Im-moral Theology

Novus Ordo Moral Theologian sees “Sacramental Character” in “Commited, Loving” Same-Sex Unions


Stephan Goertz is a recognized “Catholic” authority on moral theology in Germany

BARF BAG ALERT: The latest aberro-sexual trash comes once again from the heart of apostate Europe, from Germany. The internet portal, which is maintained by the German National Conference of Novus Ordo Bishops, has published an interview with the “moral theologian” Stephan Goertz, who is part of the “Catholic-theological” faculty of the University of Mainz. Goertz is the editor of the new book, “Wer bin ich, ihn zu verurteilen?” — “Who am I to judge him?”, a title that quotes the words of “Pope” Francis regarding sodomites who are of “good will” and “seek the Lord.”

We are reproducing an exclusive translation of this interview below. This conversation with Goertz is a very important read, for it demonstrates how far gone the country is that once upon a time produced saints like Gertrude the Great, Albert the Great, Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Norbert, and others. The “Catholics” of Germany are Modernists through and through — there is not a shred of Catholicism left in them, which is why the Vatican II Church is dying out in the land of Luther

Having upset the theological and supernatural order, the Modernists are now coming for the natural order: “Male and female He created them” so that they would “increase and multiply” (Gen 1:27-28) — even this very basic truth of creation, of the natural order, is now dismissed as essentially nothing more than a fairy tale for the primitive peoples of the past, to be superseded by the “scientific discoveries” of divinized modern man. The Satanic Non Serviam — “I will not serve” — is evident, and it is used to advance the mass apostasy awaited by the Church to a considerable degree. God is mocked, and Divine Revelation set aside, as the Faith is replaced by a feel-good pseudo-theology the Modernists find appealing.

Use extreme caution when reading the text below, and keep a barf bag handy. It ain’t pretty! 

[Begin Interview]

“Not to Condemn Others”

Moral theologian Stephan Goertz on the Church’s attitude towards homosexuality

Mainz - Aug. 25, 2015

“If someone is homosexual, seeks the Lord and is of good will - who then am I to judge him?” Thus Pope Francis expressed himself two years ago at a press conference on the return flight from his first trip to Latin America. Following this, “Who am I to judge him?” reads the title of a new anthology of essays on the topic of “homosexuality and the Catholic Church”. In an interview the Mainz moral theologian Stephan Goertz explains the motives behind publishing the approximately 400-page book.


Question: Mr. Goertz, why do so many religions have such a difficult time with homosexuality?

Goertz: Religions such as Judaism, Islam, or Christianity originated at a time when our current scientific knowledge of human sexuality was not yet available. What back then was accepted without question, was equated with the divine order: The earth is the center of the universe, men and women do not have equal rights, all men are attracted to women, all women to men. And this has an effect on sexual morality.

Question: What followed from this?

Goertz: Procreation was considered the primary God-given natural purpose of sexuality. And sexual behavior was not allowed to endager the social order. In this paradigm, there was no room for sexual relations between men or women.

Question: In your book you specifically deal with the topic of “homosexuality and the Catholic Church”. Aren’t there more important, more pressing topics in the Church of today?

Goertz: This we should ask those for whom homosexuality apparently still presents a problem. It would be irresponsible if theology did not have anything to say about this. First, sexuality is something that affects all people. And secondly, on a political level, in many parts of the world we are still dealing with discrimination, persecution, and exclusion of homosexuals. Thus it would be an important Christian testimony for the Catholic Church to present herself in terms of a categorical rejection of discrimination.

Question: The Church has said for a long time that homosexuals cannot be discriminated against. But then there are also Tradition and Bible passages in which homosexuality is condemned

Goertz: When interpreting [the Bible], we must always take into consideration the concrete historical situation of the authors of the biblical texts.

Question: In the book of Leviticus, sexual acts between people of the same sex are called “abominations” that are “punished with death”. That sounds rather clear.

Goertz: Here the context is that sexuality had to fulfill the primary purpose of ensuring the continuity of the race. This is obviously no longer our situation, and especially since the [Second Vatican] council no longer our sexual morality. That’s why individual quotes, taken out of context, cannot be used to answer a contemporary moral question. This would be a fundamentalist way of dealing with biblical passages.

Question: Objection: Aren’t you doing exactly the same thing when you pick quotes that correspond to your view of things?

Goertz: For me this is about a basic theological attitude founded on the Bible: that God has unconditionally promised his love for all people, that natural, social differences are to be overcome among the people of God, that we are not to condemn others. This to me carries more theological weight than precepts about the “nature” of individual sexual acts.

Question: The problem is that these days anyone who wants to speak about homosexuality and the Church dispassionately, immediately finds himself in the crossfire of right-wing blogs or leftist church critics…

Goertz: From some circles one indeed gets the impression that one can barely break through by means of arguments anymore. It is the task of theology to evaluate the arguments and to ask what the Christian message requires of us today. In this we must carefully draw [the necessary] distinctions and approach the issues with frankness. And then such a theology will hopefully also be regarded accordingly by the bishops.

Question: For the fall, the world synod of bishops on the subject of marriage and the family is on the agenda. From your point of view, what can we expect in terms of dealing with homosexuals in the Church? And what would be desirable?


Goertz: It is perhaps realistic to emphasize once more that homosexuals are not allowed to be discriminated or criminalized, and that they have, of course, their place in the Church. This is an important message from a global point of view. Perhaps we will also finally succeed in abandoning the old condemnations of homosexual acts. I would consider it desirable to seek even more strongly a direct dialogue with homosexuals within the Church and stop talking and making moral judgments over their heads. This would be quite a positive signal.

Question: Then we might also possibly have to raise the question, however, that is now already being discussed in politics: to what extent matrimony is to be put on a par with gay or lesbian relationships. 

Goertz: Differences can be recognized for what they are and yet be treated with equal esteem and respect. One could pose the theological question whether a committed, loving homosexual union, which sees itself as a relationship of faith in the God of Israel and Jesus, does not possess a sacramental character. Homosexual relationships could then find ecclesiastical recognition.

Question: Might this also take place by means of external signs one day, such as a blessing of homosexual couples?

Goertz: Even though I do not expect this to be discussed at the synod at this point already, theologically I do not see any problem there in principle.



Goertz seen here to the left of “Bishop” Franz-Josef Bode, who has welcomed virtually nude dancers in his cathedral (see links below)

That there is no Catholic Faith left in this man, Stephan Goertz, is obvious. His religion is Modernism — it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the Catholic religion, as the entire world knew it until the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. This abominable “theology” being put forth here is nothing but a most destructive Modernism, a Modernism that does not even content itself with dismantling Faith but also zeroes in on reason and the natural created order. It is nothing but man spitting God in the face and audaciously asserting, “We shall now make man in our image and likeness”!

Well did Pope St. Pius X, in his landmark 1907 encyclical Pascendi, prophesy that Modernism logically leads to atheism (see also this well-done cartoon). Stephan Goertz is an atheist dressed up as a Catholic. Don’t be surprised if Francis soon names him, too, a “papal” consultor, as he did with the no-less scandalous “Fr.” Timothy Radcliffe, OP, who blasphemously claimed that sodomy can be an expression of “Christ’s self-gift”!

Goertz’s apostate pseudo-theological trash is based on the so-called “historical-critical” method of theology, condemned by the Church (see nn. 29ff. in Pascendi) and beloved by the adherents of the Nouvelle Theologie, such as Yves Congar, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger, and Marie-Dominique Chenu, who became theological “experts” at the Second Vatican Council (appointed by “Pope” John XXIII) and were the darlings of the post-conciliar Novus Ordo magisterium (all of the ones mentioned, with the exception of Chenu, were made “cardinals” after Vatican II). 

Goertz obviously does not believe in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture — he does not believe that it was dictated by the Holy Ghost (see Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Providentissimus Deus, n. 20) but treats it as simply a historical narration subject to the conditions of the times in which it was written, to be superseded at any point by human “scientific” discoveries, as though human science could ever give greater certainty than that which God Himself has revealed.

Goertz’s false and disgusting theology thus runs directly contrary to the teaching of the First Vatican Council, which defined infallibly: 

If anyone says that human studies are to be treated with such a degree of liberty that their assertions may be maintained as true even when they are opposed to divine revelation, and that they may not be forbidden by the church: let him be anathema.

If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, Chapter 4: Canons 2-3)

But then of course, Goertz does not believe in the teachings of the First Vatican Council, either. He is, as we noted, an atheist. He ultimately believes only in himself, in what makes sense to him — the traditional Catholic definition of Faith as the assent of the intellect, aided by divine grace, to all that God has revealed because He, who cannot lie or err, has revealed it, is entirely absent: “Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected” (Pope Benedict XV, Encyclical Ad Beatissimi, n. 24; see also our informative podcast on this topic).

This is not to pooh-pooh natural science, of course. Genuine empirical science has its place, and it is very important. But the knowledge it produces is necessarily always merely provisional, as it is based on observation and subject to falsification, using an inductive method of arriving at truth. It could never trump Divine Revelation, for there can be no surer way of knowing the truth than to cling to what has been revealed by God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Goertz is yet another example of the extreme decay of what passes for “Catholicism” in the heart of Europe, fully backed by the “Pope” and his episcopal henchmen in the false Modernist Sect that has been masquerading as the Catholic Church ever since the bogus election of John XXIII in 1958.

Image sources:; (cropped);;

Related Links:

“This saying is hard, who can accept it?” (Jn 6:60)


Francis “Explains” Bread of Life Discourse in John 6 — without mentioning the Real Presence!

From the man who likes to emphasize that we must “preach the Gospel always”, comes yet another blatant refusal to do precisely that. In a short “catechesis” on our Lord Jesus Christ’s “I am the Bread of Life” discourse in John 6:27-70, “Pope” Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) in his Sunday Angelus Address of Aug. 23, 2015 managed to preach on the classic scriptural prooftext for the Catholic dogma of Transubstantiation while conspicuously avoiding any reference to the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Yet that is the very central theme of the entire discourse, as the Catholic Church teaches and as even Novus Ordo apologists constantly emphasize (e.g., Jimmy Akin, Patrick Madrid, Karl Keating, Tim Haines, Michael Voris, etc.).

