“Reveal to the faithful the wolves which are demolishing the Lord's vineyard.”
—Pope Clement XIII, Encyclical
Christianae Reipublicae (1766)


Ongoing Amoris Laetitia Fallout: CHAOS WATCH (click)


Response to Hilary White

Comedy Hour at The Remnant: “Francis is the Pope Until the Pope Says He’s Not”


Peek-a-boo! Is he or isn’t he?

Apparently there is a new policy in place at the semi-traditionalist flagship publication The Remnant: Bloggers can write whatever they please about the Papacy, even if it contradicts the Faith, as long as they don’t endorse Sedevacantism.


Most recent case in point: A blog post by Hilary White (pictured left) entitled, “Francis is the Pope Until the Pope Says He’s Not”. The title offers a good preview of the confused theology that follows in the body of the text, where a copious amount of hot air combines with unorthodox theological ideas to create a dangerous concoction that seeks to make up for a woeful lack of Catholicism.

White’s post is written in response to Ann Barnhardt’s recent announcement that she is convinced now that Francis is an Antipope and that the true Pope is Benedict XVI. (Our response to and analysis of Barnhardt’s article can be found here.) Barnhardt’s change of mind with regard to the Argentinian Jesuit apostate came after his declaration that “fidelity” in fornication equals a real marriage (!) and that in his estimation, the “great majority” of marriages are invalid because of a “culture” that makes people not know what they are saying when they promise “till death do us part”. (We took Francis to the woodshed on this here.)

White’s reply to Barnhardt can be found in its entirety here:

Below we will reproduce White’s text in blue font and intersperse our own comments in black:

Our friend Ann Barnhardt has sent up a flare this week, declaring, like Italian journalist Antonio Socci, her belief that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is not Pope Francis, that his election was invalid and he is an antipope, mainly because Pope Benedict XVI is still lawfully the pope. She has presented as her evidence Bergoglio’s “heresies, blasphemies and antichristological actions,” as well as a canonical detail that, she correctly points out, no one is yet talking about. She has asked for responses.

Now, no one will accuse me of being a Francis apologist, but I cannot really completely agree with Ann’s conclusion. 

While Miss White clearly does not mean to be a Francis apologist, she is one de facto, simply by defending his claim to being the Pope of the Catholic Church. It is this idea that gives him all the legitimacy he needs to destroy souls on a massive scale. It does not matter how much she may “resist” this or that from Francis — the fact alone that she proclaims from the housetops and tells others that this man is the head of the Catholic Church inflicts incalculable damage to souls wherever her voice reaches, because unlike the people at The Remnant, most people in the world, no matter their religion, still understand that if Francis is the Pope of the Catholic Church, then his religion is necessarily the Catholic religion — fancy blog posts from journalists and slyly-argued articles from retired lawyers notwithstanding. All those who vociferously defend Francis’ claim to the Papacy in public ought to be aware that, regardless of their intentions, they will one day have to answer for the damage they have caused in all the souls their writings have reached. Jeffrey Knight’s talk “Culpable Ignorance and the Great Apostasy” provides a sobering reality check on this.

It is not that I am sure that her thesis is in error, or even that I believe with certainty that Jorge Bergoglio was legitimately elected while Benedict XVI still lived and still bore that name. I think my objections aren’t really objections in a proper sense. I don’t have at this stage in the horror show any real objection to someone thinking that perhaps Bergoglio is an antipope. It seems like a pretty sane conclusion on the face of it. And when is an honest evaluation of observable facts not legitimate?

Well, at least White is now able to admit this much — thank you.

So what are my reservations? They are two-fold. First, although her points are useful, factual and important, (and, quite importantly, presented without the strident demands for agreement that usually characterize this kind of claim) I still believe that we lay people are not in a position to make the call.

Fair enough for starters, but being a layman versus being a cleric has absolutely nothing to do with this.

I am remembering that I’m the one who frequently makes the assertion that what I have dubbed “Novusordoism” is an entirely different religion from Catholicism. 

Yes, Miss White, and we remember that you are also the one who refuses to state that the head of this entirely different religion cannot also be the head of the Catholic religion. You are acting like someone who knows that Jack is a bachelor but refuses to say that therefore we know Jack is unmarried.

I know that she is a thoughtful person whose first interest is the Great Commission; the salvation of souls. I also know that she is not a sedevacantist in any sense, but my response to her is going to be similar to my response to them: You can believe it. I think we have come to such a pass, the situation is so mind-bogglingly insane and evil, that it is natural to consider it. And it is perfectly sensible to put forward evidence and arguments to support your belief. But this is the Catholic Church. When a situation of such gravity arises, we on the ground, in the midst of the chaos, are not given the perspective or the objectivity required to make a call definitively. And as Ann herself admits, we don’t have the authority.

So here White asserts that “we on the ground” (is that supposed to mean “we laymen”?) “are not given the perspective or the objectivity”, but she lists no evidence in support of this curious thesis. She asserts it gratuitously, and this is troubling, because it does not at all stand to reason. What is it in being a layman that would necessarily prevent one from having the needed “perspective or the objectivity”? White doesn’t say.

Of course, the claim is no doubt reassuring and comforting in an emotional-psychological sense because it allows one to conveniently pass the buck on to someone else — as in, “This isn’t my responsibility… Next!” — all the while, of course, doing your own thing and refusing submission to the putative Pope. Yet it is this “do your own thing in the meantime” that always gets passed over in silence and is in fact taken for granted by semi-traditionalists like White while they pontificate about what we can and can’t say about Jorge Bergoglio. But that’s not how things work in the Catholic Church, and, in White’s own words, “This is the Catholic Church.” Well then!

The reason why White and those of her persuasion can so easily assert that Francis is Pope or that we must believe he is until someone “up there” says otherwise, is that they don’t submit to him anyway. His status — Pope or Antipope — has ultimately no bearing on anything they believe or do. They are essentially independent from him, which is the very essence of schism. Protestations that “we believe in the papacy” or “we recognize the Pope” and what not, do not suffice to make up for that. To the contrary:

What good is it to proclaim aloud the dogma of the supremacy of St. Peter and his successors? What good is it to repeat over and over declarations of faith in the Catholic Church and of obedience to the Apostolic See when actions give the lie to these fine words? Moreover, is not rebellion rendered all the more inexcusable by the fact that obedience is recognized as a duty? Again, does not the authority of the Holy See extend, as a sanction, to the measures which We have been obliged to take, or is it enough to be in communion of faith with this See without adding the submission of obedience, — a thing which cannot be maintained without damaging the Catholic Faith?

…In fact, Venerable Brothers and beloved Sons, it is a question of recognizing the power (of this See), even over your churches, not merely in what pertains to faith, but also in what concerns discipline. He who would deny this is a heretic; he who recognizes this and obstinately refuses to obey is worthy of anathema.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quae in Patriarchatu [Sept. 1, 1876], nn. 23-24; in Acta Sanctae Sedis X [1877], pp. 3-37; English taken from Papal Teachings: The Church, nn. 433-434; underlining added.)

Earlier this year, the SSPX Superior General Bp. Bernard Fellay demonstrated that his idea of “recognizing the Pope” does not go much further than nicely saying hello to him when he sees him. Oh well. 

In essence, my position is the same as it has been all along: Francis is the pope until a future pope says he’s not. It’s a difficult thing to accept – particularly for modern people who like to solve problems on their own, but that is the reality of the Church. This mess – and I know that there has never in our entire multi-millennial history been a worse one – is not going to be sorted out by us. Our task, however frustrating, is to live as Catholics in these times, with this catastrophe, with this painful ambiguity. This is the Cross of this moment.

Yes, our task is to live as Catholics, but the problem is that part of what being Catholic is, is to submit to the Vicar of Christ. That is an integral part of the Catholic Faith, defined infallibly and dogmatically by the First Vatican Council. It is not optional, not a nice-to-have, not an elective “add-on”, not a luxury item that can just be dispensed with as each individual believer sees the need. We have shown this again and again on this web site, and we’re not going to repeat all the magisterial quotes here. People who are interested in learning about this in depth should have a look at our collection of articles posted here.

Just to be clear, Ann has specifically repudiated any claim to be speaking authoritatively, quite in contrast to the sedes. I’ve spoken with her and she has confirmed that it is not her intention to do as the sedes do. But plenty of people do. I have sedes – perhaps the most obnoxious jerks ever to stain the interwebs – more or less continually getting into my Twitface realms and flatly demanding that I agree with them and accusing me of being “not Catholic” if I don’t. Hubris much? 

Ah yes, the “authority” argument. It has been addressed and refuted so many times, but too often sedevacantist rejoinders fall on deaf ears. Let’s try one more time: In a nutshell, it simply does not require special authority to point out that what cannot be true, is not true. It is the authority of human reason, enjoyed by all who are in possession of their faculties, that assures us of the truth of this claim. Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany in his book exposing Liberalism roundly refuted the error of making the recognition of a manifest heretic a matter of special authority:

The question whether Jorge Bergoglio is a public Catholic or a public non-Catholic cannot be a matter of opinion: We know what he professes in public, and we know how he acts in public. That is all we need to be able to make a judgment (not a legal one but a cognitive one), and the objective evidence says — nay, screams — that the man is not a Roman Catholic. Any 7-year-old child would not be allowed to make his First Communion if he uttered the things Francis professes. Francis is not a Catholic but a Modernist, a Naturalist, a Sillonist, an Ecumenist, an Indifferentist, a Communist — and he embraces a whole lot of other “-isms” that do not begin with “Catholic-”.

The evidence is so overwhelming that no one who knows what Catholicism is and what Francis has been saying and doing, can deny it. (If you need a refresher, our “Pope” Francis Page is available here.) There is no room for opinion here: No one is allowed to say that a man who professes Francis’ heresies and errors is a Catholic. We can say this with certitude because we know what Catholicism is, and hence we necessarily also know what is not Catholicism, i.e. what contradicts Catholicism. These are two sides of the same coin. If we know what a Catholic is, then we know what a heretic is.

Notice that everything we have just said pertains entirely to the order of fact, not to the order of law. No sedevacantist could issue a legal judgment against Francis, because such a legal judgment would indeed require special authority. But the legal judgment, although desirable, is not necessary to be able to know that Francis is an apostate and thus not Pope. It is not necessary because the fact of Francis’ apostasy is manifest — if it weren’t manifest, we wouldn’t be talking about it. In canonical language, Francis’ departure from the faith is “notorious in fact”, and even in an ecclesiastical trial what is notorious does not need any further proof, much less a judgment:

[T]he judge, and in general the person in authority, holding what is notorious to be certain and proved, requires no further information, and therefore, both may and ought to refrain from any judicial inquiry, proof, or formalities, which would otherwise be necessary. For these inquiries and formalities having as their object to enlighten the judge, are useless when the fact is notorious. Such is the true meaning of the axiom that in notorious matters the judge need not follow the judicial procedure….

(The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Notoriety, Notorious”)

White mentions that there are sedevacantists who “demand” that she agree with them, else she is not a Catholic. Can a sedevacantist do that? Does this not require the very “authority” we have just said we don’t have?


