Rorate Caeli

After the talks: 'You have to choose'

An open letter to Sì Sì No No

by Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli, O.P.

Dear Friends,

I read the article “Punti fermi” ["Firm Points], in [the] 31st October 2011 [issue of Sì Sì No No, the influential Traditional Catholic Italian journal close to the Society of Saint Pius X], and the section by “Dominicus” on the matter of such sensitive character as truth in theology and our Holy Catholic Faith - with quotations from Thomist authors, as is your habit - made me think immediately of my mission as a Son of St. Dominic, of which you are already aware, having quoted me at other times in your journal. 

So I would like to take the opportunity of thanking you once again, as a Dominican professor of Theology in Bologna, who has been following you for many years - in fact, since the 1980s when I was working at the Secretariat of State, where even your interesting Bollettino used to arrive.

For some time now there has been a frank discussion going on between us, with regard to very important themes of topical interest in ecclesial circles; in particular, how to interpret and what value to attribute to some of the doctrinal teachings of Vatican II, which present novelty with respect to Tradition and the preceding Magisterium of the Church. Novelty which makes one think of a “rupture” or of a “contradiction”, rather like saying the Council was wrong or it teaches falsity, when referring to immutable truths from previous doctrine that cannot be reformed, i.e. dogmatic faith, or anyway, even if it is not defined as belonging to the faith, nonetheless of the substance of the faith. The first one, you are acquainted with well, in your knowledge of traditional hermeneutics, is de fide credenda or divine-theological faith, the second one is de fide tenenda or ecclesiastical faith.

I know that you insist with much argumentation based on Tradition, on Holy Scripture, on the preceding Magisterium of theologians, in sustaining the thesis of “rupture” and “contradiction”, which means, if I understand correctly, even if I note in you a certain reserve or reluctance in saying it, that, according to you, the Council contains heresies and thus, with that, the Popes and the teaching body of the Church have abandoned the true path of the faith previously defined, are leading us on a deceptive road, have betrayed Tradition, cheating us with empty and indemonstrable assurances of “continuity” advancing the pretext of doctrinal “progress” or “development”, which pleases the Modernists, and this makes it understandable why the Council itself has yielded to Modernism. (1)

At the same time, however, you consider yourselves and want to be Roman Catholics, recognizing the authority of the Pope as Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, infallible interpreter, who has the ultimate word in the teachings of Christ, Master, to whom we owe obedience in matters of faith; you must recognize the authority of the Ecumenical Councils as well as the Divinity of the Church, “pillar and foundation of truth” and light of the people.

Now, I ask myself, how can these two convictions be brought together: you say, “the Council is in error, but we believe in the indefectibility of the Church and we want to be Catholics; in fact, it is in the name of our being Catholics, faithful to Tradition and the Gospel that we say the Council is wrong de facto in dogma and in the doctrine of the faith.”

You sustain that, with the excuse of a mistaken notion of its “pastoral” [nature], the Council and the subsequent Popes, in reality, have manipulated doctrine, have deviated from the truth, have mutated that which should never have been mutated, and want to dish out novel doctrines which deny what the Church has always, everywhere and universally taught in matters of faith.

You say that the Council proposes a false concept of the Church, which is no longer the true one, previously taught. It is no longer the “Church of the Ages”. The concept of Revelation has been falsified. The Mass that has been submitted to us is half-protestant, it is no longer the “Mass of Ages”. A conciliar collegiality has been submitted to us, an ecumenism that suggests indifferentism, a “religious liberty” that suggests relativism. The Council is contaminated by the errors of the Enlightment, of the French Revolution, of anthropocentrism, of naturalism, of Liberalism, of pantheism, of Protestantism; in other words, of all the errors of modernity. But all of these doctrines are either false or heretical. So, the Magisterium of the Council teaches us heresy. Well, then, is the Church no longer lumen gentium? Is it no longer the pillar and sustainer of the Truth?

Yes – you say – we believe in the indefectibility of the Church as a teaching subject, but not in relation to the object taught, i.e. doctrine. This is the same distinction wrought by Küng, a heretic, with the difference, that while for him, as a historicist, the Magisterium is fallible because immutable truth does not exist, for you, who believe in immutable truth, the Magisterium is fallible because it can stray from this truth.

I notice that this distinction between subject and object has no sense when we are dealing with teaching the truths of the faith or connected to the faith or when the truth previously defined from Scripture and Tradition, has been taken up again, explained or developed. Here the object, that is doctrinal teaching, is ruled by the subject: the subject is indefectible because it teaches the truth infallibly. In the object, the Church cannot err, otherwise we would have to say that Christ deceived [Her] when He promised to assist Her until the end of time and lead Her to the fullness of truth.

You insist on the fact that the Council did not want to define new dogmas in order to deny the infallibility of its doctrines, or that is the impression that you give, but you do not have the courage to say it openly: to conclude that the doctrines of the Council are false, wrong, heretical. This lack of courage, “courage” in fact, that would be a scandal worthy of the protestants, or modernists, in some way is what saves you. But this does not prevent you leaving a vague idea of your false conviction. Are you not aware, in fact, that there is something off in your reasoning? Is the Church’s Magisterium, in matters of faith, infallible or fallible? You have to choose.

It is here that we will see if you are truly Catholic or crypto-Protestants, or, despite your intentions to the contrary – crypto-Modernists. But at least the Modernists are coherent: as a principal, they have a relativist and evolutionist gnoseology. How can you, Thomists, who claim the existence of an immutable and definite truth and also see the Church as teacher of the truth, end up alongside the Protestants and Modernists by saying that the Church can err de facto in the doctrine of the truth?

The Magisterium is not only infallible when it proclaims or defines a dogma, but also when it simply teaches a truth of the faith or close to the faith, without declaring the need to define it. It is enough that is about matters of the faith, as in the case of the new conciliar doctrines. It is this teaching that is found in the [Motu Proprio] Ad tuendam fidem, which you most certainly know. Besides, when you negate infallibility, certainly with this you do not identify sic et simpliciter, the fallible with the actually false. And yet you do not exclude the possibility of error, you do not deny that in the future, that which is taught today will become false or show itself to be false.

Now this contrasts with the Divine mission of teaching the Gospel which was entrusted to the Church by Christ. Therefore, denying the infallibility of the Magisterium is against the faith and so it is heresy. The moment you accuse, even in a veiled way, the Council of having fallen into heresy, you do not realize that you have fallen in it yourselves.

If the Church cannot be other than infallible in doctrine (defined or non-defined) it can err in pastoral matters. And it is on this point that it is permitted to criticize the Council. For example, it has a far too optimistic attitude with regard to the modern world and it is too vague and indulgent in condemning and confuting errors. The Council’s language lacks juridical form, and it is at times imprecise and equivocal and lends to modernist interpretations. Modernism is a heresy and so it makes no sense to accuse the Council of heresy. It must be interpreted in line with Tradition.

Such errors or imprudence, then, instead of being corrected in the period after the Council, have further worsened, arriving at the present situation in which heresies of every type freely circulate without anyone intervening. I have also written a book to deal with this grave pastoral problem. (La questione dell’eresia oggi, Edizioni Vivere In, Monopoli (BA), 2008).

You say that the situation is disastrous, Modernism is reigning, heresies are spreading, orthodox (Catholics) are marginalized, priests do not intervene and even go off the tracks themselves and give scandal. All of this is true, but you, what are you doing to remedy this situation? Certainly faith in the indefectibility of the Church is good, but the Church is also indefectible, above all, in teaching the truth.

Trust in Our Lady is excellent, but Mary, Mother of the Truth and Founder of the Church, desires that you accept docilely and trustingly, not only the pre-conciliar Magisterium but also the post-conciliar one, making an effort to see the continuity and discerning in it, an enhanced knowledge of the Word of God.

The way to remedy this situation is specifically a correct interpretation and application of the Council, as the Pontiffs of the last fifty years have been saying. The problem is that Rome finds it hard to intervene in correcting the deviations because it does not have the support of the episcopate.

Modernism is indeed rampant and finds its greatest exponent in Karl Rahner (2). Modernism can be defeated, not by turning back to the past, but by a sound recall to Tradition and actually applying the Council which teaches us a healthy modernity. We are in fact, Christians of the 21st century not of the 19th or 16th [centuries].

If anything, let us ask the Holy Father to explain, to clarify or to interpret for us the controversial points in a definitive way, unequivocally and precisely, those that the modernists play with, but let us do it with trust not setting off with the false conviction that in reality there is no continuity.

It is true that continuity has to be demonstrated, but it is absolutely indemonstrable that there is no continuity. It is not because it is not objectively there, but it is because it is us, subjectively, that do not understand it. Otherwise, I repeat one more time, we will have to conclude that Christ has deceived us. Do we want to arrive at this conclusion? Do we want to correct the Church that has strayed from the truth? So, now, who is infallible? The Church or ourselves?


P.Giovanni Cavalcoli,OP

Christmas 2011

[1]As you know , along with the Pope I am sustainer of continuity and I believe that I have been able to show this in my recent boo,. Progresso nella continuità. La questione del Concilio Vaticano II e del Postconcilio, Edizioni, Fede e Cultura, Verona 2011.

[2] Allow me to indicate my critique of Rahner in the book – Karl Rahner- The Council Betrayed. (Il Concilio Tradito).

[Source: Riscossa Cristiana. Tip and translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]


Tradical said...

Truly, I look forward to a response (which I hope Rorate will post).

Especially this bit:

"... The Magisterium is ... infallible ... also when it simply teaches a truth of the faith or close to the faith, without declaring the need to define it ..."

and yet, Paul VI said they didn't invoke the power of infallibility ...

What am I missing?

Scott Quinn said...

Ugh. More of the same nonsense and name calling: The SSPX is protestant and you just need to interpret the Council correctly, blah, blah, blah. I love it how he accuses the SSPX of inconsistency, then lays out an "argument" that claims that Rome really wants to apply the "correct" teaching of the Council but finds herself unable due to--get this!--having no "support from the episcopate." How exactly is such a scenario consistent with the author's absurd contention that there is continuity between the Council and everything that came before it? I suppose this will get quite a laugh from those in the Vatican who know better.

poeta said...

Interesting. And if a future Pope should decide to condemn and nullify this council, which is entirely within the realm of possibility, what becomes of this argument then?

Mike said...

This is a very fine, very wise article. A few thoughts come to mind:

1. The Hermeneutic of Continuity, evoked by Pope Benedict XVI, really is the path for the Church.
All other roads lead to exalting the judgment of one's self against the Vicar of Christ.

2. The current crisis is largely a crisis of fidelity to Tradition as a whole, including the Second Vatican Council. The Faith has objective content, is timelessly true, but also, can legitimately be distinguished from certain historical contexts. This is not historicism; it is a knowledge of history, the context of the times we live. It is also a very large Church, and if certain documents of Vatican II are objectionable, well, ignore them. I love all the Saints, but only have devotion to a relatively small number. I don't mean to push indifferentism, but practicality and prudence.

3. Because the Fathers of Vatican II chose, perhaps unwisely, a non-juridical mode of writing, does not in itself constitute heresy. It was a prudential error, not a lack of the charism of Infallibility. The rhetoric of past Papacies is not normative forever, even as the work of St. Thomas Aquinas is not to be embraced with its specific errors due to the knowledge of science during his century.

4. To heal the damage forty years of infidelity on a massive scale has done to the Bride of Christ, fidelity to the Pope is the only way back. (See pt. 1)

5. The error of assuming that the form of what is taught can be distinguished from the matter should never have been applied to the Sacred Liturgy, as it is a part of Sacred Tradition, as the Catechisms of the Church show.

6. We should all pray Cardinal Randjith is the next Pope--in ten years.

7. If the SSPX really wants to grow, they should normalize relations with Rome soon. Speaking for myself, and many friends, I think their chapels and doners would increase after such normalization. Right now, they have my prayers, and hopes that wise heads and hearts will lead them to the Pope.

8. The devil can feign every virtue except obedience.

Tradical said...

Hi Mike,

Your entire argument appears to rest on your first statement:

"... Hermeneutic of Continuity, evoked by Pope Benedict XVI, really is the path for the Church ..."

This is a hermeneutic that contains something called 'contingent doctrine'.

ie The truths of the Syllabus were for their time.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this one.

New Catholic said...

Mike B.,

EENS here, too?... Really?


magister63 said...

"8. The devil can feign every virtue except obedience." FALSE

"We therefore choose to keep our Faith and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience." (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre)

Dan Hunter said...

What confusion this piece presents.

Picard said...

I adress my answer to Msgr. G. Cavalcoli - hoping he also will read it, not only other commenters here:

Msgr. Cavalcoli,

as I see you are interested in real argumentation - so I hope my posting here is not in vain.

Well, my experince in reading your article/letter was at first that it is a well balanced scholastical and convincing argumentation - till I came to the passage quoted by a poster before:

"The Magisterium is... infallible... also when it simply teaches a truth of faith or close to the faith without declaring the need to define it

And so on:

"If the Church cannot be other than infallible in doctrine (defined or non-defined) it can err in pastoral matters"

"Is the Church’s Magisterium, in matters of faith, infallible or fallible? You have to choose."

Here your argumenation is not at all convincing (and begins to get boring or unfair, because of course the sspx and friends are very well aware of this objections but can give a good answer to it, that you should know and discuss!).

[to be continued..]

Picard said...


So that is a wrong dichotomie (if suggesting that only one answer is Catholic, the other not):

Is the Church’s Magisterium, in matters of faith, infallible or fallible? You have to choose.

It is both:
The magisterium can speak infallible --

but also not-infallible, so fallible.

So we have to make a distinction here (as good Thomists are used to do!)

That is an old but clear argument that you should consider, and more - that you also should admit.

Because even Msgr. Ocariz teaches so that NOT all the magisterium says is infallible.

See also our discussions on rorate re that. (cf. rorate 2. and 9. Dec. 2011)

As well does "Donum veritatis", at least it seems so - cf. ep. n. 17 and 23 (and 28, 30, 31)

The third level-teachings - and it seems also those that are doctrinal, so re faith - are not infallible, not irreformable and deserve only "religiouse assent of will and intellect". That does not exclude that they could entail some error.

So we have to make a distinction here - and it is not true that someone who says the magisterium taught some error is necessarily protestant or modernistic.

It is not Uncatholic to say: the magisterium can teach something wrong, some error, even re faith/doctrine!

Picard said...

Well, now you, Msgr. Cavalcoli, could answer and object:

no, only in pastoral [or prudential] teachings the magisterium can err, not re faith/doctrine [of faith]

as you in fact did it in the letter stating:
If the Church cannot be other than infallible in doctrine (defined or non-defined) it can err in pastoral matters

but that is not right, at least not clear, no clear Church teaching.

Here you seem to hold the same error / unsure teaching that K. Gurries holds.

If you consider f.e. the above told nn. of donum veritatis or some manual like Ott then it seems that not only pastoral or prudential matters are not infallible, but also some doctrinal teachings are / can be fallible.

Only if proclaimed in a definitive way they are infallible. Not-definitive they are fallible and (possibly) reformable.

Again: Msgr. Ocariz himselfe tells us so: there are non-infallible doctrinal magisterial teachings!
We are allowed to question them!

Prof. Basto said...

An interesting and tought-provoking article.

I need to organize my ideas, its 1:43 in the morning and I'm getting confused. Question that comes to mind:

1) When teaching docrine, Ecumenical Councils always discharge the extraordinary magisterium, or can they teach as the ordinary magisterium too, when they do not make solemn definitions and canons?

2) Is the ordinary magisterium of the Supreme Authority always infallible?

