I would like to begin by stating something which I hope is clear to any regular readership of my blog but especially to any potentially first time reader: anything I write here is meant to be understood in true Christian charity with no greater desire than the zeal for salvation of souls. That is the bottom line. With that being said, we are at war, and as a faithful member of the Church militant, it is my duty and obligation to expose, refute and combat error, especially error which endangers the aforementioned (souls). So if anything is said that one might perceive as “uncharitable,” please remember that true charity lies in desiring the best for others (salvation), and as such, sometimes words must be direct and forceful.
Following the publication of my post responding to Michael Voris’ fallacious glorification of a few select words by Pope Francis, I emailed the link to the contact email on ChurchMilitant.TV’s web site. The reason why I wrote the post was twofold, the first being to bring proper light to those potentially being misled by the folks at CMTV, and secondly to try to help them to also remove their papal blinders to see clearly the big picture of what is taking place in the Church.
That post, for reference, can be found here:
That post, for reference, can be found here:
I have some good news and some bad news.
Good: Terry Carroll (not sure if it is a man or a woman…I will assume man), Executive Producer for CMTV, responded to me.
Bad: Those at CMTV are confused and self-contradicting, and they are even potentially endangering their own souls and those of their viewers.
A note on the good:
I appreciate Mr. Carroll taking the time to respond to me. He personally wrote three short paragraphs directly to me and also included a great deal more for me to review about the official position at the studios of CMTV. He also encouraged me to respond with any further questions I might have. So that is what I am going to do now.
I will address a few of his comments personally written to me as well as a great number of them from a post he directed me to called “Fr. Michael Rodgriguez and the SSPX.”
Ironically, it was Divine Providence after months of prayer and fasting which led me to the SSPX by way of Fr. Rodriguez, so it is fitting that the title of his dissertation alone sufficiently stamps the seal of disapproval on the misguided content that lies therein. What’s more, the article itself has little to nothing to do with Fr. Rodriguez other than the opening paragraph, so it’s really an ill-fitting title. A better title would have been, “I can’t judge the Pope, but I can judge everyone else to be Protestant.”
I am not going to comment on everything from the piece mentioned above, specifically his attention to various traditional Catholic writers like John Vennari, Christopher Ferrara, etc. I will leave those gentlemen to defend themselves (something I know they are more than capable of doing).
Summary of Position of CMTV:
- One must simply follow the Pope in everything he says and does. Do not question the Pope, especially not publicly. Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia (Where Peter is, there is the Church), even if Peter is in grave error.
- Actually, it is not possible for Peter to be in grave error. If it is perceived that Peter is in grave error, we must instead believe ourselves to be in grave error, even if it is explicitly obvious that Peter is in fact in grave error. And if we perceive Peter to be in grave error, we must turn a blind eye and ignore it and just hope nobody else sees it. If Peter commits 99 grave errors and does one good thing, we have to focus only on that one good thing. Focusing on the 99 grave errors would bring no good at all.
- St. Paul was wrong to resist St. Peter to his face (Galations 2:11)
- Traditional Catholics are actually Protestants. That includes the SSPX and anyone else who dares to say that the Pope does anything definitively wrong.
- Vatican II can be understood in the Hermeneutic of Continuity, or at least they trust Pope Benedict XVI who said it can even if he didn’t elaborate on that at all and even if we don’t understand it.
- It is okay for a lay person to publicly criticize and scrutinize priests and even bishops and cardinals…unless he becomes Pope, then he gets a sudden infusion of the Holy Ghost which, like Calvin said, is irresistible and forces him to behave with great Orthodoxy, sound and prudential judgment, and even maybe impeccability but most CERTAINLY infallibility when he speaks…even if it is off the cuff!
That’s the best summary of their views. Here is the direct email response I received from Mr. Carroll.
Thank you for forwarding your blog posting to us.
We are not unaware that what was said in our Vortex episode of November 26, "Francis, the Pope," is not a complete picture. When viewed in light of other things said by Pope Francis on numerous occasions, "Francis, the Pope" could appear naive, even ignorant. That Pope Francis has said things that are confusing and disconcerting is undeniable. That Pope Francis has also said things that are encouraging and inspirational and very much consistent with the traditional teachings of the Church is also undeniable. Pope Francis is, after all, the Pope! It shouldn't be a surprise that he can sound like a Catholic!
There are times when "disconcerting" outweighs "inspirational," and vice versa, with Pope Francis. You seem to be particularly concerned that the "disconcerting" not be overlooked when applauding the "inspirational." I want to assure you, again, that we are no less aware than you of the "disconcerting" when applauding the "inspirational." We will not, however, criticize the Pope directly, even when or if he does or says things that might warrant criticism when done or said by people below the Office of the Papacy. That is a widely perceived inconsistency on our part, particularly among the ranks of Catholics fairly labeled as "traditional." We have heard, too many times to count, some version of the question "Why don't you criticize the Pope for doing or saying the same things for which you excoriate many Priests, Bishops and Cardinals?"
