) BOD and BOB "led to" the Universal Salvationism of Vatican II
The doctrine of Universalism is grounded in the heretical ecclesiology of the damnable document Lumen Gentium "promulgated" by "Pope" Paul VI on November 21, 1964. In paragraph number 8, we read: "This Church [the Church of Christ], constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines. Since these are gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity." (Emphasis mine).

In simple terms, this "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church," as it is called, teaches that there is an entity known as "the Church of Christ" which is distinct from the Roman Catholic Church. (The true ecclesiology always taught that the Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same). The Church of Christ is found in its "fullness" in the Roman Catholic Church because She contains all the "elements" of the Church of Christ, which subsists (in greater or lesser degrees) in other religions too, depending on how many "elements" they possess. To have all the elements is best, but to have just some is good too and leads to salvation. This heresy denies that there is only One True Church, and it makes a farce of the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ("Outside the Church No Salvation"--hereinafter "EENS").

The "conservative" defenders of the Vatican II sect will protest that Lumen Gentium upholds EENS in paragraph number 14. It states: "Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it." In paragraph number 16, it declares, "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation."

The text cites to the letter of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office Suprema Haec Sacra [1949] to the Archbishop of Boston regarding the errors of  Leonard Feeney. It is interesting that the letter does not expound the Catholic teaching on BOD and BOB as fully and comprehensively as other sources which the Robber Council simply ignored.

In response to their defense of Lumen Gentium, I can easily point out glaring departures from EENS, such as in paragraph number 16 where it teaches "... the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." God's plan of salvation includes the followers of the murderous madman Mohammed? Worshiping the false moon god "Allah" is the same as the Triune God of Catholicism? 

I could go on, but the purpose of my post is to bring to light the false ideas held by "EWTN" types in the Vatican II sect, who give a heretical interpretation to invincible ignorance based on the above cited sentence from Lumen Gentium: "Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it."

From the sentence cited in Lumen Gentium, the V2 sect apologists reason as follows: No one can be damned for not joining the Catholic Church unless the failure to join is deliberate. The Church teaches that all who do not join Her are damned. Therefore, "Outside the Church No Salvation" only applies to those who recognize the Catholic Church as the True Church and then deliberately refuse to join Her. Now if you apply this totally false and heretical idea and label it "invincible ignorance," you have completely eviscerated EENS.

According to Vatican II, there are two necessary factors for being "outside the Church:" First, you must explicitly know that the Catholic Church is the One True Church, and having this knowledge, you nevertheless (out of human respect, fear, or whatever motive) refuse to join Her.

 It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that large numbers of people have no knowledge of the Catholic Church, or don't realize Catholicism is the true religion, due to factors they can't overcome (like poor Chinese pagans who don't know any better and have never heard of Catholicism in many cases. I won't even discuss those who mistake the Vatican II sect for the Catholic Church). Add to the mix Lutherans living in Scandinavian countries, and since they were surrounded by non-Catholics, they had no way to understand the Catholic Church is the One True Church. Hence, nearly all the world is saved.  Feeneyites will rightfully condemn this heresy, but then they go on to reject the true teaching on invincible ignorance as taught by Pope Pius IX.

The heretical implications of the V2 sect apologists are:

1. The Divine and Catholic Faith are not always necessary for salvation.

2. Those who are not deliberately outside the Church because of ignorance, and those who fail to recognize Her as the One True Church, will ipso facto be united to Her through BOD.

3. There is a "presumption of salvation" for non-Catholics. This comes directly from Vatican II which discussed Moslems as a whole (and many other false sects) as being "in the plan of salvation." 

Compare with the section on the Church's teaching on invincible ignorance and implicit BOD. They stand in stark contrast to one another. The Vatican II sect exalts ignorance as a condition that automatically saves you. Nothing could be more wrong and wicked. Ignorance, even when invincible and thereby inculpable, does not save anyone. If that were the case, the Church should not carry out the Great Commission by sending missionaries, because if you leave someone in invincible ignorance they will be saved, but if you tell them the truth and they reject it they will be damned. You thereby put non-Catholics in a potentially worse position by preaching to them. 

Did BOD and BOB "lead to" this Universalism of Vatican II?  Unequivocally: NO. 

1. The Church always taught BOD and BOB. Heretics always begin by taking something the Church has taught and twisting it into something different. BOD and BOB no more "lead to" Universalism, than the Bible "led to" Protestantism.

2. The approved theologians, staunchly Anti-Modernist, drew up the original Vatican II schemas and were ready to explicitly define the dogma in depth. It was the Modernists, led by Roncalli, that had that schema scrapped. See below.