3) If so, then what is the difference between a solemn ex cathedra pronouncement of a Pope and the ordinary teaching of a Pope in matters of faith and morals, in terms of infallibility?

The Author, however, makes good points. Even if I cannot see the continuity of the Council and of the present day Magisterium with Tradition, I still hope that continuity can be demonstrated.

I can assume liturgical rupture, rupture in pastoral discipline, but not doctrinal rupture proclaimed by Rome, because the modern doctrinal instruments promulgated by Rome (principally, the Catechism of the Catholic Church) are so central to the life of the Church, that to admit that Rome is teaching error would be equivalent to a denial of the indefectibility of the See of Rome, of the Church. The official teaching of the Church in matters of Faith, especially in such an important and solemnly adopted document as a Catechism, cannot contain error.

So, although I am not able to figure out by myself the continuity, I suspend judgement that there is rupture, and instead I place a blind trust in the Church: I cannot rationally figure out the continuity, but I am just an unimportant member of the flock and I don't need to understand everything, although I do try to make sense of difficult things.

Otherwise, that is, if I didn't suspend judgement, then I would at this point lose the Catholic Faith, for I would have to conclude that the infallibility of the Church is a broken, a false promise. And that, with faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot conclude.

So, this is a mess. We have The Church, and I hope that she will clarify sooner of later the difficult docrtrinal points. Because, as of this moment, I cannot quite figure out with security what my Church wants me to believe regaring Ecumenism, regarding Religious liberty, etc. I read the old documents and the new ones, and I cannot square the apparent circle, so I wait for the Church to clarify the difficult points.

Joe B said...

"... even if I note within you a certain reserve or reluctance in saying it ...

That's right. SSPX didn't say it. It APPEARS that way, but they are careful not to accuse the documents of heresy. We are all still awaiting an explanation of how the controversial documents can be explained consistent with tradition. And waiting. And waiting. And this article does us no good at all.

Once again, we're given a false premise and then a mountain of accusations are based on it.

The pathetic new mass alone ought to shut up critics like this. Indeed, it shouldn't have happened. Explain how it is consistent with tradition, please.

Picard said...

And a last point strengthening my argument:

You, Msgr. Cavalcoli, say:

The moment you accuse,... the Council of having fallen into heresy, you do not realize that you have fallen in it yourselves.

as I argued above, that is not right, at least not necessarily.

But to show clearer what is the problem in your argumentation let me point - with all due respect- to one point, where your argument is not valid. You lean / rest on "ad tuendam fidem"

The Magisterium is .. infallible .. also when it simply teaches a truth of the faith or close to the faith, without declaring the need to define it. It is enough that is about matters of the faith, as in the case of the new conciliar doctrines. It is this teaching that is found in the [Motu Proprio] Ad tuendam fidem

- but that argument is invalid, I beg you to re-read ad tuendam f. (as well as "donum veritatis" and the "professio fidei" and the "NOTA DOCTRINALIS PROFESSIONIS FIDEI")!

Only the first and second "comma" teachings are infallible, the teachings in the third - and as Mgr. Orcariz tells us the discussed doctrines fall into that group (!) - are NOT!!!

Gratias said...

The post by Mike expresses how I think very well.

I do not know much theology or logic, but I do know that the Church is at a critical moment and if the SSPX would join us too, salvaging the institution is likelier. If the SSPX goes its own way it might found a fine new Church, but it will not be the institutional Apostolic one that comes through Jesus, Peter and the succession of popes. V2 happened, and this has been recognized by four Popes. Just accept that V2 is out there, sign on the Pramble, and fight shoulder to shoulder with the rest of us.

I say this with great respect. Today I, like thousands of others, used the Angelus Press 1962 Missal (SSPX) and would be lost without it. I contribute to FSSP yet attend Diocesan Summorum Pontificum masses. I have not been to a SSPX Mass, but would, and contribute, if they were united with Rome. I imagine all those young vigorous SSPX priests offering the TLM option at the thousands of Diocesan Parishes available throughout the world would make a huge difference rebuilding our Church. (The Dominicans and Franciscans worked from within and had a huge effect.) Not that the SSPX has not so far. Probably we would have no TLM without Abp. Lefebre.

M. A. said...

"If anything, let us ask the Holy Father to explain, to clarify or to interpret for us the controversial points in a definitive way, unequivocally and precisely,.."

Again, as I have mentioned before, the Abbe de Nantes did this very thing, not only once, but THREE times in a very formal, canonical procedure, with receipt given for the documentation presented to the proper dicastery. He wanted a decisive, authoritative and infallible judgement from the vicar of Christ himself.

The SSPX must do the same thing. The Holy Ghost will not sanction error, and all those of good will can rest assured that God has, indeed, spoken after Peter speaks with his charism of infallibility. I personally believe that the Abbe did not get his hearing because the Holy Ghost will not sanction the novelties of VII.

The reason why he was ignored?

Then Cardinal Ratzinger claimed that "it was a matter of principle"!

Damn their pride! I say that it is a matter of the salvation or damnation of souls!

I pray the SSPX will ask for this judgment. They must pursue the proper canonical procedure. If the Holy Father refuses them, the whole world will see that it is not they who are the problem. For the Holy Father to refuse would be tantamount to giving stones to those who ask Holy Mother Church for bread.

Matthew said...

I find notable that the author acknowledges right from the get-go that Vatican Council II itself presents "novelty with respect to Tradition and the preceding Magisterium of the Church," and then continues on as if this weren't a serious problem, the serious problem rather being obeying the Pope so as not to be Protestant.

This would appear to be hyper-Papalism - is what the Holy Father prefers for breakfast infallible? Or, must all our new baptismal fonts look like the one in Rorate's previous post?
(I suppose the real response would be that I am infallibly bound to not criticize it, given that these things are all matters of 'personal taste' anyways)

How about the duty of "confirming the brethren" and shepherding the flock, the duty of real pastoral charity, applied to these novelties, the Extraordinary Magisterium submitting to "the fire of dogma," to use the words of an earlier post on Rorate, these novelties, and seeing which ones Almighty God allows to remain unscathed in the fire, the teachings and encyclicals of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Trent, Florence, etc. etc.; or the novelties of VII and the postconciliar Popes, both in teaching and praxis.

Now THAT would be Pastoral!

Joseph said...

The SSPX does have to choose. It can either go down the road the Orthodox chose when they rejected legitimate Councils or they can choose to fully integrate into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, currently led by Pope Benedict XVI.

David said...

The Magisterium is not only infallible when it proclaims or defines a dogma, but also when it simply teaches a truth of the faith or close to the faith, without declaring the need to define it. It is enough that is about matters of the faith, as in the case of the new conciliar doctrines. It is this teaching that is found in the [Motu Proprio] Ad tuendam fidem, which you most certainly know.

This is simply not true. There is a category of magisterial teaching on matters of faith and morals that is not infallible and to which we are asked to give "religious submission of the intellect and will". Although that in itself is a strange demand in the face of reformable teaching and considering that before the Council we were encouraged to give a "prudential submission of the intellect and will" which reflected the non-infallible nature of such teachings.

I'm afraid that the central hub of the letter's content is erroneous.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Often when Novus Ordo priests attack the position of SSPX on faith, using terms as "protesants", "heretics" etc. in many of their arguments they also unknowingly condemn also those traditionalists "in good standing" with the Vatican.

I suggest confronting them with this and you will see what they say. You probably will not like the answer as to most of them traditionalists are something "unnatural" or "obsolete", to be tolerated at best.

This article is nothing new, it's the same old story, a fruit of Vatican II, a claim of absolute infallibility of the pope.

Christ cannot decieve, but bishops, cardinals and popes can.
His claim is that if the popes can err in matters of faith, than that means the Church has strayed from the Truth and no longer exists.
Perhaps we should remind him of Pope John XXII.
The Pope is not the Church.
The Pope can err, and history proves it.

It's just that many do not want to leave their comfortable shells and see that we are in the time of the worst crisis of the Church in all of history.

Knight of Malta said...

Joseph, you speak gibberish; the FSSPX does acknowledge that Vatican II was a valid council, but a deeply flawed one.

Prof. Basto, good points. But I would point out the following (taken from a much greater mind than mine), Gherardini has postulated that not only can a Council fail in terms of its stated purpose, but it can fall (theoretically) in terms of faith and morals. That should give room to pause. Basically this great theologian is saying a pastoral council may contain heresy, and the Holy Spirit may be absent in aspects of it.

Barona said...

A fair and charitable outline of the entire situation... he has honestly outlined Ab. Lefebvre's position on the Council - read, "They have Uncrowned Him".

.... as to the courage he speaks of and lack thereof - well, one SSPX bishop does seem to have it with regards to a "si, si,no, no" approach to the Council: Bp. Williamson.

Disputator said...

Fr. Cavalcoli's presentation seems flawed, as has been noted by some posters here already, but even if his basic thesis were somehow sound on the face of it, it still points to some disturbing intrinsic implications.

The magisterium is always free of error in doctrine? If so, then that means on the eve of the council, all that had been taught prior to 1960 was sound, authoritative and infallible. Our most recent popes and prelates had the obligation to submit themselves to what had been taught - in Mirari Vos, Immortale Dei, Satis Cognitum etc. going all the way back.

But instead, come the council, and full adherence to our infallible doctrine of 33 AD - 1958 was summarily tossed out the window. Something that should never have happened if Fr. Cavacoli's thesis is fully sound.

So what he seems to be papering over is that our recent leaders somehow had the right during the council to depart from doctrine - in effect to say traditional doctrine on some subjects was wrong - but having done that, we now must submit with obedience to the novel doctrinal fruits of their lack of obedience.

I don't think so.

Bartholomew said...

The historian Philip Hughes once said of the SECOND COUNCIL of Constantinople (553) that it was "the strangest of all Councils."

Pope St. Gregory the Great advised that the Church should pretend it never took place.

I would suggest Pope St. Gregory's solution for the debacle that was and remains the SECOND COUNCIL of the Vatican.

Tony said...

And if a future Pope should decide to condemn and nullify this council, which is entirely within the realm of possibility, what becomes of this argument then?"

That a future pope will condemn that miserable council, I have no doubt.

Disputator said...

One other thing: Fr. Cavacoli said "Modernism is indeed rampant and finds its greatest exponent in Karl Rahner." Throughout the article, he denounces 'modernism' and says it needs to be combatted.

So, pray tell, if modernism is so bad, how did its greatest exponent get named a periti at an official ecumenical council?

Can our Dominican even begin to explain that travesty away???

Seriously, what am I missing here?

Bill Phelan said...

Please correct me if I am wrong, but did not the actual authors of the 16 Vat. II documents admit that the documents are ambiguous as they had to attempt to reconcile two irreconcilible points of view, i.e., traditional and progressive? The original agende prepared by John XXIII and his staff were scrapped when the Progressive wing took over the Council.

Veritas said...

"... The Magisterium is ... infallible ... also when it simply teaches a truth of the faith or close to the faith, without declaring the need to define it ..."

The following is from the pre-Vatican II theological manual by Msgr. G. Van Noort.


1. Meaning of the Term

The word infallibility itself indicates a necessary immunity from error. When one speaks of the Church's infallibility, one means that the Church can neither deceive nor be deceived in matters of faith and morals, It is a prerogative of the whole Church; but it belongs in one way to those who fulfill the office of teaching and in another way to those who are taught. Hence the distinction between active infallibility, by which the Church's rulers are rendered immune from error when they teach; and passive infallibility, by which all of Christ's faithful are preserved from error in their beliefs.

Passive infallibility depends on and is caused by active infallibility: for the faithful are kept free from error in religious matters only by loyally following their rulers. Consequently, it is limited by the same restrictions as is active infallibility, and it will therefore suffice to treat only the latter. Active infallibility may be defined as follows: the privilege by which the teaching office of the Church, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, is preserved immune from error WHEN IT DEFINES A DOCTRINE OF FAITH OR MORALS.

The words through the assistance of the Holy Spirit indicate that this freedom from error is something derived; THE WORDS WHEN IT DEFINES A DOCTRINE OF FAITH OR MORALS LIMITS THIS INERRANCY TO TO DEFINITE SUBJECT MATTER. (…)

Ill. The Fact of Infallibility

PROPOSITION: When the teaching office of the Church hands down decisions on matters of faith and morals in such a way as to require of everyone full and absolute assent, it is infallible.

This is a dogma of faith.

The teaching office of the Church or, as they say, “the teaching Church,” is made up of those to whom God entrusted the right and the duty to teach the Christian religion authoritatively. The words “in matters of faith and morals in such a way as to require of everyone full and absolute assent” are included in the proposition because, according to Catholic teaching, the Church's rulers are infallible not in any and every exercise of their teaching power; but only when, using all the fullness of their authority, they clearly intend to bind everyone to absolute assent or, as common parlance puts it, when they “define” something in matters pertaining to the Christian religion. That is why all theologians distinguish in the dogmatic decrees of the councils or of the popes between those things set forth therein by way of definition and those used simply by way of illustration or argumentation. For the intention of binding all affects only the definition, and not the historical observations, reasons for the definition, and so forth. And if in some particular instances the intention of giving a definitive decision were not made sufficiently clear, then no one would be held by virtue of such definitions, to give the assent of faith: a doubtful law is no law at all.

Although this proposition has never been defined in the precise form in which it is here stated, it is a dogma of faith by reason of the universal teaching of the Church. Moreover, the Vatican Council did define that the Roman pontiff “enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished His Church to be equipped in defining a doctrine of faith or morals.” … (END)

I will post the entire section on my blog later this afternoon, as well as the section pertaining specifically to papal infallibility.

Michael Ortiz said...

"But instead, come the council, and full adherence to our infallible doctrine of 33 AD - 1958 was summarily tossed out the window."

Right. Rhetorical excess. Big-time.

Show us where in the documents of VII.


Veritas said...

The following is the section from Van Noort on the infallibility of the Pope. The entire section on papal infallibility will also be posted on my blog later this afternoon.


The infallibility of the Church's magisterium, viewed as a whole, has already been demonstrated (see nos. 79-99). Granted that fact, the primacy of the pope, since it comprises both teaching and ruling authority, must also include the prerogative of infallibility. If the Church's magisterium cannot err, and if the pope by himself possesses the full power of that magisterium, it follows inevitably that the pope in exercising that magisterium is preserved from error. In other words, he is infallible. Still, the matter is so serious it must be discussed ex professo. (…)

5. The conditions for papal infallibility are summed up in the words: "when he speaks ex cathedra." A throne (cathedra-chair-judicial bench) is normally a symbol of authority and particularly of doctrinal authority. (3) The consecrated formulae: "to speak ex cathedra," or "an ex cathedra definition" were in use in theological schools long before the Vatican Council. They designated the full exercise of the papal magisterium. The Vatican Council, however, added this precise explanation: "that is: when exercising his office of supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, that some doctrine on faith or morals must be held by the universal Church.”


Veritas said...


Msgr. G. Van Noort: Keeping in mind, then, what has already been explained in discussing the object of infallibility (see nos. 85-96), "to speak ex cathedra" signifies two things: (a) the pope is actually making use of his papal office – of supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christians; (b) the pope is using his papal authority at its maximum power. Both these facts must be made known clearly and indisputably. (…)
With reference to point b: – A man who acts in an official capacity does not always make use of his full power, of the whole weight of the authority which he possesses by his very position. A president may, for example, disagree with a bill of Congress, and express his disapproval and yet not take the step of vetoing the bill. Thus the pope, even acting as pope, can teach the universal Church without making use of his supreme authority at its maximum power. Now the Vatican Council defined merely this point: the pope is infallible if he uses his doctrinal authority at its maximum power, by handing down a binding and definitive decision: such a decision, for example, by which he quite clearly intends to bind all Catholics to an absolutely firm and irrevocable assent.

