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Irish Episcopal Watch

 

SSPX/ Resistance  Watch

 

Aspirations

to be said throughout the day

Jesus! (300 days indulgence)

 

Hail, O Holy Cross, our only hope. (500 days indulgence)

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I offer you my heart and my soul. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul with you in peace. (300 days altogether, 100 day each; Pius VII, 1807)

 

Eternal Father! I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus, in satisfaction for my sins, and for the wants of Holy Church. (100 days; Pius VII, 1817)

 

Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation. (300 days when said with contrition and devotion; Pius IX, 1852)

 

May the most just, most high, most adorable Will of God be in all things done, and praised, and magnified for ever. (100 days once a day; Pope Pius VII, 1815)

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us. (300 days)

 

My God and my All.

 

Heart of Jesus, all for Thee.

 

Set thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon my heart, that in thee and through thee I may be found faithful to God.

 

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee. (300 days)

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls.

 

Prayer to St. Joseph: Remember, most pure husband of Mary ever-Virgin, my loving protector Joseph, that never hath it been heard that any one invoked thy protection or asked aid of thee who has not been consoled. In this confidence, I come before thee, I fervently recommend myself to thee. Despise not my prayer, reputed father of the Saviour of men, but do thou in thy pity receive it. (300 days)

A manifestly heretic pope and the deception of an adulterated sources

A little Catechism on Sedevacantism 

   The story begins at Avrille with the Dominicans’ publication: "A little Catechism on Sedevacantism". The First edition of this 'little catechism' appeared in Le Sel de la Terra in 2001, and although many years have passed since then, the arguments given in this publication have formed the mindset of the SSPX faithful, giving the majority of them peace of mind regarding the position of their Society of being with the pope, while opposing him in teaching and discipline.  The author of the "Little Catechism on Sedevacantism", Fr. Boulet seems to be giving a detailed investigation of all the possible arguments for and against sedevacantism. In reality, this so-called catechism is functioning as a stone wall against even the slightest thought wandering in the area of sedevacantism. It was probably supposed to immunise the people in the SSPX against sedevacantism, and of course, in order to keep the immunisation valid, the text or fragments of it were propagated in various other articles and bulletins, until its key paragraphs were deeply infused into their reasons and consciences.

Questions and answers used in the fashion of a catechism are used to convince those who are in doubt about the "pope issue" that a pope, although a manifest heretic, is still the pope of the Catholic Church.  Most of the readers of Boulet's Catechism would be convinced of the presented view, because, by invoking the great theologians, he appears to refer to Church teaching. The names of theologians served to build up the irrefutable authority of Boulet’s own opinions; of course he expressed the position of SSPX.

 

A Little Catechism on Sedevacantism: heresy disguised as Church teachingA Little Catechism on Sedevacantism: heresy disguised as Church teaching

A Little Catechism on Sedevacantism: strangling the minds of well-meaning CatholicsA Little Catechism on Sedevacantism: strangling the minds of well-meaning Catholics

 

The simple and honest trust in Boulet's work can be observed in the many internet forums and blog-posts, where the "Catechism" on sedevacantism is faithfully cited and its sentences are circulating, esteemed, and seen as nearly infallible (1). The faithful have started to use the Boulet thesis themselves in their private and public debates, somehow knowing that whoever wouldn’t accept the given sentences as a tray full of wisdom, is their enemy.

This authority, which Boulet acquired from using the names of the true defenders of the Church teaching, to some extent, has proven its value - even when those reading it knew the SSPX position to be false. Polemicists didn’t much touch the (supposedly) given theological references in the Catechism; they focused rather on arguing against Rev. Boulet's anti-sedevacantist thesis. Here, I mean such polemicists as Fr. Ricosta (2), John Lane (3) and Steven Speray (4).

Let it be mentioned that the Dominicans' "Catechism" has been published on nearly all of the SSPX's websites and translated into several languages. The following, revised publication appeared in 2004 (5), but there were frequent reprints, especially when a conclave was taking place. The anti-sedevacantism approach of the Dominican writing was accepted even by the new wave of "recognise and resisters"- the so-called Resistance - a movement organised by Frs. Pfeiffer, Hewko and Chazal. We can see a stable bridge between the Dominicans' Catechism and Fr. Chazal's  Long live Emperor Nullaparte (published in the main Resistance's press The Recusant (6)), as Fr. Chazal referred to and copied the Dominican theologian’s references.