Binding someone else’s conscience does indeed require ecclesiastical authority, something no sedevacantist has. If any sedevacantist were to pretend that he has the right of himself to bind someone else’s conscience, he would be mistaken and act unjustly. In other words, no sedevacantist could say, “You must be a sedevacantist because I say so.” This would clearly be impermissible. But then again, is anyone doing this? If so, he is wrong. 

But this is probably not what is actually happening. Rather, most probably, people are simply pointing out to Hilary White and her coreligionists that given the empirical facts about Francis, Sedevacantism is the only conclusion that does not run into conflict with Catholic teaching. It is thus the only conclusion that is possible, and hence it is also necessary. It is for this reason that others must embrace it — not because we sedevacantists say so, as though we had any authority to bind consciences, but because according to Catholic teaching no other conclusion is possible; and since we have an obligation to adhere to Catholic teaching, we thus also have an obligation to embrace Sedevacantism. In short, the necessity for Hilary White and everyone else to be sedevacantist does not arise from sedevacantists’ say-so, it arises from the fact that all are obliged by Catholic teaching and the manifest empirical facts to arrive at this conclusion.

This, then, has nothing to do with hubris. It is simply akin to explaining to someone that if he understands what “1” means, what “2” means, what “equal” means, and what “plus” means, then he must conclude, necessarily, that 1+1=2. Or, to use our earlier example, if Jack is a bachelor and all bachelors are unmarried, then we must conclude necessarily that Jack is unmarried. No other conclusion is permitted or possible, and we cannot hide behind the copout that we “don’t have the authority” to say that Jack is unmarried. Welcome to the authority of reason.

To those who argue that the thesis that Francis is not the Pope of the Catholic Church is merely a theological opinion and not a dogma, we recommend Bp. Donald Sanborn’s response:

Meanwhile, we will continue with Hilary White:

Sedevacantism is an easy, lazy path out of our current pains and is essentially the equivalent of the papal positivists defending to the death the pope’s right to be a heretic if he wants – it’s a self-generated delusional fantasyland to go hide in. 

This is a highly polemical statement that reveals the author’s ignorance and hubris more than anything else. 

First, if anyone is “defending to the death the pope’s right to be a heretic”, it is Hilary White, The Remnant, and the rest of the recognize-but-resist crowd. We are the ones — in line with the Fathers of Vatican I, we might add — that hold that a heretical Pope is like a married bachelor: perhaps poetic but an impossibility.

Second, to call Sedevacantism “easy” and “lazy” is not only gratuitous, it is also, strictly speaking, irrelevant — what matters is not whether Sedevacantism is convenient, but whether it is true. By calling it “easy” and “lazy”, however, the objector can claim for herself the moral high ground in a somewhat concealing fashion. Without stating it explicitly, White is essentially telling her readers: “Those peasanty sedes are just too dumb and lazy to deal with the crisis. Don’t be like them — surely you are smart and zealous and therefore not a sedevacantist!” This is nothing but hot air. If anyone has created a “delusional fantasyland to go hide in”, it’s White and those who share her “recognize-and-resist” position.

If the pope isn’t really the pope and everything that has happened since 1958 doesn’t count, then none of this is their problem. It’s as if they’ve taken up opium smoking to treat a headache. We all suffer this pain but, honestly, believe me, it becomes easier to bear with the spiritual equivalent of green vegetables and exercise in the fresh air. For them I offer only one piece of advice: cancel your internet account and get a garden. Perhaps an allotment. Grow some vegetables. The internet is not a good place for you. 

More hot air — and quite fallacious, as usual. Sedevacantists adhere to the Catholic teaching that a heretical Pope is an impossibility because it contradicts the dogmas that the Pope is the head of the Church and that the Church is united in one and the same Faith. An obvious corollary to this is that we therefore do not have to deal with the absurdities of the Vatican II Church, such as a heretical Pope teaching that God blesses mortal sin (see here), which White and the “experts” at The Remnant are constantly struggling with. But this natural consequence of adhering to Catholic teaching — being free from Vatican II Sect follies — White is now trying to use against us! It is absurd. 

Pardon us, Miss White, for being Catholic. Obviously, Catholics do not have to deal with the problems that non-Catholic positions create. This lies in the nature of sound doctrine, but for White it is a reason to abandon the Catholic position. Wow. Unfortunately, we have come to expect such type of harebrained argumentation from Remnant columnists, where it appears that the only standard is that one not be a sedevacantist.


Sedevacantist? Eww...

It is puzzling, however, to see that White seems to think that just because Sedevacantism doesn’t have the problem of “heretical popes” and the whole Vatican II mess to deal with, that we therefore don’t have plenty of our own difficulties which arise from the absence of a Pope. If we want to make this about “who suffers more”, we can assure our readers that there is plenty of distress in Sedevacantism, and ironically it is oftentimes this very distress that is brought up by White’s coreligionists as “evidence” against our position

Both the sedevacantist and the recognize-and-resist positions lead to various difficulties and problems — this lies simply in the nature of the situation we have been confronted with since the death of Pope Pius XII. It is a mystery (cf. 2 Thess 2:7). The difference is that our problems are natural given the vacancy of the Apostolic See, and always resolvable in principle (namely, by a future true Pope), whereas the problems generated by the recognize-and-resist position are unsolvable even in principle, for nothing the Pope teaches or decrees has any binding authority of itself anymore, for everything hinges, at least de facto, on each individual believer’s acceptance or rejection (“resistance”) thereof. Thus they have emasculated the Papacy entirely — all because they were “too smart” for Sedevacantism or perhaps were too busy planting vegetables in their garden instead of reading up on Catholic teaching on the Papacy and the Magisterium.

As I say, Ann has not done this (and I know she has quite advanced social skills), and I know that her call for qualified people to correct her if necessary is not merely a rhetorical conceit. But I fear that her piece may encourage those who are not capable of making sufficient distinctions between what they believe and what they have the authority to assert. 

The authority to assert definitively that the last pope was not the pope, that Pope Benedict’s resignation was invalid, that the 2013 Conclave was illicit and that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is, for certain, an antipope, is solely and exclusively the purview of a real pope. Only the pope can declare such a thing definitively for the whole Church to believe. Only. Ever. 

Ah, but Miss White, wait no longer! The “Pope” has already declared as much: Francis does claim to be the legitimate Pope, you know — so the matter has already been settled! Besides, what do you do if someone in your camp decides that such a papal declaration, when it comes, needs to be “resisted”?! You people resist just about everything else, so why not also this?

The second is a bit more nuanced. I asked Ann, “What difference does it make? We can do little about it either way.” Whether a future pope or ecumenical council declares that Bergoglio was unlawfully elected, or that Benedict unlawfully resigned, leaves us in exactly the same position here and now. We are given exactly the same charge right now, whatever a future pope declares.

But why does it have to be a future Pope? Why not the current one? And what if a Pope after the future Pope then declares the future Pope to have been invalid? Do you not see where this leads, especially if ultimately each believer gets to decide whether he will accept or “resist” what the Pope says?

What difference does it make? Such a question can only be asked by someone who doesn’t submit to the Pope anyway, such that his identity would be irrelevant. We have answered this question at length before, likewise in response to a post by The Remnant:

Ann herself brings up the question of attending Masses at which his name is invoked as pope. She says she consulted a reliable priest on the subject and was given a satisfactory answer and continues to attend Masses where his pontificate is at least provisionally accepted. And I think this is the only way forward without descending into the sedevacantist rabbit hole. 

And here we see candidly stated the ultimate motive for all this bizarre and convoluted theology White and her coreligionists pass off as “traditional”: their categorical rejection of Sedevacantism. That “rabbit hole.” Anything but that! No wonder that’s exactly what they have now: anything but that. The baby has been thrown out with the bathwater, but hey — at least the bathwater is gone.

And there is nowhere to go to hide. Let’s just clear that one up. We are at the end of that trail. Butch and Sundance knew they could not get past the Bolivian army. They knew there wasn’t anywhere to run. The Spartans stood at Thermopylae not because they chose that little narrow pass, but because that was where the battle had to be fought. The ideology that Bergoglio and his followers are imposing is totalitarian. It cannot, by its nature, allow any opposition to survive anywhere. When it has taken out the big targets, it will come for you wherever you hide.

The devil had to wait for the Church to have spread around the globe, before he could use its institutional organization to corrupt it completely. Those few tiny pockets that are left are besieged. And the wreckers aren’t Mohammadans [sic] or Calvinists this time. The appalling martyrdom of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate shows no one is safe. Even those bishops who attempted to shelter them have been attacked. The papacy is being wielded as a weapon against the faithful, against the Faith, and it is a powerful one. Perhaps the most powerful on earth. There is only one power greater.

Yeah, it’s pretty tough when your at-all-costs rejection of Sedevacantism leads you so far into absurdity and heresy that you would blasphemously declare that the Papacy is a threat to the Faith and thus effectively a means of damnation, when Catholic dogma says the exact opposite. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of how these people, in their blind hatred of Sedevacantism, will say and do anything in order to avoid that conclusion.

Earlier this year we heard protests aplenty from the recognize-and-resist camp when Fr. Anthony Cekada pointed out the prevalence of a veritable phobia of Sedevacantism among the semi-traditionalists, but what is at play here if not precisely that? This stubborn anti-sedevacantist attitude is anything but rational — there is some other motive here.

So… what was that about the Papacy and salvation again?

From these events men should realize that all attempts to overthrow the “House of God” are in vain. For this is the Church founded on Peter, “Rock,” not merely in name but in truth. Against this “the gates of hell will not prevail” [Mt 16:18] “for it is founded on a rock” [Mt 7:25; Lk 6:48]. There has never been an enemy of the Christian religion who was not simultaneously at wicked war with the See of Peter, since while this See remained strong the survival of the Christian religion was assured. As St. Irenaeus proclaims openly to all, “by the order and succession of the Roman pontiffs the tradition from the Apostles in the Church and the proclamation of the truth has come down to us. And this is the fullest demonstration that it is the one and the same life-giving faith which has been preserved in the Church until now since the time of the Apostles and has been handed on in truth” [Adversus haereses, bk. 3, chap. 3].

(Pope Pius VII, Encyclical Diu Satis, n. 6)

This chair [of Peter] is the center of Catholic truth and unity, that is, the head, mother, and teacher of all the Churches to which all honor and obedience must be offered. Every church must agree with it because of its greater preeminence — that is, those people who are in all respects faithful….

Now you know well that the most deadly foes of the Catholic religion have always waged a fierce war, but without success, against this Chair; they are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion. Therefore, because of your special faith in the Church and special piety toward the same Chair of Peter, We exhort you to direct your constant efforts so that the faithful people of France may avoid the crafty deceptions and errors of these plotters and develop a more filial affection and obedience to this Apostolic See. Be vigilant in act and word, so that the faithful may grow in love for this Holy See, venerate it, and accept it with complete obedience; they should execute whatever the See itself teaches, determines, and decrees. 