I/we have tried to respond to this criticism in multiple forums, e.g., Fisheaters and Cathinfo, and, recently, I decided to respond more comprehensively to the person/people at Novus Ordo Watch. They have additional issues, not least being that they are sedevacantist, but I will copy here for you my response to them because it brings together in one place the reasoning behind our decision not to criticize the Pope directly. Also, because you appear to be a supporter of the SSPX, this response may clarify for you why we are not supporters of the SSPX. Michael Voris is quoted correctly in your blog posting: "Stay away from the SSPX."
If you have further questions after reading what follows here (and I hope that you do!), please do not hesitate to contact me.
So from the above we can summarize the following:
- I am not the first person to bring their inconsistent behavior to their attention.
- They are aware the Pope says and does disconcerting things, but they don’t want to talk about that.
- They are officially anti-SSPX.
The rest of what is in red below will be excerpts from the article he sent me on the SSPX with my responses in black.
[Christopher Ferrara] mentions me by title in [an] article ("Gnostic Twaddle") as being some kind of twit for not recognizing that there is no such thing as "partial communion" (just as you cannot be "partially pregnant") without acknowledging that the phrase "return to full communion" was used by Pope Benedict XVI himself. He corrects this oversight in his second article by acknowledging that "return to full communion" IS a phrase used by the Pope but then proceeds to say that it doesn't and can't mean what it seems to mean and so means, practically, nothing.
This is entirely true. There is no such thing as partial communion. Ferrara is right; the phrase means nothing, and the analogy to pregnancy is a good one.
As you know, I am a member of a parish served by the FSSP and, whether I want to be or not, could not be more sympathetic to the whole raison d'etre of the SSPX. There aren't adequate words to convey the truly calamitous state of the Roman Catholic Church today…
There was a "moment" when it appeared that we could be the beneficiaries of a rather large financial "relationship" with a strong supporter of the SSPX…[yet] in the end, we concluded that we could not endorse the SSPX, in spite of all that is good about them, because they were not in communion with the Church.
Contradiction #1: He says he agrees with Pope Benedict that the SSPX is in partial communion. Now he says the SSPX isn’t in communion at all.
Recently I became embroiled in an "exchange" with traditional Catholics on one of the more prominent Catholic Forums. In spite of the obvious fact that what appears on ChurchMilitant.TV is more "traditional" than almost anything available within the mainstream Catholic media (including EWTN), traditional Catholic groups are not happy with us in general. I entered the fray on one of these forums to encourage recognition that we have a lot more in common with them than they seem willing to acknowledge, and exited the fray after concluding that they were, in all practical meanings of the word, "Protestant." Not only that, I also concluded, without their having been part of the conversation, that Michael Matt, John Vennari, Christopher Ferrara, The Remnant and Catholic Family News were also more deserving of the name "Protestant" than "Catholic."
a.) “We have a lot in common.” – False. We have little in common if their mission is not to guard the Catholic faith from error and false prophets. James 2:10 – “And whosoever shall keep the whole law, but offend in one point, is become guilty of all.” We don’t tiptoe around error depending on who said it. Luke 12:48 – “unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required.” So if the Pope, unto whom the most is give and required, is teaching error, he absolutely and without condition must be opposed. If those at CMTV reject this idea, they have nothing in common with true [Traditional] Catholics.
b.) “Exited concluding they are Protestant.” – I am going to expound upon this fallacy more a bit further down. This is the absolute most common assertion of blind Catholics who do not understand the true Catholic faith and who do not understand what Protestantism actually is…
c.) He puts out a laundry list of those he considers to be Protestants. By his title, he could also list Fr. Rodriguez to the list…which just goes to show how deluded he is in his thinking.
"We didn't (and won't) cover Assisi III because it is not part of our mission to criticize the Pope." It's one thing to realize that we may cause Catholics in the pews to lose confidence in their bishops, but quite another thing to encourage loss of confidence in the Pope. If we criticize the bishops, we can do so with reference to the Chair of Catholic Unity, the Pope. If we criticize the Pope, we give people nowhere else to go that could be called the Catholic Church.
a.) So in every episode of “The Vortex,” Michael Voris claims he is out to “trap and expose lies and falsehoods.” He needs to complete that statement to say “…except if the Pope is doing it.”
b.) Does Mr. Carroll not realize that it is the Pope (or his recent predecessors) who has appointed these Bishops and Cardinals? And that it is the Pope who sanctions their behaviors? That it is he who gives his stamp of approval on all they do by failing to censure, suspend or even excommunicate them? Does Mr. Carroll also not realize that, by his line of thought, he has absolutely zero right to be critical of a priest much less a Bishop or Cardinal? They are all of a higher dignity and favor before God, just as the Pope is…
c.) This position could be analogously likened to the youngest member of a family finding out that all of his brothers are involved in the Mafia. They have been back alley and black market dealing, doing drugs, hiring prostitutes, killing people, bribing police, etc. He is outraged, and he tries to expose his brothers for their crimes. Then, however, he finds out that his father is the Mob Boss. He is the one financing the entire outfit and the one giving all of the instruction. Does the good son then just shut up and only talk about his dad when it has to do with some charitable event he organized as a façade? Or does not the good son realize that, in God’s eyes, they are all anathema and need to be brought to justice?