We will now turn to Rev. Boulet's text. A more detailed examination of it will be given later. For now, before even looking at the thesis of the Dominican Catechism, we will look more closely at the given proofs and references.

If the proofs are certain, we would have to follow (examine) the rhetoric and its conclusions. In his work Fr. Boulet seeks to support his anti-sedevacantism dash by referring to the following well known theologians: St. Bellarmine, Billuart and Garrigou-Lagrange.

According to Fr. Boulet, these theologians promote the opinion that a manifestly heretical pope can still be a pope of the Church.

I would like the readers to examine with me the way in which Fr. Boulet "appointed" and pointed out these three theologians as guarantors of the SSPX 's idea of public heretics validly reigning over the Church. 

 
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 Footnotes:

(1) For example,  http://decemrationis.yuku.com/topic/64/Father-GL-on-a-heretic-as-pope#.WArSj-grKM9 ,                                                          http://www.fisheaters.com/forums/index.php?topic=2197126.0 - This approach is widely presented.

(2) http://wordpress.catholicapedia.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ab-Ricossa_Le-Sel-de-la-terre_et_le-sedevacantisme.pdf

(3) novusordowatch.org/wp-content/uploads/sspx_dossier_sede.pdf  

(4) stevensperay.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/sedevacantism-and-rev-dominique-boulet-sspx/. 

(5) fsspx.com/Communicantes/Dec2004/Is_That_Chair_Vacant.htm ;

    there were also other versions, with the same arguments and the same scheme of argumentation, but written (re-written) by  different authors, for example: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/currenterrors/sede.htm

(6) www.therecusant.com/chazal-nullaparte-july2014)

 
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   1. Why was the additional word, “formal”, added to Saint Robert Bellarmine’s Argument?

               

     In his Catechism, Rev. Boulet refers to St. Robert Bellarmine:

"St. Robert Bellarmine says that a pope who would formally and manifestly became a heretic would lose the pontificate."(1)

In De Controversis: Concerning the Roman Pontiff  we can find St. R. Bellarmine's conclusion, pertaining to a heretical pope:

"[T]he true opinion is that a Pope who is a manifest heretic, ceases in himself to be Pope and head, just as he ceases in himself to be a Christian and member of the body of the Church."(2)

"[T]hat a manifest heretic would be ipso facto deposed, is proven from authority and reason."(3)

Additionally, in the Chapter Whether a Heretical Pope Can be Deposed, St. Bellarmine proved against the opinion "that the Pope is not and cannot be deposed either by (his) secret or manifest heresy", and he concluded that "it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognise a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd."(4) - this context should be especially fateful in relation to the SSPX theory of recognising a heretic as a shepherd.

Surprisingly, Fr. Boulet didn't touch this ground of St. Bellarmine's lecture, didn't mention or investigate it at all.

(For explanations and definitions of the different types of heresy, click here.)

Boulet has "enriched" his near-quote from the Saint. In Boulet's text, along with St. Bellarmine's "manifest heretic", an additional condition is added - "formal"; so the sentence discusses the case of a "formal and manifest heretic". At first glance, it seems that this minor addition changes nothing - but then we look at it again and realise the magnitude of this deceitful manipulation. It is obvious that St. Bellarmine in his statement didn't mean a material heretic, based on invincible ignorance. In any case, the manifestation of a heresy by a heretic would be a sufficient condition for St. Bellarmine to recognise him as a heretic. He didn't set down any more conditions, such as an internal degree of awareness, or an internal reason of the manifest heretic - "for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic."(5)  An external act, as something visible and manifest, is sufficient for us to judge a heretic. Contrary to that, the SSPX publication, while using the opinion of St. Bellarmine in the affirmative, stated:

"But if [the pope] often enough makes heretical affirmations or statements that lead to heresy, it cannot easily be shown that he is aware of rejecting any dogma of the Church. And as long as there is no sure proof, then it is more prudent to refrain from judging."

     It seems that "A little Catechism of Sedevacantism" is proving its point on the authority of St. Robert Bellarmine; in fact, the opinion of the Saint is falsely used by Fr. Boulet out of a need for a higher authority to prove his position. By adding the word "formal", the SSPX author wanted to deprive us of the right certitude of our external judgement, which should be "pure and simple".

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Footnotes:

(1) We can find out that Rev. Boulet referred to De Controversis: Concerning the Roman Pontiff, Book II, Chapter XXX (The Last Argument is Answered Wherein the Argument is Taken up, Whether a Heretical Pope Can be Deposed).