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Inter Multiplices, nn. 1,7)

Union with the Roman See of Peter is ... always the public criterion of a Catholic…. “You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held”.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 13)

In the Catholic Church Christianity is incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the mystical body of Jesus Christ and which has for its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Saviour, the daughter and the heiress of His redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance, and of that immortality which have been promised it, it makes no terms with error, but remains faithful to the commands which it has received to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time and to protect it in its inviolable integrity.

(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Annum Ingressi)

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: ‘The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [Mt 16:18], cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion.’…

To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received. It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world ... referred to this apostolic see those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing…. 

For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [Lk 22:32].

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

(Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 4)

Maybe the Popes of the 19th century should also have spent more time planting vegetables in the garden. They obviously weren’t up to Hilary White’s level of theology. 

If anyone is wielding the Papacy as a weapon against the true Faith, it is people like Hilary White, whose insistence that Francis is actually the valid occupant of the Papal Throne is precisely what contributes to the destruction of the Faith in so many souls, as explained earlier.

I had a message from a priest in the US who brought his concerns to his bishop, a man he describes as “privately orthodox,” and was told with a shrug, “Well, popes come and go.” The “good” men, perhaps because acceptance of the Novusordoist regime has impaired their intellects, are doing nothing, hoping that the wolf will leave them alone until it dies on its own. What they cannot see, or are too horrified to accept, is that Francis is nothing more than the final result of a long-term plan to utterly destroy the Church as we have known it and replace it forever with something entirely different. To accomplish this plan, the enemies of Christ had to take the papacy, the last citadel. They have it now, and there is little natural hope that they will lose it.

We’ll quote Pope Pius IX once more: “…religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair [of Peter] remains intact” (Encyclical Inter Multiplices, n. 7). But, no matter. For White — and The Remnant obviously agrees — it is no problem for a true Pope to embrace and put forth a different religion, a religion other than Catholicism. No worries — the real problem is those who claim that the blaspheming apostate who imposes this false religion cannot be the Vicar of Christ. Got it.

These bishops have accepted the New Paradigm, making excuses and justifications for it, as long as there was room within it to make mental reservations, to continue to consider themselves “orthodox,” even if only “privately”. 

For White, Francis does not need to be orthodox publicly or privately to be Pope, so she’d better not be the one complaining here.

They are desperate to maintain the old Mexican standoff of the John Paul II era. These are not the men to come out shooting in a last desperate bid. They are the ones who will keep their eyes firmly clamped shut until the wolf is closing its jaws upon them. (And he is. cf: Bishops Finn ___ et al.) To paraphrase Churchill, they are feeding the sheep to the crocodile in the hopes it will eat them last.

The freakish phenomenon of Pope Francis is not just some odd anomaly that will go quietly away when he dies. We don’t have the option of just hunkering down and waiting. The comfortable John Paul II compromise is gone forever. 

But the old standoff within the New Paradigm was nothing more than the slow death of a million paper cuts anyway. “Conservative” Novusordoism was little more than a form of passive euthanasia passed off as palliative care – a death by large doses of morphine. The “conservative” no-man’s land they tried to occupy is closed. It no longer exists, and the wolves are demanding full acquiescence. Time’s up. No more morphine for you. Choose now whether to be eaten with your flock or join the wolves; to be crucified or become a crucifier. 

Now I think Ann has brought up some important issues. The little two-word insertion in Canon Law about “substantial error,” is something that ought to be given serious consideration by canonists. 

Canon 188

A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself.

If it can be demonstrated that Ratzinger really did have the notion that he could, through the power of his own magnificent brain, “evolve” the papacy into a diarchy with a contemplative and an active branch, then we have some serious evidence to consider. 

What’s the difference between the Ratzinger aberration and White’s own ideas about the Papacy as being either basically irrelevant or a danger to the salvation of the faithful?

Does the power of the keys grant the power to change the papacy itself into something unrecognisable? The difficulty is we would be making the call based on what someone said once in a speech about what he believes Ratzinger meant… you see the problem. It’s hearsay and not sufficient evidence for a future ecumenical council or pope. It’s a pretty big hint, of course, but that’s all it is for now. 

Behold the things we evil sedevacantists don’t have to worry about because we’re lazy and dense Catholic. Funny how that works.

As we showed in our response to Ann Barnhardt, “substantial error” in Canon 188 of the Novus Ordo Code of Canon Law has the following meaning:

Substantial error is a mistaken judgment that is not of minor importance and is truly a cause of the consequent resignation. This would be the case in which the officeholder judged that he or she had caused serious injury to someone when this was not objectively correct.

(James A. Coriden, et al., eds., The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary [New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1985], p. 109; italics added.)

Applying this to the Ratzinger resignation, we are talking about an error of fact (=error about some event or state of affairs) that would have 
caused Benedict XVI to resign. But rejecting the Catholic dogma of the papacy as a monarchy in favor of a diarchy is not an error of fact. It is an error of law, and a heretical one at that. Next.

We can certainly learn useful things from Gänswein’s speech, however, particularly from the casual insouciance with which he presented it. It was as though it were nothing particularly remarkable, let alone a declaration of nearly blasphemous hubris. What was most shocking to me was the cheery hand-wave, as though it were merely a sensible conclusion by the “brilliant” theological mind of his friend… All part of the glorious newness of Newchurch, a hilarious development-of-doctrine party favour granted us by the Holy Ghost of Wacky Fun Surprises. 

Is this really how modern “conservative” churchmen think? We know it’s how men like Bergoglio think, but is this really how Ratzinger thinks? Have things really gone this far? If it is and it has, perhaps if nothing else it would be a good reason to start wondering if Ratzinger/Benedict ever had been the staunch defender of doctrine he was so often made out to be. Perhaps we were at fault for buying into the absurd “Rottweiler” rhetoric of the New York Times. Were we this desperate for a defender of the Faith that we were so eager to overlook his many theological oddities? 

Yes, Miss White, this is exactly what happened, and The Remnant in particular was at the forefront, not of reporting the facts about Ratzinger but about pushing the narrative of the great “Restoration of Tradition” that had supposedly been kicked off by Benedict XVI on April 19, 2005. Prime offender: Christopher Ferrara, who misused his God-given talents to spin everything that was happening under Benedict into a “good Pope fights evil Vatican” narrative — any facts to the contrary notwithstanding.

If people had read Novus Ordo Watch instead of following the propaganda organs of the recognize-and-resist camp, they would have seen that Benedict XVI was a Modernist through and through who denies original sin, the resurrection of the body, and more. See for yourself:

A month after Benedict XVI’s election, we posted a prediction of what we believed he would attempt to do as “Pope”, and although we were not correct on every point, nevertheless our prediction proved fairly accurate overall, especially regarding his re-authorization of the “Traditional Latin Mass” (1962 Missal):

Alas, too many people allowed themselves to be swayed by emotion rather than by Faith, reason, and a cool analysis of the facts. And so many fell for the “traditional” Benedict XVI, who simply knew how to dress his Modernism in eloquent Latin, beautiful vestments, and lots of incense.

And this leads me to the next thought. Perhaps one of the most important things the Francis pontificate and the concurrent state of utter chaos is teaching us is just how bad the rot is – and has been for years – in the rest of the hierarchy, in the priesthood, in the Vatican, the religious orders and, perhaps hardest to bear, among the laity. If this is not the “great apostasy,” the almost universal loss of faith, spoken of by Our Lord in the Gospel and by the various visionaries more recently, if that is going to be worse than this, I shudder to imagine the future. 

We all know about and deplore the likes of the San Gallen Mafia – the notorious heretics, brazen blasphemers, homophile abuse enablers and sexual, moral and intellectual perverts who spent decades degrading the Faith and ultimately put this man on the throne of Peter. We are inured to the Mahoneys and Gumbletons and Bernardins, none of whom has ever troubled to hide his unbelief or his revolting proclivities. We know these men who have spent decades campaigning for precisely the kind of catastrophes that this pope, their puppet, is now imposing. From the seething minds and grinning countenances of such monsters as Godfried Cardinal Danneels one expects only ruination and despair. 

No, the thing that most fills me with horror is not even this ridiculous, demented blasphemer blurting out his incomprehensible contradictions. He is their man, after all. It is the fact that he is doing it to the roaring approval of the faithful. That he is drooling out his daily heresies in front of a rapt and solemn audience of priests, bishops, religious and laity who do not at least get up and walk out. Who do not ever stand up and say, “No, holy father, that is not right; that is not Catholic teaching; that is not of God; it is of the devil.” His weekly audiences are still full of people who smile and laugh at his jokes and cheer when he waves. 

When he suggested that Our Lady, the Theotokos, the New Eve, had – I can barely stand to type this – accused God of lying, where were the little old ladies who pray their daily Rosary stopping their ears and shouting at him to recant his blasphemies? Where were the chivalrous priests outraged enough to counter this horrifying accusation against Mary Most Holy? Where, in short, is the outrage?

They were probably busy planting their vegetables, trying to figure out how they could avoid having to be sedevacantists. In contrast to Hilary White, at least they did not utter heresy or other errors against the Papacy and the Magisterium — they simply remained silent. That too is shameful, but at least it’s not a direct attack on Catholic teaching.

There is only one way to defeat Francis: You must proclaim from the housetops that he is not the Pope of the Catholic Church. If enough people do it, he is effectively deprived of that which alone gives him all his putative authority: the public’s belief that this man holds the highest office in the Catholic Church. Take that away from him, and he is finished. In the real Catholic Church, Jorge Bergoglio would not even be in a charge of a broom closet. It is time people realized that.

The Francis pontificate has demonstrated the appalling loss of faith throughout the Church from the humblest bead-squeezer and weekly pew-sitter all the way to the most sacred office of Peter. How can anyone continue to deny that the neomodernist revolution, started in secret in the 19th century, growing underground until the early 60s and unleashed upon the Church in the Post-Conciliar age, has completed its work? 

As far as the loss of Faith goes, unfortunately Hilary White is one of the casualties herself. Look at this: Without batting an eye, she just proclaimed that the current Successor of St. Peter has lost the Faith. Hubris much, Miss W.? Pope Pelagius II also knew a little bit about Sacred Theology, and here’s what he had to say about that:

(For) you know that the Lord proclaims in the Gospel: Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: but I have asked the Father for thee, that thy faith fail not; and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren [Lk 22:31-32]. 

Consider, most dear ones, that the Truth could not have lied, nor will the faith of PETER be able to be shaken or changed forever. For although the devil desired to sift all the disciples, the Lord testifies that He Himself asked for PETER alone and wished the others to be confirmed by him; and to him also, in consideration of a greater love which he showed the Lord before the rest, was committed the care of feeding the sheep [cf. Jn 21:15ff.]; and to him also He handed over the keys of the kingdom of heaven,and upon him He promised to build his Church, and He testified that the gates of hell would not prevail against it [cf. Mt 16:16ff.]. But, because the enemy of the human race even until the end of the world does not abstain from sowing cockle [Mt 13:25] over the good seed in the Church of the Lord, and therefore, lest perchance anyone with malignant zeal should by the instigation of the devil presume to make some alterations in and to draw conclusions regarding the integrity of the faith — and (lest) by reason of this your minds perhaps may seem to be disturbed, we have judged it necessary through our present epistle to exhort with tears that you should return to the heart of your mother the Church, and to send you satisfaction with regard to the integrity of faith….