Even though the Pope, like any other human being, can occasionally be an embarrassing Uncle Billy, no good is served by calling attention to that…and there is no practical recourse when we judge a Pope to be behaving unsatisfactorily…we are not the Pope and we judged it better not to invite controversy that most people wouldn't have known about anyway.
First of all, anybody who refers to the Pope as an “embarrassing Uncle Billy” needs to try to get an understanding for true papal reverence. Secondly, as Voris pointed out, the media already calls attention to his “Billy Behavior” regardless of whether or not CMTV reports it. The problem is that the media sees it as a great thing. They love seeing a Pope yuck it up with goofy hats and clown noses and “selfies.” They call him “the people’s Pope,” and now he has been nominated as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year!
Remember the following: “Woe to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26) and “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 15:20)
So those at CMTV hate the media for making the Pope into something they do not believe he is, so they combat this by deceptively trying to hide everything he does to verify his true character and by hyper-promoting the occasional orthodox things he says and does, even to the point of completely falsifying the context of it to favor a [pseudo]Traditional mindset.
They are literally like the boy who grows up idolizing some athlete only to finally meet him some day and realize he’s an alcoholic womanizer. The little boy can’t bring himself to accept it, so he leaves and goes home and just leaves up all his posters and figurines and trading cards wishing to continue to live a hazy dream rooted in lies than to accept the truth.
And it’s worth noting, being an alcoholic womanizer isn’t as bad as espousing heresy and destroying the faith and God’s Church.
Galatians 1:8-9 says twice, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” And Galatians 2:11, as previously referenced, says that St. Paul “withstood [Cephas] to the face, because he was to be blamed.” I have asked so many times in the past for those who pledge blind obedience to the Pope to explain what these two passages mean. They never have any answers.
CHALLENGE #1: Will Mr. Carroll and those at CMTV please explain how they understand Galatians 1:8-9 and Galatians 2:11 if they do not believe we are allowed to resist the Pope.
It's too soon to judge whether Pope Benedict XVI is a truly good or bad Pope (just as it is too soon to judge whether Pope John Paul II should be called "Saint" or even "The Great")…
CONTRADICTION #2: He says they have no recourse to judge a Pope and that it is not part of their mission to do so. Then he says it’s too soon to judge the Popes.
…but we know that the Pope that we have is the Pope that we have, that this Pope is incomparably superior to many who could have been elected in his place, and that we can confidently encourage and support the Pope and all bishops in communion with him (as, we believe, Our Lord would have us do).
CONTRADICTION #3: He says he knows that they say things about bishops and can cause people to lose faith in their bishops. Then he says they can confidently encourage and support all the bishops.
Also, how does he know we can confidently support the Pope? Why does he say this if he is willing to admit that not everything the Pope does is good and can even be disconcerting?
Therefore, if the Pope chose to participate in Assisi III, we will not criticize him for doing so, but we will exercise our own judgment about whether this event needs to be publicized…It's not as if Assisi III was a magisterial teaching moment which demands an assent of Faith (Lumen Gentium 25). Assisi III was on a par with a papal visit or address to some parochial group and we are free to report on it or not.
This is perhaps the most ludicrous thing written up to this point. Saying that Assisi is no different from a private address is like saying that the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima was the same as a lesser miraculous intercession by Our Lady for some private individual.
If the Pope is allowing PAGAN IDOLOTERS to setup their idols and to worship their demon gods in one of the most sacred and revered locations on earth (Assisi), THIS MUST BE SHOUTED FROM THE MOUNTAINS!!
This is the very definition of abomination. When Pope John Paul II stood by and watched Buddhists place their idol on top of our Lord’s Tabernacle, one has to be in wonder and amazement that God’s patience and mercy, that He didn’t strike down the world in anger and just wrath at that very moment.
Assisi is the very definition of horror, and those at CMTV who sit and do specials on Freemasonry and its goals, intentions and ideologies should be able to recognize it when it is right there punching them in the eye socket.
No good is served by subjecting the Pope to our critiques, as if that could be remotely appropriate. If there are to be critiques of Papal actions, addresses or theology, that must come from those ordained by God to do so and should certainly not take place in the public square. This response was judged "intellectual cowardice."
