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Pray For The Pope

 

 

A STUDY OF THE PAPACY

AND

SEDEVACANTISM

 

by

 

Richard L. Cure

 

 

With extensive quotes from many Catholic books

including the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

 

The author wishes to make grateful acknowledgment to Father James Buckley not only for the graces of the Sacraments and Masses but also for challenging my beliefs concerning the papacy and in guiding my search as to the ideals of sedevacantism. Also to Father Eugene Berry for his many years of providing the Mass and Sacraments and for reminding me that there are many problems with sedevacantism which started my search for understanding sedevacantism. Having very weak English skills, I also wish to thank my dear wife (Rosanne), Dr. Mary Buckalew, and Henry Sestak in their work to make different parts of this study readable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Edition

 

 

 

 

Copyright, 1998, by Richard L. Cure

 

 

 

 

Printed in the United States of America

by

Richard L. Cure

601 Houston Street

Sanger, TX 75067

 

 

 

AUTHOR’S PREFACE

 

It was in the early seventies that it became clear to my parents that something was, to an extreme, wrong in the Church. The liberal priest which the bishop had sent to our parish was an innovator, to say the least. He seemed intent on distorting the faith rather than building it. He did finally, openly leave the priesthood. But before he did my parents went in search of the faith. They found a priest who’s bishop had kicked him out because he questioned the validity of the new order of consecrating the Blessed Sacrament. This priest was out on his own, trying to find his way in a world gone mad.

There were few of these so called "traditionalist" priests. Most of the priests that knew there was something wrong retired rather than disobey, which brought about an extreme shortage of priests. The people saw the changes in the Church and chose not to be a part of it. Schools, religious orders, and seminaries closed and those that didn’t turned out much different priests than the usual traditional Catholic priests.

The "traditional" priests were quite a staunch group. Many of them were extremist and badly hurt by the way they had been treated.

Some of the extremist priests took the position that the changes in the church were not catholic and that the Pope could not be catholic and be a part of these changes. Therefore he (the Pope ) couldn’t be pope, therefore the Chair of Peter was vacant. At first these priests were rather quiet (as a rule) about their position, but as time went on their numbers became larger and they became bolder and more vocal.

I was one of the "faithful traditionalists" who went along with these extremist ideals. I wasn’t so much for or against it. It just seemed to make sense based on the articles I had read on the state of the church and the positions the Pope was, supposedly, taking. I could see that some of the radicals who were taking bishoprics to themselves outside the confines of the church were wrong, and to be avoided like a plague, but nevertheless when I was labeled a sedevacantist (one who believes the chair of Peter is vacant) I thought it fit.

It’s very important to realize that sedevacantism’s belief is that the Chair of Peter is vacant even though the Catholic world believes the opposite. We have had times in the Church (almost 300 times) when the Pope has died leaving the chair vacant but this is with the whole church knowing of the vacancy and anxiously awaiting a new Pope, which is not a sedevacant situation.

After moving to a new location and having a new priest who took a very aggressive stand against sedevacantism, I was forced to stop and analyze why I took a sedevacantist position, and base my position not on assumptions which others had taken but on the teachings of the Church.

One Sunday while trying to analyze the situation I realized that sedevacantism stood against the idea of a visible church. It was through the research of the visibility of the Church that I found myself researching other related issues such as infallibility, schism, epikia, the history of the church regarding the popes who had been questioned as popes, and the times of the Great Western Schism.

One of the unsettling issues of my early research was that of trying in vain to find anything about sedevacantism in anything written before the seventies. Here I was, a self-proclaimed "traditional catholic" (one who holds to the traditions of the church) and I couldn’t find anything in history to substantiate a sedevacantist title, let alone show any semblance of its being a traditional teaching of the Church. Quite to the contrary I found that sedevacantism was something quite new to the Church, and history showed it to be extremely destructive to the Church.

What follows is an awkwardly written piece, not only by mishap but somewhat by design. It is written with as little of my own input as practical, so as to have the bulwark of the text quote from very catholic sources, most of them imprimatured, so the reader will be struck by the fact that these ideals are those of the Church and that they stand against sedevacantism.

After reading and writing most of the text I still had one reservation which caused me to question whether sedevacantism was as wrong as I had found it to be. That reservation was the fact (I haven’t been able to prove or disprove its authenticity) that Our Lady of LaSellete said, "In the end Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the anti-Christ." To me this statement had said that the Pope would become the anti-Christ. But finally I realized that if the Pope were to resign to a parliamentary type organization, or if the Pope were to die and the cardinals were to establish a parliamentary organization, then that organization could elect a president that could then be the Anti-Christ, in opposition to the Papacy. With this I realized there were probably many other ways I hadn’t thought of which would fit the prophecy. With that realization my last reservation for sedevacantism was gone.

This preface is in conflict with the style of the text since the purpose of the text is to play down my own opinion and to stress the quoted authorities. But a great deal of the purpose of the preface is to lay the foundation for an understanding of the people involved in sedevacantism. It is hoped that the reader will realize that men err and that they should be given information with charity.

The final chapter "Sedevacantism ?" is a summary written to be more easily read and to be printed separately. For those wishing to study the subject the main text has more meat and less opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

Author’s Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

 

"Thou Art Peter" (Rock). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

 

The Great Western Schism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

 

Gallicanism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

 

Infallibility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

 

Visibility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Schism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53

 

Tradition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

 

Summary "Sedevacantism ?". . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"THOU ART PETER" (ROCK)

 

How important is the Pope to the Church?

"St. Matthew (xvi. 13-19) tells us that Our Saviour was questioning the assembled Apostles as to who He was said to be: ‘Who do men say that the Son of Man is?’ Jesus asked. They answered: ‘Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and other some Jeremias, or one of the prophets.’ Then Our Saviour pressed the subject further saying. ‘But who do you say that I am?’ To this great question Peter alone replied, saying: ‘Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus was much pleased at this open profession of His divinity.

"And now note carefully what Our Lord replied in answer to St. Peter. First, He pointed out to him that his faith and knowledge were gifts and graces from God: ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father who is in heaven.’ Then, continuing, He said: ‘And I say to thee; Thou art Peter.’ In other words, you have told me who I am, now I will tell you who you are, and what I will have thee do. ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ The word ‘Peter’, as you know, comes from the Latin word, ‘petra’ (meaning ‘rock’). Peter was the rock upon which the Church was to be built. The stability and permanence of any building depends greatly upon the quality of its foundation. And so firm was to be that rock upon which Christ would build His Church, that as He says, ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matt., xvi. 18)." The Apostles’ Creed, by Rev. Clement H. Crock, Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., New York, 1938, Imprimatur, Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York page 215-216.

Rev. Ripley puts the same subject thus: " ‘Upon this rock.’ Jesus is promising Peter that he is to be to the Church as a rock is to a building. But a rock gives durability to a building. As a firm foundation, it holds all the different components together. The metaphor of the ‘house built on rock and the house built on sand’ was perfectly familiar to the Jews. What is it that makes any society cohere and last? Surely, authority. If there is no proper authority, there is no proper social existence. Hence, St. Peter is here promised the authority necessary to keep the Church together and to make it endure. Unless this is so, Christ’s words are meaningless.

"Incidentally, it is worth noting that to find the true Church of Christ, you must find the rock upon which it stands. To find the Church, find Peter. ‘Where Peter is, there is the Church.’ " (My emphasis.) This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, Guild Press, Inc., New York, 1960; orriginally printed by The Bircley Hall Press, 1951, page 147.

"On the same occasion, and almost in the same breath, Our Saviour repeated and enlarged upon His promise to St. Peter, saying: ‘And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven’(Matt.,xvi.19). What powers to place in the hands of a mortal man! In the early days every city was surrounded by sturdy walls. To gain entrance, one had to enter through a large gate or door, which was under lock and key. The Church of Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven, the City of God, and St. Peter was to hold the keys of that kingdom. Therefore, St. Peter’s allotted place in the Church of God was that of head. For it is the master of the house, the ruler of the city or fortress, who holds the keys. It is evident, therefore, that when Christ promised Peter the Keys of th Kingdom of Heaven, it was equivalent to saying to him: ‘I will make you to be the head of My Church.’ " The Apostles’ Creed, by Rev. Clement H. Crock, page 216.

After the resurrection Our Lord while speaking to some of the apostles: "....turning to Peter He asked him three times: ‘Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?’(John, xxi. 15). Each time Peter replied; ‘Yes, Lord; Thou knowest that I love thee.’ In recognition, and as a reward of his love, Our Saviour addressed him in these solemn words: ‘Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.’ (John, xxi. 15).In the Greek language, the word ‘feed’ means the same as to rule or to govern. The faithful are the lambs of Jesus, and His sheep are their pastors. And lambs and sheep together comprise the whole flock of Christ, which constitutes the Church. Over this flock, Peter was appointed Shepherd. Therefore says Bossuet, ‘everyone is subjected to the keys given to Peter, all, kings, and people, shepherds and flock.’ " The Apostles Creed, by Rev. Clement H. Crock, page 216.

"The Apostles Recognized Peter’s Primacy.

"In the Gospels (Matt., x. 2; Mark, iii. 16; Luke, vi. 14) and in the Acts of the Apostles (i. 13), St. Peter is always mentioned first, although he was not the first of the twelve to be chosen by Christ. Everywhere he is recognized as the leader without any protest ever arising from any of the others. In fact, St. Matthew expressly states that Peter ‘is the first’ (Matt., x, 2). On Easter morn, upon hearing of the Saviour’s Resurrection, St. John and St. Peter ran in haste to the grave. St. John, being the younger arrived first, but he waited until Peter arrived, so that he entered first. Jesus also had repeatedly indicated to the Twelve that Peter was being singled out as their leader. It was from Peter’s boat that Jesus preached to the people an the seashore. Jesus paid the drachma for Himself and Peter. It was for St. Peter that He prayed that his faith might not fail, and, once confirmed, he might confirm his brethren. After the Resurrection Jesus appeared first to St. Peter, and gave him the power of the keys." The Apostles’ Creed, by Rev. Cement H. Crock, page 217.

"It might be argued that the supremacy of the Pope has been disputed in many ages. So has the authority of God been called into question. Nay, God’s very existence has been denied only too frequently. For ‘the fool hath said in his heart there is no God’ (Ps. lii. I). But the denial does not destroy the existence and dominion of God. Even parental authority has been impugned from the beginning. But by whom? By unruly children. It is much the same with the authority of the Popes. Their parental sway has been opposed only by the Church’s insubordinate sons who grew impatient of the Gospel yoke. Thus, Photius, the leader of the Greek Schism, was an obedient son of the Church until Pope Nicholas refused to recognize his usurped authority. Henry VIII was a stout defender of the Pope’s supremacy until Clement VII refused to legalize his adultery. Luther professed a most abject submission to the Pope until Leo I condemned him and his erroneous doctrines." The Apostles’ Creed, by Rev. Clement H. Crock, page 219.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GREAT WESTERN SCHISM

(Sedevacantism’s Most Influential Era)

Note: In this section those gallican or sedevacantist ideals are italicized.

Down through history there have been men and groups of men who have judged and tried to pass judgment on the reigning pope. But never in history was this done in a manner sufficient to bring about the confusion of the Catholic world as it was done during the thirteen and fourteen hundreds. It was during this time that the Great Western Schism took place because of such rash men which prepared the way or bought about Protestantism. In order to understand how these events could have taken place, one needs to understand some history of the popes and the throne of Peter before this time. By studying history one can better understand our own times. By seeing how wild things were in times past, one can feel relief or at least not so much distress at seeing what is happening in our days. Knowing that something similar has happened in the past and knowing what brought it about and what the end result was helps us evaluate the events of our days. We will start with Pope St. Celestine V in 1294, as that time seems to set the stage for the errors of sedevacantism to issue in The Great Western Schism.

Pope St. Celestine V, Reigned July-December, 1294

Having had many impious and sometimes scandalous popes, Peter Morone, a pious, saintly hermit, was taken from his mountain cave and made Pope Celestine V. He had no understanding of the running of such an office and after five months resigned as Pope. There had never been a case of a pope's resigning which raised the question as to how to handle the situation. It is important to note that Pope St. Celestine V resigned so another could be elected and not to reject the papacy or to do away with the Papacy.

Pope Boniface VIII, Reigned 1294-1303

Boniface VIII's, being elected to replace Celestine V, further complicated matters by having Celestine (who was later canonized) apprehended for fear that he might be the cause of a schism, for the enemies of Boniface ". . . . claimed that Pope St. Peter Celestine V had not resigned, or could not resign, and was therefore still Pope when Boniface VIII took the tiara rendering his election invalid. Having voted for Boniface in the December, 1294 conclave, the Colonna were not in a good logical position to make this argument, . . . " The Glories of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, Christendom Press, 1993, page 335. Celestine V escaped and returned to his cave where he was again abducted but once again escaped only to wander through the forest for weeks before coming to the coast where he boarded a ship in hopes of completing his escape. The ship was driven ashore by a storm, Celestine was recognized by the authorities, once again abducted, brought before Boniface VIII and this time kept in custody. After some time he was transferred to the strong castle of Fumone at Ferentine where he died ten months later. These events gave the reign of Boniface a look of conspiracy, casting additional doubts on his papacy and the papacy.

The reign of Boniface VIII was near the end of an age where the rulers of the Christian world had given the popes the right to rule, that is, the right to determine the rightful ruler in an area and the right to settle disputes. Boniface stated in Papal Bulls that he, as pope, had these rights given to him by the Church and that he had temporal rights (in order that he could rule as a king). In fact, he had the right to rule temporally (other than the Papal States) only if the people or rulers gave him the right. So basically Boniface was spouting what could be, and was, construed by his enemies as heresy. This was especially true of those whom the pope had deposed or excommunicated, of which there were quite a few including some in high office. This dispute put many kings against the pope.

Boniface VIII in trying to settle a dispute of the Colonna family (a powerful Italian family in which there were many cardinals) made extreme enemies of the family who then worked various sorts of intrigue against the pope. The Colonna family issued a manifesto stating that Boniface was not pope because of his irregular election. Boniface pointed out that the Colonnas had not opposed him earlier and that, in fact, they had supported him. It was only after disagreeing with his decisions that they claimed his election invalid. "The Pope obtained support from most of the cardinals; all but two of the 17 current members of the College other than the two Colonnas signed a statement declaring that, Pope Peter Celestine V had resigned freely, that the election of Boniface VIII was valid and that the Colonna cardinals had voted for him and always until this time recognized him as Pope; the cardinals described the Colonnas as "madmen."" The Glories of Christendom by Warren H. Carrol, page 336. The disputing members of Colonna family fled the papal states to France after having been defeated in war and having their insurrection put down.

Philip the Fair (whose name did not truly describe him) King of France was at odds with Boniface because the king insisted on laying heavy taxes against the Church to support his unholy wars. Philip the Fair used the ideals of Gallicanism to support his arguments that he had a right to oppose the Pope and to rule the church. See the chapter on Gallicanism.

After much intrigue, including the Kings group forging documents from the Pope to the King, Philip the Fair called for a general council to accuse the Pope of most every sin, of heresy and of wrongful election. "The Colonna (cardinals who had fled the papal states) furnished the materials for those infamous charges, long since adjudged calumnious by grave historians . . ." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Boniface VIII, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 668.

Because of Philip's having taken control of the Church of France, the Pope was prepared to excommunicate Philip. "Philip, however and his counselors had taken measures to rob this step of all force, or rather to prevent it at a decisive moment. It had long been their plan to seize the person of Boniface and compel him to abdicate, or in case of his refusal, to bring him before a general council in France for condemnation and deposition." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Boniface VIII, page 668.

Philip sent a band of a couple thousand mercenaries who captured Pope Boniface VIII and held him captive for three days. After having been freed the Pope lived only ten days.

Although history is unclear as to Boniface VIII's wrongs, it is clear that he was wrong in many ways. Whether a formal heretic or not, the answer would be "not", but it must have been believed by most that he upheld beliefs which were contrary to Catholic teaching.

The reign of Boniface and its intrigues set the stage for future cases of judging of popes which resulted in the down-playing of respect for the papacy. Philip the Fair and his actions were not condemned by the Christian world, the result was more disrespect for the papacy.

This era was marked by a frequency of popes who spent a large percentage of their time and energy dealing with the affairs of different nations. This resulted in an extreme amount of attention to nationalism which we can see distracted the popes from their main duties of the sanctification of souls.

A quote from Church History by Fr. John Laux, M.A., Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1989, Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York, says, concerning Boniface VIII; "His violent temper and his inconsiderate political measure created numbers enemies for him at Rome and abroad. He found himself almost at once in conflict with the two most powerful kings of the time, Edward I of England and Philip the Fair of France. The question at issue was the taxation of the clergy." Page 396.

 

 

 

Pope Benedict XI, Reigned 1303-1304

The next pope, Benedict XI, was elected after a month's delay. He had been a supporter of Boniface VIII and was later declared Pope Saint Benedict XI. Pope Saint Benedict XI stood firm against the convictions of Philip the Fair concerning the memories of Boniface VIII, whom Philip the Fair wanted removed from the list of popes, and for this reason it is believed he was poisoned.

At this point in the history of the popes of this age, it is important to bring to the reader's attention the deplorable state of affairs in Rome which became one of the reasons for the division and confusion of the Church. Today we find it surprising that the popes did not reside in Rome. The people in the times covered by this study looked to Rome for leadership but over time and with gradual change, it came to be considered normal for the Pope to reside elsewhere. Rome had become the seat of world power. With this came different, conflicting groups bidding for power.

Each faction had its own section of the city and travel between the different sections meant the coping with guards and such causing communication between groups to become very impractical. The Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. IV, Clement V; Robert Appleton Company, 1908; Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York; page 20, describes the conditions of these times in Rome as such; "Confusion and anarchy were prevalent, owing to the implacable mutual hatred of the Colonna and Orsini (two prominent families), the traditional turbulence of the Romans, and the frequent angry conflicts between the people and the nobles, conditions which had been growing worse all through the thirteenth century and had eventually driven even the Italian Popes to such outside strongholds as Viterbo, Anagni, Orvieto, and Perugia." Pope Benedict XI died in Perugia. This residing outside of Rome lead the way to the abuse of establishing a papal palace where in lived and reigned the next good many true popes and a good many anti-popes of Avignon. So through gradualism the Church's resistance to the unorthodox idea of the pope living outside of Rome was accepted.

Pope Clement V, Reigned 1305-1314. Took up residence in Avignon.

Following a vacancy of the Chair of St. Peter of eleven months, Clement V was elected and was the first pope in many years to once again rule from Rome, but only for a short period of time. Clement moved to Avignon and this began the "Babylonian Captivity" a prelude to the Western Schism. ". . . the king, Philip the Fair, wished the name of Boniface stricken from the list of popes as a heretic, his bones disinterred burned, and the ashes scattered to the wind." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Clement V, page 21. But Clement could not accept the King's demands, ". . ., since no Pope can teach heresy or be removed, alive or dead, from the catalogue of the Popes." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol page 349.

Clement did call a council to judge the former pope. But the council, once convened, made no such move. It appears that the King finally realized that he had been fed a pack of lies, for he backed off and asked that it be proclaimed by the Pope that he (the King) had acted in good faith. ". . . with the death of his personal enemies, opposition to Boniface diminished, and his legitimacy was no longer denied even in France." Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. IV, Clement V, page 21. In all times, wrong information is so easily had especially from those who have something to be gained or an ax to grind.

Pope John XXII, Reigned 1316-1334, Avignon

For two years and three and a half months, the Chair of Peter had been vacant. All Christendom awaited anxiously the election of a new Pope. With the election of John the XXII, the Church was once again ruled from Avignon. John XXII took many of the same positions as Boniface VIII including that in which he proclaimed the Pope as having temporal power to enthrone or depose kings.

The rule of German lands was in dispute. With the position, went the title of Holy Roman Emperor. Louis of Bavaria finally gained the upper hand and was crowned King without the blessing of the Pope, John XXII. King Louis of Bavaria supported many of the enemies of the Pope and many of them had been condemned or excommunicated as heretics by John XXII. The Pope gave warning to the King that he had no right to exercise any rule until he (King Louis of Bavaria) had been examined, approved, and given the bestowal of Imperial Dignity by the Pope.

King Louis claimed the Pope to be harboring heretics and proposed a general council to set in judgment of the Pope.

Pope John XXII excommunicated King Louis of Bavaria who then went to Italy where, in Milan, he received the Crown of Lombardy from the hands of two deposed bishops and arbitrarily appointed several new bishops. The Pope appointed bishops to the same sees which resulted in open schism.

On 17, January 1328, the excommunicated King received the imperial crown from Sciarra Colonna, of the same family so infamous during the reign of Boniface VIII. On 18, April in the name of King Louis, Colonna (after a farcical proceeding) proclaimed John XXII a heretic, usurper, and oppressor of the Church, and deprived him of all his papal dignities, supposedly.

Nicholas V, Reigned 1328-1330 (Anti-pope)

Louis of Bavaria proclaimed an anti-pope, Nicholas V, to replace Pope John XXII. In time Nicholas V repented and went to John XXII to ask forgiveness, which he received.

One of the issues which greatly added to the confusion was that Pope John XXII took the position that those in heaven did not possess the Beatific Vision and would not until after the Last Judgment. John had written on this subject before having become Pope and maintained the position throughout most of his reign and, in fact, preached many sermons on the subject. For this reason many called John XXII a heretic.

On the subject of John XXII's views on the Beatific Vision is a quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VIII, John XXII, Robert Appleton Company, 1910, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 433: "A great commotion was aroused in the University of Paris when the General of the Minorities and a Dominican wrote to King Philip IV on the matter (November 1333) and emphasized the fact that, as long as the Holy See had not given a decision, the theologians enjoyed a perfect freedom in this matter. In December, 1333 the theologians at Paris, after a consultation on the question, decided in favor of the doctrine that the souls of the blessed departed saw God immediately after death or after their complete purification; at the same time they pointed out that the Pope had given no decision on this question, but only advanced his personal opinion, and now petitioned the Pope to confirm their decision. John appointed a commission at Avignon to study the writings of the Fathers, and to discuss further the disputed question. In a consistory held on 3, January, 1334, the Pope explicitly declared that he had never meant to teach aught contrary to Holy Scripture or the rule of faith and, in fact, had not intended to give any decision whatever. Before his death, he withdrew his former opinion and declared his belief that souls separated from their bodies enjoyed in heaven the Beatific Vision."

Warren H. Carroll gives an in-depth analysis of the issue from a truly historical position, which is by nature a traditional point of view as a traditional position will always be shown to be the historical position. He states in The Glory of Christendom: "The controversy over the Beatific Vision launched by Pope John XXII in a series of five extraordinary sermons at Avignon beginning November 1, 1331, is unique in the history of the Church. At the time of, and since the proclamation by the First Vatican Council in 1870 that the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedral on faith and morals, there has been much speculation about whether, and under what circumstances, a Pope might hold an erroneous theological opinion without teaching it so as to be binding on the whole Church, but the Beatific Vision controversy involving Pope John XXII is the only actual example of this kind. It has also sometimes been noted as a remarkable phenomenon that despite the large number of aged Popes in the history of the Church, none has become senile. But a touch of senility may help to explain the astonishing imprudence of John XXII in this particular matter; for this controversy spanned his 88th, 89th and 90th years.", page 371.