(Pope Pelagius II, Apostolic Letter Quod ad Dilectionem; Denz. 246)

White’s anti-Catholic ideas about the Papacy and the Magisterium — which she has evidently convinced herself are the result of an astute mind and a resolute willingness to suffer — are no less dangerous than the Modernist junk spouted by Jorge & Friends. At the end of the day, the devil doesn’t care what heresies we fall for and spread, as long as it’s some heresy. Do not think, ladies and gentlemen of the recognize-and-resist persuasion, that you can keep the Faith by denying it, that you can save it by changing it. If you believe that, you should apply for a job with the United States government, where people believe you can borrow your way out of debt.

If you must change Church teaching about the Papacy, about the Church, about the Magisterium in order to uphold your position, that is a sure way of knowing your position is false. This is the tragedy of the anti-sedevacantist position of the semi-traditionalists like Hilary White, and it is for this reason that we place so much emphasis of the need to be sedevacantist to be authentically Catholic. It is not because of pride, it is out of a love for the true Faith, which is cruelly distorted by the recognize-and-resist position, as confirmed by White’s own words about how the Pope can lose the Faith and still be Pope.

If the election of Bergoglio was in reality some kind of horrifying trial balloon, some kind of test by these creatures to see how far things had progressed, I would say it is an un-allayed [sic] smash success. They have clearly learned not only that they can elect a bizarre intellectual midget, a thug and a boor, a bully and a fool, but that no one will object in substance to any of it. His ideological fellow travelers will cheer, and the “privately orthodox” will keep their heads down until they are replaced with more fellow travelers. And at the next Conclave, when they impose a Tagle – every bit the neomodernist Churchwrecker, but with smooth social skills and 20 years younger – they can be confident that they will own whatever is left of the Church indefinitely. 

As painful as it might be, the only legitimate conclusion for now is to acknowledge the seriousness of what is happening, to admit that things are in an apocalyptic state and to carry on presenting the Faith in opposition to what Francis and his friends are doing. 

OK, Miss White, but which faith shall it be? The one that includes what we quoted above from the 19th-century Popes, Vatican I, and Pope Pelagius II? Or the new “faith” that you yourself have created that excludes those things, where the head of the Catholic Church can be the member of a different religion (“Novusordoism”, remember?), and where submission to the Pope is optional at best and sometimes even an acute danger to one’s very salvation?

Which faith, Miss White?  …We can’t hear you!

We’re just soldiers and our task is not the same as that of the generals. It is to maintain the Faith ourselves, including living a full sacramental life, to intensify our dedication to prayer and penances and to have sure supernatural hope that, whatever is happening, God – who has not abandoned us – wants to sort it out for the best, and will do so. Green vegetables and exercise in the fresh air. (And I would suggest for many of us, cutting out of our diets the “sugar” of frequent, prolonged internet use.) 

No doubt, some people should stay off the internet altogether, but that is not the point under discussion now. Once again we see why the Pope issue is so important: Not only does it very much determine what we believe the Faith to be that White agrees we must practice and defend, it also very much impacts the very “sacramental life” she encourages us to practice. For if Paul VI was not a true Pope, then there is no guarantee that the Novus Ordo sacramental rites — most notably those for holy orders — are valid. In fact, when it comes to the 1968 rite of episcopal consecration, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is not valid, meaning anyone consecrated a bishop in that rite is most definitely not a valid bishop (this includes Benedict XVI and Francis, incidentally), as proved here:

These issues are extremely serious, are they not? Hence, once again, our insistence on them. It has nothing to do with hubris or pride — it is a matter of the integrity of the Faith and the salvation of souls.

It’s an unsatisfying answer, I know. The Cross is unsatisfying. It does not allow us to be the ninja action heroes we know we really are deep down inside, to punch our enemies into orbit, put everything back the way it ought to be and restore sanity in the world by our own mighty superpowers.

OK, let’s make sure we remember that next time we complain that Sedevacantism doesn’t have a clear answer as to how to regain a true Pope, that it “doesn’t solve anything.” Sedevacantism accomplishes two essential things: (1) it provides the correct diagnosis of the situation at hand, and that is itself already a large part of the solution, for an accurate diagnosis is the essential precondition of any possible cure; (2) it provides a solution insofar as it reconciles the empirical facts with Catholic teaching and does not require or permit distorting, ignoring, denying, or minimizing Catholic teaching on the Papacy, the Church, or the Magisterium.

That’s what Sedevacantism does. What does recognize-and-resist offer?

It is, more or less, equivalent to asking soldiers – regular guys – to go to war, not knowing if they will live to see the end. But a war that needs to be fought simply needs to be fought and the soldiers are called merely to do their bit where they are sent. We go in with our eyes open and we fight in whatever theatre we are assigned – whether it’s our parish, our family, our seminary, our work or any other field. (Green vegetables… exercise… soldiers need to be fit.) Whether we live to see victory is not in our hands, and declaring Bergoglio to be an antipope won’t change any of that. 

Recognizing that it is necessary — per the very Faith we must uphold and the human reason with which we are endowed — to hold that Bergoglio is a false pope, changes a whole lot, as demonstrated in this post. It only changes nothing for those who do not believe in the Papacy or refuse submission to the Pope.

The theoretical future pope who declares that the entirety of the last 50 years of chaos and catastrophe don’t count – like an ecclesiastical JJ Abrams rebooting the Catholic franchise – will have to acknowledge the white (and the red) martyrdom of these times. The chaos and instability, the lack of trust, the lost vocations, the collapse of every institution, the infiltration by wolves and their demonic, anti-rational, anti-Real ideology at every level and in every corner of the globe. To do less would be an injustice to those who stuck it out to the end.

White is dreaming once again of that “future Pope” who will declare that the Vatican II mess “doesn’t count” — and assumes that this will then settle everything, and all will be well. But here she has forgotten for a moment her own theology, which holds that the Pope can be resisted by anyone at any point, if they decide he is a threat to the Faith. So, what shall prevent people from resisting that papal decree? Evidently, White has not considered the consequences of her own position and the legacy it is sure to bring, confusing generations to come.


The simple fact of the matter is that an authority that teaches something for decades under pain of mortal sin and then at some point decides that the exact opposite is true — as in, “Just kidding, guys!” — is not credible. If the same authority first declares, for example, that religious liberty is evil and condemned, then reverses itself and says it is now necessary, good, and comaptible with Catholic teaching and the opposite is not permitted to be held, and then later reverses itself yet again and says we must now adhere under pain of mortal sin to the original teaching again, then this authority is clearly not credible and cannot be from Almighty God. No right-thinking individual could give any credence to such an institution’s claim to being the divinely-established Church of God, for then one would have no reason to believe this self-contradicting authority at any point — not in the past, not in the present, and not in the future. 

This is one of the reasons why so many people have lost the Faith since Vatican II: To all appearances, the same Catholic Church that first taught “A” now teaches the exact opposite, “not-A”. Such an absurdity is only possible if the Vatican II Church that teaches “not-A” is not the same entity as the Catholic Church but a false church. Simply resisting “not-A” while contending that this new church is the same as the old one, accomplishes nothing except to give legitimacy to the false church and confuse people even more.

But then again, what do we know here? Hiding in that “self-generated delusional fantasyland”, we’re just too lazy, simple-minded, and not planting enough vegetables to understand Hilary White’s cutting-edge theology — which demands that even if Jack is a bachelor, we can’t say he’s unmarried.

Good thing we have The Remnant to straighten us out.

Related Links:

Full transcript now available


The Amoris Laetitia Super Show:
The TRADCAST 013 Transcript

By popular demand, we have now released a full transcript of our in-depth podcast dismantling Francis’ “Apostolic Exhortation” Amoris Laetitia, a document which attacks not only the sacrament of holy matrimony but fundamentally undermines morality itself by introducing the idea that sin is essentially just an incomplete form of holiness, that vice is just a partial participation in virtue.

Our podcast, originally released on April 26, 2016, is available in audio with copious notes and links, here:

As the audio is 2.5 hours in length, the transcript spans 29 pages. You can download the PDF version for free here:

The podcast is divided into three portions:

  • Segment 1: Introductory Remarks and Initial Comments — The Vatican’s Presentation of the Exhortation on April 8, 2016
  • Segment 2: Presentation and refutation of the worst passages found in Amoris Laetitia
  • Segment 3: The reactions to Amoris Laetitia: overview and discussion — Critique of various positions — An offer to victims of the New Church who are in an adulterous union — Concluding remarks

Our review of various reactions from different camps in the third segment includes a hard-hitting refutation of the false “traditionalists” who are denouncing the document while still maintaining that its author is the Vicar of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity.

CAUTION! Our podcasts are filled to the brim with information — like the original audio, this 29-page transcript contains no fluff but only insightful content, hard-hitting zingers, memorable aphorisms, and brilliant fireworks!

Enjoy this transcript, keep a copy for yourself and send it on to friends and family!

Our next podcast, TRADCAST 014, will be released soon.

See Also:

New Interview with SSPX Superior

Bishop Fellay:


“We’ve never wanted to be separated from Rome”; “Vatican never called us Schismatic”; “Rome tacitly approves of our Ordinations”

As things deteriorate rapidly in the Vatican II Sect under Francis, the Society of St. Pius X is more eager than ever to obtain regularization and full recognition by Rome. On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the SSPX Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, gave an interview to 
Josef Bruckmoser of the Austrian paper Salzburger Nachrichten.

The one-page interview is now available online, and we have translated it from the original German into English (Bp. Fellay speaks German fluently). We are reproducing the text below. We are reserving our scathing commentary on Bp. Fellay’s remarks for our next blog post — there is simply too much to say.

[begin interview text]

“The Catholic Church is the only True One”

The Society of St. Pius X has been separated from Rome since its founding [sic] by Archbishop Lefebvre. How does the order’s superior Bernard Fellay view this?

Bernard Fellay leads the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, which rejects substantial reforms of the Second Vatican Council. This year the Superior General was received by Pope Francis for the first time.


SN: Under Pope Benedict XVI already there were talks between the Vatican and your fraternity. What has changed under Pope Francis?

Fellay: The process of rapprochement is always the same. We have always recognized the primacy of the Pope — even on the question of the Society’s episcopal consecrations. These were not a denial of the primacy and did not at all [um nichts in der Welt] mean to be a separation from Rome.

SN: But these consecrations were not licit according to Church law.

That is correct. However, this does not mean that we reject the primacy of the Pope. When someone disobeys his father, he does not thereby reject his father. Viewed externally, the episcopal consecration was an act of disobedience, but not a rejection of the authority [of the Pope]. That’s why even the Vatican never said that the Society of St. Pius X was in schism for it. This has become clearer and clearer during the [process of] rapprochement: We are not schismatics, we are not separated from the Church.

SN: You will continue to ordain priests without permission, then?