Here is a quote from the exegete Cornelius a Lapide:
“Superiors may be admonished by their subordinates in all humility and charity so that truth may be defended: this is the basis (Galatians 2, 11) on which St. Augustine, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory, St. Thomas and many others who are quoted support this opinion. They teach quite unequivocally that St. Peter, although superior in authority to St. Paul, was admonished by him. St. Gregory rightly states that, “Peter remained silent so that, being first in the hierarchy of the Apostles, he might equally be first in humility.” St. Augustine writes, “By showing that superiors admit that they may be rebuked by their subordinates, St. Peter gave posterity an example of saintliness more noteworthy than that given by St. Paul, although the latter showed, nonetheless, that it is possible for subordinates to have the boldness to resist their superiors without fear, when in all charity they speak out in the defense of truth.” (Commentary Ad Gal., II, 11.)
If there's one thing that traditional Catholics are good at, it's finding some luminous quote from a Doctor of the Church that can serve to support their antagonism to the Pope.
a.) Not just one quote. Countless. Literally almost countless. How about this one, for example: “The Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fullness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith… We have been concerned also lest it may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place.” (Pope Paul IV, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio- 1559).
More on that note of the abomination in the Holy Place to come, but suffice it to say at present that NUMEROUS saints, popes and biblical exegetes have theorized and prophesied that there would be an apostate anti-pope at the end of time.
b.) What quotes does Mr. Carroll have to support his “turn a blind eye” theology? So far, he has provided nothing of substance and exclusively self-defeating conjecture for his position. And, sadly, there is nothing more substantial to be presented as one reads on..
I don't remember who specifically (maybe it was Pope St. Gregory the Great, but don't hold me to it), but I was informed that he said something like "better that scandal come than that the Truth not be proclaimed." I have a difficult time believing that this quote was intended to describe events like papal participation in Assisi III. I consider it more likely that it had to do with something like "the scandal of the Cross" or some other worthy "Truth" that should be proclaimed no matter the consequences.
a.) There are many quotes like what he is referring to above. The quote he is referring to is below and was Leo the Great…
i. “He that sees another in error, and endeavors not to correct it, testifies himself to be in error.” (Pope St. Leo the Great)
ii. “It is not enough to declare the truth unless errors be exposed and repudiated.” (Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session XIII, 1551, Ch. VIII)
iii. How about another one? “Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions...diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed.” (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #9)
iv. “Sufficiently weighty are the words of Our predecessor Felix III in this regard. ‘An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed.... He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.’” (Pope Leo XIII, Inimica Vis, 1892, #7)
More commonly worded and attributed to Pope Felix III, “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men—when we can do it—is no less a sin than to encourage them.”
b.) Mr. Carroll has indeed confirmed his blindness if he does not see how bad Assisi is…how scandalous it is…how offensive to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. It causes to well up within me the most just and zealous anger and yet also the bitterest tears of profound sorrow. It is exactly this type of an event to which the Pope must be resisted.
Traditional Catholics are also fond of quoting St. Athanasius (apparently the father of all schismatics who judge themselves not to be) who said "They may have all the buildings, but we have the Faith." This was in response, of course, to the prevailing climate of the Arian heresy and not to conscious breakaway groups like the SSPX (and others). (There is no Doctor of the Church more badly used and abused by traditional Catholics than St. Athanasius).
So, the Arian heresy was the noxious and deceptive belief that Christ was a creation of God and inferior to God rather than being God Himself. This heresy was so subtle that, as St. Jerome wrote, “the whole world groaned and was astonished to find itself Arian.” St. Athanasius alone was the one who resisted this heretical movement. He was “excommunicated” and/or exiled three different times for at total of 19 years for his opposition. Later, he was declared a saint, Doctor of the Church, and is called one of the four pillars of the Church and of orthodoxy.
Now let us ask ourselves: what is more obviously a sin? Being confused in the early Church about the nature of Christ (true God and true man, fully human and fully divine, one in being with the Father…all of which are great and incomprehensible mysteries), or seeing the Pope worshipping with the members of other false religions and praising and esteeming their pagan and heretical practices?
I think the answer is obvious.
Let’s go back to Pope Paul IV for more on the necessity that Popes adhere to the doctrines and dogmas propagated by their predecessors:
“In respect of each and every sentence of excommunication, suspension, interdict and privation and any other sentences, censures and penalties against heretics or schismatics, enforced and promulgated in any way whatsoever by any of Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs, or by any who were held to be such (even by their "litterae extravagantes" i.e. private letters), or by the sacred Councils received by the Church of God, or by decrees of the Holy Fathers and the statutes, or by the sacred Canons and the Constitutions and Apostolic Ordinations - all these measures, by Apostolic authority, We approve and renew, that they may and must be observed in perpetuity and, if perchance they be no longer in lively observance, that they be restored to it.” (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, #2)
In other words, nobody has the right to change anything from a previous Ecumenical Council, not even the Pope.
If he does, as Paul IV said, “the Roman Pontiff… may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.”
So, Mr. Carroll, how can any lay person possibly know this if nobody has recourse to judge what the Pope is saying or doing?