Consequently even if the pope, and acting as pope, praises some doctrine, or recommends it to Christians, or even orders that it alone should be taught in theological schools, this act should not necessarily be considered an infallible decree since he may not intend to hand down a definitive decision. …

For the same reason, namely a lack of intention to hand down a final decision, not all the doctrinal decisions which the pope proposes in encyclical letters should be considered definitions. In a word, there must always be present and clearly present the intention of the pope to hand down a decision which is final and definitive.

Thus far we have been discussing Catholic teaching. It may be useful to add a few points about purely theological opinions – opinions with regard to the pope when he is not speaking ex cathedra. All theologians admit that the pope can make a mistake in matters of faith and morals when so speaking: either by proposing a false opinion in a matter not yet defined, or by innocently differing from some doctrine already defined. Theologians disagree, however, over the question of whether the pope can become a formal heretic by stubbornly clinging to an error in a matter already defined. The more probable and respectful opinion, followed by Suarez, Bellarmine and many others, holds that just as God has not till this day ever permitted such a thing to happen, so too he never will permit a pope to become a formal and public heretic. Still, some competent theologians do concede that the pope when not speaking ex cathedra could fall into formal heresy. They add that should such a case of public papal heresy occur, the pope, either by the very deed itself or at least by a subsequent decision of an ecumenical council, would by divine law a forfeit his jurisdiction. Obviously a man could not continue to be the head of the Church if he ceased to be even a member of the Church.(end)

Disputator said...

Mr. Ortiz,

Dignitatis Humanae says man has a natural right to be free from restriction in propagating his religious ideas with no reference as to how true or not true they are in the theological realm. This conflicts with Mirari Vos, Immortale Dei, and Exsurge Domine. It would also appear to conflict with a standard Thomist understanding of Natural Law.

Unitatis Redintegratio says that material schismatics and heretics build up the Church with their celebration of the Eucharist, and that we therefore enjoy the closest of bonds with them. That clashes with a host of teaching from Unum Sanctum to Satis Cognitum, and effectively ignores and refutes the idea that their Eucharist is a sacrilege by definition and that we cannot have the closest of bonds with material schismatics and heretics who are outside of the Church.

Orientalium Ecclesiarum says that those who are in effect material schismatics and heretics may receive Catholic Eucharist and we may receive there's, negating the longstanding opposition to inter-communion, and the necessity of repentence for schism.

Nemo said...

Sophistic and self-contradictory blather typical of postconciliar conscience-numbing hoop-jumping.

poeta said...

The mysticism with which the closing paragraph treats the council is disturbing. It sounds like the approach taken by St. Augustine to Sacred Scripture: "If something appears to be an error or contradiction, it is because I myself do not understand." But a council is not Scripture.

Sacred Scripture contains profound mysteries that require the Church's elucidation, but the Sacred Tradition taught in the Church's Magisterium is supposed to be not esoteric, but exoteric... comprehensible by all. And since the Magisterial teaching is not the fruit of divine inspiration, but rather the fruit of the human intellect under the protection of the Holy Ghost, it ought not to be the source of even apparent contradictions.

Barona said...

"anyone who insists on proposing this [hermeneutic of rupture] in good faith would be, even without being aware of it, materially placing himself outside of the Church. This was and continues to be the very attitude not only of the sedevacantists, and other opponents of the Council, but even the large number of the Council's enthusiasts for whom the celebration of Vatican II seemed to have deleted even the memory of the other Councils" (pp. 100-101).

Msgr. Gherardini

Ecclesia Militans said...

Disputator said:

"So what he seems to be papering over is that our recent leaders somehow had the right during the council to depart from doctrine - in effect to say traditional doctrine on some subjects was wrong - but having done that, we now must submit with obedience to the novel doctrinal fruits of their lack of obedience."

Thank you for describing exactly what is their attitude - I have seen it when talking to Novus Ordo priests.

These are some of their disturbing statements, which show the mentality you have described:
The Church before was wrong...
The "wrong direction" happened in the Middle Ages...
The Church "overemphasized" the notion of sacrifice in the Mass,
"thankfully" Vatican II fixed that...
The sacraments of ordination and consecration were blurred, and it is possible some were invalidly consecrated bishops during the Middle Ages and "thankfully" it was fixed after Vatican II by taking a marginal part of the ceremony of the Eastern rites, which were the only correct etc.

In total, they openly say that the Catholic Church had wrong teaching and wrong practices almost throughout its existence, till the Second Vatican Council, which made it all right again.
They condemn the Catholic Church... those who are supposed to protect it and lead it.

This is why the Venerable Archbishop Lefebvre said that the Conciliar Church is schismatic - this is the very definition of a schismatic attitude.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

On JUne 27, 1990, the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger, gave a presser on the promulgation of the "Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation" and he said that those things we old men were taught were condemned as Modernism were really just time-bound responses to particular historical realities and were not meant to be binding.

Cardinal Ratzinger identified three areas of Theology which he now considered outdated:

1. those "Papal declarations of the last century on religious liberty,"

2. "the anti-modernist decisions of the Pope at the beginning of this century,"

3. "the [papally approved] decisions of the Biblical Commission of that same time period."

And so conciliar continuity steamrolls Tradition but woe betide that protesentrad who publicly protests that, really, those former Papal Teachings must be reconciled with the new new orientation rather than simply being dismissed as time-bound and temporary matters of ecclesiastical prudence.

Frankly, those who have read those Encyclicals and Syllabi are flummoxed when they read what was condemned and now see that what was only a short time ago condemned has now become that which is insisted is orthopraxis.

This is no way to run a Church and those who insist we get our minds right with the V2 Church which is clearly different in its praxis than the one that preceded V2 have the duty to publicly reconcile what appears to many to be irreconcilables while they have to cease this nettlesome practice of ordering others to clam-up and accept what seems to be a captious concatenation of contradictions.

To cite just one example - It is not possible to describe the Assisi events as anything other than a bold and blatant rejection of 2000 years of Catholic Teaching and Catholic Orthopraxis that preceded V2.

One simply can not claim that contradiction is continuity and be taken seriously.

PEH said...

They (we) have already chosen and it is the path of Tradition - what Holy Mother Church has always held, taught and professed to be true from apostolic times. It remains for you to demonstrate how this choice can be unacceptable.

Woody said...

"If anything, let us ask the Holy Father to explain, to clarify or to interpret for us the controversial points in a definitive way, unequivocally and precisely, those that the modernists play with, but let us do it with trust not setting off with the false conviction that in reality there is no continuity."

So, isn't Fr. Cavalcoli basically asking for the clarification and explanation asked for by the 50 Italian scholars, including Msgrs Gherardini and Livi (of Opus Deiu, I keep mentioning), and Prof. Pasqualucci? Isn't this the answer?

Of couse, as he alludes to in the leter, one reason why a clarification and explanation is not forthcoming might be that it is feared by those in authority that such an explanation would rile powerful rupturist forces in the Church. In fact, in the continued absence of such a clarification and explanation (in other words, after a proper period of time following recognition of the need for it), there would seem to be a clear signal that such is the case, therefore reinforcing the concerns of those who follow Tradition that there is in fact little if any place for them in the institutional Church of the moment.

I hasten to add that as a prospective member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, I feel quite secure where I will be, but I can see how others might have a different read of the institutional situation insofar as it affects them.

Rick DeLano said...

I had heard of "creeping infallibility", but this certainly elevates the notion.

In fact the Church *is* infallible; precisely when either

(a) explicitly invoking Her charism of infallibility, or

(b) when protecting the received deposit of Faith; that is, when defending that which has been believed always, everywhere, and by everyone.

The Church is certainly not infallible when:

(a) contradicting that which has been believed always, everywhere, and by everyone, based upon an explicit or implicit determination of error in previous acts of the magisterium;

(b) proposing some contingent conclusion of science as superior to what has been believed always and everywhere by everyone;

(c) proposing some teaching which proceeds from any source other then Revelation.

This is the crucial error in the essay.

It contains other very valid points, chief among which, in my opinion, is this:

"If anything, let us ask the Holy Father to explain, to clarify or to interpret for us the controversial points in a definitive way, unequivocally and precisely,.."

MA has correctly noted the holy Abbe de Nantes' tireless and filial efforts in this regard.

Let us join with him.

IRISH said...

It is on record that both Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Capovilla both of whom read the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima stated that part of the secret refers to an EVIL COUNCIL. Our Blessed Lady told Lucia that the contents of this secret must be revealed no later than 1960 - two years before the opening of Vatican II
Is it any wonder that this secret still remains under lock and key at the Vatican

Disputator said...

I Am Not Spartacus,

Building upon what you say and taking it even further, if this time-bound contingency-based hermenutic for theological revision holds, then what other changes can we expect?

Is not most any teaching, even among those that have not changed, subject to possible change in the future along these lines. If the Church of 1850 and 1900 and 1950 was giving us only time-bound teachings whose transitory nature they were unaware of, it stands to reason that perhaps some of our present-remaining traditional teachings are in a time-bound context today, a context that will be discerned in the future and lead to even more doctrinal change.

Anil Wang said...

"But the Sacred Tradition taught in the Church's Magisterium is supposed to be not esoteric, but exoteric... comprehensible by all"

Not quite. Anyone who says he understands the Sacred Trinity is either a mad man or has misunderstood the Sacred Trinity.

The Church's Magisterium more often than not defines the limits of Orthodoxy. There is a great deal of freedom within those limits, as is witnessed for instance in the different understandings of the Dominicans and Franciscans on various doctrines. But to step outside those limits is an act of heresy.

Picard said...

Thanks VERITAS, excellent!!

And Spartacus: very helpful, also thanks!

Picard said...

Prof. Basto:

With the comments of mine and esp. the excellent ones of Veritas I hope it got clear:

NO, NOT all magisterial teachings are infallible.
Neither the bishop´s nor the Pope´s.

It is an "pious-not so pious" exaggeration if you declare all magisterial teachings [re doctrine] infallible, as Msgr.Cavalcoli, K. Gurries or others use to do.


Even in the modern Catechisms, or in the Council can be an error - and NO, THAT WOULD N O T RESULT in the CHURCH BEEING NOT INDEFECTIBLE or INFALLIBLE!!

Impious exaggeration of the teaching re indefectibility, infallibility.

And the reason that the modern teachings are NOT infallible:

The bishops and Popes normally do not want to use their highest authority always -- and especially in modern times; because they are infected with modern mentality, they do not want to condemn anymore... and so not to bind in the strictest sense! For the Vat. II this is very clear and no doubt should be there!!

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

This nonsense is getting tiresome, 'you must accept the council blah blah blah'. Why should we accept a non infallible council that no one has been able to show was in continuity with previous teaching in several key areas? Apart from that the same tired argument of creeping infallibility is used i.e popes since the council have taught this and they can't lead us into heresy... What would the authors response be to the Arian Crisis or Pope Honorius?

Amusingly the author all but accuses the SSPX of doing nothing to deal with the crisis. Does the Author consider preserving the traditional latin sacraments and teachings doing nothing then? Or all their missionary work in Africa, Asia and South America? Or their printed apostolate? Or their discussions with Rome? Turning the question round what has his order, the Order of Preachers done? (I speak only of it recently, not its glorious history) Mainly formulate 'Vatican 2' interpretations of Thomism and in some cases mutilate Aquinas and as for Rome what has it done? Punish the Society and reject the truth.

I fear that the outcome of these talks has already been decided.

Anil Wang said...

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis,

It is simple. The council was validated by three Popes, so it is infallible. Only one Pope is needed to validate a council. Peter has spoken. End of discussion. To say otherwise is to subscribe to the modernist heresy.

That being said, it is clear that a lot of the fruit of VII is poison.

This needs to be reconciled. Everyone has a theory, the Church has not yet weighed in on what the specific reconciliation is other than "the hermeneutic of continuity", which is more a framework for reconciliation than a reconciliation itself.

Tony said...

"It is on record that both Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Capovilla both of whom read the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima stated that part of the secret refers to an EVIL COUNCIL."

Please show me where I can find this record(s).

David said...

It is simple. The council was validated by three Popes, so it is infallible. Only one Pope is needed to validate a council. Peter has spoken. End of discussion. To say otherwise is to subscribe to the modernist heresy.

I find your logic somewhat amiss.

A council per se cannot be infallible, only the teachings of that council. Are you saying that Decree on the Media of Social Communications must be taken as infallible?

The subsequent acceptance by a Pope of a Council does not elevate a teaching that was not defined as infallible to infallibility.

David said...

I wish a theologian would examine the following thesis by Br Joseph that was posted here.

The most urgent thing that needs to be cleared up is the question of the level of authority that non-infallible teachings of the authentic magisterium should exercise over Catholics. Thus, here are excluded defined dogmas and infallible teachings of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.

Since these teachings of the authentic magisterium are of their nature reformable they - surely - cannot demand unconditional submission, but rather "prudential" or "conditional" submission. It needs to be clarified, therefore, how we are to interpret the requirement in Professio Fidei of "religious submission of intellect and will" to such teachings.

Does this mean unconditional or conditional submission? If unconditional then on what basis? Since there is no guarantee that such a teaching is actually true.

Would God bind us to assent unconditionally to a teaching of the authentic magisterium which can (since it is not protected by infallibility) conceivably contradict a previous teaching with the same level of authority?

Spy Kid said...

Anil Wang (and others):

Yes or no: Is every single sentence of the Vatican II documents, and every single sentence of the Catechism infallible?

I've wanted to ask this question for a while know (in this form), and I think now is the appropriate time.

Please forgive me, but I think this puts you guys on the hot seat. No wiggle room, no appealing to vague general statements that God is guiding the Council, etc.

Please give all of us a simple yes or no answer to this question. I think that is fair, given the question asked. I would like to know if Jordanes, Arseno, et al. could also please answer this.

However, you could also answer an almost equivalent question (with a yes or no): Is is possible that any one sentence in Vatican II, or in the Catechism, can potentially be wrong?

Thanks for indulging me, I think it might be useful.

Anil Wang said...

David asked, "Are you saying that Decree on the Media of Social Communications must be taken as infallible?"

Of course not, but since it is part of VII, it (when properly understood) cannot be declared heretical any more than any non-teaching decree (when properly understood) of any previous council.

As I've stated, the exact way to reconcile VII with Tradition has not been finalized, so there is room for a difference of opinion. So, IMO, since the specifics of the NO Mass was not explicitly laid out in VII, one can state that it contains many sacrilegious elements and its best to return to TLM since cleaning it up would do more harm than good. Or you can state that Popes have been weak willed on clamping down on heresy or that most of the Church has fallen into the modernist heresy (just as most of the Church fell into the Arian heresy almost two millenia ago). But you can't state that a faithfully performed NO Mass, done in accordance to Tradition is invalid or that the Catholic Church itself is heretical and that a Popeless offshoot is the True Church.

londonfrater said...

This Dominican's posturing means nothing. Merely his personal revelation of opinion. Come's off as somewhat prideful, in my humble opinion.

K Gurries said...

Picard said: "It is an "pious-not so pious" exaggeration if you declare all magisterial teachings [re doctrine] infallible, as Msgr.Cavalcoli, K. Gurries or others use to do."