Certainly, but I know that this happens with the tacit, tolerant approval of Rome.

SN: You think Rome tolerates these illicit ordinations?

I don’t [merely] think so, I know it [for sure].

SN: In 2009, Benedict XVI lifted your excommunication. Had you yourself felt [sic] excommunicated?

No, never. An excommunication is based on a serious sin. That’s why we’ve always explained that we carried out our consecrations as an emergency measure. Yes, we took measures which are forbidden under normal circumstances. But during an emergency there are other standards [to be followed]. That’s why I never felt [as though I was really] excommunicated, even though the Vatican treated me as such.

SN: So then did the lifting of the excommunication have any meaning [for you]?

Not much. It was a certain recognition of our status, our situation. The Pope acknowledged thereby that we are no rebels, that we did not set up a parallel church but are a part of the Roman Catholic Church. In this sense the lifting of the excommunication was meaningful. But of much greater importance to us was Pope Benedict XVI’s acknowledgment in 2007 that the Tridentine Mass was never forbidden.

SN: Pope Francis has permitted Catholics in the Year of Mercy to go to confession even with priests of the Society of St. Pius X. Will this [permission] continue beyond this year?

This permission shows Pope Francis’ concern for the salvation of the faithful. In addition, the Pope confirmed to me personally that this authorization will remain in force beyond the Year of Mercy.

SN: Benedict XVI was a theologian, [whereas] Francis is more of a pastoral thinker. Is this an improvement with regard to the Society of St. Pius X?

Benedict XVI was very attentive to doctrine. Francis looks more at the person. Here and there he even sees doctrine as an obstacle perhaps. For us it is important that the way leads forward to what is right, to what is true. We have always considered ourselves as Catholic. If this is ultimately accepted [acknowledged], we are good with that.

SN: The sticking point is the Second Vatican Council: religious liberty, ecumenism, episcopal collegiality. Are there any clarifications concerning that? Or are such not needed?

I think that the current position of the Holy See, and especially also that of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is the result of intense discussions since 2009. A lot was clarified in the process. We do indeed have objections concerning the three points you mention. But today a lot of Catholics move far beyond the texts of the council by appealing to the spirit of the council. Rome acknowledges that our positions are correct on many points.

SN: What does this mean for religious liberty?

Whoever claims today that the state has nothing to do with the Lord God and has no duties towards God, contradicts the teaching of the Church. The term religious liberty means, if one wishes to understand it correctly, that no one is allowed to impose a religion on someone against his conscience. No one is allowed to force another to be baptized. No one is allowed to coerce another to act contrary to his conscience.

SN: Therefore the council says that it is a matter of each individual deciding in his own conscience to embrace a particular religion.

Vatican II explicitly says that man must seek the truth and adhere to it. At the same time, it [the council] denies this principle in the realm of the state: The state must grant freedom to all religions and is not allowed to interfere with or restrict any of them, even the false ones. And this on account of a natural right. By contrast, the traditional teaching of the Church says that the state can tolerate false religions but these cannot invoke a natural right [to exist or be tolerated].

As regards the Church, however, she has the duty always and everywhere to proclaim the truth to men and to lead them to the truth. The Catholic Church is the only true religion, the only one that can save man. That’s why she is missionary.

SN: When someone embraces a different religion, he is in error?


SN: What does this mean for the ecumenism of the Christian churches?

If one understands ecumenism to mean that all Christians are to find their way back to the [Catholic] Church, then we too are in favor of ecumenism. We pray for the unity of Christians. But to believe that anyone can attain salvation in whatever way he sees fit — we say No [to that], that is not the teaching of the Church. In this sense we oppose ecumenism.

SN: Where is the problem with regard to episcopal collegiality?

Pope Paul VI specifically added an additional, explanatory note to the conciliar text: No bishop is allowed to claim to be a part of the leadership of the Church if he is not with the Pope and under the Pope. The Pope alone decides whether [someone] and who has a say in the Church. He is the sole ruler [Alleinherrscher]. To claim that the bishops have some sort of democratic legitimation, is entirely false. For this contradicts the teaching of the Church completely. But this is utterly ignored by most dignitaries today.

SN: What is your position on Judaism? You allegedly said in 2012 that the Jews, the Freemasons, and the Modernists are the enemies of the Church.

Ich have tried several times to correct [richtigstellen] this sentence, which was never authorized by me thus. I never said “the” enemies of the Church, only “enemies”. And this statement was made in connection with the question of who was putting pressure on Rome against an agreement with the Society of St. Pius X. Concerning this I said it is astonishing that it is precisely these groups, which often show themselves as enemies of the Church, that do not want us.

SN: What does this say about your position on Judaism?

It has nothing to do with the Jews as a people but only with some Jewish organizations. I never meant to target Judaism [as a people] — excepting their religion. A religion that rejects Christ as the Son of God is opposed to Christianity.

The Messiah comes from the people of the Jews, and for that reason it is entirely clear that the attitude of each Catholic vis-a-vis the Jews in general is a very special one, and not one that is antagonistic. But it is deplorable that they have not recognized the Messiah so far. They will do so — this was foretold by St. Paul. It says that at some point the people of the Jews will convert, and this will be of extraordinary benefit to the entire world.

SN: What significance does the Holocaust have [for you]?

The Holcoaust has something to do with National Socialism, with Hitler. It has nothing to do with the Catholic Church. The Holocaust is a tragedy like any other genocide. The Church has always spoken out against it. So do we.

[Source: “Die katholische Kirche ist die einzig wahre”, Salzburger Nachrichten, June 22, 2016; translation: Novus Ordo Watch]

As we said above, we are going to provide our commentary on these latest remarks from Bp. Fellay in a separate blog post. Stay tuned — you won’t want to miss it!

Meanwhile, why don’t you spread this meme on the internet...


(click to enlarge)

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Novus Ordo philosopher ups the ante...

Robert Spaemann: “There is a limit to how much the Church can take”


Robert Spaemann is an 89-year-old German philosopher and one of the few outspoken critics of “Pope” Francis. His religious affiliation is what we call “conservative Novus Ordo”, that is, he believes the Modernist Vatican II Sect to be the Catholic Church and Francis her legitimate head while adhering to what’s typically considered to be a conservative interpretation of Vatican II and the post-conciliar magisterium.

In April of this year, he denounced Francis’ “Apostolic Exhortation” Amoris Laetitia and warned about the “danger of schism” while Francis continues to wreck what is left of Catholicism in the Vatican II Church. Over a year ago, Spaemann had made headlines by describing the Francis Show as a “chaotic pontificate” characterized by “theological apathy.”

And a lot has happened since then, most especially Francis’ trashing of black-and-white morality, which we covered in a recent post here, and which is apparently what triggered Prof. Spaemann’s latest monograph:

On June 17, 2016, the German paper Die Tagespost published Spaemann’s article entitled, “There is a limit to how much the Church can take”. We have translated and are reproducing for you below the most important parts:

When [Pope Francis] said recently that there is no “either-or” in Christianity, he apparently isn’t bothered by Christ’s word: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil” (Mt 5:37). The epistles of [St.] Paul the Apostle are full of “either-or” [ideas]. And finally: “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Mt 12:30).

But Pope Francis only means to “make suggestions.” Dissenting from suggestions cannot be impermissible. And one must dissent quite vigorously, in my opinion, from his claim in Amoris Laetitia that Jesus merely “suggested a demanding ideal.” No, Jesus commanded “as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees” (Mt 7:29). At the occasion of speaking to the rich youth, among others, He Himself refers to the inner unity of following Him with the keeping of the Ten Commandments (Lk 18:18-23). Jesus does not preach an ideal, He establishes a new reality, the kingdom of God on earth. Jesus does not suggest, he invites and commands: “A new commandment I give unto you.” This new reality and this commandment are closely related to the nature of man, which is discernible by rational means.

… The debate [about Communion for the “divorced-and-remarried”] now continues, and [is] just as controversial as before, because the Pope refuses to quote the clear remarks of his predecessors in this regard, and because his [own] response is so obviously ambiguous that anyone can and does interpret it in accordance with his own opinion. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor 14:8). When, meanwhile, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith finds himself compelled to publicly accuse one of the closest episcopal advisors and ghostwriter of the Pope of heresy, things have really gone too far already. There is a limit to how much even the Roman Catholic Church can bear.

Pope Francis loves to compare the critics of his policies with those who “have sitten on the chair of Moses” [Mt 23:2]. But here too [the accusation] backfires. For it was the doctors of the law who defended divorce and were passing on the rules concerning it. Jesus’ disciples also ended up being aghast at their Master’s strict prohibition against divorce: “If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry” (Mt 19:10). Just like the people who left when the Lord announced He was going to make Himself [their] food: “This saying is hard, and who can hear it?” (Jn 6:61). The Lord “had mercy on the people”. But He was no populist. “Will you also go away?” (Jn 6:68). This question put before his Apostles was His only reaction to the dwindling number of followers.

(Robert Spaemann, “Die Kirche ist nicht grenzenlos belastbar, Die Tagespost, June 21, 2016; our translation.)

Indeed, there is a limit to how much the Church can take, and a “heretical Pope” definitely exceeds that limit. The real question, on the other hand, is how much Novus Ordo adherents can take before finally coming to the conclusion that this blaspheming false prophet in Rome is not the Vicar of Christ but the Vicar of Judas. 

Monographs like those of Prof. Spaemann will perhaps delight conservatives here and there and make a great headline for a day or two, but ultimately not change one iota of anything.

Dump Francis.

Related Links:

Barnhardt goes Resignationist...

Ann Barnhardt dumps Francis,
seeks Refuge in Benedict XVI


She’s finally figured it out:
Francis cannot be the Pope of the Catholic Church. The outspoken colorful controversialist Ann Barnhardt has announced on her web site that she can no longer hold that Francis is or ever was a true Pope, the Vicar of Christ. The reason for Miss Barnhardt’s change of mind is found in the very opening paragraphs of her blog post:

It is now clear to me, and I feel it morally incumbent upon me given my position to publicly state that I believe Jorge Bergoglio, “Francis” to be an Antipope, never having been canonically elected, and that Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI is still the Roman Pontiff.

The sheer quantity of evidence, and the diversity of the confluent evidence sets, is now so utterly overwhelming that I believe that a person, fully informed of the dataset, would have to engage in the willful suspension of disbelief to continue to acknowledge Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff.

(Ann Barnhardt, “Vocem Alienorum: The Voice of Antipope Francis Bergoglio Is the Voice of A Stranger”,, June 19, 2016)

Thank you, Ann Barnhardt! Indeed, it does very much require a “willful suspension of disbelief to continue to acknowledge Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff”, and this willful suspension is still being entertained by such people as John Vennari, Chris Ferrara, Michael Matt, Bp. Richard Williamson, Bp. Bernard Fellay, John Salza, Robert Siscoe, Steve Skojec, and so many others who either do or ought to know better. We suspect that Miss Barnhardt will no longer be allowed to blog for The Remnant now, but this remains to be seen.