Francis’ manifest refusal to even mention the dogma of Transubstantiation or the Holy Eucharist as part of a catechesis on this pericope, is an implicit denial of it, because he has an obligation when preaching on Christ’s words “I am the Bread of Life”, etc., to explain their meaning and not disguise it. But not only does Francis blatantly refrain from mentioning the Real Presence when he is obliged to teach it, he undermines it further by suggesting that our Lord’s words mean something else, something quite “unoffensive” to Protestant ears.

Listen to these clever words of the Argentinian antipope:

Today is the conclusion of the readings from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St John, with the discourse on the “Bread of Life,” proclaimed by Jesus on the day after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. At the end of that discourse, the great enthusiasm of the day before faded, because Jesus had said He was the Bread come down from heaven, and that He would give His Flesh as food and His Blood as drink, clearly alluding to the sacrifice of His very life. These words provoked disappointment in the people, who considered them unworthy of the Messiah, not “winning.” That’s how some saw Jesus: as a Messiah who ought to speak and act in such a way that His mission would be successful, immediately! But they erred precisely in this: in manner of understanding the mission of the Messiah! Even the disciples failed to accept that language, that disturbing language of the Master. And today’s passage refers to their discomfort: “This saying is hard,” they said, “Who can accept it?” (John 6:60).

(“Pope” Francis, Angelus Address, August 23, 2015; underlining added.)

This is a complete distortion of the scriptural text. By speaking of “His Flesh as food and His Blood as drink”, our Lord was not simply speaking metaphorically about the Sacrifice He was going to offer on the Cross, which is exactly what Protestants and other heretics believe. Rather, Christ was speaking quite literally, foretelling His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, His True Body and Blood, under the appearances of bread and wine. It is
this meaning that the people listening to our Lord found offensive, and this did not provoke “disappointment” in them but bewildermentThat is why they said, “This saying is hard, who can accept it?” (Jn 6:60). Francis apparently can’t, and so he has clearly joined their ranks.

The Modernist “Pope” continues slyly:

All that we have in the world does not satisfy our hunger for the infinite. We need Jesus, to remain with Him, to nourish ourselves at His table, on His words of eternal life! To believe in Jesus means making Him the centre, the meaning of our life. Christ is not an accessory element: He is the “living bread,” the indispensable nourishment. Attaching ourselves to Him, in a true relationship of faith and love, does not mean being chained, but [rather] profoundly free, always on a journey.

Each one of us can ask himself, right now, “Who is Jesus for me? Is He a name? an idea? Is He simply a person from history? Or is He really the person Who loves me, Who gave His life for me and walks with me?” Who is Jesus for you? Do you remain with Jesus? Do you seek to know Him in His word? Do you read the Gospel every day, a passage from the Gospel in order to know Jesus? Do you carry the little Gospel in your pocket, in your bag, in order to read it everywhere. Because the more we are with Him the more the desire to remain with Him grows. Now I kindly ask you, let us take a moment of silence, and each one of us, in silence, in his or her heart, ask yourself the question: “Who is Jesus for me?” In silence, everyone answer in his or her heart. “Who is Jesus for me?”

(“Pope” Francis, Angelus Address, August 23, 2015; underlining added.)

Martin Luther, John Calvin, or John Wesley could not have said it better. There is nothing in this explanation that in any way even hints at the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which is a dogma of the Faith, and pertinacious denial of which leads to eternal damnation:

CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

CANON II.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

(Pope Julius III, Council of Trent, Session 13, Canons 1 & 2)

Everything in Francis’ words points to the nourishment Christ provides not as being His literal Body and Blood, even though it is precisely this literal Body and Blood that our Lord speaks about as being “my flesh” He will “give … for the life of the world” (Jn 6:52). Instead, Francis suggests the nourishment our Lord provides is merely His teaching, “His Word”. No Protestant could object to that — and no Catholic will recognize in Francis’ words here the Real Presence being taught.

Will the Novus Ordo enterprise known as Catholic Answers once again roll out Jimmy Akin to “explain” how Francis really is teaching Transubstantiation even though he clearly isn’t?

For a sobering reality check, we call to mind Pope Pius VI’s stern warning that it wouldn’t even be sufficient to simply teach the dogma of Transubstantiation while at the same time refusing to use the term “Transubstantiation”, as was done at the robber synod of Pistoia in the late eighteenth century:

The doctrine of the [heretical] synod [of Pistoia], in that part in which, undertaking to explain the doctrine of faith in the rite of consecration, and disregarding the scholastic questions about the manner in which Christ is in the Eucharist, from which questions it exhorts priests performing the duty of teaching to refrain, it states the doctrine in these two propositions only: 1) after the consecration Christ is truly, really, substantially under the species; 2) then the whole substance of the bread and wine ceases, appearances only remaining; it (the doctrine) absolutely omits to make any mention of transubstantiation, or conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which the Council of Trent defined as an article of faith [see Denz. 877, 884], and which is contained in the solemn profession of faith [see Denz. 997]; since by an indiscreet and suspicious omission of this sort knowledge is taken away both of an article pertaining to faith, and also of the word consecrated by the Church to protect the profession of it, as if it were a discussion of a merely scholastic question,—dangerous, derogatory to the exposition of Catholic truth about the dogma of transubstantiation, favorable to heretics.

(Pope Pius VI, Bull Auctorem Fidei [1794], n. 29; Denz. 1529; underlining added.)

So this is what Pius VI had to say to those who stated the dogma of Transubstantiation in a way that contained no error but refused to use the term “Transubstantiation” — can you imagine what the same Pope would have said to a heretic like Bergoglio, who will not even state the dogma in a “catechesis” on the Bread of Life discourse in John 6?!

Let no one say now that Bergoglio has affirmed Transubstantiation elsewhere — this is the same old trick that was used by the proto-Modernists of the synod of Pistoia, whom the same Pope Pius VI castigated for their clever use of ambiguous language and deliberate contradictions in order to poison the pure Faith of the people more successfully:

[This] cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up to the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.

(Pope Pius VI, Bull Auctorem Fidei [1794]; underlining added.)

Besides, actions always speak louder than words, of course, and when you then see Mr. Bergoglio handing out “Holy Communion” like it’s popcorn (see below and click here for video), together with his refusal to genuflect after the “consecration” at the Novus Ordo worship service, that’s really all you need to know.


“Cardinal” Bergoglio in Argentina - “The Body of Christ…”

“By their fruits you shall know them”, said our Blessed Lord (Mt 7:16); and remember, too, that Pope St. Pius X taught that Modernists can be identified not only by their ideas but also by 
how they speak and what they do: “Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action” (Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi, n. 3; italics added).

Well done, Francis. You have once again undermined the little bit of faith that may still be left in some of your adherents. But now it’s time to talk some more about “preaching the Gospel always” and to kiss another baby. The show must go on.


Related Links:

You can’t make this stuff up...


Meet the “Punk Priest”

Today we present another offbeat character that serves as a great example of the glorious “New Springtime” that was ushered in by the Vatican II Church in the 1960s. His name is “Fr.” Bob Lubic, and he goes by the nickname “The Punk Priest” (we say “Father” in quotes because he was ordained in the invalid Novus Ordo rite of ordination). He formerly had a website at, but it is now defunct and the address forwards to his Facebook page instead.

Luckily, however, a good amount of the content of the old Punk Priest web site was saved by the Web Archive’s Wayback Machine and can still be retrieved, for example, right here:

Caution! Clicking on this link will trigger an auto-play of an awful punk version of the Novus Ordo hymn “Here I am, Lord”, performed by The Vandals. It is horrific, yet you may still want to give it at least a quick listen to see just how grotesque and repulsive the whole “Punk Priest” gimmick is. In case you can’t get the audio to play, you can listen to a YouTube version here. It is clearly intended to be an act of blasphemy.

Of course, Lubic is a Novus Ordo priest in good standing, and this is really not surprising because the Novus Ordo Sect more or less attracts eccentrics like him. He functions in the Novus Ordo diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, which was led for 11 years by “Bishop” Lawrence E. Brandt and just a few weeks ago got a new “bishop”, appointed by Francis, Mr. Edward C. Malesic. Lubic already has a photo with his new “bishop”, on his Facebook page:


On August 5, Lubic posted on his Facebook page his “favorite quote” from a sermon given by his new pretend-bishop. Says Lubic: “‘I don't like negativity,’ my favourite quote from Bishop Malesic's homily at his Mass for our region this evening at Saint Pius X in Mount Pleasant. There were other gems that I WISH I could remember”. Here, see for yourself:


This says a lot about Malesic and about Lubic. Both are perfect for the Modernist Novus Ordo religion. With that kind of theological depth and spiritual insight, no doubt Lubic will one day advance to the ranks of “Punk Bishop.”

But meanwhile, Lubic is only pastor and administrator of the “partner parishes of Immaculate Conception, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Rita” in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. In addition, he is also the school chaplain at Geibel “Catholic” Junior-Senior High School in Connellsville.

Just below you can watch a video showing “Bp.” Brandt’s installation of Mr. Lubic as pastor of Immaculate Conception parish:

Click to play video

In 2006, Novus Ordo blogger Rocco Palmo wrote up an article on Lubic entitled, “Almost Holy: Confessions of a Bad Catholic” that gives more background on the pseudo-clerical punker.

Lubic has described himself as an “inveterate Facebook addict”. His Facebook page has countless photos and other information about him, also some videos:

In his spare time, Lubic apparently practices “truth in advertising” and takes off the clerical collar — lest anyone actually mistake him for a Catholic priest. Very good. But we cannot help but notice that pink seems to be a favorite color of his:



Hey, pink and punk go great together, no?! But we have a few more photos for you — consider it penance for your eyes:


Some images speak for themselves...

More frightening images, including one in which he shows himself dressed as a bishop while lying across the laps of several women dressed as nuns, can be found at the exposé Tradition in Action did on Lubic a few years ago:

We also discovered one image on his Facebook page that was so disturbing that we can only reproduce a censored version of it here — if you absolutely must see it, you can find it on his profile under “Photos” (posted on July 20, 2015). 