"But a Pope can never really be only a "private theologian". While he may speak on theological issues without intending to bind the faithful, his unique post and duties and responsibilities make it inevitable that any pronouncement by him on such issues will have enormous impact. He cannot avoid seeming to teach whenever he speaks on theology. For a Pope to propose a doctrine, actually or apparently contrary to that held by most of the Church, when he is not sure of its truth, is imprudent in the highest degree. No Pope has ever gone so far in such imprudence as John XXII in the Beatific Vision controversy." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol page 372.

"Clearly the Pope was not imposing his erroneous view, nor teaching it ex cathedra. But by continuing to press the issue he was putting himself and the Church in a most peculiar position-indeed, almost inviting the Church to repudiate him on a subject where he had supreeme and infallible authority but was refusing to exercise it, evidently because he had genuine doubts about the truth of his propositions. But if he doubted them, why in the world did he keep proposing them?" The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 372.

"History gives us no answer to that question; but a Catholic historian can well remind us that this would not have been the first time Satan had tempted a Pope, right up to the brink of disaster which God will not allow to happen. Were Popes Liberius, Vigilius, and Honorius praying for John XXII in this his hour of testing?" The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 373.

"Papal infallibility had once again been preserved and once again, as with Popes Liberius, Vigilius, and Honorius by a very narrow margin." The Glory of Christendom by Warren H. Carroll, page 373.

John XXII was very controversial in his time. A goodly portion of the faithful had reason to believe the Pope to be non-Catholic because of his informal heretical beliefs. But those judging the Pope only served to divide the Church with schism. By condemning the Pope, there was no benefit to the Church, but rather it was weakened and as a result many souls were lost. John XXII's positions led to further disregard for the papacy thereby leading to the Great Western Schism.

Benedict XII, Reigned 1334-1342, Avignon

The next Pope, Benedict XII, was the third Pope to reign from Avignon. Pope Benedict XII resolved to move the papal court back to Rome but was vigorously opposed and gave in to the arguments. He reigned for eight years.

Clement VI, Reigned 1342-1352, Avignon

"The memory of this Pope is clouded by his open French partisanship and by the gross nepotism of his reign." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. IV, Clement VI, Robert Appleton Company, 1908, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 24. Nepotism is the giving of church possessions to family members such as bishoprics. Pope Clement reigned from Avignon like his predecessor. Avignon was on the edge of France. Pope Clement bought the territory and established a papal state of Avignon, further cementing Avignon as the papal residence. "The cumulative effect of the forty-one years of papal residence at Avignon and the evidence of partiality for the French by the series of French Popes there most evident in the incumbent Pope Clement VI - had reduced respect for the papal office to the lowest level since the great Hildebrandine reform of the eleventh century." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 390.

Innocent VI, Reigned 1352-1362, Avignon

This Pope reigned for ten years. He restored the papacy to its proper activities and most noteworthy was that he caused the Papal States of Italy to be restored to the papacy which set the stage for the return of the papacy to Rome.

Urban V, Reigned 1362-1370, Avignon

Succeeding Innocent VI was Urban V who returned to Rome, but eventually went back to Avignon. He was a Frenchman who caused many problems in the Church due to excessive love of his homeland, but his reign was quite good because of his pious ways and understanding of the importance of returning the papacy to Rome.

Fr. John Laux writes in his book, Church History, "The celebrated Mystic, St. Bridget of Sweden, who spent the last thirty years of her life in Rome, wrote to the Popes at Avignon and expressed the fear that, unless they soon returned to Italy, they would forfeit not only their temporal, but also their spiritual authority. When Urban IV (sic) who had taken up his residence in Rome for two years (1368-1370), went back to Avignon, she prophesied "his speedy death" which actually took place a few months later." Church History , by Fr. John Laux, page 401. It was Urban V not Urban IV.

Gregory XI, Reigned 1370-1378, Rome

Although Gregory XI managed to return the papal reign to Rome, his was a turbulent eight year reign. A major cause of the trouble was due to Pope Gregory’s extreme French nationalism which imposed frenchmen in positions of authority over the Italians causing many riots in Rome. Pope Gregory was the last true pope of French origin and is famous for having been convinced by St. Catherine of Siena to return to Rome. "In the summer of 1376 she went in person to Avignon and urged Gregory to return to Rome. Her burning words at last overcame all opposition, and on September 13, 1376, Gregory left Avignon for Genoa, and on the 17th of January, 1377, made his entry into the City of St. Peter." Church History, by Fr. John Laux, page 401.

Urban VI, Reigned 1378-1389, Rome

Upon Gregory XI's death, Pope Urban VI was elected in Rome while mobs outside, and some inside, were demanding the selection of a Roman or at least Italian Pope. The cardinals did elect Urban VI, an Italian, but before he could get to Rome to accept the position, the mobs became violent. For fear of their lives (note this was after the new Pope had been elected), the cardinals dressed an Italian cardinal (other than the one truly elected) in the robes of the Pope and presented him to the crowd as the new Pope. The fake Pope protested such deception, but to no avail. Once Urban VI arrived he was announced as the Pope and was accepted by all.

". . . . Urban VI, who appears to have been a retiring, self-effacing man before his elevation to the pontificate, displayed at once a burning zeal for reform, particularly to eliminate the bribery and simony which had become all too common in the papal court, coupled with a shocking lack of prudence and tact. He called Cardinal Orsini a "half-wit"; directed that no cardinal should eat more than one course per meal; physically attacked the Cardinal of Limoges at a private meeting, waving his stick as though to beat him; and warned that he might soon begin excommunicating cardinals for simony, on his own authority and without canonical process. Cardinal Robert, young (36) and vehement, weighed in with a warning of his own: "Unlike your predecessors, Holy Father, you do not treat the cardinals with that honor which you owe to them. You are diminishing our authority, but verily I tell you that we will do our best to diminish yours." The next few months were to show that Cardinal Robert meant exactly what he said." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 431.

Again from The Glory of Christendom, Warren H. Carrol we quote what its author quotes of St. Catherine of Siena in letters to the cardinals after their changed position towards Urban VI, "You could not endure, not only an actual correction indeed, but even a harsh word of reproof made you lift up rebellious heads. This is the reason why you changed . . . ", page 425.

According to Fr. John Laux in Church History; "The French cardinals, who formed the majority in the Sacred College, were dissatisfied with the city and wished to return to Avignon, where there were no dilapidated basilicas and ruined palaces, no tumultuous Roman mobs and deadly Roman fevers; where life was, in one word, more comfortable," page 404.

"In mid-July, while writing a letter to Urban assuring him of their loyalty, they agreed among themselves that the April election had been invalid due to duress by the surrounding mob and that, using this as a reason, they would withdraw recognition from Urban. On July 20, they wrote to the Italian cardinal who had been at the conclave calling upon them to come to Anagni within five days and announcing that they now regarded the Holy See as vacant." [my emphasis] The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 433. The whole world regarded Urban as the true Pope and these few men, because of what had taken place since they had made him Pope, decided to change their position.

St. Catherine of Siena's response to these cardinals in a letter was, "You clearly know the truth, that Pope Urban VI is truly Pope, the highest pontiff, chosen in orderly election, not influenced by fear, truly rather by divine inspiration than by your human industry. And so you announced it to us, which was the truth. Now you have turned your backs, like poor, mean knights; your shadow has made you afraid. You have divided yourselves from the truth which strengthens us, and drawn close to falsehood, which weakens soul and body, depriving you of temporal and spiritual grace. What made you do this? The poison of self-love, which has infected the world. This is what has made you pillars lighter than straw-flowers which shed no perfume, but stench that makes the whole world reek! . . . This is not the kind of blindness that springs from ignorance. It has not happened to you because people have reported one thing to you while another is so. No, for you know what the truth is; it was you who announced it to us, and not we to you. Oh, how mad you are! For you told us the truth, and you want yourselves to taste a lie! Now you want to corrupt this truth, and make us see the opposite saying that you chose Pope Urban from fear, which is not so; but anyone who says it - speaking to you without reverence, because you have deprived yourselves of reverence - lies up to his eyes . . . " The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 425. As with most anything, we can be sure there was some honest confusion for some, but for others it was a preying on the situation to benefit themselves. Those in doubt were to stick with what they knew and not accept that which was questionable.

On 20, September, Robert of Geneva - the same who stated that they may diminish the Pope's power - was chosen Pope (Anti-Pope Clement VII) and on this day the Western Schism began. "The schism was now an accomplished fact, and for forty years Christendom was treated with the melancholy spectacle of two and even three rival Popes claiming its allegiance. It was the most perilous crisis through which the Church had ever passed." Fr. John Laux in Church History, page 405.

"It is very difficult to decide exactly how far the schism is to be attributed to Urban's behavior. Indisputably the long exile at Avignon was its principal cause, as it diminished the credit of the Popes and inversely increased the ambition of the cardinals, who were always striving to obtain more influence in the government of the church. Whatever may have been the causes of this event, it is certain that the election of Urban was lawful, that of Clement uncanonical." Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. XV, Urban VI, Robert Appleton Company, 1912, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 217.

As to the cause of the schism and to the damage caused by it, we turn to The Papacy by Wladimir D'Ormesson, Hawthorn Books-Publishers, 1958, New York, NY, as volumn 81 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernerd, Vicarius Generalis, Westmonasterii, page 77, "This revolution [Protestant revolution] had its origins in the past. Although it broke out in 1517 with the publication of the famous thesis of the monk Martin Luther on indulgences, many causes had been preparing the way for it for a long time. The two principal causes may be mentioned here.

"Firstly, the decline in the prestige of the papacy led in Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and their followers to a genuine hatred of Rome. This had begun with the humiliation of Agnani. For its part, the "Babylonian Captivity", as the popes' over-extended stay in Avignon was called, helped to prepare the way for the Great Schism, the conflict between council and the Pope, that somber period during which the Church was divided between two and even three factions.

"The second cause was the corruption - and the word has to be used - into which the Roman Curia had fallen; corruption in every sense of the word, carnal as well as intellectual . . . "

We might add another cause which St. Catherine alludes to in her statement to the cardinals who were starting the Great Western Schism when she said, "That is what has made you pillars lighter than straw-flowers which shed no perfume, but stench that makes the whole world reek!" A religious in schism does not give the graces (perfume) and stands for the faith like a pillar of straw. Those in schism want to deny the traditional teaching of the church that schismatics do not receive or give graces from the sacraments. Tradition, as one can see from St. Catherine's statement holds that outside the church there is no grace to be obtained from schismatics sacraments. St. Catherine also said "You have divided yourselves from the truth which strengthens us, and drawn close to falsehood, . . ., depriving you of temporal and spiritual grace." Quotes of St. Catherine taken from The Glories of Christiandom , by Warren H. Carrol, page 425.

As stated by many sources above, many extreme ills befell the church and of course the world because of men's disrespect for the papacy and the Pope. It is impossible to show disrespect for a Pope without showing some disrespect for the Papacy. The disrespect shown today by sedavacantists towards the Pope leads us down the same roads the times before the Great Western Schism to repeat the same consequences in our present times? The reign or the Anti-Christ?

A plot was formed to capture Urban VI, to try him and either depose him or burn him at the stake. The Pope discovered the plot, had the cardinals arrested, their possessions confiscated and even had some of the cardinals executed. At almost every turn Urban VI did the wrong thing. Public opinion turned against him almost totally. Yet he was still the one true Pope.

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Up to this point, in this text, each Pope has been discussed in his period of time separate from each other Pope. From this point on (due to the fact that we have a True Pope and an Anti-Pope, or two, at the same time) we will change the format so that we will first go through each Pope (True and Anti) discussing that Pope and his different points of interest in chronological order. This way, hopefully one can be introduced to each of these most important characters who formed these important times. If one can first know the characters, or at least have a list of characters to refer to, then one will be able to follow the next section which will discuss the events, players and try to show the problems, how they came about, how they affected the Church then, after and now.

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Clement VII, Reigned 1378-1394 (Anti-Pope), Avignon

Clement was elected Pope by mostly French cardinals outside of Rome in defiance of Urban VI whom they had elected only a short time before. Clement and his followers moved to Avignon and set up a parallel church, starting the Great Western Schism.

Clement's reign was, in the first place, French with the Spanish cardinals quickly coming to his side. He was excommunicated by Boniface IX, Urban VI successor. Clement died excommunicated.

What a confusing and disgusting situation. People tried to rationalize the situation and try to find a solution without blaming or condemning anyone. "The University of Paris, or rather, its two most prominent professors, John Gerson and Peter d'Ailly, proposed that a General Council should be summoned to decide between the rival claimants. Many refused to accept this solution, rightly claiming that the Pope was supreme in the Church and could be judged by no one." Fr. John Laux in Church History, page 405. My emphasis.

Boniface IX, Reigned 1389-1404, Rome

Boniface IX was elected to replace Urban VI upon Urban’s death. In spite of the world turning against him and most of the world accepting the crafty anti-pope, Boniface IX managed to keep sight of who he was. Three nobles, other than that of French and Spanish persuasion, told him he should abdicate: Richard II of England (1396), the Diet of Frankfort (1397), and King Wenceslaus of Germany (Reims 1398).

Benedict XIII (anti-pope) who succeeded Clement VII (anti-pope), sent embassaries to Boniface, but the interview ended unfavorably. "The Pope, (Boniface IX) highly irritated, took to his bed with an attack of gravel and died after an illness of two days." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. II, Boniface IX, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 671.

Benedict XIII, Reigned 1389-1424 (anti-pope), Avignon

The anti-pope, Benedict XIII, who reigned from Avignon, remained schismatic throughout his years as anti-pope and to his death. The Catholic Encyclopedia has no section on Benedict XIII, the anti-pope, even though he was a prominent figure in history. Many of the problems of the time and in the following years can be contributed to this man. In spite of all the obvious evidence which convinced all the other schismatic popes to repent, this man refused.

Innocent VII, Reigned 1404-1406, Rome

Innocent reigned from Rome and pledged to end the schism even if he had to give up the tiara to do so. He came short of his goal mainly due to political issues and the schism went on.

Gregory XII, Reigned 1406-1415, Rome

"It was due to his great piety and his earnest desire for the end of the schism that, after the death of Innocent VII, the cardinals at Rome unanimously elected him Pope on November, 1406. He took the name Gregory XII. Before the papal election each cardinal swore that in order to end the schism, he would abdicate the papacy if he should be elected provided his rival at Avignon (Benedict XIII) would do the same." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VII, Gregory XII, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 1.

Gregory XII lost almost all followers but still remained the true Pope and was the one person most responsible for the proper return to sanity. During his reign, a third Pope was elected. The most note worthy development about Gregory XII's reign was that in spite of all that men did to solve the problem, it was solved only in God's good time. Even though Gregory abdicated his position so that a new Pope could be elected by a united church, no new Pope was elected until after Gregory XII died in the odor of sanctity leaving the papacy vacant not just in the eyes of men or due to men’s design. It seems the Holy Ghost held up the election of a new pope until after Gregory’s death.

Alexander V, Reigned 1409-1410 (anti-pope), Bologna Pisan Line

Cardinal Philarghi (the future Alexander V) led a group of cardinals to form the Council of Pisan whose purpose it was to depose the existing popes and elect a new Pope to end the schism. Most of the cardinals from both lines of popes attended. The catholic world was elated to see the church working together to end the schism. Once the Council of Pisan had elected Alexander Pope the world was even more dismayed to realize that now it had three claimants to the Papacy.

John XXIII, Reigned 1410-1415 (anti-pope), Pisan Line

The world was looking for a man that would take charge and end the schism. Cardinal Cosa seemed to be that man. He took a force of men and militarily took Rome and declared Alexander Pope of Rome, but Alexander refused to leave Bologna.

Once Alexander died and Cardinal Cosa was elected Pope of the Pisan Line, he went to work to take control of the Catholic hierarchy by virtually every means available. Even though he bought many of his allies, he ended his reign a broken man running from his own shadow.

The Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VIII, John XXIII, Robert Appleton Company, 1910, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 434, describes Cardinal Cosa (later to become John XXIII) as " . . . utterly worldly minded, ambitious, crafty, unscrupulous and immoral, a good soldier but no churchman."

Martin V, reigned 1417-1431, Rome

Martin V was elected Pope (after Gregory XII died) by the Council of Constance. Martin V was of the Colonna family which had brought the Church so much misery by its self-serving actions. Often we see God use those who have wounded the Church to then correct the wrong.

The boldness by which Martin V refused to go to Avignon or anywhere else but Rome and rejected the heretical ideals of the Council of Constance, on limiting the power of the Pope, made the Catholic world realize how good it was to finally be a visibly united church again. But the Church's problems with sedevacantism wasn't over, not even in those times. More anti-popes were to be elected by the followers of Benedict XIII and by the Council of Basil.

Clement VIII, Reigned 1424-1429 (anti-pope), Avignon

Clement VIII was elected to succeed Benedict XIII after Benedict's death but submitted to Martin V in 1429.

Benedict XIV, Reigned 1424 (anti-pope), Avignon

Elected by one cardinal to replace Benedict XIII, he had very little following. By this time people had become so disobedient and disrespectful that this anti-pope could get away with such nonsense as being elected by only one cardinal and still proclaim himself Pope.

Eugene IV, Reigned 1431-1447, Rome

Eugene IV, elected at the death of Martin V, held strong against the forces of Gallicanism/Sedevacantism during the Council of Basil which elected an anti-pope, Felix V. Eugene finally saw the whole Christian world finally obedient to the Holy Roman Pontiff for a short while.

Felix V, Reigned 1439-1449 (anti-pope)

Duke Amadeus of Savoy was elected anti-pope by the Council of Basil in defiance of Pope Eugene IV who would not recognize or approve the Council of Basil.

After Felix the storms of Sedevacantism lead by Gallicanism seemed to die down and the Church could then turn to the problems of the Protestant revolt.

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We can now return to a more readable text by going through the events more as they happened and give a broader view of what went on involving all these different factions.

It may concern some, that many of the quotes used are not from religious, but rather historians. We use historians, the same as the Catholic Encyclopedia did because the historian, although he may not take the positions of the traditionalists of his time, at least strives t see the trends of times past. So usually an astute historian can recognize the traditional teachings of the Church and easily recognize those who go against tradition. A traditionalist is one who follows the beliefs the Church as historically followed.

We find many so called "traditionalist" today who are not traditional at all but are rather innovators blinded by their own times, and with no understanding of times past which is necessary in order to be true traditionalists. A "traditionalist" has to be knowledgeable of church history or how else can he be a "traditionalist"? How can one follow tradition if one doesn't know what was traditional as shown by history or dogmatic decree?

So here we will use the knowledge of the historian as a reputable source of knowledge although all human sources are to be somewhat suspect.

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As a review, we last left a somewhat orderly following of the history of the Great Western Schism, with Urban V's unusual election. As you may remember, the cardinals dressed a fake pope up as the Pope to appease the crowd which was becoming rowdy. When the true Pope arrived, he was announced to the world with no problems, but after a while the cardinals, seeing the new Pope was not friendly to them or their hopes of returning to Avignon, they turned against the Pope. They twisted their thoughts to believe what they wanted to believe so they could do what they wanted to do. As St. Catherine of Siena put it, ". . . lies up to their eyes."

It is said that the number one sin man goes to hell for is that committed against the sixth commandment. But I would say that the number one reason (not sin) that men go to hell is for the fact that they lie. Because of lies the sinner believes he hasn't sinned and the heretic believes he isn't in heresy and the schismatic believes he is in the Church. Most of them fail to confess their sins and make themselves right with God because they have believed their own lie and believe they are not guilty. As a result, they are condemned by their sins but are lost due to their lies or at least because they had no love of the truth, which is a form of a lie. So we see these cardinals lead the world down a dark path which caused many countless souls to be lost, then, and in the future, by their abandoning of what they knew well enough. Like the obese person who tells himself, "Oh well, it doesn't matter, I will eat just a little more." The Cardinals took the position that it was such a small hair to split for so much good to be gained and so much comfort to boot. So they claimed that the previous election was under serious duress and that they didn't really want to elect Urban V but were forced to by the mobs. All they had to do was state the fact that there was a menacing mob, leaving out the fact that their choice had already been made before there was a threat. True, they could probably remember someone stating that the people might become angry if they didn't elect someone the people would approve. The point is that if one is willing to let any particle of the truth go by the wayside things soon become much distorted. There is an old saying, "The ultimate punishment of a liar is that he believes his own lies." So the world doesn't repent and the confusion gets worse.

So an Anti-Pope was elected (Clement VII) who set up his reign from Avignon. The Catholic world was disturbed to realize what a mess the Church was in and as a top priority it wanted to see the schism ended. When Clement VII died, the world hoped that there could then be a reconciliation, but instead a replacement Pope was elected who was even more bull-headed, Benedict XIII.

When the true Pope died (Urban VI) the College of Cardinals, under the Bishop of Rome, unanimously elected Gregory XII who had sworn he would abdicate the papacy if the rival Pope from Avignon would do the same, so then a new Pope could be elected which could represent the whole of the Catholic world without dispute.

"In their embarrassment and anger, the French theologians dealing with the issue began to take positions contrary to the immemorial traditions and teaching of the Church, which in time became the full-fledged heresy of conciliarism." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 460.

History is unclear, but it is believed that St. Vincent Ferrer set up a meeting between Gregory and Benedict to bring about a reconciliation of the schismatics to the Church. The meeting never took place as Gregory was afraid that he would be captured and made a prisoner of Benedict and because of various other problems.

Gregory convened his cardinals to address the problem and ordered them not to leave. Seven of the cardinals secretly left and met with the cardinals of Benedict at Pisa to form a Council of Pisa. Benedict and Gregory were both invited to participate, but neither went to Pisa.

"The famous French prelates Gerson, Cramaud and d'Ailly all now proclaimed the ultimate authority of a council to act without papal authorization in a crisis, without saying who was to define when such a crisis existed or how authority could be differently derived in a crisis than in less critical times." The Glory of Christendom, Warren H. Carrol, page 471.

"The last warning voice before the Council of Pisa against this highly dangerous trend was that of a scholar at the German University of Heidelbert; . . . he spoke, clear as a bell, for tradition and truth:

""One must submit unconditionally to the Pope, however wicked he may be. Gregory XII is the true Pope. Hence it is unlawful to deny obedience to him, and one cannot damage him in any way, no matter what good may be the purpose of it. The cardinals' withdrawal of obedience made without any semblance of due form, is invalid. The arguments made in support of this action carry no weight. It is impossible to say [as many theologians now were saying] that Gregory has committed a heresy by being involved in the schism . . . The Pope will have to give account to God for the vows he made to bring unity to the Church: no mere human being has any right to judge him in respect of them, nor has an assembly of bishops, and still less one of the cardinals . . . They are trying to force the hand of the Holy Ghost!"" My emphasis.

"That was exactly what these prelates and theologians were doing. But no man forces the hand of the Holy Spirit. When the council met at Pisa, He was far away." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 471.