If there is anything common to Protestants it is lack of communion with the Chair of Peter, whom they judge to be little more than one voice among many in the Church. Even Protestants consider the Pope's "voice" to be important, but they don't consider it authoritative. This lack of unity with the Chair of Peter is a logical consequence of having rejected one or more important teachings of the Church, such as the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. If, in the judgment of Protestants, the Pope teaches error, that is de facto proof that he does not teach authoritatively. This, more than anything else, is what we see in the ranks of the traditional Catholics that I judge to be Protestant
CONTRADICTION #4: “I judge traditional Catholics to be Protestant.” This makes no sense, and what makes even less sense is that he continues to refer to traditional Catholics as traditional Catholics. If they are Protestant, why refer to them as Catholics?
a.) Question: Does lack of communion with Peter come from 1.) The fact that Peter says so regardless of reason or 2.) the person himself cutting himself off from unity with the Peter by his words and/or deeds?
Answer: #2 is correct. Titus 3:10-11 “A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid. Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.”
A heretic is not a heretic because somebody declares him to be such. He is a heretic because he espouses heresy. The formal recognition of this has already been thoroughly treated by men smarter and wiser than me in the SSPX. But the reason I have to bring this up is due to the fact that somebody who may be labeled a heretic who does not actually espouse heresy is not in fact a heretic. Just like somebody who is convicted of a crime he did not actually commit is not actually a criminal.
In the same way, the Pope cannot excommunicate anybody he wishes for no good reason. If he tries to do this, the excommunication is invalid, just as it was invalid when St. Athanasius was “excommunicated.”
Question: If the Pope says the SSPX is not in communion with Rome, it must be true, right?
Answer: Wrong. The Church is in the worst crisis in history, and the Popes have been blinded by freemasonic ideology and have failed to provide any sound judgment upon the SSPX in order to substantiate their claims that the SSPX and its bishops, priests and faithful are only in “partial communion” with Rome.
b.) I have stated this so many times in the past, but I will say it again: Jesus Christ is ONE (1 Cor. 1:13). The Catholic Church is ONE (Nicene Creed). The Vicar of Christ, the descendent of Peter, must therefore be ONE with St. Peter who is ONE with Jesus Christ. Just as Christ cannot contradict Christ, Peter cannot contradict Peter. Therefore, Peter’s voice can only be considered authoritative and indeed infallible when he is echoing the same words, doctrines and dogmas of his holy predecessors. If he brings forth any profane novelty, he must be “resisted to the face.”
And St. Peter himself exhorted us to do this! “You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness.” (2 Peter 3:16) “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction… For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness, those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error:
Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave.” (2 Peter 1:1,18-19)
Just as Protestants trot out "context free" verses from Scripture to support their rejection of the Pope and Catholic Church teaching, traditional Catholics trot out all manner of magisterial statements -- from Popes and Councils and Doctors of the Church -- to prove that what the Pope is saying or doing is incompatible with "Tradition." Both Protestants and traditional Catholics, therefore, quote some authority outside the current occupant of the Chair of Peter to demonstrate his errors.
Mr. Carroll is now becoming increasingly guilty of intellectual dishonesty. He asserts that Traditional Catholics are taking things out of context, but he fails to prove this. And indeed, he cannot prove it because it is not true.
CHALLENGE #2: PROVE THAT TRADITIONAL CATHOLICS ARE TAKING THINGS OUT OF CONTEXT. PROVIDE A VALID AND RATIONALLY SUBSTANTIAL REFUTATION OF THE COUNTLESS CITATIONS BY SSPX FAITHFUL FOR THEIR POSITION.
“Quote some authority outside the current occupant of the Chair of Peter…” YES! Because, as stated and sufficiently clear, PETER MUST BE ONE WITH PETER! Again I will ask Mr. Carroll, where do you find this idea written or instructed anywhere that we must only obey and adhere to what the current Pope says? Where does this “live only in the present” theology come from? Because it surely is not Catholic.
I'm not sure how sedevacantists and traditional Catholics will decide that a given Pope is "finally" legitimate…but it doesn't seem to bother them that they have no "exit strategy" from their current "state of emergency."
Here he is now lumping sedevacantists and all traditional Catholics into the same category. This is showing evermore is lack of understanding whatsoever of the position of the SSPX.
Question: “How will you decide a Pope is legitimate?”
Answer: We already believe the Pope is legitimate. We just do not obey vain and heretical novelty which has already been explicitly condemned by Peter.
Question: “What is your exit strategy?”
Answer: When Rome restores the TLM and abolishes the Novus Ordo Missae, and when Rome revokes the Second Vatican Council and revises all of its documents to be in conformity with Catholic tradition, then the SSPX can confidently pledge full adherence to Rome. This is no exit strategy, it is a “save the Church” strategy. Indeed, sedevacantists have a flawed position because they have no solutions. Hence the book, “Sedevacantism: A False Solution to a Real Problem.”