 From the schema on the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church:
Para. #8: The Holy Synod teaches, as God's Holy Church has always taught, that the Church is necessary for salvation and that no one can be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded by God through Jesus Christ, nevertheless refuses to enter her or to persevere in Her. Just as no one can be saved except by receiving baptism--by which anyone who does not pose some obstacle to incorporation becomes a member of the Church--or at least by desire for baptism, so also no one can attain salvation unless he is a member of the Church or at least is ordered towards the Church by desire. But for anyone to attain to salvation, it is not enough that he be really a member of the Church or be by desire ordered towards it; it is also required that he die in the state of grace, joined to God by faith, hope, and charity. (Emphasis mine).

This is explicit and a vivid contrast to Lumen Gentium. Baptism or the desire for baptism, sanctifying grace, and the infused virtues are necessary to be within the Church and achieve salvation. 

Cited by the schema as authorities for this formulation:  For the teaching of the Church, see the Athanasian Creed (Dz 40); Pelagius II, Letter Dilectionis vestris (Dz 247); Innocent III, Profession of Faith for the Waldensians (Dz 423); Boniface VIII, Bull Unam sanctam (Dz 468); Clement VI, Epist. Super quibusdam (Dz 570b); the Council of Florence, Decree for the Jacobites (Dz 714); the Tridentine Profession of Faith (Dz 1000); Benedict XIV, Profession of Faith for the Maronites (Dz 1473); Gregory XVI, Enc. Mirari vos (Dz 1613); Pius IX, Enc. Quanto conficiamur maerore (Dz 1677); Syllabus, n. 16-17 (Dz 1716-17); Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (AAS 35 [1943], pp. 242-43); Humani generis (Dz 2319); Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston, Aug. 8, 1949.

Note well that the top theologians cite to the very documents the Feeneyites claim exclude Baptism of Desire (e.g., Unam Sanctam). Bye, bye Fred and Bobby! For someone who wishes to do all God wants of him, and leads a morally upright life by cooperating with actual graces, God can, before the moment of death, infuse his intellect with Faith, and give him perfect contrition so as to fill the soul with sanctifying grace. He therefore dies within the Church and in the state of grace; the requirements to be saved. 
X. The Crazy Creed of the Feeneyites
My friend, Steve Speray, accurately summed up what you must believe if you want to maintain the denial of BOD and BOB:

1. The Catholic Church has been promulgating heresy by catechisms for centuries. The Catechism of the Council of Trent has been the official catechism of the Church, teaching heresy, unnoticed or uncorrected by all the popes, from the 16th century until 1958.

2. The Catholic Church has been promulgating heresy by Canon Law for over 100 years.

3. The Catholic Church allows heresy to be taught throughout the whole Church for hundreds of years, and no pope stopped it.

4. Protestant and Eastern Schismatic sects are false religions because they teach heresy, but the Catholic Church remains the True Religion when it teaches heresy by law and catechism.

5. All the popes and approved theologians that taught Baptism of Desire/Blood after Trent were ignorant of that same Council's "dogma" that there is only baptism by water.

6. Pope Pius IX was ignorant of the Council of Trent's teaching on Baptism, and promulgated heresy about invincible ignorance. When approved theologians during his life explained what he meant, he did not stop them or censure them. [How could he promulgate heresy and still be a true pope? This would make it morally certain that he had fallen from office prior to that time by espousing heresy as a private theologian]. 

7. Pope St. Pius X allowed a heretical catechism to be promulgated in Italy bearing his name. He never knew it contained teaching on BOD/BOB--or else he knew it and didn't stop the heresy pushed in his name.

8. St. and Doctor of the Church Alphonsus Liguori didn’t understand the Council of Trent's teaching on Baptism and interpreted Trent to mean exactly opposite to its true meaning. In spite of that, Pope Pius IX in 1871 declared him a Doctor of the Church for his orthodoxy in teaching the faith.

9. Every layman that believes in Baptism of Desire/Blood is a heretic and a liar, but all the popes, saints, and Doctors of the Church that professed the same are not heretics or liars, but they simply "made a mistake."

10. Defenders of Baptism of Desire/Blood who use the teachings of popes, catechisms, Canon Law, and Doctors of the Church are bad-willed and cannot be sincere. 

XI. Conclusion
Modern day Feeneyites teach that BOD confers neither justification or salvation. The only way to be within the Church and be in the state of grace is through water baptism. Yet this post has shown the teaching of the Church to be quite different. When you understand how and what the Church teaches us, the case against Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire simply does not hold water.