"All were stirred when the Patriarch of Alexandria, Simon de Cramaud, addressed the august meeting: "Benedict XIII and Gregory XII", said he, "are recognized as schismatics, the approvers and makers of schism, notorious heretics, guilty of perjury and violation of solemn promises, and openly scandalising the universal Church. In consequence, they are declared unworthy of the Sovereign Pontificate, and are ipso facto deposed from their functions and dignities and ever driven out of the Church. It is forbidden to them henceforward to consider themselves to be Sovereign Pontiffs, and all proceedings and promotions made by them are annulled. The Holy See is declared vacant and the faithful are set free from the promise of obedience." Catholic Encyclopedia ,Vol. XII, Pisa, Council of, Robert Appleton Company, 1911, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 113.

"Never", said they (the cardinals at Pisa), "shall we succeed in ending the schism while these two obstinate persons are at the head of the opposing parties. There is no undisputed pope who can summon a general council. As the pope is doubtful, the Holy See must be considered vacant. We have therefore a lawful mandate to elect a pope who will be undisputed, and to convoke the universal Church that her adhesion may strengthen our decision." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, Pisa, Council of, page 113.

"On 26 June, 1409 he (Cardinal Philarghi) was the unanimous choice of the cardinals to fill the presumably vacant Papal Chair . . . His legitimacy was soon questioned and the world was chagrined to find that instead of two Popes it now had three." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. I, Alexander V, Robert Appleton Company, 1907, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 288. Reminds me of the old television program, What's My Line, where three persons claimed to be a certain person and a panel asked the three persons questions in order to determine which one was the true person and which two were impostors. In the end, the true person would stand up. If we didn’t know better we would ask: "Would the real Pope please stand up?"

"There were now three Popes, and three Colleges of Cardinals, in some dioceses three rival bishops, and in some religious orders three rival superiors." Church History, by Fr. John Laux, page 407.

"Still Catholic by doctrine, the Church no longer displayed its great distinguishing mark of unity." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol page 474. The mark was still there, it was just hard to tell where.

"The Synod of Pisa was no Ecumenical Council: it has never been regarded as such by the Church. It was from the outset, as Pastor says, an act of open revolt against the Pope, a denial of the Primacy of St. Peter and the monarchical constitution of the Church. It was the first attempt to put into practice the theory of William of Occam, John Gerson, and Peter d'Ailly that a General Council is superior to the Pope." Church History , by Fr. John Laux page 406.

Cardinal Cosa, who earlier in his life had been a soldier, supported Alexander V. He (Cosa) lead a force and captured Rome, proclaiming Alexander the Pope at Rome, but Alexander [the second anti-pope] refused to leave Bologna, where he died in the year 1410.

The Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VIII, John XXIII, page 434, describes Cardinal Cosa (later to become John XXIII anti-pope) as ". . . utterly worldly minded, ambitious, crafty, unscrupulous and immoral, a good soldier but no churchman."

May 17, 1410 was the day on which Cardinal Cosa was elected Pope by the Pisan Party (from the Council of Pisa) and on May 24 he was ordained a priest. The following day Cosa was consecrated and crowned Pope, taking the name John XXIII.

"To the other trials of the Church was also added that of heresy. Whenever abuses against the moral and disciplinary teachings of the Church have been widespread errors against her doctrinal truths have obtained a ready acceptance, especially if the cloak of zeal for moral reform was thrown over them. The Englishman John Wycliffe and the Bohemian John Hus were the chief heresiarchs of this period." Catholic History , by Fr. John Laux, page 406.

Even after all the Church had gone through because of Gallicanism and sedevacantism, the Catholic world as a rule looked to a new council to solve its problems.

"On 30 October, 1413 Sigismund (King of Germany) invited Popes Gregory XII and Benedict XIII and all Christendom to attend, and prevailed on John XXIII, with whom he had a meeting at Lodi towards the end of November, to issue the Convocation Bull (9 December, 1413) of the general council to be opened at Constance on 1 November, 1414." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, John XXIII, page 434.

"The emperor had not bound himself by any permanent obligation towards John. He had needed this pope, as possessing the largest obedience, to bring about the council, but, from the summer of 1413, he had come to the conclusion that unity would be promoted only by the abication or the deposal of all three claimants of the papacy. John at first dominated the council (Constance) while he endeavored to increase his adherents by presents, and by the aid of spies, to learn the temper of the members. However, the hostility of the council towards him became ever more apparent." Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. VIII, John XXIII, Robert Appleton Company, 1910, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 435.

"A new Council met at Constance in 1414, having been called by the Pope of Pisa (John XXIII), and at its fourth and fifth sessions it proclaimed the superiority of the Council over the Pope, a thesis which became the basis of what was afterwards known as theological Gallicanism." The Papacy, by Wladimir D’ Ormesson, page 69.

At the Council of Constance, ". . . .John (XXIII) was persuaded to read aloud a formal promise of voluntary abdication of the papacy (2 March 1415), and to repeat this promise in a Bull of 8, March." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VIII, John XXII, page 435. Then he changed his mind and fled. In the twelfth session of the council 29 May, 1415 John was formally deposed by the council.

" . . ., on Good Friday (March 29, 1415) the Council drafted the essential provisions of what was later to become the famous and highly dangerous decree Sacrosanct which, along with denouncing the flight of Cosa, declared that the Council held authority directly from God and that the Pope, as well as all the faithful, must obey it in matters of faith, . . . " The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol page 486.

". . . never since the Council of Nicea had an ecumenical council been called by anyone other than a Pope until the Council of Pisa, which was hardly an encouraging precedent, . . . The Council of Constance could only acquire legitimacy from Gregory XII, who was in fact the true Pope, whatever people thought; but that was soon to come." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol page 486.

"The promised resignation of Gregory XII was now in order, and was accomplished with the dignity to be expected from the Pope usually considered by Catholic historians the legitimate occupant of the See of Peter, through at this time his obedience had practically vanished, being confirmed to Rimini and a few German dioceses." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, Robert Appleton Company, 1908, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York page 289.

John XXIII had bought many of his followers and had sold many a church position in order to gain his strength, while Benedict XIII commanded the following of the two strong Catholic States of Spain and France.

Gregory XII required that neither John XXIII nor any of his followers be head of the council. Gregory wanted the council to be headed by King Sigismund of the Holy Roman Empire. ". . . whereby it appeared, as the supporters of Gregory wished it to appear, that hither to the council was an assembly convoked by the civil authority." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, page 289.

". . . Cardinal d'Ailly presented a treatise to the Council in October which asserted that it had "the plenitude of power" rather than the Pope, and could not err though the Pope could. To show the greater power of the Council, d'Ailly recalled the Council of Pisa which "had condemned and deposed two Popes, one of whom must have been legitimate." Clearly he had not yet grasped the significance of the acceptance of convocation and authorization by the Council of Constance from the true Pope whom the Council of Pisa had claimed to depose. So thick was the cloud of confusion with which the Great Schism had enveloped even the best Christian minds that it required decades for this truth to dawn. It did not become fully understood until the nineteenth century,

obvious though it should have been to canonists at the time." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol page 498. Sounds like the same thick smoke of today.

The Council of Constance had taken positions contrary to the rule of the Church. It had proclaimed that a council could rule the Pope and that the Pope was subject to the council. These ideas were and are contrary to the teaching of the Church and it was through them, the ideals of Gallicanism, that the council presumed the authority to depose Popes. This is one of the reasons for Gregory's reluctance to have the council under the auspices of a schismatic Church and for his desire to put it under civil rule of King Sigismund of Germany.

"The Council of Constance finally put an end to the intolerable situation of the Church. At the fourteenth session (4 July, 1415) a Bull of Gregory XII was read which appointed Malatesta and Cardinal Dominici of Rogusa as his priories at the Council. The cardinal then read a mandatory of Gregory XII which convokes the Council and authorized its succeeding acts. Hereupon Malatesta, acting in the name of Gregory XII. pronounced the resignation of the papacy by Gregory XII and handed a written copy of the resignation, retained all the cardinals that had been created by him, and appointed him Bishop of Porto and Perpetual Legate at Ancona. Two years later, before the election of the new Pope, Martin V, Gregory XII died in the odour of sanctity." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VII, Gregory XII, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, New York, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York page 1. The Holy Ghost wasn't rushed even though men thought they were so smart a new Pope wasn't elected only after the old Pope died, even though he had resigned two years earlier.

"Under canon law and the unbroken tradition of the Church, no action, even of an ecumenical council is authoritative for the universal Church without the approval of the Pope, . . . " The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 502.

"The papacy and the Church had thus passed through an extremely critical period. Yet grave dangers still remained. The doctrine of the superiority of the Council had not been suppressed, and Luther's revolt was soon to be supported, in the first instance, by the principle of this superiority. Other and even graver dangers lay ahead." The Papacy, by Wladimir D’Ormesson, page 70.

"The Church was to pay for these serious short comings by a particularly severe and painful ordeal in the shape of the Protestant Revolution." The Papacy, by Wladimir D’Ormesson, page 70.

It quite often comes to pass that we are required to consider events or actions of individuals of some era in the past. If we try to judge or understand an era in history without first understanding the way in which that point in history was reached, it will be impossible to realize how certain given events happened.

This time of the Great Western Schism is very interesting because of the unreal events that took place and the utter confusion of the times. But once understood, one can better see what happened and why. For instance: Take the great St. Vincent Ferrer. Here is a St. who was instrumental in the raising from the dead hundreds of people (in the early 1400's) and converting whole synagogues to the faith. Many historians say that St. Vincent supported Benedict XIII, anti-pope of Avignon whom he was defiantly subject to. In studying St. Vincent Ferrer's case, I found at least one historian, and that one, the most respected historian in respect to the saints, that being the Rev. Alban Butler the author of the most respected Butlers Lives of the Saints, who shows disagreement with most historians in believing that St. Vincent Ferrer was not supportive of the schismatics. A saint reportedly supporting schismatics raises the question, how could it be that this saint was a saint while being schismatic (outside the Church) and therefore without the graces of the Church?

In quoting some of Rev. Butler's statements, one can get a glimpse at how a saint, who traveled and was accepted with respect by all three claimants to the papacy, could still be a true member of the one true church. On page 21 (April 5) he says that Benedict XIII (anti-pope) " . . . commanded Vincent to repair to Avignon, and made him Master of the Sacred Palace. The saint labored to persuade Benedict to put an end to the schism, but obtained only promises which the ambitious man often renewed, but always artfully eluded." And on page 22 "Peter de Luna, called Benedict XIII, sent for him out of Lorrain to Genoa, promising to lay aside all claim to the papacy. The saint obeyed, and represented to him the evils of the schism, which would be all laid to his charge; but he spoke to one that was deaf to such counsels." Butlers Lives of the Saints , by Rev. Alban Butler, Sarto Books, 1982. Three times in these two quotes Rev. Butler states that St. Vincent Ferrer did what his superior the anti-pope told him to do. So through "obedience" St. Vincent was subject to an anti-pope or at least this is what Rev. Butler believed.

In the times leading up to the Great Western Schism we see that Nationalism became blown completely out of proportion. Men put their country above the rule of the Church. French Popes promoted French churchmen and Italian Popes promoted Italian churchmen. To many, the purpose wasn't to do the best for the Church but rather to use the Church to promote the State, their family, or even their own ambitions.

Urban VI, we saw, was elected while a Roman mob was crying out for an Italian or Roman Pope to be selected. Their concern wasn't for the best possible man to be elected. They were too politically motivated. Clement VII was elected the first anti-pope of the Great Western Schism in the basically French territory by mostly French cardinals under the watchful and protectively dominating eye of the French monarch, who was the world power at the time.

Once again we see that Nationalism ruled the Church (or at least tried to), rather than the Church ruling Nationalism. As a result, when the cardinals from a nation went to elect a Pope, they went as a political group and the people of that nation went along with the hierarchy. When the cardinals met to declare Urban VI an anti-pope due to the unusual circumstances of his election and to elect a new Pope (Clement VII anti-pope) they went as a political group. Once Clement VII was elected there was no reason to expect the people of his country not to accept him as the true Pope since they had no means of knowing of the events that had taken place. They received any information they had via the hierarchy of the Church of their nation, that had carried out the elections. As St. Catherine of Siena said: " . . . it was you who announced it to us, . . ." The common people relied on the hierarchy to instruct them of important events. They had not the means available to them that we have today; satellite TV, cellular or regular telephones, periodicals, or even a reliable regular mail service. The common people depended on their superiors, were obedient to them and were faithful to their Pope, who happened in this case to be an anti-pope, they new no better. There was no case schism since, there was no choice for the people since they had no basis of understanding that there even was a problem or a decision to be made. As a nation, the French and Spanish were schismatic in that their hierarchies had chosen to take that path, but the common man wasn't even aware that his superiors had made a choice. Even if the common man had had some reliable means of sorting through the events and obtaining unbiased information, he still would have had to receive the sacraments from the available priests and bishops, as there, in most cases, was no question of being able to travel long distances on foot out of ones' parish in search of a different priest. And there was the problem of misinformation. Who was one to believe? One should be able to believe one's superiors.

So. St. Vincent Ferrer was an obedient and devout man whose fellow countryman had been elected Anti-Pope. Even though that man was an anti-pope and a schismatic it was not a personal schism for St. Vincent Ferrer. St.. Vincent Ferrer obviously never chose to be schismatic directly or indirectly. The choice was not his. He was not in the position to choose. The whole Spanish and French Church went to the side of the anti-pope Clement VII. St. Vincent was different than the ordinary man in that he traveled outside of his homeland and definitely saw and heard of the schism, as I am sure many men did, but he still held true to his superiors. Some of those suppiors were defiantly guilty of schism because they new and chose the wrong course.

""This dissension was called schism, but incorrectly. No one withdrew from the true Roman pontiff considered as such, but each obeyed the one he regarded as the true pope. They submitted to him, not absolutely, but on condition that he was the true pope. Although there were several obediences, nevertheless there was no schism properly so-called" (De Papa, I. 461)." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. XIII, Schism (Western), The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, New York; Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 541. Here the author is talking about the common man not those who had brought about the schism.

""I know no schismatics save those who stubbornly refuse to learn the truth, or who after discovering it refuse to submit to it, or who still formally declare that they do not want to follow the movement for union." (My emphasis) (Bishop D’Ailly of Combrai in 1409) Schism and heresy as sins and vices, he adds in 1412, can only result from stubborn opposition either to the unity of the Church, or to an article of faith. (My emphasis) This is the pure doctrine of the Angelic Doctor (cf. Tshackert, "Peter von Ailli", appendix 32,33)." Catholic Encyclopedia ,Vol. XIII, Schism, page 540&541.

Nationalism is what ran the Council of Constance. The Council wasn't called by the Pope, but rather by King Sigismund of the German speaking people who persuaded John XXIII to be the first to convoke the council..

At the Council of Constance each major group of nations speaking a different language was placed in a group of their own and called a nation, which divided the assembly into six nations.

"In the fortieth session finally (30, October) was discussed the manner of the new papal election. The council decreed that for this occasion, to the twenty-three cardinals, should be added thirty deputies of the Council (six from each nation) making a body of forth-three electors." Catholic Encyclopedia ,Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, Robert Appleton Company, 1908, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 290.

So a church divided by a schism, started by nationalism, was to be reunited to the Church through a council convoked by a schismatic, but approved by the true Pope just before his resignation, under the guidance of a civil authority and consisting of an electoral made up of thirty out of fifty three electors who were put in position by their respective nations.

Roman Cardinal Odo Colonna of the famous and infamous Colonna family, which was party in starting the schism by undermining the true Pope, was elected Pope, Martin V, by the Council of Constance. The Colonna family went to work to restore the Church. "At its forty-fifth session, he (Martin V) solemnly closed the Council (22, April 1418), whereupon declining invitations to Avignon or to some German city, he returned to Italy and after a short stay in Florence, entered Rome 28 September, 1420, and took up his residence in the Vatican, thereby restoring to the See of Peter its ancient rights and prestige in Christendom." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, page 290.

Benedict XIII, anti-pope, remained stubborn to the end and never admitted his wrong. The Council of Constance declared him deposed, through the ideals of Gallicanism, but the main point is that he never was the true Pope and couldn't possibly be while the previous Pope was still reigning.

Upon the death of Martin V, Eugene IV was elected Pope. A hatred of nepotism led Eugene IV to a conflict with the house of Colonna, the family of whom Martin V was a member. By surrendering their castles and paying an indemnity, the Colonnesi managed to patch up some differences and have some sort of peace with the Church.

A council was started at Basil to address problems of the Church, but Eugene IV dissolved the Council of Basil due to his distrust of the spirit of the Council. The Council refused to be dissolved and issued an encyclical stating it refused to be devolved. The Council had the support of all the secular powers since the Church was in great need of reform. The Gallican doctrine was reasserted which stated that the Council was superior to the Pope. The Pope was required to come before the Council, but he refused.

The Greeks showed a great deal of interest in reuniting with the Roman Church, but Basil was a difficult location to get to. The Pope changed the location to Ferrara by way of the publishing of a Bull. The Council of Basil declared the Bull invalid and threatened to depose the Pope. The leaders of the Council who were more disposed towards Eugene went to Ferrara to open the Council there under the Pope and as a result of the Council of Ferrara, the Greeks were brought, temporarily, into the Church. Those remaining at the defunct Council of Basil continued to move towards a formal schism. They pronounced Eugene, first suspended and then deposed on the charges of heretical conduct towards a general council (which they had called themselves). "To crown their infamy, the secretaries, now reduced to one cardinal and eleven bishops, elected an anti-pope, Duke Amaeus of Savoy, as Felix V. But Christendom, having recently experienced the horrors of a schism, repudiated the revolutionary step, and before his death, Eugene had the happiness of seeing the entire Christian world at least in theory, obedient to the Holy See." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. V, Eugene IV, Robert Appleton Company, 1909, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 602.

In discussing the arguments of historians as to how the popes of Avignon should be considered, the Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. XIII, Schism, page 541 states: "A final and quite recent argument comes from Rome. In 1904 the "Gerarchia Catholica", basing its arguments on the date of the Liber Pontificalis, compiled a new and corrected list of sovereign pontiffs. Ten names have disappeared from this list of legitimate popes, neither the popes of Avignon nor those of Pisa being ranked in the true lineage of St. Peter. If this deliberate omission is not proof positive, it is at least a very strong presumption in favour of the legitimacy of the Roman popes Urban VI, Boniface IX, Innocent VII, and Gregory XII. Moreover, the names of popes of Avignon, Clement VII and Benedict XII, were again taken by later popes (in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries) who were legitimate."

""A temporal kingdom would have succumbed thereto; but the organization of the spiritual kingdom was so wonderful, the ideal of the papacy so indestructible, that this, the most serious of schisms, served only to demonstrate its indivisibility." (Gesch. der Stradt Rom im Mittilalter, VI, 620). " Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. XIII, Schism, page 541.

If the reader could reread this chapter after finishing the rest of the book one would find this chapter much more understandable. And one will better feel the villenous of these times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GALLICANISM

 

"Gallicanism - This term is used to designate a certain group of religious opinions for some time peculiar to the Church of France, or Gallican Church, and the theological schools of that country. These opinions, in opposition to the ideas which were called in France ‘Ultramontane’, tended chiefly to a restraint of the pope’s authority in the Church in favour of that of the bishop and the temporal ruler." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, Robert Appleton Company, 1909, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 351.

"Through persistence intrigues and intimidation, Catholic sovereigns finally obtained the right of nominating bishops and abbots....... This kind of diminution of the papal authority manifested itself in two ways: on the one hand, by the appearance of doctrines favouring national clergies and secular authority - Gallicanism, Febronianism, Josephism - and on the other, in the pressure exerted by civil governments and even local parliaments on the papacy, as for example in the matter of the suppression of the Society of Jesus, or in the interminable struggle against Jansenism." The Papacy , by Wladimir D’Ormesson, Hawthorn Books-Publishers, 1958, New York, NY, as volumn 81 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernerd, Vicarius Generalis, Westmonasterii, page 84.

"According to the Gallican theory, then, the papal primacy was limited, first, by the temporal power of princes, which, by the Divine will, was inviolable; secondly, by the authority of the general council and that of the bishops, who alone could, by their assent, give to his decrees that infallible authority which, of themselves, they lacked; lastly, by the canons and customs of particular Churches, which the pope was bound to take into account when he exercised his authority." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 352.

"For the more moderate among them, Gallican ideas and liberties were simply privileges - concessions made by the popes, who had been quite willing to divest themselves of a part of their authority in favour of the bishops or kings or France. It was thus that the latter could lawfully stretch their powers in ecclesiastical matters beyond the normal limits. This idea made it’s appearance as early as the reign of Philip the Fair, in some of the protests of the monarch against the policy of Boniface VIII." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 352

"They said that the popes had found it impossible to recall to their allegiance and to due respect for ecclesiastical discipline the Frankish lords who had possessed themselves of episcopal sees; that these lords, insensible to censures and anathemas, rude and untaught, recognized no authority but that of force; and that the popes had, therefore, granted to Carloman, Pepin, and Charles the Great a spiritual authority which they were to exercise only under papal control. It was this authority that the Kings of France, successors of these princes, had inherited. This theory comes into collision with difficulties so serious as to have caused it’s rejection as well by the majority of Gallicans as by their Ultramontane adversaries." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 352.

We find that these ideas lay dormant until someone finds need of them to promote his cause. More from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the subject;

"But it appears that we should see here the expression of passing feelings, inspired by the particular circumstances, much rather than a deliberate opinion maturely conceived and conscious of its own meaning." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 353.

"At the opening of the fourteenth century, however, the conflict between Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII brings out the first glimmerings of the Gallican ideas. That king does not confine himself to maintaining that, as sovereign, he is sole and independent master of his temporalities; he haughtily proclaims that, in virtue of the concession made by the pope, with the assent of a general council, to Charlemagne and his successors, he has the right to dispose of vacant ecclesiastical benefices. With the consent of the nobility, the Third Estate, and a great part of the clergy, he appeals in the matter from Boniface VIII to a future general council - the implication being that the council is superior to the pope. The same ideas and others still more hostile to the Holy See reappear in the struggle of Fratricelles and Louis of Bavaria against John XXII; they are expressed by the pens of William Occam, of John of Jandun, and of Marsilius of Padua, professors in the University of Paris." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, pages 353 and 354.

Again Gallicanism arises during the Great Western Schism. "The Great Schism reawakened them suddenly. The idea of a council naturally suggested itself as a means of terminating that melancholy rending asunder of Christendom. Upon that idea was soon grafted the ‘conciliary theory’, which sets the council above the pope, making it the sole representative of the Church, the sole organ of infallibility." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 354.

Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, Robert Appleton Company, 1908, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, on page 289, says this about the conciliary ideas that were decreed by the Council of Constance; "These decrees, it must be remembered, though adopted at Basle and often quoted by the disciples of Gallicanism and other opponents of papal supremacy, were formulated and accepted at Constance amid quite unusual circumstances, in much haste, and in quasi despair at the threatened failure of the long-desired general council; they ran counter to the immemorial praxis of the Church, and substituted for its Divine constitution the will of the multitude or at best a kind of theological parliamentarism. They were never approved by the Apostolic See (Funk, Kirchengeschichtliche [maybe Kirk for short] Studien, Paderborn, 1897,I, 489-98) and were almost at once implicitly rejected by Martin V (Mansi, Coll. Conc. , XXXVIII, 200) ."