On his old The Punk Priest web site, Lubic noted that his favorite musicians are the Gothic-rock band The Cure, a group of English men known for their punk-alternative rock music and bizarre looks — which included a vampire-like appearance with makeup and lipstick. See below for an example of just how edifying this band is:


“Father” Lubic’s favorite: The Gothic-rock band “The Cure” — just edifying, eh?
What - you can’t see St. John Bosco endorsing these guys?!

In 1982, The Cure released an album entitled Pornography. It’s probably better we just leave it at that and don’t get into further details. If these people are “the cure”, we would hate to know what the disease is.

This idea of making yourself a punker so that the punker will become a Catholic, is absurd and never works. But of course the entire Vatican II religion is based on this very idea — that if we all just become more open to the world, then the world will be attracted and become Catholic. Yet we know from experience that the opposite is the case: Catholics become worldly. Look at what happened after “Pope” John XXIII opened the windows to the world. Did the world enter the Church? No — rather, Catholics left the Church for the world, seeing no point anymore in being Catholic. (Kenneth Jones once collected the statistics that prove it into a handy little book, the Index of Leading Catholic Indicators.) 

If the Vatican II approach had worked, there wouldn’t be parish closures left and right now, and formerly Catholic nations would be countries flourishing in true virtue, and Catholic teaching and spirituality would be evident even in public life everywhere. Even the indifferentist United States would now share in such a happy lot, due to its formerly large number of Catholics who collectively exercised great influence on society (think of the Legion of Decency, for example), and due to the immensely valuable work done by prominent clerics such as Fr. Charles Coughlin or Bp. Fulton Sheen, who were respected and taken seriously even by citizens who were not Catholic.

What, instead, do we see today? The worst politicians and public figures are usually the ones that identify as “Catholic”, i.e. Novus Ordo. In the United States, “Catholics” like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Anthony Kennedy come to mind. And of course they are never excommunicated or even disciplined by their pretend “shepherds”, the Novus Ordo bishops. This is the real fruit of Vatican II. It is not an exception, it is the rule. And it is abundantly clear that this is not the result of a mistake by a few good-willed but misled souls but rather the desired result of an orchestrated scheme: “An enemy hath done this” (Mt 13:28; cf. Mt 7:16-20).

Contrary to the illusion disseminated by Vatican II, by opening the sacred to the profane, the profane does not become holy; rather, the holy becomes sullied with the profane, as Italy’s “Singing Nun” Suor Cristina amply demonstrated last year

We can likewise see how wrong-headed this entire program of “let’s be like the world so that the world will want to be Catholic” is, in the abysmal failure that is the Novus Ordo “Mass” of Paul VI. Instituted with the excuse that it would make the Holy Catholic Mass more understandable for the people in the pew and encourage active participation, and thus lead to greater holiness and a more widespread practice of the Faith, the exact opposite has been the result: Most people do not have a clue as to what the Holy Catholic Mass is, practically no one believes in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, most people couldn’t even correctly define the concept of faith, church attendance is laughable, the Sunday obligation has been wiped from people’s consciousness, and least of all do young people want anything to do with it.

Compare once more which of the two liturgies makes people aspire to holiness and respect the sacred:

Bob Lubic is the “Punk Priest”, or perhaps we should call him the “Pink Punker”. “Punk” is American slang for a number of unsavory ideas. We do not care what his intentions may be, because the intentions are entirely irrelevant to the grave scandal he causes. Lubic is a microcosm of the cruel joke that is the Vatican II Church. 

Image sources:;;;;


Wonderful gift idea

Sedevacantism: A Primer (DVD)


Our friends over at True Restoration have taken two of their best videos explaining Sedevacantism and put them on DVD. This is great for anyone who does not have an internet connection to watch online, or for people whose connection is too slow to play videos. It is also perfect for people who simply want to be able to watch using a TV in the living-room. This new DVD, entitled “Sedevacantism: A Primer”, also makes for a wonderful gift for friends, family, and coworkers. Hey, why not invite a few over and watch together with an exciting group discussion afterwards?

Description from the True Restoration Blog (slightly edited):

“Is the Pope Catholic?”

That used to be a rhetorical question, much like “Is the sky blue?” or “Is grass green?”, but ever since the Second Vatican Council wound up in 1965, it has been increasingly difficult for the faithful to discern the Catholicity of the church hierarchy. Not to worry: our host and roving reporter Stephen Heiner has once again enlisted the help of Bishop Donald Sanborn and Father Anthony Cekada to unmask Conciliar duplicity, and to demonstrate the logical and uniquely tenable position of Sedevacantism in the face of the debacle that is Vatican II.

True Restoration Media has just released a DVD, Sedevacantism: A Primer (NTSC format, $29.99), which includes an excellent conference by Bp. Sanborn in December 2013 on “The Fundamental Principles and Common Objections”, and a more conversational video with Fr. Cekada from 2011 entitled “Sedevacantism: How to tell Aunt Helen”. I had to chuckle at the second video’s title, because I actually had an Aunt Helen, and she would have been in dire need of a DVD like this!

Imagine St. Thomas Aquinas sitting beside the few conservative Cardinals at the Council, aghast and beside himself with having to put up with all the Modernist gobbledygook that the Liberals were promulgating! That’s kind of the impression I got from Bp. Sanborn’s exposé. He dissects the main problems, leads us through to the choices we are faced with, and unerringly presents the only logical position. A perfect syllogism. He asks us if the religion (the ensemble of doctrines, disciplines and liturgical practices) of Vatican II is Roman Catholicism or not. His Excellency shows that ecumenism, religious liberty, a new conception of the Church, collegiality, and relativism of truth were the most objectionable doctrines that came from the Council, to the extent that the pre-1958 Church and the Church of today could hardly be recognized as the same religion. He demonstrates that it is impossible that the authority of the Catholic Church can promulgate false doctrine, evil discipline and false liturgical practices, and therefore if Vatican II represents a substantial change to the Catholic Faith, it cannot have come from the authority of the Church. Sedevacantism is the only logical conclusion.

Bp. Sanborn explores three positions of reaction to Vatican II, answers the seven main objections to the Sedevacantist position, and in the remaining 50 minutes takes questions from those attending the conference.

The video itself was shot in less than perfect conditions. Poor lighting made the image a bit grainy and also induced the photographer to periodically adjust the focus. Although His Excellency’s image was sometimes blurred, his train of thought was crystal clear, making this presentation a must-see.

Lean back in your La-Z-Boy with the second video by Fr. Cekada, as Stephen asks Father how he came to be a Sedevacantist. Here we have a personal journey which parallels that of many today, starting with a disenchantment with the new Mass and the blatant errors of doctrine, discipline and worship that came out of Vatican II. Although Fr. Cekada describes himself in the sixties as a neo-con, Wanderer-type Catholic, he was all too ready to stick with the (putative) Pope with the assurance that everything would be all right. He came to realize, however, that the problem with Vatican II was not one of interpretation: it was everything! His search led him to the inevitable conclusion that the changes were evil, and since evil cannot come from the authority of the Church, therefore those in the Church hierarchy must not have the authority of the Church.

Fr. Cekada goes on to examine the arguments of the Recognize and Resist traditionalists, and shows how theirs is not a Catholic position. He notes that people don’t want to discuss the possibility of Sedevacantism, afraid of the consequences, looking over into the abyss. Traditionalists are already all Sedevacantists, except they haven’t figured it out yet, according to Father. People will have to do the hard work; look it up and investigate.

These are two very convincing video presentations, available for purchase on one DVD here.

Purchase here: Sedevacantism: A Primer (DVD Video)

Both videos have been released by True Restoration online in full. You can watch them here and here.

Related Links:

Novus Ordo Watch for your Ears...

Episode 007 Now Available

The Traditional Catholic Podcast


TRADCAST 007, released on August 17, 2015, is packed with informative traditional Catholic content: In the first segment, we examine the Nature of Faith to understand why it is that a Catholic must believe all dogmas of the Faith in order to be a Catholic, and why even denial of just one dogma does not render him “mostly” Catholic but not a Catholic at all. We then tackle American Novus Ordo blogger Mark Shea’s controversial remarks about the Planned Parenthood undercover videos — while he did denounce the atrocities of the baby-killing organization, in a recent podcast he spent considerable time condemning the prolife entity that exposed Planned Parenthood for lying to the abortionists and deceiving them in order to be able to make these videos. What is the traditional Catholic teaching on this? Should we be more concerned about a lying prolifer or a baby-hacking psychopath? (Is anybody home, Mr. Shea?)

The second segment of our TRADCAST discusses Bishop Williamson’s recent comments that it is sometimes permissible to go to the Novus Ordo “Mass” of Paul VI, “if it nourishes your Faith” — we also take a quick look at the online fallout from our critique. We finish our podcast with coverage of the way ChurchMilitant spun the recent “Bishop” Athanasius Schneider comments on the Society of St. Pius X and the question of the SSPX schism.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking the YouTube video above, or you can go to our TRADCAST 007 page, where you will find all the information you need for this show, including links to articles, blog posts, news stories, etc., mentioned in the podcast, and where you will also find ways to download this episode to your computer and sign up to be notified of new episodes by email.

See Also:


     Published August 17, 2015

Beyond pathetic: Elvis Presley Admirer “Fr.” Norbert Fink’s latest attempt to reach youngsters: German Rap Song “Dein Gott” (“Your God”)

“Let us be happy about every kind of relationship…”

Swiss Novus Ordo Bishop:
Sodomy? Not a Problem if you’re Nice!


More proof that a beautiful chasuble doesn’t make you a Catholic: Mr. Markus Buchel, pretend-bishop of Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, and head of the Conference of Swiss Bogus Ordo Bishops

The Novus Ordo Sect in Europe has once again shown its true colors: “Bishop” Markus Buchel of the diocese of Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, who is also the current head of the Swiss Conference of Novus Ordo Bishops, has essentially declared that sodomy (and any other type of sexual perversion) is an intrinsically acceptable expression of human sexuality, and that this unnatural sexual act that cries to Heaven for vengeance is not seriously blameworthy as long as the partners-in-vice are “attentive”,”loyal”, “careful”, and “respectful” towards each other — in other words, as long as they’re nice. Buchel has furthermore implied that Holy Scripture is not the inerrant Word of God dictated by the Holy Ghost (cf. Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Providentissimus Deus, n. 20) but is simply a historical narration subject to the conditions of the times in which it was written.