(2) St. R. Bellarmine, De Controversis On the Roman Pontiff, translated from the Latin by R. Grant, Mediatrix Press, 2015, page 309

(3) op.cit., page 305

(4) op.cit., page 305, underlined added

(5) St. R. Bellarmine, De Romano PontificelibIVc. 9no15

_______________________________________________________________

 

  2. The "quote" taken out of the hat: Charles-Rene Billuart’s Argument.

 

      Readers of the "A little Catechism..." are confronted with the question:

"If a Catholic were convinced that [the pope] is a formal, manifest heretic, should he then conclude that he is no longer a pope?"

To answer this, and to oppose St. Bellarmine teaching that we should judge a heretic by his external acts, another theologian was needed, Fr. Charles-Rene Billuart. Here we have the most astounding opinion: 

"According to the more common opinion, Christ, by a particular providence, for the common good and the tranquility of the Church, continues to give jurisdiction to an even manifestly heretical pontiff until such time as he be declared a manifest heretic by the Church."

The footnote at the above sentence is directing us to Billuart, De Fide (Diss.V, A.III, No.3, obj.2).

 

Has anyone ever actually checked Fr. Boulet's sources? Try it, you'll be surprised!Has anyone ever actually checked Fr. Boulet's sources? Try it, you'll be surprised!

 

Although this sentence is given without quotation marks, in later publications it will have such. It would be significant, if the quotation was true. Let's open "De Fide", to check the source of the quotation carefully: Dissertatio V (De Vittis Fidei Oppositis), Articulus III (De Apostasia):

Qui ab Ordine Sacro fine legitima dispensatione retrocedit ad statum Seacularem, est apostata & peccat mortaliter; quia deserit statum cui per Ecclesiam erat solemniter mancipatus, quem deserere vetant plures Canones, poenis impositis contra transgressores.(1)

Billuart's De Fide: no mention of a heretical pope at all!Billuart's De Fide: no mention of a heretical pope at all!

In English, this translates as:

One who leaves Holy Orders without a legitimate dispensation [in order] to return to a secular state, is an apostate and sins mortally; because to quit the religious state, in which one was solemnly enrolled by the Church, is forbidden by several Canons, which impose penalties against transgressors.

The relevance of the sentence from "A little Catechism..." to the source given in the footnote is null. As it was already said, this "quotation" of Billuart, which is  false and fabricated, has been spread wide and far.  We might even suppose that every SSPX district printed it in its own bulletin and since 2001 nobody dared to check the comparability of the "quoted" sentence with the given source! We can assume that this infamous  sentence is just a summary (a precise one, at that) of the SSPX attitude regarding post Vatican II Council heretical popes.  Let's look at it again: "[C]hrist, by a particular providence, for the common good and the tranquility of the Church, continues to give jurisdiction to even manifestly heretical pontiff" - this is utterly unheard and opposite to the Church teaching. How astonishing that it was "cited” as Billuart's work! SSPX theologians must have been desperate to have the “quotation” to support themselves and to give us confirmation of their own philosophy.

Isn't it a blasphemy to say that "Christ continues to give jurisdiction of His Church to a manifestly heretical pontiff"? Would Christ "by a particular providence" put His Church in the hands of the destroyer and betray His Mystical Body? Would He change His Mystical  Body into a Harlot?

We must not doubt that Fr. Boulet’s idea - and all the other apologetics of this idea that a manifest heretic is still, by God’s providence, a pope - would turn the Truth into deception and the way of salvation into damnation. Would those who despise have jurisdiction and power over these who gather with Christ - would the dammed be chosen to govern (in the sense of the the authority of teaching, codifying the moral law and the way of worshipping God) over the just and faithful?

This manipulation of the minds of the faithful by Fr. Boulet himself and SSPX as a publisher of his work is an abuse, deception and a scandal. Rev. Boulet has cloaked his (that is, that of the SSPX) statement in the authority of Billuart. 

 ________________________________________________________________

Footnote:

(1) Compare: http://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/en/fs1/object/display/bsb10397664_00069.html  , page 68-69

 
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 3. Omission of the word -  “secret” -  and its (diabolical) consequences.  Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s Argument.  

 

 Apart from the false Billuart reference, another authority was also employed to support the  position of SSPX. The author of "A little Catechism..." supported his opinions with "De Verbo Incarnato" by Fr. R. Garrigou-Lagrange and wrote:

"The Dominican Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, basing his reasoning on Billuart, explains in his treatise "De Verbo Incarnato" (p.232) that an heretical pope, while no longer a member of the Church, can still be Her head."