After the Council of Constance, the Council of Florence [in 1438 called by Pope Martin V] , was all the more remarkable for the fact that the two Churches [the Roman and the Greek] of the West and of the East, united then for the last time, both took part in the Council of Florence and declared;

"We define," declared the Council, "that the apostolic Holy See and the Roman Pontiff possess the primacy over the whole world; that this same Roman Pontiff is the successor of Peter, Prince of the Apostles; that he is the true Vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church, Father and Teacher of all Christians, and that to him was granted by Jesus Christ, in the person of Peter, the power to feed, rule and govern the universal Church, as is contained in the acts of the ecumenical Councils and in the holy canons." " [Traditionally?]

"Such a text was already formulated. However, it did not prevent Gallicanism, Febronianism or Josephism from developing and upholding theses which conspicuously limited the exercise of the papal primacy. The object of the [first] Vatican Council was simply to bring these vagaries to an end and to define the plenitude of the papal power in a manner that would be both clear and final." The Papacy , by Wladimir D’Ormesson page 111. But it wasn’t final. Heresy dies hard.

"Those principles [Gallicanism] even appeared at the Council of Trent, [1545 - 1562] where the ambassadors, theologians, and bishops of France repeatedly championed them, notably when the questions for decision were as to whether episcopal jurisdiction comes immediately from God or through the pope [My emphasis.], whether or not the council ought to ask confirmation of its decrees from the sovereign pontiff, etc." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 345. Today’s sedevacantists are still using the argument that they don’t need the Pope. Because sedevacantism doesn’t follow history it isn’t a traditionalist idea. It is an innovation which history has proved wrong over and over again and which history stands against and proves that sedevacantism stands against tradition.

"It was in France under Louis XIV that this policy of absolutism [the idea that the king had absolute power] was carried farthest. ..... His plan was to isolate the French Church, as far as he could, from the Papacy. ..... In 1673 he began to confiscate for his own use the revenues of all vacant sees and to claim for himself the right of appointing new bishops, leaving to the Pope the formality of confirming his choice.

"When the Popes resisted these claims, Louis summoned a General Assembly of the French Clergy (1681) and obtained from it the ‘Declaration of the Four Articles’, known as the Four Gallican Propositions, namely that:

1. The Pope may not interfere directly or indirectly with the temporal concerns of princes. 2. In spiritual matters a General Council is superior to the Pope.

3. The rights and customs of the Gallican Church are inviolable.

4. The Pope is not infallible, even in matters of faith, unless his decision is confirmed by the consent of the Church." Church History , by Fr. John Laux, Tan Books & Publishers, Inc., 1989, Rockford Illinois, originally published by Benziger Brothers, 1930, New York, Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York, page 508.

"Louis finally sought to bring about a reconciliation with the Holy See (1693). ....the King informed the Pope that the teachings of the Gallican Articles would not be enforced in the French seminaries. Peace was thus re-established, but more than once the Articles were revived by the successors of Louis to the great detriment of the authority of the Holy See. Gallicanism did not disappear entirely until after the Vatican Council (1870)." Church History , by Fr. John Laux page 509.

"When the Vatican council opened, in 1869, it had in France only timid defenders. When that council declared that the pope has in the Church the plenitude of jurisdiction in matters of faith, morals, discipline, and administration, that his decisions ex cathedra are of themselves, and without the assent of the Church, infallible and irreformable, it dealt Gallicanism a mortal blow." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 355.

"Stricken to death, as a free opinion, by the Council of the Vatican, Gallicanism could survive only as a heresy; the Old Catholics have endeavoured to keep it alive under this form." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 355. It is from roots of the Old Catholics that some of today’s sedevacantist bishops come.

"The principal force of Gallicanism was always that which it drew from the external circumstances in which it arose and grew up: the difficulties of the Church, torn by schism; the encroachments of the civil authorities; political turmoil; the interested support of the kings of France." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 355.

"But in the seventeenth century the Gallican doctrine takes its revenge with Richer and Launoy, who throw as much passion as science into their efforts to shake the work of Bellarmine , the most solid edifice ever raised in defense of the Church’s constitution and the papal supremacy. Catholic encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 355. [My emphasis.]

Those who usurp their schismatic bishopric position today wrongly claim Bellarmine as a supporter of their arguments. Again from The Catholic Encyclopedia :

"Gallicans drew their argument from the proposition that the theory of indirect power, accepted by Bellarmine, is easily reducible to that of direct power, which he did not accept." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol., VI, Gallicanism, page 355.

"Another characteristic which is apt to diminish one’s respect for Gallican ideas is their appearance of having been too much influenced, originally and evolutionally, by interested motives. Suggested by theologians who were under bonds to the emperors, accepted as an expedient to restore the unity of the Church, they had never been more loudly proclaimed than in the course of the conflicts which arose between popes and kings, and then always for the advantage of the latter. In truth they savoured too much of a courtly bias." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 356.

"Even apart from every other consideration, the practical consequences to which Gallicanism led, and the way in which the State turned it to account should suffice to wean Catholics from it forever." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 356.

With all the above it doesn’t concern me that the reader might still stand up for Gallicanism. But it is concerning that possibly the author has not shown the Errors of Gallicanism . So we will list them here:

1. That the pope alone can not be an infallible teacher of the church. 2. That a council is superior to the Pope.

a. That a council can teach infallibly without the Pope.

b. That a council can judge a Pope.

c. That a council can depose and replace a Pope.

3. That a bishop gains his position directly from God, independent of the Pope.

In the next chapter the subject of infallibility will be addressed. But here we need to make it clear as to why we are going to so much trouble to expose Gallicanism when our real interest or subject is sedevacantism. In Gallicanism we find the roots from which sedevacantism comes. Without the errors of Gallicanism sedevacantism would have no real support.

The ideals of Gallicanism and the ideals of sedevacantism that they support or brought about are:

1. That a council can judge a Pope-in order for a council to judge a Pope the

individuals of the council must first judge the Pope-so why not the

individual outside a council judge the Pope-if this logic stands then

there is no authority-the real world is that God alone judges the Pope.

2. That the right to rule comes directly from God-as a result one does not

need to consider the Pope-as a result we have sedevacantist who claim

they are bishops and even Popes who claim they are Popes without

bishops.

Most sedevacantists are sedevacantist by reaction not logic. That is they reacted to a situation which put them in a position of support of sedevacantist ideals. As a result they were labeled by others (and many times by themselves as well) as sedevacantist without understanding what that position meant or in what direction it would lead them, their friends or their beloved Church. In most cases when one is going down the path to the position of sedevacantist one can be turned back with logic to replace the reactions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFALLIBILITY

 

"Christ actually delivered a definite body of revealed truth, to be taught to all men in all ages, and to be guarded from change or corruption by the living voice of His Visible Church, it is idle to contend that this result could be accomplished effectively - in other words that His promise could be effectively fulfilled - unless that living voice can speak infallibly to every generation on any question that may arise affecting the substance of Christ’s teachings." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, New York, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 791. My emphasis.

" ‘Upon this rock.’ Jesus is promising Peter that he is to be to the Church as a rock is to a building. But a rock gives durability to a building. As a firm foundation, it holds all the different components together. The metaphor of the ‘house built on a rock and the house built on sand’ was perfectly familiar to the Jews. What is it that makes any society cohere and last? Surely, authority. If there is no proper authority, there is no proper social existence. Hence, St. Peter is here promised the authority necessary to keep the Church together and to make it endure. Unless this is so, Christ’s words are meaningless. [My emphasis.]

"Incidentally, it is worth noting that to find the true Church of Christ, one must find the rock upon which it stands. To find the Church, find Peter. ‘Where Peter is, there is the Church.’ " This is the Faith,, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, Guild Press, Inc., 1960, New York, Imprimatur: Richard, Archbishop of Livirpole England, first published in England in 1951, page 147.

"Thus the theology of the papal power has as its first dogma the primacy of Peter, a primacy that is not only that of a spokesman nor that of a kind of honorary president of an assembly. It is a matter of a primacy of jurisdiction giving him the right to govern the Church, to bind and to loose. Peter was everywhere her head. His name, ‘Man-Rock’, which Christ conferred on him the first time He saw him remained everywhere with him.

"However, the Church was not made for a single generation alone. She was to continue according to Christ’s promise, ‘until the consummation of the world’. ‘What had been instituted by Christ, in Peter, must necessarily, when St. Peter died he left heirs to his power. It is an undeniable historical fact that these heirs were the bishops of the City of Rome, which he had evangelized, where he had founded a Church, where he had suffered martyrdom, and where his body had been buried. That is why the Vatican Council said that ‘whoever ascends this Chair of Peter obtains thereby, in virtue of Christ’s institution, the primacy of Peter over the Universal Church’." The Papacy, Vladimir D’Ormesson, Hawthorn Books-Publishers, 1958, New York, NY, as volumn 81 of the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernerd, Vicarius Generalis, Westonasterii, page 113. My emphasis.

"So we have proved that Christ established a society ruled by a single supreme head. We have seen also that that society was to endure until the end of time. Therefore, the headship must also endure until the ���������������������end of time. The divinely established constitution of the Church cannot be changed; other wise the Church would cease to be Christ’s Church.� [My emphasis.] Moreover, Christ made it clear that he was going to give the Church Strength to resist her foes (‘the gates of hell’) until the end of time. The contest was to go on long after the apostolic age; it was to be a permanent feature of the Church’s Life. The means by which the Church was to endure was undoubtedly the supremacy conferred on Peter and inherited by his legitimately elected successors in the Roman See. If a visible authority was needed so close to Christ’s own lifetime, it was surely necessary when the Church had grown with the passage of time." (My emphasis.) This is the Faith, , by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 160.

"In the Church of Christ, as in every government and properly organized institution on earth, there must exist an ultimate authority, which shall decide when bishops disagree. As a nation has its responsible ruler, a judiciary its supreme court, an army its commander-in-chief, and a ship its captain so must the Catholic hierarchy have a responsible, recognized head, who shall give a final decision in matters of faith and morals. And this has always been the case." Rebuilding a Lost Faith, Stoddard, page 144. Quoted in A Course in Religion, Part IV, by Rev. John Laux, M.A. page 118.

"The teaching body to which Christ promised infallibility is composed of the Supreme Head of the Church, the Pope, and the Bishops united with him, for they are the successors of St. Peter and the other Apostles, who made up the original teaching body of the Church. Hence when differences arise in matters of faith or morals, the decisions are given either by the Pope or by a Council of Bishops confirmed by the Pope." A Course in Religion, by Rev. John Laux, M. A., page 117.

The following is a quote of the I Vatican Council as quoted in The Papacy, , by Wladimir D’Ormesson, pages 114 and 115. "That is why, by attaching ourselves faithfully to the tradition which comes down to us from the origins of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Saviour, the Exaltation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of the peoples, with the approval of the sacred Council, we teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when exercising his office as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals which is to be held by the universal Church - thanks to the divine assistance promised to blessed Peter, he enjoys that infallibility which the divine Redeemer wished to confer on his Church for the definition of doctrines of faith or morals; and therefore the definitions of the same Roman Pontiff are, by themselves and not by virtue of the consent of the Church, irreformable."

"Cardinal Gasparri sums up the Catholic position in his Catechism as follows:

"1. The Church is infallible in her office of teaching owing to the perpetual assistance of the Holy Ghost promised to her by Christ, when, either in the exercise of her ordinary and universal governance or by a solemn pronouncement as the supreme authority, she proposes, for the acceptance of all, truths of faith or morals that are either revealed in themselves or connected with revelation. [My emphasis.]

"2. To pronounce a solemn judgment of this kind is the peculiar function of the Roman Pontiff, and of the bishops together with the Roman Pontiff, especially when assembled in an Ecumenical Council. (My emphasis.)

"3. An Ecumenical or General Council is an assembly of the bishops of the entire Catholic Church called together by the Roman Pontiff; over such an assembly he himself presides either personally or by his legates, and it belongs to him authoritatively to confirm the Decrees of such a Council.

"4. The Roman Pontiff exercises his prerogative of personal infallibility when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when, in the exercise of his office as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.

"5. We are bound to believe with divine and Catholic faith truths concerning faith or morals that the Church proposes for acceptance by all the faithful, whether by her ordinary and universal authority or by some solemn pronouncement.

"6. A truth thus defined is called a ‘Dogma of the Faith’; denial of it is called ‘heresy.’ " This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 161.

"We now assert that God prevents this Church from giving men wrong teaching. He wants them to have certainty about the vital things He has revealed. So!

"(a) He prevents the bishops as a body from teaching error, i.e. where there is a moral universality of teaching by the bishops throughout the world, that teaching is guaranteed by God. This is known as the infallibility of the Church. [My emphasis.]

"(b) He prevents the Pope from teaching error when, acting as head of the Church, he teaches the whole Church on some point of faith or morals revealed by Christ. This is known as the infallibility of the Pope." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 163.

"This does not mean that the Pope cannot make a mistake or commit a sin or that he can teach on any subject which strikes his fancy or that he is inspired by God.

"It does mean that under certain conditions the Pope is preserved from error, namely:

"1. When he speaks ex cathedra, as supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and successor of St. Peter;

"2. When he defines a doctrine, i.e. when he makes it clear that the doctrine must be believed with a firm, interior assent of faith;

"3. When the doctrine defined concerns faith or morals, i.e. when it belongs to the doctrinal teachings or the moral principles of the Catholic religion as found in Scripture or Tradition ; (My emphasis.)

"4. When he speaks thus to the whole Church, intending to bind all its members throughout the world.

"The Pope does not claim to speak infallibly unless all of these conditions are simultaneously present." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 170.

"We said already that the Pope uses his infallibility when the conditions requisite for its exercise are present. He is personally infallible; no other bishop is. But, as a body, united to their head, the Pope, the bishops are infallible when they teach peremptorily. This they can do in two ways:

"(a) by their ordinary day-to-day united teaching by means of catechisms, ceremonies, traditional liturgical rites, pastoral letters, general condemnations, provincial or plenary councils, the tacit approval of the unanimous teachings of theologians. When the bishops are morally unanimous in teaching a doctrine as of faith or morals, or in reprobating one as a heretic they are infallible in their ordinary teaching; [My emphasis.]

"(b) by assembling in General or Ecumenical Councils. A General Council is a gathering of the bishops of the whole world, or of so many of them that they represent the whole world.

"To be Ecumenical a council must be

Convoked by the Pope;

Presided over by the Pope, either in person or through his Legates;

Ratified by the Pope.

"An assembly of bishops without the Pope would not be Ecumenical or infallible." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, pages 172 - 173.

There are those sedevacantists who would have us believe, and teach by their writings, that because a good many of the post councilor bishops teach or go along with heresy we should determine that the Councilor Church contains nothing Catholic and that one is not Catholic if one has anything to do with it. They say that because the Church can not err then that Church which largely goes along with heresy can not be Catholic. The infallible Church is a Church following traditional teachings. Those in the Church can error and can lead most of the Church to follow those errors.

As stated in the above quote the only time the Church (without Papal decree) is infallible is when: unanimously teaching through her bishops; teaching in agreement with the unanimous teachings of her theologians; using traditional liturgical rites; and as is said by some, according to tradition.

Even if the majority of the Church goes along with heretical teachings the Church still remains, as it did during the Arian Heresy. The Church is not governed by a majority. We saw where popes taught heresy and yet the Church remained and those following that pope remained Catholic and those abandoning the pope and setting up churches to their own liking lost the faith.

"....everyone agrees that there are unmistakable juridical signs whereby it is possible to tell when the pope intends to speak ex cathedra . These signs are the following:

"1. He must be concerned with a matter of Christian faith or morals.

"2. The pope must use terms that leave his intentions immediately clear.

"3. He must address himself to the whole Church, and not to a local Church, or the Churches of one country or region.

"4. He must make clear his decision to bind the conscience of all the faithful." The Papacy, by Wladimir D’Ormesson, page 117.

"Until the Photian Schism in the East and the Gallican movement in the West [see Gallicanism] there was no formal denial of papal supremacy, or of papal infallibility as an adjunct of supreme doctrinal authority,...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, 1911, page 798.

One of the key reasons for this section on infallibility is to show just what is infallible and what is not, so that the reader can realize when one should expect possible error. If man speaks he is subject to error. If the Pope does not speak ex cathadra , as vicar of Christ, he too is subject to error.

"....the doctrinal and disciplinary Magisterium of the pope is exercised in a variety of ways. So it is for him to:

"1. Pronounce judgment on the theological conclusions drawn from the dogmas; conclusions which are not themselves revealed either implicitly or explicitly, but are deduced rationally and theologically from the tracts of faith revealed.

"2. To censure by appropriate theological notes opinions, hypotheses or doctrines which are or might be in contradiction with revealed truth, by drawing up lists of condemned propositions, taken from the works of one or several authors.

"3. To affirm dogmatic facts which it would be impossible to doubt without endangering the faith; for example, the fact of a papal election, of the ecumenical character of a Council, of the authenticity of a translation of the Bible, such as the Vulgate; the fact of the presence of a specified error in a given book.....

"4. To approve the cultus of a beatus or saint by processes of beatification or canonization.

"5. To approve religious Orders and to ensure that their rules conform to the ideals of perfection taught by the Church. [At this point the author of The Papacy changes to non infallible, my note.]

"Beyond the sphere of faith strictly speaking and of Christian morals , the sovereign authority of the pope is further manifested in many ways. When, in order to conclude the Concordat of 1801, Pius VII agreed to call for the resignation of all the bishops of France, or to impose it on them, and to redraw the map of the dioceses, he acted in the name of his sovereign primacy. The pope frequently takes such measures in a less spectacular manner, in establishing or re-establishing the hierarchy in mission countries, in creating vicariates apostolic, in dividing up existing vicariates, in deciding upon or altering diocesan borders in conferring or withdrawing the jurisdiction of a bishop and so on. [My emphasis.]

"To make known his decisions or his wishes, the pope may use a Bull, an Encyclical, a Motu Proprio, a Brief, an Apostolic Letter, a Consistorial Allocution, or simply the approbation given in general to the Code of Canon Law, or to the decisions of Roman Congregations or to the decrees of a particular Council.

"In each separate case, the jurists and theologians have to discuss the meaning, the scope and binding character of the words which come from the lips of the successor of St. Peter."(My emphasis.) The Papacy, by Wladimir D’Ormesson, pages 117 and 118.

The following section is an excellent opportunity to see how infallibility is applied with some of the Popes who took positions that caused the faithful to ask the question "What is going on?". These examples show how a bleak outlook can be less serious than at first thought.

Pope St. Liberus

"Liberius, it is alleged , [My emphasis.] subscribed to an Arian or Semi-Arian creed drawn up by the, Council of Sirmium and anathematized St. Athanasius, the great champion of Nicaea, as a heretic. But even if this were an accurate statement of historical fact, it is a very inadequate statement. The all-important circumstance should be added that the pope so acted under pressure of a very cruel coercion, which at once deprives his actions of any claim to be considered ex-cathedra, and that he himself, as soon as he had recovered his liberty, made amends for the moral weakness he had been guilty of. This is a quite satisfactory answer to the objection, but it ought to be added that there is no evidence whatever that Liberius ever anathematized St. Athanasius expressly as a heretic, and that it remains a moot point which of three of four Sirmaian creeds he subscribed, two of, which contained no positive assertion of heretical doctrine and were defective merely for the negative reason that they failed to insist on the full definition of Nicaea (see Liberius, Saint, Pope)." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 798.

Pope Honorius

"Finally, in reference to the condemnation of Honorius as a heretic, it is to be remembered that there is no ecumenical sentence affirming the fact either that Honorius’s letters to Sergius contain heresy, or that they were intended to define the question with which they deal. The sentence passed by the fathers of the council has ecumenical value only in so far as it was approved by Leo II; but, in approving the condemnation of Honorius, his successor adds the very important qualification that he is condemned, not for, the doctrinal reason that he taught heresy, but on the moral ground that he was wanting in the vigilance expected from him in his Apostolic office and thereby allowed a heresy to make headway which he should have crushed in its beginnings (see Honorius, Pope)." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 798.

Pope Vigilius

"There is still less reason for trying to found an objection to papal infallibility on the wavering conduct of Pope Vigilius in connection with the controversy of the Three Chapters," Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 798. I couldn’t find anything that explained the problem of Vigilius so that I could clearly understand it. The Catholic Encyclopedia as you can see was quite vague. Evidently Vigilius took different sides of the issue at different times, as do most of us when trying to sort out an issue.

Popes Paul V and Urban VIII

As man goes through time he usually accepts different ideas as scientific truth based on what information is presented the most convincingly at the time. The next issue is one which still stirs some controversy.

"As to the Galileo affair (see Galileo), it is quite enough to point out the fact that the condemnation of the heliocentric theory was the work of a fallible tribunal. The pope cannot delegate the exercise of his infallible authority to the Roman Congregations, and whatever issues formally in the name of any of these, even when approved and confirmed in the ordinary official way by the pope does not pretend to be ex cathedra and infallible. The pope, of course, can convert doctrinal decisions of the Holy Office, which are not in themselves infallible, into ex-cathedra papal pronouncements, but in doing so he must comply with the conditions already explained - which neither Paul V nor Urban VIII did in the Galileo case.

"The broad fact, therefore, remains certain that no ex-cathedra definition of any pope has ever been shown to be erroneous." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 798.

Before, we quoted and talked about the bishops and their teachings and what guides they had to follow to stay within their authority. Here we consider something close to the same but more generally applied to the whole church.

"....the bishops dispersed throughout the world in union with the Holy See;.....is exercised what theologians describe as the ordinarium magesterium, i.e. the common or everyday teaching authority of the Church;...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 798.

"Practically speaking, at the present day, and for many centuries in the past, only the decisions of ecumenical councils and the ex- cathedra teaching of the pope have been treated as strictly definitive in the canonical sense, and the function of the magisterium ordinarium has been concerned with the effective promulgation and maintenance of what has been formally defined by the magisterium solemne or maybe legitimately deduced from its definitions......Even the ordinarium magisterium is not independent of the pope. In other words, it is only bishops who are in corporate union with the pope, the Divinely constituted head and centre of Christ’s mystical body, the one true Church, who have any claim to share in the charisma by which the infallibility of their morally unanimous teaching is divinely guaranteed according to the terms of Christ’s’ promises.....Theories of conciliar and of papal infallibility do not stand or fall together, since in the Catholic view the cooperation and confirmation of the pope in his purely primatial capacity are necessary, according to the Divine constitution of the Church, for the ecumenicity and infallibility of a council.....Hence the pope teaching ex cathedra and an ecumenical council subject to the approbation of the pope as its head are distinct organs of infallibility." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

When reading anything Catholic it is well to read only that which the Church has approved, which removes a great deal of the possibility of error. But even in reading truly Catholic writings one is always to be on guard, while searching for the truth. For as long as fallible men write they are subject to error. In researching for this writing I came across that which I believe to be incorrect and in a very disturbing place. I think these errors may be the cause of some of the confusion among sedevacantists. For in their research they were sure to have come across these same statements. The author of the article on Infallibility, P. J. Toner, in The Catholic Encyclopedia wrote a very good article but at the end of the article he went into abstract "what if situations" which have never before happened in the church and never will happen. I will try to show what I believe is wrong and try to show with quotes, preferably from the Catholic Encyclopedia , even from the article’s own statements, proof against the questionable statements. And who am I to make such an observation, etc.? Absolutely no-one on my own. The quotes are what will carry the weight.