This glorious paragon of Faith and morals was made a “bishop”, of course, by none other than the “great Restorer of Tradition”, Benedict XVI, in 2006 (source). One may surmise that in the Middle Ages, he would have been burned at the stake.

The following is our translation of the post “Bischof von Sankt Gallen: Egal, ob jemand homo- oder heterosexuell ist”, posted on August 7, 2015, at the German Mathias von Gersdorff blog. The author is a conservative adherent of the Novus Ordo religion. It provides a good summary of Mr. Buchel’s position, whose quoted words are indicated in dark blue:

[Begin Excerpt]

On August 7, 2015, Bishop Marcus Büchel of Sankt Gallen (Switzerland), in a letter to all “employees who work in pastoral care”, made appalling statements regarding homosexuality and Church teaching on sexuality in general. His central thesis: It is of no consequence what sexual orientation one practices, as long as this is done in a “responsible” manner.

Thus he directly contradicts the Catholic Church’s sexual morality and possibly also Christian anthropology.

On top of that, Bishop Markus Buchel is the head of the Swiss Bishops’ conference!

His ideas about sexuality Bishop Buchel expresses as follows: “Human relationships have many dimensions, because each person carries within himself several dimensions. One of them is sexuality. To advance a person’s well-being, what is decisive is not so much one’s heterosexual or homosexual inclination, but rather the responsible use of sexuality and of all dimensions present in a relationship (such as attentiveness, care, respect, or faithfulness). We as faithful Catholics in particular may certainly rely on the conscience of each individual with respect to this matter. Let us be happy about every kind of relationship in which the partners accept each other [or “themselves” —Transl.] as equal, valuable, beloved children of God, who respect the dignity of the other and advance the well-being of the person!”

Regarding the biblical testimony on homosexuality, Bishop Buchel writes: “Our knowledge today about homosexuality as a disposition rather than a freely-chosen sexual orientation was not even known at the time of the Bible.”

Bishop Buchel is calling for a new sexual morality, in particular as regards homosexuality: “Thus we as Church must consciously face the historical baggage in dealing with homosexuality and find a new, approriate language that does justice to the issue and to human dignity.”

These statements reinforce the impression in the universal Church that things are “topsy-turvy” in the German-speaking world. The Roman synod in the fall of 2015 should also give thought to how in our region the Faith and the true doctrine of the Catholic Church can once again be propagated.


Image source: (cropped)

Further commentary would be superfluous, but the links below will be of great interest to those who think that the solution is to get the “Pope” to step in.

Related Links:

Responding to a popular objection...

Catholic Debate and Personal Polemics:


Are we just full of “Bitter Zeal” and “Venom”? Can We Only Attack an Argument and Never a Person?

Some readers of our web site, though happy with the content in general, may be somewhat displeased with our rhetorical and polemical style, or our personal rebukes of certain individuals, specifically (our favorite targets) members of the bogus Vatican II hierarchy, but also subscribers to the false “recognize-and-resist" opposition, including Michael Voris, John Vennari, Michael Matt, John Salza, and Christopher Ferrara. As of late, it seems to have become fashionable to object on certain blogs and forums that Novus Ordo Watch is just full of “venom” and “bitter zeal” — a rather convenient excuse not to have to deal with the facts presented.

The unfortunate reality is that so many people today, at least in our American-European-Western society, have become so conditioned by the feminized culture around them that they tend to equate charity with niceness, and conversely, criticism and rebukes with “hate” (see an interesting meme on this here). This attitude has been instilled in us by the culture around us, and it affects all of us, but we must work to overcome it. This is one reason why we do not mince words: Error and evil must be denounced charitably but forcefully, and one way to do that is to counter the let’s-not-offend-anyone society by being willing to offend, not needlessly, but needfully. For offense is not necessarily wrong. Sometimes we all must be whacked over the head. We must be rebuked, criticized, humiliated, for our own good. The mother who yells at a child who is about to put his hand on the hot stove does not mind that the child will be “offended” by her harsh words — she has the child’s good in view and realizes that, at the moment, only a harsh rebuke will obtain that end.

Some, while conceding that error and evil must be denounced, will argue that although we may and must do this, nevertheless we cannot ever attack the person, only the false or dangerous views held by him.

But is this so? Is it ever permissible — perhaps even necessary — to criticize people and not just their views? What is the traditional Catholic attitude in this regard?

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the epitome of piety, zeal, charity, and perfection. He is Charity Incarnate, but this divine and perfect charity did not always express itself in “nice” words. He certainly rebuked the Pharisees by calling them very “offensive” names and accused them of being children of the devil. Imagine if we did such a thing on this blog!

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves. Woe to you blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor. Ye foolish and blind; for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, is a debtor. Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it: And whosoever shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it: And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have left the weightier things of the law; judgment, and mercy, and faith. These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness.

Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men' s bones, and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just; but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; that build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the just, and say: If we had been in the days of our Fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell? Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.

(Matthew 23:15-35)

I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do the things that you have seen with your father. They answered, and said to him: Abraham is our father. Jesus saith to them: If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you, which I have heard of God. This Abraham did not. You do the works of your father. They said therefore to him: We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God. Jesus therefore said to them: If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of myself, but he sent me: Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. But if I say the truth, you believe me not.

Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me?He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered, and said to him: Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honour my Father, and you have dishonoured me. But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. And you have not known him, but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word.

(John 8:37-55)

These holy words of our Blessed Lord are very charitable, because He cannot fail in His perfect charity, but they are not “nice.” Secular society’s equating of love with niceness is nothing but a tool to suppress inconvenient truth. People are supposed to be intimidated into keeping silence about that which is evil, and this is to be done by accusing them of “hate”, “bitterness”, and “venom” if they should denounce that which must be denounced.

Of course, this does not mean that we can just go around insulting people willy-nilly (cf. Mt 5:22). Insults and mockery against others — the term in moral theology is “contumely” — are certainly sinful if they are done gratuitously, that is, without a justifying reason. But that’s just it: It is the unjust violation of the honor of another that is sinful, not the dishonoring of him per se.

As the Catholic moral theologian Fr. Heribert Jone notes in his succinct handbook on morality:

Contumely consists in unjustly dishonoring another person in his presence and thus showing one’s contempt for him… Dishonoring another may be done by words, deeds or omissions… Contumely is ex genere suo … a grave sin against justice.

(Fr. Heribert Jone, Moral Theology, n. 378, pp. 254-255; underlining added.)

So, again, an essential condition of the sinfulness of contumely is that the dishonoring of the other be unjust.

In Sacred Scripture, we see a good example of a saint mocking his opponents and drawing dishonor down upon them in the presence of all:

And Elias coming to all the people, said: How long do you halt between two sides? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word. And Elias said again to the people: I only remain a prophet of the Lord: but the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men. Let two bullocks be given us, and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it upon wood, but put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under it. Call ye on the names of your gods, and I will call on the name of my Lord: and the God that shall answer by fire, let him be God. And all the people answering said: A very good proposal. Then Elias said to the prophets of Baal: Choose you one bullock and dress it first, because you are many: and call on the names of your gods, but put no fire under.

And they took the bullock which he gave them, and dressed it: and they called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying: O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered: and they leaped over the altar that they had made. And when it was now noon, Elias jested at them, saying: Cry with a louder voice: for he is a God, and perhaps he is talking, or is in an inn, or on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep, and must be awaked. So they cried with a loud voice, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till they were all covered with blood. And after midday was past, and while they were prophesying, the time was come of offering sacrifice, and there was no voice heard, nor did any one answer, nor regard them as they prayed: Elias said to all the people: Come ye unto me. And the people coming near unto him, he repaired the altar of the Lord, that was broken down:

And he took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying: Israel shall be thy name. And he built with the stones an altar to the name of the Lord: and he made a trench for water, of the breadth of two furrows round about the altar. And he laid the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it upon the wood. And he said: Fill four buckets with water, and pour it upon the burnt offering, and upon the wood. And again he said: Do the same the second time. And when they had done it the second time, he said: Do the same also the third time. And they did so the third time. And the water run round about the altar, and the trench was filled with water.

And when it was now time to offer the holocaust, Elias the prophet came near and said: O Lord God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Israel, shew this day that thou art the God of Israel, and I thy servant, and that according to thy commandment I have done all these things. Hear me, O Lord, hear me: that this people may learn, that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the holocaust, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw this, they fell on their faces, and they said: The Lord he is God, the Lord he is God. And Elias said to them: Take the prophets of Baal, and let not one of them escape. And when they had taken them, Elias brought them down to the torrent Cison, and killed them there.

(3 Kings 18:21-40; underlining added.)

So, we see that St. Elias the prophet mocked the pagans — he used sarcasm — and his doing so was not unjust.

Furthermore, Holy Scripture also affirms explicitly that it’s not wise always to just be “nice” in one’s speech: “…if the speech be always nicely framed, it will not be grateful to the readers” (2 Mach 15:40).

Finally, specifically with regard to the question of attacking a person in the course of polemical discourse — what is known in logic as an ad hominem attack (“against the person”) —, we would like to quote a substantial excerpt from the great Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany’s 1886 book Liberalism is a Sin. This work was endorsed and praised by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation of the Index under Pope Leo XIII, and we too cannot recommend it highly enough. In fact, one may say that this book completely destroys many fundamental ideas of the bogus Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the new religion it engendered (which we call the Novus Ordo religion). The excerpt below is Chapter 21 of the book, which specifically addresses the objection that while it is licit to attack and refute a person's argument, it is forbidden to also attack the person who makes the argument. Not so, as Fr. Sarda explains with eloquence and persuasiveness.

[Begin Excerpt]

CHAPTER 21 Personal Polemics and Liberalism

"It is all well enough to make war on abstract doctrines" some may say, "but in combating error, be it ever so evident, is it so proper to make an attack upon the persons of those who uphold it?" We reply that very often it is, and not only proper, but at times even indispensable and meritorious before God and men.