Picard, this is simply a defense of the infallibility of the ordinary teaching of the Magisterium. Yes, the supereme Magisterium can err with respect to the prudential order -- but she can never DEFECT in the order of faith. That is why we give interior assent of intellect and will -- even to the third degree of doctrine. On the other hand, as Msgr. Ocariz noted, not every utterance of the magisterium is doctrinal, strictly speaking. The prudential and contingent aspects demand our respect -- but not assent, strictly speaking.

Tradical said...

If 'ordinary magisterium' is infallible. (Which seems to be a reference to Authentic Magisterium and not Ordinary/Universal)

Why have extra-ordinary magisterium?

If V2 didn't make use of the power of infallibility (Pope Paul VI, repeated by Pope Benedict when he was a Cardinal) - how is it suddenly infallible.

NB. Anything in the council that simple repeats past infallible decisions etc is obviously infallible. The question is the state of those elements that are novel or contradict past teaching as noted elsewhere in this blog.

Disputator said...

Let me get this straight, Anil Wang.

You say that we cannot hold that any official Second Vatican doctrinal teaching can have error.

But you do allow for the real possibility that the pope who promulgated the SC council document on worship proceeded to promulgate a liturgical reform that not only does not conform to the document he authorized, but may well contain many elements of sacrilege? This, being the pope who had the full authority to interpret the document and fulfill its mandate.

If so, then your black pot is far closer to our darkened kettle than you may realize.

Welcome to the resistance!

Spy Kid said...

Anil Wang said: "Of course not, but since it is part of VII, it (when properly understood) cannot be declared heretical any more than any non-teaching decree (when properly understood) of any previous council."

If you are saying, "of course not, Vatican II can contain fallible (non-infallible) statements", then how does a Catholic give religious submission when a potentially fallible statement contradicts infallible pronouncements of the previous Magisterium?

Also, why can't the Church, in the future, declare a previous fallible statement as heretical? (Which she has done in the past) Or, more interestingly, what if the Church already has, in the past, done so for a currently proposed fallible statement?

David's questions are spot on, and they need a good answer.

Let me be practical, and not so theoretical: The Catechism says the "plan of salvation includes the Muslims" (or something similar) you believe this statement is infallible?

Picard said...

Thanks David for the excellent piece of Br. Joseph.

But, although the modern term "religiouse submission of will and intellect" may be a little bit problematic, it seems obviouse for me that even in the instr. donum veritatis (f.e.) this submsission of will and intell. is
NOT UNCONDITIONAL (cf. n.23, but esp. 28, 30, 31).

N. 31 makes it very clear: it can be allowed to withhold the intell. assent!!

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

Anil wang

Would you care to provide ANY authoritative sources for your statement that Vatican 2 is infallible? Or that merely because a proper approves something or even because several do it is per se infallible? And if you can do so would you care to provide a source where several popes approving something which contradicts the teaching of the previous 6-8 popes, some immemorial teaching and ecumenical councils becomes infallible?

If you can do so that it would unreasonable of me not to believe, if you cannot it would on the basis of the convincing theological arguments and proofs put forward by the SSPX and others as well as the rotten fruits of Vatican 2 be unreasonable for me to believe what you say.

Ecclesia Militans said...

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis, Londonfrater et al.,

Do not be surprised.
Remember, these are not the true sons of the great St. Dominic and brothers of the great St. Thomas Aquinas.
If you wish to find them you can look for them in Avrille.

Knight of Malta said...


The plan of Salvation only includes Catholics who die in a state of Grace; that is why God bled-out on a Cross.

Why would Baptism be the first essential Sacrament for entrance into the Church if it wasn't really essential?

Is there a virtual eucharist or virtual marriage, virtual anointing, etc.? Or, is form and substance necessary?

Why not a virtual Christ if Form and Substance aren't necessary for our Salvation!?

But, friend, not only is not every statement in Vatican II infallible: few statements in Vatican II are infallible, unless they are based on past dogmas (which are few and far between).

Picard said...

K. Gurries:

Thanks for response.
Yes, I get your point - but do you get mine? - Or ours (mine, Davids, Veritatis´ , Br. Josephs)?

I ask you: Where do you get your doctrine that ONLY re the prudential order a magisterial teaching can be wrong but not re doctrine of faith?!

That´s an assertion - but I can not find any source that makes this clear.

And for contrary, against this assertion we have many arguments.

Veritatis (or Br. Joseph) quoted some older teachers / manuals (see there).

But even in the newer documents like donum veritatis we can not find your assertion.

Yes, in n. 24 of donum veritatis there is a paragraph re magisterial utterances of the prudential order.

But just before that, we have an paragraph in 24. that deals not only with this teachings of prudential order, but the teachings of the magisterium in general. And here

a theologian may, according to the case, raise questions regarding the timeliness, the form, or even the contents of magisterial interventions.

so not only re "form" or "timeliness", but also - even - re the content of magisterial teachings.
And here it is not restricted to "prudential" questions. We do not find such a restriction!

And then n. 24 continues to explain that we have to consider the nature of the document etc. and suggests that there are different levels of authoritativeness

And n. 31 makes it very clear that you can be allowed to withhold your assent to this level-theree-magisterial teachings.

That´s only possible if they could be wrong, erroneous.

And again, older authors like the one quoted by Veritas f. e. make that point very clear - magisterial teachings can be erroneous, not only re the prudential order!

Picard said...

let´s qoute the mentioned paragaph of n.24 of donum veritatis and also n. 31:

...The willingness to submit loyally to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters per se not irreformable must be the rule. It can happen, however, that a theologian may, according to the case, raise questions regarding the timeliness, the form, or even the contents of magisterial interventions. Here the theologian will need, first of all, to assess accurately the authoritativeness of the interventions which becomes clear from the nature of the documents, the insistence with which a teaching is repeated, and the very way in which it is expressed.(24) ...

31. It can also happen that at the conclusion of a serious study, undertaken with the desire to heed the Magisterium's teaching without hesitation, the theologian's difficulty remains because the arguments to the contrary seem more persuasive to him. Faced with a proposition to which he feels he cannot give his intellectual assent, the theologian nevertheless has the duty to remain open to a deeper examination of the question.

Joe B said...

Archbishop Lefebvre didn't accuse the documents of clear heresy out of a profound respect for and understanding of the dogmas of infallibility and indefectibility. He was a heroic and well trained defender of the faith, and still is. It is you who stretch his position into things they are not that lack precision.

But if you think the destruction of the priesthood and the mass and eventually everyman's faith, the loss of our monasteries and convents, the collapse of our venerable orders, the kissing of the Koran and the Assisi scandals, and these interminable homosexual scandals are all the result of a few bad men acting badly, you do the faith no favors.

Let SSPX do its job of pressuring the hierarchy for reform in a lot of areas, including clarification of documents and statements that have at least contributed to it all. Stop hindering the reform you know is needed.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

@Eclessia Militans

I won't go so far, but I will say many Dominicans have lost their way, I met one relatively prominent one who spoke of a catechism where 'prudishness' was listed as a sin against the virtue of chastity, as a 're-interpretation' of St Thomas Aquinas...

Anonymous said...

@ Rick DeLano

I copied your summary as the most succinct statement of the complicated arguments presented by so many, and plan to use it (I'll re-word, I promise) given any opportunity at all.

@ disputator: you're funny
(Welcome to the resistance!)

This was the most useful discussion I've ever seen on Rorate. Or maybe I'm just ready now to understand it.

David said...

Papal Authority and Vatican II: A Defense of Those who say Vatican II taught errors by Brother Alexis Bugnolo.

Barona said...

Interesting - Rahner himself wrote in the mid-sixties contained elements that, being pastoral, did not definitely make the last word on a given point of discussion. This confirms the author's point on the completion of the circle by various stripes of protestants.

The question comes down to - did the Council teach heresy? If so, the "church" has defected.

CardinalBillot said...

If 'ordinary magisterium' is infallible. (Which seems to be a reference to Authentic Magisterium and not Ordinary/Universal)

Why have extra-ordinary magisterium?

Many seem to confuse "infallible" and "dogmatic". The former means "without error", while the matter means "to be found in the deposit of Faith and required of belief for salvation."

Vatican II belongs to the Ordinary Magisterium. Therefore, doctrinal portions of Vatican II are infallible without being dogmatic. The Extraordinary Magisterium exists to teach dogmatically and, by nature, is likewise infallible. To deny the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium is, at best, rash and, at worst, heterodox. Denial of the Extraordinary Magisterium is heresy.

Petrus Radii said...

Fr. Cavalcoli posts a very thoughtful article. It is really sad, however, that his own logical syllogisms are faulty.

He does not distinguish adequately between the various degrees of certainty from fallible and reformable to infallible and irreformable, either as presented in post-VII teaching and legislation of the Church or in traditional dogmatic theology (e.g., Ludwig Ott).

He seems to define theological truth solely on the basis of the object (thing being taught), as though the intent of the subject in teaching were irrelevant. This contradicts the defined dogma of Vatican I and thus cannot be accepted.

He seems to deny free will to the members of the Magisterium, as though they could never choose other than an infallible manner of teaching dogmatic facts.

He seems to tend towards a view in which doctrinal statements by the Magisterium (which he confutes with the Church as a whole, thus incorrectly attributing indefectibility to the Magisterium--a heresy) are always correct, and thus irreformable and infallible. This view must also be rejected, since, in the case of Vatican II, it would require that one reject the dictates of logic, epistemology, etymology, and grammar. If two teachings contradict each other, only one can be true. They cannot be reconciled without violently overthrowing reason and logic themselves.

Fr. C. is simply incorrect, and at odds with all of the greatest teachers of the Faith, in claiming that doctrinal teachings cannot err, but disciplinary ones can. In fact, it is necessary to distinguish in both cases. If a teaching is not presented by the Church in a manner which is definitive, of necessity it may be incorrect---and historical examples exist. Contrariwise, some disciplinary matters are irreformable and at least implicitly infallible, especially if they are constant from Apostolic Times to the present. In this case, the disciplinary matter, e.g., only males may serve at the Altar, would be proxima fidei and could not be overthrown without endangering the Deposit of Faith.

Finally, Fr. Cavalcoli seems to fall into the same trap of legal positivism, albeit not exactly from the voluntarist position, but perhaps from a false understanding of the virtue of obedience as being necessarily servile obedience. This is the error committed by the Jesuits in there traditional practice of the virtue.

To refute Fr. C., it is only necessary to recall the errors taught by Constantinople II, and the further teaching of which St. Gregory the Great silenced for ever. There is also the heresy taught by Pope John XXII while Pope, which he was forced to retract, among other examples.

The problem is less with Father's reasoning than with his principles, which are faulty because they go beyond the limits of infallibility established by Vatican I and traditional Catholic dogmatic theology. Error parvulus in principio fit error magnus in finis.

Never the less, I admire the very delicate and respectful manner of Fr. Cavalcoli's argumentation and applaud his great charity.

Anonymous said...

Sì Sì no no ha risposto a Padre Cavalcoli:
see here

New Catholic said...

Yes, we know it, mic. We will have a translation of the Si Si No No response in the next few days.


Veritas said...

"CardinalBillot" wrote: "Many seem to confuse "infallible" and "dogmatic". The former means "without error", while the matter means "to be found in the deposit of Faith and required of belief for salvation."

"Vatican II belongs to the Ordinary Magisterium. Therefore, doctrinal portions of Vatican II are infallible without being dogmatic." (END)

I think you are confusing the primary and secondary objects of infallibility, with teachings of the ordinary magisterium that may or may not be infallibly proposed.

The primary object of infallibility consists in those truths that have been revealed by God and are contained formally in the sources of revelation.

Secondary objects of infallibility "comprise all those matters which are so closely connected with the revealed deposit that revelation itself would be imperilled unless an absolutely certain decision could he made about them".

The magisterium is only infallible when it defines a dogma (a primary object of infallibility) or issues a definitive decision on a related teaching (secondary object of infallibility), such as a theological conclusion or a dogmatic fact.

If the magisterium is not intending to issue a definitive decision, the teachings are not protected by infallibility.

I just posted two sections from the pre-Vatican II theological manual by Msgr. G. Van Noort on my blog if you are interested in reading more on this subject.

Prof. Basto said...

Thanks, Picard. I think I have now organized my ideas better, by remembering the whole question of the "religious submission of intelect and will".
Doctrines that are not irreformable are not infallible. Infallibility and irreformability go hand in hand: a docrtine is irreformable because it is infallible.
Surely, not all teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium are irreformable; not all them are proposed by a DEFINITIVE ACT.
Here the Church's Oath of Fidelity can come to our aid:

"I, N., with firm faith believe and profess everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith, namely:
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgement or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

[The above paragraphs correspond to the teachings that are de fide credenda, that is, those that, being DIVINELY REVEALED, require assent of Theological Faith; because they are divinely revealled, they are dogmas, that is, Truths that are essential to our religion, so that if one does not hold those Truths, one has lost the Divine and Catholic Faith, has suffered the "shipreck of the Faith"; ergo, acceptance of those teachings is necessary for salvation. Teachings of this kind, either promulgated solemnly by the Extraordinary Magisterium or held constantly by the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium, are irreformable. The organs of the Extraordinary Magisterium can be either an Ecumenical Council, or the Bishops dispersed but in conjunction with the Pope, or the Pope alone when speaking ex cathedra].

(to be continued...)

Prof. Basto said...


I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

[The above paragraph deals with the Truths concerning the field of Faith and Morals that, although not being divinely revealed, are nevertheless defined by the Church by means of a definitive act, and as such are de fide tenenda. Those teachings too, athough not proceeding from direct revelation, from part of the deposit of the Faith, and as such are to be definitively held by all. The Extraordinary Magisterium, either of the College of Bishops, or of the Pope speaking ex Cathedra, can promulgate by a definitive act Truths of this kind. So too can the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium: if it can be the vehicle for Truths that are de fide credenda, then, necessarily, it can also convey Truths that are de fide tenenda; if there is confusion about wether a Truth has been set forth by the Ordinary and Universal magisterium, or if the Truth comes under attack, the same Truth can be formally declared by an act of the extraordinary Magisterium, and that is what happened, for instance, when Pope John Paul II issued his Apostolic Constitution Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Teachings of this kind, although not strictly necessary for the salvation of one's soul, still form part of the field of teachings on Faith and Morals that all are required to hold with full assent. Such teachings of the Church are within the scope of infallible docrine, and thus the said teachings are irreformable].

Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act".

[The above paragraph deals with the rest of the teachings that proceed from the subjects of universal and supreme authority in the Church (the Pope and the Council of Bishops). Teachings of the Magisterium, even of the supreme authority (Pope, Ecumenical Council, or Bishops dispersed but acting in concert with the Pope), are not always proclaimed as definitive teaching acts. Teachings not proclaimed as definitive are not infallible; they do not form part of the deposit of Faith; they do not require full assent of Faith. They form part of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium, but unlike the preceeding categories, they can be reformed, precisely because they are not infallible. Not being "de fide", they merely require the obsequium religiosum, that is, the difficult to define "religious submission of will and intelect", that has its limits].


Therefore, even granting that Vatican II teachings form part of the Ordinary Magisterium, and even having been adopted by an Ecumenical Council, most, if not all, of those teachings that do not simply repeat previous doctrines, are teachings that fall on the third category: teachings not proposed by a definitive act.

The very language of Vatican II is not the language of definitive pronouncements. One document, Gaudium et Spes, is even addressed specifically to the Church "in the world of the present time"; Gaudium et Spes, is, as such, a document contingent on the "current time" of the 1960's.