QUESTIONABLE STATEMENT

"....the Gallican contention is excluded, that an ecumenical council is superior, either in jurisdiction or in doctrinal authority, to a certainly legitimate pope, [My emphasis] and that one may appeal from the latter to the former." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

What pope is certainly legitimate in the eyes of his enemies? As we saw over and over in the section on the Great Western Schism. Opposition or someone raising questions doesn’t make a pope illegitimate or not "certainly legitimate". If it could be so there would be no such thing as a teaching Pope, for the church would seldom accept a pope without someone giving question. There would be a constant calling for councils. Constant turmoil, strife, and division. If man has a right to judge the pope, then which men? And when do they have a right? And who is to decide what is right? What a can of worms. This makes obvious the reason the Pope is the rock. For if the Pope were not the Rock then we would have the constant shifting of the sands and the constant questioning of the pope.

"Incidentally, it is worth noting that to find the true Church of Christ, you must find the rock upon which it stands. To find the Church, find Peter. ‘Where Peter is, there is the Church.’ " This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 147.

"Now it can not be denied by anyone who admits that Christ established a visible Church at all, and endowed it with any kind of effective teaching authority, that this commission, with all it implies, was given not only to the Apostles personally for their own lifetime, but to their successors to the end of time, "even to the consummation of the world." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 791.

"Christ actually delivered a definite body of revealed truth, to be taught to all men in all ages, and to be guarded from change or corruption by the living voice of His visible Church, it is idle to contend that this result could be accomplished effectively-in other words that His promise could be effectively fulfilled-unless that living voice can speak infallibly to every generation on any question that may arise affecting the substance of Christs’ teachings." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 791. My emphasis. The author believes that there is always to be a pope who can guide the church or he wouldn’t have made the two above statements. He acknowledges that this is the purpose of the church, to teach in an open visible manor. So how can there be a true problem with "a certainly legitimate pope". There is no such problem. There wasn’t a question as to any "certainly legitimate pope" in the times of the Great Western Schism. The true pope was and always is "a certainly legitimate pope". The problem was, in the Great Western Schism, and is today that men confuse themselves or allow themselves to be confused. Mens’ confusion doesn’t effect the legitimacy of popes.

 

QUESTIONABLE STATEMENT

"....for the purpose of putting an end to the Great Western Schism and securing a certainly legitimate pope, the Council of Constance deposed John XXIII, whose election was considered doubtful the other probably legitimate claimant, Gregory XII, having resigned." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

#1. Council of Constance purpose wasn’t to secure a certainly legitimate pope. They already had that. They refused to agree with and recognize the true pope for various political and convenience reasons. Such reasons as the French wanting their own pope and the cardinals wanting to get out of the pestilence riddled Rome. It was through their own fault that they had more than one pope and that they kept it that way. They couldn’t swallow their pride and correct the problem. The cardinals knew well enough what the score was but weren’t going to admit themselves or any of their friends wrong. It was due to the lies of the group electing a second Pope and the confusion those lies brought to the church that there was confusion as to who the true pope was, not to weather or not there was a certainly legitimate pope.

No one could put it better than St. Catherine of Siena did in her letters to the offending cardinals.

"This is not the kind of blindness that springs from ignorance. It has not happened to you because people have reported one thing to you while another is so. No, for you know what the truth is; it was you who announced it [that the new Pope had been elected] to us, and not we to you. Oh, how mad you are! Now you want to corrupt this truth, and make us see the opposite, saying that you chose Pope Urban from fear, which is not so; but anyone who says it - speaking to you without reverence, because you have deprived yourselves of reverence - lies up to his eyes...." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 425.

#2. John XXIII was supposedly deposed after he had resigned and had even published a bull to the effect that he had resigned.

"Not even John XXIII could have been deposed at Constance, had his election not been doubtful and himself suspected of heresy. John XXIII, moreover, abdicated and by his abdication made his removal from the Apostolic See lawful." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, Robert Appleton Company , 1908, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 435.

#3. John XXIII was an obvious impostor in that an illegitimate council (one not started or supported by a pope) had supposedly (although in no way had it actually done so) deposed all the existing claimant popes (the impostor and the true pope Gregory XII). His election was also recognized as nonsense after his election because they then had three so called popes, not just two.

"On 26 June, 1409 he (Cardinal Philarghi) was the unanimous choice of the cardinals to fill the presumably vacant Papal Chair... His legitimacy was soon questioned and the world was chagrined to find that instead of two popes it now had three." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. I, Alexander V, Robert Appleton Company, 1907, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 288.

a. The election of John XXIII was totally against Tradition (popes call and support ecumenical councils).

"An ecumenical or general, as distinguished from a particular or provincial council, is an assembly of bishops which juridically represents the universal Church as hierarchically constituted by Christ; and, since the primacy of Peter and of his successor, the pope, is an essential feature in the hierarchical constitution of the church, it follows that there can be no such thing as an ecumenical council independent of, or in opposition to, the pope." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 795.

b. Popes are not to be deposed.

"In all controversies and complaints regarding Rome the rule laid down by the Eighth General Synod should never be lost sight of: ‘If a universal synod be assembled and any ambiguity or controversy arise concerning the Holy Church of the Romans, the question should be examined and solved with due reverence and veneration, in a spirit of mutual helpfulness; no sentence should be audaciously pronounced against the supreme pontiff of the elder Rome.’(can. XXI, Hefeli, IV, 421-422) ." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, page 435.

#4. Gregory XII wasn’t "probably the legitimate pope", he obviously was the legitimate pope. Yes at the time there was confusion but there is no reason for question today. We can see the unbroken line. We can see that the Council of Constance which elected the next true pope was convoked by the one true pope and that was Gregory XII just before his resignation so a new pope could be elected. And then the council wasn’t able to get around to elect another pope until after the living pope Gregory XII had died, even though he had resigned. It appears that after the living popes death the Holy Ghost was ready for a new Pope.

"The Council of Constance finally put an end to the intolerable situation of the Church. At the fourteenth session (4 July, 1415) a Bull of Gregory XII was read which appointed Malatesta and Cardinal Dominici of Rogusa as his priories at the council. The cardinal then read a mandatory of Gregory XII which convoked the council and authorized its succeeding acts. Hereupon Malatesta, acting in the name of Gregory XII, pronounced the resignation of the papacy by Gregory XII and handed a written copy of the resignation, retained all the cardinals that had been created by him, and appointed him Bishop of Porto and Perpetual Legate at Ancona. Two years later, before the election of the new pope, Martin V, Gregory XII died in the odour of sanctity." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VII, Gregory XII, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 1.

#5. The Council of Constance could only legitimately convene to prepare the way for a replacement for the resigned true pope because the true pope had convoked the council for that purpose.

"Clearly he had not yet grasped the significance of the acceptance of convocation and authorization by the Council of Constance from the true Pope whom the Council of Pisa had claimed to depose." The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 498.

"In such a case the council, according to Bellarmine (Disputations, II, xix, de Conciliis) has a right to examine the several claims and to depose the pretenders [My emphasis] whose claims are unfounded." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. IV, Councils, page 435.

QUESTIONABLE STATEMENT

"This was what might be described as an extra-constitutional crises; and, as the Church has a right in such circumstances to remove reasonable doubt and provide a pope whose claims would be indisputable, even an acephalous council, supported by the body of bishops throughout the world, was competent to meet this altogether exceptional emergency...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

#1. The council was competent because Gregory XII had convoked it to bring about the election of one pope who would be undisputed, and because Gregory XII died, so a new pope was needed. See the above quotes.

#2. If his logic were true any group, as long as they had bishops from around the world, could do away with whatever pope and establish a new pope. This is hardly different than Gallicanism.

"An ecumenical or general, as distinguished from a particular or provincial council, is an assembly of bishops which juridically represents the universal Church as hierarchically constituted by Christ; and, since the primacy of Peter and of his successor, the pope, is an essential feature in the hierarchical constitution of the Church, it follows that there can be no such thing as an ecumenical council independent of, or in opposition to, the pope." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 795.

#3. If there is an extra-constitutional crisis how is it determined to exist? And by whom? Who is to convoke such a council?

"Hence (a.) the right to summon an ecumenical council belongs properly to the pope alone, though by his express or presumed consent given ante or post factum, the summons may be issued, as in the case of most of the early councils, in the name of the civil authority........ (b.) As regards the conduct of the deliberations the right of presidency, of course, belongs to the pope or his representative; while as regards the decisions arrived at unanimity is not required. (c.) Finally, papal approbation is required to give ecumenical value and authority to conciliar action, unless the pope, by his personal presence and conscience, has already given his official rectification." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 795.

#4. The church has a "right in such circumstances to remove reasonable doubt"? Who is he saying is the Church? Who represents the Church? As fact the Pope!

"By taking our stand on the Scriptural doctrine that the Church is the mystical body of Christ of which the pope is the visible head, we see at once that a council apart from the pope is but a lifeless trunk, a ‘rump parliament’, no matter how well attended it be." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, page 435.

QUESTIONABLE STATEMENT

"A similar exceptional situation might arise were a pope to become a public heretic, i.e., were he publicly and officially to teach some doctrine clearly opposed to what has been defined as de fide catholica." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

#1. The Church teaches as a dogma that the Pope is infallible. This means a pope can not, and will not, teach ex cathedra heresy. But he can teach heresy, as long as he does not meet all the requirements of teaching ex cathedra. He may go to hell for it but he is not stopped by virtue of the dogma of ex cathedra teaching.

"....the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican (I Council) decree: (a) The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal. (b) Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible..... (c) Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense.... (d) Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church, to demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 796.

#2. It may look like the pope is doing or has done something heretical, ex cathadra, but in the end the fact has always been that such has not taken place. Read the section above about Popes Liberius, Honorius, and Vigilius.

QUESTIONABLE STATEMENT

"But in this case many theologians hold that no formal sentence of deposition would be required, as, by becoming a public heretic, the pope would ipso facto cease to be pope." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

If such a thing can happen then in God’s good time he would die and be replaced. It is no one’s place to pass judgment on the supreme elder of the Roman church.

" ‘....no sentence should be audaciously pronounce against the supreme pontiff of the elder Rome.’(can, XXI, Hefeli, IV, 421-422)." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, page 435.

"This, however, is a hypothetical case which has never actually occurred;..." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799. Amen.

It seems as though someone else finished the article on Infallibility for as you could see from the above quoted quotes the author understood infallibility. Sometimes while considering abstract "what if" questions it is very easy to confuse truth with the false assumptions of the "what if" question.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VISIBILITY

 

 

After examining the problems in the Church today (1990’s) many of which could be traced directly back to our present and recent popes, who had taken modernist stands and had allowed modernist ideals to prosper unchecked, I assumed a sedevacantist position that these popes must not be Catholic therefore the Chair of Peter must be vacant. Note, that I considered myself to be a traditionalist even though I hadn’t made a study of history related to the positions a pope could take and still not violate his position in teaching ex- cathedra. My position as a sedevacantist wasn’t so much a decision as that of following the consensus of those around me, which seemed to fit.

When confronted with being a sedevacantist I took the position that those opposing sedevacantism were sticking their heads in the sands and were not acknowledging the problems in the Church for what they were. I also assumed they were taking their position so as to get along and to appear to be under the Pope, but believed that surely they realistically opposed the idea that such goings on could be carried on by a true Pope.

After making a comment to the effect that the group we were going to Mass with were anti-sedevacantist to a priest who had previously said Mass for us, (and whom I regarded as a sedevacantist) he reminded me that I should be wary of taking a sedevacantist position because of the problems with sedevacantism. This reminded me that he had given my wife and myself a tape recording of a talk a priest had given on how important it is not to pass judgment on the Pope for no man is to judge the Pope. This realization made me see that to take the position that the chair of Peter is vacant could only be taken by first judging and indeed privately passing judgment on the Pope.

The next realization was that because one cannot judge the Pope, sedevacantism which judges the Pope because of his beliefs, does not conform to Catholic reason. Tradition says man hasn’t the right to judge the Pope. That judgment is left to God. Therefore those judging the Pope stand against the traditions of the church.

Even though sedevacantism can’t be based on judging the Pope one might say the belief of sedevacantism could be based on an improper election or some foul play or some other possible circumstances that would remove the possibility of the man becoming the Pope in the first place. One might reason that because of some circumstances they aren’t judging the Pope but rather judging that the man never became Pope.

So the question remained in my mind, could the idea of sedevacantism be possible? Is it Catholic to believe the Pope is not the Pope? Can the church be the means of leading men to the wrong faith?

In wrestling with the question over and over, one Sunday I realized that for a Pope to not be a Pope there would be a very basic violation of the purpose of the Church and especially the purpose of having a Pope which is, to be visible so man can find the faith. If the Pope is not the Pope then not only is the faith not visible it is misleading - leading men to a false religion. Therefore the idea of a false pope misleading the church is not consistent with the purpose of the visibility of the Church.

So how important is the visibility of the Church? How important is the Pope? Can the Church still fill it’s mission with a bogus Pope?

The point is that visibility was the first point that convinced me that sedevacantism is a false ideal. An ideal that doesn’t hold to the tradition of the faith. So the reason for this chapter.

************************************************************* It must be brought back to light that sedevacantism is not the acknowledgment that the Chair of Peter is vacant when the pope has died. But rather sedevacantism is a belief that the chair is vacant even though most Catholics do not believe it is vacant. Sedevacantism is a belief held by a few, contrary to the belief of the Church. The sedevacantist position is taken even though the man who was selected by the Church and acknowledged by the Church is still alive.

*************************************************************

".... it is clear that the Church founded by Christ is a visible church, [My emphasis] not a purely spiritual association. The Church of Christ is a public society consisting of rulers and subjects. This society had to be public and visible in order that those desirous of salvation might be able to find it and join it. [My emphasis] Evidently Christ did not intend His Church to be a secret organization, much less a purely interior profession of faith in His doctrines. Everything is visible about His great institution: Baptism, which is necessary for membership, the other Sacraments which He commanded His followers to receive, the rulers and lawgiver whom the faithful are judged and to which they have a right to appeal." A Course in Religion, Part IV, by Rev. John Laux M.A. , Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1934, New York, Imprimatur: Francis W. Howard, Bishop of Covington, page 96.

"It is assumed (a) that Christ founded His Church as a visible and perfect society; (b) that He intended it to be absolutely universal and imposed upon all men a solemn obligation actually to belong to it, unless inculpable ignorance should excuse them; (c) that he wished this Church to be one, with a visible [My emphasis] corporate unity of faith, government, and worship; (d) and that in order to secure this threefold unity, He bestowed on the Apostles and their legitimate successors in the hierarchy - and on them exclusively - the plenitude of teaching, governing, and liturgical powers with which He wished this Church to be endowed." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, New York, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 790.

On first finding The Visible Church, by Rt. Rev. John F. Sullivan, D.D., P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1920, 1922, New York, Imprimatur: Patritius Hayes, D. D., Arghiepiscopus Neo-Eborcunsis, I thought, "Ah, what wealth of information must there be in this book." Which indeed there is, but not that which I would have thought it would have as far as information documenting the importance of a visible Pope. At first glance it seemed to take the same position as the above quoted statement from A Course in Religion which seemed to take the position that visibility of the pope was not so important but rather that of the Church as a whole. But in looking at the structure of Sullivan’s The Visible Church one sees that he started with the most important parts of the Church describing and explaining them first. And what does he start with? Part 1: The Government of the Church. Lesson 1: The Pope.

The Visible Church discribes and explains the visible parts of the church and the first priority to be discussed because of its importance was the Pope.

Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility page 795 acknowledges the importance of the Pope in the Church’s visibility: ".... it is only in the episcopal body which has succeeded to the college of Apostles that infallible authority resides and that it is possible for the authority to be effectively exercised by this body, dispersed throughout the world, but united in bonds of communion with Peter’s successor, who is its visible head and centre ." (My emphasis)

".... him who is the visible foundation [My emphasis] of the Church’s indefectibility." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 797.

"So we have proved that Christ established a society ruled by a single supreme head. We have seen also that that society was to endure until the end of time. Therefore, the headship must also endure until the end of time. The divinely established constitution of the Church cannot be changed; otherwise the Church would cease to be Christ’s Church. [My emphasis] Moreover Christ made it clear that He was going to give the Church strength to resist her foes (‘the gates of hell’) until the end of time. The contest was to go on long after the apostolic age; it was to be a permanent feature of the Church’s life. The means by which the Church was to endure was undoubtedly the supremacy conferred on Peter and inherited by his legitimately elected successors in the Roman See. If a visible authority was needed so close to Christ’s own lifetime, it was surely necessary when the Church had grown with the passage of time." (My emphasis) This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, Guild Press, Inc., 1960, New York, originally printed by The Bircley Hall Press, 1951, Imprimatur: Richard, Archbishop of Livirpole, England, page 160.

"The Church has but one ruler and one governor, the invisible one, Christ, whom the eternal Father hath made head over all the Church, which is his body, (Eph. i. 22,23,) the visible one, the Pope, who as legitimate successor of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, fills the Apostolic chair.".... "It is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers that this visible head is necessary to establish and preserve unity in the Church" Catechism of the Council of Trent Issued by Order of Pope Pius V, Marian Publications, 1972, South Bend, Indiana, Imprimatur: Patritius J. Hayes, Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis,1923, pages 102.

"Moreover, it is entirely necessary that there should be a supreme head, visible to all [My emphasis] by whom the mutually helpful labors of all may be effectively directed to the attainment of the end proposed [for the society]. We call this visible head the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth. For, just as the Divine Redeemer sent the Paraclete, the spirit of truth, to take care of the invisible government of the church, He likewise commissioned Peter and his successors to conduct the visible government of the Church in His Name." The Catholic Church and Salvation, by Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Newman Press, 1958, Westmenster, Maryland, Imprimatur: Francis P. Keough D.D., Archbishop of Baltimore, page 82.

"We Catholics believe that Christ founded a visible Church and placed on all men a grave obligation to belong to that Church. ‘He who listens to you, listens to Me’ (Luke 10,16). ‘He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who refuses belief will be condemned’ (Mk, 16,17) We reject as false the view that the Hierarchy is a merely human institution, with no power to teach, govern and sacrifice. We cannot accept the opinion that all the various Christian denominations are branches of the one Church of Christ. We feel, too, bound to reject all attempts at corporate reunion. When people ask why all the branches of Christ’s Church cannot be reunited, we reply simply that we do not believe there are any branches of Christ’s Church. The only form of reunion we could accept would be within the one visible organization founded by Christ - which is still in the world today, the one, Holy Catholic Church, governed by the Pope, reigning in Rome as the successor of St. Peter." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 125. That would include sedevacantist.

Like sedevacantists: "The absence from the Protestant communions of a divinely appointed, visible Head is to them an endless source of weakness and dissension. It is an insuperable barrier against any hope of a permanent reunion among themselves, because they are left without a common rallying centre or bases of union and are placed in an unhappy state of schism." The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1980, Rockford, Ill; originally published in 1876 by The John Murphy Company Baltimore, Maryland; Imprimatur: [doesn’t need one writen by an] Archbishop, James Cardinal Gibbons, page 80. One of the more common complaints of sedevacantists is that they get so tired of the sedevacantist priests arguing and quarreling among themselves. This is no doubt a result of the statement above. It could be said about Protestants that the number one unifying position among them is their disdain for the Catholic Church. This can also be said of the hard core sedevacantists. They will tolerate no one but other sedevacantists which is the way in which they separate themselves from the Church.

"But there are other credentials which the Catholic Church shows to prove that it alone represents authentic, undiluted Christianity in the world today. These credentials are four marks, four outwardly visible signs which belong to the Church as essential characteristics. They are Unity, Catholicity, Holiness and Apostolicity - things which can be seen by any man who will look, and things absolutely necessary to the constitution of the Church." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 127.

"Apostolicity is the remaining mark of the Church. By this we mean that essentially, outwardly and visibly, the Church is Apostolic in mission; Apostolic in character and outlook; Apostolic in teaching; Apostolic in descent." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 127.

"Yet the most important element in the mark of apostolicity is apostolicity in descent. As we shall see in the next instruction, Christ established His Church under the supreme government of St. Peter. He said to St. Peter and his brother Bishops that He would always be with them, even until the end of the world, thus implying that they would in some way continue to rule the Church. The only possible way for them to do that is through their legitimate successors." This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 139.

In a statement of I Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ: "He made Peter a perpetual principle [My emphasis] of this twofold unity and a visible foundation [My emphasis] that on his strength an everlasting temple might be erected and on the firmness of his faith a Church might arise whose pinnacle was to reach into heaven." The Church Teaches, by the Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s, Kansas; Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1973, Rockford, Ill; originally published by B. Herder Book Co., 1955; Imprimatur: Edward J. Hunkeler D.D., Archbishop of Kansas City, Ks, page 95. By perpetual, does this mean there would always be a Pope? Seems so to me. The See has been vacant, because of the death of a pope, for up to around two years but this was acknowledged by all and they anxiously awaited a new pope.

".... the Church, besides an invisible Head in heaven, must have a visible head on earth. [My emphasis] The body and members of the Church are visible; why not also the Head? The Church without a supreme Ruler would be like an army without a general, a navy without an admiral, a sheepfold without a shepherd, or like a human body without a head." The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, page 80. Obviously Cardinal Gibbons believed the Church "must have a visible head on earth" - a pope.

"A visible Church requires a visible head; therefore the Savior appointed Peter head and pastor of all the faithful, when He committed to his care the feeding of all His sheep, (John XXI. 15.)" Catechism of the Council of Trent, by Order of Pope Pius V, page 104. The Council of Trent seemed to think a visible Pope was all important.

"This is how the Vatican Council expresses that chain; it is necessary to read the text carefully, for it is explicit: ‘The eternal shepherd and bishop of our souls, in order to confer a perennial character on the saving work of redemption, ordained the building of the Holy Church, in which, as in the abode of the living God, all the faithful should be included by the bond of one same faith and charity. To this end, before he was glorified, he prayed his Father not only for the apostles but also for those who by their word were to believe in him, that they should be one, as the Son himself and the Father are one. Just as he sent out the apostles whom he had chosen from the world, and as he himself had been sent by the Father, so he wished to have shepherds and teachers in his Church even unto the consummation of the world. [My emphasis] But in order that the episcopacy itself should be one and indivisible, and so that, by mutual agreement amongst the priests, the whole multitude of believers should be kept in the unity of faith and communion, he established blessed Peter above the other apostles and thus instituted, in him, the principle and the visible and perpetual foundation [My emphasis] of both these unities, on the solidity of which the eternal temple will be raised, and the sublimity of the Church destined for heaven will be made safe in the firmness of this faith.’ " The Papacy, by Wladimir D’Ormesson, Hawthorn Books-Publishers, 1958, New York, NY, as volumn 81 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Cathoolicism, Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernerd, Vicarius Generalis, Westmonasterii, page 112. "Visible and perpetual foundation" is quite descriptive of a papacy that is to be in existence forever. Note: this was a quote of a dogmatic council although I don’t know if it was contained in a dogmatic statement.