The accusation of indulging in personalities is not spared to Catholic apologists, and when Liberals and those tainted with Liberalism have hurled it at our heads, they imagine that we are overwhelmed by the charge. But they deceive themselves. We are not so easily thrust into the background. We have reason--and substantial reason--on our side. In order to combat and discredit false ideas, we must inspire contempt and horror in the hearts of the multitude for those who seek to seduce and debauch them. A disease is inseparable from the persons of the diseased.

The cholera threatening a country comes in the persons of the infected. If we wish to exclude it, we must exclude them. Now ideas do not in any case go about in the abstract; they neither spread nor propagate of themselves. Left to themselves--if it be possible to imagine them apart from those who conceive them--they would never produce all the evil from which society suffers. It is only in the concrete that they are effective, when they are the personal product of those who conceive them. They are like the arrows and the balls which would hurt no one if they were not shot from the bow or the gun. It is the archer and the gunner to whom we should give our first attention; save for them, the fire would not be murderous. Any other method of warfare might be Liberal, if you please, but it would not be common sense.

The authors and propagators of heretical doctrines are soldiers with poisoned weapons in their bands. Their arms are the book, the journal, the lecture, their personal influence. Is it sufficient to dodge their blows? Not at all; the first thing necessary is to demolish the combatant himself. When he is hors de combat ["out of the fight"], he can do no more mischief.

It is therefore perfectly proper not only to discredit any book, journal or discourse of the enemy, but it is also proper, in certain cases, even to discredit his person; for in warfare, beyond question, the principal element is the person engaged, as the gunner is the principal factor in an artillery fight and not the cannon, the powder, and the bomb. It is thus lawful, in certain cases, to expose the infamy of a Liberal opponent, to bring his habits into contempt and to drag his name in the mire. Yes, this is permissible, permissible in prose, in verse, in caricature, in a serious vein or in badinage, by every means and method within reach. The only restriction is not to employ a lie in the service of justice. This never. Under no pretext may we sully the truth, even to the dotting of an "i'" As a French writer says: "Truth is the only charity allowed in history," and, we may add, in the defense of religion and society.

The Fathers of the Church support this thesis. The very titles of their works clearly show that, in their contests with heresy, their first blows were at the heresiarchs. The works of St. Augustine almost always bear the name of the author of the heresy against which they are written: Contra Fortunatum Manichoeum, Adversus Adamanctum, Contra Felicem, Contra Secundinum, Quis fuerit Petiamus, De gestis Pelagii, Quis fuerit julianus, etc. Thus, the greater part of the polemics of this great Father and Doctor of the Church was personal, aggressive, biographical, as well as doctrinal--a hand-to-hand struggle with heretics, as well as with heresy. What we here say of St. Augustine we can say of the other Fathers.

Whence do the Liberals derive their power to impose upon us the new obligation of fighting error only in the abstract and of lavishing smiles and flattery upon them? We, the Ultramontanes, will fight our battles according to Christian tradition and defend the Faith as it has always been defended in the Church of God. When it strikes, let the sword of the Catholic polemist wound, and when it wounds, wound mortally. This is the only real and efficacious means of waging war.

[End of Excerpt - bold print added for emphasis, with slight adaptations.]

Thus, we can see here that it is a favorite tactic of the Liberals (Modernists and those who are tainted by them) to try to silence their Catholic-conservative opponents by accusing them of being “hateful” or “venomous.” While an ad hominem attack is logically fallacious, it nevertheless can have a very important function, if used with justice and prudence, in polemical discourse.

It is time to stop being “offended” at every turn and actually focus on the substance of criticism, rather than the tone. Let us be zealous in giving as well as accepting just criticism, lest we one day have to hear the words: "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41) — words that are certainly not very “nice”.

See Also:

The True Meaning of the Vincentian Canon

Deflating Another ‘Resistance’ Myth: Can we reject Magisterial Teaching if it wasn’t believed “always, everywhere, and by all”?


“Cafeteria Catholicism” is a fitting label often used to describe the position taken by overt Modernists and other pseudo-Catholic liberals (such as Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or John Kerry) who like to pick and choose which Church teachings to accept and which ones to reject. Usually what is accepted is those things perceived as politically correct, expedient, or simply non-offensive (for example, the existence of God, the importance and power of prayer, the reality of Heaven, or the importance of loving of neighbor), whereas what is rejected is those teachings that are politically incorrect, offensive to modern man, or somehow inconvenient or burdensome (for example, the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation, the prohibition against worship with non-Catholics, the reality of hell, or the indissolubility of marriage or most other sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments).

But when it comes to the adherents of the traditionalist “recognize-and-resist” position (including well-known writers such as John Vennari, Michael Matt, Atila S. Guimaraes, clerics in the Society of St. Pius X, and others), who, although they recognize as valid and legitimate the “Popes” after Pius XII, nevertheless resist their doctrinal heresies and errors — we like to call them Semi-Traditionalists, Pseudo-Traditionalists, or Neo-Traditionalists — it is interesting to see that in essence they are really not doing anything different from their liberal counterparts: They are choosing to accept some teachings of the Church (all those from the beginning up until the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, but not others, for anything after Pius XII (i.e. the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium) is either outright rejected or assented to only with grave reservations. (A third popular alternative, which is as clever as it is disingenuous, is to simply claim that there has been no discernible doctrinal content issued during or since Vatican II to which one could possibly be obliged or fail to adhere — a very convenient copout that spares one from the humiliation of having to admit that one is really no different from the liberals when it comes to refusing assent to what the supposedly legitimate Catholic hierarchy is teaching and legislating.)

Of course, the Semi-Traditionalists do not reject Vatican II and post-conciliar teaching without some attempt at justifying their resistance. In no wise do they believe themselves to be in the same boat as their liberal-Modernist counterparts, for their stated reason for resisting Novus Ordo church teaching is that it is not consonant with, but actually contradicts, Catholic Tradition. Hence they call themselves traditionalists, for they uphold — so they think — the Tradition of the Church.

But do they really?

While their motive might be a noble one (keeping themselves and others from being infected with heresy or profane novelty), and in this matter they would distinguish themselves significantly from their liberal counterparts, nevertheless their action is of the same nature as the open liberals’: They are refusing assent or compliance to what is imposed on them in terms of teaching, worship, and/or discipline by the institution they hold to be the Catholic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In support of their position, the Resisters imagine themselves to have a friend in St. Vincent of Lerins, a fifth-century monk and author of a celebrated treatise defending the Catholic Faith against heretical novelty. His work, written in 434 A.D. under the pseudonym Peregrinus, is known as the Commonitorium Against Heresies, bearing as its subtitle: “For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith against the Profane Novelties of All Heresies”. In this work, St. Vincent lays down what is known as the “Vincentian Canon” (“canon” meaning “rule”), a formula that serves as a measuring rod of orthodoxy during a time of doctrinal controversy. When a dispute arises about a particular theological opinion that has not yet been settled by the Church, applying the Canon of St. Vincent ensures that one will safely cling to true doctrine and not be led astray.

This canon is found in several places in the saint’s Commonitorium (see Chapters 2-4, 27, and 29), but we will quote only the two clearest and most insightful pericopes:

[From Chapter 2]

Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholic, which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity and consensus. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.

[From Chapter 29]

We said likewise, that in the Church itself regard must be had to the consentient voice of universality equally with that of antiquity, lest we either be torn from the integrity of unity and carried away to schism, or be precipitated from the religion of antiquity into heretical novelties. We said, further, that in this same ecclesiastical antiquity two points are very carefully and earnestly to be held in view by those who would keep clear of heresy: first, they should ascertain whether any decision has been given in ancient times as to the matter in question by the whole priesthood of the Catholic Church, with the authority of a General Council: and, secondly, if some new question should arise on which no such decision has been given, they should then have recourse to the opinions of the holy Fathers, of those at least, who, each in his own time and place, remaining in the unity of communion and of the faith, were accepted as approved masters; and whatsoever these may be found to have held, with one mind and with one consent, this ought to be accounted the true and Catholic doctrine of the Church, without any doubt or scruple.

(St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium Against Heresies [Sainte Croix du Mont: Tradibooks, 2008], pp. 18, 146; underlining added.)

The Canon of St. Vincent, then, holds that three criteria can establish the orthodoxy and catholicity of a teaching, rendering it entirely safe: It has been taught and believed “always, and everywhere, and by all” (quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus). It is actually more correct to say two criteria, rather than three, inasmuch as “by all” is included both in the “always” and the “everywhere”, and indeed in Chapter 29 St. Vincent himself condenses the criteria to two: universality and antiquity. Universality refers to a doctrine being believed and taught everywhere, whereas antiquity refers to it being believed and taught from the beginning. Another way of putting it would be to say that the criteria are universality in space and universality in time.

The crucial question that needs to be asked now is whether either condition — that of universality in space or that of universality in time — is of itself sufficient to allow one to safely accept a doctrine as Catholic, or whether both conditions must be met, so that if a doctrine fails the test of even one of these two criteria, it can or must be rejected.

It is here that the Semi-Traditionalists err gravely, and they are in bad company, as we will see.

Indeed, the Semi-Trad Resisters hold that both criteria specified by St. Vincent must be met for a doctrine to be considered Catholic and legitimately part of the Church’s Magisterium: Only if a doctrine is universal in space and in time, so they claim, is it truly Catholic teaching that is binding on the faithful.

The importance of solving this difficulty correctly cannot be overestimated, not only because we are always obliged to submit to that which is taught by our legitimate shepherds, especially when there is unanimous agreement among them, but also because the ordinary universal Magisterium is infallible on matters it sets forth as divinely revealed — no less infallible than solemn definitions and ex cathedra pronouncements:

Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as divinely revealed.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, Ch. 3; Denz. 1792)

We see, then, that the ordinary Magisterium is infallible when it is exercised “universally” — all the more reason to understand whether by this “universality” is meant extension in space or extension through time.

Let us now have a look at how the adherents of the recognize-and-resist position answer this question:

The first source we will quote is Fr. Rene Berthod, whose 1980 essay on the ordinary Magisterium is cited and relied upon heavily by the Society of St. Pius X.