Ergo, those not-definitive teachings of Vatican II do not require more than religious submission; they are reformable teachings; not infallible ones; certainly not necessary for salvation; and no one can be termed a heretic because he dissents from them.

Tradical said...

Thankyou Veritas.

You have saved me the time to get out my reference materials!

K Gurries said...

Picard, the basis for my assertions are summarized in the piece "On Rupture Theology" here:

Incidentally, Fr. Cavolcoli and I agree -- as does Msgr. Ocariz.

see here for Fr. Cavolcoli (although it was covered in more detail in the article above):

and here for Msgr. Ocariz....

CH DUPUY said...

Mike said:
"The rhetoric of past Papacies is not normative forever, even as the work of St. Thomas Aquinas is not to be embraced..."
I agree, and "past papacies" include the previous post conciliar ones and even the present one. Then what a Pope expresses even in encyclicals or homilies, cannot be included automatically in the Magisterium of the Church.

JB said...

Are we saying that papal teachings such as the Syllabus of Errors, or pre-Vatican II encyclicals on modernism, ecumenism, and religious liberty, are in fact infallible and "de fide" dogma?

The Council and the magisterium of John Paul II and Benedict XVI suggest that they are not, and that is why there is evidence of some discontinuity. But their magisterium also condemns a relativistic understanding of ecumenical dialogue or religious liberty.


Confitebor said...

Note to "Stephen" -- pray find something else to do with your time. You know full well that Orthodox propaganda is not permitted here.

Bartholomew said...

Veritas, Picard and Professor Basto: WELL SAID!!!

I will be able to offer the religious submission of my intellect and will to the non-infallible but "authoritative" teaching of the contents of the documents of the Second Vatican Council (as Lumen Gentium #25 demands) IF the Magisterium reaffirms the dogmatic nature of Pascendi and the Syllabus of Errors.

John McFarland said...

When the Pope and the rest of the hierarchy undertake in their teaching not the explanation and defense of the deposit of faith delivered once for all to the saints, but the translation of the faith into neomodernist categories, the application of the traditional doctrines of assent to those translations is absurd. These translations are not the faith, those that teach them are not teaching the faith, and faithful Catholics not only may but must withhold their assent from what they teach.

Authority in the church, up to and including the chair of Peter, is currently held by the spiritual sons of Loisy, and what they teach must be treated accordingly.

Mar said...

John McFarland, would you be able to give an account of how it came about that someone like Loisy, who was was excommunicated vitandus in 1908 - vitandus being a particularly severe form of excommunication I understand - came to wield such power over the intellectual development of certain Catholics, in particular Catholic clerics, so that in the lead-up to V2 his ideas, far from being eradicated from the Church, were strongly finding a new lease on life.

Were there some Church institutions - places of learning - where his ideas went underground and continued to white-ant the Catholic faith?

I would find it very beneficial to have some more information on this particular aspect of the demise of catholicism in order to make sense of what happened later at V2.

totustuusmaria said...

Without making any judgment as to the relative merits of the argument, I wish to acknowledge we have come a long way in the belief that an ecumenical council and Popes, even in encyclical letters, can assiduously teach and actively promote error and heresy. There was a time, less than a hundred years ago, when Catholics believed and held that it must not "be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: 'He who heareth you, heareth me'; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians."

While I have formal training in theology, I have to admit that I am not fit to pass judgment on a lot of these issues. I'm sometimes surprised at how readily my fellow lay Catholics are willing to give expert opinion about these matters.

This is a learned letter. I don't think it should be so readily dismissed simply because it fails to reject the Council and the magesterium of post-conciliar Popes.

Picard said...

K. Gurries:

I´ve read your piece. But I can not find in the sources that only teachings of the prudential order can be false.

I quoted f.e. donum veritatis - no. 24 and 31. And see also the other mentioned numbers. There we see that not only prudential things, but the magisterial teachings in general (third-level-teachings) might be wrong and you can be allowed to withhold your assent.

Bartholomew said...

totustuusmaria said:

"This is a learned letter. I don't think it should be so readily dismissed simply because it fails to reject the Council and the magesterium [sic] of post-conciliar Popes."

That is not the reason why some dismiss it. Nor do we dismiss it (sounds far too pejorative); we do reject it -- for good reason: we've been lied to by the very Magisterium you defend.

We were told by the Magisterium for years that the ancient Latin Mass had been abrogated; then the present Pontiff informs us in "Summorum Pontificum" that it was never abrogated. This after hundreds of priests in the US alone were sent to psychological Gulags by those who constitute a part of the Magisterium for "mental health evaluation and re-education."

We were told for decades by the Magisterium which you would have us take at their word, that there were NO innovations within the documents of the Second Vatican Council. But recently we were serenaded by Msgr. Ocariz (after his theological discussions with the SSPX) with the grand revelation that Gee, yes, there are innovations in the documents. Those of us who insisted upon what this representative of the Magisterium has only recently admitted have been libeled repeatedly with the label of "schismatic."

It isn't, as you accuse, a mere matter of some of your fellow Catholics being stubborn and simply expressing their "expert opinion about these matters." It's because:

(1) Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have expressed questions about the content of the documents (which, according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law is our right) -- constantly reiterating that we do not see how some things can be reconciled with previous dogmatic teaching -- and then to be told effectively to shuttup and obey (by their invocation of Lumen Gentium 25).

(2) Due to the lies which have been part and parcel of their message, many of those who constitute the Magisterium simply have lost our trust (lying will tend to do that) and they need to do more than invoke positivist slogans of governing to recover it.

(3) When learned men (e.g. the Abbe de Nantes) have asked for clarifications of the apparent egregious ecclesial contradictions which have emanated from the Conciliar documents, they have been met with silence and marginalization. It has seemed to be above the dignity of these "Magisteri" to stoop and explain the concerns and questions to us Catholic simpletons.

You speak as if none of the above has occurred. Catholics who have criticized our resistance seem to equate the lying and deception of the past 50 years to nothing more than evidence of corruption in the Church which is part and parcel of Her human temptation as has been evidenced throughout history. No, Sir, this is different: this is resistance to an ideology whose own proponents have labeled as "the cult of man." Some of us on December 7th 1965 thought this was mere exuberant hyperbole. The only regret that I have is that I believed that for far too long.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

It is simple. The council was validated by three Popes, so it is infallible

Dear Mr. Wang. By their nature, all Ecumenical Councils are infallible but from the opening speech to the Council to its wrap-up speech to countless speeches about it by the V2 Popes following the closing of the Council it has never been described as an infallible council so as to give the impression that it taught infallibly.

I think the proof that the Holy Ghost was, as is always the case in all Ecumenical Councils, active in the most recent Ecumenical Council , can be found in its decision not to teach infallibly.

That which is infallible in the Council is that which has been infallibly taught prior to the Council.

There was not one new infallible teaching taught at the most recent ecumenical council.

Even our Holy Father has, repeatedly, said the same thing.

I think many Catholic s do not understand that Infallibility is essentially a negative charism in that the Holy Ghost prevents the Pope or a Ecumenical Council from Teaching error.

That is, were a Pope to take the decision to issue an Encyclical teaching that Birth Control is not a serious sin, then the Carmelengo would be knocking on a his dead head with a Silver Hammer before the Encyclical could be issued.

(Yeah, I know the revolutionaries did away with that too, - 'Unscientific, people will laugh at us" - but I find the image of the action quaint and beautiful)

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Are we saying that papal teachings such as the Syllabus of Errors, or pre-Vatican II encyclicals on modernism, ecumenism, and religious liberty, are in fact infallible and "de fide" dogma?

Dear JB. In 1990, Our Holy Father, as Prefect of the CDF, said we can safely ditch such things.

And, it turns out, fortunately for some authors, that such things were ditched because in Pascendi... we are warned:

The result of this dismembering of the records, and this partition of them throughout the centuries is naturally that the Scriptures can no longer be attributed to the authors whose names they bear.

And Our Holy Father, in the first Jesus of Nazareth book (teeming with references to protestant exegetes) calmly tells us that John did not write the Gospel attributed to him but some anonymous writer, named John, from some unidentified Johannie School, wrote it and our Holy Father goes on to tell us that Matt 27:25 really isn't historical after all, etc etc

So the New Theology has cast out the old surety and authoritative teachings and if that does not prove conciliar continuity, nothing does.

Oh, yeah, Trent did teach that it was impermissible to teach Biblical exegesis differently than did the Church Fathers and so it would be interesting to know which of the Early Church Fathers were in disagreement with each other as to whether of not Matt was relating actual history re 27:25.

It seems to me that under this new theological dispensation of contingent continuity that virtually everything is up for release - including that which used to bind us such as whether or not the authors of the Gospels were the ones Holy Mother Church has always insisted they were and whether or not the Gospel authors were relating actual history .

In one-half of a century EVERYTHING has changed and if that does not prove conciliar continuity, nothing does; for the change is constant and always in the direction away from that which came before V2.

M. A. said...

Batholomew and Spartacus,

Thank you. My sentiments exactly.

God bless!

K Gurries said...

Picard, if you take another look you will see where Donum Veritatis speaks about magisterial "deficiencies" only with respect to the prudential order. Prior to Vatican II there was only the affirmation that the Magisterium is indefectible (unfailing) in teaching the doctrines of the faith. But there was no clear teaching on how or in what sense the magisterium could teach fallibly. Recent magisterial documents (e.g., Donum Veritatis) have clarified this. So, a fallible/reformable teaching is NOT a potentially heretical one. It only means that the doctrine may contain the admixture of practical-prudential aspects.

Mrs. T said...

Wow...I am impressed. The Church Militant is not only alive and well but able to articulate formidable responses which expose the "springtime" of VII for the abject failure it is. The stats alone will prove that. May God Bless all of you.

Picard said...

K. Gurries,

as I said above:

Yes, I see, there is a paragraph in n.24 of donum veritatis that deals with "deficiences" re the "prudential order".

But, as I also said above, there is this pragraph before that speaking of the magisterial teachings in general and admitting that there can be situations in that a theologian can question even the content of them!

And then we have n.31 - I will not quote it again, see above.

And the other nn. (23, 28-30, ...).

There it also seems that third-level-teachings could theoretically entail some error (generally, not only re the prudential order).

I admit that the whole thing is not absolute clear in this document - but it is far away also from beeing clear that only errors in the prudential order are possible.

There are so much paragraphs in it dealing with the (third-level) magisterial teachings in general - and not only re prudential order - that seem to admit that there is theoretically a possibility of an error re doctrine in this teachings.

JB said...

Okay, so I see that teachings from older papal encyclicals, on topics such as scriptural authorship and the separation of church and state, are being elevated to infallible dogmas of the Catholic church, while the teaching of current papal encyclicals is being demoted to "third level teaching." That does explain the problem!


Spy Kid said...

K Gurries said: "So, a fallible/reformable teaching is NOT a potentially heretical one."

Thank you K Gurries for your response. I have been reading your responses for a while and like them very much. But to the matter at hand (which is very interesting, yet very complicated)--- your statement above would seem to suggest that it is impossible for the ordinary Magisterium to ever teach heresy under any circumstances (although it may, on occassion, teach fallibly). Is this what you are implying?

With every good wish,

Spy Kid

K Gurries said...

Picard, the logic of the document (Donum Veritatis) makes it clear that the "content" that we are allowed to question can only relate to practical-prudential aspects. Even here, we must offer due respect and remain "open to deeper examination" -- even if we do not owe "assent" strictly speaking (as we do in the case of each of the three levels of doctrine, properly speaking). The OR article by Msgr. Ocariz underscores this very point (see n. 5):

Disputator said...

No JB, I don't think you appreciated the nature of the stance that those of us critical of this letter are holding to.

Those older teachings were official, authoritative teachings of very high standing, if not infallible. In fact, Cardinal Ottaviani, during a 1953 address, declared that the perennial teaching on Church-State relations was infallible.

But, in any event, at a minimum, our most recent popes and prelates had an obligation, during the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s to give such teachings a full, sincere assent of intellect and will, trusting in the truthfulness of such teachings and that the Church was to be relied upon for the veracity of its claims, even when they may have had some difficulties.

It is obvious that they did no such thing, as when the opportunity arose in the 1960s during the council to exhibit their humble submission and respect for what the Church had proclaimed for centuries, in a number of cases that was set aside, and dubious, anthropocentric novelties introduced in their place.

And now, we're supposed to give the same assent to their novelties that they failed to give to our perennial teachings. Please.

K Gurries said...

Dear Spy Kid, yes that is what I am clearly saying -- and what Fr. Cavolcoli and Msgr. Ocariz have clearly said. If there is any defect or error contained in Magisterial texts (including Vatican II), then these are limited to practical-prudential aspects (not "doctrine" of the Faith, strictly speaking). The supreme and universal magisterium can't DEFECT from divine Faith by teaching heresies.

Picard said...

Well, K. Gurries,

a) I do not admit that your theses follows clearly from the modern magisterial document such as donum veritatis etc.

b) But even if they would follow clearly (not admitted but only hypothetically assumed for the sake of argument) then this modern documents would be one more instance of questionable novelty as David (or Br. Joseph) suggested.

You can not proof that Vat. II and post-Vat. II teachings are in continuity with the past by using only Vat. II and post-Vat. II teachings that are themselfe novelties and questionable if in continuity.

c) your opinion is against the opinion of many highly reputated pre-Vat. II-theologians as quoted here (by myselfe resp. David - Br. Joseph - , Veritas, ...)

b) your thesis can not be right because it leads to absurde, illogical consequences: it would reduce the differentiation of differnt levels of authoritativeness of magisterial teachings ad absurdum -- if all are infallible, there is no difference of levels of authoritativeness any more.

d) this - that there are no real differnt levels of authoritativeness anymore (c) - contradicts also direct the teachings in donum veritatis n. 24 as quoted!! And also many other teachings re the different levels!
The Curch and their theologians clearly teach that there are differnt levels - mainly the fallible and infallible level!

e) it (c) would also mean that the "religiouse submission of will and intellect" is the same as a real act of faith. So there would not remain any third-level- (or better: third-group-)teaching -- as said in (c): this differentiation would be in vain, in fact there would only be first- and second-level- (better: group-) teachings: only infallible ones that require an act of faith, of faithull submission.

JB said...

Ultimately it is the current pope (whoever he may be) who decides for the Church what is infallible teaching and what needs to be changed or presented differently due to new circumstances and developments. Not us!


Picard said...

K. Gurries,

you may respond: no, there is still a difference between the groups and levels and the differentiation is not in vain - because the third-group-teachings can entail some error re the prudential-practical order. That makes them different.

- But (my objection then sould be):
No, this differentiation is totaly in vain. That makes them not different from any other kind of mag. teaching. Because ALL teachings (of all groups and levels) can entail error re the prudential-practical order.

As we know the Pope and the bishops are only infallible re faith and moral [first-group-teachings: de fide divina] or things that are connected with faith and moral and are proposed devinitively to hold by a faithfull act of ecclesiastical faith [second-group-teachings: de fide ecclesiastica seu catholica].

Re the prudential-practical order they are always fallible!

So that would not make a new, third group and a new, fallible level of teachings! You can´t use this as a criterion to distinguish different levels or to establish a new specific group.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...


Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day..... Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili,

Dear JB, you write: "Okay, so I see that teachings from older papal encyclicals, on topics such as scriptural authorship and the separation of church and state, are being elevated to infallible dogmas of the Catholic church, while the teaching of current papal encyclicals is being demoted to "third level teaching." That does explain the problem!"

Our Holy Father took the Oath against Modernism so please tell me how his oath and his current beliefs, which are opposed to important parts of his oath, are consistent with the idea of continuity?