"In every well-regulated society some head is necessary. You may call him by whatever name you will - mayor, governor, president, prince or king. Without such a head it is impossible to preserve peace and order, much less develop an activity for the upbuilding of a community. Should, then, the Church of Christ alone be lacking in what the whole world acknowledges to be a prime necessity for every other institution? [My emphasis] Should the Church of Christ spread through the whole world for the purpose of keeping all nations, all countries, in the unity of faith and life, and not be protected against the unrelenting attacks of enemies and infidels by some visible head? God owed it to His wisdom and His providence to give His Church a Visible chief to preserve intact the deposit of faith and guide the faithful until the end of time. Napoleon, with his profound knowledge of men and his genius for organization, saw the absolute necessity for a supreme head of the spiritual world. Hence, to him is credited the saying that, if the papacy did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. But this provision was made by a greater genius than Napoleon, by Christ Himself, when He said: ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ " The Apostles’ Creed, by Rev. Clement H. Crock; Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1938, New York; B. Harder, London; Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York, pages 219-220.

"As St. John Chrysostom so truly said: ‘It is easier for the sun to be quenched than for the Church to be made invisible.’ " This is the Faith, by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 126.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHISM

 

 

"Schism - Formal separation from the unity of the Church, a separation from communion with the Church; separation from the head of the Church or from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff. The movement of any person or group of persons of the Church who refuse to recognize the central authority of the Church; and denial of the authority of the Pope of Rome." Concise Catholic Dictionary The cover was missing so I am at a loose to say who published it or if there was an imprimatur.

"Schism is, in the language of theology and canon law, the rupture of ecclesiastical union and unity, i.e. either the act by which one of the faithful severs as far as in him lies the ties which bind him to the social organization of the Church and make him a member of the mystical body of Christ, or the state of dissociation or separation which is the result of that act." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, New York, Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 529.

"Anyone becomes a schismatic who, though desiring to remain a Christian, rebels against legitimate authority, without going as far as the rejection of Christianity as a whole, which constitutes the crime of apostasy." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 529.

"Attempts to Legitimize Schism "Various motives have been brought forward in justification of Schism:

"(1) Some have claimed the introduction into the Church of abuses, dogmatic and liturgical novelties, superstitions, with which they are permitted, even bound, not to ally themselves. Without entering into the foundation for these charges it should be noted that the authors cited above do not mention or admit a single exception. If we accept their statements separation from the Church is necessarily an evil, an injurious and blameworthy act, and abandoning of the true way of salvation, and this independent of all contingent circumstances. Moreover the doctrines of the Fathers exclude a priori any such attempts at justification, to use their words, it is forbidden for individuals or particular or national Churches to constitute themselves judges of the universal Church; .....

"St. Augustine summed up all his controversy with the Donatists in the maxim: ‘The whole world unhesitatingly declares them wrong who separate themselves from the whole world in whatsoever portion of the whole world.’ [This is one of the key reasons why sedevacantism is wrong. My note.]

"(2) Other schismatics have pleaded the division of the articles of the Creed into fundamental and non-fundamental. Under Fundamental Articles (q.v.) it is shown that this distinction, wholly unknown prior to the sixteenth century, and repugnant to the very conception of Divine faith, is condemned by Scripture and, for want of a clear line of demarcation, authors the most monstrous divergencies......

"(3) The theory of the happy medium or via media, advocated by the Anglicans, especially by the Oxford leaders of the early nineteenth century as a means of escape from the difficulties of the system of fundamental articles, is no more acceptable. ...... According to this theory, in order to safeguard unity and avoid schism it is sufficient to abide by Scripture as interpreted by each individual under the direction or with the assistance of tradition. .....

"St. Irenaeus is most explicit on all these points: according to him faith is proved and its enemies confounded equally by Scripture and tradition (Adv. Haer., iii, 2) , but the authentic guardian of both is the Church, i.e. the bishops as successors of the Apostles: ‘Apostolic tradition is manifested throughout the world, and everywhere in the Church it is within the reach of those who desire to know the truth, for we can enumerate the bishops established by the Apostles, as well as their successors down to our own times’ (op. cit., iii) . ‘To these guardians and to them alone we should have recourse with confidence: ‘The truth which it is easy to know through the Church must not be sought elsewhere; in the Church in which as in a rich treasury, the Apostles deposited in its fullness all that concerns the truth: from her whosoever desires it shall receive the draught of life. She herself is the gate of life; all the others are thieves and robbers’ (iii, 4) . Such is the authority of the living tradition that, in default of Scripture, recourse must be had to tradition alone." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 532. My emphasis.

"One in Faith - In order to stress this unity, Jesus was in the habit of frequently comparing His Church with earthly objects, easily understood by all. He likens His Church to a field in which grow plants of all kinds, cockle as well as wheat, but all in the one field; to a vineyard where many laborers come and go at different hours of the day to do their work, but in the same vineyard; to a flock with lambs and sheep, but always one flock under one shepherd; to a house, a net, a banquet, a kingdom, but always expressing oneness or unity, to a grain of mustard seed, which grows into a large tree, and into whose branches the birds of the air come to dwell, but only one grain of mustard seed and one tree...... Elaborating on the tree, mentioned by Our Lord as a figure of the unity of His Church, Monsignor Vaughan writes; ‘The leaves represent the Catholic laity throughout the world. They are in direct communion with their respective parish priests (the smaller branches of the mystical tree). The priests, in their turn, are in direct communion with their bishops (that is, the larger branches). And all the bishops are in direct and constant communion with the Sovereign Pontiff (that is, the trunk or stem of the entire tree). In this way the least and humblest catechumen is as truly united with the great center of authority at the Vatican, and as truly in touch with its decisions and its teachings, as the crowned heads of Spain or Italy, or indeed as the Archbishops of Paris and Westminster." The Apostles’ Creed, by Rev. Clement H. Crock, Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1938, New York; B. Harder, London; Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York, page 174.

St. Cyprian said: "Know that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and that if anyone is not with the bishop he is not in the Church."..... Cyprian saw no legitimate reason for schism for "what rascal, what traitor, what madman would be so misled by the spirit of discord as to believe that it is permitted to rend, or who would dare rend the Divine unity, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Jesus Christ?" Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 531.

St. Jerome says: ".....there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the church. ......, practically and historically, heresy and schism nearly always go hand in hand; schism leads almost invariably to denial of the papal primacy." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 529.

"Where Peter is," concludes St. Ambrose, "there is the Church; where the Church is there is no death but eternal life." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 531.

"In his letter to Pope Damasus the same holy Doctor (St. Jerome) writes: ‘Away with envy, let the ambition of Roman grandeur cease. I speak to the successor of the fishermen, and to the disciple of the cross. Following no chief but Christ, I am united in communion with your Holiness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that on that rock is built the Church. Whoever will eat the lamb outside this house is profane: whoever is not in the ark of Noah shall perish in the flood.’ " Catechism of the Council of Trent, Issued by Order of Pope Pius V, Marian Publications, 1972, South Bend, Indiana; Imprimatur: Patritius J. Hayes Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis, 1923, page 102-103. My emphasis. And some want to say that going to a schismatic for the sacraments is possibly O.K.?

Another translation of the above statement by St. Jerome from the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 531: "I who follow no guide save Christ am in communion with Your Holiness, that is with the chair of Peter. I know that on this rock the Church is built. Whosoever partakes of the Lamb outside this house commits a sacrilege. Whosoever does not gather with you, scatters: in other words whosoever is not with Christ is with Antichrist." (Jerome, "Epist.", xv, 2). My emphasis.

".....Optatus of Mievi says: ‘You cannot be excused on the score of ignorance, knowing as you do that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was first conferred on Peter, who occupied it as head of the Apostles; in order that in that one chair the unity of the Church might be preserved by all, and that the other Apostles might not claim each a chair for himself; so that now he who erects another in opposition to this single chair is schismatic and a prevaricator.’ (De Schism. Donat ii. 2.)" Catechism of the Council of Trent, page 103.

"To communicate in sactis with schismatics, e.g., to receive the sacraments at the hands of their ministers, to assist at Divine Offices in their temples, is strictly forbidden to the faithful." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 529.

"Those who belong to God and Jesus Christ ally themselves with the bishop. Brethren, be not deceived; whosoever follows a schismatic shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven" (Philad, iii, 2, 3,). Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 530.

St. Catherine of Siena says much the same thing in her letters to the cardinals responsible for starting the Great Western Schism, in a poetic way: "That is what has made you pillars lighter than straw - flowers which shed no perfume, but stench that makes the whole world reek!" The Glory of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 425.

" ‘I know not,’ writes Bayle, a writer above suspicion of partiality and a tolerant judge, ‘a more grievous crime than that of tearing the mystical body of Jesus Christ, His church which He purchased with His own blood, that mother which bore us to God, who nourishes us with the milk of understanding, who leads us to eternal life’ (Supplement to Philosophical Comment, preface)." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 532.

"Schism is regarded by the Church as a most serious fault, and is punished with the penalties inflicted on heresy, because heresy usually accompanies it." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 529.

"Candid reader do you not profess to be a member of Christ’s’ flock? Yes, you answer. Do you take your spiritual food from Peter and his successor, and do you hear the voice of Peter, or have you wandered into the fold of strangers who spurn Peter’s voice? Ponder well this momentous question. For if Peter is authorized to feed the lambs of Christ’s flock, the lambs should hear Peters’ voice." The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons Archbishop of Baltimore; Guild Press, Inc., 1960, New York: originally published in 1951 by The Bircley Hall Press; Imprimatur: Richard, Archbishop of Liverpool, England, page 83.

"You cannot, therefore, be a true citizen of the Republic of the Church so long as you spurn the legitimate supremacy of its Divinely constituted Chief. ‘He that is not with Me is against Me,’ says our Lord, ‘and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.’ How can you be with Christ if you are against His Vicar?" The Faith of Our Fathers, by James Cardinal Gibbons, page 97.

"However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to posses this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 529.

To this point we have looked at schism in a sane or at least semi-sane world.

What is schismatic in a world where tradition is condemned? Where councils support heresy? Where the Pope will not condemn heresy and condemns those who continue to uphold tradition?

As St. Athanasius stated: "Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ." Quoted on the back cover of Is Tradition Excommunicated?, A Collection of Independent Studies; Angelus Press, 1993, Kansas City, Mo..

Where better can we find a good example to answer the above questions than to examine the life and times of St. Athanasius?

"Few more gifted men have ever lived; and he needed every gift God had given him. For almost all of the astonishing forty-five years of his episcopate, it was ‘Athanasius against the world and for the Faith.’ " The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, A History of Christendom Vol. II; Christendom College Press, 1987, Front Royal, VA, page 15.

And what was it that St. Athanasius stood up against?

"Arianism a heresy which arose in the fourth century, and denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

"Doctrine - First among the doctrinal disputes which troubled Christians after Constantine had recognized the Church in AD 313 and the parent of many more during some three centuries, Arianism occupies a large place in ecclesiastical history. It is not a modern form of unbelief, and therefore will appear strange in modern eyes." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. I, Arianism, Robert Appleton Company, 1907, New York; Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 707.

From our position in the church today it does seem strange to question that Jesus Christ was God. But in those days the heresy of Arius was not made prominent because of people’s faith in it. In the same manner modernism of today is made not prominent because of any saintly person.

"....but the truth is that the prestige of Arianism never lay in its ideas. ......its prophets relied more upon cureal influence than upon piety, or Scriptural knowledge, or dialectics." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, St. Athanasius, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, New York; Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 37.

"Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of ‘Father of Orthodoxy’,...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, St. Athanasius, page 35.

"It was inevitable in the order of religious ideas that any break in logical continuity should be met by inquiry and protest." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, St. Athanasius, page 37. Also fits today against modernism.

St. Athanasius was faced not only with heresy and evil doers but many time by official condemnation which posed the question of his rights to his See. (St. Athanasius was the bishop of Alexandria.)

"St. Athanasius, benefiting from a general amnesty for exiled bishops, returned to Alexandria in November.

" His position was that he had left Alexandria only under duress by the Emperor, but his enemies maintained that he had been properly deposed ecclesiastically by the Council of Tyre and could never return. This raised explicitly and inescapably the question of the authority of that council." The Building of Christendom, Warren H. Carrol, page 21.

"Athanasius had ignored the decision of a duly authorized synod. He had returned to his see without the summons of ecclesiastical authority...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, St. Athanasius, page 38.

The group of Arian bishops (about 80) left the second Nicene council: "....and issued a fiercely intransigent statement renewing their condemnation of Athanasius, Paul of Constantinople, Marcellus of Ancyra, and Asclepas of Gazza, and now adding to this group, as also excommunicated, Pope Julius, Ossius, Maximinus of Trier, and the host bishop at Sardica. Here was schism full and complete; to proclaim the excommunication of a Pope can hardly mean less." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 24.

Council of Arles, 353; "....overawed the naive Gallic bishops composing the greater part of those present, and persuaded all but one of the bishops in attendance - including even the two Papal legates - to condemn Athanasius. Liberius (now Pope as Julius had died) disavowed the action of his legates." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 27.

At the Council of Milan, 355, after most of the bishops refused to sign the Nicene Creed (only two did sign), two bishops who had previously apologized for their untruthful accusations against Athanasius were again telling the same lies and were exposed as having previously refuted the story. The exasperated Constantius (emperior of the East, Son of Constantine) roared from behind the curtain: ""I am now the accuser of Athanasius; on my account you must believe what these assert.’ Told that any such order or accusatory procedure was contrary to cannon law, Constantius exploded: ‘Whatever I will, be that esteemed a canon; the bishops of Syria let me thus speak. Either the obey, or go into banishment.’ "One or more of the bishops - we do not know which - stood up then to remind Constantius ‘that the kingdom was not his, but God’s, Who had given it to him, Whom also they bade him fear, lest He should suddenly take it away from him. And they threatened him with the day of judgment.’ (Athanasius, Hitoria Arianorum 34.) Constantius, in a blind rage, drew his sword and on the spot condemned several of the bishops to death, though afterwards he relented and reverted to his original sentence of banishment. All present but the three staunch bishops and the two Papal legates signed the condemnation of Athanasius." The Building of Christiandom, by Warren H. Carrol page 28.

Pope Liberius wrote to the banished bishops: "Since you have come so much closer to God, please remember in your prayers to the Lord your fellow-bishop and servent of God, that I myself may patiently sustain the oncoming assaults, which grieve the more deeply as they are expected from day to day; also that the Lord deign render me equal to you in keeping the faith inviolate and in guarding the safety of the Catholic Church" The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 28. Evidently Pope Liberius could see the writing on the wall.

"Those who had attended the Council of Milan and joined in the condemnation of Athanasius comprised a substantial majority of all the bishops in the West. Virtually all the Eastern bishops still in possession of their sees, outside of Egypt, had already condemned Athanasius. Constantius now demanded ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������actions taken at Milan. When he steadfastly refused, he was seized in the middle of the night by Constantius’ men....Constantius sent Pope Liberius into exile at Beroea in Thrance,...." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 29.

"Liberius had been favourable to the cause of Athanasius; but driven at last into exile, he was induced to sign an ambiguous formula, from which the great Nicene test, the homousion, had been studiously omitted. In 355 a council was held at Milan, where in spite of the vigorous opposition of a handful of loyal prelates among the western bishops, a fourth condemnation of Athanasius was announced to the world, with his friends scattered, the saintly Hosius in exile, the Pope Liberius denounced as acquiescing in Arian formularies, Athanasius could hardly hope to escape. On the night of 8 February, 356, while engaged in services in the Church of St. Thomas, a band of armed men burst in to secure his arrest (Apol. de Fuga, 24). It was the beginning of his third exile." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, St. Athanasius, page 39.

"They put Ossius of Cordoba, (the advisor of Constantine on church related matters) the saintly centenarian (100 years old) under the whip. They threatened to kill Pope Liberius in his cell. And, by so doing, they broke them both." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 31.

"....Liberius began to sink under the hardships of his exile,....that he yielded to the snare laid for him, to the great scandal of the church. He subscribed the condemnation of St. Athanasius, and a confession or creed, which had been framed by the Arians at Sirmium, though their heresy was not expressed in it...." Butlers Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler; St. Athanasius; Sarto Books, 1982; originally published 1844, page 150.

"Liberius fell by a prevarication and notorious scandal: but not by heresy." Butlers Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler, St. Athanasius, page 150.

"The fall of so great a prelate, and so illustrious a confessor, is a terrifying example of human weakness, which no one can call to mind without trembling for himself. St. Peter fell by a presumptuous confidence in his own strength and resolution, that we may learn that every one stands only by humility. Liberius, however, speedily imitated the repentance of the prince of the apostles." Butlers Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler, St. Athanasius, page 150-151.

"The appalling news spread rapidly among the faithful that the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the head of the Church, hitherto Athanasius’ constant friend and unyielding defender, had joined in condemning him, had abjectly begged the persecutors for mercy, and had subscribed to an equivocal statement of faith, the First Formulary of Sirmium,...." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 32.

"A new statement of faith was drawn up, the Second Formulary of Sirmium. It was openly, indubitably, triumphantly Arian: ‘There can be no doubt about it, in honor, dignity, glory, majesty, and even in name, the Father is greater than the Son.... The Catholic Faith teaches that there are two persons, the Father and the Son, and that the Father is greater, and the Son less and subject.’ " The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 32. Note: this formula Pope Liberius did not go along with.

"Pope Liberius upon his cross at Sirmium, used and scorned by his enemies, pitied and abandoned by his friends, alone, fearfully alone, ‘a worm and no man’, strong bulls of Bashan all around him, bones like water, heart like wax, laid in the dust of death. Did he cry, with the Psalmist and with his Lord: ‘Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help’?

"Undoubtedly he did - in spirit, if not in spoken word. For he did not sign the Second Formulary of Sirmium. At the final step, at the eleventh hour, the Arians were balked. As was to happen again to their like on several similar occasions later in the history of the Papacy, they simply could not understand how and why and by Whom they had been frustrated. For a whole year they held Liberius at Sirmium, doubtless confident that any day the final break would come. It never did.

" Christendom paused. The prayers of the suffering Pope, of Athanasius the hunted fugitive and his loyal monks in the desert and among the tombs of Egypt, of the simple faithful....- rose silently to Heaven. Slowly, at first wholly imperceptibly, the tide began to turn - but in strange ways, that no man could have predicted." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 32.

"In the two years since the death of Constantius the situation regarding the Arians had changed fundamentally, for the hollowness of their imposing appearance of power had been revealed. They depended totally on imperial favor. Once that was withdrawn, whether by an apostate or an orthodox emperor, they had almost no other support. Most of the bishops and other clergy whom they had tempted or terrorized into submission hurried back to orthodoxy when the capability of the Arian leaders to tempt or terrorize was gone, leaving only a small core of genuinely convinced Arians." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 53. As would be the case with modernism.

"Pope Liberius and St. Athanasius set about the task of reconciliation and reunion with eagerness, but above all with charity. Only obstinate heretics were to be condemned. Those who would now profess the Nicene Creed and reject the Creed of Rimini, whether or not they had previously signed the latter, were to be welcomed back into the Church. As usual there was a rigorist schism, led by Lucifer [the bishop] of Sardinia, who refused to communicate with those who had professed Arianism, whatever their reasons or subsequent change of heart." The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carrol, page 53. The staunch sedevacantists will have nothing to do with anyone who accepts the Pope as the pope, now. What will these do when once again there is a return to the traditions of the church? Most probably they will follow the path of bishop Lucifer in establishing a formal schism, because they can not accept being with those they condemned as wrong. We pray not.

"This indulgence so far displeased Lucifer (bishop),that he refused to communicate with those penitent bishops, and with those who received them, that is with the pope and the whole Catholic Church." Butlers Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler, St. Athanasius, page 152.

"....he (Athanasius) triumphed over the persecution of almost the whole world confederated against him,...." Butlers Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler, St. Athanasius, page 155.

"The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but men of tradition." Pope St. Pius X, as quoted on the back of Is Tradition Excommunicated? Angelus Press, 1993, Kansas City, Mo..

Our look at St. Athanasius gave us a very interesting view of schism. Here was a man who was in opposition to most of the hierarchy of the church, at one time, even to the point of being condemned by the church, but yet, as we saw, he was the strength of the church.

By what right did he come back to his See after being condemned by a council? By what right did he continue to function as a bishop after the Pope had joined in the condemnation of him? The basic answer lies in the fact that St. Athanasius knew who was in control (and it was not the Pope) and that they were in control not because they were the church but rather because they had the control of the emperor. St. Athanasius knew the Pope was controlled by the emperor and wasn’t free to rule as he saw fit. So the laws, passed by them, which stood against tradition held no real weight. As a result St. Athanasius’ duty was to do that which he knew the Pope would want him to do if the Pope were free to instruct him. A word to fit this type of situation is Epikeia.

Epikeia as defined by the Concise Catholic Dictionary (Cover Missing) is: "An interpretation of a law whereby it is considered not to bind in a particular case because of some special circumstances; an interpretation of the law in a particular instance against the letter of the law but in keeping with its spirit; an interpretation of the mind of the lawmaker which reasons that he knowing the conditions, would not wish his law to bind in this particular case."

Very scary territory this land of Epikeia. It is so easy for one’s pride to cloud his thoughts. But in the case of St. Athanasius he knew what tradition had taught. He knew better than any of the hierarchy the reasoning against the Arian heresy.

It’s very important to note that St. Athanasius didn’t condemn all those opposed to him and true doctrine. (Although he did oppose and repel all formal Arians in his diocese.) He didn’t go out and set up a parallel church. He knew that God, in His own good time, would straighten out the church and that it was his duty to uphold the one true church. He simply practiced his faith as it was given to him by the teachings of his apostolic predecessors the upholders of tradition.

So we see that St. Athanasius must have appeared to of been a schismatic in his time by a lot of the people of his day. But in reality he was not a schismatic because he not only recognized the Pope and the papacy but he constantly applied to Rome for solutions for he knew that from Rome is where the solution would, in Gods good time, come. Meanwhile St. Athanasius continued to practice his faith as tradition had given it to him.

The use of the rules of Epikeia in a situation is like being "between the devil and the deep blue sea", as the saying goes. If St. Athanasius would have gone along with the norm and stood against the traditional teaching of the church he would have been an all right fellow in the eyes of his world. But in the eyes of God he no doubt would have been severely judged if he had gone along with the world and against the traditional teachings of the Church.

If one would return to the chapter on the Great Western Schism and read it again after reading these chapters on the teachings of the Church one would better have a feal for the horror of schism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRADITION

 

 

 

The one thread that follows true, through all this discussion of history and the teachings of the Church is tradition.

It is due to the following of tradition that the faithful left the scandalous services of the post Vatican II to seek the traditional liturgical rits of the church. The priests providing those masses stressed that one was to follow the safest course. If a new idea or service was questionable, in the light of the traditional teaching of the church, then one was not only allowed but required to remain with what one knew was the true teaching of the church.

So through the following of the traditional teaching of the Church "traditionalists" became exposed to the dangers of schism. Much the same as St. Athanasius did?