To summarize: the ordinary magisterium of the Church is infallible when it is truly universal (in space and in time), that is to say, when it is in conformity to and continuous with the teaching of Faith of the Church.

(Canon Rene Berthod, “The Infallibility of the Church’s Ordinary Magisterium”, in Pope or Church? [Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 2006], p. 61.)

It is not surprising that the founder of the SSPX, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, disseminated this harmful error as well, making it a fundamental principle of his resistance theology:

What is the criterion to judge whether the ordinary Magisterium is infallible or not? It is fidelity to the whole of tradition. In the event of its not conforming to tradition we are not even bound to submit to the decrees of the Holy Father himself. The same applies to the Council. When it adheres to tradition it must be obeyed since it represents the ordinary Magisterium. But in the event of its introducing measures which are not in accord with tradition there is a far greater freedom of choice, we should therefore have no fear of assessing facts today because we cannot allow ourselves to be swept along on the wave of Modernism which would put our faith at risk and turn us unwittingly into Protestants.

(Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, Un Eveque Parle [Paris, 1974], p. 170; quoted in Michael Davies, Pope John’s Council [Dickinson, TX: Angelus Press, 1977], p. 213)

More recently, we find the same error repeated by the Novus Ordo Church historian Roberto de Mattei:

The conditions necessary for the infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium are that it concerns a doctrine with regard to faith or morals, taught authoritatively in repeated declarations by the Popes and bishops, with an unquestionable and binding character.

The word universal is meant not in the synchronic sense of an extension of space in a particular historical period, but in the diachronic sense of a continuity of time, in order to express a consensus that embraces all epochs of the Church (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,  Illustrative Doctrinal Note  of the conclusive formula of Professio fidei, 29th June 1998, nota 17).

(Roberto de Mattei, “The Synod and the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church”, Correspondenza Romana [Dec. 10, 2014]; translated by Francesca Romana for Rorate Caeli; underlining added.)

These quotes will suffice. Other sources where this error is stated or implied include Rev. Chad Ripperger, The Binding Force of Tradition (Sensus Traditionis Press, 2013), pp. 20, 30n.; Romano Amerio, Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth Century, 2nd ed., trans. by Fr. John P. Parsons (Sarto House, 1996), pp. 711-712; and Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., The Great Facade (Wyoming, MN: The Remnant Press, 2002), p. 39.

It is clear, then, that the Resisters very much hold to and promote the idea that if antiquity (universality in time) is not found for a particular doctrine proposed by the Catholic Magisterium, then a Catholic is free — perhaps even obliged — to reject it. The reason why the Resisters are wedded to this error is clear — it is the necessary bedrock that legitimizes their entire theological position of accepting the Vatican II antipopes as valid while ridding themselves of the inconvenient burden of having to actually submit to their teaching. As John Lane has noted: “…the ability to reduce the ordinary magisterium to ‘whatever has been taught always, everywhere, and by all,’ is extremely attractive if one is trying to defend the Conciliar authorities as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church” (John Lane, “Concerning an SSPX Dossier on Sedevacantism”, p. 74).

Having established that the Canon of St. Vincent admits of more than one interpretation prima facie and that the Neo-Traditionalists have clearly chosen the interpretation that suits their resistance position, it now remains for us to prove our position, namely, that the rule given by St. Vincent holds that either condition — universality in space or in time — suffices to render a doctrine Catholic and part of the universal ordinary (and therefore infallible) Magisterium.

As always, we are not asking anyone to take our mere word for this. The eminent Cardinal Johannes B. Franzelin, S.J., wrote about the true meaning of the rule laid down by St. Vincent of Lerins in his great erudite work De Divina Traditione et Scriptura, published in Rome in 1875. We are making available the Latin original as well as an English translation of Thesis XXIV of Cardinal Franzelin’s study, in the following file:

“The True Sense of the Vincentian Canon”
by Cardinal Johann Baptist Franzelin, S.J.
(Click to Download / PDF Format; ~25 MB)

The English translation is by Prof. C. A. Heurtley, D.D., and is taken from the bilingual Latin-English edition of St. Vincent of Lerins’ Commonitorium Against Heresies (Sainte Croix du Mont: Tradibooks, 2008), pp. 166-173. We obtained the Latin original, which we have appended as part of the downloadable PDF file linked above, from a theological library, but there is a free electronic copy available online here.

In this treatise, which we hope everyone will read, His Eminence explains that the true sense of the Vincentian Canon is that the apostolicity of a doctrine is sufficiently established by either its antiquity or its universal consensus throughout the Church at any given point in time. This is evident, the cardinal explains, from the very words of St. Vincent when viewed in their immediate context but also in light of a study of the entire Commonitorium.

If the past is any indication, there will not be wanting now a number of individuals who object, “But this is just Cardinal Franzelin’s opinion!” To which we respond, first, that it is not simply Cardinal Franzelin’s “opinion”, as will be shown momentarily; and secondly, that even if it were merely his opinion, then it would behoove all of us — we, who are, shall we say, a little bit less educated in Sacred Theology than Cardinal Franzelin was — to adhere to his opinion rather than our own. The works of Cardinal Franzelin were used in the education of priests in the Roman Pontifical Universities — not something that can be said of the books of Abp. Lefebvre, or Michael Davies, or (ouch!) John Salza.

But of course the Austrian Jesuit cardinal is not alone in his correct understanding of the Vincentian Canon. Mgr. Gerard van Noort, writing in his third volume on dogmatic theology, likewise sets the record straight on the rule of St. Vincent — and notes that the people who have in the past interpreted it in the same restrictive sense as the Resisters do today, were the Old Catholic heretics in the 19th century, who rejected the First Vatican Council:

Scholion. The theological value of monuments of tradition in general. The canon of St. Vincent.

1. On the basis of the foregoing remarks, it is easy to solve the question of the value of ancient monuments [=Creeds, solemn definitions, liturgical books, writings of theologians, etc.—see p. 162] as a whole for the identification of a genuine tradition. Their value is proportionate to the proof they offer for the fact that at one time or other the ecclesi­astical magisterium was in morally unanimous agreement on some doctrine or other as revealed. They constitute a compelling argu­ment, then, (a) whenever they bear witness to a solemn definition of the infallible magisterium concerning a revealed truth; (b) whenever they offer sure proof for the morally universal agreement of the world-wide magisterium on a doctrine as revealed. To secure this effect it is enough at times to have monuments which may be few in number but which are known, because of special circum­stances, to represent the belief of the universal Church.

On the other hand, when the available monuments are not of sufficient weight to prove the agreement of antiquity, or when they positively show that this agreement did not exist at one time, one may not immediately jump to the conclusion that this doctrine does not belong to apostolic Tradition. In the first case, there could have been a quite explicit and clear agreement without its being proved in written documents, since not everything found its way into writing and not everything which was ever written has been pre­served. As for the second case, it must be pointed out that not everything which is formally contained in apostolic Tradition was always clearly and explicitly taught in the Church. There is a very real progress in the knowledge and formulation of Christian revela­tion, a point which will be taken up expressly in the Treatise on Faith. Again, a full explanation of matters contained in the deposit of revelation only rather vaguely or implicitly is not usually worked out without some discussion, and such discussion can sometimes go on for quite a while. In the case of truths like this, the one sure and reliable criterion of Tradition is the gradually growing and, finally, perfectly harmonious agreement of the living magisterium, to which the Holy Spirit was promised not only for the material safeguarding but also for the explanation of Tradition. The documents of an­tiquity then, are of value to the extent that they show that the luxuriant tree of present-day belief grew to its present estate, under the tender care of authorized gardeners, from the seed of the ancient faith.

2.  It is in the light of the above that judgment must be passed on the canon drawn up by Vincent Lerins (434 A.D.), which came in for a great deal of abuse at the hands of our adversaries, especi­ally at the time of the Vatican Council. The canon reads as follows: “Great care is to be taken that we hold that which has been be­lieved everywhere, always, and by all, for this is truly and properly Catholic.” Vincent’s intention was to give private individuals a criterion for discerning the truth in the case of a controversy which had just arisen and had not yet been solemnly decided by the magisterium.

He enunciated the following principles: (a) if only a few disagree, one must follow the morally unanimous agreement of the churches as currently expressed: “agreement of totality”; but (b) if quite a few disagree (so that at the present time no morally unanimous consent is discernible), one ought to stand by the agree­ment which obtained before the controversy arose: “agreement of antiquity.”

Now this rule of thumb, while it is sometimes hard to apply, is quite all right in the affirmative sense: when agreement on a doc­trine as revealed either exists at present or existed formerly, it must certainly be followed. But it is not valid in the exclusive sense: it is not antecedently impossible to have a “truly and properly Catholic,” i.e., a revealed, doctrine on which explicit agreement does not exist at the present time and did not formerly exist. St. Vincent himself certainly did not mean his canon to be taken in the exclusive sense, since in the same work he clearly acknowledges and, in fact, praises highly the development of faith by a progressively more distinct and lucid teaching of age-old truth.

It should be noted in addition that Vincent did not understand his canon, even in the affirmative sense, as requiring absolutely unanimous agreement, and even less did he propose it as a norm for the acceptance or rejection of the living magisterium’s doctrinal decisions. Any appeal to his authority on the part of the Old Catholic sect is, accordingly, misguided and pointless.

It may of course seem surprising that St. Vincent did not refer his readers to the judgment of the Roman pontiff. But it must be remembered, in the first place, that he was dealing with the case of a fresh controversy about which no solemn decision had as yet been issued. Recall, too, that at that time the doctrine of the infallibility of the Roman pontiff had not yet received the full and brilliant scientific treatment which later ages were to give it. Present-day Catholics are quite familiar with the fact that this prerogative belongs to the pope himself as distinct (but not sepa­rate) from the episcopal college; but those of an earlier age were more inclined to consider the supreme pontiff as he is conjoined with the body episcopal. It is largely a question of emphasis.

(Mgr. G. van Noort, Dogmatic Theology III: The Sources of Revelation [Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1961], pp. 163-166; nn. 159-160; italics given; footnotes removed; underlining added; available in part online here.)