Although only the page (p.232) from "De Verbo Incarnato" was given, it is obvious that we were directed to the Chapter X, Christ Grace as Head of the Church, of Fr. Lagrange's work. In the Third Article of this chapter,  when expounding the dogmatic definition of the Church (Denz.no. 430) as a "congregation of the faithful", Fr. Lagrange continues: “ The Church is defined as ‘the congregation of faithful”, inasmuch as faith is the foundation and beginning of the supernatural life.”. He wrote the obvious conclusion that "the baptized formal heretic is not an actual member of the Church". The last argument on this point - disputing that a baptismal character isn't enough for a membership of the Church - was that "otherwise Christ would be the head of the baptized who are damned."(page 319)

   In that way he came up to his "St. Robert Bellarmine's objection", who taught that secret heretics are external members of the Church, and - while saying "external members", St. Bellarmine still included them into members of the Church. Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange opposed this, stating the conclusion that "occult (secret) heretics are only apparent members of the Church".

What Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange defined is the headship of Christ, as participation in grace. He considered the internal permanent bond with Christ constituted by Faith. That is why he excluded secret heretics from the Church, although he admitted that "they externally and visibly profess the Church as to be the true Church". Nevertheless, overcoming this difficulty he said:

"This condition is quite abnormal (...), namely, that the pope becoming secretly a heretic would no longer be an actual member of the Church (...), but would still retain his jurisdiction by which he would influence the Church in ruling it. Thus he would still be nominally the head of the Church, which he would still rule as head, though he would no longer be a member of Christ, the invisible and primary head." (page 319)

Be that as it may, Fr. Lagrange couldn't avoid including the secret heretics into visible union of the Church -  "The Church will always consist in the visible union of its members with its visible head (...), although some, who externally seem to be members of the Church, may be private heretics."

Concluding at this point, we can summarise that Fr. Lagrange:

  • defined the membership of the Church as, depended on the faith, permanent union (perfect or imperfect union) with Christ;

  • contrary to St. Bellarmine, excluded secret heretics from the membership of the Church;

  • referring to the possibility of a Pope being a secret heretic, stated that “the pope is constituted a member of the Church by his personal faith, which he can lose, and his headship of the visible Church by jurisdiction and power is compatible with private heresy.”;

  • defined the visible union in which the Church consist, including secret (not manifest!) heretics.

The contradiction, which he comprehended - non-members, but participants in a visible union - lead him into the doubt-feeding point(1), which was later on misused by Boulet. This is the point, which the author of "A little Catechism..." (unlawfully) used: he took the part of this contradiction - non-member - out of its context. Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange spoke of non-members of the Church being sustained in visible unity of the Church only in relation to secret heretics, who are "apparent members of the Church, which they externally and visibly profess to be the true Church". We can repeat to stress this substantial condition again: secret heretics are heretics in their hearts or thoughts only, but by their words and actions they profess the Church. In the other words, we wouldn't be able to notice any difference between the actual and apparent member of the Church. If we could see the difference, in words or actions, the heresy would be manifest, not secret any more.

In the text of "A little Catechism..."  an omission of the adjective "private" (secret) as an attribute of the heretic has been made. Additionally the text imputes that the given version is taken from the teaching of this well- known and respected theologian. The author didn't enclose the change  in Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange "quote"and substituted those who externally and visibly profess the true Church by those who act and speak in manifestly heretical way.

We might say that the "little" omission has caused a big mess-up of Church teaching.

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Footnote:

(1)  Probably assuming that jurisdiction and power are not "personal" (as the faith is), but that jurisdiction and power are delegated (by Christ) and - as long as they are externally wielded in accordance with the profession of the Church - are compatible with a secret heresy.

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     Conclusion

 

 The SSPX and Resistance position on the heretical pope still being a pope isn't supported by any pre-Vatican II teaching.  

Fr. Boulet made these manipulations in order to give his argument the appearance of having the support of several highly-respected theologians, in order to attempt to prove the orthodox roots of this idea of a destroyer being a true shepherd. Once exposed, these manipulations only serve to highlight the fraudulent position of the SSPX.

With devastating consequences, “A little Catechism of Sedevacantism” has served as an incantation on the minds of the people of the SSPX and its branches.

The reality is that the common good and the tranquility of the Church require the preservation of the Church's faithfulness to God.

A wolf usurping the papacy accomplishes the very opposite.