CHALLENGE #3: HOW WILL MICHAEL VORIS, TERRY CARROLL AND THOSE AT CMTV FINALLY DECIDE A BISHOP IS LEGITIMATE? WHAT IS THEIR “EXIT STRATEGY” IF AND WHEN HOLY MOTHER CHURCH IS RESTORED TO HER GLORY?
He ridicules the position of the SSPX by saying:
"We are submissive to the Chair of Peter when he is right, but not when he is wrong." If THAT is acceptable, then ALL current Protestants posses the same right to call themselves Catholics.
WRONG! Why? Because Protestants are WRONG! They are heretics! Can Mr. Carroll prove that the SSPX is espousing heresy? Can he “trap and expose SSPX lies and falsehoods?” NOPE! He just makes empty accusations completely and utterly lacking any substance whatsoever. He is only regurgitating the same garbage he has heard from others: “The SSPX is schismatic. They are Protestant. They are evil. They hate the Pope. They are disobedient. They are frauds. They are a cult. They wear weird clothes and homeschool their kids.”
Okay, maybe that last one is true…PRAISE GOD!!
CHALLENGE #4: PROVE THE SSPX IS PREACHING ANYTHING THAT IS FALSE OR HERETICAL. PROVE IT…or SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!
Those at CMTV need to be very, VERY careful. They may think they are doing God’s work and that they are the ones who are right by turning a blind eye to the Popes’ errors.
But if they are wrong, they need to understand something:
“Be ye not many masters [aka teachers], my brethren, knowing that you receive the greater judgment.” (James 3:1)
You’re in danger of a much, much greater perdition if you are wrong. So maybe you better take some time off from your excoriating, strident criticisms of selective Church hierarchy and do some real research into the full scope of the sweeping apostasy taking place in the Church.
Maybe this Lenten season, go do penance and spend some time with our Lord in the desert instead of going on a cruise when we are supposed to be fasting, praying, and almsgiving. Instead of a “retreat at sea,” maybe go on an Ignatian Retreat. I recommend Los Gatos.
How is it not obvious that the SSPX are NOT Catholic any more? They don't even talk like it! Or, I guess they talk like THEY are the Catholic Church, but the visible Church of Rome headed by the Successor to Peter is NOT.
It was said by a holy man on my last retreat that St. Francis was not a saint because he had the stigmata, he had the stigmata because he was a saint.
I have written above that a heretic is not a heretic because somebody says he is a heretic. He is a heretic because he espouses heresy.
In the same vein as the two statements above, one is not Catholic because of titles or because one says he is Catholic. One is Catholic when he believes and holds the Catholic faith true and inviolate and when he is willing to shed his blood for that faith. Does Mr. Carroll believe that Pope Honorius was more Catholic than Maximus the Confessor just because Honorius was the Pope? Pope Honorius, who believed in the monothelite heresy and was condemned by his successor Adrian II…was he more Catholic than Maximus the Confessor who opposed and refuted monothelitism??
CHALLENGE #5: WAKE UP!!
They NEVER get tired of bashing the Church and the Holy Father!
Response: a.) It’s not bashing. b.) yes, yes we do. We get tired of having to point out all of his errors and imprudent, impudent decisions. Very tired of it.
Now below is where it gets to a whole new level of ridiculosity.
The last two points I want to make may be a bit sensitive but I think they bear noting:
1) Absent a Pope able to provide either teaching or direction for the Church, traditional Catholics appear to have elected Our Blessed Mother as Pope. Mary is used, in traditional Catholic circles, to hammer the Church and the Holy Father, who have allowed the Church to wander so off course (by not responding to Fatima) that the visible Church now serves more as an example of the truthfulness of Fatima than anything else: Mary predicted mass apostasy, etc., offered solutions, these solutions have been ignored, and now we see what Mary foretold, with Mary now functioning as the desired Pope. Traditional Catholics would never accept this accusation as valid, but it's not hard to think that they have elevated Mary to a level above her Son when they use Mary to hammer the Mystical Body of her Son and its head.
Mr. Carroll clearly sees nothing wrong with the fact that the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, is supremely disobedient to the Blessed Virgin. Even though our Lord Jesus Christ was obedient to her perfectly, he does not believe that the Vicar of Christ needs to be obedient to her. He believes the Pope is superior to the Blessed Virgin, not ONE with her.
This is literally a new one to me, and that is all I am going to say about it because it is so ludicrous it merits no further discussion.
2) ...the validly ordained SSPX clergy engage in an act of disobedience every time they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass…I am personally offended and grieved by the intuition of a "disobedient Christ" offering Himself through the ministry of a disobedient priest in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A man acting disobediently "in persona Christi" is pretty serious business. I know the SSPX respond with "except in the case of an emergency, and there is clearly a state of emergency in the Church," but I don't buy that argument. It sounds very self-serving, horribly dangerous to the souls they serve, and is surely compatible with a tactic of the supreme liar and deceiver…I fear we are building seminaries to ordain priests to commit regular sacrilege at the altar and to deceive those to whom they minister with Confessions that ... aren't.