Due to tunnel vision extremist ideals were developed by some which led many towards true schism through sedevacantism, which actually turns its back on tradition.

In that tradition is the thread that keeps one Catholic, so with the parting from tradition is a sure way to loose the faith.

Gallicanism turned against tradition and sighted short term history to base its claims on. "Until the Photian Schism in the East and the Gallican movement in the West there was no formal denial of papal supremacy, or of papal infallibility as an adjunct of supreme doctrinal authority,...." Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. VII, Infallibility, 1911, page 798.

The French King used the Gallican ideas to support his theft of the positions and authority of the Church. This led, through disrespect for the papacy and nationalism, to the establishment of the Papal Palace at Avignon and then the Great Western Schism. The following of tradition would have kept the Popes in Rome.

Those of the Great Western Schism proposed the calling of a council under the ideals of Gallicanism to judge the Pope.

" The University of Paris, or rather, its two most prominent professors, John Gerson and Peter d’Ailly, proposed that a General Council should be summoned to decide between the rival claimants. Many refused to accept this solution, rightly claiming that the Pope was supreme in the Church and could be judged by no one ." Fr. John Laux in Church History , page 405. My emphasis.

"In their embarrassment and anger, the French theologians dealing with the issue began to take positions contrary to the immemorial traditions and teaching of the Church, which in time became the full-fledged heresy of conciliarism." The Glory of Christendom , by Warren H. Carrol, page 460.

"The last warning voice before the Council of Pisa against this highly dangerous trend was that of a scholar at the German University of Heidelbert; . . . he spoke, clear as a bell, for tradition and truth:

"‘One must submit unconditionally to the Pope, however wicked he may be. Gregory XII is the true Pope. Hence it is unlawful to deny obedience to him, and one cannot damage him in any way, no matter what good may be the purpose of it. The cardinals’ withdrawal of obedience made without any semblance of due form, is invalid. The arguments made in support of this action carry no weight. It is impossible to say [as many theologians now were saying] that Gregory has committed a heresy by being involved in the schism. . . The Pope will have to give account to God for the vows he made to bring unity to the Church: no mere human being has any right to judge him in respect of them, nor has an assembly of bishops, and still less one of the cardinals . . . They are trying to force the hand of the Holy Ghost! " [My emphasis.]

"That was exactly what these prelates and theologians were doing. But no man forces the hand of the Holy Spirit. When the council met at Pisa, He was far away." The Glory of Christendom , by Warren H. Carrol, page 471.

"The Synod of Pisa was no Ecumenical Council: it has never been regarded as such by the Church. It was from the outset, as Pastor says, an act of open revolt against the Pope, a denial of the Primacy of St. Peter and the monarchical constitution of the Church. [My emphasis] It was the first attempt to put into practice the theory of William of Occam, John Gerson, and Peter d’Ailly that a General Council is superior to the Pope." Church History , by Fr. John Laux, page 406.

". . . Cardinal d’Ailly presented a treatise to the Council in October which asserted that it had "the plenitude of power" rather than the Pope, and could not err though the Pope could. To show the greater power of the Council, d’Ailly recalled the Council of Pisa which "had condemned and deposed two Popes, one of whom must have been legitimate." Clearly he had not yet grasped the significance of the acceptance of convocation and authorization by the Council of Constance from the true Pope whom the Council of Pisa had claimed to depose. So thick was the cloud of confusion with which the Great Schism had enveloped even the best Christian minds that it required decades for this truth to dawn. It did not become fully understood until the nineteenth century, obvious though it should have been to canonists at the time ." The Glory of Christendom , by Warren H. Carrol, page 498. Sounds like the same thick smoke of today.

"These decrees, it must be remembered, though adopted at Basle and often quoted by the disciples of Gallicanism and other opponents of papal supremacy, were formulated and accepted at Constance amid quite unusual circumstances, in much haste, and in quasi despair at the threatened failure of the long-desired general council; they ran counter to the immemorial praxis of the Church, and substituted for its Divine constitution the will of the multitude or at best a kind of theological parliamentarism. They were never approved by the Apostolic See...." Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, Robert Appleton Company, 1908, New York, Imprimatur: John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, page 289.

"Under canon law and the unbroken tradition of the Church, no action, even of an ecumenical council is authoritative for the universal Church without the approval of the Pope, ..." The Glory of Christendom , by Warren H. Carrol, page 502. My emphasis.

Finally the Council of Constance after being convoked by the true Pope was able, after the death of the true Pope (who had resigned), to elect a new Pope to indisputably rule the church.

In looking at infallibility we see that tradition is again the leading light.

"....by attaching ourselves faithfully to the tradition which comes down to us from the origins of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Saviour, the Exaltation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of the peoples with the approval of the sacred Council, we teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when exercising his office as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals which is to be held by the universal Church - thanks to the divine assistance promised to blessed Peter, he enjoys that infallibility which the divine Redeemer wished to confer on his Church for the definition of doctrines of faith or morals; and therefore the definitions of the same Roman Pontiff are, by themselves and not by virtue of the consent of the Church, irreformable." The Papacy, by Wladimir D’Ormesson, Hawthorn Books-Publishers, 1958, New York, NY, as volumn 81 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernerd, Vicarius Generalis, Westmonasterii, pages 114 and 115. My emphasis.

"This does not mean that the Pope cannot make a mistake or commit a sin or that he can teach on any subject which strikes his fancy or that he is inspired by God.

"It does mean that under certain conditions the Pope is preserved from error, namely:

"1. When he speaks ex cathedra, as supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and successor of St. Peter;

"2. When he defines a doctrine, i.e. when he makes it clear that the doctrine must be believed with a firm, interior assent of faith:

"3. When the doctrine defined concerns faith or morals, i.e. when it belongs to the doctrinal teachings or the moral principles of the Catholic religion as found in Scripture or Tradition ; [My emphasis]

"4. When he speaks thus to the whole Church, intending to bind all its members throughout the world.

"The Pope does not claim to speak infallibly unless all of these conditions are simultaneously present." This is the Faith , by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, page 170.

"We said already that the Pope uses his infallibility when the conditions requisite for its exercise are present. He is personally infallible; no other bishop is. But, as a body, united to their head, the Pope, the bishops are infallible when they teach peremptorily. This they can do in two ways:

"(a) by their ordinary day-to-day united teaching by means of catechisms, ceremonies, traditional liturgical rites , pastoral letters, general condemnations, provincial or plenary councils, the tacit approval of the unanimous teachings of theologians. When the bishops are morally unanimous in teaching a doctrine as of faith or morals, or in reprobating one as a heretic they are infallible in their ordinary teaching; [My emphasis.]

"(b) by assembling in General or Ecumenical Councils. A General Council is a gathering of the bishops of the whole world, or of so many of them that they represent the whole world.

"To be Ecumenical a council must be

Convoked by the Pope;

Presided over by the Pope, either in person or through his Legates;

Ratified by the Pope.

"An assembly of bishops without the Pope would not be ecumenical or infallible." This is the Faith , by Rev. Francis J. Ripley, pages 172-173.

In considering the Visibility of the Church we considered the traditional logic. "....it is clear that the Church founded by Christ is a visible Church , [My emphasis.] not a purely spiritual association. The Church of Christ is a public society consisting of rulers and subjects. This society had to be public and visible in order that those desirous of salvation might be able to find it and join it ." A Course in Religion , Part IV, by Rev. John Laux M.A. , Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1934, New York, Imprimatur: Francis W. Howard, Bishop of Covington, page 96. [My emphasis.]

From two dogmatic councils:

"A visible Church requires a visible head; therefore the Savior appointed Peter head and pastor of all the faithful, when He committed to his care the feeding of all His sheep, (John XXI. 15.)" Catechism of the Council of Trent , by Order of Pope Pius V, page 104. The Council of Trent seemed to think a visible Pope was all important.

"This is how the (I) Vatican Council expresses that chain; it is necessary to read the text carefully, for it is explicit: ‘The eternal shepherd and bishop of our souls, in order to confer a perennial character on the saving work of redemption, ordained the building of the Holy Church, in which, as in the abode of the living God, all the faithful should be included by the bond of one same faith and charity. To this end, before he was glorified, he prayed his Father not only for the apostles but also for those who by their word were to believe in him, that they should be one, as the Son himself and the Father are one. Just as he sent out the apostles whom he had chosen from the world, and as he himself had been sent by the Father, so he wished to have shepherds and teachers in his Church even unto the consummation of the world . [My emphasis.] But in order that the episcopacy itself should be one and indivisible, and so that, by mutual agreement amongst the priests, the whole multitude of believers should be kept in the unity of faith and communion, he established blessed Peter above the other apostles and thus instituted, in him, the principle and the visible and perpetual foundation [My emphasis] of both these unities, on the solidity of which the eternal temple will be raised, and the sublimity of the Church destined for heaven will be made safe in the firmness of this faith.’" The Papacy , by Wladimir D’Ormesson, page 112. "Visible and perpetual foundation" is quite descriptive of a papacy that is to be in existence forever. Although strictly speaking tradition is the spoken faith, dogma is a manifestation of tradition.

We saw that by following tradition St. Athanasius held to the faith in spite of all opposition.

It is through opposition to tradition that sedevacantism is to be condemned. Probably the greatest damage that sedevacantism is doing, in these our times, is that it has caused a good many of the precious few faithful to stop praying for the Pope, who desperately needs our prayers.

Pray for the Pope!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sedevacantism?

(A Summary)

 

After having been a traditional Catholic for many years, I found myself a sedevacantist. To suddenly find oneself a sedevacantist sounds rather ridiculous, but that is basically what happened. I hadn't made the decision to be a sedevacantist, but since I was going to Masses where the priest didn't directly oppose sedevacantism, and since many of the articles I was reading were explaining the seemingly anti-Catholic positions of the Pope, I came to the belief that the Pope must not be Catholic. Our priest, at that time, had circulated a talk given by a traditionalist priest which stated that we, as Catholics, do not have the right to judge the Pope. In spite of this information being made available to me and my having listened to the tape twice, I still didn't take an anti-sedevacantist position. Not until we had moved to a town where a Society of St. Pius X chapel was located and where the priest took a very negative position towards sedevacantism, did I take a serious look at this subject or my position. In talking to many sedevacantists, I have found the beginnings of sedevacantism follow much the same path in others.

After being confronted with the necessity of making a decision about just what was the right position, I started doing some research into the subject. It wasn't easy since there was nowhere in Catholic writing that I could find the term, "sedevacantism" even mentioned, other than in writings since Vatican II. It seemed a little unusual for a so-called traditionalist to be taking a position, in favor of traditionalism, when that position titled "sedevacantism" couldn't even be found. The position of sedevacantism (that of believing that the chair of Peter is vacant even though the Church Militant doesn’t know it) could be found as an example in history just before and during the Great Western Schism, which illustrates the fruit of sedevacantism.

After reading many different imprimatured articles and rereading many articles in support of the sedevacantist position, it became clear to me that there was a great deal of confusion and that there needed to be an article written quoting the imprimatured articles and books that I had found in my research. This article is an attempt to summarize what ended up being a small book of mostly quotations.

SEDEVACANTISM'S MOST INFLUENTIAL ERA

(The Great Western Schism)

The purpose of our looking at history is at least two fold: 1) to understand tradition, and 2) to better understand our times. Since tradition would likely be the historical position of the Church, it is imperative that a traditionalist understand history in order to truly be a traditionalist. If we are to apply the traditional teaching of the Church to our times, we must understand history and whether or not sedevacantism is in conformity to the teaching of the Church or rather a departure from the teaching of the Church.

One has to look at history with some understanding of how history arrived at the point one wishes to study. If one doesn't understand the background of that point in history, then one can't understand why the events took place or actually even what did take place. So that the target point in history can be understood, some background information is necessary.

During the Great Western Schism, the Church was the world power in that the Church controlled, more than anyone else, the countries of the world. As a result, anyone who was very ambitious knew that the place of power was in the Church as a member of the hierarchy. So we see in the times of the Great Western Schism very bad churchmen in high places who very much scandalized the Church then and who are scandalous to us poor souls today who try to read the historical accounts. It is not my intent to scandalize anyone, let alone the Church. But it is important to understand how corrupt things were so that one can understand why such things could happen and so better understand that things today aren't necessarily quite as they appear.

During the Great Western Schism there were many times when the different factions believed the pope to be a heretic who should be deposed, but, in every case, history has proven that those judging the pope were not only wrong in their conclusion but were also wrong in their belief that they had a right to judge the pope as the turn of events proved; for by judging the pope, they only caused confusion and schism with as many as three claimants to the papacy at one time. These churchmen had other than the Church’s interest at heart; instead, it was usually their own personal gain or nationalism.

By 1294 the Church had had a number of popes who were poor churchmen and some who had been scandalously corrupt. But the good Cardinals upon the death of the reigning pope elected Peter Morone, a pious, saintly hermit, to the papacy as Pope Celestine V. The hermit had no experience in such matters and in a short time had made quite a mess of things. He had protested upon being elected. He hadn't wanted to leave his hermitage and wanted only to return to it. After a short time, Celestine V resigned so that another pope could be elected.

Boniface VIII was the replacing pope. Since Boniface's enemies were saying that Celestine hadn't or couldn't resign, Boniface had Celestine apprehended so that there wouldn't be a schism.1 Celestine died while in custody and was later canonized. These events clouded the beginning of Boniface's pontificate. When additional events are added the people of the time, who where so inclined, had reason to question the papacy of Boniface.

During the reign of Boniface VIII, Philip the Fair, the king of France, wanted to take possession of some of the Church’s properties and ruling rights so as to increase his power and ability to tax. Philip used some arguments based on what the Church had allowed in France, discussed later under the title Gallacanism. Boniface countered with the idea that the pope had the right to rule the states because the kings had come to the pope to be crowned. Boniface prepared to excommunicate Philip.

Anticipating these developments, Philip had made plans to capture the pope and bring him before a council to be judged and deposed.2 As a result of Gallicanism, Philip had rationalized that he had the right to commit these atrocities against the Church. Philip sent two thousand mercenaries who captured Pope Boniface VIII and held him captive for three days. After having been freed, the pope lived only ten days. The next pope also opposed Philip the Fair and died suddenly, it is believed by poisoning. He was later canonized. These episodes much weakened respect for the papacy and brought about Gallicanism and sedevacantism which can only survive in an atmosphere of disrespect for the pope and the papacy.

During the reign of the next couple of popes, Philip tried to force the popes to condemn the dead Boniface, which they would not do. After the death of Boniface’s personal enemies, even the French accepted the legitimacy of the reign of Boniface.3 We often see in history how men or groups of men will paint a distorted picture of someone or some event which then affects history for some time.

Rome had been a world center for many centuries and with the coming and going of so many people, it was a hotbed of disease. Since it was also a center of power, a convergence of factions almost like separate nations within the city caused free movement and dissemination of information to be a problem. Because of the heat and humidity of summer, the hierarchy liked to leave the city.4 This along with the extreme nationalism (particularly French), led to the establishment of a papal palace at Avignon which was on the border of France.

Pope Clement V took up residence in Avignon beginning what was termed "the Babylonian Captivity" because the reign from Avignon lasted about as long as the Babylonian Captivity and was under the influence of the French court. France had been controlling the papal elections, electing Frenchmen to the office. This is one of the reasons the papal palace had been set up in Avignon.

After Clement V died, there was a two year, three and a half month period during which there was no pope. John XXII was finally elected to the papacy but damage to the respect for the papacy resulted from such a long vacancy.

Pope John XXII took the same position as Boniface in that he insisted that kings had no right to rule until the pope had given the Bestowal of Imperial Dignity. King Louis of Bavaria would not submit to Pope John so the Pope excommunicated him. The King then went to Italy and had one of the pope’s enemies proclaim John XXII a heretic, usurper, and oppressor of the Church and deprived John XXII of all his papal dignities, supposedly. The King then proclaimed an enemy of the pope, anti-pope Nicholas V. Through his position on papal right to rule nations had, John XXII caused quite a stir but it wasn't anything compared to what was to come.

Pope John XXII had stated before his election that he believed the soul didn’t posess the Beatific Vision upon death. He also gave a series of five sermons stating his belief.

At the University of Paris a group of theologians gave the opinion that the pope was seriously wrong, but that he had not made an ex cathedra statement. As a result, it was not binding and was simply a private belief of the pope. John stated that he had not intended to teach contrary to Holy Scripture or the rule of Faith and before his death declared his belief that souls separated from their bodies enjoyed the Beatific Vision.5 Clearly the Pope was not imposing his views or teaching ex cathedra.6 Here we have an example from history of a pope taking positions contrary to the traditions of the Church, but history shows that the man was still Catholic and indeed the Pope. We all error, but to be obstinate in our errors after being shown our error or after being obstinate after being shown by the Church that one is in error is when one rejects the Church’s teaching. Even though John XXII corrected his wrong, much disrespect for the papacy resulted from his actions.

The next four popes lived in Avignon which, along with their extreme French Nationalism, reduced the papacy to a very low level of respect.7 St. Bridget of Sweden spent the last thirty years of her life in Rome. She wrote to the popes at Avignon and told them that she feared that if they didn't soon return to Rome they would lose their temporal and spiritual authority.8 St. Catherine of Siena persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome in 1377.9 This ended a forty-one year absence from Rome by the popes. But the loss of respect for the papacy was to continue for Gregory XI continued to practice extreme French Nationalism by imposing Frenchmen over the Italians and this caused many riots.

The events which brought about the Great Western Schism had been established by: 1) Loss of respect for the papacy, 2) Concern of churchmen for other than the Church, and 3) Establishment of the non Catholic philosophy of Gallacanism and its ideals (sedevacantism).

Upon Gregory XI's death, Pope Urban VI was elected in Rome while mobs outside, and some inside, were demanding the selection of a Roman or at least Italian pope. The cardinals did elect Urban VI, an Italian, but before he could get to Rome to accept the position, the mobs became violent. For fear of their lives (note this was after the new pope had been elected), they dressed an Italian cardinal in the robes of the pope and presented him to the crowd as the new pope. The fake pope protested such deception, but to no avail. Once Urban VI arrived he was announced as the pope and was accepted by all.

Urban appeared to be a very easy going fellow before being elected to the papacy but once he was elected he became extremely aggressive in attacking those improperly using the Church. Cardinal Robert told the pope that, as he (the pope) was diminishing their power and respect, they (the cardinals) would diminish the pope’s power.10 The French cardinals, who comprised most of the Sacred College, were tired of deadly Roman fevers and the dilapidated Rome and wanted to return to Avignon were it was more comfortable.11 Soon the cardinals, mostly French, met outside of Rome and decided that, even though they had elected, accepted and announced Urban to the world as the Pope, they would now take the position that the election had been forced and that they now regarded the Holy See to be vacant.12 They proceeded to elect Cardinal Robert as the anti-pope to rule from Avignon.

St. Catherine of Siena's letter to these cardinals stated: "You clearly know the truth, that Pope Urban VI is truly pope, the highest pontiff, chosen in orderly election, not influenced by fear, truly rather by divine inspiration than by your human industry. And so you announced it to us, which was the truth. Now you have turned your backs, like poor, mean knights; your shadow has made you afraid. You have divided yourselves from the truth which strengthens us, and drawn close to falsehood, which weakens soul and body, depriving you of temporal and spiritual grace. What made you do this? The poison of self-love, which has infected the world. This is what has made you pillars lighter than straw-flowers which shed no perfume, but stench that makes the whole world reek!....This is not the kind of blindness that springs from ignorance. It has not happened to you because people have reported one thing to you while another is so. No, for you know what the truth is; it was you who announced it to us, and not we to you. Oh, how mad you are! For you told us the truth, and you want yourselves to taste a lie! Now you want to corrupt this truth, and make us see the opposite saying that you chose Pope Urban from fear, which is not so; but anyone who says it - speaking to you without reverence, because you have deprived yourselves of reverence - lies up to his eyes...."13 There is a saying: "The ultimate punishment of a liar is that he believes his own lies." Once a liar believes his own lies, he has no way to correct his errors because he can't recognize them. So the Great Western Schism began as the different nations decided which of the popes to accept.

The world soon realized the Church was in turmoil and wanted the schism ended. When pope or anti-pope died, the new popes were required to agree to do what they could, even resign, if the counter part would do the same so a new pope could then be elected to resolve the question of who was the real pope.

"In their embarrassment and anger, the French theologians dealing with the issue began to take positions contrary to the immemorial traditions and teaching of the Church, which in time became the full-fledged heresy of conciliarism."14 This philosophy had evolved from Gallacanism. The solution was said to be that of a council to depose the popes and elect a new pope who would then be unquestionably received as the true pope by all thereby uniting the Church again. Note: This was not a Catholic ideal but a solution they came up with to try and correct the problem without condemning those who started the schism.

It was said that pope and anti-pope were in heresy because they were a party to the schism, but there were those who sounded the warning that "no mere human being has any right to judge him (the reigning Pope) ....nor has an assembly of bishops, and still less, one of the cardinals....They are trying to force the hand of the Holy Ghost!"15 In spite of tradition and other warnings, a council was called at Pisa. The two popes were invited but neither attended. Their hierarchy did attend, but, without a pope to convene the council, they were obviously working in opposition to the true pope.

At the Council of Pisa, "All were stirred when the Patriarch of Alexandria, Simon de Cramaud, addressed the august meeting: 'Benedict XII and Gregory XII', [the two popes at the time] said Simon, 'are recognized as schismatics, the approvers and makers of schism, notorious heretics, guilty of perjury and violation of solemn promises, and openly scandalizing the universal Church. In consequence, they are declared unworthy of the Sovereign Pontificate, and are ipso facto deposed from their functions and dignities and ever driven out of the Church. It is forbidden to them henceforward to consider themselves to be Sovereign Pontiffs, and all proceedings and promotions made by them are annulled. The Holy See is declared vacant and the faithful are set free from the promise of obedience.'"16 Sounds like some sedevacanists of today. In June of 1409, Cardinal Philarghi was unanimously chosen to fill the presumably vacant papal chair. "His legitimacy was soon questioned and the world was chagrined to find that instead of two Popes it now had three."17 "There were now three Popes, and three Colleges of Cardinals, in some dioceses three rival bishops, and in some religious orders three rival superiors."18

In spite of previous lessons, the world still looked toward another council to correct the problem. In 1413 Sigismund (King of Germany) invited all three popes to a council. He had an agreement from John XXIII (the replacement Pope after the death of the Pesian pope, an anti-pope) that he would issue the Convocation Bull to open the Council of Constance. John had the largest support and at first dominated the council.19 John resigned and then changed his mind and fled. He latter was captured and brought back to the council and submitted to the council.

The legitimate pope, Gregory XII, even though his obedience had practically vanished, then resigned with the dignity expected from a true pope.20 Before he resigned Gregory convoked the Council and authorized its succeeding acts. Two years later, before the election of a new pope, Gregory XII died in the odor of sanctity.21 Even though the true pope had resigned and the council was in place to elect the new pope, it appears that the Holy Ghost’s hand was not to be forced as the new pope wasn't elected until the chair was truly vacant , due to Gregory’s death.