So, we see that van Noort agrees entirely with Cardinal Franzelin, and even adds that it was the so-called Old Catholics who used the same false interpretation of the Canon of St. Vincent that the Semi-Trad Resisters use today — the difference only being that the Old Catholics used it to reject Vatican I and papal infallibility, while the Resisters use is to reject Vatican II and the postconciliar teachings!

Don’t believe it? We did some research and found that the most prominent Old Catholic, the heretic and schismatic Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger — excommunicated in 1871 — used the Vincentian Canon precisely in the way the Semi-Traditionalists use it today: as requiring that the Church can only legitimately teach what has already been taught “always, everywhere, by all”. He makes this argument in a work he wrote under the pseudonym of “Janus”, entitled The Pope and the Council (see pp. 46, 89 of The Pope and the Council, 2nd ed. [New York: Scriber, Welford and Co., 1869]). We are deliberately not linking to this source because the book has been put on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Holy See, and is not permitted to be read by Catholics without special dispensation. 

Dollinger’s book was refuted a year later by Cardinal Joseph Hergenrother’s Anti-Janus: An Historico-Theological Criticism of the Work entitled “The Pope and the Council”. On page 250, Hergenrother addresses Dollinger’s use of the Vincentian Canon and states: “The Canon of Vincent Lerins is not merely to be understood of what is to be believed explicitly; he, like other ecclesiastical authors, expressly assumes a progress even in matters of Faith.”

This is a key point, because neither Cardinal Franzelin, nor Mgr. van Noort, nor we are saying that the Catholic Magisterium can teach any doctrine that may strike the Pope’s or bishops’ fancy. Of course the doctrine must be contained in the ancient Deposit of Faith entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ to His holy Apostles. But whether it is part of the Deposit of Faith or not is not for each believer to determine after the fact (a posteriori). Rather, what they teach is divinely guaranteed to be part of the Deposit of Faith (when infallible), or at least consonant with it (when non-infallible). 

We may say thus that universality in time is not an a posteriori criterion to be applied to magisterial teaching by each individual Catholic after such teaching has been promulgated, which would make our private (and quite non-infallible!) determination of it being found in the Deposit of Faith into a condition on which hinges our acceptance of said doctrine. Rather, conformity with Tradition is the effect of a doctrine being taught universally in space (“everywhere… by all”) today.

When evaluating whether a doctrine set forth by the legitimate Catholic hierarchy in union with the Pope is to be accepted, one can hardly put as a condition the content of the doctrine, for this would involve us in circular reasoning, for it would require us to know the truth apart from the rightful Catholic teaching authority — not to mention ahead of time. But the position taken by the Resisters reduces the Church’s Magisterium to being no more than an organ of repeating what is already known, endowed with a useless pseudo-infallibility that is enjoyed whenever something is promulgated that is, well, correct. But this kind of “authority” and “infallibility” is enjoyed by everyone, even Protestants, Pagans, and atheists — according to the Semi-Trad understanding of things, these people too are infallible and must be listened to when what they say is correct, need they not?

This point is explained very well in an insightful talk by Fr. Gabriel Lavery, who touches on the whole controversy about the Vincentian Canon, and quotes even more sources than we have here that confirm the position of Cardinal Franzelin and Mgr. van Noort. He furthermore expounds beautifully the childlike trust and confidence a Catholic can and must have in the true Church:

“The Ordinary Magisterium and Devotion to the Pope”
by Fr. Gabriel Lavery, CMRI
(Click to Download or Stream / mp3 Format)

This lecture was given in 2011 at the annual Fatima Conference hosted by the sedevacantists at Mount Saint Michael in Spokane, Washington. We hope all our readers listen to this very rewarding audio, which is here made available free of charge, courtesy of Traditional Catholic Sermons.

As we have shown, the Semi-Trad Resisters have things entirely backwards. The Church guarantees that if all the bishops spread throughout the world in union with the Pope teach something as divinely revealed today, then it is not only binding but even infallible, and it is necessarily part the Deposit of Faith, that is, it was indeed believed and taught before, although not necessarily explicitly but perhaps merely implicitly. 

We know that such teaching is contained in the Deposit of Faith because the bishops are teaching it in union with the Pope at any given point. This is how the Church works — this is the Church which our Lord established as the safe and infallible guide for our souls, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), “that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14).

Don’t take our word for it — read it for yourself in the teachings of the Popes. For example:

In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in relation to dogmas of which the obstinate denial cannot be disjoined from the crime of heresy. Nay, further, it is not enough sincerely and firmly to assent to doctrines which, though not defined by any solemn pronouncement of the Church, are by her proposed to belief, as divinely revealed, in her common and universal teaching, and which the [First] Vatican Council declared are to be believed "with Catholic and divine faith." But this likewise must be reckoned amongst the duties of Christians, that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the Apostolic See. 

And how fitting it is that this should be so any one can easily perceive. For the things contained in the divine oracles have reference to God in part, and in part to man, and to whatever is necessary for the attainment of his eternal salvation. Now, both these, that is to say, what we are bound to believe and what we are obliged to do, are laid down, as we have stated, by the Church using her divine right, and in the Church by the supreme Pontiff

Wherefore it belongs to the Pope to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 24)

...[I]n order that no falsification or corruption of the divine law but a true genuine knowledge of it may enlighten the minds of men and guide their conduct, it is necessary that a filial and humble obedience towards the Church should be combined with devotedness to God and the desire of submitting to Him. For Christ Himself made the Church the teacher of truth in those things also which concern the right regulation of moral conduct, even though some knowledge of the same is not beyond human reason. ...[God] has constituted the Church the guardian and the teacher of the whole of the truth concerning religion and moral conduct; to her therefore should the faithful show obedience and subject their minds and hearts so as to be kept unharmed and free from error and moral corruption, and so that they shall not deprive themselves of that assistance given by God with such liberal bounty, they ought to show this due obedience not only when the Church defines something with solemn judgment, but also, in proper proportion, when by the constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, opinions are prescribed and condemned as dangerous or distorted.

Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord.

(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Casti Connubii, nn. 103-104)

People today tend to believe that the Church can oblige us to adhere to her teaching only in virtue of the fact (and to the extent) that such teaching is guaranteed to be free from error, so that truth, apparently discerned privately and obtained from a third source, becomes the only criterion. But such an idea entirely demolishes the teaching authority of the Church, for to say that a teacher can only make his students accept what he teaches when such teaching is true, is to say that the teacher, qua teacher, has no authority all — the obligation to accept the teaching then would come from the teaching itself, not from the teacher. 

But our Lord established not just teaching, as the Protestants would have it, but a teacher as well, and not just any teacher — He established for us a Church with a genuine teaching office, which is at times infallible, at times not infallible, but always authoritative and binding, meaning she commands our assent, not in virtue of Faith or infallibility necessarily, but always at least in virtue of her status as the divinely-appointed Teacher to whom each member of the Church must be obedient, and to whom each of us has an obligation to submit his intellect and will. 

Canon George Smith makes this very point quite compellingly:

It is important, I think, to distinguish two aspects of teaching authority. It may be regarded as an authority in dicendo or an authority in jubendo, that is, as an authority which commands intellectual assent or as a power which demands obedience; and the two aspects are by no means inseparable. I can imagine an authority which constitutes a sufficient motive to command assent, without however being able to impose belief as a moral obligation. A professor learned in some subject upon which I am ignorant (let me confess - astronomy) - may tell me wonderful things about the stars. He may be to my knowledge the leading authority - virtually infallible - on his own subject; but I am not bound to believe him. I may be foolish, I may be sceptical; but the professor does not possess that authority over me which makes it my bounden duty to accept his word. On the other hand the school-boy who dissents, even internally, from what his teacher tells him, is insufferably conceited, and if he disagrees openly he is insubordinate and deserves to be punished. By virtue of his position as authoritative teacher the schoolmaster has a right to demand the obedient assent of his pupils; not merely because he is likely to know more about the subject than those over whom he is set - he may be incompetent - but because he is deputed by a legitimate authority to teach them.

However, let us not exaggerate. Ad impossibile nemo tenetur. The human mind cannot accept statements which are absurd, nor can it be obliged to do so. A statement can be accepted by the mind only on condition that it is credible: that it involves no evident contradiction, and that the person who vouches for its truth is known to possess the knowledge and veracity which make it worthy of credence; and in the absence of such conditions the obligation of acceptance ceases. On the other hand, where a legitimately constituted teaching authority exists their absence will not lightly be presumed. On the contrary, obedience to authority (considered as authority in jubendo) will predispose to the assumption that they are present.

Turning now to the Church, and with this distinction still in mind, we are confronted by an institution to which Christ, the Word Incarnate, has entrusted the office of teaching all men: "Going therefore teach ye all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” [Mt 28:19-20]. Herein lies the source of the obligation to believe what the Church teaches. The Church possesses the divine commission to teach, and hence there arises in the faithful a moral obligation to believe, which is founded ultimately, not upon the infallibility of the Church, but upon God's sovereign right to the submission and intellectual allegiance (rationabile obsequium) of His creatures: “He that believeth...shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned” [Mk 16:16]. It is the God-given right of the Church to teach, and therefore it is the bounden duty of the faithful to believe.

But belief, however obligatory, is possible only on condition that the teaching proposed is guaranteed as credible. And therefore Christ added to His commission to teach the promise of the divine assistance: “Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world” [Mt 28:20]. This divine assistance implies that, at any rate within a certain sphere, the Church teaches infallibly; and consequently, at least within those limits, the credibility of her teaching is beyond question. When the Church teaches infallibly the faithful know that what she teaches belongs, either directly or indirectly, to the depositum fidei committed to her by Christ; and their faith thus becomes grounded, immediately or mediately, upon the divine authority. But the infallibility of the Church does not, precisely as such, render belief obligatory. It renders her teaching divinely credible. What makes belief obligatory is her divine commission to teach.

(Canon George Smith, “Must I Believe It?”, The Clergy Review, vol. 9 [April, 1935], pp. 296-309; underlining added.)