CONTRADICTION #5: “I fear we are building seminaries…” Mr. Carroll is not part of the SSPX, so what is this “we are building?”
a.) Is he actually suggesting that the SSPX Traditional Mass is sacrilege while he believes that the Novus Ordo Missae can be understood as equally pleasing to God as the TLM?
b.) If the SSPX is acting in disobedience, how can Mr. Carroll explain the undeniable good fruits of the SSPX? No bad tree can bear good fruit.
c.) If the SSPX masses are illicit and sinful, why did Rome say that it is okay for people (in emergency) to attend an SSPX mass?
d.) Has Mr. Carroll ever seen the verse, “We ought to obey God, rather than men?” (Romans 5:29) That was St. Peter speaking, by the way. Now, on the risk that Mr. Carroll accuses me of taking this out of context, maybe he will believe St. Thomas Aquinas: “It is written: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 104, A. 5)
Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1468) reiterates the same: “Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good. To know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not, it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: 'One ought to obey God rather than man'; therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be passed over.” (Summa de Ecclesia)
e.) “I don’t buy that argument [about emergency].” Mr. Carroll doesn’t buy that there is a state of emergency? Didn’t those at CMTV devote 5 episodes of their programming to the rotten post-conciliar fruits?
f.) “It sounds very self-serving.” Yes. That is exactly what the SSPX is all about. They like being revolutionaries, enduring persecutions, calumniations, and threats of excommunication. Full of disobedient rebels, puffed up with pride and a spirit of superiority and elitism.
CHALLENGE #5 (REPEATED): WAKE UP!! PETER HEARD THE COCK CROW AND REALIZED HIS ERROR!
That is all I wish to address from Mr. Carroll’s lengthy but porous assessment of the SSPX.
I wish to issue one final important challenge to CMTV.
CHALLENGE #6: EXPLAIN THE HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY. PUT OUT YOUR VERSION OF THE SYLLABUS OF ERRORS v2.0, AND CONDEMN WHAT YOU BELIEVE ARE MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF TRADITIONAL CATHOLICS WITH SUBSTANTIAL BACKING FOR YOUR BELIEF THAT BENEDICT’S ASSERTION OF A PROPER HERMENEUTIC IS VALID. SPECIFICALLY, ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING:
** Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, 1987, pp. 381-382
“Gaudium et Spes is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus...Since then many things have changed.”
a.) Conversion is not the goal of our dialogue, Proselytism is “solemn nonsense”
i. Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 1964 #79
ii. Pope Francis, 2013, Interview with Rabbi Skorka
iii. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990, #4
b.) The Church respects other religions
i. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990, #3,29
ii. Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 1979, #12
c.) Unity is not achieved by conversion but by finding what we have in common
i. Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 1964 #1
ii. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990, #1-2
d.) The Church can be enriched by false religions / other religions come from God
i. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990, #17
ii. Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 1979, #6
e.) Salvation is possible in other religions / truth can be found in any religion
i. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990, #4
ii. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Faith & the Future, 1970, p. 35-36
iii. Pope John Paul II, Pontificum Consilium, 1993, #18
iv. Pope John Paul II, Homily, L'Osservatore Romano, 1985
v. Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes, 1965, #22
f.) The Jewish Covenant is still valid, has never been revoked, today’s Jews are still the “People of God”
i. Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 2013, #247
ii. Address of his holiness Benedict XVI to Dr Riccardo di Segni Chief Rabbi of Rome, 2006
g.) Communicatio in Sacris is okay
i. Assisi I
ii. Assisi II
iii. Assisi III
iv. Participation in Jewish worship (by the last 4 Popes)
v. Reverencing Buddhism (Pope John Paul II)
vi. Being anointed by a Hindu priestess (Pope John Paul II)
vii. Praising Ghandi, a pagan, as a hero of humanity (Pope John Paul II)
viii. Praising Nelson Mandela, a Marxist pro-choicer (Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The tip of the iceberg of violations of God’s Commandments, and the tip of the iceberg of all of the errors of and since Vatican II. If those at CMTV can sufficiently explain all of the above in continuity with Tradition, then we can move on to Religious Liberty, Collegiality, and the Novus Ordo Missae…
Now, because I know just how much Mr. Carroll loves quotes, I will furnish some more for him and Mr. Voris to consider.
Pope Clement XIII, A Quo Die, 1758, #18
We advise you concerning the fortitude and strength of spirit needed to oppose those things which are against the orthodox faith, which harm piety or which damage the integrity of moral living...We should not be like dumb watchdogs unable to bark, allowing our flocks to fall prey to looting and our sheep to be devoured by every wild animal in the field...let us not be weakened by scandal or persecution, lest we seem ungrateful for God's favor.
Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #29-30
[If a] philosophy deals with much that neither directly nor indirectly touches faith or morals, and which consequently the Church leaves to the free discussion of experts…[we may enrich and more clearly define this philosophy], but never may we overthrow it, or contaminate it with false principles, or regard it as a great, but obsolete, relic....Whatever new truth the sincere human mind is able to find, certainly cannot be opposed to truth already acquired.
(Compare to Pope Francis’ comments that traditionalists “cling to a past that no longer exists.”)
Pope Pius XII, Menti Nostrae - Thoughts for the Clergy of the World (1950), #63
Let your apostolic zeal shine with benign charity. If it be necessary -- and it is everyone's duty -- to fight error and repel vice, the soul of the priest must be ever open to compassion. Error must be fought with all our might, but the brother who errs must be loved intensely and brought to salvation…he who to please men would gloss over their evil inclinations or be indulgent about their incorrect ways of thinking or acting, thereby prejudicing Christian teaching and integrity of morals, would be betraying his ministry.
We cannot refrain from indicating and recommending among all virtues that aspirants to the priesthood must firmly possess those upon which the moral structure of the priest is built, as upon solid pillars. Particularly Obedience. It is necessary that young men acquire the spirit of obedience by accustoming themselves to submit their own will sincerely to that of God manifested through the legitimate authority of the superiors.
>> Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX did not just impulsively and imprudently reject things. In fact, the whole reason why many of the conciliar documents were signed by the Archbishop was due to his defecting and unabashed trust and faith in the Holy See and the Holy Father. However, both before and after the Archbishop’s death, the SSPX submitted countless requests to Rome to “do some explaining.”
>> We must remember that “all authority comes from God,” but that does not mean that all authority is holy and according to God’s sovereign will (here we are distinguishing between what are commonly called his sovereign [perfectly desired] will vs. permissive [allowed] will…the latter of which is in accordance with human free will which is necessitated by the nature of charity). We are told, for example, that God raised up Pharaoh to make an example of him. He also sent a great deluge once to wipe out almost all of existence, and burned S&G to the ground for its sin. God’s mercy is an ocean…but even the Pacific isn’t infinite, and eventually the people get what they deserve.
I have decided I must leave the explanation of what real Protestantism is for another post. In fact, I started a response to another online Catholic blogger a few months ago who was making the same accusations (also accusing the SSPX of being gnostics). That particular post was, last I checked, about 30 pages…and I’m not done. But it is sufficient to say that Protestantism is a rejection of Catholic dogma…they are, though they would not agree, protesting divinely revealed truth. As I stated, the SSPX is doing nothing of the sort.
One final thing I would like to point out is that those at CMTV need to spend some time researching Catholic End Times Prophecy and general eschatology. It is important to live in the present, but there is a very real reason that God has given his faithful prophecy since the beginning of time and why He explained to his disciples what the end of time would be like.
I just posted a rather long video which actually (no knock to the video) only touches the surface of the volume of eschatological writing in the Church treasury. That video can be watched here:
Let us here consider just a few examples of signs of our times:
St. John Eudes
"The most evident mark of God's anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when he permits his people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed. When God permits such things, it is a very positive PROOF that He is thoroughly angry with his people and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries out unceasingly to Christians, 'Return on ye rebellious children and I will give you pastors according to My own mark.'”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
“The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himsel as "I am Who am," and the Devil as "I am who am not."
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first "red." Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as "the Prince of this world," whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect--and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. . . .
. . . The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion--one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God's.
In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .
. . . But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.”
(Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25)
Let us consider a few troubling things about Pope Francis:
1.) He believes that the greatest evils are oppression of the poor and not aiding the elderly. He speaks nothing about spiritual sins being the most egregious. He claims Argentina was living in sin because it wasn’t properly providing employment (Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio, p. 129), not because people were skipping mass, not going to confession, apostasizing, making sacrilegious communions, etc.
2.) He said that growing up he loved reading Communist literature…but that he never was a Communist himself (ibid p. 39). As if somebody could say, “growing up I used to read Satanic literature and loved every word…but I never was myself a Satanist!”
3.) He is openly endorsed and praised by Freemasons
4.) He thinks Muslims are our brothers
5.) He respects atheists and thinks they are “men of good will.”
6.) He respects those who commit suicide (On Heaven and Earth, p. 92-93)
These are frightening notes that CANNOT be taken lightly or just glazed over!
Finally, perhaps most worthy of consideration given our Pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi said the following before his death:
1. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.
2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.
3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.
5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.
(*note that after Vatican II, Rome issued a mandate that EVERY religious order make certain adjustments to their Constitutions to make them less rigid and more open to the modern world…hence the disappearance of religious attire and overall depletion of religious vocations).
6. Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth, but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head [Christ], these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.
(1 Maccabees 1:65 “And many of the people of Israel determined with themselves... chose rather to die than to be defiled.”)
7. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.
(cited from Rev. R. Gerald Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, p. 130)