As for the “sheer quantity of evidence” that is “so overwhelming”, we have been cataloguing it on our special page here:

No doubt, what probably put Barnhardt over the edge was Francis’ latest blasphemous and outrageous attack on holy matrimony, which began to hit the news late on Thursday of last week:

So, Barnhardt has finally had enough and concluded there is no way Francis could possibly be the head of the Catholic Church. Bravo!

But here comes the rub: Instead of embracing Sedevacantism, Barnhardt now insists that the true Pope is Benedict XVI — Joseph Ratzinger, the old Modernist who just recently claimed, via his private secretary Georg Ganswein, that he is the “contemplative” part of a two-member “papacy” in conjunction with the “active” member, Francis:

That’s the same Joseph Ratzinger who has publicly endorsed Francis as Pope, who has long denied the dogma of the Resurrection, who denies original sin, who disparages infant baptism, who has had his very own Assisi interfaith abomination, who claims that because of World War II we can no longer speak of the time since Christ’s Birth as a time of salvation, who told a Lutheran worker in the Vatican not to become Catholic, who gave “Holy Communion” to a known Protestant leader, and so on (see all the links and more here).

That Joseph Ratzinger.


Lodge Brothers? Benedict XVI and “Cardinal” Bergoglio exchanging a Masonic handshake

Barnhardt offers her own theory as to how and why Benedict XVI’s resignation was invalid, quoting Novus Ordo (1983) Canon 188 to substantiate her thesis (the traditional equivalent in the 1917
Code is Canon 185), which talks about “substantial error” as being one of the factors that can render a resignation invalid. Her reasoning is curious — she claims that Benedict XVI could not validly resign from the papal office because he believes error (it’s heresy, actually) about the papal office (that it can consist of two people). In other words, he is Pope because he doesn’t believe in the papacy. Now that’s a new one even for Novus Ordo standards!

Instead of looking at Canon 188 of the Novus Ordo 1983 Code of Canon Law, perhaps Miss Barnhardt should have spent some more time researching Canon 188 of the traditional 1917 Code of Canon Law, which says:

Any office becomes vacant upon the fact and without any declaration by tacit resignation recognized by the law itself if a cleric: . . .

            4.° Publicly defects from the Catholic faith

(Canon 188 n.4; underlining added.)

But, no matter. For Barnhardt, Benedict XVI is a valid Pope because he is a heretic, that is, he espouses a heretical concept of the papacy (she does not say it is heretical, but it is). If that isn’t putting everything upside down, similar to what Francis just did as he declared marriage to be fornication and fornication to be marriage, it is hard to imagine what would be. 

So, if anything, Barnhardt ought to conclude that Benedict XVI cannot be Pope because he holds to a heretical concept of the papacy. Instead, she has persuaded herself that this heresy is not what makes his election or continued putative papacy invalid, but his resignation! This is absurdity on stilts!

Barnhardt says that “Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger’s ontology is CLEARLY warped”, but hers is no less so: She believes a man who professes heresy against the papacy is Pope precisely because of that heresy, which rendered his resignation invalid. By the way, which Novus Ordo canonical commentaries explaining the term “substantial error” in the Novus Ordo Canon 188 did our quirky blogger consult? We don’t know, but she definitely doesn’t quote any of them, and glancing at the explanation given in the standard The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary by Coriden et al., it seems to refer to error of fact, i.e. being in error about some event or state of affairs, not error of law:

Substantial error is a mistaken judgment that is not of minor importance and is truly a cause of the consequent resignation. This would be the case in which the officeholder judged that he or she had caused serious injury to someone when this was not objectively correct.

(James A. Coriden, et al., eds., The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary [New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1985], p. 109; italics added.)

So, not only does it refer to error of fact, this error must also be the cause of the resignation. To apply it to the scenario Barnhardt proposes, it would mean that Benedict XVI resigned
because of his belief that the papacy admits of having more than one member — and that would need to be proven to have been the cause, not just asserted. And besides, it is not an error of fact anyway but an error of law — being mistaken about what the papacy is.

In any event, Barnhardt has no case even by Novus Ordo standards as long as her interpretation of Canon 188 and her ideas about Ratzinger are unique to her.

Oh well, at least we can’t say we didn’t see it coming. Less than 60 minutes after Benedict XVI announced his resignation to the public on February 11, 2013, we sent out a tweet predicting that we would eventually have people claiming the resignation to be invalid:

While Barnhardt is not basing her refusal to consider Benedict’s resignation as valid on fear but on substantial error, the result is the same: she believes it was invalid and so he’s still Pope and Francis isn’t. 

Clearly, the idea of embracing Benedict XVI as the true Pope even today, is a lot easier to swallow for many, and appears to provide a much less “offensive” alternative to Sedevacantism, that dreaded S-word that no one wants to be stigmatized with. Hence they now dish up the craziest justifications for why Benedict XVI is Pope — this being driven not by the objective facts but by the perceived need to avoid both the position that Francis is Pope and the conclusion that Sedevacantism is true. So, prepare for a lot more absurdity down the road. Anything at all will eventually be acceptable to these people, as long as it permits them to maintain that Francis isn’t Pope and Sedevacantists are wrong.

Here once again we can see why Fr. Anthony Cekada once rightly talked about an irrational fear of Sedevacantism, a veritable “Sedevacantophobia” — for that is truly what it is. “Hey, guys, so I believe Francis isn’t Pope, fine — but don’t you call me a Sedevacantist; I’m not that!”


Sedevacantist? Eww...

The phenomenon of adhering to Benedict XVI as the “true Pope” even after his resignation is not new. The first public high-profile individual to fall for it was the Rev. Paul Kramer, formerly affiliated with the Fatima Center and Rev. Nicholas Gruner. The eccentric blogger Eric Gajewski is another adherent of this curious position, which we have termed “Resignationism”:


“Don’t worry: As long as they think ONE of us is Pope, all is saved…"

All that is left for us to say is to repeat something we said in two different posts on the topic of Resignationism, back in 2014, addressing the question of who benefits (cui bono) from this entire confusion in the Novus Ordo Church about one Pope, two Popes, two half-Popes, one two-headed Pope, etc.:

Be that as it may, it is clear this whole thing is a complete mess. But we are convinced it serves only one purpose: to draw those trying to be good and faithful Catholics in the Novus Ordo Sect into more confusion and give them a new “way out” of Francis if they cannot stomach his full-throttled apostasy: dump Franics, but believe Benedict XVI is still Pope. Anything, anything at all, to keep you from drawing the only sound conclusion today: The Chair of St. Peter is vacant. Sede Vacante!

(Novus Ordo Watch, “Resignationism: Now Ganswein weighs in”, March 2, 2014)

We also see great irony here. In Novus Ordo Land, people are discussing whether we have one Pope or two Popes, when in reality, we have none.

And who benefits from this confusion? Cui bono? Clearly, this whole Resignationist business is greatly aiding the destructive mission of the Vatican II Church, because it gives people yet another reason to cling to the Modernist sect rather than discover real Catholicism the way it was exclusively known before Vatican II. It is another useful distraction to keep you focused on things other than the manifest subversion of the Catholic Church by false teachings and disciplines condemned prior to the Council.

Distractions like this have worked well for the Modernists in the past, and they are part of the overall game plan. As long as they have you accepting one of their Modernists as Pope, they really don’t care if you believe Francis is Pope or Benedict. If that’s what it takes to keep you in their church, they don’t mind you believing that this Modernist over here is really Pope, rather than that other Modernist over there. It is simply one more way to keep people from realizing that all the papal claimaints since the death of Pius XII have been usurpers — and it provides a convenient way out for people who realize that Francis cannot possibly be Pope, yet still do not wish to accept the Sedevacantist position.

These Resignationist episodes illustrate rather well how important it is for us to adhere to Catholic principle over emotion. The Resignationist theses, with or without “Cardinal” Scola, only confuse or impress those who go by emotion rather than Catholic theology, for those who go by real theology know that Ratzinger was never a valid Pope in the first place, and the whole Modernist cult in the Vatican is a gigantic farce perpetrated by the Catholic Church’s enemies. Alas, too many people, swayed by emotion and a display of externals rather than Catholic teaching, have persuaded themselves that Ratzinger was this great pitbull of Catholic Tradition and orthodoxy, when in fact he was nothing of the sort.

Whatever it takes, apparently, for people to find a way around Sedevacantism. This is what happens when a desired predetermined conclusion dictates what you believe, rather than the objective evidence. At some point, people will have to man up and face reality, always remembering that God’s grace assists us no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32).

If you are genuinely concerned about an invalid papal election, we suggest you focus your energies on investigating the conclave of 1958, which for the first time [in history] replaced a Catholic Pope with a Modernist — rather than that of 2013, which simply swapped one Modernist for another.

(Novus Ordo Watch, “Resignationism 2.0: Enter ‘Cardinal’ Scola”, June 2, 2014)

Sad to say, Anne Barnhardt is the latest victim of the antipope-swap of the Vatican II Sect; and to justify it, she has set a new milestone in anti-sedevacantist silliness: Benedict XVI is Pope because he doesn’t believe in the Papacy.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Related Links:

Chaos Frank opened his trap again...


Francis: “Great Majority” of Marriages today are Invalid because People don’t realize it’s indissoluble — but “Fidelity” in Cohabitation = Real Marriage!

[UPDATE 17-JUN-2016 18:01 UTC: Vatican edits official transcript, changes Francis’ actual words “a great majority of” into “part of”. In either case, however, the fundamental problem remains: Francis believes sacramental marriages are invalid if people do not know or understand that marriage is permanent for life — how many such cases there actually are, is insignificant; the point is that Francis admits the principle! And he furthermore believes that fornication with only one and the same partner equals a real marriage!]

Francis simply cannot keep his jaws together. This is actually a grace for all who seek the truth, because the more he speaks, the more evident it becomes that there is not a single Catholic bone in this man’s body.

On Thursday, June 16, the “Holy Father” answered impromptu questions from the audience after a pastoral congress in the diocese of Rome. One question centered on the crisis in holy matrimony, to which Francis gave an explosive answer. Catholic News Agency has the story:

A layman asked about the “crisis of marriage” and how Catholics can help educate youth in love, help them learn about sacramental marriage, and help them overcome “their resistance, delusions and fears.”

The Pope answered from his own experience.

“I heard a bishop say some months ago that he met a boy that had finished his university studies, and said ‘I want to become a priest, but only for 10 years.’ It’s the culture of the provisional. And this happens everywhere, also in priestly life, in religious life,” he said.

“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.

Pope Francis attributed the marriage crisis to people who “don’t know what the sacrament is” and don’t know “the beauty of the sacrament.”

“They don’t know that it’s indissoluble, they don’t know that it’s for your entire life. It’s hard,” the Pope said.

He added that a majority of couples attending marriage prep courses in Argentina typically cohabitated.

“They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.


“It’s a superstition, because marriage frightens the husband. It’s a superstition we have to overcome,” the Pope said. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity, but there are local superstitions, etc.”

“Marriage is the most difficult area of pastoral work,” he said.

(“Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests”, Catholic News Agency, June 16, 2016; underlining added.)