Through the grave errors spread the by the Resisters in our day, a great many who consider themselves true and traditional Catholics have lost sight of the fact that the real Catholic Church, the one established by our Blessed Lord, is beautiful — “not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing”, but "holy, and without blemish” (Eph 5:27). She is His Bride, immaculate, entirely trustworthy, always leading her children safely to their eternal home. To this end, she enjoys “perfect and perpetual immunity ... from error and heresy” (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Quas Primas, n. 22).

Needless to say, this description obviously does not fit the Vatican II Church, and no Semi-Traditionalist treats the Novus Ordo institution in this manner.

But let’s assume for a moment that the Resisters are right in their treating the mark of antiquity as a self-verified condition for Church teaching being infallible or even binding, and apart from which positive verification each Catholic is permitted to suspend assent until someone can convince him otherwise. Then what? How do they envision this scenario to work in practice?

Think of the average Catholic farmer, day laborer, soldier, or carpenter in the year 1628. He receives his instruction in the Catholic Faith from the approved catechism in his diocese, typically through his pastor. How does he know that what he is being taught — for example, the necessity of actual grace for any work to be supernaturally meritorious — was always taught before? How would he know? Is he expected to suspend supporting his family and devote his time to educating himself, perhaps first in reading and writing in general, and then learning Latin, and then studying Church history and the ancient Fathers and all magisterial documents, copies of which are probably nowhere near him, and extremely expensive to produce? And is he then, if, for example, he cannot find any mention of indulgences between the years 536 and 819, supposed to reject what his pastor, his bishop, and his Pope are teaching him? Is this how Catholicism works — making each individual the final arbiter of what is to be believed or held? Is this not Protestantism with a Catholic veneer?

The Resistance error is clearly a novelty whose entire feasibility rests on the educational and technological advancements of our times. What is so casually claimed and taken for granted today (“Reject it if it’s not in Tradition!”) by people like John Salza, John Vennari, Michael Matt, or Christopher Ferrara, would have been a virtual impossibility for almost all Catholics during almost the entire history of the Church, until very recent times.

The “universal in time” error is also very convenient, as it allows for a rejection of Novus Ordo teaching while at the same time escaping the dreaded specter of Sedevacantism. But it is also extremely dangerous, not only because it distorts Catholic truth and twists the meaning of a dogma of the Faith, but also because it helps to keep alive the Novus Ordo Sect, which can only retain its force and credibility so long as people believe its leaders to be the legitimate authorities of the Catholic Church and successors of the Apostles. The Neo-Traditionalists, then, are not at all a threat to the Vatican II Church, for they continually feed the beast by their public declaration that this Modernist harlot is in fact the Bride of Christ — they just “resist” her impurity!

All this is not to say, of course, that the Church can teach anything she pleases, any heresy or novelty whatsoever, and we must swallow it, as we already saw. Rather, what it means is that the Church is divinely guaranteed not to lead her children astray, even when her teaching is not proposed infallibly, a thought that should fill us with love, gratitude, consolation, and devotion, for the Church is the true divinely-appointed Teacher over all the faithful, sometimes infallible, but always authoritative, and from her teaching no dissent is possible. 

The idea promoted by the Resisters — which is driven by the stench of heresy, error, and impiety in Novus Ordo doctrine, law, and practice on the one hand and a stubborn refusal to consider Sedevacantism as an acceptable alternative on the other — that the Holy See is in need of a self-appointed doctrinal babysitter, such as the Society of St. Pius X, a newspaper editor in Minnesota, or a lawyer in Virginia, is wholly absurd, contrary to reason, contrary to Church teaching, and wholly unworkable. We have demonstated this to be the case many times in the past, but we will refer you to only three of our prior posts and articles on this topic:

To summarize: St. Vincent, with the approval of the Church, has given us two fundamental rules that allow us to discern the orthodoxy of a doctrine during a controversy the Holy See has not yet settled: If it has always been taught and believed in the past (universality in time); and if it is taught and believed by everyone (universality in space). Either of these two conditions suffices — thus says St. Vincent himself, and this explanation we have from weighty theological sources, and it admits of no reasonable alternative.

The Semi-Trad Resisters, in their confusion, mistake universality in time as a condition which all teaching must meet in order for the Church to be able to command assent — a condition which each believer must apparently verify for himself. Such a position, however, is not only absurd and unworkable, it also denies the teaching power the Church possesses by divine institution, a power with which Christ Jesus endowed her so as to enable her to command the assent of the faithful for the simple reason that she is the divinely appointed Teacher of whom it is true to say, “He who hears you, hears me” (Lk 10:16) and who has the divine mission to teach all nations (see Mt 28:19-20). Such a mission can only be fulfilled by the Church if her members have an obligation to adhere to her teaching.

The effect of the misunderstanding of the Vincentian Canon by the Neo-Traditionalists is that they hold, in theory as well as in practice, that the Church can simply teach anything whatsoever, and it is then incumbent upon each believer (or at least each cleric) to sift through this teaching and apply the (misunderstood) rule of St. Vincent each time to discern if the doctrine can safely be held. If universality in time (antiquity) cannot be verified for a given doctrine, then, according to the Resisters, it is to be discarded, ignored, minimzed, contradicted, refuted — often under pain of losing one’s soul. This, we have seen, is absurd, unworkable, and at grave odds with Catholic teaching.

Having thus expounded the true meaning of the Vincentian Canon, we can see what a frightening reality the Neo-Traditionalists must now face — for it is clear that the heresies and errors of Vatican II and the post-conciliar Magisterium, are clearly taught by the unanimous consent of all the people they acknowledge as valid shepherds and legitimate Catholic teaching authorities.

One simply cannot escape the conclusion: The Novus Ordo Church is not the Roman Catholic Church, and its “Popes” and “bishops” are false shepherds devoid of the True Faith and devoid of any legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

St. Vincent of Lerins, pray for us.

See Also:

Novus Ordo Watch Fundraiser

Rare Book Available:


No Crisis in the Church?
by Simon Galloway

In 2006, British author Simon F. Galloway published a terrific work entitled No Crisis in the Church?, which consists mostly of a side-by-side comparison of Catholic doctrine and Novus Ordo teaching — i.e. contrasting Catholic teaching before Vatican II with “Catholic” teaching since the council.

Although not a sedevacantist, the editor, compiler, and author Simon Galloway has done a tremendous service to the world by juxtaposing the Modernist teachings with the true Catholic doctrine, side by side, highlighting their inherent contradictions and blowing to pieces the fabled “hermeneutic of continuity” promoted by so many Neo-Catholics and Neo-Traditionalists. We do not, of course, in any way mean to endorse the “resistance” position held by this author — we simply promote this book in order to make known the many instances in which one can see conciliar and post-conciliar teaching contradict one another. This is the real accomplishment of this work.

The book is divided into various parts and ends with sundry appendices and a post-script. Here are the highlights from the table of contents:

  • Part A: “Christian Ecumenism”
  • Part B: “Religious Liberty”
  • Part C: “The New World Religion”
  • Part D: “The New World Order”
  • Part E: “Miscellaneous Subjects on Faith and Morals”
  • Appendix 1: Jewish Freemasonry on the Subversion of the Catholic Church and State
  • Appendix 2: Jewish Freemasonry on the Infiltration of the Church and State
  • Appendix 3: The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita Masonic Lodge of the Carbonari against the Catholic Church
  • Appendix 4: Important Quotes from Freemasons about the Catholic Church
  • Appendix 5: A List of Alleged Masons in the Catholic Hierarchy
  • Appendix 6: The Full Version of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
  • Appendix 7: The Oath Against Modernism

No Crisis in the Church? is a handy compendium of Novus Ordo errors and how they are opposed to genuine Catholic doctrine — a great reference work to have available when people challenge you to “show me one doctrine that has been contradicted!” 

The book consists of a total of 268 pages and was published in 2006 by New Olive Press in the United Kingdom. Its subtitle is: “A rigorous comparison of Catholic Church teachings before and after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65)”. For reasons unknown to us, the author has since withdrawn the book from publication, and it is very difficult to obtain any copies at all at this point.

A brief review of the work, with more detail, can be found here:

By divine providence,  we have recently been able to obtain two paperback copies (both used, but in very good condition). We are willing to sell them to our visitors; however, only as part of a fundraiser for Novus Ordo Watch. In a nutshell, we would like to have an informal auction and sell the copies to the highest bidder(s). We ourselves paid $56 for each copy, and we request a donation to Novus Ordo Watch of at least 100 USD for each copy (you can bid either on both copies together or just one).

If you are interested in supporting our cause and receiving a copy of this book, please email us at 


We ask all who are interested in participating in this fundraising auction to submit their names no later than August 16, 2015 to us by email. Once we have a list of interested parties, we will email each one and give further instructions on how to proceed. (There is no obligation until you expressly commit to a particular bid — for the initial email, please just send your name and email address and state that you are interested in participating.)

This is simply our way of raising money while at the same time offering our readers and supporters a great opportunity to obtain a very informative, very hard-to-find book.

See Also:

Looking for More? We only keep the 10 most recent blog posts on this page. For more, check the monthly Wire Archive... well as the News Archive, which we maintained before our Wire Blog:

2013: 01/1302/13
2012: 01-03/1204/1205/1206/1207/1208/1209/1210/1211/1212/12
2011: 02/1105/1108/1110/11
2010: 01/1002/1005/1006/1007/1008/1010/1012/10
2009: 01/0902/0903/0904/0905/0907/0911/09   
2008: 01/0802/0803/0804/0805/0806/0809/0810/0812/08

2007: 01/0706/0707/0708/0709/0710/0711/0712/07
2006: 01/0602/0603/0604/0605/0606/0607/0608/0609/0610/0611/0612/06
2005: 01/0502/0503/0504/0505/0506/0507/0508/0509/0510/0511/0512/05
2004: 01/0402/0403/0404/0405/0406/0407/0408/0409/0410/0411/0412/04
2003: 01-03/0304-05/0306/0307/0308/0309/0310/0311/0312/03

2002: 10-12/02

We are not responsible for the content of externally-linked web pages. We do not necessarily endorse the content linked, unless this is explicitly stated. When linked content is endorsed by Novus Ordo Watch, this endorsement does not necessarily extend to everything expressed by the organization, entity, editor, or author of said content.

Fair Use Notice:

This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human, religious, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. For more information go to If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.