That was then; this is now?

Gregorian Mass said...

I followed this post with much interest and learned a few things. And I must say that some comments here are more clear and concise than those comments that come from the Vatican itself. For all the talk about the Magesterium clearing up doubts, fallible and infallible statements, good or bad pastoral decisions that came after the Council, one thing is for certain. The largest, biggest problems have gone on for 50 years unanswered definatively. And still no answer comes from the Pope. No statements of clarity or "patience, we are studying the matter." Nothing. For all the average lay person, and those who dare dip into the subjects know is that there is nothing but confusion and ambiguity. Meanwhile the average Catholic waits, many die, their Souls never knowing the answers to things that should be crystal clear. Why does the Vatican and Pope remain so silent on such pressing matters? Are events such as Assisi more important than cleaning up a 50 year old problem that continues to haunt the Church? A whole Pontificate can be spent clearing away the debris. The only way for this Council to reconcile itself to history and the Church is for the Pope to do it. But to do it he has to do it. Nothing less will suffice.

Tradical said...

Hi Gurries,

"supreme and universal magisterium can't DEFECT from divine Faith by teaching heresies."

There seems to be alot of different magisteriums being thrown around.

The labels that I am used to are below. Please indicate where you believe 'supreme and universal magisterium' falls:

1. Papal Extra-Ordinary (infallible): Pope ie Ex Cathedra

2. Episcopal Extra-Ordinary (infallible): Bishops - Council.

3. Papal Ordinary and Universal (infallible): Pope repeating / reinforcing past teachings (uncertain where the transition from authentic to infallible lies. Multiple sources, of which Encyclicals can be one.

4. Episcopal Ordinary and Universal (infallible): Bishops in their dioceses teaching what has always been taught etc. Typically one source is the catechisms.

5. Everything else is authentic, meaning not infallible and not irreformable. NB. Something stated in an authentic manner could later be restated in a manner which makes it infallible. eg Assumption.

Tradical said...

Hi Jb

"...teachings from older papal encyclicals, ... are being elevated to infallible... while the teaching of current papal encyclicals is being demoted ..."

This is not correct. The authority of past encyclicals (depending on content) have the same authority.

So when a later encyclical contradicts a prior teaching in an explicit manner - this is a problem.

Asshole said...

Oh, Good Lord, where do I begin?

Well, at least he seems to have finally agreed with me that the Vatican II documents are equivocal and ambiguous. I'll count that, humbly, as, at least, a small victory.

Spy Kid said...

Thank you K Gurries for your reply.

I appreciate your point...but I can't help but think that there have been a few instances in the past (Papal Bulls and/or Encyclicals) that have contained heresy, but this was not a major problem (at least for me) since they were in the fallible domain. What worries me is your conclusion that every act of the Magisterium, even Ordinary Mag., can never (and therefore HAS never) contained heresy, even if in the fallible arena.

JB said...

Dogmas do not change, and I challenge you to find one "de fide" dogma which was changed by current popes.

But yes, biblical scholarship, scientific understandings, political and social situations do change, and so the teachings of past encyclicals on those areas are subject to change as well.


dominic1955 said...

I think Fr. Cavacoli is pretty much right on. No one needs to say that Vatican II is heretical or teaches heresy in order to accurately criticize it. In fact, it would certainly seem that those who think VII is actually heretical or teaches heresy would themselves be a heretic. Why put yourself out like that? Vatican II used ambiguous language, its pastoral initiatives were by and large a huge flop, the reform of the liturgy that happened on account of Sacrosanctum Concilium was a huge failure but in spite of all of this, it is simplistic to dismiss the problems of VII as "heretical". All of the issues at hand are much better dealt with as prudential problems or lack of effective teaching.

As to obedience, just think if the Archbishop (and I respect him immensely) had did all he could to stay in the Church (i.e. didn't consecrate the other bishops). He would be nothing other than an impeccable white martyr and the cause for traditional Catholicism could be seen as nothing else but solidly Catholic. Now, we have to put up with being painting with the brush of Sedevacantism and pseudo-protestantism, and not without reason at times.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Disputator said:

"And now, we're supposed to give the same assent to their novelties that they failed to give to our perennial teachings. Please."

You are right.
Those of their novel conciliar and postconciliar teachings insofar as they are contrary to Church Tradition sever ties with the teachings of the Eternal Church and represent a schismatical act.

When they ask faithful Catholics to adhere to these novelties they are asking them to adhere to this schism.

The Venerable Archbishop Lefebvre reckognized this and therefore rejected those novelties.

Disputator said...


The following was dogmatically declared at the Ecumenical Council of Florence:

"It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart 'into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels' [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

Are you claiming that our most recent popes have given a full assent of faith to any meaningful understanding of the above? Yes, there is invincible ignorance, but, no, you don't get to assume everybody on earth is in good faith to nullify this.

As for your reference to biblical scholarship, the following was decreed at the Ecumenical Council of Trent:

"Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,–in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, –wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,–whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,–hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.."

Are you saying that our most recent popes have held to any meaningful form of this teaching?

As for changing political and social situations, exactly, precisely how was the situation of 1953, when traditional Church teaching on Church-State relations was in full force still [Spain concordat, Ci Riesce allocuation, Cardinal Ottaviani 'Duties of a Catholic State' address] fundamentally different from the situation of 1964 when traditional teaching was in the process of being eclipsed?

And when you say that the pope gets to decide what changes based on new circumstances and developments, that seems to say, theoretically, that a pope is free to change any teaching his wishes, citing some concept of new developments as a justification. So does any teaching change automatically past muster? What if a 'dogma' was formulated within what a future pope sees as a contingent time-bound context, why should such a 'dogma' not be subject to possible change?

And lastly, what do you suggest be done with all of the pre-1959 Imprimaturs, that were to give us assurance that such works had no doctrinal error in them, for those works that clash with our new theology? Do we start selectively invalidating Imprimaturs? Alphonse Ligouri's '12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation' has a reference to Jews that clashes with Nostra Aetate. So a doctor of the Church, and the imprimatur attached to a key work of his doesn't hold a candle to the glories of Nostra Aetate?

plwin said...

Then the Church has never had bad popes, Father.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

@dominic 1955

You do a grave disservice to the Archbishop if you think he didn't do all he could to remain in The Church. Have you read any of his writings or sermons at the time? The decision pained him, immensely. But what was he to do? Let the Society, the traditional latin sacraments and the traditional teaching of the church die out while Rome seemingly engaged in acts of apostasy and immeasurable scandal (Assisi)? What would you have him do submit to Rome and water down the true teachings of the faith? No, the Archbishop was forced into a corner by Romes scandalous actions and he did what he felt he had to do. And who can say he was wrong? All those who have cooperated with Rome have not had a happy fate, bishop Rifan of the Apostolic administration of St Jean Vianney believes you have to celebrate the NO or be at risk of Schism, Mgsr Wach of the ICKSP does not believe V2 contains any errors whatsoever and if that it looks like it does that's because you're not reading it properly. The FSSP had protocol 1411 imposed on them and the monks of papa Stronsay still haven't been approved and can do nothing off the island. As for the Institute of the Good Shepherd, its effectiveness is greatly reduced by the french bishops and by having to be approved by bishops.

Tell me is that the position you believe the SSPX should be in? And what does it matter what others call or think of the Society? As Our Lord himself said 'If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also' John 15:18-20 and elsewhere ' Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you'

What matters is the truth and the truth alone.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

"The rhetoric of past Papacies is not normative forever, even as the work of St. Thomas Aquinas is not to be embraced..."

Dear Mike. More than a few Popes disagree with you:

Studiorum Ducem, by Pope Pus Xl

“We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest. It would be an endless task to explain here all the reasons which moved Our Predecessors in this respect, and it will be sufficient perhaps to point out that Thomas wrote under the inspiration of the supernatural spirit which animated his life and that his writings, which contain the principles of, and the laws governing, all sacred studies, must be said to possess a universal character.”

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

But yes, biblical scholarship, scientific understandings, political and social situations do change, and so the teachings of past encyclicals on those areas are subject to change as well

Dear JB. Yes, that is the new new Theological position to which we are expected to passively surrender.

But, as a former KJPL (Knee Jerk Papal Loyalist) I have been forced by revolutionary circumstances to reform myself and consider that if the Prefect of The CDF felt himself at liberty to reject the Magisterium of continuity and substitute radical ideas in its place, by what right can it be insisted that I must surrender to what is clearly a revolution within the form of Caholicism?

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has been the Prefect for the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith since 1982. He is considered by most to be the second most important man in the Vatican. He is also considered to be the bastion of orthodoxy and traditional Catholicism among the hierarchy.

The year 1982 also saw the publication of Cardinal Ratzinger’s book Principles of Catholic Theology. The book contains an Epilogue On the Status of Church and Theology Today. Part B is titled Church and World: An Inquiry into the Reception of Vatican Council II. The text focuses primarily on the Vatican II document the “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” (Gaudium et Spes), which the Cardinal calls “a kind of summa of Christian anthropology.” The following is of immediate interest to our subject:

“If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text (Gaudium et Spes) as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus. Harnack, as we know, interpreted the Syllabus of Pius IX as nothing less than a declaration of war against his generation. This is correct insofar as the Syllabus established a line of demarcation against the determining forces of the nineteenth century: against the scientific and political world view of liberalism. In the struggle against modernism this twofold delimitation was ratified and strengthened. Since then many things have changed. The new ecclesiastical policy of Pius XI produced a certain openness toward a liberal understanding of the state. In a quiet but persistent struggle, exegesis and Church history adopted more and more the postulates of liberal science, and liberalism, too, was obliged to undergo many significant changes in the great political upheavals of the twentieth century. As a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution was, to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789. In fact, an attitude that was largely pre-Revolutionary continued to exist in countries with strong Catholic majorities. Hardly anyone today will deny that the Spanish and Italian Concordats strove to preserve too much of a view of the world that no longer corresponded to the facts. Hardly anyone today will deny that, in the field of education and with respect to the historico-critical method in modern science, anachronisms existed that corresponded closely to this adherence to an obsolete Church-state relationship…..
Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789.”

Part One

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

These words of Cardinal Ratzinger are absolutely astounding. Cardinal Ratzinger places himself and Gaudium et Spes in direct contradiction – countersyllabus – to the central teachings of Blessed Pius IX and St. Pius X. This, however, is a gross understatement. He actually places himself and this non-doctrinal document in direct opposition to the absolutely consistent teaching of at least nine Popes in dozens of documents covering a period of almost 175 years. Further, his statement that there was a new “ecclesiastical policy” under Pope Pius XI which somehow foreshadowed the “countersyllabus” teaching of Cardinal Ratzinger and Gaudium et Spes is simply false. In order to thoroughly dispel this error, I quote again the following words from Pius XI’s encyclical on The Kingship of Christ:

“He, however would be guilty of shameful error who would deny to Christ as man authority over civil affairs, no matter what their nature, since by virtue of the absolute dominion over all creatures He holds from the Father, all things are in His power…. “His (Christ’s) empire manifestly includes not only Catholic nations, not only those who were baptized, and of right belong to the Church, though error of doctrine leads them astray or schism severs them from her fold; but it includes also all those who are outside the Christian faith, so that truly the human race, in its entirety is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.’ Nor in this connection is there any difference between individuals and communities whether family or State, for community aggregates are just as much under the dominion of Christ as individuals. The same Christ assuredly is the source of the individual’s salvation and of the community’s salvation: Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.”

Cardinal Ratzinger cannot have directly contradicted all these magisterial documents of so many Popes without at the same time attacking the integrity and sanctity of the Magisterium.

Part two

John McFarland said...

In order to size up Fr. Cavalcoli's remarks, it might help to give a quick summary on what the Holy Father believes about doctrine. I derive most of it from the analyses of the SSPX in recent years.

The Holy Father believes in the hermeneutic of reform and continuity.

He believes that doctrine changes. That's the hermeneutic of reform.

He believes that no formulation of doctrine is definitive.

He believes that this process of change is presided over by the Holy Ghost. That's the hermeneutic of continuity.

He also appears to believe that the hermeneutic of continuity is supported by his further belief that its essence, faith is each individual's experience of/encounter with the risen Christ.

This means that what the Pope and the hierarchy present as doctrine (as opposed to, for example, his Jesus books and his remarks on male prostitutes and condoms) is doctrine.

But it would seem to follow that if and when the Pope and the hierarchy embrace the current Holy Father's Christology and the implications of his remarks on rentboys and condoms, it will become doctrine.

Once the Church believed that outside the Church there was no salvation.

But ecumenism represents a change to a new doctrine.

And there may well be further changes yet to come.

As one of the SSPX analysts of the Pope's beliefs has noted, this is all perfectly consistent. The question is whether it is the faith of the Church, which from apostolic times until fifty years ago was believed to be unchangeable.

To put it fairly simply: what the Pope and the hierarchy say -- at the time that they say it, and for as long as they say it, goes. When they all get behind something else, then that goes, for as long as they stay behind it.

The remarks of Msgr. Ocariz and now Fr. Cavalcoli go on to apply the traditional doctrine of degrees of assent to the foregoing very untraditional understanding of the Faith.

So I think that one's view of their remarks depends on one's view of the Benedictine understanding of the faith.

If one accepts the Benedictine understanding, their analysis makes perfect sense -- unless and until the traditional doctrine of the degrees of assent is superseded.

If, one the other hand, one has a pre-1962 understanding of the Faith, it must be rejected out of hand.

Enoch said...

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis wrote:

"Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you...."

Though this quote was meant to refer to how the SSPX (or traditionalists) are persecuted and reviled, it can also, IMO, refer to the attitude that some traditionalists have toward the pope, the bishops, and the magisterium of the Catholic Catholic Church. Except the main difference being that only the pope holds the keys.

The SSPX believes that it alone holds to the true faith, but it's not at all the same thing as having the keys. The deposit of faith has always survived, despite, at times, having a weak pope or bishops, because ultimately it is in God's hands. The Catholic Church was not started merely by human beings. It was started by God Himself. The remedy for whatever ails the Church therefore has a supernatural component; the problems cannot be solved by mere human beings alone, as some trads seem to think.

Bartholomew said...

The discussion on this thread is a microcosm of what has occurred in the Church during the last 50 years.

Communion in the hand, the loss of the practical distinction between the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of the faithful through the creeping notion of "collaborative ministry," altar girls, etc, etc: ALL born in disobedience. Then, the Vatican accedes to a change in policy demanded by the bishops (who argued a "fait accompli" which was their design all along) because neither enforced the original discipline (intended to protect an aspect of the Faith). So now, what was born in disobedience is protected by the demand for obedience.

That dog don't hunt no mo' for many of us.

Tradical said...

Hi Enoch,

"The SSPX believes that it alone holds to the true faith, ... the problems cannot be solved by mere human beings alone, as some trads seem to think. "

First assertion(SSPX alone...) is unsupported by facts.

Second assertion (cannot be solved by mere ...) SSPX supports this completely - hence Rosary Crusade).

Third assertion (Trads think solution is humanly possible), I believe (anyone chime in) that 'Trads' have a much more realistic appraisal of the crisis of the Church as a crisis of faith. Humanly speaking there is no way to overcome the multitude of issues that the Church currently is facing.

dominic1955 said...

""The rhetoric of past Papacies is not normative forever, even as the work of St. Thomas Aquinas is not to be embraced..."

Dear Mike. More than a few Popes disagree with you:"

I am not Spartacus-

All you do is set up a strawman. If you quoted Mike correctly, it is obvious to see that what he wrote does not contradict the quote of Pius XI you posted in rebuttal.