The Council of Constance agreed to establish an assembly divided into six nations, each speaking a different language, who then elected six representatives from each nation to vote for a new pope along with the twenty-three cardinals.22 So the Church, still divided by a schism, was to be reunited by a council started by nationalism and convoked by a schismatic. Moreover, the council was under the guidance of a civil authority and consisted of an electorate made up of thirty out of fifty-three electors who had been selected by their respective nations. Often we find in history that the way problems are resolved are the reverse of how they came about. Cardinal Odo Colonna of the famous (and sometimes infamous) Colonna family, which was party to starting the schism by undermining the true pope, was elected Pope Martin V by the Council of Constance. The Colonna family went to work to restore the Church. The Church was relieved to be rid of the Great Western Schism, but the problems caused by Gallacanism and sedevacantism had not been solved.

In 1904 the Gerarchia Catholica reaffirmed that the popes of Rome were the legitimate popes and that the anti-popes of Avignon were not the true popes. Future legitimate popes took the names of the anti-popes of Avignon.23 We see that through declining respect for the papacy and confusion on the issues relevant to the papacy the Great Western Schism was brought about. Future councils addressed the relevant issues and condemned many of the supporting errors that brought about this confusion.

"A temporal kingdom would have succumbed thereto; but the organization of the spiritual kingdom was so wonderful, the ideal of the papacy so indestructible that this, the most serious of schisms, served only to demonstrate its indivisibility."24

GALLICANISM

"Gallicanism - This term is used to designate a certain group of religious opinions for some time peculiar to the Church of France, or Gallican Church, and the theological schools of that country. These opinions, in opposition to the ideas which were called in France 'Ultramontane,' tended chiefly to a restraint of the pope's authority in the Church in favor of that of the bishop and the temporal ruler."25 These ideas stemmed from times when the popes made concessions to Pepin and Charles the Great in the ruling of the Church in their countries which were to be exercised only under papal control.26 These ideals were brought forward and promoted more to promote an argument than as a "deliberate opinion maturely conceived and conscious of its own meaning".27

The first glimmerings of the Gallican ideas surfaced during the conflict between Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII in the thirteen hundreds.28 In 1681 a General Assembly of the French clergy summoned by Louis XIV, King of France, obtained the "Declaration of the Four Articles," known as the Four Gallican Propositions, namely that:

1. The Pope may not interfere directly or indirectly with the temporal concerns of princes.

2. In spiritual matters a General Council is superior to the pope.

3. The rights and customs of the Gallican church are inviolable.

4. The Pope is not infallible, even in matters of Faith, unless his decision is confirmed by the consent of the Church."29

From the second proposition or ideal came the idea that a pope can be judged by a council and of course if a council can judge the pope then so can individuals because individuals make up the councils. This Gallican proposition is the tap root of sedevacantism.

"Stricken to death, as a free opinion, by the Council of the Vatican (I), Gallicanism could survive only as a heresy; the Old Catholics have endeavored to keep it alive under this form."30 It is from the roots of the Old Catholics that some of today's sedevacantist bishops come.

INFALLIBILITY

In considering sedevacantism, one of the key issues is that of infallibility, not just of the Pope, but also of councils and of the Church as a whole.

The issue isn't so much rather or not the pope is infallible but rather whether the Church will always have a pope that remains infallible. Some of the authorities say such things as: "to be taught to all men in all ages,....to every generation"31 and, "Hence, St. Peter is here promised the authority necessary to keep the Church together and to make it endure. Unless this is so, Christ's words are meaningless,"32 and, "....the Church was not made for a single generation alone. She was to continue according to Christ's promise, 'until the consummation of the world'. What had been instituted by Christ, in Peter, must necessarily, when St. Peter died he left heirs to his power. It is an undeniable historical fact that these heirs were the bishops of the City of Rome,...."33 and "....the headship must also endure until the end of time. The divinely established constitution of the Church cannot be changed; otherwise the Church would cease to be Christ's Church.....If a visible authority was needed so close to Christ's own lifetime, it was surely necessary when the Church had grown with the passage of time,"34 and on the practical plane, "As a nation has its responsible ruler, a judiciary its supreme court, an army its commander-in-chief, and a ship its captain so must the Catholic hierarchy have a responsible, recognized head, who shall give a final decision in matters of faith and morals. And this has always been the case."35 It seems there should be no question but that there is to be a pope in all ages. The longest period of time in the history of the Church (even in times of extreme persecution) for the seat of Peter to be vacant was a little over two years.

Once one agrees that there will always be a pope, the question may remain: "When is the Pope infallible?" A quotation from the dogmatic Vatican Council I follows: "That is why, by attaching ourselves faithfully to the tradition which comes down to us from the origins of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Savior, the Exaltation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of the peoples, with the approval of the sacred Council, we teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when exercising his office as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals which is to be held by the universal Church - thanks to the divine assistance promised to blessed Peter, he enjoys that infallibility which the divine redeemer wished to confer on his Church for the definition of doctrines of faith or morals; and therefore the definitions of the same Roman Pontiff are, by themselves and not by virtue of the consent of the Church, irreformable."36

"This does not mean that the Pope cannot make a mistake or commit a sin or that he can teach on any subject which strikes his fancy or that he is inspired by God.

"It does mean that under certain conditions the Pope is preserved from error, namely:

"1. When he speaks ex cathedra, as supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and successor of St. Peter;

"2. When he defines a doctrine, i.e. when he makes it clear that the doctrine must be believed with a firm, interior assent of faith;

"3. When the doctrine defined concerns faith or morals, i.e. when it belongs to the doctrinal teachings or the moral principles of the Catholic religion as found in Scripture or Tradition;

"4. When he speaks thus to the whole Church, intending to bind all its members throughout the world.

"The pope does not claim to speak infallibly unless all of these conditions are simultaneously present."37

As we saw in a study of the times of the Great Western Schism, popes in the past have taken positions contrary to the teaching of the Church but never has there been a pope who has spoken ex cathedra (with authority) against the teaching of the Church.38 To drive home the point possibly another quote on the subject of the conditions of infallibility: "....the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican [I Council] decree: (a) The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or elocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal. (b) Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible.... (c) Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense.... (d) Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church, to demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck...."39 The teachers of sedevacantism tell us that if the pope errors and takes a position contrary to the teaching of the Church then he is no longer a Catholic and therefore is not the pope, therefore the Chair of Peter would be vacant. Not true, as the history of Pope John XXII,40,41 Pope St. Liberus, Pope Honorius, and Pope Vigilius42 has shown us and the above imprimatured statements truthfully show.

But the teachers of sedevacantism say that the Church is infallible and cannot err and that the Novus Ordo Church teaches error therefore it is not Catholic and that any man who claims to be the pope of such a church is not Catholic therefore the Chair of Peter is vacant. They base their ideas on some truth but it is twisted and distorted. The following quotation contains some of the basis for their ideas.

"We said already that the Pope uses his infallibility when the conditions requisite for its exercise are present. He is personally infallible; no other bishop is. But, as a body, united to their head, the Pope, the bishops are infallible when they teach peremptorily. This they can do in two ways:

"(a) by their ordinary day-to-day united teaching by means of catechisms, ceremonies, traditional liturgical rites, pastoral letters, general condemnations, provincial or plenary councils, the tacit approval of the unanimous teachings of theologians. When the bishops are morally unanimous in teaching a doctrine as a of faith or morals, or in reprobating one as a heretic they are infallible in their ordinary teaching; [My emphasis.]

"(b) by assembling in General or Ecumenical Councils. A general Council is a gathering of the bishops of the whole world, or of so many of them that they represent the whole world.

"To be Ecumenical a council must be

Convoked by the Pope;

Presided over by the Pope, either in person or through his Legates;

Ratified by the Pope.

"An assembly of bishops without the Pope would not be Ecumenical or infallible."43

This means that the unanimous teaching of the Church is important in order for the ordinary magisterium to be an important factor in determining infallibility. The Second Vatican Council does not fit the criteria of unanimous teaching along with the "Novus Ordo Church" because of such actions as the Ottaviani Intervention, which was an attempt by the non-modernists of the Church to assert the traditional Catholic teachings. The Arian heresy proved that most of the Church could accept error with even the pope failing to condemn it.44,45,46 The Church, like the pope, may establish infallible dogma in a dogmatic council, but neither are impeccable.

Since the pope has the potential of being infallible and that infallibility comes from God and not from any action of man, it is a function of infallibility that man can not judge the pope. The Eighth General Synod put it quite well: "If a universal synod be assembled and any ambiguity or controversy arise concerning the Holy Church of the Romans, the question should be examined and solved with due reverence and veneration, in a spirit of mutual helpfulness; no sentence should be audaciously pronounced against the supreme pontiff of the elder Rome."47

I have heard it said that if the pope says that he does not believe a proclaimed dogma of the Church then we would know that he is a heretic and therefore he would no longer be the pope. This is not true. For one thing we do not know what is in the heart or mind of the pope and have no right to judge. Even if the pope is one hundred percent a heretic, it doesn't prove that he is not the pope. Just because some have said that if the pope becomes a heretic he then loses the authority of the papacy, this doesn't make it so. The Church has never taught this for to do so would undermine the papacy. Such a thing has never happened in all the history of the Church though, as we saw in the times of the Great Western Schism, men have made themselves believe this did happen, but I am sure the pope will never be a manifest heretic because it stands against the purpose of the papacy.

In the case of John XXII, as we saw in the times preceding the Great Western Schism, he took a view which was contrary to the tradition of the Church, and it was a heretical position, but a heretic may not understand the malice of his position until the Church officially corrects the heretic, as the University of Paris did John XXII. Upon receiving notice of the Churches teaching, John XXII had a study made of the issue and corrected his error. As a result, he never was a manifest heretic. To make a mistake is expected of humans but to hold to that mistake when shown one’s mistaken belief is where guilt of heresy is established.48

The Church teaches that, when the pope speaks ex cathedra (infallibly), we are required to follow his teaching or lose the Faith. The personal opinions of a pope may stray from defined dogma but the Church remains the same and we are obliged to follow the dogmas and traditions of the Church.

If sedevacantism was simply a misunderstanding about whether or not the present pope is pope, there wouldn't be much reason to spend time or energy in exposing and opposing it, for men make wrong choices all the time. However, sedevecantism doesn't simply stand by itself but has supporting ideals which oppose the Faith. Sedevacantism must be exposed and opposed, as we saw with Gallicanism, because of its disrespect for the pope and the desire for the right to judge the pope. Sedevacantism also opposes the infallibility of the pope because only God can judge the pope since infallibility comes from the Holy Ghost.

 

 

 

VISIBILITY

The strongest reason for opposing sedevacantism is that it stands against the visible Church. If it is said that a pope can be an imposter leading men to a false religion, then the duty of the Church to be visible would be violated to an extreme. We have had popes who have been anti-popes but this occurred while there were true popes. The confusion was with men not the Church.

".... it is clear that the Church founded by Christ is a visible church not a purely spiritual association. The Church of Christ is a public society consisting of rulers and subjects. This society had to be public and visible in order that those desirous of salvation might be able to find it and join it.49 [My emphasis]

"....Christ established a society ruled by a single supreme head. We have seen also that that society was to endure until the end of time. Therefore, the headship must also endure until the end of time. [My emphasis] The divinely established constitution of the Church cannot be changed; otherwise the Church would cease to be Christ's Church."50

Sedevacantism says that the chair can, in a way that would be misleadingly, be vacant. This violates the first quotation which reminds us that one of the main purposes of the Church is to be visible so those seeking the Faith can find it. In the second quotation, we are reminded that the Church is to endure to the end of time and thus the papacy. True we have seen that the papacy was vacant for some time but all knew it was vacant and anxiously awaited a new pontiff. So the position being vacant didn't serve to confuse as to where the one true Church was. There had been imposter popes who caused confusion as to which pope was the true pope, but there was no confusion as to what was the one true Faith. The belief of sedevacantism that the accepted pope could no longer be the pope while the faithful still believed he was would lead men not to the Faith but to a false religion which opposes the purpose of the Church.

Some other similar sources state the importance of the visibility of the papacy: "Moreover, it is entirely necessary that there should be a supreme head, visible to all,...."51; ".... him who is the visible foundation of the Church's indefectibility."52; from the Council of Trent, "....the visible one, the Pope, who as legitimate successor of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, fills the Apostolic chair. .... It is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers that this visible head is necessary to establish and preserve unity in the Church."53; from the I Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution, "He made Peter a perpetual Principle of this twofold unity and a visible foundation...."54; "....the Church, besides an invisible Head in heaven, must have a visible head on earth. The body and members of the Church are visible; why not also the Head? The Church without a supreme Ruler would be like an army without a general, a navy without an admiral, a sheepfold without a shepherd, or like a human body without a head."55; again from the Council of Trent, "A visible Church requires a visible head;...."56; and finally, "As St. John Chrysostom so truly said: ""It is easier for the sun to be quenched than for the Church to be made invisible.""57

 

SCHISM

To consider sedevacantism without considering the seriousness of schism would be like studying a rattle-snake without considering how deadly it can be.

"Schism - Formal separation from the unity of the Church, a separation from communion with the Church; separation from the head of the Church or from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff. The movement of any person or group of persons of the Church who refuse to recognize the central authority of the Church; and denial of the authority of the Pope of Rome."58

Here are some quotations about the seriousness of schism: "Anyone becomes a schismatic who, though desiring to remain a Christian, rebels against legitimate authority,...."59; St. Cyprian said, "Know that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop and that if anyone is not with the bishop he is not in the Church. ....what rascal, what traitor, what madman would be so misled by the spirit of discord as to believe that it is permitted to rend, or who would dare rend the Divine unity, the garment of the Lord, the Church of Jesus Christ?"60; St. Jerome says, "....there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the church. ....," "But as St. Jerome remarks, practically and historically, heresy and schism nearly always go hand in hand; schism leads almost invariably to denial of the papal primacy."61; from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, a quote of St. Jerome, "...., I as united in communion with your holiness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that on that rock is built the Church. Whoever will eat the lamb outside this house is profane: whoever is not in the ark of Noah shall perish in the flood."62;and "To communicate in sactis with schismatics, e.g., to receive the sacraments at the hands of their ministers, to assist at Divine Offices in their temples, is strictly forbidden to the faithful."63; St. Catherine of Siena, "That is what has made you pillars lighter than straw - flowers which shed no perfume, but stench that makes the whole world reek!"64

"Candid reader do you not profess to be a member of Christ's flock? Yes, you answer. Do you take your spiritual food from Peter and his successor, and do you hear the voice of Peter, or have you wandered into the fold of strangers who spurn Peter's voice? Ponder well this momentous question. For as Peter is authorized to feed the lambs of Christ's flock, the lambs should hear Peters' voice."65

"However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to posses this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command."66

To this point we have looked at schism in a sane or at least semi-sane world. What is schismatic in a world where tradition is condemned? Where councils support heresy? Where the pope will not condemn heresy and condemns those who continue to uphold tradition? Where better can we find a good example to answer the above questions than to examine the life and times of St. Athanasius?

St. Athanasius stood up against the Arian heresy which was a heresy that stated that Jesus was not God. "For almost all of the astonishing forty-five years of his episcopate, it was 'Athanasius against the world and for the Faith.'"67 The Council of Ares in 353, except one bishop, including even the two Papal legates condemned Athanasius.68 At the Council of Milan, 355, "All present but the three staunch bishops and the two Papal legates signed the condemnation of Athanasius."69 Athanasius was not condemned because he was a heretic but rather because he stood against everyone else including the councils of the times. He was condemned because of the disunity he was causing in the Church and because of false charges brought against him by his enemies. The popes though stood beside Athanasius until Pope Liberius was sent into exile by the emperor. "....Liberius began to sink under the hardships of his exile, ....that he yielded to the snare laid for him, to the great scandal of the church. He subscribed the condemnation of St. Athanasius, and a confession or creed, which had been framed by the Aryans at Sirmium, though their heresy was not expressed in it...."70

"Pope Liberius upon his cross at Sirmium, used and scorned by his enemies, pitied and abandoned by his friends, alone, fearfully alone, 'a worm and no man', strong bulls of Bashan all around him, bones like water, heart like wax, laid in the dust of death. Did he cry, with the Psalmist and with his Lord: 'be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help"?

"Undoubtedly he did - in spirit, if not in spoken word. For he did not sign the Second Formulary of Sirmium. At the final step, at the eleventh hour, the Arians were balked. As was to happen again to their like on several similar occasions later in the history of the Papacy, they simply could not understand how and why and by Whom they had been frustrated. For a whole year they held Liberius at Sirmium, doubtless confident that any day the final break would come. It never did.

"Christendom paused. The prayers of the suffering Pope, of Athanasius the hunted fugitive and his loyal monks in the desert and among the tombs of Egypt, of the simple faithful....- rose silently to Heaven. Slowly, at first wholly imperceptibly, the tide began to turn - but in strange ways, that no man could have predicted."71 The emperor died relieving the political pressure and Pope Liberius who had been released went to work with St. Athanasius to reestablish the faith and to reconcile the schismatics. One bishop by the name of Lucifer would not have anything to do with the reconciled schismatics or any of the faithful that would have anything to do with the reconciled schismatics. Which established a schism of its own.72

Our look at St. Athanasius gave us a very interesting view of schism. Here was a man who was in opposition to most of the hierarchy of the Church, at one time, even to the point of being condemned by the Church, but yet, as we saw, he was the strength of the Church.

By what right did he come back to his See after being condemned by a council? By what right did he continue to function as a bishop after the pope had joined in the condemnation of him? The basic answer lies in the fact that St. Athanasius knew who was in control (and it was not the pope). St. Athanasius knew the pope was controlled by the emperor and wasn't free to rule as he saw fit. So the laws, passed by them, which stood against tradition held no real weight. As a result St. Athanasius' duty was to do that which he knew the pope would want him to do if the pope were free to instruct him. A word to fit this type of situation is Epikeia.

Epikeia as defined by the Concise Catholic Dictionary is: "An interpretation of a law whereby it is considered not to bind in a particular case because of some special circumstances; an interpretation of the law in a particular instance against the letter of the law but in keeping with its spirit; an interpretation of the mind of the lawmaker which reasons that he, knowing the conditions, would not wish his law to bind in this particular case."

Scary territory this land of Epikeia. It is so easy for one's pride to cloud one’s thoughts. But in the case of St. Athanasius he knew what tradition had taught. He knew better than any of the hierarchy the reasoning against the Arian heresy.

It is very important to note that St. Athanasius did not condemn all those opposed to him and true doctrine. Although he did oppose and repel all formal Arians in his diocese, he didn't set up a parallel Church. He knew that God, in His own good time, would straighten out the Church and that it was his duty to uphold the one true Church. He simply practiced his faith as it was given to him by the teachings of his apostolic predecessors, the upholders of tradition.

St. Athanasius must have appeared to be a schismatic in his time by a good percentage of the people of his day. In reality he was not a schismatic because he not only recognized the pope and the papacy but he constantly applied to Rome for solutions, for he knew that in God’s good time the solution would come from Rome. Meanwhile St. Athanasius continued to practice his faith as tradition had given it to him.

The use of Epikeia in a situation is like being "between the devil and the deep blue sea" as the saying goes. If St. Athanasius would have gone along with the norm and stood against the traditional teaching of the Church he would have been an "all right fellow" in the eyes of his world. But in the eyes of God he, no doubt, would have been severely judged if he had gone along with the world and against the traditional teachings of the Church.

So we see today that in standing against the modernists who are in control of the Church one may be required to look like a schismatic in order to practice the one true Faith. The line is very thin and hard to define. The hard-core sedevacantists are way over the line even though they may not be able to see it. The hard-core sedevacantists reject the Church in the same manner that Lucifer (bishop) did during the time of Athanasius. They reject the pope and everyone but themselves. They reject the papacy by claiming it is vacant while misquoting infallibility and ignoring the visibility of the Church and they lean on the teachings of Gallicanism to obtain bishoprics whose roots come from Old Catholic bishops and their seminaries.

Indeed, may we all pray for the Pope.

1The Glory of Christendom, Warren H. Caroll, Christendom Press, 1993, page 335.

2Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Boniface VIII, 1913, page 668.

3Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Clement V, page 21.

4Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Clement V; page 20.

5Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, page 433.

6The Glory of Christendom, page 372.

7The Glory of Christendom, page 390.

8Church History, Fr. John Laux, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.,1989, orriginally 1930, page 401.

9Church History, page 401.

10The Glory of Christendom, page 431.

11Church History, page 404.

12The Glory of Christendom, page 433.

13ibid, page 425.

14ibid, page 460.

15ibid page 471.

16Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, Pisa, Council of, page 113.

17Catholic Encyclopedia, VolI, Alexander V, page 288.

18Church History, page 407.

19Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, John XXIII, page 435.

20Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, page 289.

21Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Gregory XII, page 1.

22Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Constance, Council of, page 290.

23Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism page 541.

24ibid, page 541.

25Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VI, Gallicanism, page 351.

26ibid, Gallicanism, page 352.

27ibid, Gallicanism, page 353.

28ibid, Gallicanism, page 353.

29Church History, page 508.

30Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VI, Gallicanism page 355.

31Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 791.

32This is the Faith, Rev. Francis J. Ripley, Guild Press, Inc., 1960, first published in 1951, page 147.

33The Papacy, Vladimir D'Ormesson, Hawthorn Books-publisheers,1958, as volumn 81 of the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, page 113.

34This is the Faith, page 160.

35Rebuilding a Lost Faith, Stoddard, page 144. Quoted in A Course in Religion, Rev. John Laux, M.A., Benzinger Brothers, Inc., 1934, page 118.

36The Papacy, pages 114 and 115.

37This is the Faith, page 170.

38Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 799.

39ibid, page 796.

40Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, John XXII, page 433.

41The Glory of Christendom, pages 371-373.

42Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 798.

43This is the Faith, pages 172-173.

44The Building of Christendom, by Warren H. Carroll, Christendom College Press, 1987, pages 15-53.

45Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. I, Arianism, pages 708-710.

46Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, St. Athanasius, pages 37-40.

47Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, Councils, page 435.

48Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, pages 540 & 541.

49A Course in Religion, Part IV, Rev. John Laux M.A., Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1934, page 96.

50This is the Faith, page 160.

51The Catholic Church and Salvation, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Newman Press, 1958, page 82.

52Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility, page 797.

53Catechism of the Council of Trent, Issued by Order of Pope Pius V, Marian Publications, 1972, page 102.

54The Church Teaches, the Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1973, originally published, 1955, page 95.

55The Faith of Our Fathers, James Cardinal Gibbons, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1980, orriginally 1876, page 80.

56Catechism of the Council of Trent, page 104.

57This is the Faith, page 126.

58Concise Catholic Dictionary The cover was missing so I don't know who published it or if there was an imprimatur.

59Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XIII, Schism page 529.

60Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism page 531.

61Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism page 529.

62Catechism of the Council of Trent, Order of Pope Pius V, page 102-103.

63Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, page 529.

64The Glory of Christendom, page 425.

65The Faith of Our Fathers, page 83.

66Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, Schism, pagae 529.

67The Building of Christendom, page 15.

68ibid, page 27.

69ibid, page 28.

70Butlers Lives of the Saints, Rev. Alban Butler; St. Athanasius; Sarto Books, 1982; originally published 1844, page 150.

71The Building of Christendom, page 32.

72ibid, page 53.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

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