Wow! This is so bad, it’s hard to know where to begin. 

Let’s start with a quick note on the headline used by Catholic News Agency, which is misleading: “Most marriages today are invalid, Pope Francis suggests”. No, Francis didn’t suggest that most marriages today are invalid, he said it outright. But perhaps this harsh truth was a bit too much to take even for the Novus Ordo reporters at the news agency and so they tried to tone it down.

In any case, Francis declares that the “great majority” of sacramental marriages are invalid. What’s a great majority? Seventy percent, maybe eighty? That’s a lot of marriages. We’re not talking about pseudo-marriages, where one or both would-be spouses are already married to someone else whom they “divorced” — we’re talking about marriages where husband and wife were actually eligible to marry in the first place and freely joined this holy union. Francis states nonchalantly that most of them are invalid. Precisely how does he know that? He doesn’t, of course — he made it up. And by him asserting it to be so, he has just ensured that tens of thousands of additional requests for annulments will be submitted in the months to come, to tear apart even more families under the guise of “mercy”.

Francis’ own attempt at a justification for his outrageous and gratuitous assertion that “most” marriages today are invalid, is that even though people pledge “until death do us part” in their solemn wedding vows, they don’t mean it. They don’t mean it because they “don’t know” — even though they are saying the words, in their very own vernacular language, in what is probably the most solemn moment in their entire life.

You have got to be kidding.

This is a really curious new principle Francis is underhandedly introducing here: We can no longer assume that people mean what they say, even in something so solemn as the very marriage vow on their wedding day! The reason why is simple for him: culture! There, that’s it. In today’s “culture”, words don’t mean what they mean. It’s all so provisional, you see, nothing is permanent anymore — heck, even the “Pope” resigns when he feels like it!


Bye bye, holy matrimony!

But there is more to be found here than a mere absurdity: Francis is undermining a fundamental principle of sacramental theology, which is that of the
presumption of validity, a legal presumption that the necessary internal intention to confect the sacrament (to “do what the Church does”) is present in the minister when the matter and form of the sacramental rite have been properly applied — unless there is externally manifested evidence to the contrary:

A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do what the Church does. 

(Pope Leo XIII, Bull Apostolicae Curae, n. 33)

Provided the minister seriously performs all the sacramental rites, there is no need for being doubtful about the validity of the sacraments, for it is presumed that the minister has the requisite intention, unless he externalty manifests the contrary.

(Rev. Raphael De Salvo, The Dogmatic Theology on the Intention of the Minister in the Confection of the Sacraments [Washington, D.C.: CUA Press, 1949], p. 105)

In Holy Matrimony, the ministers of the sacrament are the two spouses, who confer the sacrament on each other. The matter is, remotely, the right over the other’s body for the purpose of procreation and, proximately, the transfer of that right by signs and words. The form of the sacrament is the consent to that right, expressed in the marriage vow, which ends in “until death do us part” (see Rev. Henry Davis, Moral and Pastoral Theology, vol. 4 [New York, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1935], p. 62). The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is indissoluble by its very nature and necessarily lasts until the death of one of the spouses.

But what about Francis’ casual claim that people “don’t know” what they’re saying while exchanging matrimonial consent? Believe it or not, the Catholic Church had already considered that scenario before Jorge Bergoglio ever came on the scene. The following excerpt from the great canon law professor Fr. Henry Ayrinhac deals a devastating and fatal blow to the latest Bergoglian poppycock:

190. § 1. In order that matrimonial consent be possible it is necessary that the contracting parties at least be not lacking in the knowledge that marriage is the permanent union of man and woman for the procreation of children.

§ 2. Such ignorance is not presumed in those who have attained the age of puberty. 

1. We can not consent to what we do not know; the marriage consent is not possible without some, at least confused, knowledge of what constitutes the essential object of the marriage contract; and this is the mutual right and obligation to the conjugal act: ... Hence a person who would marry without having any idea of that right and obligation would not marry validly. Clear and explicit knowledge is not necessary. If one, knowing that the purpose of marriage is the procreation of children, would enter the contract with that in view and would consent to all it implies, although having no distinct idea of what is required for generation, there would be confused knowledge of, and consent to, what constitutes the essential object of the contract, and the marriage would be valid; even if the party was so disposed that if he knew what the act of generation really is, he would not give his consent. But at least that confused knowledge of the substantial object of the contract is necessary.

191. 2. Ignorance of the primary purpose of marriage is easily admitted in children. In the ancient legislation it was always presumed before the age of puberty; after that age, on the contrary, knowledge is presumed. The presumption admits of proofs to the contrary, but it would require strong evidence to obtain the annulment of a marriage on the ground of ignorance in a person of age to marry….

198. A simple error as to the unity, indiasolubility, or sacramental character of marriage, even if it be cause of the contract, does not vitiate the consent. Error as to the essential object of the contract vitiates the consent, like ignorance. Error as to the essential properties does not, as long as it remains simply an error of the mind, whether antecedent or concomitant. Thus, a man who intends to form a real contract of marriage, although he does not believe in its indissolubility or sacredness, will be married validly, provided he does not exclude those properties by a positive act of the will, even though he would exclude them if he thought of it. His consent is directed expressly to the marriage contract and by way of consequence to the properties which are inseparable from it. His prevailing intention is to contract marriage; his views on the properties of marriage are errors in the mind which do not affect the primary object of the will. If, however, he would exclude those properties and make that exclusion the primary object of his will, this then would prevail over his intention of marrying and the consent would be vitiated, because one can not will marriage without willing an indissoluble union. But this requires more than a theoretical error; it supposes a positive act of the will, placing a condition, making consent depend on something else than the substantial element of the contract. That positive act is a fact which must be proved and is not presumed. Hence the difficulty of annulling a marriage on the ground of error as to quality…

[200.] 1. When a contracting party utters externally and seriously words expressing consent, he is supposed [=understood] to consent internally. His consent is supposed to be absolute if it is expressed absolutely. “Nobody is to be considered as having said what was not on his mind.” This, however, is only a presumption, and if in reality the internal consent was wanting, no matter what the external words might have been, the contract would be null in itself and before God.

(Rev. H. A. Ayrinhac, Marriage Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law [New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1919], pp. 191-192; 196-197; 199; underlining added.)

The 1917 Code of Canon Law underscores the firmness of the presumption of validity in a sacramental marriage: “Marriage enjoys the favor of the law; therefore, in case of doubt, its validity ought to be maintained until the contrary be proved…” (Canon 1014). Notice it says “proved”, not, “until Francis decides otherwise.”

Fr. Ayrinhac reminds us how serious this matter is:

It is a general principle that when an act has been performed it ought to be considered valid until it is proved to be null. This applies in a special manner to marriage, which is a sacrament and indissoluble by divine law. To pronounce a marriage null without sufficient evidence is to run the risk of “setting asunder what God has put together.”

(Ayrinhac, Marriage Legislation, p. 25)

Francis is finished.

By the way, how is it that Francis can “lament” now with a straight face the fact that people are clueless about the nature and beauty of holy matrimony when it is precisely his beloved Modernist Vatican II Sect that has been educating the “Catholic” masses in the last five decades? Haven’t we been hearing, ad nauseam, something about “Great Renewal” and “New Springtime” since Vatican II? What happened?!

In any case, we have seen that the true Catholic teaching is that even if people do not know about or believe in the indissolubility of marriage, as long as they intend to enter the matrimonial union, their marriage is valid, unless they make a positive act of the will not to enter into a union that is indissoluble — and even that positive will, if not externally manifested, would have to be proved, not presumed, before a valid annulment could be issued.

But notice how devious the Argentinian impostor pope is: He is carrying out his subversion of holy matrimony and of the presumption of sacramental validity under the guise of lamenting a crisis in marriage, when the truth is that by these remarks, Bergoglio is exacerbating the crisis by colossal proportions.

Here we might add that it was Francis himself who, in September 2015, opened the bogus “annulment” floodgates even further, when he overhauled and “streamlined” Novus Ordo marriage annulments, which were already being given out like popcorn:

In his two motu proprio documents, Francis not only made receiving a declaration of nullity easier, faster, and free, he also added unheard-of new grounds for considering a marriage null and void, such as “brief conjugal cohabitation”, “defect of faith”, and “abortion procured to avoid procreation”! But not enough, for we can now add a new one to the list: “not meaning the marriage vow when you say it”! And this man wants people to think he is bewailing how many invalid marriages there are? Whom is he kidding?!


They think they’re married! But not to worry: Francis’ annulment factory is waiting in the wings in case it doesn’t “work out”…

But alas, we are not done yet, for the monster Jesuit from Argentina knows how to add insult to injury. Right after shedding crocodile tears over the terrible matrimonial ignorance which afflicts “the great majority” of people who think they’re validly married, Francis launches his next attack on truth and decency by claiming that cohabitating fornicators in marriage prep courses ought not to be told the truth about marriage: 
“They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.”

So there we have it: This is precisely the reason — one of them, that is — why so many people in Francis’ religion are clueless about marriage: because they are never told by those who ought to tell them. And Francis is going to do all in his power to ensure that it will stay this way! He is the kind of man who first creates a problem, then bewails that the problem exists, and then offers more of the problem as the solution.

Instead of telling cohabitators in marriage preparation that they must separate and refrain from all sexual relations until they are married as a precondition to be even allowed to get married — how’s that for helping someone understand the beauty and uniqueness and exalted state of holy matrimony! — Francis proposes his cure-all of pastoral “accompaniment”, a term left, of course, conveniently undefined.

But it gets better: Francis claims that the cohabitating fornicators possess “fidelity” (!) which needs but “mature”! There goes the Novus Ordo doctrine of “elements” again: We now have “elements of marital fidelity” in two people who are habitually engaging in mortal sin against the Sixth Commandment, all in the spirit of Amoris Laetitia! At least we now finally know what Bergoglio meant in his 2010 book On Heaven and Earth, which he co-authored with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, when he said that “co-habitation certainly does not have the fullness, or the greatness of marriage” (p. 116). It sure doesn’t. But it won’t matter, because… accompaniment! 

But we’re still not done — Francis tops himself yet again: “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity…” This is blasphemy!

Francis says here openly and without shame that in some cases of fornication — namely, when the two partners are particularly attached to each other in this mortal sin — God blesses them for their sin and rewards them with the “grace of a real marriage”! This is foul and disgusting beyond words! “Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Is 5:20)!

Words fail at the sight of such brazen and direct identification of evil with good!

At the same time, this frightful utterance is but Francis’ re-application of the same blasphemy once spoken by “Pope” John Paul II, who claimed that it is God Himself who is responsible for the firmness with which non-Christians adhere to their false religions: “...the firm belief of the followers of the non-Christian religions [is] a belief that is also an effect of the Spirit of truth operating outside the visible confines of the Mystical Body…” (Antipope John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptor Hominis, n. 6). Francis simply took the essence of John Paul II’s thesis and applied it to fornication. Voilà! Different scenario, same blasphemy — brought to you by the same Novus Ordo religion.