Also, trying to set Cardinal Ratzinger's commentary as contrary to the pre-conciliar Magisterium is pedestrian. You have to do a whole lot more than prooftext, you need to parse out what he exactly means. In a nutshell, he seems to be describing the historical conditions that affect the Syllabus vis a vis the historical situations the Church finds Herself in at various times.

Maybe Card. Ratzinger did this purposefully, but I giggled at his use of the term "line of demarcation". If you know what I'm getting at, you'll see the irony in the choice of terminology. If one wants to simplistically hold to a vulgar understanding of Church political positions and doctrine then why stop at the 19th Century? Go back to the 15th! But don't stop there, keep going!

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...


The problem I have with this position is inter alia, that almost all those who espouse it never seem to prove or even back up their argument with sources or authority but just make the statement and leave. Frankly its got to the point that I just don't take the comments seriously anymore.

Barbara said...

"Third assertion (Trads think solution is humanly possible), I believe (anyone chime in) that 'Trads' have a much more realistic appraisal of the crisis of the Church as a crisis of faith. Humanly speaking there is no way to overcome the multitude of issues that the Church currently is facing."

Chiming in, Tradical! I believe this too.


Knight of Malta said...

Spartacus quotes:

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

Astounding is the correct adjective. 1789 was, of course, the start of the French Revolution. What did this "new era" engender? The indoctrination of Liberalism. Is the Pope saying that oil and water should become one? That the Church is no longer Divine, but of man?

Moreover, starting from the French revolution, the world we live in has been overwhelmed by Liberalism, the doctrine for which freedom is the fundamental principle by which all things are to be judged and organized. In philosophy and religion, Liberalism is a naturalistic system of thought that, by exalting human dignity beyond its limits, declares that every man has the freedom and the right to choose for himself what he feels is true and good.

Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another… revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy.

These anti-Christian notions, which as such were long ago condemned by the Church, are now taken for granted as prime principles of thought and action. This widespread acceptance has led the contemporary mind, and many of our fellow Catholics, as Dr. John Rao writes, to the conclusion that the Church’s refusal to adapt to and compromise with the modern world is absurd or pointless, and that the Catholic positions on this matter should be either automatically dismissed as irrational or thoroughly revised to force the Church to transcend, at long last, her obsolete "defensive modes," the Counter-Reformation and the Counter-Revolution. (source)

But then again this Pope was an engineer of the Council, the Council of Liberalism and "liberation" from everything our ancestors held dear, to include the Traditional Mass, and dogmatic truths such as extra ecclesiam non salus.

Enoch said...

Bartholomew wrote:

"So now, what was born in disobedience is protected by the demand for obedience."

Except that the disciplines to which you referred, such as altar girls and communion in the hand are not disobedient. These things, as much as I personally dislike them, fall into the category of discipline, and as such they are not against the doctrines or dogmas of the faith.

And another aspect regarding obedience: the idea of obedience, particularly regarding obedience to the Vicar of Christ, is also to be expected of ALL those who claim to hold to the Catholic faith. And even though there are some, or even many, who are in communion with Rome who do not obey, this is no excuse for others to disobey.

Tradical wrote:

"First assertion (SSPX alone...) is unsupported by facts."

Actually, Tradical, the SSPX has said in the past that they alone hold on to the True Faith. I'll try to find the quote, if you like.

Tradical wrote:

"Second assertion (Cannot be solved by mere...) SSPX supports this completely; hence Rosary Crusade.

And yet, Tradical, the Blessed Mother has not exactly been granting the SSPX her favor recently with the Rosary Crusades, now has she?

And by the SSPX maintaining that the popes and bishops have to always proclaim the truths of the faith EXACTLY as they were proclaimed before the Council shows that they believe that by mainly human efforts will the crisis be abated. In other words, it seems to be that the SSPX believes that if the pope and bishops just change what they say, that this will somehow change the hearts and minds of the faithful, in and of itself. That's what I mean by mere human efforts.

dominic1955 said...

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis-

That is exactly what the Archbishop should have done. Rome is not the enemy-never has been and never will be. The Pope is our Sweet Christ on Earth, even when the man in the throne at the time is a degenerate or a fool. The Church is the custodian of the Sacraments, not any individual prelate. The traditional liturgy and sacraments of the Church would not have been extinguished without the illicit consecration of bishops. Hindsight is 20/20 and I am not judging the soul of the Archbishop, but he shouldn't have done what he did.

Secondly, all the traditional communities in full union with Rome have not capitulated. Vatican II is not heretical, the NO is not invalid or illicit even if both are less than ideal.

Lastly, the SSPX should be in full communion with Rome. Nothing entailed in this would have resulted in a capitulation to falsehood and error. They need to work within the Church, not on the outside as if the Church itself is the enemy. Quoting verses about persecution are irrelevant, any Protestant can bring up the same quotes to justify their heresy. A proper white martyrdom of persecution would entail being in union with Rome and putting up with all the nonsense that they might get from various 5th Columnists. Truth is what matters, the whole of it.

JB said...

@Disputator: the only item you mentioned that would even come close to being "de fide" is the first one, which is actually not from the Council of Florence but a papal bull from 1442.

I would suggest consulting Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma for an idea of what "de fide" dogmas are. He affirms there (contrary to your quoted statement) the possibility of baptism by blood and by desire. Remember also the condemnation of Pius XII of the Feeneyist movement.

If the current pope (whoever he might be) ever did contradict a "de fide" dogma of the Catholic church, I would be concerned. But that hasn't happened, and if we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, we trust that it could not.


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear dominic 1995

Here was Card Ratzinger in 1990 as Prefect of the CDF:

“The text also presents the various forms of binding authority which correspond to the grades of the Magisterium. It states – perhaps for the first time – that there are magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter as such but, despite the permanent value of their principles, are chiefly also a signal for pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional policy. Their kernel remains valid, but the particulars determined by circumstances can stand in need of correction. In this connection, one will probably call to mind both the pontifical statements of the last century regarding freedom of religion and the anti-Modernists decisions of the beginning of this century, especially the decisions of the then Biblical Commission.”

And here is Mr. Larson's response:

Can any of us imagine telling Popes Pius VI, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Blessed Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, or Pius XI (or any of the other almost innumerable Popes who taught against religious indifferentism) that their condemnations and teachings were provisional and in need of correction?

I not setting-up strawmen. I am standing outside my tent pitched in the temporal land of dread screaming for help; screaming for somebody to convince me that there is continuity and not revolution because all of these novelties and outright rejections of binding teachings by previous Popes can not be effectively gainsaid by appealing to the authority of a Magisterium which is itself living contrary to the continuous Magisterial authority that preceded V2.

It is simply not Catholic to say that such dramatic and wholesale changes - and public rejection of the Pre-V2 Magisterium - are acceptable.

Those changes are not acceptable to any Catholic worth his salt that I know.

Contradictions can not be subsumed into an idea of continuity if the word, continuity, has a sane meaning attached to it.

If there has not been a revolution within the form of Catholicism, then what accounts for the complete change in everything - Mass, Sacraments, Religious Orders, Theology etc etc etc - in Catholicism that was The Pre and Post V2 Church?

If there IS continuity then WHY was it necessary to change EVERYTHING?

Good Lord, man. There is such a thing as Common Sense.

When one crosses the Sierra Nevadas on a clear day, one can see Lake Tahoe (The Church) lying in the valley way below and one who was born into the Catholic Church in 1948 can see from a rhetorically similar distance that Lake Tahoe has evaporated and talk of clear mountain air and beautiful lakes and the continuity of the contents of the lake begins to evaporate and one begins to feel as though he is alone in the Sierra Nevadas abandoned to the wolves by the Shepherd; alone, while mad men speak as though the mirage of Lake Tahoe remains as real as it has ever been.

Bartholomew said...

Enoch, you miss my point (although I disagree that the things I mention are matters of mere discipline -- but another discussion for another day; let's just say that you and others who argue as you do are far too facile with dumping centuries of ecclesial practice and flicking it off as much ado about nothing because it was "mere" discipline).

ALL of those practices were subject to Church law when they were ignored and violated (with the bishops turning a blind eye to what they knew were violations of law). THEN, after being complicit with the violation of the law, they asked for a change. Therefore, the changes came about in disobedience to the law. NOW, we are bound to obey the fruit of disobedience.

I fear that this discussion is revealing that many of us are moving toward the embrace of vastly divergent notions of the Faith: one built on respect for the concept of tradition which the Church has always revered vs. sheer legal positivism.

God help us.

Enoch said...

Bartholomew wrote:

"God help us."

Exactly. And I would hope that we would have absolute and complete faith and trust in Him to guide us and His Church, even if all seems lost (from a human perspective, anyway).

John McFarland said...

Dear Not Spartacus,

Thank you for posting Cardinal Ratzinger's 1990 remarks and Mr. [James?] Larson's response:

"Can any of us imagine telling Popes Pius VI, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Blessed Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, or Pius XI (or any of the other almost innumerable Popes who taught against religious indifferentism) that their condemnations and teachings were provisional and in need of correction?"

A substantial portion of the hundred-odd preceding posts are prepared to talk, and at any length, and use any of the shifts of rhetoric, pettifoggery and sophistry, to avoid the elephant in the room: the gap that yawns between what the current Holy Father and his immediate predecessors have believed and taught, and the teaching of the popes from Peter to Pius XII.

As Bartholomew all too correctly notes, the conciliar position is the dogmatic equivalent of legal positivism. The Holy Father and the hierarchy are in effect saying: we took over the seats of authority during and after Vatican II, and for as long as we hold those seats, what we say, in doctrine as it discipline, goes; and if St. Pius X says otherwise, that was then, and this is now.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Mr. McFarland. That does seem to be the case and what is one to make of the then Father Ratzinger when he took the Oath against Modernism?

Can he who took the Oath simply release himself of the duty to discharge all the consequences of that Oath or is he at liberty to later recast the clear meaning of that Oath as a contingent/temporary/time bound duty no longer in effect due to this or that change when the text of the Oath evinces no evidence of such an avenue of escape?

Heaven forfend.

Are we similarly free to effectively abandon our Oaths either directly or by applying a post-oath analysis that drains away particulars in that oath that were clearly intended to permanently remain part of that Oath?

I wonder what The Bride would think of me approaching my Oath that way; Nah, I really don't wonder what The Bride would say were I to tell her my Oath to her was contingent and time-bound and open to a post-oath reinterpretation by me in ways that, not surprisingly, favor that which I desire to do.

Mr. Larson has asked pointed, painful, and disturbing questions that an ever widening circle of Catholics are hearing and, upon hearing them, refusing to hear and believe that we have a duty to follow those who have not done their duty.

That is not The Way, The Truth and The Life. The Church teaches with the voice and authority of Christ and Christ is ever the same and He does not contradict Himself over time and insist that is continuity.

Tradical said...

Hi Spartacus

"The text also presents the various forms of binding authority which correspond to the grades of the Magisterium"

What text is being referred to?

Ecclesia Militans said...


You understand much.

Mar said...

dominic1955 said: "If one wants to simplistically hold to a vulgar understanding of Church political positions and doctrine then why stop at the 19th Century? Go back to the 15th! But don't stop there, keep going!"

Well, no, don't let's stop there, let's go right back to the beginning, to a very simplistic and vulgar understanding of political positions, as follows. But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.

Now that is a very clear line of demarcation. Try giggling your way out of that one.

P.S. Chiming in with Tradical's third assertion.

Enoch said...

I think that we can look to the example of St. Mary Magdalene on this issue of si,, no.

St. Mary Magdalene did not leave Our Lord when he was nailed to the Cross. She stood at the foot of the Cross. All of the other Apostles, save for John, could not bear to be there.

St. Mary Magdalene was not very bright...she was hardly an intellectual. All she knew is that she loved Our Lord with all heart heart and soul. She didn't understand what was going on, but she couldn't bear to leave Him. She was very simple and child-like in this respect. Our Blessed Mother understood, of course. And after the Resurrection, who was the first person to witness Our Lord? Well, it was the one who loved Him so much, and who would not leave, even when most of the others did, due to the scandal and horror of the torture and crucifixion of Our Lord.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

And after the Resurrection, who was the first person to witness Our Lord

Dear Enoch. It was Mary, His Mother.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

@Dominic 1955

You say these communities haven't capitulated and then you contradict yourself.

The true Traditionalist position is that the NO is valid but severely flawed, uncatholic, pregnant with protestant heresy and dangerous to the souls of the faithful. This is the view put forward by the most famous and very first criticism of it back in 1969 in the 'Ottaviani intervention'. ALL of the Eclessia dei communities have departed from this OR have different views on it amongst themselves and no official view. Likewise as regards V2, numerous eclessia communities either refuse to accept it contains errors or say nothing about it.

This is not a question about your opinion or mine, it is a question of simple facts, the views of the eclessia dei communities do not, in the main, match up with those who resisted the innovations in the church in the late 60's and 70's. They have changed their views, bearing in mind that Rome has put significant pressure on them to do so and that they often justify it by claiming their loyalty to Rome requires that is capitulation.

You have entirely failed to address any of the points raised but merely insist the Archbishop shouldn't have done what he did without providing any reasons for this or evidence or addressing the opposite view.

Obedience is not an absolute virtue but a relative one, relative to what it is you are being asked to do. You cannot be asked to commit under sin under the guise if obedience, for the Archbishop to capitulate and water down his beliefs would have been the end of the Society and sinful.

Jo said...

Dear Not Spartacus,

With all due respect to Mr. Larson, if I were to drop on your head the literature produced or encouraged by the SSPX and devoted to the doctrinal shortcomings of the conciliar hierarchy, you probably wouldn't live to tell about it.

But whatever the source, we should thank God for enlightenment, and pray for those who still have their eyes tightly closed.

Geremia said...

So, St. Athanasius should've interpreted Arianism "in line with Tradition", too?

"Modernism can be defeated, not by turning back to the past, but by a sound recall to Tradition and actually applying the Council which teaches us a healthy modernity. We are in fact, Christians of the 21st century not of the 19th or 16th [centuries]."
This sounds very Küngian...

Tradical said...

Hi Enoch,

"... And by the SSPX maintaining that the popes and bishops have to always proclaim ..."

Notable Quotes by way of response:
"The soldiers will fight and God will give the victory."
-St.Joan of Arc

"You can't just sit by and watch the show"

"Do your best and let God take care of the rest"

"What the hell, as long as we get to Heaven"

Yes I would like to see this statement by the SSPX that say they are the ONLY ones with the True Faith.

Re: Our Lady not 'listening' to the SSPX latey ... I have to admit that I chuckled when I read that one ... how would you know? We've been 'fighting' for 40+years, you think that things will turn around in a flash? It took more than a 100 years for Arianism to be wiped out. Modernism is even more insidious.

Tradical said...

Hi Enoch,

"St. Mary Magdalene did not leave Our Lord ... was not very bright..."

I think you do St. Mary Magdalene a great dis-service by your biblical exegesis. (wooo - I love neat words).

The second question that should be asked is: Who has left Our Lord at this point in time?

To give you a couple of hints:
1. Who has shunted him to the side eucharistic chapels?

2. Communion in the Hand with consecrated particles (ie. Jesus) dropping on the floor

3. Idols on top of a tabernacle at Assissi 1.

Some food for thought my dear Enoch.

Think about it next time you go to a Novus Ordo Missae with Communion in the hand and people standing at the consecration as a sign of 'Unity' with each other instead of kneeling.

Just because people don't know what they're doing doesn't make it right.

Tradical said...

Hi Not-Spartcus,

Who is Larson?