Of course, fornicators cannot practice fidelity because fidelity (“faithfulness”) refers to the marriage vow — you know, that little bit of text you said on your wedding day when you promised fidelity to your spouse “until death do us part”. If you meant it, that is.

As we explained in our in-depth podcast covering Amoris Laetitia, for Francis there is no essential difference between holy matrimony and fornication, between vice and virtue, between holiness and sin, between truth and error, between God and the devil. When a man and a woman sin long enough exclusively with one other, this constitutes a “real marriage” for Jorge Bergoglio. This is where we’re at. Let this sink in for a minute.

As we said in a recent post, Francis has completely done away with black and white — everything is now fifty shades of grey! The Novus Ordo Church is a sect straight from the pit of hell. Francis really couldn’t make it any clearer.

And to answer right up front the question Jimmy Akin’s next blog post will ask in its title: Yes, Jimmy, he did.

See Also:

Four-Part Sermon Series

Bp. Sanborn on the Antichrist


There has always been much talk about the Antichrist and the end of times. Some people have a virtual obsession with this topic, so much so that they neglect their own spiritual lives, forgetting that understanding and figuring out every bit of divine prophecy is neither required, nor necessarily salutary, nor even possible (cf. 2 Pet 1:20; Mk 13:31-33). As St. Paul said to the Corinthians: “And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Cor 13:2). Knowing all of God’s truths without loving Him, will only earn us eternal condemnation (cf. Jas 2:26).

This is an essential caveat to keep in mind. 

Yet, although it is important not to obsess about and get too caught up in issues relating to the end times, it would also be foolish to act as though one could never talk about or try to understand these things. Holy Scripture — indeed our Blessed Lord Himself — speaks about the end of days and the coming, reign, and ultimate defeat of the Antichrist on numerous occasions (e.g. Mt 24; 2 Thess 2), and these prophecies and sacred instructions were not given to us that we should ignore them, but that we should take them to heart and recognize the signs of the times (cf. 2 Tim 3:16-17; Mt 16:3).

In this spirit, then, we present the following four sermons on the Antichrist and the End of Times, originally given by Bp. Donald J. Sanborn in 2012, i.e. before Jorge Bergoglio began his charade as “Pope Francis” in the Vatican.

Bp. Sanborn is rector of Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida. He is a frequent guest on various radio programs produced by True Restoration. In 2004, His Excellency engaged in a public debate with Dr. Robert Fastiggi, a representative of the Novus Ordo religion, regarding Vatican II’s ecclesiology. The passionate debate and a follow-up conference can be watched here.

Below, find the audios of Bp. Sanborn’s excellent four-part sermon series on the Antichrist.

Antichrist & End of Times, Part I
(by Bp. Donald J. Sanborn; delivered in 2012)

Antichrist & End of Times, Part II
(by Bp. Donald J. Sanborn; delivered in 2012)

Antichrist & End of Times, Part III
(by Bp. Donald J. Sanborn; delivered in 2012)

Antichrist & End of Times, Part IV
(by Bp. Donald J. Sanborn; delivered in 2012)

For more free audios published by Most Holy Trinity Seminary, including weekly sermons by various truly Catholic clerics, access the seminary’s sermon & podcast page here.


Bp. Donald Sanborn

In conjunction with the above sermons, we also highly recommend Cardinal Henry Edward Manning’s discourses on the same topic, which he delivered in 1861, and which shed great light on the situation we find ourselves in today:

There can be no doubt that we are living in the times of the Great Apostasy, in which the true Catholic Church is undergoing her Mystical Passion. This time period was foretold, and we were warned against the tremendous deceptions that would mislead the masses: “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand” (Mt 24:24-25).

The great 19th-century priest Fr. Frederick Faber gave a specific example of the manner in which people would be misled: 

We must remember that if all the manifestly good men were on one side and all the manifestly bad men on the other, there would be no danger of anyone, least of all the elect, being deceived by lying wonders. It is the good men, good once, we must hope good still, who are to do the work of Anti-Christ and so sadly to crucify the Lord afresh…. Bear in mind this feature of the last days, that this deceitfulness arises from good men being on the wrong side."

(Fr. Frederick Faber, Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, 1861; qtd. in Fr. Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World; underlining added.)

In other words, it will not be enough to “have good intentions.” The work of the Antichrist (!) will be accomplished by people who “mean well”! 

“And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened” (Mt 24:22).

Let us pray for the grace of final perseverance!

See Also:

Clarity on a much-misunderstood issue...

The Question of Authority:
“Who are YOU to say who is a Heretic?”


It happens all the time when discussing Sedevacantism or related topics, especially with people in the recognize-and-resist camp, like adherents of the Society of St. Pius X or the Fraternity of St. Peter: Whenever the other side is out of arguments, the objection will be made that the sedevacantist has no authority to say what he is saying — for example, to determine who is a heretic, or to say whether a particular theological conclusion is indeed correct — as though it required an act of authority to discern whether a man is a Catholic or a heretic, or as though Catholic teaching were only to be held in theory but never allowed to be applied in practice to a concrete situation.

This tactic is not new, and the great anti-Modernist Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany refuted it well over 100 years ago in his monumental work Liberalism is a Sin (1886). This book was endorsed and praised by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office under Pope Leo XIII. The book exposes the ideas and tactics of the Modernists, called Liberals at the time, and we 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). 

It is unfortunate, and perhaps telling, that today we hear the arguments once used by the Modernists, repeated by those who consider themselves traditional Catholics.

The excerpt below is Chapter 32 of Liberalism is a Sin, which specifically addresses the objection that a layman cannot discover heresy on his own, and/or cannot accuse another of being a heretic. Nothing could be further from the truth.

[Begin Excerpt]

CHAPTER 32 Liberalism and Authority in Particular Cases

How is one to tell on his own authority who or what is Liberal, without having recourse to a definitive decision of the teaching Church? When a good Catholic accuses anyone of Liberalism or attacks and unmasks Liberal sophisms, the accused immediately seeks refuge in a challenge of the accuser's authority: "And pray, who are you to charge me and my journal with Liberalism? Who made you a master in Israel to declare who is or who is not a good Catholic? And is it from you that I must take out a patent on Catholicity?" Such is the last resort of the tainted Catholic on finding himself pushed to the wall. How then are we to answer this opposition? Upon this point, is the theology of Liberal Catholics sound? That we may accuse any person or writing of Liberalism, is it necessary to have recourse to a special judgment of the Church upon this particular person or this particular writing? By no means.

If this Liberal paradox were true, it would furnish Liberals with a very efficacious weapon with which, practically speaking, to annul all the Church's condemnations of Liberalism.

The Church alone possesses supreme doctrinal magistery in fact and in right, juris et facti; her sovereign authority is personified in the Pope. To him alone belongs the right of pronouncing the final, decisive and solemn sentence. But this does not exclude other judgments less authoritative but very weighty, which cannot be despised and even ought to bind the Christian conscience. Of this kind are:

1. judgments of the Bishops in their respective dioceses.

2. judgments of pastors in their parishes.

3. judgments of directors of consciences.

4. judgments of theologians consulted by the lay faithful.

These judgments are of course not infallible, but they are entitled to great consideration and ought to be binding in proportion to the authority of those who give them, in the gradation we have mentioned. But it is not against judgments of this character that Liberals hurl the peremptory challenge we wish particularly to consider. There is another factor in this matter that is entitled to respect, and that is:

5. The judgment of simple human reason, duly enlightened.

Yes, human reason, to speak after the manner of theologians, has a theological place in matters of religion. Faith dominates reason, which ought to be subordinated to faith in everything. But it is altogether false to pretend that reason can do nothing, that it has no function at all in matters of faith; it is false to pretend that the inferior light, illumined by God in the human understanding, cannot shine at all because it does not shine as powerfully or as clearly as the superior light. Yes, the faithful are permitted and even commanded to give a reason for their faith, to draw out its consequences, to make applications of it, to deduce parallels and analogies from it. It is thus by use of their reason that the faithful are enabled to suspect and measure the orthodoxy of any new doctrine presented to them, by comparing it with a doctrine already defined. If it be not in accord, they can combat it as bad, and justly stigmatize as bad the book or journal which sustains it. They cannot of course define it ex cathedra, but they can lawfully hold it as perverse and declare it such, warn others against it, raise the cry of alarm and strike the first blow against it. The faithful layman can do all this, and has done it at all times with the applause of the Church. Nor in so doing does he make himself the pastor of the flock, nor even its humblest attendant; he simply serves it as a watchdog who gives the alarm. Opportet allatrare canes "It behooves watchdogs to bark," very opportunely said a great Spanish Bishop in reference to such occasions.

Is not perchance the part played by human reason so understood by those zealous prelates who on a thousand occasions exhort the faithful to refrain from the reading of bad journals and works, without specially pointing them out? Thus do they show their conviction that reason, this natural criterion, illumined by faith, is sufficient to enable the faithful to apply well-known doctrines to such matters.

Does the Index of Forbidden Books itself give the title of every forbidden book? Do we not find under the rubric of "General Rules of the Index" certain principles according to which good Catholics should guide themselves in forming their judgment upon books not mentioned in the Index, but which each reader is expected to apply at his own discretion? Of what use would be the rule of faith and morals if in every particular case the faithful could not of themselves make the immediate application, or if they were constantly obliged to consult the Pope or the diocesan pastor? Just as the general rule of morality is the law in accordance with which each one squares his own conscience (dictamen practicum--"practical judgment") in making particular applications of this general rule (subject to correction if erroneous), so the general rule of faith, which is the infallible authority of the Church, is and ought to be in consonance with every particular judgment formed in making concrete applications--subject, of course, to correction and retraction in the event of [a] mistake in so applying it. It would be rendering the superior rule of faith useless, absurd and impossible to require the supreme authority of the Church to make its special and immediate application in every case and upon every occasion which calls it forth.

This would be a species of brutal and satanic Jansenism, like that of the followers of the unhappy Bishop of Ypres, who exacted, for the reception of the Sacraments, such dispositions as would make it impossible for men to profit by that which was plainly intended and instituted for them by Jesus Christ Himself.

The legal rigorism invoked by the Liberalists in matters pertaining to faith is as absurd as the ascetic rigorism once preached at Port Royal [the seat of the Jansenist heresy]; it would result even more disastrously. If you doubt this, look around you. The greatest rigorists on this point are the most hardened sectaries of the Liberal school. But how [to] explain this apparent contradiction? It is easily explained, if we only reflect that nothing could be more convenient for Liberalism than to put this legal muzzle upon the lips and the pens of their most determined adversaries. It would be in truth a great triumph for them, under the pretext that no one except the Pope and the bishops could speak with the least authority, and thus to impose silence upon the lay champions of the Faith, such as were DeMaistre, Cortes, Veuillot, Ward, Lucas and McMaster, who once bore, and others who now bear, the banner of the Faith so boldly and unflinchingly against its most insidious foes.

Liberalism would like to see such crusaders disarmed and would prefer above all to succeed in getting the Church herself to do the disarming.

[End of Excerpt — bold print added for emphasis]
[Source:]; translation from Spanish by Conde B. Pallen; imprimatur 1899]

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