Ecclesia Militans said...

I am not Spartacus,

You should refrain from using curse words, especially in a religious forum like this, and most especially when talking about matters of the Holy Faith.

I must say I have noticed it several times and it was discomforting.
It is an insult to God to defile these holy matters with profanities and a scandal to your fellow Catholics, especially to those that are just getting to know the Faith.

I hope you will understand my words correctly.

Barbara said...

Bartholomew wrote:"let's just say that you and others who argue as you do are far too facile with dumping centuries of ecclesial practice and flicking it off as much ado about nothing because it was "mere" discipline)."

Well said!

This bears repeating and digesting - in my view it's an important part of the inability to communicate in the modern Church....

I'm sorry Enoch, although very nice, I didn't get the point of your Mary Magdalene piece in this thread. Besides why do you say she wasn't very bright? She may have been uneducated , but seems to me she was a very bright lady - the little I know of her.
Many comments you make, Enoch, re: SSPX would appear to be based on your own subjectivity. You should try to get the facts straight before posting... your bias is so obvious.

I am not of the FSSPX.


Knight of Malta said...

Ecclesia writes, "You should refrain from using curse words"

Some of the holiest people I've known have been known to throw an occasional f-bomb.

To think of it, I've never gone to confession for using the "S" word!

Also, Christ was known to use some pretty harsh language Himself (e.g. "you brood of vipers").

Ora et Labora said...

I agree with P.Giovanni Cavalcoli,OP.

I think he is right.

dominic1955 said...

Now you are doing a bait and switch. I was referencing a specific quotation by another poster that you misquoted to the effect that he was denying the continued validity of St. Thomas Aquinas’ work. Also, you just as well can the theatrics. Yes, I think we can all agree on here that the Church is in a really hurting state and that there are huge problems to deal with. The new Mass is a huge problem, it needs to be ended like the Quignonez Breviary was. Vatican II’s ambiguous lack of clarity is a problem, that the Church basically relinquished its disciplinary authority is a problem. However, none of these problems are solved by condemning people as heretics and by not properly parsing out all the issues. Yes, it is most unfortunate that Modernists and neo-Cons cannot speak clearly and just come out and say what they think so they can be condemned or corrected but that is the situation in which we live and we actually have to deal with it. It is not necessary to change everything, a corrective is needed but it needs to be done without hysterics.
As to the 19th Century popes, what they have taught does not lose its validity but hopefully you are smart enough to figure out that Europe right after 1792 is a different place from Europe after 1848, which is different than the Europe after 1918. The issues the various popes were up against sometimes die out. Thus, the principles they use to arrive at the condemnations of the errors of their times are always valid but maybe what we are up against now is different from what they tried to nail down back then.
That said, I do disagree with what then Cardinal Ratzinger said, at least on the surface but I do not know what he exactly means by “corrections”. Either way, I don’t think he’s a heretic for what he said even though I just wish the Church would get back in the business of actually teaching instead of churning out wordy fluff.

dominic1955 said...

"The true Traditionalist position..."

Oh, please...according to whom, praytell? You?

" that the NO is valid but severely flawed, uncatholic, pregnant with protestant heresy and dangerous to the souls of the faithful."

Well, some would say that but people who consider themselves Trads span the spectrum of NO=invalid to its valid but inferior to the TLM.

As to the rest, I have no idea if you’ve ever talked with “Ecclesia Dei communities” but I’ve never heard any one of them say that the NO is good or worth keeping. They might not get into foaming at the mouth fits, but that is preferable anyway. There is no “capitulation” in non-doctrinal matters. The NO is valid and licit while being decidedly inferior to the traditional liturgy, just like the neo-Gallican liturgies of the 18th Century. The NO is inferior, certainly, but it is much more effective to attack it without all the fit and fuss of the Ottaviani Intervention (which I’ve read and studied, thank you very much). Thus, not being rabid towards the NO is not a capitulation and certainly not a sin.
The Archbishop shouldn’t have consecrated bishops without a papal mandate. The 1917 CIC condemned this, it is an obvious canonical principle. Doing that smacks of a belief that the Church had invalidated its sacraments and that the *only* way to preserve them is if he, Archbishop Lefebvre, went out on his own way to pass on the “true” way. Well, he wasn’t out in the middle of nowhere with no contact with Rome and a burgeoning community to look after. He was in contact with Rome, and Rome was supposedly going to let him consecrate another bishop.
Rome not letting him consecrate another bishop is not capitulating or consenting to do something sinful. However, disobeying clear Canon Law and implying the Church had killed off Her own sacramental life is at least objectively so. Again, I’m not judging his or anyone’s soul. Who knows what kind of Chicken Little advisors he had that might have worked him up into such a position. He may very well be vindicated some day, but still, it is pretty hard to haul off and consecrate your own bishops and then presume to offer the sacraments without jurisdiction and not have to answer for that. Regardless if the liberals get a pass in all the crazy nonsense they do (which they do get away with a lot), we cannot simply do anything and everything we want. You speak truly when you say obedience is not an absolute, its not but some things are more important to follow than others.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

@dominic 1955

The true position according to the facts, i.e the original position, perhaps you would understand better what I meant if I said 'Original' The original position is that of the SSPX, as can clearly be seen in the Ottavani Intervention, what the SSPX proposes is virtually the same.

I have on several occassions spoken to Eclessia dei communities, including prominent members of eclessia dei communities. They may not speak of the NO with love but they do affirm that you must attend it. This position is not the original position espoused way back in 1969 and besides which it is a suicidal position. If the NO is valid and licit, then traditionalism being born from a refusal to say the NO and continue to say the TLM condemns itself. Either that or one states that it is merely a matter of personal preference, which likewise condemns traditionalism as the movement was founded on the fact that it was more than mere personal preference. There is of course an 'escape hatch', that the TLM is merely more efficacious than the NO but this is a novel position, something invented by those who believe they still have to attend the NO and that came along 10 or 20 years after the 'birth' of the traditionalist movement.

The rest of your post frankly smacks of presumption on your part and some ignorance. If you wish to believe that the ABL believed he had another chance but to consecrate bishops or did so in bad faith feel free. I will not however believe such a thing of the Saintly Archbishop and luckily for me my belief is substantiated by facts and is thus reasonable. You have not refuted a single point made about eclessia dei communities and until you do there is no point discussing. You believe they are entirely free, I believe they are not and many within them have to an extent compromised their positions either unwillingly or willingly. Further I submit their position would be much precarious if the SSPX normalised its relations with Rome, there would no longer be a counterweight to whom people could go if Rome unjustly imposed its errors on them.

Oh and what happened to the other community where they followed Rome and were allowed to pick their successor? The apostolic administration of St Jean vianney... Bishop Rifan who heads now believes if you don't say the NO at least once a year you risk schism. No, Archbishop lefebvre wisely foresaw the great risk of compromise that ran with accepting Romes offer and refused.

Ecclesia Militans said...

There is a big difference between using harsh words and using profanities.

One is a sign of judgement (e.g. the Lord saying "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire" or the bishop solemnly pronouncing a curse)
and the other a sign of sinfulness, of filth, condemned in 1 Corinthians 6:10 as "railers" (in original Vulgate Latin "maledici" - those who curse).

The fact that some good men use such profanities does not indicate that it is alright or somehow well to use them, but that even the righteous are sinners.

When you speak in profanities, you speak the devil's language. Such language is not heard among the blessed - in churches, monasteries, in Catholic institutions and Catholic homes. And most importantly, is there any swearing in Heaven, or perhaps in Purgatory? No, such vile words are reserved for the condemned, both those that are condemned even on earth and those that are condemned in eternity.

The modern "culture" is a culture of swearing, all over the world. It is a way, among others, that wicked men have chosen to corrupt these past and present generations.

On the other hand, in this time how often do you hear someone bless the Lord or his friends, neighbours, family etc.?
Let us shun the ways of the "ungodly", as the Apostle Jude calls them. Let us rather look at our ancestors in the Faith as role-models, who, instead of indulging in profanities or cursing, always had the Lord's Name on their lips and in their hearts.

"When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee.
But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted. Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core.
These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots,
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever."

(Jude 1:9-13)

Barona said...

A parallel magisterium that teaches Church doctrine is a hair-splitting work of protestantism. To teach pure Church doctrine is not enough. The teaching of doctrine must retain an organic attachment to Pope and local ordinary. The ordinary Magisterium is infallible (c.f. Ad Tuendem Fidem).

To argue that the entirety of Vatican II is provisional teaching and hence to be disregarded is a fine work of schism.

CH DUPUY said...

" You speak truly when you say obedience is not an absolute, its not but some things are more important to follow than others."
So formal obedience to the process of ordaining bishops is more important than keeping the Faith alive and unblemished. My thinking is that Arbishop Lefevre was aware of his approaching demise and waiting indefinitely to the CDF to grant authorization for ordaining bishops would take, as is normal in Vatican matters, indefinitely...

Tradical said...

Hi Barona,

You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

The SSPX does not argue that the 'entire' V2 is to be disregarded.

What they say is in line with the Secretary of V2:

That which is repeating past magisterium (or something to that effect) must be accepted. That which is novel we must have reservations etc.

The fact of the matter is that V2 did not invoke infallibility for any of the novelties.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

@Ch Dupuy

To give an example those poor monks on papa stronsay have been waiting for 3 years to be canonically erected let alone to consecrate a bishop

Tradical said...

Hi Barona,

In referencing Ad Tuendem Fidem - which paragraph are you specifically referring to?

I think I know that answer but I'd like you to point it out and quote it ... if you please.

Why? Because I don't think that it means what you think it means...

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...


The ordinary and universal magisterium is infallible, the ordinary and authentic is not and V2 never claimed to be anymore than the latter nor can its novelties in fact be seen as anything else.

As the famous saying teaching about law goes 'an unjust law is no law at all' so 'an unfaithful teaching is no teaching at all'. I exclude of course all infallible teachings as they are by definition faithful.

Mar said...

"Oh, please...according to whom, praytell? You?"

Oh, please...get off your high horse! Yes, you! You're protesting too much.

Polite sneers are just as offensive as "foaming at the mouth fits".

Gratias said...

Traditionalists of the Catholic world, unite! What you have to lose is your entire Religion through internecine squabbles.

Benedict XVI is a different kind of Pope. He seeks to change minds through Reason, not infallible Papal dogmas.

Almost every day I pray for Benedict's health. What we now need from him is longevity, so Summorum Pontificum can be enacted brick by brick over time.

Benedict is the optimal Pope we could hope for at present, I think. I had the honor of meeting Him recently. I had a lengthy speech prepared but all that came out was "Heilige Vater, vielen Dank fur Summorum Pontificum". His face lit up in true joy.

I am very grateful to have this great and wise man at the Chair of St. Peter now that the Western World around us is collapsing. And so should you. Benedict XVI is keeping the Catholic world together. SSPX will have to do their part, joining the Papacy, before we can become once again a traditional wonderful world.

Benedict XVI is the best possible Pope that traditionalists could realistically hope for today. Enjoy the ride while the Holy Father is here to guide us.

Barona said...


But it means what you think it does...?

Dialogue exists when two friends of eternal truth swear to each to each other to yield to the light and only the light...

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...


What we need is for The Holy Father to say the TLM in public

Tradical said...

Ok since you're obviously not goiing to answer the q.

There are two kinds of submission presented: Faith and Will.

You have to believe that which is infallibly declared to be held as an article of Faith (ie de Fide)

These things are irreformable. ie unchangeable. period no way around it etc.

This requirement is outlined in paragraph 5

Submission of will is required for authentic magisterium. Because it can change. (ie it is not infallible).
This is referred to in paragraph 6

I think you are referring to paragraph 7:
"I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals"
Is referring to senta certa (sp) doctrine within the Church.

These are theological conclusions based on dogma. If you deny these then you are in danger of denying a truth of the faith that underpins the noted conclusion.

Now given that we know that V2 did not invoke the power of infallibility (ie as declared during and after the council)

What teachings based on dogma (senta certa) did V2 definitively propose to be held with respect to the novelties? I'm thinking primarily of Religious Liberty since it is the spot where there is a fairly clear delineation between pre/post V2.

To make it clear: To ascribe the power of infallibility to documents when the council made it clear they were not doing so ... is a denial of the facts.

Picard said...


But Tradical seems to be right here.

As JMJ rightly put:
The ordinary and universal Magisterium is infallible, the oridinary only authenctic magisterium not.

Or perhaps better: to make the oridnary magsiterium not only authentic but ordinary (and universal) in the srict sense and therefore infallible (and so Magisterium with capital M) some preconditions are necessary:

* must be all the bishops
* they all must teach in a definitive way, so teach that some doctrine must be definitvely hold by all Catholics as Catholic doctrine, binding them in the strictes sense.

It seems that the teachings of Vat. II do not meet the second point, so they are not infallible.

At least that is not clear and debatable, so also according to the Church´s pricipials therefore not infallible.

And at very least: this is the main point we are debatting here - - and it is thus not helpful to just presume what is the object of our discussion.

So if you just state that the Vat.II-teachings are infallilbe oridinary Magisterium then you presume that what is object of our debate. You would have to show that it is so, not only state it, because we gave arguments before that it is not infallible ordinary!

John McFarland said...

Dear Tradical,

Let me go at some of the points you make regarding Vatican II from a slightly different angle.

For a genuine traditionalist, it would seem that the characterization of Vatican II by its leaders as a "pastoral" ecumenical council, something never heard of before 1962, throws into doubt the authoritative character of anything in its acts that is not a repetition of doctrine taught before the Council.

It would also seem that on traditionalist premises, there is no way the the Holy See can resolve the doubt in favor of the authoritative character of any Vatican II teachings that are not repetitions of pre-Vatican II doctrine. Given the complete novelty of the concept of a "pastoral" ecumenical council, what could be the Holy See's basis for concluding that the "pastoral" teachings of Vatican II are authoritative?

Barona said...


You are misreading me. I agree that Council is pastoral, containing infallible elements, as well as pastoral elements that are "provisional teaching".

... you cannot say "there is a fairly clear delineation..." Why? Because you (nor I ) have any teaching authority. If doctrinal error has penetrated a provisional teaching it is up to bishops to respectfully bring this issue to the Holy Father.

Rejecting VII as out of hand does not solve the problem, but circumvents it; it also fudges the necessity of organic attachment to the local ordinary and the Pope.

I conclude that yes, I am confused as to the actual intention of the Council, its post-conciliar application etc. After 50 years it seems (precisely the Pope and the hierarchy) that clarity is still to be found...

Tradical said...

Hi Barona,

"... you cannot say "there is a fairly clear delineation..."

The delineation between the teaching on Religious Liberty vs the Syllabus is objectively quite clear.

So I can say it.

I am not alone, the architect of the statement said the same thing.

In addition, there are Bishops (Archbishop Lefebvre and others) who has teaching authority and who have made the same statements.

What I cannot do is make a final judgement on this, that is for the Pope or a Council to do.

Fallible Phil said...

I find it interesting when people of lesser learning than those who contribute articles and pen essays, use emotive language to react rather than respond intelligently to such writings. I wonder how many really understand fully the concepts of continuity and infallibility. Until one is fully conversant with these then one has little authority to add to a debate and is simply venting and raving. For what purpose?

Tradical said...

Hi Fallible Phil,

Would you like to enlighten us with your version of infallibility and continuity?

How about removing the ambiguity in your statement as a start: Which side of the argument are you taking? What is your thought on the infallibility of V2 and its continuity with Tradition?

Also, tred lightly, at least one reader has a doctorate in theology.